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Los Angeles Times -  August 15, 1982
Youths to Play Near Pepperdine
Little League, State Reach
Accord on Malibu Lagoon
By ROBERT W. STEWART, Times Staff Writer

In 2003, Joel Castro was awarded the Jake Kuredjian Award from the City of Malibu for outstanding community service for youth. The award commemorated Mr. Castro’s successful 1981 campaign to save Malibu Little League.  

The long and bitter battle of Malibu Lagoon is over. The agreement, worked out over a two week period by attorneys for the Little League and the Parks Department was signed August 6, concluding a nearly year old legal battle. In September, 1981, Malibu parents were shocked to find bulldozers ready to destroy the local Little League fields. Without warning, the California Department of Parks and Recreation  implemented its plan to demolish the Malibu Little League playing fields for a wildlife preserve and parking lot.

Joel Castro obtained an injunction to stop the destruction and commenced an extraordinary effort against the State of California to save the Little League. After winning successive motions in three different Superior Court actions,  he led a drive to pass new legislation in the State Assembly that would deed public lands to the Little League at Malibu Bluffs.

As a result, the Malibu Little League has the most expensive and beautiful Little League fields on the West Coast. “The case was about fairness,” Castro said, “the same thing we teach the kids on the baseball fields.” (Los Angeles Daily Journal, August 1994)

“The State of California had sued to evict the Little League from its playing fields at Malibu Lagoon. ‘Little League is about playing baseball,’ said the League’s attorney, Joel Castro. ‘Whoever thought they’d have to hire a lawyer.’” (Herald Examiner, July 18, 1982)

The 50 year old Little League had never had a home field and had been playing on a state owned site for $1 a year. “We want someone to point to a site and say, ‘This is where we’re going to put you,’” said Castro, the Little League attorney. “What they have said is, ‘Leave the lagoon site, accept the temporary site, and we’ll make our best effort to get you a permanent site.’ We know all about their ‘best efforts ...’”

Malibu Little League’s New Bluff-Site Home Across From Pepperdine.
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