April 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Coastal Community News

Santa Monica News
Santa Monica Ends Ban On Big Jets Keep
The City of Santa Monica has to say the Federal Afiation Administration has won this one. The city has suspended a ban on high-speed jets at the city’s airport until a federal court decides whether the controversial restrictions are legal. Earlier, the federal agency served the city with an order saying the order tha created the ban was illegal – the FAA sets safety regulations for civil airports. FAA officials sought out a restraining order after the city set new rules on the use of larger jets at Santa Monica Airport, laws that were put in place after almost six years of discussions with the city that failed to resolve disputes related to public safety and aircraft access to the general aviation airport.

Two Convicted Of Killing Plot
Olga Rutterschmidt and her Santa Monica landlady friend Helen Golay have been convicted of murder. A jury in Los Angeles believed the prosecution story that the pair found homeless men, gave them food and a place to stay. Then, after insuring them heavily, the two allegedly ran them over with cars. Helen Golay is 77, Rtterschmidt is 75, but jurors were unmoved over the advanced ages of the killers. No witnesseses to the killings ever came forward. The prosecution introduced a long paper trail of insurance policies and payouts, the record of a key phone call to a towing company, and a DNA match between one of the victims and blood and tissue found on the car used in his killing.

Contemporary Crafts Market
June 6-8 will bring the Contemporary Crafts Market to the Santa Monica Civic Center for its 23rd season. The market will feature over 250 American artists selected by the show’s founder, curator Roy Helms. A wide-ranging selection of handcrafted items includes jewelry, glassware, ceramics, textiles, furniture, decorative arts, and more. A number of local Westside artists will also be on hand including jewelry designers Linda Shull and Robin Bartlett, ceramist Lois Sattler, metal artists Ruth Shapiro and Jami Miyamoto, collage artist Elisa Goodman, and mixed media artists Stephanie Blank and Myra Burg. Admission is $7 for adults, free for children 12 and under with a limited number of free tickets available to print from their website, contemporarycraftsmarket.com

Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a national celebration commemorating the abolishment of slavery in the United States on June 19th, 1865. This year’s annual celebration in Santa Monica will take place on June 21st at Virginia Avenue Park from 11am to 6pm with the theme ‘Chains to Changes.’
The Tuskegee airmen shaped world history by becoming the first black fighter pilots during World War II, and now inspire the next generation of world record-breaking aviators at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum and Flight School (TAM). Under the direction of Robin Petgrave, pilot and TAM founder, Youth aviators, aged 9-14 will pilot planes accompanied by Tuskegee veterans over the opening ceremonies. After their flight, the young aviators, Tuskegee airmen, and Mayor, Bob Shriver will kick off Santa Monica’s 16th annual Juneteenth Festival.
Other attractions include a live animal petting zoo, 12-foot stilt walker, traditional African and Flamenco dancers, martial arts demonstrations, spoken word, jazz, blues, hiphop and gospel music and vendors featuring international regalia. The Thelma Terry Center in Virginia Ave Park will be hosting alumni speakers, cultural exhibitions and a buffalo soldier’s reenactment. Food will also play a major part at Juneteenth with traditional African delights, potato pies, watermelon, fried chicken, and more. The festivities are free of charge. For further information, contact coordinator LaVerne Roth at juneteenth1865@roadrunner.com

Malibu News
Flamed Out
The arraignment has been postponed for two Culver City men allegedly
responsible for the Corral Canyon fire that caused an estimated $450
million worth of property damage for the third time. Dean Allan
Lavorante, 19 at the time, and Eric Matthew Ullman, 18 at the time,
allegedly started a small bonfire in the cave where Corral Canyon Road
dead-ends in the Santa Monica Mountains. A new deputy prosecutor
assigned to the case prompted the postponment.
Three other men arrived at the cave and kicked Ullman, Lavorante and
their girlfriends out of the cave. The three allegedly got drunk and
kicked a burning log down the cliff into the brush of Corral Canyon,
touching off a blaze ignited by Santa Ana winds that whipped up the
flames the weekend after Thanksgiving last November.
The men, Brian Allen Anderson, William Thomas Coppock and Brian David
Franks, are scheduled to appear in court to set a date for a
preliminary hearing on June 10.
All five defendants have pled not guilty to the charges.

Ken Starr To Help Contain Paparazzi
The City of Malibu has asked celebrity attorney Ken Starr to gather media and legal experts to help draft an ordinance that would hinder the activities of paparazzi who swarm around Malibu-area celebrities. Some of the proposals involve possible zones around celebs and a tax on the photographers who sometimes mount motorcycles to catch celebrities trying to get away. The attorney in the case has plenty of experience in the tabloid realm. He was the prosecutor in the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.

Celebrity Endorsements For Film Financier
Film financier Ryan Kavanaugh failed to show up for a court hearing in Malibu, but he did send a DVD. Kavanaugh is charged with driving a car that sideswiped a Los Angeles Police Department cruiser that was parked in Malibu, and also of driving under the influence in a hit-and-run-accident. Kavanaugh’s lawyer had been expected to reach a plea agreement at the hearing, but instead asked for a delay to proceedings to introduce what he called, “important new evidence” contained on a disc that he held up in the courtroom. On the disk were video statements about Kavanaugh’s charitable works from former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, the arresting officer’s boss, and a statement of support from former President Jimmy Carter. A possible plea agreement could lead to the elimination of the more serious charges, leaving a conviction for driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more. That would probably leave Kavanaugh with a sentence of probation, with the possibility of a short jail sentence.

SMMUSD Chief Apologizes
Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School Superintendent Dianne Talarico has publicly apologized to parents and students for problems plaguing the special education department. She claimed full responsibility for the district’s problems, which has suffered by accusations of so-called secret deals and a culture of hostility, found in an independent assessment of the SMMUSD policies. The superintendent came before the board with a draft response to the audit, using elements that minimize the use of the district’s limited cash reserves.

Pacific Palisades News
Dedicated To Esther
Film legend Esther Williams, 87, could not be present for the ceremonies, but she did send her support and will lend her name to the Maggie Gilbert Aquatic Center, which is scheduled to break ground at Palisades Charter High School this summer. The aquatics center is expected to cost $3.5 million, and 75 percent of that amount has to be raised before ground is broken on the project. A fundraiser raised a little more than $1.5 million in cash and pledges.

Carl Lewis Track Opens
Olympic track and field star Carl Lewis was on hand when a running track was dedicated to him and his achievements. High school students cheered in front of a Stadium by the Sea. Stewarts were invited to a victory lap on the new Carl Lewis bright-blue track, and Lewis was made an honorary Dolphin. Pacific Palisades Citizen of the Year Bob Jeffers noted that Lewis had won gold and silver medals for track and field, but he had never won the bronze. So he presented the athlete with a bronze scale model of his long jump that will be placed adjacent to the long jump pit. Lewis has homes in the Palisades Highlands and in Willingboro, New Jersey, where he grew up.

Hunger Walk Draws 200
More than $30,000 in donations were raised this year during the Palisades Branch Library 33rd annual CROP Hunger Walk. Communities Reaching Out to People will donate 25 percent of the proceeds to the Westside Food Bank, with the other 75 percent going to fight hunger worldwide. Fourth graders contended for top design of a T-shirt to represent the event. The winner was Natalie Wiegand, with a colorful group of vegetables that hold hands with big smiles as they walk together.

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