In response to Ms. Blurock's letter dated Aug. 3, "The 'old spirit' of Laguna is still alive," it is incredible to me how one homeowner can hold the entire neighborhood hostage.
Her "large grove of Eucalyptus trees" in North Laguna are a danger to nearby homes, pedestrians and motorists.
This is not the first time that a big section of one of her very large, 60-year-old trees has fallen, nor will it be the last.
I hope Ms. Blurock has adequate homeowners insurance, and the city has sufficient funds to defend its hands-off position regarding these trees, when one falls and hits someone like it occurred in Newport Beach.
Tourist praises local musical production
As a visitor to Laguna Beach from Florida, I feel compelled to write to you about the finest local theater production I have ever seen — one that may be overlooked by your wonderful community. "Ruthless" is quite possibly the best musical comedy that nobody has ever heard of.
The cast of talented singers and comedic actors are spot-on in their performances and the audience's belly laughs are genuine and abundant. I have been to many Broadway plays that pale by comparison. Have you ever enjoyed something so much — spontaneous standing ovation good — that you must tell anyone who will listen about it?
As I looked around the No Square Theater at the end of Saturday night's performance, I was shocked to see some empty seats. My heart sank as it dawned on me that there are many people in today's troubled world who could use a good laugh and share in a magical moment.
Do yourself a favor and go. You can thank me later.
Gregory F. Coker
Apollo Beach, Fla.
Show bike racks as inspiration to ride
The city staff report shows 32 locations for installation of bike racks in the downtown area and park locations.
It is noteworthy that bike racks were not assigned to locations of high traffic areas like banks, the post office, schools, coffee cafes or City Hall.
Instead four prime locations were flagged as "not recommended" due to considerations made by city officials. The locations are: Starbucks, post office, Sawdust Festival and Albertsons market.
Two high traffic locations were included: the bus transit depot, and the police department and fire department area.
Balanced mobility for Laguna Beach is achieved by giving commuters alternatives to driving an automobile. Bike racks should be located where they are visible to street users as a reminder to consider alternatives to driving a car.
Put an artistic rack in front of City Hall; that would spare some parking spaces and demonstrate commitment for balanced mobility by city government.
Hiding bike racks behind obstructions or merely dedicating them to sport riders at remote city parks will not serve the greater purpose.
Paddle out was a successful trip
Sometimes the best trips are the ones we almost don't go on.
I loved the idea of stand-up paddling along the coast and being a part of The Clean Water Initiative, which works to raise awareness of sewage spills, plastic pollution and urban run-off in the watersheds of South Orange County and San Diego County.
However, with the wheels of summer spinning fast it wasn't until two days beforehand that I decided to go, using the latest gear from the Quiksilver Waterman Collection.
On July 20 at approximately 8:45 a.m., I began my solo paddle toward the Mexican border. With my mom and dad watching from their deck, and a few of photographers and journalists, I never felt more alive than the moment I began to paddle away off the beach I grew up on.
My journey had begun and once I turned the corner of reefs and kelp, I let out a little laugh. As I looked south as far as I could see, I thought to myself, "What the heck have I gotten myself into?"
Even though I had never paddled more than four to or five miles in a single day, I had a certain calmness over me that day paddling 21 miles for the first time down to San Clemente State Beach. It was the first of several stops along the way while paddling to the Mexican border while also raising money for the development of SickSurf, a new smartphone app and online database that will allow users to report when and where they got sick after being in the water.
Along the way I met up with the team from Below the Surface, a nonprofit that promotes water conservation and improving water quality in rivers and oceans. They are a fantastic group of like-minded individuals who came together for their love of the ocean and distaste for ocean pollution. Anyone who loves the ocean knows the feeling of wanting to protect what they love. After all what good is the beach if we can't enjoy the ocean?