LB “Gate & Garden Tour” Fundraiser showcases

South Laguna’s diverse gardens on Friday, May 4

The charming, tree-lined streets of South Laguna are the venue of this year’s Laguna Beach Garden Club “Gate & Garden Tour” on Friday, May 4, a fundraiser for educational school gardens, scholarships, and community projects. 

The 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. event features 10 fancy and fanciful private gardens along a three-quarter-mile walking route and includes a quarter-acre formal garden with ocean views.

Fun is in the air as this year’s tour takes place on the “Eve of Cinco de Mayo” and offers margaritas and Mexican fare, free refreshments, plein air painters in several gardens, and a raffle of prizes from local artists and businesses.

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Submitted photo

Charles Reimer’s quarter-acre classic French garden with ocean views on Mar Vista Avenue in South Laguna 

“This year’s Gate & Garden Tour is a celebration of the diverse gardens of South Laguna, which reflects the community’s past and present,” said Nancy Englund, tour chair. “We’ll showcase classic, contemporary, whimsical, and unusual gardens at 10 homes. The final stop is a gem: The South Laguna Community Garden Park with dozens of thriving garden beds,” she added.

Tour tickets are $45 in advance and available at and at Laguna Beach Books, Laguna Drug, Laguna Nursery, Tides Inn, and Dana Point Nursery. On May 4, $50 tickets will be available at the tour’s starting point: Arabella Laguna Historic Cottages, 506 N Coast Hwy, which is the location of the registration and reception areas. 

On May 4, from 11 a.m., buses will continuously shuttle attendees from Arabella Laguna to the first garden in South Laguna and back at the end of the walking route. The last tour bus leaves Arabella at 2 p.m. 

Volunteers will be on hand to assist tour goers. A rest stop, water, and restroom will be available along the route. Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, brimmed hats, sunglasses, and cameras are recommended.

For more tour and ticket information, visit or email Nancy Englund at NEnglund@

This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:


Celebrate and enjoy your



April 17

Frank Layton

Maddie Lund

Ora Sterling


April 18

Bart Broadnax

Carrie Conn Williams

Ed Postal

Greg Sharenow

Lucia D’Angelo

Tim Jones

Nancee Swensson


April 19

Julie Bernier Joffrion

Sandra Deana Pink


April 20

Bo Powell

Brian Seveland

Danielle Fendon

Olando Edie

Tristan Abel

Troy MacDonald

Wendy Goldberg Grand Pre


April 21

Bill Hoffman

Cindy Mastagni

Dottie Spisak

Ernest Hackmon

Karen Lindekugel

Lucas Rise

Miriam Eaton

Silvia Colladay

Sam Dowell


April 22 

Barbara Easley

Devylee Lloyd

Karen Rasmussen

Mary Ferguson

Mike Hilburn

Ryan Clark


April 23

Bolton Colburn

Lisa Lawn

Shannon Higuera


April 24

Ari Novick

Bara Waters

Christina Lomonaco

Don Suskind

Gina Waggener

Karl Weber

Marcia Yury

Susie Jaqua

Terri Johnson

Sound Spectrum



1.Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides Of The Sky

2. King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, Polygondwanaland

3. David Byrne, American Utopia

4. Ty Segall, Freedom’s Goblin

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5. Moby, Everything Was Beautiful & Nothing Hurt

6. Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense & Peppermint

7. MGMT, Little Dark Age 

8. Doors, Absolutely Live

9. Beck, Colors

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10. Killers, Wonderful Wonderful

11. St. Vincent, Masseducation


Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy


Downtown Specific Plan update will be discussed on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m. at City Hall

The City of Laguna Beach will continue its efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update on Wednesday, April 18 during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Ave).

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

City Hall

City staff will present draft amendments to the Downtown Specific Plan for discussion with the Planning Commission.  

The focus of the presentation and discussion will be on MIG’s recommended draft amendments to portions of Section V Land Use Districts of the existing Downtown Specific Plan document. 

Specifically, the focus of Section V review will cover topics such as: the intent and purpose of land use districts, permitted land uses/required entitlements, permit processes, findings and special findings for certain uses, allowable changes in permitted use category per City Council resolution, and definitions.  

Other topics pertaining to property development standards, special planning and/or design criteria will be reviewed and discussed at a subsequent Planning Commission meeting.  

A copy of the Section V draft amendments is available to review on the project webpage (link included below).

Additional meetings will occur in 2018 to review draft amendments to other sections of the plan.  

This meeting and future meetings play an essential role to obtain input from the community and direction from the Planning Commission, and to identify the City’s priorities for the future of the Downtown.

For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan Update please contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321 or visit

 Volume 10, Issue 31  |  April 17, 2018                                       

Proposed changes to school year calendar elicit passionate responses


Parents, teachers, and community members came out in droves and with passion to discuss the fate of the LBUSD school year calendar with administrators and board members last Thursday, April 12, at Laguna Beach High School’s Kay Turner Library.

The concerned crowd brought their emotions and ideas to the table, as they learned of the results found by a special calendar committee, and its recommendations that may go into effect at the start of the 2019-2020 student instructional year. Among the changes recommended by the committee are moving the calendar start date up a week and a half earlier, to August 21, and moving the end date up a week earlier to June 11. This would align LBUSD with other nearby districts that have made similar changes in recent years. (Click here for PDF with recommendations)

“I was surprised that the district quietly worked on this for months using a committee made up mostly of district employees and missing such key stakeholders as Festival and Sawdust reps; the Boys & Girls Club; local preschools; the Chamber of Commerce; SchoolPower; PTA; civic groups; youth organizations; those whose businesses, jobs, and traffic will be affected; and, most notably, the students themselves,” said former Laguna Beach PTA Council President and current Advocacy Chair, Kathleen Fay, who attended the meeting with her husband Tom.

