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Take a peek at Laguna’s homes “off the beaten path” at the Charm House Tour on May 19

Laguna Beach is filled with beautiful, charming and unique homes. Only a small portion of those is seen frequently from the well-traveled streets – others are hidden in canyon nooks away from the beaten path. Some of these hidden treasures will be featured in this year’s Charm House Tour to be held Sunday, May 19 beginning at 12 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m.

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Photos courtesy of Village Laguna

This home on the Charm House Tour has a cabin-in-the woods feel

This will be an enjoyable afternoon in Laguna, with a taste of the heritage of Laguna Beach in neighborhoods dating from homestead days in the 1800s. Cottages and rural estates, working artists’ homes and studios will be open for view, guided by docents. Rustic canyon environments are the setting for creative residents to craft their home settings to reflect their own unique talents and interests.

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Look closely at the rustic details

This will be the 49th Charm House Tour sponsored annually (except during COVID) by Village Laguna, a civic organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the village character of Laguna Beach. It is a nonprofit, mutual benefit corporation, under section 527 of the IRS code. Village Laguna holds monthly meetings to hear speakers on topics of community interest, participates in city decision-making and elections, sponsors forums on major issues and promotes activities that preserve the qualities that make Laguna Beach unique.

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Creative and imaginative

The tour begins in front of the Festival of the Arts grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Buses depart between 12. p.m. and 3 p.m. Visiting all the houses usually takes two to three hours. Tickets are $70 pre-sale and $80 day of the tour. Purchase tickets at

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Affordable Housing Bus Tour of innovative housing sites on May 10

Because seeing is believing, the Housing and Human Services Committee invites residents to tour two innovative, beautiful affordable housing sites: Granite Court in Irvine and the award-winning Legacy Square in Santa Ana on Friday, May 10.

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Courtesy of Housing and Human Services Committee

Tour two innovative affordable housing sites on May 10

They will depart via charter coach from the Neighborhood Congregational Church parking lot (where you may park for free) at 9:30 a.m. and return by 1:30 p.m. (2 p.m. at the latest). If you prefer to drive your own vehicle to meet them at one or both, they will be happy to provide the addresses and timeline. Lunch is included.

At each site, personnel from Jamboree Housing (Granite Court) and National CORE (Legacy Square) will lead attendees through the units and answer questions. A box lunch is included in the free tour.

The Committee is grateful to the Kennedy Commission for organizing this tour.

To reserve your seat, email

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Laguna Art Museum branches out with Jay DeFeo: Trees

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will present Jay DeFeo: Trees showcasing the works of California artist Jay DeFeo (1929-1989). Set to be on view from September 21 through January 12, 2025, this is the first exhibition dedicated to the artist’s fascination with trees and exploration of the natural world. Jay DeFeo: Trees encompasses two bodies of work: drawings from the Tree series made in the 1950s and photographs of trees created during the 1970s.

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Courtesy of LAM

Jay DeFeo, “Untitled” (Tree series), 1953. Tempera on paper, 11 3/4” x 17”, JDF no. E3020. Collection Laguna Art Museum, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Merle S. Glick, 1991.077 ©2024 The Jay DeFeo Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Curated by LAM Curatorial Fellow Rochelle Steiner, Jay DeFeo: Trees will offer a rare glimpse into the artist’s drawings produced between 1953 and 1954 in her Berkeley studio, following extensive travels in Europe and North Africa. These drawings, infused with nature’s inspiration, demonstrate DeFeo’s unique blend of representation and abstraction, marking a pivotal period in her artistic journey. Among the nine extant works from the Tree series are two pieces from Laguna Art Museum’s esteemed collection.

Jay DeFeo: Trees provides us a view of an overlooked aspect of Jay DeFeo’s extraordinary body of work, inviting visitors into nature through her eyes,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “Laguna Art Museum’s unique commitment to sharing the California experience through art allows us to spotlight works of well-known artists in new and exciting ways.”

In addition to the drawings, the exhibition will feature a group of DeFeo’s remarkable black and white photographs of trees taken in the Bay Area during the early 1970s. Although DeFeo’s photographs were not shown during her lifetime, she took this aspect of her practice with the utmost seriousness. Accompanying these artworks will be a selection of archival materials highlighting the artist’s enduring fascination with trees and nature.

“It is a rare opportunity to bring together these nine drawings from the 1950s and present them in conjunction with artist’s photographs from the 1970s,” said Steiner. “Throughout her life, DeFeo observed and depicted the natural world, and this exhibition offers an opportunity to see some of her first-hand experiences and impressions of her surroundings.”

Jay DeFeo: Trees will be accompanied by an illustrated publication by Steiner, with a contribution by Elizabeth A. T. Smith. Steiner’s essay explores DeFeo’s drawings and photographs of trees in light of her unique artistic approach, while Smith contextualizes DeFeo’s work within the broader landscape of women artists during the mid-20th century.

The exhibition and publication have received generous support from The Jay DeFeo Foundation and The Segerstrom Foundation.

Coinciding with Laguna Art Museum’s annual Art + Nature initiative in fall 2024, Jay DeFeo: Trees will offer a multifaceted exploration of the artist’s work within the rich tapestry of the California environment. Through special public programs and educational engagements, the exhibition aims to engage diverse audiences and foster a deeper appreciation for DeFeo’s enduring legacy.

Jay DeFeo (1929-1989) was born in Hanover, N.H., and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She received her B.A. in 1950 and M.A. in 1951 from the University of California, Berkeley. Over the course of a career spanning four decades, DeFeo experimented with a range of materials, exploring painting, sculpture, drawing, collage, photocopying and photography, often in unorthodox ways.

DeFeo was a pivotal figure in the historic beat community of artists, poets and jazz musicians in San Francisco. Her first major solo exhibition was held at the Dilexi Gallery, San Francisco in 1959, and the same year she was included in Dorothy Miller’s historic exhibition Sixteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Championed on the West Coast by curator Walter Hopps, DeFeo was included in group exhibitions at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles and had a solo exhibition there in 1960.

DeFeo’s works are in the collections of many museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; de Young Museum, San Francisco; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art Institute of Chicago; Menil Collection, Houston; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Tate Modern, London and Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Dr. Rochelle Steiner is a Los Angeles-based curator, writer and educator, and serves as a Curatorial Fellow for Laguna Art Museum. Previously, she was chief curator and director of public programs and education at Palm Springs Art Museum; associate director and chief curator at Vancouver Art Gallery; director of the Public Art Fund, New York; chief curator at the Serpentine Gallery, London and associate curator of contemporary art, Saint Louis Art Museum.

For more information, visit

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

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Artists Fund presents Spring Collection at City Hall through May

April – May 2024

Spring Collection at City Hall – View 40 originals by Artists Fund Board Members and Art-To-Go winning artists. Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Viewing is available during regular business hours.

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Photos courtesy of Artists Fund

“Early Moon” by Wendy Wirth, part of Spring Collection

Special Sale Gallery

Now through May 2024, view the Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery” collection of affordable originals. Proceeds from sales support their Hardship Grant fund.

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“Botanical” by Natalia Eremeyeva-Duarte, 17” ceramic platter

All works are originals donated by past and present Festival exhibitors. Prices shown are reduced – to support their Hardship Grant fund for artists in need. Works may be collected in Laguna Beach or shipped at an additional cost.

To purchase artwork, contact curator Mike Tauber, call or text at 949.497.3597.

To view them online, click here.

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Fair Game


South Laguna is opening their doors…okay, garages, for the 8th Annual South Laguna Community Garage Sale tomorrow morning

Chris Tebbutt, real estate agent extraordinaire from Compass Real Estate Group, has been working to help organize the 8th Annual South Laguna Community Garage Sale tomorrow (Saturday, May 4) from 7-11 a.m.

This, of course, after eight years has become a neighborhood tradition, inviting shoppers from all around to come looking for great deals amongst the friendly South Laguna residents.

Who knows, maybe you’ll find a treasure or two.

Either way, you can enjoy the people, complimentary coffee and donuts to help wake you up.

This is not just one home, but many. Here are the addresses of those participating. Hopefully, we’ll see you along the way.

31541 Summit Road

31683 Wildwood Road

31571 Jewel Avenue

31706 Scenic Drive

31751 Scenic Drive

31666 Scenic Drive

31532 Egan Road

31547 Eagle Rock Way

31616 Virginia Way

32012 Virginia Way

31644 2nd Avenue

31691 Florence Avenue

31641 3rd Avenue

31914 9th Avenue

31311 Ceanothus Drive

31212 Pedro Street

31262 Brooks Street

On your marks…get set…GO!

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Mayor Sue Kempf and I discussed a number of those goings on in Laguna Beach, including the plans for the Promenade, what’s happening in the canyon with undergrounding and more. Check it out below. And, if you have a question you’d like me to pose to the mayor, send it to me at

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The May agenda for the upcoming California Coastal Commission meeting held next Wednesday through Friday (May 8-10) at Sovereign Nation of the Elk Valley Rancheria in Crescent City has been posted.

On Wednesday’s agenda is an appeal item directed at the Laguna Royale Owners Association at 31423 S. Coast Highway. The appeal was submitted by Catherine Jurca questioning a decision by the City of Laguna Beach granting a permit with conditions to the HOA for repair of approximately 15,600 sq. ft. of elevated deck area, removal and replacement of deck railings with glass guardrails at all units and common area decks, and after-the-fact coastal development permit for repairs and modifications to the structures and individual units, completed with design review permits and/or building permits, from 1989 through 2022.

Anyone wishing to submit a comment can do so here (must be received by 5 p.m. today, Friday, May 3).

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The Newport Beach Art Exhibition comes up Saturday, June 29 in and around Newport Beach’s Civic Center from 1-6 p.m. It’s now the last call for entries, and that might be of interest to the many Laguna Beach artists.

All painters, sculptors, photographers and mixed media artists are wanted. Categories include: painting (oils, acrylic, watercolor); drawing (ink, pencil, charcoal); photography and 3D Art (sculpture and 3D mixed media).

The one-day juried art show has a final deadline for entries on May 10. Enter at

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Art by Kym De Los Reyes/Courtesy of NBPL

Art Exhibition is at final call for entries for the late June juried show

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Heritage Month is officially underway. Upcoming events include the Trolley Tour (Saturday, May 11 at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) celebrating the works of Laguna Beach architect Aubrey St. Clair. Space is limited, so go to to register.

Then, on Thursday, May 16 it will be the Historic Project Forum from 6-8 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. It will feature design, construction and real estate professionals sharing experiences with historic properties, including Mills Act calculations, along with a Q&A. Attendees may also find out about the rewarding process of historic preservation.

Other activities during the month include a Laguna Beach Living History featuring No Square Theatre on Saturday, May 18 (10 a.m.-1 p.m.), public tours of the Hortense Miller Garden ( and a Crystal Cove Historic District self-guided walking tour (

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Do you have a young person in your home who wants or might want to participate in the Junior Guard program? Well, all new applicants must pass a required swim test before they can register.

The requirements are these: for 8-11 years old, they need to have the ability to swim 100 yards (four lengths of the pool) in 2 minutes and 20 seconds; those 12-15 need to do that same distance in 1 minute and 50 seconds.

There are a number of tests available and participants can take the test as many times as needed to get there.

Here are the upcoming dates and times, all at Laguna Beach High School: today, May 3 from 6-7 p.m.; tomorrow, May 4 from 3-4 p.m.; Friday, May 17 from 6-7 p.m.; Saturday, May 18 from 3-4 p.m.; Friday, June 14 from 6-7 p.m.; Saturday, June 15 from 3-4 p.m.; Friday, June 28 from 6-7 p.m., and Saturday, June 29 from 3-4 p.m.

Tests are by appointment only; and they must be supervised by staff.

Interested participants must register through the city.

• • •

Here’s something to enjoy this Sunday, May 5 from 1-2 p.m. at the Laguna Art Museum. Laguna Live! at the Museum presents the Triada Guitar Trio, three virtuoso guitarist brothers – Nikola, Petar and Vasil Chekardzhikovi.

