2013 in Review: January

Leonora Wojciechowska gives bartender Danny Collins a hug at Guido’s Restaraunt’s closing gathering on New Year’s Eve. 

January 2013 featured the closing to two beloved local restaurants, a councilman involved in a hit-and-run and the death of Scott Sterling:

-Despite a series of local protests, longtime local favorite Point Pizza sadly closed its doors on New Year’s Eve after more than 20 years serving Malibu and Point Dume. New Year’s Eve was also the last meal for the long established local watering hole Guido’s Restaurant, located in the Malibu Village Shopping Center. Its final night was the scene of many tearful goodbyes. At the same time, Mr. Chow’s, an upscale Chinese Restaurant, opened its doors on New Year’s Eve at Nobu’s former space in the Malibu Country Mart off Cross Creek Road. 

-Councilman Skylar Peak came under investigation in connection with a possible hit-and-run after he allegedly ran over a 400-foot stretch of yellow paddle barriers near Zuma Beach on Christmas morning. His pickup truck was in a neighborhood near Westward Beach, sans councilman. Later in the year he plead no contest to reckless driving, paid a $1,200 fine, was assigned 10 days of beach cleanup, plus other community service.

-Scott Sterling, 32, the son of Clipper owners Donald and Shelly Sterling was found dead in his Malibu apartment on New Year’s Day. His untimely death shocked many who knew him, as he was a dedicated physical fitness buff who worked out daily. The LA County Coroner later determined Sterling died of a narcotics overdose. 

-The City Council voted unanimously to pursue discussions with Joe Edmiston and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) about swapping city-owned Charmlee Wilderness Park in west Malibu in return for complete control of Bluffs Park, with the chance of developing more sports fields, which are in short supply in Malibu. Opponents recalled the city’s historically rocky relationship with SMMC and remain fearful of increased fire danger if the Conservancy decided to put in campsites at Charmlee. 

-In the first of several scandals to hit the LA County Sheriff ’s Department in 2013, Malibu/ Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station Capt. Joseph Stephen and two other senior Sheriffs were accused of sexual misconduct by a female Sheriff ’s deputy. Stephen was removed from the station and placed on paid leave. 

-A feasibility study commissioned by Advocates for Malibu Public Schools (AMPS) reported that a separate school district for Malibu was an economically viable possibility. The process moved onto the next steps, including some further studies and exploration of how a school board would be formed, teachers’ rights in a new district and division of bond/parcel tax money.