KBUU NEWSWIRE Thursday Sept 21 – Cancellation Threat To Malibu Triathlon Is Making World Headlines, But It’s All Which Section Of City Code You Like – Hurricane Leftovers Taunt Malibu – Tear Out A Westside Freeway? That Will Go Over Well

Written by on September 21, 2023

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


If you listened to NPR this morning … which you can’t pick up in Malibu … but if you could … this is how Morning Edition started…. this morning:


“Good morning. I’m A Martínez. This year’s Malibu Triathlon is a bit fishy. A school of tiny endangered fish are occupying a flooded underpass on the course. Now, normally participants could use a bridge. Not this year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won’t allow it because of the fish, meaning the event could be canceled. Now, in the past, celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey participated in the race, but even his presence might not make this year’s triathlon go ‘all right, all right, all right.’ Sorry, Matt. It’s MORNING EDITION.

NPR was kind to Malibu.

And respectfully … NPR did not get the story QUITE right.

It was not the fish that led the Malibu Planning Commission to deny the Triathlon its permits for the race … in 10 days.

Yes … tidewater goby are now living on the flooded roadway in the Zuma Creek bed … throwing a last-minute wrench into the route.

But it was actually a narrow reading of the Malibu Municipal Code  … by two city planning commissioners … that has seriously imperiled the 38th running of the Malibu Triathlon.

The Planning Commission decision is bouncing around the world … putting a real black eye on Malibu. 

On Monday night … two of the commissioners read the city code as to require a 32 day notice to residents for a change to the race course.

The other two read there same city code … and came up with a 5 day notice.

The Planning Director … Richard Mollica … had already vetoed the permits for the annual Triathlon … they had missed filing deadlines. 

After some confusion at the Triathlon … they have filed an appeal to the city council for Monday night’s meeting.

And the issue then … the eyes of the running world … will be looking for the Malibu city council to interpret a brand new city ordinance that says both 5 day notices and 32 day notices are required for special events permits.

Last Monday … planning commissioners Kraig Hill and John Mazza looked at it one way.


“This is very clear. This is 17.6 8.050,  the very first sentence:

“ ‘A temporary user permit approved by the Planning Director shall require…’

“This was never approved by the Planning Director”

Not very clear at all … said Jeff Jennings … the only lawyer on the Planning Commission. 

At Monday night’s Planning Commission meeting … Jennings also read from the city code in question. 


“The statute in question, or the ordinance in question, is 17.68.050. This is the one that talks about the 32 day notice.

“But the initial paragraph says ‘a temporary use permit approved by the Planning Director will be required etc. etc.  A public hearing shall not be required for the issuance of a temporary use permit. However, a five day public notice of the proposed event shall be provided as follows.’ 

“And then goes on to talk about 32 days notices and …  it’s … it’s confusing. 

“If a 32 day notice is definitive, an absolute black letter (law) and we can’t do anything about it, what’s that five day notice language doing in there?”

Jennings admits that the five day notice wording is pretty weak. 

But he said … anyone looking for legal support to okay the triathlon … could have used that.

So what does the city’s lawyer say?
After all … he helped write the new ordinance … which was approved to clean up ambiguities … this year?


“It is not my job to stand up here and tell you guys how to vote well, we guys are all well aware of the nuance and obviously commissioners Jennings’ argument … that maybe he indicates he sees some wiggle room.”

That legal analysis … some could say … was clear as mud … 

The first decision was made by Planning Director Richard Mollica stands .. for now.

It’s not the first time he has interpreted city zoning codes to shut down popular public events.

Remember the Malibu Film Society … where a city planning director interpretation of the Temporary Use Permit ordinance ended up getting the Film Society kicked out of two houses of religious worship? ?

So where does this leave the 5,000 runners?
A bunch of them appeared at Monday’s Planning Commission meeting.

And so did advocate for Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles.

They are on track to get one million dollars or more in pledges from donors … sponsoring triathlete competitions.

One of them is a mother from malibu … herm son Quinn sitting behind her in there audience.


“This, esteemed colleagues, is where my son’s diagnosis, his treatment at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, intersex with the triathlon in question, and the City of Malibu, “Quinn only had an 11 percent chance of surviving the first year of treatment.

“But thanks to Children’s Hospital, and cities like Malibu that hold this triathlon event to raise money for Children’s Hospital pediatric cancer research, CHLA was able to tailor Quinn’s cancer treatment with advances made possible by pediatric cancer research that had been made only a few years prior.”

At Super League Triathlon … the organization running the race … they say the denial was a “technicality.” and say they are confidant they will get a permit from the city council Monday night.

