This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:


Celebrate and enjoy your



December 12

Alison Durland French

Christine Fugate

James Walker Reed

Sue Cross


December 13

Keith Greer

Marielena Verdugo

Rob Smith

Sharon Lyons

Theresa Beaman


December 14

Barry Simons

Gilbert Thibault

Jayne Greenwalt

Mary Singer


December 15

Chris Bellerieve Hunt

Dominique Rain

Marshall Ininns

Ron Pringle

Trisha Bloomer


December 16

David Linnig

Dawn DiMare Thiery

Elaine Haythorne

Mark Peacock


December 17

Hill Collins

Julie Damato Johnson

Lauren Segal

Lynn Epstein

Shane Rios

Susan Shea

Valerie Zakka Standen


December 18 

Greg Peters

Marie Tyler

Rowan Harper

Tom Emberson


December 19

Don Campbell

Sound Spectrum



1. War on Drugs, Deeper Understanding

2. Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely hearts Club 50th 

3. Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

4. Cage The Elephant, Unpeeled 

5. Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, Self Titled

6.George Thorogood, Party Of One

7. Arcade Fire, Everything Now

8. Haim, Something To Tell You 

9. Chainsmokers, Memories: Do Not Open

10. Foster The People, Sacred Hearts Club

11. Lorde, Melodrama

12. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN

13. Manchester Orchestra, A Black Mile To The Surface

14. Imagine Dragons, Evolve

15. Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip (S.T.) 

16. Mac DeMarco, This Old Dog

17. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

18. John Mayer, The Search For Everything

19. Phoenix, Ti Amo

20. Violent Femmes, 2 Mics & The Truth

Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy494-5959

Jazz Wednesdays are back for the winter season

Tickets are now on sale for the popular Jazz Wednesday’s Winter season presented by Laguna Beach Live! The series includes seven concerts, Jan 17-April 11, at the distinctive event facility [seven-degrees] at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

The series kicks off on Jan 17 with Mark Towns Latin Jazz featuring Diana Purim, followed on Jan 31 by Straight Ahead Jazz featuring the Rickey Woodard Quintet. Feb 14 features Valentine’s Day Piano Jazz, with Grammy-Award winning Bill Cunliffe Trio with special guest vocalist, and February 28 presents Iconic Jazz, an All-Star Tribute to Dizzy & Ella featuring vocalist Maiya Sykes & Trumpeter Bijon Watson. March 14 features New West Group, March 28 Project Popular, and the series ends on April 11 with Modern Jazz Josh Nelson presenting: “And The Sky Remains” a love ballad to LA

Concerts are from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m, and doors open at 5 p.m. A full bar and buffet dinner menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out.

For more information visit or call 949-715-9713.

LBHS Schedules




Tuesday, December 12

Girls F/S Soccer 

@Lower Peters Park– 3:15 p.m.


Tuesday, December 12

Girls JV Soccer

@Beckman–  3:15 p.m.


Tuesday, December 12

Girls Varsity Soccer

@Beckman–  3:15 p.m.


Tuesday, December 12

Boys F/S Basketball

@Laguna Hill Tournament–  4:30 p.m.


Tuesday, December 12

Boys Varsity Basketball

@Westminister Tournament–  5:30 p.m.


Tuesday, December 12

Boys JV Basketball

@Aliso Niguel Tournaments– 7:15 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys JV Soccer

@Ocean View -  2:30 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys Varsity Soccer

@Ocean View–   3 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys JV Soccer

@Ocean View - 4 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys Varsity Basketball

@Westminster Tournament–  4 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys JV Basketball

@Aliso Niguel Tournaments–  4:40 p.m.


Wednesday, December 13 

Boys F/S Basketball

@Laguna Hills Tournament–  TBA


Thursday, December 14

Girls F/S Soccer 

@Home–  5 p.m.


Thursday, December 14

Boys Varsity Basketball 

@Westminister Tournament–  TBA 


Thursday, December 14

Boys JV Basketball 

@Aliso Niguel Tournament–  TBA 


Thursday, December 14

Boys F/S Basketball 

@Laguna Hills Tournament–  TBA 


Thursday, December 14

Girls Varsity Basketball 

@Capistrano Valley–   7 p.m.


Friday, December 15

Boys F/S Soccer

@Lower Peter Park–   3:15 p.m.


Friday, December 15

Boys JV Soccer

@Beckman–   3:15 p.m.


Friday, December 15

Boys Varsity Soccer

@Beckman–   3:15 p.m.


Friday, December 15

Boys Varsity Basketball

@Westminister Tournament–  TBA



Friday, December 15

Boys  JV Basketball

@Aliso Niguel Tournament–  TBA


Friday, December 15

Boys F/S Basketball

@Laguna Hills Tournament–  TBA


Saturday, December 16

Girls Varsity Water Polo

@SMCHS–  11 a.m.


Saturday, December 16

Boys Varsity Basketball

@Westminister Tournament - TBA


Saturday, December 16

Boys  JV Basketball

@Aliso Niguel Tournament - TBA


Saturday, December 16

Boys  F/S Basketball

@Laguna Hills Tournament - TBA


Police Header

Jessica Byrne: From Paintbox to pastries to PedalBox, a new high-concept gym, it’s all about hospitality – which is in her DNA


Photos by Mary Hurlbut and Drew Fuerstman

Welcome to the season of calories, cocktails and holiday stress. It’s the month when even the strongest among us can lose her resolve. Fortunately, there’s an amazing new way to pay for December’s indulgences. And it’s delivered by a woman who has hospitality—and all the hallmarks of exceptional service—written into her DNA. 

PedalBox Gym, now open in Dana Point, is owned and operated by Jessica Fuerstman Byrne and her husband, Duncan Byrne. It’s the first gym in Orange County to combine the Schwinn Airdyne bike with boxing and other HIIT exercises to create a high intensity, low impact workout that will blast both stress and calories without taking a toll on the joints. It’s tailored to accommodate every age and workout level, and it will kick your bootie while leaving you begging for more (I say this from personal experience).

A history of hospitality

Hospitality has been handed down through the generations in the Fuerstman family. Jessica is the daughter of Alan Fuerstman, founder and CEO of Montage Hotel group. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Hospitality is in their DNA, whether at a hotel or boxing gym

Alan began in the hospitality business when he was in high school. His father was a dentist, a profession that requires the utmost care and client support. “My parents were strong role models,” says Alan. “I grew up watching how they dealt with people. They were very nurturing and gracious, and provided a great example of how to treat those who worked for them.” 

Alan has spent his life in the luxury hotel industry, starting as a doorman in the Marriott when he was a senior in high school. Through the years, he worked as the president and managing director of The Phoenician resort in Arizona, and was recruited by Steve Wynn to open the Bellagio. 

Montage Resort first opened in Laguna in 2002. The concept was to create a gracious and humble approach to luxury. “Many of these hotels are too pretentious and stuffy,” says Alan. “I wanted our clients to feel as comfortable wearing jeans as wearing suits.”

Alan passed along that humble mentality to his own children, instilling a sense of casual elegance and grace, coupled with the ability to be highly attuned to people’s needs. The result is a daughter who’s driven to succeed, and completely comfortable in her own skin. 

