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2018 Election: Campaign donations, expenditures reported by candidates


Candidates for public office are required to report donations which total $1,000 or more and expenditures by specific dates in the election calendar.

The most recent reports were due by September 22. The next ones are due October 25. 

Incumbent Toni Iseman raised the most money as of September 22, $43,222. She also raised $2,706 in non-monetary contributions to a fundraiser. 

More than 200 donors contributed to Iseman’s war chest to fund her sixth run for the City Council. If she wins, she will break the record she set in 2014 when she was elected for her fifth consecutive term. 

Donors included Councilman Bob Whalen, California Assembly candidate Cottie Petrie-Norris, Women in Leadership, environment advocates Derek and Natalie Ostensen, Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers and the Orange County League of Conservation Voters.

Iseman spent or owed a total of $23,275, as of the filing date.

Former Mayor and Certified Public Accountant Cheryl Kinsman wasn’t far behind Iseman in reported cash at hand. However, $41,355 of the $41,822 came out of her own pocket. 

Non-monetary contributions included an $85 ticket to the Pageant of the Masters and $132 for campaign hats purchased by her sister, UC Davis Professor Becky Westerdahl. 

Landscape architect and former mayor Ann Christoph came in third in the Donor Sweepstakes with contributions of $35,841 raised between July 1 and September 22. She spent $18,463.69 in the period. She received more than 125 donations. Among the donors: former City Clerk and Mayor Verna Rollinger, former Mayor Neil Fitzpatrick and Bonnie and Arnold Hano.

Planning Commissioner and retired businesswoman Sue Kempf raised $30,529 and spent $9,467, as of August 31. Joe and Jane Hanuaer, Barbara MacGillivray, Mark and Dora Orgill, and Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers were among the donors.

Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede, whose candidacy was cut short by a family crisis, raised $27,402 during his truncated campaign. 

Zur Schmiede spent $9,920.90 on campaign advertising and for his kick-off party.

No decision on the distribution of the remaining donations has been made at this time, according to Zur Schiede’s campaign treasurer Matt Lawson.

Art Gallery owner Peter Blake received donations totaling $15,386, as of September 22. He paid out $6,605.79 in office expenses, legal services, advertising, and campaign expenses. Donors included Samuel and Pamela Goldstein, Law Offices of Jennifer Zeiter, College of Art & Design President Jonathan Burke, Mozambique owner Ivan Spiers and artist Roark Gourley, whom long-time residents may remember for his “Fork You” exhibit in the hillside opposite the Festival of Arts.

The Friends of Judie Mancuso Election Committee, a candidate controlled committee, posted contributions of $12,749 and expenditures of $8,542. Donors included the Orange County League of Conservation Voters, Loreen Gilbert and veterinarians. Mancuso is a CEO of three nonprofits.

Lorene Laguna, who has the same campaign treasurer as Blake, reported contributions of $1,990, payments of $113.72, unpaid bills of $1,851.72 and a cash balance of $1,876.60.

Candidates Allison Mathews, Sue Ann Connolly and Paul Merritt did not file a Recipient Committee Campaign Statement, casually known as a 460.   

2018 Election: Campaign Committees report contributions, expenditures


Committees that take part in an election, but are not controlled by a candidate, must file forms detailing contributions and expenditures on specified dates.

The most recent filing was due September 22. The next one is due October 25.

Liberate Laguna, a sponsored General Purpose Committee, reported contributions of $72,403 – $42,403 in cash and $30,000 in non-monetary contributions – as of September 22. 

A sponsored committee is one that is sponsored by an entity, rather than an individual.

No other committee came close in raising funds or in spending.

As of the September 22 filing date, Michael Ray, Principal of Sanderson J Ray Development, had contributed $12,000; Samuel Goldstein, Radford Ventures, LLC, had contributed $10,000. Other contributors included Cindy Shopoff, Principal of Shopoff Realty Investments ($8,500); Leslie Ray ($5,000); real estate broker Russell Fluter ($3,000); and energy consultant Douglas Cortez ($1,000).

Shopoff Enterprises in Irvine also donated services valued at $30,000. 

Liberate Laguna spent $65,092.07, which included $19,425 with Mollrich Communcations, Inc. Also reported was an $880 advertising split between candidates Peter Blake and Sue Kempf.

Yes on P, also known as “Committee to Underground and Keep Laguna Fire Safe”, primarily formed in support of the ballot measure to raise sales tax from 7.75 to 8.75 percent, is formally supported by Mayor Kelly Boyd, Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede and Councilman Bob Whalen. 

Cash donations totaling $37,000 were received by September 22. Expenditures subtracted $9,448.27 from the war chest. Major donors included James Cailloutte, M.D. ($5,000), Bob Whalen for Council ($4,000), Combined Investments LLC ($3,000), Barbara MacGillivray ($3,000), Patricia O’Brien ($2,500), Keith Swayne ($2,000) and Mark Orgill ($2,000).

Village Laguna Inc. raised $5,000, $4,100 of it from Village Laguna and listed no expenses.

Stop Taxing Our Property raised $4,223.66 and spent $2,050.50 for mailers and signs to oppose Measure P.

The Laguna Beach Police Employees’ Association (LBPEA) PAC and Animal PAC did not file before September 22, and will be included in our next report. 

A press release issued on October 16 by LBPEA announced the 85-member association is supporting Toni Iseman, Kempf and Cheryl Kinsman.

Whalen, Zeiter debate at Conservancy dinner


Councilman Bob Whalen and STOP founder Jennifer Zeiter reprised their Measure P debate at the Susi Q for the folks attending Monday’s Laguna Canyon Conservancy dinner meeting.

Whalen is the architect of the ballot measure that would raise the City’s sales tax from 7.75 to 8.75 percent to fund undergrounding utility poles and wires along roadways that serve as evacuation routes to get folks safely out of town and allow first responders to get into the City during a disaster. 

“Those power lines are the biggest threat to our safety,” said Whalen. 

Zeiter founded Stop Taxing Our Property to oppose Measure P. She has accused the City Council of bamboozling the voters about the need for undergrounding to protect the City from fire.

