2016 in Review: December

    Santa Lucia Day at the Malibu Farm


    • A local mountain lion, suspected to be P45, which was being tracked by the National Park Service, got into a pen just off Mulholland Highway and killed 10 alpacas. The next day, it killed another alpaca and a goat near Decker Canyon. The first rancher obtained what amounts to a “kill permit” for the mountain lion but, after meetings and phone calls and threats from the mountain lion’s fangs the rancher backed off. The “Protect the Alpaca Society” has yet to be heard from.

    • The school district separations committee, with three members from Santa Monica and three members from Malibu, has been working hard all year to try and negotiate a workable deal so that Malibu can finally have its own school district. In California, nothing is more technical and complicated then public school finances, but the negotiating committee by December seemed to feel they were very close to a proposed deal. Separation requires approval by a number of public agencies; it may require a special law by the legislature in Sacramento and also has to go to the ballot locally. 

    • The California Coastal Commission flexed its muscles and, without any show of embarrassment, decided unanimously to fine a homeowner $4.1 million for refusing to remove a gate that was built by the previous owner of the house over 30 years ago or so. A member of the coastal commission staff told us they thought they were actually being quite reasonable because they could have fined them over $8 million if they really felt vindictive. Just imagine walking into traffic court after getting a ticket for speeding and judge says, “You shouldn’t speed. PCH is very dangerous, so I’m going to fine you $163,000 and put a lien on your house.” That would be roughly equivalent to what the Coastal Commission did.  

    So ends the year. Happy holidays and happy new year from all of us at The Malibu Times.