Volume 9 No. 1
A Publication of the City of Santa Monica

transit mall 1Construction of Santa Monica's Downtown Transit Mall continues apace as the first two phases were completed on schedule in early July, with 189 new street trees, wider sidewalks, color-enriched concrete paving and more! transit mall 3Bus shelters, arbors, bus information kiosks, benches and street lights will be installed soon. Phase 3 construction (on the south side of Santa Monica Blvd. from Third to Fifth Street) is currently underway and should be finished just about the time this issue of Seascape reaches your mailbox. Once the fourth and final phase on Santa Monica Blvd. (the north side of Third to Fifth) is done, construction crews will move to Broadway.

transit mall 2The Transit Mall project, enhancing the transit and pedestrian experience and beautifying downtown, is due for completion in the summer of 2002 (with time off during the holiday season to eliminate frustrations for merchants, shoppers and construction crews). For more information, call the Transit Mall hotline at (800) 200-8340. For information on bus routes and detours in the area, call the Big Blue Bus at 451-5444 or visit our website at www.bigbluebus.com.

From Start to Finish
These photos show the various stages of transit mall construction on Santa Monica Blvd., looking west from 2nd Street to Ocean Avenue.

downtown on the move


Reports mid-summer indicated that Californians were doing such an outstanding job of energy conservation that the state's excess power, bought earlier this year at premium prices, has had to be sold at a loss--a classic example of the "good news, bad news" dichotomy.

Light BulbHowever, we'll choose to focus on the good news--which is that conservation has proven its value in overcoming the energy crisis that took hold of our state last year and has only now begun to show signs of abating. We can also thank lower natural gas costs and lower summer temperatures (so far) for the failure of those threatened rolling blackouts to materialize. But don't be lulled into complacency--August and September could well be our hottest months, and if everyone kicked on their air conditioners, we'd surely find ourselves back in the "black."

To keep tabs on the status of the power situation on a daily basis, visit the city's Home Page at http://santa-monica.org.

Let the 'Net Help You Find a City Job

City employment information is now as close as your own computer, thanks to recent upgrades to the Human Resources Department's website.
If you're in the market for a new job, go to http://
santa-monica.org/hr and find these useful links:

* On-line Applications - City of Santa Monica Employment Applications are now available in printable PDF format.

* E-mail Notification System – Sign up for the city's Web Information Network (WIN) and you'll receive weekly e-mail notifications of our employment opportunities.

* On-line Job Interest Form - A convenient way to stay informed when you are interested in a certain job. Interest Forms are kept on file for one year. When the job opens for recruitment, an application will automatically be mailed to you.

* City job descriptions – Read the detailed requirements for the position you're interested in before you fill out an application.

Win With WIN!

The city's Web Information Network (WIN) continues to gain converts to its no-hassle approach to keeping up with all that's going on in Santa Monica – from bus route changes to zoning decisions, WIN delivers the latest news right to your e-mail box. To sign up for this free service, just browse to http://win.smgov.net and select the areas that interest you most. Then, sit back and wait for mail call!

How to Access the Public Electronic Network (PEN):


As directed by the Santa Monica City Council to help alleviate the burden of increased energy costs on city residents and businesses, a temporary rebate of a portion of the Utility Users Tax (UUT) will be reflected in customers' gas bills beginning in October 2001 and in electricity bills shortly thereafter. This rebate requires no action on the part of utility service
customers--the reduction will automatically appear on gas and electric bills.

This temporary reduction in the factor upon which the UUT amount is calculated by energy service providers will result in an anticipated return of up to $1.4 million to customers in this fiscal year. UUT receipts from service providers will be monitored by city staff to assess the need for adjustment during the course of the year.

Questions about this program may be directed to the city's Finance Department at 458-8741.



Are you or an organization you belong to planning an event on public space in Santa Monica? Your first step should be a call to the city's Community Events Office (458-8573) for information and assistance. The City Council recently adopted an Events Ordinance (Municipal Code Chapter 4.68) that establishes a coordinated, consistent process for permitting community events that use our streets, parks, open space, facilities, or services while protecting public health, safety and welfare. The new permit process ensures that: events are compatible in size and type with their sites; impacts on neighbors and others are managed; adequate services are provided; the city's services to the general public are not overtaxed; and the city is reimbursed for services provided and facilities used.

The ordinance resulted from a multi-year effort that included interviews with city staff, site managers and event organizers; research on events management in other jurisdictions; community meetings; and comments from relevant city boards and commissions.


Perhaps the most notable change is that a nominal fee is now charged to process applications. Still, this fee, which ranges from $50 to $200 (depending on the type of event and how far in advance the application is submitted) only partially offsets the actual cost of processing applications. Other significant changes include:

* All event organizers must pay for direct city services.

