Sun sets on Bethel’s Video World

first_imgArts & Culture | Business | Community | SouthwestSun sets on Bethel’s Video WorldJanuary 19, 2021 by Olivia Ebertz, KYUK – Bethel Share:Jenny Suh stands in front of Video World in Bethel. Suh said that the small family business slowed to a halt during the pandemic. (Katie Basile/KYUK)One of the last remaining video stores in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta closed up shop on Jan. 10 after holding on for a remarkably long time. Most video stores in the U.S. closed over a decade ago. In Bethel, the exorbitant cost of high-speed internet kept the business alive.Audio Playerhttps://media.ktoo.org/2021/01/210115_video_world_closing_pkg.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Jenny Suh is hauling the last bags of trash out of Video World, which first opened in 1986. She handed in the keys on Jan. 11. Her store sits in the Bethel Native Corporation building under a big wooden sign that bears its name. It’s utilitarian, but the peeling paint patina adds a certain nostalgia for simpler times when you had to go to a store to borrow a movie instead of endlessly scrolling through options on streaming platforms.The dusty, light blue walls are lined with empty slots that once held racks of DVDs. The carpet is best described as “neutral funky.” This was where Suh worked almost every day for the last eight years.“I worked, like, 12 hours every day, you know,” Suh said. “This place has never been painted or changed carpet because we only close Christmas Day.”Suh and her husband took over the store from her husband’s uncle. Her husband is from Bethel and was raised here by Korean immigrants. Jenny spent her early childhood in Seoul before her family relocated to Hawaii’s Big Island. That’s where she met her husband. She’s the one that brought him back to Bethel.“I wanted to try something new and had to convince him,” said Suh.Suh said that her small business slowed to a halt during the pandemic. But even without COVID-19 lockdowns, the video sales industry was on the way out due to the popularity of online streaming services.“I mean, we only lasted this long because the internet, they charge so much,” Suh said.Melissa Valadez, a friend and customer of Suh’s, said that when the movie theater opened a few years back, business got so bad that the store needed the income from selling pull tabs to stay open.“It kind of just started not doing so well. Rippies still kept it alive, but even that, you know, and then with the pandemic,” said Valadez.Suh officially stopped renting out videos a few years back, but she continued renting to a select group of 30 or so people who requested the service, including Valadez.“Because she trusted us. She knew we were going to return them,” said Valadez.Suh said that one of the shop’s struggles had been customers who broke or mishandled the videos and tried to get their money back, but she said she liked most of her customers.“The regulars that I met, even when they don’t, you know, not for buying anything, they stop by and talk story. And it’s one of the most things I like,” said Suh.Valadez and her sons will miss them when the Suh’s return to Hawaii. Their families share a Korean culture, which is not uncommon here in Bethel.  Korean Americans are a higher portion of Bethel’s population than of any other community in the state, according to U.S. census data from 2010.“My kids love them. They call Jenny “imo,” which is “aunt” in Korean,” said ValadezOn the other hand, Valadez said that she is happy for Jenny’s upcoming move.“She’s going to Hawaii,” she said. “It’s warmer.”Share this story:last_img read more

