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Letters to the Editor

Village Laguna deserves better mention than being an afterthought

Village Laguna has been around for 50 years, with a long history of service to the community. It predates anything remotely associated with the popular understanding of a PAC (Political Action Committee), which exists primarily or even solely to influence elections. To put Village Laguna in the same category as, and almost as an afterthought to, the developer-funded reboot of Liberate Laguna (a.k.a. Laguna Forward, which seeks to wipe the past clean) is a disservice to the community.

Catherine Jurca

Laguna Beach

The passing of Jeff Sears

Sad news about Jeff Sears for sure. I’m glad my son, Spencer, had a chance to play for “Coach” in 2009 and 2010.

I played Little League baseball more than 60 years ago. To this day, I still can remember wearing my uniform hours before each game, hearing the crack of the wooden (not aluminum) bats, and crouching behind home plate in all my catcher’s gear. Although I eventually traded in my mitt for a water polo cap, I never stopped loving baseball.

My hope is Spencer’s teammates, and all of Jeff Sears’ players, for that matter, continue to love the game years after hanging up their cleats. I don’t know for certain, but it wouldn’t surprise me if “Coach” isn’t saying something like this now: “Over a lifetime, classmates, friends and business partners come and go, but baseball is forever.” 

RIP Jeff. You will be missed.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

Who knew, Wayne Thiebaud’s work was “licensed”

Thank you for the comprehensive article in today’s Stu News Laguna detailing the vast artistic contributions by the late California treasure, Wayne Thiebaud. I am writing to add one detail that the article fails to mention: Wayne designed the California Arts License Plate offered by the DMV. I thought this might be of interest to your readers.

Elyse Miller

Laguna Beach

Editor’s note: The California Arts Plate (below) was created through special legislation in 1994. Since then, the iconic image has become famous worldwide, and proceeds from the plate have provided millions of dollars to support arts programs in California.

Letter to the editor License Plate SNL 1.25

Courtesy of

Peace gesture apparently means anything but

I go to yoga to de-stress, to be among like-minded people who want to cultivate calm and goodwill. And yes, despite no clear studio policy, I wear a mask to protect myself and others while in class. So, you can imagine my shock and disgust when a woman in yoga class swore at me last Thursday for wearing a mask!

The incident unfolded halfway through class, when this woman returned from the restroom and started to close the sliding doors at the back of the studio, which were slightly ajar. I asked her if she would please leave them open, as I was very warm from wearing a mask. Apparently, these were fighting words, because her response went something like this: “So, you’re going to make all of us pay because you’re wearing a mask?” 

As she went back to her spot in the room, she yelled at me, “You should not be wearing a mask.” She repeated this a few times, like an ill-begotten mantra. The mood in the room was tense, the teacher didn’t say anything, and there were a few other people in the room wearing masks. I didn’t want to escalate the situation, so I simply said, “Peace,” and proffered the peace sign to her in a conciliatory manner. I sincerely meant this. I was trying to calm her down.

She gathered her belongings and as she stormed out of the studio, she leered at me with a chilling look of hatred and called me “a f—–ing hag.” 

One woman who was not involved in the confrontation, but who was wearing a mask, got very afraid. She was shaking. She voiced her fear to the teacher, who said to let it go. After the class, many of the women who took the class told me how sorry they were that I was aggressed. The teacher wasn’t one of them.

I reported the incident to the receptionist, who apologized. A group of women in the class stood by me and said the offender should be banned from future classes. I called the manager, who also apologized. Since the studio has no stated mask policy, I asked that their mask-wearing policy be posted in plain sight. I asked that they address the issue with teachers. I said that the teacher should have checked-in with me to see if I was alright.

After I did all this, I got an email from the teacher. She apologized for not taking action. As of today, I haven’t heard anything from the studio owner and the management hasn’t followed-up with me or instituted anything to stop this from happening again.

Clearly, the yoga studio isn’t responsible for this woman’s behavior. But their lack of any clear policy regarding COVID protocol contributed to the harassment. There is a mask mandate in the State of California right now. But in Orange County, many businesses ignore it. Everyone in that yoga studio should be required to mask-up – because COVID loves a crowded, poorly ventilated room. 

By many standards, this was a small act of aggression. But it demonstrates a much larger problem we have yet to resolve in this nation – the role of individual rights versus collective rights during a pandemic. I believe we all have a responsibility to do all we can to protect ourselves and others from a highly contagious, life-threatening disease. And that civil discourse with others should remain civil. 

Lisa Morrice

Laguna Beach


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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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