Michael Minutoli is not a busker! The definition of a busker is: “a person who performs music or other entertainment in the street or another public place for monetary donations.” Michael has never asked for monetary donations!
Michael is a greeter in the tradition of Laguna greeters, beginning with Joe Lucas in the 1880s. Eilar Larsen is the most well-known of the greeters, commemorated with a statue, his footprints embedded in the sidewalk near Main Beach and “The Greeter” restaurant nearby. And don’t forget Number 1 Archer who was on the downtown scene In the 1980s. A 2016 film, “The Greeter,” was made about Laguna’s greeters, in which Michael plays an important role. Greeters have been and still are an important part of the Laguna Beach scene. They do not need nor deserve regulation! As far as Michael interfering with traffic, far more dangerous are the speeding cars with loud exhausts, and the jaywalkers, who do not use crosswalks and cross Coast Highway and Forest Avenue in the middle of the street. Let’s have some attention to these traffic hazards.
I personally do not see the need for a new law that regulates street musicians. I have never found them to be annoying or get in the way of businesses and pedestrians. What’s next, regulation on where and when an artist can set up an easel? Laguna is supposed to be a “City of the Arts.”
I wish the decision makers at City Hall would focus on real problems facing downtown business owners. For example, the Ocean Avenue parklets. The yellow loading zone is blocked by parklets, which makes it impossible to have deliveries and vehicle access to the Newsstand. Why is it permitted to have parklets in a yellow zone when it is illegal for a vehicle to spend more than a few minutes in a loading zone? This has caused the Newsstand to close, I hope just temporarily. And also why are there parklets that remove parking in front of a restaurant that has yet to open and that already has on site outdoor dining? I enjoy outdoor dining as much as anyone, but parklets should not interfere with other businesses.
Anne Frank, Laguna Beach