Dennis’ Tidbits


March 17, 2017

Waking up in a fog recently? This could be why…

Happy St. Patty’s! Yet another excuse for some people to get drunk on green beer and act stupid.

High pressure continues to run the show over the Southwest as temps in the interior desert are running as much as 20 degrees above normal. From Palm Springs to Phoenix afternoon temps are pushing well into the 90’s for maybe the next week or so. Normally on this date Palm Springs and Phoenix the average high is 77. 

The high isn’t quite strong enough to bring us Santana offshore winds and the high is not quite situated in the right place to drive strong NE winds our way so that’s why we’ve had this AM fog as of late. The combination of very warm temps inland and chilly ocean temps have created a strong temperature gradient and has resulted in a slight inversion layer. 

At least the fog burns off and we have generally sunny mild conditions here at the beach. Surface visibilities go from a quarter mile in the morning to 20-30 miles at sunset with Catalina visible. This early heat up in the deserts combined with substantial rains in the low deserts are making for an incredible cavalcade of color on wildflowers that haven’t been seen in at least twelve years. Even the high desert flowers are starting to blossom up to three weeks early. 

All it takes is a couple of 80 degree days on the heels of copious rains. It’s all about the timing and Spring of 2017 all of the planets have lined up for an incredible array of color so get out there as soon as possible and check it out.

Local ocean temps are still hovering in the 58-60 degree range as it has been for most of the winter making it the third consecutive winter with above normal surface ocean temps. With Spring just four days away the winter of 2016-17 will go down as one of the flattest winters on record with 63 days with waves less than three feet here in town and only a handful of days with overhead surf and those days were accompanied by strong onshores with heavy rain. Actually it’s been meager surf for over a year now.

Even though the Equinox isn’t until the 21st our equal amount of sun time was Thursday with a sunrise at 7:01 a.m. and sunset actually at 7:02 p.m. It’s the same deal in September when the 12 hours of sun happens a few days after the autumnal equinox on the 21st. The sun has now cleared the north side of Catalina, actually happening on March 8 if your vantage point is Main Beach. 

Finally, have fun on St. Patty’s and if you do get hammered, pretend you don’t own a motor vehicle. Better yet, don’t even go out in public. Our local jail doesn’t hold that many drunk fools! 

ALOHA! See you on Tuesday!

BOOM goes the new Coast Inn remodeling proposal


The Planning Commission on Wednesday sent the proposed remodel of the Coast Inn back to the drawing board.

All five commissioners expressed reservations about the proposed pool and the size of rooftop deck. They all found fault with the response to their concerns voiced at the previous hearing on the project 

“The majority of the issues raised at the previous meeting have not been addressed,” said Commissioner Ken Sadler. “The Design Review Board allows only three hearings.

“My feeling,” he told project architect Marshall Ininns, “you get one more shot and then we vote it up or down. I am not close to supporting this project.”

Members of the audience, many of whom had sat through the lengthy hearing on the proposed revisions to the Historical Preservation Ordinance, were evenly split. 

Ininns said the project would have had a lot more supporters if the hearing had not been held so late. The project was listed as the second item on the agenda but the commission flip-flopped it with the third item and the Coast Inn hearing didn’t start until about 9:50 p.m., ending well after 11 p.m.  

Gregg Abel leads off for supporters of the remodel

Architectural designer and contractor Gregg Abel led off for the supporters.

“I am surprised at the pushback on this project,” said Abel, son of the late architect Chris Abel. 

The elder Abel had remodeled the exterior of the hotel and designed the longtime liquor store across Mountain Street, which is part of the proposed project. 

“Marshall is taking the two buildings and trying to bring them back to their original charm,” said Abel.

Village Laguna President Johanna Felder said the project was just too big and Boom Boom probably never held 600 people at one time, as claimed. 

Ininns said the fire department posted a limit of 600 occupants, which would indicate a possibility of even bigger crowds. He was backed up by project supporter Aaron Talerico, who said he’d been there back in the day and place was always packed.  

The project is huge. The hotel and Boom Boom Room stretch along Mountain Road from South Coast Highway to Gaviota Drive. 

As proposed, the project includes a 24-room hotel, with three restaurants, a pool deck with a bar area, covered parking garage, conference room, spa/gym and includes the deli/liquor store and an Olympic Cottage, across the street.

Girven suggests recommending the Pacific Ocean to guests instead of building a swimming pool

Darrylin Girven recommended eliminating the pool from the project.

“It is really hard for me to understand why the property owners need a pool,” she said. “They should encourage their guests, as if they need to, to swim and enjoy one of the best water quality oceans in Southern California. 

“If it’s about a nice warm pool to swim in, in the winter time I might suggest they rent out wet suits just like the rest of us wear when the ocean is cold in the winter.”  

Chamber of Commerce President Ken Fischbeck urged the commission to approve the project as proposed.

“Get this project off the dime so the area can get back to the vital area it used to be,” said Fischbeck.

