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Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Maggi likes this little park with chess tables. So do our readers!

First in with the answer to the question, where is it, was Marianne van der Veer. Mark Porterfield was on to it, as was Janene Freitas, John Walker (it was his old stomping ground, back in 1980), Stephanie Cunningham, Ford Kaufholz, Stacy Dumas, and Andrew DuMolt, who said it’s his fave little park. “The little wooden deck offers a great view between Woods and Moss.” 

Julie Ross shared that the viewpoint is above “Lover’s Beach.” She said the beach “is only accessible some of the time when the tide is low. There are a lot of little ‘hidden’ areas in and under the rocks there – that probably gave it the name.” 

We give a wink to that!

Thanks for following Maggi’s whereabouts, and for sending in your answers. 

Wheres Maggi 2 12 19

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Chess tables at Ruby Street Park

Night and Day

Photos by Joel Goldstein

Night and beach

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Euphoria of a gorgeous beach day

Night and sunset

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Exultation of a furious sundown sky

In this fleeting moment 

In this gate

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

In 2002, Raymond Persinger of LCAD created this piece at Brown’s Park. It is based on Robinson Jeffers’ poetry and reminds us that this fleeting moment is everything.

Gold glow

Photos by Scott Brashier

Gold glow blue

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A ribbon of gold hovers above the sea

Gold glow dark

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A golden cast on the ocean

Dennis’ Tidbits


February 8, 2019

Rain, snow, and an arsenal of weather instruments 

Dennis 5Laguna’s rainfall totals for the 2018-19 season continue to pile up as we now stand at 12.14 inches as of 9 p.m., Wednesday, Feb 6. We’re fast approaching the entire season normal of 13.95 inches, leaving us only 1.81 inches short of that threshold. Yet another cold low is set to arrive in a couple of days. We’re already only a quarter-inch shy of the entire month’s normal of 3.13 inches.

It got down to 37 in town on Wednesday morning and 32 out in the Canyon with a high of only 57. Big Bear Lake had nine degrees this morning with a high of only 34 with loads of snow. The San Gabriel Mountains looked more like the Himalayas with solid white extending way down into the foothills. Joshua Tree collected five inches of snow from the last Aleutian blaster. Some places in the Sierras have collected as much as 10 feet of new snow, and it’s all powder at all resorts.

How do I arrive at these rainfall totals? Well, for starters I have a one-inch rain gauge that measures in hundredths of an inch. If the one inch fills up, a little trap door opens and the contents flow into a five-inch gauge in case I’m not around all the time to check the one inch. I tabulate the amount I get at the North Laguna location, then call a friend in South Laguna with the same setup and get his measurement. Then I dial my friend on Canyon Acres and see how much he collected. Then I call my buddy at Top of the World on Treetop Lane and get his reading. Finally, I add up all four readings and round them off to attain an average.

Most of the numbers are fairly consistent if it’s all nimbostratus type precipitation but if it’s squally type thunderstorms, those figures can vary significantly from station to station. You can get a quarter of an inch in North Laguna and over an inch just four miles away in South Laguna. I still add them up to arrive at a round figure. I insert our season total in each of my two columns each week on Tuesday and Friday even if there’s been no rain that particular week just to show where we stand compared to the normal for that date which is 7.44 inches up to February 6, so we’re sittin’ pretty. 

I have several other weather instruments in my arsenal as well. I have an aneroid barometer, which measures air pressure in inches of mercury and millibars. If you’ll remember, the lower the pressure, the greater potential for storminess and the higher the reading, the nicer the weather will be. The average sea level pressure is 29.92 inches of mercury or 1,014 millibars. I have a wet-bulb/dry-bulb thermometer that measures the high and low temp for any given day and the instrument leaves a little mark for the high and low for the day, so I don’t have to check it all the time, just once at the end of that day. 

I have a sling psychrometer that measures the amount of moisture in the air at any given time. I also have a hygrometer that measures the humidity in conjunction with the air temp to arrive at the dew point to see if it’s muggy or dry outside. Then I have an anemometer, which calculates wind speed and direction. I also have a water temperature thermometer to see if the ocean is cold or warm. The coldest I’ve recorded is 49 on April 8, 1974 and February 8, 1989 and the warmest was 81 on June 16, 1981. Those readings were surface temps only. Finally, of course I have my daily weather and surf records that I’ve kept since 1958.

See y’all on Friday, Aloha!

Chabad Jewish Center focuses on mental health awareness tonight with Glennwood House

Tonight, Friday, Feb 8 at 6 p.m., Chabad of Laguna Beach will partake in ShabbaTTogether, a global effort to promote inclusion and mental health awareness in 200 communities on six continents. 

The community is invited to join together for an evening with Glennwood House friends featuring a short, joyous Shabbat prayer service, delicious buffet, and remarks from Glennwood House parents and staff.

Chabad enjoys a beautiful relationship with Glenwood House Laguna Beach, and the residents feel a sense of belonging when they come for services, holiday events, and programs.

