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Author Archive for Guest Contributor

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 Neighborhood Compatibility Dispute Reveals Deeper Problem

Neighborhood Compatibility Dispute Reveals Deeper Problem

Editor, I was rendered speechless by Commissioner Linda Dietrich’s derogatory, prejudicial, scathing, and entirely inappropriate comments during (a July 9) Planning Commission discussion of a conditional use and development permits for a two-unit artist live work project at 2000 Laguna Canyon Road. Commissioner Dietrich:  “As far as neighborhood compatible I, I disagree with, with, um […]

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Why Isn’t Kelp Cleaned Up?

Why Isn’t Kelp Cleaned Up?

Editor, As a long time resident of North Laguna, can someone explain to me the city’s position on the removal of the excessive kelp build up on Main Beach? As a place that prides itself on being a tourist destination, it seems to me that having over half of the city’s central beach covered with […]

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Too Much of a Good Thing

Too Much of a Good Thing

Editor, What else can the Arts Commission screw up?  The Arts Commission loves to fill up every space in town. Or is it the council? When I was in the Arts Commission, the council would overrule all the Arts Commission recommendations and made their own tasteful decisions.  Of course when you are in power then you […]

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The Slant

The Slant

Unknown Author Writes a Reality Check Before taking a seat on a bench, I noticed a piece of paper with handwritten text. I had just finished a bike ride. I stopped to look at the view from Alta Laguna Park and catch my breath. I picked it up and read what you are about to […]

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New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

New Cafe Un-‘Urth’s a Landmark

By Kellie Hall, Special to the Independent Urth Caffé officially broke ground at the historic former Cottage restaurant in North Laguna Beach for the Los Angeles-based chain’s sixth storefront. After nearly two years in development, the cafe hopes to open in December, said Shallom Berkman, who co-owns the chain with his wife, Jilla. Urth Caffé […]

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Coastal Commission Will Eventually See Past Ranch’s Critics

Coastal Commission Will Eventually See Past Ranch’s Critics

Editor, After reading recent articles in the Independent, I am deeply saddened to learn that the project we locals have always referred to as Ben Brown’s (now The Ranch) has been halted due to a last minute appeal to the Coastal Commission by a local resident. According to the article, the reasons for his appeal […]

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Allegations Suggest Lack of Oversight by Planning Commission

Allegations Suggest Lack of Oversight by Planning Commission

Editor, In a unanimous vote, the Coastal Commission upheld an appeal against a controversial project at the locally well-known Ben Brown’s at Aliso Creek, now known as The Ranch at Laguna Beach. I had been taking it for granted that our Laguna Planning Commission and City Council were properly progressing The Ranch application; a resulting […]

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Let the Ranch Go On

Let the Ranch Go On

Editor, I worked at Aliso Creek Inn & Golf Course, which is now The Ranch, when Ms. Brown owned it. It truly is Laguna’s Yosemite and yet it’s just 1300 feet from Aliso Beach and the closest hotel to South Laguna’s international “gay” beach, West Street. I find it hard to believe that the new […]

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Cop’s Beat Includes Kindness

Cop’s Beat Includes Kindness

Editor, The other day I was on my way to the store when I approached an intersection. As I turned my signal on to turn left, I looked to my right and saw a police car parked behind one of those electric carts used for driving around town. Then, I saw the police officer talking […]

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Canyon is the Wrong Location

Canyon is the Wrong Location

Editor, Last week, my wife and I had the pleasure of being invited to tour two permanent housing facilities for people with mental issues, run by Jamboree Housing and similar to the one being proposed by the Friendship Shelter in the canyon. I became involved in this issue because for the past four years I […]

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Why isn’t Kelp Cleaned Up?

Why isn’t Kelp Cleaned Up?

Editor, As a long time resident of North Laguna, can someone explain to me the city’s position on the removal of the excessive kelp build up on Main Beach? As a place that prides itself on being a tourist destination, it seems to me that having over half of the city’s central beach covered with […]

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Speaker's Corner

Speaker’s Corner

Laying Out Ranch Plans First and foremost, I’d like to thank the people of Laguna for their overwhelming support of our restoration here at The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Aliso Creek/Ben Browns). Inevitably, while complementing what we’re doing, they offer to help support our efforts and set the record straight on what is (and isn’t) […]

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Speaker's Corner

Speaker’s Corner

Good Schools Deserve Good Management Let’s be clear, in civic affairs it is positive to point out negatives that need to be addressed to preserve overall positive outcomes.  Concomitantly, it is negative to be positive but in denial about negatives impeding optimal results. So it is positive that people are questioning the school board’s recent […]

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Empty Nesters Open Their Homes, Gain Cultural Insights

Empty Nesters Open Their Homes, Gain Cultural Insights

By Kellie Hall, Special to the Independent   An exchange organization, Compass U.S.A., is still looking for families to host teenage female Japanese students from Tuesday, July 22 until Sunday, Aug. 10 in South Orange County. Though historically few families from Laguna Beach have participated, the organization is trying to change that this year. Each […]