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Laguna Beach


Guest Letter

Chris Tebbutt, Founder

Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Cultural Alliance

Effectively connecting with marginalized communities

Guest Letter Chris Tebbutt

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Courtesy of Chris Tebbutt

Chris Tebbutt

Being an Ally to any marginalized community is more important in affecting real change than many people realize. 

However, developing oneself as an Ally is a skill that doesn’t happen overnight; it comes from engaging in open conversations, asking questions, recognizing your own biases and blind spots and stepping out of your comfort zone. Being an Ally means learning, empathizing and taking on the struggle as your own.

As we honor Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month, we offer you a few specific ways you can become an Ally:

Listen: The easiest way to begin to become an Ally is to listen. 

Educate yourself: Identify and challenge stereotypes and unconscious bias. It starts with learning a little history.

Talk with others in your community: Have conversations with diverse LGBTQ people, from high school students to senior citizens, and learn about their experience and their history.

Learn & use correct inclusive language: In the LGBTQ community, language is everything. It’s important to use the right words and pronouns when referring to someone or describing their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Speak up & intervene: Don’t tolerate anti-LGBTQ jokes or statements expressed in your presence. 

Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or a valued Ally, please join us at the Laguna Art Museum this Saturday, June 18 from 4-8 p.m., as I lead a panel discussion on the importance of LGBTQ history and culture in Laguna Beach.

Chris Tebbutt is a real estate agent for Compass, and founder of the Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month. The month of June is officially LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month in Laguna Beach, as proclaimed by City Council in 2017.


Guest Letter

Louis Weil

Design Review Board, Chairperson

2022 Candidate for Laguna Beach City Council

Opinion: The LRF Ballot initiative, is not the right fit for Laguna Beach

Guest Letter Louis Weil

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Courtesy of Louis Weil for City Council

Louis Weil

Now that the June elections are over, I want to focus on the risk that I strongly believe the Laguna Residents First (LRF) ballot initiative presents to our community this November. I am dedicated to “right-fit” solutions to our challenges, and this is not a right fit for our town. The initiative is packed with unnecessary constraints on our already complex development process. This approach does not balance progress with preservation of the best of our town, it simply encumbers existing review processes that have been carefully cultivated by our community over time.

The proposed LRF initiative was developed without any input from the public or landowners, nor was any sought. To me, this approach disrespects our past and ignores our history in finding solutions that truly represent our unique town’s values. In my opinion, the initiative was developed to satisfy the goals of a few and being marketed as if it represents the views of most residents. 

In the 16 pages of the LRF Initiative are muddled together development standards, code amendments, and definitions, creating a jumble of terms that will lead to legal nightmares and complicate our land use process. It is simply too cumbersome, especially superimposed upon our community’s already rigorous development standards. I question how the initiative in any way ensures that our town continues to be a great place to live. 

As a passionate Laguna resident and volunteer on the Design Review Board, I am inspired by past community involvement and actions that have led the way in cultivating our unique standards and review processes. If changes are deemed necessary, we can do that again…through the public process. 

Just like those that have been accomplished by community volunteers and working groups involved in public decision-making processes before. 

My strong feelings about this initiative may not please some voters, but I have made a promise that as a candidate for City Council I will always take a strong stand for right-fit solutions for our town and against those that aren’t. I will work hard to ensure that our downtown thrives and attracts the kinds of businesses that serve the community and ensure Laguna’s reputation as a quirky, artistic, vibrant seaside village remains.

For more information, and reasons why I believe I’m the right fit for the 2022 City Council, visit www.louisweil4citycouncil2022.com.

Louis Weil is a REALTOR® and currently serves as chairperson of the City of Laguna Beach’s Design Review Board. He is an announced Laguna Beach City Council candidate for November.