Jessica works hard. She isn’t afraid to take risks. And she’s well-positioned to bring her father’s style and level of service into her gym. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Jessica works hard and isn’t afraid to take risks

“No one wants to feel out of place or look stupid,” says Jessica. “If you can get someone to shrug that off, it’s amazing.”

“That’s similar to fine dining,” adds Alan. “Everyone wants to feel like they belong.” Worrying about which fork to use isn’t conducive to a good experience. Removing that intimidation factor is something father and daughter do best.

From Paintbox to Pedalbox—growing up Montage

Jessica started working at Montage Resort when she was only 17. She began as a counselor at Paintbox, the children’s program offered by the resort. She also worked at the pool as a hostess before heading to college at the University of Arizona. 

Ultimately, Jessica found her passion in pastries. She studied at both the Loft and the Studio restaurants at the Montage before getting her culinary degree at Le Cordon Bleu in London. “I wanted to learn the science behind the pastries,” she says. That desire to achieve mastery over every detail and chemical combination in cooking carries through to her approach at the gym. She’s a perfectionist about form and technique.

A match made in . . . the gym

Jessica met Duncan in London. In a gym, of course. “I’d always been active,” she says. “Fitness had been an important part of my life.” So, during the course of her culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu, Jessica joined a gym.

Husband Duncan has worked as a strength and conditioning coach for over a decade. He has extensive experience in boxing, CrossFit, weightlifting, personal training, and strength and conditioning training. 

Once they decided to get married, Jessica turned her full attention toward getting in shape for the wedding. Duncan wooed her away from desserts and now she dedicates her days to PedalBox.

The PedalBox difference

It’s difficult for gyms to distinguish themselves. Especially in southern Orange County, where it seems there are as many trainers as there are clients. So when I first heard the concept, I was skeptical. What could be so different?

The unique (and grueling) combination of the bike and boxing is the first thing to note. The Schwinn Airdyne bike, different from spin bikes and other cycling training, is designed to increase its resistance in direct proportion to how hard you’re working. The harder you work, the harder it gets. It also incorporates your arms, giving you a fuller body workout. The best part? The bike generates a powerful fan that cools you off as you go. After 40 seconds going all out, you’ll appreciate the breeze. And you’ll get an intense cardio workout in record-fast time. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Drew Fuerstman

The combination of bikes and boxing sets PedalBox apart

From the bike, you’ll begin to box. Boxing had me worried. I’d never boxed, and coordination isn’t my strong suit. This is where Jessica and Duncan bring their unique skillset to the PedalBox experience with flawless technique, endless patience, and serious motivation. Even after a few minutes spent with them, I began picking up the basic techniques. (At least they said I did, so let’s go with that.)

Coming off the CrossFit craze, Jessica and Duncan found they loved the high intensity workouts, but didn’t love how hard it was on the body. It’s easy to get hurt. CrossFit workouts are hard on the joints, and the risk of injury from combining strength with speed is high. So Jessica and Duncan found a new way to maintain that intensity while removing the risks.

The proof is in the pedaling … and boxing

Even for the most seasoned gym rat, a new workout is intimidating. Boxing, to me, sounded synonymous with feeling foolish. “Think of it like dancing,” Duncan told me. That definitely didn’t help this uncoordinated client. But one thing Duncan and Jessica have down is quality instruction, service and training. They’re motivating. They’re encouraging. And at no point did I feel self-conscious. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Father and daughter hold impromptu business meeting following the photoshoot

Jessica and Duncan meet you where you are. Every workout is scaled for every skill-level and ability. Class sizes are small to maximize personal attention and ensure proper form.

More important, the workout is intense. And fun! The mental energy required in boxing takes your mind off how hard you’re working. Time passes exponentially faster when all your concentration is on a series of steps, instead of the clock. The music is motivating—always something with a strong beat because boxing is a rhythmic sport.

“Boxing is empowering,” says Jessica. “It’s something I don’t get from weightlifting or cardio. It makes me feel like a badass.”

Indeed, it does.

A gift to yourself this season

We’re entering into the season of resolutions. After all the indulgences, it’s time to do something good for yourself. Jessica and Duncan make that as easy in the gym as Alan makes it in his resorts. The key is creating an experience that makes clients want to come back by being attuned to every customer’s needs. Jessica has been cultivating that skill for a lifetime. It makes PedalBox an inspiring place to discover how much you have in you. You’ll be surprised . . . it’s more than you think.

PedalBox is located at 24470 Del Prado Ave, Dana Point, CA 92629, inside Rado’s Fitness. In addition to 60-minute circuit training classes, they offer personal training sessions and a lunchtime bootcamp. Visit their website,, for more information.

Women and $s: Save the date


Too many women still have no notion about managing their personal finances, according to many experts.

“We spend more time planning our vacations than planning our finances,” said Barbara Crane, vice-president of Crane Investments and a financial advisor for 25 years.

Crane will be a member of a panel that will present basic financial information every woman needs to know at a special meeting presented Jan 16 by the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club. The program will cover mistakes to avoid and resources to ensure a financially secure future.  

Club membership is not required to attend the program. 

The panel will also include attorney Nicole Anderson, founder of Anderson Law Group in Laguna Beach. She specializes in advanced estate and business planning and asset protection.

In addition to professional expertise, both women are active in community affairs.  Crane is the immediate past president of the Woman’s Club and a member of SchoolPower. Anderson has been associated with the Laguna College of Art & Design, the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, SchoolPower and Next Gen.

A third panel member will be announced at a later date.

Scott’s silhouettes in silver and gold

Photos by Scott Brashier

Click on photos for larger images

Last weekend: Silver and gold along Laguna’s coastline

Dennis’ Tidbits


December 12, 2017

Resilient high pressure offshore ridge is the reason we’ll likely have a dry December after record Santa Ana wind event

On this date in 1979 the mercury soared to 85 here in town, tying with Dec 3, 1958 for the warmest December days on record. Downtown LA set a new record warm day on December 12, 1979 with a high of 91, eclipsing the old record of 88 set on Dec 3, 1958 and became the only time the high temp has surpassed 90 in December and that means every month of the year has seen at least 90 in L.A. 

I can’t remember, at least in my time here on planet Earth, a Santana wind event lasting this long, eight days and counting. This huge ridge of high pressure has been the most resilient ridge I’ve ever seen, both over the Great Basin and offshore. The Pacific Northwest has now had nine consecutive days of daylong bright sunshine and that’s almost unheard of as the entire month of December up there averages only four or five days of sunshine for the entire month. 

There is some relief in sight, at least for the firefighters as a shift in the wind to onshore with accompanying higher humidities will be a welcome change, however rain is still out of the equation for the entire state for at least the next seven to ten days and looking even further out, the next two weeks, which would bring us to Christmas.

Looking further back in Laguna history there were also two rainless Decembers back in 1958 and again in 1960 on top of the 1989 and 1990 bone dry Decembers. 

