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“ Our Town , Our Paper ” lagunabeachindy . com SEPTEMBER 30 , 2022 | Volume XIX , Issue 39
LAGUNA BEACH AQUATHON EVENT MARRED BY TRAGEDY
By Clara Beard | LB Independent Excellent weather conditions and warm water greeted a record number of Aquathon attendees at Crescent Bay last Sunday morning , Sept . 25 , who gathered for the highly anticipated 36th edition of the local event .
‘ UNCONDITIONAL ’ DOG SHELTER ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND TIMELINE FOR GROUNDBREAKING
New nonprofit focused on the most at-risk companion dog populations taps Peter Chang to launch the organization
By Clara Beard | LB Independent
Amy and Julian Mack , founders of Unconditional Inc ., a new Laguna Beach nonprofit dog shelter focused on saving vulnerable and overlooked dogs , have announced Peter Chang as its executive director .
The nonprofit said the shelter ’ s mission is to “ build a world where people see the value in senior and special dogs and to ensure each has a chance to find a loving home .”
However , the much-loved event became grief-stricken after participant Art Salcido died of a suspected heart attack during the walk / swim from Crescent Bay to Three Arch Bay . Salcido fell unconscious after coming ashore to complete a swim portion of the route right before Victoria Beach .
The Aquathon event saw a record number of attendees this year . Photo / Clara Beard
Chang , the former chief executive officer at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center ( PMMC ), was hired as the nonprofit goes through its final stages of permitting with the City of Laguna Beach for the construction of its brandnew adoption center on Laguna Canyon Road .
The existing building has already been demolished , and construction is set to begin before the end of the year .
Designed to look more like a home than
Those present during the incident said Salcido collapsed coming out of the water . Waves began to pull him back into the ocean before Hudson Waggoner , a 15-year-old junior lifeguard from El Segundo participating
AQUATHON , page 26
a rescue facility , the two-story , 8,000 sq . foot building will house up to 40 dogs as the organization works to find them homes . Unconditional anticipates that , at scale , it will rescue and adopt out more than 1,000 senior and special needs dogs each year .
“ I feel incredibly fortunate to have gained Amy and Julian ’ s trust ,” Chang said . “ What
DOG SHELTER , page 26
Annual Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival on the Horizon
By Clara Beard | LB Independent Tickets are selling fast for The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce ’ s highly-anticipated event , Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival , to be held on Oct . 13 at the Festival of Arts .
Taste of Laguna features mouthwatering bites from more than 30 of the Orange County area ’ s best restaurants and food artisans . The food , coupled with the high-energy sounds of San Diego-based band , The Mighty Untouchables , a silent auction and photo bus are guaranteed to make for a unforgettable evening .
President-CEO of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Erin Slattery said besides the diverse culinary offerings , The Mighty Untouchables will be a major highlight this year .
“ We ’ re very excited to have them ,” Slattery said . “ We selected them because the previous CEO had them at her daughter ’ s wedding and loved them so much that she called them up to perform at the Taste of Laguna . We got a great deal with them , and they ’ ve been very helpful working with us and driving all the way up from San Diego . We ’ ve had a lot of people
TASTE , page 3
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