LPAPA announces “Best of Plein Air” Award Winners 

and reveals 2017 Laguna Plein Air Invitational Artists

On Sat, the opening reception for the “13th Annual Best of Plein Air” juried art show, hosted by LPAPA, turned into a lively and festive evening at the Forest & Ocean Gallery. Guests sipped wine and enjoyed nibbling on a beautiful array of artisan cheeses, fruits and sweets as they awaited the announcement of the five award-winning artists.

LPAPA is pleased to share the award winners:  1st Place was awarded to LPAPA Artist Member Pierre Bouret for his “Wailua River” (12” x 12” oil); 2nd Place presented to LPAPA Signature Artist Patrick Saunders for “Riverbend Breeze” (18” x 14” oil); 3rd Place went to LPAPA Artist Member Kathie Odom for “Vintage B&B” (12” x 16” oil); with Honorable Mention Awards given to LPAPA Signature Artist Jason Sacran for “Laguna Lights” (20” x 30” oil) and LPAPA Artist Member Christine Debrosky for “Along Cliff Rose” (18” x 24” pastel).  

All paintings are on exhibit at LPAPA In Residence located at the Forest & Ocean Gallery until July 3, or viewed (and purchased) online through LPAPA’s Best of Plein Air expanded online gallery at DailyBrushwork.com.

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Submitted photo

Pierre Bouret, Wailua River, 1st place “Best of Plein Air” Award

In addition to the cash awards presented, the 1st Place award-winning artist receives an invitation to participate in LPAPA’s 19th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational the week of October 7 - 15.  After announcing the Best of Plein Air awards, LPAPA revealed the line-up of the artists that have been invited, and accepted, to participate in this year’s invitational: Jacobus Baas - Laguna Beach, CA, Suzie Baker - Shenandoah, TX, Cindy Baron - Boulder, CO, Zufar Bikbov - Oakville, CT, Carl Bretzke - Minneapolis, MN, John Burton - Carmel, CA, Saim Caglayan - Kauai, HI,John Cosby - San Clemente, CA, Bill Davidson - Boulder, CO, Rick J. Delanty - San Clemente, CA, Gil Dellinger - Laguna Beach, CA, Jennifer Diehl - Mt. Angel, OR, Aimee Erickson - Portland, OR, Andy Evansen – Vermillion, MN, Stephanie Hartshorn - Denver, CO, Jane Hunt - Boulder, CO, Charlie Hunter - Bellows Falls, VT, John P. Lasater IV - Siloam Springs, AR, Richard Lindenberg – Novato, CA, Daniel Marshall - Denver, CO, James McGrew - Lake Oswego, OR, Jim McVicker - Loleta, CA, Clark Mitchell - Cotati, CA, Michael Obermeyer - Laguna Beach, CA, Rita Pacheo - Carlsbad, CA, Colin Page - Camden, ME, Jesse Powell - Carmel, CA, Anthony Salvo - Newport Beach, CA, Jeff Sewell - Costa Mesa, CA, Michael Situ - Irvine, CA, J. Ken Spencer - Blackfoot, ID, Michele Usibelli - Woodway, WA, and Jove Wang – Alhambra, CA.

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Submitted photo

Patrick Saunders, Riverbend Breeze, 2nd Place “Best of Plein Air” Award

 The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association welcomes 35 nationally acclaimed 

contemporary landscape artists to participate in its annual Invitational each October.  The 9-day painting Invitational highlights include a paint out competition with all 35 invited artists painting at Heisler Park, Plein Talk at the Gallery with Artists and Experts, the Saturday evening Collectors Gala, and Sunday art show. Except for the Collectors Gala on Sat, Oct 14, all daily activities are free for the public, and although the artists may paint throughout OC, from Huntington Bch to San Onofre to Saddleback mountain, all events are in the LB vicinity. 

For more information regarding the annual invitational event, sponsorship or patron opportunities, visit LagunaPleinAir.org, LPAPA.org or contact LPAPA’s Executive Director, Rosemary Swimm, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 376-3635.

Letters to the Editor are lively this issue

Should Laguna Beach sign on to the Climate Mayors network, as suggested by Barbara and Greg McGillivray and Sara Lowell, in support of the Paris agreement?

Is Lang Park being primed for a second pool already, Tom Joliet and Scott Murphy want to know?

Roderick Reed asks, is America really the greatest?

Kristy Peterson has issues with the planned Verizon cell towers.

Plus we hear from perennial letter-writer Denny Freidenrich, who offers a view on President Trump and Michael Flynn.

Click on the Letters tab at the top of the page to read them all…

Shanti Orange County celebrates 30 years of serving the local HIV/AIDS community

Shanti Orange County this month celebrates 30 years of serving the local HIV/AIDS community. A non-profit agency, Shanti OC began as a grassroots organization in 1987 in response to the HIV/AIDS crisis and it has supported the local HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ community ever since.

When Shanti was first created, Laguna Beach had the highest per capita HIV/AIDS cases in the United States. Shanti’s mission was to provide emotional support and practical assistance to people living with AIDS and other life threating illnesses. 

Sarah Kasman, executive director, says, “Shanti has been fighting the fight as first responders to the AIDS epidemic. While the disease has gone from a death sentence to a chronic disease, as long as there are new infections, our services will stay in place.” 

Today the organization’s mission is to enhance the health and wellbeing of those affected by HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases through prevention, education and life-saving supportive services. 

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Submitted photo

Shanti staff, (L-R) Dr. Lindsay Fitzpatrick Director, Mental Health Services, Dr. Dana Hodgdon, Mental Health Clinician, Sarah Kasman, Executive Director, Bruce Vancil, Case Manager, Diane Sorenson, Case Manager

There are currently approximately 7,200 persons living with HIV in Orange County. And this is what some of them say about Shanti: 

Ruth: “I love Shanti because it feels like family - but better! I get treated with dignity and I never have to explain my disease.” 

