Anya Baroff Wins Grant for Tree Planting Efforts

May 17, 2024 ·

Photo Courtesy of Jeremy Bishop

SANTA MONICA—On Tuesday, May 14, The Nextdoor Kind Foundation announced the 100 winners of $500 microgrants. A panel of Los Angeles County community leaders was tasked with choosing from 550 applicants. Each applicant was required to illustrate how their project would be the best in unifying the efforts of the citizens in creating a positive impact on the community they serve.

Anya Baroff of Santa Monica is one such winner. She was chosen for her leadership in spearheading an effort to plant trees with community members of the Ocean Park neighborhood with the intent to support community cohesion and collaboration.

Anya Baroff of Santa Monica is a Neuroscience researcher at Harvard Medical School. She has also held previous positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Music Thinks, UCLA, and UC Santa Barbara. She is also proficient in Volunteer Management, Research, Grant Writing, Statistics, and Psychology.

The following individuals serve on the panel:

Founder and Executive Director of Compton Advocates, Candace Leos Valdepena, Gladys Nyoth, founder and CEO of I Know a Place, Hyepin Im who is the President and CEO of Faith and Community Empowerment, Jera Turner, who is a Special Education Administrator for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

A Board member of the Friends of the Ballona Wetlands, Jim Kennedy, The Senior Policy Advocate for Nourish California, Kameron Mims-Jones, The Director of Advancement and Philanthropy at the Boys and Girls Clubs of West San Gabriel Valley and Eastside, Lilly Rocha who is the CEO of the Latino Restaurant Association, Founder and owner of Kindness and Mischief Coffee, Mo Maravilla, Norma Fernandez who serves as CEO of Everything On, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles, Rabbi Noah Varkas, and Yana Simone who is the co-founder and Executive Vice President of New Earth.

By Sharon

Sexual Assault Suspect Malcolm Ward Arrested

May 16, 2024 ·

Malcolm Ward. Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department announced on Thursday, May 16 that a suspect who attempted to sexually assault a woman has been arrested.

Lt. Erika Aklufi of the SMPD informed Canyon News that on Monday, May 13, at 7:14 a.m., officers responded to reports of an assault occurring in the 2000 block of Ocean Front Walk.  Witnesses to the incident told dispatchers a young woman was being dragged across the ground by her ponytail.

Responding officers were on scene within minutes and found both the victim and suspect near the Bicknell restrooms.  The suspect was taken into custody without incident.  The victim, a Venice resident, was jogging southbound on the beach path when the suspect grabbed her ponytail from behind, knocking her to the ground. He pulled her several feet toward the restrooms.

The victim believed that the suspect intended to sexually assault her.  Several witnesses intervened in the attack and contacted police.  The victim suffered minor physical injuries during the incident.

The suspect was identified as Malcolm Jimmy Ward, Jr., 48 and he is currently on parole for Assault with a Deadly Weapon.  He is currently homeless and is being held without bail.

On May 15, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Ward with felony counts of:

  • Kidnapping
  • Assault with Intent to Commit Rape
  • Violation of Parole

Lt. Aklufi informed Canyon News via email that “No other reported attacks in Santa Monica.” She added she was unaware of any possible attacks by the suspect involving the LAPD or any other agencies.

Anyone with additional details about the assault is asked to contact Detective James McCoy at or

By Trevor

City Launches New Development Project Portal To Improve Customer Service

May 16, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of travelview/Shutterstock.

MALIBU—On May 14, the city of Malibu indicated in an email to Canyon News that it launched a new online Development Portal that streamlines the permitting process as part of the city’s comprehensive effort to improve customer service at Malibu City Hall. The Portal is available at

“Employing technology to help Malibu improve the efficiency of its day to day operations is one of our major objectives and this Portal is a significant step in that direction,” said Mayor Steve Uhring. “Our new Portal empowers our community to navigate development projects with ease and transparency. It simplifies the submittal of documents to various City Departments and in return provides a series of dashboards that allow the user to monitor the progress of their project.”

The new Portal dashboard is intended to mirror the existing flow of home and building construction, repair, renovation, and other projects as they move through Malibu’s development phases. It starts with a project, moves into Planning, followed by Building Safety, Permits, and finally into Inspections, making it easy and transparent for the property owner to follow the progress of their project. Users can see their project-related public documents.

