Caltrans Makes Major Design Error At Trancas Bridge – SMMUSD Loses $45 Million Verdict Over Cabrillo Aide’s Abuse – After Malibu Choses Confrontation, Another Coastal City Beats The Coastal Comm Staff On STRs – Local Mtn Lions Getting Clobbered After Woolsey

Written by on October 21, 2022

This is Malibu’s Only Local Daily News … the Friday edition … I’m Hans Laetz reporting. 


Trancas Creek Bridge Months Late, Faulty Design Means Pilings Need To Go Twice As Deep

The Trancas Creek replacement bridge is several months behind schedule… and probably millions of dollars over budget.

The north half of the bridge is supposed to be finished in three weeks.

Not even close … the bridge supports have yet to be poured … and it’s a long way until the bridge deck can be hailed down from Bakersfield and bolted on.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department wants construction equipment out of the creekbed … and the streamed restored to its natural condition … in time for the rainy season.

Trancas Creek is historically a salmon fishery … and other fish have also migrated up the creek when it flows during winter months.

KBUU News has learned that the bridge has a major design flaw.

As designed … the support casingss are not deep enough … at 68 feet down … they were still sitting in soft creek goop.

Caltrans tested the new piling casings for stress … they failed.

The big pipes are now being sunk down twice as deep … 136 feet down.

And engineers seem think that is safe.

KBUU News has learned this by talking to construction workers … asking why the deck is not finished and ready for traffic on three weeks … as the original timetable called. 

Apparently … based our observations … test borings were done east of the creek and west of the creek … but not in the creek.

Sources close to the construction project confirm that.

Officially … Caltrans is quiet.

We’ve asked about the apparent design problems.

The state has only acknowledged that the Trancas Creek Project is severely behind schedule … and that Caltrans is asking the state Fish and Wildlife people for permission to work past the November 15th blackout date … into December.

This is the second major problem at the bridge.

18 months ago … early construction ground to a half when the state discovered a previously unknown communications cable under the old bridge.

Fixing that error cost 12 months.

Again … we’ve asked Caltrans what this means for the 14 million dollar project … what the new completion date will be … how big is the cost blowout.

The design team does not have answers.


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SMMUSD Loses $45 Million Lawsuit Over 2017-18 Abuse By Cabrillo School Aide

Reports from a Santa Monica newspaper that the local school district has lost a 45 million dollar court verdict … over incidents at the old Juan Cabrillo Elementary School.

And the Santa Monica-Malibu school board will go into an emergency secret session Monday to discuss the courtroom loss.

The Santa Monica Lookout reports that a superior court jury awarded $45 million to two autistic students who were allegedly abused … with corporeal punishment … by a behavioral aid.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District administrators were aware of the abuse but failed to report it to authorities and law enforcement agencies.

The two kids … twins  … were attending Juan Cabrillo Elementary in Malibu when the alleged abuse took place during the 2017-18 school year.

A behavioral support person was assigned to the twin brothers — who were described as non-verbal.

The lawsuit claims that the behavioral air “repeatedly applied chemicals to the dried, chapped, hands” of the twins and “repeatedly grabbed and touched” them “in a manner intended to inflict pain.”

Both of these acts “were harmful and offensive forms of contact” and “were in fact harmful and did in fact cause pain,”  including “bruising, emotional distress and pain, suffering and inconvenience.”

Two years ago .. a state hearing found that the district had denied the students a Free Appropriate Public Education as required by federal law.

As we said, the school board will go into executive session Monday morning at nine to discuss the courtroom judgment and what led to it. Although the meeting itself is closed… the public may make a public comment before the school board retreats into executive session.


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Based in the fashion capital of the world, Milan, Mad Interior Art selects remarkable crystal, porcelain and stone art objects with a remarkable artistic depth …  created by the biggest names on the Italian and international scene. 

Shop from home.  Fast shipping.

Mad Interior Art dot com … from Milan to Malibu … supporters of Radio Malibu. … KBUU.


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Sea N Soul Surf… clothing, coffee and boards for the Malibu lifestyle … under Spruzzo’s …across from Zuma Beach.


Coastal Commission Offers To Compromise With A Different City Over STR Rules

A few months ago … the California Coastal Commission rejected Malibu’s proposed short term rental regulations.

The coastal commission had problems with Malibu’s proposed requirement … that people who rent out their houses to short term visitors must have a host on the premises at all times … to take care of problems.

But before the rejection … Coastal Commission staff had asked the Malibu staff if they could not work out a compromise that would have addressed Malibu concerns … but not eliminate so many overnight rentals.

Malibu’s city council voted to reject negotiations … and adopt councilman Bruce Silverstein’s legal strategy: that short term rentals were illegal to begin with under the city’s zoning code.

A court ruling in Manhattan Beach had already rejected that legal theory … ion a very similar case.

Silverstein says that Court of Appeal decision was wrong … and he says the facts in Manhattan Beach are not exactly the same. 

That’s not the way the commission saw it.

So the Coastal Commission took a hard line … and told Malibu that unless it compromised … the entire short term rental ordinance was no good.

