Fate of trees in hands of arborists

-- Barbara Diamond

The fate of two endangered eucalpti in the Thurston Park

neighborhood hangs on a report by a consulting arborist, hired by the

city.

City officials took emergency action Tuesday night to engage an

expert to determine whether the two 80-foot trees had been so

severely damaged during grading for a new home that they would have

to be removed or could be saved.

The city's consultant visited the site Thursday morning and was

expected to report back the city's Community Development Department

by today.

One previous report gave the property owners the option of

removing the trees or trying to save them by cabling them to an

adjacent tree, crowning them and watering them should be left up to

the property owners.

Bill and Claudia Hardy will have until Tuesday to decide whether

they will comply with any new recommendations.

Bill Hardy said the trees were inadvertently damaged during

grading. Councilwoman Toni Iseman wanted immediate action taken to

preserve the trees.

"You don't wait around on a eucalyptus," Iseman said. "You have to

act."

The cost to cable and crown the trees was estimated at $4,000.

"We didn't mean to hurt these trees," Hardy said. "But the

likelihood of them surviving is not good. To spend another $4,000 is

not sensible."

Claudia Hardy said a condition of the Design Review Board's

approval of the plans for the home included the provision that if

trees were damaged they had to be replaced.

"We want to do that," Hardy said.

Should the Hardys decline to accept the arborist's

recommendations, a special City Council meeting will be held Tuesday

to take action.

Friendship Shelter raises funds for homeless

The third annual fund-raiser for Friendship Shelter raised more

than $26,000 to help the homeless in Orange County.

More than 200 people attended the "Endless Summer Luau" benefit on

Oct. 5 at the Woman's Club. The food was donated by Pei Wei's Asian

Diner, a division of P.F. Chang's, and the rest of the evening was

underwritten by an anonymous donor. The merchants of Laguna Beach are

to be applauded as well, as they dug deeply to donate spectacular

items for the silent auction portion of the event.

Friendship Shelter is a nonprofit agency, which assists homeless

adults in regaining their self-sufficiency and self-esteem. The

shelter provides a program of mental health care, substance abuse

rehabilitation and life skills classes to our residents. Volunteer

opportunities are endless at the Shelter. Information: (949)

494-6928.

Playhouse, shelter willed thousands

The Laguna Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter announced

two sizable gifts from the estate of Laguna Woods resident Jean

Adelson.

Adelson, who passed away in February, bequeathed $187,000 to the

playhouse and $93,500 to the shelter.

She had been a frequent office volunteer and ushered performances

with her husband, Jack, according to Richard Stein, executive

director of the playhouse.

Adelson served as play librarian and worked in the business office

and in the box office. Volunteers and staff at the playhouse remember

how she read and researched every play so that she could explain the

plays to the theatergoers buying tickets.

"Jean Adelson was a member of this community who devoted much time

and effort to the Laguna Playhouse over a period of many years," he

said in a written statement.

Using the funds, the playhouse created the Jean B. Adelson Cash

Reserve Fund for its short-term cash needs and will add to the fund

so it can grow concurrently with the its operating budget. The

theater's budget has grown from $800,000 in 1989 to nearly $5

million.

The animal shelter deposited the money into an account that will

allow staff to provide routine as well as specialized medical care

for animals, said Chief James Spreine. The costs of medical care and

public education outweigh income from licensing and vaccination fees.

"A person or persons who donate this type of money are interested

in directing it to the animals and to educating the community," he

said.

Although Adelson never volunteered at the shelter, she stood

behind the mission of the organization.

"It's extraordinary," said Nancy Goodwin, director of the shelter.

"It's never happened before and it will last us for many years."

Pipeline replacement

to disrupt Alta Vista

The Laguna Beach County Water District has started replacing a

portion of its cast-iron water pipeline in Alta Vista Way between

Iris and Bonita. The work will continue until about Oct. 25.

The pipeline improvement will enhance residential and fire-flow

delivery and upgrade the overall reliability of the water

distribution system.

The streets will remain open to pedestrian traffic, and crews will

try to maintain normal vehicle access. Hours of construction will be

from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For questions and

information, please contact the district's engineering department at

(949) 494-1041.

Medical center lab honored for quality

South Coast Medical Center Main Laboratory was awarded an

accreditation with distinction by the Commission on Laboratory

Accreditation of the College of American Pathologists.

"I am absolutely proud of my lab team," said Terri Garza, director

of clinical services. "They worked very hard not only for the

inspection but every day."

Inspectors examined the records and quality control of the

laboratory for the preceding two years, as well as the education and

qualifications of the total staff, the adequacy of the facilities,

the equipment, laboratory safety and laboratory management to

determine how well the laboratory is serving the patient.

For nearly 40 years the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program has

been recognized by the federal government as being equal to or more

stringent than the government's own inspection program. South Coast

Medical Center's main laboratory is now recognized as one of 6,000

CAP-accredited laboratories nationwide.

Brandy's Friends honored by Disney

The Disneyland Community Service Foundation awarded Brandy's

Friends $3,500.

"We are delighted to be recognized by Disney as an important

resource for families in South Orange County," said Cheryl Post,

director of community development. "The funds will support our

ongoing education programs in local schools."

The Laguna-based adolescent treatment center was among 100 Orange

County nonprofit community service organizations and agencies that

were honored at the 45th annual awards ceremony at Disney's

California Adventure Park. The organizations were selected in honor

of the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney's birth.

Founded in 1993, Brandy's Friends is a non-profit outpatient

counseling center focusing on family intervention for adolescent drug

and alcohol abuse. For information about the programs and service

provided by the center please call (949) 494-8100.

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