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Mailbag: City must have Fourth of July fireworks

I can’t believe it! The city says no money for fireworks this year! I wonder what they plan to do with the $2,500 that good-hearted citizen sent in last year. I can’t afford that much, but I am sending in $50 to add to the pot, and I believe all the people who can’t imagine a Fourth of July without fireworks will be willing to donate to the cause.

Maybe the Chamber of Commerce could ask its members for funds. I’m sure the VFW and American Legion would stand tall. And the service clubs have always come through. Maybe even SchoolPower would have something to say to its list of supporters and the students (for credit) could come up with posters to put in all the store windows in town. We could end up with the biggest fireworks display on the coast!

All hands can send checks to:

City Manager Ken Frank


Laguna Beach City Hall

505 Forest Ave.

Laguna Beach, CA 92651

And be sure to write “For 7/4/1010 Fireworks only" on the check so that the money doesn’t go into the general fund and they use it to build another hotel for the homeless, maybe this time with a sauna.


Let’s strive to keep the fireworks alive.


Laguna Beach

Restaurant closure leaves bad taste

My wife and I dropped by Canyon Lodge for an early dinner Saturday as we have often done for the past 40 plus years only to be told that they stopped food service after 5 p.m. as of Jan. 20, contrary to what it said in your article in the Coastline Pilot (“Canyon Lodge restaurant to close," Jan. 22). We were informed that the staff was notified Jan. 19 that dinner service would stop the following day and basically they were out of a job. The staff was told they might be of use in the event they held special functions in the future.

While, as a “loyal customer," I am bitterly disappointed over the closure of the restaurant, I more concerned about the abrupt and shoddy nature of the way the staff was terminated. Apparently they were just terminated on the spot, no advance notice, no provision for any other option. What a way for a supposedly first-class institution, the Montage, to treat their employees.

I guess for the Athens Group and the Montage it is just about the corporate bottom line. Certainly not about the corporate image. We have been supporters in the past of both on their efforts in South Laguna. No more. They are definitely off our recommended list!

Good luck to the abruptly terminated loyal employees.



Laguna Beach

Music festival educates listeners

Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Cindy Prewitt of Laguna Beach Live.

I wanted to thank you for enhancing my life.

After the joy of exploring chamber music and films at your festival and meeting some incredibly talented and dedicated musicians and composers whose passion is sharing that with the public I turned on Masterpiece Theater and was instantly aware of something new.

The construction of your festival program was so instructive and enjoyable. As I watched Masterpiece Theater, I could not help but realize how much more aware I was of the music score and its purpose in the storytelling. Consequently, my enjoyment of the segment was enhanced. I heard the cello, violins and piano as they were helping tell the story the images portrayed.

Thanks to your festival, I could also envision a group of musicians playing the notes composed by the one holding the score. What a gift. Many thanks for all the energy, time and effort you expended to bring the festival to us. Your board, committee members and Paul Chihara did an impressive job, and we all had so much fun.


Gail Sahara


Sawdust must return to its roots

Thank you for printing Jennie Riker’s letter addressing the danger to our freedom of expression facing the exhibitors and employees of the Sawdust Art Festival (“Saddened by changes at Sawdust festival," Jan. 22). I have been an exhibitor since 1968, and as a founding member I can attest that the infighting, accusations, resignations and firings have reached an unprecedented and unacceptable level in the last year.

In the past we worked out any problems as a family. This organization was founded to give artists and their friends a place in the community where all were accepted, as opposed to the exclusive jury system employed by the other festival in town.

We were to be run by a board of directors who absolutely represented the exhibitor’s needs and goals. We grew into one of the best and most respected art and craft festivals in the United States. Now our board of directors seems to have turned the running of our show over to the hands of despotic rulers.

However, creativity cannot flourish in the face of tyranny. At some point those of us who are the artistic and innovative thinkers must take a stand. We must reclaim the right to run our show as was originally intended. We must keep employees who are beneficial to the show.

We must reexamine the need for a general manager and an assistant general manager. We must return the management into the hands of the exhibitors and elect a board of directors who represent the artists. We must continue to be the Sawdust Festival and not some corporate entity that exists for the benefit of the management and the lawyers who rule by instilling fear.


Laguna Beach

Freedom will suffer under court ruling

The ruling announced by the Supreme Court Jan. 21 "” that Congress must treat corporations exactly like human speakers in the political realm "” represents a radical change in the law and the biggest threat to democracy in our history! I am overwhelmed with this decision and am trying to understand what action I can take as a citizen who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and assumes the responsibility that we as citizens are ultimately responsible for our freedom.

I vote in every election and no matter what party wins, it is always the lesser of two evils and now that the corporate behemoths can pump all the money they want into campaigns and special elections I can only expect more evil. Who can I vote for? A third party? The Republican and Democratic parties no longer represent the rights of its citizens, only the large corporate interests.

The direction that our country is moving toward can only serve to bring down “The Home of the Free." I hate to say it, but the only way we can have real change is the system must fail before the citizens demand change. It seems prophetic that in an opinion I sent the president and the press last November is coming true.

“Change to the preamble of the constitution:

“We the too big to fail corporations of the United States, in order to insure our control of a perfect union with the Congress, continue injustice, insure domestic dysfunction, provide for our personal profit, promote our interests only, and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the slaves of the United States of America."


U.S. Army Ret.

Laguna Beach

Doomsday-sayers are self-serving

All the recent letters hysterically predicting doomsday for the ocean if we don’t do as some self-serving marine scientists and over-paid politicians demand seem to ignore the fact that all these “authorities" are biased and have their own self-serving agendas.

All this panic generated by these “marine scientists" is much like the doom’s day global warming fibs generated by “environmental scientists" to cash in on that panic. How would these folks make a living without these panics? What’s that old saying about, “Figures don’t lie but ------." Oh well, another day, another panic. More laws and less freedom.


Laguna Beach