“The City is engaged in a ‘fear and fire’ campaign, intended to appeal to our emotions, suggesting we will be trapped or doomed if we do not raise our taxes [tax], place our city in debt and spend millions of dollars to underground utility poles,” rapped out Zeiter. 

She doesn’t give much credence to the Visit Laguna Beach poll that estimated visitors paid 67 percent of the sales tax in 2016 and believes the burden will be borne by the taxpayers.

Zeiter has repeatedly declared that the taxpayers will end up paying for a 25-year, multi-million dollar bond, rather than a sales tax to fund undergrounding utilities and implementation of other fire safety measures. 

“Measure P is a ‘backdoor’ to float a $135 million bond,” she said.

The ballot measure requires a two-thirds majority to pass. As a special tax, all new proceeds must be placed and accounted for in a separate fund dedicated for overhead utility undergrounding and a related and complementary fire safety project only. The approved projects include a preliminary list of potential undergrounding along Laguna Canyon Road, payment for or construction of private property utility connections to underground facilities and issuance of a bond, debt service and reserve fund costs for approved projects. 

 “Other neighborhoods have had to pay thousands to underground wires,” Zeiter said Monday. “You [diners] will be paying for this.”

Whalen Zeiter poles

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Measure P debated at Laguna Canyon Conservancy Meeting

“Free and freebies are a powerful combination,” Zeiter said. 

Zeiter espouses new measures proposed by Edison to reduce the risk of wildfires.

Edison’s proposed $582 million package of wildfire protection projects includes “hardening” the system by insulating wires, covering conductors, fast-acting fuses and tree trimming.

Zeiter also objects to a statement on a pro-Measure P mailer that claimed that overhead wiring was the number one cause of wildfires in California. 

However, the California Dept of Forestry and Fire Protection investigators reported that power lines were the number one cause of wildfires in 2017, according to Whalen’s presentation.

Edison’s  program to reduce the risk of wildfires identified shutting off power as a last resort.

Measure P is Whalen’s last resort.

“Since 2015, City and fire officials have met with the California Public Utilities Commission, SCE and San Diego Gas and Electricity (which serves South Laguna) to push for utility accountability,” said Whalen at the dinner. “The PUC has designated Laguna Beach eligible for priority assistance for safety improvements.

“But there is zero money for undergrounding in Edison’s $582 million budget and zero money for Laguna Beach,” said Whalen. 

Whalen has done the heavy lifting on reducing the local financial burden for proposed undergrounding, but struck out with talks about sharing the costs with Edison. He came close when a bill he supported passed both houses of the state legislature but was rejected by Gov. Brown.

“Measure P authorizes a [one percent] sales tax dedicated to undergrounding utilities and fire safety measures,” said Whalen. “It does not increase property tax or authorize any bonds. “By law, all Measure P funds must be spent only on utility undergrounding and fire safety measures. Groceries, prescription medications and other essential items are exempt from sales tax. Every penny is required by law to remain in the City of Laguna Beach and cannot be taken by Sacramento.”

(It also should be noted that the City is prohibited by law from engaging in political activities. Measure P is supported by a ballot measure committee independent of the city.) 

The measure has other benefits besides reducing the risk of wildfires, according to Whalen. Threats of cancelled homeowners’ insurance will be reduced, as well as the risk of poles toppling in an earthquake and blocking evacuees from escaping to safety and egress for first responders. 

Proposed “hardening,” as proposed by Edison’s own statements, is only 60 percent effective in reducing fire risk, compared to the 100 percent effectiveness of undergrounding, said Whalen. 

“We should go for 100 percent,” Whalen concluded.

Click here for Whalen’s presentation, and here for Zeiter’s.

Laguna Beach Breakfast Club features developer Mo Honarkar discussing his vision for Laguna

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Yesterday morning, Thursday, Oct 18, 46 attendees gathered for the Laguna Beach Business Club Meeting to hear Mo Honarkar speaking about his visions for Laguna Beach. The club meets at 7:30 a.m. every month at the Kitchen in the Canyon.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Non-members are welcome and there is a guest breakfast fee of $20. 

Laguna Beach Honarkar

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Honarkar shared his story starting with his first store in 1999 up to the present day, plus his visions and plans for various properties in Laguna

The LBBC is a group of local business professionals and entrepreneurs. They meet monthly to discuss current events, business opportunities and share insights within the context of our community and our lives. The club’s goal is to build and maintain relationships with local professionals and businesses that they are proud to recommend to local clients and friends.

Laguna Beach group

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(L-R) LBBC members Peter Freeman, Jerry Immel, and Rick Cirelli with guest speaker Mo Honarkar

For more information about the club, visit To register to attend a meeting, contact a club member or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Kitchen in the Canyon is located at 845 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Upcoming Community Safety Event to commemorate 25th Anniversary of Laguna Beach Fire 

A Community Safety Event commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire (which burned approximately 16,000 acres and destroyed or damaged over 400 homes in the City) will be held on Saturday, Oct 27, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Fire Station 1 (located at 505 Forest Avenue next to City Hall).

Upcoming community fireman

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Courtesy of LB Fire Dept

Fireman on radio during 1993 fire

This community event will involve many of the City Departments that play an important role in providing emergency response to the City’s residents and visitors during and after a natural disaster. 

The event will feature informational booths, fire engine tours and tours of Fire Station 1, the Laguna Beach Fire Goats, information on the “Ready-Set-Go” home wildfire protection initiative, emergency information and resident resources, CERT program information and much more.

Dennis’ Tidbits


October 19, 2018

Does above normal rain always come with El Nino, not necessarily! 

Dennis 5Like I said last week, every El Nino – weak, moderate, or strong – has resulted in above normal rain during that event, except for the last one, when we fell far short of the normal season total of 13.95 inches here in Laguna. 

Ready for some stats? The mega El Nino of 1883-84, which coincided with the historical eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia, produced a record 40.06 inches according to L.A. records that date back to 1877. The strong El Nino of 1889-90 resulted in 32.76 inches in L.A. I might note here that Laguna rainfall records only date back to 1927, so L.A. records were used here from 1877 to 1927. 

