COVID-19: 245 new cases reported in OC today, 11 new deaths

The OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 147 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, a per capita rate of 6.293 cases per thousand residents. 

Sadly, the county reports that 745 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including 11 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 41,823 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 245 cases today. 

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 63 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 440 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 141 are in ICU.

The county estimates 32,218 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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COVID 19 County 8 12 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 12, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 24 new deaths reported in OC yesterday, 348 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 769 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 24 new deaths received yesterday. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 149 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of two cases yesterday, a per capita rate of 6.379 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 42,171 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 348 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 29 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 438 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 143 are in ICU.

The county estimates 32,984 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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COVID 19 County 8 13 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 13, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 5 new cases reported in Laguna Beach, 9 new deaths in OC

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,065 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including nine new deaths received today (September 9). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 197 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including five new cases reported today. This represents a per capita rate of 8.434 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 50,190 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 194 cases today. 

The county reports that 33 percent of ICU beds and 62 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 234 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 62 are in ICU.

The county estimates 44,220 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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COVID 19 County 9 9 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of September 9, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,966 new cases and 15 new deaths reported in OC, 4 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,618 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 15 new deaths reported today (December 5). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 1,966 new cases of COVID-19 in OC today, marking a seven-day surge of 8,935 new cases countywide and 84,853 cumulative cases to date.

The county reports that there have been 353 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including four new cases reported today and 30 new cases reported since last Saturday’s report.

The county reports that 18 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 842 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+96 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 193 are in ICU (-2 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 61,716 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 12 5 20 1

COVID 19 County 12 5 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 5, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 806 new cases and 11 new deaths reported in OC, 9 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,551 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 11 new deaths reported today (November 21). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 69,142 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 806 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 293 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of nine cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 12.544 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 365 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 88 are in ICU.

The county estimates 57,723 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 11 21 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 21 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 21, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 552 new cases and 3 new deaths reported in OC

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,554 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (November 22). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 69,694 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 552 cases today. The county reports that “according to the California Department of Public Health, the State’s system is undergoing maintenance and this weekend’s case and test counts may appear lower as a result.”

The county reports that there have been 293 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date. This represents a per capita rate of 12.544 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 27 percent of ICU beds and 67 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 380 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 91 are in ICU.

The county estimates 57,833 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 11 22 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 22 20 2

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 22, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


2020 Election results

2020 Election results1111

 


2020 Election results

2020 Election results

 


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

October 27, 2020

Wild winds and fires bring back bad memories

Dennis 5October 27 is not a popular date in Laguna history. On this date in 1993, over 400 homes in our town were lost or severely damaged from a catastrophic fire resulting in over half a billion in damages, but fortunately there were no casualties. Tidbits lost his home on that day as well. 

On Sunday, Nov 1, we turn our timepieces back an hour as Daylight Savings Time comes to an end until the second Sunday in March of 2021.

Now back east, we have newly formed tropical storm Zeta, the sixth named storm into the Greek alphabet. On Sunday evening Zeta carried 60 mph winds with a central pressure of 996 millibars, with further intensification expected, and within 24-48 hours, Zeta should be reaching hurricane status. Conditions are ripe as ocean temps down there in the southern Caribbean are in the high 80s and upper-level shear winds are light at this time.

Once again, Zeta is setting its sights on the Louisiana-Mississippi coastline. Just what they wanna hear! Zeta ties the record set in 2005 for the most tropical systems in a single season. At this hour Zeta is centered about 200 miles east of Belize and is presently stationary but will slowly creep to the NW, taking aim at the northern corner of the Yucatan Peninsula near Cancun.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Pacific had one of its quietest tropical system seasons on record as we only got as far as Norbert on the list. Normally we’ll see around 16-18 named storms in a season, with at least around ten of those reaching hurricane status, and at least five of those reaching major hurricane status, which is at least Category 3 status with sustained winds of at least 111-130 mph. 

This year only three systems reached hurricane status, with only two of those making it up to major hurricane strength. The Eastern Pacific tropical system season officially ends on November 30, but things are really winding down, as the waters in that area are much cooler than normal, and upper-level shear winds from the west and southwest are much stronger than normal. This makes that region a hostile environment for storm development, also thanks to a strong El Nino event.

Dennis Tidbits 10 27 20 1

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

October 27, 1993

I’ll be surprised if we have any more named systems to close out the 2020 season. No formation of any tropical system is forecast for at least the next week and possibly beyond, while things on the other side just aren’t letting up with Zeta gaining strength off Belize and yet another system starting to form just east of the Lesser Antilles. One more named tropical system and they break the record set in 2005 for the most systems for a single season.

Back here in the Eastern Pacific we’ve only gone through the entire alphabet once and that was in the El Nino year of 1992. In 1985 we got as far as Xena in November and in 1983, another strong El Nino year, we got as far as Winnie in late November, but we’ve never had to use any names in the Greek alphabet.

Meanwhile here on Monday our first significant Santana wind event arrived in Laguna with winds up to 35 mph at times, and humidity levels were down to 11 percent here at water’s edge. That’s because a strong high-pressure settled in over southern Utah overnight, and with a low-pressure center SW of San Diego, a strong pressure gradient is going on, resulting in strong NE winds. 

Dennis Tidbits 10 27 20 2

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Photo by Marshall Aren

Smoke fills the sky yesterday, October 26, as a result of nearby Silverado Fire, which has burned over 11,000 acres as of today

Our thoughts go out to all those affected by yesterday’s Silverado Fire, including the two injured firefighters. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that winds die down, and no more wildfires break out from these ripe conditions, as everything is bone dry and we locals will never forget October 27, 1993. 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!


Talks continue on Caltrans 133 project

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The comment period for the Caltrans Highway Laguna Canyon Road project officially ended July 10. But City officials and environmentalists have not given up on making their case for adjustments to the plan.

Councilmembers Bob Whalen and Toni Iseman, City officials, Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones and Fifth District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett met July 8 with Caltrans representatives, described by Whalen as a “good meeting.” A second meeting is scheduled for August 2.

“City Manager John Pietig and Public Works Director Shohreh Dupuis did an excellent job advocating for concerns expressed by the community,” Whalen reported at the July 10 council meeting.

He said that some ideas presented at the council meeting were raised at the joint meeting.

Resident Dave Raber reprised at the council meeting his ideas for solving environmental and traffic concerns with the Caltrans proposal that he first proposed at the July 5 community meeting hosted by the Foundation and the Canyon Alliance of Neighborhood Defense Organization.

Raber’s PowerPoint presentation to the Council proposed three options he said would improve the flow of traffic on the 133 with less adverse impact on Laguna Canyon and the open space for which residents paid dearly to preserve from development.

“One of the best options to achieve this is to eliminate the redundant portion of El Toro Road and use the existing 73 (toll road) feeder system to access Laguna Canyon Road,” Raber said. “By eliminating the intersection, travel time could actually be reduced.”

Talks continue

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Submitted graphic

Dave Raber submitted this graphic to Stu News two weeks ago along with a Letter to the Editor to illustrate his proposal

Raber’s first and simplest option is to just use the existing ramps from the 133 to the 73 and eliminating the left-hand turn off of El Toro Road.

“The idea to eliminate the left turn has been around a long time and I feel it is important to look at alternatives,” said Jones, speaking for the Laguna Canyon Foundation.

Rader’s second option proposed improvements to the current intersection from the 133 to the 73, including a dedicated ramp northbound 133 to southbound 73, to improve traffic flow, a Caltrans goal.

His third option would be to make El Toro Road one-way northbound between the 133 and 73 intersection.

Raber suggested that if the intersection of El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon Road was eliminated, El Toro Road could be restored as open space or a possible hiking and biking path, and Laguna Canyon Road could be kept at one lane in each direction.

Changes to the 133 would involve the Transportation Corridor Agency’s participation, Raber said. 

But it wouldn’t cost drivers more than a minute or so of extra time, he said. Motorists currently can get from Laguna Canyon Road to El Toro or vice versa via the toll road without paying a toll, according to Iseman. 

