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Meet Pet of the Week Charlie

If you’re ready to have a pet fully appreciate your presence at all times, welcome Charlie into your home. This short-hair tabby is very friendly and simply loves all the attention you’d ever want to shower upon him. He is a 1-year-old neutered male who is very friendly and will be a great addition to the lucky household that adopts him.

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

Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Charlie is a friendly short-haired orange tabby who loves attention

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, www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.

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Laguna Beach Recreation Division unveils exciting array of summer camps

The Laguna Beach Recreation Division has announced a diverse selection of summer camps kicking off the week of June 17! With registration now open, new camps are scheduled to start each week throughout the summer, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Surf Camp

Returning camp favorites such as Tennis and Swimming, Art Adventures, Ocean Camps, Youth Beach Volleyball, Lego, Soccer and Radio Camp are back by popular demand. This year, the city is also introducing several new and exciting camps to the community, including youth lawn bowling, youth theater, beginning golf and a Barbie-themed dance camp.

To secure a spot, early registration is highly recommended as camps fill up quickly. For a full list of camps and to register, visit Laguna Beach Recreation Division’s activity guide by clicking here.

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Art and Nature Camp

Featured New Camps:

Youth Rollers Lawn Bowling (ages 8-18):

Youth Rollers is an engaging and fast-paced summer camp designed for children aged 8-18 interested in trying out the international sport of lawn bowling. This camp aims to get young people active through sport, offering a fun, social and inclusive environment. Participants will develop their playing skills and game knowledge through social play, modified games, drills and instructional support. Equipment is provided by the Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club.

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Acting and Theater Camp at Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse Acting & Theater Camp (ages 8-19):

Laguna Playhouse Teaching Artists will lead these exciting musical and non-musical camps, where students learn to work as an ensemble, build self-confidence and engage in the performing arts.

The camp culminates in a showcase for friends and family, providing a platform for creative expression and the development of essential life skills.

Skyhawks Beginning Golf Camp (ages 5-8):

Designed for entry-level players, this camp simplifies instruction on fundamentals such as swinging, putting, body positioning, etiquette and scoring. Young golfers will make an easy transition onto the golf course, learning valuable physical, social and mental skills. All equipment is provided.

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Skateboarding Camp

KDA “Barbie” Dance Camp (ages 6-11):

Campers will live out their Barbie dreams in this weeklong dance party, learning styles like Barbie Ballet, Jazz/Hip Hop, Barbie Movie Choreography, POM/Cheer Dance and Tumbling. The camp includes Barbie-themed crafts and concludes with a fashion show. Kyne Dance Academy’s summer camp offers a transformative experience, fostering artistic growth and connection among dancers of various ages and skill levels.

Registration Information:

–Online: Click here.

–In Person:

–Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third St., 949.464.6645

–Community & Recreation Center, 30516 South Coast Highway, 949. 715.8620

Many new summer camps will be hosted at the city’s new Community & Recreation Center. “This new space gives the city so much flexibility in the kinds of space we have available and the programs we can provide,” said Alexis Braun, recreation manager.

Don’t miss out on these fantastic opportunities for summer fun and learning. Sign up today and make this summer unforgettable.

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Laguna Live! presents Live! at the Museum on July 7

Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras – July 7

Sunday, July 7, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum

Laguna Live! welcomes Taso Comanescu and Anastasia Malliaras guitar and soprano to Laguna Art Museum.

American guitarist Taso Comanescu is a colorful performer full of subtle nuance and strong musicianship. His programs present a variety of repertoire that creatively captures his audiences. He is an in-demand solo performer, ensemble artist and instructor whose accomplishments have taken him around the globe.

Soprano Anastasia Malliaras is gracefully exploring new depths of her artistry and voice. With a beautiful blend of warm and bright colors, her timbre is distinguishable, and vocal tone elegant and natural. Her voice has led her to play the classic operatic roles of Nannetta, Olympia, Zerbinetta, Marie and Frasquita, to name a few. In 2017, she was seen in the world premiere of the opera Tesla where she portrayed the role of Marie Astor Hampton.

Advance reservations are recommended. Come early to enjoy the art.

For tickets, click here.

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Opening of 58th Sawdust Festival launched with a ribbon cutting

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

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Official opening of the 58th Sawdust Festival kicked off on Friday, June 28

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Mayor Sue Kempf welcomed the onlookers

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The countdown begins, one, two, three…

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Go!

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Let the fun begin!

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Photo opportunity

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Musical welcome for visitors

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Mayor Sue Kempf and Sawdust folks

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Creative designs by Margaret Hemsley

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Fairies – Melissa Belland

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Alex Fritz – Flamework

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Jesse Miller

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Debra Covern’s textiles 

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Woodworking by Andrew Soliz and purses by Carrie Rae Woodburn

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Robert Holton

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Great weather is expected for the 4th, which means extra crowds and traffic in our desirable beach community

Here’s the good news Laguna Beach, great weather ahead for the 4th of July weekend. Temps are looking to be in the low 80s with clear sunny skies.