“Our 3,000 kids and their families were not adequately represented, even though family engagement and transparency in governance are both important values in our community.”

School Board President Jan Vickers was helpful throughout the evening, wading through the pool of questions and cross talk. Vickers and her board constituents fielded the many questions that came at them, often simultaneously. 

“The purpose of the meeting was intended to gather initial public input surrounding the student instructional year and the committee’s recommendation, which we felt the meeting accomplished as a first step. The Board provided direction to staff to gather additional information and input,” Vickers said.

The idea of separating the crowd as instructed into five smaller groups was met with some opposition and commentary. But things seemed to settle down as the smaller pods exchanged thoughts and were able to ask questions and speak their minds.

“We want to capture any questions and comments” voiced a group leader. “We will present our collective thoughts out to the group.”

 Sasha Kvitsinski, one of the few students in attendance, was positive about the changes presented.

“I’m here because I’m part of the student newspaper, so I’m writing an article about this process,” said Kvitsinski  “The board, they were deciding to make this change based on what they thought was best for the students and not necessarily what is best for the community. That’s what a school is – it’s there to benefit the students, right?”

 “I am wondering why it’s a problem that most of them are stakeholders because the stakeholders are the ones that work directly with the students, and so, they know how students learn and how they react to certain things and feel in this situation,” Sasha said. “I know my teachers know better my learning style than my parents do. I feel like they know what’s best for the students.”

Mary Blanton, who has taught at El Morro Elementary for 29 years, said that she’s seen a lot of calendar/school day changes during her tenure.She expressed that the district is always looking at ways to improve its practice. “Our district wanted to ensure that our calendar was best for kids, so it formed a committee to look at it.” 

Although she knows the board has the best intentions in mind, she thought people came in feeling defensive. “I know I did. Many were caught off guard by the short notice,” Blanton said about an email sent out the week prior to the meeting, during Spring Break. “I wish the presentation had actual data and citations. I had hoped that there would be research showing why this is a good idea.”

“I think the steps are a good start. I hope they will change the committee make up to reflect all voices,” Blanton said. “The board said they would survey teachers, LBHS students, and parents. They will also go to the campuses to meet with the School Site Councils. That’s a start. I think it would be helpful for everyone to have a chance to submit their questions and concerns.”

Vickers explained, “The committee surfaced assumptions and questions, reviewed data related to those assumptions and questions, and established priorities based on the data reviewed, which was summarized in the attached presentation from the meeting. The committee’s priorities reflected themes of social-emotional wellness, student engagement, and increased opportunities for students.”

Liam, a student at TOW, wanted to express his concerns about the matter, although he wasn’t present.

 The school district superintendent is thinking about ending school early and starting school early next year. I think it’s a terrible idea. My family always goes to Six Flags Magic Mountain and there are never any lines when we go,” Liam said. 

He added, “Also, people might already have a vacation planned and students might have to miss the first week of school. Another reason it’s a bad idea is August is one of the hottest months of the year, and it can get up to 100 degrees, so I don’t want to be in school.”

There’s sure to be plenty more to come addressing this hot topic.

Pastor Rod Echols: Raised in Memphis, he loves Laguna and the Neighborhood Congregational Church


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Just when Pastor Rod Echols decided he was ready to become a full time pastor, Laguna’s Neighborhood Congregational Church reached out to him. “I was approached by this church right when I started my search,” recounts Pastor Rod. Not intimately familiar with Laguna Beach, Pastor Rod says it did check one of his non-negotiable boxes: it was in southern California. So he did some research. “I started looking into the community. It was so strong, so progressive...It was evolving onto everything I wanted to be as a pastor. I was honored to be hired.” 

Finding the right place to make a big change

Now, with almost a year of full-time ministry behind him, Pastor Rod is nothing if not enthusiastic about the future. “I feel, especially being so new in my role, like a kid in a candy store.” He has embraced the city’s quirks, and is delighted to be in a community that is so close-knit. “I’ve never served in a town like Laguna. It’s a town that values conservation, healthy living; it has strong connections and values. You can feel it here; it’s so strong. I really love that.”

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Pastor Rod Echols of the Neighborhood Congregational Church

Finding it easy to honor his mother’s wishes

Pastor Rod is a member of the United Church of Christ (UCC). The UCC is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination. It is known for being socially progressive with an emphasis on interfaith efforts. As for how he came to be a pastor, he says with a laugh, “I was toldI was going to be a pastor.” Raised in Memphis, Echols says his mother had plans for her son. Those plans included him being part of the church, albeit a different church than the one he represents now, and not just as member of the congregation. It didn’t take long for his mother’s wishes to take root. “I had the desire very early,” he recalls. 

Leaving Memphis for Brown University

Another one of his mother’s wishes was that he seize his opportunities. This meant leaving Memphis to attend Brown University in Rhode Island. Echols originally planned on becoming a doctor. However, once there he says his eyes were opened to a wider world-view. All of this newness profoundly affected him. “There were so many different people and beliefs. I found myself going back to where I started.” He became an informal, in-house pastor to his fellow classmates, and this planted the seed. 

Seeing religion through a new lens

What helped the seed flourish were some of Echols’ professors at Brown. “They blew my mind,” he remembers. “They exploded the categories. Christ, salvation, love, grace…they made them more inclusive, more colorful.” This inspired him to go to Boston University for graduate school where he received a Master of Divinity. “Without them, without their persistence – and it was very strong persistence – I would not be here now,” he says with a laugh.

Despite his faith and the calling to serve, Echols’ paying job was that of a professional fundraiser. He has worked for universities and non-profits, like the United Way. A job with the University of California San Diego brought him west. 

Seeking counsel to take a very big step

Then he had an epiphany, of sorts. “In 2010 I shared my heart with the pastor at Fairview Church in Costa Mesa,” he says. He had been a volunteer pastor there for many years. “I opened up to her and expressed my feelings and my story to her. I started as a conservative, fundamentalist, black preacher and had become an open, affirming man of faith.” And he wanted to preach. “I knew my calling was to make this step.”

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Inside the lovely Neighborhood Congregational Church at 340 St. Ann’s Drive

A love for something greater, kindness and social justice

He believes he is well-suited to make an impact as a church leader because of his focus on three things: one is a “proactive” commitment to loving and worshipping something greater than one’s self; the second is a focus on kindness; and the third is a fierce belief in social justice. “I feel strongly for people who don’t have the built-in advantages that other people have. People of color, the homeless, the LGBQT community…I want to help people searching for wholeness. These are the things that drew me into being a pastor as opposed to staying where I was.”

These tenets of his belief fuel his ambitions for the Neighborhood Congregational Church. “I want this church to be an indispensable part of the community. I want our kids to have a safe place for nurturing. Here, we are seeking wisdom together.”

The World Peace and Justice Weekend, June 9-10

To that end, the weekend of June 9 and 10, the church is hosting its first World Peace and Justice weekend. Pastor Rod describes the weekend as “an embodiment of seeking wisdom. It’s active. You are embodying peace in action.” There will be interfaith dialogue and meditation, a hands-on justice initiative and a concert benefitting world causes, as well as a presentation on compassionate parenting.

A deep gratitude for his parents

Pastor Rod speaks devotedly about his own parents. “My mom is so proud of me. Her strong faith is now my strong faith. Her passion for helping others is my passion, Her kind soul is what I’m trying to be for the church,” he says. He is equally grateful to his father. “He has been a real rock for me. He is my practical guide. He has been so tremendous.” Pastor Rod hopes to pass on their example to his own family someday, but first he needs to find the right woman. And it would be a plus if she loved IMAX movies and comic books, as he does, though it’s certainly not a requirement.

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Historic plaque welcomes congregants to the Neighborhood Congregational Church

Making the NCC a vibrant part of the community

In the meantime, Pastor Rod will put his considerable energy into growing the Neighborhood Congregational Church and making it a vibrant part of the community.

When I ask him to describe the United Church of Christ he says this, “An old pastor friend of mine used to tell this joke: UCC stands for Unitarians Considering Christ.’” Pastor Rod insists that it’s funny (my religious ignorance made glaringly obvious by the fact that he had to assure me of its humor). But he went on to explain that while we could debate the joke’s humor, it was a fairly accurate description of the UCC. 

“It’s not rigid or closed off. It speaks to the idea that Christ is a unifying force. Some call it Buddha, some call it a spirit, some call it light. We call it Christ.” 

This is what Pastor Rod believes. He also believes in the power of his church to be a unifying voice in these fractured times. “What we are seeking to do, our goal, is to orient ourselves as the sacred gathering space for seeking wisdom in Laguna Beach and the wider community,” he explains. An ambitious goal, to be sure, but one to which Pastor Rod is committed.

Council to consider Arts Commission recommendations for Village Entrance


The Arts Commission has been working since January to come up with recommendations for public art, other than artist-designed benches, to enhance the Village Entrance.

An Arts Commission recommendation to be considered by the City Council tonight is a proposal to develop a bandstand style or pavilion that would become an “outdoor plaza venue” (noted in bold face type in the report), where people would gather.

“We have heard a request from the public for a gathering space,” said Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl. 

Commissioners also recommended that the space should be designed in relation, and complementary to existing facilities, as opposed to a “Culture Palace” that seeks to fill all space needs.

The commission’s preferred option would provide a multi-use and flexible facility for performances and exhibitions, classrooms, studio space and the capacity for digital programming, according to Poeschl’s report.   

Also in bold face in the commission’s recommendations: “One potential is that the facility ‘points to’ and coordinates art activities in other venues and places occurring throughout the City.”   

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Submitted graphic

Location of possible public art, potentially south and north of the vehicular bridge in the Village Entrance plan

The commission is asking the council to invite artists Art Fornes, Arnie Quinze and Janet Echelman to submit proposals for an installation at the trail-crossing area south of the vehicular bridge in the Village Entrance plan. The bridge is located roughly in the middle of the frontage that stretches along Forest Avenue, Broadway and Canyon Road.  

Proposals for the north side of the bridge would be considered as long as the artist understands that the artwork could not obstruct the functions of the water quality treatment basin.

Regardless of location, the commission is recommending that proposals should include electrical outlets and infrastructure for future performances and events.

Public art is a requirement in the development of commercial property, including City projects. 

Developers have the choice of purchasing art or contributing to the City’s Art in Lieu Fund. 

If purchasing art, one percent of a project’s total value must be used for original work that is site-specific and approved by the council. The alternative is a 1.25 percent contribution to the City’s Art-in-lieu Fund, to be used to acquire art works designated by the City.  

The Art in Public Places allocation for the Village Entrance is $80,000. The commission is recommending an additional $100,000 be appropriated from the in-lieu fund, which has a current balance of $190,400.

