News Briefs

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Senate approves bill establishing LNG approval process

The state Senate this week by a 22-12 margin approved SB 412, which establishes a review and approval process for pending liquefied natural gas proposals along the California coast. The bill now moves to the Assembly for a hearing in June or July.

SB 412 requires the California Energy Commission to conduct a needs assessment of the state’s energy market by projecting future energy supply and demand. The CEC will focus on projected demand while analyzing conservation, climate change impacts and efficiency potential, as well as the ability of the state to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy supplies over time.

SB 412 also lays out specific guidelines within the California Environmental Quality Act for the evaluation of proposed LNG facilities. Additionally, the bill requires the CEC to display information about LNG project proposals online so that access to the status of projects and other components of facility applications are available for instant review, and so comparison is available to decision-makers and the public.

The LNG proposal by Australian energy and mining giant BHP Billiton, Cabrillo Port, which was planned to be anchored 14 miles off the Malibu coast, was recently rejected by two state agencies and the governor. It is most likely not going to be built, at least under the current proposal. There are at least three other proposals to build LNG-receiving facilities onshore and offshore throughout the state.

SMMUSD Facilities Master Plan ready for public review

The long-awaited plan for improving Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District facilities will be made public on Friday. The plan will be available at the Malibu Library and for download at the Web site, www.ourschoolplan.com.

A special Board of Education meeting will take place on June 13 to discuss the document. The discussion will continue at the regular board meeting on June 28. Both meetings will take place at the district headquarters, located at 1651 16th St.

Local worker receives award

Abel Diaz, a member of the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Angeles District maintenance staff, recently was recognized with a Parks Director’s Recognition Award.

Diaz received his award on Monday along with 26 other recipients at a ceremony in Sacramento.

According to a press release issued by State Parks, “He formulated the cost-effective plan to repair a 40-year-old chain-link fence that borders Los Encinos State Historic Park in Encino with a commercial parking lot. While he contracted out the installation, he was able to complete most of the project in-house, saving the department thousands of dollars… the end result is a secure site to enhance community events held within the park.”

Once Upon A Time Theatre presents ‘Peter Pan’

A group of third-, fourth- and fifth-graders from Point Dume Marine Science, Juan Cabrillo Elementary and Viewpoint School will perform the musical version of “Peter Pan” at Malibu Stage Company beginning Friday. Led by experienced directors Dee Dee Davidson-Porter and Julia Holland, the cast has been rehearsing for more than six months to create a polished performance with original music and choreography, costumes and even flying performers.

The show times are Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Sunday at 4 p.m., June 15 at 7 p.m., June 16 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and June 17 at 1 p.m.

Free transportation offered to Santa Monica Mountains

The ParkLink Shuttle is now providing free transportation to the parks on Saturday and Sunday in the Santa Monica Mountains through the end of the summer.

Park programs such as nature walks for families and tours of Paramount Ranch are on the route. Park events can be found in the “Outdoors” calendar of events at www.nps.gov/samo. The route has stops at Malibu Creek State Park, Paramount Ranch, Peter Strauss Ranch, Zuma Beach, Point Dume, Solstice Canyon, Pepperdine University, Malibu Lagoon, Cross Creek Road, Tapia Park and two trailheads along the Backbone Trail. The shuttle connects to the Metro 534 along Pacific Coast Highway and to Metro 161 in Calabasas, which connects to the Metro Orange Line several times a day.

The shuttles are equipped with bike racks and storage space for large group outings, but are most commonly used for an orientation and a scenic drive through the Santa Monica. Details, including the current schedule, can be found at www.parklinkshuttle.com or by calling 888.734.2323.

Tips on preventing youth drownings

With the summer approaching, UCLA emergency physicians have released guidelines to prevent child drownings. In Los Angeles County, approximately 70 percent of child drownings occur during June, July and August, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Most of these events occur in private backyard swimming pools. More than two-thirds of toddler-age children who were found in pools or spas were thought to have been elsewhere in the house, either sleeping or playing.

“Drowning remains the leading cause of accidental death among toddlers ages 1 to 2,” said Dr. Larry J. Baraff, professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “One of the most preventable causes of death, this tragedy can be avoided with just a few simple precautions.”

The UCLA physicians recommend these 10 rules:

1. Never leave a child unattended or with a young sibling in a swimming pool, wading pool, bathtub or hot tub. Even a momentary lapse in supervision may result in drowning-a child can drown in just two minutes.

2. Pools should be fenced and gated with self-locking gates. This includes pools located in neighborhoods, apartment complexes, family backyards and other areas. Pools must be kept clean, with no covers or rafts that might obstruct one’s view of a child.

3. Always secure the safety cover on your spa or hot tub.

4. Be sure all containers with liquids are emptied immediately after use. Do not leave empty containers in yards or around the house where they may accumulate water and attract young children.

5. Adults and teenagers age 14 and older who supervise children should know CPR. Studies have demonstrated that nearly drowned children given quick CPR suffered no brain damage, while children not receiving such immediate treatment sustained brain damage or death.

6. Children should be given swimming lessons but should not be considered water-safe until they are 14 years old.

7. Keep small children out of bathrooms unless supervised by an adult or older child. Since 1973, more than 500 children have drowned in bathtubs, hot tubs, toilets and five-gallon buckets.

8. Older children and even adults should not swim alone in the ocean or fast-moving rivers.

9. Children should wear bright-colored flotation devices when boating.

10. Don’t mix alcohol, children and water.

For more information about water safety tips, go to www.lapublichealth.org.