Mailbag: Item about 'Good Citizen' was too short

Re "Briefly in Education: LBHS senior receives DAR's Good Citizen Award," March 2:

Thank you for your inclusion and report on Laguna Beach High School student Mariana Acevedo in your paper. I received a link to it and read about it from the school community liaison at LBHS, who also happens to be the director of the JUNTOS program for the high school. I have worked with him in the past and the JUNTOS program. Being an educator and counselor who grew up in and now works and lives in Orange County, I am very familiar with its communities, trends, schools and services.

Though I am thrilled that you featured Mariana's achievement in receiving the DAR Good Citizen Award, I was a bit disappointed in that the article was quite brief. I would have liked to know more about what made Mariana the best candidate, her post-secondary plans regarding college, and about her including her history, i.e. what is her native county, what are some of her immigrant experiences and how have they shaped her to want to be an educated Latina-American?

In our constantly growing and changing south Orange County communities, it is essential to not only be aware but also feature people, especially our youth, who are making strides in their lives and making Orange County, their communities a better place to live.

Moreover, it is critical for people particularly in South County to see that immigrants and children of immigrants like Mariana can and definitely are making important contributions to their neighborhoods and communities as a whole, because though they may have immigrated to this place, and are not "natural born citizen(s)" as Mariana indicates, living here creates a bond like no other especially when you serve the communities, schools, children and people there.

It is my hope that these comments are taken with an open mind and open heart, for the continuation and improvement of featuring amazing youth in south Orange County. I appreciate and thank you for your efforts!

Claudia Sermeño

Laguna Hills

The writer is the coordinator of youth and family programs for Camp Fire USA Orange County Council.


Reader regrets getting rid of old bike

Have you ever regretted selling something and wanted it back?

A few years ago I donated my old bike to a worthwhile organization for a fundraiser. It probably didn't raise much money as it was nothing special. Purchased in 1983, this 21-speed was a general all-around street/road bike, good for going to the beach and trips around town, which it did for years in Pacific Grove and Redondo Beach.

On innumerable weekends in Redondo I harnessed the bike to a Burley trailer and loaded it with our young son, beach toys, towels and boogie boards. It was an easy ride from our home — fun and no hassle — with parking right on the beach. Short bike trips to the store became automatic. I let the car sleep in the garage.

In 2003, we moved to Laguna and the bike got little use. Maybe it was the formidable hill I live on or I convinced myself that there wasn't enough space for my old bike. Carefully maintained over the years, it worked and looked just fine when I gave it away, but after reading last week's letters about the bike routes, maps and benefits of biking I want my old bike back.

OK, it's a gold Univega: If you got it I'm prepared to make you an offer you can't refuse.

George Weiss

Laguna Beach


Some musings on state of Laguna

Marijuana should have been legalized many years ago. While it may be overturned in a "higher" court, a judge has ruled a city cannot shutdown a marijuana collective, which is a group of people, some of whom have grower's permits, who distribute the collective's "pot" to members with medical marijuana cards for a contribution and pay state sales taxes, etc.

If the lumberyard has biodegradable plastic trash bags, why can't the supermarkets offer biodegradable plastic bags, even if there is a charge?

I don't see how a gas backyard or front yard fire ring under rocks is a fire hazard. Laguna Beach has become the city of no. No this and no that. It's time to look outside the box.

Despite complaints to community and Susi Q leaders, to the City Council and to the city manager, the Community Center is still so cold that attendance at some senior events is down, down, down. Seniors talk about how cold the building is. Perhaps it's a reflection of city government.

At least the City Council has turned to older skateboarders in our town to try and solve the Skyline skateboard problems.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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