News Briefs

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VCoastal Commission to vote on Malibu High field lights

The California Coastal Commission was scheduled to decide at its monthly meeting Oct. 5 in Huntington Beach whether to grant the City of Malibu’s request to allow field lights at Malibu High School. The decision had not yet been made at press time. Check www.malibutimes.com for more information on the decision.

The commission’s staff has recommended approval for the field lights proposal, with several modifications to the proposal made by the city.

Staff recommends that from November to early March, lighting be allowed at Malibu High School until 7:30 p.m. for up to three nights per week. From Sept. 1 to May 31, lighting would be allowed until 10:30 p.m. for as many as 18 times. Staff recommends the caveat that lights not be allowed more than twice per week, and in that case not on consecutive nights.

Accused Shane killer one step closer to trial, again

The legal process for Sina Khankhanian, the man accused of killing 13-year-old Emily Shane in April 2010, continues after a three-day preliminary hearing concluded Tuesday, defense attorney Bradley Brunon confirmed. It was the second preliminary hearing for Khankhanian, whose case was surprisingly dismissed and then refiled Sept. 13 due to procedural issues.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Kathryn Solorzano, who told Khankhanian at his first preliminary hearing in January that he exhibited a “wantonness and conscious disregard for life” in the hours leading up to Shane’s death, ruled Monday there was enough evidence a crime had been committed that the case could move closer to trial.

Khankhanian, who has pled not guilty to second-degree murder for Shane’s death in April 2010, will return to court Oct. 17 for an arraignment.

Brunon requested that a reduced charge of gross vehicular manslaughter be added to give jurors an alternative option. Solorzano said she did not have the authority to add the lesser charge and that would be up to the prosecution to decide in court. However, the prosecution has stated previously that they do not intend to offer the option of a reduced charge.

School board meeting in Malibu Thursday

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education is conducting its regular meeting Thursday at Malibu City Hall beginning at 6 p.m. Locals who would like to address the board about scheduled agenda items may do so at the public meeting.

The public meeting takes place in City Hall Council Chambers, 23825 Stuart Ranch Rd., at 6 p.m. More information can be obtained by visiting www.SMMUSD.org.

NPS seeks information about mountain lion death

The National Park Service and the Department of Fish and Game are looking for information about a recent suspicious mountain lion death, according to a press release from NPS. The mountain lion, one of the last remaining male mountain lions in a significant wildlife study, was discovered Sept. 11 and did not die of natural causes, officials said.

The lion’s GPS collar stopped transmitting on Aug. 25, and officials received reports of a dead mountain lion in the Santa Monica Mountains shortly after. The unnatural death of the lion, known as P-15 in the study, prompted the departments to launch an investigation.

“This is a significant blow to the mountain lion research study,” NPS wildlife ecologist Seth Riley said. “There are not a lot of mountain lions left in the Santa Monica Mountains, and each one plays an important role in the overall local survival of the mountain lion population.”

Tests by the UCLA Conservation Genetics Research Center confirmed the mountain lion was P-15. The seven-year-old lion was captured in November 2009 in Point Mugu State Park, making it about two years that the NPS has followed his movements. He was the only remaining male in the Santa Monica Mountains with a GPS collar.

This is the second mountain lion killed recently. Another, known as P-18, was killed while attempting to cross the I-405 in late August.

In California, mountain lions are a specially protected species, meaning it is illegal to hunt or trap them.

The NPS and California Department of Fish and Game encourage anyone with information about the death of mountain lion P-15 to call the DFG Cal Tip Hotline at 800.334.2258.

Malibu Racquet Club planning pro tennis fundraiser

The world’s number one doubles team, Mike and Bob Bryan, will be hosting a charity event on Oct. 22 at the Malibu Racquet Club. The Bryan Brothers Slam Jam will feature a tennis pro-am and exhibition at 2 p.m., including several of the Bryans’ friends on the men’s professional tour, followed by an outdoor concert at 6 p.m. at the club.

The exhibition will be followed by music and catering by the Cheese Box at Wally’s. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Bryan Brothers Foundation, which identifies and supports specific charities and causes that help at-risk youth survive and thrive.

“We are excited to once again be hosting this very special foundation event for the greatest team in tennis history,” Malibu Racquet Club General Manager Trey Waltke said. “We want to invite everyone out to join us at our beautiful Malibu Racquet Club for an exciting day of tennis, gourmet food from Wally’s Wine and Spirits, and an intimate concert on the patio performed by the boys and their music friends.”

More information and tickets ($195 each) can be obtained by visiting www.maliburacquetclub.com or calling .310.456.3314, ext. 334.

Bill to ban shark finning sparks debate

California Governor Jerry Brown has until Oct. 9 to either sign or veto a bill that would ban shark finning, the practice of catching a shark to remove its fins.

The fins are primarily used in the Chinese delicacy shark fin soup. An estimated 70 million sharks are killed every year from finning.

Some states, like Hawaii, Oregon and Washington, have already banned the practice.