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

The three Chekardzhikovi brothers comprise the Triada Guitar Trio

Those in the know say, “Their intuitive sense of ensemble creates captivating and thrilling performances.”

Their repertoire includes traditional classics, modern favorites and vibrant, colorful ethnic music.

Advance reservations are recommended and can be made at, or by calling the Museum 949.494.8971. It’s free to members of Laguna Beach Live! and to members of the Museum or $14 museum admission to non-members.

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Finally, my efforts to get more plugged into the galleries with future First Thursdays Art Walks struck at least one reader. Bridgette Shaw from Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) replied saying that she was “happily shocked” to see my reach out.

She’s owned the gallery for the last eight years and told me LGOCA is “a unique contemporary gallery showcasing top regional and international artists. The emphasis is on emerging and mid-career artists working with a variety of mediums. LGOCA offers a diverse mixture of paintings, sculpture, glass and metal creations and Large Statement pieces are a specialty.

“Not your typical white-walled gallery affair, LGOCA promises to engage you in an experience you won’t find anywhere else.”

It sounds like a place I need to visit…and soon!

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17th Annual Grapes for Grads

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Sunday, April 28 was a great day for wine aficionados. Grapes for Grads, a wine tasting and scholarship fundraiser, is Laguna’s premier wine tasting event. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Laguna Beach, this annual event raises money for college scholarships to assist students who attend Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) and Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). All proceeds go toward the scholarships.

The fundraiser featured more than 40 wineries with more than 85 labels, live music and a silent auction.

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Greeted by grapes: Rotarian Kerri Redeker and two bunches of grapes

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Bree Burgess Rosen serves up her favorite wine in the VIP Lounge

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Tickets were on sale for the Wine Tower raffle

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(L-R) Michelle Farry, Karyn Philippsen and Ashley Johnson, SVP/CMO, Visit Newport Beach

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President and CEO of LB Chamber of Commerce Erin Slattery (right) and friend

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Janice Flanagan offers a taste of D’Arques Sieur

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LCAD student

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Chris, owner of Maro Wood Grill, dishes up beef stew

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Bogle attracted attention with their beautiful wine bottles

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Lindsay Smith, executive chef and owner of Nirvana Kitchen + Pantry (center) with her staff offered mushroom pasta

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Austin Hope from Paso Robles

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Stacy Colledge selling raffle tickets

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Attendees check out the auction items

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(L-R) Craig Lockwood and Howard Hill

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(L-R) Ashley Johnson, Councilmember Mark Orgill, Karyn Philippsen and Lindsay Smith

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Singer Jenny Metzger

For more photos by Mary Hurlbut, go to the slideshow below:

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California Happening: An evening will show images captured by local photographer during California’s colorful, fun hippie concerts


This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit

In the way lives in a small town intersect, a random listen to a local radio show is now resulting in an educational evening of music history being celebrated in Laguna Beach today, Friday, May 3.

Patti Compton, founder of the Music History Hall Foundation, was airing her music history show Play Something Sweet on KXFM when Jan Nichols listened in. He appreciated her perspective about music shaping society, especially in the late 1960s and dropped off a book at the studio. It was the culmination of a years-long project, compiling the many images he took while attending concerts in Southern California during that time frame. It wasn’t Woodstock, but it was a reflection of the times, and he compiled it for his daughter and a few close friends. He didn’t realize the interest it would generate.

“For me, as a music historian, these images are a primary source material,” said Compton. “They’re a first-hand account (of the concerts).”

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Photo by Jan Nichols

The crowd at the Newport Pop Festival at the Orange County Fairgrounds was wearing the latest styles when they attended the 1968 concert

Nichols attended the Newport Pop Festival at the fairgrounds. He was at concerts in Northridge. He was Altamont.

He had moved to California – “the land of milk and honey,” he said – after graduating from college in Arizona in the late 1960s.

“I was a brand-new teacher, and new to LA and enamored by it and everything connected to it,” he said. “Music has always been a big part of my life, so I went to the concerts.”

And while the music was a central component, decades later Nichols is now able to see a larger perspective.

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Photo by Jenni Nichols

Patti Compton, executive director of the Music History Hall Foundation stands with photographer Jan Nichols, holding his book “Love, Peace and Happiness,” which captured the music scene from 1968-1971

“I did not realize at the time, but these were not just music festivals – they were anti-war rallies and the start of the environmental movement,” he said. As an employed teacher, he’d attend the weekend events capturing the carefree moments.

“These kids were dressed up at the concerts and were excited to have me shoot pictures. They saw me over and over, so there was a trust level. I guess I was an observer, but I wasn’t looked upon as an observer.” He was young and poor, and shooting selected pictures of the concerts – where he’d been and what he saw. He used a beat-up Olympus camera and shot slides – using mostly Ektachrome because he liked the warmth of that film.

“It’s not like today. Back then you constantly had to think ‘How many pictures did I have left?’ ‘How many rolls of film?’” he recalled. “I shot slides as it was way cheaper than shooting print and everybody had slide projectors.”

Instead of focusing on the musicians, Nichols captured the attendees. He liked documenting the fashions and styles that are now so associated with the era – from 1968-1971.

“It was very easy to get up close and shoot close pictures. None of this was cropped or anything,” he said. “I loved to see the play of the people around and see what they were doing at that moment.”

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Photo by Jan Nichols

The Rolling Stones concert at Altamont was supposed to be a big, free celebration, with crowds walking in from the highway. The event turned tragic when a woman was stabbed to death by the Hell’s Angels security team.

His memories of Altamont in December 1969 remain strong.

“It was just like in Woodstock, with cars parking and we were walking along the highway to get in – it was a free concert. Just as it was getting dark, we realized things were not good,” he said as the Rolling Stones stopped playing for a bit then returned to the stage. Although the crowd was not yet aware someone had been killed at the site, Nichols left later in the night.

Compton is thrilled to coordinate the public showing of the historical photo collection, which is being dubbed California Happening.

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Assistance League awards $30,000 to local organizations

The Assistance League of Laguna Beach (ALLB) has awarded financial grants in the aggregate amount of $30,000 to several local philanthropic organizations. The $30,000 in grant awards is in addition to ALLB’s annual philanthropic donations.

The grant recipients include the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, GiGi’s Playhouse Orange County, Collaborative Courts, Sally’s Fund, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and Ability Awareness Project.

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Photo by Jessica Harlow

(L-R) Suzanne Scott (Gigi’s Playhouse), Shadi Pourkashef (Ability Awareness Project), Kathy Burnham (Collaborative Courts), Kathy Pawluk (ALLB President), Rachael Berger (Sally’s Fund), Monica Prado (Laguna Beach Community Clinic) and Kathleen Hester (ALLB VP Philanthropy)

According to Kathleen Hester, ALLB VP of Philanthropy, “We are thrilled that our Thrift Shop has done so well this year and that we can provide additional grants to these very deserving organizations.”

ALLB President Kathy Pawluk added, “We are grateful to the members of this community for their generous donations of items to be sold in the Thrift Shop, and to the tireless efforts of our members who make the shop such a success.”

ALLB is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization which generously supports many community programs with funds raised by its Thrift Shop.

The ALLB Thrift Shop is located at 526 Glenneyre Ave. and is open from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Donations are accepted in the garage behind the shop Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 pm. For more information, contact, or visit

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Laguna Food Pantry’s Maurice Baz recognized as 2024 Outstanding Volunteer

On April 25, Maurice Baz, Laguna Food Pantry’s program and development manager, was recognized as a 2024 Outstanding Volunteer at One OC’s 65th Spirit of Volunteerism Award ceremony at the City National Grove of Anaheim. The event honors the connections among all Southern California’s nominated volunteers and their work with nonprofits. Although Baz is on staff and no longer a volunteer, Orange County Food Bank nominated him for his dedication and work automating the federal food program.

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Courtesy of the Laguna Food Pantry

(L-R) Anne Belyea, Laguna Food Pantry’s executive director; Maurice Baz, Laguna Food Pantry’s program and development manager and Cynthia Carson, Laguna Food Pantry’s board member and operations chair

Laguna Food Pantry provides free, fresh and nutritious groceries to those facing food insecurity in Laguna Beach and surrounding communities. Operating with the belief that no one should go hungry, the Pantry provides groceries to more than 1,000 families and individuals weekly.

Laguna Food Pantry is open Monday through Friday from 8-10:30 a.m. with a drive-through distribution system. Anyone facing food insecurity is welcome to visit once a week to pick up groceries. To learn more about Laguna Food Pantry, how to get involved, or ways to donate, visit

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Senator Min and Mayor Kempf speak to LBOR members

On April 26, the Laguna Board of REALTORS® (LBOR) held their 100th Membership Meeting at the newly renovated Rivian Theater in Laguna Beach. The sustainable theater space aligns with the mission of LBOR, and was the perfect backdrop to watch a movie produced by Jesse Brossa, Compass depicting Laguna Beach and the role Laguna Board of REALTORS® played in its history. Members received a housing update from their President Bob Chapman, Mayor Sue Kempf and Senator Dave Min.

Opening comments by Chapman illustrated the connections between the Laguna Board of REALTORS® and the City of Laguna Beach while working with buyers and sellers throughout the decades. There was a specific reference to the long-standing importance of the relationships between agents and brokerages, to best represent buyers and sellers of permanent residences and vacation homes in Laguna Beach.

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Photos by Jesse Brossa

(L-R) Senator Dave Min presents LBOR President Bob Chapman with a proclamation at the centennial membership meeting

The history of housing in Laguna Beach played a vital role in maintaining the balance between preservation and progress in the community since the very beginning in 1924. Major Sue Kempf focused her talk on the progress on approved Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) in Laguna Beach referencing Senate Bill 9. Her mission is to work with the Coastal Commission and the state for lesser restrictions on height limitations of ADUs to allow for second- and third-story housing on existing commercial buildings guided by the Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) and Senate Bill 1055.  Recognizing the lack of affordable housing in Laguna, Mayor Kempf’s mission is to provide a more diverse community, through providing housing for artists and younger residents to remain in our city through possible donations of funds.

Senator Dave Min has long been an advocate for affordable housing. His current focus is on small businesses and victims of deceptive lending practices. Min states that homeownership is the main pathway to working families building wealth. Residents can save for unexpected future expenses, children’s college tuitions and medical expenses through building equity as they pay their mortgage. Homeownership is tied to public policy and the primary way people build wealth, however homeownership is becoming out of reach and although a statewide issue, it is more exacerbated in Orange County. Min recognizes that it is difficult for working class families to afford a home. Many people are leaving the state and homelessness is on the rise primarily due to the high cost of housing.

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LBOR President Bob Chapman and Mayor Sue Kempf address meeting attendees

Senator Min recognized SB10. However, Laguna is unique and offers a lot of jobs but offers little infrastructure to support additional housing. He is working with the Coastal Commission to head off problems with housing, and trying to find the right balance is key. The scarcity of rental properties in OC feels broken due to too much regulation. Small landlords should not be included in major regulation.

Senator Min also shared his concerns with the current homeowner insurance issues. Thirty million dollars has been allocated in the area for Fire Preparedness through infrared and wind predictive cameras in wildfire areas to try to be on top of risk as much as possible. He also backed Senate Bill 9 which negotiated carve-outs to allow for HOA exemptions to make them more amenable to communities such as Laguna.

For more information on Laguna Board of REALTORS®, visit

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The Sacramento Chronicles


May 3, 2024

Hello Laguna Beach!

In Sacramento, the end of April brings not showers, but tsunamis of bills that need action. April 26 is the deadline for all bills that cost the state money to make it out of the policy committees to which they were initially referred. This deadline led to a flurry of committee meetings (often held at the same time) while Assemblymembers negotiated amendments, presented bills to respective committees and advocated for bills to be set for hearings.

As a member of six active committees, I spent many hours debating and voting on hundreds of Assembly bills that came before me. Your taxpayer dollars are at work (that I am working hard to protect!) and your Legislature will not be slowing down any time soon.

