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Village Matters

Historic Preservation, Working or Not? That’s the question the Heritage Committee, Planning Commission and City Council will be struggling with in the months to come. The city’s historical preservation consultant has been examining the inventory of historic properties that was...

Pet Peeves

Farewell Thank you Michael Ray. This is my farewell after reading your column, “Surprises Behind Cuba’s Socialist Curtain.” I’m off to Cuba. I bought a 1957 Chevy, waterproofed it into a dinghy and expect to land and be met, as you describe, by low cut, skintight mini skirted...

Wisdom Workout

A Father’s Day Tribute My father lives vividly in my memory. His artistic hands, him playing the piano with starts and spurts of passion, the smell of his pipe smoke and the intensity in his eyes and the set of his jaw. How he would uncharacteristically chuckle out loud at...

Merit to Redundancy

Editor, While I understand and sometimes share City Council’s frustration with absenteeism on the Design Review Board, it would appear that the simpler and less draconian solution would be to re-institute the alternate board member system that was in place for many years, and...

Street Closure Needs a More Creative Moniker

Editor, Before the Forest Avenue Closure stirs more panic from motorists, merchants and the petition police, here are execution steps to ensure the event will give us meaningful results. A positive community experience and business receipts will ensure a successful event. Change...

A Plan in Search of a Problem

Editor, I attended a meeting at last week in which the city planner and a consultant presented plans to alter the downtown area. I have a few problems with the Forest Ave. closure. We will lose at least 50 parking spots. I want to support local business, but I am unwilling to...

Already Missing Mark Dressler

Editor, Last Sunday about 150 friends, students, and parents attended a retirement party for Mark Dressler, who has taught theater in the Laguna Beach school district for 25 years. My family started attending his plays long before our kids started high school, and I still see...

A Character’s Absence is Noted

Editor, The silver haired gentleman seen at the chessboard on main beach, occasionally with a pigeon sitting atop of his hat, has returned to his hometown of Lucca, Italy.  Said he was going so see his son in Canada on the way.  Take care, Burt; safe travels.   Duane Allee,...

The Kibitzer

Are We Premature On Street Closures? I was watching the great architect Renzo Piano discuss his new Whitney museum on Charlie Rose recently, and was struck by how he characterized the ground floor lobby and public area as a piazza, the place “where everything starts.” He went on...
Posted On 11 Jun 2015

Musings on the Coast

Surprises Behind Cuba’s Socialist Curtain When you enter most undeveloped countries, your bags are checked by rough guards armed with Uzi machine guns. When you enter Cuba, your bags are checked by unarmed, startling young women. Their uniforms are skin-tight, low cut,...
Posted On 11 Jun 2015

Taking Stock

The Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days Of Summer The stock market beat goes on. Rumors of Greece defaulting on government debt scare investors and stocks then dip. Rumors that its debt problem will somehow be restructured send the market back up. After a couple of these zigzags, stocks...

Rental Fight Echoes an Earlier Battle Over High-Rises

Editor: Billy Fried’s column last week regarding short-term lodging missed the mark.  He claims financial benefits to the owner, citing one renter who purportedly, “makes $30,000 to $40,000 a month in summer” and “does it because she needs the...

Another Round in the Visitors vs. Residents Culture Battle

Editor, I am replying to Billy Fried’s May 29th glowing endorsement of home sharing. Billy, you open your “kibitz” portraying yourself as an open-minded world traveler who supports family, intimacy, and culture but you reveal a disdain for the democratic...

Ideas to Turn a Problem Into Revenue

Editor: I suggest an ordinance to mitigate the short-term rental crisis in Laguna Beach. Such rentals are a right of the property owners, just as those living nearby have the right to the quiet enjoyment of their property. We have a bed tax in Laguna Beach. If the city collects...

Plea to Save Trees

Editor, Please come to the Laguna Beach School Board meeting June 9 at 6 p.m. to stand and speak up for the trees around Laguna Beach High School. Unfortunately many of the older palms, majestic old eucalyptus trees, some probably well over 100 years old, and many other trees...