Along with the lack of rain is the lack of any significant swell from the west and northwest thanks to that huge persistent high pressure offshore which extends well over a thousand miles out to sea. The swell producing storms are way out in the North Pacific but once they come in contact with that huge high they track to the northeast into the Gulf of Alaska actually giving coastal areas of Alaska a southwest swell leaving the entire Pacific West Coast flat even way up in Oregon and Washington where normally it’s always ten foot or bigger this time of year. 

Down here unless we get an occasional pulse from the southern hemisphere, we’re left with nothing but knee high or smaller dribblers. Don’t expect anything anytime soon, not until that offshore ridge breaks down.  

We’ll get together on Friday, so until then, ALOHA!

Zen and Keanu’s book “Skimstories: Riding Waves” is now available following a book launch party at Ripcurl

Story and photo by Mary Hurlbut

Zen and Keanu Mir-Scaer, ten year old brothers with a passion for the ocean and riding waves – plus, clearly, a literary and artistic bent – had a party at Ripcurl during last Thursday’s Art Walk to celebrate the launch of their book, Skimstories: Riding the Waves.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

World famous Skim Board Champion Austin Keen showed up to support Zen and Keanu at the Ripcurl book launch party

Laguna Beach boys Zen and Keanu self-illustrated their book with beautiful watercolors. Oh, and fun fact – all of the skim boarders mentioned in the book are local Laguna riders.

On Thursday, the accomplished skimboarders happily signed and sold their book on skim boarding to friends and fans. 

And today, Tues Dec 12, the brothers, who say they have been influenced by Laguna’s art culture and take much joy in painting (as well as writing), will be giving a reading at Laguna Beach Library from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

They’ll sign books and answer questions about their process as well, of course, as the art of skimboarding.

Copies are available on Amazon or contact them via

Library launches “Banned Book” Book Club 


Growing up in South Africa  during the apartheid era, we were all very aware of government censorship of movies and books, and the refusal of the regime, until 1973, to permit television of any kind for fear the broadcasts might stimulate revolution.

One of the Censorship Board’s most egregious and much-mocked actions was the banning of the children’s book Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, apparently because the regime did not like to see the words “black” and “beauty” in the same sentence – and because no one bothered to open the book to see that it was a story about a horse.

I’ve heard that the story of the ban’s origin might be an urban legend. Another version claims that copies of Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book were being smuggled in with Black Beauty book covers, and so the censors, rather than check which books were which, decided to embargo the whole lot.

Either way, the Black Beauty story is emblematic of the absurdity and the discriminatory racial, political and/or religious bias that usually goes along with book bans.

And then there is the fear that one’s stated (and sometimes one’s State’s) beliefs might be undermined by a book that challenges them: for example, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species was banned in Tennessee right up until 1967. 

Descriptions of sexual acts, of course, have long been cited as reasons for bans, and not only in the States: to wit, James Joyce’s Ulysses and Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer. (DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover was banned in South Africa, perhaps in part because a gardener – who would almost always be black in SA – dared to consort with an upper class woman).

And sexuality may be one reason why Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has been challenged by quite a few school districts (though, to be fair, assigned as part of the curriculum by others). 

The novel, which is partly autobiographical, tells of the coming-of-age of a Native American in an all-white school, at which he says he is “the only Indian other than the school mascot.”

 (I recently read Alexie’s memoir, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me, dealing with the same material, and I doubt if too many high-schoolers would be shocked by any of the passages in The Absolutely True Diary, if they are similar in nature.)

At any rate, happily, on Jan 6, the Laguna Beach Library will discuss Alexie’s book to launch their “Banned Book” Book Club. The event will take place from 10 - 11 a.m. in the Library Program Room. 

The Library says that this “rebel reading group” will meet once a month to discuss a book that has been challenged and/or banned.  Both the book and the controversy will be discussed. Meetings will be facilitated by staff member Heather Bradley. 

The tale of the banning of Black Beauty is one of the most well known of its kind – at least for South Africans and former South Africans – as an example of censorship gone wild, not to mention prejudice exemplified.

A more modern example of this insanity (in my view) is the fact that the children’s book And Tango Makes Three has apparently been one of the most challenged books of the twenty-first century in the United States, appearing on the American Library Association’s 10 Most Challenged Books every year from 2006 - 2010.

That’s because the main characters are based on two actual, living male chinstrap penguins in the Central Park Zoo, who cohabited, showing (heaven forbid!) obvious signs of mutual love and affection, made a nest together, and took turns sitting on a donated egg until it hatched into a baby penguin named Tango, which they reared together for a while.

Gay penguins in the US – say it ain’t so, say the naysayers…I wonder, what do they worry will happen if kids read this book – that their kids will want to be penguins?

Banning books – it’s absurd, in my humble opinion. Better to discuss than dismiss ideas – that should surely be what education is all about. 

To register and pick up a copy of the book at the library’s information desk, visit

All about books at LBB: Publishers’ reps recommend holiday picks for bibliophiles and bibliomaniacs 


For a booklover, what could be better than hearing six reps from prestigious publishing companies talk about their favorite new books? Not much. This event was perfectly timed to celebrate the eleventh year of Laguna Beach Books (as of fall) and the holiday season, when many rack their brains attempting to find that special gift. (And yes, the word “bibliomaniacs” does exist. I know several people who have an excessive fondness for acquiring and possessing books.)

Unfortunately, these reps only aided a bibliomaniac’s obsession. Last Thursday, at LBB, Amy Comito (Penguin Random House), Kelly Stidham (Simon Schuster), Nicole White (Penguin Young Adult Reader), Joe Murphy (W.W. Norton), Steve Atinsky (Penguin Random House), and Wade Lucas (Peguin Random House), made the holiday gifting task a whole lot easier.

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Madeleine Peterson of AAUW

As a fitting opening, Madeleine Peterson of American Association of University Women started the evening. She decided to hold their December meeting at LBB.

In the ten-minute time slot reps were allotted, each chose favorites in different categories to fit all shopping (and book club) needs. Here is compilation of picks: 

Gift books: Remarkable Books, an illustrated guide to 75 of the world’s most celebrated books, Painting California by Jean Stern and Molly Siple, 

Fiction: My Absolute Darling, a novel by Gabriel Tallent, The Heart’s Invisible Furies: A Novel, by John Boyne, In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende, The Vineyard: A Novel by Marla Duenas, The Burning Girl by Claire Messud, Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, Kurt Vonnegut Complete Stories by Kurt Vonnegut.

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

(l-r) Steve Atinsky, Amy Comito, Jane Hanauer (LBB owner), Joe Murphy, Nicole White, Wade Lucas, and Kelly Stidham

Non-Fiction: Devotions by Mary Oliver, collection, Uncommon Type by Tom Hanks, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt, Endurance by Scott Kelly, The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks, L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home by David Lebovitz, State Bird Provisions: A Cookbook from the restaurant, American Wolf: The True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West by Nate Blakeslee, Spineless by Juli Berwald, The Future is History by Masha Gessen, Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb Perelman, Cuz by Danielle Allen, Black Dahlia, Red Rose by Piu Eatwell, The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles, Women and Power by Mary Beard. 

Favorites for younger readers: Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers, The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken, See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng, All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green, #1 on best seller list, Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley, Sneakers by Rodrigo Corral, Alex French and Howie Kahn.

For book clubs: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

Spy stories: A Legacy of Spies by John Le Carre.

