LA Observed story
ByMark Lacter | September 30, 2013 2:55 PM

The reason is that the FAA considers the fac-
ility to be safe, even for large business
jets and when it comes to regulating airports
that’s what matters. You might recall that
the city of Santa Monica voted for a ban on
jets with fast landing speeds, but the FAA
disallowed the ban, and in 2011 a federal
appeals court upheld the agency’s decision.
Whether any of this might be revisited in
light of Sunday night’s airport crash is any-
one’s guess, although past accidents haven’t
altered Washington’s view of the facility.
Shutting down the operation to corporate jets
would not be popular among the VIPs who use
Santa Monica as an alternative to Van Nuys
and LAX. Officials said that a twin-engine
Cessna Citation coming in from Idaho veered
off the runway and slammed into a storage
hangar. Believed to be on board was Mark Ben-
jamin, CEO of Santa Monica-based Morley Con-
struction Co. No one survived the crash.

From the LAT:
For decades, residents living in Sunset
Park have been trying to shut down the
airport that has become the favored venue
of politicians, celebrities and business
executives. In addition to noise and air-
-quality concerns, some residents said
several recent plane crashes highlight
the safety risk of having an airport in
the middle of a residential neighborhood.
It’s almost like clockwork,” Pete Thorson
said. “Every two or three years a plane
crashes” and thrusts the issue back into
the spotlight. He moved into his Pier Ave-
nue home 12 years ago, and in that time,
he said the jets landing at the airport
have gotten bigger and faster, posing a
safety risk to nearby residents. “The jets
put everybody in danger,” Thorson said.
“They are too big and too fast for this
runway.” David Goddard, chairman of the
Santa Monica Airport Commission, estimated
that the crash site was about 150 feet
from residences. Had the plane not hit
the hangar, it could have gone up an
embankment and gotten over a wall before
slamming into homes, he said.


An unknown number of people on a two-engine jet
were killed when the plane came in for a landing
at Santa Monica Airport about 6:20 this evening,
crashed into a hanger, collapsing it and ignit-
ing a fire.

Both the plane and the hanger burned, filling the
sky with huge plumes of black smoke, which could
be seen for miles. The damaged plane and what was
left of the hanger subsequently exploded.

Though firefighters had not been able to get in-
side the collapsed hanger and smoldering plane
several hours later, a Santa Monica Fire Depart-
ment official said the crash was “unsurvivable.”

A witness told a Channel Five newsman that the
plane had clipped a pole with one wing on land-
ing, causing it to spin and crash into the hang-
er. Another witness blamed the crash on a blown

It is not known who owned the sleek $25 million
plane, but it was registered to a Malibu man,
and was returning from Hailey, Idaho.


City Hall is crazy about awards – no matter how
bizarre,trivial or silly they may be.

Its latest award is not only obscure, it’s down-
right addled.

In the September 27 issue of THE LOOKOUT, the
Lookout staff, which seems to take meaningless
awards as seriously as City Hall does, led with
the following: “Santa Monica has been picked by
estate blog Movoto.com as the nation’s best-
small city.”

We were thunderstruck. Our beach town, whose
residents have elevated tee shirts and jeans
sneakers to a veritable uniform, was “the na-
tion’s best-dressed city?” And the title was
awarded not by VOGUE or GLAMOUR or even PEOPLE,
but a real estate blog!

Has the world lost its mind? Santa Monica re-
sidents are an extraordinary gathering of peo-
ple – bright, articulate, knowledgeable, at-
tractive – most of whom wear tee shirts, jeans
and sneakers and variations thereof most
of the time. But “Best-dressed?” Not bloody
likely in the fashion world.

The Lookout story goes on to explain that
“The blog ranked 153 cities of between 75,000
and 99,999 residents based on the number of
high-end fashion, shoe and jewelry stores per
capita, as well as the number of tailors and
dry cleaners. Movoto obviously has much too
much time on its hands.

Santa Monica ranked first in three of the five
categories – ‘clothing,’ ‘shoe’ and ‘jewelry’
and finished second in the ‘dry cleaner’ cate
gory and fifth in the tailor category.