Patty: “I love Shanti OC because of the work that they have done for people not only in our community, but also, the work that gives the message to the world that people care about others.”

David (Theatre Out): “I love Shanti Orange County because of the amazing staff and Board that have created a caring, nurturing and open environment and who continue to provide a much-needed service to Orange County residents in need.” 

Shanti strives for zero new infections in Orange County. To fulfill this mission, Shanti offers three key programs: case management, mental health counseling, and prevention education and outreach programs. 

Kasman, who describes her staff as “amazing,” says there will be an official celebration of their 30tenth anniversary later this year.

(Statistic from http://www.ochealthinfo.com/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?BlobID=59325)

Shanti Orange County is located at 23461 South Pointe Drive, Suite 100, Laguna Hills. For more information, visit www.shantioc.org or call 949-452-0888.

Were you married at Laguna Presbyterian Church?  Celebrate 100 years of weddings with them on June 25

To commemorate its 100th anniversary, Laguna Presbyterian Church is celebrating all during the year. On Sun, June 25, they invite couples who were married at the church or off-site by one of their pastors, to the church to be recognized in one of their worship services at either 8:30 a.m. or 10 a.m.

There will be a “wedding reception” in Tankersley Hall at 11:15 a.m., following the 10 a.m. worship service.  Everyone is welcome at the worship services and reception, and reservations are not needed.


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Laguna Presbyterian Church – Then and now

The church has undergone many changes in its history. Presbyterian Church of Laguna Beach was formally organized in 1917 with 15 charter members and met in The Little Brown Church until 1928, when the new Spanish Colonial style church was built. 

In 1993, the building nearly burned down during the devastating fire, and the facility became a center of recovery. In the early summer of 2007, the congregation moved out of the seismically-unfit sanctuary to worship in the adjacent Fellowship Hall in preparation for the sanctuary’s restoration. The renovation of 2008-2009 resulted in the structure as it is today. 

The church is at 415 Forest Avenue in Laguna Beach with parking in the rear. For further information, contact the church office at 949-494-7555.

Oak Street Beach view park is open – with foot wash 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Oak Street Beach Access Improvement Project was held at the project site on Tuesday, June 13, at 4 p.m., with Mayor Toni Iseman doing the honors and staff in attendance.

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Locals Bella Pringle and Kaylin Flaxman check out the park at Oak Street Beach

The project consisted of replacing the stairway, overlook decking, landscaping, lighting, benches and bike racks, and adding a new drinking fountain and foot wash.

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Besides a view, the park offers cool green grass to soothe feet hot from the sand

Residents and their dogs expressed their approval of the project on a beautiful sunny afternoon.

(Photographer Mary Hurlbut tells us that the foot wash is particularly appreciated.)

Dennis’ Tidbits


June 16, 2017

Remember the mirage of 1981, what it did to Catalina Island? I do.

Ah, this is more like it! Sunny, warm days, no friggin’ gloom and it’s supposed to stay that way with temps on the upswing. 

Check this one out…. At noon on Monday it was the same temp in Palm Springs as it was in Fairbanks, Alaska with 90 degrees in each city. There was a pocket of cooler than normal air out in the deserts and a huge high pressure ridge in Alaska promoting Chinook-like winds. The record high of all time in Fairbanks was 96 in June of 1969. Fairbanks is actually quite warm during June and July with an average hi-lo of 74-54 with at least ten days of 80 or higher and at least 90 about once every four or five years. Back home, temps are really going to heat up with highs up to 112-115 in our deserts.

Looking at the Eastern Pacific tropics reveal three named storms, Adrian, Beatriz, and Calvin recently. All three were low end tropical storms with maximum sustained winds not exceeding 45 mph. It wasn’t so much about the wind as the torrential rains that plagued southernmost Mexico with over two feet of rain as the systems were nearly stationary, moving at a snail’s pace at three mph so there was plenty of time for each system to completely inundate that region. All storms made landfall quickly as they crawled to the northeast. This happens a lot this early in the season. Instead of moving to the west or northwest, upper level westerly shear winds push the systems to the east and northeast as the storms formed close to land to begin with. No new activity is expected to occur for at least a few days. 

As the season progresses, tropical systems form a little further from land and many of them proceed to move out to sea thus increasing our chances of picking up some swell action if the storm moves at least to the WNW, preferably to the NW as they enter the Southern California swell window. Last year none of them cooperated, moving straight west so swells get pushed out to sea. 2012 and 2014 were our last decent Baja swell seasons, particularly 2014 when in late August we were rocked by Category 5 Hurricane Marie’s waves and then a few weeks later, Simon sent double overhead sets our way.

On this date in 1981 a rare out of season strong Santana wind event hit Laguna as the temp shot up to 101 with12 percent humidity at water’s edge warming surface ocean temps to 80 degrees and surface dry sand temps as high as 141! At 1 p.m. the heat on the ocean created a superior mirage that distorted Catalina causing it to appear larger and upside down. At 7 a.m. that day the northeast winds were howling up to 40 mph and the temp was already 82 at 7 a.m., mind you!

This Saturday at Riddle Field at 11 a.m. there will be a Celebration of Life for Stu. He was a great guy and fellow baseball fanatic just like Tidbits. He was a lifelong Angels fan just like Tidbits. I really miss talking baseball with the guy and more importantly all kinds of stuff just about life in general. He certainly taught me a thing or two about life with his great wit and wisdom. 



Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

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

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc