LBPD license plate reader leads to a stop for speeding and a quick arrest by FBI agents of Laguna man accused of bilking $3.6 million selling new technology investment schemes
A license plate reader in a LBPD patrol unit, which was catching up with a speeder from El Toro Rd and Laguna Canyon Rd Tuesday afternoon, revealed that the vehicle belonged to a person with a current FBI arrest warrant.
Sufficient units were behind the vehicle when a felony car stop was made in the 700 block of Laguna Canyon Road at 2:31 p.m.
Captain Jason Kravetz told us Thursday, “Within minutes of the man being detained, the FBI was there. Turns out they were tailing the guy and waiting to make the arrest themselves.” The FBI took the man into custody.
The FBI said in a press release Thursday that Peter Reinert, 60, a recent resident of Laguna Beach, was charged in an indictment filed in United States District Court in Santa Ana on March 26 and unsealed this week with 14 counts of wire fraud in connection with fraudulent investment schemes involving alleged new technology.
The FBI said dozens of investors turned over $3.6 million to bank accounts that were controlled by Reinert who also used the name, Peter Michael Berger. Reinert mainly spent the money on himself or deposited it into Polish bank accounts, the FBI alleges, and none of it went to companies Reinert had set up to cover his activities.
The FBI said that the investment schemes included “…a product that could increase gas mileage for any car to 150 miles per gallon…[and]…anti-counterfeiting technology to be used on state-issued identification documents.”
This guy could’ve been smarter as to what cars to steal from
An employee in the emergency dispatch center was monitoring cameras at about 3:20 a.m. Wednesday and plainly saw a man sitting inside a car parked in the employee parking lot at Forest Avenue and Broadway.
Captain Jason Kravetz said, “It was a car belonging to one of our officers and he was apparently rummaging though it.
“Several officers were in the parking lot very quickly and they detained the man.”
Kravetz said the man had also been in another vehicle belonging to a firefighter.
“Obviously everything was recovered.”
Jacob Dale Simmons, 22 of Bothell, WA, was arrested for petty theft, trespassing and vandalism.
Council says to Village Entrance design team and project management: Let Laguna move forward
The City Council awarded contracts to RBF consulting for design team services (maximum of $445,335) and to extend project management services provided by Griffin Structures (increase of $184,585) to move forward with the Village Entrance Project.
Councilmember Kelly Boyd moved the action, which was seconded by Rob Zur Schmiede. Mayor Bob Whalen joined them in favor of the action. Councilwoman Toni Iseman and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow opposed.
The members of the community who testified all were in opposition telling the Council they were moving too fast.
Boyd received a positive reaction from the opponents when he said, “I’m not willing to spend another $600,000 and end up with nothing.”
That reaction turned around very fast when Boyd added that the first $600,000 that went for nothing could be their responsibility.
Whalen made the point that time and planning had gone into the agenda item over a period of several months.
“We do a pretty good job with most things…this was not a surprise…”
The Mayor added as a way of including those who opposed the action, “We knew what was coming…[and]…we didn’t change the staff direction…[as the process moved forward to Tuesday night’s vote]…”
Zur Schmiede summed up after the approval carried, “I would encourage everyone who came here tonight to give the project a chance.”
Water District to participate in Saturday’s sixth annual KelpFest with Laguna Bluebelt and others
The Laguna Beach County Water District will participate in the sixth annual KelpFest on April 18. The event is designed to educate the public about the kelp forests off the coast of Laguna and Newport Beach.
With more than 800 species relying on them, kelp forests are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth. For over 20 years, Laguna Beach’s kelp forests had declined by as much as 80 percent.
In 2002, marine biologist Nancy Caruso with the help of 5,000 volunteers started a project to restore the kelp forests in Laguna and Newport Beach. By 2010, the kelp had reached historic densities. KelpFest was created in order to celebrate the return of the kelp forests, and to honor the thousands of people who helped to re-establish them.
“The District has been a part of KelpFest since its inception,” says Renae Hinchey, General Manager of the Laguna Beach County Water District. “We appreciate the desire to restore and preserve these critical habitats, and the efforts that have been made to move Laguna Beach toward a more environmentally sustainable future.”
More than 15 agencies are scheduled to participate in this year’s KelpFest to help educate the public on the ocean’s biodiversity and coastal resource preservation. The District will be in attendance promoting water efficient practices and rebates for conservation devices such as rain barrels. Rain barrels can help reduce ocean water pollution by capturing rain and preventing it from carrying fertilizers, pet waste, and harmful debris out into the ocean.
