Mailbag: All these rules are ruining the city

Corbina is a tasty fish. Fillet it and cut it into strips, batter it and cook it in some oil and you got the best Mexican tacos ever. Sheeps Head is a tasty fish as well. Fillet this fish, add some butter, garlic and ground pepper and bake in the oven at 350 degrees. Tastes like lobster, only better. What do these two fish have in common? Yes, they are both white meat and no, you can't pick them up from the supermarket. You can get them from mother ocean right off Laguna Beach. Or shall I say "used to get them" from the ocean.

Contrary to popular belief, there is an abundance of fish. I have enjoyed what I consider to be "eco tourism" for the last 10 years, catching my own fish. When I took up the sport of Hawaiian Sling I didn't look back. I have been able to swim with leopard sharks, bat rays, and countless schools of fish while on a mission to catch my dinner.

Unfortunately the City Council one day decided that the fish were scarce. How could that be? I never see people fishing around here besides a charter boat a mile out, people fishing off the rocks at Crescent Bay and lobster fishermen making a living. I could have fought this, but I would have had to commute to Long Beach, which my work schedule wouldn't allow. I am saddened I won't be able to eat these fish anymore because the council is bored and needs to think of ways to take the enjoyment out of people's lives.

This brings me to another topic: tiki torches. Apparently I can't have tiki torches to set a nice ambiance in the backyard of my humble one-bedroom apartment because some guy in a mansion on the hill feels he is paying too much for insurance. How come I didn't have a say in this? Or even a say in whether or not I can make a left off Pacific Coast Highway when heading southbound? It seems the City "Commie" Council party will decide.

No more fishing, tiki torches and, oh yeah, skateboarding. If we would have built a skate park five years ago these kids would be skating in it but instead they are bombing hills. They are good at it, too. These kids are winning competitions representing Laguna, so leave them alone.

Of course I don't want anarchy in this town but I don't want to live in a Communist regime, either. If the council can please stop brainstorming on how to make this city miserable and go on vacation to their little sister city in Italy or wherever that is, then maybe we can hold off on these silly laws. I can't really think of what silly laws this town will come up with next, but I won't be surprised. Anyone seen the movie "Footloose"?

Noel Lashley

Laguna Beach


Community support vital to Boys & Girls Club

I am writing to thank and congratulate the Laguna Beach community for its incredible support of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach in 2010. Thanks to more than 500 donors and many more participants at our special events, we raised more than $1.2 million for the club. In our 59th year of continuous operations in Laguna Beach, we had a record number of donations and raised more money for club operations than ever before.

Our accomplishments for 2010 were significant:

•More than 100 new members joined the club — a 13% increase in membership.

•Thanks to a generous grant from Mission Hospital, we added a health and wellness program focusing on reducing obesity.

•We expanded our partnership with the Laguna Beach Unified School District, bringing online access at the club to district academic resources.

•We expanded our professional staff to provide greater individual attention and care for club members.

•Serving 1,500 youths a year at our two Laguna Beach Club locations, we remain the largest youth-oriented service organization in the community. We provide a vital resource for working parents in Laguna and Aliso Viejo, who count on us every day to care for their children after school.

We have four major goals for 2011:

•Open our Saturday skateboard park at the club (now happening);

•Continue our triple-A program focus on academics, art and athletics;

•Expand our board of directors and support groups; and

•Set a new record for number of donors and continue to strengthen our finances.

Our board of directors and staff appreciate tremendously the support of all our donors, volunteers, friends and program partners in Laguna Beach. The club is a place where great futures begin — but it only happens because of the great supporters in our community. Thanks to all of you for caring about the future.

Bob Whalen

Laguna Beach

EDITOR'S NOTE: Bob Whalen is president of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Board of Directors.

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