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“ Our Town , Our Paper ” lagunabeachindy . com JANUARY 27 , 2023 | Volume XX , Issue 4
Laguna Approves Ordinance Banning Balloon Sales Within City Limits
By Clara Beard The Laguna Beach City Council unanimously approved an ordinance banning the sale or use of any balloons , mylar , latex or otherwise , within the City during its Jan . 24 meeting . Balloons will still be allowed in private and commercial areas . The ban comes after multiple environmental organizations expressed concern about how discarded balloon litter negatively affects Laguna ’ s ocean and open spaces .
Founder of local non-profit Project O , Rich German , said it feels fantastic to have an initiative he started back in 2017 finally come to fruition .
“ We had a petition that thousands of people signed , but unfortunately , it just didn ’ t go anywhere with the city council back then ,” German said . “ It wasn ’ t until we formed an incredible coalition that included many other local non-profits , including Laguna Bluebelt , Laguna Ocean Foundation , Laguna Canyon Foundation , and Surfrider Foundation and others , that we got the ball rolling . We got the Environmental Sustainability Committee on board , local businesses and concerned citizens . It was when we formed that coalition that we got the ban through , which we did last night .” The ban is scheduled to go into effect on Jan . 1 , 2024 , to allow businesses time to adapt and for the City to educate the public
Rich German collects mylar balloons from the ocean . Photo courtesy of Rich German
on the new ordinance .
“ We were super happy with the direction the council took ,” German said . We pushed for a ban on all balloons , and they agreed . So basically , the sale and release of all balloons will now be prohibited in Laguna Beach .”
During the public comment portion of the discussion , Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones told
Councilmembers the foundation constantly finds balloons , whether mylar or latex , in the ocean and open space .
“ The fire danger is obviously very real , but the litter danger is also a problem for the open space and wildlife as well ,” Jones said .
No Longer Waiting in the Wings : No Square Hires New Directors
No Square has hired Ella Wyatt and Rob Harryman as new directors . Submitted photo
By LB Indy Staff
For the first time , No Square Theatre has hired two longtime talents to staff positions with its organization . Ella Wyatt has accepted the role of artistic director , and Rob Harryman is the new managing director . Both have been active contributors to the life of Laguna ’ s only community theatre for many years , contributing , acting and directing , serving on the board of directors , and providing many other vital functions .
“ We ’ ve had these two spectacular people , dare I say , waiting in the wings for the organization to be in a position to make
ORDINANCE , PAGE 3 DIRECTORS , PAGE 18
COUNCIL APPROVE INTERIM PLAN FOR ST . CATHERINE OF SIENA SCHOOL
By Tasmin McGill , Guest Contributor
Laguna Beach City Councilmembers voted 4-1 to go ahead with an interim plan for the former St . Catherine of Siena school property during their Jan . 24 council meeting . The interim plan is expected to start in spring and includes the use of the gymnasium for community recreation and non-profit use . The city also approved hiring a full-time recreation supervisor and maintenance worker .
Long-term uses for the property are still to be determined after February open houses and further public input .
Assistant city manager Gavin Curran presented recommendations for the four buildings and surrounding land at 30516 Coast Highway during the Tuesday meeting which included using the school ’ s gymnasium as a recreational center to host various programs , including pickleball and youth gymnastic classes .
“ Coming up very quickly here would be adult drop-in basketball in the basic gym area , indoor pickleball with temporary lines and nets , and youth recreation classes , including music , art , sports , STEAM and
ST . CATHERINE , PAGE 18
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