We've made some excellent progress lately.
The city has passed the plastic bag ban, which is very good news, even if it will take a year to enact. I would suggest that the next things to be considered for a city ban would be helium balloons, which I find littering the beaches and countryside everywhere I go, and children's plastic beach toys, which are inevitably left on the beach.
I can fill a trash bag daily with these things. All the plastic ends up in the Pacific and other gyres, where it decimates the bird and marine life. I would also like to dream of the day when no plastic beverage bottles with detachable caps are sold in Laguna, but I doubt I'll live that long!
Transition Laguna is going strong. Our recent Vision 2012 gathering was attended by more than 60 enthusiastic and engaged people, many of whom also attended the planning breakfast held at La Sirena Grill.
A whole lot of bright ideas came out of this. We were graced by the attendance of the mayor, Jane Egly, who told us of the city's support of San Clemente in opposing the extension of the operating permit for the San Onofre nuclear power plant.
The Vision 2012 meeting was held at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, which has graciously allowed Transition Laguna to use Bridge Hall. Our meetings were becoming too large for private homes, so this is a very welcome venue.
NCC is very forward thinking under the leadership of Pastor B.J Beu. It'splanning to install solar panels on the roof and to remove the turf in front of the church, replacing it with an edible garden. Transition Laguna will be participating in this worthwhile project.
Transition Laguna has installed more than 60 edible gardens all over town and now has more than 1,600 members. Subgroups are starting to form. There is an active group at Top of the World, the "Oak Street Village" subgroup is a looking for more recruits, and a new subgroup is planned for Canyon Acres.
Anybody who would like to get involved with making Laguna a more sustainable and resilient community is welcome to contact the membership secretary Taciana de Aguiar at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music festival was flawless, heavenly
I want to express my voluminous gratitude to Laguna Beach Live! for the Laguna Beach Music Festival that took place recently.
It surpassed my greatest wishes in every sense of the word.
The festival celebrated its 10th anniversary with performances at the Laguna Playhouse, as well as other venues around town and in private homes. They were perfect and superb.
These performances included: Joshua Bell, violinist extraordinaire; Sam Haywood, his flawless accompanist; virtuoso Edgar Meyer on string bass; the outstanding and superb Calder Quartet, formed the USC Thornton School of Music, performing in Laguna for the second time; and the Calidore Quartet, formed in 2010 at the Colburn School and top winner of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in 2011.
The music transcended time and space and took me and the audience to heavenly places! As each day of our human experience brings us closer to the "ultimate reward," I no longer have to ponder the mysterious existence of heaven. I have been there — in the presence of Joshua Bell playing the Mendelssohn Violin Sonata in F Major followed by the Tchaikovsky String Sextet in D minor, in which he was joined with five other string players.
Thank you, Laguna Beach Live!, and all the other workers who put this together. And a gigantic thanks to Joan Halvajian, who had the vision of this superb music festival and the gift of her former husband, Ed Halvajian, whom I hope joined with us in this heavenly recreation of music. It was wonderful!
Laws needed to protect us, environment
Re "Mailbag: Our freedoms are slowly eroding away," Feb. 17 by Dave Connell:
As a fisherman, Dave, you should know that plastic bags pollute our beaches, there are islands of plastic bottles and bags out in the oceans, and sea animals have been found with plastic bags (they look like jellyfish when inflated with water) in their stomachs.
Maybe you haven't driven down any streets or highways lately. Plastic products litter our parks, public buildings, etc. The worst part is that it takes a very, very, very long time for them to disintegrate. Seen a landfill lately?
Then there are those people who use them for poop bags. I can see future archaeologists finding dog poop preserved in plastic grocery bags. How about using the plastic bags our newspapers come in instead?
If people were a little less corrupt, self-centered, greedy and irresponsible and more intelligent, honest, compassionate and showed respect for others and our environment, we wouldn't need so many laws.
Read a newspaper lately? People still drive while using cell phones/texting. Wall Street leaders are still playing games of "gimme all you have." Pharmaceuticals are being made with bad ingredients or, better yet, not being made because it is not profitable enough. The list goes on.
Sorry, we don't live in a perfect world, but perhaps making it hard might help deter some people.