Community members hike with Senator Ben Allen

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(Left to Right) Larry Laffer, Susan Laffer, Marilyn Green, Larry Jones, Gina Muscatel, Ben Allen, Ted Vaill, Lance Simmens, Hap Henry, Michael Omary, Bill Swartout, Pam Ulich and America Kiesau, at Point Dume

Malibu residents enjoyed having a long, personal visit with their state senator

By Jane Albrecht

Special to The Malibu Times

This past Sunday, Aug. 27, District 24 State Senator Ben Allen came to Malibu to hike and have lunch with the area’s community members. Sam Liu, Allen’s district director, and Davis Han, his district representative, accompanied Allen. The hike and lunch were hosted by the Malibu Democratic Club, but were open to the entire community. Many people came out to enjoy the fun and spectacularly beautiful day.  

The senator loves Malibu, and has always shown a genuine interest in our city. He has been hiking in Malibu since he was a child, when he and his father hiked a lot in the canyons. He also served on the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board early in his career, so he is familiar with the school issues. Today’s events were designed to give him the opportunity to get to know Malibu residents and their concerns in a broader and deeper way, now that he is our state senator.

Malibu rolled out the best weather it has to offer for the hike around the Point Dume Nature Preserve. In addition to soaking in the natural beauty and vistas, the group saw the sea lions basking on the beach of their Point Dume home. 

Left to Right Larry Laffer Susan Laffer Marilyn Green Larry Jones Gina Muscatel Ben Allen Ted Vaill Lance Simmens Hap Henry Michael Omary Bill Swartout Pam Ulich and America Kiesau at Point Dume
(Left to Right) Larry Laffer, Susan Laffer, Marilyn Green, Larry Jones, Gina Muscatel, Ben Allen, Ted Vaill, Lance Simmens, Hap Henry, Michael Omary, Bill Swartout, Pam Ulich and America Kiesau, at Point Dume

The hike was then followed by a delicious, convivial summer lunch at Ciel Orange, a new local favorite restaurant on Point Dume, owned by beloved Malibu restauranteur Wilfredo Barrera (who also owns Tramonto). As always, Barrera was there working; the food was exquisite; and his wait staff did a superb job of serving the group, deftly and unobtrusively weaving between people and tables. 

Malibu residents enjoyed having a long, personal visit with their state senator. Foremost on their minds were safety on Pacific Coast Highway, the environment, and problems that Malibu-ites experience with the management of State Parks and MRCA properties. 

Allen had several ideas that may be able to improve communication between the government and Malibu residents on these issues, along the lines of the PCH Task Force, for which his district representative, Davis Han, serves. Allen said that he knew the parents of Emily Shane, who was only 13 when she was killed on PCH in 2010. He said he still gets chills every time he drives by PCH and Heathercliff, where Emily died. 

Dr. Bill Swartout, a three-year Malibu resident said, “I very much enjoyed this opportunity to get to know Ben.” 

Jane Albrecht, president of the Malibu Democratic Club, said, “We thank Ben for giving up several hours of his prime time on Sunday to spend time with us in Malibu. Even before he was our senator, I was impressed by his willingness to make time for Malibu. It’s always a pleasure to work with Ben, Sam, and Davis.”

If you need to reach Senator Allen, Sam Liu or Davis Han, the district office is at 2512 Artesia Blvd., #320, Redondo Beach, CA 90278-3279. Phone: (310) 318-6994. Their emails are: Senator.Allen@senate.ca.govSam.Liu@senate.ca.gov; and Davis.Han@senate.ca.gov