News Briefs

Malibu Film Society forms

The Malibu Times, Malibu-based CommCinema, and the Malibu Jewish Center & Synagogue announce their joint formation of the Malibu Film Society. To be launched later this summer, Malibu Film Society will offer multiple movie screenings each month along with occasional special events on a high-definition, theater-quality digital cinema system at the MJCS facility located at 24855 Pacific Coast Highway.

MFS founders Karen York, Scott Tallal, David Lyons and Rabbi Judith HaLevy in a joint statement said, “Our goal is to create a venue where all types of film lovers can gather to appreciate and discuss a wide range of classic, thought-provoking and noteworthy movies. Malibu Film Society will also serve as a forum where prominent locally based actors, directors, producers and writers can introduce and present their latest films to local audiences.”

After the Malibu Theater was closed by fire in 2005, former manager Lyons and local business owner Tallal worked with the city to bring free outdoor movies to Malibu Bluffs Park. Enlisting the support of The Malibu Times, they joined with publisher York to create the CineMalibu film program, which continues to entertain thousands of local residents every summer.

Encouraged by the widespread interest they received from CineMalibu, Tallal and Lyons formed Community Cinema Consultants (CommCinema) to extend the concept to other communities. Last year’s “San Diego Movies in the Park” program was recently honored by the California Parks and Recreation Society as the “Best Summer Program of 2008;” this year, CommCinema is taking the concept nationwide with a series of “Can Film Festivals,” which will help raise several tons of donated packaged goods for local food banks throughout the country. The first such program has just been established in Cincinnati, Ohio, with more cities expected to come on board over the next few months.

After they started working together on CineMalibu, York, Lyons and Tallal started discussing the prospects of other ways to help bring the community together. Now, with the support of Rabbi HaLevy and the board of MJCS, that vision is about to become a reality.


Local residents interested in learning more about the Malibu Film Society are encouraged to sign up and take a brief survey on their film interests at

VIP Malibu Times/Parkening final round reception

The Malibu Times and Pepperdine University present a special VIP package for the final round of the Parkening International Guitar Competition on May 30. Available on a first-come, first -serve basis, the package includes a pre-concert hors d’oeuvres reception (no host bar) at Malibu’s Guido’s restaurant from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring live classical guitar music and remarks by Marnie Mitze, chief of staff at Pepperdine and former managing director of Pepperdine’s acclaimed Center for the Arts. Reception goers will then enjoy the classical guitar competition in center-section rows of seats reserved especially for them.

The annual Parkening International Guitar Competition, created in honor of Malibu resident Christopher Parkening, a renowned classical guitar virtuoso and distinguished professor of music at Pepperdine, draws world-class musicians from throughout the world.

The competition takes place May 28-30. The final round takes place May 30 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:40 p.m. in Smothers Theatre. Tickets to the Special VIP package are $65 and can be obtained by calling the Smothers Theatre Box Office at 310.506.4522; request The Malibu Times/Parkening VIP package.

Pepperdine dedicates 73 acres open space

Pepperdine University donated a 72.7-acre property known as Little Las Flores Canyon, located approximately eight miles from the Malibu campus, for conservation and preservation in collaboration with government agencies.

The Little Las Flores Canyon site is a critical part of the habitat and ecosystem of the adjoining Tuna Canyon Significant Ecological Area. Los Angeles County defined the area as contiguous tracts of core habitat in the mountains with the goal of providing multiple ecologically sound habitat linkages between them. Little Las Flores Canyon’s on-site water resources are integrally connected to other mapped Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas. To help preserve the balance between habitat protection and public access, a designated trail route, ascending to Backbone Trail, is the only available public access to the land.

The property dedication is the result of a culmination of the work and partnership of the university, the County of Los Angeles, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Department of Fish and Game. The property will be protected by a conservation easement held by the Department of Fish and Game, with the underlying fee title to be held by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.

O’Neal enters Drug Court treatment program

Redmond O’Neal, son of actor Ryan O’Neal and actress Farrah Fawcett, was ordered last Thursday to complete a yearlong, intensive drug rehabilitation program, called Drug Court, which includes in-custody treatment at Wayside Honor Ranch (Pitchess Detention Center) in Castaic.

Airport Court Commissioner Jane Godfrey ordered the 24-year-old back to court on May 28 for a progress report, according to Deputy District Attorney Tony Estradas.

If he successfully completes the program, his criminal convictions in two separate cases for drug possession will be dismissed. If he fails, he faces up to four years in state prison.

Earlier this month O’Neal pleaded no contest to one count of felony possession of methamphetamine stemming from his arrest in September.

The younger O’Neal and his father, Ryan O’Neal, were arrested Sept. 17 after deputies found drugs during a probation search at the 67-year-old actor’s Malibu home.

Redmond was on probation following a conviction in June 2008 for felony drug possession of heroine and meth, and misdemeanor DUI. The Malibu case and DUI case were combined earlier this month.

In a third drug-related case, he pleaded not guilty last Wednesday in Santa Clarita and will return to court May 22 to set a preliminary hearing date.

Preventive brush fire tips from MAR

Brush fire season is here and the Malibu Association of Realtors offers the following information about preventive brush fire measures.

The Brush Clearance Program is a joint effort between the County of Los Angeles Fire Department, the County of Los Angeles Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures, and the Weed Hazard and Pest Abatement Bureau.

The brush clearance deadline is June 1, and May 1 for vacant or unimproved land located in one of the designated canyons or that require tractor clearance. More information on Weed Abatement can be obtained by calling 310.317.1373 or online at The Fire Department inspects properties and notifies residents if they are not in compliance.

Following is a fire hazard reduction checklist: Clear/maintain all vegetation up to 200 feet or to the property line, around all structures; weed whip grasses; eliminate dead material in shrubs, brush and trees; prune all shrubs, brush and trees up off ground to one-third the height of the vegetation or 20 feet, whichever is less; limb trees up to at least 16 feet vertical clearance for emergency access; clear all dead material from roofs; make sure no plant material/branches are within 10 feet of chimney outlet; store any combustible materials 30 feet or more from structures; provide a minimum of 3 feet of clearance around all fire hydrants.

Brush clearance is not the only thing to think about during fire season. Homeowner’s insurance policies should be updated. Bart Baker of B.W. Baker Insurance in Malibu recommends contacting your insurance agent to discuss whether the amount of insurance on your home is enough to replace the structure (including foundation) in the event of a total loss. Also, inform your agent of any changes-cosmetic or otherwise-in or at your property; consult with your insurance representative to determine if your contents coverage is adequate; take photos or videotape your property and contents in the event of a loss; store those pictures or videos in a safe deposit box, or away from the insured premises; have jewelry, fine arts or other collectibles appraised; place those appraisals in your safe deposit box or in another location away from the insured premises (most policies contain limitations on these valuables). Other questions to consider are: Does the inventory value of your personal property exceed your existing coverage amounts? Are you aware that building code upgrade coverage can insure you against loss caused by additional costs incurred by you due to changes in the building codes and ordinances? Are you aware the FAIR Plan offers optional endorsements to the dwelling policy that could provide for broader coverage in the event of total loss?

A list of professional brush clearance vendors can be found on the Fire Department’s Website at

-Laura Tate

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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