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City officials to discuss fire safety at Village Laguna meeting on March 25

Village Laguna invites the community to the group’s monthly meeting on Monday, March 25 at 7 p.m., at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, to hear City staff discuss how residents can be prepared for a fast-moving fire, and what innovative safety measures were learned from the experts at the Paradise disaster. All are welcome to attend.

A contingent of Laguna Beach city officials, including City Manager John Pietig, Mayor Bob Whelan, and Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock made the journey to the town of Paradise, California, to witness the destruction caused by the Camp Fire last November.

Village Laguna Pietig

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Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig during recent tour of the fire-ravaged neighborhoods in Paradise

The topography of Paradise shares similarities with Laguna Beach. Our city has formed a Fire Safety Task Force to review Laguna’s emergency evacuation and response plans.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach is located at 429 Cypress Dr.

For more information about Village Laguna, visit

Supporters “take over” KX 93.5 airwaves for annual fund drive next week

KX 93.5, Laguna’s only FM radio station, invites local leaders and legends to take over its airwaves March 25 through 29. Guest hosts will DJ their own hour live on the air, with their own handpicked music and content, to raise money for our beloved community radio station.

“KX Takeover is such a special fundraiser for us because it shows us every year that our station thrives when our community bands together to support it,” said KX 93.5 General Manager Tyler Russell. “It means so much to us that Lagunans will take time out of their schedules to create passionate radio and fundraise on our behalf.” 

KX 93.5 is a throwback to classic days of radio, when DJs actually picked their own music and listeners expected a human connection and community involvement from their local station. To honor that, KX Takeover guest DJs will craft their own playlist and hour of storytelling, as they talk about how music and radio has impacted their lives. 

Supporters take glasses

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KX Supporter Bobbi Cox – 2017 Silver Tongue Award Winner

KX Takeover is a friendly-but-stiff competition where the guest DJ that raises the most money receives the coveted “Silver Tongue Award.” Past winners include Larry Nokes, Rick Riess, Bobbi Cox, Clay Berryhill, and Awakening Code Radio hosts. 

Some of this year’s participants include City Council members Toni Iseman, Peter Blake, Sue Kempf, and Bob Whalen, musician Dylan Rouda, IMAX filmmaker Greg MacGillivray, surfer/entrepreneur Brandy Faber, local Brenden Hexberg, and designer/contractor Julie Laughton. 

Pledges can range from $20 to $20,000, and 100% of the proceeds generated during the fundraiser will assist the general operating budget of the station. By pledging $65 or more, listeners can become members of the radio station to receive annual benefits to ensure KX 93.5’s sustainability. When you make a donation online, you’ll be able to select which guest host you want it to count toward. 

If you value Laguna’s own radio station, as an alternative to corporate media, a source of independent views and thoughtfully crafted music shows, as a resource to be cherished and cared for, as a microphone into the very soul of Laguna, then please help keep us live on the air. Listen in and pledge during KX Takeover from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 25 - 29. 

Find the full schedule of shows and make your donation at

For more information, contact Monica Silva-McCusker at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LOCA invites community to Birthday Bash featuring Mike Trout jersey and a trip to San Francisco

LOCA Arts Education invites the public to its Birthday Bash fundraising party on Sunday, March 24 from 4 - 7 p.m., at Bridge Hall at Neighborhood Congregational Church. “Major donors are coming forward – and we are truly thankful for their support,” said event Chair Pat O’Brien. “Let’s all celebrate together!”

LOCA invites jersey

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A signed jersey by Mike Trout is among auction items at the LOCA Birthday Bash

Baseball fans will rally to bid on a jersey, hand signed by Mike Trout, a 7-time Major League Baseball All Star, winner of the 2014 and 2016 Most Valuable Player award, and 6-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. 

Travel lovers may enjoy a visit-to-San Francisco package, including a travel voucher and 2-night stay at The Donatello Hotel, in a walk-able location among the theater district, fabulous restaurants, and Museum of Modern Art. 

LOCA invites walk

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Contestants are wanted for LOCA’s cakewalk contest, pictured is Ruben Flores at the 2018 Birthday Bash

Partygoers will enjoy great food and wine, fun games for grownups including a musical cakewalk, and music by South Laguna Garden Band. Proceeds support LOCA’s award winning programs serving people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities throughout Laguna Beach. 

Tickets are $50 each or $180 for a party of four. 

For more information, visit or call (949) 363-4700.

Neighborhood Church is located at 340 Saint Ann’s Drive and has free on-site parking.

