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The Sea Dog Skim Challenge PMMC fundraiser takes place at Aliso Beach on Oct 7 at 8 a.m.

The Sea Dog Skim Challenge is a one-day skimboarding event held to raise funds for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and its patients. The competition is held in a single elimination format.

For the second time, Sam Stinnett, four-time Skimboarding World Champion, will host the Challenge, which this year takes place on Oct 7, starting promptly at 8 a.m. at Aliso Beach.

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Sam Stinnett

This year, Poler Laguna will be hosting the awards ceremony and fundraiser. All contestants will have free entry, and non-contestants will be asked to make an optional $5 donation at the door. A raffle will offer items from Vissla, Catch Surf, Sector 9, The Ranch, and many more.

There’ll also be a special performance by favorite local band Soulag Vibrations. Anyone who purchases a raffle ticket or makes a donation will get a wristband, which will allow them free entry and one free drink at The Sandpiper Lounge after the event (21+).

All net profits from the contest, awards ceremony, and individual donations go directly to PMMC. The contest is open to Amateur and Professional skimboarders of all ages and genders.

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Sam Stinnett, four-time Skimboarding World Champion

Last year’s event was a big success. The Sea Dog Skim Challenge raised over $3,500 for the PMMC, and this year, the organizers hope to raise even more. 

Residents are asked to join in the fundraiser, either by signing up to compete, coming to the awards ceremony, donating directly to the PMMC, or simply enjoying a fun-filled day at the beach. 

To sign up and/or donate, or for more information about the event and sponsors, visit www.theseadogskimchallenge.com and follow along at @theseadogskimchallenge on Instagram.

For further information on PMMC, visit pacificmmc.org.


The Historical Society will present a program on the Laguna Playhouse in City Chambers Oct 11

Historian Glenna Matthews will present a program on the Laguna Playhouse, sponsored by the Laguna Beach Historical Society, on Oct 11 in the Council Chambers. 

Matthews grew up in Laguna and attended plays with her parents and participated in theater productions. Her mother ushered, father and daughter performed. 

Her first role was in “You Can’t Take It With You” in 1946, according to a blurb in the Historical Society newsletter.  

Matthews will draw on her own experience and on her Master’s thesis on the history of the theater until 1960 for “The Laguna Playhouse – A Treasured Community Institution.”

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Photo courtesy The Historical Society

Laguna Playhouse back then…

She will be assisted by Carolyn Hobart Fisch, Deborah Paul Kermode and Jennie Williamson. Matthews, who lived away from Laguna for decades, wants to share her treasured memories now that she has returned to the city. 

Admission to the presentation is free. However donations are appreciated and may be made online by Pay Pal or credit card at www.lagunabeachhistory.org or by mail to Laguna Beach Historical Society, 278 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach, CA, 92651. 

Membership is $25 for an individual, which includes the newsletter, entry to society programs, and visits to Murphy Smith Bungalow on Ocean Avenue, next to Whole Foods.

The next presentation will be on No. 16, at the Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in Laguna Beach.

--By Barbara Diamond 


The Drifters & The Coasters & the Doo-Wop era come to Laguna Playhousefor four performances, Nov 3-5

Laguna Playhouse Artistic Director Ann E. Wareham and Executive Director Ellen Richard announce The Drifters & The Coasters, live in concert, for four performances only, from Fri, Nov 3 – Sun, Nov 5.

 Head back to the 1950s and the sweet vocal harmonies of the Doo-Wop era. With memorable songs like “Under the Boardwalk,” “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay,” and “On Broadway,” The Drifters offer a blend of tasteful music and class, all wrapped up in their famous patented choreography. They were the first musical rock and roll group to include string instruments into rhythm and blues music with their hauntingly beautiful song, “There Goes My Baby”. They were also the first musical group to sell two million records with their pop classic “Up on the Roof.’’ Their classic tune ‘’Under the Boardwalk” is the most played R&B disc of all time. 

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The Drifters

The Cornell Gunter Coasters were known as the supreme comedians of rock and roll. The monumental songs “Yakkety Yak (Don’t Talk Back)” “Charlie Brown” and “Poison Ivy,” helped The Coasters to become the first vocal group to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the formation of Cornell Gunter’s Coasters out of the ashes of the surprising breakup of the original Coaster group several months earlier. Cornell believed that The Coasters could be reborn. In fact, he believed that all of the groups from that era could be reborn, and thrive as live performing groups and ultimately he led the way to what was soon to become known as “classic rock”.

