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 Volume 10, Issue 65  |  August 14, 2018                                 


Police Files

Running on empty, suspected car thief busted at gunpoint at Chevron

On Sunday, Aug 12, at 10:28 a.m., LBPD officers were alerted by dispatchers to a stolen vehicle, a 2012 Toyota Prius, from Norwalk, traveling southbound on North Coast Highway from Ledroit Street. 

“The vehicle was located, and after running red lights, the driver pulled the car into the Chevron gas station at Coast Highway and Legion Street,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “A high-risk vehicle stop was executed and three occupants were detained.”

James Saaf, 22, of Santa Ana, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, driving on a suspended driver’s license, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. He was booked, taken into custody, and transported to OCJ. 

Police Files Vehicle Theft

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Photo by Mark Vuille 

Guns drawn, LBPD Officers capture suspected car thief James Saaf at Chevron

Shantell Apodaca, 38, of La Mirada, was arrested for theft/appropriation of lost property, and the third passenger, a male, was released.

 “A search of the vehicle revealed numerous credit and debit cards, some of which were in Apodaca’s purse. A full inventory of the cards was taken and follow-up will be conducted by detectives,” Sgt Cota said. “It should be noted Saaf was arrested earlier in the year near El Morro in a similar case where he provided a false identity to the officers and was arrested/booked for possession of stolen property and identity theft.” 

Bail was set at $10,000 for Saaf and $500 for Apodaca.

Mark Vuille, a 48-year Laguna Beach resident and avid Stu News reader, caught the account first-hand. 

“I had just pulled into the Chevron Station at Legion Street when a Toyota Prius pulled in, came to a stop at the pump with a Station 45 unit on his tail, all lit up,” Vuille said. “Thinking it was a mere car stop for a minor traffic violation, I paid little attention until back up arrived. First one unit, then two, three, four, and pulling up the rear, the field Sergeant, all with lights but no siren.”

He said at that point he decided to catch all the action.

“The show was in full swing when it dawned on me, I ought to video this fine display of Station 45 in action,” Vuille said.

Props to LBPD for all they do.

Brawl on the beach: 10 to 12-man tussle reported, suspect tries to tackle LBPD

On Wednesday, Aug 8, at 4:38 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Main Beach for a physical fight in progress. According to a dispatch report, the caller said, “10 to 12 guys were punching each other right in front of Ocean Avenue on the grass.” 

An officer arrived on scene and detained two male subjects for further investigation. 

One subject, Brian Ensley, was bleeding from the mouth and “clearly intoxicated,” according to Sgt Cota. “Ensley got up and walked away from the officer. The officer followed Ensley giving verbal commands to which he did not comply. The officer deployed his Taser which was ineffective.” 

A supervisor arrived on scene as Ensley continued to walk away from the officer.

“Verbal commands were again given without compliance,” Sgt Cota said. “Ensley attempted to tackle the supervisor and was taken to the ground.”

Brian Scott Ensley, 40, of Mission Viejo, was placed under arrest for assault on a peace officer and resisting arrest. His bail was set at $20,000.

Turtle on the run, on the lamb, lost in some jam?

On Thursday, Aug 9, at 1:57 p.m., at the 100 block of Avenida Majorca, a woman reported to LBPD that she found a turtle and had it for a week. “She thought she would find the owner, but she hasn’t,” reads the report. 

According to LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres, LB Animal Services “picked up a turtle that a resident in Laguna Woods found and took the turtle to the Animal Shelter.” 

Calls by Stu News on Monday afternoon to LBPD, Animal Services, and the Animal Shelter found no trace of the turtle. Each agency said they didn’t have a turtle.

Will the turtle turn up? Will it be reunited with its owner?

Beres said he would follow up and try to locate a photo of the found turtle. “A photo might help with locating the owner of the turtle,” he said.

End of the Rainbow, featuring a tour-de-force performance by Angela Ingersoll, catapults Playhouse into new dramatic territory


Shaken and stirred – that’s how I emerged from the Playhouse after witnessing Angela Ingersoll’s tour-de-force performance in End of the Rainbow, a dramatic and heartfelt rendering of Judy Garland’s last months before her death from an overdose at the age of 47.

