Final Destination[1]

Awkward! California Heritage Museum Hosts a Collection of Family Photos Gone Awry

In one photo, a family of four smiles toward the camera on Easter morning, while just off to the side grandpa is seen chugging a can of beer. In another shot, a young boy happily blows out candles on his birthday cake as dad hoovers nearby wielding a hammer. Ah yes, family photographs. Not the glossy portraits of bliss proudly displayed in homes everywhere.  But photographs that reveal a deeper truth about family, that perhaps it’s really, well, a little awkward. Mike Bender saw one of his own awkward family photographs five years ago when he returned home for his … More →


SMO Supporters Succeeding in Uniting SaMo…Against Ballot Proposal That Would Halt Efforts to Close Airport

Calling a proposed ballot initiative that would over-ride the City Council’s efforts to examine the closure of the Santa Monica Airport “all about perpetuating private benefits at the airport,” the influential Santa Monicans for Renters Rights is urging its members to not sign the petition that would place the initiative on the fall ballot. The SMRR Steering Committee took action at its April 12  meeting on a motion  made by former Santa Monica mayor Dennis Zane, to formally oppose the initiative. Zane commented in a statement released by Airport2Park, “This initiative, although cloaked in rhetoric about the rights of the people, … More →


Jonathan Stein’s Open Letter on Lawsuit Opposing Referendum to “Save” SMO

(Last Friday, the office of Jonathan Stein and Associates announced they were representing a coalition of advocates who will file court action against the announced ballot measure to stop efforts to close the Santa Monica Airport. Santa Monica Next obtained a copy of a letter they emailed to the city and other media outlets announcing their efforts. The letter is below. – DN.) Dear City Council and Staff, This office represents plaintiffs who have confirmed they will file a court action against the AOPA Petition.  Many have participated in Sunset Park Anti-Airport efforts in the 2012 election cycle and through the present. … More →


Featured Events, Spring Break Edition: Sustainable Works Opening, Commission Meetings, Kind Mama

For ninety days in 2012, environmentalist and educator Peter Kreitler walked the same one quarter mile stretch of Santa Monica Beach collecting flotsam and debris that floated in from the ocean or was left on the beach. Pieces of this collected trash were taken to his home where all was sorted, a portion discarded, much recycled and the rest saved, meticulously cleaned and catalogued. A year and a half later the selected items were photographed by fine arts photographer John Reiff Williams. This photography will be on display at the EarthWe Gallery at Bergamot Station this Thursday evening. All art presented will be … More →

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Video: Meet the Taos of DK Donuts

Mayly and Sean Tao may have inherited DK Donuts from their parents, who opened the restaurant in 1981, but they are dedicated to seeing this popular Santa Monica eatery stay open for decades more. This is our first video in what we believe will be an ongoing series about businesses owned by young Santa Monicans. – DN


Santa Monica Next Editor Wins Award from Society of Professional Journalism

Last night at the Omni Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, the Society of Professional Journalists honored Streetsblog Los Angeles’ founding editor, and the Southern California Streets Initiatives’ Executive Director Damien Newton for “Distinguished Work in New Media.” Less than four years ago, Streetsblog Los Angeles was in imminent danger of closing due to a changing funding landscape, particularly with our primary funder at the time. Now the Southern California Streets Initiative is thriving, with not just Streetsblog Los Angeles publishing online but also Long Beachize and Santa Monica Next. Last night’s honor is the recent in a string of honors … More →

Mike Bonin and SaMo Next Advisory Board Member Joni Yung at the LACBC Bike/Ped Counts last year. Photo: David Graham Caso/Office of Mike Bonin

Why SaMo Should Care What L.A.’s Councilmember Bonin Thinks.