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The Coasters

Performances are Fri., Nov 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Sat, Nov 4 at 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. and Sun, Nov 5 at 1 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Ticket prices range from $45 - $65 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Ticket prices are subject to change. Group discounts are available by calling 949-497-2787 ext. 229.

The box office is open Mon – Sat: 11a.m. to 5 p.m. (open until show time on performance days); Sun: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

For more information, go to the website above.


The 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Invitational begins on Oct 7 

The 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Invitational begins on Sat, Oct 7 with a “warm-up” paint out at Treasure Island Park that afternoon in preparation for the Sunday, Oct 8 Quick Draw painting competition, and it culminates in a Gala Artist Award Ceremony on Sat, Oct 14 and Public Sale on Sun, Oct 15.

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The Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters Invitational begins on Oct 7

Laguna Beach will once again celebrate the legacy and tradition of plein air art as professional artists arrive from around the country and help capture its iconic imagery on canvas and paper. 

Throughout the week, daily events and exhibitions will be happening, from Crystal Cove to Treasure Island Cove and everywhere in between, offering the public numerous opportunities to revel in the beauty and inspiration captured by an elite group of extraordinary artists.

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The Laguna Beach Plein Air Painters in action at their different events 

On Sat Oct 7, artists will be arriving from near and far as they gather at Treasure Island Park with a warm-up paint out from 4 p.m – 6:30 p.m. 

On Sun Oct 8, Quick Draw Paint Out will be at
Heisler Park, Cliff Drive, from
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
 Thirty five invited artists will gather at Heisler Park to compete in the annual Quick Draw plein air painting competition sponsored by Southwest Art Magazine which requires the completion of a plein air masterpiece in two hours. 

The Meet & Greet Artists Reception
will take place at the Festival of Arts from 4 – 5 p.m.
The public is invited to join the LPAPA hosted Meet & Greet Reception. Enjoy refreshments, meet the artists, mingle with art lovers, and preview the 35 framed Quick Draw paintings, finished just moments earlier, that will be sold at 5 p.m.

The Quick Draw Quick Sale offers a fantastic opportunity to add a special plein air painting to your collection that was just created before your eyes by an award winning plein air artist. 

In a new twist this year, the Quick Draw paintings will be offered in a Quick Sale rather than auction, but not to worry, there will be an auction of Small Works on Wednesday. 

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View the final touches of a masterpiece overlooking the beautiful ocean 

On Mon Oct 9, Kids Paint Out & Cookie Reception
will be at Heisler Park, from
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Local school children are treated to a plein air painting experience guided by LPAPA Mentor Artists. The artwork created by the children will be exhibited at Forest & Ocean Gallery Oct 12 - 30. 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of the children’s artwork is donated to the participating schools. This program is made possible through the generous support of LPAPA sponsors and grant funding provided by The Festival of Arts Foundation, the Laguna Chapter of the National Charity League, Blick Art Supplies & our Mentor Artists.

Plein Talk with the Artists: “Ask Us Any Question”
 at the Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Avenue
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.: An open and lively discussion with Invitational Artists who will share their journey and their plein air painting experiences. 

On Wed Oct 11, LPAPA’s Next Generation Paint Out will be at
Heisler Park, Cliff Drive
 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
This event is designed to cultivate the next generation of plein air painters from the 2017 participating colleges:  Laguna College of Art + Design, Saddleback College and the University of California, Irvine. The students are competing for scholarship prizes.

Crystal Cove Paint Out
 will be at Crystal Cove State Park from
8 a.m – noon
. All 35 Invitational Artists will be painting out at the Crystal Cove State Park.  The public is invited to come watch the Artists as they paint “en plein air.”

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See each artist paint hands on with their tools and skills while making an unforgettable piece 

Later there will be a Plein Talk  and Book Signing by Art Historian and Museum Director of The Irvine Museum Collection at the University of California, Irvine, Jean Stern, plus a Small Works Auction
at Tivoli Too from
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
 Mr. Jean Stern has prepared a special Plein Talk presentation in association with the book he co-authored, PAINTING CALIFORNIA: Seascapes & Beach Towns. Mr. Stern will take the audience on an artistic journey along the California coast, showing contemporary and historic painting images. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to purchase a signed copy of the book for a special discounted price. LPAPA will showcase a selection of small works created by our Invitational Artists in a silent auction.

On Sat Oct 14, the Collectors Gala Reception (tickets available at www.lagunapleinair.org)
takes place at Tivoli Too, from 7 – 10:30 p.m.