The mild El Nino of 1901-02 saw 17.75 inches in L.A. Incidentally, L.A.’s annual normal is 14.94, about an inch more than Laguna averages. The moderate event in 1909 produced 20.33, the mild 1914 El Nino dropped 19.18, and the moderate event produced 19.92 inches in 1922-23. 

Now we’re in Laguna rainfall records. A strong El Nino in 1931-32 saw 23.45 inches. Another strong event in 1937-38 resulted in 24.42 inches. Only two years later, a moderate event saw 18.85 inches, and the event got even stronger with 31.24 in 1940-41. A mild El Nino in 1945-46 gave us 15.94, then a strong event in 1951-52 came up with 26.21. The strong 1957-58 El Nino dropped 23.39, and 1965-66 produced 22.00 inches. The strong El Nino from 1972-73 gave us 21.26, while the mega El Nino popped out 31.25. The mild event of 1985-86 resulted in 17.86. The moderate El Nino of 1991-92 produced 21.00. 

Another mega El Nino occurred in 1997-98, which gave Laguna its wettest season on record with a generous 37.27 inches, which is what Seattle averages a season. Incidentally, that season saw Seattle’s driest season on record with only 22.48, so we beat ‘em by almost 15 inches! The mild 2009-10 event dropped 16.94 on Laguna. 

Then we come to the much heralded mega event when we were expecting well over 30 inches in 2015-16. We ended up with a meager 8.14. First time ever that well below normal rain resulted from an El Nino, and obviously, so much for that theory about wet El Nino years. That’s the thing about weather, always a surprise!

Have a great weekend, Aloha!

Ribbons of Blue

Ribbons of ocean

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Not surprisingly, the darker the blue, the deeper the water. In very deep water, almost all of the sun’s rays are absorbed by the water itself due to the lack of sediment and the lower amount of organic matter (like algae and jellyfish), and thus the blue appears to be darker. In shallow water, on the other hand, floating particles like sand, silt, algae, and corals absorb light wavelengths differently than water, which can change the color of the water we see.

School Board candidate Howard Hills clarifies position on honors grade bump

In reporting on the recent LBUSD School Board candidate forum, which included excerpts of responses by candidates to various questions, we did not include write-in candidate Howard Hills’ immediate statement before hearing answers from other candidates in regards to possible “grade bumps for honors students,” in which he indicated confusion by the format and content of the “speed round yes or no” question.

Regarding support for a “grade bump for honors students” Hills clarifies, “I thought I was being asked a different question. I have always supported the so-called ‘grade bump’ for all honors class students. It was my mistake, so I appreciate the chance to confirm my long-held position.”

20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational winners announced at Gala Oct 13

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) celebrated a milestone twentieth anniversary with 50 invited artists, who spent last week painting the town for the 20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. Regardless of the threat of rain, Saturday’s Collectors Gala was a smashing hit at LPAPA’s new Festival of Arts “home” with a sell-out crowd anxious to see the original California paintings created by top plein air masters. 

The Invitational celebrates the tradition of plein air painting and carries on the landscape painting legacy that established Laguna Beach as an art colony more than 100 years. LPAPA is a nonprofit art organization dedicated to preserving Laguna’s artistic legacy while providing opportunities for today’s landscape painters, assuring the landscape painting tradition will continue to have a prominent place in Laguna’s history and future.

20th Annual Paquet

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Submitted photo

LPAPA Award of Excellence went to Joe Paquet for his piece 

“Golden Hour, Main Beach”

On Saturday, Oct 13, LPAPA hosted its 20th Annual “Collectors Gala” at the Festival of Arts, a magical outdoor setting nestled in the heart of Laguna’s arts district, and the perfect setting to showcase the plein air fine art show with nearly 500 original works of art. 

The Collectors Gala attracts fine art collectors from around the country who wish to be the first to view and have the opportunity to purchase the paintings created by these nationally recognized contemporary masters at what has become one of the most prestigious Plein Air Painting Invitational events in the country. 

Over $40,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to the artists, with the top prize, the highly coveted $10,000 “Best in Show” awarded to Rhode Island artist Cindy Baron for her painting “Transitions,” which also received The Irvine Museum Collection at the UCI Institute & Museum of California Art Award. 

20th Annual Diehl on Broadway

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Submitted photo

LPAPA Distinctive Merit Award winner Jennifer Diehl’s “On Broadway”

The 2018 Best in Show judges were Stephen Barker, Dean of the Claire Trevor School of Arts, Executive Director of the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art, Jonathan Burke, President of the Laguna College of Art + Design, and Jean Stern, Director of The Irvine Museum Collection at the UCI Institute & Museum of California Art.

Other top prizes include the $5,000 “Award of Excellence” that was presented to Joe Paquet for “Golden Hour, Main Beach,” which also received the Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Award of Excellence; and the $2,500 “Distinctive Merit Award” to Jennifer Diehl for “On Broadway.” 

The “Spirit of Laguna Award” was presented to Michele Usibelli for “Family Time” who also received the Outdoor Painter Award for “California Calling.” Kathie Odom received the “Dr. Edward H. Boseker Award” for “Beachside Awesomeness,” first time Invitational Artist Dan Mondloch from Minnesota received the “Architectural Award” for “Bright Light, Cleo Street,” and the “Artistic Palette Award” sponsored by the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts was presented to Oregon artist Jennifer Diehl for her nocturne “Café Moulin.” Jesse Powell’s “Laguna Sparkle” received the 2018 Southwest Art Magazine Quick Draw award.

The American Art Collector Magazine Award was presented to local artist Gil Dellinger for his painting “Steps to the Sea Rockledge.” The PleinAir Magazine Award of Excellence went to Paul Kratter for his “Autumn Celebration.” 

The coveted “Collectors’ Choice Award,” based on votes by collectors in attendance, was presented to Daniel Marshall from Colorado, and the “Artists’ Choice Award”, based on the votes cast by the participating artists, was presented to Matt Smith from Arizona.

