Build Malibu Better: Sandcastle Building Contest Canceled

Paul Grisanti

In last week’s column I mused about the possibility of scheduling a Sandcastle building contest On Corral Beach directly across from Malibu Seafood. The purpose was to remove the contestant’s sand from under the bridge/drainage device that also connects the Sara Wan Trail to the beach. I believed less sand under the bridge would improve the likelihood that beachgoers would use the underpass rather than take a chance crossing PCH on foot.  

In my enthusiasm, I got as far as sending out over 3,000 emails over the weekend. The email invited members of the public to join me on Nov. 16 to do the work Caltrans didn’t seem to want to do, disguised as a sandcastle building contest. The response was gratifying, and I thank those who offered to join me. 

On Monday morning, Nov. 11, I received a notice that Caltrans had scheduled the cleanout of the bridge/drainage device to begin on Tuesday the 12th and end no later than Nov. 24. The Caltrans announcement was dated midday on Friday so I can’t flatter myself the sandcastle contest email had any influence on their scheduling. 

Please tell your neighbors that the sandcastle contest has been canceled. Those unlucky enough to be on my mailing list will also receive an email cancelling the contest.

I look forward eagerly to walking by on Corral Beach as they work to confirm the sand will be returned to the beach and not trucked to a landfill.

On Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m., I joined a standing room only crowd at City Hall to watch Malibu’s 20th consecutive Veterans Day celebration. The committee was ably chaired for the 20th year by Ani Dermenjian while Captain John Payne, US Navy, did a terrific job as master of ceremonies. 

Pepperdine’s new president, James A. Gash, delivered an eloquent and moving invocation that set a grateful tone.

This year’s event highlighted five WWII veterans and their stories were riveting. Thinking of all their brave fallen comrades in arms who didn’t survive to enjoy the world they had saved for all of us never fails to reduce me to tears.  

A young woman named Eliza Byrnes sang a spectacular rendition of “Amazing Grace.”  I will be shocked if we aren’t buying tickets to hear her in the near future.