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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

By DIANNE RUSSELL

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!


LBPD joins Waymakers to celebrate 40th Anniversary

LBPD joins Carlson

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Courtesy of Waymakers

(L-R) Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow and Sergio Prince present Proclamation on behalf of OC District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett to Waymakers on Thursday

LBPD Farinella

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Courtesy of Waymakers

LB Police Chief Laura Farinella and Waymakers Program Director Carol Carlson

LBPD joins house

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Shelter House – Carol Carlson on left and Heidi Miller

LBPD joins policeman

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Courtesy of Waymakers

Members of the Laguna Beach Police Department, including Captain Jeff Calvert, joined Waymakers to celebrate the youth shelter’s 40th anniversary on Thursday morning. In total, Waymakers has assisted over 4,500 young adults in Orange County.


Guest Column

Emergency Room at Mission Hospital – Laguna Beach was tops when I went down

By Marion Jacobs, Ph.D.

Patient and Family Advisory Council at Mission Hospital – LB

I hope you never have to go to an ER. But hey, the unexpected happens. Like last December 4th when I was walking my dog Miltie down Temple Hills Drive around nine at night. For reasons known only to the normally mild-mannered Miltie, he bolted at a husky being walked up the street, landing me face down on the pavement.

 Thank goodness for our wonderful Emergency Department at Mission Hospital – Laguna Beach. I serve on the Patient and Family Advisory Council at the hospital, so I’m quite familiar with their dedication to excellence in every aspect of medical care. But that night – CT scans, tetanus shot, wound care, stitches (yes, 14 of them) – I saw all those lofty principles put beautifully into action. 

Unfortunately, many locals know little or nothing about Mission Hospital – Laguna Beach. Others harbor a leftover negative opinion from the South Coast Hospital days. That’s the reason I’m writing this. Today our town is blessed with a truly first-rate hospital and Emergency Department. I hope you never need their ER, but in case you or a loved one do, know that you’ll get the best of care in very competent and caring hands.

I asked nurse Jo Zarnegar, who is Manager of Emergency Services at the hospital, to give me a tour of their newly updated facilities so I could pass the information on to you. Here’s what I learned.

Emergency Room staff

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Competent and caring staff at Mission Hospital – Laguna Beach

With the generous gift of $10 million from the Sue and Bill Gross Foundation, a total renovation of the Emergency Department facility began in February 2017. Once completed, the ER will expand from a licensed 12-bed emergency department to a total of 16 private rooms and four treatment bays. Sensitive to the stress on patients and their families when they arrive at an ER, Zarnegar made sure every aspect of the new ER’s design maximizes the comfort of patient and family members and conveys a sense of the hospital’s concern for their psychological well-being, as well as their medical care. 

Zarnegar achieved some of what she was after through, as she put it, “art about where we live” – a delightful array of upbeat photographs throughout the ER, all rendered by local photographers. Boldly colorful flowers, dramatic ocean life, winding hillside trails, otters so playful you have to smile, the artwork gives the halls and patient rooms a surprisingly “boutique” feel. TV’s and dimmer switches for the lights in every room also add to patient and family comfort.

But it’s the ER’s 60 staff members that Manager Zarnegar most credits for the high marks this Emergency Department receives in the national Press Ganey rankings of hospitals. Although not a trauma center, “We have a board certified emergency medicine physicians group capable of acutely diagnosing and stabilizing any illness or condition.” She smiles as she adds, “We even have delivered a baby or two.” Working with their 12 physicians are 39 RN’s, 18 Patient Care Technicians, Unit Care Coordinators, and a Social Worker. One of those nurses is always stationed at the reception desk to assess and triage patients as they come through the front door, so that priority for immediate help is provided to those who need it. 

Emergency Room board

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Board with notes of appreciation from patients

A little-known fact, but another tribute to Mission – LB is CHOC’s (Children’s Hospital of Orange County) partnership with Mission Hospital to offer Emergency Department Pediatric care. CHOC even designed the child-friendly section for a corner of the welcoming new waiting room.

As a bonus part of my tour, I got to see some of the fancy radiology equipment Mission – LB has now. I much preferred looking at that CT scanner than being a patient on it in December. But it’s the brand new Tesla 1.5 MRI that’s the star of the show.  Yes, Tesla. Who knew they also make medical equipment? The radiology assistant, Michael Tomassetti, loves the quality of the pictures the MRI produces. He explains to me that its spaciousness and performance are far advanced from MRI’s of even five years ago. I’ve always dreaded ever needing an MRI.  But I must admit, imagining myself in this machine wasn’t scary. Still, I’d say yes to the earphones and music, and even the aromatherapy they offer. 

