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Photos: Remembering Pacific Ocean Park

Posted July 23, 2014 by | 10 Comments | ]
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From the late 1950s to the late ‘60s, Angelenos looking for music, dancing and rides, found the party at Pacific Ocean Park.
The beachside theme park – that jetted out into the Pacific – sat on 28 acres of land at the border of Santa Monica and Venice.
It featured rides created by Hollywood set designers, setting it apart from the standard, ordinary rides at Santa …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

Bergamot blowout: How the Expo Line complicates, divides, a busy corner of Santa Monica

Posted June 17, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
What Bergamot could look like, as rendered by 26th Street TOD

What the heck is going on over at Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station arts complex? Since a huge parcel on the arts community’s western edge was seized by eminent domain to make way for the coming Expo line, nothing concrete just yet. However, the project has stirred up a whole lot of dissent and fear that’s divided the community. And, could potentially drive out one of Bergamot’s key …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Headline, Issues, Politics, Sports, water »

Many Dodger fans facing ‘blue-out’ as games begin

Posted February 26, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
dodgers

The Dodgers new Time Warner cable TV station has debuted just in time for the team’s first spring training game today against the Arizona Diamondbacks. For fans who can’t get enough the boys in blue, it’s a 24-hour network. But as of now, most denizens of Dodger nation are blacked out. That’s because Time Warner has yet to reach deals with many of the …

Arts & Culture, Headline »

When Santa Monica beachgoers wore suits and long dresses on the sand

Posted February 4, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
Roller Coaster at the Arcadia Hotel, Santa Monica, late 1880s. Albumen print by E.G. Morrison. Ernest Marquez Collection, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

In the 1870s, the Southern Pacific Railroad chugged right up to the beach. Visitors would step off the train in ankle-length skirts and enjoy concession stands and shaded cabins.
Today we can peer into that world through a new photography collection acquired by San Marino’s Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
The museum says this purchase is one of the largest and rarest groups of …

economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Issues, News, Politics »

Supervisors vote to put cross back on L.A. County seal

Posted January 8, 2014 by | 0 Comments | ]
COUNTYSEAL

A divided L.A. Board of Supervisors has voted to put a long absent cross back on the county seal. The move is expected to be met with a legal challenge from civil libertarians, who see it as an unconstitutional mixing of church and state. The cross will be added to a depiction of the San Gabriel Mission on the seal. Backers say it’s a …

Arts & Culture, economy, Education, Environment, Featured, Issues, News, Politics »

California rejects proposal to reopen national parks

Posted October 11, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
deathvalley

The federal government is offering to reopen national parks if states agree to foot the bill for park employees. But Gov. Jerry Brown apparently isn’t interested. A spokesman says that taking on new expenses would threaten to unbalance the state budget. And that there’s no guarantee the state would be paid back once the shutdown ends…Embattled L.A. Fire Chief Brian Cummings will retire at …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, News »

The artist, the philanthropist, the sculpture: Paul Conrad, Joan Kroc and the secret history of Chain Reaction

Posted August 26, 2013 by | 9 Comments | ]
The sketch that inspired the sculpture

This is the story of an embattled sculpture in Santa Monica, and the curious, once-secret story of how it came to be.
It begins with the late Paul Conrad, best known for his incendiary editorial cartoons at the Los Angeles Times. Over the course of his career, his work won him three Pulitzer prizes and a place on Nixon’s enemies list. (He said he was prouder …

Featured, Politics, Today's News »

Today’s News: DWP staff is getting unlimited sick days; Lawsuit raises heat on Calderons; Activision freedom

Posted July 26, 2013 by | 11 Comments | ]
dwp

DWP generosity. When most people use up their allotment of sick days, they either go to work or don’t get paid. But that’s not so at the L.A. Department of Water and Power.
The L.A. Times reports that a 32-year-old DWP policy allows workers at the public utility to take off unlimited sick days beyond the agency’s 10-day cap, and still get paid.
Since 2010, DWP …

Commentary, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News, Politics »

Rep. Henry Waxman on gun violence and mental health

Posted July 12, 2013 by | 9 Comments | ]
A memorial shrine at Santa Monica College, days after the June 7 shootings. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

June was a violent month for the city of Santa Monica. A series of shootings on June 7 near the Santa Monica College campus left 5 people dead. And unrelated gang shootings just a few days later left 2 others dead.
The alleged gunman in the college shootings, John Zawahri, had problems with mental health.
In response, the man who represents the area in Congress, Representative …

Arts & Culture, economy, Featured, Interviews, News »

The final day of the Santa Monica Post Office

Posted June 28, 2013 by | 9 Comments | ]
Santa Monica Post Office

The historic and much-beloved Santa Monica Post Office is shutting down on Saturday, June 29.
The building was opened in 1938 with great fanfare, as part of FDR’s Works Project Administration. The post office is distinguished by its Art Deco-inspired features including beautifully detailed paneling and the original lighting fixtures of the lobby.
But as less of its business comes from walk-in customers, there’s less need …

Education, Featured, Interviews, News »

The Mixer: The Santa Monica shootings, one week later – what have we learned?

