Letter: Michael Ray’s Column Contains Misinformation

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The Laguna Beach Independent issued a clarification on June 24, 2022, which read “For the record regarding “Musings on the Coast“ in June 17, 2022 edition: During her tenure on the Laguna Beach City Council from 1990 to 1994, Ann Christoph didn’t vote on the Alta Laguna reservoir, city records show. Christoph was required to recuse herself from voting on the reservoir for two years because she was paid to design Alta Laguna Park which was affected by the proposed reservoir.”

What prompted this rare clarification? Michael Ray has been regularly writing his “Musings on the Coast” column in the Indy and has regularly attacked Village Laguna and others with misinformation. In his June 17, 2022, column, his misinformation includes the “three-million-gallon water reservoir was stopped in its tracks by Village Laguna and specifically by then city councilmember Ann Christoph.” So once again, his column included misinformation.

In addition to his misinformation and his vitriol, Michael Ray has used money to influence pro-development and pro-tourist city policies. The Indy identifies Michael Ray as “a Laguna Beach resident and principal officer emeritus of Laguna Forward PAC.” It should add that he donated $84,000 to the Liberate Laguna political action committee in 2018-2020 to influence city policies.

As he has written, he is quite pleased with the results.

People visit and love Laguna Beach thanks to those in the past who have worked to protect and preserve Laguna Beach, thanks to Village Laguna. Village Laguna is an all-volunteer organization believing in an open process and the opportunity for the public to be involved. Many volunteers contributed to the City’s General Plan and its elements which should be followed or carefully changed. It is like our constitution and has served us well.
Those who love Laguna Beach should become members and support Village Laguna to help preserve and enhance the unique village character of Laguna Beach. See VillageLaguna.org.

Gene Felder, Laguna Beach

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  1. Per GF: “In his June 17, 2022, column, his misinformation includes the “three-million-gallon water reservoir was stopped in its tracks by Village Laguna and specifically by then city councilmember Ann Christoph.” So once again, his column included misinformation.”

    Disappointing: what happened to media fact checking and/or requesting fact checks from those submitting articles? We are seeing this all too often. Most recently an article by Sam Goldstein, another Liberate Laguna now Forward PAC founder. Fact-less and full of false accusations about locals and affiliations. Opinions are one thing. False accusations are another.

    Come-on Indy. Don’t let these folks downgrade your media source. Thank you.

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