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Mailbag: City is blessed with great music

February 10, 2011

First Sunday was a Super Sunday for chamber music. Thank you, Laguna Beach Live.

The Quartet from Colburn School gave a vibrant performance. Still in their 20s, these young people shared their love of music with us — joined for two of the numbers by double bass player, 21-year-old Robin Kesselman. It is exciting to know that we saw and heard these exceptional young people at the beginnings of their careers.

Especially notable was the "Five Pieces for String Quartet" composed by Erwin Schulhoff. His career virtually ended when Nazis came to power. Not only was he Jewish, he had become a Communist. He was arrested as a Jew, a "Degenerate," and deported to the Bavarian concentration camp Wulzburg, where he died in 1942.

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The quartet will be performing another number by Schulhoff in the Saturday performance at the Playhouse. When I heard that, what else could I say but "sign me up."

We are blessed to be part of this community, known for its compassion, its respect for nature, and its love of art and music. Only in Laguna!

Jean Raun

Laguna Beach

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Since I was mentioned in the Coastline Pilot last week ["Curves thrown at speedboarding," Feb. 4] as introducing the idea of a speedboarding competition on Park Avenue, I'd like your readers to have my comments in context.

My remarks to the City Council centered on their authority to act and what those actions should be. Their authority to require the rider of a skateboard to wear a helmet at all times was their "only" legitimate concern in this matter, and further, "To consider any other regulation or regulations that attempts to restrict skateboarding on 'any' street in Laguna Beach, is entirely antithetical to the purpose of why this body convenes."

I went further and said, "Your purpose as governing officials, at all times, no matter what the issue, is to protect, preserve and uphold our freedoms as U.S. citizens and residents of Orange County and this city. That's it, period!

"Skateboarding is a "pursuit of happiness" (just ask any skater). It is not a crime. It's a healthy sport. It is not this body's place to "outlaw," "restrict," or "regulate" this sport in any way, shape, or form."

Then my time ran out, which I'm sure they were happy about. However, my prepared comments that I distributed focused like a laser on the absurd city staff recommendation that the council might "close off specific streets or locations to skateboarding in the future."

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