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Three long-time personalities ride in on proverbial white horses with attempt to save KX FM

For those in the know, local Laguna Beach radio station KX FM has been in somewhat turmoil in recent times. One reason was certainly because Tyler Russell McCusker, the station’s founder, moved to be with family in Tucson, Ariz.

Recently, a plea from McCusker was delivered to community members seeking financial support to continue operations.

Well, good news, on Wednesday (April 10) several well-known Laguna residents and long-time program hosts of the station emerged to join and take control of the station’s board of directors, replacing McCusker.

Billy Fried, Cindy Obrand and Jonathan Tufano have been appointed to the not-for-profit radio station board, which will now be chaired by Fried.

KX FM was founded back in 2012 by McCusker and a business partner when they assumed control of a dormant radio signal in Laguna Niguel, then moved it to Laguna Beach.

The station in recent times has been staffed by more than 60 volunteers representing all styles of music and talk, with “a charter to serve the city of Laguna Beach with local news, sports, weather, culture, entertainment, public affairs, and an array of unique personalities, programming and music.”

Fried is a well-known local entrepreneur who has hosted his own talk show, Laguna Talks, for 10 years, pens a column for a local newspaper and is founder of the local outdoor adventure company La Vida Laguna, which he continues to operate with his partner Doug Oyen.

“I am thrilled and honored to help this little gem and its incredible roster of talented hosts as it enters its next chapter as a vital hub for the community,” Fried stated. “Radio is a magical medium when done right, and I believe Laguna enjoys a unique and special privilege to have its own station.

Obrand has hosted Radio Neighboring as her alter ego “Ida Mae” on Saturday mornings since the station began.

And Tufano will come aboard to help the station with operations.

The trio will take over the operations effective May 1.

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The Peter Blake Gallery will host an opening reception for their latest exhibit, James Hayward’s Monochromes, on Saturday, April 20 from 3-5 p.m. The gallery is located at 435 Ocean Ave.

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Courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

Part of the James Hayward exhibit “Monochromes” at the Peter Blake Gallery

Also Saturday evening is the exhibition reception and celebration of Tony DeLap’s A Survey of Works: 1960s-2000s from 6-8 p.m. at The Honarkar Foundation. An RSVP is requested.

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Courtesy of The Honarkar Foundation

A piece on display from Tony DeLap’s exhibit at The Honarkar Foundation Gallery

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Our own photographer Mary Hurlbut was hanging around City Hall on Tuesday with the job of eventually photographing new City Manager Dave Kiff. Heck, somebody has got to take that official photo. Anyway, another little interesting news tidbit sort of fell into Mary’s lap.

While there, she ran into local architect Gregg Abel. He told Mary that he and his team had just built a children’s bench outside City Hall. Here’s the catch – there used to be another bench there, but Abel and his group were charged with enlarging the planting bed around the pepper tree and had to move said bench. While digging, they came across stones in the underground. So, what did they do? Maybe you can tell what they decided…

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

New bench next to the pepper tree outside of City Hall

Nice job Gregg!

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The Greater Laguna Beach GOP’s members’ meeting will take place Wednesday, April 24 at Mozambique. The guest speaker will be Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert.

The Chief, a 25-year veteran of the department, will talk about his vision for the police force and what’s behind the efforts of their members to protect and defend the city.

The event, starting with a 5 p.m. social hour and the meeting beginning at 6 p.m., will take place in the newly remodeled Parrot’s Room.

Seating is limited and RSVPs are required.

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This week on our podcast, Mayor Sue Kempf and I discuss the hiring of new City Manager Dave Kiff and what it means for Laguna Beach, the city’s investment portfolio and more.

Give us a listen.

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Kiff’s employment as new city manager unanimously approved by City Council

The Laguna Beach City Council has announced the appointment of Dave Kiff as the next city manager for the City of Laguna Beach.

“Dave Kiff’s appointment as the new city manager represents an exciting moment for Laguna Beach,” said Mayor Sue Kempf. “He is an experienced leader with an impressive track record of initiatives that he championed or co-championed on the city, county and state level. As a City Council, we are confident Dave will not only address immediate opportunities for enhancing services, but we believe he is a good fit for Laguna overall.”

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

New Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff

Kiff, a former 23-year resident of Laguna Beach, brings a wealth of experience and a deep love for the community.

“Returning to Laguna Beach to serve as city manager is a tremendous honor for me,” said Kiff. “I am deeply committed to serving the people and community of Laguna Beach. My goal is to work collaboratively with residents, businesses and community organizations to ensure that Laguna Beach remains a vibrant and inclusive place to live, work and visit.

“My role as city manager will be focused on fostering collaboration and innovation to address the needs of our residents and continued enhancement of the overall quality of life in our community,” Kiff continued. “I look forward to working closely with the City Council, city staff, and community stakeholders to ensure Laguna Beach continues to thrive and evolve responsibly.”

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

(L-R) Councilmember Bob Whalen, Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi, City Manager Dave Kiff, Mayor Sue Kempf and Councilmember George Weiss in council chambers

Kiff brings substantial local government experience and expertise to the City of Laguna Beach. Prior to his appointment, he served as the division director for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services, overseeing homelessness programs totaling $30 million annually.

Additionally, Kiff has served as interim city manager for several California cities, including Sonoma, Healdsburg and Huntington Beach. He also brings extensive experience as the former city manager of Newport Beach, where he successfully managed a $300 million budget, staff of more than 700 and a diverse range of city services for nearly a decade.

Kiff’s employment agreement was unanimously approved by the Laguna Beach City Council at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 9. His anticipated start date is May 6.

He is looking forward to living in Laguna Beach again with his partner Tom, and their two dogs Oscar and Moby.

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Council candidate shares priorities, stance on local issues


A community meeting last week highlighted a local candidate running for Laguna Beach City Council.

The LB Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee held a meeting via Zoom on Thursday (April 4) with 2024 council candidate Hallie Jones as the featured speaker. About 30 people attended online. The committee plans to invite all local candidates to speak at the monthly forum (as the group has done in previous election years) and Jones is the second for 2024. Judie Mancuso previously spoke at the group’s monthly meeting in March. The Chamber does not formally endorse any specific candidate; however, they do speak out on issues that are relevant to their members.

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Courtesy of Hallie Jones

2024 Laguna Beach City Council candidate Hallie Jones

She’s excited to throw her hat in the ring for City Council, Jones said. It will be interesting to see how the next few months play out, she added.

“As a Laguna native, this town is in my blood and I’ve been disheartened and discouraged by a lot of the inefficiencies and back and forth that I’ve seen in our community and in our city government,” Jones said. “Right now, I see this really incredible opportunity. I think we’re on the brink of having this incredibly effective council with a new city manager, a new city attorney, a new community development director. And all of this restructuring, all these changes in leadership, are coming at a time where the city – in my opinion – is going to be facing some of the most pressing issues we’ve seen in decades.”

As they address these complicated issues, the city needs collaborative, nuanced, and thoughtful debate and dialogue, she said.

Jones shared some of her background, noting her time in local schools before her family headed to the East Coast. She returned to the area for college and then landed a position at Heal the Bay.

“I really dove in deep to marine conservation,” she said.

She moved back to Laguna Beach to be closer to family and became the executive director at the Laguna Canyon Foundation. She held that position for a decade before moving over to the Crystal Cove Conservancy as the executive vice president and chief program officer in late 2023.

“(The CCC position) really did combine my love for open space, my love for our marine environment, with the ability to work with city/municipal (and) state government to get great things done,” Jones said.

During the past 10 years with LCF, Jones said she worked closely with the city on certain issues, something she’s continuing at the conservancy. She also serves on the Orange County Parks Commission for OC Supervisor Katrina Foley representing district five and on the board for the Natural Communities Coalition.

“Our coastline and our canyon are so important to me, personally, but also important to our residents, to our visitors, and, by extension, to our economy,” Jones said. “Our beaches and our wildland trails are one of the most special things about this community and we really need to focus on continuing to protect them.”

She confirmed her commitment to preserving the remaining acres of open space, implementing the Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, improving climate resiliency on the local beaches and hillsides, and dedicating resources to the trail system and endangered habitats.

Public safety is another top priority for Jones, with a specific focus on wildfires.

“The thing that keeps me up at night more than anything is the risk of catastrophic wildfire,” Jones said. “I really understand how real that risk is.”

During the 1993 fire, she was a student at Laguna Beach High School. The home she grew up in burned to the ground. She can still remember the smell of smoke that lingered in the air for days, Jones commented.

“That is a visceral memory and experience that we share,” she said.

The city’s role in protecting the community from something like that happening again is to take proactive steps.

They need to underground utilities along Laguna Canyon Road, Jones said.

“We need to do that in a way that protects our open space,” she said.

As part of that effort, she also supports exploring the possibility of taking ownership of Laguna Canyon Road from Caltrans. There are pros and cons to consider, she added, but it’s worth looking into.

“One of the main concerns I have if we do not take ownership of Laguna Canyon Road is that (So Cal) Edison’s undergrounding will follow Caltrans design standards and not what we want for our community. It won’t be a decision that we get to make and I think we’ll end up with something that we don’t want,” Jones said.

That might result in damage to the open space, she added.

Working with Caltrans could also take so long that the city might miss out on the grant funding needed to pay for the undergrounding project.

“We’ve got to look at the long-term financial liability and design implications of that decision,” Jones said.

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Car fire erupts on Temple Drive

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Photos by Josh Tanaka@j.t.films

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At 7:06 p.m. on Tuesday (April 9), Laguna Beach police and fire personnel responded to the 1900 block of Temple Hills Drive for a single vehicle fire. The unoccupied vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. Fire personnel arrived on scene and quickly extinguished the flames. No cause of the fire was reported.

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Color It Orange show exhibits county’s top high school artists at LCAD gallery


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

A fresh perspective on art careers was offered to the students who attended the opening of the Color It Orange exhibition at the LCAD Gallery. This annual show, now in its 49th year, features selected work from high schoolers throughout Orange County.

“The kids love being part of an art show,” said teacher Samantha Squieri of her students at Beckman High School in Tustin. “They see this and start to believe ‘I can be an artist.’ It’s really exciting.”

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Photos by Theresa Keegan

Art teacher Samantha Squieri takes time during the opening of “Color It Orange” to talk with students and parents about the comprehensive art program offered at Beckman High School

Certainly, those on display have already proven their artistic mettle – the 84 pieces in the show were chosen from almost 800 that were submitted for consideration. The competition was expanded because this year the show organizers also worked with Scott Fitzpatrick, coordinator of arts for the Orange County Department of Education, which puts on a variety of shows throughout the county each spring, featuring students in all grade levels.

“We have almost every high school joining in now,” said Bryan Hegge, LCAD gallery director. “The idea is to elevate this to show what art at a high school can be. Everybody in here is an accomplished artist.”

