“Our Town-Our Paper” lbindy.com December 16, 2011 | Volume X, Issue 48 Locals Rule: First Dibs on Bonds By Rita Robinson | LB Indy Re-issuing municipal bonds that pay for undergrounding utility lines in Laguna Beach neighborhoods at a lower interest rate was approved last week by the City Council. Due to historic lows in interest rates, City Treasurer Laura Parisi asked the council to combine seven existing assessment-district bonds into a new one that would be refinanced and re-sold. At current-market interest Caught Napping : Bird Rock is apparently St. Nick’s respite to soak up winter sun before setting out on his round-the-world overnight journey. The secret’s out. Bond, page 30 Untraditional Indicators Point to Economic Pain By Jennifer Erickson | LB Indy Economists who rely on traditional job and consumer price indexes say the recession ended in summer 2010. Other indicators more relevant to Main Street reveal that more local families are still experiencing economic hardship. A telling indicator, for example, comes in family applications for free and reduced lunches for students in Laguna Beach schools, up a surprising 60 percent over the last five years. The number of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in the town’s public schools climbed to 299, or 10 percent of enrollment in the current year, compared to 180 or six percent of the student population in the 2006-7 school year, said Norma Shelton, the district’s assistant superintendent of financial services. In February, just 5.73 percent of stu-dents were served subsidized lunches, compared to 4.91 percent of the student population in February 2010, said Shel-ton. Those statistics reveal that eligibility may not reflect use. Even so, the fact that more families within the community qualify for aid suggests that some locals remain mired in recession even as other local econom-ic indicators rise and others point to an uneven recovery. The upswing in students eligible for subsidized lunches locally mirrors simi-lar statistics nationwide, up 17 percent in the last school year to 21 million. Fueling the trend are formerly middle class families availing themselves of the safety net for the first time, having lost IndIcators, page 29 Lifting the Curtain on an Epidemic of Teen Drug Use By Hayley Toler, Special to the Independent Punked-out, self-taught chef Tyeson Jack Collester had just signed a televi-sion contract for a cooking show, “The Hungry Punker,” on the day he died as a result of an accidental drug overdose of morphine on Jan. 19, 2006 in Laguna Beach. Through her strife over losing a loved child, Collester’s mother Judy Bostwick Kelly rose like a phoenix to birth a new drug use, page 30 Three Defendants Remain to be Tried in Jewel Heists Eight co-defendants have already been convicted A trial got underway this week in Westminster for three San Diego gang members, the final trio of defendants accused in an August 2009 crime spree involving armed hold-ups at jewelry stores in Tustin and Laguna Beach. Prosecutors say the crimes were com-mitted to benefit their street gang. Aida Arroyo, 29, Michael Burgin, 32, and Adam Weick, 30, are each charged with robbery, burglary and street terrorism as well as facing sentencing HeIsts, page 29 Inside A&E Calendar Town Crier Letters to Editor Limelight 2 4 6 8 Arts & Entertainment 10 Street Beat 16 Schools 18 Sports 20 The spirit of giving invaded Legion Hall on Sunday . REAL ESTATE GUIDE On the Cover: A coveted ocean-front condo overlooking South Laguna’s Totuava Bay. COASTAL Limelight. Page 8.