What’s the bad news? Crowds! You can expect them Thursday all the way through the long weekend. Now, when I say bad, I’m mostly directing that towards residents who despise the accompanying parking and traffic impacts.

On the flip side, for the business community the extra crowds mean money and that’s good for them…fill our restaurants, pack our retail locations!

Now, the city doesn’t just turn a blind eye with all the crowds. The public, no matter where they’re from, are expected to observe all park and beach ordinances, some of which include:

–No private fireworks of any kind…period!

–No alcohol on the beaches or smoking in any public place.

–No canopies, awnings, umbrellas, tents or covers over six feet in height or wider than six feet square on or in any public beach or park. Any canopy, awning, umbrella, tent or cover installed, shall have no more than one side closed to public view.

–No portable barbecues are allowed in/on beaches or parks.

–No dogs are allowed on the beaches from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during the summer season (June 15 through September 10).

And the good news is that the Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety Departments will be strictly enforcing all of these ordinances.

As you might imagine, crowds will hang around in town later into the evening to enjoy the planned drone show planned for Heisler Park. That means you can expect the Lawn Bowling Green and Monument Park areas to be closed all day of the 4th.

In addition, beginning at approximately 5 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile stairs at Jasmine Street will also be closed to the public.

To get around town, consider using the City Trolleys on the Coastal Run that will run from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., or along the Canyon Route from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

The drone show begins in Heisler Park at 9 p.m., and you can also enjoy the live audio simulcast on Voice of Laguna and KX FM simulcasting patriotic music along with it.

Once the show is over, expect crowds impacting Laguna Canyon and Coast Highway as the visitors begin exiting town.

For those of you still in denial and thinking that you’ll add in fireworks to the mix, bad idea. That includes “Safe and Sane.”

Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety Departments will have extra officers working on the 4th looking for fireworks violations.

Persons in possession of or discharging fireworks of any kind – including firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, or anything that flies/shoots through the air – may be cited for a misdemeanor offense, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months.

If you see or hear illegal fireworks being used in Laguna Beach, please call the non-emergency hotline at 949.497.0701 if you know the exact location.

Our city leaders work hard to make days like these the best and safest for all…they could certainly use your buy-in.

BTW, something for all to enjoy is the Condor Squadron Association’s flyover that will take place around 5:45 p.m., coming from the Huntington Beach direction.

The Condor Squadron proudly flies WWII North American AT-6 airplanes. The idea of these former fighter pilots is to preserve a piece of aviation history that played an important part in retaining our nation’s freedoms.

Enjoy all the festivities.

• • •

As a reminder because of the July 4th holiday, the First Thursdays Art Walk for July will actually take place on the second Thursday for July only – the 11th.

As usual, the evening will celebrate the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public.

• • •

Opportunities to play in or sponsor the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s 24th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament are now available. The tournament is planned for Monday, Aug. 5 at Aliso Viejo Country Club.

The day will include golf, a silent auction and awards dinner. And, just announced, the tournament will include a helicopter golf ball drop with a chance to win a Montage Laguna Beach two-night Staycation valued at $5,500.

To purchase ball drop tickets, go here.

Attendance at the tournament is not required to win and all proceeds go towards supporting the club.

The find out more about opportunities to play and/or sponsorships, contact Michelle Fortezza at michellef@bgclaguna.org, or call 949.715.7584.

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Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. hosts Wildlife Corridor tour for advocates and government officials

On Wednesday, June 12, the Laguna Greenbelt hosted a tour of a key portion of the Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor in Irvine, near the intersection of Astor and Lynx. Led by John Leonard, FivePoint VP of Engineering, attendees included representatives from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Orange County Department of Public Works, the City of Irvine, Congresswoman Katie Porter’s office, FivePoint (developer of the Irvine Great Park), and the environment groups Power in Nature and Laguna Greenbelt. The purpose of the tour was to highlight the current progress of the Corridor while addressing key remaining obstacles, particularly overcoming the blockage created by the I-5 freeway.

Photos courtesy of Laguna Greenbelt

Tour participants

The Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor is a dedicated wildlife pathway being constructed to reduce habitat fragmentation in the southern Orange County region. When completed, the Corridor will provide a six-mile route for wildlife to travel between the Cleveland National Forest and the 22,000-acre Laguna Coast Wilderness. This 600-800-foot-wide, two-and-one-half mile long segment is being developed by FivePoint in conjunction with the City of Irvine as part of the creation of the Irvine Great Park.

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Viewing potential interpretive locations

As the tour began, Irvine Mayor Farah Khan shared her thoughts. “This Corridor was so critical in establishing a route for our natural habitat. I want to thank FivePoint for their forethinking and working with the city in such a unique way to make sure we were able to build the Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor as we were building out the Great Park neighborhoods.”