* For most events, applications must be submitted at least eight (8) weeks but not more than one (1) year in advance.

* A fee of $150 may be required for notification to residents and businesses within 500 feet of a fixed event site, race or parade route, if there will be amplified sound or live music at the event, or if a Transportation and Parking Management Plan is required.

* A plan that addresses waste reduction and recycling is required.

* An accessibility plan that addresses parking, clear paths of travel, restrooms, transportation, signage, etc., is required.

* Holding an event without an Event Permit is a misdemeanor.


These activities are subject to review through the Event Permit process:

Parade* Any parade, procession or assembly of persons, animals, and/or vehicles which will assemble or travel in unison on a public street, highway, alley, sidewalk or other public way and which may either: 1) impede, obstruct, impair or interfere with free use of such public way or 2) not comply with normal or usual traffic regulations or controls.

* Any activity of 150 or more persons on city-owned, -controlled or -maintained property.

*Any other activity on public property which requires city services (such as electrical, parking meter reservation, etc.) or a tent, canopy or other temporary structure if that structure requires a permit from the Fire Department or Building & Safety (e.g., stages, bleachers, etc.).

* Festivals, fundraising walks, spectator sports, races, parades, marches and demonstrations are examples of possibly affected activities.


These activities are exempt from the permit process but remain subject to all other applicable city regulations:

* Events at city-operated venues which are approved as public assembly spaces (e.g., the Civic Auditorium, Miles Memorial Playhouse, the Pier Carousel and park buildings). These facilities have their own regulations and are not addressed by the Events Ordinance.

* Events on school grounds of SM-MUSD and SMC.

* Funeral processions.


Applications are available from the Community Events Office or from these site managers:

Airport Rod Merl 458-8591
Beach/Beach Parking Lots Mona Gandara 458-8974
Parks Sybille Moen 458-8974
Pier Aurora Astorga 458-8900
Third Street Promenade Marivi Magsino 393-8355

An Events Committee, comprised of representatives from city departments, reviews applications on a first-come, first-served basis and determines the specific requirements and conditions for each event. An Event Permit is issued as soon as each of the requirements has been satisfied and all the event-related fees are paid.


The Community Events Office is here to assist organizers in planning successful events--so the next time you're considering staging an event in a public space, contact us early in the process. There are lots of factors to keep in mind while planning your event--everything from tent permits to insurance to transportation and parking plans--and our staff can help you sort it all out. For more information, call the Community Events Office at 458-8573, or dial City Hall on Call, 458-8999, enter "1" and Message Code 936 to obtain a helpful information sheet via fax. The Events Ordinance is on the city's website at http://www.smgov.net/cityclerk/council/agendas/2001/s2001050801-F-1.htm.


At their meeting of June 19, the Santa Monica City Council adopted a $361.4 million combined operating and capital budget for the 2001-02 fiscal year, which began July 1. Education, community use of school playgrounds, accessibility, affordable housing, parking and auto dealer issues, noise, planning priorities, code enforcement, residential zoning, signage and appropriate use of increased utility tax revenue were given special attention during the public hearing and Council debate prior to budget adoption.

Characterized by the City Manager as "responsible and responsive," this year's budget increases the city's direct contribution to the Santa Monica-Malibu USD by $500,000; sets aside a minimum of $214,000 for community access to school playfields, the strategy for which is still being worked through by the city and school district; and commits $5.5 million to affordable housing. It also continues ongoing community priority programs and services, including crosswalk improvements, traffic enforcement, library expansion, repair of streets, sidewalks and alleys, and Civic Center planning.

Budget information is available on-line at http://www.smgov.net/news/citybusiness/index.htm.

Civic Cultural Environmental
OctopusCountdown to a Cleaner Shoreline


September 15, 2001, will mark the 17th Annual California Coastal Cleanup Day and thousands of volunteers will join together to combat the marine debris problem by picking up trash and recyclables all along the California coast. Co-sponsored locally by the City of Santa Monica, Heal the Bay and other organizations, Coastal Cleanup Day reminds us that the beach begins at our front door--trash travels from our streets through the storm drain system or creeks and onto our beaches and into the Santa Monica Bay. You and your family can make a difference by joining other volunteers from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at any of eight Santa Monica sites (listed below), to receive supplies and instructions on how to carry out a safe cleanup.

Coastal Cleanup Day is possibly the largest volunteer day on the planet: every coastal state in the U.S. participates, along with 90 countries around the world. In Southern California, the Y2K event brought overShark 9,000 volunteers of all ages to our beaches, where they picked up more than 60,000 pounds of trash and 4,500 pounds of recyclables. Scuba divers expand the cleanup by searching below two local piers for marine debris and sunken treasure.

