July 15, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

WESTSIDE NEWS ROUNDUP

SANTA MONICA
Veteran entertainer and celebrity daughter, Nancy Sinatra, has sold her rambling Santa Monica residence for $5 million – just about equal to what she paid for the six-bathroom home last year. The singer’s Cape Cod-style home also features two fireplaces, two master suites, two more bedrooms and has 3,917 square feet of living space. Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Rat Pack legend, Frank Sinatra, is probably known for singing the 1960’s megahit “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’â€

Christmas has come and gone, but the battle over the display of Nativity scenes along Ocean Park Ave. in Santa Monica’s Palisades Park is going into a new year. William J. Becker Jr., an attorney for the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee, has filed an appeal to a November ruling by a federal judge that endorsed a ruling by the City Council to ban unattended displays on city property. For 60 years, the city had hosted Christmas time displays depicting the birth of Christ in the park, but the practice drew the ire of atheists and other advocates of separation of church and state, so the city ruled that the displays should be shut down. They went up anyway late last year, but on private property.

The Santa Monica City Council voted by a razor-thin margin on Dec. 11 to rescind approval of a controversial mixed-use construction project that would have obliterated the Village Trailer Park near 29th and Colorado Ave. The move came because of the election of two new members to the Council, Tony Vasquez and Ted Winterer, in November. The vote was 4-3 to rescind the Nov. 14 endorsement of the controversial project, which green-lighted construction of 161 apartments and 216 condominiums, and up to 24,940 square feet of ground floor retail. Among the opponents of the new construction project were many of the 36 people still residing at the site, who objected even though they had been offered enticements including free moves and cash by the property’s proposed developer.

Many people who live near Santa Monica Airport are hailing the advent of the Gomolzig. That’s the official name of a new muffler/exhaust silencer that was recently demonstrated for the Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic organization – which has been working steadily to make life quieter and more livable in the densely populated Sunset Park neighborhood. The German-made device caused a significant reduction in engine noise when installed on a Cessna test plane in early December, city officials said, and is likely to be installed on many if not all of the small planes which use the airport in the near future.

Police are looking for two masked men who robbed a Santa Monica jewelry store on the last day of November. Officials say the two tall African-American men, believed to be in their 20s or 30s, used pepper spray to take control of Cabochon Fine Jewelry on Montana Ave., then smashed a display case with a hammer and fled with an undisclosed amount of jewelry. Parts of the ordeal were captured on video, and released to the public.

PACIFIC PALISADES
Actor Ed Begley, Jr., showed up at Seven Arrows Elementary School on the last day of November, to speak of a subject that is close to his heart, and for which he has become famous – some say notorious. The star of television’s now-canceled “St. Elsewhere†talked to students about his environmental activism, in instances that go back to the 1970s. He told students that he bought an electric car decades before they came into general acceptance, and spoke about installing a wind turbine at his home and solar heating units he has at home. The tenor of the talk was relaxed and included a lively question-and-answer session.

This is one of the many reasons it’s good to be a well-known celebrity: Rihanna has received, as a gift from her record label, Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, a Porsche 911 Turbo S. The sticker price for this sweet ride: $160,700. But it hasn’t been exactly a season of sweetness and light for the singing superstar. She just recently broke up with another big-name celebrity – Chris Brown. In the wake of the failed relationship, Rihanna plunked down $12 million for a swanky Pacific Palisades home.

WESTWOOD
Surgeons at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center have performed the nation’s first successful “breathing lung†transplant. A 57-year-old man who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis — a disease in which the air sacs of the lungs are gradually replaced by scar tissue — received two new lungs in the operation, carried out by a team of surgeons in mid-November in a procedure that took seven hours. The groundbreaking surgery, pioneered in Europe, involved an experimental organ-preservation device known as the Organ Care System (OCS), which keeps donor lungs functioning and “breathing†outside the body during transport. The current standard involves transporting donor lungs in a non-functioning, non-breathing state inside an icebox.

Entertainment executive David Geffen has donated $100 million to the medical school at UCLA. The cash disbursement will be spread out over the next 10 years, offering needy and worthy students a chance for a free four-year education at the university’s vaunted medical school. Geffen has already donated $200 million to the school, which, in 2002 named the charitable program the David Geffen School of Medicine.

WEST LOS ANGELES
A very tight election for leadership of Los Angeles County’s sprawling 50th Assembly District has finally been decided. A certified count shows an upset, with Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom beating incumbent Assemblywoman Betsy Butler (D-Marina del Rey) by 1,705 votes in the November election. The district extends along the coast from Malibu to Santa Monica and includes the inland areas of Agoura Hills, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Bel Air and Hancock Park. Both candidates are Democrats – the District has been solidly Democratic for decades

MARINA DEL REY
The Coast Guard Foundation has established a website to honor the memory of Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III, who was slain during a drug smuggling interdiction operation off the coast of Marina del Rey in mid-December. Donations to the Fallen Heroes Scholarship Fund will help with scholarships for the seaman’s family. To make a memorial donation online, go to coastguardfoundation.org.

VENICE
The Venice Neighborhood Council swore in 21 newly elected members at a late November meeting at Westminster Elementary School. The ceremony was led by 11th District Councilmember and longtime community activist, Bill Rosendahl. Council members voted to oppose a new housing development proposed for 522 S. Venice Blvd., with the Venice Land Use and Planning Committee wanting to use the property for affordable housing and other Councilmembers holding out for a public park in the densely populated neighborhood. Right now, the property is a vacant lot, where a developer wants to build 12 two-story townhomes.

MALIBU
The U.S. Geological Survey reports a minor earthquake off the coast of Malibu occurred on Dec. 23. The 2.4-magnitude temblor rattled nerves and windows just before 10 a.m., the government agency reports, but was not strong enough to cause damage or injuries. The USGS centered the quake about eight miles southwest of Malibu and 14 miles south of Westlake Village. It was fairly shallow, about two miles beneath the surface of the waves.

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