Laguna Beach

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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 



February 2

Kevin Leon Smith

Tammy Lascola


February 3

Carter Mudge

David Peck

Patricia Truman

P.J. Amyouny Gerrard

Ruben Flores


February 4

Mahvash Mossaed

MaryAnn Buc


February 5

Phil Immel

Thelma Adams

Tracy Saunders Williams


February 6

Bill Landsiedel

“Johnny Dog”

Karin Klein

Lynda Fischbeck

Rebecca Faubion

Tricia Reis


February 7

Ben Warner

Keohen Smith

Linda Sabo

Penelope Saffer


February 8

Barbara Turner

Casey Simpson

Sarah Edwards

The Jewish Course of Why at Chabad

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI) will present The Jewish Course of Why, the institute’s new six-session winter 2016 course that will begin Wednesday, Feb. 10, 7 p.m., at Chabad Laguna Beach, 30804 Coast. Hwy.

“No religion is known for its rational basis and its welcoming of questions and intellectual debate quite like Judaism” explained Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s headquarters in Brooklyn.

“In preparing for the course, we turned to over 30,000 people who each submitted their biggest questions about Judaism. We then selected the most popular among them and addressed each one with resonant insights from the greatest minds in Jewish history.”

The Jewish Course of Why spans a diverse range of topics, from fun, light, and off-the-beaten-track questions, to more complex and controversial issues. Some of the course’s 50 questions include: Why are there so many Jews in Hollywood? Why do Jews eat gefilte fish and cholent and wish each other mazal tov and l’chaim? Why does the Bible sanction slavery and animal sacrifices? What is the cause of anti-Semitism? What does Judaism say about Christianity and about the role of women in Jewish life?

In addition to the above, the course offers insight into mysterious Jewish practices, strange biblical narratives, and enigmas of Jewish identity.

“We’re excited to be offering this fun and dynamic learning experience here in Laguna Beach,” said Rabbi Goorevitch, the local JLI instructor. 

Like all previous JLI programs, The Jewish Course of Why is designed to appeal to people at all levels of Jewish knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

Interested students may call 499-0770 or visit www.myJLI.com for registration and other course-related information.


Sound Spectrum


1. David Bowie, Blackstar

2. Grateful Dead, Best of Fare Thee Well

3. Ty Segall, Emotional Mugger

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4. Cage The Elephant, Tell Me I’m Pretty

5. David Bowie, Nothing Has Changed (2CD Best)

6. Elton John, Wonderful Crazy Night

7. Don Henley, Cass County

8. Eagles, Very Best Of (2CD)

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9. Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly

10. The Weeknd, Beauty Behind The Madness

11. Adele, 25

12. Gary Clark, Jr., Story of Sonny Boy Slim

13. Coldplay, Head Full of Dreams

14. Chris Cornell, Higher Truth

15. Beach House, Thank Your Lucky Stars

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16. Iration, Hotting Up

17. Fidlar, Fidlar Too 

18. Justin Bieber, Purpose 

19. Kurt Cobain, Montage of Heck

20. One Direction, Made in the A.M.


Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy494-5959

Where’s Maggi - Answers

Photo details… where?

Maggi likes decorative details around town. She found some old and new designs this week – and so did quite a few of our readers.

Thanks for checking in and keeping Maggi on her toes!     

Here are the answers to this week’s mystery spots:

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Bench and sculpture at Capri Laguna, S. Coast Hwy

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Decorative inlay at entrance to La Casa del Camino, 

S. Coast Hwy

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Dolphin bench at Thurston Middle School

Remember, the correct answers and photos are also on our Facebook page.

Laguna NextGen to host an upcoming event for locals

Happy 2016! It’s the year of the Monkey, and Laguna NextGen is hosting an upcoming locals’ event, “Monkey Business”, showcasing the city’s hottest retailers. Come mingle with Laguna’s next generation and get a locals’ only exclusive shopping experience, which offers discounts on items from The Shop, North, Tristan Abel Art, Connie Archibald Jewelry and Blessed Booch. 

The event will take place at Ritual Yoga, 1390 S. Coast Highway, so stop by anytime between 5-8 p.m. on Saturday Feb 6, and kick off the Chinese New Year in style!

Laguna NextGen represents the “next generation” of local residents and professionals with an emphasis on community involvement. They strive to engage the new generation in civic and philanthropic involvement through meetings, events, and socials, thereby obtaining a pulse on issues affecting local residents, businesses, government, and resources.

For more information on Laguna NextGen visit www.lagunanextgen.com, follow or tag them on Instagram (LagunaNextGen) or Facebook.

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Take a stroll down La Rue du Chocolat this Valentine’s Day

Story and photos by ELIZABETH NUTT

Laguna’s Peppertree Lane is a charming little pathway, straight out of a fairytale. It’s tucked away and dotted with whimsical shops and décor that transport you to another time and place—far away from the hustle and bustle of Coast Highway and Glenneyre Street, between which the alleyway is nestled. 

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Laguna’s Peppertree Lane, where La Rue du Chocolat can be found

You can access Peppertree Lane from both sides, but either way, be sure to notice an image of a trio of mouthwatering chocolate-dipped strawberries that rests enticingly on Peppertree Lane’s gates. 

Follow your instinct—and your nose—and venture past a few of Peppertree’s storefronts until you’re enveloped by the incomparable aroma of homemade chocolate inside La Rue du Chocolat. There, you’ll find a seemingly infinite assortment of beautiful truffles and candies—most of which are handmade and hand-decorated by the shop owner herself. 

And if you need another excuse to sample some of the quaint shop’s out-of-this-world delicacies, well, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. 

Creative chocolate with a unique history

According to Cosima Qazi, La Rue du Chocolat’s owner, there has always been a chocolate shop on Peppertree, dating back to when the lane was constructed in the 1930s. Cosima, who was raised in Laguna Beach, and started working at La Rue du Chocolat when she was in high school, took over as its owner seven years ago. 

When she took over, Cosima decided to take the chocolate shop in a new direction, and she hired Maggie Hernandez—who remains a steadfast employee—to help her. 

“People always come in and say ‘I used to come here when I was a little kid!’ and now they’re bringing their grandkids in with them, and that’s what has always made this shop so special,” says Maggie. 

Though it remains, at heart, Peppertree’s classic chocolate shop, its greatest change came when Cosima decided that she’d start making her own product; prior to her ownership, the shop’s management would, for the most part, order chocolates from specialty shops nationwide, and sell them in-house. 

Today, it’s safe to say that Cosima has mastered the art of making chocolate herself.

“Cosima is very hands-on and involved, and she’s always coming up with new creations and recipes. It’s really a creative outlet for us here,” says Maggie. 

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Cosima’s famous hand made and hand-painted meltaways

With the help of a chocolatier friend, Cosima honed her skills, and expanded the shop’s offerings to include nearly every sweet item under the sun. She whips up everything from chocolate-dipped pretzels and oversized chocolate kisses, to peanut butter cups and her very own take on a heavenly s’more. 

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Homemade peanut butter cups and s’mores

Today, La Rue Du Chocolat makes over three-quarters of its products, including its bestselling turtles—available in milk, white and dark chocolate. 

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La Rue du Chocolat’s homemade chocolate turtles

The shop does continue to sell some of its old, faithful brands, like Moonstruck Chocolates, which is based out of Portland, Oregon and which boasts unique flavored truffles such as matcha green tea and chai caramel brownie. But the shop’s own chocolates and creations steal the show. 

Something for every Valentine

If you—or your loved ones—aren’t keen on truffles or rich chocolate treats, worry not. La Rue du Chocolat sells an impressive collection of dried fruits, such as cherries, apricots and figs, which are hand-dipped in a light layer of dark chocolate. And, of course, the shop is well known for its fresh chocolate-covered strawberries. 

The store has plenty of creative, seasonal options—like ornaments, cards, trinkets and gifts—especially around its busiest holiday of the year: Valentine’s Day. I was particularly in awe of Cosima’s chocolate frog creation, pictured below, which is crafted from white chocolate with mint flavoring. 


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One of Cosima’s creations: a handmade white chocolate frog

Right now the shop is teeming with Valentine’s Day goodies, from chocolate liqueurs and sauces, to heart-shaped boxes made out of chocolate and stuffed, you guessed it, with more chocolate. 

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Valentine’s Day Display at La Rue du Chocolat

But La Rue du Chocolat’s doors are always open, and it’s not just around Valentine’s Day that Lagunans should venture into the shop to see what chocolate creations Cosima’s got up her sleeve that day. 

La Rue du Chocolat is located at 448 South Coast Highway, and is open from 12-8 p.m. on weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends. For more information, call 494-2372. 

Dennis’ Tidbits


February 5, 2016

Warm at the beach this weekend

On this date in 1995 the mercury shot up to 88 degrees, a record high for February that still stands to this date. By early next week we might come close to that record as a very strong ridge of high pressure is beginning to settle over the area and it might stick around for quite a while. This ridge is quite expansive so any incoming storms will be forced up into the Pacific Northwest where they don’t need it leaving California high and dry for at least the next couple of weeks. It’s sounding more like a La Niña pattern. 

So much for putting a dent in the drought down here. I think we hyped this supposed mega El Niño so much we scared it away. Meanwhile, we’re falling further behind the seasonal norms. I’ve never seen an El Niño behave this way, ever! Otherwise we’d be at double normal in the rain department, but I have to admit a nice run of 80 plus temps sounds good to me. If you love rain, move to the stinkin’ Northwest where they’re already double normal and above. You won’t need sunblock.

June extremes historically… The month can be really gloomy at times, but sometimes we have record heat waves. There were two such heat waves in June of 1973, one at the beginning of the month and one at the end with temps approaching 100, then the weather turned sour for three whole months with thick gloom and only five sunny days the entire summer, one of the worst summers ever. 

The entire second half of June, 1976 saw temps in the low to mid 90’s. In early June of 1979 temps reached 100 degrees thanks to an out of season hot Santana wind event with the invasion of millions of tiny spiders that cast their silky webs over the whole town carried from the high desert by the strong NE howlers. 

On June 16, 1981 another rare strong Santana wind event sent temps up to 101 degrees with 9% humidity. Surface sand temps were a blistering 141 degrees and surface ocean temps were 80 that day. On June 24, 1990 another offshore event sent temps up to 102 at water’s edge. That same day, a high temp record was set in L.A. downtown of 112 breaking the old all time record of 110 set in September of 1955.

Early in June of 1993 a late season Pacific storm dropped 1.3 inches of rain here in town.

Early in the morning of June 28, 1992 there were two significant seismic events here in Southern California. The first quake, measuring 7.6 struck near Landers, way out there in the high desert at 5 a.m. Fortunately it was in a very remote area and it was very deep at 50 miles. The second big shaker hit three hours later at 8 o’clock and that one was a 6.6 right underneath big Bear. 

Seems like all the big ones hit early in the morning. 

See y’all at the Beach this weekend. It’s gonna be warm one! ALOHA!

LBHS Signing Day – Soccer and Basketball winners

Signing Day is always fun for the seniors and their coaches. This year, Marymount California University will welcome Alyssa Pellow as a freshman and to their soccer team. Jackie Cenan signed with Vassar College and their basketball team. Additionally, Dante Amodeo (not pictured) signed with Occidental College, and their soccer team.

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LBHS seniors signing up for the next four years: Jackie Cenan (left) signs with Vassar, here with her LBHS basketball coach, Mark Lewis, and Alyssa Pellow (right) signed with Marymount, here with LBHS soccer coach, Bill Rolfing

Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund supports public arts education to underserved communities via donors, partners, volunteers

The Sawdust Art Festival believes every child and adult deserves to be enriched by the wonderful world of the arts. The Sawdust Art Enrichment Fund (SAEF) is a philanthropic effort, which supports public arts education through programs that provide the hands-on experience of creating art. In its efforts to continually inspire those interested in the arts, SAEF actively seeks donations, partners and volunteers.

Partnering with many non-profit organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Project Access and other groups, SAEF is able to provide arts education to underserved communities. 

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Learning about art at Faith Fickett’s mixed media workshop

SAEF recently held a Mixed Media Bookmarks/Artful Décor workshop led by Sawdust instructor, Faith Fickett. The event was a huge success with attendance exceeding all expectations.

For more information on upcoming programs or to make a contribution, visit the Sawdust Art Festival at www.sawdustartfestival.org/product/donate/

If you are interested in becoming an instructor for SAEF programs, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Festival of Arts Foundation 2016 funding grants available: Submission deadline is February 12

The Festival of Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now available for 2016 Art Grants. Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Submission deadline is February 12, 2016.

Grant applications are available online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org or may be picked up at the Festival of Arts administration office located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

“The Foundation board anticipates a record number of applications this year, and looks forward to giving approximately $140,000 in grants to the qualified recipients,” said Festival of Arts Foundation President Scott Moore. “We’re proud to be able to help fund the many art-related non-profits in the Laguna Beach community, emphasizing the enrichment of our children and young adults in all disciplines of art.”

In 1989, the Festival of Arts with a $1.5 million donation established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, in order to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach.

The Foundation, co-founded by John Rayment and David Young, was designed to hold these funds in a permanent endowment. The earnings and income from this endowment would be distributed annually in the form of scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and as grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the city of Laguna Beach.

The Foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling The Foundation to focus on its grant program for local non-profit art organizations.

The Festival of Arts Foundation is comprised of a five-member board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Scott Moore (president), John Campbell (vice president) Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), and John Rayment (board member).

For more information on the grant application process, please contact Scott Moore at (949) 494-9680.

