Some Santa Monica Landscapes

The Santa Monica Conservancy Will showcase twelve “extraordinary landscape environments in different neighborhoods of Santa Monica” in its first garden tour on Sunday, May 31, 1 – 5 pm

The tour features environments designed by local landscape designers,  including their own homes. Visits to the homes of Nancy Power, Daryl Hosta, Dale Newman and Wendy Katz (RubyBegonia) are part of this tour.

Among the garden tour-goers will see   are a botanical garden with specimen aloes, succulents and cacti, a wild meadow of grasses, a lush, colorful and romantic Mediterranean garden with four different water features,
– drought-tolerant plants that are friendly to butterflies and birds, and a
pine forest containing a genuine teepee.

Also on the tour are a Zen-like yard with a koi pond and a ceramic urn fountain, a garden incorporating sculpture, historic artifacts and an antique swing from India.

Tickets are $35 for the general public and $25 for Santa Monica Conservancy members. Tickets can be purchased online at the Conservancy website,


Calendar of events for May/June

By Zina Josephs

SAVE THE DATE – FOSP Annual Meeting on Saturday, May 30th, 1:30 PM, at Mt. Olive Church!
Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Friends of Sunset Park!

May 26, 27, 28 – City Council – Budget Study Sessions – review priorities for the 2009-10 budget – 6 PM

May 26 – Santa Monica High School – Orchestra “Pops” Concert – 7 PM – Barnum Hall – (Parking: from 4th St., turn east on Olympic Blvd. – stay to the right to avoid entering the eastbound 10 freeway – turn right into parking lot just past the baseball field, or turn right just before the Chevron station into the larger student parking lot.)

May 28-20 – “12 Angry Jurors” – Santa Monica High School Theater Department adaptation of “12 Angry
Men,” at the Humanities Center – May 28 at 4 PM, May 29 at 7 PM, May 30 at 2 PM.

May 28 – 31 – “Guys and Dolls” – Santa Monica College Main Stage –

May 30 – FOSP Annual Meeting – 20th Anniversary! – 1989-2009
Mt. Olive Church – 1:30 PM – 14th & Ocean Park Blvd.

Police Chief Tim Jackman, Fire Chief Jim Hone, Airport Manager Bob Trimborn,
Planning Director Eileen Fogarty, and Mayor Ken Genser

Vote for 2009-2010 Board of Directors
Year-end updates
Discussion groups
Samohi Jazz Combo
See old friends and make new ones!

May 30 – “For The Arts” concert to support arts education in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School
District – Billy Idol and Venice – Samohi’s Greek Theater – 6:30 PM –

May 31 – “Santa Monica Landscapes” – a tour of 12 gardens of varied styles in various Santa Monica
neighhborhoods,  sored by the Santa Monica Conservancy – 1 to 5 PM – The tour focuses on the garden as a setting for older homes, renowned landscape architects are represented, and you
can take the tour by bicycle.

May 31 – SMC Wind Ensemble – Annual “Pops” Concert – 4 PM – The Broad Stage at the SMC
Performing Arts Center, Santa Monica Blvd. at 11th St.

June 1 – Airport Commission – City Hall – 7:30 PM

June 2 – Neighborhood Conservation – community workshop – Main Library – 6:30-9:00 PM – neighborhood conservation vs. preservation, attributes and challenges, tools and approaches

June 2 – SMC Board of Trustees – Business Building – 7 PM

June 3 – CCSM 2802 Pico Community Design Workshop – 7 PM – S.M. Business Park Conference Center, 3200 Ocean Park Blvd. – Architects for the 4-story affordable housing project at 28th and Pico will present some design options for the community to consider. Under current city ordinances, low-income housing projects of less than 50 units only require approval by city staff, not the Planning Commission or the City Council. The only public hearing might be before the Architectural Review Board. Additional information at or Google “Community Corporation of Santa Monica + 2802 Pico”

June 3 – Planning Commission – City Hall – 7 PM

June 4 – Board of Education – District Office – 5:30 PM

June 5 – Santa Monica High School – Spring Choir Concert – Barnum Hall – 7 PM

June 6 – Santa Monica High School – Band “Pops” Concert – Barnum Hall – 2 PM (?)

June 6 – Education Forum with Assemblymember Brownley – 4 PM – Edison Language Academy,
2425 Kansas Avenue, SM 90404

June 6 – Santa Monica High School – Orchestra “Senior Gala” Concert – Barnum Hall – 7 PM (?)

