Mailbag: Column has done disservice to Laguna and its people

I grew up in Laguna Beach and have spent many days swimming and surfing off its beaches, and, above all, experiencing its community.

I am emailing you regarding the column "The 10 most overrated things in Laguna" (Coastline Pilot, Aug. 23). I was not very amused, to say the least.

The picture attached confused me. Yes, there are a few broken-down walls and old buildings that scatter our 6-mile coastline. Have you ever wondered if those serve any purpose?

If you haven't noticed, many of those walls are painted in memory of the great people who once lived in Laguna and loved the great area. For example, Jack Denny is a surfer who grew up in Laguna Beach before my era, but from what I've learned, he was a big part of the community.

The column attacked Laguna: its originality, its unconventional approach as a beach town, its artistic flair, its almost century-old services, and the people who live here and love this place.

I work on the trolley and love my job. The tourists and visitors who ride it are always amazed by the blessing that is Laguna Beach. They praise these beaches, not because they are so perfect and tidy but because they are unlike any other place they have seen in the world.

Please do some research. Please respect the community you live in.

Such writing does a great disservice to those who work to make this the wonderful place that it is. Have you ever tried speaking to any of the public workers who clean our beaches? Consider a positive approach.

TOBIE GRIERSON is a Laguna Beach High School student.


Don't forget the farmers market

If Councilwoman Elizabeth Pearson gets to build her high-rise car lot, and if you use and treasure our farmers market, please consider contacting our City Council about what its plans are for the market.

Michael Hoag

Laguna Beach


Ode to car lots

In '64 few cars drove after five then one could on asphalt be and survive.

Fifty years since whizzing cars took oak arbors striping highway's center divide.

We'll never catch up before it changes again, half-century later no wiser than then

To be or not, the 64 million dollar question, determine this one.


Voters forced to endorse 200 parking spaces, really ?

Hatched in back city chambers finagling figures really is silly

For a three-storied monster touting biz-saving spaces,

Think five years construction fixes this auto-centered menace?

While increasing fees by credit-devouring meters without consensus

Better to have trolleys gliding along coastlines with surfers

Along canyons year-round 'n daily extended past summer

What immediately is needed our vote for logical alternatives

What we residents demand and are ultimately deserving of.


Yes $65 million for weekend and peaks, with a toxic report a bit more, if you please!

When spaces stay vacant less is more than a bet, so we'll close the door going further in debt

The site proposes paving sans art supplanted by green grass non-natives for starters

A kind of space to park 25 years of debt, total ingress its egress we'll live to regret.


Laguna residents you decide if that's what you want

Or more trolley rides instead of a car-gathering plot,

A three-story structure, 65 million plus costs.

Let's gather at council and give them our thoughts.

Leah Vasquez

Laguna Beach



Visionary? Not with the current plan

This week, the last of the old coin-operated parking meters in Laguna Beach are being replaced by Smart Meters.

Please take a look at what San Francisco is doing about parking

: The map you see is a real-time map of available parking spots in downtown San Francisco.

A full explanation of how the system works is found here:

The cost of purchasing/leasing lots in north Laguna (Upper Story at Boat Canyon) or working out a lease with the hospital or parking structure in Albertson's mall, in South Laguna, would be cheaper times 10 and would alleviate the congestion at the entrance to Laguna.

We already have 50 spaces at Boat Canyon and additional 75 north and 75 south, and we have replaced the 200 new spaces in the garage. Shuttles and trolley stops as needed would follow.

We could then concentrate on cleaning up the creek, opening up the rusty sheds to artists and having a great riverside park, which would be a huge attraction.

But if the intent is to let the business district (a.k.a. developers and downtown property owners) have close-in parking, then we are being sold a bill of goods, not a parking structure for visitors.

If the city truly wants to be visionary, it should see that this parking structure reflects old-style thinking that will do nothing to alleviate congestion. Money for using peripheral parking alternatives and creating a shuttle lane in and out the canyon to the freeway is visionary. Grant money may be available too.

I ask the City Council to take another look at the many creative alternatives there are versus building a massive parking structure at the entrance to the village, and evaluate all the information of the mobility study before voting to go ahead with the proposed project.

Charlotte Masarik

Laguna Beach


Widen the highway, restore our views

As usual, our city is embroiled in difficult issues, some of which are very costly and all of which are very emotional.

The divisiveness over a costly Village Entrance parking garage is unnecessary since the issue can be, and should be, resolved by a vote of the residents.

Another issue related to the Village Entrance is trying to make our mostly industrial area along Highway 133 more attractive to our visitors.

That is also a very costly issue but potentially significant. If it results in undergrounding the utility lines, that would be a huge safety gain. And if it also results in a little widening of that six miles of two lanes, alleviating the intolerable traffic jams, that would be another huge safety gain. Plus, it would also be a win for our tourist-related businesses.

More people stay out of Laguna because of six miles of stop-and-go traffic on 133 then the difficulty of finding parking.

And the last major issue, shoved to the background right now, is trying to save and restore as much as possible of Laguna's famous and valuable view sheds. Actually, this should never have been an issue since it could have been easily avoided if only thoughtful people had been careful to not grow large trees and overgrown hedges in the view corridors.

But now view destruction exists and the problem grows with every passing day. For more than 20 years, people have been losing the joys of Laguna's unique beautiful sheds and have tried to get the city to enact ordinances to correct this horrible condition.

Thanks to Mayor Kelly Boyd and the efforts of many others. A new fair, effective, affordable and city-enforced view preservation and restoration ordinance may soon come to fruition.

Dave Connell

Laguna Beach


Take care with who we elect to office

It's hard to believe that Laguna Beach City Councilman Steve Dicterow said nothing at a recent meeting about the Village Entrance Project, which he voted for.

People are saying he plans to run for a higher office and are asking how he got elected, especially in light of the fact that he was lackluster when he was on the City Council before.

His friend and our new congressman (since redistricting), Dana Rohrabacher, put his foot in his mouth again this week on Southern California PBS when he said Mexicans, Asians and others should not be allowed to become citizens because they are poor, uneducated and a potential threat to the U.S. economy.

In an online poll, many people who participated said our City Council is not doing its job. History will ask how did we get stuck with these two losers.

Roger Carter

Laguna Beach

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