Back to Top

 Volume 10, Issue 50  |  June 22, 2018                                     


Police Files

Human smuggling strikes at Crystal Cove, second Panga boat since June 11, El Morro goes on lockdown

On Tuesday, June 19 at 6:31 a.m., LBPD received a call from California State Parks in reference to a Panga boat landing at Crystal Cove State Park, the second in just a little over a week. The boat’s passengers had fled the scene. 

LBPD worked alongside the US Customs and Border Patrol and the State of California Department of Parks and Recreations with assistance from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter and US Coast Guard. The involved agencies conducted a thorough search of the wilderness area of the state park and located and detained four adult male subjects, who were detained by the US Customs and Border Patrol.

Police Files Panga 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD helps out other emergency agencies and US Customs and Border Patrol as a second smuggling event happens, causing a lockdown at El Morro Elementary

Out of caution, El Morro Elementary School was placed on a lockdown. Parents and buses were allowed to drop off students at the school, who were then provided an escort to their classroom. Laguna Beach Police Department kept officers on campus throughout the incident. Shortly before 10 a.m. the lockdown was lifted and normal operations resumed.

Theron Francisco, a public affairs officer for the San Diego Customs and Border Protection sector, talked with Stu News about the incident.

“It hasn’t been confirmed but it is probably associated with the same Pan-National smuggling organization [as the June 11 incident, also at Crystal Cove],” Francisco said.

He said most of the smuggling operations are coming from Rosarito or Ensenada, that part of Mexico, just South of Tijuana.

 “For the most part, they want to try to come to shore or drop off as close as possible to Tijuana, or just north of the boundary,” Francisco said. “It’s closer, it’s faster, and it’s cheaper for their operation as far as gas, manpower and the boat.”

He said ideally these operations would like to drop off somewhere in San Diego along the coastal regions of San Diego. 

“But as enforcement gets greater they’re forced to go further north and so that’s where we’re kind of seeing them going up more north toward Laguna Beach and the area where they were just last spotted this week,” Francisco said.

When they do make apprehensions, everybody that’s apprehended is interviewed. 

“If we do get the captain of the vessel or the smuggler caught within the group, he or she will be charged with alien smuggling and endangerment, and the rest of the individuals on the boat will face immigration charges unless they have anything outstanding as far as criminal charges,” Francisco said. “They can face additional charges on that.” 

Police Files Panga 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

US Customs and Border Patrol think that the June 11 human smuggling incident and the June 19 incident at Crystal Cove are related, five still outstanding

No substantial evidence is usually left behind on the boats. They will leave empty cans of fuel, water, lifejackets, trash, food they might not eat or wet clothes. 

“But as far as personal items, identification, foreign passports and all that is usually kept with them,” Francisco said. “For the most part they have minimal belongings, usually a backpack or some type of bag. They will not leave anything personal with them. They carry minimal items with them just because it keeps down the weight on the boat and something that if they do land on the beach they can run off with just the backpack or the bag.”

Regarding Tuesday’s incident, initially four men were apprehended with five still outstanding, he said.

“I haven’t gotten the update whether the five were apprehended later on or if any were apprehended later on,” Francisco said.

He doesn’t believe drugs were involved in this case. 

“This one was just suspected as alien or human smuggling. We don’t believe it was connected to a drug smuggling,” Francisco said. “Even though they both will kind of go hand-in hand; we believe both of them were human smuggling. Again, that hasn’t been confirmed and I would have to look into the case once that’s done to see if anything is different from the interviews from those who were arrested.”

LBPD bands together helping Marine get undrivable car back to Camp Pendleton, officer pays for his tow home out of his own pocket

Once again, LBPD gives a hand for the sake of helping others. On Wednesday, June 20 at 7:28 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the 3200 block of Laguna Canyon Road with a report of a stranded vehicle. The owner of the vehicle was an active U.S. Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton. 

The vehicle, a black 2014 Chevy Impala, was undriveable.

“The owner did not have sufficient funds to have it towed. Officers used their personal AAA privileges to have the vehicle towed part of the way and paid the $333 balance to have it towed the remaining distance to Camp Pendleton,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

It’s always good to know someone has your back, especially for having the country’s back every day as a Marine. Thanks for serving.

Police Files Marine

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD officers, including Wade Kraus, help a Marine with his disabled Impala, covering the cost to have it towed back to Camp Pendleton

Gun found in cave at Thousand Steps Beach

On Sunday, June 17 at 9:10 a.m., at the 31900 block of Coast Highway, a man reported to LBPD that he found a revolver, a Taurus .38 special, in the sound end of the beach in the sand. The man hid the gun in a cup unit he could meet with LBPD. He was unsure if it was loaded.

“He telephoned police who took custody of it. Detectives are reaching to agencies to see if this weapon was used or suspected in any crime,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said.

So not Laguna, Montage gets tagged twice by “KEV(AN)”

On Monday, June 18 at 5:04 p.m., in the 30800 block of Coast Highway, LBPD received a report of vandalism (tagging) at Treasure Island Park at Montage Laguna Beach.

“The reporting person was Montage Security who reported that two separate benches were spray painted on one side with “KC” and “KEVAN” and other illegible letters,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The estimated cost to repair is $150.”

There is no camera surveillance in this area.