Surrounded by pain, doctors turn to poetry, writing to cope with loss

first_imgShreve, a pediatric pulmonologist in St. Paul, Minn., is not alone in turning to poetry to help him cope with the emotional burden of work as a physician. So many health care professionals write verse that it has become its own genre, with distinct literary journals and prizes. Monday is the deadline for one such competition, the international Hippocrates Prize, which honors amateur poetry about medical subjects, with a special category for verse written by employees of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service.In the US, the flagship publication for fiction writing about medicine is the Bellevue Literary Review, founded in 2000 by physicians with offices in the country’s oldest public hospital. The journal receives so many submissions, it has a lower acceptance rate than the New England Journal of Medicine.advertisement By Ike Swetlitz Feb. 26, 2016 Reprints HealthSurrounded by pain, doctors turn to poetry, writing to cope with loss Watch: In stressful hospital corridors, a singing staffer eases patients’ anxiety MINNEAPOLIS — The details of the day have not left Dr. Michael Shreve, even after a decade: The blood gurgling into his infant patient’s lungs. The medications he sprayed to try to stop the bleeding. The manual pump he used to keep baby Rose breathing until her family came to say goodbye.Rose died that day, and Shreve felt utterly helpless. “I did nothing for this child,” he said. “I did nothing for this family.”Years later, he poured that day into a poem, memorializing Rose in verse: “Red returns/ Heart rate stumbles/ Monitors warn/ Tiny lungs stiffen/ Too much.”advertisement Related:center_img The genre has blossomed as doctors have become more comfortable acknowledging their humanity and vulnerability through prose, said Dr. Paul Gross, the founder and editor in chief of the online journal Pulse, which carries the tagline “voices from the heart of medicine.”Doctors deal with so many difficult situations each day, Gross said. “How do you process it? And how do you remain whole as a person?” Writing helps them work through those issues by forcing reflection, said Gross, who also teaches in the family medicine department at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Dr. Michael Shreve writes poetry to help him process the emotional work of caring for sick children. Jenn Ackerman for STAT Dr. Danielle Ofri, the editor in chief of the Bellevue Literary Review, said writing can allow doctors to slow down and revisit situations that seemed to race by in the moment.As a resident, Ofri barely got a break. “A patient died, and the bed was filled in 30 minutes,” she said. But when she wrote, she could slow things down.“You can stretch time in the past. You can speed up time. You can reframe it,” said Ofri, an associate professor at New York University’s School of Medicine. “You couldn’t change what happened, but there are so many ways in which one can write about it.”For Dr. Marilyn Mellor, a retired emergency pediatrician who lives in a suburb of Minneapolis, poetry is a chance to remember the lives she couldn’t save, such as that of a baby born four months premature:600 grams of baby,           a little more than a can           of soda in weight, delivered in a bathtub            by wide-eyed medics.The baby died seven hours after arriving at the hospital.Mellor also wrote of another patient:Sapphire, why did you stop breathing at nap time?Did you forget its simple rhythm or did you follow whispers about a place free from sorrow?“It’s so hard when a child dies in the ER,” Mellor said. “And she was so beautiful. She was one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen.”Both Mellor and Shreve have been writing for many years. Mellor holds a master’s in fine arts and recently published a short book of poems; Shreve took a handful of writing classes in college and keeps notebooks of handwritten ideas. He comes from a literary family, too: His sister, Ginny, was nominated last year for a Pushcart Prize, a prestigious literary award, and a bar in Bozeman, Mont., hosts a baseball-themed poetry reading named after his late brother.Dr. Michael Shreve kept notebooks for years. Jenn Ackerman for STATAfter Rose died, Shreve jotted down some of his thoughts in one of his notebooks. About a decade later, he saw a notice in the professional journal Minnesota Medicine for a poetry contest — and decided to write about Rose.The poem was inspired in part by a card he received from Rose’s parents soon after her death.“Thank you for saving my baby’s life so I could hold her when she went to heaven,” the card began.That note helped Shreve realize that even though he’d felt like a failure in that case, he had helped the family by keeping Rose alive long enough for them to say goodbye. He came to accept the fact that he did not have control over Rose’s life.“You think you are about to be in control,” Shreve said. “That’s what you want to be. But you realize what you really are is spending a lot of time just picking up the pieces.”Poetry is one way Shreve has found to express that feeling. The poem “Rose” ends:In her mother’s arms now Comforted, comfortable My turn ends Slip out unnoticed“…when she went to heaven.” Tags artdoctorspediatricslast_img read more

Public Citizen urges FDA to ‘immediately’ withdraw drug for preventing premature birth

first_img Tags drug pricinggovernment agenciespharmaceuticals Log In | Learn More Public Citizen urges FDA to ‘immediately’ withdraw drug for preventing premature birth By Ed Silverman Oct. 8, 2019 Reprints M. Spencer Green/AP Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Unlock this article — plus daily coverage and analysis of the pharma industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED [email protected] What is it? What’s included?center_img @Pharmalot GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. About the Author Reprints Pharmalot As an Oct. 29 regulatory meeting nears to review the Makena treatment for preventing premature births, a consumer advocacy group is urging the Food and Drug Administration to immediately withdraw the controversial drug because it failed a confirmatory study.In a citizen’s petition being filed with the FDA on Tuesday, Public Citizen pointed to a required followup effectiveness study that was released in March, showing Makena is no better than a placebo in preventing preterm birth or major complications from preterm birth. The advocacy group also argued the agency erred when it endorsed the medicine in 2011 under the accelerated approval program, because data from a Phase 3 study that largely formed the basis for approval was “seriously flawed.” Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Ed Silvermanlast_img read more

