Feline enthusiasts need not wait much longer, the mewment of Catmosphere’s opening is almost here


Coincidentally, the Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday titled, “Today’s Catty Question: Who Thought Cat Cafés were a Good Idea?” Well, obviously, quite a large number of people, since now there are several all over the world, and, as most residents already know, the idea has captivated our city. 

Gail Landau, founder of Catmosphere, says, “Construction will be completed by the end of June, and we anticipate an early July opening. We are currently reviewing dates and specifics for a fundraiser to benefit the Blue Bell Foundation and the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter.”  

Where did the idea of a cat café originate as a place to have coffee (in some places called meowcchiatos), tea, and nibbles (crepes in the shape of cats, wow) and then interact with adoptable cats? 

According to www.mentalfloss.com, the world’s first cat cafe, Cat Flower Garden, opened in Taipei, Taiwan in 1998. Soon, what began as a venture to provide young urbanites the chance to unwind after a hectic day by petting cats, became a favorite tourist destination. But cat cafés truly took off when they made their way to Japan.

Catmosphere opens its doors at 381 Forest Ave in early July

At one of Toyko’s first cat cafés, Neko no mise (Shop of Cats), which opened in 2005, the only cats that can’t be cuddled are fragile newborns. Japan’s capital city is now home to dozens of the establishments, which are popular, since most Japanese rental apartments prohibit pets. 

In April of 2014, New York became home to America’s first pop-up cat café, which was sponsored by Purina ONE with the cats provided by a local shelter. KitTea in San Francisco was America’s first permanent cat café, followed by Oakland’s Cat Town

Currently, there are 87 cafés in the US (www.meowaround.com) where one can hang out with cats. In fact, it was at a Cat Café in South Carolina that Landau got the idea for her endeavor.

Of course, Europe has jumped on the bandwagon and is on top of the trend, with cat cafés in Berlin, Paris, and Turin, and the UK. 

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Photo by Getty Images

Cats come in for their close-up at Envi-Café in Brno, Czech Republic

As the date for the opening of Catmosphere approaches, Landau says, “At the end of May, watch our website and Facebook for jobs postings and contact information for volunteering with the kitties. Our online retail store will be available in June for perusing items to purchase either from the website or at the Café and our menu will be expanding thanks to the many suggestions received from Laguna locals! Thank you, feline enthusiasts, for the input as Catmosphere Laguna prepares to go live with our reservations page in time to book your summer kitty “kuddle” time “fur” feline infused fun.”

Similar to many new concepts that veer off in strange and unexpected directions, as stated in www.people.com, cafés might soon feature animals like dogs (not so odd), hedgehogs (very odd, who would want to adopt a hedgehog?) and monkeys. However, I doubt that any time soon, Laguna will have a café called “Simiambience.”

In the meantime, cat lovers can’t wait for July, when we can visit our feline friends at Catmosphere and pet and coddle them to our hearts delight. 

Catmosphere will located at 381 Forest Ave.

For more information on Catmosphere, go to www.catmospherelaguna.com.

Laguna Groms of the Week


This week we caught up with Travis and Tess Booth who both had amazing competitive surf seasons. Both of these Laguna Beach High School siblings are carrying on the tradition of excellent surfing while also enjoying the ride.

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Tess Booth; nickname Tessy or Sista; Grade 9, LBHS

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Travis Booth; nickname: Travatar; Grade 11 LBHS

When did you start surfing and do you remember the session?

Tess: I used to always stand up paddleboard with my dad either in Laguna or Doheny when I was around six years old. I’d hang on the nose of the board and laugh all the way to the beach.  

Then when I was probably eight I started boogie boarding with my friends and didn’t start surfing until 10. My first board was a green Odyssey and the only reason I started was because all my friends at the beach were trying it. I was really bad in the beginning but I practiced every day in the summer and in 6th grade I made the Thurston surf team. 

Trav: I started surfing when I was around eight years old but didn’t really start to get into it until I was 13 or 14. I was at Blackies with my dad and I was on a Catch Surf Swizzle and he pushed me in and it was just the coolest and most exhilarating feeling I’ve ever felt.

Favorite wave(s)?

Tess: Brooks Street, Rockies left, Thalia Street and Lowers.

Trav: Brooks, Salt Creek, Sunset, Rocky Point, and Oceanside.

When did you know you wanted to compete?

Tess: I never really wanted to compete when I first started surfing because I always thought I wasn’t good enough and people would make fun of me. As I got better, I gained more confidence and decided to compete in my first ever SSS contest. 

The contest was held in Huntington and I competed in division 2. The conditions were windy and choppy but the waves were fun!  [CW: I actually remember that Tess, I coached Div 2 and you did amazing, I think you won!]

Trav: When I tried out for the Thurston Surf Team when I was a 6th grader and we would do practice heats to see who would be put on the A team and after that I was kinda hooked and I wanted to be noticed and I thought that competing was a way to do that.

Best part of surfing for you?

Tess: The best part of surfing for me is hanging with my friends and watching everyone get good waves. Dropping in on friends, duetting and heckling in the water is always fun even if the waves are bad! 

Trav: I like free surfs because it’s just more relaxing to me and I can perform better. I also like it because I get to go on little strike missions with my friends, going to the wedge or down south and surfing Blacks and La Jolla reefs.

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Tess Booth

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Travis Booth

Who’s the most competitive surfer in your house?

Tess: Although most people see my brother as the most competitive, my dad is probably the most intense and competitive person in my house. He always pumps us up before contests, Travis and I both love him. 

Trav: I think my Dad is because he has been around competition most of his life so he’s really on us when we surf contests because he wants us to learn from our mistakes and also wants us to be surfing at our best.

You both had great competitive seasons, what are a couple of highlights?  LBHS Team, WSA, Boardriders, Brooks Street?

Tess: The WSA contest in San Clemente would be the highlight of the season where I won my first WSA contest. I won every heat and ended up winning the contest. Even though my surfing is suited for bigger and better waves, I surprised myself and surfed well. 

Another favorite contest was the SSS high school championships. This school event was a team even where three Laguna girls would compete against three girls from another team. The team was made up of Laguna shredders: Kelly Smith, Kalohe Danbara, and me. We won the whole event but the best part was working together in the water and making sure everyone had a wave. For me, these were the best heats!

Trav: A 1st place finish at WSA Ocean Beach San Diego and a second place finish at Salt Creek. Although my biggest highlight this year had to be winning the Pro-am division in the Brooks Street Contest this past summer because everything just clicked for me and I took it heat by heat and before I knew it I was in the final and I told myself like you can win this thing and also it was something that I earned a lot of respect for from the community.

Share a little about Dad & Mom’s support, maybe a bit about your dad being a top pro, how that’s influenced your competitive outlook.

Trav: My dad’s given me a lot of support from his experience from the Pro tour and has transferred his experiences to me. My mom is just a really good person, gives me great advice about life in general and that’s helped me as a person and I just feel really loved. My dad’s career has influenced me a lot because I feel like I can be in that type of environment someday and perform.


Trav: Want to give a shout-out first to my sponsors RVCA, Surf & Sport, Sanuk, Byrne Surfboards, and Surf Skateboards for always just being supportive and Rad. Also to my family for always being there for me and supporting me. Last but not least I want to give a shout out to my coach Ian Cairns. He’s helped me a lot get back Into competition and that has paid off this year and last year.  

Also he has the best stories from back in his era, so thank you, Ian!

Chris Williams is the Director of Youth Sports in Laguna Beach at @soul.surf @soul.series & @lagunabeachflagfootball

Laguna acquires a taste for charity


The Laguna Board of Realtors and Affiliates Charitable Assistance Fund served up a tasty combination of art and eats on Wednesday at Tivoli Too – all for charity.

Funds raised at the 23rd Annual Taste for Charity will benefit nine local nonprofit organizations and the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Fund.

“We are so blessed to be involved in this event,” said Carol Carlson, director of the Laguna Beach Youth Shelter, one of the beneficiaries. 

Beneficiaries selected this year also included the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Laguna Food Pantry, Laguna Beach Live!, Laguna Beach Seniors Inc, Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn, KX93.5, the Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund and No Square Theatre.


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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Taste for Charity took place at Tivoli Too on Laguna Canyon Road

“No Square celebrates community and the Board of Realtors sells it – a perfect match,” said Bree Burgess Rosen, No Square Theatre founder. “We are grateful for their support.” 

Speaking on behalf of Laguna Beach Seniors, past President Chris Quilter said the Realtors make a great partner. “They funded the workshop to educate seniors on accessory dwelling units and we are grateful and happy to have [Realtor] Gary Boisen and [mortgage broker] Rick Cirelli on the seniors board.”

The Plein Air Painters gave their thanks in 11 donations to the live art auction. Donors included such well-known artists as Jacobus Baas and Tom Swimm. 

Loraine Mullen-Kreis’ donation pictured goats dancing in a field with the giggle-inducing title of “Kidding Around.”

Wednesday’s event also featured unlimited samplings of some of the signature dishes on the menus of the participating restaurants: Gelato Paradiso, Ivory, GG’s Café Bistro, Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, Mozambique, Royal Hawaiian, Skyloft, Starfish, Taverna by Lombardi, The Cliff, Ti Amo by Il Barone, Rooftop Lounge & K’ya Bistro, Carmelita’s Kitchen de Mexico and Tivoli Too.

The event also included a silent auction, opportunity prizes, and dancing

Proceeds and the dispersion to beneficiaries were unavailable at press time. 

The event was sponsored by the Laguna Board of REALTORS®, the Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund, Wells Fargo, Villa, Pacific Sotheby’s, Corner Escrow, Compass and Surterre Properties.

Laguna Beach Republicans will discuss City Council’s support of sales tax increase on May 24 

The Laguna Beach Republicans (LBGOP) will hold their April meeting on Thursday, May 24 at Mozambique. Social hour starts at 5 p.m. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. and will end promptly at 7:15 p.m. The topic of discussion will be Laguna Beach City Council’s support of a “misleading” sales tax increase.

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP, invites all Republicans, Conservatives, Independents and Libertarians to attend the meeting. “We will be discussing the City’s continuing misleading efforts to spend city money to get voters to approve a tax increase both in sales tax and property tax to promote undergrounding of utilities.”

“We will also review the efforts of S.T.O.P. to resist this tax increase and the results of the appearance at the May 22 City Council meeting by members of the LB Republicans and S.T.O.P.  We will also discuss June ballot measures under consideration. Lastly, it is time to assess dues to members. Dues are currently $25 per year, and we need to increase our treasury as we approach the 2018 midterm elections,” Monda states.

Interested attendees should RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , as space is limited.

Mozambique is located at 1740 S Coast Hwy. 

For more information, go to www.lagunabeachGOP.com.

Sliver of a silvery moon

Photo by Scott Brashier

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British Hair Company serves up scones, sandwiches & Pimms along with Harry and Meghan this Saturday

Who doesn’t love a Royal Wedding? 

If you’re a fan, British Hair Company invites you to join them on Saturday, May 19 at 9 a.m. to watch the wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales and Ms Meghan Markle. 

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Harry and Meghan

Traditional British sandwiches, scones and Pimms will be served as of 9 a.m., until they have all gone.

British Hair Company is located at 750 S Coast Hwy. The phone number is (949) 497-8345.

Rainbow Reflections



LGBTQ Artists, past and present, on display…

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Larry Ricci and Craig Cooley

Kudos to Larry Ricci for putting together a first ever LGBTQ “Harmony” art exhibit for Gallery Q. 

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Earth Rising by Pat Whiteside-Phillips

On May 11, Larry Ricci, Christopher Quilter, City Councilmember Toni Iseman and many other prominent community members came together for an artist reception and to celebrate “Harmony”, that being the diverse culture that is the DNA of our wonderful Laguna Beach. 

With music, entertainment and some heartfelt messages from Toni and Christopher, it was an emotional, rewarding, and heartwarming experience! If you have an opportunity to make to it the Susi Q Center the exhibition will be on display during normal business hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through June 29. Don’t miss out, the exhibit represents LGBTQ artists past and present. 

Visit the website atwww.thesusiq.org/gallery-q.

Pride is almost here…

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Pride entertainers

Just two weeks to go, June 1-3! We have been working very hard to bring together the best Laguna Beach Pride event in our history. We have just confirmed our entertainment lineup and schedule…my favorite is the Beach Party on Sunday with the Perry Twins as DJs on the beach and with the entertainer Engina! 

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And don’t miss out on Drag Bingo brunch at the Royal Hawaiian on Saturday starting at 10:30 a.m. with local personality Endora calling the numbers with her lovely assistants! This should be an excellent way to start “Laguna Beach Pride Day 2018.”

We need many volunteers. If you are willing to volunteer for a shift, you will receive free admission and two beverage tickets. Sign up today at www.lagunabeachpride.org/volunteer. 

Who should go to Pride? Pride opens its arms to everyone who finds it comforting, uplifting and empowering. Pride gives hope to those who feel that life may never get better. Pride provides the freedom to be who you are. Pride is about the possibility of love.

Please join us this June 1-3 and share the love: www.lagunabeachpride.org

It was a grand affair at Montage Resort!

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Harry Huggins, Chris Tebbutt and Bill Atkins at the registration table

This last week I attended the State of the City event hosted by our Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. The guest list was extensive, and the attendance was record breaking! Suffice to say, everything Laguna was discussed and the LGBTQ community proudly represented.

Each week I am on Rainbow Radio, please tune in on KX 93.5 FM or go to www.Rainbow-Radio.comto listen to it at your convenience.

If you would like to submit suggestions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as we love to keep everything interesting and relevant, and well, yes, fun and entertaining!

Camp Pinniped kicks off exciting summer season at Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Monday, June 4

Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s Camp Pinniped starts off the summer season on Monday, June 4. This weeklong camp attracts children ages eight to 13 from all over the nation. It’s a perfect experience for budding veterinarians, scientists, and animal lovers. 

The facility offers a unique experience for children to witness a marine mammal hospital in action. Campers learn how the animal care team rehabilitates the seal and sea lion patients through a series of mock activities including weighing fish, preparing fish smoothies, cleaning pens and learning the art of marine mammal rescue. Each day has a different theme in order to provide a well-rounded study of the ocean environment. Each theme is creatively reinforced through games, arts and crafts.


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Campers learn about rescued seals

Young aspiring marine biologists and ocean conversationalists will experience a marine mammal hospital in action. Children will engage in mock rescues and rehabilitation, meal preparation and research and observation of the current real life marine mammal patients. 

This year, the kids will be learning about elephant seals, orcas, sea otters, and oil spill cleanup, in addition to PMMC’s mission of rescue, rehab, release, and research. 

Senior camp counselor, Malena Berndt, started her PMMC journey 12 years ago when she was just eight years old. “I loved camp so much, I never left,” she said as she feeds some animals during her animal care volunteer shift. “This place is magical. It instilled something inside of me that made me want to volunteer, educate and pursue a career in this field.” 

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Group of campers enjoying Friday Beach Day

Camp is held Monday through Thursday at PMMC from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday is a Beach Day from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. PMMC does not offer extended day care hours. 

The cost is $350 per camper. Campers may receive a $30 discount to Camp Pinniped if attendee is a Harbor Seal Club Member or above (by using a membership code). Call PMMC’s Membership Coordinator at (949) 494-3050 to verify membership and receive the code. Tuition is non-refundable, unless there is proof of emergency.

Camp Pinniped spots are still available, for schedules and to register, go to www.pacificmmc.org/camp-pinniped

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, call (949) 494-3050.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

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We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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