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Author Archive for Rita Robinson

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Laguna Beach Unified School District

Schools Required to Survey Parents

A first-time, state-mandated survey of parents soliciting their input on the Laguna Beach school district’s plans and goals will arrive in inboxes on Friday, a district official said Wednesday. During Tuesday’s school board meeting, Superintendent Sherine Smith described the survey to board members, which she assumed had already been sent out until she was challenged […]

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Sea Stars Dying in Tide Pools

Sea Stars Dying in Tide Pools

At least 40 visible sea stars were alive and well in the Treasure Island tide pools in South Laguna at noon this past Saturday. But by 3 p.m., eight had disintegrated like wet bread. An epidemic, which has destroyed sea stars along the West Coast beginning last June, has reached the shores of Laguna Beach. […]

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School Principal Pursues Encore Career

School Principal Pursues Encore Career

Ron La Motte, Top of the World Elementary School’s long-time principal, will retire in June after 27 years in the district, though he’s not about to quit his profession. La Motte said he’s starting an “encore career” as director of the master’s program at Irvine’s Concordia University where he will fulfill a desire to assist […]

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New Tech Chief Hired

New Tech Chief Hired

Also Schoolpower fundraising earns ‘A’ grades Drawing from applicants nationwide who went through several rounds of interviews before a district-wide panel, school board members unanimously approved hiring a new technology director Tuesday who is currently employed at Saddleback Valley Unified School District. Michael Morrison, a technology specialist at the south country district since 1996 and […]

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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 […]