The 2015 KelpFest will be held on Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Main Beach in Laguna Beach. For more information about KelpFest visit www.kelpfest.org
Laguna Beach County Water District provides water service to 22,000 residents within an 8.5 square mile area of Laguna Beach. The District’s mission is to furnish a high quality, reliable water supply in a financially responsible manner, while promoting water-use efficiency.
Kristin Cowles named 2015 LBUSD Teacher of the Year
Photo by Kevin Yates, LBUSD
Laguna Beach High School AP and U.S. History teacher Kristin Cowles has been named the 2015-16 LBUSD Teacher of the Year.
LBHS Principal Chris Herzfeld remarked, “Kristin Cowles is beloved by her students for her energy, enthusiasm and caring spirit. Kristin is constantly searching for ways to make the subject matter interesting and personally relevant to students, and they appreciate that.”
Superintendent Sherine Smith agreed, “Kristin is one of the profession’s best. She provides engaging and challenging lessons that prepare students for college and beyond. We are fortunate to have her as part of the LBUSD family.”
Ms. Cowles described this honor as a “marvelous surprise.” She is the descendant of a long line of teachers including her mother, father, grandmother and American Revolutionary War patriot and teacher, Nathan Hale.
The classroom is her second home and she is delighted when her students are engaged and learning a subject she enjoys herself. Fascinated by the human condition, history is her subject of choice, which she describes as “ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.” Ms. Cowles is diligent in her commitment to teach history in a way that honors humanity and helps students connect with the impact history has made on their daily lives. It is important to her to demonstrate to her students that every person can make a positive difference in the world.
Education continues to be a highly valued aspect of her family life. Ms. Cowles is a voracious reader and approaches each day of teaching with exuberant enthusiasm. Ms. Cowles earned a B.A. in History, specializing in 20thCentury American History from the University of California at Riverside and her M.A. in Secondary Education from Claremont Graduate University.
The Orange County Department of Education Teachers of the Year (TOTY) program recognizes outstanding teachers in Orange County. An awards dinner and ceremony will be held at the Disneyland Hotel in November for all of the Orange County Teachers of the Year.
Breakers Baseball: LBHS played at Angel Stadium of Anaheim
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The scoreboard says it: Ashton Goddard delivers a pitch at Angel Stadium
This past Tuesday afternoon, the LBHS baseball team met the El Modena Vanguards at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.
LBHS Athletic Director Mike Churchill explained that the game was part of the MLB team’s community outreach. Players from both schools had to sell $10,000 in tickets in order to cover the base costs to play.
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Goddard Studios Photography
Lefty John Ogden pitches
El Modena beat the Breakers, 8-4, in the non-league contest.
Win or lose, it was an experience all of the players will never forget.
Laguna beat Costa Mesa, 4-0, in an Orange Coast League game Wednesday to improve their league record to 6-0 (11-6 overall).
Laguna Art Lounge features local artist’s first show
Story and photo by MAGGI HENRIKSON
Lauren Hatfield already feels like a local, though she moved to Laguna less than two years ago. But she has made lasting friendships, a new home at Glennwood House, and has found her passion in art photography.
She’s often seen walking with big strides all around town, as she enjoys the exercise and sunshine especially after moving from Northern California, and a lifetime of unbelievable obstacles.
“I walk because it makes me happy; it fills my heart with happiness,” she says. “I’m always out and doing my own thing.”
This independence was hard won. Lauren has a genetic condition, causing her bones to move and fuse together. She has endured almost 30 surgeries.
“My hands weren’t like this before. My face wasn’t like this before,” she recalls. “I had a bald head a few times. I was made fun of in school, but that’s who I am. I can’t hide who I am.”
She’s now 25 years old, and says that she won’t be requiring any more surgeries. She carries a confidence and mild manner that belies the tormenting she felt at school. “My life with challenges is different, but I only need friends and family,” she says. “I don’t need to impress anybody.”
Her artwork does impress, however.
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Artist Lauren Hatfield with one of her photo art pieces
These days, as she’s walking around town, she’s likely to have her camera with her. With the help of her friend, Geron, she has taken on the “homework” of studying details in the environment around her, and creating art compositions. She takes those photographic details and digitally manipulates them with her “secret app”, then prints and stretches them on canvas with a gesso finish.
The Laguna Art Lounge will be showcasing Lauren’s work for the first time anywhere.
“I love that Lauren’s work challenges your perception of our community,” said Laguna Art Lounge Assistant Director, Chandler Johns.
One may identify local beach scenes, or flowers, while other works are abstracted such that you wonder its origin. One of her pieces bursts with lines radiating outward like technical wires. It’s actually her take in the abstract, from the underside of an umbrella. Her floral works are alive with energy, like colorful starbursts.
