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Laguna Beach

Letters to the Editor

Thanks for the pickleball courts…let’s everyone play

Members of the Alta Laguna Pickleball Group want to express their gratitude and appreciation for the three, new, permanent pickleball courts and two more striped for pickleball to share with tennis players.

The group was founded in 2019 by five beginner players. Since then, the roster of participants has grown to 60. We signed petitions, wrote letters and made appearances to gain these fabulous courts. 

We would like to thank everyone who participated in this mission, especially the Laguna Beach Recreation Committee including fellow pickleballer Roger Kempler, City Councilmember Sue Kempf, Senior Recreation Supervisor Alexis Braun, pickleball coach Marc Freije and all of our members.

Letters to the Editor group

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Janis Murray

The Alta Laguna Pickleball Group

To celebrate the opening of the new courts, co-founders Janis Murray and Vicky Hawthorne held a “Cupcakes & Cups” reception at the park, also recognizing the tireless efforts of our Communication Director Karen Merson who organized daily games on her phone, even during her three-month summer at her second home in Canada.

Letters to the Editor courts

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Janis Murray

Playing pickleball on the new courts

Thank you all, and as you can see from these pictures, we are quite busy daily on these cherished new courts…that shows Laguna Beach is now up to date with excellent facilities for the fastest growing sport in America.

Kudos everyone. Let’s play.

Janis Murray

The Alta Laguna Pickleball Group

Laguna Beach 

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Letters to the Editor

Flores’ letter strikes a chord with us

David Flores’ letter in last week’s Stu News, which raised the issue of patients brought to Mission Hospital for psychiatric care, struck a chord with us. In July 2020, our son, a diagnosed schizophrenic, was brought to Mission Hospital on a 51-50 (judged a danger to oneself or others) by the Laguna Beach police after he attempted to assault a police officer and a staff member from the Orange County Behavioral Health Service, who wrote up an account of the event. 

We do not know if the emergency room doctor consulted her [staff member] account of the attempted assault. Our son was there for two hours and given an Abilify pill. He was then released with a note to “call doctor.” We called Mission Hospital and were told “he is not our patient.” A few months later, on September 18, 2020, he committed suicide by stepping in front of a train near Trestles Beach.

We are grateful to the Laguna Beach police, especially Officer Brian Griep, who always treated our son with understanding and compassion. To say we are disappointed by his treatment at Mission Hospital is an understatement. As one of the police officers said, “I thought hospitals were supposed to help people.”

Anne and Dick Frank

Laguna Beach

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Guest Letter

Peter Chang

PMMC hosts 50th Anniversary Gala celebration

Dear PMMC Family,

As many of you know, on Sunday, Nov. 7, the organization hosted its 50th Anniversary Gala celebration and fundraiser at the Festival of Arts in Laguna Beach. It was an incredible honor to have so many of you in attendance. Your presence, energy and financial support that evening was truly humbling to witness. In addition, I know that even more of you participated in different ways, such as volunteering at the event, soliciting in-kind donations for our auctions, underwriting the costs of our activities, sharing the event on your social media, and/or bidding in our first ever online silent auction. 

It was a night 50 years in the making and YOU made it historic! Because of you, and the approximate 375 guests in attendance, we raised an estimated record $638,000 for our critical marine mammal rescue and rehab operations, science-based education programs and collaborative scientific research studies. The impact of your giving will inspire the next generation of ocean explorers and conservationists, strengthen our research and expand our reach throughout the communities we proudly serve.

There were so many wonderful moments throughout the evening, but the highlight was honoring and recognizing two of our co-founders, Jim Stauffer and John Cunningham and their families. Their vision and passion started us on this journey of ocean and marine mammal conservation and research a half a century ago, and the world is very much a better place because of them. We feel very fortunate to carry on their legacy.

Please enjoy these fantastic pictures from the evening as well as our special 50th Anniversary video below, featuring Michele Hunter, Director of Animal Care. Thank you for being part of our story and for joining us as we take the first steps into the next 50 years of growth and service. 


Peter Chang

Chief Executive Officer

Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Guest Letter

E-bikes: a simple guide to safety

By Guisou Mahmoud, MD, FACEP

Guest Letter E bikes Mahmoud

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Providence Mission Hospital

 Guisou Mahmoud, MD, FACEP

Electric bikes are becoming increasingly popular for both pleasure and commuting, especially in Orange County where the weather is great 12 months out of the year. It’s not out of the ordinary to see families and groups of friends biking along the Laguna Beach coast or riding toward Main Beach.

