Trolleys are a summer happening

The summer free trolleys and buses are amazing. Not only do they transport visitors from place to place from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m., but lots of Lagunatics, including our younger residents, can go to their favorite beaches, cafes, shops and friends' homes.

Folkways are interesting and the last few years people on the trolleys have been heard singing together and waving to people at trolley stops they don't even know, proving that almost everyone is welcome in Laguna Beach. One night, two years ago, I saw Art Linkletter on a trolley near the Surf and Sand and sometimes you meet old friends.

We should thank Councilwoman Toni Iseman and others who have led the effort to have summer trolleys and buses.

ROGER CARTER

Laguna Beach

No Kawaratani a loss to local paper

I moved here in 1996, and one of the first columns I looked forward to reading was that authored by Steve Kawaratani. He was and remained a presence at Laguna Beach fundraisers and events. Even after he sold his nursery I enjoyed his advice on growing roses in our Laguna Beach climate, growing organic, and other life/garden subjects.

I was shocked to read his final column and felt sadness. Our town has already been changing so much, this felt like the loss of an important piece of our community life. However that shock grew and included outrage to see him replaced by an out-of-area nursery person, Rogers Gardens in ... Newport Beach! Why bother calling this the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot?

This goes beyond sadness. I was already losing interest in the Coastline as it became less and less about Laguna. Adding Newport writers is a slap in all of our faces, even more so to replace a perfectly good writer on garden issues who is every bit "Laguna."

Please count me as a former reader. If I wanted to live in Newport and receive Newport perspectives, I could have done so. I will get my "local" news from the Independent and "Stu News."

MICHELLE REINGLASS

Laguna Beach

Parking issues drove her out of Laguna

I read with interest the column regarding the parking situation in Laguna Beach written by Cindy Frazier ["Going over the line with Laguna parking," May 28] as well as other stories concerning making the business climate in Laguna more favorable.

I would like to voice my opinion about the situation and the reasons why I avoid going into Laguna Beach whenever possible. It's interesting to note that the "powers that be" are wringing their hands and expressing concern about such matters now that the economy has taken a downturn and revenues have fallen. I suspect that there wasn't much concern in years past when times were good.

I know of many businesses that have moved out of the city to places where the rent is more reasonable and the atmosphere is more business-friendly. The parking situation is a big part of that problem. As someone who lives in the area, I have had some first-hand experience with how ridiculously petty the parking enforcement has become. I too have gotten a citation for being parked on the line in the Glenneyre Street parking structure. I never knew such an infraction could be the basis for a ticket.

The situation which prompted me to write, however, concerns one Sunday morning when my housemate and I had gone into Laguna to attend church. We had just pulled into the parking space and were gathering our things and figuring out how much money we had to deposit into the meter. As we were getting out of the car I observed a parking enforcement officer in the process of writing a parking ticket for my car. I explained that we had just parked the car and hadn't even had a chance to put the money in the meter. She didn't give me the ticket but, needless to say, I was incredulous!

I called the Laguna Beach Police Department the next day to complain about the incident. The officer I spoke with didn't seem to understand why I was upset. He said, "Well, you didn't get the ticket, did you?" I replied, "That wasn't the point. I think your parking enforcement officers are being a little over-zealous in performing their duties, don't you?" I don't think he cared. He offered no apology; indeed, his dismissive attitude really irritated me.

My impression of Laguna has not been favorable ever since. The city of Laguna Beach needs to make the parking situation more friendly, not only to visitors but also to the year-round residents as well. I'm sure that there are many similar stories that people could tell you about ridiculous parking tickets issued to people who have had the misfortune to commit some minor parking infraction while their cars were parked in Laguna Beach.