St. Catherine of Siena Parish School will celebrate their 60th anniversary with A Starry Night Gala 

On Friday, March 23, St. Catherine of Siena Parish School will celebrate its sixtieth anniversary at the Port Theater with A Starry Night Gala.  

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

St. Catherine’s Church

There will be a live and silent auction, dancing, gaming and music by one of Orange County’s favorite DJs as well as delicious food and drinks. Cocktail attire is suggested. 

The event takes place at 6 p.m. The Port Theatre is located at 2905 East Coast Highway, Corona Del Mar. 

All funds raised will go directly towards school programs and facility needs.

“The Sixtieth Anniversary Starry Night Gala brings families together to build camaraderie, celebrate Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School and raise money to support the spiritual, academic and artistic development of our talented students,” said principal Mike Letourneau.

“Throughout the years, the event has raised money to support new academic, technology, artistic and faith programs that benefit all of our students, many of which would not have been possible without the generous support of our families, parishioners and local businesses.  

“Saint Catherine provides students from Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo and other surrounding communities with a strong academic education blended with the arts and faith that help our students develop into successful young adults. ”

St. Catherine’s is a 501 c (3) non-profit, Catholic elementary (TK -8) school located in Laguna Beach.

The Commission to hear The Ranch plan to restore Aliso Creek habitat


The Laguna Beach Planning Commission will review on Wednesday the design proposed for the restoration, monitoring and maintenance of vegetation in the general area of Aliso Creek in The Ranch.

Laguna Beach Golf and Bungalow Village LLC, formerly known as the Aliso Creek Inn and Golf Course, proposes to remove vegetation within the boundaries of the property, replant the area with native plants and maintain its integrity. The plan was prepared by a qualified biologist. 

New recruits within polygons will be removed by hand (read on to understand what biologists mean by that…)

A .83-area of native and non-native woody vegetation to be removed is identified in the staff report as within the refined maintenance trimming polygons – refined meaning removal of unwanted items. Polygons for the math-challenged are straight sided shapes, such as triangles.

The proposal also includes ongoing hand removal of vegetation that naturally recruits within the polygons outside of the avian nesting season while the recruits are still saplings. Recruits are new plants naturally added to the existing growth. 

A little more than three acres of native vegetation are to be restored and revegetated within and along the banks of Aliso Creek, according to the plan. 

The California Coastal Commission vetted the proposal and approved a coastal development permit amendment for the project. The amendment was in response to restoration areas impacted by unauthorized trimming, replacement of plants to avoid disturbing the creek. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Ranch at Laguna Beach offers plan to restore vegetation

Restoration was approved to mitigate impacts of previous trimming and removal of vegetation in the creek and vegetation from the banks downed by the storms in January of 2017.

Improvement of a local habitat area that regularly suffers from storm erosion damage and the growth of invasive species that come from an upstream location is the goal, according to the staff report.

City staff has concluded that non-native plants continue to invade native habitat in the creek area and will take over a significant area unless controlled and recommended approval of the application. 

The applicant is obliged to obtain related local, state and federal permits as well as Planning Commission approval of the design. 

The Planning Commission reviews all design applications for commercial projects.

The weekend that was: Golden days at the beach

Photos by Scott Brashier

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Among these glorious photos of sun and fun in So Cal, the sad reminder of a flag at half-mast

Laguna Beach looks for Literary Laureate to enliven the local literary scene

The City of Laguna Beach is looking for a Literary Laureate to serve as an official ambassador for Laguna’s vibrant creative scene, promoting the literary community and celebrating the written word. An honorarium of $10,000 will be offered to the Laureate.

Deadline to apply is March 1.

To be eligible, candidates must have a residential address within Laguna Beach and a live or work relationship with the City. Another requirement is five years of experience (not including years as a student) in either publishing or presenting literary works, with a demonstrated record of being included or invited to present works within journals, magazines, web-sites, and/or programs that are not predominately self-curated, personal web-sites or personal blogs.


Advice for writers, from HG Wells:

If you are in difficulties with a book, try the element of surprise: attack it at an hour when it is least expecting it.


The goals of the program include:

Enhance the presence and appreciation of literary arts in Laguna Beach;

Create a focal point for the expression of Laguna culture through the literary arts;

Raise awareness of the power of literature, poetry and the spoken word;

Inspire a new generation of critical thinkers, writers, storytellers and literary artists;

Bring the literary arts to people in Laguna Beach who have limited access to or have few opportunities for exposure to expressive writing;

Encourage both the reading and writing of literature;

Create a new body of literary works that commemorates the diversity and vibrancy of Laguna Beach.


The best kind of book, according to Somerset Maugham:

What I want to feel is that it’s not a story I’m reading, but a life I’m living.


For more information regarding the scope of work, refer to the Literary Laureate Guidelines here.

Information: Michael McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator (949) 497-0722x5 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

How times have changed, and news sources, too


Back in 1979, Boris and Pauline Buzan liked to relax at Heisler Park and read the newspaper together. They loved spending time at Main Beach. 

The bench now bears their name. 

“When our dad passed away in 1982, my brother and sister and I purchased a plaque on a bench at Main Beach in memory of him,” says daughter Ana Fajnor. 

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Photo by Douglas Miller

1979: Boris and Pauline Buzan sit companionably on a bench in Heisler Park, reading the paper and then sharing their thoughts

“Mom lived another 30 plus years, and she loved to take visitors to the bench. When she died in 2013, we had the plaque replaced to bear both their names.”

The photo makes it clear how much the Buzans enjoyed talking about the articles in the paper – sharing, most likely, their views on happenings in the world.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

2018: These two people seem to live in different worlds

The bench is still getting plenty of use. But while reading newspapers together sparked conversations, cell phones seem to have the opposite effect, as this photo, taken by Scott Brashier this last Saturday afternoon on the same bench, clearly demonstrates.

The couple appears absorbed in digital worlds of their own, likely reading articles or emails or texts that speak to them alone.

Perhaps not. Perhaps they’ll chat soon. We can’t know.

At least both couples, in 1979 and 2018, chose to read their news in a beautiful setting at the beach rather than on a couch at home, so maybe they aren’t as dissimilar as they seem after all.

New team of youth development professionals serves LB Boys & Girls Club Lang Park 

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is excited to announce and welcome the new team at Lang Park, located on the corner of Wesley and across the street from Montage Resort. The Lang Park location is the only Boys & Girls Club in the nation that sits a stone’s throw away from a world-class beach, offering sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean while children play safely outside during supervised and award-winning programming and activities. 

The team consists of three seasoned professionals, Oscar Parra, Sophia Abjuga and Stormy Dvorak. Oscar, who oversees Lang and Bluebird branches as site director, has the support of Sophia and Stormy to ensure daily operations are meeting organization expectations. 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

From Left to Right - Stormy Dvorak, Sophia Abjuga, Oscar Parra

The Lang Park Extension is the newest site in Laguna. They offer tested, proven, and nationally recognized programs in art, science, sports, and more throughout the after-school and summer programming for youth grades K-5th. The Club site includes a newly remodeled clubhouse, gym, tennis and basketball courts, in addition to the playground and field at Lang Park. 

 “I have been a passionate leader in the Boys & Girls Club movement for the past 16 years, and bring extensive youth development experience to our organization since working in numerous positions at various Boys & Girls Clubs in the Western region,” states Oscar. “I treasure serving the Laguna Beach community, keeping our children safe and watching them grow and excel in their daily lives alongside our amazing leaders, Sophia and Stormy, who are equally as enthusiastic about our mission as I am.”

For more information about after school and summer programming, call the Lang Park branch at (949) 715-7902 and ask to speak to either one of the staff members or visit

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillespie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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