Environmentalists have complained that the Caltrans traffic study is incomplete. Issues they feel have not been adequately addressed include ingress and egress at Anneliese’s School and at entrance to the Willow Parking Lot for the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The proposal to extend the northbound merge lane 900 feet from El Toro Road would require motorists to cross two lanes of traffic and a bike path to exit or get into the parking lot.

Concerns have also been voiced about further incursion into the open space by locating utility poles beyond the proposed eight-foot shoulder into parkland. 

“I am very grateful for the City’s commitment to finding a positive solution,” said Jones. “I am also grateful to Caltrans for the continuing dialogue.”


Dennis’ Tidbits 

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

March 22, 2019

Spring has sprung and the flowers are blooming

Dennis 5Spring has sprung, the grass has ris’, I wonder where the flowers is!

My mom used to say that when the first day of spring arrived. She told me that her mom used to say that when Mom was a young girl growing up in Nova Scotia near the Bay of Fundy, a notorious place of sorts because the Bay has the most radical tide swings on planet Earth, up to 50 feet around summer and winter solstice. Funny how we carry a little tidbit like that for generations sometimes.

Ah, springtime. Warmer weather, more sunshine, and longer days. The sun is getting higher in the sky each day. Storms become less frequent and intense. On the average we only collect around 2.4 inches of rain between March 21st and June 21st. 

There are a few exceptions like in 1983 when nearly eight inches fell during that spring. Spring heat waves happen like in late March of 1988 when Laguna hit 95 degrees. In early April of 1989, the mercury hit a blistering 101. In May of 2013, two separate heat spells came late in the season as Santana wind events saw the temp reach 95. In early June of 1979, Laguna hit 100 and on June 16, 1981, a rare Santana hit with 101 with a sand temp of 141 and surface ocean temps in Laguna reaching an unheard of 80! 

As spring in Laguna moves along, an annual feature is the coastal marine layer with morning fog and low clouds. Late March and most of April are fairly cloud free but when May comes around, that marine layer ramps up with as much as 8-10 days with little or no clearing all day. Then in June, we get the June Gloom with up to half the days when the sun doesn’t make an appearance at all between the 1st and the 21st. Minimal precipitation only occurs in the form of drizzle or very light rain during thicker events but amounts only average a few hundredths of an inch.

Ocean temps begin to climb once May arrives, averaging around 60-62 degrees in April, 62-64 in May, and about 65 by the time the first day of summer arrives. There have been extremes in that department too with 75-degree water in April of 1992 and 1997, both strong El Nino years, 74 degrees in May of 1997 and, of course, that freakish 80 in June of 1981.

Have a great weekend, ALOHA!


Where’s Maggi?

Can you guess where Maggi was here? If you’ve been there, would you admit to it? That’s a hint, in jest…

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 3 22 19

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The Laguna Open is coming to Main Beach on May 11

Photos by Scott Brashier

The women’s and men’s historic Laguna Open beach volleyball tournaments are coming to Main Beach on May 11 and June 1-2. For years the best players in the world have gathered in Laguna to play in these two “open” or highest level tournaments. 

Fans will enjoy great DJ music by Laguna’s Laura Buckle and a historic photo display including photos by the late, great Mike Altishin. 

The Women’s 44th Annual $5,000 Laguna Open on May 11 has enjoyed top players since Eileen Clancy and Barbara May won it in 1976. Top pro players participated during the big money years when Laguna was on the AVP pro tour and they’ve started returning in recent years as prize money has gradually been increased thanks to local sponsors. Play will start at 9:30 a.m. and attendance is free. 

The Laguna crowd

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Crowds flocked to last year’s Laguna Open

The Men’s 65th Annual $10,000 Laguna Open on June 1-2 has seen all of the stars and most of our Olympians grace Main Beach since 1955, and is literally the world’s longest running “open” tournament. The prize money could be greater by tournament time as sponsors are still signing up.

The new perpetual trophies debuted last year and the men’s was dedicated to the late, great Gene Selznick who won the first seven Laguna Opens with various partners. Champions for the last two years include Taylor Crabb, currently ranked #1 on the pro tour, and two-time Olympian Sean Rosenthal. Play on both days will start around 9:30 a.m. and go all day. There is no cover charge, but seating is limited especially on Sunday. 

The Laguna ball

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Bump, set, spike…get ready fun tournaments in Laguna 

Volunteers are needed to work as line judges and scorekeepers and students will earn community service hours and a coveted Laguna Open T-shirt.

To sign up to volunteer at the Laguna Open, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Sponsors are how the tournament is able to attract top players and this year money sponsors will enjoy a tax deduction as well as VIP courtside seating. Sponsors can also buy a team name and have a business name tied to that team on PA announcements and media.

To become a Laguna Open sponsor or buy a team, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information, visit www.cbva.com.

Main Beach is located at 107 South Coast Hwy.


May gray layer cake 

May gray ocean

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Like frosting, fluffy clouds decorate the sea


Local student Nico Cambruzzi collects used mitts to donate in Dominican Republic for Mitts for Mates

To share his love of baseball, incoming freshman at LBHS Nico Cambruzzi started a drive for gently used mitts to donate to the boys and girls of the village of San Luis in the Dominican Republic.

Nico thought Fiesta Night would be a perfect time to take mitt donations. He will be collecting mitts tonight beginning at 4 p.m. at Little League Fiesta Night at Riddle Field. They can also be dropped off at Curls on Top Hair Salon at 998 S Coast Hwy (next to Adolfo’s).

Baseball is a favorite sport in the Dominican Republic. Nico says, “While many children want to play, there is a shortage of baseball equipment. Please bring used mitts to drop-off locations as I will be delivering contributions to this community in July.”

Local student with mitt

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Submitted photo

Nico Cambruzzi

Nico’s mother Vickie says, “Nico played Laguna Beach Little League for five years, but it has been a couple of years since he has participated. Nico will be traveling to the Dominican Republic to visit San Luis, which is a poor neighborhood of Santo Domingo. This year, he will be working with the local youth and community members to build an extension to a school that until recently did not exist. The school serves 600 children that previously had no school to attend. 

“As he began to research the country he will be visiting, he found that baseball is the most popular sport of the country, he also noted that most children especially in the poor neighborhoods do not have any sports equipment, most use sticks and random objects to play the game. He planned to bring a bucket of balls, which then turned into ‘Why not bring mitts also, most everyone has a random mitt lying around in their garage.’ His goal next year is to hopefully bring helmets, bats and cleats. As his parent, I am looking forward to Nico having this experience outside his comfortable lifestyle here in Laguna Beach.” 

For more information, call (949) 395-9869.


Amendments to STL ordinance are on council’s consent calendar

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Amendments to the city’s Short-Term Lodging Ordinance will be approved without discussion at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, unless a member of the council or the public pulls the item from the consent calendar.

The council approved the amendments at the first reading of the ordinance that regulates short-term lodgings at the April 23 meeting on a 3-2 vote. Mayor Bob Whalen and Councilwomen Sue Kempf and Toni Iseman voted yes. Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow and Councilman Peter Blake voted no.

Unless otherwise directed by council, the votes at the first reading of the amendments to the ordinance will stand. If a council member is absent, the first vote will not be counted.

The ordinance provides that an STL is not allowed in residential zones, that currently approved permits under the existing ordinance are to be grandfathered and run with the land, that an STL is allowed in certain commercial zones that establishes additional regulations and standards for the operation of STLs, and that a permit for them under the revised ordinance does not run with the land. 

Staff is recommending adoption of the amendments to the city’s Municipal Code related to STLs. Staff also is requesting certification by the California Coastal Commission of the amendments related to short-term lodging.


Laguna Beach Lifeguards to celebrate 90 years of ocean lifesaving on June 15

For over 90 years, Laguna Beach Lifeguards have patrolled city beaches to ensure beach goers a safe and fun filled day as well as protect our ocean environment. 

What began as a small troupe of able volunteers back in 1929 has evolved over 90 years into a highly trained and skilled professional lifesaving organization that keeps watch over thousands each day during the summer. 

