Food pantry needs more room to feed more hungry people in need


The Food Pantry is feeding more individuals and families than ever before and additional food storage is needed, according to a proposal to be considered Tuesday by the City Council.

Pantry officials are asking the council to approve the concept of adding a 10-by-20-foot structure for food storage and new fencing on the city-owned property between the Bark Park and the Alternate Sleeping Location on Laguna Canyon Road. 

The city leases the property to the Pantry specifically for the distribution of food to low-income folks who live and work in Laguna Beach or adjacent communities. The Pantry pays the city $1,000 a month, maintains general liability and workers compensation insurance naming the city as an additional insured, and pays for maintenance of the property and utilities.  

Besides council approval the project would be subject to development and design review. 

If the council approves the proposal, the lease would be amended to extended to 2022 and would include the expansion.  

If the Pantry is unable to obtain necessary entitlements and/or permits by Dec. 31 2018, the amended lease would be null and void and the current lease would expire in 2020. 

The proposed concept would require approval of reducing the north end of the Bark Park by 10 feet, to be compensated for by an offer from the Pantry to make unstated minor improvements, in consultation with the city and park users. The Pantry would also pay for new fencing between the two facilities.

A $6,000 community assistance grant was awarded the Pantry this fiscal year according to the staff report.

Eric Burdon & the Animals headlined a wildly successful night, with Joachim Cooder opening

Photos by Scott Brashier

Joachim Cooder, playing with his father Ry – a duo preceded by an awesome performance by Tommy Benson accompanied by two currently homeless musicians – provided fantastic opening acts for Eric Burdon & the Animals last Saturday night. The concert was organized by independent radio station’s KX 93.5’s Tyler Russell.

Click on photo for a larger image

Hasty and Mo Honarkar, owner of presenting sponsors Royal Hawaiian and [seven-degrees]

Click on photo for a larger image

Tyler Russell of KX 93.5 FM greets the crowd

Click on photo for a larger image

Tommy Benson and two currently homeless musicians begin the concert

Click on photo for a larger image

Joachim Cooder set the mood, playing with father Ry Cooder

Click on photo for a larger image

Finally, Eric Burdon & the Animals take the stage: more photos in Friday’s edition

One hundred percent of the shows proceeds will benefit non-profits KX 93.5, Friendship Shelter, and Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. 


Did Scott Brashier capture you on film? Below is a gallery of photos taken at the event: more of Eric Burdon & the Animals in Friday’s edition of Stu News

Deconstructing Allusion II: Featuring Greg Miller opens at JoAnne Artman Gallery on Fri, Dec 8

JoAnne Artman Gallery announces the exhibition of the recent work of Greg Miller titled Deconstructing Allusion II. This exhibit, in which Miller layers and reconstructs his imagery of mid-century American consciousness in clever, incongruous juxtapositions that are a life-like, contemporary approach to Pop, opens Fri, Dec 8 and continues through Jan 28, 2018.

Greg Miller was born in 1951 in Sacramento, CA, and spends his time between New York, NY and Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited internationally and is featured in numerous private and museum collections.

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Hero by Greg Miller

 Miller’s work will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. The passage of time as well as the impermanence and transitory nature of collective memory are both felt in his work, as he constructs, as well as deconstructs our perception of social history through the ephemera of the golden age of the print media. 

Known for his cheekily playful and vividly rendered visual collages, Miller draws on his urban Californian roots, engaging with the ambiguity in the American landscape. In the works presented, Miller explores the connection between advertising, urban environment, and our social history. Referencing classic typefaces and color palettes, the images echo both the look and feel of print advertisements. 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Greg Miller’s American Woman

Miller achieves this impression by fastidiously and painstakingly re-creating the look of age, grit, and time via the use of paint, collage paper and resin on canvas, painting each visual element by hand. His work resonates on both visual, as well as linguistic levels through the dialogue afforded by their association. Working with the imagery of the visual detritus in all of its faded glory, Miller preserves the ephemeral beauty of the printed material. 

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N Coast Hwy.

For more information, call 949-510-5481 or go to

Crescent Bay: The colors of sunset

Photo by Nancy Bushnell

Click on photo for a larger image

Coastal Eddy holds #ThisIsNotNormal holiday party to help recovery efforts following hurricane Maria

In a year that has been anything but normal, the gallery Coastal Eddy notes, residents are invited to Coastal Eddy #ThisIsNotNormal Holiday Party. 

The party takes place on Sat, Dec 9, from 5  - 8 p.m. and is open to the public. 

The evening’s events will benefit two charities aiding in the recovery efforts for Puerto Rico & US Virgin Islands, by providing aid, purifiers and clean drinking water to our fellow citizens. 

The first, AFT Disaster Relief Fund/ Operation Agua, provides, for each $30 donation, an in-home purifier that filters up to 5,000 liters and requires no electricity. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

This year attend the anything but normal holiday party taking place on Dec 9

The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands provides monies for immediate, critical needs and support for long term solutions. Both charities make sure 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to the cause. Operational fees are picked up by both organizations. 

The party will include Art, Music, Food & Drink. There also will be several opportunities to win beautiful art donated for a raffle. Raffle Tickets are $10 each or three for $20, and you need not be present to win. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

View beautiful ceramic pieces throughout the night 

Coastal Eddy, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S. Coast Highway, in the HIP district of Laguna. For more information or to RSVP, call 949.715.4113, or log onto

Dianne’s Creature Feature (because, cows)

Cowabunga, TOW tops “Change for Change” goal


What do cows, greenhouses, and coins all have in common? Top of the World Elementary. 

