Mailbag: Bike lanes are great if there is room

I am a lifetime resident of Laguna and believe bike lanes are a desirable and beneficial addition to any community, if there is room.

It was surprising to Toni Iseman, as it was to me, that according to the Fehr and Peers report, which is based on their professional, non-data observations Glenneyre Street between Thalia and Calliope streets is not that heavily used.

I have lived at the corner of Catalina and Agate streets for 33 years using Glenneyre daily and have made a few observations. Coast Highway rivals the 405 Freeway any time of the day and making Glenneyre three lanes only would make Coast Highway like the 405 x 2.

Glenneyre and Catalina streets, in front of my house, becomes gridlocked any time there is an auto accident, other emergency, or road work on Coast Highway. What will happen during the downtown gridlock that starts occurring every afternoon about 3:30 p.m. when everyone starts peeling off Laguna Canyon Road onto Forest Avenue to Glenneyre on their way home and all the people leaving work going north on Glenneyre?

If this proposed change is to occur, to get downtown to "shop locally" I guess I would have to whip down Catalina to Park Avenue or whip up Bluebird to Temple Terrace over Wendt Terrace to get to Park Avenue and by the time I get to downtown I will have forgotten why I went there in the first place.

I will not even go into the problems that will occur during the heavy tourist season. If I were a property owner on Catalina between Calliope and downtown I would put my property on the market now while the getting out is still good.

Joe Jahraus

Laguna Beach


Vote for officials 'who stand for something'

Word is spreading across Laguna to vote for Verna Rollinger and no one else. Bob Whalen and Jane Egly are Democrats but they are not endorsed by the Democratic Club of Laguna Beach because of their voting record on the school board and City Council.

Steve Dicterow's campaign kickoff with Dana Rohrabacher scared everybody and his attendance record when he was a council member is questioned.

Robert Ross, the fifth candidate is out to lunch. As far as the presidential contest goes, most Lagunatics do not want a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, which Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney favor, and while life is precious, so is a women's right to choose what happens to her body and she should be able to have a safe, medically approved abortion if she wants such a procedure.

The Bush wars have wrecked our country financially and morally, and Bishop Desmond Tutu has suggested Bush should be tried over the Iraq war.

Romney wants to spend money on war material while our school systems go broke. Without good schools, we as a country are through. Vote for people who stand for something worthwhile.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach


Thoughts on some council candidates

Re: Councilman Kelly Boyd's support of candidates:

Who is this Whalen person with the whale on his sign I see around town. Is he trying to get us to think he's Wyland? Does he realize that whalers kill whales? He was on the Planning Commission — the same Planning Commission that let the South Laguna Historical site get demolished without permits and then allowing them to get away with it with a slap on the hand by little or no fines. Why would we want someone who supports demolishing historical sites on our council?

At the council meeting on Oct. 2, Mayor Jane Egly started the meeting after public comments, going over the social gatherings she had attended over the weekend of Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. Most of these gatherings were worthy causes but one in particular that she mentioned was not a social gathering but a memorial for a dear close friend of mine, Dr. Eugene Levin, who was a father figure to me. I was a little dismayed that she would consider this a social event.

Mayor Egly went on about her social calendar for about five or six minutes, but when it came time for the citizens to speak their views regarding the Bluebird Canyon Trees she cut our time back to two minutes, knowing all the time she and two of the other council members would not be voting to have another arborist's report as a second opinion. It was obvious the decision was predetermined. She just didn't want to hear about our opinions, but we had to sit there and hear about her social weekend. Mayor Egly just wanted to get home early. She didn't care what the citizens thought — if they were against or if they were for taking them out — the council meeting was over by 9:30 p.m. Is this the kind of person we want on our council?

When a group of concerned citizens who live in Bluebird Canyon contacted Mayor Egly and Councilman Boyd on two separate occasions about the council meeting, they told them the meeting regarding the trees in Bluebird Canyon was on Oct. 16 not Oct. 2. Were they trying to deceive the group so they would miss the meeting or don't they know when a topic is scheduled for a council meeting?

