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 Volume 10, Issue 56  |  July 13, 2018                                      


A special edition of Police Files

Where the Wild Things Are…

Avid Stu News reader shaken by “tarantula-sized” cockroach

Hot of the press, yesterday at 11:04 p.m. in the Boat Canyon area of North Laguna, long-time resident Christopher Kling reported in a Stu News exclusive a horrific experience of the entomology variety. 

Kling said, “I thought I was all alone a couple days ago, sitting on the toilet, minding my own business, when an intruder the size of a tarantula, zipped into my bedroom from the bathroom. I was so mortified!”

The unwanted guest, a cockroach, was the size of a silver dollar coin, Kling said, and probably the biggest he had seen in his life.

“I told my neighbor about it, who reported back to me today, that he too had an intruder as well. Turns out the humidity is the culprit, and I want to confirm with all the neighbors that the roaches aren’t just at your place,” Kling said.

Keep your eyes peeled and beware, Laguna!

Police Files Cockroach

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Courtesy of the Internet

Cockroaches are on the rise in Laguna right now due to increased humidity

Extra-large raccoon and “wolves” reported on Catalina Street

On Sunday, July 8 at 9:41 p.m., at the 800 block of Catalina Street, a caller reported “a 30 lb. raccoon hanging around the house.” According to Wikipedia, the average raccoon weighs between 7.7 and 20 lbs, meaning this was a very large and well-fed raccoon.

A couple of days later, on July 10 at 9:21 p.m., also at the 800 block of Catalina, LBPD received a call from a resident about a “possible wolf” in their backyard. Moments later, the caller reported the “possible wolf” was now in their neighbors’ backyard.

Animal Services was notified of the incident via email…and rest is history/a mystery.

Duck, duck, geese, shoo them away please

Recently, at 9:19 a.m. at the 5500 block of Paseo Del Lago, a caller reported that geese were “defecating by the doors and [were] also near garages.” 

The caller went on to state that, “[the] Geese are not afraid of people and are coming very close to people.”

The resident requested further contact from Animal Services to resolve the situation. It is unknown what the next steps were.

Snaking around on the ground…those slithering snakes seem to abound

There have been at least five recent rattlesnake sightings reported locally, including one on Monday, July 9 at the 0 block of La Costa Court, and another one that day at the 900 block of Quivera Street; two on Thursday, July 5 – one at the 900 block of Park Avenue and one at the 3400 block of Bahia Blanca Way; and then two at the 3200 block of Bern Court within three days – one was an extra large snake and the other was likely a baby snake.

Injured animals on the trails: what to do


Recently, while walking at James Dilley Preserve, Lynette and I spotted a rabbit that had a lame leg. Because it was close to the trail, and didn’t run away when we approached, we knew something was wrong. Then when it tried to put some distance between us, and hide behind a bush, it dragged one of its back legs.

We were uncertain as to what to do. Turns out that my first inclination (try to capture it) was the wrong thing to do. And, thankfully, we didn’t.

Injured animals rabbit

Never touch an injured animal if you encounter one on the trails

(This rabbit was spotted in Laguna Wilderness Park, but not the one we saw)

Ranger Brad of Orange County Parks says, “It’s doesn’t often happen that one sees an injured animal on the trails. First of all, don’t touch it! Then either go back to the trailhead if there is someone there, and let them know the location of the injured animal, or if there is no one manning the entrance, call OC Parks front desk at (949) 923-2235, and let them know where the animal was spotted.” 

For more information about OC Parks, go to

Family Art Day at Festival of the Arts, the bewitching magic of Le PeTiT CiRqUe never fades


Photos by Jeff Rovner

On any given day or night during the summer, the Festival of Arts (FOA) is a rarified place filled with splendid and imaginative art, and the genius creativity of the Pageant of the Masters.

But this past Sunday during Family Art Day, to add to its already rich allure, the

FOA grounds were alive with the sights and sounds of merriment, music, and the mesmerizing artistry of Le PeTiT CiRqUe (LPC). 

Family Art girl jumping

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Girl jumps for joy at Family Art Day at Festival of the Arts

During the day’s festivities, visiting families with kids of all ages donned elaborate balloon hats, sported temporary tattoos, participated in crafts and treasure hunts, and mingled with the technicolor-costumed sprites that make up LPC. And for the second year, a capacity audience was completely captivated by the performance of this all children cirque company.

Does magic fade with familiarity? In this case, seeing the performance by Le PeTiT CiRqUe for the second time, the answer is a resounding, “No.” The bewitching nature of the troupe is still in full force as evidenced by the “oohs” and “aahs” coming from the spellbound crowd. 

The audience drew a collective breath when the acrobats (one with a tiny nymph of a girl wrapped around her waist) shot arrows with their feet while doing handstands. We were dazzled by the aerialists hypnotic twirls high above the ground, seeming to turn into crimson flower petals before our eyes. And the little karate master with his enthusiastic utterances always elicits a reaction from the crowd, especially when he wields his sword around the stage. 

Every moment continues to be awe-inspiring. 

Family Art girl on stilts

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Girl on stilts towers over artist in his booth

What this company has accomplished is also awe-inspiring. LPC is the only all-kid humanitarian professional cirque company in the world. The troupe consists of kids from 5 -16 years of age, who perform as cirque artists, acrobats, karate masters, musicians, singers, hula hoop masters, and dancers. 

They have performed all over the US, Canada and Dubai, and for world leaders including the Dalai Lama, and the Sultan of Brunei. LPC has raised an incredible five million dollars since its launch six years ago.

