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Visitor Morgan Welch knows beauty when she sees it

Photo by Morgan Welch

Visitor knows beauty

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One of last week’s glorious sunsets


Authors love Laguna Beach Books as much as readers do, it seems…

Recently, Stu News asked local community leaders about their plans for summer and their favorite vacation reads. 

Jane Hanauer, owner of Laguna Beach Books, recommends “our beloved book” by John Boyne, The Heart’s Invisible Furies, for one thing: “We have sold so many that he wrote to us from Ireland [to thank us]!” she says.

authors john boyne

Other recommendations include Calypso by David Sedaris, Circe by Madeline Miller, Ann Tyler’s newest book, Clock Dance, and The Banker’s Wife by Christine Alger.

In late July, Jane and Joe are heading to Sicily with friends.

“We are sharing a boat and we will visit some of the nearby islands in the Mediterranean – there’ll be plenty of time for reading between plane trips and while sitting on a boat, so I will take along some advance copies that come to the bookstore and will be released in the Fall,” Jane tells us.

Stu News will be sure to touch base with Jane when she returns to find out more about good fall and winter reading!


Agate Street beach access completed – City invites public to opening July 24

The City of Laguna Beach invites the community to join for a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, July 24 at 4 p.m. to celebrate the newly renovated pedestrian access to the beach at Agate Street. The renovations will make beach access safer, more accessible and user-friendly for beachgoers. 

The Agate stairs were closed in October of 2015 because of storm damage.  Improvements made to the beach access include a new wheelchair-accessible overlook at the entrance, complete stair replacement, and drought-tolerant landscaping.

Agate Street Stairs

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Photo by Maggi Henrikson

Agate Street Beach access stairs during construction. The finished access will be celebrated with a ribbon cutting on July 24.

The project cost for Agate Street beach access rehabilitation was approximately $1 million.

The ribbon cutting will be Tuesday, July 24 at 4 p.m. at the top of Agate Street beach access stairway. The public is invited along with the media, elected officials and Laguna Beach City staff.

For any questions regarding the City’s beach access projects, please contact Lou Kneip at (949) 464-6688 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Here’s a special shout out of thanks to people who dress up their residences, like this wall here. Turns out there are loads of folks who’ve noticed and loved it. Just one more way Laguna is delightful!

Maggi asked where this corner is, and first on it was Rebecca Apodaca. She also heard from Mark Christy, Barbara Corman, Judy Barry, “Trailering” Ernie, Kris Howson, JJ Gasparotti, Julie Rundle, Cathy Bosko, John Walker, Margot Rosenberg, Pat Carpenter, Jim Harrod, Troy Lob, Thomas Heenan, (Laguna) Sandra, Beth Pinney, Nick Alexander, Jamie Mulford, Brian Cronin, Steve H., and Susan Smallwood Cooper. 

Nick Alexander shared some interesting memories with Maggi: “I grew up on Cypress Drive and the alley (Cedar Way) was our shortcut to Boat Canyon. This is when Boat Canyon had a liquor store on the corner, a card shop, a health food store, and Corky’s (a diner). We would go to Corky’s on the weekend for breakfast. The bricks on that corner have grown over the years, as have the treasures hidden amongst them.”

Did you know this corner of Laguna? 

Maggi promises another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi 7.13.18

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A special corner in Laguna – on Cedar Way at High Drive 


School Board meeting today will include presentation to provide School Resource Officer

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

Today’s regular board meeting for Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education will include a presentation by Laguna Beach Chief of Police Laura Farinella regarding the hiring of a School Resource Officer (SRO). According to the agenda, “Staff proposes the Board of Education review the Memorandum of Understanding between the LBPD and the LBUSD to provide a School Resource Officer.”

School Resource Officer

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, defines a School Resource Officer (SRO) as a “career law enforcement officer, with sworn authority, assigned by the employing police-department to work at a school in collaboration with school and community-based organizations.” 

The Center for the Prevention of School Violence further defines an SRO as “a certified law enforcement officer who is permanently assigned to provide coverage to a school or set of schools. The SRO is specifically trained to perform three roles: law enforcement officer; law-related counselor; and law-related teacher.”

School board high

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach High School

The SRO job is not easy, even in the best of times. But it’s a sad fact of life that school safety has become an important and potentially dangerous task.

“They have to be a mentor – a kind, caring, trusting adult, the nice police officer who will give you a high-five and ask you how your day is going,” said John McDonald, the security chief for the Jefferson County, Colo., school district, which includes Columbine High. “And very quickly they have to become a tactical cop. That switch is not for everybody. The ability to do that is very difficult.”

According to The New York Times, nationally, there are no specific training requirements for the job, although the National Association of School Resource Officers recommends that officers complete a 40-hour course that includes emergency plans for schools, de-escalation techniques and academic work, including studying the adolescent brain. 

Since most officers are members of their local forces, they also receive the same shooting training their colleagues do.

Other Agenda items

--The Board directed staff to develop revisions to the proposed 2019-2020 calendar at the June 19 Study Session. The revisions to the proposed calendar will be presented to the Board at this meeting. The calendar update is an information only item and no action will be considered at the board meeting.  

--Approval of contract/contractor agreement for funding and training for special education services: the Challenge Success School Program (for LBHS), and a five-day intensive training for up to 29 staff with the institute for Multi-Sensory Education for their Orton-Gillingham on-site training (including all K/1 teachers and selected special education and classified staff).

--Approval to purchase CodeHS online curriculum for piloting in the new Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science A course at LBHS.

The Board of Education meeting is today, July 17 at the District office, 550 Blumont. Open session begins at 5 p.m.

The full agenda for tonight’s meeting can be seen at www.lbusd.org/uploaded/1-District/Board/Documents/2018-2019/July_17_Board_Agenda.pdf.


Tree falls, though not in the forest, so no doubt makes a sound: luckily no wires were pulled down

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Tree falls

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This tree fell down at Laguna Canyon on Woodlynn Avenue on Sunday afternoon. Photographer Mary Hurlbut says that fortunately SC Edison showed up quickly and was on the job before any further problems could occur.


Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers create seismic event at Concert on the Greens at Festival of Arts 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Darnell Wade

For anyone who needed a good bone shaking, Saturday at the Festival of the Arts was the perfect opportunity. During the Concert on the Greens, the grounds quaked with the fantastic sounds of Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers. I don’t know much about music, but when the audience can’t keep still, something earthshaking is happening. 

If there had been a dance floor, no one would have been seated (or simply standing, which many people had to do because of the large crowd). 

Mindi Abair entire band

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(L-R) Derek Frank, Third Richardson, Mindi Abair, Randy Jacobs, and Sweet Pea Atkinson (not pictured, Rodney Lee)

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Derek Frank (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals). 

Backstage 360 describes them as capturing “the intent of a rock band, the gut of a blues band and enough energy to light a stadium.” 

Mindi Adair duet

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Abair and Jacobs, The Boneshakers founder

Abair has the grit of a rock and roll star, and the looks of a movie star, and she’s one awesome saxophone player and singer. The bandmembers are all amazing. 

Her song “Pretty Good for a Girl” rocked the entire canyon. (As did all their songs.)

Abair and Jacobs, the founder of The Boneshakers, decided to join forces creatively after they played together. Their first record together, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle, was released in September 2015, and recorded at their first official show together in Seattle in February 2015. They’ve been on tour ever since.

Mindi Abair Razz

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Razz Lee

The audience was treated to a drum performance by one of the young audience members named Razz, who took Third Richardson’s seat and gave it his all with a stellar performance. Turns out he had a connection to one of the bandmembers, he’s Rodney Lee’s son, and it was obvious that he inherited his father’s musical ability. 

Then Third Richardson took back his drumsticks and the band and Abair continued to send tremors throughout the FOA grounds. Abair, describing Jacobs and his band when they first met, said, “We’re alike in that we give it everything, every night.” 

Saturday afternoon, they certainly did.


Pet of the Week Sassy is looking for a new owner

Sassy is currently taking the title of Pet of the Week. She is an 11-year-old spayed female Maltese who is in need of a new home because her owner recently passed away. She is full of love and is very sweet. She is looking for someone who loves to play.

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see both Sassy adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the week

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Sassy is looking to start a new chapter in her life

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. Call (949) 497-3552 or go to the website for information on adoption procedures: www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.


Police officers serve us every day – but not usually at Ruby’s – here’s your chance to Tip-A-Cop and help raise funds for Special Olympics on Saturday, July 28

Laguna Beach Police Department employees will be volunteering their time in conjunction with Special Olympics athletes, working alongside Ruby’s Diner restaurant staff to help raise money for the Special Olympics Orange County Region at a Tip-A-Cop® fundraiser next Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will take place at Ruby’s Diner in South Laguna, located at 30622 S Coast Highway.

“The Laguna Beach Police Department is the #1 department in the state for raised funds for the Special Olympics through Tip-a-Cop events!” Sgt Jim Cota tells Stu News. No doubt the department wants to beat its own record this year, and you can help.

“This is a terrific event that is super fun for everyone,” Sgt Cota adds. “Bring the kids and everyone you know. We will be having our many different events during the day, including an exotic car show.”

The Laguna Beach Police Department, along with the international law enforcement community, has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. Police officers partner with area restaurants to hold Special Olympics fundraisers on specific dates, hosted by one or more restaurants. 

Officers and Special Olympics athletes meet and greet customers, help take orders and deliver drinks and food orders, while interacting with restaurant guests. 

Police officers serve

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Photo from archives

Sgt Jim Cota is great at serving the community in every possible way

Customers are encouraged to “tip the cop” for their service in the form of a tax deductible donation, 100 percent of which will go to the Special Olympics program. This is in addition to the customary tip left for the restaurant’s server for their service. 

There will be an exotic car display which will include Lamborghinis, Peganis, McLarens and Porsches. The Police Department will also have a police car, police motorcycle, police K-9 unit, drone demonstration, face painting station and a balloon artist on site for this event. The community can enjoy great food, interact with some of Laguna Beach’s ‘Finest’ and Special Olympics athletes while supporting a great cause. 

Special Olympics relies on fundraisers for the many services it provides to our Special Olympics athletes. 

Events are held annually in more than 170 countries for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 3.1 million athletes of all ages are involved in these Special Olympics programs. The Laguna Beach Police Department is very proud to be able to play a small part in promoting Special Olympics and providing opportunities for the athletes to train, compete, have fun, and become productive and respected members of society. 

If you cannot make it on Saturday and want to donate, please click here.

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joe Torres at (949) 497-0330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Public Art Restoration is in process

The City has announced that 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). 

Public art tortoise

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Tortoise in Bluebird Park

Artists will be on-site undertaking the restoration. This project has been funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.


Joshua Rose discusses “The Current State of the Art Market” at FOA tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday, July 18, Joshua Rose, editor of American Art Collector magazine, will return to the Festival of Arts as part of the weekly series Art Talks and Tea. These fascinating and informative discussions are held every Wednesday at 1 p.m. during the Festival season and highlight a different art topic each week. Rose will focus on the contemporary art world with the topic “The Current State of the Art Market.”

At the Festival of Arts Artist Preview on July 2, event sponsor American Art Collector magazine selected two exhibiting Festival artists to be featured in an upcoming issue of the publication. Originally, Rose was to award only one artist the “Editor’s Choice Award,” but he was so impressed with the level of talent that he honored two artists instead. 

Joshua Rose group

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Submitted by FOA

Elizabeth McGhee, Joshua Rose, and Ray Brown

Rose brought charcoal artist Ray Brown to the stage, commenting on his lifelike wildlife drawings and oil painter Elizabeth McGhee, calling her work “expressive, poignant and beautifully set up and rendered.”

According to Rose, the contemporary art world is in a continual state of flux. Auctions, art fairs and online resources all compete for the attention of the collectors while galleries continue to redefine their role in this ever-changing art market. Where do collectors go these days to find works for their collection? What defines quality and value within all these spaces? Rose will address all of these issues in an open accessible way that will help collectors navigate these often confusing worlds.

Rose is the Editor of American Art Collector, Western Art Collector and American Fine Art magazines. As such, he travels to many events around the country visiting galleries and museums, speaking to collectors and attending art fairs. He has spoken at such places as the San Francisco Fine Art Fair, the Boston International Fine Art Show, and many others. Rose has also juried art shows and exhibitions across the country. 

Joshua Rose building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Art Talks and Tea Series at Festival of Arts, Joshua Rose to speak on July 18

Rose has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in Literature and Art from the University College of North Wales in Bangor, UK. He was hired in 2005 to serve as the founding Editor of American Art Collector and has been with the magazine ever since.

Prior to this work, Rose taught English, Art History and Humanities at the Art Institute of Phoenix from 1996 to 2005. He has spent the last 15 years writing for both local and national art magazines and launched his own art magazine, shade, in Phoenix from 2002-2005. In AZ, he has been a frequent speaker at museums. 

General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Tickets for students and seniors are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5 daily. Admission is free for children 5 and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents. 

Passport to the Art, a special promotion funded in part by Bank of America, is $29 and includes unlimited admission all summer long to FOA, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

The Festival is open now through September 1 from noon - 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. on weekends. There is an early closing on Tuesday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green are free with FOA admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert (includes Festival admission). Call (800) 487-3378 or order online at www.foapom.com/events/concerts-on-the-green.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Shanti OC hosts Club Q: “The Agony and Ecstasy of Aging and Sensuality” at Susi Q on Friday, July 20

Susi Q, Club Q – Orange County’s only LGBTQ club for seniors – and Shanti OC invite everyone to attend a session filled with fun, games, and an informal and interactive chat to discuss both the awkward moments and the celebrations of aging and sexuality. The event will take place on Friday, July 20 at Susi Q from 3 to 5 p.m.

Club Q will provide light refreshments. Bring a treat to share (optional) and friends.

Shanti OC Club

July is Club Q’s Annual Food Drive for Laguna Food Pantry. Items most needed are: pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, jelly, tuna, and dry cereal. Contact Korey Jorgensen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to arrange a drop off.

Susi Q is located at 380 Third St. For more information, call (949) 715-8103 or visit www.thesusiq.org. 

For more information on Shanti OC, go to www.shantioc.org.


Shared Travel Adventures at the Susi Q features “Standing Stone Giants & Magical Stone Circles” on July 26

On Thursday, July 26 from 1:30 - 3 p.m. at the Susi Q, Wanda Matjas will share her spellbinding adventure to the Orkney Islands in Scotland, and Avebury, England.

The Orkney Islands have been home to humans since the Stone Age. There are houses and tombs dating back 5,000 years, ruins from the Viking era, and remains of medieval churches and Renaissance palaces.

Shared Travel Adventures

Submitted photo

Wanda Matjas in the Orkney Islands

Avebury is one of the lesser known of England’s stone circle sites. This Neolithic stone circle is older than Stonehenge, and is actually the largest stone circle in the world.

Britain is littered with the remains of past lives civilizations and cultures, many of which remain a source of mystery. We may never know the exact reason why these standing stones and circles were erected – but who doesn’t like a good mystery with a little magic?

Join Wanda Matjas as she shares her adventures to these parts at the Susi Q on July 26. Visit www.thesusiq.org or call the front desk to reserve a spot at (949) 464-6645.


Spamalot is set to take place at No Square Theatre 

Is Laguna ready for a kids’ musical based on Monty Python’s “Search for the Holy Grail?” Absolutely! This special edition is based on the book and lyrics by Eric Idle, with music by John DuPrez and Eric Idle. Ella Wyatt directs the talented young cast, with music direction by Susan Thoren Geiser. 

Spamalot single

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Submitted photo

Douglas Spam is getting ready for the big performances ahead 

Spamalot (young@part) brings the comic genius of the zany British crew to a whole new generation. Monty Python fans of all ages will enjoy the familiar sight gags and laugh lines that have become part of our culture. Belly laughs are guaranteed, and coconuts are optional. (If you get that, you’re already a fan. If not, come and see why it’s funny!)

Spamalot Umbrellas

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Submitted photo

Get ready to see young talent put on the number Umbrellas 

Featuring some terrific young talent: Chase Benson, Will Briggs, Rylee Bullington, Story Bullington, Nico Camacho, Alfie Cant, Caroline Coleman, Kami Crawford, Chloe Flaherty, Finn Flanagan, Laird Garcia, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Alexandra Keyser, Lauren Kimball, Joie Lucas, Kate Motherway, Taite Morrison, Douglas No`age, Meghan Reardon, Kemper Rodi, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Shelby Thomas, Lauren Trautenberg, Mackenzie Wrap, and Joely Rose Wyatt.

Performances are Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m.

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, at 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The High School has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance.

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, The City of Laguna Beach, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Hall Family Foundation, and Vicki & Steve McIntosh.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $30 for VIP front row, and $10 for kids up to age 12. All tickets available at www.nosquare.org.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Anne Walsh Quartet July 25 at [seven-degrees]

The Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series features world jazz vocalist Anne Walsh Quartet on July 25 at [seven-degrees].

Laguna Beach Live Anne

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Submitted photo

Anne Walsh

Anne Walsh began her singing career in high school choir and continued into college to study voice and music therapy. After graduation, Anne moved from Massachusetts to Los Angeles where she discovered her voice in many genres including rock & roll, jazz, opera, and musicals. 

She holds a Master’s degree from Cal State Long Beach and currently resides on the faculty of American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, a college for the performing arts. Presently, among gigs at the Long Beach Carpenter Center, McKinney Theatre, and various clubs including Spaghettini’s Jazz Club, Anne is touring nationally and internationally.

Jazz Wednesdays Summer 2018 is located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner will be served through to 7 p.m. Dinner menu varies by concert. 

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

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Explosive information about Laguna Beach is revealed at Crystal Cove

Story and photos by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Laguna Beach and the word “volcano” don’t often appear in the same sentence – which is possibly a good thing, given the situation on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Earthquakes, wildfires and mudslides are bad enough – but at least we don’t have to worry about rivers of flaming lava engulfing our homes.

Or do we?

John Wilkerson, 80, now a volunteer who guides geology tours at Crystal Cove; former natural history teacher; and park ranger in Washington State Park for 40 summers, reassures the group gathered last Saturday at Berns Amphitheatre on that matter. 

explosive john map

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John Wilkerson is an expert at teaching in the wilderness

“No such activity now,” he says. “But we do have examples of volcanic rock right here in Laguna. They’re the result of fissure eruptions from deep in the earth that exploded through the seabed and up through the cold ocean, hardening as they reached the surface,” he adds, unfolding a large and unwieldy map with red areas depicting these areas. 

These eruptions occurred approximately 16 million years ago, he says (if my notes are correct – any errors in this article are mine and mine alone, attributable to the difficulty of taking notes on a scrap of paper in the bright sun).

Several of the points off Heisler Park contain volcanic rock, he notes. 

explosive group rock

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An unprepossessing rock turns out to have an impressive history

Wilkerson is the king of improvisation when it comes to teaching in the wilderness. His tools, along with photocopied maps, include a paper clip (twisted straight, to act as a pin), various cardboard cutouts that look as though they were newly carved from an Amazon box, a stick, and the dirt, where he draws diagrams to show how the landscape that we know today formed – and why Santa Barbara Island once abutted the mainland around San Diego.

After a short orientation, Wilkerson leads the group to a trail not far from the parking lot. He’s thrilled to find a rather large but (to us) ordinary piece of rock. He fondles it with hands as knowing as a surgeon’s. “See the dark parts – those are chunks of lava, embedded within the [hardened] silt,” Wilkerson explains. 

explosive heading abelone

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The group heads toward Abalone Point, a prime example of volcanic rock

Young Jacob Doss (6), only the second youngest on the tour – Theodore McGoffin of Utah, seven months, is the youngest, cuddled against his mother’s chest – is fascinated. He sticks close to Wilkerson throughout the tour.

Then our guide leads our 12-person group through the tunnel to the south end of El Morro Beach, in the direction of Abalone Point, upon which sits a house whose perch would seem precarious if you didn’t know – as Wilkerson tells us – that the point consists of volcanic rock.

“Left alone, in time the ocean would make an island out of this outcropping,” he says.

Why? Because of the relentlessness of the ocean, which has formed wave-cut cliffs along large swathes of the shoreline in Southern California.

explosive getting dirty

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John Wilkerson doesn’t mind getting dirty in the interests of science – Lorraine Doss looks on as he demonstrates how waves create sea cliffs

Time for another demonstration. Wilkerson gets down on his knees and scrabbles in the sand with his hands, showing the motion of the waves as they undercut the soil.

“So you see how the land gets uplifted,” he says. “On this coast it rises nine and a half inches every 1,000 years.”

We marvel not only at his knowledge, but at his agility also.

This fabulous tour guide told us greater detail than I’ve relayed here, and told us also about the Monterey Formation and the Capistrano Formation, and the distinctive rilling to be seen on Abalone Point as it rises from the beach – pillar-like protrusions similar to Devil’s Post Pile in Mammoth or the Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland.

explosive such beauty

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Easy to be distracted by beauty on this interpretive tour

But, as with most interpretive tours of this kind, packed with information, it’s easy to forget more than you remember, especially when your senses are diverted by the crunch of sand beneath your feet, the gorgeous colors of the ocean, and by witnessing dramatic wipeouts by surfers catching the waves shouldering toward shore.

