Comments for WilderUtopia.com http://www.wilderutopia.com coexisting into the great unknown Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:43:30 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Urban Approaches to Zero Waste by What can we do about waste? | URP 431: Sustainability in Claremont http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/reduce-reuse-recycle-urban-approaches-to-zero-waste/#comment-183129 Thu, 29 Jan 2015 16:43:30 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=3220#comment-183129 […] http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/reduce-reuse-recycle-urban-approaches-to-zero-waste/ […]

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Comment on Disappearing Cod: Sustainable Populations Require Long-Term Action by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/environment/wildlife/disappearing-cod-sustainable-populations-require-long-term-action/#comment-183069 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 07:18:09 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9158#comment-183069 Farrokh, First thing, Mr. Bolster writes on the short-term regulations instituted by the US, not the Canadian moratorium.

Second, your logic does not compute. In 23 yrs of a fishing moratorium, cod biomass increased to 15% of its former level. At this rate, every year it will clearly not be increasing 18 percent per year.

The slow recovery of the cod stock is due to inadequate food supplies and a poor genetic stock due to the overfishing of larger cod. And even though bottom-feeding and prey species have increased somewhat, the cod population remains unhealthy.

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Comment on Disappearing Cod: Sustainable Populations Require Long-Term Action by Farrokh Poorooshasb http://www.wilderutopia.com/environment/wildlife/disappearing-cod-sustainable-populations-require-long-term-action/#comment-183056 Wed, 28 Jan 2015 00:06:51 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9158#comment-183056 This article is remarkable in what it omits. The Government of Canada declared a moratorium on the Newfoundland Cod Fisheries in 1992. In the 23 years since then, the cod biomass has recovered to about 15% of its 1980s level, and is expected to increase by about 18% per year, until a new equilibrium is achieved. Surely if Mr. Bolster wants to make a point, he should be referring to and concluding from these events, rather than just coming to his complete non-conclusion.

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Comment on Lady Lazarus: The Hurt Imagination of Sylvia Plath by Maya Deren: Divine Horsemen Dance the Living Gods of Haiti | WilderUtopia.com http://www.wilderutopia.com/performance/literary/lady-lazarus-the-hurt-imagination-of-sylvia-plath/#comment-182685 Thu, 22 Jan 2015 05:00:50 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=6235#comment-182685 […] STORY: Lady Lazarus: The Hurt Imagination of Sylvia Plath […]

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Comment on Maya Deren: Divine Horsemen Dance the Living Gods of Haiti by The “dream of the perfect archive” | Avataric http://www.wilderutopia.com/performance/film/maya-deren-divine-horsemen-dance-the-living-gods-of-haiti/#comment-182617 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 21:28:14 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=3684#comment-182617 […] rituals, costumes, beliefs, and behaviors as “crazy” or “ridiculous” (Maya Deren’s “Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti” comes up often as an example of this). Cool writes about the broader distribution channels […]

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182583 Tue, 20 Jan 2015 06:20:10 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182583 I place the deficiencies in this project not on the shoulders of the developer, but on the City of Laguna Beach. Re-read the entire essay, and you can compile a list where the City failed to exercise their duty to the citizenry and the coastal Orange County environment.

By granting an over-the-counter demolition permit and a not-properly-noticed Planning Commission approval that did not include a full airing of the process required in California environmental and coastal law, they decided their legal duty was less important that granting a quick approval. The developer then went and paved over the Scout Camp site without a permit, knowing full well no one in the city would do a thing, even after holding fundraisers on the property.

Had the developer not relied on assurances from city officials that the laws of the State would be bent to allow his project to pass, instead of doing his full due diligence before breaking ground, we would not be in this situation.

Why would the Planning Director get up at numerous hearings and claim no Trail to the Sea would be required when had he read his own General Plan and Local Coastal Program, it would be stated in bold print? When was the last time you can remember a rally (okay, “hearing”) held by city officials on city property for a project under a Notice of Violation of the Coastal Act, as happened in the just before the CCC hearing?

Property rights are conditioned by a series of laws, local, regional, statewide and federal. But we require a political legislative process to enforce these laws that in this case has broken down. My interest is in protecting the Coastal Act, because this project sets some very concerning precedents.

Change the project to adhere to the Coastal Act, and I will change my mind.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Skip Jackson http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182567 Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:30:07 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182567 Jack, I find your conclusions and analysis lacking basic fairness. You can insult the Community of Laguna Beach and Coastal Commission all day long as is your right, however your posting and comments show an intolerance for private property rights and those who dare to dream counter to your already made up mind.