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Courtesy of Diane Dixon

Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach)

The next major fiscal deadline is May 17 to send all bills with a cost to the state from the Assembly Appropriations Committee to the Assembly Floor. Then we must vote to send bills introduced in the Assembly to the Senate by May 24 to meet the House of Origin deadline. There will probably be about 700+ bills before the Appropriations Committee for the big suspense file hearing. One benefit of serving on the Appropriations Committee is members have a preview of most every bill (because most every bill has a fiscal impact, regrettably) that will ultimately come to the Assembly Floor.

Some bill updates: I have good news and bad news. I will start with the good news! On Earth Day, I introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 182, which intends to promote and encourage solutions and resources for keeping the oceans and coastlines healthy and eliminating the Great Pacific Garbage patch. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of debris, trash and waste that has collected in the North Pacific Ocean, forming two giant circulating groups. It is also known as the Pacific trash vortex with a mass of approximately 100,000 tons covering 617,000 square miles, which is twice the size of Texas.

This week, I introduced ACR 190 to recognize the month of May as ALS Awareness Month. My mother passed away from ALS 20 years ago, and I am proud to raise awareness in honor of the many thousands of ALS victims who succumb to the disease in California every year.

AB 1952, my bill to increase support for parenting foster youth, unanimously made it out of the Assembly Committee on Human Services. Its next hurdle will be the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 2393, which extends the lease terms for public trust lands at Newport Bay from 50 years to 66, is already over in the Senate. It will be referred to a policy committee soon.

Additionally pending referral to a committee in the Senate is AB 2504, which would recognize the Black Abalone as the State Seashell.

Finally, this year I worked with Assemblymember Low to re-introduce a bill from last year. AB 2766 would add more transparency to why an incarcerated person receives early release credits and thus a shorter sentence. This bill made it through the Assembly Public Safety Committee and the Assembly Judiciary Committee. Next, it will have to make it out of the Appropriations Committee.

Now, the bad news. AB 3153, which would have provided a 15-year extension to the Balboa Island Ferry to comply with CARB’s zero-emission electrification mandates, was killed in the Assembly Transportation Committee last week. I intend to continue working on this bill with the committee chair to see if we can find a way forward — to save the Ferry from having to meet impossible near-term compliance deadlines. The Chair is reasonable and was impressed by Ferry owners – Seymour’s and Joe Beek’s – testimony. Although she voted “no” she believes there may be a workable solution for the Ferry and CARB. Our Balboa Ferry is truly a symbol of the larger issue of the State of California regulating small businesses out of business and driving them to other states.

Do you know a woman pursuing higher education? Encourage her to apply for scholarships offered by the Legislative Women’s Caucus. The Minerva Scholarship offers female students financial assistance to meet educational expenses. The Breaking Barriers Scholarship offers financial assistance for women pursuing a certification program, apprenticeship or degree in the field of STEM. Check out application requirements for both opportunities here: WICL – Women In California Leadership | Scholarship Program.

Mark your calendars! On Memorial Day, I look forward to honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our great country. Please join me for the Field of Honor by the Exchange Club of Newport Harbor at 12 p.m. on May 27 at Castaways Park – Dover Drive and 16th Street.

Additionally, on Friday, May 31, I will be hosting a Business Round Table with the Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce at 11:30 a.m. I hope to see you there.

Not receiving invitations to my events? Send an email to to be added to our distribution list or visit my website: Diane Dixon website. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and X.

Thank you Stu News for keeping our local residents informed! I am honored to reach Stu News readers with highlights about my life and times serving you in Sacramento. Until next month – be well!

Diane Dixon is a two-term Newport Beach City Councilmember and two-time Mayor. She is currently serving her first term in Sacramento.

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Susi Q is the place to be this May: There’s the Bargain Bonanza and so much more

Susi Q’s popular annual Bargain Bonanza is set for Saturday, May 11 between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third St. As always, there’ll be an amazing array of deals from which to choose. Donations will be accepted daily, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m., now through May 10. Items accepted include jewelry, tableware, kitchenware, household items, collectibles, handbags and holiday decorations. However, no apparel, furniture, stemware and oversized items will be accepted, and because of space limitations, some items may not be accepted.

It’s all for a good cause – proceeds from donated items go towards the purchase of Bingo prizes and support the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship Fund. Email Susana at for more information.

The Misconceptions of Palliative Care & Hospice Care

When someone chooses hospice, it is often falsely perceived as giving up hope.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Rickie Redman, director of Aging in Place Services and End-of-Life practitioner

On Tuesday, May 14 from 3-4 p.m., join Rickie Redman, director of Aging in Place Services and End-of-Life practitioner, for a demystifying session. You’ll leave with a greater understanding of your care preferences. To register, go here.

Another free musical morning

On Wednesday, May 15 at 10 a.m., enjoy another unique free musical morning with award-winning violinist Tessa Lark and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber, who together create a duo unlike any other. By fusing their classical and American music influences – from Bach and bebop to bluegrass – they have created a wholly original sound.

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Photo by Michael Yang

Award-winning violinist Tessa Lark and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber

In their respective careers, Tessa and Michael have had the privilege of collaborating with some of the world’s leading musicians in a wide variety of genres, among them are Mitsuko Uchida, Edgar Meyer, Itzhak Perlman and Mark O’Connor (Tessa), and Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor, Vulfpeck, Jon Batiste and Cee Lo Green (Michael).

The concert will be followed by a Q&A session exploring the duo’s evocative mix of musical styles. Register online at, or call 949.715.8105.

Magical Machu Picchu

Armchair travelers will enjoy Wanda Matjas’ presentation on Mystic Machu Picchu, which takes place on Tuesday, May 21 from 1:30-3 p.m. in-person and on Zoom.

“Machu Picchu is a trek into history,” Matjas said. “Shrouded by mist and surrounded by lush vegetation and steep escarpments, the sprawling Inca citadel lives up to every expectation.” If you would like to attend, register here.