Former fund rep and two others duped investors

first_img A former mutual fund rep, along with two other men and a pair of mortgage investment companies (MICs), defrauded investors by misrepresenting how their funds would be used, a regulatory hearing panel has concluded.A hearing panel of the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) ruled that former fund rep and insurance broker Donald Bruce Edward Wilson, along with David Scott Wright and Patrick Prinster, and two companies, DominionGrand II Mortgage Investment Corp. and DominionGrand Investment Fund Inc., defrauded about 40 investors of more than $1.1 million. The panel found that the marketing materials the men and the companies produced led investors to believe that their money would be invested in mortgages secured by real estate, but that the funds were instead used to finance the start-up costs of other companies.“We find that the use of investor funds by MIC II and MIC III was not the use represented to investors. This conduct clearly constituted a deceitful act,” the panel said in its ruling.“We also find that the dishonesty caused deprivation to the investors,” the panel noted. “That funds were diverted from investing in mortgages secured by real estate and actually paid to related companies and other persons on an unsecured basis, caused both the risk of loss and actual loss to investors.”Sanctions will be handed down after the panel considers submissions from the regulator and the respondents in the case later this year. Block letters spelling fraud, with magnifying glass andreypopov/123RF Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords EnforcementCompanies British Columbia Securities Commission Mouth mechanic turned market manipulator PwC alleges deleted emails, unusual transactions in Bridging Finance case James Langton BFI investors plead for firm’s sale Related news Facebook LinkedIn Twitterlast_img read more

VC investment program gets $450-million budget pledge

first_img Relief for the repayment of Covid benefits Related news The federal government is putting another $450 million into the venture capital sector over the next five years.In Monday’s budget, the government pledged another round of funding for its Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative (VCCI) — the follow-up to the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP), a program that was launched in 2013 to drive venture investment by seeding an array of venture funds alongside private sector investors. Combined, the VCAP and the VCCI, which was announced in 2017, have provided around $840 million in federal funding to VC investment funds. According to Monday’s budget, that federal money has helped support over $3 billion in venture financing over the years.The first wave of VCCI investments involved $279 million in capital contributed by the federal government into four large VC funds, which ended up raising a total of $1.18 billion.The federal government accounted for about 24% of the total capital raised by the four VC funds, which was matched by high net-worth investors and family offices. Pension funds provided about 20%, followed by retail funds at 15%, and banks and insurers provided 9%, with the rest coming from a variety of other sources.Those VC funds are now starting to make their investments in companies that need capital, with the expectation that investors, including the federal government, will eventually see returns.Of the additional $450 million in VCCI funding the federal government is promising over the next five years, $50 million will be earmarked to support investments in life science technologies and $50 million will be targeted to increase access to venture capital “for underrepresented groups, such as women and racialized communities.” Feds promise economic “hat trick” with national child care plan Horn speaker for public relations sign symbol, vintage color - sun with blue sky 123RF Feds propose allowing e-signatures for key tax forms  Annuity measures announced in 2019 get nod in federal budget James Langton Budget promises funding for national regulator effort Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Keywords Venture capital,  Budget 2021 Share this article and your comments with peers on social medialast_img read more

BMW will offer a FWD version of the new X2 in the U.S.

first_img ‹ Previous Next › Trending Videos COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS RELATED TAGSBMWX1X2News PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca BMW is hoping the X2 will stand apart from the X1 for its bolder styling, and is aiming for a demographic younger than BMW’s average buyer, who is typically in their upper 40s. Advertising for the X2 will focus on internet marketing, particularly social media. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 2018 BMW X2 See More Videoscenter_img advertisement The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Trending in Canada We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” BMW‘s new X2 subcompact crossover will be offered in a front-wheel-drive (FWD) trim in the U.S., just a couple of months after the all-wheel-drive (AWD) model bows in spring 2018, but won’t be coming to Canada with that drivetrain, BMW Canada confirmed today.The new AWD X2 xDrive28i is set to hit U.S. dealerships in March, while the FWD X2 sDrive28i will arrive later in the spring, BMW North America product manager John Kelly told Automotive News. North of the border here, the AWD xDrive28i will be the only version available.Stateside, opting for the FWD X2 will knock about US$2,000 off the AWD X2’s US$39,395 sticker price. Both versions will still cost more than BMW’s entry-level X1, even though they’ll be technically smaller than that model. The X1 and X2 share BMW’s UKL FWD platform, which can also be found under some Mini models; the X2 comes driven by a 228-hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo. last_img read more

