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Author Archive for Ann Christoph

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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 […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

The Rhythm of Change   When do they realize you’re not going away? That you’re going to nag and keep at it until things change? It’s hard to know because even when you win it’s so subtle usually no one notices.   Environmental activism is not like the Super Bowl. No cheering from the spectators, […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Loose in Laguna   The ocean view is not the only advantage of having an office in Laguna.  Our neighborhood of shops, offices and homes is a beehive of intrigue and melodrama.   I feel like I’m on stage, except I don’t know the lines or the plot.  I never know what or who is […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

A Shared History   Guard at a state prison, mechanic at a copper mine, child day-care provider. Kids working as security guards while attending school, grade-school janitor and Mexican restaurant waiter, someone who does something having to do with making technical monitoring devices, civil engineer, banker, Japanese translator and insurance office worker.   School bus […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

The House that’s not a Home Across the street from us is a vacant house.  The couple that lived there with their little boy has moved out as part of a foreclosure.  Now I guess the bank owns it. They posted no trespassing signs with threats of jail time.  Last week a crew cleaned up, […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

 Home is Here   When I climbed the steps to the Congregational Church on Thanksgiving day, I didn’t know what to expect.  In all the years I have lived in Laguna, I’ve never gone to the community potluck.  Hesitating at the upper landing while carefully balancing my recently cooked pumpkin casserole, I started to see […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Counting Tree Time “Are you trying to save the trees?” a neighbor asked as I stood on Bluebird Canyon Drive looking at the five Eucalyptus the council and Edison have proposed to cut down.  Instinctively, I said, “Yes.”  But it’s much more complex than that.  Am I a tree hugger?  I think not, if that […]