SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENTS 10/05/2021
Orange County Coastal
Oil Spill Update
As you know, 125,000 gallons of heavy crude oil have inundated our coastal waters, fouling beaches, tide pools, and rare coastal marshes. It is a reminder of our dependence on fossil fuels and the dangers they pose to our marine wildlife, public safety and lost visitor revenue. This is not the first oil spill California has had. Here is a summary of the previous spills.
In 1969, a blowout of a Union Oil drilling rig platform off the coast of Santa Barbara resulted in a spill of 4.2 million gallons of crude oil into the ocean and onto nearby shores.
In 1971, 800,000 gallons of bunker fuel spilled in San Francisco Bay, with a devastating impact on local species.
In 1990, the American Trader oil tanker in Huntington Beach spilled more than 416,000 gallons of crude oil, killing an estimated 3,400 birds.
In 2007, a container ship struck the Bay Bridge and spilled 58,000 gallons of bunker fuel into San Francisco Bay.
On May 19, 2015, a crude oil pipeline spilled 100,000 gallons into the ocean at Refugio State Beach in Santa Barbara County.
How You Can Help:
Send your tax-deductible monetary donations to:
Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center
21900 Pacific Coast Hwy.
Huntington Beach CA 92646
The Pacific Marine Mammal Center
20612 Laguna Canyon Rd.
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
The State Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office Of Spill Prevention And Response has a sign-up form online at www.calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/volunteer . Those signing up will receive a link to an online safety training site, since they may encounter oil and other hazardous material.
In an effort to stop all offshore oil activity in California, State Senator David Min has sponsored a letter to California-elected officials who represent California in Washington, DC. I have signed this letter and the City Council has also signed it. In my email exchanges with State Senator Min, I asked that we also lobby for improved oversight of offshore oil facilities.
All of this points us in one direction – Laguna’s adoption of renewable energy solutions will minimize Laguna's carbon output and help reduce its impact on global warming. We are now close to increasing the average world temperature by 34.7 degrees Fahrenheit. We must take steps to mitigate that locally, regionally and nationally. We can do our part by switching to solar energy for our electric power. Here is what I am doing to move Laguna to sustainable renewable energy:
I have been working to identify options with Councilwoman Sue Kempf and a small group of very talented residents, along with City Staff to offer Community Choice Energy options for residents and business. See: https://theclimatecenter.org/our-work/clean-energy/community-choice/
A few months ago, the City Council unanimously approved taking the next steps to create a policy that would allow for the migration of most fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles.
The City has completed a solar feasibility review for City-owned sites. This same work has also been conducted by the Laguna Beach Water District. While far from implementation, these steps move us closer to providing renewable energy for City and Water District facilities, thus allowing excess electrical energy to be use by the greater community.
St. Joseph Mission Hospital – which recently had another diesel oil spill – will consider solar and fuel cell technology as a long-term solution for emergency power. Hopefully that’s a viable option, and if implemented, we would never be subjected to another diesel oil spill from this source.
There will be many more small initiatives that will reduce Laguna’s carbon output while making our community more energy resilient. Contact me if you have suggestions or want to help. I am also the liaison to the Environmental and Sustainability Committee, which is also working on projects that protect and improve our built and natural environment.
Cirque De Laguna Big Success
George Weiss: One of my fondest memories of childhood was attending a circus. While the use of animals in circuses is justly prohibited, another form of circus performance has taken its place. Last week, a small circus came to town – Circus Bella, a much smaller version of Cirque du Soleil.
The last circus we had was in the 1940’s. No animal acts this time, but seeing a great juggler, a contortionist, clowns and acrobats was even better. This was a good-sized troupe, with a small band and a dozen or more performers.
The kids and families were there in force for both performances. Watching the kids jump with joy and talk to each other in excited tones was very special. Being part of this was sheer fun. Can we do it again next year? I am voting yes!
Collusion With The Press And Public Officials
George Weiss: I was disappointed to learn that StuNews had leaked information to Councilwoman Sue Kempf, who was in turn privately communicating its general contents to Councilman Peter Blake and Mayor Bob Whalen. This behavior and lack of transparency diminishes the trust that the community has in the press and the city’s public officials. Hopefully going forwards, all players will conduct themselves with greater integrity.
CITY COUNCIL MEETING RECAP 10/5/21
Second Reading Of Ordinance Adopting Defensible Space Amendments To Municipal Fire Code Approved 3-2
George Weiss: The City has passed what I believe to be a “work in progress” for community foliage and fire protection standards. I applaud Mayor Bob Whalen for introducing a mechanism whereby the ordinance may be amended from time to time by proclamation. A group of very talented landscapers, landscape architects and residents will be proposing reasonable amendments or improvements of the Defensible Space Ordinance to Fire Chief and Fire Marshall with the intent of making this ordinance better.
Request For Ordinance Prohibiting Retail Sales Of Tobacco And Vaping Products In Laguna Beach
George Weiss: While I was campaigning door-to-door last year, I started picking up spent vaping cartridges and began to think about who would have disposed of them. I learned that vaping by teens is a big problem at Laguna Beach High School and even at the Thurston Middle School. I’ve spoken with a LBHS graduate.
She told me that her sister, now a freshman at LBHS, has seen her classmates using tobacco vaping products. These kids are fourteen years old. They are even being used by a small number of Thurston students, according to this person. Mayor Whalen’s contention that we should just enforce the law that requires stores to sell these products only to those over twenty-one misses the point. Kids get vaping pipes from their friends’ older sibling or another sources.
Review And Discussion Of Proposed
Laguna Beach Residents First Initiative Measure
George Weiss: The Laguna Residents First Ballot Initiative proposes to set limits on commercial development in Laguna Beach. If the projects are over 22,000 sq. ft. (think the Pottery Shack with parking garage), residents get to vote on whether to approve or deny it. There are a few other limits which you can read about at www.lagunaresidentsfirst.org. Having been part of Laguna Residents First at one time, I contend that the recent Staff Report is not accurate. LRF will be discussing these issues with the City Staff so that we can assure accurate, information is being disseminated to residents and all other interested parties.
Support Sought For Laguna Beach Local Quentin Kunaka
George Weiss: I have known Quentin (Q) for a few years now. He is an interesting guy and a gentle soul. I Contributed $100 to this fund just recently and encourage everyone who can to donate as well.
Here is a letter about Q from my good friend of 40 years, Wave:
I am Wave Baker, manager of the Sound Spectrum music store in Laguna Beach. I have known Quentin V. Kunaka, otherwise known as “Q,” for 20 years. He has always been a friendly face to see around town, specifically the local point below my house on Brooks Street, otherwise known as “Q’s Office".
Many know Quentin as an important and positive part of our community here in Laguna Beach. With a full heart for others, his intentions have always been to connect, protect, and keep the stoke alive in this town. He is as generous as a guy gets, always willing to lend a hand or a listening ear and is a friend to children and adults alike.
In the recent year, Q has run into some tough times - losing his home, his job, and turning towards alcohol as a remedy to his troubles. As they say, “it takes a village,” so many of Q’s friends have encouraged him to face his trauma and to heal - to which he has largely taken to heart.
Recently, Q has shown serious commitment for the first time to sobriety, as he checked himself into a rehab program a few months ago and is currently participating in an AA program. He is now temporarily residing in a sober living home. He has been sober for about three months, and we at Sound Spectrum couldn’t be prouder. Moving forward, what we are asking is for all locals, whether they live in Laguna or not, to band together as a family and help support one of our own.
All donations from this GoFundMe page will go to supporting Quentin in his search for a home, in hopes of keeping him a part of the Laguna Beach community.
Also, any assistance with housing and/or employment opportunities would be greatly appreciated. Q has degrees in mechanical engineering and has skills in tutoring students in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), general computer aided design and drawing (CAD), engine repair and maintenance (auto, bikes, and power equipment), and electrical and electronic repairs. To learn more, visit his GoFundMe page at: