Think Globally… Shop Locally

Joni Mitchell’s familiar refrain “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone” warns against taking the things you love for granted. And while at the time Joni was referring to paradise, trees, pure food and her boyfriend, her message resonates now for one of the key threads in the fabric of small towns, namely, local businesses. 

We do indeed live in paradise! Surrounded by an incomparable coastline and rolling hills we have wonderful neighbors and lifestyles. But a critical component of our lives and towns are the storefronts we drive past every day and the shopkeeper and employees inside that work very hard to make their dream a reality by offering you something they believe in so much that they have devoted their very lives to showing it to you. But recently the emergence of point and click shopping obscures the reality that operating a successful small business, while never an easy road, is more challenging than ever. 

But you won’t see the chairman of Amazon in the stands at the local Homecoming game, cheering on kids at a local surf contest or helping the local family that lost their home in a fire. That level of community involvement only happens when the business owner lives in your neighborhood, works down the block, plays hoops at the local park or paddles out at your local break. 

And the truth is, the vast majority of proprietors in our towns do just that. They’re sponsoring the Little League teams, manning the BBQ at the game, giving discounts to the kids when they get a good report card or just waving to you when you meet on the sidewalk. They’ve been there for years so you might even take them for granted, but trust me, they never take your patronage for granted. Not for a minute. And if they ever leave, our towns will lose a part of what makes them so special, thread-by-thread, storefront-by-storefront. It would be more than a shame… It would be tragic and we would all lose. 

So please consider doing your part to help maintain the souls of our towns. Turn off the computer, get out of your car and walk the sidewalks, our sidewalks, to rediscover the incredibly unique shops just down the street. It’s easy, it’s fun and you’ll discover some cool goods and services that you can’t find online while meeting some pretty nice folks in the process. 

Thankfully, most of the people I talk to “get it” and understand that the quality of their lives depends in part on the holistic integrity of the community that surrounds them. The health of our town is akin to the health of our bodies and online shopping is like drive through fast food. It’s something to eat, but it sure as heck ain’t home cookin’.

Mark Christy

Laguna Beach

Skipper Carillo turns frowns to smiles

I worked in Laguna Beach for 21 years for Laguna Fed- Great American-Wells Fargo, and in those 21 years took only two of my customers out to lunch.  (I am not a cheapskate, it is just not a good idea to either give or take gifts from customers. Banking and favors don’t mix.)  

So one of the two customers was Skip.  We went to Salerno’s and joined the clean plate club.  I loved this guy and still do.  No matter how long the line or how many folks were being told NO when attempting to cash a check, if Skipper came into the lobby he could change the atmosphere in a mini second when he uttered his famous Hi everybody...Have a HOME RUN Day. Frowns turned to smiles and we all had a dose of human kindness that day.  

Skip’s nickname for me was the Duke.  I loved Duke Snyder, so he gave me his name.  I don’t miss banking but I still miss the wonderful folks in Laguna Beach.  Number one on that list is Skip. I wish him only good things forever.

Bonnie Rohrer

Alternative to the $150M Undergrounding Project

For the cost of undergrounding SCE power lines, we could fund solar or other alternative energy production for literally every home in Laguna. Our city would be the cleanest most self-sufficient/sustainable city certainly in California if not the nation.

While that notion may seem far-fetched to many of you, read on and do a bit of research on the Web, [and] you’ll see making Laguna Beach substantially independent of an investor owned utility is not only feasible but makes practical sense. There is a momentous shift taking place in the energy business toward Distributed Energy Resources and Zero Net Energy (ZNE) buildings.  Combined, they have the ability to significantly reduce a community’s dependence on the energy utilities, substantially reduce GHG emissions, and make the community more resilient to natural disasters.

Most experts agree it will be the combination of energy from distributed sources like rooftop solar, batteries, and the utilities that makes the most sense.  But currently our communities, and especially Laguna, are way too dependent on a single source for electricity.

If the City were to raise a $150M bond to fund undergrounding that equates to roughly $6500 per resident or $13,000 per residential dwelling in town. The average cost of a 5MW residential solar system is $14,000 with available tax credits. 

Now I realize that not every dwelling and building in town is suitable for a rooftop solar system and solar alone does not supply power 24/7/365. But many buildings in town are suitable for solar, you can cover parking structures, and there are other viable alternatives to produce and buy electricity. 

I estimated our collective community (residents, businesses and public institutions) spends roughly $25M annually on electricity using publicly available data. So it’s understandable why SCE and SDGE balk at investing $150M in undergrounding.  Our community is a tiny revenue stream for them and they buy their power and retail it to us. So even if my numbers are way off, the payback on a $150M investment for them is very long.  Laguna Beach represents tiny profits and therefore likely a small priority in the event of a natural disaster that affects them grid-wide, like a major earthquake. When that major natural disaster hits we’re on our own for an extended period of time. Plain and simple.

If the utilities serving our community are unwilling to fund undergrounding to preserve their $25M annual revenue stream, then we should seriously investigate alternatives before our City officials move forward with any more undergrounding expenditures.

For argument’s sake, let’s say we add in five years’ worth of SCE and SDGE bills that our community pays; there’s $125M to put in the energy independence kitty on top of the $150M the City wants.

$275M goes along way to make our community power sources sustainable and highly resilient to earthquakes and fires. The $275M would be toward assets we own not a sunk cost to couple of monopolies.  

Other thoughts on reducing fire risk from powerlines on LCR / evacuation routes

How about reinforcing the poles on LCR with K rail like solutions to reduce fire risk in the canyon? It’s not the poles that are the problem, it’s the drivers, when drivers veer off the road, if their cars don’t hit a pole they hit cyclists, pedestrians, and buildings. If they run off into the vegetation, aren’t they just as likely to start a fire?

What about the risk from the power lines in the parklands?

The information I have read says nothing about the high voltage lines that span parts of Aliso Creek and Wood Canyon Regional Park. If Santa Ana winds bring down those power lines, a fire would quickly engulf TOW and Arch Beach Heights. If the City continues to push its undergrounding plan to keep us safe it has to include the power lines in the parks surrounding the town.  

If the City is making us consider a very large expenditure, shouldn’t the planned outcome not only make Laguna safer but also more self sufficient in the face of any natural or man-made disaster? Oh, and by the way, the byproduct could be an ultra environmentally friendly City.  

Tim Hayes

Laguna Beach

Sewage discharge is a problem

Without a recycled water system and no intention to do anything to reduce ocean discharges, Laguna Beach sends all secondary sewage to the ocean next to our Bluebelt and Marine Protected Areas. Would we dump sewage water in the Greenbelt?

[According to a recent report and notice]…Laguna Beach sends 1.6 million gallons per day to the Coastal Treatment Plant and is billed 1.6 million gallons per day for the discharges at the Aliso Creek Ocean Outfall (ACOO). Irvine sends us 1.3 million gallons per day or 20 percent of ocean discharges.

Why is Irvine dumping wastewater to Laguna to make the sewage plume even bigger?

When will we get our act together and end ocean discharges?

Are half a billion gallons of sewage discharges per year good for Laguna’s ocean, economy or quality of life?

The Coastal Treatment Plant repairs require somewhere between $23 million and $33 million over the next ten years with no modernization improvements indicated in reports. The Army Corp of Engineers can access $100 million for restoration of Aliso Creek and the County has earmarked $32 million more. 

With smart public and private industry leaders, we can wrap these funds together as a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to create a world class wastewater & co-generation facility to serve our world class community and tourist economy.

Let’s get started on a big picture plan to protect the ocean from present and future sewage discharges.

Mike Beanan

Laguna Beach

Undergrounding is proactive risk management

Undergrounding the utility poles is an excellent way to reduce risk of fires and protect our city. As a city, we have very real challenges as a result of our surrounding 16,000 acres of open space.  Undergrounding is proactive risk management.  

There were numerous vocal and entrenched activists who fought very hard against the construction of a five million gallon buried reservoir in Alta Laguna park just before the 1993 fire. It got built afterwards.  

Julia Kelly

Laguna Beach

Undergrounding is a cosmetic issue, not a safety issue

A recent article [in Stu News Laguna] spoke authoritatively about the value of undergrounding power line and poles. It interesting the resurrected issue should emphasize a specious public safety issue.

Years ago, the same issue was in vogue. Then as now, neighborhoods were encouraged to vote with those neighborhoods in agreement burying their utilities. Then the average cost per household was $15,000; today’s cost is unknown.

At that time the measure was understood to be cosmetic which it was. Today it is touted as a public safety issue which it is not.

For genuine public safety fire issues one need only look at the accumulation of tons of dry brush in Bluebird Canyon, the uninhibited vegetable hell growing onto many of the City’s streets, the absence of enforcement on uncontrolled plots of weeds and the existence of trees on the verge of expiry.