The Development Portal was developed for property owners and building professionals to monitor and track their applications through the permitting process. The Portal is accessible on the city’s homepage. After clicking one of the links on the homepage, users are taken to the Portal dashboard where they can create an account and access project information and numerous other services. To further expand the user experience, many of the services offered in the Portal, such as requesting an inspection, reviewing records, and requesting to initial a new application, do not require users to register.

Users can keep track of all projects, monitor progress, revisions, corrections, pending fees, upload application materials, and submissions for each project. City staff can request required documents and accept or decline them instantly. The document submission upload technology is easy to use.

Submittal features have been re-designed to further streamline the process, making it less time consuming and requiring less information to initiate a new application or to result in response to corrections. Each new application request is reviewed by a senior staff member to ensure that the correct application type is assigned to a proposed project.

To ensure that residents and building professionals are comfortable with the new Portal, staff is actively holding individual tutorials for owners and building professionals. To request a tutorial, contact Patricia Salazar, Development and Operations Manager, at or Tracey Rossine, Environmental Programs Manager, at

Over 135 users have registered to monitor projects, staff have requested more than 900 documents using the Portal, and 500 documents have been uploaded by building professionals or residents.

For an overview of the Portal, see the PowerPoint presentation at

For detailed instructions on how to use the Portal, including a video tutorial, visit:

By Trevor

Health Fair For Older Adults At Plummer Park

May 16, 2024 ·

A health fair will be held at Plummer Park in West Hollywood on May 21 for older adults. Photo courtesy of Mark Timberlake via Unsplash.

WEST HOLLYWOOD—To celebrate Older Adults Month, West Hollywood will host its 19th Annual West Hollywood Older Adults Health Fair on Tuesday, May 21, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Plummer Park’s Community Center, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard. Admission is free; no RSVP is required.

The Older Adults Health Fair is a no-cost event co-sponsored by Cedars-Sinai and Jewish Family Service LA and will have health screenings, information from more than 25 health and social services community partners, vaccinations, a Human Library activity, complimentary lunch while supplies last, giveaways, and more. Local organizations will provide health and social services information, Cedars-Sinai will conduct health screenings, and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health will administer COVID-19 and flu vaccinations.

There will be limited free parking at the Plummer Park parking lots, located at 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard and Fountain Avenue/N. Vista Street at the north end of the park. Paid parking meters are available in the surrounding area.

West Hollywood provides free transportation to Plummer Park through its Cityline service. Cityline is an accessible alternative to the larger bus system and all shuttles are ADA-accessible. It operates Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and shuttles arrive approximately every 30 minutes. For additional details and a detailed route map, visit — route maps are available on Cityline shuttles and at West Hollywood City Hall, located at 8300 Santa Monica Boulevard.

For information on the event contact Becca Lubin, West Hollywood Strategic Initiatives Program Administrator, at (323) 848-6518 or at For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, call TTY (323) 848-6496.

By Trevor

International Jewel Thief Arrested And Detained

May 15, 2024 ·

Beverly Hills photo by David Vives

BEVERLY HILLS—On Friday, May 10, Yarong Wan, 49, an international jewel thief, was arrested in New York. Wan stands accused of stealing an estimated $300, 000 in jewelry since 2018, targeting high-end jewelry stores such as Cartier and Tiffany in Seoul, Korea, Beverly Hills, Miami, New Jersey, and New York.

Laurenz Heymann photo

Wan had what is referred to as a “Red Notice,” by The International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) placed on him by the Republic of Korea after allegedly stealing 322,000 worth of jewelry in Seoul, Korea.

According to Interpol, A Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action.

Reports indicate that Wan entered the United States illegally in San Diego, California on December 29, 2023.

On March 4, the suspect entered a Tiffany Store at Rockefeller Center in New York, NY. Wan tried on a diamond ring valued at 255,000. He then switched it with a Cubic Zirconia replica and left the store with the diamond ring.

On March 12, Wan reportedly took a ring worth $25,000 from the Hudson Yards Complex in Manhattan, New York.