As readers might remember, LPC’s connection to the Festival is through Haley Rovner, the troupe’s hula hoop master, whose father just happens to be Jeff Rovner, a fine art photographer exhibiting at the FOA for the second year in a row. His Cirque Noir portfolio is currently on exhibition (last year it featured his LPC photographs). 

Family Art handstand at booth

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Anne Arellano doing a handstand at Rovner’s booth as Haley looks on

Le PeTiT CirRqUe started with a vision that Nathalie Gaulthier, the founder and creator of LPC, had as a seven-year-old girl. “I grew up in Iqualuit, Nunavut, right below Greenland, with Inuits, Eskimos. I was a minority. I grew up with igloos around me and knew there was a bigger world out there. I wrote my first play at age seven, directed it, and it was presented at my school in half English and half Inuit.”

But, it’s one thing to have a vision, it’s another to make it happen.

And that’s just what Gaulthier did. “I launched my full company at age 14 in Montreal, Canada and it grew! We added the circus in 2007 and Le PeTiT CiRqUe was born in 2012.”

Just last October, they were invited to appear at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway. 

Gaulthier says of this experience, “The biggest takeaway for our team was to dream big and believe in their potential to make a difference in the world.”

Family Art Bob Whalen

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Haley chats with Councilman Bob Whalen as Audrey Brown sips her soda

Although the show is magic, it’s not magically conjured up, and ultimately appears on stage only after a tremendous amount of hard work, perseverance, and creativity by everyone concerned. All the elements, the performers, costumes, music, choreography, and staging, come together to generate the mystique. 

This year there was an addition to LPC’s stage presence, one that has a unique connection to the Pageant of the Masters. The mural behind the LPC performers was painted by 11-year-old artist Elisabeth Anisimow, who has participated in several shows with LPC.

Elisabeth’s specialty is producing paintings very much like the ones in the Pageant – she was inspired by the European tradition “tableaux vivant,” which translates from French to “living pictures.” Especially popular in the 19th century, it involved actors transforming themselves to represent scenes from art, literature or history. 

Family Art LPC Troupe

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LPC troupe poses in front of Elisabeth’s mural

She and her mother, Ekaterina Anisimova, live in St. Petersburg, Russia, but also spend time in Los Angeles. She painted the mural in Russia and brought it over to the US for this show. She also brought the materials for three frames, which she and her mom assembled at the Rovner residence on Saturday. They then mounted the three canvases over the frames on Sunday morning in preparation for the performance.

The “proper” way to present her mural at the Festival last weekend would have been for the human figures to remain immobile in front of the canvas. But for this particular performance, it was decided the figures – who were acrobats – should move. And the audience was certainly glad they did.

During the intermission between LPC’s two performances, the audience was treated to the music of Undecided Future, a pop/funk/R&B band featuring former students of Orange County School of the Arts. They have performed at numerous venues including the 2016 NAMM Show, Honda Center, House of Blues, Disneyland, Angel Stadium and opened up for the legendary band The English Beat at the Coach House. A perfect choice for this particular afternoon of fun and fantasy.

Watching a performance by LPC is like being part of fairytale that one never wants to end. If Laguna is fortunate enough to have them back next year, don’t miss it, and prepare to be wowed, again and again!

For more information on LPC, go to

Teen Josh Tanaka has fun with the camera he won in the Wyland photo contest

Last year, Josh Tanaka won a terrific new camera in the Wyland National Art Challenge photo contest. Named as the Individual Photo Camera Winner, he’s been experimenting since he received the prize.

“The camera has dual lenses that can make a compete 360 photo. I can grab a image from any angle or show a full frame from it!” Josh says. “Other than being able to do almost anything in post production, the camera is waterproof, so I can take those advantages with me in the ocean!”

Below are some photos Josh took recently while exploring the camera’s capabilities.

Teen josh one

Teen josh two

Teen josh three

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Laguna in the round

Win $250 by simply exercising your imagination and your fingertips – but the deadline is approaching fast!

All you have to do to win $250 (and there are two prizes of $250!) is take a look at Jeff Rovner’s photo below and respond in the form of flash fiction (a very short story, less than 500 words) or a poem or a brief memory that it inspires.

Your entry can be profound, trivial, funny or moving, whatever strikes you – just write what comes naturally!

Besides winning $250, your piece will be published on the City website and displayed at City Hall.

Sit down right now and give it a go…it’s just words. 

Or if you prefer to give your entry more thought (sometimes what comes out spontaneously is most authentic), there’s a book at the City Hall counter featuring art-inspired writing. There you can see what other, similar contests have inspired.

Win literary monk

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Do not be intimidated by this amazing photograph: Just respond in writing…what does it make you feel? What might the monk be thinking? Do the colors resonate with you? Does the robe make you think of a bullfighter or a butterfly maybe?

2018 Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn, who initiated this project, says, “There is a long tradition of writing responding to visual art, so we thought it would be fun to post a challenge to local poets and authors to respond in verse or prose to a piece of local art,” she said.

“We chose FOA artist Jeff Rovner’s photograph Yangon Monastery Myanmar [to be the inspiration for the competition],” Redfearn added.

Friends can enter too

There will be two $250 winners

The photograph will be on display at City Hall for the duration of the competition. 

Tell your friends, too – the contest is open to all Orange County residents 18 years of age or older. Please submit works via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The deadline for entries is Friday, July 27.  

Entries should be 500 words or less. Work must be original. Work must not have been previously published. Entry establishes an agreement on the part of the artist to all conditions listed in the prospectus. 

Visit for more information.