Game plan for Super Bowl 50: are you drinking or are you driving? There’s no chance for calling an option

From a press release

The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Sunday, Feb 7, there will be lots of Super Bowl 50 socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the California Office of Traffic Safety and law enforcement officials statewide are urging football fans to call the play now: drinking OR driving. 

If you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely.

The Laguna Beach Police Department will deploy additional officers on special DUI saturation patrols specifically to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment during and following the game.

NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking. Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road.

According to 2014 data, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States—31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation, with crashes spiking on the weekends. California’s 2014 data reveals that 882 individuals were killed in DUI crashes.

A driver is legally considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. The use of drugs and other factors can lead to arrest or crashes at much lower alcohol levels. This Feb 7, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl statistic. Fans don’t let fans drive drunk.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Lieutenant Jeff Calvert. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both.”

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’retaking medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter, drinking even small amounts of alcohol could greatly intensify the impairment effects.

For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share or public transportation. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. 

Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life-saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb—all from one screen.

For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life.

If you’re attending a Super Bowl 50 party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins. One way to thank your designated driver is by tweeting us their name during Super Bowl 50, which will appear on NHTSA’s Wall of Fame. And if you are the designated driver, be sure to tweet us your name during the big game to make NHTSA’s Wall of Fame too.

These operations are funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers—Call 911’ immediately if you see a dangerous driver.

LBGOP announces new leadership team for 2016

Building on the success of its 2012 and 2014 platforms defining the critical issues for both election cycles, the Laguna Beach Republicans (LBGOP) have elected its leadership team for the 2016 election cycle.

The 2016 Leadership team consists of:

President - Emil Monda; Vice President and Secretary – Michele Monda; Vice President – Platform Chris Kling; Director – Communications – James Kennedy; Treasurer - Shannon O’Toole; Vice President at Large - Nancee Swensson

President Emil Monda stated, “I thank the group for again selecting me to serve in this critical election year. I would also like to welcome to the team Shannon O’Toole our new Treasurer and Nancee Swensson as our new Vice President at Large. These additions to the leadership team along with our other returning members provide the LBGOP a strong foundation to achieve our 2016 goal of electing as many Republicans to City, State and Federal Offices as possible.”

LBGOP Communications Director James Kennedy added, “The Laguna Beach Republicans are fired up and ready to work with people throughout our town for control of local issues, as well as personal freedom and economic liberty.” 

In addition, the Laguna Beach Republicans are seeking a Headquarters in Laguna for 2016 activities. The group is requesting submissions of locations for possible selection as the official 2016 HQ. We are looking to use the facility from approximately June through November of this year. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “Headquarters” in the subject line. Submissions will be open through the end of March.

LBUSD and LB Library together help get little ones ready for the fun of school – and parents learn too!

The Laguna Beach Unified School District hosted a parent education workshop highlighting ways to build character in Pre-K children as part of its year-round commitment to promote school readiness within the community, on Wednesday at the Laguna Beach Library.

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Pamela Chesney-Algar, the children’s librarian at the Laguna Beach Library, started the day off with a book that focuses on kindness and caring acts. Children then completed an art activity to encourage listening, social engagement and kindness toward oneself and others.

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LBUSD Early Learning Specialist Sandee Bandettini met with parents to provide feedback, support and information about the lesson and its connection to school readiness. Parents received handouts and information on healthy child development, effective communication, problem-solving skills and a list of books that promote kindness and compassion.

“By partnering with the library and offering the parent workshop, we hope to give children and parents tools and resources to help them self-regulate and identify feelings, as well as promote acts of kindness and compassion with self and others,” said Bandettini.

Future parent education workshops will have a similar setup and will also be held at the Laguna Beach Library. The May 4 workshop will focus on healthy growth and development, and the June 1 workshop will focus on how to encourage summer reading and tips to promote school readiness.

Hartman King walks consumers through the task of protecting against inaccurate background reports

Laguna local, investor Charles Hartman King, had a past he dealt with. Or so he thought.

“I once had an expunged record that kept illegally showing up on background checks. I am the expungement expert. I don’t necessarily want this title, but I have earned it,” he says. “My goal is to take what I learned from a nightmare experience to help [others].” 

It became an uphill battle for King to clear his record over and over again. After spending three years unsuccessfully enforcing his record expungement, and losing multiple housing and job opportunities due to inaccurate background information about him, he continued to be shunned by Consumer Reporting Agencies (CRA’s). Frustrated and angry, and knowing there are millions of people going through the same nightmare, King launched TheExpungedRecord.com.

Photo from theexpungedrecord.com

Charles Hartman King, founder of the TheExpungedRecord.com

“It can be incredibly difficult to keep an expunged record off of background checks. It’s time consuming, emotional and beyond frustrating. It makes you feel like a victim with no way out,” said King. “Worst yet, the background check companies simply don’t care about their recklessness. I started theexpungedrecord.com to help people like me defend themselves against illegal background checks.”

Having found a lack of communication transparency with the CRA’s, King hired a legal team and began compiling a database of CRA contact information to help people defend themselves by enforcing their legally expunged records.

“Most CRA websites list a vague P.O. Box and are nearly impossible to contact,” said King. “First-time offenders spend a lot of time and money to ensure a fair second chance. The truth is, that clean slate never exists. Illegal reporting of your expunged record means you’ve already lost that job or house. We want to prevent this from happening to you.”

King went so far as to attend the National Association of Professional Background Screeners Conference undercover, and was shocked at the blatant negligence he witnessed. He published his findings and has since been banned from the organization that allowed him membership, ironically enough, without a background check.

“The background check screeners were laughing when discussing their misreporting of consumers’ arrest records and expungements to employers and landlords,” said an irate King. “Innocent consumers are losing jobs and housing and having their lives ruined because these companies are too lazy to ensure their data is accurate – and they think it’s funny?”

King painstakingly collected every single name, phone number, personal email, and correct physical address of a growing list of over 350 background check companies nationwide. Furthermore, his research finds that nearly 70% of expunged arrest records inaccurately appear on reports from this largely unregulated industry. With one in three US adults being arrested, and 48% of those arrests being expunged or dropped – losing housing or employment because of negligence by background check companies is a terrifying reality for millions of Americans. 

TheExpungedRecord.com has one goal: help people defend themselves against companies reporting inaccurate and outdated consumer information. The website provides a detailed database of CRA contact information, a checklist of protective actions, several dispute letter templates, and behind-the-scenes information on how background check companies really operate. 

Consumers with expunged records can learn how to protect themselves by disputing their inaccurate records and requesting database updates one by one, via physically mailed requests to each CRA. Some companies may require multiple follow up letters to confirm that the individual’s record has been rendered accurate. 

For more information on how to ensure expunged records will not show up on any background checks, visit www.TheExpungedRecord.com.

Julie Laughton Ad

United Methodist will Study Bonhoeffer book for Lent

Small groups at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church will study the book “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer during Lent (2/10 – 3/24).  The groups whose composition will be based on geographic proximity will meet weekly at participant’s homes.  Members of the community are welcome to join groups by contacting the church at 499-3088. LBUMC is located at 21632 Wesley Drive.

Bonhoeffer was a leading spokesman of German Protestant resistance to Nazism.  In “Life Together,” he recounts his unique fellowship in an underground seminary during the Nazi era in Germany.  He provides practical advice on how life together in Christ can be sustained in families and groups.  

Bonhoeffer was a proponent of ecumenism and Christianity in a secular world.  He was imprisoned and executed in 1945 at age 39 because of his involvement in a plot to overthrow Hitler.

City hosting “Open for Business” workshop Feb 18

The next “Open for Business” workshop will be hosted by the City of Laguna Beach on Thursday, Feb 18 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third Street. 

Workshop participants will include Planning Commissioners Ken Sadler and Sue Kempf, representatives from the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, Martina Caron, Senior Planner and Ann Larson, Assistant Director of Community Development for the City of Laguna Beach. 

“Many prospective business people want to discuss their issues before they initiate formal applications with the City,” said Planning Commissioner Anne Johnson, coordinator of these workshops. “Just discussing their concerns and issues informally seems to help.” 

“These Open for Business workshops are a great way for existing business owners as well as those that are interested in opening a new business, to get answers to questions and information about doing business in Laguna Beach,” said Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce Director, Laura Henkels. 

As a result of the workshops last year, several new businesses came to Laguna Beach, and others are planned for the future. 

For more information, contact Martina Caron, Senior Planner at 949-464-6629 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Kenyan orphanage gains a greenhouse to grow their own food, thanks to local charity collaboration

With My Own Two Hands, a Laguna Beach-based non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned children in Africa, announces the addition of a greenhouse at the St. Ann’s Orphanage in Kekopey, Kenya, which was built with funds raised by With My Own Two Hands. 

The greenhouse will greatly benefit the orphanage by diminishing the need to purchase greens and vegetables to feed the children. By selling leftover produce to the surrounding community, the greenhouse will ultimately generate an income for the orphanage, furthering their financial independence.