The bill (AB 376) was passed on Sept. 6 by a 25-9 vote, and would prohibit the sale, trade and possession of shark fins in California.

Georgienne Bradley, executive director of the Malibu-based nonprofit Sea Save Foundation, which focuses on ocean conservation, hoped Brown would sign the bill.

“Passage of [it] would help insure the future of California fisheries, jobs and our oceans,” Bradley said. “If there is even a minor quantity change in any member species, it upsets the universal balance. A species removed from the system results in an accumulation of their food source and starvation of their predators.”

The Sea Save foundation collected 11,960 signatures for a petition supporting the bill. The organization also sponsored rallies and informational events for children and families in Manhattan Beach and the Santa Monica pier.

However, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles says it unfairly attacks their culture, since shark fins are almost exclusively used in the Chinese soup.

Lee Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County, has also spoken out against the bill, saying it’s a distraction from more important issues like employment and the economy.

Bradley believes that the claims of racism are simply not true. “The sheriff has a myopic and misinformed perspective on [the bill],” Bradley said. She adds, “We do not want to be the generation responsible for ocean collapse, not for a bowl of soup.”

Former Point Dume principal, local to be honored for teaching garden innovation

Former Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School principal Chi Kim and Malibu resident and environmentalist Kelly Meyer will be honored at the tenth annual Parks Celebration Wed., Oct. 12 at the Hollywood Bowl for the innovative method they pioneered to fight childhood obesity. Meyer and Kim founded a teaching garden where children learn to plant, grow and harvest produce. The teaching garden and accompanying lessons teach children about healthy diets to combat childhood obesity. The American Heart Association has adopted the program in elementary schools nationally. The event will take place Oct. 12, from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hollywood Bowl.

The awards are sponsored by the nonprofit People for the Parks, headed by Malibu resident Jack Foley, and local parks agencies to honor people and groups that have made a significant contribution to public recreation.

Tickets cost $125 and include a reception at the bowl from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., follow by a dinner catered by Patina from 6:30 to 8 p.m. To order seats, call 805.643.0405 or email PFPCelebration@aol.com

Arts Task Force town hall meeting scheduled Thursday

The City of Malibu’s Arts Task Force is conducting a town hall meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. At the meeting, the public is urged to offer thoughts and suggestions on how the city can support arts and culture in Malibu in the future. The meeting takes place at 6 p.m. at Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Rd., the day after the task force’s public online survey closes.

For more information, or to RSVP, contact Stephanie Danner at 310.456.2489 ext. 276.

Passages told to remove landscape sign

Passages Malibu rehab clinic recently created a sign of its logo using plants and landscaping on its property. After local residents complained the sign was too large and could be seen from Pacific Coast Highway, the rehab facility has been told to remove the landscaping.

“Signs that are used for commercial advertising that people use any type of vegetation, rocks or other materials for are a prohibited sign, and we have already contacted Passages and let them know they have to remove it,” the City of Malibu’s planning director Joyce Parker-Bozylinski said. “It was clearly meant to represent their logo and we advised them it was a prohibited sign and they had to remove it.” 

Malibu beaches receive poor water quality grades

Heal the Bay released its End of Summer Beach Report Card last Tuesday, and Malibu beaches did not fare well. The report card, which tracks water quality from Memorial Day (May 30) to Labor Day (Sept. 5), listed several beaches in Malibu as receiving ‘F’ grades.

Malibu beaches receiving ‘F’ grades included: Escondido Creek Solstice Canyon at Dan Blocker County Beach, Surfrider Beach (breach point), Malibu Pier, Carbon Beach at Sweetwater Canyon and Topanga State Beach.

Also receiving an ‘F’ grade was the Marie Canyon storm drain at Puerco Beach (24572 Malibu Road), despite the presence of a runoff treatment facility. The report card speculates that “although the treatment facility appears to be working efficiently, the treated effluent may be affected by large amounts of algae and rotting kelp (possibly harboring bacteria) that accumulates downstream before the treated flow reaches the open ocean.”

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church hosting Sunday fundraiser

St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church is hosting its fifth annual wine tasting festival on Sunday, Oct. 9. The festival will feature a variety of local wines, casino-style games, live music and an auction. Proceeds will benefit the church’s outreach ministries, including supporting the education needs of Skid Row homeless children, repairing homes in Native American communities and lending assistance to children whose parents are in prison. The event will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the St. Aidan’s campus across from Paradise Cove on Pacific Coast Highway. For more information or tickets, contact the St. Aidan’s church office at 310.457.7966 or email office@staidanschurch.org.

The suggested donation per ticket is $50, which includes $100 in casino chips, a souvenir glass for sampling the wines and hors d’oeuvres from Pierre’s Catering. A number of local and California wines will be available for tasting, including Malibu Family Wines, Rusack, San Antonio, Bear Paw, Stony Hill and Chateau Margene, among others.

Guests will compete for raffle prizes at blackjack, roulette and poker tables. A silent auction will feature a luxury Rancho La Quinta vacation package and a one-week stay at a Point Dume condo. Onsite childcare will be provided at the event at no cost.