Chronology of Civic By Zina Josephs

The future of the Civic Auditorium will be discussed
at a community meeting at Virginia Avenue Park on Tues-
day, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. It is also on the City Coun-
cil June 11 agenda.”


Santa Monica Civic Auditorium — on the city web site —

Civic Auditorium — on Wikipedia — http://en.wikipedia.

Civic Auditorium Declared a Landmark in 2002 — http:

“Curtains for the Civic” — 5/19/13 — Santa Monica
Daily Press —

“To Preserve Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Revise
Specific Plan, Says Expert Panel” — 5/13/13 — Santa
Monica Lookout —

“Civic Center Will Have to Learn New Tricks to Survive”
— 5/10/13 — Santa Monica Daily Press — http://smdp.

” ‘Save the Santa Monica Civic’ Group Steps Forward”
— 5/7/13 — Santa Monica Patch — http://santamonica.

“American Film Market: Civic Auditorium Theater Essen-
tial to the Future” — 1/24/13 — Santa Monica Daily
Press —

“City Council Sticks to Planned Closing Date for Civic
Auditorium” — 11/2/12 — The Argonaut — http://arg-

“Santa Monica Civic Auditorium Will Close in June as
Planned” — 10/26/12 — Santa Monica Lookout–http://

City Council — 10/23/12 agenda item 4-A: Options for
the future of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

Recommended Action — Staff recommends that the City
Council review and provide direction on which options
for the future of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
Council wishes staff to further analyze for future
Executive Summary — The $51.9 million renovation
of the landmark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium (Civic)
is suspended due to recent legislative actions re-
lated to the dissolution of redevelopment and the
uncertainty of funds designated for this project.
The facility is still scheduled to close on June 30,
2013.Since the August 14, 2012 meeting at which City
Council authorized the suspension, staff has identi-
fied options for the facility and potential funding
sources. These options fall under four broad cate-

1) partial renovation; 2) full renovation; 3) adap-
tive re-use; and 4) demolition. This study session
is intended to inform Council of the various options
and seek direction to prioritize further research
and planning efforts for the future of the Civic.

“Historic Civic Will Go Dark” — 8/15/12 — Santa
Monica Patch —

“Council Stalls Civic, Samohi Improvements” —
8/15/12 — Santa Monica Daily Press — http://www.

City Council — 8/14/12 agenda item 4-C:

Contingency Planning Related to the Dissolution of

Recommended Action — Staff recommends that the City
Council: Authorize staff to proceed with certain
priority projects while suspending other priority
projects, in light of recent legislative actions
related to the dissolution of redevelopment; and
Direct staff to return to council at a future
date with additional information, as well as ne-
cessary appropriations or adjustments to project

Executive Summary — This report provides informa-
tion about recent amendments to the State law that
dissolved redevelopment agencies, the impacts of
those amendments upon the City’s ability to fund
priority capital improvement projects, and recom-
mendations regarding continued work on each project.

City Council — 1/24/12 agenda item 3-M:

Revised Design-Build Contract for Civic Auditorium
Remodel & Seismic Upgrade

Recommended Action — Staff recommends that the
City Council:

1. Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and
execute a revision to the previously approved Design
-Build Contract No. 9396 (CCS) with Morley Construc-
tion Company, a California-based company, in an amount
not to exceed $51,944,432 (includes a 5% contractor
contingency, a 10% owner contingency, and allowances).
This not to exceed amount of $51,944,432 includes
the previously Council approved amount ($35,000,000),
preconstruction and design fee ($5,000,000), added
scope ($4,000,000) and City’s owner contingency and
allowances ($7,944,432).

2. Appropriate budget increases as outlined in the
Financial Impacts & Budget Actions section of this

3. Authorize the Director of Public Works to issue
any necessary change orders to complete the work
within budget authority.

