sometimes park visitors bring them in."
She picks them up and tacks the deflated balloon to a post near
the Information Center behind the parking lot off of Laguna Canyon
Road near El Toro Road, inadvertently creating "found art."
The colors mingle and combine with metallic sparkle to send a
profound message of unintended consequences. Mark Chamberlain, who
created The Tell in Laguna Canyon with Jerry Burch, would love it.
This is by no means a demand for a ban on the bright, shiny
balloons, a joyful emblem of ebullient spirits. It is a reminder to
hang on to the helium-filled balloons and prevent damage no one
Helium balloons tangled with electrical wires on July 8 and
shorted out power for 1,800 Southern California Edison customers for
as much as 16 hours, according to Steve Nelson, Edison region manager
and a member of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.
"Standing outside and letting the balloons go is not a good idea,"
Service has been interrupted for more than 11,000 Orange County
customers in June. The balloons have caused 160 outages so far this
year, disrupting service to nearly 100,000 customers.
The drifting balloons can down power lines, which can arc and
start fires, Nelson said.
Fire is one of the most dreaded words in Laguna, a too-real threat
to people, property and park wildlife.
"Park animals mistake them for food," Norton said. "Imagine trying
to digest a chunk of Mylar. It can kill them, and the strings or
ribbons can strangle them."
Don't let disasters happen by carelessness. Hang on to the
Norton would be happy if she never added another thing to her
The Festival of Arts wrote another chapter Tuesday in its
partnership with Montblanc and South Coast Plaza.
A cocktail reception was hosted by Montblanc and festival
directors to open a special exhibit of works by festival artists and
a display of Pageant of the Masters costumes, masks and headdresses
at the plaza. The Montblanc boutique donated a pen and a watch for a
silent auction. Proceeds will benefit the festival.
This is the third year of the partnership. The week-long exhibit