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St. Ann’s orphanage’s new greenhouse

Funds for the construction of the greenhouse were raised through a collaboration between With My Own Two Hands, J.Crew’s Garments for Good and EDUN, a fashion brand devoted to sourcing production, encouraging trade and providing jobs in Africa. The collaboration featured a children’s t-shirt designed by EDUN, which was inspired by the Ndebele people of South Africa and the beautiful geometric patterns that decorate the outside of their homes. The t-shirts were produced entirely in Kenya and sold through J. Crew’s Garments for Good website.

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Some of the children from St. Ann’s Orphanage wearing the shirts that EDUN designed, and sold on J. Crew’s Garments for Good site

“We’re very thankful for the opportunity to partner with great companies like J.Crew and EDUN,” said Lindsey Pluimer, founder and CEO of With My Own Two Hands. “The funds raised from this project are already making a difference in these children’s lives, which were so difficult before arriving at St. Ann’s. The children do not have consistent access to iron rich diets, and we know this greenhouse will fill that need and really allow them to thrive. This greenhouse is also another step in the process towards achieving financial independence and stability.”

“We initially got involved with the St. Ann’s Orphanage because EDUN’s factory was so close by,” said Ali Hewson, founder of EDUN. “The founder of the orphanage, Irene, introduced us to the children and we knew that it was something we wanted to support. The collaboration between J. Crew’s Garments for Good, EDUN, and With My Own Two Hands has been such a pleasure to work on. We’re looking forward to seeing the completed greenhouse and all the much needed produce it will provide to these amazing children.”

With My Own Two Hands Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of orphaned or disadvantaged children in need. With the belief that diminishing poverty must start with the children, the organization’s goal is to provide an education to children in need while making sure they have the necessities of shelter, water, and food. For more information, including ways to get involved, please visit http://www.withmyown2hands.org/.

Laguna Beach Library’s February events

Laguna Beach Library will host a host of fun events throughout the year. All programs are free, graciously funded by Friends of The Laguna Beach Library.

Laguna Beach Library’s February Events:

Friday, Feb 5 at 3-4 p.m. - Library Play Group

Laguna Beach Parents Club runs this group for parents and children 3-4 years old.  We’ll have a variety of fun activities from crafts to storytime--all geared especially toward this age group. Siblings welcome!  This program is free.  Please contact Christine Russell at 949-355-2992 for further information. Meets the first Friday of the month in the Program Room.

Saturday, Feb 6 at 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. - ‘Baby Signing Time’ with Bethany Sloan
This early communication workshop teaches ASL to infants, toddlers and their caregivers.  Come and learn some signing with books, songs, lap bounces and fingerplays.  This program is geared for families with 0-5 year olds.  Moms, dads, grandparents, etc are welcome.  Space is limited-Please preregister at the children’s desk or call the library.  Graciously provided by the Laguna Beach Parents Club and Friends of the LB Library. This program is free.

Saturday, Feb 6, 13, 20 & 27 at 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Children’s Craft Open House
Get creative! Let your imagination run wild!  Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts.  Adult supervision is recommended.

Saturday, Feb 6 & 20 at 2 - 4 p.m. - Poetry Workshop
Participants should bring 10 copies of a poem they wish to have read and work-shopped.  Each poem will be read by the poet and perhaps by another reader. Participants then respond with emphasis on positive comments and constructive suggestions. Recommended for advanced poets-this is not a workshop for beginners. Meets in the Community Room. Contact John Gardiner @949-715-7507 for more information.

Mondays, Feb 8, 22 & 29 at 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. - Third Street Writers Group Ink
Serious writers working on projects (short stories, novels, plays) meet to share feedback and support.  This is not a workshop for beginners.  Contact the library for additional information.

Monday, Feb 8 at 6 - 7 p.m. - Adult Book Discussion Group
We will be meeting to discuss How to Get filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Moshin Hamid- a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change. Copies of the book are available at the Check-out Desk.

Wednesdays, Feb 10, 17 & 24 at 10:30 - 11:15 a.m. - Early Literacy Children’s Storytime
Our Early Literacy Storytime models the five skills that are crucial for every child to be ready to read when they enter Kindergarten: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing & Playing.  Let your child learn through stories, fingerplays, songs, movement and playful activities. We focus on coordination and recognition of colors, shapes, and numbers.  Most of all, we emphasize the important role that parents and caregivers have in their child’s development! Free. No preregistration required. For children 5-years and under. Families are encouraged to stay for a “playtime” afterwards.

Thursdays, Feb 11, 18 & 25 at 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. - Peapod Academy Children’s Storytime
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.

Thursday, Feb 11 at 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. - Read to a Dog - Salsa!
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 welcome too!

The Library is at 363 Glenneyre St. For information, call 497-1733.

