Governor Temporarily Closes Orange County Beaches and Updates Guidance on Outdoor Activities
Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a complete temporary closure on state, county and City beaches in Orange County, in response to the large crowds that were seen at Newport Beach and County of Orange beaches last weekend. The City of Laguna Beach beaches have remained closed since March 23.
The Governor’s Office is working directly with Orange County and coastal cities to develop framework and guidance for re-opening the beaches.
The State also updated guidelines for outdoor activity, which are available on California’s COVID-19 website at the link below. All outdoor activities are contingent on physical distance being maintained.
Statement by Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig on Governor's Order to Temporarily Close All Orange County Beaches
“The City beaches in Laguna Beach are already closed and scheduled to be closed until May 4. Based on the Governor’s order today, I expect that the County beaches in the southern part of the City will also be closed this weekend.
The City of Laguna Beach will send its plan, which was approved by the City Council on Tuesday, April 28, to reopen beaches on weekdays from 6-10 a.m., for active use only and in compliance with social distancing mandates, to the Governor’s Office for approval. The City will not reopen beaches until its plan is approved by the Governor’s Office.”
-Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig
City of Laguna Beach Urges Resident Participation in 2020 Census
Every 10 years, the United States Census Bureau conducts a population census to provide information for reapportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and providing information to redraw congressional district boundaries.
The data collected is also used for demographic purposes, and to make planning decisions about community services, such as: where to provide services for the elderly, build new roads and schools, locate job training centers, and distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.
Census takers report that Laguna Beach ranks very low for participation: we are currently 346 out of 482 California cities. A failure to count everyone in the Census can result in serious local consequences, as each person who is not counted results in an approximate loss of $20,000 in federal funding to our community during the 10-year period between each census. The primary goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
“While the census provides population data, it is also important for the City’s budget, as the City receives state revenues based on the number of people living in the City,” said Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig. “We need everybody to respond because it’s a significant amount of funds that otherwise would have to come from other local sources.”
Households began receiving census information in mid-March. This year for the first time, residents are able to respond to the census online. To get started, go to https://2020census.gov/. Taking the Census online only takes a few minutes.
“We encourage our citizens to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census and be counted,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “If you've already filled out your Census 2020 form, ask your friends and neighbors if they've filled out theirs. Everyone counts.”
Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen Discusses Governor's Closure of OC Beaches
In today's podcast update, Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen updates us on the executive action take by Governor Gavin Newsom to close all Orange County beaches starting Friday.
We also discuss the County’s responsibility to enforce the directive in South Laguna, and if we will petition the state for a portion of the $350 million dollars to be distributed through the CARES Act.
Some City Trailheads Will Open on Trial Basis
Some Laguna Beach trailheads will be reopened for active recreation on a trial basis.
However, the Alta Laguna trailhead at Top of the World and Dartmoor remain CLOSED until further notice.
If trailheads become overwhelmed and neighborhoods are impacted, the City Manager may close them again.
Resources Available for Laguna Beach Small Businesses
The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce has compiled a list of small business resources. We know many of you have had trouble accessing the SBA.gov website due to it crashing or causing errors. The federal government restarted the emergency loan program on Monday with $321 billion in funds.
In uncertain times like these, the Chamber is working to minimize the impacts to health, communities and our economy. Although, the coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted daily life for everyone across our region, we must remember that we are in this together.
'Laguna Love' Partners with Think Laguna First Initiative to Give Back to Local Businesses
Laguna Love is partnering with the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce on a Think Laguna First Initiative to support our business community.
For every item purchased, $5 will go towards purchasing $25 Gift Certificates from local independent shops or restaurants and given away as part of the SHARE THE LOVE Campaign.
Visit LagunaLoveca.com to make a purchase. For every 5 items sold, a $25 Gift Certificate will be purchased. Once a Gift Certificate is purchased, that business will nominate the next business they would like a Gift Certificate purchased from.
Show Your Laguna Love and 'Think Laguna First' to Support Local Businesses!
Residents are encouraged to support local businesses and use curbside, takeout, and delivery food services from our local restaurants as part of the 'Think Laguna First' campaign.
Due to the closing of our restaurants to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce has compiled a useful list of restaurants throughout the City who offer takeout and delivery options, at the link below.
Laguna Beach Art Installation by Robert Holton Pays Tribute to First Responders
Laguna Beach artist Robert Holton reached out to the City’s Cultural Arts Manager, Siân Poeschl, with the idea and artistic way to say thank you to first responders, medical staff and all essential business workers during Covid-19.
As seems appropriate for an arts community, Holton had a concept to revise his “Super Hero’s Changing Station” temporary sculpture installation at the red phone booth on Forest Avenue and make some artistic revisions to thank the real heroes of our time.
“I felt as a community that it was incredibly important to thank those people who made sure we are safe and cared for during these incredibly anxious times. I have been an artist my entire life, the best way I can say thank you is through my art” said Holton.
“Super Hero’s Changing Station” by Holton was installed in May 2019, funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.
The original “Super Hero’s” installation included a fist coming out of the top of the booth with is filled with superhero costumes. Early on Monday morning, Holton painted the fist blue and replaced the costumes with the uniforms of first responders and medical staff.
Robert Holton is an exhibitor at the Sawdust Art Festival along with his wife Marita and live in Laguna Canyon.