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Comment on Hundreds Demonstrate in LA to Support People’s Climate Mobilization by Gov. Brown: March for Real Climate Leadership on Feb 7th | WilderUtopia.com http://www.wilderutopia.com/politics/hundreds-demonstrate-in-la-to-support-peoples-climate-mobilization/#comment-182366 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 13:25:01 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=8864#comment-182366 […] STORY: Hundreds Demonstrate in LA to Support People’s Climate Mobilization […]

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Comment on Governor Brown: Climate Leader or Climate Loser? by Gov. Brown: March for Real Climate Leadership on Feb 7th | WilderUtopia.com http://www.wilderutopia.com/environment/energy/climate/governor-brown-climate-leader-or-climate-loser/#comment-182365 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:24:37 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=8533#comment-182365 […] STORY: Governor Brown: Climate Leader or Climate Loser? […]

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Comment on XL Dissent: Activists Speak Out for Clean Energy, Mother Earth by 'Above All Else': Fighting the KXL in Texas | WilderUtopia.com http://www.wilderutopia.com/environment/energy/tar-sands/xl-dissent-activists-speak-out-for-clean-energy-mother-earth/#comment-182356 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 07:10:18 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=7948#comment-182356 […] STORY: Keystone XL Dissent: Activists Speak Out for Clean Energy, Mother Earth […]

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Amy Turnbull http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182355 Fri, 16 Jan 2015 06:41:28 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182355 Well, here’s a regular gal with no wealth to speak of who can appreciate the lack of public access to anything Laguna, except for the scrap of property wedged between Newport Beach and Laguna; I’m talking about Crystal Cove. I don’t know the history of this little gem but I think it was a “gift” of some sort by a developer (probably the Irvine Company) and the diligence of someone like Jack. I read all the comments and it looks like elitist locals have grabbed this new retreat for their own without any respect for the law or public access. Shame on you–even the environmentalists among you.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Bill Knight http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182320 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 20:03:03 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182320 “The days of an anachronistic artist colony isolated from big bad right-wing, corporatist Orange County are long past.”

That’s absolutely correct. It’s an anachronism. The world has discovered Laguna and descended upon it. Luckily for us locals there’s a hidden refuge we can escape to: The Ranch. Coastal Act needs updating. Laguna can be its own watchdog. We won.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Bill Knight http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182319 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 20:00:10 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182319 Hey Jack where exactly would that trail through the golf course go? Have you studied it? All you people who cry for a trail have never taken the time to consider how to safely engineer it. Unless you are Montage and rip out the entire gold course to put in luxury homes. Is that what you want? Scout camp? Really? with no bathrooms? Who is gonna use that? In-Lieu fee for lost affordable housing? That ship[ sailed. That’s why the previous property sunk. The economics don’t work. Laguna Beach is an enclave for the rich. Free market. Wanna camp on the beach? Go to Bolsa Chica or Doheny. Want affordable accommodations? Go to AirBnB. The perfect democratization of hospitality. There. Problems solved.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182307 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 16:35:17 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182307 Once again, Skip, you, like other commenters, confuse the Commission’s decision as gospel, and believe because it was 9 to 1, that it truly represents the intent of the Coastal Act and the local LCP. I can tell you, the decision is in direct violation of the Coastal Act, which could become a serious issue on the legal front for this developer in the future. To compare the outpouring of support here as similar to what happened in Laguna Canyon elicits a chuckle. Who is financing this project? It is a deep-pocketed series of investors who understand that using a local project advocated with a more modest program is a way to get this done. That would be great if the developer would agree to ACTUALLY putting in a trail on his property, not just putting start-up money; dealing with the legal intended use for Scout Camp; and paying a sufficient in-lieu fee for the lost affordable accommodations. And finally, you make assertions in Laguna City government that it represents the will of the people. My point exactly. No one of modest means can afford anything but to spend a few hours in Laguna. Frankly, you and all the other commenters here can’t even see and understand the Big Money change in Laguna when it is right in front of your eyes. The days of an anachronistic artist colony isolated from big bad right-wing, corporatist Orange County are long past. We are all entitled to our opinions, but it again shows the provincial mindset of the people pushing this project when they think they can ignore the Coastal Act and environmental advocates fighting to protect its integrity, claiming that we just don’t know the developer or haven’t visited the site.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Skip Jackson http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182292 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 07:27:32 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182292 Jack