Pietig to update council on Toni Iseman’s traffic safety ideas, submitted while she was mayor


City Manager John Pietig will update the City Council tonight on some ideas for traffic improvements submitted by Toni Iseman during her mayoral term in 2017.

Pietig will be responding to the council direction at the August 8, 2017 meeting to report on four items on Iseman’s agenda: 

--Reduce traffic congestion caused by delivery trucks by increased enforcement and limiting hours of delivery

--Graduated fines to match violations 

--Residential construction-related issues, including expansion of construction staging plans, implementing haul routes, required brake inspection documentation and impacts of excess excavation  

--Consider no left turns off of Coast Highway without a designated turn pocket

Recommendations still being researched

Pietig’s update will include enforcement of laws related to delivery trucks blocking traffic and looking for more suitable parking off of the highway.

As for graduated fines, an increase of $20 from $43 to $63 across-the-board for certain safety violations such as blocking emergency vehicles was approved by the council at the April 10 meeting, which Iseman was unable to attend due to illness. 

Graduated fines and time restrictions for deliveries are among the items Pietig is still researching.

“Delivery times are dictated at the warehouse,” said Mayor Kelly Boyd, former owner of the Marine Room on Ocean Avenue. “The businesses have little control over the schedules.”

Also still to be researched: A restriction on left-hand turns off of the highway and construction-related issues such as excess excavation and how it will be hauled away, along with Iseman’s suggestion to require truck drivers to produce a certified brake inspection document upon request.

Dennis’ Tidbits


April 17, 2018

Did you know? Some tales of twisters and twenty-foot-plus waves 

Did you know? That a tornado has been recorded in all 50 states? Even Alaska and Hawaii have gotten in on the action. Did you know? The first recorded tornado occurred in of all places, Mexico, way back in the 17th Century. In Spanish it was called huracan piquito, which meant little hurricane. Did you know? The most tornadoes per square mile in the world actually occur in Great Britain, not the U.S.

In late 1957 the unthinkable happened. The first documented 20 foot wave was ridden at Waimea Bay on the North Shore of Oahu by just a handful of brave surfers including Jose Angel, Peter Cole, Max Lim, Mainlanders Fred Van Dyke, Dick Brewer, and Greg Noll. Today, just a little more than 60 years later, 20 foot seems a bit puny to some of today’s giant wave chargers.

Fast forward about one year later to December 3, 1958, a day when Waimea was as good as it gets when a powerful NW swell (perfect direction for the Bay) with gentle ENE trades and 25-30 foot bombs pouring through with the same cast with the addition of Mickey Munoz and Ricky Grigg from the mainland. The bar was already being raised.

Keep in mind, these giant waves were being ridden on mostly boards made for California waves, which was a universe away as far as size and power were concerned. The boards were ten to eleven feet long and weighed up to 50 lbs and were cumbersome to say the least! There were some heavy wipeouts even on the takeoffs.

Remember, it was 1958 and it was all about paddling into these monsters as tow-ins wouldn’t be part of the vocabulary for at least another 35 years or so.

The next 20 foot plus wave on the map arrived at Makaha on Oahu’s West shore during the ninth annual Makaha Surf Contest in 1962. Makaha and Laguna’s Brooks Street annual Surf Classic had the distinction of being the oldest surf contests in the world having begun in 1954. To this day both events are still going strong when the surf cooperates.

In 1963, Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz joined the 20 foot club. In January of 1953, Rincon was ridden at 20 foot, the biggest day Rincon has seen. That day was the first time a 20 footer was ridden here on the mainland. Santa Barbara surfer and longtime board shaper Reynolds Yater and La Jolla Surfer Bob Simmons, who operated with pretty much one arm, and a few others were there that giant day. There were to be quite a host of other California spots years later that had giant waves that were off the charts which I’ll expound on later.

The bar was really raised on December 4, 1969, when the biggest winter swell even to this day slammed into Hawaii’s West and North Shores. The North Shore was out of the question as sets that were twice or more bigger than anyone had ever seen with Waimea too dangerous as 60 foot behemoths bombed through closing out the entire Bay and were breaking up to 200-250 yards further out than the normal take off zone. Makaha on the West side was a ridiculous 35-40 feet way out past the Point. 

Only one person even attempted it and that was Greg Noll who actually paddled into one of those giants and made the takeoff before the entire spot closed out in a thunderous roar. There were no photographers at Makaha that day. Only a handful of onlookers were on the beach to witness the monumental event. There was one Hawaiian artist who depicted that ride and he drew it in pen and pencil and that was it! 35-40 foot was beyond anyone’s imagination before that eventful day but the bar would be raised much higher in the decades to come. Just ask Laird! More on that next time…


Wowzers what a wave!

Photo by Scott Brashier

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Flung foam from bodacious breaker


Breakers dominate Calvary Chapel, 10-0, sweep season series to stay undefeated in league

Laguna Beach High School hitters and pitchers made a statement Thursday at Calvary Chapel that they are the team to beat in the Orange Coast League. Three pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout, and the Breakers pounded out 13 hits to defeat the Calvary Chapel Eagles, 10-0, sweep the season series 3-0, and stay undefeated in league at 7-0.

Eric Silva, 4-5 with two doubles and two RBIs, and Grady Morgan, 3-4 with a home run and two RBIs, led the way for Laguna Beach. The defense, which has struggled recently, was outstanding on the day with great plays made by multiple Breakers. Jack Loechner, Jared Angus, Sawyer Chesley, Aidan Booth, Morgan and Silva all made highlight reel plays for the visiting Breakers.