View equity, the only reason for undergrounding utilities, is more than placing a few miles of wire underground. To actually address this issue restrictions on trees must be incorporated in which the City embraces and enforces regulations such as those in Palos Verdes.

To foster undergrounding alone without considering restrictions on trees is pure, unadulterated hypocrisy.

John Kountz

Laguna Beach

This song about undergrounding was featured in Lagunatics a couple of years back…Sung to the tune of “Marian The Librarian” from THE MUSIC MAN.

Parody Lyrics by Chris Quilter

“The Mayor” 


A letter to Southern California Edison President Pedro Pizarro. Dear President Pizarro....How shall I put this?...Don’t transcribe that. Okay, here we go.


Bury ‘em… don’t be contrarian 

What can I write right here to catch your ear 

Your poles are sadly sadly so antiquarian, bury ‘em 

Heaven help us if the canyon had caught on fire 

And nothing we did prevented 

A disaster humani-tarian 

Your poles need buryin’ 


I want to make it clear, we live in fear

We need it badly, badly: utilitarian buryin’ 

We’ve a task force, and we’ve busted our whatchamacallits 

Though out work may have gone unnoticed 

I promise we haven’t been tarryin’, we wanna start buryin’ 


But what you must get

Our town can’t swing it

You can just bet

That the people will start to quarrel 

About any bond that we float

So we must let… Laguna vote


And if they approve this fiscal move

We’ll kick it gladly, gladly, it is a scary sum to bury ‘um!

It’s a long lost cause that we have to win

In a civilized town it is an unforgivable sin 

Opposing a cause so nonsectarian 

It is very dumb

If we don’t bury ‘um.

Bob Whalen is spot on regarding undergrounding utilities

I believe that Bob Whalen’s points are spot on – it is a safety issue to underground the utility lines – especially in the major arteries / evacuation routes.

There is no question that some of our past fires have started with downed power lines. In addition, downed poles/lines would be quite problematic after an earthquake or some major event requiring significant evacuation or access by emergency vehicles. 

In addition to safety, there is no question it would also improve aesthetics– especially in the neighborhood streets. I can tell you that 12 years ago, when we were shopping for a home in Laguna Beach, we eliminated one house because the wires were directly in the primary sight lines.  So, in this regard, those poles / wires were detracting value from that particular property. 

John Morcos

Laguna Beach

Undergrounding must happen for safety reasons

I completely support Councilman Bob Whalen in his view that we must underground the utility wires for safety reasons. 

Not only is the impact of fire a huge threat to our community but the wires falling on trees, and the subsequent road closures, is a safety concern and source of carbon emissions in our city. Every time first responders arrive at the scene of a downed wire or tree, traffic is backed up for miles, snarling traffic and causing idling cars to emit additional carbon emissions.

Numerous Sonoma country residents, who lost everything in the recent disaster in the wine country, are suing PG&E claiming poor maintenance of its high voltage lines. PG&E has revealed 20 electrical safety incidents Oct 8 & 9, including at least four in multiple locations in Sonoma County.

We cannot ignore the threat of global warming and the disasters this year alone that have been fueled by record-breaking carbon emissions.  

If Laguna Beach is complicit in ignoring the citywide power lines as the high risk that they pose, then the city could be held accountable in future litigation.

We must work to partner with SoCal Edison and the City to fund grounding of all lines. I support finding ways to increase visitors’ taxes and or higher parking fees so that they pay their share in protecting this beach community. 

Thank you for raising this important issue in the recent StuNews publication.

Rebecca Visconti

Laguna Beach

Impressed with Dianne Russell’s writing

Once again, I am extremely impressed with Dianne Russell’s writing. I provide her with some dry facts about certain aspects of spider biology and she manages to link the facts together, and then convey the information in a most interesting and accurate way. She wrapped Laguna Beach, the bolas spider, and Halloween into one web!! I think her prose is superb.

Lenny Vincent

Laguna Beach

Allow workers to increase their 401(k) contributions

Last week I suggested that next year’s 401(k) contribution limit be raised from $18,500 to $25,000. I was pleasantly surprised when several of my fiscally conservative friends in town told me they agree.

I don’t know if he heard about my idea via Facebook or Twitter, but on Tuesday, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer proposed a similar idea. His increase and mine were evenly matched ($24,500 vs. $25,000). What Sen. Schumer also proposed was allowing workers over 50 to increase their pre-tax contribution an additional $6,000 per year, bringing the total to $30,500.

