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Malibu Surfside News 012518

2 | January 25, 2018 |

2 | January 25, 2018 | Malibu surfside news calendar In this week’s surfside news Police Reports7 Photo Op9 Editorial15 Faith Briefs18 Puzzles23 Home of the Week24 Sports25-28 Classifieds29-31 ph: 310.457.2112 fx: 310.457.0936 Editor Lauren Coughlin Sales director Mary Hogan business directory Sales Kellie Tschopp, 708.326.9170, x23 Legal Notices Jeff Schouten, 708.326.9170, x51 Classified Sales 708.326.9170 PUBLISHER Joe Coughlin, 847.272.4565, x16 president Andrew Nicks EDITORIAL DESIGN DIRECTOR Nancy Burgan, 708.326.9170, x30 22 nd Century Media Malibu Surfside News P.O. Box 6854 Malibu, CA 90264 Malibu Surfside News is printed in a direct-to-plate process using soy-based inks. circulation inquiries “Malibu Surfside News” (USPS #364-790) is published weekly on Wednesdays by 22nd Century Media, LLC Malibu Surfside News P.O. Box 6854 Malibu, CA 90264 Periodicals Postage Paid at Malibu, California offices. Published by FRIDAY Market Beat 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Jan. 26, Malibu City Hall Zuma Room, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Join for an overview of the status of the economy, the stock and fixed income markets. The reduction in corporate tax rates is already having an anticipatory affect on GDP and stock market growth, therefore the resulting changes in the U.S. dollar value, interest rates and commodities will be discussed. For more information, call (310) 456-2489 ext. 357 or email malibuse Indian Vegetarian Cooking 3 p.m. Jan. 26, Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Join for an Indian Vegetarian Cooking workshop led by Farhana Sahibzada. Participants will learn the proper use of spices and herbs to create flavorful dishes. Some class supplies are courtesy of Vintage Grocers. The workshop is $10 per person; pre-registration is required. To register, call (310) 317-1364. For more information, visit Malibu or call (310) 456-2489, ext. 239. SUNDAY Little League Softball evaluations 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Jan. 28, Malibu High School, 30215 Morning View Drive. Malibu Little League Softball will hold evaluations for player ages 7-12. Register at www.MalibuLittleLea, or contact Play MalibuSoftball@gmail. com or (424) 234-1842. Arete Preparatory Academy Open House 11 a.m.–2 p.m. Jan. 28, Point Dume residence. West Los Angeles-based Arete Preparatory Academy will hold an open house. Interested families are asked to RSVP to info@areteprep. org or call (310) 478-9900 (address will be provided upon registration). For more information, visit MONDAY Preschool Storytime 3:30 p.m. Jan. 29, Malibu Library, 23519 Civic Center Way. Join for an hour of fun featuring picture book stories, songs, a short art activity, and playtime. For children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. For more information, call (310) 456-6438. WEDNESDAY Relax Through Coloring 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Jan. 31, Malibu Senior Center, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Join for a therapeutic, drop-in art class facilitated by Judy Merrick. For more information call the Malibu Senior Center at (310) 456-2489 ext. 357. Malibu Speaker Series 7-9 p.m. Jan. 31, Malibu City Hall Council Chambers, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. Join for a free screening of “Take Every Wave the Life of Laird Hamilton.” There will be a Q&A after the screening with Director, Rory Kennedy and writer, Mark Bailey. RSVP by calling (310) 456-6438. UPCOMING Nature of Wildworks 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, Malibu Library, 23519 Civic Center Way. Join for an educational wildlife program starring native animals from California. For children of all ages and their families. For more information, call (310) 456-6438. Preschool Storytime 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 5, Malibu Library, 23519 Civic Center Way. Join for an hour of fun featuring picture book stories, songs, a short art activity, and playtime. For children ages 2.5 to 5 years old. For more information, call (310) 456-6438. Jazz Appreciation Class 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, Malibu Library, 23519 Civic Center Way. Join Professor Timothy Herscovitch, M.A., on a fascinating journey through the origins and development of jazz music. For ages 14 and up, and adults. For more information, call (310) 456- 6438. TK/Kindergarten Round-Up 8:30-11:30 a.m. Feb. 8, Juan Cabrillo Elementary School, 30237 Morning View Drive, Malibu. This event provides a chance for families who are moving to Malibu or changing schools to see the school, meet the principal, tour the campus and enroll their child(ren) for the upcoming school year. Enrollment guidelines are available online. Kindergarten Round-Up 8:45-11:15 a.m. Feb. 8, Point Dume Marine Science School, 6955 Fernhill Drive, Malibu. This event provides a chance for families who are moving to Malibu or changing schools to see the school, meet the principal, tour the campus and enroll their child(ren) for the upcoming school year. Enrollment guidelines are available online. Kindergarten Round-Up 9-10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, Webster Elementary School, 3602 Winter Canyon Road, Malibu. This event provides a chance for families who are moving to Malibu or changing schools to see the school, meet the principal, tour the campus and enroll their child(ren) for the upcoming school year. Enrollment guidelines are available online. Teen Activity: Pocket Mirrors 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, Malibu Library, 23519 Civic Center Way. Create a pocket mirror for your purse, backpack, survival kit or a special someone. For teens 12-18. For more information, call (310) 456-6438. ONGOING Coastal Perspectives Art Exhibit/Sale 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Jan. 30, King Gillette Ranch, Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center, 26876 Mulholland Highway, Calabasas. Photographer Alon Goldsmith and painter Kit Plumridge will be featured in the “Malibu and Beyond Coastal Perspectives” art exhibit, which is free and open to the public. A portion of the funds from art sales will be used to further the arts in Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. For more information, email samo@ or call (805) 370-2302. NAMI Classes 6-8:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 9-March 27, St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church, 28211 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. This is an 11- week educational program offered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The program is designed to help family members of a person suffering from mental illness understand and support their loved one, while maintaining their own well-being. For more information, call (310) 889-7200 