June 9 – City Council – City Hall – 6:45 PM

June 13 – Neighborhood Council – Ken Edwards Center – 10 AM

June 15 – Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL) Charity Golf Classic –              MountainGate – 11 AM – 310-458-8995 – Organized by the Santa Monica
Police Department, this supports the PAL youth center at 1401 Olympic Blvd. –

June 17 – Planning Commission – City Hall – 7 PM

June 18 – FOSP Board/Membership meeting – Mt. Olive Church – 7 PM

Jun 20 — Santa Monica Pier — Schools Out! — 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

A new annual event for kids (and their families) offers up top notch entertainment, art-making activities, creative workshops, fitness activities, fashion shows, aquarium activities, and of course, a day of fun in Pacific Park.

June 23 – City Council – City Hall – 6:45 PM
July 4 – 3rd Annual Main Street 4th of July Parade –


Event websites:

City meetings –
Arts and cultural activities –
Convention & Visitors Bureau calendar –
S.M. Public Library events – http://www.SMPL/org/libraryevents.htm
S.M. Airport events –
SMC campus events –

The Only Fitting Memorial: Peace:

Americans have  remembered and honored  the men and women who have died in our wars on Memorial Day (originally Decoration Day) every year since the Union soldiers were honored following the Civil  l War.

But remembering is not enough, and the usual flower wreaths, speeches, prayers, music, fly-overs and military salutes may console the living but they do not honor our fallen troops.

The only way to truly honor  the dead is to end war, for that is what they fought and died  for.

Lincoln called America “the world’s last best hope,” but in the 20th century, it became the richest, most powerful and most bellicose nation on earth.

World War II was necessary. The Nazis were monsters, methodically exterminating  the Jews, sweeping into one country after  another  on their way to ruling the  world. Contemplating a world ruled by Nazis beggared the imagination, and so America went to war.

Seven years after we dropped atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending World War II, American soldiers were on foreign soil again, fighting and dying in  Korea in what our leaders chose to call “a police action.” It was a war, of course, our second in a generation.

The pace was quickening. As President Dwight Eisenhower, who had led Allied forces into France during World War II,  warned of the rise of “the military-industrial complex,” American military “advisors” were already on the ground n Vietnam. That war lasted well into the 1970s, 50,000 Americans and millions of Vietnamese died because neither President Lyndon Johnson  nor President Richard Nixon wanted to preside over a defeat.

The 1970s and 1980s were also notable for America’s clandestine campaigns in Central and South America and the Middle East to unseat popularly elected leaders with our “friends.” American arms were often
Part of the deal, as in Iran-Contra.

The Iraq war, which America started, is in its sixth year.  The Afghanistan war is escalating. American troops continue to die.

For four years, Veterans for Peace, LA. have saluted their fallen comrades, casualties of the Iraq war,  and reminded us of the true, terrible, heart-breaking cost of war  with Arlington West, the ever-widening  field of crosses they place on the beach  north of the Santa Monica Pier every weekend.

The crosses are there today, Memorial Day 2009, and they are more eloquent than all the speeches at all the services.

Parsing the Pitch

“Branding” merchandise obviously works, but “branding” a legendary beach town is akin to ungilding the  lily, which is probably not what our hapless marketeers and their consultants had in mind.

In fact, Santa Monica has long resided in the pantheon of brands, along with super-stars whose first names are sufficient, and other super-places — Hyannisport, Carmel, Taos – whose names alone tell the whole story.

When network TV/radio newscasters refer to our town, they say “Today in Santa Monica…” without any modifiers. They do not say, “Today in Santa Monica, a southern California beach town…”

Apparently, our marketeers and their consultants are among a handful of people, some of whom are in City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce, who  think Santa Monica needs an explanation.

That’s bad, but their explanation, aka “brand promise,” is worse, as it buries this wholly idiosyncratic town in  clichés.

It begins by giving Santa Monica a supporting role  (“Santa Monica…the best way to discover L.A.”). Then, it   reduces the beach to a meaningless generality (“an unforgettable beach experience.”) and follows it with a trio of banalities (“eye-catching people… cutting-edge culture and bold innovations.”), and closes with the penultimate cliché (“It is the essence of the California lifestyle.”).


Many years ago, when branding was   limited to livestock, someone wrote a seven-word slogan for Santa Monica  that, despite what must have been an inadvertent reference to “Babbitt,”still POPS: “The zenith city by the sundown sea.”


Waxman Cranks Up Pressure on FAA

Chairman Henry Waxman added an amendment covering safety issues at Santa Monica Airport to H.R. 915, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2009, on Thursday, May 21.

Chairman Waxman continues to work with the Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to pressure the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to achieve runway safety area solutions consistent with FAA design guidelines to address the safety concerns at Santa Monica Airport.

Representative Henry A. Waxman can be contacted  at