Mailbag: Hunger Bowl a success thanks to organizer

A wonderful charity event called the World Hunger Bowl was Nov. 12 at the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course in Laguna Beach.

The World Hunger Bowl is the brainchild of Faye Chapman, Laguna Beach resident and champion for the homeless. About 200 Laguna Beach residents and outsiders attended this annual event, which raises money for the Laguna Beach homeless through a silent auction of bowls created in the past year by world renowned artists, local artists and volunteers.

Several of the bowls were truly one-of-a-kind works of art created by famous artists such as Wyland, Marlo Bartels and Guionette Wise. Consequently, the bidding became quite heated and competitive. This charitable spirit resulted in increased donations of which nearly 100% will be given to the Laguna Relief and Resource Center to help the homeless.

Several local restaurants including K'ya, Sapphire, Sun Dried Tomato, French 75, Mozambique and the Aliso Creek Inn were kind enough to donate their time and effort by making exotic soup which they served up hot to the hungry bidders. Auntie Mary's Sweetery made the most scrumptious cupcakes.

However, our hats must be taken off and our applause must be directed to Faye who worked tirelessly throughout the year to make this event happen. Nice job, Faye, and I hope the World Hunger Bowl will continue well into the future.

Greg Packard

Los Alamitos

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Thanks, Faye, for the Hunger Bowl

On behalf of all of us at the Laguna Resource Center, I want to thank Faye Chapman for organizing and operating the World Hunger Bowl fundraiser Nov. 12 at the Aliso Creek Inn. Over the years, Faye's tireless dedication to helping the homeless has enabled the center to provide food, clothing and medical services to the less fortunate in our community. We are deeply grateful for her service.

Andy Siegenfeld

Laguna Beach

The writer is chairman of the Laguna Resource Center.

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What about palms that grow too high?

In a recent edition of the Coastline Pilot, Dave Connell presented an excellent review of the previous community supported efforts to address view blocking trees with "Fight for views could have used some help" (Sept. 30).

I was one of those who was involved in the widely supported efforts in 1993-94 to address securing a view preservation ordinance — the single most divisive neighborhood issue in Laguna Beach only to have it watered down by special interest influence on members of the then-City Council.

As Connell correctly pointed out, two worthwhile spinoffs did occur: a hedge ordinance, which fortunately just returned to the original simplified process without everyone in the neighborhood involved; and the pre-approval of landscape plans.

I have co-existed on Summit Ridge for 31 years with numerous tall, yet trimmable eucalyptus and other reduce-able height trees. However, the gradual arrival of no less than 27 more-than-two-stories tall (many others are still below 4- to 10-feet tall) untoppable palms, and in the near future yuccas, are in various stages of blocking the uphill owners' previously enjoyed unobstructed ocean, downtown and Bluebird Canyon views.

Where are the reviews of the landscape plans on the increasing use of decorative palms that eventually grow to the moon and effective enforcement of subsequent unapproved, view-blocking plantings for new residences and remodels? On Van Dyke Drive alone, it took the city more than two years to successfully enforce a documented violation of a specific height restriction on a "row" of spite eucalyptus, their palm was not included, which was a specific condition of a remodel permit. Another new residence's plans went all the way to the council to successfully preserve a neighbor's ocean view that has since been canceled out by the height of unapproved subsequent vegetation to include palms.

Short of expensive legal actions, how do you get people to voluntarily relocate poorly located, new decorative palms or "remove" their inevitable excessively tall palm trees that cannot be shortened without killing them — especially when they are already resistant to offers to assist and even cover all of the associated costs of addressing view-blocking vegetation?

One of my immediate neighbors with seven intentionally planted and now mature tall palms seriously wants to be paid $10,000 per palm to remove them.

It is historically recognized that the council has not had the political will to address view-blocking vegetation and the city is reluctant to enforce those avenues that are available to them on this third-rail subject that also includes the proliferation of bold coyotes (we will have to wait until someone is attacked), and the increasing number of privately posted "no parking" signs on public parking areas on the street in front of residences as new parking restrictions infiltrate into every neighborhood all over town.

Unfortunately, the only option continues to be supporting and electing independent people to the council who will actually commit to and actively pursue securing necessary overdue effective solutions on these divisive subjects as opposed to the routine lip service during every election campaign and yet one more study of the previous studies.

Perhaps we could start with an easier more limited subject: palm trees that cannot be topped.

Donald W.A. Smith

Laguna Beach

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