Which is a very good reason to do it all again one day.

Check out our regular sidebar on the left side of Front Page One, listing activities at Crystal Cove, to find out when the next Geology Tour will take place. 

Note that entry/parking to El Morro costs $15. And Berns Amphitheater is reached by turning right off Coast Highway at El Morro Elementary, following the signs to the State Park, and turning right toward the campground, then taking the steep road down to the parking lot. 

Visit www.crystalcovestatepark.org for more information.


Dianne’s Creature Feature

Grounded hummingbirds: what to do?

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Almost constantly in motion, one is accustomed to seeing hummingbirds flitting around flowers or snacking at feeders. The smallest bird species found in the world, their wings beat up to 78 times per second. They can hover, fly backwards and at times upside-down. These enchanting creatures are truly a miraculous aerodynamic design of Mother Nature.

So, to say the least, it’s distressing to spot one lying helpless on the ground, but what to do in this situation is more complicated than I realized. 

Last week on Nextdoor North Laguna, there was a hummingbird rescue story with a happy ending.  A woman found a hummingbird under her car, and the bird couldn’t fly. She was seeking advice on how to handle the situation. 

This little guy wasn’t injured (that she could see), so what should one do in this situation?

Seek out an expert

At a reader’s suggestion, she called Ann at Hummingbird Rescue who told her that when baby hummingbirds are fully feathered, they practice flying and momma birds sweeps down every couple of minutes to feed the little guys, but momma bird never showed up, so the rescuer fed the baby sugar water with a Q-tip. After two tries, it flew away. The best possible outcome.

Maybe it was just hungry and needed a little sugar boost, but who is to say? 

According to www.fieldguidetohummingbirds.wordpress.com, hummingbirds are continuously only hours away from starving to death and are able to store just enough energy to survive overnight. They also consume more than their own weight in nectar each day, and to do so, must visit hundreds of flowers daily. (For protein, they also eat small spiders and insects.)

To interfere or not to interfere, that is the question

Whether or not to interfere when spotting an animal in need of assistance is always a concern. Will the intervention set off a different chain of events, but an equally perilous one or worse? 

On the website listed above is a comprehensive summary on how to determine whether or not baby hummingbirds are actually in need of rescue, and it states, spoiler: most “orphans” aren’t. 

To quote from the site: “It’s wildlife baby season over much of North America, a time when people with big hearts and inadequate information sentence untold thousands of young wild birds and mammals to needless suffering and death. Inappropriate diet is a major killer, resulting in stunted growth, rubbery bones, and feathers that break as they mature (if they mature at all). The greatest tragedy is that many of these “orphans” never needed intervention in the first place.”

Though our local rescuer obviously had the best outcome possible and no doubt that little guy (or girl) is doing just fine, because he or she was fed exactly the right food – see later in this article.

Grounded hummingbirds darker background

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Laguna Beach hummingbird in spring

However, if help is needed for a baby hummingbird in obvious danger or distress (fallen from the nest and unable to fly, injured, peeping constantly, covered with ants, etc.), the following is advised:

First – get help: Contact a wildlife rescue organization immediately. The two agencies for our area are: Ann at Hummingbird Rescue, (714) 454-7707, and Huntington Beach Wildlife Rescue Center, (714) 374-5587. The website suggests keeping the name and number by the phone so that you can get help as quickly as possible should the need arise. 

Condensed from www.projectwildlife.org

For Hatchling Hummingbirds (0-9 days): If you find a hatchling hummingbird (gray/black, skin naked or covered in quill-like pinfeathers), do not attempt to feed it. Get help as soon as possible. Try to keep the baby in the nest if possible. If not, line a plastic margarine cup with tissue and keep the baby warm (this is essential) by placing it under a gooseneck lamp about five inches away from the bulb, but do not overheat the bird. If it starts open-mouth breathing or its neck is outstretched, it is too hot. Overheating can kill the bird. Keep the baby warmed to an outside temperature of between 85-90 degrees. 

Moms don’t usually abandon their nestlings 

Nestling Hummingbirds (10-15 days): Watch the nest continuously for two hours for the return of the mother. She will fly in to feed them, which takes only 3-5 seconds, 4-6 times an hour. Mother hummingbirds normally do not abandon their young unless something has happened to the female. 

Baby hummingbirds use silence in the nest as a defense against predators. If the babies are vocalizing by constantly “peeping” for more than 10-15 minutes, they are in trouble (starving) and need help immediately. Silent babies are usually healthy babies.

If they have fallen out of the nest, gently pick them up, check to be sure there are no injuries and carefully place them back in the nest. Once again watch for mom’s return. (Always check the nest first for ants or other insects that may be attacking the babies.) If there is a problem with insects, an artificial nest can be constructed.

Grounded hummingbirds light background

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Hummingbird during a rare moment of rest

 After placing them back in the nest, it’s important to watch and see that the female continues to feed her young. 

If, after monitoring the nest site, it has been determined that the babies are actually abandoned and have to be rescued, readily open their beaks, and carefully drop three drops of sugar water (one part sugar to four parts water) into their mouths. If sugar water accidentally dripped onto feathers, it must be completely wiped off. 

Sugar water must consist of only dissolved white cane sugar, not organic or beet sugar or honey.

If the babies do not open their mouths, gently guide the birds’ beak into the tip of an eyedropper or syringe full of sugar water to feed. Offer sugar water every 30 minutes until help can be obtained. Do not feed sugar water or “nectar” longer than 72 hours (they cannot survive on just sugar water or nectar). 

Pre-Fledglings (16-21 days): Pre-fledgling hummingbirds are fully feathered, have very short, stubby tail feathers and a bill less than one-half inch long. They are most often found on the ground. Once again, if you know where the nest is, please put them back and watch for mom’s return. 

If they need to be rescued and open their mouths readily, carefully drop five drops of sugar water into their mouths. 

From this point, follow the instructions as listed just above for the nestlings.

It’s against the law to capture a hummingbird

And just in case anyone has the urge to capture a hummingbird (who would?), here’s an interesting bit of information. In the US, it’s illegal to hold a hummingbird, a hummingbird nest, a hummingbird baby, or any part of a hummingbird, nest or egg, in any type of captivity. Unless you have a valid permit, it is illegal to trap, band, hold, harass or control any hummingbird or any part of the hummingbird, nest or egg.

Per www.hummingbirdmarket.com, The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is the US law that regulates the possession and or capture of any migratory bird. Hummingbirds are included in the list of Migratory Birds that are protected under the United States Code of Federal Regulations.

Violation of this law results in the hummingbird being taken away immediately and a fine of between $15,000 and $200,000. Yikes, but it should be a crime to cage them. 

It seems that man has always been mesmerized by hummingbirds. In almost every culture, they have mythological status, representing love, joy, and peace. Maybe that’s why it’s so heartbreaking to see them grounded.


Bluebird Music in the Park concert: a locals’ rite of passage

Photos by Scott Brashier

bluebird arms up

bluebird woman smiling

bluebird elvis with woman

bluebird party time

bluebird man laughing

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Where Lagunans go to bask in community: next Sunday’s concert will feature The Devastators, a reggae and dub band, starting at 5 p.m.


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE

July 17, 2018

Laguna hit a record high temp last weekend – a look back at past July months

Dennis 5Looking to the western skies at about 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, a rare astronomical event occurred with the new crescent moon sitting only about two degrees from the planet Venus, which is the third brightest object in the sky. Only the sun and the moon are brighter. Venus was perched about 8 o’clock from where the moon is situated. That doesn’t happen very often. They set almost together, about two minutes apart. Pretty cool.

Local ocean temps have been delightful as of late with 71-75 degrees over all of Orange County beaches. The normal ocean temp for the date is roughly 68 degrees so we’re stylin’. The afternoon westerlies have been pretty tame for the most part so we’re not getting any upwelling and southerly breezes have helped to keep the water nice and balmy.

Outside of a few thunderstorms in the eastern deserts things have been pretty quiet as far as monsoonal moisture is concerned. Most of the activity is confined to areas east of the Colorado River. Our best month for local monsoonal thunderstorm activity is usually August but July has been busy on occasions too. In July of 1986 we had a three-hour thunderstorm here in town with a third of an inch of rain. In July of 1992 there was a brief but strong event from the outer bands of Category 3 Hurricane Darby who made it halfway up the Baja Peninsula. On July 26, 1996 there was a terrific storm with 90 solid minutes of frequent lightning and thunder with a half-inch of rain. On July 20, 1960 there was a two-hour event. 

On July 19, 2006 there was a spectacular storm over Catalina Island that dropped an inch of rain in Avalon and the high in Laguna that day was 95, tying a high temp record with 95 degrees for July until the 97 we got last weekend, which set a new July high temp record.

In July of 2015 we had a two-hour event that dropped a record nine-tenths of an inch that Saturday morning thanks to the outer bands of Category 3 Dolores, which also made it halfway up the Baja Peninsula. That storm forced the cancellation of the annual Brooks Street Surf Classic due to dangerous lightning. Too bad because there was a really nice SSE swell from Dolores at 3-6 ft. that same morning.

It just dawned on me that I’m now in my 60th year of keeping daily weather and surf records here in town. That journey began way back in July of 1958. More on that in Friday’s edition of Stu News Laguna. 

ALOHA!


Belly dancers entrance ladies, gentlemen, and children of all ages: they’ll shake up your world

JJ & the Habibis invite ladies, gentlemen and children of all ages to watch Laguna’s local belly dancers and guests performing this summer.  

“Instead of engaging in politically fraught endeavors, come and support your local belly dancers!” says Jeri St. James, leader of the troupe.

Belly dancers group

Submitted photo

JJ & the Habibis: (L-R) Christianne Miller, Cindy Patterson, Liz Terry, Jheri St. James, Carmen Panatescieu, Lydia Moore, Kathryn Sanders

Events in summer take place as follows: 

Sunday, July 22 at Sawdust Festival, 935 Laguna Canyon Road: Two Shows at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. by JJ & the Habibis and guest dancers from age 11 to who knows how old? Live drummers will also participate in a parade around the grounds at 8 p.m. Kids will enjoy the parade also.

The troupe will also perform on Sunday, July 29 at Orange County Fair, Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, during one big show at 2:15 p.m. on the Heritage Stage.

And on Sunday, August 19, JJ & the Habibis will be back at the Sawdust with two shows at 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and a parade at 8 p.m.

For more info on performances and classes, contact Jheri St. James at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 494-5031, or visit www.JheriCo.net.


Assistance League of Laguna Beach installs 2018-2019 Board Members at annual meeting

During the recent annual meeting and installation luncheon, the Assistance League of Laguna Beach installed their 2018-2019 Board Members, including officers and standing committee chairs. 

Jo Martin shared personal anecdotes as a unique way of introducing each new board member. 

Assistance League C Joyce

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Photo by Doug Miller

Carrie Joyce in backseat – Assistance League, Patriot’s Day Parade, 2018

Officers include:

President – Carrie Joyce 

First Vice President Membership – Cheryl Spetrino 

Vice President Philanthropic Programs – Judy Soulakis 

Vice President Resource Development – Shannon O’Toole 

Secretary – Carol Wager 

Treasurer – Diane Fanelli 

Assistance League logo

Standing Committee Chairs include:

Buildings Chair – Janene Freitas 

Assisteens® Coordinator – Jennifer Kucera Rothman 

Finance Chair – Margo Ganson 

Marketing and Communications Chair – Kathy Pawluk  

Strategic Planning Chair – San Dee Frei 

The new Board, along with the dedicated body of caring Assistance League of Laguna Beach volunteers, will continue to aspire to meet the needs of challenged individuals in Laguna Beach and underserved populations in surrounding communities, with particular attention focused on school children and those who are developmentally delayed.

For information about the Assistance League, go to www.allagunabeach.org.


Were you there? See if you can find yourself (or your friends) in this photo gallery by Scott Brashier

Photos by Scott Brashier

Bluebird just a few

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Locals come together to celebrate good vibes and community at Music in the Park, now in its 35th season. Next Sunday’s concert will feature The Devastators, a reggae and dub band.


Political notebook banner

Christoph for Council holds campaign kick-off on Sunday, July 22

Christoph For Council will hold a campaign kick-off event for Ann Christoph on Sunday, July 22 from 4 - 6 p.m. at the beautiful home and garden of Mark and Cindy Evans at 435 Hilledge. 

The festive fundraising event will include live music from the Garden Band, food, beverages, and plenty of camaraderie. For reservations and donations – $75 for the event – go to www.ChristophForCouncil.com or call (949) 499-1804. 

Christoph for Ann

Submitted photo

Ann Christoph

A 47-year resident, Christoph is a former Laguna Beach Mayor, City Council Member and Planning Commissioner. She is a landscape architect and Laguna Beach business owner. She was a leader and designer of projects such as Alta Laguna Park, Bluebird Park, Village Green, the citywide Landscape and Scenic Highways plan that includes the Coast Highway planted medians, and the Community Garden Park. 

In 2005 the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club selected Christoph as its “Woman of the Year” saying,  “We honor Ann Christoph for her leadership, integrity and visionary dedication to the City of Laguna Beach, and we thank her for her efforts to protect our city and its environment.”


Call for entries to City’s Juried Fine Art Exhibition: Deadline is September 8

The City of Laguna Beach is now accepting entries for its 2018 Juried Fine Art Exhibition. Entry deadline is September 8. Apply online at https://lagunabeachcity.slideroom.com

The program 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..


Drop-In basketball will be held next two Sundays at the high school

Drop-In Basketball will be held at Laguna Beach High School in Dugger Gym on Sundays, July 22 and 29, from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $3 per participant. 

Drop In basketball

Please contact Community Services with any questions at (949) 464-6645.


Digester fate still unsettled

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Some folks differ with city staff on the Council’s direction for exterior renovations on the Digester building as part of the Village Entrance project.

Landscape architect and City Council candidate Ann Christoph said during the public comment period of the July 10 meeting that apparently there has been big misunderstanding about the direction from the City Council on how much restoration should be done on the Digester as part of the plans. It was her understanding that the exterior was to be restored and a restoration plan was to be prepared.

“That is not how I remember it,” said Mayor Kelly Boyd by telephone. “We said attach the stairs and paint the building and I repeated it several times. We did not approve a full restoration of the exterior.”

Digester building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Digester building: Extent of restoration is a bone of contention

Landscape Designer Ruben Flores urged the City Council at the hearing to review the latest Village Entrance plans and place greater emphasis on the Digester. Flores said the council should savor and refresh historical landmarks.

Christoph told the council that the Village Entrance plans made available to her on July 2 showed only a paint and patch job for the Digester, not a restoration.

Furthermore, she charged that a new addendum to the plans did not even mention the Digester, and her community group of volunteers was not notified that there were no plans to restore the building, which Christoph said had been promised. 

Former Planning Commissioner Barbara Metzger testified that she was under the impression that the council had decided to restore the Digester to its original state and not just to paint and do minor repairs. 

City Manager John Pietig said he didn’t believe staff had misunderstood the council’s direction. 

In any case, Pietig said, the council will ultimately determine the direction it wants staff to take on the building. 

He said if the council did decide to go in a different direction the changes could be made without slowing down the entire Village Entrance project. However, he advised that the budget is limited and financial issues would need to be discussed. A restoration expert may be required for extensive exterior renovations of the Digester, which is on the city’s Historical Register.

Bids were expected for the project by July 13.

The council is expected to see the construction bill on the August 7 agenda.


Laguna Playhouse wants you to design your own five-play season subscription 

Laguna Playhouse is presenting a create-your-own subscription package that allows you to pick only those shows that speak to you, at a time that works with your schedule. Choose up to five productions available, that all vary accordingly to fit everyone’s interests. 

Here are just two to whet your appetite. The full list is available on www.lagunaplayhouse.com

Laguna playhouse twos

One of the performances available is Two’s A Crowd taking place September 7-16 at 5 or 7:30 p.m., described as follows:

They say opposites attract. They haven’t met Tom and Wendy. Forced together by a computer error, freewheeling Tom and uptight Wendy do their best to ruin each other’s vacations. Will they get to know each other well enough to reveal the real reasons behind their travel? Will they agree on sleeping arrangements? 

Written by Martin Bergman & Rita Rudner, with songs by Laguna’s own Jason Feddy, Two’s A Crowd pairs audience favorites Rita Rudner and Davis Gaines in the world’s first unromantic comedy.

Laguna Playhouse beauty

Additionally, Beauty and the Beast is also a show you can add to your list, taking place December 5-30. This is a modern take on the faitytale that is loved throughout the nation. In this interactive experience, the audience is encouraged to cheer for Belle, boo for Gus and sing along with popular songs such as the BeeGees’ “Staying Alive,” The Chainsmokers & Coldplay’s “Something Just Like This,” and Edith Piaf’s “La Vie En Rose.”

Laguna Playhouse is your “go to” for a great night out, be it plays, musicals, concerts, dance, stand-up comedy, author panels, family entertainment and more. No matter what your entertainment tastes, this is the place to attend. 

For more information, visit www.lagunaplayhouse.com/2018-2019-special-performances.


Lagunans love the wilderness – so here’s a bonus pic of caribou in ANWR

Photo by Hugh Rose

Laguna loves

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Photographer & naturalist Hugh Rose came across 180,000 caribou while traveling in ANWR, Alaska – the animals are making the most of their habitat before oil drilling begins, now that it is allowed in this pristine area


Talks continue on Caltrans 133 project

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The comment period for the Caltrans Highway Laguna Canyon Road project officially ended July 10. But City officials and environmentalists have not given up on making their case for adjustments to the plan.

Councilmembers Bob Whalen and Toni Iseman, City officials, Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones and Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett met July 8 with Caltrans representatives, described by Whalen as a “good meeting.” A second meeting is scheduled for August 2.

“City Manager John Pietig and Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis did an excellent job advocating for concerns expressed by the community,” Whalen reported at the July 10 council meeting.

He said that some ideas presented at the council meeting were raised at the joint meeting.

Resident Dave Raber reprised at the council meeting his ideas for solving environmental and traffic concerns with the Caltrans proposal that he first proposed at the July 5 community meeting hosted by the Foundation and the Canyon Alliance of Neighborhood Defense Organization.

Raber’s PowerPoint presentation to the Council proposed three options he said would improve the flow of traffic on the 133 with less adverse impact on Laguna Canyon and the open space for which residents paid dearly to preserve from development.

“One of the best options to achieve this is to eliminate the redundant portion of El Toro Road and use the existing 73 (toll road) feeder system to access Laguna Canyon Road,” Raber said. “By eliminating the intersection, travel time could actually be reduced.”

Talks continue

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Submitted graphic

Dave Raber submitted this graphic to Stu News two weeks ago along with a Letter to the Editor to illustrate his proposal

Raber’s first and simplest option is to just use the existing ramps from the 133 to the 73 and eliminating the left-hand turn off of El Toro Road.

“The idea to eliminate the left turn has been around a long time and I feel it is important to look at alternatives,” said Jones, speaking for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.

Rader’s second option proposed improvements to the current intersection from the 133 to the 73, including a dedicated ramp northbound 133 to southbound 73, to improve traffic flow, a Caltrans goal.

His third option would be to make El Toro Road one-way northbound between the 133 and 73 intersection.

Raber suggested that if the intersection of El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon Road was eliminated, El Toro Road could be restored as open space or a possible hiking and biking path, and Laguna Canyon Road could be kept at one lane in each direction.

Changes to the 133 would involve the Transportation Corridor Agency’s participation, Raber said. 

But it wouldn’t cost drivers more than a minute or so of extra time, he said. Motorists currently can get from Laguna Canyon Road to El Toro or vice versa via the toll road without paying a toll, according to Iseman. 

Environmentalists have complained that the Caltrans traffic study is incomplete. Issues they feel have not been adequately addressed include ingress and egress at Anneliese’s School and at entrance to the Willow Parking Lot for the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The proposal to extend the northbound merge lane 900 feet from El Toro Road would require motorists to cross two lanes of traffic and a bike path to exit or get into the parking lot.

Concerns have also been voiced about further incursion into the open space by locating utility poles beyond the proposed eight-foot shoulder into parkland. 

“I am very grateful for the City’s commitment to finding a positive solution,” said Jones. “I am also grateful to Caltrans for the continuing dialogue.”


Walkabout with Chris Reed and learn about the trees in your neighborhood 

Ever wonder what kind of trees you see in your neighborhood and around town? This casual walkabout guided by Professor Chris Reed will identify the scores of different trees planted on private and public spaces throughout the town on July 21 at 8 a.m. Meet at 670 Catalina. Street parking will be available in the vicinity. 

Walkabout cook pine

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Learn why the Cook pine leans

Chris will also provide guidance on which trees you might want to plant in your own yard, and on pruning trees as well. If attending, wear walking shoes and a hat to be comfortable throughout the day. 

The event will take one to two hours. LBBC will provide complimentary tree guides via email or they will be available for purchase at a dollar each. 

Group size will be limited. RSVP to George Weiss at (949) 295-0832 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


William Steiner serves as guest speaker at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of LB on Sunday, July 22

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach (UUFLB) announces that its guest speaker on July 22 will be Irvine Attorney William H. Steiner. Steiner’s focus will be on wage theft and labor justice, and his presentation will attempt to answer the question: “How Secure are Our Wages?” The service begins at 10:30 a.m.

