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Laguna remembers Robin Culp with a paddle out on Brooks Street Beach

Robin Aaron Culp was born on February 26, 1971, in the small seaside community of Carmel, Calif. Soon after, Culp and his family moved to Laguna Beach, where he grew up.

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Courtesy of the Culp Family

Robin Aaron Culp

He spent his childhood surfing and developing friendships at Thalia and Brooks street beaches along with the Boys & Girls Club in the canyon.

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Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Fire Dept. was represented by (L-R) Firefighter Logan Strook, Fire Captain David Lopez and Fire Engineer Jeffrey White

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Early arrivals for the paddle out 

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Brandy Faber, organizer of the paddle out

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Robert Jones

As an avid and ripping surfer, Culp became passionate for many other sports including skimboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding, fishing and mountain biking. A lifelong waterman and competitor, Culp’s smooth style was well recognized and loved in the surfing community and won him multiple local surf and skimboard competitions. The ocean and surfing played a huge role throughout Culp’s life with many surf trips to Hawaii, Tavarua and Baja. He owned property on the North Shore of Oahu, where he visited often with his loving family.

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Madison Culp (on right) and friend

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Time to get hit the waves

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Paddling out

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Katie Culp and her son Jackson

After graduating high school in the summer of 1989, Culp attended Saddleback College. He witnessed the devastating destruction of the 1993 Laguna Beach Fire firsthand, and made the decision to begin his career of service to the community and trained to become a firefighter.

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Brandy Faber (second from left), Katie Culp (second from left) and Jackson Culp (second from right)

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(L-R) Brahm Moore and Jason Watson

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Cam Boyd

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Katie Culp enters the water for the paddle out

Culp served the National City Fire Department, Carlsbad Fire Department and Orange County Fire Authority over the past 25 years. He served as a Firefighter Paramedic, Fire Apparatus Engineer, Fire Captain/Paramedic and was a member of the technical rescue team and FEMA Ca-Task Force 5. Culp was well respected in the department and had a reputation as a first-class leader who brought a sense of calm to his fire crews whether in an emergency situation or at the station.

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OC Fire Authority fly by

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A paddle out to remember

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Large crowd participates

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A time for splashing

Culp and his wife Katie have been happily married for 23 beautiful years and raised their two children together – son Jackson, age 20 and daughter Madison, age 18. Culp was a dedicated family man and a loving friend to all. He will be remembered for his selfless nature and generosity. Simply put “Robin was the coolest.”

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Lifeguard boat

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Trying to get back 

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Crowd surfing to shore

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Surfing antics 

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Friends say “goodbye” as the tide comes in

Robin Aaron Culp passed away peacefully with his family and friends by his side on March 4, 2024, at the age of 53 after a courageous six-month battle with lung cancer.

He is survived by his wife Katie, son Jackson, daughter Madison, his mother Sharon Ashauer, brother Ryan Ashauer and stepfather Hans Ashauer.

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Fair Game



Earth Day was something to celebrate at the Laguna Beach Library

The Laguna Beach Library announced resounding success of its Earth Day celebration held last Saturday, April 20. With hundreds of attendees, the event proved to be a vibrant showcase of community spirit and environmental stewardship.

Mayor Sue Kempf, along with Councilmembers George Weiss and Mark Orgill were in attendance. Councilmember Weiss captivated the audience with a poignant speech, setting the stage for the poetry readings by students Emma Colcord, Chase Provost, Lila Etherton, Stella Murphy and Molly Mahoney. Their heartfelt renditions followed, honoring Shakespeare’s birthday and celebrated April being National Poetry Month.

The readings were a collaborative effort between the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library, Laguna Beach Sister Cities and the Laguna Playhouse Youth Theatre Conservancy classes.

Other activities included clay sunflower crafting, rock painting, composting workshops and face painting.

Outside the library, guests of all ages enjoyed environmental activities in the beautiful Fairy and Butterfly Garden. The garden is maintained by an amazing group of volunteers led by Kim Shields and Simone Adams.

“We are thrilled that so many people came out to celebrate Earth Day,” remarked Adams. “It is great to see everyone enjoying the new additions to our garden.”

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Courtesy of Friends of the Library

The Poetry Reading (L-R): Nakisa Aschtiani/Playhouse Youth Theatre, Molly Mahoney, Lila Etherton, Chase Provost, Emma Colcord, Stella Murphy and Councilmember George Weiss

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Courtesy of Friends of the Library

Fairy and Butterfly Garden Team (L-R): Kristen Kimball, Nadya Hickam, Siew Tan Koi (& Sheena), Kim Shields, Simone Adams, Mayor Sue Kempf and Carrie Rojas

The Friends of the Library date back more than 50 years, when volunteers who desired to make our library special formed the Friends of the Laguna Beach Library.

Today the Friends take pride in making the library a better place for all who enter the automatic “new” doors. Supporting the Friends means supplying funds for craft days, magazine subscriptions, major interior improvements, reading programs, college scholarships, unique and interesting speakers, and lots more.

• • •

The Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (LBSCA) invites the community to join in a vibrant celebration of culture and friendship at the Cuatro de Mayo Celebration on Saturday, May 4.

That’s right, the Cuatro de Mayo (hey, this is a fun bunch!) who love to celebrate good friends and good times.

The event takes place from 5-8 p.m. at the Neighborhood Congregational Church located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive.

This festive occasion will pay tribute to Laguna Beach’s Sister City, San José del Cabo, Mexico, fostering bonds of camaraderie between the two communities.

Guests will be treated to an array of culinary delights including a taco bar, tapas grazing station, along with a selection of Mexican wines, beer, sangria and soft drinks. Guests will enjoy their food while being serenaded by the live musical talent of Zach Churchill.

Attendees are encouraged to embrace the spirit by donning their best Mexican attire.

Tickets for the event are priced at $65 for members of the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association and $75 for non-members.

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Courtesy of LBSC Photo Library

LBSC members and friends celebrate and honor the culture of their sister city San José del Cabo, Mexico last year

Due to limited space, interested participants should secure tickets by Tuesday, April 30. Tickets can be purchased online at and then clicking on “Events.”

For more information about the event, visit, or text Susan Davis at 714.785.7335.

• • •

Last Thursday, April 18, the annual Laguna Beach Youth City Track Meet took place at Laguna Beach High School. The meet is open to Laguna Beach residents under the age of 14.

Children run in heats with others their own age and participate in sprints (50, 100 meter or 200 meters) or longer runs (400, 800 or 1600 meters). Field events include: long jump and softball throw.

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Photo by Scott Brashier

It’s liftoff as 6-year-old Hayes Williams (4572) goes skyward in the long jump

The top three winners in each age division are eligible to advance to the Orange County Track Meet at Santa Ana College on May 5.

In honor of these outstanding young athletes, their results by age group are below.

The year listed after the gender is reflective of the year they were born. Unfortunately, the results for the Field Events were not posted at press time.


