2015 in Review: November

MHS Library polling location, 2015

• On Nov. 3, Malibu went to the polls and 57 percent of voters firmly rejected Measure W — the plan to build a new 38,425 sq. ft. shopping center in the Malibu Civic Center on a 5.88-acre parcel. Shortly thereafter, as expected, a lawsuit was filed, challenging the entire process and the vote, and, for now, the question of whether or not the rejection was legitimate is in abeyance until it gets to court.

• The ongoing battle among the Santa Monica-Malibu School District and the parents of children in the Malibu schools and the advocacy organization America Unites (AU) for Kids over the presence of PCBs in Malibu schools took a particularly nasty turn when the school district turned the matter over to the sheriff’s department for an investigation, charging there had been trespassing and vandalism on Malibu campuses. Many in Malibu saw this as a personal attack on AU founder Jennifer deNicola, and evidence of a school district being totally out of touch. The District Attorney’s office did not file any criminal charges.

• Separation from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, which seemed to be proceeding on track, hit a snag when the district Financial Oversight Committee said they no longer supported separation, and some board members said they were disturbed about the financial aspects of separation. Translated into English, it meant the board was looking for some money from Malibu to separate, or, as one Malibu local Ryan Embree put it, “Are you looking for alimony?” when asking if the board separation was going to play out like a domestic divorce.