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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...

Protecting Nature’s Fragile Wonder

On a farm the kitchen is a combination office, staging area and coffee shop and I was enjoying being at this hub of my brother’s Nevada dairy. In came Alex, his partner, straight from spraying the cornfield.  “What did you spray it with?” the gardener in me wondered.  “Roundup,”...

Signs of Discord

“If we all speak softly, everyone can be heard.”  Besides being good advice for democracy and human relations in general, this phrase from former mayor Dan Kenney was specifically applied to signs, the issue he focused on during his terms on the city council, 1982-1990. Kenney...

Economic Upturn

  Dateline Laguna Beach: On Monday, Jan. 13, as the South Laguna Civic Association board went over the agenda of proposed nearby projects, President Bill Rihn announced, “The 2008 great recession is officially over!”  The Obama administration will be notified immediately....

Village Matters

Life-changing Christmas By Ann Christoph For all you kids out there whose parents won’t let you have your own phone, or the latest computer game—I’m here to put that in perspective.  I not only had to walk to school in the snow uphill both ways, but our family was the last in my...

Village Matters: Thanks for the Example

As I was riding my exercise bike Sunday evening I tuned in to Bill Moyers’ interview with Wendell Berry. How have I missed knowing of this inspiring man?  Now nearly 80 years old, Berry is a novelist and poet, environmental advocate, farmer and professor.  At age 30 he left his...

Village Matters: A Message From the Sky

It was the day after the 1993 fire. There were fragments blowing in the wind. Half burned pieces of paper, part of someone’s life, fluttered down like sooty snowflakes.  In the parking lot behind my office, I picked up one of them. There it said, “Reason” in large type. It was...

Village Matters: Landscape of Legend

We could trace the development of the town through the eyes of Laguna’s plein air painters, Kleitsch adding color, Hinkle subduing the landscape with white and black.  Still the landscape was predominant as the buildings were fitted in and plantings made the cottages home. These...