To help recognize and celebrate the men and women of LB Lifeguards, both past and present, a day full of activities are planned on Saturday, June 15. 

 The festivities will start at Main Beach at 10 a.m. with a lifeguard friendly beach team relay competition and LB Lifeguard group photo, followed by a Marine Safety Headquarters public tours. A lifeguard picnic lunch will follow, and finally a no host cocktail social hour will be held at Hennessey’s Tavern at 5 p.m. where Guards and friends can re-connect with tall tales of lifesaving over the many years.

Laguna Beach rescue

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Photo by Tim Kothlow

Laguna Beach Lifeguards have been helping keep us safe for over 90 years

Laguna Beach Lifeguards compete in several national and international ocean competitions each year. The morning team run-swim-paddle relay, scheduled to start the 90th Celebration festivities, will exhibit the lifeguard’s ocean athletic skills as well as demonstrate some of their ocean rescue techniques. 

After that, a massive historic LB Lifeguards photo will be staged in front of Main Beach Tower with veteran and current LB Lifeguards, snapped by former LB Lifeguard and award-winning photographer Mitch Ridder. 

From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Department of Marine Safety will conduct public tours of their modern Lifeguard Headquarters for all to learn how their central command operates. Lifeguards and family members will then gather at noon at Picnic Beach Park for a hosted BBQ and view several historic Laguna lifeguard photos and memorabilia. 

The day will culminate with a final gathering at Hennessey’s Tavern in the upstairs room, from 5 - 9 p.m., to reminisce about old lifeguarding days in Laguna.

The Laguna Beach Lifeguard 90th Gathering event is supported by the Laguna Beach Ocean Lifeguard Foundation in conjunction with LB Marine Safety Association. The Laguna Beach City Council will recognize the LBLG 90th Anniversary with a city proclamation at tonight’s June 4 council meeting at 6 p.m. at City Hall Council Chambers. 

For more information, visit www.lbolf.org.


Opponents of Senate Bill 276 rally at Cottie’s community coffee gathering

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Locals gathered in front of Fire Station One on Saturday to have a cup of coffee and hear what Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris had to say about fire safety and legislation.

The crowd more than tripled when about 80 yellow-clad, sign-toting opponents of Senate Bill 276 and a passel of children arrived to enlist the Assemblywoman’s support against Senate Bill 276. The bill requires state approval of exemptions from immunizations. Members of the group had previously attended “A Coffee with Cottie” in Costa Mesa to determine her position just after the bill was introduced. They came to be reassured of her opposition to the bill.   

“She said she did not support the bill as written,” said Laguna Beach resident Alicia Bradbury, one of the organizers of the orderly demonstration. “A major concern is the state making medical decisions instead [of] doctors.” 

Petrie-Norris shares parents’ concerns about SB 276. The bill is too severe, and vaccinations don’t work for everyone, she said. 

“We know people die from measles,” said retired Dr. Korey Jorgensen, who practiced medicine at the Community Clinic for decades. “All children should be immunized. The benefits outweigh the risk.” 

SB 276 is a follow-up to SB277, which passed in 2015. It required all students to have immunizations unless medically exempted or they could not attend public or private schools.

According to Bradbury, 0.7 percent of California students currently have exemptions under SB277.

“Now they are going after the less-than-1 percent of exempted children,” said Bradbury. “Under the new law, doctors must apply to the state for the limited list of exemptions.”

Seizures will not rate an exemption, although that is an issue with several parents at the gathering.   

“I have a child who was damaged by vaccination,” said Eden Marie Biele. “He was seizing and couldn’t breathe within six or seven hours after he was vaccinated. We were in the emergency room six to eight times in the next [couple] of months. Working with his doctors, we determined that vaccinations put his life at risk.”

He will not be exempted under SB276, his mother said. And under the bill, he won’t go to school in California. 

Opponents of protestors

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Opponents of Senate Bill 276 gather on Saturday

California schools are required to check immunization records for all new student admissions at Traditional Kindergarten/Kindergarten through 12th grade and all students advancing to 7th grade before entry. Parents must show their child’s Immunization Record as proof of immunization.

Laguna Beach Unified School District checks all immunization records for all new student admission at TK/Kindergarten through 12th grade and all students advancing to 7th grade before entry. Parents are required to show their child’s immunization record as proof of immunization.

Requirements on the district’s website for students admitted to Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten through 12th grade, starting July 1 include: 

--Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) – five doses (four doses okay if one was given on-or-after 4th birthday; three doses okay if one was given on-or-after 7th birthday); for 7th - 12th graders, at least one dose of pertussis-containing vaccine is required on-or-after 7th birthday. 

--Polio (OPV or IPV) – four doses (three doses okay if one was given on-or-after 4th birthday) 

--Hepatitis B – three doses (not required for 7th grade entry) 

--Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) – two doses (both given on-or-after 1st birthday) 

--Varicella (Chickenpox) – two doses

These immunization requirements apply to new admissions and transfers for all grades, including transitional kindergarten. 

Students starting 7th grade need: 

--Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis (Tdap) – one dose (whooping cough booster usually given at 11 years and up) 

--Varicella (Chickenpox) – two doses (usually given at ages 12 months and 4-6 years) 

In addition, the TK/K-12 immunization requirements apply to 7th graders who previously had a valid personal belief exemption filed before 2016 upon entry between TK/Kindergarten and 6th grade.


Man rescued via helicopter in near-drowning at West Street Beach

Around 2:40 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, a 20-something-year-old man was rescued by Laguna Beach Lifeguards and Fire Department Paramedics, following a near-drowning incident.

According to Laguna Beach Fire Department Captain Crissy Teichmann, LB Lifeguards were alerted to the man’s struggle and entered the ocean to perform an emergency rescue. They successfully pulled him out of the water, and brought him up to shore for evaluation. LBFD Paramedics were called in order to provide further care. First responders arrived on scene and treated the patient, before requesting OC Fire to provide helicopter transport of the man to the hospital.

OC Fire Authority Air Operations transported the patient to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo via helicopter. His condition is unknown at this time.

Man rescued via helicopter

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach FF Instagram

LB Lifeguards and Fire rescue man in near-drowning at West Street Beach on Thursday

LB Fire also responded on Thursday to a female patient at Camel Point Beach who required paramedic treatment.

“We’ve had a lot of beach-related calls today [Thursday, July 4], 14 so far,” said Teichmann by phone on Thursday at 8 p.m. “Most of the calls occurred on the beach, not in the water, and were medical-related.”

Teichmann attributed the increase in calls on Thursday to the big surf – three to five feet – and people attempting unsafe maneuvers in the ocean like “going over the falls.”

“That’s where someone tries to surf the wave but the wave is too big and they go right over the top of it, straight into the sand. It causes a lot of neck injuries and back injuries, sometimes concussions.”

The bigger surf causes the sand entry into the water to be steeper too, Teichmann said. “It’s not a smooth, flat descent into the water,” she warned.

When asked what beaches are the most dangerous in Laguna Beach, Teichmann quickly responded, “Aliso Beach.”

“Aliso Beach always causes us a lot of problems. It’s really steep going into the beach and people just don’t know how to manage the surf there. It’s really a shore pound, where the waves break right on the sand.

“Of course, we have 1,000 Steps too,” she continued. “That’s more about access difficulty though than the beach conditions themselves.”

Teichmann said LB Fire is expecting a very busy weekend ahead. She advises beachgoers to “stay hydrated with the appropriate fluids.”


Artist of Kobe Bryant tribute mural painted on wall of Landmark Surf Company remains a mystery

Story by DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Sometime on Friday night, a mural appeared on the wall of Landmark Surf Company, on the corner of PCH and Cress, as a tribute to Kobe Bryant. Bryant, the legendary star of the Los Angeles Lakers, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, were among the nine killed last week in a helicopter crash. 

Dillon Leanna of Landmark Surf Company says, “The mural wasn’t there when I closed up on Friday night, but when Julian, the manager, arrived on Saturday morning, it was there.”

Although HungFineArt is claiming to be the artist, it remains unconfirmed, since he hasn’t returned messages from Stu News.

