The Santa Monica College John Drescher Planetarium is pleased to present three special feature shows – including a telescope viewing session – on Friday evenings in October. The shows are:


• “New Horizons at Pluto – First Summary From the Outer Darkness!” on Oct. 2 and 9. Take a look at the results of humanity’s first close reconnaissance of Pluto and its moons. On July 14, the New Horizons spacecraft on its pioneering mission into the Kuiper Belt ‘woke up’ for its flyby of Pluto. The data and images that have started arriving are already changing our perceptions.


• “Special Observing Event: 11-Day-Old Moon, a Coathanger, and a Pretty Double Star!” on Oct. 23. Come take a look through the eyepiece at the 11-day-old Moon and its prominent features, check out Brocchi’s Cluster – ‘The Coathanger’ – and catch a glimpse of the multicolored double star Albireo and other fascinating wonders in the sky.


• “Dawn Explores the Asteroid Belt” on Oct. 16 and 23. Find out about the mission of the Dawn spacecraft, the first probe to orbit two large main belt asteroids – Vesta and Ceres – and what we are learning about them.


The feature shows are at 8 p.m. and are preceded by “The Night Sky Show” at 7 p.m., offering the latest news in astronomy and space exploration, a family-friendly “tour” of the constellations, and the chance to ask astronomy-related questions.


The John Drescher Planetarium, which features a Digistar projection system, is located near the elevators on the second floor of Drescher Hall (1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica). Tickets are available at the door and cost $11 ($9 seniors and children) for the evening’s scheduled “double bill," or $6 ($5 seniors age 60+ and children age 12 and under) for a single show, guest lecture, or telescope-viewing session.


Please call (310) 434-3005 or see or for information. All shows subject to change or cancellation without notice.

Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 06:39PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment


The United States has the highest college dropout rates in the industrialized world, and studies have shown that too many prerequisites contribute to the problem – especially for underrepresented students. The new English Academy at Santa Monica College is one of many ways the college is experimenting with removing roadblocks and moving students towards transfer or a career, faster.


The program – which debuted this summer – compresses up to two semesters’ worth of fundamental college writing instruction into a rigorous, two-week boot camp for students who otherwise would have to enroll in at least one pre-college level class before progressing to college-level English 1,the research-oriented reading and writing course that satisfies the English requirement for an Associate degree. It is also transferable to a University of California or California State University campus.


Of the 164 students in the inaugural English Academy, held in August, 150 — or 91 percent — passed directly into English 1.


“Most students who place into my basic skills, or pre-college level English class, have to overcome difficult circumstances to persist – far more than the typical college student,” says SMC English professor Eleni Hioureas. “A lot of things can happen in one semester to keep them from coming back – financial and health setbacks, things that may confirm a wrong impression that they cannot succeed. The English Academy is a big deal because it challenges them towards success, saves time and money, and fast tracks them to transfer.”


SMC student and English Academy participant Stephanie Santos-Cruz agrees.


“The program definitely helps keep you from falling into the equity gap,” says Santos-Cruz, in reference to the disparity that exists in academic achievement between tradition

Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 06:37PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment

The 21st Annual Sustainable Quality Awards Launch New Website with Online Nominations

Nominations are now open for the 21st Annual Sustainable Quality Awards Program. Awardees will be formally honored during a special awards ceremony with a sustainable small bites reception scheduled for April 21, 2016 at Le Meridien Delfina Hotel in Santa Monica. The event will feature a keynote presentation as well as excellent networking and exhibitor opportunities.


Each year the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, the City of Santa Monica, and Sustainable Works come together to identify and recognize Santa Monica businesses that have successfully incorporated sustainable practices into their operations. Significance is placed in the areas of sustainable economic development, social responsibility, and stewardship of the natural environment. The SQA Grand Prize will be awarded for combined excellence in these three areas. In addition, excellence awards will honor businesses with outstanding achievements in any of the three focus areas.


By recognizing these achievements, the Santa Monica Chamber Environmental Affairs Committee looks to educate and inspire local businesses to adopt sustainable practices and support Santa Monica as a sustainable community providing residents and visitors with a strong economy and healthy environment.


