I’m back in Malibu, on public radio 99.1 KBUU, and select websites, and to vote in this upcoming national election, which I feel the future of democracy is no less at stake, threatened as it is in this moment in history by greed and inhumanity.

And let us not forget the local elections, where in Malibu at stake is a fragile environment and storied lifestyle, threatened I feel by rapacious development, a fumbling city hall and a failing civic governance.

Personally, I’m happily back in our Cliffside cottage perched on Point Dume, after a whirlwind, wonderful, wedding in Philadelphia of my middle son, Josef to Bridget Carey Talone.

Some locals might remember Josef, in 2003, instead of delivering the traditional graduation speech as student body president of Malibu High, reciting a poem he had written, as a remembrance of coming of age in Malibu.

Josef has gone on to be a preeminent published poet, and his younger brother, Kyle, also a graduate of Malibu High, has become a preeminent scholar at Harvard, evidence of the potential of our local public schools.

Their success, and that of so many others Malibu public school graduates, are yet more reasons to vote for Measure M to fund the ambitious redevelopment of a hopefully soon-to-be independent Malibu district, and make our schools even better.

Without violating the FCC public radio rules, as a member of the news team at KBUU, I cannot endorse a candidate.

Though as a commentator I can lend some perspective, noting that leading the valiant effort to establish an independent school district has been Craig Foster and Karen Farrer.

They are both on the ballot Tuesday: Craig for reelection to the school board and Karen for the city council.

As for the council, sadly evident is the need for committed, conscientious members, willing and able to exercise leadership, and not defer to special interest, or what has become a bloated city bureaucracy headed by city manager, Reva Feldman.

From the perspective of someone who has done penance on forensic management audits, and has had a ringside seat at the circus that is government, unfortunately the less than transparent Feldman has become our de facto mayor, by default or deception.

But perhaps we should not be too harsh on her, in recognition that Malibu is a city where many residents demanding services have seldom heard the word “no,” or that a few councilpersons literally and figuratively phone in their jobs.

Or that she has had to act in the absence of a Mayor, who actually sleeps on a full time plus questionable plus overtime job, on a padded public payroll, double dipping out of first responder budgets. Not incidentally, the monies diverted for overtime could have been used elsewhere for needed increased surveillance on the dreaded PCH.

Now that is something the candidates, and council, should talk about, if they had the gumption.


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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.

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