Melanie Schlotterbeck, head of the Southland Region for the Power in Nature coalition summed up why the 120 environment groups within their organization support the Corridor: “We need connectivity value between landscapes so that deer, coyote, foxes, and bobcats have access to other landscapes to reproduce so they are not dating their cousins.”

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Walking through native vegetation

During the short hike, attendees noted the care taken to utilize native vegetation and to create wildlife-friendly surroundings while also serving as a flood water control project. Attendees discussed the importance of ensuring wildlife mobility over the I-5 freeway and highlighted its importance to the function of the Corridor. This critical portion requires additional solutions to ensure the Corridor functions fully from the Pacific Ocean to the Cleveland National Forest.

Additionally, the group discussed the possibility of building an interpretive and viewing center adjacent to the Corridor to establish a permanent fixture to educate the public on the Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor and its importance to Orange County wildlife.

Speaking for the Laguna Greenbelt President Norm Grossman said, “I would like to offer a special thanks to John Leonard for his incredible work in heading the development of this segment and the rest of the FivePoint team for their decade-long support of the project. We thank all those who attended and hope to see them soon, when we can celebrate the completion of the Corridor.”

For more information about Laguna Greenbelt, go to https://lagunagreenbelt.org/.

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Dennis’ Local Almanac

By DENNIS McTIGHE

Hello, July!

Early in the morning of June 28, 1992, way out in the middle of nowhere near a little hick town in the high desert on the way to Las Vegas, a powerful 7.5 earthquake rocked and rolled that woke most residents here in Southern California. The quake was unusually deep by quake standards at 50 miles underground, so it was more of a violent rolling motion for around 30 seconds. Thank goodness the epicenter was a long way from Laguna – about 175 miles – so there was minimal damage here in town. The quake struck at 4:59 a.m.

If the Landers quake wasn’t enough to rattle everyone’s nerves, a second wakeup call struck right under Big Bear Lake exactly three hours later at 7:59 a.m. and measured a 6.6 on the Richter Scale. It was a violent shaker since the epicenter was only about five miles deep. The 7.5 Landers event was the strongest quake to hit our state since July 1952 when there was a 7.5 shaker in the Tehachapi quake up near Bakersfield.

At 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, there was a Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 135 mph in the Atlantic. It was setting its sights on Barbados, St. Lucia and Grenada with a central pressure of 942 millibars, moving to the WNW at 18 mph – and it was named Beryl.

It quickly intensified and became the earliest tropical system (after its appearance) to reach this strength – and the storm qualified as a rapid intensification hurricane. That’s when a tropical system’s central pressure drops more than 24 millibars in the short span of just 24 hours. On Friday at 7 p.m., Beryl was a Category 1 with a central pressure of 984 millibars with sustained winds of 85 mph.

The National Hurricane Center and the NOAA’s forecast of a radical hurricane season were spot on. Normally the second named storm in the Atlantic doesn’t happen until July 17, and there are two more systems out there that are expected to intensify and be assigned a name as well. Those next two names will be Chris and Debby. At the rate things are going, the Atlantic could use up all their names and have to resort to using the Greek alphabet. The thing that blows my mind the most is how fast Beryl beefed up into a major hurricane, almost literally overnight. There’s almost no wind shear and surface ocean temps down there in the upper ‘80s. We also have to deal with a strengthening La Niña event, so everything is in place for the Atlantic to be on heavy steroids. Stay tuned on that one.

Now it’s July, our driest month of the year with an average of just a trace of precipitation. There was one exception and that was in July 2015 when we got nearly an inch of rain from hurricane Dolores’ outer bands. Dolores made it all the way up to the middle of the Baja Peninsula as a Category 3 storm.

The average hi-lo temp for July here in Laguna is 78-65 degrees. The hottest July days in town were 95 on July 2, 1985,] and 95 on July 20, 1960. The chilliest July night on record was on July 6, 1954, when the temp dropped to 51 degrees. The normal July ocean temps are around 68-70 degrees. The warmest July water temp was a balmy 78 degrees for a brief time in July 2006 and the coldest July water was 55 for almost a week in 2010, a result of heavy upwelling from several days of abnormally strong NW winds. There you have it for this week, and we’ll get together again next week.

Until then, ALOHA!

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Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and Pageant of the Masters prepare to impress, opening July 3 and 6

Get ready for a summer filled with art, music, theater and more! The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach is gearing up for the much-anticipated openings of the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show on July 3, and the renowned Pageant of the Masters, themed À La Mode: The Art of Fashion, on July 6. Both iconic events run for only eight weeks through August 30, and promise to deliver unforgettable experiences, blending creativity, culture and community in the heart of Laguna Beach.

