NewLeftHeader

clear sky

60.2°F

Laguna Beach


LBUSD meeting to be held virtually on Thursday

Thursday’s regular Laguna Unified School District (LBUSD) meeting will be held virtually. To access the agenda for the meeting, click here. 

At 6 p.m., the Board will meet to receive the annual school report from El Morro Elementary School Principal Chris Duddy. 

The Board will receive information about updates to the 2021-22 Comprehensive District and School Safety Plan (to access, click here), including a new section titled “Infection Prevention Plan,” which applies to all infectious disease prevention, including COVID-19.

The Board will also consider approval of the student instructional calendars for the 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 school years.

Viewing the Meeting and Public Comment via Zoom:

To view the meeting, click here and then click on the appropriate link for closed or open session.

Public Comment:

Public Comment is accepted in writing prior to the meeting, or by phone or webinar during the meeting. Live public comments will be accepted during the designated public comment periods of the meeting. The time for live comments will be limited, so prepare your remarks accordingly.

Public Comment via electronic submission may be submitted no later than Thursday, Jan 28 by 12 p.m. To access, click here.

If you would like to make a comment and you are viewing the meeting via Zoom webinar, raise your hand during the designated public comment period, and un-mute your microphone once recognized to do so.

Closed Session Public Comment via Phone At 5:15 p.m.: Members of the public may call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833. The Webinar ID is 988 1429 3061. Press *9 on your phone if you would like to comment during the designated comment period. Once recognized to make your comment, press *6 to un-mute your phone. When you hear “your phone is un-muted,” please proceed with your comment.

Open Session Public Comment Via Phone at 6 p.m.: Members of the public may call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833. The Webinar ID is 959 0576 4801. Press *9 on your phone if you would like to comment during the designated comment period. Once recognized to make your comment, press *6 to un-mute your phone. When you hear “your phone is un-muted,” please proceed with your comment.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 22 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBHS senior holds third Annual Shoe Drive to help Soles4Souls fight global poverty

By DIANNE RUSSELL

For the third year, Laguna Beach High School senior Jessie Rose will hold her Annual Shoe Drive to benefit Soles4Souls. Soles4Souls is a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries. 

One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities that many in developing nations need, which is why Jessie launched a shoe drive to collect new or gently new shoes. 

In the past two years, Jessie has collected more than 900 pairs of shoes, and her goal this year is to surpass 500. The deadline for shoe donations is February 15.

Jessie was involved with Soles4Souls at a young age. When she was eight and living in Colorado, her mother collected shoes for Soles4Souls. “I remember being in the garage helping her pack them up. Then when we moved to California, and I needed to do community service, I recalled how rewarding it was for my mother, and I decided to hold shoe drives for Soles4Souls.”

At Soles4Souls, they turn unwanted shoes and clothing into opportunity, by keeping the shoes from going to waste and putting them to good use – providing relief, creating jobs, and empowering people to break the cycle of poverty. 

LBHS senior Jessie with shoes

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Jessie during last year’s shoe drive

Financial impact: Shoes are a resource that individuals who live in extremely poor countries can use to start a small business. Shoe donations mean a constant supply of quality product. This ensures these fledgling businesses can be sustained long-term. Small business owners earn sufficient income to purchase necessities like food, shelter, and education for their families. 

Environmental impact: By collecting discarded shoes and clothing for our micro-enterprise program, 66 million pounds of textiles have been kept out of U.S. landfills, helping to preserve our planet for future generations. The average person in North America throws away 70 pounds of textiles every year. That’s 21 billion pounds of extra waste dumped in our landfills every year! And the EPA estimates only 15 percent is donated or recycled.

Jessie, who has committed to play water polo for the University of California, Berkeley in the fall, will likely continue the drive with her water polo team, and her brother, who attends LBHS, will continue the drive next year.

Drop-off locations: 

--645 St. Ann’s Dr (behind the high school baseball field) – drop bag off at the bottom of the steps

--2925 Mountain View Dr (Top of the World)

For questions, call (303) 898-4392 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information about Soles4Souls, go to www.soles4souls.org.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 20 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 15 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 13 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


Club founded by LBHS junior helps people in the community experiencing homelessness

By DIANNE RUSSELL 

In March of 2020, Eva Fast, a junior at Laguna Beach High School, founded a club to provide meals to the people in our community who are experiencing homelessness. At that time, the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures, creating an abrupt interruption in meal options for our local population. 

As the club approaches its one-year anniversary, Eva and the members of the club continue to accomplish a great deal.

Kristin, Eva’s mother, says, “We began, as a family, delivering approximately 20 bagged lunches every Saturday, first to the library and then, as restrictions lifted, to Main Beach. When Eva returned to school, she formed a club.”

In the beginning, Jayden Lund – a senior at LBHS and VP of the club – and his family participated along with the Fast family in preparing and delivering the lunches.

Delivering meals

Carrying on what the families started, “The club members drop off the food just before 9 a.m. every single Saturday, and they are just as pleased to help as the (mostly) men are to see them,” Kristin says.

Club founded Eva

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Founder and President Eva Fast with lunches ready to deliver

The club has now grown into a group of 40. The responsibilities of buying and preparing the lunches go to two appointed members every week, who each have a financial commitment of $20 for purchasing the food.

Reaching out to those who are experiencing homelessness is not a new endeavor for Eva. “I’ve been working with them all my life. My grandfather advocates for them here in Laguna. I’ve always had compassion and empathy for those experiencing homelessness by looking at them in a different way, trying to see what put them there, and viewing them as people.” 

