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What does our City Manager do during his time off? Volunteers locally

The fans of football’s New Orleans Saints made famous the phrase “who dat?”

So, a picture crossed my desk this week showing volunteers doing the “grunt” work out at the Laguna Food Pantry. I looked at the photo and was somewhat taken aback, leading me to ask myself, “who dat?”

Well, the answer, of course, was our City Manager Dave Kiff. It was absolutely no surprise when I heard and saw that Dave was a new volunteer at the Pantry. Why? Because that’s Dave. He knows and understands what community is all about, what makes it tick. He is the consummate city manager.

Dave is now a regular volunteer providing free, fresh and nutritious groceries to those facing food insecurities in Laguna Beach.

Did you know that LFP 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. for a drive-through distribution system.

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Courtesy of Laguna Food Pantry

(L-R) City Manager Dave Kiff with fellow volunteers Pedro Silva, Riley Ueberroth and Ahamad Mushfiq

• • •

I have to be careful with this one after what happened over the weekend to President Donald Trump and the backlash President Joe Biden received when prior to the shooting, he said something to the effect of getting “Trump in the bullseye.”

To say there’s a murder going on at City Hall is probably problematic.

However, there’s an explanation. A temporary sculpture installation was unveiled at Laguna Beach City Hall called “An Attempted Murder.”

Let me explain: The title of this sculpture is a “playful nod to the unique and poetic collective nouns throughout the English language such as a ‘pride of lions,’ or a ‘gaggle of geese…’ or in the case of crows, when referring to three or more, they’re known as a “murder.”

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Mayor Sue Kempf (center) introduces the latest art installation at City Hall

The artist behind it is Jack Champion and if you pass City Hall you’ll notice these imposing birds…and see the murder for yourself.

• • •

Tomorrow night (Wednesday, July 17) is Laguna Beach Chamber Night at the Art-A-Fair Fine Art Festival from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Enjoy the Happy Hour menu, visit with others through networking and peruse the vendor tables, while taking in the music and artwork.

Tickets are only $8 at

• • •

The Laguna Playhouse presents Camelot, one of the hottest tickets of the summer from July 24 through August 11. This Tony Award-winning musical has been “adapted for intimate theaters, will immerse local audiences in a world of revelry, romance and magic, and is filled with iconic characters and soaring songs.” The musical brings to life the famous love triangle between King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot.

Tickets can be purchased here.

• • •

Here are some dates you might want to get on your calendar.

July 24 is, of course, our Laguna Beach Fire Department Headquarters Open House at the Laguna Beach Community & Recreation Center from 4-6 p.m.

Then, Thursday, July 25 is the second of three Summer Movie Nights in Heisler Park, featuring The Goonies. Bring your blankets, beach chairs and whatever else you need to be comfortable.

The film begins at 8 p.m.

• • •

Finally, Tuesday, Aug. 6 is the 2nd Annual National Night Out taking place at the Main Beach Cobblestones from 5-8 p.m.

National Night Out is an “annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live.

“National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.”

Something to think about – it might be something we need today more than ever.

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City manager shares insight on focus projects, dealing with tourism, beautifying public spaces


Laguna Beach’s new city manager shared some insights last week regarding some of the city’s focus projects – dealing with tourism and beautifying public spaces.

The LB Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee held a meeting via Zoom on Thursday (July 11) with City Manager Dave Kiff as the featured speaker. About 30 people attended online.

Although Kiff has only been the top local city staffer for about two months, he previously lived Laguna Beach from 1996-2018.

“I’m happy to be back,” Kiff said. “I felt like this was a time for me to give back a little bit to Laguna, a place I loved a lot and continue to love a lot.”

As he’s settled into the new position he’s gotten to know a great team at city hall, appreciated the work of the council and enjoyed meeting community members.

Being back is different, he added, but fun.

“As you can imagine, coming back after six years (after) leaving, the town’s different – not bad different, just different,” he said.

Since returning to Laguna Beach, he’s noticed it’s busier. Traffic was always bad, but it’s especially bad now, Kiff noted, echoing some recent public comments on the issue of the town getting over-crowded with tourists.

“I don’t know that there’s a lot we can do about this as the areas around us grow. This is a beach, this is a beach town and it’s a great beach town to come to,” and visit, Kiff said.

There needs to be a focus on stewardship, he suggested, so the visitors respect the town like community members.

The city also needs to be better about charging for parking, especially in South Laguna where there are a lot of impacts from visitors. It’s allowed under the Coastal Act, he noted. There are incremental ways Laguna Beach can get visitors, particularly the day-trippers who don’t put a lot of investment back into the town other than parking.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Newly appointed Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff

He also talked about beautifying public spaces.

“How can we be better about – hopefully – making sure people take care of the Downtown, the beach area, even better? Because that’s a stressor on the community,” he said.

He hears a lot from the council about what the city can do for public spaces, especially in the Downtown area, to make it shine more. Kiff has been working with city staff from public works and community development to see what they can do that doesn’t require waiting, even as soon as this summer, he said.

“We’re kind of stepping up our game a little bit,” Kiff said.

They’ve got a long way to go, but they’re actively working on getting the public side of Downtown to look good.

He also noted the recently approved commercial district beautification and property maintenance program.

“It gives a little bit more tools to help the private side look good too,” Kiff said.

The goal of the program is to promote and incentivize commercial property maintenance throughout the city. Staff has already identified approximately 25 to 30 properties located in Downtown and along Coast Highway that will be addressed first.

The ordinance would amend city code to further define conditions of a property that constitute a nuisance to ensure that commercial properties are maintained in good condition, promoting a safe, clean and attractive community and also make such conditions and violations subject to administrative citations to provide the city with additional enforcement tools. The program will provide resources to support commercial property owners and tenants in understanding and fulfilling their maintenance responsibilities and may provide incentives, depending on the direction of council.

Kiff also commended the park ranger program, which he recently rode along with during a shift.

“I was impressed with the way that they approach things,” Kiff said. “I think they’re making good progress.”

It’s focused on friendly reminders about rules rather than handing out tickets. There are a lot of people who genuinely don’t know what’s ok and not ok (like having alcohol on the beach, as an example).

Kiff also mentioned some long-term projects in the city.

They’ve long been actively studying Laguna Canyon Road relinquishment, he noted.

“There’s only one reason to do that and that is to make sure that the utilities are undergrounded well and safely,” Kiff said.

Caltrans standards limit how local jurisdictions can do that, he added.

The city has been working on some grant applications, but “no trigger has been pulled,” on the actual relinquishment, he emphasized.

The other big thing the city is looking at in terms of long-term capital is how to manage all the facilities, Kiff said. This covers what improvements need to be made, whether or not the city needs to let go of any sites, or if more sites need to be added.

The facilities master plan is underway, he noted. People should stay aware of that project and read up on it because some good information is coming out on that soon, he added.

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Family Art Day at FOA

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Family Art Day came roaring back to the Festival of Arts grounds with a fun new animal twist! This year’s event on Sunday, July 14 had an exciting array of wildlife-themed art activities and encounters, ensuring a fun-filled afternoon for the whole family.

Visitors were mesmerized by the graceful performances of the Orange County Aerial Arts members on the Festival stage or visited an exhibiting artist while on an “Animal Quest Scavenger Hunt” before finishing the day with an airbrushed animal tattoo by Star Shields.

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A stilt walker and unicyclist from OC Aerial Arts roamed the grounds. Photographer Mary Hurlbut brought along her grandsons for the adventure.

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Priceless Pets Rescue Dog Adoptions was offering on-the-spot dog adoptions. It was so hard not to fall in love with the furry companions and give them a forever home.

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Performance by a member of the OC Aerial Arts on the Festival stage

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A very young performer on “silks”

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OC Beekeeper Association offered the opportunity to learn all about the fascinating world of bees and their crucial role in our ecosystem while savoring a tasty honey stick

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Raptor encounter in the Irvine Bowl – a baby owl – her feathers were still growing out. Visitors came face-to-face with fascinating reptiles from the The Reptile Zoo and the majestic power of birds of prey with Raptor Events LLC.

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A male hawk flew back and forth from the trainer to the stand

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The Reptile Zoo brought a tortoise

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Snakes and frogs, too!

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Everyone wanted to touch the gentle python

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Animal airbrush tattoos by Star Shields

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Art Quest Scavenger Hunt – boys found the mouse in Larry’s booth #100

There were workshops too. Over at the Festival’s Art Center generously sponsored by Bank of America adults and kids unleashed their inner artist with hands-on, animal-inspired activities. In addition, Bowers Museum hosted a special animal anime sculpting class in conjunction with their current exhibition, Asian Comics: Evolution of an Art Form. It was a fun family art day for everyone!

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LB Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters kick off summer with successful opening week

In the heart of Laguna Beach, a vibrant celebration of art and culture unfolded as the Festival of Arts welcomed locals and visitors to the opening week of the 2024 Festival of Arts Fine Art Show and the Pageant of the Masters.

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Photo by Kyle Fierro

Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf (with scissors) cuts the red ribbon at the opening of the 2024 Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters

On Wednesday, July 3, the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show kicked off in spectacular fashion, exceeding expectations during its opening week. Featuring artwork from 120 of Orange County’s most celebrated artists, the show drew a diverse and enthusiastic crowd of patrons from across the region. The open-air venue became a vibrant hub, buzzing with conversation as visitors explored a wide spectrum of artistic mediums – paintings, sculptures, photography, ceramics and more. Opening week saw remarkable art sales, with many artists reporting significant interest and purchases of their work. Collectors and art enthusiasts eagerly acquired pieces, ranging from stunning large-scale installations to intricate handcrafted jewelry, setting an encouraging tone for the rest of the festival and underscoring the strong demand for high-quality, original art.

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Photo by Kyle Fierro

Fine Arts show features 120 artists

Following the opening of the Fine Art Show was the debut of the 2024 Pageant of the Masters production, A La Mode: The Art of Fashion, on July 6. Enthusiastic “oohs” and “ahhs” echoed throughout the performances during opening weekend. This year’s sartorial salute brilliantly intertwines art and fashion, showcasing iconic artworks reimagined through stunning costumes and live tableaux. Each scene captivated the audience, highlighting the evolution of fashion across different eras and cultures.

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Courtesy of FOA

“Butterfly” jeweled brooch from 2024 Pageant of the Masters

The 2024 Pageant of the Masters dazzled audiences with many show-stopping moments, beginning with an exquisite fashion show of costumes inspired by artworks featured in the show. Another crowd-favorite was the Pageant’s striking re-creation of Alexander McQueen’s Angel Shoe – with a cast member posed as the sculptural angel in the iconic high heel. Beyond the runway, the Pageant paid tribute to the visionary costuming of Edith Head, the star-studded spectacle of the MET Gala, and fashion movements that have shaped cultures around the world. From the sharp tailoring of Britain’s Carnaby Street to the flamboyant elegance of the Congolese La Sape movement, and from the iconic designs of French fashion houses to the timeless beauty of traditional Japanese kimonos, A La Mode offers a thrilling celebration of the enduring link between fashion and art. Tickets start at $45 and are on sale now by clicking here or by calling 800.487.3378.

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Courtesy of FOA

The Jet Set at Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate – July 18

In addition to the fine art show and Pageant performance, the Festival of Arts also hosts daily music concerts, and kicked off the popular Concerts on the Green series last Saturday. More exciting concerts are in store for this summer including weekly music series such as Tremendous Tributes; Art, Jazz, Wine and Chocolate, Americana and others. This year, City of Hope Orange County and Yamaha are partnering to sponsor the summer music program and bring the Music of Hope to the Festival of Arts. Their Hope Blue Piano will be used by musicians all summer long in recognition of the healing power of music and to celebrate the courage of cancer survivors. On Saturday nights, renowned pianists will perform as part of the Spotlight on the Music of Hope Blue Piano series to inspire and uplift audiences, creating memorable evenings filled with beautiful melodies and heartfelt performances.