Visit to review the many ongoing programs that Susi Q offers, from ukulele lessons and standing yoga, to bridge and mahjong classes, not to mention support groups and clubs for special interest groups ranging from genealogy and current affairs to books and so much more. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department (now the Dorene Cares Office) provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed and independent.

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Whale of a good time

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Photo by Rick Putnam

Laguna resident catches near perfect shot while out enjoying a lunchtime cruise with Huntington Beach in the background

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Stressing excessively about your health? Susi Q’s free “Feeling the Blues” program can help

As the years go by, and we witness friends and relatives being diagnosed with a variety of ailments – not to mention dying – there are times when an ache, irregular skin blotch, or upset stomach can send us into a panic.

Health anxiety is a real thing and a serious matter. Kathleen (Kay) Wenger, MA, LMFT, LPCC, clinical supervisor at the Susi Q Senior Center, offers advice about how to deal with these fears.

“To some extent, this is normal as we age,” Wenger said. “Staying active and socializing, practicing meditation, getting enough sleep and minimizing alcohol can be very helpful in reducing this kind of stress.”

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Courtesy of Susi Q

Kathleen (Kay) Wenger, MA, LMFT, LPCC, clinical supervisor at the Susi Q Senior Center

She added, “When your worries focus on possible future illnesses, think about it this way: You may – or may not – contract a disease or lose your ability to process thoughts. Focus on the fact that your anxiety is likely unfounded, and give that thought more power than your fear.”

It’s also important, of course, to keep up with doctor visits and regular check-ups and educate yourself appropriately about relevant health conditions.

But when worrying about your health becomes uncontrollable and dominates your thoughts, Wenger strongly suggests talking to a therapist.

“There’s a condition called nosophobia, when the patient becomes terribly fearful of contracting or strongly believes they have a serious illness,” she explained. “This is a form of OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be very helpful in cases like these. Just talking to a therapist can make a world of difference as we address the underlying reasons for your anxiety,” she said.

That’s where Susi Q’s “Feeling the Blues” program comes in. Founded almost 10 years ago, the program exists to help Laguna Beach seniors navigate anxiety and depression and other common mental health challenges. Wenger is one of several qualified volunteer therapists who stand ready to help. (The program is free, though donations are always appreciated.)

“We’re here to help,” Wenger said, adding wryly, “Remember, as we age, we see more death…but we can tell ourselves that we’re at least alive ourselves.”

“Feeling the Blues” – Susi Q’s individual counseling program – offers free, confidential counseling with a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (donations are appreciated). In-person or by phone/Zoom, therapists help clients develop coping strategies that help them manage issues such as loneliness, a reduced sense of purpose, health issues, relationships with family and friends and financial pressures.

For more information on Kay Wenger, visit

If you would like to chat to one of Susi Q’s therapists, call Care Manager Martha Hernandez, LCSW, at 949.715.8104, or email her at for a referral.

Susi Q is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach. For more information, visit

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Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce to host annual golf tournament, presented by Visit Laguna Beach

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce is organizing its annual golf tournament, which is presented by Visit Laguna Beach and will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at Strawberry Farms Golf Club.

The chamber is currently seeking players, sponsors, silent auction items, and swag bag items to raise funds for supporting and advocating for businesses and the community in Laguna Beach.

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Photos courtesy of LB Chamber

Laguna Beach Chamber board of directors at the 2023 golf tournament, (L-R): Jeffrey Redeker, J.J. Ballesteros, Julie Laughton, Paula Hornbuckle-Arnold and Reinhard Neubert

The tournament will feature a variety of competitions in addition to 18 holes of scramble golf tournament play. There will be men’s and women’s Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, a $5,000 Mega Putt and a $100,000 Shootout competition. Participants will also enjoy a Mimosa Bar by Bianchi Winery, music by The Voice of Laguna, Starfish Laguna for Lunch, massages from Health in Balance, Swag Bags sponsored by The Ranch and more.

“I’m looking forward to a great day,” said CEO Erin Slattery. “We had so much fun last year. It’s going to be a day of great weather, great company and good food.”

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Javier Valdivia with Eagle Eye Services captured Julie Laughton and Richard Williams celebrating at the 2023 golf tournament

Sponsors currently include Visit Laguna Beach, Julie Laughton Design Build, The Ranch, Starfish Laguna, Eagle Eye Services, The Voice of Laguna, Bianchi, Ruby’s Diner, Buni’s Bakery, Health in Balance, Angels Baseball, Celsius, Empress Builders, Ballesteros Group, Berkshire Hathaway – Jennifer Halbert, Coast Hardware, CR&R, Doheny Builders Supply, SoCal Gas and John Campbell Insurance Agency.

Come help the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce raise funds to support their mission while enjoying a day on the greens.

For more information, go to

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Meet Pet of the Week Penelope

A beautiful girl who sports lovely earth colors of brown, black and white is ready to brighten someone’s life. Penelope is a 6-month-old pup who is ready to move into her forever home. This sweet hound fox terrier is shy, but more than ready to enjoy a new life in a loving home.

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping to have Penelope adopted as soon as possible.

Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Penelope is a shy pup, but is very sweet

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is 5% as compared to the national return rate of 50%.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Call 949.497.3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures,

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LAM unveils Kids Summer Day camps and programs in newly renovated STUDIO/Lab

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) has announced their highly anticipated summer camps and programs, taking place in the recently renovated STUDIO/Lab. From June through August, children ages 6-12 are invited to explore their creativity and imagination through a series of engaging and educational programs.

The LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series is set to take place on Mondays from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m., providing an exclusive opportunity for children to engage, create and play in the museum’s inspiring environment while it is closed to the public. With each camp centered around a unique theme, camp attendees are encouraged to embrace the joys of messy, imaginative and dynamic summer adventures.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Children participating in hands-on activities at Laguna Art Museum’s newly renovated STUDIO/Lab

For those looking to extend their children’s camp experiences, Laguna Art Museum introduces the LAM Kids Summer Mini Camp Series, a new program designed to complement the day camp experiences. Held from 3-5 p.m. on Mondays immediately following the LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series, these two-hour sessions offer children the perfect chance to further their artistic journey in an enriching setting.

