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Three More Years of This?

By Billy Fried

We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. – Elie Wiesel

It didn’t take me long to come out of retirement, because I could not sit idly by, week after week, and watch Councilman Peter Blake engage in such contemptible behavior. After all, he credited my radio interview as one of the reasons he was elected to City Council. Now I want to make amends to the community for the egregious mistake of giving him that platform.

Peter positioned himself as a righteously indignant reformer. We were rooting for him, and hoping that the occasional displays of incivility during the campaign were just anomalies – theatrics to get elected. But none of us could have known that he would play the victim over and over again, raining bile on anyone who dared voice a different opinion. He seems to see every criticism as a personal attack that somehow must be vindicated with cruel insults and unbridled smears.

Let’s start with the police car flag graphic debacle, which he escalated to the national stage with his pandering on Fox News. Anyone who knows the “minimalist” Peter Blake knows that the over-the-top flag graphic is anathema to his aesthetic. But it gave him an opportunity to take down people who had challenged him in the past, and to smear our entire town, telling Fox viewers it was all because “Laguna is the most liberal town in the most liberal state.” Yeah, we’re just like Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco. Thanks for bating the left-haters, who came out in droves to besmirch our town and threaten residents who spoke against the graphic.

When I informed Peter that I was having Carrie Woodburn on my radio show to share her experience of being victimized by such rhetoric, he listened in, and then texted me, “This is complete f***ing bulls**t. F*** both of you!” I allowed him to call in, and he bombed the show with apoplectic profanities. I had to cut him off. He made it clear that Carrie wasn’t the victim. He was. It must be hard going through life with such a boulder on your shoulder.

But this pales compared to Peter’s regular attacks on fellow Councilmember Toni Iseman’s mental fitness, or wardrobe and face shaming members of the public who show up week after week to make their voices heard. They don’t attack back, because they know that criticizing others is just crying over unmet needs.

But there he is, trolling the pages of social media and this paper, week after bloody week, calling anyone who disagrees with him “radical extremists” of the left or right, as if members of Village Laguna or the Republican Taxpayers Association are flame-throwing anarchists. And that he is taking the town back from the dreaded hippies or activists, as if there’s something wrong with that. I know public service is brand new to Blake, but hippies and activists got us out of Vietnam, and got equal rights for blacks, gays and women.

But the most surreal display came at the Council meeting when a full agenda item was dedicated to reigning in Peter’s behavior. There he sat for an hour and a half, listening to the public and his four colleagues recount episode after episode of vile attacks and reprehensible behavior.

He was advised by each councilperson before the meeting to be quiet and listen, and he almost made it, but at the last second, instead of showing one iota of remorse, he went on the offensive, shouting “I take back nothing and stand by every word I said.” This was the tipping point for me that clearly revealed he is unfit for office.

Here’s the thing, Peter. You can do whatever you want in the private sector. But there’s a reason they call it public service, and that you are called a public servant. It means that you can be criticized. In fact, I’ve challenged every single veteran councilperson on the dais over one decision or another, and never have they hit back with an attack of any kind. Because it comes with the job. But you are clearly incapable of the high moral and ethical grounds required of such a position.

You continually say you are representing the silent majority. I don’t believe you are. You got 25 percent of the voting public, and many of them are now repulsed by your behavior. The ones who still support you, while well meaning I’m sure, are simply ignoring how civil society works and the damage you are doing.

Why have I waited this long to speak up? I guess I was somehow hoping you would change. But I’ve now seen that asking you to get your impulses under control is futile.

Even though I can no longer vote in this town, I can still use my voice to encourage everyone else to remove Peter Blake from office. We deserve so much better.

Billy Fried hosts “Laguna Talks” on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. on KX93.5 and can be reached at [email protected]

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34 COMMENTS

  1. RE: Billy Freid:
    Please tell me why this writer is permitted to be published when he doesn’t live in this town, and causing toxicity. Can we close the book on this guy?

  2. Peter Blake is the only conservative voice we have in our town.. like him or not, (and I do) I think he is doing a great job of trying to bring a little balance back to the town as far as progress or lack thereof.

