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 October 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 Santa Monica Mirror hosted its “Hometown Forum,” a 90-minute question-and-answer debate with 15 candidates running for Santa Monica City Council.
• A 45-day moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was officially put into effect after the Council members approved an interim ordinance to place into a holding pattern the issuing of business licenses, entitlements, or permits to companies seeking to issue the substance for medicinal purposes.
• A little more than two months after Council members had second thoughts about a smoking ban ordinance it had originally voted to pass, a full dais voted to approve an anti-smoking policy in apartments and condominiums throughout Santa Monica.
• New parking rates and changes to free parking time limits came into play, meaning parking meters were raised from $1 to $2 an hour in downtown, other meters outside of the downtown increased from 75 cents to $1 per hour, and free parking in downtown structures decreased from two hours to 90 minutes.
• A piece of Santa Monica history earned a victory of sorts as the Landmarks Commission unanimously voted the famed Chez Jay met the qualifications to be designated a local landmark.
• Council members unanimously approved renaming Town Square as “Ken Genser Square” after the City’s former mayor and Council member who passed away in 2010.
• With just a few weeks before voters hit the polls Nov. 6, Council members unanimously extended their support behind Measure J, a ballot entry, that if approved, would have extended a voter-approved half-cent transportation sales tax through 2069 to speed up construction of highway and transit projects.
• A federal court rejected a request for a temporary restraining order filed by the group representatives of the AIDS Walk Los Angeles, who filed a claim in the United States District Court alleging First Amendment violations in light of the City of Santa Monica’s policy against non-commercial advertising on the Big Blue Bus system.
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Superintendent Sandra Lyon, SMMUSD Board Member Laurie Lieberman, and SMMUSD parent and Financial Oversight Committee member Paul Silvern touted the necessity of Measure ES passing on Nov. 6 to improve facilities across the school district.
• Council members discussed the prospects of bringing pedicabs to Santa Monica, contemplating how best to implement local regulations in allowing the bicycle taxi to operate in areas such as the Downtown, Main Street, and Montana Avenue.
• A shorthanded Santa Monica Planning Commission unanimously recommended a 19-unit condominium project with a 41-space subterranean parking garage on 14th Street between Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway, but not without weighing concerns voiced from neighbors living next to the proposed development.
• Santa Monica-Malibu PTA members and parents gathered at Clover Park for a rally in support of Proposition 38, which supporters said would guarantee the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District more than $120 million over 12 years if it passed on Nov. 6.
• A person undergoing treatment of Thyroid Cancer who did not dispose of a medical diaper properly led to a large emergency services radiation response to the Albertsons at Lincoln and Ocean Park Boulevard.
• Almost three years after she stepped in to fill in as the leader of the Wilshire-Montana Neighborhood Coalition’s (Wilmont) Board of Directors, Valerie Griffin announced her resignation.
• A split City Council failed in terms of passing an emergency ordinance to shut down the “House of Rock,” a multimillion dollar Santa Monica estate on La Mesa Drive where musical events had been causing grief for neighbors.
• A moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries in Santa Monica originally set for 45 days was extended for a complete calendar year, as Council members approved a 10 month 15 day extension to place into a holding pattern the issuing of business licenses, entitlements, or permits to companies seeking to issue the substance for medicinal purposes.