Support for labor center has kept it strong

The South County Crosscultural Council would like to thank all its supporters for their years of assistance, and particularly for the past year.

The letters of encouragement to The Coastline Pilot have helped to keep us going at the Laguna Day Worker Center and La Playa Center, and the financial contributions have ensured our immediate future. We have always worked for inclusion, diversity, education of limited English speakers, and community safety.

If you believe, as we do, that our programs help to further those principles, then we ask you to join us in keeping the Day Worker Center and La Playa running.


As always, we welcome community input and questions about our future activities.


Laguna Beach

[David Peck is chairman of the South County Crosscultural Council.]


A Christmas wish for all the community

‘Tis the season, so they say.

But, why just the season, why not every day?

So this is my wish for each and every one of you: I wish you all the happiness and joy you desire to experience for this season and not only throughout this new year, but for all of the years to come!


Laguna Beach

Iseman good, bad and ugly for environment

Your fawning editorial about former Mayor Toni Iseman begs for a response from one of the environmental groups you claim has benefited from her patronage. In my opinion, as founder and executive director of a 10-year-old non-government organization, the Clean Water Now! Coalition, you dwelled endlessly on the “good," but failed to note the “bad" and the “ugly." That is, her incredible deficiencies as seen through the eyes of those in the trenches. Let’s use some of your lionizing quotes as bullet points:


The Bad: “Iseman is not a speechifier and prefers to work in low-key ways, but we believe her mayorship will be seen in the future as a watershed."

Anyone objectively watching a meeting knows Iseman’s heavy-handed mayoral style, her tendency to filibuster, hog the microphone, make snide, disrespectful or chastising remarks were counter-productive, many times directed toward other council members.

She doesn’t facilitate and share with others as a chair should, she’s an imposing control freak. Abe Lincoln said you can monitor the character of a person by endowing them with power, and Iseman proves that corruptive potential by wielding the gavel in a menacing manner.

Her recent “Twin City" [i.e., Sister City] campaign is a good example of her lack of respect for the electorate and council. She didn’t bother to inform the city or council of her unilateral activities and negotiations that started in May, and now, like the proverbial goose, is cramming it down their throats and ours like so much pate de fois gras.

She openly refused to discuss alternatives or work cooperatively with Councilwoman Schneider during discussion at the Dec. 4 meeting. A retirement city for the obscenely rich of Europe nestled in the French Riviera, Menton would only be our twin if we were a Rothschild or Windsor.

Iseman has been trying for three years to force the Marine Mammal Center to euthanize or neuter their patients. With no expertise in the field, she champions a form of eugenics for infirm species that in many cases are ill due to human abuse of aquatic habitats, animals and mammals in our center’s trusting, supposedly loving care. Worse, she has coldly tried to tie their city-owned lease renewal into such a whacked out demand, thus holding a critical flagship NGO hostage.

Now she wants to ban all spearfishing, claiming it’s dangerous and a hazard to visitors, a public safety issue, especially for children. As Laguna native and Marine Safety Chief Mark Klosterman pointed out to her, injury statistics don’t support creating such a draconian ordinance. Of the three reported incidents in the past 30 years, two wounded themselves, one wounded a fellow diver. Not letting reality interfere, Iseman will be placing this needless ordinance on the agenda in January.

The Ugly: She supports the city manager in reducing the incredible shrinking lifeguard headquarters even further, down 40% from the first reasonably sized model on par with similar Southern California buildings. She contradicts herself by opposing the original, average-sized facility (5,000 square feet), which will allow the marine protection officer and the lifeguards to better serve and provide the very public safety she claims she supports. You know, like protecting imaginary children who have been pronged by those vicious spear fishermen! Go figure.


She was summarily dismissed from the California Coastal Commission because legitimate, respected national NGO’s like the Sierra Club and Surfrider Foundation placed her dead last as a green conservation adjudicator. They lobbied and petitioned successfully to block her reappointment, and the cheering hasn’t ceased. Even her own mentors and sponsors within the coastal commission felt she had abandoned her constituents, failed to do her homework for agenda items. No one there seems to miss her.

Last year during her reelection campaign, she finally came out of the political closet: She not only admitted, but boasted of being a politician. So all of her supposed “greenery" should be skeptically viewed through the prism glasses or filters of these Machiavellian types. They continually hold their finger to the wind, look for prevailing patterns or currents and then push themselves into the forefront of other people’s parades (trends).

Last, to quote your editorial:

“Even the perennial problem of trash-strewn beaches seems to have abated as groups new and old have stepped forward to continue their efforts or begin new cleanup campaigns. We can’t help but think that Mayor Iseman’s emphasis on environmentalism energized these citywide efforts."

Iseman has never, in the 10-year history of CWN!C, thanked any of us personally or even noted the very existence of CWN!C. A decade of unparalleled watchdog accomplishments not only here but throughout South County (Google that!), the veritable godfathers of beach cleanups in Laguna starting in late 2000. Thus she refuses to acknowledge the efforts of CWN!C in organizing thousands of participants over the last seven years who have assisted with their volunteer labor in keeping our beaches and marine habitats litter free at no cost to the city.

She certainly hasn’t “energized" CWN!C, and by selfishly turning her back on us, has undermined our goals, not enhanced them. This denial makes no ecological sense and has the side effect of reducing our local credibility and ability to educate. To me, she is a poseur, and with green “friends" like her, who needs enemies?


Laguna Beach