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Author Archive for Jennifer Erickson

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Lifeguard HQ Nears Completion

Lifeguard HQ Nears Completion

Laguna’s beachgoers, pedestrians and passing motorists may soon again behold an unobstructed view of Main Beach and the ocean beyond. If the new $7 million lifeguard headquarters and public restrooms open on schedule by mid-April, the temporary quarters marring Laguna’s signature vista will be removed shortly thereafter, according to the city’s project director, Wade Brown, […]

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Hopes of Preservationists Dashed

Hopes of Preservationists Dashed

Coastal Panel Approves Live-Work Law By Jennifer Erickson | LB Indy In two matters involving Laguna Beach, the Coastal Commission approved revisions that govern a controversial artists’ work/live plan in Laguna Canyon and demolition of a historical house known as Stonehenge whose architectural integrity had been compromised by lax code enforcement. In both cases Laguna […]

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Tales Inspire Ties Across Cultures

Tales Inspire Ties Across Cultures

By Jennifer Erickson | LB Indy “Education is the key to equality for women,” said Karen Dennis, chair of the American Association of University Women’s 27th annual literary lunch held last Saturday. No one disagreed. Year after year the local AAUW showcases women authors to support their mission to empower women and girls through education. […]

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Council Urges Nixing Higher Speed Limits

Council Urges Nixing Higher Speed Limits

A proposal from Caltrans to raise speed limits on sections of Coast Highway received a skeptical response this past Tuesday from Laguna Beach’s City Council, which asked its Parking Traffic and Circulation Committee to thoroughly investigate the planned changes before the Council issues a formal response to the state agency. Residents and Council members alike […]

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Expert Jolts Talks on Burying Utilities

Expert Jolts Talks on Burying Utilities

Expected to hire a consultant to explore burying utilities citywide on Tuesday, the City Council instead delayed their decision as a result of surprising testimony during a public hearing. Laguna Beach resident Dennis Eastman, a former 40-year Southern California Edison executive, came forward to volunteer an insider’s insight and assurances that by “thinking out of […]

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Firefighters' Pay Up as Benefits Slip

Firefighters’ Pay Up as Benefits Slip

The City Council ratified a four-year contract Tuesday awarding firefighters a 4.5 percent pay raise that nevertheless fails to completely offset the rate increase in their own contributions to retirement benefits. The pact ends nearly a year of contentious negotiations with the Orange County Firefighters Association Local 3631. The city expects to save about $175,000 […]

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Weighing the Cost of Burying Utilities

Weighing the Cost of Burying Utilities

Each time a utility pole topples on Laguna Canyon Road it emphasizes the town’s vulnerability. Residents most often contend with the traffic jam that results from a crash scene under investigation or a downed live wire or the disruption caused by a power outage. Yet the inconvenience of congestion and spoiled goods pales compared to […]

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Local Investor Doubles Down

Local Investor Doubles Down

As a youngster growing up in Laguna Beach, Chris Dornin considered himself steeped in artists. The high school’s teams then were still named Artists, rather than the current Breakers. He studied art with retired art teacher Peter Tiner, entering projects in local art competitions. Many of Dornin’s childhood friends have now become working artists. Some, […]

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Project Czar, Paying for Pensions Top City Priorities

Project Czar, Paying for Pensions Top City Priorities

Coordination of Laguna Beach’s many initiatives and paying for pension costs surfaced as priorities at the City Council’s recent planning retreat. At a time when many of the hot-button projects begun in the last year have yet to be finalized, it comes as no surprise that Council members largely opted to stay the course and […]

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 Artist Units Follow the Footsteps of Animal Clinic

Artist Units Follow the Footsteps of Animal Clinic

The campaign over the hotly debated artists’ work/live project on Laguna Canyon Road continues unabated, with opponents and proponents each sending missives in anticipation of a City Council hearing next month over local sculptor Louis Longi’s proposal. In a twist little known outside the canyon neighborhood, the project was made possible by one of its […]

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Buying In to a Commute Without Keys

Buying In to a Commute Without Keys

Ideas on how to induce more people to use Laguna Beach’s $2.2 million public transit system as a way to tame downtown congestion grabbed the limelight at a public workshop on Monday. About 60 residents showed up at the Susi Q Center to offer feedback following an analysis of Laguna’s buses, summer trolleys, taxi voucher […]

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 Excavating a Vault in Laguna's History

Excavating a Vault in Laguna’s History

Even as Laguna Beach’s shoreline evokes images of hidden coves rather than buried treasures, a forgotten landmark was recently unearthed during restoration of an Ocean Avenue building, originally home to the now defunct Laguna Federal Savings and Loan Association. The project team knew of a wall-size fountain turned off long ago when a courtyard receded […]

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Design for Entrance Park Moves Ahead

Design for Entrance Park Moves Ahead

Staff recommendations for a scaled-back $14.4 million plan to create an inviting landscaped pathway between City Hall and the Laguna Canyon art festivals seemed to stymie City Council members and the public alike during a presentation Tuesday. After weighing the scope, budget and design process, the City Council put off several decisions, but gave the […]

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Transit Planners Gear Up for Feedback

Transit Planners Gear Up for Feedback

Residents with an opinion about their experience getting around town – whether riding the bus, pedaling a bike, pushing a stroller or driving a car — can get in on a conversation underway as Laguna Beach pursues two transit related initiatives. Vancouver-based IBI Group studies Laguna’s public transportation options even as a city-wide mobility plan […]

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Artists' Work/Live Project Stalled Again

Artists’ Work/Live Project Stalled Again

A scheduled appeal of a decision approving a hotly debated artists’ work/live project on Laguna Canyon Road was put off by the City Council on Tuesday. Opponents, mostly residents of nearby Sun Valley Drive, maintain that the 16,192-square-foot structure spanning two adjacent lots at 20412 and 20432 Laguna Canyon Road violates the Laguna Canyon Annexation […]