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Angry skies

Angry skies

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Thursday’s storm reminded us just how powerful our oceans and skies are

Community mourns the loss of Bulent Gundogar 

Community mourns Bulent

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Courtesy of GG’s Bistro Facebook

Stu News was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Bulent Gundogar, beloved restaurateur, husband, father, brother, and friend, this week. Our hearts go out to the GG’s Bistro (Gundogar) family especially at this difficult time.

Half-staff flag at Monument Point

Half staff flag bowling

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Flag at half-staff in honor of President George W.H. Bush

Rose-gold and purple sky

Rose gold sunrise

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Rose-gold and purple sunrise just before the rainbow Wednesday

Tips for Navigating Holiday Stress 

By Vidya Reddy, ND

Hello, and welcome to the Happiness Corner.

It is officially the holiday season! During this time of year there can be so much pressure and unfortunately the joy, magic, and meaning of the season gets lost because of stress. Especially now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it is hard to ignore the rush of frenetic energy that happens as we get to the end of the year.

The problem with the holiday season is that we often experience too much of a good thing. Stress is unavoidable, but too much stress has a negative impact on our well-being, both mental and physical. Doing too many activities, even if they are fun, can add up to too much holiday stress and leave us feeling frazzled, rather than fulfilled.

So here are a couple of great ways to change stress into holiday cheer, allowing you to thrive and connect to your traditions in a deeper and more profound way. 

Minimizing holiday stress

This is a no brainer, but it all begins by preventing common stressors that show up again and again every season. Being aware of them and knowing how to prevent them can help prevent a lot of unnecessary stress, before the season turns into a pressure cooker of merriment! 

Set a schedule and meet demands on time

In December, our schedules often fill up quickly with work and personal holiday parties. These back-to-back parties start to feel overwhelming as we try to juggle them with all of our other commitments. So putting your plans on paper can show you how realistic they are. Be realistic and include driving and down time and you will be able to distinguish whether or not your commitments are feasible. If it’s not, look at the level of priority and eliminate the less important activities.

Tips for close up

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Vidya Reddy, ND

Taking care of yourself

Instead of running around like a headless chicken amidst all the chaos, make sure to schedule in enough time for yourself and the people you love. Allow yourself to create the holiday experience you desire for them and be present with them. Don’t forget self- care comes in many ways, so allow yourself to take a night off, enjoy a warm bath or maybe let someone else cook dinner for once.

A personal favorite of mine is to take a walk in nature each day, I go out hiking with my sister every morning in the beautiful nature parks around Laguna Beach! The exposure to daylight can drastically reduce or even eliminate the symptoms of stress.

Take shortcuts

If you can’t fathom the idea of skipping out on sending cards, baking, seeing people, and doing all of the stuff that usually runs you ragged, find a way to simplify the process.

For example, send cards but only to those with whom you maintain regular communication or don’t include a personal letter in each one. The same goes for baking, would anyone be enraged if you buy baked goods from the bakery instead? If you find ways to cut corners or save time on activities that are less important, you get to spend more quality time with everyone!

Tips for view

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Take time to enjoy the view

Change your expectations about others

Family stress shows up in many ways. Most of the stress and anxiety around family is often anticipatory. Usually based on negative past experiences, combined with the mix of different personalities, we start to worry about family dysfunction rearing its ugly head. While there might actually be very real difficulties surrounding the interpersonal dynamics of your family, we sometimes get caught up in fueling the fire, rather than abating it.

So engage in gratitude! Take the time to step back and bear witness to all that you have, to count your blessings, as they say. Gratitude goes a long way when it comes to overall wellness. During this time of year, a sense of gratitude can easily fall by the wayside as indulgence and the idea of “more” and “merrier” are front and center.


Sometimes we forget to take deep breaths and really give our bodies the oxygen we need. It’s great if you can take ten minutes by yourself to do a breathing meditation, but merely stopping to take a few deep, cleansing breaths can reduce your level of negative stress in a matter of minutes, so go ahead, try it! Visualize that you are breathing in serenity and breathing out stress, you will find the positive effects of this exercise to be even more profound. 

So, while in the midst of the tumult of the holiday season, try out these tips to re-center by consciously being grateful for the multiple aspects of this season, and our loved ones, that we are blessed to engage with.

In Peace, Love and Gratitude. ‘Til next time.

Dr.Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC

Rosalind Russell of R Star Foundation delivers new specialized crop of corn to Nepal villagers today

Rosalind Russell, R Star Foundation CEO/Founder, departed today for an extended trip to Nepal. Before she left, she met with volunteer Robin Pierson at Adolfo’s for a last Mexican meal for a while, as Rosalind won’t be back until the end of January. 

Robin gifted R Star with “corn” of the Aztec’s, a hearty, healthy crop of colorful corn, which, of course, is not GMO, says Rosalind. This is Robin’s first and very plentiful harvest, which she grew on her Wyoming farm for Rosalind to take to the Nepal, and because of Robin, R Star is delighted to have a new specialized crop to offer selected villagers.

Rosalind Russell and Robin

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Photo from R Star

Rosalind Russell (on left) and Robin Pierson

Robin has been to Nepal a few times as well as to the R Star Top of the World – Nepal elementary school to teach classes. She has also volunteered her time and energy on many occasions in several different ways for the sake of the Nepalese people R Star assists. 

While in Nepal, Rosalind will also be overseeing drilling matters and “goats”, greenhouses, and living conditions as she learns the needs of those she works with in her 51 villages with a population that totals 44,000 people. 

