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March 3, 2014 | By Alicia Banks
"Is this a church?" Sidonie Smith said as she stood outside Grant Elementary in Santa Monica. "I'm so excited about the impact it will have on our community. I've been praying for a church to come here for 40 years. " Not all residents share Smith's enthusiasm. Since late January, some neighbors have expressed dissatisfaction with the arrangement between City of God church and its landlord, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Six district campuses allow larger churches to rent space when schools aren't in session.
February 28, 2014 | By Eric Maddy
GIRLS' SOCCER SOUTHERN SECTION DIVISION 1 Quarterfinals, Friday Harvard-Westlake 1, San Clemente 0 Santa Margarita 1, Villa Park 1 (Santa Margarita advances on penalties, 5-4) Foothill 1, Corona del Mar 0 Edison 3, Aliso Niguel 0   Semifinals, Tuesday, 3 p.m. Santa Margarita at #1 Harvard-Westlake #3 Foothill at Edison     DIVISION 2 Quarterfinal, Friday West Torrance 2, Buena 0   Quarterfinal, Saturday Hart vs. #1 Sunny Hills at Placentia Valencia, 2 p.m.   Quarterfinal, Monday Mira Costa at #3 Corona Santiago, 5 p.m. Westlake at #2 Chino Hills, 5 p.m.   Semifinals, Tuesday, 3 p.m. #4 West Torrance at Sunny Hills/Hart winner Westlake at Santiago/Mira Costa winner OR Santiago/Mira Costa winner at #2 Chino Hills     DIVISION 3 Quarterfinals, Friday Oaks Christian 2, Pasadena Poly 0 Cypress 3, Diamond Bar 2 (OT)
February 28, 2014 | By Adam Tschorn
Every journey tells a story, whether it's a weekend road trip up Pacific Coast Highway or a yearlong, round-the-world jaunt. And Tumi hopes that with its new Santa Monica collection of bags and accessories, your luggage will tell a tale too. That was what George Esquivel, the Buena Park-based shoemaker who was appointed Tumi's creative director in January 2013, had in mind when he decided to use soft, buttery leather for the assortment of duffels,...
February 26, 2014 | By Jason La
Mehdi Bouqua was lying on the sand at Santa Monica beach and taking closeup photos of beach birds. Then by luck, a beachgoer ran across the sand from just the right distance, Bouqua said, creating the unusual scale of this image. He took the photo in July 2013.   Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our  Flickr page  or  reader submission gallery .  Follow us on Twitter  or visit  for more on this photo series.
February 26, 2014 | By David Ng
After years of uncertainty, it appears that the "Chain Reaction" sculpture by Paul Conrad will be saved. The Santa Monica City Council voted on Tuesday to allocate $100,000 in public donations as well as additional city funds to repair the 1991 outdoor sculpture, which had been the subject of debate over its safety. The L.A. Now blog first reported the story late Tuesday. Critics of the anti-nuclear sculpture said that it was unstable and unsafe for the public and that it needed to be removed from its location near the Santa Monica Civic Center.
February 26, 2014 | By Roger Vincent and Richard Verrier
Renowned big-screen cinema purveyor Imax Corp. is set to break ground Thursday on a new West Coast headquarters that will house two large screening rooms, offices and production facilities for moviemakers. The $45-million complex is being built in the commercial district of Playa Vista, a planned community south of Marina del Rey. Imax's property will rise at the corner of Westlawn Avenue and Millennium Drive, next to the massive hangar where aerospace mogul Howard Hughes built his infamous wooden transport plane known as the Spruce Goose.
February 25, 2014 | By Gale Holland
Santa Monica's homeless population has dropped by 3.5% since 2012, in part because of a focus on getting long-term street transients into housing, officials said Tuesday. "It's focusing on folks who have been here the longest and who are the most vulnerable," said Margaret Willis, the city's human resources administrator. A citywide count conducted Jan. 29 found 742 homeless people living in the streets, in cars or encampments, and in shelters and hospitals, down from 769 in 2012.
February 22, 2014 | By David Ng
For more than two decades, the mile-long stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood known as Theatre Row has served as home to the city's densest plot of live theaters, drawing audiences to a diverse array of stages run by scrappy companies. On busy nights, spectators can see works by new playwrights, revisit classic dramas or take in comedy shows. Weeknights often find the area filled with students attending acting classes and auditions. But in the last several months, an array of challenges has mounted, and many observers believe Theatre Row's existence - and the cultural viability of the larger neighborhood - is threatened.
February 14, 2014
Join Los Angeles Times staff writers Rong-Gong Lin II and Doug Smith for a discussion at 12:30 p.m. Friday on the latest news in Southern California's effort to prevent damage and the loss of life should there be a major earthquake. Santa Monica recently announced plans to become the first city in California to inspect concrete, steel and wood-frame buildings and require seismic retrofitting for those deemed vulnerable during a major earthquake. The move comes after a series of reports by The Times detailing how  more than 1,000 old concrete buildings in Los Angeles and hundreds more throughout the county may be at risk of collapsing in a major earthquake.
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