News Briefs

Cadet Joshua Nathaniel Birenbaum

Local blackouts possible

Malibu could be one of several cities experiencing rolling blackouts through at least Thursday due to the equipment failure of two transformers at a Moorpark substation Sunday.

While Southern California Edison is repairing the transformers, it will be turning off circuits in hour-long intervals to reduce the demand of power. However, if the outages will take place in Malibu at all remains to be seen, said Brad Davis, Malibu’s emergency preparedness coordinator.

The city has made announcements on AM radio, the city Web site, Malibu TV 3 and an emergency hotline telling residents and businesses to reduce the amount of energy used to further prevent blackouts in the city.

Edison said it will avoid interrupting service to hospitals, police and fire departments, and other services that protect the health, safety and security of the public. Davis said Malibu City Hall has a backup generator to supply the premises if a blackout were to occur.

Cities serviced by the substation besides Malibu include Westlake Village, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills, Calabasas and Newbury Park. Conservation between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. is encouraged to reduce interruptions during the repairs.

Local in the news

Lee Cooper, an oceanographer who grew up in Malibu, will appear in an upcoming segment on PBS’ “The News Hour With Jim Lehrer.”

Cooper and his wife, Jackie, have spent a number of years as Group Leaders in the Arctic, leading scientific expeditions in the Bering Sea and environs. Under grants from the National Science Foundation, these expeditions have dealt with changes in the Arctic resulting from global warming and pollution-the latter stemming from radioactive wastes dumped by countries ringing the ocean area, including the United States.

The Coopers are professors of oceanography at the University of Tennessee. Lee Cooper attended Juan Cabrillo Elementary School and Malibu and Santa Monica High schools. He was a National Merit Scholar. Lee Cooper is the son of Malibu resident Leon Cooper. Jackie Cooper, educated in the Bay Area, was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Arctic Study Commission.

Traffic alert

One northbound lane of Pacific Coast Highway, between Puerco Canyon Road and Corral Canyon Road will be closed on Sept. 15 and 16 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. for installation of utility ducts for Verizon fiber optic cable.

Land celebration

National Public Lands Day will be celebrated Saturday at Paramount Ranch in Agoura. Volunteers will be working to remove and replace fencing in the Western Town and remove an invasive weed that National Park Service officials say has taken over thousands of acres of fertile agricultural and wetlands in northern California, disrupting hydrology and increasing erosion. It will be replaced with native plants that will provide shelter and food for native animals.

For more information, call the National Park Service Visitor Center at 805.370.2301 or 805.370.2317.

Local Cadet Takes Command

Cadet Joshua Nathaniel Birenbaum, son of Malibu residents Sam and Nidia Birenbaum, is serving as command sergeant major for First Regiment, thereby achieving one of the highest positions in the cadet chain of command at the U.S. Military Academy. As the regimental command sergeant major and senior cadet noncommissioned officer in the regiment, Birenbaum supervises the execution of established policies and standards pertaining to the performance, training, appearance and conduct of noncommissioned cadets. Birenbaum was named to the position because of his superior academic and military performance as a cadet.

Birenbaum graduated from Malibu High School in 1999. He is concentrating his studies in economics and plans to graduate in 2005 from West Point and be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

Malibu Chili-Cook-off results

Several people were winners in different categories at the Chili Cook-Off Sept. 4 and 5. On the first day, first place for best salsa went to Robin Prithviraj, which earned her $100, a trophy and qualification for the World Championship Chili Cook-off 2004 in Las Vegas. In the chili verde competition, first place went to Barry Steinberg, earning him $250, a trophy and qualification for WCCC 2004. Second place went to Mike Austin, earning him a $100 prize and a trophy. Elaine Prithviraj took third place, which gave her a $50 prize and a trophy. In the red chili competition, Charlie Blosfield took first place and won $1,500, a trophy and qualification for WCCC 2004. Patti Summers took second place and won $1,000 and a trophy. Charlie Ward took third place and won $500 and a trophy. The first place People’s Choice award went to Steve Bayles, giving him $150, and first place for Malibu’s Favorite went to Kevin Ryan, earning him a trophy.

The next day, actor Gary Busey was present as a celebrity judge. Karen Angotti took first place in the salsa competition, winning $100, a trophy and qualification for WCCC 2004. In the chili verde competition, Mike Austin took first place, winning $250, a trophy and qualified for WCCC 2004. Robin Prithviraj took second place, winning $100 and a trophy. Elaine Prithviraj took third place, winning $50 and a trophy. In the red chili competition, Marilee Barrett took first place, winning $1,500, a trophy and qualification for WCCC 2004. Maud Swick took second place, winning $1,000 and a trophy. Mark Sweeney took third place, winning $500 and a trophy. First place for the People’s Choice award went to Graff Sosebee, giving him a $150 prize.

20th annual Coastal Cleanup Day

The 20th annual Coastal Cleanup Day is set for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place every third Saturday in September in all 50 states and in more than 100 countries.

Coastal Cleanup Day encourages Californians to take responsibility for the garbage they bring from the communities to the ocean. Last year, about 48,000 volunteers cleaned up more than 600 beaches and waterways, and collected more than 686,000 pounds of trash and debris. About 40 percent of the total number of debris items found were cigarette butts.

Locations in Malibu for Coastal Cleanup Day include:

-Leo Carillo State Beach

-El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador Beaches

-Zuma Beach

-Westward Beach

-Malibu Lagoon

-Malibu Beach/Surfrider at the Park in Malibu State Pier

-Topanga Beach

-Will Rogers State Beach.

For more information on Coastal Cleanup Day, call 1.800.COAST.4U visit

Ken Starr formally installed as dean of Pepperdine’s School of Law

A formal academic investiture of Kenneth W. Starr took place Monday at Pepperdine University as the noted judge assumed the role of dean at the University’s School of Law. Starr assumed his new duties Aug. 1.

About 100 faculty, students and invited guests filled Pepperdine’s Caruso Auditorium for the investiture, which included a formal procession of robed faculty and remarks by the new dean. Pepperdine Provost Darryl Tippens officiated and President Andrew K. Benton introduced Dean Starr.

Starr, formerly the Whitewater independent counsel who received national attention during the Clinton impeachment process, has been a partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP since 1993. He holds a bachelor’s degree from George Washington University, a master’s degree from Brown University and a juris doctorate from Duke University School of Law. After Whitewater, Starr was involved with the Linda Tripp revelation of President Clinton’s adulterous relationship with 24-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to the impeachment trial.

He was Solicitor General of the United States from 1989 to 1993 during which time he argued 25 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, covering a wide range of constitutional issues. For six years, from 1983 to 1989, Starr was a United States Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. He was counselor to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith from 1981 to 1983.

Early in his career, he clerked for Judge David W. Dyer on the U.S. Court of Appeals and for U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren E. Burger. A prolific writer and legal scholar, Starr has written numerous law review articles and most recently published a book titled, “First Among Equals: The Supreme Court in American Life” (2002). He has taught as an adjunct professor at New York University Law School, as a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University Law School and he has lectured at Pepperdine University.

“Pepperdine’s commitment to remaining true to our core values, fits especially well with the appointment of Ken Starr as the dean of our School of Law,” said President Benton. “He shares a passion for our unique mission where ‘strengthening lives of purpose, service, and leadership’ is central to who we are as a university community.”