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Letter: Incumbents are like Used Motor Oil

Laguna, like a fine motor car, is running rich lately: congested, sluggish, the speed-O is optimistic but maybe there’s a blockage. An election is looming where both present and former incumbents promise a tune-up, I’m thinking more like an oil-change at Sears. We had...

Letter: Watch for Cleo Hotel Project

A massive new hotel is being planned to replace the Holiday Inn and the adjacent 14 West Boutique Hotel. Both properties are owned by the developer. The schedule for review and approval of Concept is coming fast. Staking of Cleo Project Oct. 25.City staff report to city Planning...

Letter: Downtown Doesn’t Need Revitalization

After attending various forums to hear the city council candidates speak, I remain somewhat puzzled about Sue Kempf’s spur-of-the-moment responses. Change our downtown to “revitalize” it by building three- to four-story buildings. According to Ms. Kempf, these buildings would...

Letter: Iseman Challenges Wasteful Spending

Like most other Laguna residents, I have recently found my mailbox stuffed with attack pieces from a PAC called “Liberate Laguna.”  They attack Council Member Toni Iseman with inuendo and arguments so divorced from truth as to be laughable were their intent not so sinister. I...

Letter: Candidates Need to Put Community First

It will forever remain a mystery to me why some candidates move into Laguna Beach with a desire to fix it. They never say “improve” it, they say “fix” it. And apparently with no tools earned through experience, but ostensibly through something called “new thinking and new...

Letter: Politics Involved in Sign Theft Investigation

Friday, “No on P” signs were taken by resident James Kretzschmar, driving a Bentley stopped before leaving city limits. Eight “No on P” signs were in the back seat. Despite clear evidence and citizen’s arrest, he was neither arrested or cited. Immediately on STOP’s behalf, we...

Letter: In Defense of Friendship Shelter’s Housing First Approach

Each of us has experience working as advisors to Friendship Shelter. We are dismayed at the way its “Housing First” approach has been mischaracterized in City Council candidate debates.  We want to set the record straight. Housing First was developed by a clinical psychologist...

Letter: Measure P is a Hodgepodge Plan

I am a resident in the neighborhood of Driftwood Drive, Marilyn Drive, Ocean Vista Drive and Wesley Drive. Our utilities were undergrounded 20 years ago. Views were the driving force in assessing ourselves thousands of dollars each and knowing that we were investing to improve...

Letter: Under-grounding is Good, Measure P Isn’t

The City Council ballot statement to Measure P misappropriates events to curry their cause. Fire is a deadly threat, but major Laguna Beach fires they identify have been caused by people, not poles. The National Park Service reports “As many as 90 percent of wildland fires...

Letter: Liberate Laguna Takes Brave Stand against Bullies

According to Michael Ray, writing here last week about the origins of the developer-funded Liberate Laguna PAC, Laguna Beach has a hitherto undisclosed class of victims.  As he reports, a handful of the wealthiest real estate developers in the area “got tired of being bullied.”...

Letter: Voting for Village Candidates

Our City Council election is coming up in November. There are the usual suspects running for office: tree hugging village types, change is good types, new and improved types, bigger is better types. Then there’s the newbies. I think the choices we have are basically the same...

Letter: Large Banner Violates Sign Ordinance

Why do we have a sign ordinance? It was put in place many years ago. The ordinance has been usurped by Liberate Laguna. It was meant for large “For Sale” signs, “Going Out of Business” banners, etc. The large building-size banner at the law offices at the corner of Broadway and...

Letter: Iseman Defends Against Opportunistic Developers

The first time I saw Toni I didn’t really see her. She was a young princess flitting through the canyon, coming up for air ever so often to post another Burma Shave rhyme. Her mission was simple: to save the canyon. Today, after 20 years on the council, she is the empress of...

Letter: Iseman’s Claims are Unfounded

Candidate Toni Iseman is making outlandish claims that five local developers want to change the rules in Laguna, including raising the current building height limit above 36 feet. This is totally false. These developers are residents of Laguna Beach, just like you and me. Most of...

Letter: Wake Up Laguna

  I was disappointed to see your columnist, Michael Ray, use his “Musings on the Coast” column last week to promote the Liberate Laguna PAC that is supporting two pro-development city council candidates. Ray is on the board of this PAC, which has funneled more than $100,000...

Letter: Liberate Megadevelopers in Laguna

As you decide on your votes in the Laguna Beach Council election, there are many bits of information that might influence your choice. Be aware that much of the information might be coming from “Liberate Laguna.” It should really be labelled for what it is: “Liberate...

Letter: In Support of Christoph, Iseman

Rather than a long diatribe, I’ll keep this letter positive and short. I moved to Laguna Beach in 1987. I love and appreciate living here now as much as I did in ‘87. I give the former and current city council members as well as city agencies and their employees much of the...

Letter: Does Village Laguna Know Our Town Best?

Many of us in town received the latest mailer from Christoph/Iseman, a.k.a. Village Laguna. The slogan reads, “We Know Our Town Best.” I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I did have a chance to look up some information on the city’s website. On this site one can find legal...

Letter: Michael Ray’s Column Missed the Mark

If only Mr. Ray had mused with some facts in his column on Sept. 27. In his column he claims that “our City Council thinks all of downtown is ‘historic’ and nothing should change, ever.” However, a quick look at the 1981 Historic Resources Inventory, Item O, Downtown Laguna,...

Letter: In Opposition of Restrictive Historic Regulations

On Sept. 29 our current City Council voted 5-0 to make listing a house on the Historic Inventory as “voluntary as possible.” Afterwards, I was wondering who was the driving force behind trying to burden Laguna homeowners with the CEQA restrictive regulations? With a little...

Letter: Approved School Calendar Ignores Community Input

The essence of our school district and their success in “moving the needle” was captured eloquently by my friend Chris Tebbut. I too, have been part of the vetting process for our superintendent, the high school principal, and privileged to sit on LCAP for TOW, now the district,...

Letter: Why I’ll Vote Yes on Prop P

Here’s why I will vote Yes on Measure P. It’s about safety and aesthetics. Many of our neighborhoods have only one or two exits for hundreds of people. When a Santa Ana wind is howling from the east with fire in its teeth, these people need to be confident that they can ge...

Letter: Reasons to Vote No on Prop P

You are really voting on enabling the city to hobble taxpayers with $135 million in bonds. Remember, $5 million+ a year for 25 years plus interest, with interest maybe $200 million. Nobody knows. There is a good chance that the money will be diverted. Local and stat...

Letter: Friendship Shelter Succeeds at Housing Homeless

Laguna’s homeless shelter was established as result of the legal settlement between the city and the ACLU. While the shelter has worked to keep 42 people from having to sleep in public spaces, the number of homeless has increased over the years and continues to be burden on our...

Letter: A Real Threat to Our Village

Why do we choose Laguna Beach as our home? Why not Newport Beach, Dana Point or San Juan Capistrano? For me, Laguna’s perfect combination of natural beauty, historic charm, resident-first focus and its small scale, walkable downtown were the key. Yes, it does get really busy for...



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