Cox Conserves Heroes awards: nominate extraordinary local environmental volunteer – winner will get $50,000 for nonprofit of their choice

Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land today opened the nomination process for the Cox Conserves Heroes program. The program serves to honor environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities. The public is encouraged to nominate local conservation heroes through July 31.

Celebrating its 10th year, the nomination process is open in eight select Cox markets: Atlanta, Arizona, California (Orange County, San Diego and Santa Barbara), Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington. Once a winner from each market has been chosen, these winning individuals will compete in a national competition that the public will vote on in October.

 In California, the Cox Conserves Heroes program is presented by Cox Communications and Bank of America.

Cox lcf volunteers

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Photo by Jon Barber

Here are some very worthy Laguna environmental volunteers enjoying a Laguna Canyon Foundation mixer at The Ranch

 Beginning this year, Cox has evolved the program to increase the levels of support for the winners. Local winners in the above-listed markets will receive $10,000 to donate to their environmental nonprofit of choice, with an additional award of $50,000 to the national winner’s chosen nonprofit.

 Nominees and nonprofits of choice must be located within a Cox service area in the eight participating markets.

 The public can nominate volunteers by filling out a brief online form at now through July 31. A panel of local and environmental leaders will select the winner in each market. The winners will then become candidates for the national title. National voting starts October 1, and anyone can nominate at the local level or cast a ballot for their favorite finalist in the national competition.

The winner of the national competition will be announced in late October.

Eligibility criteria for nominees

Nominees must meet the following eligibility criteria: Their activity creates, protects and/or beautifies an outdoor community space; their activity is done on a volunteer basis and is not part of paid employment; their activity inspires others to engage in community conservation.

 In partnership with The Trust for Public Land, the national Cox Conserves Heroes program has donated more than $800,000 to environmental nonprofits over the past 10 years, and more than 200 volunteers have been honored.

 To learn more about the program, contact Keith Maley at The Trust for Public Land at (415) 800-5177 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Joe Camero at Cox Communications at (949) 563-8353 and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

So very Laguna…have you noticed this piece of public art in Treasure Island Park?

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

So very Voyager

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Voyager by Linda Brunker, installed 2003: City of Laguna Beach Art in Public Places, Treasure Island Park

Created by Irish artist Linda Brunker, the bronze sculpture is inspired by our connection with the ocean. The female figure stands on a pyramid of shells her head embracing the breeze of the Pacific Ocean. 

Linda created a second piece for the City titled “People’s Council” outside City Hall.

Why A Taste for Charity matters

By Dave Csira

Every year since 1995, the Laguna Board of REALTORS® Charitable Assistance Fund and Affiliates have organized and hosted “A Taste for Charity.” This epic event brings together local artists, restaurants and merchants who generously contribute their talents and creations for the benefit of select nonprofit organizations right here in Laguna Beach.

This year’s event took place on May 16 and set a new record for attendance and proceeds generated. With a retro theme dubbed “Follow the Call to the Disco Ball,” there was shoulder-to-shoulder grooving on the dance floor with moves not seen since the ‘70s. For those of a certain generation, it was a chance to bust out some funky outfits and platform soles, all the while being refreshed and nourished by 13 of Laguna’s finest eating establishments. 

Needless to say, there were a lot of smiling faces.

Why a taste foursome

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Submitted photo

“A chance to bust out some funky outfits and platform shoes”

Of course, the real purpose of the event is to raise money and awareness for some of the most deserving charitable organizations in Laguna Beach. Paddles were held high when it came time for the bidding and this crowd reached deep into their pockets for the 100 pieces that were sold. The final tally came in at over $106,000. 

Here is why A Taste for Charity really matters: the vast majority of those proceeds were distributed directly to these local charitable organizations:

Laguna Beach Community Clinic – A free clinic to meet the needs of low-income and medically uninsured people of South County;

The Laguna Food Pantry – Striving to prevent homelessness and provide support services for local residents when disaster strikes;

Laguna Beach Live – Increasing awareness of and participation in diverse musical experiences;

Laguna Beach Seniors – A service organization for Laguna Beach seniors, housed in the Suzi Q;

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association – Builds upon and promotes the renowned landscape painting heritage of Laguna Beach;

Laguna Radio KS93.5 – Broadcasting and airing generational rock and community programming to Laguna Beach;

No Square Theatre – Providing performance opportunities for amateur players of all ages and experience levels;

The Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund – Providing assistance to members of the Laguna Beach REALTOR® and Affiliate community who have overwhelming medical or financial needs;

The Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Fund – Provides grants to three graduating seniors with an interest in the arts and who have provided 60 or more hours of community service;

Wayfinders (previously Laguna Beach Youth Shelter) – Providing emergency shelter, counseling and short-term crisis intervention programs and services to children 11 to 17 years of age.

Why a taste group

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More than 50 volunteers/real estate professionals worked to make this a reality

Your local real estate professionals, consisting of 50 volunteers, worked tirelessly to put on a terrific event for such a worthy cause. About 100 artists and merchants, and 13 restaurants donated their time and goods. 

Show your appreciation by attending next year’s event and help to make it another record-breaking year. Who knows what theme or era will be featured, but it’s sure to be a great time and you’ll be helping to make Laguna Beach even better. So, be there or be square…

Hobie partners with Patagonia to benefit PMMC’s Pinniped Pollution Project

Hobie Surf Shops are proud to partner with Patagonia in providing grants and funds to our local community partners. Last year, The Ocean Institute’s “Adopt a Classroom” program was its beneficiary; this year, Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) is the recipient.