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The “Color It Orange” show also includes ceramics and sculpture. This piece entitled ‘Sushi’ is by Frances Nguyen of Pacifica High School.

The gallery is filled with a combination of powerful oils, delicate watercolors, bold graphics and even ceramics and sculptures. There are still life and action pictures, some true to an original scene, others pulled entirely from a student’s imagination.

On opening night, April 4, proud parents snapped photos of their young artists next to their displayed work. Siblings walked around while teachers talked about the benefits of art education in high school and career options. Visitors who just stopped in as part of First Thursdays Art Walk were pleasantly surprised at the quality and diversity of the artwork.

Hegge, along with Jason Umfress, director of admissions at Laguna College of Art + Design, juried the show.

“This is a showcase of the very best,” said Umfress. He explained how the selected pieces were judged on multiple factors, including technical skill, creativity and interpretation. “The level of creativity and storytelling in here is wonderful.”

In fact, Beckman freshman Joanne Lim was literally inspired by books when creating Timekeeper’s Papers. The colorful multi-medium piece was created in response to a school assignment on exploring perspective.

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Joanne Lim stands near her colorful piece “Timekeeper’s Paper” at the bottom of the display

“I just like the industrial building and the books,” she said. The Tustin resident was capturing an omniscient reader’s viewpoint by adding in the timepiece and the stars. “I’ve always liked to draw,” she said. “And it feels really nice to have my art shown.”

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Emma Murdock’s piece “A Peruvian Story” earned the Santa Margarita Catholic student a scholarship to the LCAD July program for high school students

In addition to participating in the month-long show (it closes April 21) five selected students received a scholarship to attend the upcoming special summer session at LCAD for high school students. Upon completion of the class, participants earn college credits. Recipients included: Emma Murdock, Margarita Catholic High; Aidan Phan, La Quinta High School; Ashely Lee, Beckman High School; Grace Lin, Beckman and Iman Gelogaeva, University High School.

LCAD is very committed to the Color It Orange program and its history. In fact, some current students and faculty members recall their own experience participating in Color It Orange, said Umfress.

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Council appoints new city manager


City Council unanimously appointed a new city manager this week.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 on Tuesday (April 9) to hire Dave Kiff as Laguna Beach’s top city staffer.

The $315,000 contract will be for three years with two, one-year extensions. Kiff will start his new position on May 6.

As a city manager, he should listen more than talk, so Tuesday may be the most they hear from him, Kiff joked. He’s honored for the council’s support and is looking forward to getting started.

He lived in Laguna Beach for about 22 years and he’s excited to be back, Kiff noted. He spent most of that time working as city manager for Laguna’s coastal neighbor, Newport Beach.

“(I) drove up the road and worked, and every night I came home here and there’s a reason for that: Because it’s a very special place. It’s a place that I always felt embraced and comfortable and part of the community. I just think it’s so terrific at this point in my life to be able to work here,” Kiff said.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Newly appointed Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff

Several councilmembers noted Kiff’s time as a former Laguna Beach resident.

“Dave, welcome home,” said Councilmember Bob Whalen. “You certainly know our community and the essence of it and the importance of it.”

They’re all looking forward to working with Kiff and moving the organization ahead, Whalen added.

“We have a lot of ambitious goals and objectives, and it takes a good leader to implement those,” he said.

While Newport Beach is a very different city compared to Laguna, there are some similarities, Mayor Pro Tem Alex Rounaghi pointed out: Complex issues, dealing with the California Coastal Commission, residents who are highly engaged and have high expectations.

Rounaghi noted Kiff’s time in Newport Beach while the city hall and civic center complex was constructed. His experience with that project will be helpful as Laguna Beach moves forward with a facilities master plan, he commented.

“You don’t really need to embrace the uniqueness of Laguna Beach and understand how special it is to be city manager, but I think it’s a bonus,” Rounaghi said. “I’m also just so optimistic about what the future will bring.”

Choosing a city manager is one of the most important decisions they make as a council, Rounaghi said, and he’s grateful Kiff is willing to take on the job.

“We can set all the policies and priorities that we want to come up with, but really none of those are going to happen without a city manager who can implement them,” he said. “It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone better prepared to hit the ground running than Dave Kiff.”

Mayor Sue Kempf noted that she had coffee with Kiff, who has already reached out to councilmembers and department heads even though he’s not working yet.

“I was impressed by that,” she said.

He’s a really good fit for Laguna Beach, Kempf added, and they’re going to work well together.

They are fortunate to have someone who has lived in Laguna Beach for quite some time and was integrated into the community and understands Laguna Beach’s values, Councilmember Mark Orgill said. On top of that, Kiff has the experience of running a complex coastal city like Newport Beach.

“I just don’t see how it could get any better than that,” he said.

They’ve had a highly trained and skilled interim city manager with Sean Joyce for the past six months, Weiss said, and now they’ll have a reputed master of coastal city management.

“I’m happy for our Laguna Beach community and I’m looking forward to working with and learning from Mr. Kiff,” he said.

Council engaged in a formal competitive executive recruitment process over the last several months to select a qualified candidate to fill the position, Director of Human Resources and Risk Management Aggie Nesh said. Based on this process, Kiff was identified as the candidate who is best qualified and able to serve as city manager.

Kiff previously worked in state legislature and other city and county jurisdictions, Nesh said. Most notably, he spent 20 years at Laguna’s coastal neighbor to the north, Newport Beach, including nearly a decade as the city manager. After Newport, he was interim executive director of Association of California Cities-Orange County and then moved to Sonoma County where he led the homeless services division.

The city manager will receive an annual salary of $315,000, with an annual cost of living adjustment equivalent to the percentage change in the May Consumer Price Index for urban wage earners and clerical workers, as calculated by the Department of Industrial Relations, up to 4%. He will receive the same benefits as other management employees. Kiff will also receive: Deferred compensation of $30,500 per year, to be adjusted annually to align with the IRS maximum permitted amount and prorated for partial years of employment; monthly housing stipend of $1,000 (subject to certain provisions); vehicle allowance of $500 per month; cell phone stipend of $80 per month; a laptop from the city and other benefits.


Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Laguna.

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Bill that could potentially allow relinquishment of Coast Highway moves forward, procedural step in lengthy process


A California Assembly bill that would allow a state agency to consider relinquishment of the Laguna Beach portion of Coast Highway over to the city has passed through one step of the process.

At the April 1 meeting, the Assembly Transportation Committee unanimously approved moving AB 2817 forward. The item was on the consent calendar and there was no discussion. The action referred the bill to the Appropriations Committee with a recommendation that it be placed on their consent calendar.

The bill would set the stage to potentially allow for relinquishment, if the city eventually decides to pursue control of the highway. Although there are a number of steps at the state level for the bill to pass through and a lengthy public process at the local level before it could actually happen.

AB 2817 was introduced by Assemblymember Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach) on February 15 and, if ultimately approved, would give legislative authorization to the California Transportation Commission to consider relinquishment of a 6.8-mile segment of State Route 1 to the City of Laguna Beach.

“Laguna Beach would like to improve State Route 1. Their goal to accommodate motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, as well as to promote tourism and economic development and reflect the unique character of Laguna Beach is one I encourage,” Dixon explained in an email to Stu News Laguna. “Currently, Caltrans has control over the state’s highways and is limited in the types of improvements it is able to make to those highways. This bill is necessary to formally begin the process of relinquishment of SR 1 within the boundaries of the City of Laguna Beach from Caltrans to the city.”

Although a hearing date is not yet set for the Appropriations Committee, the last hearing for Assembly bills tagged fiscal is May 17. Dixon’s office anticipates the bill to be heard before the deadline.

After Appropriations, it will head to the Assembly floor for a vote of all 80 members, Dixon’s Chief of Staff Hannah Ackley Skaggs pointed out in an email to Stu News Laguna. They must vote to pass it out of the Assembly by May 24. Next, it will head to the Senate and be referred to both the policy and fiscal committees. If it is not amended in the Senate, then it will be sent to the governor’s desk and await a signature. He has until September 30 to sign, veto or choose not to sign legislation. If he signs or chooses not to sign bills, they become law and take effect Jan. 1, 2025 (unless they contain an urgency clause, which AB 2817) does not.

If all of that happens and the bill becomes law, the CTC is notified and the commission and city staff can start having conversations. At this point, the CTC or Laguna Beach could choose not to move forward with relinquishment. Even if both agencies decide to move forward, they may not be able to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions.

According to a fact sheet provided by Dixon, that’s also posted on the city’s website on the City Council page under sponsored state legislation for 2024, the city has discussed the possibility of acquiring Coast Highway with Caltrans, but the dialogue has “gone as far as legally possible without the legislative authorization for CTC to consider relinquishment.”

In the analysis for AB 2817, the city, as a sponsor of the bill, wrote that Laguna Beach is “exploring opportunities to further improve SR 1 for its residents and visitors” and that the bill “will help the city reach its local transportation and safety goals.”

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Coast Highway is currently controlled by the state

On the city side, Mayor Sue Kempf noted in a phone interview with Stu News Laguna that a lot of analysis would need to be done before it gets to that point. Safety, liability, aesthetics, maintenance and other aspects of any potential project would need to be studied, she said, and it’s not high on the list of things to pursue at this point.

“There is nothing in the works,” Kempf said. “It is not on our priority list of projects at the council level.”

This is a technical step in the process, she added.

At the January 19 council planning session (at the 5:17:30 mark in the video), Councilmember Bob Whalen asked for a status update on item 62, the last item on their list of policy initiatives and projects, the Coast Highway potential relinquishment and the council’s prior request for a Sacramento representative to introduce a bill.

“Which, again, just tees us up for potential relinquishment, it doesn’t obligate us to do anything, but it checks a box,” Whalen said.

The request has been made and they’re on “standby,” confirmed then-Assistant to the City Manager (now Assistant City Manager) Jeremy Frimond, but they want council direction to initiate that process. The arrangements have been made if that’s the council’s desire.

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Donors turn out in support of LB Community Clinic’s Managed Care Program

Friends and supporters of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic gathered for the clinic’s annual lunch and live auction on April 4. The event was held at the Montage Laguna Beach oceanfront banquet room.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Community Clinic CEO & CMO Dr. Jorge Rubal with Dr. Lauren Rubal

Board President John Link and Past President and Governance Committee Chair Roya Cole, teamed up to co-host the event, enabling 100% of donor giving to go towards funding managed care for patients with complex medical needs. Thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, corporate sponsors and individual donors were inspired to respond to the need by raising an additional net total of $134,000.

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(L-R) John Link, president of the board of directors and Jim Fletcher, trustee, Laguna Beach Community Foundation

Jim Fletcher, trustee, Laguna Beach Community Foundation (LBCF) introduced the fund-a-need portion of the program by stating: “The clinic is truly part of the fabric of Laguna Beach. As we said during the pandemic, Jorge, we know the clinic and its history, we trust you, continue the good work.”

