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Riddle Field closed for field maintenance and turf renovations through January 28

Riddle Field closed for annual maintenance yesterday, December 3, and will remain closed through January 28, 2019. The park boasts a beautiful baseball field that will be closed for part of winter to maintain its beauty. There is also a basketball court, restrooms and a children’s playground, which will remain open.

Ridde Field park

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The beautiful Riddle Field will be closed for part of winter for annual maintenance

For questions, call Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0762.

Riddle Field is located at Cliff Drive and Hillcrest Drive behind Boat Canyon.

Inky black sea

Inky black sunset

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Saturday’s sunset turns the sea black and gray

Luke Hendrickson spearheads toy drive for CHOC Hospital with goal of 100 toys by Dec 15


Local Scout Luke Hendrickson is spearheading a toy drive for CHOC Hospital with a goal of gathering 100 toys by Saturday, Dec 15. The drive is Luke’s final project in order to achieve Eagle Scout status. His father, Jon, made Stu News aware of Luke’s wish to give back to CHOC by conducting this toy donation drive.

Jon says, “I am an English teacher, Varsity Girls Golf Coach, and JV Baseball Coach at LBHS. My wife Lou Ann is an Instructional Aide at the high school as well. My two daughters (Jamie and Corrie) graduated from LBHS, Curran is a senior, and Luke is a freshman. We love the Laguna Beach community and the public school system and how everyone has helped us raise our children.”

Luke Hendrickson scout

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Luke’s goal – to deliver 100 toys to CHOC on Dec 15

When asked what the basis was for selecting this activity, Jon replies, “When choosing an Eagle Scout Project, the boy scout has a variety of different options. The criteria is the following: While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. 

“Luke decided he wanted to partner with an organization that supported his Uncle Ricky for many years before he passed away at the age of 24. Ricky spent many long hours, days, weeks, and months at CHOC Hospital and they loved and supported him throughout his time there. When I told my son Luke about that, he thought this project would be perfect for his Eagle Scout requirement.”

In order to become an Eagle Scout, there are many requirements. Jon notes: if one works at a frenzied pace, it would take about two years to become an Eagle Scout.

Luke Hendrickson bowling

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On a family bowling excursion a year or two before Luke’s Uncle Ricky died

(L-R) Luke, Curran, Lou Ann, Jon, Jamie, Corrie, Ricky in the middle

Luke says, “I am partnering with CHOC Hospital this holiday season, and I am conducting a toy drive for kids in need; I would love your help! My Uncle Ricky spent much of his childhood and teenage years at CHOC before passing away, and because of their love and support towards him, I wanted to help those kids currently staying at CHOC have a happier holiday this year. If you want to help support me, my goal is to collect over 100 unwrapped toys and deliver them to CHOC on December 15th.”

Ways to help

--Buy a new toy(s) from the list below

--Contact Luke via email, phone or text at (949) 278-2508 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

--Luke will come by and pick up the item(s) at your convenience, or you can mail or drop off the unwrapped toy(s) directly to his school address where his dad works as well: 625 Park Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 

--Tax ID number is 95-609-7416 

Toy Donations

Durable, cleanable unwrapped toys are most useful in the hospital setting. Please choose from the following items only for your toy donation. They cannot accept any used items.

Infant & Toddler

--Musical toys (ones with buttons, knobs, light up, etc.) *Highest priority 

--Crib toys – mobiles, mirrors, busy boxes 

--Teethers and rattles 

--Little People/Weeble People 

--See ’n Say/talking phones 

--Shape sorters/stacking toys

School age

--Action Figures (Batman, Superman, Transformers) 

--Dramatic play-medical play kits, kitchen, food, doll families 

--Coloring books, Paint by Numbers, velvet color posters 

--Barbie Dolls/small dolls 

--My Little Pony, Doc McStuffins

--Princess dolls, dress-up

--Beads and jewelry making kits 

--Craft sets/stickers 

--I Spy Books/Look ‘n’ Find books 

--Light-up wands/Light & spin toys 

--Small Lego building sets/Bionicles 

--Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars (small size cars) 

--Play-doh/Model magic – all colors 

--Playing cards and Uno cards

--Puzzles – 24, 63 & 100 pieces

--Markers and crayons (8, 16 and 24 pack)

Teenagers: CHOC is always in need of more activities for its teen population.

--Makeup/body care products 

--Young Adult novels 

--Clothes, jewelry – teen themed 


--Sports jerseys, hats 

--Sports equipment 

--Skateboard themed clothing 

--Picture frames 

--Jewelry making kits 


--Gift bag 

To the community, Luke says, “Thank you so much for your generosity and support!”

