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Category: Front Page

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Fundraiser Promises a Good Time for a Serious Cause

Fundraiser Promises a Good Time for a Serious Cause

By Donna Furey, Special to the Independent Laguna Beach residents are known for coming out to help their own. A fundraiser planned this Saturday, March 8, for the Chapman family is no exception: it’s a party promising lots of fun for a very serious cause. The event’s focal point is the eldest child of local […]

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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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Volunteers Aid Sea Lion Rescuers

Volunteers Aid Sea Lion Rescuers

Several El Toro High students helped rescuers from the Pacific Marine Mammal Center extract a malnourished sea lion pup from the rocks at Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach this past Saturday. “The El Toro students were a huge help to us in transporting the pup back over the rocks,” said Debbie MacCarter, the center’s development […]

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Where Activism and Art Converge

Where Activism and Art Converge

A black and white photograph focuses on a mother reading to her son. The caption under the image by photojournalist and author James Lerager identifies the woman as Debbie Baker, one of the countless “downwinders” affected by the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear explosion. She blamed her son’s Down syndrome on radio-active fallout and sued […]

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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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Clinic Keeps Pace as Healthcare Evolves

Clinic Keeps Pace as Healthcare Evolves

Laguna Beach Community Clinic added a new associate medical director to its roster in Dr. Jorge Rubal, though Rubal is far from new to the clinic. While a medical student at UC Irvine, he completed a rotation in family medicine at the clinic in 2005 and continued to volunteer after finishing his residency. After several […]

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Rooms Close, Displacing Homeless Back to the Street

Rooms Close, Displacing Homeless Back to the Street

One of Laguna Beach’s rare private refuges for local homeless people to find a permanent place to live was recently ordered closed by city officials, displacing five people back to the street and confounding homeless advocates. The five residents living at the row of rooms in a mobile trailer in Laguna Canyon once used as […]

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Laguna's Girls Wins CIF's Water Polo Crown

Laguna’s Girls Wins CIF’s Water Polo Crown

Girls Water Polo (30-1) Makenzie Fischer scored five goals and had five steals to help power Laguna Beach past Newport Harbor 10-7 to capture the CIF’s top tier Division I girls water polo title Saturday at Irvine’s Woollett Center. Cara Borkovec added three goals and Bella Baldridge two to round out Laguna’s scoring.  Newport played […]

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Will the Parade Go On, Weather or Not?

Will the Parade Go On, Weather or Not?

The 48th Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade is scheduled to step off at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1, from Laguna Beach High School if it’s not raining hard. The National Weather Service is predicting a “strong” storm starting Friday night and continuing into parade day. In preparation for the storm, extra city personnel will be […]

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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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Another Hat in the Ring for Laguna’s Council

Another Hat in the Ring for Laguna’s Council

Former political consultant and nearly lifelong local resident Michele Hall declared her candidacy for Laguna Beach’s City Council this week, filing a campaign organization statement, the city clerk reported. She joins Robert Zur Schmiede, chair of the city’s Planning Commission, as the only other declared candidates in the November race for three seats held by […]

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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 […]