ShabbatTTogether will take an important step in incorporating inclusion of individuals with disabilities and mental health conditions in the synagogue and throughout Jewish life, in conjunction with Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). 

A focus of the weekend will be learning how community members can better support people with disabilities so that they feel at home in the synagogue and at community events.

Admission is free and sponsorships are available.

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or by calling (949) 499 0770. 

Chabad is located at 30804 S. Coast Hwy.

Deadline to contribute to Soles4Souls shoe drive, launched by LBHS sophomore Jessie Rose, is Sunday

Jessie Rose, a sophomore at Laguna Beach High School, recently launched a shoe drive to collect 250 pairs of new or gently used shoes for Soles4Souls, and she has almost doubled her goal. She now has nearly 500 pairs of shoes, with a few more days to go before the deadline on Sunday, Feb 10. 

One person’s unwanted shoes can help provide meaningful opportunities for someone else in need in a developing country. The shoes that Jessie collects will be delivered to Soles4Souls – a nonprofit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. 

Deadline to contribute

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Jessie packs up shoes

Founded in 2006, the organization has distributed more than 30 million pairs of new and used shoes in 127 countries. Soles4Souls is a nonprofit social enterprise based in Nashville, TN and a registered 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS.

Every day, children are prevented from attending school and adults are unable to work due to lack of shoes. Walking becomes unbearable. A new pair of shoes provides relief in many developing nations around the globe, in times of disaster, and helps bridge the economic gap in the US and Canada.

There are two drop-off locations: 2925 Mountain View Dr (Top of the World) or 645 St. Ann’s Dr (behind the high school baseball field) – please leave shoes at the bottom of the steps. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Discover an historic Laguna gem: The Hortense Miller Garden

Story by Cathy Frost

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Recently, a Laguna Nursery Garden Walk, led by award-winning California horticulture expert Ruben Flores, concluded with a private tour of the historic Hortense Miller Garden and House. What a treat! A Master Gardener from Chicago, Hortense Miller created a world-famous vertical garden planted on the steep eastern slope of Boat Canyon. Starting in 1959 with only one-gallon and five-gallon plants, Hortense Miller created one of the best private gardens in the country and her knowledge of plants was sought by leading horticulturists. 

In 1977, Mrs. Miller wrote, “Some of the plants I have in the garden are nostalgic – the daylilies, the sunflowers, the black locust, the rose acacia, the tansy, the tiger lilies and the rose mallow. The tiger lilies’ original bulb was given to me when I was 15 years old, so those same tiger lilies that come up in this garden have been with me for 63 years.”

Discover an Ruben

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Ruben Flores and group on tour of Hortense Miller House and Gardens 

“When I was 50 years old, I got this land and the money to develop it. Before that, I had only a fair-sized lot for a garden and always a job to interfere. But at 50, I arrived.

“I started planting. I had the help of one gardener one day a week and we started where the land had been injured as a result of the construction of the house. We kept on going and soon I needed the gardener two days a week, and so it continues. I called in help for riprap* and carpenter work and some path digging. We put up the fences ourselves, using bamboo because I could carry it and we put in the solid steps. The sugar gum eucalyptus trees in the front of the house were here, the native growth was thin and of not much account. Among the wild bushes and over much of the disturbed land was a wilderness of foxtail grass that I spent month after month, year after year pulling. So we kept on going, putting in paths and water as we went. Only the coral tree was a big specimen – all the others were from gallon cans or five gallons for trees and camellias. Many people gave me plants and I raised some from seed that I couldn’t get otherwise.”

Discover an purple flowers

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Visitor strolls along pathway lined with beautiful purple flowers

“There are now in excess of 800 species of plants and 150 natives. The natives occupy far more space than the exotics.

“The hills used to be blue with quail…they are gone now. But there are still other animals – foxes, raccoons, skunks and opossums – and they add to the charm of the garden. And there are many birds.” 

Wandering through the Gardens with Ruben is like winning the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Factory. Ruben gleefully expounds upon the variety of plants and trees highlighting the large, a massive coral tree, and the small, “Perennial Asters! Every garden should have some, they will bring so much joy!” The tour meandered along the vast network of paths that Hortense Miller carved into the steep hills of her property, pausing and exploring the expansive perennial garden, the forecourt and the potting shed. In the shade garden, Ruben pointed out a Cast Iron Plant extolling its virtues “as one of the strongest shade plants.”

Discover an interior

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Pristine mid-century furniture inside Miller home

The tour concluded with a viewing of the interior of the 1958 mid-century modern home that was built by the Millers. The interior contains the original, pristine furniture of the era and is delightful to explore. 

The Hortense Miller Garden, established in 1959, covers two and one-half acres of the upper slopes of Boat Canyon in Laguna Beach. The Garden demonstrates the range of plants that can be grown in Southern California coastal zones. It provides a source of visual information and inspiration for visitors planning their own gardens. The use of fertilizers and chemical controls has been limited in the Garden to encourage a diversity of plant and wildlife species. More information can be found at  

Discover an bench

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Along one of the many pathways

Tours of the Hortense Miller Garden and House may be arranged through the City of Laguna Beach Recreation Department or through the Hortense Miller Garden website listed above. Tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 9:45 a.m. until noon throughout the year. It is suggested tours be reserved two weeks in advance. All tours are docent led. The garden is located at a private residence in a gated community. Guests are met by docents at Riddle Field on Hillcrest Drive and then escorted to the garden. 

