• After numerous meetings with parents, teachers and community members, the school district finalized a plan to consolidate two elementary schools, Juan Cabrillo and Point Dume Marine Science, into one at the Pt. Dume site. The old Juan Cabrillo site in the high school area will be turned into a middle school and would, in time, get its own principal.

• In a sign of growing tension or, perhaps, major philosophical differences between planning commission members John Mazza, Steve Uhring and Chris Marx and city staff, the commission took time to publicly upbraid the planning staff and charge that “you’re blowing us off, for no reason,” and then recommended banning all vacation rentals, in a 3-to-1 vote.

• The Malibu Library is sitting on a pile of cash—a roughly $8.6 million pool to spend—and has been meeting with citizens and consultants to try to decide what a 21st century library should look like. Libraries have changed and are now information centers, but they are also struggling with the problem that many of the homeless are filling the seats.

• The Malibu Kiwanis Club Chili Cook-Off, a local institution for 36 years, has changed hands and, for the first time and here forward, the Malibu Boys & Girls Club will be running the event. Time, aging of the club members and retirements have thinned the ranks of the Kiwanis Club, as they have many other service clubs, which necessitates the changes. Kudos to the Kiwanis Club, which consistently, year in and year out, put on the event itself and managed to raise over $100,000 each year, which was distributed to numerous Malibu charities.

• In 2016, the California Coastal Commission hit a local Malibu landowner with an enormous, $4.185 million penalty for failure to open a beach access on their property on Las Flores Beach, which an earlier owner had granted. The coastal commission described the penalty as reasonable, following what appeared to be an auction at their coastal meeting about the amount of the penalty, and described the homeowner’s actions as egregious as they invariably seem to do with anyone who defies them.

• A Los Angeles Superior Court judge set aside the penalty and told the coastal commission to go back and do it right by giving the property owners a real hearing and a chance to be heard regarding any fine.

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