KBUU Newswire Wed: Caltrans Adds Protective Wall at Big Rock, But Nothing Yet At Sunset – County Enacting Strong Rules On STRs For Malibu Hills – 690 Whale Deaths Blamed On Arctic Ice Conditions Causing Starvation

Written by on March 20, 2024

Caltrans Adds Protective Wall at Big Rock, But Nothing Yet At Sunset

Caltrans is installing a new protective wall along Pacific Coast Highway at the landslide at Big Rock Drive.

But massive traffic jams continue as only one lane is available for traffic heading west towards downtown Malibu.

Late last week … a rockslide blocked travel in both directions … just east of the Big Rock Drive signal.

After two days .. Caltrans installed a concrete wall … K-rail … in the two westbound lanes.

Traffic was allowed to squeeze by in the center median.

Now … that K-rail has been moved to block only the right lane.

And metal fencing is being installed on top … to prevent rocks from bouncing into the traffic lanes.

It may be possible for the state to restripe the center median … and allow two westbound lanes to pass by there.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that there has been no progress visible yet at the first pinch point … where a slow-moving mudslide has oozed into the right lane on PCH just beyond Sunset … at Coastline Drive.

That is also acting like a giant traffic meter … delaying traffic to Malibu.

And Topanga Canyon Blvd remains closed.


County Enacting Strong Rules On STRs For Malibu Hills

L A County supervisors have begun to adopt an Air-B and B ordinance.

VRBO … air B and B … all short-term rentals … STRs … in unincorporated areas like the Santa Monica Mountains will be restricted to hosts who are renting out their primary residence.

That’s a little bit different than the STR ordinance in Malibu.

Advocates for the industry turned up at yesterday’s Board of Supervisors meeting … to say the ordinance will hurt small mom and pop landlords.

Short tem rentals have spread across the Santa Monica mountains …. sometimes leaving a trail of raucous parties and trash-strewn streets.

The proposed county ordinance is five years in the making.

It would prohibit hosts from listing second homes, guesthouses, accessory dwelling units or investment properties as overnight rentals in unincorporated L.A. County.

Only homeowners … renting out portions of their houses.

Hosts in unincorporated areas would have to pull a county permit … at a cost of $914 the first year.

 A property could be rented for no more than 30 consecutive days at a time. 

And so-called “corporate hosts,” who rent out multiple properties, would have to pull their listings.

Proponents have argued that short-term rentals were displacing long-term residents and replacing them with unruly tourists. Some residents have told news outlets that their street has been turned into a “de facto hotel.” 


Watch Your Wallet: State Proposes To Allow Insurance Companies To Raise Rates Based On Secret Computer Algorithms

California insurance regulators hope to attract major insurance companies back into the state… But watch out for your wallet.

The state insurance department has drafted a new proposed regulation that would allow insurance companies to use computer models of future risk of wildfire … when competing their rates.

Right now… Insurance companies in the lucrative California market are not allowed to use computer modeling a potential fire risk.

Instead… They’re only allowed to use passed fire behavior.

The big insurance companies hate that.

Late last week … the state released its proposed rule change.

It would allow companies to submit catastrophe models for wildfires floods and terrorism to the California Department of Insurance for approval. 

If approved, insurers could then use predictions from those models when requesting rate hikes for commercial or homeowners insurance.

Catastrophe modeling is currently approved only for earthquake insurance rates and fires resulting from earthquakes, according to the department. 

The state Insurance Department says the exact impact on rates won’t be clear until insurers start creating model.

But the department believes the policy will stabilize rates in the long term by preventing sharp hikes after major catastrophes, such as wildfires.

In other words … expect gradual rate hikes before the computer fires … instead of steep rate hikes after actual fires. 

That story based on reporting by the San Francisco Chronicle. 

In the Malibu area … California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara will be at an online  town hall meeting to discuss wildfire and disaster insurance in two weeks.

They call this a town hall … but expect a one hour dog and pony show.

It will be a bunch of state experts explaining how California is addressing the homeowner insurance crisis.

They will dispense advice on how you can navigate the tools to help you get coverage for fires, floods and earthquakes. 

But all of western LA county is being invited … and it’s only one hour long.


690 Gray Whales Die In Massive, 5-Year Event – Lack Of Food In Ice-Free Arctic Blamed

Hundreds of gray whale carcasses have washed up on the West Coast in the past six years …  but the so-called “unusual mortality event” has ended, researchers say. 

The cause: too little food available along its epic migratory route.

In the five years ending last year … 690 dead eastern North Pacific gray whales washed up on coasts from California to Alaska.

That lead to a scary reduction in the overall population … a 30 percent drop … from nearly 21 thousand to nearly 15 thousand. 


Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say two reasons:

Changes to the sea ice cover … and a reduction in the supply of small organisms on the sea floor off Alaska … that the whales eat.

Orcas are eating them in increasing numbers … and some get tangled in fishing nets or run over by big ships. 

But these factors were not as significant as malnutrition, researchers said.

These whales migrate past Malibu every fall … from the icy Arctic and sub-Arctic to Mexico … to birth their calves.

This is the same type of whale that washed up in Malibu last Saturday.

Dodgers 5, Padres 2, Final in Seoul

And for those of you jay waking up … at 6:15 this morning the LA Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres … 5 to 2 … is Seoul South Korea.

That strange weather pattern that brought us springtime thundershowers is still with us … slowly drifting back to Arizona. 

A very thick marine layer is the result … we may not see sunshine at all. 

Dry conditions are expected the rest of the week before light rain returns over the weekend.

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