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Art Museum Film Night will feature Mulholland Drive on Thursday, July 19

Laguna Art Museum will be featuring the classic film Mulholland Drive for their Film Night series on Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.

Art Museum Film

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This 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch tells the story of an aspiring actress, newly arrived in Los Angeles, who meets and befriends an amnesiac woman recovering from a car accident. The film follows several other vignettes and characters, including a Hollywood film director.

David Lynch was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for the film. It received four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

Ticket price is included with museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended. To reserve online, click here or call (949) 494-08971 x203.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive.

Public comment period closes today for Laguna Canyon Road project


Today is the deadline to submit comments on the Laguna Canyon Road project proposed by Caltrans, in partnership with the County and the City of Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones and CANDO President Penny Milne conducted a public forum on Thursday at the Susi Q to discuss the proposal, specifically on components of the project they believe would adversely affect the canyon and the safety of the road.

They were speaking to the choir.

Voices were raised in protest to the proposed project and to the process used to inform the public of the elements of the declaration [that potentially have] negative impacts on the environment or [need to be mitigated].

Without the financial resources to try to legally block the project, project opponents must rely on public comments to make Caltrans aware of environmental and safety concerns. 

“Caltrans will review the comments and respond to some of them,” said Jones.

comment El Toro

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Courtesy of LCF

The junction between El Toro Rd and Laguna Canyon Rd

Comment forms were made available at the forum, but no form letters. Jones opined that individual comments were preferable. However, City Council candidate Judie Mancuso, who spends much of her time dealing with bureaucrats in Sacramento, said form letters are more effective, because they reiterate the major concerns.

A Caltrans representative attended the forum, but was not introduced nor even acknowledged. 

What is proposed

The proposals that most concern Jones include the extension of the inbound merging lane by 900 feet past El Toro Road; and the undergrounding of utility poles in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park land on the north side of the highway, under the concrete shoulders to be constructed along the 1,200 foot extension of the outbound merge lane beginning at El Toro Road. A steep slope on the right side of the inbound lane will be contoured, rather than contained by a wall, as requested by environmentalists, but is to be mitigated offsite.

There is no question that Laguna Canyon Road does not meet Caltrans standards. The improvement project has been in the work for 10 years and it is tightly written, making it virtually impervious to legal challenges, as well as extremely expensive, according to Jones. 

What is opposed

“You have to pick your battles,” said Jones.

She doesn’t much like any of the project, but the top concerns of the Foundation are the 900-foot extension of the inbound merge lane and the plan to underground utilities past the proposed concrete shoulder and into parkland, describing it as a “take.” 

Extension of the inbound merge lane would require some drivers to cross two lanes of traffic to get in or out of the park’s Willow parking lot and does not enhance safety, Jones said. 

“The traffic study for the project does not look at that, nor did it consider the impacts of Anneliese School,” said Jones. “Someone asked me why we have that inbound merge lane at all and I thought, ‘brilliant’.”

Channeling the riparian area on the inbound side of Laguna Canyon Road before reaching El Toro Road is not viewed favorably due to its effect on habitat.

Milne said the plan, which includes damming Laguna Canyon Creek, is designed to keep water off the road, not to protect private property in the canyon.

“Drainage improvements favor the road – that’s Caltrans business,” said Milne. “They do not increase safety for homes or businesses. It is a loss of riparian habitat without corresponding benefits. 

“For those of us who live there (in the canyon) and love it or for those who drive through it and love it, our opinions do not equate with Caltrans.” 

Comments on the project may be emailed by 5 p.m. today to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submitted in writing to Edward Dolan, Associate Environmental Planner, California Department of Transportation, District 12, Division of Environmental Analysis, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705. 

For more information, contact Laguna Canyon Foundation at (949) 497-8324.

Sales tax measure hearing delayed until July 17

City Council Agenda items 11 and 12 on today’s meeting agenda, related to placing a potential sales tax measure on the November 2018 General Election ballot, will be continued to a special meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council to be held on July 17.

The items are being continued as Mayor Kelly Boyd is not feeling well and will miss the July 10 meeting, and he desires to be a part of the discussion and decision on the matter.

The July 17 special meeting is open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. in Laguna Beach City Council Chambers.

Street life: Laguna’s humming this summer

Photos by Scott Brashier

street life one direction

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One Direction isn’t only the name of a band – it’s where people were headed, to the beach, this hot last weekend

street life never too hot

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Somehow, it’s never too hot for pizza

street life surfboards

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We stop for surfboards

These images from Scott show that there’s a whole lot of fun-in-motion in town – not just downtown, but in the HIP District too

Southland dancers brought together for Laguna Dance Festival Summer Intensive Workshop

Last week was a big one for several dozen dancers from the southland who participated in Laguna Dance Festival’s Summer Intensive Workshop. The Laguna Dance Festival uniquely offers sensational world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries and site-specific outdoor venues. 

Southland dancers Desmond line

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Photo by Terra Deal

Desmond Richardson leads intense dance workshop

Laguna Dance Festival’s summer intensive workshop last week brought together internationally renowned dance artists Desmond Richardson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Festival founder, and Vice Dean of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Jodie Gates. 

Southland dancers younger

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Photo by Terra Deal

Leilani Smith, 12, of San Marcos

A total of 43 students were immersed in five full days of dance technique classes, composition, repertory and professional networking tips in the dance studio at Laguna Beach High School. Joining Gates and Richardson to teach were dance professionals Gillian Finley and Will Johnston. 

Southland dancers leaning

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Photo by Terra Deal

Dancers learn technique from Richardson

The Laguna Dance Festival transforms the distant world of stage dance into the proximity of a living room setting because of its capacity to bring the best dancers in today’s world onto the varied and unique stage venues of Laguna Beach.

Attracting both dancers and dance lovers to this idyllic resort setting, Laguna Dance Festival is dedicated to audience awareness and appreciation through major annual performances, as well as education and small group opportunities.

Southland dancers entire group

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Photo by Terra Deal

Dancers with Richardson and Jodie Gates (far right)

Since its inception, Laguna Dance Festival has presented companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, Trey McIntyre Project, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, MALPASO and Ballet BC, among others. Additionally, it has showcased the world’s most exciting talents from the Broadway stage, TV and screen and including principal dancers from The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The San Francisco Ballet.

For more information, go to

Sun salutations: A sensational silhouette by Scott

Photo by Scott Brashier

Sun salutations

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Saying sayonara to the sun with salutations last Sunday

Join the “I Heart OC” Boys & Girls Club Giving Day coming up on August 15

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is participating in a collaboration with all of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County to raise over $150,000 for the youth. The Clubs have designated August 15 to be a giving day for donors, friends, and family to show their support for their Club by making a donation on that very special day. 

Join the building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LB Boys and Girls Club

This OC Clubs collaboration brings together 15 Boys & Girls Clubs which combined have a total of 110 sites and serve over 95,922 youth annually. 

According to the Institute for Social Research and School of Public Health at the University of Michigan study, for every $1 invested in a Boys & Girls Club, the community receives $10 in return. That is an amazing ROI.

Join this exciting event and help children have a brighter future.

For more information, contact Michelle Fortezzo at (949) 715-7584.

Grammy nominated Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers shake up stage at Festival of the Arts this Saturday

Two-time Grammy nominated singer/saxophonist Mindi Abair will perform live this Saturday, July 14 at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts as part of the 2018 Concerts on the Green music series, sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery. This popular series highlights living legends in a casual outdoor gallery setting that offers a memorable and unique concert experience. Abair and her acclaimed band, The Boneshakers, will take the stage from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists, two-time Grammy nominee Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 2000. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, with a raucous tone and abandon. 

“There’s no mistaking the sound of Mindi Abair on her saxophone,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “Backed by the dynamic and talented musicians of the Boneshakers, this concert is one you won’t want to miss!” 

Grammy nominated Boneshakers

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Rodney Lee, Randy Jacobs, Mindi Adair, Derek Frank, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Third Richardson

She has garnered 10 number one radio hits, six top five solo records and two number one spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. In 2014, Abair received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.

To help translate this sound to her live shows, Abair enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was, Willie Nelson) to inject his brand of Detroit Rock/Funk. The collaboration was undeniable, and it led to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. 

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Derek Frank (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals). Their first record together, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle, was released in September 2015, and recorded at their first official show together in Seattle in February 2015.

Grammy nominated FOA

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers perform at Concerts on the Green this Saturday, July 14

General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Tickets for students and seniors are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5 daily. Admission is free for children 5 and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents. 

Passport to the Art, a special promotion funded in part by Bank of America, is $29 and includes unlimited admission all summer long to FOA, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

The Festival is open now through September 1 from noon - 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on weekends. There is an early closing on Tuesday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green are free with FOA admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert (includes Festival admission). Call (800) 487-3378 or order online at

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to

A Note from Shaena

At Stu News, we receive a number of Letters to the Editor that are passionate about readers’ concerns and quite forthright in their expressed opinions. 

Though we are very clear that these letters represent only the writers’ opinions, not ours, we love to publish them because they present a wide range of views and offer a variety of insights for the public to consider.

We invite you to keep a regular eye on our Letters section, including five new letters this issue, by clicking here.

A reminder of our Letters to the Editor policy: 

It is our firm intention to run any letter that any Laguna Beach resident writes to us with few exceptions.

If the subject of a letter is not a newsworthy individual, we will not publish a letter with any inkling of a personal attack.

We will not accept letters written about a business either positive or negative. It is much too easy for competitors to “create” letters about another business or to find a person willing to write something nice about their business.

If a business is newsworthy, it is probable that we will accept such a letter.

Generally, we will only change objectionable language in letters.

The best rule of thumb is that the decision of the editor is final.

Please send Letters to the Editor to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for publication.

Festival of Arts exhibitor Jorge Fernandez brings his art to the Pageant on July 7 through Sepember 1

Life has been a passionate journey of discovery for sculptor Jorge Fernandez. First juried into the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show in 2008, Fernandez originally left his home in Santiago, Chile to travel through South and Central America, then Mexico, and finally to the United States, before ultimately settling in South Laguna Beach. 

Initially developing a facility working in clay, Fernandez has since added bronze and resin castings to his repertoire. But what remains immediately apparent about his work is his fascination with culture and mythology, as he continues to explore the ways in which humanity and history converge.

A perfect case in point is his public artwork “From the Beginning,” which was installed in South Laguna near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seacove Drive. Inspired by stories about the discovery of “Laguna Woman” – fragments of fossilized human bones uncovered in 1933 at a construction site in Laguna Beach and carbon dated back to 12,000-17,000 years ago – Fernandez submitted a proposal to Laguna’s Arts Commission for a public sculpture. 

His figures, suggesting the first man and woman to venture into this area so many millennia ago, provided the artist with an opportunity to make an artistic statement about a sense of place and its effect on the human spirit. The artwork was installed at its present location in 2010. 

Since then, Fernandez, who lives nearby, still delights in his public sculpture. 

“I see it almost every day,” he said. To him, the sculpture has become part of the community and affirms his belief that, like his original couple, people have always been drawn to this area’s scenic and supportive setting.

Festival of Arts Jorge

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Submitted Photo

Explore Laguna’s first inhabitants “From the Beginning” with Jorge Fernandez

As she was conceiving this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” director Diane Challis Davy was also contemplating this area’s local history, how its artistic community developed, and how the area’s environmental diversity inspired generations of artists. 

Equally important, she hoped this summer’s Pageant – the 85-year-old theatrical celebration of art in tableaux vivants, “living pictures” – might encourage her audiences to share her reverence for nature’s many wondrous gifts and simple pleasures. It’s a connection Challis Davy believes must never be taken for granted. 

When her research led her to Fernandez’s eloquent public sculpture, she realized she’d found the opening artwork for this summer’s Pageant, which is itself a love letter to Laguna life, “From the Beginning.”

Since his first inclusion in the Festival of Arts in 2008, the annual summer showcase has allowed Fernandez, as one of the 140 artists working in a wide variety of mediums, to introduce his work to future patrons. He considers his involvement with the Festival to be invaluable to his continued growth as an artist. While preparing a series of new works created primarily in bronze to exhibit in this summer’s Festival, Fernandez was delighted when Challis Davy asked if she might include his public sculpture in this year’s Pageant. In addition to transforming it into a “living picture” as part of the opening of the show, she also saw it as a wonderful addition to the production’s meditation on nature, finding a place in the world, and the power of art to inspire us all. 

For Fernandez, having his deeply personal art included in “Under the Sun” is an honor he’s happy to share with everyone visiting Laguna Beach and the Pageant this summer.

Dianne’s Creature Feature

Don’t mess with a fierce female Tarantula Hawk


“Just lie down and start screaming,” that’s the advice Justin Schmidt, entomologist and author of The Sting of the Wild, gives to anyone unfortunate enough to have been stung by a tarantula hawk. Although it lasts for only three to five minutes, Schmidt says, “The pain is instantaneous, electrifying, excruciating, and totally debilitating.” 

Tarantula hawks are a tribe of spider wasps (Pompilidae) belonging to the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis. Each species of this tribe is specialized in hunting a different spider species. They are widely known as tarantula hawks because of their capability to overpower tarantulas. 

Tarantula hawk’s sting is not lethal, but you may want to die

 According to, its sting ranks second on Schmidt’s pain index, beaten only by the South American bullet ant. (Yes, Schmidt has his own pain index; he’s been stung by over 150 species of insects.)

And the screaming doesn’t stop there. The method by which the female tarantula hawk provides an “all you can eat” spider buffet for her maturing kids is even more shriek-worthy. Read on for the great reveal later in this article…You can’t make this stuff up (well someone has, Mother Nature, and she doesn’t pull any punches). 

Thanks to Lenny Vincent, the Spider-Man, the more I learn about insects, the more I respect the female gender. In almost every insect species, the female is the heavy lifter, and only female wasps (and bees) sting. For the female tarantula hawk, that makes perfect sense, since she brings home the bacon, or in this case, the tarantula. However, the method by which she does it isn’t for the faint of heart. And are the kids grateful? I doubt it.

Dont mess TH stinger

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Photo submitted by Lenny Vincent

Formidable stinger of female tarantula hawk 

Interestingly, she’s able to choose the sex of her offspring. Female babies come from fertilized eggs, the males from unfertilized eggs, and the mom can select the sex by allowing stored sperm to fertilize an egg of her choice. Pretty nifty.

But she has a lot of responsibility. What mother guarantees three meals a day until their child’s maturation? Granted, she doesn’t have to cook any of them, but she’s still a fierce provider in every way. 

Males are frat boys

The males, on the other hand, spend their days sipping nectar from flowers, chasing other males, and mating with females. Sounds suspiciously like college boys, sipping beer, rabble rousing with their buds, and coupling at frat parties. 

Okay, let the wailing begin! Exactly how does the female tarantula hawk hunt and gather this take-out, or in her case, this take-in menu? Since only one spider provides the “growing years” meal, it makes sense that the bigger the tarantula, the bigger the meal, and the larger the hawk that it feeds. (The males are smaller, and for mating purposes, it doesn’t matter, so she feeds the big ones to the females, who obviously need the nourishment more than the lazy males.)

Dont mess tarantula

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Photo submitted by Lenny Vincent

Don’t be frightened by their appearance, tarantulas are harmless to humans

Surprisingly, the female hawk provides each babe with only one spider. How does this “unwitting caretaker,” as Schmidt calls the poor tarantula, end up as a feast? 

According to, the tarantula hawk is an extremely effective hunter. Only one in 400 battles ends in a hawk’s death. Although tarantulas are harmless to humans, they do have massive fangs that can harm a hawk.

In a David and Goliath battle, the tarantula hawk wins

The female tarantula hawk is a master strategist. Once she zeroes in on a tarantula, she advances and retreats repeatedly (trying to find a weak spot) until she gets in underneath, flips it over and then stings, which instantly paralyzes the spider. She then drags it to her burrow or back to the tarantula’s own den (adding insult to injury, a home invasion of the worst kind). A tarantula hawk is able to drag a spider weighing as much as eight times her own weight.

Once safe in the burrow, she lays a single egg on the spider, then seals the entrance to the burrow. If that’s not bad enough, here comes the gross part. In three or four days, when the egg hatches into a larva, it digs into the spider’s abdomen and starts eating the still paralyzed spider, focusing on its non-essential tissues to keep it alive for as long as possible (sometimes weeks). Yikes. Per, they save the heart for last. Eventually, the offspring emerges from the spider as an adult and will survive on nectar. 

Dont mess attack

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Photo from About Animals

Tarantula Hawk dragging live, paralyzed tarantula back to burrow

Not surprisingly, tarantula hawks don’t need to be fearful of predators. They have few natural predators, and there are no reports of animals being dumb enough to go after them. 

Considering all that female goes through for the survival of her offspring, they have a relatively short life span. Males live up to two months, females a little longer. However, they do seem to make the most of it. Because they feed on nectar, they consume fermented fruits when available, and often get to the point where they can hardly fly. (

Tarantula hawks know how to party

That’s just what we need, a bunch of drunk tarantula hawks, cruising around looking for a fight, though we only need to be wary of the females. So, how do you tell the difference? Males have straight antennae and those on the females are curved. Also, the males have seven articulating exoskeleton segments, and the females have only six. 

The only problem is that you have to get up close and personal to tell the difference. Probably, not a good idea, unless you want to end up on the ground screaming for your life, or your death.

LBPD drone program launches, takes off in a big way (starting with finding a lost dog, in true Laguna style)


Laguna Beach Police Department has some new recruits that are creating quite a buzz in law enforcement. Manned by licensed pilots who don’t ride in the cockpit, remote-controlled drones Air 1, Air 2 and Air 3 are the newest crime and safety agents deployed at LBPD.

“As far as we know, we’re the first police department in OC to use drones,” said LBPD Sgt George Ramos, watch commander, who pilots the program. Corporal Thom Spratt and Officer Mike Short are the other pilots on the three-man team. 

He [Ramos] was the right person to lead the program,” Capt Jeff Calvert explained. “I tapped him because he was already a pilot and had the FAA certifications, and that was something we needed to get our Certificate of Authorization.”

“All three of us are trained to fly. We practice and practice, so we all have a lot of fly time,” Sgt Ramos said.

LBPD started researching the drone program in October and launched it in January with months of intensive training in order to obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA. Most of December and January were spent on hours of training.

“Initially they sent me to a drone expo in San Jose to talk with agencies that already had programs. I learned that it really is the future for law enforcement,” Sgt Ramos said. “It’s an excellent tool to save man hours and to protect officers and the public.”

Ramos said he came back from the expo really excited about the seemingly endless possibilities.

LBPD flying matrice

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD is the first police department in Orange County to launch an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Using its three drones, LBPD can search miles of hillside and wilderness area quietly and efficiently in just minutes to help locate lost persons and protect our community from dangerous fire hazards. 

 “A drone as far as the FAA is considered is an aircraft, just like any other manned aircraft,” Sgt Ramos said. “We are allowed to fly in what’s considered class G airspace, which is uncontrolled, and we have authorization to fly in some controlled air spaces.”

Their first mission was very fitting for Laguna Beach.

“We had not used the drones on a mission until March. I think it was to look for a lost dog. Yes, it was for a lost dog,” Sgt Ramos said (the dog was found).

 Since then LBPD has used drones on search warrants, as well as to look for unlawful campsites in the canyons, fire areas, and traffic accidents to mention a few applications. 

To do the same surveillance using a helicopter is cost prohibitive. 

“When we call the County to send over a helicopter it costs $600 to $800 an hour. The actual operational costs for these drones are less than a dollar an hour,” Sgt Ramos said.

“As an organization we are always looking for enforcement multipliers to help us enforce the law and provide a better quality of life for our citizens,” Capt Jeff Calvert said. “And using the drones has really expanded our resources exponentially. We essentially have a helicopter program now without the exorbitant costs.”

LBPD has three different drones each with its own purpose, utility, and mission. Air 1 is a Matrice 210. It’s the largest drone with the most capabilities and a workhorse when it comes to any major operations. Air 2 is a Phantom 4 Pro and has been used most in the field thus far. The smallest is a bright red DJI Mavic Air used for inside surveillance. Small but mighty, it can basically fit in the palm of a hand.

The largest of the drones has a hand-tilt zoom camera and it’s also got a thermal imaging and FLIR system.

“The thermal camera, what it will help us do is locate heat sources, even in the dark,” Sgt Ramos said. “Outside, it allows us to find somebody hiding under a car and definitely trees and bushes, but mostly it’s used for missing hikers. If we’re looking for a mountain lion or coyotes, those will show up fairly clear with the thermal.”

LBPD drone dog

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD’s drone program’s first mission was finding a missing dog

Capt Calvert elaborated on the capabilities of Air 1.

“We’re going to use that on red flag days. They’ll go set up in the canyon and do scans for any heat signatures,” Capt Calvert explained. “We used to have civilian personnel driving up and down the canyon looking for the same thing, but they don’t have the same view as the drone. One person using the drone can achieve what normally takes four or five people to do during the course of a shift.”

In other words, the drone can help fight fires before they start.

Air 3 is used to search interior spaces, buildings, and houses, and to clear the area. 

“We can use the drone to go in ahead of us and clear the rooms as we go in. So when we get a burglary alarm and there’s an open door or open window, we can send the drone in first and search the house, or at least do a rough search, and then follow up with officers,” Sgt Ramos said. “If the criminal sees it, one of two things will happen; it will distract the criminal or he/she will see it, and knock it out of the air. Now we know there is a criminal in the room, so the risk is less. It can help protect the officers, and give us intelligence.”

Flying inside [a building] is part of what the pilots were trained to do during their intensive training program.

“In the past, if you had a barricaded suspect in a car or in a home you would send in the SWAT team, and you’re basically putting people’s lives at risk because you don’t know who is behind that door,” Capt Calvert said. “Now we can open a door and we can actually send a small drone in and get situational awareness on where the suspect may be, and determine whether the suspect is armed.”

Capt Calvert thinks LBPD will be ultimately using the Matrice/Air 1 the most because of its thermal imaging and payload capacity among other things.

 “We used the Matrice to scan the area where the suspects took off and fled from the boat [that landed in Crystal Cove recently]. Four people had already been captured, but we sent the drone up to look for other people.”

It’s a fraction of the cost compared to older methods.

“We’re working with all our public safety partners in the City, assessing the programs, deciding how they can best be used,” Capt Calvert said. 

 “We want to be mindful of the community and the public [and reassure them] that this is not a tool that we’re using to look into people’s windows. It’s a tool to help us, and our job is to make to keep the officers safe and keep the community safe as well,” Capt Calvert said.

Most of the field personnel have been trained to be visual observers of the drones, while the pilot does the flight.

Right now, the mid-size or Air 2 is the one they’ve used the most, and mostly for accident scenes. 

lbpd drone sunset

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Courtesy of LBPD

Air 2 (a DJI Phantom 4), takes off at sunset for a low light training mission

“We’ve taken it out to accident scenes. We can download all the photos and with the software you’ve got a 3-D photogrammetry, a measurement system that can precisely measure, so we don’t have to necessarily close the highway down,” Sgt Ramos noted. “Instead of taking hours, this way in five minutes we have 200 to 300 photos, we can download from the computer and do all our measurements right here, so we’re able to open the road up right away.” 

And that actually was one of the big selling points, to be able to use it for major accident scenes and fatal accidents scenes.

“We can use it for accident reconstruction, search and rescue,” Capt Calvert added. “If we have an active shooter we could use it for an active shooter response.

“The biggest advantage is that it gives us the ability to go where officers can’t go. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a bomb threat – it’s fundamentally changing how we are responding to calls now.”

He says that the middle drone takes only a couple minutes to be ready, so it can be quickly on scene. The larger one, once it is on scene, probably takes about five minutes and then it is in the air, and the small one takes almost no time to be operational.

“We used ours in the last fire that we had in the canyon, when it was over, to survey the area, but we don’t [deploy] manned and unmanned aircraft at same time, we stay on the ground,” Sgt Ramos said.

The drones land on their own helipad, size appropriate for each one.

“Say you’re flying and you lose sight of it for whatever reason – here’s a great feature, all of them have a “return to home button”…so the GPS will bring it back to your location and the camera will fine tune it to land right where it took off,” Sgt Ramos said.

After summer the LBPD plans on training more pilots. To date, the drones have been on 23 missions and counting.

“We’re on the cutting-edge of technology. We’ve taken a leadership role and a lot of other agencies are looking to us to see how we’re developing our program. So far it has been very successful,” Capt Calvert said.

“We are set with the three drones that we have now. We have a fully operational program and three pilots,” Sgt Ramos said.

LBPD drone heisler

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Courtesy of LBPD

The view from Air 1 (a DJI Matrice 210), as it descends for a landing near the Lifeguard Headquarters at Main Beach

As for needing additional drones, Sgt Ramos said, “We shouldn’t need any more. As far as functionality, I think we have what we need. LBPD wants to have more pilots, probably around seven to 10 is my best guess.”

Capt Calvert said they wanted to introduce the drone program and roll it out to the public once everything was in place. He feels confident that now’s a perfect time.

“We wanted to make sure the community is comfortable with the program and to ensure the public that we have strict policies in place,” Capt Calvert said.

West Nile Virus detected in Orange County

Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) has confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018. The mosquitoes were collected from the city of Garden Grove, near Garden Grove Blvd and Newhope Street on July 3.

“Although we are hoping that this is going to be a mild season for West Nile virus, it is still critical that residents take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites,” said Robert Cummings, OCMVCD’s Director of Scientific Technical Services.

District staff will post signs and distribute flyers alerting residents to the detection of the virus, and preventative measures they can take to reduce becoming infected. Additional inspectors have been deployed to canvass the area to look for mosquito breeding sources, expand public education, and work with city officials to fix infrastructure issues.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. Young children, the elderly or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk to experience severe symptoms when infected.

There are no reported birds with West Nile virus or confirmed cases of human infections at this time in Orange County.

Since its introduction in 2003, WNV has infected more than 6,500 people and has caused 292 fatalities statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health. West Nile virus is endemic in California and in Orange County, and presents a risk to public health every year.

Around the home, eliminate breeding sources for mosquitoes:

--Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week

--Clean and scrub birdbaths and pet water bowls weekly

--Dump water from potted plant saucers 

Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to OCMVCD. For more information, please contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421, or visit

With My Own Two Hands Foundation holds fifth annual Red Carpet Documentary screening on July 15

The Fifth Annual Red Carpet Documentary Screening for With My Own Two Hands Foundation will take place on July 15 from 5 - 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 - $150. 

With My Own Two Hands is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach that is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions for projects in Africa that benefit children in need. 

With my own two children

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With My Own Two Hands supports water and agricultural projects that fund education and create self-reliant projects and communities to more than 3,000 people in Kenya. Host of the event is Stan Verrett, ESPN host/anchor of SportsCenter. The event features Red Carpet photos, special guests, hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction items, guest speakers and live performers.

For more information and tickets, visit

The Red Carpet Documentary takes place at The Port Theater, 2905 E Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Lovely lemons dressing up an otherwise boring mechanical that’s making lemonade! 

Maggi asked where, and first on it was John Walker. Other observant readers included Kristen Purll, Christine Shields, Robyn Sherain, Wendy Pearce, Ina Inouye Wu, and Lindsay Smith-Rosales. 

Did you know where to find this in Laguna? 

Maggi promises another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi Wendt Terrace

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Life gave us lemons – on Wendt Terrace, near Thalia 

Tip-A-Cop fundraiser will help raise money for Special Olympics on Saturday, July 28 at Ruby’s

Laguna Beach Police Department employees will be volunteering their time in conjunction with Special Olympics athletes to work alongside Ruby’s Diner restaurant staff to help raise money for the Special Olympics Orange County Region at a Tip-A-Cop® fundraiser. The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Ruby’s Diner located at 30622 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

The Laguna Beach Police Department, along with the international law enforcement community, has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. Police officers partner with area restaurants to hold Special Olympics Fundraisers on specific dates, hosted by one or more restaurants. Officers and Special Olympics athletes meet and greet customers, help take orders and deliver drinks and food orders, while interacting with restaurant guests. 

tip a cop fundraiser

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Photo from archives

Sgt Jim Cota is great at serving the community in every possible way

Customers are encouraged to “tip the cop” for their service in the form of a tax deductible donation, 100 percent of which will go to the Special Olympics program. This is in addition to the customary tip left for the restaurant’s server for their service. 

There will be an exotic car display which will include Lamborghinis, Peganis, McLarens and Porsches. The Police Department will also have a police car, police motorcycle, police K-9 unit, drone demonstration, face painting station and a balloon artist on site for this event. The community can enjoy great food, interact with some of Laguna Beach’s ‘Finest’ and Special Olympics athletes while supporting a great cause. 

Special Olympics relies on fundraisers for the many services it provides to our Special Olympics Athletes. 

Events are held annually in more than 170 countries for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 3.1 million athletes of all ages are involved in these Special Olympics programs. The Laguna Beach Police Department is very proud to be able to play a small part in promoting Special Olympics and providing opportunities for the athletes to train, compete, have fun, and become productive and respected members of society. 

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joe Torres at (949) 497-0330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fireworks or sea creatures?

Photos by Chef (and artist) Miki Izumisawa of 242 Café Fusion

fireworks star

fireworks two stars

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Seems like Chef Izumisawa knows a thing or too about explosions – not just fireworks pics, also how to make flavors explode in your mouth at Café Fusion….

Coastal Eddy a gallery presents “Another Happening Show” by Richard White, opening on Sunday, July 15

Coastal Eddy a gallery is thrilled to present the art of Richard White in “Another Happening Show.” Although Richie left too soon in February of 2015, what still remains is his body of work that ranges from large scale public art, fired in place performances, figurative works, as well as drawings. 

The show runs from July 15 - August 15. The opening, “Celebrating everything Richie,” will be held on Sunday, July 15 from 2 until 5 p.m. 

Coast Eddy White

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Richard White

His legacy is fixed among his many hundreds of students he shared his vast knowledge with from 1998-2015 at Saddleback College. His last focus was on his body of work, “Lenses”, large-scale plates. This work was directly inspired by his participation in several multidisciplinary (jazz, spoken word, painting, sculpting) performances, titled Happening/Unhappening, the premise being that jazz and art share a nonverbal “commonality of being in the moment.” 

Coastal Eddy discs

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“Lenses” – large scale plates

Reccurring themes and symbolism are also part of this work, and the show will emphasize the meaning and origins a la Richard. It will be a happening, so RSVP to (949) 715-4113. 

Coastal eddy a gallery, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S Coast Hwy.

For more information, go to

Laguna Beach Vibe seeks nominations for 2nd Annual Best of Laguna Beach Contest, deadline July 20

Laguna Beach Vibe – a hyper-local arts and entertainment publisher and media services provider in Laguna Beach – announces the opening of nominations for the organization’s 2018 citywide Best of contest. 

Laguna Beach Sawdust

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2017 Winner Best Local Festival – Sawdust Festival

The nominations are now in progress and will continue until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 20. Residents of Laguna Beach, along with readers of Laguna Beach Vibe, can visit to nominate local businesses, restaurants, retailers, entertainers and others in eight different topic areas that roll up to nearly 140 individual categories. The regular voting period for those that have been nominated is Wednesday, Aug 1 through Tuesday, Sept 4. 

“This year’s program builds on the success we had in 2017 when launching Laguna Beach’s first-ever citywide and citizen-driven-and-voted-on Best of contest,” said Lisa Farber, Founder & Publisher of Laguna Beach Vibe

“The Best of Laguna Beach Contest gives our citizens and visitors alike the opportunity to reward local businesses, entertainers and others in our community for the good work they do throughout the year, and for business owners who win, it provides them with an important endorsement and point of differentiation in a highly competitive retail/business environment,” she added. 

Laguna Beach Devon Mena

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2017 Winner Best Tattoo Artist – Devon Mena

Key dates for this year’s Best of: Friday, July 20, nomination period ends at 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug 1, voting period opens at 12 p.m.; Tuesday, Sept 4, voting period ends at 5 p.m.; Thursday, Nov 1, winners announced in Laguna Beach Vibe and on its website.