PMMC, which rescues, rehabilitates and releases marine mammals and inspires ocean stewardship through research, education and collaboration, is a perfect fit to receive this year’s grant.

As well-known leaders in the outdoor industry for environmental advocacy and community enrichment, Patagonia’s grants program recently gifted PMMC with a $5,000 grant to support its Pinniped Pollution Project (PPP). PPP is a hands-on marine education program for fourth and fifth grade students in Orange County.

Hobie partners kids

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Kids have fun while they learn through the Pinniped Pollution Project

The Patagonia ‘Environmental Grants Program’ is funded through the company’s membership in “1% For The Planet” – which has donated over $89 million in cash to thousands of community-based groups working to create positive change for the planet in their own backyards. 

Instead of giving large sums to a handful of causes, Patagonia gives modest grants – which typically range between $2,500 - $15,000 – to hundreds of groups every year for whom this money makes a world of difference.

“In this way, Hobie Surf Shops are philosophically aligned with our friends at Patagonia and proud to be able to help in the selection of grant recipients,” a spokesperson said.

PMCC hosts from 9,000 to 10,000 children every year through their daily and weekly programs. The center also rescues, rehabilitates and releases between 150-250 animals every year. Programs at PMMC range from afternoon field trips, distance learning programs with multi media presentations and live Q&A sessions, and Girl Scout badge programs where youth learn about the role we play in keeping our oceans clean.

Hobie sea lions

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The sea lions can rest easy thanks to grants like those from Hobie and Patagonia

PMMC’s Camp Pinniped is a week-long camp that witnesses a marine hospital in action, including rescue, rehabilitation, and release of the hospital’s mammal patients. Also, the nonprofit’s “Give Back Education Program” helps members of the military, children at risk, children in hospitals or just children struggling to afford field trip experiences to learn about ocean conservation get to the center. 

All programs and hospital activities are provided through grants, donations and the hard work of volunteers.

 Learn more about the Pacific Marine Mammal Center by visiting

Six-pack or no-pack (that’s me)? Doesn’t matter, Renato DaRocha’s goal is to make (any) body better


These are the Google searches I made after deciding to attempt my first gym workout in 20 years: Should I eat before I work out, and if so, when, and what should I eat?

Do I wear shoes to the gym and if so, what kind? (I knew not to wear stilettos; other than that, I felt somewhat clueless as to type of shoe – barefoot yoga will do that to you.)

And then I Googled “location of DaRocha Fitness” because that’s where I was headed, more as an experiment than anything else. 

Would I survive an hour’s exercise?

My fear of gyms is partly because I am the furthest thing from taut – my muscles are roughly the consistency of marshmallow – and I feel intimidated every time I set foot into a gym (never mind both feet). 

Gyms have had an impact on me – just wrong kind (so far)

My heart rate escalates beyond a safe level just looking at the thing that you step up and down on; my attempted biceps curls flat-line; and as for planks, well, you wouldn’t want bendy ones like mine for your hardwood floors.

Also, as an uncoordinated klutz, left alone in a gym, the machines seem to come to life with evil intentions, a la Star Wars. 

But off I went, on the advice of a friend, and with the encouragement of Brazilian-born Renato DaRocha, certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine to offer personal training not only for the buff and beautiful, but also to help people like me achieve a higher level of fitness and better muscle tone.

(Renato’s body would have made the young Schwarzenegger envious, let me just say that. Good heavens. Is there such a thing as a twelve-pack?)

Six pack or Renato

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Photo from DaRocha website

Renato DaRocha: Is there such a thing as a twelve-pack?

During the six-minute drive to the fitness studio, my mind wandered all over the place…Who cares, I thought, whether my arms have definition – “things that hang from your shoulders” is a good enough definition for me…and I recalled the relatively early demise of fitness guru and runner James Fixx…oh god no, I don’t want to die, I thought, I’m having my first granddaughter in October!...but I wasn’t exactly Fixx…so was that a good thing or a bad thing?

Then I found a parking spot.

Renato was welcoming and warm, and the spotless studio, thank goodness, was cool, with the AC on to counter the record-breaking heat.

Well, the workout was great!

The first ten minutes, anyway, on the treadmill, chatting, then working on my quads and hamstrings, Renato encouraging me every step of the way…

The second ten minutes was fine! Up and down, up and down, core and back engaged. The machines were friendly and comfortable. I felt strong, thought about my calendar and how I might fit (no pun intended, but acknowledged) workouts into my schedule, pictured my future toned body.

I cannot tell a lie

But by the end of the third ten minutes excuses poured out of me, disguised as useful information: “Gallbladder has been removed,” I said, as if it mattered. “Broke elbow once. Broke shoulder, too,” I muttered, pulling on some ropes to strengthen my triceps. “Arms always have been weak, genetics maybe? Also my work schedule is crazy, and I sit a lot…”

These health problems occurred years ago, of course, but were offered as a way to draw a veil over the real truth – that I am rather unfit, to say the least, despite regular hikes and gentle yoga.

“Ok, got it, understand,” Renato said kindly. “Ten, eleven, twelve.”

I made it another ten minutes, but that was it – I gave up. I chickened out! I’d begun to feel nauseous. Did not like the feeling. (Please know that Renato had given me plenty of time to pause in between, and to drink water, and he never asked me to do more than 20 reps, mostly 12, of each exercise. I’ve seen enough TV to know I wasn’t being pushed to anything beyond the most basic of workouts. I simply cannot lie.)

I’ll be back

Renato was very comforting. He said it was a good start. He understands limitations. While I recovered, he gave me great advice about good nutrition (that’s another service he offers) and recommended exercise strategies for my particular set of challenges.

