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Author Archive for Randy Kraft

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Culture Karma: Few Degrees of Separation

Culture Karma: Few Degrees of Separation

This is a message to the many people in Laguna Beach who knew and cared about Danita Crivello and who mourn her passing. In the general culture of grief, only the immediate family – parents, children and grandchildren, spouses and siblings – are sanctioned as mourners. The second tier of friends and colleagues stand behind […]

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Culture Karma: Feeding a Literary Appetite

Culture Karma: Feeding a Literary Appetite

Laguna is known for the arts. Fine arts. We also have a lot of good music, compliments of Laguna Beach Live, and fabulous dance, via Laguna Dance Festival. But I’m a wordsmith and I find myself often in search of literary arts that are harder to find. Yes, there are hundreds of book groups. Yes, […]

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Culture Karma: Saline Solutions

Culture Karma: Saline Solutions

I ran into Michael Beanan the other day. Michael is one of the founders of the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, a force behind the marine life protected area along Laguna’s shoreline, and one of the most animated, compassionate, committed environmentalist I’ve ever met. He reminded me that water represents 70% of our natural world. I checked. […]

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Culture Karma: See You in September

Culture Karma: See You in September

I was away a couple of weeks and returned just after Labor Day to discover that the season had changed even before the autumn equinox. Ah yes, I remember: off-season. Pageant and festival doors are closed and the throngs are gone. Back to school. Back to work. Back to wherever they came from. And the […]

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Culture Karma: Our High-Tech, Low-Touch Culture

Culture Karma: Our High-Tech, Low-Touch Culture

  I attended the “Pageant of the Masters” the other night. The best of the six I’ve seen. And the silence of the vast crowd in the midst of these stunning larger-than-life facsimiles and the soundtrack of a pitch-perfect orchestra once again struck me. Silent they were, but not still. Despite pre-show announcements and staff […]

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Culture Karma A Compassionate City?

Culture Karma A Compassionate City?

Daga Krackowizer wants Laguna Beach to be a compassionate city. She has been inspired by the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute in Michigan. “The future of the planet may well depend on developing this transformative power of love and forgiveness,” says Rob Lehrman, Fetzer’s board chair. The compassionate cities project […]

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Culture Karma: Poetry Abounds

Culture Karma: Poetry Abounds

Poetry month came and went with typically little fanfare and all but true poetry lovers neglect this ancient literary form. More often we miss the poetry in our midst. After all, every breathtaking blue sky or the morning marine layer hugging the coastline like a low flying cloud, that too is poetry. Poetry is the […]

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M.F.K. Fisher: Finding Food and Love in Laguna

M.F.K. Fisher: Finding Food and Love in Laguna

Long before Julia Child and Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl, or the countless other food writers of the last 50 years, M. F. K. Fisher blazed the path and published 30 essay collections, memoirs or translations of French epicureans. Generally acknowledged as the progenitor of food writing, Fisher (born Mary Frances Kennedy) established the […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

In Search of Space I’m thinking of starting a discussion group on the subject of creativity. I attended one at another arts community recently and believe that Laguna has the resources and interest, although finding a location is the challenge. At the onset, we might have only a small crowd. Galleries like DeBilzan and Peter […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

Classics Meet Modernists I’m visiting a friend in North Carolina where the trees are tall and blindingly green and weekend gardeners scurry like ants to remove the last bits of mulch and signs of winter. Back in Laguna Beach, spring seems a foregone conclusion. Summer is what occupies the minds of most Lagunans as plans […]

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CULTURE KARMA

CULTURE KARMA

Talking About Art Part 2   At the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Art Star awards ceremony, poet Dana Gioia treated the crowd to a compelling keynote speech about supporting the arts. Gioia, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, who has published four award-winning poetry collections, currently serves as the Judge Whitney Professor […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

Culture in a Coffee Cup   Writing is a solitary act so I often work at a café. I frequent several, taking comfort in the white noise of conversation and the familiarity of alternative living rooms. The café culture, perfected by Europeans and promulgated by Starbucks, is integral to social interaction. We chat with friends […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

Can We Talk?   We are surrounded by art. Galleries line the streets. Laguna Art Museum sits on the hill as if presiding over its flock. Laguna College of Art & Design exhorts budding artists to go forth and make art. Summer festivals attract huge crowds. Arts groups dole out funding and awards and classes […]

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Quilter Labs: Everything Old is New Again

Quilter Labs: Everything Old is New Again

Spend time at restaurants, shopping malls, cinemas or concert halls across the country, and the music you will hear is likely coming through an audio system made by QSC of Costa Mesa. Laguna Beach resident and QSC founder Patrick Quilter has steered the company from a hobby to a $100 million enterprise, and he has […]

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Home Sales: Good News & Bad News

Home Sales: Good News & Bad News

  Real estate is always a good news – bad news story: what is best for the seller is not necessarily best for the buyer, and visa versa. However, despite high levels of inventory, downward pressure on prices, and a large number of distressed properties, 2011 ended with a significant improvement in the Laguna Beach […]