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City Manager’s Updates

Community & Susi Q Center Maintenance Closure – Annual maintenance will be performed at the Community & Susi Q Center between Saturday, Dec 22 and Sunday, Jan 6, 2019. Classes and programs will resume on Monday, Jan 7. The Community Services front desk will be open for transactions and information on December 26 and 27 from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., December 28 from 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and January 2 and 3 from 7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. 

For questions, call (949) 464-6645.

City Managers outside

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Annual maintenance will be performed at the Community & Susi Q Center; classes will resume on Jan 7

Holiday Street Sweeping Schedule – There will be no street sweeping performed on Christmas Day, Dec 25, and parking restrictions will not be enforced. On New Year’s Day, Jan 1, street sweeping and parking enforcement will only occur in commercial areas. 

For more information, contact Senior Fleet Maintenance Supervisor Austin Comp at (949) 464-6637.

Transit Holiday Schedule – Late Service on New Year’s Eve – On New Year’s Eve, no need to drive to your festivities, Transit will be running late so the City can take you! Transit will be following the modified schedule below for the Christmas and New Year’s holidays:

Monday, Dec 24 from 6:30 am to 6:30 p.m. there will be regular Neighborhood Service only, no Coastal Service.

Tuesday, Dec 25 – No Service

Monday, Dec 31 – from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. there will be Regular Neighborhood Service and Coastal Service.

Tuesday, Jan 1 – No Service

For schedule information, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/trolley or call (949) 497-0766.

Laguna Food Pantry Seeking Donations – The Laguna Beach Food Pantry is currently taking donations. Items needed include tuna, macaroni and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and pasta sauce, rice and beans, and cereal. 

The Laguna Food Pantry is located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd, but you can also drop donations off at U.S. Bank at 310 Glenneyre St. U.S. Bank serves as a collection point for food that is eventually brought over to the Pantry.

City’s Elf “Elbee” Making the Rounds – Have you been following Elbee, the City’s Elf on a Shelf? Last week some of his antics included driving a fire truck, visiting the goats, snorkeling, and accidentally getting Santa’s sleigh booted. Follow Elbee on Instagram Stories @lagunabeachgov. 

City Managers Elbee

Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Elbee has been making the rounds around the Laguna

Community Assistance Grants – The City of Laguna Beach will begin accepting applications for fiscal year 2019-2020 Community Assistance Grants beginning January 7, 2019. The Community Assistance Grant program is available to nonprofit organizations that provide special services to residents of Laguna Beach. The objective of this program is to assist local organizations in funding new projects and/or expanded services within our community. 

Additional information can be found on the City’s website at http://lagunabeachcity.net/CAG. To be considered for a grant, applications must be submitted electronically by Friday, March 22, 2019, at 4:30 p.m.  The submission link will be activated on the website on January 7, 2019. 

For more information, contact Sherri A. Aubin, Community Services Administrative Assistant, at (949) 497-0779.

Kit-Lit Writing Contest – Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn, in partnership with Catmosphere Laguna Foundation, is holding a cat-themed writing contest. All genres are accepted. The contest is open to Orange County residents 16 years of age and older. Selected winners will have their work published. 

To enter, submit your cat-themed literary work to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by February 1, 2019. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the Literary Laureate program.

City Hall Winter Exhibitions – There are currently three art exhibitions on display at City Hall: Children’s Holiday Palettes, the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection, and a special exhibition of local photography by Baldemar Fierro. The exhibitions are open to the public during City Hall business hours. They are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

City Managers hall

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Stop by City Hall to check out the wonderful winter art exhibitions on display 

Call to Artists: Red Telephone Booth – The Laguna Beach Arts Commission is accepting proposals for the Red Telephone Booth temporary art installation site on Forest Avenue. The selected design will be installed for a 24-month period.  The deadline for submission is January 7, 2019, and the honorarium is $5,000. The program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Apply online at https://lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com/

City Hall Holiday Hours – In observance of the Holidays, Laguna Beach City Hall will be closed to the public on the following days: Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas Day); Monday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day). Essential services such as Police, Fire, and Marine Safety will still be provided on all these days.

Holiday Trash Collection and Tree Recycling – For the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, residential and commercial trash collection will be delayed by one day starting on Tuesday, Dec 25, and Tuesday, Jan 1. Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular collection days at no charge starting on Wednesday, Dec 26, and running through Friday, Jan 18, 2019. 