The Nassau County Police Department, Major Case Bureau indicated that they were in search of a burglar who reportedly entered London Jewelers located at 2046 Northern Boulevard on April 19. Video footage captured a person, later identified as the suspect who was posing as a customer. He used what police referred to as a “sleight of hand,” technique to distract the salesperson and make away with a $17,000 Chopard Watch.

On Friday, May 10, Nassau detectives, the NYPD Major Case Squad, and the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force executed a search warrant for Yarong Wan at his residence located at 135-11 40th Road, in Flushing (Queens) New York.

Wan was arraigned in a lower Manhattan court on Saturday, May 11. Due to a fugitive warrant from Hermes, New Jersey, the suspect is not eligible for bail.

On Sunday, May 12, Wan was charged with 3rd-degree larceny in Nassau District Court. He is to remain in custody until his next court date in January 2025.

By Sharon

2024 Concours d’Elegance Returns June 16

May 15, 2024 ·

The Concours d'Elegance event returns to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on June 16. Photo by Jeff Tumale via Unsplash.

BEVERLY HILLS—The city of Beverly Hills disclosed on its website on May 14, that the 2024 Concours d’Elegance will return to the area on Sunday, June 16. This year the event will celebrate 29 years and will showcase more than 100 rare automobiles in the heart of Beverly Hills. The event is free to the public.

Fathers, families and car enthusiasts of all ages are invited to enjoy an up-close look at some of the world’s most exotic and expensive vehicles at the 29th annual Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance. The area’s must-attend Father’s Day event will run from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. on Rodeo Drive.

This year’s event, powered by O’Gara Coach, will host a full slate of incredible vehicles lining Beverly Hills’ most famous street between Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard. There will be a special celebration of hypercars and supercars that include the McLaren, Pagani, Czinger and more, in addition to race cars, classics and custom-built showstoppers.

Attendees can enjoy a stroll or stay in one of Beverly Hills’ top hotels and experience luxury boutiques, shopping and dining all within walking distance of the car show.

This event is supported by the city of Beverly Hills and the Rodeo Drive Committee with returning sponsors O’Gara Coach, Auto Vault Storage, GEARYS, Ferrari of Beverly Hills, Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills, Lucid Motors, Two Rodeo and RM Sotheby’s. The Rodeo Drive Concours d’Elegance is pleased to welcome new sponsors for this year’s event, including the upcoming Netflix Film “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F” and Formula 1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Proceeds from the Concours benefit will help the Beverly Hills Police Officers Association and Beverly Hills Firefighters’ Association. They are non-profit charities raising funds for first responders and their families. Parking will be available at nearby parking garages.
Individuals interested in having their vehicle for display can complete the following application:

By Trevor

Malibu Arts Commission Invites Artists To Participate In “A Tale of a Seaside Town”

May 15, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of Laura Adai via Unsplash.

MALIBU—On Monday, May 13, the city of Malibu indicated in a news release that the Arts Commission is inviting local artists to respond to the Call for Artists for the city’s summer public art exhibition, “A Tale of a Seaside Town.” The event is a tribute to Malibu’s surfing culture. Certain artists will have their artwork featured at the Malibu City Gallery at City Hall.

“Malibu’s natural beauty and community have always attracted and inspired artists in every medium imaginable – from music to literature, painting and digital arts,” said Mayor Steve Uhring. “I hope all of Malibu’s artists, whether professional, student or hobbyist, young or old, will participate in this wonderful exhibition of our community’s talent.”

Artists of all ages can submit their artwork to be a part of this collaborative community-wide art show. The Arts Commission is accepting artwork in all media including, but not limited to photography, paint, drawing, collage, free standing art and written work.

Submissions are being accepted until Friday, May 31. Submissions will only be accepted online at Artists whose work has been accepted will be notified by June 12. For questions or assistance with submission contact Brittany Saleaumua at 310-456-2489, ext. 349.

The exhibition will be displayed in the Malibu City Gallery at City Hall, located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, from July 15 through August 23. The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free for the public.

By Trevor

Memorial Day Closures For City Hall, Parks And Facilities

May 15, 2024 ·

The city of Malibu has announced closures for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday. Photo by Paul Hermann via Unsplash.

