KBUU News Thursday Oct 27 = Malibu-Santa Monica Divorce Appears Near = Mild Santa Ana Today, Rain Maybe Next Week = Man Who Wrote “Let Malibu Burn” Dies
Written by 991KBU on October 27, 2022
This is Malibu’s Only Local Daily News … the Thursday edition … I’m Hans Laetz reporting.
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Malibu, SM District Appear Close To Divorce Terms
It appears that the Santa Monica school board and the city of Malibu are apparently very close to announcing a deal on extricating Malibu from the SMMUSD.
At midday yesterday, the Malibu city government scheduled a closed-door session for Friday morning.
One thing only on the agenda: the legal effort for an independent Malibu school district.
It’s been 7 years of serious negotiations between Malibu and Santa Monica.
Five years ago … a joint negotiating committee came up with an agreement … but Santa Monica board members walked away from it.
And earlier this year … negotiators seemed close.
The major issue has been the large tax base in Malibu … which has been keeping the Santa Monica schools in guaranteed revenue.
Malibu school advocates have maintained all along that independence will not mean any tax hikes in Malibu … and that any alimony payments in the future to Santa Monica will not affect the ability to provide a high quality education for there very-small independent Malibu district.
A spokeswoman for the district … Gail Pinsker … says the school board met behind closed doors Monday.
No public vote was announced after the meeting …
But Pinsker says the district is ready for Malibu to sign off on some sort of agreement …
And she says the school district plans on issuing a joint statement with the city following that Friday morning meeting.
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The tap room at Trancas Country Market is open…
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MRCA Meeting Tonight: Howls Of Ineffective Outrage Likely
The MRCA will hold its public meeting on the proposals to locate a 480-person campground at Bluff Park tonight.
Also … a 40 person campground on Kanan-Dume Road at the city limits.
Under state law … this is what they call a scoping session.
The MRCA … the Mountain Resource Conservation Authority … is required at this point to gather environmental concerns … that it must study.
General opposition to the concept of camping in the fire danger area … really won’t matter.
The MRCA executive director Joe Edmiston has already made it clear … he does not care on iota if Malibu is opposed to his camping plan.
In fact … Edmiston has said he relishes conflict with Malibu.
The city planning department will have a speaker at the scoping session.
The meeting is at 6 … on the Zoom platform.
The comments will be duly noted by the clerk and lawyer … the MRCA board is not going to be there.
Malibu people do not have to appear at this administrative hearing to make their points.
That can be done in writing … the deadline is December 16th.
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Worst Water Mains In Malibu Will Be Fixed Starting In Feb
The worst water pipes in Malibu will be replaced under a project that will start very soon.
A contract has just been awarded to significantly upgrade the water pipes in the Encinal Highlands neighborhood … above PCH off Encinal Canyon Road.
Homeowners in that area were told by the fire department that the existing pipes cannot deliver enough water to put out fires … and for a time … rebuilding houses after the woolsey Fire was prohibited due to the low water flow.
But the county fire department allowed construction to resume … based on the pending reconstruction of the water system.
County engineer Jack Husted …
NEWSCART A73715 HUSTED
“This is to actually meet the proper standards for fire flow and emergency water supply.
“We’re gonna be upgrading about 5800 linear feet of undersized waterline.
“Also, this project right here – the water lines – was advertised and will be starting construction in February 2023.
“There’s going to be a next phase to replace a 70 thousand gallon water tank with a new 225 thousand gallon water tank.”
The county also plans to reconstruct a cracked concrete water storage tank on Busch Drive … above Malibu High School.
Similar plans four years ago were shot down by the Planning Commission … over objections to a bathroom that was proposed to be installed for county water employees to use.
That tank on Busch is being kept at reduced levels over fears for it cracking apart.
L A County officials say they have 16 major water system projects planned for Malibu in the next 5 years.
That’s 50 million dollars worth of tanks and water lines for Malibu and Topanga Canyon.
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Father Who Cheated To Help His Daughter Takes Own Life
A Malibu man who paid to have his daughter cheat on the S-A-T exams … and then got swept up in the national scandal … has hung himself to death.
Robert Flaxman … a real estate developer … was found dead in his Malibu house last weekend.
Flaxman had pleaded guilty in 2019 to fraud conspiracy .. and served a one month federal prison term.
He had admitted that he orchestrated a $75,000 payment in exchange for the services of a corrupt test proctor … who helped his daughter get a 28 out of a maximum 36 on the ACT.
This was the Rick Singer admissions scandal that swept through Hollywood.
Robert Flexman was 66.
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Man Who Died At Point Dume Identified
The coroners office has identified the 39 year old man who died at Point Dume Sunday night.
Karl DiBona … a resident of Porter Ranch … is identified as the man.
We don’t have any information as to how this happened.
What we do know is that Sunday night … just after sunset … there was a man trapped by rising tides at the point.
Accident …. swimming … fall from the rocks … we do not know … officially.
Baywatch boats .. a helicopter …. lifeguards and firefighters worked to get to the man.
But he was dead on arrival at a hospital.
No cause of death was listed by the coroner … and this appears to be an open case for the sheriff’s department.
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‘Let Malibu Burn’ Author Mike Davis Dies
Mike Davis has died.
The self-proclaimed Marxist historian gained nationwide fame 30 years ago when he published an article called “The Case For Letting Malibu Burn.”
And despite the article’s incendiary title …. If read today … 30 years later … the article is a pretty good history of fire in the Malibu mountains.
Davis quoted the book “Two Years Before the Mast,” where Richard Henry Dana described sailing northward from San Pedro to Santa Barbara in 1826 and seeing a vast blaze along the coast … Malibu.
Davis called out Malibu as “the wildfire capital of North America and, possibly, the world.”
Davis wrote that fire in Malibu “has a relentless staccato rhythm, syncopated by landslides and floods.
“The rugged 22-mile-long coastline is scourged, on the average, by a large fire — one thousand acres plus — every two and a half years.”
He wrote that the entire surface area of the western Santa Monica Mountains has been burnt three times over the twentieth century.
“Some unhappy homeowners have been burnt out twice in a generation, and there are individual patches of coastline or mountain, especially between Point Dume and Tuna Canyon, that have been incinerated as many as eight times since 1930.”
In 1993 … the huge Malibu fire that sparked his article … was put out by what Davis called “the largest army of firefighters in American history.
And what really grabbed headlines was this summary:
“Wealthy Malibu homeowners benefited from an extraordinary range of insurance, land use, and disaster relief subsidies. Yet, as most experts will readily concede, periodic firestorms of this magnitude are inevitable as long as residential development is tolerated in the fire ecology of the Santa Monicas.”
“homeowners and their representatives take shelter in the belief that if wildfire can’t be prevented, nonetheless, its destructiveness can be tamed.
“Creating ‘defensible space’ became the new mantra.
“So instead of a long-overdue debate about the wisdom of rebuilding and the need to prevent further construction in areas of extreme natural fire danger, public attention was diverted into a discussion of the best methods for clearing vegetation (rototillers or goats?).”
Mike Davis in “The Case For Letting Malibu Burn.”
Many of the predictions made by Mike Davis 30 years ago came true.
The wisdom of putting out every fire … immediately … is now questioned in some parts of California.
And rebuilding houses without fire hardening and defensible space is now accepted in Malibu … instead of being considered heresy.
Let Malibu Burn shot around California like a lightning bolt.
Mike Davis … dead at his home near San Diego … he was 76.
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