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Courtesy of FOA

Prints and Pinots on Thursday nights

In a creative atmosphere, classes are available Friday through Sunday at the Festival Art Center, presented by Bank of America. All ages and skill levels are welcome! Looking for a summer date night idea? Create a beautiful one-of-a-kind masterpiece and sip on complimentary wine or beverages at Prints and Pinots on Thursday nights along with Wine and Painting Nights on Fridays.

The Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters are proudly sponsored by Volvo Cars, City of Hope Orange County, Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club and KOST Radio 103.5. The Festival of Arts Fine Art Show is open daily with nightly performances of the Pageant of the Masters now through August 30. Weekday general admission tickets to the Festival’s Fine Art Show are $10 per person, and $15 per person the weekends. Senior and student discounts are available. Pageant tickets start at $45 and are a season pass to the Fine Art Show. Class registration and seating reservations vary by event, so see the website for details.

To stay up to date on all things Pageant of the Masters and the Fine Arts Show, visit

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Dennis’ Local Almanac


Temperate temperatures in Laguna

Here in Laguna at around 9 p.m. on Sunday, it was a most comfortable evening indeed with a temp of 66 degrees and a comfortable dew point of 55 degrees with partly cloudy skies. There was a gentle breeze from the SW making for great sleeping conditions while the rest of the lower 48 were really sweating it out with unbearable temps and humidities with dew points well into the 70s.

How would you like to live in Houston where at 11 p.m. CDT the temp was 85 degrees, but it felt like 101 when factoring in the dew point? That’s downright oppressive and there are still hundreds of thousand folks with no power for a whole week.

When the dew point is below 60 degrees, there is little or no discomfort. When the dew point is running from 60 to 65, there will be slight discomfort. When the dew point is at 66 to 70, it’s squirm time. Things get really uncomfortable when the dew point is 71 to around 77 and anything above 77 is miserable like it is right now in most of the country, with the exception of the desert southwest and the Pacific West Coast.

Heat Index numbers become a significant part of the equation during the summer months making it feel like it’s 110 or higher. High temperature records are being shattered daily in many communities across the Desert Southwest. Las Vegas had a high of 120 degrees last week for the first time ever. Death Valley had 130 the same day which was only four degrees below the all-time high of 134 which occurred in July 1910. Flagstaff, Ariz. hit 100 degrees for the first time ever! Salt Lake City had 108, tying their all-time record and the list goes on.

As long as that expansive strong high-pressure dome remains stationary centered over central Nevada, things aren’t going to change anytime soon. That high pressure is also blocking any monsoonal moisture from flowing northward out of the tropics.

The Eastern Pacific’s hurricane season is now entering its third month, and we’re still waiting for the first named system of the season to materialize. Nothing is going to form anytime soon, at least for the upcoming week or so. This is the latest it’s gone with not even a hint of tropical system development. If and when that first tropical storm gets going, its name will be Aletta. Right now, the environment down there is hostile with strong upper-level shear winds which stump the maturation of any thunderstorm clusters, plus ocean surface temps have cooled into the upper 70s, which falls short of the needed 80-degree threshold to enhance any chances of formation of a tropical system.

The intensification of La Niña is the perpetrator. As you know pretty well by now, the Atlantic had to deal with monster storm Beryl that traveled more than 4,000 miles on its most destructive journey. The Atlantic has already seen the likes of Alberto, Beryl and Chris and there’s still 95% of their season remaining. At this point in time, it’s still unclear if the national Hurricane Center will retire Beryl’s name. Little change in our weather is on tap for us here in Lagunaville.

Until next time, ALOHA!

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LBSC announces winners of the 2024 Young Artists & Authors Showcase

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (LBSC) announced the winners of the 2024 Young Artists & Authors Showcase (YAAS). This year’s competition, themed “CLIMATESCAPE: RESILIENT CITIES for TOMORROW’S CLIMATE,” brought together the creative talents of local youth, who explored innovative solutions for sustainable urban development through their artistic expressions.

The YAAS competition, held in collaboration with the Laguna Beach County Water District, invited young poets, musicians and artists to submit works that envision eco-conscious and resilient cities. This initiative aligns with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and aims to foster global awareness and dialogue on climate change and sustainable development among youth in Laguna Beach and its sister cities of Menton, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico and St. Ives, England.

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Courtesy of LBSC

(L-R) Fabiola Kinder and Karyn Philippsen/LBSC, Shane DiMaggio (accepting on behalf of his sister Skylar), Estella Newton, Zoe Tran (winner and accepting on behalf of her sister Izzie), Marlena Steinbach, and Debbie Neev and Christopher Regan/LBCWD

They are proud to present the winners of the 2024 YAAS Showcase:


1st Place: Skylar Dimaggio, “Use Me, Don’t Abuse Me” – $500

2nd Place: Estella Newton, “House on Glenneyre Street” – $250

3rd Place: Zoe Tran, “The World I Dare To See” – $100


1st Place: Sam Sweeney, “Orphans of the Earth” – $500

2nd Place: Lola Sabol, “Echoes of Change – Think Tough City” – $250

3rd Place: Marlena Steinbach, “Break Through” – $100


1st Place: Izzie Tran, “EcoMetropolis: Sustainability and Advancement” – $500

The exceptional talent and creativity demonstrated by these young artists, poets and musicians have provided profound insights into the challenges and potential solutions surrounding climate resilience. Their works not only captivated the judges but also sparked important conversations about the future of our cities and the role of sustainability.

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association commends all participants for their impressive contributions to this year’s showcase. By offering a platform for young voices to express their perspectives, LBSC empowers them to become advocates for positive change and sustainable development within their communities and beyond.

The winning entries from the local YAAS competition will now have the opportunity to compete at the Sister Cities International level, where they will showcase their talents on a global stage.

For more information about the Young Artists & Authors Showcase and to view the winning entries, click here.

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association relies on donations to continue its important work. You can help support their mission of fostering global awareness and cultural exchange on their website, by clicking here.

