Back to Top

Inclusion on City’s Historical Inventory should be voluntary

Property owners should have to petition the City to have their house on the Historical Inventory!

The City should pay to have the property evaluated as to its historical value! The City has the discretion to make it a burden or an asset to have your house on the Historical Inventory.

Please take the time to read the City of Anaheim’s Historical Preservation Program! Totally voluntary!

Personally, I think that it’s morally wrong to force property owners to have to deal with CEQA. After reading the email from California State Historian Ron Parsons, “there is no legal requirement that a city have a registration program or an Inventory.”

Yesterday I was at the LB Community Center for the 10-year anniversary!

The center is the best thing the City has achieved since the creation of Main Beach.

Three “historical structures” were moved to the Canyon to rot!

A shame but best for the community.

The City should make an effort to let homeowners incorporate existing older structures into a livable modern home fit for a family! The City should “bend over backwards” to help owners! Not make it a nightmare.

When you sit in the Council Chambers remember this should be a plus for the homeowners not a burden.

Patrick W. Gallis

Laguna Beach

Know thy budget…

Before we know it election time will be fast upon us whether or not any of us are truly prepared to make our best decision as to whom and what we will cast our vote for. I have looked, listened, and read much about the many candidates who are seeking a seat on our all powerful City Council. My major concern with this election cycle is all about our City Budget and the money therein and how all of our tax dollars are not only collected but how and who makes the spending decisions from grants and gifts and all the basic costs to run our town.

Just how much do any of these candidates and current councilmembers actually know about how our budget works? I have been to the City Budget webpage more than once to take a look-see only to discover how complex this document really is. Indeed, it is a monster to wade through and attempt to have it make any sense. Just my review of over 250 pages led me to ask the question: does the right hand truly know what the left hand is doing and choosing? 

When any government needs more, “funds” (fees, really hidden as taxes and just ask Chief Justice Roberts) are increased to make costs work without knowing the budget well enough to determine where any possible reductions can be made or even cuts can be made. Just look at the costs for permits and the costly permit process as any of us attempted to improve our property. Look at all the fee increases from dog licenses to business licenses to the cost of a traffic ticket, all leading to greater and often times more unnecessary spending, even surpluses because the money is/will be there. 

Our small government tends to behave like most if not all governments. When additional funds are needed government will use the old gimmick of fear that public services will be cut or public safety will be put in jeopardy to convince taxpayers we need to ante up to save we helpless citizens. Our political leaders must first see where the money can be saved or even cut. Yes, candidates as well as current City Council members including all City Staff must have a meaningful understanding of our City Budget. During this campaign process, each candidate needs to be asked just how much of an understanding they have about our budget. My search for the best qualified three new City Council members continues and at the time I cast my vote I will be confident that those I support will know and understand this City Budget of ours and know how to keep our tax dollars safe as well as respected.

Jim Gothard

Laguna Beach

Sue Kempf responds to endorsement

Last week, Liberate Laguna ran a full page [ad] in the Laguna Beach Independent, endorsing me without my permission. As a candidate, my commitment is to run a positive campaign without endorsement from special interest groups. I appreciate the time and thought that any organization commits to evaluating my candidacy and understand the role they play in educating their constituencies; however, the support of my candidacy by any organization only implies that they endorse what I stand for, not the other way around.

I remain deeply committed to serving Laguna Beach in a transparent and inclusive manner. Before I cast a vote, I promise I will gather as many facts as possible and listen to all sides before acting in the best interests of our residents. I have acted in this way in my consecutive terms as Planning Commissioner and will continue to do so if elected to City Council.

Sue Kempf

Laguna Beach

Ruminations of a Reprobate Republican

I am a Republican. I have voted for most Republican candidates since Dwight Eisenhower.

There have been a few exceptions. One was Nixon’s run for a second term. Another was the second term for George W. Bush.

MY Republican Party is one of fiscal stability and balanced budgets. It is a party that knew when to negotiate with other parties and to find common ground. It is a party whose elected representatives could find solutions without demeaning or insulting members of other parties. That’s not to say that campaigns were not lively. The failures and missteps of opponents were made dramatically clear during election time.

