Topanga Town Council Civic Report

Annemarie DonkinBy Annemarie Donkin

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Topanga Town Council Civic Report
February was a quiet month for the Sheriff’s, Fire, and CHP as President Carrie Carrier and Vice President Alisa Land Hill moderated the March 9th Zoom meeting of the Topanga Town Council. New Acting Captain at Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. Effective immediately, Acting Captain Joseph F. Fender has assumed the role as Acting Captain of the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station. This is due to the unexpected departure of Salvador “Chuck” Becerra as captain of the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station who left the post in Calabasas. On Feb. 25, the 53-year-old Becerra announced he was leaving the Malibu/Lost Hills Station to take a new assignment as unit commander of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Norwalk station. “I’m really, really excited to be back and working with Topanga residents,” Captain Fender said. “I was here for the Woolsey and Tick fires; I worked with Captain Ford and CHP officers. I want to make sure residents of Topanga are good with me. I will answer any questions from Topanga residents; you are absolutely a priority with me and I look forward to meeting everyone on patrol.” Sheriff’s Briefing. After introducing Captain Fender, Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Cerveny provided an update on law enforcement for February. “We had four Part One crimes—burglary from a locked vehicle; one grand theft [more than $950]; one petty theft and one grand theft auto.” Deputy Cerveny said he wanted to continue the crime trend, which is down 46.7 percent from this time last year. “We had a theft at the 21200 block of Colina—a phone stolen by an unknown suspect,” he said. “A theft of a vehicle at the 2000 block of Santa Maria Road that was recovered in Ventura County and a suspect taken into custody. We had a vehicle burglary on Old Canyon and Old Church Road with the owner inside in the back seat who wasn’t hurt but a laptop was stolen; the Sheriffs are looking for two male Hispanics in a gray Lexus.” Deputy Cerveny also reported a petty theft at the 100 block of Topanga Canyon Blvd. where a white female was seen taking female hygiene products. CHP Briefing. California Highway Patrol Officer Wes Haver reported that February was a quiet month for traffic collisions. “For Topanga Canyon Boulevard from two-mile bridge to LA city limits (Cezanne Avenue), the CHP responded to one property damage only traffic collision,” Haver said. “The primary collision factor was unsafe turning movement. There were two traffic collisions for the same reporting period in 2021. For Topanga Canyon Boulevard from two-mile bridge to PCH, the CHP responded to one traffic collision, a property damage only collision due to a left turn on a red arrow at PCH and Topanga. There were two traffic collisions for the same reporting period in 2021.” Operation Safe Canyons: Officer Haver reported on street-racing activity in the Santa Monica Mountains, San Fernando Valley, and South L.A. “We had seven total deployments, mostly in the Santa Monica Mountains,” he reported. “We wrote 87 citations, impounded one vehicle, and made one arrest.” Officer Haver mentioned that there is new legislation coming from State Sen. Henry Stern’s office regarding a crackdown on illegal street racing. In response to the proposed new legislation, he reported that on Feb. 27, members of several local outlaw motorcycle gangs closed down De Soto Ave. between Burbank and Victory Blvd. in front of the CHP station and put on quite a show. “If you guys were traveling the canyon, you saw lots of CHP, we hit it hard,” Haver said regarding the rapid response to motorcycle gangs roaring through the canyons. To report unsafe driving behaviors in Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains, please call CHP dispatch at (323) 259-3200. Fire Dept. Briefing. L.A. County Fire Chief Drew Smith reported that for the month of February, Station 69 reported one oven fire at the 1200 block of Fernwood Pacific; 16 EMS calls, zero hazard calls, seven service calls and nine good intent calls. “As an update on the fire family, there was no loss of stuff, everyone is healthy,” he said. “The last two years have been challenging for all; we are doing well and maintaining our momentum with the Sheriff and CHP,” Smith said. Topanga Library Report. Library Manager Ashley Abrams reported that the Library is returning to pre-pandemic hours, open Thursdays to 8 p.m., Saturday until 6 p.m. and open Sundays. “You still have to wear masks but we will have Storytime in person starting again in April,” she said. “Volunteers are needed to work in the store, or volunteer in the Library.” To volunteer, please contact the Library at (310) 455-3480. Topanga SAGES. Tam Taylor reported that they are starting the First Friday Senior dinners again, and will hold their annual shredding event on May 21 at the Topanga Community Center from 9 a.m. to noon. “It’s our one fundraiser and we will have homemade goodies,” Taylor said. For more information, go to Topanga Access Cards. You can renew your cards online. First-time cardholders should call to arrange an appointment: (310) 455-3001, then press 0 to leave your name and phone number. Call Lindsay Zook for an appointment at (310) 569-8931, or purchase online at: The Topanga Town Council is looking for volunteers to help on various activities. For more info, email us at: or (310) 455-3001. RESOURCES Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Office—Contact Tessa Charnofsky at; Phone (818) 880-9416. State Senator Henry Stern—Contact Jeremy Wolf at; Phone (818) 876-3352. Assemblymember Richard Bloom—Contact Tim Pershing at; (310) 450-0041. Topanga Canyon Town Council—Formed in 1977 in response to needs unique to the mountain community, residents created the TCTC to serve as a liaison with Topanga’s official governing body, the Los Angeles County Supervisor’s Office. For information:; (310) 455-3001.
Annemarie Donkin

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March 18, 2022