“Our Town-Our Paper” lbindy.com PHOTO BY TED RECKAS July 1, 2011 | Volume X, Issue 26 Historic Cottages Dismantled Big Bend Trailhead Takes Shape A er nearly four years in limbo, deconstruction of four historic cottages relocated to Big Bend from downtown began on Monday to create a wildlife corridor and open space in Laguna Canyon. Over the next 16 months, the 3.7-acre city-owned property will be transformed from a dirt lot into a natural resource, according to Derek Ostensen, president of the Laguna Canyon Foundation. e property will be restored with native oaks, sycamores and coastal sage scrub, as well as public trails that will provide COTTAGES, page 34 Hospital Outbids Open Space Buyers By Rita Robinson | LB Indy Nearly eight acres of undeveloped land that could connect canyon trails and pro-vide hikers access to South Laguna beaches is being sold to neighboring Mission Hospital just two weeks a er Laguna’s City Council approved a competing bid from conservationists. e deal angered some local wilderness advocates, who anticipate hospital o cials parlaying the chaparral-covered blu top as open space in exchange for future develop-ment approvals within its 1.5-acre medical campus. HOSPITAL, page 34 This week’s preview night proved so popular entry was temporarily restricted. As Some Parks Close, Moro Campground Opens By Ted Reckas | LB Indy Even as 70 state parks are expected to shut down due to state budget cuts, Crystal Cove State Park’s Moro Campground, the rst new campground in Southern Cali-fornia in 20 years, opened today with little fanfare. “We’ve been working toward this goal for 30 years and have had plans and funding in place for the past 10 years,” said Park Su-perintendent Todd Lewis, who understood how El Moro’s opening appears to contra-dict state policy elsewhere. e $15 million campground, funded by several voter-approved bond measures, boasts 60 tent camping and RV sites with expansive ocean views, parking for 200 day users, beach front bathrooms and a pedes-trian tunnel under Coast Highway. Lewis said 1,500 reservations totaling 4,000 nights of camping at $65 a night were made in the last two weeks. He expects the campground, the former El Morro Village mobile home park, to be both popular and lucrative. One of the very rst to stake a camp was Elaine Brashier, outgoing PTA president at adjacent El Morro Elementary, where parents for years have raised concerns about student safety, noise and tra c due to the proximity of campers. She was among those o ered a pre-opening night of camping and praised the new facilities. “It was great. ey are still doing the nishing touches but it’s a very simple, clean campground. e kids had a blast. It is super accessible. ere is a lot of day parking, clean bathrooms. Very clean campgrounds.” Capt. David Skarman of the Emerald Bay Fire Station expects a signi cant increase in service calls. e former El Morro trailer park accounted for 70 per-cent of their calls, he said. As open res are not permitted in the campground, wild res are less of a concern than pedestrians crossing the highway, Skarman said. A er construction began in July 2008, contractors walked o the job in Decem-ber 2009 when park improvements were halted statewide due to California’s scal crises. Renovation of the nearby historic CAMPGROUND, page 36 Cache of Phony Money Seized By Andrea Adelson | LB Indy A gas station clerk who alerted police of a patron trying to make a purchase with an allegedly phony bill led to the arrest of four members of a Santa Ana family and the seizure of $5,000 worth of bills suspected of be-ing counterfeit, police said ursday. e U.S. Secret Service informed local police that there has been a rash of fake bills being passed in Orange and Los Angeles counties. e group is suspected of mak-ing the currency and traveling to fast food restaurants and mom and pop stores, where their youngest member, a 16-year-old girl, would pass the counterfeit money, Lt. Jason Kravetz said. COUNTERFEIT, page 32 Marine Reserve Takes Effect Oct. 1 e state Fish and Game Commission voted 4-1 this week to impose increased marine protections in Southern California on Oct. 1, which will ban shing along most of Laguna Beach’s coastline the day before recreational lobster diving season begins. Last December’s decision to establish the highest legal level of protection for almost all of Laguna’s coast came a er two years of hearings involving local conservation-ists, scientists, divers, kayakers, and native Americans as well as commercial and rec-reational anglers. Wednesday’s decision set the date those protections will take e ect. e e ectiveness of the new regulation remains unclear due to thin sta ng by state game wardens. Locally, the city’s sole marine protection o cer lacks a boat. e policy, supported by a City Council majority, sparked protests by a long-estab-lished shing community that sought to preserve its tradition. Look for more online at lbindy.com. Inside A&E Calendar Town Crier Letters to Editor Limelight Arts & Entertainment Street Beat Schools Sports 2 4 6 8 12 16 18 19 Inside Coastal Real Estate Guide: Discover South Laguna Eagle Rock neighborhood. Pg 4 TODAY’S REAL DEALS Class of 2011’s sendoff. See Limelight pg 8. SEE PAGE 5 FOR MORE INFO INSTANT INDY: get the weekly summary of the new edition. Sign up at lbindy.com.