Posted June 14, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
Mourners pay tribute to the victims of the June 7 shootings at a vigil at Santa Monica College on Monday, June 10. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

One week has passed since 23-year-old John Zawahri opened fire in Santa Monica, killing five people, starting with his father and brother.
Last night, Santa Monica Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks revealed that Zawahri left behind a farewell note. She summarized some new information in the case, such as how Zawahri had been denied the ability to buy a gun two years ago, and how he …

Commentary, Education, Featured, Headline, Interviews, News »

Was Friday’s tragedy a ‘school shooting?’

Posted June 10, 2013 by | 5 Comments | ]
smc mourners

Investigators are still piecing together the details of Friday’s deadly shootings in Santa Monica that killed 5 people. Police shot and killed the gunman in the library of Santa Monica College; he died on campus.
The first incident happened at a house north of the college, but culminated at the school. And that fact has led law enforcement to not label what happened on Friday …

Featured, News »

Santa Monica shooting victim profile: Margarita Gomez

Posted June 10, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
A memorial shrine at Santa Monica College, days after the June 7 shootings. Photo by Avishay Artsy.

The Los Angeles Times this afternoon posted a profile of Margarita Gomez, one of the five victims of Friday’s shooting at Santa Monica College. Gomez, 68, was a familiar face here on campus. She lived across the street and usually visited twice a day to collect recyclables. The Times spoke to Gomez’s son, Rafael Torres:

Although she had worked at a ceramics company for almost …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Headline, Interviews, Issues, News, Sports, Summer »

Ocean lovers gather to honor black surfing history

Posted May 31, 2013 by | 3 Comments | ]
NickGabaldonDay-EventPoster-2013

Surfers and ocean lovers in general are gathering in Santa Monica on Saturday, June 1st to honor the life of a surfer who died young, but inspired a generation of surfers from diverse backgrounds. While a student at Santa Monica College, Nick Gabaldón perished in a surfing accident at the Malibu Pier in 1951, at the tragically young age of 24.
Gabaldón is Los Angeles’ …

Arts & Culture, Environment, Featured, Headline »

Tending Anne Bancroft’s garden: ‘World War Z’ author Max Brooks maintains his mother’s legacy

Posted May 29, 2013 by | 20 Comments | ]
The blueberries remind Max of his summers as a kid in Fire Island

Every day, the best-selling writer Max Brooks drives from his home in Venice to work in the attic of his father Mel’s place in Santa Monica.  It’s a way to check in on his famous dad–and the garden lovingly planted by his late mother, the actress Anne Bancroft.
It seems Ms. Bancroft, in addition to being a beautiful movie star, loved getting her hands in …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Issues, Recent Shows »

LA Grows Up: The ‘Manhattanization’ of Los Angeles?

Posted May 15, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
View of Los Angeles' downtown skyline, including the planned Wilshire Grand tower (3rd L). Courtesy AC Martin

Los Angeles is historically horizontal, but it’s becoming increasingly vertical with a host of new projects going up from downtown to Santa Monica.  Many large building projects, on hold since the Great Recession, are not just back on the drawing boards but under construction.
So-called “smart growth” dictates that high-rise work space and housing is the best ways to accommodate increased growth within the region. A …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline, News »

“Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows”: Foster youth rap and dance about their yearning for a home

Posted May 13, 2013 by | 18 Comments | ]
The cast of "Stop Requested"

In LA County alone, there are 35,000 youth who have more urgent concerns besides iPhones, cars, and dating.  They’re foster kids, struggling to transcend neglectful and abusive homes, and then to survive in a system which turns them out to fend for themselves at age 18.
Recently, I visited the offices of the Southern California Foster Family and Adoption Agency to meet a group of kids …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Interviews, News »

Jazz art: Trumpet legend Herb Alpert works in bronze, not brass

Posted May 3, 2013 by | 2 Comments | ]
The artist in his studio

The legendary trumpeter Herb Alpert is best known for his Tijuana Brass.  But all the while he’s been making music, he’s also been making fine art.
Tomorrow night, you can see a sampling of his paintings and sculptures on display at the Robert Berman Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica.
Coincidentally, you can walk around the corner (be careful!) to Olympic Boulevard and see three …

Arts & Culture, Featured, Headline »

Not-so-silent films: A Wurlitzer organ for Buster Keaton

Posted April 26, 2013 by | 31 Comments | ]
IMG_8675

Who says southern California has no history?
On the sprawling campus of Santa Monica High School are two hidden gems: first, the 1937 Barnum Hall, a 1200-seat theater done in “streamline moderne” style.  This is not your typical high school assembly hall.  It predates the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium that will soon be mothballed, and in fact, before that ill-fated structure was built, Barnum Hall …

Issues, Today's News »

Today’s News: Support for tougher gun laws; Digital billboards; Who gets Dorner reward?

Posted March 22, 2013 by | 0 Comments | ]
todaysnews_square2

Guns poll. Californians are way out in front of the country as a whole when it comes to stricter gun controls. A new USC-Dornsife-L.A. Times poll finds Californians overwhelmingly favor a proposed federal ban on assault weapons, as well as restrictions on high-capacity magazines, background checks for ammunition purchases and rules requiring all gun owners to be registered and insured. One thing that Californians …

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