This will be an enchanting evening under the stars with the artists, surrounded by art lovers and some of the finest plein air fine art you can find anywhere. Attendees will have the opportunity to view and purchase artwork in advance of the general public.

The artists will be hanging what they consider to be their best three paintings created during the week for prize consideration — over $20,000 in prizes will be awarded, with the top prize being the coveted $10,000 “Best in Show” award judged by Mr. Jean Stern. The artists will also have additional artwork created during the week, and a selection of paintings from their personal collection, available for purchase.

On Sun Oct 15,  Public Art Show and Sale
takes place at Tivoli Too, 777 Laguna Canyon Road
 from 10 a.m. – 5  p.m.
 Door will open on Sunday for all to visit the Invitational Art Show, meet the artists and watch live painting demonstrations.  

This event is free to the public. This will be the last chance to meet the artists and collect an original work of art created during the Invitational by one of today’s plein air masters.

Parcipating artisits include the following: Jacobus Baas / Suzie Baker / Zufar Bikbov / Carl Bretzke / John Burton /John Cosby Rick J. Delanty / Gil Dellinger / Jennifer Diehl / Aimee Erickson / Andy Evansen Debra Joy Groesser / Joseph Gyurcsak / Stephanie Hartshorn / Jane Hunt Charlie Hunter / Greg LaRock / John P. Lasater IV / Richard Lindenberg  Daniel Marshall / James McGrew / Jim McVicker / Clark Mitchell  Michael Obermeyer / Rita Pacheco / Colin Page / Jesse Powell / Jason Sacran Anthony Salvo / Patrick Saunders / Jeff Sewell / Michael Situ / J. Ken Spencer Michelle Usibelli / Jove Wang

For additional information about the 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, or the nonprofit art organization, contact Rosemary Swimm, LPAPA’s Executive Director, by phone 949-376-3635, by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the website: www.lagunapleinair.org or www.lpapa.org 


At League opening, Laguna Beach High School Surf Team wins big over Newport Harbor, 94-75

The Laguna Beach High School Surf Team came out of the gates firing against Newport Harbor High School for the league opener to win 94 to 75. Friday’s League event was held at 56th St in Newport, and the LBHS surfers led the way in several of the divisions. The surf had been flat for several weeks, causing a couple of the non-league events to be cancelled, but Friday, the event was able to get underway.

The conditions with the swell increase were tricky with a lot of close out waves, however, there were a number of memorable performances.

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Travis and Tess Booth

The first heat of the day was a Boys Shortboard heat, and our boys came out energized, taking a clean sweep. Travis Booth found his way in and out of a thick backside barrel to take the win, while Kiko Nelsen and Jett North did great as well finishing in 2nd and 3rd. A few heats later, Sam Nelsen and Liam McCue were surfing very nicely and took 2nd and 3rd. 

Later Jake Levine and freshman Tyson Lockhart found barrels of their own and both secured wins. Meanwhile Nate Madigan surfed his way into a 2nd. Trey Lockhart and Jeremy Shutts finished in 4th.

The girls continued to look as strong as they did last year and were led once again by Kayla Coscino. She was unstoppable in both her Shortboard and Longboard heats, securing some excellent scores to take the wins. Meanwhile Kalohe Danbara took a 2ndin Shortboard, newcomer Kelly Smith took a 4th and Freshman Jade Howsen, competing in her first ever school Longboard heat, finished 4th.

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l-r Kayla Coscino, Tess Booth, Jade Howsen and Claire Kelly

The Boys Bodyboard category saw Travis Booth do double duty and come up in 2nd, while Jameson Roller had some nice rides in Longboard and took 3rdand Freshman Zac Henderson took 4th. 

The coaches thank the families, friends and team mates who showed up to support the team.

The next LBHS surfing events will be on home turf at Thalia on Tues, Oct 10 against San Clemente and Thurs, Oct 12 against Newport once again.


Canyon 2 fire reminds us: Be prepared…Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Workshop scheduled Oct 18 at Susi Q 

The City of Laguna Beach has started preparation of a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), a five-year strategic plan to improve local resilience to hazard events, and 

would like input from the community. Residents are invited to attend a workshop at Susi Q, 380 Third St, the Hazard Profiles Open House on Wed, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.

Development of the plan, (the first such plan for LB), is being funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The plan is being prepared by public safety officials and City staff, with support from members of the Laguna Beach Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Committee, other affected agencies, and technical consultants. 

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Photo by Lexie LeFevre

Canyon 2 fire as seen from a residence on La Palma early afternoon yesterday

The LHMP will summarize the natural and human-caused hazards that pose a threat to the community, including drought, flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires. 