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(L-R) Adriana Nieto-Sayegh, RM, COO; Dr. Janet Chance, LBCF board of directors and Roya Cole, LBCF board of directors

“We are honored and privileged to be blessed with such amazing generosity and kindness from our community,” remarked Roya Cole.  Her sentiments were echoed by John Link who thanked guests for “Their continued support including sponsors Morgan Stanley, Ponaman Healthcare Consulting, Providence Mission Hospital and CalPrivate Bank.”

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(L-R) Stephany Skenderian with Barbara and Greg MacGillivray

Dr. Jorge Rubal, CEO & CMO of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic introduced a four-minute video featuring the journeys of two patients with life-threating illness, who with manage care provided by the clinic, are today living happy and healthy lives.

“While folks in Laguna Beach, on the whole, are healthier than other parts of the nation, there is much medical data indicating patients with multiple chronic disease are on the rise, especially among those 55 and older,” Dr. Rubal said. “Our patients are living proof that managed care saves lives.”

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(L-R) Dr. Korey Jorgensen, Dr. Pamela Lawrence and George Heed

Guests were treated to an exciting live auction featuring custom menswear packages donated by b.spoke; movie night for four at the Ken Jillson’s private luxury Safari Cinema; a one-week stay in Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France at the 16th century stone cottage of board member Janet Chance, M.D.; Angels baseball platinum suite tickets for 18 on the exclusive Club Level, compliments of Roya Cole and a two-day driving experience in an Aston Martin, donated by Aston Martin Newport Beach.

“For nearly 55 years our community has been generously responding to our mission to provide compassionate and excellent care regardless of a patient’s ability to pay, we’re truly grateful,” said Dr. Rubal.

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Laguna Beach Cultural Center expands offerings, becomes OC’s new stop for world-class blues musicians


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

Like everything else, cultural venues have changed in our post-pandemic world. Many did not survive the forced closures, while those who remained often find themselves expanding. Luckily for residents, the local cultural and arts center falls into the latter category. From thematic movie series addressing societal issues to new art shows and expanded live shows, the Laguna Beach Cultural Center is delving into many areas.

One of the most exciting is a music series focusing on “The Blues” – the iconic American musical genre that originated in the South in the 1860s, and is known for its lyrics, bass lines and instrumentation.

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Photos courtesy of Cadillac Zack

Zack Slovinsky, who goes by the name Cadillac Zack, has been promoting blues music in Southern California by developing a multi-venue arrangement for touring bands. When he decided to add a location in Orange County, the fifth venue on his multi-city shows, he opted for the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

“I’ve been in love with blues since I was 12 years old,” said music promoter Zack Slovinsky, who has been affiliated with the genre for the past 32 years. Now based in Southern California, he brings in musicians from near and far – Los Angles, Chicago, Nashville, etc. and arranges four or five shows for them throughout the region, from Camarillo to Temecula.

“I know I can sell out the shows and the quality is so high the shows exceed the hype,” he said.

It all started when his own band would play a popular weekly gig in Tarzana, north of Hollywood about 20 years ago. They performed in what was one of numerous blues clubs at the time.

But in the midst of the 2007 financial crisis, many venues closed. Slovinsky, who prefers being called “Cadillac Zack” started bringing guest musicians to his weekly shows.

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Grammy-winning guitarist Andrew Synowiec and his band is one of almost a dozen shows at the cultural center that are being arranged with the help of Slovinsky

“I started adding famous blues artists, who would sit in with the band,” he said. “It turned into more of a show, rather than an informal jam.” He noticed people were driving sometimes 100 miles to see a show on a Monday night.

“I thought to myself, I have to take this on the road.” In 2012, he added a venue in Long Beach for Sunday shows, often getting more than 150 people. In 2014, Pasadena was added.

“We were doing three shows, so when a band came out I could afford it – they had a circuit,” said Cadillac Zack. He even added a fourth show. And then, of course, 2020 changed everything. Concerts were put on hold, but now that things have opened up the demand is great for shows.

“I decided to add a fifth show about four months ago,” he said. “I get a lot of requests from people in Orange County who don’t want to drive up to Long Beach on a Sunday.”

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center’s premiere sound system and small venue setting was an immediate draw, plus, there weren’t restaurant and bar sounds to compete with, which is the case with most of the other venues he books. The first two shows have sold out and there are nine other shows slated in the blues series. As Rick Conkey, executive director of the cultural center likes to say, “The sky and the ocean aren’t the only way to see inspiring blues in Laguna in 2024.”

The SoCal music promoter agrees, noting no other venue where they play has a tuned grand piano on stage.

“In Laguna, it’s a real listening experience…it’s like this amazing, pristine set up,” said Zack Cadillac. “It’s just pure blues and it allows the audience to be completely non-distracted.”

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Promoter Cadillac Zack is seen with electric blues guitarist Roy Gaines

When Grammy winner Andrew Synowiec takes to the stage Saturday night, April 13, he’s thrilled to be playing in Laguna.

“Any chance I get to play music to a listening audience it’s a dream come true,” said Synowiec. While he’s a musician on many award-winning movie soundtracks, he gets the greatest joy when playing for a live audience.

“I think connecting with people is kind of the gold standard,” he said. “Certainly, live is more visceral – there’s an immediate feeling.”

The guitarist will be accompanied by keyboard, bass and drums, and the show will feature songs from his most recent album, Fun, as well as a just-released extended LP, Games.

“I write and compose everything,” Synowiec said. “And I also highly improvise. The musicians I perform with can really impact the direction of the sound. I come up with the framework, and from there it’s up to the individual musicians to decide where we go.” Although he lives in Los Angeles, this will be his first time performing in Laguna.

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Guitarist Andrew Synowiec will play music from his latest album when he performs at the cultural center on Saturday, April 13

Zack Cadillac believes the musicians he promotes are a natural match for the cultural center.

“The clientele who comes there are great,” he said. “They’re not there to get drunk and wild. They’re there to appreciate the music, 100 percent.”

For more information about upcoming blues shows and the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is located at 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

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

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Anneliese Elisabeth Miklosy

July 5, 1927 – December 24, 2023

Anneliese Elisabeth Miklosy

Anneliese Elisabeth Miklosy, 96, of Laguna Beach, Calif., widow of Leslie Daniel Miklosy, died peacefully at her Laguna Beach home with son Les George at her bedside. Anneliese was born July 5, 1927, the youngest of two girls and two boys to parents Elisabeth and Georg Fraunhofer in Achdorf village – a borough of the medieval city Landshut in Bavaria, Germany. Anneliese would like us to remember her WWII U.S. immigration story.

When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939, her brothers were drafted by the German army, the older was captured and held in a Russian prison camp, the younger sent to Dunkirk, France. In 1940, her sister Hanna was disabled in a severe trucking accident and remained in the hospital. A year later, mother Elisabeth suffered a cerebral stroke and became paralyzed; Anneliese remained at home to support her parents while attending school.

In 1942 at age 15, she became a technical drafter and illustrator with the Messerschmidtt AG aircraft factory in Regensburg, Germany. She lived in the worker barracks and commuted home on weekends by train. On Tuesday, August 17, 1943, the U.S. Army/Airforce began Mission No. 84, a strategic bombing mission with 376 B-17 aircraft in Operation Schweinfurt–Regensburg. When Anneliese reported to work that morning, she was instructed to begin summer vacation, and returned to Landshut by train immediately. When she arrived, she could hear the sound of heavy bombers, as the bombing of Regensburg had begun. Anneliese considered her fortune in bewilderment; the U.S. bombing raid killed all her co-workers and leveled the Messerschmidtt factory.

By 1945, Anneliese nicknamed “Liska” met her future husband, Leslie Daniel Miklosy. “Laci” to friends, he was a war refugee from Hungary. Laci dreamed of living in the U.S. and since the Russians occupied his family estate and war refugees occupied her home, Laci and Liska wanted to leave Germany for the promise of a new life “im Amerika.”

On her lucky-star day, August 17, 1949, Liska, 22, and Laci, 24, were married and sought immigration to the U.S. The U.S. immigration officials set requirements for legitimate immigration: an American sponsor to receive them stateside, financial security in cash, English proficiency, knowledge of American history and proof of Nazi deprogramming. In 1951, the married couple satisfied their probation and with $600 in cash and a sewing machine, the couple qualified as guests of U.S. immigration.

On September 31, 1951, the couple boarded the last sailing of USNS General S.D. Sturgis with 1,317 immigrant passengers from Bremmerhafen, Germany arriving in New Orleans on October 11, 1951.

Leslie became a developer of single-family homes in Sunland Calif., and by 1965 Leslie Homes developed a large portion of Top of the World in Laguna Beach, where Anneliese named streets after familiar cities from her homeland Germany: Bonn, Bern, Tyrol, Alpine and Nestal. By 1970, she worked for the Laguna Beach School District cafeteria, and later as a seamstress and sales associate for the Balcony Tea Room at Diamond and South Coast Highway.

Anneliese’s favorite past times were spent gardening at her TOW home and playing her 1959 Wurlitzer organ, a music dedication for her would be “Song about Anne” by Annie Lindstrom. Anneliese loved animals and created a garden home for songbirds, owls and her Canyon critters.

Anneliese approached difficulty with positive sentiment, among her favorite expressions were these:

–“Alles gute kommt von oben” – All good things come from above

–“Es gibt Schlimmeres” – Worse is possible

–“Schon wieder aufgewacht” – (I) woke up again

–Das Haus verliert nichts – A house loses nothing

Anneliese is deeply loved by her extended family and Laguna friends. The placard outside her home reads “Bin im Garten.” Today her spirit hovers with the butterflies among her garden daisies and camellias.

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LBBC features two new members at 2024 Speaker Series on April 18

The Laguna Beach Business Club (LBBC) has announced their April 18 speakers: LBBC members Katerina Burianova, founder of Katerina Burianova Architecture Inc. and Daniel Newberry, founder of Dan Newberry Fit & Laguna Beach Fitness Group. The LBBC holds monthly breakfast meetings starting at 7:30 a.m. hosting speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving personal and professional success.

New members, Newberry and Burianova will talk about their businesses and unique paths that led them to business ownership.

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Photos courtesy of LBBC

Katerina Burianova

Burianova was born in the Czech Republic and raised in the U.S. Growing up between two cultures, she had the fortune of learning and experiencing the world through a unique perspective. Burianova chose to pursue her childhood dream of becoming an architect by studying at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago, Ill. In 2017, she moved back to Orange County and started working for Morris Skenderian in Laguna Beach. In 2022, Burianova became a licensed architect in the state of California and shortly after she established Katerina Burianova Architecture Inc.

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Daniel Newberry

Growing up in England, Newberry, struggled with depression and weight issues. He found fitness as a weight loss tool, losing more than 70 pounds, and a means to boosting confidence. Newberry moved to Canada where he lived for seven years and studied fitness at the prestigious Granite Club in Toronto. After moving to Laguna Beach in May 2023, he founded Dan Newberry Fit & Laguna Beach Fitness Group and finds great reward and purpose in helping others through sharing his fitness practices.

