If you live in Malibu, really live 24/7 and not just visit on weekends, you have to be alert to the city’s vulnerability to natural disasters: the fires, floods, rockslides, earthquakes and tsunamis.

And if you do, you should be alert to the city’s emergency service coordinator, Brad Davis, being on medical leave, and City Hall’s make-do coverage, if that, under the recently appointed city manager Reva Feldman. Who said the job was going to be easy.

This has been of particular concern in Malibu, where there seems to be almost daily traffic congestion from accidents that plague PCH and the feeder cross-mountain roads.

But, because of the drought conditions, more worrisome to many have been the several red flag fire warnings that have gone up because of Santa Ana weather conditions of rising temperatures and high winds.

Indeed, a red flag went up the day Davis took leave, with apparently no one left in City Hall to monitor events.

And coincidentally, according to sources, this left the city without representation at the county’s Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills on October 20th. Some 3,526,672 people reportedly participated, none from Malibu.

There also was a fire up Corral Canyon, beyond the city line but where in the past some disastrous blazes have raged through and down into Malibu.

The fire thankfully was under control in 20 minutes and totally out in an hour, due to the quick action by the LAC Fire Department. According to CeCe Woods, the Local editor-in-chief, city manger Feldman minimized the fire, noted that it was confined beyond the city line, and added that the quick response negated the need for notification.

However, if you live in or near Malibu and smell smoke, you do like to know what is happening, or what happened.

As for the fire next time, or whatever disaster strikes, we would think, hope, there will be an emergency service coordinator on duty or living nearby at the ready. And if not there for whatever reason, a backup is.

This is Malibu, Reva, or Mayor Lou, where when it comes to natural disasters, excuses or explanations, however coached in bureaucratic babble, don’t cut it.



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Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.