I use the word “witness” advisedly. I was barely aware of being part of an audience – instead I felt alternatively as if I were either her pianist (Anthony) or her fiancé (Mickey Deans), in her hotel room in London, watching this tiny emotional tyrant of a woman dissolve into despair and neediness before our eyes – watching, as she reverted to the needy child who so desperately, like Dorothy, sought the unachievable, the illusory perfect happiness that lies “over the rainbow” – watching her as she sought nirvana through drugs and alcohol, not the Yellow Brick Road.

end of the three

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Photo by Jason Niedle

Zachary Ford, Angela Ingersoll and Jon Steinhagen

Yet the drama and the emotion in this production are leavened by a couple of hilarious scenes (you won’t soon forget Judy/Angela’s reaction to learning that she had inadvertently swallowed pills intended to cure a cocker spaniel’s mange) as well as mordant wit. These interludes provide the kind of relief that casts the tragedy into an even sadder light, exposing the deep vulnerability of the star even as she makes imperious demands of those who love her.

And the songs! Angela’s voice does full justice to the reality, not just the legend, of Judy Garland.

end of the couch

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Photo by Jason Niedle

Angela Ingersoll stars as Judy Garland: A tour-de-force performance

In the last scene, Judy sits cross-legged on the floor as the lights fade to black and the echo of her voice dies down.

And that’s when the audience rose to their feet and erupted into cheers and loud clapping, expressing their delight at the wonderful, touching performances of all four actors. 

(Oh, by the way, I looked up synonyms for “a tour-de-force performance” – there really aren’t any – though perhaps “Angela Ingersoll” will appear in a future dictionary?)

Go see this play, I urge you. It’s one for the ages. And by presenting this production, the Laguna Playhouse, with artistic director Ann E Wareham and executive director Ellen Richard at its helm, has just taken a stratospheric leap into new dramatic territory, positioning it firmly as one of the finest venues of its kind in Southern California.

For more information on tickets, go to

An astronomically interesting event takes place tonight at The Ranch with celebrated “star” photographer Babak A Tafreshi

An astronomically interesting event takes place tonight at The Ranch with celebrated “star” photographer Babak A Tafreshi. At 6 p.m., Babak, with the help of slides, will talk about the night sky, share his photos, and later, after the sun sets, lead a stargazing session. The presentation is free and open to the public.

The stars are aligned just right for this event - tonight there will be a crescent moon with Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars in the sky. The stargazing will begin just as soon as the sun goes down. 

an astronomically babak

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Babak Tafreshi in his element

Though Babak needs to leave at 9 p.m. or so to catch a flight (he’s a busy man, and The Ranch, and Laguna Beach, are very lucky to have access to his knowledge), the stargazing may continue after he leaves. The Ranch at Laguna Beach has an astronomer on hand too. 

Babak will also have some of his photographs on display. These are darkroom-developed photos from the archives and are available to purchase. 

National Geographic has not offered the actual developed photographs for sale up until about three years ago. Twenty-seven percent of the proceeds are returned to the Society and the photographer is also granted a percentage which most of them place into a charity. 

Babak has most recently been photographing the total Lunar Eclipse and the Perseid meteor shower. He is the founder of TWAN (The World at Night), which is dedicated to building a bridge between art, science, and culture. 

For more information about Babak Tafreshi, visit

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Maggi stopped to smell the roes in this contemplative garden. She found out quite a few others have as well, when she asked our readers where to find it.

Margie Bell was first on it, bright and early. She said, “It is Laguna Presbyterian Church’s beautiful rose garden.” Right on, Margie. Also chiming in about the garden beneath the church bells was Kathryn Delp Dew, Pat Carpenter, John Walker, Sydney Jones, Deacon Dave Swan (who had the insider perspective as he’s a deacon of the church), and Lisa Staight. 

Thanks for knowing where Maggi is hiding!

There will be another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi 8 14 18

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The sundial at the center of Laguna Presbyterian’s lovely rose garden

Crazy Rich Asians touts insane talents of our own Nelson Coates


If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know I’m a crazy, adoring fan of Nelson Coates, a Laguna Beach resident who happens to be an uber-talented Production Designer for many of Hollywood’s blockbuster films.