  3. Thanks for coming out of retirement and engaging us in yet another one of your self-absorbed diatribes. I can’t say you, or your “column” was missed. Thank you for attempting to “make amends to the community for the egregious mistake to give me a platform” Yes, I do credit that interview for helping me win the election but you shouldn’t feel any remorse. It had nothing to do with you or your “radio show” It was the first time the community could hear from me what my views were and how I envisioned the future for Laguna. It was unrehearsed and raw. Not the usual political grandstanding that the residents were accustomed to. They were yearning for honesty and transparency and a voice that represented their views. They heard one loud and clear and voted for me. The podcast was the most listened to in the history of the station. Wonder why? Sorry, but it wasnt because of you or your enlightened bigotry.

    Yes, I positioned myself as a “righteously indignant reformer” and that’s exactly what I am. You’re wrong about my “displays of incivility during the campaign were just anomalies– theatrics to get elected” I was being myself and fighting back against ruthless political opponents. Their incivilities prompted my incivilities back in defense of my reputation. “Victim” I have never played a victim in my life and never will. Maybe you’re projecting?

    Of course, you would bring up the flag on the police cars. Sorry, but even “minimalists” love their country and the flag that represents it. I know it was painful for you and others in your group to imagine the flag on a government vehicle, driven by government employees. Left-wing extremists like yourself lost it over the thought of having the Stars and Stripes proudly displayed. Toni Iseman referred to the Council Chambers the night of the meeting as “Tyranny” She exclaimed that she warned her supporters to “stay home for their safety” Hmm… her political twin Anne Christoph was there all night and her boss Johanna Felder came by later. I guess it was safe enough for them? As far as me “bating the left-haters” to come out and threaten the residents, that’s absurd! Billy, Laguna has changed over the last few decades. We’re more moderate than we used to be. You wouldn’t know that given you surround yourself with the radical left who share your socialist views.

    You never informed me of your interview with Carrie. I happened to be listening to it and heard your outrageous lies. I called and texted and yes, they weren’t friendly. I also had an attorney call me who also was less than impressed with your recollection of the facts. She threatened to sue you and the station removed your “interview” and we haven’t heard from you on the air since. Sorry, I can’t say I’ve missed your show.

    My attacks on Toni Iseman? Are they one-sided? Toni revels in calling me a bully every chance she gets up on the dais. She has enabled this false narrative to resonate with her supporters who have bullied Council and City Hall for decades. They’re just not used to the tables turning. They’re grasping at straws to figure out how to maintain their stranglehold over Laguna Beach politics. I’m in their way and they’re not having it. Too bad!

    Here I am again “trolling the pages of social media and this paper” making sure that liars like yourself don’t slander and libel me unabated. I actually get to defend myself online while your bullshit “column” is being read in the paper by people who don’t know what you’re all about and how politicized your views are. Please spare me your virtue signaling about “hippies and activists” and everything they did in the past. I’m so tired of hearing about how Village Laguna has saved us from ourselves since the ’70s. This is 2019!

    So the Code of Conduct meeting was surreal for you? Yes, I sat through an hour and a half while Village Laguna and other political activists had their way with me. I listened to all of their bullshit and then proceeded to express myself the way the constitution of this country allows me to. I owned every word I’d ever said and apologized for nothing because I didn’t feel the need to. Billy, you claim that “this was the tipping point for you that clearly revealed I am unfit for office” Really? Standing up for my constitutional rights to political expression and not allowing my political opponents to suppress me is a sign that I’m unfit for office? Are you really that big of an idiot?

    Sorry, but I’m not the “public servant” that allows anyone to attack my reputation without a response. I made it clear during the campaign and will continue to defend myself as long as I’m an elected official representing this community. You can continue to “challenge” any of my colleagues. Maybe they respect you enough to not respond. I don’t!

    I do represent the “silent majority” They’re the ones who pay the bulk of the property tax that fuels our 100 million dollar budget. It’s not the Village Laguna activists that pay next to nothing and demand full control. I have not only lost very few supporters but have gained support exponentially since the election. These are the residents who feel that they finally have a say in how this community is run. They’re far from “repulsed by my behavior” and do not consider my efforts on their behalf as the “damage I am doing”. They’re thrilled with having more respect at City Hall, no more disrespect from Design Review, no more coddling of the homeless, and property rights are becoming a given and no longer an option doled out to cronies of the established power brokers.

