In what was at times another high-stakes, high-drama year across Santa Monica, here is The Mirror’s run-down of the top headlines from April 2012.
Please note that some of the stories mentioned took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• The head of California’s community college system requested that Santa Monica College’s controversial two-tier plan to offer high-priced courses be placed on hold following a protest at the Pico Blvd. campus where dozens of students were pepper-sprayed.
• Exactly one month after Timothy Jackman officially stepped down as Santa Monica Police Chief, his replacement was named Ð Inglewood Police Chief (and former SMPD Captain) Jacqueline Seabrooks.
• The Pico Branch Library took another step toward its ultimate development with Council members choosing Swinerton Management as the construction management firm for the project.
• Council members approved a new plan that would move Santa Monica Pier parking to a new area while also ensuring the safety of those walking along its deck.
• Marriott’s Courtyard and Hilton’s Hampton Inn and Suites both took the first step in erecting world-class facilities in downtown after Council members preliminarily approved the hotels to move forward with their respective plans.
• The Urban Forest Task Force was re-established to ensure the Urban Forest Master Plan is properly executed.
• Council members dabbled with how it could best strike a balance of allowing developers to build projects that exceed height or size zoning ordinances in exchange for the right amount of community benefits.
• A minimum monthly rent payment of $50 and a more streamlined process to verify medical expenses were among the modifications for the Santa Monica Housing Authority’s Annual Plan for the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year.
• Sunset Park residents were unable to find any “common ground” with a HIV education facility’s homeless youth program, as the non-profit Common Ground announced its intentions to set up its Homeless Youth Prevention and Education operations in neighboring Venice.
• Thanks in part to the steady flow of general resident opposition to Santa Monica Airport’s operations, Surf Air said it did not intend to establish a residence at the local airport.
• More than a thousand people, novices, and expert kite flyers alike, participated alongside renowned kite artists who drove in or flew in to Santa Monica in order to share their love for the art of kite flying against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
• Santa Monica College announced it would break ground on a new building in 2013 at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, which is expected to open in 2015 and cost about $12.3 million.
• Council members expressed their view in a 6-1 vote believing the preliminary proposed Miramar “revitalization project” would indeed be that boon enhancing the city’s status as a leading tourist destination.
• The Mirror announced the launch of its second weekly web show called “The Seven Days Show” that would commence May 3 with a new episode to appear online at smmirror.com every Thursday.
• After all the hoopla surrounding Santa Monica College’s proposed tiered-tuition system may have been for naught, as the California Attorney General’s office chimed in with its two cents that such a plan would expose the school to legal action.
• E. Richard Brown, chair of the Santa Monica Airport Commission, succumbed to a stroke at age 70 while attending a conference in Kentucky.
• The Santa Monica Airport Commission convened with a packed gallery who listened to several presentations discussing the future of the airport.