But last week … almost the exact same issues came up when Half Moon Bay’s short term rental ordinance came up for Coastal Commission approval.

But in that case … the Commission overruled its staff … and sided with Half Moon Bay’s opposition to unfettered short term rentals in residential neighborhoods.

Coastal Commission staff had recommended the Half Moon Bay ordinance be rejected …. 

but the commission rejected that recommendation.

They told the staff to got back to the Half Moon Bay city officials … and work out a compromise.

Half Moon Bay mayor Jill Ekas told the commission that short term rentals were eating up the housing stock up there.


“We’re very concerned when we have housing units in our housing element annual “but are simply not houses anymore and it’s serious and we’re not sure that this is really landing so … please give us that support.

COASTAL CHAIR DONNE BROWNLEY: “Well … we understand that … and this is a persistent issue up and down the coast.”

That was the Coastal Commission chairwoman … Donne Brownsey … at the end. 

Numerous commissioners said they support the complaints from Half Moon Bay residents … that Coastal staff is too concerned with opening up overnight rentals along the coast … at the expense of destroying neighborhoods by converting them into unmanaged hotels.

One commissioner … Mike Wilson lives on the coast in Eureka.

And at the meeting. …. he said houses in his neighborhood are already selling for inflated prices … because investors are moving in to make big bucks with short term rentals.


“I got a call from a real estate agent because I was advocating that that not happen. And they were concerned they were going to lose the (proposed STR house) sale.  

“That told me very directly that the value that the property they were predicating itself on was a value as a commercial use.

“It was is essentially a zoning change.

“And so we’re seeing is zoning changing occurring into commercial uses of neighborhoods of a down the West Coast.”

That’s a Coastal Commissioner talking … and the other coastal commissioners agreed with him.

They unanimously praised Half Moon Bay city officials for honestly trying to negotiate an STR ordinance that both sides could live with.

So last week … the Coastal Commission overruled the hard line recommended by its own staff … and told them to come up with a plan that addresses the objections of neighbors in Half Moon Bay.

Could there be a lesson here for Malibu???

Or will Malibu continue its hard line philosophy … that short term rentals are already illegal … a legal theory that the appellate court in California has already ruled to be legally not correct???

Stay tuned. 


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After Woolsey, Mountain Lions Roamed Twice As Far And Crossed Freeways A Lot

Researchers confirm that mountain lions in the Malibu area now face a much greater likelihood of getting killed by a car because of the Woolsey Fire. 

And their chances of getting killed by a fellow panther in a territorial dispute have also increased.

Researchers report that the 100 thousand acre Woolsey Fire has forced mountain lions to the edge of the mountains … to the unburned areas … 

And that puts them into turf wars … and heavy traffic.

A research study was published yesterday in the journal      .

It says that in the 15 months after the fire …  potentially deadly road and freeway crossings by radio-collared mountain lions increased from three per month to five.

They also found that the distances the animals roamed had doubled — growing to 342 from 155 miles per month.

That greatly increases the risk of deadly clashes between mountain lions over shrinking territory.

The lead researcher said mountain lions may be moving out of the mountains in search of food.

But they still exhibit a strong aversion to housing areas … and people.

After the Woolsey fire, the study says, mountain lions continued to spend only about 5 percent of their time in urban areas.

“The idea that mountain lions will run across freeways rather than take their chances in urban areas really reinforces how strongly mountain lions avoid humans” said Rachel Blakey, lead author of the study.

At least three mountain lions have been hit and killed on local roads this year.

One of them … hit and killed in Malibu Canyon … was pregnant with four kittens.

The state Fish and Game Commission is nearing a decision on listing the local mountain lions as a “threatened species” under the state Endangered Species Act. 

If that happens … it could limit highway construction and development on thousands of acres of real estate in the Santa Monica Mountains region.


Support for KBUU Radio comes from Mad Interior Art.  

Based in the fashion capital of the world, Milan, Mad Interior Art selects remarkable crystal, porcelain and stone art objects with a remarkable artistic depth …  created by the biggest names on the Italian and international scene. 

Shop from home.  Fast shipping.

Mad Interior Art dot com … from Milan to Malibu … supporters of Radio Malibu. … KBUU.

Huge Commercial Lease At Billionaire’s Beach: Knowtel To Open Shared Work Center

A flexible workspace company is apparently signing a big lease in Malibu.

The big office building just west of the old Shell gas station … and just east of tZuma Jay’s surf shop … may be under lease to a huge commercial office company called Newmark.

Newmark has a division called Knotel … which runs trendy coworking office complexes in hip locales across the country.

Knotel has reportedly signed Malibu’s largest office lease in more than a decade.

This is reported by the Real Deal … a subscription web site … says Knotel will use the 34,300-square-foot office building as coworking space.

The Real Deal quotes two sources familiar with the deal. 

The office is across PCH from Soho House and Nobu … and it includes an underground parking garage under an office building tucked up against the hills.

It is next door to the proposed Malibu Hotel planned by developer Norm Haney … now held up in the Coastal Commission approval process.


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