    Why have you waited so long to express yourself? Is it because no one gives a shit about your views and opinions? As a nonresident who uses our natural resources for financial gain, you sure have a pompous view of your importance. You’re also smart enough to know the 300 extremists and 30 gadflies that show up to every Council meeting can’t win a recall election against me. If you really believed they could, then all of you would have your pens and pads out collecting signatures and preparing a candidate to run against me. Why aren’t you? We both know the answer. Don’t we?

    Keep wasting your time Billy. Go find a safe space, rub one of your crystals and dry your tears. I’ve got three more years and I’m not changing a thing about the way I govern and represent my constituents.

    Get over it!

  4. Who said that irony died on 9/11?
    Here we have a person that spent this past decade constantly chastising our community, pontificating from a bully media pulpit, telling residents like myself (going on 48 years in Laguna) both who & what we should be.
    A hectoring, pedantic transplant from Baltimore, someone wealthy enough to put a daughter through school in Europe, build a vacation home in Mexico, travel ceaselessly, now what exactly does he have in common with the hoi-polloi of Laguna?
    And didn’t it seem like every other column was written while he was either (a) Going on a vacation to some remote, exotic place, (b) Was on vacation in some remote, exotic place, or (c) Just came back from the aforementioned?
    One could assert that he was never more than a carpetbagger, half the year he wasn’t even in town…..now he lives in another coastal city, and he just can’t help himself: He’s still lecturing us.
    This column (I assume) is a “mea culpa” expression of remorse and act of contrition?
    If he truly believes what he just wrote, why should we trust his judgment now, his admission of poor foresight isn’t exactly promising, is it?
    Just go away, ok? Do what you do best: Try to convince that new city of your creative worthiness, reinvent wherever you’ve moved.
    Those of us who grew up around here, from the surf tribe, we KNEW that you talked the talk, couldn’t walk the walk.
    Dude, you are, like, ya know, like totally bogus. That’s why you found so little resonance or traction here: Not because you’re a visionary. Because we So Cal coastal beach rats know a phony when we see one.
    You came here for commerce, exploit our beach enviro-vibe, a legend in your own mind who sought worshippers, and since that didn’t work out lobbing salvos now after the horse has already left the barn is pretty weak.
    I track the news both local, national and globally: I turned on CNN this am, and whattya know, whattya say, apparently God did NOT die and leave you in charge.
    Bon voyage, bro’!

  5. Hey Peter the Patriot, wow I didn’t see that coming. Triggering you is as hard as clubbing baby seals. And Roger, thank you for writing such a wonderful and detailed eulogy about my life. If I need a biographer, I know who to call.

  6. It takes more than stringing words together in a free media outlet whose hardcopies end up either in the trash or being run over in the driveway to lend merit to calling oneself a published author—kind of a stretch, dontchathink?
    And that Le Ponseur profile photo, as if you’re mulling over deeply spiritual, the path-less-taken thoughts whilst driving stoned to corporate-riddled, commercially passe Burning Man, where you’ll get even more fuzzy?
    Truth is you bailed, dude, you’re a quitter—– if you REALLY loved this berg you would have stayed & fought for it—-You refuse to admit that you came here to milk, to exploit that “Wow, I’m like your really totally cool bud, Laguna bro” schtick. Didn’t work out like you planned, huh?
    You anointed yourself as a visionary leader, didn’t you? So what separates, makes self-righteous you superior to those you criticize? That’s hypocrisy.
    No amount of “Om Hare Tao” bull, smoking dope and sitting in a drum circle, a venture/entrepreneurial capitalist wrapping himself in PC green paper, posing as a pillar, a promulgator and regulator of cultural wisdom, could ever convince a coastal So Cal native that you were providing leadership, genuine, a truly giving soul with no expectation of receiving ka-ching.
    You’re as superficial as those you’ve chastised.
    And c’mon, pretty easy to bully, lob grenades, tell us now that you screwed up by empowering PB that you’re contrite, all from a safe distance, isn’t it?
    You think that you’re hip? Well, as Ken Kesey said, you’re either on the bus or off the bus—physically and metaphorically. You surrendered whatever commitment rights you had, to be trusted, to have an opinion and hope for respect, when you left.
    And you’re welcome—–can I invoice you for the eulogy, ’cause you do seem to have a pretty secure fiscal situation? Inheritance, trust fund? Must be, your business acumen, in surf vernacular, is like pretty sketchy dude. Totally sketchy sketch.

