KBUU Newswire: Michael Epstein Blames Poor Condition Of PCH For Postponing Triathlon – Weak Speed Camera Bill Passes Senate – Speed Cameras To Cost Malibu $200K Next Year – Sheriff’s Station Won’t Open Next Year, City Manager Predicts –

Written by on May 24, 2024

Michael Epstein Blames Poor Condition Of PCH For Postponing Triathlon

Pacific Coast Highway is in the worst condition it has been in … in 40 years. 

That’s the contention of the organizers of this fall’s Zuma Beach Triathlon … as they plead with the city council to allow this year’s Triathlon to be cancelled without losing their franchise. 

Race organizer Michael Epstein told the city council this week that  the current conditions and multiple construction zones are not conducive to allow athletes months in advance to train on the course. 

Epstein sent the city council a photo of the flooded Zuma Creek underpass portion of the race course … which is now mostly dry.

He also said the Trancas bridge is still being demolished … although the state may hav the new bridge up and open by the triathlon date … next Spetember. 

But Epstein says the strategic decision to postpone the triathlon event was made necessary by construction, lane closures, tunnel issues, landslide mitigation and other safety issues up and downtime highway. 

A competing triathlon event organizer .. Super League triathlon … has already appeared before the city council and thrown shade at Epstein and his Zuma Beach triathlon organization.

But it;’s not clear if Suoper League is willing or able to run the race this September. 

The triathlon controversy is back on the city council agenda for this Monday… And we can expect to hear both organizations make their pitch.

Strong Anti-Speeding Bill, And Weak Speed Camera Bill, Make It Out Of Senate

The California State Senate has passed two bills aimed at traffic safety in Malibu and across the state.

Extreme speeders are targeted with extreme ticket fines.

But the Malibu speed camera bill still has the limitations that may make the cameras pretty ineffective.

Nevertheless … the city of Malibu has put out a statement saying they are proud to announce the legislative victory. 

As we’ve reported. … Malibu will be allowed to install five cameras on PCH to automatically capture video of speeding cars.

But they will only send tickets out to owners of cars … not drivers … which means the citations will not count on drivers licenses. 

And the fines are watered down to the point of questionable deterrence.

They will allow speeders to travel up to 55 or 60 mph on PCH … and then get only a warning in the mail.

And there is an 80- percent discount for people who make less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

A car caught going 58 miles an hour in eastern Malibu would get a 10 dollar fine in the mail … if the owner makes less than 92 thousand dollars a year.

Nevertheless … Malibu city leaders are putting a lot of faith that these speeding tickets will be anything more than a souvenir. 

Another bill that passed out of the senate has more teeth.

That proposed law would increase penalties for excessive speeding.

A driver caught going more than 26 miles above the speed limit would get two points against their drivers license …. Plus steeper fines.

Those tickets, of course, would have to be written by a sheriff, deputy or CP officer… The automatic radar cameras would not be authorized to write those tickets.

Both bills passed out of the Senate this week… And now move onto the state assembly.

No significant moves have been made to strengthen them.

In fact … there are some state legislators who feel that rich cities like Malibu are picking on people of modest means … who are minorities … from poorer parts of the state.

61 people have been killed on PCH within Malibu city limits in the past 13 years.

Speed Cameras To Cost Malibu $200K Next Year

The Malibu speed cameras will cost the city 200 thousand dollars next year … an addition to the city budget that goes before the city council next Monday.

In order to get the speed cameras… Malibu will have to conduct an extensive investigation into how many motorist get tickets… What ZIP Codes they live in… And if the speed camera tickets are concentrating on disadvantaged drivers.

The cameras will only cost 50 thousand dollars to install nine cameras … but it will cost the city another 150 thousand dollars to write that report.

The latest version of the city budget also recommends another $315,000 be added for the Malibu education foundation to help launch a self sufficient fundraising organization for the new Malibu school district.

That money will also go to help pay to set up a middle school athletics program.

And the city manager is also proposing a 150% increase in the construction budget for the proposed permanent skate park at Bluffs Park.

Right now… The city has $1 million to build a skateboard park… A contribution from the real estate developer next-door.

The city manager proposes to take more than 1.4 million from the city’s piggy bank and add it to the skateboard park … for a total budget of 2.5 million dollars. 

Sheriff’s Station Won’t Open Next Year, City Manager Predicts

Don;t expect the Malibu sheriff’s station to open anytime soon.

City manager Steve McClary has told the city council that the shortage of sheriff’s deputies … countywide .. means that the sheriff does not have there sworn deputies to staff the station.

Malibu taxpayers are funding the new sheriff’s station through a construction bond to build the Malibu campus for Santa Monica College.

It looks like that station … complete with small jail … is a white elephant.

Not having to pay for those deputies is saving the city a lot of money … but some of that is being spent to pay for four CHP officers brought in to patrol PCH.

Inspecting Outdoor Decks Will Cost Landlords $800k Next Year

One other budget item … it’s going to cost Malibu about 800 thousand dollars to comply with a new state law about inspecting outdoor decks … staircases or other elevated exterior floors.

Those costs will be passed on to the owners in the form of fees.

Under a new state law… Any multi family structure with three or more units will have to have stairways or decks inspected by an architect or structural engineer.

Statewide… And here in Malibu… Decks like that have been collapsing, causing injury and in some cases death

The city is adding $800,000 to its budget next year for administering what they call the E3 program. 

That money will be made up by fees charged to owners of the structures.

City Staff Grows to 107-1/2 FTEs

And the city workforce is going to go up again.

It wasn’t too long ago that we reported 100 full-time equivalent workers on the city payroll. 

The Proposed Budget provides for 107 and a half full-time equivalent employees. 

Oxnard Fireworks Shipment Intercepted

Every summer … Malibu is rattled by illegal fireworks being set off.

They are illegal for sale in the local area.

On Wednesday … the Oxnard Fire Department received a call from a shipping company about receiving a large shipment of fireworks . Intended for an Oxnard resident to pick up.

Boxes containing nearly 1500 pounds of fireworks were sitting on the dock. 

Oxnard Police were then called in … all types of fireworks are illegal in the city. 

The fireworks came from an out-of-state facility, and investigators say the intended recipient was a 47-year-old Oxnard man.

He was arrested.

The Ventura County Bomb Squad was called out to safely remove, and dispose of the fireworks.

UCLA Profs Take Cheap Shot At Malibu In LA Times

Two UCLA professors took a cheap shot at Malibu this morning in the LA Times. 

The professors use Malibu in the headline about cities not complying with the state housing law … which requires cities to designate areas where zoning for increased housing can be adopted.

Malibu has gone to the state to ask more time … because of dealing with rebuilding after the Woolsey Fire …. and the pandemic … Malibu missed the deadline.

Malibu City Hall went to the state attorney general … and the state has agreed to an extension of the deadline for Malibu …

Not good enough for UCLA professors Paavo Monkkonen and Aaron Barrall.

They say that Malibu was allowed to dawdle … and add to the critical shortage of housing in California. 

Malibu was held out as the bad boy.

But one fourth of the cities in California have missed that deadline.

Fresno.  Calexico.  Ridgecrest.  They all missed the deadline.

Not as sexy as Malibu. 

City Will Survey Locals About Land Use Sunday

Contractors working for the city will have a booth at the Malibu Farmers Market this Sunday … asking what people want to see done with five vacant pieces of land owned by the city.

This comes as part of an extensive outreach and engagement program to gather community feedback.

A company called Tripepi Smith is gathering opinions from the Malibu community, including residents, businesses and community groups.

They’ll be at the Farmers Market from 9 to noon Sunday.

And they’ll be at Duke’s Restaurant … at th east end of town …. Wednesday night at 6.

The idea is to prepare a menu of all the possible land uses… ranging from doing nothing at all to preserve open fields … to building heliports and multi story parking garages.

In the middle have been proposal after proposal… request after request… for more athletic playing fields.

Eventually… The city council is going to have to make a list of priorities… For the five public properties.

Expect to hear a lot about this … this summer.

Malibu Brewing Co Looks At Ladyface Venue

Malibu Brewing Company is looking to open its second set of taps.

The company has applied for liquor licenses at the building occupied for the past 10 years or so by the Ladyface Ale Company.

That brewpub is at the corner of Agoura Road at Kanan Dume Road. 

The Malibu Brewing  brand recently applied for a liquor license at the same spot for beer manufacturing, a general eating place, catering and events.

Owner Ryan Ahrens opened the Trancas taproom in 2022 as Malibu’s first brewery. 

Ladyface has been known for Belgian menu items … particularly French fries and mussels.

And of course … we noted that Malibu Brewing Company is an underwriter of KBUU radio.

June Hiatus For KBUU News

This final note … the KBUU News will be going on hiatus in the month of June.

Democracy Now will move to the 7am and 8 am slots … for one month. 

Time for a break.

We’ll be available if there is a local news emergency.

The regular KBUU local newscasts will end in one week … and will resume in July.

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