Festival grounds is a public park

Regarding the Festival of the Arts plans for a façade redesign along Laguna Canyon Road, I hope new signage will include “Irvine Bowl Park”.  The Festival of the Arts ground uses the City of Laguna Beach’s “Irvine Bowl Park” and the park should be properly identified.

While most people do not realize that it actually is a public park, ironically, the Irvine Bowl Park is the largest municipal park in the City of Laguna Beach. Unfortunately, if you stop by on most any day, you will likely find the area where exhibitors stalls are used during the summer deserted and unused.

FOA Photo

Festival of Arts grounds circa 1959

From “History Of Laguna Canyon” written by Laguna Beach Historical Society President Emeritus Belinda Blacketer May 2001:

“The site of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters was to be a community park, which was chosen in 1938. In April 1940, the citizen’s of Laguna Beach passed a ‘Park, Music and Advertising Tax’ of 10 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation to purchase and develop the Irvine property.

“The area that is now the festival grounds was shown on a map of the proposed park site as the ‘play area’, the canyon where the police firing range is now was to be used for ‘rustic trails’ and the Amphitheater the Festival wanted to build was to use a very small portion of the park land.

The original deed stated that the City ‘shall use said real property for the following purposes only, and for no others, to wit:  for the construction, enlargement, improvement, maintenance and operation of the outdoor amphitheater now situated thereon and known as Irvine Bowl, for the production and holding of public concerts, theatrical performances, festivals, exhibits and any all forms of public entertainment and recreation’.

“In 1947, after James Irvine’s death, the park was donated to the City of Laguna Beach by the Irvine family. The community planned a community center, a children’s playground, and community kitchen along with many other civic uses. These facilities do not exist today. In the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s the park was used for the community Easter Egg Hunt, carnivals, the Orange County Goat Show, the Scottish Festival, and various other community group events. The park served as the only real community park for the City of Laguna Beach for many years. In the 1950’s a restaurant was built on the former playground terrace.”

Gene Felder

Laguna Beach

Photo courtesy LB Historical Society from the Tom Pulley Postcard Collection

Give David Perlman a call

PearlmanMy husband’s (David Perlman) regular 30-mile bike ride was significantly reduced when he was struck by a car in Irvine last Monday. He was traveling on the sidewalk towards a crosswalk to enter the bike lane when a driver of a Jeep waiting to exit from a driveway into traffic suddenly accelerated and hit him, resulting in a hairline fracture of the tibia.

My 74 year old husband is an exceptionally physically active person and his major complaint, other than his new “bionic” splint is that his usual walks on the Fire Road and Pilate classes at the Suzy Q are now on hold.

(David is not aware that I am writing this/sending it to you. He knows quite a few people from walking the Fire Road, but on a first name basis. I thought that some might read it and give him a call, as our phone number is in the Laguna directory.)

JoAnn Perlman

Laguna Beach

Thank You Laguna Beach!

The Second Annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week was a great success thanks to the support of our community.

With the help of our partner Waste Management, you donated about several tons of food...and we’re still counting.

The Hunger Bowl event, hosted by the Neighborhood Congregational Church, was a wonderful evening with guests sipping soup donated by La Sirena Grill, K’YA, Marks, Nick’s, Stalkers Fine Foods and Sundried Tomato. Devine Desserts and The Laguna Coffee Company served up delicious coffee and dessert.

Our enthusiastic guests turned the silent auction into a “competitive sport” as they bid on the bowls donated by generous artists and our VIP’s, while listening to music of Jamie Browning, sponsored by Mozambique.

The evening ended with a gift of bowls made by children at St. Catherine of Siena Parish School and the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

The City of Laguna Beach Housing and Human Services Committee wishes to thank all the businesses, organizations and individuals who donated their time and resources to this very important week benefiting the Laguna Relief and Resource Center.

Faye Chapman

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Frederik Chel

Chel PhotoFrederik Chel, father of Deputy Laguna Beach City Clerk Lisette Chel, died on October 5, 2010 in his Long Beach home. He was 80.

Chel, who emigrated to the U.S. from Holland during Word War II, was an attorney, businessman and former California State Assemblyman. He served two terms in Sacramento representing the 58th District in Long Beach.

He was 17 when he left Holland avoiding conscription by the Germans by fleeing to the U.S. He quickly obtained a scholarship to Pepperdine University and earned his law degree from UCLA’s law school.

He maintained a private law practice and was both an alternate judge in Long Beach and later a volunteer hearing officer in Laguna Beach. In 1978 Chel was named as President of Snug Top, a manufacturer of fiberglass camper shells replacing the firm’s owner and founder who died. Chel had been the company’s chief legal counsel.

In addition to his daughter Lisette, his wife of 58 years, Elizabeth, and son Fred survive him. A celebration of his life was held in Long Beach in October.