It is beyond me why some in Congress want to decrease the amount middle class Americans can contribute to their retirement. Clearly, I believe my friends in town and I are on the right side of this issue.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

Park Plaza

Whomever came up with this idea should take a look at it from the standpoint of a visitor to our city. “Embarrassing and cheap looking”, one valued visitor commented to me!

Edward Bobinski

Laguna Beach

Those classified Kennedy files

Like several of my Laguna friends, I was 15 and a sophomore in high school when President Kennedy was murdered in 1963.  Last Thursday’s announcement that most of the classified JFK files were being released reminded me of that terrible day in Dallas when my world -- and the world of my Baby Boomer generation -- was changed forever.

I never will forget shaking hands with the future president in September of 1960 at the San Francisco Airport. When JFK took the oath of office, my entire universe was uplifted. It is hard to put into words just what Camelot and the Kennedy family meant to America. It, and they, represented a true sense of endless possibilities.  

Suffice it to say that, when the president was killed, the entire country fell into a deep depression. Thankfully, it only lasted 10 weeks. That’s because Ed Sullivan introduced us to the Beatles in February of 1964. It was the elixir the nation needed at the time.  In some ways, the Fab Four’s performance that night has stayed with my generation for a lifetime. 

I am glad most of the secret JFK files finally are being released now.  This will help bring closure to the trauma we all experienced on Nov. 22, 1963.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

Coast Inn graffiti is an eyesore

Attached you will find two pictures of graffiti (again) on Coast Inn.  I just wanted to show you what I drive by everyday as this building continues to become dilapidated.

We have eyesores all over, what should be, a world-class town. I will just leave it there and let you figure out why people are frustrated.

Keith Kesler

Laguna Beach

Why Park Plaza? Cool Trees and Longer, Better Lives

Why have volunteers from three local non-profits collaborated and contributed countless hours over three years, obtaining unanimous approval from seven city departments to create our new Park Plaza?  For a start - Cool Trees and Longer, Better Lives.

Park Plaza preserves a rare prize in Laguna - the last accessible group of towering shade trees in the downtown area. When the sun shines, it is measurably cooler and more comfortable in the shade of these statuesque trees.  Not solely because of the shade.  Trees are Nature’s very own evaporative coolers. Biologists call it transpiration cooling. Our heritage trees have root systems extending down as large as the tree itself. These massive, deep roots draw cool water up from the earth; and vaporize it around each and every leaf.  Scientists have found that transpiration allows one large tree to cool six-eight degrees more than just a shade structure without a tree. And Park Plaza’s towering three-story heritage trees transpire a ton. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Another view of Park Plaza

Last week, on the hottest days, you could sit in the shade of Park Plaza and be completely comfortable. If you don’t believe it’s cooler in Park Plaza than anywhere else downtown, go experience it for yourself. Join in the dance of chasing shade as the sun crosses over Catalina. It’s amazing!  And, as an added bonus, the whitewater views of Main Beach aren’t too shabby either.

Now, it’s true that many are skeptical or outright opposed to Park Plaza. I understand - change isn’t easy, especially if you’re the one being inconvenienced. My hope is that concerned locals will experience this beautiful chill spot for themselves, before they pass judgment. If folks sit long enough, they just might discover a new appreciation for this small strip of downtown public property, and come to understand and appreciate that this is far too valuable a place to just park eight cars, or as a traffic cut through. Arguably, the highest and best use for this outdoor naturally air-conditioned treasure needs to be for our community.

Our new Park Plaza is a place where families with toddlers can feel safe, away from traffic. Shoppers can take a load off, recover and keep on shopping. I saw a very pregnant mom ecstatic that she found a place to “refresh and rest before traveling on.” Park Plaza is for coffee klatch’s, dog owners and their pets, lunch with friends, romantic alfresco take-out dining at sunset from any of our fine downtown eateries, and the random meeting and connection with locals or travelers.  

Urban designers know these shaded pedestrian plazas are human interaction magnets. I’ve met someone knew every time I’ve visited the Park. I’m so fortunate that our local bard John Gardiner stopped by Park Plaza a couple times last week walking his dog, and we were able to connect before his untimely passing. I would have missed that opportunity if it weren’t for our new Park. People connect in plazas and that makes our city more enjoyable and more livable.

The AARP has a Livability Index for many cities.  A key element of a livable community is that it fosters interaction among residents. “Opportunities to connect and feel welcomed help lessen social isolation and strengthen the greater community.”   

