A model solution


    Valerie Sklarevsky and Ed Niles are two of Malibu’s visionaries. Last week, there was a confrontation between the activist and the architect. Coming from opposite ends of a development issue, surely one of the most significant for Malibu’s future, I would like to propose that this unfortunate event quickly be switched to a positive track. Here’s an idea.

    Valerie, I do not condone your destructive act. However, you accepted responsibility and you offered yourself to arrest. You used the law to bring attention to your cause. You need not apologize for your action, but you should offer to pay for the damage you caused. You have engendered the outrage of many in the community and, in the future, I would suggest that you offer a constructive alternative rather than trashing someone else’s property.

    Ed, I hope that you can accept payment from Valerie for $2,500 — or whatever the amount turns out to be — and immediately return it to her that she can pay to have a model or a rendering made (or start a fund to raise more money from supports, if necessary) that can depict her vision of what the area could look like. Further, I would hope that you would display this vision alongside yours, and any others that might be offered. You were off to a good start educating the citizens of Malibu. The more public presentations, such as you have already put on, the better. This is such an important issue that each and every person who lives here should be able to make a choice that will be heard and counted.

    Engendering divisiveness among the governed is a classical ploy and should not be used in Malibu. The bias and inability to negotiate compromise of our elected leaders has turned off many talented, hard-working and caring people. Others, sadly, have not yet become involved, although their futures will be significantly impacted by the outcome. Our community is blessed to have the participation of Valerie and Ed. Now they have an opportunity to create a positive, pro-active plan to involve the entire population in the decision making process. Think of yourselves as two professional boxers who have fought it out for 12 or 15 rounds. At the end, you embrace each other out of respect for your opponent’s great effort. In our case, you leave as individual people who honor each other’s ideas, and who can differ on issues but still be good neighbors. Carpe diem.

    Dick Lowe