Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Students going with the FLOW revisit the fires of 1993 in LBHS project 

Yesterday I headed to the Laguna Beach High School Library for their latest FLOW program event. F-L-O-W stands for fire, land, ocean and water, four environmental issues that are particularly relevant to Laguna Beach.

Students at LBHS study FLOW topics successively through grades 9-12 by having experiences across the curriculum, sharing a common read, and by attending community events.

Yesterday was one of those community events. The freshman class with the topic of Fire, individually prepared newspaper front pages revisiting the devastating 1993 that swept across town, taking with it the complete destruction of 366 homes, damaging more than 500 others and burning some 17,000 acres of brushland. But, when the fire settled, perhaps the most incredible news was that there were NO deaths, as the students were reminded by Laguna Beach Fire Captain Kuzmic, who was in attendance and actually was there back in 1993 battling those fires.

The event featured each of the pages displayed on an easel, with the freshman writer/designer proudly standing next to it to explain their thoughts in undertaking and developing each of them. An audience of school officials and community members were on hand to circulate, talk with the students and take in the quality of work.

All were good, some were very, very good. The students were given free rein on design, style, the paper’s name, photos and editorial content, some of which was procured by interviewing locals in town about their remembrances of that particular day.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

LBFD Captain Kuzmic talking with freshman Cameron Thomas and her mom

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LBHS Principal Dr. Jason Allemann discusses the FLOW exhibit with one of the participating students

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Student William Thiery shows off his work

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Student Kingsley Wade was all smiles with her well-done creative design piece on the 1993 fire

For me, as I shared with the students, that long-ago day is still quite memorable. I remember, as reports of the fire circulated across media channels, a group of us moved to the rooftop of the old Daily Pilot building in Costa Mesa, where I was publisher, and we could see the glow of the fire illuminating above the hills in the gray skies filled with smoke separating Newport and Laguna.

It was eerie.

We had several issues to figure out. We not only had a fire to cover editorially, but we also had employees wondering if their residences in Laguna were still standing. Everyone was on edge.

The solution was a boat, owned by a Daily Pilot vendor, who taxied a group of employees down to just off Main Beach, with their last yards made by fighting through the crashing waves to shore.

Each of the student’s work did a wonderful job rekindling the remembrances of that fateful day.

Kudos to teachers Sarah Benson and Jun Shen for making learning fun! It could be felt in the room.

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Program’s teachers Sarah Benson (center) and Jun Shen (right, hat) hand out certificates to all the finalists

• • •

The first of two Laguna Beach City Council meetings this week is tonight, with Closed Session beginning at 4 p.m., the Regular meeting beginning at 5 p.m.

It’s a full agenda, including a 15-item Consent Calendar.

On the Regular Order of business are a number of items, including consideration of an updated public art program policy; the awarding of a contract to develop a master plan for park, playground and recreation; an urgency Ordinance recodifying the Laguna Beach Municipal Code regulating single family residential one- and two-unit developments and urban lot splits relating to California SB 9, and the possible development of a community survey exploring revenue enhancements and other related topics.

Finally, there will be a Public Hearing for the appeal of a Design Review approval allowing a 253-sq.-ft. addition on an existing two-story dwelling, hardscaping and landscaping for a property at 31616 Second Ave.

The second meeting of the week will be held Thursday, Feb. 29, with the times the same as tonight’s meeting.

• • •

Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Jennifer King’s “Nature Box,” one of the featured pieces in the California Cool Art Auction

If you’ve been part of the Laguna Art Museum’s 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction, it culminates this Saturday, March 2 at the Museum in a night of art, cocktails and music from 6:30-10 p.m. Tickets to the event are required.

Bidding in online and ends March 4.

• • •

Laguna Live! presents BACH to the Future this Sunday, from 1-2 p.m., also at the Laguna Art Museum. The monthly chamber music concert program will feature the dynamic flute and cello duo, Flucello: Antonina Styczen-flute and Pola Benke-cello.

“Flucello will perform a diverse repertoire, weaving together masterpieces by Johann Sebastian Bach with more modern gems by composers such as Stravinsky, and others,” according to LAM.

Live! at the Museum is now on the first Sunday of the month. The concert is still free to members of Laguna Beach Live! and to members of the museum; $14 to non-members. For advanced reservations, go here.


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