September 2, 2022 | Laguna Beach Indy News September 2, 2022 - Page 20

20 lagunabeachindy . com SEPTEMBER 2 , 2022


vote on the Museum Hotel project on Coast Highway ?
In addition to all of this , Measure Q protects our property values , encourages renovation of older buildings ( renew and reuse ) and streamlines the review process for proposed projects .
Thousands of residents who support Measure Q ( I know because I am one of them ) love Laguna and want it to thrive and not be overwhelmed by development . Mohammed Honarkr bragged a few years ago that he had lined up $ 1 billion for development in Laguna . Don ’ t open the gate and allow him and his cabal of developers to transform Laguna forever . Vote yes on Measure Q . Merrill Anderson Assistant Treasurer of Laguna Residents First PAC
We ’ ve Had Enough
We have a city councilmember who just doesn ’ t get it . We have always been an open society and have welcomed people from all walks of life , including artists , members of the LGBTQ community , visitors and the folks next door and down the street . This man is running for another term in office , god forbid it , but as we welcome all we expect them to show us the same respect we show them . Instead of this , he has constantly insulted almost everybody including fellow councilmembers , members of the public who speak at council meetings and if true , even the parent of an autistic child . It ’ s time we all said “ this is enough ” and made sure he doesn ’ t return to the council in November .
Roger Carter , Laguna Beach
Power Lines
Embarrassed . That ’ s how I felt . Embarrassed . Trying to enjoy the beauty of Laguna through countless and , thanks to Frontier , increasing number of cables and overhead wires .
Somehow , a majority of Lagunans didn ’ t feel the need to foot the bill for part of Laguna undergrounding
their utilities . I can ’ t imagine why that bill failed .
I mean , after all , why would a city or a utility be responsible for modernizing the infrastructure especially if they can force the homeowners do it ? Strap us with 20 to 30 years of an additional tax debt ( called a bond - as in shackles ) and spend our tax dollars on endless consultants who want to beautify the “ entrance ” to Laguna instead of actually beautifying the city . You don ’ t need a consultant to tell you “ Yup . Looks better without wires . That ’ ll be $ 200,000 . I mean $ 250,000 . This is Laguna after all . You have a reputation to consider .”
So we ’ re left in The Village , or more like The Ghetto with wires everywhere . Birds on the wires pooping on our vehicles . Tilting and decaying poles . Transformers buzzing and occasionally exploding . Common experiences in third world countries . But in The Ghet … I mean Village houses sell here for nearly $ 4 million … but the city can ’ t come up with a plan to get the wires underground ?
Perhaps someone on city council can have their kids start an undergrounding company and then give the contract to them . That ’ s how it works here , isn ’ t it ? Michael Rybah , Laguna Beach
Setting the Record Straight
It ’ s election time and voters may disagree on candidates or issues . But it ’ s important that information being presented as facts is factual . A recent column about Measure Q included reasons that writer and his developer funded group oppose the measure .
But the writer bases his argument on a statement that is simply not factually accurate .
He states that “ Locals own 70 % of our businesses .” What that writer is likely misquoting , perhaps inadvertently , is a survey paid for by the City that states that 2,440 businesses were invited to take the survey and that 186 of those invited responded . Of the 186 who responded , 73 % said they are either owners or managers of a
business in Laguna . That ’ s 73 % of 186 respondents or 136 respondents who said they manage or own a Laguna business and live in Laguna . That is not 73 % of 2,440 businesses .
Bottom line : That does not mean that most or even many Laguna businesses are owned or managed by Laguna residents . And besides , use common sense . Look around . How many of your neighbors depend on a local business for their livelihood ?
Why does this matter ? We live in a town heavily impacted by tourists . And the City sponsored Retail Market Evaluation clearly stated there are far more businesses located in Laguna than can expect to be supported by the population of Laguna . So , many Laguna businesses must have tourists to survive . Many of those businesses could be located anywhere , they are not here primarily to serve Laguna residents . But by locating here , they add to traffic and parking issues .
It ’ s one thing to support local businesses that are resident serving . And it may even be reasonable to support your neighbor who has a local business . But going out of our way to encourage more businesses that will need more tourists only makes our traffic and parking problems worse . Talk about shooting yourself in the foot .
Let ’ s get the facts straight before drawing conclusions .
I support Measure Q – for Quality of Life . Which do you want ? Bigger , taller buildings ? More traffic ? Less parking available ?
If you answer “ none of the above ”, then support Measure Q . Better not bigger . People over profit . Residents over revenue . Quality over quantity . Quality of life over quantity of traffic . Burma-Shave John Thomas , Laguna Beach
Neither Naïve Nor Jaded
On Monday night , I participated in the first forum of the campaign season , organized by Village Laguna . I was proud to be part of the civic process and I respect the other candidates
running for office .
What makes me different ? I like to think I hit the sweet spot . At 39 , and a father of two young sons , I ’ m young enough to bring fresh ideas to the table , but old enough to have enjoyed a career in corporate life and to have served on the Affordable Housing Task Force , the Chamber of Commerce , and led the Design Review Board in cutting red tape for residents who want to remodel , while preserving the best of our history and heritage .
I have experience and I ’ m passionate about our town ; I ’ m neither naïve nor jaded .
Safety is a big issue for residents of all ages . Let ’ s support our police and fire departments . Let ’ s proactively mitigate the inevitable risk of wildfires by undergrounding utility poles and equipping our evacuation center at the Susi Q with a solar back up energy source .
Let ’ s work together as a community on a strategic plan to make Laguna an even better choice for families by attracting resident-friendly businesses and improving our parks and access to our beaches . I ’ d love to see a “ Welcome to Summer ” event similar to our winter Hospitality Night .
Sustainability and an acknowledgement of climate change is essential going forward . Let ’ s electrify our fleet and find green solutions to infrastructure challenges . We can do it !
Laguna is a vibrant community . We thrive when we listen to each other instead of stoking division . For example , we desperately need a plan for affordable housing before the State imposes one on us . Together we can figure this out .
I ’ m loving meeting new people and hearing their views on ways to make Laguna an even better place to live . Please keep your questions and comments coming . I ’ ll see you around or contact me at louisweil- 4citycouncil2022 . com .
Louis Weil , Laguna Beach