This wide selection of rep picks should satisfy anyone’s holiday wish list and more.

Evidently, as noted in the Huffington Post, there’s a Japanese word for book hoarders: tsundoku, which means stockpiling of books, possibly more books than anyone could read in a lifetime. But that doesn’t sound so bad to me.  One can try.

Laguna Beach Books is located at: 1200 S Coast Hwy. 

For more information, go to:

Outdoor screening of MacGillivray Freeman films at Park Plaza on four Saturdays in Dec

For the next four Saturdays in Dec, movie goers can enjoy MacGillivray Freeman films in the outdoor space of Park Plaza in downtown Laguna Beach. As most already know, lower Park Avenue in downtown, behind the Library, has been converted into “Park Plaza” – a pedestrian space for the community to gather, eat, and be entertained. 

Attendees should bring low-back beach chairs, blankets, and be prepared to sit back and take in MacGillivray Freeman’s exciting movies.

The Living Sea will screen on Dec 16 at Park Plaza

The MacGillivray Freeman Team is excited to present the following film schedule (all movies will show from 6 – 8 p.m.): Dec 9: Everest and 5 Summer Stories, Dec 16: The Living Sea and Coral Reef Adventure, Dec 23: 6 Summer Stories, Dolphins, and Grand Canyon Adventures, Dec 30: Humpback Whales, To the Arctic, and National Parks Adventures.

Look for their upcoming release: American’s Musical Journey in Feb 2018.

For more information, go to: 

In addition, every Saturday during the month of December, Park Plaza will host Readings by Third Street Writers and Laguna Poets at 10 a.m.; Kidz Korner, Children’s Entertainment at noon; Laguna Singers and Songwriters, curated by Jason Feddy, at 2 p.m.; the MacGillivray Films at 6 p.m.; and Dance Night: Salsa, swing, tango and two-step at 8 p.m.

Park Plaza is a collaboration of Transition Laguna, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Beautification Council. The trial will run through December.

Suzie’s ARTiculation

‘Annie’ finds the perfect home at No Square Theatre

Story and photos by SUZIE HARRISON

Seeing a dress rehearsal of No Square Theatre’s production of “Annie” the other night, I was impressed by the level of talent across the board. With Joe Lauderdale at the helm, music direction by Roxanna Ward, choreography by Ellen Prince, and of course the phenomenal cast, I was captivated. 

“The production is another testimonial to Joe’s magnificent three-dimensional creativity. To put that show together in that little space is extraordinary. And he does it again, and again, and again. It’s amazing,” said No Square Founder and Artistic Director Bree Burgess Rosen. “I think it’s possibly the most challenging cast we’re ever had. You heard them, they’re amazing. A lot of them are locals and I’m just so impressed by it.”

Celebrating No Square’s 40th Anniversary, Burgess Rosen said it’s the first time the theatre has brought the seven time Tony award winning “Annie” to Laguna. She said it takes a long time to get the rights and is expensive to produce an original Broadway show.

Memorable songs “more beautiful in context”

 “It has these great memorable songs that most people have heard a lot, but then you hear them in the context of the show, and they’re just so beautiful,” she said.

“I think the most important thing for people to know is that Joe has created this outside of the box, and we don’t have sets, so to speak,” said Burgess Rosen. “The only set pieces that we have is those moving trunks that become everything, a couple of coat racks, and then we have this huge tree, a beautiful real Christmas tree that’s 20-feet tall. And then that’s it, there’s no other set, except a rolling chair and a desk. And you just get it.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Don’t miss the many exciting dance numbers in Annie

It’s definitely a case of less is more.

Lauderdale, who has directed close to 90 productions, had the challenge of finding a way to do such a big production in such a small place. 

“So I thought, okay, I will take a look at the script and see if there is some way to do this in an 80-seat theater with a minimal amount of space. And really what I called upon are techniques that have been used for many, many, many, years of just taking simple items and costume pieces and pulling them out and taking on a character. That’s where it all started,” Lauderdale said. “And then I had this image of the orphan girls sleeping in trunks. I don’t know where that image came from; it just popped in my head, and I went from there.”

He knew he had to have a small cast to fit in that space and yet it’s the biggest cast for No Square with 16 actors plus a dog, Wrangler. And six of the actors play multiple roles and are in almost every musical number except the solos.

 “I took a chance with a few things, our Annie is not a particularly strong redhead and our daddy Warbucks is not bald,” Lauderdale said. “I think that now we are so far removed from the comic strip that it’s the characters and character relationships that are really important in the story telling. 

Scaling down allows for a greater focus on relationships

“When you scale the show down like this you can really focus on those relationships. It’s really quite lovely to watch. I hope people that know Annie will see it in a different way.”

Laguna local and part of the Stu News crew among other exciting talents, Laura Buckle is one of the cast members, who has multiple roles. She is starring in the production with her daughter, Lula (11).

Buckle started acting when she was five years old back in England. Involved in musical theater, she studied at a performing arts college and toured with a traveling theater. She has been in well over 20 productions and said it’s harder to do a musical because you’ve got to be a triple threat - acting, singing, and dancing. Watching her at rehearsal, Buckle is super talented and indeed defines a triple threat. 

“But I have not been on the stage in 17 years. This is my first show and I am loving it. I think I decided to do it because Lula has been involved with No Square Theatre from the get go since we moved here [in 2014]. It’s been a real outlet for her because she is very creative,” said Buckle, who became a No Square board member last year. 

Buckle is quite busy in the production playing several roles Lily St. Regis, Annette, Hull, Connie Boylan, and in the ensemble as an apple seller.

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You know it’s trouble when Miss Hannigan, Rooster, and Lily are together

 “Yah, there’s a few costume changes. I don’t find it difficult to be the character. It’s just difficult getting in to the costumes,” Buckle said. “The backstage area at No Square is tiny, so you had to become very friendly with your costars. There’s no room for being shy, let’s put it that way.”

She said that she’s thrilled and excited to be a part of the production. 

 “I prefer small intimate theaters. I prefer acting in a small intimate theater and I prefer watching a show in a small intimate theater,” Buckle said. “There’s such a skill in performing to people when you have an audience all around you, very close to you. It’s a totally different way of acting. I think it’s much more intimate. I think it’s much more exciting to watch. You really get to know the characters.”  

Like her accomplished mother, Lula Buckle is no stranger to theater and is quite brilliant herself. She started acting when she was six or seven and has done myriad productions, mostly with No Square.

Two Buckles shine bright in the Annie production

“When I first heard about the show ‘Annie’ at first I kind of wanted the Annie part. But I realize, I am probably too tall and not the right fit for that part. So then my second choice was Pepper actually,” said Lula. “My character is the mean orphan. I still don’t like Miss Hannigan, but I am mean and shove people to the ground. I am not nice to anyone, I get in fights with people.”

 “I have always wanted to be an actress. I started out singing because there’s not much acting opportunity back in England. And then, I started kind of getting into the acting thing,” said Lula. “To be in a musical is a little harder because it’s live and on stage and if you mess up there’s not much you can do. It’s kind of hard in that way. But it’s easy in that you can express yourself with your character and you only get to do it once.” 

