LB Chamber Singers celebrate holidays and centennial year of LB Presbyterian Church on Dec 3

The Laguna Beach Chamber Singers extends an invitation to attend their Annual Winter Concert on Sun, Dec 3, at 7 p.m., at the beautiful Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church. The concert coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the church. 

This holiday celebration is Laguna Beach Chamber Singers’ most exciting program to date. They are kicking it up a notch this year and will be performing the complete Poulenc Gloria with soprano solo, excerpts from the Bach Magnificat in D with soloists, and a variety of serious and not so serious Christmas and Chanukah music – culminating with the Hallelujah Chorus – all to delight of the attendees as the holiday season begins.

Laguna Beach Chamber Singers (LBCS) was founded in 2008 by Christin Cornell and is conducted by Music Director Cory Winter and Accompanist/Associate Conductor Deborah Glass. It was born out of a strong desire to sing classical and not-so-classical choral music with excellence and artistry.

Admission is free. All are invited to this special holiday event.

Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.

For more information, go to

Laguna Beach Library presents Author Talk with Rajbir Singh on Dec 9 

Author Talk with Rajbir Singh will take place on Sat, Dec 9 at the Laguna Beach Library, located at 363 Glenneyre Street. 

The event will include a Spiritual Talk with Rajbir Singh, Author of HIMesha. Singh began this book nearly 11 years ago. It includes personal reflections of his own transformation, journey, and spiritual experiences.

For more information on this upcoming event, visit

Dine and donate on #GivingTuesday: Laguna Playhouse reaps the benefit tonight, Nov 28

This evening, on #GivingTuesday, treat yourself to a great meal and, at the same time, donate to the wonderful Laguna Playhouse. Four restaurants in Laguna teamed up to support the Playhouse by donating up to 25 percent of their meal purchases to give to this non-profit. Romeo Cucina, Okura Robata Grill and Sushi Bar, Harmony Tea Bar, and Nirvana Grille collaborated in this effort. 

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Dianne Russell

New Kye roll with a burst of tobiko at Okura Robata Grill and Sushi Bar

 #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, and kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to participate is to eat at one of these restaurants tonight to support Laguna Playhouse.

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Laura Buckle

Burrata and organic heirloom salad at Nirvana Grille

Romeo Cucina is located at 249 Broadway St, Okura – 858 S Coast Hwy, Harmony Tea Bar – 305 Forest Ave, #103, and Nirvana Grille – 303 Broadway St, #101.

Give them your business and give to the Playhouse.

For further information, go to

Dennis’ Tidbits


November 28, 2017

Memories of storm chasing in Oklahoma in May of 1971

Rainfall here in town since July 1 stands at 0.06 inches. Normal to date is 1.85. November’s normal total is around 1.2 inches. Rainless Novembers do occur like in 1956, 1977, 1980, 1991, 1992, and 2006.

Here comes December, the third wettest month of the year with an average of about 2.65 inches. Our wettest December was in 2010 with 11.65 inches, thanks to a very active atmospheric river. Our second wettest was in 1940 with 10.70, and our third wettest was in 1997 with 9.08.

December’s normal hi-lo temp is 66-44. Our warmest Dec. high was 85 on December 3, 1958 and again on December 12, 1980. Our coldest December low was on Dec. 10 with a low of 28 in town and 22 out in the canyon.

The 2017 Pacific and Atlantic hurricane season comes to an end this coming Thursday and folks in the Atlantic are real happy about that.

Storm chasing during the Spring months is becoming more and more popular during the height of severe weather season in places like the Great Plains, the south, and the Midwest. There are literally hundreds of storm chasers out there now, armed to the hilt with all the latest technology, satellite images, and Doppler Radar. Some of the real pros drive armored vehicles just in case the tornado ends up chasing them. It’s a very risky undertaking, and some chasers will drive hundreds of miles sometimes just to be around the energy released by these super cells. They have all the gear, so why not?

Way back in May of 1971, I decided to hit Highway 66 and head east to a place called Norman, Oklahoma, a suburb to the southeast of Oklahoma City. The University of Oklahoma is in Norman, as is the NOAA Severe Storms Center. 

I knew a girl I met in Laguna during her Spring Break, and she told me if I’m ever in Norman, give her a call and we’ll hook up. She was attending the University of Oklahoma, and I could stay at her place. Instead of driving all over the place to find a super cell storm, I would just hang out and wait for one to come to me as odds were pretty good that a storm would hit as it was the peak of severe storm season and Oklahoma has more tornadoes than anyplace in the world. 

Moore, Oklahoma, will vouch for that. Moore is just a few miles from Norman. I didn’t have to wait very long. The day after I arrived, all s--- hit the fan!  I didn’t have all the gadgets that storm chasers today have at their disposal, just a camera. No cell phones, no Doppler, none of that. I took a chance, tossed the dice and they came up a 7. I might have been one of the first storm chasers, heck, I don’t know, but it was really fun!


