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Op-Ed

Mayor Kelly Boyd

City of Laguna Beach doing its part to address homelessness

Op Ed Kelly Boyd 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mayor Kelly Boyd

On November 5, 2018, federal district judge Andrew Guilford granted final approval of a settlement agreement between a class of disabled homeless individuals and the City of Laguna Beach, bringing closure to a three-year-old lawsuit that in my and many others’ view was misguided and resulted in the needless consumption of substantial resources and funds that could have been better devoted to legitimate public purposes.

At the same time, this unjust litigation has served to highlight the historic and unique commitment and efforts of the City of Laguna Beach over the last decade to address homelessness in its community. Since 2009, the City has funded a year-round emergency overnight shelter program, known as the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL), which is operated by the Friendship Shelter under a service provider contract.  The Laguna Beach ASL provides a place for 45 people to sleep each night, offering showers, hot meals, clean laundry facilities, sleeping mats, warm blankets, computer access, and a case worker to connect homeless individuals with important services and resources.

The Laguna Beach ASL is the only such program of its kind in southern Orange County. It’s not a cheap program to operate. It currently costs the City $400,000 to operate the facility each year with a small portion of the operating costs covered by a Community Development Block Grant. To date, the City has provided over 139,230 bed nights to homeless in need. In addition, the City has been successful in reuniting homeless individuals with their families and, with the assistance of the Friendship Shelter, has facilitated the placement of more than 85 formerly homeless men and women in transitional and permanent supportive housing.

The City of Laguna Beach has been, and continues to be, a leader among municipalities within Orange County to address homelessness. Still, others must step up and do their part. Some have begun to do so, and they are to be commended. We believe that a comprehensive approach implemented by the County of Orange and all cities within the county offers the best prospect for addressing homelessness in a meaningful way. Such an approach must recognize that the provision of sufficient emergency shelters, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, and affordable housing are important components of an effective plan. And, more than a plan is needed. A plan will require full funding and the commitment of all responsible government agencies to be implemented. To that end, I encourage other municipalities within Orange County to work with the County of Orange to address issues relating to homelessness and to take responsibility for their fair share of solutions.

Kelly Boyd

Mayor, City of Laguna Beach


The Hive’s holiday party Friday was a huge hit

Photos by Scott Brashier 

The Hives tree

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Many gathered merrily for the Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Hive

The Hives sled 1

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Families enjoyed the sledding hill in Laguna Beach

The Hives Honarkars

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The Honarkar sisters, baby Truth, and a gleeful Grinch

The Hives Santa

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Jolly Old Saint Nicholas on his sleigh 

The Hives choir

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The Laguna Big Band with Ginger Hatfield


Don’t miss this Saturday’s rock show in Laguna

Dont miss Nancy Wilson

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Photo by Jeremy Danger

Nancy Wilson, Hall of Fame rocker with Heart, interviewed with KX 93.5’s Tyler Russell this week. Listen to the podcast here and don’t forget to get your tickets to the big KXMas show on Saturday at www.kx935.com. There are a few VIP tickets left including just a few meet and greet opportunities where you can take a quick photo with Nancy and meet her backstage!


Dick, Carol, and Linda Stein, longtime Laguna residents, lose everything in the recent Camp Fire 

Dick and Carol Stein have been residents of Laguna Beach since they were young children. Just four weeks ago, they sold their home of over 50 years, and along with their daughter Linda, relocated to Paradise, CA, to be nearer their grandson. 

They had barely finished unpacking, when they had to flee their house. The fire was so close, they only had time to get out with the clothes they were wearing. Their home burned, and they lost everything.

Local Rick Balzer reports that they had insurance on their home. The GoFundMe listed below is to help them with everything they can’t get back.

Susie Johnson, who along with her husband, Jerry, went to Laguna Beach High School with Dick and Carol, lived across the street from the Steins for over 50 years. “We raised our kids together,” she says. “They’re our dear and close friends.”

Susie continues, “After they had to leave, they went to their grandson’s place in Chico. They are now in Reno, where one of their daughters lives. They’re in the process of getting clothes and the basic living essentials. With the help of Susan, their other daughter, they are making lists and doing the necessary paperwork. They can’t go back yet to see if anything is left.”

Mark Christy says, “The Stein family lived literally at the center of Starlit Drive, the street I grew up on and which really comprised an extended family of incredible people. Dick, Carol and the girls were always so kind to this geeky kid and helped me fix my Sting Ray bike when needed. They will always be part of the fabric of our lives and of Laguna.”

Dick Carol Steins

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The Steins, longtime locals, lost their home in Paradise after recently relocating

This is the Stein family update from their daughter Susan: 

“Thank you for prayers, love and support. We now know that the new family home in Paradise, CA has burned to the ground while many neighbors were fortunate to have been spared. Both of their cats likely perished which also weighs very heavily on their hearts. Linda, of course, is suffering greatly from this devastating trauma and loss, too. 

A lifetime of “things’ treasured are all gone, and they literally had only the clothes they were wearing escaping through flames. Their survival is truly a miracle and blessing. Mom and Dad and Linda are in Reno with me, waiting for permission to return. 

We will send updates as often as possible while we navigate through this situation. Feel free to send cards or letters addressed to them at this temporary (90 days) mailing address (a UPS store): 550 W. Plumb Lane, Suite B, #528, Reno NV 89509 to boost their spirits and share news. 

The fire was Thursday morning, November 8. Folks arrived in Reno Friday afternoon where Linda and I were playing a bocce tourney, Saturday they were rooting us on, and first day we began shopping for clothes etc. Last week we were on the phone and online dealing with agencies, insurance etc.  Every day, we get out of the hotel for much needed shopping trips for the basics and are slowly reestablishing their lives. My employers have graciously given OK for me to remain here to assist as long as needed. 

One step and one day at a time we are moving forward. 

Mom and Dad are doing better day by day as is Linda. Time heals and they are all thinking in future tense so that’s positive. Being together has been the best salve for our family and we are accomplishing more each day.  We’re all on the mend. We appreciate your concern and friendship.”

In an effort to support them, Janet Mitchell, Susie and Jerry’s daughter, set up a GoFundMe page.

The funds raised from the GoFundMe will go directly to Dick, Carol, and Linda, to purchase items that are needed to begin to rebuild their lives. 

To go to the GoFundMe page, click here.


Cast your vote for MY HERO People’s Choice Award

It’s time to cast your vote and help choose the winner of The MY HERO 2018 People’s Choice Award. To participate, watch the seven short hero-themed films (28 minutes total), which are this year’s finalists, and vote for your favorite. This is a great opportunity to begin a conversation about what makes a hero and what makes a good short film. 

Cast your vote LBPD

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach/YouTube

Tony Hawk teamed up with LBPD to create an anti-bullying short film, which is nominated for The MY HERO People’s Choice Award

The short films up for award include:

Still I Rise – by Gabriel Diamond – A visual and musical interpretation of American poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou›s electrifying poem «Still I Rise.» 

The Last Straw – by Lynne Cherry – Nine-year-old Milo Cress is concerned about the millions of straws that pollute waterways and harm ocean creatures. With the help of some friends, he takes his fight to become «straw free» all the way to Capitol Hill.

Āmrikā – by Nicole Bahar – An Iranian-American teenager examines stereotypes after traveling to a small village in Iran to interview people about America. 

Looking After Our Country – by Mark Pearce – A young Indigenous leader and family man speaks out about plans to build a large gas complex in the heart of one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. 

Save My School – by Destiny Brown and Tahir Juba – Led by a group of high school activists, a community turns out to fight the impending $130 million dollar budget cut proposed for Baltimore City Public Schools.

Laguna Beach Police Department’s Anti-Bullying Campaign – by LBPD Social Media Team – A short film that features skateboard legend Tony Hawk and Captain Jeff Calvert addressing the issue of bullying.

Protecting the Amazon by Advancing Indigenous Rights – by Paul Paz y Mino – Partnered with Indigenous and environmental organizations, “Amazon Watch” protects ecological systems and advances the rights of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. 

Since 1995, The MY HERO Project has provided a platform for people of all ages to create, share and discover heroes through art, audio, short films, and stories. With more than 20 million visitors to the website this year, the organization has created a vast global community that promotes peace, tolerance, conservation, and gratitude. 

The MY HERO Project is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations fund the organization’s award-winning educational programs. 

To watch the final films, click here. 

The MY HERO Project is located at 1278 Glenneyre St, Unit 286.


Luke Hendrickson spearheads toy drive for CHOC Hospital with a goal of 100 toys by Saturday, Dec 15

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Today, on #GivingTuesday, it seems fitting that a toy drive for CHOC Hospital organized by Luke Hendrickson would be announced. The drive is Luke’s final project in order to achieve Eagle Scout status. His father, Jon, made Stu News aware of Luke’s wish to give back to CHOC by conducting this toy donation drive.

Jon says, “I am an English teacher, Varsity Girls Golf Coach, and JV Baseball Coach at LBHS. My wife Lou Ann is an Instructional Aide at the high school as well. My two daughters (Jamie and Corrie) graduated from LBHS, Curran is a senior, and Luke is a freshman. We love the Laguna Beach community and the public school system and how everyone has helped us raise our children.”

Luke Hendrickson bowling

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Submitted photo

On a family bowling excursion a year or two before Luke’s Uncle Ricky died

(L-R) Luke, Curran, Lou Ann, Jon, Jamie, Corrie, Ricky in the middle

 When asked what the basis was for selecting this activity, Jon replies, “When choosing an Eagle Scout Project, the boy scout has a variety of different options. The criteria is the following: While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. 

“Luke decided he wanted to partner with an organization that supported his Uncle Ricky for many years before he passed away at the age of 24. Ricky spent many long hours, days, weeks, and months at CHOC Hospital and they loved and supported him throughout his time there. When I told my son Luke about that, he thought this project would be perfect for his Eagle Scout requirement.”

In order to become an Eagle Scout, there are many requirements. Jon notes: if one works at a frenzied pace, it would take about two years to become an Eagle Scout.

Luke Hendrickson scout

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Submitted photo

Luke’s goal – to deliver 100 toys to CHOC on Dec 15

Luke says, “I am partnering with CHOC Hospital this holiday season, and I am conducting a toy drive for kids in need; I would love your help! My Uncle Ricky spent much of his childhood and teenage years at CHOC before passing away, and because of their love and support towards him, I wanted to help those kids currently staying at CHOC have a happier holiday this year. If you want to help support me, my goal is to collect over 100 unwrapped toys and deliver them to CHOC on December 15th.”

Ways to help:

--Buy a new toy(s) from the list below

--Contact Luke via email, phone or text at (949) 278-2508 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

--Luke will come by and pick up the item(s) at your convenience, or you can mail or drop off the unwrapped toy(s) directly to his school address where his dad works as well: 625 Park Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 

--Tax ID number is 95-609-7416 

Toy Donations:

Durable, cleanable unwrapped toys are most useful in the hospital setting. Please choose from the following items only for your toy donation. They cannot accept any used items.

Infant & Toddler

--Musical toys (ones with buttons, knobs, light up, etc.) *Highest priority 

--Crib toys – mobiles, mirrors, busy boxes 

--Teethers and rattles 

--Little People/Weeble People 

--See ’n Say/talking phones 

--Shape sorters/stacking toys

School age

--Action Figures (Batman, Superman, Transformers) 

--Dramatic play-medical play kits, kitchen, food, doll families 

--Coloring books, Paint by Numbers, velvet color posters 

--Barbie Dolls/small dolls 

--My Little Pony, Doc McStuffins

--Princess dolls, dress-up

--Beads and jewelry making kits 

--Craft sets/stickers 

--I Spy Books/Look ‘n’ Find books 

--Light-up wands/Light & spin toys 

--Small Lego building sets/Bionicles 

--Matchbox/Hot Wheels cars (small size cars) 

--Play-doh/Model magic – all colors 

--Playing cards and Uno cards

--Puzzles – 24, 63 & 100 pieces

--Markers and crayons (8, 16 and 24 pack)

Teenagers: CHOC is always in need of more activities for its teen population.

--Makeup/body care products 

--Young Adult novels 

--Clothes, jewelry – teen themed 

--Sweatshirts 

--Sports jerseys, hats 

--Sports equipment 

--Skateboard themed clothing 

--Picture frames 

--Jewelry making kits 

--Slippers 

--Gift bag 

To the community, Luke says, “Thank you so much for your generosity and support!”

With a cause like CHOC Hospital, Luke is certain to reach (and even surpass) his goal.


It’s planting season, and we’re growing

By Sydney Jones

Development Manager, Laguna Canyon Foundation

A large part of what we do is habitat restoration – adopting places in our canyon that have been impacted by invasive species or human impacts and restoring the natural habitat. The endangered and endemic species in our rare coastal sage scrub depend on healthy habitat to survive. This planting season (which normally runs November to March, depending on weather), we have sixteen different active restoration sites in the South Coast Wilderness.

Its Planting Salamone

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Courtesy of LCF

Dan Salamone, new Lead Restoration Technician

This season, we are focusing on planting 17,000 container plants and thousands of pounds of native seed at two major sites (Pecten Reef and Laguna Canyon Creek) and several smaller sites. We will be busy for the following months keeping those plants watered and healthy, and managing weeds popping up around them. So busy, in fact, that we’ve hired three new team members to help accomplish our planting goals. 

Meet our new team members (and make sure to say “hi” if you see them on your hikes or rides):

Our full time Lead Restoration Technician, Dan Salamone, moved here a year ago from Chicago. When he started volunteering at our restoration stewardship events, demonstrating his strong work ethic, ability to learn quickly, and his open, energetic personality, we knew he’d be a great addition to our staff.

Its Planting trio

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Courtesy of LCF

Alyssa Moreno, Dan Salamone, and Robin Matthews

Our two new Seasonal Restoration Technicians, Alyssa Moreno and Robin Matthews, both grew up in California. Alyssa has spent two seasons working with the Conservation Corps, learning to run power tools, build trails, restore habitat and work effectively as part of a team. Robin was looking for some hands-on environmental work while she took a break from her Cal State Long Beach Environmental Science degree, when she was introduced to Laguna Canyon Foundation through her volunteer work at the Bolsa Chica Conservancy. Robin brings a familiarity with both native and non-native plants from both her work at Bolsa Chica Conservancy and from spending lots of time hiking in the wildlands of Orange and LA Counties.

We couldn’t be more pleased with our team and we’re looking forward to another successful planting season! 

Want to help us plant? Volunteer at one of our Keep It Wild events!

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


Let there be rain

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Let there be rain street

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Slick and vacant streets highlight rare rainy day in Laguna yesterday

Let there be rain lifeguard stand

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A soggy day at the lifeguard stand

Let there be rain creek

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Yesterday’s precipitation totals exceeded one inch in Laguna


A perfectly aligned and absolutely divine sunset shot

A perfectly aligned

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Photographer Scott Brashier captured this “one in a million” sunset shot on Tuesday


Clouds of Coral Blush

Clouds of Three Arch Bay

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Photo by Diane DeBilzan

Three Arch Bay sunset on Wednesday, a study in corals, pinks and gold

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