Letter to the Editor

Traffic light on Laguna Canyon Rd is vital

There is a vital need for a traffic signal at the entrance to LCAD [2200 block of Laguna Canyon Rd].  Students are virtually taking their lives in their hands each and every time they attempt to enter or exit the campus.

The recently installed crosswalk does not adequately serve the students needs.  Nor does it protect drivers in the Canyon. I have personally stopped for pedestrians and have nearly been rear-ended twice in the past year.

Please don’t wait until someone is seriously hurt - or worse!  We need to protect our children and our community!

Glenna Lineck, Laguna Beach

Letter to the Editor

Another traffic concern on LCR

Ed. Note: This letter was sent to all Councilmembers

I believe you all have an opportunity to save a life.

I just witnessed a near miss on the Canyon Road at the Big Bend where LCAD is now in session.  Something should be done soon to prevent a major accident.

Gary Simpson, Laguna Beach

Guest Columnist

State judges rule that new Ignition Interlock-restricted license eligibility law includes multiple DUI offenders with violation dates earlier than July 1, 2010

By Barry T. Simons, Esq

Superior Court Judge Sheila Fell joined Marin County Superior Court Judge Verna Adams in near simultaneous rulings in favor of California licensees seeking the reinstatement of their driver’s licenses following multiple DUI offense convictions under a law that went into effect on July 1, 2010.

The new law (Senate Bill 598) amended California Vehicle Code Section 13352 making most second-time offenders eligible for an Ignition Interlock restricted license after 90 days of an actual suspension and most third time offenders eligible after 180 days of an actual suspension. In order to qualify for the restriction, offenders had to show proof of the installation of the Ignition Interlock Device, that they were enrolled in an 18-month alcohol education program and that they had paid appropriate fees and submitted proof of liability insurance to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Persons who refused a chemical test or individuals who had been found impaired by drugs only were ineligible.

The Department of Motor Vehicles took the position that the Ignition Interlock restrictions only applied to individuals who had been arrested on or after July 1, 2010, the effective date of the amendment. Both Judges rejected the Department of Motor Vehicles argument that the legislation was intended to apply only to persons with offense dates after July 1, 2010 and expressly found that the legislative history of the amendment at issue indicated that it was intended to provide, “One more tool to proactively fight drunk driving.” and by providing incentives to repeat offenders to install an Ignition Interlock Device on their vehicles. Both Judges relied on studies that the legislature considered showing that these devices reduced recidivism by an estimated 75% and reduced alcohol related fatalities by 7%. Judge Fell concluded that the purpose of the amendment was to provide an incentive to repeat DUI offenders to install Ignition Interlock’s by allowing them to obtain a restricted license sooner if they installed the device. By increasing the number of repeat offenders installing the device, the intent was to reduce recidivism and incidences of offenders driving on a suspended license.


Barry T. Simons, a Laguna Beach Attorney who specializes in drunk driving offenses and the co-author of “California Drunk Driving Law” urges individuals who still have suspended licenses because of multiple DUI’s to obtain an Ignition Interlock restricted driver’s license so that they can drive to and from work and in the course of their employment lawfully and safely. This new law is not about being soft or sympathetic to drunk drivers; it is about implementing a new tool to enhance public safety and stimulate the economy of California by allowing persons to get work related restrictions and drive safely and lawfully.

Be heard Wednesday if you are against Emerald Bay red light

Do you want to stop at another signal driving north on PCH? If not, the county of Orange wants to hear from you with an email and an appearance!

The community of Emerald Bay has applied to install a signal at PCH and the Emerald Bay entrance. Caltrans has stated in writing: “A signal is not warranted based on the accident history of the location.” The signal would provide a left turn into and out of EB for the convenience of members and guests. The Caltrans warrants under consideration are for peak hour traffic and 4-hour traffic 99.9% of which is northbound PCH traffic. Emerald Bay has six other gates for entering and exiting the community.

If you oppose this project, please send your email to the Orange County Planning Commission…[by Tuesday 11/9]…if you have not already done so. The email address is: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or fax: 714-667-8858.

Be sure to include the project number: PA080047 Emerald Bay Improvement project and why you are opposed. This can be very short: environmental concerns, opposed to signal, not approved by homeowners, etc. or you can simply state that you are opposed for many reasons. Send an email from each family member. Supposedly all count!

Please plan to attend the Planning Commission Hearing on this project on Wednesday, November 10th at 1:30 p.m. This is a very important hearing and may be our only opportunity to express our opinions and concerns in an objective forum.

If you need a ride to the hearing we will make arrangements for you. If you have questions of any kind, please call 497-2523 or cell: 228-2811

Patty Collisson

Emerald Bay

The Patrascu vote

2781 Lagunatics voted for [Emanuel] Patrascu. You know something’s wrong with city government and the Laguna Beach City Council when almost 3000 citizens vote for a unknown city council candidate...

