In what could be described as a year of big ups and downs for Santa Monica, here is The Mirror’s run-down of the top headlines from the year.
Please note that some of the following stories took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• The Santa Monica City Council voted Oct. 22 to restrict how many 5K and 10K races would be allowed in Santa Monica. From now on, only three such races would take place in the City each year.
• The Santa Monica City Council made nine appointments Oct. 22 to a new group ordained with finding a way to bring the Civic Auditorium back to life after it went dark four months earlier.
• Boxer Rescue Los Angeles honored the heroes from the Santa Monica Fire Department who rescued Stella, the Boxer mix, from a burning building in Santa Monica in September.
• The 18th annual Celebrating Success Breakfast was held Oct. 25, honoring 24 previously homeless individuals who, with the support of local nonprofit agencies, made extraordinary transitions from homelessness to lives filled with passion and promise.
• Children’s Hospital Los Angeles opened the doors to its new Santa Monica outpatient care center Nov. 7. Located on the fourth floor at 1301 20th Street inside the St. John’s Medical Plaza, it will be staffed by 10 physicians Board-Certified in eight specialties and subspecialties.
• The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association called the City of Santa Monica’s lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to take future control of Santa Monica Airport meritless while Concerned Residents Against Airport Pollution said the lawsuit against the FAA was “encouraging.”
• A white male aged in his 30s wearing a cowboy hat got away with about $4,000 in cash after an armed robbery at the U.S. Bank branch at 3302 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica Nov. 4.
• Santa Monica welcomed more than 8,000 global film industry leaders at the 34th annual American Film Market (AFM) for the world’s largest film market, which ran through Nov. 13.
• The Santa Monica City Council on Nov. 12 unanimously approved the development of a Courtyard by Marriott and Hampton Inn by Hilton. Both hotels will be located near the intersection of Fifth and Colorado – just one block from the Expo Line’s terminus station.
• After a three-year investigation, Wilshire West Car Wash, LLC, on Nov. 13 pled no contest to six misdemeanor charges including failure to record and pay for work breaks.
• After a wave of business burglaries across the City in one week, including six window smash robberies on Montana Avenue, Santa Monica police arrested a suspect Nov. 13 that they believed to be involved in at least one of the crimes.
• Former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, who was captured in Santa Monica in 2011, was sentenced to two life sentences plus five years Nov. 14.
• After three public hearings on the matter, the Santa Monica Planning Commission resumed its consideration of the mixed-use development agreement proposed to be built at Bergamot Transit Village Center by Hines 26th Street LLC.
• Santa Monica College Community Education announced a robust Winter Session – with more than 60 classes, workshops, and tours – and several new offerings for classes that begin Jan. 6.
• Gang member Jose Zapien was found guilty Nov. 11 of the 2006 Santa Monica murders of Eduardo Lopez and Miguel Martin as well as the attempted murders of 12 other people after a two-week trial and five hours of jury deliberation. Sentencing was set for Jan. 9, 2014.
• The residents of Santa Monica’s Sunset Park neighborhood donated more than 1,750 lbs of food in the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Food Drive coordinated by local realtors, Scott Price, Janice Hou, and Alexis Bernacchi of P+H Real Estate.
• It was announced that phase two of the Expo Light Rail Line, from Culver City to Santa Monica, was 50 percent complete and on-time and on budget.
• The Santa Monica City Council on Nov. 26 approved the Tuesday evening food trucks to remain at California Heritage Museum for a three-year term after a survey indicated the mobile restaurants had a minimal impact on Main Street businesses.
• The Santa Monica City Council approved a contract for the installation of Green Bike Lanes along Main Street between Colorado Avenue and Ozone Avenue and on Broadway between Sixth Street and Centinela Avenue.
• The Office of the Federal Register announced the regulated airspace surrounding Santa Monica Airport would expand from a four-mile radius to 4.6 miles northeast of the airport Dec. 12 in order to accommodate aircraft arriving at and departing from the facility
• The Los Angeles County Coroner’s identified the man who walked off the roof of the Medical Centre of Santa Monica Nov. 25 and fatally fell to the ground as 25-year-old Santa Monica resident Daniel William Schast.
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