With a cause like CHOC Hospital, Luke is certain to reach (and even surpass) his goal.

2018 Election: County Registrar certifies Laguna election results


County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley announced this weekend the certification of the 2018 local midterm elections.

Eighty-one point two percent of Laguna’s 16,791 registered voters cast ballots. 

Only three Orange County cities had a higher turnout: Seal Beach (82.8), Laguna Woods (82.6) and Villa Park (81.6).

There was no change since the last report in the positions of Laguna’s 13 council candidates, including write-in candidate Jorg Dubin, sculptor of the 911 Memorial in Heisler Park. 

However, accumulated votes and percentages did rise. 

As of Sunday, with zero ballots left to be counted, first-time City Council candidate Peter Blake finished at the front of the pack with 4,881 votes, 14.8 percent of the total votes cast. Incumbent Toni Iseman won her bid for a sixth consecutive term with 4,792 votes (14.5 percent). 

Sue Kempf also earned a Council seat, maintaining her lead over former Mayor Ann Christoph, 4,483 to 4,235 (13.6 percent to 12.8 percent).

Laguna Beach County Water District Commissioner and former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman chalked up 4,037 votes (12.2 percent). 

Judie Mancuso’s final count was 2,834 votes, 8.6 percent of ballots cast, in her second try for a Council seat. 

Outgoing Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede, who officially withdrew from the election due to a family crisis, still found favor with 2,206 voters, with 6.7 percent of them casting their vote for him. 

Paul Merritt finished in eighth place with 2,067 votes (6.3 percent). 

Lorene Laguna picked up eight votes in the latest posting with 1,417 (4.3 percent). 

She is followed by Sue Marie Connolly, Liz Bates, Allison Mathews and Dubin.

Measure P, which would have raised the Laguna Beach sales tax by one percent, failed to reach a majority of the votes, let alone the two-thirds majority required for passage.

As of Sunday, the vote was 7,034 to 6,029, 53.8 percent to 46.2 percent, a margin of 1,005 votes. 

School Board

Four of the five candidates for the three open seats on the Laguna Beach Unified School District Governing Board racked up more votes than Blake, as reflected in Sunday’s certified totals.

However, the district includes voters who live outside the city limits, including Emerald Bay. 

Incumbent Carol Normandin added 40 votes for a total of 5,923 votes (21.9 percent). She defeated Dee Namba Perry, also an incumbent, by 228 votes. Namba Perry finished with 21.0 percent of the votes cast, 149 votes ahead of James Kelly, who earned the third open seat. Kelly finished with 20.5 percent.

Nineteen votes separated third place winner Kelly and Christine de Bretteville. 

Mark Nelson finished with 3,623 votes; write-in candidate Howard Hills had 761.

The general election recorded the highest midterm turnout in Orange County in nearly 50 years, according to Kelley’s press release, issued on Sunday – second only to 1970 when the turnout was 76.3 percent.

Total turnout in the county for the November 6 election was 71 percent with 44.2 percent of voters casting their ballots by mail, 25.2 percent choosing to go to their polling place, and 1.5 percent submitting their ballot in an Early Vote Center. Turnout in neighboring counties south of Santa Barbara had lower voter turnout compared to Orange County:

Santa Barbara: 67.2 percent 

Kern: 54.5 percent 

Ventura: 68.8 percent 

Los Angeles: 57.3 percent 

San Bernardino: 57.6 percent 

Riverside: 54.9 percent 

San Diego: 64.4 percent 

Imperial: 47.9 percent

For more information, visit

City Council election results by precinct

The Orange County Registrar of Voters released the following data regarding the 2018 Laguna Beach City Council election totals by precinct: 

City Council election precinct map

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Courtesy of

44144 (Laguna Canyon)

Toni Iseman – 362 votes – 15%

Ann Christoph – 334 votes – 14%

Peter Blake – 263 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 255 votes – 11%

Sue Kempf – 219 votes – 9 %

Cheryl Kinsman – 197 votes – 8%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 174 votes – 7%

Lorene Laguna – 143 votes – 6%

Paul Merritt – 127 votes – 5%

Sue Marie Connolly – 83 votes – 3%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 56 votes – 2%

Allison T. Mathews – 55 votes – 2%

Jorg Dubin – 29 votes – 1%

44142 (North Laguna)

Peter Blake – 843 votes – 17%

Sue Kempf – 706 votes – 14%

Toni Iseman – 679 votes – 14%

Cheryl Kinsman – 602 votes – 12%

Ann Christoph – 543 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 384 votes – 8%

Paul Merritt – 292 votes – 6%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 275 votes – 5%

Lorene Laguna – 164 votes – 3%

Sue Marie Connolly – 88 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 79 votes – 1%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 77 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 26 votes – 1%

44126 (North Laguna)

Peter Blake – 238 votes – 17%

Toni Iseman – 169 votes – 12%

Ann Christoph – 159 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 150 votes – 11%

Sue Kempf – 147 votes – 11%

Cheryl Kinsman – 144 votes – 10%

Paul Merritt – 78 votes – 5%

Lorene Laguna – 74 votes – 5%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 61 votes – 5%

Sue Marie Connolly – 41 votes – 3%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 34 votes – 2%

Allison T. Mathews – 19 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 18 votes – 1%

44138 (Downtown & The Village)

Toni Iseman – 642 votes – 15%

Ann Christoph – 612 votes – 14%

Peter Blake – 585 votes – 13% 

Sue Kempf – 561 votes – 13%

Cheryl Kinsman – 474 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 373 votes – 8%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 387 votes – 6%

Paul Merritt – 215 votes – 5%

Lorene Laguna – 175 votes – 4%

Sue Marie Connolly – 93 votes – 2%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bats – 78 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 77 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 51 votes – 1%

44125 (Mystic Hills area)

Peter Blake – 268 votes – 15%

Toni Iseman – 228 votes – 13%

Cheryl Kinsman – 228 votes – 13%

Sue Kempf – 224 votes – 12%

Judie Mancuso – 204 votes – 11%

Ann Christoph – 203 votes – 11%

Paul Merritt – 111 votes – 6%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 94 votes – 5%

Lorene Laguna – 76 votes – 4%

Sue Marie Connolly – 36 votes – 2%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 27 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 20 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 7 votes – 0%

44145 (TOW)

Peter Blake – 592 votes – 15%

Toni Iseman – 536 votes – 14%

Sue Kempf – 512 votes – 13%

Ann Christoph – 470 votes – 12%

Cheryl Kinsman – 445 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 307 votes – 8%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 266 votes – 7 %

Paul Merritt – 235 votes – 6%

Lorene Laguna – 160 votes – 4%

Allison T. Mathews – 81 votes – 2%

Sue Marie Connolly – 66 votes – 1%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 46 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 20 votes – 0%

44130 (Village heading south)

Sue Kempf – 500 votes – 15%

Toni Iseman – 494 votes – 14%

Peter Blake – 482 votes – 14%

Cheryl Kinsman – 401 votes – 12%

Ann Christoph – 393 votes – 11%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 273 votes – 8%

Judie Mancuso – 231 votes – 6%

Paul Merritt – 201 votes – 6%

Lorena Laguna – 153 votes – 4%

Sue Marie Connolly – 59 votes – 1%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 53 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 35 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 33 votes – 0%

44140 (Bluebird Canyon)

Sue Kempf – 429 votes – 15%

Peter Blake – 405 votes – 14%

Toni Iseman – 387 votes – 14%

Ann Christoph – 335 votes – 12%

Cheryl Kinsman – 306 votes – 11%

Judie Mancuso – 205 votes – 7%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 189 votes – 6%

Paul Merritt – 178 votes – 6%

Lorene Laguna – 116 votes – 4%

Sue Marie Connolly – 51 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 43 votes – 1%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 42 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 36 votes – 1%

44116 (Victoria/Nyes/Arch Beach Heights)

Peter Blake – 799 votes – 14%

Toni Iseman – 777 votes – 14%

Sue Kempf – 770 votes – 14%

Cheryl Kinsman – 702 votes – 12%

Ann Christoph – 671 votes – 12%

Judie Mancuso – 455 votes – 8%

Paul Merritt – 389 votes – 7%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 357 votes – 6%

Lorene Laguna – 208 votes – 3%

Sue Marie Connolly – 135 votes – 2%

Allison T. Mathews – 97 votes – 1%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 93 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 21 votes – 0%


Toni Iseman – 1 vote – 33%

Ann Christoph – 1 vote – 33%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 1 vote – 33%

44111 (South Laguna)

Ann Christoph – 261 votes – 21%

Toni Iseman – 220 votes – 17%

Peter Blake – 131 votes – 10%

Cheryl Kinsman – 130 votes – 10%

Judie Mancuso – 116 votes – 9%

Sue Kempf – 115 votes – 9%

Paul Merritt – 81 votes – 6%

Lorene Laguna – 61 votes – 4%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 57 votes – 4%

