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Neighbors to Hold Disaster Preparedness Meeting

Laguna Beach residents who live between Aliso Circle and lower Nyes Place are invited to meet with members of the Community Emergency Response Team on Saturday, Feb. 1, from 2-4 p.m. Community organizers from the city’s Disaster Preparedness Committee hope to meet with members of...

Budget Windfalls Benefit New Initiatives

A full-time bicycle patrol officer will soon pedal through downtown Laguna Beach streets thanks to fuller than expected city coffers and the approval of the City Council on Tuesday for new or increased funding in many areas. Higher than expected property, sales and bed taxes,...

New Rebates for Sun Catchers

  While a state solar rebate program has curbed interest by property owners, those wishing to install solar energy systems can still take advantage of a new program launched this year by Irvine’s Sullivan Solar Power. The Orange County Solar Program offers cash-back...

Art Studios Are Scarier Than Fires and Floods?

  The title quote is in reference to a comment by an ill-informed neighbor trying to stir up negative controversy surrounding a proposed artist work-live complex in Laguna Canyon. I am writing to dispel the fear-inciting rhetoric that a few of the neighbors have about this...

Appeal Planned Over Artists’ Work-Live Units

As if braving shopping malls, wrapping gifts, preparing holiday meals and planning family gatherings weren’t enough, last month members of the Laguna Canyon Property Association found themselves scrambling to make time for another task. They successfully organized a protest...

Tallying the Score, Great Expectations for ’14

  In assessing last year’s standout moments and what looms ahead in 2014, Laguna Beach’s elected officials differed little in their analysis about high and low points, but voiced confidence in building on accomplishments set in motion and seeing some to fruition in the next...

Development Threatens Canyon’s Rural Character

  Editor, 2013 is behind us. Memories of a city that prevented the over-development of Laguna Canyon by the Irvine Company are an even more distant memory. But look out in 2014! The Laguna Beach planning department appears to be on the verge of approving the first of what...

Amid Laguna’s Open Space, a Fresh Water Oasis

Photos and story by Ron Chilcote Through the heart of the Laguna wilderness runs Laguna Canyon Road. Historically a major access to Laguna Beach, it was originally dirt and gravel and later a paved, twisting two- and three-lane road through the canyon. Now it is two lanes each...

Longi-Project Improvements

Editor, [This letter was originally delivered to the members of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission] I have been a Laguna Beach resident of over 40years and have been following the Longi project for the last year. I must give the developer credit for making some of the requested...

Distilling Majesty on Canvas

By Liz Goldner, Special to the Independent While on location in the Grand Canyon this past autumn, painting a commissioned work, Laguna Beach’s Fitz Maurice found her creative efforts stymied by an unmovable force. She awoke on Oct. 1 to discover the Grand Canyon National Park,...

Live-Work Project Erodes Canyon’s Character

Editor, Please come to the Planning Commission meeting Nov. 13 at 6 p.m. and express your views about the planned 30-unit apartment style housing project that looks like a dormitory right in the middle of our rural, primarily residential, neighborhood. This part of the canyon has...

Proposal Skirts Policies of Canyon Plan

Editor, While almost every Laguna resident supports the concept of artists’ work/live projects, very few support the massive and architecturally inappropriate project being considered for 20412 Laguna Canyon Road. It is important to review the history of Laguna Canyon as set...

‘93’s Arsonist Never Caught

By Loreen Berlin, Special to the Independent Twenty years ago this month, a savage fire devoured 14,000 acres of Laguna Canyon wilderness and ravaged multiple neighborhoods. The fire that destroyed 391 homes and threatened more than 1,000 others at the time was believed to be the...

Officer’s Body Receives a Royal Escort

A large motorcade of law enforcement officers escorted the body of Laguna Beach police Officer Jon Coutchie back to familiar turf in Laguna Beach on Tuesday, two days after his death in the line of duty as a result of a traffic collision, police said. The entire department was...

Canyon’s Beauty Lost in the Discussion

Editor, One of the public comments at the last City Council meeting addressed William Wendt’s appreciation of beauty (as it relates to the village entrance project), which seemed to conjure images of conflicting views on beauty in Laguna Beach.  An excellent essay by Will South...