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Publisher’s Notebook:

Race for Pavley Seat Underway

Believe it or not, it is time to start thinking about who will replace Fran Pavley, who’s termed out, in the California Assembly next year.

Pavley has done an outstanding job — helping to transform Ahmanson Ranch from a proposedmega-development into a huge regional park. And she nudged Soka University near Malibu Creek Skate Park to sell, providing the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area with a site for its HQ.

She has also passed legislation reducing the amount of Mercury in our medicine and has worked to encourage the use of more hybrid vehicles.

She is backing one of her aides to succeed her, and State Senator Sheila Kuehl is backing Julia Brownley, a member of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education.

Longtime Santa Monica political activist Kelly Hayes Raitt is eager to capture this seat and already has her the first celebrity endorsement from actor Martin Sheen (see related story, page 3).

The vetting will probably continue until someone wins the Democratic primary.

Obnoxious Behavior

City parking enforcement is really obnoxious (duh). I took some visiting friends through Santa Monica and parked off Montana to eat and do some shopping with them.

I put an hour and a half worth of coins in the meter and went to eat. Our friends’ daughter wanted to shop and after a while I figured I’d better fill the meter so she could have more time to spend her dad’s money. Sure enough, we got back probably 2.13572 minutes past one and a half hours and found a bright shiny white ticket on the window. Gimme a break. How are you supposed to spend money, if they won’t even give you time to eat and shop. My wife tells the story of the time she parked, got out, got the stroller and, as she was going for our son, she was being ticketed. They did not even give her a chance to go from the car to the meter. These people are ridiculous.

Major Projects Going Up

Some major projects are nearing completion in Santa Monica. The new library’s outer shell is up, and it looks kind of boring, I mean. what was that all about? $72 million and not a flair in sight. Still, I am excited about seeing the inside and hoping there is a cool auditorium. The old one was my favorite spot in the old library, and the site of City Council forums and other obscure lectures and guest speakers. It was funky, but had good bones. It will be missed.

The Palisades Development Group has a building going up on the corner of Main and Marine, near Schatzi’s, and in front of the Powerhouse Theatre, one of my favorite venues. The mixed use building will contain retail and residential and certainly is looking better than the black box building across the street.

The old Boulangerie (another place I miss) site is still a HUGE hole, but once they pour concrete, things go up quick. These two projects will anchor North and South Main Street.

And that crazy building on Arizona and Lincoln, what is that?It looks like UCLA/Santa Monica hospital on Wilshire is moving forward again. Both the new hospital in Westwood and the new Orthopaedic wing on Wilshire were stalled by funding problems. I am looking forward to the greening of the southwest corner where a small park is planned. The little park next to the parking structure on Arizona was taken over by the construction people. Be nice to get that back, too.

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