Sue Marie Connolly – 27 votes – 2%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 20 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 14 votes – 1%

Jorg Dubin – 6 votes – 0%

44321 (South Laguna)

Toni Iseman – 100 votes – 14%

Peter Blake – 93 votes – 13%

Ann Christoph – 88 votes – 12%

Judie Mancuso – 77 votes – 10%

Paul Merritt – 73 votes – 10%

Lorene Laguna – 68 votes – 9%

Cheryl Kinsman – 65 votes – 9%

Sue Kempf – 59 votes – 8%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 42 votes – 5%

Sue Marie Connolly – 21 votes – 2%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 14 votes – 1%

Allison T. Mathews – 5 votes – 0%

Jorg Dubin – 2 votes – 0%

44113 (South Laguna – furthermost south)

Cheryl Kinsman – 341 votes – 22%

Sue Kempf – 241 votes – 16%

Toni Iseman – 195 votes – 13%

Peter Blake – 182 votes – 12%

Ann Christoph – 165 votes – 11%

Rob Zur Schmiede – 129 votes – 8%

Paul Merritt – 87 votes – 5%

Judie Mancuso – 77 votes – 5%

Sue Marie Connolly – 35 votes – 2%

Elizabeth “Liz” Bates – 18 votes – 1%

Lorene Laguna – 17 votes – 1% 

Jorg Dubin – 6 votes – 0%

Allison T. Mathews – 5 votes – 0%


Dennis’ Tidbits


December 4, 2018

First taste of winter and more to come

Dennis 5We finally got a taste of winter as the first significant rain of the season blew through here with lots of rain, wind, and colder water temps at 58 degrees, the first time it’s been below 60 since the beginning of April. Another low is expected to blow through here on Wednesday with yet another one slated for Saturday.

A total of 22 tornadoes invaded Illinois on Saturday and that’s unprecedented for this late in the year. They average only about one or two at the most. Several twisters reached EF-2 status, and there was some damage but no casualties. Tornadoes in December are normally restricted to the Gulf Coast and Deep South. This time of year that tropical air mass hardly ever pushes farther north than say latitude 33 degrees north as polar air masses are able to penetrate deeper south in our country.

Most of the activity for the next seven to ten days will be here in California only. Nearly a week of solid sunshine is expected up in the Pacific Northwest. That long of a stretch of sunshine up there is a real rarity as they average only about three days of sun in December. Oregon and Washington are part of the cyclone belt, so sunshine is a real treat up there when it happens.

Check this out…since May, there have been only five sunny weekends in the Northeast. What a bummer! You slave away all week and are so ready to go outdoors to enjoy your two days off and then bang! 

We got our first NW ground swell of the season, and another one is expected to show up by Friday. Conditions may be a bit sketchy as the next front approaches. Don’t forget to check the water quality, especially after the first couple of storms.


The Woman’s Club Adopt-A-Family program fulfills wishes of needy community children at holidays


Kitty Malcolm, president of the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach, says, “Everything we do focuses on the needs of children in the community.” The Club’s Adopt-A-Family holiday program is a prime example of how the organization puts this concept into action. 

Believe it or not, the Woman’s Club has been around for 96 years. And if you think, as I did, that it’s a group of woman whose core is socializing, you would be dead wrong. At their heart is providing for children of low-income Laguna Beach families.

Historically, woman’s clubs began a long time ago, tackling tough agendas such as child labor and juvenile justice. In this regard, the Woman’s Club of LB follows suit, as it positively influences the circumstances of children in our town and continually strives to improve their lives in countless ways. 

As stated on their website, “The mission of the Club is to provide a nurturing environment for women and encourage them to develop and enrich social friendships, gain knowledge and provide services within our community in meaningful activities.” 

The Womans umbrellas

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Woman’s Club members give back to community

“Members join for many reasons,” says Kitty. “I see what experiences they have and what they’re looking and asking for, and it involves something in which they can give back to the community. The Board is very excited about branching out and providing more programs.”

And to this end, they have two new programs: The Laguna Food Pantry and Gowns and Suits for Military wives/partners.

Kitty emphasizes, “We have so much, we forget what it’s like not to.”

And that statement hits a heavy cord of truth, particularly around the holidays.

The driving power behind Adopt-A-Family

The force behind the Adopt-A-Family program is Nancy Shurtleff, who Kitty admits has expanded and enriched the project since she began spearheading it two years ago.

Kitty says, “Community outreach has been growing because of Nancy. And for this program, she has put the icing on the cake and has taken it further than ever before.” 

