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Letters to the Editor

Kudos to PMMC

I wanted to thank you for the recent story “Pacific Marine Mammal Center breaks ground on ‘The Next Wave’ expansion project.”

I have long thought that the Pacific Marine Mammal Center was one of our community’s most amazing and under-appreciated assets.And while we seem to be in constant struggle to maintain our status as an “artist city,” we will always be a city whose primary identity is actually the ocean and those who inhabit its shores and waters – including our people and our sea life.

We are so fortunate to have had the foresight and commitment of the original founders and volunteers. But we are also now especially fortunate to have Glenn Gray as CEO – who is actually a retired bank president with a unique skill set that seems to be taking the PMMC to even greater heights with an even greater vision of what is possible for the center and our community. Bravo to all of them!

I applaud the PMMC leaders and volunteers and look forward to a day when the welcome signs to Laguna Beach include the Festival of the Arts, the Pageant of the Masters and the Pacific Marine Mammal Center! It is a recognition well-deserved and one that reflects as well on our great little city as our arts-oriented heritage has for so long.

Dean Keller

Laguna Beach 

Appreciating art

Nationally respected columnist David Brooks recently wrote a moving opinion piece entitled, “The Power of Art in a Political Age.” I meant to write a response after reading his column, but political firestorms kept popping up so I wrote about them instead. 

Having first moved to Laguna in 1970, and worked for LAM here in town and two other museums over the years, I couldn’t help but wonder what art means in times like ours. Is it meant to prevent the daily struggle of becoming “a shallower version of oneself” as Brooks claims, or is it meant to “see the world through the eyes of another” – often someone who sees more deeply than most?

As far as I am concerned, art helps me better understand myself. As a young boy, I remember seeing the Chagall and Miro posters my parents hung in our house. As a 20-something graduate of USC, I remember driving several times from Laguna to Pasadena to visit the Norton Simon Museum. And as a 70-something collector, I always enjoy seeing the art on my walls every morning when I wake up. That’s because they are more than pretty pictures in frames. Simply put, they remind me who I was when I purchased them, and who I want to be in the future.

I believe writer Brooks would agree that art, more often than not, speaks to the viewer. I can tell you that is 100% true in my case.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO -

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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