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Mailbag: Lucky to have fun watersport options

July 14, 2011
  • Laguna resident and La Vida Laguna tour guide Alora Ashlie watches the fireworks from her paddleboard in Emerald Bay on the Fourth of July.
Laguna resident and La Vida Laguna tour guide Alora Ashlie… (Billy Fried, Coastline…)

Among the many viewing pleasures of the fabulous holiday weekend was the extraordinary array of watersports gracing our pristine waters. Kayaking, swimming, diving, boating, and that most pandemic of water sports — stand-up paddleboarding.

There was a panoply of healthy, eco-friendly, noiseless activities that reminded us of the amazing bluebelt playground we call home. And all of it was enhanced by warm, clean, clear water and our ubiquitous, resplendent golden kelp beds. Monet couldn't have painted it better. My, my, my, what a wonderful world we live in.

Billy Fried

Laguna Beach

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Hospital must work to gain back residents' trust

Editor's Note: This is an open letter addressed to Mission Hospital and Michael Beck, vice president of operations:

A few months ago, I attended a meeting at Mission Hospital at which you presented the hospital's plan for the next few years. During your thoughtful and interesting presentation, you indicated that Mission Hospital was aware of the need for a strong local presence and good community relations.

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In response to a question, you agreed that a good relationship with Mission Hospital's neighbors should be an important consideration in your future plans.

Mission Hospital's actions with respect to the acquisition of the Domanskis property, and the manner in which the hospital acted was contrary to the goals stated above. The importance of open space is recognized as one of Laguna Beach's guiding principles as adopted in our General Plan and has been consistently supported by city residents.

For more than 35 years, every Laguna Beach City Council has labored to preserve Laguna's undeveloped open space. Mission Hospital's actions showed a blatant disregard for the residents of Laguna Beach, South Laguna and its immediate neighbors.

After two years of negotiations, the Laguna Canyon Foundation, the Coastal Conservancy and Domanskis reached an agreement that would have allowed the property to be acquired by Laguna Beach to be preserved as open space.

At a June City Council meeting the purchase by the city was approved. The purchase was supported by Laguna Greenbelt, Laguna Canyon Conservancy, Orange County Community Resources, Village Laguna, members of the South Laguna Civic Assn. and others because the property represents an attractive hillside and globally significant habitat that should be protected.

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