2007 Dolphin Awards


The Malibu Times publishers, Arnold and Karen Portugal York, announce the 2007 Dolphins Awards, recognizing individual or group contributions to the Malibu community. As in years past, many of those being honored this year are more than just individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to Malibu; they are

in many ways

the heart and soul of the city.

Judi Devin-Devin’s proactive actions and leadership abilities united multiple neighborhoods in disaster preparedness, keeping them on task for nearly a year to help prepare them for a fire or other emergency, which resulted in saving lives and property during the November 2007 Corral Fire. In addition to disaster preparation plans she created by contacting local governmental, emergency and safety agencies, as well as emergency supply companies and private emergency contractors, and compiling phone trees, Devin personally alerted many residents, helped the elderly and invalid residents, as well as made sure evacuation routes were open during the fire.

Susie Duff-Duff is an actor and director who has devoted a great deal of her time during the past nine years to work with the incarcerated youth at two local juvenile detention centers, Camp Vernon Kilpatrick and Camp Gonzales, through the improvisational acting program known as “Locked Up in Malibu.” Duff mentors and teaches classical improvisational acting technique and exercises to the young men as a way to give them a voice, imparting life skills and a therapeutic way to express themselves, helping them to find positive ways to resolve conflict. The acting troupe, through Duff’s encouragement and direction, regularly puts on shows in Malibu and other locations in Southern California.

Francine Greene-A champion of the Native American Cultural Resources Study Group Malibu, Greene successfully lobbied for the creation of the city’s Native American Cultural Resources Advisory Committee and served as chair for both organizations. As chair of the resource committee, Greene created, organized and put on Malibu’s first Chumash Day Native American gathering, an event that has grown into a much-anticipated annual powwow attended by thousands. She has also secured prominent Native American leaders for blessings at Chumash Day and for such events as the dedication of Legacy Park and the recent post-wildfire support gathering at Bluffs Park.

Matt Haines and the “Sequit Fire Brigade” -Local builder Matt Haines and a handful of neighbors had taken matters into their own hands to fight the Corral Fire and save their homes and neighbors’ homes on Sequit Drive by using a 31-year-old fire pump truck and a 3,000-gallon tanker that Haines had purchased from the Merced Fire Department. Under Haines leadership, the “El Nido Gladiators,” as grateful neighbors have dubbed them, strategically used garden hoses and pumped water from backyard swimming pools to put out burning embers that had fallen on rooftops, while Haines used the truck to put out flames on both sides of Sequit Drive.

Ken Kearsley-Kearsley has tirelessly served the city of Malibu for many years, having been active since the cityhood campaign. He has served on the City Council for eight years, several times serving as mayor. During his time on council he was instrumental in many important projects, from getting a parking lot built at Our Lady of Malibu preschool to the acquisition of a portion of Bluffs Park for ball fields, implementing a wastewater treatment facility at the Civic Center to spearheading the purchase of Legacy Park.

KNX Radio (1070 AM) News Team -For outstanding coverage of the 2007 Malibu fire(s) during which time they cancelled all commercial programming to assure accurate and timely coverage during a time when radio was the only information available to homeowners without electricity, cable, Internet, e-mail and phones.

Aaron LandworthThroughout the 14 years that Landworth and his wife’s three children have attended Webster Elementary School, Landworth, who owns the company LanDesign West, has donated his time and expertise, along with hundreds of flowers, plants and trees, and the cost of his employee’s labor to the school, helping to keep it beautiful. He has continued to contribute to Webster even after his children left to attend Malibu High, and most recently was instrumental in restoring the burnt landscaping at the school in the aftermath of the October fire.

Optimist Club of Malibu-The Optimist Club of Malibu, comprised of members from age 19 to 91, has served this community for more than 48 years. The club reaches out to and serves the youth of the Malibu community and beyond with Southern California Optimists Youth Home and through the creation of JOOI, Junior Optimists International, comprised of Malibu High School students. MHS student Raquel Ravaglioli served as JOOI’s first president and was elected as the International President of all JOOI clubs when she was sponsored to represent California to attend the Optimists International convention in Montreal, Canada.

First Responders-The fires of early January last year and of October and November would have been much more devastating if not for the efforts of local and statewide governmental and emergency services. The first responders include local and Los Angeles County Fire Departments; other fire departments from throughout the state and from out of state, as well as the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection who “lived” in Malibu for days in order to save and protect the life and property of residents; the Sheriff’s Department; the Lifeguards; the state Office of Emergency Services; the City of Malibu’s Emergency Services Division; and the local volunteer organizations Arson Watch, the Sheriff’s Disaster Communications Service and the city’s Community Emergency Response Team.