But did you know that e-bike traffic accidents are on the rise? Because e-bikes allow cyclists to ride at speeds of more than 20 miles an hour, the risk of concussions and internal injuries are also more serious, according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). 

That’s why it’s important that Laguna Beach residents put their safety first. Here are some tips:

 Know the Rules:

To ride an e-bike in Orange County, you must:

–Be at least 16 years old

–ALWAYS wear a helmet

Safety Tips:

Riding an e-bike is just like riding a standard bicycle but with more risk (because of the speeds it can reach), so before you ride, remember to:

1. ALWAYS wear a helmet. No exceptions.

2. Make sure your bike has front and rear lights, as well as reflective stickers.

3. Wear bright, reflective clothing.

4. Install a horn or bell so that cars can hear and see you coming. Bicyclists can be easily lost in a motorist’s blind spot.

5. Find safe routes – preferably less traveled roads and pathways that allow electric bikes.

6. Ride defensively and remember, cars make mistakes – they don’t always use their turn signals, so be alert, cautious and prepare for the worst.

7. Beware of parked cars. Someone could open their car door as you pass or pull out of their parking spot without looking.

8. Look out for other bicyclists. They don’t always have lights on their bikes. And, it can be hard to see them at night.

9. Slow down and let pedestrians know you’re coming by shouting, “On your right,” beep your horn or ring your bell.

10. Keep in mind your bike wheels are not prepared for potholes or cracks, so slow down and avoid them.

 Tips for new e-bike riders:

It will take time for even experienced cyclers to get comfortable using an e-bike. It’s important that they take the time to become comfortable on the bike before riding it around town. And for those who are new to biking, make sure to know the rules of the road and how to use hand signals.

 Biking is great for your physical and mental well-being. I highly recommend it for people of all ages looking for some exercise and fun. So, grab a friend, your helmet and give it a try. Just remember to stay safe and when in doubt, slow down.

Guisou Mahmoud, MD, FACEP, Medical Director for the Sue and Bill Gross Emergency Department at Providence Mission Hospital Laguna Beach

Letters to the Editor

Love me some pickleball

Oh, what a joyous sight to behold at Alta Laguna pickleball courts. Like a small child peeking around the corner at Christmas time; so was I peeking each day to see the progress of the pickleball courts at Alta Laguna. 

Our new courts are a sight to behold, bringing fun, collegiality and much needed exercise to Laguna residents of all ages. The focus and determination of the City Council, the Recreation Committee, Alexis Braun CS and our talented pickleball coach, Marc Freije, is to be applauded.

Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it. (William Ward)

So, I express great appreciation to those who worked hard to make our dream come true. 

Dr. Debby Bowes

Laguna Beach 

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Letters to the Editor

Perhaps we can learn some things from nearby cities

I recently heard that Rancho Palos Verdes is creating a plan to help with their fire protection of their city. Cameras are to be installed that can look over the city and detect smoke/fires in different areas of their city. 

This would help their fire department respond to any fires especially in remote areas and areas close to where citizens live. Also, if there is more than one fire, their chief can decide which engine company goes where. 

This sounds like something we could use – cameras at Top of the Word, Bluebird Canyon, Arch Beach Heights and parts of South Laguna. I see this as helpful as an additional fire station is being considered in South Laguna – despite many folks there not wanting a station where one is being considered. We need to be aggressive in our quest to make this city safer – including doing more undergrounding of electrical poles, especially in the canyon. 

I believe the report said that the cameras have a 30-mile, 360-degree view. Anything is better than what we have now – although this point is not a new discussion in this city. 

Hopefully we can consider this option for our city as well. 

Ganka Brown

Despite what he said, let’s thank the residents that took matters into their own hands

Looks like Tom Johnson and Stu News have been duped by Mission Hospital. The happy talk about how “diligent” Mission Hospital was in responding to the spill does not cut it. The truth is that residents took matters into their own hands by contacting the Laguna Beach City Council, numerous state agencies and Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris, who never responded. 

If Mr. Johnson had bothered to do some real reporting, he would have found that the first spill should never have occurred. The state requires that a containment area should be in place to prevent the spill from going into the storm drain that the City of Laguna Beach is responsible for. You would have thought that after the first spill, Mission Hospital would have “diligently” worked to build such a containment area that would have prevented the second spill from once again polluting the beach.

The City of Laguna Beach failed to report the first spill to the appropriate state agency which was their responsibility since the spill traveled through a storm drain. The only reason the state agencies became aware of the spills was because a resident, after hours of research, figured out which state agencies had oversight responsibility and contacted them. The agencies involved had no idea that the spills had occurred. 

Perhaps Mr. Johnson should take a second look and write an accurate account of the disregard Mission Hospital has for protecting our beaches. While he is at it, he might want to look at the issue of having the hospital release patients receiving psychiatric care. Just last week, a woman that had just been released and appeared to be over medicated went into the beach fully clothed and was slammed against a rock by a powerful wave. Fortunately, lifeguards and the Laguna Beach Fire Department were able to assist her.

David Flores

Laguna Beach

We shouldn’t forget that COVID deaths continue to rise

If you are having trouble assessing the impact of three quarters of a million dead from COVID-19, then picture this: It is the equivalent of wiping out the population of San Clemente, Dana Point, Laguna, Newport, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and parts of Irvine.

Another way of wrapping your arms around 750,000 fatalities is this: If each death was represented by a piece of paper, that “tower” would stand more than 250 ft. in the air. Imagine looking up at 25 basketball hoops all stacked on top of each other at Main Beach.

One last perspective to think about: From December 1941 until August 1945, 407,316 U.S. troops lost their lives during World War II. Given today’s death rate from COVID, it is possible we could double that number by the end of this year. 

While on the 2020 campaign trail, Donald Trump repeatedly told his supporters, “All I hear now is…‘COVID, COVID, COVID.’  By the way, on November 4, you won’t hear about it anymore.” Unless you were deaf and blind then, we now know nothing could have been further from the truth.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach

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Letters to the Editor

We are fortunate to have our arts community

I can’t be the only one who sees the “12 Angry Men” picture through the Pageant of the Masters’ lens, another Laguna Last Supper.

Beautiful story about another pillar in our Arts Acropolis.

David Powers

Laguna Beach

Replacing the tiles at Brooks, really?

Maybe I’m nostalgic, but the tiles are just fine and beautiful, and do they really need replacing? Thinking about walking/climbing down to go to the beach before the awesome stairs were even designed and built. A new mural? Too much time on someone’s (our) hands or minds? Committees and subcommittees...I respect the decision-making process, but I think it’s just the concrete that is getting old and needs replacing.

Marisa Parker

Laguna Beach

It’s hard to find good help, but definitely worth it

(On October 27, there was a medical emergency at Las Brisas restaurant. The following is a list of thanks to those who quickly responded with “5 Stars/Most Excellent” assistance.)

–The Las Brisas wait staff who helped lead the 88-year-old female (Janet) to the ground, as she had fainted in the chair and I needed help lowering her to the ground. (The man) answered by hand signals to assist and was very caring with the task at hand.

–The Las Brisas management who handled calling the Laguna Beach Fire Department and the (obtaining of) information from me for the incident report. Our waitress, Josie S., was kind enough to bring a pillow for Janet, freeing my purse to access my phone and call Janet’s daughter to advise her of the events.

The Laguna Beach Fire Department and ambulance team were so good with the recent widow, whose husband was a firefighter for the Garden Grove Fire Department back in the day. Now alert and sitting up in a chair, vitals and reports were all completed, the LBFD medic listened and conversed with Janet and it was heartwarming to say the least. 

The care and compassion with all involved was commendable and so appreciated. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Jan Stapler (took Janet to lunch)

Huntington Beach

City Council to vote on DA offer to settle Brown Act compliance case

A letter to the DA from the City Attorney dated September 29 admits the City Council did not notice both of the exceptions to the Brown Act Open Meeting Law that the City Attorney asserted at the August 10 meeting of the Council, at which the majority censured Weiss for disclosing reasons he was challenging the legality of a closed meeting conducted on June 29, 2021. What follows is my opinion about all this, not that of Stu News or anyone else, obviously.

The Mayor and City Attorney accused Weiss of violating closed meeting confidentiality rules, without citing any specific law allegedly violated. The September 29 letter from the City Attorney answered the DA’s September 21 notice (that) it was the City that clearly had Brown Act compliance issues, Weiss not so much. 

The City Attorney’s June 29 letter to the DA was essentially an accounting of the DA’s offer of a plea agreement, asking for leniency that the City Attorney has never shown to anyone else as far as I know. The DA was satisfied with the remedial program the City Council proposed, which was to have careful certified minutes made in all closed sessions until compliance with the Brown Act rules are restored. The DA had proposed recording the closed meetings, but apparently decided the City was chastened enough to allow the Council to get its house in order without more restrictive sanctions. 

The DA also requires that members be educated on their right to challenge legality of meeting closures under Brown Act protection, so members are not silenced by the Council majority even when it is acting unlawfully. At the November 2 meeting, the Council will approve the plea agreement under Agenda Item 9, based on the City Attorney’s allocution to the rehabilitation terms the DA accepted.

The moral and ethical question the Council must now answer is whether the Council majority would have censured Weiss on August 10 if, instead of assuring the June 29 meeting had been closed in strict compliance with the Brown Act, the City Attorney had told the Council what he now has told the DA about deficiencies in the meeting closure.     

If the City Attorney had revealed that he and the Mayor had agreed the closure was not “best practices” and closure proceedings needed to be tightened up as he told the DA, would Councilmember Kempf still state on the record that Weiss acted to “subvert the law,” as if a judge had found him guilty?

CA Gov. Code Sec. 54963(e)(2) protects the right of Councilmembers to disclose factual and legal grounds for challenging the legality of meeting closure. Contrary to the City Attorney comments on August 10, the right to challenge meetings permits public statements, not just pleading behind closed doors.

Similarly, Sec. 54956.9 requires specific compliance with narrowly drawn exceptions to the open meeting law to lawfully close a meeting. In its September 21 letter, the Prosecution Unit of the DA’s office reached an initial conclusion that the June 29 meeting was not lawfully closed, thereby rejecting the August 10 findings of the Council majority against Weiss, based on the agenda report from the City Manager and City Attorney calling for censure. 

If the DA’s prosecutors had a good faith belief the meeting was not lawfully closed, then clearly Weiss reasonably could have reached the same conclusion. 

Accordingly, the Council’s conversion of political censure into quasi-legal proceedings finding Weiss guilty of violating law should be rescinded to dispel the appearance of political slander without proof or justification. 

Howard Hills

Laguna Beach

Obviously, Gene Felder and I have a difference of opinion, let me explain

In last week’s Stu News, Gene Felder attacked me again and several other residents for making political contributions to a local PAC. He claimed that my donations were to make “big developments easier by changing long established city standards.”

His only proof: I secured land entitlements to make the “E” Rated Historic Heisler Building ADA accessible. Is Gene Felder really against our city creating equal access to facilities for elderly and disabled people? It shouldn’t be a surprise when you read Felder’s political beliefs below.

I will not apologize for my 43 years of efforts to improve Laguna Beach because I’m proud of my work to establish the two percent hotel bed tax. Since its passage in 2001, over $18 million in funds have been directed toward the arts. I was also the activist who after 38 years, got an orchestra and music program in all our Laguna public schools and am co-founder of Laguna Beach Live. I have also continued to fight against the corrupt TCA toll roads. And now I am working as a member of the Housing and Human Services Committee to promote affordable housing – something we have not done for more than 20 years and which you and your group have done your best to shut down.

I have fought against entrenched groups that you espouse that are desperate to maintain the status quo. I value and I donate to political candidates who want to move forward. They don’t ask me to; I know my own mind and support those who know we need fresh ideas and aren’t afraid to implement them. I know a dangerously small-minded candidate when I see one and unfortunately for our community, a pair have seats on our council.

Here’s another attack on me that Gene Felder wrote in Stu News (March 9, 2021): “One wonders what vision and development plans Sam Goldstein has for Laguna Beach; in his testimony he described our beloved Laguna Beach as a ‘dying, decaying, totally fragmented city right now with most of our businesses closed.’ Yikes!”

Gene, I wonder what you have done with your life in Laguna? All I see is your blind support of your wife and her group who have stifled all growth in Laguna Beach since 1974. Only two (2) new commercial buildings have been built in Laguna for the last 47 years – the Susi Q/Community Center and the Montage. All other commercial projects in town were simply remodels.

Now, more about you…according to FEC data, in 2020, Eugene (Gene) Felder donated more than $4,700 to Donald Trump and Republicans. What was his motivation? Was it Trump’s attacks on the environment? Mismanagement of the pandemic? The January 6 insurrection? I’m curious to know…because all I see with the writings of Gene Felder is the same negative and degrading approach that Donald Trump uses on people. Gene, you make a perfect Trump clone!

I know one thing: Trump donor Eugene (Gene) Felder, and the rest of the proponents of this ballot initiative share a total disregard for the truth…just like Donald Trump!

Thankfully, the residents of Laguna know better and will soundly reject this bogus initiative…AND YOU!

Sam Goldstein

Laguna Beach

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Guest Letter

Remembering Jim Stauffer

Fifty years ago, the Spring of 1971, a young girl tugged at the T-shirt of a Newport Beach Lifeguard. She pointed to a Pacific Harbor Seal pup that had washed ashore, looking dreadfully sick. She asked the Lifeguard to help save it. Back then, the way to deal with a sick marine mammal was to call the Police and a shot in the animal’s head took care of the problem. However, that moment and that little girl gave Jim thought; he had a better way to deal with a sick seal.

After his second attempt to get the Harbor Seal pup in his truck, he got it home, dismantled his own bed, lining the frame with a shower curtain and filled it with water. With help from a vet friend for meds and local fishermen for fresh fish, Jim helped the little Harbor pup get over pneumonia and worms and back into its ocean home.

Not long after this, word was out that this Newport Beach Lifeguard was the guy to call when a sick marine mammal washed ashore.

Jim set up his own backyard with several kiddie pools for the increasing calls of seals and sea lions in need. He got the attention and help from Veterinarian Dr. Rose Ekeberg. Neighbors annoyed by all the noise, forced Jim to move to Laguna Beach, where his new place had a pool, and as Jim said, “God’s doing” with hearing impaired neighbors.

Guest Letter Remembering first release

Jim at his first sea lion release

Right around that same time, the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 was enacted, and Jim became the first person to be granted permission by the Fish and Game to care for marine mammals in the backyard of his home. At this point, John Cunningham, a Laguna Beach Lifeguard and Laguna Beach High School teacher joined Jim and Dr. Ekeberg as co-founders in what Jim had named FRIENDS OF THE SEA LIONS. The community also joined in as around-the-clock volunteers.

In 1976, Jim had been named Laguna Beach Lifeguard Captain as well as Laguna Beach Head of Animal Services. He was aware of an abandoned barn along Laguna Canyon Road and by raising funds selling T-shirts and memberships – a new home for recovering stranded seals and sea lions was born. John Cunningham’s students helped with digging pools and adapting the landscaping for its marine occupants.

In his new Lifeguard Captain position, Jim trained Lifeguards along the coast how to guide stranded seals and sea lions into crates that Jim himself had created. And then of course to call Friends of the Sea Lions for a pick-up.

As Jim rose up the ranks and became Lifeguard Chief with the County, he handed the day-to-day operations off to John Cunningham where FRIENDS OF THE SEA LIONS became PACIFIC MARINE MAMMAL CENTER.

It is with great sadness to announce that Jim Stauffer, PMMC’s co-founder, passed away on October 21, 2021. Jim was 76.

Jim’s dedicated work, passion and love of marine mammals is carried out every single day at PMMC. In the mid-‘90s, he moved to Petaluma with his wife, Lynn, and their three kids, Natalie, Clark and Weston. He was a devoted Dad and was so very proud of his kids. He also recently became a granddaddy. Jim and Lynn celebrated their many happy years together and their 35th wedding anniversary in 2020.

Throughout, Jim stayed in touch with PMMC over the years. He was so proud of John Cunningham and the outstanding work he and the others had done to grow the organization. Jim and John were great friends and kept in touch over the many years…his enthusiasm for PMMC never waned. 

Thank You Jim Stauffer. Thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your big smile and hearty laugh. Thank you for making this world a better place. 

Please keep Jim’s wife, Lynn, and their family in your thoughts as they go through this difficult time.

There is a bronze-coated mural at the Art Hotel in Laguna Beach featuring Jim. It is not far from Seal Rock where Jim released his first rescue, that little Pacific Harbor Seal, back in 1971.

Guest Letter Remembering sea lion

Click on photo for a larger image

Jim attending to a sea lion

Letter to the Editor

Lucky me, Arnold changed my life forever

What an honor to have known Arnold, he was one of the most exceptional men I ever knew, a man of integrity and principle.

He changed my life 22 odd years ago when he asked me to come on the board of Village Laguna. He knew I was an environmentalist and he told me that he needed me on board to help protect the natural environment of Laguna and make it a better place for us all to live. He added it is hard to make a difference on the world stage, but if we residents strived to take care of our local habitat such news would echo, just like a good Baseball Team. How could I resist? What a privilege and pleasure it was to work with him and listen to his determined and learned mind! 

I never forgot his words and I continue to do his bidding to this day. Thank you, Arnold, I tip my hat to you beloved friend, may the good gods be with you and may you watch over us with intent.   

Charlotte Masarik

Laguna Beach

Editor’s Note: Stu News encourages Letters to the Editor and they should be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deadlines for submission are Monday noon, for Tuesday publication and Thursday noon, for Friday publication. Stu News reserves the right to approve and/or edit all letters.

The court ruling: from my point of view

Stu New Laguna’s coverage on dismissal of my lawsuit (“Fair Game” Oct. 22) channels the narrative of the School Board majority. Along with many in our community, I see the ruling very differently. 

My case arose after a closed meeting on March 26, 2019, when the School Board went into closed secret session due to alleged litigation threat. Instead, we heard a seemingly absurd report by Board counsel that the superintendent might sue the District! Supposedly for damage to his reputation, because I had expressed concern that parents, teachers and even students reported fear of retaliation if they questioned School Board policies.

Mark Breese, the lawyer hired by the board, admitted that no one had actually threatened suing the district but it was possible someone might. I suggested that we focus on an open dialogue on how to make it safe for public questioning of board policies without fear. 

I also requested that we work on this issue together and enable our fellow citizens to express their opinions without fear. 

The Board lawyer then sent me a letter threatening personal legal consequences if I continued to speak out. I had a right and a duty to seek advice on my legal rights from experts, including a lawyer in the District Attorney’s office and head counsel for CAL AWARE in Sacramento. I was advised by both that the lawyer’s letter was not privileged and that I did not violate the Brown Act or give the superintendent plausible grounds to sue me or LBUSD.

If the Board truly believed I violated the law, Brown Act remedies include referral to the DA or seeking an injunction, but then the unlawful meeting and intimidation letter would have been scrutinized. To avoid that, the Board adopted a politicized special resolution to give itself the power to exclude me from meetings.   

I refused to be silenced, and my lawsuit was to nullify the anti-democratic Board resolution threatening to exclude me from meetings. My legal action held the Board accountable, and on advice of its lawyers the Board allowed its unconstitutional resolution to expire as a litigation tactic to “moot” my case, and claim “no harm, no foul,” because the Board only threatened to violate my constitutional rights.

But adoption of the resolution to exclude me was retaliation and intimidation violating my rights. So, my lawyers chose federal not state court to challenge our School Board’s infringement on my constitutional right to represent voters who twice democratically elected me. 

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to hear School Board abuse of power case demonstrates federal courts can be the right venue. And my lawyers have been successful in public interest cases like mine seeking reform not compensation. 

But unlike some federal courts the judge offered to consider amendments to the complaint on the question of whether the allegations were against the Board and superintendent for individual misconduct, or against the state, which has immunity unless it is waived. After seemingly endless delays due to pandemic and litigation tactics, the judge decided the urgency had passed and dismissed with findings of fact or law at issue in the lawsuit.

That means the court’s ruling did not reach the merits of the case about confidentiality and the special board committee. Still, that didn’t stop the School Board president and superintendent from issuing a misleading statement seeming to falsely imply the court validated the Board’s unproven allegation that I violated Brown Act confidentiality rules by challenging the Board’s resolution enabling my exclusion from closed meetings.

Facts speak louder than spin. I never stopped advocacy the Board was trying to silence. It was the Board that abandoned its abuse of power intended to silence me. I appealed my case for future Board members, and if I now don’t pursue further review as allowed by law it is because other similar cases are now reaching the U.S. Supreme Court that hopefully will prevent abuse of power by local school boards.

As always, my priority will continue to be serving students, citizens, parents and teachers, as I did teaching Special Education and regular education in LBUSD for 35 years. I‘m grateful voters elected me twice, and that those supporting me now for standing my ground also are encouraging me to run again. Until the time for that decision comes, I will continue working to make our good schools better. 

Dee Perry, board member

LBUSD Board of Education

Laguna Beach

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