Laguna Beach

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A note from Stu 


Sawdust Winter Fantasy

We are an art colony – always have been and always will be.

It is important for our city’s economy that we have as successful of an arts community as we possibly can.

That includes our artists, our galleries, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Playhouse, and of course our art festivals.

The Sawdust Festival’s Winter Fantasy is in its final weekend and if you haven’t had a chance to stop in, we can say for sure that you will enjoy a few hours of shopping and browsing if you make the time.

Click on photo for a larger image

There is a present there for all and everyone on your list.

More that 175 exhibitors are there – 33 of them new this season – and they all can use our support this weekend.

So – get out there and do some shopping – you can’t miss!  


We Love Laguna and We Love What We Do!

And we’re having fun doing it thanks to you, our readers! •••

Save trees – read StuNewsLaguna!


Don’t forget – 510-5218 – 24/7 – call with your news tips!

Cell phone photos - email: Stu@StuNewsLaguna.com


Diane Armitage

Inventive Holiday Décor at Madison Square

Here in Laguna Beach we love proprietor Jon Madison because he doesn’t take himself too seriously. Oh yes, the man has serious taste - you can see it from stem to stern in his eclectic Madison Square & Garden Café but he has a great sense of humor, too.

Madison believes in adding color, magic and fun to your life, and it only gets better when the holiday season rolls around.

Click on photo for a larger image


Mermaids by Profession

Madison Square is currently tricked out with thousands of holiday décor ideas and lawn accouterments that would put Clark Griswold to shame. Inside the little cottage, he has more imaginative holiday gifts and a host of gilded and happy tree ornaments for a wide range of tastes. (His mermaids-by-profession ornament collection alone is a showstopper, believe you me.)

Every day, Madison Square changes. Fortunately, Jon Madison has a perfectly great coffee bar and kitchen to accommodate this very fact – you need time to soak it all in. 

Drop in, order a frothy cup of holiday coffee brew, and browse for awhile.


Diane Armitage is the author of a recently published 175-page book – “Laguna Beach’s Best” – a travel guide for locals and visitors. She writes a subjective blog found at www.LagunaBeachBest.com She is a regular contributor to StuNews

Ugly Sweater party will benefit OC Mission tonight at 6

Tis the season for helping those less fortunate. So, how about enjoying some holiday cheer while poking fun at someone’s ugly sweater? 

Lightopia, a residential lighting company with a retail location in Laguna Beach will once again host an annual food and clothing drive benefitting the Orange County Rescue Mission. Both locations have begun collecting canned foods and clothing, and will continue to do so until the end of the year.

The food and clothing collection will coincide with Ugly Sweater themed party sponsored by Tipsy Elves. Tipsy Elves, a San Diego based sweater company, supplies the world with Christmas themed sweaters designed from the bottom up, mixing traditional styles with modern humor, www.tipsyelves.com. 

It’s all open to the public and they are asking for attendees to bring canned or boxed food and clothing. The party will be in Laguna on Friday, Dec. 19, 6 to 9 p.m., at Lightopia, 1043 N. Coast Hwy. 

Providing food and beverage will be El Ranchito Laguna Beach, Romeo Cucina Laguna Beach, Javier’s Crystal Cove and Mandarin King Laguna Beach. Visit: www.lightopiaonline.com for information on all of their product lines, “For The Trade” discount program, and lighting design blog.

Something for everyone in our wilderness parks

Reservations required Sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html 

949-923-2235. Parking: $3


Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park


Dec 19 Fri A Morning Stroll to Barbara’s Lake 9-11:30 a.m. Enjoy an outdoor stroll to Barbara’s Lake (Orange County’s only natural lake) on this leisurely paced, level, 2-mile hike with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists. All ages welcome! Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center. Donation: $2/person.

Dec 20 Sat Keep It Wild Volunteer Day 8-11 a.m. Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves. Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center. Parking: Free for Keep It Wild Volunteers!

Dec 20 Sat Family Hike 3-5 p.m.Join us on this very enjoyable, easy 3-mile hike over moderate but uneven terrain (100-ft. elevation gain). Families welcome. You will hike in one of the most diverse areas of the park, through a canopy of oaks, past Barbara’s Lake and back. Led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve. Donation: $2/person.

Dec 21 Sun Birding Walk 8-11 a.m. Spot native and winter resident birds, with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this moderate 2-mile, level hike over uneven terrain through one of the most diverse plant communities in the United States. Ages 12 and up. Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars! Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area. Donation: $2/person.

Dec 23 Tue Beginning Fitness Hike 9-10:30 a.m. Now is a great time to start a new fitness routine beginning with an easy 2-mile hike over moderate but uneven terrain to Barbara’s Lake and back (100-ft. elevation gain). Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer and registered dietitian to learn about fitness and nutrition during this 1.5-hour hike. Wear walking or hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, and bring water. Ages 12 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve. Donation: $2/person.


Aliso & Wood Canyons

Wilderness Park


Dec 19 Fri Tot Walk 9-11 a.m. Join Ranger Zak along with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers and bring your young ones (infant to age three) to explore Aliso’s wild backyard. We will see bugs, animal tracks, plants, birds and have all kinds of outdoor fun! Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy.

Dec 20 Sat Keep It Wild Volunteer Day 8-11 a.m. Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! What better way to start a Saturday morning than to join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks for an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us create a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Pkwy. Parking: Free for Keep-It-Wild volunteers!

Dec 21 Sun Family Hike in the Canyon 8:30-11 a.m. Enjoy a hike with your family in the beautifully lush Wood Canyon, while exploring its wildlife with OC Parks Resource Specialist Rick Schaffer. This is a moderate 2-mile hike (300-ft elevation gain) over uneven and rocky terrain. Ages 7 and up. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area.


Scroll down for events at Crystal Cove Park

Crystal Cove State Park


Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live at Crystal Cove State Park on Saturday, 20 from 11-2 p.m. at the Historic District Education Commons where Ranger Jenn will host a Beachside Chat.  Park in the Los Trancos lot. 

Join Crystal Cove State Park docents for a Winter Solstice hike on Saturday, Dec 20 at 5:30 p.m.  Enjoy the shortest day of the year on this moderate 2-hour hike.  Meet at the Berns Amphitheater. Wear sturdy shoes, bring water, and dress in layers. Flashlights should have red lenses.  

Learn how to take beautiful photos of seascapes, the cottages, and sunset and practice camera setups and compositions on a docent led Photography Walk at Crystal Cove State Park onSunday, Dec 21 from 3 p.m. until sunset.  Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer. All camera types welcome.


Volume 6, Issue 100                                                                     December 19, 2014

As we speed headlong through the end of this month, we find ourselves on the brink of…resolutions! How about some for our City Council to do in 2015? Choose one…
As we speed headlong through the end of this month, we find ourselves on the brink of…resolutions! How about some for our City Council to do in 2015? Choose one…
You must select at least one item to vote!

Events, programs at Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org

Club Q Laguna

1st and 3rd Friday | 3-5pm

A social group for Laguna’s LGBT community and friends.

It’s Your Estate

Call for dates: Facilitated by Peter Kote.  Providing the resources seniors need to make confident financial, estate, and charitable decisions.

Computer Assistance

Thursdays Noon-3pm and Fridays 9am – Noon. Please call ahead. One-on-one help with your laptop, smart phone, or tablet, PC & Mac/Apple, Windows 7&8.

The Alexander Technique

Mondays 1-2pm | $80. Discover healthy posture and spinal alignment for better balance. Facilitator: Sharon Jakubecy, M.

Join Our Hike

3rd Thurs | 10/16 & 11/20 | 8am | Free. Meet new hiking buddies, catch up with old friends and all while getting fit and enjoying nature! 

Photo Narratives

Wed |until 11/19 | 12-3pm |$150 pre-registration or $20 drop-in. Learn to tell stories through photographs.

Family History Workshop

Wed | until 11/19 | 3-5pm | Free. Discover your family tree.  Genealogy for beginners.  Facilitator: Beth Sand

Benefits Enrollment Center

Council on Aging and Laguna Beach Seniors introduce the Benefits Enrollment Center at The Susi Q to assist seniors and persons with disabilities find and apply for benefit programs.

Enrollment Available every third Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

Call to register: 497-2441

Social Services Support

Feeling the Blues Counseling

One-on-one sessions for men and women.Schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. 10 free sessions. Call for more information (949) 497-2441

Case Management

Mon, Wed & Fri | 8:30am- 5pm | Free

Providing links to resources that promote safety and quality of life. Call for appt.

Small Circle Yoga

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9-10am. $4 per class. The overall benefits will affect every aspect of your health and the quality of your daily life. Exercises can be performed while standing or while sitting in a chair. No floor or mat exercises are performed. Instructor: Wayne Lawrence

Adult Hula Lessons

Fridays from 1:30-2:30. $3 suggestion donation per class. Come and dance the hula with us! The gentle and graceful movements will make you forget your troubles and mentally transport you to the islands. 

Ukulele University!

Play Along: Ukulele

Wed | 10:15-11:15am | FreeDrop-ins welcome!

Beginning Ukulele Players

Thur. | 9-10am | until 11/20 | $50/series or $5 drop in – Drop-ins welcome! Instructor: Tom Joliet

More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org

Intermediate Ukulele

Wed | 9- 10am | until 11/19 | $50/series or $5 drop in – Drop-ins welcome! Instructor:  Jack Morse

Take the bus to the Susi Q

The city’s blue buses now stop right in front of the Susi Q Monday – Saturday all day. 

Schedules will be posted at all bus stops, so getting here is easier than ever. You won’t have to deal with traffic or parking!

Current Events Discussion Group

Tuesday and Friday | 9:30- 11:30am

Join this discussion of newsworthy events, and topics of special interest.


Join us for Bingo every Monday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30am. Try your luck to win prizes and gift cards. National Charity League sponsors “Birthday Celebration Bingo” on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, from 10:30-11:30am. Free!

Monday Movie and Popcorn

Free every Monday from 12:30-3pm. See movie schedule at susiq.org.

