City Council Punts

There were only two major items on Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

The first was a study session devoted to reconfiguring the City’s solid waste services and, possibly, bringing in a private company to work with the City.

The second was a staff’ presentation of “planning principles” for the industrial lands that would be applied in the revision of the land use and circulation elements in the General Plan.

The Waste Management discussion began with a long, dense, chart-heavy analysis of various public/private combinations of services, and was followed by many questions from Council members that, ultimately, led to the Council tossing the matter back back to staff for further elucidation.

It should be noted that this question has been on the table for years.

All that took several hours, and, at Mayor Richard Bloom’s suggestion, the Council decided to bounce the planners’ presentation to the November 13 Council meeting.

The Council then spent quite a long time talking about Bloom’s proposal that it consider meeting every week and direct staff to evaluate Council members’ compensation and possible need for staff assistants. Nobody wanted to meet every week and the members had mixed feelings about pay and assistance,

Bloom adjourned the meeting at about midnight. Happy Halloween!

“Battle of Algiers” To Be Screened Friday

“Films for Change” will screen a seminal documentary, “The Battle Of Algiers” (1965) on Friday, November 2.

Winner of Best Foreign Film, Best Director (Gillo Pontecorvo) and Best Original Screenplay Oscars, it is one of the most influential films in the history of political cinema, Focusing on the events of 1957, a key year in Algeria’s struggle for independence from France, it was shot in the streets of Algiers and re-creates the uprising against the occupying French, and is as relevant and powerful as it was when it was made. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. 121 minutes

It will be shown at the home of Rachel Sene and Jay Johnson, 601 9th Street, one block east of Lincoln and one block north of Montana. Plenty of free parking.

A 30-minute discussion will follow the film, with continued socializing at Izzy’s Deli, 15th and Wilshire in Santa Monica. Free parking in rear, free valet, free street parking Read signs.

RSVP: or call 310-451-2752 (first 20)

$5 donation for Change-Links Progressive Newspaper and Calendar

Making the World Safer: A Forum

The League of Women Voters of Santa Monica will hold a forum Thursday, November 8, on the ways and means of making the world safer, with particular emphasis on counter-terrorism.

A panel discussion will focus on counter-terrorism strategies that include ways of making “’the world a better place in which the allure of terrorist activities cannot match the appeal of living life with dignity and opportunity,” according to a League press release.

Former City Manager Susan McCarthy will moderate the discussion. Panelists will be Santa Monica Fire Chief Jim Hone, Santa Monica Red Cross Executive Director John Pacheco, Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council Member Dr. Jody Priselac, Santa Monica Deputy Police Chie fPhillip Sanchez, and Santa Monica College Political Science Professor Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein.

The forum will be held from 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday, November 8, in the multi-purpose room at the Santa Monica College Bundy campus.

The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and beverages will be served.

Please RSVP to League of Women Voters of Santa Monica consultant Sheila Field at 310-395-0835 or email

The forum has been made possible by grants from Our Voices Together and the League of Women Voters United States..

Bad Planning on Display

The major item on tonight’s City Council agenda is a discussion of the planners’ recommendations for the so-called “industrial lands.”

The staff report suggests that the staff wants to turn what is now the loosest and most open area of the city into the most tightly packed. What’s there now ranges from formidable to small and simple, from large, pretentious office buildings to quiet residential neighborhoods, from Bergamot Station to the City Yards, from several private schools to small manufacturers, from artists’ studios to our own gasoline alley. And, except for a traffic mess that rivals downtown, it all works pretty well.

Now, among other things, the City wants to add affordable and/or workforce housing and install a proper grid, meaning more streets, sidewalks, utilities, neighborhood-serving stores and so on, as well as what sounds like nothing so much as a whole new community adjacent to the proposed Expo light rail line.

Continue reading Bad Planning on Display

City To Hold 415 Workshop

Some years ago, after what was left of Marion Davies’ estate at 415 Pacific Coast Highway, had been red-tagged, wrapped in chain link fencing and left to molder in the sun, one of Santa Monica’s savviest residents. Jeff Bixon, said, “All they have to do is open it up, We know what to do with it.”

Thanks to a $21 million-plus grant from the Annenberg Foundation, it is new being remade. Though it won’t open until early 2009, the City will hold a community workshop Saturday to discuss “operational and program plans” for what is now called the Annenberg Community Beach Club.

City staff will open the workshop with “site details and operating parameters,” after which workshop participants will, as the City put it, “be given the opportunity to envision their perfect day at the Annenberg Community Beach Club.”

Continue reading City To Hold 415 Workshop