William Steiner’s law practice, which began in 1973, has emphasized employment law, including class actions, personal injury, and civil rights cases. During more than three decades of practice, he has developed an unusually diverse expertise in Workers’ 

Compensation and employment litigation, as well as appellate law.

William Steiner closeupFluent in Spanish since the early 1970s, Steiner has been an active supporter of the Orange County Interfaith Committee to Aid Farmworkers. From 1977 to 1980, Steiner was the Los Angeles Legal Director for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. 

He later served as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of California (1982-1984). This Sunday, William Steiner brings his audience up-to-date on the surprising erosion of wages and what can be done to reverse that trend. 

UUFLB is located at 429 Cypress Dr. 

For additional information, contact Rachel Daniels at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (310) 714-2699 or go to www.uulagunabeach.org.


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

Click on photo for a larger image

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 www.litlaguna.com for more information.


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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Submitted photo

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 www.brianhamill.com.

Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave.

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


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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Submitted photo

“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 

www.coastaleddyagallery.com.


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

Click on photo for a larger image

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 www.OneWorldOneOcean.com.


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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Submitted photo

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 www.pacificmmc.org


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 www.TheArtistsFund-foa.org or call (949) 612-1949. Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd. 


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 www.ningzhougallery.com.


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


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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“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…


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 www.gayforgood.org/orange-county

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 rainbow-radio.com 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 www.lagunabeachpride.org

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.


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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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..


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 www.coxconservesheroes.com 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..


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 www.litlaguna.com for more information.


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 www.joanneartmangallery.com.


Injured animals on the trails: what to do

By DIANNE RUSSELL

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 www.OCparks.com.


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 www.atlasobscure.com, 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.


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.


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

Story by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

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 www.darochafitness.com 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.


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

By DIANNE RUSSELL

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 www.lestudiola.com/le-petit-cirque.


Terra Laguna Beach welcomes FOA/POM ticket holders and Passport to the Arts holders

Terra Laguna Beach welcomes Festival of Arts/Pageant of the Masters ticket holders and Laguna Beach Passport to the Arts holders throughout the festival season for drinks, lunch, and/or dinner.

Officially opening July 7, guests at the Festival or Pageant may also stop by Terra Laguna Beach for a variety of California fresh cuisine and refreshments or they can visit Terra’s Neptune Lounge for custom drinks and tapas. 

Executive Chef Jenny Messing has prepared an elegant and delectable menu for Terra diners, and has included a few favorites from the previous on-site restaurant, Tivoli Terrace.

Terra Laguna lights

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Submitted photo

Terra Laguna Beach is on the Festival of Arts grounds

Chef Messing’s menu includes tantalizing dishes like the Maple Brined Pork Chop topped with a chunky summer peach-pancetta bourbon sauce served with sautéed kale and cauliflower mashed potatoes, the Char-Grilled Flank Steak sprinkled with a savory chutney of fig, smoked bleu cheese, toasted walnuts and fresh thyme served over a bed of cauliflower mashed potatoes, and the Pan Seared Chicken Breast with a fresh fennel and tart green apple slaw and earthy roasted beets served over a bed of herbed basmati rice. 

There are also vegetarian options available including a beautiful Tuscan Primavera Pasta slow cooked with fresh summer vegetables, herbs and freshly cooked pappardelle pasta, fresh parmesan cheese and basil. 

For dessert, the Rosemary-Lemon Olive Oil Cake Berry Trifle is innovative and refreshing, and the Dark Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tart with a hazelnut crust and fresh blackberries will make your mouth water for more. With delicious cuisine and artfully crafted cocktails, Terra’s serene and luxurious atmosphere only heightens the sumptuous experience under the historic canopy from 1957 at Terra.

To access the unique experience of Terra, you must be a ticket holder for the Festival of Arts or Pageant of the Masters. Festival of Arts tickets are sold either per day or per season. One ticket to the Pageant of the Masters can get you into the Festival of Arts for the whole season on top of the access to the Pageant, which will allow you to come and enjoy the tantalizing taste of Terra again and again, all season long.

You may also purchase a Laguna Beach Passport to the Arts, which allows you access to dine at Terra, and get you into the three art festivals in the area: Festival of Arts, Laguna Art-A-Fair, and Sawdust Art Festival.

Of course, Laguna Beach residents, those in the military and children under 5 are all admitted to the Festival of Arts for free.

For more information, visit www.terralagunabeach.com.


Dueling selfies: It’s all about the background, really

Photo by Tom Berndt

Dueling selfies by tom berndt

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Look, I’m here, in Laguna!


Grammy nominated Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers shake up stage at Festival of the Arts tomorrow

Two-time Grammy nominated singer/saxophonist Mindi Abair will perform live tomorrow, Saturday, July 14 at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts as part of the 2018 Concerts on the Green music series, sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery. This popular series highlights living legends in a casual outdoor gallery setting that offers a memorable and unique concert experience. Abair and her acclaimed band, The Boneshakers, will take the stage from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists, two-time Grammy nominee Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 2000. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, with a raucous tone and abandon. 

“There’s no mistaking the sound of Mindi Abair on her saxophone,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “Backed by the dynamic and talented musicians of the Boneshakers, this concert is one you won’t want to miss!” 

Grammy nominated Boneshakers

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Rodney Lee, Randy Jacobs, Mindi Adair, Derek Frank, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Third Richardson

She has garnered 10 number one radio hits, six top five solo records and two number one spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. In 2014, Abair received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.

To help translate this sound to her live shows, Abair enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was, Willie Nelson) to inject his brand of Detroit Rock/Funk. The collaboration was undeniable, and it led to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. 

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Derek Frank (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals). Their first record together, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle, was released in September 2015, and recorded at their first official show together in Seattle in February 2015.

Grammy nominated FOA

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers perform at Concerts on the Green tomorrow, Saturday, July 14

General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Tickets for students and seniors are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5 daily. Admission is free for children 5 and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents. 

Passport to the Art, a special promotion funded in part by Bank of America, is $29 and includes unlimited admission all summer long to FOA, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

The Festival is open now through September 1 from noon - 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on weekends. There is an early closing on Tuesday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green are free with FOA admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert (includes Festival admission). Call (800) 487-3378 or order online at www.foapom.com/events/concerts-on-the-green.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Laguna Board of REALTORS - Charitable Assistance Fund comes through for Laguna Food Pantry

The Laguna Food Pantry was a beneficiary of the Laguna Board of REALTORS & Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund’s 23rd Annual A Taste for Charity & Silent Art Auction, which raised more than $106,000.

“We are overwhelmed at the Realtors’ ongoing support,” said Pantry executive director Anne Belyea. “It gives us a big boost that will allow us to purchase quality food at a substantial discount. Our volunteer operations team has become quite savvy at finding bargains on fresh, nutritious food items for our shoppers to choose from.” 

Laguna Board group

Submitted photo

Laguna Board of REALTORS treasurer Patrick Zellar presented a check to the Laguna Food Pantry’s treasurer Susan Thomas (left), executive director Anne Belyea and board vice chair Suriya Khan Mastroberti

The Laguna Board of REALTORS & Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund is a stand-alone nonprofit organization with its own board of directors. It was created in 2004 by the Laguna Board of REALTORS to help its own members and affiliate members who find themselves struggling economically, as well as others in the community. 

LBR-CAF committee chair Natalie Alvarez noted, “Everyone who serves on the board of directors for the Charitable Assistance Fund is concerned with the needs within our community. Laguna’s ‘A Taste for Charity’ event aims to address these needs with disbursements to organizations that help people in need.” 

Every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 4,000 lbs. of free, fresh groceries to approximately 80 families, half of whom have children. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run almost entirely by volunteers, and new recruits are welcome. For more information, call (949) 497-7121 or visit www.lagunafoodpantry.org.


Tax ballot measure hearing rescheduled

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The scheduled hearing on alternative ballot measures to fund utility undergrounding along key evacuation routes was postponed on Tuesday for a week.

Mayor Kelly Boyd requested the postponement because he was ailing and could not attend Tuesday’s meeting at which the council was to discuss the ballot measures prepared by staff. The staff report set forth the choice between special purpose and general purpose measures and the steps that must be taken to put one of them on the November ballot. The item will be heard July 17.

Tax undergrounding

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Two ballot measures to fund undergrounding will be considered for the November ballot

Councilman Steve Dicterow said he welcomed the postponement because it permits more time for the public to be informed about the differences between general and special purpose tax increase measures.

“I think it is very important for people to understand the difference,” said Dicterow.

Special purpose taxes require a two-third supermajority vote for approval and the revenue is limited to the specified use approved by the voters. A general purpose tax increase requires a 50 percent plus one vote and revenue goes into the general fund, to be spent at the council’s discretion, not as incorrectly reported last week.

If the general purpose tax is selected, the council must adopt a resolution expressing support for the Utility Undergrounding, Fire Safety and Other Essential City Services Measure, its intents to prioritize spending options for future ballot measure revenue, and its intent to create an oversight committee. The special purpose measure is titled Laguna Beach Undergrounding and Fire Safety Measure.

Both measures to be considered recommend a one percent increase in sales tax.

Council actions must be taken regardless of selected option

Wording of both measures was developed by Boyd and the council’s Utility Undergrounding Subcommittee of Councilmen Rob Zur Schmiede and Bob Whalen. 

Regardless of which option is selected, certain actions must be taken by the council:

--Direct the City Attorney to prepare an impartial analysis measure

--Authorize City Manager John Pietig to prepare a fiscal analysis

--Authorize Boyd, Whalen and Zur Schmiede, any other council members so inclined and the chiefs of the Police and Fire Departments to prepare direct and rebuttal arguments in favor of the selected measure

Staff has also recommended that the council appoint Whalen and Zur Schmiede to prepare a ballot argument in favor of the selected ballot measure and a rebuttal.

All of the documents must be filed with the City Clerk’s Office by 5:30 p.m., August 10.

The first reading of an ordinance for the selected measure is scheduled to be introduced at Tuesday’s meeting. A second reading will be required for adoption.

Staff had prepared a lengthy report on steps for placing measures for a general purpose sales tax increase or a special purpose sales tax increase on the ballot. 

Also delayed until the July 17 meeting: The request by the city to the Orange County Board Supervisors to consolidate the municipal election with the statewide general election on November 6, because all five council members are required to participate in the request.


Stop by the “Pastels!” exhibit at City Hall, enjoy the vibrant colors & vote for Peoples’ Choice Award

“Pastels!,” CAP’s current exhibit on the walls of City Hall (505 Forest Ave) is not only giving viewers the enjoyment of seeing the variety of subjects and painting styles, but offering viewers an opportunity to vote for their favorite work and be a voice in choosing the Peoples’ Choice piece. 

The winner will be announced at the close of the exhibit. Original works by Mary Aslin, Gianne de Genevraye, Mike Ishikawa, Margaret Lindsey, Sally Strand, Marie Tippets, Elizabeth Wallace, and David Wolfram are the contenders.

Mary Aslin’s floral still lifes of roses in full bloom, backlit with natural sunlight and defined with sharp and subtle edges, give a depth and dimension to these calming, peaceful works.

Gianne de Genevraye’s “Grand Cardón Cactus,” created with rough strokes, brings to mind the aridity and heat of its home in Cabo San Lucas.

Stop by Heisler

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Submitted photo

Mike Ishikawa, Heisler Park, 12” x 18”

Mike Ishikawa’s scenes of Laguna’s coastline are done with strong strokes and bold colors. His “Heisler Park” was voted the Arts Commission’s Choice Award.

“Playa Vista,” by Margaret Lindsey, is a scene of rich green space tucked in an unexpected place: a scene reminiscent of old California hidden in the current urban Los Angeles area.

Stop by Strand

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Submitted photo

Sally Strand, Man With Yellow Towel, 36” x 24” 

Sally Strand’s portraits of Laguna’s lawn bowlers and beach goers glow with warmth from the summer sun in current scenes of today.

In the style of Realism, Marie Tippets salutes the world of baseball, pro and collegiate. Her composition in “Retired” includes ball, bat, baseball cards and other baseball paraphernalia that tie to local and national teams.

Stop by wallace

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Submitted photo

Elizabeth Wallace, Lift Off, 9” x 12”

Elizabeth Wallace works in loose, short strokes and rich color. A small work, “Lift Off”, gives an up close and personal view of a bee taking flight off a flower on a hot, sunny day.

David Wolfram’s work has the feel of plein air oil. Done in Laguna, his subjects are beach related. The delight of a small child, splashing their way into the surf on a bright sunny day, brings smiles to the viewer.

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

The CAP Gallery is a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions. Visit www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be added to CAP’s email list or to become a member and supporter of the nonprofit. CAP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

“Pastels!” is now on exhibit through August 7 at Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Hours are Monday – Thursday and alternate Fridays, 7:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.; closed on alternate Fridays; closed July 20 and August 3. Admission is free.


Ruby, July birthstone, is The King of Gems

By Lorraine Hornby

The ruby’s sanskrit name, “ratnaraj”, means “king of gems” and its English name comes from the Latin word for red, “ruber”. Ruby, the July birthstone, is prized for its rarity and fiery red color. Ruby is also the symbolic gem for a 40th wedding anniversary.

Rubies are part of the corundum gem species, which includes sapphires (the September birthstone). They rate a nine on the Mohs hardness scale – the only gemstone which is harder is a diamond. 

The highest quality gems have historically come from deposits in Myanmar, which was formerly known as Burma so gems sourced from that region are still commonly referred to as Burmese rubies. Thailand, Madagascar, and Mozambique are also regions where ruby is mined.

How valuable are rubies? And what is “pigeon’s blood”?

Top quality rubies are more valuable per carat than any other gemstone, with the exception of certain colored diamonds. Color and clarity are key factors in determining price, with the classic “pigeon’s blood” red considered the most desirable. For those of us unfamiliar with the actual color of a pigeon’s blood, think of “American flag” red – a vivid, bright color.

Many rubies are heat-treated to enhance the color, so those which have not been enhanced are rarer and more valuable. 

ruby among diamonds

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Photo from Christie’s website

Crimson flame

In December 2015, Christie’s sold the Crimson Flame, a 15.04 carat Burmese ruby, for $18.3 million. At over $1.2 million per carat, this was the highest prices per carat ever paid for a ruby. The gem was analyzed by the Swiss Gemological Institute and it was described as a Burmese ruby with no indication of heat treating and having a vivid and saturated red color. 

The report concluded that “a natural ruby from Burma of this size and quality is very rare and thus can be considered an exceptional treasure.”

The star ruby phenomenon

Rubies can have inclusions of the mineral rutile. Sometimes the rutile aligns in such a way that when the ruby is cut in a cabochon shape (meaning a flat bottom and a rounded top) and a single point of light shines on the ruby, a “star” effect is seen. 

ruby raw

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Photo from Wikimedia

Star ruby

Synthetics and look-alikes

Rubies and star rubies can be lab-grown to create gemstone-quality synthetics. Two well-known manufacturers are Chatham (transparent faceted stones) and Linde (cabochon cut star rubies). 

Although the man-made versions are beautiful, they are significantly less valuable, so it is important to know whether the gem you are buying is natural or man-made. Always ask, and be sure the receipt documents what the seller has told you!

Natural gemstones which can be confused with ruby include red garnets and red spinel.

Industrial uses for rubies, including laser beams

Because of its hardness and chemical stability, poor quality ruby and lab-grown ruby have been used in industrial applications. The first laser was created in 1960 using red fluorescent light emitted by a ruby. And crushed corundum was once commonly used as an abrasive.

In the mid-1800s, Swiss watchmakers discovered that corundum was an excellent material to use in making the tiny bearings necessary for the moving parts of a watch. Their precision watches with “jewel movements” became famous for longevity and reliability.

Lorraine Hornby is a local jewelry artist and Certified Gemologist, SCC. Her work can be viewed at www.studio44jewelry.com and at the Sawdust Art Festival, and you can read more about gemstones and jewelry fabrication on her blog at www.studio44jewelry.wordpress.com.


Road trip or Read trip? As part of the Smart Girls program, kids from BGC visit LB Books

Road trip kids

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Photo courtesy Kaira Rouda

Best-selling local author Kaira Rouda recently had fun with young visitors to Laguna Beach Books, where the kids learned about bookstores and authors and shared their love of reading.

Road trip cover

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“I love the Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club,” Kaira says. “My favorite thing to do is volunteer in the art room. That’s when I learned about the SMART Girls program and I was so happy to host the girls on a field trip at and with Laguna Beach Books. 

“The Paper Bag Princess was my favorite book to read my daughter when she was these girls’ age. The princess outsmarts the dragon, (spoiler alert) saves the prince, and realizes she’s way better off without him!”


Yoga Sapien celebrates its six-month anniversary with evolving event experiences for all

Last January, upstairs at The Pavilions Center off Boat Canyon, new studio Yoga Sapien drew aside its unique barn doors – surrounded by a “living” green moss wall, and opening into a vast, airy, high-ceilinged space – to yogis of all shapes, sizes, and physical conditions. 

The yoga studio’s goal, founders Liz Campbell and David Taylor said, was to “offer this incredibly yoga-hungry community the encouragement to discover a deeper internal practice, and to hold space for all bodies no matter the physical or even financial limitations.”

yoga sapien dave and liz

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Photo from website

Co-founders David and Liz are livin’ the dream – and so are the members

And Yoga Sapien has evolved very nicely during the past half-year, offering up to six classes daily, ranging from restorative yoga, to varying levels of Vinyasa and even Yamuna Body Rolling. 

The innovative yet down-to-earth studio, in addition to yoga and meditation sessions, also holds unusual, illuminating events that calm body and soul.

“Our friends from The Conscious Groove are coming back Saturday, July 21 from 5 - 8 p.m. to bring us Live Kirtan, Aromatherapy, Pranayama (Breathwork) and lots of love!” co-founder Liz says. “These talented musicians and healers know how to put on a good show while guiding you through some powerful energy work.”

yoga sapien liz

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Photo from website

Talk about body art: Liz is both a canvas and a sculpture in this pic

Then, on Sunday, July 29, from 2 - 4 p.m., the idea is to soak in state of Savasana, while being guided through a practice of conscious awareness of the body’s subtle landmarks, one by one.

“Add a hint of burning sage, a beautifully spacious room, and the calming voice of Lynette Kozuma…and that might just be the most perfect Sunday afternoon…ever,” Liz suggests.

This Yoga Nidra meditation practice is said to induce a state of deep, but conscious relaxation designed to help you release what is no longer in service of your true nature. 

For more information about Yoga Sapien classes and these workshops, call (949) 416-3996, drop into the studio at 610 N Coast Hwy (off Boat Canyon, upstairs above Pavilions) or download the very friendly Yoga Sapien mobile app. Visit the website at www.yogasapienlb.com; they’re on Facebook too.

New members who live in Laguna Beach and most contiguous cities receive two free weeks of yoga upon proof of residency.


Joshua Rose discusses “The Current State of the Art Market” at FOA on Wednesday, July 18

On Wednesday, July 18, Joshua Rose, editor of American Art Collector magazine, will return to the Festival of Arts as part of the weekly series Art Talks and Tea. These fascinating and informative discussions are held every Wednesday at 1 p.m. during the Festival season and highlight a different art topic each week. Rose will focus on the contemporary art world with the topic “The Current State of the Art Market.”

At the Festival of Arts Artist Preview on July 2, event sponsor American Art Collector magazine selected two exhibiting Festival artists to be featured in an upcoming issue of the publication. Originally, Rose was to award only one artist the “Editor’s Choice Award,” but he was so impressed with the level of talent that he honored two artists instead. 

Joshua Rose group

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Submitted by FOA

Elizabeth McGhee, Joshua Rose, and Ray Brown

Rose brought charcoal artist Ray Brown to the stage, commenting on his lifelike wildlife drawings and oil painter Elizabeth McGhee, calling her work “expressive, poignant and beautifully set up and rendered.”

According to Rose, the contemporary art world is in a continual state of flux. Auctions, art fairs and online resources all compete for the attention of the collectors while galleries continue to redefine their role in this ever-changing art market. Where do collectors go these days to find works for their collection? What defines quality and value within all these spaces? Rose will address all of these issues in an open accessible way that will help collectors navigate these often confusing worlds.

Rose is the Editor of American Art Collector, Western Art Collector and American Fine Art magazines. As such, he travels to many events around the country visiting galleries and museums, speaking to collectors and attending art fairs. He has spoken at such places as the San Francisco Fine Art Fair, the Boston International Fine Art Show, and many others. Rose has also juried art shows and exhibitions across the country. 

Joshua Rose building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Art Talks and Tea Series at Festival of Arts, Joshua Rose to speak on July 18

Rose has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Philosophy from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s Degree in Literature and Art from the University College of North Wales in Bangor, UK. He was hired in 2005 to serve as the founding Editor of American Art Collector and has been with the magazine ever since.