Obituary

Mary Elizabeth Anderson - Johnson

April 28, 1926 – April 30, 2022

Obituary Mary E. Anderson Johnson

Courtesy of Sharon Glenwinkel

Mary Elizabeth Anderson - Johnson

Mary E. Anderson - Johnson and her brother, Paul Norman Anderson, grew up in Laguna Beach and she graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1944. 

The family would love to hear from anyone who may have known Mary or Norm during those high school years and beyond. You are welcome to join the celebration of her life either at the church Friday (TODAY! June 17) or by live stream on the internet at: www.southshores.org/maryjohnsonmemorial. This link will be available to watch for a few months after today.

The Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 17 at 12:30 p.m. at South Shores Church, Ocean Room, 32712 Crown Valley Parkway, Dana Point, Calif.

If you knew Mary, please contact her daughter, Sharon, at 825 College Blvd., Ste. 102, #637, Oceanside, Calif., or call 760.917.5568.


Obituary

Tom Girvin

March 15, 1933 – May 3, 2022

Obituary Tom GirvinJPG

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Courtesy of the Girvin Family

Tom Girvin

Thomas B. Girvin met his Lord on May 3, 2022. He was the only son of Irish immigrants Thomas and Eliza Girvin and grew up in Quincy, Mass. Shortly after graduation from North Quincy High School, he joined the Marine Corp and was stationed at Camp Lejeune in No. Carolina where he was a staff Sgt. and honorably discharged from 1953-1955. 

He returned home to Boston and was hired to work for John Hancock Ins. Services. After several years there, he was transferred to the Detroit Ford Group office. While in Detroit he attended Detroit University where he graduated receiving his BBA with honors. He also attended law school at night but was unable to finish because of another transfer and promotion to the Los Angeles Claims Management office from which he was given an early retirement after 28 years.

Still feeling he had more to offer in the insurance field, he was contacted by a private insurance agency in Pasadena where he continued to work until moving to Laguna Beach with his wife Darrylin in 1998.

Tom loved to swim, and you could find him in the ocean every day unless the temperature dropped below 65 degrees. You could then find him at the Laguna Beach High School pool. He was an avid sports fan cheering on all his native Boston teams.

He lived well and appreciated everyday living in Laguna Beach and had a full life surrounded by family and friends while in hospice care until his passing.
Tom belonged along with his wife to Laguna Presbyterian Church where he was active on numerous committees, one being on Session that helps make decisions on the church’s future. Tom has asked that any donations be made to www.lagunapreschurch.org for Mission Outreach. 

His service will be held at Laguna Presbyterian Church on June 25 at 10 a.m.


Obituary

John Ohslund

December 19, 1938 – June 3, 2022

Obituary John Ohslund

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Courtesy of the Ohslund Family

John Ohslund

John Ohslund, an aerospace engineer and loving husband and father, passed away on June 3, 2022 at the age of 83 while relaxing at home in Laguna Beach. He passed painlessly and suddenly of a ruptured brain aneurism.

John is survived by his wife Patti, son Patrick, nieces, nephews and all those who knew and loved him. His parents Hilding and Elenor; his sisters Jane and Colleen predeceased him.

John was born on Dec. 19, 1938 in Lincoln, Neb. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with an MA in physics in 1962. He immediately moved to Southern California to pursue the career he was called to – the analysis of radar data focusing on the missile tests of other countries. He loved this work with all his being and blissfully went into the office six days a week right up until the day before he passed. He was renowned for this work in his field receiving commendations from generals in the military for his work on nuclear missile defense.

On May 24, 1969, he married Patricia Kennedy, an artist and schoolteacher whom he had one child with and remained happily married to for more than 50 years.

