Laguna Beach Independent April 21, 2017 : Page 1
Myriad Ways to Mark Earth Day PAGE 8 | CRIER Early Anti-War Activist Regains the Spotlight PAGE 10 | A&E Four-footed Staff Teach Students Empathy PAGE 12 | SCHOOLS/SPORTS “Our Town, Our Paper” lagunabeachindy.com April 21, 2017 | Volume XIV, Issue 16 PHOTO BY ANDREA ADELSON Upstart Touts Fundraising Prowess By Donna Furey | LB Indy Harley Rouda, a Democratic candi-date for the 48th Congressional District, says he’s “neck-and-neck” with the long-time incumbent, Rep. Dana Rohrabach-er, in terms of fundraising. Rohrabacher, of Costa Mesa, who won re-election with 57 percent of the vote last November, reported a total of $222,501 in contributions as of March 30, according to Federal Election Com-mission disclosures ﬁ led Friday, April 14. Rouda, a political newcomer from Laguna Beach who declared his intent to unseat Rohrabacher in March, is close on the incumbent’s heels with $214,758 in contributions, disclosure reports show. That includes a $55,000 contribution out of the candidate’s own pocket. The 48th Congressional District, which spans Seal Beach to Laguna Beach, is one of 23 in the nation where ROUDA, page 24 Horse owner Sharon Dugan reclaimed Crystal this week after the horse’s escape, forcing police to halt trafﬁ c on Easter weekend for a most unusual reason. Film Fest Promises an Immersive Run By Christopher Trela | NB Indy “Go Deeper.” That’s the message the Newport Beach Film Festival wants 50,000 ﬁ lmgoers to embrace during the 18th annual cinematic conﬂ uence of ﬁ lmmakers and moviegoers that runs through April 27 at more than a dozen theaters in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Kicking off with the premiere of “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamil-ton” earlier this week, the festival over the next seven days will screen nearly 400 ﬁ lms from 50 countries in feature, FILM, page 18 Planners Step Away from Echo of Ranch Era Tighter Historic Rules in Horse’s Escape By Cassandra Reinhart, Special to the Independent Members of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission are questioning the beneﬁ t of keeping so-called C-rated properties on the city’s 1981 historic in-ventory, and some questioned keeping the inventory at all. Debate over new revisions to the city’s historic preservation ordinance stretched over two hours this past Wednesday, April 19, as residents, some in tears, testiﬁ ed in opposition to the proposal. “The historic inventory was poorly done in 1981, it is not a valid survey,” resident Curt Barwick said. “It creates a presumption that a property is historic.” The testimony of many residents echoed Barwick’s comments. Ultimately, commissioners directed city staff to gather more information and options for C-rated structures, clearer communication about its im-pacts and a second review June 7. “The lack of certainty is very de-structive to people,” said Commissioner Susan Whitin. “It creates a lot of anxiety and you can see it and hear it in people’s voices that it is affecting their health. By Andrea Adelson | LB Indy A runaway horse that galloped for a mile towards town and forced the tem-porary closure of Laguna Canyon Road resumed its normal routine rolling in hay and wandering around its home property on Monday. The white horse with a bright blue blanket was corralled at the rear of industrial buildings about 5:39 p.m. Sunday, April 16, with the help of two HORSE, page 3 HISTORIC RULES, page 23 CHINA ∙ UNITED KINGDOM ∙ DUBAI ∙ RUSSIA ∙ INDIA ∙ MEXICO ∙ CANADA LAGUNA BEACH 31112 Monterey Street | $2,250,000 www.surterreproperties.com BRE#01778230
Upstart Touts Fundraising Prowess
Donna Furey | LB Indy
Harley Rouda, a Democratic candidate for the 48th Congressional District, says he’s “neck-and-neck” with the longtime incumbent, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, in terms of fundraising.
Rohrabacher, of Costa Mesa, who won re-election with 57 percent of the vote last November, reported a total of $222,501 in contributions as of March 30, according to Federal Election Commission disclosures filed Friday, April 14.
Rouda, a political newcomer from Laguna Beach who declared his intent to unseat Rohrabacher in March, is close on the incumbent’s heels with $214,758 in contributions, disclosure reports show.
That includes a $55,000 contribution out of the candidate’s own pocket. The 48th Congressional District, which spans Seal Beach to Laguna Beach, is one of 23 in the nation where voters split their votes in the last election, casting a bare 1.7 percent majority of their ballots for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, but re-electing the Republican in the House race. Thus, the 48th Congressional District is considered a ripe pickup opportunity and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is keeping on eye on the contest.