Today, MY Republican Party no longer exists. It has been overcome by a mob of antagonists, which has resulted in both principal parties of left and right resorting to insult and defamation. Truth and fact have disappeared. Today, all news that does not support a particular point of view is labeled “fake”. Narcissism appears to be the rule. Self-promotion and self-enrichment by elected representatives is the primary goal. 

Concentrating immigrants into camps and segregating children from parents contrary to law has become the New Way. Demeaning and threatening imprisonment of people who disagree with the State, and isolating national and racial groups reeks of experiences in Europe in the early 1930s. It is a sorry mess we are in.

Here in the 48th Congressional District, we have a Congressman who has been in office thirty years, almost as long as I have lived in Laguna Beach. In that time, I think he has appeared in Laguna Beach on less than five occasions. I have never heard him support a cause that was important to Laguna Beach citizens. He favors new oil drilling off California’s coast. In an article in the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, he insulted women and showed his utter disregard for those who have suffered from sexual misconduct. He supports the current administration’s tariff policy, which raises prices to us and reduces jobs in local plants and factories. He supported the federal administration’s irresponsible tax cuts, which is requiring massive new federal borrowing. These cuts are raising the national debt to extraordinary heights. This kind of activity, when practiced ninety years ago, created the Great Depression. 

According to a leading conservative magazine, no bill introduced by our Congressman in the last fourteen years has been passed by the House. During the past two terms (four years) he has introduced a mere eight bills, none of which have become law. It would be difficult to find a sitting Congressman who has done less.

Challenging our incumbent is a new face. He is a former Republican (my kind), which is good news.

He supports Planned Parenthood and women’s right to choose.

He supports common sense solutions to stop gun violence.

He supports fair taxation that closes loopholes favoring the wealthiest and reduces the growth of the national debt.

He supports Medicare for all as a solution for our health care mess.

He supports getting rid of Citizens’ United Supreme Court decision permitting unlimited campaign contributions by corporations.

He supports getting back to developing clean energy.

I support this candidate. I am a Republican for Rouda. 

James S. McBride

Laguna Beach

Car-free Sundays in Laguna Beach

When will Laguna Beach host its first car-free Sunday? Los Angeles does it, Seattle does it, Brussels does it. Amsterdam, Paris, Freiburg, and Muenster did it and look what it brought. Car-free Sundays allows people to open their eyes to the incredible amount of city space devoted to the automobile. We don’t have to wait until another OPEC Arab oil boycott to get started. Oktoberfest is September 29 to October 21, how about October 21?

Les Miklosy

Laguna Beach

Response to letter by George Weiss by former mayor

I would like to respond to a statement by George Weiss published on Sept 21 in a letter to Stu News Laguna regarding the removal of eucalyptus trees in Bluebird Canyon in late 2012.

On October 2, 2012, I was a member of the City Council that voted 4-1 to remove 11 eucalyptus trees in Bluebird that were deemed dangerous as reported by a City-contracted arborist as part of a public safety program which identified Bluebird Canyon as a very dangerous potential fire area.

One City Council member did not like the assessment of the removal of these 11 eucalyptus trees and initiated a second level review (City Council): Verna Rollinger. Residents in support of both removal and retention of the trees provided testimony to the Council.

The primary responsibility of a City Council member is ensuring the safety of the residents. The council took prudent action to proceed with the removal of the trees; Verna Rollinger was the one dissenting vote.

Elizabeth Pearson

Former Mayor, City of Laguna Beach

A portrait of last week’s Village Laguna forum by Ali Rybcyzk

A portrait of

Click on photo for a larger image

Laguna Beach local Ali Rybcyzk created this live sketch of last Monday’s Village Laguna forum at the urging of her friends. Her art can be viewed on Instagram at @loveincludeseveryone.

Rob Zur Schmiede’s decision to suspend his re-election bid is disappointing but respected

[I am] greatly disappointed in Rob’s decision to suspend his re-election bid. That being said, I would have done the same thing. Caring for ill and disabled parents and siblings is an extremely tiring and nerve-wracking experience. It requires full-time attention, not only to the disabled persons, but to oneself. Care, health and safety of the caregiver is as important as the care given to the loved ones. Best wishes to Rob.