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association is a local organization whose mission is to foster international partnerships between the city of Laguna Beach and cities abroad to promote mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation through reciprocal youth, cultural, educational, professional, humanitarian, and economic programs and exchanges. It is a mission of Sisters Cities International, a nonprofit organization created by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to foster partnerships among communities around the globe and promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation – one individual, one community at a time. The city of Laguna Beach has Sister Cities in Menton, France, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico and St. Ives, England.

Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and tax deductible donations are accepted through the website, and processed by PayPal.

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Doing a “swells” job

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lifeguard keeps an eye out, making our ocean waters safe

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in Summer

Crystal Cove Conservancy has kicked off the 2024 summer season with extensive programming for all ages that span from the beach to the trails. Visitors will be delighted to see a combination of new and returning programs at Crystal Cove State Park, as well as extended dates for one of the Conservancy’s most popular programs – “The Great Plein Air Art Experience,” which will now run through October.

“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 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 for July 10. Register here for July 15. Register here for July 17. For additional dates, visit

Tuesdays in the Commons: Hands-on Educational Activities from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. (July 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 continuing through July 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.

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

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

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Laguna Community Concert Band to celebrate FOA grant with special concert

The Laguna Community Concert Band (LCCB) has announced the receipt of a generous $3,000 grant from the FOA Foundation, which will significantly bolster the band’s ongoing efforts to bring the magic of live music to the Laguna Beach cultural arts scene.

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Photos courtesy of LCCB

Mark Lowery conducts the Laguna Community Concert Band at the 2023 Festival of Arts

The FOA Foundation, an independent nonprofit endowed by the Festival of Arts, makes awards annually to art and educational programs in Laguna Beach and the surrounding area. On average, the foundation assists more than 20 organizations each year.

“We are grateful for the FOA Foundation’s continued support,” said director Mark Lowery. “This grant recognizes our dedication to the arts and energizes our mission to share high-quality live musical experiences with our community.”

In celebration of this support, Laguna Community Concert Band will perform at Festival of Arts on Sunday, July 21 at 1 p.m. on the main stage. The program will feature John Williams’ stirring march from the movie 1941 and a symphonic tribute to George Gershwin that includes excerpts from “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris.” Vocalist Lisa Morrice will join the band on selected numbers to perform crowd favorites including Big Band hits and modern classics.

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Jennifer Baker conducts the Laguna Community Concert Band at the 2023 Festival of Arts

“The FOA Foundation’s support is an honor that enables us to deepen our commitment to the community and our educational outreach,” said assistant director Jennifer Baker. “It’s more than just financial support. It’s a vote of confidence in our mission and our work to foster the next generation of musicians.”

The LCCB-affiliated Laguna JaZz Band will perform at Festival of Arts on Wednesday, July 17 at 5:30 p.m., and on Wednesday, August 14 at Susi Q at 6:30 p.m. This fall, Laguna Community Concert Band will celebrate their 25th anniversary with a performance on Sunday, October 6 at 7 p.m. at the Laguna Playhouse.

Laguna Community Concert Band performances are always free, although donations are gratefully accepted. Festival of Arts admission is complimentary for Laguna Beach residents, active military, Festival of Arts members, children 5 or younger and $15 for residents from surrounding areas.

For more information about the Laguna Community Concert Band or to inquire about joining, visit

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Iconic art collector Joan Quinn, “an artist’s muse,” to sit for public workshop led by leading portraitist


The powerhouses who influence the California art scene understandably have admirers who are artists. But if you’re Joan Quinn you don’t just have admirers. You have friends. And those artistic friends have captured her image more than 300 times. She has been sculpted, photographed, painted and probably appears in more media than any one person affiliated with the arts. Her deep eyes and quick, sincere smile have been captured by the likes of Andy Warhol Robert Mapplethorpe and David Hockney.

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Courtesy of Yolanda Gonzalez

Artist Yolanda Gonzalez completed a recent portrait of art collector Joan Quinn, with tulips. The two women will offer a workshop on Saturday where Gonzalez will offer some painting advice, Quinn will sit and participants will have the opportunity to paint this iconic supporter of art and artists in California.

And on Saturday, the general public will also have an opportunity to paint her portrait as she partners with Los Angeles artist Yolanda Gonzalez in conjunction with the Laguna Art Museum’s showing of the art of Jack and Joan Quinn. (See related story by Marrie Stone.) Joan Quinn Portrait Exploration will begin at 1 p.m.

“Joan is very humble and sweet,” said Gonzalez. “She relates to the artists on such an organic level.”

The portrait workshop builds upon a youth program Gonzalez and Quinn offered earlier this year, where Quinn sat for the workshop and Gonzalez offered students tips for creating portraits.

“Joan’s not narcissistic,” said Gonzalez. “She’s just truly the artist’s muse.”

As a life-long portraitist, Gonzalez knows her subject well. She and Quinn met more than three decades ago, as Gonzalez was establishing her career. Quinn went to the artist’s studio in Boyle Heights and the two became fast friends.

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Courtesy of Quinn Family Art Collection

Artist Yolanda Gonzalez uses a variety of mediums to capture people’s portraits – even ceramic. This portrait of Joan Quinn is in the art-supporter’s extensive collection, which includes hundreds of her own portraits.

“Her energy is amazing,” Gonzalez said of Quinn. “She’s humorous, bubbly intense, kind and intelligent.” Through the years, Quinn commissioned two painted portraits from her and then, seeing ceramic work Gonzalez was producing, also asked for a portrait in pottery.

“Joan is known and admired in the art community as she’s supportive of artists and the arts,” said Gonzalez. “And we’ve grown a special friendship…so painting her is creating a portrait of someone who is very dear to me.”

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Courtesy of Quinn Family Art Collection

This portrait of Joan Quinn by artist Yolanda Gonzalez is also part of Quinn’s extensive art collection

Gonzalez was happy to utilize her portraiture skills to capture her friend’s personality.

“I just have a connection with people,” she said. “I love to capture people’s essence and their mannerisms – especially their eyes and who they are. Portraits are my go-to.”