Visit the city’s website www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling for more information. 

Recreation Committee Accepting Student Liaison Applications – The Recreation Committee is accepting applications for the Student Liaison Representative to the Committee. The Student Representatives act as liaisons and non-voting members of the Recreation Committee. Applications are due by Monday, Jan 7, 2019, and can be found here.

For questions, contact Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor, at (949) 497-0762 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Council approves formation of Fire Safety Subcommittee

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council recently approved Mayor Bob Whalen’s proposal to create a subcommittee to identify and prioritize additional programs to lessen the risk of loss of life and property damage from wildfires.

Defeat of the local bond measure to fund undergrounding utility poles was a blow to supporters who believe that undergrounding utility poles is the most efficient way to reduce the risk of ferocious wildfires in Laguna.

No one was more committed or worked harder for Measure P than Mayor Bob Whalen. The defeat has not lessened his concerns but has changed his plan of attack.

“I have completed the 12 stages of grief,” said Whalen at the council meeting at which he proposed the formation of a subcommittee to investigate wildfire mitigation and fire safety programs.

No one spoke in opposition to the proposed subcommittee.

Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee Chair Matt Lawson testified that substantially all of Laguna Beach lies within the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zones as does Paradise.

Council approved 1993 fire

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Photo from LBFD

1993 fire approaching Emerald Bay

“We are but a spark and a gust away from a similar catastrophe,” said Lawson. “Despite improvements to the city’s fire readiness posture, any major brush fire incident today would likely be far worse that the ‘93 disaster.”

Whalen proposed six goals for the committee to which he and newly elected Councilwoman Sue Kempf were appointed by the council:

--Assess the current level of risk and exposure to wildfires

--Research and document programs, rules and regulations in place to mitigate wildfire risk and promote fire safety in Laguna Beach

--Identify current annual cost of the city’s mitigation measures and fire safety programs

--Identify and prioritize additional programs, mitigation measures, staffing and equipment needed to further reduce the risk of lost lives and damaged properties by wildfires and the cost to implement them

--Develop an action plan to implement as many of the items in goal four as possible, along with necessary changes to the city ordinances, rules and regulations or state law

--Develop a plan to fund the recommendations

Whalen and Kempf will work with City Manager John Pietig and staff to fulfill the purposes of the committee and report back to the council by June 1.


City Manager’s Updates

Yelp Names Laguna Beach #1 U.S. City to Shop Local in 2018 – The City of Laguna Beach has landed the top spot on the “Top 20 Cities to Shop Local in 2018,” as decided by Yelp from a 2018 Yelp survey conducted by The Harris Poll. The survey highlights several of the City’s “Top Local Shops,” most of which are clothing, sportswear, and surf shops. A limit of no more than one city per state and at least 100 relevant businesses per city were set. Laguna Beach, Asheville, N.C., and Lahaina, Hawaii, were the top three cities on Yelp’s list. 

Find out more here.

City Managers Hobie

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Hobie Surf Shop is one of our of awesome local businesses located in downtown Laguna

South Coast Air Quality Management District Issues No-Burn Alert for Wednesday, Dec 12 – The South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) has issued a residential no-burn alert effective on Wednesday, Dec 12, from midnight through 11:59 p.m., for all those living in the South Coast Air Basin, which includes Orange County. SCAQMD reminds residents in these areas that burning wood in their fireplaces or any indoor or outdoor wood-burning device is prohibited during the mandatory wood-burning ban (the burning of wood in outdoor residential fireplaces is always prohibited in Laguna Beach). 

City Hall Holiday Hours – In observance of the holidays, Laguna Beach City Hall will be closed to the public on the following days: Monday, December 24 (Christmas Eve); Tuesday, December 25 (Christmas Day); Monday, December 31 (New Year’s Eve); and Tuesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day.) Essential services such as Police, Fire, and Marine Safety will still be provided on all these days.

Holiday Trash Collection and Tree Recycling – For the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, residential and commercial trash collection will be delayed by one day starting on Tuesday, Dec 25, and Tuesday, Jan 1. Waste Management will collect and recycle holiday trees on the regular collection days at no charge starting on Wednesday, Dec 26 through Friday, Jan 18, 2019. 

Visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling for more information. 