Executive Summary — The City has contracted with
Morley Construction Company for preconstruction
and construction services that are required to
remodel and seismically upgrade the Civic Auditor-
ium facility. A Request for Bids was issued in
April 2011, and upon evaluating bids, City staff
recommended Morley Construction Company in June
2011. In error, the recommendation was for an
amount not to exceed $35,000,000 based on the
budget solely for construction services and exclu-
sive of preconstruction and design services.
At this time staff recommends adding $5,000,000
for preconstruction and design services; and
$4,000,000 for construction to include additional
scope of work which was removed in preliminary
design due to cost constraints, but will serve
to improve the facility’s future financial viabi-

Additionally, staff recommends an additional
$7,944,432 to fund the City’s cost of implement-
ing this project during the construction phase.This
includes an owner’s contingency of an additional
7% ($3,080,000) and allowances for inspections,
testing, monitoring, geotechnical services and
abatement costs ($4,864,432). The new contract
amount will not exceed $51,944,432. This is a
phased agreement with the final contract amount
being modified by a construction Guaranteed Max-
imum Price amendment.htttp://

“Civic Auditorium: Once and Future Masterpiece” —
6/30/11 — Santa Monica Dispatch — http://www.

“Santa Monica Civic to Get $47 Million Renovation”
— 5/30/11 — Santa Monica Mirror — http://www.


Santa Monica is our town, and though we have not
yielded our sovereignty to our staff (and could not
even if we wanted to), it has made a series of
decisions that run counter to our wishes and needs,
and have played havoc with our way of life.

We see our town as a gloriously idiosyncratic beach town.
Staff sees it as a money mill. We cherish its small, low
key townscape. The staff believes bigger is better. We
think gridlock is a major problem. The staff talks a good
game, but the gridlock grows worse every year. We have
repeatedly objected to outsized towers and more density
– especially on Ocean Avenue. Staff is currently agitat-
ing for towers and more density at the Miramar on Ocean,
a proposed Gehry tower at Ocean and Santa Monica Boule-
vard, and towers on the Wyndham at the Santa Monica Pier
(formerly the Holiday Inn). Staff has designated those
and several other parcels as “opportunity sites,” meaning
anything goes. The Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. board
(formerly Bayside District) recently voted for more den-
sity and taller buildings in the downtown area, which is
precisely what residents have said they do not want.

Not long ago, the Council designated the entire town a
“marketing and promotion district,” (making all of us
extras in our own town), and assigned a $5 million
annual promotion budget to the Convention & Visitors

We elect City Council members, but a majority of the
current members take donations, and directions, from
developers – Mayor Pam O’Connor, Mayor Pro Tem Terry
O’Day, Gleam Davis and Bob Holbrook.

Early this year, Planning Director David Martin took
developers on a guided bus tour of likely locations
for future development.

Though affordable housing has been a leading priority
in Santa Monica since residents approved it in 1979,
City staff has consistently betrayed both the princi-
ple and the residents of the small historic Village
lage Trailer Park in order to accommodate a mundane
mega-mixed use project.

When the State took back redevelopment money from
cities and towns all over the state, Santa Monica
had two $50 million projects in the works – one of
which had to be canceled to meet the state’s demand.
The Council took the advice of staff and chose to
cancel the renovation of the Civic auditorium, while
proceeding with the six-acre “gateway” anti-park –
though it had apparently assured the American Film
Market brass that the revamped Civic could be the
site of AFM’s first film festival.

Now, on the eve of the mothballing of the Civic, a
bizarre movement to save it is underway. An Urban
Land Institute (ULI) panel of “experts” suddenly
appeared and said authoritatively that the Civic
could be saved by building a new hotel and 480 con-
dominiums and other stuff in the adjacent parking
lot to create a much-needed arts/culture complex.

Thus, the answer, AS USUAL, was more development —
this time in the increasingly addled Civic Center.
This alleged plan has moved forward at warp speed.
It will not surprise longtime residents to know
that the spokesman for the ULI panel is, lo, John
Alschuler, who was the SMMRs’ first City Manager,
and decamped, after a short run here, for New York.

So it goes – frenetically – in Santa Monica.

