Save the date for the upcoming Spring Fling Potluck Festival on Sunday, April 29

You’re invited to the ninth annual Spring Fling Potluck Festival on Sunday, April 29 from 3 - 6 p.m. in the South Laguna Community Park, located at Eagle Rock Way and Coast Hwy. 

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Join the Spring Fling Potluck Festival for a day of fun and exciting activities 

There will be live music, kid games, and lots of neighborly fun. Beverages and potluck dishes are encouraged to be brought to share with everyone. This will be a fun and exciting event for all. 

For more information on this upcoming event, visit

Don’t Be a Water Hog


The poet W.H. Auden once said, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” Unfortunately, we’re not guaranteed either one, and it’s no use swine-ing about it once our water supply dwindles. It’s an essential element for all life on earth, and, at the very least, deserves a little respect, now before it’s too late.

Mayor Kelly Boyd is asking residents to help retain the title of Most Water Wise City (for the fifth year), by taking part in the Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, and we need to unite in our efforts.

Just click on to make a pledge – it takes literally just minutes.

So, to save water, what would you give up for a day? Washing dishes, taking a shower, or laundering your clothes? (Hogwash, you say!)

These are three of the five biggest water wasters in our homes (Maggi already covered toilets): dishwashers, showers, and washing machines.

Most of the people I queried on the subject said they’d rather give up washing clothes for a day. It’s assumed that’s a chore many people don’t do daily anyway, but we do take showers and wash dishes every day (maybe). However, all three of these potential water wasters bear scrutiny.

Earth depends on water, take the pledge

An age-old question – what uses the most water, an automatic dishwasher or hand-washing dishes? (Obviously, some people don’t have a choice, it’s the old-fashioned method or nothing.)

As per, the average faucet flows at two gallons per minute. So, if you can successfully wash and rinse 54 pieces of dishware, you’ve got about 4.4 seconds of wide-open tap water per piece, or about 9.5 ounces of water to wash and rinse each dish.

In comparison, the average dishwasher uses six gallons of water per cycle; the average Energy Star-rated dishwasher uses four gallons per cycle.

These numbers indicate that it’s possible to be more efficient when hand washing, but it’s difficult. Can you successfully wash and rinse a soiled dinner plate in just over a cup of water? Doing an entire load of dishes by hand in four gallons of water is roughly equivalent to doing them all in the same amount of water you use in 96 seconds of showering (using a showerhead that emits 2.5 gallons per minute).

But a 96 second shower isn’t the norm. The average American shower lasts about eight minutes and uses around 17 gallons of water. If you don’t want to switch to super quick military-style showers, there are smarter low flow shower heads on the market that use less water by utilizing pressure to give the feel of more water. Most low-flow shower heads average about 1.6 gallons per minute.

Now to the chore many people could skip for a day. Laundry. Most high-efficiency washers use only 15 to 30 gallons of water to wash the same volume of clothes as older models (29 to 45 gallons per load). The most efficient washers use less than five gallons per cubic foot of capacity. Of course, other factors include changing the water level to accommodate the size of the load, which many machines do now on their own. 

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Juicy the pig is not a water hog

The take-away on conservation:

Dishwashing – Hand-washing or automatic: Provided you don’t often run your dishwasher when it’s only half full of dirty dishes, or unless you are very miserly with your water use (or have an old, inefficient dishwasher), the automatic dishwasher is likely to be more efficient. It’s possible to use less water by hand-washing your dishes, but it’s not easy.

Showering – Take shorter showers and switch to a low-flow shower head, if you haven’t already.  

Laundry – High-efficiency washing machines are becoming the norm with their 15-30 gallons of water usage per load. Much like dishwashers, factors such as load size contribute to how much you stretch your water usage.  

Ultimately, the choice is ours to pull in the reins on water usage. Luckily, we don’t have to give up any of these probable water wasters, even for a day. Just by making a few adjustments in our daily habits, hopefully, we won’t be considered water hogs. 

The Annual Wyland National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, which runs April 1 - 30, is a non-profit national community service campaign to determine which leaders can best inspire their residents to make a series of informative and easy-to-do online pledges at to use water more efficiently, reduce pollution, and save energy.

For Laguna Beach to win again, the Water District needs you to pledge!

Dennis’ Tidbits


April 13, 2018

El Nino is our friend, La Nina our enemy with ocean temps

This coming Sunday on April 15 will mark the anniversary of the warmest April ocean temp of all time when the ocean warmed to a record 75 degrees. The year was 1997 and the strongest El Nino of the 20th century was coming on fast. Only the El Nino of 1982-83 was even close. 

