Pacheco Leaves Red Cross to Head New Company

John Pacheco, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the American Red Cross of Santa Monica, will retire, effective January 2, to become President and CEO of Innovative Disaster Solutions, a new company based on the Westside, which will provide disaster preparedness planning and consulting for small and mid-size companies.

Pacheco worked for the American Red Cross in the Los Angeles area for 35 years, spending the last eight in Santa Monica. He began as interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and stayed on to turn a troubled chapter into one of the strongest and most successful chapters in the entire American Red Cross system.

Taking over for Pacheco as Interim CEO will be Carol Evans who comes to Santa Monica from Santa Cruz where she was CEO of the its Red Cross chapter. She held numerous State and national Red Cross positions before her retirement in 2008, and will live in Santa Monica until a new full-time CEO is appointed.

With a Bachelor of Arts and a Master’s degree in Clinical and Community Psychology from California State University, Northridge, Pacheco also has a post graduate certification in management from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business at UCLA and served in the US Army during the Vietnam War as a combat medic.

His work for the Red Cross includes over 25 national disaster assignments, along with extensive work in disaster preparedness and recovery programs for the Los Angeles Red Cross. He is also credited with a Nurses Assistant training program that has been called the best of its kind in the nation.

Under Pacheco’s leadership, the Santa Monica chapter’s management structure was stabilized, an active and dedicated new Board of Directors was recruited and the chapter’s services to the community expanded along with a growing and dedicated army of community volunteers – many of whom are now qualified to render assistance at disaster call-outs across the country.

Dozens of local volunteers have received the training to qualify them for the chapter’s Disaster Action Team or DAT that provides services to Santa Monicans who become victims of house and apartment fires, hazardous materials evacuations and other local calamities.

In addition, the chapter is a key blood donor center and major provider of Cardio-Pulmonary-Resuscitation (CPR), first aid and water safety training, locally.

Pacheco said, “It has truly been an incredibly rewarding experience here with the ‘Cross,’ made possible by the marvelous people I have had the opportunity to serve with over these years.”

He can be reached at Innovative Solutions Network, LLC, 14055 Ryan Street, Sylmar, CA 91342. Phone: 310-922-2045 or

Carol Evans can be reached at the Santa Monica Red Cross, 1450 11th Street in Santa Monica at 310-394-3773 during business hours or by email at

The American Red Cross of Santa Monica is a publicly supported, 501(C)(3) nonprofit corporation that provides health and safety education, youth services, CPR and first aid training, disaster awareness and disaster relief efforts. For additional information or to inquire about other programs or assistance call 310-394-3773 or go online at

City Manager Responds to Court RDA Decision

On learning of the State Supreme Court’s decision to affirm the Legislature’s authority to dissolve the cities’ Redevelopment Agencies (see story below), Santa Monica City Manager Rod Gould issued the following statement this afternoon:

“It’s regrettable that the Legislature and Supreme Court have stripped cities and counties of the one tool to produce affordable housing, generate jobs, and refurbish critical infrastructure. This is especially true during this time of double-digit unemployment, crumbling infrastructure and a paucity of affordable housing in our state.

“For years the City has been working to implement its Redevelopment Plan through a number of public works projects that will enhance community safety and welfare. It’s our intent to move forward on existing projects where we have contracts which are unimpeded by the Court’s decision.”

Court Okays Brown’s Call to Shut Down Redevelopment Agencies

From LAObserved:

Mark Lacter • December 29 2011 10:49 AM

Big win for Gov. Jerry Brown, who sought to shave $1.7 billion from the state budget by abolishing more than 400 redevelopment agencies. It’s also a big loss for municipalities that had come to rely on the funding for a variety of projects – some good ones and a lot of questionable ones. The court ruled that effectively eliminating redevelopment was “a proper exercise of the legislative power vested in the Legislature by the state Constitution.” When Brown proposed to kill the redevelopment program, there was such an outcry that legislators offered legislation that would have allowed some agencies to survive – provided that they shared their property tax revenue. But the court said that measure was invalid. The case was fast-tracked so that a decision could be reached before Brown presents his new budget. From the LAT:

Redevelopment proponents say they have created jobs and bustling neighborhoods. Critics contend they have starved schools and the state of scarce tax revenue and in some cases invested the public’s money foolishly. Redevelopment agencies became fodder in the budget battle because their growth has led to their control of a larger percentage of tax revenue.