This year’s “Best of” categories include Arts, Eat & Drinks, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Living Local, Professional Services, Shopping, and Stay & Play. Included among the nearly 140 “Best of” sub-categories are: Art Gallery, Plein Air Artist, Bar, Bartender, Pizza, Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant, Band, Club DJ, Solo Performer, Barbershop, Doctor, Massage, Personal Trainer, City Council Members, Mountain Bike Trail, Surf Spot, REALTOR, Tattoo/Piercing Shop, Grocery Store, Home Décor/Furnishings Store, Jewelry Store, Hotel/Resort and more. 

Laguna Beach The Stand

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2017 Winner Best Local Place for Juice – The Stand Natural Foods

For more information, visit

Laguna Beach Library presents The Beatles, from Liverpool to Abbey Road with Vincent Bruno

On Monday, July 9, Laguna Beach Library is presenting The Beatles from Liverpool to Abbey Road with Vincent Bruno from 4 - 6 p.m. Join this event for a night filled with rocking fun. 

Laguna Beach Library Beatles

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The Beatles are up for discussion at Laguna Beach Library on Monday, July 9

Rock historian Vincent Bruno will present a lecture that follows in the footsteps of The Beatles. This will be an informative talk, and is free to the public. 

Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre Street. For more information, call (949) 497-1733.

Dianne’s Creature Feature

Gopher snake or rattlesnake? Know your snakes!

Don’t let the slither get you in a dither


Doing the laundry doesn’t usually involve a snake, but in Laguna Beach resident Tom Joliet’s case, recently it did. Who knew laundry was dangerous? Well, it’s not really, because his snake was a gopher snake (a Pacific version of the bull snake). And although they closely (and frighteningly) resemble rattlesnakes, gopher snakes are harmless.

Joliet says, “I stepped on this gopher snake on the sidewalk while carrying laundry today. This is a reminder about snakes to all residents. There are more than one of these useful, harmless snakes by our condos. Be aware that rattlesnakes are also around.” 

Gopher snake Joliet 1

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Photo by Tom Joliet

Gopher snake spotted at Tom Joliet’s condo 

Joliet reminds us: Watch, while walking, for sticks on the sidewalk that move; shut laundry room doors at all times; snakes like to stay under the heat of the hot water tanks; keep pets on leash.

Perhaps most importantly, he advises, “Know how to identify dangerous and common snakes.”

And that’s where we come in. Or rather the point where Outreach and Restoration Manager Cameron Davis from Laguna Canyon Foundation (LCF) offers her expertise, “Gopher snakes are the largest local snake - sometimes reaching almost six ft in length! They are fairly common in our wilderness park. They are often found coming in or out of holes dug by the native pocket gopher – one of the snakes’ favorite food sources, which also earned them their name. They eat a variety of small rodents.” 

gopher snake Davis

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Photo by Cameron Davis, LCF

A baby gopher snake is very curious about Cameron Davis

Gopher snakes are constrictors, which means they suffocate their prey. Rattlesnakes use venom to overcome their prey and use their rattles to warn away enemies.

According to, rattlesnakes and gopher snakes can look eerily similar to the untrained eye. With similar square- or diamond-shaped markings and no-nonsense temperaments, these two species are often mistaken for each other. So, obviously, it’s important to recognize the differences between non-venomous gopher snakes (members of the Pituophis genus) and venomous rattlesnakes (members of the Crotalus genus and viper family).

Resemblance only skin deep

Gopher snakes and rattlesnakes resemble each other only superficially. They have the same sort of markings and colors, and both snakes can be a bit short-tempered. But they differ in length. The longest rattlesnake is about nine feet long, and the fangs of a big rattlesnake can grow up to an inch long. But most rattlesnakes only grow to five feet long. The gopher snake grows from six to nine feet long. Both snakes eat rabbits, squirrels, mice and other rodents. But there are other differences as well, per

Venomous versus nonvenomous

Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, which means they’re venomous and have facial pits between their eyes and their nostrils. These pits sense the temperature of what’s in front of them. The rattlesnake’s pits can detect temperature differences of as little as one third of a degree Fahrenheit, which helps the snake when hunting at night. The gopher snake doesn’t have pit organs and is non-venomous.

Head shape and pupils give away identity

Gopher snake rattlesnakeEven though their body types differ – the gopher snake is longer, its body is slender and whip-like compared to the rattlesnake’s heavy-bodied, broad appearance – the big give-a-way is the shape of the head and pupils. Rattlesnakes have a flat, triangular head in comparison to a gopher snake’s narrow, rounded one. And gopher snakes have a dark stripe that extends from the top of their heads to either side of their eyes.

Gopher snake gopherWhile rattlesnakes and gopher snakes both have round eyes on both sides of their heads, it’s their pupils that signal their identity. Rattlesnakes have vertical, cat-like pupils, while gopher snakes have rounded pupils. (However, this method of identification requires that you get a bit too close for my liking.)

Gopher snakes mimic rattle, but don’t have the goods

To keep predators away, in an extremely smart method of impersonation, a gopher snake tries to imitate the rattling of a rattlesnake’s tail. A gopher snake will often hiss and vibrate its tail when agitated. This aggressive behavior and tail “rattling” mimics the rattlesnake. Although the buzzing sound of a gopher snake’s tail vibrating against the ground sounds nearly identical to the vibration of a rattlesnake’s actual rattle, gopher snakes lack the rattle found on the end of a rattlesnake’s tail. 

Gopher snake Joliet 2

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Photo by Tom Joliet

Rather artistic pose of gopher snake by Tom Juliet’s condo

Look for tail position and shape 

Whether rattling or hissing, the position of the tail differs as well. Rattlers raise their tail when threatened, but bull snakes keep their tail low to the ground. Additionally, a rattlesnake’s tail is wide and blunt, while a gopher snake’s tail is slender and pointed. 

Although not important for identification purposes, another of the obvious differences between a gopher snake and a rattlesnake is their reproductive process. Rattlesnakes give live birth to young, whereas gopher snakes lay eggs. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) gives birth to a brood of six to 21 live young. Gopher snakes, on average, lay two clutches of two to 24 eggs each year.

I don’t know any herpetologists or even anyone who has a pet snake, but it is said that gopher snakes make excellent pets after they’re captured. So here’s another difference between the two: very few people would capture and make a pet out of a rattlesnake…

Whether you are out on the trails or just doing your laundry, watch your step! And know your snakes.

Flyover on the Fourth: the Condor Squadron

Photos by Stephanie Young

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flyover with sun

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On July Fourth at around 5:45 p.m., Laguna was treated to a flyover by the Condor Squadron. By flying in vintage WWII planes, these aviation enthusiasts honor the memory of those who have served our country.

One of the fleet’s main activities is performing memorial flights in restored North American Aviation AT-6/SNJ trainers originally flown during World War II. 

This year the group flew south from Huntington Beach to San Clemente.

For more information, visit

Fireworks forever? Talk about a bang for your buck!

Laguna Beach Fire Chief Mike Garcia tells Stu News that the sheer volume (in numbers and sound!) of fireworks on July 4 was the result of a trio of shows: the City show at 9 p.m., launched off Monument Point at Heisler Park, along with two displays organized by Emerald Bay, launched from a couple of barges.

fireworks Shanna Cuevas

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Photo by Shanna Cuevas (from Facebook)

Spectacular – though the haziness didn’t allow for many great photos this year

The City spends about $32,000 for the show. The show is a long-standing city tradition to provide an alternative to private firework shows. 

The fireworks display is not presently covered by any donations, although some time ago, for a couple of years, the show was covered or subsidized by donations from the Board of Realtors.

Do high heat and high surf for the next few days equal high anxiety? Not if you know your limitations


As reported by Kai Bond, Captain of Marine Safety, 52 ocean rescues were made over the Fourth of July holiday. And the holiday could just be the start of a hectic and precarious time for both beachgoers and lifeguards. Over the next few days, not only is high heat predicted, but due to Hurricane Fabio, big surf is heading our way. 

As reported by, the latest eastern Pacific hurricane, Fabio, is beginning to weaken, but will generate some swells that will reach Southern California.

Do high Divers Cove

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Diver’s Cove

Capt. Bond says, “There will be five to eight foot waves with larger sets of swells until Friday night at 9 p.m. Along with the increased air and water temperature, it will be a busy time for everyone. It will be yellow flag with strong rip tides.”

At least at this point, he says, they will be at Level I staffing (which is staffing for summer), although they could employ extra lifeguards. However, they will be putting an extra rescue watercraft in the water in addition to the one they normally utilize.

As for precautions, Capt. Bond strongly advises beachgoers to check in with lifeguards and swim in front of an open lifeguard station. Most importantly, he says, “Know your limitations, and understand the ocean conditions.”

For further safety information, go to

Brooks Street is in the news, and it’s not even Halloween…

As told to Mary Hurlbut by Steve Cohn

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Most Lagunans know that Brooks Street is famous for the amazing decorations that residents display during Halloween (and the candy they give out). But not nearly as many people realize that the street is also becoming famous for its Fourth of July Parade.

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The sun smiled on happy faces at the Brooks Street parade on the Fourth

Here’s the history: the Brooks Street Fourth of July Parade came about when Howard Hills lived there back in 2007. Hills had heard about the one held down in South Laguna and felt one was needed for all the kids on his street – including games and pie-eating contests, along with decorating scooters, wagons and bikes. 

Then in 2008, Mark Metherell, who grew up in Laguna and lived on Brooks, died in Iraq. It was decided to combine the paddle-out for Mark with the parade.

Over the years, the parade has grown and evolved with a flag raising ceremony at the Jensens’ home – Eric Jensen is a retired Navy pilot and has large flagpole in his front yard.

And so on Wednesday, decorated cars and golf carts and people (and animals) paraded down the street, followed by the paddle out to Second Reef and a huge potluck with neighbors afterwards.

You don’t get much more American than that!

International Hair Salon crosses the street from Hotel Laguna, where it has resided for 33 years 


After 33 years, the International Hair Salon is crossing the street. Owner Noreen Goodman has proudly operated the business in the Hotel Laguna for all those years, and she would have liked to continue on there, but there is “so much uncertainty,” as she describes it, with the closing of the hotel and papering up of the adjacent businesses. Not exactly ideal for attracting summer clientele.

Goodman has found new footing for the salon at the Gregory Stevens location just across the street. “Gregory Stevens has been there 27 years, and has a good reputation in town,” Goodman said. “I was looking for a while – and he had one station available.”

In the nick of time for summer business, International Salon’s Noreen Goodman will launch at the new location – 540 S Coast Hwy – on Tuesday.

International Hair Noreen

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International Hair Salon’s Noreen Goodman

Goodman originally trained with the Sassoon brand artistic director 39 years ago. She’s a cutting and colorist specialist, always keeping up to date with the latest coloring techniques. Additionally, she’s a make-up and up-do specialist who always includes brow tinting with hair styling at no extra cost. She looks out for her client’s best features. “I try to make them feel special and beautiful,” she says.

The products she uses are the finest from Italy and Germany: Alfaparf, and Keune.

“I also do a lot of coloring for men,” she says. “Staying young, youthful.”

She adds, “It’s been nice to meet people from all over the world. I love learning about other cultures.”

Goodman is excited about the move to the new location. One nice feature is that there is underground parking available for free, for customers. 

In celebration of the change, International Hair Salon is offering a sweet deal for new clients. Goodman will be giving a free conditioning treatment and gloss for hair – it smoothes and shines the hair beautifully (and is normally a $40 service).

Call (949) 212-8076 to book appointments.

Where’s Maggi?

Sometimes life gives you lemons. Maggi likes the lemons that showed up here. Where? 

If you know where this is, drop Maggi a note and let her know you’re onto her whereabouts. 

Submit your answer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This photo mystery spot will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 7 6 18

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Photo by Meg Monahan

Laguna Beach Seniors announces two new members to its Board of Directors

Laguna Beach Seniors is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the 12-member board are Renae Hinchey and Stephany Skenderian. Each has a strong desire to serve the needs of Laguna’s senior community and a passion and dedication to Laguna Beach Seniors’ ambitious “aging in place” initiative – Lifelong Laguna.

Renae Hinchey has served as the General Manager of Laguna Beach County Water District for eighteen years. Prior to this, she worked for the City of Anaheim and also Western Municipal Water for more than ten years. She has experience working for both public and private organizations throughout her career, including seven years with TRW and eight years with Southern California Gas Company. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Lifetime Teaching Credential.

Stephany Skenderian grew up in Corning, NY and in 1976 received an Associate in Applied Sciences Degree in Dental Hygiene at Broome Community College in Binghamton, NY. Shortly after graduation, Stephany relocated to Southern California and practiced dental hygiene for over 40 years. Throughout her career, Stephany participated in various volunteer programs for underserved communities and mentored students who were interested in the field of dentistry.

laguna beach seniors two

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Pictured left to right, Renae Hinchey and Stephany Skenderian

“We welcome both Renae and Stephany to a dedicated and talented board,” said Nadia Babayi, Laguna Beach Seniors executive director. “Our highest priority is to work with our local partner organizations to promote the ‘aging in place’ concept, and prepare for a growing population of older adults in Laguna.” 

Located at 380 Third Street in downtown Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q Senior Center operates independently as a 501c(3) nonprofit in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach Seniors has been enhancing the lives of seniors for over 40 years. Mental health support, care management, recreational and educational classes, programs, activities and events are available and designed for seniors 55+ that promote independence, wellness and community. For more information, visit

Travel insurance policies and the English language: Not sure which is more confounding to me


So I was planning a trip to New Zealand next January and decided to take out trip insurance. The older I get, the more aware I become of the fragility of life, and though so far I haven’t done too badly for my age (62), I have witnessed friends and family suffering every known medical condition (except perhaps housemaid’s knee: hat-tip here to Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, best book ever) – from hip surgery to strokes to serious cancer diagnoses. 

So trip insurance seemed to make sense.

The small group tour company recommended World Nomads, and I paid for a policy within a week or so of booking the trip, as advised – nothing outrageous in terms of cost – and not one that covered cancellation for any reason, because those are wildly expensive. 

But I felt good about taking that precaution, given that I’m normally one to throw caution to the winds (where it sometimes churns up a hurricane of unforeseen circumstances).

For once I was being sensible. 

travel insurance chile

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Photo courtesy Lynette Brasfield

Neither Bill nor I took out travel insurance when we traveled to Chilean Patagonia – lucky we didn’t wrench our ankles on this hike!

Well, long story short, as they say, though most people who say that really mean, “This is a very, very long story but I’ll make it just a tiny bit shorter for you, so be grateful, be quiet, and prepare to sacrifice the next twenty minutes of your life,” – I decided to cancel my trip for several reasons, the tipping point being the very recent cancer diagnosis of a close family member. 

I realized that despite the possible basis for a claim – “the illness of a close family member” – that my claim might not be viable, because I have no idea, and neither does this person, how he will feel in January – we are indeed optimistic that all will be well. 

By then it might indeed not be a valid reason to cancel the trip from an insurance company’s point of view, so yes indeed, why would World Nomads pay out?

But, whatever, this was my first experience with travel insurance, so I posed the question to the agent – did I have a claim?

I find myself in Bizarro world

This was the response, which confounded me. I was In Bizarro world!

If you would like to provide documentation, such as a cancelled air itinerary, showing your trip has been cancelled and documentation that you received a full refund for all of your travel arrangements, we will further review your request.

What? If I had received a full refund (which I hadn’t), why would I ask the insurance company to pay for my financial loss, when there hadn’t been one?

I thought perhaps the representative meant to say “documentation that you didn’t receive a full refund” so I sent off that information.

Only to receive this response:

When we are looking at making an exception to the 10 day free look period (Here I had no clue what the rep was talking about) there is certain documentation we must have. First, we have to confirm that you cancelled your travel arrangements. You have provided this documentation. 

Secondly, we have to confirm that you no longer have any insurable risk (that you have been refunded in full – made whole again if you will for the amount of money you originally spent.) (I WASN’T refunded in full – hence my claim, or question regarding the validity of my claim.)

Based on the information you have provided, you have not received a full refund of your travel arrangements. If we do not receive documentation of that we are obligated to keep the policy in effect and therefore allow you the opportunity to file a claim against the plan – whether you choose to or not. (?????)

And then she repeated:

That being said, if you are able to provide documentation that you received a full refund from Active Adventures, and United in the future (I can’t, because I didn’t), we will be happy to review it.

And again, review to what end??

travel insurance bear

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Foolishly, I didn’t take out travel insurance in Alaska either – and I could quite easily have been eaten by a bear!

Well, I mentioned in my email response to the rep that I would like to write a story in Stu News about the pros and cons of travel insurance, especially given this interesting little quirk, and I received a lovely, thoughtful email from one of World Nomad’s top guys, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Phil Sylvester.

I won’t bore you with the correspondence, but he agreed that the wording was “confusing” and suggested I contact claims again. I might have a possible case, he said.

But as I said to Phil, I had already gathered that my reason for cancelling might be too flimsy for me to be reimbursed, based on the small print in the policy, and I was okay with that. I wasn’t trying to squeeze them for a refund. 

It would have been fine, I told Phil, if the rep had said, “Thank you, but unfortunately this particular situation isn’t covered – see clauses x, y and z.”

It’s all about the words for me

I simply couldn’t let the obfuscating language – intentional or otherwise – go without comment. 

And so I commented. And now I’ve written about it.

I don’t ascribe nefarious reasons to World Nomads either – they are highly respected and seem to do a great job for most of their customers. Nor, as I told Phil, do I want that particular representative to get into any trouble.

Just – why on earth would I have to prove that I’d been fully refunded for my travel plans in order for the company to pay out…what?

Oh well. Post-Christmas staycation it is, and I’m a little poorer than I’d hoped to be. Not the end of the world. Happy travels, everyone!

Theatre Camp at No Square: What are you doing this summer?

How to be cool this summer? Sing, dance, act, perform with friends! A two-week summer musical theatre camp for young performers (ages 5-18) begins July 23 at No Square Theatre. The camp, open to beginning, intermediate, and advanced skill levels, will culminate in the performance of a fully staged Broadway-style showcase on August 4 and 5.

theatre camp one

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A fun-filled experience for kids who love to perform, presented in a positive and nurturing environment, Square Roots is directed by Ella Wyatt. With a BA in theatre (specializing in acting and directing), Ella also holds a teaching credential and brings years of experience in dozens of youth productions.

Music director for Square Roots is David Jayden Anthony, also a credentialed veteran of musical theatre for youngsters.

The program is limited to 60 participants, and sessions are grouped by age:

--Ages 5-8 meets from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (3 hours) – $270

--Ages 9-13 meets from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (4 hours plus lunch) – $350

--Ages 14-18 meets 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (5 hours plus lunch) – $400

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Participants must commit to the entire schedule unless the director has granted permission in advance. Less than full participation may limit opportunities for leading or featured roles.

Performances will take place on August 4 and 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Classes take place at No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The registration form is available online at

No Square Theatre is dedicated to providing a safe, positive environment for its students and creative staff. Part of that is requiring all participants in all programs be properly immunized. Please read No Square’s policy on the matter on its website, and refer to your health care provider or the Centers for Disease Control for additional information.

theatre camp three

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No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Hall Family Foundation, and Vicki & Steve McIntosh

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit

The Creative Ecosystem: What it means to Laguna Beach

Brought to you by Visit Laguna Beach

“One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things…” – Henry Miller

Our current culture is no longer defined by industry and production, but instead, by creativity and technological innovation. The desired population to contribute to our society and help keep it moving forward is that of creatives and creative-supporters – often collectively termed a creative ecosystem.

This ecosystem helps to cultivate innovative thought and people, and incubate distinctively original places and experiences. Its existence encourages similarly-minded people to visit and participate in those destinations and the activities offered at those locations. 

the creative anna hills

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Laguna has a long history of creativity: Anna Hills was a pioneering artist

For any creative destination, it is essential to acknowledge and care for all components in the creative ecosystem, in order for such an atmosphere to grow and thrive.

The term creative ecosystem has been in circulation since 2000 when it first appeared in BusinessWeek. Defining a form of infrastructure, the system includes a few core components: Not just the creative person, the creative project and the creative environment, but also the functional relationships that connect them.

In this specific day and age, to stay healthy, economies must be aware of how creativity, innovation and culture are important factors for the competitiveness of not only companies, but also for nations, cities and regions, particularly as we move from goods and service economies to “experience” economies.

Since the early 2000s, many nations, cities and regions have been paying close attention to the emergence of these concepts and their importance within the global culture. Without proper care and thoughtfulness toward maintaining a healthy creative ecosystem, many destinations, currently thought of as centers of innovation and art, will die out, and force residents and visitors to look elsewhere for jobs, homes, culture, and experiences.

the creative cart

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Creativity comes in many forms: Laura Marquez

As Henry Miller said, the destination is predominantly a new way of seeing things, and that is even more true in today’s society. Note: The creative class includes the upcoming generations that will carry our culture into the future, and this particular group of people is concerned with experience, adventure, and authenticity.

Decades ago, interestingly, Jane Jacobs had already been a leader in developing the human capital theory, which posits that creative people are the driving force in regional economic growth. 

the creative matthew payne

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Matthew Payne: Laguna already attracts artistic types

The human capital idea can be thought of as a stock or endowment; but it does evoke the question: Why do creative people cluster in certain places?

Richard Florida researched the topic and discovered that people were no longer making the career decisions or geographic moves that the previous standard theories stated, but instead, educated and creative individuals were drawn to places that were inclusive and diverse, where high-quality experiences awaited, where there was an openness to diversity of all kinds, and the opportunity to validate their identities as creative individuals.

In other words, these creatives were not necessarily attracted for traditional economic reasons such as natural resources or efficient transportation. Quite simply, creativity, rather than specifics of location and other factors, attracts creative people to certain regions. 

the creative bill steel

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Photo by Bill Steel

“Word on the Street” public art sponsored by the City helps draw creative people to our community

So who comprises the “creative class”? These are people whose function is primarily to create meaningful new ideas and forms, including scientists, engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers, architects, as well as innovative thinkers and communicators like journalists, editors, cultural figures, think-tank researchers, analysts, and influencers, according to Florida. 

Professionals who engage in problem solving, in health, science, tech, legal and financial industries support this echelon of society, which cuts across classes. 

“Creative centers provide the integrated ecosystem or habitat where all forms of creativity – artistic and cultural, technological and economic – can take root and flourish.”

Laguna Beach is one of those places that people are inclined to flock toward, but the town is on the cusp of losing this “creative place” attraction. It is vital that as a community, Laguna maintains and helps to make sure that it continues to offer ample diversity of experiences, people, economics, technology and places. 

To put it in plainly: diversity spurs economic development and homogeneity slows it down. This means that in a community, it is important to attract and keep diversity of industry, diversity of culture and diversity of people as the key foundation for success and growth.

Laguna Beach has had an extensive history in supporting and perpetuating diversity of people and experiences. Other cities in Orange County are catching up to the success of the creative center of Laguna Beach, long known for its history as an arts colony and an artistic epicenter in OC, by offering more affordable housing options, more diverse cultural offerings, encouraging bilingual and cultural businesses and centers, and creating unique and distinctive spaces and experiences that become signature offerings to those cities. 

the creative mural

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Hive on Laguna Canyon Rd is buzzing with creativity and fun murals – this one by artist Brett Crawford

Laguna needs to step up – and that’s just what is happening. Just take a look at recent activity in the Canyon!

Stay tuned for our next column on July 20, as we dive into the unique and fascinating history of the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach.

Suzanne Redfearn’s Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry workshop melds art and literature at the Sawdust


Photos by Lisa Hughes Anderson

What are the criteria for judging whether a workshop has achieved its goal? In the case of Suzanne Redfearn’s workshop Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry this past Monday at the Sawdust grounds, I’d say that if 70 people join in the fun, and supplies run out, that’s a colossal success!

Redfearn, who (along with Lojo Simon) is one of Laguna Beach’s two 2018/19 Poet Laureates, came up with the idea of a workshop that blended both art and literature in a unique way – and she created the prototype for Sawdust.

“I wanted to have some sort of literary element at the festivals, so we are hosting four Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry workshops at the Sawdust,” Redfearn says. “The idea is for people to ‘Leave with a little literary love from Laguna.’”

Suzanne Redfearn favorite

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Redfearn’s favorite photo from the workshop, Cameron 

Once the workshop opened, there was a steady stream of people asking questions about what was going on, and seldom did they pass up the opportunity to “create.”

For the photo-letter art, the idea was for a participant to pick a background – an 8 x 10 inch photograph, then pick a saying or sayings (or something of one’s own choosing) from a template, then pick the alphabetical letters (which were small Laguna photos, again awesome) to glue onto the background. The combination of elements resulted in inspiring pieces.

I, for one, welcomed the opportunity to use a glue stick (the last time I used glue, it was a thick, white paste housed in a jar and one could snack on it). But that was just part of the fun. Having access to miniature photos of the beautiful places in Laguna turned into an amazing collage of my favorite spots.

Suzanne Redfearn group

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(L-R) Suzanne’s son & daughter, Joe and Halle, Suzanne, Lisa Hughes Anderson

Local photographer and poet Lisa Hughes Anderson joined Redfearn (and her daughter Halle) to assist the participants (and take these wonderful photos).

Anderson says, “It was so much fun to help the community and visitors alike embrace their creative sides and walk away with a piece of art representing our amazing Laguna Beach. What I enjoyed the most was the way the project brought people together as they worked side by side; families with young children, 40 something siblings, friends all in their twenties, everyone catching up as they created personal messages or captured their names in found art photos.”

Anderson continues, “Several of the many highlights for me were when the adult brother of LBHS College and Career Counselor Lynn Gregory exclaimed, ‘I haven’t had this much fun since fingerprinting in Kindergarten!’ Several international visitors were excited to bring their personalized Laguna Beach art gifts back to places like Puerto Rico and Japan! We also heard from teachers who were excited to take this concept back to their classrooms and pass on the passion.”

Post event, Redfearn commented on the evening, “Our idea was to bring a literary element to the Sawdust and for it to tie in with art and Laguna Beach. I asked four local artists (April Brian, Iris Bourne, Lisa Hughes Anderson, and Helen Polins-Jones) to contribute their talent to create backgrounds and photo-letters of our beautiful city, and the results were amazing.” 

Suzanne Redfearn Yo

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Yo, a visiting student from Japan, is here for eight months, learning English at UC Irvine. His sign YES YOU CAN was for his girlfriend back in Japan.

She continues, “But more spectacular was seeing the creative and unique ways the participants used those elements to create their keepsakes. A friend once told me every piece of art is a capsule of individual creative energy, and that is exactly how it felt. 

“Trust Your Wings, Blessed, Feel Alive, Dare to Defy, Be the Change, Yes You Can, Enjoy and Relax, What if you Dare to Aspire, Be Kind...A few of the words people chose to write. I went home with my heart full.”

If Redfearn’s intention was for everyone to leave with a little literary love from Laguna Beach, she surpassed her goal, because everyone left with a lot of literary love! 

Laguna’s super band, 133, will rock ‘n’ roll at Mozambique on Monday night

Laguna Beach’s “super band”, the 133 Band, will perform at Mozambique as part of its monthly residency at the popular venue on Monday, July 9. The show will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be free to attend, says band manager Clay Berryhill.

133 was formed a few years ago by local tech entrepreneur and musician Clay Berryhill to write and record original music together for his “docuality film” project, “133: The Road to Laguna.” Since then, the band has performed one hundred plus live shows together, including at the Stu News-sponsored “Rock For The Cause” to benefit Friendship Shelter the last two years.

Lagunas 133 band

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Laguna’s 133 Band hanging out in the Canyon, which has served as creative inspiration for the group

If it’s anything like previous 133 shows, Monday night’s concert will feel a lot like a Laguna reunion with friends, with lots of smiles and dancing to some of the best bluesy rock in all of Orange County.

Monday night’s show will feature “the full band,” according to Berryhill, including Jason Feddy, Nick Hernandez, Poul Pedersen, Steve & Beth Fitchet Wood, Alan Deremo, Frank Cotinola, Bob Hawkins and Berryhill.

Fore more information on the band, visit

Mozambique is located at 1740 S Coast Hwy.

Dennis’ Tidbits


July 6, 2018

Fabio not as strong as he looked in the beginning – so no decent surf, but record high temps likely this weekend

Dennis 5The sixth tropical system of the Eastern Pacific named Fabio was born on June 29, making it the first time that six tropical systems formed before July 1 and the first time that six such systems formed in the month of June. Fabio rapidly intensified and by July 1 he was a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 120 mph and a central pressure of 959 millibars while moving quickly to the WNW.

Earlier this week, Fabio was beginning to weaken as he approached colder water and as of Wednesday evening (July 4) there was still no hint of any surf from him even though he’s been in our swell window for four days now. If we don’t see anything by this morning, which I doubt we will, then we’re skunked again for the 30th straight time. Six systems already and nada!

It’s goodbye gloom and hello big time heat as a huge dome of strong high pressure at the surface is flexing its muscles and expanding westward and settling over Southern Nevada. We could see record breaking temps in all areas of not only the Desert Southwest but here in Southern California including the beaches. Laguna could reach the mid- to upper 90s on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The hottest July day on record was 95 on July 1, 1985 and July 19, 2006. Even places like Big Bear could top 90 degrees, which hardly ever happens, especially at their elevation of 6,800 ft.

July has never seen a Santana wind event as temps are too warm over the Great Basin for air to heat by compression but the extreme heat and low humidity will be there. July and August are the only two months out of the year where we didn’t have a true Santana wind event. It’s only happened twice in June, in 1979 and 1981, and three times in May, in 1967 and twice in May of 2013.


Suzie’s ARTiculation

 “A Wonderland of Art” comes to life at the FOA’s Artist Preview Night, celebrating 86 years


The Festival of Arts was buzzing with action, absolutely packed for opening night on Monday, with throngs of art enthusiasts eager to check out the new art and exhibits. Celebrating its 86th anniversary with a distinctive theme, “A Wonderland of Art,” many art patrons dressed the part looking as if they had come off the pages of the beloved children’s book about Alice. The evening was a page-turner in terms of excitement and thrills, with a lively band to match. 

I talked with a diverse group of exceptional artists who shared their new works and excitement about the summer show with me. Together, I want to give a high-five to Kathy Jones, Baldemar Fierro, Carolyn Machado, Casey Parlette, and Scott Moore, who have a collective 109 years of experience exhibiting at the time-honored FOA.

Kathy Jones, Oils, Booth #44

“The festival opening this year was the best ever. I loved the theme and the music, and everyone I talked to had a great time. I heard lots of compliments about the art and about how great the grounds looked. I think we are off to a terrific summer.

“I always work within a theme. My work this year is focused on capturing the feelings I have day to day. Whether that is the sense of a child growing up and moving on, ‘Slipping Away,’ or the anticipation we feel before a day out, ‘Sunday Best,’ I have tried to capture the multitude of moods that mark my daily life.

Suzie Jones Sunday best

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Jones uses color to underscore the mood in each work, like in “Sunday Best”

“I love color, and this year I am using color to underscore the moods that I am trying to convey in the work.

“In addition to enjoying the festival evenings, I am hoping to work on some additional large pieces. I hope to complete a landscape or two as well as my figurative work. And I am collaborating with my friend Betty Haight on some abstract sculptures. 

Suzie Jones Mary

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Jones (left), a long-time Laguna Beach resident, is celebrating her 19th year in the FOA

 “I have been in the festival 19 years. I just want to add how fortunate I am as an artist to live in such a supportive art-centric and beautiful community. I am grateful every day.”

Baldemar Fierro, Photography, Booth #61

“I showed some new photographs this year. The response was great, I’m happy there was interest and conversation around these photographs. 

“These are my first steps into conceptual work. A departure from traditional landscapes that I’ve focused on in the past

“One of these images was from a dream that was turned into an illustration. Inspired to create, I headed to the Great Salt Lake to create a photograph based on the illustration.

Suzie Baldemar

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Photo provided by the artist

“The Last Night,” was inspired by a dream Fierro recreated in Salt Lake illustrating negative space, repetition, and composition 

“This led to other images being made in the process. The illustration was about negative space, repetition, composition. I feel inspired by humanity at this time. My hope for our collective future.

“My first year was in 2005 and I’ve exhibited most years since then. I’d say to connect with a gallery and show this work in that type of space.”

