VENICE EXTRAVAGANZA: WESTMINSTER ARTS CLUB AT BEYOND BAROQUE TONIGHT

VENICE EXTRAVAGANZA: WESTMINSTER ARTS CLUB AT BEYOND BAROQUE TONIGHT

Music. Paintings. Photographs. Hosted by mus-
ician Michael Jost and artist Brian Mylius.
Peter & Hailey Demian, Street Smart, Golden
Buddha and Michael will perform. Brian and
two other artists will show paintings. Marg-
aret Molloy will show Venice photographs.
7:30 pm

S.M. DEMOCRATIC CLUB TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES

S.M. DEMOCRATIC CLUB TO ENDORSE CANDIDATES

Members of the Santa Monica Democratic Club
will vote to endorse candidates running in
the June 3rd Primary Election on Wednesday,
April 23, at 6:30 PM in the Community Room
in the Santa Monica Main Library, 601 Santa
Boulevard.

Club members will vote for candidates for
Congress (33rd District), LA County Super-
visor (3rd District), Secretary of State,
Governor,Lt. Governor, State Attorney Gene-
ral, Treasurer, Insurance Commissioner,
Board of Equalization, and Secretary of
Education.

Candidates who are planning to attend the
meeting include: Congress: Wendy Greuel,
Kristie Holmes, David Kanuth, Ted Lieu,
Matt Miller, Barbara Mulvaney, Zein Obagi
LA County Supervisor: Pamela Conley-Ulich,
John Duran, Sheila Kuehl
Secretary of State: Derek Cressman

The public is welcome to attend the meeting,
but only club members may vote on the endors-
ements. Club memberships may be renewed at
the door, or online at https://secure.actblue.
com/page/smdcmembers)

No charge. Light refreshments will be served.
Underground parking is available at the lib-
rary. The Library is on the Big Blue Bus line.

Candidates for State Senator (26th District),
Assembly (50th District), and Controller will
be endorsed at the Club’s May 14 meeting.

“TAKING THE PLUNGE” AT SHINE TONIGHT

“TAKING THE PLUNGE” AT SHINE TONIGHT

Storytellers will “take the plunge” at SHINE,
the popular Westside storytelling event,Thur-
sday, at 7:30pm at the YWCA Santa Monica/West-
side.

This month’s stories include launching a dream
career at 60, taking a gamble on love, risking
a major medical procedure and overcoming fears
to literally plunge into scuba diving!

SHINE is a storytelling series featuring pro-
fessionals and amateurs coming together on the
third Thursday of every month to share inspir-
ing true stories. Participants and audience
members enjoy a relaxed community atmosphere,
powerful and entertaining stories, refresh-
ments, mingling, and live music.

Live music this month will be provided by
Bray Ghiglia, a singer, songwriter and music-
ian. Ghiglia has performed in Los Angeles
clubs such as Gazzarri’s, the Troubador and
the Sagebrush Cantina. He toured extensively
in the U.S and Canada with The Roberts/Meis-
ner Band (Rick Roberts of Firefall and Randy
Meisner of the Eagles), playing flute, sax,
guitar, keyboards and singing.

Professional storytellers for SHINE are chos-
en from some of the nation’s top award-winn-
ing storytellers and writers. Amateur story-
tellers of all ages and walks of life also
take the stage. Submissions are accepted be-
fore the event and two slots are reserved
for audience members selected through a ran-
dom drawing.

Storytellers scheduled for April include:

Sarah Fazeli writer and actress. She holds
an MFA from CalArts. Her essays, memoir, and
opinion pieces appear weekly on xoJane.com.
Other work, including creative non-poetry,
appears in A Cup of Comfort for Christmas,
Girlwise, Zenith, Fierce and Nerdy, and You
Here, a Writegirl Anthology. She has inter-
ned for BBC’s Radio Drama division, as well
as the Royal Court Theatre in London. She
wrote and performed a woman show, Of Wonder-
bras & Haagen-Dazs, a “tour de farce” exp-
loring beauty, sex, and full-fat ice cream,
and has studied acting with William H. Macy,
David Mamet, and Felicity Huffman.

Lee Gale Gruen has lived in Los Angeles
since childhood. She has two children and
three grandchildren. She graduated from UCLA
and had a 37-year career as a probation of-
ficer. She started acting 12 years ago, and
has appeared in commercials, film, televis-
ion, theater, and print. Her transition to
becoming an actress in her senior years has
been written about in Time magazine and the
Los Angeles Times. Her memoir is “Adventures
with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey
Through a Senior Acting Class.” She blogs
under the title: “Reinventing Myself in My
Senior Years” to inspire Baby Boomers and
seniors to find a passion as a motivation
to embrace life.

Kellen Kaiser was born in San Francisco. She
is loved and supported by her four lesbian
mothers and one younger brother. As a child,
she frequently represented the gay community
as a speaker on panels and in the media.Her
story has appeared on CNN, in Marie Claire
and in the Seattle Times. Kellen attended
NYU Tisch where she founded a dialogue group
about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that
is still in existence. She is an actress,
as well as an avid blogger and is working on
her first book, “Moms and Bombs: Lesbians,
Israel and Love.”

Amy Levinson is the Artistic Associate and
Literary Director at the Geffen Playhouse
in Los Angeles. As a dramaturg, Amy has over-
seen over fifty productions including the
commissions and world premieres of Donald
Margulies’ “Time Stands Still” and Jane
Anderson’s “The Quality of Life.” She has
worked with numerous writers on premiere
productions including Neil Simon, David
Rambo, Neil LaBute and Jeffrey Hatcher.
Production dramaturgy credits include “The
Weir,” “Wait Until Dark,” “Atlanta,” “Boy
Gets Girl,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Equi-
vocation” and “Extraordinary Chambers.”
She holds an MFA in dramaturgy from The Uni-
versity of Massachusetts, Amherst.
www.pairofgenes.com

Glen Merzer is an author, playwright, and
screenwriter. He has had dozens of produc-
tions ofhis plays throughout the country,
including two at the John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Three of his plays have been published by
Samuel French. Merzer directed his play,
“The Sizemore Interviews,” in Hollywood
in 2001. Merzer is co-author, with Howard
Lyman, of “Mad Cowboy” and “No More Bull!.”
He is also a lead editor of “The HappyCow
Cookbook,” a vegan cookbook to be released
in June.