Just to remind you what a sham these projects can be, L.A.’s Community Redevelopment Agency set aside $52 million for a garage for Eli Broad’s museum – a strange selection considering that redevelopment dollars are supposed to be spent to fight poverty and blight. From the LA Weekly:

All of South Los Angeles, population 550,000, where unemployment among young minorities is said to exceed 30 percent, would get just $32 million from the CRA — $20 million less than Broad would get for his garage. More than $1 in every $10 of the nearly $1 billion in “redevelopment” money controlled by Los Angeles is to be spent in pursuit of Eli Broad’s dream of glitzing up the Civic Center’s Grand Avenue area (which is neither poor or blighted) with luxury condos, a luxury hotel, and his architecturally stunning museum. Watts, devastated by the recession, would get only $5.5 million from the CRA, compared to $102 million for the Grand Avenue luxury project and Broad’s museum.

Two words for the CRA: Good riddance.



The City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability and Environment will host the breakfast reception at the 2012 edition of the Chamber of Commerce annual “State of the City” program.

To be held at the SGI-USA World Cultural Center, this year’s gathering will focus on trends in technology and business in Santa Monica and honor some local businessmen.

Mayor Richard Bloom will deliver the “State of The City” address, “providing insights on the local impact of the current global and state economy,” according to a press release. It did not say who would provide Bloom with “insights.”

In addition, Jason Nazar, CEO of Docstoc and host of “Startups Uncensored” will “share his perspective on the growth of technology in Santa Monica,” and Brad Cox, Chair of the Santa Monica Alliance, will moderate a panel discussion on “the use of technology and best new business practices here in ‘Silicon Beach.’”

A series of awards will also be given. “The Economic Excellence Award” will be presented to Santa Monica College. “The Innovation Award” will go to a local small business, CoLoft. “Catering to start-ups, small businesses and entrepreneurs, it employs an innovative approach to workspace allowing for great collaboration, success and growth.” The Leadership Award will honor Cox for “his transformative leadership in helping usher in a new era of collaboration among Santa Monica’s public administrators and business stakeholders.”

Cox is Senior Managing Director of Trammell Crow Company, Chair of the Santa Monica Alliance, Past Chair of the Los Angeles Business Council and Vice Chair of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.

Trammell Crow is a major American commercial real estate developer. It builds museums and parks, among many other things, in Dallas, its home base. Its most recent project here is the replacement of a modest apartment building at the junction of San Vicente and Ocean Avenue with a cluster of oversized and very expensive condominiums. Though the Landmarks Commission designated the original structure a landmark, Trammell Crow appealed the designation, the City approved the appeal, and the tenants, many of whom had lived in the apartment complex for years, were summarily evicted to make way for Trammell Crow.

Taking part in the panel discussion will be Dr. Chui Tsang, Superintendent/President, Santa Monica College, David Travers, Partner, Rustic Canyon Partners, Keith Klein, Partner, Bryan Cave, LLP, and Paige Craig, CEO,
Better Works.

Dr. Tsang has, according to the press release, “had a major impact bringing fiscal stability to the institution and establishing an open and inclusive management style…built excellent relations with local and regional organizations, while educating the future workforce to succeed in the current business environment.”

Rustic Canyon Partners, Travers’ firm, is “a venture capital firm investing in exceptional entrepreneurs…such as Santa Monica-based Docstoc and Leads360.”