The annual budget review gets underway tonight and
continues tomorrow night. The new budget will sur-
pass half-a-billion dollars. Again.But the fat bud-
get has not benefited the town or its residents in
any significant way.And there are major problems.
Again. The high costs of employee pensions and
public safety threaten to put us in the red. Again.

But we’re the bosses — all 89,000 of us — and
it’s time for us to just say NO. To virtually every-


The YWCA Santa Monica/Westside will begin June with
programs on both Saturday and Sunday, June 1 and 2,

On Saturday, 7:30-9:30pm, it will host GIRL EM(POWER)ED,
a talent showcase and fundraiser featuring local at-
risk middle and high school girls.

IAccording to its announcement, “GIRL EM(POWER)ED
gives middle school and high school girls, ages 11-18,
in our community a chance to express themselves
through song, dance, skits, personal stories, spoken
word, and more. The girls have chosen topics that
affect their everyday lives, including insecurities,
LGBT issues, suicide awareness, rumors and gossip,
social media and technology, and bullying.”

The public is invited. Tickets may be purchased at
the door or online at

Proceeds from the event will benefit Girl Central,
an afterschool program at the YWCA that builds
strong and confident girls through counseling,
personal development, creative expression, commun-
ity service, and more. Girl Central helps girls
grow into empowered young women and the leaders of

“This event is so special because the girls pour
everything they have into it. It’s honest and mov-
ing,” says show director Veronica Sabbaghi, “there
is no other show like it.”

On Sunday, at 2:00 PM, the YWCA Santa Monica/West-
side will present a staged reading of IT’S JUST MY
LIFE, conceived and written by Kathleen Rubin.

It’s a collection of true, shared stories, chron-
icling profound and poignant moments these women
have experienced in their own lives. They include
losing children, contemplating children, parenting
children, starting over, and wondering “How did
this happen?”

What makes IT’S JUST MY LIFE unique is each parti-
cipant’s willingness to open her life up, not to
be judged, but to share defining moments that have,
for each of them, changed everything. Their honesty,
and different experiences, help bring us all closer
together on this roller coaster known as being a
human being.

One member of the audience said, “…To write such
beautiful, honest, compelling pieces and then to
make their stories so real, so alive. so instantly
present…when it was over I could hardly move… I was
stunned by the brilliance of this experience. I
wanted to run into the street and shout: ‘You have
to see this!’”

A reception will follow the reading.

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside Auditorium, 2019 Four-
teenth St. Santa Monica. Suggested donation: $10.
At the door or online at

YWCA Santa Monica/Westside has been serving the
greater Westside community since 1926. Its social
service and community support programs are de-
signed to improve the lives of women and children.
It serves 2,500 women and children annually.

Its programs include early childhood development;
K-12 life skills, literacy and athletics; transi-
tional housing and education; young adult network-
ing and career-building; parent support; and per-
sonal and professional renewal. Its purpose is
to instill confidence, capability and effective-
ness in women and girls across the life cycle in
a supportive, encouraging environment.

For more information, visit, and
follow it on Facebook (http://
and Twitter (


Jacaranda’s “Season of Contrasts” culminates Saturday,
June 1, at 8:00 pm, at the First Presbyterian Church of
Santa Monica with “Young Apollo: God of Music Poetry &
Healing,” the last of a three-concert celebration of
Benjamin Britten’s centenary that spans the composer’s
career —from a piano piece written when he was twelve,
to his last major work, the Quartet No. 3.

The concert features the much-loved masterwork “Serenade
for Tenor Horn and Strings” and the posthumously pub-
lished “Young Apollo,” a virtually unknown score of un-
common brilliance for piano solo, string quartet and
strings. Jacaranda music director Mark Alan Hilt will
conduct both works. Tenor Steven Tharp returns from last
month’s winning performance in Jacaranda’s acclaimed
production of Britten’s chamber opera “Curlew River.”
The Los Angeles Times praised Tharp’s interpretation
of The Madwoman as “a richly nuanced, boldly expressive
but expressly avoiding cheap pathos performance, …the
visionary quality of madness.”

