News Briefs


School aboard approves abuse policy

At its meeting last Thursday, the Board of Education approved a revised policy on the reporting of child abuse in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. The revision follows the May arrest of Lincoln Middle School teacher Thomas Beltran on charges of sexually molesting female students at the school.

Among the features of the revised policy is the requirement that district employees suspecting child abuse notify the school principal, and that the principal notify the superintendent. It was revealed shortly after Beltran’s arrest that an allegation had been made against him in 2006, but was not reported to the superintendent.

Also at the meeting, the board voted to support Santa Monica College’s $295 million facilities improvement bond measure that will appear on the ballot in November. The measure, which requires 55 percent support for passage, proposes construction projects in Santa Monica and adding college services to the library at Malibu High School.

The meeting marked the first appearance for interim Superintendent Tim Cuneo, who was hired from the Bay Area earlier this month.

In other district news, the Santa Monica City Council was scheduled to decide last week if the SMMUSD had met its demand for changes to the district’s special education program so the district could receive a $530,000 donation the city has been withholding. But the issue was delayed until at least September at the request of the district.

Library to hold book fair

The Malibu Library will hold its annual book fair on Aug. 9 and 10. Several hundred books will be for sale, including hardbacks and oversized paperbacks for $1, paperbacks for 50 cents, videos and books on tape for as low as $1, and children’s books ranging in price from 25 cents to $1.

The proceeds of the event will go to support the year-round youth activities at the library, the Summer Reading Program, the Women’s Month program and the purchase of materials for the library.

The sale will take place at the library, located at 23519 Civic Center Way. On Aug. 9 it will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Aug. 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Members can begin shopping at 9 a.m. both days. Memberships can be purchased during the fair.

Coastal Commission accepting photos for contest

The California Coastal Commission is holding its 10th annual amateur photography competition. Entrants are encouraged to submit photos of the scenic coast, ways people use the coast or coastal wildlife.

The contest winner will have a choice of a two-night stay at the Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel & Spa in Sonoma County, a two-night stay at the Fairmont Newport Beach Hotel in Orange County or four tickets for a yacht cruise. Those placing second and third will select from the remaining prizes.

Entries must be submitted by Aug. 22. For more information on contest rules and how to submit entries, go to

-Jonathan Friedman