Letter: Misperception in Our Treasured Haven


I am a Laguna Beach resident and a member of Village Laguna, “showing up” as Michael Ray invited people to do in his last week’s column. In the first place, although the letter writer he is addressing, Johanna Felder, is a member and past president of Village Laguna, she is her own person, not “Village Laguna.” But can one blame Village Laguna and its members for getting a bit touchy after years of having their motives constantly questioned? Village Laguna has for 50 years tried its darndest to defend Laguna, to keep it from becoming entirely a destination for tourists and a honeypot for those venal developers that cater to them instead of remaining a treasured haven for those of us who live here.

I did try to read Ray’s piece but was stopped dead when he says Felder “claims Village Laguna (VL) supports the downtown promenade.” In her letter, Felder clearly says “Village Laguna has not taken a position on this or other Promenade proposals.” This is a far too common example of Ray’s misperception (or misrepresentation?) of facts. Although I am used to having to thoroughly check anything he says, I doubt that most people are willing to take the time to do that. Perhaps the Indy should reconsider using him as a regular columnist? Truth matters.

Rosemary Boyd, Laguna Beach


  1. Rosemary Boyd,
    Are you in agreement with VL suing the City of Laguna Beach over the Historic Preservation Ordinance? I wonder how many of VL members actually own a house of “historic value “. Or is it we got ours ,we’ll tell what you can have!

  2. “…can one blame Village Laguna and its members for getting a bit touchy after years of having their motives constantly questioned?”

    Rosemary, this quote illustrates why people like me have a problem with Village Laguna in spite of its many accomplishments. No one has been more tireless at ascribing motives to its critics than Village Laguna. Just check your campaign literature. Your organization acts as if it has an exclusive franchise on protecting and preserving what is good about Laguna. Without actual evidence, you keep telling us that VL is all that stands between us and the bulldozers you imagine idling just outside town. This “them-versus-us” fearmongering may keep you energized as a group, but it’s off-putting to outsiders who share your love for our hometown and are proud of how well-preserved it is. That’s basically the rest of it. It includes hundreds of families who live in old homes and helped to reform our historic preservation ordinance that VL is now suing to overturn. It even includes the developers VL loves to demonize, who know a golden goose when they see one.


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