Dillon at Landmark has no knowledge of who painted it. Based on the time frame, it appears both the little girl and Kobe were painted at the same time on Friday night.

The store’s reaction has been good. “There’s a lot more foot traffic,” Dillon says.

However, he has no idea if the mural will be allowed to remain.

Artist of dog

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Mural has attracted more foot traffic

As defined, street art is visual art created in public locations, usually unsanctioned artwork executed outside of the context of traditional art venues. Other terms for this type of art include “independent public art,” “post-graffiti,” and “neo-graffiti,” and is closely related to guerrilla art.

Well-known Laguna artist and Festival of Arts Exhibitor Mike Tauber says of the Kobe mural, “It’s a great piece, in the style of British artist Banksy, in that the characters are interacting with the location. Kobe’s net is an actual vent, and the child is reaching for the actual shadows. I would title this ‘Reaching’. Our City Arts Commission would likely approve this as they are very encouraging – I would hope the artist went through the appropriate process!”

Banksy is an anonymous England-based street artist, vandal, political activist, and film director, active since the 1990s. The little girl with the balloon in the Kobe mural was originally a Banksy work.

Released in 2004-2005, Balloon Girl, or Girl With Balloon, has grown to become one of Banksy’s most iconic works. According to myartbroker.com, it depicts a young girl, whose hair and dress are blowing in the wind, reaching for, or releasing, a red, heart-shaped balloon that has slipped from her grasp, flying out of reach. The red balloon is an archetypal symbol many of us connect with, as the only spot of color in the work; more than a child’s toy, the red balloon evokes fragility of what it stands for: innocence, dreams, hope, and love. Whether you see the girl as losing the balloon, or about to catch it, the meaning can be interpreted as a loss of innocence, or the arrival of hope and love.

Artist of girl

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Passerby stops to ponder mural

This Banksy work, which was accompanied by a quotation that read, “there is always hope” originally appeared in London’s Southbank, though the city council ordered the work to be painted over.

Reactions from Laguna locals on social media regarding the Kobe mural have been relatively positive.

Doug Poole says, “This is super rad. I think it’s colorful and positive and should remain up.”

“Love this. Please don’t remove it. We need this visual message right now. It’s a reminder that life is short and love will always prevail,” says Cindy Ortiz-Plant.

Traci Bowman says, “This gives me hope for the Laguna I love. Please let it be.” 

Laguna is not without its share of murals. Although the murals at the Hive were commissioned by Laguna Creative Ventures, they have added a new element of street art to the canyon. Ben Rubin, owner of fine art print studio Elephants and Castles, along with Torrey Cook, founder and owner of contemporary art gallery Artists Republic, who commissioned the murals last year said, “Every other city in the world has street art or murals and it’s only natural that at some point the tipping point would occur here. These projects just reemphasize Laguna’s art heritage and its ability to adapt to changing times.”

Now there is a new element to the wall of Landmark Surf Company, and just as the original message of Banksy’s Balloon Girl, the mural reminds us that “there is always hope.”


All Laguna Beach City beaches will be closed on July 4

The City of Laguna Beach continues to monitor and adjust to changing conditions related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. On Tuesday, June 30, the Laguna Beach City Council unanimously voted to close all Laguna Beach City beaches on July 4 to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If necessary, the City Manager also has the authority to close the beaches on July 3 and/or July 5 if it is determined those measures are needed to protect public health and safety.

Although many of our residents and visitors are wearing masks on beaches and practicing physical distancing, the anticipated increase in the number of people gathering on Laguna Beach City beaches over the upcoming 4th of July holiday may create more opportunity for community spread of the virus.

Effective as of 9:00 a.m. July 4, 2020:

--All Laguna Beach City beaches and their related access points will close to the public until 5:00 a.m. July 5, 2020.

--The City is placing closure signage at City beaches and accessways. For added safety, the Laguna Beach Police Department will increase monitoring and enforcement of these areas and citations can be issued for violators.

--Basketball and volleyball courts at Main Beach remain closed and all other City basketball and volleyball courts also remain closed.

“The decision to close City beaches on July 4 was not taken lightly by the City Council,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen. “Ultimately the safety of our community and the public is our number one priority. On balance, we decided that taking a one-day timeout at the beach to reduce the crowds in the City made sense in the face of the increasing number of confirmed cases in the County and region. It is clear that we all need to do more to stop the spread of the virus and I urge everyone to comply with the Governor’s order to wear masks and maintain physical distance,” Whalen said.

The situation is fluid and information provided in this statement is subject to change. For the latest information on City services and guidelines for local businesses, go to https://bit.ly/2NJotJh.

--Release from the City of Laguna Beach


COVID-19: County reports 413 additional cases, three deaths

OC Health Care Agency reported 413 additional cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 4, following 713 cases reported on Friday, 652 cases on Thursday, 570 cases on Wednesday, and 779 cases on Tuesday.

Sadly, the County reports that 363 people have died due to COVID-19, including three deaths received today. There have been no deaths of Laguna Beach residents.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospitalization” – with a 12.8 percent increase in the three-day average of hospitalized patients. The County reports a total of 16,191 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 593 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 193 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 69 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, a per capita rate of 2.954 cases per thousand residents. This represents an increase of 13 cases in Laguna Beach since last Friday.

Santa Ana has had 3,235 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 69 cases today, and 95 deaths. Anaheim has had 2,997 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 72 cases today, and 89 deaths. Newport Beach has had 367 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 15 cases today, and two deaths. Irvine has had 487 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 12 cases today, and five deaths. Dana Point has had 63 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 3,557 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 8,244 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 4, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: State reports current underreporting of cases – 12 new deaths received today

The California Department of Public Health reports that new COVID-19 case data is currently being underreported. “Due to issues with the state’s electronic laboratory reporting system, these data represent an underreporting of actual positive cases in one single day,” the state’s website reads.

OC Health Care Agency’s website states: “The CalREDIE Electronic Laboratory Reporting system is experiencing issues with the application that receives test reports from laboratories and then sends them to CalREDIE. The California Department of Public Health is currently working to resolve the issue but may result in a lower number of Daily COVID Positive Cases Received and Tests Reported Today.”

The numbers as reported today reflect an additional 65 new cases of COVID-19 received countywide today, August 5.

Sadly, the County reports that 665 people have died due to COVID-19, including 12 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 38,131 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 536 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 172 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 136 confirmed cases to date, a per capita rate of 5.822 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 7,300 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 12 cases today, and 180 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,534 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 13 cases today, and 158 deaths. Newport Beach has had 896 confirmed cases to date, and 10 deaths. Irvine has had 1,198 confirmed cases to date, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 187 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case today, and no deaths.

The County estimates 27,197 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 5, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 20 new deaths reported in OC today, 683 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 789 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 150 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of one case today, a per capita rate of 6.422 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 42,854 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 683 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 436 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 152 are in ICU.

The county estimates 33,697 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 14, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 20 new deaths reported in OC today, 513 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 809 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 151 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of one case today, a per capita rate of 6.465 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 43,367 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 513 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 57 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 434 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 138 are in ICU.

The county estimates 34,115 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 15, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 5,953 new cases and 63 new deaths reported in OC over last two days, 15 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,845 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 63 new deaths reported today (December 26). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date. (Note: Today’s newly reported cases and deaths are a reflection of cases and deaths from both today and yesterday due to the Christmas holiday.)

The county reported 5,953 new cases of COVID-19 – including 3,196 new cases from yesterday and 2,757 new cases from today – marking a seven-day surge of 24,441 new cases and 144,263 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity remains very low and hospitalization numbers very high. The percentage of adult ICU beds currently available in OC is 5.7 percent unadjusted and 0 percent adjusted.* 45 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 1,957 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+39 since Thursday’s report – includes ICU); 432 are in ICU (+27 since Thursday’s report).

The county reports that there have been 475 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including 15 new cases reported today and 56 new cases reported since last Saturday’s report.

Anaheim experienced an increase of 1,109 new cases today; Santa Ana experienced an increase of 913 new cases today.

The county estimates 79,794 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

COVID-19 numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna. 