I drove to Pasadena yesterday and saw only three highway patrol and police cars during the whole trip until I got on Laguna Canyon Road and by the time I got back, I saw four Laguna cop cars and meter police everywhere. King Frank has used the parking meter personnel and police to raise millions of dollars, including over $3500 a month for parking on any part of a white line.

Mayor Pearson said in a question and answer session at the Susi Q Senior Center that high city department manager salaries and out of sight pensions will eventually bankrupt the city. City employees are unfriendly and when you send an email to city council members suggesting there’s a problem, you will usually get an email back telling you why everything is ok.

Tell that to the nearly 3000 who think something’s wrong.

Roger Carter

lThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sarah who?

I’ve been trying to figure out what Republicans want. Inspired by a local businessman I decided to make friends with a Republican. So I jumped on the bus and went down to the Chamber of Commerce but they wouldn’t talk to me because I just got off the bus and I wasn’t wearing a gray pinstriped suit.

Then I decided to go to the City Hall. No one would talk to me at City Hall because I wasn’t a contractor bearing gifts. Disappointed, I decided to take one last shot at making friends with a Republican so I hotfooted down to the local bar. Just as I arrived a big burly guy riding a Harley hog pulled up. On his right shoulder was a tattoo of the American flag with a white cross in place of the stars. He was wearing a world war two style German helmet.

I walked over to the guy and asked him if he lived in a mansion or a trailer park. He asked me why and I told him I was looking for a Republican to make friends with. He replied that he was a red-state-red-meat Republican through and through. I offered to buy him a domestic beer if he would tell me what Republicans want.

He agreed to my request and said: For the Republicans a smaller government consist[ing] of the Pentagon with a trillion dollar budget, the Department of Homeland Security with a trillion dollar budget, and a trillion dollar yearly payment on the interest only portion of the national debt.

Voila! A smaller government that sucks up the entire yearly national budget. Everything is deregulated and privatized for profit because the interest on the national debt crowds out all social spending. The rest of the world won’t go along? A trillion dollar Pentagon will solve that problem. Pitch forks, torches, and barricades in the streets because there are no social services? Switch on the Patriot Act and send in Homeland Security!

I thanked my new Republican friend for his insights. Before I left I asked my new friend if he knew Sarah Palin. He said he never heard of her.

TC Borelli This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Public hearing re: the proposed light at Emerald Bay

Thank you for your article about the main gate at Emerald Bay. I think you did a great job with a well-balanced, fair and informative report.

The results of the Emerald Bay Service District election did not end up as I had hoped with all of the candidates who favor the traffic signal winning.  Of course, these were the “one-issue” candidates whose qualifications as board members to the service district are questionable in my opinion. 
Our only remaining opportunity to stop this project is with the OC Planning Commission on Wednesday (November 10) when they will have a public hearing.

We have been trying to get more Laguna Beach residents involved but I hear the Emerald Bay proponents have rallied a large group to send letters of support of the signal.  Unfortunately, we are running out of time and few people knew what was going on before the Notice of Public Hearing was mailed on Friday.  Not much advance notice for those who wish to attend or express opposition or support.

With the recent appointment of John Pietig as City Manager, I hope he will consider the burden this signal will place on the residents of LB.

Gary Mar, DDS

Laguna Beach

Mangels maligned

I thought the Laguna Beach Independent October 29, 2010 article “Arts’ Advocate Pushes Oil Agenda” criticizing Anita Mangels regrettable. Whenever I see Anita on TV or hear her on the radio, I always respond in the same way “Boy, is she good”.

Anita Mangels has had a long history of public service in Laguna Beach years ago serving with me on the Board of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy. After the Festival of Arts was saved, its Directors decided to franchise the Pageant of Masters and make some real money. Anita ran for the Festival of Arts board and the new Directors elected her President, and later Treasurer. She served with distinction keeping the Pageant a unique Laguna Beach event.

Elections are supposed to include a respectful hearing of arguments from both sides. The article’s insinuation that nobody, and certainly no environmentalist, could possibly vote yes on California proposition 23 is particularly insulting.

Proposition 23 “would suspend the state’s landmark climate-change law.” Are there any good reasons to vote yes on proposition 23? How about unemployment is high, the economy is weak, businesses are already being driven out of the state. So a reasonable citizen might vote against taking steps to make it even more expensive to do business in California. In addition, there has been no global warming since 1998 which being a global concern, California by itself would have zero impact on global emissions, and zero impact on the world’s temperature.

I am a proud environmentalist, but I am interested in human beings enjoying a higher quality of life including enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the open space. I have fought many battles alongside environmentalists who do not like people and consider extracting minerals from the earth to be sacrilegious. Human beings exhale carbon dioxide when they breathe; CO2 is natural.