Bernard Sklar has been writing stories since
he was ten years old. His first job was a
reader at the Scott-Meredith Literary Agency
in New York City. But his career followed a
very different path, a Ph.D. in engineering
from UCLA, where he still teaches. Since 1984,
his consulting company, Communications Engin-
eering Services, has kept him moving around
the world. Now that he is mostly retired, he
has time for being a student at Santa Monica
Emeritus College, and for doing volunteer work
at the WISE and Healthy Aging Center. Best of
all, he can now pursue his original passion,
writing stories.

David Ivan Temianka has been telling stories
to children and his own two boys for the last
15 years. He is putting together a collection
of his stories and essays for publication,
and recording them as podcasts. David is also
an accomplished photographer and multimedia
artist. Recognized for his unique “Electric
Paintings,” these limited edition artworks are
in a number of collections and have been exhi-
bited in several galleries. The underlying con-
cept in all his work is the same: Tell the
Truth! www.temianka.com

Claire Winters spent several years acting in
New York and regional theater before making
the move west. Highlights include “Enrico IV”
at American Conservatory Theater, developing
a new work at The Guthrie Lab, and a season
on Shakespeare ingenues at Shakespeare Sedona.
She played Philip Seymour Hoffman’s daughter
in the HBO miniseries “Empire Falls,” and her
recent television credits include appearances
on “The Mentalist” and “The Bold and The Beau-
tiful.” Claire was co-founder of the influen-
tial acting blog BrainsofMinerva.com.

Those interested in becoming a Guest Story-
teller are encouraged to visit www.Stories-
Bloom.com in advance for monthly theme and
guidelines.

SHINE is produced by Isabel Storey and present-
ed by Santa Monica Repertory Theater, Storey
Productions, UCLArts and Healing, and the YWCA
Women’s Partnership.

WHEN:Thursday, April 17 from 7:30-9:30pm.
Doors open at 7:30 pm for live music and mingl-
ing.Stories start at 8:00 pm. Series continues
monthly on third Thursday of each month. YWCA
Santa Monica /Westside, 2019 14th Street, San-
ta Monica. For more information, www.smywca.org
or 310-452-2321.

ADMISSION:$10 Suggested donation at door. PARK-
ING: FREE and plentiful parking on-site and
street.

GLOBAL MOTION AT THE BROAD

GLOBAL MOTION AT THE BROAD

Santa Monica College’s Global Motion World
Dance Company will present “12 Stories 1
Night,” showcasing dance styles from around
the world at The Broad Stage Friday and Sat-
urday.

It features traditional and contemporary
dance styles – including Tahitian, Salsa,
Indonesian, Mexican, Hip Hop, Ballet, Con-
temporary Jazz, Chinese, Persian, Flame-
nco, Irish Step, and African – that have
evolved and been infused with a distinct-
ly American influence.

Global Motion, founded by Judith Douglas,
is under the artistic direction of Raquel
Ramirez and Sri Susilowati.

Faculty choreographers are Argelia Andrade,
Seda Aybay-Owens, Laura Canellias, Kealii
Ceballos, Angela Jordan, and Sri Susilowati.

Guest choreographers are Maire Clerkin and
Alondra Ramirez.

Student choreographers are Nazanin Badiei,
Timothy Nunez, Xiang Xu, and Martika Yuille.

Global Motion has toured extensively and per-
formed at schools, festivals, and special
events throughout California and Mexico
for more than 30 years. The company recent-
ly returned from performances in Beijing,
China, and is invited to perform there a-
gain in Summer 2014.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 16,
and 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 17
at The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing
Arts Center, Santa Monica Boulevard and
11th Street, Santa Monica.

Tickets range from $15 to $18. Parking is
free.For tickets, go to www.smc.edu/events
info or call (310) 434-3005. For more infor-
mation, please see www.smc.edu/dance or
call (310) 434-3467.

SANTA MONICA ARTS LEADERS ARE HONORED

SANTA MONICA ARTS LEADERS ARE HONORED

The Santa Monica Arts Foundation awarded this
year’s Arts Leadership Awards at its annual
awards ceremony at Shutters on the Beach on
Thursday, April 10.

The awards acknowledge the contributions of
residents who play instrumental roles in
making Santa Monica an exceptional arts com-
munity.

Mayor Pam O’Connor presented the awards to
Susanna Bixby Dakin — Arts Patron — an indi-
vidual or business leader who provides ex-
tensive support for the arts in Santa Moni-
ca; Donna Sternberg — Artist in the Commun-
ity/Bruria Finkel Award, an artist who has
contributed significantly to Santa Monica’s
arts community through activism, patronage,
and/or volunteerism; and Yossi Govrin — Cre-
ative Community Innovator, an individual or
small or mid-size commercial creative busi-
ness contributing to Santa Monica’s arts
and culture sector “cutting edge” through experimentation, design, or cultural sust-
ainability

“Volunteers, philanthropists, and creative
entrepreneurs have been essential to Santa
Monica’s trajectory as one of California’s
most extraordinary arts communities,” said
George Minardos, Foundation Chairperson.
“These awards highlight the importance of
these individual’s contributions and the
Santa Monica Arts Foundation’s desire to
stimulate the highest level possible of
local participation in one of the world’s
creative centers.”

Honorees received original works of art by
one of two renowned Santa Monica artists:
Barbara Gluck and Bruria Finkel.

In addition, State Assembly member, 50th
District, Richard Bloom presented the hon-
orees with State Certificates of Recogni
tion.