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Photo by Ron Azevedo

Pageant of the Masters Costume Director Reagan Foy with cast member backstage working on the Pageant re-creation of a costume sketch of Grace Kelly for the 2024 production of “À La Mode: The Art of Fashion”

As one of Southern California’s most beloved summer attractions, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, will run daily from July 3 through August 30. More than 100 local Orange County artists will exhibit their work this summer, with 21 making their Festival of Arts debut this year. The juried art show will feature a wide variety of media including paintings, photography, printmaking, sculpture, jewelry, handcrafted wood and furniture, ceramics, glass and more.

During its two-month summer season, the Festival of Arts also hosts daily live concerts sponsored by City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha. The Festival’s Art Center, sponsored by Bank of America, will be a buzz with creative energy with art classes for all ages Thursday through Sunday and free drop-in art workshops offered daily.

Starting on July 6, the curtain will rise on the 2024 Pageant of the Masters, themed À La Mode: The Art of Fashion, running nightly through August 30. Inspired by the grandiosity of modern fashion shows and the craftsmanship of historical designs, the 2024 Pageant will feature works by artists such as John Singer Sargent, Edouard Manet and Thomas Gainsborough, as well as three-dimensional works such as a high heel by Alexander McQueen, brooches and pendants from early 1900s jewelers, and various figurines by artist and designer Erté.

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Photo by Christopher Bliss

Patrons looking at art at the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show

Set under the starry-night sky of Laguna Beach in the Irvine Bowl outdoor amphitheater, the Pageant of the Masters immerses audiences in a world of stunning tableaux vivants (living pictures) for 90 mesmerizing minutes. These incredibly faithful recreations of classical and contemporary works of art feature real people posing exactly like their counterparts in the original masterpieces. Accompanied by a professional orchestra, an original score, live narration, intricate sets, sophisticated lighting, hundreds of dedicated volunteers and a few surprises, À La Mode: The Art of Fashion is a production not to be missed. Tickets are available at www.foapom.com/pageant-of-the-masters.

The Festival and Pageant are proudly sponsored by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and KOST Radio 103.5. À La Mode: The Art of Fashion will grace the stage nightly from July 6 through August 30. A Pageant ticket also serves as a season pass to the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, taking place from July 3 through August 30 (closed July 4).

For the full list of artists, special events, activities and live music schedule, visit www.foapom.com/summer-art-show.

Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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Author Heidi Zuckerman draws crowd for reading at Good Together House

On June 27, Heidi Zuckerman read from her book Why Art Matters: The Bearable Lightness of Being to a packed house at Good Together House in Laguna Beach. Zuckerman, the CEO and director of the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), is a Laguna Beach resident, whose home has been featured in Architectural Digest.

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Photo by Blake Draper

Why Art Matters is a book about art and thought which delves into the human condition. It is published by OCMA Books, the museum’s newly reestablished acclaimed publishing arm. Their focus is on innovative, affordable and limited-edition works that champion the most pioneering artists and thinkers.

Good Together House is located at 311 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach. For more information, visit https://goodtogetherhouse.com.

For more information on Orange County Museum of Art, located at 3333 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa, visit https://ocma.art.

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City of Laguna Beach to host 4th of July Drone Show from Heisler Park

Bust out your beach umbrellas, BBQ and patriotic spirit and get ready to celebrate the 4th of July in a unique way.

Join the fun as City of Laguna Beach hosts the 4th of July Drone Show! The drone show begins at 9 p.m. from Monument Point in Heisler Park on Thursday, July 4. Large crowds are anticipated for the July 4th holiday, and the city is requesting the public’s cooperation to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for residents and visitors.

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Photos by Scott Brashier

2023 Laguna fireworks display

Areas of Heisler Park, including the Lawn Bowling Green and Monument Point area will be closed all day on Thursday, July 4. Additionally, at approximately 5 p.m., the area of Heisler Park from Myrtle Street to the Rockpile Beach stairs at Jasmine Street will be closed to the public to allow for the 4th of July drone flyover beginning at 9 p.m. Tune into the Voice of Laguna and KXFM Radio to listen to a live audio simulcast of patriotic music during the drone show!

In addition, there will be a Fourth of July Coastal Flyover. The Condor Squadron Officers’ and Airmen’s Association, a non-profit organization founded by group of WWll fighter pilots, will fly AT-6s over Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente. They will fly over Laguna Beach around 5:45 p.m. The flyover was arranged by the City of San Clemente.

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Fourth of July crowds in 2023

The Art Festivals will have limited hours on July 4.

FOA is closed on July 4

Art-A-Fair – July 4, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Sawdust – July 4, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

After the drone show ends, expect heavy traffic as many visitors will be leaving via Laguna Canyon Road and Coast Highway. For traffic and emergency updates, sign up for Nixle by texting 92651 to 888-777.

Transit Services Operating Under Modified Schedule

City Trolleys will operate under a modified schedule on July 4: the Coastal Route will run from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., and the Canyon Route from 8:30 a.m.-7 p.m. The Laguna Beach Local On-Demand service will run from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The normal transit service schedules will resume on Friday, July 5.

