Santa Monica Fire Department partners with Angel Flights to attend the Looney Family Funeral in Clark County, Nevada

On Saturday, June 21st, 2014, members of the Santa Monica Fire Department attended the memorial service for little Noah Looney in Clark County, Nevada.  On June 13th, 2014, a tragic accident in the McClure Tunnel injured several of his family members and killed  two-year old Noah. Santa Monica Fire Fighters Local 1109 raised over $12,000 to assist the Looney Family in their time of need.

Battalion Chief Mark Bridges and Deputy Chief Tom Clemo attended the service and presented the check to the Looney family.  The Las Vegas Fire Department Pipes and Drums played  “Amazing Grace” as part of the memorial service.

The flight to the service from Santa Monica to Las Vegas would not have been possible without the generosity of Angel Flights West, a philanthropic organization that provides free flights to individuals for causes just like this.  It is with deep appreciation that Santa Monica Fire Department recognizes pilot Jim McElroy and the Angel Flight Team for their generous contribution in allowing fire department representatives to attend the service and present the donation.

Questions can be directed to Deputy Chief Tom Clemo, 310-458-8666.
Further information regarding Angel Flights can be found at:

Pilot Jim McElroy and Deputy Chief Tom Clemo at McCarran International Airport returning home from the Looney Family Memorial Service






In an effort to move beyond racism, an ever-increasing number of people have opted for “color-blindness.”

It’s an attempt by people of all colors  to live together without seeing color in oneself or others. But some people are asking whether it is possible to ignore one’s own color, much less other people’s colors.  During the next Center4Racial Justice meeting we will host a vigorous dialogue about color-blindness and ethnicity.

CRJ has invited sociologist Molly Talcott  to help us address race and color-blindness. We will look at the rhetoric and policies that show color-blindness is  currently in vogue. The audience will discuss how color-blindness affects our neighborhoods, classrooms and work environment.  Molly Talcott is a CSU Los Angeles sociology professor who specializes in social inequality and change, globalization studies, and human rights.

The meeting will be held on Sunday, July 13, 2014  from 6 pm-8:30 pm in the Thelma Terry Building in  Virginia Avenue Park, 2200 Virginia Avenue, Santa Monica.  Potluck will be served at 6. The discussion will begin at 6:30.

As C4RJ grows, it needs to develop more effective communication tools. We need experts in social media and page design. as well as people to write letters to the editors, and cover  School Board and City Council meetings, as well as outreaching to parents and community members and writing grants in support of social change. We hope to see everyone on July 13th.



A tribute to “the Greatest Generation” and Today’s Heroes, Sunday, June 29, the Saban Theater, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills.

Featuring The Pointer Sisters

4 pm: VIP Red, White & Blue Carpet, Reception and dinner. $150. Meet military heroes, film, sports and music celebrities. Price includes buffet, two drinks and dessert.  5:30 pm: Opening Ceremony and Military/Veteran Tribute.

8 pm   The Pointer Sisters

Tickets: Balcony, $58, Mezzanine,  $58,   Orchestra, $68 + fees. Raffle $20 per ticket.  Grand Prize: 1014 Kia Sorento, Second Prize,

7-Day Hawaiian Trip for two, including airfare and hotel, Third Prize, 7 Day Alaskan Cruise for two

Benefiting New Navy Seals Family Foundation, GI Film Festival, WLA Veterans Home Support Fund Foundation, Jewish War

Veterans Dept. of CA. Tickets on sale


Acting on the City Attorney’s advice, the Santa Monica City Council unanimously voted at its meeting Tuesday, June 24, to draft a ballot measure that would allow the City to continue to manage its municipal airport (SMO) while subjecting future development on airport land to voter review.

The measure will compete with an initiative sponsored by the Washington D.C.-based Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). That measure, masquerading as a local anti-development effort, seeks to wrest control of SMO from the City by requiring elections to approve any change in the use of airport land to non-aviation purposes.

The City Council already is on record to keep the city-owned land in low-density use, but at their Tuesday evening meeting council members explored ways to give voters the right to approve future plans for the airport land.

City Attorney Marsha Moutrie told the council the aviation lobby measure would prevent the City from managing its properties at SMO that it currently leases to both aviation and non-aviation businesses. Also according to Moutrie, the measure would cripple the City’s ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of both residents and other neighbors affected by aviation activity at SMO.

The AOPA has ironically named its local front organization “Santa Monicans for Open and Honest Development Decisions,” although its measure does NOT deal with development at the airport, and approximately 95% of its funding has so far come from the AOPA. The AOPA initiative only allows for a vote on closing the airport; once the airport is closed, the measure provides no controls on future development. No Santa Monica community groups have supported the AOPA initiative and many oppose it.

The council asked the City Attorney to prepare a proposal that that would address concerns about development, while allowing the City to continue to manage the airport. The AOPA, obviously concerned that voters will realize the aviation lobby is the real “special interest,” not city residents, is already crying foul.

The AOPA claims that “Santa Monica voters launched” the petition drive for its initiative, but the fact is, as shown in public filings, that the AOPA hired Arno Political Consulting and an army of signature gatherers from outside of Santa Monica to get signatures for its proposal, paying them as much as $20.00 per signature.

AOPA continues to claim that closing SMO would kill 1,500 jobs. In fact, fewer than 200 jobs at SMO are aviation-related. While after aviation operations ceased aviation jobs would likely follow the jets and other planes to other airports, more than a thousand non-aviation jobs would remain on the current airport campus, and the City could lease vacated aviation properties to new productive and environmentally-friendly businesses.





AObserved story

The buyout class of 2014 has left the Orange County Register newsroom — somewhere around 70, including many of the paper’s most veteran journalists, ex-staffers say. Gustavo Arellano, no friend of the Aaron Kushner experiment, says in a long piece in the OC Weekly that any confidence left in the owner among the journalists evaporated with the hedging done at the buyout announcement gathering. The story also details strains on the business and advertising side, unpaid vendors showing up demanding to be paid, a management style that does not allow speaking up by smarter or dissenting voices, and some very disappointed words by journalists who thought and hoped Kushner had some kind of answer.