Santa Monica Observer Issue 1, 2008 : Page 1

Volume XI Number 1 Community, Diversity, and other Overused Words™ Stepping into a new year! 12/31 - January 6, 2008 INSIDE: Proposition 92, Good for Our Schools or AWaste of Money, Pages 2-3 Enjoy the Arts Without Going Broke, Page 3 Le Merigot Spa and Resort Reviewed, Pages 4-5 Alien Versus Predator reviewed, Page 6 Point Couanterpoint: Martin Luther King Day Events, Pages 8 and 10 Local Calendar, Pages 2-3 Classifieds and Services Directory, Pages 17-19 Members of Santa Monica Fire Department gather in front of Denny’s, but not for lunch, as an unidentified smell sick- ens diners. Story below, right. MYSPACE may soon be on Trial for Death of Teen A federal grand jury in California may soon issue sub- poenas in the controversial MySpace suicide case alleged- ing MySpace was a victim. The Los Angeles Times reports the U.S. Attorney's Office in Los Angeles may take legal action against the Missouri moth- er who was allegedly behind the deadly internet hoax involving St. Charles County teen, Megan Meier. Meier, 13, of Dardenne Prairie, hanged herself in her home in 2006. Her parents say she was bullied by a neighbor- hood mother who they accuse of posing as a teenage boy on MySpace.com. That mother said she knew about it, but that her daughter and an employee were behind the fake account. The Los Angeles Times quotes sources in the U.S. Attorney's Office, saying they are considering charges against the neighbor for defrauding MySpace "by creating the false account that she, her daughter, and another person used to com- municate with Megan." The arti- cle cited sources on the condition of anonymity because those indi- viduals are prohibited from speaking publicly about the case. The sources told the paper they believe the case could be tried in California because MySpace is based in Santa Monica. Tuesday evening, Tina Meier, Megan's mother, dropped every- thing and headed to the airport after a surprising phone call. She said producers from NBC's "The Today Show" informed her of the article. "Almost disbelief truly," Tina Meier said. "Because, we've been through so many things. Ups and downs, ups and downs. It was MYSPACE Page 3 Mystery Odor Closes Santa Monica Denny’s 12/31/07 — A Denny’s Restaurant reopened Sunday night, hours after customers began coughing for an unknown reason and were evacuated. The incident occurred around noon at a Denny’s at 1560 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica according to the Santa Monica Fire Department. The restaurant was crowded with patrons who suddenly began coughing. “Something in my throat is like burning,” customer Josie Casteneda told CBS2 news. “You know, through my nose and my throat. I can’t help it but cough so everybody, just like like a domi- no effect, started coughing.” Paramedics went to the restaurant but no one was seri- ously ill, according to the fire department. The cause of the outbreak of coughing was unknown. In general, the New Years holiday was quiet in Santa Monica. However, the SMPD reported responding to shots fired on December 27th. at 5:00 P.M., in the area of Stewart and Kansas. Officers observed a group of seven subjects running from the area and eventually in to a local fast-food restaurant in the 2800 block of Pico Blvd. The group then entered a parked vehicle in the parking lot where officers detained the group to investigate their possible involvement. Police identified somem members of the group as Santa Monica Gang members. “Evidence was recovered at the scene that confirmed a recent shooting in the area of Stewart and Kansas. Police said no one reported injuries.

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