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Mailbag: Mayor inconsistent about community garden

At the City Council meeting on Oct. 16, Mayor Jane Egly stated that she wanted to support the South Laguna Community Garden, but that she needed to know about the soil contamination and to see an appraisal.  

Specifically, she said, “If that is what you all choose, we can go.  But I need to have the answers to those two questions before I can say yeah.  But then I’ll say yeah!”

Naïve us in south Laguna, we took her at her word.  We spent $1,500 to get an appraisal.  We spent a huge number of hours chasing down the 12-year-old soil reports.  But we did get both of these documents and we shared them with the city.

Then at the Nov. 13 City Council meeting, Egly voted to deny the request for funding for the purchase of the community garden parcel.


Some legacy for the mayor.

At least Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson and Councilman Kelly Boyd had the integrity to be consistent in their opposition to allocating any money for the Community Garden.

Bill Rihn

Laguna Beach



Be safe, warm and energy efficient this winter

As temperatures cool down, home heating use goes up. It’s important for homeowners and renters to inspect their home-heating appliances and perform any maintenance necessary to avoid any health or safety hazards.

Early cold fronts are prompting people to turn on their heaters/furnaces for the first time in months. At this time of year, fire departments respond increasingly to calls of “odor of gas inside” and gas leaks.

Heating appliances should be serviced annually to keep them operating safely and efficiently. A licensed heating contractor or Southern California Gas Co. representative can provide this service for you.

Not having an annual maintenance inspection on gas appliances could result in exposure to carbon monoxide, which can cause nausea, drowsiness, flu-like symptoms and even death. Does your residence have a carbon monoxide detector installed? Check with your local fire department for advice on installing one.

Here are a few tips for a safe, warm, and energy-efficient winter:

•Vacuum and clean regularly in and around the furnace, particularly around the burner compartment, to prevent a build-up of dust and lint.


Never store items in, on or around the appliance that can obstruct airflow.

•Most forced-air units have a filter that cleans the air before heating and circulating it throughout the home. Check furnace filters every month during the heating season and clean or replace the filter when necessary.

•When installing a new or cleaned furnace filter, be sure to re-install the front-panel door of the furnace properly so it fits snugly; never operate the furnace without the front-panel door properly in place because doing so may create the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

•Check the appearance of the flame. If the flame is yellow, large and unsteady, the furnace needs to be inspected immediately by a licensed heating contractor or Southern California Gas Co. rep to have the condition corrected.

•Using an unvented gas heater in your home is dangerous and a violation of the California Health and Safety Code.

•Never use your oven, range or outdoor barbecue to heat your home because these appliances are not designed for this purpose.

Sam DiGiovanna

Aliso Viejo


The writer is training chief of Glendale’s Verdugo Fire Academy.