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 26, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 19 new deaths reported in OC, 1 new case in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,268 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 19 new deaths reported today (September 30), following 33 new deaths reported yesterday. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 53,751 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 194 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 226 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of one case today and 14 cases in the last week. This represents a per capita rate of 9.675 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that 33 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 172 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 48 are in ICU.

The county estimates 48,326 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of September 30, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 33 new deaths reported in OC, 1 new case in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,249 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 33 new deaths reported today (September 29) and 99 deaths reported this week. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 53,557 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 109 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 225 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of one case today and 14 cases in the last week. This represents a per capita rate of 9.633 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that 35 percent of ICU beds and 67 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 162 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 46 are in ICU.

The county estimates 48,146 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of September 29, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Voters will decide on sales tax increase

By BARBARA DIAMOND

A unanimous Laguna Beach City Council voted on Tuesday to put a one percent sales tax increase with sunset of anywhere up to 25 years on the November ballot. The revenue would be earmarked for undergrounding utilities along key evacuation routes and other fire safety measures. Passage of the Special Purpose Tax requires a two-thirds majority vote to take effect.

The estimated $5.6 million annual revenue from the increase will be augmented by funds from other city sources, bumping the total up to approximately $8 million. City officials stated that $8 million is enough to support debt service on a $120,000 lease revenue bond, some $15 million less than the expected total cost of the proposed undergrounding project. Barring a bond, the $8 million would fund “pay-as-you-go” projects along the evacuation routes and other safety measures. 

Four council votes were required to put the measure on the 2018 ballot. 

“I will vote to put this on the ballot, but I am opposed to the tax and I won’t vote for it,” said Councilman Steve Dicterow. 

However, Dicterow said he would support the tax if the required two-thirds of the voters approve it. 

voters will poles

Utility poles spur enormous dissension 

Councilman Bob Whalen has been the driving force behind the measure for at least three years. For a while he was practically commuting to Sacramento to drum up legislative support for undergrounding along Laguna Canyon Road.

“I am the most passionate about this (of anything) in my 20 years of service to the city,” said Whalen. ”We are at great fire risk. The new normal is a year-round fire season.”

Whalen served with Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede on the development of the ballot measure and the second option: a general purpose tax measure that would have required only a bare majority vote of 50 percent plus one. 

Zur Schmeide said he rather fancied the less restrictive measure because of the flexibility it allows in projects to be funded at the discretion of the council. Nonetheless, he joined the rest of the council in support of the special tax measure. 

“We have listened to the community,” said Whalen.

The council listened on Tuesday to the community for about an hour before voting. Comments ranged from accusations of council hanky-panky, to advice to look carefully at council candidates, to astonishment at the vitriol expressed, to advice to trust the voters to do the right thing.

“Undergrounding is imperative,” said Underground Laguna Now spokesman Tom Gibbs. “The decision can’t be made on a hope and prayer. I favor the dedicated tax – it is the only way to convince the voters.”

It certainly did not convince announced council candidates Lorene Laguna and Judie Mancuso. They both oppose the tax.

“It is reckless and irresponsible to expect a vote in favor of a Sales Tax Increase when the scope and total bid cost for undergrounding remains unclear and without any certainty,” Laguna wrote in an email to Stu News. “In short, residents are being asked to tax themselves, for 25 years, to pay for a project of an undetermined amount.”

Mancuso recommended downsizing the proposed project so the City could put it on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Speaking on behalf of Village Laguna, Johanna Felder opposed the tax and said her organization would encourage a no vote on it. 

Michele Monda described herself as apoplectic after listening to fellow South Laguna resident John Thomas claim the majority of the tax would be paid by tourists. 

“It is estimated that visitors will pay about two-thirds of the tax,” said Thomas. “The average daily cost to each Laguna Beach resident is about 22 cents. The cost is modest. “

Penny Milne, president of the Canyon Alliance Neighborhood Defense Organization, said safety must be the first consideration.

“Overhead utility lines have been recognized as a fire hazard here at least since the adoption of or Safety Element (in the city code) in 1995,” said Matt Lawson, chair of the city’s Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee, in support of the tax increase. “The utilities have refused to help after three years of fruitless discussion and the state offers nothing beyond using existing credits to eliminate a few poles along Laguna Canyon Road.”

The majority of the 36 speakers from the audience preferred either the special tax or no tax.


Proposed Ocean Avenue one-way conversion on council’s agenda tonight

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The city’s Public Works Department is recommending at tonight’s meeting that the City Council move ahead with the conversion of Ocean Avenue to one-way traffic.

Staff has been working on the proposal since last November when they were directed by council to conduct extensive public outreach on the proposed project. The public response has been positive, according to the staff report.

“I was opposed to it in the past,” said former Mayor Kelly Boyd and one-time owner of the Marine Room on Ocean Avenue. “Now I am not. But I think the businesses on that street need to be involved in the decision because it will affect them.”

The one-way concept has been kicking around at least since the recommendation in the 2006 Downtown and Laguna Canyon Road Traffic and Parking Analysis and again in the 2013 Downtown Specific Plan and Laguna Canyon Road Parking Management Plan.

Conversion of Ocean Avenue to one-way traffic would add 10 more angled parking spaces on the block between Beach Street and South Coast Highway, which would mitigate the proposed loss of spaces in front of Main Beach Park, staff reported. The additional two spaces would provide additional loading or short-term parking, which might reduce the congestion from delivery trucks and rideshares that currently stop in the middle of the street, according to the staff.

Proposed Ocean

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

City staff is recommending conversion of Ocean Avenue to one-way traffic

The conversion would also add a second turning lane onto the highway, separating vehicles tuning left and right off of Ocean. That would reduce congestion at the intersection by expediting turning from the avenue, based on the report submitted to the council by Shohreh Dupuis, director of Public Works, and Mark Trestik, city engineer. 

Overall downtown traffic circulation would be improved they concluded.

Businesses and tenants on Ocean Avenue, Beach Street and parts of Broadway and Forest Avenue were invited to participate in a public workshop held in December on the proposed change, which was also publicized on social media and posted at various locations.

Eight people attended the workshop: four opposed the conversion, two favored it and two were undecided.

An online survey was also conducted: 20 of the 29 respondents favored the conversion. Four of the five emails to the staff opposed the project.

Issues raised by the opponents included fears by two business owners that the conversion would mean less automobile traffic, potentially costing them business.

Several respondents to the survey expressed concerns that the change would eliminate a short cut route used to avoid traffic on South Coast Highway. 

Based on staff counts, taken at peak weekend traffic, only one car per minute was making the right turn onto Ocean from the highway. 

Starbucks’ concern is that the conversion would result in fewer stops by northbound traffic. Staff is working with Starbucks to request that the city’s Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee designate spaces in front of the store to short-term parking for customers. 

Staff is recommending that the council approve the project, but include instructions to report back with a status update after one year of implementation. 


Where’s Maggi?

Do you know where Maggi found this cherubic fountain?

Let us know you’re onto her whereabouts. Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

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The Woman’s Club to honor Toni Iseman as 2019 Woman of the Year at luncheon on June 14

The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is proud to announce that Toni Iseman has been selected as 2019 Woman of the Year.

Since 1995, the Woman’s Club has annually honored a local woman for her consistent volunteer service to the community in diverse ways. Iseman will be honored at the Woman of the Year Luncheon on Friday, June 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club.

Serving six consecutive terms, Iseman has been a member of the City Council for 21 years and for 30 years has been politically active advocating for Laguna Canyon. She has also worked to reduce noise and light pollution and has fought traffic congestion by spearheading the free trolleys to help shuttle visitors and residents through town. Iseman, who was raised in Fremont, NE and moved to Laguna in 1970, continues the longest streak of consecutive years on the council.

The Womans Iseman

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Councilwoman Toni Iseman, 2019 Woman of the Year

In the first year the Woman’s Club established its “Woman of the Year” award to recognize women who epitomize the Club’s mission of enhancing the lives of others in our community through volunteer service, the award went to Sande St. John.

Recent honorees include Betsy Jenkins as 2018 Woman of the Year, and in 2017 it was Barbara Crane.

