Opinion: Musings on the Coast

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The North Laguna Community Garden Park

Editor’s Note: The following column is parody and shouldn’t be interpreted as factual.

The North Laguna Community Garden Park (NLCGP) now occupies a one-acre plot of land on a small hill in North Laguna. A Qatari citizen named Admed Altuwaihib owns it. NLCGP has been attempting to contact him for four years via letters, faxes, emails and phone calls, all to no avail. 

Because Mr. Altuwaihib apparently does not care (or seemingly notice), NLCGP created it first garden there years ago. It has 53 small plots where experimental medicinal cannabis strains are being raised. 

It also is isolated at the end of a quarter-mile lane with no homes, which lends it privacy and plenty of parking for visitors.

Given that, the overall purpose of NLCGP is to help our neighbors learn and teach sustainable gardening practices, and to bring together our entire community in an effort to foster a sense of camaraderie among all our neighbors—something the club believes has become sadly lacking.

On weekend afternoons, it is open to children of all ages, who delight to the various smells and sights of the gardens and beautiful Laguna vistas, where they also learn about the virtues of our pure organic gardening.

As a society we all depend upon the fruits of agriculture, and as the demand for “pure organic” results accelerate, the club feels it is on the forefront of a major revolution for raising medicinal agricultural products.

All 53 plots are now in use, so unfortunately there is no current availability.  If you wish to join the Plot Waiting List, you only need to contact the club for an application.  One’s application should include your background, other clubs to which you belong in Laguna and a small, suggested contribution.  To forestall potential negative influencers, the Club’s Executive Committee determines who gets available plots by secret ballot.

NLGCP intends to request of the City a $650,000 grant to buy the plot. This requires an appraisal, which should be quite low. This is because years ago, it had been owned by Lloyd Bridges, the father of Jeff and Beau Bridges and famous star of the acclaimed TV series Sea Hunt. A horse-riding enthusiast, Bridges built a 600-square-foot stable house on one small corner of the plot for his three horses (at that time, one could ride in the open hills behind) but then he lost interest and sold the land. Because of the famous ownership, the plot was placed on the City’s Registry of Historic Sites, thus severely circumscribing potential future uses, and thus its value—making it a bargain to buy. The stable house now contains gardening implements.

NLGCP believes its request of the City is quite reasonable as there is an outstanding precedent. The City already has granted the South Laguna Community Garden Park $500,352 for use in a future acquisition of its park, and it grows only common plants, not those with future medical benefits.

With the exception of the paragraph directly above, this entire column is a fabrication to demonstrate the enormous power—or should I say former power—of Village Laguna, which pushed through the $500,352 grant for essentially it own private park. In this newspaper, fellow columnist Ann Christoph, a board member of both the Park and Village Laguna, writes many columns about the virtues of the park. This is fine, but with public money for its private use? 

Don’t you wish you could get some of that money?

Michael is co-founder of Orange County School of the Arts and The Discovery Cube

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