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Laguna Beach


City Manager’s Updates

City Council Appointed Committees – The City Council is accepting applications for the following Committees, Commissions, and Boards: four positions on the Arts Commission; five positions on the Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee; six positions on the Housing and Human Services Committee; two positions on the Planning Commission; and four positions on the Personnel Board. 

All terms will be for two years beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. 

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.netand file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m.  Applications will not be accepted after the April 25, 5 p.m. deadline.

Caltrans Work at 7th Avenue – On Monday, April 15, Caltrans will begin work to upgrade traffic signals at the intersection of Coast Highway and Seventh Avenue. Minor traffic impacts can be anticipated during lane closures from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of May. 

For additional information, contact Oussama Issa at (949) 936-3593.

Free Compost Giveaway on Saturday, April 13 – The annual compost giveaway event will be held on Saturday, April 13, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the City Maintenance Facilities parking lot (Act V), located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Rd. Free compost will be available in appreciation of the recycling efforts by Laguna Beach residents. Supplies are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis. This is a self-service event.

Visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling for more information.

City Managers Compost

Submitted photo

Free compost will be available to residents this Saturday, April 13, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Act V parking lot

Summer Recreation Activities & Youth Camps Registration – Registration for Summer 2019 recreation activities and youth summer camps is now open. 

To register and see the list of programs available, visit https://secure.rec1.com/CA/city-of-laguna-beach/catalog/index

Bluebird Park Slide Update – City Staff has dedicated much research and consideration recently to the process of replacing a custom hillside slide in Bluebird Park deemed to be cracked and unusable. Given the customized nature of the original design, including concrete sculpting to accommodate the slide, custom entry and exit areas, and custom landing areas at the bottom of the slope, custom ramps, and sidewalks leading to and from the slide, and the fact that the original slide manufacturer is no longer making the same product, the options to replace the slide are limited and costly. 

The slide is so custom that the cost of the slide itself makes up less than 25 percent of the project; the significant installation costs like the modification of the slope to accommodate a new slide with different profile and pitch, replacement of rubberized surface areas at the top and bottom of the slide, and replacement of the lower seat wall to comply with current safety standards make up the bulk of the costs. A deeper dive into this matter led to the conclusion that the work is needed, and the project cost is justifiable when given the entire scope of the project vs. redesigning the hillside and pathways to provide another feature. Therefore, the City is moving forward with the installation of a new slide for residents to enjoy at Bluebird Park as soon as possible.


City Council accepting applications for Committees, Commissions and Boards

The City Council is accepting applications for the following Committees, Commissions, and Boards: Arts Commission; Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee; Housing and Human Services Committee; Planning Commission and the Personnel Board. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers. All applicants will be interviewed. Applicants may be contacted by City Council members prior to the interviews and appointments so please be prepared to make a brief statement about your desire to serve on a committee.

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

T number of positions that will be open and details for the following Committees, Commissions and Boards: (*The City Council may reduce or enlarge the number of committee members at their discretion.)

--Four two-year terms on the Arts Commission with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Arts Commission consists of 8 members, one of which is an alternate position, appointed by the City Council. Four of the seven members must be actively participating in the arts. 

The Commissioners are compensated in the amount of $137 per month. The Arts Commission has the power and duty to act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to the artistic aspects of the City. Additionally, commissioners recommend to the City Council the adoption of such ordinances, rules, and regulations as they may deem necessary for the administration and preservation of the fine/performing arts of the community. 

One of the major projects of the Commission is the implementation of the Cultural Arts Plan. Commission meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m.  Meeting and preparation time may exceed several hours per week. 

--Five two-year terms on the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee is a nine-member body appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to advise the City Council on all matters pertaining to disaster prevention, planning, and preparedness. The Committee will make recommendations to the City Council and will have staggered terms.  Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. 

--Six two-year terms on the Housing and Human Services Committee with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Housing and Human Services Committee is currently a nine-member body appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to assess and identify housing opportunities and human needs for all segments of the community; provides input on the City’s Housing Element of the General Plan; informs and makes recommendations to the City Council and other community leaders; and increases community awareness of programs to fill these needs. Meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m.

--Two positions on the Planning Commission with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Planning Commission is a five-member body appointed by the City Council for the purpose of reviewing and advising the Council on items related to the development and modification of land uses within the City limits. As such, the Commission reviews and recommends action on the development and amendment of the general plan, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and special projects related to land use planning.

Planning Commissioners serve a two-year term and are compensated in the amount of $392.00 per month. The regular meetings of the Commission are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6 p.m. Study sessions may be held as part of the regular meeting or at other specified times. A substantial time commitment averaging 4-6 hours a week is necessary to be a Planning Commissioner. 