On Wednesday, August 15, Crazy Rich Asians debuts, a movie already being touted as the “2018 Summer Rom-Com Winner” by initial critics, and earning a very rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes (which is good!). 

Its every lavish detail nods to our own Nelson Coates.

Nelson is no newcomer to creating giant films. From Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in “The Proposal” to Denzel Washington’s movie, “Flight,” to Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman in “Secret in Their Eyes” to the last two movies (not the first movie, which means something!) of the “Fifty Shades” franchise, Nelson Coates is the guy who decides where the movie shoots, what the people wear, what buildings need to be built, what each scene looks like, and what all the many detailed embellishments…down to the last flower petal…will be in every scene.

A “Crazy” Undertaking

Two years ago, Nelson was asked to come on board to a movie that was an admitted risk tasker. Crazy Rich Asians, based on the best-selling book by Kevin Kwan, was being produced by an American studio and populated with an all-Asian cast. It’s the first film in 25 years to tout an all-Asian cast, after “The Joy Luck Club” hit the big screens in 1993. 

Nelson initially scouted Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, then settled his director and cast into Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with some scenes filmed in Penang and Langkwai, Malaysia, too. They also did two full weeks of filming in Singapore. 

crazy rich with michelle

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Photo courtesy Nelson Coates

Nelson Coates poses with cast member Michelle Yeoh, the disapproving future mother-in-law in the movie Crazy Rich Asians

Throughout the many months of filming, Nelson would send on-set photos and video bits to his circle of friends, and it was such a pleasure to receive his “pen pal” notes. He was creating castles from thin air, researching every imaginable floral for his garden oases, and scouring flea markets and designer studios alike for the most intricate details in décor. 

The Unexpected Big Time

And, the uber-focused effort has paid off, even before the film has debuted. Critics and Academy members have packed movie houses, and the public is snapping up every available movie ticket for this week’s premier. Last Tuesday, Nelson and partner, Ruben Flores, walked the red carpet and posed with the movie’s cast members at the magnificent Chinese Theater in Hollywood before they all sat down to watch the movie for the first time. 

crazy rich with writer

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Photo courtesy Nelson Coates

Nelson Coates poses with author Kevin Kwan at last week’s Chinese Theater red carpet event

Last week, the accolades and press started rolling in in waves. Architectural Digest posted an enormous story about Nelson’s fabulous sets (just search “architectural digest nelson coates”) while the Los Angeles Times devoted its weekend calendar section to the movie. Forbes, The New York Times, USA Today and hundreds of city newspapers and monthly magazines are raving.

Nelson is ecstatic, if a little shell-shocked. If anyone deserves to have a movie drive to the top as a surprise “tentpole” of summer movies, it’s Nelson Coates. Let’s do our part (ahem, buy a ticket!) to congratulate our Laguna buddy, the hardest working man in show business. 

Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book, The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of Laguna based reviews, finds and upcoming events at her blog,

Happiness is a hurricane – when it brings great waves and doesn’t hurt anyone…

Photos by Scott Brashier

happiness is two

happiness is arms up

happiness is kid

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Heeeeere’s Johnny! Fun with waves on Friday

Words from Mars: Unreal for Real book signing by Adam Mars will be Saturday, Aug 18 at the Sandpiper

Adam Mars is an accomplished artist whose paintings have been featured at Laguna Art Museum and around the country. But, his latest creation uses another creativity tool: his words. He’s recently published Unreal for Real, a collection of very personal stories laced with edge and humor.

Words from Mars Adam

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Author and artist Adam Mars

Mars was born and raised in Laguna Beach, and several of the stories in the book take place in town. 

“This Saturday at 7:30 p.m., I’ll be doing a book reading and signing at the Sandpiper Lounge,” Mars said. “I know it’s a curious location for a book reading, but one of the stories is based on an evening at the legendary bar and I figured it would be a fun venue to host an event.”

