The OPEN Daily » Santa Monica Essential Guide to L.A. Wed, 29 Jun 2016 05:03:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 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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Suspect in attempted Santa Monica date rape charged with 2 felonies Tue, 31 May 2016 22:20:44 +0000 The suspect in an alleged date drugging-and-rape attempt in Santa Monica that was stopped by three women dining nearby faces up to six years in state prison if convicted, officials said Tuesday.

Continue reading: KABC-TV Los Angeles News, Weather & Traffic | Southern California News

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This Santa Monica Spot Serves Two Perfect Partners: Beer and Burgers Tue, 31 May 2016 22:20:04 +0000

From the owners behind British pub Britannia

The switch up between Santino’s and new spot Burgers N Brews happened rather quickly. Burgers N Brews turned on its lights last Friday at 9 a.m. and is ready to serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the Santa Monica masses. Here, you’ll find All-American fare with grass-fed beef burgers and 18 beers on tap.

More specifically, you’ll find classic burgers made-to-order with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, as well as more creative takes like the Prince Charles on a brioche bun with a lamb patty, goat cheese, arugula, red onion, tomato and fresh mint secret sauce. The Big Boy should do the trick in the morning with its beef patty, maple bacon, hash browns, fried egg, and secret sauce. Finish the meal off with a cold beer or a chocolate banana milkshake.

Burgers N Brews anticipates staying open until midnight on weekends, so grab a friend to watch a game or bring the whole family because this spot could be a great locals hangout.

Burgers N Brews
3021 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA

Continue reading: Eater LA

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These Women Caught A Guy Drugging His Date’s Drink At Fig In Santa Monica Sun, 29 May 2016 21:14:52 +0000


A trio of women were at Fig in Santa Monica enjoying happy hour on Thursday when one of the crew saw a man pull out a vial, and drop something in his date’s drink while she was in the bathroom.

Sonia Ulrich, who told the tale in a Facebook post that went viral, then went to the bathroom to find the woman, and warn her about what they saw. She writes:

So, after feeling awkward hanging out by the sinks in the bathroom til she was done, I approached. “Hey! Um, this is kind of weird, but, uh, we saw the guy you were with put something in your drink.”

“Oh My God.” She said. Shocked, kind of numb, so I babbled “Yeah, my girlfriend said she saw him put something in your drink and we had to say something. Woman to woman…you know. We had to say something. How well do you know that guy?” I was expecting to hear “We just met,” but I got:

“He’s one of my best friends.”

When Ulrich got back to her table, her friend Marla Saltzer was talking to the server, and her other friend, Monica Kenyon described what she saw in more detail….and it’s chilling:

He pulled her glass toward him, kind of awkwardly, then he took out a little black vial. 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.” He apparently saw Monica looking. Marla said she was just going to lean over to Monica and say “that guy is acting really creepy” when she saw Monica already looking. Witnessing


As for the woman who might have been drugged, had these Ulrich, Saltzer, and Kenyon not intervened? She sat through another 40 minutes of the date with “one of her best friends”until they finished with dinner, and the police arrived.

Marla noticed him several times chinking his glass to hers to get her to drink. She played it cool. Mostly, I believed, just stunned. The staff wanted to jump in and dump the glass, dump him, do something! I was going through fantasies of walking up and demanding he drink the tainted glass of wine. Eventually, they finished up dinner. There was a delay getting their bill “The computer is down” is what the waiter kept saying to him. Then, in walks Santa Monica PD. They say “Come with us” and he doesn’t protest. Doesn’t ask why. Doesn’t seem surprised.

Because the women notified the restaurant of what they’d seen, security was able to review surveillance footage, and saw that the man indeed put something in his date’s drink. They also took the glass as evidence.

According to ABC-7, the Santa Monica Police Department said that the man was arrested, and was found with “multiple vials of a clear substance on him that has not yet been identified.”

The post concluded with Ulrich noting that the girl had parked her car at the man’s apartment before they came to the restaurant together, which, as Jezebel noted, suggests another disgusting layer of premeditation.

Before the women left the restaurant, several patrons came by to commend them for taking action, saying that similar incidents had happened to people they knew, or themselves.