Carolyn Machado, Mixed Media, Booth #22

“So much fun, always enjoy seeing the expected and unexpected patrons coming to view my work. Comments are always appreciated, no lack of those for sure, mostly positive but always enjoy the challenge of explaining my art form to those who may not be familiar with the art of ‘assemblage’ (and then let’s further confuse them with the art of ‘mosaic assemblage).’

“My work mostly consists of using recycled/repurposed objects that I have been collecting for the last 30 plus years. My new work seems to be really focusing on the idea just being in the ‘moment‘ whether it be quiet time in the garden or reflecting on a life well-lived.

“Inspiration abounds everywhere for me, I see it in my daily walks at the harbor, find it everywhere in my studio space and can easily be inspired by browsing on the Internet. I usually start with finding a great focal piece, a figure or design element that speaks to me and then begin building around that. 

“Working from the inside out definitely has its challenges but I do believe I thrive on that. It is an interesting process, a lot of back and forth, trying this scenario trying that scenario and then just making a decision about which one best pleases my eye or tell the best story.”

Suzie Carolyn

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Photo provided by the artist

“The Waiting,” Machado uses mostly recycled/repurposed objects in her work

“I usually have several pieces going at once as I cannot always make a clear decision immediately, so best to walk away and come back later with new eyes. Once all the decisions have been made now comes the really hard part, actually attaching everything to its base be it a canvas, a tile, a box or some other surface. 

“This will be year number 28 for me, started in 1990. This summer I am hoping to expand my viewing audience by way of educating them in the ‘art of mosaic assemblage’ and also by encouraging them to sign on and experience for themselves this art form. I will be teaching two adult and three children’s workshops on our grounds this summer and am excited to share the experience with them.

“I’m so excited about a collaboration I have done with my dear friend and fellow artist Mia Moore. This will be the second year we have created a beautiful collage calendar for now 2019. The images and quotes are exciting, full of life, colorful and thought provoking.”

Casey Parlette, Sculpture, Booth #102

“Opening night is always a fun event. It kinda feels like a reunion with friends in the community.

“I have been playing with some new concepts. In ‘Taking Flight,’ I carved out the surface of the water with three flying fish soaring over it. The design elements for the water helped to create a sense of movement in the piece. I like the mix of stylized water with realistic fish.

Suzie Casey

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parlette’s work is inspired by the natural world, as seen in this new piece, 

“The Chase”

“All of my work is inspired by the natural world. I like to use a variety of different materials and techniques to get the look that I want. Often the direction of a sculpture is determined by the patterns in wood grain.

“In ‘The Chase’ the body of the white seabass is made out of a type of wood that has a pattern reminiscent of the fish’s scales.

My first year was 2008. This is my 10th year. I’m looking forward to catching up with other artists and meeting with visitors at the show.

Suzie Casey smiles

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parlette, in his 10th consecutive year as a FOA exhibitor, was all smiles on Monday

“Over the last 10 years the sculpture work has grown to the point where it now requires my full-time attention. A few months ago, I left my day job as a full-time lifeguard to put all of my energy into my sculpture work. It has been great to be able to continue to grow the business and explore new creative directions.” 

Scott Moore, Oils, Booth #89

“The Artist Party is always hectic and fun. I invite clients and friends, and this year invited my golfing buddies, who were the three models in each of my paintings. Andrew, the surfer in ‘The Ironman’ gave a cowabunga pose in front of the painting for partygoers. John, an engineer with station 60 in San Clemente stood in front of his painting, ‘Canned Heat’ for photos also. My buddy Toby was the baker model for ‘Milk And Cookies.’ 

suzie scott

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Photo provided by the artist

In “The Ironman,” a skilled surfer rides a 1960s toy iron on a perfect wave

“In ‘The Ironman,’ a skilled surfer rides a 1960s toy iron on a perfect wave, while our grandson, Parker, looks on in awe as he stands on a stack of freshly laundered clothes with his beach pail and shovel in hand. Appropriately, a box of Tide and Surf accompany the clothes and Pyrex measuring cup, sitting on the laundry table...or are they sitting on the sand at the decide!

“This summer will be my 39th continuous year at the Festival of Arts. It’s been instrumental in attracting clientele to my paintings.

“My goal during the summer months is to continue to paint in my studio so that I will have paintings to sell the following summer, as my oils take from two to four months to complete. I usually spend four nights a week in my booth, hoping to sell my work and trying to secure at least one commission to complete before the next summer show.

Suzie Scott Mary

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

This summer marks the 39th consecutive year at the FOA for Scott Moore (right)

“I have fashioned my life around the Festival of Arts for more than half my life. When our children were in school, we had to squeak a small vacation in either before the Festival or right after it closed. Summers have always been dictated by my participation in the Festival of Arts Exhibition. It was a chance for our kids to see my work ethic. All the long hours I put into my paintings at home in my studio paid off when I would sell my work at the Festival of Arts.” 

The FOA juried exhibit features 140 of the top artists in Orange County. Besides the fantastic art, there is always something fun and creative to do, from art workshops, tours, live music daily, to special events, music series, classes and more, more, more.

Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, open weekdays from noon to 11:30 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Laguna Beach residents get in free, no restrictions, with proper ID. For info, visit or call 494-1145.

Until next time…so much exciting FOA art, so little time!

Laguna Beach Live! presents Jazz Wednesdays featuring guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group

Join Laguna Beach Live!’s Jazz Wednesdays Summer program with Frank Potenza, who is an active educator, composer, arranger, and performer with nine solo albums to his credit. Potenza has also performed with jazz luminaries such as Dizzy Gillespie. 

From 1996 through 1999, Frank toured as a member of the Gene Harris Quartet and is a featured soloist on Alley Cats, Harris’ final recording for Concord Records. 

The protégé of the legendary jazz guitarist Joe Pass, Frank currently plays solo concerts and also leads his own groups, touring in support of his latest Capri Records Ltd. release entitled For Joe, a tribute to his mentor and main influence. 

Laguna Beach Live Frank

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Frank Potenza will be joining the summer session of Jazz Wednesdays 

Frank will be accompanied by Carey Frank on a Hammond B3 organ and Aaron Serfaty on drums, a classic organ trio configuration.

Jazz Wednesdays Summer program is located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner will be served through to 7 p.m. Dinner menu varies by concert. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership. 

Visit for more information.

NCC launches summer series this Sunday at 10 a.m. with The Gospel According to the Lord of the Rings

Neighborhood Congregational Church will begin its Sunday Summer Series this Sunday, July 8 at 10 a.m., titled “The Gospel According to The Lord of the Rings”.

The series will conclude on Sunday, August 12. 

Since its publishing in 1954, and the release of the movies in 2001, JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has become one of the best-selling books of all time and has been cemented as a cornerstone of the fantasy genre. Courage, Hospitality, Friendship, Resilience, Humility, and Hope are all given time in this epic tale. 

NCC launches Rod

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Pastor Rod Echols will speak eloquently about the values espoused in The Lord of the Rings

Come hear unique, reflective sermons by Pastor Rod Echols, exploring what the popular work means for the world today, and specifically what it means for progressive faith and living. Join the congregation for an engaging, thoughtful series that is sure to impact children, youth, and families of all ages.

All are invited. Thematic music will be included.

Neighborhood Congregational Church is an Open and Affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ, and welcomes all people to worship and participate. 

For more information visit, or contact the church office at (949) 494-8061.

MJSA announces winners of the 2018 Vision Awards Design Competition: Adam Neeley wins two awards

MJSA, the US trade association dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design, honored 10 outstanding designs in its 2018 MJSA Vision Awards competition. Celebrating creativity, craftsmanship, and technological prowess, the awards recognized both professional and student achievements in seven categories.

The 2018 winners included local jeweler Adam Neeley of Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry in Laguna Beach, who won two of the prestigious awards. 

Neeley was the winner in the Four + Years in Business category for his Ombré Pendant featuring a rare 25.39 carat blue-green tourmaline cut by Stephen Avery. Hand-fabricated in yellow and white color-gradient Spectra Gold, it’s adorned with complementary pavé-set canary diamonds that fade into white diamonds.

MJSA Ombre

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Submitted Photo

The winning pendant, called “Ombré” showcases a 25.39 ct bi-color tourmaline. The photograph is by Sara Rey Photography.

Neeley was also recognized in the Laser Distinction category for his Ombré Pendant. The joints of the piece were laser welded with the same color tone of Spectra Gold at each junction, ensuring the perfect color match and preserving the color gradient without any visible seams.

In addition to cash awards, gift certificates for tools and supplies, and (for the students) scholarship funds, the winners will be profiled in the August issue of MJSA Journal and promoted through ads in both Instore, Metalsmith, and The Retail Jeweler (the competition’s media sponsors).

All of the winning entries will be on display at the 2019 MJSA Expo at the Javits Center in New York City. This year’s Vision Awards judges were Alan Revere; Klaus Kutter, A Jour Jewelry; Michelle Graff, National Jeweler; Jim Grahl, J. Grahl Design; and Michael Coan, Fashion Institute of Technology..

For more information and to view the winning pieces, as well as the six honorable mentions, go to

Junior lifeguards on the shore path to fitness

Photo by Tom Berndt

Junior lifeguards on

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Junior lifeguards stretch in Heisler Park

With Willy Wonka as inspiration, KX 93.5 FM launches Golden Ticket promotion: spot it and win

The KX 93.5 Golden Ticket promotion has just launched: somewhere in Laguna Beach, this Golden Ticket (see photo) is in plain view. The first person to spot it, and notify the radio station of its location, wins a great prize. 

with willy gold ticket

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KX 93.5’s golden ticket

This week’s prize is a VIP dinner with drinks at the Laguna Beach Brewery & Grille on Ocean Ave. 

The KX 93.5 Golden Ticket will continue through summer…spot it, and win.

Each time the Golden Ticket is spotted (and there is a winner), KX 93.5 will put it in a new location and start again.

Anyone who spots the Golden Ticket should either call or text the station right away at (949) 715-5936. All phone calls and text messages will be time-stamped for accuracy. 

The Golden ticket was designed by KX staffer and guitarist extraordinaire Tommy Benson and is 10” x 20” in size. 

For more information, call (949) 715-5936 or visit

It’s going to be a hot one: Advice on coping with the record heat expected this weekend

The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for the Coastal Orange County area effective 10 a.m. Friday, July 6 through 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 7. Temperatures at the beach will range from 92-102 degrees.

its going to be

Drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors, Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock reminds everyone. 

“Children and pets should never be left unattended in vehicles under any circumstances, especially, during hot weather when car interiors can reach lethal temperatures in a matter of minutes,” he warns.

Get ready to sweat!

How lucky we are to live in Laguna

Photo by Scott Brashier

How lucky are

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This panoramic view shows the beauty and charm of Laguna Beach – Gulf Coast colors without the humidity!

Political notebook banner

2018 Election: Hall pulls out of the council race


Michele Hall has withdrawn her name from the list of City Council candidates seeking election in November.

“Now is not the right time for me,” said Hall. 

Hall will be completing her post-graduate studies in December, earning her master’s degree in psychology. She already has 16 clients working with Living Sources Center. She will become an associate in January. Her focus is on family transitions, such as divorce.

“I am also partnering with Pam Estes at the Boys and Girls Club to start a mental health group,” said Hall.   

Hall’s only regret in pulling out of the council race is disappointing supporter Sam Goldstein. She has not excluded a run in 2020. 

The 2018 election would not have been her first rodeo. 

Hall previously ran for council in 2014, but she already had experience in local politics. She served as executive director of United Laguna from 1993 to 1995, an organization founded primarily to offer more conservative candidates and policies to voters.

The group supported the development of the Treasure Island Mobile Home Park, eventually approved after a contentious election.

Hall also served as president of the Laguna Beach Republicans, and spent two years as a political consultant in Burbank after graduating from UC Berkeley in 1991.

She has lived in Laguna since she was four and graduated from Laguna Beach High School in 1988.

Eric Stoner exhibit at Irvine Fine Arts Center showcases works in collage – opening July 14


Long-time Laguna artist Eric Stoner is presenting a body of work titled Moving at a Snail’s Pace in Geologic Time at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, with an Artist’s Reception and Artist Talk on July 14.

Stoner is a graduate of LCAD and is an LCAD teacher as well, specializing in photography for fine artists. He has been a contributing photographer with local magazines, galleries and the Laguna Art Museum. His work has evolved into several mediums, incorporated into layered collage pieces. 

The Irvine Fine Arts Center states that the collage works combine “found imagery, original drawings and photographs, journals, woodworking elements, vintage album covers and other media. These autobiographical works pay homage to masters Pieter Brueghel and Hieronymus Bosch, and highlight the interconnectedness of events, people, places and influences in the artist’s life.”

“It’s a body of work that has taken me 11 plus years to accomplish…mostly in private,” Stoner said. “They are biographical pieces comprised of a lifetime of personal memorabilia, original artwork, friend’s artwork, photographs, vintage vinyl, and so on. It’s the first time that the nine pieces have ever been exhibited together.”

Eric Stoner Island

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The Island of Misfit Muses, by Eric Stoner

In his Artist’s Statement, Stoner describes his work in this way, “I quickly found that collaging channeled my kaleidoscopic imagination in ways drawing and painting never could. The potential to create complex worlds by layering images in a tactile, almost sculptural way was highly engaging and enjoyable. It opened creative pathways previously unimagined and has become the medium by which I express myself most effectively.”

Eric Stoner Tower

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“The Ivory Tower of Babel”

“What I hope to convey through my art is the dramatic, often comedic interplay between a spirit of romanticism, and the triumphs and calamities that ensue when navigating the reality of an uncertain future,” says Stoner. The combined body of work is a true representation of my unique cosmological outlook, facilitating the means to examine the origin, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe as I observe and relate to it.

While it has taken me more than a decade to present this collection of nine collages, the process of creating them has been beyond fulfilling. I hope they communicate my appreciation for the highs, lows, and everything in between that comes from pursuing a creative life.”   

The Artist Talk will take place at 3 p.m. on July 14, followed by the Artist’s Reception, in Gallery 1 at Irvine Fine Arts Center, located inside Heritage Community Park at 14321 Yale Ave. 

Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Exhibitions, artists’ talks, artists’ receptions and parking are free. For more information, visit or call (949) 724-6880.

Colorful and crowded Fourth of July – the word is out, nowhere better to watch fireworks than Laguna

colorful fourth at 9 am

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Tom Berndt captured this image of the early crowd at 9 a.m.

colorful laguna later that day

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Photo by Dianne Russell

And by 4 p.m., nearly every inch of Laguna was covered in people

Free and reduced cost parking in Laguna Beach

Did you know? The four lots listed below include reduced cost parking and/or free rides on the city trolleys and buses, which will take residents and visitors to the festivals, downtown, and along Coast Hwy to beaches and restaurants.

Lot 15 – Mission Hospital, free after 5 p.m. weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Lot 16 – Act V (Laguna Canyon Rd), $7 all day weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays.

Free and trolley

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Free trolley rides

Lot 17 – LCAD (Laguna Canyon Rd), $5 all day Saturday and Sunday.

Lot 19 – Summer Breeze Parking Lot (corner of I-405 and SR-133), free on Saturday and Sunday only.

For maps and directions, go to

Barbara’s Column

Laguna hearts are touched by plight of immigrant children


Photos by Angela Dawson

June 30 began like any other sunny summer Saturday in Laguna Beach.

Throngs crossed South Coast Highway to claim a spot on the sand at Main Beach, to swim, perhaps to play some volleyball or just stroll along the boardwalk.

That changed along about 11 a.m. as folks began to gather in the grassy area adjacent to the highway, demarked by police tape. Eventually an estimated crowd of 450 to 500 united to protest the government policy of separating children from their parents who had illegally crossed the Mexican-U.S. border. 

“This is Laguna at its best,” said Councilwoman Toni Iseman, on her way from the demonstration to attend a luncheon celebrating Arnold and Bonnie Hano’s 65th wedding anniversary.

The crowd ranged from long-time residents to infants like one-year-old Yara. “She skipped her nap to be here,” said mom Lili Zandpour.

Hand-painted and lettered signs were raised aloft – some of those signs created on the spot and handed out by Sarah Reese and her husband Ted Reckas.

barbara column one

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City Council candidate Ann Christoph carried a sign reading Las Familias Merecen Estar Deserve Unidas.

“Someone just handed it to me, but I am happy with it,” said Christoph.

Ann and Peter Weisbrod toted posters of a sad-eyed child, inscribed, “End Family Detention.” Linda Leahy’s sign kept it simple: RESIST. 

Laguna Beach School Board member Ketta Brown’s sign read Melt Your ICE – 

ICE being the Emigration and Customs Enforcement agency that takes custody of immigrants entering the United States unlawfully, among other duties. 

Brown, who has suffered the tragedy of losing a child, said she might become violent if anyone tried to separate her from her kid, but with a caveat. 

“I would have lost my mind, but if I felt my kid would be safer, I might have swallowed it,” said Brown.

Many of the parents who have been separated from their children along the border are seeking political asylum – that is, asking the United States to accept them legally because of persecution in their homeland.

“They know they are taking a chance, but you have to have hope,” Darrilyn Girvin, who deplores equating illegal immigrants with criminals and degenerates. “Instilling hate in our democracy is wrong,” she said.

Clusters of folks in the block-long crowd chanted different slogans, responding with cheers to the honks and thumbs-up from passing vehicles. 

barbara column two

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“Silence is not an option,” said Katie Loss, of Laguna Beach. 

But Meredith McMahon struggled to find the words that would adequately describe how she feels about the government policy.

“It makes me sick,” she said.

Carol Olson with her son, Neil, said snatching children was not acceptable.

Other Lagunans making their presence felt: Anne and Ryen Caenn, Karen Schwager, Bob and Vicki Borthwick, Peggy Wolff and Bree Burgess Rosen.

Not present and not happy about it was Eleanor Henry, who has spent her Saturday mornings since the 1970s as a member of the Peace Vigil at Main Beach – God willing and the creek don’t run dry. Henry said her Peace Vigil sign, “Make America think again,” would have fit in perfectly Saturday. 

“It was the first Saturday of the Sawdust,” said Henry, a long time exhibitor. “But I got the low down from Lee Case Grillo.”

Lee and Chris Case Grillo have been regulars at the Saturday Peace Vigil since 2002. They felt Saturday’s demonstration was in line with their cause.

“The things that are happening [at the border] make me want to vomit,” she said. 

Her husband said one of the things that stood out for him on Saturday was the percentage of women demonstrating. 

“I would guess there were between 60 and 70 percent more women than men,” said Chris. “Women are playing a much bigger role.”

And in the three or four instances of rude gestures from passing vehicles, it was almost exclusively men, he said.

barbara column three

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At no time did the Case Grillos fear violence, although they did sometimes feel squished by the press of the crowd, about 10 deep, behind them along the sidewalk.  The crowd was raucous, but with a common cause, they said.

Police officers and Beach Patrol were on the scene, but the Case Grillos saw them asked to intervene just once, when a woman took vigorous exception to a photographer with some elaborate equipment.

“No incidents were reported,” said Sgt Jim Cota, Public Information Officer for the Laguna Beach Police Department. “It wasn’t like the demonstration last year.”

He was referring to the America First rally on August 20, 2017, in support of the government’s immigration policies and the claims of Americans being victimized by illegal aliens, challenged by a larger crowd of vociferous opponents. 

“It got hostile, but the police had it under control, assisted by Orange County law enforcement agencies,” said Sgt Cota.

Many on both sides were from out-of-town.

There was no organized, or disorganized for that matter, opposition Saturday. And Abram Horner of Laguna Beach stayed well outside the taped area set aside for the demonstrations and was not seen to confront anyone. 

He used a portable microphone to make his point Saturday: that the demonstration was designed to create unrest that would lead to a police state.

“This is polarizing America,” said Horner.

Not everyone in the crowd on Saturday was from Laguna.

Mary Dunnicliff came to Main Beach because she was unable to find a location of a demonstration in Laguna Niguel. Rallies were expected in almost 100 California cities.

The demonstrations were among the hundreds nationwide urging the Trump administration to reunite families separated at the US-Mexico border.

It was not just another sunny summer Saturday day in Laguna. 

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 Contributions are welcomed.

City of Laguna Beach Fourth of July Activities

The City of Laguna Beach is anticipating large crowds for the July 4th holiday and is requesting the public’s cooperation to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for residents and visitors.

The City fireworks show will originate from Monument Point at Heisler Park. For this reason, the Monument Point area will be closed all day on Wednesday, July 4th. Additionally, at approximately 5 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to allow for fireworks preparation. The City fireworks show will begin at approximately 9 p.m.

City of Laguna Fourth

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Photo by Scott Brashier

City trolleys will operate under a modified schedule, the Coastal Route will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Canyon Route from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be neighborhood services. The normal trolley schedule will resume on Thursday, July 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The City encourages visitors to utilize the exterior parking lots (Lot 15, 16, 17, and 19) and take the trolley into town. Click the following link for more parking information and an interactive map:

The public is expected to observe all City park and beach ordinances, including:

--No alcohol on the beaches

--No smoking in public places

--No drone use over City beaches, Heisler Park, Main Beach Park, Treasure Island Park or Crescent Bay Park without a valid Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA

--No tents, canopies or barbecues are allowed in City beaches or parks

--No fireworks of any kind are allowed in Laguna Beach

--No dogs are allowed on City beaches from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer season, which extends from June 15 through September 10

--All OC Park Trails will be closed at sunset

The Laguna Beach Police, Fire, and Marine Safety Departments will be strictly enforcing all of the ordinances

After the fireworks show, expect heavy traffic as many visitors will be leaving the city via Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway. Members of the Police Department will be conducting increased traffic control to facilitate the flow of vehicles out of town. As part of this effort, the center lane of Laguna Canyon Road, between Canyon Acres and El Toro Road, will be reversed to add an additional northbound traffic lane. 

Remember to connect with the City of Laguna Beach on Nixle for traffic and emergency updates by texting our zip code (92651) to 888-777 as well as following the City of Laguna on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The cooperation of all residents and visitors is greatly appreciated. The City of Laguna Beach wants to wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.

Keep your pet safe this upcoming Fourth of July: LBPD provides tips

The Laguna Beach Police Department wants to ensure the safety of pets on the upcoming holiday, July Fourth. Fireworks aren’t fun for pets, they point out, so here are a few simple tips to keep your animals safe and secure. 

Don’t take your pet along to fireworks displays, they’ll be safer and happier in the security of their home. Prepare a safe “den” for your pet. If they choose to hide under the bed or somewhere else in the house, allow them to. 

Feed your pet before displays begin and keep a special chew or treat on hand as a distraction from flashes and noise. 

keep your pet boris

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Boris implores you to take heed of these tips and keep your pets safe

Be sure your dog is tagged or micro chipped in case he or she gets loose or runs away. Turn on the TV or play music to help drown out outside noises. Employ products that help to alleviate anxiety – ask your vet about options if your pets’ anxiety is severe. 

Additionally, try not to reward anxiety with extra attention. It may be hard not to cuddle or fawn over pet when he or she is scared, but do your best to ignore anxious behavior or practice distraction techniques to turn their focus away from commotion. 

If your pet is lost, remember to call the Animal Shelter in case your pet has been found or turned in.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, call (949) 497-3552 or go to

For more information on safety, contact the Laguna Beach Police Department at  (949) 497-0701.

Catmosphere Laguna, Orange County’s First Cat Café, to open in Laguna Beach this summer

Catmosphere Laguna, Orange County’s first Cat Café, will open this summer in Laguna Beach. Founded by Gail Allyn Landau, Catmosphere Laguna will serve as both a community café and a foster home for adoptable cats and kittens. Originating in Taiwan in 1998, cat cafés have since become a global phenomenon, inspiring similar business models to open across Japan, London, and most recently, the US. 

As the county’s first cat café, Landau believes Catmosphere Laguna will bring an increase in feline adoptions and provide improved lives and futures for kitties awaiting their “furr-ever” homes. 

Catmosphere Laguna has partnered with the Laguna Woods Cat Club, Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, Blue Bell Foundation for Cats, and local feline rescues to serve as a foster home for healthy cats and kittens with the goal of placing them in their forever homes. 

While awaiting adoption, Catmosphere Laguna provides a sanctuary for felines, giving them the freedom to roam, play, and interact with cat lovers in an environment that feels like home. 

“Catmosphere is more than just a novelty café; we are changing the way rescue facilities find homes for their felines by offering adoptable cats and kittens in a living-room-like environment,” says proprietor Landau, a Laguna Beach local and self-proclaimed lifelong cat lady. “Our efforts embrace and promote the ‘Adopt, Don’t Shop’ ethos of the feline rescue community.” 

Catmosphere Laguna Gail

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Submitted photo

Gail Landau, owner of Catmosphere

After paying the admission fee ($22 for adults and $12 for children ages 6-17), guests may enter the Kitty Lounge. The café and lounge are separated by a floor-to-ceiling glass wall. In the lounge, adoptable felines can enjoy the Laguna Beach lifestyle with a 6’4” palm tree scratching post, a wave mural with surfboard resting nooks, and kitty relaxation hammocks. 

A 24-hour live “Kitty Kam” will broadcast the activity on Catmosphere Laguna’s website listed below, as well as onto a monitor inside the café. 

The café at Catmosphere Laguna offers a menu of sweet and savory toasts, salads, and snacks designed by restaurant consultant Caroline Smile, who brings over 20 years of culinary and hospitality experience to Catmosphere Laguna. The café will also feature coffee and tea, as well as beer, wine, and champagne by the glass.   


Main Beach – Nutella with strawberries & bananas 

Laguna Breeze – avocado, mango, lime, chili & mint 

Sunset – beet hummus, avocado, arugula, cumin 

Sunrise – almond butter, apple, almond & cinnamon 

French – butter & jam   

Salads & Sides:  

Tuxedo – mesclun, toasted almonds, dates, cheddar, balsamic dressing 

Tabby – spinach, mango, avocado, red onion, lime vinaigrette 

Calico – arugula, sliced grapes, shaved Parmesan, walnuts, lemon & EVOO 

Trio of Cheeses – select cheese, honey, fruit 

Bread & EVOO 

Catmosphere Laguna

Patrons who fall in love and want to adopt can easily fill out adoption paperwork inside the café. A minimum of two visits are required before adoption completion, and pre-adoption home checks will be required in most circumstances. One hundred percent of the adoption proceeds benefit the medical care, treatment, and well-being of Catmosphere Laguna’s cats and kittens. 

“We have been overwhelmed with support and excitement from our Laguna Beach community as well as eager visitors from all over the world,” adds Landau. “Catmosphere Laguna will provide an experience that supports and enhances the Laguna Beach reputation as an outstanding coastal destination.”

Catmosphere Laguna is available for walk-in appointments, as space permits, and private parties. The Kitty Lounge can accommodate up to 12 guests and 12 felines at a time. Landau will partner with local businesses to bring Yoga with Kitties, Feline Reiki, book clubs and more, with special offers for seniors and students. Reservations are available by the hour with a two-hour maximum and can be made in advance online.   

        Catmosphere Laguna is Orange County’s first cat café and lounge. Located in the heart of Laguna Beach, Catmosphere Laguna is both a community café and a foster home for adoptable cats and kittens. Founder Gail Allyn Landau envisions Catmosphere Laguna as serving a mission to save cats and kittens from euthanasia, increase feline adoptions, and provide improved lives and futures for homeless cats. 

        Catmosphere Laguna is located at 381 Forest Ave., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the last bookable appointment at 5 p.m. 

For more information, visit or connect with Catmosphere Laguna on Facebook or Instagram at @catmosphere_laguna.

Dianne’s Creature Feature

Mosquitoes, the deadliest animal on earth


If you’re thinking something very large with big teeth is the most dangerous predator to man, you’re wrong. It’s not the shark in Jaws, it’s something much smaller, faster, and more lethal. The mosquito. More deaths are associated with mosquitoes than any other animal on the planet. Mosquitoes may carry any number of deadly diseases, including malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis, Zika, and West Nile virus. Mosquitoes also carry heartworm, which can be lethal to dogs. And to top it off, there are 3,500 mosquito species!

According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, California leads the nation in mosquito-borne disease cases since 2004 with more than 9,000 mosquito-transmitted disease cases reported. 

There are currently no confirmed cases of West Nile virus or activity in Orange County (this year). There are, however, confirmed cases of West Nile virus in neighboring Los Angeles and Riverside counties. There is also confirmed West Nile virus activity in San Bernardino County, however, no human cases have been reported. 

Watch out for that buzzing around your head

No one wants to wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of buzzing, like a dive-bomber scouting out its prey. A mosquito’s wings beat 300-400 times per second, which explains that irritating humming sound one hears just before a mosquito lands and bites ( Too late to call the swat team. 

To prevent OC residents from becoming victims, and to kick off National 

Mosquito Control Awareness Week (which starts next week) and the summer season, OCMVCD has partnered with local cities to post 36 bus shelters and billboards throughout the county this summer with the #MosquitoFreeOC message.

Thirty-eight OCTA buses will be displaying the message on their routes throughout the county. The District is releasing a Public Service Announcement video in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese, with tips and recommendations for a mosquito-free home. The message will also be broadcast on Spanish and Vietnamese radio.

mosquitoes, the closeup

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Looks are deceiving - the most deadly animal on the planet

As with many insect species, it’s the female who is the frightening one, and mosquitoes are no exception. Only female mosquitoes bite. According to, female mosquitoes mean nothing personal when they take your blood. Due to their motherly instincts, they need protein for their eggs, and must take a blood meal in order to reproduce.

Since males don’t bear the burden of producing young, they’ll avoid humans completely and head for the flowers instead. And when not trying to produce, females are happy to stick to nectar, too. Better a nectar meal than a blood meal, especially when it’s your blood.

Keen sensitivity to CO2

Female mosquitos know a potential meal is near because they can detect carbon dioxide from 75 feet away. Carbon dioxide, which humans and animals produce, is the key signal that dinner is served. They’ve developed a keen sensitivity to it, and once a female senses CO2 in the vicinity, she flies back and forth through the CO2 plume until she locates her victim. Then the feasting begins.

Females lay a lot of eggs, so they need a lot of blood meals. They can lay a set of up to 100 eggs about every third night after mating only once. The females lay their eggs, and then move on to the next blood meal to feed the next batch of eggs. They typically lay as many as three sets before dying (at five or six months). If there was ever a situation that cried out for birth control, this is it.

Birth control is good, but isn’t completely doing the job

And thankfully, someone has already thought of that. As per, scientists are taking the first steps to adapt a safe, targeted and efficient mosquito control method known as Incompatible Insect Technique to reduce the population of the disease-carrying mosquitoes that harm native birds in Hawaii. 

Incompatible Insect Technique acts like a birth control method for mosquitoes, and it has already been adopted and proven successful around the country and the world to protect human health and quality of life.

Not all mosquito species feed on people. Some mosquitoes specialize in feeding on other animals and are not a bother to us at all. Culiseta melanura, for example, bites birds almost exclusively and rarely bites humans. Another mosquito species,

Uranotaenia sapphirina, is known to feed on reptiles and amphibians. 

However, mosquitoes are still a huge threat to humans and animals alike, and citywide control is crucial. These are dangerous little buggers, but there are many things residents can do to protect themselves. 

Mosquitoes the water in tire

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Shallow water breeding ground for mosquitoes

 “The District is closely monitoring the public health landscape throughout the county, and at this time, community-wide control is critical. Not only do we urge residents to make their homes mosquito-free, we ask that they also encourage their neighbors to eliminate breeding sources – this is a community effort,” said Rick Howard, OCMVCD District Manager. 

OCMVCD is asking that residents follow the tips below to prevent mosquito bites: Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors; reapply as recommended; wear repellent containing DEET®, Picaridin, IR353, or oil of lemon eucalyptus; close all unscreened doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home or space, and repair broken or damaged screens; wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and opt for lighter colored clothing around the home. 

Eliminating breeding sources for mosquitoes is critical: Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week. Clean and scrub birdbaths and pet water bowls weekly and empty water from potted plant saucers.

