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Purple afterglow at Rockledge

Purple afterglow rocks

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

What causes a purple sunset?

The colors of the sunset result from a phenomenon called scattering. Molecules and small particles in the atmosphere change the direction of light rays, causing them to scatter. The short-wavelength blue and violet are scattered by molecules in the air much more than other colors of the spectrum.

Friendship Shelter issues statement regarding Allison Mathews’ recent letter to the editor

Friendship Shelter submitted the following statement to Stu News Laguna for publication:

Laguna Beach city council candidate Allison Mathews, in a recent Nextdoor post and letter to the editor, describes her experience visiting the City’s Alternative Sleeping Location, a temporary shelter operated by Friendship Shelter. In her account, Ms. Mathews relays a conversation she says she had with two of our employees. But the employees described and quoted by Ms. Matthews say that no such conversation took place. Instead they say they had only a brief exchange with Ms. Matthews: to let her know she could not spend the night, as she is not homeless, and because letting her stay might mean a homeless person would be denied shelter, given the limited space. Both employees are firm in insisting that statements attributed to them by Ms. Mathews in fact were not made by them. While we avoid any involvement in local political campaigns, we felt it was important to support our employees and their desire to set the record straight.

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Stu News and KX 93.5 host sellout forum


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

More than 200 folks forked over $20 on Tuesday to attend the Stu News and KX 93.5 Candidate Forum that resembled none of the previous forums in 2018 or in local history for that matter. The event, which raised money to fund nonprofit local radio station KX 93.5’s voter registration/turnout campaign “Tune In, Drop Out, and Vote,” was held at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach.

From beginning to end the forum differed from others in style, format and presentation. Audience participation was encouraged with the distribution of clappers, more often encountered at sporting events than local election forums. 

 “You can cheer; you can clap with the clappers,” said KX 93-5 founder Tyler Russell. “It’s going to be pretty loud. That’s the idea.”

Stu News clappers

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Clappers highlighted Tuesday’s forum

Stu News publisher Shaena Stabler, who devised the format, said cheering would be fine, but not booing.

“That’s just not the vibe we are trying to create here,” Stabler told the capacity crowd. “We’re neighbors today. We’re going to wake up neighbors tomorrow and on November 7th.

“Let’s keep in mind that we all care about Laguna, that’s why we’re here. Every candidate here cares about Laguna; I will vouch for that. And I think all of you [the audience] care deeply as well. With that in mind, we’re going to have some fun, and we’re going to make this a lively event.”

The forum was broadcast live on KX 93.5 and on Facebook – the first and only forum this year to provide voters with these options – and to date, taken advantage of by more than 4,100 viewers.

Stu News group

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(L-R) Jorg Dubin, Judie Mancuso, Peter Blake, Toni Iseman, Sue Kempf, Allison Mathews, Cheryl Kinsman, Paul Merritt, Lorene Laguna and Ann Christoph

Each question had a time limit – some were two minutes, some one-minute and some were 45 seconds. Candidates were given a 15-second warning of elapsed time, and then were cut off by a tambourine.

There were two Rapid Fire Rounds, for which candidates were given 15 seconds to respond – also a first for any forum this year.

Members of the audience were invited, when they arrived, to submit questions, which were placed in a bowl, two of which were later selected and asked of candidates.

Candidates’ direct responses to questions posed at the forum will be published in Tuesday’s edition of Stu News.

Stu News residents look on

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(L-R) Mark Orgill, Ashley Johnson, Karyn Philippsen and Mo Honarkar look on with interest on Tuesday

The forum lasted two hours and forty-five minutes, including a 15-minute break, with a reception beforehand at 5 p.m. hosted by Cox Communications and catered by Kitchen in the Canyon chef Jenny Messing, Dora Wexell and Hasty Honarkar. Marilyn Wilson of Laguna Baguettes provided baguettes and tart bites. 

Other sponsors for the event included: RWM Home Loans and CBE Office Solutions (both title sponsors along with Cox Communications and Kitchen in the Canyon), as well as Dave Csira, Julie Laughton, The Ballesteros Group and AG Vision.

See below for the forum video, which is posted on Facebook:

Candidates’ forums winding down


Twelve candidates had announced their intention to run for City Council when the first forum was presented September 11 by the Laguna Board of Realtors. 

Two dropped out and one jumped in, leaving 10 candidates to vie for support in the remaining nine forums. 

The Canyon Alliance of Neighborhoods Defense Organization (CANDO) announced this week that the group will host a City Council Candidates Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Oct 10 at the Third Street Centers. 

CANDO is made up of representatives of neighborhoods from Thurston Trailer Park to El Toro Road. The forum will focus on issues of interest to the residents and business owners of Laguna Canyon.

“We are most interested in maintaining the character of the canyon and protecting our open space,” said Penny Milne, CANDO president. “Part of that is the right balance of diversity of development, which includes the type, size, scale and type of development.”

The forum is designed to learn as much about the candidates and their positions on CANDO issues as possible in the hour and a half reserved at the center. 

CANDO’s format will be different than previous forums.

“We’ve discussed how to effectively gather information from such a large group of candidates,” said Milne. “We are interested in what the candidates have to say, and we will spend time getting information really useful to CANDO.”

“Candidates will be invited to privately peruse some prepared exhibits to answer questions about managing development in the canyon and other issues,” Milne said. 

The public will then be admitted and have a chance to review candidates’ responses, interact with the candidates and submit questions, followed by a sit-down forum for which Milne and other CANDO officials have selected questions. Audience-generated questions will also be asked of candidates. 

“Questions will not necessarily be asked of every candidate,” Milne said.

The meeting will be held in the center’s multipurpose room. Seating is limited to 90. Center parking is also limited.

CANDO was founded in 2014. Its mission is to preserve the rural, low density and small-scale character of Laguna Canyon, protect the integrity of unique neighborhoods and ensure the safety of the Laguna Canyon corridor. 

The mission is also to advocate long-term plans for this biologically diverse gateway into Laguna.

Previously announced forums

Measure P was the sole topic addressed at the League of Women Voter’s forum, held Thursday in City Council Chambers. A report on the forum will be published in Tuesday’s Stu News.

The forum was sponsored by the Laguna Beach Beautification Council and Transition Laguna. The announced purpose was to inform and clarify impacts of the measure, which proposes a one-percent sales tax increase to fund undergrounding utilities on Laguna Canyon Road and related fire safety projects.

Councilman Bob Whalen and Tom Gibbs of Underground Laguna Now presented the case for passage of the measure. Whalen has been the most powerful voice on the Council in support of the measure, conceived after utility companies balked at assuming some of the costs to accelerate undergrounding in Laguna Canyon.

Mike Morris and Jennifer Welsh Zeiter, representatives of Stop Taxing Our Property, will represent the opposition. S.T.O.P. was founded by Zeiter, specifically to combat the sales tax increase, which she maintains is unnecessary and will not keep the town safer. Nor does she believe the money would be used exclusively for utility undergrounding and fire safety.

Still to come:

The Laguna Beach Seniors and League of Women Voters Forum, 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct 8 at the Third Street Centers

Bill Fried’s radio show on KX 93.5: 6 to 8 p.m., Thursday, Oct 11

The Playhouse and the Laguna Beach Independent, 6 p.m., October 22 at the Playhouse

The Board of Realtors has offered candidates the opportunity to speak for five minutes, broken into three dates: October 17, 24 and 31.

Talented Laguna youth Ali Rybczyk, 25, offers her takeaways from Tuesday’s forum

Talented Laguna youth

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Ali Rybczyk, 25, offers this original painting as well as her response to candidates’ statements at Tuesday’s forum in her Letter to the Editor here

Well done: Walking for Water drills nearly 30 wells in Africa, film will document project in Nepal

R Star Foundation Nepal village Karketar is being visited by Susan Hough of Laguna Beach, who heads Walking for Water by Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) students. Hough is on her way with three others to view the location of where the well will be drilled in Nepal. They will be speaking with the water engineers, who will execute the incredible water project. A film crew of one is accompanying Susan’s team to document the implementation of the project.