Like Laura, Lula is a big No Square fan.

“They make it seem so big,” Lula Buckle says of small No Square

“No Square is probably one of the best theater companies. It’s so fun and people are so involved in it. And they may not have the biggest theater or the biggest sets. So what they do is that they make it so it seems big,” said Lula. 

So what’s it like to be in a production with her mom?

“This is the only production I have been in with my mom so far. I told her that we would do ‘Annie’ together when they announced it a couple of months ago. She said, ‘well, we’ll see,’” said Lula. “I got her to audition and now she’s Lily so… It’s fun. It’s really fun to get to see her act because she’s like really good.”

At No Square, ever single cast becomes like a family, Lula said. “It’s super sad when shows are over for the cast and for the people who couldn’t get tickets.”

But she knows the sun will come out tomorrow.  

Tickets for the upcoming shows of “Annie” are selling fast. Hurry! Performances are Dec 8 & Dec 9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec 10 at 2 p.m., Dec 15 &16 at & 7:30 p.m., and two added matinees on Dec 9 and 17 at 2 p.m. due to high demand. Tickets are $12.50 for children ages 5 and older, adults $25, and $35 for VIP seating. Enjoy an al fresco $10 dinner available 45 minutes before curtain call. No Square is located in Legion Hall, 384 Legion St. For tickets and information, visit

Until next time…so much No Square talent, so little time!

The BC Space Theatre will feature The Black Tongued Bells with Caitlin Jemma this Sat Dec 16

On Sat, Dec 16, The Black Tongued Bells, featuring Caitlin Jemma, will be performing their “Tales From the American Swamp”. They will showcase a steamy gumbo of gothic-gospel juju, hopped up rock & roll, and dirt-pounding juke joint blues. 

The performance will take place at the BC Space Theater located at 235 Forest Avenue. There will be two shows, the early show is from 6 -8 p.m., and the late show is from 9 – 11 p.m. 

Scenes from the Swamp

In downtown Laguna Beach, a Frisbee’s throw from the ocean, there’s an innocuous steel door with a discreet sign that says “BC Space.” Open that door, climb a steep, narrow stairway to a large, bright entryway lined with artwork. Continue into a large open area, the combined studio -entertainment/performance area.

Enter this “secret space” then find a perch so you can enjoy the swamp’s opera.

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

CAP Gallery hosts Image Makers talk with exhibiting artists Walls, Tauber and Poeschl

By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi

At the recent Artists Talk on Image Makers in The CAP Gallery, Tom Lamb served as moderator. Tom, well known for his aerial, landscape, ethnographical and interpretive photographs, was an excellent choice. Using the term “image makers” to describe the three artists, and how they view and treat the landscape to tell their stories, Tom gave a brief introduction for each of the artists.

Three different “image makers”: three different aspects.

Cheyne Walls searches for locations and subjects to explore and share. Looking for the perfect time, be it season of the year or hour of the day, when Nature is at her best.

Mike Tauber looks for painterly landscapes to interpret the values, hues, colors, the shadow and light play, texture and feeling of the scene onto ceramic tile works.

Troy Poeschl works in two different mediums; photography and sculpture. Shapes, structure, texture, light, shadow and material all play parts in his work.

How did growing up in California affect your lives?

Cheyne Walls grew up in Dana Point. Time spent outdoors at beaches, deserts and mountains made him aware of being able to see the most incredible sights everywhere he went, areas of Nature still untouched and wild just a short travel time from where he lived. Knowing these areas exist motivates Cheyne to go and find more to explore.

Mike Tauber came from Illinois to attend college. For Mike, the California climate is much more conducive to spending time outdoors exploring on a year-round basis. Catalina, the desert and more are so close and accessible at any time. Always on the lookout for landscape sights that are close to a completed composition with little editing, Mike explores wherever he goes.

Troy Poeschl grew up in Orange. His family enjoyed camping, and when not camping Troy was always outdoors. Yosemite is a frequent place he has explored and is still exploring. It is Nature and how it is constantly changing that stimulates his creativity.

Are there any artists who influence you and your work?

For Tauber there is no particular artist. Pulling from the Classic and Traditional schools, he looks to the California Plein Air movement for his palette of colors. Vintage advertising art, postcards and packing crate labels promoting an optimistic and vibrant life from the glow of the colors. Travel ads promoting health and beauty with a “Come to California” attitude. These are elements that enliven Tauber’s imagination and his urge to create.

Ansel Adams is an artist that inspires Walls. Adams’ black and white works caused Walls to look at his subject and see that sometimes more can be shown in a black and white image than a color one, by accentuating shape, form, texture and light.

The new advancements in technology is another aspect that pushes Walls’ creativity. Being able to manipulate an image in the lens, capturing what he sees at the moment he shoots, enriches his images letting him share what he visually experiences at that time and place.

Nature is what inspires Poeschl’s art, not a particular artist. Color, texture, shape, shadow, movement, change, exploration of an area, or a material, and the challenge of how to bring it into a completed work of art is a driving force for Poeschl and his work.

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Submitted photo

CAP Gallery talk: (L-R) Tom Lamb, Cheyne Walls, Mike Tauber, Troy Poeschl

What methods do you employ in creating your art?

The view can determine the shape of the finished image. After finding his subject area, Walls visits several times to find the best time and light for his composition. He also decides whether to shoot black and white or color. The ability to capture sharper images, bring elements to more prominence or push them back, similar to how the eye sees them, are all parts of his creative process.

Using a panorama technique to get his view, he can swap out lenses to get exactly what he wants to be the focus of his shot. Long exposures, lens filters, camera settings, detailed editing and in-depth printing, are parts of producing the natural beauty that exists at the time that Walls is shooting.

A majority of Tauber’s work is site specific and commissioned. This means that he is working with someone, in the design process, to create the finished piece. The challenge of using outside information and creating the finished piece is something Tauber enjoys.

Starting with blank terra cotta tiles from Italy, Tauber draws his design in pencil. Next he goes over the drawn lines with a brown colored wax, creating wells for the glazes to fill. Painting the glazes into the areas, he may apply a thick layer to give it texture and allow different colors to meld together to create interest. He may mix glazes to enrich and give the finished tile the look of a plein air brushwork painting. 

Baked in a kiln one to two times, the finished piece is ready for installation. Large works are done with multiple tiles in a grid pattern, giving the feeling of looking out a window to see the view.

Poeschl literally bends over backwards for his art

Poeschl starts out with sketching shapes for his sculpture works: How best to present the material to show its uniqueness and beauty. What other possible materials can be used to not just enhance the main material, but to also expand the overall design and feeling of the finished work. 

In Poeschl’s photography work, finding a unique and introspective location is the starting point. Pure colour is important along with the texture, light and shadow and shapes. There is also the intangible side of his photographs, the mood and atmosphere of the place he is at when photographing. All are part and parcel of communicating with the viewer.

Currently working with panorama perspective, Poeschl produces vertical as well as the usual horizontal scenes. Starting at the bottom and moving the eyes up the photograph, the viewer is given the feeling of being in the location front and back, in his vertical works. To accomplish this, Poeschl truly does bend over backwards.

Where do you go from here?