Mosquitoes need little water to breed

All mosquitoes require water to breed – but not much water. Just a few inches of water is all it takes for a female to deposit her eggs. Tiny mosquito larva develop quickly in bird baths, roof gutters, and old tires dumped in vacant lots. Some species can breed in puddles left after a rainstorm. To keep mosquitoes under control around the home, you need to be vigilant about dumping any standing water every few days.

Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to OCMVCD. For more information, contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421 or

Jurassic Laguna

Photo by Tom Berndt

Jurassic Laguna

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Will we see Steven Spielberg’s location scouts around town this season, perhaps?

Laguna loves the outdoors: our random survey of summer plans suggests that very few head to cities


In this Part Two of our unscientific survey of summer vacation plans, one thing becomes clear: Lagunans love nature. This love of the ocean and wilderness goes beyond our shoreline and our hills. Maybe it’s part of what draws us to this town and keeps many of us here in the summer – and drives others to explore further when the tourist crowds arrive.

Laguna loves mount Shasta

Submitted photo

Mount Shasta

I just can’t get enough of California and love to bond with its beautiful nature. I will be visiting Mount Shasta for the first time in July and plan to do some serious hiking and enjoy the wildflowers, clear mountain rivers and streams and the red fir forests. Will also visit Eureka and the Redwood forests nearby for the first time. I should have been a park ranger!

--Nadia Babayi, executive director, Susi Q

We often travel to distant Marine Protected Areas to explore clear ocean waters teeming with sea life. Diving with protected sharks in Palau brings us very close to these amazing fish with sleek, beautiful bodies that have evolved over seven million years. 

Laguna loves mike beanan

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Mike Beanan at Thousand Steps Beach

In Laguna, when the Santa Ana Winds pick up, cold deep ocean upwelling eventually clears out “nutrient rich” algae blooms and brings us crystal clear waters for swims to our legendary kelp forests and friendly sea lions.

--Mike Beanan, co-founder of Laguna Bluebelt Coalition

As we all know, life happens and I found myself attending all sorts of events and milestones for family and friends over the last few years. As 2017 came to a close, I made it a point to (finally) plan our honeymoon…three years later. My husband and I have decided to treat ourselves and escape to Montage Kapalua Bay for one week later this year. We chose Maui so we can unplug and relax in paradise. 

We also have a trip planned in August to visit five cities in Alaska. Not at the top of my list, but I happened to win an all-expenses paid trip, so I’m taking advantage of all that the Alaska has to offer from dog sledding to salmon fishing. Should be a fun adventure!

Laguna loves ashley

Submitted photo

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Ashley Johnson and her husband will go on honeymoon to Hawaii – three years after their wedding…

There’s nothing better than summer weather accompanied by a great book. I absolutely love to read (when time permits!) and find myself reading novels for the most part, some historical fiction, and books with themes that pertain to my job. 

I just finished What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan last night and have been simultaneously reading Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time by Jeff Speck. Next up is The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, which has been on my must-read list for months.

--Ashley Johnson, executive director, Visit Laguna Beach

The summer will be spent at our booths at the Sawdust Art Festival where my husband and I are exhibitors. In September, we will be heading to north Wales, just outside the Snowdonia National Park. I grew up in these mountains and conquered many of the peaks with my father, who recently passed away. 

Laguna loves sian

Submitted photo

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Stunning Wales: Cleryr looking towards Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon)

The mountains are full of history, culture and tales of noble Celtic warriors and Roman armies, of slate quarries and the industrial revolution. Today they are home to rock climbers, walkers, cyclists and canoeists enjoying the natural beauty and tranquility of the area, as will I.

--Sian Poeschl, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Laguna Beach

Does Life Imitate Art or Art Imitate Life? In the case of public art “The Word on the Street,” it’s a little of both

Story and photos by DIANNE RUSSELL

On Sunday afternoon at Heisler Park, 30 or so people gathered as artist Scott Froschauer unveiled one of the five pieces of his installation “The Word on the Street,” that, as he said, “Toys with the viewer’s understanding of street signs and perception of public space and the role of art in it.”

Just that morning, in a strange twist, the installation unexpectedly achieved its purpose – toying, at least, with Public Works staff’s idea of art. 

After the five pieces were installed along the pathways at Heisler on Sunday morning in preparation for the dedication, Public Works staff, thinking they were acts of vandalism, removed them. 

Thankfully, the pieces were retrieved and reinstalled in time for the dedication.

Does Life People Yield

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On a crowded Sunday near the gazebo at Heisler Park

Chair of the Arts Commission Mike Ervin welcomed the crowd (which included several members of the arts commission). “We put a cultural arts plan for public art in progress last year. At the beginning of the year, we had a temporary art piece at City Hall. This is the second venture, and the installation will be up for 12 months.”

Steve Dicterow, City Council Member, introduced his talk with, “Public Works removed them, it’s embarrassing. I apologize to the artist.” 

However, Froschauer, gracious and unruffled, just smiled.

Does Life Artist

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Artist Froschauer talks about his work

Dicterow continued, “In both art and culture, there is a crisis in kindness and a lack of civility. There are no longer free-flowing debates, but more a feeling that the end justifies the means…we can do better than that. We need more empathy, love, and respect for other people…ultimately, what difference can we make?

“We see art that inspires the people of the City of Laguna Beach, and we embrace it.”

Before unveiling his piece “Breathe,” Froschauer said, “In our culture, street signs and advertising are designed to trigger a lack in the viewer, to tell us that there’s a problem, that we’re not whole as we are. 

“Self-care and being immediately present in each moment is the key to empathy. There’s an evolution in art as a way to participate. These materials are intended to be subversive. And the way that it was [seen as vandalism] reinforces this.”

Does Life Breathe

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Breathe sign unveiled at dedication

Certainly, this installation evokes a great deal of conversation, including the question of what is and isn’t art.

Froschauer is an experimental artist and art fabricator in Los Angeles. His fine artwork covers a broad range of subjects and materials from ephemeral street art and experiential narrative events to gunpowder illustration and alternative technique photography to practical sculpture and many large-scale pieces for the Burning Man Festival. 

Aiming to give viewers a positive yet momentary emotional lift, messaging in “The Words on the Street” are simple yet thought provoking, with self-love and compassion at the core of their statements. Froschauer hopes that people who view his signs start to see and spread positivity for everyone.

Does Life Infinite

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Don’t we all hope for clearance for infinity?

Coincidently, on his website, Froschauer says, “I ran into a city worker who was maintaining the landscaping around one of my street signs. He asked what the sign was supposed to mean. Of course, I asked him what he thought it meant. After several minutes of explaining his search for the official meaning of this, very unofficial, sign, he finally said that he was really sure what it was supposed to mean but it made him feel something, something he wasn’t quite sure of…Something that felt like hope.”

In 1891, Oscar Wilde wrote, “life imitates art far more than art imitates life”

in his essay The Decay of Lying.  As Wilde says, and as this installation aims to demonstrate, “Things are because we see them, and what we see, and how we see it, depends on the arts that have influenced us.” 

Right now, Froschauer’s words on the street are what we all need.

For more information on Scott Froschauer, go to

Fourth of July feasting fit for a king-denier


Do you suppose that our patriotic forefathers were happy to shed the taste of British foods at their independence party? We know they dumped the tea, and started a trajectory toward a future with Starbucks on every corner. But I would imagine they said to themselves something like, ‘No more bloody bangers and mash!’ Then they went and invented hot dogs and potato salad instead. Which, as we all know, is way better. 

In honor of this Independence Day, I wanted to think of a nice feast that reflects the best of America the beautiful: something from our shining seas, our fruited plains, and our amber waves of grain. 

Here’s what I came up with – Surf and turf (Grilled Sardines with chiles, garlic and lemon, and Balsamic Glazed Grilled Steak Rolls), Classic Potato Salad, and a “Flag Salad” for a fruity dessert.

If I was any kind of baker, I’d shoot for the great American Apple Pie, but I subscribe to the theory that one is either a cook or a baker. I am of the former camp, in every case.

These dishes are delicious and colorfully beautiful too with loads of red, white and blue. Oh, and easy to make, because that’s the American way too.

All recipes serve about 8.

Fourth of July Sardines

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Grilled Sardines with chiles, garlic and lemon – seasoned simply with chili and lemon and sizzled on the barbecue, these succulent sardines are the ideal flavor of summer. Recipe from


1 lemon, zested and juiced, plus extra 2 lemons, halved

1 red chili pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp olive oil

3 half-ounce size fresh sardines

A few drops Tabasco

--In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest and 2 tsp lemon juice with the chilli, garlic and oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

--Cut small slits on one side of each sardine. Rub the lemon and oil mixture all over the sardines, rubbing well into the slits and body cavity.

--Cook the sardines on a preheated barbecue (or over a medium-high heat in a griddle pan) for 3 minutes on each side, until cooked through and the flesh flakes away easily from the bone. Put the lemon halves, cut-side-down, next to the fish for the final 3 minutes of the cooking time.

--Serve the sardines with a few drops of Tabasco, and the grilled lemon halves.

Balsamic Glazed Steak Rolls – A lovely low carb recipe from

Fourth of July Steak

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8 thin slices sirloin or flank steak (length and width according to personal preference)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh rosemary, chopped

1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin strips

1 medium yellow onion, halved and then thinly sliced

A few white button or cremini mushrooms, cut into thin strips

For the Rosemary Balsamic Glaze:

1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 Cup dark balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp dry red wine

2 tsp brown sugar

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1/4 Cup beef-flavored broth

--Rub each side of the steak slices with a little extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, freshly ground black pepper and some chopped fresh rosemary.

--Heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the vegetables until crisp-tender, seasoning with salt and pepper.

--Place a few of the vegetable strips vertically on one end of each steak cutlet so that once rolled up the end of the vegetables are sticking out of each end of the steak roll.

--Roll it up, and secure it with a toothpick. Repeat for each steak roll.

--For the rosemary balsamic glaze: Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for one minute, until fragrant. Add the balsamic vinegar, red wine, brown sugar and the rosemary sprigs and bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for five minutes. Add the broth, return to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 15 minutes. Discard the rosemary sprigs.

--Prepare the grill and grill on each side for about two minutes or according to desired doneness. Do the same if cooking them in a skillet, frying over medium-high heat until done.

--Serve immediately drizzled with the rosemary balsamic glaze.

Fourth of July Potato

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Classic Potato Salad – Baby potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture that’s delicious in this classic recipe. Use red, white and blue potatoes for the USA effect. Recipe from Food & Wine.


2 3/4 lbs. baby Yukon Gold or baby red or blue potatoes (about 2 inches each), scrubbed

Kosher salt

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tbsp distilled white vinegar

2 tsp Dijon mustard

Freshly ground pepper

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 celery rib, cut into 1/4-inch dice

--In a large saucepan, cover the potatoes with cold water and season the water with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.

--Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the vinegar and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the scallions, parsley and celery. Halve the potatoes crosswise and fold them into the dressing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

The potato salad can be refrigerated up to 1 day. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Fruit Flag Salad Load up on the red white and blues, but let a little sunny pineapple and melon in too. Maggi recipe.

Fourth of July Fruit

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1/2 fresh pineapple cut in small bits, save juice

2 medium bananas, sliced

2 pints fresh strawberries

4 cups cubed cantaloupe

3 cups fresh blueberries

3 containers (6 oz.) lemon Greek yogurt

1 cup fresh or frozen/thawed whipped topping

2 tbsp agave nectar sweetener

--Toss banana slices with pineapple and a little of the juice. Reserve 18 to 20 strawberries for flag stripes; cut remaining strawberries into quarters.

--Mix yogurt, whipped topping, and agave nectar together in a bowl until blended and smooth.

--In ungreased 13 x 9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish, layer cantaloupe and quartered strawberries. Reserve 50 blueberries for flag stars. Layer remaining blueberries over strawberries. Top with bananas and pineapple. 

--With pancake turner, press fruit lightly to even out top. Spread yogurt mixture evenly over fruit. If desired, at this point, salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 4 hours. If serving salad immediately, add topping; if salad is refrigerated, add topping up to 1 hour before serving. Sprinkle reserved blueberries in corner to resemble stars of flag. Cut reserved strawberries into quarters. Arrange strawberries in rows to resemble stripes of flag.

Enjoy the Fourth and all the best of American cooking!

Holiday Trash and Street Sweeping Schedules

Holiday Schedule for Residential Trash collection – Residential trash and recycling collection will be delayed by one day beginning on Wednesday, July 4, and throughout the remainder of the week. For questions, please contact Waste Management Customer Service at (949) 642-1191.

Holiday Street Sweeping Schedule – On Wednesday, July 4, only non-residential areas will be swept. Residential street sweeping will not occur, and parking restrictions will not be enforced.

The Pet Rescue Center announces resignation of LB’s Blythe Wheaton and appointment of Lynne Ehrlich

The Pet Rescue Center Co-Founder and Executive Director Blythe Wheaton of Laguna Beach has announced her resignation as director to spend more time with her family. Wheaton founded The Pet Rescue Center with her husband, Dr. Matthew Wheaton, in 2007. The mission was simple, “To save the lives of dogs and cats at risk of euthanasia.” 

Wheaton has filled the role of Founder, Development Director and then Executive Director over the past 11 years. She has announced that she will be leaving The Pet Rescue Center at the end of June. 

“I am proud of the difference The Pet Rescue Center has made in the community. We have saved so many lives and been an integral part of creating positive change within the support systems offered to domestic animals in our community. I am confident that the programs I have created will propel the reduction of the need for euthanasia as a solution to shelter overcrowding, provide community resources to at risk pet owners and to help pet owners make informed decisions by educating the public,” she says.

The Pet Wheaton

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Submitted photo

Blythe Wheaton and pup

Wheaton will remain involved in the training of a new Executive Director and cultivation of the future of The Pet Rescue Center through her co-founder role. She has laid the groundwork for her replacement and a strategic plan for 2018. 

“I am certain that The Pet Rescue Center will continue to make a difference in our community. There is so much need, so much to be done, and so much change on the horizon to benefit domestic pets. I’m confident with our board leadership, our advisors, volunteer staff and our supporters that our model will only improve. The Pet Rescue Center has been a large part of my life and I am sad to say goodbye,” stated Wheaton. 

The Pet Rescue Center has chosen Lynne Ehrlich as its new Interim Executive Director, effective July 1. Ehrlich has over 29 years combined IT and HR business systems experience and expertise in assessing and recommending “Best Practice” strategic design and process improvements, as well as a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology. 

The Pet Ehrlich

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Submitted photo

Lynne Ehrlich and friends

Over the past five years, Ehrlich has volunteered for many of The Pet Rescue Center’s programs: from lending a hand at adoption events and bagging food for the Pet Pantry, to socializing rescues by providing lots of playtime, lap time and love. Having led humane education tours at the Irvine Animal Care Center, she seamlessly took on the role of Education Outreach Coordinator for The Pet Rescue Center in 2014. 

The Pet Rescue Center was impressed by Ehrlich’s passion, her tenacity and her ability to focus her goals into a rewarding commitment to volunteerism while maintaining a balance with her professional and personal commitments. These are all qualities the organization feels will help achieve its 2018 Strategic Vision and move the group into the future. 

“I am very excited to welcome Lynne to The Pet Rescue Center team. She has always been one to stand out in my mind as a great asset to our cause. I am thrilled she will help us move into the second decade of impact The Pet Rescue Center makes on our community,” says Wheaton. 

The Pet Rescue Center is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with the goal of saving the lives of dogs and cats at risk of euthanasia. The group provides assistance to at risk dogs and cats through programs that serve the community: Rescue Rehab Re-home, Education and Pet Pantry. 

For more information or to donate, visit

The Zany Side of Fourth of July


If it isn’t crazy enough that Americans consume 150 million hot dogs and 70 million pounds of chicken on the Fourth of July, there are other wacky facts about our Independence Day celebrations that outshine even the most outrageous scenarios. 

According to, Americans have been setting off fireworks to celebrate their independence since 1777. Even some of the very first Independence Day celebrations involved fireworks. On July 4, 1777, Philadelphia put together an elaborate day of festivities. The celebration included a 13-cannon display, a parade, a fancy dinner, toasts, music, musket salutes, “loud huzzas,” and of course fireworks. 

Here in Laguna, we celebrate the holiday with a magnificent fireworks display. However, other cities have more unique ways of honoring our nation.

The Zany dragonfly

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Dragonfly fireworks during display over Laguna Beach last year

If you’re an animal lover, you’ll probably love Bend, Oregon’s Fourth of July Pet Parade. Since the 1930s, kids and their pets have participated in this parade, which has included everything from horses, dogs, and goats to badgers, chickens, and baby coyotes. More than 8,000 people watch and participate in the annual Pet Parade. Given the sheer number and variety of these animals, this seems like the perfect situation to play road apple roulette (if you’re not familiar with this gambling game, see below).

Somewhat reluctant lobster races 

Not satisfied with a mere pet parade, the City of Bar Harbor, Maine brings out its pedigree lobsters to race against time and each other. People even place bets and egg the lobsters on, though the animals don’t quite know what’s going on. (And why would they?) Some go forward, some stay put, and some leave the track entirely (these probably are afraid the race might be followed by a Lobster Fest).

Marshmallow fights turn violent

No animals involved here. Just fights for wimps. The people of Ocean Beach, California celebrate by chucking marshmallows at each other. Though in previous years the fight has gotten out of control and become violent (according to, it has recently calmed down and is once again a place for fun. This brings to mind two questions: how do you get violent with marshmallows, and do they make s’mores with them afterward? 

Boom Box Parade

For the past 30 years, Willimantic, Connecticut has hosted an annual Boom Box Parade on July 4. Why boom boxes? Well, it was a matter of necessity: In 1986, no marching bands were available to perform in a Memorial Day parade, so the town had to get creative. Since the town’s first boom box parade – which happened on the Fourth of July rather than Memorial Day – thousands of people have celebrated Independence Day by wearing red, white, and blue and carrying a radio tuned to WILI. I knew there was a reason to save my old boom box.

The Zany boombox

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Strange pairing of red storm trooper and boom box

Computer Trap Shooting

Only in Kentucky can you find the great Fourth of July tradition of shooting obsolete electronic devices. Participants donate their old computers and Kentuckians with guns go to town blowing up every piece of circuit board and screen they see. What a great way to let out all your technology-related anger, but this sounds more dangerous than even shooting off fireworks. 

Tug of war - heavy weight feud extraordinaire 

This is not your run of the mill tug of war. Anything but regular in the towns of Bolinas and Stinson Beach. Every Fourth of July, the two towns reignite a feud, pulling a rope back and forth across the Bolinas Channel that separates them with both men’s and women’s competitions. But this a no small skirmish. Bolinas apparently has a 200-pound weight minimum and has fed its participants whale blubber meat in the past to heighten (and widen) their advantage. Evidently, no holds are barred. On separate occasions, Stinson has previously utilized 500-pound Samoans, the UC Berkeley rowing team, the San Francisco Golden Gate rugby team and a Jeep to pull them to victory. 

Road Apple Roulette

No need to describe this one, although it’s better than road kill roulette. Residents of Hailey, Idaho gather each year to play this game in which participants buy squares (from the 10,000 squares) of the annual Fourth of July parade’s path, complete with horses that drop “road apples” along the way. If these “apples” land in the square you bought, your name goes in a drum, and you can win big in prizes. 

Just a normal Fourth of July, not really

So, I guess the moral of this story is that here in Laguna, we’re not as madcap as we think. Apparently, we’re pretty tame (except for our holiday crowd and traffic) and traditional in our Fourth of July fireworks celebration, but it’s never normal, it’s always nothing short of spectacular. Happy Fourth of July!

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Maggi likes this crazy head. She noticed it, and so did several of our readers.

Janene Freita was on it, first thing. Kudos also go out to Kristen Purll, Dustin Bainbridge, Karen Feuer Schwager, Claudia Redfern, Pamela Cooper (who had the inside scoop as it’s at her in-law’s home!).

Did you know where to find this in Laguna? 

Maggi promises another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi Manzanita

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This expressive head sculpture can be found on Manzanita Street 

The Staycationers: Why leave Laguna at this most beautiful time of the year?


Yes, there are reasons to leave Laguna during the summer months: thousands upon thousands of them, in fact, in the shape of the day-trippers and tourists who take over our town – but then, why not vacate our parking spaces and restaurant reservations so that visitors can enjoy the experiences that we are fortunate to enjoy year-long as residents? 

Or, on the other hand, why not stick around and enjoy, along with visitors (hey, revel in their envy!) all that summer has to offer in town at our festivals…especially now that we have Uber, Lyft and the trolleys to solve some of the traffic issues?

the staycationers town

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Our beautiful town and beach – pre-summer, admittedly…

Aptly, Meredith Dowling, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, which promotes local businesses, plans to do just that – and as a relative newcomer to Laguna, her excitement at sharing with her visiting mom all the experiences that so many of us take for granted in this town is positively infectious!

Learning about her staycation plans makes me appreciate our town so very much and reminds me why I love it so. Any of you out there feeling jaded? Read this… 

Staycation in Laguna Beach: Enjoying its incredible beauty

 “When I moved to Laguna Beach, I told my parents about all the incredible beauty I saw, the experiences I had, the friends I made, the places I went, the peace I felt. My mother and father showed me so much of the world over the years, I hoped one day that I could share this all with them firsthand instead of sending brochures, photos, and emails.”

the staycationers Meredith and mom

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Courtesy of Meredith Dowling

Meredith and her mom having a marvelous time in Laguna

 “My mom’s visit this summer is an especially big deal, since my dad recently passed away and she couldn’t visit and I was working 24/7. 

“Now we are embracing every minute and I am finally able to show her so many things that she’s never experienced, just like she has done for me my whole life.

“Since joining the Chamber in September 2017, I’ve been working to transform the organization with limited resources, funding, and staff and I am passionate about implementing this revitalization. It’s exciting but all-consuming – as the only full-time staff person right now, it is impossible to take a traditional vacation, or regular vacation time. 

“So this summer is the perfect time for me to exploring and experience many things still on my “Laguna Beach bucket list” – things I haven’t had a chance to take advantage of yet.

“My mother (a world traveler) offered to fly out from the East coast and stay for the summer so she could experience the cool, unique, and amazing places, events, and sites I have been raving about, as well as spend as much quality time together as my busy work schedule will permit.”

the staycationers toes

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

So Laguna: Patches Toe Rings and this year’s theme: Vincent Van Toe

“We have already attended the premier night of the Sawdust Festival, visited with local artists like Bill Atkins, and taken photos with the VW bus. 

“We went to the Art-A-Fair Gala featuring great music, food from Maro Grill, Laguna Beach Brewery and Grill, beer from Laguna Beach Beer Company, and other local sponsors. My mom loved the energy, the food, and all the “impromptu dancing,” as she called it. I haven’t seen my mom that happy in a long time. 

“My mom took her first trolley ride in Laguna Beach and met the Greeter who I’d told her so much about.”

We attended the opening night of the new exhibit at the Laguna Art Museum (Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935), which was very exciting, as my mother loves history and art. I love Laguna Beach, and was thrilled to see the Chamber of Commerce was highlighted for the important role we played during the formation of this special place most of us call home. My mother was very proud. 

the staycationers the greeter

Courtesy of Meredith Dowling

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“Welcome to Laguna Beach!” Mom finally meets The Greeter

We’ve shopped at the local boutiques, eaten wonderful cuisine at local restaurants (charcuterie plates, mussels, sushi, pasta, pizza from Slice…and more to come)! We’ve meandered through Heisler Park to Main Beach, looking at all the special sculptures, stopping at the gazebo and various lookout points. 

We walked to Las Brisas, sat and ate by the fire pit, watched the sunset, laughed, and felt incredibly fortunate.

My mother and I still have many exciting plans ahead. We are going to tour the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (definitely on my bucket list)! We will watch the Fourth of July fireworks from Main Beach together, then have just a short walk home. I have tickets for us to attend Festival of Arts & Chamber Night at the Pageant (Mom has never been!). 

I’m so excited for her to experience this amazing one-of-a-kind performance….plus pre-dinner special at Laguna Beach Brewery & Grill, now with up to 65 plus people attending. We have opening night tickets to the Laguna Playhouse to see the Broadway Musical, Million Dollar Quartet. 

Oh, and Gelato Paradiso (448 S Coast Hwy) is a must have…then wander the cobblestone streets under the sunny skies. I am definitely taking my mom to the Top of the World to show her the breathtaking views, and if I can find where our local goats are, I really want to watch those goats munch away on brush and dried grass. Mom will be here for First Thursday Art Walk in August! Our galleries really are something! We have amazing artists, paintings, sculptures, furniture, glassware, jewelry, and other rare and exquisite forms of art…other people come from all around the world to see and buy so I am excited to have my mom in town.

We will be attending several ribbon-cutting celebrations for new businesses in town. My mom thinks some of these new businesses are so interesting and loves to hear about all the new things happening in town. 

the staycationers las brisas

Courtesy of Meredith Dowling

Las Brisas (and the view) isn’t just for tourists 

We are going to catch low tide, hang out, and watch the strange creatures in the tide pools, very different from what you’d find in the Atlantic Ocean. I hope to take her to see live music at Mozambique. 

“Other ‘must do’s’’ include eating oysters at Pearl St. Market (The Seahorse), more trolley rides, more local shopping and more local meals (hard to believe there are still so many places I haven’t tried). 

“Even though I am fitting this all in between work responsibilities, it is turning out to be one of the best summer vacations ever! And it is only July!

--Meredith Dowling, executive director, LB Chamber of Commerce

My vacations this summer are going to be more local...staying in California. With July, August and September being the busiest months for me at Tight Assets and The World Newsstand, I like hanging around Laguna seeing friends. But I will be going home to San Francisco to visit my 91-year-old dad and 88-year-old mom. I can’t imagine any vacation better than a visit to our family home of 55 years. 

the staycationers beach

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Why leave Laguna when others pay thousands to experience our town’s many great delights?

A few trips to Catalina Island and La Jolla are in the works too. It’s funny, every year without fail, friends from all over the world call me up saying they really want to come to Laguna for a week during the summer to attend all of our fabulous festivals, dine and shop. They ask for hotels suggestions and I give them several. They call back, surprised that for a nicer hotel, it’s $500 - $1,000 a night. Welcome to Laguna Beach in the summer! 

I then surprise them with inviting them to stay with me. But that’s Laguna beach right? Open doors. I love to share my Laguna.

--Heidi Miller, owner of Tight Assets and queen of kidney donation awareness

Other staycationers include Councilmember Steve Dicterow and Mayor Kelly Boyd, who says that he and his family will likely spend a few days at their home in Palm Springs also. 

And Sandi Werthe, Patriots Day Parade organizer, says, “I usually go downtown early in the morning to run errands and then come back to Top of the World to “hide out.’ No other plans for the summer.”

Whatever your plans, Stu News wishes you an awesome summer 2018!

Tip-A-Cop fundraiser will help raise money for Special Olympics on Saturday, July 28 at Ruby’s

Laguna Beach Police Department employees will be volunteering their time in conjunction with Special Olympics athletes to work alongside Ruby’s Diner restaurant staff to help raise money for the Special Olympics Orange County Region at a Tip-A-Cop® fundraiser. The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Ruby’s Diner located at 30622 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

The Laguna Beach Police Department, along with the international law enforcement community, has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. Police officers partner with area restaurants to hold Special Olympics Fundraisers on specific dates, hosted by one or more restaurants. Officers and Special Olympics athletes meet and greet customers, help take orders and deliver drinks and food orders, while interacting with restaurant guests. 

tip a cop fundraiser

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Photo from archives

Sgt Jim Cota is great at serving the community in every possible way

Customers are encouraged to “tip the cop” for their service in the form of a tax deductible donation, 100 percent of which will go to the Special Olympics program. This is in addition to the customary tip left for the restaurant’s server for their service. 

There will be an exotic car display which will include Lamborghinis, Peganis, McLarens and Porsches. The Police Department will also have a police car, police motorcycle, police K-9 unit, drone demonstration, face painting station and a balloon artist on site for this event. The community can enjoy great food, interact with some of Laguna Beach’s ‘Finest’ and Special Olympics athletes while supporting a great cause. 

Special Olympics relies on fundraisers for the many services it provides to our Special Olympics Athletes. 

Events are held annually in more than 170 countries for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 3.1 million athletes of all ages are involved in these Special Olympics programs. The Laguna Beach Police Department is very proud to be able to play a small part in promoting Special Olympics and providing opportunities for the athletes to train, compete, have fun, and become productive and respected members of society. 

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joe Torres at (949) 497-0330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Time Defiance Fitness announces transition to an at-home training approach

After fourteen years of providing personalized training to the Laguna Beach community at its Broadway Street location, Time Defiance Fitness has announced that it will soon transition to an at-home training approach.

While training sessions will now take place from the comfort of clients’ homes, Dr. Jack Lynn will continue to personalize exercise regimens based on the medical conditions of each client, focusing on increasing flexibility, improved balance, and maximal muscle toning. Dr. Lynn bases his personal training approach on over 24 years of practicing surgery, orthopedics, and pain and rehabilitation medicine, and over 21 years of personal training experience.

Time Defiance Jack

Submitted photo

Dr. Jack Lynn, of Time Defiance Fitness

Time Defiance Fitness elevates personal training to the next level by focusing on each client as an individual. Deeply attuned to the needs of the mature population, Dr. Jack Lynn draws upon decades of orthopedics and rehabilitation medicine experience to develop personalized, medically-backed fitness regimens.

Time Defiance Fitness is committed to offering unrivaled personal training and believes this new approach will enable wider outreach to the Laguna Beach community.

Time Defiance Fitness will also be changing its phone number to (949) 510-0863. The Time Defiance Fitness website will remain

City seeks input from residents on Cliff Drive to High Drive Stairway replacement

On Wednesday, July 11 at 5 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach is hosting an onsite public workshop to gather public input on the proposed design of a stairway replacement. The stairway is located near Diver’s Cove and extends from Cliff Drive to High Drive. 

If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, please contact Alpha Santos at (949) 497-0729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Clarification regarding summer parking program for residents with permits

Summer is here, bringing with it the summer parking program, which began on Friday, June 29, and runs through Labor Day. This means the free parking in Lot 11 (Forest/Laguna Canyon Lot) ends, and everyone has to pay to park in that lot.

Shopper/resident parking permits will not be valid in Lot 11 or Lot 10 (Christmas Tree lot) until after Labor Day. Shopper/resident parking permits will also not be valid in the on-street metered spaces on Laguna Canyon Road and the Frontage Road, except for the metered spaces adjacent to the dog park where the permits will continue to be valid. 

clarification parking permits

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parking meters

Business parking permits will not be valid in the Glenneyre parking structure until after Labor Day. 

The parking meters and parking lot pay stations in the greater downtown area, Laguna Canyon Road and Frontage Road, and the Glenneyre parking structure will require payment until 9 p.m. through Labor Day.

The parking meters in the rest of the city outside of the greater downtown area will continue to require payment only until 7 p.m.

The Aliso Beach county parking lots will continue to require payment until 10 p.m.

The Canyon Acres resident permit parking program also went into effect on Friday, June 29 and runs through Labor Day.

Let’s send eight-year-old ‘RJ’ to Summer Camp

Tony’s Treehouse charity is working to raise $525 for RJ’s Summer Day Camp. RJ is an eight year old boy who is the oldest of his siblings and is full of adventure. He is known to be the “helper” of his family, even when times get tough. 

Losing his younger brother to SIDS, he had to grow up faster than planned. Although, with the love of his family, they pulled through these tough times together and focused on what really matters, family. 

lets send rj group

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Photo from website

Becky with some of the happy kids who benefit from Tony’s Treehouse

Tony’s Treehouse would love to help RJ have a fun-filled summer and send him to camp because he has never been. The Boys & Girls Club atmosphere is where he will be able to play outdoors, make friends, and connect with caring mentors. 

If Tony’s Treehouse receives $400 for the tickets, plus donations to cover the remaining $125, RJ will get to enjoy the entire summer at the Club.