Nancy says, “What the children wish for is pretty simple: clothes, shoes, art supplies, books, and a few toys. Last year, we adopted 13 families for a total of 25 children, and we were able to get all the items on each child’s list.” 

Not to slight older children who might still be living at home, the Woman’s Club provides gift cards for them.

Sande St. John (2019 Citizen of the Year and community volunteer extraordinaire) gathers the wish lists, which are filled out at Santa’s House on Hospitality Night, from Laguna Beach low-income children, and then she disseminates the lists to various organizations. At the Club’s Member Holiday Luncheon on December 14, willing members can “Adopt-A-Family” for the holiday.

In conjunction with the Holiday Luncheon, items that have become “tarnished” and donated by members and the community are sold. All money received goes to the Club’s Community Outreach fund to support local families-in-need. The following day, Sande and her team of “angels” sponsor a party at the Clubhouse for these families to take all remaining items, which the members hope will become their “treasures.” 

The Womans Sande

Sande St. John (on left) and Carol Reynolds at 2017 Tarnished Treasures

Regarding adopting families, Kitty says, “There is one member who has the same family every year, and she purchases the gifts herself.”

However, to fulfill the children’s wish lists, the remaining shopping is Nancy’s department, and she immediately goes into high gear. Along with her teammate Kathleen Reedy, Nancy looks for sales and promotions, and then they spend a full two days (and sometimes more) purchasing the items. 

Nancy truly has taken it to the next level. “With the help of volunteers, we have a gift wrapping and tagging party,” she says. “After that, the families arrange to come in and pick up the items.” 

When I ask where the funds come from, Kitty says, “We are self-sustaining. The bulk of our funds come from the rental of the club for various events.”

Adopt-A-Family only one of the Club’s programs

The Adopt-A-Family program is just one of the many Community Outreach projects the Woman’s Club has in place. During the year, they have other programs that Stu News will feature either before or after they occur, including: Tarnished Treasures, Human Options, Laguna Beach School District Backpack Program, Laguna Food Pantry (their newest program), Scholarship Program, Intergenerational Literacy Program, and Gowns and Suits for Military Wives/Partners.

In the Woman’s Club’s mission statement, when it says they provide “meaningful activities,” it truly is a grand understatement, especially at this time of year. Otherwise, there would be many local children without gifts under the tree on Christmas morning.

For more information on the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach, go to

Friendship Shelter establishes Emergency Needs Fund for ASL client who lost truck and belongings

Inspired by the needs of an ASL client whose truck and belongings were lost in the fiery three-car crash on Laguna Canyon Road on November 16, Friendship Shelter is establishing an Emergency Needs Fund. The fund will be available for any Friendship Shelter client who experiences a sudden unexpected emergency that creates immediate needs related to their employment or housing. 

Friendship Shelter accident

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Photo from LBPD

ASL client lost truck and belongings in accident

Donations to the fund will be restricted to this purpose. Disbursements from the fund will be administered by Friendship Shelter program staff and overseen by Seaside Legal Services. 

To contribute, go to the shelter website at and click on the emergency fund donation button, or mail to PO Box 4252, Laguna Beach, CA 92652 and put “Emergency Fund” in the memo field.

Coastal eddy hosts holiday party for a cause Dec 9

Coastal eddy a gallery is hosting a holiday party, dubbed #ThisIsNotNormal...still, on Sunday, Dec 9, from 3 to 6 p.m. Last year at this time, the gallery‘s event focused on supplying water filters to Puerto Rico and USVI. This year the Southern Poverty Law Center will benefit. 

Coastal eddy one

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Coastal eddy holiday fete on Dec 9 will benefit Southern Poverty Law Center

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is an American nonprofit legal advocacy organization specializing in civil rights and public interest litigation. Based in Montgomery, Ala., it is noted for its successful legal cases against white supremacist groups, its classification of hate groups and other extremist organizations, and for promoting tolerance education programs. 

Coastal eddy two

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Coastal eddy a gallery holiday party will feature an evening of activism, art, raffles, music, food and fun

There will be several raffle opportunities to win donated works of art and gift certificates from local businesses which will benefit SPLC. The gallery will also be introducing new artists, as well as new work from current favorites. 

Coastal eddy, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S Coast Hwy, in the HIP District. To RSVP, call (949) 715-4113 or visit

December blooms in Laguna Beach

Photos by Scott Brashier

December blooms orange

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We are so fortunate to live in a place so beautiful

December blooms palms

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Palms and pink blooms make for the prettiest of pictures

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