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  1. Santa Monica Group Claims Gas Price Rigging over HolidayRead the original story

    Thursday Jul 2 | The LookOut news

    As an estimated 2.4 million Southern Californians hit the roads this Fourth of July holiday weekend, a Santa Monica consumers' group is ramping up its war on alleged price rigging at the gas pump by oil companies. Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog said it provided evidence Tuesday to the California Energy Commission showing that the state's oil refiners have for the past decade forced their branded gas stations to sell at prices as high as 30 cents more per gallon than the price charged to unbranded stations.

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  2. Extra Police and Fire Officials Will Be on Watch for Fourth of July HolidayRead the original story

    Wednesday Jul 1 | The LookOut news

    As far as enforcing Santa Monica's ban on illegal fireworks goes -- including so-called "safe and sane" sparklers -- police and fire officials have a relatively easy time of it on the Fourth of July, apart from the occasional tourists unfamiliar with local ordinances, a fire marshal said. Last July Fourth, authorities in Los Angeles seized more than 1,000 pounds of illegal fireworks in coordinated raids across the city, according to published reports, and county Sheriff's Department deputies in the Santa Clarita Valley annually have to deploy a special task force to crack down on illegal fireworks street shows.

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  3. Historian Says Activist Misinterpreting Santa Monica City Hall Mural as RacistRead the original story

    Tuesday Jun 30 | The LookOut news

    A local activist who attacked a mural at City Hall as a depiction of conquered Native Americans is misinterpreting what artist Stanton MacDonald-Wright meant by the scene, said a Santa Monica Conservancy official. Pico Youth and Family Center founder and local Latino activist Oscar de la Torre declared war on the 74-year-old art work last week and vowed to launch a campaign to "take this mural down" during a rally protesting a funding cut for PYFC.

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  4. Vaccine Bill Co-Authored By Santa Monica State Sen. Allen Headed To GovernorRead the original story

    Monday Jun 29 | The LookOut news

    After slogging through several heated debates in the state Legislature and enduring emotional pleas from parents on both sides of the issue during public hearings, a controversial vaccination bill co-authored by Santa Monica state Sen. Ben Allen is now two steps away from becoming law in California. Approved by the Assembly last week on a 44-36 vote, SB277, co-authored by Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, a pediatrician, now goes back to the Senate for a final review.

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  5. First Big Test of Expo Line SetRead the original story

    Monday Jun 29 | The LookOut news

    Dignitaries including L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti will get a preview of the Expo Line extension from Culver City to Santa Monica next week at the newly completed station in Palms, just east of the Mar Vista community in Los Angeles. Although test trains running on their own power won't begin crossing into Santa Monica's City boundaries until later this year, Monday's test run from Westwood to Palms marks another milestone for the Exposition Construction Authority , which is overseeing the project, said Elisabeth Rosenson, spokeswoman for the agency.

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  6. Santa Monica OKs New Bike Share FeeRead the original story

    Friday Jun 26 | The LookOut news

    When Santa Monica launches its "Breeze" bike-share program later this year, the "bike-friendly city" will charge riders a fee that is among a raft of new or increased user-charges in the fiscal budget City Council members adopted this week. A base rate fee of $1 per every 10 minutes, or $6 per hour, will offset more than 80 percent of the maintenance and other operating costs for the new $10 million two-wheel "Breeze" transit system scheduled to start in November, raising about $650,000 a year, according to a staff report on the $1.1 billion biannual budget approved Tuesday.

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  7. Activist Calls City Hall Mural of Kneeling Native Americans Santa Monica's Confederate FlagRead the original story w/Photo

    Thursday Jun 25 | The LookOut news

    A City Hall mural depicting Spanish Conquistadors standing before kneeling indigenous people is "the Santa Monica Confederate Flag," said a local Latino activist and founder of a service center now in survival mode after Council members slashed its funding by $190,000. Oscar de la Torre, the outspoken founder of the Pico Youth and Family Center , who has often found himself at odds with the City's political leaders, declared war on the 74-year-old art work and vowed to launched a campaign to "take this mural down" during a rally Tuesday protesting the funding cut.

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  8. Santa Monica Youth Center Denied Grant after Final Plea for FundingRead the original story

    Wednesday Jun 24 | The LookOut news

    Waving signs and chanting "Si Se Puede," more than 200 boisterous supporters of the beleaguered Pico Youth and Family Center marched to Santa Monica City Hall on Tuesday to protest a cut in City funding. Dozens of PYFC supporters also spoke at a public hearing, asking the City Council to reverse a staff recommendation and grant the center's request for $190,000 from the City's Human Services Grant Program .

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  9. Conservancy Tour Brings Downtown Santa Monicaa s Hidden History to LightRead the original story

    Wednesday Jun 24 | The LookOut news

    "The display windows at the street level have been redone to attract your eye, to make people want to come in and shop," says longtime Santa Monica Conservancy volunteer Rita Snier, guiding a small group on a recent tour of Downtown's historic structures. Snier has been leading visitors and locals on jaunts around Downtown Santa Monica since the residents-led nonprofit preservation group started them seven years ago.