Auditions for the upcoming spring musical All Shook Up are now open to all LBHS students 

LBHS is presenting the musical All Shook Up for their spring production, featuring the songs of Elvis Presley in conjunction with the book by Joe DiPietro. The play focuses on a young man who changes everything and everyone he meets when it comes to music.

Auditions for this show are open to all LBHS students, and will take place on Sunday, Dec 10 and Monday, Dec 11 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. The auditions will take place in the LBHS Room 55, otherwise known as the Green Room. 

To sign up for an audition time, fill out a form, or for more information, visit

Beer – and more in Kris Calef’s monthly club


Kris Calef loves beer, there’s no doubt about it. His interest became a passion, and that passion became a business – a monthly beer club. His interests have since grown to include wine, cigars, chocolate, flowers, and cheese. This six-faceted business is called

Go west young man

Calef moved out here from Illinois in 1987 because his parents had come to Orange County. “Nothing holding me in the cornfields!” he laughs now.

He was working at IBM in Costa Mesa, and living in one of the little cottages at the bottom of Third Street (now the Susi Q) but, fortuitously, he and a few beer-swilling friends would mosey down to the Laguna Beach Brewing Company (where Tommy Bahama and Skyloft are now). There they met brewmaster Alex Puchner. 

“We’d shut up and listen to Alex,” says Calef. “He was a our beer panel guy.”

They learned from Alex and ventured onward, hosting many beer tasting panel nights at the Laguna Beach Brewing Company. (Puchner is now Sr. VP of Brewing Operations at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse).

Along with the beer, Calef was a fan of Thursday night’s music, when Missiles of October would play. 

“That’s how I met my wife,” he said. “They played at my wedding!”

Growing a business

Calef and his team still do panel tastings to weed out the bad beers. “We’ve had to kiss a lot of frogs,” he admits. “We drink a lot of bad beer…so you don’t have to.”

That company credo has driven to find the absolute best and rare craft beers and deliver them to customer’s doorsteps (states allowing), having first been judged by the same panel of brewmasters and beer judges formed when the club was launched in 1994.

The beer of the month club offers five subsets of beer subscription packages: The U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club, The U.S. and International Variety Beer Club, The Hop-Heads Beer Club, The International Beer Club, and The Rare Beer Club.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Kris Calef (left) with Rudi Ghequire, site manager at Rodenbach, considered to be the benchmark producer of Flemish Red Ales

They feature smaller, craft breweries with “light distribution,” so you’ll find a hand selected, cultivated and rare collection. They make it easy to find your favorites.

“These days you can be overwhelmed by choices,” says Calef.

The six-faceted club plus one

The Cheese of the Month Club, as well as the Chocolate of the Month Club was the passion project of Calef’s mom, Kathleen. She sourced artisanal, farm to table cheesemakers, and gourmet chocolatiers from around the world. Tough job, right? She has since retired, but the pinch-me-is-this-a-real-job of flying around the world to taste and select the gourmet goodies is now in the capable of hands of specialists out of Ann Arbor: Zingermans Deli. 

The cheeses are noted on the website to be carefully aged and hand cut just prior to shipping. The award-winning boutique chocolates use “secret cacao blends, Grand Cru single bean chocolates and closely guarded roasting and conching techniques.” 

The flower of the month club is headed up by 60 years of collective experience in the floral industry. These are the folks who know when and where to find the best quality blooms, and exactly which flowers will travel best and put a smile on the face of the recipient.

Cigar aficionados will appreciate the Premium Cigar of the Month Club’s selections by professional tobacconists. Each of the up to five shipped are chosen for exceptional value, selected by region, brand and blend.

Finally, the wine selection is no small feat. The International Wine of the Month Club offers hard to find vintages and rare finds. Don Lahey, wine educator and Director of Product Development oversees inspection of vineyards, meeting with winemakers and, oh yeah, tasting. Two bottles are delivered at a time – two reds, two whites, or one of each.

For that someone who just can’t get enough of a good thing, offers a mix-and-match customizable Design Your Own Club, whereby you can combine any or all of the six monthly clubs into one membership.

It’s that time of year

“We’re an e-commerce model, offering six different curated monthly clubs. I feel we’ve stood the test of time over the years when many have come and gone largely due to the level of effort we put into selecting the products featured in each club, each month,” Calef said. 

And it’s that time of year to think toward holidays: Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and, of course, Christmas. “We are definitely very gift-centric,” says Calif. “We do about 52% of our business around Christmas.”

The thing that has made Kris Calef’s business so successful is maintaining quality standards and attention to customer service. 

“In short,” he says, “we consistently deliver hard to find, artisanal products.”

And, for the guy who has pretty great gifts at his fingertips, what would Kris Calef like for Christmas – in Laguna?

“A beer garden!” 

Another good idea. 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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

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

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc