The South Coast Water District was served with an administrative
civil liability complaint alleging the district did not meet general
waste discharge requirements and did not comply with a section of the
California Water Code.
The complaint was made by the San Diego Regional Water Quality
Control Board on Dec. 16.
“We are proposing an assessment of violation penalties after a
public hearing,” said Mark Alpert, senior engineering geologist and
head of the enforcement unit. “South Coast Water District gets their
chance to refute those complaints.”
The report alleges that the water district did not develop,
implement and maintain a sanitary sewer overflow prevention plan; did
not comply with the California Water Code section that governs the
request for information regarding sewer spills; it provided
incomplete sanitary sewer overflow reporting; and did not report a
sewer spill that occurred on Dec. 23, 2001 within the required
The regional board conducted a routine compliance inspection of
the water district’s sewage collection system in June 2001 and staff
were not able to provide them with a prevention plan, according to
Alpert. After a third inspection on July 16 this year, the water
district provided a plan backdated to February 2002.
“We’re not saying they didn’t have one,” Alpert said. “Repeatedly,
they failed to provide it.”
If the water district either decides to waive its right to a
public hearing or is found to be guilty of the above violations, it
may be liable for a total $136,100 in fines.
The water district plans to review the complaint in closed session
with its board of directors, public information officer Linda
“We’re still in the stage of reading it and understanding it,” she
said. “We’re moving ahead very quickly.”
The South Coast Water District serves South Laguna under contract
to the city.
-- Mary A. Castillo
Council supports tram improvements
Council members were told that last summer’s free festival transit
service nearly doubled in ridership from the year before.
The council was presented Tuesday with the results of an
evaluation of the trams and unanimously approved the recommendations
of that report.
The city implemented three summer trolley routes that transported
passengers from ACT V to the Downtown transit center and from the
transit center to North Laguna and South Laguna. The service cost the
city $125,000, according to Bill Liebel, deputy director of public
Based on extensive data collection by Dan Boyle and Associates,
the free tram service successfully increased ridership by 98%, from
129,508 riders in 2001 to 256,774 in 2002. The most heavily used
route in the system was the Canyon Route, which took passengers from
the ACT V parking lot to the transit center Downtown.
The total cost to the city to implement the report’s
recommendations would be $44,500, Public Works Director Steve May
said. However, the cost is pending final approval of the 2003-04
budget and the receipt of grant funds from the Orange County Transit
Consultant Dan Boyle’s recommendations included improving services
on the canyon route, extending service on the south route to South
Laguna Village, providing stewards on the canyon route on the
weekends and extending the free summer fares to the city’s mainline
fixed route bus system.
-- Mary A. Castillo
Another try for flood control dollars
City officials will try to sweet talk the county out of money for
a flood control project on Broadway that won’t make the business
community and environmentalists sour.
The City Council voted 4-1 Tuesday to appoint a subcommittee to
see if the bridges had been burned irrevocably when the city decided
to scuttle a joint project by the county, the city and the Army Corps
of Engineers. Funding for the $10-million project was to come from
the county and the corps.
Two million dollars of the $10 million had been spent on the
project when the city canceled the project last summer.
Mayor Toni Iseman, who voted Tuesday against the motion to
resurrect the deal, was appointed to the subcommittee with Mayor Pro
Tem Cheryl Kinsman.
“We should get down on our hands and knees to get that money
back,” said Kinsman, who had opposed dropping the project. “You would
be surprised at what I would do for $8 million.”
The 4-1 vote on June 18 to cancel the project was the second time
the city had backed out of a deal with the county for a flood control
project on Broadway. Both times, the business community had spoken
against the projects, which merchants feared would disrupt business.
Iseman opposed the most recent proposal because of the design,
which she felt would mar Main Beach.
Kinsman was the lone supporter of the project, which had once had
the staunch backing of then-Mayor Wayne Baglin.
-- Barbara Diamond
Pageant calls for volunteers
It’s that time of year again -- the Pageant of the Masters is
having its casting call for next summer’s show, “Seasons.” The
Pageant is looking for men, women and children of all sizes and ages
to volunteer their time for the world renowned presentation of
tableaux vivants, also known as living pictures.
Volunteers are needed in the Pageant, for the wardrobe, makeup and
headdress departments, cast area coordinators, refreshment servers
and more. The show will be staged nightly from July 9 through Aug.
“Being a volunteer for the Pageant of the Masters is a magical
experience,” marketing director Sharbie Higuchi said. “Not only is it
an opportunity to be a part of a world-famous production -- but a
chance to give to the arts in the community.”
“It takes over 600 volunteers to produce the show,” Higuchi said.
“Without them, the Pageant of the Masters simply wouldn’t happen.
Some have volunteered for more than 25 years. Director Diane
Challis Davy was once a volunteer. Many families choose to make it a
traditional summer activity.
A casting call will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4; 2
to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 5; and 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, backstage
at the Irvine Bowl at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Refreshments will be
-- Suzie Harrison
Community band seeking musicians
The Laguna Community Concert Band can be seen all over town, be it
at the Memorial Day celebration, the Patriots Day parade or the
Now it’s looking to recruit a few high-quality musicians. Theresa
Marino is the board member in charge of membership and recruitment.
To audition or find out how to become part of Laguna’s local band,
call Theresa at 497-7308 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Suzie Harrison
Christmas for veterans and kids
Laguna Beach American Legion Post 222 held its annual Christmas
dinner social on Dec. 12.
Nineteen Laguna kids attended the dinner, along with some of their
parents, Legionnaires and guests. In the past, dinner has been
provided by Legionaries, but this year Snyder Langston Development
and Construction Company provided the main course and almost all the
gifts for the children.
Brenda Stark, from Snyder Langston, organized a craft program to
entertain the children while they waited for a visit from Santa