LPAPA’s Founding Members Jacobus Baas, Cynthia Britain, Saim Caglayan, and John Cosby were recognized with LPAPA’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Awards for their body of work and the contributions they have made to LPAPA since the beginning. 

Longtime friends of LPAPA, Madeline and Jim Swinden of The Irvine Museum were acknowledged for their support and commitment to the arts with the 2018 Lifetime Member Award.

During the Gala LPAPA acknowledged all of its sponsors, partners, art patrons, and supporters who made this year’s 20th anniversary Laguna Plein Air Invitational celebration possible. In particular, the City and Lodging Establishments of Laguna Beach, The Irvine Museum Collection at UCI, The Boseker Family, Kinsman & Kinsman, the Laguna Board of Realtors/Charitable Assistance Fund, the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts, the Kinsman Family Foundation, the Festival of Arts Foundation, National Charity League, Stifel | Hansen/Pierce Wealth Management, Visit Laguna Beach and LPAPA’s members, donors and collectors. 

Over $200,000 in art sales was generated to support the artists and nonprofit LPAPA. Funds raised during this event sustain LPAPA and its year-round mentoring and educational programs, including LPAPA’s Plein Air Project with art education programs designed to educate and inspire our youth, the future generation of plein air artists to carry on the tradition. 

For more information on LPAPA, visit

LCAD annual Fall Student Art Market this Saturday and Sunday at 805 Laguna Canyon Rd

This weekend on Saturday and Sunday, Oct 20 and 21, LCAD is putting on its annual fall student art market, taking place at their South Campus classrooms at 805 Laguna Canyon Rd.

“Come out and support LCAD’s talented artists who will be showcasing original artwork for sale to include paintings, prints, pins, stickers, clothing, totes, jewelry, digital graphic designs and many more unique creations. Enjoy free coffee and pastries provided by Starbucks and incredible original art by top LCAD artists,” said Julian Velarde, Assistant Dean of Students at LCAD.

LCAD Michael Dean Williams

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Submitted photo

Don’t miss LCAD annual Fall Student Art Market this weekend, including works by LCAD student Michael Dean Williams

LCAD’s Fall Student Art Market will take place next to Another Kind of Café, at 805 Laguna Canyon Road, just off of the south end of Laguna Frontage Road. 

For more information on Laguna College of Art and Design, visit or call (949) 376-6000 ext. 245.

Cub Scouts tour LBFD Fire House and learn First Aid

11 Webelos Cub Scouts from Pack 35, Den 4, sponsored by the Laguna Presbyterian Church, spent the evening on Tuesday, Oct 18 touring LBFD Station Number One downtown on Forest Avenue to learn first aid skills.

The Cubs, all fourth graders earning their First Responder first aid badge, were hosted by Laguna Beach firefighters Chip Gilmore, James Lin, and Steve Serjeant. The firefighters taught skills for treating serious bleeding, broken bones, and burns. Above all, they taught the Scouts to remain calm in an emergency and help others to do the same. 

Cub Scout one

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Submitted photo

Cub Scouts from Pack 35 at Laguna Beach Fire Station One

Cub Scouts is for boys and girls in kindergarten through fifth grade. Pack 35 meets at Laguna Presbyterian Church on the last Thursday of each month. For more information or to join, visit

Cub Scout two

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Submitted photo

Cub Scout Danny Hovanesian tries to climb the fire pole with the help of his brother, Life Scout Joseph Hovanesian

U.S. Bank donates $10k to Laguna Beach Seniors

U.S. Bank recently donated $10,000 to Laguna Beach Seniors (LBS) to support their mission of providing informative and educational programming for Financial Fraud Prevention for seniors.

“We are honored to continue our support for Laguna Beach Seniors and the work they do to keep seniors educated and familiar with the most recent and common financial scams out there”, said U.S. Bank, Laguna Beach Branch Manager, Richard Frank. 

U.S. Bank donates check

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LBS is honored to receive the generous donation from U.S. Bank for local seniors

Financial fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse. Broadly defined, financial exploitation is the illegal or improper use of an elderly adults’ funds or property. Elder financial abuse is tough to combat, in part, because it so often goes undetected.

Financial scams perpetrated against older people include a broad range of conduct – from outright taking of money or property to forging a signature on a legal document, such as a will or deed, to getting paid for care, products, or services and then not providing them. As people age they are more likely to be home and within easy reach of devious telemarketers, home solicitors and online scammers.

“US Bank really embodies what it takes to be a partner, far beyond the check. We are really grateful for their continued support over the years”, said Nadia Babayi, LBS Executive Director.

Located at 380 Third Street in downtown Laguna Beach, Laguna Beach Seniors at The Susi Q operates independently as a 501c(3) nonprofit in collaboration with the City of Laguna Beach. Mental health support, care management, recreational and educational classes, activities and events are available and designed to promote independence, wellness and community for adults 55+. For more information, visit

Community Possible is the corporate giving and engagement platform at U.S. Bank, focused on the areas of Work, Home and Play. The company invests in programs that provide stable employment, a safe place to call home and a community connected through arts, culture, recreation and play. For more information, visit

Cookie lovers are encouraged to enter local Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest

The community is invited to participate in the Community Services Department’s second annual Holiday Cookie Recipe Contest. Each participant is asked to submit their cookie recipe and the story behind their family’s recipe. Five finalists will be selected to bake a sample batch for a taste test on November 5. 

Cookie lovers are sweets

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Holiday cookie enthusiasts are invited to enter their tasty recipes

Entries may be submitted online or at the front desk of the Community and Susi Q Center, and submissions are due by October 26.

For more information, contact Adam Gufarotti, Senior Recreation Supervisor at (949) 497-0304.

Have a scary good time at Pageant of the Monsters

Oct 26, 27, 28 and 31 at FOA

Just when you thought it was safe to go backstage…The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters brings a “monster” of a good time to Laguna.