The desire to be involved in this issue is shared by junior Issy King. “Eva and I have been friends for a while, and when I heard she founded a club dedicated to helping the homeless, I wanted to support her and also do something good for the community.”

The visits involve much more than just dropping off a meal.

While delivering lunches, the members interact with those at Main Beach. 

Eva says, “They offer to help carry the packages and then sit and chat to see what’s going on. I’m an ice skater, and they often ask about how that’s going.”

Club founded Jayden

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Vice President Jayden Lund shopping for groceries

In all cases, club participation has significantly altered the way members perceive those without permanent homes.

Issy says, “When I dropped off the food downtown, my boyfriend, Tyler Fields, and I had a great conversation with one of the men. He was so kind and was telling us about how appreciative he is to live in Laguna beach and see the ocean every day. “

“We usually socialize with three of the group down there. These three speak for all of them, and they (and we) have a mutual respect for each other,” Jayden says.

A change in perspective

Jayden admits that working with the group at Main Beach changes one’s perspective. After taking someone down there to help, the response was, “Well, that was not what I expected. They’re really nice.” 

“The club has helped me realize the extent of the issue in the community. There are so many more than meet the naked eye that are struggling to get through the week with sufficient food and resources. The club has also reminded me how nice, genuine, and kind-hearted the homeless in our community are,” says senior Griffin Kristensen. “Eva is super smart, hardworking, and good-hearted, so I knew her club would be a great success and great opportunity to help those in the community as soon as she told me about it.”

Club founded Griffin

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Griffin Kristensen loads waters 

Junior Maggie Meekma, says, “I decided to join Eva’s club as an opportunity to help and connect with those who are less fortunate within my community while also receiving community service hours for school. Eva’s club allows me to assist the homeless while also putting a smile on their faces.”

More ways to help

No one will deny that the subject of homelessness in our community is a complex one.

Jayden offers a comment, “For such a small town, Laguna has a lot of people experiencing homelessness. Laguna does great things for the schools, etc., but more interaction with community members would lead to connection and a willingness for residents to be more inclusive.”

Club founded Maggie

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Maggie Meekma ready with lunch bags

“There can never be too much funding for organizations and groups that hope to combat homelessness. So, I would say that I urge people and the city to give sufficient funds to organizations like ASL, etc.,” says Griffin. “Additionally, small, everyday actions can have a big impact – whether that is donating money or creating your own food drive.” 

“I think that Eva’s club is the perfect way for helping the community! It motivated me to be more involved in the homeless situation in Laguna. I think that maybe instead of doing 20 lunches packs once a week, we could instead do it twice or three times a week,” says Issy.

Looking to the future

Dedicated to continuing with the charge to help this segment of the population, the club is just the beginning for Eva, Jayden, Griffin, Issy, and Maggie.

Expanding her commitment, during the summer, Eva worked with the ACLU and will continue to work with small groups and keep advocating for those experiencing homelessness.

Club founded Issy

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Issy King loading sandwich bags into the car

As a senior major, Jayden worked with a non-governmental organization in Los Angeles, and with a higher level of resources, wants to continue working with those experiencing homelessness.

“This experience has shown me that the homeless are still very grateful for what little they have despite their struggles. I will continue to help the homeless in the future by spreading awareness regarding the issues of mental illness, poverty, unemployment, and addiction, which all contribute to the epidemic of homelessness. By encouraging the use of the homeless shelter, giving out lunches, and even donating small sums, I believe we will move a step closer towards helping the homeless situation in our beautiful town,” says Maggie.

Griffin says, “I hope that I can create or join a club like this one in college and continue to make an impact in my local community.”

“After joining Eva’s club and helping the homeless,” says Issy, “it motivated me to join another club at the high school that brings food to the food pantry.” 

In these challenging times, this is a particularly uplifting story – one that gives us pride in the younger generation and hope for the future.


LBUSD Board of Education meeting on Thursday will include workshop on the Brown Act

The LBUSD Board of Education’s meeting this Thursday, Jan 14 at 5 p.m., will be held virtually. Members will complete three workshops regarding the Brown Act, Board Governance and Policies, and Bylaws.

The Board will receive information on the Brown Act as it applies to school districts, review and identify potential changes, and may request revisions to agreed-upon protocols as well as review bylaws and policies.

The public can view the meeting by clicking here and then clicking on the appropriate link for closed or open session.

Public comment is accepted in writing prior to the meeting, or by phone or webinar during the meeting. Live public comments will be accepted during the designated public comment periods of the meeting. The time for live comments will be limited, so the Board requests that the public prepare their remarks accordingly.

Public comment via electronic submission may be submitted no later than Thursday, Jan 14 by 12 p.m., by clicking here. 

Those who wish to make a comment while viewing the meeting via Zoom webinar should raise their hands during the designated public comment period, and un-mute their microphones once recognized to do so.

Members of the public may also call in using the Zoom meeting phone number: (669) 900-6833. The Webinar ID is: 979 5098 4874. Press *9 on your phone if you would like to comment during the designated comment period. Once recognized to make your comment, press *6 to un-mute your phone. When you hear “your phone is un-muted,” please proceed with your comment.

The full agenda for Thursday’s regular Board meeting has been posted. To access, click here.


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 8 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

LBUSD COVID 19 Dashboard 1 6 21

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting

 

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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

949.212.1499

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

© 2021 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.