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Courtesy of Yolanda Gonzalez

Yolanda Gonzalez descends from a family rich with portrait artists. Her great grandfather, Juan Nepomuceno Lopez drew this portrait in 1877.

Gonzalez builds upon a long heritage of artists, dating back to 1877. Her great-grandfather created portraits on paper and her grandmother also created portraits in the 1920s.

“They weren’t full-time artists,” said Gonzalez, but they dedicated themselves to their art. When Gonzalez was just 8 years old, her grandmother sat her down and showed her how to paint two women walking up a hill with baskets on their heads.

“From then on we had a close and loving relationship,” she said. As the youngest of six children, the special grandmother attention went a long way in influencing Gonzalez. She recalled her grandmother visiting her at the studio in Boyle Heights.

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Courtesy of Yolanda Gonzalez

This “Portrait of Martha” was painted by Yolanda Gonzalez’s grandmother in 1920. It’s the artist’s niece.

“She said ‘You’re in your glory,’” recalled Gonzalez. “It was really exciting and heartwarming for her to sit in my studio and see that I’d become a full-time artist.”

Gonzalez builds upon her Chicana heritage and her works embrace the themes of unconventional beauty, identity and culture.

“I love what I do,” she said. “There’s just this beautiful narrative going on in my studio.”

She says Quinn is the perfect subject to paint. Not only is Quinn, at age 88, distinguished, she’s also very colorful.

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Join the Laguna Beach Library for fun programs this summer

Summer is here and the Laguna Beach Library is offering three fun and interactive programs for kids in July.

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Best Bubbles Parties is coming on July 18

–Thursday, July 18 at 4 p.m.: Best Bubble Parties is coming! Ready for some bubble fun? Explore colors, shapes and sizes through soap film properties, huge rainbow bubbles, square bubbles, triangular bubbles… and of course the grand finale – going inside a giant bubble!

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Creativity and song at The Alana Banana Show

–Thursday, July 25 at 4 p.m.: The Alana Banana Show is nearly here! Join Alana Banana and her friends on their adventures in sharing kindness through creativity and song.

In addition, the library continues their weekly programs for kids.

–Tuesdays at 3 p.m.: Sensory Time Tuesday is a calming hour of sensory play for little ones, ages 5 and younger.

–Wednesdays at 3 p.m.: Join Summer Surprise Wednesdays featuring mysterious projects and surprising activities. Come to the Laguna Beach Library on Wednesdays to experience all the fun. Activities may also include slime making, bubbles, or chalk art.

Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. For more information, visit

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Our city leaders at work

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

City Council working before a full house at Tuesday’s meeting

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Fair Game



Is City Treasurer Laura Parisi and/or her position on the block? Council action would say so

City Treasurer Laura Parisi appears to be in the sights of the Laguna Beach City Council, and that can’t be a good thing!

Item 15 on Tuesday’s City Council agenda was the “transition plan for outsourcing the management of the city investments to Meeder, including modifications to the roles, responsibilities and compensation of the City Treasurer and Finance Director.”

Parisi said, “The salary reduction seems like an attempt to control the office of the city treasurer. The office serves as a check and balance, and reports directly to the citizens who I believe want a voice, more local control of their government.”

This week, Parisi released a “Transition Plan for Outsourcing Investments and Modifications for the City Treasurer’s Responsibilities” document related to the City Council’s decision Tuesday night (5-0 vote).

Most of Parisi’s report seems an attempt to justify and protect her present responsibilities within the city.

Although the City Treasurer position is elected, it is one that is a rarity amongst most Orange County cities. Most do without, utilizing internal finance directors, finance committees and such reporting up through the City Manager.

Parisi added, “I do not think that a treasurer is a position of the past. I think that separation of powers and segregation of duties are basic internal controls that are necessary in every governmental operation.”

Laguna Beach, which pays Parisi a salary of $124,000 for her part-time position, is one of only five or so cities in Orange County utilizing an elected City Treasurer. And, on top of that, her salary is far and away the highest for that type of position in the OC.

Granted, Parisi has served admirably as the city’s elected treasurer since 1999, but I’m led to believe that several areas of her job have remained uncompleted, specifically an audit of the bed tax revenue that comes to the city. I’m told she’s running as much as four to five years behind required updates.

She responded, “The TOT (bed tax) reviews were canceled during the pandemic then resumed beginning in 2022 using data from 2021. The 2023/24 reviews were delayed because of other priorities. I am restricted to 27.3 hours per week. Now that the council has a focus on the 2023/24 reviews I will make them a priority and complete them with the cooperation of the finance department.”

Now, because the position of treasurer in Laguna Beach is elected, to eliminate it is not a council decision. That would be dependent on a vote of the people. However, council can change the compensation package.

Her position is obviously changing, and one would have to ask, “Is that a bad thing?”

• • •

To kick off Tuesday’s City Council meeting there was recognition for a group of employees attaining recognizable years of employment service to Laguna Beach. It’s always a nice touch.

At the top of the list, for example, was Gerardo Orozco who met his 20 years.

It got me thinking, what was missing on the list was Dave Kiff’s attainment of two months of service. Congrats Dave!

If you haven’t noticed, Dave has been out and about seemingly everywhere trying to meet the community. He was featured at the Chamber’s Government Affairs program this past week; is the featured speaker at the Top of the World’s community General Meeting this Sunday and it was even announced he’ll be at the Fire Department’s upcoming open house.

He’s out there and one has to believe that’s what the community wants, too.

• • •

Other items from Tuesday’s council meeting: Public Comments on Non-Agendized Items had speakers arguing that “funding for Visit Laguna Beach is worsening the city’s problems with tourists;” a number of speakers spoke against the Neighborhood Congregational Church’s concept for affordable housing; one speaker wanted more parks; there were speakers on both sides of the recent drone show presentation on July 4th; concerns of loud vehicles and concern that the City Council’s annual joint meeting with the Laguna Beach Unified School District was canceled.

My comments on a couple of these. First, the concern about the tourists Visit Laguna Beach is bringing to town should not be a concern. They are tasked with bringing in visitors that pay hundreds of dollars to fill our local hotels, add diners to our restaurants and shoppers to retail stores.

