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Aquathon 2018, it officially happened

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

“There are no winners, except making it through without injury,” writes local realtor Dave Csira of the annual 33rd Laguna Beach Aquathon event this past weekend. 

We look forward to Dave’s first-hand account of the event on Friday with photos by Mary Hurlbut; in the meantime, we hope you enjoy this first round of wonderful captures!

Aquathon 2018 Dave and daughter

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Dave Csira and his daughter Lang

Aquathon 2018 wave splashing

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The huge surf made hiking along the coast very difficult. Many people just swam or walked along the street.

Aquathon 2018 halfway

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Halfway point, water, bananas and M&M’s were waiting

Aquathon 2018 saving woman

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This LB Lifeguard spent 45 minutes helping people through this narrow passage into Woods Cove

Ask the Doctor event this Thursday with ER and Wellness Doctor, Anita Wang

What is integrative medicine? What are the four simple steps to optimal health? Why should you find the root of an illness and how is that done? These are all important questions that Laguna Wellness Doctor Anita Wang will answer at her Ask the Doctor event this Thursday, Sept 20. Dr. Wang invites the community to stop by her office from 4 - 6 p.m. for this complimentary event, and to enjoy a glass of wine with some friends. 

Ask the Doctor reception

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Dr. Wang in her lovely Laguna Beach office ready to answer your questions

Dr. Wang’s compassion and skills have taken her around the world and allowed her to adapt a unique skill set that merges eastern influence and western technology. She is dedicated to delivering the highest quality holistic wellness, preventive medicine, and medical aesthetics and continues to practice Emergency Medicine as well as running her own practice and providing care to online patients. 

In addition to being a Board Certified Emergency Physician, she is also a Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a Fellow of the American Academy of Anti-Aging, and extensively trained in Aesthetics. She graduated from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine and has spent over 20 years as an ER doctor previously at UCLA Medical Center, Eisenhower Medical Center and St. Mary’s Medical Center.

Anita Wang MD is located at 255 Thalia Street, Suite B. For more information, visit or call (949) 734-0580.

Catmosphere Café ribbon cutting ceremony includes police with kitty ears

Catmosphere 1

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Submitted photo

Members of Police Force don kitty ears to get into the spirit

Catmosphere 2

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Submitted photo

Pam Knudsen of Blue Bell Foundation for Cats with Catmosphere Owner Gail Landau

Community invited to “History of the HIP District” by Susan Elliott, Joe Hanauer, and Chris Keller

The Laguna Beach Historical Society will present “The History of the HIP District” on Tuesday, Sept 25 at the Susi Q, by Susan Elliott, Joe Hanauer, and Chris Keller. 

Susan Elliott, who owns the gift shop Twig, will present a before and after account of the historic buildings in the section of town that runs from Thalia Street to Bluebird Canyon Drive, now dubbed the HIP District (which stands for Historic and Interesting Places). Joe Hanauer, owner of The Old Pottery Place, will describe the history and restoration of that property, while Chris Keller will present the history of La Casa del Camino. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public at no cost.

Community invited to pottery

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Courtesy of LB Historical Society

“HIP” stands for Historic and Interesting Places

“Formerly known as “Laguna Heights,” “Arch Beach,” and “The Village,” the stretch of South Coast Highway from Thalia Street to Bluebird Canyon Drive has had a re-birth as the “HIP District,” a name conceived by businesses in the area,” writes Elliott.

 “The area has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years as owners have renovated and re-imagined the historic properties, which had experienced ups and downs in the decades since they were built. The area is known for the Art Center, the Pottery Shack (now known as The Old Pottery Place), the Casa del Camino Hotel, and many bars, restaurants, and shops. 

Community invited to car

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The Pottery Shack has become a set of shops and restaurants that still retain much of the original style and decor

“The Art Center has had many businesses and re-incarnations over the years, including a pottery studio, various restaurants, a gay bar, several boutiques, and a beloved bakery/coffee shop. Likewise, The Pottery Shack, formerly a favorite destination for folks looking for cool, handmade California pottery, has become a set of shops and restaurants that still retain much of the original style and decor in its new incarnation, The Old Pottery Place.”

For more information, including how to become a member of the Laguna Beach Historical Society, visit Membership packages start at just $25 per year.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

This decorated tree is in a public place. Maggi wanted to know who has seen it and where it is. She gave us a hint that there are two trees in this spot, with interesting little things on them. (What does it all mean?) 

The first answer came in with a question mark from John Walker. He guessed right – it’s in Bluebird Park. Synthia Scofield chimed in and called these Fairy Houses, “There’s another over the gate near the creek,” she said via email. “Has plants in macramé hangers…” Yup, she got that right!

Thanks for keeping Maggi on her toes.

There will be another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi 9 18 18

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“Fairy house” trees, such as this one, can be found at Bluebird Park 

Let your voice be heard: Stu News Laguna and KX 93.5 host forum on Oct 2, get your tickets

Join Stu News Laguna and KX 93.5 for our first ever City Council Candidate Forum. Stu News Editor and Publisher Shaena Stabler, along with KX 93.5 Founder and Director Tyler Russell, will be moderating discussion amongst our candidates about topics like public safety, parking and traffic issues, affordable housing, downtown Laguna, environmental concerns, and whatever else our readers and KX 93.5 listeners feel they want to know from our candidates.

The forum is on October 2 at The Woman’s Club with a reception beginning at 5 p.m.

A limited number of tickets are available for $20 each at

Ticket proceeds benefit nonprofit KX 93.5’s “Tune In, Drop Out, and Vote” voter turnout initiative. 