The next day, on Tuesday, June 19 at 3:45 p.m., a second vandalism incident was reported to LBPD at Treasure Island Park at the Montage.

“There was random chalk writing on the back of a beach sign that read, “WDS RANDOM SCRIBLE,” Sgt Cota said. “And spray paint on several concrete trash cans that read, “FMK”, “TAZ”, “ANYOS”, and “KEV.”

 According to Sgt Cota, Montage Laguna Beach will be responsible for maintenance, which is estimated at $5,000-$6,000.

Kindness Rocks


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

The Kindness Rock Project has declared July 3 to be internationally celebrated as Drop A Kindness Rock Drop Day. Participants are encouraged to unify the kindness messages by leaving red heart rocks where they might help someone cope with whatever is causing them distress.

In Laguna Beach, artists have created rocks with messages that might change someone’s entire day, their outlook or even their lives. For the less visually talented, rocks with words of encouragement also may bring a measure of comfort. One act of kindness a day by everyone just might set the world in the right direction, according to a project announcement. 

Kindness Rocks Ability Awareness

Click on photo for larger image

The Ability Awareness Project in the Patriot’s Day Parade

The project is not new, but the concept of kindness is gaining local traction. At the request of Councilman Steven Dicterow, Tuesday’s council agenda will include a proclamation of city support for the Ability Awareness Project founded in 2013 by Shadi Pourkashef, also the founder of by A Kinder World Foundation.

The Ability Awareness Project attempts to educate bullies, victims, and bystanders of the harmful effects of bullying. The goal of the proclamation is to encourage people to be respectful and kind to one another.

Kindness Rocks white cutouts

Click on photo for larger image

Each headstone represents a suicide

Dicterow has been a supporter of Pourkashef’s goals since he participated last year in a heart-wrenching display of plastic pseudo-tombstones on Main Beach. Each of the 50 tombstones represented a suicide by a child who could not cope with being bullied.

“There is no pain quite like the pain of being called names,” said Pastor Jay Grant. “I was in tears as a child being teased about being a red head.” 

Councilmen Bob Whalen and Rob Zur Schmiede also attended the rally.

“It was quite moving,” said Zur Schmiede. “I wish [bullying] would go away.”

Dicterow said, “That probably will never happen, but we must fight it.”

Rock on.

Canyons heal from fire, but wilderness still threatened by invasive species of the human variety


Even before the Aliso and Woods Canyon fire, our wilderness was besieged by another threat, humans. A lot of them. And who knows that better than Orange County Parks Operations Manager, Barbara Norton, who started as a ranger here 19 years ago, and Hallie Jones, executive director of Laguna Canyon Foundation (LCF), who was born and raised in the canyon.

So, when I sat down with them to talk about the state of the trails, I knew I’d get the straight story, and I did.

Although it’s been less than three weeks since the fire raged through Aliso and Woods Canyons on June 2, devastating 178 acres, the healing and rebirth have begun, as evidenced just last week by Jones when she was recently surveying the burn area.

“I was excited to see a new tarantula nest,” she says.

Underground dwellers return

This tarantula must have (smartly) retreated underground during the fire. According to Jones, because the fire burned over the ground, a lot of ground dwellers were able to return. (Though some animals did not survive: two fawns, some rabbits, squirrels and a few snakes.)

Asked if people visiting the entrance to the burned area have been cooperative, Jones says, “People have been very compliant. Volunteers from LCF, outreach and restoration are handing out flyers detailing the consequence of going out onto the black areas and stomping around. There have been four stations manned with 12 people in shifts since the fire.”

As reported by Norton, Dripping Cave was severely damaged and will be closed for an unspecified amount of time due to realignment. “Overall,” she says, “there was a lot of damage structurally and to habitat.”

The slope at Coyote Run needs repair, but the trail will be open in a few months.

Canyons heal coyote run

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Ed Baranowski

Fire damage to Coyote Run

Norton explains, “Fires are a natural process of the environment and help prevent the buildup of dead vegetation and assist in maintaining a diversity of plants and animals. Fires have the potential to become devastating in areas that haven’t burned in a long period of time. They burn hotter and are more destructive to both wildlife and humans. The normal fire regime for the coastal sage scrub plant community is approximately 25-40 years. This area hadn’t burned in over 80 years.”

As stated by OC Parks, “The blackened hillsides may appear lifeless, however, natural recovery is already underway. The ash contains rich nutrients that will aid habitat regeneration.”

Jones says, “Once things start growing, we should see some interesting species we haven’t seen in the wild, fire followers like bush mallow, fire weed, and poppies.”

She emphasizes, “The public needs to understand how fragile the area is and be patient. It’s like burning skin, it takes a while to heal and gentle treatment for the good of the land.

For the good of the land

And “for the good of the land” takes a different turn as Jones and Norton address the invasive species: the hikers, bikers, and walkers who visit the trails but don’t stay on the authorized ones.

When asked if wilderness visitors get upset when confronted about being on an unauthorized trail, Norton says, “Extremely upset. Some have a sense of entitlement and don’t understand the consequences of their behavior. We have worked closely with LCF for decades on this. We cover the unauthorized trails with brush over with rocks and cactus, and people remove them. The unauthorized trails are based on review by agencies and biologists, in order to develop a balanced and scrutinized plan. The ones dictated for use are based on habitat sensitivity.”