Laguna Print Ad

Young Artists Shine at 2016 Annual ImageMakers Photography Exhibit at Laguna’s Boys & Girls Club 

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach invites the community to come see this year’s talented young photographers and Regional Selections as the Club holds its 2016 Annual ImageMakers Photography Exhibit at its Main Branch on Feb 12.

Everyone is welcome to join the Club on opening day to view the exhibit that will highlight over 200 photos that will be on display. During the exhibit on opening day, the Club will also host a show opening for the whole family to enjoy together between 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Click on photo for a larger image


Vallery, a young photographer 

The Photography Exhibit is an opportunity for young minds to explore their creative sides and develop their artistic and technical skills by taking photos and much more. They get a chance to make art from the world around them and learn to look closely at what they see with a creative and imaginative eye. 

Throughout the year, members have been participating in Photography Club and this annual exhibit is the selection of their best work. The first place pieces will go on to be judged at the Regional Exhibit, and then they go to National, where they have a chance to compete against over 4,000 other Boys and Girls Clubs across America.

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has won nationally six times.

Click on photo for a larger image


Gracie—another talented young photographer

The exhibit will be on display through Feb 19, so be sure to make time to see the exceptional work of these young and talented club members with this captivating display of photographs. For more information on the 2016 Annual ImageMakers Photography Exhibit, please contact Art Director Karla Fandel at 949-494-2535, extension 108, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Police Beat Primer

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 020516

DUI Arrests

Irving Rubio, 25, Irvine – Monday, February 1 (with a prior)

David Scheller, 41, Costa Mesa 


Incident Reports

Tuesday, February 2

Oak Street | 600 Block | Vandalism

4:38 p.m. An unknown person or persons threw a “large chunk of concrete” through the RP’s second story front window.

S. Coast Hwy | 1400 Block | Warrant

3:04 p.m. A 16-year-old Laguna Beach boy was taken into custody on a no-bail county juvenile court warrant.

Laguna Canyon Road | 1100 Block | Fraud

1:32 p.m. The RP lost $500 from an account due to fraudulent activity.

Monday, February 1

Arrests for Being Drunk in Public

Paul Bernazzani, 49, no fixed address

Sunday, January 31

Police Station | Felony Warrant Arrest

5:46 p.m. Rosemead resident Jay Williams Tran, 31, came to the station with his attorney and a bail bond agent to surrender on a Pomona Court warrant with felony charges of robbery and attempted extortion by force with bail of $100,000.

S. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Vandalism

1:32 p.m. A black SUV with a bicycle rack on the rear drove away with the gas pump still attached causing damage to the pump. The driver stopped to disengage the nozzle but then drove away. The RP provided the plate number – the SUV was registered in Arcadia.

This and that around town

From readers and press releases


LAM Art Auction 2016: California Cool – February 6

Laguna Art Museum Art Auction 2016 showcases museum-curated works of art from over 100 premier California artists, which will be sold during a fast-paced live auction as well as a silent auction. The featured artists and their galleries have generously donated these works of art, and proceeds from the sale of the works will benefit Laguna Art Museum, a non-profit organization.

Art Auction 2016: California Cool: will begin with Auction Preview Week from Saturday, Jan 30 through Friday, Feb 5 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

Tickets for Saturday night’s auction are $125-$150 each. Purchase tickets here or call (949) 494-8971 x203.

A portrait for the successful bidder to be painted at the artist’s studio of Don Bachardy in Santa Monica. Value: $7500 Starting bid: $3750

With works by over 100 important California artists, the museum-curated Art Auction 2016 will include great art at great prices, delicious cuisine, and creative cocktails. The evening includes a silent auction as well as an exciting live auction that attracts competitive bidding by art collectors, both seasoned and new. Selected by the museum’s curatorial staff, the works include many by well-known names–thanks to the museum’s long-standing relationships with California artists and their generosity in supporting the institution.

Proceeds from the art auction ensure that Laguna Art Museum continues its dedication to collecting and preserving California art, providing high-caliber exhibitions and enhancing art education for all


More This and That


Woman’s Club honoring outgoing Mayor Whalen Feb 12

In keeping with a nearly two decades old tradition, the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach will host a luncheon honoring outgoing mayor, Bob Whalen, on Friday, February 12. 

Whalen, who completed his term as mayor in December, will be feted from 11:30-1:30 p.m. at the clubhouse located at 286 St. Ann’s Drive. 

Submitted photo

Prior to running for City Council, Whalen served in numerous city and community posts, including president of the Boys and Girls Club, Planning Commission member, Laguna Beach United School District board member and president, SchoolPower board member, along with leadership roles in both youth little league, basketball and soccer organizations. When he commits to community service, Whalen, an attorney specializing in public finance, does so fully, most often ending up in leadership roles, leaving the organizations in better shape than when he joined them. A full profile on Whalen, and his contributions to the community, will appear in next week’s paper.

