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EDITORIAL: Back to business

Summer’s almost over, and school days are almost here. While visitors are enjoying their last sunsets and mojitos at local watering-holes and ocean-view restaurants, residents are looking forward to “getting their town back.”

Labor Day weekend is particularly poignant in Laguna Beach.

The summer festivals are ramping up for their sendoffs (actually, the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters will have their last hurrahs tonight). Art-a-Fair and Sawdust will be open for Labor Day weekend revelers.

Visitor-serving businesses are counting their profits, hoping to stay afloat for another year.

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Looking back at summer 2007, it seemed to pass quickly and uneventfully for most.

Ocean-lovers had a particularly sweet summer, with water temperatures in the comfort zone of 72 to 74 degrees. The waves and riptides were also cooperative, with few “red flag” days to mar swimming.

Making the beaches even more attractive was the city’s designation a couple of weeks ago as a “Beach Buddy” for having the best water quality on the entire West Coast. Ironically, the “Beach Buddy” designation came a week after the big skimboarding contest at Aliso Beach had to be moved elsewhere — due to a sewage spill from an inland city.

That beach closure serves as a reminder that the battle is far from won in the fight for clean ocean waters, but the “Beach Buddy” designation makes one able to go into the water again without fear.

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There should be a few more weeks of lingering summer weather so residents can darken their tans and catch some waves before fall sets in.

But for all intents and purposes, summer is over.

Next week, the city will be back to business with a jam-packed City Council meeting and serious issues to attend to.

Meanwhile, Lagunans can ponder the other meaning of Labor Day — a holiday honoring the labor movement, which struggled to improve not only working conditions and pay, but can be seen as the underpinning of the country’s overall economic prosperity, the rise of the “middle class” that is so uniquely American.

Laguna Beach also has the distinction of being the home of one of the early pioneers in this movement, the late Evelyn Munro, venerated nationwide for helping to organize the first agricultural workers’ union in the South, which morphed into the United Farm Workers.

There are, indeed, many reasons to celebrate Labor Day.


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