The Arts Leadership Award program was lau-
nched in 2013 by the Arts Foundation to
“celebrate leadership and recognize the
breadth of efforts that support Santa Mon-
ica’s artistic, creative, and cultural
community.” A committee of Foundation
board members and representatives of the
local arts community met in March to rev-
iew nominations and make the final selec-
tions based on the award guidelines.

The Santa Monica Arts Foundation is a
501c3 organization established to assist
in developing support for the arts in San-
ta Monica.

Artist/philanthropist/writer Susanna Bix-
by Dakin has been “a creative force in
Santa Monica for more than 25 years and
has left a permanent mark on the city’s-
history.” A talented sculptor, her per-
formance piece, “An Artist for President,”
pitted her against Ronald Reagan in the
1984 presidential campaign. As a co-foun-
der of 18th Street Arts Center, with its
notable local and global artist-residency
program, critically acclaimed street gal-
lery, free community events, and anchor
resident organizations such as Highways
Performance Space, Dakin’s “vision, gen-
erosity and mentoring” have altered for-
ever the way that the international art
world perceives Santa Monica. Over 5,000
artists have made their art at the Center
since 1988. Dakin is now completing a
series of novels. Few people have had
as great an impact on art in Santa Moni-
ca as Dakin, or can claim such an aston-
ishing legacy.

Donna Sternberg has premiered over 75
professional works, presented educatio-
nal programs throughout the U.S., Can-
ada and Mexico and served nine years
on the Santa Monica Arts Commission. Her
understanding of community service has
led her to dedicate her art not only
to the creative impulse but also to use
it as an educational tool. After found-
ing Donna Sternberg & Dancers in 1985,
she partnered with artists, scientists,
cultural organizations and scientific
institutions to find innovative ways to
probe the connection between science
and the humanities, educating audiences
about contemporary dance in the process.
In the past ten years, she has been com-
missioned to create works on themes such
as quantum physics, quantum entanglement,
perception and memory, the environment,
celestial mechanics and plant biology.
In 2013 Ms. Sternberg was awarded a San-
ta Monica Artist Fellowship and was se-
lected to participate in the first art-
ist/scientist residency at the Djerassi
Resident Artist Program.

In 1985, Yossi Govrin conceived and de-
signed his first art center, the Santa
Monica Fine Art Studios. The 10,000
square-foot space included 35 artist
studios, and presented workshops, lec-
tures and annual exhibitions. Yossi a-
lso envisioned and created the Arena
1 Gallery, an exhibition space devoted
to cutting-edge contemporary art with
an invitational curatorial program.In
2003, Yossi and Sherry Frumkin created
the Santa Monica Art Studios, located
in the heart of Santa Monica Airport.
The art center houses artists, presents
local and international art exhibits,
and is a catalyst and educational tool
for the Santa Monica arts community. As
an artist, Yossi has exhibited national-
ly and internationally, working in var-
ious media. He has been awarded a number
of commissions – among them a monument
in honor of the late Prime Minister, Yit-
zhak Rabin in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv,
the site of the Prime Minister’s assass-
ination, and the likeness of General
James H. Doolittle at the Santa Monica
Museum of Aviation.

SMRR OPPOSES AIRLINE INDUSTRY INITIATIVE

SMRR OPPOSES AIRLINE INDUSTRY INITIATIVE

The Steering Committee of Santa Monicans for
Renters Rights (SMRR, has opposed the avia-
tion interests’ attempt to use a ballot ini-
tiative to stop Santa Monica residents from
planning to close down the airport and plan
for a future without it.

The Committee took this urgent action at its
April 12, 2014, meeting on a motion from com-
mittee member and former Santa Monica mayor
Dennis Zane, who said, “This initiative, al-
though cloaked in rhetoric about the rights
of the people, is really all about perpetuat-
ing private benefits at the airport. While
it is too early for SMRR to support one fut-
ure use of the airport land over another, it
is urgent that SMRR oppose this initiative
that would cut off planning for that future.”

According to SMRR Co-Chair Patricia Hoffman,
the SMRR Executive Committee had already dis-
cussed the matter at their meeting earlier
in the week.

Before voting, the SMRR Steering Committee
heard a presentation from Airport2Park rep-
resentatives Frank Gruber and former Santa
Monica mayor Michael Feinstein who described
how the aviation industry’s initiative was
designed to prevent Santa Monica from cont-
inuing a public process to consider alterna-
tive uses for the airport land. Both men no-
ted that the actual purpose of the initia-
tive has been disguised with language prom-
oting residents’ rights against overdevel-
opment. Airport2Park was formed last year
to support closing the airport and creating
a large public park on the site.

Since the ’60s, the City of Santa Monica has
been fighting jet traffic at Santa Monica Air-
port. In 1981, the City Council voted to -
close the airport after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) required the city-owned
airport to serve jets. This led to litigation
with the FAA, and a 1984 settlement agreement
under which the City agreed not to close the
airport until July 1, 2015. With this date
approaching, several years ago, the City be-
gan to consider future uses of the airport
acreage. On March 25, the City Council directed
city staff to initiate a process to ensure
that any future use of the site would be low-
intensity.

Just two days later, on March 27, the aviation
industry, represented by the Aircraft Owners
and Pilots Association (AOPA), filed an ini-
tiative with the Santa Monica City Clerk that
would stop Santa Monica from planning for non-
aviation uses of the airport land, or even
from changing the terms of its current leases
with airport tenants that expire July 1, 2015.
The rents under these leases are only a small
percentage of current market-rate rents. The
true purpose of the initiative is disguised
under a proposed change to the City Charter
to require a vote on any changes to the use
of the airport.

Unmoved by the AOPA smokescreen, the SMRR
Steering Committee saw the initiative for what
it is: an attempt by aviation businesses to
manipulate the initiative process for their
own benefit. The Steering Committee, which
recently supported the successful efforts of Residocracy.org to gather signatures for a
referendum opposing the large Hines develop-
ment in Santa Monica, voted to encourage res-
idents not to sign the aviation industry’s
sham petition.

