2020 in Review: March


    A racist incident at Malibu High School involving a noose hanging for weeks in one of classrooms, directed in a threatening manner at an African-American student, broke out into the open and sent the school administration scrambling to find some solutions.

    The Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy, a state agency, and its affiliate, the Mountain Recreation and Conservation Agency, announced they are planning on moving ahead with campsites in an undeveloped portion of Malibu Bluffs Park. Earlier, a five-year deal to swap that Bluffs Park land for Charmlee Park’s remote city-owned land was canceled by the city council.

    The COVID-19 pandemic, which seemed early on to be far away, suddenly became close and personal and struck Malibu with a vengeance. Almost overnight, predictions of illness and death in Malibu were announced, predicated on the Chinese city of Wuhan’s experience. By mid-March, there were not yet any confirmed cases in Malibu and only 144 total classes in LA County, numbers that were going to quickly change for both in the near future. Pursuant to state and county orders, restaurants were limited to only carry-out or delivery and gyms, bars, theaters and entertainment venues were all closed. All the Malibu schools were quickly closed—Malibu Elementary, Webster Elementary, Malibu Middle, Malibu High, Our Lady of Malibu School, MUSE School and Pepperdine University—and all transitioned, with varying degrees of success, to remote learning. Soon after, in an attempt to slow the spread, Malibu Pier, hiking trails, beach parking lots and much of Malibu’s retail stores were forced to shut down. Initially, they optimistically thought it would only be through April or maybe May, but those predictions turned out to be woefully inaccurate.