Coastal Cleanup Day is sponsored statewide by the California Coastal Commission, Brita and Sprint PCS. Local sponsors also include Union Bank, Project AWARE, Pacific Palisades Junior Women's Club and Good Works Foundation.


NORTH OF PIER AT TOWER 1550 * SOUTH OF PIER * TOWER 17 * TOWER 27-28 * UNDERWATER DIVE (Scuba certification required--please call for details).




Bringing together more than 150 participants from a broad cross section of the community, the Civic Center Planning Day, hosted by the Civic Center Working Group on Sunday, July 1, was conceived as an opportunity to share information and ideas on the future of this important but underutilized part of our city. The day began with a Fiesta Lunch on the lawn of the Civic Auditorium and an Open House in the lobby, where displays summarized the Working Group meetings held during April and May. A tour of the Civic Auditorium included "taking a ride" on the hydraulic stage floor for a tour of the area below the main floor.

The ROMA Design Group team, which is assisting in the preparation of the city's Civic Center Specific Plan, presented three distinct visions for the area, with emphases on housing, open space, and transit and infill. Following the presentation, participants divided into six tables, each of which was facilitated by members of the Civic Center Working Group.
Each table considered the three visions and developed their consensus preferred vision, for presentation to the larger group.

The day concluded with the Working Group providing direction to city staff and consultants on preferred elements of the alternatives that are to be analyzed in the coming months.
The Working Group will meet in early fall to review this analysis. For more information on the Civic Center Specific Plan, visit the Planning & Community Development website at http://www.smgov.net/planning or call 458-2275.



On July 24, the City Council adopted a "Living Wage" ordinance, applying a $10.50 per hour minimum wage (plus benefits) requirement to certain employers in Santa Monica's Coastal Zone and extended downtown core, including the city itself and its service contractors. While the Living Wage ordinance becomes effective 30 days after adoption, businesses will not start paying employees at the new compensation rate until July 1, 2002. Adoption of the ordinance followed almost two years of public process and completion of a Living Wage Proposal Study received by the Council last summer from Dr. Robert Pollin of the Political Economic Research Institute (University of Massachusetts, Amherst). The ordinance, a fact sheet, the Pollin report, a map of the area covered by the ordinance and other information can be found on the city's website at http://www.smgov.net/cityclerk/Election2002/living_wage/lw_facts.htm.


CITY HALL, 1685 MAIN STREET, is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and every other Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. "Closed Fridays" (which reduce car trips and improve air quality) for the next three months are: August 10 and 24, September 7 and 21, October 5 and 19. We'll also be closed on Monday, September 3, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

phoneCITY HALL ON CALL (458-8999) recently changed its dialing menu so that recorded messages are accessed by pressing "1" before entering a 3-digit message code, while fax documents – including City Council agendas and staff reports – are available by first pressing "2" and then the desired fax code. City Hall on Call offers more than 300 recorded answers to questions on city programs and services, as well as a fax subscription service for automatic receipt of meeting agendas. For more information on this free service, for a color brochure or to subscribe to the fax agenda service, please call 458-8301.

TWO MORE SANTA MONICA LANDLORDS have agreed to settle a tenant harassment lawsuit brought against them by the City of Santa Monica, this time for $20,000. The owners of several apartment buildings were accused of attempting to force out a Sixth Street rent-control tenant through intimidation so they could take advantage of the new statewide "vacancy decontrol" law. During the two years the case was in litigation, the city's 1995 Tenant Harassment Ordinance, was upheld by the court on three separate occasions, despite the defendants' attempts to have it invalidated on constitutional grounds.

October is disability awareness month
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law by President George Bush on July 26, 1990. The spirit of the law is full inclusion in society for persons with disabilities, achieved by removing barriers to access, whether they are physical or the result of restrictive rules for participation in programs. Before the ADA, laws governing access did not apply universally, effectively preventing many people from participating in activities that others take for granted: going to the library, riding a bus, crossing a street, or understanding what is said at a City Council meeting. The public education efforts that helped inform Americans about these issues resulted first in a week to spotlight employment of those with a disability, then a month dedicated to awareness of disabilities in general.

Although National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the ADA are now part of America's consciousness, true inclusion of persons with disabilities will not come about without continuing awareness and education. The ADA does not give special privileges to a few--but it does provide for integration of 10 to 20% of this country's population into everyday life. Toward that goal, this year the City of Santa Monica will add "closed captioning" to the cable TV broadcast of City Council meetings, make crosswalk call buttons accessible, and initiate annual ADA and disability awareness training for city staff and grantee agencies.

The City of Santa Monica is proud to celebrate Disability Awareness Month in October. Watch for announcements of city-sponsored events and displays and join us in recognizing the contributions made to Santa Monica and the U.S. by persons with disabilities.

If you have an ADA-related complaint or question, you may contact the city's ADA Coordinator, Janet Hand, in the Dept. of Community & Cultural Services, Human Services Division, at 458-8701( voice), 458-8696 (TDD/TTY) or via email at janet-hand@santa-monica.org. You may also contact the U.S. Department of Justice at (800) 514-0383.


Be aware. . .they're out there


The "Moving Violator," that mysterious person dressed head-to-toe in orange our readers may have seen around town in the past few months, was most recently spotted at a Police Department checkpoint in late July, the National Night Out parade on the Third Street Promenade in August and, as shown here, talking to children about street-crossing safety at a summer Twilight Dance Series concert on the Pier. Moving Violator

The Moving Violator represents the Walkable Westside Pedestrian Safety Partnership, a safety campaign being conducted by Santa Monica and three other Westside cities--Beverly Hills, Culver City and West Hollywood.

Unfortunately, there's a little bit of the Moving Violator in all of us. The Moving Violator of the pedestrian safety campaign embodies all the risky things people do when they're driving or walking: talking on cell phones, jaywalking, running red lights, not stopping for people at intersections--actions that put everyone in danger. The Walkable Westside Partnership goal is to change behaviors so we become "reformed" Moving Violators, thereby creating a safer Westside for pedestrians and drivers alike.

During the summer, look for orange cars wrapped with the "Be aware...they're out there" message. The drivers of these cars are NOT Moving Violators, they are good citizens reminding others to be cautious.

Also, Moving Violator messages can be heard during traffic reports on many of Los Angeles' radio stations and will be advertised on Westside billboards and on Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus starting this September.

Airplane 2THE SANTA MONICA CITY COUNCIL has gone on record in opposition to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Master Plan currently under study, objecting to its significant environmental impacts. The Council also expressed objections to the impacts on Santa Monica Airport, the phasing of transportation and transit improvements, and the study's failure to fully analyze and provide for mitigation of the environmental consequences of expansion on Santa Monica. Information about this issue (including links to the LAX Master Plan) and the opportunity to offer your viewpoint are available on the city's website at http://santa monica.org/communication/cityforms/comments_suggestions.htm



To ensure that community programs for youth are the very best they can be, the City of Santa Monica has established partnerships with a variety of agencies, including the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, Santa Monica College and WISE America Reads. Drawing on the valuable resources these and other agencies offer, the city's Human Services Division has made a significant investment in its citywide Homework Assistance Program to provide enhanced academic support to our city's youth. Free, structured homework assistance programs can be found at all seven SM-MUSD elementary school sites through Upper CREST Childcare (4th and 5th graders), the Police Activities League (PAL) and Virginia Avenue Park's Thelma Terry Center (all ages).

This summer, the city joined with Santa Monica College to present an intensive training course for key city staff, addressing issues ranging from proper classroom layout and structure, to effective use of homework tools, to helping children stay organized and focused on their homework. The city has also purchased a variety of materials for each program site, including atlases, calculators, reading charts and computer software. Later this fall, all city staff assigned to work with youth will take a second course offered by SMC that addresses positive discipline, working with difficult children and small group management.

Santa Monica residents are encouraged to take advantage of the Homework Assistance Program for their children. It also offers an outstanding volunteer opportunity for anyone who enjoys working with youth. For more information, please call Robin Davidson at 458-8701.


On Thursday, September 27, the always informative Leadership Series will present "Public Process Revisited," integrating two of last year's most popular courses-- "Public Process in Santa Monica" and "Navigating City Hall"--into one substantial session. A wide range of civic issues and topics, from the advisory role that boards and commissions play in community issues to how multi-department projects are coordinated, will be addressed by staff from the City Manager's Office and other city departments. A "Guide to Public Process in Santa Monica" handbook will be given to each participant.

Leadership Series sessions are held at the Ken Edwards Center, 1527 Fourth Street, from 7 to 9 p.m. Registration is required but there is no fee. Call 458-8301 to register, or sign up on-line at http://www.smgov.net/communication/cityforms/leadership_series.htm.


*** Wurlitzer


Reclaiming a piece of Santa Monica history, the city recently purchased, for just over $28,000, a 1922 Wurlitzer band organ at a Christie's auction in Beverly Hills. The organ is being returned to its original home in the Carousel on the Santa Monica Pier after spending 54 years in private hands.

