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Soka University presents showing of “The Laguna Greenbelt – 50 Years of Preservation” on Thursday

On Thursday, Nov 29 from 7 to 9 p.m., Soka University presents a viewing of “The Laguna Greenbelt – 50 Years of Preservation”.

Soka University tree

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Submitted photo

The Laguna Greenbelt has been preserved as a natural treasure

This recently completed full-length, 90-minute movie documentary was produced and edited by Ron Chilcote, Harry Huggins, and Charles Michael Murray. It takes an in-depth look at the arduous path taken in the preservation of our natural treasure, the Laguna Greenbelt, for the community and everyone to enjoy in perpetuity. 

The film includes interviews of numerous individuals that made the green and blue belts possible along with historical footage and photo stills from strategic events. Shaena Stabler provides beautiful music that embraces the audience and powerful aerial imagery is by Tom Lamb. Both capture the essence of why this beautiful natural space is so important and worth fighting for. 

There will also be a post viewing panel discussion by the creators of the documentary regarding the extensive history of the Greenbelt and the path forward in further preservation.

The movie trailer can be viewed at www.youtu.be/-b0RR4bcJnA

Soka University is located at 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. The showing will be in Pauling Hall #216.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

This garden of peace and love can be found on the way to a certain beach. 

Who knew?

Right off the bat, Bonnie Drury was onto it. Other observant readers include Janene Freitas, Carolyn Burris (“This section is alongside the Coast Inn on city property on Mountain Rd. I have somewhere details by a historian about who started the garden and when. It was after my father sold to our friend Sid Bryan in 1978. I do know Chief Spreine played a part since his brother is a gay man who died of AIDS.”), Julie Ross, Cathy Bosko, Charlie Ferrazzi, Tamar Conner, and Wendy Nelson, who shared this:

That is the garden built by Michel Martenay who passed away at one of our family homes after a long fight with the AIDS virus. Michel built that out of love and to honor the gay community and its many losses due to the virus. Main Street Bar had tried to rally assistance from the gay community at restoring the property to no avail, finally the City took an interest and as they repaired the steps to the beach, care was once again given to the garden. Ashes are scattered there...I’m sure that’s controversial with many of the newer residents. However, as my family grew up in Laguna and have preserved the only gay owned bar and cabaret in South Orange County, we appreciate those who acknowledge the many who go to the garden and take a moment to remember so many Laguna Beach residents lost. We specifically thank the late United States Surgeon General C. Everett Koop for strongly encouraging and succeeding to convince President Reagan that AIDS needed to be identified and treated as a national health issue.”

Wheres Maggi 11 27 18

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Garden of Peace & Love, found on Mountain Road beach access 

Thanks for knowing Maggi’s whereabouts, and for sharing this important part of Laguna’s history. 

There will be another photo mystery coming up on Friday. Stay tuned!


A butterscotch sky

A butterscotch sunset

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Photo by Tom Berendt

Thanksgiving sunset


LPAPA “Art & Nature” award winners announced

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) celebrated the beauty of nature with its annual “Art & Nature” juried art exhibit of paintings that capture nature and the natural landscapes.

The exhibit was presented at the Forest & Ocean Gallery, at 480 Ocean Ave, and featured 45 original paintings created by 33 LPAPA Member Artists. 

LPAPA 1st Place

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Submitted photo

1st Place Award went to Camille Przewodek for “On Golden Marsh” 

A total of 118 original works of art were showcased in the expanded online gallery show. The award-winning artists were announced during a well-attended gallery reception on November 10 and included the 1st Place Award for “On Golden Marsh” by Camille Przewodek, 2nd Place Award to Larry Cannon for “Irresistible Force”, 3rd Place Award for “That’s What I Thought” by Mary Christie, plus Honorable Mention Awards to Nanette Briers for her painting “Golden Hour” and Esther Engelman for “Nature’s Simplicity.”

LPAPA honorable mention Golden hour

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Submitted photo

Nanette Briers received an Honorable Mention Award for “Golden Hour” 

LPAPA will host its next gallery reception on Saturday, Jan 7, 2019, to celebrate LPAPA’s next art show titled “Town & Country”, an annual juried art show celebrating the landscape where the cities meet the pastures.

LPAPA was founded in 1996 to help preserve Laguna’s rich landscape painting heritage and the tradition of plein air painting. For more information, visit www.lpapa.org/award-winners-gallery/, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 376-3635.


Community invited to Thurston PTA’s Main Beach Cleanup on Dec 16

Thurston Middle School PTA is holding a Main Beach Cleanup on Sunday, Dec 16 from 9 - 11:30 a.m. The entire family and Laguna Beach community is encouraged to join in and dogs are welcome too. 

Community invited Main Beach Tower

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Volunteers will meet at the Main Beach Lifeguard Tower 

This is a great way to inspire families to make a difference, and it sets children up for a lifetime of inspired giving back to the planet. Meet at the Main Beach Lifeguard Tower and PTA will provide trash bags and gloves. The minimum age to participate is two years old.


Soka University presents showing of “The Laguna Greenbelt – 50 Years of Preservation”

On Thursday, Nov 29 from 7 to 9 p.m., Soka University presents a viewing of “The Laguna Greenbelt – 50 Years of Preservation”.

Soka University tree

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

The Laguna Greenbelt has been preserved as a natural treasure

This recently completed full-length, 90-minute movie documentary was produced and edited by Ron Chilcote, Harry Huggins, and Charles Michael Murray. It takes an in-depth look at the arduous path taken in the preservation of our natural treasure, the Laguna Greenbelt, for the community and everyone to enjoy in perpetuity. 

The film includes interviews of numerous individuals that made the green and blue belts possible along with historical footage and photo stills from strategic events. Shaena Stabler provides beautiful music that embraces the audience and powerful aerial imagery is by Tom Lamb. Both capture the essence of why this beautiful natural space is so important and worth fighting for. 

There will also be a post viewing panel discussion by the creators of the documentary regarding the extensive history of the Greenbelt and the path forward in further preservation.

The movie trailer can be viewed at www.youtu.be/-b0RR4bcJnA

Soka University is located at 1 University Drive, Aliso Viejo. The showing will be in Pauling Hall #216.


Boris Buzan’s Christmas Window

Boris Buzans stained glass

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Submitted photo

Boris Buzan’s huge simulated stained glass window (it was made of fiberglass) adorned Main Beach Park each year during the holidays in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Then in the ‘70s, it was moved to the FOA grounds, and was eventually damaged in storage during a flood in the ‘80s. To give an idea of its size, Buzan was five feet, seven inches tall.


Colonial Days at El Morro Elementary

November 19 and 20

Photos courtesy of Laguna Beach Unified School District

Colonial Days snowshoes

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It’s going to snow, better put on your snowshoes

Colonial Days teepee

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Let’s get the teepee decorated for the holiday

Colonial Days drums

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Call in everyone with the drums, the feast is just about ready

Colonial Days candles

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That’s the perfect color for the candles

Colonial Days necklace

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Colonist makes a necklace to wear to the holiday feast;

LBUSD says, “We’re thankful for traditions that bring staff, parents, and the community together for our students.”


Holiday shopping – being mindful

By Vidya Reddy, ND

‘Tis the season! As the holiday shopping season begins, Americans crack open their wallets on Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. There’s nothing like a great deal, so go ahead and hit the mall, but please remember to shop local the next day on Small Business Saturday. This day was created with communities like Laguna Beach in mind. On Small Business Saturday, people are encouraged to shop their local independent boutiques, restaurants and service providers in an effort to build a stronger community. Many of our local retailers are our friends. Let’s support them on Small Business Saturday.

With so many great “deals” available during Black Friday, a lot of us may end up in a spending frenzy to feed our own desires, buying things we didn’t even know we wanted. And with so much spending going on, it’s easy to get off center, financially speaking.

Shopping at this time of year can also be a truly stressful situation, with the ever-present occurrence of sales, the crowds, the countdown to Christmas highlighting just how little time is left of the year. But if we approach the holiday shopping season in a more mindful way, we can eliminate some of that stress and end the year without feeling completely defeated. 

So, here are a few shopping tips that will transform shopping into an opportunity to practice mindfulness and to keep your wallet and your stress levels on the right track:

Holiday shopping Reddy

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Dr. Vidya Reddy

Find small ways to relate and connect

Shopping is a bonding activity between friends and family members. But making positive connections with complete strangers, exchanging a smile with someone or offering a frazzled cashier a warm thanks, has a surprisingly powerful impact on well-being and even physical health. These pleasant yet fleeting moments of connection that you experience with others expand your awareness to create lasting and beneficial changes in your life.

Use the delays to practice being in the moment

Black Friday means long waiting lines, whether in traffic or in line. Whenever I find myself stuck in a mile-long holiday line, I love to pause and enjoy my shopping experience. It’s fun to just check out the scene around me, the shoppers and the store. Pay attention to the merchandise and take it all in, the shopkeepers have worked hard to make their shops enticing. Appreciate their efforts. Take a moment to smile at the person also waiting in line who looks like they are about to lose their cool. Then notice your breath, notice how you feel. Take in how the world looks around you, does it look calm or totally hurried? For those of you that are shopping at home, take a moment while the images load to gaze out a window, take three deep breaths, and notice the world LOL IRL.

Relish bliss wherever it arises

The human brain is wired for happiness and we can find it in many different pursuits and at many different levels. While shopping might not provide satisfaction on the deepest level, it does offer plenty of opportunities for pleasure, from your mochaccino pit stop to the sense of satisfaction you feel when you’ve crossed something off your gift list. 

Whether you are tasting something delicious, enjoying your friends’ company, throwing yourself wholeheartedly into a task or cause, or enjoying the flow of creativity, you can choose to make any of these pleasures an avenue into the stillness of true self.

Holiday shopping Spice

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Photo by Vidya Reddy

Shop local on Small Business Saturday, Nov 24

Use gift selection as a means to focus in on your dearest relationships

There are five main ways people like to receive love: touch, quality time, words and affirmations, acts of service and gifts. Since this is gift-giving season, take a moment to consider your partner’s preferred method of receiving and translate it in the perfect gift! A weekend getaway? A coupon for five foot rubs? A personal letter? A new watch? Make sure you focus on how they want to receive love, because we tend to choose gifts for others based on what we would like to receive ourselves. Even couples that have been together for a long time still get it wrong!

Take advantage of the fact that we’re hardwired for kindness and generosity

Getting great deals is fun, but it turns out that giving to charity feels even better. People who choose to give a donation, rather than receiving money for themselves, experience increased activity in the areas of the brain associated with positive reward. So, if you have the ability to give a little extra for a good cause, go ahead and do it. It really is better to give than to receive. Lucky for us, Black Friday is always followed by #GivingTuesday.

In the end, a successful Black Friday is not just about spending copious amounts of money. It’s about finding gifts you know will benefit, change or enhance someone’s life, even in the smallest way without breaking the bank or your spirit. Lifts your spirits and those of our local merchants on Small Business Saturday too.

So, go out there and create a blissful shopping experience! 

In Peace, Love and Gratitude. Til next time. 

Dr. Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC 

www.Naturally-Happy.com

Becoming Happier, Naturally


Thanksgiving sunset from a new view

Thanksgiving sunset

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Photo by Scott Brashier

We have so much to be grateful for living in Laguna Beach

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