Jim McBride

Laguna Beach

Village Entrance City-approved project loses 120 existing parking spaces, never disclosing it to residents or public agencies!

Planning Commissioner Kempf and City Councilmembers Iseman and Zur Schmiede voted to approve the VE Project despite that residents and businesses would lose 116 existing parking spaces within project boundary…GONE!

The City only reported during the last four years of “planning” + public meetings + communications as having 397 parking spaces in the existing City VE project and with “388 spaces planned”, “we’re losing just 10 spaces”! 

In CC Workshop handouts it stated (held on 11/12/13 and attended by hundreds of residents) there were 397 existing parking spaces + 65 existing gravel City parking spaces earning revenue (existed for decades adjacent to Tivoli Too/tree lot), Lot 16 – the City paid $5.3 million for this in 2014. This equals a never disclosed 462 City Parking Spaces (status quo) we weren’t told about and approved “just to build something by election.”  (Confirmed at City 9/12/18 meeting 462 existing onsite parking spaces in City Property.)

I feel strongly that deceptive City math exists – see the parking count chart displayed on Sheet 1 – where 24 spaces on Caltrans R.O.W. added on Laguna Canyon Rd outside of the project area, the equivalent 14 bicycle + 4 motorcycle spaces are counted (omitted in my review to just compare car spaces, as dozens of motorcycle spaces exist today = even more embarrassing apple to apple comparison). Today, the City’s VE Project provides just 388 -24, -14, -4 = 346 proposed car parking spaces. Thus 462 - 346 = 116 lost spaes at about twice the $6.1 million 2013 Budget, $11.3 + 5.3 = $16.6 million real project cost!

Would residents, businesses, and Coastal Commission have approved the project with reduced public access losses of these directly adjacent parking spaces with existing congestion during Summer Festival and beach season? I think not…what do you say?

This project requires revisions to retain our existing parking spaces (per LB City General Plan – Policy 6H – 1 for 1 parking space replacement in CB District) and potential for an additional 50 spaces to alleviate the parking inundation the trolleys promote in our neighborhoods. I’ve presented an alternative plan solution at the City’s CC Workshop in 2013 that’s more pertinent than ever to resolve VE losses underway. We can have our trail connections and park landscape underway move forward while amending the plan, but let’s build it right for residents, businesses, visitors, and patrons of the arts. 

If the City loses 116 Spaces here + another 18 Spaces during 2017 FOA remodel, we’ve Lost 134 car spaces = more than all 131 Parking Spaces on Forest Ave from PCH to Laguna Canyon Rd!

We can only imagine the congestion next summer... 

P.S.: City Council Meeting 9/11 – approved losing 4 more spaces after groundbreaking. Total = 120 spaces LOST!

Bryan T.S. Menne

Laguna Beach

Do we need to villainize those who disagree?

Perhaps it’s just the new style. Those who we disagree with have to be made into villains. This is the example that our President is setting for us, such as the “villainification” of CNN. It is unfortunate to see the spread of accusations that paints a group or class as villains rather than sticking to a healthy, open debate on the underlying issues of disagreement.

 While I am certainly not here to defend Village Laguna and all, or any, of what they do and stand for, making them out to be a band of marauders who swoop into Laguna and control all that goes on here, and to lay all of the city’s problems at their doorstep is a vast overstatement and oversimplification. We know that some of the candidates bitterly disagree with Village Laguna, what it stands for, and what it has accomplished in the past. Many of us have disagreed with them at times. Goodness knows that even Village Laguna has disagreed with itself on a few occasions in the past. This is all part of a healthy democratic process. 

Can’t we all just address the issues without villainizing those who we disagree with? If someone has tried to work around various height and mass restrictions in the past and have been thwarted, then is it really productive to rail against those who support these common sense limits to what the rest of us want for Laguna? Just tell it like it is. If you want to bigger, denser, taller, and more congested downtown then let that be your rallying cry. Realize that the rest of us are really not under some magic spell from an evil group. Awaken from that dream. It‘s just that your vision of Laguna and our vision of Laguna differ, which is ok. It being ok really is what makes Laguna, Laguna. 

David Raber

Laguna Beach

Page 13 of 34