Lights Are Installed for MHS Homecoming as All Parties Claim TRO Win
• Impact of Athletic Field Lights Will Be Self-Evident When They Are Turned On Friday Night
BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN
Four 70-foot-tall light standards were installed at the Malibu High School athletic field on Tuesday in time for the lights to be turned on for the MHS Homecoming game scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday.
Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant issued a temporary restraining order that permits the lights to be used for two nights, after the Malibu Community Alliance, a recently-formed community group that filed suit to stop the district from installing the lights, requested a TRO after negotiations between the school district, the Shark Fund and the MCA reportedly broke down last week.
The TRO permits MHS to erect "removable light poles" for use at "the last two football games of 2012," according to a press release issued by the MCA.
The judge has ordered a follow up hearing on the matter Nov. 8.
"[Relying on the School District's declaration that the light poles were removable,] we have consistently stated that we are working toward a compromise agreement that includes removable light poles, lighting for a limited number of nights and community oversight," said MCA spokesperson Cami Winikoff.
"Our goal is an agreement that helps the high school expand its athletic programs and at the same time protects the dark skies, property values and quality of life in Malibu Park," Winikoff added.
The judge's decision is viewed positively by both sides of the issue. The school will have the opportunity to use the lights for homecoming this year; and residents and school neighbors will have an opportunity to judge the actual impact of the lights after four years of speculation.
At Monday night's Malibu City Council meeting, Councilmember Laura Rosenthal invited the community at large to attend the homecoming festivities.
Homecoming events start at 4 p.m. on Friday with tailgating and float decoration. The opening ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The football game—Malibu Sharks v. Fillmore Flashes—will kick off at 6:30 p.m.
The Sharks have won the past five games and are reportedly optimistic that they will close the season with a sixth victory. A homecoming dance for students only will conclude the evening.
Both sides of the legal dispute are due back in court on Nov. 8. Opponents of the project say that they will continue to push for a compromise that includes removable light poles, stricter limitations on the number of nights the district can use the lights, and community oversight.