The tradition of honoring outgoing mayors began in the late 1990s, when then Woman’s Club president, Anne Johnson and her board, decided that the city’s mayors deserved a thank you event for their service. 

“It’s really a tough job to be mayor in this town,” Johnson said. “We put a lot of demands on them and this is a way to honor them.”

The cost to attend the luncheon, catered by Mare, is $40 per person, $35 for members and $280 for a table of 8. To reserve tickets, go to www.wclb.org

Please RSVP by Feb 5.


LBUSD seeks stakeholder input for its LCAP survey

The Laguna Beach Unified School District has recently launched the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Stakeholder Survey to gather feedback on the implementation of the district goals and state priorities.

The LCAP is a component of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). Under the LCFF, all local educational agencies are required to prepare an LCAP, which describes how districts intend to meet annual goals for all pupils, with specific activities to address state and local priorities.

In 2014, the LBUSD developed a LCAP to meet both requirements from the state and the expectations of the district’s stakeholders. The plan includes the district’s vision, mission, annual goals and an action plan to achieve and assess how the LCAP strategies have helped improve outcomes.

“Stakeholder input is critical in this process,” said Amy Kernan, coordinator of assessment, accountability and special projects. “We are seeking participation from students, parents, staff and community members to ensure we are making progress.”

The survey will take less than 10 minutes to complete and will be open until Feb 12. The survey includes questions on key topics pertaining to the district’s LCAP goals such as student achievement, school climate and professional development. 

To access the survey, visit: www.surveymonkey.com/r/KFPRK9D 

LCAD exhibiting works by MFA candidates at City Hall until Mar 11

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced Pacific Currents: Works by Candidates of LCAD MFA Programs, on exhibit through Mar 11, 2016 at Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Avenue. The exhibition is co-curated by Peter Zokosky, chair of LCAD’s MFA programs in Drawing and Painting and Andrea Harris-McGee, LCAD gallery director. 

“I’m thrilled that our MFA candidates have another opportunity to share with the larger community their unique voices,” Zokosky said. “We are very excited to showcase this collection of work. Cultural Arts Manager, Sian Poeschl has made this an enjoyable experience and we are grateful for her welcoming us to Laguna Beach City Hall.”

The exhibition will include over 25 paintings and drawings by the following MFA candidates: Sansanee Boonyad, Barbara Brown, Trevor Christiansen, Angela Colon, Avery Endow, Jacqueline Nicolini, Kenny Harris, Olivia Healy-Mirkovich, Teresa Hill, Cody Jimenez, Catherine Kaleel, Dana Lewis, Charity Oetgen, Bradford Smith and James Thistlethwaite.

Click on photo for a larger image

Dana Lewis 

Kelp Forest 

Oil on panel – 36x48

“When fine arts students enter a graduate program, the assumption is that they have a good set of skills, but the next challenge is: what are you going to do with those skills?” said Zokosky. “It is immensely gratifying to work with artists at this stage in their artistic developments. It’s essential to listen to them, and to offer advice on how to achieve their goals.  You cannot make assumptions about what they should or should not be doing; that’s for them to decide.”

For more information, contact Andrea Harris-McGee at aharrismcgee@lcad.edu or call (949) 376-6000.

Valentine’s “Sea of Love” – lecture re: aquatic life mating

The Ocean Institute is celebrating Valentine’s Day with a “Sea of Love” presentation on Thursday, Feb 11, from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.  Learn about romance under the sea with Director of Laboratory Programs, Linda Blanchard, who will discuss reproduction and mating rituals of aquatic life.  

This lecture is intended for mature audiences, ages 14 and up.

Cost is $10 per person. Ocean Institute Members receive a 10% discount.  Light snacks and refreshments will be provided.  

For additional information or to register for the presentation, call (949) 496-2274 or visit www.ocean-institute.org

Sawdust Studio Art 

The Sawdust Art Festival, in collaboration with Visit Laguna Beach, offers some exciting new classes to the Award-Winning Sawdust Studio Art Classes’ schedule for 2016.

The year-round art education program includes special classes in glass, fused glass, jewelry and ceramics.

Call 494-3030 for information and to reserve a class.

Students may register for all classes online or by calling 494-3030. 

Visit the website at: 



Class Schedules

Friday, February 5

10 a.m.

Four-Week Pottery 

Ceramics Staff

Four-Week Glassblowing

Glassblowing Staff


Saturday, February 6

2 p.m.

Oil Painting

John Eagle

Pendant Set

David Farris


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