2015 in Review: January

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No. 7 Britty Walley, flanked by an opponent from Santa Paula High School and teammate Abby Blackwood, follows through during a match against Santa Paula in Malibu. 

• The year opened with the expected lawsuit filed in federal court, challenging the constitutionality of the recently voter-approved Measure R — often called the Reiner Initiative — which limits commercial development via a formula retail and development ordinance. Measure R had passed easily with 59 percent of Malibu voters who participated in the election voting “yes.”

• In a harbinger of what might be in this upcoming El Niño year, a 2015 storm and subsequent slide closed Pacific Coast Highway in both directions between Yerba Buena (located near County Line) and Las Posas (in Ventura County) roads for 11 weeks.

• Many members of the Malibu community are apparently happy with the proposed Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility — the sewer essentially mandated by the Southern California Regional Water Control Board. However, when it comes to where to put the actual sewer plant, many citizens want it, but not near them and not near the schools on Winter Canyon Road — Webster Elementary and Our Lady of Malibu. But with a unanimous 5-0 vote, City Council turned down the “put it somewhere else” complaints.

• When Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education Member Ben Allen was elected to the California State Senate in November, it created an opening for the board to appoint a new member. A controversy arose when the board voted to appoint Ralph Mechur, who was recently defeated for reelection in a relatively close contest. Many in Malibu felt that Malibu, which had three of the 10 candidates for the open seat, should not be saddled with the candidate that the voters had just rejected.

• Longtime Malibu resident Bill Armstrong — an engineer who, along with his wife Virginia, founded the Carden Malibu private school on Las Flores Canyon Road in 1965 and ran it together for 30 years — hit a major landmark: his 100th birthday.