Reviving an event from years past, Pageant of the Masters Director Diane Challis Davy presents the Pageant of the Monsters, transforming the Pageant’s backstage into a Haunted House with an artistic twist. 

The event will take place on October 26, 27, 28 and 31 at the Festival of Arts from 6 - 9:30 p.m. This is the 5th presentation of Pageant of the Monsters. Davy originated the haunted house idea in 1996; it was repeated in 1997 and then again in 2007 and 2013.   

This year, the Pageant of the Masters’ creative team of artists and technicians has reunited to resurrect the acclaimed Halloween Haunted House as part of the Pageant of the Masters 85th Anniversary celebration. Guests will be directed through the amphitheater, Pageant workshops and stage, which have been transformed into a series of eerie artistically presented vignettes.

Themed Raiders of the Lost Art, guests will follow the footsteps of legendary archeologist and adventurer “Cincinnati Smith” on a perilous quest to recover treasures from exotic locales across the globe. Trek through the creepy jungle empire of the Amazon to the desert tombs of the pharaohs in this whimsical and haunted spoof.

Davy reveals, “It’s not your usual haunted house. It will be a little scary and spooky, but lots of fun for the whole family.”

Pageant of the Monsters

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Submitted photo by FOA

Don’t miss the Pageant of the Monsters at the FOA: it’s a scary good time, a true treat for the community to enjoy

In addition to the haunted house, the Festival of Arts will also be holding a scarecrow competition inviting local community groups, clubs, organizations and individuals to participate. Attendees will be able to vote on their favorite from October 26 to 28 and the winners will be announced on October 31. The competition is open to the public and cash prizes will be awarded. The deadline to register is October 12. For information on entering the scarecrow contest, visit www.foapom/monsters. 

Other fiendish tricks and treats on the Festival grounds include an alien autopsy, demented chef and other spooky side shows, up close encounters with the Reptile Zoo, face painting and airbrush temporary tattoos, Halloween photo-ops and selfie stations, silent horror film movie screenings, create your own mask workshop, “Boo Bingo” and build a ghost with Laguna Art-A-Fair, draw Halloween-themed ghouls and Jack O’ Lanterns in oil pastels with Sawdust Art and Craft Festival, tissue paper roses with Laguna Playhouse inspired by the upcoming performance Beauty and the Beast, and A Christmas Rose.

Plus don’t miss the opportunity to do tile glazing with LOCA Arts Education and Festival of Mosaics for a new permanent public mural in Laguna Beach, music by KX 93.5, Laguna’s Only FM, food and drink available for purchase, art displays, games, and more “spook-tacular” activities the whole family can enjoy.

Tickets are $15 for adults in advance, $20 at the door, and $10 for children 12 and under. This event is not recommended for children under 5. Tickets are available online at or by phone at (800) 487-3378. 

Costumes may be worn by guests ages 12 and under. Guests 13 and older are not permitted to wear costumes. The event will take place at Festival of Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

LAM honored with Arts OC with Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award

On October 16, Laguna Art Museum was honored by Arts Orange County with the Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award in recognition of the museum’s 100-year legacy and lifetime contributions as Orange County’s oldest arts institution. 

The Helena Modjeska Cultural Legacy Award is named for the great Polish actress who is best known for her performances in the plays of Shakespeare and who is the namesake for what is now Modjeska Canyon in Orange County. Along with art collectors and philanthropists Mark and Janet Hilbert, artist Carol Saindon, and South Coast Repertory Managing Director Paula Tomei, Laguna Art Museum received the award during the 19th annual OC Arts Awards, hosted by the county’s non-profit arts agency, Arts Orange County.

LAM honored

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 Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LAM is honored with prestigious Arts OC Award

Malcolm Warner, Laguna Art Museum’s executive director, remarks, “We’re especially delighted to receive this award named for the great Helena Modjeska. Many of the Laguna Beach artists of a hundred years ago followed the same path as Modjeska – from Europe to the United States and ultimately Orange County, where the arts community has been an international one in which immigrants like Modjeska have played essential roles. The Modjeska award is not only relevant to Laguna Art Museum, but also timely as the museum is soon presenting the first-ever exhibition of Helena Modjeska’s work as a visual artist.”

LAM is located at 307 Cliff Dr. For more information, visit

2018 OC Girl Scouts honor local Melinda Masson, 

as this year’s Leadership Honoree

On Friday, October 12, more than 250 Orange County community and business leaders came together for Girl Scouts of Orange County’s Ninth Annual Celebrate Leadership event to recognize incredible Girl Scout alum who serve as powerful role models for today’s young women. 

Held at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, attendees raised $281,000 gross to support Girl Scouts’ life-changing leadership development programs for nearly 20,000 Girl Scouts representing every zip code in Orange County, with Melinda Masson, of Laguna Beach, CEO, Scripsense, receiving Girl Scout badge artwork from Girl Scout Senior Marysol Cazarez

New this year, two Gold Award Girl Scouts were also honored for creating meaningful, lasting impact in Orange County and our world through their Girl Scout Gold Award Projects. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the most prestigious award in the world for girls – and the most difficult to earn – and it is only available to Girl Scouts.

2018 OC Girl Scouts Celebrate Leadership Honoree Melinda Masson receives Girl Scout badge artwork from Girl Scout Senior Marysol Cazarez

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Submitted photo

Laguna Beach local Melinda Masson recognized as Leadership Honoree

Each Celebrate Leadership honoree was paired with a current Girl Scout, ranging from Daisy (kindergarten) to Ambassador (grades 11-12), providing tomorrow’s leaders with opportunities to connect and mentor with the leaders of today. The Girl Scouts, ranging in age from 6 to 17, shared how their honorees inspire them to accomplish their goals and pursue their dreams. 

Each honoree was presented with a custom art piece created by her Girl Scout partner, a symbolic Girl Scout badge to represent her honoree’s unique leadership journey. 