My goal is to climb a few more hills, work harder at my yoga, and sign up with Renato in the next month or so. 

My question was answered. No, I could not happily survive an hour at the gym. Not at this point. But on the whole, the experience was very positive, thanks to Renato’s warm personality, caring, and obvious expertise.

What can I say, except I’ll be back!

Personal trainer Renato has competed – and placed every time – in Men’s Physique competitions around the world. He was born in Brazil and has training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which allows him to integrate diversity into his workout regimens. His state-of-the-art gym is located at 1936 S Coast Hwy. Website is and his phone number is 715-5542. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions.

Malcolm Warner, exec director of LAM, picks Red Hot Winners at Art-To-Go

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts presented the Art-To-Go Best-in-Show awards to seven artists last Sunday. Art-To-Go is a fundraising sale of original works donated by Festival exhibitors to support the disaster relief fund for artists. 

These Red-Hot themed works are available daily on the Festival grounds now through August 26.

Malcolm Warner group

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Submitted Photo

(L-R) Artists Fund Vice President Wendy Wirth, Sherry Cohen, Michael Obermeyer, Maaria Kader, Elizabeth McGhee, Jonathan Hunt, and Sharon Jackman

Scratchboard artist Maaria Kader won both People’s Choice City Hall and Festival Grounds categories for “Always Hot”, her portrait of a Laguna Beach firefighter. “I’m so grateful for these awards,” she said. “I hope it brings more attention to scratchboard as a fine art medium.”

Malcolm Warner, Executive Director of Laguna Art Museum served as awards juror. “I like seeing all the ways the artists interpreted the Red Hot theme,” he said. 

His picks included Mia Moore for first place, and Michael Obermeyer for second place with his nude figure.

“I asked my daughter if it was too racy to display, but she told me – no dad, definitely turn it in,” Obermeyer said. “I’m glad I listened to her!”

Malcolm Warner Fire Temple

Fire Temple by Mia Moore won first place in the Art-To-Go fundraising sale

Ceramicist Sharon Jackman took third place, and honorable mentions went to printmaker Jonathan Hunt and painter Elizabeth McGhee. Best in them went to Sherry Cohen for her Rising Flame necklace.

All Art-To-Go buyers qualify to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn. View the collection online at or call (949) 612-1949. Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

Coastal Eddy a gallery presents “Another Happening Show” by Richard White, opening this Sunday, July 15

Coastal Eddy a gallery is thrilled to present the art of Richard White in “Another Happening Show.” Although Richie left too soon in February of 2015, what still remains is his body of work that ranges from large scale public art, fired in place performances, figurative works, as well as drawings. 

The show runs from July 15 - August 15. The opening, “Celebrating everything Richie,” will be held this Sunday, July 15 from 2 until 5 p.m. 

Coast Eddy White

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Submitted photo

Richard White

His legacy is fixed among his many hundreds of students he shared his vast knowledge with from 1998-2015 at Saddleback College. His last focus was on his body of work, “Lenses”, large-scale plates. This work was directly inspired by his participation in several multidisciplinary (jazz, spoken word, painting, sculpting) performances, titled Happening/Unhappening, the premise being that jazz and art share a nonverbal “commonality of being in the moment.” 

Coastal Eddy discs

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“Lenses” – large scale plates

Reccurring themes and symbolism are also part of this work, and the show will emphasize the meaning and origins a la Richard. It will be a happening, so RSVP to (949) 715-4113. 

Coastal eddy a gallery, the only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, is located at 1417 S Coast Hwy.

For more information, go to

Girl Scouts of Orange County announces 2018 Celebrate Leadership honorees

Girl Scouts of Orange County announced its roster of 2018 Celebrate Leadership honorees: extraordinary local female Girl Scout alum and trailblazers who are outstanding examples of what it means to be a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™. Four Orange County women will be honored, including Laguna Beach resident Melinda Masson. 

New this year, the nonprofit also announced it will honor two outstanding Gold Award Girl Scouts who have taken action to change the world forever and for better. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls – and the most difficult to earn – and it is only available to Girl Scouts. All six honorees are to be recognized at the organization’s ninth annual Celebrate Leadership event on October 12 at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach.

Celebrate Leadership is the Girl Scouts of Orange County’s annual fundraising event to honor and celebrate outstanding women in Orange County and raise awareness of the profound impact that Girl Scouting has on nearly 20,000 girls from every zip code in Orange County. Each honoree is paired with a current Girl Scout, ranging from Daisy (kindergarten) to Ambassador (grades 11-12), providing the leaders of tomorrow with an opportunity to connect with leaders of today.

Girl Scouts Masson

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Submitted photo

Melinda Masson, CEO of Scripsense, is a 2018 Celebrate Leadership honoree

Laguna Beach resident Melinda Masson, CEO of Scripsense, will be honored at the event. Scripsense is a leading digital fundraising program that enables organizations and their members to earn funds through shopping. 

A serial entrepreneur, Masson founded her first company in her early twenties, Merit Property Management, Inc. Over 30 years, she grew the organization from a single contract into four real estate-related service companies under The Merit Companies umbrella, which she sold in 2007 to FirstService Corporation. 

Masson was also instrumental in founding several organizations that furthered the California real estate industry, including the first state Legislative Action Committee and the California Association of Community Managers. She also served on the California Department of Real Estate Commission. Through her latest entrepreneurial venture Scripsense, Inc., Masson has created a private fundraising platform that has become a valuable tool for many 501c3 organizations. She has been a guest lecturer at Chapman University, receiving Chapman’s Servant Leadership Award; at the University of California, Irvine; and the Urban Land Institute.

Other Celebrate Leadership honorees include Zeena Dhalla of Ladera Ranch, Abigail Lovell of Mission Viejo, and Christine Mueller of Yorba Linda. 

Gold Award Girl Scouts being honored include 16-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador Lucy Vu from Fountain Valley, and 16-year-old Girl Scout Ambassador Corinne Padar from Placentia.

“I am thrilled to announce this year’s extraordinary roster of honorees,” shared Vikki Shepp, CEO of Girl Scouts of Orange County. “Each of these incredible alum and Gold Award Girl Scouts embody the very essence of our Girl Scout DNA. They are go-getters, innovators, risk-takers, and leaders who have left their mark on the world and serve as a powerful testament to Girl Scouts as the experts in preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure.”

Girl Scouts of Orange County’s ninth annual Celebrate Leadership event is chaired by Girl Scouts of Orange County board members Jacqueline Ackerblom, of Grant Thornton LLP, and Julie Farbaniec, of Blizzard Entertainment. This signature event will host over 300 of Orange County’s community and business leaders for an evening of inspiration, dinner, auctions, and fun. Money raised will support leadership development programs for Orange County’s 20,000 Girl Scouts and the more than 13,000 dedicated volunteers and adult members who inspire them. 

Support Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Celebrate Leadership event by becoming a sponsor, donating auction items, and/or purchasing tickets. For more information and available sponsorships, visit girlscoutsoc.orgor contact Director of Fund Development Monica McDade at (949) 461-8812 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

JoAnne Artman presents URBAN FLORA II: featuring Anna Kincaide, Greg Miller + Penelope Gottlieb

Life and growth often find a home in the unlikeliest places. JoAnne Artman Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition that juxtaposes urban grit with the delicacy of flora, highlighting the often surprising congruities in the beauty of both. Much of the motifs in art and design are borrowed from the natural world in which the processes of regeneration, life and decay are in constant flux and motion. An especially important part of this framework is the flora, or the particular plants of a region, habitat or geographical area which are as diverse, unique and localized as the constitution and customs of any urban population.

Anna Kincaide, Greg Miller and Penelope Gottlieb are artists whose work addresses this intersection between the beauty of nature and the ethos of urbanity. 

JoAnne kincaide

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Anna Kincaide – Never Let Me Drift Too Far, 60” x 60”

Anna Kincaide’s fantastical works in oil on canvas juxtapose a minimalist, tonal approach to the figure with bountiful, bursting bouquets of botanical topiary rendered in a dazzling array of color. Kincaide pays equal attention to the sleek, sinuous lines of the human form, as to the layered, organic forms of the flora. These surreal dreamscapes are reminiscent of studio portraits in format and styling, paying homage to the tradition of portraiture. Borrowing inspiration from fashion and design history, Kincaide’s work explores anonymity and transformation as well as contemporary socio-cultural signposts of status and identity.

JoAnne miller

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Greg Miller’s acrylic collage

Greg Miller’s mixed media works are instantly recognizable, drawing on his specific cultural lens and Californian roots. Fragility, nostalgia, as well as the fleeting nature of cultural ephemera and collective memory are explored in works that effortlessly blend familiar imagery of the golden age of print media into new narratives.  Miller’s visual collages are an amalgamation of grit and texture, the layers a visual representation of the destruction rendered by the passage of time. In Miller’s newest body of work, floral elements add a new framework of meaning in his exploration of memory and social history. 

JoAnne gottlieb

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Penelope Gottlieb: Achyranthes atollensis, 58” x 47”

Penelope Gottlieb’s paintings on paper, panel and canvas are a rich riot of color and texture that engage the senses while also commentating on the destructive nature of urban development. Featuring representations of various lost species, the works are also part of an ongoing project by the artist that explores themes of environmentalism and the global ecological crisis. These highly detailed renderings present a tapestry of various plants and flowers that vibrate with energy, seemingly on the verge of breaking through the compositional plane. Based on the artist’s own imaginings as well as historical accounts, the images are deceptively decorative, providing endless complexities in concept and composition on subsequent investigation. 

These artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression!

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N Coast Hwy. For more information, contact JoAnne Artman at (949) 510-5481 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The gallery’s website is

Refuse archaeology and the trashcans of Laguna

Story and photos by DIANNE RUSSELL

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m fascinated with trashcans, not the actual cans, but what’s in them (or around them). Readers of past articles know that I’m an alley picker, and I’ve spotted some unusual items while walking down my alley; a designer wedding dress with the tags still on, positioned on top of a trash can like an offering; a bevy of jewelry right there in an open can – and a Nordstrom’s bag to put it all in. 

Refuse archaeology crayons

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Crayons, coloring books, and a bottle of Tums

To be honest, walking my dog is just an excuse to go down the alley. It’s less obvious and no one, hopefully, will call the police when they see me looking into trashcans.

The people who populate my alley throw away the strangest things (but admittedly, there are several galleries that line the alley). Last night, I found a bunch of crayons, coloring books, and drawings (possibly a workshop gone wrong?), and what looks like a bottle of Tums, to boot, right in the middle of it. 

Refuse archaeology blue bulbs

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Forlorn box of Christmas bulbs in July

Next to that, a container of small blue Christmas bulbs on top of a recycle bin. Both funny and melancholy. I didn’t take them. Not the right color.

According to, looking through someone’s trash is known as a “trash hit,” “dumpster diving” and even “refuse archaeology,” but “dumpster diving” has a bad connotation and is totally unnecessary. The items I collect (and again, though it’s scavenging, the word has a bad connotation) are most often on top (or leaning against) the trashcans.

I prefer to call it alley picking, and the pickings are usually pretty good. In my alley, anyway.

Ning Zhou Gallery presents art photography show, Reflections on Reflections, opening August 2

Laguna Beach’s Ning Zhou Gallery will celebrate its third anniversary with a show of new water-reflection photographs by its namesake and international master, Ning Zhou. Entitled Reflections on Reflections, the exhibition will be on display from August 2 to October 15. The Opening Reception will coincide with First Thursday Art Walk on August 2, with Ning Zhou in attendance.

Ning Zhou Hand Wave

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Ning Zhou’s art photograph, “Water Charm – Hand Wave”

While primarily comprised of new work, Reflections on Reflections will reprise another art exhibit that was held in Athens in 2007, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Greece, George Papendreou. Papendreou is a collector of Ning Zhou’s work, and a particular fan of the artist’s unique water-reflection photographs. Called Water Charms, the exhibit generated much critical acclaim, international buzz, and a beautiful book.

Ning Zhou LightNing

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“Water Charm – LightNing” by Ning Zhou

Reflections on Reflections offers images of nature mirroring reality for the viewer.

According to the gallery, “The images compose form, color and shadow into abstractions, which resonate as strongly as those made by the hand of a mortal artist. Some are reminiscent of Miro, others of Monet. Regardless, these images provide insights and emotional clarity to the viewer, and in that sense become a kind of visual poetry writ large as if backlit.”

Honored by his peers in China – the Association of Chinese Art Photographers has named him their Preeminent Contemporary Art Photographer – Ning Zhou divides his time between Nanjing, China, where he is President of the Nanjing Institute of Visual Arts and founder of a Ning Zhou Gallery, and Laguna Beach, where he is president of the East-West Culture and Arts Foundation, and founder of another Ning Zhou Gallery. He is currently developing a museum of antique photographic equipment in Aliso Viejo based on his personal collection of more than 700 pieces.

This show promises to be a highlight of the summer art scene. The opening reception will be August 2 at the gallery, located at 357 S Coast Hwy in Laguna Beach. For more information, visit

Rainbow Reflections: Life and times in LGBTQ Laguna

By Craig Cooley

More Rainbows!

Rainbow Reflections Craig

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Craig Cooley

When there is so much negative news, and when it seems it is more often based on its sensational value than “true value,” it is sometimes hard to find the “good” and honorable news. So, with that I am touting a relatively new nonprofit and charitable organization, G4G, also known as “Gay for Good” and their positive mission statement:

“To achieve our mission, we: Identify and connect with environmental and social welfare organizations in each city chapter (including organizations not traditionally associated with the LGBTQ community); Support select organizations primarily through volunteer service (time), rather than financial contributions; Coordinate regular social events for G4G members and our allies to develop friendships and network; Foster and promote a spirit of positive, enthusiastic camaraderie both within the LGBTQ community and towards our partner organizations; Do something valuable for our community, city and country; Above all, make a positive difference and have fun!”

Rainbow Reflections G4G

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G4G aims to energize and mobilize the LGBTQ community to interact with the greater community by volunteering time to various social welfare and environmental service projects. Each month, Gay for Good Orange County selects a different nonprofit to donate their time for a community service project. If you would like to volunteer, there is no money required, just donate your time! 

If you know of a worthy non-profit cause that G4G may want to support, anything from cleaning, painting, to special event coordination, support, and assistance, hit them up at

To hear more about the organization, tune on KX 93.5 FM in Laguna Beach on August 25 at 9 a.m. I am so very pleased and excited to have Annie Friedman, the National Director of the G4G organization on my Rainbow Radio program – or catch the Podcast at at your convenience. 

Kindness in Action

Not to be outdone, on July 21 my Rainbow Radio guest will be another positive “power house,” Michael Lloyd-White. Who is Michael, you say? He’s the Chief Advisor to the Board at World Kindness USA, Chairman/Founder of World Kindness Australia and the immediate past Secretary of World Kindness Movement global body. Last week in New York, Senator Bill Bradley, NBA legend, interviewed Michael on Sirius XM and now I have the pleasure of interviewing Michael on Laguna Beach’s KX 93.5 FM. 

Rainbow Reflections Michael

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Michael Lloyd-White

Michael, Shadi Pourkashef, our local “Stop Bullying” organization leader, and City Councilman Steve Dicterow will all be on the program together – a triple billing and a first at Rainbow Radio. Wow, I couldn’t ask for better!

What is the agenda for these kind folks? Many things, but one immediate effort is that they are working hard to have Laguna Beach recognized and become officially designated as a “World Kindness City.” This is part of an international organization and effort to make the world a more kind and loving community, and I wholeheartedly support this effort! Tune in July 21 at 9 a.m. to KX93.5 FM.

LGBTQ On the Move

There is also another organization that many may not be aware of that can be found on Facebook – LGBTQ Heritage and Culture, Laguna Beach. There are 711 Facebook members and you might want to consider becoming a member! There is no fee and there are no requirements, so why not? They have regular monthly meetings and discuss all things that relate to heritage and culture for the LGBTQ community in Laguna Beach.

Rainbow Reflections LGBTQ

At our last meeting the topic came up of having a “Rainbow Business Association” that would promote local business commerce, and tourism and travel to Laguna Beach. It is presently being discussed and there are many options considered. How about a Bob Gentry Heritage District designation? Perhaps a Harvey Milk Ave? They have an exciting agenda, so contact them and be the first to know what they are up to! 