Continue reading: LAist

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Santa Monica-Based Kriser’s Natural Pet Store Chain Teams with Wings of Rescue to Save Companion Pets in Need Fri, 27 May 2016 18:32:08 +0000 There is no doubt that mainstream America has embraced natural and organic food consumption expanding a niche demographic of health conscious individuals, which at one time was deemed rather radical. However, healthy eating is no longer a fad among the privileged and elite.  Natural food selection is now a lifestyle choice for the populous, as well as their companion animals. Hence, it is no surprise that Kriser’s Natural Pet store chain has grown fast and captured the attention of pet owners in four states across the nation.

Brad Kriser opened his first store in Chicago in 2006 with the intent to offer natural pet products and services to others. He had observed the remarkable benefits of feeding his own dog a natural diet and it really extended her lifespan and quality of life even at a ripe old age. 

By the end of 2016, Brad and his pack of dedicated dog and cat aficionados at Kriser’s will have opened more than 37 retail stores, which sell pet food, treats, and supplies along with grooming services. They already have 9 stores in the competitive Southern California market from metropolitan Los Angeles to Orange County.

Natural Food and Dog Training

Last week, I learned first-hand just how serious Kriser’s commitment to pet wellness is, as well as their sincere interest in keeping dogs healthy and happy. My partner Julie Iles and I (from I CAN! K-9) were contacted by Brad Kriser himself to make a visit to the company’s headquarters in Santa Monica. It turns out that the company has a unique pet policy. If you work for Kriser’s, you bring your dog to work with you. So with a “pack” of dogs to manage, they wanted us to help their employees successfully integrate their dogs in to the Kriser’s “pack” of office dogs.

Julie and I were excited to work with Kriser’s because, as animal trainers, food is obviously an important and effective motivator for dogs.  Besides serving as a reward for good behavior, we find it important to use and recommend food products that provide dogs with nourishment conducive to their cognitive health. We encourage our clients to work toward physically conditioning their canine companions, and to choose food products that enhance their potential to learn. Whether we have a dog for a limited or extended period of time through our board and train program, we use nutritious food to help dogs pay attention and be responsive to training. Kriser’s Natural Pet has helped us choose what we think are the most natural and nutritious products for our clients’ pets.

Tailored Diets

It is important to tailor nutrition to the specific needs of individual dogs and Kriser’s has helped us customize diets based on natural formulas. According to Brad Kriser, “The most important thing for our “Pack” is to assess the needs of each pet individually. Our team is trained to ask all sorts of questions to help get to the best option for that furry family member. It’s something we pride ourselves on. So among dietary offerings, we sell canned/wet food, dry kibble, dehydrated, air dried, freeze dried and frozen raw food and recommend them accordingly.”

Wings of Rescue

Kriser’s is also very much a socially responsible pet industry company. What really caught my attention was Kriser’s interest in community outreach and their demonstrated commitment to helping at-risk pets.  Aware that local and regional shelters are overcrowded, placing dogs and cats in jeopardy of being euthanized, Kriser said, “We wanted to make a difference on a local and national level for dogs and cats in need of homes.”  So this May, Kriser’s Natural Pet teamed up with Wings of Rescue.

Wings of Rescue is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by a group of compassionate pilots. According to their organization, “They have safely airlifted nearly 19,000 pets out of communities and regional shelters where they face potential euthanasia necessitated by overcrowding and a lack of adoptive homes.”

Based on data from 2008, approximately 3.7 million animals were euthanized in US shelters. The statistic published on the American Humane Association‘s website is a commonly accepted figure currently reported by many humane societies and other animal welfare organizations in regard to pet overpopulation concerns. Wings of Rescue has also compiled its own data on at-risk pets. Their 2014 data report on shelter animals can be found here.


The pets are transported efficiently by flight, without stops or overnights in trucks or vans, to regions with the capacity to care for and adopt out these shelter pets. According to Wings of Rescue, “Transporting one plane load of pets requires approximately $10,000 in donations.”

“From the moment I saw the hopeful eyes of a pet boarding its Wings of Rescue flight, I knew we had to get involved in making these miracles happen, in keeping with our mission of helping pets live happier, healthier lives, naturally,” said Brad Kriser, founder and CEO of Kriser’s Natural Pet. “We’ve challenged ourselves to measure success by the planeload, and we’re committed to helping save and rehome as many furry friends as possible. Our Pack and our extended customer family are thrilled to help make dreams come true for these pets.”


