Too few at CaDance performance At our...

Too few at CaDance performance

At our local high school theater, I attended two magnificent

performances of the CaDance Festival performed by national,

award-winning dancers. I'm still reeling from the beauty of it all.

This was a rare opportunity for the residents of Laguna Beach, and

what a shame the theater was less than half full. We sat third row

center for $35. Would our residents rather go to New York City or

Aspen, where I have seen them at triple the price? Where were you?

GRACE BRIGGS

Laguna Beach

Nonprofits benefit in many ways

As a high-profile member of the environmental community in Orange

County, I was distressed by the completely misleading headline "No

benefit for nonprofits" and the article that accompanied it.

Benefits to nonprofit organizations can be measured in many ways.

One way benefits are measured is specifically related to this

headline and story. It is the increased memberships that are the very

momentum that drives organizations like the Laguna Beach chapter of

Surfrider.

The Laguna Beach chapter is one of the oldest Surfrider chapters.

Despite this history, the chapter suffered from poor member

recruitment in the 1990s and was reorganized in 2001-02.

In 2004 total new memberships numbered approximately 30 for the

year. During the 2005 national membership drive this summer, the

Laguna Beach chapter gained a paltry six new members, a 1% gain. The

results of these two membership drives can best be described as

anemic compared to gains during the same period at the Newport Beach

and South Orange County chapters.

On February 5th at the Blue Water Festival 250 new memberships

were gathered for Surfrider chapters in Orange County, approximately

150 of these new memberships were for the Laguna Beach chapter. This

bested the previous years membership drive by 500% and the national

membership drive by magnitudes. In fact, had the Blue Water Festival

taken place during the national membership drive the Laguna Beach

chapter might have won this years Surfrider title for most new

members.

New memberships are the life's blood of any vital volunteer

organization.

Without new members organizations tend to stagnate from the

tremendous effort it takes to keep on the front lines of activism.

New ideas and points of view are reaped from new participants along

with renewed energy to carry out programs and events. Professionals

from all walks of life are included in new memberships. Professional

that may hold the key to allowing the organization to prosper.

New members relieve the pressure from existing leadership members

who have been carrying the torch and need a break. The Surfrider

national organization offset the one-time cost incurred by the Laguna

Beach chapter due to lack of income generated by the Blue Water

Festival in its first outing. In doing so, it made a minor investment

to help a chapter grow.

It's my hope to one day soon help Blue Water organize into an

outfit that will generate profits to worthy nonprofits and increase

ocean awareness to all members of our community resulting in a better

tomorrow for all of us.

MICHAEL HAZZARD

San Juan Capistrano

o7[Note: Hazzard is Chairman of the Citizen Watershed Monitors of

Orange County.]

f7

Laguna could be 'eco-friendly'

If you are interested in improving your physical surroundings

(beyond your home), you may find the topic of ecocities

thought-provoking.

The ecocities movement suggests that human habitats can be in

harmony with nature and can have the following qualities: beautiful,

charming, prosperous, healthy, safe, tranquil and with a sense of

community. As we go through life, we tend to focus our attention on

immediate concerns -- landslides, traffic, health, work, mansions,

Montage Resort, etc.

For example, a major focus of Laguna Beach is parking. Is there a

study that indicates that Laguna will gain any of the qualities

listed above? Why are we focusing on auto infrastructure -- wider

streets, higher speed limits and more parking -- when there is no

evidence to support this will have a long-range positive effect. In

September our City Council took a progressive step forward when it

created the environmental committee.

MICHAEL HOAG

Laguna Beach

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