“They won’t make a pledge to anybody until after the primary,” said Rouda, who nevertheless already underwent a background check by the committee to unearth any potential fodder for opponents. “I came through with flying colors,” said Rouda, a lawyer and entrepreneur and native of Ohio.
Two other candidates are also positioning themselves in the 48th District. The former chair of the Orange County Republican Party, Scott Baugh, has $524,428 in cash on hand, an amount that is unchanged from the previous FEC filing. He has yet to declare his candidacy. Rouda believes Baugh readied the war chest for a special election, anticipating that Rohrabacher would receive a cabinet appointment in the Trump administration. Now, since that did not occur, “Scott would not oppose him,” Rouda predicted.
Another Laguna resident, Boyd Roberts, also set his sights on unseating Rohrabacher, declaring his candidacy in February. Roberts has yet to report receiving contributions.
Rouda said Rohrabacher hasn’t responded to his invitation to debate. “It’s been radio-silence, unfortunately, though predictable nonetheless,” his campaign strategist, Dave Jacobson, said. “If the incumbent has continuously failed to meet with his own constituents, it’s no surprise he’s scared to meet with his most formidable challenger to discuss the issues at hand.”
To be successful in ousting Rohrabacher, Rouda knows he needs to woo independents, coastal Republicans and some of the 250,000 unregistered, eligible voters in the district. “We need to do voter registration for 18 months,” he said, describing his campaign infrastructure during a recent get-together at the home of Jane and Joe Hanauer in Laguna Beach.
The upstart’s platform differs considerably from his opponent. Rouda believes in global warming, he’s supportive of women’s rights and minority rights and thinks the incumbent has returned little money back to the district.
Among the 20 or so people in attendance, filmmaker and environmental advocate Greg MacGillivray pointed out a vulnerability Rouda could exploit, noting that Rohrabacher surfs. “Surfing places all over the world will be destroyed,” said MacGillivray, due to rising sea levels.
“That might be an issue.”
After Rouda described why he switched his political registration, Betsy Jenkins urged him to fold that into his message. “That’s an asset, telling that story,” she said.
While Rouda’s campaign has already picked up endorsements from some high-powered Democrats -- Laguna Beach Mayor Toni Iseman, former California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and former Orange County Democratic Party Chair Frank Barbaro – he hopes to define his candidacy around his own beliefs rather than party ideology. “I don’t see a willingness of either party to come to the middle,” he said, noting that 56 percent of votes in congress followed party affiliation in 1980, while today 90 percent do. “I think we need to focus on the people, not the party,” Rouda said.
Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Upstart+Touts+Fundraising+Prowess/2769454/403477/article.html.
Film Fest Promises An Immersive Run
Christopher Trela | NB Indy
That’s the message the Newport Beach Film Festival wants 50,000 film goers to embrace during the 18th annual cinematic confluence of filmmakers and moviegoers that runs through April 27 at more than a dozen theaters in Newport Beach and Costa Mesa.
Kicking off with the premiere of “Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton” earlier this week, the festival over the next seven days will screen nearly 400 films from 50 countries in feature, documentary, action sports, animation, music video, collegiate, and short subject categories.
The “Go Deeper” theme and logo, a bottle afloat on the ocean with a message inside, reflects the coastal setting and the nature of the medium. “It’s the idea that through film, we have different messages that are being conveyed, so you have to go deeper,” said Gregg Schwenk, the festival’s co-founder and chief executive.
“This year, we’ve been exceptionally rigorous in finding some of the best films on the festival circuit today,” he said. “A unique aspect of our festival that we’re proud of is that we respect the films that are submitted. Every film is watched five times before a decision is made whether it’s in or out of the festival.”
The festival’s longevity is a testament to the enthusiasm and determination of Schwenk, a lifelong Newport Beach resident, and festival co-founder and marketing director Todd Quartararo. “I remember that first year, standing at the red carpet, wondering if anyone would show up,” recalled Quartararo with a laugh.
Audiences have shown up and they continue to grow, as evidenced by the many sold out screenings this year. “The Newport Beach Film Festival is for people who want a different, more interactive, sometimes more intellectual experience,” said Schwenk. “We can be creative and celebrate things that unite cultures.”
And many cultures are represented in the line-up, starting with the U.K. Spotlight films on Friday and Irish ones Sunday, which include 14 short films and 12 features. “We’ve never had this many in the festival before,” Schwenk said. And as always, the Irish Showcase after party is at Muldoon’s Irish Pub.
Monday features a Pacific Rim showcase with a spotlight on Vietnam, while Tuesday features European films from Germany, Sweden, Italy, and France. Wednesday switches continent and features films from Mexico, Chile and Brazil.