Sadly, Laguna Beach falls in the bottom half of all U.S. cities when it comes to “Social Engagement” (0.91 on index from 0-2) Until now, Laguna had no shaded public downtown areas that foster connections. Park Plaza is already working to make Laguna Beach measurably more livable. We all know that Laguna Beach has an aging population that could use every advantage to age even better.  Guess what? Seniors age better and live longer in livable communities. These are proven facts and reason enough to preserve Park Plaza; but add in that special uniqueness of being the chillest outdoor spot downtown (quite literally) and Park Plaza is a public prize that needs to be preserved for generations to come. Meet me or your friends at Park Plaza, and see and feel what this all about for yourself. You just might enjoy the change and the chill. 

Christopher Prelitz

Laguna Beach

Christopher Prelitz is the co-founder and president of Transition Laguna Beach. TLB worked with the LB Chamber and LB Beautification Committee in creating the Park Plaza trial.

Love this little area [Park Plaza]

Not ready to close off all of the downtown streets, but I love this little area! I even like driving by and seeing folks hanging out at the tables and chairs. I do wish they would use the lights they’ve hung, though - I have not seen them on after dark at all. Took an un-needed access alley and created a great space!

Michael Johnson

Laguna Beach

Meet Me at Park Plaza

People voted with their delightful derrieres this past week and declared the new Park Plaza the coolest downtown place to be - literally. There was no other place to sit outdoors and avoid being irradiated by our merciless heat wave. So with zero fanfare and even less promotion, the City proved that if you build it, they will come - and take a load off. Which people are doing in droves since they discovered this lovely, tree-lined shade corridor with enhanced greenery, Parisian café lights, and a perfect ocean view. It’s oh so tranquil and clean because, well, no cars!

The greatest asset our city has are the interesting and convivial people who live in it. Give us a chance to mingle, and we mingle hard. It’s what makes Halloween on Oak, Sawdust Locals, and Hospitality Nights the absolute best days of the year. Now we will have the opportunity for random, serendipitous encounters every day. As a reminder, you don’t have to eat gyro’s every time. You finally have a place to take that Whole Food salad (or any other takeout), swing by, relax, re-charge, and watch the world go by. Then help our merchants and go spend more money. This is a return to the village atmosphere that was obliterated by our slavish dependence on the car.

Now of course we brace for the usual outrage and torrent of negativity from the many who traffic in fear, and generally decry anything new. They’ll tell us the street is too important for motorists to allow pedestrian use, that we can’t sacrifice the eight parking spots, that it will be a haven for the homeless, that it will be filthy, that we have an adequate park across the street, that locals will never use it (only the dreaded visitors), and finally that the city pissed away $50K on something they could have done better.  

It’s like going to see movie and deciding after the first 30 seconds that it sucks. It’s only a test. It will evolve and improve aesthetically and in utility, especially if made permanent. For that to happen we hope inconvenienced drivers are accommodated with a better left turn option at Laguna St.

For the record, only $9,900 was spent on decor. Every penny of it is in the Plaza, because all the labor was performed by community volunteers. Where did the other $40K go? The first $8,400 went back to the city for lost meter revenue. The rest for set-up, upkeep, a traffic control plan for CalTrans, and approved safety barriers. That meant changing the traffic signs and signals, giving notice to motorists, re-paving the street with slurry seal, etc. It’s how things work to optimize public safety and enjoyment. The good news is that many of these are sunk costs making it far cheaper to maintain and extend the life of the Plaza.

As for the threat of homeless, of course there will be instances of bad behavior in a town as addled as Laguna. But does that mean prohibiting all of our rights to comfortable public space? We have to acquire the tools to coexist and mitigate bad behavior. It’s how we will survive as a species. 

So here’s a plea to the skeptics: please suspend judgment until the conclusion of the trial. Try and be open-minded, come experience it for yourself. You might just like it.   

Billy Fried

Laguna Beach

A great little spot

Park Plaza is a great little spot. So many residents are afraid of change. I think it will be a winner when all those naysayers get used to it. I love it!

Pamela Broadman

Laguna Beach

What $75,000 buys you in Laguna: Park Plaza

Park Avenue Plaza - sounds a lot like a New York City address, right?  But hang tight. The Park Avenue Plaza is not in New York City, but right here in Laguna on our own Park Avenue (actually the little street that parallels Forest that abuts the shawarma falafel stand on the way to the library). Our Council voted unanimously to spend $75,000 for a parklet with tables and chairs for a six-week “experiment” beginning October 21.