According to the book’s synopsis, the stories unfold “like a greatest-hits collection of coming-of-age adventures. Unreal for Real follows artist Adam Mars from wild adolescence into wilder adulthood. Whether he’s partying as a middle-schooler at a rock star’s mansion, surviving an armed drug raid in college, or being tied-up by an untamed dominatrix in his thirties, the racy tales in this comedic collection of true-life stories offer unique insight into the pursuit of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll. Other binge-worthy accounts of family dysfunction, vacations gone wrong, and random romance expose a dynamic humorist with very little to hide.”

A short excerpt from an earlier book offers a sense of his style

And here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter of an earlier book of Adam’s, Best Party Ever, to give you a sense of his style – will the narrator get his way with Piper Purdy? You’ll have to read his book to find out.

Piper Purdy was my middle school dream crush. She was a beautiful girl, both inside and out, with a warm smile that could melt an igloo. Oh, and she also had boobies (big ones). Beside the fact that she was a prized eighth-grader and could’ve had any guy in school, I was pretty sure she wanted me. We’d talk at school and sometimes at night on the telephone. As those nightly calls became more routine, I got word from one of her friends that she thought I was hot, or cute, or whatever scrawny twelve-year-old boys are to thirteen-year-old babes. I should’ve been stoked out of my mind, but now I had to make a move and I didn’t know how. She was an intimidating challenge for any make-out virgin. 

After Shane broke the news about Piper, we got on the bus with the rest of our party crew and headed toward his house. I could feel the screws on my adolescent training wheels getting loose under the weight of expectation, so I took a seat next to Shane and tried to settle my junior nervous breakdown…

Words from Mars Book

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Submitted photo

A review by LA Weekly’s Arts Editor Shana Nys Dambrot reads, “In this wicked compendium of short stories, Adam Mars shows the same sardonic wit, beguiled self-awareness, and keen insight into America’s cultural foibles familiar to fans of his visual art. Although not positioned as such, from a sensibility point of view, this could function as his artistic origin story. His eye for reductive detail and evocative wordplay distills these passages from a stylishly misspent youth into an empathetic memoir of emblematic angst and the earnest, if off-kilter, pursuit of happiness.”

Adam Mars was born and raised in Laguna Beach from 1981-1999, graduating from LBHS in 1999. He returned to Laguna for two years from 2003-2005 after completing his BA at UC Santa Barbara. Mars exhibited at Peter Blake Gallery in 2015 and has been featured in LAM’s annual auction since 2004 – and his work was recently included in their Palette to Palate event in 2017. 

Mars received his MFA from OTIS College of Art and Design in 2007. His mother still lives in Laguna Beach and he visits about once a month to see family and friends.

The Sandpiper is located at 1183 S Coast Highway.

Laguna Food Pantry invites guests to “Come to the Table” in idyllic North Laguna garden

Guests are invited to step into a magical garden in North Laguna on Sunday, Sept 16 from 3 - 6 p.m. for Come to the Table, a benefit for the Laguna Food Pantry.

The Pantry and its longtime volunteers Sharon and Roger McErlane invite guests to mingle on the magnificent grounds of the couple’s gracious Dutch Colonial-style home. 

Heavy hors d’oeuvres, generously provided by Chef Alessandro Pirozzi, wine, beer and a signature cocktail will be served. A limited number of tickets will be sold at $100 each or $115 at the door.

Laguna Food Pantry Garden

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Submitted Photo

Spend the day in the magical garden to benefit the Laguna Food Pantry

“This fun, casual event will launch our 25th anniversary celebration,” said executive director Anne Belyea. “The McErlanes’ beautiful garden is the ideal location for this milestone kickoff, as they have been longtime dedicated volunteers and supporters. 

“Roger and Sharon commit several days every week to the Pantry: Roger spends three days a week as a volunteer driver rescuing groceries and Sharon volunteers several mornings a week inside the Pantry keeping things sorted, stocked, and organized.”

Board member Patricia O’Brien added, “By generously hosting this event, Sharon and Roger are helping the Pantry to keep food on its shelves and helping to feed hungry families in our community. We greatly value their volunteer spirit.” 