Tharp has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, New
York City Opera and Opera Pacific, among other inter-
national companies. He has also appeared as soloist
with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony
Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra under conductors
including Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, Kurt
Masur, Charles Dutoit, Valery Gergiev and James Conlon.
Teag Reeves, principal horn of the Santa Barbara Sym-
phony, will join the tenor. Last season, Reeves ap-
peared with the orchestra as soloist in Mozart’s vir-
tuosic Horn Concerto No 3.

Jacaranda’s resident ensemble, the Lyris Quartet will
be featured in the profoundly moving Quartet No. 3.
Since its founding in 2009, Lyris has become a staple
in the LA music scene. After a Jacaranda program of
Quartet No. 5 by Philip Glass, Lyris was compared to
the legendary Hollywood String Quartet by the Los
Angeles Times, which wrote that Lyris played “sleekly,
luminously, and lyrically…with each performance its
radiance seems a little more radiant.”

Movses Pogossian, violin, and Vicki Ray, piano, open
the concert with Britten’s extravagantly virtuosic
Suite for Violin and Piano, Op. 6. Hailed by The
Boston Globe for his “freedom…taste and discipline,”
Pogossian is founder and artistic director of Dilijan
times as “phenomenal and fearless,” is a founding
member of Piano Spheres.

The acclaimed pianist Steven Vanhauwaert will perform
what Jacaranda calls Four Piano Portraits – a piece
from “Five Waltzes” written in 1925, two pieces from
“The Holiday Diary” from 1935 and “Notturno” from 1963.
Vanhauwaert is a member of the exciting new piano duo
4handsLA and a frequent performer with Jacaranda. He
is, in the words of the Los Angeles Times, “a cool
customer [with] impressive clarity and sense of struc-
ture — to say nothing of a monster technique.”

Vanhauwaert will be joined by the Lyris Quartet and
the Jacaranda Strings under the baton of Hilt to close
the concert and the season with “Young Apollo.” Com-
missioned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
and premiered on the radio in 1940, “Young Apollo”
was withdrawn after only one performance. The work
was written shortly after Britten and his life-long
partner Peter Pears arrived in the U.S. where they
planned to immigrate. Given the work’s brilliance,
the reasons for Britten’s self-censorship remain

Concert tickets: $40 general, $20 students. For more
information or to purchase tickets go to jacaranda-, or call (213) 483-0216.

Jacaranda, “music at the edge,” is a series of inti-
mate concert adventures into the realm of new and
rarely heard classical music designed to awaken curio-
sity, passion and discovery. Founded in 2003 by arts
impresario Patrick Scott and conductor/organist Mark
Alan Hilt, Jacaranda produces a series in Santa Mon-
ica that features current and rising stars in the
world of classical music performance. It will cele-
brate its 10th anniversary in 2013-14.


One of Santa Monica’s most cherished assets is the music
program – K-12 – at SMMUSD. It has not only helped genera-
tions of students locate and fine-tune their natural ta-
lent, but has sent them all over the world to perform.

This week, the students will appear in a series of con-
certs in historic Barnum Hall, on the Samohi campus, mark-
ing the end of another year of musical triumphs.

On Wednesday, May 29, at 7 PM — Samohi Bands “POPS”
Concert will get underway, and prove, again, that these
young musicians are as hip as they are talented.

On Thursday, May 30, at 7:30 PM, the Samohi Film Fest-
ival willreplace the music for one evening with some
dazzling images.

The music will resume on Friday, May 31, at 7 PM,
with the Samohi Spring Choral Concert.

On Saturday, June 1, at 5 PM, the Samohi Orchestra
Senior Gala will take place, and another year will
go into the history books.

Barnum Hall, Santa Monica High School, is located
at 601 Pico Blvd. Parking is available in the
Civic Center Parking Structure on 4th St. opposite
the Doubletree.