RESIDENTS DOING LAZY EIGHTS IN THE OLD INEFFABLE

RESIDENTS DOING LAZY EIGHTS IN THE OLD INEFFABLE

A Work-in-Progress

It’s uniquely American – the national addic-
tion to new over old, means over ends, move-
ment over stillness, going over arriving.

Virtually everything is disposable, expend-
able.

Never mind the Declaration of Independence
or the Constitution. Americans insult them
every day. Society’s primary allegiance is
to change. Not significant change –an end
to bigotry, or a national living wage that
workers and their families could live com-
fortably on, or first rate public schools,
but change that sells solely because it’s
new…and therefore better – whether it’s
Google glass or what passes for fashion
these days. Style, real style is as rare in
America as great towns, most of which are
merely fancy now, and therefore beyond sal-
vation.

In the last couple of decades, New York has
replaced its $10 million condominiums with
$20 million condos and is now replacing them
with $40 million models, but has yet to im-
prove housing for the majority of its resi-
dents.

Downtown L.A. was unmade and remade in the
1980s by insurance companies that found real
estate more interesting than health insur-
ance, and much more fun. Now the next “new
downtown L.A.” will include the “tallest buil-
ding west of the Mississippi,” courtesy of
the Koreans. Will it include warm, dry rooms
for the homeless, or cheerful, spacious and
efficient apartments for the so-called work-
ing poor? Probably not. It’ll just be tall.

Santa Monica was immune to these rolling
changes for 100 years. It’s a beach town,
and the first rule in a beach town is “less
is more.” Its primary fact, its shaping ele-
ment is the beach, and beaches are made by
oceans and they never repeat. There is no
such thing as a good man-made beach.

Beaches inspire great towns and Santa Moni-
ca is not only a great beach town, it’s one
of a handful of great beach towns that have
triumphed over the mindless drive that has
reduced so many American towns and cities to
what Saul Bellow called “pleasure slums.”

A holy bounce of light off the ocean illum-
inates Santa Monica. Its moist air compens-
ates for its flimsy soil, which is why our
palm trees outgrow the dirt they’re set in
– and bougainvillea riots, overtaking fen-
ces and anything else in its path. That
moist air rides fog into the heart of our
town, washing it down, softening its edges,
refreshing everything.

In recent years, residents have been bet-
rayed by City Hall, and Santa Monica has
been diminished here and there. Garden
apartments were once a Santa Monica hall-
mark, but too many have been knocked
down to make way for thuggish, pretent-
ious condominiums. Too many simple vin-
tage apartment buildings have been rep-
laced by buildings that look far too much
like New Jersey nightclubs. But, to a
remarkable degree, Santa Monica is un-
sullied – still small, low-key, eccent-
ric, in the most profound sense of the
word.

As City Hall moved inexorably toward ap-
proving the Hines mega-project that resi-
dents had opposed from the moment it was
unveiled, civil and environmental engin-
eer Armen Melkonians created Residocracy.
org., a form of direct democracy that per-
mits residents to take control of the pro-
cess and stop the reduction of this glor-
iously idiosyncratic beach town to an
ordinary money mill.

So it was that moments after the residents’
alleged representatives betrayed their con-
stituents and approved the Hines mega-pro-
ject, residents set out to revive the dem-
ocratic process via Residocracy, org. The
number of volunteers seemed to grow daily
and they collected more than double the
required 10% of registered voters in less
than the mandatory 30 days – with no commo-
tion at all, but a great deal of pleasure
and excitement.

In its 138 years, Santa Monica has shrug-
ged off many things that did not suit it.
A would-be titan tried to make it the Sou-
thern California terminus of the Southern
Pacific Railroad and, when that failed,
he set about to make Santa Monica Bay the
Port of Los Angeles, but was eclipsed by
Long Beach. Aviation pioneer Donald Doug-
las made the World Cruiser and the extra-
ordinarily successful D series here, but
took his jet plans to Long Beach. The Turf
Club and CBS planned to engineer the sec-
ond coming of the pleasure pier with the
very fancy Pacific Ocean Park Pier,but it
went bankrupt – with a nudge from the City.
In time, all the would-be titans failed,
or moved to more docile precincts. In 19-
73, City Hall decided to replace the San-
ta Monica Pier with an artificial island
and a convention center, but the people
said NO, and replaced the Council members
who’d backed the plan.

From its founding, Santa Monica has demon-
strated that less is more. With Malibu, it
was where surfing on America’s mainland
began, was and is the site of painters,’
writers,’ film makers’ and technological
whiz kids’ breakthroughs, the Eames’ rev-
olution, the platoon of great lady tennis
players, Dogtown’s Z Boys. It was and is the
Crossroads for New Roads.

Residents know their town is for using
well, for preserving not exploiting, and
they have no interest in “fancy.”

Tom Runyon’s family owned Runyon Canyon
in the hills above Hollywood, but Tom liv-
ed most of his life at the beach – in Mal-
ibu and, for a while, in one of the rooms
over the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier
Like the ocean, he never repeated himself.
He was a fine writer, who boasted that
when he finished a 400-page novel, he did
the only sensible thing one could do with
a 400-page novel, he threw it into the oc-
ean. He was also an actor, but had no aspi-
rations beyond bit player. Still, he stole
scenes in one of his friend Sam Peckinpah’s
films. “The Getaway” from its stars, Steve
McQueen and Ali McGraw.

For years, he had a restaurant in the moun-
tains north of Malibu – in the Cornell/Agou-
ra area – the Old Place. It had a very short
menu – steak and clams. That was it. If you
didn’t like steak and clams, or wanted sal-
ad or dessert, you were out of luck.