Laguna Food Pantry snacks

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Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails in the garden 

Every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 4,000 lbs of free, fresh groceries to approximately 80 families, half of whom have children. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run almost entirely by volunteers. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to or call (949) 497-7121.

Is that the Great Pyramids of Giza – or Saddleback seen through the fog and smoke?

Photo by Ken Jillson

Is that the

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Ghostly Giza – or smoky Saddleback? – captured during the Holy Jim fire

Junior Lifeguards get a lesson in Pacific Marine Mammal Center 101

Junior Lifeguards recently got a lesson in Pacific Marine Mammal Center 101. The relationship Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) shares with local lifeguard and marine safety agencies is crucial to the success of their mission. 

This summer, Animal Care Coordinator Wendy Leeds and her team were able to expand on that relationship and educate over 600 junior guards in San Clemente and Laguna Beach.

Junior lifeguards lawn

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Junior Lifeguards work out at the beginning of the season

 It is a priceless opportunity to capture these young beach and ocean enthusiasts. The junior guards were educated on different marine mammals they may come across as well as ways they can help make the ocean a better place for everyone to share and enjoy. 

For more information on PMMC, visit or call (949) 494-3050.

Ocean Institute’s 34th Annual Tall Ships Festival events begin September 7

In celebration of California’s rich maritime history, the Ocean Institute annually hosts a fleet of historic tall ships that sail into Dana Point Harbor. History comes alive as crews from each ship, along with historical re-enactors, engage the public in tall ship parades, cannon battles, pirate adventures, mermaid encounters, ship tours, and more.

Special events on Friday

On Friday, Sept 7, from 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. The Parade of Sail sets off. Participants may sail on any one of the historic tall ships, watch the sun dip below the horizon and kick off the 34th annual Festival. Work with the crew hauling up the sails or simply sit back and enjoy the wind, sights, and sounds while the ocean breeze fills the sails. Bring a camera to capture the unforgettable views and the firing cannon during the sail along the coast.

From 6 - 9 p.m. it’s the Sails ‘n Ales Kick Off Party. Celebrate the kick-off of the 34th Annual Ocean Institute Tall Ships Festival Presented by Toshiba, with Sails ‘n Ales Party. Enjoy craft beer tasting from California breweries (Sierra Nevada, Mother Earth Brew Company, Lost Winds Brewing, Bottle Logic Brewing, Stereo Brewing, and Docent Brewing), live music from LA Edwards, food trucks and prime viewing for Parade of Sail.

Tall Ships Festival

On Saturday, Sept 8 and Sunday, Sept 9, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., there will be many ways to enjoy the Tall Ships Festival.

Begin with tours of the Brig Pilgrim, Spirit of Dana Point, and all visiting vessels from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

From 9 - 10:30 a.m. enjoy Breakfast with a Mermaid. The special mermaid friend delivers a one-of-a-kind breakfast experience. Meet the mermaid friend, make a fun mermaid craft, enjoy pancakes, and watch the mermaids swim under water. Book tickets in advance for this sell-out event.

From 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. come aboard the Spirit of Dana Point and the armada of ships as they set sail to engage in the Festival’s most exciting and captivating experience: Cannon Battles. Join the crew as they harness the power of the wind to maneuver and position themselves to gain the advantage.

Admission tickets also include access to Sierra Nevada Beer Garden, Main Stage, and Pirate Camp. There will be food trucks and shopping in the “Peddler’s Village.”

Educational activities will include squid dissections, gold panning, candle making, story time with a mermaid, pirate lessons, and more.

Ocean Institutes

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Photo courtesy Ocean Institute

Admission passes are $10 for adults, $8 for children ages 3-14 years old, and Family 4 Pack tickets for $30.

For tickets and information, click here.


Cap’n Jack’s Pirate School – Historic Maritime Wharf: Noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. “School” is back in session – Cap’n Jack’s School for Lil’ Scalliwags has some new lesson plans for his pirates-in-training! Suitable for ages 8-12. *Additional purchase required of $5.00 per person.

