KBUU Newswire: SMMUSD OKs Concept Of $395 Million Malibu High Bond Issue – District Wants To Remove And Replace Center Of Campus – New Public Pool Included – Measure Would Go To Malibu-Only Voters

Written by on July 1, 2024

$395 Million Bond Issue Proposed To Finish Middle School and High School Campus

Santa Monica’s school board is getting ready to ask Malibu voters to approve a school bond election … 395 million dollars to be spent only on Malibu.

The last Malibu bond issue … Measure M … passed in 2018 … 195 million dollars mostly being spent for the new Malibu High.

That building will be open to students in January of the next school year. 

District operations director Carey Upton says a school advisory committee has decided to go for broke … and combine the next three phases of proposed school construction into one big package.

The reason … declining enrollment … and the need to attract local kids back to the local school.


“Completing these spaces are very important to make a comprehensive high school.

“Now sometimes … and this is brought up in our discussions … there is still some declining enrollment there. There has been a decline in enrollment for the past 10 or 15 years.

“We are going to see some declines. 

“But we are committed … I think this community and this district are committed … to having a comprehensive high school there that supports these students.

“And to have a comprehensive high school there … you need these things.”

Cary Upton spoke at last Thursday’s school board meeting. 

The proposed bond issue would also build a new community pool … a much bigger aquatics facility that would be open to the general public during most non school hours. 

Upton says … the school district hopes to serve the need for a public pool … expressed by Malibu residents. 

70336 POOL

“I want to say we initially were talking about doing a 50 meter …  an Olympic size pool.  But as we got talking with the aquatics people and the city, that really wasn’t what was needed.

“So we’re talking about the main pool will be 30 or 40 meters. Then it will have a permanent bulkhead and then another smaller pool area.

“And the reason for that is that it can be a warm-up area for competition but also it can be shallower for instruction.”

Under the proposed bond issue … all of the old buildings in the center of the campus would be removed. 

Not including … the new gym … about 10 years old … 

But the 20 year old … two story classroom building would be demolished.  It’s leaky and has no air conditioning, and frankly was slapped together using the cheapest construction possible.

But the 50 year old old gym would get scraped … and replaced by a new middle school only gym.  The newest gym would be down on the triangle area of the middle school … where the shark building used to be. 

The 395 million dollar bond issue would also replace the auditorium … a decrepit former cafeteria.

Again … Carey Upton.


“The existing forming arts center was a cafeteria that we adapted in the 90s to be a theater.

“It’s had some wonderful performances in a substandard space, but it would be really great to have a really great space for our students – so many of them which really could find that place that they can learn, grow, create.”

So how does the pending Malibu Santa Monica school district divorce affect all this??
Probably not at all.

Part of the $395 million would be devoted to begin finding a place for a new Malibu-only school district administration building. 

It’s possible that could go in a temporary facility using the old portable buildings at the current high school… but those buildings have to be relocated somewhere.

Upton says, however, there is not enough money in the proposed $395 million bond issue to build a separate administration building.

Last week … the school board approved the concept of the $395 million Malibu-only school bond election.  They also approved a separate $495 million Santa Monica-only school bond election at the same time.

Money from either city could not .. under state law … be spent in the other city.

The two bond issues now have to be worked out by school district officials … then approved by the school then it would go to the voters for approval.  It would require a 55 percent yes vote from voters in the City of Malibu and the unincorporated county area that is included in the current SMMUSD.

Plenty Of Power Avail As Brutal Inland Heat Expected

Malibu is expected to escape the brutal heat wave that is moving in to northern and central California this week. 

Temperatures of 110 degrees are predicted for the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Red Flag Warnings are up for the area around Napa. 

Power may be turned off to protect against wildfires up there.

In Southern California … no such winds or power cutoff warnings in the forecast.

State energy officials are optimistic about enough electric power supplies this summer.

Across California … the systems have added 4.5 GW of capacity since September with another 4.5 GW on the way.

Cal-ISO … the state agency that schedules power delivery … says California this summer has an 18.5% reserve margin … power available versus demand. 

Even in September … the month that California faces its highest demand for electricity … Cal-ISO says the states will have 3.5 billion megawatts of more power than demand.


Batteries and solar. 

Of course … fires can sever transmission lines … and spot shortages are always possible.

