Tuesday night, the Santa Monica (CA) City Council unanimously passed one of the most restrictive laws in the nation on short-term rentals. The ordinance (which strengthens and enforces laws already on the books) explicitly bans vacation rentals – rentals of 30 days or less where the primary occupant of the home or apartment is not present – while legalizing and taxing “home-sharing” – i.e. renting a couch, spare room or backyard cottage - providing at least one of the primary residents lives on-site throughout the stay. Santa Monica (pop. 92K) receives over 7 million visitors annually; Salvador Valles, the city's acting chief administrative officer for Planning and Community Development, estimates the number of available listings on home-share sites would go from 1700 to 300. The ordinance goes into effect June 15. [more inside]
Phranc, the self-described "All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger" has been a little quiet lately, but she's back with a new website and a new instrumental song. And if that wasn't enough, her entire solo catalog is now available on Bandcamp. [more inside]
- L.A. Weekly: I Went to UCLA, But My Real Film School Was Vidiots
- Laist: Filmmakers And Fans Mourn The Loss Of Los Angeles' Greatest Video Store
- Academy Originals: Rewind: The Story of Vidiots
Vidiots video store set to close in April after 30 years
- Vidiots Foundation
"The train would head back into the heart of the mountain, where more volcanic geysers lay in wait, followed by an earthquake – with a disorienting, rotating tunnel. Escaping this, the ride continued over a truly scary trestle, suspended over the ocean below, into the final scene, an indoor tropical thunderstorm, replete with lightning and strong gusts of wind. Exiting into the sunlight again, the farewell touch was the 'Goony Bird' – sitting on a clutch of cartoonish, oversized eggs – who chirped, 'Thank you for riding with us!'" [more inside]
"Saddam had his spider hole. Manson had Barker Ranch. For James “Whitey” Bulger, the anonymity of advanced age provided ample cover for him to hide out 16 years in Santa Monica, a stash of blood money stuffed in the walls and guns at the ready." The last days of America’s most wanted mobster.
R/C cameraman Robert Mcintosh takes you soaring high above Santa Monica, Venice, and San Francisco. Float through the air as you glide along the beach and up through the spokes of the Ferris wheel over the Santa Monica Pier. Then head a mile or two south and get a bird's eye view of Venice's Muscle Beach. When your head has stopped spinning you can take in San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge or get away from it all (including the ground) out at at Vasquez Rocks. [more inside]
Skateboard Kings is a 1978 BBC documentary about the Dogtown skateboarding scene in late 70's Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Featuring a lot of footage of the skaters' daily life as well as an exploration of the business side of skateboarding, the documentary is a time capsule of late 70's Southern California. For more about Dogtown go to z-boys.com. [previously on MetaFilter]
Lock 'im up. For a long time. That's what I say you do with anyone who commits multiple counts of vehicular manslaughter (in this case, ten). But will this driver even be charged, or will we just let him be? After all, he's 86. We, as a society, can't make this nice old man spend the rest of his days in prison, if convicted? Sure, the public discussion regarding his age in this horrible tragedy centers around the right of older people to continue driving without testing their ability and senses, but I want to focus on this: What's the unwritten age limit on convicting and sentencing someone like Russell Weller?