Mixed 1600 Run

Girls 2011

1. Haven Wakefield – 6:58.16

Boys 2013

1. Brixton Perlis – 5:42.00

Mixed 100 Dash

Boys 2009

1. Siao Yan – 13.78

Girls 2009

1. Helena Lowe – 14.69

Girls 2010

1. Livi Lalim – 14.34

2. Maryam Khabazian – 14.69

Boys 2011

1. Aidan Dwight – 16.89

Girls 2011

1. Haven Wakefield – 15.64

2. Yannie Yan – 16.15

3. Fu Light – 18.62

Boys 2012

1. Mehdi Khabazian – 15.49

2. Shamsher Sadhal – 15.97

3. Asher Mikulin – 16.07

4. Graham Mahapatra – 16.21

Girls 2012

1. Abbie Kalmanovich – 15.72

Boys 2013

1. Sebastian Zamorano – 15.92

2. Max Puffer – 16.92

Girls 2013

1. Zoe Harrison – 16.47

2. Annabelle Arrasin – 16.63

3. Rylan Welker – 17.31

4. Vivian Orr – 17.33

5. Evelyn Howe – 18.88

Boys 2014

1. Grey Lee – 17.24

2. Roque Brinderson – 20.02

3. Jacob Barajas – 20.12

Girls 2014

1. Sadie Rahall – 16.68

2. Rose Bugbee – 16.78

3. Adelyn Palme – 17.71

4. Decklyn Cooke – 17.76

5. Lara Cakar – 20.38

Boys 2015

1. David Kalmanovich – 17.26

2. Cole Nusenow – 17.49

3. Jack Reese – 17.65

Girls 2015

1. Emerson Pasin – 16.58

2. Harper Hauck – 18.35

3. Kendal Hensley – 18.54

4. Ivy Khakpour – 21.20

5. Hope Hensel – 23.18

Boys 2016

1. Grady Rahall – 16.91

2. Noah Palme – 18.29

3. Paxson Offield – 19.04

4. Hudson Hauck – 20.70

5. Matthew Barber – 20.83

Girls 2016

1. Millie Cooke – 18.30

2. Haven Mills – 18.65

3. Channing Nguyen – 18.80

4. Quinn Welker – 18.86

5. Gianna Barajas – 19.43

6. Sienna Zamorano – 19.57

7. Ava Harper – 20.08

Boys 2017

1. Thomas Reese – 21.14

2. Sawyer Brindley – 22.49

Girls 2017

1. Charlotte Hensley – 19.77

2. Kayden Faber – 20.65

3. Harlow Perlis – 20.94

4. Yasmeen Penry – 21.79

5. Peyton Kibbey – 22.26

Boys 2018

1. Russel Bugbee – 23.56

2. Hayes Williams – 24.68

Girls 2018

1. Vienna Williams – 24.08

Mixed 400 Run

Girls 2009

1. Fiona McCormick – 1:04.54

Girls 2010

1. Livi Lalim – 1:15.10

Boys 2011

1. Owen McCormick – 1:11.36

Girls 2011

1. Grace Puffer – 1:03.49

2. Ava Lowe – 1:12.10

Boys 2012

1. Mehdi Khabazian – 1:15.15

2. Shamsher Sadhal – 1:17.61

3. Maxwell Mahapatra – 1:18.28

4. Graham Mahapatra – 1:24.47

Girls 2012

1. Juliette Fox – 1:21.99

Boys 2013

1. Brixton Perlis – 1:12.12

2. Sebastian Zamorano – 1:18.46

3. Max Puffer – 1:20.35

Girls 2013

1. Scarlet Strong – 1:21.63

2. Zoe Harrison – 1:28.34

3. Vivian Orr – 1:31.68

Boys 2014

1. Jack Wilson – 1:21.54

2. Grey Lee – 1:26.51

3. James Nash – 1:26.71

4. Greyson Kibbey – 1:27.88

5. Dylan Nash – 1:29.81

Girls 2014

1. Decklyn Cooke – 1:34.34

2. Adelyn Palme – 1:39.77

Boys 2015

1. Peyton Howe – 1:24.23

2. Cole Nusenow – 1:31.43

Girls 2015

1. Addison Perlis – 1:48.68

Girls 2016

1. Channing Nguyen – 1:37.29

2. Summer Wilson – 1:41.94

Girls 2017

1. Harlow Perlis – 1:38.88

Mixed 50 Dash

Boys 2015

1. David Kalmanovich – 8.89

2. Peyton Howe – 9.08

3. Jack Reese – 9.12

Girls 2015

1. Emerson Pasin – 8.67

2. Harper Hauck – 9.52

3. Kendal Hensley 9.67

Boys 2016

1. Grady Rahall – 8.66

2. Noah Palme – 9.13

3. Hudson Hauck – 10.15

4. Matthew Barber – 10.41

Girls 2016

1. Millie Cooke – 9.23

2. Haven Milles – 9.52

3. Sterling Gardner – 9.64

4. Gianna Barajas – 10.10

5. Summer Wilson – 10.26

6. Sienna Zamorano – 10.27

7. Ava Harper – 10.87

8. Leyla Cakar – 11.36

Boys 2017

1. Andrew Talarico – 9.88

2. Rhett Gardner – 9.96

3. Thomas Reese – 10.26

4. Phoenix Massar – 10.93

Girls 2017

1. Charlotte Hensley – 10.06

2. Kayden Faber – 10.33

3. Yasmeen Penry – 10.71

4. Peyton Kibbey – 11.07

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Six-year-old Charlotte Hensley (4514) makes a mad dash to the finish line to win the 50 dash

Boys 2018

1. Hayes Williams – 12.01

Girls 2018

1. Vienna Williams – 11.47

Mixed 800 Run

Boys 2012

1. James Wilson – 2:42.40

2. Maxwell Mahapatra – 3:11.31

Girls 2012

1. Juliette Fox – 3:11.05

Boys 2013

1. Brixton Perlis – 2:52.96

Boys 2014

1. James Nash – 3:12.99

2. Dylan Nash – 3:22.03

3. Greyson Kibbey – 3:25.84

Mixed 200 Dash

Girls 2009

1. Helena Lowe – 30:41

Girls 2010

1. Livi Lalim – 30.14

2. Maryam Khabazian – 31.87

Girls 2011

1. Grace Puffer – 28.11

2. Ava Lowe – 31.61

3. Haven Wakefield – 31.81

Boys 2012

1. Mehdi Khabazian – 33.97

2. Shamsher Sadhal – 35.42

3. Maxwell Mahapatra – 35.44

4. Graham Mahapatra – 37.61

5. Asher Mikulin – 39.13

Girls 2012

1. Abbie Kalmanovich – 34.42

Boys 2013

1. Sebastian Zamorano – 35.39

2. Max Puffer – 36.11

Girls 2013

1. Zoe Harrison – 35.53

2. Annabelle Arrasin – 35.75

Scarlet Strong – 35.75

3. Rylan Welker –37.16

Boys 2014

1. Grey Lee – 38.36

2. Jacob Barajas – 45.84

Girls 2014

1. Rose Bugbee – 35.41

2. Sadie Rahall – 35.99

3. Decklyn Cooke – 39.55

4. Adelyn Palme – 40.00

Boys 2015

1. David Kalmanovich – 37.38

Girls 2015

1. Emerson Pasin – 35.30

2. Noa Chapel – 45.52

3. Addison Perlis – 45.99

Boys 2016

Grady Rahall – 37.32

2. Noah Palme – 41.94

3. Hudson Hauck – 53.03

Girls 2016

1. Millie Cooke – 38.82

2. Quinn Welker – 39.85

3. Haven Mills – 39.99

4. Gianna Barajas – 43.05

5. Sienna Zamorano – 44.61

6. Ava Harper – 50.16

Boys 2017

1. Andrew Talarico – 44.18

Girls 2017

1. Yasmeen Penry – 45.96

Harlow Perlis – 46.33

3. Peyton Kibbey – 48.14

Boys 2018

1. Russel Bugbee – 49.29

Girls 2018

1. Izzy Chapel – 57.07


(Not available at press time)

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The Laguna Beach Police Department offers community seminars to raise safety awareness


The Community Safety Advisor for the Laguna Beach Police Department, Paul Lipscomb, brings 43 years of law enforcement experience to his “Safety & Situational Awareness” training seminars.

“I serve the Laguna Beach Police Department as a civilian contractor,” Lipscomb said. “The leadership within the police department is taking an assertive posture to deliver this program throughout the city for the benefit of the community.”

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lipscomb has more than four decades of experience

Lipscomb’s primary role involves delivering safety and situational awareness presentations and instruction related to workplace violence and active shooter events. There’s no doubt this would be beneficial to businesses, hotels, restaurants, places of worship etc., as well as community members in general, who frequent them.

“Laguna Beach is a great city. It’s a tribute to the leadership (from Chief Jeff Calvert and through the ranks) that they take a proactive posture to community policing and personal involvement as peace officers in the City of Laguna Beach,” Lipscomb said. “It’s a blessing to see. I’ve worked for a variety of agencies, and I can tell you that the LBPD works hard for the community every day.”


Lipscomb was recruited by the police department to serve as a consultant, and the LBPD couldn’t have selected a more qualified person.