Bel Canto to perform at LBUMC on March 24

Bel Canto, the women’s choir from Azusa Pacific University, will perform during the 10 a.m. worship service at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 24. The choir, led by David Hughes, DMA, sang at the church two years ago to great acclaim. 

Caterina Paton, a member of Bel Canto and LBUMC, is one of twenty singers who will travel to Indonesia, including Bali, in May. This is APU’s first mission trip to Indonesia. 

Bel Canto group

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Bel Canto enjoying a snow day before heading to Indonesia in May

“We’re putting on some large concerts, but also getting to participate in some worship services,” says Caterina. “Everyone is excited to get to know and learn about a new culture.” 

Following the service and the performance, a Polynesian Luncheon, complete with BBQ Chicken, will be held in Healton Hall at the church. Everyone is welcome. 

For more information, contact the church at (949) 499-3088 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LBUMC is located at 21632 Wesley Dr.

LOCA invites public to murals tour on Thursday

LOCA Arts Education invites art lovers to join in a tour of the recently commissioned murals in the Laguna Beach Civic Art District this Thursday, March 21 from 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Participants will enjoy a docent-led walk along The Hive commercial center and Art-A-Fair properties, viewing and discussing the six painted murals that were installed during the center’s 2018 Summer of Color program, co-curated by Torrey Cook and Ben Rubin. Artists include Brett Crawford, Chad Hasegawg, Okuda, Beau Stanton, James Thistlewaite, and Faith XLVII. 

LOCA invites painting

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Courtesy of The Hive

Enjoy LOCA’s docent-led tour of the Laguna Beach Civic Art District on Thursday

LOCA members are admitted free to all regular art club events. Guests and visitor admission is $20 per event. 

Advance registration is requested. To register, call (949) 363-4700 or visit the calendar page at

The event will take place at 891-777 Laguna Canyon Rd. Free parking is available at The Hive.

Springtime bounty at Farmers’ Market

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Springtime bounty radishes

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Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market, a Saturday morning tradition (8 a.m. - noon)

Springtime bounty flowers

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Held in the parking lot across the street from the Lumberyard Shopping Center
and next to City Hall

Springtime bounty fruit

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Offers many organic fruits and vegetables

Springtime bounty shoppers

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Abundance of local products

Pink paradise

Pink paradise flowers

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Fuchsia to the max

Coffee and vintage cars 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Coffee and sign

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Another Kind Café, site of Coffee and Cars

Coffee and red and blue

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Coffee and Cars is held every third Saturday of the month from 7 - 9 a.m.

Coffee is ready at 7 a.m.

Coffee and yellow car

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All vintage cars are welcome

St Catherine students honored at Chapman Holocaust Art and Writing Contest Award Ceremony

Congratulations to St Catherine’s talented middle schoolers, Tessa Petro, Liam Lott, and Ben Brannock, who attended the Chapman University Holocaust Art and Writing Contest Award Ceremony last week. These students were honored among those who submitted work in poetry, prose, art, and film. Liam’s poem is “Fight On,” and Ben’s art piece is “Harry’s Memories.”

St Catherine three winners

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Winners Tessa Petro, Liam Lott, and Ben Brannock

Megan Meihaus of St Catherine’s says, “Tessa’s poem, ‘Rise,’ was one out of six finalists (and more than 1,000 submissions). Our students had the opportunity to see first place winners share their writing, art, and videos. Everyone also heard a first-hand account from a Holocaust survivor, and were deeply honored to have Holocaust survivors present at the ceremony. In the picture, our students are holding their Holocaust Chronicle books they received at the ceremony as they stand in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall.”

St Catherine Tessa

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Tessa was one of six finalists for her poem “Rise”

According to Chapman University’s website, the intention of the contest was: Purposeful Telling: Through Memory to Action. Survivor and author Elie Wiesel wrote that “to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.” Increasingly, as the decades passed and the survivors built new lives, they came to believe that testifying about their experiences was their obligation not only to the past but to the future. They realized that telling sustains memory while silence permits denial.

For more information on St Catherine School of Siena Parish School, go to

Guest Column

Fan Fall

By Arnold Silverman

I am getting either soft or senile. You can take your choice. My seeing a video celebrating the anniversary of NY Giant baseball fielder Bobby Thomson’s historic home run in the 1951 Dodger/Giant playoff at the Polo Grounds in NYC produced a “Niagara” effect on me like you would not believe. 

Where were you when that game was played? I was at Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania. It was the last day of our basic training. We had received orders for our next assignment, and on that particular day were handing in the equipment and clothing we would not be taking with us.