Throughout the month of May, Krisers has been asking customers to round up their transactions to the nearest whole dollar, with 100% of those roundup proceeds going to Wings of Rescue. In addition, the entire Kriser’s team is raising additional funds via an online drive at


Wings of Rescue flies canine and feline passengers in private planes to places such as Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Canada where they are placed in foster care, “forever homes” or no-kill adoption centers.

“We are proud to partner with a company like Kriser’s whose mission of helping pets aligns so well with our own,” said Yehuda Netanel, founder of Wings of Rescue.

Netanel said, “Our vision is that all animals have a chance at finding a loving family and home no matter how difficult the logistics, en route to eliminating the need for euthanasia because of overcrowding. Kriser’s support will to make that vision a reality for many pets.”

Kriser’s has also partnered with “Kriser’s Approved” brand The Honest Kitchen to get these pets’ new lives started off on the right paw, and will provide a box of its dehydrated human grade pet food to each family that adopts a Wings of Rescue Animal through the Kriser’s initiative.

“As passionate pet lovers ourselves, we’re excited to do what we can to not only help rescue these animals from over-crowded shelters, but also to help get their new lives started out properly with a natural, healthy whole food diet,” said Lucy Postins, founder and CEO of The Honest Kitchen.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Continue reading: Los Angeles – The Huffington Post

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SoCal beach water quality’s up, but LA County still has 3 of California’s most polluted beaches Fri, 27 May 2016 13:52:58 +0000 US-SUMMER-FEATURE

Water quality at Southern California beaches is improving, according to Heal The Bay. The environmental nonprofit released its 2016 Beach Report Card on Thursday, giving A to F scores to 456 beaches up and down the California coast.

One thing that actually helps beach pollution: the drought. Less rain means less runoff, which means less pollution, Heal The Bay beach water quality scientist Leslie Griffin told KPCC. Nearly 40 percent of beaches get an F grade during wet weather.

There’s another way that drought helps, Griffin told KPCC: It has made people more aware of how they use water, especially around their house, so they are less likely to waste water and allow it to flow down storm drains.

“People have been better about conserving water when it comes to overwatering their lawns or washing their cars in their driveways,” Griffin told KPCC.

The report also includes Heal The Bay’s “Beach Bummer List,” ranking the 10 most polluted beaches in the state. That list includes the Santa Monica Pier, which came in fifth place, which the organization notes is the new destination for thousands of beachgoers each weekend thanks to the Expo Line extension. Still, they note that a new wet-weather storm drain inversion project may help improve water quality.

Other spots called out in a press release from L.A. County and Orange County include:

  • Mother’s Beach in Marina Del Rey: The organization says mothers may love the lack of waves at this enclosed beach, but that the lack of circulation in the water effectively makes the water there a Petri dish — it ranked sixth on the most polluted list
  • Redondo Pier: Discharges from the Hyperion sewage treatment plant may have contributed to this beach’s ranking, according to Heal The Bay. The beach, 100 yards south of the pier, came in seventh
  • Monarch Beach in Dana Point: This beach services a nearby Ritz Carlton. “Zero star beach for Five-Star Luxury Resort,” Heal The Bay’s statement reads. The Orange County beach came in fourth place and is near one of the county’s best surf spots; the organization notes that runoff that enters via Salt Creek is treated in an on-site ozone treatment facility, but that bacterial issues persist, so they recommend swimming at least 100 yards away from Salt Creek — this is the Orange County beach’s first time on the list, Griffin told KPCC

L.A. County leads California in the number of beaches with poor water quality, according to Heal The Bay. They say that 22 beaches statewide received grades of C or lower during the summer — and that swimming at one of these beaches greatly increases the risk of contracting diseases like stomach flu, ear infections, upper respiratory infections and rashes.

“A day at the beach shouldn’t make anyone sick,” Griffin said in a release.

A UCLA study said that the public health cost of gastrointestinal illnesses caused by using polluted ocean water for recreation is at least $21 million each year in L.A. and Orange counties.

It’s not all bad news, though — several L.A. beaches scored A+ grades, making the Heal The Bay “Honor Roll,” out of the 88 L.A. County beaches graded by the organization. To make that list, beaches have to be found free of high levels of bacteria throughout the year, during wet or dry weather, Griffin told KPCC.

Also, 92 percent of L.A. County’s beaches received either an A or B grade for the summer rating period (recorded between April and October 2015). Orange County had 12 beaches on the “honor roll.” Ventura County had three.

