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No need to run Baglin through...

No need to run Baglin through mud

After a late lunch at the Cottage causing me to reminisce about

hobnobbing with Orville Skidmore (the cottage was his home) and his

pals, Don Brown and Eddie Holbert, I picked up the Coastline to see

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an editorial, “Bad case for Baglin,” (Coastline Pilot, Nov. 15).

Never having time for local politics, this seemed one bad case

indeed. Having never met the mayor or being able to recognize him, it

just struck me he must be a balanced and proper fellow who has run

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into some spiteful opposition over various matters along the way.

For a hod carrier working muscles daily, $36,000 is a lot of

money. For those initiating this action, it is probably hardly more

than a daily fluctuation of their stock portfolio (which is zero

unless you sell) and really represents nothing more than “hot air or

some change in the weather.”

(Congress, by the way, controls money, only 8% of which is cash.

In other words, the most you could lose if global policies fail

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entirely is 92%, but don’t worry, there are bankers that simply won’t

let that happen.)

Judges I’ve come to know will agonize listening to this case,

viewing it as a very sad waste of time. Some petite jury will never

know the substance of all that went on behind the scenes.

Grand juries are always politically motivated. Most states no

longer permit them. The one-sided proceedings are sealed, but someone

always leaks what happened because it is irresistibly more fun that

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way. California is better off joining states no longer permitting

groups of up to 23 people deciding if a jury of 12 should hear a case

to show we of California have at least learned something since the

17th century. There are improved means for arriving at such a point

that reduce the burden on our overloaded legal system.

The mayor of Laguna Beach did not vote on the purchase of this

private property. Reportedly, the owners of the sold property simply

gave the mayor $36,000. They did so because the mayor, outside of

politics, has been in the real estate business thus was easily able

to carefully, legally broker such a transaction for the sake of both

parties. There’s nothing about a sop. The gift was motivated, it

seems, by generosity, or just good will.

A violation of the code would imply intent as if it were part of a

trend with the mayor who is overcome with greed or really badly in

need of money (to pay a skyrocketing medical bill perhaps; who can

afford that?). If Wayne Baglin were greedy, why in the world would he

want to be mayor? Answer that one.

Oversimplification is bad because things aren’t like they may

seem, reminding me of a surgeon who performed an operation on a

patient who “wanted the surgery.” True, the surgeon was behind on his

alimony payments and his ex wife’s lawyer was trying through heckle

and harass to drive him crazy. Nurses said he was “knife happy.” You

discover, however, the patient begged him to remove her gall bladder

although the stone was just innocently sitting there. If he didn’t

operate, she might never see her children again!

Indeed her two children, now grown, admitted they would have never

visited their mother had she not been in the hospital and had the

surgery. The surgeon indirectly brought the family together via the

surgery, got rid of the gallstone, along with a vestigial organ, and

actually accomplished a social good. Years ago, listening to a

psychiatric history, a lady had had 38 surgical procedures! She was

very “family oriented.”

Why in the world put the citizens of the city through public

newspaper embarrassment generated by some selfishly motivated cheap

shot? Where’s the benefit? Is this action politically motivated? Well

now, is the Pope Polish?

TED NOLAN THOMPSON

Laguna Beach

Grateful for the heroes in our midst

We would like to tell the community about some “heroes in our

midst.” The American Assn. of University Women, Laguna Beach chapter,

administers two volunteer programs at El Morro Elementary School in

Laguna Beach.

We have many wonderful volunteers drawn from our association and

the community at large and we are grateful to them all for giving of

their limited time. But we wanted to express our thanks in particular

to two of our volunteers -- Ed Gazich and Mike Easley -- from First

Team Nolan Realty. They not only give of their time, but they recruit

additional volunteers for us, and their firm, First Team Nolan

Realty, is the financial sponsor of our after-school program, The

Learning Club. They are, indeed, “heroes in our midst.”

PAT JAMIESON AND

PEGGIE THOMAS

The American Assn. of

University Women

Laguna Beach

Fuzzy math on Treasure Island

I live immediately across Coast Highway from the Treasure Island

construction war zone. With the opening of the resort just around the

corner, I called the sales office recently to better understand the

capacity of their facility, and here are the stats I was provided:

* 262 hotel rooms and suites;

* 7,500-square-foot Grand Ballroom = 775 person capacity --

theater-style seating;

* 3,200-square-foot Junior Ballroom = 340 person capacity --

theater-style seating

* 120-person capacity restaurant

* 300 employees

This total does not include capacities for the 20,000 square-foot

spa or the public park.

If we add up the total capacity based on the above numbers (based

on only single occupancy in the guest rooms), we are looking at 1,797

people.

Let’s just divide that in half and assume two people per vehicle

are arriving at the hotel property. That’s 898 vehicles.

Now for the fuzzy part: there are only 400 “valet-only” parking

spaces. Less than half of what would be required.

We ask the question: Where are all these people going to park?

It has recently come to our attention that the Athens

Group/Montage Resort has negotiated with Albertson’s corporate

offices to occupy at least 50 underground parking spaces of the

Albertson’s grocery store in the Aliso Plaza Shopping Center. As we

understood it, the Coastal Commission required that any off site

parking to be used by Treasure Island was required to be vacant and

under the same ownership as the resort center. What’s changed?

We have been living in a construction war zone for over a year.

Once Treasure Island is open to the public, what will happen to our

neighborhood streets? Will we once again be put into a war zone

mentality of trying to get into and out of our driveways? And up and

down our narrow streets? In and out of our shopping center that’s

already gridlocked most of the time? The Planning Commission just

approved a 15-lot subdivision in the hills just above Treasure Island

-- where do those new residents and construction workers park?

We remain optimistic and excited about the added bed tax that the

Montage Resort will bring to the city coffers. We are not excited

about the price this neighborhood will have to pay for these supposed

tax benefits.

Who is going to step up to the line and help us with this problem?

Can we expect our elected and appointed officials to represent us and

protect our interests and quality of life?

BETSY BREDAU

Laguna Beach

Good lesson in bad behavior

During the Thanksgiving weekend, our local Boy Scout troop was

selling See’s Candy for our annual fund-raiser in front of a local

grocery store. We were told by the manager that we had to leave, as a

customer had complained because he was an atheist and the Boy Scouts

believe in God.

This person was not going to shop at any business that would

support the Boy Scouts of America.

The purpose of the Boy Scouts is to help raise young men to become

productive members of society. However, one person seems to feel that

his beliefs (or lack of belief) should supersede the values of an

outstanding organization that has been helping young men for 90

years.

I don’t smoke cigarettes, but that has never caused me to complain

to the store manager or stop shopping at a store because they sell a

product that I don’t believe in.

I am assuming that this atheist feels that he is very enlightened

and opened minded because of his belief in himself. However, he

showed how closed minded he truly is by trying to subject his moral

judgments on 12-year-old young men and the organization they belong

to.

I have used this experience as a valuable lesson for my troop, to

let them know that we don’t judge or hate people because of their

beliefs, but that we have every right to stand up for our morals and

values. We hope and pray that the day has not arrived when men call

good evil and evil good.

KEITH KESLER

Scoutmaster Troop 38

Laguna Beach


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