The 1997-98 event was first discovered in late February of that year as trade winds in the Western Pacific slackened to just a gentle breeze and drought began to set in across places like Indonesia and surrounding areas. This allowed a huge pool of very warm water to spread eastward across the Pacific all the way to the west coast of South America. 

Places like Peru, which are normally very dry, began getting pelted by round after round of heavy rains. Peruvians used to call it the year of abundance as the normally cold upwelling in the waters off their country disappeared. Very warm waters replaced the cold currents known as the Humboldt or Japanese Current, as all kinds of tropical fish began to swarm the waters to all the fishermen’s delight, thus the phrase the year of abundance.

By the end of March of 1997, local ocean temps were already in the high 60’s, and by April 5, the temps were all the way up to 70. The abnormal heating didn’t stop there and by March 15 reached 75. This began an incredible run of 70 plus water that lasted all the way up to November 20 of that year and it was still a very balmy 66 on Christmas Day! The temp dropped below 60 only twice that entire winter. The temp peaked at 77 degrees for three weeks that September and hovered in the 72-74 degrees throughout October.

That very same mega El Nino was responsible for Laguna’s wettest season on record with 37.27 inches and the surf from July of 1997 through May of 1998 was off the charts! Now you know why I call El Nino our friend and La Nina the enemy. 


Two more kids are accepted to OCSA, we hear

Luca Luhan, age 11, has been accepted into the Visual Arts Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts. Luca says, “I cannot wait for the school year to start!  I am so stoked I will be able to continue doing what I love to do everyday as an OCSA student. Art is such a big part of my life and I know I will continue to grow under the guidance of the teachers at OSHA. It is my dream that one day people will walk into a gallery and enjoy my art on display.”  

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Photo by Gabe Sullivan Photography

Luca Luhan is accepted at OCSA

Parents Jenn and Jason Luhan say, “He was just three years young when he began what most would consider scribble scrabbling, drawing onto a large piece of paper. After about a year, often having added just one simple mark of color at a time, he eventually called it finished. He referred to it as his ‘masterpiece’, a word he could barely pronounce at the time – proof that only the artist knows when their work is complete, which is something his amazing art teachers at Anneliese Schools continued to teach him over the years.  

“As Luca’s parents, we are so proud and excited for this opportunity. Luca feels so grateful and lucky!”

And Thurston’s Wyatt Beckley is also on his way to OCSA

Another talented Thurston student who made the cut to join OCSA is Wyatt Beckley. 

Wyatt began playing guitar with Mrs. Sand at TOW in fourth grade in the after-school program. He continued to do so in fifth grade. From there, he began taking private lessons and he joined a band that practices on Saturdays, as well as the TMS band.  

He primarily focuses on guitar, but also plays the baritone, the saxophone, the drums, the keyboard, and the bass guitar. He is a member of his school’s Jazz Band and enjoys all kinds of music (except country music, he is quick to add).

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Submitted photo

Wyatt at the OCSA registration on Wednesday evening

Wyatt will be in the Classical and Jazz Guitar Conservatory at OCSA next year as a ninth grader. The application process was grueling, says mom Randi.  

“Wyatt prepared every single day for three to four hours an evening. He had to learn new songs and play them from memory, as well as learn a favorite of his own selection. He also had to teach himself how to sight-read, which he did by using two different textbooks, all on his own (as his parents have no musical talent whatsoever).”

But, Wyatt says, “The hardest part was waiting from the time I applied in October until March when I would finally audition for the program.”  

There was another wait of several weeks until the good news arrived. Wyatt says he is thrilled to be continuing his musical education in such a prestigious program.  

Please let us know of any other kids who made the cut to OCSA. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you! 

Barbara’s Column

New installation at LCAD celebrates unique spirit of Laguna Canyon



A trio of heroic-scale sculptures is being installed in front of the Laguna College of Art & Design. “Canyon Walkers” will be unveiled April 26 in a ceremony to which the public is invited. 

The larger-than-life-size bronze figures were conceived by LCAD instructor and Sculpture Department Coordinator Brittany Ryan and sculpted by her and four of her students.

“This project is really, really extraordinary because of the scale of the figures,” said LCAD President Jonathan Burke on Thursday. “They are one-and-a-half life size.

“To be able to sculpt at this level of sophistication and accuracy is unheard of in an undergraduate department and the technical expertise of the students cannot be found in any other college than LCAD.”

Dean Koontz’s Golden Retriever was one of the models

“Canyon Walkers” is Ryan’s first large scale public art installation. It will replace two of the plaster “Kneeling Women,” installed almost 10 years ago on the front lawn of the campus, sadly eroded by time, weather and proximity the ocean.

The project is composed of four figures: “The Art Student,” “The Traveler” and “The Hiker and Companion” – the companion being a dog. Professional models were hired except for artist Dean Koontz’s Golden Retriever, Anna.

