The OPEN Daily » Santa Monica Essential Guide to L.A. Thu, 25 Aug 2016 12:51:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Santa Monica City Council votes to close airport — as soon as it’s legally possible Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:14:12 +0000 Santa Monica Airport 7

The Santa Monica City Council voted 7-0 to close the city’s airport as soon as legally possible on Tuesday, despite 34 public commenters who largely expressed their desire for the airport to stay put — and the fact that this is their third attempt to shut down the airport, according to the L.A. Times.

The city owns the 227 acres of land that the airport sits on, but the FAA says that federal agreements require the airport to be kept open until at least 2023, according to the Times. The FAA ruled earlier this month, once again, that the airport has to be kept open — it’s a requirement of a federal grant it received in 2003.

Santa Monica faces several additional legal challenges, according to the Times. One trial set for August 2017 aims to free the airport from its obligations so that it can be shut down. 

City Manager Rick Cole addressed council members at Tuesday’s meeting, saying that the resolution to close the airport would be a historic step forward for the city. 

“It is not the first step, nor will it be the last in the journey towards local control of Santa Monica Airport,” Cole said. 

The city’s senior adviser on airport affairs Nelson Hernandez laid out the airport’s impact, arguing that the airport adversely impacts the local environment with noise and air pollution, as well as posing a threat to public safety.

“The City Council has decided that the airport is basically antiquated and it no longer is a community asset,” Hernandez told KPCC.

The council’s resolution directed Cole’s office to implement measures designed to reduce the airport’s negative impact. They include designing a park to replace the airport, ensure that modern safety protocols are in place at the airport and phasing out the use of leaded fuel in aircrafts that fly there, Hernandez said. 

The city manager’s office was also directed to file a petition with the Federal Aviation Administration to shave the runway by 2,000 feet. Hernandez said that piece of land isn’t part of any federal obligation. 

Another reason for the council to adopt the resolution, according to Hernandez: It would reflect what the residents of Santa Monica voted for on a 2014 ballot. The measure was intended to give the City Council the power to make decisions regarding the fate of the airfield and received 60 percent of the vote, the L.A. Times reported. The measure only allows the space to be used for parks, open space or recreational facilities.

However, most of those who spoke during public comment opposed the resolution. One Santa Monica resident used his public comment to state that he believed there wasn’t a real reason to shut it down — except for special interests in the land. Other commentators, some of whom were pilots, used the time to say that the airport was a beloved space in the city.

Continue reading: Local | 89.3 KPCC

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Skate doc ‘Made in Venice” celebrates the house that Z-Boys built Thu, 25 Aug 2016 07:13:55 +0000 If the 2001 documentary “Dog Town and Z-Boys” engagingly gave Southern California’s skateboard culture its influential due, then “Made in Venice” comes across as its scrappy, but no less lovable, kid brother.

While he profiles many of the boarders who also figured into the Stacy Peralta film, director…

Continue reading: L.A. Times – Entertainment News

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Divers Search For Missing Swimmer Near Santa Monica Pier Mon, 15 Aug 2016 05:47:26 +0000

SANTA M)NICA ( —  Divers are scanning the water near the Santa Monica Pier for a missing swimmer, authorities said.

The swimmer was reported missing just aft 8 p.m., according to Desmond Shaw reporting in Sky9.

Officials are conducting the search from the air, as well.

LA County Fire is on scene heading up the rescue effort. Santa Monica Police were also in the water searching for the swimmer.

Lifeguards are keeping people out of the water.

Officials confirmed to CBS2/KCAL9 that the man intentionally jumped into the water.

Continue reading: CBS Los Angeles

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Frozen Fruit Co Finally Twirls Fruity Soft Serve in Santa Monica Mon, 25 Jul 2016 20:04:44 +0000

A healthier way to cool down

With sky high temperatures, Frozen Fruit Co couldn’t have made a timelier debut. Although the London-born concept first posted signage on its Santa Monica shop back in September, the frozen fruit soft serve specialist opened at the beginning of July right on Montana Avenue.

Currently offering four flavors, pineapple and passion fruit, mango and strawberry, raspberry and orange, and coconut and cacao, the frozen treats are sweetened with things like dates and natural fruit extracts. That means they satisfy just about every dietary restriction being dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo.

Garnished with optional toppings like fresh fruit, carob, banana chips, and coconut flakes, this healthy concept is something everyone can get behind. And with early support coming from the likes of Ron Howard, we think the guilt-free dessert will fare quite well in the neighborhood.

Open daily from noon to 10 p.m.

Continue reading: Eater LA

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SaMo’s Montana Avenue Lands a Mall Brand’s First Standalone LA Shop Tue, 19 Jul 2016 17:15:51 +0000

Given that retail therapy seekers prefer to shop en plein air these days, it’s no wonder that mall brands are looking to bust out on their own. We’re guessing that’s the case with J.Jill, which is opening its first standalone boutique on Santa Monica’s bustling-again Montana Avenue.

A tipster points out that the brand — best known for outfitting the contemporary woman (read: moms) — recently added the SaMo coordinates to its store listings page, which puts it next door to healthy eatery Kreation Kafe and across the way from Dermalogica.

It’ll be the brand’s fifth LA-area location; it’s just a short stroll from stylish nail salon Olive & June, which might be a good way to end your next mom date.


1031 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Continue reading: Racked LA

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Hundreds of Pokémon Go fans flock to Santa Monica Pier to catch a Pikachu Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:43:05 +0000
Hundreds of Southern Californians flocked to Santa Monica Pier on Monday night, but it wasn’t to take in the beauty of the ocean or enjoy a peaceful ride on the lighted Ferris wheel.

 The mob was there for Pokémon Go. Engrossed by their smartphones, fans of the game wandered around the pier looking…

Continue reading: – Arts&Culture

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Nick Erven Brings Meat-Free Flavors to Santa Monica Next Week Wed, 13 Jul 2016 01:32:37 +0000

Well that didn’t take long. Just a couple of months after departing from Westwood’s Fundamental LA restaurant following a short stint there, roving chef Nick Erven is opening up his own place in Santa Monica. The restaurant’s name is, appropriately, Erven, and it’ll be working an entirely plant-based menu as of July 18.

As another bit of kismet, Erven will be taking hold inside the defunct Real Food Daily space on Santa Monica Boulevard as of next Monday. The previous tenant helped to usher in today’s growing obsession with vegan food a quarter-century ago, before falling away in April.

The new restaurant will hew closely to the ethos of the old, working an animal-free menu of larger dinner plates and shared starters, lunchtime sandwiches, and breakfast items. Erven the chef, while not a vegan himself, says that he has come to appreciate the sustainability of a plant-based diet and hopes to bring hearty, rich flavors to the conversation in order to equally amuse the meat-eating crowds. The opening menus are below.

You’ll also find beer and wine available at Erven, which was designed by chef Erven’s new Midcourse Hospitality partner Jim Hustead along with the help of Nicole Palcyznski from Vein Design. There will also be an attached marketplace for purchasing dry goods and more to bring home.

Beginning Monday, Erven will be open seven days a week with daytime hours to start. That means 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for now, with 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. dinner hours to follow.

516 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA

Erven Restaurant Menus

Continue reading: Eater LA

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One of LA’s Best Casual Indian Restaurants Is Expanding to Santa Monica Wed, 13 Jul 2016 00:33:14 +0000

The popular Samosa House takes over where Rawvolution on Main Street left off

It looks like a four-peat for casual Indian outlet Samosa House, as the company seeks to expand onto Main Street in Santa Monica.

Per this newly minted beer and wine license, the folks behind Samosa House seem to be seeking to take over the shuttered Rawvolution at 2301 Main Street in Santa Monica. That longstanding healthy-eating restaurant closed last month after more than a decade of serving exclusively raw fare to customers in the neighborhood. The swift and rather quiet ending came as a surprise to many — including at least one Yelper who claims their son was stiffed on back pay after being given only a day’s notice of the closing.

The move into the Westside would further help to anchor Samosa House as one of the stronger casual Indian options in town. There are already existing locations in Culver City, out near the marina, and on Sunset Boulevard in Silver Lake. Eater reached out to the Samosa House team to find out plans for the space but so far hasn’t heard back. For now it seems the former restaurant space is under heavy construction, so an opening could come sooner rather than later.

Continue reading: Eater LA – All

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Suspicious Item at Downtown Santa Monica Station Briefly Closes Metro Fri, 01 Jul 2016 05:47:44 +0000 A suspicious item has just been removed from the Metro Expo Line Station in downtown Santa Monica at Fourth Street and Colorado Avenue, which had been closed briefly, according to Metro. Full rail service is resuming, according to Metro.

