KBUU News Monday: SF’s State Senator Has Had It With Caltrans, Wants To Force Safe Streets – State Approves $11M To Prevent PCH Falling Into Ocean – SM Mansion Tax Will Benefit Malibu Schools, Maybe – Massive Shift Coming: Bye Bye Hawaii, Hello Seattle

Written by on January 29, 2024

SF’s State Senator Has Had It With Caltrans, Wants To Force Safe Streets

If Caltrans won’t implement a safe street policy for Pacific Coast Highway on its own … the California Legislature might force it on the agency.

That’s the gist of a bill proposed by state Senator Scott Weiner.

Juts like PCH in Malibu …. Weiner has a chunk of Caltrans highway in his San Francisco District … 19th Avenue … the street linking the Gilden Gate Bridge

And Caltrans is not cooperating with the City of San Francisco to make that city street safer. 

He tells KBUU News that the days of managing state-owned highways through cities … to move as many cars as fast as possible … need to end. 


“We have a huge number of state-owned roads in California that are called ‘state highways’ but they are really city surface streets. 

“And These are really streets that run right through cities, they are main streets in a city kind of people are walking Lunden biking on them local traffic. And they are dangerous. A

“And Caltrans a very very not great history for decades of failing to make safety improvements to roads.

“Things as basic as sidewalks, or crosswalks or bike lanes or traffic calming measures.

“They are just not happening.”

Weiner has introduced a bill that would require Caltrans to incorporate age streets criteria on every repaving project that it undertakes.

It’s SB 960.

It would require Caltramns to consult with local cities before undertaking projects … even minor repaving projects. 


“It’s never going to be perfect, there are resources that are not infinite. And of course, Caltrans is not performing work on all roadside every minute of time. But when Caltrans is doing a project, it needs to take this under consideration, and it needs to be a priority to make these roads safer. 

“Not just an option. It needs to happen.”

Weiner tells KBUU that his proposal has actually been passed by the Legislature and sent to there governor … once before. 

  NEWSCART SB960 333 

“In 2019, we were able to get this bill onto the governors desk, and Gov. Newsom vetoed that bill. 

“At the time the governor indicated, he just hired a new leadership team at Caltrans, and at the state Transportation Agency. 

“And he wanted his own opportunity to do this work and succeed without a new law. 

“And he did put in a fairly solid new policy on ‘complete streets and safe streets.’ 

“We have seen some improvement, but not quickly enough. And that’s why we are effectively re-introducing this bill.”

State Senator Scott Wiener says he understands the deadly issues with Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu.

His bill does not address speed cameras or reducing speed limits. 

Werner also introduced a companion bill that got a whole lot more attention.

SB 961 would require all vehicles built or sold in California to have governors to limit their maximum speed … no more than 10 MPH above the speed limit (emergency vehicles are exempt).

This is bold – the first attempt in the nation. If SB 961 passes, 

Safety advocates say it would save countless lives, and likely affect the entire American automobile industry. 

All new vehicles to be sold in the giant European market will be required to have automatic speed governors starting this summer.


State Agency Approves $11 Million To Prevent PCH Falling Into Ocean At Big Rock

Meanwhile … the State Transportation Commission has approved the final 11 million dollars to build a vertical seawall on PCH just east of Big Rock Drive.

The local geography there is an active landslide … and engineers in the past have worried that the big water transmission line under PCH is in effect holding up the roadway … preventing it from sliding into the ocean.

The plan to is build what they call a secant wall … a vertical concrete and steel curtain along the ocean side of the roadway. 

Individual columns wil be drilled down into the soil … and then metal sheets will be inserted between the columns.

A similar project up near Mugu Rock is just wrapping up after three years of construction.

Caltrans has taken a public survey … and as. Result … moist of the work will eb done at night.

Four lanes will be open for traffic during daylight hours. 

But there will be narrowed lanes … and possibly lowered speed limits … on PCH east of Big Rock coming soon.


‘Mansion Tax’ In Santa Monica Will Apparently Benefit Malibu District, Until Divorce

The local school district is about to get an infusion of money from a tax…. a tax that only affects Santa Monica.

And there are no strings on the money … apparently it can be spent in both Santa Monica and Malibu.

The money is which is coming from a special sales tax on any house that sells for more than 8 million dollars.

It’s a transfer tax … approved by voters in Santa Monica in 2022 … a so-called mansion tax.