Prior to this work, Rose taught English, Art History and Humanities at the Art Institute of Phoenix from 1996 to 2005. He has spent the last 15 years writing for both local and national art magazines and launched his own art magazine, shade, in Phoenix from 2002-2005. In AZ, he has been a frequent speaker at museums. 

General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Tickets for students and seniors are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5 daily. Admission is free for children 5 and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents. 

Passport to the Art, a special promotion funded in part by Bank of America, is $29 and includes unlimited admission all summer long to FOA, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

The Festival is open now through September 1 from noon - 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. on weekends. There is an early closing on Tuesday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green are free with FOA admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert (includes Festival admission). Call (800) 487-3378 or order online at www.foapom.com/events/concerts-on-the-green.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


Notice and Call of Special Meeting of the City Council

Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the City Council has been called by Mayor Kelly Boyd, to be held Tuesday, July 17 at 5 p.m. in Conference Room A at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The Special Meeting has been called pursuant to Government Code section 54956 for the purpose of conducting a Closed Session concerning the following items:

Conference with legal counsel regarding existing litigation (pursuant to Government Code section 54596.9(D) (1) Fudge v City of Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach Golf and Bungalow Village, LLC) (Orange County Superior Court Case No. 30-2016-00884488); (2) Glover, et al v City of Laguna Beach (US District Court Case No. 8:15-cv-01332); and (3) City of Santa Ana v City of Laguna Beach, et al (US District Court Case No 8:18-cv-00155).

No other items shall be considered.


Five babies will graduate from the Assistance League Laguna Beach’s Early Intervention Program on August 1

To date in 2018, Assistance League Laguna Beach’s Early Intervention Program (EIP) has graduated 13 babies. And on August 1, Stu News will cover the graduation of five more babies. 

The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is designed to provide group-based therapy for developmentally delayed infants from birth to one year. EIP educates parents on how to exercise, stimulate, guide, play and care for their babies. It is the only program available for these youngest developmentally delayed and special needs babies, and parents come from all over Orange County, Riverside County, Los Angeles County and as far as Indio to attend EIP. 

On March 28, six babies graduated from the program, and seven more babies graduated on June 13, including three sets of twins. In the 42 years that the program has been serving infants with developmental delays, this is the first time three sets of twins have been in the program at the same time. 

Five babies with hat

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Submitted by EIP

Another happy grad from the Early Intervention Program

During this year’s two graduation events, the 13 grads, each decked out in traditional caps and gowns, seemed quite happy to grasp their diplomas to the tune of “Pomp and Circumstance.” Proud parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents looked on, all very pleased with the observable developmental progress their little ones had made through the efforts of the EIP therapists from the Intervention Center for Early Childhood.

Assistance League of Laguna Beach provides the facility and all the funding for EIP so parents of developmentally delayed infants are able to attend the program free of charge. In existence since 1976, the Early Intervention Program of Laguna Beach is a collaborative program with Assistance League of Laguna Beach and the Intervention Center for Early Childhood. 

Five babies volunteers

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Volunteer assists mothers during session of Early Intervention Program

There is no fee or cost to the families participating in EIP. Assistance League of Laguna Beach funds the program through proceeds from the Assistance League of Laguna Beach Thrift Shop and from grants and cash donations.

They believe that parent participation is the key to success in providing early intervention services. Therefore, they provide parents with the “hands-on” experience to guide them as occupational and physical therapists, developmental teachers and behavioral specialists make specific recommendations for each child to ensure his or her optimal development.

For more information on EIP, go to www.allagunabeach.org.


Howling for Coyote Almost at an End

By DIANE ARMITAGE

If you’re a SoLag resident, your restaurant options are few and far between. So, when Coyote Grill closed down for a purported six weeks of renovation, we residents here had to face some tough questions: 

--Do we move?

--If we don’t move, how do we survive the 6-week torture?

Coyote is our own little watering hole. The food is decent (particularly the seasonal Baja grilled lobster and their daily unforgettable calamari tacos and wet chicken burrito smothered in their own melty cheese and green sauce). The happy hours are seven days a week. Steve and Mark stir up a serious margarita. It’s an awesome option for quiet weekday breakfast meetings. And, watching tourists from the four-seater window is better than any TV show.

In a nutshell, Coyote rocks. 

Money Pit’s “Six Weeks”

If you saw the Tom Hanks movie, “Money Pit,” you’ll remember that every contractor coming in to rescue parts of Tom’s dilapidated mansion assured him that their part in the restoration would only take six weeks. Here’s my photo of Mark, the bartender, on April 7, just 48 hours prior to the restaurant closing. 

LB Best 0713

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Photo by Diane Armitage

Only six weeks!

Since then, 14 weeks have passed. That’s two six-week periods PLUS two weeks for good measure.

Rumor is that Coyote Grill will be doing a soft opening sometime this weekend to welcome back their most valiant supporters. This is akin to handing a pail of fresh, cool water to a poor soul who’s just crossed the Mojave Dessert. We’ve been absolutely miserable these 14 weeks.

When I dropped in yesterday (Thursday), though, we don’t look like we’re quite to that point. 

LB Best bar

lb best mess

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Photo by Diane Armitage

Getting there…

You never know, though. Once the permitted pieces are approved, it’s really just a matter of interior finish and dusting off a few tables, right? (I ask hopefully.)

Why All the Dust?

Aside from the need to replace an aging bar and kitchen, Coyote Grill needed to update its accommodations for ADA compliance. In so doing, the bathrooms and the hallway to said bathrooms have been beautifully revamped, and the bar has been completely reconfigured for ADA compliance as well.

Because the compliance requires understandable and necessary space, the Coyote bar portion is now significantly smaller. Gone is the palapa and the great white shark (if you’re a regular, you know what I’m talking about), and the bar is certainly more vertical and open in nature. Granted, the vertical stature isn’t going to seat more bar patrons, but I’m not sure that’s even going to be a contingency factor. Coyote Grill patrons who prefer the bar will maintain that state of mind to the end of times.

The dining areas in the small restaurant remain the same, though now boasting lovely new tile floors and the removal of a divider wall that divided the former space into tiny little squares. 

Enough About the Details 

Right. We just want to know when it’s going to open.

Well…it will hopefully happen sometime in the week ahead. Watch their Facebook page – www.facebook.com/CoyoteGrillLagunaBeach – or my own blog at TheBestofLagunaBeach.comfor celebratory details. 

Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book, The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of Laguna based reviews, finds and upcoming events at her blog, TheBestofLagunaBeach.com. 


Barbara’s Column

A love letter to Laguna

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Last Thursday and Friday nights were the final run-throughs of the 2018 Pageant of the Masters before opening night. Audiences both nights included a large contingent of locals – I was lucky enough to be among them.

Let me be clear – I am not qualified to be an art critic or a theater critic, but “I know what I like” and I would urge locals to get tickets. This show is for us.

“It is a love letter to Laguna,” said Sharbie Higuchi, marketing and publicity director of the Festival of Arts.

Friday night was VIP night. The audience included members of the festival’s board members Pat Kollenda, Anita Mangels, Scott Moore (also an exhibitor), Wayne Baglin, Tom Lamb, Fred Sattler and Kathy Jones; and staff members Higuchi and Events Director Susan Davis.

Barbara pageant setting

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The Pageant of the Masters is beautifully set among oaks and sycamores

 “I was very proud of the presentation about Laguna’s art history and the details about the festival,” said former Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, who attended Friday’s show. “It is important for residents to know about our art heritage.”

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Assn founder Karyn Philippsen couldn’t agree more.

“I truly enjoyed the historical component about California and the city,” said Philippsen. “And I enjoyed the music particularly in the second half. We forget how professional the musicians are.”

This year the Festival Orchestra was augmented by “Dapper Dans of Disneyland,” paying homage to Laguna’s surfing history, in the first half finale.

Thursday night was Laguna Appreciation Night. Members of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce were in the audience, following dinner at the Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, organized by Tight Assets owner Heidi Miller.

Barbara red and green

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One of the many “living pictures” featuring early Laguna: this one depicts Red and Green by Joseph Kleitsch

Sergio Prince, community relations advisor to Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, hotfooted to the dinner after attending the two-hour forum on the Laguna Canyon Road project, hosted at the Susi Q by the Laguna Canyon Foundation, CANDO and Barbara and Greg MacGillivray.

The Chamber is among the nonprofits that sell Pageant tickets as a fundraiser, all 500 selling this year, according to Chamber president David Rubel, one of the ticket holders.

“I thought the Pageant did a great job,” said Rubel. “I like how they told the story of Laguna Beach.”

Michael Kinsman, Chamber past-president, said it was the best Pageant in years. He especially appreciated the scaling back of live action.

“The piece I liked best was the portion of a painting Monet never finished,” said Chamber board member Norm Grossman. “I enjoyed the history of it in the narration.”

The 2018 Pageant honors the artists who set up their canvases out of doors – in plein air – and captured its beauty, among them the members of the Laguna Beach Art Assn founded in 1918, with Edgar Payne as founding president.

Barbara Endless Summer

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The iconic movie Endless Summer inspired a more recent tableau reflecting the Pageant’s Under the Sun theme

Under the direction of Diane Challis Davy, “Under the Sun” captures the essence of Laguna’s early artistic pioneers (and others around the world) who left their studios for the great outdoors. 

2018 is Challis Davy’s 23rd year at the helm. She succeeded 16-year veteran director Glen Eytchinson in 1995. No one could have been better prepared for the job.

Challis Davy has been a part of Laguna’s art history since childhood. She met many artists hanging out at the art gallery owned by her late father, Richard Challis, who also served as judge for festival entries. A recipient of Festival of Arts scholarships, Challis Davy served as a cast member and got her first job in the Pageant’s costume department. 

“I will never get tired of working and creating in this beautiful amphitheater, on the edge of the greenbelt of oaks and sycamores, with its owls, hawks, jays and an elusive roadrunner,” said Challis Davy.

The theme of the 2018 Pageant was inspired by her view one spring evening last year of Saddleback Mountain bathed in sun. It was an aha! moment.

“I thought “Under the Sun,” Challis Davy said in a press release. “The phrase is from Ecclesiastes and I think it serves very well. I wanted the theme to express an awareness and appreciation of the beauty of nature, to focus on artists who choose to paint in the open air.” 

Barbara pageant Diane Challis

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Director of the Pageant, Diane Challis Davy, would not be sitting alone for long: sellout crowds have been pouring into the amphitheater

The show features works by early Laguna artists Anna Hills, William Griffith, Rex Brand (one of the artists her father represented), Julia Bracken Wendt and Joseph Kleitsch.

Challis Davy also paid tribute to the late Roger Kuntz.

Dan Duling’s script, performed nightly by Richard Doyle, meshes perfectly with the “insider” vibe of the show.

The show opens with “From the Beginning,” works by current Festival of Arts exhibitor Jorge Fernandez, depicting the earliest Laguna inhabitants.

Two local milestones are celebrated – the 85th anniversary of the Pageant, and the 100th anniversary of the Laguna Art Museum, which began as a sales and exhibition gallery for local artists.

It takes 500 volunteers to produce the show: two complete casts of 150 on stage including art patron Mark Porterfield, a sponsor of the Festival of Arts Junior Exhibit, and another 200 people backstage.

When the show closes on September 1, the cast and crew will have amassed 60,000 volunteer hours. I recommend you spend two hours at the show.     

Terra Laguna Beach

Some early arrivals to grounds for the 8:30 p.m. show on Friday dined at the former Tivoli Terrace, renamed Terra Laguna Beach.

“The food was excellent, beautifully presented, the wait staff was charming and the ambience made for a great dining experience,” said Kollenda, whose party included family members as well as Philippsen and Pearson.

Pearson was especially impressed by the stylish remodel. 

“I am thrilled with it,” said Pearson. “The original architecture fits perfectly with the upgraded exhibition grounds.”

The only remnant left of the Tivoli Terrace restaurant and event venue, leased for about 50 years by June Neptune, is the swooping paraboloid roof.

“I will always have fond memories of the old Tivoli Terrace, but this is our future and wow!” said Philippsen.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading StuNewsLaguna.com. Contributions are welcomed.


Pastels on show at City Hall are great: and so are these pastel tableaux on the beach – found art?

Photos by Susan Nazaroff Smallwood Cooper

Pastels on the beach

Pastels seaweed

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Sometimes the best art is to be found on the beach


Crystal Cove Conservancy seeks help to meet challenge

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Crystal Cove Conservancy has California Coastal Commission approval to restore the remaining 17 cottages on the North Beach of the Historic District. All that is needed now is the financing.

The Packard Foundation has agreed to a $10 million low interest construction loan, if the conservancy can raise $5 million in pledges, payable by 2023.

“We are at an important milestone for the park and this project – we need your help,” Crystal Cove Conservancy Vice President Laura Davick told the City Council on Tuesday. “As of today, $1.1 million has been raised. Another $3.9 million in pledges is needed by September 8.”

Pledges have to be paid by 2023.

Crystal cove cottages

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Courtesy of CCC

Seventeen cottages still need to be restored

“The construction loan will fund the final phase of restoration at the historic district, allowing full public access to that area of the park and creating a range of the most affordable overnight accommodations on the California Coast,” Davick said. “Upon completion of the restoration of the last cottages, the Historic District will be self-sustaining, requiring no additional revenue from the general fund for their maintenance.”

Bills are paid through rentals of the cottages, operated by the conservancy’s for-profit Crystal Cove Management Co. Food service is run by The Beachcomber, a sub- concession that includes the Shake Shack/Bootlegger Bar and all catering rights.

Proceeds are re-invested into Crystal Cove State Park, a private/public partnership between California State Parks and the conservancy.

Davick invited the council and members of the public to take advantage of the many programs at the park, including a Founder’s Tour, from noon to 2 p.m., on the third Sunday of every month except December – including this weekend.

“We meet on the deck at check-in and go inside several cottages and give tips on how to rent a cottage,” Davick said. 

She also suggested checking the conservancy’s online calendar for free events and programs this summer – art events, educational programs and movies on the beach. 

Information about park programs and the Packard Challenge is available on the park website at www.CrystalCove.org, with instructions to click on North Beach – also known as a Heritage Legacy Project for California.


Sultry summer sunset

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Sultry sunset

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Laguna’s sunset has many moods: this one is particularly seductive


The Loft at Montage Laguna Beach announces appointment of Chef De Cuisine, Victor Casanova

Montage Laguna Beach has appointed Victor Casanova as the new chef de cuisine of The Loft restaurant. With over 20 years of fine dining and hospitality industry experience at award-winning restaurants, resorts and hotels, Casanova will oversee all operations of The Loft, developing new menus and leading the team of chefs, sommeliers, servers and fromagiers at this all-day resort restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

“We are delighted to welcome Victor Casanova to helm the kitchen at The Loft,” said Anne-Marie Houston, general manager of Montage Laguna Beach. “With his refined approach to setting the stage for a customized dining experience, creative menu development expertise and leadership acumen, we know Chef Vic will take The Loft to new heights.”

The Loft new chef

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Submitted photo

Victor Casanova takes helm as new chef de cuisine of The Loft restaurant

 For the last six years, Casanova, known for his innovative international cuisine prowess, was chef/owner of highly acclaimed Gusto in LA. Prior to that, he was the executive chef of Culina Modern Italian at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills and also served as the executive chef of Il Terrazzo, The Praying Monk and The Thirsty Camel at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, AZ.

New York native Casanova competed on TV’s “Iron Chef” in 2011. He attended Peter Kump’s The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC and graduated with a degree in culinary arts, management and hospitality.

Montage, set on a coastal bluff overlooking the Pacific, offers 30 acres of oceanfront luxury. The 250-room craftsman-style resort features beachfront accommodations; a 20,000-square-foot spa; destination dining at Studio; a wealth of outdoor recreation, including three pools, beach and water sports; a fine art collection; and more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space. 

For more information, call (888) 715-6700 or visit www.montagehotels.com/lagunabeach.


On-site group therapy sessions offered for club members at Boys & Girls Club LB starting July 19

Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach (BGCLB) announces a partnership with Living Success Center, a nonprofit community oriented therapy center in operation since 1977. The Center’s goal is to promote emotional health and wholesome relationships through therapy and psycho-education.

To this end, BGCLB is offering a series of group sessions for its members, beginning on Thursday, July 19, from 9:30 - 11 a.m. at the Club’s Canyon location. Sessions will continue for six weeks at a cost of $60 for the entire series.

On site group Hall

Submitted photo

Michele Hall of Laguna Beach will conduct support group beginning on July 19

“When people want and need assistance to deal with their problems, concerns and aspirations, they should be able to get it without the sacrifice of dignity, privacy or financial well-being,” states Michele Hall, who will be conducting a support group for members at the Club whose families may be experiencing change of any kind – such as divorce, remarriage, illness, move or other issues. 

Hall, a Marriage Family Therapist Trainee, has lived in Laguna Beach since she was six years old. She attended Aliso Elementary School, Thurston Middle School and graduated from LBHS. A graduate of UC Berkeley, with a degree in Conservation and Resource Studies, Hall worked as a political consultant for several years in Los Angeles until she was offered the position of Executive Director of United Laguna, a 501(c)(3).

On site group building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Group sessions to be held at Boys & Girls Club on Laguna Canyon Rd

After raising two children, Hall’s passion for people and their emotional and psychological well-being led her to pursue her passion as a Marriage and Family Therapist. She is currently attending the graduate program of psychology at Pepperdine University, Irvine Campus. She is looking forward to counseling the children of her hometown. 

Anyone interested in having their child attend should contact Cherie Andrade, BGCLB Social & Emotional Wellness Director, at (949) 494-2535 ext. 7786 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to complete the required paperwork.

Boys & Girls Club is located at 1085 Laguna Canyon, Rd.

For more information, go to www.bgclagunabeach.org or call (949) 715-7942.


Offshore News: Grom of the Week

By Team Laguna Beach Coach CHRIS WILLIAMS

The surf world in Laguna Beach is deep with talent. This week I caught up with Thurston student Jax Hutcheon. Jax is another multi-sport athlete who is turning heads up and down the coast with his explosive surfing. My favorite thing about Jax is his joyful disposition out in the surf – he’s one of those kids you want to surf with!

Offshore News Team

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Courtesy of Soul Surf

Team Laguna Beach (L-R): Coach Chris Williams, Landon Hutcheon, Felix Hayes, Jax Hutcheon, Hudson Saunders, Morgan Saunders, and team dad 

Don Saunders

CW: Talk about when you started surfing.

JH: I started surfing when I was four years old. I used to go to Blackies in Newport and Doheny with my dad. We also went with the Saunders family. It was super fun.

CW: When did you know you were hooked? Was there a session or a wave that blew your mind? Also who are your best surf buddies?

JH: I remember my first surf contest in Huntington Beach with Soul Surf. I was six years old. I made the Final and got a trophy. It was super exciting! My best surf buddies are Hudson Saunders, Zach Van Meter, Hunter Harrington, Parker Smialowicz and my little brother Landon.

CW: You play elite level soccer, how do you manage to compete at high level in surfing and soccer? Does surfing help prepare you for other sports?

JH: I play academy soccer with the OC SURF. We train three days a week plus games on the weekends. When I am not on a soccer field I am in the ocean. I feel like I am always rubbing sand and salt off me to put on soccer socks. Honestly it was an exhausting year.

I love playing soccer. I think surfing has helped me with my overall fitness and upper body strength, also my balance.

CW: What surf competitions do you do? And talk about some of this year’s highlights.

JH: This year I participated in WSA and Scholastic Surf Series, Soul Surf and also local contests. 

The highlights of my year have been winning the Surf n Sport Spring Fever Surf About, middle school division, getting a perfect 10, and winning the Soul Series Team Event with Hunter Harrington. Also any contest with good waves was a highlight. I placed eighth of 160 middle schoolers in the State Scholastic Surf Series in Oceanside

Offshore News Jax

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Photo by Jenn Hutcheon

Grom of the Week Jax Hutcheon with his latest surf award, “Champion Thurstonite”

CW: Your house is full of athletes, who’s the most competitive?

JH: I would say I am the most competitive, but my brother Auston is best at Fortnite. And my brother Landon is really good at soccer and super competitive with me.

CW: Talk about mom and dad’s support, and what that’s meant to your surfing.

JH: My parents have been great about getting me boards and wetsuits, and always taking me to comps and just being supportive.

CW: Where do you want to take your surfing next year and beyond – any goals you’ve made for yourself?

JH: I would not mind winning the Brooks Street, but mostly I just want to enjoy surfing good waves in warm water with my friends and family.

CW: Shout outs to supporters, friends, sponsors?

JH: I would like to thank my mom and dad, also you and Karen at Soul, Dave Post and Mo Van de Wall, for teaching me so many things about surfing. Also Elevate industries and Jenson surfboards for all of their support.


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE

July 13, 2018

Blobs in the Eastern Pacific and haboobs in Arizona create a stir

Dennis 5After a busy June during which a total of six named tropical systems formed in the Eastern Pacific tropics, it has been a quiet July so far with no new named storms. Now it’s the Atlantic Basin’s turn as Category 2 Hurricane Chris, which formed just off north Carolina a few days ago, is now well offshore and speeding to the northeast. Chris will pass to the west of Bermuda while setting its sights on the eastern shores of Newfoundland by the weekend, still a tropical system thanks to the Gulf Stream where warm waters can extend as far north as latitude 50 north. Then Chris will become extratropical and move to the east setting its sights on Southern Iceland with all kinds of intense weather, and then onward where it hooks up with a strong low in the Northeast Atlantic and then onward to Europe where high surf, strong winds, and heavy rain will pound England, Ireland, and Scotland. Sometimes that happens when a storm will form way down in the tropics and will hold it together long enough to put in a couple of thousand miles more.