John was a beacon of compassion for humanity. He understood that everyone has his or her unique way of living and that judgment of another person was never warranted (except for certain politicians). He was an avid follower of the news, so much so that he would record all of the different talking heads and analyze their shows to be sure he heard each story from as many points of view as possible. In his youth, he was a star tennis player winning numerous competitions for many decades. He enjoyed bike rides with his wife Patti and doggy Sammy and was fortunate enough to continue going on these until the weekend before his passing. John was a deep and conscientious thinker who carefully considered each word that he spoke; who seemed to always express his internal truth with the blessed inability to sugar coat his thoughts for others. John imparted crucial life lessons and lived by those principles inscrutably. They were – to find something you love and do that for the rest of your life and to not tell anyone what to do and not let anyone else tell you what to do.

A celebration of the life of John Ohslund will be held at the house that he helped to build and that he lived happily in for more than 50 years at 1396 Dunning Drive, Laguna Beach, Calif. on July 16 from 12-6 p.m. As the home has limited capacity, this event is by invitation only. If you would like to attend, please reach out to his wife Patti or son Patrick.

Flowers, donations to his wife and condolences can also be sent to the Laguna Beach address listed above.


Letters to the Editor

Panel discussion celebrating LGBTQ Heritage and Culture Month featured at tomorrow’s museum pride party 

A new collaboration with the Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Beach Pride 365 working together brings you an evening celebrating the heritage and culture that have been a part of Laguna Beach for decades. A culture that started long ago with Laguna’s free thinking and liberal artist colony settlement in the 1960s and thrived for many years to today to become a new culture of wide acceptance. 

Letters to the editor panel

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Pride 365

This year during June, National Gay Pride Month, the same month that Laguna Beach City proclaimed in 2017 to be “LGBTQ Heritage and Culture Month,” has on Saturday the 18th, a celebration that starts with a panel to recognize the history and culminates with a celebratory pride party. 

Attending the panel costs $7 for Laguna Art Museum members and $14 for non-members; the celebratory event (no panel) is free with food and drink provided by Laguna Beach Pride 365. Doors open as 4 p.m. and the event concludes at 8 p.m. 

Truly a heartfelt celebration sharing a culture that cares, that gives back, and thrives on the powerful love of family, no matter how diverse and unique the family may be. 

Wear your best Rainbow Pride Colors and join us for a Pride Celebration the likes of Laguna Beach has never before seen. This is indeed one for the history books. 

Craig Cooley

Rainbow Reflections


Obituary

Richard J. Schwarzstein

July 6, 1934 – May 29, 2022

Obituary Richard J. Schwarzstein

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Submitted photo

Richard J. Schwarzstein

Richard Joseph Schwarzstein, a Laguna Beach resident since 1974, passed away on Sunday, May 29, 2022. Richard had expressed to his family on several occasions that he hoped to live to 100. After considering all of his achievements and adventures, his daughters are confident that this humble and hardworking man accomplished a 100 years’ worth of living in just 87 years.

Richard was born July 6, 1934, to Jack and Beatrice Schwarzstein, in Yonkers, NY. One of Richard’s earliest jobs was working on the Yonkers Ferry, which his father and uncle owned and operated on the Hudson River before the Tappan Zee Bridge was built. Richard graduated from Columbia University and earned his law degree at Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he met Sande, a student at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. They married on September 19, 1959, in Denver, Colorado. Richard and Sande had three daughters, Cindy, Alisa and Amy. 

Richard began his law career with a prestigious firm in New York City. In 1963, he was instrumental in the conviction of Anthony “Tino” De Angelis after the Great Salad Oil Swindle, a major corporate scandal. In 1974, Richard became the first member of his family to leave the East Coast when he, Sande, and their daughters, moved to Laguna Beach and he built his own law practice in Newport Beach.

Richard retired in February 2022. In his nearly 63-year career, he specialized in corporate law, securities, mergers and acquisitions, trademark law, international law and nonprofit law. He received the highest rating in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, was named one of the top international attorneys in California by Los Angeles Bar Journal, and was recognized in Who’s Who in America Law, Who’s Who in the West, and Who’s Who in the World.

