News Briefs


City ordered to pay $51,000

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled recently that the City of Malibu must pay $51,000 in attorney fees to the Latigo Canyon Preservation Association. The organization, which has a membership of homeowners in the Latigo Canyon area, won a legal battle with the city earlier this year to invalidate a settlement Malibu had made with the Rubens Trust, a local landowner.

Last year, the City Council approved a deal with the Rubens Trust for 68 acres of the landowner’s property to be rezoned from one home per 20 acres to one home per 5 acres, with the remaining portion of the property being donated to the city. Latigo Canyon Preservation sued because it feared the rezoning could set a precedent for the area. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled against the organization on most of its claims, but her ruling did invalidate the Rubens/Malibu agreement.

Latigo Canyon Preservation had asked for $125,000 in attorney fees, but Janavs ordered the city to pay less than half that.

Road Conditions Update

One lane in each direction of Pacific Coast Highway will be closed from Big Sycamore Creek to Rancho Guadalasca Road until July 15 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The lane closures are due to pavement work. The ongoing resurfacing project is expected to be completed in September.

Repair work continues above Pacific Coast Highway between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and Coastline. All lanes are open, but intermittent lane closures could occur.

There is one lane open for through traffic on Encinal Canyon Road. According to the city, repairs are on hold pending funding from FEMA.

Pacific Coast Highway is down to one lane in each direction between Trancas Canyon Road and Lunita Road.

Jailed and released filmmaker has Malibu ties

A former graduate of Pepperdine University made headlines recently when he was jailed in Iraq along with his cameraman under suspicion of having ties to the insurgency. Cyrus Kar was in Iraq working on a documentary about an ancient Persian emperor.

Kar and his cameraman were detained at an American checkpoint after it was discovered the taxicab in which they were riding contained more than 35 washing machine timers, which are routinely used by rebels to detonate bombs. Kar was jailed for 54 days.

Kar earned his master’s degree from Pepperdine in technology management. According to the L.A. Times, Kar said his graduation ring from Pepperdine was taken at the time of the arrest and not returned.

Forge Lodge court hearing set

The Sierra Club’s lawsuit against Malibu over the City Council’s approval of the Forge Lodge Bed and Breakfast will be heard by a three-judge panel at the California 2nd District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles on Aug. 2.

The project calls for the construction of a 27-unit, 580-square-foot facility at a location along the northeast corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Corral Canyon Road. The Sierra Club has argued the bed and breakfast would be harmful to the environment. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs ruled against the Sierra Club last year.

Although the Forge Lodge project has already received city approval, it must still obtain a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission. The project went before the state agency last month, but the meeting ended before the commission made a decision. The item is expected to go before the commission again next month.

Permit fees to go toward LNG study

The recently approved 2005-06 fiscal year California budget allows the California Coastal Commission to raise $2.3 million from coastal development permits to review proposals for offshore oil leases and liquefied natural gas terminals. The money can also be used for coastal access programs.

Local developer donates to cancer research

Real estate developer and Malibu resident Marshall Ezralow announced Tuesday that he was donating $6 million to the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and Hospital. The gift is being made to honor Ezralow’s wife, Renette, a fundraiser and champion of cancer research who died of ovarian cancer in 2002.

The donation will be used to establish the Renette and Marshall Ezralow Family Chair in Cancer Therapeutics, which allow the recruitment of new scientists to do cancer research. The money will also be used for further research.

A recently constructed tower on the campus will be named the Renette and Marshall Ezralow Family Research Tower.

-Xiomara Rios, Tiffany Linder and Jonathan Friedman