Chris never made landfall on the East Coast as a low-pressure trough in the northeast steered the system to the northeast and out to sea, otherwise the hurricane probably would have made landfall somewhere in the Mid-Atlantic states as a dangerous Category 2 or 3 storm, so they dodged a bullet this time around. At this time of year earlier in the season, most tropical systems form in the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. Then in August tropical systems are born near the Cape Verde Islands just off the coast of West Africa at 15-20 degrees north latitude.

The reason it was so busy in June in the Eastern Pacific is because there’s a huge blob of super unstable air that pops out giant clusters of thunderstorms down there in the tropical Convergence Zone. After a while that blob shifts to the east continuing its voyage around the globe and wherever that blob happens to be at that time, there’s a better chance of increased tropical system development. By next month that blob will reappear in the tropical Pacific so it could get really busy again in August.

Multiple haboobs have been occurring in Arizona as of late. Sounds a bit naughty but a haboob is a Middle Eastern term for giant dust storms, an integral part of desert thunderstorms that erupt during the summer monsoon season. A haboob, or dust storm, is a heavy downdraft of a heavy thunderstorm that blows a strong blast of colder air downward, known as a gust front, ahead of the storm and spreads out along the surface. These dust storms are several thousand feet high and can move up to 50-60 mph and when they hit the Phoenix area you better get inside where you can breathe as dust and particulates can really do a number on the lungs. Visibility can be reduced to ten feet or less and day turns into night.

Finally, Laguna’s ocean temps on Tuesday and Wednesday were a very balmy 75 degrees! That’s the warmest it’s been since August of 2015. 

Have a great weekend, ALOHA!


Bluebird Music in the Park 2018: the party starts on Sunday, July 15 at 5 p.m.

Alert for locals: this Sunday the Bluebird Music in the Park kicks off with a tribute to the King of Rock and Roll. Concerts take place on Sundays from July 15 - August 26.

Keep an eye out for Stu News photographer Scott Brashier – he’ll be there every Sunday taking photos of the festive scene.

Bluebird music springsteen

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Last year Springsteen was celebrated

Free live performances are scheduled as follows: 

7/15: Scott Bruce – A tribute to the King of Rock and Roll

7/22: The Devastators – Reggae and Dub

7/29: Lost Beach – Indie Rock n Roll

8/5:  ABBA Gold – A tribute to ABBA

8/12: Room at The Top – A tribute to Tom Petty

8/19: Woody and the Longboards – A tribute to the Beach Boys

8/26: Santanaways – A tribute to Santana

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Bluebird Park is located at 798 Bluebird Canyon Drive.


Pets of the Week Duke and Duchess are both looking for a new home

Duke and Duchess are currently taking the title of Pets of the Week. They are five years old and the brother and sister are a Chihuahua Peke mix. They’re full of love and find the outdoors to be the best place. They’re looking for a sweet home to take them in, and are excited for the new adventure that awaits them. 

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see both Duke and Duchess adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the week Duke and Duchess

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Duke and Duchess are ready to be adopted 

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. Call (949) 497-3552 or go to the website for information on adoption procedures: www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.


Cho’s Academy is expanding its yoga options: And nonprofits will benefit hugely also – who knew?

Cho’s Academy is expanding and including more options for yoga, offering Ayurveda workshops, and adding three tremendously talented new teachers to its roster. 

Yoga classes are now available five days per week, Monday through Friday at 9:15 a.m. There are two Ayurveda workshops currently scheduled, one free and one paid.  Full moon, solstice and equinox gong meditations continue to attract participants from all over Orange County. 

A full list of dates and events can be found on the Academy website at www.chosacademy.com

chos academy pose

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Cho’s Academy is dedicated to giving back and donates a third of all gross proceeds raised by its yoga program to local and global charitable causes. 

Most recently, funds were donated to Chhahari, an organization based in Kathmandu dedicated to rescuing children from poverty, malnutrition, drug addiction, sex trade and murder for organs; and, a member of our local community struggling to pay cancer related medical expenses not covered by insurance. 

A full list of charitable organizations is posted on the academy website.

Yoga Schedule

(All classes are from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.)

Mondays – Vinyasa with Kylan

Tuesdays – Kundalini with Cher

Wednesdays – Meditative Vinyasa with Sandhiya

Thursdays – Kundalini with Cher

Fridays – Vinyasa with Emily

Upcoming Ayurveda Workshops

Saturday August 11, 2 – 3 p.m.: What is Ayurveda: A Free Introductory Discussion

Saturday September 15, 2 – 5 p.m.:  An Afternoon of Ayurveda: Ancient Wisdom for Living our Best Life – Mind, Body, and Spirit

In addition, Cho’s Academy has three new yoga teachers to announce: Sandhiya Ramaswamy, Emily Dygert, and Kylan Walker.

Originally from India, Sandhiya is a Yoga and Ayurveda practitioner with nearly 20 years of experience (Ayurveda is the ancient science of life and health). Her classes balance a challenging physical practice with meditation and focusing the practitioner’s mind.

A California native, Emily says that yoga has helped her recover from severe health issues including a brain tumor and a major spinal injury. Drawing from diverse and eclectic practices, her classes are energetic and warm with a focus on students as individuals.

With over a decade of experience, Kylan credits yoga with saving her from anxiety and depression and for giving her a sense of purpose during intense and stressful life events. Her classes are rooted in Ashtanga principles and seek to inspire students.

Teacher Cher is a true healer in multiple disciplines, and teaches Kundalini on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A registered nurse by profession, Cher is also a KRI Certified Instructor of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan, and a Reiki Master Teacher. Her classes elevate students’ consciousness in an effort to access the Divinity that exists within.

For more information visit www.chosacademy.com/donation-yoga

Cho’s Academy was established in Laguna Beach in 2009 and offers Yoga, Kickboxing, Jiujitsu, Taekwondo, Fitness Bootcamps and Fitness classes for both kids and adults.


Live! at the Museum presents City of Angels Saxophone Quartet on Thursday, July 12

Live! at the Museum proudly presents City of Angeles Saxophone Quartet on Thursday, July 12.

With a wide and varied repertoire developed and seasoned over time, City of Angels Saxophone Quartet constantly seeks new ways to connect with audiences through succinct commentary focusing on the human stories behind the music that they perform. 

While trained and steeped in the classical tradition, the unique and often overlooked heritage of the saxophone has bequeathed the group with a keen interest in the endless possibilities for varied programs that can mix and match from transcriptions of classical works to historical presentations from the saxophone craze to the swing era as well as the emerging contemporary repertoire.

Live at the saxophone

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Submitted Photo

City of Angels Saxophone Quartet plays at LAM next Thursday evening

Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration of Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum, takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 

Pre-reservations are available online through the Museum’s website, or at (949) 494-8971 x203. These seats are held until 6:50 p.m. 

Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Call for artist entries at Gallery Q this Thursday

Gallery Q is pleased to partner with LOCA Arts Education for its fourth exhibit of the 2018 season. LOCA members, students and teachers are encouraged to submit artwork – all media will be accepted.

Art will be accepted on Thursday, July 12 from 10 a.m. - noon and from 5 - 7 p.m., at Gallery Q at the Susi Q, 380 Third Street.

The exhibition dates are July 16 - September 7, with the Artists Reception on July 27.

Call for artist

Annual LOCA Art Exhibit open for submissions

LOCA Arts Education is a nonprofit coalition of arts educators, professional artists and advocates interested in art education for people of all ages. LOCA programs touch lives in the community by providing opportunities to explore and develop individual creativity and to interact with and learn from local artists. Visit www.locaarts.org for membership information.


Contest for Art Cart, a custom-painted golf cart, will benefit Laguna Art Museum 

Enter Laguna Art Museum’s contest for a chance to win the “Art Cart,” a custom painted design by renowned LA artist Kenny Scharf.

The 2018 Polaris GEM e4 (delivered by Cart Mart) offers premium comfort with seating for four; is street legal up to 35 mph; features 14” polished aluminum high profile wheels and rims, a locking trunk back with 100 lb capacity and more.

Raffle tickets are $100 each.

Contest for art

Photo from website

Artist Kenny Scharf is offering up a painted golf cart for LAM’s raffle; seen here is one of his previously painted car designs

To puchase raffle tickets or for rules and regulations, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org.


Volleyball tournament on Main Beach was a hot success for Junior Girls

By Kirk Morgan

Juniors Girls ruled Main Beach volleyball as the city-sponsored Girls 16 Years and Under Tournament was contested Thursday, and the Girls 14 Years and Under was held on Friday. 

The conditions were tough with hot temperatures and 14-16 knot winds, but the competition was heated and fun to watch.

Volleyball tournament Girls 16

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The Girls 16 & Under team

On Thursday, Jessica Smith of Laguna Niguel and Camdyn Doucet of New Braunfels outlasted Ava Chew of Encinitas and Natalie Myszkowski of Manhattan Beach to earn the first place medals in a field of 16 teams in the Girls 16 and Under Tournament. Natalia Hagopian of Laguna Beach and her partner Kamdyn Tenorio of Irvine finished fifth. Jacquelyn Strawn of Laguna Beach and her partner Lavender Billingsley of Los Angeles also finished fifth. Additional competitors from Laguna Beach were Isabella Mullin and Alessandra Nitoglia.

Volleyball tournament Winners

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(L-R) Team Catherine Maffei and Saylor Little with the 14’s champions Kelly McCloskey and Natalia Hagopian 

On Friday, the Girls 14 and Under held the court. Natalia Hagopian of Laguna Beach and Kelly McCloskey of Costa Mesa came home the champions over Catherine Maffei of Hermosa Beach and Saylor Little of Long Beach. Brooklyn Yelland of Laguna Beach and her partner Chloe Karn of Mission Viejo also competed. 

The tournaments are made possible by the support of the City of Laguna Beach and the California Beach Volleyball Association – which holds tournaments at every California beach that has volleyball courts (www.cbva.com). The support of Skyloft, The Inn at Laguna Beach, Hobie Sports,  he Ama Olukai Foundation, The Marine Room, Casa del Camino and K’ya and several others is also key. 


Tree replacement workshop held at the Susi Q

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City’s Public Works Department hosted a public workshop on June 29 at the Susi Q for the public to review the trees the city is proposing to plant in the downtown area and along South and North Coast Highway to replace trees either already or to be removed.

Proposed trees to be planted include the New Zealand Christmas Tree, Silver Dollar Gums, Hymenosporum Flavum – commonly called Sweet Shade – Queen Palms, Little Gem Magnolias, Fraser Photinias, a different eucalyptus to replace a white ironbark eucalyptus not commercially available, and in one case a Metrosideroes Spring Fire Shrub, if available.

Trees would be purchased in 15-gallon, 24- or 36-inch boxes, depending on the proposed location. Wells would be covered with decorative grates or rubber surfacing. Wells of rejected locations would be filled in with cement.

About 12 people attended the presentation.

“I was not surprised about the number of people who attended, but we would like to see what the downtown businesses feel about the trees,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Director of Public Works. “We invited business and property owners, tenants and people whose names are on a list of people interested in trees.”

The workshop included a PowerPoint presentation illustrating the 40 sites assessed for replacement trees or elimination – elimination being a major concern for members of the Laguna Beach Beautification Council. 

“Of the 40 [sites] presented, seven won’t be replanted,” said George Weiss, president of the Laguna Beach Beautification Council. “Three are already slated to be removed without replacement and another tree will be replaced by a bush.”

Weiss opined that the criteria used to eliminate trees from city streets were factually incorrect and superficial.

Tree replacement ocean

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Laguna’s streetscapes have long been marked by iconic trees

 “A tree on Coast Highway was taken out by Caltrans at Cress Street and South Coast Highway; a store owner or property owner doesn’t want a tree replaced; a tree isn’t doing well, but a tree 20 feet away is doing fine and the replacement tree would do as well and provide shade,” Weiss said.

“In addition to non-replacement and removal of trees, there is the question of replacement with trees of like character with other trees on the street.” 

The choice of some of the trees on the proposed list were previously criticized by Ruben Flores, past Beautification Council president, seconded by landscape architect Bob Borthwick and reinforced by landscape architect Ann Christoph at the council meeting on May 8. They made recommendations for replacements that Dupuis then said were too large and not suitable for the locations selected for the trees.

All three attended the workshop.

“They have strong opinions,” said Dupuis. “They are still working among themselves on another set of recommendations. We have our recommendations, which will be presented to the Planning Commission.” 

The City must consider maintenance costs as well as liability – branches breaking off, roots buckling sidewalks and tripping pedestrians, Dupuis said. 

Weiss said the Beautification Council had not emerged from the workshop with any specific strategy.

“We would just like the City to have a policy,” he said. “And if it really cannot replace a tree, it should be planted at the closest proximity to the location of the removed tree.

“We think the City has done a service by protecting trees in the right of way, but they should plant low maintenance trees to reduce Public Work’s workload. Our next goal is to increase the budget.”

Following the public workshop, the plan was to be refined and presented to the Planning Commission on July 18 and to the City Council on August 7, Dupuis said. 

For more information or to provide feedback, please contact Senior Administrative Analyst, Robert Sedita at (949) 497-0740 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fifth Annual Night at The Ranch
benefits the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach

Save the date for the Fifth Annual Night at the Ranch to be held on Friday, Sept 7 at The Ranch in Laguna Beach. The night promises to be an unforgettable evening of celebration featuring the band Side Deal, a collaboration of four artists from Newport Beach drawn together by a passion for great music. 

After years of independent, successful careers and admiration for one another, Charlie Colin (Train), Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray), and Joel & Scott Owen (PawnShop kings) decided to form a band and create original music together.

Fifth annual pic

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Submitted Photo

Save the date for the 5th Annual Night at the Ranch filled with endless fun 

All proceeds from this event go directly to the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Guests will be treated to a farm-to-table dinner, open bar, exciting live and silent auction items, and lots of live music. Club Alumnus Leif Hanson had the idea of the Night of The Ranch event six years ago and the event is now one of the best in Laguna. 

Leif, a resident of Laguna Beach, attended what was the Laguna Beach Boys Club during his formative years as a young boy and was looking for a way to give back to his Club. He enlisted his good friend and fellow Club Alumnus Steve Blue and together with their amazing committee has made this event a success. 

“The number of kids who need us has grown so fast that we’re just trying to keep up. Now we need more support than ever so we can be there for all of the kids who need the Club,” says CEO Pam Estes. “Leif, Steve and every supporter of last year’s event came to help at a critical time, and we’re happy to have their generous support again this year.” 

For more information, visit www.bcglagunabeach.org.


High temps and big surf during post Fourth of July weekend bring record-breaking crowds and rescues

By DIANNE RUSSELL

“Since Fourth of July was mid-week this year, which weekend do we call Fourth of July weekend?” asks Kai Bond, Captain of Marine Safety when I contact him for specifics about last Saturday and Sunday on the beach.

This is a question I hadn’t considered, but evidently many, and I mean many, extended the holiday into this past weekend. With the record-breaking high temperatures, combined with the big surf as a result of Hurricane Fabio, Capt Bond reports that an estimated 67,800 visitors flocked to Laguna beaches on July 7 and 8.

High temps beach crowd

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Crowds aren’t likely to subside during summer months

He says, “The high surf advisory, though it subsided on Sunday, combined with the high temps, brought a lot of people to the beach.”

And, of course, with more beachgoers comes increased rescues and incidents. According to Capt Bond, there were 456 rescues (20 of which involved water rescue crafts), 135 medical aids, 2,909 ordinance enforcements, 12,096 public contacts, and 7,120 preventative actions. 

And with more bodies on the beach, there are more reports of children wandering off. Over the weekend, there were 12 situations in which children were reported missing.

High temps WRC

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Photo by Mark Porterfield

Lifeguard Tom Renner during rescue earlier this summer

Capt Bond says, “With the large crowds, lifeguards are very vigilant, and those children were reunited with their parents in short order. We retain a policy that all personnel in the area are brought in to assist. In all 12 cases this weekend, we were successful.”

And it doesn’t look like the crowds are going to diminish any time soon, or maybe ever. 

“In Laguna, we have large crowds all year long,” Capt Bond says. “We can have 80 degree weather in December.”

All the more reason for beachgoers to know what ocean conditions they’re facing, and as Capt Bond says, “Know your limitations and swim near a manned lifeguard stand.”

For more information on marine safety, go to www.lagunabeachcity.net/marine.


Million Dollar Quartet at the Playhouse is manic, magnificent and a must-see – oh what a night!

Written by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

When you can’t decide which of the actors on stage thrilled you most – and here I’m talking not just about the four men who portray famous singers in this performance, but the star turns also by Tiffan Borelli as Elvis’s girlfriend, Hugh Hysell in the grounding role of recording studio owner Sam Phillips, and acrobatic upright bass player (well, the bass is upright, but not always the musician), Bill Morey – then you know the performance has been one for the ages.

Each of the four stars is terrific in his own way in Million Dollar Quartet, which makes for a spellbinding, not to mention hip- and inhibition-loosening experience at the Playhouse. 

million dollar bass

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Photo by Ed Krieger

The upright bass (and sometimes upside-down) player played by Bill Morey steals the show at certain moments

The smash-hit musical tells the story of legendary music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins when they came together on December 4, 1956 at the famous Sun Studios. 

Daniel Durston as Elvis (now there’s a challenge, given the iconography associated with the King of Rock ‘n Roll); Austin Honke as the sometimes forgotten Carl Perkins, who was the first to top the charts with Blue Suede Shoes; Billy Rude as the frenetic and talented Jerry Lee Lewis; and Peter Oyloe as smooth, black-clad growler Johnny Cash are similar in height and physiques. Yet from the moment the performance begins, you know exactly which musician each is portraying. 

million dollar elvis

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Photo by Ed Krieger

Elvis (Daniel Durston) swizzles and sizzles

Some may quibble with my belief that each performer was equally powerful, given the terrific performance by the flexible and funny Billy Rude as Jerry Lee Lewis – and my husband loved Peter Oyloe as Johnny Cash in particular – but as always, opinions on creative work are subjective. 

That’s one of the beauties of this show: most of us of a certain age bring a mental hold-all of memories along with us when we hear the names of these million-dollar musicians – and we all have individual reasons to feel our hearts beating and our bodies moving as we vicariously bear witness to this once-in-a-lifetime evening: one that actually happened.

million dollar jerry

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Photo by Ed Krieger

High-flying Jerry Lee Lewis (Billy Rude)

The opening night audience rocked & rolled with the performers, cheering, whistling and applauding all the way through – it was a loud, fun, cathartic evening, one we all desperately need in these gloomy times. 

So – what are you waiting for? See and hear for yourself! Visit www.lagunaplayhouse.org right now to get your tickets or call the box office at (949) 497-2787.

Million Dollar Quartet opened on Sunday, July 8 at 6 p.m. The show will run through Sunday, July 29. Performances will be Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. There will no performance on Thursday, July 12 at 2 p.m. or Sunday, July 29 at 5:30 p.m. Tickets range from $75 - $105.

The season is generously underwritten by The Hale Family. 


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE

July 10, 2018

Saturday was a two-time record-breaker 

Dennis 5Saturday saw high temp records for both the maximum and minimum with a high of 96 shattering the old record of 95 set in 1985 and 2006 and a warmest low temp that day with 75 degrees breaking the previous warm low record of 74 set on July 20, 1960.

Right on schedule, strong thunderstorms are pelting parts of Arizona, all part of the summer monsoon season which will be around until mid-September. During these events, humidities climb into the mid to high 30 percent range which doesn’t sound like much but when temps are abnormally high, like they have been the past few days, 35 percent humidity as opposed to the normal afternoon humidity of less than 10 percent is downright oppressive. If the temp is 110 with 35 percent humidity you’re talking about dew points in the high 70s and even low 80s, which is really uncomfortable beyond belief. Those kinds of dew points are found more in the Southern States.

Anything below a 60 degree dew point is fairly comfortable. From 60-65 degree dew points there is some degree of discomfort. Dew points from 65-70 will cause at least moderate discomfort. When dew points are in the 70-75 degree range, it’s definitely squirm time. Anything above 75 is almost unbearable. The highest dew point I’ve recorded was 76 degrees in July of 2015 when the temp was 84 with 75 percent humidity.

Our Southern California mountains and deserts haven’t seen any thunderstorms yet but it’s only a matter of time when a high pressure settles around the Four Corners area. Not a summer goes by without some kind of thunderstorm activity hits those areas – although not as frequent as Arizona, when some places like Flagstaff and Tucson can see as much as 40-50 thunderstorm days in an average monsoon season. In an average season locally we’ll see around 10-12 thunderstorm days in the mountains and deserts but that number varies quite a bit from year to year. There have been a few summers locally with as many as 30 days with thunderstorm events, particularly in the more southern regions. 