“The world needs more female leaders, and that starts with introducing girls to positive female role models,” said Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Vikki Shepp. “Over the past nine years, Celebrate Leadership has recognized 73 extraordinary Girl Scout alum and Orange County trailblazers who were not afraid to dream big, work hard, take risks, and make their dreams reality. All have left their mark on the world and are an incredible testament to Girl Scouts as the expert in preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership, success, and adventure. We are so proud to honor these remarkable women, and for the first time this year, two Gold Award Girl Scouts, who are paving the way for the next generation.”

For more information on Girls Scouts of Orange County, visit

LCAD’s Game Design MFA ranks number 3 for most affordable online graduate programs 

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) announced its Game Design MFA ranked number three in the nation among the most affordable online graduate programs.

Grad School Hub cited the college’s low residency format and its industry partners, including Microsoft and USC’s GamePipe Laboratory, as advantages to graduates.

According to Grad School Hub, “this elite master’s-trained group can aid promotions in the United States’ $698 billion art sector. According to the Motion Picture Association of America, today’s creative industry produces 4.7 million jobs and 4.32 percent of our nation’s goods/services. As of April 2017, there were 673,656 organizations countrywide focused on the production and distribution of artistic works.”

LCADs Game Design building

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LCAD is honored to be named number three nationwide in affordability

LCAD Game Design MFA online curriculum is centered on the processes of both the creation and the development of games. Graduates of the program have continued on to work for industry giants such as Blizzard Entertainment, Unami and Crystal Dynamics.

“Games are responsible for providing much more than mere entertainment; they also are meaningful products of a thriving global economy that illuminate truths about our world, our societies, and ourselves,” said Sandy Appleoff-Lyons, chair of LCAD Game Art MFA.

The report is designed for students and parents to identify art schools and colleges that provide the highest return on investment. The list included 30 U.S. colleges of art and design, schools spanning across the nation. 

“LCAD’s MFA program in Game Design endeavors to prepare its students to become creative leaders by fostering the acquisition of timeless skills based on observation, representation and concept development, while embracing the opportunities of new and innovative technologies,” said LCAD President Jonathan Burke. 

LCAD surveyed the 2014 graduates and ninety-two percent are working full time, with seventy-three percent employed in their chosen fields.

For more information about LCAD Game Design MFA, visit

LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Discover treasure troves in the Southland with Hoffy Tours

Bill Hoffman of Hoffy Tours will lead a group of Lagunans on their next adventure, a King Tut Tour, on Saturday, Nov 17. 

“This is our last chance to see 60 new artifacts from a stunning exhibit from gold jewelry and exquisite furniture and learn the story of the incredible discovery of King Tut’s tomb almost 100 years ago,” Hoffy Tours founder Bill Hoffman said.

“The IMAX film ‘Mysteries of Egypt’ is exquisite, and you will love the renovated California Science Center near USC,” Hoffman continued. “There’s so much to see – the Space Shuttle, the Rose Garden, and Natural History Museum. This is the best of LA.”

Hoffy Tours will also host the Mission San Juan Capistrano & Los Rios Historic District Scavenger Hunt on Saturday, Dec 8, from 10 a.m. to noon.

“Sometimes the best things are near your own backyard. If you haven’t been to Mission San Juan Capistrano lately, you will love the new exhibits and beautiful landscaping,” Hoffman said. “See Serra Chapel, the Old Stone Church, the Sacred Garden, and relearn your California History. Then, go with Hoffy to gorgeous Los Rios for a team scavenger hunt where you will discover secrets of the oldest neighborhood in California. Prizes of course and great for families and kids.”

Discover treasure troves

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PCourtesy of Hoffy Tours

Hoffy Tours offers an exciting choice of adventures and experiences

On Saturday, Jan 12, Hoffy Tours will tour the Broad Museum, San Antonio Winery, and Olvera Street Discovery Walk. 

“I started Hoffy Tours, LLC in 2012 because I love teaching, and wanted to show people the most beautiful and interesting places that cities have to offer. I’m proud to say that since then I’ve given over 300 tours and have devised 71 different tours,” said Hoffman. 

“It’s amazing to me how much there is to explore in Southern California. It may be the most diverse and interesting region in the world,” Hoffman added.

For more information about Hoffy Tours or to book a tour, call Hoffman at (949) 246-4548, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or sign up at

Friendship Shelter celebrates 30th year anniversary with a grant and a gala at Montage on Oct 27


Friendship Shelter (FS) commemorates two extraordinary milestones this month, its 30th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, Oct 27 at Montage Laguna Beach and the receipt of a sizable grant from Bank of America.

In 1988, FS, in response to community need, opened its doors to provide year round shelter and rehabilitation to homeless adults. Initially, 18 were accepted into the program. Now, 30 years later, more than 10,000 people have participated in a FS program and each night, in excess of 150 sleep safe and warm. To date, FS has placed 87 clients in permanent housing.

In addition to the emergency shelter on Laguna Canyon Rd and the residential shelter in South Laguna, the Permanent Supportive Housing program (PSH) encompasses two other properties, a residential youth facility in San Clemente which houses 14 and a residential building in Dana Point which houses 16. The remaining 57 are in private market apartments outside of Laguna Beach. 

FS has just received an unrestricted B of A grant in the amount of $200,000 to expand its successful work providing permanent supportive housing to help homeless adults become more self-sufficient. 

Grant Process

Executive Director of FS, Dawn Price, says, “It was a competitive process, and we were nominated in the spring I believe. They chose about 60 organizations nationally, and we are pleased to be recognized for what we’re doing.”

When asked who nominated them, she says she doesn’t know, “But the City is proud of our work, and some organizations we’ve partnered with have supported us.”

And she admits that some of the questions on the application aligned with their strategic planning process. “They were interested in how we work and collaborate.”

Before Price, who has been the organization’s executive director for 10 years, relocated to Laguna Beach, she had never worked with the homeless, although she served meals in a homeless shelter in Iowa. “I had misconceptions and I understand that,” she says.

Price comes from nonprofit background

Originally from Wisconsin, Price came here from Texas when her husband took the position of Dean of Students at Chapman University. In academic circles, she was known as the trailing spouse, the spouse who doesn’t have a job. “I was executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities in TX, and I was really hoping to get another director position. I like the work; attending to client and staff needs, dealing with the board, and fundraising. Our son was in high school, LBHS is a good school, and this job was open.”

