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Council Opens Tap on Water Reuse

With residents hauling buckets to their yards with water captured in warming showers and state parks and beaches this week turning off their outdoor showers, the City Council Tuesday approved more citywide water conservation measures, including a temporary moratorium on new pool...

Young Teacher Learns Their Language

  Not far from the town’s center, men waiting for work congregate at the day labor hiring area on Laguna Canyon Road. This summer, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 17-year-old Shira Alcouloumre also joins them. Shira and her brother, Aaron, began involvement with the center...

Braving a Catalina Crossing

  Tom Hale aims to swim from Avalon on Catalina Island to Laguna Beach next month alongside his daughter Faith, gaining a little recognition for his adopted hometown and accomplishing an unusual father-daughter feat. Hale and his daughter call the their relay team 33.5 Miles...
Posted On 12 Jul 2015

Human Error Led to Sea Lion Poisoning

Investigators determined that an employee’s unintentional mistake accidentally over-chlorinated a Pacific Marine Mammal Center pool in April that injured 17 sea lions and have dropped their criminal investigation, police said Thursday. Police initially suspected someone with...

Fire Sparks Call to Ban Power Lines in Laguna Beach

After witnessing a brush fire in Laguna Canyon caused by a tree falling and damaging Southern California Edison power lines, Mayor Bob Whalen called Tuesday for an all-out effort to underground utilities citywide. “We can no longer risk the public safety of Laguna Beach by...

Math Teacher Delivers a Final Lesson

Although he’s got a quite a reputation as a crooner, Gary Shapiro, aka “Shap,” is not one prone to tears. Admittedly a left-brain, linear-type guy,he nearly choked up this week talking about retiring after 33 years as an advanced math teacher and class troubadour at Laguna Beach...

School Superintendent to Retire

Laguna Beach Unified School District Superintendent Sherine Smith will retire in 2016, she said during a special board meeting Wednesday to evaluate her performance. Smith informed board members of her pending retirement in April and asked them to keep the information...

Fresh Faces Add New Stories to Sawdust Festival

By Torie Hamilton, Special to the Independent An excited buzz of the crowd eagerly anticipating entrance into the Sawdust Art Festival grounds for this past Tuesday’s preview night signals a summer ritual that artists and art-enthusiasts alike look forward to. The Sawdust Art...

Academy’s Students Medal in Contest

Cho’s Academy youth martial artists studio brought home several medals at the 22nd Annual International Tae Kwon Do Festival, held May 30 in the city of Industry. With 1,300 participants from nine countries, including Korea, Philippines, Tahiti and Pakistan, the Laguna Beach...

Former Pro Surfer Held for Suspicion of Drug Dealing

  A retired professional surfer and co-founder of the Gotcha surfwear brand was arrested for suspicion of drug dealing after Laguna Beach police discovered $2,000 worth of cocaine in his home last week, police said Monday, June 22. Police charged Michael Elliot Tomson, 60,...

New Laws Require More Sewer Inspections

Homeowners planning remodels or repairs over $100,000 will have to add a video inspection of their private sewer pipe to their to-do list, under a revised sewer ordinance approved by the City Council Tuesday. It takes effect in August. To reduce sewer spills from private lines,...

Forest Closure Kicked to the Curb

Merchants effectively succeeded in lobbying to postpone a trial closure of lower Forest Avenue, though the City Council did vote Tuesday to temporarily transform six parking spaces on Forest and Ocean Avenues into outdoor dining areas for 60 days beginning in mid-September. Whole...

Summer Starts With Unusual Arrivals

  Tide-pool educator Letty Skeen was surprised to see a blanket of hundreds of bright red crabs, mostly dead, lining the shore when she arrived at Treasure Island in South Laguna on Monday, June 15. At the tide pools, she found about 20 still alive, fortunately sequestered...

Updated: Adventurous Artist Cheryl Ekstrom Dies

One of Laguna Beach’s most original creative forces, artist Cheryl Ekstrom, died Saturday, June 13, at UC Irvine Medical Center due to complications from cancer treatment begun just months earlier. She was 71. From under a wavy burgundy bob and a tiny frame, Ekstrom for more than...

Forest Closure Endangers Shops

Editor, Our City Councils in the past encouraged us to shop in Laguna Beach so why are they trying to make it impossible to shop here? I do the majority of my shopping in Laguna Beach.  Forest Avenue is a shopping mecca.  I buy my clothes at Duet, Louises, Just Looking,...