  7. Peter Blake continues to offer his diagnosis at City Council meetings of Councilwoman Toni Iseman’s mental incapacity.

    Well done Mr. Blake. You continue to show the citizens of Laguna Beach and your fellow City Council members, that there is no bottom to the depths that you are willing to sink to with your vile vitriol and behavior unbecoming a civil servant.

    Mr. Blake, is not dispensing medical advise, in public no less, without a medical license, a crime in California?

    Criminal Penalties in CA for Practicing Medicine Without a License (Business & Professions Code 2052)

    1. Misdemeanor (summary) probation;
    2. Up to one (1) year in county jail; and/or.
    2. A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).

    Your rude, crass, and disparaging public comments against Councilperson Iseman sure sound like slander to a layperson like me.

    Perhaps she’ll contact her attorney and take legal action???

    I along with many others sure hope so.

    #RecalPeterBlake

  8. Nice try Bruce! I never offered up a “diagnosis” or “dispensed medical advice” I simply mentioned that I believe that something isn’t right. I have a right as a resident and a Councilman to express my concerns. Call them what you want. I could care less! I’ve known Toni Iseman for 20 years and have worked with her closely over the last year and a half and believe that something could be wrong. It is my fiduciary responsibility to protect the 23,000 residents of my community. I’d be remiss if I didn’t voice my concerns. The definition of Cognitive Impairment is when a person has trouble remembering, learning new things, concentrating, or making decisions that affect their everyday life. Cognitive impairment ranges from mild to severe. Maybe you should watch some Council meetings and see for yourself. A 20-year incumbent and career politician should not be asking the questions she’s asking and making the comments that she does. Maybe she’s playing dumb as a political maneuver?

  9. Thank you Billy for finally nailing down what Peter is doing. He’s playing the victim card. When you don’t have any facts to back yourself up, you scream victim and lash out at anyone asking for facts. It’s a good thing Peter is a white male or he would use whatever he was and accuse those of simply disagreeing with him as, pick the insult, racist, misoginist, homophobic etc. At least he is the “minority class” and can only claim that we are unfair to actually criticize his lack of facts, details or knowledge other than his gut on a subject. Anyone who disagrees with the great Oz is subject to his onslaughts. Sad really, that a grown man needs to play victim. I await the attack back Peter because you just can’t help yourself————-

  10. I feel left out that I, regarding Peter Blake as embodying everything that’s wrong with our current politics, have yet to be insulted by him. Yes, PB, I’m a tasteless frump who belongs to Village Laguna. Moreover, I can’t claim to be one of the Young Minds who’ll take our town into the future, since I first moved to Laguna as a child in 1946. Insult away.

  11. Ladies and gentlemen- he just cannot help himself. I voted for him and that was a mistake- I had no idea of his mean-spiritedness, of his delight in cutting down others, of his self aggrandizement. I had really hoped for a fresh voice on the CC, not a bully that excuses & justifies his behavior at every turn. Every Sunday my family and I try learn how to be better neighbors, and I know Laguna will learn and grow from this.