“I was asked to work with members of the police department to develop the program which fit with the mission statement and core values and here we are today,” Lipscomb said. “I believe all of my previous law experience helped me as far as presenting a good product to the public about threat awareness. One of the major points that I stress during the presentation is for people to be ‘aware of their surroundings,’ whether they’re in church, a school or a market. General awareness of one’s surroundings can help you and others save a life not just in an ‘active shooter’ situation but in the event of a fire, earthquake, etc. Have an ‘exit plan.’”

Lipscomb spent 24 years in the United States Secret Service where he served on special teams and gained expertise in investigations, intelligence and tactical operations. Lipscomb also served as assistant federal security director for the Department of Homeland Security/TSA at LAX.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Secret Service credentials

A qualified expert in government, corporate and executive protection, Lipscomb has received specialized training in counter terrorism tactics, is experienced in evaluating and formulating threat assessments against people and property, and has experience with aviation security and maritime security matters.

Thus far, Lipscomb has conducted safety presentations at the Laguna Presbyterian Church, Laguna Montessori School and the Neighborhood Congregational Church.

Since the LBPD has school resource officers that are engaged daily with the schools, he isn’t involved in visiting schools.

“There are three responses to an ‘active shooter’ situation that should be in your ‘defensive tool bag,’” Lipscomb explained.

Besides being aware of your surroundings, Lipscomb talks about using these responses to defend yourself and help others to get out of a dangerous situation. He emphasized that they are suggestions – nothing is guaranteed – however, they represent three possible defensive scenarios in the event of an attacker. These defensive personal responsives are – run, hide, fight. “We examine these responses during the presentations. We get into it pretty deep and get

people thinking,” he said.

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Courtesy of LBPD

Lipscomb uses an interactive format for his training seminars

Lipscomb explained that his seminars are geared to involve the audience with the presentation.

“I don’t do a PowerPoint presentation and read off the screen,” he said. “I like to get the audience involved. I get them to talk about their experiences and ask, ‘what are your thoughts?’ The presentation usually goes on for an hour and a half to two hours, and it’s far above what you would normally get if you just read a training manual or had someone read the power point presentation from the screen, so it works nicely.”

The hope is, that with the publication of this article, community organizations, members and businesses will call Lipscomb to set up a training.

“The Police Department is 100% in support of this program and is proactive with getting the message out about our “situational/environment awareness program to our community here in Laguna Beach. The more we get the message out, in the event of an incident, the better,” he said. “Whether it be learning what to do if someone comes into a location and have that situational awareness of how to react and get out of a life-threatening situation.”

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Guest Column

Katrina Foley

Fifth District

Supervisor, County of Orange

April Update – Women’s History Month, Sober Living Homes, Climate Action Plan and more!

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Courtesy of Katrina Foley

In March, we celebrated Women’s History Month by recognizing trailblazing women in our legal profession building a more just, equitable Orange County for all.

Congratulations to Laguna Beach awardees: Jane Fulton as the Non-Profit Advocate; Michelle Reinglass as the Mediator and Annee Della Donna as the Civil Rights Advocate of the year! Visit our website to learn about their work and their incredible fellow honorees.

At my first quarterly Roundtable on the Status of Women and Girls in Orange County, consensus among local women leaders declared mental health and wellness as top priority for all ages. I agree. Our next discussion in June focuses on mental health initiatives, services and how to close the gaps for women and girls to live healthier stable lives.

My office continues progress on our Fifth District priorities: public safety, reducing homelessness and the addressing affordable housing crisis, climate action, taxpayer oversight and supporting small businesses.

Public Safety:

In December, I initiated an E-Bike ordinance at the County of Orange, following a study in coordination with OC Public Works and OCTA. The ordinance will be heard at the OC Traffic Committee this month. Provisions include grouping restrictions, strict sidewalk speed limits, helmets for minors, requirements for yielding to pedestrians and equestrians and for an audible alarm when overtaking, consequences for driving without a license when required, and more.

During the County of Orange’s annual two-day advocacy trip in Sacramento, my Chief of Staff and I strongly advocated for my county-sponsored legislation Senate Bill 1334 carried by California State Senator Josh Newman. SB 1334 will close critical regulatory loopholes in recovery residences to better safeguard vulnerable individuals at risk for abuse and exploitation by profiteering businesses, while better serving the communities in which recovery residences are located. Watch the first Senate Health Committee hearing on April 24 at 1:30 p.m. live or watch the recording here.

As Mayor of Costa Mesa, I led the development and implementation of a comprehensive Sober Living Home Action Plan and model ordinance in order to close policy gaps and combat bad actors across Orange County. Following Costa Mesa, the County of Orange adopted a similar ordinance. Even with reasonable rules to ensure a quality safe system of care, the number of facilities in Orange County remains the second highest just slightly fewer than in Los Angeles County with three times the population.

SB 1334 reflects my decade of dedication to improving care and treatment for residents challenged with substance use disorders, rooting out exploitive practices, and addressing the over-concentration of sober living homes in our communities.

Reducing Homelessness:

So far, we voted to build 2,653 permanent supportive housing units toward our additional 2,396 units goal. As the Orange County Housing Finance Trust Chair, I’ve helped secure more than $12M in federal and state funds to help build more housing. Stay tuned for our Point in Time count numbers released later this month.

Climate Action:

As we celebrate Earth Month, Orange County is turning over a new leaf on combatting climate change.

Last month, Orange County leapt forward historically on reducing carbon emissions by finalizing our first ever Priority Climate Action Plan, a tool outlining our vision for building projects that address the climate crisis. This plan was developed, in part, by Deputy CEO Lilly Simmering, OC Waste & Recycling Director Tom Koutroulis and our county’s newly hired Environmental Sustainability Officer Tara Tisopulos, with help from me and my Climate Resiliency Task Force. We are mobilizing subject matter experts from UCI, the Building Industry Association and Labor, climate change activists, and policy staff from state and federal offices. We must catch up to combat climate change and plan for a resilient future.

If you visit our beaches or live along the coast, you understand the consequences of our eroding coastlines. In protection of our coastal habitats, communities and coastal economy, the county finalized our first South Orange County Regional Coastal Resiliency Strategic Plan. This plan outlines our vision for creating a regional collaborative on coastal resiliency in south Orange County, to develop a coordinated, proactive and regional response to coastal erosion.

Taxpayer Oversight:

Due to the volume of local businesses seeking help from our office to obtain necessary health permits, we noticed lengthy waiting periods for county inspections and visits to restaurants causing costly delays for business owners. I began working with my Chief of Staff Nick Anas, county staff, and local restaurateurs and chamber representatives to identify solutions to cut the red tape and streamline health permitting for small businesses and restaurants. I’m hosting a round table for restaurant owners and our county team in May. Email my office to attend.

I look forward to spring sunshine and flowers.

Keep up with our latest updates by signing up for my weekly newsletter:

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Council agenda includes next steps for Ti Amo property, update on Promenade work plan, July 4 fireworks or drone options, summer parking management plan


The Laguna Beach City Council has several notable items on the agenda tonight.

At tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, April 23), council will: Provide direction regarding the next steps for the former Ti Amo property; receive an update on the Promenade on Forest Ad Hoc Committee’s work plan and reaffirm the project description as a pedestrian plaza; provide direction show options for the Fourth of July celebrations; and receive an update on the summer 2024 parking management plan and transit services. Earlier in the day, council will hold a joint meeting with the Arts Commission.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Council will consider the next steps for the city-owned property formerly occupied by Ti Amo restaurant

During regular business, council will provide direction regarding the next steps for the city-owned property at 31727 and 31735 Coast Highway (formerly occupied by Italian restaurant Ti Amo by il Barone).

At the Jan. 24, 2023 meeting, council declared the city-owned property at 31729 and 31735 Coast Highway (also known as 31727 Coast Highway), the former Ti Amo restaurant, as surplus property and “not necessary for the city’s use.”

The item was originally scheduled for the Jan. 10, 2023, meeting, but was removed from the agenda by the city manager.

According to the staff report for tonight’s item, the California Department of Housing and Community Development notified the city on November 16 that all the requirements were met under the Surplus Land Act and Laguna Beach is permitted to proceed with the sale of the property, should the city desire to do so.

Staff is now seeking direction regarding next steps for the subject property.

Council may consider options for the property including, but not limited to:

–Sell the property. The city could list the property for sale in the open market. If the city receives an acceptable offer, the sale of the property would result in one-time revenues.

