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Laguna Beach


Laguna Food Pantry deserves your support

The Laguna Food Pantry has been doing important work. See their website at www.LagunaFoodPantry.org and consider donating. The Laguna Food Pantry believes no one should go hungry. Their vision is providing a fresh, quality food shopping experience for more of our neighbors in need.

Johanna and I are proud to have donated in 2020 and hope to do better in 2021. We recently received the Laguna Food Pantry 2020 donor list recognizing those “when our neighbors were struggling to put food on the table, you stepped up”.

I thought of Cindy Shopoff’s March 5, 2021 Letter to the Editor which included “how about listing how generous the founders of LL [Liberate Laguna] have been to many charitable causes in Laguna.”

Village Laguna has for many years contributed to the Laguna Food Pantry and is recognized in its 2020 donor list.

The names listed include many current and past Village Laguna board members as well as longtime supporters including Martha Anderson, Vicki & Bob Borthwick, Rosemary & John Boyd, Anne Caenn, Fran & Ron Chilcote, Ginger & Neil Fitzpatrick, Anne & Dick Frank, Cathy Fry, Bonnie & Arnold Hano, Richard Holder, Toni Iseman, Betsy & Gary Jenkins, Eric Jessen, Becky Jones, Trudy Josephson, Charlotte Masarik, Ed Merrilees, Barbara Metzger, Meg & John Monahan, Ginger & Tom Osborne, Verna Rollinger, Rosaura Ulvestad, and Anne & Kurt Wiese.

To be fair, the Laguna Food Pantry 2020 donor list also includes Stephanie & Peter Blake, Samuel & Pamela Goldstein, and Cindy Shopoff. How about joining Village Laguna and all these donors in helping the Laguna Food Pantry in 2021?

Gene Felder

Laguna Beach


The war against COVID-19 is not over

Dr. Mark Morocco, a professor of emergency medicine, recently wrote an essay entitled, “Uncle Sam wants you vaccinated.” In it, he said something that touched me greatly: “Americans sent their sons and daughters across the globe, their fear of loss heavy on their hearts. Families who lost children displayed their pain with flags bearing gold stars hung in front windows. Death arrived sewn on red cloth – a visible symbol of sacrifice. Let the deaths of so many guide you to becoming a COVID-19 patriot.”

Speaking of patriots, is there a more patriotic group of men and women than U.S. Marines? In the heat of battle, they often are ordered to charge head-first toward unknown dangers. So how is it these brave souls are willing to risk their lives to save democracy but, according to CNN and The Hill, nearly 40 percent are reluctant to get vaccinated and help win the war against the pandemic? 

It doesn’t make sense. My guess is many recruits have to get booster shots before joining the Marines. If true, then what is preventing Commanding Generals from ordering all troops to roll up their sleeves and help defeat the deadly coronavirus? You don’t have to be a decorated soldier to know it is a lot safer to get a shot in the arm than to be shot at by enemy forces.

Make no mistake about it. We still are at war with COVID-19. As Dr. Morocco put it: “When you get that jab, wear your vaccine status proudly. You don’t need a gold star in the window to identify a hero: a Band-Aid on a shoulder will do.” I couldn’t agree more.

Denny Freidenrich

Laguna Beach


City Council: Listen to what residents want for a City Manager

I am asking City Council to take into account the overwhelming desire of residents for a fresh perspective, people-oriented, qualified City Manager. I attended all three listening seminars; these qualities were repeated by numerous neighbors:

1. Ability to listen and negotiate between the different groups in Laguna

2. Professional experience – Master’s degree, financial prowess, existing City Manager experience

3. People person, especially as it pertains to interacting with the public and staff

4. Foster a transparent and trustworthy city government

5. Create a positive work environment to develop and retain employees; be a team builder

6. Fiscally responsible 

In my opinion if you look at the list above that residents stated were important, our current Assistant City Manager, Shohreh Dupuis, does not hit those metrics. I am very concerned with what I see as a lack of multi-departmental experience, that she does not have either a finance or Master’s degree, has never been a City Manager, ignores resident requests (I personally had to contact her three times to get an answer), seemingly micromanages her staff (I experienced this with a request for a parking interview with Paula Faust), and is, in my opinion, fiscally imprudent (Bluebird slide, Main Beach renovations, Promenade) with resident money. In my opinion we will have a mass exodus if she is named City Manager.

Now is the time to get fresh new ideas along with a proven, qualified, experienced City Manager who is both fiscally responsible and a people-oriented leader. Residents are asking for that. If you want to “heal” the town, going with the current regime will only perpetuate the divide. Imagine someone who could get everyone together and make compromises.

Please strongly consider the qualified candidates who you were presented. Laguna deserves the best we can get, not a continuation of a tired, political regime that only works for some residents and does so in darkness.

Michèle Monda

Laguna Beach

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Letters to the Editor encourage healthy community discourse.

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