I was feeling great about the future; others were not. This was the time of the Korean “conflict.” While many had been assigned to FECOM (Far East Command – read that Korea), I had been assigned to Ft. Holabird in Baltimore to commence training as a CIC (Counter Intelligence Corps) agent. I was enthused both with the potential glamour of the new experience (there was none) and the realization that I would not be appearing in the sights of some focused Chinese gentleman (my crystal ball was not functioning well at that time; I ended up as a forward observer for an 81 mm mortar platoon).

New York Giant fan for this playoff

On that particular day I was “chosen” to head up the clothing detail. We were to see that each man in our company handed in each of the aforementioned clothing items. As the classic army lineup passed our position, the items were thrown in a pile.  As you might imagine, that pile rose to quite a height very quickly. While building this pyramid of G.I. issue, our Zenith Transoceanic radio, a renowned receiver at the time, probably used in every U.S. infantry platoon worldwide even though with a battery pack it must have weighed over 20 lbs., blared the ball game.

For this playoff, I was a New York Giant fan. At that time in the New York City area, you had a few loyalty options. You could have been exclusively a Giant or a Yankee or a Dodger fan. Or you could have been both a Yankee and a Giant fan. However, you could not have been a Yankee and a Dodger fan because the Dodgers were socially unacceptable to bona fide Yankee fans, and you certainly could not have been both a Giant and a Dodger fan since both were National League teams. These two “denominations” had mutual dislike if not hatred (it still exists today in spite of their respective migrations). 

Fan fall Thomson

Courtesy of

Bobby Thomson - Shot heard around the world

There was not a “love ‘em both” feeling as seemed to be prevalent in San Francisco during the San Francisco Giant/Oakland “earthquake” Series. When either the Dodgers or the Giants played in a World Series, New York fans of the other rooted for the American League team no matter which one it was. New York City people took their loyalties very seriously.

Now, I am not describing “World Series and All Star Game only” followers. I mean the “die with ‘em, win or lose, every day” fans. I mean fans like humorist Jean Shepherd’s father whom Shepherd depicted sitting in his “own,” lonely section in the bleachers of Wrigley Field in the 1930’s watching the lowly Chicago White Sox week after week, year after year; hoping/praying somehow for the miracle of beating the Yankees; finding in those games a metaphor for his own loser life. These were fans whose first peek at the morning paper was at the box scores. I was one of those fans.

Yankees fan as kid

I rooted for the Yankees. When I was a kid in D.C., my heroes were the Yankees – Joe DiMaggio, Red Ruffing and Bill Dickey, Frankie Crosetti, Joe Gordon and the rest. Although Washington had its Senators (the ball club; not today’s “country” club), you did not seriously root for them. While over the years, they had some good players – Cecil Travis who could have played on any club including the Yankees (and did after the war), Buddy Lewis, George Case, who for years held the base stealing record, and a really solid, dependable pitcher, Emil Dutch Leonard, they were not in the Yankee’s class and I just did not feel a strong loyalty to them. For me it was the New York teams, but not the Dodgers. Why not the Dodgers?  I do not know. However, to this day I find myself rooting for any team the Dodgers play.

So there we were listening to the game while the clothing pile grew higher and higher. As each recruit came before us, we verified his returned items, and requested that he throw the items in the pile. As the game entered the end of the ninth inning, resigned to the Giant’s losing, my concentration moved to the assigned detail. I noticed that the clothing pyramid was starting to tilt to one side and that without some adjustment, the clothes would have fallen and scattered over the area. Anticipating the imminent arrival of some neatness-prone, safety-sensitive officer or noncom, I climbed to the top of the heap and reapportioned the garments so that they would not topple. As I commenced to straighten things, Mr. Thomson came to bat and the fine pitcher Dodger starter Ralph Branca strode to the mound in relief.

Shot heard around the world

For the first time in the game, I felt some tension and excitement. You could hear that tension and hope in the Giants’ announcer Russ Hodges’ voice. You could also hear his fear as Branca blew the first pitch past Thomson. And then it happened.  Thomson hit the next pitch into history, Hodges went insane, called it the shot heard around the world, and I broke my arm.

As Hodges screamed the home run call, I leaped joyfully in the air, bounced off the cushion of clothing into the air again and, landing on my arm, fell the eight feet to the ground below. I was so overwhelmed; I did not know it was broken until the next day.  One of the medics placed it in a splint. Our captain gave me a choice of staying on the base for an extra week and risking my assignment to Holabird (with an excellent chance of being assigned to duty in Korea) or leaving that day. I was off that base in 15 minutes.

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