Wayne Baglin is an honest man...

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.


Laguna Beach

I believe he should plead innocent. He is entitled to make a

living. A business decision is not criminal intent.



Laguna Beach

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.



Laguna Beach

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.


Laguna Beach

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.


Laguna Beach

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.


Laguna Beach

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

yard signs!

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

taken away.

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.


Laguna Beach

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

Laguna Beach.

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

Laguna Beachers.

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.


Laguna Beach

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 Beach

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?


Clean Water Now!

Laguna Beach