I have not used plastic grocery bags for many years, but I resent the City enacting laws making that mandatory. I like my car and being able to drive to San Clemente to visit my grandchildren. Nuclear power, the ocean’s seal level, Spain’s report on their green economy would all seem to provide information if the concern was quality of life for human beings. Rather, what we see with the “state’s landmark climate-change law” is typical: the answer to every problem or potential problem is to increase the power and scope the government and to diminish the freedom and liberty of the people.

Gene Felder

Laguna Beach

Democrats need to get their boots on the ground

Obama’s first mid-term election is right around the corner. It’s safe to say his second presidential campaign will be different from his first.   It will probably start the day after the coming election.

While the Obama White House puzzles me sometimes, I am satisfied so far. George Bush left behind an unholy mess when he left office. For all the Bush handwringing when the Clinton staff whimsically took all the ‘w’ keys with them as they moved out, the GOP seemed to intentionally create as much chaos as possible as they left town.

But the 2010 election isn’t about Obama or Bush. It’s about fear. It’s about a nation fearful that its grip upon world domination has slipped. It has. The world is flat. It’s hard to imagine a future in which China continues making better goods more profitably than we do, that India can offer cheaper customer service even 3000 miles away. And just like during the forties, some foreigners want to kill us.

And so panic and extremism is running in the streets. A well-known local right-winger claims he is not just made fearful but is ‘terrorized’ by the California state of affairs. Meanwhile this campaign has revealed how shallow our pool of new candidates has become.

Laguna knows a scam when it sees one. Three seasoned officeholders will return to the city council in November no matter what voter turnout is like. And we can proudly know that Laguna Beach has one of the highest percentages of registered voters in the nation. But nationwide the GOP knows, as the Democrats do not, that Democrats fall in love while Republicans fall into line. Democrats are famous for resting under a tree during a ‘boring’ mid-term campaign and then howling with dismay when their candidates and issues lose. Some Dems aren’t resting. Some are struggling to get a job or keep a job, or to prevent a house from foreclosure or to pay debts incurred from an uninsured illness or injury or a ridiculous pot bust. And some are stomping their precincts.

If the Democrats can’t get their boots on the ground on Nov 2, the balance of power will turn. Teabaggers will make some of the most critical choices in public life over the next years. We don’t want that, now do we?

So here it is in a nutshell - the greater the turnout on Nov 2, the better the Democrats will do. If you vote absentee, send it now. If you go to the polls on Tuesday to vote, make sure you do it. And make sure your friends and relations do too. Unless they are Republicans - in that case they can wait until Wednesday.

Jim Rue

Laguna Beach

Fear and loathing and conformity in America

Earlier this month my wife and I happened to be in Berlin on German Unity Day (Einheits Tag). The German Capitol City was in a party mood with tchotchke vendors and food booths and temporary beer and soft drink kiosks set up all along the Scheidemann Strasse. The autumn weather was perfect while we listened to the symphony orchestra practicing Beethoven’s Third and Ninth Symphonies. After munching on currywurst and fisch semmels and drinking a couple of half liters of locally brewed pils beer we headed off to explore more of the city.

Because my wife and I are such typical American tourists we had to visit Check Point Charlie and the Brandenburg Gate.

That night we found a wonderful Italian restaurant near the Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof. We happened to notice another American couple sitting several tables behind us. A few minutes after we entered the restaurant a very old German couple sat down next to the other Americans. The German couple eventually finished their pasta and the wife left. The older German man went to pay for their meal and discovered he could not find his wallet. In a panic he looked in his coat pocket, searched under the table, and after a few minutes gave up in utter dejection apologizing profusely to the waiter. The waiter told him it was all right and he could come back and pay later. After the other American couple noticed the old man’s distress, they began in English to loudly ridicule the old man’s motives saying he was just an old con trying to get a free meal. This went on and on even after the old guy left the restaurant.

Over the last few years I have watched the economic crisis known as the Great Recession spread across the globe deepening in intensity. There are mass demonstrations and/or riots in Greece, Italy, Spain, and France. Protest movement are growing in Ireland, Britain, and surprisingly in Sweden.  The failure of conservative and liberal economists to predict the crisis is never discussed. Instead there appears to be a growing consensus among the world’s great economic powers that the best approach to mitigating the crisis is to go all out and reduce the deficit by cutting government spending on all social programs.

In the United States for the first time since the New Deal of the 1930‘s Democrats are seriously talking about cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare. Meanwhile those far right-wing Republicans who ideologically never made their peace with the New Deal are opportunistically chanting the mantra of cut taxes, cut government spending, protect the big banks, protect the big corporations. By pursuing this perverse logic, thereby compounding the economic devastation in society, these right-wingers finally see their chance to gut all the hated social programs designed to help people enacted over the last 80 years.

But what is motivating these right-wingers? Is it purely greed or is there something deeper, more fundamental behind their thinking? The conservative blogger and radio host Mike Adams provides some clues, “The conservative sees man as born in a broken state. This tragic view of human nature sees man as selfish and hedonistic by design...Given his selfish nature, man must internalize some reason to behave in pro-social ways. That fact that he falls short of these values does not mean he is a hypocrite. The one who does not even believe what he says is the hypocrite. The one who believes what he says and falls short is merely human...In sum, the conservative believes we should first try to love people into conformity. If that does not work, we should scare people into conformity.”