  12. Still drinking Timothy Leary’s kool-aid? Haven’t the effects worn off yet? It’s been 50 years! Stop clutching on to what you lost in the last election. Isn’t it obvious the days of your ironfisted control of Laguna are over? You’re scrambling to form new groups (Laguna Matters, Laguna Residents First) It’s the same shit, different name. Longtime desciples struggling to understand the losses. Bonni, Johanna, Anne, Charlotte, Barbara. How can this be happening? The bottom line is that the days of all of you obstructionist hippies running roughshod over Laguna are over and you know it. Toni, your mouthpiece on the Dais loses vote after vote while her phone buzzes all night. Isn’t it obvious? No one’s buying into it anymore! Now you’ve had to align yourselves with ruthless activists like Michelle Monda and MJ Abraham to inject DC style dirty politics into the mix. Local Council gadflies George, John, Ruben, Michael, Leah are coming in with scripted manifestos trying to save the day. The fearmongering tactics of yesteryear aren’t working. Now what? Blame Peter! He’s done this by playing the victim! (what a joke) Blame the PAC! Every week it’s something new and meanwhile, Village Laguna is close to being relegated to the history books. The residents are done with all of you. You have my word that by the time my term is up, I will have rendered Village Laguna obsolete. That includes VL’s proxy groups Cando, South Laguna Civic Association, TOWNA, Temple Hills Community Association and any other obstructionist groups attempting to disrespect the resident’s property rights. The days of 300 activists paying next to nothing in property tax and demanding control over those who do is over! Keep writing your pathetic posts on social media. The residents aren’t listening and they’re definitely not falling for it. Looking forward to 2020!!

  13. Wow, even after he foul mouthed message this guy leaves on an answering machine, he continues to insult people in writing, publicly. You’d think he would have learned by now. I thought that meeting they had covered the expected behaviors of publicly elected officials? Was insulting citizens not part of it? Really?

  14. Hey petty Petey,

    Long time resident – first time poster.

    I fully understand that you accepted exorbitant amount of money from developers in order to push their agenda forward. This is nothing new, and you certainly were not the first politician in the pockets of private interest. 

    I know you’re a transplant from New York, but back in the 90’s some developers wanted to create a new toll road through Laguna canyon. Also, some other developers had big plans to create an airport out of the El Toro base. Take a wild guess who spearheaded the campaign to ‘Save Laguna Canyon’ and No-toll Roads in Laguna Canyon – our friends from Village Laguna!

    I think you can respect, even with your pro-development and screw everything that was Laguna prior 2000 belligerent feelings toward Village Laguna, that having airplanes buzzing over your head while your trying to push your pompous contemporary artwork would not be good for your gallery. 

    I’m assuming you live in town, and would you like to have the Museum Hotel / Cleo Project or the other Honacker monstrosities built on the road you drive everyday? 

    You come off as a real tough-guy keyboard warrior. Basically the epitome of a coward that tries to mad dog people into submission. In actuality, your just Kook with a major power trip.

  15. Wow is right! The “foul-mouthed message” was left by a mentally unstable, substance abuser named Lorene Laguna. She posted on Nextdoor that I had told her I was a cocaine dealer back in the 90s when I worked the door at Romeo Cuccina with Steve Dicterow. Maybe that’s acceptable for you but it isn’t for me. I left her a message that was meant to inform her as to just how unacceptable her accusation was. I would do it again! “Jenn” the only “thing I’ve learned by now” is that my ruthless political opponents will say and do anything they can to regain the influence they lost when I was elected. The Code of Conduct ordinance that was passed and I voted for, does not supersede the constitution. I have the right to defend myself and will never stop expressing myself as I see fit.

  16. Hey Peter, I appreciate your denials of ever having consumed, sold, or even been in the vicinity of cocaine while working at a restaurant in Laguna in the eighties. So in the interest of transparency, can you share what your relationship with alcohol has been through the years? Asking for 24,900.

  17. Billy, since moving to Laguna Beach in the late 80’s I had never consumed, sold, bought or been around the consumption of cocaine. It was a drug I had done in the early 80’s on the east coast but I never got along with it. I don’t knowingly socialize with people who do cocaine. Most people who know me know how I feel about cocaine. It’s a terrible drug. I want nothing to do with it or the people who do it.

    I have always owned the fact that I drank and smoked pot for 35 years. I woke up one morning 6 years ago and decided I was done and never looked back. I have been around both substances many times since then but have never felt compelled to indulge in either. I’ll let you and the 24,900 know if that changes. I don’t have an issue with anyone who drinks or smokes. Many of my closest friends do.

  18. Why go cold turkey and not have an occasional drink? Would you say you had a problem with alcohol? Did you seek help in quitting? Go through 12 step? Any introspection about what sets off your anger and abusive behavior? Hopefully we can help you sort this out.

