News Briefs


Plastic bag ban fails

AB 1998, the measure banning single-use plastic bags and most kinds of paper bags from most stores, was defeated in the Senate last week by a 21-14 vote. Local officials in various cities and counties throughout California have vowed to create their own prohibitions. Malibu already has one.

Julia Brownley (D-Malibu) called the defeat “a sad day for California.”

“Communities across the state were waiting for the state to adopt a uniform, statewide ban on single-use bags before they adopt their own ordinances,” she said. “The state failed them. But, this is an environmental movement that won’t be stopped, even by big-money interests like the American Chemistry Council. It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when consumers bring their own bags and become good stewards of the environment.”

The bill received Assembly approval in June, but struggled to gain momentum in the Senate. Gov. Schwarzenegger said he would have signed AB 1998 into law had the bill reached his desk. Several changes were made to the bill a few days prior to the Aug. 31 deadline for passage in an effort to satisfy critics.

In a campaign headed by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the plastics industry fought to oppose AB 1998 through lobbying and television and print advertisements in the Sacramento market. The ACC applauded the bill’s defeat last week.

“We congratulate Senate members for discarding a costly bill that provides no real solutions to California’s litter problem and would have further jeopardized California’s already strained economy,” said Tim Shestek, senior director of State Affairs for the ACC.

Malibu banned single-use plastic bags two years ago. Officials from numerous jurisdictions, including Santa Monica and Los Angeles County, recently said they would pursue local prohibitions if AB 1998 failed.

“The polluters won a battle in the state Senate, but we will win the war against the proliferation of single-use plastics in California,” said Mark Gold, president of AB 1998 sponsor Heal the Bay. “We look forward to working with enlightened and progressive leaders on the local level to end the environmental and fiscal waste caused by plastic bags.”

Deputy in Mel Gibson DUI sues Sheriff’s Dept.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy James Mee filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the Sheriff’s Department of treating him unfairly because of his involvement in Mel Gibson’s 2006 DUI arrest.

Mee claimed the Sheriff’s Department retaliated against him because he refused to remove mention of Gibson’s anti-Semitic slurs from the initial arrest report. Mee also said he was accused by the department of leaking the headline-grabbing details of the incident because he is Jewish. The department has denied these accusations.

Top athletes, celebrities expected at Malibu Triathlon

The 24th annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon and related festivities will take place this weekend. For the fourth year, proceeds from the event will benefit Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and its Pediatric Cancer Research Program.

The course includes a half-mile swim in the Pacific Ocean, an 18-mile bicycle ride along Pacific Coast Highway and a four-mile run along the sands of Zuma Beach.

For a schedule of the weekend’s events, go to

Caregiver support group

Next week on Thursday, the first session of a six-part support program will take place for those serving as caregivers. The program will be facilitated by Carole Lieber Wilkins, who is a licensed marriage and family therapist.

“Caring for aging family members takes energy, compassion, resources, and patience,” Wilkins wrote. “The range of emotions we feel while helping our parents through their last years can be confusing and overwhelming. It’s easy to feel very alone. This group will provide a safe place to discuss the complicated process we find ourselves in as our parents need us more and more. Whether your parent lives with you or you manage their care from thousands of miles away, this group is for you. Join others who share your experience.”

The sessions will take place every other Thursday in West Malibu. Couples are encouraged to attend The cost is $120. For more information, call 310.470.9049.

Malibu burglary suspect arrested in Hawaii

U.S. Marshalls apprehended Malibu burglary suspect Robert Krafft in Honolulu Friday afternoon. Robert John Krafft, 28, is being held in a local facility while awaiting extradition to Los Angeles County.

According to the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, Krafft is the suspect in a string of Malibu burglaries. He is also wanted for numerous narcotics violations. Additionally, Krafft last year allegedly offered a Sheriff’s Department employee money in exchange for his release during a drug arrest.