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Our Laguna: Taking a look at the last half of the year

January 10, 2013|By Barbara Diamond
  • London Olympic gold medalist Annika Dries, left, watches as Jane Egly reads from a special City Council proclamation in honor of Dries at the Laguna Beach High pool in September.
London Olympic gold medalist Annika Dries, left, watches… (KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

Same song, second verse. Here are some highlights of 2012, culled from the pages of Coastline Pilot in the second half of the year. Refresh your memories.

July. 6: Principal Planner Carolyn Martin was named project manager for the proposed overhaul of the Downtown Specific Plan. Her appointment eased concerns that an outsider with less local expertise would be chosen to head up the evaluation of a document revered by many as the savior of the distinctive character of downtown Laguna. Keeping the appointment in-house also saved the city thousands of dollars.

South Coast Water District adopted resolutions of necessity, including one that would allow it to move forward with eminent domain proceedings against property owners in the path of the five-year, $50 million rehabilitation of the tunnel that houses a sewer line.

The Sawdust Festival, Art-a-Fair and the Festival of Arts opened, with the granddaddy celebrating its 80th anniversary.

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No Square Theatre presented "George Gershwin and his Lovely Wife, Ira," the third in the company's American Songbook" productions.

Fred Karger ended his run for the presidency.

Americans for the Arts reported that Laguna Beach nonprofit arts and cultural activities pumped more than $49 million into the local economy in 2010 — the most recent figures.

July 13: UC Irvine announced it would honor Laguna Beach residents Bill and Sue Gross with the UCI Medal in recognition of their $10 million donation to the university to create a stem cell research center. He is a cofounder of Pacific Investments Management Co., familiarly known as PIMCO.

VIPS previewed the Pageant of the Masters prior to the public opening.

The first of two mini parks designed by landscape architect Bob Borthwick opened on Frontage Road; the second soon to open on Park Avenue.

July 20: Coast Sotheby's closed unexpectedly. No explanation was offered. The Laguna Beach Visitors and Conference Bureau, which shared the ground floor of the building with the real estate office was forced to look for a new location.

The City Council approved construction contracts for the new lifeguard headquarters and restrooms at Main Beach, budgeted for $8.1 million, but expected to cost about $1 million less — if all goes well.

July 27: The community responded with financial contributions and moral support to the news that Michael and Sabrina McMurray's 11-year-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer.

Bali Thorn retired after 30 years on the staff of the Boys and Girls Club.

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