Mailbag: We need better solutions for coyote problem

I am heartbroken after three months of grieving over the death of our Abyssinian cat, Atticus.

He woke me up at 6 a.m. daily with a loud meow whether it was time to get up or not. He would look in my eyes as if he knew what I was thinking. He was a very important member of our family.

Atticus was an indoor cat who was never allowed to be outside. On one fateful evening when my husband returned from work, Atticus scurried out the front door into the dark, never to be seen again. We spent most of the night searching for him. We went door to door for weeks, posted signs everywhere, delivered letters all over our neighborhood. After some time, we have had to face the fact our precious Atticus was eaten by a coyote.

Recently, our Laguna neighbor hosted a meeting related to the continuing menace of coyotes in our neighborhood. More than 30 residents were in attendance with Animal Control and police represented to discuss the problem. We were on vacation so I couldn't attend.

The solution recommended by the city officials was to haze coyotes to keep them at bay. Hazing included making loud noises by shaking objects or shouting "get away."

I find these suggestions to be ridiculous since very few people are close enough to see the coyote as they are eating their pets. I insist that the City Council convene a committee of concerned residents to study the coyote problem and develop actionable recommendations.

The fact is the coyote population has grown immensely, they live within several feet of families and they are a menace to our community.

Debby Bowes

Laguna Beach


City Council helps out again

The Laguna Resource Center gratefully received $7,500 in unrestricted funds from a city of Laguna Beach Community Assistance Grant. This important gift will be used to stock the center's Food Pantry so that food can be distributed to lower income residents of Laguna Beach and Orange County.

Located next door to the Dog Park, the center's food pantry is open every weekday morning, and serves hundreds of hungry families each month.

The timing of this gift is especially important because during the summer months there is no school. That means breakfast and lunch, normally provided at school, are not available to lower income children, so the need for free food at the pantry is even greater than usual.

When the resource center purchases food form the Second Harvest and Orange County food banks, $1 buys $7 of food, making this cash a very important gift for the hungry of our community. To learn more about the Laguna Recource Center, go to

Thank you Laguna Beach City Council for helping feed the hungry.

Korey Jorgensen

Laguna Beach


How to hold on to a memory

Blossoms will run away,

Cakes reign but a day,

But Memory like Melody

Is pink eternally.

—Emily Dickinson

Now's my chance to collect precious memories from my life while I can still remember.

I smiled as I signed up for Berteil Mahoney's memoir writing class at the Susi Q. How easy — just a pen and paper, no special gear to lug around. The only part of my body I have to work on is my brain. Little did I know what a life-changing exercise capturing memory fragments on paper would be.

Writing about the past is like exploring an archaeological dig; uncovering layers of time, grasping for broken shards and building new connections with the benefit of wisdom and experience.

There I sat at my computer working on my third draft about a trip to Greece laughing out loud or recalling a Vietnam veteran I met long ago with a tear rolling down my cheek. The very act of writing awakened my napping mind. New questions popped up: Why did I do that? How much should I tell? What if?

With the support of a nurturing teacher and my fellow writers in class, I dug deeper and deeper into the interiors of my mind, trying to make sense of some of my choices, proud of others.

Nothing renews a friendship or opens new lines of communications with a relative faster than jotting a note on a Christmas card to inform the person that he/she is in Chapter Seven of your memoirs. You find yourself talking to people whom you hadn't talked to in years, feeling exhilarated trying to fill in each other's blanks.

Revisiting the past is one of the best trips you will ever take. However, creating a legacy of family history to pass down is better than that porcelain pot you made in ceramics class. The one you know will end up in a garage sale someday.

Pat Chatlin

Laguna Beach

Editor's Note: Mahoney's next Introduction to Memoir Writing class begins Oct. 10.

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