When he was still in his teens, Tom bought
a car and a plane, flew in World War II,
and, some years later, he bought a surp-
lus Army bomber. He called one day and said
he was on his way to Aspen to see me. An
hour later, he called again. His bomber
wouldn’t go above 6,000 feet. Aspen was at
9,000 feet.

We were both disappointed. He said he was
“doing lazy eights in the old ineffable.”

It’s a perfect summation of the lives we
live in Santa Monica and Malibu and Cor-
nell.We’re all “doing lazy eights in the
old ineffable.”

Tom died several years ago. I think of him
often and I miss him. Actress Katherine Ross
spoke at his funeral, and said, in part,
he “embodied honor, integrity, loyalty. He
was a force to be reckoned with… the real
deal.”

COUNCIL APPROVES ANOTHER BAD PLAN

COUNCIL APPROVES ANOTHER BAD PLAN

The City has been talking about its need for
more office space for years. Nearly two dec-
ades ago, it began renting offices around
town. It was expensive, inefficient and in-
convenient, but every year the staff seemed
to grow and more offices were needed. And
rented.

At one point, City officials proposed build-
ing a second office structure – 60,000 square
feet == that would span Main Street, north of
City Hall. Some people didn’t like the idea.
It would, in effect, be a wall between down-
town Santa Monica and the Civic Center. Oth-
ers shuddered at its multiple impacts on tra-
ffic — whether it was routed through a
“tunnel” in the building or around it. The
discussion of that “plan” was lengthy and
inconclusive.

In 1951, the City sold RAND about eight ac-
res across Main Street from City Hall for
$250,000 In 2000, the City bought the prop-
erty back from RAND for $53 million.Three
buildings had been added by RAND.They were
architecturally compatible with City Hall,
the Courthouse and the Civic Auditorium.
And with some minor rehab, they would be
ideal offices for the City.

I talked to Jim Mount about it. An archi
tect and longtime and devoted resident, he
often advised the City about things it
should do to preserve Santa Monica’s char-
acter and integrity. As it turned out, he
had already talked to City officials about
the RAND property. The trio of buildings
would not only end the City’s office short-
tage. it would serve as a prime example of
the efficacy of “adaptive re-use.”

But when I spoke to a City Council member
about it, he said that a condition of the
purchase was that the City would not use the
buildings, but demolish them. I asked him
why the City would accept such a ridiculous
condition. He said RAND was adamant about it.
I said, “But you’re the City and the City
needs the buildings.” He sighed.

I then called a RAND official to ask about
its selling the land with the proviso that
the buildings be demolished, and was told
that RAND had made no such demand. The City
çould do whatever it liked with the build-
ing.

Nobody in the City would talk on the record,
and,as you’ve probably noticed, the City did
demolish the buildings, and replace them with
a $44 million park, and the multi-million dol-
lar “Village,” which violates all practical,
aesthetic and zoning rules,and seriously dim-
inishes the Civic Center.

The Village is a joint venture of the City’s
Community Corp, Related, the biggest developer
in America. and another real estate company,
and consists of shops and restaurants, 164 “af-
fordable” apartments, and about the same num-
ber of “luxury” condos, but no offices.

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, after seve-
ral decades of talk. the City finally took the
first step toward the construction of a 40,000
square foot “city services” building. It was
listed on the Consent Calendar, and approved,
with a number of other budget items.

There was a a written report from Martin Past-
ucha, director of Santa Monica Public Works,
on a “Professional Services Agreement” for
“Concept Design and Feasibility Analysis for
the City Services Building Project.”

“Staff recommends that the City Council:
1. Authorize the City Manager to negotiate and
execute a professional services agreement with
Hathaway Dinwiddie Construction Company, a Cal-
ifornia-based company, in an amount not to ex-
ceed $258,500 (includes a 10% contingency) for
initial design, cost estimation services, and
feasibility analysis for the City Services Bui-
lding. This agreement would be the first of
three phases in the design-build delivery meth-
od, with the final phases being executed under
a design-build contract. 2. Authorize the Dir-
ector of Public Works to issue any necessary modifications to complete the work within bud-
get authority…”

The report goes on and on and on, but no one
speaks.Eventually, one of the Council members
moves for approval of the consent calendar.
Mayor Pam O/Connor and Council member Bob Hol-
brook are absent. But the remaining members
vote to approve the Consent Calendar, and the
office project.

And so it is that a building that has been
needed for more than 20 years is finally go-
ing forward. It will cost much more than
it would have cost 15 or 20 years ago, and
the millions of dollars the City has spent
annually on rental office space will never
be recovered.

But the worst news of all is that the pro-
posed new 40,000 square foot structure will
be an addition to an existing architectural
masterpiece – our Streamline Moderne City
Hall.

Given the years the City has spent fiddling
with a very simple problem — and its spec-
tacular mismanagement of the problem, we
shudder at the mere thought of its tamper-
ing with a true masterpiece.

In the last 20-some years, the City has com-
missioned buildings on the west end of the
Santa Monica Pier with no windows, the wholly
undistinguished Ken Edwards Center, the bru-
tish Public Safety building, the new Main Li-
brary that looks like a branch of the L.A.
county jail, the Fourth Street Parking Struc-
ture that may be the ugliest building in Cal-
ifornia, the $80 million-plus bus yards, the
monster Second Street parking structure, the
Pico Neighborhod library whose costs have
risen four times, and The mega-Village that
violates every aesthetic rule. At the same
time, City officials have approved a gang of
pack/and/stack commercial projects that
wreak havoc with our low-key small scale
townscape.

Can we trust these people with our perfect
Streamline Moderne City Hall? I think not.

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES MARKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES MARKS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Several years ago, I wrote an essay called
“Three Perfect Things.”

The three perfect things were 501 Levis,
Palm trees and Turner Classic Movies (TCM).

Along with the 24-hour news cycle (CNN),
the restoration of the Buffalo populat-
ion, a multi-billion-dollar endowment
for the United Nations and numerous oth-
er innovations, Ted Turner, who is pro-
bably the smartest man in America, in-
vented TCM.

