Although the theme of this issue was inspired by our cover story with actor and longtime Malibu resident Cary Elwes who plays Mayor Kline of the Netflix hit series “Stranger Things”, the theme actually began two years before when a series of unusual events took place in my life, and the lives of many in our community.
On June 22nd, 2018, the news announced that a young father of two was shot to death while he lay sleeping in his tent at Malibu Creek State Park. Needless to say, to have something so tragic and unexpected happen so close to home rocked our community to the core.
I had recently switched focus from to activism-based journalism for our online news publication, The Local Malibu. The site mostly reports on local politics and public safety issues and the evening of the murder, a resident sent me a message that a Tesla was shot at on Malibu Canyon Rd. four days before the murder.
Fearing a sniper was on the loose, I released a public safety alert on our Facebook page, which prompted victims of previous shootings to come out on that thread exposing a two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings.
During the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings case I was introduced to Dr. Ronda Hampton, a clinical psychologist, and an integral part of seeking justice for Mitrice Richardson. Hampton was the conduit to my meeting and establishing a relationship with Sheriff of L.A. County, Alex Villanueva. Both relationships have been invaluable on so many levels, and vital to the on-going fight to create tranparency,and giving a voice to the murdered and the missing.
A few months after the shootings, the Woolsey Fire ravaged the area, not only changing the landscape, but changing the dynamic in our community. Paul Taublieb’s “Woolsey: A Story of What Didn’t and Didn’t Happen” was an important article to include in the re-launch issue as it is a detailed account of what truly transpired during the most devstating natural disaster to hit our town.
In closing, had I not taken the hiatus from 90265 Magazine to pursue investigative reporting, important stories would have never been told and relationships that inspire change would have never been formed.
With Malibu regaining new momentum after so many changes in our community, it seemed like the perfect time to bring back 90265 Magazine in its tangible and interactive form.
We look forward to sharing many more issues with you.
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Editor in Chief Cece Woods considers herself the “accidental activist”. Having spent most her childhood on sands of Zuma Beach, Cece left Southern California in her early 20’s, but it was only a matter of time before she returned to the idyllic place that held so many wonderful memories from her youth. In 2006, she made the journey back to Malibu permanently, the passion to preserve it was ignited. In 2012, Cece became involved in local environmental and political activism at the urging of former husband Steve Woods, a resident for more than 4o years. Together, they were involved in many high-profile environmental battles including the Malibu Lagoon Restoration Project, Measure R, Measure W, and more. Cece founded influential print and online media publications, 90265 Magazine in 2013 highlighting the authentic Malibu lifestyle, and The Local Malibu, an online news media site with a strategic focus on environmental and political activism. In the summer of 2018, Cece broke multiple global stories including the law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and is considered by major news media as a trusted authority on Malibu.