2020 in Review: February

    Webster Elementary principal Phil Cott (right)  announced his retirement from Webster Elementary in 2013, along with longtime secretary Lore Meline (left). Cott had been principal at the elementary school for 23 years.

    The locally popular LA County Sheriff’s Department Malibu liaison Lt. Jennifer Seetoo, who always seemed to be everywhere, was unceremoniously transferred out of Malibu by the Sheriff Alex Villanueva and his staff and in January filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation—part of the continuing saga of the sheriff’s problems with his personal decisions.

    Last year (2019) saw a jump in Malibu median home prices to $3.6 million despite the number of sales plummeting 41 percent. 

    A wave of protest arose after the legal killing of a mountain lion known as P-56. The mountain lion was shot by a rancher who had obtained a “kill permit” for P-56, a puma with a history of nine attacks of this particular rancher’s livestock over the previous two years. California Department of Fish & Wildlife, which issues the permit, has a three-strike policy.

    A remembrance ceremony was held for long time Webster Elementary Principal Phil Cott, known for his ability, his good humor and his outrageous ties, who served as principal at Webster from 1990 to his retirement in 2013 and died at age 68.

    A long running, very expensive legal battle was (and is) going on between the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA), a state agency run by Joe Edmiston, and the residents of Sycamore Park, which includes former Malibu Mayor Ken Kearsley and many other residents of the canyon. In addition to the privately funded legal costs of the suit by the homeowners, they face opposition from government lawyers or private lawyers paid for by the government and, to top it all off, the MRCA was initially asking for fine amounts up to $15,000 per day for what they charge were coastal act violations.