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Author Archive for Ann Christoph

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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 […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Perhaps one day we will look back on this period since 2008 wistfully, as the time we gained a new and better perspective. Discredited were the institutions we relied on to keep our country stable. The economy that depended on growth and building more outrageously expensive houses stopped making any sense. Personal tragedies abounded. Sad and frightening tales, losses of homes and jobs, were the result of an economic “adjustment.”

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Decisions Erode Village Character   The City Council had the opportunity to preserve our Laguna village character Tuesday.  These chances happen one at a time, in small but important steps. Do we take the so-called sensible, easy choice, or the more difficult, complex one, the one that will help keep the unique heritage of our […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Isn’t there any other reason for forgetting besides getting old? It’s so depressing. How about “I just forgot.” Maybe the big forgetfulness problem with “seniors” is that they forget that they used to forget before, and choose to excuse their lapses in memory as, “senior moments.”

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Confessions of a Cat Parent   Nine years ago this month my husband Alfredo and I traveled to Denmark and Paris. When we got home we noticed that Mr. B, our black and white fluffy cat, was looking wan and thinner than we remembered.  After a few days and no improvement, we took him to […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Down to Earth In May of 1971 I had just graduated with a master’s in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan.  I made my way west in the white 1964 Ford Fairlane my dad had given me to take to graduate school. He was happy to be rid of it because it was gutless […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

 Amazing Stories  “Only Make Believe,” the Pageant of the Masters presentation this year, included a series of art covers from the 1930s science fiction magazine “Amazing Stories.”  That set off a whole link of community history tidbits floating through my mind.  It turns out that one of the Laguna Beach and South Laguna community leaders, […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

 Changing the baby with the bathwater   Remember the days when city hall’s offices would close for lunch?  So did Laguna Lumber. I hear that Laguna Lumber would also close for two weeks in the summer to allow its employees to have a summer vacation. And of course, until Ganahl bought it, it was never open […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Keeping Efforts in Sync  Tears welled in the eyes of at least one attendee 52 years ago, on June 28, 1959, when our local hospital was dedicated. “When the South Coast Community Hospital made the deadline…it was a miracle of achievement over difficulties. The dedication ceremonies were impressive throughout—almost emotionally so for me,” wrote South […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Cottage Sequel  It just happened that the beginning of my planned trip to Italy with my nieces coincided with the council’s decision on the “final solution” for the cottages at Big Bend.  I had done all I could think of, to no avail.  I was sorry to hear by email that the council had voted […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Cuervo Trusting, a crow perched on our patio steps.  Just standing there, looking up. He’d spread his too-short wings and jump-fly from one step to another, then look around bewildered as if to say, “How did I get here? And now what? I don’t see mom and dad anywhere.”  Fortunately our cats were on their […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

All in the Point of View For nine years I lived and worked in a house on the oceanfront.  Dramatic views and crashing waves were constant embellishments to my life.  It was lovely but lonely. Our house was one in a row of houses, every one facing out to the ocean view. There was the […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Share the Memory, Share the Experience   By Ann Christoph My little niece Barbie, age 5, was protesting moving the location of Christmas dinner from my mom’s house to her parents’ house. “But we always have Christmas at grandma’s house!” she insisted.  To her “always” was the maybe three years she could remember.  Her whole […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Design Review Heroes   Do you remember the “white house” controversy? The city debate on off-white vs. white paint for a design-reviewed house became fodder for talk radio. Or when the county newspapers published photos of Design Review Board members’ homes and compared them to the houses they were critiquing.  How about when a board […]

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Village Matters

Village Matters

Formulas Don’t Fit Laguna “It will ruin the views of the hills from the parking lot,” my friend said when he saw the stakes outlining the new roofs and walls at the Aliso Creek shopping center (CVS and Albertson’s.) A management company in Baltimore has decided that what our shopping center really needs is some […]