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Laguna Beach Republicans announce March meeting featuring guest speaker Shawn Steele

On Thursday, March 28, the Laguna Beach Republicans will host the group’s monthly meeting at Mozambique. This month’s meeting will feature Shawn Steele, GOP Committeeman for California. He will be speaking about the 2018 election results.

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP, invites all Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians to Mr. Steele’s presentation. “Shawn’s presentation is very informative as a post mortem of the 2018 election and provides ideas for the upcoming 2020 election cycle. I encourage those who want to help Laguna and Orange County elect Republicans in the future to attend and be enlightened,” says Monda.

Social hour beings at 5 p.m. and the meeting will begin at 6 and end promptly at 7:15 pm.

RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as space is limited and this will be a popular event. 

Mozambique is located at 1740 South Coast Hwy.

LPAPA presents 15th annual “Best of Plein Air Exhibit” and sale this Saturday at Forest & Ocean Gallery

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, LPAPA, is proud to present the 15th annual “Best of Plein Air,” a unique exhibition dedicated to paintings created en plein air. The public is invited to join the celebration at the opening reception with the artists on Saturday, March 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Forest & Ocean Gallery, located at 480 Ocean Ave. Awards will be announced at 6 p.m.

LPAPA Michael Obermeyer

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Courtesy of LPAPA

LPAPA, Michael Obermeyer, Laguna Glare, 9 x 12 oil

LPAPA’s 15th annual “Best of Plein Air” exhibition is a special juried exhibition of original works of art created by Signature and Artist Members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

LPAPA Debra Huse

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Courtesy of LPAPA

Debra Huse, Hidden Dune, 8 x 10 oil

There were 285 entries for this prestigious show with jurors Daniel Marshall, Signature LPAPA, Rosemary Swimm, LPAPA Executive Director, and Ludo Leideritz, LPAPA Board Member and owner of Forest & Ocean Gallery, choosing 60 original framed paintings created by LPAPA Signature and Artist Members for the show’s coveted spots.

LPAPA Erich Neubert

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Courtesy of LPAPA

Erich Neubert, Super Late Afternoon, 12 x 16 oil

“Come join LPAPA on March 16 and let us indulge your plein air passion, celebrate the legacy and become part of the tradition,” Swimm said. “This is a free event and all art lovers welcome.” 

For show details, visit An expanded online gallery show is available through The exhibit runs through March 25.

Local Methodists decry church bans on LGBT participation


Principles dear to the heart of local Methodists were trampled on by a majority of the United Methodist Church delegates to the church’s general conference on February 25 in St. Louis.

The delegates voted to uphold the bans on same-sex marriages and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clergy and members of the church. The vote reinforced a policy established in 1972, but loosely enforced, that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching, according to a report by Reuters news service.

“These policies are in error,” lamented Ann Quilter, a member of Laguna Beach United Methodist Church. “God loves us all. We regret that has been done and we apologize for the damage this has done to the LGBTQ community.”

The aim of the bans was to unify all Methodist churches’ policies on LGBT clergy and marriage, after decades of inconsistency. Some churches denounced homosexuality as a sin and others embraced gay and lesbian clergy and congregation members, according to Reuters.

An alternative, which would have allowed individual congregations to decide for themselves whether gay and lesbian clergy were valued and could perform same-sex marriages, was voted down.

“A conservative group has hijacked the global Methodist Church,” said Quilter. “Basically, the global conference acceded to delegates from Africa and Asia and they tend to be more conservative. We in Laguna believe in a philosophy of radical inclusiveness.”

Reuters also reported that the new policy, known as the Traditional Plan, includes penalties for breaking the rules and suggested that those who do find another church.

“We know who we are; we are going to remain who we are,” said Laguna Beach Pastor Lynn Francis. “We are a reconciling congregation and a member of an organization called Reconciling Ministries.

“We see the [delegates’] decision as unjust and absolutely not what God wants. Jesus gave us two great commandments: Love God and love one another. It is not loving to exclude people or treat them as second class citizens.”

The pastor said if the delegates’ decision is upheld, the Laguna church would work with other congregations to the leave the United Methodist Church.

“We are walking on holy ground,” said Quilter.

The Laguna Methodist Church is located on Wesley Drive – named for John Wesley.

