Fun in Malibu WVRC on March 23rd
We got underway with PP DAVE WHITEHEAD leading the Pledge and let’s have no nonsense here, OK? That DAVE is tough!
Reverting to our more usual should we say, casual, style, - LENNY and JACK took us through My Country Tis of Thee, which, as I commented to my seatmate, was sometimes even recognizable and we all finished together, a nice departure from our average. DAN PRICE gave the Invocation, which he got from his long-time friend, the Monsignor at Malibu. “May you be true to your strong foundations, in love with life, in love with God, in love with the earth. May your spirit pray on a multitude of stars, carry you through every hope, every dream, a journey never ending, always new. May you be filled with peace, with beauty, with wisdom, with hope and love and friendship, and may you be blessed at all times, for all times. DAN, that’s a real Irish Blessing Thank You.
We had several guests. I introduced Jean Major, who lives in the Marina and works with adults in psychology and Education she is seeking a Rotary connection, and PDG ANDY and I gave her a good pitch during our program, since we were seatmates. SEAN McMILLAN brought a long-time Malibu resident, Henry Holmes, who contributed to out Speaker’s comments during that talk. MARK ROGO’S wife, Lynn, was late, but did join him, and MARK then gave a pitch for our forthcoming Book Sale. We will gather books no magazines, please and they can even be picked up, but the date is not yet set. Proceeds will benefit our new Westwood Library. Software is also welcome. so please stay tuned.
PEGGY BLOOMFIELD made a special presentation/announcement. Her great-grandson is two years old and was born with a rare but serious brain disease. He has now recovered. Because the disease is so rare, there is only one location in the U.S. where it is being studied in Springfield, Il. PEGGY is seeking our help in asking those of us with children or grandchildren in the proper age category to donate a small amount of blood. (about a tablespoon full, perhaps) to this study. These specimens will then be treated and eventually flown to Springfield, under dry ice by Federal Express, where more studies will take place. To be eligible, donor children must be between the ages of one and nineteen years, and be completely healthy. They must have taken no medications, including aspirin, nor had even a cold, in the past thirty days. The blood donation will take place locally, and PEGGY will be handling all costs. But she cannot recruit enough children by herself, and that’s where we come in. Please call her at (310) 454-5571 for further information. Editorial note this is a real chance to help in some important medical research. Those of us with the proper age relatives ( I have two, who are 11 and 13) can provide the blood samples and this could help to cure this disease, and thus save the lives of future children. Let’s all stand up on this, please.
For a change of pace, President DON had his weekly story. An older woman was seen by a younger physician, whom he had not seen before. After her examination, she burst out screaming and ran down the hall. An older doctor stopped her, and asked what was the matter. After hearing her story, he asked her to sit down and strode to the examining room. “What’s the matter with you your patient is 62 years old, with children and grandchildren, and you told her she was pregnant?” The younger doctor continued what he was doing, and without looking up, said “Does she still have the hiccups?”
Here are a few disconnected announcements
The Westwood Village Farmers Market is closing, effective next week. The Fire Marshall has shut them down, and they have not found a new location.
For those of you going to the Village from the south, Veteran Avenue is now fully open again.
Avengers Football they want to have a Rotary Night at Staples, probably on April 27th, a Saturday. We could get tickets for $12.50 (or more) and I’d like some response as to whether I should ask them for more details, please.
SEAN McMILLAN introduced our Speaker, Andy Stern, who is the Mayor of Malibu. They do not elect the Mayor, but rotate the position, one year at a time, between the five Council Members. Andy attended UCLA, was an entertainment lawyer for 27 years, then switched to Real Estate and claims he has no political aspirations, which SEAN finds hard to believe. He suggests close questioning even had some topics to recommend - and Here’s Andy!
Andy began by pointing out that SEAN asked him if he could speak at Rotary on the 23rd, and when Andy agreed, SEAN said, “Good thing, because I’ve already announced you!” Prompted by an email from SEAN, Andy noted the following: Malibu was incorporated in 1991, and has about 13,000 residents. They get a lot of publicity, sometimes for such vital topics as Britney Spears with her baby on her lap, or the Ferrari going 160 MPH before he crashed. They have over 15 million beach visitors every year. The city is 26 miles long, and less than a mile wide in most places. Pepperdine is not in Malibu, by the way. They contract for basic services using the LA County Sheriff’s, and the County Fire Department, for example.
A year ago they were involved in eleven different lawsuits with the Coastal Commission and for over 2 ? years no building permits were issued, as a result.
You can get a building permit today, providing you can comply with the 800 pages of ordinances, and paint your house green, gray or beige. He gave an example of the speedy way legal challengers can be resolved claiming this only happened in Malibu (which may be true). At one point, the proposed Pacific Coast Freeway was under consideration an elevated, 30-foot high roadway but it didn’t get an OK. Some years ago their first sewer was proposed, and each resident was to be assessed $40,000, payable within thirty days. This failed, and today there is no sewer, which is a good thing, considering that the land does move there. Septic tanks have problems, but at least they are not connected together. All of the land above the highway today is now Public Parkland, and thus will not be subject to future development.
The Coastal Commission decided to draft a City Plan, but it was defeated at the polls, and has not resurfaced. Andy alleged that he could help if you wanted to apply for a building permit, but methinks this was another of his jests. One regulation you can have 60 watts of lighting outside your house that could be one 60 watt bulb, ten 6 watters which gives you the idea that the regulations are meant to be serious impediments to over development. There are several restrictions about giving up a percentage of your lot before you can build again, all designed to discourage further development. They are surrounded by agencies over which they have no control Caltrans rules the roadway, the Parklands are under the State, as is Fish & Game, for example. The annual budget is about 25 million dollars which isn’t a lot considering what is sometimes proposed. He mentioned what is called the Chili Cookout area the last large area subject to possible private development. But the City of Malibu bought it for - yes - $25 million, and it will be paid for out of fees generated by the tenants. Andy pointed out that he didn’t know of another city anywhere that could do this it would be like Beverly Hills buying Rodeo Drive, or NY buying Central Park, which is just another example of how unique Malibu really is.
Q&A CLARK McQUAY, How many students do you have in your schools? I’m not sure, but we have three elementary, one middle and now, one high school.
I asked about Term Limits. We are limited to two terms in office. The problem this creates is that after two terms, you have all this knowledge and there is nothing you can do with it. The arguments it creates are a lawyer’s dream! SEAN McMILLAN, How do you handle the immigrant labor problem? We have a central area where laborers can gather, and it seems to work OK. ED GAULD, what is your position on offshore drilling and storage? I’m against it, and it will be litigated for a long time yet. PP MIKE NEWMAN, What are you paid as Mayor? I get $300 a month, and in my business, that’s sometimes the only regular income I have…Allen, thank you for a look at your unique community.