News Briefs

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3 injured in Malibu Canyon collision

Three motorists were injured early Tuesday morning in a four-car collision on Malibu Canyon Road that closed both lanes of traffic for about an hour and a half, according to a report Tuesday by the Contra Costa Times .

The accident occurred at 8 a.m. just south of the first tunnel near Pacific Coast Highway, California Highway Patrol Officer Eric Villalobos told the Contra Costa Times. Subsequent investigation proved fruitless in determining the cause of the accident or the direction all of the cars were travelling on the foggy morning, officials said.

The victims were transported by ambulance to an area hospital.

Carbon Beach utilities undergrounding nears completion

Power pole removal was slated to begin this week Wednesday night between Carbon Canyon Road and Malibu Pier, where a utilities undergrounding project has been in progress since March 2009.

The work will last for about two weeks and will be done mostly at night to avoid traffic delays, Mark Olson, regional manager for Southern California Edison, said in a phone interview Tuesday. Although slated for completion at the end of summer 2009, trouble coordinating with the five communications companies who shared use of the poles delayed the project’s completion, Olson said.

“Coordinating was very difficult,” Malibu Public Works Superintendent Richard Calvin said in a phone interview Tuesday, “but everybody was fairly agreeable.” According to Calvin, 100 percent of the project’s cost was paid for by Carbon Beach residents, who in June 2007 voted to approve the project. Calvin added that he is currently waiting for Edison to report to him the total cost of the project. Rule 20A of the California Public Utilities Commission allows for the cost of utilities undergrounding in arterial, scenic or heavily traveled roadways to be shared by all Edison ratepayers. According to Olson, however, this funding is limited, and Carbon Beach residents might have had to wait 10 years for communal funding to be available for this project.

Trio of temblors shakes things up

Friday night and early Saturday morning of last week, three earthquakes shook Southern California.

The first hit at 8:19 p.m. Friday-a magnitude 3.9 temblor that struck off the coast of Port Hueneme in Ventura County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station said they received a “couple” calls about the quake, but no damage or injuries were reported.

At 4 a.m., a magnitude 2.6 struck about four miles southeast of Ontario, and was followed a half hour later by a 3.0 temblor three miles east of Culver City, according to the USGS.

Lifeguard towers to get some color

Portraits of Hope launched “Summer of Color” this week Wednesday by unveiling the first three of 156 vibrant art panels that will adorn all Los Angeles County lifeguard towers along the 31 miles of beach from Zuma to Palos Verdes, according to a recent press release.

Nearly 6,000 children in schools, hospitals and community programs, as well as 2,500 adult volunteers have been involved in this large-scale public art and civic service project, the organization said.

The group anticipates that the more than 2,200 panels will be installed on the towers within three weeks with help from the services of Chris Bonas and Marley Builders.

For six months preceding the installation, Portraits of Hope engaged children and adults from 118 school, hospital, youth and social service programs in civic leadership and creative therapy sessions. Among others, the Braille Institute, Special Olympics, Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitative Center and Program for Torture Victims have participated in the project.

Portraits of Hope is a privately funded initiative that depends on the support of private donors in its mission of civic leadership, environmental initiative and community engagement.

Endurance swimmers to race 12.6 miles

OptimisSport and Heal the Bay announced on Monday an endurance swimming competition featuring a 12.6-mile course from the Manhattan Beach Pier to the Santa Monica Pier to be held Oct. 16. The groups designed the Distance Swim Challenge to test the limits of some of the best endurance athletes in the world.

“We hope this event will inspire people to challenge themselves,” Alan Morelli, CEO of OptimisCorp, said in a press release.”

The event will also feature races of less distance and relay options for those not up to the 12.6 mile challenge.

Morelli expects top open-water swimmers from all over the globe to congregate in the Santa Monica Bay for the event. All proceeds from the event will go to Heal the bay and other local charities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Beyond raising critical funds to support the fight for clean waters, the challenge is a great showcase for how far the health of our coasts has come since Heal the Bay began its work 25 years ago,” President Mark Gold of Heal the Bay said.

More information can be obtained online at www.distanceswimchallenge.com.

Laser beam turns 50

The laser beam, one of the dominating technologies of the past half century, was first successfully constructed at Malibu’s Hughes Research Laboratories by Theodore Maiman. The technology celebrated its 50th anniversary Sunday.

The 1964 Bond movie, “Goldfinger,” introduced this technology to the world as the deadly laser beam slowly crept its way toward the seemingly helpless Sean Connery.

Now, the technology is ubiquitous. It is being used to scan retail barcodes, read CDs, DVDs and Blu-ray disks, and to conduct corrective eye surgery.

Maiman, a Los Angeles native, retired to Vancouver, British Columbia, and died in May 2007.

A front page story about the laser was published in The Malibu Times last month and can be found online at www.malibutimes.com under Archives.

By Stan Parker