–Lease the property. The city could maintain ownership of the property and issue an RFP for a long-term development lease. If the city receives an acceptable proposal, the long-term lease of the property would result in ongoing revenues.

–Other uses. The city could consider the property for other uses as directed by the council.

The former restaurant property was originally purchased in 2021 by the city for civic uses, including a potential future fire station in South Laguna.

In a 3-2 vote on June 15, 2021, council authorized an agreement with Rincon Consultants Inc. in the amount of $89,199 to provide consulting services for the preparation of an initial study for the acquisition of the Ti Amo property and for a possible mitigated negative declaration, if determined to be appropriate. Councilmembers Toni Iseman and George Weiss dissented.

The Planning Commission voted 5-0 Aug. 4, 2021, to approve city staff’s recommended General Plan consistency determination for the location. Commissioners and staff emphasized that they were only affirming GP consistency for possible future public benefit use, and not a specific use (such as a fire station).

In another split vote on Aug. 24, 2021, council certified the initial study/mitigated negative declaration for the acquisition of the property. The city entered into escrow to acquire the property and offered $2.7 million. Council directed staff to complete any steps necessary to close escrow on the subject property.

On Jan. 5, 2022, the Planning Commission considered a temporary use permit for a parking lot on the empty lot adjacent to the former Ti Amo restaurant, but couldn’t figure out the ingress and egress. They ultimately continued the item to a future meeting, when the idea failed to find a majority of support.

Iseman requested on June 7, 2022, that the council agendize a future item to consider selling the Ti Amo property. While there was no official vote or action at the June meeting, there was general consensus on the dais to obtain an appraisal at the appropriate time in the future when the city might be in the position to sell the property.

Council voted 5-0 on Sept. 20, 2022, to approve moving forward with the acquisition of the property at 31796 South Coast Highway (dental building), which was found to be a superior site for a replacement fire station. After more than a year of contentious split votes on the Ti Amo site and applying the potential pressure of eminent domain on the owner of the 31796 Coast Highway property, there was a consensus of support for the new location. The city closed escrow on the new property on Jan. 4, 2023.

The move to declare the Ti Amo site as surplus came shortly thereafter.

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Laguna Beach’s National Day of Prayer offers an inclusive day to manifest peace

At least 13 faith communities will participate in Laguna Beach’s National Day of Prayer. Locally, it is a designated day when people of all faiths or nonfaiths are encouraged to pray and meditate on peace within themselves and for the nation and the world. The theme is “Finding Peace through song, silence and prayer.”

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Photo by Barbara McMurray

Interfaith Council volunteer organizers (L-R): Angela Ordway and Blanche Zelko are preparing for Laguna Beach’s National Day of Prayer on the May 2 at tiny St. Francis by the Sea American Catholic Church, 430 Park Ave. All are welcome to attend the free 4 p.m. event that aims to bring together people of all faiths or nonfaiths to pray for and meditate on peace within oneself and in the world.

Observed annually nationwide on the first Thursday in May, the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council is spearheading the event. The LBIC will acknowledge this day with a service on Thursday, May 2 from 4-5 p.m. It is a free public event offering messages, music, prayers and more from leaders of many faith traditions. The service will be held at the tiny St. Francis by the Sea American Catholic Church, 430 Park Ave., Laguna Beach, with refreshments and snacks to follow next door at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave.

With origins in the 1700s, the official U.S. National Day of Prayer was co-founded by Congress and President Truman and signed into law in 1952. Updated in 1988, one of the stated intentions of the National Day of Prayer is that it would be a day when adherents of all religions could unite in prayer. Although its current online complexion reflects a conservative Christian viewpoint, the Laguna Beach event organizers have made it a tradition to make National Day of Prayer in Laguna Beach one of inclusion, expanded thinking and caring for our neighbors. For more information, email

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Assemblymember Dixon celebrates Earth Day with introduction of ACR 182

On Tuesday, April 22, Assemblymember Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach) introduced Assembly Concurrent Resolution 182 which commits to reducing pollution in our oceans.

Assemblymember Dixon’s district includes a significant portion of the Orange County coastline, including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Newport Beach.

ACR 182 resolves to “promote and encourage solutions and resources for keeping the oceans and coastlines healthy and eliminating the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.” The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a collection of debris, trash and waste that has collected in the North Pacific Ocean, forming two giant circulating groups. It is also known as the Pacific trash vortex with a mass of approximately 100,000 tons covering 617,000 square miles, which is twice the size of Texas.

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Courtesy of the Office of Assemblymember Diane Dixon

Assemblymember Diane Dixon

“Ensuring our oceans are clean is incredibly important and goes hand-in-hand with why we celebrate Earth Day,” said Assemblymember Dixon. “It is our job to protect our coastline, and this resolution provides us an opportunity to make that commitment. We must reduce the amount of trash flowing into our oceans.”

Assemblymember Dixon is an avid supporter of reducing pollution. During her time as a Newport Beach City Councilmember she was actively involved in bringing a trash collector wheel to Newport Bay. During last year’s budget cycle, she helped that become a reality in her capacity as an assemblymember by securing $1.6 million to complete the project. In other parts of her district, she is spearheading a San Gabriel River Working Group to find solutions and funding to eliminate trash flow from the river to open waters and onto the beaches in Seal Beach.

Dixon also commemorated Earth Day by recognizing grade school students in Assembly District 72 who agreed to protect California’s coastline, keep our beaches clean and lead by example.

“There is much to do when it comes to protecting our beautiful coastline, and I am committed to working with all stakeholders to help prevent pollution,” said Assemblymember Dixon. “People come from all over the world to visit the shores of the Pacific Ocean in Orange County. Investing in protecting and supporting our beaches and marine life is an investment in our communities.”

To read the bill language, click here. 

Assemblymember Diane Dixon, R-Newport Beach, is a pragmatic businesswoman and former mayor, who represents the 72nd Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest.

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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 23: Bolton Colburn, Lisa Lawn, Shannon Higuera

April 24: Ari Novick, Bara Waters, Christina Lomonaco, Dan Falle, Don Suskind, Gayle Joliet, Gina Waggener, Karl Weber, Marcia Yury, Susie Jaqua, Terri Johnson

April 25: Alora Ashlie, David Seach, Doris Bui-Bender, Lisa Anderson, Mike Austin

April 26: Andy Alison, Julita Jones, Marlise Chel, Sunny Elizabeth, Tania Cassill, Victoria Maddock

April 27: Bree Vetere Case, Damian Berry Carter, Nancy Duker, Terry Klein

April 28: Dawn Knepper, Gil Hager, Jeannine Cooper, Jen Hoy, Patty Tacklind

April 29: Chris Kreymann, David Epstein, Patrick Stanton

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Save the Date: Local author Kaira Rouda’s new novel launches on May 21

Local author Kaira Rouda hooked readers with Beneath the Surface last year and now the unlikable but irresistibly addictive Kingsley family is back for Under the Palms (May 21, Thomas & Mercer). This title would make a great addition to summer roundups, reviews, or excerpts.

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Photos courtesy of Kaira Rouda

Bestselling author Kaira Rouda

Upcoming events:

Book Carnival on May 19 in Orange

Zibby’s Bookshop on May 20 in Santa Monica

OC Literary Guild Event on May 23 at Mission Viejo Country Club, Mission Viejo

Rouda is a USA Today, Amazon Charts and internationally bestselling, multiple award-winning author of contemporary fiction that explores what goes on beneath the surface of seemingly perfect lives. Her domestic suspense novels include Best Day Ever, The Favorite Daughter, All the Difference, The Next Wife, Somebody’s Home, The Widow and Beneath the Surface, the first book in the Kingsleys series.

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“Under the Palms” launches on May 21

Under the direction of the Kingsleys’ new president, Paige, the family has gathered for a weekend retreat at a luxurious Laguna Beach resort.