Mermaid Swim Encounters – Surf Science Lab: 11:30 a.m., 1:15 pm, 3:30 pm Meet Ocean Institute’s special mermaid and see her swim! Suitable for ages 2-12; must be accompanied by an adult. *Additional purchase required of $5.00 per person.

Mermaid Talks – Samueli Center: 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. How do mermaids communicate underwater? Find out during this interactive story time with Sheroes Entertainment’s Mermaids.

Naval Historical Show – Pilgrim: 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Experience life during the Revolutionary War during this standing room show performed by skill re-enactors on the deck of the Brig Pilgrim.

Peddler’s Village – Pier Lot: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Enjoy grub and shop the fare of local craftsmen.

Pirate Camp – Baby Beach: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Learn from historic re-enactors including blacksmiths, pirates, and more. Enjoy live music from Los Rios Rock School and cold beer from the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden. 

Sailor’s Life Tour – Historic Maritime Wharf: 10:15 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. Raise sail, move cargo, and more during this hands-on activity on our historical maritime wharf at the Maddie James Seaside Learning Center.

Seafarer’s Landing – Main Lot: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Explore hands-on science and history throughout the day including candle-making, gold panning, knot tying, and more.

Squid Dissections – At Sea Lab: 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 3:45 p.m. Join our naturalists as we use scientific inquiry to discover the internal anatomy of a squid.

Tall Ship Tours – Maddie James Seaside Learning Center: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Step aboard and step back in time. Tour all the historic tall ships, including Ocean Institute’s Brig Pilgrim and Spirit of Dana Point.

The Tall Ships

Spirit of Dana Point: Gaff Schooner, 114 feet. Built by Dennis Holland in his yard in Coast Mesa in the 1970s and early 1980s. 

Pilgrim: Brig, 98 feet.  Replica of the ship sailed by Richard Henry Dana Jr., and immortalized in his memoir Two Years Before the Mast. 

Californian: Topsail Schooner, 145 feet. In 2003 Californian became the official tall ship of the state of California. 

America: Gaff Schooner, 139 feet. Replica of the yacht America’s Cup is named after. 

Curlew: Schooner, 82 feet. Built in 1926, Curlew is the most senior ship in the Tall Ships Festival. 

Exy Johnson: Brigantine, 113 feet. Named after Exy Johnson who sailed around the world seven times. 

Irving Johnson: Brigantine, 113 feet. Along with Exy, launched in 2002 they are the newest ships in the Tall Ships Festival. 

Bill of Rights: Schooner, 129 feet. Constructed in 1971 in South Bristol Maine by Harvey F. Gamage.

Did you know? Some interesting facts from the City’s Water Quality Department

The City’s Water Quality Department dedicates significant resources and effort to prevent urban runoff pollution from ever reaching the ocean. Department staff removes an average of eight tons of debris and sediment annually from 17 of the City’s urban water diversions. 

Remaining street pollution is captured before it reaches the beach and is sent to the sanitary sewer system for treatment. There are 25 urban water diversions along the Laguna Beach coastline, and over 80 percent of the watershed land area in the City of Laguna Beach is diverted.

Memorial Service scheduled for Elliot Miller on Saturday, Aug 25

A Memorial Service for former Laguna Beach resident Elliot Miller will be held on Saturday, Aug 25 at 1 p.m. at Little Church by the Sea, 468 Legion Street. 

Miller lived in Laguna Beach for 15 years, was actively involved in Laguna Greenbelt and also served in leadership in Laguna Church, pastored by the late Dr. Jack Wheaton and Jay Grant. Miller was editor-in-chief of the Christian Research Journal, working for many years with Dr. Walter Martin and Hank Hanegraaff of CRI (Christian Research Institute). 

Miller was featured regularly on the nationally syndicated program, The Bible Answer Man. He is survived by his wife Corrine and several stepchildren.   

Messages to the family may be sent care of the church.

Join Pacific Marine Mammal Center for “Gala at Sea” on September 9 at The Ranch

Pacific Marine Mammal Center will host Gala at Sea on Sunday, Sept 9 from 4:30 - 8:30 p.m. at The Ranch, located at 31106 Coast Hwy. 