Being offered are packages of eight donated tickets to the Pageant of the Masters show on July 30 at 8:30 p.m. Seats are together in the upper Directors Tier, Side BB 64 – 78 at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach. A generous individual, corporation, or organization is asked to buy all eight tickets for $400. 100 percent of this purchase will go toward funding RJ’s Summer Day Camp fees. He will be able to attend as many weeks as can be pay for, so any additional donations are welcome at

Hundreds gather at Main Beach to show support for families separated at the border in recent months

Last Saturday, a peaceful gathering – the Families Belong Together March and Rally – attracted hundreds in a show of support for families that have been separated during the ‘No Tolerance’ immigration policy enforced by the Trump Administration.

Hundreds gather main beach

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Photo by Angela Dawson

Rally at Main Beach draws hundreds

The event, organizers say, was also to draw attention to the executive order that was recently written “that offered no solution to the thousands of families currently detained and separated.” 

“[President] Trump has signed an Executive Order ending the family separation policy he implemented. But please know that his Executive Order did not offer any solutions or give relief to the separated families,” one of the organizers, Jahn Levitt, stated.

More on this in Barbara’s Column on Friday.

July Fourth Laguna Beach Transit Hours

On July 4, the trolleys will be operating special service hours. The Coastal routes will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Canyon route will run from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

There will be no transit service in the North and South Laguna neighborhoods, along with the Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods. 

For more information, please contact the City’s Transit office at (949) 497-0766.

Laguna Hackers 18th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament raises $25,000 for the Boys & Girls Club 

The Laguna Hackers held the 18th Annual Bob Margolis Memorial “18 For The Kids” Golf Tournament to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach on Monday, June 25 at the Aliso Viejo Country Club. Generating over 150 golfers, the tournament raised $25,000 net for the Bluebird Branch of the Boys & Girls Club. 

The event featured a “scramble format” golf tournament, silent auction, helicopter ball-drop raffle, and dinner. Long-time Laguna Hacker Harry Bithell, of Surterre Properties, chaired the event. He leads an incredible committee of fellow realtors residing in Laguna Beach who meet to play golf every Thursday on golf courses all over OC.

Laguna Hackers helicopter

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Submitted photo

Helicopter ball-drop raffle

Harry Bithell, who chaired the founding committee for The Girls Club in 1971, moved a donated building to the Bluebird Park site. He keeps the now deemed Bluebird Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach close to his heart with this special event. 

Bithell adds, “This great team effort was coordinated by the Laguna Hackers, Boys & Girls Club, and the Margolis Family. We keep this tradition going because we believe in the Boys & Girls Club and the legacy our dear friend Bob Margolis left behind which was to always give back.”

This annual tournament is in memory of Bob Margolis, whose generosity and outstanding character is honored by raising much-needed funds for local charities. Over the past 18 years, this event has raised over $250,000 for the Bluebird Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach to ensure hundreds of children each year have a life enriching experience and brighter futures. 

Laguna Hackers Paula and Tracey

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Submitted photo

Paula Hornbuckle (L) and Tracey Thompson enjoy a cool drink by the golf course

The Hackers are an eclectic group loosely centered on the real estate industry that plays a different course every Thursday. They are always looking for new Hackers and their old lost balls. About 16-20 players are currently hitting nearby golf courses.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach occupies three sites in LB: Canyon Branch, Bluebird Branch and its newest addition, Lang Branch, located in South Laguna. Together, The Club offers a nationally recognized and award-winning year-round enrichment program that focuses on the whole family. From preschool to parenting classes, The Club offers an array of services that focus on academic success, good character and citizenship, healthy lifestyles and creative expression. Being an indispensable asset to the families of our community is a time-honored tradition. For over 65 years, The Club strives to support this goal through out-of-school recreation that celebrates the whole child.

For more information about The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, visit or call (949) 494-2535.

Summer Breeze makes [you] feel fine/Blowing through the canyon past the lines

Visitors can now blow freely in and out of Laguna Beach on a sweet Summer Breeze – and be returned safely to their vehicle when they’re done, without the driving and parking hassles. They just park at the lot near SR-133/I-405 freeway and catch the Laguna Beach Summer Breeze bus. 

summer breeze trolley

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Visitors can blow past traffic with the Summer Breeze bus and then catch the trolley around town

The Summer Breeze bus service runs every weekend (starting June 30) through September 2. The bus runs each Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. - midnight, and travels from the SR-133/I-405 parking lot along Laguna Canyon Road with stops at Sawdust Art Festival, Laguna Art-A-Fair, Festival of the Arts, Pageant of the Masters, Laguna Playhouse, and the Laguna Beach Bus Station.

Then, from the Laguna Beach Bus Station, tourists can see all of Laguna Beach by hopping on the free Laguna Beach Trolley. The Trolley connects shopping, local restaurants and destinations all over Laguna Beach. 

“And when your beach day is done, just hop back on the Summer Breeze bus at any of the stops and ride back to the parking lot,” the City explains. This service is provided for free by the City of Laguna Beach all summer long.

For more information – including the Summer Breeze bus schedule, route map, and directions – go to

Summer Breeze is mostly funded by OCTA Measure M Project V grant funds.

Public meeting hosted by Laguna Canyon Foundation, CANDO, and Greg & Barbara MacGillivray on July 5 will discuss controversial Caltrans 133 Project

Have you heard about Caltrans’ proposal for Laguna Canyon Road and do you know how it will affect Laguna? 

Laguna Canyon Foundation, Greg and Barbara MacGillivray, and Laguna Beach CANDO invite the public to a presentation that will explain the overall project and its impacts on our community and canyon.

The meeting will take place on Thursday, July 5 from 5 - 7 p.m. at the Susi Q Senior Center, 380 Third Street. 

Information about the proposed changes and a statement on the potential impacts on Laguna’s open space from Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones can be read at

All public comments to Caltrans are due by July 10.

Public meeting hosted

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Intersection of Laguna Canyon Road and El Toro Road

Laguna Canyon Foundation is dedicated to preserving, protecting, enhancing and promoting the South Coast Wilderness – a network of open space that includes Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Aliso and Wood Canyon Wilderness Park.

CANDO’s mission is to preserve the rural, low-density and small-scale character of Laguna Canyon; to protect the integrity of our unique neighborhoods; and to ensure the safety of the Laguna Canyon corridor. The group advocates judicious, long-term planning for this biologically diverse gateway into our community.

Rowan Reports on Roux

Rowan Van Dender (11) loves to write and issues a monthly newsletter about Brooks Street, where she lives. Now she’s also a columnist for Stu News! Readers can read and subscribe to her newsletter at

I am so glad we came to this restaurant (Roux). We were looking for a good restaurant to do the review on and Roux kept coming up in my mom’s mind. She had gone there once for frog legs and thought it was a location that looked like it had a lot of history. So we went and it was amazing. Along with learning all about the Creole food we got to taste it too! 

Rowan reports outside

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Courtesy of Rowan

Rowan and her mom outside historic location of Roux restaurant

We met with the owner Michael Byrne for a talk about food. He had bought Roux from the previous owner, whose picture is still up on the chimney, and “changed everything but the soul!” He told me how this building was previously an art studio for an artist named Leonard Kaplan then changed to a juice bar!

I asked him how he had gotten the idea for a Creole based menu and he said that he just really loved Creole food because it had a lot of soul. He told me how it was predominantly French and it has a lot of culture. To end our interview he told me how Laguna is evolving into a foodie town and he respects that. 

“This town’s going to be around for a long time!” he said.

Rowan reports creole food

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Courtesy of Rowan

Creole food has a lot of soul

While waiting for my food, I interviewed another important part of the Roux team. I talked to the lead chef, Chef Robert. He is a native to California but is a Filipino by blood. He told me how he learned cooking from his grandmother and fell in love with it. When I asked him what his favorite menu item was he said how he loves seafood but “Don’t get me wrong I love a good steak!” 

Finally it was food time. First on the menu was the Organic Kale Salad. It was sweet with a rural type of pop and I loved it! Next was the Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Dish. Along with the dip it had crunchy bread and those two mixed so well! It melted in your mouth like ice cream. 

The catfish dish had a nice spicy kick to the sauce and I loved the flavors coming together while I ate the fish with the rice. Last but not least I had the Buttermilk Pie. The texture was amazing and the way it melted in your mouth was incredible. And I thought that the orange whipped cream was brilliant. Overall Roux was amazing and has an incredible backstory. I definitely recommend going there one day! 

Roux is located at 860 Glenneyre.

Salt Chrch announces the appointment of Mike Kenyon as Senior Pastor

In May of 2017, Gene Molway, founding pastor of Salt Chrch [sic], suddenly passed away. Salt Chrch admits that it’s been a hard year as a church family, but says that they have learned so much about grace and truth and have remained faithful to their founding principles and main mission.

One of those who reached out to help was Mike Kenyon. Kenyon had a relationship with Molway for over 20 years, and wanted to help fill the pulpit of the man who’d mentored him for so long. Kenyon preached and ministered to the church body, and it wasn’t long afterwards that he threw his hat in the ring for consideration for the vacant position. The vote was unanimous, and he was offered the position. 

Kenyon, age 47, has a rich ministry background. He earned his B.A. in the D.C.E (Director of Christian Education) program with an emphasis in Youth and Family Counseling from Concordia University, Irvine in 1992, followed by his Master of Divinity from Rockbridge Theological Seminary in 2014.

Salt Chrch family

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Submitted photo

The Kenyon Family – Austin, Allison, Mike and Kylie

He served on staff at Mariners Church, Irvine from 1990 - 1997 where, among other roles, he filled the position of Associate High School Pastor. He went on to be the Director of Youth and Missions at Irvine Presbyterian Church for six years. In 2003, he moved to Rock Harbor where, for six years, he served as Pastor of Outreach. 

In 2012, Kenyon moved into the nonprofit arena and for five years served as the Pastor of Church Development for Free Wheelchair Mission, building an infrastructure of support and a network of churches around the United States. After five years with FWM, Mike moved back into church ministry and worked as the Pastor of Community Life at Mariners Church, Mission Viejo for three years. In 2015, he was hired as the Lead Pastor for Voyagers Bible Church in Irvine. 

Kenyon says, “My ministry objective is for the Lord Jesus to be glorified. My passion is to teach the Word of God and help disciples of Jesus integrate the truth of God’s Word into their everyday lives. Discipling people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds to live out their faith is a primary emphasis of my vocational work. Having grown up in poverty, I have a heart for teaching people to understand the spiritual and physical needs of the poor; and thereby respond in Christian love and service. My ultimate goal is that men and women will experience a vibrant relationship with Jesus (grounded in prayer) and actively share the good news of the gospel in whatever setting God calls them.” 

Salt Chrch El Morro

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Courtesy Salt Chrch Facebook

Salt Chrch meets on Sundays at 10 a.m. at El Morro Elementary School

Kenyon loves to write, play tennis and basketball, produce films that focus on justice issues, and attend college sporting events, but his biggest delight is his family. He met his wife Allison over 20 years ago when they did ministry together at Mariners Church as volunteers. They’ve been married for 19 years and have two teenage kids. 

Allison is a Kindergarten teacher in the Santa Ana school district. Son Austin, age 16, plays water polo and swims, and daughter Kylie, age 15, is going to run cross country in the fall. Both attend Northwood High School. As a family, the Kenyons love just being together to share delicious meals, travel, go to the beach, and take their dog on fun walks.

Salt Chrch holds services on Sundays at 10 a.m. at El Morro Elementary School, 8681 N Coast Hwy. 

For more information about Salt Chrch, go to
Kenyon can be found online at – Twitter: @kenyonlistens, Facebook: Michael Kenyon, Instagram: @michaelkenyon247.

Second Annual Golf Classic benefiting The Canyon Club of LB at Tijeras Creek Golf Club on Saturday, Aug 11

The Canyon Club will host its Second Annual Golf Classic on Saturday, Aug 11 at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita. This year’s event will include golf, dinner, silent auction, and a helicopter golf ball drop that is sure to attract many supporters. 

Proceeds will benefit The Canyon Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation providing support for the recovery and rehabilitation of alcoholics and their families. 

Second Annual club building

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The Canyon Club hosts Second Annual Golf Classic

“We are super excited to be hosting our second annual Golf Classic at Tijeras Creek this year,” said Event Chair Bill McGowan, “and there are countless ways to get involved. Whether you want to play golf, join us for dinner, volunteer to help, or just show up and have fun, this is an event you should not miss!”

McGowan went on to say that “none of this would be possible if it weren’t for the generous support of donors and corporate sponsors.” The mission of The Canyon Club is “to promote the recovery and rehabilitation and prevention of alcoholism.” The Canyon Club provides a facility for Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon meetings, as well as a variety of educational, recreational, social and other activities and events that support the Club’s mission. 

Second Annual Tijeras course

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Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita

According to club manager Barry Baker, “The Canyon Club doors are open to anyone who needs help or knows someone who does. When an alcoholic or a family member reaches out for help, The Canyon Club is there.” 

Established in 1961, and located at 20456 Laguna Canyon Rd, The Canyon Club attracts people from all walks of life, each with the common purpose of seeking recovery from alcoholism. With over 55 weekly AA and Al-Anon meetings, over 2,000 individuals pass through the doors each week on their paths of recovery. 

For more information about the Golf Classic, or to find out how you can make a difference by supporting The Canyon Club, contact Bill McGowan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For information about The Canyon Club, go to

Taverna closes, Montage’s Chef Strong steps in & South of Nick’s opens

Story and photos by DIANE ARMITAGE

As the Laguna culinary world turns in Laguna Beach, I can say one thing for sure: July has debuted with a rockin’ and rollin’ kind of attitude. 

Taverna closes

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Taverna closes

For starters, Taverna on Ocean Avenue closed Sunday night after its final service. The Dallas-based Lombardi family set up shop in Laguna in early 2016 with a string of restaurant hits to their name. For various reasons, Taverna didn’t seem to get an early foothold, even with a rare outdoor patio, very decent food and a commitment to making it work in this sometimes-fickle town. 

New concept is on its way

Never fear, though. Lombardi Family Concepts still owns the building with no intent to sell, and the new chef taking over the space is definitely one of the most well-loved and admired chefs of Laguna Beach – Chef Craig Strong of Montage’s famed Studio

Taverna craig strong

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Chef Craig Strong

Chef Craig moved into the posh oceanfront restaurant in 2009 as Chef de Cuisine. In that timeframe, Studio became the only restaurant between San Diego and LA to be awarded the rare Forbes Five Star Rating. Under Strong’s leadership, Studio also received Gayot’s Top 40 Restaurants in the US award in 2017. Its vast wine program has also received the Wine Spectator Grand Award from 2014 through 2017. 

“We thank Craig for an incredible nine years leading the culinary team at Studio and wish him all the best in his next chapter with his own restaurant in Laguna Beach. We look forward to carrying on the tradition of excellence at Studio,” says Montage Laguna Beach General Manager Anne-Marie Houston.

This week, Chef Craig is taking some well-deserved time off. He plans to be back in the culinary game shortly, though. Stay tuned to my social platforms and blog – – for more specific details from Chef Craig. 

South of Nicks opens

It’s said that nature abhors a vacuum, which definitely proves the case this week. Taverna closed just hours before the South of Nick’s official opening last night (Monday). This concept is one we locals have been looking forward to seeing for a long, long time. 

Nick’s and South of Nick’s Owner Nick Nickoloff (that’s a lot of Nicks in one sentence) has been trying to get his popular San Clemente “Mexican Kitchen + Bar” concept into Laguna Beach for years. When The House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer closed its doors in late 2015, we all wondered who would be willing to take over that enormous space. 

Taverna south of nicks sign

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South of Nick’s opens

Nickoloff quietly began working on the logistics and, many moons later, South of Nick’s now exists above GG’s Bistro and a stone’s throw from fellow Mexican restaurant Tortilla Republic (which still surprises me to this day, but that’s another column). Even better, South of Nick’s is less than a block from its older brother, original concept restaurant, Nick’s.

I can only imagine that the innovative restaurateur has already developed a back-and-forth reservation system that sends clientele up or down the street – that would be true leveraging of a very popular brand.

And! The Great David Fune resurfaces

It seems we might have a movement here of great chefs moving from uber-exclusive locations to restaurants that are move amenable to a larger public audience.

Watch for my Friday column on the new digs for one of my most treasured Laguna chefs ever – David Fune. He’s finally back into public life where we can all regularly enjoy his stellar cuisine.

Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book, The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of Laguna based reviews, finds and upcoming events at her blog,

Dennis’ Tidbits


July 3, 2018

Time for Brooks Street to change from being a weekend-only event?

Dennis 5Local ocean temps are a comfortable level at 68-71 degrees in Orange County. There’s a small inconsistent Southern Hemisphere pulse at 2-3 feet here in town, too small for Rockpile Point, and there’s a few waves at Brooks Street but the direction isn’t that good. Your best bet today is Lower Trestle where it’s 3-4 feet on inconsistent sets.

Speaking of Brooks Street, it’s that time of year for the waiting period for decent waves that have to happen on any given weekend as the annual Classic event can only happen on a weekend and in my opinion that kind of sucks as on many occasions our best waves have come during the weekday period only to fizzle out by Saturday or come up suddenly on a Monday. That’s why I gave the event the moniker The Annual shoulda, woulda, coulda surf classic. We barely pulled it off last year having waited until the second weekend in October having endured one of the flattest summers on record.

From the event’s inception in 1954 until the turn of the century I think we had a no-go maybe once or twice but since 2000 there have been several no shows. A lot of those times the good waves were during the week. It’s a real toss of the dice when it comes to scoring good Brooks Street that coincides with a weekend. The spot only shines when it’s a short period (10-11 seconds) severe angle SSE at 160-180 degrees from Baja. Waves from a Southern Hemisphere long period (16-20 seconds) at 190-220 degrees SSW to SW don’t hit the reef correctly, so after a quick takeoff the wave walls up and closes out unless it’s a big southern hemi and it foams off Second and Third Reef.

The last big swell for Brooks Street during a contest was in late July of 2009 when bombs up to 10-12 feet lit up the spot both Saturday and Sunday. There have been some events pulled off early in the season like July 1 and 2, 1985 when Hurricane Dolores sent consistent 8-10 bombs to go along with a 96-degree heat wave and day- long glass, or the 1981 event that went off in late June, the second weekend of the waiting period during a huge Southern Hemi. Big John Parlette and Corky Smith were dominating Second Reef that weekend and neither guy was in the contest but who’s gonna tell them to get out of the water when they’ve got bigger stones than anybody!?

Here’s hoping for good waves this time around. 

Stay tuned, ALOHA!

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church hosts Vacation Bible School in August

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church welcomes youngsters to its annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) in August. Programs are available for youngsters between one-year-old and those who’ve completed fifth grade. Older children are needed as volunteer helpers. VBS will be held between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., Monday, Aug 6 to Friday, Aug 10 at the church. 

Vacation Bible group

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Children and volunteers attending Vacation Bible School recently at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church pose for the camera

“We have a terrific program planned,” says Jen Kucera Rothman, director of Children and Youth Ministries at LBUMC. The theme this year is “Rolling River Rampage.”

Children will be grouped by age or grade, and early registration offers cost savings.  Prior to July 15, the cost for the first child in a family is $50 (and $40 for each sibling). After July 15, the cost is $70. A T-shirt is included for each child who attends.

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church is located at 21632 Wesley Dr, up the hill from Gelson’s Shopping Center.

To sign up, go to or contact the church at (949) 499-3088.

A sensational preview night at the Sawdust: exhibitors and attendees alike sing its praises


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Preview night at the Sawdust drew the usual ebullient crowd and the electricity in the air was palpable. Here’s how some of the exhibitors express how it felt to be part of this amazing festival.

a sensational kyle

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First-time exhibitor Kyle Caris

“Preview night was incredible, I was elated with the amazing support I received from all of my family, friends and the guests attending the show. I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face all night knowing my work was being well received. The Sawdust Art Festival is truly a magical place. I fell in love with the atmosphere and the art at a very early age and even worked my first jobs there. 

“Having a booth for the first time has been a lifelong dream, it was a lot of work but I have never been happier. I grew up in Laguna Beach and started ceramics at the age of sixteen studying under Bill Darnall. After high school I went on to study at Orange Coast College where I really began to understand my material and the balance between form and glaze. I have been drawn to natural earthy colors giving my work a rustic feel. In the spring I will be attending the Kansas Coty Art Institute.”

--Kyle Caris, Ceramics

Veteran fifteen-year-exhibitor Monica Prado – who is also the Board of Directors’ Secretary and President of the Artists Benevolence Fund Board of Trustees – told Stu News, “Preview Night brings a huge boost of enthusiasm and energy, and also a wonderful sense of accomplishment for our tribe of artists and staff. 

“Typically, it’s not a night for big sales, it’s about celebrating with your community, so you can imagine my surprise when I experienced both!”

a sensational monica

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Striking art by Monica: See “Moroccan Moon” – sold on Preview night!

Indeed, Monica’s “Moroccan Moon”, five foot two inches tall, made entirely from ceramic shapes and tiles delicately crafted by the artist herself, was snapped up that evening, along with other of her pieces…which suggests a great summer ahead!

Another first-time exhibitor (who has in past years exhibited at the Festival of Arts), Brenda Bredvik, had this to say: “My first Opening Night at the Sawdust festival was awesome! All the artists must arrive early which is actually a fun little pre-party. The band started warming up so we had a chance to enjoy them before heading to our booths. Everyone greets or introduces themselves and wishes each other a successful summer. It was such an inclusive family atmosphere – even though there are many artists I don’t know they have all been so warm and friendly!

“And of course when the gates open the whole town comes by to say hi! It’s such a Laguna thing.”

a sensational brenda

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Since she’s showing some photos with a vintage look, Brenda thought (correctly) that a retro ‘60s outfit would be fun for Preview Night

And then, of course, there were the attendees, who had a raucously good time…

a sensational laura

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Laura Westland and friends are ready to party as they wait for the gates to open!

a sensational group

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Party time at the Preview! 

Political notebook banner

Christoph announces candidacy: It’s time to get a move on, she says


Ann Christoph announced this week her candidacy for the Laguna Beach City Council, a position she previously held in the early 1990s.

Her goal is to reduce what she feels is the redundancy that stifles progress on important civic projects.

“We spend too much time on all the studies that are disappointing,” said Christoph in a telephone interview Sunday. “We are paying enormous costs and we should be getting enormous results and we are not.”

The drawn-out revisions to the Downtown Specific Plan are an example. She also cites a proposal to hire another consultant to prepare an urban design plan, which she said is already covered by the Landscape and Scenic Highways resource document she has worked on for decades.

Christoph head shot

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Submitted photo

Ann Christoph

Christoph questions the wisdom of hiring another consultant who has to be brought up speed, particularly when recommendations are “not Laguna” in Christoph’s estimation. 

“They show us something they say is outside the box,” Christoph said. “We could see that at the Irvine Spectrum. But it’s not us. 

“There is a better approach. We know our town best. Collaborating with our local, thoughtful and qualified citizens, the city can become an ally to help us accomplish our goals. 

“We should turn to our neighborhoods, often overlooked while the City focuses its resources on visitor-serving areas.”

Christoph said if elected she would involve residents in determining what improvements they want in their own neighborhoods and then work with them to make those projects happen.

Laguna Beach is different,” said Christoph. ”It’s not just the tiny streets, quaint buildings, and scenic coves. It’s the network of neighbors, organizations, and innovators working together to improve every aspect of the community. 

“Our art festivals, schools, greenbelt, marine sanctuary, social assistance, and parks are here because we joined together. Protecting the greenbelt and bluebelt, fostering the arts, preserving the small-scale village character of the community, strengthening our safety and preparation for emergencies, addressing traffic congestion and parking, insuring fiscal responsibility, and addressing housing challenges –these demand our attention.”

Christoph is a landscape architect often hired to work on city projects, such as Alta Laguna Park, Bluebird Park and the Village Green. She also was instrumental in the creation of the Community Garden in South Laguna, the city’s purchase of which she supports with tenacity.

“Persistence is part of my nature,” said Christoph. “I see something that needs to be done and can be done and I do it.”

Christoph said if she wins a seat on the council her first priority would be to establish a good working relationship with the other members on the dais. 

“I have worked with Steve (Councilman Dicterow) and Rob (Mayor Pro Tem Zur Schmiede) on the Community Garden and Toni (Councilwoman Iseman) is a ‘fellow traveler’,” said Christoph. “She has been active a long time in environmental issues, one of my focuses.”

However, urban development is also high on her list of priorities.

She believes key decisions will need to be made as three important areas of town are proposed for redevelopment: the South Coast Highway properties between the Hotel Laguna and Legion Street; properties north of Laguna Art Museum; and the Civic Arts District properties that include [seven-degrees] and Art-A-Fair.

Christoph seven degrees

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

[seven-degrees] on Laguna Canyon Road

“It is critical to lead our community toward a shared vision, making improvements and enhancements that embellish our village character,” said Christoph. “Now is the time to prepare ourselves for these decisions. I am running because I want to help to unite us. I want to build on what we have in common: We live different. We love Laguna.”

As for the big issue of undergrounding to prevent fires from incinerating the city and to assist safe evacuation if needed, Christoph said the risk justifies spending significant funds to protect the community, but has qualms about the proposed financing mechanism. 

“Many of us are not convinced that the current undergrounding proposal provides enough benefit to justify the high cost and long-term debt,” she said.    

Christoph advocates a comprehensive fire prevention program that includes consideration of a separate emergency water system ringing the city, establishing camera and in-person monitoring, limiting access to open space during critical periods, increasing fire and police enforcement, as well as phased undergrounding. 

Christoph has lived in Laguna for 47 years. Prior to her first election to the council in 1990, she served on the Planning Commission. And before that she served on the South Laguna Specific Plan Board of Review, prior to the 1987 annexation. She was part of the community planning team that wrote the South Laguna General Plan, which was given an Award of Merit from the American Institute of Planners, California Chapter. She also received a Civic Service Award from the South Laguna Civic Assn, and a commendation from the Orange County Board of Supervisors for her work on the follow-up, the South Laguna Specific Plan.

She was in 2015 and again this year honored by the Laguna Beach Beautification Council. 

Other honors include Christoph’s selection as the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club 2005 Woman of the year. The plaque reads “We honor Ann Christoph for her leadership, integrity and visionary dedication to the City of Laguna Beach, and we thank her for her efforts to protect our city and its environment.”

Lang Photography and Fine Art is closing after 60 years in business

Lang Photography and Fine Art will be closing up shop, gallery and services on Sunday, July 15, after 60 years in business (48 years located in the Art Center). 

Lang art andrens

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Photo from website

Painting by Sherry Andrens

“Laguna has been our home, business and love. We are retiring to Cheryl’s family home in West Virginia,” Rick Lang said in a statement. “We have served our local art community over the years and have accumulated a large collection of Regional artwork including paintings, mono-prints, sculpture, etchings, photographs and more. Many pieces are one of a kind. Unfortunately, we cannot take it all with us.”

A number of the gallery pieces are currently exhibited at the gallery space. Lang advises that they would be happy to meet potential buyers there at any time for viewing and purchase. 

“We encourage you to shop online or come by and see us by appointment,” Lang notes.

Lang Photography is offering 25 percent off all collections as well as some deeper discounts through July 15.

For more information, visit

Autism as a “gift not a curse” – personal stories Thursday and an opportunity to meet an exceptional, giving, young sculptor

Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art – the humanitarian gallery – and its director Christiana Lewis will host a special event Thursday, Feb 27 from 6 -10 p.m. 

Arts and Services for Disabled is holding the event designed to show that autism is a gift, not a curse. The event will feature several prominent speakers to provide personal stories and information, along with food, music and wine.

Also on hand will be a talented sculptor, Max Carraher, who will be sculpting live at the event all evening.

Lewis and others have dubbed Carraher, 24, as a modern day Rodin.

He will be donating 30% of any and all sales of his works Thursday to the buyer’s choice of autism group or school. All participating artists will donate a percentage of their sales to help fund research for autism.

Carraher wrote in an email: “I have been volunteering my time for various philanthropic organizations since I was 17.

“Most recently I contributed half of my annual income for the year 2013 to various humanitarian causes including drug rehabilitation programs, human rights, illiteracy programs, criminal reform programs and disaster relief projects.” 

Please take the time to read the following essay about Max Carraher and his extraordinary talent.

The gallery is at 611 S. Coast Hwy. For more information about the event, call (949) 424-4077 or visit or



Maxwell Carraher’s Reaching Man, and other bronzes

Robert C. Morgan, Ph.D.

Sculpture has gone through many transitions over the past century, both in terms of its form and content. Some of these transitions suggest an advance, while others a regression. Most of these attributions depend largely on what is considered modern.  For example, in 1909, the famous French sculptor Auguste Rodin believed his cast bronze figure Striding Man would open the door to the new century of modernity.  Four years later the Italian Futurist Umberto Boccioni introduced his abstract bronze figure, Unique Forms on Continuity in Space (1913), believing that Rodin’s work represented not the future but a culmination of the past. Boccioni further declared that his sculpture was the true symbol of the twentieth century because it revealed the human figure as a powerful machine-like force. 

Like many sculptors who have worked with the figure over the past century, the search for symbolic meaning has played a significant role in their work.  Whether Rodin, Boccioni or the later works of Henry Moore, the goal of these artists was to encompass an original style that reflected upon their time. In observing the work of the young California sculptor Maxwell Carraher, I detect a similar aspiration focused more on an expressionist point of view. Now in his mid-twenties, Carraher credits his father as being the source of his involvement with sculpture. While growing up, he fondly recalls watching him cast monster masks in latex from various clay models during Halloween. With leftover bits of clay, Carraher began experimenting with developing figurative forms. In that there was no course offering in sculpture at his boarding school, he took ceramics instead.  Here– much to the instructor’s dismay – he developed his understanding of clay as a medium not to build pots, but to construct and carve the human figure. Later, through the help of his father, Carraher learned the various steps in making molds for his clay prototypes. As he began building molds sturdy enough to support the intense heat of molten bronze, the artist soon realized the technical aspects involved in making figurative sculpture are complex. To learn these techniques is not something one acquires over night. One must think through each step along the way from clay to plaster to wax and to bronze. Finally, one must see the form not only with one’s eyes, but also with one’s hands. The process requires considerable diligence, focus, energy, and a clear sense of intuition. In essence, it is hard work.

I have titled this essay after the most recent bronze sculpture by the artist, titled The Reaching Man (2014). Just as Rodin and Boccioni strove to attain a particular impression of modernity based on their symbolic views of the male figure, Carraher suggests a similar idea in his modestly scaled work. The dimensions are 29”high and 7” across at its widest point. The work represents a male nude projecting diagonally outward from a fluted column where the body has been harnessed with rope. The figure’s two arms are waving, perhaps reaching out toward the viewer. The design of the piece has the look of antiquity from Hellenic times more than modernity. Is the artist making a comment on life in ancient Greece in comparison with the present? 

The narrative content of the work transmits a certain ambivalence, a kitsch masquerade, as if the figure were performing a dramatic role on stage. The expression on the face of the figure suggests earnestness, but again, the motivation behind this expression is not easily deciphered. One may sense in Carraher’s sculpture a powerful dramatic moment, an impulse towards transformation. Intuitively, the artist clearly knows how to incite emotion through his overall attention to the positioning of the figure. This implies that the artist understands that any true work of art holds more than a single response. The expressive narrative may be personal, social, historic, or mythological, or all of the above. Whatever it is, the viewer’s subjectivity enters into the work as a means toward interpretation.

The Reaching Man is one of six works completed over the past three years.  Other works by Carraher begin with a straightforward work, titled Single Face, and two others, Man in Stone and Two Hands, all cast in bronze and dated from 2012. Two additional works, Three Faces and Man and Woman, also in cast bronze, follow in 2013.  Each of these sculptures has a unique quality of expression. Of the six works, The Reaching Man (2014) is the most complex and mature work by Carraher. Yet each of these works reveals the artist’s immense capability in his search to establish a vocabulary of formal ideas that coincide with the expressionist values in his art. 

The isolated visage in Single Face is particularly moving as it focuses on a distilled, yet complex expression. In our confrontation with the face, an ambiguity of meaning emerges, which could be read as a quality necessary to art. The eyes are squinted, yet the face emerges as remarkably human in its connectedness to the world, suggesting that the artist found the proper distance by which to bring life into this form and give it legitimacy. For this reason, the sculpture reads as something not just ordinary, but in some way elevated beyond the ordinary as a fully conscious expression, an experience holding a reality of its own.

