Laguna Niguel City Council Meeting Wrap-Up

The following is from the Oct. 4 Laguna Niguel City Council meeting.


Camino Capistrano project continues

The City Council touched on plans for the second phase of the Camino Capistrano project.

Deputy Public Works Director Nick Renn said the city is planning improvements on Camino Capistrano's Westside, between the 73 Toll Road and Paseo De Colinas.

The project will carry on where the first phase left off. The first phase was completed last year.

The city will be adding vegetation, such as palm trees, magnolias, birds of paradise and bougainvillea, and replacing the current chain link fence with a vinyl one, Renn said.

The city is currently sending out plans to go out to bid, Community Development Director Dan Fox said.

Councilwoman Linda Lindholm made suggestions regarding big rigs that park on Camino Capistrano during the night.

"They're not our people," she said. "They're spending the night, leaving trash and doing graffiti."

Councilman Joe Brown and Mayor Gary Capata agreed with Lindholm.

Capata said there are more desirable areas in Laguna Niguel than the Camino Capistrano area.


Relations with sister city in Iraq

Glaab mentioned visiting Laguna Niguel's sister city, the Qaim district of Iraq, during the meeting.

Glaab said he broached the subject with Mayor Capata while at the Evening of Colors the week prior. He had also spoken with a colonel at the event who was supportive of the idea, Glaab said in an email Oct. 5.

If they went, he said, they would fly into Kuwait City and take a military flight to Qaim.

So far the city is working on a student video exchange.

During the last school year, a third-grade class at St. Anne School produced a video where kids asked questions and it was translated by an interpreter. The video was sent there and Glaab said they expect to get the Qaim students' responses shortly, along with their own questions for their new American friends. He said the students also drew pictures with the video.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Lt. Col. Jason Bohm, commander of the 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment serving in Iraq, proposed the idea of Qaim as a sister city for Laguna Niguel back in 2007.

The program started with the donation of 200 soccer balls by Laguna Niguel children.

The connection became controversial that same year when Bohm was allegedly present during a meeting with Qaim Mayor Farhan Ftehkhan where two men were ordered to be executed. Bohm disputed it and said it should not affect the sister city program.

—Joanna Clay

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