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Village Matters

Seeing Beyond a Label “You should be aware that not all gays feel well represented by Bob Gentry,” a gay politico told me. “Why not?” I responded. It was 1990 or thereabouts and I was a new naïve councilmember. I didn’t know Bob Gentry when I was first elected, except as a...

Village Matters

Historic Preservation, Working or Not? That’s the question the Heritage Committee, Planning Commission and City Council will be struggling with in the months to come. The city’s historical preservation consultant has been examining the inventory of historic properties that was...

Village Matters

Miracle or not; the Dilemma of the Jacaranda Just lying here all weekend, it was a quiet Memorial Day, no sun, no beach-goers, lovely coolness. My leg swollen and black and blue, typing on the computer while keeping my leg high, trying to get the swelling down. When the mind is...

Village Matters

Reclaiming Our Water Equilibrium So how’s your water conservation going?  Ours is going great.  We have a new gray water system.  This is how it works.  I take a bath and don’t pull the plug.  We scoop the water into a bucket and splash it on our lawn or other garden plants. ...

Village Matters

Discouraging Words Sometimes Heard Most council meetings have their dreadful and discouraging moments, with a few glimmers of encouragement here and there, strung together by routine matters. Last week’s was typical of many. As I arrived early in the meeting, planning to give a...

Village Matters

Sunday’s very last performance of the Laguna Beach High School’s musical “Bye Bye Birdie” was also the rendition of the last musical production by teacher and director Mark Dressler. He’s retiring after 25 years of building the school’s drama program into an award-winning...

Village Matters

Loving it Gently “Visitors to our hotel want to experience Laguna Beach in the same ways residents do; they want to feel they are living here, too, that it’s their home town, if only for a few days.” At a recent community meeting Council member Rob Zur Schmiede quoted the manager...

Village Matters

The Real Thing Embodies Local History The Guy Skidmore house known as Stonehenge at 31381 S. Coast Highway was demolished last year after the Coastal Commission denied an appeal by local residents. Nevertheless, this sad and unfortunate loss led us to more discoveries about the...

Village Matters

Ask not… President Kennedy’s famous inspirational message applies at a small scale here in Laguna too. How could we be more blessed? A lovely historic village by the sea. Twenty three thousand of us have the privilege of living here out of all of the people in the whole world!...

Village Matters

Life is… “Life is just a series of problems that you overcome one by one, and then you die,” says Maggie Smith’s character, Violet Crawley, dowager countess of Grantham in the popular PBS program, “Downton Abbey.” Somehow we can see that it’s so much more, especially as we think...

Village Matters

Don’t Let the Lights Go Out No holiday lights, no candles in the windows. The step-houses—the second homes– are empty for the holidays. And most of the year. Laguna’s population has been steadily growing from just over 5,000 in the 1950s to 23,727 in 2000, until the 2010...

Village Matters

My brother Bill sends me inspirational notes along with his frequent reports about the progress of his wife Val’s cancer treatments. This one struck home. “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day.” 2...

Village Matters

Open Space Hero Continues to Inspire It was 1989. The council chamber was filled for a citizens’ meeting about Laguna Canyon. Councilmember Lida Lenney stood tall at the front speaking from her heart, urging us to stop the Irvine Company’s Laguna Laurel project and save Laguna...

Village Matters

Balancing Coastal Perspectives The lights were blazing all night long in the AVCO Community Developers’ property south of Monarch Bay. Giant grading machines were scraping non-stop through the hillsides, shaping landforms for a new subdivision. It was fall of 1972. The public was...

Village Matters

Keepers of the Flame Fall is just barely beginning but the campaign season is fully underway. Laguna Beach’s city council race promises to be not only controversial, but intriguing and very important for the future of our city. Seven candidates are running for three positions on...