Expressionist sculpture is very much a part of the historical present. In some ways it suggests a reaction to the reductive geometric modules from forty years ago. Carraher’s approach to the figure goes back to expressionist sculpture in the early twentieth century that includes the work of Wilhelm Lehmbruck, Ernst Barlach, Kathe Kollwitz, and Gerhard Marks. These sculptors were interested – as Carraher is – in how to invoke feeling in the figure, how to express the human condition, as the existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre made clear in his writings on another Swiss sculptor, Alberto Giacometti.  In the work of the each of these artists, a modernist approach to the figure is shown through their subtle transformations of representation. I regard Carraher’s Two Hands as offering such a statement.  This simple and direct expression of two hands intertwined with one another is beautiful in its evocation. Even as the figure is not fully present one feels a connection that is ineluctable human, and very much within the space of sculpture. Arms and hands reach out to one another as they do in The Reaching Man. This offers a necessary counterpoint to the recent loss of tactile sensibility in the current “virtual” age, and also a promising statement on the sculpture of Maxwell Carraher at its best.

Eagle Scout candidate Calem Lindsey has created two collection boxes for retirement of American flags

Recent LBHS graduate Calem Lindsey is an Eagle Scout candidate. As part of his Scouting accomplishment, he’s taken initiative to see that old and used American flags are ceremoniously and appropriately retired.

Eagle Scout Legion

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Calem Lindsey, right, with Richard Moore, Commander of Post 222, at the Legion Hall showing the new flag collection box stationed there

“I had found that people in town did not have a place to drop off flags for proper retirement. It’s also dangerous to try and hold a proper ceremony yourself due to the process of slow burning the flag over a proper flame,” Calem said. “The Legion Hall veterans also often receive flag drop offs unofficially in various containers, and so I decided to provide a place to drop off flags that could be known throughout the community and make it easier on the veterans at the Legion Hall.”

Calem was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout for eight years. He made the collection boxes himself and they are now open for collection at the American Legion Hall and at the Laguna Presbyterian Church. Scout Troop 35 will maintain and see that the flags are given a respectful retirement.

Eagle Scout Pres

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The two boxes are now open for flag collection – pictured here is Calem with the box at Laguna Presbyterian

Environmentalists fault Caltrans presentation on proposed Laguna Canyon Road project


Local environmentalist groups, riled about the format of the Caltrans presentation on proposed changes to Laguna Canyon Road, are organizing a public forum to voice their concerns that they claim were stifled during Wednesday’s presentation.

The presentation included charts on the project and its impact on the environment, handouts describing the project and how it was presented, videos, and a cadre of Caltrans staff stationed to answer questions one-on-one. But there was more buzz about the hearing process than the project itself. The “open house” did not offer an opportunity for public discourse that would have enabled the crowd and Caltrans officials to participate in the hearing of all of the participants.

“There is virtually no benefit in this format,” said Barbara MacGillivray, founder with her husband, filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, of the One World, One Ocean Foundation. “We couldn’t hear their views and benefits of the project and we couldn’t express our views. It was just a cacophony of voices.”

Local forum planned to address environmental concerns

MacGillivray said she was collaborating with Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones and others on a forum in a local facility, the date to be announced. 

The public comment period on the environmental document that was the raison d’etre of the Caltrans presentation ends July 10.

“It seems this format was a way to avoid dealing with a unified public voice,” said Betsy Jenkins.

Lindsey Hart, Caltrans’ chief of public affairs for Orange County, said that was the opposite intention of the open house.

“We want to make sure we respond to questions and comments on the final environmental document,” Hart said.” Comments can be made to the court reporter here, on comment cards, by mail or email till July 10.”

Comments for inclusion in the environmental report can be sent to court reporter: Norm Grossman gets the ball rolling

Many of the estimated 110 people at the open house were unaware of the court reporter. However, former Planning Commissioner Norm Grossman took advantage of the service. 

“I made my comment short,” said Grossman. “The project violates zoning and the general plan and I provided documentation.”

environmentalists smita deshpande norm grossman

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Photo by Cheryl Kinsman

Smita Deshpande and Norm Grossman

The purpose of the estimated $39.3 million project, according to one chart displayed at the open house, is to bring Laguna Canyon Road up to design standards, improve safety on the stretch of road that has a high incidence of accidents and reduce flooding.

“We should not make the same mistake the city made in in 2004 by turning down $8 million for a flood control channel on Broadway,” said Cheryl Kinsman, who was on the City Council at that time. “I am willing to listen to anyone who wants to give us $39 million.”

Founder of STOP supports CalTrans plan

Jennifer Zeiter, founder of Stop Taxing Our Property, said she supports the Caltrans project 110 percent.

“It won’t cost the taxpayers a dime,” Zeiter said.

The proposal includes the extension of the outbound merging lane 1,200 feet on the 133 from El Toro Road; extends the inbound merging lane by 900 feet; includes the installation of a concrete block channel in the riparian area on the inbound side before reaching El Toro Road; creates shoulders; undergrounds utility poles in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park land on the north side of the highway between El Toro Road and the toll road; and relocates poles on the south side. 

A steep slope on the right side of the inbound lane will be contoured, rather than contained by a wall, as requested by environmentalists. 

Adverse impacts on the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park identified by Laguna Beach environmental groups include the extension of the inbound merge lane that would require vehicles to cross two lanes of traffic to get in or out of the park’s Willow parking lot.

LCF objects to channeling of riparian area and proposed location of undergrounding, citing impacts on habitat

The Laguna Canyon Foundation objects to the proposed channeling of the riparian area on the inbound side of Laguna Canyon Road before reaching El Toro Road, citing serious impacts on habitat.

Foundation director Jones said the Foundation also opposes the project’s plan to underground utilities past the proposed shoulder and into parkland, describing it as a “take.” 

environmentalists harry huggins lindsey hart

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Photo by Cheryl Kinsman

Harry Huggins and Lindsey Hart

“Caltrans should underground the utility poles within the roadbed,” said Harry Huggins, a member of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy and former asset manager in the Orange County Parks and Beaches department.

“The Park Abandonment Act of 1959 requires the Board of Supervisors to approve giving away parkland. Two hundred signatures can stop it and put it on the ballot in November or on the next statewide ballot.”

Laguna Beach Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis said the City has similar concerns as the environmental groups

The Foundation and Laguna Greenbelt were identified by Caltrans as Interested Parties. The Laguna Canyon Conservancy and the Canyon Alliance of Neighborhood Defense Organization were not listed. The City came under the heading of partners. 

Caltrans’ proposed project can be reviewed at the Laguna Beach Public Library or on line at

Scott Froschauer’s “Word on the Street” installation dedicated in Heisler Park this Sunday, July 1

A new public installation will be dedicated this Sunday, July 1 at 5 p.m. in Heisler Park at Jasmine and Cliff Dr. “Word on the Street” by Scott Froschauer, a Los Angeles-based artist, has repurposed the visual language of street signs and their authoritative voice into street art that toys with the viewer’s understanding and perception of public space and the role of art in it. 

Froschauer says, “I like to imagine that people might walk past a sign and assume that it is just a typical mundane warning until that moment they recognize it as out of the ordinary. Hopefully that moment might lead viewers to wonder if other pieces might be “hidden” anywhere in their daily lives. In this way the work aims to change how the viewer interacts with the world at large.”

Scott Froschauer sample

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Example of Scott Froschauer’s work - “Word on the Street”

Froschauer is an experimental artist and art fabricator in Los Angeles. His fine artwork covers a broad range of subjects and materials from ephemeral street art and experiential narrative events to gunpowder illustration and alternative technique photography to practical sculpture and many large scale pieces for the Burning Man Festival, including the fabrication of The Church Trap, a large scale sculpture which was featured in numerous publications. He also fabricated RuckusRoots’ 2015 Wild Art sculpture, for the LA Zoo. 

Aiming to give viewers a positive yet momentary emotional lift, messaging in “The Words on The Street” are simple yet thought provoking, with self-love and compassion at the core of their statements. Froschauer hopes that people who see his signs start to see and spread positivity for everyone.

By using the materials and visual language of street signs, but replacing the traditional negative wording (Stop, Do Not Enter, Wrong Way…) with positive affirmations, “The Word on the Street” seeks to provide something that is missing from our daily visual diet.

For more information on Scott Froschauer, go to

Join the Laguna Beach Library for a wacky Ben Band & Ice Cream Social time 

Come and treat yourself to some ice cream at the Laguna Beach Library on Monday, July 2 at 5:30 p.m. While you enjoy your tasty treat, listen to the hilarious music of the Ben Band, a family-friendly musical act. 

join the ben

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Ben offers a wacky, dynamic, family-friendly show

Ben sings and plays guitar and keyboard resulting in a wacky, dynamic performance featuring original songs about some extremely important subjects, including characters such as: 

Ben’s alarm clock, who wakes up everyone in Ben’s apartment building whenever Ben goes out of town; 

Ben’s fridge, Fred, who is very shy and only ever says the word “Ummm...” (now that’s funny!) 

Ben’s guitar, who interrupts during every performance to complain that audiences only pay attention to Ben, not to the guitar; and many other characters.

The Ben Band brings animals, objects, food, transportation, and just about anything else you can imagine to life. You may not know it, but the items around you have very strong opinions about the world, and if you want to hear what they think, you’ll need to attend the show.

This event is free and open to the public. If you have any questions, contact the library at (949) 497-1733. The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre Street.

Historic Preservation Task Force meetings put on hold for at least a month


City Manager John Pietig has suspended Historic Preservation Task Force meetings for at least a month.

An email to task force members from Pietig issued Monday night announced the hiatus.

“We have cancelled meetings scheduled for Wednesday night and July 24,” Pietig said on Wednesday. “Just this morning, at about 11 a.m., I sent emails to announce a special council meeting at 5 p.m., July 31 to discuss issues related to the ordinance.”

The task force was created by the Council to look into the contentious issues that marred many of the public meetings on the ordinance. Interpretations of the California Environmental Quality Act’s role in the ordinance sharply divided participants in the often unruly pre-task force hearings. 

Task force members were selected by Councilmembers Toni Iseman and Steve Dicterow at an open meeting. There was some question about the selections, one of which was the exclusion of Laguna Beach attorney Larry Nokes, who had been prominently involved in multiple hearings prior to the formation of the task force. 

In a subsequent email to taskforce members, Pietig noted that more than 20 public meetings of the Heritage Committee, Design Review Board and Planning Commission have been devoted to a new preservation ordinance in the past three years. 

“Additionally,” he emailed, “it is my understanding that during the first two Historic Preservation Ordinance Task Force meetings, disagreements that have existed throughout this process continue over how to apply the law. 

“Given the potential for litigation in this matter, the City Council is the only body in the city that can determine how the law is going to be applied for the development of a new Historic Preservation Ordinance. It seems clear at this juncture that the City Council must provide direction regarding the law to provide a path for development of a new ordinance that can hopefully have consensus support from the task force and the community,” the email continued.

A video of the first task force meeting is available on the city’s website by selecting “video” to the right of the archived May 31 meeting.

“While I understand that some may have preferred a different approach or timing, it seems clear that the legal issues must be resolved in order for the Task Force to make meaningful progress on a new ordinance,” concluded Pietig in the email. “I appreciate your patience as we try to bring this multi-year issue to a close with the adoption of a new ordinance.”

Calling young readers for help with the Laguna Beach Library Summer Reading Program 

The Laguna Beach Library is looking for volunteers ages 10-16 to help with its Summer Reading Program taking place now through July 19. Afterwards, there will be the Big BBQ event at the park on August 4 that will be fun for all volunteers.

calling young library

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Volunteer to help out at the Library, where imaginations grow and thrive

If you have any questions regarding the Summer Reading Program or would like to sign up as a volunter, head into library and ask for Carmen or Summer or call (949) 497-1733.

The library is located at 363 Glenneyre St.

Proclamation supports mission of the Ability Awareness Project and “Kindness Initiatives”

Recently, the City Council issued a proclamation supporting the mission of the Ability Awareness Project, which commends the nonprofit’s founder, Shadi Pourkashef, for her work in combating bullying and promoting kindness.

“Our Kindness Wall debuted at the Fete De La Musique,” Pourkashef said. “The wall is provided by the Laguna Beach Community Center in an joint effort with Ability Awareness Project #BeAGreeter to put an end to bullying and encourage all to take the pledge and be a greeter. The wall says: Take What You Need and Pay It Forward!”

proclamation wall

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Kindness Wall debuted at the Fete de la Musique

Here are excerpts from Pourkashef’s impassioned address to the City Council:

“Mandela believed that South Africa would see an end to Racial Segregation despite [his imprisonment] for 27 years. Abraham Lincoln held the unshakable belief that “All Men Are Created Equal” despite the threat of civil war and dissension from within his own party. 

“The Rev Martin Luther King Had a Dream, a dream to which he gave his life. Gandhi believed that peaceful protest would overcome brutal injustice. They all had one thing in common, they held lofty aspirations for positive change during a time of civil conflict fueled by fear and where kindness rarely appeared on any agenda. 

“They were just men with an unshakeable belief that being a bystander could never be an option when witnessing social injustice. They chose to relinquish the safety of silence in the face of great adversity often resulting with dire consequences. They were good men who simply chose to do something rather than nothing. Today I ask the good men and women of our council and community to also do something...because the future of our youth is in danger..

“Today I ask us to take the first step, put “kindness” on our agenda and declare support for the global campaign for a kinder world and sign a “Declaration of Support” with World Kindness Movement. 

The World Kindness Movement (WKM) is an international Movement with no political or religious affiliations. To date World Kindness – Australia, China, France, India, Korea, Germany, Scotland, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand…(total of 28 countries) have met the criteria and have been endorsed as peak national bodies to represent their nation at the international table. 

“The US is now ready to follow suit. The global campaign aims to ensure Kindness engages everyone, from our classrooms to our staff rooms and from our boardrooms to those residing in our corridors of government, to find the “Courage To Be Kind”…

“As an Goodwill Ambassador I will support community Kindness initiatives leading up to World Kindness Week (second week of November) and help Laguna Beach to be considered to receive official international endorsement and global listing as a “World Kindness City.”

Rally at Main Beach will show support for families separated at the border: hundreds expected

This Saturday, June 30 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Main Beach, a peaceful gathering – the Families Belong Together March and Rally – is scheduled as way to stand in solidarity with, and show support to the families that have been separated during the ‘No Tolerance’ immigration policy passed by the Trump Administration.

The event, organizers say, is also to draw attention to the bill that was recently written that offered no solution to the thousands of families currently detained and separated. 

“[President] Trump has signed an Executive Order ending the family separation policy he implemented. Please know that his Executive Order did not offer any solutions or give relief to the separated families,” one of the organizers, Jahn Levitt, stated.

rally gun violence

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Photo by Carl Pike

Main Beach has been the scene of many rallies including the Women’s March and last year’s rally against gun violence

Organizers say that so far nationally, about 300,000 people in all 50 states have registered for the event, and they expect around 500 in Laguna alone.

“Please join concerned citizens, make a sign, and wear white, to show our solidarity with other Families Belong Together groups, and many others participating. More than 300,000 people have signed up to attend #Familiesbelongtogether events and rallies in all 50 states, and Washington, DC,” Levitt added.

For more information or to sign up, visit

Surfer of the Week – Kayla Coscino

By Chris Williams

This week we connected with Laguna Beach High School surfer Kayla Coscino. Kayla shares with us a bit about her surfing journey, from her first sessions in Kauai to making our nation’s highest level competitive team. 

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Kayla out in the surf many times over the years and she brings a warmth and positive energy to every session. In competitions she always seems to execute her strategy with a precision that is very special.

CW: When did you start surfing? 

KC: We moved to Kauai when I was about five, so my dad used to push me into waves at the Hanalei Pier. Once we moved back, when I was 11, I started surfing every day.

CW: What stands out from that first session?

KC: I don’t really remember my very first time surfing. I remember the first time I ever started shortboarding was at the Spring Fever Surf-About contest five years ago. The night before we bought this huge shortboard from the Hobie surf swap and I was super excited to finally have a shortboard. After my heat in the Spring Fever, I caught my first wave on that board and I remember going super fast. I had so much adrenaline and it was so fun! I think that’s what kept me surfing.

surfer of the kurt

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Photo by Kurt Steinmetz

Water shot: Kayla in action

CW: When did you realize how much you loved surfing?

KC: I think that session after the Spring Fever is when I really got hooked. Shortboarding was something new to me and it got me super determined to get better at it. That’s when I knew I loved how, with surfing, you can always get better, even if you’re the best in the world. 

CW: How did you get into competition? Comps can be intimidating. What were those first events like?

KC: The Spring Fever was my first contest because it’s held at Thalia and everyone in Laguna does it. Then, I competed in the Brooks Street because it’s also a local Laguna contest. After that, my mom just signed me up to do a Western Surfing Association contest and I had no idea how the heats worked. After I did my first WSA, I was determined to make a heat, and even a Final, so I kept doing them. Since my first few comps were local, they weren’t intimidating, everyone in Laguna is just super supportive and encouraging. My first WSA was a little scarier, I didn’t know there were so many girls who surfed, and surfed good!

surfer of the week tie dye snap

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Tie Dye Snap

CW: You’ve had tremendous support from Mom and Dad and your family. What’s the mindset on competition around your house?

KC: I’ve done so many contests now that it really isn’t a big deal anymore. My parents are supportive and always want me to do my best but they try not to make a big deal about contests so I don’t get too nervous. We all just try to pretend I’m going to free surf – and that’s how I surf my best heats. 

CW: Who inspires you as an athlete?

KC: When I first started surfing, all the girls I surf with now were so much better than me and that really inspired me to keep surfing and to get better. My favorite Pro is probably Carissa Moore because she carries so much power and flow, and that’s how I try to surf. 

CW: Favorite people to surf with?

KC: I love surfing with all the girls on the USA Team when we can. In Laguna, I love surfing Thalia and Brooks with Tess Booth – we always trade waves and split waves and have the best time.

CW: Best surf trip you’ve been on?

KC: The coolest place I’ve been so far is Barbados. My mom and I went there last spring for a QS and had a ton of fun. The waves on both sides of the island were super fun and the water is super warm. I also loved the culture there. I also love surfing in Cabo and Kauai.

surfer of the week john jackson

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Photo by John Jackson

Team USA 2018

CW: Talk about making the USA Surf Team, what’s that experience like? What advice would you give a young kid considering getting into surf competitions? 

KC: Being on the USA team again is such an honor. Last year I was just one of four girls on the 18’s team and this year I’m one of eight. Now that we’re part of the Olympic Team, the program is super professional and keeps developing and getting better. The trainings are always fun and helpful. For advice, you just really can’t give up. There are going to be a lot of ups and downs, or times where you feel like you aren’t getting any better, but you can’t give up. Everything will work out in the end and you just have to enjoy it in each moment.

CW: Goals for the upcoming 2018/19 comp season?

KC: I don’t really have any goals right now. It’s my last year competing in Prime, so I just want to give it my all and not worry about the results. I’d love to make a final in a Pro Junior though.

CW: Shoutouts to your support crew?

KC: I just want to thank my parents for helping me get to where I am today and everyone who has supported me along the way, especially Chad Mitchell at Billabong. 

Columnist Chris Williams is a Laguna native and coach who owns Soul Surf, Laguna Beach Flag Football & Soul Surf Series ~ @soul.series @lagunabeachflagfootball. 

Tranquil blue-gray sunset: Laguna has many moods

Photo by Tom Berndt


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Main Beach, late June

Dennis’ Tidbits


June 29, 2018

Here comes July – and it’s time for Catalina Eddy to leave

Dennis 5Here comes July and it’s still gloomy until mid afternoon. Catalina Eddy has overstayed his welcome and his rent’s overdue. Time to say bye bye, Eddy! He’s been around a lot this spring.

July’s average hi-lo temp is 78-64. The hottest July day was July 1, 1985, with a high of 96 here in town. The chilliest July night was July 6, 1953, with 53 for a low. July is our driest month of the year with an average of one one-hundredth of an inch. Around once a decade or so we’ll get measureable precipitation. In July of 1957, we collected a third of an inch. In July of 1968, we picked up a quarter of an inch. July 2, 1979, we got two-tenths of an inch. July of 1986 saw two-tenths of an inch. In July of 1992, we collected a quarter of an inch from the outer bands of Cat. 3 Hurricane Darby, who also sent us a wonderful three-day 5-7 ft. SSE swell. 1992 was one of our better seasons for Baja swell activity thanks to a moderate El Nino event.

And July 20, 1960 – I forgot to mention we got a third of an inch with a spectacular two-hour electrical storm that afternoon. That day is forever etched in my mind as it was the very first day I stood up on a surfboard at Doheny and I was hooked for life! Our wettest July day came in 2015 as a total of nine-tenths of an inch soaked Laguna from strong morning thundershowers thanks to the outer bands of Cat. 3 Hurricane Dolores. She, too, sent us some fun 3-6 foot waves, just in time for the annual Brooks Street Surf Classic, but they had to cancel the event due to dangerous cloud to ground lightning that was hitting way too close for comfort!

July’s normal surface ocean temps are about 68-70 degrees. It’s been as warm as 79 for a brief time in 2006, and the coldest July water temp was a burly 54 on July 10, 2005. That was one yucky day with thick marine layer with drizzle until noon, persistent westerly winds up to near 15 mph, one foot dribblers, extreme red tide, and tons of jellyfish, air temp 59, water temp 54. It was the thickest red tide I’ve ever seen! What’s worse is half the summer was plagued with the pesky photoplankton. It looked like friggin’ blood at times! Water temps that summer never even made it to 70 at all. 

My buddy Jamo Pribram had to give a surf lesson at Thalia Street that morning but he was suffering from food poisoning. Thank God the kid didn’t show up!

July normally has some pretty decent south swell action from Baja and the Southern Hemisphere and wind conditions are generally quite favorable with comfortable water temps as a rule. Most afternoons are pretty sunny by now with air temps in the mid-upper 70s. Summer afternoons in town can be a lot less blown out than places like Huntington and Newport, plus we’ve got the kelp beds out there to help keep it from getting too bumpy. 

Here’s hoping for a decent July, ALOHA!

The honorable Paul W. Egly, 97, passed away this week

Laguna Beach resident Paul W. Egly, 97, former Superior Court Judge, an honorable and principled man, sadly passed away earlier this week.

Stu News presents once again this profile of the judge written just a few months ago by Marrie Stone – a reflection on Judge Egly’s life and enduring influence on our times.

We send our sympathy to Paul’s wife Jane and all Paul’s friends and family.


“Honorable” was the word conferred on Paul W. Egly in 1968 by Governor Ronald Reagan when he was appointed to the Superior Court of Los Angeles. But being declared honorable by judicial appointment is one thing. Being an honorable man is quite another. It comes from within. The decisions Judge Egly has made throughout his life, both on the bench and off, are consistently one thing…honorable.

Born in 1921 in Covina, a small town then ripe with oranges and discrimination, Judge Egly remembered the days of segregated swimming pools – no Latinos or African Americans allowed. The town had an ordinance making it illegal for black people to stay over night. 

Growing up steeped in racial intolerance and well-versed in history (he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from UCLA), Judge Egly had strong opinions about discrimination. Those opinions would become the subject of excruciating controversy later in his career. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The sacrifices required of war

Judge Egly was drafted into WWII and sent to Germany during the war’s climax, though he rarely speaks of his time there. “A few days ago I asked Paul, ‘Don’t you want to tell me more about it?’” his wife of 34 years, and former Mayor of Laguna Beach, Jane Egly, tells me as we all sit together in their north Laguna home. “He was sitting in his chair. He bent way over, faced the floor, and said, No.” Jane pats her husband’s arm. “You can stick with that, dear.”

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Photo courtesy of Jane Egly

Paul Egly – a handsome young man in uniform

There was, however, one war story that stood out. Judge Egly was tasked with evacuating all the Americans from an East German hospital shortly after the war ended. A Russian general in charge of the operation ordered that no American would leave the hospital until everyone else had been evacuated. “He didn’t even raise his head when he said it,” Jane says. It took Paul nearly four weeks, working alone, to get everyone out. By the time he finished his job, Russians were outside, hanging people from the lampposts. He told Jane there was nothing to do but walk away.

Judge Egly listens to his wife tell this story before saying, “It’s more fun when we get back to California.”

But it took Judge Egly a while to return to California. First, there was law school at George Washington University (GW). Then he returned to Europe after the war, working in the US Occupation Courts in Germany, before opening a practice in Covina.  

A heart for justice, a mind for law

Judge Egly’s superior reputation on the Superior Court was no surprise. He took to the law instantly, knowing within two days of arriving at GW he’d landed on the right career. Jane says Judge Egly was known for his ability to distill massive amounts of material, absorb all the arguments made by opposing sides, and quickly hone in on the central issue. He applied his legal mind to a variety of cases, as he was willing and able to tackle anything that came through his door.

In a 2013 interview for La Verne Magazine, Judge Egly recounts a story from his early years practicing law. “In those days, people expected you to know what you were doing regardless of the kind of case. It was fun. There was a case that came in at four in the afternoon,” he said. “A woman wanted a will, and I had no gas for the car ride home. She asked me how much I would charge her, and I said $2. In that time, gas was 17 cents a gallon, so that $2 got me far.” Judge Egly even took criminal cases on a pro bono basis. “I didn’t make any money, but I enjoyed every minute of it.”

After a decade practicing law, Paul Egly was appointed by Governor Pat Brown to the Municipal Court in 1963 and, later that year, by Governor Ronald Reagan to the Superior Court of Los Angeles. He would serve on the bench until 1981.

The bus stopped here:

Crawford v. Los Angeles Unified School District

 Arguably the most seminal, and tragic, case of Judge Egly’s career came nearly a quarter of a century after Brown v. Board of Education. He was about to embark on a painful life lesson: doing the right thing would not always be rewarded. 

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Photo courtesy of UCLA/Photo by Joe Kennedy

Paul Egly seen through a school bus window

In the early 1970s, Egly successfully ordered the San Bernardino school district to align itself with the Brown decision and desegregate its schools. Several aspects of Judge Egly’s desegregation ruling in that case still stand: magnet schools, incentive pay for bilingual teachers, and year-round instruction were all part of that order. 

But a decade later, and 60 miles away, things wouldn’t go so smoothly. White Angelinos were loath to put their children on buses. As Patt Morrison wrote in an LA Times article in 1997 reflecting on the case: “It was an unlovely time in this lovely place, the shrieking suburbs vs. the shouting city, aggrieved white vs. angry black vs. out-of-the-loop Latino, armed school guards put on patrol the first day that thousands of kids stepped aboard buses, death threats and recall threats, the tragicomic effort to halt busing as a pollution risk.”

Judge Egly recounts the hundreds of threatening letters he received over the four years he worked on the case. He remembers a man who sat in the front row of his courtroom each day, wearing a sign saying, “Recall Egly.” His name, it was said, became the most popular four-letter word in Los Angeles. The turmoil claimed the health, and life, of his second wife. It took a dramatic toll on his psyche, if not his career. And the whole matter ended in a whimper, instead of a bang, as busing ceased when Proposition 1 passed, declaring his ruling unconstitutional. Segregation seeped back in. “Like some sort of embarrassing love affair: it ends—pfft—and nobody wants to talk about it,” Morrison’s LA Times article reported.

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Photo courtesy of Jane Egly

Paul Egly – Superior Court Judge

Egly came to think about the Crawford case as a kind of death, requiring post-mortems and autopsies, trying to diagnose precisely what happened. Doing what he felt was right, and being demonized for it, was difficult to accept. In its aftermath, he left the bench. “All that stuff about noble decisions. It’s BS. It’s the law of the land that changed me. Black is beautiful to me now. It’s that simple,” Egly said in a 1981 interview with the Claremont Courier

Egly sensed discomfort even among his colleagues who disagreed with him, as though their moral compasses may have covertly pointed in directions different from their stated opinions. “What does it mean, I’ve sacrificed my career? My career is in my head. Right?” 

That statement strikes me as the very definition of honor.

Making a case for service

Judge Egly’s career didn’t end with Crawford. He continued teaching, which was arguably his first passion. The U.S. Constitution, he said, had become his religion. Egly founded the University of La Verne College of Law in 1970 while still serving on the bench. He acted as its dean and taught constitutional law for 34 years. He loved nothing more than watching students’ eyes light up when they hit on some understanding. “It’s like a blossom blooming into a flower, seeing them begin to understand the cases,” he said in his La Verne Magazine interview. “You enjoy it with them; you learn with them and try to make it more interesting.”

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Photo courtesy of L. Gilbert Lopez

Judge Paul Egly with L. Gilbert Lopez

Egly also co-founded Judicial Dispute Resolution, Inc. in 1990, an independent, neutral panel of private judges hired to hear cases outside the court system. He took a wide variety of civil cases over the years. He also worked tirelessly in Laguna alongside James Dilley and others to preserve the city’s greenbelts.

Never losing sight of what’s important: 

The judge’s battle with macular degeneration

Judge Egly began his battle with macular degeneration just after retiring from the bench in the early 1980s. He lost his sight over the course of years, the world slipping away slowly over time. And, with it, his freedom. By the late 80s, he could neither read nor write, but he moved with Jane to Barcelona for a year, enjoying his final time with vision. “I know no one who adapted to that problem the way Paul did,” says Jane. “It was just remarkable.” Judge Egly sought out Braille and books on tape. “He still reads more than most of us,” says Jane. She shows me his tape recorder, saying he’s always got a book going.

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Photo courtesy of Jane Egly

Paul Egly at play

After 34 years together, their marriage still feels playful. “I think he married me because I could drive,” Jane laughs. Given that her husband has said she “was the luckiest thing that ever happened to me,” I’m guessing it’s more than Jane’s driving that kept them together. She remains in awe of his many accomplishments and proud of the legacy he’s leaving both on the bench and in Laguna’s greenbelts. 

Hard lessons learned from the bench

More than once during our interview, I reflected on the many battles Judge Egly fought over his storied career, and wondered aloud whether we’d made as much headway as I’d once hoped for. But Jane was quick to remind me of our country’s progress, particularly for women.

I returned home and sat with an article Judge Egly wrote nearly a decade ago, after being asked by the late Donald Dunn, dean of La Verne’s College of Law, to pen a post-mortem piece about the Crawford case. “The following pages will help with the understanding of the rocky marriage between politics and the court in public policy matters,” Egly wrote. What followed were 55 pages of long lament by an honorable man still – 26 years later – struggling to make sense of what had happened. 

He concluded the piece by saying, “It has taken me a while to understand that the best of legal principles can never become public policy unless embraced by a substantial segment of public opinion.”

I reflected on a few of the best legal principles our courts have upheld in the last decades – reproductive rights, marriage equality, immigration laws –often without the full support of public opinion. Honorable roads aren’t easy ones, but they’re unquestionably worth the fight. 

It’s unclear to me whether Judge Egly ultimately found solace in his decision. Maybe solace is less important than the legacy left behind. Progress, after all, is rarely a straight line, but more often a string of circuitous paths blazed by brave men like the Honorable Paul Egly.

KX 93.5 is hosting the second annual “Radio Camp”

KX 93.5, Laguna Beach’s FM radio station, will welcome students ages 11-18 to its second annual “Radio Camp” this summer, sponsored by Cox Communications.

Campers will learn to host, edit, produce, and execute a live radio show with training from station founder Tyler Russell. Each camper will leave with a flash drive of their on-air productions and the knowledge of how to create their own show or Podcast from home with professional skills.

KX 93 Radio Camp

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Submitted photo

KX staff members and radio personalities, Tyler Russell, Jason Feddy, and Steph Weaver-Weinberg, with KX Radio Campers. The camp sessions are July 9 – August 3.

“In addition to giving students something fun and engaging to do this summer, our goal is to inspire the next generation of radio journalists who will be responsible for carrying the torch in this challenging medium,” said Russell. “Radio has to stay important, and it’s up to our kids that it does.”

Each week of camp will also include an on-site day at the Cox Communications Orange County Headquarters, where campers will get to engage with Cox staff and learn about some of the latest in technology.

