What’s happening around town

Once again I let Paul Grisanti con me. He swore to me that this was my year to win the Porsche before he sold me a ticket. I was so certain that we went up to Mammoth for the weekend, fully confident that a shiny new Porsche would be awaiting us on our return. All I know is some guy named Coughlin is driving around in my Porsche and I’m looking for Grisanti. I understand from those who were in town that it turned out to be a heck of a Labor Day Chili Cook-off, for which we all owe a debt of thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Malibu.

As expected, Assembly Bill 988 sailed through the state Senate unanimously and is now on its way to conference committee and then to the governor, who is sure to sign. Malibu is now going to get a Local Coastal Plan even if the Coastal Commission has to write it for us. The message is: You have been warned, so get to it and agree on a Local Coastal Plan, or else. And judging from the fact that this bill sailed through the state Senate unopposed, I suspect we’re going to agree — to what, it’s not yet clear, but most assuredly agree we will. Now the test will be how much of a deal we can negotiate with the Coastal Commission, when, in the final analysis, they don’t really need us to agree to anything if they don’t like our suggestions. This is a test of the diplomatic and negotiating skills of our council and city manager and the willingness of Coastal Commission Chair Sara Wan and the other commissioners not to try and ram something down our throats that we hate.

All hell appears to be breaking loose at the Malibu Stage Company. We just received a letter that eight of the 11 board members have resigned. It’s not unexpected because a behind-the-scenes battle has been seething for months and months. With the Monday holiday it came too late to check out the details, but we’ll be on it next week and try to get to the root of this fratricidal war that erupts periodically.

Adele Pollard called and asked that we give a plug to the Malibu Farmers’ Market which has been struggling lately with a drop-off of shoppers since its opening just a few months ago. If the vendors don’t do enough business the market could just wither and die. They need our support to make it work. Unfortunately, they’ve been unlucky with their timing. With the opening of HOWS Market at Trancas, the revamping of Cooks Market on Pt. Dume, and Pacific Coast Greens and Ralphs Market now competing seriously, we’ve gone from a paucity of markets to an absolute surplus. There is another foody operation, primarily takeout, that is currently being built out in the Civic center at the old location of the bike shop and Xanadau Bakery. They haven’t yet settled on a name, but they’re experienced operators from the Hamptons on Long Island. They know how to run a successful New York-style food emporium, have some heavy-hitter local investors (rumored David and Linda Foster and others) and will definitely be raising the bar even further for the competition.

Is it just me or were sheriff’s deputies giving out a lot more parking tickets this summer? Our live and let live parking regulation days appear to be over, which set me to wondering about some of the red curbs you see painted all over parts of Malibu. I couldn’t prove it, although I may try to, but it appears to me that some people have extended a little self-help to painting some of the curbs near their homes or stores, and declaring their own little no parking zones. I assume there must be a master list somewhere of all the red zones. Can anybody help us out with the info?

We’re running a couple of stories this week about the proposed project that may ultimately occur if the Topanga Canyon property owned by LAACO, the parent of the LA Athletic Club, gets sold to the state for a park. As part of that deal the piece along PCH becomes a hotel or condos. Don’t start panicking yet about the traffic because the county is already taking a second look at the area zoning in the existing plan and it’s possible it may be downzoned. Look for a knock-down battle on this one, with anyone who has ever been caught in a traffic jam at Topanga, and who hasn’t, trying to block it.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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