From a concerned 50-year resident,

Liza Stewart

Laguna Beach


Residents need council's help on trees

I would like to call upon the new City Council to address once again the issue of view preservation and restoration in Laguna Beach in the area of vegetation, particularly trees. The Design Review Board regulates views in all areas except this one. The good neighbor ways of the past decades, where we all kept our trees near roof height, or if we lived on slopes at upper fence height, is not working anymore. There are pockets all over town with this problem.

When purchasing our house in 1974, we paid a high premium for each room that had a view of the beach. For many years, neighbors cooperated and there was no problem.

Now our street has a tree wall between houses and beach views. The families on our street have followed all the advice of the city planning department, have paid for lacing, and tried all means of communication with the tree owners, but with temporary and meager results. The families in Laguna Beach in this same situation need City Council help.

Another concern with this wall of flammable trees is fire safety since some of the houses on our street burned down in 1993.

Cathi Sassin

Laguna Beach


Letter misinforms readers

The Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn. takes issue with the Oct. 12 letter from Johanna Felder on the association's opposition to a new property increase to buy unused parcels of "open space."

Felder misinforms readers that the association opposed the Bluebird Canyon slide restoration project. To the contrary, the taxpayers association supported that tax and helped pass it, once our proposal for an expiration date was adopted to protect taxpayers. Strike one for Felder.

Felder states that the taxpayers association "never wants to pay for anything but ends up the beneficiary" of government spending. The association supported the last school bond to rebuild aging schools, after the school board accepted our terms for scheduled maintenance, so another bond to address deferred repairs would not be necessary in the future. Most of us won't be around when our efforts to enhance the school bond benefits future generations, so Felder's unfair accusations are simply mean-spirited. Strike two.

Felder claims buying open space will save the city the cost of electricity, water and sewage if developable lots are converted to open space. But unlike the canyon purchase, this proposal does not identify land to be purchased, and instead of development costs, the city is far more likely to incur costs for upkeep and liabilities that come with city ownership and public use of unusable parcels scattered through our neighborhoods that would remain open under private ownership. Strike three, she's outta there.

Measure CC means at lease $20 million will be siphoned out of the private economy, with landlords passing costs on to renters and consumers. Worse than the tax itself, the ballot proposal is for a new City Hall governing body made up of political appointees who will oversee spending up to $1.5 million annually and control open space policy.

You can put a tuxedo on a turkey, but it is still a turkey.

Martha Lydick

Laguna Beach

Editor's note: The author is the president of the Laguna Beach Taxpayers Association.


Felder's letter just not true

In her letter to the editor, Johanna Felder states that The Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn. "never wants to pay for anything but ends up the beneficiary of what others have provided." This is blatantly not true.

The taxpayers association have historically and consistently supported and facilitated the payout of public funds for those projects and programs where there was/is real value for dollars spent.

The association, with the leadership of the three Harry's — Lawrence, Willis and Moon — and other business leaders conceived of and promoted the establishment of bond measure funding to pay for Main Beach Park.

"The Taxpayers" to "Many of us Taxpayers" supported the Save The Canyon bond measure. We wouldn't have gotten the more than 2/3 vote required to pass the bond without the "Many of us Taxpayers".

Many of us taxpayers supported the Save The Canyon bond measure. I personally joined the grand walk to The Tell and spent countless hours turning opposition into support, person by person, to assure the more than two-thirds 2/3 vote to tax ourselves to pay to Save the Canyon.

The taxpayers association wholeheartedly supported the temporary sales tax to pay for the Bluebird Canyon landslide repairs because the need was for city infrastructure and safety, and the tax had a finite end date. I personally spoke to our City Council at the public meeting. I described how the sooner the repairs were completed, the sooner safe transit could be made. The sooner the area was restored, the sooner the properties could be returned to the tax rolls. I urged the council to vote yes to take on the restoration project immediately, not wait for non-local government review or funding, and to apply the temporary tax to pay for the Bluebird landslide repairs.

The association, with the leadership of our President Gary Alstot, worked tirelessly and effectively with the Laguna Beach Unified School District, school board and parents to put together a school bond measure which pays not only for much needed reconstruction but also for ongoing review and preventive maintenance.

The association continues to monitor and advise on taxes collected and spent, follow the money and get the best use and highest efficiency for every dollar all taxpayers pay.

And this is why a No on CC is recommended by The Laguna Beach Taxpayers Assn.

Bobbi Cox

Laguna Beach

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World