1996 LBHS graduate

Missing Arcadia firefighter’s dog, “Duke”, found

36-year-old Michael Herdman, an Arcadia firefighter who has been missing in the Los Padres National Park in the mountains above Fillmore in Ventura County is a 1996 graduate of Laguna Beach High School according to local friends.

He has been missing since Friday, June 13.

His dog, “Duke”, was found early Sunday afternoon at the trailhead where he and his hiking companion, also a firefighter, began their backpacking trek. Both men left their camp to retrieve Duke, after it ran away. Herdman went after Duke in his bare feet wearing only a T-shirt and shorts. His companion searched for him before making a two-day, 14-mile, hike out of the area to the trailhead for help. It is hoped that Duke will aid in the search for Herdman.

The operation was still termed as a rescue and not a recovery as of Monday.

Searchers began in earnest on Monday of last week and by Thursday, according to press reports, Homeland Security had joined Ventura, Orange, LA and San Luis Obispo County and other search and rescue units throughout the state. Searchers have to be flown into the area by copters because of the rough terrain.

The FAA authorized a private firm to launch drones in the hopes of spotting the missing firefighter among the rough terrain of the mountain.

Footprints believed t be Herdman’s were found along a creek last Tuesday.

While at LBHS, a friend told us Tuesday, Herdman was easy to get along with and “…a good friend to many who was always a fun guy to hang with…”

The former schoolmate said Herdman was an excellent athlete who was on the cross country and track teams and an avid bicycle racer. 

Patrick Fetzer, owner of Laguna Beach Cyclery, Inc., considers Herdman to be a good friend. “He is always pleasant, loves to bike ride and always has had a dog with him.”

Fetzer said Herdman first came into the bicycle store years ago. “He joined our bike racing team and was determined every time he competed. We had a five stage, five-day race in Pomona Valley and he won every stage.

“He is the best athlete I have ever known.”

Fetzer added that Herdman had been in Laguna not long ago. “We had pizza at Gina’s. Duke was with him.”

Herdman, his wife and daughter live in Dana Point and his parents still live in town.

Just another magnificent sunset…

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Scott Brashier

Last night

It’s official – we have a new Lifeguard Headquarters

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Staff photos by Scott Brashier

Mayor Elizabeth Pearson addresses the sizeable crown at the dedication of the new Lifeguard Headquarters at Main Beach Friday afternoon. Marine Safety Chief Kevin Snow is behind her and City Manager John Pietig is seated at her left.

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Councilmembers Mayor Pro Tem Bob Whalen (L), Toni Iseman, Steve Dicterow and Kelly Boyd watch as Mayor Pearson cuts the ribbon at the front door.

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The facility was open to the public for touring. Above is the “working” view.

Final board meeting of 2013-2014 school year tonight

School is over and the Laguna Beach Unified School District’s Board of Governors will hold its final board meeting of the 2013-14 school year at 6 p.m. tonight.

The agenda for Tuesday’s regularly scheduled Board meeting has been posted here: http://www.lbusd.org/

Leisa Winston, LBUSD’s Director of Human Resources & Public Communications said in an email, “This meeting will include a report from Dr. Smith on the District’s goals for 2013-14, as well as an update from our new Chief Technology Officer Mike Morrison on the status of technology in the District.  

“Ted Doughty, the District’s Director of Facilities, will present an update on the Facility Condition Assessment.  The Board will consider action on a number of items, including approval of the LCAP and 2014-15 District budget, approval of the 2014-15 collective bargaining agreements, and a number of job description revisions…”

Field Day – simulated ham radio emergency exercise this Saturday will mark 16 years operating in Laguna 


 Laguna Beach Emergency Communications Team

Now in its 81st year, Field Day is the largest and oldest single emergency preparedness exercise in the United States and Canada.  Except for a lull during World War II, Field Day has annually engaged licensed amateur radio operators (hams) in an international radio event to demonstrate reliable radio communications under less than favorable conditions.  In 2013 Field Day operations completed more than 1.2 million radio messages in 24 hours operating under “simulated emergency conditions.”  

Laguna Beach hams have participated in Field Day for the last 16 years.  Now, as then, members of the Laguna Beach Emergency Communications Team will operate off the grid using solar maintained battery powered stations designed and constructed by them.  All operations will be conducted using the call sign N6L, which is unique to Field Day and has been assigned exclusively to Laguna Beach since 2007.

Public participation is absolutely welcome and facilitated. A “GOTA” (get on the air) station for you and your family will be provided to let you experience amateur radio communications. You are invited to use Radiogram messaging to reach family and friends anywhere in the United States.  Incidentally, this free service is offered year round by amateur radio operators and is of special importance in times of emergency. Last, but not least, Boy Scouts visiting the station may work toward acquiring the radio merit badge. 

This year the event will be held in Laguna Beach on Saturday, June 28 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Alta Laguna Park.  Please note this is a change in venue from the site on the Fire Road between Moulton Meadows and Top of the World.  

Our objective is to enable as many Laguna residents as possible to see, participate and appreciate the effectiveness of radio communications in the event of a local or national emergency.  We look forward to meeting you and introducing you to the world of amateur radio.

For additional information contact: John Kountz, WO1S, Chief Radio Officer, Laguna Beach Emergency Communications Team 494-8783, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

City, Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting an “Open for Construction” workshop Thursday at Mozambique

The City of Laguna Beach will be hosting the next “Open for Construction” workshop this Thursday, June 26 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at Mozambique, 1740 S. Coast Highway. 

Topics to be presented will be Building Division updates including proposed new Site Survey requirements for new construction and the Fire Department’s proposed pilot program for Red Flag Fire Safe Parking Procedures. Contractors, architects, residents and commercial building owners are invited to attend.

The Laguna Beach Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee (EDPC) has proposed a pilot program for the City of Laguna Beach that would improve fire safety by limiting parking in some spaces during periods of extreme fire danger (Red Flag Days). The proposal includes a pilot program test of these special limitations in the Diamond/Crestview neighborhood. That area was chosen because of its challenging access and circulation patterns that make it more difficult to protect lives and homes than other areas of the City. 

This pilot program is based on similar successful programs in the hillside neighborhoods of Los Angeles and Pasadena.

An optional pre-determined lunch is available for $10 at the door. Please RSVP to the Chamber of Commerce at (949) 494-1018, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Reservations are required for food service.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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