Speakers complaining about problem tourists are most likely concerned with the drive-market, that occupy our beaches, flood our neighborhoods with parking and spend little or no money in our local shops.

This second group is many times confused with Visit Laguna Beach’s efforts, erroneously!

The first group, through room or bed taxes, also funds many community efforts regularly throughout the city. That money is absolutely needed.

As far as the Neighborhood Congregational Church efforts, I don’t have a strong opinion one way or the other. The fact is the city is tasked by the state to build more affordable housing. NCC has extra property and could use the additional funding.

For those against this, come up with a solution of where this new affordable housing goes in a basically built-out city.

Loud vehicles, yes it’s a problem! Our PD is all over it and leading the South County efforts to curtail it.

As far as the gentleman wanting more parks, we probably all do. Where’s the land coming from? Certainly people don’t want to donate their houses for that effort, so it’s a difficult issue to address.

Finally, for those wanting the meeting with City Council and the School District, the primary reason is most likely related to the building of a new pool, etc., up at Laguna Beach High School.

No one should believe that City Council can halt or change something the district wants to do. I agree the communication between the two governing bodies is good, but if the district wants a larger pool, for example, that’s between neighbors and the district, not City Council.

• • •

Southern California Edison (SCE) contractors have begun construction to underground the overhead utility lines along Laguna Canyon Road between El Toro Road and the SR-73 toll road.

If you’re driving southbound on Laguna Canyon Road between 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, chances are you’ll be detoured to the southbound toll road onramp to El Toro through May 2025.

The overall project, including road widening, drainage improvements and utility undergrounding, is expected to be completed in spring 2026.

If you’re looking for more information, contact Luis Lara,, or 949.497.0300.

• • •

The Fair Game Laguna Beach weekly podcast with Mayor Sue Kempf joining me takes a look back on the long 4th of July weekend, including thoughts on the drone show and some impressive results from our public safety departments.

Check it out.

• • •

Vons, Albertsons and Pavilions stores are part of a supermarket merger up for approval between Kroger and Albertsons. As part of that, Albertsons plans to divest 63 California stores and sell them to C&S Wholesale Grocers to aid in the process. One of those listed stores is the Pavilions store at 600 N. Pacific Coast Highway.

What nameplates does C&S have on their stores? Would you believe Grand Union Supermarkets and Piggly Wiggly Supermarkets?

Perhaps soon you’ll find yourself saying, “Honey, going to make a run down to the Piggly Wiggly.”

• • •

If you’ve awakened early today (Friday) and need to get a good cup of morning coffee, perhaps head down to Jedidiah Coffee and join Orange County 5th District Supervisor Katrina Foley for her latest Coffee & Conversations.

The supervisor’s focus will be on Orange County’s first ever Climate Action Plan with updates on its progress.

No RSVP is required…just walk up, grab a cup and enjoy.

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LAM awarded FOA Foundation grant in support of the 2024 Art + Nature Family Festival

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) has announced it has been awarded a $3,000 grant from the prestigious Festival of Arts (FOA) Foundation. This generous grant will support the museum’s 12th Annual Art + Nature Family Festival, a full-day event brimming with enriching hands-on activities and educational stations designed for all ages.

“We are deeply grateful for this extraordinary gift from the Festival of Arts Foundation, which will significantly enhance our 12th Annual Art + Nature Family Festival,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of LAM. “This crucial funding allows us to offer families an exceptional opportunity to delve into the profound connection between art and nature.”

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Courtesy of LAM

A young artist working on a creative project at LAM

The FOA Foundation has consistently supported the museum’s educational initiatives, including providing bus transportation for school field trips, covering teaching artist fees, supplying art materials for school visits and sponsoring programs like Art + Nature and LAM’s Imagination Celebration. Both LAM and The FOA Foundation are dedicated to arts education, sharing a legacy of more than 100 years of enriching the artistic community of Laguna Beach.

Kicking off this year’s 12th annual Art + Nature, there will be a Pre-Celebration Family Festival during the weekend of November 3.

During the weekend of November 9, art and nature enthusiasts of all ages are invited to LAM’s eagerly awaited Art + Nature Family Festival, held at the Main Beach Cobblestones and the museum. This dynamic event will feature an engaging docent-guided tour to the Main Beach Cobblestones, where attendees can experience this year’s exceptional outdoor exhibition before returning to the museum. The festival also includes free access to LAM’s outstanding exhibitions, hands-on art activities, science and nature-based programs, docent-led tours and educational sessions that celebrate the artistic and natural beauty of Laguna Beach while emphasizing the intersection of art and the environment.

For more information about Laguna Art Museum and the 12th Annual Art + Nature, visit

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

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Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest winners announced: Seeking Beauty in Laguna’s Marine Protected Areas

As the California Fish & Game Commission evaluates the state’s network of 124 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), representing only 16% of coastal waters, talented photographers recently presented evidence of Laguna Beach’s success in restoring and enjoying sealife within an urbanized community.

Ten years ago, state officials were skeptical that a city like Laguna Beach with more than 6 million annual visitors could navigate the rules protecting sealife. Yet, the Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest, now in its 13th year, has demonstrated through hundreds of photos, that success is possible if we all work together.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Bluebelt

First Place Professional, “Shredding the Guitar” – Noah Gilbert

This year’s collection dazzled with a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors and enchanting views of marine life and their dreamy habitats. Images capture people joyfully engaging with nature and mingling with the marine locals within the treasured boundaries of the Laguna Beach Marine Protected Areas (MPAs).

Anne Girtz, contest coordinator, sends “a tidal wave of thanks to all the incredible participants, both humans and their ocean-life subjects. Each stunning snapshot submitted to this year’s contest celebrating Laguna’s Marine Protected Areas radiated a love and respect for our majestic ocean!”

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First Place Amateur, “Chillin Gulls” – Robb Mitchell

Girtz added, “We’re over the moon about this visual voyage, which sparks a deeper appreciation for the beauty and fragility of our oceanic wonderland. Through these shared glimpses of splendor and connection, we aim to strengthen our dedication to protecting and preserving these priceless marine ecosystems.