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Photo by Sheri Morgan

Grady Morgan 

Blake Burzell started on the mound for Laguna and shut out the Eagles for five innings, striking out four. Wesley Witteman and Justin Holm each pitched one inning of scoreless relief to complete the shutout.

Chesley added a hit and two RBIs, Angus had two hits, and Silva added to his monster day with a straight steal of home.

Laguna has two games next week vs Saddleback – home on Tuesday, April 17, and away on Friday, April 20. Both games are slated to start at 3:15 p.m.

Laguna Beach Boys Varsity Tennis serves up a win against Costa Mesa

Photos by Candice Dartez

Mason Libby

Sam Reynolds

Blake Hawkins

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Laguna Beach Boys Varsity Tennis won their match this week 15-2. Mason Lebby, Mohammed Berri, Andrew Johnson, Diego Tellez, Sam Reynolds and Casey Boehm all won their singles matches. Doubles winners were Blake Hawkins and Matt Berk in an exciting tie-breaker. 

Kyle Herkins and Francis Pillsbury won their doubles matches. Taylor Tran and Mathew Duong as well as Andrew Duong and Matt Berk won theirs.

Boys Lacrosse is home game against Crean Lutheran this Thursday; three home games next week

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Submitted photo

LBHS Boys Lacrosse team

The LBHS Boys Lacrosse team has a home game this Thursday, April 19 against Crean Lutheran at 5 p.m. The team will follow with three home games next week, including Monday, April 23 at 5 p.m. against Beckman; Wednesday, April 25 at 5 p.m. against San Juan Hills; and Thursday, April 26 at 4:30 p.m. against Sage Hill.  

Spectators and supporters are welcome!

Downtown Specific Plan Update – Review Portions of Section V: Land Use Districts

The City of Laguna Beach will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan (DSP) Update on Wednesday, April 18, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall. 

The Planning Commission will review and discuss MIG’s recommended draft amendments to Section V: Land Use Districts of the existing DSP document. Topics covered include: the intent and purpose of land use districts, permitted land uses/required entitlements, permit processes, findings and special findings for certain uses, allowable changes in permitted use category per City Council resolution, and definitions.  

A copy of the draft amendments are available to view on the City’s website at

For more information onthe Downtown Specific Plan Update project, please contact Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321 orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Laguna Print Ad

Treasure Island setting for LOCA Arts Education Watercolor on the Beach class on Sunday, April 22

 LOCA Arts Education presents a watercolor painting class at Treasure Island Beach. Adults, families, and beginners are invited. The alfresco activity will take place on Sunday, April 22 from 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Treasure Island is located just north of Aliso Creek Beach. It is best accessed by the ramp at the southwest corner of the Montage Resort. 

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Class members paint at Treasure Island Beach next to tide pools

 Participants will enjoy a viewing of live tide pool creatures and learn about ocean preservation by a trained docent. Following that, September McGee will lead a fun, step-by-step watercolor class. McGee is an award winning American impressionist. Her soulful works are loaded with rich textures, vibrant colors, and her unique portrayal of the human spirit. 

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Photo by Mike Tauber

September McGee

The cost is $35 for adults and children ages five and up. Each participant will take home finished ocean-themed art, a journal, watercolor kit, gel pen, pencils and reusable canvas tote. Refreshments are provided. 

Advance registration is required. For more information or to register, call (949) 363-4700 or visit

LBL Annual Poetry contest, renamed “John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest”, deadline is on April 30

 April is National Poetry Month and Laguna Beach Library will be accepting submissions for its 20th annual Community Poetry Contest all month long. This year’s theme is “Seascape Sonnets.”

 To honor the memory of late local poet and former contest Master of Ceremonies, John Gardiner, the contest will heretofore be renamed the, “John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest.” Friends of Laguna Beach Library are donating a paving stone in his honor to be installed in the library’s butterfly garden.

John Gardiner leaves behind a rich legacy. He was a dramatist, teacher, activist, and author of twelve collections of poetry. John was a performer, and a perfectionist and a lover of Shakespeare. He died on the morning of Tuesday, October 24, 2017, of a heart attack while driving on Laguna Canyon Rd.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

John Gardiner reading from his book Coyote Blues

In addition to performing at local poetry readings, slams and workshops in Laguna Beach for the past two decades, John regularly toured in a music-infused Shakespearian show called “Shakespeare’s Fool.” He teamed up with Jason Feddy. Together they mixed rock ’n roll music along with reggae and acoustic based tunes, performing ten songs and ten speeches from the Shakespeare canon.

How to enter John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest

Throughout the month of April, entrants may submit up to three original poems.

        Poets of all ages are invited to enter. All poems must be submitted by the end of April 30. All poems must include: Name, Contact information (phone or email), and Grade level (or Adult). Original poems cannot be returned.

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2017 Poetry Contest Winners 

Entrants either physically deliver poems to Laguna Beach Library (363 Glenneyre St) or email entry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (include name, contact information, and grade level/or adult).

 The top three winners in each category will be awarded gift certificates for Laguna Books, courtesy of Friends of Laguna Beach Library. Winning poets are also invited to read their winning poems to the public at the annual Recognition of Winning Poets to be held at the Library on Saturday, June 2.

 Winning Poems will be published in the 20th Annual Poetry Booklet.

Those interested in submitting cover art for this year’s booklet, contact the library.