There’s nothing that says smaller cities can’t
like a million bucks even if they have less
than 100,000 residents,’” editor Randy Nelson
wrote.’You don’t have to live in a big city to
have great style — and Santa Monica proves

“’If a city’s going to be truly trendy, glamorous,
and fashion forward (its stores) ‘needed to be
expensive. So, we specifically looked up stores
selling clothing from fashion’s top designers.’”

Everything City Hall does these days suggests
that our alleged leaders clearly want Santa
Monica to be “trendy, glamorous and fashion for-
ward,” and “expensive.” That’s one of the reasons
so many residents are so angry at the moment,
and Movoto would have discovered that if it had
talked to residents rather than counting stores
and tailors.

According to its count, “Santa Monica finished
first in the clothing category with one high-end
fashion store for every 1,043 residents, followed
by Newport Beach with one for every 1,360 resi-
dents and Miami Beach with one for every 1,849

“When it came to high-end footwear, Santa Monica
again finished first with one store for every 4,
followed by Miami Beach with one for every 10,065
residents and Newport Beach with one for every

“Santa Monica also had the most high-end jewelry
stores per capita with one for every 4,173 resi-
dents, compared to one for every 5,805 residents
in Newport Beach and one for every 9,138 residents
in Westminster, California.
“Boca Raton, Florida beat out Santa Monica in the
dry cleaner category, and also took the prize for
the most high-end tailors per capita, followed by
Westminster and Santa Barbara.”

It’s a shame about the dry cleaners, but hardly
anyone dry cleans tee shirts, jeans and sneakers.
However, given City Hall’s campaign to achieve
maximum sustainability, it may ban washing ma-
chines and order more dry cleaners. Then, surely,
we’ll beat Boca Raton in the next Movoto survey,
and life will finally be perfect.



Dear NOMA members and friends:

Let your voice be heard.

It is critical that we all turn out Thursday
night, OCTOBER 3, at the Civic Center to tell
the City what environmental issues must be
studied as part of the Downtown Specific
Environmental Impact Report (EIR). The find-
ings of this report will shape all future
development in downtown Santa Monica.

This meeting will provide the last opportunity
for members of the public to have substantive
input on something our members care deeply about
-– how much height and density are appropriate
for our downtown.

NOMA’S regularly scheduled October 3 meeting
has been cancelled to permit all members to
come to the Civic Center meeting instead.

The City’s plans now include eight “opportunity
sites,” to be developed with far greater height
and density than is permitted under current zon-
ing. (Just one example: A developer is currently
proposing a project more than twenty stories
high, with more square footage than Santa Monica

Before any projects are approved, it is essen-
tial that the City study all potential impacts
of enhanced development, including impacts on
traffic, parking, infrastructure, air quality,
safety, and the character of our community.

Please consider attending, making a public com-
ment or just providing support with your pre-
sence. The format will include an opportunity
for members of the public to speak for approxi-
mately two minutes each, as well as an informal
opportunity to provide comments to the City’s
staff and consultants.

Downtown Specific Plan Meeting, Thursday, Oct-
ober 3, 2013 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Civic Center –
East Wing, 1855 Main Street.

Representatives of NOMA will be present at the
meeting to assist. We will send out talking
points shortly.

Please respond to NOMAboard@gmail.com to let
us know you are coming.

Remember: It’s our Santa Monica.

Thank you.

The board of directors, North of Montana Association


By Hannah Heineman

Santa Monica’s beachfront will once again glow
Saturday night from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. – with 15
installations commissioned for the occasion.

The City inaugurated Glow in 2008, and staged
the second iteration two years later. According
to City officials, it is the only event of its
kind in the U.S., but it was inspired by Paris’
Nuit Blanche (White Night). The installations
will be placed on the beach, the Santa Monica
Pier and Palisades Park.

Aphidoidea, a Los Angles-based artist collec-
tive, created a “Swarm” of interactive jelly-
fish sculptures that will be positioned just
south of the Pier along the shoreline. Each
sculpture will contain a programmed microcon-
troller that will activate a series of light
sequences and sounds when people approach it.

Karen Atkinson’s “GLOWbal” is a large screen
coated with phosphorescent paint that holds
the shape of projected images and invites pub-
lic interaction. There will also be dance
performances throughout Glow near her install-
ation. The installation is north of the Pier
on the sand near the northeast corner of the
parking lot.

