News Briefs

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Victory? Maybe

Settling a lawsuit that had become irrelevant, the city of Malibu and Malibu Community Action Network agreed that the Environmental Impact Report for the Malibu Bay Co. Development Agreement could not be used for any future development deal. Malibu CAN issued a statement that the settlement was a victory “that will stop Malibu’s City Council from automatically ‘green lighting’ new commercial development based on faulty environmental documents.” But City Attorney Christi Hogin said the city never had any plans to use the EIR for another purpose anyway. She added that the settlement did not imply the city had any problem with the document.

“There was no resistance, or struggle or fight by the city in opposition to this,” she said.

The City Council approved the EIR with a 5-0 vote last summer at the same meeting it approved the development agreement. Malibu CAN said at the time that the EIR was invalid on several counts. The organization said one issue was that the document did not address all of the environmental impacts of the development agreement. Also, because the development agreement was altered between a Planning Commission recommendation for rejection in May 2003 and council approval in July 2003, Malibu CAN said an entirely new EIR was needed.

In September, Malibu CAN sued the city over the agreement, citing one reason being an insufficient EIR. Since the voters rejected the agreement in November, the lawsuit became irrevelant.

Dukakis in Malibu

Former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 members of the Malibu Democratic Club and friends at the home of Laureen and Greg Sills at Point Dume on Saturday. When Malibu resident and actor Danny Stern introduced Dukakis, he said the Democrat had been the first victim of a vicious Bush smear attack, and he predicted more ahead.Dukakis proclaimed that the Bush administration is the worst he has ever lived under, and rejected the current foreign policy as “my way or the highway.”

As for taxes, Dukakis said that for the first time in history, workers pay more than those who clip coupons. Compared with other nations, he said health care in this country is a disgrace as Americans spend more per capita and provide less care than other countries that have fewer people covered. Dukakis strongly criticized the California Chamber of Commerce for opposing the new state health plan, saying that companies and taxpayers are paying for expensive emergency room care for uninsured Wal-Mart employees.

For the upcoming presidential campaign, Dukakis urged all Democrats and others to join the Malibu Democratic Club and similar groups to join a grassroots campaign to defeat George Bush in November.

PCH lane closures

The California Department of Transportation will close one southbound lane of Pacific Coast Highway at Rambla Vista on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. for filming.

The median lane of PCH from La Tuna Road to Big Rock Drive will be closed to motorists starting Friday through June due to water main construction. One of the first tasks is to restripe the highway. While the road is being restriped, one lane of traffic in each direction will be closed on Friday at 9 a.m., and continue until completion on Saturday. Two lanes will remain open to motorists during commuting hours for the remainder of the project.

Cancer Society seeks volunteers

The American Cancer Society needs volunteer drivers on March 15 to help deliver daffodils for its 19th Annual Daffodil Days campaign, which raises money to fight cancer. Drivers will deliver flowers to businesses, schools and homes in West Los Angeles and in the South Bay.

Funds raised through the Daffodil Days campaign go toward cancer research, educational programs and services for cancer patients and their families. Volunteer drivers must possess a valid California driver’s license and proof of insurance. To volunteer or to purchase flowers, call the American Cancer Society at 348.0356, Option 3 ext. 227.

Museum volunteers sought

The Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas has created a volunteer program for individuals, students and organizations interested in local history. Volunteers will assist the museum staff with gardening, Web site design, audio-visual productions, weekend storytelling, tours, the children’s summer program, museum research and other things. For occasional volunteering, the museum has special projects and events sign-ups throughout the year. For those who cannot come to the museum, there are also projects that can be done from home to support Leonis Adobe’s educational programs.

To sign up for the program or receive more information,

contact Angela Schwanz at 818.222.6511 or send e-mail to leonisadobe@aol.com.

Marine mammal rescuers

The California Wildlife Center has received its Prescott-funded Marine Mammal staff in place. The center and the city received the Prescott Grant last year, allowing it to hire Terry Rogaczewski and Erin Lenihan.

The new staff members and trained volunteers will be focused solely on marine mammal response. In addition to responding to marine mammal emergencies on behalf of the city of Malibu, the marine mammal coordinators will serve the Malibu community as a public information resource on local marine wildlife.

Lenihan is a native Californian who graduated from California Polytechnic State-San Luis Obispo. After college, Lenihan moved east and spent seven years in animal care management at a dairy facility. Lenihan was an active volunteer at the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur for the past three years and at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in its Sea Otter Rescue and Conservation program. She will receive a master’s degree in Zoology this spring.

Rogaczewski is already a veteran of emergency response in Malibu. He worked directly with the National Marine Fisheries Service to cover marine mammal response for Los Angeles and Orange Counties, while serving the city of Malibu as stranding coordinator

in 1995 and 1996. Rogaczewski is also a former Malibu lifeguard.

He has worked at several wildlife facilities, including the Marine Mammal Care Center at Fort MacArthur.

There is a Marine Mammal Rescue Team volunteer training for local residents next month. Those

who are interested should call 818.222.2658 for more information.

New Heal the Bay officers

Paula Daniels was elected in January to serve a two-year term as president of Heal the Bay. In addition, Carl Kravetz was elected as first vice president. Luann Laval Williams, Karen Mistal-Waldron, Shane Smith, Richard Yelland and Art Yoon were elected as new vice- presidents. Other elected officers included Rabbi Allan I Freehling as secretary, Matt Hart as Treasurer and Brian O’Malley as a new board member.

Water main break

A water main broke in the early morning hours on Las Flores Canyon Road on Saturday, causing some flooding of the street. Traffic was diverted through Las Flores Creek Park to Pacific Coast Highway. The line was repaired by 9 p.m.