Reminder: All Fireworks are Illegal in Laguna Beach

This includes “Safe and Sane”-type fireworks and sparklers that may be legal to purchase in other cities. The Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety Departments will have extra officers working on the 4th of July holiday looking for fireworks violations. Any member of the Police Department or the Fire Department can seize any fireworks. Persons in possession of or discharging fireworks of any kind – including firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, or anything that flies/shoots through the air – may be cited for a misdemeanor offense, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months. If you see or hear illegal fireworks being used in Laguna Beach, call the non-emergency hotline at 949.497.0701.

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Beaches were packed on 4th of July, 2023

The public is expected to observe all City Park and Beach Ordinances, including:

–No fireworks of any kind are allowed in Laguna Beach.

–No alcohol on the beaches.

–No smoking in public places.

–No single-use plastics are allowed on beaches, trails, or in parks.

–No private drone use from Main Beach to Crescent Bay.

–No canopies, awnings, umbrellas, tents or covers over six feet in height or wider than six feet square on or in any public beach or park. Any canopy, awning, umbrella, tent or cover installed, shall have no more than one side closed to public view.

–No portable barbecues are allowed on city beaches or in parks.

–No dogs are allowed on city beaches from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during the summer season, which extends from June 15 through September 10.

All OC Parks trails will be closed at sunset.

The Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety Departments will be strictly enforcing all the ordinances.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July from the City of Laguna Beach.

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Youth at BGCLB get lesson from digital safety expert on how to be safe online

With June being Internet Safety Month and students out of school for the summer with more free time to spend online, Cox Communications sponsored a digital safety presentation for nearly 30 youngsters in grades 5-8 at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach today.

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Courtesy of BGCLB

Jon Moffat is speaking to members from grades 5-8

Southern California-based digital safety expert Jon Moffat of Cyber Education Consulting presented to the youth and covered topics such as being safe online on their mobile phones and while playing online video games. Some key information to the youth included:

–Make sure your online friends are only kids who are your friends in real life.

–Your parents should know all your online friends and followers.

–Don’t download a free app without your parents’ permission.

–If a group chat turns toxic, block or delete the conversation.

–The average age of online video gamers is 31.

–Don’t give your name, address or location to other online gamers.

–When voice chatting, make sure your setting is “friends only.”

A recent Cox Mobile survey found that nearly 1 out of 3 parents said their child had been contacted by a stranger on their mobile phone, and 28% said the stranger referenced their child’s location. For more information and tips on keeping your child safe online, go to www.coxmobilesafety.com.

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach serves more than 4,000 youth per day in the Laguna Beach, Lake Forest, Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo areas. The club’s mission is to empower all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential by promoting their healthy social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach and how you can offer support, visit their website at www.bgclagunabeach.org, or call 949.494.2535.

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The Plant Man: Deck out your garden in red, white and blue for July 4th

By Steve Kawaratani

“Our United States of America is not about us versus them. It’s about we the people!” –Camila Alves

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

The Fourth of July weekend is soon upon us and there’s still time to enhance our gardens with a sense of festivity and a patriotic spirit. Let’s think red, white and blue for the celebration of America’s independence from Laguna and beyond.

A garden adorned with flowers in shades of red, white and blue captures the second holiday of summer perfectly. Flowers like red roses, white petunias and blue ageratum create a vibrant and eye-catching display. Whether planted in pots or flower beds, your garden can proudly show the colors of our flag.

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The strikingly red shrub rose is the first of our patriotic-themed garden

Enhance the July 4th celebration by incorporating decorations throughout the garden. In years past, we have displayed our American flag, edged our flower beds with smaller flags and festooned our fences with bunting and ribbons.

The Fourth of July is the time for outdoor gatherings and remembrances. A spirited match of cornhole on the lawn will certainly whet your appetite for a grilled burger and a chilled beverage of your liking. Decorate your patio with a patriotic tablecloth and a centerpiece featuring Independence Day-themed candles.

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Concentration is the key to cornhole, a game attributed to the Blackhawk tribe in Illinois. Dressing the part is also important (and adds to the fun!).

As the evening settles in, string lights in red, white and blue along fences and on trees to create a magical glow. And, of course, consider using solar-powered lights to embrace sustainable practices and to reduce energy consumption.

As we join to celebrate the Fourth of July, let our gardens echo the joy and spirit of our nation’s independence. Enjoy the festivities and remember that it is the strength of freedom, democracy and unitedness that have truly made our nation great. Happy Fourth of July, America, and see you next time.

Steve Kawaratani, a regular columnist with Stu News Laguna, has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at plantman2@mac.com or 949.494.5141.