The grand vision is that Laguna Beach will be now more like a European village.  Billy Fried, one of the proponents of the plaza stated in a recent column that the aesthetics are “stunning” – What is stunning is how tacky this place looks – colored plastic lawn chairs?  There seems to be a difference in the eye of the beholder here.

The reality is our European village abuts a California highway with millions in car traffic. The trade-off means closing a favorite locals thoroughfare traveled by a car every minute with direct access to Glenneyre and Top of the World.  We will lose eight metered parking spaces with revenue of $1,400 in average weekly parking fees and face the very real possibility of compounding traffic backing-up on already congested Coast Highway that ultimately seems to benefit one private business owner who now has outdoor dining paid for by us.

Photo by Alan Boinus

Park Plaza

Not that wasting money is a foreign concept to this Council. Recall the public threw a collective fit last year when the Council’s other grand experiment in parklets took out at least two parking spaces on Forest in favor of a wooden barricade that many chided looked more like a livestock pen than anything park-like and cost the owner of Alessa restaurant $45,000?!

I asked Steve Dicterow if all this was worth it.  «Can’t people just walk across the street and go to a real park called, the beach?!”  “Won’t traffic back-up if two egresses are removed?”  “Won’t people be ticked-off having to turn left at Legion?”  “Won’t we be burdening library patrons who will find it more difficult to park now?”  And, “If Council wants a test, why couldn’t we try barricades first at a more reasonable cost?”

Steve argued that traffic can be easily diverted onto streets like Jasmine and Myrtle through north Laguna neighborhoods to Rosa Bonheur.  But then, wouldn’t we be backing up traffic at Broadway and still not be anywhere near Glenneyre?

Perhaps the Shawarma Plaza is a good idea.  But then why didn’t Council follow Bob Whalen’s suggestion and work with CalTrans to pull some parking spaces along Coast Highway in order to create a left-turn pocket on Laguna Avenue before venturing with its experiment?  After all, if we are willing to sacrifice eight parking spaces, why couldn’t we sacrifice some for a left-turn lane to benefit residents?  Not coming up with viable solutions before spending taxpayer money or inconveniencing residents dooms what might otherwise be worthy of consideration.  Unfortunately Council’s idea of an experiment makes guinea pigs of us all.

Alan Boinus

Laguna Beach

Irony in two photos

While photographing last Sunday’s protest at Main Beach, a passerby called my attention to a paradox.

The photo of two homeless people was taken 30ft. away from the massive police presence.

The photo of the police was taken from the same spot in the opposite direction.

I believe this to be a local community issue: The irony of people forced to sleep in the street, while massive amounts of our revenue is devoted to “public safety and the right to protect free speech.”

Maybe something to think about, maybe something to write a few words about...

Chris Kreymann

Laguna Beach

Probation for reckless driving?

I have a studio in Laguna Canyon: I listen to the almost daily sirens; I watch people drive with ridiculous disregard for the fact that people have to enter and leave from their dwellings and businesses, I watch people speed and drive inattentively or aggressively.

So, I find it outrageous that a person can drive recklessly on Laguna Canyon Road and kill two men in the prime of their lives and walk away with probation and community service as a penalty.

I pray that this perp. feels great and tremendous remorse, has made restitution, and goes down on his knees every day to ask for forgiveness.

But each of us can honor the victims of this crime in our own way by taking a chill pill and mellowing out when we drive Laguna Canyon Road. How? By driving with grace and compassion. Let someone make a left turn, don’t tailgate, stay out of the bicycle lane, don’t use the center lane to pass, and do not speed.

So in memory of those who have lost their lives:

Please Slow Down and Mellow Out. It’s a beautiful road.

Hedy Buzan

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach does have public sculpture commemorating local indigenous people

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, in the public communications segment, 96-year-old Bruce Hopping’s spokeswoman claimed that Laguna Beach did not have a public sculpture commemorating the indigenous peoples of our area. 

Please be advised that the Art in Public Places requirement piece for parking lot #20 in South Laguna, titled “From the Beginning”, does indeed commemorate the original occupants of our area long before someone showed up and called them “Indians”. 

The sculpture was executed by South Laguna sculptor in residence Jorge Fernandez as winner of the Arts Commission competition in 2010 for the parking lot project and installed in 2011. The sculpture was funded by the people of Laguna Beach.

Tom Slattery

South Laguna

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