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MAILBAG: Three council candidates a real choice

I was so happy to hear that we will have a real campaign for City Council. I was afraid that without a real choice, we would not have a good discussion of the issues. Now, with Verna [Rollinger’s] entry into the race along with Cheryl [Kinsman] and Jane [Egly], we will have three talented women to compare and choose from! This is great news!

So, how to choose? I offer my criteria as to what qualities would make an outstanding city council person:

?A clear and documented commitment to preserving Laguna Beach’s uniqueness. I want to know what each candidate considers our assets and what they will do to preserve them.

?A lifetime history of environmental action. The ideal candidate should have a record of support for clean air, clean water and maintaining our Greenbelt safe from development.

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?Support for our unique commercial infrastructure and our resident serving business. Each candidate should outline how they will work to discourage the proliferation of chains and to promote our unique retail businesses.

?Prevent mansionization. The relentless process that results in ever larger houses in our neighborhoods must be addressed once and for all. The ideal candidate will share this view.

?Support our fire, police, teachers and city staff. One good idea is require moderate income housing be built for our city employees within any new major development.

?Work to solve our parking problem. I will be looking for new ideas to reduce the impact of autos on our neighborhoods and on our quality of life.

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?Oppose multi-use developments. The destruction of our neighborhoods by multi-use mega projects is increasing. My vote will go to those candidates who are committed to vote against such projects.

?Appointments to city boards. The real work in our city occurs on the various boards and committees. City Council members nominate and appoint the individuals who serve on these boards. I will look closely at the people incumbents have nominated in the past and the characteristics of those to be nominated in the future.

?Conflicts of interest. In the past we have seen conflicts of interests prevent a full airing of issues. Too many votes occur with one or two council members having to recuse themselves from consideration. We need a fully functional council. I will want to see all candidates disclose all of their conflicts and how they will deal with them.

I am very excited about the next election. We have three dedicated individuals to choose from. Fellow citizens, it is now up to us. Let’s do our homework and choose wisely. Laguna deserves our best effort.

AL BAEZ

Laguna Beach

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Getting the real scoop on ‘POOP’

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Please correct your correction in the Aug. 15 article [Our Laguna, Coastline Pilot, Aug. 15]. PRC, Inc., or Pet Responsibility Committee, Inc., started out as a city committee in 1975 and later became an incorporated nonprofit organization in 1979.

The name was just recently changed to Protecting Unwanted Pets and was never Pet Owners Obligation to the Public!

That degrading name was given to a special committee, headed by then Deputy Chief of Police Jim Spreine and I, to clean up dog feces on the streets of Laguna. Neil Fitzpatrick, mayor at the time, thought that it was funny to have the committee called POOP. Neither Jim nor I appreciated his humor, and the name was dropped immediately.

It was a huge campaign of fliers door to door, newspaper articles and changing fines under Laguna Beach laws to help this problem.

Eventually, the city hired an outside contractor to clean certain areas of our city where people do not clean up after their dogs.

Protecting Unwanted Pets is a group of energetic and bright people who will serve the Laguna Animal Shelter well; however, I’ll miss our original name.

They are still doing business as PRC Inc. in case anyone has mentioned them in their will some time back.

GEN MCMENOMY

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Laguna Beach

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Use local businesses and drive less

About two years ago, I finally got around to having a very successful “purple" garage sale to sell assorted Items that I had collected over the last 40 years. When I decided to clear out the remaining items I tried calling consignment stores in Laguna Beach and found out to my surprise that at least four had closed down and others were not accepting merchandise.

Business apparently has not been good. The On Consignment Shop agreed to accept and sell the merchandise that I wanted to put up for consignment. Over the past two months, they have done a great job of working for me to get top dollar for the assorted jewelry and crystal items they accepted for sale. The week I received my first check for the items that I had not used in years the old bedroom TV finally died and the money paid for a bigger and better model.

Another advantage is the friendly prompt service. Also, the shop is animal-friendly; while you are out walking your dog you can stop in and window shop for that interesting and one of a kind treasure while your dog can enjoy the treat jar that sits on the front counter just like they were home. Only in Laguna. Tourists spend a lot of money to travel from all corners of the world to enjoy what we only have to walk out our doors to enjoy. Our beaches have recently been rated the cleanest and best in Southern California. So why spend your money on high gas prices? Drive less and support our town.

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VIOLET ROSE MAGENTA

The Purple Lady of Laguna Beach

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Feels ‘marginalized’ by civic forum

This is an open letter to Rick Warren, Barack Obama, John McCain and the Republican and Democratic National Parties (and the TV media, of course): Thank you for the Saddleback Civic (oxymoron?) Forum last Saturday.

However, I am compelled, as one of out of about five voting Americans who do not embrace your beliefs, to say that I do not appreciate being marginalized or taken for granted.

NIKO THERIS

Laguna Beach



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