“I can’t see being anything else but a photographer,” Walls responded to this question. Having been involved with photography since college when he was sidelined by an injury in sports, it has been the focus of his world.

The freedom to go out and observe and experience Nature, then to share those perfect moments in time with others is one of the things that keeps Walls shooting. Another is to excite others to go and see it for themselves, not just appreciate the artistic merit of the work.

Tauber will continue in Art with his tile work but is looking towards expanding into larger projects that may take a year or two to complete. He would like working in a bigger scale than his current works, with an eye to mural work and large public works.

“Art is in my blood,” Tauber quipped.

Poeschl is pushing to combine works into more 3-D scaled projects. Being a sculptor along with a photographer, to combine the two mediums seems to be a logical move in his mind’s eye.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of Art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibition in The CAP Gallery, Banking on Art in the Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Avenue. 

The CAP Gallery is a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions. Visit for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be on our e-mail list or to become a member and supporter of CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Admission is free to this exhibit, which runs until Jan 30.

International Fine Art Exhibition brings high quality realism and impressionism to Orange County

“Realism without Borders,” an exciting fine art exhibition, blurs boundaries combining Realism and Impressionism, both historical and contemporary, in a bold bi-coastal traveling exhibition that is the talk of the art world. 

The exhibit will run from Dec 15 - Jan 15, with Opening Day taking place on Dec 15 from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. at Vanessa Rothe Fine Art, located at 418 Ocean Ave.

What started out as a group of artists and art historians who shared a strong common vision for art, has now become a successful International traveling exhibition of museum quality fine art works - Realism Without Borders – the gallery notes.

Exhibiting, side by side, Soviet and historical works along with contemporary works by Russian, Ukrainian, American, French, Swedish, Italian, Chinese and English artists, Realism Without Borders aims to connect two centuries and two continents via the commitment to realist painting traditions. 

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Submitted Photo

Pensive in Blue by Vadim Suvorov 

From Lomakin to Gladchenko, Suvorov to Kovalenko, Westerberg to Lipking, Rothe to Krimon, this exhibition will unite historical works with contemporary International artists who have studied the same rooted fine art techniques and are working in similar styles today. 

This unique exhibition will allow collectors a rare chance to view and compare works from America, Europe and Russia, and to purchase items for their own fine art collection. Works will range from small affordable gems that make excellent gifts, to large scale museum-quality works of fine art. 

Curated by Vanessa Françoise Rothe, Realism Without Borders brings high quality fine art work to Orange County.  RWB is flourishing with many successful national exhibitions and over 30 Invited core contemporary artist members. 

This diverse and talented group of painters from around the globe have had impressive traditional training from such schools as the renowned St. Petersberg Academy of Arts, ( Repin Institute), Penza Art Institute, The Kharkov Art Institute, The Florence Academy of Art, Laguna College of Art and Design, University of Laval, The Academy of Art in San Francisco just to name a few. The artists have shown in top exhibitions worldwide from St. Petersberg, to Paris, to Los Angeles, and have impressive exhibition resumés as well as strong bodies of work. 

The collection ranges from classical academy works to painterly Impressionist pieces where many works boasts a combination of the two in the same canvas.  

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Submitted Photo

NYC by Jeremy Mann 

The international group of classically trained representational artists believes in the successful combination of objective traditional realism combined with expressive and personal subjects, and the work often boasts a broad range of tight to painterly styles and strokes. The new works being created follow the strong realist techniques of Russia’s Levitan landscapes, as well as others that mimic the loose and layered visual brushwork of California Impressionist Edgar Payne. 

Artists from all over the globe can now share their images of work thru social media and are influencing one another across borders. This exhibition celebrates those blurring of boundries of borders, in both the literal sense and the works. 

“We share an admiration of both ‘Realist’ and ‘Impressionist’ art, and many of our artists in fact combine these styles in order to make strong appealing works of art.” says Rothe. “The viewers will see similar works and styles being created from opposite ends of the globe, finding unity in the works, and likeness in the art that is being created.”

The collection of about 100 works at any given time, is always changing as works are being sold and new works created. 

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Submitted Photo

Lipstick by Aaron Westerberg 

Realism Without Borders also believes firmly that art is for the people. Their aim is to have a traveling exhibition in order to touch a wide and diverse audience and bring the work to the eyes of collectors and students alike. RWB realized that they did not want to reduce themselves to just one geographical area or gallery. 

Rothe notes “Since we wanted to reach a vast array of people, RWB is really a travelling exhibition that is able to exhibit at galleries, fine art clubs, art schools, and museums worldwide.” 

The current RWB collection will exhibit over 60 works by 30 top International artists featuring RWB newest French artist member Nicolas Martin. Participating artists include: Nick Alm, Grigory Ananiev, Mia Bergeron, John Burton, Michelle Dunaway, Michael Klein, Alexander Kremer, Olga Krimon, Sergey Kovalanko, Peggi Kroll-Roberts, Joshua La Rock, Jeremy Mann, Nicolas Martin, Dimitri Motov, C.W Mundy, Robert Pilsbury, Ray Roberts, Vanessa Rothe, Valery Schmatko, Vadim Suvorov, Aaron Westerberg, and Daniil Volkov. 

Historical Artists Include: Oleg Lomakin, Eric Borodin, Boris Gladchenko, Boris Gratchev, Edgar Payne, Yuri Podlaski, Erik Rebane and Vladimir Telegin. 

The exhibition will include a collection of rare small gems from the Thomas Marano collection available for resale with works by: Juliette Aristides, Casey Baugh, Daniel Graves, Jeremy Lipking, Jeremy Mann, Ted Minoff, Julio Reyes, Aaron Westerberg, and Vincent Xeus.

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Honoree Brunch celebrates 2018 Patriots Day Parade picks at Tivoli Terrace on Feb 4

At the Sunday, Feb 4, “Honoree Brunch,” the Laguna Beach Patriot Day Parade Committee will recognize their 2018 selections for a variety of honors. The event will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Tivoli Terrace, on the Festival of Arts grounds.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Participants in 2017 Patriots Day Parade

The Committee will honor as 2018 Grand Marshal Gloria Fickling; Honored Patriot George Ciampa, a World War II veteran; Citizen of the Year Heidi Miller; Junior Citizens Marisa Schatz and Joseph “Joey” Ravenna; Artists of the Year the Laguna Art Museum, in honor of their 100th anniversary, and Athletes of the Year the Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation 10u-12u-14u Girls Junior Olympics Gold Medal Champions.

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Submitted photo

At two-weeks post op, kidney donor Heidi Miller visits recipient Bruce Cook: both are doing well 

The 52nd Patriots Day Parade will march on Sat, March 3, starting at 11 a.m. at LBHS.

Reservations for “The Honoree Brunch” should be made by Jan 22. The cost to attend is $30 per person. 

For reservations or further information, phone Sandi Werthe (949)494-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Blessing of the Animals will take place at Bluebird Canyon Park 10:30 a.m. – 12 on Sat Dec 16

People of all faiths and their animal companions are welcome to participate in this family friendly, free event. The animal blessing will be lead by Buddhist Nun Ven. Gyalten Palmo at Bluebird Canyon Park. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bluebird Canyon Park, the venue for the Blessing of the Animals

Ven. Palmo will offer prayers for the protection, health, long life, and future path to liberation for our dear animal friends. For the safety and comfort of all, all pets must be on a leash.