The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach (WCLB) was organized by a group of community women in 1922 to benefit the residents of Laguna Beach through philanthropic activities. The group originally met in a building at the site of the current City Hall. 

The Woman’s Club is located at 286 St. Ann’s Dr.


Don’t miss tomorrow night’s Blues is a Woman concert, from Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt

Tomorrow night, Wednesday, May 15, Stu Saffer will be smiling down on [seven-degrees], as Laguna Beach Live! presents Blues is a Woman, featuring the best of Ma Rainey to Bonnie Raitt. (Blues was Stu’s favorite musical genre.)

A few tickets still remain, and can be purchased online at www.lagunabeachlive.org or by calling (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715-9713.

Blues is a Woman blurs the boundaries between concert and theater, using storytelling and music to bring to life the colorful history of the bold and singular women who wrote and popularized the blues. 

Dont miss Pamela Rose

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Submitted photo

Pamela Rose will thrill audiences on Wednesday at Blues is a Woman concert

Some of the names are well known – Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin – and others should be – Ma Rainey, Ida Cox, Memphis Minnie, and so many more. The voices of these women are vibrant, challenging, inspirational, and dynamic, and Blues is a Woman seeks to ensure that these women, their histories, and their message will be remembered and celebrated.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

A full bar and buffet menu is available for purchase starting at 5 p.m. when doors open for dinner and social hour. The concert is from 6 to 8 p.m.

 [seven-degrees] is located at 891 Laguna Canyon Rd.


Hard work pays off for boys track

By Willie Rounaghi, Editor-in-Chief

Owen van Es, Assistant Web Manager

Students at LBHS

In partnership with Brush and Palette newspaper

This spring season, the boys distance track team has exceeded expectations. The squad continues their winning ways, building on a Division 4 California Cross Country Championship, due to their tireless work ethic and team bond.

“Our team chemistry is the most important aspect of our success because it allows everyone to push each other to work even harder. I think a lot of our success comes from knowing that we’re all friends doing it for each other as well as ourselves,” said sophomore Mateo Bianchi.

Arguably their greatest accomplishment of the season was their win in the 4x1600 relay at the Arcadia Invite, one of the biggest and most prestigious track meets in the country. The 4x1600 team is made up of seniors Ryan Smithers and Sebastian Fisher, junior Logan Brooks, and sophomore Mateo Bianchi. Their time, 17:27, ranks as the number one in the United States for the 2019 season. On June 16, the team will compete for the national title. 

“Every single member of the 4x1600 team has an incredible ability to push themselves beyond their pain threshold. At practice, they run NCAA D1 college workouts and handle them without a problem,” said Tommy Newton-Neal, head boys track coach and assistant cross country coach. 

Bianchi, who ran the first leg of the winning 4x1600 relay, has been not only one of the best runners in the state for his age, but one of the best in the U.S. He ran a 9:25 two-mile, which is currently second in California and 14th in the nation for sophomores.

Hard work boys

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Photo by Scott Wittkip

The 4x1600 team: (L-R) Sebastian Fisher, Ryan Smithers, Logan Brooks, and Mateo Bianchi celebrate their incredible performance at the Arcadia Invitational on April 6, 2019. They currently have the best time in the nation for the 4x1600 relay.

“He has an outstanding potential to be one of the best runners Laguna Beach High School has ever seen. As an athlete, Mateo has the ability to become one of the top runners in nation, but that will depend on how hard he is willing to work over the next two years,” said Newton-Neal.

Two leaders of the team, Smithers and Fisher, have grown into top runners in the nation, setting a hardworking precedent for the underclassmen to strive for. Their times also rank atop many of the all-time track and cross country records at Laguna Beach, leaving a lasting impact and legacy on the track and cross country programs.

“As athletes, they put everything that they have into being successful both on the track and in the classroom. Not a day goes by that these two don’t give 100 percent. Additionally, they are kind, compassionate and caring leaders that have a positive influence on the people that surround them. There is no doubt in my mind that they will be successful students and athletes at their respective schools,” said Newton-Neal.

On Thursday, April 25, Laguna Beach competed in the Sunset Conference “Wave” League Finals, with the top few finishers in each varsity event moving onto CIF Prelims. For the distance team, Mateo Bianchi, Ryan Smithers, Sebastian Fisher, and Logan Brooks qualified in the 2-mile, and Sebastian Fisher and Zach Falkowski qualified in the mile.

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush & Palette student newspaper.


Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

Laguna Beach A Look Back 5 24 19

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Laguna Beach – the early 1930s

The Hotel Laguna as we know it now opened in 1930, with its landmark sign identifying the downtown area from miles away. The sign was removed in 1996 due to new signage ordinances.

The Cabrillo Ball Room opened in 1926, becoming a mecca for a jazz with a 7,500-square-foot dance floor. Some say that Mickey Rooney was known to play drums there on occasion.

The Laguna Beach Bath House, as seen, was opened in the Depression era, and survived until the 1960s.

The autos will be recognized by car buffs as Ford or Chevys from the 1928-1932 era.

The Native American teepee looking building in the foreground is actually an upside down ice cream cone and apparently held the Jackson Ice Cream store on Main Beach. Little is known about this interesting building, but photos taken from a similar angle in the mid-1930s do not show this building, implying it was removed prior to that time.

Thus it would be an educated estimate that this photo, with all of its wonderful history behind it, was from the early 1930s.

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.


Guest Column

Hope from the Homeless

By Michelle Evans

To give names and faces to members of our homeless community, Stu News will periodically feature their stories.

Our previous “Hope from the Homeless” story featured Frank Macias, a young man determined to establish a stable life so he can have a future with his dream girl. 

Here is her story.

I was born in Ventura, California in 1978 to loving parents who took us out in the wilderness to camp and made surfing a routine part of life. My mother, being rooted in spirituality, kept us going to church as regularly as she could, and I had a fairly normal upbringing. I married young and held down two jobs at the Spinnaker Seafood Broiler and Bombay’s Bar and Grill. We owned a condo by the beach. Unfortunately, my marriage failed, and I moved to Ojai, near Santa Barbara, where I continued to work many different jobs. After my mother’s untimely death, I moved to Los Angeles in my late 20s and started bartending at the Garden Terrace in Ojai.

I met my kids’ father when I was 30 years old. Together, we owned Elemental Sound, a sound equipment rental business. We took out a loan and purchased extremely high-quality sound equipment such as a custom-built Carvin sound system, dual 13” subs, dual 15” with a horn, CDJs, which are specialized digital music players for deejaying, and a Pioneer Nexxus mixer. 

We rented out our sound equipment to music promoters for concerts, parties or charity events. At the time, our company had ongoing contracts with two well-known promotional companies for music events. We were doing well until the promoters started defaulting on their bills. Soon they were owing us huge sums of money and we had to cancel our business insurance as we were barely making ends meet. As fate would have it, a few weeks later our van was stolen in Hollywood. We were virtually robbed of everything of value that we owned which was roughly $86,000 worth of equipment.

We struggled for years after that. I worked at a bar and slowly tried buying back key items for our business, but we never managed to make a comeback. As tough as things were then, we got pregnant. After the birth of my daughter, we moved to Lake Forest and lived with my husband’s parents for a year. My marriage failed and left me homeless and unable to be with my daughter; my heart aches to be with her. I now have a second daughter, but she is also not with me. Back then, I did not know where to go, the only shelter I could find that took women in was in Los Angeles, on Skid Row. I stayed on Skid Row until I was attacked by an MS-13 gang; I was beaten, robbed, and assaulted. 

Hope from Michelle and Frank

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Submitted photo

Michelle Evans and Frank Macias

I fled from Los Angeles after that. I desperately needed to be close to my daughter in Orange County. I slept in El Toro Park until I met Curtis, a cool surf rat who told me about the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL) in Laguna Beach. When I first came to Laguna Beach, I was about five months pregnant. When I got to the ASL, I was immediately so well taken care of that I gained 10 lbs. I had been at ASL for about a week before I was invited to attend Net-Works Church. I still had a huge black eye from the attack and was embarrassed to be seen outside of the ASL, but I was assured that the people at Net-Works are not the least bit judgmental.