The LBBC is a group of local business professionals and entrepreneurs that meet monthly to discuss current events, business opportunities and share insights within the context of their community and lives with the goal of building and maintaining relationships with local professionals and businesses that they can proudly recommend to clients and friends. LBBC also supports their community by providing and participating in community services and/or events that benefit the citizens of Laguna Beach.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Nirvana Kitchen + Pantry, 303 Broadway St., #101, Laguna Beach. Non-members are welcome. The non-member guest fee is $30 payable by Venmo or cash/check payable to the Laguna Beach Business Club the day of the meeting. Space is limited. Guests should be sure they receive RSVP confirmation.

For more information about the LBBC or to register to attend the meeting, you can reach them via their website at, or write them at

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Music History Hall Foundation presents California Happening at the Rivian on May 3

Music History Hall Foundation presents an evening at the Rivian South Coast Theater on Friday, May 3, celebrating the music, fashion and culture of Southern California Music Festivals during the years 1968-1971. Through never-before-seen photographs, music, fashion and lively discussion, the story unfolds of the Southern California festival experience during the height of the counterculture movement.

Laguna Beach local Jan Nichols attended every music festival and happening in Southern California (and a few in Northern California) during the years 1968-1971. With the eye of an artist, he took intimate and arresting photographs of the concertgoers, musicians and not-so-undercover police officers as the country grappled with the youth-led counterculture movement of the time.

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Courtesy of Music History Hall Foundation

California Happening on May 3 at Rivian South Coast Theater

The never-before-seen images have been high-resolution scanned from slide film and are ready for prime time. A curated collection will be on display at this one-time event as Music History Hall Foundation Executive Director Patti Compton and Nichols discuss the music, fashion, culture and impact of a pivotal time in American and music history.

“This is a unique opportunity to relive or discover the counterculture era through these amazing photographs, music and discussion – the images will blow you away,” said Compton.

Tickets to the California Happening event are $25 and include light hors d’oeuvres and one drink. Additional drink tickets are available for pre-purchase. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Come ready for a fun, informative and festive evening. (Festival attire is encouraged.)

To purchase tickets, visit

Rivian South Coast Theater is located at 162 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

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The Plant Man: Answering your April planting questions

By Steve Kawaratani

“Sweet April showers do spring May flowers.” –Thomas Tusser

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

With spring’s arrival well underway in Laguna and beyond, our gardens burst into blooming possibilities, with the scent of the season filling the air. As we celebrate the wonders of gardening, let’s take pleasure in every moment, as April gardening is part of nature’s exquisite promise of renewal.

Let’s get back to the garden with the Plant Man, where our village charm, vibrant blooms and the promise of longer and warmer days inspire your garden questions.

Q: Do April showers really bring May flowers?

A: The short answer is yes!

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The finest kind of homegrown veggies

Q: What edibles do you recommend now?

A: I am enjoying the sweetness of homegrown strawberries, the crispness of lettuce and the zing of bell peppers.

Q: Can I grow instant color flowers in containers?

A: With warmer weather predicted between April showers, consider geraniums, petunias and marigolds to provide color in a flash.

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This sunrise is a reminder that spring will bring more sunny days

Q: Is there an easy sustainable practice I can introduce to my garden?

A: Utilize an organic compost to enrich and retain soil moisture.

Q: How can I introduce fragrance into my garden?

A: Fragrant favorites such as lavender, jasmine or citrus blossoms will fill your garden with their splendid perfume.

April beckons gardeners to embrace the beauty of the season. With delectable edibles, sustainable practices and abundant blooms, gardening becomes a creative and fulfilling pursuit. Let’s participate during our fabulous April weather and cultivate our gardens with joy. May the wonders of spring gardening unfold for you and yours. See you next time.

Steve Kawaratani 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, or 949.494.5141.

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This week in Breakers sports

Friday, April 12

TBA – Boys Track & Field in the Orange County Championship at Mission Viejo High School

TBA – Girls Track & Field in the Orange County Championship at Mission Viejo High School

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Marina

Saturday, April 13

TBA – Boys Volleyball vs. TBA in Garden Grove Tournament

Tuesday, April 16

3 p.m. – Girls Swimming & Diving vs. Marina

3 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving vs. Marina

3 p.m. – Boys Tennis at Fountain Valley

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Corona del Mar

3:30 p.m. – Boys Golf vs. Corona del Mar at Costa Mesa Country Club

5 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Los Alamitos

Wednesday, April 17

3 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. Marina

3 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving in Dive League Finals at Los Alamitos High School

3:15 p.m. Baseball vs. Corona del Mar

5:45 p.m. – Boys Volleyball at Fountain Valley

Thursday, April 18

2:45 p.m. – Boys Golf at Aliso Viejo Country Club

3 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. Huntington Beach

5 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Corona del Mar

Friday, April 19

2 p.m. – Girls Track & Field in League Prelims at Marina

2 p.m. – Boys Track & Field in League Prelims at Marina

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Corona del Mar


Saturday, April 6

Baseball lost at Newport Harbor, 4-1

Tuesday, April 9

Baseball beat Marina, 3-1

Boys Volleyball lost to Los Alamitos, 3-0

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Laguna Beach Democratic Club hosts Kevin O’Leary on April 17

“No one expects autocracy and authoritarianism to happen in their country until it’s too late.” This is the urgent warning from Kevin C. O’Leary, who will speak at the next Laguna Beach Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday, April 17 at 5:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center.  O’Leary has formed a bi-partisan nonprofit that aims to put American democracy ahead of party preference.

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Courtesy of Kevin O’Leary

Dr. Kevin O’Leary’s topic at LBDC meeting: For pro-democracy to win, reach beyond the base

“It is that acute and important,” said O’Leary, co-founder and executive director of Saving Democracy ( The nonpartisan nonprofit’s mission is to recruit, train and support patriotic Americans who engage with their associates and social circles to act as energetic evangelists for freedom and democracy. The group provides speakers for civic and business groups and encourages neighbors to talk to neighbors about the importance of electing leaders committed to protecting and upholding free and fair elections, the rule of law, and the Constitution.

O’Leary is a research fellow at UC Irvine’s Center for the Study of Democracy and lecturer in Political Science at Chapman University.  As a journalist, he was the lead West Coast reporter for TIME, a Los Angeles Times reporter and editor of OC Metro magazine. He has authored two books, Madison’s Sorrow and Saving Democracy: A Plan for Real Representation in America. A Coro Fellow in Public Affairs after college, O’Leary is a graduate of UCLA. He earned his doctorate at Yale.

In his recent book. Madison’s Sorrow: Today’s War on the Founders and America’s Liberal Ideal, O’Leary tells the story of American history as the ongoing struggle between our liberal democratic ideal – articulated by the founders and championed by both liberals and traditional conservatives – and illiberal, reactionary resistance. In so doing, the book explains how the party of Reagan became the party of Trump.

LBDC chair Peggy Wolff said, “This will be an eye-opening discussion, and one that I hope spurs every local voter to vital action in service to retaining our democracy when we go to the polls this November.”

Members and guests are invited to attend the free event where refreshments are included. The club welcomes new members, who may join the LBDC for $35 for the calendar year. Club members need not be registered Democrats – Independents may join – but Democratic Party registration allows only members to vote on club matters, including candidate endorsements. Visit for more information.

General meeting speakers have included legal scholar Erwin Chemerinsky, former Rep. Katie Porter, 47th Congressional District candidates Joanna Weiss and Dave Min, Peg Corley of the LGBTQ Center OC, then-Mayor Pro Tem Sue Kempf and Dr. Allyson Brooks of Hoag Women’s Health Institute.

Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

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Earth Day Laguna networking event at the Rivian to take place on April 22

Find out more about Earth Day and how some local groups are addressing environmental issues on Monday, April 22 at the Rivian South Coast Theater. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the two-hour program starts at 6:30 p.m.

Sponsored by the education-focused Laguna Canyon Conservancy, the public is invited to hear from presenters from the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Orange County Coastkeeper, Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, Laguna Ocean Foundation, Laguna Beach city officials, Laguna Beach High School FLOW (Fire, Land, Ocean, Water) teachers and students, and LCAD art + sustainability program students.

Short talks will be presented with accompanying videos or films on climate action, clean water, recycling, and ocean and marine life protection. Groups will have information handouts and giveaways, and light refreshments will be served.

There is no charge to attend, but advance reservations are required. To RSVP, go to

Rivian South Coast Theater is located at 162 S. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information on the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, visit

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Laguna Live! presents Raffia Thomas on April 24

Tuesdays through May, 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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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

The Line-Up – Jazz Winter 2024

Jazz Winter 2024 is a six-part series of world-class jazz musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven degrees]. Concerts take place every two weeks through May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

Wednesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m.

Raffia Thomas

Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

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Courtesy of Laguna Live

Raffia Thomas – April 24

Stage on Forest Felisha Dunne

Friday, April 5, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Brian Roark

Saturday, April 6, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Jodi Siegel

Sunday, April 7, 5-7 p.m.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre-purchase.

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Courtesy of

Triada Guitar Trio – May 5

Sunday, May 5, 1 p.m.

Triada Guitar Trio

Triada combines the unique talents of Nikola, Petar and Vasil Chekardzhikov, forming one of the most brilliant guitar ensembles that are now performing. The three brothers are individually virtuoso guitarists, and their intuitive sense of ensemble gives a synergy that makes their concerts very special and exciting events. Performances by Triada feature innovative repertoire, including traditional classics, modern favorites, and vibrant, colorful ethnic music to engage and delight any audience. Programs usually include powerful works that composers have written specifically for this superlative ensemble.

Click here for tickets or call 949.715.3713.

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in April

Crystal Cove State Park is offering a variety of events in April. During the spring, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at a few of the offerings.

Friday, April 12: Perimeter of the Park from 7:15-11:30 a.m.

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

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Join a park naturalist for a Spring Bird Walk

Saturday, April 13: Spring Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m.

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

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Stewards will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding and planting

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20: Stewardship Days from 8-11:30 a.m.

Come help Crystal Cove Conservancy and work alongside California State Parks on habitat restoration projects during Stewardship Days. Participants will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding, and planting. Be prepared to walk about 30 minutes to the project site (3 miles round trip) on mostly flat, but uneven canyon trails with slight elevation gain. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up. All participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Jennifer Mendez at for questions and to register.

Friday, April 19: Walk on the Wildside from 10-11 a.m.

At Crystal Cove, you walk upon some of the rarest land in Southern California – coastal sage scrub. Come join a park docent for this Walk on the Wildside and enjoy a one-hour springtime slow-paced stroll through this wild place. Enjoy spring blooms and learn about this 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.