Normally we’ll see a thunderstorm or two even here at the beach about every other year on the average. The summers of 1958, 1972, and 1983 saw at least a half dozen such storms here in Laguna. No coincidence that those three years were during El Nino events. 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!


Acclaimed composer and pianist Vince di Mura will perform at NCC on Thursday, July 19 from 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Neighborhood Congregational Church invites you to come and enjoy the music of acclaimed composer and pianist Vince di Mura. Vince will be programming a wide variety of music, including the West Coast Premier of “Ybor City Preludes,” a set of six pieces derived from music he recently composed for Princeton University’s production of “FNU LNU.” 

Acclaimed vince di mura

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Stu News file photo

Vince de Mura

Musical works by Michael Brecker, Wayne Shorter, and John Coltrane will be included. In addition, attendees can expect inventive arrangements of songs recorded by pop icon Britney Spears and a large set of pieces arranged from the musical inventions of the progressive rock band Muse. There will most likely be a few surprises along the way.

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. For more information including to purchase tickets, visit www.ncclaguna.org

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


Another look at that awesome flyover on July Fourth

Photos by Marshall Aren

another look close up

another look curve

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Reader Marshall Aren captured a closer look at the vintage WWII planes flown over Laguna on the Fourth. One of the fleet’s main activities is performing memorial flights in restored North American Aviation AT-6/SNJ trainers. 

For more information, visit www.condorsquadron.org.


Art Museum Film Night will feature Mulholland Drive on Thursday, July 19

Laguna Art Museum will be featuring the classic film Mulholland Drive for their Film Night series on Thursday, July 19 at 7 p.m.

Art Museum Film

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This 2001 American neo-noir mystery film written and directed by David Lynch tells the story of an aspiring actress, newly arrived in Los Angeles, who meets and befriends an amnesiac woman recovering from a car accident. The film follows several other vignettes and characters, including a Hollywood film director.

David Lynch was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Director for the film. It received four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture (Drama), Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

Ticket price is included with museum admission. Advance tickets are recommended. To reserve online, click here or call (949) 494-08971 x203.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive.


Public comment period closes today for Laguna Canyon Road project

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Today is the deadline to submit comments on the Laguna Canyon Road project proposed by Caltrans, in partnership with the County and the City of Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones and CANDO President Penny Milne conducted a public forum on Thursday at the Susi Q to discuss the proposal, specifically on components of the project they believe would adversely affect the canyon and the safety of the road.

They were speaking to the choir.

Voices were raised in protest to the proposed project and to the process used to inform the public of the elements of the declaration [that potentially have] negative impacts on the environment or [need to be mitigated].

Without the financial resources to try to legally block the project, project opponents must rely on public comments to make Caltrans aware of environmental and safety concerns. 

“Caltrans will review the comments and respond to some of them,” said Jones.

comment El Toro

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Courtesy of LCF

The junction between El Toro Rd and Laguna Canyon Rd

Comment forms were made available at the forum, but no form letters. Jones opined that individual comments were preferable. However, City Council candidate Judie Mancuso, who spends much of her time dealing with bureaucrats in Sacramento, said form letters are more effective, because they reiterate the major concerns.

A Caltrans representative attended the forum, but was not introduced nor even acknowledged. 

What is proposed

The proposals that most concern Jones include the extension of the inbound merging lane by 900 feet past El Toro Road; and the undergrounding of utility poles in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park land on the north side of the highway, under the concrete shoulders to be constructed along the 1,200 foot extension of the outbound merge lane beginning at El Toro Road. A steep slope on the right side of the inbound lane will be contoured, rather than contained by a wall, as requested by environmentalists, but is to be mitigated offsite.

There is no question that Laguna Canyon Road does not meet Caltrans standards. The improvement project has been in the work for 10 years and it is tightly written, making it virtually impervious to legal challenges, as well as extremely expensive, according to Jones. 

What is opposed

“You have to pick your battles,” said Jones.

She doesn’t much like any of the project, but the top concerns of the Foundation are the 900-foot extension of the inbound merge lane and the plan to underground utilities past the proposed concrete shoulder and into parkland, describing it as a “take.” 

Extension of the inbound merge lane would require some drivers to cross two lanes of traffic to get in or out of the park’s Willow parking lot and does not enhance safety, Jones said. 

“The traffic study for the project does not look at that, nor did it consider the impacts of Anneliese School,” said Jones. “Someone asked me why we have that inbound merge lane at all and I thought, ‘brilliant’.”

Channeling the riparian area on the inbound side of Laguna Canyon Road before reaching El Toro Road is not viewed favorably due to its effect on habitat.

Milne said the plan, which includes damming Laguna Canyon Creek, is designed to keep water off the road, not to protect private property in the canyon.

“Drainage improvements favor the road – that’s Caltrans business,” said Milne. “They do not increase safety for homes or businesses. It is a loss of riparian habitat without corresponding benefits. 

“For those of us who live there (in the canyon) and love it or for those who drive through it and love it, our opinions do not equate with Caltrans.” 

Comments on the project may be emailed by 5 p.m. today to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or submitted in writing to Edward Dolan, Associate Environmental Planner, California Department of Transportation, District 12, Division of Environmental Analysis, 1750 East 4th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705. 

For more information, contact Laguna Canyon Foundation at (949) 497-8324.


Sales tax measure hearing delayed until July 17

City Council Agenda items 11 and 12 on today’s meeting agenda, related to placing a potential sales tax measure on the November 2018 General Election ballot, will be continued to a special meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council to be held on July 17.

The items are being continued as Mayor Kelly Boyd is not feeling well and will miss the July 10 meeting, and he desires to be a part of the discussion and decision on the matter.

The July 17 special meeting is open to the public and will take place at 6 p.m. in Laguna Beach City Council Chambers.


Street life: Laguna’s humming this summer

Photos by Scott Brashier

street life one direction

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One Direction isn’t only the name of a band – it’s where people were headed, to the beach, this hot last weekend

street life never too hot

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Somehow, it’s never too hot for pizza

street life surfboards

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We stop for surfboards

These images from Scott show that there’s a whole lot of fun-in-motion in town – not just downtown, but in the HIP District too


Southland dancers brought together for Laguna Dance Festival Summer Intensive Workshop

Last week was a big one for several dozen dancers from the southland who participated in Laguna Dance Festival’s Summer Intensive Workshop. The Laguna Dance Festival uniquely offers sensational world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries and site-specific outdoor venues. 

Southland dancers Desmond line

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Photo by Terra Deal

Desmond Richardson leads intense dance workshop

Laguna Dance Festival’s summer intensive workshop last week brought together internationally renowned dance artists Desmond Richardson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Festival founder, and Vice Dean of USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance Jodie Gates. 

Southland dancers younger

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Photo by Terra Deal

Leilani Smith, 12, of San Marcos

A total of 43 students were immersed in five full days of dance technique classes, composition, repertory and professional networking tips in the dance studio at Laguna Beach High School. Joining Gates and Richardson to teach were dance professionals Gillian Finley and Will Johnston. 

Southland dancers leaning

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Photo by Terra Deal

Dancers learn technique from Richardson

The Laguna Dance Festival transforms the distant world of stage dance into the proximity of a living room setting because of its capacity to bring the best dancers in today’s world onto the varied and unique stage venues of Laguna Beach.

Attracting both dancers and dance lovers to this idyllic resort setting, Laguna Dance Festival is dedicated to audience awareness and appreciation through major annual performances, as well as education and small group opportunities.

Southland dancers entire group

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Photo by Terra Deal

Dancers with Richardson and Jodie Gates (far right)

Since its inception, Laguna Dance Festival has presented companies such as Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Parsons Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, Trey McIntyre Project, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BalletX, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, MALPASO and Ballet BC, among others. Additionally, it has showcased the world’s most exciting talents from the Broadway stage, TV and screen and including principal dancers from The Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The San Francisco Ballet.

For more information, go to www.lagunadancefestival.org.


Sun salutations: A sensational silhouette by Scott

Photo by Scott Brashier

Sun salutations

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Saying sayonara to the sun with salutations last Sunday


Join the “I Heart OC” Boys & Girls Club Giving Day coming up on August 15

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach is participating in a collaboration with all of the Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County to raise over $150,000 for the youth. The Clubs have designated August 15 to be a giving day for donors, friends, and family to show their support for their Club by making a donation on that very special day. 

Join the building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LB Boys and Girls Club

This OC Clubs collaboration brings together 15 Boys & Girls Clubs which combined have a total of 110 sites and serve over 95,922 youth annually. 

According to the Institute for Social Research and School of Public Health at the University of Michigan study, for every $1 invested in a Boys & Girls Club, the community receives $10 in return. That is an amazing ROI.

Join this exciting event and help children have a brighter future.

For more information, contact Michelle Fortezzo at (949) 715-7584.


Grammy nominated Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers shake up stage at Festival of the Arts this Saturday

Two-time Grammy nominated singer/saxophonist Mindi Abair will perform live this Saturday, July 14 at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts as part of the 2018 Concerts on the Green music series, sponsored by Cambria Estates Vineyard and Winery. This popular series highlights living legends in a casual outdoor gallery setting that offers a memorable and unique concert experience. Abair and her acclaimed band, The Boneshakers, will take the stage from 1 - 2:30 p.m.

One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists, two-time Grammy nominee Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and sax prowess since her debut album in 2000. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, with a raucous tone and abandon. 

“There’s no mistaking the sound of Mindi Abair on her saxophone,” said Susan Davis, director of special events for the Festival of Arts. “Backed by the dynamic and talented musicians of the Boneshakers, this concert is one you won’t want to miss!” 

Grammy nominated Boneshakers

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Rodney Lee, Randy Jacobs, Mindi Adair, Derek Frank, Sweet Pea Atkinson, Third Richardson

She has garnered 10 number one radio hits, six top five solo records and two number one spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz album chart. In 2014, Abair received her first Grammy nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.

To help translate this sound to her live shows, Abair enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was, Willie Nelson) to inject his brand of Detroit Rock/Funk. The collaboration was undeniable, and it led to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. 

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Sweet Pea Atkinson (Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Derek Frank (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals). Their first record together, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle, was released in September 2015, and recorded at their first official show together in Seattle in February 2015.

Grammy nominated FOA

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers perform at Concerts on the Green this Saturday, July 14

General Admission tickets are $10 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Tickets for students and seniors are $7 on weekdays and $11 on weekends. Tickets for children 6-12 are $5 daily. Admission is free for children 5 and under, military, and Laguna Beach residents. 

Passport to the Art, a special promotion funded in part by Bank of America, is $29 and includes unlimited admission all summer long to FOA, the Sawdust Art Festival and Laguna Art-A-Fair.

The Festival is open now through September 1 from noon - 11:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. on weekends. There is an early closing on Tuesday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.

Concerts on the Green are free with FOA admission. Limited seating is available in a reserved section for $40 per person per concert (includes Festival admission). Call (800) 487-3378 or order online at www.foapom.com/events/concerts-on-the-green.

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information, go to www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org.


A Note from Shaena

At Stu News, we receive a number of Letters to the Editor that are passionate about readers’ concerns and quite forthright in their expressed opinions. 

Though we are very clear that these letters represent only the writers’ opinions, not ours, we love to publish them because they present a wide range of views and offer a variety of insights for the public to consider.

We invite you to keep a regular eye on our Letters section, including five new letters this issue, by clicking here.

A reminder of our Letters to the Editor policy: 

It is our firm intention to run any letter that any Laguna Beach resident writes to us with few exceptions.

If the subject of a letter is not a newsworthy individual, we will not publish a letter with any inkling of a personal attack.

We will not accept letters written about a business either positive or negative. It is much too easy for competitors to “create” letters about another business or to find a person willing to write something nice about their business.

If a business is newsworthy, it is probable that we will accept such a letter.

Generally, we will only change objectionable language in letters.

The best rule of thumb is that the decision of the editor is final.

Please send Letters to the Editor to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for publication.


Festival of Arts exhibitor Jorge Fernandez brings his art to the Pageant on July 7 through Sepember 1

Life has been a passionate journey of discovery for sculptor Jorge Fernandez. First juried into the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show in 2008, Fernandez originally left his home in Santiago, Chile to travel through South and Central America, then Mexico, and finally to the United States, before ultimately settling in South Laguna Beach. 

Initially developing a facility working in clay, Fernandez has since added bronze and resin castings to his repertoire. But what remains immediately apparent about his work is his fascination with culture and mythology, as he continues to explore the ways in which humanity and history converge.

A perfect case in point is his public artwork “From the Beginning,” which was installed in South Laguna near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Seacove Drive. Inspired by stories about the discovery of “Laguna Woman” – fragments of fossilized human bones uncovered in 1933 at a construction site in Laguna Beach and carbon dated back to 12,000-17,000 years ago – Fernandez submitted a proposal to Laguna’s Arts Commission for a public sculpture. 

His figures, suggesting the first man and woman to venture into this area so many millennia ago, provided the artist with an opportunity to make an artistic statement about a sense of place and its effect on the human spirit. The artwork was installed at its present location in 2010. 

Since then, Fernandez, who lives nearby, still delights in his public sculpture. 

“I see it almost every day,” he said. To him, the sculpture has become part of the community and affirms his belief that, like his original couple, people have always been drawn to this area’s scenic and supportive setting.

Festival of Arts Jorge

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Submitted Photo

Explore Laguna’s first inhabitants “From the Beginning” with Jorge Fernandez

As she was conceiving this summer’s Pageant of the Masters, “Under the Sun,” director Diane Challis Davy was also contemplating this area’s local history, how its artistic community developed, and how the area’s environmental diversity inspired generations of artists. 

Equally important, she hoped this summer’s Pageant – the 85-year-old theatrical celebration of art in tableaux vivants, “living pictures” – might encourage her audiences to share her reverence for nature’s many wondrous gifts and simple pleasures. It’s a connection Challis Davy believes must never be taken for granted. 

When her research led her to Fernandez’s eloquent public sculpture, she realized she’d found the opening artwork for this summer’s Pageant, which is itself a love letter to Laguna life, “From the Beginning.”

Since his first inclusion in the Festival of Arts in 2008, the annual summer showcase has allowed Fernandez, as one of the 140 artists working in a wide variety of mediums, to introduce his work to future patrons. He considers his involvement with the Festival to be invaluable to his continued growth as an artist. While preparing a series of new works created primarily in bronze to exhibit in this summer’s Festival, Fernandez was delighted when Challis Davy asked if she might include his public sculpture in this year’s Pageant. In addition to transforming it into a “living picture” as part of the opening of the show, she also saw it as a wonderful addition to the production’s meditation on nature, finding a place in the world, and the power of art to inspire us all. 

For Fernandez, having his deeply personal art included in “Under the Sun” is an honor he’s happy to share with everyone visiting Laguna Beach and the Pageant this summer.


Dianne’s Creature Feature

Don’t mess with a fierce female Tarantula Hawk

By DIANNE RUSSELL

“Just lie down and start screaming,” that’s the advice Justin Schmidt, entomologist and author of The Sting of the Wild, gives to anyone unfortunate enough to have been stung by a tarantula hawk. Although it lasts for only three to five minutes, Schmidt says, “The pain is instantaneous, electrifying, excruciating, and totally debilitating.” 

Tarantula hawks are a tribe of spider wasps (Pompilidae) belonging to the genera Pepsis and Hemipepsis. Each species of this tribe is specialized in hunting a different spider species. They are widely known as tarantula hawks because of their capability to overpower tarantulas. 

Tarantula hawk’s sting is not lethal, but you may want to die

 According to www.nhm.ac.uk.com, its sting ranks second on Schmidt’s pain index, beaten only by the South American bullet ant. (Yes, Schmidt has his own pain index; he’s been stung by over 150 species of insects.)

And the screaming doesn’t stop there. The method by which the female tarantula hawk provides an “all you can eat” spider buffet for her maturing kids is even more shriek-worthy. Read on for the great reveal later in this article…You can’t make this stuff up (well someone has, Mother Nature, and she doesn’t pull any punches). 

Thanks to Lenny Vincent, the Spider-Man, the more I learn about insects, the more I respect the female gender. In almost every insect species, the female is the heavy lifter, and only female wasps (and bees) sting. For the female tarantula hawk, that makes perfect sense, since she brings home the bacon, or in this case, the tarantula. However, the method by which she does it isn’t for the faint of heart. And are the kids grateful? I doubt it.

Dont mess TH stinger

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Photo submitted by Lenny Vincent

Formidable stinger of female tarantula hawk 

Interestingly, she’s able to choose the sex of her offspring. Female babies come from fertilized eggs, the males from unfertilized eggs, and the mom can select the sex by allowing stored sperm to fertilize an egg of her choice. Pretty nifty.

But she has a lot of responsibility. What mother guarantees three meals a day until their child’s maturation? Granted, she doesn’t have to cook any of them, but she’s still a fierce provider in every way. 

Males are frat boys

The males, on the other hand, spend their days sipping nectar from flowers, chasing other males, and mating with females. Sounds suspiciously like college boys, sipping beer, rabble rousing with their buds, and coupling at frat parties. 

Okay, let the wailing begin! Exactly how does the female tarantula hawk hunt and gather this take-out, or in her case, this take-in menu? Since only one spider provides the “growing years” meal, it makes sense that the bigger the tarantula, the bigger the meal, and the larger the hawk that it feeds. (The males are smaller, and for mating purposes, it doesn’t matter, so she feeds the big ones to the females, who obviously need the nourishment more than the lazy males.)

Dont mess tarantula

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Photo submitted by Lenny Vincent

Don’t be frightened by their appearance, tarantulas are harmless to humans

Surprisingly, the female hawk provides each babe with only one spider. How does this “unwitting caretaker,” as Schmidt calls the poor tarantula, end up as a feast? 

According to www.wired.com, the tarantula hawk is an extremely effective hunter. Only one in 400 battles ends in a hawk’s death. Although tarantulas are harmless to humans, they do have massive fangs that can harm a hawk.

In a David and Goliath battle, the tarantula hawk wins

The female tarantula hawk is a master strategist. Once she zeroes in on a tarantula, she advances and retreats repeatedly (trying to find a weak spot) until she gets in underneath, flips it over and then stings, which instantly paralyzes the spider. She then drags it to her burrow or back to the tarantula’s own den (adding insult to injury, a home invasion of the worst kind). A tarantula hawk is able to drag a spider weighing as much as eight times her own weight.

Once safe in the burrow, she lays a single egg on the spider, then seals the entrance to the burrow. If that’s not bad enough, here comes the gross part. In three or four days, when the egg hatches into a larva, it digs into the spider’s abdomen and starts eating the still paralyzed spider, focusing on its non-essential tissues to keep it alive for as long as possible (sometimes weeks). Yikes. Per www.thoughtco.com, they save the heart for last. Eventually, the offspring emerges from the spider as an adult and will survive on nectar. 

Dont mess attack

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Photo from About Animals

Tarantula Hawk dragging live, paralyzed tarantula back to burrow

Not surprisingly, tarantula hawks don’t need to be fearful of predators. They have few natural predators, and there are no reports of animals being dumb enough to go after them. 

Considering all that female goes through for the survival of her offspring, they have a relatively short life span. Males live up to two months, females a little longer. However, they do seem to make the most of it. Because they feed on nectar, they consume fermented fruits when available, and often get to the point where they can hardly fly. (www.aboutanimals.com)

Tarantula hawks know how to party

That’s just what we need, a bunch of drunk tarantula hawks, cruising around looking for a fight, though we only need to be wary of the females. So, how do you tell the difference? Males have straight antennae and those on the females are curved. Also, the males have seven articulating exoskeleton segments, and the females have only six. 

The only problem is that you have to get up close and personal to tell the difference. Probably, not a good idea, unless you want to end up on the ground screaming for your life, or your death.


LBPD drone program launches, takes off in a big way (starting with finding a lost dog, in true Laguna style)

By SUZIE HARRISON

Laguna Beach Police Department has some new recruits that are creating quite a buzz in law enforcement. Manned by licensed pilots who don’t ride in the cockpit, remote-controlled drones Air 1, Air 2 and Air 3 are the newest crime and safety agents deployed at LBPD.

“As far as we know, we’re the first police department in OC to use drones,” said LBPD Sgt George Ramos, watch commander, who pilots the program. Corporal Thom Spratt and Officer Mike Short are the other pilots on the three-man team. 

He [Ramos] was the right person to lead the program,” Capt Jeff Calvert explained. “I tapped him because he was already a pilot and had the FAA certifications, and that was something we needed to get our Certificate of Authorization.”

“All three of us are trained to fly. We practice and practice, so we all have a lot of fly time,” Sgt Ramos said.

LBPD started researching the drone program in October and launched it in January with months of intensive training in order to obtain a federal Certificate of Authorization (COA) from the FAA. Most of December and January were spent on hours of training.

“Initially they sent me to a drone expo in San Jose to talk with agencies that already had programs. I learned that it really is the future for law enforcement,” Sgt Ramos said. “It’s an excellent tool to save man hours and to protect officers and the public.”

Ramos said he came back from the expo really excited about the seemingly endless possibilities.