Russell suggests that any student interested in performing, broadcasting, journalism, acting, hosting or any type of entertainment medium will gain necessary experience from radio camp not offered at school.

KX 93.5 Radio Camp has three sessions that each run for five days from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The cost per camper is $195.

The sessions: 101A (ages 11-14) July 9 – 13, 101B (ages 14-18) July 23 – 27, 201 (ages 11-18) July 30 – Aug 3.

Radio camp 201 will delve deeper into show production and hosting techniques for graduates of a 101 session.

To sign up, go to

Fun LitLaguna workshop takes place at Sawdust on Monday at 5 p.m.

One of our Literary Laureates, Suzanne Redfearn, tells Stu News about a literary workshop that sounds like a lot of fun. The first will be held on Monday at 5 p.m. at the Sawdust. Come one, come all.

(Lojo Simon, our other Lit Laureate, explains what she’s up to this summer in our article on where Lagunans go on vacation. Like Suzanne, she’s also busy working on projects that Lagunans will love.)

Fun Litlaguna

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Photo courtesy Suzanne Redfearn

Melding art and literature at the Sawdust

“I wanted to have some sort of literary element at the festivals, so we are hosting four Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry workshops at the Sawdust,” Redfearn says.

“Three Laguna Beach photographers and one watercolor painter donated their work to the project, and the results are awesome. The idea was for people to ‘Leave with a little literary love from Laguna.’”

Laureates and authors weigh in on where they’re going and what they’re planning to read this summer


I’m spending the summer in a log cabin in Creede, Colorado, where I’m writing and in rehearsal for a production of my play Seeds of Change with Creede Repertory Theatre. Our cabin is a short walk from the Rio Grande River, and surrounded by mountains and lots of blue sky. Creede is a fantastic place to write, read, hike, fish, watch birds and wildlife, relax and escape from the fast pace of Southern California. 

Laureate and bear

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Courtesy of Lojo Simon

Exit, pursued by a bear…Life in Creede is (mostly) peaceful

My reading list is made up of books related to whatever I’m currently writing, as well as plays that I’m considering for [our] Bare Bones playreading series in the fall. Because Seeds of Change tours to schools, I also read books for younger audiences, the most recent of which is Penelope March is Melting by my friend and author Jeff Ruby. Also currently on my desk is Emily Wilson’s new translation of The Odyssey. 

--Lojo Simon, award-winning playwright, Laguna Co-Literary Laureate

The truth is summer is crazy busy at the restaurants [Suzanne co-owns the Lumberyard and Slice with husband Cary Redfearn] and Laguna Beach is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, so we usually don’t go anywhere. 

I’ve already been to South America (hiked Torres del Paine in Patagonia with my daughter) and spent two weeks in New Zealand this year, so my vacation time is all used up. 

laureates and torres

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Beautiful glacier lake in Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

The only trip I have planned is a road trip up the coast to the Bay Area to drop my daughter back at school. I love Berkeley and San Francisco – food, wine, art, and general coolness – probably the only place I would travel in the summer.

As far as books go, my bedside table floweth over with suggestions for this year’s One Book, One Laguna community-read suggestions. I am currently reading Lawn Boy by Jonathon Evison. Next on my list is There There by Tommy Orange. And I just finished Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. Before that was Less by Andrew Sean Greer. So much to read and so little time.

--Suzanne Redfearn, best-selling novelist, Laguna Co-Literary Laureate

You’ll always find me either writing a book, or reading one. Fortunately, I turned in the final revisions for my next novel, The Favorite Sister, out next March, so I have some reading time. I just finished The Death of Mrs. Westway by Ruth Ware and it was really good and spooky. 

laureates and ruth ware

For some reason (!), a friend sent me Campaign Widows by Aimee Agresti, and it was fun and fast-paced. [Editor’s note: As well as being a best-selling author, Kaira is the wife of Harley Rouda (D), who will be challenging Rep Dana Rohrabacher (R) for his seat in November.]

Next up I’m looking forward to reading The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan. The cover urges you to dive in and the story about two friends, ten clues and one secret sounds perfect. 

--Kaira Rouda, author of domestic suspense novel Best Day Ever

I’m weighing in here, because I’d really love to recommend a few books that I read on my recent trip to Alaska…Bad Blood: Secrets and lies in a Silicon Valley startup, about the Theranos fiasco, by John Carreyou, is a fascinating look at how some scammers can, in fact, fool most of the people most of the time…but not forever.

laureates and bad blood

Property, by Lionel Shriver, is a compilation of two novellas bracketing short stories that ponder the emotions and consequences of our attachments to things and people. 

And I loved Spineless, by Juli Berwald, which presents a fascinating look at the lives of jellyfish…their sex lives and propagation strategies had me gasping in astonishment, as one example. 

--Lynette Brasfield, Features Editor, author of Nature Lessons: A Novel

Note: if any of our readers would like to write to let us know their favorite books (and why they love them), please send your recommendations to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Happy summer reading, everyone!

Guest Column

How to stay healthy while on vacation

By Gregg DeNicola, MD, Caduceus Medical Director

Dr Gregg DeNicola recently returned from a great vacation in Spain and Portugal, so we thought he’d be the ideal person to offer tips on how to stay healthy during your summer vacations. Here’s his advice.

When possible, I advise my patients to bring their prescriptions in the original bottle with them on vacation. This is all the more important a precaution when traveling abroad. It is also wise to carry a detailed record of all medications, as well as the exact dose and milligrams, which should also include any allergies. This list should be kept on paper or in your device and stowed separately from the actual prescription bottles (in case either one gets lost).

 It is wise to obtain a note from your prescribing doctor if you are taking or need to transport opioids such as Vicodin or Percocet. Again, this is more helpful for international travel. Be aware that carrying a large number of opioid pills across borders can raise the suspicions of custom officers. 

For essential or life sustaining medications, I advise my patients to have spares in a different bag or carry-on. It may be difficult to replace stolen or lost medication. Also, if it is a long flight, and you may need the medication during the flight, remember to pack it in your carry-on and not in the checked luggage.

If you’re traveling out of state, don’t assume that your physician can call medications in for you to a different state. Many pharmacies out of California will not fill medications written by doctors with only a California state license. See above for carrying spare medication.

For a long-distance trip, I advise making your primary care physician aware of your itinerary. Frequently, there are medical alerts that physicians are conscious of that would be useful to you. They can also guide you on essential vaccinations and where to best get them.

How to Nicola

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Dr. DeNicola gives advice on how to stay healthy while on vacation

Even though many medications are available over the counter in foreign countries, I frequently write my patients a small “travel kit” prescription – a broad-spectrum antibiotic, medication for diarrhea and vomiting, anti-inflammatory medication, and the like.

Planning in advance is very helpful. Preparing for extremes in temperatures, possible need of malaria medication, medications to prevent altitude sickness, bug repellent, and sun blocking precautions, are all easier to plan for if you have not waited until the last minute. Knowing which parts of the world are at risk for yellow fever and the Zika virus are also important.

It is wise to be up-to-date on your flu shot. And if you’re over 65, be up-to-date on your pneumonia vaccines as well as on your tetanus and diphtheria status. Typhoid, hepatitis, and malaria prevention are advised in many foreign countries. And, of course, it’s wise to use protection to avoid exposure to STDs while traveling.

Travelers’ diarrhea a.k.a., Turista, is still very common, especially in Mexico Central, South America, and Africa. Some physicians offer an antibiotic to take with you in event of an outbreak. Although Kaopectate and Imodium are frequently given, the best medication to prevent or treat travelers’ diarrhea is old-fashioned Pepto-Bismol.

        Physicians always advise patients to stick with only bottled water, or bottled soft drinks. Avoid any beverages that you feel did not come out of the bottle.

Regarding street food, it may not be practical or fun to totally avoid that. I advise my patients to exercise a great deal of caution and avoid any type of street food that you feel is suspect.

Happy travels!

You know their names: Do you know what they’re doing (and reading) this summer?


Many Laguna residents enjoy a high profile in the community because of their work for nonprofits, their unique talents, or their leadership positions in town. Of course, there are many other locals toiling quietly to make the world, and our town, a better and more interesting place. 

So the compilation of quotes below is just a random selection of some well-known folks around town who have shared their plans with me upon request. 

But we’d love to hear from readers of every stripe who plan trips to unusual places or have recommendations for great travel this year. 

Just write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and send fun photos as well – before or after your vacation.

(I didn’t even try to contact many leaders in the art world, knowing exactly where most of them will be this summer…at the festivals right here in Laguna!)

This touching response arrived from Doug Vogel, development director at the Playhouse:

My best friend Catherine just passed away at 52 from cancer. Although she had spent many years in Laguna Beach and attended Laguna Beach High School, her heart was always on the East Coast. One of her last wish was to visit North Carolina for the last time and see her best friend Donna. 

As Executor of her will, I will be driving her brand new Mercedes to North Carolina to give to her friend along with some of her ashes to scatter on the coast. 

you know doug vogel

Courtesy of Doug Vogel

Catherine and Skipper

I will be taking her dog Skipper who I have inherited (now a member of the infamous Playhouse Canine staff) and we will be driving historic Route 66 onto Nashville, The Smokey Mountains, and finally North Carolina.

--Doug Vogel, Director of Development, Laguna Playhouse

I already went on vacation so I could fit it in before the July Fourth celebration and the summer months. My family and I went to Zion National Park and did a lot of hiking. We hiked The Narrows for the first time and it was incredible! We then traveled to Las Vegas where we enjoyed the fun pools, great dining and a show.

--Police Chief Laura Farinella

you know their narrows

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Photo by Laura Farinella 

This photo by Laura Farinella shows exactly why the trail is called The Narrows

Editor’s Note: The Narrows is an awesome trail to hike – here is some more information from the Zion National Park website:

The Narrows is one of the world’s best slot canyon hikes. It is pure fun and can be tailored to suit any ability level. 

[Ed: This is true, I can confirm from experience. It’s possible to do just a few spectacular miles, if you can handle slippery rocks, and there’s no need to do the entire 26-mile trail to have a great time – though our Police Chief tells Stu News that her group completed almost the entire route, no surprise there!]

you know their blue

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Photo by Laura Farinella

The slot canyon in moody blues: the Virgin River runs along this route

The website continues: The trail is basically the Virgin River. The canyon is so narrow, the river covers the bottom in many spots, which means you have to wade or swim to proceed. Plan on being wet. The water generally only gets waist-deep in a few spots.

Put The Narrows on your list! But not when there’s a flash flood warning!

I just got back from three-plus weeks in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic with my son Noah, husband Leon, and his mother Juliane. 

I visited with Laguna Beach transplants Rudy Lukes and Mickey Shaw in beautiful Prague (which offered a saturation of the American Songbook and American Jazz) and had a spectacular stay with locals Ann and Charlie Quilter at their Stiefern, Austria hide-away.

you know their bree

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bree Burgess Rosen

Now, I’m working like a fiend to catch up on The Disney Princess Concert (June 29-July 1), Spamalot Young@Part (July 20-19), and writing Lagunatics with Chris Quilter and others, which will start rehearsals in August.

I’m also doing a lecture on Leonard Bernstein at the Merage Jewish Community Center in advance of their visit to the “Leonard Bernstein at 100” exhibition at Skirball Center.

Read a bunch on my trip but no time for anything but research and writing for the rest of the summer.

Oh, and I love coming home to Laguna Beach. No place better on earth!

--Bree Burgess Rosen, Artistic Director, No Square Theatre

I have not yet confirmed my vacation plans to be honest (the life of a full-time pastor!)...but I’m considering time away for a trip to the Northwest, in or around Oregon, Washington, or British Columbia.  I’ve always wanted to take in the best of a region teeming with oyster and clam beds!

Right now I’m reading Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

--Rev Rod Echols, Pastor, Neighborhood Congregational Church

you know oyster dave

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Pastor Rod might want to head to Prince William Sound to visit Oyster Dave’s oyster farm

Every summer we spend a week or so camping in the high Sierras, in Rock Creek Canyon. This year, we’re changing plans and heading to Costa Rica! I’m looking forward to a bit of adventure, lots of time outside, and some time away from my cell phone. We’re also hoping to spend a few days camping in Big Sur, which is one of my favorite parts of California.

you know rock creek

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Photo by Hallie Jones

Hallie’s kids, niece and dog at Rock Creek

I’m a voracious reader, and always have a few things on my nightstand. Right now, I am in the middle of The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne. I have to say, it’s one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read.

--Hallie Jones, executive director, Laguna Canyon Foundation

Monica and I are going to Playa Del Carmen/Tulum in August. Always wanted to check out the Yucatan and the Mayan ruins, and that area is very “Instagram hip” these days. Looking forward to it. 

you know their power

I’ve got a book I picked up that I’ve only read about six pages of, but it seems pretty great. It was one of President Obama’s favorite reads of last year. It’s called The Power, by Naomi Alderman, and it’s a feminist movement book about women who get this power to shoot electricity out of their fingertips and what they then do with it. [Editor’s note: Very cool!]

--Tyler Russell, founder & general manager, KX 93.5 radio

We are planning our first family trip up the California coast. Somewhat architecturally based, our first stop will be a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu. Next stop will be safari tent glamping with Laguna Beach friends at El Capitan. Next stop will be San Luis Obispo, the Cal Poly campus (where I went to architecture school) and the design fantasy of the Madonna Inn (a critical funding source of my architecture schooling). 

you know madonna

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Photo from Madonna Inn website

Madonna Inn

Final stop will be a visit to Hearst Castle, designed by architect Julia Morgan. 

Haven’t had time to think about any books yet beyond wanting to get a new cookbook!

--Chris Tebbutt, co-founder of LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Committee

The Fullest presents bi-annual artisan Summer Market at [seven-degrees] this Sunday, July 1 

The Fullest will host an artisan Summer Market at [seven-degrees] in Laguna Beach this Sunday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. After an extremely successful Holiday Market with over 700 attendees this past December, The Fullest has now expanded their roster to include a Summer Market. This event is free.

Curated by Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Nikki Bostwick, The Fullest Summer Market is an artisanal event that will feature the work of over 30 independent makers and designers – both locally and globally. The Market will combine design, art, healthy food, and a fun community spirit under one roof to display an assortment of quality, unique, and mindful products including sustainable clothing, accessories and jewelry, as well as pantry items, books, coffee, and organic skincare, amongst others. Suja Juice and Chareau will be sponsoring the event and will be providing juice and alcohol. 

The Fullest ceramics

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Submitted photo

BTW Ceramics featured at The Fullest Summer Market

While shoppers are getting their market on, there will also be additional (free) programming on the rooftop:

A tea ceremony hosted by Taylor Eyewalker will be held from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. where guests are invited to come and go as they please.

From 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., stop by the “Healing Garden” for a complimentary one-on-one shamanic healing session by Jen Hoy. Each session lasts around 30 minutes and is first come first serve. (Sign up early, as there are limited spots available!)

Finally, to draw the day to a close and help attendees decompress all the shopping out, Taylor will be back leading a Kundalini Flow from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The Fullest Summer Market is a solid channel that will connect its guests to creative and engaged small businesses, those whom are both design-savvy and mindful of conscious consumerism. Between 500-750 guests are expected.

The Fullest Mate

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Submitted photo

Fashions at The Fullest artisan event this Sunday, July 1

The Fullest is a wellness and contemporary culture publication committed to creating content and experiences across all areas of modern life. Through their community events, pop-ups, and online store, The Fullest has built a steadily growing audience and a respected reputation as curators of stunning, ethical, and unique products that intersect wellness and design.

[seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Participating vendors include the following curated list of brands and many more: Surya Spa, Blessed Booch, Living Libations, Suja Juice, Belo Dry Bar, Magnolia Wellness Center, Galamaar Swimwear, Weird Sister, The Lev, Starling Jewelry, Under Luna, Common Room Roasters, Flora Ex Machina, Villa Pilates, Philosophie, Paige Cheyne, 323 Clothing, Cordial Organics, RYSE Clothing, Dr. Brite, Mirror for the Moon, Meet the Source, Kung Fu Tonic, Rye Truck, and Amborella Organics. 

For additional information, visit


Barbara’s Column

Splashy event raises funds for Glennwood House


Glennwood House created a splash overlooking the ocean at The Cliff on the first day of summer.

Splash Into Summer raised funds for Glennwood Housing Foundation, which financially supports the nonprofit’s residential community for adults from 18 to 59 with special needs. The foundation’s mission is to provide Glennwood House residents with opportunities for social growth, emotional fulfillment, enhanced dignity and quality through assisted independence. 

“Glennwood lets the residents spread their wings,” said Laguna Beach Housing and Human Services Committee Chair Gail Duncan, who attended the fundraiser.

For many of the residents, Glennwood House is their first opportunity to realize personal growth as an adult, according to foundation information. 

Residents can learn about self-care, grocery shopping, money management, housekeeping, and social skills. They can attend college, work in local organizations and/or allied programs, all designed to increase confidence and social and life skills.

Wendy Potter’s daughter, Samantha, moved into Glennwood House when it first opened. She lived there for three years. The day after the fundraiser, Samantha graduated from a UCLA Certificate program.

Potter co-chaired the fundraiser, along with Laguna Beach Realtor Danielle Wilson, and residents Kris Hanson and Kellie Brunk, also the parent of a Glennwood resident.

barbara glennwood walk

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Glennwood residents walk in Heisler Park during a recent event

Splash into Summer included signature cocktails provided by Nolet’s Silver gin, appetizers and light bites supplied by Mark DePalma, live and silent auctions, music by the ever-popular Missiles of October and wine and champagne courtesy of Jayne and Selwyn Yosslowitz.

The Yosslowitzes were one of the five event sponsors that also included the Hexberg Family Foundation, David Sommerville, James Sadler and Lisa Meyer.    

Stu News Laguna and its publisher Shaena Stabler were pleased to join KX93.5 and others as media sponsors. 

The live auction included two-night stays at The Ranch, Montage Resort, Casa Del Camino, and Baron’s Beach House in Marina Del Rey; a three-night stay at the oceanfront Retreat; six nights at Beach House, steps from Riviera Beach in San Clemente; a Sky Box for eight at Angels stadium; and a diamond bracelet from XIV Karats Ltd.

Zack Krone served as emcee and auctioneer.

Donors to the silent auction included Anita and Don Haggstrom, Dexter Masland, Jams World Hawaii, the Marine Room, Surf & Sand, and artist Randy Morgan, creator of the Waterman’s Wall on the Beach Street side of Hobie’s Surf Shop, who donated a gicle of one of his paintings at the Art Hotel. Don Romero donated a photo session. 

barbara group wyland

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Submitted photo

Residents gather in front of a Wyland mural

LOCA member Carla Meberg attended the fundraiser with her husband, Jeff Meberg, who is on the board of Glennwood Housing Foundation as well as the Marine Mammal Center. She works with Glennwood residents.

“LOCA comes in once a month to foster art projects,” said Carla’s husband, Jeff.

Art works by Glennwood House residents will be included in an upcoming exhibition at the Susi Q.

Mary Kate and Kirk Saunders also attended. 

Steve McIntosh helped to set up the silent auction. He will be remembered fondly as Buck Naked, leader of the Chapped Cheeks, also appearing as Elvis impersonators when they participated in the Patriots Day Parade. 

Glennwood staff members Janet Parsons, Kitty Ryan, and Katie Florence greeted guests to the fundraiser.

A Dream Come True

Glennwood Housing Foundation was created in 2009 by the Larson and Voogd families as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit foundation. Several other families with children or friends with physical and developmental disabilities came together to support the project, according to information provided by the Foundation. 

Parents of young adults with special needs were concerned about the availability of quality housing, should circumstances keep them from continuing to care for their children in the family home.

The vision of the founding families was that Glennwood House would be a diverse community within a community…young men and women, living together in an inclusive and supportive environment. They envisioned a unique facility, based upon community living never before done: 40 to 50 young, special needs adults living in an independent residential setting, learning life skills, socially integrating, and being successful in securing employment opportunities.

barbara glennwood frame

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The walkathon was a great success

One of the challenges was to find cities that understood and supported the concept. The search took several years, with a review of properties from Santa Barbara to Temecula and San Diego. Laguna Beach was one of two local cities where officials were excited about the possibilities of the proposed program.

The city approved a conditional use permit in March of 2011 and renovations began on a vacated assisted living facility on South Coast Highway. The foundation worked with Morris Skenderian and Associates Architects and David Baily. Trivest Builders constructed the ADA-compliant facility. 

Glennwood House opened in Laguna Beach in the summer of 2013 after the year-long renovation of the building. The project was funded by donors and a $1.4m loan from Community Development Financial Institutions, a credit and financial service for people and communities underserved by mainstream banks and lenders. Donations are welcomed. For more information, call (949) 715-4863 or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Located within a short walk to the beach and only a mile and a half from downtown Laguna’s restaurants, shops, Heisler Park and recreation sites, the 42-room complex includes a full service dining hall, gym, organic garden, media room, game area and art studio for residents to enjoy.

It is a dream come true. 

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 Contributions are welcomed.

Creative Tourism in Laguna Beach

Contributed by Visit Laguna Beach

For years, destinations like Laguna Beach have been a paradise for tourists looking for a beachfront getaway, a place to dine out, retreat, relax, and enjoy the beauty of the Pacific Ocean in a charming creative community that is like no other. Laguna has flourished under these premises for more than forty years. However, in the last ten years, the tourists are changing, and the activities, services and businesses they need and want are changing too. These changes are quick and quiet, and without paying proper attention to the evolving needs of contemporary tourism for areas like this, Laguna Beach businesses struggle, close, and diminish the overall popularity of Laguna Beach as a destination.

Demand is slowly gearing toward the desire for unique experiences based on originality, design, authenticity, and cultural connections. Consequently, the definition of luxury has evolved, as it is no longer solely about opulence and wealth, as the traditional understanding of luxury suggests, but is instead about experiencing a diverse and innovative environment, enhanced by a sense of belonging and style. Through an ongoing series of stimulating stories and articles, Visit Laguna Beach will be exploring the fascinating moments in our local history and community where tourism, history, art, and life intersect.

creative the hive

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

New centers like The Hive, formerly the Festival Center, combine art, dining and entertainment in one place

The concept of Creative Tourism appeared in the 2000s and was defined by Crispin Raymond and Greg Richards as a specific type of tourism that offered visitors the opportunity to develop their potential through active participation in courses and learning experiences, which are characteristic of the destination itself. This new generation of tourism involves the tourists themselves and the locals in the co-creation of the tourist products – the experiences.

The creative tourism concept, of course, may be a recent term, but the idea is not new. Creatives, artists, musicians, actors and beach lovers have been flocking to Laguna Beach since the 1880s. In 1903, a small group of artists began to settle here, eventually forming the Laguna Beach Art Association. Since then, Laguna has consistently welcomed visitors to the area, striving to offer unique and interesting experiences and attractions to its guests. In 1913, Laguna started offering campsites to its many admirers and visitors for 30 cents a night. In 1915, the Laguna Beach Gate, inviting visitors to enjoy the city, was hung and remains today at Forest and Coast Highway stating, “This gate hangs well and hinders none, refresh and rest, then travel on.” 

creative tourism gate

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Photo courtesy Visit Laguna Beach

The Laguna Beach Gate was hung in 1915

In 1932, in the thrust of the Great Depression, the first Festival of Arts took place on the heels of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles, in the hopes that visitors would likely venture south to Laguna Beach for some relaxation and culture after the riveting games in LA. It became a community effort as the entire town helped to transform Laguna Beach into one seamless art event for the weeklong happening. This energy and community effort remains ever-present in this town, as a constant source for inspiration and admiration in the creative city of Laguna Beach.

It is the art and artists that contribute the most to the city’s economic and social fabric by building community, bolstering neighborhood identity, and spurring innovation and economic development. There have been many studies that have proven this, but looking back to the history of this creative and unique place shows us far more than any study. According to a recent study, over 20 percent of all Laguna Beach tourists are coming to Laguna Beach to attend a special event, art venue or festival, and whether they are day-trippers, overnighters or vacationers, on average, each travel party is spending over $100 per day. The people who come to visit Laguna Beach are participants in the culture, contributors to the local businesses, and their experiences here matter. 

creative mural

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Murals on the walls of Canyon buildings – this one by South African artist Faith XLVII – offer fresh visual perspectives to visitors

As history has shown us, Laguna Beach prides itself on offering authentic and fascinating experiences for visitors and residents alike. As a community is it important to support and help businesses that are unique and intriguing come to Laguna Beach. We all were at one-point visitors to this fair town, attracted to its distinctive offerings.

Keeping options for affordable storefronts for local businesses, a variety of lodging and housing options for its residents and visitors, various types of cuisine, entertainment and activities – these are all vital to the creative balance that Laguna Beach offers us all. With over six million visitors per year, and over 23,000 residents, keeping a balanced creative ecosystem is very important to our longevity as a creative city for visitors as well as residents. After all, as the Laguna Beach Gate reminds us, this city is meant to hinder none, offer refreshment and rest, and the opportunity to continue on or to stay a while, like we all have.

Keep an eye out for next week’s column, coming out July 6, as we dive into Laguna’s creative ecosystem, and how we are all vital components of this unique and remarkable ecosystem. 

Content for this article was collected in partnership with Laguna Creative Ventures.

Rainbow Reflections: Life and times in LGBTQ Laguna

By Craig Cooley

Rainbows are multiplying!

It seems that the more rainbows that are displayed, that more are displayed! It is a great feeling being in Laguna Beach…a community that is so accepting, non-prejudiced, with a “live and let live” and a good dose of love, attitude. Thank you, Laguna Beach!

rainbow reflections flag

Submitted photo

Proudly American and gay

I remember about two decades ago when being gay just about everywhere was very taboo, and not accepted – hidden, in fact. A lot has changed. Even the Pope recently said to one of his followers, Juan Carlos, and I quote from the New York Times, “You have to be happy with who you are. God made you this way and loves you this way, and the pope loves you this way.” Fair and equal acceptance is becoming the norm. 

But to be certain, there are many millions of others in countries where is it considered a crime with severe punishment and even death. There are still communities where it is being “eradicated” as a scourge, people are still being tossed off of building tops as punishment and beaten in dark corners by a “mob mentality” of haters. We are fortunate here, and I am dearly grateful for that!

Hawaiian culture “gets” gays

I like the true Hawaiian culture where a “Gay” was considered a very important part of the community. I like their belief that these special persons possessed an important diverse spirit for their community, that they embodied a valuable perspective and made a strong social contribution. 

So, as June, Pride Month in Laguna Beach, is coming to an end, I hope that this is just the beginning…indeed Laguna Beach Pride has more cause to celebrate as the Boom Boom Room, festooned with an abundance of rainbow flags, will, again, be host to a very LGBTQ Fourth of July celebration for two days, July 3 and July 4 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily! Check it out all the details at 

rainbow love simon

Club Q Laguna…not everyone knows of this excellent organization, started by Larry Ricci more than four years ago, but you should check them out. On Friday, July 6, they will be showing a full-length feature film, “Love Simon,” at the Susi Q Senior Center. 

I recently caught the movie at a theatre, and I was amazed. I cried, I laughed, I loved it! It is free and for my many LGBTQ friends and acquaintances that have not seen the movie, well you should! And, maybe make some new friends in the process. 

rainbow reflections garden party

HRC (Human Rights Campaign) is a national organization with many of its roots here in California. Locally they work with all organizations to promote, well, “human rights…and that is a good thing! That is, human rights for all, fair and honorable inclusion. They are having a party, as they do most years, a Garden Party! It has an excellent reputation as something not to be missed. 

This year it is on Saturday, August 4 at a very civilized time, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. I say put it on your calendar, find you best “garden” attire and attend. Some of the details are still under development, but check them out on Facebook at

This Saturday, June 30 at 9 a.m. on, my Rainbow Radio guest will be renowned local artist Elizabeth McGhee. To use her own words… 

“I often turn to humor to address serious or controversial subjects in my artwork.  With my still life paintings of toys, I am examining how symbols are interpreted by individuals and through the lens of cultural dogma. My intention is not to promote a particular concept or ideal, but to inspire analysis and contemplation in my viewers,” McGhee says.

rainbow reflections mcghee

Submitted photo

Elizabeth McGhee, artist

This should be a fun show as we do our best to explore humor in the arts! Tune in live or download the program later to listen to at your convenience.

This last week our local LGBTQ Heritage and Culture group met to discuss many things important to the community. There were two suggestions that are near and dear to me on the culture side of things. 

One, perhaps renaming a street in the fair City of Laguna Beach to Harvey Milk Ave., as they recently did in Portland, Oregon. Two, starting an association of Rainbow Merchants…more on that in future Rainbow Reflections… 

Happy July Fourth! 

Comments? Ideas? Events? Please let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Truly (hu)man’s best friend: Therapy dogs help exam-stressed LBHS students calm down before finals

It seems as if dogs are always there in time of need to comfort humans, even anxiety-ridden high school students anticipating final exams. Two LBHS students came up with this brilliant use of “man’s best friend.” Clara Becker and Grace Wilson were the winners of the Laguna Beach High School PTA Student Grant for their idea to relieve stress and anxiety over final exams through interactions with animals. 

Truly mans presentation

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Submitted photo

PTA Student Grant recipients Clara Becker (left) and Grace Wilson present

their idea to relieve student stress through animal interactions

As part of the concept’s implementation, the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OCSPCA) brought three support-therapy dog teams to campus to offer comfort and encouragement to LBHS students before finals. 

The kids loved having the dogs join them at school – hundreds came up to pet them, with smiles all around. The dogs are trained to gently deliver warmth and love to those who need it.

Truly mans Edgar and Olive

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Submitted photo

Students pet therapy dogs Edgar (the setter) and Olive (bulldog)

While many of the students cooed over the animals and took pictures, others wordlessly hugged the dogs or snuggled up to them for a while before moving on. The bond between the kids and the dogs was undeniably positive and healing, as both animals and humans clearly enjoyed the experience. Students and staff members said they hoped to see the dogs return to the school again next semester.

In their grant presentation to PTA, Clara and Grace described several of the benefits of animal interactions, such as reducing feelings of isolation and anxiety, and promoting relaxation and good health. The OCSPCA’s “PAWS” group (Pets Are Wonderful Support) is a pet-assisted therapy program that travels throughout Orange County. 

Truly mans Zeus

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Submitted photo

Zeus comforts LBHS students before finals

Volunteers and their dogs spend time at nursing homes, psychiatric hospitals, hospice, and children’s homes to help bring joy and encouragement to the disabled, bedridden, and neglected. Clara and Grace handed out flyers explaining the PAWS program and offering information about pet adoption. 

Additional “animal therapy” will be offered to LBHS students before finals in the fall semester.

For information about OCSPCA’s PAWS group, go to

Among those honored by the LBBC, Keith Kesler receives Harry Lawrence Award for graffiti removal


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

It was fitting that the Laguna Beach Beautification Council (LBBC) Awards to honor those who have beautified Laguna took place in one of the most stunning places in the city, The Ranch (and that Mark Christy, owner of The Ranch, was commended as well). 

Sixty LBBC members and guests watched as honoree after honoree accepted awards for their achievements in enhancing the city’s environment. 

However, one resident, who wages a constant battle to keep Laguna looking spiffy, received a special honor. After reading about Keith Kesler’s war on graffiti in a recent edition, LBBC President George Weiss decided Kesler should be recognized for his single-handed work in helping to keep Laguna graffiti free. In just 10 months, Kesler removed 1,000 tags and continues to be relentless in his quest.

Last Thursday, at the LBBC awards, Kesler was presented with the “Harry Lawrence Award” for his selfless work on graffiti removal throughout Laguna Beach. 

Among those Keith closeup

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Keith Kesler receives Harry Lawrence Award

Weiss says, “Laguna’s public art, elegant edifices, and imaginative seating areas for vista viewing have been under attack by anonymous taggers who deface these works with graffiti. Unknown to most Lagunatics, we had a stealth, anonymous super hero scrubbing away these disfigurements when they appeared, Keith Kesler.”

Although honoring a resident for graffiti removal may be a new concept, for almost 50 years, the LBBC has been awarding residents and businesses Beautification Awards for their contributions in beautifying Laguna Beach. And the Harry Lawrence Award is a special one with a long history.