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Volunteers are needed to help clean the beach, bluff trail and parking lots

Saturday, April 20: Earth Day Beach Cleanup from 8-11 a.m.

Come spend a few hours giving back to Mother Nature at their Earth Day beach cleanup. Volunteers are needed to help clean the beach, bluff trail and parking lots. They encourage you to bring your own supplies including buckets and recyclable bags to help reduce plastic bag usage (but they will have plenty on hand if needed). Meet at Reef Point Lot (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk, then left to the first restroom building, which is on the right). Fee is waived for cleanup. If you are under 18, see this link for a waiver and bring along with you.

Sunday, April 21: Full Moon Hike from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. 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). $5 entrance fee. Please RSVP to Let’s Go Outside

Saturday, April 27: Beachfront Geology Tour from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a Beachfront Geology Tour along the coastal section of the park to explore several diverse and geologically outstanding sites which all display a story from a different geologic time. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). $15 day use fee.

Sunday, April 28: Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk from 6-8 p.m.

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

For a complete calendar of events, go to

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Spring Break, Laguna style

Photos by Scott Brashier

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Spring Break along the ocean in Laguna is like no other…

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LBCAC honors Earth Month

Through May 25 

Exhibition: Climate: Air, Earth and Water

April is Earth Month, an extension of the annually recognized Earth Day on April 22. In the 34 years since Earth Day went global, environmental awareness has improved. Our situation has not.

Climate: Air, Earth and Water is on display at LBCAC through May 25. Photographers Jacques Garnier and Tom Lamb are joined by artist Roberto Salas in this special exhibition.

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Photos courtesy of LBCAC

Andrew Synowiec (Band) – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 8 p.m.

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024

Andrew Synowiec (Band)

Nearly 20 years ago, Grammy-winning artist Andrew Synowiec (‘Sin-o-wik) drove 2,700 miles west to Los Angeles with nothing but a few demo CDs, a couple guitars and one phone number for a possible lead on studio work. Today, with his collection of nearly 100 stringed instruments, Synowiec has become Hollywood’s go-to guitarist, contributing to countless Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning projects. As a solo artist, his first full-length release Second Story received wide-ranging airplay and praise from notable fans such as Steve Vai and Jay Graydon. His new album FUN was recorded by long-time Rick Rubin collaborator Jim Scott (Foo Fighters, Tedeschi Trucks, Tom Petty, Wilco, Joe Satriani) and features Gary Novak (Chick Corea/Alanis Morissette), Jorgen Carlsson (Government Mule), Carey Frank (Tedeschi Trucks) and Pete Korpela (Josh Groban). The album debuts on September 8th and will be followed by a West Coast tour in November.

–Make Earth Cool Again Film Festival 2024

Free Admission | Donations Accepted

RSVP as there is limited seating.

April 14 – Common Ground

April 17 – Living The Change

April 21 – Eating Our Way to Extinction

April 24 – Laguna Blue Belt presents the mission of the Make Earth COOL Again Film Festival which is to bring together filmmakers and communities to witness powerful stories of climate action, and to inspire further action, locally and beyond.

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The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024, come to the blues concert on April 19

Friday, April 19, 8 p.m.

Eric Sardinas

Slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Eric Sardinas has a reputation for packing intensity into his live performances. He comes from the loud and proud school of blues boogie: Johnny Winter, Albert Collins and Elmore James, by way of rock & roll. His playing is aggressive, his lead work is done exclusively with a slide on a custom-built electric metal resonator dobro guitar.

For tickets, click here.

Eric Henderson – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 8 p.m.

Eric Henderson

He’s back for an immersive and extraordinary Contemporary Classical concert experience, supporting the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center.

Eric Henderson, Laguna’s own world-renowned Concert Guitarist (who trained privately with Andrés Segovia), will be performing his own original compositions, along with instrumental covers of Classic Rock gems.

“I feel the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center is the perfect venue for a small audience to actually feel how the guitar resonates,” Henderson said. “I’m putting the finishing touches on a new album and am excited about this opportunity to share some of my new music.”

For tickets, click here.

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Dorothy Randall Gray – April 21

Sunday, April 21, 1-3 p.m.

Reading & Open Mic 3-4 p.m.

The Earth Speaks

An Interactive Writing Workshop Celebrating the Earth’s Lost Language, facilitated by Bestselling Poet & Author Dorothy Randall Gray.

The Earth has begun to express itself with an increasingly dramatic vocabulary of droughts, floods, tornados, hurricanes, record breaking heat waves and more. Are we listening? How have you been impacted by its voice? How can we create words that connect and reflect its Mother tongue? In this multi-genre workshop, they will explore the world around and inside us as you are inspired by Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Teddy Pendergrass, Greta Thunberg, Dame Judi Dench, Mary Oliver and Wangari Maathai.

Tickets: $20.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Ave., Newport Beach.

Check out the calendar at

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South Laguna Community Garden Park hosts Laguna Beach Tomato-Fest Seedling Sale on April 21

On Sunday, April 21, from 10 a.m.-12 p.m., the South Laguna Community Garden Park hosts the Laguna Beach Tomato-Fest Seedling Sale at Garden Park, 31610 Coast Highway at Eagle Rock in Laguna Beach.

Why does tomato growing in our coastal zone often produce disappointing harvests? One reason is because we are often selecting tomato varieties that are adapted to other climates. Assistant Director Carly Sciacca decided to conduct research and acquired a selection of unique, disease-resistant seeds from different sources that promise to thrive in our coastal zone.

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Courtesy of Garden Park

Sally Coffey, the “Tomato Queen”

The collection features tomatoes of all colors and sizes including heirlooms and hard-to-find hybrids, some of which fetch over a dollar a seed. Included are Lemon Boy Plus, Gin Fiz, Cherokee Purple, Clementine, Big Beef Plus, Japanese Black Trifel, Crimson Carmello, Celebrity, Marnour and Juliet. All 300+ plants have been seeded and cared for by Community Garden members, and all proceeds benefit the Garden Park. Suggested donation is $4 each or $10 for three plants. Any remaining plants will be available for sale at the Garden Park’s annual Spring Fling Festival and Potluck (Saturday, April 27 from 3-5 p.m.) featuring live music by the Garden Band.

For more information, go to, or email

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Take Mom to the Pageant this summer and use the Mother’s Day discount

Give Mom tickets to the world-famous Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, where she’ll watch art come to life in this summer’s production of Á La Mode: The Art of Fashion.

The Festival of Arts is offering a 20% discount off July Pageant tickets by using the promo code MOM24. To order tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of FOA

Mother’s Day is only a month away

Performances take place nightly from July 6-August 30.

This special offer applies to performances in July only. A $10 per ticket service charge applies to all orders (Loge Center and Premium tickets excluded). Offer is not valid on previously purchased tickets. Cannot be combined with any other offer (expires May 12).

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LOCA announces LOCA Arts Education online fundraiser

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

Courtesy of LOCA

Sneak Preview online now

“For the Love of Art” Auction Sneak Preview and Donate Now. Bidding opens April 15.

LOCA Arts Education invites everyone to engage in their exciting online fundraiser. Help them to exceed their goal of $15,000 to support their workshops and lectures serving the entire community, from teens at the Youth Shelter, to families at the library, to online classes for everyone. They employ local artists, and every dollar makes a difference.

The auction Sneak Preview is open now – click here. Register now for free, donate cash at the green donate button and start a “Watch List” by clicking the heart icon on your favorite items. Actual bidding opens April 15, so mark your calendars now.

Auction items vary from a two-night stay in a rustic canyon view room at The Ranch Resort, a signed Mike Trout Angels Jersey and an immersive Pageant of the Masters experience – including tickets, a backstage tour and gift shop item. Unique items include private art parties and original art by favorite local artists. There’s something for everyone.

See something and can’t wait? Email and buy-it-now at the listed value.

LOCA sends a big thank you to all who support them and value their services throughout our city and community.

Wednesday, April 10, 1-4 p.m.

Travel Journaling for Everyone with Dawn Buckingham

Professional artist Dawn Buckingham will guide you through creating a travel journal or visual diary of a past or recent adventure. During a recent trip to Italy, Buckingham kept a travel journal documenting the places visited, things she experienced and the memories that she wanted to save. The book is somewhat like Urban Sketching meets scrapbooking meets journaling. This class is appropriate for all levels.

You will begin by organizing a trip or experience using photos, flat memorabilia such as ticket stubs, maps and photos that you bring to class. Dawn will share collage and simple sketching techniques using permanent ink and watercolor pigment. You do not need to be an artist. All of the supplies, including a mix media journal will be provided.

What participants will need to provide:

Memories – This can be flyers, ticket stubs, printed photos, or anything that you might want to include in the journal. Also, have photos on your phone or tablet that you can use for reference to create small drawings. These do not need to be well composed. You might decide to draw only the lamppost from a photo. Glossy magazines from the area or brochures from places that you visited will also be great.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Creativity Quest – March 27

Wednesday, March 27, 1-4 p.m.

Creativity Quest

Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center

Hedy Buzan will use a book by Peter London in helping students jump start their creative process. Drawing exercises, rather that finished art, will be emphasized. Registration is required. LOCA members, $25/Non-members, $50. 383 Third St., Laguna Beach. Free parking in the garage.

To register, go to

LOCA has added two exciting Paint Together sessions for April and a Family Sketch Whales event at the Rivian South Coast Theater.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Eileen McCullough – April 12

Friday, April 12, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor – Eileen McCullough

Register to join LPAPA Signature Artist Eileen McCullough for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Painting Local Laguna in Watercolor” Paint Together session. In this Mentor lesson, McCullough will demonstrate her watercolor painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a local scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the session will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. Come be inspired by McCullough’s unique style in watercolor. Limited to 15 registrants.

This is an in-person on location painting lesson. Registrants will bring their own outdoor painting supplies. Location details and a recommended supply list will be sent after registration, in advance of the event date.

Cost: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-Members.

To register, go to

This in-person painting lesson is made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of an art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

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Courtesy of LOCA

Wendy Wirth – April 16

Tuesday, April 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Mentor Paint Together – Wendy Wirth

Join LPAPA Signature Artist Member Wendy Wirth online for a two-hour fun and informative LPAPA+LOCA live-streamed Mentor Paint Together. In this online virtual painting lesson Wirth will demonstrate her acrylic painting process, step-by-step, brush stroke by brush stroke, as she paints an Iconic Laguna Scene using a photo reference. Registrants can choose to paint together with Wirth or watch live as she paints, describes her process, and answers your questions. All paid registrants will have unlimited access to the post-event “play, pause and paint” recording.

The photo reference and recommended supply list will be provided after registration, prior to the live-stream and with the post-event recording link. The Zoom link to tune-in live will be provided with the registration confirmation and again prior to the event date. The post-event recording link is typically available within 48 hours after the live stream.