The two members of the Planning Commission chose to sink the popular event based on a narrow reading of the law.  Two others chose to read it broadly … and now the City Council will get to weigh in.

That news is still rocketing around the world.  The city council will vote Monday … we’ll see if they read the ordinance the same way



Bail was cut yesterday for that 21-year-old woman … who apparently murdered her husband at a Malibu beach parking lot last summer.

But she still remains in jail. 

Yesterday in Los Angeles Superior Court … Thania Ruano has her bail reduced from 4 million dollars to just over 2 million dollars.

Ruano alleged lured her estranged husband … 21-year-old Emmanuel Baltazar … 

to a late night rendezvous at the scenic overlook at Las Tunas Beach … … late at night on August 22nd.

There … she reportedly knifed him to death during what investigators suspect was a domestic altercation. 

Thania Ruano was arrested at her residence in Mid-City Los Angeles five days later.



First they took Richard M Nixon’s name off of the 90m Freeway.

Now they want to yank out the freeway itself.

A westside freeway getting yanked out?
That’s a proposal from a bicycle advocacy group.

Streets For All is getting some traction on its plan to tear out the 90 Freeway.

It’s the little stub of a freeway linking Marina del Rey to Culver City.

It was originality intended to be built instead of the 105 freeway … to extend all the way across LA Count to Whittier.

The 90 is now called the Marina Freeway.

It was  originally was called the Richard M Nixon Freeway.

Streets For All wants to rip out the 90 freeway and replace it with apartment buildings.

4,000 units of affordable housing.

A large park.

Bus rapid transit.

A  Class 1 bike path … not that dirty bike path down oil Ballina Creek.

Cleaner and quieter air.”

Of course … motorists used to zipping over to the 405 via the 90 … or getting to the Marina area quickly … will need another route.

Streets For All suggests they take Washington …. Venice … Culver or Jefferson back and forth.

Oh, that’s right.

Those streets are already traffic free … right???



Fire season is ramping up in northern California.

But not down here.

Fire weather alerts are in effect for a large portion of Northern California.

Red flag warning are up in parts of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties through Thursday.

Down here …. Drizzle is still in the forecast … and temperatures today will be 10 to 20 degrees below seasonal normal.

And there’s another Mexican hurricane playing itself out to the south of us.

It’s now Tropical Storm Kenneth.

It will send high level cloudiness into Southern California Friday … but the weather computers are in pretty unanimous agreement that no rain will fall over the area.

Downcast winds may ramp up to 30 miles an hour tomorrow night.


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Based in the fashion capital of the world, Milan, Mad Interior Art selects remarkable crystal, porcelain and stone art objects with a remarkable artistic depth …  created by the biggest names on the Italian and international scene.

Shop from home.  Fast shipping.

Mad Interior Art dot com … from Milan to Malibu … supporters of Radio Malibu. … KBUU.


Support for KBUU Radio comes from Sea N Soul Surf, at Zuma Beach Plaza

A coffee barista … the locals’ place to find entry level surfboards for a grom … or a handshaped blade for a pro.

Sea N Soul Surf… clothing, coffee and boards for the Malibu lifestyle … under Spruzzo’s …across from Zuma Beach.


Support for Radio Malibu KBUU comes from the Mark and Grether Real Estate Group.

Combining the talents of Tony Mark and Russell Grether… 

The Mark and Grether Group offers concierge-level service… personalized attention… to buyers and sellers… landlords and tenants … here in Malibu.

The Mark and Grether Group… a top producing team with 35 years of experience… and over $1 billion worth of real estate sold in least… from Malibu’s coastline to the canyons.


Support for KBUU Radio comes from the Malibu Brewing Company.

Malibu Brewing Company is a locally owned craft brewery, proudly supporting our community, and local public radio.

The tap room at Trancas Country Market is open… 

And the Malibu Brewing Company is serving its Oktoberfest fest beer … a traditional lager with notes of toffee … moderate malt flavors and delicate hops. 

A chef prepared menu to enjoy on the patio or inside.

Malibu Brewing Company Malibu California


Support for KBUU radio comes from Saguaro Technology.

Based in Malibu … Saguaro Technology offers software development and other engineering services across the entire product life cycle… and across several industries.

Life sciences, automation, robotics. 

Saguaro Technology engineers work side-by-side with the client to extend engineering teams… to create and launch products faster… and more cost effectively. 

Saguaro Technology can be reached at saguarotech.net


Support for KBUU Radio comes from the Malibu Foundation.

The Malibu Foundation underwrote the KBUU solar panels and batteries at the transmitter … which keeps KBUU’s FM transmitting on 99.1 during storms and blackouts… 24 seven… on clean renewable Malibu sunshine.


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