Principal and Teacher of the Year Chosen

first_imgTeacher at the Holland High School, Dageanna Spencer-Hull and Principal of the Rollington Town Primary School, Dr. Margret Bailey, were on Tuesday (December 4),  announced as the 2012/2013 Lasco/Ministry of Education Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year, respectively.The two were chosen from a shortlist of 12 educators, six in each category, following several intense rounds of interviews, where they were judged on various criteria. These included: employment status, classroom commitment to education, professional development, community involvement, effective communication skills and scholarly work.First and second runner up for Teacher of the Year were Cassandra Rowe and Dayton Gray, respectively, while Yvonne Miller Wisdom and Arnaldo Allen were named first and second runner up for Principal of the Year.Speaking at the awards ceremony, which was held at the Wyndham Kingston hotel in New Kingston, Education Minister, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, congratulated the educators on a job well done.“The standards of excellence, which are to be found among all the nominees… must become the standard of all,” he said.Rev. Thwaites  emphasised  that teachers play a vital role in molding the minds and characters of the nation’s youth and therefore the quality of those in the profession must be of the highest standard.“The teaching profession is the absolutely crucial initiative of educational transformation in Jamaica. Quality in teaching, every scientific study tells us, is the bedrock ingredient in good outcomes,” he said.As such, he said the Ministry continues to work to improve the standard and quality of teaching in Jamaica, in an effort to further improve the education system.“The Jamaica Teaching Council is going to be that agency of the state that will set the high standards for the teaching profession. The government has undertaken a process of consultations with representatives of the teachers, parents, churches and the communities to ensure that we have a product that we can all accept and which will lift the lustre of the teaching profession,” the Minister said.Rev. Thwaites also congratulated the Lascelles Group for its commitment to education, pointing out that the company’s continued efforts, over the years, is the kind of partnership that is necessary for the further development of education sector.“The government can’t do it alone, parents can’t do it by themselves, and the private sector has a role to play, as the whole community must be engaged,” he said.The Principal of the Year and Teacher of the Year  walked away with a number of prizes, including: $100,000 each; a trip to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASDC) in the United States; a champion trophy; plaque; Lasco gift basket; and spa gift certificate.Mrs. Spencer-Hull, who said it was her lifelong dream to become a teacher, thanked her Principal, Pauline Reid, for nominating her for the prestigious award. She further thanked the Ministry of Education and Lasco “for further extending their confidence in me.”The social studies, sociology and religious education teacher said she is grateful for the honour. “Just two weeks ago, I laid my father to rest, and I know this is what he would have wanted and so it’s very touching,” she said.Dr. Bailey, who is an Educational Psychologist, with an extensive record in the field of education, said she is humbled by the award and accepted it on behalf of all the hard working principals in Jamaica.“Today, being the recipient of this prestigious award has inspired me into action. Like President Barack Obama, I am fired up. I pledge to commit to the work I started to help Jamaica achieve its 2030 National Development Goals,” she said.Dr. Bailey noted that despite the challenges of the profession, she is committed to changing lives in a positive way and will continue to make a difference in the lives of the children who are entrusted in her care. “I strive to be the best principal that I can be,” she said. RelatedPrincipal and Teacher of the Year Chosen RelatedPrincipal and Teacher of the Year Chosen RelatedPrincipal and Teacher of the Year Chosen Advertisementscenter_img Principal and Teacher of the Year Chosen EducationDecember 5, 2012 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Story HighlightsTeacher at the Holland High School, Dageanna Spencer-Hull and Principal of the Rollington Town Primary School, Dr. Margret Bailey, were on Tuesday (December 4),  announced as the 2012/2013 Lasco/Ministry of Education Teacher of the Year and Principal of the Year, respectively.The two were chosen from a shortlist of 12 educators, six in each category, following several intense rounds of interviews, where they were judged on various criteria. These included: employment status, classroom commitment to education, professional development, community involvement, effective communication skills and scholarly work.First and second runner up for Teacher of the Year were Cassandra Rowe and Dayton Gray, respectively, while Yvonne Miller Wisdom and Arnaldo Allen were named first and second runner up for Principal of the Year.    last_img read more