New display of HIP District artefacts is now on show at the Murphy Smith Bungalow on Ocean

The HIP District, otherwise known as Historic and Interesting Places, stretches down South Coast Highway from Thalia Street to Bluebird Canyon, with beautiful beaches at the end of every street. The Murphy Smith Bungalow is currently offering a display of related items.

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Scattered throughout the District are some of Laguna’s earliest buildings including the Hotel La Casa del Camino, The Old Pottery Place (Pottery Shack), and The English Garden.

The Murphy Smith Bungalow at 278 Ocean Ave is the home of the Laguna Beach Historical Society. The store is open are available on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m.  All visits are free to the public. 

For more information or to donate, visit

Laguna Beach Live! presents special concert on April 25 to support its youth program Live! Music & Kids

Laguna Beach Live! will present a special concert on April 25 to support its youth program Live! Music & Kids. The Benefit Concert 2018 will take place in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd, from 6 - 8 p.m.

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Submitted photo

ARGUS at El Morro

Singer Leslie Lewis and pianist Gerard Hagen have been making beautiful music together in Paris and throughout Europe ever since moving from Los Angeles in 2012.

Leslie Lewis, a native of East Orange, New Jersey, has toured as a featured jazz vocalist with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, as well as touring with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Musique Sur La Mer Chamber Orchestra in London, the High Definition Big Band at Le Palais des Congrès in Paris, as well as performances with Jazz Tap Ensemble in New York and Los Angeles. 

Gerard worked with local rock and pop groups and played solo piano at restaurants, developing a forward looking straight-ahead jazz style inspired by some of jazz’s past masters, yet quite individual and personal. 

Joining Leslie on stage is Laguna Beach Live’s very own Bijon Watson on trumpet. Bijon has innumerable credits and is an integral part of our organization.

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Submitted photo

Leslie Lewis, singer

In addition, MacGillivray-Freeman films has joined the cause. Film clips of the new America’s Musical Journey will entertain concertgoers. One lucky guest will win a private screening of one of their films, with a Q&A with filmmakers and a tour of their offices in Laguna.  

An extra treat for VIP ticket buyers will be a personal copy of America’s Musical Journey Coffee Table book – 80 pages of stunning photos from iconic musical cities, behind the scenes filming stories and a historical look at the birth of American music plus a signed CD and meet and greet with the artists.

Organizers emphasize that this is an extra special performance and community event.

Doors for the 6 p.m. concert open at 5 p.m., with food and drinks available for purchase as of that time. Tickets are $40 general and $100 VIP, which includes VIP seating. Reservations are accepted until noon on day of concert or until sold out. 

For more information visit or call (949) 715-9713.

LBHS Boosters will rock the night away

The Black Tongued Bells and James Clay Garrison & the Giant Peach will perform a benefit concert on Friday, April 27 from 7 p.m. to midnight as part of the Blue Water Music Festival. The concert will benefit the LBHS Tennis and Booster programs.

The Black Tongued Bells

The event will be held at The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach.

Only 200 tickets are available and they’re expected to sell out fast. Call Rick Conkey at (949) 573-8624 with questions or to purchase tickets.

The Woman’s Club is located at 286 St. Ann’s Drive.

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Time to visit the Laguna Craft Guild Show this Sunday from 9 a.m. to sundown

On Sunday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to sundown, a small group of local Laguna Beach artists will sell handmade goods on the Main Beach cobblestones. 

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Submitted photo

Fun on Sunday at the Craft Guild Show

“You will find many of us at the Sawdust Art Festival. Our show is very special and what better way to spend a Sunday strolling along the boardwalk with friends, family, and pets while gazing at the ocean,” organizers note. “There are always many treasures to be found at our show, you really never know what you’ll find - It’s kind of like looking for that perfect seashell along the shore line.”

Visit for more information.

Beer and Hymns brings music to Laguna Beach United Methodist Church to celebrate Earth Day, April 22

In celebration of Earth Day, Chad Markley and Kristen Howerton, from Beer and Hymns OC, will bring toe-tapping hymns to Laguna Beach United Methodist Church at its Sunday, April 22, 10 a.m. service.  

Markley and Howerton helm the group that conducts singalongs on Sunday nights in Costa Mesa. They will lead the congregation in singing during worship. And, although they will be offering hymns without beer, they also will perform during a BBQ following the service.

Chad Markley and Kristen Howerton

In addition, the children of the church will recognize Earth Day, as they will be led on a short nature walk during Sunday School time by local ecologist Jen Kucera Rothman, the director of Children and Youth Ministries at LBUMC.

Everyone is welcome to attend the service and the BBQ. Laguna Beach United Methodist Church is located at 21632 Wesley Dr, up the street from the Gelson’s shopping center.  

For additional information, go to or contact Pastor Lynn Francis at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Donna Feeney atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. '; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text2565); document.write('<\/a>'); //-->\n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

BB King is looking for a harmonious new home; right now is feeling the blues

BB King, our Pet of the Week, is a black neutered male terrier mix, 10 months old. He loves other dogs and people, so any home is fitting for him. 

Also, BB King is very playful and has lots of energy. Currently, he is in need of a new owner, and is hoping someone will come visit him and bring him in. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see him adopted as soon as possible. 

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BB King is looking for a home fit for a king 

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 fifty 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:

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Realism Without Borders, spring collection 2018 – an  international art exhibition – opens on May 5

After its New York debut, opening May 5 in Laguna Beach, Vanessa Rothe Fine Art presents “Realism Without Borders Spring Collection,” where Realism and Impressionism combine to create fresh new works for fine art collections. Top international artists’ works from all over the globe, from Russia to France, Norway to America, will be on display.