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Laguna Festival of Arts Foundation awards generous grant to LPAPA

As LPAPA prepares for its 26th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, they announced that the Laguna Festival of Arts Foundation (FOA) generously gifted a grant of $5,000 for LPAPA’s renowned educational programs and events that include the year-round multi-generational Plein Air Project, the Future Generation Paint Out for grades 4 through 12 and the Next Paint Out for college level students.

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Photo by Mitch Ridder

LPAPA Future Generation Paint Out 2023

This year’s Future Generation Paint Out will be hosted on October 7, with artist members of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) mentoring local students, grades 4 through 12, from the Laguna Beach Unified School District. Students selected by their school will be invited to paint outdoors at Heisler Park for their own plein air painting experience. The young artists will receive art supplies that include a paint set, canvas board and a portable easel that they can take home with them. The students’ artwork created that day will then be exhibited at the LPAPA Gallery for sale, with 100% of the proceeds to be donated to the participating schools to benefit their art programs.

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Photo by Mitch Ridder

LPAPA/LCAD Next Generation Paint Out

Another element held during their Annual Laguna Plein Painting Invitational in October is the Next Generation Paint Out. This program offers college level students an enhanced learning experience, helping them to prepare for a professional career in the arts, while augmenting their painting and drawing skills, and giving them recognition for their creative efforts through opportunities to sell their work and compete for scholarship awards.

Throughout the school year, LPAPA’s Plein Air Project is a multi-faceted approach that involves painting demonstrations at elementary schools, a visit to their Laguna gallery or a local museum, and a hands-on plein air painting experience at or near the participating school.

In addition, LPAPA offers year-round adult education programs and workshops.

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Courtesy of LPAPA Gallery

LPAPA Plein Air Project

The Festival of Arts Foundation’s commitment to the arts will help LPAPA “pay it forward” and continue to fulfill their dedication to support the rich artistic culture of our city through their educational programs while inspiring future generations of artists to continue the Laguna plein air painting tradition and legacy.

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit art organization originally established in Laguna Beach in 1996. For more information about the 2024 Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, visit https://lpapa.org/laguna-plein-air-invitational/, or contact LPAPA by email at info@lpapa.org, or by phone at 949.376.3635. Visit the LPAPA Gallery located on Gallery Row at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in Summer

“Summertime at Crystal Cove is magical – and our programs team has been working all year to create new opportunities for folks to explore the park and to reimagine old favorites,” said Crystal Cove Conservancy President & CEO Kate Wheeler. “Our team has been testing new ideas like science hikes and rethinking and expanding classics like the Historic District Walking Tours and movies on the beach to create a menu of programs to help parkgoers deepen their connection with the park and become part of protecting it.”

From hands-on explorations of history and nature to art classes and conservation stewardship, there is something for everyone to explore during the summer at Crystal Cove.

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Sign up to spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas with Crystal Cove plein air artist, Debbie Morines

The Great Plein Air Art Experience every Monday and Wednesday through October, except July 3 and September 2 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Registration is required. Celebrate more than 100 years of plein air art at Crystal Cove State Park and spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of the Cove on canvas with Crystal Cove plein air artist, Debbie Morines. During these four-hour classes, you’ll take part in living history while learning the step-by-step process of creating your very own plein air painting from beginning to end. Each class will have a break for lunch, but lunch is not provided. Classes are for ages 18 and up. Register here.

Tuesdays in the Commons: Hands-on Educational Activities from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (July 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30).

Stop by the Education Commons in the Crystal Cove State Park Historic District each week on Tuesday for new hands-on educational activities that will help participants learn about ongoing conservation work at the park, the critical habitats at Crystal Cove, and how it all connects with landscape scale efforts to protect and preserve the natural world. Park at the Los Trancos lot near the trailer then walk through the tunnel to the Education Commons (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos). $15 day use fee.

Junior Ranger Programs, Tuesday and Thursday mornings July 2-30 from 10-11 a.m. Join a Park Ranger for a fun introduction to the animals and plants of Crystal Cove State Park in their weekly Junior Ranger programs. This children’s nature program is a favorite in State Parks and allows kids to earn a badge, stamps, a poster, or a patch. Each Tuesday they will focus on tidepools and on Thursdays they will learn about sharks. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the Campground.) $15 day use fee. No program on July 4.

Shark Shack, Thursday, July 11 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy learning about sharks at Crystal Cove State Park when students from the Shark Lab at California State University Long Beach staff their Shark Shack information and activity booth and help beachgoers build an appreciation for and eliminate fear about sharks and other marine life. Check out some cool shark stuff, play a game and learn some fun facts about these amazing creatures and about the technology the lab is using to study them. The Shark Shack will be popped up near the Beachcomber Cafe. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk across the street or take the shuttle.) $15 day use fee.

Sunset Bluff Walk, Thursday, July 11 from 7-8:30 p.m. Join a park naturalist for a three-mile guided Sunset Bluff Walk and enjoy the day’s end along the coastal terrace. Bring a camera and binoculars as you scan the ocean for dolphins, look for birds and watch the sunset. Your walk will take you along the paved path from one end of Pelican Point to the Treasure Cove overlook. Dress in layers and bring water and a red flashlight (if you have one.) Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #4, (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, left at kiosk to the last lot.) $15 day use fee.

