Celebrating a Diamond anniversary

From Canyon To Cove

June 11, 2010|Cindy Frazier

As city editor of this paper for five years, I've had the privilege — and challenge — of being the "boss" of a reporter who writes rings around me every week. And she'll turn 78 this year.

Of course I'm talking about Barbara Diamond, who on Tuesday marked her 25th year as a reporter in Laguna Beach.

Barbara is such an icon in this town that she has her own seat at City Council meetings, right next to the assistant city clerk. She's always sitting right up front watching the political show as it unfolds and writing down almost every word. (I've sat in that seat myself only once, when Barbara was injured and unable to get out; I can tell you that it was a big chair to fill!)

Aside from that one minor lapse (and maybe one other), it's safe to say that Barbara has been at nearly every council meeting and every important public meeting in Laguna Beach for the past 25 years.


She has covered every major and many minor news events in Laguna, from the devastating 1993 wildfires to the 2005 landslide. She's so well-respected that the city manager calls her at home with breaking news.

Barbara has amazing stories of her exploits as a reporter. She's not a "desk jockey." She gets out in the thick of it.

She was the one reporter who got a helicopter ride with city officials viewing damage to Bluebird Canyon.

She was once taken on a police drug raid and watched as suspects were arrested at gunpoint. That's scary stuff.

But she also makes it her business to cover in detail social events, fundraisers and parties — most recently a doggy birthday party — to document the inner workings of this very special place. Her "Our Laguna" column always carries at least a dozen or more names in bold, so everybody knows who was there. It's that attention to the smallest detail that marks a real pro in this business.

Barbara was hired by the News Post, the Orange County Register's weekly paper for Laguna Beach, on June 8, 1985, as a local reporter. A California native who grew up in San Francisco, she had migrated to Laguna from Marin County after a divorce. She found a house on Diamond Street — which wasn't named for her but seems it should have been — and never looked back.

You'd have to say that printer's ink is in her blood.

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