  19. Jeez, you 2 gurlz need to stop the cat fight, you 2 lightweights put down the pillows, maybe consider getting a room?
    Either of you ever actually been in a real street scrum, fought for your life?
    Meanwhile, I was forwarded the link to a new, unorthodox-looking blog on Sunday the 10th, too edgy, aggressive and glaringly provocative to be VL, CANDO, LB Chat et al that Pope Peter The First named, visually sort of ominously “fugly”?
    TOXIC-LAGUNA dot ORG
    I posted a comment, going to check back now and then, see if I’m blocked for being critical.
    I’m a proud USMC, Vietnam-era veteran, I was in my own way celebrating the Corps birthday when it hit my iPad, but took a minute to go full screen on my MAC, browse, because being an enviro-analyst and 22 year NGO rep (Clean Water Now), I mistakenly thought it was an alert about pollutants, gross contamination somewhere in town.
    Surprised by the provocative content up and online at launch, kinda mildly disturbed at the quasi-violent appearance/tone, not sure how/why it’ll be worth following or even have fans.
    Pacifists will be repulsed, those roasted outraged and perhaps vindictive? Maybe that’s the purpose, just what the doctor ordered for an angry place, read/ingest the posts and try not to barf due to an over-dose of yet more controversy?
    Then I realized the blogger(s) are right in one sense: Laguna has become a divisively toxic, verbal shooting gallery, mirroring Washington D.C. (or City Council or the comments section in local online media). Can a poisonous blog cure a toxic town, like chemotherapy for cancer?

  20. Billy, I went through a phase a couple of years earlier where I decided to get healthier and started eating right. As time went on, it didn’t make sense to drink and smoke while I was transitioning to becoming a vegan and feeling great. The healthier I got, the harder it was to process the foods I wasnt eating anymore. I was becoming interested in getting high on clarity and felt like exploring life without any substances that could interfere with my goal. I did not seek help in quitting and have never attended a 12 step program or counseling. As far as “introspection about what sets off my anger and abusive behavior” it usually stems from pompous assholes like you wasting my time responding to ignorant posts meant to impugn my reputation.

    Am I “helping you sort this out”?

  21. Because your anger and abusive behavior well predates your run as councilman. And if you haven’t done the work to address the underlying issues of your rage, then going sober doesn’t change a thing.

  22. I know that one day, when you’ve done the work, you will apologize to everyone. It’s a long road but you can get there.

  23. Billy Fried, thank you for the apology. I have to admit that I was shocked to read this! I thought for sure you were in the Blake/Developer turn Laguna into Newport Beach or his hometown NY camp. Very pleased that you finally came to your senses and admit that it was a major mistake by giving him such a platform in our town. I see he turned on you as he does everyone eventually. Unfortunately, Laguna Beach residents are the ones now suffering from having a council representative that is considered damaged goods and is selling out our town. Sad day in LB!
    When I heard him share publicly his deep concern that his co-council Toni Iseman may be suffering from a cognitive impairment (btw – he uses this term when he feels threatened by older women, trust me I know!), and even supplied a description of it, it got me to thinking about the behavior he displays that as a constituent I am concerned about too. Over a year of observing Councilman Blake’s need for constant self-promotion, aggressive public outbursts and resorting to childish name-calling and demeaning residents who don’t agree with him, could he be suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder? You know him better than I and would be a better judge. What do you think?

    Here’s a description: This disorder is found more commonly in men. The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Signs and symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder and the severity of symptoms vary. People with the disorder can:
    Have an exaggerated sense of self-importance.
    Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration.
    Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it.
    Exaggerate achievements and talents.
    Be preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate.
    Believe they are superior and can only associate with equally special people.
    Monopolize conversations and belittle or look down on people they perceive as inferior.
    Expect special favors and unquestioning compliance with their expectations.
    Take advantage of others to get what they want.
    Have an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others.
    Be envious of others and believe others envy them.
    Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious.
    Focused on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office.

    Many of the symptoms listed here are what I have observed and I heard he bought his building and upgraded to a Tesla since becoming a councilman this year. I could be wrong but thought I’d share since CC Blake feels its so important to point such important personal things like this out. Maybe he will consider seeking some help too. I sure hope so.