L.A. County beaches that made the “honor roll” include three from Rancho Palos Verdes. They are:

  • El Matador State Beach at Encinal Canyon
  • Escondido State Beach just east of Escondido Creek
  • Long Point in Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Abalone Cove Shoreline Park in Rancho Palos Verdes
  • Portuguese Bend Cove in Rancho Palos Verdes

Those beaches aren’t among the county’s most popular, which may contribute to helping them stay so clean.

“These beaches are beaches that don’t have large storm drains pumping polluted water into their area, so they’re a little bit more protected, and because of that, they don’t have as many sources of pollution, and they tend to keep clean water quality throughout the year,” Griffin told KPCC.

Orange County ranked better than L.A. County: 94 percent of the 114 beaches monitored by the organization scored A grades — that’s 3 percent better than its five-year summer average. Ventura County showed some of the best water quality in the state, with perfect A grades at all 40 of the beaches the organization monitors for a third straight year.

Heal The Bay also said that California’s overall water quality during the summer was excellent, with 95 percent of the 456 beaches it monitors receiving either A or B grades, which is on par with last year.

Heal the Bay advises swimmers to stay at least 100 yards away from flowing storm drains and piers. They advise to avoid enclosed beaches and creek mouths. They also suggest that swimmers wait at least three days after rain before entering the ocean.

You can also check out to get the latest grades for any California beach, with nearly 600 beaches updated weekly — every Friday. Griffin said that A water is great, so you won’t get sick from that water.

The organization said in a press release that it’s expanding a pilot program to predict water quality, working with UCLA and Stanford researchers. They say they will be publishing predictive grades for Santa Monica and Long Beach based on statistical models.

Heal The Bay is advocating for public funding to build projects to capture, cleanse and reuse runoff instead of having it flow out to the ocean.

“The adage of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’ applies completely to water. It’s not just for solid waste. We really urge everyone to use every drop of water twice. I mean, capture your rain, use that to water your gardens, don’t overwater your lawn, don’t water your lawn in the middle of the day too — that’s a giant waste. Really make sure that when you’re using water, you’re using it effectively and wisely,” Griffin said.

Griffin also made a plea that dog owners  pick up after their pets.

“If you leave anything behind, that’s going to make its way down the watershed and out to the ocean the next time you go swimming,” Griffin said.

Read the full report here:

Heal The Bay Beach Report Card

Continue reading: Latest News | 89.3 KPCC

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Rachelle and Tom Barrack Host Controversial Trump Fundraiser in Santa Monica Thu, 26 May 2016 05:33:51 +0000
The L.A. Times is reporting that republican candidate Donald Trump is heading to Santa Monica this evening to raise money at the home of Rachelle and Tom Barrack, according to an invitation obtained by The Times.

Tom Barrack is the founder, chairman and CEO of Colony Capital, a private equity real estate investment firm seeking investment opportunities in China, the fastest growing part of its business.

The Barrack family has embraced the reality TV star despite his pattern of hate speech. Trump has a lengthy track record of regularly inciting political violence, serial lying, misogyny, and rampant xenophobic and racist comments, including a pledge to ban 1.6 billion Muslims from entering the U.S.

The invitation obtained by The Times.

Guests paying $25,000 per person receive a photo and can attend the reception and dinner. Anyone paying $100,000 per couple becomes a member of the host committee and also gets a Republican National Committee Regent membership, the newspaper reported.

The invitation notes the first $2,700 raised will go to Trump’s primary campaign and the second $2,700 to his general election campaign.

The next $33,400 will go to the RNC’s operations account, followed by the next $100,200 to the party’s convention account.

Another $100,200 will be allotted to the RNC’s Headquarters account. The $110,000 after that will go to the state parties, and the final $100,200 will go to the RNC’s Legal Proceedings account.

The hosts listed on the Trump fundraiser invitation are RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, Trump Victory Finance Chairman Lewis Eisenberg and Trump campaign Finance Chairman Steven Mnuchin, The Times reported.

Continue reading: | The Santa Monica Mirror Online

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Santa Monica Writer Says Her Elitist Anti-Expo Line Story Had ‘Best Of Intentions’ Wed, 25 May 2016 16:43:44 +0000


Over the weekend Angelenos celebrated the opening of the Expo Line extension that would connect downtown Los Angeles with the beach for the first time in over 60 years. Finally, we could visit the beach in Santa Monica without having to find parking in one of downtown Santa Monica’s terribly crowded parking structures!