Richard held leadership roles in many professional organizations, including the World Trade Center Association of Orange County, the International Law Section of the Orange County Bar Association, Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association and the Harvard Club of New York City, for which he was the Southern California delegate. Business clients and colleagues often referred to him as a kind and cerebral man. Throughout his life, he remained curious, reading and studying voraciously to stay abreast of the vast changes in technology and world affairs.

Richard was also active in the community outside of work and his family inspired him to develop a variety of interests. Through Sande, he became passionate about supporting arts and cultural organizations. The Schwarzstein family maintained a home in Jacmel, Haiti, and operated Renaissance 2, a gallery specializing in the first generation of Haitian artists, which was a magnet for art in the region. Richard and Sande built an impressive collection of Haitian art and were instrumental in supporting the Haitian art and cultural community. 

Richard served on the board of directors of the Laguna Art Museum and the Orange County Philharmonic Society. He was a trustee with the Laguna College of Art + Design and the Hutchins Consort. Richard provided many of the nonprofit organizations which he was involved with pro bono legal services and was known to be very generous with his time.

Richard encouraged his daughters from childhood throughout their careers. When his oldest daughter, Cindy, built a successful business at the intersection of art, hospitality and event planning, he worked with her to get the company name, Cartwheel Art, trademarked. Through Cindy, Richard became interested in graffiti and street art. Richard was also instrumental in supporting Cindy in navigating the Special Education legal process for her son, who has special needs. 

When his daughter Alisa began surfing competitively as part of the National Scholastic Surfing Association, and later with the Association of Surfing Professionals, now known as the World Surf League, Richard embraced the sport, incorporating both as 501(c)(3) nonprofits. He also served for many years on their boards, while taking the family to Alisa’s international competitions, traveling everywhere from Australia to Peru. He followed surfing for the rest of his life.

Richard was also involved with sports in other ways, including volunteering and working pro bono with various organizations such as the Aventura Sailing Association, Association of Professional Towsurfers, International Skateboard Association, United States of America Snowboarders Association, U.S. Surfing and others.

His youngest daughter Amy, who shares her father’s interest in world affairs, studied abroad and lived in France for more than 30 years. As an international lawyer who loved to travel, Richard took every opportunity to visit Amy and her family during his business trips to Europe. The two often discussed social justice and politics. As a labor of love, he was instrumental in obtaining U.S. citizenship for his great grandson.

Richard’s deep love for history led him to spend countless hours researching his family tree. He was devoted to his family and is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sande, daughters Cindy, Alisa and Amy, son-in-law Ian, grandchildren Capucine (Ben), Fantine (Jack), Solene, Spencer, Ethan, Richard and great grandson, Lucas. His sister Suzanne passed away in 2012, but he is survived by his nephew Charles (Arlene) and niece Karen (David). He is also survived by his sister-in-law Mona (Bert), nephews Brian (Carol), David (Cindy) and niece Karen, as well as many cousins. 

Shortly before his passing, Richard reflected on his life with his wife and daughters. He was not one to brag, but thinking back on his accomplishments, he noted, “Not too bad for a kid from Yonkers.”


Letters to the Editor

The 2017 proclamation by City Council proclaiming the month of June as LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month

In honor of LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month in Laguna Beach, we want to share the full resolution unanimously proclaimed by City Council in 2017:   

PROCLAMATION RECOGNIZING THE MONTH OF JUNE AS LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANSGENDER HERITAGE & CULTURE MONTH IN LAGUNA BEACH

WHEREAS, reflecting the rich heritage and culture of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer (LGBTQ) community is vital to honoring the residents and visitors to the City of Laguna Beach; and

WHEREAS, Robert F. Gentry, one of the first openly gay Mayors in the United States, served in the City of Laguna Beach; and

WHEREAS, the first openly gay candidate for President of the United States in a major party (Fred Karger) is a resident of Laguna Beach; and