MALIBU—The city of Malibu announced on their website that in observance of Memorial Day, Malibu City Hall, Malibu Senior Center, and Community Pool will be closed on Monday, May 27. Malibu city parks will be open from 8 a.m. to sunset. For more details on City parks and facilities, visit

The Community Services Department (formerly known as Parks and Recreation) provides programs and facilities to meet the recreation and leisure needs of the community.

The department administers the use of and maintains several park and athletic facilities in the city and provides programs for all ages in a wide range of interests and activities.

By Trevor

Sea Captain Jerry Boylan Sentenced for Negligence

May 14, 2024 ·

Photo by Sean Malone

MALIBU—On May 2, the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of the Central District of California sent out a press release announcing the sentencing of Sea Captain Jerry Nehl Boylan, 70, of Santa Barbara, who was found guilty of gross negligence in the deaths of 33 passengers and one crew member who died in a horrific fire aboard the P/V Conception at dawn on September 2, 2019.

Captain Boylan was found guilty of gross negligence after he and five crew members were able to escape and survive the fire. He and all but one crew member abandoned the burning boat while the others were asleep below deck. He has been sentenced to 48 months of prison time.

The following information came directly from the press release:

“Boylan, as captain of the Conception, committed a series of failures – including abandoning his ship instead of rescuing passengers – that resulted in the disaster. Such conduct constituted misconduct, gross negligence, and inattention to his duties and led to the deaths of 34 victims, prosecutors argued.

As the ship’s captain, Boylan was responsible for the safety and security of the vessel, its passengers, and its crew. Federal prosecutors argued he failed in his responsibilities in several ways, including by failing to have a night watch or roving patrol, failing to conduct sufficient fire drills and crew training, failing to provide firefighting instructions or directions to crew members after the fire started, failing to use firefighting equipment, including a fire ax and fire extinguisher that were next to him in the wheelhouse, to fight the fire or attempt to rescue trapped passengers, failing to perform any lifesaving or firefighting activities whatsoever at the time of the fire, even though he was uninjured, failing to use the boat’s public address system to warn passengers and crew members about the fire; and, becoming the first crew member to abandon ship even though 33 passengers and one crew member were still alive and trapped below deck in the vessel’s bunkroom and in need of assistance to escape.”

The FBI, the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms (ATF) and Explosives investigated the incident.

Assistant United States Attorneys Mark A. Williams, Matthew W. O’Brien, and Juan M. Rodríguez of the Environmental Crimes and Consumer Protection Section, Brian R. Faerstein, of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section, and Alexander P. Robbins of the Criminal Appeals Section prosecuted this case.

The Investigative Service Director for the U.S. Coast Guard made the following statement:

“There are no winners when lives are lost at sea, but there is justice in bringing those accountable to answer for their crimes. Today is an example of that. This was in its truest form, a joint effort by our hard-charging CGIS Special Agents, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.”

Christopher Bombardier, the Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Los Angeles division offered his deepest sympathy:

“I want to express my deepest condolences to everyone who lost a loved one. No sentencing will ever be sufficient for the suffering you have endured, nor will it bring back your loved ones. I hope this prosecution and sentencing sends a message to other captains that this recklessness is never repeated. I want to thank our National Response Team, which investigated the cause and origin of the fire. Their dedication and skilled expertise provided much-needed answers,” Bombardiere stated.

By Sharon

Six People Arrested For Drug Offenses

May 14, 2024 ·

Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department.

SANTA MONICA—On Friday, May 10, the Santa Monica Police Department reported on their Facebook page that the Department’s Mobile Command Post made several arrests near 3rd and Arizona.

The Downtown Services Unit was conducting an operation focused on narcotics-related crimes in the area.

Their efforts led to six arrests for various drug offenses and three citations were also issued. Public Services Officers addressed concerns in nearby parking structures, issuing 65 citations for vehicle and municipal code violations.

Photo courtesy of the Santa Monica Police Department Facebook page.

The SMPD reminded the public that, “As residents and visitors, we all play a role in maintaining a safe and clean Downtown. If you witness any suspicious or illegal activity, please report it promptly to the SMPD non-emergency line at (310) 458-8491 or if warranted, call 9-1-1.”

“Thank you so much. We residents appreciate it. I wish you had the ability to have this type of presence every day so the criminals would find another city to torment,” Jessica Yingling said in a statement on Facebook.

By Trevor