Lauren is enjoying the fact of her first gallery show, and is looking forward to the opening. She says that the colors in her works show her feelings. “It feels good to show people that I feel happy when I do it,” she says.
Lauren Hatfield’s ten pieces to date will be featured in this artist’s showcase from April 17 – 19, and there will be an opening reception Friday, April 17 from 6 – 9 p.m.
Laguna Art Lounge is located at 1951 S. Coast Hwy (between Diamond and Center Streets). For information call 949-497-4952
“Sticker Shock” - Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach participate in South Orange County Coalition activity
As part of the South Orange County Coalition (SOCC), youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach participated in a collaborative community prevention activity called Sticker Shock this past Monday, April 13. This activity from the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Orange County (NCADD-OC) was originated by MADD and serves as part of the SOCC campaign to reduce underage drinking in the City of Laguna Beach.
Club members applying stickers in the beer aisle at Pavilions
The Sticker Shock activity aims to prevent youth access to alcohol. Youth visited off-sale alcohol outlets and placed stickers with prevention messages on alcohol multi-packs. This creates a visual reminder to purchasers that it is illegal to provide alcohol to anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 years old. Messages also remind customers that you have to be 21 years old to purchase alcohol.
In addition, the “How Easy Do You Make It?” campaign message will be displayed on stickers, refrigerator window clings, and cards for the counters.
“On Behalf of NCADD-OC and the South Orange County Coalition, I commend the participating establishments: Stop N Go, Broadway Liquor and Pavilions who are helping to prevent and reduce underage drinking in the City of Laguna Beach. Many thanks go out to the youth from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Laguna Beach that are invested in reducing underage drinking in their community,” said Marianne Mullen, Project Coordinator for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence – Orange County.
The “Sticker Shock Crew” with employees of Stop N Go
A Classy Revue, a Kid’s Musical, and The Rocky Horror Show: No Square Theatre for everyone
No Square Theatre is picking up some serious momentum over the next four weeks with a wild spectrum of material – a musical lovers revue, and a tots lovers classic, followed by one just for grown ups.
First up, the brilliant musical revue by the Tony-winning duo of John Kander and Fred Ebb. These two knocked the socks off Broadway for decades with masterpieces that include “Chicago”, “Cabaret”, “Zorba”, “Kiss of the Spider Woman” and more. With stunning arrangements of some of their very best stuff, “The World Goes ‘Round” is filled with humor, romance, drama, and nonstop melody. Add to that, some of the best voices No Square has ever collected. The three performances promise a thrilling celebration of life and the fighting spirit that keeps us all going.
From Cabaret to Chicago, the non-stop hit-parade features unforgettable gems including All That Jazz, Maybe this Time, Cabaret, and New York, New York, seamlessly interwoven into a passionate, harmonious, up-tempo evening of musical theatre. Directed by Bree Burgess Rosen with Music Directed by Diane King Vann, “The World Goes ‘Round” runs April 14 – 26.
The cast includes Berkeley Clements, Chloe Lovato, Eloise Coopersmith, Eric T. Anderson, Julie Wickstrom, Kathi Gillmore, Lili Lewis Bray, Marc Marger, Meredith Woodson, Michael Garamoni, Rick Dale, Sharon Jewell, and Wade Wooldridge.
With all of No Square Theatre’s performances, dinner and drinks are available on the lawn one hour before curtain. The best meal deal in town helps get the audience parked and into their seats on time!
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door, if available. That’s a big “if”, too. No Square has turned their venue inside the historic Legion Hall into a lovely and intimate space, but it seats less than a hundred fans, so don’t dally in ticket purchases or they may be gone.
The weekend after “The World Goes ‘Round”, and running May 1 – 10, No Square presents this year’s “LagunaTots”, the junior version of the company’s flagship of silliness, “Lagunatics”.
With more than 30 kids singing and dancing their hearts out, the show is always a sell out, in more ways than one! This year’s writers include the show’s creator, Bree Burgess Rosen, and Chris Quilter, Rufino Cabang, and Josh Thimons. Never lacking for material, the 2015 production features goofy and heartfelt parodies about siblings, selfies, iPhones, vaccinations, Common Core, and the self image of girls – all to the music of Broadway and pop hits, including Katy Perry’s Roar, I Feel Pretty from “West Side Story”, and The Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations.
“LagunaTots” is directed again this year by the gifted and much-loved Director of Youth Programs at No Square Theatre, Ella Wyatt.