  24. Billy, I’m not familiar with the phrase “dry drunk” Sounds like some more of your psychobabble.

    I was angry enough with the way Laguna was being run to step up and do something about it. The so-called “underlying issues of my rage” that you’re implying I deal with, come from the incessant politically motivated attacks that I’m forced to endure. There are many people who’ve chosen a life of sobriety unrelated to the reasons you claim I did. Aren’t you projecting your own addiction to cannabis onto me?

    I’m doing “the work” and it’s for my community. I’m answering a fool like you at 5:30 AM in NY as I prepare to install my booth at a very important fair. I will NEVER apologize to anyone for standing up for myself and those who voted for me. They know how hard I work for them and are very aware of how much I’ve accomplished in less than a year. If I were failing and not delivering on my campaign promises, none of my opponents would feel compelled to lash out at me at every Council meeting, local publication, and social media.

    Since this conversation is going nowhere, I will no longer be responding to future posts on this “column” If anyone would like to have a conversation regarding any issues that have been raised, I can be reached on my cell at 949-584-1224.

  25. Here’s the thing, Peter. No normal human wakes up at 5am, combing the papers, sweat flopping from their brow, venom dripping from their fangs, penning feral, crazed, malicious diatribes against his “opponents,” without some serious underlying issues. Did these people kill your family? Did they destroy your home, your life? Have they threatened to deport all Greek Americans? You have nothing to rage about. Property rights? Give me a break. You live in a beautiful, small, peaceful town of extreme affluence that has been good to you. You conflate “standing up for yourself” with “standing up for your community.” You do realize that no one in the community condones these incessant, embarrassing, egregious attacks. Read the comments and admit many of your voters regret voting for you now, even if they agree with some of your policies. You make us all cringe because you demonstrate such a lack of self-awareness, and a cruelty that only arises from unresolved conflicts. Call it psychobabble. I call it truth. You’ve been angry way longer than you’ve been in public service. I’ll spare you the specifics in this public forum. It’s not good for you or your poor wife to see you frothing every day. You clearly have a long way to go and you will continue to meet with fierce resistance – not to your agenda – but to you, Peter. Try as you might to troll and demean people, we will continue to fight back so that our community and children know this behavior is not ok from anyone in the community, but especially from a public servant. Start by pushing the reset button, admit you have a problem, and apologize to everyone Peter. We have a great capacity for forgiveness. you’ll feel better.

  26. Laguna Beach Is Living Proof: “When The Going Gets Weird The Weird Turn Pro” . . . Thank you COUNCILMAN Blake… the other toads – – just cuz you lived here for three decades? it’s not some UNION job… You blew it by laying around trying to be cooler than thou hippie jerk offs and life passed you by. THANK YOU PETER BLAKE

  27. After reading some of the replies to Mr. Fried’s column, all I can say to Roger Butow is, what in God’s name has happened to you? The ramblings that used to be cozily and safely contained your head are now seemingly leaking out, perhaps if only to scare the little ones away from your apartment. I’m not quite sure what’s going on with you, but perhaps Mr. Blake is willing to provide his diagnosis for you too?

    And speaking of Mr. Blake, it doesn’t matter if you’ve known Toni Iseman for 50 years, your “Psychobabble” is by definition an unqualified and unlicensed medical diagnosis given by you, was never solicited by her, and was made by you in a public forum clearly to disparage her. No one else in their “right mind” would ever do that to someone they claim as a friend.

    Mr. Blake, what we see and hear from you is that of a whiny, shallow, pompous, unapologetic, rage-filled, petty little man with even smaller thoughts. Instead of exemplifying or aspiring to have the attributes of a leader, you have consciously made the decision that it’s in your best interest to be vile, demeaning, shameless, divisive, and quite frankly, a Schmuck!

    You can lie and try to spin your reality all you want, but the majority of the citizens of Laguna Beach are far too intelligent to fall for what you love to refer to as YOUR “Bullshit.”

    As Mr. Fried said, there is still time for you to hit the “Reset Button.” I for one sincerely hope you do, and you become someone the City Council and the citizens of this great City can be proud of.

    Or at least one we are not ashamed of.

