renaissance

Musings on the Coast

Arts School Survives Early Setbacks   A high school music teacher named Ralph Opacic founded the Orange County High School of the Arts (OCHSA) in 1987.  By the late 1990s, it had some 400 students and was at an excess school site in Los Alamitos. When the local school...
Posted On 20 Oct 2011

Musings on the Coast

The Homecoming   My second daughter Garbrielle, 19, went off to her first year of college in August. She is at Lewis & Clark in Portland, not that far away, but it feels like forever. We knew we would miss her terribly and we did. But she called often and told us all...
Posted On 13 Oct 2011

Musings on the Coast

Midnight Encounter   It was a strangely Laguna night last Friday, but it began in Newport. There was a political fund-raiser for Suhkee Kang, who is running for Congress in a district that includes Laguna Beach. Suhkee, currently the moderate mayor of Irvine, is running against...
Posted On 29 Sep 2011

Musings on the Coast

Tribute to a Tragedy This last Sunday in Heisler Park, precisely at 11 a.m. on Sept. 11, the 10-year dedication began with bagpipes playing and the assembled crowd silent. The ceremony was to commemorate the official unveiling of artist Jorg Dubin’s 9/11 sculpture. It features...
Posted On 14 Sep 2011

Musings on the Coast

Graceful Endings and Transitions In my last column, I wrote about the founding of the Taco Bell Discovery Science Center (DSC) in Santa Ana.   Its founders were my brother Walkie and his wife Janet. A week before the official opening, City Manager Dave Ream called for advice...
Posted On 31 Aug 2011

Musings on the Coast

Art Outcasts Envision a New Venture  Over the years, I have been involved in many non-profits whose influence continues to reach every corner of the county, successes that often sprang from adversity. This column and others to follow will tell some of their surprising histories....
Posted On 05 Aug 2011

Musings on the Coast

Cousin Darold From Kansas   Cousin Darold Longhofer and his wife, Barbara, arrived from Kansas the other day. He was here on business, but also pleasure, so he brought Barb. It had been more than 20 years since he had visited California and he was not impressed.   “Too damn...
Posted On 15 Jul 2011

Musings on the Coast

Just Do It We each measure our own aging in various fashions, mostly by ascertaining what we no longer can do. For me, it is body-boarding, a type of surfing I love.  In each of the last 12 years, I have made a deliberate trip to my favorite island, Kauai, and favorite surfing...
Posted On 16 Jun 2011

Musings on the Coast

My Son the Football Player My son Harrison is a football player and I have failed.  He is only 16 and I never meant this to happen.  He is gentle, kind and a musician, and is the family peacemaker.  After all, his two siblings are older girls and though they were a bit hard on...
Posted On 02 Jun 2011

Musings on the Coast

The Return Of The Dolphins I live in north Laguna and have kayaked from there for some 20 years.  I cast off from Diver’s or Fisherman’s Cove, push beyond the shoals, then turn north to Emerald Bay. If feeling strong, I paddle all the way to Irvine Cove. Heading north, usually I...
Posted On 19 May 2011

Musings on the Coast

The Libertarian Blues   The most famous libertarian in American history probably is Ayn Rand, whose institute is based in Irvine. During the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s, she wrote a series of novels about how big government is inherently evil. Two of her books, “The Fountainhead”...

Musings on the Coast

It Can’t Happen Here By Michael Ray We do not think it can happen here. I live above Diver’s Cove in a house that is at an elevation a good 50 feet above the ocean.  Let me be specific.   My house is on a lip of land 20 feet above Cliff Drive, which runs below the house; on the...

Musings From the Coast

The Autumn by My Discontent Spring is in the air. I can feel it.  Things are looking up.  But I cannot get with it.  I’m not there, not yet. I’m still stuck in a time warp dating back to the fall of 2009, 18 months ago. Then, on Sept. 2, the ocean temperature was an unheard of 78...