“Our sincerest appreciation goes out to each participant for their contributions, our esteemed judges, and the organizers for fostering such a magnificent celebration!”

The contest was judged by Laguna’s Rich German, Global Marine Scientist Julianne Steers, and Photographer and Marine Scientist Kate Vylet. They selected the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place Winners in two categories: Amateur and Professional as well as three Honorable Mentions in each.

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Honorable Mention First Place Professional, “Sluggish” – Kaelan Housewright

Rich German, Project O, noted, “It’s always an honor to be a judge for the Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest. Laguna’s MPA is the ultimate example of our commitment to protect our precious coastline and the life that calls it home. And these images bring that commitment to light in a beautiful, visual way.”

Likewise, Global Marine Scientist and Contest Judge Julianne Steers observed, “From expansive aerials to dime-sized underwater wildlife, these stunning images truly showcase the beauty and diversity in Laguna’s Marine Protected Area. Each image highlights a key role these elements play to thrive within our Bluebelt.”

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Honorable Mention, First Place Amateur, “Eel in the Rocks” – Andrew Moore

A new judge from Monterey Bay, Kate Vylet, conservation and underwater photographer/videographer, found, “It was wonderful seeing so much passion for the Laguna MPAs captured in this year’s entries. I thoroughly enjoyed going through everyone’s work.”

Everyone has a chance now to pick the “Best of the Rest” as public judges select their favorite photo until the deadline on July 23. Visit the Laguna Bluebelt Facebook page to cast your vote. Winning photos can be previewed by clicking here.

Photo Contest Winners will be celebrated with an artist reception and chance to purchase their work on Thursday, Aug. 1 at the Laguna College Art + Design Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave. in Downtown Laguna Beach from 5-8 p.m.

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Meet Judie Mancuso as she steps up her campaign for City Council

Sue and Dr. Gary Stewart will be hosting a Happy Hour to support City Council candidate Judie Mancuso on Friday, July 19 from 6-8 p.m. They invite the community to share in light appetizers, beverages and conversation about the concerns that are top-of-mind for Laguna Beach voters.

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Photos courtesy of Judie Mancuso

(L-R) Sue Stewart, Judie Mancuso and Gary Stewart

Mancuso launched her City Council campaign in March of this year, highlighting her years of business and legislative experience and desire to find solutions to the key issues Lagunans care about most. Her platform priorities are public health and safety, environmental protection and open space preservation, livability and affordability, good governance and accountability, and infrastructure modernization. She wants to make sure Laguna is a place where residents, small businesses, artists and the arts, and of course all animals domestic and wild, can thrive.

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(L-R) Jennifer McDonald, Karilyn Ewing, Judie Mancuso and Bob Hartman preparing for kick-off event at [seven-degrees]

“In every conversation I have ever had with Judie, she is smart, engaged, caring and laser-focused on results and how to achieve them,” said Dr. Gary Stewart. “Her work in animal rights reflects her ability to appreciate the importance of seeing things from all perspectives, and her dedication to creating the best experience for all concerned. I am sure she would bring that same approach to the challenges that face our city.”

“I first met Judie many years ago on our street, walking her two little dogs. My first impression was that she was a friendly neighbor, involved in animal rights,” said Sue Stewart. “The second time I encountered Judie was when I attended a Neighborhood Watch informational meeting that she organized with LBPD. I could see she was a caring neighbor, very involved in issues facing us.”

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(L-R) Alexandra Cook, Judie Mancuso, Anya Radzikowska and Cissi Frigarde. Mancuso’s Pilates friends gather to support her campaign.

“In the years since, I’ve continued to see Judie take local action that would reach state and even international audiences. The anti-oil ocean drilling event at Main Beach with Jane Fonda and local dignitaries was conceptualized and orchestrated by Judie and she did a stellar job.”

Sue continued: “Judie is a solid City Council candidate who has shown that she gets things done through her political nonprofit and leadership on the Laguna Beach Environmental Sustainability Committee. She demonstrates her abilities to be an active, energetic, engaged, informed, thoughtful and reasonable Laguna Beach resident. Let’s give her the chance to do more good things for our city!

“We are delighted to host this Happy Hour event for Judie. It will be an opportunity for you to get to know Judie even better and you won’t be disappointed!”

The event will be in Mystic Hills. To attend, send an email to and the address will be provided upon RSVP.

One of Mancuso’s top priorities for her campaign is to listen to the community, including the many who feel like they do not have a voice. To this end, her supporters will be hosting a series of meet and greets over the coming months so Mancuso can get a deeper understanding of what is on people’s minds and how their concerns can be addressed at the city level. If you’re interested in hosting a listening session in your home, or simply meeting with Mancuso over coffee, email

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Supporters at a Hotel Laguna event – (L-R): Kris Evans, Jacque

Gallagher, Suzi McDuffie, Jinger Wallace, Eva Hodjera, Judie Mancuso, Cindy Love, Mike Beanan, Charlotte Masarik and

MJ Abraham

To read more about Mancuso’s legislative work protecting animals, people and the planet, visit the website of Social Compassion in Legislation, the nonprofit she founded in 2007, which has had 25 bills signed into state law.  Her successes include landmark laws banning the sale of animal-tested cosmetics in California, banning sales of animals from puppy mills in pet shops and prohibiting the use of wild animals in circuses.

Mancuso’s work for animals has been praised in numerous publications and she been interviewed on countless radio and TV stations at the local, national and international levels. The profile piece that ran was entitled “If Animals Could Vote, Judie Mancuso Would be President.” Her memoir about her decades of political advocacy work will be published in the fall.

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Art-To-Go Best-in-Show award winners announced

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts presented the Art-To-Go Best-in-Show awards to seven artists recently. The fundraising collection, themed “Head-To-Toe,” features originals donated by Festival exhibitors to support the hardship fund for artists. Art-To-Go is available daily through August 25 on the Festival grounds.