“We are committed to growing a love for art in children of all backgrounds and abilities and look forward to welcoming them to our museum this summer,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum.

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Newly renovated STUDIO/Lab

The summer camps will take place in the newly unveiled STUDIO/Lab, a vibrant two-room art installation designed by visionary artists Michael Davis and Elyse Pignolet. This dynamic space offers opportunities for creative exploration, featuring immersive experiences, interactive gadgets and hands-on activities that inspire visitors of all ages to unleash their imagination.

“STUDIO/Lab serves as a boundless playground for encouraging exploration and letting the imagination run free. Importantly, it also offers fresh and accessible perspectives on art. This is a space where people of all ages can tap into their creativity, learn new skills and explore the art of fun,” added Lee.

Every summer Friday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., LAM Kids Summer Fridays will offer a chance to drop in and create masterpieces. The STUDIO/Lab will be open to all kids who want to explore their creativity and participate in hands-on art projects. Members of the education staff will be on-site to offer assistance and guidance.

LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series:

Art Adventure: Monday, June 24 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Awesome Animals: Monday, July 8 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Creation Station: Monday, July 15 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Cartoons: Monday, July 22 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Under the Sea: Monday, July 29 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Art Play Day Camp: Monday, August 5 from 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

LAM Kids Summer Mini Camp Series:

Each mini camp will follow the respective day camp from 3-5 p.m.

LAM Kids Summer Fridays:

Every summer Friday, from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.


LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series:

Museum members, $75 per child

Discounted price of $60 per child for two or more children

Non-members, $95 per child

Discounted price of $80 per child for two or more children

LAM Kids Summer Mini Camp Series:

Museum members, $30 per child

Discounted price of $25 per child for two or more children, Non-members, $55 per child for non-members

Discounted price of $50 per child for registering two or more children

LAM Kids Summer Fridays:

Drop-ins are free with museum admission. Parents or guardians don’t need to be present for these events and pre-registration is required for kids. To learn more about the upcoming summer programs and to register, visit

Laguna Art Museum exists to engage and enlighten people of all ages through art that embodies and preserves the California experience. Laguna Art Museum presents exhibitions relevant to California art and artists throughout the year and is home to the annual Art & Nature Festival celebrating the museum’s unique relationship to the environment.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Museum Hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, visit

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in May

Crystal Cove State Park has a variety of events in May, include Art in the Park on May 4. During the spring, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at a few of the upcoming offerings.

Saturday, May 4: Art in the Park from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park and Crystal Cove Conservancy invite visitors to enjoy a day of art and music at their Art in the Park festivity, a day filled with activities that celebrate the integration of art and nature. The Historic District will come alive with musical performances, workshops, demonstrations and activities. Enjoy free family-friendly art events, shop for arts and crafts from local vendors and enjoy a beautiful day at Crystal Cove. For a full schedule, visit Park in the Los Trancos lot and walk through the tunnel to the Education Commons (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos). $15 day-use fee.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Take a Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk on May 5

Sunday, May 5: Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk at 1 p.m.

Spring gives us a series of excellent low tides in the late morning and early afternoon. The receding tide leaves a potluck of animals and seaweed to explore so come join in for a Beach Wrack and Tidepool Walk. Where there are tidepools, they’ll investigate. Maybe talk a little geology. You’ll walk from Reef Point toward the Historic District. When you are finished exploring, take some refreshment, and enjoy the spectacular view at the Shake Shack, then return at your leisure along the blufftop trail. Wear sturdy walking shoes, or closed-toed sandals for tidepooling, as rocks can be slippery and sharp, and your feet will likely get wet. Bring a hiking pole if you are unsteady on rocks. Meet at the Reef Point Lot (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk, then left to the first restroom building, which is on the right). $15 day use fee.

Friday, May 10: Perimeter of the Park from 7:15-11:30 a.m.

Ready for a challenging hike to tour the Crystal Cove backcountry? Join a park docent as you go from the “gills to the hills” on this strenuous but very scenic loop hike known as the “Perimeter of the Park.” Distance is around nine miles; elevation/gain loss, around 1,500 ft. The hike is done at a moderate pace with one or two short breaks. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack. Please arrive by 7:15 a.m. as the hike will start promptly at 7:30 a.m. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at the stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs towards the Ranger Station). $15 day use fee.

Saturday, May 11: Sunset Treasure and photo Op Walk from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Join a docent for a slow-paced walk along the beach at low tide stopping to admire sea treasures, birds and interesting rocks on this Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk at Crystal Cove State Park. Let the sounds of the sea and sights soothe you as you walk to an ideal spot to watch the sun sink behind Catalina Island. You’ll walk on flat, firm sand except for the steepish paved ramp from the parking lot to the beach. Meet at the restroom building at Reef Point (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk to the southernmost end of the lot). $15 day use fee.

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Join a park naturalist on a Spring Bird Walk on May 18 and you may spot a gnatcatcher, roadrunner or osprey

Saturday, May 18: Spring Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m.

The birds are twitterpated and spring is an invigorating time to see “birds in love!” Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to identify new species as well as seeing and hearing their resident avian friends like California Gnatcatchers, Greater Roadrunners and Osprey. Come join a park naturalist for an easy Spring Bird Walk along Moro Canyon. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). $15 day use fee.

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Explore the coastal section of the park during a Beach Geology Tour on May 19

Sunday, May 19: Beachfront Geology Tour from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a Beachfront Geology Tour along the coastal section of the park to explore 125,000-year-old deposits of elevated beach sand, cobbles and hundreds of fossil clams which can be observed in place 80 ft. up near the top of the sea cliff or as broken rocks on the beach below. You’ll also talk about the huge boulders strewn across the beach which reveal evidence of a different geologic time. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). $15 day use fee.

Friday, May 24: Full Moon Hike from 7:45-10 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Please RSVP to Lets Go Outside at

For a complete calendar of events, go to

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How about starting your day with a hike?