Just at a time when there is the widespread notion that small things can’t make a difference, students at TOW Elementary proved that concept wrong. In a big way. Small things, spare change in this case, turn into big things (dollars to be exact) that can make significant differences.

To this end, TOW Elementary PTA created a spare change collection campaign for Giving Tuesday. They encouraged students to bring any amount of surplus change to raise $500 (with a $500 match from the TOW PTA) to support With My Own Two Hands Foundation (WMO2H), a Laguna Beach nonprofit that provides water and agricultural projects to fund education and create self-reliant projects and communities.

WmO2H chosen for focus on children, education and sustainability

 “The TOW PTA chose With My Own 2 Hands for our Giving Tuesday fundraiser because of its focus on children, education and sustainable projects. This clearly resonated with the students, which was one of our goals. We wanted to help provide better nutrition for the children in Kenya while also showing students how powerful they can be when they work together for a cause they care about. We love that this foundation’s philosophy is to empower individuals to make a difference, even in a country that they might never have visited,” says Jennifer Grzeskowiak, the community service chair for TOW PTA.

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Grayson Grzeskowiak helps count some last-minute coins 

 The funds were earmarked for purchase of two dairy cows that would each provide 45 Kenyan kids with fresh milk every day. And to make the campaign even more exciting, the classrooms competed against each other to see who could raise the most money for the honor of naming the cows. 

 And to say that the students accomplished their objective “in a big way,” is no exaggeration. The TOW “Change for Change” campaign exceeded their goal of $500 and raised a whopping $2,199. Further, the TOW PTA was so inspired by the children’s generosity, they doubled their contribution to a generous $1,000 match - for a total of $3,199.

“Every class participated in the fundraiser. This is a busy time of year for parents, teachers and students, so I was blown away that every class brought in money. Also, some students brought in bills, but more than 60 percent ($1,343) was in coins,” says Grzeskowiak. “The top class brought in $230.92. The top three are going to get to name one of the cows.” 

What will the kids name the three cows they’ve sponsored?

Max Osborne, from the class that ranked number three (in raising money), says, "Everyone was super excited about the cows. Everyone was racing to fill up the jar because they really wanted to help and really wanted to name a cow." 

Three of the names his class is considering for the cow are Albert, Milky and Ginger. The classes will announce the names they chose at an assembly in December.

Because TOW smashed their goal, the funds will now purchase three cows and a sister greenhouse that will provide 400-500 children and adults fresh vegetables. In addition, the surplus of 250 pounds of crops will be sold, generating income that will fund education. 

“TOW has its own garden program that the students love,” Grzeskowiak explains, “so we’re happy to be able to provide a garden at another school in Kenya and further improve their nutrition.”

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Kids and moms holding signs at drop-off the morning of Giving Tuesday

 There’s no doubt that the students truly took the giving to heart.  “There are so many great and inspiring stories and every penny donated by the students has positively impacted the kids who inspire all of us at WMO2H every day! There is a sweet story of fitth grader Josh Novick who donated all $100 of his birthday money,” says Mary Beth Pugh, Director of Operations at WMO2H. “We had our founder Lindsey Pluimer give him a personal call to thank him as well.”

Fifth grader gives every cent of his birthday money to the cause

Josh said of his donation, “I wanted to give my birthday money to someone who needs it rather than spend it on something I want. It just felt like the right thing to do.”

Evidently, the “Change for Change” campaign, which was a huge success, is just the beginning of the fundraising experience for these students. “This is going to be a great kick-off for TOW PTA’s Dive Into Giving student-led grant program. We are encouraging classes to raise money for a cause of their choice that we will partially match. 

“Students present their ideas to the TOW PTA for a chance at grant matching funding. We want to plant the seeds of giving now and know these kids will become some of the world’s next change-makers,” Grzeskowiak added. “We’ll match $200-$500 of the money they raise. We want students to take ownership of the giving process and see what they can accomplish when they work together.” 

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

At student assembly, (l-r) Ava Guziak, Jack Pugh, and Reid Guziak talk about their experiences with WMO2H projects in Kenya

 Pluimer said of her organization, “With My Own Two Hands seeks to inspire our communities to help improve the lives of children in need. This fundraiser is an incredible way to show the kids in our beautiful Laguna Beach community that everyone can make a difference. The children’s generosity will now provide better nutrition and a diversified diet for hundreds.” 

With My Own Two Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned or disadvantaged children in need. Their model creates self-reliance by setting up water and agricultural business-like ventures in Kenya where surplus is sold to the local community. A minimum of 40 percent of proceeds goes toward funding education.

Grzeskowiak says, “The feedback I’ve gotten from kids and parents was that the concept of helping other kids by providing them with cows for milk and bringing in spare change was all very tangible for them. We wanted to make fundraising engaging for them.” 

And apparently, it was. It’s no cow-incidence that when you put a goal in the hands of TOW students, they set their minds and money to it, work together, and the result changes lives. 

Congratulations, TOW Elementary! 

I can’t wait to find out the names of the cows.

For further information on WMO2H, go to

When a cow laughs, does milk come out its nose?


Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, 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.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc