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    Merritt Believes He Can Improve on City’s Merits

    Merritt Believes He Can Improve on City’s Merits

    Announcing his intention to run for City Council this week, Paul Merritt says the city of Laguna Beach needs to become more progressive regarding the safety of residents and tourists and tighter with collecting owed business fees from major corporations. Progressive and, at the same time, fiscally more alert, much like he said he sees […]

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    New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

    New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

    By Kellie Hall, Special to the Independent Urth Caffé officially broke ground at the historic former Cottage restaurant in North Laguna Beach for the Los Angeles-based chain’s sixth storefront. After nearly two years in development, the cafe hopes to open in December, said Shallom Berkman, who co-owns the chain with his wife, Jilla. Urth Caffé […]

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    Cyclists and Pedestrians Mobilize for Safety

    Cyclists and Pedestrians Mobilize for Safety

    About 200 helmeted cyclists and bareheaded pedestrians spilled over the lawn in front of City Hall Tuesday night to decry their unsafe passage through Laguna’s streets and roadways. Appropriately, the rally took place a month to the day after Laguna Beach cyclist John Colvin succumbed to fatal injuries after being struck by a motorist near […]

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    MIG Chosen to Create Town’s Vision

    MIG Chosen to Create Town’s Vision

    The City Council selected the urban planning team assembled by San Diego-based MIG to help shape the guidelines for future development downtown and along Laguna Canyon Road, giving a pass to Los Angeles-based Sargent Town Planning. Generally approved by the vocal public, the decision Tuesday did incur a few detractors. When the two firms, along […]

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    Police Suppress Popular Drum Circle

    Police Suppress Popular Drum Circle

    Laguna Beach police and park rangers pre-emptively closed off emptying public parking lots at Aliso Beach for last Saturday’s Full Moon Drum Circle due to predictions of a large turnout, and drummers say the decision put people in peril by forcing them onto the highway. A dozen police personnel, two rangers and a fire department […]

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    Part-time LCAD Teachers OK Union

    Part-time LCAD Teachers OK Union

    Part-time adjunct instructors at the Laguna College of Art and Design agreed to join the Service Employees International Union’s Local 721 in a 35-32 vote announced this week. A group of adjunct instructors, those hired on a contractual basis rather than being given tenure and a permanent position, initiated the union-organizing effort because they were […]

  • Arts

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    Musical’s Conceit Conceives a Musical

    Musical’s Conceit Conceives a Musical

    No Square Theatre jumps into summer with [title of show], an homage to the grand tradition of backstage musicals as well as a quirky and poignant comedy about creative expression and taking risks. With the New York Musical Theatre Festival just three weeks away, Jeff and Hunter scramble to write an original submission. When they […]

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     Wood Sculptor Refines Nature’s Art

    Wood Sculptor Refines Nature’s Art

    By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi Walking into Troy Poeschl’s shop, you don’t know where to look first. It is not because of all the art that is there, but because of the combination of tools, machines and material that can be found all around. Stacks of raw wood, metal, and more; from all this Poeschl produces […]

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    Art Seen

    Art Seen

    Family Art Day Introduces Kids to Art  Kids will be able to create their own works of art during Family Art Day at the Festival of Arts, from 12-3 p.m., Saturday, July 19. Besides the Festival’s ceramic and mixed media workshops, the grounds will be alive with entertainment for all ages with marionette shows, balloon art, […]

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    Jewish Recipes Warm Up Festival

    Jewish Recipes Warm Up Festival

    The Art of Cooking Series continues at the Festival of Arts from 1- 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 20, with Judy Bart Kancigor, teacher of Jewish cooking and family life. “Many of her recipes have been passed down from generation to generation and we’re honored that she’ll be sharing them with us!”
said Susan Davis, the […]

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  • Limelight

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    A Glimpse of a Coastal Jewel

    A Glimpse of a Coastal Jewel

    Photos by Ron Chilcote With the reopening of the Emerald Canyon Trail in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park this month, we figured readers might enjoy a glimpse into what some consider the jewel of the coastal canyons. Emerald Canyon Trail begins at the top of Bommer Ridge, a less than hour’s hike from Laguna Canyon […]

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    They’re Outta Here

    They’re Outta Here

    Please tantalize those at home with a high resolution image from your adventures near and far. And thanks again to fans that save space for the Indy in their bags.    

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    Guards Endure a Daunting Tryout

    Guards Endure a Daunting Tryout

    Photos and story by Mitch Ridder Last Saturday morning, 50 men and six women pushed themselves through three physical events to begin their journey to become Laguna Beach lifeguards. First, competitors had to successfully complete a 1,000-meter swim under 20 minutes in 58º water, before moving on to the second and third events. A run-swim-run […]

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    Visiting the Wilderness in Laguna’s Backyard

    Visiting the Wilderness in Laguna’s Backyard

    By Ron Chilcote Perhaps the most pristine and precious of all the canyons in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Laurel Canyon nestles in a hollow shielding it from the adjacent San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor, a barrier to the free flow of wildlife that introduces sounds of traffic to the wilderness.           […]

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  • News

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    Merritt Believes He Can Improve on City’s Merits

    Merritt Believes He Can Improve on City’s Merits

    Announcing his intention to run for City Council this week, Paul Merritt says the city of Laguna Beach needs to become more progressive regarding the safety of residents and tourists and tighter with collecting owed business fees from major corporations. Progressive and, at the same time, fiscally more alert, much like he said he sees […]

  • 0
    New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

    New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

    By Kellie Hall, Special to the Independent Urth Caffé officially broke ground at the historic former Cottage restaurant in North Laguna Beach for the Los Angeles-based chain’s sixth storefront. After nearly two years in development, the cafe hopes to open in December, said Shallom Berkman, who co-owns the chain with his wife, Jilla. Urth Caffé […]

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    Local Taps Social Media to Offer Legal Services

    Local Taps Social Media to Offer Legal Services

    Like many business owners, Ellie Ortiz, owner of Laguna Beach Legal, has tried to tap social media to develop potential business prospects. Unlike the usual coupon discounts that pop up on Facebook, Ortiz is offering a far more serious service: a living trust package valued at $750. Her office is located in Boat Canyon at […]

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    Cyclists and Pedestrians Mobilize for Safety

    Cyclists and Pedestrians Mobilize for Safety

    About 200 helmeted cyclists and bareheaded pedestrians spilled over the lawn in front of City Hall Tuesday night to decry their unsafe passage through Laguna’s streets and roadways. Appropriately, the rally took place a month to the day after Laguna Beach cyclist John Colvin succumbed to fatal injuries after being struck by a motorist near […]

  • More from News
  • Opinion

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    Coastal Commission Will Eventually See Past Ranch’s Critics

    Coastal Commission Will Eventually See Past Ranch’s Critics

    Editor, After reading recent articles in the Independent, I am deeply saddened to learn that the project we locals have always referred to as Ben Brown’s (now The Ranch) has been halted due to a last minute appeal to the Coastal Commission by a local resident. According to the article, the reasons for his appeal […]

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    Allegations Suggest Lack of Oversight by Planning Commission

    Allegations Suggest Lack of Oversight by Planning Commission

    Editor, In a unanimous vote, the Coastal Commission upheld an appeal against a controversial project at the locally well-known Ben Brown’s at Aliso Creek, now known as The Ranch at Laguna Beach. I had been taking it for granted that our Laguna Planning Commission and City Council were properly progressing The Ranch application; a resulting […]

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    Let the Ranch Go On

    Let the Ranch Go On

    Editor, I worked at Aliso Creek Inn & Golf Course, which is now The Ranch, when Ms. Brown owned it. It truly is Laguna’s Yosemite and yet it’s just 1300 feet from Aliso Beach and the closest hotel to South Laguna’s international “gay” beach, West Street. I find it hard to believe that the new […]

  • More from Opinion
  • Schools Sports

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    Empty Nesters Open Their Homes, Gain Cultural Insights

    Empty Nesters Open Their Homes, Gain Cultural Insights

    By Kellie Hall, Special to the Independent   An exchange organization, Compass U.S.A., is still looking for families to host teenage female Japanese students from Tuesday, July 22 until Sunday, Aug. 10 in South Orange County. Though historically few families from Laguna Beach have participated, the organization is trying to change that this year. Each […]

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    High School Sports Update

    High School Sports Update

    Laguna Shines at Boys Tournament Boys Volleyball Breaker players Tyler Alter, (16-Open MVP), and Jack Burgi opposite (17-Open) were selected to the 15-player division all-tournament teams at the 35th Annual USA Volleyball Boy’s Junior National Championships held June 28 – July 5 in Houston, Texas. Alter was the starting middle blocker on the Breakers this […]

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    Band Grants Go to Good Use

    Band Grants Go to Good Use

    A $5,000 grant from the Festival of Arts enabled the Laguna Beach High School jazz band to compete in the Riverside Community College band competition where they took first place as well as purchase instruments. Another gift of $750 from the Ebell Club allowed three students to attend a performance by the San Francisco Symphony […]

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    Top Dance Crew Show Off Their Moves

    Top Dance Crew Show Off Their Moves

    A high-energy master class taught by Brian Hirano and Aris Paracuelles of Quest Crew will be offered on Saturday, July 12, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Sage Hill School’s Studio, 20402 Newport Coast Drive, Newport Coast. Intermediate and advanced dancers age 12 and older are welcome. The fee for the class is $25 for […]

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  • Town Crier

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    Local Taps Social Media to Offer Legal Services

    Local Taps Social Media to Offer Legal Services

    Like many business owners, Ellie Ortiz, owner of Laguna Beach Legal, has tried to tap social media to develop potential business prospects. Unlike the usual coupon discounts that pop up on Facebook, Ortiz is offering a far more serious service: a living trust package valued at $750. Her office is located in Boat Canyon at […]

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    Hobie Goes Home

    Hobie Goes Home

      “Hobie,” a California sea lion named in honor of the surfing and sailing icon Hobie Alter, successfully recovered at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and was released last week. The sea lion was rescued on April 1, days after Alter’s death. She was found underweight and wounded resting near the pier in Newport Beach. […]

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    Donation Electrifies Foundation

    Donation Electrifies Foundation

    Longtime local resident Lynn Lowry recently met with Laguna Beach Community Foundation Executive Director Dan Pingaro and presented him a $60,000 contribution. Its origin is as unusual as its benefactor. Lowry purchased a Tesla Model S a year ago with the intention of driving it for 12 months, selling it and donating the proceeds to […]

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    Drought Forces Goat Furlough

    Drought Forces Goat Furlough

    Since little vegetation has grown on hillsides due to the ongoing drought, goats used to thin brush in zones near homes will be moved out of the city to avoid overgrazing and until needed, the city manager’s report says. Police Memorial Installation Approaches Loma Terrace, a small street bordering City Hall and the police department, […]

  • More from Town Crier