Auditions for the annual No Square Theatre Scholarship will be held April 27. For 15 years, No Square has been awarding one-time cash scholarships of $1000 and up, to worthy Laguna Beach residents graduating from high school and pursuing further education in the performing arts.
This year’s applicants include instrumentalists, singers, and actors.
No Square will hold auditions for its summer show May 11 – 14 by appointment only. And what delight will they treat us to this year? “The Rocky Horror Show”!
In 2010 the company packed the house and brought audiences to their feet for two wild weeks with this musical favorite. In July and August they will remount the show for an extended run. Director Joe Lauderdale is looking for a cast with the “twisted talent” to rock the house once more.
This classic hit is choreographed by Ellen Prince, with musical direction by Michael Repper. Tickets will go on sale in June. It promises to be a riotous affair!
No Square Theatre is Laguna Beach’s community theatre, residing in the historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street (two blocks south of the high school), where there is ample free parking.
No Square is generously sponsored by the Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates Charitable Assistance Fund, the Festival of Arts Foundation, the Lodging Establishments and the City of Laguna Beach, Mark W. Brisley, DDS, Patrick Quilter & Quilter Labs, The White House, SWA Group, Chuck & Brigitta Schoen, Doreen & Lee Butler, and Chris Quilter.
For audition and ticket information, visit www.nosquare.org.
LB Books to host an event with local author Sharael Kolberg
On Thursday, April 23 at 6 p.m., Laguna Beach Books is pleased to welcome local writer Sharael Kolberg for atalk, Q&A and signing. Sharael will be discussing her new book, A Year Unplugged: A Family’s Life Without Technology. There is no charge for this event.
In A Year Unplugged, the Kolberg family bravely tries to wean themselves from their technology addictions in an effort to reclaim quality family time. The Kolbergs decided to not only turn off their television, but also to unplug their iPods, iPhones, laptops, and digital cameras, and disconnect from their email, cell phones, and internet for personal use. Not an easy task for most Americans – especially difficult for a family immersed in technology in Silicon Valley.
Sharael Kolberg chronicles the trials and tribulations of the family as they learn to live without modern technology. A Year Unplugged is a true-life tale that explores how dependent we are on technology and the impact it has on interpersonal relationships and society as a whole. Through thought-provoking, humorous, and heart-wrenching narrative, Sharael hopes to compel readers to open dialogue about the conscious use of technology.
As a nationally published journalist, Sharael Kolberg’s work has appeared in numerous magazines, newspapers, and websites, including Outside and Sunset magazines. She currently writes for Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Riviera, and Orange Coast magazines. Sharael and her family currently reside in Laguna Beach.
Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 S. Coast Hwy. For more information, call 494-4779 or visit www.lagunabeachbooks.com
The Moon Police concert with Sasha Evans and Doug Miller
This Saturday night, April 18, Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) will The Moon Police featuring Sasha Evans and Doug Miller.
Evans has recently announced that she will soon be relocating to Michigan. This concert will surely be one of the last opportunities to enjoy a live performance by one of Laguna’s favorite entertainers.
The Moon Police combines the songwriting and vocal talents of Evans and Grace Freeman, with multi-instrumentalist Brent Samson, and features Miller on the violin, to create a blend of classic and bluesy music with lovely, quirky vocal harmonies and inventive melodic styles. Both women play keyboards and ukulele and add operatic harmonies to this eclectic musical mix.
WellSpring Wholistic Health Fair at the Susi Q April 24
Pamper your body and nourish your mind! Laguna Beach Seniors will host a free Wholistic Health Fair on Friday, April 24th, from 9 - 11:30 a.m. at the Susi Q Center (380 Third Street, Laguna Beach). Over 20 wellness experts and practitioners will share wellness advice and offer refreshing complimentary treatments.
Laguna Beach physician Dr. Tracy A. Darling will be the presiding MD.
The public is invited to participate in demonstrations of alternative therapies like sound therapy, heat and light therapy, Reiki therapy and gyro-kinesis exercise. Guests will learn about stress relief techniques including reflexology, essential oils, acupressure, and massage pain care. The Chakra Shack will explore energy balancing. A local hairstylist, acupuncturist, chiropractor and threading specialist will share their unique practices. Opportunity tickets will be sold to win gift baskets and additional treatments. Registration is not required for this free event. Sign up for treatments on site. Guests will be served on a first-come, first-served basis. Attend for healthy snacks, relaxation and fun!
Laguna Beach Seniors has been enhancing the lives of seniors for 40 years. Programs and services promote independence, wellness and community. For more information about the WellSpring event visit www.susiq.org or call 949.497.2441.
LBHS Dance is kickin’ it up and everyone is included!
The entire LBHS dance community will be on stage!
