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Letters to the Editor

Young people getting involved in politics is where the country in headed

More young people are being encouraged to take a seat at the political table and make sure their voices are heard. This is a trend that shows no sign of slowing.

An estimated 700 millennials ran for state legislative seats in 2018, a 300% increase compared to prior years.

The inherent prejudice of some residents not voting for a candidate based on his/her age angers and saddens me. I have been told that a person’s brain does not mature until their 30s. This has been stated by some members of the community, who in my opinion, are intelligent yet misguided. They are spreading this misinformation as fact.

Neuroscientists find that different parts of the brain work best at different ages. That is a fact. Scientists have long known that our ability to think quickly and recall information, also known as “fluid intelligence,” peaks around 20 and then begins a slow decline.” (MIT News)

New ideas and solutions to present challenges must be noted, as we move towards Laguna’s future issues.

1. Sen. Will Haskell (D), 23 years old, was 22 when he won a state senate seat in Connecticut. Haskell received an endorsement from former President Barack Obama and based his platform on stricter gun laws and improving public transportation.

2. In 2017, Rep Jacob Bachmeier (D), won a seat on the Montana Legislature when he was 19 years old.

3. In the fall of 2018, 19-year-old Democrat Kalan Haywood Jr., won his race to become a Wisconsin legislator.

4. In 2018, Selena Torres won her seat for State Assembly in Nevada. She was 23 years old.

5. Greta Thunberg is 19 years old and has brought the environmental issue to the forefront.

6. Malala Youfsafzai was 16 years old when she co-founded Malala Fund Charity, to provide girls with equal educational opportunities.

7. Caleb Hanna was only 19 when he became a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates.

8. Cassandra Levesque is a member of the New Hampshire State of Representatives and is 23 years old. She was elected to public office when she was 19 years old.

9. Einstein made his most important discoveries when he was 26 years old.

What sort of a community have we become when we believe ageist and prejudiced ideas against a young person trying to win a council seat as fact? 

Would I be excoriated if I made a statement saying that anyone over 60 should not be a councilmember because his/her ability to process information during decision-making declines? (Nature Human Behaviour)

One difference: the latter statement is fact-driven. I hope the former is not.

Jahn Levitt

Laguna Beach

The question has to be, what has Blake done for us?

Laguna Beach voters probably have noticed the many Peter Blake banners and signs around town but should note how many are on empty storefronts and construction sites.

Seeing all those signs on those empty stores should remind voters that Peter has been on the city council for four years and has blamed others for this blight but has done nothing to solve it.

There are large Blake banners on the Mo Honarkar-owned buildings along N. Coast Hwy. between Cliff and Jasmine streets and on the Hotel Laguna where he is the operator. There is a Blake banner on that monstrosity in the canyon, the Dornin project, and on buildings owned by Joe Hanauer. Banners on construction sites and possible construction sites tell voters that many of Blake’s supporters are developers. 

Do we really want to reelect an ineffective councilperson, one who favors development and is a bully to boot? 

Johanna Felder

Laguna Beach

Diane Dixon will bring “common sense” to Sacramento

I read Deborah Engle’s letter to the editor (Letters to the Editor, Stu News, 10/18/22) with great interest regarding her defense of local Laguna Beach animal lobbyist Judie Mancuso for Assembly. I think Mancuso’s campaign contributions report from the California Secretary of State’s website tells the story of her priorities. Close to 100 of her contributions are from outside the 72nd Assembly District, with a majority of those coming from the Los Angeles area. We don’t need people from Los Angeles choosing our Orange County elected officials. Los Angeles obviously has enough trouble choosing their own!

At last week’s candidate forum in Newport Beach, Mancuso refused to acknowledge that rising crime is a problem in our neighborhoods. I noticed in Laguna Beach’s crime log that one of her neighbors’ houses had recently been broken into on Judie’s own street. Mancuso obfuscates her position on crime by diverting attention to a vague concern for undefined “hate crimes.” 

I wonder if Mancuso’s environmental goals mirror that of Gavin Newsom, who wants to mandate all Californians to buy electric cars, then sends a public notice the next day warning Californians not to plug in their electric cars or we could have an electrical grid blackout. 

The choice is absolutely clear. We need Diane Dixon common sense leadership to represent us in the State Assembly. 

India Hynes

Laguna Beach 

Who will you vote for?

Who will you vote for? I will vote for someone who understands the essential role the ocean’s health is to Laguna’s quality of life and eco-nomy. 

Does the City Council candidate understand Laguna is discharging 2 million gallons daily, more than 1/2 billion gallons annually, of secondary sewage just 1.5 miles offshore? Do they know about the Southern California Eddy Current and how it transports sewage contaminates to Main Beach and protected coves and tidepools? If Laguna’s wastewater is “safe,” why don’t we recycle it for wildfire protection and routine irrigation of Laguna Canyon, festival grounds and Main Beach?

Laguna Beach is much more than art festivals, gourmet restaurants, itinerant celebrities and gala events. Just about any city can support these features. Few, however, have the natural heritage of a Greenbelt and Bluebelt surrounding our city’s steep, rocky terrain and underwater wonderland.

While debates rage about the next parking structure or development, are we ignoring the real source of Laguna’s survival and success? The ocean determines Laguna’s climate and, ultimately, economy. The Gulf of Santa Catalina offshore retains and re-circulates our careless ocean discharges slowly adding to increases in sea temperatures and sea level rise. 

Without a dedicated, science-based approach by City Council candidates to protecting the ocean, Laguna will incrementally add to climate change negatively impacting the region. A warmer ocean accelerates evaporation and more intensive storms to flood the community and send soil from eroding hillsides, many stripped of vegetation for a wildfire program, to fragile tidepools, kelp forests and essential sea life habitats. 

Let’s vote for our next City Council candidates as if our lives depended upon a healthy ocean. 

Vote for the ocean.

Mike Beanan

Laguna Beach

About Laguna’s new Yummy Dogs

My Laguna buddies Alan (the CPA), Dan (the musician), Jim (the retired dentist) and I love hot dogs. Over the years, we have savored many of them at Papaya King in New York City (Donald Trump’s favorite spot), Wrigley Stadium (where they serve Chicago-style dogs, of course), Pink’s in Los Angeles, T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Puka Dog on Kauai and many other locations. 

Closer to home, we attended the grand opening of Portillo’s in Buena Park back in 2005, and often stopped at Jerry’s in Tustin before it closed. Today we enjoy the dogs offered up by The Ranch and the pushcart near Macy’s at Fashion Island.

I have loved hot dogs since the late 1950s. So, imagine my delight when I read about Yummy Dogs coming to town. If their dogs are anything like the ones I used to order as a boy at Kirk’s in Palo Alto, then you can count on me becoming a regular. I’m guessing that will be true for Alan, Dan and Jim, as well.

For those people who are skeptical, here’s a brief tutorial about hot dogs: Did you know that, according to the Recipe Source, more than 150 million dogs are sold every year in the days leading up to the 4th of July? Presidential candidates running for office often are photographed in front of popular hot dog stands in all-important states like Iowa and New Hampshire.   

How do I know? Because I’ve written about these candidates and the many ways they dress their dogs. One particular story stands out. That’s when Barack Obama told the mayor of Toledo in 2011 to “hold the ketchup” when they were sampling dogs at Ruby’s in Ohio. 

Believe me, there are plenty of stories about which hot dog to order (like Ball Park vs. Koegel’s) and ways to dress them from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin, and from Michigan to South Carolina and beyond.

I don’t know if a presidential candidate will visit Laguna in the next year or two, but I do know this: If one of them does, then I hope he or she will stop by Yummy Dogs.    

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach


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