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Author Archive for Rita Robinson

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Church Opens Second Homeless Shelter

Church Opens Second Homeless Shelter

Without government aid, a group of determined human rights activists opened a second shelter for homeless people in Laguna Beach last week when it rained, taking in the overflow crowd turned away from the city’s at-capacity, year-round homeless shelter on Laguna Canyon Road.   Twenty-five people bedded down in the temporary overnight shelter in St. […]

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Finding a Key to Unlock the Ivory Tower

Finding a Key to Unlock the Ivory Tower

Technical classes, traditionally geared for students uninterested in college, are taking a new direction lately.  College-bound students from Laguna Beach High School make up half of the enrollment in trade-school like courses offered by San Juan Capistrano’s South Coast Regional Occupational Program. Students say it gives them a needed edge. ROP courses were traditionally geared […]

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Teachers Receive 4% Pay Hike

Teachers Receive 4% Pay Hike

Property taxes will pay for a 4% salary increase for teachers, counselors and department chiefs in the Laguna Beach Unified School District.  The district’s board unanimously approved the pay raise Tuesday, Jan. 28, without discussion. The pay hikes are retroactively effective as of last July 1. As a result of Tuesday’s decision, the district will […]

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Homeruns Foul Out with Neighbors

Homeruns Foul Out with Neighbors

As Stephen Crawford fetched something from the trunk of his car, a soaring baseball flew over the high school’s athletic field fence, heading straight for his house on St. Ann’s Drive and missing him by less than a yard before bouncing up his driveway. The high school baseball team on Monday, Jan. 27, was in […]

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Replanted Kelp Forest Thrives Offshore

Replanted Kelp Forest Thrives Offshore

Diving 50 feet to the ocean floor off Laguna Beach’s coast was like landing on a desolate, evacuated planet.  There was no sign of life. Not even a lone, drifting kelp spore or a tenacious purple spiny sea urchin to devour it. “When we started, there was nothing there, nothing,” said marine biologist Mike Curtis.  […]

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Bowl Game Crowds Rush the Town

Bowl Game Crowds Rush the Town

While Newport Beach reaped an estimated $10 million in hotel and restaurant bookings by hosting the college football championship played at the Rose Bowl on Monday, Laguna Beach’s hotels, restaurants and shops reported a bountiful holiday season as well, partly from feasting on Newport’s spill-over. January traditionally sees a post-holiday slump in tourism from corporate […]

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Looking Back on 2013’s Top News

Looking Back on 2013’s Top News

  By Rita Robinson The 13th year of the 21st Century brought good luck as well as bad, victories and resignations, beginnings and abrupt endings.  Here’s the Indy’s list of the top 10 events for the year. #1:  San Onofre’s Shutdown Shutting down the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station made international news.  San Clemente’s Gary […]

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Garden Property Sold

Garden Property Sold

By Rita Robinson | LB Indy The 11,000-square-foot lot in South Laguna, home to 53 raised garden boxes, twice as many urban gardeners and an array of vegetables, fruit and flowers for the past four years, recently sold for $1.2 million. The deal sinks the hopes of garden supporters who tried to raise money, obtain […]

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Mold Be Gone, ‘Lagunatics’ Back On

Mold Be Gone, ‘Lagunatics’ Back On

By Rita Robinson | LB Indy After three months of self-imposed restraint, “Lagunatics” will let loose their skewed sense of ethnocentric humor on the local stage once again. The 29 volunteer cast members of the annual spoof on la vida de la Laguna were sequestered from using the stage at the Forum Theater on the […]

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New Leader at School Board’s Helm

New Leader at School Board’s Helm

Jan Vickers, a school board member for 23 years and a former teacher, replaces Bill Landsiedel as president of the Laguna Beach Unified School District.  Landsiedel, an attorney, served for one year, as will Vickers, who previously served as the board’s clerk. The major emphasis in the coming year, said Vickers, will be switching over […]

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Mold Be Gone, ‘Lagunatics’ Back On

Mold Be Gone, ‘Lagunatics’ Back On

After three months of self-imposed restraint, “Lagunatics” will let loose their skewed sense of ethnocentric humor on the local stage once again. The 29 volunteer cast members of the annual spoof on la vida de la Laguna were sequestered from using the stage at the Forum Theater on the Festival of Arts’ grounds since October […]

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‘Gnome Home

‘Gnome Home

On the corner of High Drive and Cedar Way in North Laguna stands a little tiny village of welcoming and kitschy gnomes. The gnome village is the fond collection of a seemingly well-adjusted person, Jennifer Hart, the lone remaining occupant of the Laguna Playhouse costume shop. Hart has no particular reason for creating the gnome […]

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Touring Laguna’s Underground

Touring Laguna’s Underground

Getting past complaints over a five-year, $100 million project to widen a sewer tunnel and lay new pipeline in Laguna Beach’s coastal bluffs has been a major public relations hurdle for the South Coast Water District, which serves South Laguna and other cities. When the water district opened its tunnel doors at Aliso Beach and […]

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Teachers Learn to Show, Rather Than Tell

Teachers Learn to Show, Rather Than Tell

Participating rather than being told is the key to learning, even for teachers, says a consultant hired last month to help integrate new state learning standards into the curriculum of Laguna Beach’s school district. “Here’s a brutal fact about professional development for teachers,” said consultant Charlotte Knox, of Point Richmond, Calif. “…The likelihood of training […]

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Cleaner Fire Pits May Burn in Laguna

Cleaner Fire Pits May Burn in Laguna

Wood-burning bonfires at Aliso Beach in South Laguna may be a thing of the past as fire pits up the coast switch to cleaner-burning propane or natural gas. According to the South Coast Air Quality Management District, two contracts to install clean-burning fire pits for public use are being considered for beaches from Corona del […]