Letter: What Happened to Inclusive and Progressive Laguna?


It is amazing how many Nasty, Negative, NIMBYs, or “NNNs,” Laguna Beach has. For a city that claims to be inclusive and progressive, it appears the opposite is true.

Let’s start with inclusivity. We see the art and bicycle communities, to name two, get their voice and money for festivals and improvements around the city but, the “NNNs” believe when it comes to student athletes they don’t deserve quality facilities. The pool issue is quite clear and has been for many years. The facility is outdated, undersized-not meeting minimum standards for CIF competitions, often in disrepair with broken pumps, has insufficient lighting and has overwhelming usage demands between community members, club teams, and high school student-athletes. The situation is so poor that the high school water polo teams must travel ten to twenty miles for “home” games. This last season, the girls water polo had “home” games at Los Alamitos High School. Boy, does that make economic and environmental sense. The storied history of the LBHS water polo program with its CIF championships, Olympians, and numerous D1 Scholarships-including US Military Academies, have come to fruition through the sacrifices made by the student-athletes, their families, and supporters, despite the ongoing inadequacies of the community pool situation.

Hey “NNNs,” what about being progressive? LBHS has been around since the 1930s, with improvements in the 1950s and 1960s, then again in the 1990s and early 2000s. The pool was last done in the 1990s. As with most infrastructure, there is a wear and tear component. In Laguna Beach, the aged and undersized pool has huge demands. When a person buys a home on a busy street, in a downtown area, or near a school, they have to expect that noise, traffic, lights, and activity are part of the equation. When an outdated infrastructure facility, such as a school, needs to be updated, remember “NNNs,” it was your choice to buy a home or live adjacent to the school. Your choice has an implied societal agreement that there will be infrastructure updates and construction every few decades- that is progress.

John Jenal, Laguna Beach 

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