KBUU NEWS Mon Jun 13 – Coastal Comm Staff Throws Up 2nd Nastygram To Malibu – SMMUSD Apologizes After Tone Deaf Letter ‘Accidentally’ Sent To MHS Families – Rabies Warning After Dead Bat – Brush in Local Mins Is Dry

Written by on June 13, 2022

=. First B and Bs … now fire rebuilds … the Coastal Commission has problems with Malibu.
=. Santa Monica school officials are really, really sorry about a letter sent to Malibu High School graduates.
=. The school district and city stumble again in getting plans ready for Malibu High … another delay.
=. A dead or dying bat is picked up by kids in the Santa Monica Mountains … promoting a possible rabies notice.
=. Brush in the Malibu mountains has gotten very dry very quickly – as a brushfire burns 100 miles inland.
=. Big lunar high tides tonight … 7 feet plus … may fill the lagoons.

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

Coastal Commission Staff Rewriting Malibu City Hall Rules on Fire Rebuilds, B-and-Bs

The California Coastal Commission is flexing its power over Malibu … and officials in the Ventura office are telling Malibu they don’t like two city policies.
And they want changes.
The staff at the California Coastal Commission is not happy with a City of Malibu option for people who want to expand their houses after they got burned out.
In a letter to the city government … the state agency said it’s illegal for the city to let people expand the size of their houses while rebuilding … using a particular zoning bonus.
People whose houses burned down are allowed to upsize their homes by 10 percent when rebuilding without getting planning permits.
Coastal has no problem with that,
What Coastal doesn’t like is an option given to fore victims … to get the automatic 10 percent upsize at the same time that they are applying for even larger homes.
The city calls that Option 4.
City manager Steve McClary says Malibu will stop offering Option 4 to fire victims … out of what the city manager calls an abundance of caution.
And people currently seeking Planning Department approval for the bonus are seeing their applications put on hold until this matter is resolved with Coastal.
And as we reported last week .. coastal does not like a section of Malibu’s new b and b breakfast … the short term rental ordinance.
The Coastal staff in Ventura says Malibu would be illegally restricting public access to the coast by requiring the owners of Air B and Bs or other vacation rentals to always have a host on the premises.
Malibu wants to require hosts to keep a lid on raucous parties … parking problems or other objectionable nonsense.
Coastal says requiring a host would drive many hosts out of the business … decreasing the amount of overnight losing along the Malibu.
Santa Monica has the same host requirement … and Malibu city council members modeled our ordinance after theirs.
But Coastal says Santa Monica has lots of hotel rooms … and Malibu doesn’t.
The Coastal Commission moves against Malibu will be topics at the city council meeting tonight.

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SMMUSD Congrats Malibu Grads For ‘Typical’ Year During Fire, Officials Really, Really Sorry

A Santa Monica school district official is taking the blame for sending out a letter congratulating graduating high school seniors.
The letter has infuriated Malibu parents.
The letter was viewed as an incredibly case of tone deafness and insensitivity.
The letter was written in the voice of school superintendent …. Ben Drati.
It was sent to all families with graduates in both Malibu and Santa Monica high schools,.
In it …. Drati congratulated the class of 2022 for having what he called a “typical” freshman year.
The freshman year for Malibu High graduates included a fire that took out the homes of dozens of the 117 students who made it through to graduation day.
It also include a flood that closed the school.
And also not mentioned … the fact that their middle school and high school experience at Malibu High included the PCB discovery … an interruption that caused immense dislocation at the school.
If not a grave insult … an incredible case of tone deafness.
To some parents … it was another example of how a school district headquarters 20 miles away from Malibu has no clue about the kids here.
It was all a mistake … says the district’s spokeswoman … Gail Pinsker.
After the letter went out … and parent complaints began to come in … Pinkser told KBUU that the letter was intended for a Santa Monica newspaper.
She says she unthinkingly mailed it out to all families in both cities.
Pinsker and Drati have apologized to Malibu residents … and mailed out a new letter.

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Another Delay For Malibu High Project At City Hall

The Malibu High School reconstruction project faces a delay at Malibu City Hall.
The school district is racing to get approval of the project up to the Coastal Commission … this summer … in order to start construction this fall.
If Coastal permits are not issued on a very fast track … there project will have to wait up to a year because dirt cannot be moved around during the rainy season.
And school district officials say that will be a very bad problem … as inflation eats ups a million dollars per month in purchasing power … a one year delay may drain all the money and kill the new high school.
The project plans are still coming in to city hall.
Traffic studies for Morning View Drive were only submitted last Wednesday.
City staff says they need two weeks to analyze the traffic study … before it goes to the city council.
That means the Malibu High project will not be discussed tonight at the city council meeting … but will be held over for two weeks.


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Rabies Warning After Dying Or Dead Bat Discovered At Local Attraction

L A County is warning that a bat was picked up and handled by people at the Calamigos Ranch above Malibu last week.
And that raises the possibility of rabies transmission.
Department of Public Health officials are urging patrons of the cafe to ask their children … if they saw or touched a sick bat on the play area outside the Malibu Cafe … at Calamigos.
68 cases of rabies were detected in dead or dying mammals across L A County last year … the most ever.
Most of them were in dead or dying bats … and a few of those were in the Santa Monica Mountains.
The Los Angeles County Health Department is concerned … it has heard that a bat was handled by a person or group of people, including children.
“At this time, we do not have any indication that this bat infected anyone with rabies. However, if untreated, rabies is nearly always fatal, so we want people to err on the side of caution,” said Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer.
Tens of thousands of bats live in caves in the Santa Monica Mountains … and provide an important function by eating millions of bugs.
But bats are the major form of rabies transmission in this area.


Brush In Local Mountains Rapidly Drying, Bad Fire Season Nears

The mountains are getting drier and drier … critical fire danger is right around the corner.
County measurements of live fuel moisture in the brush are all of a sudden showing an unusually dry year.
The live fuel moisture index is the percentage of water content to dry matter in live vegetation. Usually this time of year the brush still has winter rains in it … and the average is 120 percent.
Right now. … it is just 89 percent.
And that reflects a major drop in the past 30 days.
When it drops below 60 percent … the fire danger is critical … and we look like we will be hitting that benchmark this month.
Two fires are burning this morning in Southern California.
The largest is on the east side of Wrightwood.
It’s the Sheep Fire … now at 700 acres plus … burning south of Highway 138 near the Highway 2 junction.


CERT Training, In Person, Starts Wed At City Hall

Malibu will offer a CERT class … that’s Community Emergency Response Team training course … starting on Wednesday evening .. this summer.
And for the first time since the start of the pandemic …. this one will be offered in person.
CERT is a set of free courses administered by the City and other public safety agencies across the country that empowers community members to help themselves and their neighbors during disasters.
Basic disaster preparedness, the use of a fire extinguisher, disaster medical care, first aid, search and rescue, disaster psychology, and neighborhood team building.
The classes are on Wednesday evenings … you can sign up by calling city hall.


Big High Tides Next Three Nights

Big high tides tonight.
The regular lunar tidal cycle will be as high as it gets tonight at about 8 minutes before 9 o’clock.
The official National Weather Service forecast of for 7 point 3 feet but some of the private forecasters are calling for 8 feet above mean sea level.
Similar high tides tomorrow night at 9:38 … and Wednesday night at 10:28.
Lagoons may get a healthy inflow of salt water tonight.
But the waves are not very big.
At Trancas Lagoon … the state has bulldozed a big pile of dirt into the small lagoon there … to block ocean water from flowing under the bridge.
Heavy demolition work on the northern half of the bridge is supposed to start today.


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