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MAILBAG

Parking crisis solved: Roads are lots

Nowadays we just use all the lanes of Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road as parking lots, since with the unprecedented glut of traffic we sure aren’t using the roads to get anywhere, even midday on weekdays!

I wonder if the development interests in town who claim to be a benevolent part of our community are willing to be honest in their private thoughts and acknowledge, even if only to themselves, that there has been a huge increase in the backup of cars at red lights and intersections, and that their projects have contributed to the problem. There is now officially a traffic crisis in our town, where there used to be mostly just a summertime parking crisis.

I once had a development executive tell me that Laguna is now “his hometown” too "” if that is so, he must have noticed that Coast Highway has become as congested as La Cienega Boulevard, and not just on summer weekends.

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I wonder if this developer “gets” that his projects have contributed greatly to the problem, in an incremental way, along with the projects of every other developer in Laguna and South Orange County.

Does this developer’s family complain about the extra time it takes to get to the supermarket, pick up kids at school, run down to the hardware store, etc.?

He may be willing to trade quality of life for money, but I am not "” money is useless when you’re sitting through two red lights just to get through the intersection in front of the Montage on a Tuesday morning at 11 a.m.

Next time a project comes up for approval, I hope the city doesn’t buy the line, “There will be no net increase in car trips...” when the developer’s traffic analysis makes this pathologically dishonest claim.

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Every development brings with it a corresponding diminution in the quality of life for the rest of us. Someone please make it stop before I have to move away to find the peace that I used to enjoy in Laguna Beach.

Have a nice summer everybody. Be nice to the tourists "” somebody wants them here so they can pick their pockets.

JAMES DORF

Laguna Beach

Goats needed to protect hillsides

This letter is in response to the article that appeared in the June 22 edition of Coastline Pilot titled “City to reevaluate goat herds.”

My wife, Louise, and I have lived at the top of Allview Terrace in North Laguna Beach for the past 22 years. Allview Terrace is a private road that reaches straight into the Irvine Ranch property. We are surrounded on three sides by dense, dry brush. We share the cul de sac with the Hortense Miller garden.

Until recently, goats were effectively used to create a much needed fuel break to minimize the possibility of a brush fire jumping to private property and burning down North Laguna as it almost did in 1993.

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In 1979 and again in 1993, fires roared down the hillside behind Allview Terrace. The Brea Fire Department saved our community by successfully fighting the fire with tanker trucks of water. The fire hydrant nearest the burn path is useless as it produces a scant 11 psi of water pressure, barely a trickle. Thanks to the intelligence of the fire captain and brave firemen, we lost only two structures and 20 palm trees that used to line the street.

Again this fall, we expect to be at risk from another wildfire. We are unprotected without water pressure or wide fire breaks. This is criminal. Our only defense at present is brush abatement.

I applaud our City Manager, Ken Frank, Councilwoman Cheryl Kinsman and [petitioner] Eleanor Henry for recognizing the critical requirement to provide an effective and proven safety measure that fits our needs and budget.

This is a safety argument, as the goats do a better, faster, less-expensive job with minimal down sides. The water pollution argument is untested, unproven, baseless rhetoric without concern for our safety.

If the “environmentalists” were that concerned, my neighbors and I will help them rake the little goat pellets into a pile and take them to an environmentally approved disposal area. It would take one day at best, and we would really appreciate their help.

WAYNE WRIGHT

Laguna Beach

Should Seniors Inc. manage center?

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I am a participant and volunteer at the Laguna Beach Senior Center, now housed in the old Legion Hall on Legion Street.

I strongly believe the City Council should study how other senior centers are managed before giving complete control for 50 years to the Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc.

There’s no question that certain board members of this organization have warmed up to the city manager and City Council members in order to take control of the new center, and that is not necessarily in the best interest of all seniors, or what the new center needs.

People in Laguna should realize there are a number of organizations who provide programs at the center.

South Orange County Seniors Inc. manage the daily lunch program, which on a typical week-day provides hot and cold lunches for twenty to fifty people.

The city senior coordinator plays an important part in arranging and scheduling classes.

Sally’s Fund provides transportation to senior lunch and for other seniors in need of rides. The county provides a nurse and other services.

I have been a member of Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc., since 2000, but at this point, asking them to manage and have complete control of the new Susie Q Senior Center is absurd.

Yes, they raised part of the money for the new center, but quite frankly, City Manager Ken Frank wanted the center to be built as part of his “legacy” and it would have been built, one way or another.

Stop this giveaway, especially since we have little idea what the few people who control the potential management have in mind.

ROGER CARTER

Laguna Beach

Council members breaking the law

What a disaster we have when members of a local government sit in front of their citizens and do not blink an eye when accused of committing a felony.

Each and every one of our council members is committing a felony and instead of being fearful of the consequences, they are blasé. Why? Do they have a deal with some entity that has given them immunity? That is the operative word.

Immunity for one and all! Illegal immigrants working in your yard; legal citizens go ahead and hit someone with your car, break into a house, fire your gun at your nasty neighbor. It appears that laws in this town mean absolutely nothing.

Terrific lesson you are teaching your kids. You may blink when one of your kids is hurt by one of the illegals who has escaped prison or one who is used to not having consequences gets behind the wheel while drinking. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but this is just a minuscule part of the chances we are taking living in a society that does not arrest offenders.

If amnesty is granted we do not have a prayer of having the American culture and its law enforcement system staying intact.

Millions have entered this country legally and they are Americans now, and very proud of it.

As are we, the ones who grew up with not a thought of breaking a law. We had been immersed in our Constitution.

Close the illegal immigrant work site and let’s resume being true to our country. We are the most democratic society in the world but that cannot remain if the laws that were made to protect us are un-enforced.

ALICE JOLIS

Laguna Beach

City should not fund labor center

Re: “Labor center to receive grant,” Coastline Pilot, June 20.

It’s a sad day for the people of Laguna Beach when eight members of a community can speak in opposition to the misuse of city funds, only to be greeted with mostly blank stares from our elected officials and to have the unelected city manager thumb his nose at us. The one brave voice of the night was Councilwoman Elizabeth Schneider, but your paper failed to report on what she did.

For every person who spoke out against our city funding an operation that clearly aids and abets illegal aliens, there are 50 people who were in agreement with them, but have not yet decided to have their voices heard.

How can I blame them when they see first hand what happened to Schneider when she suggested the Day Labor Center have their community assistance funding cut by $14,000. She suggested this because the city already pays most of their annual operating expenses out of other taxpayer funded budgets.

Schneider’s suggestion was met by anger from city manager Ken Frank as he rambled off that there is no other option to the situation, but to spend more and more city money to ease the crimes the workers would commit if they were left to solicit from the street.

Frank states that before the day labor site creation the workers were loitering, drinking, swarming cars, and peeing in bushes. So, his answer is to build a nice park for them where the city pumps our taxpayer funds into each year.

I say, “Excuse me, Mr. Frank, but aren’t all those activities the workers were doing crimes?” Isn’t each one of those a police issue? Why do the funds to end criminal activity come out of our “charity” budget?

It was sad to see representatives from other worthy charities come before the council and beg for crumbs. It must have broken their hearts to return to their groups and tell them most of the money went to those who are not citizens of this city, or even citizens of this country.

EILEEN GARCIA

Laguna Beach


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