Continue reading: | The Santa Monica Mirror Online

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The Must Closes Downtown Just as Maré Opens in Santa Monica Tue, 28 Jun 2016 17:21:42 +0000

And more AM intel from around the city

The Must has closed

Downtown wine bar spot The Must has quietly closed, with outlets everywhere confirming the long-running spot’s shutter. Of course, this isn’t the first time The Must has gone away and then miraculously returned — the place went on a nearly three year hiatus before coming back to life in 2013.

Get Delicious in Little Tokyo

Downtown neighborhood Little Tokyo is getting in on the street food fare action with the rise of Delicious Little Tokyo at the end of July. The series of events kicks off with a sake and food tasting event, then moves to a food and walking tour throughout the neighborhood, before hitting up the Japanese American National Museum for an art-meets-food party. Full details for the weekend of Delicious Little Tokyo events can be found here.

The return of the $1 beer

There’s a steal of a beer deal going down on West Third and over at The Hudson all summer, as both spots are doing $1 beer nights this summer. It’s the first Monday of every month at The Churchill, the first Sunday at The Hudson, and both have ongoing $5 pint night specials and other fun features all summer long. Not a bad way to keep cool.

Mare Santa Monica is here already

Well that didn’t take long. According to just about everyone involved, Maré in Santa Monica opens tonight for dinner. The second outlet of chef Eric Greenspan’s casual neighborhood restaurant picks up in the former JiRaffe space on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Tender Greens gets meaty

The Hollywood location of Tender Greens is getting meaty, with a planned whole pig roast going down on July 10. The back patio party will run $45 a pop but lets guests get access to a variety of snacks and starters before digging into the main: a whole roasted Berkshire pig served in chunks, with dessert to follow (and beers from Ohana Brewing to boot).

The Royce’s next wine dinner

There’s a whole summer of wine and food ahead still, so why not make that happen at The Royce in Pasadena? The upscale steakhouse option is doing a series of four-course wine pairing dinners throughout the rest of the summer and into September, with seating limited to 12 guests in the restaurant’s beautiful wine room. Miner Family Wines is up first on July 21, with an August option that includes Carr Winery, and a September session with Ridge Vineyards.

This is Jon & Vinny’s

Here’s a quick-hit video from the Foodiamo team showing what it’s like to spend some time inside fast-moving Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax. Enjoy the pizza cutting.

Continue reading: Eater LA

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Santa Monica High School Principal Eva Mayoral Resigns Sat, 25 Jun 2016 05:45:29 +0000 Santa Monica High School principal Eva Mayoral tendered her resignation with SMMUSD yesterday, effective June 30, 2016.
She will be moving out of state to spend more time with family, including a cherished granddaughter.
In a message sent to Samohi parents Mayoral shared the physical and emotional pain she feels in saying goodbye. This
email is on behalf of Eva Mayoral, Samohi Principal
Dear Samohi Family,
It is with great physical and
emotional pain that I write you to say goodbye. Over the past 20 years, through
multiple positions, and ever escalating intensity, I have loved Samohi. I can
tell you unequivocally that I have never been fonder of any group of students,
parents or staff. It is this love that has made my life joyful, and this
decision excruciating. But you are not my only love. My son and his family, all
of whom I adore, have reached out in need, and as unfathomable as it is to
leave you, I just don’t have it in me to say no.
Students, please know that the
Samohi of your tomorrow will be GREAT! Over the past 3 years we have laid the
bedrock foundation of several powerful ways of working and
thinking: Teachers are working
together in Professional Learning Communities to better inspire, engage and
support you; Restorative practices are taking root across our campus, as
together our school strives to pull our full community closer together, by
recognizing the value of listening with intention, valuing, honoring, and
supporting expressed needs, and working to bring our best selves together (even
after conflict); Our AP course numbers (and successes) across ALL under-
represented groups have risen significantly, with Samohi enjoying an
unprecedented 37.7% decrease in our opportunity gap in just 2 years; Samohi was
accredited as a California Democracy School, and across all freshmen seminar
classes next year EVERY student will participate not only in the civic action
inquiry process, but in a Get Focused; Stay Focused (10 year plan) curriculum
designed to enhance high school support that has historically and nationally
been about making college the target, and alter it to make career the target.
This will involve working with students to discover their passions and
strengths, and then using these to hone in on viable careers that will excite
them. THEN helping them to determine the best suited college or program to
support acquisition of this goal, and lastly, what they need to do now to be a
viable and competitive candidate for that program. In short, more students will
come to see school as something being done for them, instead of to them :) .
In all
subsequent years, through every English class our students take, follow up
work, continued exploration, and strategic and timely embedded college
application support work, will support all
our students through to their successful launch into post-secondary education.
So, as much as I will miss you,
and as much as I am crying, life will be great at Samohi!
I believe to
my core in all these programs! How do I know they will thrive and survive?
Because my philosophy has always been to never work alone. I have worked hard
and long to be sure that we had a critical mass of supporters within everything
we have done. We have a huge number of brilliant and committed teachers and
administrators who will carry on and care for this work.
Several inspired and inspiring
teachers are deeply entrenched in strong leadership roles in ALL this work.
They have co-developed systems, long-range planned, and worked out strategic
implementation along with me. You are in great hands Samohi, because you are in
many hands!
Please know that I will always
love you from afar, and will be cheering on Samohi every step of the way!!!
Being a part of our Samohi Family has meant everything to me, and it will
ALWAYS be how I think of you.
With great fondness, Eva