Well done drilling

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Susan Hough, head of Walking for Water, leads team to document drilling

Walking for Water has successfully drilled nearly 30 wells in Africa. R Star couldn’t be more pleased to work with Walking for Water to build the deep clean water well in the village of Karketar, which will serve over 3,000 people in two villages. Karkartar is located about 15 minutes from R Star’s first of 51 villages, Wojetar, where the TOW-N elementary school is located. 

The actual drilling will be done in February 2019. There will be 15 students from LBHS present for the drilling, which will give the LBHS students an opportunity to interact with R Star’s villagers. At the same time, it will give the students a firsthand understanding of the impact of their efforts to raise the funds to help others. Perhaps the LBHS students will have time to visit to the Top of the World – Nepal school to see the 65 students and five teachers. 

Well done greenhouse

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Greenhouses provide organic produce to sell and to feed families

Additionally the organic greenhouse lofty project by the founder of R Star, Rosalind Russell, affectionately referred to as the ‘Goat Lady,’ continues enormously well. The greenhouses project (gifted to the poorest in different villages) is successfully progressing. Organic produce brings in better funds and grows year round, while feeding the families quality produce. 

If interested, there are ways to help. Purchase a greenhouse or part of one. They are $850 at this time. Or purchase a goat, which lifts the women and their families to far better lives at only $200 for a pregnant goat or any amount that seems comfortable. 

There are many ways to help with the successful and needed work of R Star. Join in again or for the first time. will share good work and reach a donor link for those inclined. Or donate any amount and send to: PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652 or call (949) 497-4911. 

R Star Foundation is a registered 501(c)3.

New Belmont Village Senior Living to open soon

Belmont Village Senior Living’s first Assisted Living community in Orange County is due to open early 2019 but the company officially opened its Information Center at 22912 Pacific Park Dr., Suite E in Aliso Viejo with a recent open house. 

The new Belmont Village Aliso Viejo building is located at 300 Freedom Lane. For more information, call (949) 643-1050. 

Belmont Senior Living

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Submitted by Miguel Vasconcello

(L-R) Belmont Village Founder & CEO Patricia Will, Susan Barlow, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Blue Moon Capital Partners, Brent Covey, Belmont Village Senior Development Officer, Mayor of Aliso Viejo, Dave Harrington and Candice Burroughs, District Representative, and California State Senator Pat Bates (36th Dist.)

Mindfulness Meditation at NCC Zen Garden Oct 8

A Mindfulness Meditation course is being offered by local Psychologist Michele McCormick, Ph.D. on four Mondays in October beginning on Oct 8, at 7 p.m. The group is meeting at Neighborhood Congregational Church’s Zen Garden Room.

We have a full class of awesome people confirmed for our first meeting. I’m really happy about the response and can hardly wait to get started,” McCormick said.

I’d like to provide a brief overview of the class and also run a few logistics by you in preparation for our time together. I recently completed my curriculum plan for our four week program and for a day-long retreat in December for those who might be interested in continuing,” McCormick said.

Mindful MichelebThese four weeks are geared to both new and experienced meditators. 

“So, wherever you are on the journey of discovery, you will find here the teaching, guidance and support you require to either begin or strengthen your own mindfulness practice going forward,” McCormick said.

Over the course of the four meetings, she will teaching on the four foundations of mindfulness, leading both guided and silent meditations, facilitating enlivening discussions, and responding to participants’ questions on both the teachings and specifics skills of how to deepen meditation practice and carry mindfulness into daily lives. 

“I will also be providing handouts with references and resources. Hopefully you can attend all four meetings but if not, no worries. Come as you are able,” McCormick said.I won’t review all of the positive results of having a consistent meditation practice because there are more than I can list in this brief email. We’ll soon be experiencing those together on the cushion.”

McCormick said to bring a cushion and mat or a yoga mat, a water bottle if needed, and a notebook or journal and pen among other important items.

This class is donation based and adjusted to your level of financial ability to pay. The suggested donation for the entire series is $45. Please attempt to arrive by 6:45 p.m. as starting time is 7 p.m.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational returns Oct 6-14

During the week of October 6-14, LPAPA will present the 20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational at its new Festival of Arts “Invitational Home”, in the heart of Laguna’s Civic Art District. The community is invited to join the celebration and become part of the tradition during this 9-day plein air celebration.

