Wayne Baglin is an honest man
No! I don’t think Wayne Baglin should have been indicted. I have
known Wayne for the past 18 years.
I served with Wayne on the Laguna Board of Realtors Professional
Standards Committee. I’ve always thought Wayne to be one of the most
professional and honest brokers in town.
I do not understand why Wayne should be prevented from making a
living, especially when one considers all the time he has donated to
numerous organizations. This is the thanks he gets? I feel it is
wrong that Wayne is being put through this hell.
These are the stories that cause people to think twice about
donating their time.
I believe he should plead innocent. He is entitled to make a
living. A business decision is not criminal intent.
Recommendation for Baglin replacement
If Wayne Baglin should be forced to resign -- as I fervently hope
not -- it would be an exemplary act of democracy for the City Council
to appoint Melissa O’Neal to the vacancy. After all she represents
4,727 residents, only 227 less than Elisabeth Pearson.
When in Laguna, do as the Romans did
Your request for input on how [Wayne] Baglin should plead to the
charges against him reminds me of ancient Rome and the Coliseum, when
the crowd was asked whether the gladiator lived or died. Except the
Coliseum crowd had a better view of what was actually going on.
Toni Iseman for Laguna mayor
Toni Iseman should be mayor. She is currently mayor pro tem, and
the natural rotation is for her to be mayor. She is experienced and
good for Laguna Beach. I trust that the council will vote with the
good of the community in mind. Toni has earned and should be given
the opportunity to serve as mayor.
In response to the Coastline’s question, “Who do you think should
be Laguna’s next mayor?” the answer unquestionably has to be Toni
Toni Iseman is the present mayor pro tem and she was the candidate
for re-election that received the most votes from the electorate. She
has served as vice chairperson of the city’s Wastewater Committee,
which has been very instrumental in developing definitive plans for
the reduction of sanitary sewer spills and the grease ordinance to
reduce the amount of grease previously discharged to the sewers.
She was also instrumental to introducing the free shuttle ride
during the summer months to help relieve the traffic congestion in
Downtown. Iseman is an advocate for our environment and deserves
confidence of her fellow council members to elect her as mayor for
the next year. Iseman certainly does have the confidence of the
community to be our next mayor.
RAY E. LEWIS
Pearson doesn’t back up her words
I would like to reference the Coastline’s City Council candidate
profiles that ran the week of Oct. 14, specifically Elizabeth
When asked what the city can do to preserve the Village character,
Pearson was quoted as saying, “The two most significant
accomplishments of past city administrations were to impose a 36-foot
height limit in Laguna Beach and to create a sign ordinance that
prevented billboards and overly large signs within the city.”
My impression of Pearson is that she operates on a “do as I say,
not as I do” basis. All one had to do was see the huge Pearson
campaign banners that were mounted on the construction site at
Pacific Coast Highway near Nyes Place to understand that she doesn’t
feel that the rules apply to her.
How could anyone think that she is staying in line with our city’s
sign ordinance with such large, obtrusive banners? These were not
Secondly, it came to my attention several months ago that Pearson
was contacting general contractors and developers through her Web
site and soliciting them for campaign banner placement at each of
their construction sites within the city. Obviously, this contractor
took her up on her offer, much to the dismay of South Laguna
residents, who had to see these huge campaign banners everyday, and
watch a beautiful heritage building and yet another ocean view be
Pearson was also quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, the city is
understaffed in the area of enforcement, which is something I’d like
to see changed.”
Is this why she felt she could cheat and put up overly large
campaign banners, and no one would challenge her on the ordinance?
Pearson’s lack of integrity is something our community does not
need in City Hall. Actions speak louder than words.
Hobie’s behavior is out of character
I remember the founder of Hobie’s as a neighbor among neighbors,
an eccentric and happy man who had succeeded in life and kept his
humanity without arrogance.