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Submitted photo

Brittany at work on The Hiker and dog

 “Canyon Walkers complement and capture the free-thinking and artistic spirit of Laguna Canyon,” said Burke. “Each figure tells a story of a Laguna Canyon archetype whose stories in this unique environment will go on for generations.”

Ryan created the concept and guided LCAD students Elizabeth Alvarez, Maxwell Gerber, Charlie Goering and Atiya Hess in the sculpting of the clay figures from which the bronzes will be cast, as well as sculpting one of figures herself.

“I commissioned this project and I couldn’t be more pleased,” said Burke. “I am so impressed with Brittany taking this on and be able to manage students.”

Although artists tend to be their own worst critics, Ryan said she has been able to let go of the nitpicking on this project and rejoice in it.  

“It was an amazing teaching experience, really cool for the students and invaluable to the sculpture department,” said Ryan. 

Ryan herself graduated from LCAD with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts in 2005 and earned her Master’s Degree in painting with a minor in sculpture in 2010.

She has a strong relationship with local museums, especially the Laguna Art Museum.

Ryan has participated in the museum’s fundraising show and her work was showcased in in the 2013 Palette to Palate event. That same year she was awarded the Elizabeth Greenshields grant, created for contemporary figurative artists.

“In my sculpture and paintings, I endeavor to describe the pleasure of solidarity and shared experiences among women,” she wrote in a released statement. “Some figures exist in ethereal environments, giving a sense of being symbols for different aspects both positive and negative of women. 

“Other works are in home settings with furniture. These women are more of a representation of the interior life, both physical and mental. In my paintings and sculpture, furniture and clothing are very important as they are some of the strongest social signifiers in women’s lives.”

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Submitted photo

Brittany at work on Canyon Walkers

However, she said on Thursday that her career seems to be going in the direction of sculpture.  

Ryan and Burke began discussing a replacement for the mostly unsalvageable “Kneeling Women” in 2016.

She spent the past 18 months on the Canyon Walkers project – three semesters for the students.

The first step was to sculpt one-quarter life-size maquattes, then the full scale clay models, said Ryan. Silicon molds were made of the sculptures and sent to be cast in bronze.

“These figures connect us to the college’s emphasis on figurative art in drawing, painting and sculpture,” said Burke.

Materials related to the development of “Canyon Walkers” will be displayed in the Dennis and Leslie Powers Library on the campus. The library is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays. 

Dennis Powers was the president before Burke, who has been a faculty member since 1980. He joined the staff as chair of drawing and painting and was named the 13th president in 2011.

The Laguna Beach School of Art, established by the Festival of Arts in 1961, with classes held on its grounds, was the forerunner of LCAD. The school was moved to the Laguna Canyon site in 1977, on a three-plus acre site bought from the Irvine Co. in 1975.

Other milestones include the First BFA graduating class of 15 in 1990, opening the first digital arts facility in 2010, launching the Masters degree in Game Art in 2015, purchasing the Big Bend site in 2016, and graduating 121 students in 2017, the largest class ever.

The installation of Canyon Walkers surely will be added to the list of milestones.

Just so you know

Lumberyard owner Cary Redfearn isn’t telling what is being been done to make the French fries at the restaurant crunchy-on-the-outside, but fluffy-on-the-inside.

“We get asked that question a lot,” he told this investigating reporter and others sicced on him by me. “It’s a secret.” 

But he will say that the coating keeps the fries hot longer.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading

Laura Tarbox will offer investment advice at the Laguna Beach Senior Center on April 20 and 27

Laura Tarbox, a UCLA graduate with 37 years of investment and financial planning experience, will speak at the non-profit educational event, “It’s Your Money!” on Friday, April 20 and 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Senior Center.  

These sessions are part of a series on Financial Planning, with a focus on finding the right advisor and how to think about your overall financial plan.  

Tarbox, who founded her own wealth advisory firm in 1985, focuses on true, fee-only financial planning (including estate and tax planning, charitable giving, insurance and retirement optimization) for the total financial well-being of her clients.  She will talk about how to find the right advisor, along with comprehensive financial planning, and how to develop a healthy investment philosophy. 

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Submitted Photo

Laura Tarbox will be presenting two sessions of “It’s Your Money!”

Laura Tarbox is one of the earliest pioneers of the financial planning profession.  Her company, Tarbox, is recognized as one of the top wealth management firms in the country. The Laguna Beach Senior Center is located at 380 Third Street and no RSVP is required. 

“It’s Your Money” is a program moderated by Peter Kote, founder of the workshop series and the not-for-profit which complements the workshop series with articles and outlines for each. 

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