Not everyone shared this sentiment, however. Over at Thrillist L.A. in a now-deleted post titled “Unpopular Opinion: The Subway To Samo Is A Bad Idea,” “born and bred Santa Monica local” Alexandra Cheney wrote that while she was a big supporter of Metro’s expansion, she’s beginning to have second thoughts:

The arrival of the metro marks the first time that passenger trains have traveled the 15 miles between Downtown Los Angeles and the Pacific Ocean in nearly 65 years — and I think we can all agree, a lot has changed in LA since the early 1950s, including an influx of crime in areas that seemed at one time to be totally safe. There’s no question that this new train is going to be bringing new people to Santa Monica — and that raises the possibility of crime, accidents, and the pitfalls of mass amounts of tourists with access to a part of the city that was at least geographically difficult to access before.

“New people,” huh?

What used to be Cheney’s “semi-private quiet beachside hamlet” (hah) is now under assault from outsiders thanks to the Trojan horse that is the Expo Line. At the very least, Cheney’s opinion is elitist. Using terms like “geographically difficult to reach” and “semi-private” to describe an entire city is laughable, particularly one that was already connected to neighboring cities via buses and also served by one of the busiest freeways in America. Despite what some of its residents like to think, Santa Monica is an open city, not a fenced-off country club.

At its worst, opinions like Cheney’s are classist and racist. When talking about a city that is 78 percent white, it doesn’t take too many mental hurdles to figure out what the phrase “new people” is a dog whistle for.

Simply being a law-abiding black person in Santa Monica can lead to an outsized police response or, even worse, violent arrest. Santa Monica’s segregated beach doesn’t seem like all that of a distant memory. This kind of coded language sadly isn’t anything new: Westside opposition to public transit has long been tinged with racism.

Cheney continues:

The [Santa Monica Police] department has reconfigured its beats, or areas of patrol, based, in part, on the increased traffic expected from the new train — and according to Saul Rodriguez, a lieutenant for the Santa Monica Police Department media relations team — the two crimes police are most expecting to increase are bike and car burglaries, followed by a rise in traditional traffic accidents as well as train to car accidents.

Rodriguez says he was misinterpreted. “I said we have no idea what to expect at this point,” Rodriguez told

L.A. Weekly

. “At no point did I ever say we can attribute an increase in crime to the train.”

But what about other cities in Los Angeles County that also had new rail lines connect them to the rest of the world?

I talked to Detective Sergeant Robert Bartl of the South Pasadena Police Department, and he told me, although he lacks any “hard stats that would show the train has brought in more crime,” his department has apprehended several alleged criminals, who, when questioned, admitted the Gold Line — which opened in 2003 between DTLA and Pasadena — played a part in their crimes.

(What “part” the Gold Line plays in these crimes is unclear. Perhaps it can be considered an accomplice. I hope Metro has a good lawyer.)

When Bartl says he lacks any “hard stats” that would prove Cheney’s point, it’s because they simply don’t exist! Cheney even quotes an expert, UCLA professor of urban planning Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris, who tells her that decades (decades!) of research determined that “crime doesn’t travel.” Simply put, Loukaitou-Sideris says, “You’re not going to see any stolen big screen TVs on the train.”

But Cheney is scared anyway—forget what these so-called experts say.

Naturally the piece received an intense backlash, which we presume led to the piece getting taken down from Thrillist.

Cheney finally responded on Tuesday night:

We’re curious to know what was lost in the editing process. Send us your original, unedited story to!

As for the rest of us, don’t let bad NIMBYs like Alexandra Cheney keep you from exploring Santa Monica. If you want some tips, check out our guide to exploring Santa Monica via the Expo Line.

Continue reading: LAist

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Thousands pour into rally for Bernie Sanders in Santa Monica Tue, 24 May 2016 04:29:53 +0000 Thousands gathered for a Monday night rally held at Santa Monica High School for presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders.

Continue reading:

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Santa Monica Bartender Seeks Love on ‘The Bachelorette’ Tue, 24 May 2016 03:28:03 +0000 See what he says are his best attributes that will have this season’s bachelorette, JoJo Fletcher, falling for him.

Continue reading: Santa Monica Patch

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