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Author Archive for Ann Christoph

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Village Matters: Luxury Accommodations

Village Matters: Luxury Accommodations

Accommodating the inconveniences and downsides that shadow our every choice, especially the ones we love the most, leads to some creative coping. Forget about the swimming pool, spa, wine cellar, those passé luxury adjuncts to the upscale custom home. The latest in luxury customizing is a cat toilet room. This one is a 4’ x […]

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Village Matters: Facing up to SONGS

Village Matters: Facing up to SONGS

It’s one of those issues. What will we say to our kids when they ask, “Did you speak up?”  I hope they don’t have to ask, “Why did you let that happen?” It was that kind of night at the City Council, one to remember.  We had our own locally broadcast “60 Minutes” program with […]

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Eagle Scouts Rock Community Garden

Eagle Scouts Rock Community Garden

Eagle Scout candidate Alec Niccum organized the construction of a rock revetment at the South Laguna Community Garden.  After months of planning, Alec and his crew, supported by moms with drinks and pizzas, mobilized last Saturday and completed the rock work in less than a day. Alec and his friends Ben Whittle, Andrew Stefaniak, Austin […]

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Village Matters: Harvesting Common Purpose

Village Matters: Harvesting Common Purpose

It could seem puzzling that at the low price end of the culinary spectrum we can go to a buffet and have unlimited plates of whatever items we choose, but at the higher price point we may be served only a small exquisitely arranged exhibit of tiny bits. Is it a match between quantity and […]

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Village Matters: What is Laguna?

Village Matters: What is Laguna?

It’s summer and the trolleys are running. Riding them and being under cover, being inconspicuous eavesdroppers, we can witness impressions of our town and of ourselves,  residents playing tourists. “They say that if you live here, you go to the beach all the time for the first few months, and then it gets old and […]

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Village Matter: On the Edge

Village Matter: On the Edge

“I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge…of glory,” Bronwyn shouted as we rumbled through southern California looking for the best landscaping and maintenance projects of the year.  This was the second of three days, each day started at 6 a.m., and our assignment as landscape judges was to see and evaluate more than 80 […]

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Village Matters: Who Started This Anyway?

Village Matters: Who Started This Anyway?

It’s complicated, but South Laguna has lost its power to vote on the running of the water district that the community established in the 1930s. Way back in 1910 when the Egan family homesteaded 40 acres where West Street and Paso del Sur is now, they managed to get water from a spring back up […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Beyond the Threshold   If Cornell is any example, Ivy League graduations are impressive with pageantry.  But more than that, all this beauty, color and tradition is reinforcing the importance and significance of the threshold the degree candidates are crossing. One week my nephew Ted was living in his campus apartment, working hard on projects […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Strapless in Laguna   Those nuns were determined to see to it that everyone was paired up for the prom.  I had waited most of junior year for Alfredo to ask me out and he had finally done it. He’d even asked me what color my dress was so he could get a matching corsage.  […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Weeding works wonders   There is a sloping area on the edge of the South Laguna Community Garden where a year ago we were pulling out castor bean plants, Bermuda grass, and the usual garden variety weeds. We had tiny native plant starts in small pots and garden volunteers planted them with varying degrees of […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Effecting Change   I had a mysterious call last week from someone who wanted to know what the chances are that change can happen at city hall. Not only did he want the answer to that question, but there was a condition in his question, “Can we make change happen without the effort ruining my […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Heart and Soul Live On   The view outside our kitchen window on the farm where I grew up was of the rolling Wisconsin fields, farmhouses and barns, interspersed with patches of woods.  Most striking of all, on the horizon, was a stone country church with a tall steeple, an anchor of inspiration and rustic […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

It’s all connected   To reassure the reader who was concerned about the fate of the our late neighbor Paul Pflueger’s chickens mentioned in my last column, I am told they have been taken to their new home in Santa Barbara.  The coop has been dissembled.  Our neighborhood is quieter and more somber.  We miss […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

View from the Coop When on our early morning walks one of our favorite stops is to check on Paul Pflueger’s chickens. We’d hear their cluck-clucking, a comforting sound that says that all is well in the world of hens. Peering over the fence in the back yard, we’d see them scratching and pecking, going […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Much hinges on Stonehenge   The historic “Stonehenge” house, marked by the octagonal cupola and sunroom just north of Laguna Royale, was stripped of its interior without permits in June of 2009.  Then in 2010, demolition resumed, also without permits, removing the exterior surfaces too. The city issued stop work orders both times.   Now […]