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Photo by Rick Graves

Art-To-Go presented Best-In-Show awards to winning artists last Sunday on the Festival of Arts grounds. (L-R): Mark Jacobucci, Brian Haberlin, Judith Haron, Isabelle Allessandra, Brad Neal, Jeff Hurlbut, Yuri Kuznetsov and awards juror Nelson Coates.

Brian Haberlin won Best-in-Theme for his watercolor titled Bess. “It’s a very cinematic portrait,” said awards juror Nelson Coates, production designer for television and film. He was moved by the mission of The Artists Fund and Art-To-Go. “That the exhibitors come together to support their own in times of need is such a labor of love,” he said. “It reminds us all to give of our gifts, the importance of tangible expression and selfless giving.”

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Courtesy of Artists Fund

“Best-in-Theme” winner Brian Haberlin with “Bess”

Picks by Coates included Jeff Hurlbut – first place for his figurative painting, Brad Neal – second place for his figurative rendering in ink and watercolor and third place to Mark Jacobucci for his painting Acacia Street. Honorable mentions went to Isabelle Allessandra, Judith Haron and Yuri Kuznetsov. The People’s Choice Award, voted on by Festival patrons, went to Jeff Hurlbut – a two-time winner. The voter’s prize gift went to Amanda Fish, who cast a vote for Brian Haberlin’s piece.

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Courtesy of Artists Fund

Mark Jacobucci won third place for his painting “Acacia Street”

The Artists Fund President Rick Graves handed certificates and gifts to the winners, and Christine Georgantas, Festival of Arts director of exhibits, congratulated the winners.

All Art-To-Go buyers qualify to win a two-night stay at The Tides Inn. New items are added weekly. View a portion of the collection online at, or call 949.612.1949.

Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. For more information on Festival of Arts, go to

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24th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament benefitting the BGCLB is coming up soon

Just a reminder that the 24th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament benefitting the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach (BGCLB) will take place on Monday, Aug. 5 at the Aliso Viejo Country Club. The event will include a shotgun start, with 144 golfers, a silent auction, Jersey Mike’s lunch and an awards dinner party. You will not want to miss this fun tournament. Sponsorship opportunities and foursome slots are still available, but they are going fast!

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Courtesy of BGCLB

Tee off for the 24th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament on August 5, with tickets going fast

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised at this event benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. The club provides mentorship and youth development programs to more than 3,000 young people every day at seven sites located in Laguna Beach and Saddleback Valley.

One of the tournament highlights is the Helicopter Golf Ball Drop which has a grand prize of a Montage Staycation that includes a two-night stay in an ocean view suite, two 60-minute spa treatments and a $60 daily breakfast credit. This package is valued at $5,500 and participants can have a chance to win it for only $10!

For more than 70 years, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has been an indispensable asset to the community. From preschool to parenting classes, the club offers an array of services that focus on academic success, good character and citizenship, healthy lifestyles and creative expression. The club serves youth ages 3-18 years of age at their two sites, Canyon Branch and Bluebird Branch in Laguna Beach.

For more information about the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, visit, or call 949.494.2535.

For additional tournament information, contact Jake at, or call 949.715.7931.

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Catmosphere Laguna Foundation announces adoption event at Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo on July 20

On Saturday, July 20 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Catmosphere Laguna cats and kittens will be featured for adoption at their new location at Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo Store, 30731 Gateway Plaza, Rancho Mission Viejo.

There is also an additional event this Saturday, July 13, from 12-3 p.m. at PetSmart, 23602 EL Toro Road, Lake Forest, and every first Saturday of the month.

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation introduced Orange County’s first Cat Café & Lounge. Catmosphere Laguna Rescue is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit feline rescue which serves Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities every day of the week dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless, relinquished, abandoned and special-needs cats and kittens.

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Photos courtesy of Catmosphere Laguna Foundation

Adoption event on July 20 at Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo

Laguna Beach has long been known and loved for its artistic community and embrace of nature in all its forms. Catmosphere Laguna Foundation enhances and strengthens that reputation in its mission to prevent cruelty to animals by rescuing, fostering and assisting in public adoptions, and awareness of the plight of homeless felines. Their adoption events are fun for the whole family with snacks and giveaways for all – volunteer opportunities are available.

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Happy adopters

Save the Date for these future adoption events, continuing monthly throughout 2024:

Saturday, July 27 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Pet Palooza, Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Rd., Laguna Niguel – Volunteers!

Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, 20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach

~Saturday, Aug. 17

~Saturday, Oct. 5, (Love Laguna Beach Day)

Saturday, Oct. 26 (Halloween Pawty) and year-end holiday events

Brand New September Event

~Saturday Sept. 7 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., Aliso Viejo Furry Friends Pet Fair, 100 Park Ave., Aliso Viejo – Volunteers!

For more details, contact Catmosphere Laguna Foundation at 949.619.MEOW (6369), or

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Volunteers deliver $6,000 gift for BGCLB, also serving Saddleback Valley, Summer Camp Scholarship

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach (BGCLB), also serving Saddleback Valley, announced a generous donation of $6,000 toward their Summer Camp Scholarship, ensuring that many children will have the opportunity to attend summer camp field trips this year. This remarkable contribution is the result of the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation’s enormous $5,000 grant, combined with several donations from dedicated Tony’s Treehouse donors.

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Courtesy of BGCLB

Gift benefits BGCLB’s Summer Camp Scholarship

Thanks to this incredible support, children who previously would have missed out on the joys and adventures of summer camp will now be able to create lasting memories and develop essential life skills. The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach’s summer camp offers a safe and nurturing environment where kids can enjoy exciting activities, make new friends, and learn valuable lessons through thrilling experiences like fishing trips and visits to Knott’s Berry Farm and the Aquarium of the Pacific.

“We are immensely grateful to the A. Gary Anderson Family Foundation and Tony’s Treehouse donors for their generosity,” said Pam Estes, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. “Their support makes a significant difference in the lives of the children we serve, allowing them to enjoy the summer camp experience that they otherwise might not have been able to afford.”

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, visit, or call 949.494.2535.

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