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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

PCH Task Force Info Tops the Agenda at One of the Briefer City Council Meetings

• Mayor Urges Community to Practice More Public Civility

Councilmember Laura Rosenthal brought some good news and bad news to the council dais this week about construction on Pacific Coast Highway after attending a PCH Task Force meeting.
The state-level task force focuses on PCH from the McClure Tunnel to the county line, according to Rosenthal. The longstanding state legislative PCH taskforce has successfully worked on key local traffic issues.
The California Incline, which has been delayed several times is now expected to start sometime at the beginning of 2014 and should take 12 to 18 months, according to Rosenthal, who added the rest of the Coastal Interceptor project’s next phase in Santa Monica is scheduled to start up and take 14 months.
Both proposals are expected to impact traffic. “Unfortunately, they are going to overlap,” said Rosenthal.
She said the task force also talked about changeable message signs and was told the county has purchased four. “The CHP is trying to get them for PCH,” she added.
Rosenthal said the city is expected to purchase signs using the  $14 million grant money. “It is good the county is paying for some,” she said.
Task force members also discussed the impact on PCH because of the closing of the Malibu courthouse. She said CHP officials said they will not travel to the Airport Courthouse.
She said officials are trying to transfer such cases to Chatsworth. “The tentative closing is in May. There will still be a traffic clerk in Malibu,” she said.
Mayor Lou La Monte said he wanted to talk about some of the public speakers, who he said are now impacting others who want to speak, but are afraid to do so.
“A woman told me, she is afraid to bring her child to the council chambers. She said there is a bad tone and anger [projected by the speakers].”
He noted that find those same people in the grocery store or somewhere else, and they are as nice as can be. “Let’s keep it civil,” he said.
Activist and longtime resident Lucile Keller, with her husband, the former first mayor of the City of Malibu, Walt Keller, at her side got upfront and personal when she recalled the fire that burned their home to the ground.
She said she was prompted to do so after she and others were accused of using fire as  political rhetoric to critique the land swap between Charmlee Wilderness Park and Bluffs Park.
She said she remembered that day. “Walt was at work. It was 1:30 and black smoke filled the sky, it was like a hurricane, but it was fire and not water. It was dark,” she recalled.
By two, she was in her car and leaving the house. A half-hour later the house had burned to the ground.
“We had lived there 17 years. Everything was gone, our wedding pictures, my wedding dress. Two days latter we found the cat. That was a daytime fire,” she said, urging the council to not do anything to reduce the safety of Charmlee and the neighborhood.

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