Nomination Process

SQA Nominations may be submitted by any individual on behalf of a Santa Monica area business. Local businesses are also encouraged to self-nominate for an award.


The new online nomination process is quick and easy! Visit to learn more and click on NOMINATE.  Follow clear prompts to submit a paperless nomination. The nomination period closes Tuesday, November 3, 2015.  For additional information, please contact Carl Hansen of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce directly: 310.393.9825 x116.


Local residents and businesses are encouraged to become involved in the annual award program by nominating a Santa Monica business and participating in the April 21st event. The 2016 SQA event promises to provide exciting networking opportunities and marketing benefits for event sponsors. Award ceremony tickets and sponsorship information will be available at




Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 06:31PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment


Orchestra Santa Monica is delighted to announce its fourth season of concerts, once again presenting four exciting programs under the baton of Music Director Allen Robert Gross in the acoustically and visually intimate Ann and Jerry Moss Theater. Highlights of the coming season include an all-Mozart concert, a Flamenco afternoon featuring concertos performed by guitarist Adam del Monte, music by American composers Samuel Barber and Russell Peck, and symphonies by Beethoven and Mendelssohn.
Music Director Gross is thrilled to present the new program to the orchestra’s growing audience. “We have a wonderful season of music planned for this year – lots of contrasts and compelling new music. The orchestra is playing beautifully, and our move into the Moss Theater last year has been an important step forward for us and for our audiences.”
Soloists for the season include soprano Elissa Johnston singing Barber’s nostalgic “Knoxville: Summer of 1915”, clarinetist Gary Bovyer performing Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto on the basset horn (the instrument for which Mozart wrote the piece), and pianist Steven Vanhauwaert performing Saint-Saëns’ brilliant Second Piano Concerto. Guitarist Del Monte will perform the ever-popular “Concierto de Aranjuez” by Rodrigo and his own “Paisajes,” a concerto for flamenco guitar. All four soloists have earned distinguished reputations in the Los Angeles area.
OSM has changed the time of its Sunday afternoon concerts this year from 3:30 pm to 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices remain the same as last year ($30 General Admission, $25 for seniors, $15 for college students, and $10 for K-12 students), and can be purchased on-line or at the door. For ticketing and pricing information, visit OSM’s website at
OSM’s complete concert dates and programs:
October 25, 2015 2:30 pm. Moss Theater
“From America to Scotland”
Elissa Johnston, soprano Russell Peck: Signs of Life II

Barber: Knoxville-Summer of 1915 Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”)
January 24, 2016 2:30 pm. Moss Theater
“A Mozart Celebration”
Gary Bovyer, basset clarinet Mozart: Symphony No. 21 Mozart: Clarinet Concerto Mozart: Symphony No. 39
April 24, 2016 2:30 pm. Moss Theater
“The Flamenco Guitar”
Adam Del Monte, guitar
Bizet: Carmen Suite
Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez
Del Monte: Paisajes, concerto for Flamenco guitar
May 22, 2016 2:30 pm. Moss Theater
“From France to Vienna”
Steven Vanhauwaert, piano Fauré: Masques et Bergamasques Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2 Beethoven: Symphony No. 2

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Posted on Saturday, September 26, 2015 at 06:19PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment


Tenor saxophonist Robby Marshall, 25, of Critical Brass, plays an original, "On The Radar"at the Santa Monica Farmers market on Sunday, March 1, 2009. Cesar Ventura, 30, is on the drums. The CRITICAL BRASS brass band swings a rump-thumping trademark blend of New Orleans Hiphop Jazz Dixie Soul Second Line Funk! Their mission: to keep the cherished secondline tradition alive out West on the coast, from the Crescent City to the Angel City. Members of the group have been schooled in the New Orleans family tradition playing secondline parades and clubs around town with local favorites such as James Andrews, Trombone Shorty, Glen David Andrews, the Newbirth, Rebirth, Lil' Rascals, and Treme brass bands, as well as members of the Meters and original Dirty Dozen brass band. The latest release from CRITICAL BRASS "Sustain the Chain" sends a clear message that while you can take the brass out of New Orleans, you can't take the hot sauce out the out the brass!

Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2010 at 12:00PM by Registered CommenterFabian Lewkowicz | CommentsPost a Comment