School walkout elicits mixed responses, encourages further community dialogue


Laguna Beach was no different on Wednesday than thousands of school districts all over the country; the kids wanted their say about guns and school shootings. One month after 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the groundswell movement began across the nation.

The idea was to take 17 minutes from the school day to honor the 17 dead, and to protest gun laws.

Hazel Lessard, 14, and Sterling Stone, 15 months, getting a start on activism

Here in Laguna, some LBHS students rallied on Park Avenue, instead of the football field, as regulated by the school. 40 or so parents also joined on Park Avenue in support of the students.

Several high school students said they were confused as to whether they would be punished for truancy if they chose to protest at the corner of Park Ave rather than stay in the school’s quad – but Stu News has been told that there will be no repercussions for the decision of several of them to make their stand on Park Ave (which is also school property).

LBUSD changed break times to accommodate the protests, which to some, was a controversial move.

Lula Buckle, a sixth grader at Thurston Middle School, felt the planned and controlled measures the school put forth did not answer her needs. 

I didn’t feel we were able to make a stand against gun violence the way we the kids wanted to. LBUSD wanted to make it safe and easy,” she said. “The issue is our schools are not safe and we don’t feel at ease knowing that at any moment someone could walk in and start shooting us. The walk out should have been a walk out. 

“Me and my friends took time to sit and honor the students that have lost their lives to gun violence, but no one really noticed,” she continued. “The only kid that came to us was a kid that laughed and said what we were doing was stupid.”

LBUSD strategy questioned and defended

School superintendent Jason Viloria responded as follows to the concerns of students expressing similar views to Lula’s: “Our goal was to provide students a safe opportunity to exercise their first amendment right by adjusting our break schedule. This was a strategy that many of our neighboring districts also used as well. Our schools provided students with a variety of ways to express themselves if they wished to participate.  

“Although we did not sponsor or endorse student participation in the walkout, our school leaders worked with students and LBPD to help ensure that all students, whether they participated in the protests or not, remained safe, and disruption to instruction was minimized. These measures included keeping our campuses closed to outside groups and others who are not authorized to be on school grounds during school hours.”

The Laguna Beach Police Department declared themselves satisfied with the day’s events.

 “High school administration staff was terrific,” said Sgt Jim Cota, LBPD spokesperson. “They were organized and prepared. LBPD personnel teamed up with them and allowed students to exercise their feelings and participate on campus.”

The beach is alive at five now that daylight savings time has started

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

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Mary Hurlbut captures happy nearly-summer scenes at the beach

The current state of our movie theater: more questions than answers…but at least we have Tiny Bubbles on the way


It seems to be business as usual in Laguna Beach or is it? Well actually, it’s pretty usual because after all, we are talking about LAGUNA BEACH. So as exciting whispers are being shared in our community, whirring from ear to ear, from Coast Highway to downtown, through the Canyon and back to the beaches, all the buzz about local businesses seems to be beckoning our attention. On the radar, we’re hearing about Laguna South Coast Cinemas and Tiny Bubbles. 

Laguna South Coast Cinemas

Rumors have been spreading that there is renewed interest in purchasing our local, beloved landmark theater, Laguna South Coast Cinemas. Some community insiders are saying it’s a popular Orange County beach-based corporation. While others contend that a local well-known philanthropist, generous to the community and the arts, is the one who will shine the marquee bright again. Neither rumor has been confirmed.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lagunans can’t wait for the marquee to light up bright at 162 S Coast Hwy again

Since its closure in August 2015, a few locals have been interested in buying the iconic theater. This includes Old Pottery Place developer Joe Hanauer, as reported by Barbara Diamond in Stu News, May 31, 2016. Laguna South Coast Cinemas owner Leslie Blumberg, who is based in New York and Los Angeles, declined his offer.

Another longtime local Greg MacGillivray, President and Chairman of MacGillivray Freeman Films, a leading producer of IMAX films, had thrown his hat in the ring, hoping to show IMAX films. 

And just two years ago, Diamond and our much loved and terribly missed Stu Saffer wrote a story about the theater planning to reopen in Spring 2016, but no such luck.

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Submitted photo

A Facebook teaser about Tiny Bubbles has fans of Bubbles of Laguna excited

Tiny Bubbles, formerly Bubbles of Laguna

There seems to be something bubbling…Bubbles of Laguna fans don’t have to wait too long to enjoy their favorite product staples. On their Facebook Page, they announced “Some exciting news…A Tiny Bubbles is bubbling up your way soon! We can stay calm because we have big news coming up.”

The new location will be just up the street from its former home at Hotel Laguna. Who doesn’t love a name like Tiny Bubbles?

To come…the buzz about Red Dragon Restaurant and Montage Hotel & Resort Laguna Beach. Stay tuned…

The dark side of green, and how wallpaper may have killed Napoleon


When we think of green and its connection to people, it’s usually St. Patrick who comes to mind (with the accompanying shamrocks, leprechauns, and good luck). 

But it has a strange tie to another well-known person in history, Napoleon Bonaparte, yes, that short French dude. It is suspected that green played a role in his demise. 

According to, in 1775, Carl Wilhelm Scheele developed a dye that would become known as “Scheele’s green.” The color, which used arsenic, sadly became popular for children’s bedrooms as well as dresses, and fatally poisoned many people. 

Skip ahead to 1821, when Napoleon Bonaparte died on St. Helena Island in exile.

At the time, it was considered mysterious that he had arsenic traces in his hair, but as Finlay writes in The Brilliant History of Color in Art, in 1980 a stolen swatch of Napoleon’s bedroom wallpaper surfaced – and tested positive for Scheele’s green fleur-de-lys dye. 

This wallpaper covered many rooms of Napoleon’s exile home. Due to the humidity of St. Helena Island, the arsenic could have very well poisoned Napoleon while he rested in bed. 

Unfortunately, when the dye gets damp, it also gets moldy and releases arsenic into the air, and may have contributed to his death.

To Kill a Mockingbird to show at Laguna Beach Library at first Silver Screen event on March 21

On Wednesday, March 21, from 3 - 5:30 p.m., Laguna Beach Library (LBL) will host a discussion and showing of Robert Mulligan’s classic film, To Kill a Mockingbird, starring Gregory Peck. Participants will discuss the film with host Theo Siegel, and then watch the motion picture, which originally screened in 1962, and was adapted from Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, published in 1960.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Fitch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird

Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for his performance in To Kill a Mockingbird.

This is the first Movie Event for LBL and is free to all interested adults.

The LBL is located at 363 Glenneyre. Call 949-497-1733 for more information or visit

Where’s Maggi?

Here she is, out and about. Maggi found this lovely mural on one of our city streets. Do you know which one?

Take a look at this week’s spot, and see if you can identify where it is. Be a winner, and beat Maggi at her game. Submit your answer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The photo mystery will be solved in the next issue, and we’ll let you know the winners.

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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.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

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.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Instagram Manager.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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