Our Laguna Beach Animal Shelter was decimated in the recent rains. We lost nearly everything from electronics to paper clips. And, once again, people have been there to help us. I want to thank as many as I can.

The Animal Control officers came in on their days off. Although it was too late for our rabbit and chickens, they rescued the dogs and cats from the mud and water. Shelter staff have worked hard to pull things back together, save anything we have left and get us re-organized.

Our volunteers have been doing whatever is needed of them: housing the cats, laundry, cleaning up the bits and pieces — all those little things that are essential. Special thanks go to Rachel Basmaciyan, Sue Mailman, Sally Schoof, Dave Schreck and Robert Tapper.

Orange County Animal Control was right there in the mud with us on the day of the flooding to help in any way they could. Mission Viejo Animal Shelter has taken in our dogs, and Irvine Animal Care Center is taking any impounds that arrive.

Jim Beres, the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter supervisor, has been striving to get us re-supplied, making sure the community knew our status and bringing lunch on the heaviest cleanup day.

Brynne Van Putten helped pull the animals from the mud and has been doing a myriad of tasks to get us up and running again.

Darcy Cramer kept all the volunteers apprised of the latest news about what was happening where.

I also want to thank those of you who have been giving special donations to the shelter. They are much appreciated.

It will be a long haul, but our Laguna Beach Animal Shelter will return because of the efforts of these terrific people. Thank you, everyone!

Synthia Scofield

Laguna Beach

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Cell towers should not be near homes

Should industrial-strength, multiple microwave and cell towers be allowed on private residential property in a residential neighborhood? The homeowners at 1100 Balboa, Laguna Beach, believe so. After all, they are being paid thousands of dollars monthly by AT&T and Sprint.

Many neighbors are extremely concerned regarding the dangerous health effects they are being subjected to, especially their children. Children are the most vulnerable to the microwave radiation from cell phones/towers/Wi-Fi since their skulls are thinner and organs still developing.

Studies scanning a child's brain with a cell phone next to it show it absorbs 10 times as much microwave radiation as an adult's and enters almost the entire brain. Other studies have linked an increased risk of leukemia and other cancers due to DNA damage from the radiation, and heart arrhythmias.

Another major area of concern is how radiation affects bone marrow, which produces your blood cells. Henry Lai at the University of Washington, a long-time microwave researcher, said, "If the target is bone marrow, then the radiation is hitting red and white blood and stem cells. One small change may be all it takes."

How do we know it is safe as the wireless industry claims? The FCC limits were set in 1996, well before the massive growth of Wi-Fi and smart phones, which require more powerful wireless networks such as the one being installed at 1100 Balboa. The industry is only required to regulate itself from these outdated guidelines, which were based on short-term (minutes) exposure studies.

Today there is more evidence from top scientists regarding long-term (24/7), low intensity exposure to cell and microwave tower transmissions within 1,500 feet, and the data being revealed is alarming. Besides increased risk of cancer and heart problems, other effects reported were headaches, nausea, dizziness, visual disruptions, sleep disruptions, memory loss, chronic fatigue and blood disorders.