Hansen: What's hot for 2012

If you thought 2011 was an interesting year in Laguna Beach, wait until you see what's coming. Here are the hot predictions for next year's news.

Out: Fireworks

In: Fireworks smackdown

Faced with continuing funding problems over fireworks, the city of Laguna Beach will simply annex Emerald Bay using eminent domain and steal its fireworks show.

Out: Art Walk

In: Wine tastings while standing near art

In 2012, Laguna Beach galleries will finally admit that during Art Walk, the better the wine, the better the party.

Out: Flooding

In: Panga rides during floods

The city has been stockpiling all the pangas used to ferry illegal immigrants and plans to issue the boats during the inevitable floods.

Out: Parking cops

In: Tracking devices

Tired of alleged bullying by Laguna Beach parking patrols, residents have secretly tagged the patrol buggies with GPS devices. Real-time monitoring will be available online.

Out: Laguna lobster

In: Trader Joe's Lobster Ravioli

Why risk getting caught fishing off Laguna Beach when you can buy "sustainable seafood" from Trader Joe's?

Out: Open-space taxes

In: Adopt a power line

A new petition will emerge to eliminate those pesky power lines that obscure our ocean views. Residents will have to "adopt" a power line, roll the dice and pay seven times the amount shown to the nearest utility.

Out: Chipotle, KFC and any other affordable restaurant

In: Truffle mascarpone agnolotti, salmon sashimi with caviar and other names you can't pronounce.

Trendy, expensive appetizers or grazing plates are now being marketed with happy hour specials. Why get a full plate when you can get half the food for the same price?

Out: Tony Iseman

In: Jane Egly

Egly plans on using the ribbon-cutting scissors to slash downtown car tires, hoping to expedite the Complete Streets movement.

Out: Pedestrians

In: Pedestrian safety gear

There is a new technology — being developed in a secret lab in Laguna Canyon — that will provide pedestrians with car-proof force fields so they can safely brave our crosswalks.

Out: Red palm weevil

In: Electric eucalyptus eel

The Asian beetle scare turned out to be a dud, but enterprising residents frustrated over eucalyptus trees blocking their views have learned that the electric eucalyptus eel is very effective at killing the trees. Bonus: Everyone can blame Southern California Edison.

Out: Surfing

In: Stand-up paddleboarding

Let's face it: Most people can't surf. But who can't stand up on a barge the size of Nebraska?

Out: Skateboarders

In: Skateboarders imitating stand-up paddleboarders

Hoping to avoid arrest, skateboarders will be carrying the wooden SUP paddles while they skate, calling themselves "land SUPers."

Out: Public murals

In: Graffiti art

Bored LCAD students decide to shake things up with cutting-edge street art in Laguna. And because no one will remember what the original mural was, there is no prosecution.

Out: DUIs

In: Free rides home

Laguna Beach police will announce that they have arrested everyone for DUI at least once within a 30-mile radius, so area bars and restaurants will start driving their patrons home as a courtesy.

Out: Homeless

In: Reality-show homeless

Coming to cable, watch as our colorful homeless live in the Laguna Beach Transition Mansion, steps away from the beach. But not in anyone's backyard.

Out: Residents

In: Tourists

No one actually lives in Laguna Beach anymore because it's too expensive. Everyone is a tourist or plays one on TV.

DAVID HANSEN is a writer and Laguna Beach resident. He can be reached at davidhansen@yahoo.com.

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