Please keep Laguna Beach clean
What has happened to the cleanliness of our beloved town? I am so
saddened to see all the trash on the beaches and sidewalks, in the
bushes, on the roads and lying around here and there. Is that what I
have to look at every day?
Please understand the importance of keeping our waters and our
land free of the trash and pollutants. Think of how it is hurting the
animals of the ocean, the birds, the land animals and us. Can we
please teach our children by example. And children, can you please
understand that this is your land and water too. Please take care of
I ask each and every one of you to pitch in and help clean up our
beautiful and beloved town. And when you see me out gathering up your
garbage, please don't turn the other cheek -- stop and help.
Increase taxes to meet slide costs
The city should look at tax measures, not cut city spending for
residential services. Officials should have looked at the big picture
and tax measures months ago. The landslide must be fixed.
No-bid contract power unwise
The council's recent decision to bestow the city manager with the
exclusive right and responsibility to enter into contracts on a
"no-bid basis" for a total amount not to exceed $7.5 million to
winterize the Blue Bird Canyon slide area is less than prudent. This
action raises many immediate and basic questions.
Without competitive bids, how does the city manager know that he
will be getting the best price for the work to be done? In fact, how
is he to determine that the $7.5 million, which incidentally
significantly exceeds earlier estimates and is considerably less than
the latest estimates, even needs to be spent? What happens if the
scope of work needs to be increased due to unforeseen issues? Without
competitive bids and oversight, how can the residents/taxpayers of
Laguna Beach be confident our tax dollars are being prudently spent?
How can we be confident that contracts will only be awarded for
projects for which the city is legally responsible? How can we be
confident that the city is not exposing itself to future litigation?
To grant complete authority to spend up to $7.5 million to one
individual is less than prudent. The burden of this responsibility is
Just three years ago, the City Council was forced to deal with the
ballooning price tag resulting from contract changes, cost overruns,
and inadequate oversight with the construction of the city park in
South Laguna. This project, initially budgeted for $1.5 million, soon
escalated to $8.4 million, plus interest! It appears that any
monetary, legal and oversight lessons learned from this project may
have been forgotten or are being ignored.
One council member's request for updates on expenditures,
including check dates, numbers and amounts is too little, too late:
Contracts will have been awarded and monies will have already been
spent. The time to question is not later but now, before the
contracts have been awarded and before the money has been spent.
We need our City Council to remain active in the fiscal and legal
oversight of this issue, just as they should for any large
discretionary project. Otherwise, bad history could repeat itself and
the city could once again be facing a preventable fiscal dilemma.
These issues are of concern to me, and if they are to you also,
please contact the City Council and express your concerns before it
is too late.
ROBIN K. HALL
Scout house lot must not be sold
It is logical to sell the city lots that will be vacated to the
Act V location. These lots will soon be no longer useful to the city.
We should not sell the Girl Scout House, and this option should not
be considered further.
It would be a gross mistake to sell a property that is so used. We
would never be able to purchase anything like it to replace it.
Our youth need facilities such as this just as much as our seniors
need their center. But youngsters can't vote, so they can't be heard
at the polls.
Iraq withdrawal would lead to more bloodshed
Some remember the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam blissfully. Let's
recap the facts (more at o7felderlaguna.blogspot.comf7).
Despite the signing of the1973 Vietnam Peace Accords with the last
U.S. combat troops leaving Vietnam on March 29, 1973, Democratic liberals abandoned our allies in Vietnam, failing to fulfill our
It was two years later, in 1975, that Democrats in Congress
"resisted President Gerald Ford's January request for additional
military aid to South Vietnam and Cambodia. This appropriation would
have provided the beleaguered Cambodian and South Vietnamese
militaries with ammunition, spare parts, and tactical weapons needed
to continue their own defense. Despite the fact that the 1973 Paris
Peace Accords called specifically for 'unlimited military replacement
aid' for South Vietnam, by March the House Democratic Caucus voted
overwhelmingly, 189-49, against any additional military assistance to
Vietnam or Cambodia." (By James Webb, former navy secretary
We abandoned our allies not to the Vietnam insurgency but to a
large conventional North Vietnamese army that invaded South Vietnam
in violation of the peace accords. If we now bring the troops home
from Iraq, those Iraqis who have worked with us to foster democracy
will be tortured and killed. We have enough blood on our hands; let's
not abandon another ally.