Drafting Instructions Given for Local Governance Laws

first_imgRelatedHouseholders Urged to Check Wiring Before Putting Up Christmas Lights Story HighlightsThese are: the Local Governance Act; the Local Government Financing and Financial Management Act; and the Local Government (Unified Services and Employment) Act.Mr. Arscott said the legislation will facilitate the modernisation of the local government system in Jamaica.The laws are a major step in adding legal authority to the role and functions carried out by the authorities. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail RelatedKSAC Expects Huge Crowd for Downtown Shopping Extravaganza Advertisements Cabinet has issued drafting instructions for three strategic laws, which are pivotal to the process of local government reform.These are: the Local Governance Act; the Local Government Financing and Financial Management Act; and the Local Government (Unified Services and Employment) Act.This was revealed by Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, while addressing the launch of the governance thematic working group, at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices, on December 17.Mr. Arscott said the legislation will facilitate the modernisation of the local government system in Jamaica and enable local authorities to more effectively respond to the citizenry.He said the laws are a major step in adding legal authority to the role and functions carried out by the authorities, which will allow them to operate within a new governance framework and become more responsive to its citizens.“It also creates the context for the legitimate expectations of citizens for higher levels of service delivery, which is dependent on how an organisation is structured to provide those services,” Mr. Arscott pointed out.The Minister also informed that the draft of the Bill for the inclusion of local government in the Constitution is being reviewed by the Ministry, having received the second draft last week.“Similarly, the progress made through our collaboration with the Chief Parliamentary Counsel in finalising drafts of the new National Building Bill, is another step in demonstrating more effective governance of the built environment at the level expected in a 21st  Century environment,” Mr. Arscott said.In the meantime, the Minister said the formation of the governance thematic working group is geared at ensuring that the strategies and programmes identified for action under the Medium Term Socio-Economic Policy Framework for 2012-2015, are achieved.The group comprises representatives from a number of public and private sector organisations and has responsibility for coordinating and monitoring activities related to national outcome number six – Effective Governance – under the Vision 2030 National Development Plan.“Having the Ministry of Local Government lead this group is most appropriate, because of the number of strategic priorities that have direct relevance to the portfolio responsibilities of this Ministry,” he said.Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Colin Fagan, said he anticipates that the guidance to be provided by the group on policy and strategy related to the governance thematic areas of focus, will result in a better governance structure.“This structure will enable citizens to be more involved in the governance process. This will, in turn, strengthen and safeguard democracy, promote equal rights and social justice, as well as create a framework in which the creativity and talents of the total Jamaican people can be fully expressed and geared toward solving local problems as well as national issues,” he said.For his part, Programme Director, Vision 2020 Jamaica Secretariat, Richard Lumsden, added that the PIOJ, in its role as national Secretariat for Vision 2030 Jamaica, pledges its technical, logistical and Secretariat support for the operation of the governance thematic working group.He informed that to date, the PIOJ has established some 11 thematic working groups in a wide range of areas, including education and training, health, justice and national security.“We welcome the formation of this group as an important step forward in supporting the implementation of priorities, strategies and actions for effective governance in Jamaica in the medium and long term,” Mr. Lumsden said.center_img Drafting Instructions Given for Local Governance LawsJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlay RelatedReactivation Fee Required for Dormant Development Approval Applications Drafting Instructions Given for Local Governance Laws Local GovernmentDecember 17, 2013Written by: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker Photo: JIS PhotographerMinister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott (centre), along with Minister of State in the Ministry, Hon. Colin Fagan (second left), and Public Defender, Earl Witter (left), peruse a copy of the Medium-term Socio-Economic Framework 2012-2015, at the launch of the governance thematic working group, at the Ministry’s Hagley Park Road offices on December 17. Looking on are (from fourth left): Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dione Jennings, and Programme Director, Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat, Richard Lumsden. last_img read more

City Council to consider rules to further restrict Airbnbs in Santa Monica

first_imgHomeNewsCity CouncilCity Council to consider rules to further restrict Airbnbs in Santa Monica Jun. 09, 2017 at 7:10 amCity CouncilCity Council to consider rules to further restrict Airbnbs in Santa MonicaGuest Author4 years agoAirbnbscitycity councildaily pressSanta MonicaSanta Monica City Council  Tuesday’s City Council discussion could have big repercussion for homeowners hoping to cash in on a state law that encourages them to build extra housing on their property.Next week the Council will decide whether homeowners in Santa Monica can list those accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on home-sharing websites like Airbnb. City staff is recommending the Council authorize language that would limit the new ADU’s occupants to long-term renters rather than tourists and vacationers.For the past few months, Santa Monica has been working to streamline regulations and eliminate some requirements that had become a barrier to homeowners seeking to build an additional structure to provide a second income. The new regulations were mandated by a state law signed by Governor Jerry Brown last September intended to encourage the development of ADUs to increase the state housing supply. The bill, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support.Santa Monica has one of the strictest home-sharing ordnances in the country, effectively prohibiting homeowners from listing their property on website like Airbnb unless they are present during the stay. However, under existing law, a homeowner is allowed to rent out their accessory structure while they continue to live in the main house, according to a staff report on the ordinance.Of the 195 active home-sharing business licenses the City has granted since requiring Airbnb users to register with the City, 37 are for “guest houses.” That means nearly 20 percent of the remaining home-sharers in the City are at risk of losing their ability to list their homes.While the home-share ordinance dictates internet companies must collect transit occupancy taxes, homeowners themselves do not have to pay any fees to register their home-share and there are no inspections of the property. The permits last a year. The home-sharing ordinance does not regulate websites that do not charge for booking services.Under the proposed ordinance, an accessory unit built on or after March 31 this year would constitute a separate dwelling and could not be used as an Airbnb. Older accessory dwellings would still be allowed as Airbnbs.However, the City Council could decide to eliminate all home-sharing uses for accessory dwellings. Current homeowners who are listing their units on Airbnb would not be able to renew their permits when they expire.A lawsuit against the City’s current rules brought by an apartment owner alleges the City’s strict regulations on home-sharing restrict access to the Coast, and are thus a violation of the California Coastal Act. A Federal District Court judge dismissed the lawsuit in May, but it will likely be refiled in a State court later this year. Similar lawsuits have been filed in beach towns up and down the coast of California as homeowners fight back against restrictive home-sharing laws.Airbnb itself has also sued Santa Monica over the restrictive ordinance. Meanwhile, code enforcement officers have been aggressively pursuing companies and homeowners in breach of the rules.The City Council will meet Tuesday, June 13 at 5:30 p.m. at in Council Chambers inside City Hall, 1685 Main [email protected] :Airbnbscitycity councildaily pressSanta MonicaSanta Monica City Councilshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentTrump is Giving Sociopaths a Bad NameLaunch of [email protected] Program and 20,000 Jobs CommitmentYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsDraft Housing Element released to publicBrennon Dixson2 weeks agoFeaturedNewsRent Board announces general adjustment effective SeptemberBrennon Dixson3 weeks agoFeaturedNewsCommissioners talk diversity, or a lack thereofBrennon Dixson3 weeks agoFeaturedNewsSMMUSD breaks down budget revisionsBrennon Dixson3 weeks agoFeaturedNewsCity and Coalition settle legal battleBrennon Dixson3 weeks agoFeaturedNewsCity Manager selection process beginsBrennon Dixson4 weeks agolast_img read more

