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Laguna Beach city news City of Laguna Beach, California

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2021

All Beaches, Shoreline & Water Fully Open in Laguna Beach After Tests Affirm Water Quality!

All beaches, shoreline & water at City and County beaches within the City of Laguna Beach reopened as of 8:00 a.m. Thursday, October 14, 2021, after the City received results from the Incident Command Public Health Assessment Unit which indicates that the water and sediment data received from Orange County samples do not indicate a public health concern for short-term exposures from the use of beaches in the county.

The City also collected its own water quality testing samples on Friday, October 8, Monday, October 11, and Wednesday October 13 from four sampling locations in Laguna Beach. Results received to date indicate no presence of petroleum-related toxins from the oil spill along the Laguna Beach shoreline. Based on those three pieces of information, the City reopened its shoreline and water to the public this morning.

The City will continue monitoring the ocean water quality at its beaches on a regular basis for the next several weeks.
As beach assessment and cleanup operations continue in Orange County, the public can expect to see cleanup crews in protective gear monitoring, inspecting, and cleaning the beaches. Community members who would like to volunteer in the cleanup effort are encouraged to register at https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer
While most of the onshore oil has been removed, the public can expect to see oiled materials and tar balls continue to wash up on the beach. Please do not attempt to pick up or clean oil from beaches. If you see oil contamination or oil tar balls on beaches, please call the Marine Safety non-emergency line at (949) 497-0310 or email tarballreports@wildlife.ca.gov.

Thank You for Your Patience and Understanding During the Oil Spill Closures.

Call to Ban All Offshore Oil Drilling Happening Monday

On Monday, October 18, 2021, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen and City Councilmembers will join local policymakers, environmental advocates, and Academy Award-winning actor Jane Fonda at a press conference in Laguna Beach in support of a ban on all offshore oil drilling, including for existing leases.

“This latest oil spill is a wake-up call for all of us,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “Now is the time to come together to end all existing and any new oil drilling and production off our coast. Senator Dave Min has said he is ready to take on this challenge and the Laguna Beach City Councilmembers have signed on to support him in his legislative efforts. The road ahead will be difficult, but we must rise to the task to preserve and protect our ocean and our shoreline.”

The Laguna Beach City Council recently joined California State Senators Dave Min (Irvine) and Josh Newman (Fullerton), in sending a letter to Orange County’s federal legislative representatives asking them to lead a legislative effort to end all offshore drilling in federal waters off the coast of California, including drilling performed under current leases.

How to Submit Personal & Business Impact Claims Due to Oil Spill

A claims number has been established for any individuals or businesses that feel they may have been impacted by the oil spill incident. Please call 1-866-985-8366 and reference “Pipeline P00547."

Listen to This Week's Podcast Update With Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen

This week, Mayor Whalen gives us the latest on sand conditions on Laguna’s beaches, what he witnessed in his flyover with the Coast Guard, and whether Laguna Beach would join in a push to repurpose oil rigs off our coast.

The Next Regular Meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council is Tuesday, October 19.

Hotel Laguna Celebrates Restaurant and Lobby Reopening This Week With Ribbon Cutting!

Photos by Mary Hurlbut
On Tuesday, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen, Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf and City Councilmembers Toni Iseman, Peter Blake and George Weiss attended a ribbon-cutting event to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the renovations to Hotel Laguna. At the event, Laguna Beach Company founder Mo Honarkar received plaques from Rep. Michelle Steel, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and O.C. Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.
The partial reopening of the hotel marks the completion of the first phase of the renovation project by Mo Honarkar and the Laguna Beach Company. Two new restaurants, called Larsen and Fin, will be overseen by new Executive Chef Craig Strong.
Supervisor Lisa Bartlett (left) Representative Michelle Steel, Stephanie Blake & Councilmember Peter Blake and Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis tour the new restaurants now open at Hotel Laguna.

Check Out More Photos from the Ribbon Cutting in the Gallery Below!

The community celebrated the partial reopening of Hotel Laguna on Tuesday, October 12, 2021!

City to Begin Testing On-Demand Transit Service Monday

On Monday, October 18, the City will begin testing its new on-demand residential transit service, called Laguna Beach Local. The free, shared-ride service will utilize plug-in hybrid minivans traveling along the three former neighborhood trolley routes, serving approximately 75 “virtual stops” in the Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods, and as well as in Downtown.

Residents will be able to request a ride when they want it using a mobile app, home computer, or by calling the City’s Transit dispatch line at (949) 497-0766.
Residents interested in beta testing the service during the next several weeks can e-mail lagunabeachlocal@lagunabeachcity.net, along with their name, mobile phone number and e-mail address. The first 150 residents to respond will be placed into the test user group and will receive instructions on how to request rides beginning on October 18.

NEW Laguna Beach 'Alert Wildfire' Cameras Installed and Now Online!

The Laguna Beach Fire Department is excited to share yet another firefighting tool has been added to the City's arsenal!

