renaissance

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...

Village Matters

Lessons in Kindness Cultivating kindness is a goal of Anaheim’s Mayor Tom Tait. We may not think of this urbanized town in that light, but as a way of improving their community from the inside out, the city embraced his initiative to promote kindness and encourage volunteers to...

Village Matters

Big Plans vs. Small Adjustments… “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood…” Daniel Burnham.  This advice from one of the designers of the Chicago 1893 World’s Columbian Exhibition, may have been taken too seriously by our governmental policy...

Village Matters

Back in the ‘80s Back in the ‘80s. That phrase seems so strange to me, having grown up with references to old times like “before the war (WWII)” or “back in the ‘50s.” Now here was a “young” man (who must have been about 40 if he was talking about being a kid in the 1980s)...

Shouldn’t Everyone Have One?

  Everyone has something to give, but what do they leave behind? A legacy of some kind, perhaps just a moment of kindness. As I was walking by the bus bench near my office I encountered a thin bearded man who I have heard several times ranting about his troubles with the...

Wistfully Wondering

  “You too, could have gone down a different path,” I thought to myself. In “The Road Not Taken” Robert Frost muses about different choices and the idea of another chance at a decision, “Yet knowing how way leads onto way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” Still, every...

Breathe in, Breathe out

“Homeowners association” are words that bring to mind frustrating meetings, uninformed opinions leading groups astray, enforcement of the covenants, conditions and restrictions as well as the pet peeves of board members, snippy and put-upon hired managers. There is often a...

Scrape or Savor

“They scraped it,” my neighbor told me at Willa’s garden party. That was the first I knew that the Stonehenge house was actually being demolished. We tried very hard to prevent that demolition, but lost. Still, I thought, maybe something will intervene; maybe the owner would even...

Beyond Expectations

  Most people bring a casserole or a salad to a potluck, but Loraine Hollingsworth of Laguna Canyon brought cactus pads (nopales) and a ukulele. There were two large tough prickly pear cactus pads, and several new thin tender ones. The large tough ones were for planting at...

Delicate Planning for Change

It’s all happening very fast. It’s as though collectively we have decided we are going to run out of time to change. There are so many projects in the works that the city manager and City Council have set up monthly meetings of an urban planning coordinating committee to provide...

Where does asparagus come from?

Not quite so hard to answer as the question about babies, but it was surprising how many of the adults at our recent South Laguna Community Garden workshop were amazed when we handed them an asparagus spear and said we had just cut it.  “From where?”  “It’s a sprout that grows...

Defending a Laguna Legacy

It was not a dark and stormy night, but it was night and I was here on my sofa with my laptop in May of 2012 and an unexpected message came up on my email, “Hello Ann, I read one of your articles recently, regarding Stonehenge in Laguna Beach. My family and I were shocked that...