Cost: $50 (Discounted to $30 for LPAPA and LOCA Members.). To register, go to

This live-streamed painting lesson is one of a six-part series made possible with grant funding received through the City of Laguna Beach in support of the art education collaboration with LOCA Arts Education (LOCA) and the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA).

Wednesday, April 17, 1-4 p.m.

Off the Grid with Lesli Bonanni

Discover a fresh new approach to painting. Working with textured paper, water, pigments and tools, you will create outcomes that surprise and delight you. Bring an open mind and get ready for a unique experience.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

This class is held in the art room of the Susi Q Senior Center and made possible by a grant from the FAO Foundation.

Thursdays at 4 p.m. starting on April 18 and running through June 6

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library Laguna Beach at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. “Art Classes for Kids” will be held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library. Classes are free, and no registration is required, but space is limited, so first come, first served, for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

Wednesday, April 17, 1-4 p.m.

Off the Grid with Lesli Bonanni

Discover a fresh new approach to painting! Working with textured paper, water, pigments and tools, you will create outcomes that surprise and delight you. Bring an open mind and get ready for a unique experience.

Cost: LOCA Members $25, Non-Members $50.

This class is held in the art room of the Susi Q Senior Center and made possible by a grant from the FAO Foundation.

Thursdays at 4 p.m. starting on April 18 and running through June 6

Art Classes for Kids at the Laguna Beach Library Laguna Beach at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. “Art Classes for Kids” will be held in the Children’s Wing of the Laguna Beach Library. Classes are free, and no registration required but space is limited, first come, first served, for children 5 and up. Please gather at 3:45 p.m.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Family Sketch Whales – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 10-11:30 a.m.

Family Sketch Whales at Rivian South Coast Theater, 162 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach

LOCA Arts Education is presenting a fun art workshop for families as part of Earth Day weekend festivities at Rivian South Coast Theater in Downtown Laguna Beach. The workshop, themed “Gray Whale,” will start with a video introduction by educators from Crystal Cove State Park. The video will teach about gray whale mothers and calves. Viewers will learn how these spectacular creatures survive along our coast and why they are important.

Following the presentation, art teachers from LOCA will lead everyone, step-by-step, in creating beautiful gray whale color sketches to take home.

Cost is free, but registration is required, now through April 18.

To register: email and provide the following: Name, number attending, email, phone and ZIP Code.

By registering, participant agrees to allow LOCA to furnish contact information to Rivian South Coast Theater.

A confirmation will be sent by email from LOCA. Space is limited – no drop-ins at the door.

LOCA Art Talks schedule:

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Courtesy of LOCA

Art Talk – April 25

Art lovers of any background will be mesmerized by this show-and-tell presentation by globally renowned artist Andrew Myers. He will share stories from his experimental student days at Laguna College of Art and Design, to his years as a representational sculptor, when he created figurative bronzes for Saint Catherine of Sienna Church, and The Shopper for City of Laguna Beach. Myers will share insights on his series of life size figure drawings, defaced with scribblings of social commentary, satire, and humor. Lastly, he will discuss his signature “Screw Art” series, which although a pun, describes his collection of wall relief illustrations literally comprised of thousands of screws. Among them are narrative pieces, portraits and geometric sculptures that magically transform from an “X” to and “O” when viewed from different positions. As a special treat for LOCA, Myers will present materials from his studio including his overworked paint brushes that compose certain sculptures, and he will demonstrate his screwing techniques.

While Myers has had his share of road-bumps, such as having a public sculpture in Dallas take a bullet, he’s been embraced by blue-chip clients including Audi, who commissioned him to use automotive screws for a piece presented at a car show in Frankfurt, Germany.

Upon conclusion, everyone will receive a post-event certificate for 15% off food at nearby Lumberyard Restaurant.

Cost: Free to LOCA Members: Advance registration is required, email: Non-Members $20.

May: Public Art in Downtown Laguna Beach, with Mike Tauber and guest artists. Registration opens soon.

Become a LOCA member and enjoy free admission to all LOCA Art Talks, and many other benefits.

LOCA’s New Teaching Location:

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Check out all the Custom Art Escapes LOCA has to offer – there’s something for everyone.

Courtesy of LOCA

Projects have included “Bioluminescence” inspired by recent ocean phenomenon

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4-5 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Cyanotype Indigo Printing – April 12

Friday, April 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Cyanotype Indigo Printing

Learn this fascinating and oldest form of photography. Cyanotype photography is a camera-less method that involves laying items such as leaves, flowers or other objects onto paper that has been pre-treated with a sensitizer before exposing it to UV light. Once you’ve mastered the basics, we will move on to combining this method with other materials (sea salt, turmeric, mixed medium) to add shimmering, gold effects to your work. This is a simple yet stunning way to create beautiful white and indigo blue images that will look fabulous on any wall. Your final piece will be framed on a mat board.

Cost: $50 per person which is fully inclusive of all materials used including mixed media items and a mat board.

Pottery Wheel Experience – April 13, 20 and 27

Saturday, April 6, 13, 20 and 27, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit at a potter’s wheel and actually throw a pot?

Robert Jones will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to gain confidence so that, with his help, you will make your own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make two pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately three to four weeks before it is ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing are recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $105.

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Spring Camp – April 12

April 12, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Spring Break Art Camp

Each of the four classes will explore a different technique and medium of art while incorporating the basics and adding in creativity.

Day 4: Friday

Cyanotype Printing

Intro to Mosaic Art – April 13, 27

Saturday, April 13 and 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Intro to Mosaic Art

A two-day workshop over two weekends.

The ancient art of mosaics is one of the most beautiful and oldest in the history of mankind. Working closely with Ron Shearer, you will create a mosaic that you will be proud to display. It will open a whole new world of creativity that you can easily continue on your own. Step-by-step, he will take you through the process of design, materials, cutting techniques and then carefully guide you through the application, initially using glue for positioning. You’ll have a little bit of fun “homework” to do between classes. When you return to the second workshop, you can really home in on the fine details and finishing your artwork. A wonderful, informative and creative workshop and one that they have had many requests for. This workshop is suitable for absolute beginners or those who want to fine-tune their skills. All materials are provided including supplies from WitsEnd Mosaics.

Cost: $350 per student which is fully inclusive of six hours of intensive instruction over two weekends, and all materials including a pair of nippers that you can keep, mosaic glass tiles, design and backing board. Maximum 10 students per class – if you are a larger group, please contact them directly at

Workshop Option #1:

Day 1 of 2: Saturday, April 13, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Day 2 of 2: Saturday, April 27, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

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Gel Paint Printing and Exploration – April 13

Saturday, April 13, 2 p.m.

Gelli Plate Printing and Exploration

Gelli Plates are a quick, easy and fun way to make the most amazing prints and in this two-hour class you will learn all the tricks of the trade from artist Cherril Doty. Working with different mediums including acrylic paints, magazines, stencils and other forms of mark making tools, Doty will introduce to world of infinite possibilities using this simple but highly effective technique. Working with a gelli plate, you will learn how to “pull” prints from magazines, layer different textures and colors, use stencils on the plate to further enhance your image and generally just let your imagination go. All materials will be provided.

A fun and informative class which will allow you to freely explore and express your creativity. Your final piece will be framed in a mat board.

Cost: $110.

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This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays!

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

Celebrate and enjoy your birthday!

April 9: Mary Olds

April 10: Bill Nugent, Erick Macek, Gabby Levine, Jeffry Shindler, Marlene Baker, Richard Kaneb, Tom Rotert, Trey Russell

April 12: Carol Kelly, Cheri Feather, Chuck Denny, Claire Snyder-Hall, Irene Krinsky, John Meisse, Marilyn Evans, Michael Hardy, Steve Cross

April 13: Maureen O’Sullivan-Bryant, Philip Burkhardt, Trisha Navidzadeh

April 14: Christine Bock, Claude Cantin, Jamie Blakely, Rudy Gardner, Shannon Aikman, Stacy Dumas, Tanya Weeks

April 15: Bill Renner, David Kravitz, Janice Johnson, Jennifer Bitting-Gulla, John Mansour, Leslie O’Neil, Michael Linton, Patti Jo Kiraly, Rob Eller, Tamara Dowell, Tiffany Taylor

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Cultural Arts recognizes World Art Day on April 15

World Art Day – April 15

World Art Day is an international celebration of the fine arts which was declared by the International Association of Art in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide. The date was decided in honor of the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci was chosen as a symbol of world peace, freedom of expression, tolerance, brotherhood and multiculturalism as well as art’s importance to other fields. In 2022, the City Council made a proclamation recognizing April 15 as World Art Day.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“For the Good of the Hive” completed last month by artist Matt Willey

Originally founded as an artist colony, the City of Laguna Beach is proud to celebrate all who participate in and support the arts. To help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contributions of artists, the Arts Commission and Cultural Arts Department will display gold ribbons with informational cards on public art sculptures in the Downtown area.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Stage on Forest – Andrew Corradini

Friday, April 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest – Beth Wood

Saturday, April 13, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Stage on Forest Ava August

Sunday, April 14, 5-7 p.m.

Sunset Serenades

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May at the Heisler Park Amphitheater

Free Admission, click here for more information.

Friday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Danny Green Trio (Jazz/Pop)

Friday, May 10, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

The Tailspins (Pop/Contemporary)

Friday May 17, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Steve Wade (Louisiana Jazz)

Friday, May 24, 6:30 p.m. – sunset

Uncanny Valley (Rock)

Low-back beach chairs are encouraged. Alcohol is permitted for guests 21 or older, but must be accompanied by a full meal. Solicitation of any kind is not permitted at city events.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

2024 Art That’s Small at City Hall

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Art That’s Small at City Hall Winners (L-R): Jonathan McHugh, David Kizziar, Sarah Ciavarella, Mayor Sue Kempf and Mika Denny

The 22nd Annual Art That’s Small at City Hall exhibition is on display now through April 18. View original artworks from 56 Orange County artists in the first-floor hallway gallery of Laguna Beach City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. Admission is free and the exhibit is open to the public during city business hours.

Congratulations to the following award winners:

Youth Art Advisory Award – Pirate Tower by Susana Cruciana

City Hall Choice Award – Boca Prins by David Kizziar

1st place – Blue Laguna by Sarah Ciavarella

2nd place – Little One by Mika Denny

3rd place – Main Beach Morning by Brian Jones

Honorable Mentions

–Stevens Square by Andrew Cortez

–Tide Pools at Golden Hour by Jonathan McHugh

–Dimentia #1 by Melody Nuñez

Art That’s Small at City Hall is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

2024 Banner Competition Winners

Congratulations to Kate Cleaves, Kimberly Jordan Fleming, John Hanrahan and Suzanne Redfearn for having their banner designs selected for the 2024 Banner Competition. The banners will be hand-painted by each artist and displayed at Main Beach this summer.