Still clinging to the hope of succession are the sons of Richard Kingsley – the family patriarch and CEO John, the oldest, who’s clawed his way back from a dark tragedy and Paige’s estranged husband, Ted, the golden boy. When Richard’s ex and his wayward daughter join the fray, Paige finds herself with two fast allies. They know a secret that could shatter the family legacy. Call it leverage, call it revenge, the Kingsley women believe they have the upper hand. But as the power games begin, greater threats than the howling Santa Ana winds are coming. Because this weekend, amid so much greed and betrayal, no Kingsley is safe. It’s family. Watch your back.

Rouda lives in Southern California with her family and is at work on her next novel. She is a founding member of the Killer Author Club, supporting other suspense and mystery authors.

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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

Intro to Hand Forged Jewelry – April 24 and May 4

Wednesday, April 24, 12-2 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Saturday, May 4, 12-2 p.m. or 4 p.m.

Introduction to Hand Forged Jewelry

Join artist Amanda Cody to create your own hand forged jewelry. In this class you will learn how to use a jeweler’s saw and obtain skills of stamping, doming/shaping copper or brass into a pendant. In addition, you will learn the skills of filing, grinding, buffing, polishing and finishing a piece or two to completion. You will learn about what tools you need to get started on a budget and what tools you can use in a more production-style professional setting. You will also use a torch to anneal/soften the metal. This class is for everyone, from a beginner who’s never made jewelry to someone who is an accomplished jeweler.

The class may run from two to four hours depending on the class size.

Cost: $88 per person. Upgrade to Sterling Silver for $120 (you can pay the difference in person by cash or card).

Portrait Photography – April 25

Thursday, April 25, 2 p.m.

Portrait Photography

Looking to feel good in front of the camera and confident behind the lens? Wondering how to master the elements of light, pose and mood? In this one-on-one class, professional photographer Mary Church will take you step-by-step through the process, helping you to understand the fundamentals of how to use light and light settings, equipment choices, backgrounds, poses and clothing options. You will be photographed and photographing, allowing you the perspective from both model and photographer. The class will take place in a studio setting using natural light photography.

This is a two-hour class. You will receive one 5” x 7” and two 4” x 6” photographs. For larger groups, email Sawdust at Price includes all materials.

Cost: $150.

Intro to Mosaic Art – April 27

Saturday, April 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, contact them directly at

Sunshine Swirl in Watercolor – April 27

Saturday, April 27, 10 a.m.

Saturday, May 11, 10 a.m.

Sunshine Swirl in Watercolor

Enter the vibrant world of watercolor painting with artist Tim Hahne in this fabulous and playful introduction to the medium.
Hahne’s Sunshine Swirl class is a fabulous introduction on how to apply watercolor paint to achieve a beautiful, blended rainbow effect of color on heavy-duty watercolor paper. He trains your eye to follow the patterns and shapes that the paint makes, encouraging you to see a sunshine swirling pattern within the picture that you bring to life using a Sharpie™ marker. You will also explore painting watercolor on foam board, allowing you to see how the paint behaves on a different medium. A fun and very rewarding class that is especially great for beginners of all ages, or those looking to learn more about watercolor! Please note, this class is not suitable for children under the age of 10.

Cost: $75.

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LCAD presents BFA Fine Arts Exhibition 2024 with Opening Reception on May 2

Laguna College of Art + Design’s (LCAD) will host an Opening Reception for its BFA Fine Arts exhibition 2024 on Thursday, May 2 from 6-9 p.m. at LCAD Gallery.

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Courtesy of LCAD

Piper Bangs, “The Garden (Detail),” 2023, oil on linen, 59” x 39”

LCAD undergraduate Fine Arts department is thrilled to showcase the outstanding talents of its senior BFA students with the 2024 BFA Fine Arts Exhibition. This group exhibition features paintings, drawings and sculptures, each one a testament to the dedication and creativity of the graduating seniors in the Drawing + Painting program.

The exhibition presents a carefully curated selection of works that represent the culmination of LCAD’s senior thesis project. This project serves as a guiding force, empowering seniors to develop a cohesive and meaningful body of work that demonstrates both their individual conceptual growth and mastery of academic skillsets.

LCAD is proud to present the following exceptional artists, whose works will be on display at the exhibition: Gabrielle Anievas, Piper Bangs, Kyra Beal, Rylee Cook, Emma Crespo, Lauren Duplissey, Anna Eisen, Anne Goldman, Chase Heindel, Carly Mann, Amber Jodoin, Rachel Joy, Julianna Lazio, Xochitl Leal-Bailon, Rafael Mejia, Kat O’Brien, Arely Sojo, Isabella Stockbridge, Jenna Swerdfeger and Luke Silverthorne.

LCAD Gallery is located at 374 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

LCAD Gallery admission is always free.

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Long-time Laguna Beach resident celebrates 90th birthday

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Photo by Barbara McMurray

Long-time Laguna Beach resident and writer of letters to the editor, Roger Carter (center), celebrated his 90th birthday at Las Brisas with friends (left to right): Richard Theirrien; Rachael Berger, executive director of Sally’s Fund; Bill Atkins and Jan Lynch. Carter is an unabashed fan of Sally’s Fund, a local nonprofit that provides low-cost, escorted and assisted transportation for Laguna Beach’s seniors and disabled individuals.

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Meet Pet of the Week Hudson

Your search is over if you’re looking for a smart dog to bring into your home. Hudson is an 8-month-old puppy who has been growing up at the shelter. The Keeshond Husky mix is not only smart, he’s also friendly and really enjoys being around people and other dogs. The neutered male is going to be a big dog, which means there will be more of him to love.

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

Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Hudson is still a puppy, but already behaves well and is very friendly

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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This week in Breakers sports

Tuesday, April 23

2 p.m. – Boys Tennis in League Finals at TBD

3 p.m. – Girls Swimming & Diving in League Prelims at TBD

3 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving in League Prelims at TBD

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Newport Harbor

7 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Newport Harbor

Wednesday, April 24

TBA – Boys Golf vs. Newport Harbor at Costa Mesa Country Club

Thursday, April 25

TBA – Boys Tennis in Ojai Tournament at Libbey Park

2 p.m. – Girls Swimming & Diving in League Finals at TBD

2 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving in League Finals at TBD

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Newport Harbor

6 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse vs. Edison

Friday, April 26

TBA – Boys Tennis in Ojai Tournament at Libbey Park

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

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

Saturday, April 27

TBA – Boys Tennis in Ojai Tournament at Libbey Park


Wednesday, April 17

Boys Tennis lost to Marina, 14-4

Baseball lost to Corona del Mar, 9-5

Boys Volleyball lost at Fountain Valley, 3-0

Thursday, April 18

Boys Golf lost to Marina, 188-208, at Aliso Viejo Country Club

Boys Tennis lost to Huntington Beach, 13-5

Girls Lacrosse lost at Corona del Mar, 9-7

Friday, April 19

Baseball lost at Corona del Mar, 8-2

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Under the Surface: Art in Layers – Greg Miller opens at JoAnne Artman Gallery

JoAnne Artman Gallery is presenting Under the Surface: Art in Layers, an exhibition of new works by Greg Miller. In clever, incongruous juxtapositions, Miller layers and reconstructs imagery of the mid-century American consciousness. The exhibition will run through June 15.

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Photos courtesy of JoAnne Artman Gallery

Greg Miller’s “Seaside,” acrylic, collage

Known for his cheekily playful and vividly rendered collages, Miller draws on his urban Californian roots, engaging with the ambiguity in the American landscape. Combining his paintings with found elements on the surfaces of his canvases and panels, he addresses both art history and the fleeting natures of memory and contemporary ephemera. Parsing through remnants of our collective visual history, the works are a dynamic force that lay bare the commonalities, as well as polarities, of perception.

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Greg Miller’s diptych “Think,” acrylic, collage

The seductive allure of faded glory, the detritus of print advertising’s golden age, as well as almost a clinically intense observation of color and font distinguish Miller’s neo-pop paintings. Miller paints a visual collage that hearkens classic, iconic advertisements from the 1950s and ‘60s utilizing familiar branding campaigns and slogans. Drawing on image-saturated consumerism, Miller’s paintings excavate this imagery to reappear as unreconstructed fragments found through signs, drips, patterns and phrases.

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Greg Miller’s “Holiday,” acrylic, collage

These form the layers of Miller’s pop cultural representations, both literally and figuratively. Referencing classic typefaces and color palettes, the compositions echo the look and feel of print advertisements. Miller achieves this impression by fastidiously and painstakingly re-creating the look of age, grit and time using paint, collage paper and resin on canvas, painting each visual element by hand.

JoAnne Artman Gallery artists will inspire, provoke, engage and mesmerize. With visual perceptions always changing, peek behind the stories told and you’re sure to find the right artistic expression.

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 346 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. For more information, contact JoAnne Artman at 949.510.5481, or, or visit

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Dennis’ Local Almanac


June gloom in April

It’s called June gloom in April, and it’s brought to you by the one and only Catalina Eddy. Some folks think Catalina Eddy is the name of a mob boss, or a pool shark, or even a poker wizard, but in reality it has to do with the atmospheric conditions around here when spring rolls around. Moisture and temperature differences are the main players in this annual phenomenon.

Here in Laguna at 3:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon we were socked in with loads of stratus clouds that were slow to burn off, so it was kind of gloomy here at the coast. But if you went just a couple of miles inland over the hill, the sun was out. It wasn’t really cold as the temp here at 3:45 p.m. was around 65 degrees and that’s around five degrees below normal for April 21.

What’s happening here is there’s a pocket of lower pressure out in the Catalina Channel that draws moist marine air from the Pacific where’s there’s a pocket of higher pressure a couple of hundred miles off our coast. As you probably know by now, air from a high always blows toward a low creating an eddy in the lower atmosphere where the breeze blows in a counterclockwise fashion bringing loads of moist marine air onshore.

That low is not a rain producer unless that low is deep enough, and in that case, we’ll get some drizzle or very light rain, but amounts are usually only a few hundredth of an inch. Another significant component is all the heat in our nearby desert regions (where it was well into the 90s) on Sunday and a secondary pocket of lower pressure formed out by the lower Colorado River Basin. That added to the formation of a thick marine layer that consisted of moisture that aided in the development of thick stratus clouds. Their layers can reach 5,000 to 6,000 feet depending on how significant that temperature differential is. This “eddy” normally peaks from mid-May through most of June, hence, the monikers May Gray or June Gloom.

I almost forgot to mention that local surface ocean temps are also a major factor in dictating how cloudy it will be in our coastal areas. Right now, local ocean temps remain chilly, running in the high 50s, so that extreme difference between temps at the beach and desert temps greatly increase that cloud deck. The amount of gloom varies from year to year. Some years we get lucky like in 1996 and in 1997 when there was a strong El Niño going on in ‘97. There were only two gloomy days in all of ‘96, one in May and only one that June because water temps were almost 70 degrees. Then in ‘97 the water was 75 as early as mid-April and stayed at 70 or above from mid-April through most of November that year. Then you get a gloomy spring like in 1982 when there were only three sunny days in all of May and June and the gloom that year hung on for most of the summer and the water never hit 70 that entire summer! 1967, 1973, 1991 and 2005 were also bad and not surprising – all those crummy years occurred when La Niña was going.

Looking ahead it appears we’re not out of the woods yet as later this week an upper-level low is supposed to find its way down here. It will bring with it a good chance of showers to our area. On the bright side, that low will chase the gloom out of here. Stay tuned on that one. Daytime temps remain quite a bit below normal on a daily basis. In fact, this is the first time in my memory that we haven’t had at least one spring heat wave at all. Same deal with the water temps. It’s just not prime beach weather quite yet.

Have a great week, ALOHA!

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Laguna Live! presents Jazz Wednesdays Winter with 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.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Laguna Live!

(L-R) Grace Freeman, Doug Miller and Kevin Kelso – May 7

Tuesday, May 7, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays featuring Grace Freeman with Doug Miller and Kevin Kelso.

Concerts are in person and held at the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center, 235 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.

Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Bijon Watson – May 8

Wednesday, May 8, 6-8 p.m.

Jazz Wednesdays Winter – Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate with Acclaimed Vocalist

Led by versatile trumpeter Bijon Watson, the Latin Jazz Syndicate was formed in 2005 as a musical project meant to explore the fusion of Latin and World rhythms with the vast collection of jazz, pop and rock favorites.

Courtesy of Laguna Live!

“Bach Meets Bluegrass” – May 15

Wednesday, May 15, 10-11 a.m.

Live! Music Insights: “Bach Meets Bluegrass”

Susi Q Senior Center, 380 3rd St, Laguna Beach.

Cost: Free. For reservations, click here.

Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of OC team up again with 2020 Grammy nominee Tessa Lark and the Susi Q to present “Bach Meets Bluegrass” with award-winning songwriter/bassist/producer Michael Thurber.

Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of our time. Following a summer that saw her perform with New York’s Carnegie Hall Citywide, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest and the Ravinia Festival, highlights of Lark’s 2023-24 season include the world premiere of Carlos Izcaray’s Violin Concerto – written for her – under the composer’s baton with the Alabama Symphony.

Songwriter/Bassist/Producer Thurber is a singular artist whose career defies category. Whether composing scores for The Royal Shakespeare Company, playing bass on The Late Show with the Stephen Colbert house band, scoring shorts for Vanity Fair and BBC, or co-founding the hit YouTube channel CDZA (30 million views), Thurber has been guided by Duke Ellington’s principle: There are only two types of music – good and bad. Make the good kind.

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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 upcoming offerings.

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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Cultural Arts looks forward to a great season of Sunset Serenades

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.

For full details, click here.

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

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LPAPA gears up for Annual Waterworks Juried Art Show

Spring Fling Paint Out Art Show at the LPAPA Gallery through Monday, April 29

LPAPA is delighted for the outpouring of support of their inaugural “Spring Fling” fundraiser auction that raised nearly $9,000 to help support and sustain LPAPA’s art and education programs.

They continue their month-long fund- and friend-raising efforts with the continued exhibition of available donated artwork with special Spring Fling prices, plus a new exhibition of the paintings created during Monday’s World Arts Day celebration with a Spring Fling Paint Out Art Show at the LPAPA Gallery through April 29.

Annual Waterworks Juried Art Show

Notifications for Artwork Entries for the 8th Annual “Waterworks” Juried Art Show, a celebration of paintings created by LPAPA members using transparent watercolors were sent out when the jurying was complete. This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

This show is made possible with the support of the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation.

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

“Waterworks” Juried Art Show

Show Overview & Timeline:

Shipped Artwork Delivery: Needs to arrive at the LPAPA Gallery by 5 p.m., Friday, April 26.

Hand-carried Artwork Delivery: Gallery open for delivery Tuesday, April 30 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): April 29 through June 3.

Online Preview Auction (Finalists and Semi-Finalists): 10 a.m., April 29 to 8 p.m., May 2.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists): Thursday, May 2 through Monday, June 3.

Art Walk Gallery Reception: Thursday, May 2, 6-9 p.m. (awards at 7 p.m.).

Pick Up of Unsold Artwork at the Gallery: Tuesday, June 4, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.

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Nellie Gail Paint Out – April 27

Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Nellie Gail Paint Out at Fairhaven Memorial Park

LPAPA artists are invited to participate in a Spring Paint Out & Painting Competition at the Fairhaven Memorial Park, Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m., to celebrate its 100+ years of history in Orange County, and honor plein air painter Nellie Gail Moulton, who is at rest in the mausoleum.

LPAPA artists will gather in front of the Historic Mausoleum inside Fairhaven Memorial Park located at 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana.

Immediately following the paint out, the paintings by artists registered for the painting competition will be juried to determine 10 award finalists of which four award winners will be selected (Best in Show, 1st Place, 2nd Place and 3rd Place cash awards to be presented). LPAPA is pleased to share that Nellie Gail Moulton’s great grandsons Jared Mathis and Scott Barnes will participate in the awards judging.

This event is made possible with the support of Fairhaven Memorial Park and the Moulton Museum. Click to learn more: Fairhaven Memorial Park and Nellie Gail Moulton (1878-1972).

The 10 finalists and award winners will be included in a Fairhaven Memorial Park art exhibition that will continue through May 17.

When registering, LPAPA members may choose to register as a Paint Out Painter or a Paint Out Competitor. There will be a maximum of 30 painters in total.

