Santa Monica Writer”s 10th Book Is Published

Barbara Abercrombie’s latest book, “Courage & Craft: Writing Your Life Into Story” has just been published by New World Library.

By our count, it’s the Santa Monica resident’s tenth book. She teaches
creative writing in the Writing Program/UCLA Extension, and at
the Wellness Community.

Abercrombie will celebrate the publication of her latest book
on Friday, October 12th at Dutton’s Brentwood Books. Things will get
underway at 7 p.m.

Grading the City’s Report Card

Some City Hall documents are designed to explicitly trumpet its accomplishments – real and imagined, while implicitly chastising the rest of us for not doing more. The third annual “Sustainable City Report Card,” which was released last week, is such a document. Herewith, our First Annual Report Card on the Sustainable City Report Card.

Resource Conservation

According to the City Report Card, “Solid waste generation exceeds the Sustainable City Plan ceiling and continues to increase. Diversion dropped to 62% of generation, down from a high at 67%, thus reversing a nearly ten-year record of improvement. Water use increased 3% and remains higher than our aggressive target levels. However, water and energy conservation has kept at bay expected increases in resource usage associated with Santa Monica’s strong economy and growth in construction activity. Energy conservation measures have been successful and energy use in the city remains stable. The city government continues to purchase 100% renewable power for municipal operations…

“The grade for this area has dropped due to the increases in waste generation and water use and the drop in waste diversion rates. “

The City gives itself an A- for effort (down from last year’s A, and a C grade, down from last year’s C+.

As long as the City’s aggressive economic development policies are in direct conflict with its “aggressive” conservation policies, it should give Itself an F for effort.

Continue reading Grading the City’s Report Card

Good News for Buses…But…!

According to a story in SurfSanta Monica, “The Big Blue Bus will break ground next week on a new eco-friendly maintenance facility that will service a growing fleet and features solar panels, reclaimed water and recycled materials.

“The 66,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility…will feature 5,000 square feet of offices…20 new repair bays, including two chassis wash bays, The new maintenance facility will feature locker rooms, a training room, library, parts storage and other specialized areas. The upgrades will utilize the most advanced and sustainable building systems, construction materials and landscaping available today…

“Some of the new “green” technologies that will be used in the project include: Photovoltaic panels that collect power from the sun and supply energy to the buildings. Construction materials made of recycled content such as concrete, steel, insulation, and gypsum board to reduce landfill waste. A reclaimed water irrigation system for landscaping and water efficient landscaping plants and materials. Storm water management and site infiltration to ensure water entering the bay will be clean. Carpeting and other interior building materials containing recycled content.
Light colored concrete in the bus yard to cool the air temperature and reduce the ‘heat island’ effect. Light colored single-ply roofing called ‘Cool roof’ to reflect solar energy away from the buildings and prevent heat buildup in the facilities. Construction waste management to reduce the amount of material going into landfills. Dual glazed, low-e glazing for interior office spaces to keep the buildings cool in summer and warm in winter. No VOC off-gassing materials, to help keep the interior air fresh and free of toxins.

“The three-year construction project is expected to begin in February 2008, with completion expected in early 2010.”

Continue reading Good News for Buses…But…!

Tour of Local Landmarks Set

Space is still available on the Landmarks bus tour, September 30th, 2 to 5 p.m. that will feature many of Santa Monica’s historic treasures, as well as some unusual sites.

Highlights of the tour include the Strick House, the only work in the U.S. of famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the controversial Teriton Apartments on San Vicente Boulevard and the town’s historic landmark trees.

Tour goers will also see historic hotels, buildings and houses in downtown and the Civic Center, Ocean Park and the Third Street Historic District, under the guidance of Santa Monica Conservancy President Marcello Vavala.

Santa Monica Conservancy members’ tickets are $30. For online reservations, visit our website:, or mail your check by September 24 to Santa Monica Conservancy, PO Box 653, SM 90406. Please provide your contact information for reservation confirmation.

The tour departs from the DMV parking lot, Colorado and Cloverfield. Plan to arrive 15 minutes early for check-in. Questions? (310) 496-3146.

Whither the Weather 9/21 – 9/26

By Ava Tramer

RAIN?!?!?!?! And then sunny and clear
Highs: 67-71; Lows: 55-58

Clear and hot
Highs: 73-90; Lows: 50-58

Clear and gradually hotter
Highs: 81-100; Lows: 57-74

And Santa Monica…
Something unique is about to happen in our fair city. It’s positively rare for us to have an occurrence like this. It will be fresh, it will be different, and it would be totally unexpected if I didn’t happen to be warning you about it right now. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, our very own Santa Monica is expecting rain showers late Friday! And I am not talking about a measly ten or twenty percent chance of rain. I am talking about an entirely likely and utterly whopping sixty percent chance of rain! I know you don’t own rain gear. You live in Santa Monica, after all. So act fast: get out there and buy rain boots, umbrellas, and ponchos! Granted, you won’t need your new rain gear for long, as the rain will most likely be gone by Saturday and won’t come again until January, but at least you can impress your colleagues and friends by being prepared. Once the rain has departed and the sun returns for good, you might forget that Santa Monica had this little surprise. But when your yard looks extra lush and happy, we’ll have this unexpected visitor to thank.

Oh, and as for all the other days of the week besides our one rainy Friday: clear, warm, sunny, blah blah blah.