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  10. Supreme Court Ruling On Hotel Registry Searches Strikes Down Santa Monica OrdinanceRead the original story

    Tuesday Jun 23 | The LookOut news

    Santa Monica Police officers no longer will be able to conduct no-warrant checks of local hotel and motel guest registries after the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a similar ordinance in the City of Los Angeles. Motel chain owners Naranjibhai Patel and Ramilaben Patel and the Los Angeles Lodging Association representing about 40 hotel owners sued Los Angeles in 2003 over the city's municipal code ordinance requiring hotel and motel owners to turn over guest registries to police upon request or face fines and possible jail time.

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  11. Summer in the City: Tips for a Trip to Santa Monica BeachRead the original story

    Monday Jun 22 | The LookOut news

    Before hitting the beach or heading to the great outdoors this summer, millions of Americans will first make a stop at their favorite sporting goods, shoe store or bike shop, spending more than $120 billion a year on summer-related clothing, footwear, equipment, vehicles, accessories and services, according to the Outdoor Industry Association. Downtown Santa Monica shoppers like Teresa McFall of Alhambra say they find a refreshing bonus by driving the few extra miles to browse Santa Monica Place's more than two dozen high-end and specialty retailers and stroll the Third Street Promenade's diverse grab bag of apparel stores and unique-item shops.

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  12. Santa Monicaa s New Zoning Law Set for Approval, but Ballot Challenge LoomsRead the original story

    Monday Jun 22 | The LookOut news

    A sweeping new zoning law for Santa Monica is expected to win the City Council's approval Tuesday, even as its slow-growth foes ready an initiative to challenge the "activity centers" and other large developments allowed under the proposed provisions. The debate over a new Zoning Code Update and Land Use and Circulation Element amendments which will guide development in the bayside city for the next two decades -- has sharply divided the Council.

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  13. Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to Be Allowed under Proposed Santa Monica Zoning LawRead the original story w/Photo

    Friday Jun 19 | The LookOut news

    After years of debating whether medical marijuana dispensaries have a place in Santa Monica, the City Council is set to approve two as part of a new zoning ordinance that will go before the Council on June 23. If the new zoning law is approved, as expected, interested parties have 30 days to apply for conditional use permits to set up medical marijuana dispensaries in the bayside city. Still, there would be strict rules set under the zoning ordinance for the shops, which would need to be located at least 600 feet from childcare centers, parks, schools, libraries, social service centers and other dispensaries.

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  14. Santa Monica Pier Again Gets Failing Grade on Annual Beach Report CardRead the original story

    Thursday Jun 18 | The LookOut news

    For the second year in a row, the ocean around Santa Monica Pier received an F-grade for water quality on Heal the Bay's annual Beach Report Card, which was released Wednesday. The Pier also made the Santa Monica-based nonprofit environmental group's list of "beach bummers" -- beaches that Heal the Bay officials said should be avoided year-round by swimmers and surfers.

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  15. Santa Monica Turns Red, White and Blue for July FourthRead the original story

    Tuesday Jun 16 | The LookOut news

    Ready to get your red, white and blue on? Residents can get patriotic for the Fourth at a local annual parade and a free fireworks show, both of which draw thousands of people each year. This year's ninth-annual Fourth of July Parade sponsored by the Ocean Park Association will again take place on Saturday, July 4, on Main Street in downtown Santa Monica, starting at 9:30 p.m. A week before the parade, on Saturday, June 27, Santa Monica College will hold its annual fireworks show, "Celebrate America," which will be the only sanctioned fireworks show in the City.

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  16. Third Forum on Santa Monica Civic Set for SaturdayRead the original story

    Friday Jun 12 | The LookOut news

    Preliminary documents designed to guide future plans for the landmark Santa Monica Civic Auditorium are now complete and will be presented to residents at a community meeting this weekend. Members of the Civic Working Group, an appointed committee leading the City's planning process for the facility, created a draft of "guiding principals" for the future of the 57-year-old auditorium and is seeking public input on the documents, said Santa Monica Cultural Affairs Director Jessica Cusick.

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  17. Santa Monica to Study Raising Minimum WageRead the original story

    Friday Jun 12 | The LookOut news

    The Santa Monica City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to study raising the minimum wage for all workers in the bayside city, following in the footsteps of Los Angeles' controversial decision to up the minimum wage to $15 by 2020. Mayor Kevin McKeown said the council plans to decide on a minimum wage hike in September, putting it on a timeline similar to Los Angeles.

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  18. Santa Monica Watchdog Group Accuses Former City Manager of Violating Conflict-of-Interest LawRead the original story

    Friday Jun 12 | The LookOut news

    A Santa Monica citizen's watchdog group is accusing former City Manager Rod Gould of allegedly violating conflict-of-interest law by accepting employment with a firm that repeatedly did business with the City during his tenure. The Santa Monica Transparency Project said Gould is violating the city's anti-corruption law, commonly known as the Oaks Initiative, by going to work as vice president of Management Partners, a move he recently announced.

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  19. Santa Monica Puts Out Welcome Mat For New City ManagerRead the original story

    Thursday Jun 11 | The LookOut news

    At a modest reception in the bottom-floor rotunda at Santa Monica City Hall, the guest of honor slipped in quietly, hardly noticed. Walking up to the first person he met standing at the edge of the small circle of officials and a few interested residents, Santa Monica's new manager casually introduced himself.

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  20. Santa Monica Council Lets Radio Show Go OnRead the original story

    Wednesday Jun 10 | The LookOut news

    Just as they have for the past 20 years, residents will continue being able to tune into live broadcasts of Santa Monica City Council meetings, after members Tuesday night extended the City's contract with a local public radio station.

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