Rosalind Russell school

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Photo from R Star

R Star TOW school in Wojethar, attended by pre-school students to the sixth grade; 55 students are enrolled from various villages

R Star’s mission statement is “Women Helping Women & Children in Nepal…therefore the world.” R Star Foundation serves and educates the isolated and disempowered women and children of Nepal. The nonprofit connects resources to the neediest people in one of the most remote areas on earth and helps to bring about peace. 

If interested in investing in the successful work of R Star, a capable Board member, Betsy, will be managing the mail, banking, and the tax donation letters during Rosalind’s absence. Rosalind says, “Whatever one wishes to do will be enough and wonderful.” 

For further information or to donate, mail goes to R Star Foundation, PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652; or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or visit the R Star website where donations are just a button push:

Deadline extended to Dec 30 for grant applications for “A Taste for Charity” and “Pet Parade & Chili Cook Off” funds

Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund

is accepting grant applications until December 30 for funds generated from Laguna’s 2019 “A Taste for Charity” and “Pet Parade & Chili Cook Off” events.

Deadline extended Pet Parade

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Nonprofits may apply for grants through December 30

The Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund will accept written grant applications for donations from its 2019 fundraising events: the 24th Annual “A Taste for Charity” and the 22nd Annual Pet Parade & Chili Cook Off.

Proceeds are donated to local nonprofit, registered 501c(3) organizations and the Laguna Board of REALTORS® CAF general fund. Priority is given to groups that are generally smaller in size, serve local needs and do not have other consistent funding sources. Scholarships are also awarded to qualifying Laguna Beach High School students. Prior recipients may reapply.

Deadline extended Taste

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Submitted photo

Don’t miss out on grant opportunities from the Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund

Groups are invited to apply for these grants by contacting Nancy Pooley, President of the Laguna Board of REALTORS® & Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund at (949) 230-3353 or go to www.LBR-CAF.INFO to download the application.

Applications are due on December 30 at 5 p.m. Applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decision by mid-January 2019.

Dennis’ Tidbits


December 7, 2018

Weather cooperating for Hospitality Night 

Dennis 5Tonight is the annual Hospitality Night downtown, so get down there if you can. It starts around 5 p.m., and it’s a lot of fun for all ages. The weather should be cooperating as that dramatic upper level low moved its operations eastward starting late Thursday.

Well, we’re actually ahead of the curve rain-wise so far here in the 2018-2019 season. An additional quarter inch fell in town on Wednesday with over 1.5 inches on Thursday, including thunderstorms scattered across the Southland, upping the season’s total to over 4 inches.

San Diego is getting really hammered with strong to severe thunderstorm activity with occasional heavy downpours with hail and frequent lightning. Some areas around San Diego County got drenched with over two inches of rain. Several waterspouts were reported off the coast of Leucadia, Solana Beach and near Point Loma, where one waterspout moved ashore as an EF-1 with a width of 100 yards and winds approaching 100 mph. That was large and strong for a waterspout as most spouts are maybe 50 yards wide and carry winds up to 50 or 60 mph. As you know, waterspouts are merely tornadoes over open water and once they make landfall, they become a tornado. 

Back on Thanksgiving of 1981, there were many waterspouts from Orange County all the way to San Diego County from very strong convection resulting in strong thunderstorms over much of that afternoon. There were nine waterspouts off Laguna alone. One spout moved ashore just south of Aliso Pier as an EF-1, and it tore up roofs of several beachfront homes south of the pier before dissipating a couple of blocks inland from PCH.

On that same day, a strong EF-1 waterspout moved up San Diego’s Mission Bay with winds of 100 mph. A few moments later, hundreds of fish were raining on downtown San Diego to the surprise of everyone in that area. What happened was as this spout was at its peak strength while heading inland over Mission Bay, the strong updraft sucked up hundreds of fish high into the atmosphere. When the spout approached the downtown area, it began to weaken. Surrounding air up there was no longer able to support the weight of all these fish, so gravity took over and down they fell. I’ll bet a lot of folks said, “Well, it looks like we’re having fish for dinner tonight and we didn’t even have to catch ‘em! Just gather a few off the sidewalk and take them home and throw them on the skillet or Barbie!” True story! 

See you downtown, Aloha!

A bluesy kind of sunset

A bluesy Linda

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Photo by Linda Winslow

Beautiful blues and hues evoke strong emotion

Coastal eddy hosts holiday party for a cause this Sunday, Dec 9

Coastal eddy a gallery is hosting a holiday party, dubbed #ThisIsNotNormal...still, this Sunday, Dec 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. Last year at this time, the gallery‘s event focused on supplying water filters to Puerto Rico and USVI. This year the Southern Poverty Law Center will benefit. 

Coastal eddy one

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Submitted photo

Coastal eddy holiday fete this Sunday, Dec 9 will benefit Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation. Based in Montgomery, Ala., it is noted for its successful legal cases against white supremacist groups, its classification of hate groups and other extremist organizations, and for promoting tolerance education programs. 

Coastal eddy two

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Submitted photo

Coastal eddy a gallery holiday party will feature an evening of activism, art, raffles, music, food and fun

There will be several raffle opportunities to win donated works of art and gift certificates from local businesses which will benefit SPLC. The gallery will also be introducing new artists, as well as new work from current favorites. 

Coastal eddy, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S Coast Hwy, in the HIP District. To RSVP, call (949) 715-4113 or visit

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