The new Laguna Beach 'Alert Wildfire Cameras' are part of a multi-state system used to help with early fire detection by monitoring our open space.

ALERTWildfire is a consortium of three universities providing access to state-of-the-art fire cameras and associated tools to help firefighters and first responders:

  • Discover/locate/confirm fire ignition
  • Quickly scale fire resources up or down appropriately
  • Monitor fire behavior through containment
  • During firestorms, help evacuations through enhanced situational awareness, and
  • Ensure contained fires are monitored appropriately through their demise
These cameras, labeled "AlisoLaguna 1 & 2" are monitored and controlled locally by OCFA.

Update on Mission Hospital Generator Diesel Leak

Weather temporarily impacted the clean up work of the diesel fuel leak from a nearby Mission Hospital generator this week. The City is actively engaged with the hospital and all regulatory agencies to ensure this hazard is mitigated appropriately.

Analytics reported water samples were clear, which means no diesel has been detected in the water table. While testing samples this week, 3 out of 12 tested positive for diesel but there were no visual signs of red dye pocketed or pooled anywhere. The tests revealed slightly higher than environmental screening levels allow.

The clean-up contractor will be onsite next week to continue working in the area but did state they anticipate a sign off soon from OC Health, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, Waterboard, and all other entities that will need to sign off on clean-up efforts.

Meet Tony! Tony Farr is the City's Associate Planner for View Preservation & Restoration. With a degree in ornamental horticulture, Tony is tasked with implementing the view and tree ordinances under the purview of the Community Development Department. He has been with the City of Laguna Beach for 14 years! Tony says, "Every day is a challenge working with residents to restore or preserve views while balancing the benefits that our urban forest affords to properties."

Prepare Your Pumpkin for the City's 2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!

The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce it is hosting its 2nd annual Pumpkin Carving Contest!

All pumpkins must be carved at home and dropped off at the Community and Susi Q Center on Thursday, October 28 between 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Contest winning pumpkins will be displayed at the Promenade October 29 — November 1. Pumpkin awards will be given for: the most original, scariest, best overall, and Mayor’s Award.

Pumpkins may be carved, painted, airbrushed or sculpted and should not exceed 15” high by 15” wide. For more information, please contact the Recreation Division at (949) 464-6645.

Good Luck to All Who Enter!

Laguna Beach Police Sergeant Graduates from Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute

Laguna Beach Police Sergeant Jesse Schmidt graduated from the prestigious Sherman Block Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI) this weekend! SLI is an intensive 8-month program designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership, and ethical decision-making in California law enforcement front-line supervisors. Sergeant Schmidt dedicated a tremendous amount of time to reading books, networking, writing papers, and preparing a leadership capstone project. This is a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations!

YOU Said it Best, Our Laguna Beach PD Rocks!

David Zinn's Quirky Chalk Characters Return to Downtown Laguna Beach!

Street Artist David Zinn will once again be brightening the streets of Laguna Beach with temporary installations throughout Downtown from Monday, November 1 through Saturday, November 6, 2021. Zinn’s work is inspired by objects, street fixtures and cracks in the sidewalk to create his creatures and monsters into trompe I’oeil illustrations.

Zinn’s temporary street drawings are composed entirely of chalk and charcoal and are always improvised on location. Some favored characters are Sluggo (a bright green monster) and Philomena (a flying pig) but the menagerie of characters is only limited by the size of the sidewalk. So where will you be able to see them? You will have to seek them out!
On Saturday, November 6, 2021, Zinn will be at the Promenade on Forest and welcome all to watch the process unfold and maybe lend a helping hand. Zinn will be providing materials and directions!

“We need David’s whimsical creatures now more than ever. As the Arts Commission continues to explore every genre of temporary art, and you can’t get more temporary and fleeting than chalk art. It’s a thrill to invite David back to Laguna Beach after the huge success of his installations in 2019,” said Adam Schwerner, Chair of the City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission.

When you go seeking out Zinn’s chalk art installations take a photograph and post on Instagram with the hashtag #zinnlagunabeach. The first four people to post will win David Zinn merchandise.

This program is funded by the lodging establishment and City of Laguna Beach.

2021 Juried Fine Art on Exhibit at City Hall

The City of Laguna Beach 2021 Juried Fine Art Exhibition at City Hall is now open to the public during normal City business hours through November 17, 2021.

The Arts Commission invites visitors to experience the 33 original artworks by Orange County artists now on display at Laguna Beach City Hall.

*Image: Tea Time, Liberty Dickinson, Oil

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

LIVE Music This Weekend at the Stage on Forest!

  • Friday, Oct. 15 from 6-8 p.m.: Haile Blackman
  • Saturday, Oct. 16 from 6-8 p.m.: Jodi Siegel
  • Sunday, Oct. 17 from 5-7 p.m.: Beth Wood
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