News Briefs


The Malibu Times office closed for Thanksgiving

The Malibu Times office will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 24-25, in observance of Thanksgiving.

Malibu City Hall will also be closed Thursday and Friday.

Khankhanian spared further charges

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader denied Prosecutor Marna Miller’s request to add four counts of assault with a deadly weapon to the second-degree murder charge against Sina Khankhanian, the man accused of killing Emily Shane in April 2010. Mader rejected the request Friday in court, saying that there was no evidence to support the additional charges.

Khankhanian, 28, struck and killed 13-year-old Malibu resident Emily Shane last April while she was walking along Pacific Coast Highway near Heathercliff Road. He was reportedly driving recklessly for 17 miles, from Topanga Canyon Boulevard up coast highway, during which time drivers were forced to get out of the way and calls to the police were made.

Khankhanian’s defense says he was attempting to kill himself by crashing his car and unintentionally hit Shane.

The trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 9.

PCH crash results in minor injuries

A two-car crash on Pacific Coast Highway Saturday afternoon near La Salsa Mexican Grill resulted in minor injuries, Lt. Robert Ward of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station confirmed. Ward could confirm no other information than the report of minor injuries and that deputies were dispatched to the scene of the accident at 12:27 p.m. Saturday.

Malibu City Councilmember Jefferson Wagner, who owns a business nearby, said he heard the crash from his store. Wagner said the crash involved a car and a sport utility vehicle, and that four people were taken to the hospital via two separate ambulances. Wagner said neither car honked before he heard the collision, which he believed to be head on. When he saw the vehicles, he said each had been spun around 360 degrees.

Former Pepperdine professor charged with kidnapping

Former Pepperdine University professor Andrei Duta pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon at a preliminary hearing last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. The charges come as the result of an alleged domestic incident that took place June 24 in Santa Monica.

According to the Pepperdine Graphic, the Santa Monica Police Department received a 911 call at 1:47 a.m. from a woman reporting an incident of domestic violence that evening. She and Duta allegedly began arguing, but the confrontation quickly turned physical, causing the woman to flee the apartment.

Duta previously worked at Pepperdine University’s Business Division of Seaver College. He also does a considerable amount of work with orphanages in Romania, including organizing mission trips for students.

Duta’s arraignment is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Food needed for community Turkey Day dinner

Many Malibu schools, religious groups, scout troops and youth groups are hosting the 15th annual Malibu Community Thanksgiving, where locals come together to provide and serve food to people in need from Malibu and surrounding areas.

The event currently has enough volunteers, but still requires food donations including turkeys or hams, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, casseroles, pasta salad, rolls and butter, pies and liter bottles of Coca Cola.

Donations of personal care items such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, lotion and other items are also requested.

The Thanksgiving event takes place Thursday, at Malibu United Methodist Church’s Gabrielson Hall, 30128 Morning View Dr., from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

For more information call Diane Malecha 310.420.1910.

HRL develops world’s lightest material

Researchers at Malibu-based HRL Laboratories have developed the world’s lightest material, the company announced last week. The material has a density of .9 mg/cc, approximately 100 times lighter than Styrofoam. The successful research results come from a collaborative effort between HRL, the California Institute of Technology and the University of California Irvine.

The material was developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and could be used for battery electrodes, catalyst supports and acoustic, vibration or shock energy damping.

HRL’s manager of the Architectured Materials Group, Dr. Bill Carter, explained the vision for the material by drawing parallels to large structures.

“Modern buildings, exemplified by the Eiffel Tower or the Golden Gate Bridge, are incredibly light and weight-efficient by virtue of their architectures,” Carter said. “We are revolutionizing lightweight materials by bringing this concept to the materials level and designing their architectures at the nano and micro scales.”

Contaminated lettuce recalled

“Ready Pac” has recalled 5,739 cases of bagged lettuce due to possible E. coli contamination, a press release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states. The lettuce had a use-by date of Nov. 18, and was sold in 15 western states, including California.

The recalled packages include numerous items by “Ready Pac” and other salad items sold at Trader Joe’s and Safeway.

USA Water Polo team looking to bunk up

The United States Water Polo Team is looking for host families to provide temporary homes to members of the team who don’t live in the area while they practice at Pepperdine University, California Lutheran University and Oaks Christian School. The players need places to stay between January and July 2012 while training for the summer Olympics in London.

“Ideally the team could use granny flats and private homes with separate entrance portions,” a press release from the team stated. “Some of the Olympiads are married and in need of a kitchen to prepare their meals. The men have their own transportation and are responsible for their own meals, all they need is a place to sleep and rest when they are not training at the pool.”

For more information contact Gerald Halweg at 805.444.8453 or Judy Halweg at 805.340.8453, or by email at

Betsy Butler picks up endorsements

Malibu Mayor Laura Rosenthal, Mayor Pro Tem Lou La Monte, Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich, as well as the California League of Conservation Voters (CLCV), have all endorsed Assemblymember Betsy Butler in her re-election campaign, according to press releases. Butler, a democrat, was elected to the California State Assembly in 2010 and is seeking re-election in the 50th Assembly District.

“Betsy Butler is the best choice to represent Malibu in the Assembly,” Rosenthal said. “We have seen her work to bring groups together and find common ground on issues like traffic and public safety. Her leadership will be a great asset to our community.”

Butler worked for the CLCV as well as the Environmental Defense Fund before serving in the assembly.