Friday night, Angelenos Against Gridlock (AAG) will host a fireside chat with Mike Bonin, the City Councilmember representing the Westside of Los Angeles. he event will take place at the Moss Theater at New Roads school, with a reception beginning at 6:45 and the event beginning at 7:30 pm. In order to secure a spot, RSVP here. It might seem strange for an L.A. Councilmember to be a featured speaker in a Santa Monica locale. AAG rightly notes Bonin’s regional importance in their advertising: he sits on the Metro Board of Directors as an appointee of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and is … More →


A Week in Events: SM Global Fest, Fireside Chat with Mike Bonin, AltBuild Water

In the past few decades, the internet has brought the world to our fingertips. This idea has become a bit of a cliché given the pervasive role of technology in our lives, but it truly is astounding if you think about it; with the click of a button, one can interact and converse with people from across the globe.  Yet, even with the availability of such technologies, we often don’t venture out of our relatively small realms of being. Sure, some will travel the world and others will study abroad, but in the end, our day-to-day realities are limited by our … More →

While the ride was often presented as an "outlaw" event, it wasn't a secret. The ride met at the same place every month and advertisments were widely available on the Internet on Facebook, MySpace, Midnight and elsewhere.

Throwback Thursday: Santa Monica Critical Mass

For those that don’t know, Critical Mass is a monthly bike ride that takes place on the 4th Friday of the month. The purpose of the ride is to gather so many cyclists that drivers can’t ignore them, buzz them or harass them. This both created a safe place for cycling and made a statement that the needs of cyclists is too big to ignore. In Santa Monica, Critical Mass met on the first Monday, so that it didn’t conflict with the larger event that starts in Los Angeles’ Koreatown on the 4th Friday. In a way, Santa Monica was … More →

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Modern Bus Stops Coming to Santa Monica. Watch Them Grow and Share Your Pictures

Santa Monica has a regional reputation for working diligently to create a modern, world-class menu of transportation options. While so much of the transportation debate online and in newspapers revolves around car traffic congestion and parking, this smallish city offers many transportation options for the car-free or car-lite: a compressed natural gas bus fleet, an adequate and growing bicycle network, and it will soon have a regionally connected light-rail. This Monday, construction started on modern bus stops. Over the next two years, the Big Blue Bus will improve 300 stops along its routes in batches of 6-10 stops at a … More →

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New Petition Circulating to Turn Bergamot Area Into Airport

A new group known as Arts2Airport announced a new ballot referendum that would rezone the Bergamot Arts Center, renovating or removing the existing buildings to serve air-oriented uses. The initiative, announced on the website of the American Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), says the move is unrelated to the Santa Monica City Council’s  efforts to truncate or close Santa Monica Airport, and is more about positioning airports for changing mobility needs. “We’ve been waiting for transit to the airport for long enough.  Why not bring an airport to transit?” said an A2A spokesperson. The Expo-adjacent Bergamot plot is much smaller … More →


Gruber: Desperate Times, Desperate Measures, Desperate Companies that Rent Corporate Jets

This story first appeared on Gruber’s personal website, The Healthy City Local. I’ve already been quoted by Jason Islas in The Lookout calling the initiative that the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has filed to prevent the Santa Monica City Council from closing Santa Monica Airport a desperation move, but there is more to it than that. The filing of the initiative to amend the City Charter to preserve the airport also shows that notwithstanding all the bravado coming from AOPA and the aviation industry it represents, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), about the City’s purported obligation to operate the airport in perpetuity, … More →


A Week in Events: CicLAvia, Green Living Workshop, Used Oil Recycling and Filter Exchange

Ciclovias began in Bogota, Colombia as a response to the congestion and pollution of the city streets. Activists in Los Angeles, in turn, began to organize a similar event for the same reasons. With the support of city officials, the first CicLAvia took place on October 10, 2010 from East Hollywood to Hollenbeck Park. Since then, there have been CicLAvias to other parts of Los Angeles, with the CicLAvia to the Sea route stretching all the way down Venice Blvd. to the borders of Santa Monica. The frequency and variety of these events has led to added popularity and awareness … More →

This mural on the side wall of the Printing Palace on Lincoln Boulevard has generated attention, according to the store manager, but not done much to improve business.