  28. Based upon written evidence on social media, a vile recorded voice message left on voicemail, witness testimony, a judge should step forth to assign anger management classes to unhinged Peter Blake. Because Peter Blake continues to harrass me on social media bringing up my name, Allow me to explain that we met several times, during the campaign. When PETER BLAKE first introduced himself to me at Anastasia Restaurant, he decided to tell me his story and chose to confess his past sins, in his own crass language, that he had long ago been over weight and had dealt a bit of cocaine “back in the day while he worked as a doorman at Romeo Cucina”. Peter Blake then felt the need to snicker while he denigrated Council Member Dicterow referenced as a “spineless loser, jobless, juris doctorate- law degree toting five foot tall Steve Dicterow who came to him begging for a job as a doorman” PB explained to me that he held considerable favor because he was close personal friends with the owners of Romeo Cucina restaurant. Blake further explained that he had hosted campaign fundraisers for “the rat” at his Art Galllery.
    P.S. I have not confirmed the allegations regarding City Council Member Steve Dicterow whether PB spoke the truth regarding these particulars. I surmise that Peter Blake felt he was ‘boasting’ to make himself into the ‘bigger man’ to that of attorney Steve Dicterow and to make his career claim as a drug~dealing doorman appear somewhat appealing, edgy, cool or grandiose.
    After all, PB alleges that I am a substance abuser, so I guess he felt he was making a good impression. Well, I am not special because PETER BLAKE denigrates many women who speak to oppose his vile misogynistic behavior. Peter Blake you are particularly abusive toward women and strong women appear to be your achilles’ heel.

    Billy, “dry drunk” does appear to be an explanation for the vile bitter anger of deep dark unresolved emotional inner conflict.

  29. Bruce:
    “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
    The tsunami of backlash (“over & over again”) regarding this person seems to rotate around attempts to pacify, cajole, lobby, guilt trip and/or convert this Councilperson into a civil human being as you so well wrote “at least one we are not ashamed of.”
    Are the repeated responses, the reactions, the anger/retributive comments imploring behavior shifts as petitioned by his critics having any impact, any effect, anybody see or hear a different result?
    He’s like the story of the scorpion and the frog, he’s not going to change his nature. It’s his polarization propaganda schtick.
    Put up or shut up: Get the signatures, put his recall on the June primary ballot to save money. Let the CC be 4 bodies until the the November election/December seating.
    Those more stable, rational, with a proven track record of collaborative history, not beholding to or suspected of taking special interest $$$ and electable need to step up—-November would have 3 candidates.
    So those who believe themselves to be betrayed by voting/supporting him, feeling disenfranchised or marginalized should pursue a slate, the basic plank and pledge being “A Return To Civil, Respectful Discourse.”
    IMHO, Dicterow & Whalen both need to go. Dicterow because he’s a PB enabler/facilitator, probably beholding to the same forces that put PB in office. I get the feeling that SD has IOU’s (markers) out that’ll never be unmasked. Just toss him to the curb, we need some new blood anyway.
    Whalen because as Mayor he acted like a Casper Milquetoast, spineless, allowed himself (and hence the town) to be ignored, his citizens browbeaten and disparaged. As many have pointed out, Laguna didn’t need a code of conduct, all that Whalen had to do as chair was rebuke him openly, tell him to shut up at meetings. Have him removed from chambers or turn off his mike if he refuses. That’s the Mayor’s prerogative, to keep order, civility and avoid the inchoate mess we now see/hear in chambers when in session.
    To those who seriously dislike him, his style, his vision: Hey! PB’s not going to change, so Laguna needs to reassess, find its way back from the chaos and grenade throwing, take back the town before PB has succeeded in what many writing here and elsewhere believe: Contaminating everything he touches in the future.
    A second scenario, if a recall is unsuccessful, is a slate of 2 candidates that could at least, along with Ms. Iseman, constitute a majority.
    I’m not a member or fan of VL etc. but this is a time of distress that’s become an intentional distraction, maybe candidates that are NOT VL family would preemptively neutralize that “rule with an iron fist” gaslighting?
    Bottom line: Political power is the tool that will abate and remediate the damage, the toxic atmosphere.

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