The LBBC was founded in 1952 by Harry Lawrence, “Mr. Laguna,” who devoted his life to beautifying Laguna Beach. His first project was a large one – the first real cleanup of Coast Highway and Laguna Canyon Road – with removal of scrub and weeds, consistent curbing, and planting of native plants, trees and succulents. He called in the Marines and the Laguna Rotary Club for assistance, and their committed work still shows today in Laguna’s gorgeous landscaping.

Among those library

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Jessica deStefano, designer of Laguna Beach Library Garden

The Harry Lawrence Star of Excellence Award was conceived in 2013 as a way to honor his memory, and to acknowledge a resident of business that has shown exceptional passion for the beautification of Laguna Beach. This is only the third time the Harry Lawrence Award has been presented; the first two went to Bob Borthwick and Ann Christoph.

Winners included: 

Residential Awards: James & Ann Shea, Clark & Gregory Collins, The Duensing Family, The Sproule Family, Dr. Stefanie Fightlin & Todd MacCallum, Alexander Brown & Patricia Rinaldi, Dr. Haresh Jhangiani and Dr. Mohammad Ala, Carolyn Brown.

Business Awards: The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Mark Christy, owner; Dora Wexell Orgill & Mark Orgill, Another Kind Restaurant & Frontage Road; Jessica deStefano, designer, The Laguna Beach Library Garden; Dawson Cole Gallery, Marty Raichle; The City of Laguna Beach, Shohreh Dupuis, City of Laguna Beach Public Works – Lemon Scented Eucalyptus, Catalina and Los Robles; The City of Laguna Beach, Shohreh Dupuis, California Pepper – City Parking Lot #2, Ocean Avenue; 

The City of Laguna Beach, Shohreh Dupuis, California Sycamore – Laguna Beach Water District Office.

Among those walking people

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Brittany Ryan, artist/sculptor, Walking People at LCAD

 Art In Public Space/City Projects Awards: Green Man with Red Birds, artist, Julia Klemek (accepted by her family); Voyager, Linda Brunker artist (accepted by Jan Sattler, former arts commissioner); Tide Pool Kraken & Strand of Life, Casey Parlette, artist; Canyon Walkers, Brittany Ryan, artist/sculptor LCAD faculty; 777 LCR-Art A Fair exterior murals; Okuda San Miguel, international artist; South Laguna Village Green Park, Ann Christoph, landscape architect; Brown’s Park, James Dockstader, landscape architect. 

Harry Lawrence Award: Keith Kesler for Exceptional Community Dedication

BJ Peterson, a new member of the LBBC, says of Kesler’s work, “I knew him before this and what he was doing. Graffiti is hard to combat, but he’s done a wonderful service for the community. He did it without anyone knowing.”

Until now of course. Upon receiving his award, Kesler said, “My motivation is that I hate graffiti. I’m obsessed with it.” 

So, apparently, he won’t be giving up his battle on tags anytime soon, and that’s a good thing.

For further information, go to

The Fullest presents bi-annual artisan Summer Market at [seven-degrees] on Sunday, July 1 

The Fullest is excited to announce the newest addition to their bi-annual Market Series at [seven-degrees] in Laguna Beach on Sunday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. After an extremely successful Holiday Market with over 700 attendees this past December, The Fullest has now expanded their roster to include a Summer Market. This event is free.

Curated by Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Nikki Bostwick, The Fullest Summer Market is an artisanal event that will feature the work of over 30 independent makers and designers – both locally and globally. The Market will combine design, art, healthy food, and a fun community spirit under one roof to display an assortment of quality, unique, and mindful products including sustainable clothing, accessories and jewelry, as well as pantry items, books, coffee, and organic skincare, amongst others. Suja Juice and Chareau will be sponsoring the event and will be providing juice and alcohol. 

The Fullest ceramics

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Submitted photo

BTW Ceramics featured at Fullest Summer Market

While shoppers are getting their market on, there will also be additional (free) programming on the rooftop:

A tea ceremony hosted by Taylor Eyewalker will be held from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. where guests are invited to come and go as they please.

From 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., stop by the “Healing Garden” for a complimentary one-on-one shamanic healing session by Jen Hoy. Each session lasts around 30 minutes and is first come first serve. (Sign up early, as there are limited spots available!)

Finally, to draw the day to a close and help attendees decompress all the shopping out, Taylor will be back leading a Kundalini Flow from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The Fullest Summer Market is a solid channel that will connect its guests to creative and engaged small businesses, those whom are both design-savvy and mindful of conscious consumerism. Between 500-750 guests are expected.

The Fullest Mate

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Submitted photo

Fashions at Fullest Artisan Event on July 1

The Fullest is a wellness and contemporary culture publication committed to creating content and experiences across all areas of modern life. Through their community events, pop-ups, and online store, The Fullest has built a steadily growing audience and a respected reputation as curators of stunning, ethical, and unique products that intersect wellness and design.

[seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Participating vendors include the following curated list of brands and many more: Surya Spa, Blessed Booch, Living Libations, Suja Juice, Belo Dry Bar, Magnolia Wellness Center, Galamaar Swimwear, Weird Sister, The Lev, Starling Jewelry, Under Luna, Common Room Roasters, Flora Ex Machina, Villa Pilates, Philosophie, Paige Cheyne, 323 Clothing, Cordial Organics, RYSE Clothing, Dr. Brite, Mirror for the Moon, Meet the Source, Kung Fu Tonic, Rye Truck, and Amborella Organics. 

For additional information, visit


Suzie’s ARTiculation

The Museum astounds with a stunning exhibit, Art Colony, illustrating Laguna’s art legacy 


Laguna’s finest came out to see Laguna’s finest artists Saturday night at the opening of Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935, an exhibit a century in the making.

Celebrating the quintessential artists who helped define Laguna Beach during the past 100 years as a vital, vibrant cultural destination, the show is exquisite in every detail as it recreates their legacy. 

“[This exhibit] is the artistic centerpiece of a year-long centennial celebration during which we’re looking back to our origins in 1918 and forward to our future,” said Lou Rohl, Laguna Art Museum Board Chairman. “From the very beginning, the Laguna Beach Art Association was not only a professional body for artists, but also a social and cultural center for the community.”

He explained that this same symbiotic relationship is flourishing in Laguna Beach today through the museum’s continued connection to the community. 

That feeling is exemplified in “Art Colony,” it connects the community with its artistic roots and makes you feel a part of something greater; it’s awe-inspiring – and it is impossible to describe seeing all these magnificent pieces by these iconic artists on such a grand scale, up-close and in person.

the museum hinkle

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Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

“Laguna Beach,” 1927: Clarence Hinkle’s signature view of Laguna Beach, looking toward Main Beach from the bluff just north of town

Co-curators Janet Blake and Deborah Solon have brought to life Laguna’s rich history in this, the first large-scale, critical study to focus exclusively on LBAA’s growth and development. The show features more than 100 works by 66 artists, including several works by major artists of the past.

The museum has been transformed, creating an authentic mood and atmosphere by recreating its original appearance.

 “Right away we knew that we wanted to create an approximation of how big the gallery looked in 1929. Creating that was very exciting. Fortunately, the artist Chet Glaze was available, and working from old black and white photographs, he made two large benches, a pedestal, and installed wainscoting and a chair rail in the gallery,” Blake said. “We also decided to install the works in a similar manner – however, not resting on the chair rail, but as low as possible along the same line.”

All the pieces are part of LAM’s archive, including the model of the original Art Gallery. In the upper gallery level, the focus is on places and views that are distinctly Laguna Beach.

 “There were hundreds of artists who exhibited with the LBAA. We chose those artists who were most successful and viewed positively from an historical perspective,” Blake said. “Some artists are represented by more than one painting – most notably Anna Hills, Joseph Kleitsch, Edgar Payne, and William Wendt.”

It’s humbling to see Laguna Beach through the eyes of watercolorist Norman St. Clair, the first artist to discover Laguna Beach, or to view pieces like William Wendt’s “The Mantle of Spring,” 1917, which depicts the green-cloaked hillsides of Laguna Canyon, or the bold and colorful, yet soothing works by Joseph Kleitsch captured in his landscapes and seascapes.

the museum kleitsch

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Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

California Impressionist painter and master colorist Joseph Kleitsch was a famous member of the Laguna Beach Art Association – pictured here is his “The Old Post Office,” Oil on canvas, c. 1922

“All of us at the museum revere Anna Hills, not just for her work as a landscape painter but also for all the administrative, fundraising, and educational work she did for the art association. She was its life and soul,” Laguna Art Museum Executive Director Malcolm Warner said. “Personally, I have a soft spot for Frank Cuprien, a wonderful painter of the ocean in all its moods and also an artist who relished playing the part of the artist, beret and all.”

the museum hills

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Courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Anna Hills, “High Tide, Laguna Beach,” Oil on canvas, 1914, 20” x 30 inches. Through her leadership, the Laguna Beach Art Association raised the necessary funds and public support to build their permanent gallery on Cliff Drive.

The curators began planning the selection of paintings early last year. 

“Exhibitions like this can take anything up to several years to organize,” Warner said. “You really have to have your act together a year ahead of the opening because it often takes a year to firm up loans.” 

He said there are a handful of paintings from the museum’s own collection in the exhibition, only 10 to be exact of the 112, but the bulk of them are loans from other collections, both private owners and museums. 

“The loans from museums can take an especially long time – you might have to negotiate back and forth, refuse to take no for an answer, and generally twist arms to get what you want,” Warner said. 

The planning process of such a monumental exhibit begins with a thesis. 

“…which slowly developed and took form until we settled on the idea of a focus on the formative years of the LBAA,” curator June Blake said. “Fortunately, because of modern technology, research proceeds more quickly than it did in years past.” 

This exhibit is very meaningful to Blake since her first museum exhibit was at Laguna Art Museum in 1986. 

“That was Early Artists in Laguna Beach: The Impressionists, which looking back, barely scratched the surface regarding the importance of the LBAA and the art colony. So, I’m really pleased for the opportunity to expand on that exhibition,” Blake added. 

The idea of doing this particular exhibition to celebrate the Centennial seemed to come so naturally, Warner said.

the museum benjamin brown

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Photo courtesy of Laguna Art Museum

Benjamin Brown, “Laguna Vista” Oil on canvas, 1915, 24 x 18 inches. Brown was a quintessential impressionist and outspoken in his criticism of other painting styles. His gestural brushstrokes suggest quick application of paint, indicative of plein air paintings.

The exhibit, to me, is a once in a lifetime event, something not to be missed. If attendance is any indication, then hundreds of locals agree.

“At the opening there was as warm a feeling about the exhibition as we’ve ever felt,” Warner said. “The attendance of members at the opening of an exhibit is usually a guide to what we can expect as far as how popular it will be. We usually have about 400 and for this exhibition it was about 500.” 

In conjunction with Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935, the museum will feature a series of lecture programs. 

Eric Jessen, who has an incredible knowledge of Laguna Beach history, is speaking on Thursday, June 28. Then both of the exhibition’s curators are speaking – Deborah Solon on July 26 and Janet Blake on August 23 – each with a different perspective on the Laguna Beach Art Association.

These programs are just part of the museum’s year-long centennial celebration. Please see further details at LAM’s website

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. For more information, call 494-8971. Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935, runs through Jan 13, 2019.

Until next time…so much to celebrate at Laguna Art Museum, so little time!

Harley Rouda edges out Hans Keirstead, will face Rep Dana Rohrabacher in November

Democrat Harley Rouda has won the right to challenge Republican Representative Dana Rohrabacher for his seat in the 48th Congressional District this November election. 

Businessman and tech entrepreneur Rouda narrowly beat scientist Hans Keirstead, both Laguna Beach residents, in the primary race, by a slim 126-vote margin.

Rohrabacher won 30.3 percent of the vote, while Rouda and Keirstead combined for 34.5 percent of the vote. The remaining votes were split among 12 other contenders to unseat the incumbent, including 15.8 percent to Republican Scott Baugh.

Keirstead issued a gracious concession statement on Sunday.

“I know the Rouda campaign values the importance of science and facts in public policy and they will give voice to that message. I pledge my support and will work in unison with Harley Rouda to make sure Democrats and science prevail in November,” Keirstead wrote.

Rouda tweeted, “I just got off the phone with @drhanskeirstead. We congratulated each other on a hard fought primary and he pledged his full support to our campaign to #flipthe48th and defeat @RepRohrabacher. #ThankYouHans.”

Harley Rouda

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Courtesy of Kaira Rouda

The Rouda family celebrates a margin of 73 votes on Election Day; two weeks later the margin grew to a winning 126 votes

“I am deeply grateful for the confidence placed in our campaign by the voters of California’s 48th Congressional District. I’d like to thank all of our supporters, volunteers, neighbors, elected leaders, working people, grassroots activists and those who joined our effort in this important election. This victory is a testament to the movement we have built around moving Orange County forward. 

“I congratulate all the fine candidates who ran hard-fought campaigns in this primary and look forward to working with them all to flip this seat in November. In the days and weeks ahead, I will continue fighting every day to hold Dana Rohrabacher accountable for his reckless, backward agenda that spans from Orange County all the way to Washington,” Rouda wrote in a statement.

Rouda supporters were relieved after a nail-biting two weeks as the two contenders watched the vote count seesaw.

Local Denise Topaz, one of the many volunteers who worked tirelessly for Rouda, said she knew from the moment she met the candidate, she had a strong sense that he was a winner.

“His views on the issues lined up with mine and I felt also reflected those of our community. From the very start I got on board his campaign, hosting a Meet and Greet to introduce him to our friends and neighbors, canvassing, phone banking, writing postcards and spreading the word as best I could. He exceeded all my expectations as a candidate – from his outstanding performances in the debates, his unbelievable work ethic, and most recently, the integrity he showed facing negative attacks. He’s a superstar who I predict will carry us to victory in November,” Topaz said.

No doubt Rohrabacher supporters beg to differ on that last point. Time will tell.

Divers Cove at its most beautiful

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Divers Cove

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No wonder tourists flock to Laguna Beach

Dennis’ Tidbits


June 26, 2018

The summer monsoon season is about to get underway: thunderstorms are possible even here in Laguna

Dennis 5Things are really heating up in our desert regions, especially in our lower deserts where Palm Springs logged a high of 114 and Phoenix hit 113, but heck, it’s that time of year. The highest temp ever recorded in both stations occurred on this date in 1990 when Palm Springs hit 121 and Phoenix baked at 122, both all-time high records that still stand to this day.

Some time next week the summer monsoon season will get underway. It usually happens between July 1 and the Fourth and ends around the middle of September, give or take a few days. During this span of only about ten weeks on the average is when around 60-65 percent of the annual rain falls over the Desert Southwest in the form of almost daily thunderstorms with some of these storms reaching severe status with microbursts, heavy hail, drenching rains, and winds up to 50 mph or higher. Places like the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, and Tucson will see up to 50-60 thunderstorm days just in the span of 10 or 11 weeks’ time. Even our local mountains and deserts, and even here at the coast, get in on the action especially when there’s a high pressure cell parked over the Four Corners region as clockwise winds around this high draw loads of subtropical moisture from the south and southeast.

Thunderstorm activity here in Southern California varies in intensity and frequency from year to year. Once again, El Nino has a hand in an active season locally. The summers of 1958, 1966, 1972, 1983, 1984, 1996, and 2013 all saw multiple thunderstorm events even here in Laguna. The best one I ever saw here in town was the night of August 15, 1958 when the heavens rocked and rolled all night for seven continuous hours nonstop. McWeather didn’t get much sleep that night as anytime we get a rare strong thunderstorm around here, my adrenaline goes through the roof, I kid you not. To this day my excitement level is off the Richter.

Our fourth tropical system, Daniel, is located about 400 miles SW of Baja’s tip with 50 mph winds and he’s well into our swell window and moving to the NNW but he’s entering that colder water zone tomorrow so we might get a bit of a pulse from the south but don’t bank on it too much. Two more systems are trying to pull it together off Southern Mexico so stay tuned on that one. 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Incumbent Zur Schmiede launches re-election bid


Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede kicked off his bid for a second term on Sunday at a well-attended afternoon reception.

Zur Schmiede reviewed the accomplishments of the past four years and his goals for the future.

“In 2014 I came up with five “Ps”: Protect and enhance Laguna’s quality of life; Promote fiscal responsibility; Promote a non-partisan government; (my favorite) Promote economic development done right; and Plan for our future,” said Zur Schmiede.

He is especially proud of the Leadership Laguna program created by him and Planning Commissioner Ann Johnson, who served as the event coordinator for the reception. 

Zur Schmiede foresees an equally ambitious To Do List for the next four years, including the funding for undergrounding utilities the council proposes to put on the November ballot. He looks forward to what he envisions as a “robust discussion.”

“Elections provide the opportunity for discussion,” said Zur Schmiede. “We become more engaged.”

Incumbent leadership laguna

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Leadership Laguna graduates in 2018: Its creation is one of Zur Schmiede’s proudest achievements

Other major issues expected to be debated include mitigating the impact of tourists and addressing the challenge of homelessness. Until recently, Laguna operated the only 24-hour shelter for the homeless in the county, Zur Schmiede said. It comes under the heading of ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’ The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the city, since settled.

Accessory Dwelling Units and Short Term Lodging will probably be topics addressed in candidates’ forums, Zur Schmiede surmised. 

He expects the city will make changes in its proposed STL ordinance that will satisfy the California Coastal Commission’s requirements, and he is on record as favoring ADUs. He also advocates a reservation program for the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, which, as the late Lida Lenney was the first to say, is in danger of being loved to death. 

Other environmental issues on Zur Schmiede’s agenda are the Aliso Canyon Core Project and the Aliso Creek Estuary project.

Zur Schmiede until last year served as a tide pool docent. 

“People come from all over the world to see our tide pools,” he said. 

Zur Schmiede also addressed governmental transparency, an effort which he said needs to continue, and finally, Civility with a big C, in the upcoming campaign and on the council.

“If there is a lack of civility, I am going to call it out,” Zur Schmiede vowed. “We need to reason together.”

Incumbent Rob Zur Schmiede

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Rob Zur Schmiede says he will call out any lack of civility that occurs during the upcoming election

Laguna Beach entrepreneur Mark Christy introduced Zur Schmiede, preceded by an acapella rendition of “America the Beautiful” by Zur Schmiede’s daughter Makenna. 

Christy and his wife Leticia were members of the host committee, which also included Sharon and Roger McErlane, at whose North Laguna home the kick-off was held, Betsy and Dr. Gary Jenkins, Peggie and John Thomas, Lisa and John Mansour, Stephany Skenderian, Susan and John Hamil, Beth and Dana Garlock and Mark and Dora Wexall Orgill.

The Orgills came to the rescue when the caterers for the reception failed to show up. They raided [seven-degree]’s kitchen and produced a feast of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese and crackers and luscious desserts, with the efficiency and aplomb of promotion pros.

Francine Scinto, Peggie Thomas and Mary Lawson staffed the sign-in desk.

Lawson reported that 91 folks showed up for the reception.

The reception was an encore of the incumbent’s 2014 campaign launch, also emceed by Christy. 

“I tend to be non-political,” said Christy. “That’s why I am here. Rob comes to every meeting with an open mind. Our political party is Laguna.” Christy said he was perplexed why Rob is seeking re-election. 

“Why would he donate hundreds – thousands – of hours and be criticized for trying to do the right thing?” asked Christy. 

He was partially answered by an email he read aloud from Councilman Bob Whalen, out of town for a family wedding.

“Rob cares deeply about Laguna and keeping the best of what we have while recognizing that change is inevitable, but can be managed wisely,” wrote Whalen. 

“Experience matters as a council member. Rob has the experience, the expertise, the motivation and the drive to continue to be a valuable member of the council who will exercise good judgment and keep Laguna the way we want it to be. Please do whatever you can to push Rob to victory in November.”

Councilman Steve Dicterow warned that Zur Schmiede’s obvious qualifications and record on behalf of the city could work against him. 

“It is dangerous when someone like Rob runs [for office],” said Dicterow. “We get complacent. ‘He is doing such a good job of course he will get re-elected.’ We need to be out there supporting him. We will all sleep better because he is on the council.” 

Zur Schmiede is also endorsed by Mayor Kelly Boyd, who was unable to attend the kick-off. 

“This is the most diverse crowd I have seen since Stu Saffer’s memorial,” said Christy. 

Among the crowd: Arts Commissioner Suzanne Mellor, former City Manager Ken Frank, former City Clerk Martha Anderson, developer Joe Hanauer, Mary Kate and Kirk Saunders, Laguna Beach Live! founder Cindy Prewitt, Planning Commissioner Ken Saddler, former Planning Commissioner Becky Jones and Ann Christoph, herself a candidate in the 2018 council race.

Lagunans among the first to view large donation of California Art at Hilbert Museum in Orange

Whittier Trust Company hosted a private reception and tour for their clients and VIPs at the Hilbert Museum immediately following Chapman University’s Economic Forecast Update on Thursday, June 21. Laguna residents Alex and Susan Shusko and Dean and Dawn Stephan were among the first to view Dr. Doti’s donated collection of California art at the conference, which was hosted by Whittier Trust CEO David Dahl. 

lagunans among three

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Laguna residents Dean and Dawn Stephan flank Donna Bianchi

President Emeritus Jim Doti, PhD, has donated a collection of art to the Hilbert Museum, which include some of the top names in California art: Millard Sheets, Irv Wyner, Jack Laycox, Franz Bischoff, Harry Anderson, Arthur Beaumont and Emil Kosa Junior. 

“Whittier Trust has long admired and respected the important work of Chapman University and the exceptional efforts of Dr. Doti. Dr. Doti and the University have enriched the lives of so many and the 40th anniversary of the Chapman University Economic Forecast is testament to their staying power,” said Greg Custer, executive vice president in charge of Whittier’s Orange County office. 

“Coupling this highly anticipated event with the new Hilbert Museum tour and reception showcases our shared value of developing young people. Hilbert Museum is an important addition to Orange County’s cultural blooming,” he added.      

Whittier Trust manages $12 billion in assets, serving its high net worth clients from six family offices that also enthusiastically support their clients’ philanthropy.

NSSA Finals: Laguna finishes in impressive third place overall with three finalists in each division

By coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns

We wanted to let you all know the final results at the NSSA National High School Championships held last weekend at Salt Creek. For the second year in a row Laguna Beach High School Surf Team Finished a very impressive third place overall thanks to the strong effort put in by our entire team along with our three finalists in each of the divisions. 

NSSA Finals awards

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Third place winners

In the Women’s Division Kayla Coscino led the way and looked strong on both days of competition. She had several strong rides, and eventually took second, just being edged out for the win. 

NSSA Finals Kayla

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Kayla Coscino

Meanwhile the Longboard Finals were first up with Jameson Roller competing for Laguna. Jameson surfed well, but unfortunately got a late start having trouble with his wetsuit and then was penalized with an interference, but did not give up. He came back with some nice nose rides and finished fourth.

NSSA Finals Jameson

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Jameson Roller

Travis Booth took to the water in the Men’s Shortboard Final and was fired up to continue his dominating form of Saturday. He did so well to make it all the way to the Finals and was definitely one of the standouts of the event. Unfortunately, the waves slowed down a little during the final on Sunday and Travis found himself a little out of rhythm and had to settle for sixth which was still a great result overall.

NSSA Finals Travis

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Travis Booth

While our finalists scored big points for the team the help put in by Jake Levine, Jeremy Shutts, Trey Lockhart, Sam Nelsen, Kiko Nelsen and Kalohe Danbara all contributed enormously to our top three spot!

Huntington Beach pulled off the upset win with San Clemente finishing in second. This is such a prestigious event with high school teams coming from as far as Hawaii and the East Coast, so to have Laguna Beach in the top three for the second year in a row is awesome. 

Thank you for all the support at the event and also in our fundraising efforts. Teamed up with Tech International, we were able to reach our goal on International Surf Day riding over 500 waves and received a large donation from Tech International to our Laguna Beach High School Surf Team Scholarship fund that awards one senior male and female surfer a scholarship each year. Well done everyone!

Results are in: Corwin Allard selected for USSSA All-American Baseball team for competition in August

On March 31, just before he was featured in Laguna Life and People, Corwin Allard and his parents were off to the USSSA (the national governing body for elite level players) All-American Showcase in Santee. It was the national tryouts for the Far West Region, in which 25 top elite players are chosen to compete in Florida during the summer. 

Results in tryouts

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Corwin at USSSA tryouts in San Diego in May

The results for the USSSA All-American Baseball team were announced last week, and Corwin was selected. At the conclusion of all the Showcases in each region, the top 25 All-Americans were chosen per age division (9U-14U) to represent their region and compete in the USSSA All American Games, held at the USSSA Space Coast Complex from Aug 4 – 11.

Although Corwin’s room is filled with baseball memorabilia, there are two things (or rather 38 things) he’s especially proud of: his 10 baseball championship rings – awarded for being either tournament champions or finalists (second place) – and his 28 bats. 

Results in winding up

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Winding up for a pitch during a game with his travel ball team, Big West/BPA

Corwin juggles two demanding pursuits, as a TV actor and as an award-winning pitcher on Big West BPA Travel Baseball. In March, his Travel Baseball Team won the Big West 10U Elite DI Triple Crown Spring Championship Arizona Tournament (a three-day national tournament). 

And now, another big competition awaits him in August. Good luck, Corwin!

All aboard for a fun summer in Laguna

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

all aboard

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Visit Laguna Beach expects a fun- and tourist-filled summer in Laguna in 2018

ART4KIDS, Inc receives $1,500 grant award from FOA Foundation, benefiting Food Pantry and others

The Laguna Food Pantry is one of several Laguna Beach organizations that serve children to whom ART4Kids, Inc. provides art supply kits to help them express themselves and process their experiences. 

The Festival of Arts Foundation has awarded $1,500 to ART4KIDS, Inc. to provide art materials. Artist and art educator Pam Schader founded ART4KIDS, Inc. to provide art materials to help children process trauma through creative expression.

ART4KIDS three

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With a generous grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation, ART4KIDS. Inc. was able to give art packs to children of Food Pantry shoppers, including Christian, Jennifer, and Juan Pablo

 These Laguna Beach social service agencies submit wish lists of their preferred art materials; ART4KIDS, Inc. uses FOA funds to assemble each order to match their needs:

--Laguna Food Pantry

--Wayfinders Youth Shelter, Laguna Beach

--Laguna Beach Community Clinic

--Even Start preschool program

--Laguna Art Museum art studio program at Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach

For nine years, the Festival of Arts Foundation has funded grants for ART4KIDS, Inc. to provide quality art materials for children in distress in Laguna. 

“Kids’ faces just light up when we hand them an art pack,” said Anne Belyea, executive director of the Laguna Food Pantry.

 “Art is life; we draw what is happening to us,” Schader said. “The drawing the child creates will likely show the distress, allowing the child to see its borders. The child can begin to see the trauma as an event and not the entire life experience. The drawing serves as a springboard for communication with facilitators.”

Putting trauma to paper in pictures

Since 2001, ART4KIDS, Inc. has provided art packs to homeless, abused, abandoned children and those in residential shelters, emergency services, trauma treatment programs, domestic violence shelters, hospitals, and clinics. More than 50 Orange County agencies are served each year, funded by individual donors and grants from local foundations. 

ART4KIDS, Inc. was founded on September 11, 2001 by Pam Schader, M.A. She teaches drawing, painting and art history at Irvine Valley College. She operates ART4KIDS, Inc. from her home studio in Costa Mesa with a large contingent of volunteers. 

ART4KIDS, Inc. welcomes donors and volunteers to assemble artpacks, work at art booths and workshops, make handmade cards, and identify children in distress. Learn more at

A swell summer awaits

Photo by Michael Tanaka

a swell summer

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Scott Froschauer’s “Word on the Street” installation dedicated in Heisler Park on Sunday, July 1

A new public installation will be dedicated on Sunday, July 1 at 5 p.m. in Heisler Park at Jasmine and Cliff Dr. “Word on the Street” by Scott Froschauer, a Los Angeles-based artist, has repurposed the visual language of street signs and their authoritative voice into street art that toys with the viewer’s understanding and perception of public space and the role of art in it. 

Froschauer says, “I like to imagine that people might walk past a sign and assume that it is just a typical mundane warning until that moment they recognize it as out of the ordinary. Hopefully that moment might lead viewers to wonder if other pieces might be “hidden” anywhere in their daily lives. In this way the work aims to change how the viewer interacts with the world at large.”

Scott Froschauer sample

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Example of Scott Froschauer’s work - “Word on the Street”

Froschauer is an experimental artist and art fabricator in Los Angeles. His fine artwork covers a broad range of subjects and materials from ephemeral street art and experiential narrative events to gunpowder illustration and alternative technique photography to practical sculpture and many large scale pieces for the Burning Man Festival, including the fabrication of The Church Trap, a large scale sculpture which was featured in numerous publications. He also fabricated RuckusRoots’ 2015 Wild Art sculpture, for the LA Zoo. 

Aiming to give viewers a positive yet momentary emotional lift, messaging in “The Words on The Street” are simple yet thought provoking, with self-love and compassion at the core of their statements. Froschauer hopes that people who see his signs start to see and spread positivity for everyone.

By using the materials and visual language of street signs, but replacing the traditional negative wording (Stop, Do Not Enter, Wrong Way…) with positive affirmations, “The Word on the Street” seeks to provide something that is missing from our daily visual diet.

For more information on Scott Froschauer, go to

Pole position(ing) will take place on June 26 and 28

If you see what appears to be a giant toothpick hanging from a helicopter in the sky on Thursday June 28, have no fear: Laguna is not vying for some obscure Guinness Book of Records mention.

No, it is simply Southern California Edison performing helicopter operations to replace two poles located in the canyon between Canyon Acres Dr and Alta Laguna Park. 

SCE will use a helicopter to transport crews to prepare the site on Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26. On Thursday, June 28, the helicopter will be used to place the new poles. 

The landing zone and staging area for the helicopter will be located at the trailhead north of Alta Laguna Park. The trails in the vicinity of the staging area will be temporarily closed while the helicopter is operating in the staging area for no more than 10 to 30-minute intervals. 

Hours of operations will vary each day. Signs will be posted and flag persons will alert the public of the temporary closures. 

For questions or concerns, please contact JC Holt, Construction Coordinator with Pro Energy Services, Inc. at (909) 781-3973.

Paint out with Mentor Lisa Mozzini-McDill will be presented by LPAPA on July 10

Join LPAPA Signature Artist Lisa Mozzini-McDill at a picturesque Orange County, California plein air painting location for a fun and informative LPAPA Mentor Paint Out & Painting Demonstration on Tuesday, July 10 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. Come to enjoy watching Lisa’s painting demo, then set up and paint alongside her and other LPAPA members…or just come to watch the demo and meet other LPAPA Members.

Paint out with lisa

Lisa Mozzini-McDill will mentor students

Members are invited to bring up to two paintings for a Mentor critique.

LPAPA’s mentored paint outs are free for LPAPA Members who may register to bring one guest who is interested in learning more about joining LPAPA as an Artist or Supporter Member (a maximum of five registered guest passes are available for each mentor paint out event). 

Non-Members (who are not registered as a guest by a LPAPA Member or have already received a previous 2018 guest pass) may attend for a $10 event fee to enjoy watching the painting demonstration as well as have the opportunity to meet and paint with LPAPA Members. 

Paid event fees are not refundable but may be transferred with advance notice. Please note that the Mentor’s painting critique time is reserved for LPAPA Artists, Student and Signature Members or at the discretion of the Mentor Artist.

LPAPA Mentor paint outs are presented in connection with LPAPA’s mission and commitment to its art education programs.

Location details to be provided with registration confirmation. Limited to 20 participants.

Visit for more information.

Fabulous Frieda, Pet of the Week, is looking for a friendly new home

Frieda is currently the Pet of the Week. She is a six-month-old female spayed Jack Russell terrier mix. She is very sweet and loves attention. Additionally, she loves being active and having children around, but would need a fenced yard. Currently, she is in need of a new owner, and is hoping someone will come visit her and bring her in. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see Frieda adopted as soon as possible. 

Fabulous Frieda

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Frieda is ready for a new adventure 

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. Call (949) 497-3552 or go to the website for information on adoption procedures:

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