Meetings may be four or more hours long and require a great deal of preparation time. In addition to these regular meetings, Commissioners are expected to visit sites and review project proposals prior to the meeting, as well as attend special project workshops. It is desirable to have or be able to acquire certain skills or aptitudes, such as the ability to understand zoning regulations and their effect on allowed land uses. Experience in land use planning, architecture, engineering and/or real estate would be an asset.

 --Four positions on the Personnel Board, one of the four selected positions will serve as an alternate member, with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Personnel Board consists of four members, one of which is an alternate position, appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to hear appeals relative to any disciplinary action, dismissal, demotion, reduction in pay or suspension. The Personnel Board will meet as needed. 

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

The City Clerk’s office is located at 505 Forest Ave.


Council to reconsider police vehicle graphics

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The bright red, white and blue graphic seen on the city’s new black and white police cars isn’t exactly what Police Chief Laura Farinella had in mind. 

Farinella expressed support for a less colorful graphic at the February 19 City Council meeting. However, the department found that muted colors cannot be replicated as expected and were replaced with the primary colors. 

Concerns and support for the American flag colors have been expressed. 

The graphic color scheme will be reconsidered at Tuesday’s council meeting. The council will also consider updating the service statement on the vehicles. 

Currently the statement reads “Proudly serving our Community.” Police Department employees split their vote between this and “Community, Commitment, Courage.”

Sixty-five percent of the 165 members of the public surveyed on Nextdoor preferred “Serving with Pride and Integrity.”

“Guardians of the Community” was also suggested, but received less support than the other two. 

Staff is recommending the public preference: “Serving with Pride and Integrity.”


Council approves smart parking technology

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna Beach officials have turned to technology to help solve the city’s parking problems.

The City Council on Tuesday approved investing in a parking guidance system that would direct motorists to open parking spaces. The nearly $1.3 million system is expected to be operational by summer. A marketing consultant will be hired to make the public aware of the technology. 

“This will help us achieve the 85 percent occupancy the city wants,” said Paula Faust, Deputy Director of Public Works. “And it will help peripheral parking lots if people see no spaces on the app.”

The staff recommended hiring Frogparking, although it did not submit the lowest of the four bids culled from the original seven for the job. It did, however, score the highest in evaluations. 

Among the technological solutions the company provided that outweighed the costs:

--Frogparking will install in-ground sensors in all on- and off-street parking lots and structures to assess available spaces

--The web/mobile app will relay real-time available parking anywhere in the city and pay for it

Council approves parking

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Frogparking will implement new parking guidance system

--The app will act as a “transportation hub,” connecting drivers with Laguna’s Trolley Tracker and other modes of transportation

--Folks out on the town will get an alert when their meter time is getting short

Resident Dana Raber was not optimistic about the usefulness of information that a space is available on Forest Avenue, while the driver is still in Laguna Canyon.

“By the time you get there, the space is already occupied,” said Raber. 

However, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow declared he loved the concept, although he did question Faust on how Public Works would handle future technology improvements.

Faust gave her opinion that the sensor-based system is solid now and going forward. 

The system also will benefit parking enforcement officers, according to Faust. Data will be sent directly to the city.

City Manager John Pietig was authorized to execute a five-year contract with Frogparking in the amount of $1,086,842 for implementation of the system and annual maintenance expenses of $94,087 and to approve a contingency fund not to exceed $59,000. 

The council also directed Pietig to appropriate $1.3 million for the first year of the contract, contingency, marketing and outreach services from the available Parking Fund balance.


City of Laguna Beach Community Services announces spring older adult classes

The City of Laguna Beach Community Services offers a wide range of classes for older adults this spring, encouraging residents to live their best life in the town they love. These programs promote an active lifestyle, enhance the quality of life, and build a sense of community amongst participants.

In the Namaste Yoga class, students have an opportunity to experience the basics of the physical hatha-yoga practice, a “work in” and a “work out.” In the spirit of the Hindu greeting Namaste, the class will focus on breathing, stretching, and balance. Classes are held Thursday mornings from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the Susi Q Center. 

City of Laguna towel

Submitted photo

Grab a yoga mat and towel and enjoy a rejuvenating class at the Susi Q 

At Silver Glove Fitness, seniors are provided with a fun, challenging, and safe boxing workout to keep their bodies and brains healthy. During class, students will perform exercises that help improve balance, coordination, and strength. Bring a yoga mat, towel, and water. Boxing gloves are required for the class. Classes are held on Friday’ from 1 - 2 p.m. at the Susi Q. 

The Writing Your Memoirs class, held every Wednesday from 1 - 3 p.m. through May 22, will teach participants how to write a first-person memoir one story at a time. The end of the course will focus on tying the stories together, heading toward a collection of memoirs. 

For more information on these classes and to register, click here

The Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St.


City Manager’s Updates

City Council Appointed Committees – The City Council is accepting applications for the following Committees, Commissions, and Boards: Four (4) positions on the Arts Commission; Five (5) positions on the Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee; Six (6) positions on the Housing and Human Services Committee; Two (2) positions on the Planning Commission; and four (4) positions on the Personnel Board. All terms will be two-years beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, May 7, at 6 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m.  Applications will not be accepted after the April 25, 5 p.m. deadline.

Biennial Police Awards Banquet – On Thursday April 11, the Laguna Beach Exchange Club is hosting the biennial Police Awards Luncheon at [seven-degrees] from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the public are invited to attend this special event which honors police department employees for acts of heroism, valor, and meritorious service during the years 2017 and 2018. 

Tickets for the event can be purchased though Ashley Krotine at (949) 497-0386 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or through Sande St. John at (949) 633-9429 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The cost for this event is $75 per person. Join the City to applaud our local Police Department employees for their dedicated service to our community. 

City Managers Police

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Biennial Police Awards Luncheon will be held on April 11 

City to Host “Open for Construction” Workshop – The City of Laguna Beach and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the next “Open for Construction” workshop on Friday, April 5, from 1 - 3 p.m. at the City Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend the workshop and learn how to protect a building from earthquakes through retrofitting. Older residential homes that are not securely connected to their foundation and multi-story wood buildings with a soft or weak first story (typically a ground-level garage or storefront with residential units on the floors above) are particularly susceptible to damage from earthquake forces. 

The City will discuss potential retrofit schemes and product solutions to help you get started on improving your building’s earthquake performance. Architects, designers, contractors, real estate professionals, residents, property and business owners are invited to attend. 

Visit www.lagunabeachchamber.org and click on the Events tab to locate and register for the event or contact Paula Hornbuckle-Arnold, Executive Director of Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, at (949) 494-1018 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Catalina Street Roundabout Improvements – On Monday, April 8, work to improve the roundabout on Catalina Street at the intersection with El Camino Del Mar and Los Robles will begin. The intersection will remain open during working hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and motorists are encouraged to use caution while navigating through the construction zone. Construction is expected to be complete by the end of May. 

For additional information, contact Tom Sandefur, P.E., Associate Civil Engineer, at (949) 497-0792 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SCE Pole Maintenance Work at Cuprien Way – On Thursday, April 11, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be conducting maintenance work on utility poles in the area by Laguna Beach High School. During the work, Cuprien Way will be closed from Fen Way to Bolsa Way, and Fen Way will be closed from St. Ann’s Drive to Cuprien Way. SCE has distributed notices to the affected neighbors and this work has been coordinated to occur with the High School spring break. 

For questions or concerns, contact SCE’s Customer Service number at (800) 655-4555.

City Managers poles

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

SCE will conduct maintenance work on utility polies on April 11

Friday Flicks at the Forum – The concluding Friday Flick, CODA: Ryuichi Sakamoto, will be screened tonight, Friday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the Forum Theatre on the Festival of Arts grounds, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. Doors open at 6:45 p.m. The film’s run time is 102 min and it is unrated. This series has been unded through the generosity of Laguna Beach residents Steve Chadima and Mark Porterfield.


City of Laguna Beach Community Services presents exciting new seminars

The City of Laguna Beach Community Services department presents a series of exciting new seminars for the community to get involved in. Take a deep-dive into an interesting topic and hear from an expert in their field during these one-day-only lectures.

On Thursday, April 18 from 7 - 8 p.m., local tour guide Bill Hoffman will present “Travel Talk: Cities are Becoming More Fun” at the Susi Q Center. Hoffman’s lecture will include a slideshow showing examples of what cities across the nation are doing to make themselves more attractive, memorable, and walkable.

City of Laguna Beach Community Services

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Learn how cities are becoming more fun on April 18

Another upcoming seminar is “All About Honey Bees with Honey Girl Grows.” Join Robin Jones in this three-part series on beekeeping. Robin designs culinary gardens and pollinator experiences, trends for local chefs, resorts, and restaurants. Courses begin on April 30 from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m. and continue on May 7 and 14. The cost is $25. 

