News Briefs


Special Education Strategic Planning Public Forum at Malibu High

The Special Education Strategic Planning Committee is holding a public forum Monday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at the Malibu High School library. The purpose of the forum is to gather input from the public on a strategic plan for special education in the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District.

The Board of Education has mandated that a strategic plan be developed by this coming academic year. The deadline for completion of the plan is June. The plan will include participation of teachers, staff and parents. The plan will guide the district in prioritizing g special education needs for the next three years. Input will be gathered through surveys, input meetings and workshops. Director of Special Education Cindy Atlas has written a report that highlights areas that need improvement in special education.

Two more meetings will take place in Santa Monica on March 30 in the Lincoln Middle School library at 7 p.m., 1501 California Avenue, and March 31 in the Edison Elementary School cafeteria at 7 p.m., 2425 Kansas Avenue. The meeting at Edison will be conducted in Spanish.

From opponent to endorsement

Mayor Ken Kearsley has received an endorsement for his re-election bid from former Planning Commissioner Richard Carrigan. The two were opponents during the November election on Measure M, the Malibu Bay Co. Development Agreement. Kearsley supported the measure and Carrigan spent $22,000 of his own money to campaign against it. Carrigan also endorsed former Mayor Walt Keller and Malibu Community Action Network activist John Mazza, who is running as a write-in candidate.

Malibu CAN, which allied itself with Carrigan in opposition to Measure M, has made it clear that it wants to oust Kearsley from office. But Carrigan said he did not factor that into his decision when endorsing candidates.

“I know that Ozzie [Silna] and Malibu CAN will say ‘How could you do this?’ but there is more to Ken Kearsley than Measure M.”

Silna, Malibu CAN’s largest financial contributor, said he was not surprised by Carrigan’s decision. He added that if he had to choose a candidate to support of the three Malibu CAN has not endorsed, it would be Kearsley. Carrigan said he was endorsing Kearsley out of loyalty, because he was the person who appointed him to the Planning Commission. Also, Carrigan said Kearsley would be the best person to deal with Malibu Bay Co. President Jerry Perenchio to reach a new agreement on the company’s properties that would benefit both the city and the company.

Carrigan said he endorsed Mazza and Keller because they shared his philosophy of slow growth and concern for the environment. He added that they would bring balance to the council, which he said it desperately needs.

State Parks clarifies position

California Department of Parks and Recreation Director Ruth Coleman sent a letter to Mayor Ken Kearsley earlier this month to clarify that a deal has not been made on the Bluffs Park dispute.

“It appears that your public remarks have led people to believe that you have successfully negotiated with state parks to have the ball fields that are located on the bluffs stay there permanently,” Coleman wrote in a letter dated March 12.

Kearsley said he has never made a statement alluding to that, but he added that he believes a solution to the problem is not too far off. Kearsley has said in several campaign speeches that state parks wanted the city to move the ball fields off Bluffs Park in 2000, but the council was able to get the state to allow the city to remain there until a solution is found.

Coleman further wrote that she wanted to make it clear that State Parks does not want the ball fields to remain on Bluffs Park permanently. She added that Malibu Little League could remain there until another home is found for them, but she said the amount of time it can do that is not indefinite.

A committee was recently formed consisting of representatives from the city, State Parks and the National Park Service to find a solution to the problem. The most likely scenario would be the city obtaining the nearby Crummer property.

Delays ahead

Caltrans issued another encroachment permit for the closing of one southbound lane on Pacific Coast Highway for filming. The closing takes place at the north and south entrances of Rambla Vista on March 24 from 7 p.m. until March 25 at 5 a.m. Also, one northbound lane between Sweetwater Mesa Road and Cross Creek Road will be closed on March 25 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for utility construction. In addition, one northbound lane between Puerco Canyon Road and Corral Canyon Road will be closed on March 31 and April 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for geophysical survey work.