Commission Chair Sue Kempf summed up the commission’s dissatisfaction. 

“It looks like our issues were not addressed or nominally addressed,” she said. “Take another stab at it.”

The next hearing is scheduled for May 17.

Mystic Arts Gallery celebrates an evening of art on March 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Mystic Arts Gallery recommends enjoying an extended St. Patrick’s Day Party at their place, 664 S. Coast Hwy, on Sat March 18. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Ceramicist Jaime Weber’s new work will be on display

The Gallery will feature new work from ceramicist Jaime Weber as well as onsite poetry writing by mixed media artist and poet Brent Kreischer. There will be live music, appetizers and an original raffle.

At this one-time event, Mystic Arts will also welcome guest artist Josh Cardinali of Stoney Eye Studios, who is showcasing his fantastic stencils of original pinups. 

Visit for information.

Summer parking: Eight recommendations about rates and spaces are approved


The city is getting in gear for the summer parking implosion.

Eight recommendations to manage 2017 summer parking were approved by the City Council at a meeting in early March. 

The goal of the recommendations was to encourage visiting motorists to park outside of downtown by providing more peripheral sites, improving service and increasing downtown meter rates. 

Hourly meter rates will be increased from $3 to $3.75 on downtown streets, the Glenneyre Street parking structure, on Coast Highway from Legion to Aster Street, with meters enforced two hours longer until 9 p.m., which will affect residents as well as tourists. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Lots of cars on a winter’s day near Las Brisas…and summer is still a’comin’

Some Forest Ave merchants said last year that the summer meter rate increase hurt their business. Others said they were not aware of the increase.   

The council also approved a reprise of last year’s star improvement: Summer Breeze, a partnership with Orange County transportation Authority to bus folks from an Irvine Co. parking lot on weekends. 

“Summer Breeze is a good idea,” said South Laguna resident John Thomas. “The problem is, it is a very expensive program for the results we get. The cost to the city was $85,000.”  

Thomas calculated that about 65 cars a day were kept out of the downtown.

However, he said, to keep those cars out of the city, 26 bus trips were added, for a net reduction of 39 trips per day.

“On that basis, it cost $134.98 for every net vehicle kept out of town,” said Thomas. “It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t repeat the experiment, but we need to reduce the cost.”

He suggested finding a closer parking lot. 

City Public Works Deputy Director Paula Faust said Summer Breeze is expected to draw more motorists this year.

“We are working on a more robust public relations program,” Faust told the council. 

The recommendation to lease peripheral parking sites at the Laguna College of Art and Design, Mission Hospital Laguna Beach and the Boys and Girls Club was approved. Two electronic message signs will bought to direct motorists to them, at a cost of $36,505.

Michael Baker International will be paid $30,000 to collect data and analyses of the 2017 summer parking management plan and report back to council.

Winners of LPAPA’s 11th Annual “Less is More” juried art show announced

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) announced the award-winning artists for its 11th Annual “Less is More” juried art show of small works.  

First place went to Kirsten Anderson for “Into the Glow” (8” x 8” oil); second place to Judith Cameron for “Back Bay Morning” (8” x 10” oil); and third place to LPAPA Signature Artist Carolyn Hesse-Low for “Watery Route” (9” x 12” oil).

Click on photo for larger image

Into the Glow by First Place Winner Kirsten Anderson

Artist Member Toni Danchik, “Dog Walker 2” (9” x 12” oil) and Artist Member Julia Seelos, “Eucalyptus Glory” (9” x 12” oil) earned honorable mentions.

The paintings are on exhibition from Feb 28 – April 3 at Forest and Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave.

Life is a cabaret old chum, come to the LOCA Grand Cabaret Art Party and Fundraiser on April 30

LOCA hosts its Grand Cabaret Art Party and Fundraiser on Sunday, April 30, between 4 and 7 p.m. at Sandra Jones Campbell Studio in Laguna Canyon.

Guests will sip champagne and celebrate to the music of acclaimed cabaret performers (thanks to Nelson Coates and Ruben Flores) who will entertain with some classics and a few surprises.

Grand Cabaret participants will enjoy libations, fresh crepes, music, and art

Original fine art (including limited editions) donated by local artists will be up for auction, as well as unique cigar boxes and, new this year, Fascinator Hats from the Art Club workshop with Brad Elsberry. 

While viewing the auction items, guests will enjoy wines, appetizers, and a choice of fresh crepes, and then take advantage of activities such as face painting, a scavenger hunt, and more.

During the event, LOCA will honor the members of the Arts Commission whose support insures the heritage of Laguna as a cultural arts city.

Submitted photo

Ruben Flores, Pat Kollenda, Arts Commissioner, Nelson Coats

Grand Cabaret proceeds support free and affordable arts education programs serving children, families, seniors, residents, and visitors throughout the LB community.

Tickets are limited. General 4 p.m. tickets - $50, VIP tickets $100 (includes early 3 p.m. kickoff reception, art preview, and a special musical performance).

For tickets, go to


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