There is nothing like it in Malibu.

For every one thousand dollars in a house sales price … the tax is 56 dollars. 

That’s a big tax.

A 10 million dollar house sale would get a 560 thousand dollar tax assessment … due on sale. 

The buyer will be responsible to pay it … although sales prices may be lowered to reflect the tax bite.

The California Business Roundtable has already gone to court to try to block it … and has already lost.

In the City of Los Angeles … a similar real estate transfer tax has also been approved by voters.

That one is in legal question … in court .. right now.

Not so the Santa Monica transfer tax.

The Santa Monica Malibu school board will get a legal agreement on receiving the month this Thursday.

Again … there are no strings on the money … until Malibu gets its own school district.

So .. this is million and millions of Santa Monica tax money that will enter into the equation as Malibu and Santa Monica continue to negotiate a complicated financial agreement … one which sees Santa Monica claiming that its unfair for Malibu to keep all its property tax revenue.


Navy and USAF Plan Joint Exercise Off Pt Mugu Naval Station

The U-S Defense Department plans a major exercise … which could include a lot of test firing at the offshore live fire test ranges off there Malibu coast.

And this will mean increased air traffic at Naval Base Ventura County. 

They are calling this Operation Bamboo Eagle …taking place this week..

The military isn’t releasing specifics about the exercise, but it’s run by the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, and is described as an effort to improve training and preparedness.

It wil be similar to an exercise performed last year … when integrated forces from the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada fought against a peer adversary across the entire Indo-Pacific area of responsibility. 

Bamboo Eagle is described as the U.S. Air Force Warfare Center’s first-ever combined live-fly, and LVC exercise, Bamboo Eagle, during the third week of Red Flag in 2024. The exercise will execute 24/7 operations several U S Air Force bases … as well as at other locations like the Naval Base 12 miles west of Trancas.


Attorney From Texas: Rebecca Grossman ‘Is Not Guilty Because She Didn’t Do Anything’

Rebecca Grossman is “not guilty because she didn’t do anything and someone else did.”

Those are the words of Texas defense lawyer Tony Buzbee … in the opening arguments last Friday for the socialite from over the hill … accused of two counts of murder for killing two little boys as they crossed the street with their parents.

She was going above 80 … countered the prosecutors. 

It’s going to be a six week trial … as Grossman tries to avoid what could be a murder conviction that sends the 60 year old to prison for 34 years to life .

The evidence against Grossman seems overwhelming … including damage to the front end of her car … damage consistent with two little bodies being hit at 80 miles an hour plus.

Buzbee is trying to shift the blame to Grossman’s boyfriend. … who was also speeding up Trunfor Cantyon Road when the family was mowed down. 

Rebecca Grossman is charged with two felony counts each of murder and vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.  Also … one felony count of hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

11-year-old Mark Iskander and his 8-year-old brother, Jacob Iskander were mowed down and killed Sept. 29, 2020 … as their parents and siblings watched in horror.

The case has attracted enormous attention in Malibu .

In the years prior to the fatal crash … Grossman had been cited for speeding on the 101 Freeway and on Kanan Dume Road in Malibu.


SMPD Accuses Homeless Woman Of Killing Man In Car

Santa Monica police say they have arrested a homeless woman in West Los Angeles … for the murder of a man as he sat in his car near Santa Monica Airport.

Kayla Denise Mackey … described as a 27 year old homeless woman … was Friday.  According to the Santa Monica Police Department officers. MacKey is homeless and was found in West Los Angeles.

Witnesses saw the suspect leave the scene and gave officers her general direction of travel … detectives said,. 


Massive Swing In Malibu Weather: Tropical To Winter Rain

It is hard to believe how hard the weather is going to swing this week.

Another day of temperatures near 70 on the beach … near 80 in the mountains … on tap for today.

It will start getting cooler tomorrow. 

By Thursday night … hard rain will befalling in Malibu.

Rainfall rates of a half inches  of 0.25 to 0.50 inches per hour, and locally 0.75 inches per hour

across south facing slopes or with any convection showers.

Rain totals have nudged up a little since yesterday morning, with 1 to 2.5 inches across the coasts/valleys, 2 to 4 inches across mountains/foothills, and locally up to 5 inches across southfacing slopes.

The combination of the jet stream and the dynamics of the front will bring a 10-20% chance of thunderstorms to the region.

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