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Dianne’s Creature Feature

Rudolph the Reindeer’s red nose: not just a pigment of our imagination


Who knew that reindeer truly have red noses? It’s not just a fairy tale. 

We all know why W.C. Fields had a red nose, but that’s another story. 

In 1899, Clement C. Moore’s poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” first introduced the world to Santa’s reindeer by featuring a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. 

But there was no mention of Rudolph, the most popular reindeer in present-day Christmas tradition.

The addition of Rudolph came much later, in 1939, when the Montgomery Ward Group of department stores in the US commissioned Advertising Executive Robert May to write a promotional story for the Christmas season, thus Rudolph, the Red-Nose Reindeer, was born. 

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Robert May wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1939

The booklet became an instant success with 2.5 million copies sold during the first year. The story, written as a poem, is about a young reindeer who was very different from the other reindeer in the herd to which he belonged, and who was teased by his peers because he had a shiny red nose.  

Apparently, bullying existed even in make-believe animal kingdoms.

But he prevailed, and Rudolph now has such a strong connection with Christmas, that we can hardly picture Santa and presents without thinking of Rudolph guiding the sleigh, his nose blazing the way.

And here comes the interesting part. 

The secret to Rudolph’s rose-colored schnozzle exists as a dense network of blood vessels in the noses of actual reindeer, scientists explained in a 2012 Live Science article. Reindeer live in harsh conditions during the winter. On the fells and mountains of mainland Norway, temperatures sometimes drop to 30-40 degrees Celsius below zero. 

To survive, reindeer, it seems, have 25 percent more capillaries carrying red, oxygen-rich blood in their nasal architecture than humans, said medical researchers in the Netherlands and the University of Rochester in New York. 

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Photo by Kia Krarup Hansen

Reddish color is from densely packed blood vessels near the nose’s surface

“In colder climates … the increase in blood flow in the nose will help keep the [nose’s] surface warm,” Dr. John Cullen of the University of Rochester said. “The dense network of blood vessels in reindeer noses is also essential for regulating the animal’s internal body temperature — like many mammals, reindeer don’t sweat.”

And reindeer noses do so much more: They are specially adapted to warm the air before it enters the lungs and to condense water in the air, which they then use to keep the mucous membranes moist. 

That’s some ingenious nasal engineering.

So often reality is stranger than fiction, or at least equal to it, and in this case, reindeer noses are as magic and brilliant as Rudolph’s nose, in more ways than one.

A nose is a nose is a nose. And a rosy one at that. 

Animals are such agreeable friends ― they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ― George Eliot

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Will you dress up your pet as Santa “Claws”? And how will they react?

Be warned: A stroll around the Internet in search of pets dressed in Santa outfits reveals that dogs don’t seem to mind; cats, on the other hand…yes, they mind…but let’s be clear, at least they aren’t ducks, or turkeys, where dressing for Christmas takes on a whole new meaning, and it’s not just the weather that’s frightful.

This dog is shocked that his owner would do such a thing

Cat not happy; dog resigned

Cat rather angry

Cat downright annoyed

Laguna Print Ad

Net-Works Christmas Eve breakfast for the homeless will include music and giveaways

Net-Works is inviting all residents to enjoy Christmas Eve breakfast and celebration with homeless friends who will perform carols and special music. The festivities will take place at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive, on Dec 24 at 9 a.m.

“Come to eat, come to serve,” says Net-Works’ founder, Don Sciortino.

Knapsacks filled with practical items will be handed out. 

Want to donate toward a knapsack (filled with practical items) for our homeless friends?

Sciortino is asking for community help to provide 80 knapsacks. Each knapsack costs $35 to fill.

Those who would like to donate are asked to call Don at 949-328-7230 or visit to donate via Pay Pal or send checks directly to Net-Works LB, 303 Broadway #107, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

Helping Hands from the Homeless is another project of Net-Works Laguna Beach.

To learn how you can get help from the homeless this holiday season, email Don at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Police Beat Primer

Compiled by Alli Rael

Police Beat derives from information in the log maintained at the front counter by the Laguna Beach Police Department and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). The press does not have access to written police reports.

Information in the police department log is deemed reliable and StuNewsLaguna is not responsible for mistakes made available as public record by
the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Parents with children in school may contact 949-497-1615 to request that their names be omitted from Police Beat. The decision of StuNewsLaguna is final.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Abbreviations sometimes used in Police Beat

647f – Public Intoxication; DUI – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; NFA – No fixed address; RP – Reporting/Responsible Party; UTL – Unable to locate

Police Beat 121217

DUI Arrests

Terry Wayne Pitts, 43, San Clemente - Sunday, December 10

Andrew Frank Roosen, 48, Nevada – Sunday Cell Caller

Manuel Arreola Garcia Jr., 26, Santa Ana - Sunday Plus two warrants

Sameena Ameri, 19 – Friday, December 8

David Robert Hunt, 60, Santa Ana - Friday With a Prior

John Buck Baker, 57, Dana Point - Thursday, December 7

Incident Reports

Sunday, December 10

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Ryan Christopher Williams, 34, Irvine. Additional charge for battery.

Rodrigo Alberto Torres Fernandez, 22, Mission Viejo

Saturday, December 9

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Christopher McCaffrey, 47, Irvine

Mountain Road & S. Coast Hwy | Obstructing an Officer

9:45 p.m. The subject was being uncooperative. Michael Wendt, 56, no fixed address, was arrested for obstructing an officer, and for violating parole, no bail.

Coast Hwy | 30800 | Defrauding an Innkeeper

6:26 p.m. A woman had attempted to pay her bill using multiple credit cards with different names on them. Romy Walthall, 54, Burbank, was arrested for defrauding an innkeeper.

Wendt Terrace | 800 Block | Restraining Order Violation

4:03 p.m. A man and a woman could be heard arguing. Tina Marquette, 53, Laguna Beach, was arrested for violating a restraining order, bail $15,000.

Forest Avenue | 200 Block | Petty Theft

12:39 p.m. Some time on November 27, the RP left a bracelet at the store by accident. Upon returning to the store, she realized that it was either lost or had been stolen.

Laguna Canyon Road | 2100 Block | Fraud

12:36 p.m. On December 9, the RP received a call from someone in North Carolina who informed them that someone had tried using a check linked to the RP’s information. The RP was unsure if there was any loss. 

San Remo Drive | 1900 Block | Petty Theft

10:11 a.m. A UPS package was taken from the RP’s home sometime between 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m. the same day.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Petty Theft

9:08 a.m. The RP left her shopping cart behind with personal items. The estimated loss was $100.

La Mirada Street & Summit Drive | Suspicious Vehicle

8:11 a.m. Someone inside a black four door sedan, possibly a Chrysler 300 or a Chevy, threw mail and papers out of the window while going down the hill at a high speed, and not stopping at stop signs.

Sunset Terrace | 100 Block | Petty Theft

6:48 a.m. A backpack was stolen from the RP’s unlocked Black Jeep Cherokee some time during the night prior. 