The public is invited to enjoy a walk through the Fairhaven Memorial Park grounds and watch the Laguna Plein Air Painters in action.

For assistance, call the LPAPA Gallery at 949.376.3635, or contact Bonnie Lander at, or Toni Kellenberg at, or by phone at 949.291.0882

Saturday, May 4, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

LPAPA Paint Together with Carole Boller

Register to join LPAPA Artist Member Carole Boller for this fun and informative in-person LPAPA+LOCA “Flourish & Bloom in Laguna” Paint Together. In this painting lesson, Boller will demonstrate her oil painting process, brush stroke by brush stroke, of a lovely garden scene in Laguna Beach. The objective of the lesson will be to understand working from life “en plein air” and the importance of values. This workshop is not limited to oil painters; all mediums are welcome. Limited to a maximum of 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.

Registration Fee: $60 for LPAPA and LOCA Members or $75 for Non-members.

LPAPA members must log in when registering to receive the discounted LPAPA member price; LOCA members must have a current LOCA membership to receive the discounted LOCA member price.

Contact LPAPA at 949.376.3635 or for registration assistance. If you are mailing a check for your registration fee, it needs to be received by LPAPA no later than Monday, April 29. Registrations need to be completed by 3 p.m. the day before the event (May 3). Registration fees are non-refundable but are transferable with 24 hours advance notice to LPAPA.

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).

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

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

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

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

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Photos courtesy of LAM

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

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

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

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Newly renovated STUDIO/Lab

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

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

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

LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series:

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

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

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

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

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

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

LAM Kids Summer Mini Camp Series:

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

LAM Kids Summer Fridays:

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


LAM Kids Summer Day Camp Series:

Museum members, $75 per child

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

Non-members, $95 per child

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

LAM Kids Summer Mini Camp Series:

Museum members, $30 per child

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

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

LAM Kids Summer Fridays:

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit

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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.

–Make Earth Cool Again Film Festival 2024

Free Admission | Donations Accepted

RSVP as there is limited seating.

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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Photos courtesy of LBCAC

Lyric Opera – April 26

Friday, April 26, 8 p.m.

Concert Opera Series, Verdi’s Falstaff

Don’t miss the chance to experience up and coming opera stars in some of your favorite repertoire. These operas will be presented in a concert format (minimal/no staging or costumes) with pianos and English & Spanish supertitles. A great way to get to know the most famous titles in the operatic canon in an intimate setting.

Tickets: $15. For tickets, click here.

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Eli Cook – April 27

Saturday, April 27, 8 p.m.

Eli Cook

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

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Eli Cook is considered one of the top blues soloists in the world. Playing his own critically acclaimed works from seven recorded albums, Cook opens the door for you to enter a dimension of blues guitar-playing never before seen in the musical world.

Tickets: $20. For tickets, click here.

Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center concessions available, not currently ADA accessible, steep stairs only.

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

Check out the calendar at

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Really big surf

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Come on and take a “free ride”

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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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Art Star Awards: Join an evening filled with entertainment, surprises, great food and recognition of community’s talented artists


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

If all the naysaying of the world has you down, the upcoming Art Stars celebration, with its theme “The Future is Bright” is sure to offer a change of attitude.

“What we’re really celebrating this year is that all our art organizations, besides having established programs, also support either youth or emerging artists,” said Amy Dechary, president of the Laguna Beach Art Alliance (LBAA), which hosts the annual event. “And with everyone on the planning committee being artistic and creative it’s really going to be a fun night.”

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Photos courtesy of Jeffrey Rovner

Artist Hugo Rivera created an abstract portrait during last year’s Art Star Awards, held on the Festival of Arts grounds

Of course, the culmination is when the winners in five different art categories are recognized for their achievements. After all, the recognition is the reason for the event, although organizers made sure there’s also a lot of fun to be had.

The festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. on April 26 at the Festival of Arts grounds. Attendees are treated to up-close and personal artistic endeavors, while enjoying Champagne, wine and heavy appetizers. There will be dancers dancing, musicians playing, singers singing, sculptures being sculpted and many surprises throughout the night.

“People will feel as if they are really part of the arts,” said Dechary. “It’s very friendly, it’s a warm atmosphere and there’s just a lot of fun energy.”

This will be the 16th awards night (COVID interrupted consecutive events), and the second year that the evening will be at the Festival grounds, which offers a more interactive, relaxed setting. “It’s a wonderful way to recognize the people stepping up and supporting Laguna Beach arts,” said Rick Conkey, executive director of the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center. “It’s a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the art organizations – and the food is great.”

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The Laguna JaZz Band serenaded Art Star attendees from the stage at the Festival of Arts. Talented vocalist Ginger Hatfield also joined in.

The non-profit LBAA now has 29 member organizations, representing everything from traditional painting to literary endeavors and even music history.

“When you think we have 29 non-profit art organizations within our little town, it’s really amazing,” said Pat Kollenda, a staunch advocate of the arts. From her role as an arts commissioner, founder, board member and participant in numerous groups, she has a holistic view of the art community and is a big fan of the Art Star awards – especially since it isn’t a fundraiser, so she can focus on the achievements being celebrated rather than worrying about writing more checks.

“It’s a joyous celebration of all the amazing art we have in Laguna,” said Kollenda. “And I think it’s an enormous honor for all nominees.” Through the years she’s had many nominees and winners comment about how thrilled they are to be recognized, and many are humbled, to be associated with other distinguished nominees.

This year’s nominees are:

Best Arts Program: Lagunatics; Laguna Playhouse – 2023 Season Program and Laguna Art Museum – Joseph Kleitsch: Abroad and Home in Old Laguna

Arts Patron of the Year: Laguna Beach Seniors; Ed Hanke, and Elie Weaver and Hilton Weinberg

Best Arts Collaboration: Pageant of the Monsters; Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum – Live! At the Museum matinee performances and Laguna Community Concert Band – Sailing with Whales Concert: Benefit for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center

Artist of the Year: Casey Parlette; Elizabeth McGhee and 133 Band

The Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is G. Rey Kerciu.

The awards will be presented in the second part of the evening, explained Dechary, saying it’s a time to pause, as attendees will sit at their assigned tables and also visit the dessert bar.

“Life in Southern California is really fast-paced, so it’s good to spend time to celebrate our peers. It’s important to acknowledge what people have achieved,” she said. “What’s challenging in the arts is that we work so hard to get funding for our projects, and then making the projects happen, and then moving into the cycle again, that we don’t take the time to consider all we’ve actually accomplished.”

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

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

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

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Photos courtesy of LB Chamber

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, go to

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LAM ushers in spring with more events

Support Art Giving Day

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Photos courtesy of LAM

Support Art Giving Day – May 8

This spring, Laguna Art Museum is rallying the community to Support Art.

Want to double your support? Donate on LAM’s Support Art Giving Day, Wednesday, May 8. On this day, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar, doubling your impact. Some amazing champions in the community have pledged to donate and match your giving on May 8 only, so mark your calendar.

To donate, click here.

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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.


“Skyward” by Eric Theodore

Reflections of Resilience through August 25

Reflections of Resilience presents a sampling of the artwork from the 2024 Master of Fine Art graduates from Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD). Remarkable artists are attracted to LCAD because of the understanding that time-honored skill joined with personal contemporary concerns can create vital, memorable art.

LAM is delighted to introduce Cara Baxter, Jason Dowd, Amber Foote, Sara Khakpour, Ryanne Phillips, Janaise Sanchez, Eric Theodore and Kevin Yaun.

On the Edge through September 2

Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection

Joan and Jack Quinn represent a crucial moment in art history, as Los Angeles came to symbolize an innovative and prolific brand of creative freedom. On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection, explores the experimental approaches to minimalism and new materials from the 1960s through 2000s, the diversification of practices and makers, and the vital role the Quinns played in both documenting and contributing to the story of Los Angeles art. Revealed is a period of artmaking that is pivotal to understanding current practices and the west coast mentality, and collectively exudes a unique spirit of anti-conformity and the “California Cool” ethos.

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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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Molière’s Tartuffe delivers a modern-day message amid plenty of laughs at the Laguna Playhouse


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

What do 17th century France and 21st century America have in common? More than you might think. Because while times, cultures and sensibilities change, human nature does not. And if we aren’t laughing at ourselves these days, we’ll likely end up crying.

Molière’s 1664 classic Tartuffe opens on the Laguna Playhouse stage this week, taking direct aim at our mortal foibles and perhaps subtle aim at some contemporary charlatans (think Bernie Madoff).

“We’re insisting on this being a period piece, as opposed to updating it or dressing the characters in ways to suggest certain correlations,” said actor Bruce Turk, who plays Tartuffe. “It enables the audience to use their imagination. It’s almost a 400-year-old play, but that fundamental dynamic is real. It was real back then. It’s real now.”

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Photos by Jason Niedle

(L-R) Bruce Turk and Bo Foxworth star in “Tartuffe”

If you’re unfamiliar with the storyline, a brief introduction. Tartuffe pretends to be a devout and pious man. In reality, he’s a dishonest conman who worms his way into a wealthy household, winning over the religious and gullible Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle. The rest of the family quickly sees through Tartuffe’s hypocrisy, baffled by how Orgon could be so blind. (The play makes many references to blindness throughout.)

Tartuffe sets his sights on marrying Orgon’s already betrothed daughter, a sure way to acquire the family funds. When Tartuffe’s true nature is ultimately revealed, Orgon careens to the other moral extreme, vowing now to destroy all pious men.

“Orgon is essentially going through a midlife crisis,” said Director Richard Baird. “Instead of buying the Jag, he’s looking for a spiritual leader. And Tartuffe slips right in.”

Getting a play like this made in 17th century France was no easy feat for Molière. Presenting a charlatan in priest’s clothing sent the church and the religious circles of Paris into an uproar. When it was first read in Versailles in 1665, a few devout leaders called for Molière’s execution.

“Going to church was quite a fad back then,” Baird said. “It was not quite like going to a club now, but it was considered quite hip to go to church. Everyone wore expensive clothes so they could show off how pious they were and one-up each other. That’s partly what Tartuffe capitalized on. So, the stakes of getting this play made back then were high.”

King Louie XIV banned Tartuffe for five years. Molière responded by writing two additional acts – new characters and additional scenes that reinforced Tartuffe’s hypocrisy – before the play could be staged.

“While Molière was struggling to get this play produced in the face of all the censorship, he was also writing Dom Juan, which is even more politically critical and worthy of excommunication,” said Turk. “Molière’s Dom Juan makes Tartuffe look tame by comparison.”

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(L-R) Shanté Deloach, Katei Karel and Jared Van Heel star in “Tartuffe”

For being more than 350 years old, nothing about Tartuffe is stuffy or inaccessible. Although written in verse, the language is approachable and, as Baird describes it, “buoyant” and “fizzy.”

“You don’t have to read a thesaurus or a bunch of history books to follow this play,” said Baird. “It’s quite clear and the running couplets are so delightfully light. They keep the ball in the air even if the topics they’re discussing are serious.”

This adaptation, translated by Richard Wilbur in 1950, was also no easy feat. “In French, Tartuffe is written in Alexandrine couplets, which are 12-beat lines. But that’s not our natural speech pattern in English. It’s two beats too many,” said Baird. Not only did Wilbur have to retain the humor, subject matter and relevance across time and culture, he had to retain the rhyming couplets, translated into English’s more natural 10-beat rhythm, all while avoiding sounding like Dr. Seuss (as both Turk and Baird pointed out was a risk).

“We really have Richard Wilbur to thank for the success of Molière in the English-speaking world today,” said Baird. “Before his hysterical and buoyant translations premiered, the English-speaking world had not yet embraced Molière. Now, Wilbur’s translations have inspired hundreds of other English translations.”

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Melanie Lora and Bruce Turk star in “Tartuffe”

Characters like Tartuffe are as old as humankind. So are the folks who fall prey to them. But this current moment in history – filled with disinformation and hypocrisy – puts the play in a new light. “In the past, I’ve wondered how these characters could be so blind,” Turk said. “But now I see these behaviors in the world and in my family. ‘You’re really giving money to that person when they go against all these things you profess? How can you be so blind?’ The play explores that, but in a very interesting way.”

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Laguna Presbyterian to hold Red Cross Blood Drive

Laguna Presbyterian Church is holding a Red Cross Blood Drive on Wednesday, April 24 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. in Tankersley Hall, located at 415 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach.

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Courtesy of Laguna Presbyterian Church

(L-R) Darrylin Girvin, Sandy Grim and Sandi Werthe (seated), all from Laguna Presbyterian Church at the previous blood drive

“Spring Into Life,” and give blood! Every unit of blood collected can mean the world to someone in need. Donors from throughout our community are welcome to give blood.

To schedule your appointment, sign up online here. Use sponsor code: lagunap.

To streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes, visit to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.

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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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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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MONOCHROMES, a solo exhibition by James Hayward, coming to Peter Blake Gallery

MONOCHROMES, a solo exhibition of works by James Hayward, opens on Saturday, April 20 at Peter Blake Gallery in Laguna Beach, and the community is invited to join the opening reception from 3-5 p.m.

James Hayward’s (b. 1943, San Francisco, Calif. and based in Moorpark, Calif.) focus on the monochrome easily positions his interpretation within the lineage of abstract painting, from Malevich and Mondrian to Reinhardt and Ryman. They exist as immediate visual experiences apart from any representational reference, where the reception of the work is reflected within the work itself.

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Courtesy of Peter Blake Gallery

James Hayward’s “Abstract Dark Green #48,” 2003, oil on canvas, 76” x 48”

Beginning in the 1970s with the “automatic” or flat paintings devoid of the artist’s mark to the thicker, impasto “monochrome abstractions” that have defined Hayward’s more recent work, both techniques explore color – extending from pure hues to complex combinations through different effects, varying grades of opacity, thickness and texture.

Every subsequent marking, built up from the surface to the point where they form sculptural peaks and fissures, is pivotal to the structural physicality of the work. This process creates an irreproducible distinct identity that dually epitomizes and affirms the physical act of painting. The end results are seductive studies of color effortlessly intertwining with the materiality of paint.

Hayward has exhibited widely in numerous solo and group shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. Locally, his work has been shown at Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA).

Peter Blake Gallery is located at 435 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

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South Laguna Community Garden Park to hold potluck on April 27

On Saturday, April 27 from 3-5 p.m., South Laguna Community Park is hosting their 15th Annual Spring Fling Concert and Potluck at 31610 Coast Highway (at Eagle Rock), Laguna Beach.

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Courtesy of South Laguna Community Park

Bring your own drinks and a potluck dish to share at the South Laguna Community Potluck

The Laguna Garden Band will be playing everyone’s favorites. Come enjoy the beautiful spring blooms and tunes, sample inspired healthy dishes and meet your neighbors.

Please BYO drinks and a potluck dish to share (serving 10 people). This is a reusable utensil “zero waste” event.

For more information, go to, or email

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Jazz Wednesdays Winter features Raffia Thomas on April 24

Renowned soul, jazz and R&B vocalist Raffia Thomas joins Laguna Beach Live! for Jazz Wednesdays Winter on April 24 from 6-8 p.m. at [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.

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Courtesy of Laguna Live!

Raffia Thomas: stunning vocals and soulful vibes

With a long list of collaborations including Aretha Franklin, Christina Aguilera, Anita Baker, Gloria Estefan, Patrice Rushen and Melissa Etheridge, to name just a few, Thomas, along with her band – C.C. Thomas Jr. on bass, Carlyle Barriteau on guitar, Tracy Carter on keys and Tony Moore on drums – promise a Laguna Live! night to remember.

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., with doors opening at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Food is available for purchase.

Tickets are $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door and available at, or 949.715.9713.

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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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Artists Fund Spring Collection at City Hall

April – May 2024

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

Special Sale Gallery

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

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

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

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

To view them online, click here.

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Living on the edge

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

A number of houses sit atop or on the ridge of a very green Rimrock Canyon

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Compiled by Suzie Harrison

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police and arrest logs published on the City of Laguna Beach’s website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). Additional information is obtained through communication with the Laguna Beach Police Department’s Public Information Officer.

Information in the logs is deemed reliable and Stu News Laguna is not responsible for any mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

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