Gala at Sea, they say, will be a beautiful night under the stars. Attended by more than 300 patrons, the event will offer guests an elegant plated dinner, live musical entertainment, and an esteemed live and silent auction, all to raise funds for marine mammal patients.

The event will feature live entertainment by Yachty by Nature, referred to as “the captains of smooth ‘70s and ‘80s soft rock.”

Join the two

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The sea lions plea for your patronage

Early Bird Tickets are $300 and a table for 10 is $3,500. The organization urges you not to be left at shore and instead enjoy an unforgettable night while supporting Pacific Marine Mammal Center. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, go or call (949) 494-3050.

Don’t forget to check out our Letters tab

There’s never a dull moment on our Letters page, where readers present differing views on Laguna issues of the day. 

Don’t forget to click on the Letters tab to read what Lagunans have to say – today readers share their thoughts on trolley routes, historical preservation, and ocean health.

Click here to go to our Letters section.

Yoga Sapien announces a new teacher with powerful and loving energy to share

Yoga Sapien, the yoga studio that opened its doors in January this year, has announced a very special new teacher to join their ranks, Amanda Walter.

“David [Taylor] and I met Amanda at Ritual Yoga a couple years ago and we we’re both blown away by her powerful and loving energy,” says Yoga Sapien co-founder Liz Campbell. 

yoga sapien announces

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Amanda Walter

“After falling in love with her class and co-teaching with her for about a year, she unexpectedly got diagnosed with breast and lymph cancer and had no choice but to quit teaching and focus on healing her body. After fifteen long months of intense treatments including chemo, radiation and even a double mastectomy, Amanda was ready to get back into teaching more than ever. 

“Even in the planning stages of Yoga Sapien, while Amanda was still recovering, David and I both agreed that she is, without a doubt, our number one pick for our fantasy yoga team,” Liz adds. 

Knowing that she still had a fairly long road of healing ahead of her, the two co-founders asked her to be a part of Yoga Sapien’s family. She humbly accepted and agreed to start teaching once she was in remission. 

“Well, she’s here and she’s more fabulous than ever!” Liz tells us. “Her journey has been a heavy one and regardless of who knows her story, her overall attitude on life is sure to deeply inspire anyone who crosses her path. You can catch this miracle unicorn teacher every Friday at 9:30 a.m. for her Dynamic Vinyasa, and we promise you will leave feeling more than ready to conquer the world!”

Yoga Sapien is located in the Boat Canyon shopping center above Pavilions. For more information, visit

Jazz Wednesdays on August 22 features The Lineage Trio at [seven-degrees]

On August 22, Laguna Beach Live! will feature The Lineage Trio: Alex Frank, Graham Dechter, and Ryan Shaw as part of the nonprofit’s Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series.

August 22 Jazz

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Bass player Alex Frank, guitarist Graham Dechter, and drummer Ryan Shaw have teamed up to form their own group, “Lineage,” which pays tribute to The Poll Winners while also creating a new musical identity

Jazz Wednesdays Summer 2018 is located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 to 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner menu varies by concert. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership. 

For more information and tickets, go to

LB author Victoria Patterson discusses her new book at Laguna Beach Books on Sunday, Sept 16 

Laguna Beach Books (LBB) welcomes local author Victoria Patterson to the store on Sunday, Sept 16 at 4 p.m. to discuss her latest book, The Secret Habit of Sorrow. There is no charge for this event.

Victoria Patterson, whose writing Vanity Fair has called “brutal, deeply empathetic, and emotionally wrenching,” returns with a new collection of stories that contains echoes of Denis Johnson and Raymond Carver, along with the emotional depth and density of Elena Ferrante.

LB author close up

Photo by Gabriel Mason

Victoria Patterson talks about The Secret Habit of Sorrow on Sunday, Sept 16

There’s a pitch-perfect blend of linguistic dexterity, emotional wisdom, and wry observation in The Secret Habit of Sorrow. The characters in these stories feel like people you know, their struggles real. Whether it be the ties between women and their own and each other’s infants, the struggles of parenthood, or the trials that come with excessive drinking and drug abuse, Patterson has an amazing ability to convey relationships, and how our bonds can both save and destroy us.