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

2024 Banner Winners

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

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Beach on the rocks

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The beach at Oak Street

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Laguna Beach Master Community Calendar

The following are calendar links for regularly scheduled meetings and events in Laguna Beach:

City of Laguna Beach meetings & events calendar

Laguna Beach Public Library – everything at the library calendar

Laguna Beach Unified School District news & events calendar

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce community events calendar

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California Native Plant Society Garden Tour to take place on May 4 and 5

The California Native Plant Society Orange County Chapter is hosting its annual garden tour, themed “California in My Garden” on May 4 and 5. The tour will feature 22 private and public gardens throughout Orange County. South County gardens will be featured on Saturday, May 4 and North County gardens will be featured Sunday, May 5. Gardens will be available for viewing from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Interested participants can register online at

Gardens will showcase how California native plants can serve as elegant foundation plants for the home landscape. Only gardens featuring at least 50% native plants are included in the tour.

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Courtesy of Irina Ensminger

Irina Ensminger completely transformed her yard into a gorgeous and sustainable garden in Laguna Beach

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Courtesy of Elizabeth Wallace

Native plantings in Irina Ensminger’s yard

“More and more gardeners are choosing California native plants,” said Orange County CNPS Chapter President Elizabeth Wallace. “Once established, native plants require the least amount of water of any plant. They are easy to grow, beautiful, and they are the most important flowers, shrubs and trees a homeowner can choose to support birds, butterflies and wildlife. Native plants remind us of why we love California.”

Along with private homes, the tour features public gardens including the Newport Beach Civic Center native gardens and art installation, an HOA Community Park in Irvine and the Moulton Niguel and Irvine Ranch Water District native plant demonstration gardens.

“Gardeners and native plant lovers alike will not want to miss this special event,” said Garden Tour Committee head Irina Ensminger. “We know participants will be inspired to grow California native plants in their home landscapes and go home with creative ideas for incorporating our amazingly biodiverse flora into their gardens.”

The mission of the California Native Plant Society is to protect California’s native plants and their natural habitats, today and into the future, through science, education, stewardship, gardening and advocacy. Since its beginnings, the California Native Plant Society has been a leading voice in plant science and native plant appreciation, making it one of the foremost native plant organizations in the world. CNPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to conserving California native plants and their natural habitats, while increasing the understanding, enjoyment and horticultural use of native plants.

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Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association announces Young Artists & Authors 2024 Showcase

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association has announced the commencement of the Young Artists & Authors (YAAS) 2024 Showcase, themed “Climatescape: Resilient Cities for Tomorrow’s Climate.” This initiative, in collaboration with the Laguna Beach County Water District, aims to engage local youth in raising awareness about sustainable development and climate change mitigation.

As climate change continues to pose significant challenges to our communities, the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, in alignment with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda, is committed to addressing this global issue through creative expression. The YAAS competition invites young artists, musicians and poets to submit works that explore innovative solutions for creating inclusive, safe and resilient cities.

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Photo by Christina Shook

Last year’s winners. First Row: Karyn Philippsen, LBSC; Christopher Regan, LBCWD; Anne Belyea, LFP; Debbie Neev, LBCWD; Fabiola Kinder, LBSC and Maggie Hempen, LBSC; Second Row: Estella Newton and Sasha Riahi; Third Row: Sam Sweeney and Marlena Steinbach

Participants are encouraged to use their imagination to vividly depict transformative landscapes that embrace eco-consciousness, inclusivity and forward-thinking solutions. Examples include rooftop gardens, green infrastructures, sustainable transportation, renewable energy sources and water management systems.

In addition to promoting artistic expression, YAAS encourages dialogue and collaboration among students from Laguna Beach and its sister cities of Menton, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico and St. Ives, England, fostering a global exchange of ideas on sustainability.

Entries will be accepted in three categories: Art, Music and Poetry. Cash prizes of $500 and $250 will be awarded to first- and second-place winners in each category, with additional recognition and opportunities to compete at the Sister Cities International level.

Entries for YAAS 2024 are due by Sunday, April 21. To learn more, or to fill out an entry application, visit

To inspire creativity, participants can visit, and for additional resources and information on sustainable practices.

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Project O hosts first ever TEDx Laguna Beach at Rivian South Coast Theater on April 21

One hundred local nature lovers are coming together to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 21, for TEDx Laguna Beach, hosted at the newly revived Rivian South Coast Theater.

The event is presented by the local nonprofit Project O. “We are honored to provide the TEDx platform to an amazing group of speakers who will share their expertise on a variety of topics relevant both to Laguna Beach and the world as a whole,” said Project O founder and co-organizer Rich German. “And we are delighted to be able to do it at the Rivian Theater right across from Main Beach.”

The event theme is Ocean. Earth. Humanity and the organizers have compiled an eclectic group of speakers with an “idea worth sharing.” Topics include ocean conservation, education, art, design, social justice and spirituality.

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Courtesy of

(L-R) TEDx Laguna Beach is co-organized by local ocean conservationist and paddleboarding photographer Rich German; long-time Laguna resident and respected producer Bedonna Smith, and environmental activist, producer and avid surfer Steve Reiss

Several speakers are local to Laguna Beach, including Surfrider CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen, Laguna College of Art + Design President Steve Brittan, Rev. Rod Echols of the Neighborhood Congregational Church and Laguna Beach High School student Logan Teeple.

“I am honored to speak at TEDx Laguna Beach because my love for the ocean and desire to protect it was founded here,” said Dr. Chad Nelsen. “This TEDx is a celebration of Ocean, Earth and Humanity and is centered around this special place.”

Chumash Storyteller Alan Salazar will also take the stage, along with civil rights attorney Annee Della Donna and marine biologist Nancy Caruso.

“I am so excited to share my ocean experiences and big ideas on this ‘big stage.’ It’s a great opportunity to share with the local audience and on the TEDx global platform,” said Caruso.

TEDx Laguna Beach is an independently produced event operated under a license from TED. It is being organized by Rich German of Project O, Bedonna Smith and Steve Reiss. Evelina Marchetti, who specializes in zero-waste events, is the executive producer. Image Solutions in Irvine is creating the iconic TEDx Laguna Beach stage lettering with Falconboard instead of styrofoam, making them 100% sustainable.

Top sponsors include Rivian, Kelly Slater’s Outerknown, the Mike Johnson Group and Visit Laguna Beach. Starfish Restaurant is providing catering with support from MIIR and Equator.

“We are confident this will be a meaningful, memorable event and hope it becomes an annual staple at the Rivian Theater that the city of Laguna Beach can take great pride in,” said German.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

For more details on the event and to get on the waitlist for tickets to next year’s event, go to

Follow the event on Instagram at

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Opera, free jazz concert featuring professional swing dancers, and so much more at the Susi Q this April

Susi Q’s popular – and free – Spring Swing Jazz Concert will feature talented local vocalist Ginger Hatfield and the Laguna Beach JaZz “Big” Band on Thursday, April 18 from 6-8 p.m. Come enjoy the early evening ambience on the patio and meet fellow music lovers as you swing into spring.

Excitingly, there’ll be a mini-dance floor where two expert couples from the ATOMIC Ballroom, the most popular dance studio in Orange County, will demonstrate swing dancing – and you can show off your moves, too.

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Photos courtesy of Susi Q

Laguna Beach JaZz “Big” Band performs April 18

“Swing Dancing is an umbrella term that encompasses many dances in the Swing genre including Lindy Hop, Balboa (a Newport Beach Swing Dance), Collegiate Shag, Charleston and more,” explained Nikki Marvin, ATOMIC Ballroom owner and instructor.

“These dances are youthful, dynamic, joyous, rhythmic and fun. Oh, and the music! There is no denying that jazz makes you want to move your body.”

All ages are welcome at the Spring Swing concert, and it’s going to be a blast. See you at the Susi Q – sign up here.

Opera for opera lovers and the opera curious

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Lyric Opera of Orange County will be presenting Verdi’s masterpiece “Falstaff”

Or maybe opera’s your bag? Then you’ll be thrilled to know that Lyric Opera of Orange County will be presenting Verdi’s comic masterpiece, Falstaff, on Wednesday, April 24 from 4-5:30 p.m. Performances sell out fast, so reserve your place now by clicking on this link. Registration fee is just $5.

More than music at the Q this month: Get money-savvy

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Peter Kote

Peter Kote’s “It’s Your Money” Financial Series will help you make informed decisions about your finances. Six free sessions take place on consecutive Fridays between 1:30 and 3 p.m., beginning April 19. Register here for the seminar.

April 16 is National Healthcare Decision Day

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End-of-Life Practitioner Rickie Redman

April 16 is a day devoted to educating the public and demystifying healthcare decisions and making end-of-life planning approachable. Plan to stop by the Susi Q’s tabling event Monday through Wednesday, April 15, 16 and 17 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and pick up a California Advanced Directive. End-of-Life Practitioner Rickie Redman will be on hand to answer your questions, guide and encourage you to start the conversations and even have some fun with “Taboo Talk.”

Hear, hear! (If you can)

Have you had a hearing test recently? Every third Thursday by appointment, you can get your hearing tested for free at the Susi Q, thanks to audiologist Dr. Rose-Marie Davis. Call 949.715.8104 to make an appointment today.

So much to do at the Susi Q

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

The Susi Q is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach.

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Meet Pet of the Week Scooter

Scooter is not only playful, but he is a very good walker who has figured out that special balance of pulling on the leash nor lagging behind. This playful mini-pin is 3 years old and would be a wonderful addition to any home – especially if you have children. This neutered dog is also good with other dogs.

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

Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Scooter is a well-trained, playful dog who loves going for walks

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

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

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Catmosphere Laguna Foundation and Laguna Beach Animal Shelter to hold feline adoption event

On Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Catmosphere Laguna cats and kittens will be featured for adoption at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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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Courtesy of Catmosphere Laguna Foundation

Loving cats at a previous Catmosphere adoption event

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 their 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, and volunteer opportunities are available.

Laguna Beach Animal Shelter and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event dates, 2024:

The following Saturdays: April 20, June 15, August 17, October 26 (Halloween Event) and year-end holiday events.

New: Gelson’s Rancho Mission Viejo (30731 Gateway Plaza, Rancho Mission Viejo) and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates 2024: Saturdays May 18, July 20, September 21, November 16 and year-end holiday events.

New: First Saturday of every month at PetSmart Lake Forest (23602 El Toro Road, Lake Forest).

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

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Monks return to Laguna Beach for Tibetan Cultural Arts Tour to create mandala dedicated to world peace

After a five-year hiatus, the Drepung Gomang monks of India will return to Laguna Beach for a week for their Sacred Tibetan Arts Tour. Seven monks and their driver will offer a glimpse into their culture from April 14-21. The holy men are scholars from Tibet’s oldest monastery and direct disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. They will construct a mandala, an intricate design made from fine, multi-colored sand, sing their unique trichord chanting at the beginning and end of each day, perform blessings to conjure positive energy at homes and businesses, and present pujas.

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Photos courtesy of Drepung Gomang Monastery

 Making the world peace sand mandala

Pujas are stylized rituals that combine chanting, music, prayer and visualizations using Tibetan instruments and multi-tonal singing. Guests may visit to watch the monks construct the sand mandala at Healy House on the grounds of the Sawdust Art Festival. Events are open to the public; donations are gratefully accepted. All proceeds support the 2,000-plus monks who live at the Drepung Gomang Monastery in Mundgod, India, and their educational and spiritual efforts toward world peace.

A full schedule and details can be found by clicking here. Their mission and history can be found by clicking here.

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The monks in ceremonial garb

The mandala dissolution ceremony at the end of their visit on Sunday, April 21 at 2 p.m. will be memorable. After laboring over their detailed design all week, the monks will sweep it into a pile of sand and give guests small packets to remind them of life’s impermanence and the importance of good works. They will then proceed to Main Beach on foot with anyone who cares to join, accompanied by drums and cymbals, then chant and cast the remaining sand into the ocean as a reminder of the transient nature of all things.

For the eighth time, a volunteer committee of organizers led by musician Pam Wicks has arranged their accommodations in a private home, as well as their meals and transportation. Wicks said, “We feel fortunate to welcome the monks to Laguna again. They have traveled across the United States to various communities like ours since last August. Having them as our guests to share their art, culture and blessings is a marvelous opportunity for everyone in our community to learn about this struggling nation’s history, culture and Tibetan Buddhism.

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The Drepung Gomang monks, direct disciples of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, at the door of the monastery in Mundgod in southern India

“We wish to acknowledge and thank the Sawdust Festival community for once again opening their hearts and donating their beautiful property as the site of this event,” Wicks added. “Likewise, we are grateful to the Neighborhood Congregational Church for their collaboration and generosity in providing their campus for three evening events on April 15, 17 and 20.”

Visitors can observe morning and evening chanting rituals and watch the mandala creation from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, April 14-21. Note: On April 18 and 20, the hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

From April 14-21, the monks will offer house blessings at homes, offices, galleries, studios and churches by prior appointment. For information and scheduling or to volunteer, contact Pam Wicks at

The Sawdust Festival grounds are located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach. Metered parking is available. The Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach (parking off Glenneyre).

Tibetan prayer flags are available for $15 for a five-foot length. The bright cloth flags will fly at the Sawdust Festival grounds, be blessed by the monks and then be given to each donor at the conclusion of their visit. In Tibetan Buddhism, colorful prayer flags are printed with auspicious symbols, invocations, prayers and mantras promoting peace, wisdom and compassion. It is said that the wind spreads goodwill to all beings. For information about prayer flags, email

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26th Annual John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest, deadline April 30

Entries for the 26th Annual John Gardiner Community Poetry Contest will be accepted April 1-30. The theme this year is “To Walk in Different Shoes.”

Prizes up to $100 gift certificates will be awarded in five age categories.

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Library

Theme for the contest this year is “To Walk in Different Shoes”

Participants may submit one unpublished poem with the theme: “To Walk in Different Shoes.” Poem must be no more than 25 lines of text with a limit of 230 words. Submit poem within the body of an email to Laguna Beach Library at Include the following information: Name, Phone Number and Grade Level or “Adult.” No attachments, please.

The Public Reading of Winning Poems will be held on Saturday, June 1 at 11 a.m.

The annual contest is funded by the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library.

The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre St., Laguna Beach. Call 949.497.1733 for more information.

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LBHS students will be “Walking for Water” on April 21

If you thought today’s teenagers were only interested in local activities, then meet the students who are helping to fight the global water crisis. This year’s annual “Walking for Water” event, which will take place from 12-3 p.m. on April 21 on the high school football field, raises funds to build freshwater wells in West Africa and India so villagers can have access to clean water.

Since the fundraising began 21 years ago, more than 500,000 men, women and children now drink clean water daily.

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Photo by Carlyle Coash

2023 Walking for Water students

This year’s event will once again bring together students, faculty and community members. There will be games for youngsters to play and clothing and other items for sale to help support the cause.

According to an 18-year-old student, “Imagine living here in Laguna, but having to walk to Dana Point and back every day to find water. That’s what women and children have to do in West Africa and India. Proceeds from our ‘Walking for Water’ event will pay for wells that are steps away, not miles, in people’s villages.”

“Access to clean water is a fundamental human right, yet millions of people, especially in developing countries, struggle to obtain this basic necessity,” said student advisor Susan Hough. “Through this event, we aim to not only raise funds but also to educate the community about the global water crisis and inspire action towards sustainable solutions.”

Walking for Water is a designated project of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Wisdom Spring organization. For ways to participate in the April 21 event, or to learn more about Wisdom Spring, visit

By participating in this powerful event, the students of Laguna Beach High School are taking a stand against the global water crisis and demonstrating their commitment to making a difference where people are suffering. Come out and support their efforts.

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LAM ushers in spring with more events

Spring is busting out all over and LAM has added more exciting events to its calendar. In addition to the ongoing exhibits.

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.

Through many years of trial and error, Neeley developed a never-before-seen technique that he calls Spectra Gold, which seamlessly changes one color of gold into another. This is accomplished by a labor-intensive forging process to create a subtle gradient, or ombré, of color from yellow gold to white gold and more. This, along with his creation of totally new colors of gold, adds to the sense that his jewelry is created by a modern-day alchemist.

This exhibition will explore both the creative working processes of this innovative jeweler, and some of the raw and faceted gems and minerals used by him to create his art. Collaborating with world-class lapidaries, such as Stephen Avery, Neeley creates truly imaginative pieces that go beyond contemporary designs into the realm of dreams and fantasy inspired by imagination and the world around him. Neeley is a true 21st century alchemist.

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“Girl in a Hammock” by Donna Schuster

Sunday, April 14, 10 a.m.

Jean Stern presents The Life and Art of Donna Schuster

In this lecture, art historian and LAM Curatorial Fellow Jean Stern will discuss the life and art of Donna Norine Schuster (1883-1953) in a slide-illustrated lecture.

Schuster was a superb artist born into a wealthy family in Milwaukee. While many other women artists of her generation could not get steady representation and income from a commercial art gallery, Schuster’s income was secure and as such, she was free to experiment with a variety of artistic styles. She arrived in Los Angeles in 1913 and quickly became a member of the California Art Club and in 1918, the Laguna Beach Art Association. She maintained homes in Los Angeles and for a while in Laguna Beach. She was proficient in oil paint and watercolor.

The Life and Art of Donna Schuster comprises about 85 images and lasts approximately 50 minutes, with time afterwards for questions.

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers are the exclusive auctioneer/appraiser business for the 2024 Jean Stern Presents lectures.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18. For tickets, click here.

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New Moms at the Museum – April 14

Thursday, April 18, 9-10:30 a.m.

New Moms at the Museum

Navigating the waters of new parenthood? Join LAM and engage with fellow new parents and enjoy the art museum in the quiet hour before the museum opens to the public. You will learn from industry professionals about postnatal recovery and baby care, and return home with practical tips to put into practice.

Note: Bring a yoga mat for your baby to lay on and a comfy blanket for extra warmth. This program is for pregnant moms to six months postpartum and they also welcome new dads. Small bites and beverages are included.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $12, Non-members: $18, Children under 12 are free. For tickets, click here.

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Art Workshop – April 19

Friday, April 19, 4-7 p.m.

Art Workshop, Figure Drawing

Class Dates: April 19, May 24, June 21, July 19

Join Peter Zokosky, Chair of MFA Drawing + Painting at LCAD, for a figure drawing workshop. Learn the basics and build on your knowledge of how to draw the human form with a live model. Supplies included with purchase of ticket.

Please note that the model will be nude.

Advance tickets are recommended. Adults (18+) only, Museum members: $30, Non-members: $45, 5 Class Series Members: $150,

5 Class Series Non-Members: $180.

For tickets, click here.

Fine Art of Jewelry – April 20

Saturday, April 20, 11 a.m.

Fine Art of Jewelry

Join LAM for an insightful panel discussion featuring esteemed experts and connoisseurs in the realm of jewelry. Discover the secrets behind what makes a piece of jewelry truly exceptional, learn about the market trends shaping the industry, and gain practical tips on how to protect your jewelry to ensure its longevity and enduring beauty.

Whether you’re an avid collector, a budding designer, or simply passionate about the artistry of jewelry, this panel discussion is a not-to-be-missed event.

Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers will value your timepieces, fine jewelry, designer jewelry, costume jewelry, etc.

Note: Ticket holders to both the panel discussion and What’s It Worth? – Jewelry Edition will receive priority entry to the John Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers for an exclusive valuation for one hour immediately following the panel discussion.

Advance tickets are recommended. Ticket purchase includes access to all museum exhibits. Museum members: $25, Non-members: $35.

For tickets, click here.

Saturday, April 20, 1-5 p.m.

What’s It Worth, Jewelry Edition

John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers, in partnership with the Laguna Art Museum, invites the public to have up to five jewelry items professionally valued. Appraisers at John Moran Auctioneers will provide a verbal valuation of your treasures.

John Moran Auctioneers and Appraisers will value your fine jewelry, timepieces, designer jewelry, Native & Mexican jewelry and couture jewelry.

 Photographs and cellphone images may also be evaluated if items cannot not be brought into the museum.

Advance tickets are recommended. Museum members: $20, Non-members: $30. For tickets, click here.

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Storytime Saturday – Rescheduled for April 27

Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m.

Storytime Saturday, Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon

Bring your little ones to Laguna Art Museum for an interactive storytime and art-making experience unlike any other.

This Month’s Session

Join this special, exclusive reading of Two Cats, a Mermaid and the Disappearing Moon led by the book’s author, Pamela K. Knudsen. Follow alongside the story’s inquisitive feline main characters as they try to solve the mystery of the disappearing moon with the beautiful local Laguna Beach landscape as the backdrop. Knudsen leads this immersive storytime experience followed by a watercolor pencil activity placing kids at the center of an adventure of their own.

Free with admission: Members: Free, Adults: $12, Youth 12 and under: Free, Active Military, Seniors, Students: $9. For tickets, click here.

The museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

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Laguna Beach High School Class of 1969 to hold 55th reunion

Graduates of the Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) Class of ‘69 will be having two events on Saturday, May 4, to celebrate their graduation 55 years ago from LBHS.

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Submitted photo

Laguna Beach High School Class of ‘69

For the first event, classmates can join the LBHS Alumni Association All Class Reunion at the picnic tables at Heisler Park, 375 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Then classmates are invited to gather at The Royal Hawaiian restaurant in their upstairs banquet room for a no-host cocktail party from 4:30 p.m. to whenever.  The Royal Hawaiian is located at 331 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

No RSVPs are required and there is no charge, so just show up for either or both events.

For more information, contact Gordon Brown at 562.254.4498.

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