Continue reading: | The Santa Monica Mirror Online

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Donald Trump’s campaign doesn’t have enough money for a three-bedroom in Santa Monica, let alone a presidential race Wed, 22 Jun 2016 04:11:49 +0000 If you know how to read them, Federal Election Commission filings tell a story. Donald Trump’s most recent report, released Monday, tells a rather sad one — of a campaign that falls far below basic standards of professional competence.

The most important number in the filing is $1,289,507.76. That’s…

Continue reading: – Arts&Culture

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Attorney For Navy Seal Accused In Santa Monica Stabbing Death Speaks Sat, 18 Jun 2016 06:04:16 +0000

LOS ANGELES ( — The arrest of a Navy Seal on suspicion of murder in Santa Monica shocked many but his attorney Friday spoke out.

“What most people haven’t been told is that there was no fight on the pier,” said Anthony Salerno, the attorney for Theo Krah, who is accused of murder.

Salerno says his client was only trying to protect innocent children on the Santa Monica Pier Saturday when he encountered Kris Anderson.

“Theo saw this pervert, this creep, taking pictures of little girls and he confronted him about it. Theo grabbed him and put him in a kinda a lock and asked someone to call the police,” Salerno said.

Salerno says police came to the pier, checked Anderson’s camera, asked him to delete the pictures and let him go.

About an hour later, Anderson was found stabbed in the head near the corner of 5th Street near Santa Monica Boulevard.

Krah was arrested Monday in San Diego and charged in connection with Anderson’s death.

Police would only say witness accounts helped lead them to Krah. It’s not clear what other evidence, if any, they may have.

But Salerno contends that police are unfairly linking his client to the killing because of their initial encounter on the pier.

“They connected that incident up and that’s when Theo became a suspect,” he said.

On social media, there has been an outpouring of love and support for Anderson’s family.

The 57-year-old, who lived in Santa Monica, was described by neighbors as a gentle soul who would never hurt anyone. They spoke to CBS2 off-camera, and said they don’t believe Anderson was taking inappropriate pictures. Coworkers also posted messages of support and even showcased a memorial in his honor.

Krah’s bail is currently set at $2 million.

Continue reading: CBS Los Angeles

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Intense emotions at Sanders rally in Santa Monica Wed, 08 Jun 2016 06:29:24 +0000 California primary live updates: Bernie Sanders trailing in early returns; Kamala Harris wins Senate primary June 7, 2016, 9:57 p.m. Welcome to a special California primary edition of Essential Politics, where the polls have closed but our live feed on voting across the Golden State continues….

Continue reading: – Hot List

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Watch: Bernie Sanders speaks in Santa Monica on primary night Wed, 08 Jun 2016 06:27:20 +0000 Live primary updates: Hillary Clinton embraces her historic nomination even as Sanders pledges to fight on June 7, 2016, 11 p.m. California’s primary Tuesday is the biggest delegate prize in the Democratic nominating season. Hillary Clinton eyes her spot in history Bernie Sanders vows to fight…

Continue reading: – /news/local

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‘Pedal on the Pier’ fundraiser raises over $800K to send kids to camp Tue, 07 Jun 2016 14:26:30 +0000 A five-hour Santa Monica event featuring over 100 teams of five cyclists raises money to send kids to camp this summer.

Continue reading: Los Angeles News | Los Angeles Weather and Traffic

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Two-mile stretch of O.C. beaches is closed after large sharks are spotted near shore Mon, 06 Jun 2016 04:02:29 +0000 Amid a sweltering heat wave that brought sizable crowds to Southern California’s shores, two miles of beaches in Orange County were closed to swimmers Sunday after several large sharks were spotted near the coast, authorities said.

