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Our Laguna: Recalling the last half of 2011

January 04, 2012|By Barbara Diamond

Sept. 9: Laguna businessman Saeid Boustanbadi Maralan, 53, of Laguna Niguel was arrested on suspicion of one rape and two sexual assaults. Additional charges were later filed against the registered sex offender.

•Coastline Pilot columnist David Hansen expressed regret about the lack of "family" restaurants in Laguna, which has firmly established itself as a mecca for foodies.

•Firefighters, police officers and volunteers flipped flapjacks, grilled sausages, poured milk and juice and brewed coffee for the annual Exchange Club's Labor Day Pancake Breakfast, directed as always by Sandi St. John.

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Sept. 16: A flag that flew over ground zero was raised at Monument Point on Sept. 11, at the dedication of Jorg Dubin's memorial sculpture that incorporated two metal beams salvaged from the World Trade Center debris and donated to Laguna Beach.

•Sleepy Hollow Medical Group on Ocean Avenue celebrated its 20 anniversary in September.

Sept. 23: The council ratified a new contract with Laguna Beach firefighters with new rates of contribution for new hires that will save the city almost $400,000 over two years. The contract included no raises. "This is a significant action on the part of the city's firefighters," City Manager John Pietig said. "They deserve a lot of credit."

•Tibetan monks visited Laguna for the second time. "It is such an honor to have these holy men with us," the Rev. B.J. Beu told the congregation at Neighborhood Congregational Church, where the monks began work on a mandala — an intricate design made with colored sand to aid enlightenment.

Sept. 30: The council approved a bike route in North Laguna. "Sharrows," painted arrows in the roadbed, will indicate the route that will be shared by bicyclists and motorists.

•Councilwoman Verna Rollinger kicked off her reelection bid with a fundraiser at the home of Kathy and Mike Conway. She was the first candidate to formally announce.

•Red Ball II at the Festival of Arts Grounds raised funds for AIDS Services Foundation.

•LCAD celebrated the 50-year road to its present status as an accredited four-year college.

Oct. 7: More than 3,000 signatures were submitted to the city on Oct. 4 in support of an initiative to tax property owners $10 a month for 20 years to raise money to buy open space in and around the city.

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