Wesley was a leader in the Methodist movement in the 1700s in England, founded originally to reform the Church of England that eventually led to a complete split, after his death in 1791. However, before he died, Wesley had transplanted his church to America to fill the sparsity of ministers due to the Revolutionary War.

The church thrived in America. With an estimated seven million American Methodists, the church has been recognized as second in members only to the Southern Baptist Convention, which also opposes same-sex marriage.

Protestant denominations that allow gay marriage and clergy include the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Local classical guitarist and composer Eric Henderson performs at NCC on March 30

Laguna Beach resident Eric Henderson, classical guitarist and composer, appears in Bridge Hall at the Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. His program will feature his signature mix of classical repertoire for guitar, classic rock covers, and original compositions. 

This is a familiar venue for Henderson. He has been performing at NCC since 1971. His wife Virginia Mann says, “His first public concert was there, and he has probably done at least ten in total. Laguna has watched him grow into the artist he is.” 

Trained by the master of the classical guitar Andres Segovia, Henderson is a guitar virtuoso and composer who covers a vast repertoire with technical mastery and passionate delivery. He has performed internationally.

In 1971 at the age of 13, he was one of the only three people to receive the honor of being invited to study privately with Segovia. 

Henderson says of the upcoming concert, “I want to transport people back in time to when they first heard something that has stayed in their hearts for their whole life. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but, along with my standard repertoire, I’ll be performing some new selections, namely arrangements of songs that inspired me to pick up the guitar and start playing in the first place. “

Henderson also studied guitar with Christopher Parkening, Angel Romero, Ernesto Bitetti, Emilio Pujol and Antonia Morales. He studied Baroque interpretation with Ton Koopman and Henk Dekker, and guitar music theory and composition with Aureo Herrero. 

Local classical close up

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Submitted photo

Eric Henderson performs at NCC on Saturday, March 30

While in Spain, he also had the privilege of studying with the composer Federico Moreno Torroba, perfecting the interpretation of Torroba’s “Sonatina in A” and “Madronos”.

After eleven European and nine U.S. tours over the next 10 years, Henderson returned to his hometown of Laguna Beach where he began composing his own pieces and becoming one of the world’s most acclaimed educators of the classical guitar.

Over the last 20 years, he has performed 20 tours across Europe and the United States. He has played in the famous Concert Gebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, and Ateneo in Madrid, as well as many other halls in the United States, Germany, Spain, France, the Soviet Union, Australia, and Japan.

His composition “Faces” was featured in the movie Surfers and later became the title track for the album produced by JVC Music. Henderson has released nine albums, including Castilian Nights, Faces, Cathedral Heights, All My Soul, Encore, Guitarra, In the Spanish Tradition and Notes

Henderson has always been an innovator. While he has deep respect for tradition, he understands that the best way to show that respect is to progress the art form, sometimes into unconventional areas. He has relentlessly experimented with new directions for his instrument to express new colors. His 2015 album Turned Up is the first of its kind, electric guitar performances of classical and original works. In concert he often plays his arrangements of rock classics, such as “Paint it Black” by the Rolling Stones or “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix. 

Henderson sees no difference between genres, but filters all genres through his own consciousness and dedication to the artform. He says, “To serve the music with all my integrity and artistry is my sincerest aspiration.”

NCC is located at 340 St Ann’s Dr.

For ticket information, go to www.brownpapertickets/com/event/4077072.

HIP District to celebrate Old School Laguna


Hip! Hip! Hooray! The HIP District will celebrate “Old School Laguna” from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, March 30. 

“Old School Laguna” will be a one-day event in which the stores and restaurants in the HIP District will participate, with the blessings of the Laguna Beach Planning Commission and city staff.

The HIP District – which stands for Historic and Interesting Places – includes the shops and restaurants from Thalia Street to Bluebird Canyon Drive that formed a coalition to advertise and promote the area.

“The idea is to showcase each store’s story about Laguna,” said Susan Elliott, owner of Twig, who applied for the TUP on behalf of the 27 participating establishments. “It will be our version of Hospitality Night. We want people to share this fun part of town.”

HIP District 1

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Submitted photo

Michael Minutoli a.k.a. The Greeter at his regular spot in the HIP District

Posters announcing the event are expected to be displayed starting Friday on the fences of the Old Pottery Place and Kiska Boutique, at the Art Center patio, at Twig’s parking lot and on shops. Posters will be given to folks at the event. 

The application submitted by Elliott requested a temporary use permit for the event this year. However, Commissioner Anne Johnson recollected that a three-year TUP had been discussed at an Open for Business meeting and recommended tacking on the additional years to Elliott’s application, to which a unanimous commission and staff agreed.

Staff opined that the event advances the goals, policies and objectives of the land use element of the city’s General Plan and the recently adopted Economic Development Action Plan. 

HIP District 2

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The HIP District will be especially happening on March 30

“Old School Laguna” will feature live music – a guitarist/singer, a duo or a band at five venues: Sound Spectrum from noon to 2 p.m., Kiska from 1 to 3 p.m., the Art Center from 2 to 4 p.m., Twig from 4 to 6 p.m. and The Old Pottery Place, which will feature the legendary Laguna Beach band HONK from 3 to 5 p.m., according to Elliott. 

Stores will play music on turntables. 

Event venues will display historic photographs, memorabilia, throwback merchandise such as surf-style clothing and special sales. 

Sales tables will be set up outdoors (assuming no rain) on private property. 

The Chocolate Soldier will bring back “Grand Slams,” S’mores on steroids. 

“Old School Laguna” participants will be identified by the display of a clutch of purple balloons.

Elliott said she has been working on the event for a year and looks forward to introducing the HIP District to residents who may not yet patronize or even know what the district offers, and to tourists. 

“This will be a fun event celebrating the vibe of ‘Old School’ Laguna Beach and especially the history of the HIP District,” said Elliott.

Study in gray

Study in sky

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Photo by Tom Berndt

A palette of gorgeous grays

A sense of wonder

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

A sense girl

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Enchantment abounds

A sense landscape

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Spring loveliness

Annamarie surpasses her Girl Scout cookie goal thanks to the last minute help of the community


For those of you who have been following Annamarie McIntosh’s journey to reach her goal of selling 5,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, you’ll be delighted to know that she made it! Thanks to the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association (LBPEA), the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association, the many residents and friends who bought from the McIntosh drive-thru, and numerous local businesses, Annamarie surpassed her goal with an official count of 5,124 boxes sold. 

Annamarie says, “Thank you! I am blown away that so many people came out to support me! I never would have made the goal without the help of the community, and I still can’t believe it happened!”

However, on Sunday, it seemed as if it might not. With only two days left, Annamarie’s dad, Steve, admitted that she was a couple of hundred boxes short. So on Tuesday, the last day of Girl Scout cookie sales, members of the LBPEA hit the damp streets to rally donations and purchases from local businesses. LBPEA happily reported that the Laguna Beach business community did not disappoint, and by 11 a.m., they were able to deliver $550 to Annamarie’s father. 

Annamarie surpasses thank you

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Annamarie thanks community for its support

The McIntosh family (and LBPEA) would like to thank the following local businesses for providing a great example of community, partnership, cooperation, and goodwill: Gregg Abel Design, Stop-N-Go, Hotel Joaquin, Alessa, Mozambique, Yantra Beauty, and Stonebridge Financial, who all pitched in at the last minute. They encourage residents to support these fine local businesses and thank them for their support of our community.

Steve says, “Vicki and I couldn’t be more proud of Annamarie for working so hard to get to her goal. The community really came together and helped make it happen. Friends and strangers came out of the woodwork to give her an unbelievable weekend of sales. Brian Griep and the Laguna Beach Police Employees Association even went out into the community and were able to get various businesses and individuals to donate to the Cookie Share program. That truly put her over the top! Lastly, we want to thank Dianne and Shaena from Stu News for getting behind Annamarie! You are right, it does take a village...and what a village we have!”

Congratulations, Annamarie! Now everyone go eat a Thin Mint to celebrate her success.

Batman comes to town

Batman comes crew

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Photo by Kathy Tanaka

The Bat Crew lands in Laguna

Batman comes trailer

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Photo by Lisa Barreth

Batmobile out of the Batcave 

Batman comes boy

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Photo by Kathy Tanaka

Holy, Batman, it’s really you!

Batman comes Batmobile

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Photo by Kathy Tanaka

Quick, to the Batmobile!

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