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Submitted Photo

“Soothe” By Olga Krimon 

From beautiful spring florals as still life and landscape, to refined tonalist figures, to well-lit interiors and bold brush portraits, all are represented in this show. Lovely academic works, bold Russian Impressionist works, thickly painted figures with impasto, and a new series of hybrid works that melds fine technically skilled realism and classical style and adds abstraction to the edges of finely painted realist figures – they will be on display.

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Submitted Photo

“Study” By Jesse Powell Lupine

Exhibiting artists include: Gregory Ananiev (Ukranian), Mia Bergeron (French Canadian), Cornelia Hernes (Norwegian) Olga Krimon (Russian), J. Louis (German/American) Nicolas Martin (French), Jesse Powell (American), Vanessa Rothe (French/American) Matt Talbert (American), Daniil Volkov (Russian), and Aaron Westerberg (American). 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

“Haute Couture” By Vanessa Rothe

For more information on this upcoming event, visit or call (949) 280-1555. Vanessa Rothe Fine Art is located at 418 Ocean Ave.

Chabad Jewish Center offers course that explores six of life’s most intriguing questions; begins May 2

Beginning on Wednesday, May 2 at 7 p.m., Chabad Jewish Center will be offering What Is? Rethinking Everything We Know about Our Universe, a fascinating new six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute (JLI).

What Is? explores six of the most intriguing questions that have ever challenged mankind: Is the world real? Is time travel possible? Why does evil exist? Who is God? What is consciousness? Are we bound by fate?

“I find that many people are looking to deepen their experience of life,” said Rabbi Gorevitch. “This JLI course invites participants to live more deeply, by deepening their thinking, insight, and awareness of the fundamentals of life and of our universe.”

Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

For more information or for interested students, call (949) 499 0770 or visit for registration. Chabad is located at 30804 S Coast Hwy.

Police Beat Primer

Compiled by Cameron Gillespie

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police and arrest logs published on the City of Laguna Beach's website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). Additional information is obtained through communication with the Laguna Beach Police Department's Public Information Officer.

Information in the logs is deemed reliable and Stu News Laguna is not responsible for any mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Police Beat 041719

Incident Reports

Sunday, April 15

El Toro Road & Laguna Canyon Road | DUI

1 a.m. Marcus Deshane Shelby, 48, Irvine, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $10,000.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Sexual Battery

1:38 a.m. An incident of sexual battery was reported.

N. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Battery

12:18 a.m. An incident of battery was reported.

Cress Street & S. Coast Hwy | Warrant

11:40 p.m. Melaina Kaitlyn Espinosa, 25, Irvine, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail was set at $1,500.

Saturday, April 14

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | Assault, Warrant

11:15 p.m. According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, officers were dispatched to Skyloft in reference to a battery investigation. The female suspect was identified as Jihane Guettar, 36, of Quebec, Canada. She reportedly struck a male customer inside the bar area, and then, as she was being escorted out by security staff, struck one of the Skyloft employees in the face. The male customer was not desirous of prosecution, however the Skyloft employee was. Guettar was taken into custody for battery. Her bail was set at $500. A record check of the customer, Josphat Kungu Kinyanjui, 26, Covina, revealed that he had an outstanding warrant so he was taken into custody also. His bail was set at $60,000. 

Legion Street & S. Coast Hwy | Warrant

10:07 p.m. Daniel Robert Stern, 22, Corona, was arrested on a misdemeanor warrant. Bail was set at $35,000.

Ocean | 200 Block | Possession of Controlled Substance, Paraphernalia

6:25 p.m. Danny Martin Loros, 61, Cherry Valley, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and controlled substance paraphernalia. Bail amount was not available.

Friday, April 13

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | False ID, Defrauding an Innkeeper

5:25 p.m. Marcus Ray McClinton, 40, Santa Ana, was arrested for providing false identification, and for defrauding an innkeeper ($400 or less). Bail amount was not available.

Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Probation, Possession of Burglary Tools, False ID, Possession of Controlled Substance Paraphernalia, Transporting/Selling a Narcotic/Controlled Substance

9:42 a.m. Daniel Eric French, 32, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for violation of probation, possession of burglary tools, providing false ID, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled susbstance with the intent to sell. No bail was set.

Thursday, April 12

Virginia Way | 31700 Block | Possession of Controlled Substance, Paraphernalia, Possession of Access Card w/Intent to Sell or Use, Mail Theft

8:52 a.m. Savannah Rose Mendes, 22, Pacifico, was arrested for possession of an access card with intent to sell or use it, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, and possessing identifying info to defraud. Bail amount was not available.

Haley Ruml, 22, Huntington Beach, was arrested for possession of an access card with intent to either sell use it, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, making/passing a ficticious check, and possessing identifying info to defraud. Bail amount was not available.

Joseph Sedeno, 29, Orange, was arrested for providing false ID to a peace officer, and for violating a court order to prevent domestic violence. Bail amount was not available.

Annastacia Angel Stevens, 27, Mission Viejo, was arrested for possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, a felony charge for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possession of personal identifying information with the intent to defraud, and possession of burglary tools. Bail amount was not available.

Cory James Weil, 25, Garden Grove, was arrested for acquiring an access card without consent with the intent to sell, mail theft, possession of personal identifying information with the intent to defraud, and possession of controlled substance paraphernalia.

Sunset Terrace | 100 Block | Fraud

6:52 p.m. An incident of fraud was reported.