The Laguna Beach High School Dance Department is excited to present this year’s spring concert, Turning Pointe, April 24 – 25.
Photo by Oliver Endahl, Balletzaida Photography
Click on photo for a larger image
LBHS Dance gets ready for spring show, Turning Pointe
“It’s been at least a decade since all levels of dance students have been in the spring performance,” said Assistant Director, Samantha Hampton. “It’s new for some of these kids, and they’re really excited. Some are nervous – but they’re ready!”
The new LBHS dance teacher, Estee Carrizosa will be directing, and Hampton who is the assistant director of dance and LBHS’s Human Ecology teacher will be assisting. The show consists of 30 unique pieces in a variety of dance genres.
Performances will be Friday, April 24 at 7 p.m., and Saturday, April 25 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre. Pre-sale tickets are available for students ($5) starting April 23 in the quad (at lunch).
General public can contact the Artists Theatre box office - 497-7341.
Finding the Ritchie Boys with Kathryn Lang-Slattery
On Wednesday, April 29, at 6:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Library, Kathryn Lang-Slattery, author of Immigrant Soldier, The Story of a Ritchie Boy, will present a talk titled, “Finding the Ritchie Boys.”
The Ritchie Boys were soldiers, many of them refugees from Nazi Europe, who were trained in intelligence gathering techniques at Camp Ritchie, Maryland, during World War II.
Lang-Slattery will present an overview of Camp Ritchie and the Ritchie Boys, discuss the contributions they made toward victory during the war, and introduce the stories of a few of the men the author has interviewed or researched, including a short list of notable Ritchie Boys. The talk will be followed by Q & A.
Festival of Arts Fresh Faces exhibit at Wells Fargo Bank sets a new date (May 2) for artists’ reception
Summer time is just around the corner and the Festival of Arts is excited about its newest exhibit, Fresh Faces 2015.
Presenting the works of newly juried Festival artists, the exhibit will showcase a wide range of mediums including photography, jewelry, mixed media, sculpture, watercolor, and oil paintings.
Fresh Faces 2015runs through June 12 on the third floor of the Wells Fargo Bank in Laguna Beach.The public is welcome to join the artists for a free reception on Saturday, May 2 from 11a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Bank.
Laguna Beach Library’s April events
Laguna Beach Library will host a host of fun events throughout February. All programs are free, graciously funded by Friends of The Laguna Beach Library. Laguna Beach Library’s February Events:
Saturday April 18, 2-4 p.m. Poetry Workshop
Participants should bring 10 copies of a poem they wish to have read and work-shopped. Each poem will be read by the poet and perhaps another reader. Participants then respond with emphasis on positive comments and constructive suggestions. Recommended for advanced poets-this is not a workshop for beginners. Meets in the Community Room. Contact John Gardiner - 949-715-7507 for more information.
Saturdays, April 18, & 25, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Children’s Craft Open House Get creative! Let your imagination run wild! Children 12-years and under are encouraged to come to the library Saturdays, during the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal projects. Adult supervision is recommended.
Monday, April 20 & 27, 6-7:30 p.m. Toastmasters Open House Meeting Come learn about the benefits of being a member of Toastmasters and how you can enhance your public speaking and leadership skills. Meets in the Community Room. For more information contact the library or inquire at the Information Desk.
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Pajama Storytime-Sunshine Readers
Please come (wear pajamas & slippers!) and enjoy the Sunshine Readers as they whisk the whole family off to dreamland. The National Charity League, Laguna Chapter generously provides this program.
Wednesdays, April 22 & 29, 10:30 -11:15 a.m. Early Literacy Children’s Storytime This program is designed for toddlers and preschoolers with adult participation. Our Early Literacy Storytime models the 5 skills that are crucial for every child to become ready to read when they enter Kindergarten: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing. We include stories, fingerplays, songs, movement and playful activities. Free. No preregistration required. April 4th signup for our parent ed class immediately after storytime!
Thursdays, April 23 & 30, 10:30 a.m.-12 noon Peapod Academy Children’s Storytime Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, & preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & music, finger plays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week is a different theme. Get to know others and support your little ones developmental skills. Free. No registration required.
Thursdays, April, 23 & 30, 4:30-5:45 p.m. Persian Language Tutoring Free Persian language tutoring for youth ages 5 -8. Meets in the Community Room. For more information contact the library or inquire at the Information Desk.
Laguna Beach Library regular hours are Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays and holidays, Thursday, Feb. 12 Lincoln’s Birthday and Monday, Feb. 16, Presidents Day.
Laguna Beach Library is at 363 Glenneyre St. For information, call 497-1733.