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The Spin Stops Here

Rob Zur Schmiede’s detractors have taken great pains to spin his experience and accomplishments to convince us he is not qualified to be a council person.   Contrary to the spin doctors spin, Rob’s achievements, in over 36 years of toil in both private and public sectors, more...

Democracy’s Most Valuable Real Estate: the Voting Booth

Editor: As election day nears, I am pinching myself yet again.  While our process of electing leaders is far from perfect, it is way ahead of what’s in second place. Voting is, at its core, the acting out of one of America’s deepest ideals. No one said it better than...

Musing on the Coast

Our Masks I went to Harvard. It was summer school between my sophomore and junior years at Occidental College.   At the time, almost anyone could get in if you paid the tuition and showed up. It was no big deal. But for a time when asked where I went to college, I sometimes would...

Former Executive Indicted for Insider Trading

A federal grand jury indicted the former chief executive officer of an Orange County medical device company on insider trading charges Wednesday, Sept. 24, the Department of Justice announced. James V. Mazzo, 57, of Laguna Beach, the chief executive officer of Santa Ana-based...

Musings on the Coast

Riding the Moment   There is an old surfer’s proverb that goes like this:  “It’s the same old story.  You gotta cop it sweet.”  In surfing terms, it means when the time is right, go for it.  When the waves are big, surf.  When some other circumstance looks good, go for that, too....

Oil for Troubled Waters  American consumers have been unusually restrained over the past five years. The financial crisis shook complacency in reliable real estate investment. It destroyed many jobs, some gone forever. Computers are taking over many functions, boosting busine...

View Properties Add Value to Neighboring Homes

Editor, Thursday, the City Council held a meeting to present and discuss their latest version of a badly needed view preservation restoration ordinance.  The meeting was well attended, mostly by citizens who have had their precious view sheds destroyed by neighbors with overgrown...

Mayor Provides a Snap Shot

In her final state of the city address, Laguna Beach Mayor Elizabeth Pearson painted a detailed portrait of the city’s economy and shifting demographics, which is both aging and shrinking. She also drew some eye-opening conclusions about where the town stands today in...

Attack of the Drones

The pace of technological change is accelerating.   We know that.  There is too much money to be won.  Some 21-year old kid in Irvine just sold a virtual reality headset invention for $2 billion. It is the same everywhere, not just the Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, but also the...
Posted On 18 Apr 2014

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...

Driving While Black

The evening before the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday, I dined with my friend William.  We met in the bleachers at our sons’ high school games. He is about 45, medium build and black.  If I were politically correct, I would use the term African-American, but I am not....
Posted On 21 Feb 2014

Swayed by an Outdated Stereotype

One of the most unsettling things about Orange County is we tend to believe our own bad PR.  We tend to believe we are “the sticks.” We are backward. The most intelligent, well-educated, successful people do not live here. They live in New York, London, Paris, Silicon Valley,...
Posted On 09 Jan 2014

Musings on the Coast

The Coming Revolution In Education Lately, it has become fashionable to bash the value of a college education.   This is because recent graduates cannot get jobs.  There aren’t many jobs and the unemployment rate for newly minted graduates in the U.S. is about 20%.   We are...
Posted On 27 Nov 2013

Speaker’s Corner: Machievelli and the Village Entrance

  Five hundred years ago, Italian author and of modern political science Niccolò Machievelli wrote the seminal classic, “The Prince,” promoting “the ends justify the means” to achieve political objectives – a philosophy frowned upon by those who believe in fair...

Land Deal May Open ‘Gateway’ for Town’s Entry

For the past decade, most residents paid little attention to undeveloped property near the Art-a-Fair grounds at 725 Laguna Canyon Road. If pressed, they might recall purchasing a Christmas tree there, watching brush-clearing goats at work or seeing it overflow with the parked...