Library Events



Month of April (ongoing)

20th Annual Community Poetry Contest, in memory of John Gardiner

During the month of April, which is National Poetry Month, Laguna Beach Library presents its 20th Annual Poetry Contest, this year dedicated to the memory of John Gardiner, Laguna Beach’s legendary poet. Last year, he served as Master of Ceremonies at the winners’ reception, where he hosted a public reading of winning poems from the community poetry contest.

The theme is “Seascape Sonnets,” and entries will be accepted from April 1 - 30. This event is for all ages, and there will be winners in all categories. Winning poets will be notified by late May. Original poems cannot be returned. Courtesy of Friends of Laguna Beach Library, prizes of $25 - $100 gift certificates will be awarded.


Tues, April 17

Crazy 8’s Math Club

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Crazy 8’s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids enjoy the math behind their favorite activities! This is an 8-week program for K-2nd grade. The club will meet once a week for one hour. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. 


Wed, April 18

Pre-School Playtime

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Calling all pre-schoolers and toddlers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.


Thurs, April 19

Family Storytime

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, & preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & music, fingerplays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week has a different theme. Get to know others and support your little one’s developmental skills. No preregistration required. 


Thurs, April 19

Author Talk with Thomas Osborne

5:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Tom Osborne, longtime Laguna Beach resident and retired history professor at Santa Ana College, will speak on his new book, Coastal Sage: Peter Douglas and the Fight to Save California’s Shore. Published by the University of California Press, it chronicles the career of Peter Douglas, the longest-serving executive director of the California Coastal Commission. For nearly three decades, Douglas fought to keep the California coast public, prevent overdevelopment, and safeguard habitats. In doing so, Douglas emerged as a leading figure in the contemporary American environmental movement and influenced public conservation efforts across the country.


Laguna Beach Library

363 Glenneyre St.


  Laguna Beach Books

Bi-weekly Bestsellers



Tangerine by Christine Mangan

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer 

Varina by Charles Frazier



Make Trouble by Cecile Richards

Russian Roulette by Michael Isikoff & David Corn

Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker


Children’s Books

The Coral Kingdom by Laura Knowles

Sometimes You Fly by Katherine Applegate

Alabama Spitfire by Bethany Hegedus 


Staff Recommendation

Lonely Planet Atlas of Adventure


1200 S Coast Hwy


Grammy Award winner Melissa Manchester will speak at LBAA’s 12th Annual Art Star Awards

In true Academy-Award style, the best and brightest of Laguna’s diverse artistic community will be out for the 12th Annual Art Stars, to be held on April 29 at 6 p.m. at [seven-degrees].

Awards in seven categories will be presented to organizations, businesses and individuals who shaped and contributed to the community’s arts and culture in Laguna Beach this last year. 

The honored guest speaker will be Grammy award winning singer, Melissa Manchester.

Click on photo for a larger image

Melissa Manchester

The event includes a red carpet reception with champagne and hors d’oeuvres, dinner and award ceremony. 

The 12th Annual Art Stars will take place at [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Visit for more information.

April 26 and 29 one-of-a-kind art jewelry and clothing sale by Carole Zavala

Carole Zavala of CZ Jewelry Designs and Kim Maxwell of Faye Maxwell have a California Boutique special showing and sale on April 26 and 29 at Carole’s home.

“I hope that you can join us for this clothing and jewelry show at my beautiful apartment here in Laguna Beach. I’m moving in mid-May to Laguna Woods, so this will be my last Laguna party and a chance to enjoy this great space,” says Zavala.

Laguna Beach artist Carole Zavala

There will be brand new designs and merchandise, including the “Ocean Breezes” line of clothing and accessories, and Laguna Beach artist handmade jewelry. These will be original designs – not found in stores.

The event is from 4 – 7 p.m. on April 26, and from 1 – 4 p.m. on April 29, located at 330 Cliff Drive, Apt. 303.

There will be champagne, wine and treats. Credit cards are welcome.

For information and to RSVP, call (949) 683-0433 or email

LBHS Schedules



Tuesday, April 17

Boys Tennis

@ Godinez (McFadden MS)

3:15 p.m.


Boys Golf

@ Fountain Valley (Mile Square GC)

3:30 p.m.


Boys Baseball

 Home vs. Saddleback

3:30 p.m.


Boys Volleyball

@ Calvary Chapel

5:30 p.m.


Girls Softball

Home vs. Costa Mesa (Thurston)

4:30 p.m.


Girls Lacrosse

Home vs. El Modena – 4:30 p.m.



Wednesday, April 18

 Girls Softball

@ La Quinta Aztec Tournament 

3 p.m. 


Coed Swim

@ Godinez (Santa Valley HS)

3 p.m.


Boys Golf

Home vs. Fountain Valley

Ben Brown’s

4 p.m.



Thursday, April 19

Boys Tennis

 Home vs. Saddleback

3:15 p.m.


Girls Sand Volleyball

 Home vs. El Toro (Location TBA)

3:30 p.m.


Boys Volleyball

@ Godinez – 5 p.m.



Friday, April 20

 Boys Tennis

@ San Juan Hills (Dana Hills TC)

3 p.m.


Girls Swim

@ Foothill (Prelims)

3 p.m.


Girls Softball

@ Saddleback – 3:15 p.m.


Boys Baseball

@ Saddleback – 3:30 p.m.


Coed Track

@ Mt. SAC – TBA


Girls Lacrosse

@ El Dorado – 4:30 p.m.



Saturday, April 21

Coed Track 

@ Mt. SAC – TBA


Coed Swim

@ Foothill (Finals)

10 a.m.



Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Account & Instagram Manager.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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