Clara Beard is managing editor of the
Laguna Beach Independent .
Photo courtesy of Clara Beard
By LB Indy Staff
A Dana Point-based reporter has been tapped as the managing editor of The Laguna Beach Independent .
Clara Beard joined the staff Tuesday and will take the weekly newspaper ’ s helm on Friday said Steve Zepezauer , CEO Firebrand Media LLC . For more than a decade , Beard has worked in print and online media specializing in sports journalism . She has covered cycling competitions such as the Tour de France , Olympics and world championships .
From 2010 to 2015 , Beard served as associate editor of Williams- Grand Canyon News in Williams , Ariz . where she covered the Grand
Canyon area ’ s local government , school and human interest stories .
“ I ’ m looking forward to giving back to the community , especially in such a special place like Laguna ,” Beard said . “ My family has lived in Dana Point and around Southern California for decades , so the place is near and dear to my heart . I can ’ t wait to become a more integral part of such a unique place .”
Beard succeeds Daniel Langhorne who departs The Independent after more than four years , including two and a half years as Executive Editor . Langhorne has accepted a communications management position with Sage Hill School in Newport Coast .
“ Since joining the newsroom in
July , Clara has demonstrated her skill for reporting public affairs with speed and clarity ,” Langhorne said . “ She has my full trust and confidence in navigating Laguna ’ s heightened political climate ahead of a dynamic election .”
Among the topics Beard has covered in Laguna Beach are the City ’ s long-awaited request for trash hauler bids , a temporary lifeguard tower for Moss Street Beach , and the first day of school at El Morro Elementary .
Beard ’ s writing has also appeared in Cyclingnews , Cycling Weekly Velonews , Bicycling Magazine , Curve Magazine and HiHeyHello Magazine .