I think a more accurate first paragraph to your post would be “Overwhelming Community Support of the kind that mobilized to Save Laguna Canyon in 1989 helped rescue an outdated Hotel from wealthy real estate money (think Montage) to create The Ranch at Laguna Beach lead by long time community supporter Mark Christy” The CCC in a vote of 9-1 approved the project and resolved any notice of violation while imposing over 20 conditions most of which The Ranch had agreed to in advance. Contrary to your assertion, the CCC did not find that the renovation violated the coastal act and/or environmental rules. The vast majority of the Commissioner’s wisely rejected the lower cost accommodation argument and instead directed the focus of any “In Lieu Fee” to benefit the Trail. This clever and innovative solution was supported at the hearing by The Ranch to the tune of a quarter of a million dollars along with conditions to provide for the Trail. Regarding the girl scout camp, state law dictates who can make claims regarding this issue and the applicant is being conditioned on how to handle this issue. I reviewed the campaign disclosures of the Laguna Beach City officials and could find no evidence to support that campaign money influenced this project and I am not aware of any Billionaire compromising City government. Living in Laguna Beach for over 25 years and raising 4 children here, I can attest to the fact that a very large segment of town support The Ranch project and it’s improvements and are very thankful for what it is not.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Brian http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182280 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 03:38:53 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182280 With all due respect and appreciation for Ranger Tom’s environmental knowledge, to suggest someone was swayed or bought off is not only naive, but seriously inappropriate and unwarranted. Most everyone knowledgable about the project is thrilled that a large outside conglomerate or developer didn’t purchase the property. Instead, a local resident with deep roots and unwavering loyalty to our community went “all in” to make sure that the project is properly restored and will serve the community for years to come. What is sad about that?

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Bill Knight http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182279 Thu, 15 Jan 2015 02:49:12 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182279 One more thing, Jack. Your insinuation that “Laguna Beach is broken” and “Money rules the roost, and the cozy interrelationship between campaign money and decision making has produced serious lapses of social and environmental protection indicative in this “Ranch” project” clearly indicates you have no knowledge of our local politics. Nobody gives enough money to influence candidates. We have a fine group of independent thinkers, three of whom are definitively on the left, and only two who could conceivably be called “pro business.” That is a gross simplification. They are all pro-Laguna, and are heavily invested in keeping it clean and green. Councilwoman Toni Iseman is a staunch environmentalist and was instrumental in the protests that saved our canyon open space. These councilmen simply looked at all the facts and concluded it was a good, environmentally sound project. I love how out-of-towners make declarations about local city officials that are baseless. I’m almost ashamed to call myself a liberal environmentalist because many of you just hang on principles without knowing the facts.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182271 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 23:59:20 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182271 Brian, it is best to not make assumptions about commenters here. Ranger Tom worked for many many years in Aliso and Wood Canyons Regional Park. His knowledge of the processes at work in the coastal ecosystem of Southern California, as well as the management of open spaces at the County level, render him quite able to comment freely and with total accuracy. Other patronizing directives at me will be left to the reader to divine the answer.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Brian Hurley http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182255 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:45:48 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182255 Jack
Have you been to the Ranch?

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Brian Hurley http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182251 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 17:43:45 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182251 Ranger Tom
Have you been to the Ranch? Do you know the history of the property? Why do you suppose the overwhelming majority of Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities support the restoration? It’s not about being fooled or swayed. It’s because we recognized that a local landmark was decaying, and thankfully Mark Christy stepped in with a vision to sensitively restore the property. What developers are you talking about?
What is sad…specifically? If you want to voice your opposition, you should get involved and state your case before the decisions are made.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Bill Knight http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182229 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 08:38:42 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182229 Jack,
Stop hanging on to an anachronistic notion that hoteliers must provide affordable accommodations. That’s naive.

The market has created affordable housing – it’s called AirBnB. The community wanted this project because Mark Christy knows how to throw a party! We like the nexus of community he has created there. The live music and fundraisers. With great sensitivity to the environment. The former Girl Scout Camp? You mean dump site? This place is now an awesome event space for us to ENJOY THE OPEN SPACE. I’m so glad he cut those horrific, invasive, non-native Eucalyptus trees to open up the views. It’s like a nature cathedral, and we get to enjoy it. And we’re gonna get a hike/bike trail where it belongs: in the wilderness. Oh happy day. Don’t be a hater. Stop by for a brew at sunset and drink it all in. Coastal Commission did right.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182217 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 03:18:12 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182217 I think the piece clearly reflects my opinion of the Commission’s 9-1 decision, which I was fully present for. PR is well and good, but we have lost affordable accommodations, the paving over of Scout Camp with a small nod to camping and no actual plan or requirement to complete the trail to the sea. Those are facts. Just because the Commission decided to ignore the facts does not make them go away.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Ranger Tom http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182214 Wed, 14 Jan 2015 02:34:59 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182214 It is sad to see Laguna Beach’s environmental citizens being fooled, swayed or bought off by this false concept.

If you live in Laguna Beach and are not angry and upset then you have not read the fine print of this developers proposal.

Read, learn and voice your opposition.

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Brian Hurley http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182200 Tue, 13 Jan 2015 21:17:02 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182200 Jack
I don’t know who wrote the attached comments, you, Balanced Bob, who posted the same editorial in the Laguna Beach newspaper. Your comments closely align with the relatively few opponents of the restoration.
I’ll “cut and paste” the same reply I sent Balanced Bob, whoever that is.

