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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 29, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta, Times Staff Writer
The fight over the fate of the 54 ficus trees in Santa Monica isn't exactly over, but a judge's decision Thursday will probably lead to their removal within a few weeks. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Ann I. Jones dismissed a lawsuit that sought a trial to determine whether the city could remove the ficus trees along 2nd and 4th streets in downtown Santa Monica as part of an $8-million beautification project.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta
Santa Monica city officials and activists are headed to court to argue the fate of 54 ficus trees previously set for removal. A hearing scheduled for today was moved to Thursday because a new judge was recently assigned to the case and needed more time to review the arguments, officials said. The city agreed to extend its previous promise to not remove any of the trees in question until after next week's hearing, said Tom Nitti, an attorney representing Treesavers, the informal group of residents and visitors concerned with protecting the city's trees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2008 | Jean Merl, Times Staff Writer
Fans and friends of folk-rocker John Stewart gathered at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica on Saturday night for a moving tribute to a musician whose career spanned nearly five decades and left an enduring imprint on the American music scene. Stewart, 68, was to have performed Saturday at McCabe's -- at least his 47th appearance there, store managers said. When he died Jan.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 29, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta, Times Staff Writer
With its storefront tributes to Southern California's surfing culture and L.A.'s hipster elite, the leafy dinosaur topiary and gleaming signs that promise multiple movies, Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade is a popular destination for tens of thousands each week. In the middle of the night, it is a destination of another sort for a smattering of the city's chronically homeless. It is those inhabitants whom social workers hoped to encounter early Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 17, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta, Times Staff Writer
The ficus crisis in Santa Monica appears to be headed to court. For the last several months, local activists and city officials have sparred over the planned removal of 54 ficus trees along 2nd and 4th streets, part of an $8-million beautification project. On Monday, Santa Monica's Landmarks Commission voted 6 to 1 to deny landmark status to those trees -- and 99 others -- in the downtown area near Third Street Promenade.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 2007 | Tiffany Hsu, Times Staff Writer
Santa Monica city officials, hoping to put an end to the blight of discarded take-out boxes and beverage cups on their beach, are gearing up to implement a ban on nonrecyclable foam and plastic early next year. Facing a Feb. 9 deadline, most of Santa Monica's restaurants have switched to biodegradable food containers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 13, 2007 | Martha Groves
The City Council has ordered the city attorney to write an ordinance that would make business owners criminally liable for knowingly allowing customers to smoke in outdoor dining areas. The recommendation was made after the city got complaints from nonsmoking patrons and restaurant employees that many owners were allowing, and sometimes encouraging, smoking on their patios in spite of the city's year-old policy that makes those areas smoke-free. -- Martha Groves
BUSINESS
December 4, 2007 | Jessica Guynn, Times staff writer
Yahoo Inc. is trying to engineer a comeback in Santa Monica, the hub of its media and entertainment operations. The Internet giant has consolidated virtually all of its Southern California-based projects under Scott Moore, a senior vice president, in a move to streamline Yahoo's business and increase collaboration. Moore is the de facto successor to Lloyd Braun, the former ABC executive and Hollywood heavyweight who left Yahoo a year ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 4, 2007 | Gale Holland
A federal appeals court Monday rejected a constitutional challenge to rent control in Santa Monica. A group of landlords had argued that eviction curbs adopted in 2002 were an "irrational response" to the city's housing difficulties and that the only legitimate policy would have been to limit rent ceilings to poor tenants. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S.
BUSINESS
December 3, 2007 | Jessica Guynn, Times Staff Writer
Found: geeks on the beach. Google Inc. has spread out like a beach towel in Santa Monica. What started in 2003 with a few dozen employees has grown into the company's fourth-largest office and fourth-largest engineering center in the U.S., with 300-plus employees in three buildings. "We have the best weather of any office in Google," said Thomas Williams, the engineering director who heads the office.
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