Final Thoughts

Lately it seems that LGBTQ acceptance and inclusion in the culture of Laguna Beach is at an all-time high, and for that there is a grateful community, myself included! But sadly, not all locations around the world feel the same way. Too often ridicule, shame, and that awful word, hate, become part of the daily vernacular. This is true particularly for the transgender members of many communities with an alarming incidence of harassment, physical abuse and, yes, murders. Fortunately, we have a haven of sorts here in our fair city, where the prevailing attitude is of acceptance. And I have to say again, and I will likely say it many times more, that I am grateful to be able to enjoy the fabulous City of Laguna Beach! And I sincerely thank you, Laguna Beach!

If you have comments? Ideas? Events? Please let me know at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A fun time was had by all: Laguna Beach Pride

By Craig Cooley

A fun time Laguna Beach Pride

July 4th in Laguna Beach was mild even as most other locations in the USA were sweltering. We were enjoying a cool 74 degrees! But Laguna Beach Pride did manage to heat things up at West Street Beach and with a Pride “INDEPEN-DANCE” event at the now world famous and iconic Boom Boom Room – for two days!

A fun time Beach

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West Street Beach on Fourth of July

Check the photos out at

Next up giddy-up

The next Pride event is on the 29th at Mozambique with a “Boot Scootin Country Disco Jamboree.” Laguna Beach Pride is at it again, “We are Two-Steppin our way to the next event. Y’all cowboys and cowgirls get your tight wranglers on and mosey on down to Laguna Beach’s first boot scootin country disco jamboree!”

A fun time Cowboy

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Save the date. The Boot Scootin Country Disco Jamboree is at Mozambique, July 29 from 4 - 11 p.m.

 Wow, that about covers everything! Laguna Beach Pride is doing their best to add to the flavor and culture of Laguna Beach with regular monthly events. Sign up on their website for updates as the events develop.

Brian Hamill captures iconic images in exhibition Tests of Time at Forest & Ocean Gallery, opens July 24

Muhammad Ali, Tina Turner, John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, Woody Allen, Robert DeNiro and a plethora of Kennedys: world traveler, photojournalist and fine art photographer Brian Hamill has captured them all in images that eloquently reveal his subjects and the places and times onto which they made their indelible marks. 

On Tuesday, July 24, Julie Laughton, proprietor of Julie Laughton Design Build, stages an exhibition of Hamill’s photographs titled “Tests of Time” at The Forest & Ocean Gallery. The exhibit will run until August 27.

A gallery reception will be held on Saturday, July 28 from 5 until 8 p.m., and Hamill will be present to speak with guests.

Brian Hamill Lennon

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Brian Hamill’s photograph of John Lennon from “Tests of Time” 

Hamill was born in Brooklyn, NY and studied photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Beginning in the mid-1960s, he covered nearly everything from the Rock & Roll scene and entertainment to politics and sports, particularly boxing. 

He has exhibited throughout the US and Canada, and his work has appeared in numerous books, including the acclaimed “Woody Allen at Work: The Photographs of Brian Hamill.”

A collection of his fine art prints will be available for sale. 

A detailed profile of the artist and examples of his work can be found at

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave.

For more information, go to www.forestoceangallery.comor call (949) 371-3313.

Youngsters encouraged to enter One World One Ocean Video Contest: deadline extended

Youngsters ages 12 to 18 are encouraged to enter the World Oceans Day Video Contest for a chance to win a GoPro HERO, and possibly see their video on the One World One Ocean YouTube Channel.

In a 60-second or less video, the contest asks youngsters to explain what the ocean means to them. Whether you live right next to the beach or 1,000 miles away, there is a need to know why the ocean is vital to our lives.

Enter the One ocean

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

What does the ocean mean to you?

This is a chance for our local teens, grades 7 - 12, to channel their creativity. Humorous videos, music videos, and videos with a conservation message are all welcomed.

Awards will be given in the following categories: Judges Award Grand Prize Winner – Best Ocean Message, Public Choice Grand Prize, and the Best Video from a Non-Coastal City.

Video submissions are due by Fridah, July 13 at 5 p.m. PST. The Grand Prize Winner and two category winners will be announced July 2. 

For more information, visit

City Manager’s Updates

Agate Street Beach Access – Re-Opening Ceremony – The City of Laguna Beach invites the community to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 24 at 4 p.m. for the re-opening of the newly renovated beach access at Agate Street. The project includes new stairways, overlooks, landscaping, lighting, benches and bike racks. For questions, please contact Lou Kneip at (949) 464-6688 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Drop-In Basketball – Drop-In Basketball will be held at Laguna Beach High School in Dugger Gym for three Sundays, July 15, 22 and 29, from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $3 per participant. Please contact Community Services at (949) 464-6645 with any questions.

City Hall Exhibition – Community Art Project awarded Mike Ishikawa the Arts Commission Choice award for his pastel “Heisler Park” which is currently on exhibit at City Hall. The public is invited to vote for their favorite artwork before the exhibition ends on August 8.

Public Art Restoration – The following installations are in the process of restoration: “Laguna Tortoise” (Bluebird Park); “Word on the Street” (Heisler Park); and “Boy and Dog” (Jahraus Park). Artists will be on-site undertaking the restoration, which should be completed by Sunday. This project has been funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Call for Artists – The City of Laguna Beach is now accepting entries for its 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition. Entry deadline is September 8. Apply online at This project is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. For more information, contact Arts Program Coordinator Michael McGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..