So there you have it, people are selfish and hedonistic and broken by nature.  “According to the conservative,” Adams goes on to say,” effective punishment is that which produces fear of transgression. Fear of transgression occurs when the punishment is swift, certain, and severe.”

Work for low wages or lose your job, then get thrown out of your house, that’s how the “Free Market” produces and enforces conformity. If the “Free Market” cannot force people to conform then that leaves the State. Forget about equality and due process, severe and swift punishment by the police and courts will also produce the conformity right-wingers are so bewitched with.

Back in my Berlin Italian restaurant I called the waiter over to my table and apologized for the other American’s atrocious behavior. I then offered to pay for the old couple’s meal. In German the waiter told me there was no need for me to pay because the old couple lived in the neighborhood and they came to the restaurant all the time. A few minutes later the Matre d’ came over and told my wife and I that our meal was on the house. He then popped open a bottle of wine and served us gratis.

Those Americans sitting near us in that Berlin Italian restaurant made some assumptions about the old German man’s motives. They had no evidence for their beliefs. They simply acted on their own miscreant worldview of humanity.
There is an old expression that says, “What goes around comes around.” There is a much older expression, one which is at the core of all the world’s great religions, “Do for others as you would have them do for you.”

Next Tuesday will tell us how deeply buried within our individual and social psyche The Golden Rule seems to have become entombed.

However the midterm elections turn out, one thing seems certain, fear and loathing and conformity will continue in America’s march of folly.

T.C. Borelli

Laguna Beach

Amy Kramer

How to Vote on the Propositions?


Confusion - that’s what many of us face when it comes time to vote for all the propositions every election cycle. It seems like propositions say one thing and mean another and we vote no on yes and yes on no and, well you get my point. Not to worry. Laid out are the propositions and the right way to vote on all of them.


Proposition 19 - It’s a big NO. Anyone who votes yes to legalize marijuana is high. Responsible parents, educators, law enforcement and just normal, non-substance abusing people know to Vote NO on 19 - it’s the right thing to do.

Proposition 20 - The redistricting of congressional districts is a good thing. It’s definitely more fair to leave the process of establishing congressional districts with regular people other than elected officials, otherwise known as, politicians. Vote Yes on 20.

Proposition 21 - Are you really ready to start paying another fee to fund anything? I love state parks, the natural treasures which showcase the beauty of California, but I am not paying another $18 per vehicle to pay for more bureaucratic, wasteful, imprudent spending that will only be “borrowed” to pay for other things like senators’ office renovations, not the actual state parks themselves. Vote No on 21.

Proposition 22 - Voting Yes on 22 will prohibit the state from taking money for other projects, money that was originally allocated for transportation, local government projects and services.

Proposition 23 - Vote Yes on 23 to suspend the imposing legislation that pits environmentalists against businesses, manufacturers and people who actually provide jobs. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is something to strive for, but not while putting millions more people out of work. Green jobs will still have the chance to develop and will eventually outperform existing technologies, but they have to come from the marketplace, not the government.

Proposition 24 - If you are a business owner you would understand that tax breaks are a good thing because they leave business owners with more money in their pocket to pay more employees, purchase new equipment and expand their businesses, thus contributing back to the whole private sector jobs creation cycle thing. Government just can’t do that. Vote No on 24.

Proposition 25 - Change the legislative vote from two-thirds to a simply majority?! Are you kidding? Don’t give the tax and spend liberals more power to redistribute your wealth. Vote No on 25.

Proposition 26 - Back to the two-thirds vote for legislators who want to take your money. Vote Yes on 26, to make sure that state levies and charges are controlled by two-thirds vote - not a “simple majority” of tax and spend progressives.

Proposition 27 - Do you like the fact that we currently have a 14 member redistricting committee that chooses the district limits and boundaries? Then why change it? Vote No on 27.

See, now all the guesswork is done for you.


Amy Kramer is a wife, mom, president of Laguna Beach Republicans, and facilitates a conservative women’s group. Send comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Nancy Hamm

Nancy Hamm PhotoHalloween is nearly here and while my husband and son are enjoying every moment, it would be fair to say that I am developing an aversion to this much loved holiday.

So far I’ve weathered two pumpkin patches that resembled more of a carnival than a true pumpkin patch. I have spent countless hours combing the aisles of Target, Wal-Mart and Party City for costumes, decorations and candy. If that weren’t enough to overwhelm even the most dedicated mother I am also fully in the throes of Halloween party planning. Needless to say, this seemingly joyful holiday has taken on an entirely new dimension.

Thinking back on my childhood, the memories I have of Halloween are simple, perhaps not ideal but sweet nonetheless.