When I arrived at Net-Works Church, I was very happy to see that everyone else there was like me, unable to be dressed in their Sunday best; this was something else that had held me back from going to most churches. I was warmly greeted by Pastor Don and met his lovely wife, Karen. Don and Karen hugged me and welcomed me into this community…pregnant, out-of-wedlock and everything. I felt so very blessed. I got to enjoy delicious food that was lovingly prepared by church members. In addition, Pastor Don and Karen had laid out an assortment of clothes for those who needed it. I was able to find great clothes to fit my everchanging body shape.

My journey back to the Lord has been a tough one but I felt hope again for the first time in a long time and a connection with the Holy Spirit that I hadn’t felt in years. Pastor Don gave me counsel and hope that things could get better. I was so filled with hope that I dared to dream that I would be able to have a home again.

While I was at the ASL, I met some team members in blue shirts from the Orange County Mental Health Outreach. I learned that these team members go to the beach and shelters to find homeless individuals and try to help them. After speaking with them, they made arrangements for me to get into transitional housing. They picked me up the very next week and drove me to an “intake interview” in Huntington Beach. A few days later, I got a phone call to tell me that I was accepted into the program. Again, some team members came to pick me up and helped me get set up; all I did was answer my phone – literally! 

Now I have a cute apartment that I share with the house mother. It took me a few weeks of working with the outreach team to get housed because I was pregnant. I was recently asked to assume the role of house mother when the current one leaves. My days are busy with parenting classes, drug counseling and testing, as well as group psychotherapy. I also see a psychiatrist as per my Child Protective Services (CPS) case. I am still looking for a job as I am only available to work at night, but I am excited at the opportunity and I am determined to find a job to stay in the program. I would be thrilled to stay where I currently am as it’s a great place for kids.

I am fighting to get back everything that I lost, especially my daughters. I know that I’m on the right track and this is what keeps me coming back to Net-Works Church. Net-Works is my “home” in my heart.

Net-Works Church invites the community to come to its Sunday Gathering at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach at 286 St. Ann’s Drive. Breakfast is served at 9 a.m. All are welcome. Services are at 10 a.m. For more information, go to www.lagunabeachnet-works.org.


1,691 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC: 37 reported cases in Laguna Beach

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, April 21, reflect that there have been 37 reported cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach, with a population of 23,358, has the highest per capita rate in OC, with 1.584 cases per thousand residents. However, Laguna Beach has only had two new reported cases of COVID-19 since April 9.

The City of Laguna Beach has taken strong measures to protect its residents, closing its beaches and trails weeks ago, and enacting an Emergency Order requiring all essential workers and essential business customers in the city to wear protective face coverings.

The city with the second highest per capita rate in OC is Villa Park, with six reported cases, 1.011 cases per thousand residents. Newport Beach has the third highest per capita rate in OC, with 88 reported cases, 1.009 cases per thousand residents.

Anaheim is the city with the most cases at 215, with a population of 359,339. Irvine, with a population of 280,202, has 118 cases.

There are 1,691 cumulative reported cases to date in Orange County, resulting in, sadly, 33 deaths. 148 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 54 are currently in ICU.

717 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Orange County by HCA Public Health Lab and commercial labs since yesterday (out of 19,483 cumulative tests countywide).

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of April 21;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


1,753 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC: 36 reported cases in Laguna Beach

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, April 22, reflect that there have been 36 reported cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach, with a population of 23,358, has the highest per capita rate in OC, with 1.541 cases per thousand residents. However, Laguna Beach has only had one new reported case of COVID-19 since April 9.

The City of Laguna Beach has taken strong measures to protect its residents, closing its beaches and trails weeks ago, and enacting an Emergency Order requiring all essential workers and essential business customers in the city to wear protective face coverings.

Newport Beach has the second highest per capita rate in OC, with 89 reported cases, 1.021 cases per thousand residents.

Anaheim is the city with the most cases at 230, with a population of 359,339. Irvine, with a population of 280,202, has 119 cases.

There are 1,753 cumulative reported cases to date in Orange County, resulting in, sadly, 34 deaths. 162 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 70 are currently in ICU.

662 people have been tested for COVID-19 in Orange County by HCA Public Health Lab and commercial labs since yesterday (out of 20,145 cumulative tests countywide).

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of April 22;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


2,393 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC, highest single-day increase to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency yesterday, April 30, reflect that there have been 2,393 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 145 new cases reported yesterday, the highest single-day increase to date. There are 37 reported cases of COVID-19 to date in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach, with a population of 23,358, has the second highest per capita rate in OC at 1.584 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 23 reported cases, has the highest per capita rate in OC, with 1.962 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has the third highest per capita rate in OC, with 97 reported cases, 1.113 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana is the city with the most cases at 366, with a population of 337,716, including 36 new cases reported yesterday. Irvine, with a population of 280,202, has 130 cases. Dana Point, with a population of 34,249, has 23 cases.

Sadly, the County reports 45 deaths due to COVID-19, including one death yesterday. 190 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest number of hospitalizations for a single day to date; 63 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 31,534 people as of yesterday, with a 7.6 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of April 30;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


2,537 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC, 50 deaths to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 1, reflect that there have been 2,537 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 163 new cases reported today. There are 37 reported cases of COVID-19 to date in Laguna Beach.

Laguna Beach has the second highest per capita rate in OC at 1.584 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 24 reported cases, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 2.048 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Anta has the third highest per capita rate in OC and the most overall cases, 430, including 64 new cases reported today.

Newport Beach has the fourth highest per capita rate in OC, with 98 reported cases, 1.124 cases per thousand residents.

Irvine has 130 cases. Dana Point has 22 cases.

Sadly, the County reports 50 deaths due to COVID-19, including five deaths today. 181 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 61 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 34,128 people as of today, with a 7.4 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 1;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


2,636 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 202 currently hospitalized

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 2, reflect that there have been 2,636 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 99 new cases reported today. There have been 37 reported cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date.

Laguna Beach has the second highest per capita rate in OC at 1.584 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 27 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 2.304 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Anta has the third highest per capita rate in OC and the most overall reported cases to date, 458.

Newport Beach has had 99 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 137 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 22 reported cases.

Sadly, the County reports 52 deaths due to COVID-19, including two deaths today. 202 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, the highest 24-hour total to date; 58 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 35,216 people as of today, with a 7.5 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 2;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


3,092 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 40 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency yesterday, May 7, reflect that there have been 3,092 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 96 new cases reported yesterday. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 40 cases to date, a net increase of two cases from the previous day's report.

Laguna Beach has the second highest per capita rate in OC at 1.712 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 35 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 2.986 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 104 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 139 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 22 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 457 reported cases to date. Santa Ana has had 429 reported cases to date.

The County reports 217 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

Sadly, the County reports 66 deaths due to COVID-19, including one death reportedyesterday. 186 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 69 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 43,351 people as of yesterday, with a 7.1 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 7;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


3,240 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 40 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 8, reflect that there have been 3,240 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 153 new cases reported today. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 40 cases to date.

Laguna Beach has the second highest per capita rate in OC at 1.712 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 37 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 3.157 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 105 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 140 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 22 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 472 reported cases to date. Santa Ana has had 456 reported cases to date.

The County reports 253 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

Sadly, the County reports 71 deaths due to COVID-19, including five deaths reported today. 188 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 74 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 46,372 people as of today, with a 7.0 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 8;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


3,968 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 44 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency yesterday, May 14, reflect that there have been 3,968 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 229 new cases reported yesterday. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date, a net increase of one case yesterday.

Laguna Beach has a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 53 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 4.522 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 131 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 147 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 23 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 615 reported cases to date, a net increase of 34 cases yesterday. Santa Ana has had 665 reported cases to date, a net increase of 79 cases yesterday.

The County reports 314 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

Sadly, the County reports 80 deaths due to COVID-19. 227 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 79 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 61,619 people as of yesterday, with a 6.4 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 14;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


4,125 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 44 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 15, reflect that there have been 4,125 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 158 new cases reported today. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date.

