Wednesday, August 28, 2013

How to be a good Laguna Beach tourist

Every summer, locals batten down the hatches and prepare for the onslaught of tourists, or "visitors," as we politely call them. Like a dotty aunt or a toddler who hasn't yet learned his manners, the tens of thousands of visitors to Laguna Beach are nonetheless greeted with a collective brave face and a warm welcome from residents.

If I could give them each a primer on how best to enjoy their sojourn, I would advise summer guests to observe these do's and don'ts when visiting our fair city:


- Have a swim (but don't swallow the ocean water; we don't discuss our bacterial counts with outsiders).

-  Take a photo of your family in front of the hexagonal gas station building that has over time morphed into a beloved landmark at Main Beach.

 - Visit our festivals, museums, and restaurants. Be sure to get yourself a fresh new toe ring!

- Tip your hotel's minimum-wage housekeeping staff. Why? Because of math. Imagine living in Orange County on $15,080 a year, where the average cost of a two-bedroom rental in ground-zero Anaheim 92805 is $1,460 or $17,520 a year. Doesn't compute, does it?


- Get blotto and drive like an a-hole. Well, if you're going to do so, don't roll your Jeep, close a major residential hillside street, command extensive use of our emergency services, and break the pelvis of your passenger, permanently impacting her health and mobility. Oh......wait, too late, Mr. Ricardo Berge has that covered. I certainly hope his parents had other children.

- Steal a gigantic bronze rabbit sculpture that weighs at least 900 lbs. and has been displayed in an outdoor gallery area for years without incident. (Really??)

- Jaywalk. Even if you're a famous person. You, yes, even you, Russell Brand, ought to use the crosswalk.

Gentle reader, I imagine that you too sense the slight autumn chill when the police log loses a bit of its lustre due to the cessation of the tsunami of summer visitors. Here for the sake of memory lane are a few representative hijinks by our seasonal guests that simultaneously entertain and incense us:

Third Avenue & Coast Hwy | Drugs; Warrants
2:57 p.m. During a traffic stop, Brittany Lynn Caldwell, 27, Rancho Cucamonga, was arrested for a warrant with a charge of minor in possession of alcohol. A subsequent search led to her arrest for felony possession of a controlled substance with bail of $20,000. Antonio Charles Testa, 27, Rancho Cucamonga, was taken into custody for a felony burglary warrant with bail set at $15,000.

Laguna Canyon Road | 700 Block | Drugs
10:51 a.m. A routine traffic stop led to a drug arrest. Long Hoang Vu, 25, Huntington Beach was on probation and a search was conducted. Heroin was found and he was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance and violation of probation – no bail.

Petty theft 1200 block of S. Coast Hwy. 1:53 p.m. Eleven new beach chairs left on a sidewalk for a few minutes were stolen by a suspect who loaded them into a white truck.

Crescent Bay Beach | Juvenile; Possession of Alcohol; Resisting; False Info to an Officer
4:39 p.m. Beach Patrol requested the assistance of an officer when they came upon four girls drinking beer on the beach. A 16-year-old girl from Chino was detained and taken into custody for providing false information to an officer, resisting/obstructing/delaying an officer and minor in possession of alcohol after she continued to be uncooperative with police. Her parents picked her up at 6:59 at the police station.

S. Coast Hwy | 1000 Block | Shoplifting
3:46 p.m. A woman in her late 20s wearing a gray lightweight jacket over a white tank top and light brown pants took two pairs of multi-colored Capri pants from a retailer.

Aliso Beach | Nudity
5 p.m. A male caller told police that he had observed two young women who spoke with accents naked in the shower area. He said he’d watched them long enough to see them get into a vehicle and drive away. He was unable to describe the vehicle except to say it was some sort of small SUV. One woman, he said, had a striped towel.

Au revoir, summer visitors! Until next year! Or, perhaps more accurately....until next weekend.