News Briefs

Brad Norris and his daughter, Hali, caught two thresher sharks off the Malibu coast on Sunday. "Hali helped so much and even pulled in the first one," Norris wrote in an e-mail to The Malibu Times. "The other almost spooled us and was easily twice as big."

Court hearings of local interest take place Monday

The arraignment hearing for the two Malibu residents charged with misdemeanor battery for their alleged involvement in the June brawl between surfers and paparazzi on Little Dume Beach is scheduled Monday.

Skylar Peak, 24, and Philip “John” Hildebrand, 30, were to be arraigned in Malibu Superior Court last month, but schedule conflicts for their attorneys led to the continuance.

The suspects face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted.

Meanwhile, in Van Nuys, 28-year-old Brian David Franks is expected to be sentenced for his involvement in last year’s Corral Fire. Last month, he changed his plea from not guilty to no contest on a felony charge of recklessly causing a fire, becoming the first suspect in the case to admit participation. Prosecutors are expected to ask for five years probation and 300 hours community service. As part of the deal, Franks has agreed to testify against the other four suspects.

Also on Monday in Van Nuys, Culver City residents Eric Matthew Ullman, 19, and Dean Allen Lavorante, 20, will appear in court for their arraignment. The two other suspects, Los Angeles residents Brian Alan Anderson, 23, and William Thomas Coppock, 24, are due in court Dec. 5 for a preliminary hearing.

Trancas Park goes to Planning Commission

The Planning Commission on Monday will vote on the proposed Trancas Canyon Community Park. The proposal for the park on a 13-acre piece of land on the east side of Trancas Canyon Road calls for a two-acre multisports field with a natural grass surface, a one-acre open space for dogs, a parking lot and other features.

The project has been controversial, with some people, including Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, wanting the park to be used for league play. But the City Council, as a whole, in June sided with the vocal neighbors and voted for it to be used only for practice.

PCH lanes closed for paving

The California Department of Transportation is paving the area from 21660 to 22114 Pacific Coast Highway from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Thursday of this week. One lane is open in each direction at all times, according to the city.

Also, Verizon Wireless has begun a project to place fiber optics underground along Civic Center Way. The project includes pot holing on Stuart Ranch Road, Civic Center Way and Cross Creek Road. After pot holing is complete, Verizon will start trenching and placing the fiber optics underground. This project is expected to be complete within the next month, according to the city.

Morning emergency response training offered

The city of Malibu, in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, will offer morning training for the Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, beginning next week on Wednesday. Most classes have taken place in the evening.

The free course headed by Emergency Services Coordinator Brad Davis teaches a variety of skills, with graduates becoming certified to be part of the official CERT effort during an emergency. The course will take place in seven sessions from Nov. 5 to Dec. 17 at City Hall. All classes will take place from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Those interested in signing up can contact Davis at 310.456.2489 ext. 260 or by e-mail at

Fashion show to raise awareness of slavery

A group of 215 Pepperdine University students is putting on a fashion show on Sunday to raise awareness about modern-day slavery and to generate money for its victims.

The Life Mission Fashion Show will feature “fair-trade” clothing and items. It will also include speeches from Isaac Amol, a survivor of the conflict in Southern Sudan, and Malibu Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern. Recording artist Matt Wertz will perform after the show.

A press release issued by Pepperdine states, “The United Nations Children’s Fund estimates that as many as 1.2 million children are trafficked each year. Modern day slavery also involves the abduction and coercion of children into warfare, such as the child soldiers who have sustained rebel armies in Uganda over the past 23 years.”

Pepperdine’s Seaver College student Sara Ward, who heads the group putting on the event, said, “We can make a difference for generations of children who’ve been stripped of all and yet continue to fight. It’s easy to think, ‘tomorrow’ or ‘I don’t understand their plight.’ Tomorrow rarely happens. Our world is interconnected and the issue is affecting millions. The time is now.”

Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for non-Pepperdine students. They can be purchased online at or by calling the Smothers Theatre box office at 310. 506.4522. For more information on the event, go to

-Jonathan Friedman