My memories are that of 1980’s Orange County. I recall my parents driving me to an empty lot covered with straw and rows of pumpkins. The joy I felt running up and down those aisles in search of the perfect one, not too big of course. The excitement of helping my mom clean out the pumpkin, watching her lay the seeds out on a baking sheet and their smell as they baked while my Dad and I carved the face. The excitement I felt as I picked out a flimsy plastic costume from a row of boxes neatly stacked down an aisle of the dime store. And of course the total bliss I felt on Halloween when back in the warmth of our home I was allowed to eat as much candy as I could stomach. It was simple, sweet and wonderful.

While some things have improved, like the costumes, I feel as though there is very little left of my Halloween memories in today’s tradition. The pumpkin patch is nothing like I remember with bounce houses, carnival rides and a petting zoo. Yes, there were pumpkins scattered around but by the time my son was over the rides he was ready to leave and so we did, sadly without what we came for.

Halloween has grown tenfold since my childhood and I know that our Halloween party is a contribution to the excess that I feel it has become. Some will argue that it’s just a pumpkin patch or a party and perhaps it is. While I have been wondering what happened to the innocence and simplicity of Halloween I finally saw what I had been too caught up to see, the joy on my son’s face.

As I watch him dress up in his pumpkin costume and run around the house asking for treats, as I watch him play with little ghosts and stomp in the leaves I know that the simplicity of Halloween hasn’t gone anywhere. He is purely in the moment.

There it was; a lesson from my son not to let outside influences dictate your experience. So with that thought in mind, last night we went to the grocery store and he got to pick out his pumpkin...not too big of course.


Nancy Hamm is a wife and mother to a 4 year old with cerebral palsy. She is currently working on her first novel.

What the Council race vote tally might mean

I am amazed to hear more and more Lagunatics saying they plan to vote for only one candidate for the Laguna Beach City Council, even though you are supposed to vote for three.

This is a not so funny way to express dismay at the same old – same old.

While it really won’t mean much, it will be interesting to see who gets the most votes. People feel hopeless to change the council and this is why such a weird way is developing in relation to voting.

I’m sure Pearson, Boyd and Iseman will be sent back to city hall, but the total votes for each may indicate what is really going on.

Roger Carter

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Guest Columnist

Protecting Laguna’s Landscape Painting Heritage

By Greg Vail, President

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association

If you were out and about this past week, you probably saw some 50 artists from 13 states painting Laguna’s landscape in town and in the canyons and hills. All this activity was part of the 12th Annual Plein Air Invitational sponsored by the Laguna Art Museum and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA). You may have even taken the opportunity to see the fruits of their labor at the Saturday night soiree and auction and public sale on Sunday.

While we were delighted at the quality and beauty of this year’s efforts and the artists clearly enjoyed Laguna hospitality and atmosphere, our artist members and LPAPA face tough challenges in these trying times. These challenges threaten the plein air painting heritage that created and made Laguna Beach the community it is today.

Maintaining our artists’ financial balance is more challenging than ever. The cliché “starving artist” has never been so apt for many of our members.  As art sustains and nurtures community, especially the heart and soul of Laguna Beach, the diminution or loss of a vibrant arts scene would be a tragedy of major proportions.  This must be avoided. LPAPA is addressing this head-on.

Several months ago, I wrote that LPAPA was embarking upon a number of new initiatives set forth in our Strategic Plan to increase our financial strength, acquire a permanent exhibition space and to increase our visibility in the art world in order to better serve our artists and enrich our cultural life.

We have set plans in motion to videotape our popular artists’ Paint Outs and post them on our website as an education and artist showcase tool. Look for the first of these in 2011. Through generous grants from the City and the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, we now have the financial resources to acquire display and lighting equipment for our artist events.

In addition, we are exploring alliances with other community organizations for shared exhibition space.  We have reached agreement with the Pacific Art Foundation and The Irvine Museum for a high-profile artist event in 2011. This will allow our artists to increase their high-capability patron base.

But despite these positive steps forward, LPAPA still operates on a shoestring budget financed by member dues and proceeds from events.

Accordingly, LPAPA is forming a new program called The Collectors’ Council (CC) made up of major art patrons who will be a deep and sustaining base for landscape art and who can pro-actively involve themselves with LPAPA’s mission and efforts.

The CC will also create high-profile opportunities for our established and up and coming artists to actively engage with plein air aficionados, major collectors and patrons of the arts in a series of salon soirees to occur over the next several years. The soirees aim to resurrect the grand 19th century European traditions of arts salons where intellectual and cultural exchange among artists and patrons took place in elegant and stimulating surroundings.

Our plan is to organize some 30 such soirees over a three-year period for small groups of patrons and featured landscape artists, both established and up-and-coming talent.  We will invite dedicated patrons of plein air art to open their homes to host evenings of fine dining, entertainment, artistic display, conversation and social networking.

