Letter: Thank You, Laguna, for Supporting the Charm House Tour

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In the 1915 Settlement Cottage (restored with the assistance of Laguna architect Todd Skenderian) tour-goers were transported to the early days of Laguna Beach, when many families built their own summer cottages. Two houses from the 1920s, one a Dutch Colonial Revival and the other an English cottage, and a Mid-Century Modern home designed by Knowlton Fernald Jr., were resplendent in their colorful gardens. Completing the “century of Laguna charm” was a recently rebuilt contemporary home designed by architect Paul McClean, whose signature use of glass to meld outside and inside made the division between house and vistas almost indistinguishable.

We’re grateful to all the people who helped make the tour a success: the homeowners who graciously opened their doors to us, the businesses who assisted by selling tickets for the event, the hundred-or-so volunteers who made things run so smoothly, and the many Lagunans and guests from elsewhere—more this year than last—who, through their support, demonstrated that what the early settlers called the “Laguna spirit” is still alive and well.

Johanna Felder, President of Village Laguna

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  1. Johanna Felder –

    I was in attendance at the event recently called “Summit to Protect Laguna”.

    Somehow there must have been some sort of administrative error in excluding me from the emailing list (again). So I did not receive an invitation to the Village Laguna event that was billed as “By Invitation Only”. I am after all a paid member of Village Laguna.

    Anyway, I found out about it and managed to get in. I was the man in the red MAGA hat.

    I support the efforts of Village Laguna to protect the “Laguna-ness” of our wonderful city. And I support several other local conservancy organizations financially, because I am a resident of Laguna Beach and as a Conservative (I guess it’s in the name) I want to conserve this beautiful resource that we have, the beautiful landscape, the safe, clean and welcoming community.

    That said, I must say that I was more than a little bit disappointed to see that only one political party was represented at the “by invitation only” event. Was that an oversight too, or is there a (false) perception that Republicans are the enemy?

    I must tell you that those of us on the other side of the aisle share most of the same concerns that were voiced at the (sadly non-inclusive) Summit. Although I do not speak in an official capacity for any organization, I’m just a member of a GOP Political group here in town. And, I’m sure that many of us would have loved to come and meet our neighbors, to find commonality, build bridges and participate in the process of preserving Laguna Beach.

    I think you’d be surprised by the support you would receive on many of these issues from local Republicans. After all it was very clear that so many in attendance believe that we are “Stronger Together”.

    Why was the Laguna Beach Democrat Club invited (by invitation only it said) and the town’s Republican group excluded?

    There was so much talk at your event about inclusiveness that I am more than just a little bit confused.

    Please advise.


    Eric Bell


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