Motorcycles, dogs and drinking at the beach.
Those were the main concerns discussed at a meeting at City Hall of city, county and state officials recently. The objective was for representatives of the various agencies to outline plans for summer 2001.
Because of the number of complaints about motorcyclists, the sheriffs said they plan to have four traffic officers on patrol all the time during the summer, with two additional motorcycle patrolmen on weekends to patrol the canyons.
Sheriff Lieutenant Thom Bradstock said they have received complaints about their department being too aggressive in checking the contents of coolers for alcohol, so they are planning to tone down the cooler checking, but he made it clear that drinking alcohol is still illegal at the beach.
The sheriffs also announced that in case of a disaster, their pre-chosen sites for a command post are Carbon Canyon Fire Station, Malibu City Hall and Malibu High School.
There was also some discussion of the three big holidays that impact Malibu heavily-Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day. Last year there was a problem with gang members coming to the beach, but because the sheriffs hired extra people, they feel they were able to quell any violence with what they call a “show of intent” if not a “show of force.”
A new problem facing Malibu this summer is the prospect of a temporary power shortage. If the power goes out, so do the traffic signals, and PCH can get backed up all the way to Santa Monica. Although no one from Edison attended the meeting, an Edison official was quoted as saying that if a problem occurs, it will probably be on a weekend, in the morning.
Another special event discussed was the “Gays At The Beach” event on June 30th, with an estimated 2,000 to 5,000 attending. Because they hire their own security as well as off-duty sheriffs, this event has not been a problem in the past, other than the lack of follow-through on cleaning up the site afterwards.
Craig Sap, a lifeguard and peace officer assigned to Pt. Dume, said there is a problem with marijuana use back in the tall vegetation, and thanked the sheriffs for their frequent patrols. “It was the Wild West before we had the beach patrol,” he said.
The rangers in Malibu State Park, who have a staff of 12 for all the state parks in the area, said that dogs are a problem at their parks, but that dogs are allowed in some park areas if they are on a leash.
One beach where dogs are not allowed is Leo Carillo in the tide pool areas. At Zuma, an accommodation has been worked out where dogs are allowed on the boardwalk but not on the sand. At Nicholas Beach, dogs are allowed on the upper boardwalk.
The lifeguards said they will be calling on the sheriffs to help them with dog disputes “because sometimes taking 30 minutes to convince a dog owner not to walk his dog on the beach takes us away from our jobs too long.”
A new regulation requires those with dogs to carry plastic bags for animals droppings. Failure of a pet owner to have a bag could result in a citation.
One pro-dog move was the announcement of a park that will be opening in Los Flores Canyon and will have a portion dedicated to dog walking.
Officials from the lifeguards said they will have boats based in Santa Monica on call for aquatic emergencies.
A procedure is also going to be implemented to tag lost items when they are found.
Malibu Towing announced they now have a four-wheel-drive vehicle to tow vehicles stuck in the sand.
One problem nobody had a solution for was that of beach-goers being hit by cars on PCH as they cross PCH on foot after parking on the inland side.
“We do what we can,” said the program moderator. The sheriffs added that speed enforcement will be particularly diligent in the areas where pedestrians are crossing.