Letter to the Editor – Abandon the Plaza

first_imgJohn C. Smith,Former Chair & current member, Santa Monica Recreation and Parks CommissionTags :businessescity councilletter to the editorlootingshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentBody found in Virginia Ave. ParkCurious City – THE CITY WE ALL WANTYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoColumnsOpinionYour Column HereBring Back Library ServicesGuest Author12 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours ago HomeNewsCity CouncilLetter to the Editor – Abandon the Plaza Jun. 23, 2020 at 6:00 amCity CouncilColumnsFeaturedletterNewsLetter to the Editor – Abandon the Plazaeditor12 months agobusinessescity councilletter to the editorlootingSanta Monica City Hall (File photo) If you live or work in Santa Monica, your heart might be feeling more than a bit anxious, concerned and even wounded by all that has happened in our beautiful city these past few months.The pandemic was bad enough… then just when our shuttered businesses and economy were starting to reopen, throngs of angry people attacked our city, looting and damaging hundreds of businesses, virtually unabated, as we and the world watched it all unfold on our televisions.Both events have left huge scars… the HEART of our city is wounded… but TONIGHT, your City Council has the chance to make a decision that will help heal and the very heart of our city.TONIGHT the Council must reject the construction of a huge, 11-story hotel, retail, office, housing complex at 4th, 5th and Arizona ON PUBLIC PROPERTY, and work to create an urban oasis of true, ground-level park space in the HEART of Downtown.Last Thursday, at a Special Meeting of the Recreation and Parks Commission, our first since the pandemic, the Commission voted unanimously for the third time in four years to urge the Council to:1) Abandon negotiations with the developer,2) Build a true public park on public land at the site, and3) Direct staff to explore ways a public-private partnership might raise the money for a park and the underground parking garage that could help pay for it.Here’s why:—The “Plaza Project” is too big for the site and will dwarf everything around it.—The land this huge hotel would be built on is PUBLIC PROPERTY, paid for by you.—Most residents will NEVER stay in this hotel or be able to afford the cost of even a single night there.—The current deal is a bad deal and calls for a 99-year lease for a mega-project on PUBLIC property in exchange for a few million dollars a year in tax revenue.—The city does NOT have a completed “deal” yet with the developer. What they HAD was an “Exclusive Negotiating Agreement” or “ENA” which expired a year after it was signed several years ago and for good reason: The project was a bad idea then when it and is even worse now. It is NOT a “done” deal, despite what the developer says. A “done deal” is bit like a marriage. An ENA is essentially a “promise ring.” It’s not the same thing. And it expired years ago.—Tourism revenues have cratered since the pandemic. They’d been flattening for years even before the coronavirus hit. Retailers big and small are leaving our city daily. The promenade is a ghost town. Many businesses are boarded up and will never return. Vacancies were already common along such streets as Main and Montana. So why would our Council vote to continue the same outdated strategies in pursuit of tourism dollars when so many other hotels in the city are hurting? Our reputation as a safe tourist destination was already declining due to rising crime and the negative perceptions of widespread homelessness. Then images of violence and looting circled the world for all to see. Try putting THAT in a “Visit Santa Monica” ad.—There is not a single acre of park space in the official ‘Downtown’ area bordered by Wilshire Blvd. and the 10 Freeway, Ocean Ave. and Lincoln Blvd. Not one. By any standard of measurement, we are a park-poor city, especially north of Colorado and especially Downtown.—A new park at 4/5/AZ would be in the very center of our Downtown. Other cities have them. Other cities have created them. Why not us? This may be our only chance for generations to create a central park that will serve generations of people long after we’re gone.—The project provides very little ground-level “open space” on such a huge site. Even the ice-skating rink area will be smaller. The developer claims there will be ample public space on “plazas” at various levels of the hotel, but they will never be truly public space and will also be used for hotel events.Our job as Parks Commissioners is to guide and advise Council on matters relating to parks and recreation. We first did this in 2017 when the Downtown Community Plan was being debated. We called for 2/3 of the site to be devoted to ground-level park space, leaving room for affordable housing and/or a smaller hotel.That same week I wrote an editorial urging Council to consider a park, and buy the old Post Office and turn it into a City Hall Annex, instead of the $140 million dollar building that now sits behind City Hall. A new park in the heart of our city, across the street from a repurposed Post Office City Hall North would have gone a long way toward putting some “community” into the “Downtown Community Plan.”The Council did not listen.In 2019 our Commission tried again, advocating for a park as part of the EIR process for the hotel project.Then came Thursday’s Commission vote. 7-0, for a park, our third such vote in four years. At a meeting city staff at first refused to let us hold. At a meeting we had to lobby hard for to get the item on the agenda.Our City has made many decisions over the past few years. And I will not debate the merits of the ones already made. But I will say this: The mistakes are starting to add up. And it would be a HUGE MISTAKE to grant a developer a 99-year lease and the right to build a mega-hotel project on PUBLIC LAND in the heart of our city.Many resident groups and residents will be at tonight’s Council meeting, virtually asking the Council to finally make the right decision and devote public land to the public, instead of some big developer.Please join us tonight. Send the council your thoughts in a short email. Developers and attorneys will be cued up and ready with talking points, blathering on about how great the project will be for our city.They are wrong, and the council will be as well if they approve this project.We can stop it in an election year if enough of us raise our collective voices loud enough. We can finally create a public park in the HEART of our city that people will enjoy long after we’re gone.It’s the right decision. Your Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission has made that right decision and advised the Council three times now.Urge the Council to make the right one tonight and tell them you won’t vote for them if they don’t.Maybe they’ll finally listen.last_img read more