Intermediate Ballroom Dancing

Mon | 2- 3pm | Intermediate | $7 per class – Drop-ins welcome! Waltz, Rumba, Swing, Watusi, ChaCha, Country two-step, Fox Trot. No partner required.  Instructor: Candis Davis

Feeling The Blues?

Free Counseling!

If you are age 55+ and struggle with the blues, schedule a low-cost private session with one of our licensed therapists. You don’t have to feel lost. Call for an appointment. Se habla español

Health Insurance Counseling (HICAP)

2nd and 4th Thur | 9a.m.-1p.m. | Free

Provides assistance and objective information to help seniors and disabled persons make informed decisions about health care coverage, Medicare benefits and supplemental insurance plan options.  Sponsored by the Council on Aging.  Call for apt.

Contemporary Short Story Discussion Group

Second and fourth Tuesdays

2 – 4 p.m.

Members will take turns leading discussions of selected stories from “The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction”. Contact Alison King, Ph. D. for more information: (714) 608-1322 or email her at: aking@csusm.edu

Free Estate Planning Legal Advice

3rd Thursday of each month from 12-2 p.m. Local Attorney Leslie Daff is available to answer questions pertaining to estate planning, probate, and trust administration and to prepare and notarize financial powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, HIPAA authorizations, and trust amendments (to leave bequests to Laguna Beach Seniors, INC.) at no charge.

Bridge Group needs fourths 

The Round Robin Bridge group is looking for new players and substitute players.  The group meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 11:30-3 at the Susi Q. If interested, please contact Kathy Oliver at (949) 497-7927 or (949) 231-9235.

Tabletop Treasures

Mondays | 9am – Noon.

Fabulous recycled and second time around treasures for sale at bargain prices. Small donated items are always appreciated for drop off from 9am-3pm. No clothing please. Proceeds benefit weekly Bingo and fund the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship from LBS.

More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org

Mindful Music

Fri | 10:30am - Noon| Free Explore the power of music for brain health; raise joy and self-esteem, improve health through music and singing. Fun, interactive, singing, music with Kathy Williams. Provided through a generous grant from the Picerne Foundation.

Coffee Talk support group

Please join Laguna residents and facilitators including Kay Wenger, LMFT, in a supportive atmosphere where concerns, coping skills, and helping tips are shared. This free ongoing group meets every other Monday 10-11:30 a.m.

Mahjongg Wednesdays

If you are an experienced Mahjongg player, feel free to join us every Wednesday at 12:30 in the Game Room at the Susi Q.  

Tiles can be provided for you.

Needle Art Group 

The Susi Q Community Needle Art Group meets on the last Friday of every month at 1 p.m.  They create handmade items for local organizations. 

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group

Join us the first Wednesday of every month from 1:30-3 p.m. for an informational meeting and informal discussion.  Strategies will be shared for dealing with loved ones who are affected by the disease.

Tabletop Tennis every week

Tabletop tennis, or ping pong as some might label it, is offered every Mon, Wed & Fri. 

There is a $25 annual fee. 

Bring your own paddle or borrow one of ours.  All we ask is that you wear non-skidding shoes. 12:30-4 p.m. on Mon and Wed; 12:30 – 3 p.m. on Friday.

Call for artists: Gallery Q “The Art of Adornment”

Artists of any age from Orange County are invited to bring their artwork to Gallery Q on Monday, Jan. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. or Thursday, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon. 

Adornment artwork ranges from jewelry, silk or knitted scarves, quilts, decorated clothing, wall hangings, quilts, masks, yard and house art and more. Adornment can be exhibited as a photo. Photos could be of a pet or person in costume, unusual house decorating, body tattoos, exotic face make up, whatever is your interpretation of adornment is welcome! See http://www.TheSusiQ.org or go by the front desk for guidelines and application form. 

A free artists’ reception with beverages and light refreshments will take place on Friday, Jan. 23 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Start your weekend fun with family and friends dressed in your own adornments (optional) or come early at four o’clock and let Gallery Q volunteers “adorn” you with a free henna tattoos or exotic make up. 

The exhibit will run from Jan. 20 through March 10 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Gallery Q is located in the Laguna Beach Community and Senior Center at 380 Third Street in downtown Laguna Beach. 

Many art pieces in the show will be available for sale. 

For additional information please visit www.TheSusiQ.org or contact Judy Baker, Arts Co-Director at judybaker@thesusiq.org

City Hall

Committee Meetings – Etc. 


Tuesday, December 23

Environmental Sustainability Committee

Community Center – 6 p.m.


Thursday, December 25


City Hall Closed



The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer. She also designs our marketing materials - and is responsible for our new logo.

Maggi Henrikson is our Associate Editor; Diane Armitage, Niki Smart, Samantha WasherErin Burris, Allison Martin, and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Anita Razin and April Steinert are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Cliff Getz, Mike Altishin, and Jay Rubin are the staff photographers.

Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena takes care of our sales goals and strategic marketing and finds ways to keep Stu on topic and on target…it’s football season!

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising


Email: StuNewsLaguna@yahoo.com with news releases, letters, etc