“Our Town-Our Paper” lbindy.com Photo by ted Reckas November 05, 2010 | Volume IX, Issue 45 Signal Fight Reaches Road’s End By Andrea Adelson | LB Indy The long-debated installation of a traffic signal at the main entrance to Laguna Beach’s largest gated community comes before the county planning commission at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10. Installation of a half-light at Emerald Bay’s main entrance would allow residents and visitors to exit southbound while halting north-bound traffic on Coast Highway. In addition, Emerald Bay’s homeown-er’s association and public service district is seeking approval for a per-mit to reconstruct the entryway with additional lanes, requiring grading in an internal private park. The $3.5 million project is expected to reduce the possibility of collisions at rush hour and at night even though the intersection’s accident history does not meet the “warranted” threshold, Jason Os-man, Caltrans’ chief traffic safety engineer, said in a March 10 letter to the service district. Interestingly, the t-intersection signal, page 26 Skateboarding Rules Wipeout By Rita Robinson | LB Indy Laguna’s police chief says a proposal to treat skateboarders like bicyclists in an attempt to rein in fast-charging downhill-ers conflicts with state laws and must be revised. Since state laws define skateboarders as pedestrians, Police Chief Paul Work-man says a draft ordinance on skateboard rules that was scheduled to be heard by the City Council later this month must be reworked. He plans to present his recom-mendations to resolve the conflicts to the city’s Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee prior to its Dec. 2 meeting, where they will be reviewed publicly. After earlier hearings initiated by residents pressing for a skateboard ban, the committee recommended “reason-ably” applying the same traffic rules to skateboarders that apply to bicyclists. Due to nebulous wording and the incorrect vehicle-code category, Workman said this week the recommendations couldn’t be enforced. “You don’t want to contradict a state law,” said Workman of the draft ordinance under review by his department. Instead of trying to fit skateboarders into the bicyclist category, he suggested the committee work within established state regulations to cre-ate specific skateboarding laws. “What they [the PTC] were attempting to say was that the skateboarder couldn’t ride on the sidewalk; then let’s say that,” said Workman. “Let’s not try to use more of a generic term and call them bicyclists.” Even within the state laws, the city has some leeway to customize. Work-man cited what he described as a unique section of the California Vehicle Code (21967) that allows cities to prohibit skate-boarders, and not bicyclists or pedestrians, on certain streets. “We can prohibit or restrict riding in specific areas of town or all of town if we want,” he said. That same section, he continued, may also give the city “limited authority” to create laws specifically regarding the do’s and don’ts of skateboarding. “We should be able to create other ordinances that regulate and restrict the skateboarders as a group,” he said. The PTC’s draft ordinance stated that skateboarders had to follow traffic signals as well as stop, yield, and speed limit signs, just like bicyclists and motorists. They also had to yield to pedestrians, like bicyclists and motorists, but be yielded to in skateboarding, page 26 Mayor Elizabeth Pearson checks out results on early absentee returns at an election night party. Incumbents Win Re-Election Voters returned three Laguna Beach City Council candidates to office for another four-year term, according to provisional results of the Nov. 2 election by the county registrar. In contrast to the insurgent mood by most of the nation’s electorate, just 16 percent of Laguna Beach voters embraced change in the form of the race’s sole chal-lenger, Emanuel Patrascu. The three-year resident and aide to state Sen. Tom Har-man received about 3,000 votes. “When things are running well, then rightfully so, the council gets credit for it,” said former mayor Steve Dicterow, who endorsed Patrascu but was not involved with his campaign. In a reversal of the popular vote during the 2006 council election, tavern owner Kelly Boyd was the day’s top local vote-getter, with more than 30 percent of the By Andrea Adelson | LB Indy A Familiar Face Named to City Manager’s Post By LB Indy staff In a much-anticipated contest decided solely by elected officials, Assistant City Manager John Pietig was selected from 100 applicants to succeed Laguna Beach’s long-time city manager in the town’s top administrative post, the mayor announced Thursday. His contract, effective Dec. 13, will be considered next week dur-ing the City Council’s regularly scheduled meeting. Pietig, nine years in his current post as the top assistant to City Manager Ken Frank, has taken on several significant issues in recent years, most visibly serving as the point man in developing a shelter for homeless people to resolve pietig, page 24 votes cast. He was followed by Mayor Elizabeth Pearson with 28 percent and Mayor pro tem Toni Iseman, who four years ago drew the most votes. This year she received 25 percent. “I’m delighted to have four more years to protect the things we all value,” said Iseman, the town’s next mayor. She speculates her vote tally was undercut by late-arriving campaign literature to local Democrats, ostensibly delineating voter guidance on the Democratic “team” that listed Patrascu, the Republican-endorsed challenger in the nonpartisan race. “I know there were people out there who didn’t know it was a phony slate,” said Iseman, who did receive the of-ficial endorsement of Democratic party organizations in town and countywide. Iseman denounced the mailer that ar-rived the day before the election as a deliberately dishonest attempt to fool election, page 24 A&E Calendar Town Crier Letters to Editor Limelight Arts & Entertainment Street Beat Schools Sports 2 4 6 8 10 14 16 18 Inside A temporal artwork attracts standing room only crowds. More in Limelight.