Beyond the benefit of the funds, Price is excited about other aspects of the grant as well.

“There’s a whole leadership training component for myself and one other staffer, who will be Rick Scott, and we’re both very excited about that. We will train separately and then come together in the last session. I’ve heard wonderful things about this training.” Rick has been at FS 10 years and oversees program managers.

Goal is 30 days in shelter

Friendship Shelter launched its Permanent Supportive Housing program in 2014, which provides a holistic approach to keeping people in housing and off the streets for the long term. Since then, they have established 87 sustainable housing units with 97 percent of residents remaining stably housed, far above the federal requirements and national average for residential retention. Bank of America’s grant will enable the nonprofit to expand this approach with the goal of creating an additional 180 Permanent Supportive Housing units, more than double its current portfolio of supply, across Orange County by 2020. FS covers Southern OC, which includes Irvine, Lake Forest, Laguna Beach and south.

Price explains, “The housing program needs to grow, because without housing, people languish in the shelters. There’s no alternative, nowhere to go from the shelter. We had a gentleman housed last week that had been in the ASL for nine years, sleeping on a mat on the floor. That’s way too long to be in a shelter. Our goal would be that they’d be in a shelter 30 days, in and out, back into housing, back into employment, back into school, into whatever someone left behind. If we can help them reclaim that, it might mean back to where they came from. We’re looking for a swift solution and a good flow through our shelters and into housing. If we do that well, we don’t need all these shelter beds we’re talking about. If that person for 9 years in one shelter bed had been out in 30 days, it would have freed up the bed for others.”

To this end, Price says that once someone enters the shelter, they begin the process of tailoring the housing to the client needs.

“First thing we do when a client comes in here is say, ‘Tell me about yourself. Where did you last sleep? Where did you last safely sleep? Do you have family? What would it take for you to go back there?’”

“We’re always trying to do the simplest thing, and we talk about their history, and we’re able to assess and interview using national instruments, to find out what type of house this person is suited for, and we work toward that housing situation.”

Friendship Shelter Samantha

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Submitted photo

Formerly homeless, Samantha in her new apartment

When asked what she thinks is the prevailing misconception in our community regarding the homeless, Price replies, “A lot of people in Laguna Beach don’t know that housing is our biggest program, because none of that housing is in Laguna Beach.”

She continues, “So when we were asked in the application (the grant is unrestricted), our goal is always housing, and the money will fuel ongoing housing efforts. All of our shelters are focused toward housing today. As of January 1, 2018, we’ve changed how we deal with our housing process, approaching it on an individual basis, level and ability. If someone needs to get a job and a room, we work just as hard with that person as someone who comes in with a different set of requirements.”

And it appears there are various types of needs that they address. Overseen by FS, the specialized youth program in San Clemente works with 14 people at a time from 18 to 25 years of age, who have a serious mental health diagnosis (they come through the county mental health system) and help them learn independent living skills while in the program. They are housed in two buildings FS owns that formerly were transitional housing. It was determined that permanent housing would change outcomes better than transitional, and it was the best use of the two buildings. 

If by the age of 26, after working with supportive services and through therapy and medication, residents learn to control their mental health, they can go back home, or to a private market rental. Price says, “The whole point is to look at the trajectory for that person, what is the next best step. They age out of the building, but not permanent housing.”

The other dedicated unit of 16 in Dana Point has a staff on site.

The remaining 57 are in private market apartments. “We go in to the manager and see if we can rent one, two or three,” she says. “Once we’re in there, and they see that we’re good managers of our program, they will let us know when they have open units. The permanent housing program is for a specific kind of client, one who has documented long-term homelessness and documented long-term disability, and, therefore, needs supportive services to stay stably housed. We also help people get housed in different ways, help them get a room, an apartment, help people return to family.” 

Different types of housing/individual basis/need

Price says, “By looking at the number of chronically homeless people in South OC, based on the last count of homeless, which was January of 2017, if we add another 180 units to the 87 we already have, we could wipe out chronic homelessness, making the shelter stay brief and get them into housing very quickly.”

Regarding the homeless issue, she says, “We do this work whether it’s election year or not. We don’t look for best sound bite, we look for what’s working nationally, and what can we bring to our community from our colleagues across the nation that works. That’s what we’ve been trying to do for the last 30 years, but especially the last five to seven years, which has been a period of learning and discerning and adopting new strategies.”

Friendship Shelter Dana Point

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Submitted photo

Dana Point

If you missed the Safety Net Tour last month and want to visit the LB facility, Price says, “The best time to see our shelter is early evening, to get a sense of the population we’re working with and how staff interacts with clients. The best way for a person who is interested in what the organization does is to contact me, call us for a tour or sign up to volunteer for evening meal. That’s where you’ll really get a sense of beyond what the building looks like and see what the work looks like.

“I always want the public to see what we do, and learn how we work with our population. Come meet people, look them in the eye, know who we’re dealing with. There’s a lot of misconceptions about what we do and about who clients are. Any time visitors can see the context, it’s beneficial.”

FS currently has a staff of 51.

The grant will also help with the best use of staff time in supporting those in permanent housing. The staff helps with general and specialized needs, helping folks access food programs, go to banks, how to make nutritional food, and other basic life skills. Price says, “There’s a lot of driving around. If we had more dedicated sites like Dana Point, there would be less driving for staff for the additional 180 units. It would be a better and more efficient use of staff time, so that they’re not spending 20 minutes in a car with no client.” 

Of those in permanent housing, some people need more support, some only once a month visits. Price says, “We just started a program for those who don’t need ongoing support to get them to the point they can get housing. We’ve just begun to transitioning some clients to the regular Section 8 vouchers, the federal low income housing voucher. But we have an agreement with the County that we’ll continue to support them for a year, that’s one of the things we raise private money for.

“The gala helps with this county program as we’re graduating people out of supportive housing. FS has a year-long commitment to support them with no funding. This unrestricted grant money and gala money helps grow the program.”