WHEREAS, the devastating impact of the AIDS crisis is recognized in Laguna Beach through the efforts of the HIV Advisory Committee, the longest running such City committee in the nation; and

WHEREAS, the City of Laguna Beach recognizes the diverse, evolving and ever-changing needs of the LGBTQ community; and

WHEREAS, the City of Laguna Beach supports the inclusion and reflection of the LGBTQ community in its businesses and commerce; and

WHEREAS, it is understood that the City of Laguna Beach supports and values the major contributions of LGBTQ visitors to tourism; and

WHEREAS, the LGBTQ senior citizen population is recognized for its contributions to shaping the City of Laguna Beach; and

WHEREAS, the City of Laguna Beach supports its young LGBTQ residents, encouraging them to be who they are and ensuring a safe and respectful environment for all; and

WHEREAS, the City of Laguna Beach supports the LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance’s efforts to recommend practices and events that celebrate the LGBTQ community; and

WHEREAS, the LGBTQ community finds their life experiences reflected and honored in the policies, businesses, arts, culture and celebrations within the City of Laguna Beach.

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved that the Laguna Beach City Council proclaims that, FOREVERMORE, the month of June is recognized as LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER & QUEER HERITAGE & CULTURE MONTH IN LAGUNA BEACH and encourages the community to honor and celebrate the contributions, heritage and culture of the LGBTQ community.

Chris Tebbutt

Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance

Longtime Laguna artist claims she was unfairly shunned by Sawdust Festival Board

Hello! I’m Clay Leeds. My family has been volunteering in Laguna Beach almost forever. My wife and I aid in local schools, scouting, dance, soccer, the canyon, ocean and many events. My mom, Beth Leeds, is a local artist/community activist in Laguna for 70+ years (LBHS ‘59), recently honored as 2021 OC Register’s 125 Most Influential People.

Here’re ways Mom has worked to Save Laguna: “Stop” sign at Beach & Cliff (when she was 8!); lifeguard tower; got the Captain’s House, Royal Thai Cuisine and Roy Marcom’s buildings moved instead of demolished; stopped RV parking lot to replace basketball courts on Main Beach; stop offshore oil-drilling between Catalina, Laguna/Newport; helped save Laguna Canyon from 3,200-home development; help found Laguna Canyon Conservancy; thought up and organized “Walk to Save Laguna Canyon”; lobbied US Dept of Energy & EPA in Washington with a US National Energy Policy she wrote. Without Mom, many treasures would be gone.

Mom needs our support now.

She’s working on her Clean Oceans Challenge, to clean up our environment by switching to clean and safe products, and dreams to create art for customers at the Sawdust, where she ekes out a modest living over the summer.

My letter today is prompted by something unfairly unfolding at the Sawdust right now. 

Mom applied for the Sawdust Festival and got Booth Lottery #153. Days later the Board Vice President requested a residency affidavit from an active Sawdust member.

From November 2020-2021, Mom lived at: Coast Highway; Laguna Canyon; and Top of the World, meeting residency requirements. Star Shields gave an affidavit that he visited her at each of these places.

Unfortunately, the Board did not do its due diligence. Mom asked what specific document has an issue, so she could clarify. They never followed up with Mom nor helped a member resolve this issue.

March 25th, the Sawdust Board sent a Certified “denial” Letter. She contacted Sawdust’s Grievance Committee, who said she didn’t have a grievance.

Mom attended April’s Sawdust Board Meeting and not one Board Member, she said, made eye contact with her. She waited patiently for regular business to conclude, stood up to ask if the Board could meet with her, but according to her the President shouted her down, telling her she can’t talk.

Sadly, a Sawdust friend told me he was one of the last to pick booths, and said, “That’s weird. There were a few booths left after booth picking was completed.”

Mom’s livelihood is at stake. Many artists rely on the Sawdust to make ends meet. This year marks Mom’s 50th anniversary at the Sawdust.

