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 February 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.
• At a joint meeting of the Santa Monica Arts Commission and the Public Art Committee, the two advisory groups collectively recommended that Council members approve the deaccessioning of Chain Reaction unless a benefactor stepped up within six months to cover the costs of the sculpture’s much needed repair.
• Redevelopment agencies officially came to an end on Feb. 1, so Council members began looking what it could do to ensure the shortcoming in state funding for local projects.
• The Santa Monica Fire Department hosted a Southern California training event with firefighters attending from as far away as Fresno and Riverside counties.
• Santa Monica Place featured a temporary installation of art works for nine days.
• Not all change is good was the message from an emphatic overflow crowd to Planning Commissioners at its meeting about preliminary plans to upgrade the Fairmont Miramar Hotel, which would alter the venue’s look if it more than doubles its size.
• David Ramirez accepted the Youth of the Year award in front of more than 350 guests at The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Monica 44th Annual Youth of the Year Awards Celebration and Banquet.
• Parking Structure 6, located at 1431 2nd Street between Broadway and Santa Monica Boulevard, closed Feb. 12 for demolition and reconstruction.
• The Mirror published the first of a five-part special report looking at Santa Monica’s gang violence following the non-fatal gang shooting of a Samohi student walking home from school in December.
• Residents shared their concern with local officials at a community meeting about the relocation of Common Ground (HIV community center) to the Sunset Park neighborhood.
• Landmarks Commissioners voted 5-2 that the Village Trailer Park was not a historical landmark, which was a major setback for residents and supporters who hoped to keep it operating as is.
• A Santa Monica Police Department DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoint in the 300 block of Pico Boulevard netted a handful of arrests, including four DUIs.
• Council members unanimously approved the repurposing of the High Place East housing development to become an affordable rental residence, meaning it would not offer its residents the option of affordable homeownership.
• Council members peeked into the future of the Expo Line with one of the key elements that will define the light rail’s arrival and residence in Santa Monica: Colorado Esplanade.
• Superior Court of California Judge and Santa Monica resident Jacqueline A. Connor retired, and spoke about her career, flaws in the California legal system, and how she will continue her practice by becoming a mediator with a new goal of keeping people out of court.
• Three ordinances relating to multifamily housing units, community events, and interim development procedures survived the first step in being amended by the Santa Monica City Council.