Based on your January 8th posting date, I’ll assume that you didn’t attend the Coastal Commission meeting, but instead were cleverly crafting your editorial. If you had attended, you would have heard that the Coastal Commission overwhelmingly (9-1) approved the restoration project for “The Ranch at Laguna Beach”. You would have heard the dismantling of unsubstantiated claims and assumptions by Coastal Commission staff, misinformed trail advocates and opponents of the Ranch restoration. You would have heard personal apologies from the commissioners themselves for putting Christy through the ringer after appellant Mark Fudge and Penny Elia opened up Pandora’s box.
As for your trite comments regarding Mark Christy’s intentions and salesmanship, I have to assume that you don’t know Mark personally. Mark is not a developer, but more the anti-developer and job creator. He has been an unwavering supporter and part of every important effort to protect the environment around Laguna. In the 1990’s, Mark was one of the founding members of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, local activists who derailed the Irvine Company’s plans to build thousands of homes and sprawling commercial centers in Laguna Canyon. That effort ultimately set in motion a sequence of events that resulted in the creation of the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State Park.
The rehabilitation of the Ranch golf course property and structures is being done with careful sensitivity to its environmental, historic and cultural importance to Laguna Beach and surrounding communities. This includes preservation of the original Thurston home site and the rehabilitation of the Camp Elizabeth Dolph, abandoned as a “Scout Camp” for decades and used by the prior owners as a maintenance yard and dumpsite. This area has been beautifully transformed into an environmentally green and sustainable, multi-use open space available for a variety of private and community gatherings, while preserving the natural beauty of the site. Aside from removing the vegetation within 25 feet of Aliso Creek and limiting event capacity and decibel levels, the Coastal Commission approved the area designed as an event venue. The golf course and surrounding vegetation look better that ever.
I don’t understand what drives people to take a stand on issues when they don’t have all the facts. It’s clear that some simply have their own agenda. There’s always those that grab “sound bites” of information and jump on the bandwagon not knowing what they are supporting. The bureaucratic process was arduous, costly in countless ways, and ultimately proven unwarranted. Like the vast majority of Lagunans and local communities, I couldn’t be happier about the decision to move forward with the restoration of our town’s crown jewel. Could you be more enlightened “Fair and Balanced “ Bob?

Happy New Year!

Brian Hurley

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Comment on Laguna Beach “Ranch” Hotel Renovation Violates Coastal Rules by Jack Eidt http://www.wilderutopia.com/sustainability/land/laguna-beach-ranch-hotel-renovation-violates-coastal-rules/#comment-182066 Sun, 11 Jan 2015 06:55:58 +0000 http://www.wilderutopia.com/?p=9187#comment-182066 From an Unidentified Commenter:

Allow me to contribute an opinion regarding the pro-Ranch field trip to Santa Monica, signs, T-shirts, letters, et al:

Make the distinction, folks, that you are being asked to support a money-making enterprise, not a charitable effort. Mark Christy has convinced many that his business is a worthy “cause” for which the community has touchingly expressed its love. Let’s set aside the purplish prose and see this for what it is.

We have many truly worthy causes in Laguna Beach, but the Ranch is not a charity. A local entrepreneur with a gift for salesmanship has hit a snag in his development process that was probably rushed through at the city level without sufficient attention to the larger procedures and rules that dictate what’s allowed in an environmentally sensitive area of the California coastline. This businessman has asked for help from locals who want to play, eat, and meet there – fair enough. But don’t mistake a business enterprise for a “cause.”

The big, bad California Coastal Commission exists for a reason, and picky though they may be, they aren’t necessarily wrong with the demands they are making of the Ranch. They are there to hound developers like Christy on the little things like lights that are too bright, vehicle over-capacity, insufficient public access to trails, beach-adjacent accommodations affordable only for the well-heeled. It strikes me that such concerns from the CCC are reasonable hoops for a developer to jump through. They often take years, not months. The hue and cry over due diligence creating a temporary roadblock is impressively forceful from the Ranch camp.

I want to see the Ranch finished out and upgraded, but it must be done carefully and with respect for nature. I’m surprised there isn’t more concern about the additional visitors and traffic this development is going to draw to Laguna.

Christy is a convincing figure, positioning himself as a humble steward of a community treasure that everyone wants to be able to use. It is even “the answer to Laguna’s prayers,” if you’re a praying person inclined to believe what he posts on his website. He’s done a great job of rallying the locals to help him in his bid for success. I wish him well, and boy, do I envy him his salesmanship. Would that other important, true community issues could draw this kind of response!

But consider this: if we allow a legitimate debate to play out between a developer and the state agency charged with making the coastline accessible to all and developed responsibly, it could ultimately contribute to our community winding up with a more environmentally appropriate resort.

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