Klein is “primary litigation counsel for Los Angeles-based internet companies including demographic-specific networks, social networking websites, and some of the largest direct marketing companies, and Bryan Cave’s Start Up and Emerging Growth programs,” which are based in Santa Monica,

Craig, “a former marine, has also worked in the intelligence community to support counter-terrorism efforts. In 2008, he founded Betterworks, a cloud-based business platform to help the country’s six million small and medium businesses create better work environments with happier and more productive employees.”

State of The City will take place on Thursday, January 26, 2012 from 7:30 am to 10:00 a.m. at SGI-USA, 525 Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica. More information can be found at Tickets
can be purchased at or by calling 310.393.9825.

In fact, its focus is not really the “State of the City.” It’s not even the state of business in Santa Monica. It’s the state of the technology business in Santa Monica. There’s no reason why people shouldn’t get together to talk about the technology industry, but if they do, shouldn’t they see it as part of the picture, not the whole picture? And shouldn’t they discuss it in context. For instance, how it affects other more traditional businesses, how it complements, or conflicts with other businesses, and residents? Does it vie for space with film production and post-production companies in what the City has designated the “creative district?” What will its long-term effects be on this gloriously idiosyncratic beach town? And if Santa Monica is indeed morphing into “Silicon Beach,” why has Google just moved several hundred employees to Venice?

A couple of months ago, the City Council devoted an entire meeting to sustaining business in Santa Monica, or what can we do for you? And Brad Cox will be given the ”Leadership Award” for “his transformative leadership in helping usher in a new era of collaboration among Santa Monica’s public administrators and business stakeholders.” Is that a good thing, or is it, in fact, the basis for the cold shoulder residents have routinely received from City Hall on a whole range of issues (see “2011 – Not a Very Good Year?” below).

No question, any number of people are here for the money. But an equal or larger number are here for love. And who, if anyone, is listening to them? Everything that’s not Bigger or More is a Rhine battle. And the residents have lost virtually every round. The small scale, relaxed townscape that residents cherish has been fractured repeatedly by oversized, pretentious commercial developments, and gridlock is the rule, not the exception.

Five of the seven Council members residents elected to represent them have taken campaign contributions from developers, according to the Transparency Project’s research, and clearly corporate money speaks a whole lot louder than residents’ votes.

Occupy Santa Monica, anyone?


Santa Monica Airport officials announced this week that flight schools have agreed not to use Santa Monica Airport for repeated takeoffs and landings while pattern flying during the night in response to repeated complaints of nearby residents.

Under the voluntary restrictions, the student pilots will be allowed to fly during those hours, but can only take off once and fly elsewhere, instead of engaging in repeated takeoffs and landings in the pattern. They will be allowed to land upon return.

“The City of Santa Monica appreciates the effort that the flight schools are taking to reduce their overall impact on the community and enhance the Airport’s fly neighborly program,” said Martin Pastucha, the City’s director of Public Works.

The new restrictions will be in effect after 8 p.m., November to March (Pacific Standard Time), Monday through Saturday, and 9 p.m. March to November (Pacific Daylight Time). The flight schools also agreed to not fly repeated takeoffs and landings after 8 p.m. during Sundays throughout the year.
“This voluntary pattern flying restriction will result in a net reduction of 15 hours per week during Daylight Saving Time and 21 hours per week during Standard Time where they could legally engage in repeated takeoffs and landings while pattern flying,” An airport official said.

The Airport currently has a night departure curfew that bars takeoffs and engine starts between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and until 8 a.m. on weekends and holidays. Bona fide medical or public safety emergencies are exempt.

Although arrivals are permitted 24 hours per day, the airport has a voluntary night arrival curfew during those hours.

“Federal Air Regulations require pilots to be proficient in conducting takeoffs and landings during nighttime hours,” the official said. “”These voluntary restrictions will allow sufficient hours for training at Santa Monica Airport to meet the demands of night currency required by the Federal Aviation Regulations and at the same time reduce the amount repeated takeoffs and landings at hours that are more likely to disturb our neighbors,” the official said.

For additional information regarding the Airport’s noise abatement program, please visit the Santa Monica Airport web page at:

At presstime, we had not received word from nearby residents about the program.