News Roundup: Overcrowded Beaches, City Invites SM To Enjoy Malibu Parks, 76 Robbed, ‘Ugliest’ Mansion Burns, COVID Testing at SMC

Written by on May 18, 2020

Overcrowded beaches …  illegal parking … and people defiantly not wearing masks.

That was the Malibu oceanfront over the weekend.

No official comment yet from the city … but social media were burning with outrage Sunday.

The county reopened the beaches … but it also ordered people to wear masks except when in the water,

That common courtesy was widely ignored at Zuma Beach.

Photos showed the more-secluded beaches like Little Dume and Broad Beach … crowded with throngs of ocean-goers.

Illegal parking everywhere … the parking restrictions designed to thin the crowd were ignored.

It should be noted that many of those photos were taken with telephoto lenses … amplifying the effect.

Some residents said Broadbeach was more crowded 4th of Julys in recent years.

Nighttime hours have emerged as a particular problem.

Fences are being cut … trash is being thrown about … loud parties up and dwn the coast.


Malibu city parks were reopened to the public on Friday.

Bluffs park … Legacy park … Trancas Canyon Park.

The city press release inviting people to the local parks was printed in newspapers and on web sites … in Santa Monica and elsewhere.

Many parks in Santa Monica remain closed.


One person was arrested after apparently robbing the Union 76 gas station at Latigo Beach on Friday.

L A county sheriffs deputies had guns drawn and the road closed as they arrested the suspect on King and Uma Road Friday midday.

No shots were fired… deputies were last seen searching Side of The highway for a weapon that may have been thrown out of the car.


Also Friday … Pacific Coast highway was closed for three hours used to the civic center when in a mansion caught fire.

The multi story structure has been widely derided as the ugliest House in Malibu … it’s recent construction prompting objections prompting objections for many in the general public.

The house is set into a hillside and has columns that make it look … in the eyes of many … to be a hideous monstrosity.

Firefighters say it took them about 20 minutes to put out the fire… on the second floor of the structure.

There was no damage estimate.

Nobody was at home … the fire department says.

The house is frequently rented out for short term rentals.

News release:

Effective Thursday, May 7, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services—in coordination with the State of California, OptumServe, and Santa Monica College—has opened a walk-up, by appointment only novel coronavirus (COVID-19) testing location at the Santa Monica College (SMC) Airport Arts Campus, 2800 Airport Avenue. Testing is available to anyone for free as part of Governor Newsom’s expanded testing capacity to reopen California as well as L.A. County’s commitment to providing expanded access to testing for county residents.    

Testing is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., by appointment only, and no drop-in appointments will be taken. Appointments are available for the following day only. Sign up at L.A. County residents without digital access can call (888) 634-1123, where operators can assist with registration and schedule an appointment. The testing site at SMC’s Airport Arts Campus can accommodate pedestrians with appointments, and parking is available for those who arrive in a car.  

“As the County begins a slow and measured process of re-opening businesses and other establishments, testing will be a critical component for measuring the results, so I am very glad that this new site has opened at Santa Monica College so that people can conveniently monitor whether they have the virus, and be better able to protect their own health and the health of those they love,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl.   

“Access to testing is an indicator in the safe re-opening of our economy and civic life,” said Interim City Manager and Director of Emergency Services Lane Dilg. “We appreciate the Governor and Los Angeles County’s ongoing efforts to take bold and aggressive steps to protect the public health.  We encourage Santa Monicans to take advantage of this new resource close to home.” 

Santa Monica College Superintendent/President Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery said the college is “here to serve the community, and especially so during this challenging time that has affected everyone we care about.”   

“Although I had no symptoms, I decided to register for the test to see firsthand how everything would work,” Jeffery said. “Registering online was easy, the test site was not crowded and the staff and nurses doing the intake and testing were professional and very kind. I was in and out in about 15 minutes from my appointment time to the finish of the test, which took only a few seconds.”  

The following factors DO NOT affect eligibility: immigration status, insurance status, age or underlying health issues. The testing is administered and managed by the private lab OptumServe. Appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis.     

Test results may take up to 2-3 days. Individuals with positive test results will be notified by a phone call. Negative test results will be accessed by logging into a secure website. 

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