News Briefs

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SMMUSD agreement secure

At its May 11 meeting, the Santa Monica City Council approved an agreement with the Santa Monica- Malibu Unified School District on district funding through at least 2009. The SMMUSD Board of Education approved the agreement the previous week.

With the agreement, the city will give the district a minimum of $6 million annually in exchange for use of district facilities beginning with the upcoming fiscal year. That amount will be increased for a cost-of-living adjustment of 2 percent to 4 percent each year. That $6 million amount could be increased or decreased in 2007 depending on the city’s economic state. There is then an option to extend the agreement in 2009 for another two and a half years, and possibly an additional two and a half years after that. The amount of money distributed to the district could also be increased or decreased at those times.

The agreement was approved by a vote of 4-0, with three councilmembers not voting on the agreement. One councilmember was out of town during the meeting. Another could not vote because he works for the district, and a third abstained from voting. The four votes of approval was the minimum required for approval.

Lanes closed on PCH

On Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Water District 29 will close the eastbound No. 2 lane for approximately one-quarter of a mile just west of Topanga Canyon Boulevard and for one-quarter of a mile heading west to 19118 Pacific Coast Highway. This work will complete the connections to the water main at Pena Creek. During the shutdown, there will be approximately 75 services and 15 fire hydrants without water from Topanga Canyon Boulevard to Pena Creek. All affected customers will be notified.

New development regulations

The new ordinance amending Title 17 of the Malibu Municipal Code regarding development permit regulations went into effect on May 12. The City Council approved the ordinance with an intention to streamline the planning review process. It addresses such issues as what types of planning applications should require certain types of scrutiny, viewshed privileges and several other topics.

Silna vs. Major on hold

Property rights advocate Wade Major has obtained the services of municipal law firm Richards, Watson and Gershon for his lawsuit with Malibu CAN activist Ozzie Silna. Silna sued Major for attorney fees after Major unsuccessfully sued him earlier this year to prevent Silna from spending money on the 2004 City Council election. A court hearing was supposed to take place, but was moved to June 10 because of Major’s change in representation.

Charlie Brown on stage

The Santa Monica Civic Light Opera, will present Santa Monica High School’s production of “Goodbye, Charlie!” Performances will take place May 20 at 7 p.m. and May 21 and 29 at 8 p.m. Before the May 29 performance, there will be a gala fundraiser and a pre-show reception featuring food, drinks and a silent auction. Tickets for the show are $15 and gala fundraiser tickets are $25. They can be purchased online at www.smclo.org or by calling 458.5939.

Pepperdine gets former WNBA coach

Julie Rousseau, a former head coach of the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, was named Pepperdine University’s new head women’s basketball coach. Rousseau replaces Mark Trakh to become the program’s fifth head coach. Trakh left the school after 11 seasons to coach at USC.

Arianna Huffington in Malibu

Arianna Huffington spoke to a large crowd of Malibu Democrats Sunday at the home of Dr. Amarjit Marwah and his wife, Kuljit in Malibu. Huffington used examples from her book “Fanatics and Fools” to criticize the Bush Administration and called for more support for the John Kerry for President campaign.