Perimeter of the Park, Monday, July 15 from 6:45-11 a.m. Ready for a challenging hike to tour the Crystal Cove State Park 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 1,850 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. Arrive by 6:45 a.m. as the hike will start promptly at 7 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.

Walk on the Wild Side, Friday, July 19 at 10 a.m. At Crystal Cove, you walk upon some of the rarest land in Southern California: coastal sage scrub. Join a park docent for a Walk on the Wild Side and enjoy a one-hour stroll learning about this amazing native habitat as you walk along a boardwalk to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, right at kiosk to first lot.) $15 day use fee.

Whale, Dolphin & Wildlife “Twalk,” Saturday, July 20 from 9-11 a.m. Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to look for resident dolphins, migrating whales and birds just passing by the coastline. Join a park naturalist for a Whale, Dolphin & Wildlife “Twalk” and learn some fun facts about the coastal creatures as you walk the bluff trail and scan the ocean at each overlook. Bring binoculars for better viewing. Meet at Pelican Point lot #4 (PCH coastward at Newport Coast left at kiosk to the last lot.) $20 day use fee.

Full Moon Hike on Saturday, July 20 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 and a snack. Bug repellant is recommended. Please 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.) Registration is required, so sign up at https://letsgooutside.org.

Explore the Cove Science Hikes, Fourth Saturday each month: July 27, August 24 and September 28 from 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Registration is required for this event. Take a hike with a Conservancy educator to explore Crystal Cove State Park’s geological and ecological systems. Explore the impacts and challenges of climate change including fire ecology, ecological restoration, coastal engineering and marine conservation, as well as native versus non-native species and their impact on natural communities and ecosystem functions. Registration is required for these events.

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Historic District Walking Tours take place the fourth Saturday of every month

Historic District Walking Tours, Fourth Saturday each month: July 27, August 24 and September 28 from 2-3 p.m. Historic District Walking Tours return to Crystal Cove State Park. During this 60-minute tour led by Conservancy educators and former cottage residents, participants will step back in time to explore the history of Crystal Cove and the Historic District’s rescue and restoration.

Movies on the Beach, monthly from July through September. Click here for upcoming events.

Cove Talks, Ongoing. Click here for upcoming events. Registration is required for these events.

Grunion Run, One night only. Click here for details. Registration is required for this event.

For more information about summer programming at Crystl Cove and to register for upcoming programs, go here.

For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.

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A place in the shade

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

To take in the sights and sounds of summer

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NCC launches website for affordable housing and spiritual center development

Neighborhood Congregational Church (NCC) has launched a new website (www.nccproject.org) for its proposed affordable housing and spiritual center development. The site includes information about the project vision, frequently asked questions and affordable housing data for Laguna Beach. There is also a form where people can sign up to “keep informed” about the project via email updates.

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Courtesy of NCC

NCC launches website

“We are pleased to provide this online resource to the community to support our outreach efforts,” said Pastor Rod Echols of Neighborhood Congregational Church. “Project updates will be shared on the site as we move forward with this much-needed, dynamic development for Laguna Beach.”

NCC has not yet filed an application for the development with the City of Laguna Beach. Once an application has been filed, more details about the project will be added to the website.

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach.

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Staying in Paradise/Laguna Beach, no matter your age, is possible with Lifelong Laguna

Boomers don’t like to admit they’re getting older. Who does? But sooner or later we realize that conversations in restaurants are harder to hear. Years of basketball or golf have done a number on our knees, making it more challenging to hike or bike. Doctor appointments proliferate; eyes, ears, heart, joints and teeth need more attention than ever before.

And eventually, horrors, we find that our loved ones are urging us to move to places that they believe are safer environments for us. We waver, understanding that we’ve been relying on them too much for help.

We do not want to give up our pickleball bats or tennis racquets, sure. But most of all, we don’t want to leave our homes in paradise, aka Laguna Beach.

Enter Susi Q’s Lifelong Laguna, developed to enable locals to continue living in their own homes comfortably and safely for as long as possible – and to stay connected to the community.

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Courtesy of Susi Q

Director of Lifelong Laguna/Aging in Place services for Susi Q, Rickie Redman

With that goal in mind, Rickie Redman, director of Lifelong Laguna/Aging in Place services for the Susi Q, will be leading a workshop on “Staying in Paradise” on Tuesday, July 16 from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third St.

“As a start, we visit potential enrollees in their homes to assess how we can best help them. Sometimes we spot simple fixes for greater safety, such as making negotiating steep stairs a little easier, for example,” Redman said. “Planning ahead early just makes sense, for your loved ones’ peace of mind as much as your own.”

