Local Briefs


February 17, 2022

City Rejects Vaccine Mandates

2/8/22: Santa Monica will not require that indoor restaurants and other businesses, require vaccines in order to enter their businesses.

After City Staff presented a study stating that indoor vaccine mandates were unnecessary, Councilmembers agreed that the measure was not necessary at this time.

Chief Resilience Officer Lindsay Call, who delivered the staff presentation, said that an expanded mandate is not recommended for SM because vaccination rates high in town.

Call stated that there is a lack of data indicating similar policies have been effective in combating COVID-19 and the County Public Health Department has not deemed it necessary.

Councilmembers agreed, recommending that instead of forcing more indoor businesses to implement a vaccine mandate, the City focuses on calling attention to the businesses that voluntarily choose to do so.

Los Angeles, West Hollywood and Culver City do require proof of vaccination to enter indoor restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues and personal care services. Los Angeles County still has an indoor vaccine mandate for bars, nightclubs and lounges.

Drug Dealers Arrested on 7th and Broadway

2/7/22: At about 9:30 PM SMPD Officers responded to a call about gunshots fired in the area of the 1500 block of 7th Street. A witness told police that he saw a red truck fleeing the area at a high rate of speed, after the gunshots.

SMPD officers found a Red Dodge pickup truck and initiated a traffic stop of that vehicle in the 300 block of Colorado Ave.

The three men in the vehicle had suspiciously large amount of cash. Police identified the three men in the vehicle as Andres Avelar, 23, of Modesto; Fernando Rodriguez, 19 from Turlock; and Kody Marlow, 25, from Fresno. During the course of the officer’s investigation, officers recovered a duffle bag containing over $58,000 in US currency, and over 9 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana inside the vehicle.

Officers arrested the three men and took them to the SMPD lock up. All three were booked for 11359(b) PC – Possession of Marijuana with intent to Distribute. Finding no victims with gunshot wounds, Police did not charge anyone with firearms violations. The three men were released immediately, in accordance with current policy.

Rotary Club Gives Grants

The Rotary Club of Santa Monica is currently accepting applications for its Community and Youth Grants program from non-profit organizations serving the Santa Monica community. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 25, 2022.

Grants range from $500 to $3,500. Funds may be requested for sustainable projects such as new construction or renovation materials as well as supplies, equipment, and furnishings, including items related to COVID-19 mitigation. Funds are not available for operating expenses, salaries, giving or endowment campaigns, fund-raising or other events, sectarian religious projects, political activities, and foundations that fund other non-profits.

LA County Says Fire Unvaxxed Sheriffs

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to allow civilian administrators to fire up to 4,000 members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) who have declined to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The vote came over the objections of L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva, who has declined to enforce vaccine mandates among his officers, just as he has declined to enforce coronavirus mandates on local businesses throughout the pandemic.

Villanueva issued a statement in protest against the board’s decision, which comes during a crime wave in the county:

Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Holly Mitchell introduced the motion, saying countywide compliance with the employee vaccine mandate “remains a challenge four months after its issuance.”

They noted that as of Feb. 1, 81.5% of the county’s 100,000 employees were fully vaccinated as required by the mandate.

But in the sheriff’s department, less than 60% of employees were in compliance with the vaccine mandate.

Caruso Enters LA Mayors Race

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso filed his intention to run for Los Angeles Mayor today, The day before tomorrow’s deadline. The crowded filed includes Congresswoman Karen Bass, Assemblymember Kevin De Leon and LA City Councilmember Kevin Ferrer.

Caruso, 63, whose candidacy had for the past year been a subject of intense speculation, filed a declaration that he would run with the city clerk hours before the deadline and is expected to make a formal announcement next week.

“It’s a very meaningful day for me and my family,” he told a small group of reporters standing in the breezeway of a city building in an industrial section of downtown. “I love Los Angeles, I love the diversity of Los Angeles. I’m eager to be a part of this.”

Caruso is known for signature outdoor shopping centers such as the Grove designed with Disney-esque nostalgia and attention to detail, as well as for his roles in steering a lengthy list of civic institutions.


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