Closing night is the West Coast premiere of “The Exception,” a romantic drama from the U.K. featuring Christopher Plummer.
The festival also offers a handful of retrospective screenings, starting with the annual salute to Newport resident and screen icon John Wayne. This year is “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” directed by John Ford and starring Wayne, James Stewart, Lee Marvin, and Vera Miles.
There is also a screening of “Singing in the Rain” on the eve of its 65th anniversary. That film was the first starring role for the late Debbie Reynolds. The animated film “Aladdin” also gets a special screening to celebrate the film’s 25th anniversary.
Other films in the festival with local ties: longtime Newport resident Simon Chiu produced “Frei Otto: Spanning the Future,” resident Augie Nieto takes center stage in a documentary; surfer Tim Reyes, of Huntington Beach, figures in “Under An Arctic Sky”; and longtime resident Henry Segerstom is the focus of “Imagining the Future”; former Newport resident Matthew Charles Hall directed “The Longest Road”; and several crew members on “The Men” are former Chapman University film students.
There are also film line-ups in action sports, the environment, art and design, music videos and one made by students of several colleges and the Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana.
One fan favorite is the annual evening of Disney Rarities on Sunday, April 23, hosted by producer Don Hahn and Disney creative director David Bossert. You never know what gems the duo has uncovered, but it’s always an entertaining and educational program.
And over the weekend, there are free seminars and panels open to the public that explore the worlds of cinematography, screenwriting, visual effects, music in film, acting, and editing.
For more information and a complete list of films and screening dates and times, visit NewportBeachFilmFest.com.
Read the full article at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Film+Fest+Promises+An+Immersive+Run/2769480/403477/article.html.
Planners Step Away From Tighter Historic Rules
Cassandra Reinhart, Special To The Independent
Members of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission are questioning the benefit of keeping so-called C-rated properties on the city’s 1981 historic inventory, and some questioned keeping the inventory at all.
Debate over new revisions to the city’s historic preservation ordinance stretched over two hours this past Wednesday, April 19, as residents, some in tears, testified in opposition to the proposal.
“The historic inventory was poorly done in 1981, it is not a valid survey,” resident Curt Barwick said. “It creates a presumption that a property is historic.”
The testimony of many residents echoed Barwick’s comments.
Ultimately, commissioners directed city staff to gather more information and options for C-rated structures, clearer communication about its impacts and a second review June 7.
“I think we have to take this much more seriously. The structures are what we are supposed to be dealing with here, but structures are inhabited by people, and we need to find a system that is flexible enough, clear enough and incentive- based and at the same time give something back to the city.”
The ordinance revisions call for another evaluation of properties already on the city’s existing 1981 historic inventory, a list classifying homes as “E” or exceptional, “K” for key, or “C” for contributive. Most of the homeowners with “C” classification at the meeting want the right to remove their property from the list, citing higher potential redevelopment costs, restrictions and review hurdles, including approvals from the Heritage Committee and Design Review Board. As proposed, the ordinance will also require all homes undergo review for historical significance when owners seek a permit for remodeling.
“There are very few really great buildings in this town,” said Commissioner Susan Whitin, noting that no more than a dozen qualify for the National Historic Register. “It’s not very many, and we have a vast sea of the ‘C’- rated buildings throughout the city, which really are what contribute to how Laguna feels. The register recognizes and incentivizes the ‘E’ and ‘K’ buildings; the ‘C’ is fraught with murkiness and confusion and uncertainty. People on it find themselves in a purgatory situation that they can’t get out of.”
The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, protects historic resources from demolition or modification. Under the draft ordinance, homes on the historic inventory, including C-rated structures, will need a CEQA determination before being approved by the Design Review Board and can result in only minimal alterations allowed to a property.
Commissioners discussed that while this may be appropriate for historical structures with key architectural features, it can be too restrictive for C-rated homes classified as simply adding character to a neighborhood, and questioned whether C-rated structures should be given more flexibility for development, or even be reclassified altogether to clarify that they are not historic resources but deserve special status during design review. Some even brought into question the validity of the list as a whole.
“It’s like going to a urologist for a foot problem,” said Commissioner Roger McErlane. “I don’t think the Heritage Committee is the proper body to deal with the ‘C’-rated issue at all.”
Commissioner Ken Sadler defended it, saying without the inventory residents will still encounter roadblocks.“We could have no historic inventory, no historic preservation ordinance, then
“The lack of certainty is very destructive to people,” said Commissioner Susan Whitin. “It creates a lot of anxiety and you can see it and hear it in people’s voices that it is affecting their health.
everybody would still have the possibility of having their property determined to be a historic resource anyway,” Sadler said. “By us having a local ordinance, we can create a categorical exemption to that CEQA requirement, so you wouldn’t have that uncertainty of potentially having to do a full blown environmental impact report for a relatively small home remodel.”