Lifelong Laguna also links enrollees with organizations that address the social, mental and physical challenges that come with getting older.

“But Lifelong Laguna is so much more than that,” Redman emphasized. “Our volunteers help support partners and adult kids by assisting with simple tasks, like picking up medications, or alleviating loneliness by accompanying a Lifelong Laguna enrollee on a stroll to the beach.

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Photo by Robert Isaac

(L-R) Robert Isaac, Charley and Ron Russell

Dianne Russell, assistant editor of Stu News Laguna, raves about the volunteer who takes her husband Ron and Australian Shepherd, Charley, to the dog park. “Thank goodness for Robert Isaac. Because of Ron’s Parkinson’s, he no longer drives and sometimes has dizzy spells, so I would always need to go with him, which was challenging, given the deadlines associated with my job. Now Robert takes him, which is great for Charley too.”

While Isaac began volunteering to help others, he recognizes how it has positively impacted his life, particularly his relationship with his 12-year-old daughter, Anwen. “She’s seeing another side of me and how she can contribute to the community,” he said. “It’s brought us closer. This experience has been positive all around.”

Activities and programs at the Susi Q also help enrollees enjoy life to the fullest.

“Susi Q isn’t a silo for seniors. All ages are welcome to attend our events. It’s not the stodgy senior center of old,” Redman said. “We want our older population to continue to feel a part of our vibrant community.”

“Staying in Paradise” workshop attendees will leave empowered with practical tools to enable them to stay in their homes for the long term. To attend the workshop and find out more about Susi Q’s aging in place program, or to enroll in Lifelong Laguna, call Rickie Redman at 949.715.8107, or email her at rickier@thesusiq.org.

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Don’t miss the CAP exhibit Real & Imagined at City Hall through July 26

By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi

There will be a reception for the CAP exhibit Real & Imagined on July 11 from 6-7 p.m. during First Thursdays Art Walk at City Hall.

Real & Imagined – people, water, land, flora and fauna are subjects of the original works by eight local artists: Carole Boller, Joan Gladstone, David Kizziar, Elizabeth McGhee, Patrice Miller, Ellen Rose, Cheyne Walls and Lynn Welker. Working in a variety of mediums and styles, the artists display their creativity based on real and imagined subjects. A selection of Southern California beach life, nature’s drama and beauty and pure imagination is to be seen on the walls of City Hall.

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Courtesy of CAP

Artwork images provided by artists. Top Row: Carole Boller, Joan Gladstone, David Kizziar; Second Row: Elizabeth McGhee and Patrice Miller; Bottom Row: Ellen Rose, Cheyne Walls, Lynn Welker

The Artists:

Carole Boller’s oils range from local coastal scenes of rock, water and clouds to a floral close-up of bold light play and delicate petals. “Color is my day-long obsession and joy,” she said.

Joan Gladstone’s colorful, beautiful and happy view of her world is apparent in her works of an abstracted view of Wood’s Cove to rich colored, meditative coastal scenes to one of Laguna’s water watchers (lifeguards) at work. Years of Laguna Beach living show in her art.

David Kizziar uses graphite and colored pencils to depict in fine detail two of Laguna’s well known beach sites. A distant view of Crescent Bay goes from water to hills to clouds, while in another work one of nature’s big-mouth birds eyeballs the viewer from a Pelican Cove rock.

Elizabeth McGhee’s oils, created in the Realism style, show the local Laguna scene complete with some known Lagunans enjoying Laguna life. Meeting up at Zinc or exploring the Fairy Garden, both are well-known spots.

Patrice Miller’s photographic lens is focused on some of nature’s feathered creatures. The caracaras couple in a humorous pose brings a smile, while the hummingbird in mid-flight shows the grace and strength of this tiny, feathered creature.

Ellen Rose’s The Newlyweds is a mixed media piece using dried flowers along with paint to create the image. Textures and the expressions on the couple’s faces, provoke curiosity about their possible feelings about this juncture in life.

Cheyne Walls’ photographic work captures dramatic moments in nature with fleeting glimpses of the light at various times of day in locations outside of Laguna Beach.

Lynn Welker uses angular, geometric shapes to lead the eye through her imagined landscapes. Soft edges add punctuation and depth, suggesting subtle mysteries of architecture and archaeology in the layers of each scene.

 City Hall is located at 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

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Behind-the-scenes of Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion

Get ready to be transported through the history of fashion! The Pageant of the Masters’ new production, Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion, will open its doors on July 6. But before the magic unfolds, they’re offering a special glimpse behind the scenes. Do you have your tickets yet?

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Courtesy of FOA

Don’t miss out!

Tickets are selling fast, so don’t wait to secure your spot for this unforgettable experience. Witness the art of fashion come to life under the stars. Performances will be held nightly July 6 through August 30.

For tickets, click here.

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“Woodn’t” it be nice…

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Where does this path into the woods lead?

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