Mom contacted the California Attorney General, whose office expressed interest in hearing more. However, Sawdust friends implored her not to hurt the Sawdust. The Sawdust is her home where her kids grew up. Mom told me, “I want to be an artist with the other artists. I want to airbrush T-shirts right in front of everyone, and for kids and grandmas who jump up and down with joy! I want to make them happy.”

Mom meets requirements to be an Exhibitor, yet is excluded by the Sawdust Festival Board, who have neglected and shunned my Mom. I am disappointed and confused by their actions. I humbly ask for help to spread news of this incident, with hopes the Sawdust will change their stance and support one of Laguna’s most important residents.

Clay Leeds

Laguna Beach

Should there be school training exercises in Laguna?

Stu News Laguna’s counterpart, Stu News Newport, reported Tuesday that the Newport Beach Police Department will be holding school shooting training exercises next week at Corona del Mar High School.

Officers will be participating in various active shooting scenarios involving role players and simulated weapons. I wonder if Laguna’s police department is considering doing something similar.

My two youngest children, who are 29 and 27, both attended TOW, TMS and LBHS. I never stopped to think that, as they left for school each morning, I might never see them again. Sadly, this is not what many parents here in town or across the nation think now.

When you add up the death toll of thousands of innocents slaughtered at school, shot on street corners by drive-by thugs, gunned down while grocery shopping or murdered in their churches or synagogues, it seems like no place is safe any longer. 

These senseless acts may not have happened in Laguna, but one recently did in Laguna Woods. If you ask me, the collective impact of these heinous crimes is clear: It feels like we are living in a war zone.

I’ve heard that as many as 400,000,000 guns are in people’s hands now. If true, then I have to ask: How many more guns are needed to make people feel safe? My hope is the LBPD can help answer that question.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach


Guest Letter

Hang T. Dang, D.O., FACOS, FACS

City of Hope

A personal choice: Dr. Hang T. Dang talks about breast cancer reconstruction

Guest Letter Hang T. Dang

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Courtesy of City of Hope

Hang T. Dang, D.O., City of Hope

The good news about breast cancer is that there are now many options for treatment and recovery. At City of Hope Orange County, we want women to know they have choices about the course of their care, including more innovative reconstructive procedures.

“Women need to know that breast cancer can be very treatable and lifesaving breakthroughs are happening every day,” said Hang T. Dang, D.O., a breast surgical oncologist with fellowship experience who focuses on the treatment of benign and malignant breast diseases at City of Hope Newport Beach Fashion Island.

“Molecular and genetic testing is personalizing breast cancer treatment and making it more effective. A wide portfolio of new drugs can fight cancer better with fewer side effects. And women are seeing excellent cosmetic results from their surgery in combination with advanced techniques for breast preservation and reconstruction.”

Named a 2022 Orange County Medical Association Physician of Excellence, Dr. Dang is fellowship-trained in aesthetic breast surgery. She is one of more than 400 City of Hope physicians and 1,000 scientists and researchers who only focus on cancer.

With leading-edge technology and surgical expertise, City of Hope physicians deliver outstanding outcomes that are difficult to achieve elsewhere. Patients benefit from access to promising new therapies through pioneering research and innovative clinical trials for breast cancer. City of Hope provides a collaborative and caring multidisciplinary team of breast cancer experts who understand patients’ needs and backgrounds to provide a whole-person approach to treatment.

Among Dr. Dang’s specialties is oncoplastic reconstructive surgery, a combination of cancer surgery and plastic surgery. Often, both cancer removal and reconstruction can be performed together to avoid multiple surgeries. And for many women, it is possible to leave the nipple intact and to reconstruct the breast tissue so that a natural shape is retained without using implants.

Dr. Dang explains that how one chooses to heal from cancer is a very personal decision.