or register online at CERT Training Courses 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25; 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1; 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6; 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 15; 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, Malibu City Hall, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. These free training Community Emergency Response Team classes started Jan. 11. In addition to their first aid, search and rescue, and other training, CERT members will complete Federal Emergency Management Agency trainings, serve at least 30 hours per year, attend regular meetings and drills, and will be registered as Disaster Service Workers. For more information, or to sign up, visit www., call Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas at (310) 456- 2489 ext. 313, or email Malibu Jazz Ensemble 6:30-9 p.m. second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, Malibu United Methodist Church, 30128 Morning View Drive. The Malibu Community Jazz Ensemble meets. All ages are welcome; participants should be able to read music and experience in jazz music is a plus. Brass, woodwind and keyboard players are highly desired. For more information, contact Dick Hinson at rch or (515) 778-2333 or Paige Gomez at (310) 456-2489 ext. 279. Have an item for calendar? Deadline is noon Thursdays. To submit an item to the calendar, email lauren@ News Malibu surfside news | January 25, 2018 | 3 SMMUSD Board of Education Portion of conflict of interest talks go public District’s counsel discusses claims, does not divulge legal opinions Lauren Coughlin, Editor The public has been left to fill in the blanks after receiving a factual rundown but no firm conclusion regarding conflict of interest allegations against three Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education members. Legal counsel Fagen, Friedman and Fulfrost was hired by the district to investigate concerns regarding board members Maria Leon-Vazquez, Ralph Mechur and Oscar de la Torre. Firm representative Howard Friedman spoke at the Board of Education’s Thursday, Jan. 18 meeting. All members were in attendance. “Please be advised, Mr. Friedman will not be discussing legal opinions in public,” Board President Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein said to open the discussion. “The board has not waived the attorney client privilege with regards to this investigation or the communications or advice that Mr. Friedman or the district’s law firm has provided the board.” Tahvildaran-Jesswein further noted that conflict of interest allegations are often investigated by the District Attorney’s Office and the Fair Political Practices Commission, but said the district is not aware of either conducting an investigation into the matters at this time. Meanwhile, the board reportedly will be undergoing training sessions and looking to improve internal communication practices. Just the facts Friedman’s summary states that Leon-Vazquez, a board member for 17 years, voted in favor of nine separate contracts with companies affiliated with her husband Tony Vazquez’s consulting firm, Vazquez & Associates. The contracts in question concern financial adviser Keygent (for which Leon- Vazquez voted in favor of four contracts between 2009-2017) and nonprofit TELACU (for which Leon-Vazquez voted in favor of five contracts in 2017). Further, it is noted that Vazquez & Associates was listed as an income source on Leon-Vazquez’s statements of economic interest from 2003-2008, but not from 2009-2017, when the votes occurred. A district memorandum on the matter further notes that “it has been reported that Mr. Vazquez did arrange for a breakfast meeting in 2014 (about three years before board action on TELACU contracts), with the then-superintendent of the district, at which TELACU’s services were discussed.” Friedman noted that both Keygent and TELA- CU have now completed their work with the district. “In terms of best practices, when there’s a determination of a financial interest, any action by the board may be barred under [California Government Code] Section 1090, and at least at minimum the affected board members should announce their potential conflict and then abstain from voting,” Friedman said. Concerns regarding Mechur involved his work as a licensed architect. “It is reported that Mr. Mechur performed architectural services for the district, a board member and several clients with ties to the district at times prior to and following his appointment to the board,” the memorandum notes. Investigations were carried out regarding Mechur’s work with the following: Leon-Vazquez and Vazquez, whose home he worked on from 2001- 2003; Woodcraft Rangers and The Pico Neighborhood Youth and Family Center, with which de la Torre was then affiliated, in 2002; the Unite Here Local 11 union, which was connected to 2015 and 2017 board actions regarding the Doubletree Hotel in Santa Monica (where the union met), from 2002- 2011; and the district itself, which reportedly paid Mechur $29,000 from 2003-2006. In the latter instance, the memo notes that Leon- Vazquez approved all four contracts without noting that she had any professional relationship with Mechur. As far as the work with Woodcraft Rangers, it is noted that de la Torre’s position did not have authority over Mechur’s contract. He also did not own the building on which Mechur worked. The memorandum further notes that Leon- Vazquez voted to first appoint Mechur in 2007, and de la Torre voted to reappoint Mechur in 2015. Weighing in Two members of the public addressed the board following the informational report. Santa Monica resident Jerry Rubin spoke in support of the board and said he was glad the district took the claims seriously, but he agreed that looking to the future and undergoing training was in the board’s best interest. Kevin Shenkman’s comments were more critical. “I’m disturbed by the fact that at the same time as we’re talking about transparency, the board apparently has a report that it is asserting attorney client privilege over,” said Shenkman, who encouraged the board to release the report. Board members’ comments also varied. Board Member Craig Foster was frank, suggesting to Leon-Vazquez that it was a good time to retire. “It’s negligence as a board member not to read the darn [consent] calendar — and when your family is paid by people on that calendar, you have an exponentially larger responsibility,” Foster said. De la Torre said he would reserve his comments for a private conversation with Leon-Vazquez out of respect for her family. Board Member Laurie Lieberman noted that the board had “a very limited amount of knowledge and evidence” on the matter. “There’s no indication that anyone did anything intentional or that there’s any financial interest,” she said. Leon-Vazquez did not comment on the matter. COACH PITCH BASEBALL REGISTRATION AGES 4-7