This week, TCM is celebrating its 20th
anniversary at the TCM Classic Film Fes-
tival in Hollywood.with a variety of
special screenings and a regiment of
guests. As ever, Robert Osborne and
Ben Mankiewicz, a member of Hollywood’s
first family, will be on hand.Informa-
tion: www.filmfestival.tcm.com.

When I wrote “Three Perfect Things” I
had only one complaint about TCM. All
too often, it screened especially great
films at 5:30 or 6 a.m.on this coast
– perhaps the only hour of the 24 that
is simultaneously too late and too ear-
ly, and thus impossible to watch. If
you attend the festival and happen to
encounter Osborne or Mankiewicz, please
beg them to make this simple change.
Please!

TEACHER ON LEAVE, STUDENT CHARGED WITH FIVE MISDEMEANORS

TEACHER ON LEAVE, STUDENT CHARGED WITH FIVE MISDEMEANORS

Samohi science teacher and wrestling coach,
Mark Black, is on paid leave and a Samohi
student has been charged with allegedly at-
tacking a school official and having mari-
juana and a box cutter on the school cam-
pus,among other things ––all misdemeanors,
following a classroom brawl between teach-
er and student.

After he was charged, student Blair Moore,
18, pled not guilty and was released on his
own recognizance. A second student,16, was
turned over to his parents and was schedul-
ed to be charged some time today.

According to police reports, Moore lives in
in Los Angeles. He was arraigned at the Los
Angeles Airport Court. Charges five in all —
were filed by the Santa Monica City Attorn-
ey’s office.

That would have been that – another unfort-
unate incident at Samohi-– except that a
cellphone video shot by a student showed
teacher Mark Black pinning Moore to the
classroom floor. On seeing the video, San-
ta Monica-Malibu Unified School District
Superintendent Sandra Lyon immediately or-
dered Black to go on paid leave and sent
an email to parents, teachers and staff,
in which she noted that Black had been in-
volved in a “deeply disturbing…utterly al-
arming incident” and used an “unacceptable
restraint.” A subsequent email was itself
more restrained.

But the video went viral, triggering a vol-
ley of emails, praising Black and demand-
ing that Lyon re-instate him immediately.
Signed by 7,000 people, a petition asked
for Black’s reinstatement, while a pro-
Black Facebook page was “liked” by 18,500
people.

Black alleged that Moore was trying to sell
marijuana to other students, and that he
was trying to stop him.

Superintendent Lyon said yesterday that
Black’s “paid leave is a standard proced-
ure and not a determination of wrongful
conduct or decision to suspend or disci-
pline him.”

PALISADES DEMOCRATS TO HOLD CANDIDATES’ FORUM SUN.

PALISADES DEMOCRATS TO HOLD CANDIDATES’ FORUM SUN.

Wendy Greuel, David Kanuth, Ted Lieu and Matt
Miller all want to replace Congressman Henry
Waxman, who is retiring after 40 years in Con-
gress. They will appear Sunday, April 13, from
2 to 4 pm, in a forum presented by the Pacific
Palisades Democratic Club.

They will all speak and take part in a Q&A
session.

When Waxman surprised everyone from L.A. to
Washington by suddenly announcing his retire-
ment recently, some 20 people instantly ann-
ounced their intention to run for his seat in
the 33rd Congressional District.These four
are all Democrats and credible.

Gruel is a former L.A. City Councilmember.
She ran for L.A. mayor against Eric Garcetti
last year. Ted Lieu is a State Senator (28th
SD) and has spent a lot of time recently in
Santa Monica. David Kanuth describes himself
as a defense counsel/entrepreneur. Matt Mill-
er is a writer and the longtime radio host of
KCRW’s “Left, Right and Center.”

The forum will be held at Pacific Palisades
Woman’s Club, 901 Haverford Ave., Pacific
Palisades. Snacks. Free parking. Admission
free. Donations welcome.

For more information: www.palisadesdemclub.org
www.facebook.com/PacPalDemocrats Twitter: @PacPalDemocrats
info@palisadesdemclub.org. 310-230-2084

CONSERVANCY OFFERS LECTURES, OTHER ACTIVITIES THIS MONTH

CONSERVANCY OFFERS LECTURES, OTHER ACTIVITIES THIS MONTH

As part of the Santa Monica Conservancy’s
continuing exploration of the extraordin-
ary history of the Annenberg Beach House,
on Saturday, April 12, Preservation cons-
ultant Christy McAvoy will talk about the
historic structures on the site and John
Berley of Frederick Fisher Partners Arch-
itects will discuss the transformation of
the site to today’s Beach House.

On Saturday, April 19, film historian El-
aina Archer will present her documentary
on Marion Davies and docent Kay Pattison
will discuss Davies’ long relationship
with Hearst.

The lectures will be held at 2 pm at the
Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St. in down-
town Santa Monica.

The lectures are mandatory for everyone
enrolled in the current docents’ train-
ing class and are free.

Tickets for members and the public are $10
per person for each of the two lectures. A
limited number of tickets will be availa-
ble at the door.

The Conservancy will join the L.A. Heritage
Alliance at its annual L.A. Heritage Day, to
be held in Pico House at El Pueblo Histori-
cal Monument, the birthplace of Los Angeles
and home of world famous Olvera Street,on Ap-
ril 27. A full schedule of speakers and chil-
dren’s activities and over 70 museums,preser-
vation groups, historical societies and other organizations dedicated to preserving our her-
itage will have exhibit tables. 11 am to 4 pm.

For more information, download the flyer from
the Los Angeles Heritage Alliance website or
see the Experience LA listing for driving di-
rections and a link to the Metro trip planner.

Annual Conservancy membership contributions
support its work to preserve the architectur-
al and cultural heritage of our town. In ad-
dition, members receive the Conservancy’s in-
formative quarterly newsletter and discounts
on tours and events – as well as compliment-
ary admission to Saturday’s annual Holiday
Party.