Recreation Committee Accepting Student Liaison Applications – The Recreation Committee is accepting applications for the Student Liaison Representative to the Committee. The Student Representative acts as a liaison and non-voting member of the Recreation Committee. The applications are due by Monday, Jan 7, 2019 and are available here.

For questions, contact Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0762 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

City Managers Riddle

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Submitted photo

Riddle Field is a place for local recreational baseball leagues 

Does Your Mobile Contractor Have a Business License to Work in the City of Laguna Beach? Mobile contractors like gardeners, landscapers, carpet cleaners, mobile car detailers, and swimming pool or pond service operators all need to hold a Laguna Beach Business License to operate within the City. A business license ensures contractors are aware of the City’s regulations and guidelines to avoid the illegal discharge of fertilizers, pesticides, lawn, dirt, sediment, organic materials, and cleaning chemicals to the streets and gutters that drain to the ocean. 

Educating contractors prior to beginning work helps protect the storm drain system and protects from potential violations and enforcement actions by the City. Residents and businesses are responsible for the actions of their contractors and have a responsibility to ensure that their contractors are aware of local regulations, beginning with securing a City of Laguna Beach Business License. Invest the time to talk to your contractors and confirm that they are licensed with the City prior to starting work. 

More information on the City Business Licensing process can be found here.


City Manager’s Updates

Three things residents can do to prepare for the storms headed our way – 1) Go to www.AlertOC.com to register your cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the mass notification system. It is recommended that you register your work and home addresses separately to ensure you receive proper notifications for each location. AlertOC is a critical link for residents and businesses to immediately learn of any required actions. Additionally, make sure you are registered for Nixle by texting “92651” to 888-777; 2) Get free sandbags if you’re a local resident or business; 3) Clean your gutters, trim your trees, and turn off your sprinkler system.

Water Quality at Winter Fantasy – On Sunday, Dec 16, from 12 to 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach Water Quality Department is collaborating with the Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy. The City will be helping participants to design reusable bags using manhole lid patterns. The bags and workshop are free to the first 100 participants. The City encourages the public to stop by, make a bag, and learn about the City’s Water Quality Department.

Free Parking and Free Trolley to Sawdust Festival – The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is open one more weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, Dec 15 and 16. Bring the kids, meet Santa, and finish your holiday shopping early. Park for free in the Act V parking lot (Lot 16) and take the free trolley. For more information, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org/.

City Managers Sawdust

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is a local wonderland

Friendship Shelter Seeking Blankets – Friendship Shelter needs blankets and twin-size comforters for the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL). Donations are being accepted daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 1335 South Coast Highway (check in at the front desk, located at the top of the external stairs at the back of the building facing Gaviota Drive). The City thanks you in advance for your donations.

Trees Being Replanted Along Coast Highway – As part of the City Tree Replanting Project, the City’s Public Works Department is planting 30 street trees in the downtown area and along Coast Highway to replace trees that have fallen or been removed. The City also accepted a donation of $30,000 from the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund, which allowed the City to enhance the project by planting 24 and 36-inch box trees in lieu of 15-gallon trees and to provide deep watering tubes. The project includes planting the trees, installing a permeable rubberized tree well surfacing system, root barriers, watering tubes, and a 120-day plant irrigation and plant establishment period.

City Managers trees

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Submitted photo

30 street trees are being replaced downtown and along Coast Highway

Bluebird SOCWA Odor Control System Going Forward – The Water Quality Department has successfully worked with the neighbors and interested community members to collaborate on an acceptable location of the odor control system for the Bluebird lift station.

Cultural Arts Calendar – Residents looking for arts events this holiday season can visit the City of Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Cultural Arts Calendar here.

These events are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Accurate Crime Statistics – Since 2016, violent crimes (murder, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault) have decreased 17% in the City of Laguna Beach. Property crimes in the City have decreased 38%. These numbers reflect crime statistics through November 26, 2018. Laguna Beach crime rate information is listed on certain relocation websites and is not representative of the actual situation. Using per capita metrics to compare Laguna Beach’s crime rates or spending statistics is also not representative because it does not take into account that Laguna Beach services six million visitors per year in addition to our residents. When fairly evaluating how many employees, both sworn and non-sworn, are needed to appropriately police a city, the size of the residential, working, and visitor community must all be considered.