The world-famous Carousel is undergoing a major restoration and the return of the Wurlitzer will make the renovation truly complete.


CityTV, Santa Monica's government access cable channel, has won the prestigious Emmy award for a program that explores issues of teen sexuality, choices and consequences. Produced by Brian Murphy, "Tales From a Teen Clinic" was selected as the winner in the Children/Youth category. This is CityTV's sixth Emmy award. Spot Light

CityTV also recently won the award for Best Overall Programming in the STAR Awards competition. The competition is sponsored by the States of California and Nevada Chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (SCAN NATOA).

Viewed on Channel 16 in Santa Monica, CityTV airs live and replayed coverage of City Council meetings along with local news, sports, environmental programs, local museum programs, community event coverage and performing arts. For more information, check out CityTV's website at http://citytv.org.



A 66-unit, affordable senior housing project, sitting atop two levels of public parking on Fourth Street (just north of Wilshire Blvd.), is being developed by Menorah Housing Foundation of the Jewish Federation Council, with financial assistance provided by HUD Section 202 and city redevelopment housing trust funds. Construction of the subterranean parking structure, which added 294 spaces to the downtown parking supply, was completed and its opening celebrated with an "Open House" in late June. Completion of the housing portion of construction is slated for late fall 2001. For more information, contact Mike Strader in the city's Housing & Redevelopment Office at 458-8702.

Happening Around Town

Wednesday, September 5 & Saturday, September 8, the downtown Farmers Markets co-host a "Fig Festival" with the Fairmount Miramar Hotel. The Miramar's chef will demonstrate a variety of unique dishes, featuring California-grown figs. Admission is free (nominal sample fee per plate). Third St. Promenade at Arizona Ave., Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 458-8712, Ext. 2, for more information.

Saturday & Sunday, September 8 & 9: Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Art Festival, along all three blocks of the Third Street Promenade. Call 393-8355 for more information.

Saturday, October 6: Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce Health Festival, Third Street Promenade, between Wilshire and Arizona. Call 393-8355 for more information.


The Madison Performance Series offers its exciting third season of quality arts education and community performances at the historic Madison campus, 1310 11th Street. On-site parking and concerts are free. For more information, please call 434-3431, or check out http://www.smc.edu/madison/.

October 10, 2001, 12:00 noon – The season begins with an African Rhythm concert featuring virtuoso kora player Prince Diabaté, part of the California Arts Council statewide celebration of the arts. Underwritten by US Bank.

October 23, 2001, 12:00 noon –The Los Angeles Philharmonic comes to the Westside, performing all periods and styles, and educating the public to the pleasures, subtleties and complexities of chamber brass music. Sponsored by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.

November 16, 2001, 10:30 am and 12:00 noon – Back by popular demand, Mark Mendonca, star of Broadway's Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk returns with his own brand of contemporary, high energy, cutting edge choreography. Kicking off the program will be SMC's Synapse Dance Theater under the direction of Linda Gold. Sponsored by The Milken Family Foundation.


Big Blue Bus News


CATALINA EXPRESS: Saturday, September 15, $50 per person

OJAI DAY: Saturday, October 20, $23 per person

SOLVANG: Saturday, November 17, $25 per person

THE GLORY OF CHRISTMAS (Crystal Cathedral, Gardena): Saturday, December 15, $35 per person (tickets on sale Sept. 17)

Buses leave from and return to Santa Monica City Hall, 1685 Main Street. Price includes transportation and admission (where applicable), but not lunch. For more information and reservations, please call 451-5444.

Green Team logo


Santa Monica's Green Team Project mixes social interaction with environmental awareness to create the basis for a more sustainable lifestyle. You can learn how to reduce energy and water consumption, solid and household hazardous waste production and vehicle-related air emissions, while making new friends and saving money. As a Green Team member, you'll come to understand the environment on a very personal level by assessing your own household's impact on the planet. To facilitate this process, the Green Team Project provides participants with a trained coach, a "how-to" guidebook, and a resource binder loaded with helpful local information. Green Teams meet twice a month over a four month period, and meetings last just an hour and a half.

New Green Teams are formed continuously--all it takes is one call to join a team in your neighborhood. If you'd like to know a little more before making a commitment, attend one of the Green Team's intro events, held on the second Tuesday of each month. (You must call 458-8716 in advance to reserve a seat and aLLL logo parking space.)

Let the Green Team help you act on your good intentions to improve the environment--and enjoy yourself in the process! Call us at 458-8716 or e-mail green_team@smc.edu.


Civic Auditorium Schedule | Library Events | City of Santa Monica