Questions? Email info@smconservancy.org or
leave a message at 310-496-3146.

RESIDENTS RULE!

RESIDENTS RULE!

I was six the first time I dashed across the
long, broad Santa Monica beach and into the
ocean. It was love at first sight.

When I was ten, I was forced to accompany my
parents back to the east coast. As the Super
Chief rolled out of Pasadena, I vowed to re-
turn one day to the beach in Santa Monica.

After several stops along the way, I came
back to stay in 1979. Some self-described
“old radicals” and restless ‘60s activists
had recently passed what was described by
the national media as the strictest and most
radical rent control ordinance in America. Coincidentally, a book I’d written about
Aspen, Colorado’s decline from a gorgeous,
sassy, spirited town to mainstream success
of the oiliest sort was about to be publ-
ished.

Unfortunately, inevitably, the same mercan-
tile pressures that overtook Aspen were
soon at work here. City Hall presided over
a major building boom. Developers bought the
allegiance of a majority of residents’ elec-
ted representatives on the City Council.

It was our town, but it was a prisoner of
commerce: greed in City Hall, gridlock in
our streets.

Several years ago, a residents’ ballot mea-
sure that would have controlled commercial
growth was sabotaged by City Hall in concert
with a $700.000 developers’ campaign fund,
and a blizzard of lies from a bogus resi-
dents’ group, “Save Our City” co-chaired
by Judy Abdo and Terry O’Day. The ballot
measure failed and residents were reduced
to spectators in their own town.

But Santa Monica residents are smart,inde-
pendent, articulate and devoted to this
beach town, and, in a perfect example of
participatory democracy and/or a very ci-
vil war, they have recently acted to take
control of their town.

Rather than listening to and heeding the
countless residents who opposed the Hines
project — at countless meetings, hear-
ings and workshops , City Hall commiss-
ioned Godbe Research to conduct a survey
that reduced residents to categories –
age, race, neighborhood, and opinions
and attitudes ona variety of interests
and issues.

Godbe Research is located in San Mateo
county, adjacent to Silicon Valley, and
in the San Francisco orbit. City Hall
has always favored consultants from San
Francisco – though in every way it is
the polar opposite of L.A., but stran-
gers in a strange town are easier for
our officials to manipulate, which, of
course, is the point. City Hall doesn’t
really want wisdom or creativity, much
less truth from consultants and resi-
dents. It wants approval, agreement,
affirmation s – applause not opposi-
tion.

Godbe was given several “research obj-
ectives” by City Hall.

1. “Assess residents’ overall percept
ions of Santa Monica.”
2. “Gather feedback on the downtown
and Bergamot plans.”
3. “Assess Community Benefit priorities
for all development projects.”
4. “Gauge land use priorities.”
5. “Understand preferences on urban form
and aesthetics.”
6. “Identify any differences in resi-
dents’ opinions due to demographic char-
acteristics.”

Godbe’s surveyors were here for nine
days, interviewed 500 people, chosen
for their demographic perfection out of
the Santa Monica “universe” of more
than 77,000 adults and spent 22 min-
utes with each of the 500. Statistic-
ally speaking, researchers believe
that the “right” 500 people can and do
represent the 77,000 – with a very
small margin for error: plus or minus 4%.

After nine days in all and 500 22-min-
ute interviews, Godbe reported that
41.7% of the 500 people polled thought
Santa Monica was going in the “right di-
rection,” 33.9 % said it was going
in the “wrong direction,” and 18.7%
said it was “staying the same.” Nei-
ther the right direction, the wrong
direction nor the same direction was
defined. In addition, it reported that
47% of the people polled said growth
was diminishing Santa Monica’s charac-
ter,while 42% disagreed.

Asked to evaluate downtown Santa Monica,
enthusiasts praised “restaurants, shop-
ping, entertainment, nice clean vibe of
area…upscale, walkability of area, good
parking, safe, accessibility…bus, rail,
subway is coming. (editor’s note: sub-
way is NOT coming).

Others described the downtown area as
“expensive…for tourists, not locals.”

Thoroughly disenchanted residents said
they “don’t go there much, dislike ever-
ything in the area…not enough trees or
open space or restrooms…ugly buildings…
dirty…Not enough shopping or unique
shops… homeless people panhandling…
crime…crowds, overdeveloped… chain
stores…high rise buildings…no parking…
expensive to park…. traffic congestion.”

Asked what they thought Santa Monica
needed, the Godbe 500 spoke in favor
of “traffic improvement, more public
parking, parks and open space, histor-
ic building preservation, active trans-
portation facilities, employment and
training opportunities, affordable
housing, museums, art and cultural ve-
nues, childcare, creation of distinc-
tive architecture,” all of which res-
idents have demanded countless times,
and been rebuffed countless times.
City Hall prefers the big stuff like
the new $44 million park and the Hines
mega-project.

But this time, unlike all the prior
times, residents refused to accept
City Hall’s decision because it had
the means to foil it — Arlen Melk-
onian’s brilliant, simple “direct
democracy” — Residocracy.org. If
residents could collect 6100 signa-
tures in 30 days, they could, in fact,
veto the Council’s approval, and put
a referendum on the Hines on the Nov-
ember ballot.

The speed, efficiency, ingenuity, good
humor and devotion of the residents’
campaign was unprecedented.

In 28 days, they collected 14,330 sig-
natures, and delivered them to the City
Clerk’s office, thus recovering their
inherent control and authority as Santa
Monica residents, and beginning a new,
unprecedented chapter in the long
life of this gloriously idiosyncratic
beach town.

The residents’ signatures are being coun-
ted now. But, whatever the outcome,the
deliberate disenfranhisement of Santa
Monica residents by City Hall has ended.

A thread runs through the Godbe report
that seems to question whether residents
are capable of accurately assessing dev-
elopment projects and land use priorities?