The fun continues with a “Travel Talk Presentation: Antarctica.” Join Dr. Cathleen Greiner as she narrates her recent journey to the Bottom of the World. She visited Antarctica December 2018 – January 2019, traveling over 18,000 miles and touching base on three continents. Greiner will discuss her recent travels on May 9 from 7 - 8 p.m. at the Susi Q Center. The event is free to the public.

For more information on these great seminars offered to our community, click here.

The Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St.

 


City Council accepting applications for Committees, Commissions and Boards

The City Council is accepting applications for the following Committees, Commissions, and Boards: Arts Commission; Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee; Housing and Human Services Committee; Planning Commission and the Personnel Board. 

Interviews and appointments will be conducted on Tuesday, May 7 at 6 p.m., by the City Council in the City Council Chambers. All applicants will be interviewed. Applicants may be contacted by City Council members prior to the interviews and appointments so please be prepared to make a brief statement about your desire to serve on a committee.

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

T number of positions that will be open and details for the following Committees, Commissions and Boards: (*The City Council may reduce or enlarge the number of committee members at their discretion.)

--Four two-year terms on the Arts Commission with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Arts Commission consists of 8 members, one of which is an alternate position, appointed by the City Council. Four of the seven members must be actively participating in the arts. 

The Commissioners are compensated in the amount of $137 per month. The Arts Commission has the power and duty to act in an advisory capacity to the City Council in all matters pertaining to the artistic aspects of the City. Additionally, commissioners recommend to the City Council the adoption of such ordinances, rules, and regulations as they may deem necessary for the administration and preservation of the fine/performing arts of the community. 

One of the major projects of the Commission is the implementation of the Cultural Arts Plan. Commission meetings are generally held on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at 5:30 p.m.  Meeting and preparation time may exceed several hours per week. 

--Five two-year terms on the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee is a nine-member body appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to advise the City Council on all matters pertaining to disaster prevention, planning, and preparedness. The Committee will make recommendations to the City Council and will have staggered terms.  Meetings are generally held on the first Monday of the month at 6 p.m. 

--Six two-year terms on the Housing and Human Services Committee with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Housing and Human Services Committee is currently a nine-member body appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to assess and identify housing opportunities and human needs for all segments of the community; provides input on the City’s Housing Element of the General Plan; informs and makes recommendations to the City Council and other community leaders; and increases community awareness of programs to fill these needs. Meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month at 4 p.m.

--Two positions on the Planning Commission with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Planning Commission is a five-member body appointed by the City Council for the purpose of reviewing and advising the Council on items related to the development and modification of land uses within the City limits. As such, the Commission reviews and recommends action on the development and amendment of the general plan, zoning ordinances, subdivision regulations, and special projects related to land use planning.

Planning Commissioners serve a two-year term and are compensated in the amount of $392.00 per month. The regular meetings of the Commission are held on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 6 p.m. Study sessions may be held as part of the regular meeting or at other specified times. A substantial time commitment averaging 4-6 hours a week is necessary to be a Planning Commissioner. 

Meetings may be four or more hours long and require a great deal of preparation time. In addition to these regular meetings, Commissioners are expected to visit sites and review project proposals prior to the meeting, as well as attend special project workshops. It is desirable to have or be able to acquire certain skills or aptitudes, such as the ability to understand zoning regulations and their effect on allowed land uses. Experience in land use planning, architecture, engineering and/or real estate would be an asset.

 --Four positions on the Personnel Board, one of the four selected positions will serve as an alternate member, with terms beginning July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. The Personnel Board consists of four members, one of which is an alternate position, appointed by the City Council whose charge would be to hear appeals relative to any disciplinary action, dismissal, demotion, reduction in pay or suspension. The Personnel Board will meet as needed. 

Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on one of these committees should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Thursday, April 25 at 5 p.m. Questions may be directed to the City Clerk’s office at (949) 497-0705. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline.

The City Clerk’s office is located at 505 Forest Ave.


City announces exciting lineup of summer camps for kids

With summer right around the corner, the City of Laguna Beach is offering dozens of different summer camps to choose from so kids will have fun staying busy until school starts again. Registration for summer camps is now open so parents can cross that off the summer prep to-do list.

The long list of options includes beach and aquatics camps; art, music, and creative camps; and youth sports camps.

The popular Beach Camp Laguna teaches kids ocean safety. Less strenuous than the Junior Guards program, the camp offers beach activities that include short ocean swims past the breakers, some strenuous running, lifeguard games, snorkeling, paddle boarding, kayaking, body surfing and more. There are nine weekly sessions offered, from June 24 through August 22.

