Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Malibu Summer 2018 – Traffic, Crowds and Short Tempers

Monday, June 18th, 2018

As a new summer begins in Malibu, the changes to the local scene are now more evident than ever. There’s very little in the way of positive improvement in the area unless you’re a real estate developer or someone who really likes sitting in traffic while waiting to get to the beach. In the 25 years I’ve lived here, there’s been a slow but steady increase in the flow of traffic along PCH. The highway has always been an alternate link between Ventura and Los Angeles counties and as the population of both continues to swell, commuters inevitably look to alternatives. My morning commute between the Point Dume area and Santa Monica, once a 30 minute breeze over the 21 mile drive, now takes a full hour, and that’s if I leave the house at 6:00 AM. I only expect it to get worse. Add in the near constant highway improvements and occasional complete closure of the highway and it’s often easier to just leave well before sunrise.

Another factor adding to the deterioration of the area is tourism. I’m not referring to visiting groups from distant lands wanting to check out the famous beaches, but what many call the “meet up” crowds: social media-led groups of like-minded individuals who gather for coffee, day hikes, or full day beach outings. Malibu has, for want of a better term, become a “destination resort.” While this may strike you as simple NIMBYism, it’s a legitimate complaint for residents who recall being able to shop at the local markets without fighting for a parking space. I have great sympathy for canyon dwellers who now must contend with small armies of hikers and mountain bikers charging through their properties and parking on their tiny one-lane roads.

I guess I’ve had a slow shift in my attitude towards crowds. While I was once a democratic altruist, lately I’ve come to resent the omnipresent density in my once sleepy little berg. The beaches are for everyone. (No one, not even the loftiest of millionaires, owns the beach in front of their homes.) Unfortunately, the infrastructure to support “everyone” is stressed to the point of breaking, so the cycle to improve, expand and extend traffic lanes, parking lots and public facilities continues but at a pace lagging far behind the growing need. There is a limit to how many lanes and parking spaces can be added to a finite coastal zone and Malibu has exceeded it.

But it’s a sunny warm and beautiful day here in mid June. I might as well go out and wade through the crowds to find my spot on the beach.

A Dog in Paradise

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

This is Bo. He’s a two year old rescue, part Labrador, part Terrier, I think. Everyone mistakes him for a puppy because he’s so little and is always cheerful. He really is the sweetest dog in the world. He looks best against a field of green with the Pacific ocean just off in the distance.

The Last Good Day in America

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

So the question, on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration of the least qualified individual to ever seek the office and who’s name shall not be mentioned here, is what to do to pass the time until he leaves office? For I’m certain he can’t make four full years. He doesn’t even really want the job. He just wants the attention. Now he can finally look down his nose at the Wall Street bullies who never accepted him into their little club and feel redeemed. But after that? Why stick around Washington? Such a dull, drab little place filled with gray, boring little people. But I digress. What to do to pass the time? Gotta ponder that some more.

Just another day in Paradise 

Monday, March 16th, 2015

I took this picture from the top of Point Dume last night while hiking with my wife. Let this just serve as a reminder that this planet is still achingly beautiful and that we have a duty to protect it. If it turns out that we’ve already done too much damage to this world I still want the creator to know that I am grateful for having been given the opportunity to live here.

Happy 2015 from Malibu

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Farewell to the year 2014, you were a doozy! The new year does bring some hope for positive changes and I made myself one resolution that I might actually be able to keep: To post more on this blog.

So here’s the last sunset of 2014.


Here’s wishing you a safe, prosperous and happy 2015.


Friday, December 12th, 2014

The first really big storm to hit Malibu in years is subsiding a little tonight. While other parts of Southern California are under ten feet of mud (or under water for that matter), Malibu seems to have survived this one intact. I have the usual leaky windows on one side of the house but that’s about all I know for damage. The burn area to the north of Malibu has produced a few rock slides that closed PCH again today. All those poor commuters who usually drive through town have to go inland on the dreaded 101 freeway, but my drive into Santa Monica was a breeze today. Not even any good pics to post about this one. But we sure need the rain, and I’m thankful.

Crazy Pretty World

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Just the view of Santa Monica bay on my morning commute.


Winter Sunset at C Street

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

We like to head north to Ventura on days when Malibu is flat or big and overcrowded. This was one of those days.


The Blog Lives!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

After letting this poor blog sit neglected for over a year, I thought it would be nice to check in. Little did I know that after three updates of the operating system and SQL database that WordPress had stopped working completely, so you haven’t checked in for quite a while either. Sorry about that, all better now.

The Destruction of Malibu Lagoon

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Monday, June 4, 2012 marked the beginning of the end for Malibu lagoon. The State of California has seen fit to begin bulldozing the lagoon in an effort to “restore” natural vegetation and animal life, and also to improve the circulation of water through the area to increase the oxygen levels in the water. Having lived in Malibu for some 20 years, and always having loved the lagoon for its beauty and tranquility, I have to question what the State plans to gain from the effort. Instead of the soft earth paths and quaint wooden walking bridges, the lagoon will be given the usual “Tom Sawyer’s Island” treatment: Concrete walking paths, fake stone bridges and those stupid “interpretive” billboards that over time are left to be sun bleached and vandalized.

The lagoon on Wednesday, drained and scraped of life

The protesters who for weeks have held a vigil at the entrance to the lagoon’s public parking lot did a heroic job in letting passersby — and the Malibu City Council — know that this project will not go unremembered. Our city council members claim that the lagoon is in the State’s jurisdiction and that nothing could be done to prevent the project’s go-ahead. As with so many other development efforts in Malibu, this one seems to be surrounded in more baffling layers of mystery than most. All we locals know now is that the lagoon has been stripped, thousands of birds, including the Great Blue Herons so popular with bird watchers, White Egrets, the Tidewater Goby (a truly endandered species) and millions of frogs, lizards and other critters are gone. The state made a show of trying to capture some of the birds and fish for “relocation” but the reality is that they were simply bulldozed out of their homes.

Another disgusting aspect and one that I’m sure the City Council is aware of, is the sheer level of e Coli and other nasty bacteria that the “revitalization effort” has introduced into the already heavily (can you say “F”?) polluted Surfrider beach. I’m not surfing at the world’s most revered break for the foreseeable future, knowing that I’m essentially swimming in raw sewage. It’s hard to get a worse grade than “F’ when it comes to water quality, but somehow the State has pulled it off. I will be amazed if they don’t post hazard signs at the beach for the next few years, and if they don’t I hope the State has earmarked a few million for the class-action lawsuits to follow from all new cases of hepatitis and cholera that will be the result of letting people swim in this muck.

Why couldn’t the state instead put more effort into stemming the horrific flow of effluent from the Tapia canyon, which drains major inland communities like Agoura and Calabasas directly into the lagoon? Of course, that would have been too big a legislative effort, requiring coordination and tax input from two separate counties. Imagine the horror. Red tape and endless legislative debate will always win out over nature and what’s best for the planet.