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Perhaps the trail head to Barbara’s Lake at the Nix Nature Center

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Fair Game



Goat guardians of Laguna: 200 nibblers added to the hillside herd…LBPD is on a homicide cold-case pursuit

I hear that I’ve done a less than adequate job in promoting the First Thursdays Art Walk. So today, let’s try and begin correcting that. The First Thursdays Art Walk begins each month by celebrating the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach while offering all-comers a free evening tour of our local galleries and shops in town, enjoying food, drink and even some entertainment along the way.

The Art Walk kicks off at Hotel Laguna (425 S. Coast Highway) with Art Start Happy Hour from 5-6 p.m.

And now, with the weather even better, what can be nicer than an evening out enjoying all that’s good about Laguna Beach with your neighbors. Typically, you’ll enjoy some 40+ galleries, proudly featuring many incredible artists.

Here is just a sampling of galleries you may be interested in checking out this week:

LCAD Gallery (347 Ocean Ave.) promotes the development of their student talent.

Dawson Cole Fine Arts (326 Glenneyre St.) specializes in contemporary and modern sculpture, drawings, prints and unique works on paper by American and European masters.

The gallery offers works by Chuck Close, Wayne Thiebaud, Donald Sultan, Richard MacDonald, Henri Matisse, Henry Moore, Pablo Picasso, Jian Wang, Tom Betts, James Galindo and Jim Lamb.

Sue Greenwood Fine Art (330 N. Coast Highway) is one of the most respected contemporary fine art galleries, exhibiting artists that exemplify aesthetic excellence with a focus on realism and figurative works of art.

–The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (414 N. Coast Highway) builds upon and promotes the renowned landscape painting heritage that’s renowned in Laguna Beach.

–And many, many more.

BTW, that evening you may also enjoy free entrance into the Laguna Art Museum as part of the Art Walk.

If you’re a gallery, put me on your promotion list (, and let me know what you’re doing and we’ll try to bring it to the community’s attention prior to upcoming First Thursdays.

The Art Walk takes place from 6-9 p.m. For a list of galleries, go to

• • •

Guess who’s baaaaack? A second herd of 200 goats was added to the pool, or should we say hillside, this past Sunday. They began grazing at Nyes Place.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Two hundred more goats grazing on the Laguna Beach hillsides this week

The goats presently in Three Arch Bay have seven days left there before they move on to clear Bluebird Canyon.

We love our goats in Laguna Beach!

• • •

The Laguna Beach Police are committed to a cold-case pursuit of justice. As such, meet Jeff:

“On May 9, 1992, I was murdered at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. I was 19 years old and had my entire life in front of me. I had a twin brother, loving parents and lots of friends. It has been almost 32 years since I died, and nobody has been held responsible. Detectives say the suspects probably told someone what they did.”

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Courtesy of LBPD

Cold case Laguna Beach murder dating back to 1992

Witnesses said the suspects were two male Hispanics in their late teens/early 20s. They fled in a light-colored American sedan like an Olds or Buick.

If you know anything, please call Laguna Beach PD detectives at 949.715.0984. #LBPD #whokilledjeff #pursuitofjustice.

• • •

The Woman’s Club is planning their Boots & Buckles Country Jamboree this Friday (May 3), from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive.

They have tickets left!

Come join them for a unique Country Rock dance party and evening of fun, complete with Texas BBQ dining and great socializing. Or, as they’re saying, “put on your denims and best dancin’ shoes and mosey on down.”

Dinner includes Tender Tri-Tip, Grilled BBQ Chicken, Corn Bread, Smokey Ranch Beans, Mac & Cheese, Seasonal Veggies, Spring Strawberry Salad AND for those interested in “dee-sert,” better translated to Apple Cobbler with whipped cream topping.

Then, dance and stomp to the sounds of classic/modern country songs by the likes of Garth Brooks, the Marshall Tucker Band, Johnny Cash, Lynyrd Skynard, the Stones, Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, Aerosmith and the late, great Roy Orbison.

And, for those of you interested in “drinkin’,” choices include beer, spirits, wine and two signature drinks – Tequila Sunrise and Mint Juleps.

There will also be instructors on-hand to help you with some line dancin’ and the Texas Two-Step.

All proceeds go to support the club’s outreach programs. For more information, contact RSVPs are requested.

• • •

The 13th Annual Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest attracts top professionals and emerging amateur photographers who capture the magic of our Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The contest officially opened on Earth Day (April 22), and will run through June 22.

Contest prizes will include cash awards for top winners.

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Photo by Bassim El Hatem

Bassim El Hatem won second place amateur last year with this shot titled “Dances with Dolphins”

This year’s contest is dedicated to celebrating the good news and success following 10 years of MPA protection to showcase the recovery of sea life and kelp forests in Laguna Beach.

“The California Fish & Game Commission’s Decadal Review is an opportunity to showcase the steady recovery of Laguna’s sea life and many ways we enjoy the Laguna Bluebelt’s citywide Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Images captured by photographers give us hope for a better, brighter future with abundant kelp forests and healthy sea life,” said Anne Girtz, a contest organizer.

Laguna photographer Sean Hunter Brown, winner in the 2017 and 2021 Bluebelt Photo Contests, recently summed up the feelings of those who enter the contest in a recent interview, “My love of the ocean is where my inspiration comes from – not the ocean itself, but the feeling I get from being in it…it is spiritual for me.”

Laguna Bluebelt 2024 Photo Contest judges are Julianne Steers (marine scientist, nature photographer and popular educator), Rich German (Project O, TEDx organizer and author of Blue Laguna) and Kate Vylet (award-winning conservation photographer and videographer based in Monterey Bay, Calif.).

An Artists’ Reception will be hosted by the Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) Gallery on August 1, to coincide with Laguna’s popular Thursdays Art Walk. Bluebelt Contest photography will then be displayed at the Gallery from August 1-18.

To find out more about entering the contest, go to

• • •

Did you know that the City Council has proclaimed this Saturday, May 4, as Bee Day? It was done to “recognize the important role bees play in our ecosystem as pollinators, contributing to the health and vitality of our environment.”

Also recognized with a big thank you are Karen Nelson, Nancy Englund and Lynn Jax from the Laguna Beach Garden Club for their work in promoting bee-friendly initiatives in our community.

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