The closure comes a week after a 52-year-old woman was attacked

Continue reading: Greenspace

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Santa Monica Fire Fighters Join Team in Calabasas Mon, 06 Jun 2016 03:59:56 +0000 Santa Monica Firefighters answered a request from Los Angeles County Fire Department Saturday for Mutual Aid to assist with the battle against the Old Fire. 

The Fire began today at approximately 4:30pm after a day of extremely warm temperatures. 

Santa Monica Firefighters responded with a team comprised of Firefighters from Santa Monica, Beverley Hills, and Culver City. Santa Monica Fire Department belongs to a Statewide system, that facilitates “Mutual Aid”. 

Fire Departments offer “Aid” to their neighbors, and in turn have help available to them when emergencies overwhelm their resources. 

At last check the Team had been assigned to structure protection in the area of Calabasas High School.

Continue reading: | The Santa Monica Mirror Online

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Santa Monica’s downtown and Main streets are set to be transformed Sunday Sun, 05 Jun 2016 04:55:33 +0000 Santa Monica’s downtown and Main streets are set to be transformed Sunday, for the city’s first open streets festival “Coast;” with a host of art, music, food, and activities on the agenda. Coast celebrates the beginning of Expo and marks Santa Monica as a multi-modal city, according to Santa Monica City.
Pedestrian and bicycle access will be provided along Main Street from Marine to Colorado, Colorado from Ocean to 5th St., and along Ocean from Colorado to Wilshire.

“This local event transforms our streets into a park for the day – with music, restaurants, shops, dance and games with family and friends,” the City said. “Stroll with Samba dancers, picnic, and feel the breeze as you move through the streets! Explore the interactive Coast
Zones celebrating culture, sustainability and mobility, as well as other
attractions along the route.”­

Participants are encouraged to leave cars at home and use public transit or non-motorized transportation to reach the event.

Highlights include a Brazilian carnival spectacular on Ocean Ave, dance classes in Palisades Park, conservancy and garden tours, and art demonstrations at Camera Obscura. 

A host of music, food, local vendors, and
entertainment will also be everywhere. For a full program head to: 

Coast is presented by Metro in collaboration with the
City of Santa Monica.

Continue reading: | The Santa Monica Mirror Online

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Inside Huckleberry in Santa Monica, Saturday 10 a.m. Sat, 04 Jun 2016 16:21:11 +0000

There might not be a busier place on a Saturday morning in Santa Monica than Huckleberry, Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb’s enduring breakfast spot. While the place is open seven days a week to steady traffic, the bakery, which seems almost possessed with the sweet, addictive aromas of fresh pastries, goes to 11 by the weekend. Take a look around, order up the famous fried egg sandwich, and finish with a platter of sweet baked goods.

The chalkboard menus at Huckleberry

The counter at Huckleberry

The pastry case

Huckleberry 4
Wonho Frank Lee

In the kitchen

Huckleberry 3

Huckleberry 2

Huckleberry 5
Wonho Frank Lee
Huckleberry 6
Wonho Frank Lee
Huckleberry Pastries
Wonho Frank Lee

In the kitchen

Huckleberry 9
Wonho Frank Lee
Huckleberry Kitchen 1

Huckleberry Kitchen 2

Huckleberry 11
Wonho Frank Lee
Huckleberry 12

Huckleberry 13

Huckleberry Pastry
Wonho Frank Lee

Outside Huckleberry, Santa Monica

Continue reading: Eater LA

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High waves and high temperatures hit the Southland Fri, 03 Jun 2016 23:18:58 +0000 The Southland began warming up for its first heat wave of the year Thursday, with highs reaching the mid-80s and coastal areas seeing some impressive surf.

Waves reached 14 feet at the Wedge in Newport Beach, as many residents flocked to the water to escape inland heat. 

Warming will continue through…

Continue reading: – /news/local

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How the new Expo Line from Santa Monica to downtown changed my life Fri, 03 Jun 2016 23:08:26 +0000 I’d like to tell you I’ve been waiting for the subway to the sea all my life, except I never believed it would happen, so I never wasted a moment in anticipation.  

(A subway to the airport? Now that is something I’ve pined for. And I might even live long enough to see it.)