Friday, December 8

Camel Point Drive & Coast Hwy | Vandalism

9:12 p.m. Someone threw a rock on the RP’s vehicle, damaging the windshield.

Alta Laguna Boulevard | 3000 Block | Petty Theft

9:46 a.m. The RP thinks that two named suspects had stolen $300 cash from her sometime during the same day.

Laguna Canyon Road & El Toro Road | Traffic Collision

3:53 a.m., Two BMWs were involved in a traffic collision. One window was smashed.

Brooks Street & S. Coast Hwy | Traffic Collision

3:09 a.m. A motorcycle was down on the ground against the curb due to a possible hit and run. Traffic was not being blocked.

Jewel Avenue & 3rd Avenue | Wires Down

1:13 a.m. Telephone poles were reported being down. 

S. Coast Hwy | 700 Block | Drugs

1:05 a.m. Mark Leonard Adams Jr., 22, Wildomar, and Jaylin Tood Morency, 20, Capo Beach,  were arrested for possession of a controlled substance, as well as for possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Thursday, December 7

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Steven Tyler Evertsen, 24, Utah

N. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Petty Theft

12:42 p.m. Javier Blas, 30, Concord, was arrested for buying and/or selling stolen property.

Rounsevel Terrace | 2900 Block | Burglary, Vehicle

11:21 a.m. The RP’s vehicle was burglarized last night at around 7 p.m. The RP stated that the vehicle might have been left unlocked. The total loss was $50.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20200 Block | Burglary, Vehicle

8:43 a.m. A window of the RP’s white Honda Ridgeline was punched out. Three credit cards were taken. The total loss was $3,000.

Cypress Drive | 200 Block | Battery

7:03 a.m. The RP stated that a man had attacked him. No weapons were found at the scene, and medical attention was refused. The subject, a 17-year-old Laguna Beach resident, was arrested for battery. 

Wednesday, December 6

Summit Road | 31500 Block | Burglary, Vehicle

8:13 p.m. The RP noticed that someone had entered their unlocked vehicle ten days prior. Nothing of value was taken, but everything from the glovebox of the RP’s vehicle was left on the passenger seat.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

8:09 p.m. Sean Patrick Eskeli, 55, no fixed address, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

9th Avenue | 31900 Block | Petty Theft

5:05 p.m. Mail was taken from the RP’s mail box. Some of the mail was opened.

N. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Petty Theft

3:24 p.m. The RP stated that two possible subjects took her money bag. The total loss was $150.

Bluebird Canyon Drive | 700 Block | Fraud

10:37 a.m. Two suspicious checks were found in the RP’s elderly mother’s checking account. One check was for $280, and the other was for $240. Laguna Beach Police Detectives were said to be investigating the matter.

Library Events



Fri, Dec 8

Homework Help

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Homework is an important part of educational process. It improves your child’s thinking and memory, helps them develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life. That’s why Laguna Beach Library is hosting a Homework Club. Children from Kindergarten through 8th grades are welcome to attend and receive help with their homework for subjects Math and English. 


Sat, Dec 9

Family Activity 

9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Get creative! Let your imagination run wild!  Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts.  Adult supervision is recommended. 


Sat, Dec 9

Author Talk with Rajbir Singh 

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Come on down to the Laguna Beach Library for a spiritual talk with author Rajbir Singh, author of HIMesha. He began this book nearly 11 years ago. It includes personal reflections of his own transformation, journey, and spiritual experiences. 


Mon, Dec 11

Class/ Workshop

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Serious writers working on projects (short stories, novels, plays) meet to share feedback and support.  This is not a workshop for beginners. Please contact the library for additional information.


Mon, Dec 11

Adult Book Group

5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

This month, check our website to see which book the Laguna Beach Adult Book Group will be discussing. Copies will be available at the checkout desk.


Tue, Dec 12

Author Event 

5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m.

Growing-up in Laguna Beach, ten year old brothers, Keanu and Zen, have a passion for the ocean and riding waves.  The boys have also been influenced by Laguna’s art culture, finding much joy in painting.  Keanu and Zen have self-illustrated their book with watercolor paintings.  Please come meet these local author/illustrators for a reading of Skimstories: Riding Waves, book signing and Q&A.


Wed, Dec 13

Pre-School Storytime 

10:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.

Calling all pre-schoolers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.


Thu, Dec 14

Family Storytime

10:30 a.m.-  Noon

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, & preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & music, fingerplays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week has a different theme.  Get to know others and support your little one’s developmental skills. No preregistration required. 


Thu, Dec 14

Photo Scanning Open House

3 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Digitization is a great way to preserve your family photos for future generations. From 3:00-5:00 pm, you can bring in your photos and documents and we will show you how to scan them. We can burn them onto a CD, or you can bring a flash drive to save them. Also, you can bring historical photos of Orange County and include them in the OC Stories Project.


Thu, Dec 14

Read to a Dog

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Kids can read aloud to Salsa our therapy dog.  She’s so sweet and a very good listener. Bow-Wow! Please preregister at the Children’s Desk or call the library. Drop-ins.


Thu, Dec 14

School Age STEM Program

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Our STEM program promotes critical thinking, problem solving and creativity—for kids 8-years and up.  We’ll learn all kinds of cool ways to design things that go! We’ll play with the weather and work with math concepts too.  Each month we’ll have a fun and awesome hands-on experience! Preregistration required. Please call the library at 949-497-1733.


Fri, Dec 15

Homework Help

3:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.

Homework is an important part of educational process. It improves your child’s thinking and memory, helps them develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life. That’s why Laguna Beach Library is hosting a Homework Club. Children from Kindergarten through 8th grades are welcome to attend and receive help with their homework for subjects Math and English.


Laguna Beach Library

363 Glenneyre St.


  Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers



Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

End Game by David Baldacci

Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly



Promise Me, Dad by Joe Biden

Playing With Fire by Lawrence O’Donnell

What Unites Us by Dan Rather

Children’s Books

Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers

Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio

Love, Santa by Martha Brockenbrough

Staff Recommendation

David Sedaris Diaries edited by Jeffrey Jenkins

1200 S Coast Hwy


Meet the Skivvies at the Playhouse this December

Laguna Playhouse is presenting The Skivvies: Sleigh My Name on Dec 18 and 19.

The Skivvies are Tony Award-nominee Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd, Candide, Marry Me A Little) and Nick Cearley (Pageant, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All Shook Up), along with special guest, Laguna’s favorite Jason Feddy, who will perform stripped-down versions of eclectic covers, wacky holiday mash-ups (“I Melt with You/Frosty the Snowman,” “We Got the Beat/The Little Drummer Boy”), and eccentric originals. 

Not only is the music stripped-down cello, ukulele, glockenspiel, melodica, and a surprising array of other under-used instruments—but The Skivvies literally strip down to their underwear to perform. Grab your spiked eggnog, hurry down the chimney, and settle in for an evening of laughter and holiday cheer, the Playhouse suggests.

One free drink comes with all tickets, so that grab that eggnog and enjoy the show. Additional special guests will be announced soon. Visit for more information.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

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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.

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