The Secret Habit of Sorrow has already received many rave reviews, including one from Kirkus:

LB author bookcover

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“Bad choices and addiction are common here, but Patterson’s unfussy prose draws the reader into her complex, sometimes even convoluted relationships…The beating hearts of Patterson’s characters and the directness of her voice make the grim material bearable, sometimes almost hopeful.” –Kirkus 

Victoria Patterson is the author of the novels The Peerless Four and This Vacant Paradise, a 2011 New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. Her story collection, Drift, was a finalist for the California Book Award, the 2009 Story Prize, and was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The San Francisco Chronicle. She lives with her family in Southern California and teaches at Antioch University’s Master of Fine Arts program.

LBB is located at 1200 S Coast Hwy.

For more information on events, go to or call (949) 494-4779.

A child’s sense of wonder


a child red dress

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“A child’s world is fresh and new and beautiful, full or wonder and excitement. 

“It is our misfortune that for most of us that clear-eyed vision, that true instinct for what is beautiful and awe-inspiring, is dimmed and even lost before we reach adulthood. 

“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children, I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantment of later year…the alienation from the sources of our strength.”

–Rachel Carson, “The Sense of Wonder”

U12 Laguna Beach girls rule the pool at National Junior Olympics

In case you missed it, Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation (LBWPF) represented well at the 2018 USA Water Polo National Junior Olympics at Stanford University’s Avery Complex.

The LBWPF girls U12 team are national champions for a second year in a row under coach Kelcie Ferreira. In a shootout, the girls defeated Commerce 9-7 for the gold with tournament MVP honors awarded to Emerson Hensley. The girls U14 team finished 2nd behind Pacific Coast Riptide. Also in the platinum division, the U12 boys placed 21st and the U10 coed team placed 8th. In the gold division, the girls U14 B team placed 6th. 

In the U16 girls platinum division, SET, coached by Ethan Damato and including Laguna Beach High School girls, were crowned champions. Goalie Quinn Winter, an LBHS student, received tournament MVP honors. SET U18 girls placed 3rd in the platinum division. 

Water polo champs 12U

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Photo by Stacey Munatones Hensley 

Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation U12 girls are National Junior Olympic Champions again. Returning champions from the 2017 team include coach Kelcie Ferreira, Ava Knepper, Claire Turner, Avery Monteil, and Nina Rogers.

Tournament MVP Emerson Hensley is a Thurston student who is passionate about water polo. She led the way for Laguna Beach along with returning champions Ava Knepper, Claire Turner, and Nina Rogers, and goalkeepers Siena Jumani and Sofia Umeda.

Water polo champs MVP

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Photo by Stacey Munatones Hensley

Emerson Hensley, an incoming 7th grader at Thurston, receiving her Tournament MVP award. Also pictured: Claire Turner, Ava Knepper, goalkeeper Siena Jumani, and Kaelyn Chism.

Coach Kelcie Ferreira said, “I’m very proud of the girls. It’s a long season for them, and they were able to take everything I threw at them.”

Well done, water polo champs!

Water polo champs coach

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Photo by Stacey Munatones Hensley

Coach Kelcie Ferreira, a Laguna Beach resident, helps lead Laguna’s U12 girls to national victory

Party on for Laguna Beach Art Association’s 100th Birthday

Laguna Beach Art Association is turning 100! Laguna Art Museum invites everyone to come out and share in the fun on Saturday, Aug 25, and celebrate the nonprofit’s platinum jubilee.

To celebrate the official day on which the Laguna Beach Art Association was founded in 1918, the museum will host a free day with art activities, docent-guided tours, community partner programs, and a birthday cake. This family-friendly event will be a day-long celebration of the historic milestone.

LAM celebrates window

The schedule of events includes:

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Free docent-led exhibition tours. Open to all ages.

1 to 2 p.m. – Remarks, proclamation by Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, live music, and cake.

2 to 5 p.m. – Family activities presented by community arts partners. Celebrate local art, music, and dance in Laguna Beach with interactive stations, art activities, face-painting, and more.

LAM is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

For more information, go to or call (949) 494-8971.