Ruben Flores will be conducting Laguna Nursery Garden Walks on selected Saturdays through June. The cost of the ticket is $10 or a purchase of $10 or more from the Nursery store. Comfortable shoes and sunblock are suggested. More information is available at Laguna Nursery, 397 N. Coast Hwy, or online at

*Riprap is loose stone used to form a foundation.

See below for more photos from Mary Hurlbut

Three dolphins strand in one day on OC beaches,

standalone cases or indications of an outbreak?


On Monday, Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) responded to a report of two dolphins ashore in different locations on Laguna beaches. Earlier in the day, PMMC responded to another dolphin call indicating one had washed up dead in Huntington Beach.

All three were common dolphins. According to The Ocean Institute, “The name ‘common dolphin’ actually refers to two species of dolphins: the short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) and the long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus capensis). They can be very difficult to tell apart, but the main differences are the size of the beak and the size of the black line that goes from chin to pectoral fin.”

PMMC Events & Public Relations Coordinator Krysta Higuchi says, “For three dolphins to strand in a single day, same species is alarming. Hopefully, the outcome of all the necropsies can provide us with some answers. 

“Necropsies were performed Tuesday and Wednesday, with samples being sent for further testing this week. Results will not be in for four to six weeks. Hopefully, this will shed a light and give us more answers on what happened to these three dolphins.”

Three dolphins locals report

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Photo by Betsy Mosier

Locals Anna McErlane and Pam Mizell discovered stranded dolphin at Fisherman’s Cove on Monday

Joseph Carvin, Marine Safety Lieutenant, describes how the situation unfolded:

“At 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Laguna Beach Lifeguards responded to a report of a dolphin stranding at Fisherman’s Cove and Diver’s Cove. Lifeguards responded to two distressed dolphins and requested assistance from PMMC and Animal Services. The dolphin at Diver’s Cove was a candidate for refloating and lifeguards attempted to place [the dolphin] back in the ocean. However, the dolphin returned to shore. 

“Once PMMC arrived, lifeguards assisted them in transporting the two dolphins to the Marine Mammal Center. 

“We want to thank those who called dispatch to report the stranded dolphins. If you come across a stranded dolphin, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) states that you should not touch the animal, remain quiet, and stay away until professionals arrive.”

Three dolphins on blanket

Courtesy of PMMC

Rescuers move dolphin from LB shore

Higuchi recounts the rescue:

On Monday at around 1:45 p.m., PMMC got a call from Marine Safety, Laguna Beach Lifeguards, about two live dolphins stranding, one at Diver’s Cove Laguna Beach and one at Fishermen’s Cove, Laguna Beach. 

PMMC immediately dispatched their rescue team. Upon arrival at the beach, they observed the first dolphin (Diver’s Cove) to be in distress and seizing.

Lifeguards reported once the dolphin stranded the first time, they waded the dolphin back out to shoulder deep water. The dolphin horseshoed around and re-stranded itself immediately.

After further observation, the decision was made to rescue the dolphins and bring them back to PMMC for further examination. Both animals were tumbling in the surf, causing further injury and harm to themselves.

Three dolphins at PMMC

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Courtesy of PMMC

PMMC professionals work to stabilize dolphin. Sadly, neither dolphin surived.

The first (Diver’s Cove) dolphin had multiple superficial wounds on the fluke, dorsal fin, and jaw area. He was brought up to the PMMC rescue truck and held by the team while the second dolphin was being assessed.

The second dolphin (Fisherman’s Cove) was in similar conditions but not as active as the other. The dolphin was also brought to the rescue truck to be assessed further by PMMC.

Upon arrival at PMMC, veterinarians and experts at Sea World were consulted.

The first dolphin was sedated after having multiple grand mal seizures before passing on its own. After further examination, humane euthanasia was decided for the second dolphin.

Higuchi says, “It’s a heartbreaking outcome, having multiple dolphins strand whom you know are in pain. When dolphins and other cetaceans strand, it’s usually a sign that there is something serious going on internally.”

“One is okay, two is a coincidence, three is something is going on. Our biggest concern is this is the start of something more,” says Director of Zoological and Conservation Programs at PMMC Keith Matassa. 

 NOAA was consulted and (as noted above) necropsies were performed to determine if these three are standalone cases or indications of disease or outbreak in species.

For more information on PMMC, go to

Snowy and green day – Part II

Photos by Scott Brashier

Snowy and green 4

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Are those the Himalayas out there?

Snowy and green 5

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Epic greens and blues amidst a dramatic shoreline

Snowy and green 6

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Nature’s process – trees are at their thinnest point, will experience rebirth soon

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