City announces beach camps

Submitted photo

Sumer beach camps are a great way to keep young ones active and involved in the community during summer break 

The Junior Lifeguards program will also be offered, providing beach and water safety instruction to boys and girls ages 8-15. The program includes education in ocean safety, rescue techniques, beach activities, physical fitness, and marine safety operations in an environment that emphasizes courtesy, respect, and good sportsmanship.

The Little Mermaids and Sea Cubs program is available for kids to learn about sea creatures and explore tidal pools in an outdoor setting. Beach activities will include simple exercises and games at various beaches. 

For kids interested in skimboarding, the City will also offer two skim schools. Skim Laguna will roam from Thalia to Bluebird in a weeklong skim adventure. The camp will emphasize water safety and cover skills for beginners to wrapping waves and pro tricks. 

Champion rider Paulo Prietto, with over 15 years of experience, teaches SoLag Skim School. This weeklong skim boarding camp teaches all aspects of skimboarding from basic skills to advanced maneuvers. 

With so many awesome camps to choose from, Laguna’s kids will be sure to have a swell time this summer at the beach and beyond. 

For more information on the City’s summer beach and aquatics camps for kids, click here. For more information on art, music, and creative camps, click here. For more information on youth sports camps, click here.


City Manager’s Updates

Community Development Department Streamlines Review Process – The Laguna Beach Community Development Department is already making progress on its March 5 Action Plan to improve the project review process for property owners. In less than a month, the Department has hit the ground running and already made major changes to improve the quality and efficacy of permit processing. 

Those changes include a streamlined process that allows multiple plan submittals at once, allowing all Community Development Divisions and City Departments to review plans early in the process and in parallel with the Zoning Division review. 

This change is already resulting in quicker review times of building permit plan checks. Also, a newly formed Development Management Team (DMT) now reviews commercial and residential projects at the very beginning of the development review process. 

The DMT (made up of Community Development, Fire, Public Works, and Water Quality Departments) reviews and provides comments on new projects within two weeks of a project submittal – then meets with the property owner and project design team to go over the DMT’s comments to the applicant. By meeting with the property owner early, the DMT helps identify all the project requirements and direction up front, thus avoiding setbacks that could happen later in the process.

City Leaders Share Lessons Learned from Paradise – On Monday, March 25, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen, City Manager John Pietig and Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock spoke to a full house about lessons learned from a January visit to fire-ravaged Paradise, Calif., the site of the deadly November 2018 Camp Fire.   

City Managers firetruck

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of the City of LB

City Leaders shared from their trip to Paradise on March 25 

At this week’s fire safety meeting, hosted by Village Laguna, Villwock shared his takeaways from the Paradise tragedy and outlined how residents can best prepare for a fast-moving fire and reduce fire risk, detailed current emergency preparedness measures, and described the City’s ongoing fuel modification efforts in and around Laguna Canyon.

 “We have one of the best notification programs in the State to help notify you when something happens, but one of the things we learned in Paradise is we need to take a look at it and make it even better,” said City Manager John Pietig. 

Last fall, the City Council supported Mayor Bob Whalen’s recommendation to create the Wildfire Mitigation and Fire Safety Subcommittee to help assess the City’s current level of preparedness, fire risk and exposure to wildfires, resources and infrastructure and review current regulations to mitigate wildfires. 

The committee will present its recommendations to the City Council this summer and develop an immediate action plan. “It’s important we not just evaluate all the opportunities for protection – we’re going to have to prioritize them,” Pietig said. 

“Choices are going to have to be made to maintain the type of community we all want to live in and also protect our residents.”

This week’s meeting was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Annual Composting Classes – The City’s solid waste hauler, Waste Management, will offer the first of four free composting classes planned for 2019 on Saturday, March 30, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Bluebird Park, located at 798 Bluebird Canyon Dr. Compost and worm bins will be available for purchase during the class at a discounted price. 

For more information visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling or contact the Waste Management class instructor, Lisa Ryder, at (310) 874-2499.

Junior Lifeguards – Registration for the 2019 Junior Lifeguard program is now open to Laguna Beach residents. Participants must pass the required swim test or have participated in the 2018 program to be eligible to register. The next swim tests will be held this Friday, March 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, March 30, from 1 to 3 p.m. 

Not sure if your child is ready for the swim test? Try the City’s JG Clinic on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. All swim tests and clinics take place at the Laguna Beach High School and Community Pool, located at 670 Park Avenue. 

Additional information about the Junior Lifeguard program is available at http://bit.ly/2RAlQcl or by calling (949) 497-0788.

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