Along the PCH


My estimate of local parking availability between the hours of 11 a.m.-5 p.m.: The lot behind McLean Gallery/Toy Crazy: 98 percent full. Colony Shopping Plaza: 85 percent full. Cross Creek: 95 percent. Behind the Country Mart, by Nobu: 100 percent. Heathercliff: 100 percent.

The average house sale is more than $2 million. For that much money in 1946 the entire construction of the yacht harbor and marina could’ve been completed. Or so it was first proposed at that time, on 11 acres between the Colony and PCH inside the lagoon area.

Over the years, I have shared with you many ideas for hikes and strolls. This may be the best one yet. My daughter and I call it the “Civic Center Super Walk.” You should try it …

… Park at the administration complex at the Civic Center. Walk past the library to Cross Creek, and wander all around the Country Mart. Stop for a coffee and visit the park. Go across the street past the theater and all around the complex. Visit the kitties. Check out the new bookstore. Get a Frappuccino. Cross PCH and take the bridge along the highway to the Adamson grounds, the highlight of the trip. Be sure to gaze upon the lagoon from the top of the boathouse deck, and walk all around the exquisite grounds. If the Adamson property was still a private residence, I estimate it’s worth on the open market above $50 million …

The Super Walk can be initiated any time from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; especially wonderful during summer. Then on to the Pier, to the end and back. See the new cafe there. Back at Surfrider Beach, take off your shoes and walk along the sand past the swimmers, and past the surfers, all the way to the Colony, a half-mile stroll. Exit the beach via the wooden bridges of the lagoon park back to PCH. Walk along the Perenchio Wall to Malibu Road and the Colony Shopping Plaza. Pass the magazine stand and all the shops all the way to Ralphs. Another coffee …

… Back to the car. Note the appearance of the Civic Center will change in coming years. Freeze it in your mind now. This walk is easily completed, with rest stops, in three hours. What better way to see the people of Malibu (some you will know), the visitors of Malibu, the beauty of central Malibu … indeed, the very heart of Malibu?

Malibu life and news stories from about 40 years ago: A favorite coffee shop in town was the Malibu Sands Coffee Shop where Thai Dishes is now. That whole complex, across from Carbon “Billionaires” Beach, was once a motel. The freeway proposed through Malibu Canyon was going to be numbered route 64. About 300 students in the sixth and seventh grades entered the brand new Malibu Park Junior High in September, 1963. It had only 10 classrooms and one locker room. A new Spanish style townhouse complex with 48 units all facing the ocean was proposed. It would be all electric, with utilities underground. Indeed, it was built: The Maison Deville Townhouses off Civic Center. Eighty additional units were planned, but never built. Just below to the east, a 4-acre flat pad sat empty-soon to be the Malibu Village Canyon condos. And just to the east of that, in the flats called Crummer Field, huge horse shows raged with giant grandstands and tents, and hundreds of people attending. The Civic Center had only dusty, dirt roads within it then.

We all know the Coastal Commission is out of control and, led by local Sara Wan, intrudes too far into our lives with mega-bureaucratic draconian restrictions. I heard a story not long ago of a family four miles from the coast, in the hills, who were cited for having an unpermitted horse corral that could not be seen from any public road. The Coastal Commission demanded they tear it down. When they went to comply, the Coastal Commission demanded they desist until they first obtained a permit to tear down the corral …

… Fortunately, the Pacific Legal Foundation wants to hear about your horror story in dealing with the commission. E-mail your story to landowners may report regulatory excesses and unfair treatment by the Coastal Commission or local coastal governments. “Credible reports will be catalogued for the general information of the media and the public, and PLF attorneys will get involved in cases where the foundation’s help can be useful. PLF will also systematically monitor Coastal Commission meetings and look for opportunities to litigate against regulatory overreach,” it reports. I believe the PLF is the best defender of dwindling property rights in Malibu.

Malibu’s first courthouse was not actually the “Old Courthouse” building at PCH and Rambla Vista, but rather a small old shack a short distance up Las Flores Canyon. Names of the judges in the Malibu Judicial District over the years: Webster, Worley, Woodmansee, Miller, Merrick and Mira.

We have had nine elections since 1990 for City Council spots, with a total of 77 candidates running for 24 available seats. (About 30 entered for the first election). The only candidates to never lose have been Larry Wan, Jeff Kramer, John Harlow, Harry Barovsky, Ken Kearsley, Sharon Barovsky, Andy Stern and Pamela Conley Ulich. Harlow and Kearsley were two-for-two. I plan on running in the 2016 campaign.

Before Highway 1 was Highway 1, it was numbered “Highway 101 alternate.”

More memories from the mid-1960s: Supposedly, more than 1,000 locals attended an open house for the new Bank of America building on March 16, 1963. Located at 23676 Malibu Road, it had 10 teller stations and an open mezzanine upstairs. The location now houses Coldwell Banker (and my office). The exact attendance was unknown, but the “cup count” that night was reportedly 1,700. Also, Malibu West tract opened, including the fabulous Beach Club, in 1964. The neighborhood had no trees. And a fire on November 16, 1964 destroyed the already-famous Malibu Sea Lion. Owner Chris Polos immediately vowed to rebuild. The Albatross Restaurant and gas station just to the west were untouched.

How ironic Malibu citizens may want to form their own school district. History repeats. In the mid-1940s, Malibu residents had to scream to get the Santa Monica School Board to build a local school. It took months of campaigning and finally the weight of judge John Webster to get our first school approved. Webster School opened in 1948.

High atop the newly expanded Pepperdine campus is the George Graziadio School of Business and Management. The feature landmark of the new campus is the Heroes Garden, dedicated to the heroes of Sept. 11 and particularly those on Flight 93 who died in Pennsylvania, saving Americans and a Washington landmark from another attack. Pepperdine alumnus Tom Burnett was on that flight. He is generally recognized as one of the passengers who stormed the hijackers and foiled their mission …

… The garden of water, boulders, limestone and vegetation lies at the foot of the American flag, which once flew above the Capitol in Washington. Dedicated on Sept. 11, 2003, it is across the street from the executive building, with stunning Pacific Ocean views. Emblazoned on one of the large stones is this quote from the wife of Tom, Deena Burnett: “Heroes can give their lives all at one time or they can give a little each day.”