LBPD flying matrice

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD is the first police department in Orange County to launch an Unmanned Aerial System (UAS). Using its three drones, LBPD can search miles of hillside and wilderness area quietly and efficiently in just minutes to help locate lost persons and protect our community from dangerous fire hazards. 

 “A drone as far as the FAA is considered is an aircraft, just like any other manned aircraft,” Sgt Ramos said. “We are allowed to fly in what’s considered class G airspace, which is uncontrolled, and we have authorization to fly in some controlled air spaces.”

Their first mission was very fitting for Laguna Beach.

“We had not used the drones on a mission until March. I think it was to look for a lost dog. Yes, it was for a lost dog,” Sgt Ramos said (the dog was found).

 Since then LBPD has used drones on search warrants, as well as to look for unlawful campsites in the canyons, fire areas, and traffic accidents to mention a few applications. 

To do the same surveillance using a helicopter is cost prohibitive. 

“When we call the County to send over a helicopter it costs $600 to $800 an hour. The actual operational costs for these drones are less than a dollar an hour,” Sgt Ramos said.

“As an organization we are always looking for enforcement multipliers to help us enforce the law and provide a better quality of life for our citizens,” Capt Jeff Calvert said. “And using the drones has really expanded our resources exponentially. We essentially have a helicopter program now without the exorbitant costs.”

LBPD has three different drones each with its own purpose, utility, and mission. Air 1 is a Matrice 210. It’s the largest drone with the most capabilities and a workhorse when it comes to any major operations. Air 2 is a Phantom 4 Pro and has been used most in the field thus far. The smallest is a bright red DJI Mavic Air used for inside surveillance. Small but mighty, it can basically fit in the palm of a hand.

The largest of the drones has a hand-tilt zoom camera and it’s also got a thermal imaging and FLIR system.

“The thermal camera, what it will help us do is locate heat sources, even in the dark,” Sgt Ramos said. “Outside, it allows us to find somebody hiding under a car and definitely trees and bushes, but mostly it’s used for missing hikers. If we’re looking for a mountain lion or coyotes, those will show up fairly clear with the thermal.”

LBPD drone dog

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD’s drone program’s first mission was finding a missing dog

Capt Calvert elaborated on the capabilities of Air 1.

“We’re going to use that on red flag days. They’ll go set up in the canyon and do scans for any heat signatures,” Capt Calvert explained. “We used to have civilian personnel driving up and down the canyon looking for the same thing, but they don’t have the same view as the drone. One person using the drone can achieve what normally takes four or five people to do during the course of a shift.”

In other words, the drone can help fight fires before they start.

Air 3 is used to search interior spaces, buildings, and houses, and to clear the area. 

“We can use the drone to go in ahead of us and clear the rooms as we go in. So when we get a burglary alarm and there’s an open door or open window, we can send the drone in first and search the house, or at least do a rough search, and then follow up with officers,” Sgt Ramos said. “If the criminal sees it, one of two things will happen; it will distract the criminal or he/she will see it, and knock it out of the air. Now we know there is a criminal in the room, so the risk is less. It can help protect the officers, and give us intelligence.”

Flying inside [a building] is part of what the pilots were trained to do during their intensive training program.

“In the past, if you had a barricaded suspect in a car or in a home you would send in the SWAT team, and you’re basically putting people’s lives at risk because you don’t know who is behind that door,” Capt Calvert said. “Now we can open a door and we can actually send a small drone in and get situational awareness on where the suspect may be, and determine whether the suspect is armed.”

Capt Calvert thinks LBPD will be ultimately using the Matrice/Air 1 the most because of its thermal imaging and payload capacity among other things.

 “We used the Matrice to scan the area where the suspects took off and fled from the boat [that landed in Crystal Cove recently]. Four people had already been captured, but we sent the drone up to look for other people.”

It’s a fraction of the cost compared to older methods.

“We’re working with all our public safety partners in the City, assessing the programs, deciding how they can best be used,” Capt Calvert said. 

 “We want to be mindful of the community and the public [and reassure them] that this is not a tool that we’re using to look into people’s windows. It’s a tool to help us, and our job is to make to keep the officers safe and keep the community safe as well,” Capt Calvert said.

Most of the field personnel have been trained to be visual observers of the drones, while the pilot does the flight.

Right now, the mid-size or Air 2 is the one they’ve used the most, and mostly for accident scenes. 

lbpd drone sunset

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Courtesy of LBPD

Air 2 (a DJI Phantom 4), takes off at sunset for a low light training mission

“We’ve taken it out to accident scenes. We can download all the photos and with the software you’ve got a 3-D photogrammetry, a measurement system that can precisely measure, so we don’t have to necessarily close the highway down,” Sgt Ramos noted. “Instead of taking hours, this way in five minutes we have 200 to 300 photos, we can download from the computer and do all our measurements right here, so we’re able to open the road up right away.” 

And that actually was one of the big selling points, to be able to use it for major accident scenes and fatal accidents scenes.

“We can use it for accident reconstruction, search and rescue,” Capt Calvert added. “If we have an active shooter we could use it for an active shooter response.

“The biggest advantage is that it gives us the ability to go where officers can’t go. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a bomb threat – it’s fundamentally changing how we are responding to calls now.”

He says that the middle drone takes only a couple minutes to be ready, so it can be quickly on scene. The larger one, once it is on scene, probably takes about five minutes and then it is in the air, and the small one takes almost no time to be operational.

“We used ours in the last fire that we had in the canyon, when it was over, to survey the area, but we don’t [deploy] manned and unmanned aircraft at same time, we stay on the ground,” Sgt Ramos said.

The drones land on their own helipad, size appropriate for each one.

“Say you’re flying and you lose sight of it for whatever reason – here’s a great feature, all of them have a “return to home button”…so the GPS will bring it back to your location and the camera will fine tune it to land right where it took off,” Sgt Ramos said.

After summer the LBPD plans on training more pilots. To date, the drones have been on 23 missions and counting.

“We’re on the cutting-edge of technology. We’ve taken a leadership role and a lot of other agencies are looking to us to see how we’re developing our program. So far it has been very successful,” Capt Calvert said.

“We are set with the three drones that we have now. We have a fully operational program and three pilots,” Sgt Ramos said.

LBPD drone heisler

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Courtesy of LBPD

The view from Air 1 (a DJI Matrice 210), as it descends for a landing near the Lifeguard Headquarters at Main Beach

As for needing additional drones, Sgt Ramos said, “We shouldn’t need any more. As far as functionality, I think we have what we need. LBPD wants to have more pilots, probably around seven to 10 is my best guess.”

Capt Calvert said they wanted to introduce the drone program and roll it out to the public once everything was in place. He feels confident that now’s a perfect time.

“We wanted to make sure the community is comfortable with the program and to ensure the public that we have strict policies in place,” Capt Calvert said.


West Nile Virus detected in Orange County

Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District (OCMVCD) has confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile virus (WNV) in 2018. The mosquitoes were collected from the city of Garden Grove, near Garden Grove Blvd and Newhope Street on July 3.

“Although we are hoping that this is going to be a mild season for West Nile virus, it is still critical that residents take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquitoes and mosquito bites,” said Robert Cummings, OCMVCD’s Director of Scientific Technical Services.

District staff will post signs and distribute flyers alerting residents to the detection of the virus, and preventative measures they can take to reduce becoming infected. Additional inspectors have been deployed to canvass the area to look for mosquito breeding sources, expand public education, and work with city officials to fix infrastructure issues.

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. Most individuals infected with WNV will not experience any illness. Others will have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches. In severe cases, people will need to be hospitalized, and in rare cases the disease can be fatal. Young children, the elderly or individuals with lowered immune systems are at greater risk to experience severe symptoms when infected.

There are no reported birds with West Nile virus or confirmed cases of human infections at this time in Orange County.

Since its introduction in 2003, WNV has infected more than 6,500 people and has caused 292 fatalities statewide, according to the California Department of Public Health. West Nile virus is endemic in California and in Orange County, and presents a risk to public health every year.

Around the home, eliminate breeding sources for mosquitoes:

--Dump and drain containers filled with water at least once a week

--Clean and scrub birdbaths and pet water bowls weekly

--Dump water from potted plant saucers 

Orange County residents are urged to report unusual numbers of mosquitoes, or day-biting mosquitoes, to OCMVCD. For more information, please contact the Orange County Mosquito and Vector Control District at (714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421, or visit www.ocvector.org.


With My Own Two Hands Foundation holds fifth annual Red Carpet Documentary screening on July 15

The Fifth Annual Red Carpet Documentary Screening for With My Own Two Hands Foundation will take place on July 15 from 5 - 8 p.m. Tickets are $125 - $150. 

With My Own Two Hands is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach that is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions for projects in Africa that benefit children in need. 

With my own two children

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With My Own Two Hands supports water and agricultural projects that fund education and create self-reliant projects and communities to more than 3,000 people in Kenya. Host of the event is Stan Verrett, ESPN host/anchor of SportsCenter. The event features Red Carpet photos, special guests, hors d’oeuvres, silent and live auction items, guest speakers and live performers.

For more information and tickets, visit www.withmyown2hands.org

The Red Carpet Documentary takes place at The Port Theater, 2905 E Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Lovely lemons dressing up an otherwise boring mechanical unit..now that’s making lemonade! 

Maggi asked where, and first on it was John Walker. Other observant readers included Kristen Purll, Christine Shields, Robyn Sherain, Wendy Pearce, Ina Inouye Wu, and Lindsay Smith-Rosales. 

Did you know where to find this in Laguna? 

Maggi promises another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!

Wheres Maggi Wendt Terrace

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Life gave us lemons – on Wendt Terrace, near Thalia 


Tip-A-Cop fundraiser will help raise money for Special Olympics on Saturday, July 28 at Ruby’s

Laguna Beach Police Department employees will be volunteering their time in conjunction with Special Olympics athletes to work alongside Ruby’s Diner restaurant staff to help raise money for the Special Olympics Orange County Region at a Tip-A-Cop® fundraiser. The fundraiser will take place on Saturday, July 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Ruby’s Diner located at 30622 E. Pacific Coast Highway.

The Laguna Beach Police Department, along with the international law enforcement community, has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. Police officers partner with area restaurants to hold Special Olympics Fundraisers on specific dates, hosted by one or more restaurants. Officers and Special Olympics athletes meet and greet customers, help take orders and deliver drinks and food orders, while interacting with restaurant guests. 

tip a cop fundraiser

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Photo from archives

Sgt Jim Cota is great at serving the community in every possible way

Customers are encouraged to “tip the cop” for their service in the form of a tax deductible donation, 100 percent of which will go to the Special Olympics program. This is in addition to the customary tip left for the restaurant’s server for their service. 

There will be an exotic car display which will include Lamborghinis, Peganis, McLarens and Porsches. The Police Department will also have a police car, police motorcycle, police K-9 unit, drone demonstration, face painting station and a balloon artist on site for this event. The community can enjoy great food, interact with some of Laguna Beach’s ‘Finest’ and Special Olympics athletes while supporting a great cause. 

Special Olympics relies on fundraisers for the many services it provides to our Special Olympics Athletes. 

Events are held annually in more than 170 countries for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 3.1 million athletes of all ages are involved in these Special Olympics programs. The Laguna Beach Police Department is very proud to be able to play a small part in promoting Special Olympics and providing opportunities for the athletes to train, compete, have fun, and become productive and respected members of society. 

For more information, contact Lieutenant Joe Torres at (949) 497-0330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fireworks or sea creatures?

Photos by Chef (and artist) Miki Izumisawa of 242 Café Fusion

fireworks star

fireworks two stars

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Seems like Chef Izumisawa knows a thing or too about explosions – not just fireworks pics, also how to make flavors explode in your mouth at Café Fusion….


Coastal Eddy a gallery presents “Another Happening Show” by Richard White, opening on 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 on 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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Submitted photo

“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 

www.coastaleddyagallery.com.


Laguna Beach Vibe seeks nominations for 2nd Annual Best of Laguna Beach Contest, deadline July 20

Laguna Beach Vibe – a hyper-local arts and entertainment publisher and media services provider in Laguna Beach – announces the opening of nominations for the organization’s 2018 citywide Best of contest. 

Laguna Beach Sawdust

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Submitted photo

2017 Winner Best Local Festival – Sawdust Festival

The nominations are now in progress and will continue until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 20. Residents of Laguna Beach, along with readers of Laguna Beach Vibe, can visit www.LagunaBeachVibe.com to nominate local businesses, restaurants, retailers, entertainers and others in eight different topic areas that roll up to nearly 140 individual categories. The regular voting period for those that have been nominated is Wednesday, Aug 1 through Tuesday, Sept 4. 

“This year’s program builds on the success we had in 2017 when launching Laguna Beach’s first-ever citywide and citizen-driven-and-voted-on Best of contest,” said Lisa Farber, Founder & Publisher of Laguna Beach Vibe

“The Best of Laguna Beach Contest gives our citizens and visitors alike the opportunity to reward local businesses, entertainers and others in our community for the good work they do throughout the year, and for business owners who win, it provides them with an important endorsement and point of differentiation in a highly competitive retail/business environment,” she added. 

Laguna Beach Devon Mena

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Submitted photo

2017 Winner Best Tattoo Artist – Devon Mena

Key dates for this year’s Best of: Friday, July 20, nomination period ends at 5 p.m.; Wednesday, Aug 1, voting period opens at 12 p.m.; Tuesday, Sept 4, voting period ends at 5 p.m.; Thursday, Nov 1, winners announced in Laguna Beach Vibe and on its website.

This year’s “Best of” categories include Arts, Eat & Drinks, Entertainment, Health & Beauty, Living Local, Professional Services, Shopping, and Stay & Play. Included among the nearly 140 “Best of” sub-categories are: Art Gallery, Plein Air Artist, Bar, Bartender, Pizza, Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant, Band, Club DJ, Solo Performer, Barbershop, Doctor, Massage, Personal Trainer, City Council Members, Mountain Bike Trail, Surf Spot, REALTOR, Tattoo/Piercing Shop, Grocery Store, Home Décor/Furnishings Store, Jewelry Store, Hotel/Resort and more. 

Laguna Beach The Stand

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Submitted photo

2017 Winner Best Local Place for Juice – The Stand Natural Foods

For more information, visit www.LagunaBeachVibe.com.


Laguna Beach Library presents The Beatles, from Liverpool to Abbey Road with Vincent Bruno

On Monday, July 9, Laguna Beach Library is presenting The Beatles from Liverpool to Abbey Road with Vincent Bruno from 4 - 6 p.m. Join this event for a night filled with rocking fun. 

Laguna Beach Library Beatles

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The Beatles are up for discussion at Laguna Beach Library on Monday, July 9

Rock historian Vincent Bruno will present a lecture that follows in the footsteps of The Beatles. This will be an informative talk, and is free to the public. 

Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre Street. For more information, call (949) 497-1733.


Dianne’s Creature Feature

Gopher snake or rattlesnake? Know your snakes!

Don’t let the slither get you in a dither

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Doing the laundry doesn’t usually involve a snake, but in Laguna Beach resident Tom Joliet’s case, recently it did. Who knew laundry was dangerous? Well, it’s not really, because his snake was a gopher snake (a Pacific version of the bull snake). And although they closely (and frighteningly) resemble rattlesnakes, gopher snakes are harmless.

Joliet says, “I stepped on this gopher snake on the sidewalk while carrying laundry today. This is a reminder about snakes to all residents. There are more than one of these useful, harmless snakes by our condos. Be aware that rattlesnakes are also around.” 

Gopher snake Joliet 1

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Photo by Tom Joliet

Gopher snake spotted at Tom Joliet’s condo 

Joliet reminds us: Watch, while walking, for sticks on the sidewalk that move; shut laundry room doors at all times; snakes like to stay under the heat of the hot water tanks; keep pets on leash.

Perhaps most importantly, he advises, “Know how to identify dangerous and common snakes.”

And that’s where we come in. Or rather the point where Outreach and Restoration Manager Cameron Davis from Laguna Canyon Foundation (LCF) offers her expertise, “Gopher snakes are the largest local snake - sometimes reaching almost six ft in length! They are fairly common in our wilderness park. They are often found coming in or out of holes dug by the native pocket gopher – one of the snakes’ favorite food sources, which also earned them their name. They eat a variety of small rodents.” 

gopher snake Davis

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Photo by Cameron Davis, LCF

A baby gopher snake is very curious about Cameron Davis

Gopher snakes are constrictors, which means they suffocate their prey. Rattlesnakes use venom to overcome their prey and use their rattles to warn away enemies.

According to www.animals.mom.me.com, rattlesnakes and gopher snakes can look eerily similar to the untrained eye. With similar square- or diamond-shaped markings and no-nonsense temperaments, these two species are often mistaken for each other. So, obviously, it’s important to recognize the differences between non-venomous gopher snakes (members of the Pituophis genus) and venomous rattlesnakes (members of the Crotalus genus and viper family).

Resemblance only skin deep

Gopher snakes and rattlesnakes resemble each other only superficially. They have the same sort of markings and colors, and both snakes can be a bit short-tempered. But they differ in length. The longest rattlesnake is about nine feet long, and the fangs of a big rattlesnake can grow up to an inch long. But most rattlesnakes only grow to five feet long. The gopher snake grows from six to nine feet long. Both snakes eat rabbits, squirrels, mice and other rodents. But there are other differences as well, per www.sciencing.com.

Venomous versus nonvenomous

Rattlesnakes are pit vipers, which means they’re venomous and have facial pits between their eyes and their nostrils. These pits sense the temperature of what’s in front of them. The rattlesnake’s pits can detect temperature differences of as little as one third of a degree Fahrenheit, which helps the snake when hunting at night. The gopher snake doesn’t have pit organs and is non-venomous.

Head shape and pupils give away identity

Gopher snake rattlesnakeEven though their body types differ – the gopher snake is longer, its body is slender and whip-like compared to the rattlesnake’s heavy-bodied, broad appearance – the big give-a-way is the shape of the head and pupils. Rattlesnakes have a flat, triangular head in comparison to a gopher snake’s narrow, rounded one. And gopher snakes have a dark stripe that extends from the top of their heads to either side of their eyes.

Gopher snake gopherWhile rattlesnakes and gopher snakes both have round eyes on both sides of their heads, it’s their pupils that signal their identity. Rattlesnakes have vertical, cat-like pupils, while gopher snakes have rounded pupils. (However, this method of identification requires that you get a bit too close for my liking.)

Gopher snakes mimic rattle, but don’t have the goods

To keep predators away, in an extremely smart method of impersonation, a gopher snake tries to imitate the rattling of a rattlesnake’s tail. A gopher snake will often hiss and vibrate its tail when agitated. This aggressive behavior and tail “rattling” mimics the rattlesnake. Although the buzzing sound of a gopher snake’s tail vibrating against the ground sounds nearly identical to the vibration of a rattlesnake’s actual rattle, gopher snakes lack the rattle found on the end of a rattlesnake’s tail. 

Gopher snake Joliet 2

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Photo by Tom Joliet

Rather artistic pose of gopher snake by Tom Juliet’s condo

Look for tail position and shape 

Whether rattling or hissing, the position of the tail differs as well. Rattlers raise their tail when threatened, but bull snakes keep their tail low to the ground. Additionally, a rattlesnake’s tail is wide and blunt, while a gopher snake’s tail is slender and pointed. 

Although not important for identification purposes, another of the obvious differences between a gopher snake and a rattlesnake is their reproductive process. Rattlesnakes give live birth to young, whereas gopher snakes lay eggs. The eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) gives birth to a brood of six to 21 live young. Gopher snakes, on average, lay two clutches of two to 24 eggs each year.

I don’t know any herpetologists or even anyone who has a pet snake, but it is said that gopher snakes make excellent pets after they’re captured. So here’s another difference between the two: very few people would capture and make a pet out of a rattlesnake…

Whether you are out on the trails or just doing your laundry, watch your step! And know your snakes.


Flyover on the Fourth: the Condor Squadron

Photos by Stephanie Young

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On July Fourth at around 5:45 p.m., Laguna was treated to a flyover by the Condor Squadron. By flying in vintage WWII planes, these aviation enthusiasts honor the memory of those who have served our country.

One of the fleet’s main activities is performing memorial flights in restored North American Aviation AT-6/SNJ trainers originally flown during World War II. 

This year the group flew south from Huntington Beach to San Clemente.

For more information, visit www.condorsquadron.org.


Fireworks forever? Talk about a bang for your buck!

Laguna Beach Fire Chief Mike Garcia tells Stu News that the sheer volume (in numbers and sound!) of fireworks on July 4 was the result of a trio of shows: the City show at 9 p.m., launched off Monument Point at Heisler Park, along with two displays organized by Emerald Bay, launched from a couple of barges.

fireworks Shanna Cuevas

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Photo by Shanna Cuevas (from Facebook)

Spectacular – though the haziness didn’t allow for many great photos this year

The City spends about $32,000 for the show. The show is a long-standing city tradition to provide an alternative to private firework shows. 

The fireworks display is not presently covered by any donations, although some time ago, for a couple of years, the show was covered or subsidized by donations from the Board of Realtors.