What Started As Effort to Improve Lincoln Blvd. Now Aims to “Beautify Earth”

It began as a grassroots effort to pretty up Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica by decorating it with colorful street murals. Now the Ocean Park group behind this project wants to take its paintbrushes and go global. “Ten thousand murals in five years,” is the motto of Beautify Earth, which began two years ago as the Santa Monica-based Beautify Lincoln.  That local enterprise was hatched by Ocean Park Association board member Evan Meyer, who at first simply wanted to spruce up a dreary stretch of Lincoln Boulevard between Ocean Park and Pico Boulevards. Now Meyer and the group have adopted … More →

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Looking for an Intern to Help Research the Facts Surrounding SMO

We’re looking for a journalism/political science/English/writing/planning student who wants to tackle a large research project this summer. While we don’t have the funding to pay for the project, we can work with your college to make sure you earn college credit, will reimburse for any costs (travel, photocopies, etc…) associated with the project, and will publish your work under your own byline. You’ll have a chance to work with Santa Monica Next and Streetsblog staff and will be able to create your own work schedule. Basically, we’re looking for someone to help us research the “facts” used on both sides … More →

Featured Event: What Every Snowflake Knows in its Heart

For this week’s featured event, we encourage our readers to embrace their artistic side for an event at the Santa Monica Museum of Art called “Collaboration is Utopia.” If you peruse the current exhibitions at the museum, you are bound to be struck by Yutaka Sone and Benjamin Weissman’s What Every Snowflake Knows in its Heart. Featured in the exhibit is a monumental, animatronic ski mountain. Surrounding and supplementing this work are multiple paintings, sculptures, and videos. The exhibit is built around the theme of skiing, but in the process it embraces images of forests, mountains, and nature as a whole. For … More →

What do your eyes tell you? Do they tell you the airport is losing popularity among locals and is becoming more and more a way for the super-rich to avoid LAX or that increased fees are making it less hospitable to local pilots?

City Staff Asks for O.K. to Begin Work on July 2015 SMO Closure

The jet plane roars overhead. I sneak a peak at the sleeping child in the stroller next to me. She stirs, but doesn’t move. Another jet, literally moments later, passes overhead. This time she wakes up screaming. For some reason, when it’s cloudy it seems the incoming flight path for Santa Monica Airport changes just a little. For these couple of dozen days a year, it’s right over my Mar Vista home. I hate cloudy days. But today is different. While I stopped what I was doing to push the stroller and rock my little angel back to sleep, I … More →


#TreeHugSamo Winner Announced, and Some Links on SaMo’s Urban Forest

Apparently, unless you actually are Jerry Rubin, it’s hard to get adults to hug trees and be photographed while doing it. We received only a handful of submissions for the #TreeHugSaMo photo contest, but enough that we can declare a winner: Congratulations, contact me at and we’ll get you your prize package. However, we did feel we have to give credit to Sirinya Matute, who is ineligible to win one of our contests as she is the vice-chair of the non-profit that publishes Santa Monica Next. Sirinya not only sent in a picture of her hugging her favorite tree, … More →

Via Airport2Park's Twitter feed.

#TreeHugSaMo Contest Extended!

Originally timed to coincide with Jerry Peace Activist Rubin’s “Tree Hugging Day,” we did get a couple of great submissions. But since I spent my day working on fixing the website (the problem was our calendar was mis-firing, FWIW) and not promoting the contest we’re going to extend through the weekend. As many of you noticed, Santa Monica Next was down for much of yesterday. As a result, we’re extending the “#TreeHugSaMo” contest through the weekend. Here’s how it works. Take a picture of yourself hugging a tree or get a friend to take a picture for you…preferably somewhere in … More →

Image from rally at City Hall the night the Council voted 4-3 to pass the Bergamot Transit Village proposal. Image: Residocracy/Facebook.

With Petition Filed, There’s Time for Bergamot to Cool Off

Last week, a coalition of community based organizations turned in a petition to create a referendum to overturn a 4-3 City Council vote to allow the redevelopment of the old Papermate site at Bergamot Station. Residocracy, Santa Monicans for Renter’s Rights and the Santa Monica Coalition for a Livable City turned in over twice the needed number of signatures, all-but-assuring the referendum will be on this fall’s ballot or on a special election called by the Council. The Council itself will also have a chance to overturn its own vote instead of facing the voters. Bergamot Transit Village would be located … More →