Canyons heal hikers

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Hikers enjoy authorized trail

Jones adds, “The trails are closed for a reason, it could be a bobcat den, a sensitive rare plant or nesting birds two feet off the ground. There is a huge negative impact by people going where they’re not supposed to be.”

And she further emphasizes, “This area was created as wilderness habitat first and foremost, not for recreation. Recreation is secondary. The first concern is the protection of this critical and rare habitat.

And they both agree that there often seems to be a lack of awareness of other trail users by visitors, the savvy that park education and experience brings.

Sometimes even preparation is an issue. Norton points out that often park visitors wear improper footwear, and don’t bring water. “They should have one liter per hour in temps over 70. They don’t have accurate expectations of what they’re going to encounter.

Unauthorized trail use penalized

How do some of the violators react? “Some are not cooperative when they have an ‘enforcement’ contact,” Norton says. “As park rangers and sworn police officers, we have the authority to levy fines up to $500. The amount progressively up with each offense. Then they can be evicted from the park, from 30 to 90 days and up to a year and then permanent eviction.” And she added that they have done some of these. Although it sounds difficult to enforce, they get a copy of the perpetrator’s license.

She notes some trail user issues, in particular, the recent one, in which a confrontation occurred between a hiker and mountain biker, resulting in injuries to the hiker. “And we’re seeing more and more of this behavior,” Norton says. “There are more people and more conflicts.”

Jones points out, “There’s a general lack of courtesy with both hikers and bikers, and a lack of wilderness ethics and the correct way to behave in a wilderness park. Everyone must be aware of other trail users.”

The impact of increased visitors on the wilderness habitat

With the aid of social media and word of mouth, the park is experiencing more and more visitors. “Attendance is up 15 percent, and it’s gone up 5 percent per year for the past few years,’ Jones notes.

With this influx of people, the question arises, “What is the sustainable impact of the increase? How many people will the land hold before causing irreparable damage to the environment?”

In response to this question, OC Parks is considering many solutions: rolling closures, trail closures, closures to certain user groups or limiting the number of visitors at one time (quotas) as do some national parks.

However, nothing has been decided.

Norton says, “We are keenly aware that there are certain trail issues, and they have increased the past few years. We’re trying to find a solution to make it a safe environment.”

Neither Jones nor Norton has any qualms about addressing their priorities.

“Being in the park is a privilege, not a right,” says Norton. “Be courteous on the trails and gracious in following the general rules.”

Jones says, “My number one priority is habitat restoration.”

The LCF website sums up the nonprofit’s position: “Our open space is in jeopardy. We’re battling the impacts of increased park use, invasive species that dominate our coastal sage scrub habitat, environmental degradation from people who wander off trail, and development pressures encroaching on our wilderness.”

Due to the sheer number of increased visitors, those in charge of finding a solution that protects the habitat and is safe for visitors have a tough and unenviable assignment.

For more information, go to or

City of Laguna Beach Fourth of July Activities

The City of Laguna Beach is anticipating large crowds for the July 4th holiday and is requesting the public’s cooperation to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for residents and visitors.

The City fireworks show will originate from Monument Point at Heisler Park. For this reason, the Monument Point area will be closed all day on Wednesday, July 4th. Additionally, at approximately 5 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to allow for fireworks preparation. The City fireworks show will begin at approximately 9 p.m.

City of Laguna Fourth

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

City trolleys will operate under a modified schedule, the Coastal Route will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and the Canyon Route from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be neighborhood services. The normal trolley schedule will resume on Thursday, July 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. The City encourages visitors to utilize the exterior parking lots (Lot 15, 16, 17, and 19) and take the trolley into town. Click the following link for more parking information and an interactive map:

The public is expected to observe all City park and beach ordinances, including:

--No alcohol on the beaches

--No smoking in public places

--No drone use over City beaches, Heisler Park, Main Beach Park, Treasure Island Park or Crescent Bay Park without a valid Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA

--No tents, canopies or barbecues are allowed in City beaches or parks

--No fireworks of any kind are allowed in Laguna Beach

--No dogs are allowed on City beaches from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer season, which extends from June 15 through September 10

--All OC Park Trails will be closed at sunset

The Laguna Beach Police, Fire, and Marine Safety Departments will be strictly enforcing all of the ordinances

After the fireworks show, expect heavy traffic as many visitors will be leaving the city via Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway. Members of the Police Department will be conducting increased traffic control to facilitate the flow of vehicles out of town. As part of this effort, the center lane of Laguna Canyon Road, between Canyon Acres and El Toro Road, will be reversed to add an additional northbound traffic lane. 

Remember to connect with the City of Laguna Beach on Nixle for traffic and emergency updates by texting our zip code (92651) to 888-777 as well as following the City of Laguna on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The cooperation of all residents and visitors is greatly appreciated. The City of Laguna Beach wants to wish everyone a safe and happy Independence Day.

City’s proposed draft plan for replanting of trees to be reviewed at public workshop on Friday, June 29

There will be a public workshop to review the City’s proposed draft plan for replanting of trees in the downtown area and on portions of Coast Highway. The workshop will be held on Friday, June 29 from 1:30 to 4 p.m. in the community room of the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Center.

Citys proposal downtown trees

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Replanting of trees workshop is on Friday, June 29

Public Works staff have developed a replanting plan which will be presented at the workshop.

Subsequent to the workshop, the planting plan will be presented to the Planning Commission on July 18 and to City Council on August 7.

Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St.

For more information, go to


Virginia Anne Wood

June 8, 1932 - May 26, 2018

Obituary Anne with flowers

Click on photo for a larger image

Virginia Anne Wood passed away Saturday, May 26, with loved ones by her side. Anne, a Laguna Beach resident since 1965, was recently in the care of the amazing staff at Arbor View 2 in Mission Viejo due to Alzheimer’s.

Anne was born to Burris and Margaret Wood on June 8, 1932, in Sacramento. She was preceded in death by both her parents and her only sibling, James “Woody” Burris Wood.

Anne graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in 1950 and then received her Bachelor of Arts from Chapman College (now Chapman University) in 1954. She later returned to Chapman and received her master’s degree in 1972. In 1954 she commenced a 39-year love affair with teaching beginning with Bret Harte Elementary in Sacramento, and then Santa Fe Elementary in Oakland.  Thereafter she spent six years teaching with the Army Overseas Schools first in Metz, France, and then in Berlin, Germany. She arrived in Europe shortly after the Berlin Wall was erected, was held hostage by Russians on board a duty train, and joined the Berlin International Theater Group.

Obituary Anne on gazebo

Anne loved the overseas experience and built many life-long friendships. She never missed an opportunity to travel, be it simply to her beloved cabin at the Russian River, or to see close friends throughout the world. Anne returned to California in 1965 and began teaching for the Anaheim Elementary School District before being transferred to Brookhurst Jr. High School where she taught reading and drama along with “other duties as assigned” until her retirement in 1993.

She also enjoyed working with the Laguna Playhouse theater in Laguna Beach doing some acting but preferred being behind the scenes as stage manager, pushing sets, calling cues, etc. After retirement, Anne added the title “volunteer” to her cap with numerous groups in Laguna Beach, including The Woman’s Club (2012’s “Woman of the Year”), Chamber of Commerce, Laguna Club for Kids, Friendship Shelter, Laguna Beach Resource and Relief, Patriot’s Day Parade Committee, to name a few.

Obituary Anne and signs

Click on photo for a larger image

In 2005, the Laguna Beach Exchange Club honored her with inclusion in their “Book of Golden Deeds.” She had maintained her membership with Primrose Chapter No. 385, of the Order of the Eastern Star (of Sacramento) since the early 1950s. Anne was a long time member of Chapman University’s Town & Gown. She was very proud of their fundraising mission and dearly loved their social events. Anne cherished all these friendships. The Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) was also very dear to her. She tirelessly volunteered for a variety of duties and committees since joining the congregation in 1972.

A celebration of life, and what a full life it was, will be held at NCC on Saturday, June 23 at 340 St. Ann’s Dr., Laguna Beach, at 1:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Chapman University for the Town & Gown Endowed Scholarship at to a charity dear to you.

Upcoming projects for R Star Foundation include establishment of Walk for Water in Karketar Village

Although R Star Foundation has just successfully completed a project after teaming up with Rotary Clubs in Nepal, there are still many other projects in the works.

Rosalind Russell, founder of R Star Foundation, says, “We remain hopeful the Walk for Water (Water Wisdom) group will be establishing a well in one of our villages, (used by three villages). I meet with Susan Hough, who heads up the walk and is a guide for the high school students, in early July. We will meet to set up the logistics for the anticipated drilling of the well in Karketar Village. The engineers R Star hired have found the water source 950 meters away from Karketar Village. This source can be used as drinking water for three other villages (Jaretar, Simle and Karketar) in Kavre District.”

Upcoming projects Walk for Water

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Kids in Nepal walk miles for water

Russell is also traveling to Toronto soon for the Rotary International Convention. “There is a large area called The House Of Friendship, which is the first place I head, as it has been the only place in the world I have felt peace can arrive to our world. Truly amazing, as most of the world has Rotary Clubs who attend the international convention. R Star teaches peace at our school, Top of the World-Nepal, a very important heartfelt program in my opinion which I admire, to bring peace about.”

For more information on R Star Foundation, go to

No Square Theatre promises a royal time at The Disney Princess Concert & Tea Party June 29 - July 1

No Square Theatre presents The Disney Princess Concert in three performances, June 29, June 30, and July 1. This is the perfect concert for a princess, with favorite songs and a tea party with ladies performing a long list of Disney songs.

No Square Belle

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Charlee Rubino (sophomore at OCSA) as Belle

Some of the 30 songs included will be A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes, A Whole New World, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen. No Square Theatre reminds princesses to dress up for this special occasion. 

Concert performances will be on Friday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 30 at 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 1 at 3 p.m. The cost for the concert will be $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students.

No Square Elsa

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Maggie Anderson (graduate of San Clemente High School) as Elsa

The Preshow Tea Party with a Princess takes place on Saturday, June 30 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, July 1 at 2 p.m. The cost is $10 for children and students. Non-tea partying adults are free with a child’s paid ticket. It will be open seating. 

For tickets, go to

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall at 384 Legion St. For more information, call (949) 715-0333.

The Fullest presents bi-annual artisan Summer Market at [seven-degrees] on Sunday, July 1 

The Fullest is excited to announce the newest addition to their bi-annual Market Series at [seven-degrees] in Laguna Beach on Sunday, July 1 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. After an extremely successful Holiday Market with over 700 attendees this past December, The Fullest has now expanded their roster to include a Summer Market. This event is free.

Curated by Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Nikki Bostwick, The Fullest Summer Market is an artisanal event that will feature the work of over 30 independent makers and designers – both locally and globally. The Market will combine design, art, healthy food, and a fun community spirit under one roof to display an assortment of quality, unique, and mindful products including sustainable clothing, accessories and jewelry, as well as pantry items, books, coffee, and organic skincare, amongst others. Suja Juice and Chareau will be sponsoring the event and will be providing juice and alcohol. 

The Fullest ceramics

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

BTW Ceramics featured at Fullest Summer Market

While shoppers are getting their market on, there will also be additional (free) programming on the rooftop:

A tea ceremony hosted by Taylor Eyewalker will be held from 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. where guests are invited to come and go as they please.

From 12:30 - 4:30 p.m., stop by the “Healing Garden” for a complimentary one-on-one shamanic healing session by Jen Hoy. Each session lasts around 30 minutes and is first come first serve. (Sign up early, as there are limited spots available!)

Finally, to draw the day to a close and help attendees decompress all the shopping out, Taylor will be back leading a Kundalini Flow from 4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

The Fullest Summer Market is a solid channel that will connect its guests to creative and engaged small businesses, those whom are both design-savvy and mindful of conscious consumerism. Between 500-750 guests are expected.

The Fullest Mate

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

Fashions at Fullest Artisan Event on July 1

The Fullest is a wellness and contemporary culture publication committed to creating content and experiences across all areas of modern life. Through their community events, pop-ups, and online store, The Fullest has built a steadily growing audience and a respected reputation as curators of stunning, ethical, and unique products that intersect wellness and design.

[seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Participating vendors include the following curated list of brands and many more: Surya Spa, Blessed Booch, Living Libations, Suja Juice, Belo Dry Bar, Magnolia Wellness Center, Galamaar Swimwear, Weird Sister, The Lev, Starling Jewelry, Under Luna, Common Room Roasters, Flora Ex Machina, Villa Pilates, Philosophie, Paige Cheyne, 323 Clothing, Cordial Organics, RYSE Clothing, Dr. Brite, Mirror for the Moon, Meet the Source, Kung Fu Tonic, Rye Truck, and Amborella Organics. 

For additional information, visit


Summer trolley service already rolling and ready for easy carefree summer fun and sun

Start the summer early by riding the Laguna Beach Trolley! Trolley services kicked off on June 18 with Canyon service running from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. and Coastal service running from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The trolleys run the Short Coastal Route every 20 minutes and the Long Coastal Route every 40 minutes daily from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. North and South on Coast Highway. The Canyon Route runs every 20 minutes daily from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. along Laguna Canyon Road.

On July 4, the trolleys will be operating special service hours. The Coastal routes will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Canyon route will run from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be no transit service in the North and South Laguna neighborhoods, along with the Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods. 

Summer trolley at bus station

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Short and Long Coastal routes daily through summer

The Short Coastal Route makes all stops along Coast Highway from North Laguna to 7th Avenue/Mission Hospital. The Long Coastal Route makes all stops along Coast Highway from the Transit Depot to the Ritz Carlton. If patrons riding the Short Coastal want to continue south to the Ritz Carlton, just hop on the Long Coastal at any bus stop north of 7th Avenue/Mission Hospital (including 7th Avenue).

For information about the Trolley Tracker application, visit

Laguna Beach Live! presents Latin Jazz Syndicate, led by trumpeter Bijon Watson, on June 27

Laguna Beach Live! is proud to present Latin Jazz Syndicate on Wednesday, June 27. Formed in 2005 and led by versatile trumpeter Bijon Watson, Latin Jazz Syndicate is a group of all-star musicians that have performed and recorded with the likes of Arturo Sandoval, Poncho Sanchez, Jose Rizo’s Jazz On The Latin Side All Stars, and Luis Miguel, to name a few. The group pays homage to America’s indigenous music, jazz, while maintaining the rhythmic and harmonic authenticity required of a variety of ethnic styles.

Laguna Beach Live Jazz Syndicate

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Latin Jazz Syndicate

Latin Jazz Syndicate’s unique sonic flavors infuse Afro Cuban, Latin Soul and World Rhythms. The ensemble’s dedication to performing with unsurpassed passion and energy combine to create an unforgettable musical experience.

The band members include Bijon Watson – Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Norell Thompson – Vocals, Will Brahm – Guitar, Carlos Ordiano – Keyboards, Rene Camacho – Bass, Ruben Ordiano – Drums/Percussion, and Santiago Santiuste – Percussion.

To purchase tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays are located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Parking at the venue is metered and limited. Laguna Beach Live! reminds attendees of alternative transportation options including our free Trolley, the Summer Breeze for out-of-towners, as well as Uber and Lyft services. Visit for more information.

Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner will be served through to 7 p.m.

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership. 

Jazz Wednesday’s summer series upcoming concerts

 July 11: Traditional Jazz with Guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group; July 25: World Jazz with Vocalist Anne Walsh Quintet; August 8: Classic Jazz with vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb Trio, Andy Langham on piano, and Dean Koba on drums; August 22: Iconic Jazz with The Lineage Trio; September 5: Modern Jazz with Laguna Beach Live! All Stars featuring Bijon Watson on trumpet.

Live! at the Museum concerts

July 12: City of Angels Saxophone Quartet; August 9: Susan Greenberg and Cristina Montes-Monteo.

Laguna Board of REALTORS® gives back with 

A Day of Love event

On June 19, the Laguna Board of REALTORS® (LBOR) Directors partnered with the Laguna Food Pantry to organize and sort inventory for the local nonprofit. The many LBOR volunteers prepared the nonperishables at the Pantry’s storage facility for distribution to families in need.

“The Laguna Board of REALTORS® partnered with the Laguna Food Pantry to participate in a volunteer event that we call A Day of Love,” said Bobbie Jordan, association executive with Laguna Board of REALTORS®. “This is a program we have where our members give back to the community in various ways.”

Laguna Board of Realtors gives

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Realtors giving back at Food Pantry (left to right) – Back row: Directors Spencer Wall, Mahmoud Aldimassi. Front Row: Frank Hufnagel, Cari Young, Michael Johnson, Charles Brickell, President – Traudi Hansen, Dave Csira and Bobbie Jordan

Established in 1993, the Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 4,000 lbs. of free, fresh, nutritious groceries every weekday with the help of an almost all-volunteer staff. Approximately 400 families and individuals in need shop at the Pantry each week. Half of those families include babies and children. 

The Laguna Food Pantry is located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd, north of the Dog Park. The Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. New volunteers are always welcome. For more information, visit or call (949) 497-7121.

Brendy Michael named to 2019 Board of Directors of the Laguna Board of Realtors®

Surterre Properties is proud to announce that Brendy Michael has been elected to serve on the 2019 Board of Directors for the Laguna Board of REALTORS®, a professional trade association chartered by the National Association of Realtors. Brendy currently serves as a realtor with The Skenderian Group, an affiliate of Surterre Properties.

Brendy Michael

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Brendy Michael 

Brendy earned her degree in marketing at Western Michigan University and has over a decade of marketing and advertising experience and, in addition, five years with SchoolPower, The Laguna Beach Education Foundation, where she served as Marketing and Events Manager.

“I consider joining The Skenderian Group to be one of the best decisions I’ve made in my professional career,” says Brendy. “I feel honored and look forward to serving as a Director for the Laguna Board of Realtors starting in 2019.”

Brendy first joined The Skenderian Group at Surterre Properties in 2015 and, in addition to sales and client relations, is currently responsible for all marketing and advertising for the group.

“Surterre Properties prides itself in being comprised of Orange County’s top-performing real estate professionals, and Brendy being elected to the Board of Directors of the Laguna Board of REALTORS® speaks volumes about the strength of our team,” states Paula Ansara-Wilhelm, Co-Founder of Surterre Properties.

Prior to the election, Brendy volunteered on the Laguna Board of Realtors Community Events Committee.

Laguna Art-A-Fair Opening Night features Celebrity Red Carpet VIP Gala

Laguna Art-A-Fair will present an exclusive VIP Opening Night Gala on Friday, June 29 from 6 - 9 p.m. Held at the newly renovated Laguna Art-A-Fair grounds at 777 Laguna Canyon Road, the evening includes gourmet food tastings from local celebrity chefs, fine wine tastings, live music and hosted bar. Attendees will be the first to preview Laguna Art-A-Fair’s luxury design wall as the evening celebrates their new 2018 feature connecting fine art with luxury home design. 

Laguna Art a Fair

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Josh Gunter

The new façade brings fresh excitement to Art-A-Fair

Proceeds from the opening night affair will benefit the California Sports Hall of Fame founded by former all-pro running back for the Kansas City Chiefs, Christian Okoye. The nonprofit is dedicated to helping at-risk and under privileged youth by hosting free athletic clinics hosting by well-known professional athletes. Okoye and other known sports celebrities will be on hand at the VIP to greet guests.

The luxury design wall was created by renowned interior designer Nancy Vengoechea of Vengo Design International in partnership with luxury brands tied to the latest design trends in furnishings, flooring, lighting, wall finishes and more. Organizers developed the concept so homeowners can envision fine art in various settings.

Individual tickets to the June 29 VIP night are $150 and can be purchased online at

Laguna Art-A-Fair opens to the general public on Friday, June 29 from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. and continues through Sunday, September 2. 

Festival grounds are located at 777 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach. For more information about the Opening Night Gala, call (949) 444-6314 or visit

A juried art exhibit, Laguna Art-A-Fair has set and maintained a standard of excellence that is respected both internationally and by the local art community.

Arranged as an artist coop, each participant plays a role in producing the annual exhibit that features 120 art exhibits, workshops, food & wine and live music in a scenic Laguna canyon setting. 

Unlike other local art shows, Laguna Art-A-Fair does not have residency restrictions so the festival draws a geographically diverse group of artists with works rich in quality yet diverse in content.

Neighborhood Congregational Church hosts Beyond Boundaries, A Musical Journey tomorrow night

Tomorrow night, Saturday, June 23, Neighborhood Congregational Church invites the community to a magical night of eclectic music with touch points from north to south, east to west, and past to present. This one-night-only concert will be performed by a talented trio: William Sigismondi at the piano, Cheryl Crandall on vocals, and cellist Steve Velez. The doors open at 6 p.m. for wine, cheese, and appetizers. The concert starts promptly at 7 p.m.

The pre-event will benefit “LBHS Walking for Water” and Laguna Food Pantry (non-perishable foods will be accepted at the door).

Sigismondi is a Venezuelan composer, producer and pianist with musical influences that range from ethnic to urban to eclectic. Throughout five decades of professional work and study, beginning at age seven in Caracas, he has continued to explore and expand his musical range and experience. His contributions include hundreds of arrangements and musical productions for Award-Winning Latin American artists of national and international fame, resulting in two nominations and one win for a “Latin Grammy” award given by the Latin Academy of Arts and Recording Sciences.

Neighborhood Congregational group

Click on photo for larger image

Submitted photo

(L-R) William Sigismondi, Steve Velez, and Cheryl Crandall

Crandall is a UCLA Musical Theater graduate, recipient of the Frank Sinatra Pop Vocal Award and the Carol Burnett musical Theater Award. She has performed on Broadway and national tours including lead roles in numerous musicals. Crandall toured with Perry Como for five years, has sung for two US Presidents and performed internationally on cruise lines. She was the solo vocalist for the grand opening of the Disney California Adventure Park, and her inspirational CD “Wings of Light” has received great reviews. Her vocal versatility and wide repertoire of music makes her a sought-after vocalist.

Velez received his musical education at UCI and forged a diverse musical experience from classical to pop, Irish to Klesmer. He performs regularly on cello, guitar, piano, recorder, and saxophone. Velez has made numerous television appearances, his various other works include performances with many well-known musicians, and he performs regularly with The Mozart Classical Orchestra, Opera Pacific, Orange County Symphony, among others. In addition to running his own music business, Velez has released compact discs, “Breathe the Celtic Aire” and “Christmas Fantasia,” with his own Da Capo Players.

General admission is $22 (tickets are $25 at the door). To purchase tickets, go to

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Dr.

For more information, call (949) 433-6839.

The Ranch at Laguna Beach launches Junior Explorer Camp for summer 2018

California’s only National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, the Ranch at Laguna Beach, is welcoming visiting children for summer camp adventures with its new Junior Explorer program.

Available now through August 26, Junior Explorers is a weekly summer camp open to kids ages 6-12 who are guests at the property. Activities run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, with each day offering a distinct outdoor-themed activity. In addition to exciting canyon adventures, children will receive lunch, a Junior Explorer backpack, water bottle, T-shirt, Year of the Bird coloring book, and patches earned on achievement.

The Ranch at Kids

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

The daily itinerary is designed to connect kids with nature and foster an appreciation of the great outdoors: Wednesday – Bees & Bugs. Explore the unlimited species of insects and discover the important roles bees play in our ecosystem. Kids craft nature journals and sketch insects in their natural habitats; Thursday – Gardening. Dig deep into planting and harvesting in the Ranch’s very own organic garden. Campers plant seed-bearing lollipops and decorate planting tins to take home; Friday – Canyon Creatures. Campers take a nature hike and spot signs of wildlife. Children uncover animal tracks and build clay models of their favorite wildlife creatures; Saturday – Birds of Prey. Kids encounter hawks, owls, and eagles through an interactive class with OC Birds of Prey Center. Campers use pinecones and faux feathers to design their own owls to take home.

The Ranch at Hawk

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

“As California’s only National Geographic Unique Lodge of the World, The Ranch at Laguna Beach is always looking for new ways to connect guests with nature through enriching experiences that celebrate our natural environment,” said Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach. “The Junior Explorer program is the latest example of this commitment, providing kids with meaningful and engaging activities that are unique to Laguna Beach and will foster a lifelong appreciation for the Great Outdoors.”

Enrollment in The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s Junior Explorer Camp is $40 per child/per day. Campers must be guests of the hotel, and space is limited to ensure a quality and enriching experience for all who attend.

For more information or to inquire about a booking, please call (949) 499-2271 ext. 1 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Crystal Cove summer programs, shows beckon

Crystal Cove Conservancy (CCC) is offering a variety of programs this summer. Local residents are encouraged to sign up quickly before registrations are full.

Every Wednesday between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., now through August 29, CCC is offering fun and historical activities for the whole family at Community Days in the Education Commons. From watercolors to sea glass, participants will tap into their “inner artists” in Crystal Cove’s serene surroundings. Attendees will also learn about the unique history of Crystal Cove through a guided tour of the historic district, or explore the science of Crystal Cove State Park. Best of all...this is a free event. 

Local families are also encouraged to sign up for CCC’s Family Plein Art Workshop on Monday, July 30. During the three-hour program, family teams will explore the basics of plein air painting, and then work together to design a fun still life arrangement that captures the summer spirit of the Cove, as each family member creates their own masterpiece. These workshops are intended for parents, grandparents and children ages 8 and up. Laura Rosenkranz will be the instructor.

Crystal Cove summer

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

Family Plein Air Art Exploration

Crystal Cove State Park has a long history of plein air artists painting and preserving its beautiful landscapes. Now, every summer, you can be a part of this 100-year-old tradition during the Great Plein Air Art Experience. Spend a relaxing day with one of Crystal Cove State Park’s plein air artists while capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas. No experience is required; this introductory class is recommended for novices only. Available dates that are still open are July 17, and August 23 and 30. Alan Nowell will be the instructor.