Looking for an alternative

Fabian Nunez, speaker of the California Assembly, recently named Assembly member Fran Pavley to a new Select Committee on Hydrogen and Other Alternative Fuels.

“Hydrogen holds great promise for helping to clean up our air and reduce dependenc e on foreign oil,” Pavley said in a press release. “It utilizes the energy of a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, which is converted directly into electrical power for a vehicle.”

While Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed 200 hydrogen fueling and electrical generating stations up and down California’s highways by the year 2010, an official agreement on how fast high-use of hydrogen-powered vehicles could be expected has not yet been made.

Child protection

State Assemblymember Dennis Mountjoy recently introduced the Children’s Privacy Protection and Parental Empowerment Act. The legislation, otherwise known as the Mountjoy bill, would outlaw the sale or purchase of personal information about a minor 15 years old or younger without parental consent. The bill defines personal information as the name, address, telephone number, Social Security number, driver’s license or identification card issued by the state. Also, any other pieces of information that could be used to locate the child are included in that classification.

The bill would allow parents to sue violators of the law to collect damages up to $500,000.

Sing for the animals

A concert and animal show sponsored by the Nature of Wildworks is coming to Froggy’s Juice n’ Jolt in Topanga on March 27. Local singer/songwriter Erin O’Bryan and Free Dirt will perform at the concert that will benefit the ethical treatment of endangered animals.

Before the concert, the organization will conduct a one-hour show exhibiting some of the wild animals that are housed at the Nature of Wildworks shelter. Animals such as hawks, owls, opossums, skunks and two wildcats will be shown. The Nature of Wildworks is a nonprofit organization in Topanga that provides lifelong quality care for non-releasable wild animals and has a mission to enhance public respect and concern for native wildlife and the California environment through student programs. All proceeds from the concert will benefit the endangered animals at the organization’s shelter that is the current home for 45 animals.

For more information, visit or

One fish, two fish

In an effort to better understand how many fish are caught in the ocean during the fishing season, the Department of Fish and Game has implemented a new program called the California Recreational Fishing Survey. The new program is intended to monitor the number of sport fish being caught by saltwater anglers in the waters off California’s 1,100-mile coast.

Commercial fishermen are already required to fill out logs and landing receipts to determine the state’s commercial catches. However, the large amount of recreational anglers is often ignored in estimating the actual number of fish being caught. The new survey will specifically gather extra data through interviews and onboard observations in surveying anglers.

The object of the survey is to help determine if annual harvest limits are close to being met, and if necessary, prompt fishery managers to require in-season management adjustments to ensure annual allocations last throughout the entire fishing season.

Super lawyers

City Attorney Christi Hogin and former Councilmember Jeffrey Kramer have been named Super Lawyers in a recent issue of Los Angeles Magazine. They were selected by a vote of fellow Southern California attorneys, and were among the top five percent of vote getters in the area.

In addition to her city duties, Hogin is the chair of the Coastal City Attorneys Caucus. She also represented the City Attorney’s Department on the League’s Environmental Quality Policy Committee. In addition, she is the past president of the City Attorneys Association of Los Angeles County.

Kramer is a trial lawyer, handling a broad spectrum of business litigation in California state and federal trial and appellate courts.

Jennings to chair beach commission

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky has reappointed City Councilmember Jeff Jennings to the County Beach Commission, on which he will serve as the chair. The 20-member commission is responsible for reviewing Department of Beaches and Harbors policies, capital projects and contracts involving county-operated beaches. Seven people from the Third District, of which Malibu is a part, are on the commission.

Money in the bank

The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District has announced that Wells Fargo donated $8,680 to the district’s equity fund. The equity fund, which is still not officially in existence, is the central part of Superintendent John Deasy’s gift policy proposal. As part of the proposal, a percentage of all money donated to the district would be required to go into the equity fund. The money from that fund would then be distributed to all the schools on a weighted formula that takes several things into consideration, including the socio-economic status of the school’s students. A majority of the board has supported the proposal in concept, but a final vote has not been taken.