The Commute: SaMo Upgrading Big Blue Bus Stops With Fancy New Shelters

It was nearly four and a half years ago that the Santa Monica City Council gave the greenlight to the Bus Stop Improvement Project, which included fancy new shelters for Big Blue Bus stops, but work has finally just begun on building the shelters. LOHA Architects designed the structures, which feature shading that takes into account the movement of the sun and seats that can swivel away from blinding light. The stops will be made of recycled and reclaimed materials and employ high-efficiency LED lights, rainwater capture, and solar power—the most heavily-used stops will include real-time bus arrival information. Bus stops began closing to make way for the new shelters on March 31 along Lincoln Boulevard and Main Street in SaMo and last Friday along Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards; signage indicates alternative locations for boarding. More than 300 bus stops are being upgraded and work should wrap in two years.

· Bus Stop Improvement Project [Big Blue Bus]
· LOHA Big Blue Bus Stops On Their Way to Santa Monica Curbs [Curbed LA]

Celebrity Real Estate: Tennis pro Venus Williams has…

Tennis pro Venus Williams has sold her mid-century post and beam house in the Hollywood Hills to Inception star Ellen Page. Page paid $1.7 million, making it a loss for Williams, who paid $1.9 million back in 2005. The three-bedroom house has great hillside views, a pool, and an ugly chandelier. [Real Estalker]

Local Landmarks: Hawthorne Spent $24k on a Tacky Monument to a Corporation

[Left via Daily Breeze; right via Alex Vargas]

And now a dispatch from our dystopian future, where governments pay garish public fealty to the private corporations run by enigmatic billionaires that make their rockets. Yesterday, the city of Hawthorne unveiled a seriously cheesy monument to SpaceX, which the Daily Breeze forebodingly describes as the city's "most celebrated corporate citizen." The two-ton, 37-foot-tall replica of a Falcon Heavy rocket will be backlit at night "by 27 red LED lights emulating thrusters" and frontlit with a green glow. It cost the city $24,000. (The attached sign noting that Hawthorne is the "Cradle of Aerospace" only cost $13,500.) Sure, this is a very pathetic thing for a city to do, but Hawthorne would still be reeling from Northrop Grumman's departure (it once employed 30,000 people there) if not for the great generosity of SpaceX, led by Paypal/Tesla founder Elon Musk, which so benevolently employs about 3,500 people in exchange for only tax breaks and massive government contracts. Mayor Chris Brown is so grateful that he apparently sees nothing creepy in declaring that SpaceX is "not just a tenant, they are a partner in the city of Hawthorne."
· Hawthorne unveils 37-foot-tall Space X rocket monument [Daily Breeze]