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Category: Front Page

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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 […]

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Updated Breaker Report:

Updated Breaker Report:

Five-Sport Sweep is a School First Laguna experienced a first in their sports history as all five winter squads qualified for post-season play, hosted their initial post-season contests and won their initial events. Four of the teams went on to host second round contests. Boys Basketball (23-5, 10-0) Laguna takes Two in Playoffs For the […]

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Project Czar, Paying for Pensions Top City Priorities

Project Czar, Paying for Pensions Top City Priorities

Coordination of Laguna Beach’s many initiatives and paying for pension costs surfaced as priorities at the City Council’s recent planning retreat. At a time when many of the hot-button projects begun in the last year have yet to be finalized, it comes as no surprise that Council members largely opted to stay the course and […]

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A Soloist’s Closing Coda

A Soloist’s Closing Coda

It’s not a headstone or even a permanent marker, but a sentimental sendoff written in a storefront window last week that publicly signaled the death of a longtime homeless Laguna Beach street musician. Clifford Harrison Mabra Jr. spent the last several years playing tenor saxophone almost daily in a downtown alley, just feet away from […]

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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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 Operator Error

Operator Error

A 62-year-old woman escaped injury this past Wednesday, Feb. 19, after unintentionally driving her car backwards through a chain link fence and into a drainage channel in downtown Laguna Beach, police said. The woman refused medical care and took a cab home, leaving a tow truck to extract her battered convertible Mercedes coup from the […]

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 Artist Units Follow the Footsteps of Animal Clinic

Artist Units Follow the Footsteps of Animal Clinic

The campaign over the hotly debated artists’ work/live project on Laguna Canyon Road continues unabated, with opponents and proponents each sending missives in anticipation of a City Council hearing next month over local sculptor Louis Longi’s proposal. In a twist little known outside the canyon neighborhood, the project was made possible by one of its […]

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Historical Society Spotlights a Modern Icon

Historical Society Spotlights a Modern Icon

Local author and resident Paul Holmes presents a program based on his book, “Hobie: Master of Water, Wind and Waves,” for the Laguna Beach Historical Society in City Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25. The biography on the life and career of Hobi Alter, one of the town’s most iconic figures, whose innovation shaped […]

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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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Work-Out Addict Sweats to Educate Girls

Work-Out Addict Sweats to Educate Girls

By Robin Pierson, Special to the Independent Five mornings a week, promptly at 8 a.m., Carl Brown, lean and focused, begins his yoga class beneath whatever sky the day has brought in the public park north of Laguna Beach’s Montage resort. For more than seven years, the former communications executive has led free or donation-based […]

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Buying In to a Commute Without Keys

Buying In to a Commute Without Keys

Ideas on how to induce more people to use Laguna Beach’s $2.2 million public transit system as a way to tame downtown congestion grabbed the limelight at a public workshop on Monday. About 60 residents showed up at the Susi Q Center to offer feedback following an analysis of Laguna’s buses, summer trolleys, taxi voucher […]

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 Excavating a Vault in Laguna's History

Excavating a Vault in Laguna’s History

Even as Laguna Beach’s shoreline evokes images of hidden coves rather than buried treasures, a forgotten landmark was recently unearthed during restoration of an Ocean Avenue building, originally home to the now defunct Laguna Federal Savings and Loan Association. The project team knew of a wall-size fountain turned off long ago when a courtyard receded […]

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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. […]