Crystal Cove Conservancy also hosts Movie Nights on the Beach. This year, CCC is showing Alice in Wonderland (July 19), Beach Blanket Bingo (August 2) and Casablanca (August 16) on a giant inflatable screen outside the Historic District’s “Beaches” Film & Media Center (Cottage #13). Learn about Crystal Cove’s role in the early film industry, relax on the sand and enjoy a one-of-a-kind movie experience. All films start at 8 p.m. and are free to the public with a $15 day-use parking fee.

Last but not least, don’t miss the Summer Art Show – Diamonds in the Sand – where more than 50 works by 35 local artists will be presented. An Artist Reception takes place on Friday, July 27 from 5 - 7:30 p.m. with live music, food, and beverages amid a picturesque beachfront location. The cost is $10 for members and $20 for the general public. Tickets are available for purchase at The Public Show takes place on Friday, July 28 through Saturday, July 29 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Education Commons with a $15 day-use parking fee.

Check out for more information regarding these events or call (949) 376-6200.

Crystal Cove Conservancy is located at #5 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast.

LBPD is now hiring Police Recruits

Are you passionate about serving our community? Are you committed to pursuing a career in the field of law enforcement? The City of Laguna Beach is currently seeking individuals who desire a career path serving our beautiful, seaside community as Police Officers. The current recruitment is being run to establish an eligibility list from which to fill future vacancies. Current police academy attendees and graduates are encouraged to apply.

LBPD is now hiring

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBPD is looking for a few good men and women to fill future officer openings

Applications are currently being accepted until the filing deadline of Friday, June 22 at 11:59 p.m. Applications will be reviewed and invitations to testing will be sent to qualified applicants meeting department desirable criteria.

To apply, go to

Recruitment Timeline:

The Police Entry Level Law Enforcement Test Battery Exam (PELLETB) and Physical Agility Test (PAT) will be held on Saturday, June 30 at Golden West College.

Panel Interviews are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, July 17 and 18 in the City of Laguna Beach Police Department (Structured Panel Interview).

For more information on careers within the Laguna Beach Police Department, watch this video:

City Manager’s Update

Laguna Canyon Road Improvements – On June 27, from 5 to 7p.m., Caltrans will be conducting a public hearing at the Laguna Beach High School Library to present environment impact findings and their proposal to adopt a Mitigated Negative Declaration for the Laguna Canyon Road Improvements project. The project proposes to provide Class II bike lanes on the shoulder of the road, implement drainage improvements, underground overhead utilities between El Toro Rd and State Route 73, and implement traffic safety improvements on Laguna Canyon Rd from 1,700 feet south of El Toro Rd to 1,200 feet north of El Toro Rd. The hearing will provide the public an opportunity to comment and to discuss certain design features of the proposed project with Caltrans staff. If you have any questions, contact Van Nguyen, Caltrans Public Information Office at (657) 328-6363 or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Click here to view the Caltrans notice.

SCE Pole Replacement by Helicopter – On June 25, 26, and 28, Southern California Edison (SCE) will perform helicopter operations to replace two poles located in the canyon between Canyon Acres Dr and Alta Laguna Park. SCE will use a helicopter to transport crews to prepare the site on Monday, June 25 and Tuesday, June 26. On Thursday, June 28, the helicopter will be used to place the new poles. The landing zone and staging area for the helicopter will be located at the trailhead north of Alta Laguna Park. The trails in the vicinity of the staging area will be temporarily closed while the helicopter is operating in the staging area for no more than 10 to 30-minute intervals. Hours of operations will vary each day. Signs will be posted and flag persons will alert the public of the temporary closures. For questions or concerns, please contact JC Holt, Construction Coordinator with Pro Energy Services, Inc. at (909) 781-3973.

 July 4 Laguna Beach Transit Hours – On July 4, the trolleys will be operating special service hours. The Coastal routes will run from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Canyon route will run from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. There will be no transit service in the North and South Laguna neighborhoods, along with the Top of the World, Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods. For more information, please contact the Transit office at (949) 497-0766.

Two New Laguna Beach Police Officers Graduate Academy – On Friday, June 22, Officer Elizabeth Gutierrez and Officer Chelsea Martin will graduate from the Golden West Criminal Justice Training Center, Academy Class #157. Officer Gutierrez comes from a family of law enforcement officers and was previously both a Police Aid and Police Cadet with the Laguna Beach Police Department. Officer Martin is a graduate of Long Beach State University, where she played field hockey and was the team captain. We welcome them to our police and city family!

 Creative Placemaking Assessment – On Monday, June 25, the Arts Commission will review and discuss the final draft report of the Creative Placemaking Assessment submitted by AEA Consulting. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. This project was funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. The report can be reviewed at:

 The Word on the Street – On June 30, new temporary sculptures, titled “Word on the Street,” by Scott Froschauer, will be installed throughout Heisler Park. The public is invited to attend the public art dedication and artist reception on Sunday, July 1 at the corner of Cliff Dr and Jasmine St at 5 p.m. This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

 Art-Inspired Writing Contest – Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn invites local poets and authors to respond in verse or prose to Jeff Rovner’s photograph Kalaywa Monastery, Yangon, currently on display at City Hall. Two selected winners will each receive $250. The deadline for entry is Friday, July 27. For more information visit