“We are challenging the community to tally 12,000 votes this election,” says Shaena Stabler. “We can do it, Laguna!”

KX 93.5 and Stu News Laguna would like to thanks its sponsors for the event: CBE Solutions, Dave Csira, Julie Laughton, AG Vision, The Ballesteros Team, and Laguna Baguettes.

It’s more than just waves at the Brooks Street Classic

Its more Buckle and daughter

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laura Buckle and daughter Lula

Its more crowd

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Crowd cheers on the contestants

Its more kids on cliff

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Young surfing fans

Its more kids and mom

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Watson Family

Giant excavation on Alta Laguna

Giant excavation hole

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Submitted photo

What is the deal with this “neighborhood curiosity” on Alta Laguna Blvd? Construction has been underway for a new 6,160 SF single family dwelling with a three-car garage on a vacant building site since 5/11/2017. The DRB approved the project on 6/18/2015.

Results are in from a weekend of surfing: 55th Annual Brooks Street Surfing Classic in record books

It was an epic weekend of sun and surf in Laguna, setting the stage for a truly memorable 55th Annual Brooks St. Surfing Classic on Sept 15 - 16. “Surf was four to six feet with some bigger sets both days, great weather and warm water,” said Contest Director Brandy Faber.

The results from this year’s event include:

Special Awards: Cy Chambers Award – Kayla Coscino, Thom Chambers Award – Bastian Evans 

Results are Ryah Adams

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Ryah Arthur works wave into shore

Pro/Am: 1. Ryah Arthur (Orange) - $1000, 2. Travis Booth (Red) - $750, 3. Hans Hagen (Blue) - $500, 4. Jeff Booth (White) - $250

Legends (60 & Over): 1. Spike Atkinson (Red), 2. Doug Bunting (White), 3. Peter Basich (Green), 4. Chris Farley (Blue)

Grand Masters (50 & Over): 1.Todd Madsen (Blue), 2. Matt Flotho (Red), 3. Chad Gibbs (Green), 4. Scott Holt (White)

Sr. Masters (40-49): 1. Hans Hagen (Blue), 2. Tristram Miller (Green), 3. Jason Watson (White), 4. Aaron Gual (Red)

Masters (30-39): 1. Mike Todd (White), 2. Isaac Zoller (Blue), 3. Ryah Arthur (Green), 4. Mike Lombardo (Red)

Results are on top of wave

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Spectators' spectacular view

Sr. Men (24-29): 1. Porter Hogan (White), 2. Jack Monroe (Orange), 3. Hunter Smith (Green), 4. Troy MacDonald (Red), 5. David Brown (White)

Mens (18-23): 1. Michael Chapman (Red), 2. Jake Levine (White), 3. Zackary Levine (Green), 4. Nathan Madigan (Orange), 5. Cameron DePfyffer (Blue)

Jr. Mens (14-17): 1. Travis Booth (White), 2. Kiko Nelsen (Green), 3. Trey Lockhart (Blue), 4. Sam Nelsen (Red)

Boys (13 & Under): 1. Zach VanMeter (Green), 2. Hudson Saunders (Blue), 3. Jaxson Hutcheon (White), 4. Bastian Evans (Red)

Women (16 & over): 1. Tess Booth (White), 2. Kayla Coscino (Green), 3. Kelly Smith (Blue), 4. Devyn Linder (Orange), 5. Paige Vitolo (Yellow), 6. Scout Mitchell (Red)

Girls (15 & Under): 1. Tess Booth (White), 2. Scout Mitchell (Red), 3. Riley Belden (Blue), 4. Devyn Linder (Orange)

Results are Kelly Coscino

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Kayla Coscino scoring big time in first heat of Pro/AM

Longboard: 1. Troy MacDonald (Red), 2. Goff Stepien (White), 3. Paul Cernich (Orange), 4. Noel Lashley (Blue), 5. David Vanderveen (Yellow), 6. Paul Wade (Green)

Bodyboard: 1. Spencer Collins (Red), 2. Kiko Nelsen (Green), 3. Brian Sciacca (Blue), 4. Matt Blunk (Orange), 5. Michael Tanaka (Yellow), 6. James Henry (White)

Paddleboard: 1. Porter Hogan (White), 2. Zachary Levine (Orange), 3. Nathan Madigan (Yellow), 4. Matt Belde  (Red), 5. Peter Basich (Green). 

Faber says, “Special thanks to our sponsors this year as we could not have run such a great event without them: City of Laguna Beach, Laguna Surf & Sport, Purple Corduroy, The Shop, Roark, Billabong, Volcom, Costa Azul, The Soul Project, XS, Laguna Beach Beer Company, Surfing Heritage & Culture Center and Surfline for providing detailed forecasting.

Thanks to Shawn Stussy for this year’s T-shirt design and Randy Morgan for the trophies as well.

Results are Travis Booth

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Photo by Mike Tanaka

Travis Booth

“If inclined please take a moment to write to the city council a positive note about the event as it will go a long way for support of the future of the Classic. Make sure to mention the excellent job the city’s rec. department staff did with the event – Adam Gufarotti and Tierney Doran.

“Thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who attended and made it a great event!”

A rare orca family sighting off the Laguna coast wows us all

Photos by Rich German @richgermanlb

A rare orca baby

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Rich was lost for words capturing this beautiful orca family swimming by last Thursday off the Laguna coast

A rare orca underwater

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“I feel so fortunate to have had TWO mind blowing encounters with orcas within the last 24 hours off our coast. The highlight yesterday was watching the whales fly out of the water as the sun was setting,” said photographer Rich German.

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