Finance Officer Nancy Pauley Hired as Palm Springs Director of Finance – The City of Laguna Beach is accepting applications for the position of Finance Officer in the Administrative Services Department. The position has opened because Laguna Beach Finance Officer Nancy Pauley has been hired as the new Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs. Pauley’s last day with the City of Laguna Beach was November 30. Pauley has worked for the City of Laguna Beach for over 10 years, working annually on the City’s budget. She also played a key role in the City’s Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

To receive the Certificate of Achievement, a governmental unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive Annual Financial Report, whose contents conform to program standards. This is the third consecutive year the City has received the award. 

“Nancy has been the driving force behind our recognition of financial reporting awards, and she has been an instrumental part of the City’s Finance Division for the last decade,” said Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran. “She leaves big shoes to fill, and we wish her continued success in her new role as Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs.” 

Details of the position and instructions on how to apply can be found at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lagunabeach. The position will remain open until filled.


City Manager’s Updates

Three things residents can do to prepare for the storms headed our way – 1) Go to www.AlertOC.com to register your cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the mass notification system. It is recommended that you register your work and home addresses separately to ensure you receive proper notifications for each location. AlertOC is a critical link for residents and businesses to immediately learn of any required actions. Additionally, make sure you are registered for Nixle by texting “92651” to 888-777; 2) Get free sandbags if you’re a local resident or business; 3) Clean your gutters, trim your trees, and turn off your sprinkler system.

Water Quality at Winter Fantasy – On December 16, from 12 to 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach Water Quality Department is collaborating with the Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy. The City will be helping participants to design reusable bags using manhole lid patterns. The bags and workshop are free to the first 100 participants. The City encourages the public to stop by, make a bag, and learn about the City’s Water Quality Department.

Free Parking and Free Trolley to Sawdust Festival – The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is open weekends now through December 16. Bring the kids, meet Santa, and finish your holiday shopping early. Park for free in the Act V parking lot (Lot 16) and take the free trolley. For more information, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org/.

City Managers Sawdust

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is a local wonderland

Friendship Shelter Seeking Blankets – Friendship Shelter needs blankets and twin-size comforters for the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL). Donations are being accepted daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 1335 South Coast Highway (check in at the front desk, located at the top of the external stairs at the back of the building facing Gaviota Drive). The City thanks you in advance for your donations.

Trees Being Replanted Along Coast Highway – As part of the City Tree Replanting Project, the City’s Public Works Department is planting 30 street trees in the downtown area and along Coast Highway to replace trees that have fallen or been removed. The City also accepted a donation of $30,000 from the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund, which allowed the City to enhance the project by planting 24 and 36-inch box trees in lieu of 15-gallon trees and to provide deep watering tubes. The project includes planting the trees, installing a permeable rubberized tree well surfacing system, root barriers, watering tubes, and a 120-day plant irrigation and plant establishment period.

City Managers trees

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

30 street trees are being replaced downtown and along Coast Highway

Bluebird SOCWA Odor Control System Going Forward – The Water Quality Department has successfully worked with the neighbors and interested community members to collaborate on an acceptable location of the odor control system for the Bluebird lift station.

Cultural Arts Calendar – Residents looking for arts events this holiday season can visit the City of Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Cultural Arts Calendar here.

These events are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Accurate Crime Statistics – Since 2016, violent crimes (murder, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault) have decreased 17% in the City of Laguna Beach. Property crimes in the City have decreased 38%. These numbers reflect crime statistics through November 26, 2018. Laguna Beach crime rate information is listed on certain relocation websites and is not representative of the actual situation. Using per capita metrics to compare Laguna Beach’s crime rates or spending statistics is also not representative because it does not take into account that Laguna Beach services six million visitors per year in addition to our residents. When fairly evaluating how many employees, both sworn and non-sworn, are needed to appropriately police a city, the size of the residential, working, and visitor community must all be considered.

Finance Officer Nancy Pauley Hired as Palm Springs Director of Finance – The City of Laguna Beach is accepting applications for the position of Finance Officer in the Administrative Services Department. The position has opened because Laguna Beach Finance Officer Nancy Pauley has been hired as the new Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs. Pauley’s last day with the City of Laguna Beach was November 30. Pauley has worked for the City of Laguna Beach for over 10 years, working annually on the City’s budget. She also played a key role in the City’s Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

To receive the Certificate of Achievement, a governmental unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive Annual Financial Report, whose contents conform to program standards. This is the third consecutive year the City has received the award. 