The unalloyed arrogance of the question
is profoundly insulting. For years, the
City has eagerly accepted bogus benefits
from developers in lieu of actual benefits,
even as residents have insisted, again and
again, that if the project itself isn’t
a benefit, it should be rejected.

But, here and now, residents have retr-
ieved the last word, and plan on keeping
it,

FILMS4CHANGE PRESENTS “SECRETS OF THE V ATICAN”

FILMS4CHANGE PRESENTS “SECRETS OF THE V ATICAN”

An inside look at the scandals that rocked
Benedict’s Papacy.

Second Screening. RSVP, please.
Saturday, April 12th – 7:00 PM
Doors Open at 6:30

At The Home of Rachel & Jay, 601 9th Street,
Santa Monica. One Block East of Lincoln.
One Block North of Montana. Southeast Corner.
Easy Parking

RSVP to: RachelJay@earthlink.net or Call
310-780-7363 (First 20)

Optional**BEFORE FILM: Meet at Izzy’s Deli,
15th @ Wilshire @ 5:00 PM for Dinner.
FREE PARKING: At Izzy’s Deli: Rear lot on
15th or Computer Store lot on 15th.
STREET PARKING: Read the street parking
signs carefully.

FRONTLINE: SECRETS OF THE VATICAN
90 Minutes – 2014

Pope Benedict’s Final Days and Francis’
Battle to Set the Church On a New Path.

Pope Benedict made history when he ann-
ounced his resignation, becoming the
first Pope to step down voluntarily in
six hundred years. In his wake, he left
a bitterly divided Vatican mired in
scandals. But is Benedict’s successor,
Pope Francis, taming the forces that
helped destroy Benedict’s papacy? Is
he succeeding in lifting the Church
out of crisis? Nearly a year in the
making, this special FRONTLINE goes
inside the Vatican–one of the world’s
most revered and mysterious institu-
tions–to unravel the remarkable ser-
ies of events that led to the resig-
nation that shook the world. Through
interviews with those at the very
heart of what happened–cardinals,
priests, convicted criminals, police,
prosecutors and whistle-blowers–
FRONTLINE gives a first-hand account
of the final days of Benedict’s pap-
acy and the current battle to set
the Church on a new path under
Francis.

Discussion after the Film and Refresh-
ments. “End the Embargo to CUBA COFFEE,”
Gourmet Cookies.

In September 1998, five Cubans were ar-
rested in Miami by FBI agents. Gerardo
Hernandez, Ramón Labañino, Fernando Gon-
zalez, Antonio Guerrero and René Gonza-
lez were accused of the crime of cons-
piracy to commit espionage. Rene’ Gon-
zález Sehwerert and Fernando Gonzalez
are back in Cuba after serving 13 & 15
years for an unjust sentence.

Gerardo Hernández:”We will always be
the Cuban Five.”

$5 Donation Goes to: International Com-
mittee for the Freedom of the Cuban 5

AH, THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION

AH, THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION

Was reminded this day of that P.F Slone song
Barry McGuire sang in ’65.

It came to mind when wondering about what be-
came of those many Village Trailer Park home-
owning residents who left the scene as deve-
lopment contention concerning the park played
out over these recent 7 or so years.

Recall those entrepreneurs who wanted to end
the trailer park business, change the zoning
on that cozy, plant-blessed, historic post
-WWII unique few acres in Santa Monica’s east
end, so that they could then put up more too-
large, neighborhood-inappropriate buildings
on it? And that the stresses over those years
of struggle impelled many, when pressured, to
abandon their homes and become renters else-
where?

Recall too, that for those owning their homes
at the VTP who instead stayed to endure liv-
ing through those years of uncertainty, it
became recently shocking to learn that our
local government gave up on them and their
ownership rights, to actually then facili-
tate actions so the entrepreneur could pro-
ceed with the development? So much for
home-ownership rights, actually affordable
housing, and zoning/rent-control protection,
right? Not to but mention honorable and
ethical governance?

But—saving the day—early this March, as yet
the next chapter of this development thievery
assault on these residents’ lives was about
to occur, a respite came when one among the
home owners in the VTP settled a legal dis-
pute over the injustice all had been so long
suffering. The terms of that settlement gra-
ciously offered those remaining residents
some seemingly significant money in recom-
pense forwhat had been done to them. That
action, it seemed, giving at least some so-
lace for these seniors, many being elderly
and of very-limited-means. For having their
home-owner-hip agreement so rudely threat-
ened and their lives so insensitively com-
promised, it looked like they might yet be
ok after all that abuse.

Sadly though, that recent settlement gain
proved not enough and the residents’ plight
too seemed yet to be well enough addressed.
With housing costs rising again—remember
that economic bubble back in ’08 and ’09,
which served to put us in this modern de-
pression we’re still having a hard time
with?—the settlement monies granted these
home-owning residents turns out to cover
only about what they might have net if they
had sold their homes. Not enough to make
it possible for them to survive very long
as renters in Santa Monica, and certainly
very far from enough for them to buy a home
anywhere near where they have built their
lives for these decades. But for this un-
bidden, greed-driven effort to force them
from their homes, likely none of these res-
idents would, given these again-hardening
economic times, even be thinking now of
selling their homes; these times, they have
indeed changed, and not for the better if
one is not already employed, secure, debt
free, and quite flush.No, after years
building their lives in this now problema-
tic little town—just as it’s government
seems needing to soon face dealing with the
consequences of its over-developing aims
and, with that, the finding of a remedy
for the adversarial way it seems now tre-
ating its constituency in managing comm-
unity matters—these remaining trailer park
home owners also still face burdens. For
one:the still-persisting need for them to
soon move from their homes so this devel-
opment can proceed, and, with that, the
need to endure yet more of this poor tre-
atment, as they head now (so to speak)
toward their own very personal eve of
destruction.

David Latham