Rabyn Blake, a longtime Topangan, is a grandmother, artist and community activist. She is a founder of Santa Monica Mountains Coalition for Alternatives to Toxics and the Topanga Canyon Creekside Homeowners’ Association. She was Chairperson of the Topanga Canyon Watershed Citizens’ Advisory Council, appointed by the Board of Supervisors, to create a Watershed Management Plan in lieu of the Floodway Ordinance first proposed in 1991. This led to the establishment of the Topanga Creek Watershed Committee in 1996. She was instrumental in creating a pesticide free Arundo removal project with State Parks. Presently, she is active in the Coastal Citizens for Safe Drinking Water in an effort to educate residents to help end fluoridation in Topanga and the Santa Monica Mountains.
Robin Fomalont has been working as an environmental and occupational health professional for seventeen years. She is grateful to be part of the Topanga community, where she has lived with her family for ten years. She joined the TASC board two months ago to assist in keeping Topanga a unique and beautiful place to live. She would like to help implement an environmentally-friendly public transportation system in Topanga Canyon for residents to use to travel within the canyon, as well as to connect to public transportation systems outside our area.
Ronald Fomalont, a Topanga resident since 1996, has been active in several community organizations. He was a member of the former Topanga Firesafe Committee, is a member of the Topanga Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of VOICE (a Viewridge environmental organization). Ron is a graduate of USC’s law school and has been a practicing attorney in Los Angeles since 1981, representing injured people against insurance companies. He has been on the TASC board since 2003.
Toby Keeler has been living and working as an independent filmmaker in Topanga for 27 years. He joined the TASC board in 1994 when then-chair Susan Nissman became Supervisor Yaroslavsky’s deputy. Toby co-founded the Old Topanga Homeowners, Inc., when the northwestern flank of Topanga was annexed into what would become the City of Calabasas. The neighborhood proudly maintains its 90290 zip code. He was twice appointed to the Calabasas Planning Commission and served three terms as president of the Las Virgenes Homeowners Federation.
Dan Larson is an archaeologist and activist. He has been a TASC board member since 1978. He has testified about archaeological issues in front of numerous governmental agencies. He is also interested in, and has testified about, other concerns such as traffic and economics of development in hillside areas and housing in general. In addition, he gave testimony in support of the North Area Plan.
Composer/guitarist Ken Mazur has lived in Topanga for 18 years and is the father of three. Ken is the co-founder of Topanga Animal Rescue, a non-profit organization that helps domestic and wild animals in Topanga. He is part of the TCEP small animal team and is an active voice in TCC matters. Ken volunteers as a music and art teacher for the kindergarden at Topanga Elementary and has been on the TASC board for four years.
Roger Pugliese has been a member of TASC since 1990 and it’s Chair since 1993. He took over the Chairperson’s seat when Susan Nissman(former Chair) started to work for the County of Los Angeles in the role of our field deputy for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Roger has lived in Topanga for over 25yrs and is committed to its survival as a unique and special place in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Herbert Petermann has lived and worked in Topanga since 1986. He became a TASC board member in 1989 and vice-chair in 1994. Topanga was a favorite hiking destination of his in the 70’s and 80’s, and he wanted to live in a semi-rural environment but be close to the cultural attractions that surround our community. He and his wife Joan founded a local homeowners group called VOICE (Viewridge Owners Involved in the Community and Environment) in 1988 to oppose two large developments planned for the Upper Topanga area. TASC’s strong opposition to the Montevideo/Canyon Oaks development, along with the support of VOICE helped in the defeat of this destructive development and prodded government entities to purchase Summit Valley as parkland. If he is not working as an engineer designing and building custom machines, tooling, prototypes, and new products, he spends his time hiking and photographing our beautiful Santa Monica Mountains.
Joan Petermann has lived in Topanga with her husband, Herbert, for 22 years. In the 60’s and 70’s, she was an art teacher for the L.A. city schools. Since then she has assisted with Herbert’s business and painted. She became active in the effort to save Summit Valley in 1988, when she and Herbert formed VOICE in the Viewridge area of Topanga. Besides supporting the purchase of parkland in upper Topanga, they worked on getting trails and wrote the application that resulted in a $70,000 grant for a trail bridge. She also did volunteer work for TASC which included writing a number of newsletters. In 1994 she officially joined their Board and was the TASC recording secretary for 8 years. After taking an extended time off, she admits to missing TASC and has returned to be its secretary once again.