April 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Community News

Surfing with Zuma Jay
By MELONIE MAGRUDER

Jefferson (‘Zuma Jay’) Wagner

The notice on the door leading to Zuma Jay’s Surf Shop in Malibu tells of a weekend beach clean-up sponsored by the Malibu Surfing Association. “Some things you can change back,†the sign reads over an early 1960’s photo of a pristine Surfrider Beach. “Gas was 31 cents and there was clean water…â€

And if it’s up to Jefferson (‘Zuma Jay’) Wagner, newly-elected Malibu City Council member, the sands of time will be reversed.
Wagner, 55 years old this summer, has been surfing these beaches for more than 35 years, and his quest to revisit bygone days goes beyond nostalgia.

“Better water quality means better business for our future,†Wagner says, immediately plunging into his goals as civic leader. “It will mean working here as well as bringing awareness to inland cities that their storm drains end up on our beaches. I want to surf in clean water.â€

Wagner remembers his early days in Malibu, when bacteria count and TMDLs – Total Maximum Daily Loads, or the amount of pollution the EPA permits into our nation’s waterways – were the obscure provinces of science geeks. Nowadays, Surfrider Beach regularly appears on environmental watchdog Heal the Bay’s annual Beach Report Card sporting a big, fat F.

“I remember when the water was so clean here, the sand after high tide squeaked between your toes,†Wagner says. “Remember, I started out surfing and sleeping in the back of my van.â€

That changed. Wagner’s rangy build and movie-star looks – he’s often compared to Clint Eastwood – led him to an eclectic career, including surf instructor, sailor, model for Ralph Lauren and the face of the Marlboro Man, author (“Surfboard Wax: A History†), stuntman and expert pyro-technician.

What he sees as unchecked development in Malibu led him to run for City Council. His colorful background led local politicos to dismiss his ambitions at civic leadership and the run-up to the election was small-town politics at its nastiest, with an as-yet un-apprehended tagging the walls along Pacific Coast Highway, deriding Wagner.

But Wagner counts victories already with the recent ban on plastic bags being passed by the City Council.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,†he says modestly.

Malibu Welcomes Back an Old Friend
By VICTORIA TALBOT

The Malibu Pier has officially re-opened for business after a rather long hiatus. The community celebrated the official re-opening on June 29 with a giant fundraiser for the Legacy Park Project.

The bar inside the Beachcomber

Built in 1905 for the Malibu Rancho owned by Frederick Hastings Rindge, the pier sits adjacent to the Adamson House on Surfrider Beach. The pier was opened to the public in 1934 for charter fishermen and sold to William Huber’s Malibu Pier Company in 1944 after being damaged in a storm. Huber built the iconic twin buildings that served for many years as a Coast Guard station, bait and tackle shop, and Alice’s Restaurant.
In1995 it closed after being declared unsafe when it was heavily damaged by the El Nino storms of 1993 and 1995.

The view from the pier deck

The new pier features deep-sea fishing tours and several new restaurants including the Malibu Pier Club Bar, Ruby’s Shake Shop and the Beachcomber Café that catered the launch party. Harbor tours, deep-sea fishing tours and beach equipment rentals will also be available. And when you are ready to come in from the sand, a surf museum awaits you.
Malibu is delighted to welcome back the Malibu Pier!

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