Homeless should not be feared by the city

We've been in Laguna 41 years and have seen all sorts of persons on our streets. In the '60s and '70s, many people who now complain of the homeless were then complaining of persons who didn't fit their personal image of what is "right."

My husband taught sculpture for many years at Orange Coast College and his students for the most part looked to be the so-called hippy...actually the mode of style then. He would often remark on seeing a grungy-looking bunch, "Hey, that kid is a student of mine and a good kid." Many of us remember the mini-skirt, which wasn't for everyone.

We now are retired but walk Heisler Park, both for exercise and to see the ever changing sunsets. The homeless are there, as they are on Coast Highway and Ocean, and we've never felt a threat of any kind — of course, we're Lagunans. Maybe we're more used to strange persons.

Actually, we feel more threatened walking past a bar with the drunks, bikers,loud rock (music?) and not-too-great looking persons there.

The fact that we have two sons who survived the Vietnam war without visible or invisible scars due to luck in their assignments makes us more sensitive to the guys we see who were damaged emotionally and the guys and women with mental disturbance. Let's try to help them, not shove them aside.


Laguna Beach

Money should be held in reserve

Let's see, the city has more money coming in than expected and the council is busy figuring out to spend it. How about not spending it at all and putting it in the reserve for real emergencies.

Who knows, if the ocean really is rising, we may need all of it and more to build a dike across Main Beach and install expensive pumps and pipes to pump rain water, etc. out of downtown into the ocean where nature has always intended it to go.

If the ocean doesn't rise, we can be sure another major fire and/or earthquake or landslide will come along sooner or later.


Laguna Beach

Special treatment for day labor site

Ever since the issue of the city's financing of the day labor site came under question — and due to Judicial Watch's lawsuit and public information request — there have been many facts that have come forward that most Laguna Beach taxpayers were unaware of.

First we learned the city was illegally squatting on Caltrans property, and then we learned the city had authorized a water line to be brought in under the highway and installed a drinking fountain.

Then we learn the day labor site has been collecting fees for services, without checking legal eligibility to work, as required by law. Now we learn that our city manager's wife sits on the day labor site's board of directors! This is outrageous news and something I doubt the taxpayers of Laguna Beach were aware of.

Some questions come to mind. How has the day labor site has been able to gain such great increases in funding from the city each year, and why have some charities that directly serve the residents of Laguna Beach had their funding cut year after year? In addition, why has our city manager been so protective of this operation?

It makes one wonder: Do the members of the day labor site's board of directors receive any "benefits" for their service? This is a big question. I think our city manager, Ken Frank, owes us some answers.

I have said this before and will continue to say it...the city needs to quit using taxpayer's money to fund the day labor site. Get the City of Laguna Beach out of the day labor business!


Laguna Beach

Why are churches excluded?

Last week marked the anniversary of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's birth 125 years ago, one of the truly great American presidents, who made this remarkable observation during World War II: "Nothing greater could come to our land today than a revival of the spirit of religion. I doubt if there is any problem — social, political, or economic — that would not melt away before the fire of such a spiritual awakening. We face one of the greatest choices of history...the continuation of civilization as we know it, versus the ultimate destruction of all we hold dear, religion against godlessness."

This quote comes from the book, "The Faith of FDR," by William J. Federer. The book reveals FDR even wrote a foreword to a special edition of the New Testament and Psalms produced for the armed forces, which said: "As commander- in-chief I take pleasure in com- mending the reading of the Bible to all who serve in the armed forces of the United States."

FDR also held a high regard for the local church, proclaiming, "No governmental organization in all history has been able to keep the human touch to the same extent as church and private effort."

One wishes FDR was alive today to sit on the Laguna Beach Patriot's Day Committee. He no doubt would have enthusias- tically encouraged churches to be included in our city parade.

Instead, as has been the case year after year, the churches of Laguna Beach have been told by the committee they are not welcome.


Laguna Beach

  • EDITOR'S NOTE: Jay Grant is Associate Pastor of the Little Church by the Sea in Laguna Beach.
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