Mozambique is poor neighbor

I never expected that the operation of a business in the city would have such a direct effect on the quality of life in a neighborhood. I enjoy living in a community where neighbors put out watch for children playing signs. I want to live in a community where neighbors respected each other's privacy and quality of life.

The nightclub that exists with its million-dollar sound system and its all-star music jams is either a function of a failed business plan for a high end restaurant or a duping of the community to what type of business was to exist. It is hard to believe that other restaurateurs and hotels have not seized the opportunity to serve the late night meals. Surely this could not be just a ruse to keep the nightclub open later to serve more alcohol?

The problems that arise out of a nightclub being placed adjacent to a residential neighborhood are not unique to Laguna Beach. Nor are they not to be expected. They are only amplified by the significant inadequate onsite parking of the location.

When you live next to a neighbor that throws an open party every night. It's not a question of will the problems happen, but only when and how often. This is not necessarily the fault the nightclub operator. It is just the nature of the business.

Even though I have been a resident of the city of nearly 15 years this is the first issue I have dealt with. I never want to go to City Hall. I never want to even meet a council member. Yet, this serious problem should not be trivialized. Is this the beginning of Laguna Beach's desire to become party central for Orange County? If so, who determines that direction?

Are the business owners and commercial real estate owners who showed up in full force to support the nightclub the ones? Is the fact that DUI stops and arrests increased over the last four years just a coincidence? Or will full time residents who ultimately support the businesses in this community finally determine that enough is enough.

Somehow maybe this situation will cause others to act. I think this town is at a pivotal point. As residents we need to determine our own destiny. For as I have discovered, if we leave it up to the politicians and business owners the parking, traffic and neighborhood conditions will continue to deteriorate. We are a community of residents and while we may enjoy tourists visiting our paradise they amplify our problems.

The nightclub operator was recently quoted in the local newspaper; he believes that he has every right to operate his business until 2 a.m. I am sure that request to the city council is only a short time away. After five years of meetings and appeals, let's put an end to this nonsense, and send a clear message that the quality of life of our residents is our primary concern.

JEFF KAPLAN

Laguna Beach

We must end cycle of oil use

Gustavo, great job last week (Verde Laguna, "How do you treat the world today?", Coastline Pilot, June 18) with your Verde Laguna article. I was very happy to see you highlight the connection between the Gulf oil spill and our continued wasteful use of oil. We are all happy to complain about the oil spill yet we do not, or maybe we do not wish, to make the supply and demand connection. We are the problem; we continue to gobble up oil as fast as BP, Exxon, and all the rest can spew it at us! If we didn't demand so much oil the oil industry would not be drilling for it in ever increasingly risky locations.

Why is it that the average American has a carbon footprint of 20 tons compared to 10 tons for the average European? We are so oil wasteful. We continue to buy massive cars rather than small euro style cars and we don't even consider buying a bicycle rather than the second car. The good news is when you are really bad it is very easy to be better and we all need to be a lot better for the sake of our national security, our health, the health of our planet, our trade deficit, and our children's future.

A nonprofit exists in town to help Laguna Beach kick the oil habit. Transition Laguna Beach offers a positive approach in supporting our community towards sustainability and resilience in light of an uncertain energy future. We are part of an international movement which is collaboratively helping communities thrive with local food, water and energy.

A few of the groups that Transition Laguna Beach has set up include a local food production group, an alternative transportation group, a green buildings group and an energy efficiency group. For more information, check out http://www.TransitionLaguna.org and http://www.Facebook.com/TransitionLaguna.

MAX ISLES

Laguna Beach

Honored to be Woman of Year

I would like to thank the Laguna Beach Woman's Club "Woman of the Year" luncheon on June 18, for honoring me with their wonderful celebration! It was so joyous with the music of the "Third Street Strutters" from the Laguna Community Concert Band dressed in straw hats and red shirts setting the tone as everyone gathered.

Then the music and original words ala Chris Quilter, sung by Pat Kollenda, Bree Rosen, accompanied by Roxanna Ward with the theme of gratitude for bringing music to our schools. A deep thanks to those who spoke, my daughter, Patti Jo Kiraly, who told of growing up in a home with music everywhere, to Mayor Elizabeth Pearson for reading the City Proclamation, to Las Brisas for the outstanding food and the Woman's Club members who coordinated the colorful decorations to go with it.

Special thanks to Peggie Thomas who presented the Laguna Beach WOY gift to me of a gorgeous engraved crystal piece and to all who worked so hard to make the celebration one that stays with me 24/7. Most of all it was the joyous feeling that music is so appreciated in Laguna Beach.

It plays a meaningful part in our city's arts celebration and speaks to the spirit, soul, and mind of every child in our schools and to our citizens everywhere who nurture and cherish it in their daily lives. I am deeply honored by your having selected me as your Woman of the Year 2010.

CAROL REYNOLDS

Laguna Beach

No right to be in U.S. illegally

Immigration rights activists in Laguna seem to be disappointed, even outraged, that Border Patrol agents actually are applying the Federal Law to people in our city. No matter that reported boat landings increased to 54 along the coast within the San Diego sector and that these individuals broke our law by entering the country illegally.

Perhaps racist laws need to be looked at from another perspective: law is for ALL individuals in our country that are citizens. The only racial profiling I see going on is the hypocritical and illegal activities of so called Immigration Rights groups who feel that one group of foreigners who break our laws are to be forgiven. Isn't that racial profiling?

LEONARD OLDS

Laguna Beach

Grateful for community's help

I'm writing to express my sincere thanks to our incredible little community. Back in January, while downtown to watch some young musicians playing at The Village, I suffered a seizure and was taken by ambulance to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. Fortunately, I've made a good recovery, been diagnosed as diabetic (not the end of the world) and prescribed medication, which along with major changes in diet and exercise regimes, appears to be working well. I had no health insurance. I'm a self-employed working musician. So there you go.

Anyway, some friends put together a fundraiser to help with the bills. The event at The Marine Room was a great success and raised enough money to put a serious dent in the bills. I can't thank the people of Laguna enough for rallying to help me.

On the night itself, I was stunned by the turnout and in the ensuing days I've become quite emotional (for a Brit, anyway...) about the whole thing. In the past, I've played (music) at a bunch of events just like this. I've called on other musicians, who have given their time for free. The thing is: you don't realize how incredible a community we have here until you're on the receiving end of such generosity. At least I didn't.

I'm so grateful to my lovely friends Susan Davis, Sian Peoschl and Sharbie Higuchi for organizing the event and to Rob Max ( a local lad) at Sweet Relief, a charity devoted to helping musicians in need, for helping with the accounting. Also special thanks to Kelly Boyd for giving us the Mar Bar for the night. Any visitor to Laguna can see the physical beauty of the place, but this episode has shown one diabetic songwriter the depth of community spirit here. Thank you — you have much to teach me.

JASON FEDDY

Laguna Beach

What happened to ceramics classes?

Laguna is a town that is known for its expression of the arts. Three summer art festivals, concerts in the parks, galleries galore, local theater presentations, and many small bands and dance companies. It seems now, though, that there is a movement afoot to smother the roots of artistic development.

The Festival of Arts has denied usage of the ceramic facilities on their grounds for art education. No more Raku classes or instruction in ceramic creation. If the roots of art education are pulled out, how long before all the rest will be but a memory?

JAN FIRESTONE

Laguna Beach

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