What a waste!

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Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter about the Santa Monica Baykeeper costing the City millions of dollars in grant money when its board decided to file a lawsuit to halt Legacy Park two years ago. Baykeeper lost in the trial court and filed an appeal. Then, a few weeks ago, Baykeeper filed an emergency motion asking the appellate court to stop work on Legacy Park. The three-judge panel denied that motion, construction will not be halted and Baykeeper still refuses to withdraw the appeal, which will not be heard until after the environmental park is completed.

Long before the Legacy Park fiasco, Baykeeper filed another lawsuit accusing the City of polluting the Malibu Creek area, including Surfrider Beach. The City and Baykeeper have been presenting arguments before a judge for months. Baykeeper wanted the court to issue a summary judgment on the theory that Malibu has to be liable for any pollution, whether the City caused it or not. The judge just ruled that he will not issue a summary judgment against Malibu, so Baykeeper has to go to a full trial that will cost the City and Baykeeper a ton of money.

The court also ruled in favor of both sides on different aspects of the case and inevitably those rulings will be appealed. Similar claims against the County are already in the appellate court. Baykeeper is claiming a victory. But what a legal mess! The judge ruled that most of the case will need to go to trial and the rest of it will move to appellate court. I guess victory is in the eye of the beholder. I checked the Baykeeper website. No mention of the slap down from the judge on Legacy Park, but a lot of crowing over parts of its other case.

The City built a storm water treatment plant (the odd building in front of the skateboard park) and is about to complete Legacy Park. Together they clean every drop of storm water in the civic center. What has Baykeeper done to clean water? File lawsuits? I applaud the City for the aggressive clean water program they started in 2000 and hope they have enough money to keep up the good work and to prove to the court that Baykeeper’s claims are wrong.

Could someone please ask local board members Ozzie and Steve Dahlberg what’s up with Baykeeper’s vendetta against Malibu and its desire to waste tax dollars that could be better spent on environmental projects?

Lloyd Ahern