This week, after the…

Continue reading: – Arts&Culture

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Map: All Fatal Shark Attacks in California Since 1900 Thu, 02 Jun 2016 23:16:23 +0000

Our nerves may be a little frayed after this weekend, when a female swimmer was attacked by a shark off Newport Beach. Maria Korcsmaros was training 150 yards offshore for an Ironman competition when she was bitten by a shark, reports the L.A. Times. Korcsmaros required surgery but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.

If you need something to reaffirm your trust of the water, check out an interactive map that NBC 4 just put up. It shows all fatal shark attacks that have happened by the California coast since 1900. We count only 14 incidents in total, with two of them happening by the L.A. County. So hey, sharks aren’t quite as menacing as popular culture make them seem.

The data was compiled through the Shark Research Institute. According to the Global Shark Attack File, which works in conjunction with the Shark Research Institute, “An ‘attack’ by a shark is an extremely rare event, even less likely than statistics suggest. When a shark bites a surfboard, leaving the surfer unharmed, it was historically recorded as an ‘attack’.”

In one of the two fatalities that happened by L.A. County, it was debated whether or not a shark-related death had actually occurred, according to the Shark Attack File. In the July 1952 event, 12 men were forced into the water after the motor for their fishing boat exploded. Three of the men were rescued. Of the deceased, one body was noted as being mutilated. It was unclear if the mutilations were sustained from the explosion or from shark attacks. It was reported that “some of those who survived the explosion were bitten by sharks,” which lead some to believe that the mutilated body was the result of a shark attack.

Which means we only have ONE totally-confirmed shark-related fatality in the L.A. County during the past 100 or so years. As reported by the Telegraph, it’d be more worthwhile to worry about snakes, crocodiles, and hippopotami.

Continue reading: LAist

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Here’s the Map for Santa Monica’s First-Ever Open Streets Event Thu, 02 Jun 2016 00:07:02 +0000

The event, called Coast, is this Sunday

Everything’s coming up Santa Monica these days. 

Since the wildly successful opening of the Expo Line extension into downtown Santa Monica, lots of people have been riding and enjoying the new line and some of the pedestrian developments that have already been added to the streets near the rail line’s terminus (like that lovely Colorado Esplanade).

But a big celebration in honor of the Expo is still on the horizon: SaMo’s first open streets festival. Called Coast, it’s scheduled for this Sunday, and will mean that about two miles of street will be closed to car traffic. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and takes over sections of Ocean Avenue and Main Street, as seen on the route map, via Santa Monica Next. The two-mile route is short compared to other rides, but jam-packed with things to do.

As with other open streets events like CicLAvia, Coast would have hubs along the route’s path with various activities and performance elements slated to take place throughout the day—a farmers’ market, dancing, Zumba—as well as multiple bike repair hubs and water stations. There will be some pedestrian-only zones, too, like the area right next to the brand new downtown Santa Monica Metro rail station, where segments of the street are closed to all but those on foot.

Continue reading: Curbed LA

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Man Pleads Not Guilty To Charges Of Trying To Drug Woman At Santa Monica Bar Wed, 01 Jun 2016 02:21:25 +0000

A Los Angeles man was charged Tuesday with two felony counts for allegedly trying to slip a drug into a woman’s drink at a Santa Monica hotel bar.

Michael Roe Chien Hsu, 24, pleaded not guilty to administering a drug and assault with intent to commit a sex crime.

Hsu’s bail, which was initially set at $1 million, was cut to $350,000.

Three women said they saw Hsu trying to spike his date’s drink Thursday while she was in a restroom at the Fig restaurant inside the Fairmont Miramar Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard, one of the trio wrote in a Facebook post.

“He pulled her glass toward him, kind of awkwardly, then he took out a little black vial,” she wrote. “He opened it up and dropped something in. Then he tried to play it cool, like checking his phone and hiding the vial in his hand and then trying to bring it back down slyly.”

“All three of us just did what we would do, what we think anyone would do,” Sonia Ulrich said.

Monica Kenyon said she saw Hsu looking over his shoulder. “I can see he had something concealed in his hand. I kept watching and saw something fall from his hand into the wine glass,” Kenyon recalled.

Ulrich immediate went to the restroom and found the woman and warned her. “I just said: ‘This is going to sound really weird. But we just saw that guy you’re with put something in your drink.’”

Ulrich then asked the woman how long she had known her date. The woman said Hsu was one of her closest friends, according Ulrich.

The three witnesses alerted the restaurant manager who called police.

Hsu is due back in court June 14 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence for him to stand trial.

If convicted, he faces up to six years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Continue reading: CBS Los Angeles

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