News Briefs


Coastal suit hearing set

A hearing has been set for May 25 in the state Court of Appeal for the city of Malibu’s case against the California Coastal Commission. The city is attempting to put Malibu’s Coastal Commission-drafted Local Coastal Program on the ballot. The Coastal Commission has challenged the city’s ability to do that, despite community leaders having gathered enough signatures on a petition to create a referendum. The Coastal Commission won the suit at the trial level.

Groundwater sampling

There will be a presentation of the draft results of a yearlong groundwater-sampling program and an assessment of the risks that may be associated with the use of onsite wastewater treatment systems in the Civic Center area at the May 20 Wastewater Advisory Committee meeting.

The presentation is the culmination of a yearlong project funded by a grant from the State Water Resources Control Board.

The meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.

Malibu man off to prison

Malibu resident Kenneth Taves was sentenced to just over 11 years in federal prison for fraud. Taves was convicted of defrauding hundreds of thousands of credit card holders out of $37 million by falsely billing them for access to pornographic Web sites.

U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts also ordered Taves, 52, to pay restitution to the victims.

Taves pleaded guilty in 2001 to possessing credit card account numbers with intent to defraud consumers and with obtaining money through unauthorized credit card charges. In 1997, he purchased access to lists of more than 3.7 million MasterCard and Visa credit cards from Charter Pacific Bank in Agoura, claiming he wanted to check on the credit ratings of customers. But instead Taves used the access to bill about 900,000 people for services they never purchased.

Realtor Stern

Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern recently passed the exam to become a real estate agent in California. He said it would take about a month for him to get his license, then he plans to begin working for Prudential Malibu Realty. Stern said he would recuse himself from any council vote if there were any conflict because of his new job.

Stern, 51, is an attorney, although he said he currently makes a living repairing troubled companies. Stern received his law degree from the University of San Fernando Valley, College of Law in 1977. He earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA in 1974.

Stern was elected to the council in 2002.

Arianna Huffington in Malibu

Arianna Huffington, noted author, columnist and radio and television personality will appear and speak at 12 p.m. on Sunday at the estate of Dr. Amarjit and Kuljit Marwah, located at 29057 Pacific Coast Highway.

The appearance is part of the “Bush Clearance” fundraiser for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Call 454.1487 or contact for more information.

Grand old fundraiser

Game show host Wink Martindale will host the Malibu Republican Women, Federated’s annual fundraiser on May 16 at Malibu West Swim Club. Radio host Larry Elder will also speak at the engagement. The event begins at 5 p.m. For more information or to make reservations, call 456.3310.

Pollution prevention

The State Water Resources Control Board has approved $4.1 million in grants for the city and county of Los Angeles to help prevent urban runoff from polluting the ocean along the Santa Monica Bay. The grants will go to four projects working to fix the problem of water contamination in the area. These organizations include the Los Angeles County Flood Control District, the Southern California Coastal Waters Research Project and the county’s Department of Beaches and Harbors. The city of Los Angeles also received a grant totaling just over $1 million to replace defective drainage and sewer pipes.