News Briefs


Coastal Commission calls Serra Retreat work a violation

While work on the building of a bridge for crossing over Malibu Creek at Serra Retreat continues, the California Coastal Commission has issued a violation notice for the placement of rocks at the creek’s bank. Serra Retreat resident Bill Carson, who has led the effort to build the bridge, said the rocks are necessary to prevent flooding during rainstorms. The violation notice was sent out about 10 days ago. Carson said he is in talks with the Coastal Commission officials to discuss the matter. The bridge is expected to be completed on Nov. 14.

Lawsuit filed against Malibu toy company

According to the San Jose Mercury News, World Wrestling Entertainment is suing Jakks Pacific, Inc., the leading toy company based in Malibu, for several violations. WWE claims Jakks bribed a licensing agent in order to gain a video game license and is seeking damages and a declaration saying the video game license and amendment to a toy license are void.

Federal grants

go to SMC

Receiving its two largest federal grants ever, Santa Monica College has been awarded two Title V grants from the U.S. Department of Education totaling $6.2 million over five years. The grants include one to help first-time SMC students and a cooperative agreement grant with El Camino College in Torrance to help future teachers complete their lower-division coursework.

SMC received $550,000 and will get up to $2.75 million over a five-year period. The money will be used for an intensive program to help first-time, at-risk students stay on track with their coursework and degree requirements through counseling and a system that allows the college to identify and help students who are having difficulties. Also, programs for high school students will be established to introduce them to college courses and campus life. The other grant will be used to establish a one-stop teacher training resources center, called Epicenter, where students can make sure they are on track to transfer to a four-year institution. Tutoring will also be available.

Title V grants are reserved for institutions that qualify as Hispanic serving institutions, with more than 25 percent of their enrollment Hispanic. SMC’s Hispanic enrollment is at 28 percent.

Halloween safety tips

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has released some advice for parents to ensure their children have a safe trick-or-treating experience.

Wear safe costumes: Check that the costumes are flame retardant so children aren’t in danger near burning jack-o-lanterns and other fire hazards. Keep costumes short to prevent trips, falls and other bumps in the night. Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks can be hot and uncomfortable and, more importantly, they can obstruct a child’s vision. This is a dangerous thing when kids are crossing streets and going up and down steps. Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.

Trouble-free trick-or-treating:Make sure older children trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so parents know where they’ll be. Tell them to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on. Try to get your children to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If it’s dark, make sure someone has a flashlight and pick well-lighted streets. Make sure children know not to enter strangers’ cars. Parents and children can avoid trick-or-treating troubles entirely by organizing a Halloween costume party.

Treats: Children need to know not to eat their treats until they get home. One way to keep trick-or-treaters from digging in while they’re still out is to feed them a meal or substantial snack beforehand. Check out all treats at home in a well-lighted place. Only unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers should be eaten. Don’t forget to inspect fruit and homemade goodies for anything suspicious. Remind children not to eat everything at once or they’ll be feeling pretty ghoulish for awhile.

Dressed up and dangerous?

Halloween blood and gore are harmless stuff for the most part. But sometimes dressing up as a super hero, a scary monster or an alien from outer space, coupled with the excitement of Halloween, brings out aggressive behavior. Even fake knives, swords, guns and other costume accessories can hurt people. If these objects are part of a child’s costume, make sure they are made from cardboard or other flexible materials. Better yet, challenge kids to create costumes that don’t need weapons to be scary and fun. If you have any questions, contact Deputy Shawn Brownell at 818.878.1808, ext. 3103.