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Mailbag: Original Village Entrance plan deserves another look

May 23, 2013

Bonnie Hano's letter in the May 10 Coastline Pilot, "City needs a more modest plan," is right on target, especially when combined with two news stories in the same issue — one concerning residents' uproar about tree removal downtown and the other concerning undergrounding of utility lines.

In the tree removal story, City Manager John Pietig gives as a reason for cutting down the trees the expense of repairing sidewalks. In the undergrounding utility lines story, Councilman Robert Whalen suggests increasing the contribution homeowners make for undergrounding in their area.

With regard to the latter, undergrounding should be less expensive, not more. Its main purpose is safety, and that benefits all residents, not just the ones in the proposed district. The City Council should look at the prospect of the whole city being undergrounded, finding grants and other ways of funding rather than doing it piecemeal by area and at the expense of residents.

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Both these stories cite concern over scarcity of funds for infrastructure needs. If money really is short, why is $35 million to $55 million being proposed to create a huge parking structure that will leave even less money for needed improvements?

I agree with Bonnie that the original Village Entrance plan put forth by Studio One Eleven deserves a second and serious look.

Anne Frank

Laguna Beach

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Support of pantry greatly appreciated

2013 has been an exciting year for the Laguna Food Pantry, and the month of May has produced much of that excitement.

On May 10 at its Taste of Charity gala, the Laguna Board of Realtors (LBR) honored our organization as one of this year's recipients. Our board and volunteers are so grateful to LBR and its organizers, as well as the local businesses and residents who gave so generously to make the evening wildly successful.

Then this past Friday and Saturday, Evonne Kane and her remarkable team of volunteers produced the biggest and best Boutique Benefit in its seven-year history. We feel deeply fortunate to have been one of the nonprofits Evonne has chosen to support over the years. So many low-income people in our community have benefited from her kindness and dedication.

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