“Nancy has been the driving force behind our recognition of financial reporting awards, and she has been an instrumental part of the City’s Finance Division for the last decade,” said Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran. “She leaves big shoes to fill, and we wish her continued success in her new role as Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs.” 

Details of the position and instructions on how to apply can be found at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lagunabeach. The position will remain open until filled.


Council to choose Kempf replacement on the Planning Commission

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council has a plethora of candidates from which to choose a successor to former Planning Commissioner Sue Kempf, who was elected November 6 to the City Council. 

A selection is scheduled to be made at the first meeting in January from the 12 residents who have submitted applications for a seat on the five-member commission.

Applicants include Jorg Dubin and Allison T. Mathews, both candidates in the recent City Council election, Stephen Ball, Chad Edgley, Illana Feldman, Jeff Feldman, Steven Goldman, Ernest Hackmon, Casey Hensel, Caroline Parker, Kavita Reddy and Walker Reed.

It takes a special kind of person to be an effective commissioner, according to commission doyen Anne Johnson.

“We are wonky,” said Johnson. “We are fact based. We are policy based.” 

Members of the Planning Commission perform the duties of an officially appointed “planning agency” as required by California State law. This includes preparing, reviewing, revising and implementing the City’s General Plan.

“One of the most important characteristics for a commissioner is the ability to synthesize a lot of complex information,” said Johnson. “One cannot fly by the seat of one’s pants. 

“It is also vital that the Commissioners act collegially. We need to be able to tap into one another’s expertise.” 

The Commissioners administer specific plans, including the Downtown Specific Plan and zoning and subdivision ordinances, annually review the City’s Capital Improvement Program for its consistency with the General Plan and tries to promote public interest, comments and understanding of the General Plan and the regulations related to it.


Laguna Beach Chamber seeking Executive Director

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce is actively seeking a dynamic person as its Executive Director. The Executive Director is a full-time, at-will position responsible to the Board of Directors for a full range of activities, including business advocacy, community development, financial, management, membership, and program goals and objectives. 

Key areas of responsibilities include strategic and operational planning, securing and retaining sponsorships and membership, administration and management of staffing, and providing leadership consistent with the Chamber’s goals and mission.

Education and Experience sought include the following:

        --College degree or related business experience (required) 

--Business, industry or civic experience (required) 

--Excellent communication skills, both written and oral (required) 

--Leadership and management experience (required) 

--Strong computer and social media experience (required) 

--Chamber experience (preferred) 

--Nonprofit budgeting (preferred) 

--Membership sales (preferred)

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for more information including a full job description, or submit resume for consideration on or before December 31, 2018.


LB Chamber of Commerce presents Holiday Mixer and Oliver’s Osteria Ribbon Cutting, Dec 20

On Thursday, Dec 20, The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce presents a Holiday Mixer and Oliver’s Osteria Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. Oliver’s Osteria will supply a menu sampler buffet and complimentary glass of champagne (over $50 value per person) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

 There will be a Chamber sponsored raffle with an ugly holiday sweater contest. Come in your best ugly holiday sweater and be entered into the holiday raffle. Raffle items include dining gift cards plus much more.

LB Chamber ugly sweaters

Submitted photo

Come in your best ugly holiday sweater to the the Chamber’s Dec 20 Holiday Mixer and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Oliver’s Osteria

Inspired by the authentic cuisine of the Emilia Romagna region in Italy, Oliver’s Osteria is a traditional Italian restaurant reimagined for the present day. Chef Ferdinando Bernardi blends his passion from his childhood food traditions with a commitment to our local family growers and purveyors. 

After the Ribbon Cutting, make dinner reservations through the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and receive an extra 15% off your entire dining bill. 

Chamber of Commerce members pay $10 in advance, $15 at the door; non-Chamber of Commerce members pay $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Oliver’s Osteria is located at 853 Laguna Canyon Rd. 


City Manager’s Updates

Children’s Holiday Palettes – The Arts Commission reviewed 174 submissions from children ages 5 to 17 and selected the following artists to exhibit at City Hall: Tiam Rouhi (age 5), Stormy Bullington (6), Grace Wojtaszek (8), Benjamin Mann (8), Solomon Scheper-Herard (8), Addison Knight (9), Ella Berberian (10), Erin Meihaus (10), Katie Baker (11), Isabella Scarcelli (12), P.J. Mullin (12), Lauren Trautenberg (13), and Charlotte Sekerka (13). 

The exhibition can be viewed on the main corridor of City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

World AIDS Day Remembrance and Ribbons - World AIDS Day takes place every year on December 1. This Saturday, Dec 1, the Laguna Beach HIV Advisory Committee will hold a candlelight vigil on the Main Beach Cobblestones at 5 p.m. to remember Laguna Beach residents lost to the disease. In addition, since 2005, the Arts Commission has annually recognized World AIDS Day on December 1 by installing black and red ribbons on public art installations. This year the ribbons will be installed on sculptures in the downtown area. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund the ribbons.

City Managers logo

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

World AIDS Day ribbons will be installed on sculptures in downtown Laguna

Rain Forecasted into the Weekend – The region’s first significant storm of the season arrived on Wednesday night and Thursday, as predicted by the National Weather Service, with more rain possible over the weekend. Now is a good time to look around your home to make sure that drainage areas are clear and free of debris.

City Council Changes – On Tuesday, Dec 4, the outgoing City Council members will be honored, and the new City Council members will be sworn in. A new Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem will also be selected. The events will take place in the City Council Chambers starting at 6 p.m.

Spark of Love Toy Drive – The Laguna Beach Fire Department, in partnership with Southern California Firefighters and ABC7, is taking part in the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Drop off your new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment to any of Laguna Beach’s four fire stations. The City will also have donation bins at Hospitality Night on Friday, Dec 7. The campaign collects new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for underserved children and teens in Southern California. 

For more information on the event, contact Firefighter Pat Cary at (949) 497-0700.

Laguna Canyon Frontage Road Landscape Improvements – On December 3, construction work to improve landscaping within the parkway between Laguna Canyon Road and the Frontage Road will begin. Minor parking impacts can be expected. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of January 2019. 

For questions, contact Tri Nguyen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 497-0741.

City Tree Replanting Project – The City has started the replanting of 30 street trees in the downtown area and along Coast Highway this week. The project is expected to be completed by December 14.

For more information, contact Senior Administrative Analyst Robert Sedita at (949) 497-0740.

Ocean Avenue One-way Conversion Public Workshop – The City of Laguna Beach invites the public to attend a workshop on December 11 at 10 a.m. to discuss the proposed conversion of Ocean Avenue to a one-way street from Beach Street to Coast Highway. The workshop will be held in the City Hall Council Chambers. 

If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, contact Tom Sandefur at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or (949) 497-0792 or complete a short survey here.

School Resource Officer (SRO) Cornelius Ashton Keynote Speaker – SRO Cornelius Ashton will be the keynote speaker at the annual Anti-Defamation League (ADL) “Make a Difference” Awards being held at the Island Hotel in Newport Beach on Sunday, Dec 2 at 10 a.m. 

City Managers officer

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna’s SRO Cornelius Ashton is the keynote speaker at the ADL “Make a Difference” Awards

City Hall Exhibition – A new art exhibition will be installed in the first-floor gallery at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave, on Monday, Dec 3, featuring works from the Festival of Arts Permanent Collection. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

Riddle Field Maintenance and Closures – Riddle Field will be closed for annual maintenance and turf renovations from December 3 - January 28, 2019. 

For questions, call Alexis Braun, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0762.

Disposal of Leaf Bags – Doing some fall yard work before winter? From now through the end of February you may place bags of leaves on the curb next to your green waste cart. Waste Management will take them away on your regular pick-up day. Happy raking!

Sawdust Winter Fantasy Now Open – The Sawdust Winter Fantasy features 175 artists and makers, three stages of live music and entertainment, thousands of lights and decorations, glassblowing and art demos, hands-on pottery wheel and art classes, falling snow and holiday photo-ops with Santa, outdoor eateries and cafes, festive saloon offerings, and so much more. 

Experience Sawdust’s magical 3-acre art village during the holiday season, transformed into a picture-perfect winter wonderland in the heart of Laguna Beach now through December 16. Park in the Act V lot (Lot 16) and take the free trolley. Tickets are available at www.sawdustartfestival.org/tickets

City Mangers Santa

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Santa and snow…the perfect holiday festival combo

Hospitality Night Friday, December 7 – Hospitality Night 2018 will be held on December 7, from approximately 5 to 10 p.m. 