At the end of our visit, I asked Jo Zarnegar what she was most proud of about the Emergency Department. Without hesitation she said, “My passions lie with patient care and the staff. I feel strongly that every patient who comes through our doors gives us the honor and gift of their trust. That’s a privilege. We cherish that and are committed to meet their needs. Patients have choices. They’ve chosen us to ease their pain and meet their needs.”

The wall across from the staff workstation sums up the philosophy of the Emergency Service at Mission – LB, at heart, what their service is all about. High up on the wall large gray metal letters spell out L.O.V.E. On the next line, in somewhat smaller letters, it says: Living Our Values Everyday. Below that are four rows of 44 tastefully framed notes of appreciation from patients who were served and discharged from this ER. I certainly add my personal thanks for the beautiful job they did tending to me. Still, except for stopping by to say hello to Jo on my way to a committee meeting, I hope to never have to set foot in that place again.


South Laguna Community Garden Park hosts Laguna County Fair on March 23

The community is invited to take part in the upcoming festive Country Fair at South Laguna Community Garden Park on Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

In among the rain-nourished garden beds, local crafts people will offer their unique handcrafted art. Adding to the fun will be raffled prizes donated by Laguna businesses and live music from the Garden Band. 

South Laguna jewelry

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Handmade jewelry at last year’s fair

All funds raised will support the acquisition and operation of the Garden Park. Donations of non-perishable food for the Laguna Beach Food Pantry are welcome. 

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.southlaguna.org/garden.

The garden is located at 31558 Eagle Rock Way.


Laguna Craft Guild presents local art show on March 24 at Main Beach

On Sunday, March 24, from 9 a.m. - sundown, the Laguna Craft Guild will hold an art show at Main Beach featuring local artists. There are always many treasures to be found at the show, you won’t want to miss it.

Laguna Craft umbrella

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Stroll along Main Beach while visiting local artists 

Laguna Craft Guild is a small group of local Laguna Beach artists that sell their handmade goods on the cobblestones at Main Beach one to two times a month. Many of them are also Sawdust Festival artists.

The show is very special and a fun way to spend a Sunday strolling along the boardwalk with friends, family, and pets while gazing at the ocean. The art show is kind of like looking for that perfect seashell along the shoreline. 

For more information, visit www.lagunacraftguild.org or follow on Instagram at @lagunacraftguild.


Beloved local artist Michele Taylor passes away

It is with heavy hearts we announce the loss of renowned Laguna Beach artist and beloved friend Michele Taylor, 49, who passed away on Tuesday, March 12, following an incredibly courageous fight against cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family by her side.

Michele at her studio

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Courtesy Michele’s loving mom, Barbara Taylor 

Michele was a passionate, free-spirited, and loving soul, and creative genius. She made an indelible mark in this world and our community. She will never be forgotten, but greatly missed and forever in our hearts.

Please check Stu News for a full tribute and photos celebrating her beautiful being, life, and legacy in an upcoming edition.


Laguna Beach artist Dave Hobrecht completes Jackie Robinson painting, “Game Changer”

Laguna Beach sports artist Dave Hobrecht has teamed up with former Los Angeles Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti to start a new company called The All-Time. Colletti is selecting a roster of the all-time greatest Dodger players, coaches, and broadcasters, while Hobrecht is creating completely original black-and-white paintings for each selection. 

The All-Time Dodgers pitching staff, catcher, and first baseman paintings have already been released, and now it is time to reveal Hobrecht’s newest painting “Game Changer,” showcasing the best second baseman in Dodgers history: Jackie Robinson. 

Laguna Beach Dodgers

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Dave Hobrecht’s Jackie Robinson painting, “Game Changer”

Hobrecht knew that Jackie Robinson’s legacy extended far beyond the baseball diamond. He wanted to create something that not only paid tribute to Jackie himself, but also to all of the lives that he affected. 

Players like Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Chan Ho Park, and Fernando Valenzuela (among countless others) were able to become a part of Major League Baseball and have successful careers thanks to the brave actions of Jackie Robinson. Branch Rickey and Vin Scully look on as Dodger players of all races, religions, and ethnicities line up to shake Jackie’s hand and pay “Game Changer.”

The All-Time is a company out of Laguna Beach that will release an in-depth art book in September 2019 containing the all-time greatest Dodger legends at each position selected by Ned Colletti and painted by Dave Hobrecht. 

It is a one-of-a-kind product that will place unparalleled insight from a successful MLB executive next to exquisite, original artwork from one of the best sports artists in the game. Each month leading up to the book release, The All-Time will reveal a new addition to their roster alongside a brand new painting. 

To learn more, visit www.thealltime.com.

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