Palettes, proclamation and police investigation all addressed by council on Tuesday


Arts Commission Chair Michael Ervin introduced 12 winners of the 2017 Children’s Palette Contest at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Mayor Toni Iseman presented certificates to Taylor Brook Jones, Emma Chi-Sing, Mia Gwin, Ace Halperin, Audrey Calef, Paige Laws, Reagan Hannus, Allie Borgerding, Tessa Anderson, Lauren Trautenberg, Lexi Breault and Addyson Mackay. 

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Photo by Jennifer Hannus

Winners of the 2017 Children’s Palette Contest: L-R: Taylor Brook Jones, Emma Chi-Sing, Mia Gwin, Audrey Calef, Paige Laws, Reagan Hannus, Allie Borgerdring, Tessa Anderson, Lexi Breault and Addyson MacKay

Winning entries from the 188 submitted this year will be exhibited in City Hall throughout December. 

The Arts Commission began in 2004 inviting local youngsters to submit palette designs that mimic the city’s collection of iconic holiday decorations. The aim is to encourage future artists to participate in city programs. There were 188 entries this year.

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Photo by Jennifer Hannus

Five of the winners were from St. Catherine of Siena Parish School: L-R, Paige Laws, Emma Chi-Sing, Addyson MacKay, Reagan Hannus and Tessa Anderson

Art Museum recognized

The mayor read a lot of “whereases” in a proclamation that couldn’t possibly cover on one page everything the Laguna Art Museum and its forebears have contributed to the city. 

Begun as the Laguna Beach Art Association in 1918, the members put Laguna on the map as an art colony and established a community identity still precious to the residents.

LAM Executive Director Malcom Warner and museum board and staff members accepted the proclamation from the mayor. 

Police seek identities of tree vandal(s)

The Laguna Beach Police Department is investigating the vandalism that was perpetrated on a eucalyptus tree in August. The tree died and now has to be removed. 

There are no current suspects, according to City Manager John Pietig. 

“Just look up the hill,” suggested one outraged resident.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Damaged tree has died

Landscape architect and former Mayor Ann Christoph said records show the tree was planted in the 1930s. She was among the six residents who urged the city to treat the tree’s death as a crime.

“We cannot tolerate vandalism to our trees,” said Village Laguna President Johanna Felder. “We need to pursue this as a crime.”

Longtime Beautification Council President Ruben Flores voiced bewilderment about vandalizing a tree.

“I can’t understand killing a magnificent tree,” he said. 

Gasoline has been poured around the trunks of trees and nails hammered into the trunks and roots in past incidents, most often without consequences. 

If this incident is not treated as a crime, the vandalism will continue, opined South Laguna resident Ginger Osborne.

Swing with Santa as LagunaTunes presents a free holiday concert at LBHS’s Artists’ Theatre Dec 17

Get in the holiday spirit when LagunaTunes Community Chorus performs at a free holiday program, “Swingin with Santa,” on Dec 17 at 4 p.m. in the Artists’ Theatre at Laguna Beach High School. The program features a light-hearted treatment of Christmas favorites in an upbeat swing style, as well as some beautiful and inspiring choral selections. 

It’s a family show, suitable for all ages. LagunaTunes, a no-audition chorus, welcomes singers of all training and experience levels. Some members read music, some do not, age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. The emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. 

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LagunaTunes Community Chorus

They perform two concerts a year, one in Dec and another in June. New members are welcome to join when rehearsals for the June concert begin in Feb. The 50-member chorus is led by Bob Gunn, popular director of Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. Gunn’s entertaining choral productions are well known throughout southern CA. 

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone. Funding is provided by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave.

For more information: or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Great holiday gift for art lovers: 2018 Pageant of the Masters tickets on sale now for “Under the Sun”

Tickets for the much-anticipated 2018 Pageant of the Masters are on sale now and make the perfect holiday gift for art lovers. Brighten up the holiday season with tickets to next summer’s production “Under the Sun.” 

In the early years of the 20th century, a new generation of Impressionists and plein air painters set up their easels outdoors and reveled in the natural beauty to be found as far as the eye could see. 

In the 2018 Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” theatrical magic, live music and light-hearted storytelling will honor Laguna’s own and other artistic pioneers from around the world who left their studios in search of new inspiration. 

There’ll also be no shortage of fun and surprises as the Pageant acknowledges two local milestones: the 85th anniversary of “living pictures” at the Festival of Arts and the 100th anniversary of Laguna Art Museum. 

“You won’t want to miss this year’s show as we celebrate the Pageant’s 85th anniversary,” said Sharbie Higuchi, director of marketing and public relations. “Order tickets early to get the best seats for yourself or a loved one!”

The Pageant runs from July 7 – Sept 1, 2018, with performances nightly at 8:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale to the public on Dec 1. Advance ticket prices are $15 - $240. 

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces.

Irvine Bowl at the Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For information and tickets, call (800) 487-3378 or go to

Christmas Breakfast for homeless will be hosted by Laguna Presbyterian Church on Dec 16 for 17th year

The 17th Annual Homeless Christmas Breakfast will once again be hosted by Laguna Presbyterian Church on Sat morning, Dec 16. Guests will be treated to a hot breakfast, musical entertainment, and gifts, including backpacks and sleeping bags.

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The homeless will enjoy breakfast again this year at the Presbyterian Church

Ed Sauls will serve as master of ceremonies at the event, organized by Rick Shoemaker of Laguna Presbyterian Church, and Ann Richardson from the LDS Mormon Church with the help of 30 plus volunteers.

Boy Scouts from Troops 35 and 38 will serve as wait staff and cleanup, while Brian and Sue Back will organize the kitchen “staff.” 

Missy Palino and Jennifer Baker with Girl Scout Troops 145 and1440, along with other Girl Scouts, will assemble 100 decorated hygiene kits for the guests.

All in need are invited. “This is what Christmas is all about,” Shoemaker said.

Beautiful ballerina Isabella, 10-year-old TOW student, performs in The Nutcracker


Every year, The Nutcracker ballet brings joy to performers and audiences alike. This season, American Ballet Theatre (ABT), under the artistic direction of Kevin McKenzie, returns with a cast of approximately 100, including Laguna’s own Isabella Martino. 

Choreographed by ABT Artist in Residence Alexei Ratmansky, with music by Pacific Symphony, the ballet will be performed at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

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Isabella in London last year attending the Royal Ballet summer intensive

Talented young Isabella will dance as one of the soldiers – and that’s a great accomplishment for this 10-year-old – she is one of 57 youngsters from approximately 27 different communities across Southern California who will showcase their talents playing the parts of Clara, Mice and Soldiers. 

“Isabella has been dancing since she was three years old,” her mother Tiffany Martino tells me. “She’s travelled to New York, to Boston and to London, where she spent a summer intensive with the Royal Ballet.”

Isabella says she is “super-excited to be in The Nutcracker for the first time. I love ballet because it is a beautiful way to tell a story. I like that there are always challenges so I know I can get better and better.”

One of her goals - which she has now achieved - was to be in the Polichinelles number, when children come out from under Mother Ginger’s skirt. Her dream role is to be the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Right now Isabella is mostly thrilled that she’ll be in the same ballet as Misty Copeland, one of her heroes. She’s also a huge fan of Isabella Boylston and Gillian Murphy, all ABT principals. 

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Isabella at the age of four with her dad, Scott Martino

When Isabella isn’t doing her schoolwork or performing – or attending the Pacific Ballet Conservatory to hone her skills – she loves to hang out with friends or swim at the beach.  

However, with her rigorous rehearsal schedule, she hasn’t had much spare time recently – she’s been rehearsing at least once a week since September. When we spoke, she had a long day ahead of her, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with three hours of schooling included in that time.

But that’s what being a professional ballerina is all about, it’s time-consuming and exacting, and young Isabella embraces the need for hard work and dedication – so I feel assured that she will enjoy a stellar career in dance. Here in Laguna, we’ll be able to say that we knew her when…

The Nutcracker performances take place in Segerstrom Hall between December 7 & 17. Single tickets start at $29 and are available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Who needs Christmas decorations when nature puts on such a good show?

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

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Natural reds and greens make for a stunning sight along our coastline

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