Each patron host would defray the cost of the soiree as a charitable contribution and LPAPA would handle all of the event logistics and additionally seek in-kind service donations from local vendors of food, wine, spirits and the like to offset the host’s prospective costs. Each patron guest would also help defray LPAPA’s operational costs.

As members of the Collectors’ Council, the patron hosts will gain recognition, appreciation and membership benefits in gratitude for their extraordinary commitment and generosity.

The proceeds from the CC soirees will be utilized to create a LPAPA operating fund to allow us to increase our service capacity to our members and the community.  As mentioned earlier, the sustenance of Laguna’s collective artistic heritage is at stake.

If you are interested in becoming a Collectors’ Council patron or would like to receive an invitation to any of the planned salon soirees, please contact me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 376-7059) or our Executive Director Rosemary Swimm (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 584-9162).

As the ink dries on this missive, I am about to board a plane to visit my son, Billy, who is starting his college career in Florence, Italy, where, I, too, studied during my Stanford University junior year. That experience awakened me to fine art and to the important role that patrons such as the Medici played in fostering the art and architecture that has animated and defined western—and world-- civilization for over 500 years.  Can you imagine what our culture would be like without that heritage? The same question applies to landscape painting and Laguna Beach today.

Pleased with the City’s swift response

Just wanted to let you know that the City Council and City Manager responded very quickly to my letter about responsibility for property issues.  The Code Enforcement officer went to the property immediately and has filed a code violation against the owner.  I greatly appreciate the immediate feedback from Mayor Pearson, Council members Boyd and Iseman on this matter.

Several friends have similar situations, so now they know they can go to city hall and get some action.  However, it should be noted that any damage to my personal property from this problem cannot be solved by the city.  The individual owner will have to file a civil action to get any action.

So the yard is still filled with dates and I’m watching the palm fronds sway over my patio-drenched with rain.  But eventually the tree must be trimmed and the mess in the alley cleaned up.

Thank you for publishing the letter... and for the city’s swift response.

Carole Zavala

Laguna Beach

A Memorial about

Kit Drollinger

Our community has been enriched by the active participation of Kit Drollinger over the last third of a century.  She died early Friday morning, October 8.

Kit Elseroad Drollinger was born on Oct. 11, 1926 in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  She had three younger brothers, one of whom died at age six.  Her surviving brothers, Albert Elseroad and Tom Elseroad reside in Florida.

Her father managed the very elegant Point O’Woods resort on Fire Island, New York, near Long Island. In the summer of 1948, Kit worked there as the Postmistress.  A young man was employed to work at the soda fountain right across the way.  That young man was Ed Drollinger.  They were married on May 21, 1949.

Kit was a graduate of Wilson College, PA, with a degree in Spanish.  She wondered later why she chose that as a major.  She felt it was quite a waste.  Ed was a graduate of Columbia University.

While living in Plainfield, New Jersey, Kit was an activist for social justice.  She received an Honorary Life Membership in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.  Her older daughter, Ruth, remembers marching and carrying banners demanding civil rights.  Her younger daughter, Susan, remembers having toys to play with in the NAACP offices while her mother worked there.

When Princeton Applied Research offered transfers to Maine, Europe, or California, Kit and Ed chose California and moved with their two daughters, Ruth and Susan, to Lake Forest on Nov. 8, 1968.

Kit immediately became involved in the affairs of her new community.  She became an active member of the League of Women Voters, and was President of the Coast League from 1971-1973.  After her term as president, she joined Supervisor Tom Riley as a volunteer in his office.  Kit refused to accept pay for her work, wanting to be sure of maintaining her independence.  She was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to the Orange County Cemetery Board, and served for some time in that capacity.

When her daughter’s had both set up their own households, Kit and Ed moved from their larger home to fulfill a dream.  They came to Laguna Beach in 1976.  Kit volunteered to work at the library when they were converting from use of the card catalogue to computers.  She volunteered at the shop of Friends of the Library as long as she was able.

She continued to work with the League of Women Voters within the larger League and in the Laguna Beach Unit.  When the fire destroyed much of Mystic Hills, as a last act when they were leaving their home, she returned to pick up the League Records she was keeping for her job as Dues Secretary.

She was involved in two important studies for Laguna Beach.  One was the study, which resulted in a volunteer spending limit for council elections, a decision that was gutted by a later board.  The second was a detailed study of Treasure Island and its conversion from a Trailer Park to its present state, a combination of public space and hotel use.

Their dream - their home in Laguna Beach - was destroyed in the big fire.  That did not stop Kit.  Their home was restored in detail to what it was before; they even looked for the same wallpaper.

Kit and Ed were founding members of the Great Parks Conservancy, members of the Orange County Community Foundation, ACLU, NAACP, Laguna Beach Conservancy, Laguna Beach Democratic Club, the League of Women Voters and supporters of many other civic organizations.

