News Briefs


Dustin Hoffman, wife saves woman’s life

A woman who is allergic to bees received help from actor Dustin Hoffman and his wife, Lisa, after she was stung by a bee on her toe. Lydia Graham was walking past Hoffman’s Malibu home when she was stung. Graham went into shock and Dustin Hoffman then brought Graham into their home, where his wife grabbed an emergency injection kit called an EpiPen. Graham then injected the substance into her thigh, instantly stopping the allergic reaction, which could have been fatal.

Malibuites recognized for sales achievements

Malibu residents David Samuels and Adam Simon received the Diamond Award on July 26 at Northwestern Mutual’s 124th annual meeting of the Association of Agents in Milwaukee. The award recognizes their achievements in sales during the past year. Samuels and Simon are associated with the company’s Chrisman Agency in Woodland Hills.

Ralphs loses vacation promotion lawsuit

San Diego Superior Court Judge John Einhorn ruled last week that Ralphs must pay victim restitution and civil penalties for deceptive advertising and unfair business practices in connection with the supermarket’s “Great Escape” travel promotion. A three-day, two-night stay in any Marriott-owned or operated hotel must be granted to all those who had fulfilled the requirements to win the Ralphs promotion but did not receive the award. Also, Ralphs will pay $125,000 in civil penalties and $100,000 to reimburse the Attorney General’s Office for its investigation costs.

The promotion began in the spring of 2003 with customers being told they could win a two-night hotel stay if they spent $400 between June 4 and July 13 of 2003. But Attorney General Bill Lockyear said there were many restrictions on the promotion that were not disclosed in advertisements. Lockyear then filed a suit against the grocery chain on the grounds that it violated state laws prohibiting unfair competition and false or misleading advertisement.

Boys and Girls

Club event

The Boys and Girls Club’s fourth annual National Kids Day takes place on Sunday at the Santa Monica Pier Pacific Park at 9 a.m. There will be several activities including a free concert by Brat Rock recording artist Juliet.

New performing arts school in Malibu

Malibu Stage Company will be the home of the new Malibu Performing Arts Conservatory and The Performing Arts Showcase. Colette Duvall, the founder and program director, will bring professional training available for performing artists, as well as showcase opportunities for talent to introduce themselves to what is known as the Malibu Movie Colony. Duvall has been a professional actress for more than 25 years and has taught acting in New York for the past 12 years. The premier of the Performing Arts Showcase will take place Aug. 25. Auditions will take place Aug. 7 and 8. Singers, comedians and actors can apply for the auditions by e-mailing

West Nile Virus cases mounting

It was confirmed by Orange County health officials this week that the West Nile Virus was responsible for the death of a man on June 24.

The virus has been found in a total of 445 birds throughout the county, and two in Ventura County this year. Residents are encouraged to report newly dead birds to Health Services to be tested for WNV and to monitor the virus’s activity to continue with the state’s surveillance. Mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus in Los Angeles County as well. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has included $997,000 in state funds in the May revision of the proposed state budget in order to help the effort to control the virus.

WNV is common in Africa, the Middle East and East Asia. It was first detected in New York in 1999 and is now also present in Canada and Mexico. West Nile Virus can be transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito that likely fed on an infected bird. Infected individuals may experience flu-like symptoms but death is rare.