The company that bears his name is behaving in a stunning and
out-of-character way. I am reminded of the Irvine Co., its current
behavior and the dreams and plans of its founder. I’m quite certain
that Mr. Hobie would not approve of what his company is doing here in
Generations and McCalla’s Pharmacy have been told to pack up and
leave after New Year’s. The Hobie’s store wants the extra retail
space! And they own the building now, and they can. They have every
legal right to do this! I support private property rights. But I
really wish they would have a heart. These two little businesses are
part of the neighborhood, they have been local shopkeepers and
friends for many years. McCalla’s has served now three generations of
Short of a miracle, the loss of leases means these family
businesses are closed forever, terminated, kaput. But Hobie’s will
have more retail space to compete with that other reptilian mall shop
across the street. I hope Hobie’s Surf shop has a change of heart and
keeps its neighborly founder’s reputation.
More trouble for Victory Walk trees
No sooner than we get through having to be concerned about what
one developer intends to do with his property than another comes
along on Victory Walk, planning to build where there are not only
trees, but where a home was destroyed in a mud slide a few years ago.
That’s an interesting story because it could have been prevented.
However, “Cement Mixer,” as Ricardo Duran referred to himself, made a
cement lawn instead of retaining his hillside. So one night, he
barely got out alive when the house was buried in mud.
Anyhow, this developer has assured me that the trees will be
spared by building the home on poles buried in the ground to bedrock.
It’s still too big the way he has it planned and is not being built
against the hill, which is the way I would have planned it. He has
learned one lesson, though.
Laguna elections need an overhaul
Laguna Beach needs to provide a clear separation of candidates,
possibly via a complete overhaul of the forums hosted by various
organizations. Pundits often analyze the diminishing voter turnout
percentages as reflections of apathy and/or dirty, mudslinging-style
campaigns. Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Carl
Hiaasen, a novelist who writes a column for the Miami Herald, alludes
to some races as “the lesser of two feebles.” Many stand in the
booth, feeling guilty voting for what Ralph Nader called “the evil of
two lessers.” If the populace feels that the process involves
choosing between Adolf Hitler and Attila the Hun, it’s easy to see
why there is this intransigence.
The venues in Laguna as currently structured don’t begin to afford
us the ability to discern who or what these people are. Insiders know
that there was a diversity presented on Nov. 5, yet it was cloaked
behind curtains of rhetorical facades.
Two suggestions for future consideration would perhaps bring back
into the fold many of these “no-shows,” thus greater numbers of
participants. 1. Make the forums interactive. Presently, they are
little more than love-ins, everyone (hosts included) congratulating
themselves and expressing thanks, how happy they are to be there, “ad
nauseum.” A lot of wasted time and ingratiation, with the subsequent
questions screened by the facilitators. Like the children’s baseball
game of “T-ball,” safe and unchallenging interrogatories with no
riposte or rebuttal. Similar to icebergs, we see the surface, but not
the substance. Ambiguous and extremely superficial responses abound.
We need hard answers to tough questions, not warm and fuzzy therapy
sessions. Seated officials should explain their failure to achieve
previously set goals.
2. Covenants. Force these candidates to commit by signing a
compact with their city. A contractual, definitive agreement.
Sanction or penalty for failure to perform: Removal or sit out the
following election. They always promise a trip to Las Vegas -- We get
a sleepover in Barstow. Realistically, we haven’t reached an
enlightened “what you see is what you get” state of being in local
government. To paraphrase one candidate, “I won’t tell you my views
because I want to use common sense and consider issues on a
case-by-case basis.” Translation: An elected official who refuses to
propose something in essence stands for nothing. This statement is
rife with typically disingenuous sophistry, the manipulative hallmark
of a politician.
Ambrose Bierce defined politics as “a strife of interests
masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public
affairs for private advantage.”
What about it, Laguna Beach? Do you care enough to find out who or
what is behind those masks?
ROGER VON BUTOW
Clean Water Now!