“Some women feel it is important for their physical and mental health to return to their former shape, while others do not want any additional procedures,” she said. “I advise my patients to take the time they need to learn about how breast reconstruction might affect them, both emotionally and physically. I encourage them to know the facts about the procedures and then make a personal choice that is best for them.”

Dr. Dang believes the most important part of her job is advocating for her patients. “Anyone who has heard the words ‘You have cancer’ knows the importance of hope,” said Dr. Dang. “Having hope allows people facing cancer to get through the process easier and cope with their diagnosis better. I always tell my patients that I’m here to fight for them and with them.”

Visit www.cityofhope.org/OC to learn more. To make an appointment at any of the four City of Hope Orange County locations, call:

–Newport Beach Fashion Island: 949.763.2204

–Newport Beach Lido: 949.999.1400

–Irvine Sand Canyon: 949.333.7580

–Huntington Beach: 714.252.9415

This is paid content by City of Hope. For more information on the City of Hope, visit www.cityofhope.org.


Letters to the Editor

Urge the City Council to ban lighter-than-air balloons

Sadly, anyone who spends a lot of time in the ocean in Laguna knows it is littered with plastic pollution. While we have a long way to go globally, the City of Laguna Beach has been a leader in tackling plastic pollution over the last decade. We have another chance to lead when the City Council considers banning helium or “lighter-than-air” balloons. 

When these balloons are released intentionally or accidentally, they immediately become airborne litter and eventually lose their loft and often land in our public open spaces or in the ocean, where they threaten marine life. Balloons are often mistaken for food and are consumed by sea birds, sea turtles and marine mammals. The string also can cause wildlife entanglement.

As a result, cities across the nation are banning the sale and release of lighter-than-air balloons, including recent bans in Solana Beach and Encinitas. 

While mylar balloons are particularly harmful because they last longer in the environment (and can also spark fires if they hit power lines), all lighter-than-air balloons have a negative impact on marine wildlife and typically have plastic balloon strings, which pose the threat of entanglement. 

We are urging the City to join Solana Beach and Encinitas in banning the sale and release of all lighter-than-air balloons. 

If you agree, please contact our City Council and urge them to support a ban on all lighter-than-air balloon sales and releases.

Dr. Chad Nelsen

Surfrider Foundation CEO

Laguna Beach 

Balloons don’t necessarily make for happy times

For several years, The Ranch at Laguna Beach has made it a policy that balloons of any kind are prohibited on property. While this is sometimes a difficult policy to explain and enforce, our guests become deeply appreciative once we explain why this is so important for us and our surrounding community.

As I write this letter, we can see the tell-tale evidence of another brightly reflective mylar balloon that is trapped in the foliage of our verdant canyon walls. We spend a lot of time removing these, which would likely be trapped forever if not removed by hand. As someone who also spends a lot of time boating off our shoreline, me and my family pick up no less than three balloons floating in the ocean every time we venture out onto the water. This is just not acceptable.

While I appreciate that for decades balloons have become synonymous with joyful celebrations, we also need to recognize the damage these cause to our fragile environment. The Ranch at Laguna Beach enthusiastically supports this proposed ordinance and would even support a ban on the sale of any style balloon in Laguna Beach.

Kurt Bjorkman, Chief Operating Officer 

The Ranch at Laguna Beach

Are $7 a gallon gas prices coming to Laguna?

Get ready friends. At the rate gas prices are increasing, I predict we will be paying $7 a gallon for gas in town before the 4th of July. 

And if what happened in Venice over Memorial (Day) weekend happens in Laguna, shop owners are going to be very unhappy.

That’s because tourists paid $6 a gallon to drive to Venice for a day at the beach but didn’t pay for much else (like ice cream, sun hats, postcards or T-shirts).

As an aside, I recently drove to my son’s wedding in Carmel Valley. On the way, I stopped for gas in King City. Regular was $6.89, Plus was $6.99 and Supreme was $7.09. 

So, get ready, Laguna. I’m guessing these same prices are coming to town soon.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

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