Letter: Who is the Laguna Beach Historic Preservation Coalition?


In last week’s Indy, Dan Rosenthal called out this group as one of the plaintiffs in the outrageous lawsuit that’s been brought against the Kirby family.

Just who is this group?  So far, it seems like they’re trying to intentionally stay out of sight.  They are an unincorporated association, so there’s no public record of who they are. Of the $12,500 donated on their GoFundMe page, over 90% ($11,390) is from anonymous donors. C’mon folks! What are you trying to hide!

Are you not proud of the fact that by bringing this suit, all you’re trying to do is ruin a beautiful Laguna Beach family who’s done everything they can to legally preserve their historic property?  Are you too ashamed to lend your names to this outrage? You should be!

So far, all I could find in my research was a letter from the Coalition on the Village Laguna website signed by Ann Christoph, Johanna Felder, Norm Grossman, Becky Jones, Barbara Metzger, Greg O’Loughlin, and Verna Rollinger. If these names look familiar, it’s because four of the seven (Christoph, Felder, Metzger and Rollinger) are all on the Village Laguna Board of Directors!

So what gives? Is the Laguna Beach Historic Preservation Coalition just the “attack dog” front for Village Laguna? All of Laguna Beach deserves to know. 

Pat Gallis, Laguna Beach

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  1. Pat:
    Did you try an online search @ the OC Registrar’s office? Secretary of State (CA)?
    When I initially registered my NGO, CLEAN WATER NOW several decades ago, I did so as an Unincorporated Assn. (Not a 501 c 3 non-profit) with a FBN/DBA filing at County offices.
    With that registration, I was able to open a checking account at my bank, to facilitate non-tax deductible donations. This meant that people could write checks to CWN and assist us with expenditures for our quarterly Adopt-A-Beach & Coastal Cleanup Day paper ads, flyers, other overhead.
    We administered them for the Cal Coastal Commission, I was personally certified by their staff contact Eben Schwartz, and in fact we organized and facilitated over 125 cleanups from China Cove in CDM down to San Clemente from 2000–2013.
    Always short in funding, I was then a general contractor, made up the difference out of my own pocket—-CWN was always self-sufficient.
    Only mistake I made was that a few years ago I checked the wrong box when renewing the CWN, every-5 year-cycle registration with the County: I checked the “Sole Proprietor”box instead of Unincorporated Assn. THEN when I got my receipt for renewal, I found out that I had to close the checking account—which I did post haste!
    Regardless, I’d suggest that locals use search engines like the County’s Business Portal or that of the Secretary of the State (California).
    Type in a name….if nothing shows try variations, be patient, be diligent in your research….You’ll be surprised occasionally as I have regarding Laguna-based false flag groups, finding out more about who/what you’re really dealing with…especially astro-turf non-profits (bogus) 501 c 3s/4s, real parties/agents behind UAs or LLCs.
    GUIDESTAR is free, register at their .ORG website and you can procure their directory, deep dive non-profits including their tax records—one caveat is that it usually lags a few years, for example you can probably only get filings from 2018 or so at best.
    Knowledge is not only power, but DOES empower! Think of yourself as a private investigator….
    Best of luck for you and others who might be unaware of these resources!

  2. To Pat & others monitoring this issue here:
    Weird, definitely weird. Mea culpa.
    I did a deep dive using all of the online tools I wrote about above, I love a good sleuth story/novel, and the mysterious (Who Done It?) aspects intrigued me…..and came up with ZILCH!
    Nada, nothing.
    In ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN those reporters were constantly encouraged to “follow the money.”
    So this has been learning experience for me too: Someone/something is receiving the GoFundMe ducats, but after using every permutation or variation that I could come up with, it being an UA I thought at minimum it was officially registered via a FBN/DBA with the County of Orange.
    After exhausting Cali State resources, including search engines that only needed a few keywords, whether State or OC, still I came up with bupkus. A fiscal and legal registry dead end.
    I procured the filing in this case and found out:
    The attorney representing the plaintiffs is out of Glen Ellen (Sonoma County), has a prior, similar but not identical CEQA case from 2014 I found online, and the packet coughed up another oddity—-it was the same process server.
    Hope that the INDY investigates further—-it does seem odd that the non-VL entities seem shrouded, cloaked, not easily found yet DID procure attorney’s services who filed on their behalf. Does SHE know who the UA proprietors or members are? Who delegated power of attorney on their behalf?
    Maybe nothing’s amiss, I’m not accusing anyone of duplicity or mendacity, but one would think that in this age of transparency, Lagunans especially demanding of that standard, being open about, being able to identify the “players” would rule?


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