Kit leaves her husband, Ed Drollinger, daughters, Ruth Hart and Susan Conner, her Son in law, Ben Conner, Grandsons, Brian Conner and Eric Conner, Granddaugher-in-Law Denise Conner, and Great Granddaughter, Amy Conner.

Kit Drollinger held deep convictions about civil liberties, equal rights, protection of the environment, and social justice.  She spent her life acting on those convictions.

A Celebration of the life of this strong, caring woman will be held at 2:30 P.M. Saturday, Nov. 13, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach, 429 Cypress.  In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that those wishing might make donations to their choice of the following organizations:  NAACP, The Orange Coast League of Women Voters, or the Braille Institute.

Submitted by Jean Raun


Diana Bartholomew Brown

Brown photoDiana Bartholomew Brown suffered a stroke on Sunday, October 10, 2010 and passed away in Castine, Maine on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, two weeks prior to her 74th birthday.  She was born October 28, 1936 to Eliot and Margaret Bartholomew in New York, NY.

Surviving is her husband, Ralph of Monarch Beach, daughter, Leslie Brown Chalmers and son-in-law Scott Chalmers of Manhattan Beach, son, Christopher Brown and daughter-in-law, Janelle Brown of San Clemente; son, Matthew Brown and daughter-in-law, Dawn Brown of Eugene, Oregon; brothers, David Bartholomew, Laguna Beach, and Peter Bartholomew, Gilmanton, New Hampshire and 10 grandchildren.

Diana was educated at Oak Grove in Vassalboro, Maine, and University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  She married Ralph Brown in Laconia New Hampshire on May 5, 1962.  They moved to Emerald Bay where they raised their family.  Diana was a regular on the tennis courts and beach for many years and an icon in the community.

A memorial service will be held on Diana’s birthday, Thursday, October 28, at three o’clock at the Laguna Presbyterian Church followed immediately by a celebration of her life.

Can we clone Cameron?

Wouldn’t it be great for our nation to have a young leader dedicated to change the country for the better? I think that might be someone like forty-four year old United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron.

He made a speech October 6, 2010. What a speech!


In it he said: “We are the radicals now, breaking apart the old system with a massive transfer for power, from the state to citizens.” “Not about a bit more power for you and a bit less power for central government - it’s a revolution.” Cameron also said:

• An emergency budget to balance the books in five years.

• For our new entrepreneurs - employees’ tax reduced.

• When more and more countries have or want nuclear weapons, we will always keep our ultimate insurance policy, we will renew our nuclear deterrent based on the Trident missile system.

• The man responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, the biggest mass murderer in British history, set free to get a hero’s welcome in Tripoli. No. It was wrong, it undermined our standing in the world, and nothing like that must ever happen again.

• Labour [party] left us with massive debts, the highest deficit, overstretched armed forces, demoralised public services, endless ridiculous rules and regulations and quangos and bureaucracy and nonsense.

• The old way of doing things: the high-spending, all-controlling, heavy-handed state, those ideas were defeated. Statism lost...society won. That’s what happened at the last election and that’s the change we’re leading.

• It’s about government helping to build a nation of doers and go-getters, where people step forward not sit back, where people come together to make life better.

• Yes you, Labour. You want us to spend more money on ourselves, today, to keep racking up the bills, today and leave it to our children - the ones who had nothing to do with all this - to pay our debts tomorrow? That is selfish and irresponsible.

• Many government departments will have their budgets cut by, on average, 25% over four years. That’s a cut each year of around 7%.

• Make sure kids from the poorest homes go to the best schools not the worst, recognise marriage in the tax system and, most of all, make sure that work really pays for every single person in our country

• Taking more money from the man who goes out to work long hours each day so the family next door can go on living a life on benefits without working - is that fair?

• If you can work, but refuse to work, we will not let you live off the hard work of others.

• A new enterprise allowance that gives money and support to unemployed people who want to start their own business.

• We’re going to start by taking power away from central government and giving it to people.

• More freedom for local councils to keep more of the money when they attract business to their area, to finance big new infrastructure projects and to run new services.

• More power for neighbourhoods to keep local pubs open, stop post offices from closing, to run local parks, to plan the look, shape and feel of their area.

• This is not about a bit more power for you and a bit less power for central government - it’s a revolution.

• If anyone tells you that all we need to improve our hospitals and schools or keep our streets safe is more money, tell them, been there, done that and it didn’t work.

• Saying to the people who work in our public services - set up as a co-operative, be your own boss, do things your way.

• Saying to business, faith groups, charities, social enterprises - come in and provide a great service.

• There is such an appetite out there for people to play their part. Our job is to help them, encourage them, break down the barriers that stop them.

• A government that believes in people, that trusts people, that knows its ultimate role is not to take from people but to give, to give power, to give control, to give everyone the chance to make the most of their own life and make better the lives of others.

Gene Felder

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Account & Instagram Manager.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising


Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.