A staff report echoed that point. “Doing away with the concept of keeping a current inventory does not mean that certain properties are no longer historic resources,” City Planner Martina Caron said. “Instead, it means the determination will be left for the future when and if they propose to demolish or alter the property.”
“Our options are some flexibility, and still be considered a historic resource, or maximum flexibility and they aren’t considered a historic resource,” Sadler said. “The potential pitfalls of that is that it could make demolition of those ‘C’- rated structures easier.”
Commission Chair Sue Kempf said the obvious public confusion over the ordinance needs to be cleared up before it moves forward.
“We have this thing so convoluted, we are sitting here for three hours trying to sort through this thing because we have got a Laguna Beach overlay of complications,” Kempf said. “I get that we can’t avoid CEQA, but we can craft an ordinance to make it more reasonable for people.”
Echo Of Ranch Era In Horse’s Escape
Andrea Adelson | LB Indy
A runaway horse that galloped for a mile towards town and forced the temporary closure of Laguna Canyon Road resumed its normal routine rolling in hay and wandering around its home property on Monday.
The white horse with a bright blue blanket was corralled at the rear of industrial buildings about 5:39 p.m. Sunday, April 16, with the help of two civilians, Sgt. James Cota said. “She caused quite a bit of pandemonium,” said the horse’s owner, Sharon Dugan, of Laguna Beach, who was reunited with the wayward Arabian mare named Crystal at the private stables in Laguna Woods Village where police had transported the animal by trailer.
Dugan discovered her pet horse’s escape from the top of her property on Stan Oaks Drive and initially set out to search for her on foot, she said in an interview Monday. After returning for a car to canvass a wider area without any success, she called police to report the runaway.
The animal control officer who assisted with the one-animal round-up told the owner that the horse calmed down when she saw her own reflection in a window.
“I’m just glad she wasn’t hurt and no one else was hurt,” said Dugan, a former professional horse trainer who obtained Crystal from the equine rescue La Mirada Horse Adoption for $500 in 2015. “She does get wild and tried to trample me,” said Dugan, who grooms Crystal with a brush rather than a towel, which frightens the horse.
When rescuers took possession of the horse, she had been left abandoned for two months in a field in Riverside County. They figured the horse waskept for breeding as she isn’t broken to ride.
“I agreed to take her in to socialize her,” said Dugan, among 37 people who answered an adoption ad for the horse. She walks the 8-year-old mare in the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park from the Big Bend trailhead at an early hour in order to avoid encounters with buses. Their brakes make a hiss that startles the horse.
More than a century ago, ranchers on horseback rounded up their cattle and farmers planted walnut groves on the same parkland, formerly part of a Spanish land grant. The last cattle round-up on the Irvine Ranch was in 2002.
Today, the spot is popular among horse owners in the county, who trailer their horses in for riding, said park Ranger Barbara Norton. Police initially queried a park supervisor about the runaway horse, asking if any visitors reported a horse on the loose.
Dugan works in data base administration and since 1998 has lived in the former family home of Tony Dyke, a noted builder-architect involved in building the downtown post office and what is now the Lumberyard restaurant, she said.
There are at least four other horse owners in the vicinity, she said.
“I hadn’t had a horse for a long time and felt like I could rescue one,” said Dugan, who hopes to eventually train the horse to accept a rider and make use of the English tack she’s used with other mounts.
For now, Dugan’s erected a new barrier across the escape route, which she says the horse hadn’t shown an interest in prior to this week. Crystal jumped a retaining wall that borders open space on the acre-sized property shaded by towering oaks. She trotted downhill on a neighboring street to the canyon road.
More like a family dog expected to remain in a special area, the horse wanders at will around the gated property and returns to roll in a hay-filled stall that occupies half of a covered carport. Its gate is generally unlocked. Retrieving the runaway will not completely end the saga of Crystal’s escape.
“I only regret I didn’t run fast enough to catch her,” said Dugan, who expects to receive a bill for hauling the horse to the Laguna Woods stable in addition to a fine for allowing the horse to run in traffic.
Requests for temporary boarding at the Laguna Woods stable generally only occur during emergencies such as the fire in Santiago Canyon, where residents and their animals were evacuated, said stable supervisor Lisa Toomer.
And an animal services officer that inspected Dugan’s horse permit intends to return to inspect her stable. “They were really happy I wasn’t a horse rustler,” she said.