The Santa Monica Mirror's 2012 Year-In-Review: November
Posted Dec. 28, 2012, 6:00 am
Brenton Garen / Editor-in-Chief
In what was at times another high-stakes, high-drama year across Santa Monica, here is The Mirror's run-down of the top headlines from November 2012.
Please note that some of the stories mentioned took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• Developer-backed political group -- Santa Monicans United for a Responsible Future (SMURF) -- raised $390,498 since it formed Sept. 25 for its City Council candidate slate of Gleam Davis, Shari Davis, Terry O'Day, and Ted Winterer.
• Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel welcomed back the week-long American Film Market.
• The 17th Annual Celebrating Success Breakfast at the Fairmont Miramar honored 27 previously homeless individuals who, with the support of local nonprofit agencies, made extraordinary transitions from homelessness to lives filled with passion and promise.
• The arts community realized it was a little closer to losing a one-time iconic venue as Council members voted 6-1 to maintain its current policy to close the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium by June 30, 2013.
• A proposed ordinance to allow rooftop dining to be added to the Santa Monica Pier was quickly approved without fanfare by Council members.
• The Santa Monica Symphony suddenly came back to life just months after its association announced it was effectively closing its doors. Concerts were announced for Nov. 11 and Jan. 20 and May 25 next year after its board appointed Guido Lamell as its new conductor and music director.
• Santa Monica voters reelected Council members Terry O'Day and Gleam Davis, along with Planning Commissioner Ted Winterer and former Councilman Tony Vazquez (filling the seats vacated by Richard Bloom and Bobby Shriver). Winterer came out on top with 13,586 votes (15.12 percent).
• The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District election was won by the three incumbents from Santa Monica: Ben Allen, Maria-Leon Vazquez, and Jose Escarce.
• In Santa Monica's Rent Control Board election, voters elected Christopher Walton and Ilse Rosenstein, defeating incumbent Robert Kronovet in the race to fill the two spots.
• In the election for the 50th Assembly District, Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom edged incumbent Betsy Butler by 218 votes, but neither side was willing to claim victory or concede defeat.
• The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District community rejoiced after Measure ES was approved by 67.73 percent. The district will receive $385 million in additional funds to complete its Facility Master Plan. Also passing overwhelmingly was Measure GA, meaning the City Charter will be amended to allow the annual rent control general adjustment to be based on 75 percent of the annual percentage change in the Consumer Price Index, but limited to an adjustment between 0 percent and 6 percent.
• Council members gave the green light for Village Trailer Park to be bulldozed to make way for a 377-unit mixed-use housing development called "East Village." In all, 99 rent controlled units will be lost and in its place will be a development expected to feature 161 apartments and 216 condominiums at 2930 Colorado Avenue.
• Council members filed and received a report by City staff to consider the development of a new assessment district that would be a self-imposed and self-governed benefit assessment district designed to help fund marketing and sales promotion efforts for Santa Monica hotels.
• The Santa Monica Police Department called on back up from surrounding authorities to a hangar at Santa Monica Airport when numbers spiraled out of control at a private concert featuring English producer/DJ Flux Pavilion.
• Council members approved a fifth amendment to a construction contract that would update Santa Monica's City Hall and bring the total cost for the project to nearly $4.7 million. The project was originally estimated to cost about $3.8 million.
• A federal judge sided with the City of Santa Monica in regards to the ban that prevents Nativity scenes from being displayed at Palisades Park.
• Santa Monica College announced at least 250 state-funded credit classes would be offered as part of its reinstated six-week winter program that would return Jan. 2, 2013, thanks to the passage of Proposition 30.
• In its first meeting since the Nov. 6 election, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education discussed a potential Master Agreement between the district and the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation to streamline fundraising priorities of district-wide programs.
• Council members unanimously voted to take a closer look and further analyze alternatives and impacts of a developer's plan to bring 260 apartment units the former Grammy Building at 3402 Pico Boulevard.
• Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom declared victory in the race for the 50th Assembly District after his lead increased to 1246 votes.
• Santa Monica's California Heritage Museum on Main Street called for community support in the form of mowing the lawn, trimming trees and bushes, and planting flowers after the City cut its maintenance support.
• Three men aged in their 50s who allegedly posed as charitable solicitors on the Third Street Promenade were arrested and charged for being involved in a charity scam where they posed as working for organizations such as the AIDS Health Foundation and Another Chance Ministry.