City Needs New Political Party

Santa Monica needs a second political party.

News media rarely call for new political parties – at least not overtly. We’re taking the unusual step, because Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights (SMRR) has been the only political game in town for nearly three decades, and in that time residents have been gradually reduced to bit players in the civic drama, and we find that profoundly disturbing.

Sunday, we posted a screed that we ran in the Dispatch a year ago (see “Déjà Vu All Over Again,” below).

“We’re BAAACK” called for a number of changes, almost all of which had to do wth the restoration of the democratic process in Santa Monica.

Satchel Paige said, “Don’t look back. Something may be gaining on you.” Unfortunately, in the year since we wrote the piece, none of these vital changes has been made, and EVERYTHING is gaining on residents — traffic, over-development, bad decisions, and wrong moves, and, most of all, City Hall’s drive to remake Santa Monica along more conventional, profitable and docile lines.

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Judge Blocks City’s Jet Ban

by Brian Bland, FOSP Board member and FOSP Airport Committee member

A federal judge has blocked the City of Santa Monica from enforcing its ban on the fastest kinds of jets using Santa Monica Airport (SMO), at least temporarily.

The ban, unanimously approved by the City Council, was to have gone into effect on April 24. The Federal Aviation Administration filed a cease-and-desist order against the city and went to federal court to ask for a temporary restraining order. Judge George Wu declined to issue the order without a hearing, which was held April 28.

Wu said he wasn’t sure whether or not he had the authority to judge the merits of the city’s case, and instead made his ruling to temporarily block the ban based on his interpretation of the legal procedures involved. He agreed to be briefed further on the case, so the battle will resume in his downtown Los Angeles federal court on May 15 after both sides file additional written arguments.

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Nightmare on the Way

Pacific Coast Highway from McClure Tunnel in Santa Monica to Malibu is simultaneously one of the most beautiful drives in the world, and one of the worst.

More and more hours on more and more days, it’s bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way.

And it’s about to get worse than worst.

The City of Santa Mnica, the City of Los Angeles, the L.A. Department of Water and Power, Caltrans. LADOT and the City of Malibu have embarked on a series of major and unprecedented “improvement” projects that will make the current PCH jam-up seem like a walk o the beach.

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Déjà vu All Over Again

In April, 2007, we posted the first round of articles in the Santa Monica Dispatch, a blog.

One of the first articles was “We’re BAAACK,” which called for changes we believed were vital, if we were to preserve this iconic beach town.

Sadly, the article remains wholly relevant, as there has been lots of commotion in the year just passed, but none of the changes we called for has been made.

Herewith, the article, as it appeared in April, 2007. Read it, and rage.

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We’re BAAACK!

Since we went silent a year ago, a lot has happened, but, unfortunately, nothing’s changed.

Time for a Change

Santa Monica is a legendary beach town.

It was founded in 1875 as a simple real estate development. Five generations of bright, talented, devoted, diverse residents have made it a gorgeous, complex, idiosyncratic, grandly volatile and deeply satisfying place to live and work — perfectly located on the ocean, small in scale, low key, prosperous – in the midst of the myriad pleasures and excitements of Los Angeles.

It’s unique, unconventional, an original, not a copy.

The primary fact of Santa Monica, its shaping element, is the ocean, and, aside from its sublime location, its greatest asset has always been its residents. They are smart, savvy and independent, and they are fiercely devoted to Santa Monica.

But, here and now, Santa Monica’s residents have lost control of their town.

Some time ago, without the advice or consent of residents, City Hall made its top priorities increasing its own revenues, and, in the noxious vernacular, “growing” the town. To that end, it reversed the order of things, making itself the star of the show, while consigning residents to non-speaking roles.

As the star, City Hall has given itself license to ignore residents’ wishes when they run counter to its own plans, make unilateral decisions at the expense of residents, and exploit both the residents and their town.

It’s as if we gave City Hall a Steinway and it played nothing but “Chop-sticks” on it. Badly.

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City, FAA To Meet in Court

By Cathy Larson
For Friends of Sunset Park

On March 26, the day after the Santa Monica City Council voted to implement a new Airport Safety Ordinance that would ban the faster C and D class aircraft, the FAA presented the City with an Order-to-Show-Cause. The City was required to respond within ten days. The documentation was prepared and presented to the FAA.

The City prepared and sent out notices to the Airport Users that the new ordinance would go into effect on April 24.

On the eve of the ordinance implementation, the FAA served the City with a Cease-and-Desist order. A hearing is scheduled for Monday, April 28 in federal court. Federal Attorneys are seeking a Temporary-Restraining-Order to prevent the City from enforcing the new ordinance. In the meantime, Airport Staff has suspended issuing violations.

Some of the documents are posted on the City web site http://www.smgov.net/news/hotopics/ FOSP is working on obtaining all of the documents to post on our web site.

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