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Ethnic Twists Season Laguna’s New Dining Choices

  For a town already wealthy in dining options, Laguna Beach will soon get a little richer. Four new additions to the restaurant scene will further season local menus with the addition of empanadas, Italian seafood and spicy noodles. Originally slated to open last December,...
Posted On 28 Jun 2015

Angling for Entry Ideas on Foot

“Think about the feeling of this area,” Susan Harden told about 40 people, urging them to absorb how they react to Laguna Beach’s most contentious downtown real estate as they walked towards the Laguna Canyon art festival sites. The unusual field trip to the corner of...

New, Familiar Faces Heed Sawdust Festival’s Call

  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 Festival returns for its 49th summer in...

Retirement Prompts Department Shuffle

Two city departments will undergo reorganization at the end of the year due to the pending retirement of the longtime public works department director. The City Council signed off on the transition last week when approving the city budget. Public Works Director Steve May will...

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...

Permits for Short-term Rentals Still on Hold

Anyone hoping to earn some extra cash by renting out space in their home this summer to short term visitors will have to make other plans if they want to go about it legally. The City Council Tuesday voted 4-1, with Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow dissenting, to extend for 90 days a...

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...

Trees Receive Reprieve

Despite an earlier decision to uproot them, the school board unanimously voted to leave intact 28 newly planted eucalyptus trees on a slope surrounding the high school athletic field Tuesday. Due to growing controversy surrounding the young saplings, the board’s move...

Fire Fears Smother Hopes for Dream Home

Jae “Randy” Song paid $685,000 for a bucolic 12-acre lot in Canyon Acres at a bank auction in 2010. Assurances from the previous owner and various city officials that he would have “no problem” rebuilding on the footprints of the original home and...

Schools Budget Grows by 7%

With a 4 percent across-the-board employee pay raise scheduled, the Laguna Beach Unified School District board approved a $52.9 million budget for the coming fiscal year, which includes a 7 percent jump in revenue, according to a preliminary report. Budget growth is due to a 6.6...

Pageant Pursues Happiness Across Every Era

By Torie Hamilton, Special to the Independent “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and—the pursuit of happiness,” booms narrator Richard...

Claims Over Coutchie’s Death Now Uncertain

The parents of a Laguna Beach police officer who died on duty two years ago in a traffic collision this week asked the Orange County Superior Court to dismiss the wrongful death lawsuit they filed against the driver of the other vehicle and two other defendants. Luciana and...