Steve Boyer’s “Colorfields” is an application
that can be downloaded onto smartphones from www.colorfields.org or the app store. It’s a
live, interactive artwork that will translate
crowd movements into fields of color, light
and sound. A video projection map that is acti-
vated by smartphone users will be projected on
the wall of the Wyndham Hotel on Ocean Avenue,
across from the Pier entrance.

Mathieu Briand’s “6:43 p.m.” will be located
north of the Pier. He’s the only French artist
to participate in the event. His exhibit will
consist of six cargo containers placed on the
sand as a sculpture with a ring of fire in the
middle to suggest a temple that salutes the
power of the sun. The installation’s title,
“6:43 p.m.” marks the time the sun descends
below the horizon.

Resembling a treasure hunt, “More Currency For
Micronations” consists of artist Jedediah Cae-
sar’s distribution of over three thousand hand
-made objects that resemble coins and amusement
park tokens in a variety of locations.

Glow’s keynote artist is Janet Echelman. Her
installation is called, “The Space Between Us”
and will located on the beach at the end
boardwalk that extends from Bay Street by the
Casa del Mar Hotel. It consists of a 200-ft
-diameter aerial sculpture and carved sand
that reflects the sculpture. The installation
has a soundtrack.

“Glowmasphere” is an installation by Marni
Gittleman with the Rediscover Center and
Leslie Gray that will be off Ocean Front
Walk on the grass patch by Muscle Beach.
The artists will reduce the gestures and
sounds of visitors into shadows and silhou-
ettes on a geodesic dome’s translucent skin.

Steven Hull’s “A Puppet Show” will feature a
rotating stage on which a marionette show
with sound effects based on a short story “A
Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors”
by Tony White will be performed. The stage is
located behind the historic arbor in Crescent
Bay Park.

The “Well” by Glenn Kaino is a translucent
container that will be placed on the beach mid-
way between the Sea Castle Apartments and Shut-
ters Hotel. It will contain a rare biolumine-
scent liquid harvested from plankton especially
for Glow. People will be encouraged to toss
coins into it.

Hung from the palm trees in Palisades Park
north of the Pier, “Solar Sea Sculptures” by
Shana Koeng can be controlled by the audience’s
iPad controls. Additional sculptures will be
on display on the Third Street Promenade be-
tween Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard.

Glow’s first artist-in-residence, Rebeca Men-
dez, has created “Circumsoar, Migration 1,
2013” that will be projected onto a 25-foot
diameter screen north of the Pier. It’s based
on the migration of arctic tern flies from
the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again each
year — the longest known migration in the

“The Rest Is Noise: A Carousel Ride Through
The 20th Century” will permit riders of
the Pier’s carousel to journey through the 20th
century via 12-second clips of breakthrough
musical pieces from the 20th century (see story

VAP Tinkerers with Jonathan Bijur created
“Tinkerers Tailoring” that features a group
of teens from the Virginia Avenue Park Teen
Center moving from one location to another
throughout Glow. They will wear custom-made
glowing costumes and will carry illuminated

“Octopus Mandala Glow (OMG)” by Victoria
Vesna will embellish the Pier’s Ferris
wheel and the octopus sculpture/gateway with
art, color and sound. While on top of the
Ferris wheel, visitors can record themselves
saying Oh My God! (OMG) or chanting OMG.
People have been recorded saying the same
thing on Ferris wheels in Marseilles, New
York and Sydney.

Djoko Walujo’s “Java Land Of Dreams” will
consist of two one-hour concerts of “Java:
Land of Dreams” — one at 8:30 p.m. and
one at midnight — north of the Pier on the
sand and are accessible from the bike path.

The opening ceremony will be held at 7 p.m.
at the intersection of Colorado and Ocean
Avenues. Attendees can download several
smartphone Glow applications at the
glowsantamonica.org website.

An audio guide soundscape by KCRW includes
interviews with all the artists. Also avail-
able is an official Parking App, ParkMe, for
real time parking information and reserva-
The 2013 Glow cost about $600,000, some of
it contributed by various sponsors. It’s a
production of the City’s Arts and Cultural
Services, and is officially billed as “a
marketing event.”