Do high heat and high surf for the next few days equal high anxiety? Not if you know your limitations

By DIANNE RUSSELL

As reported by Kai Bond, Captain of Marine Safety, 52 ocean rescues were made over the Fourth of July holiday. And the holiday could just be the start of a hectic and precarious time for both beachgoers and lifeguards. Over the next few days, not only is high heat predicted, but due to Hurricane Fabio, big surf is heading our way. 

As reported by www.weather.com, the latest eastern Pacific hurricane, Fabio, is beginning to weaken, but will generate some swells that will reach Southern California.

Do high Divers Cove

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Diver’s Cove

Capt. Bond says, “There will be five to eight foot waves with larger sets of swells until Friday night at 9 p.m. Along with the increased air and water temperature, it will be a busy time for everyone. It will be yellow flag with strong rip tides.”

At least at this point, he says, they will be at Level I staffing (which is staffing for summer), although they could employ extra lifeguards. However, they will be putting an extra rescue watercraft in the water in addition to the one they normally utilize.

As for precautions, Capt. Bond strongly advises beachgoers to check in with lifeguards and swim in front of an open lifeguard station. Most importantly, he says, “Know your limitations, and understand the ocean conditions.”

For further safety information, go to www.lagunabeachcity.net.


Brooks Street is in the news, and it’s not even Halloween…

As told to Mary Hurlbut by Steve Cohn

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Most Lagunans know that Brooks Street is famous for the amazing decorations that residents display during Halloween (and the candy they give out). But not nearly as many people realize that the street is also becoming famous for its Fourth of July Parade.

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The sun smiled on happy faces at the Brooks Street parade on the Fourth

Here’s the history: the Brooks Street Fourth of July Parade came about when Howard Hills lived there back in 2007. Hills had heard about the one held down in South Laguna and felt one was needed for all the kids on his street – including games and pie-eating contests, along with decorating scooters, wagons and bikes. 

Then in 2008, Mark Metherell, who grew up in Laguna and lived on Brooks, died in Iraq. It was decided to combine the paddle-out for Mark with the parade.

Over the years, the parade has grown and evolved with a flag raising ceremony at the Jensens’ home – Eric Jensen is a retired Navy pilot and has large flagpole in his front yard.

And so on Wednesday, decorated cars and golf carts and people (and animals) paraded down the street, followed by the paddle out to Second Reef and a huge potluck with neighbors afterwards.

You don’t get much more American than that!


International Hair Salon crosses the street from Hotel Laguna, where it has resided for 33 years 

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

After 33 years, the International Hair Salon is crossing the street. Owner Noreen Goodman has proudly operated the business in the Hotel Laguna for all those years, and she would have liked to continue on there, but there is “so much uncertainty,” as she describes it, with the closing of the hotel and papering up of the adjacent businesses. Not exactly ideal for attracting summer clientele.

Goodman has found new footing for the salon at the Gregory Stevens location just across the street. “Gregory Stevens has been there 27 years, and has a good reputation in town,” Goodman said. “I was looking for a while – and he had one station available.”

In the nick of time for summer business, International Salon’s Noreen Goodman will launch at the new location – 540 S Coast Hwy – on Tuesday.

International Hair Noreen

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International Hair Salon’s Noreen Goodman

Goodman originally trained with the Sassoon brand artistic director 39 years ago. She’s a cutting and colorist specialist, always keeping up to date with the latest coloring techniques. Additionally, she’s a make-up and up-do specialist who always includes brow tinting with hair styling at no extra cost. She looks out for her client’s best features. “I try to make them feel special and beautiful,” she says.

The products she uses are the finest from Italy and Germany: Alfaparf, and Keune.

“I also do a lot of coloring for men,” she says. “Staying young, youthful.”

She adds, “It’s been nice to meet people from all over the world. I love learning about other cultures.”

Goodman is excited about the move to the new location. One nice feature is that there is underground parking available for free, for customers. 

In celebration of the change, International Hair Salon is offering a sweet deal for new clients. Goodman will be giving a free conditioning treatment and gloss for hair – it smoothes and shines the hair beautifully (and is normally a $40 service).

Call (949) 212-8076 to book appointments.


Where’s Maggi?

Sometimes life gives you lemons. Maggi likes the lemons that showed up here. Where? 

If you know where this is, drop Maggi a note and let her know you’re onto her whereabouts. 

Submit your answer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This photo mystery spot will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 7 6 18

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Photo by Meg Monahan


Laguna Beach Seniors announces two new members to its Board of Directors

Laguna Beach Seniors is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors. Joining the 12-member board are Renae Hinchey and Stephany Skenderian. Each has a strong desire to serve the needs of Laguna’s senior community and a passion and dedication to Laguna Beach Seniors’ ambitious “aging in place” initiative – Lifelong Laguna.

Renae Hinchey has served as the General Manager of Laguna Beach County Water District for eighteen years. Prior to this, she worked for the City of Anaheim and also Western Municipal Water for more than ten years. She has experience working for both public and private organizations throughout her career, including seven years with TRW and eight years with Southern California Gas Company. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Lifetime Teaching Credential.

Stephany Skenderian grew up in Corning, NY and in 1976 received an Associate in Applied Sciences Degree in Dental Hygiene at Broome Community College in Binghamton, NY. Shortly after graduation, Stephany relocated to Southern California and practiced dental hygiene for over 40 years. Throughout her career, Stephany participated in various volunteer programs for underserved communities and mentored students who were interested in the field of dentistry.

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Pictured left to right, Renae Hinchey and Stephany Skenderian

“We welcome both Renae and Stephany to a dedicated and talented board,” said Nadia Babayi, Laguna Beach Seniors executive director. “Our highest priority is to work with our local partner organizations to promote the ‘aging in place’ concept, and prepare for a growing population of older adults in Laguna.” 

Located at 380 Third Street in downtown Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q Senior Center operates independently as a 501c(3) nonprofit in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach Seniors has been enhancing the lives of seniors for over 40 years. Mental health support, care management, recreational and educational classes, programs, activities and events are available and designed for seniors 55+ that promote independence, wellness and community. For more information, visit www.thesusiq.org.


Travel insurance policies and the English language: Not sure which is more confounding to me

By LYNETTE BRASFIELD

So I was planning a trip to New Zealand next January and decided to take out trip insurance. The older I get, the more aware I become of the fragility of life, and though so far I haven’t done too badly for my age (62), I have witnessed friends and family suffering every known medical condition (except perhaps housemaid’s knee: hat-tip here to Jerome K Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat, best book ever) – from hip surgery to strokes to serious cancer diagnoses. 

So trip insurance seemed to make sense.

The small group tour company recommended World Nomads, and I paid for a policy within a week or so of booking the trip, as advised – nothing outrageous in terms of cost – and not one that covered cancellation for any reason, because those are wildly expensive. 

But I felt good about taking that precaution, given that I’m normally one to throw caution to the winds (where it sometimes churns up a hurricane of unforeseen circumstances).

For once I was being sensible. 

travel insurance chile

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Photo courtesy Lynette Brasfield

Neither Bill nor I took out travel insurance when we traveled to Chilean Patagonia – lucky we didn’t wrench our ankles on this hike!

Well, long story short, as they say, though most people who say that really mean, “This is a very, very long story but I’ll make it just a tiny bit shorter for you, so be grateful, be quiet, and prepare to sacrifice the next twenty minutes of your life,” – I decided to cancel my trip for several reasons, the tipping point being the very recent cancer diagnosis of a close family member. 

I realized that despite the possible basis for a claim – “the illness of a close family member” – that my claim might not be viable, because I have no idea, and neither does this person, how he will feel in January – we are indeed optimistic that all will be well. 

By then it might indeed not be a valid reason to cancel the trip from an insurance company’s point of view, so yes indeed, why would World Nomads pay out?

But, whatever, this was my first experience with travel insurance, so I posed the question to the agent – did I have a claim?

I find myself in Bizarro world

This was the response, which confounded me. I was In Bizarro world!

If you would like to provide documentation, such as a cancelled air itinerary, showing your trip has been cancelled and documentation that you received a full refund for all of your travel arrangements, we will further review your request.

What? If I had received a full refund (which I hadn’t), why would I ask the insurance company to pay for my financial loss, when there hadn’t been one?

I thought perhaps the representative meant to say “documentation that you didn’t receive a full refund” so I sent off that information.

Only to receive this response:

When we are looking at making an exception to the 10 day free look period (Here I had no clue what the rep was talking about) there is certain documentation we must have. First, we have to confirm that you cancelled your travel arrangements. You have provided this documentation. 

Secondly, we have to confirm that you no longer have any insurable risk (that you have been refunded in full – made whole again if you will for the amount of money you originally spent.) (I WASN’T refunded in full – hence my claim, or question regarding the validity of my claim.)

Based on the information you have provided, you have not received a full refund of your travel arrangements. If we do not receive documentation of that we are obligated to keep the policy in effect and therefore allow you the opportunity to file a claim against the plan – whether you choose to or not. (?????)

And then she repeated:

That being said, if you are able to provide documentation that you received a full refund from Active Adventures, Vayama.com and United in the future (I can’t, because I didn’t), we will be happy to review it.

And again, review to what end??

travel insurance bear

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Photo by Lynette Brasfield

Foolishly, I didn’t take out travel insurance in Alaska either – and I could quite easily have been eaten by a bear!

Well, I mentioned in my email response to the rep that I would like to write a story in Stu News about the pros and cons of travel insurance, especially given this interesting little quirk, and I received a lovely, thoughtful email from one of World Nomad’s top guys, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, Phil Sylvester.

I won’t bore you with the correspondence, but he agreed that the wording was “confusing” and suggested I contact claims again. I might have a possible case, he said.

But as I said to Phil, I had already gathered that my reason for cancelling might be too flimsy for me to be reimbursed, based on the small print in the policy, and I was okay with that. I wasn’t trying to squeeze them for a refund. 

It would have been fine, I told Phil, if the rep had said, “Thank you, but unfortunately this particular situation isn’t covered – see clauses x, y and z.”

It’s all about the words for me

I simply couldn’t let the obfuscating language – intentional or otherwise – go without comment. 

And so I commented. And now I’ve written about it.

I don’t ascribe nefarious reasons to World Nomads either – they are highly respected and seem to do a great job for most of their customers. Nor, as I told Phil, do I want that particular representative to get into any trouble.

Just – why on earth would I have to prove that I’d been fully refunded for my travel plans in order for the company to pay out…what?

Oh well. Post-Christmas staycation it is, and I’m a little poorer than I’d hoped to be. Not the end of the world. Happy travels, everyone!


Theatre Camp at No Square: What are you doing this summer?

How to be cool this summer? Sing, dance, act, perform with friends! A two-week summer musical theatre camp for young performers (ages 5-18) begins July 23 at No Square Theatre. The camp, open to beginning, intermediate, and advanced skill levels, will culminate in the performance of a fully staged Broadway-style showcase on August 4 and 5.

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A fun-filled experience for kids who love to perform, presented in a positive and nurturing environment, Square Roots is directed by Ella Wyatt. With a BA in theatre (specializing in acting and directing), Ella also holds a teaching credential and brings years of experience in dozens of youth productions.

Music director for Square Roots is David Jayden Anthony, also a credentialed veteran of musical theatre for youngsters.

The program is limited to 60 participants, and sessions are grouped by age:

--Ages 5-8 meets from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (3 hours) – $270

--Ages 9-13 meets from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (4 hours plus lunch) – $350

--Ages 14-18 meets 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (5 hours plus lunch) – $400

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Participants must commit to the entire schedule unless the director has granted permission in advance. Less than full participation may limit opportunities for leading or featured roles.

Performances will take place on August 4 and 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Classes take place at No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The registration form is available online at www.nosquare.org.

No Square Theatre is dedicated to providing a safe, positive environment for its students and creative staff. Part of that is requiring all participants in all programs be properly immunized. Please read No Square’s policy on the matter on its website, and refer to your health care provider or the Centers for Disease Control for additional information.

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No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Hall Family Foundation, and Vicki & Steve McIntosh

For additional information on events, auditions, classes, and to purchase tickets, visit www.nosquare.org.


The Creative Ecosystem: What it means to Laguna Beach

Brought to you by Visit Laguna Beach

“One’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things…” – Henry Miller

Our current culture is no longer defined by industry and production, but instead, by creativity and technological innovation. The desired population to contribute to our society and help keep it moving forward is that of creatives and creative-supporters – often collectively termed a creative ecosystem.

This ecosystem helps to cultivate innovative thought and people, and incubate distinctively original places and experiences. Its existence encourages similarly-minded people to visit and participate in those destinations and the activities offered at those locations. 

the creative anna hills

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Laguna has a long history of creativity: Anna Hills was a pioneering artist

For any creative destination, it is essential to acknowledge and care for all components in the creative ecosystem, in order for such an atmosphere to grow and thrive.

The term creative ecosystem has been in circulation since 2000 when it first appeared in BusinessWeek. Defining a form of infrastructure, the system includes a few core components: Not just the creative person, the creative project and the creative environment, but also the functional relationships that connect them.

In this specific day and age, to stay healthy, economies must be aware of how creativity, innovation and culture are important factors for the competitiveness of not only companies, but also for nations, cities and regions, particularly as we move from goods and service economies to “experience” economies.

Since the early 2000s, many nations, cities and regions have been paying close attention to the emergence of these concepts and their importance within the global culture. Without proper care and thoughtfulness toward maintaining a healthy creative ecosystem, many destinations, currently thought of as centers of innovation and art, will die out, and force residents and visitors to look elsewhere for jobs, homes, culture, and experiences.

the creative cart

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Creativity comes in many forms: Laura Marquez

As Henry Miller said, the destination is predominantly a new way of seeing things, and that is even more true in today’s society. Note: The creative class includes the upcoming generations that will carry our culture into the future, and this particular group of people is concerned with experience, adventure, and authenticity.

Decades ago, interestingly, Jane Jacobs had already been a leader in developing the human capital theory, which posits that creative people are the driving force in regional economic growth. 

the creative matthew payne

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Matthew Payne: Laguna already attracts artistic types

The human capital idea can be thought of as a stock or endowment; but it does evoke the question: Why do creative people cluster in certain places?

Richard Florida researched the topic and discovered that people were no longer making the career decisions or geographic moves that the previous standard theories stated, but instead, educated and creative individuals were drawn to places that were inclusive and diverse, where high-quality experiences awaited, where there was an openness to diversity of all kinds, and the opportunity to validate their identities as creative individuals.

In other words, these creatives were not necessarily attracted for traditional economic reasons such as natural resources or efficient transportation. Quite simply, creativity, rather than specifics of location and other factors, attracts creative people to certain regions. 

the creative bill steel

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Photo by Bill Steel

“Word on the Street” public art sponsored by the City helps draw creative people to our community

So who comprises the “creative class”? These are people whose function is primarily to create meaningful new ideas and forms, including scientists, engineers, university professors, poets and novelists, artists, entertainers, actors, designers, architects, as well as innovative thinkers and communicators like journalists, editors, cultural figures, think-tank researchers, analysts, and influencers, according to Florida. 

Professionals who engage in problem solving, in health, science, tech, legal and financial industries support this echelon of society, which cuts across classes. 

“Creative centers provide the integrated ecosystem or habitat where all forms of creativity – artistic and cultural, technological and economic – can take root and flourish.”

Laguna Beach is one of those places that people are inclined to flock toward, but the town is on the cusp of losing this “creative place” attraction. It is vital that as a community, Laguna maintains and helps to make sure that it continues to offer ample diversity of experiences, people, economics, technology and places. 

To put it in plainly: diversity spurs economic development and homogeneity slows it down. This means that in a community, it is important to attract and keep diversity of industry, diversity of culture and diversity of people as the key foundation for success and growth.

Laguna Beach has had an extensive history in supporting and perpetuating diversity of people and experiences. Other cities in Orange County are catching up to the success of the creative center of Laguna Beach, long known for its history as an arts colony and an artistic epicenter in OC, by offering more affordable housing options, more diverse cultural offerings, encouraging bilingual and cultural businesses and centers, and creating unique and distinctive spaces and experiences that become signature offerings to those cities. 

the creative mural

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Hive on Laguna Canyon Rd is buzzing with creativity and fun murals – this one by artist Brett Crawford

Laguna needs to step up – and that’s just what is happening. Just take a look at recent activity in the Canyon!

Stay tuned for our next column on July 20, as we dive into the unique and fascinating history of the Sawdust Art Festival in Laguna Beach.


Suzanne Redfearn’s Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry workshop melds art and literature at the Sawdust

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Lisa Hughes Anderson

What are the criteria for judging whether a workshop has achieved its goal? In the case of Suzanne Redfearn’s workshop Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry this past Monday at the Sawdust grounds, I’d say that if 70 people join in the fun, and supplies run out, that’s a colossal success!

Redfearn, who (along with Lojo Simon) is one of Laguna Beach’s two 2018/19 Poet Laureates, came up with the idea of a workshop that blended both art and literature in a unique way – and she created the prototype for Sawdust.

“I wanted to have some sort of literary element at the festivals, so we are hosting four Photo-Letter Art and Haiku Poetry workshops at the Sawdust,” Redfearn says. “The idea is for people to ‘Leave with a little literary love from Laguna.’”

Suzanne Redfearn favorite

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Redfearn’s favorite photo from the workshop, Cameron 

Once the workshop opened, there was a steady stream of people asking questions about what was going on, and seldom did they pass up the opportunity to “create.”

For the photo-letter art, the idea was for a participant to pick a background – an 8 x 10 inch photograph, then pick a saying or sayings (or something of one’s own choosing) from a template, then pick the alphabetical letters (which were small Laguna photos, again awesome) to glue onto the background. The combination of elements resulted in inspiring pieces.

I, for one, welcomed the opportunity to use a glue stick (the last time I used glue, it was a thick, white paste housed in a jar and one could snack on it). But that was just part of the fun. Having access to miniature photos of the beautiful places in Laguna turned into an amazing collage of my favorite spots.

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(L-R) Suzanne’s son & daughter, Joe and Halle, Suzanne, Lisa Hughes Anderson

Local photographer and poet Lisa Hughes Anderson joined Redfearn (and her daughter Halle) to assist the participants (and take these wonderful photos).

Anderson says, “It was so much fun to help the community and visitors alike embrace their creative sides and walk away with a piece of art representing our amazing Laguna Beach. What I enjoyed the most was the way the project brought people together as they worked side by side; families with young children, 40 something siblings, friends all in their twenties, everyone catching up as they created personal messages or captured their names in found art photos.”

Anderson continues, “Several of the many highlights for me were when the adult brother of LBHS College and Career Counselor Lynn Gregory exclaimed, ‘I haven’t had this much fun since fingerprinting in Kindergarten!’ Several international visitors were excited to bring their personalized Laguna Beach art gifts back to places like Puerto Rico and Japan! We also heard from teachers who were excited to take this concept back to their classrooms and pass on the passion.”

Post event, Redfearn commented on the evening, “Our idea was to bring a literary element to the Sawdust and for it to tie in with art and Laguna Beach. I asked four local artists (April Brian, Iris Bourne, Lisa Hughes Anderson, and Helen Polins-Jones) to contribute their talent to create backgrounds and photo-letters of our beautiful city, and the results were amazing.” 

Suzanne Redfearn Yo

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Yo, a visiting student from Japan, is here for eight months, learning English at UC Irvine. His sign YES YOU CAN was for his girlfriend back in Japan.

She continues, “But more spectacular was seeing the creative and unique ways the participants used those elements to create their keepsakes. A friend once told me every piece of art is a capsule of individual creative energy, and that is exactly how it felt. 

“Trust Your Wings, Blessed, Feel Alive, Dare to Defy, Be the Change, Yes You Can, Enjoy and Relax, What if you Dare to Aspire, Be Kind...A few of the words people chose to write. I went home with my heart full.”

If Redfearn’s intention was for everyone to leave with a little literary love from Laguna Beach, she surpassed her goal, because everyone left with a lot of literary love! 


Laguna’s super band, 133, will rock ‘n’ roll at Mozambique on Monday night

Laguna Beach’s “super band”, the 133 Band, will perform at Mozambique as part of its monthly residency at the popular venue on Monday, July 9. The show will kick off at 7 p.m. and will be free to attend, says band manager Clay Berryhill.

133 was formed a few years ago by local tech entrepreneur and musician Clay Berryhill to write and record original music together for his “docuality film” project, “133: The Road to Laguna.” Since then, the band has performed one hundred plus live shows together, including at the Stu News-sponsored “Rock For The Cause” to benefit Friendship Shelter the last two years.

Lagunas 133 band

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Laguna’s 133 Band hanging out in the Canyon, which has served as creative inspiration for the group

If it’s anything like previous 133 shows, Monday night’s concert will feel a lot like a Laguna reunion with friends, with lots of smiles and dancing to some of the best bluesy rock in all of Orange County.

Monday night’s show will feature “the full band,” according to Berryhill, including Jason Feddy, Nick Hernandez, Poul Pedersen, Steve & Beth Fitchet Wood, Alan Deremo, Frank Cotinola, Bob Hawkins and Berryhill.

Fore more information on the band, visit www.facebook.com/the133band

Mozambique is located at 1740 S Coast Hwy.

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