SUNDAY , MAY 21 , 2023
lagunabeachindy . com MAY 19 , 2023 11
GUEST OPINION : FINDING MEANING
The Importance of Competition
By SKiP HelleWell
You likely noticed the passing of long-time Laguna institution Annaliese Schimmelpfennig , founder with husband Paul of the noted three-campus Anneliese Schools . Of the people who have lived in Laguna , few have shaped our town in such a positive way , helping tens of thousands of children , to quote her Indy obituary , learn to “ live meaningful lives .” Wow !
Anneliese Schools opened its first campus in 1971 in a 17-room estate at 758 Manzanita . That estate had a history marked by two main events in Laguna ’ s development : The paving of a single-lane road through the canyon in 1915 and the arrival of Coast Highway in 1926 . In 1918 a Portland , Oregon restaurateur named Claude Bronner , reportedly just out of jail and perhaps looking for a fresh start , opened the White House Café .
Coast Highway caused a real estate boom along the coast but bypassed sleepy San Juan Capistrano , where the Richard A . Bird family had built the Palm Café . So , the Birds came to Laguna , making a generous offer for Bronner ’ s White House Café , which soon sported the clever sign , “ Let the Birds Feed You .”
Joe Thurston , whose family had been farming in Aliso Canyon since 1871 , now enters the picture . Maybe he was tired of growing melons , but Thurston got into land development starting with his 1927 Virginia Park project — the area bounded by Virginia Park Drive , Park Avenue , Manzanita , and La Vista Drive .
Bronner , flush with cash , bought a portion of the development and created his own subdivision , spinning off three lots and building an upscale 17-room resort at 758 Manzanita Drive . The Depression was bad for business and Bronner sold his resort bringing one of the most colorful , though lesser-known Laguna characters , Professor George Adamski , who founded a Tibetan monastery . Born in Poland , Adamski styled himself a professor of “ Oriental Mystical Philosophy ” and brought his “ Royal
Order of Tibet ” to artsy Laguna . It ’ s a story for another column , but after a few years , the monastery foundered and Adamski moved on , finding greater fame with a trilogy of ‘ nonfiction ’ books about being taken on a tour to Mars and Venus in a flying saucer .
Bronner ’ s resort cum monastery , passed through other hands , was a residence for a time until purchased by the Schimmelpfennigs for a new kind of school . Our children didn ’ t attend the Annaliese Schools , they were out of our budget , tuition starts around $ 15,000 . But I just noticed that Laguna Unified spends more , about $ 23,000 per student . I ’ ve believed in public schools in the past , but also believe that in time , most institutions lose their way , so I also believe in the benefit of competition over monopoly .
It ’ s catching my attention that Anneliese Schools offers an education for which parents are willing to pay a lot of money when there ’ s a free school nearby . I also noted in last week ’ s Indy , a grandiose project by the school district for two new pools , a parking structure , and a fancy administrative complex that has been developed without appropriate public input . This brought to mind Nobel economist Milton Friedman ’ s campaign for school vouchers giving parents the choice of where to educate their children . If there had been vouchers , don ’ t you think the Saint Catherine Parish School would still be
open , offering still another choice ? The stories found researching this column have entertained the Beautiful Wife , one of my life goals , but they ’ ve also brought me to a conclusion : We need competition in education and Annaliese and Paul with their dedicated team have blessed Laguna by doing this . There ’ s meaning in that .
Skip fell in love with Laguna on a ‘ 50s surfing trip . He ’ s a student of Laguna history and the author of “ Loving Laguna : A Local ’ s Guide to Laguna Beach .” Email : skip @ lovinglaguna . com .
to Kargill on a road closed five months of the year due to weather conditions . The terrain is craggy and somewhat barren , and flowers are scarce , making one appreciate them even more .
Geshe Lopsang went immediately from the Garden to the airport to start his long journey home but promised that we would meet again . It was a wonderful gift to have the work of so many volunteers acknowledged by a person of such wisdom and importance .
For more information , please visit www . deeprootshimilayan . org and www . southlaguna . org / garden / Carly is an avid gardener and volunteers regularly at the South Laguna Community Garden Park .
LAST CHANCE ! Don ’ t miss out !
SUNDAY , MAY 21 , 2023
12 noon — 5pm . Last bus leaves at 3pm $ 70 Presale | $ 80 Day of Tour
START TOUR In front of the Festival of the Arts 650 Laguna Canyon Road , Laguna Beach Guided bus rides to each house Refreshments served
PARK : $ 4 all day across from Festival grounds
TICKETS MAY BE PURCHASED : 1 . by sending a request and check to Village Laguna Charm House Tour Post Office Box 1309 Laguna Beach , CA 92652 , or
2 . from any of the outlets listed here , or 3 . online at www . villagelaguna . org
TICKETS AVAILABLE AT : Cottage Furnishings 802 S . Coast Hwy ., 949-497-3121
Fawn Memories 384 Forest Ave . 949-494-2071 Laguna Beach Books 1200 S . Coast Hwy . 949-494-4779 Laguna Nursery 481 N . Coast Hwy . 949-494-5200
Enjoy an afternoon in Laguna . Experience a taste of the heritage of Laguna Beach as you tour houses in neighborhoods dating from the early 1900s . Visit cottages and bungalows , a working artist ’ s studio , art in the tradition of the early plein air painters , and houses related to families that formed some of Laguna ’ s landmarks . See how appreciative owners have adapted this Laguna heritage for today ’ s living .
For Tickets or More Information go to : www . villagelaguna . org ( 949 ) 472-7503
We regret that the tour cannot accommodate children under 12 . Uneven surfaces and steps may preclude participation by persons with mobility challenges .
Village Laguna is a non-profit mutual benefit community organization dedicated to protecting the village character of Laguna Beach , participating in city decision making , including making recommendations as a political organization at election time .