City Council Accepting Applications for Planning Commissioner – The City Clerk is accepting applications through end of day today, Friday, Nov 30, for an opening on the Planning Commission. The interviews and appointment will take place at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Dec 11. Laguna Beach residents who are interested in serving on the committee should obtain an application from the City Clerk’s office or online from the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net and file in the City Clerk’s office no later than Friday, Nov 30 at 5 p.m.


City Manager’s Updates

What is a Red Flag Warning? A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service to inform area firefighting and land management agencies that conditions are ideal for wildland fire combustion and rapid spread. Especially when there are high or erratic winds, the Red Flag Warning means high fire danger with increased probability of a quickly spreading vegetation fire in the area within 24 hours. During a Red Flag Warning, parking restrictions are implemented for the Diamond/Crestview neighborhoods. Any vehicles that are parked in marked parking spaces with a “red flag” painted in the center of the asphalt may be cited or towed.

City Managers flag

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

A Red Flag Warning in Laguna Beach warns residents of fire danger

Burning of wood in outdoor residential fireplaces is prohibited at all times. During Red Flag Warnings, the Fire Department recommends not burning wood in an indoor residential fireplace. It is also recommended to install a spark arrestor on the top of the indoor fireplace chimney.

Brooks Street High Visibility Crosswalk – Caltrans has completed the installation of a new high visibility crosswalk on South Coast Highway at the intersection of Brooks Street. The crosswalk features flashing lights in the pavement, overhead beacons, and enhanced signage. Similar enhanced crosswalks at the intersections of Anita Street and Calliope Street are scheduled to be installed in 2019.

Upgrades Made to City Water System Approximately 16 million gallons of water were used to fight the 1993 Laguna Beach fire. Since that time, the Laguna Beach County Water District has made upgrades to the City’s water system to minimize the impact of another such event including: two new water reservoirs with an eight million gallon total capacity and parallel pipelines in strategic areas for fire flow improvement, purchasing additional fixed and portable emergency generators for pump stations and portable, large-capacity pumps and updates to its Master Plan to include a goal at fire hydrants of 3,000 gallons per minute at the interface between open space and urban area. 

Recycle Your Campaign Signs Campaign signs that use a paper, corrugated plastic, or a plastic sleeve over a wire rack, plastic or wood stake can be recycled. Separate the signs from the wire rack or anchors and place the, in your recycling cart. The wood anchors can be placed in your green waste cart. Laminated posters cannot be recycled and should be placed in the trash cart.

Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition – The Arts Commission is currently accepting designs for the annual Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition. The deadline to submit a design is Friday, Nov 16. Information and application are available at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/default.htm. The lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach fund this program.

City Managers whale

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The Arts Commission is accepting designs for the Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition

Literary Laureate Workshop – Laguna Beach Literary Laureate Suzanne Redfearn will lead a writing workshop “The Nuts-and-Bolts of Novel Writing” on Friday, Nov 16 at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street. Register online at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/art/default.htm. This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Public Workshop for Baja Street Retaining Wall Replacement – On Friday, Nov 16 at 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach is hosting an on-site public workshop to gather public input on the proposed design of a wall replacement project, at the southerly end of Baja Street, adjacent to 870 Baja Street. More information can be found on the Public Works projects page here. If you are unable to attend the meeting and would like to provide comments, contact Alpha Santos at (949) 497-0729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

E-Waste, Tires and Paper Shredding Event on November 17 – Residents and businesses are invited to celebrate America Recycles Day by participating in the annual free E-Waste drop-off and Paper Shredding event on Saturday, Nov 17 from 8 to 11 a.m. Free tire recycling will be offered for residents only. There is a limit of nine tires per vehicle. The event will be held at the City Maintenance Facilities, 1900 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, including a detailed list of acceptable E-Waste items, visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/recycling or contact Liz Avila at (949) 497-0344 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Agate Street Beach Access – The public is invited to meet artist William Feuerman who will present his proposal for a public art piece at the Agate Street Beach Access on Wednesday, Nov 28 at 3 p.m. at the site. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Laguna Beach residents Linda and Tony Bonnici fund this project.

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