In what could be described as a year of big ups and downs for Santa Monica, here is The Mirror’s run-down of the top headlines from the year.
Please note that some of the following stories took place up to a week before or after the publication date, depending on whether it was a recap or preview piece.
• Condolences continued to flow to the tight-knit family of Morley Builders following the loss of its CEO Mark Benjamin, his son Luke, and their girlfriends after a fatal plane accident at Santa Monica Airport Sept. 29.
• With the new multi-tiered fountain in front of City Hall still leaking – and past its original September completion date – the City of Santa Monica set a deadline of Nov. 4 for the contractor to finish the project before incurring financial penalties.
• Arizona State University Online recognized Santa Monica-based online student Jamie Boggs Sept. 28 as she received an honorary game ball from mascot Sparky the Sun Devil just before kickoff at the ASU versus USC game at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, AZ.
• Saint John’s Health Center celebrated the opening of its new Mullin Plaza Oct. 5.
• Hoping to strike a compromise worthy of shaming the government stalemate in Washington, D.C., the City Council finally agreed Oct. 8 to regulate commercial fitness training activity at Palisades Park and other open spaces across Santa Monica.
• Eva Mayoral, the principal of Santa Monica High School, cancelled the Oct. 11 annual Homecoming Rally scheduled for 10 am at the school’s Greek Amphitheatre, citing disruptive behavior from grade 10, 11, and 12 students at a school assembly one week earlier.
• A 54-year-old homeless man crossing Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica was struck and killed by a motorist at 12:09 am Oct. 8 near the cross street of Pier Avenue.
• Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier saluted the Los Angeles Dodgers’ playoff run by flying a Dodgers logo flag at the roller coaster’s peak, 55 feet above the Pacific Ocean.
• The Santa Monica Mirror premiered its first weekly episode of “In The Chair” with Brenton Garen on Oct.16.
• Santa Monica High School teacher and coach of Team Marine Benjamin Kay said of his six years documenting the first flush of plastic pollution flowing out of the Pico Kenter Storm Drain, the Oct. 9 flush was the weirdest.
• A vocal member of the Santa Monica City Council, Kevin McKeown will be honored by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party as its 2013 Democrat of the Year in the 50th Assembly District.
• The City of Santa Monica officially celebrated the opening of its two new Civic Center Parks on Oct. 19 – Tongva Park and Ken Genser Square.
• The Santa Monica City Council provided some pre-Halloween fireworks after it took two stabs Oct. 22 at approving a second reading of an ordinance regulating commercial fitness training activity at Palisades Park and other open spaces across Santa Monica.
• The City of Santa Monica agreed to settle a lawsuit over redevelopment funds, paying the State of California an estimated $56.8 million.
• A 38-year-old Inglewood man, Jesus Cazares, was held in Inglewood Police Department Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail after allegedly killing Santa Monica mother Elisa Alvarez, 37, in a hit-and-run incident in Inglewood on Oct. 19.
• The Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce hosted its 19th Annual New Heroes Celebration at the JW Marriott Santa Monica Le Merigot on Oct. 22. The business community welcomed the City’s newest police officers, firefighters, and educators and administrators from Santa Monica’s public and private schools, and Santa Monica College.