News Briefs

Nearly 3,000 U.S. flags were placed on the lawn of Alumni Park at Pepperdine University's Malibu campus Thursday to commemorate the vicitms of 9/11. Each flag represents a life lost in the terrorist attacks of 2001. Photo by Devon Meyers / TMT

Former SMMUSD head’s record questioned

The academic record of John Deasy, who served as superintendent of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified District from 2001-2006, is being investigated. The University of Louisville announced last week that it is looking into Deasy being awarded a doctorate in philosophy in education from the school in 2004. He completed the program while still working as the head of the SMMUSD in approximately one semester. According to published reports, university students usually take about three years to complete doctoral programs.

Deasy currently heads Prince George’s County Public Schools, a 130,000-student district in a mostly poverty-stricken area of Maryland. Deasy left the SMMUSD to take the Prince George’s job. He has been credited with raising the academic achievement in that school system.

“If the university made errors in the awarding of the degree, I do hope they rescind it,” Deasy was quoted as saying last week in the Washington Post. “My responsibility is to do everything I was advised and told to do. If I was advised wrong and given wrong information, the university needs to take responsibility for that. I certainly would not want anything unearned.”

Deasy has not been publicly criticized on this issue by any Prince George’s school board members, according to local media.

City is ‘storm ready’

The National Weather Service this week granted the “StormReady” designation to the city of Malibu. According to a city press release, the designation recognizes Malibu’s improved communications and increased levels of severe weather awareness. It qualifies the city for consideration of reduced flood insurance premiums.

As a result of the designation, the city can notify the federal Insurance Services Organization for consideration to obtain 25 Community Rating Systems points, which may lower the city’s National Flood Insurance Program insurance premiums. The designation, which has a three-year term, will officially be presented at Monday’s City Council meeting.

Fire expo to offer tips on safety

The Los Angeles County Fire Department will host a “Living in the Fire Zone” exposition at the Malibu Performing Arts Center on Saturday. The event will include educational information on steps to prepare for a fire. Also there will be presentations on Fire Department operations, vegetation management and building standards. Additionally, there will be fire extinguisher lessons and static displays from various local agencies.

The free event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The performing arts center is located behind City Hall at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road.

Road closure alert

One westbound Pacific Coast Highway lane between Corral Canyon Road and Latigo Canyon Road will be closed on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The purpose of the closure is for work being conducted by the county public works officials.

Volunteers need to clean coast

Heal the Bay is seeking volunteers for the annual Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday. Coastal Cleanup is part of a worldwide event to beautify the beaches. Heal the Bay is the lead agency of this county’s efforts.

The Malibu portion of the cleanup will take place at Surfrider Beach at 9 a.m. Last year, more than 300 pounds of trash was collected at Surfrider. For more information, go to

-Jonathan Friedman