In addition to protecting Laguna Beach from current and future hazards, having an LHMP will allow LB to be eligible for grants from FEMA for additional hazard mitigation efforts. It will also make LB eligible to receive additional disaster relief funding from the State of CA, per CA Government Code Section 8685.9.

It will also incorporate regular feedback from key LB community members. The City plans to release a draft of the plan for public review in Jan of 2018, with final adoption planned for the summer of 2018, following approval from the California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA.


Celebration of future Skipper Carrillo sculpture will now take place on Thursday Oct 12 (not 13)

Forest and Ocean Gallery artist Randy Morgan, along with Skipper fans, are proposing the creation of a bronze life-size sculpture monument of Skipper Carrillo, along with a plaque, telling the Skipper story and honoring his unique place in Laguna Beach High School history.

The “Have a home run day” monument will honor this inspirational character and consolidate his place in the community and Laguna lore. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Skipper Carrillo in his “dugout”

Funding for the monument will come from private donations.

Sculptor Randy Morgan says, «I’m honored to be the artist to create the life-sized bronze monument sculpture of our beloved Skipper entitled Have a Home Run Day to honor his life and legend and his place in Laguna lore as one of Laguna Beach’s most beloved characters. 

“The sculpture will be created in bronze classic old world style, chosen patina, and will capture the smiling Skipper, waving his arms and yelling his mantra...”Have a home run day” (how many times have we seen him do it!). A donor plaque, and a plaque telling Skipper’s life story, will also be placed at the site, fulfilling a promise made to Skipper and his family to create the monument.”

Forest & Ocean Gallery will host a fundraising party on Thursday, Oct 12 from 6 - 9 p.m. Skipper and his sister Alicia will be present. The intended location of the monument will be announced at the event.

There will be “thank you” gifts for all donations.

Contact Forest & Ocean Gallery for more details. The Gallery is located at

480 Ocean Ave. (949) 371-3313 www.forestoceangallery.com


Cheer Clinic will take place on Sat Oct 21: Registration at Dugger Gym at 8:30 a.m.

Attention girls and boys (Kindergarten to 6th grade): Learn a cheer, chant and dance with the Laguna Beach High School Varsity Cheerleaders and perform at LBHS vs. Estancia Varsity Football game on Friday, Oct 27. 

The Cheer Clinic will take place on Sat, Oct 21, with registration at 8:30 a.m. The clinic takes place between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the LBHS Dugger Gym, located on St. Ann’s Drive.

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Cheer clinic participants 2016

The award-winning Laguna Beach Cheer team received top honors again this year at the Universal Spirit Association (USA) camp held at Great Wolf Lodge over the summer. Laguna Beach High School Varsity Cheerleaders took home the prestigious “Superior Award” and the coveted “Spirit Stick”. 

LBHS Cheerleaders are super excited to host the upcoming event as it is truly one of the most exciting events of the year. 

The Laguna Beach Cheer Clinic had more than 70 participants last year! Clinic students get to wear their T-Shirt for free admittance to the Varsity Football game on Friday, Oct 27. Contact Cheer Advisor Stacey Johnson at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for any questions.

The cost for halftime + first quarter performance is only $65 ($70 day of Clinic). The fee includes all instruction, Laguna Cheer T-Shirt, hair bow, pom poms, snack & water. Visit www.lbhscheerclinic.com for more information.


National Junior Basketball opens Laguna Beach Chapter registration for the winter season

Registration for National Junior Basketball, or NJB, is open for the winter season.  NJB is a non-profit youth league with over 25,000 participants in six states, and is focused on player development and teamwork for all participants. The Laguna Beach chapter will run both divisional girls and an All-Net boys program. Practices begin the week of Nov 6, and games will begin early in Dec and run through Feb.

Laguna Beach Girls NJB: The Laguna Beach girls program is open to all girls from grades three through eight, and all girls will have the opportunity to play. The fee to play is $250 and includes a uniform. 

Those interested can register online at www.lagunabeachnjb.com and come to mandatory skills check on Oct 25 at the Thurston Middle School gym at the following times: Third and fourth grade girls: 6:30 – 7 p.m., fifth and sixth grade girls: 7 – 7:30 p.m., seventh and eighth grade girls: 7:30 – 8 p.m.

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l-r, Shannon Hackett, Molly Riehle, Lola Sanai, Riley Beason (front), Elaina Seybold, Kaylyn Stringham, Claire Turner, Coco Black, Sydney Ford

Laguna Beach Boys All-Net: The LB chapter will run an All-Net boys program, which is for the highest caliber players from the LB area. It gives the most advanced players a chance to play at a higher level than in a typical divisional recreation program.

