Mailbag: Efforts to cut down on underage drinking out of touch with current generation

The Laguna Beach City Council is generations out of touch with much of the new Laguna.

Bruce Hopping may be in his early 90s but he is right when he says education in relation to drinking and pot is better than more laws.

The young people who spoke against another Laguna Beach No Law were eloquent, compared to the adults in favor of the ordinance.

Does the City Council really think that many parents hide their drinking and smoking of marijuana from their children? Get real.

Parents don't necessarily let their children drink and smoke but to say both don't happen at adult parties, get-togethers and other times is absurd.

The social host ordinance will simply mean the young people will hide the drinking, tone down parties and avoid at all costs calling Police Chief Paul Workman and his 47 officers for any reason.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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Visioning is what the city does best

Last month I attended "Mobility Planning Meeting and Visioning," an open workshop organized by the Laguna Beach Planning Commission to familiarize attendees with the Land Use and Circulation Elements and a new visioning for Complete Streets Policy.

Deja vu, where had I experienced this planning process before? I then remembered meetings I attended previously. Each of these workshops were attended by Laguna residents and by members of City Council to set goals and list actions. Each workshop produced a strategy document to guide execution of goals therein.

2001: The LB Vision Steering Committee: "The 2030 Vision Plan" (Identifying a Shared Vision and 7 themes for Action)

2008: The Climate Change Working group: "The Climate Protection Action Plan" (Visioning and 6 categories for Action including transportation)

2009: Transition Laguna Beach: "Transition Guidelines" (Vision plan Mission Statement and the Mobility Group)

2009: Complete Streets Task Force: "Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan" (Vision Plan, Mission Statement for non-motorized transport)

2012: The New Complete Streets Task Force: Five Hour Potluck meeting, "A Visioning Process"

May 7, 2012: LB Planning Commission: Mobility Planning Meeting and Visioning (Land Use Element, Circulation Element, CS Policy )

The commission began its meeting with a 20 minute slideshow of traffic-calming art. Other than a slide or two of Forest Avenue, the presentation was of generic origin. Despite five years of informal discussions on traffic relief and three years of meetings with 86 Laguna Beach residents, the commission and City Council in task force meetings, the Planning Commission was starting from scratch.

Last month, the Orange County Transportation Agency sponsored a day-long seminar on non-motorized transport for urban planners, designers and engineers to learn how cities integrate non-motorized transportation into their transport plans. The seminar was so packed by attendees from other Orange County planning districts that OCTA moved us to its largest conference room. Not surprising, nobody from Laguna Beach city staff attended.

This is why despite 25 years of city planning, consultants and staff salaries paid, Laguna Beach has not placed a flower pot at Forest and Broadway Street to begin construction of the City Entrance. Remember that when you vote.

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach

Editor's Note: The author is a member of LagunaStreets.

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Food Pantry needs your help

When school is out, some Laguna Beach kids go hungry.

"Hayden" is 8 years old and lives in Laguna Beach with his single mother. As a desk clerk, she does her best to support her family, and the federally subsidized breakfast that Hayden is served at school is a welcome start to his day. But summer vacation means no school and no school breakfast; this can bring hunger for part of Hayden's day.

Fortunately, The Food Pantry, at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road, operated by the Laguna Resource Center can fill that gap.

The Food Pantry supplies free food to lower-income people like Hayden and his family.

"Each month, we serve over 1,000 families who struggle to make ends meet," said Pantry Director Andy Siegenfeld. "We strive to keep a supply of fresh, canned and frozen food donated by local citizens and businesses, or purchased from Federal sources. When school is out, there is always an increase in the need for this food."

The Food Pantry is staffed by LRC volunteers.

"We're always short of canned goods at this time of year, and we are fortunate to receive great support from the people of Laguna Beach," volunteer Marianna Hof said. "For every dollar we receive in cash, we are able to purchase $10 worth of food from the Federal Food Bank. It's a great way to stretch every donation."

For Hayden and his mom, the Food Pantry provides the bread, eggs and cheese that will be his breakfast this summer. With community help, he can start the day with a full stomach, just like during school.

For information on how to donate or help, go to http://www.lagunaresourcecenter.org.

Korey Jorgensen

Laguna Beach

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