Not to mention … blackouts caused by high winds … threatening to spark wildfires.

Malibu’s Minimum Wage Goes Up 2.2% Today

The minimum wage in Malibu goes up today.

As of today … it’s $17.27 per hour. 

It’s up 2.2 percent … a cost-of-living increase based on the federal Consumer Price Index.

Bigger businesses … with 25 or more employees … have to pay slightly more. 

Under the city ordinance … all employers in the Malibu city limits are required to print out and display a poster explaining the ordinance.

Also … worker rights and protections has to be spelled out … how to file a complaint for non-compliance, and other information. 

17 dollars and 27 cents an hour … at 40 hours a week … equals almost 36 thousand dollars a year.

That just about equals the federal poverty level for a family of 5.

Fire In Woolsey Canyon, 25 Miles From Malibu, Out

“Southern California is ready to burn” is the glum assessment from one firefighter in the Inland Empire.

And as if to punctuate that … this morning at 1:15 a fire broke out in Woolsey Canyon.

It’s called … called the Dora Fire.

As of now … it is a tiny … 4-acre patch of smoldering brush surrounded by about 100 firefighters from three agencies.

Winds are 3 miles per hour.

L A City Fire says the fire was stopped within a four-acre footprint within 30 minutes.

Night flying helicopters were turned around.

The Dora Fire broke out on Woolsey Canyon Road … above the mobile home park and just east off the Boeing Corporation security gate,

That’s almost exactly the same location where the Woolsey Fire broke out 5-1/2 years ago.

That one had 70 mile per hour winds … this one has practically no wind.

The Dora Fire presents no threat to any structure.

But … it shows that the annual summer progression of fires moving closer and closer to the Santa Monica Mountains continues.

Two Ventura Teens Arrested In Brutal Attack On Aged Homeless Lady

Two teenagers have been arrested, and charged with a shocking attack on a homeless woman in Ventura which was caught on video.

A group of four teens riding electric bikes spotted a woman sleeping under the Highway 33 underpass in Ventura. She was lying on a sidewalk in a sleeping bag.

Ventura County prosecutors say two of the teens kicked the 66-year-old woman in the head, and upper torso multiple times. They say a witness caught part of the attack on video, and started yelling at the teens, who then fled.

Police arrested a 13, and a 14 year old boy for the June 14 attack. They have been charged in juvenile court with assault, conspiracy, and elder abuse.

This item is reported by our partners at KCLU … at 88.3 in Ventura … NPR for the Central Coast.

Silverstein Defends His Campaign Against City Staffer

City council member Bruce Silverstein his defending his use of personnel records to amplify attacks on a city employee at last week’s city council meeting. 

As KBUU News reported … Silverstein referenced and discussed at length a letter from a city employee who was claiming harassment by Silverstein … councilman Steve Uhring and members of the public.

KBUU News reported that the letter … from assistant planner Adrian Fernandez … accused Silverstein of invading his privacy.

KBUU News reported that the letter was addressed only to city officials and city personnel consultants … and was apparently part of Fernandez’s personnel file.

Under state law … items in an employee’s personnel file are not public records.

In fact … they are specifically listed as exempt from the state Public Records Act. 

Somebody at City Hall leaked the Fernandez letter before the meeting. …. and Silverstein now claims that the fact they were circulating in public makes them public records. 

Public records are specifically defined in state law … and records that an employee has reasonable belief to be confidential are not to be released … says the law.

In a post on KBUU’s Nextdoor newscast transcript …. Silverstein writes that … as far as he sees it … he did not comment about a personnel matter.  Rather … he. writes … he was allowed to comment on a public threat of litigation against the City, which he views to be a matter of general public concern.

The letter did not threaten litigation.  It complained of constant harassment from Silverstein, Uhring and members of the Malibu Township Council, and asked for an end to it.

Silverstein, in his comments, does acknowledge that neither the City Manager, the Acting City Attorney, nor any member of the City Staff are permitted to discuss personnel matters with City Council members.

The California Public Records Act specifically exempts personnel records from disclosure  … and notes that disclosure of personnel, medical, or similar files would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

The very point of the issue is that a city employee is being harassed … he says … by two Malibu city council members.

And now … his personnel complaint is being used against him by Silverstein. 

Silverstein calls our reporting very biased.

KBUU stands by its original reporting …

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