Unlike the division program, there is no guaranteed playing time. Teams will be comprised of 8-12 players, and some participants may not make the team. If a player does not make the team, the Boys and Girls Club has a recreational program during the winter that is available to all boys from kindergarten through ninth grade.  

The fee to play in All-Net is $450, and tryouts are on Oct 25 at the Thurston Middle School gym at the following times: Fourth and fifth grade boys: 5 – 5:30 p.m., sixth and seventh grade boys: 5:30 – 6 p.m., eighth grade boys: 6 – 6:30pm

For more information, visit https://lagunabeachnjb.sportngin.com/ for information about NJB, go to, https://njbl.org

If those interested in coaching, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Water district seeks to regain independence

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The Laguna Beach County Water District is seeking a legal separation, if not a divorce from the city.

District General Manager Renae Hinchey’s proposal on Thursday to the Board of Directors to consider restoration of the district’s independence met with resistance from three members of the City Council, which serves as the board. In the face of the opposition, Hinchey proposed lessening the council’s duties to the approval of the annual budget and commission appointments.  

“You have a really full plate,” Hinchey said. “The commission focuses solely on water and has a lot of knowledge on what is going on.” 

The district became a subsidiary of the city in 2000 to avoid a shotgun wedding to another district, under a new state law on consolidation of small agencies, passed in 1997. For the previous 75 years, the district had functioned independently, governed by a board of directors.

“The sole purpose of the district becoming a city subsidiary was to protect it from a forced merger with another district and the subsequent loss of local control,” Hinchey reported. “But that threat no longer exists.”  

Following the agreement with the city, the district’s sitting board of directors was reconstituted as a commission that would continue to operate as previously, meeting every other week to review items on the agenda, according to Hinchey. The City Council was to serve as ex-officio board that meets quarterly. 

Are two governing bodies one too many?

The district now takes the position that two governing bodies are one too many.   

“What do you bring to the table that the commission doesn’t?” asked former Mayor and commission member Jane Egly.

Besides Egly, three other commission members attended the meeting: former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman, Design Review Board member Debbie Neev and Mark Lewis, all in favor of the proposed split.

In the proposal presented Thursday, Hinchey outlined justifications for the restoration of independence, beginning with redundancy and the adverse effects it has on the district.

Every agenda item presented to the board has already been vetted by a district committee and voted on by the commission, according to Hinchey. She attributes the delay of important capital improvement projects and the timely adoption of resolutions that require board approval to the time lapse between commission and board meetings. 

The duplication of effort to prepare almost identical agendas for both governing bodies also costs money, according to Hinchey.

“A financial analysis that I requested showed that the added layer of bureaucracy costs the district customers about $51,000 a year,” said Kinsman, a certified public accountant. 

Zur Schmiede adamantly opposed to “divorce” proposal

Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede, who voted against the proposal with Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd and Councilman Bob Whalen, was adamantly opposed to Hinchey’s proposal.

“I don’t want to consider separation,” Zur Schmiede said. “Having the board at the top of the pyramid is valuable.”

Councilman Steven Dicterow disagreed. 

“The board doesn’t add anything,” said Dicterow. “It’s just an extra layer. We don’t spend the time or have the expertise the commission does. I think we should seriously consider a separation.”

Mayor Toni Iseman, who voted with Dicterow to consider the proposed independence, raised the issue of medical insurance for the board.

“Ken Frank (former City Manager) never let the council have it, but the board gets it,” said Iseman. “It has never felt right.”

Whalen wasn’t thrilled with Hinchey’s presentation, but declared the decision on separation might be better left to the community. 

The district has 8,700 connections to the community, from Crystal Cove to Nyes Place. South Laguna is served by the South County Water District.

Up until 1924, water was supplied to Laguna Beach residents and visitors by privately owned wells in Laguna Canyon. When the wells began to dry up, salt water intruded and the owners discontinued the service.

A group of men, identifying themselves as duck hunters on the lookout for a club location, found a source of water in Huntington Beach and put up their own money to pay the $4,000 deposit on the land. 

In 1925, two years before the city was incorporated, voters approved formation of the Laguna Beach County Water District, 359 to 0. A year later the voters approved a $600,000 bond, 437-0 to buy the “duck hunters” land, build a 13-mile pipeline and a new water system. 

The taps opened in 1927 and haven’t closed since.

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