Need for infrastructure dollars

Price says, “There’s a need for infrastructure dollars, for training money, as we grow PSH units, as there are more financial transactions every year. We went from 0-87 in four years (2014 - 2018), and it was a big hit on the administrative infrastructure, more HR, more financial. We need to be able to build those up in anticipation of future growth; it is very critical.

“And just freeing up more time for people to be sourcing the apartments and the next way to grow. The opportunities don’t fall in your lap; they grow through building relationships and looking for opportunities and knowing how to assess each opportunity, so that we make the right decisions. We’re lucky that we have some of that provided through volunteers, but we need infrastructure.” 

Although FS has a fundraising gala every year, this year is a special one.

Price says, “So much has changed in 30 years, but we’re proud that at our core, we’re still the same organization that opened its doors in 1988. Through all this change, our purpose and approach have never wavered. We were founded to respond to community need, and that remains our focus today.”

The 30th Anniversary Gala will be held on Saturday, Oct 27 at Montage LB. Every dollar raised will go toward Friendship Shelter’s Housing Opportunity Fund, giving the financial agility to respond with confidence to new housing opportunities, to preserve existing housing programs, and to fill housing needs across all programs.

For more information on Friendship Shelter including its gala, go to

Nestor in a tree

Nestor in posing in tree

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Photo by Leonard Porto III

Nestor fancies himself a branch manager

Splashes presents Seaside and Sommelier – a dinner with Daou Vineyards & Winery

On Thursday, Nov 1, Surf and Sand’s premier restaurant Splashes invites the public to experience a 4-course menu with pairings from Daou Vineyards & Winery. 

Splashes presents Seaside event

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Courtesy of Surf and Sand Resort

Enjoy exceptional dinner and wine while taking in the ocean front views

The elegant dinner is $125 per person.

For reservations, contact Charlotte Scofield at (949) 376-2754 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Splashes is located within the Surf and Sand at 1555 South Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach Live! presents special “Women of Song” tribute concert at The Montage Oct 23

Laguna Beach Live! will present Paying Tribute to the Incredible Women of Song on Tuesday, Oct 23. The concert will be held at the Montage Resort from 6 - 8 p.m. Acclaimed vocalist Jane Monhiet was recently confirmed to join the other very talented vocalists Maya Sykes and Olivia Kuiper Harris. 

Laguna Beach Live dark

Submitted photo

Acclaimed vocalist Jane Monheit will pay tribute to legendary female artists

Together the vocalists will pay homage to legendary females whose voices and music are timeless – from Natalie Cole, to Peggy Lee, Aretha Franklin, and beyond. Backing up these amazing vocalists will be the Laguna Beach Live! All-Stars, led by renowned trumpeter Bison Watson. 

VIP Tickets are $100 for preferred seating including your choice of one menu item that will be served at your table, $50 for Premium table seating and $30 for Standard theatre style chairs in rear. 

Doors open at 5 p.m. and food and drinks are available for purchase in advance or at the time of the event. Parking is $5.

The Montage Resort is located at 30801 South Coast Hwy. 

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

Forest and Ocean Gallery presents an evening of live music and art this Saturday, Oct 20

Forest and Ocean Gallery is pleased to host a live concert of fun classical music this Saturday, Oct 20. Pianist Lica Handa and her daughter Jane will perform “The Typewriter” and “The Syncopated Clock” by Leroy Anderson, and Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by Jane Handa.

Forest and Ocean Lica

Courtesy of Facebook

Lica Handa will perform a special piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue 

Doors open at 6 p.m. for viewing of art in the gallery and the performance begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 and wine and light refreshments will be served.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here or call David Parker at (959) 872-6616.

PMMC will be closed for routine maintenance and improvements Oct 21-27

PMMC will be closed to visitors from Sunday, Oct 21 through Saturday, Oct 27. During this time, the nonprofit will be taking care of routine maintenance and improvements to the facility. 

Part of the maintenance and upkeep of PMMC’s facility includes the re-coating of pools to fix chips and cracks, peeling paint, and other physical problems associated with PMMC’s patient pools. Exposed concrete in cracks can harbor bacteria and also leads to further peeling and chipping.

PMMC will be sign

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

PMMC thanks the community for their patience during the closure days

It has been five years since the pools at PMMC have been resurfaced. Research has shown that darker colors can decrease eye problems in marine mammal patients. This is due to the fact that the sun reflects off the water and patient pools. As PMMC is always investigating their animals’ needs, they are taking the time now to both resurface the pools and change the color of the pools. These improvements are important to help solve eye problems that PMMC, as well as other rehabilitation centers have been seeing.

In order to expedite the process, both Sea World and the Marine Mammal Care Center have graciously offered to temporarily house PMMC’s patients. After the pools are finished and their patients have made it back to the facility safely and soundly, PMMC will resume its normal operations. 

“We are sorry for the inconvenience of the temporary shutdown. Please know that PMMC is continually taking all necessary precautions to improve the care our marine mammal patients receive,” said the PMMC team. “Thank you for your understanding and patience during this important time.”

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, visit,

Stu News and KX 93.5 City Council Candidate Forum Video

Police Beat Primer

Compiled by Suzie Harrison

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.

Incident Reports

Tuesday, Oct 16

Crescent Bay Drive & N Coast Hwy | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

3:55 p.m. A 56-year-old Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (no bail was set).

N Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Placentia | Bench Warrant

1:51 p.m. Penelope Jo Bennett, 49, Santa Ana, was arrested for a bench warrant. Bail was set at $100.

Sunday, Oct 14

Broadway Place & N Coast Hwy | Bench Warrant

5:48 p.m. Fernando Delatorre, 29, Los Angeles, was arrested for a felony assault bench warrant at the Mobil Station. Bail was set $40,000.

Canyon Acres Drive | 600 Block | DUI with Two Priors, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

1:35 a.m. John William Dobbins III, 40, Capitola, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with two priors (bail was set at $15,000) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher with two priors (bail was set at $15,000).