Laguna Beach Plein Jacobus

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Jacobus Bass is one of the 50 top award-winning artists to paint the town

The 50 Invitational Artists will be arriving on Saturday, Oct 6 from near and far to prepare to paint the town. The community is invited to watch as they paint in and around Laguna Beach and prepare for Sunday’s Quick Draw painting competition at Heisler Park.

The artists will be gathering Saturday afternoon between 2 and 5 p.m. at Treasure Island Park for a “warm up paint out”. This is a free painting demonstration event that is open to the public.

On Sunday, Oct 7, all 50 Invitational Artists will be gathering in Heisler Park to compete in the annual Quick Draw Painting Competition. The artists only have two hours, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., to create a plein air masterpiece. Come watch them paint as they carry on the plein air painting tradition that established Laguna Beach as an art colony 100 years ago. 

Laguna Beach Plein Heisler

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Artists will gather in Heisler Park for a Quick Painting Competition

Immediately following the Quick Draw painting event, the artists will gather at the Festival of Arts for a Meet & Greet reception from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The public is invited to join for refreshments, to meet the artists and see the framed wet paintings.

The Quick Sale Art Show will be presented at the Festival of Arts from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Admission is free to the public. 

On Monday, Oct 8, the community is invited to a special evening with the panel of Invitational Artists who will talk about their artistic journey and plein air painting experiences. This is a wonderful opportunity to listen to the hearts and minds of some of the nation’s top plein air painters, and ask them any question. 

Tickets are $15 and there will be a Wine & Cheese Reception at Terra Laguna (no host bar) from 6 to 7 p.m. The Plein Talk in the Forum Theatre adjacent to Terra is from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Laguna Beach Plein talk

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The Artists will talk during a special panel about their painting experiences

On Tuesday, Oct 9, the Artists will be painting in and around Forest Avenue and the downtown area of Laguna Beach starting at 6 p.m., and continuing into the evening. The public is invited to come watch the Artists in action as they create “en plein air” nocturne paintings. This event is free and open to the public and no advance registration is required.

Laguna Beach Plein night

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The public is invited to watch the Artists paint into the evening around Forest Avenue and downtown

Mr. Jean Stern, art historian and author of LPAPA’s new book, will be at the Festival of Arts – Forum Theatre on Wednesday, Oct 8 at 5:45 p.m. for a book signing. 

Tickets are $20 for the public and $15 with LPAPA Member Code. 

After the Artists submit their paintings for judging, they will be out painting at Main Beach, Heisler Park and Treasure Island Park on Friday, Oct 12 from 11 -12:30 p.m. The outdoor event is free and the community is invited to watch as the artists paint and explain their process. 

On Saturday, Oct 13, the Collectors Gala will celebrate a special Milestone 20th Anniversary from 7 - 10:30 p.m. Gala attendees will have the first, and potentially only opportunity to view the entire collection of artwork created during the week. The artists will be exhibiting what they consider to be their three best plein air paintings created during the week, presented for judging and prize consideration. 

Tickets are $150 in advance and $175 after October 11.

Ending the 9-day plein air celebration will be an Art Show at the Festival of Arts on Sunday, Oct 14. The public is invited to come see meet the artists, see painting demos, and meet Art Materials Experts from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Little libraries have popped up all over town, even all over the country. Maggi asked us to name the one she visited in the photo. Turns out quite a few folks have checked out from this library.

Janene Freitas was first on it with her answer – “Corner of Park & Blumont.” Judy Barry chimed in with the correct answer too, “Love them,” she said. 

Further readers responding included Cathy Bosko, Meg Monahan, Beth Johnsen, Debbie Neev, Trish Sweeney (who added that it’s her favorite place to drop books), Mike Maruska (who uses it all the time – especially easy as he lives next door!), Kathy Conway, Joy Clevenger, Doris Bui-Bender, Jessica Burritt (who loves this little library, “Great neighbors, great reads!” she says), and Sandi Werthe who first saw these little boxes at her friend’s house in Minneapolis.

Dropping off or checking out, this little library is a busy corner for Stu News and book readers! 

Thanks for knowing Maggi’s whereabouts. There will be another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned.

Wheres Maggi 10 2 18

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The Little Library on Park Avenue, corner of Blumont 

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