Laguna Beach has a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 55 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 4.692 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 132 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 149 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 23 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 652 reported cases to date, a net increase of 37 cases today. Santa Ana has had 683 reported cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today.

The County reports 336 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

Sadly, the County reports 84 deaths due to COVID-19, including four deaths reported today. 212 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 78 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 66,267 people as of today, with a 6.2 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 15;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


4,222 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 44 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 16, reflect that there have been 4,222 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 105 new cases reported today. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date.

Laguna Beach has a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 55 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 4.692 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 133 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 149 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 24 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 663 reported cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases today. Santa Ana has had 700 reported cases to date, a net increase of 17 cases today.

The County reports 336 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

Sadly, the County reports 86 deaths due to COVID-19, including two deaths reported today. 235 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 85 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 69,981 people as of today, with a 6.0 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 16;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


4,376 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 44 reported cases in Laguna Beach to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 17, reflect that there have been 4,376 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 155 new cases reported today. Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date.

Laguna Beach has a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 62 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 5.290 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 133 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 153 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 24 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 695 reported cases to date, a net increase of 32 cases today. Santa Ana has had 728 reported cases to date, a net increase of 28 cases today.

The County reports 346 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails. This is a net increase of 10 cases in this category today.

Sadly, the County reports 88 deaths due to COVID-19, including two deaths reported today. 201 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 78 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 70,556 people as of today, with a 6.2 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 17;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


4,841 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 24 deaths in last two days

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency yesterday, May 21, reflect that there have been 4,841 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 115 new cases reported yesterday. 

Sadly, the County reports that 112 people have died due to COVID-19, including 14 deaths reported yesterday, following 10 deaths the day before. 247 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 89 are currently in ICU.

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date, a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. 

Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 63 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 5.375 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 135 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 164 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 26 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 758 reported cases to date, a net increase of seven cases yesterday. Santa Ana has had 858 reported cases to date, a net increase of 25 yesterday.

The County reports 364 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have conducted 90,130 tests as of yesterday, with a 5.4 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 21;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


8,999 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 233 people have died, 12 deaths reported today

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, June 16, reflect that there have been 8,999 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 248 new cases reported today.

Sadly, the County reports that 233 people have died due to COVID-19; 12 deaths were reported today.

The County reports 300 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 137 are currently in ICU.

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 51 cases to date, a per capita rate of 2.183 cases per thousand residents.

The city with the highest per capita rate in OC is Los Alamitos, with 8.276 cases per thousand residents. 

Newport Beach has had 179 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 246 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 36 reported cases to date.

Santa Ana has had 1,939 reported cases to date, a net increase of 59 cases today. Anaheim has had 1,710 reported cases to date, a net increase of 48 cases today.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have conducted 187,129 tests as of today.

The County reports that 4,185 people have recovered from COVID-19 to date. Visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc for recovery data criteria and more information.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of June 16;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


9,197 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 243 people have died, 10 deaths reported today

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, June 17, reflect that there have been 9,197 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 205 new cases reported today.

Sadly, the County reports that 243 people have died due to COVID-19; 10 deaths were reported today.

The County reports 328 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 131 are currently in ICU.

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 53 cases to date, a per capita rate of 2.269 cases per thousand residents.

The city with the highest per capita rate in OC is Los Alamitos, with 7.337 cases per thousand residents. 

Newport Beach has had 180 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 249 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 37 reported cases to date.

Santa Ana has had 1,977 reported cases to date, a net increase of 38 cases today. Anaheim has had 1,754 reported cases to date, a net increase of 44 cases today.

The County reports that 4,414 people have recovered from COVID-19 to date. Visit https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc for recovery data criteria and more information.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of June 17;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


Brooks Street 4th of July Parade tradition carries on its patriotic celebration in a creative way

Story by DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This year, although health and safety were top priority, the organizers of the Brooks Street Parade weren’t about to let the COVID-19 pandemic break the Brooks Street 4th of July tradition of honoring our patriots. 

This was the 12th annual 4th of July Parade. It was originally started by resident Howard Hills and began as a modest gathering of 25 or so people who walked up and down the block following a flag raising to honor local veterans. Later Steve Cohn took over organizing the event.

This year, the celebration took the form of a drive-by featuring decorated cars and electric carts playing patriotic music.

The cars lined up on Brooks Street and the drive-by parade began at 10:30 a.m. with the national anthem and flag raising. 

Brooks Street flag

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Parade traveling up Brooks Street 

Jo and Eric Jensen help coordinate the parade and have seen it change and adapt to the times. Eric says, “It has morphed over the years and took special meaning when neighbor Mark Metherell, a Navy Seal, was killed in combat in 2008.”

Jo says, “We had a committee meeting, and we felt that the celebration of the 4th of July and its importance should not be diminished and the Brooks Street tradition should be maintained.”

However, they wanted to be cognizant of the virus restrictions and decided a drive-by would take into consideration the safety of the parade participants and, at the same time, honor our veterans. Although this year, there was no paddle out at Brooks Street after the parade.

But this year was special in more ways than one.

Originally from England, Jo recently became an American citizen. 

Brooks Street Navy

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Retired Navy pilot Eric Jensen 

Eric served as a Captain in the U.S. Navy. “I’m a combat veteran. In Vietnam, I flew 113 combat missions from an aircraft carrier. ”

He related a quote that is particularly meaningful to him, “For those who fight for it, freedom has a special flavor that the protected will never know.”

When he saluted the flag before the parade started, it’s not difficult to imagine that it brought tears to the eyes of many in attendance.

Jo says, “When we got home after the parade, we felt so much joy and happiness. We all needed it. There is so much bad news. This year, we needed it even more so than usual because of the coronavirus and isolation.”

Brooks Street Jo and Eric

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Jo and Eric Jensen bring up the rear of the parade 

The parade route went up Brooks to Temple Terrace, down Oak St, Catalina to Anita, Anita to Temple Terrace, down Oak to Catalina, and back up Brooks. 

Residents on Brooks, Oak, and Anita who are home and not in the parade participated by waving flags as the parade went by.

Despite the current challenges, the Brooks Street 4th of July Parade found a way to honor our patriots in a time when we need to appreciate the freedoms for which they fought.

The Jensens say, “It’s especially important for Americans to salute the freedom we have.

For more photos by Mary Hurlbut, see slideshow below


COVID-19: 29,986 cases in OC to date, 493 deaths – 113 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 560 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 20.

Sadly, the County reports that 493 people have died due to COVID-19. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 29,986 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 666 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 213 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 113 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case today, a per capita rate of 4.838 cases per thousand residents. This represents an increase of 57 cases in Laguna Beach since June 26.

Santa Ana has had 5,610 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases today, and 130 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,134 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 87 cases today, and 123 deaths. Newport Beach has had 719 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases today, and three deaths. Irvine has had 1,000 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 21 cases today, and eight deaths. Dana Point has had 155 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 6,907 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 14,366 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 20, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 30,976 cases in OC to date, 513 deaths, including 20 deaths reported today – 114 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 990 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 21.

Sadly, the County reports that 513 people have died due to COVID-19, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 30,976 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 700 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 234 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 114 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case today, a per capita rate of 4.881 cases per thousand residents. This represents an increase of 58 cases in Laguna Beach since June 26.

Santa Ana has had 5,823 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 213 cases today, and 133 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,316 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 182 cases today, and 125 deaths. Newport Beach has had 725 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of six cases today, and three deaths. Irvine has had 1,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 24 cases today, and eight deaths. Dana Point has had 160 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of five cases today, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,127 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 15,232 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 21, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 31,743 cases in OC to date, 521 deaths – 116 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 767 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 22.

Sadly, the County reports that 521 people have died due to COVID-19, including eight new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 31,743 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 699 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 233 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 116 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases today, a per capita rate of 4.966 cases per thousand residents. This represents an increase of 60 cases in Laguna Beach since June 26.

Santa Ana has had 5,958 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 135 cases today, and 137 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,462 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 146 cases today, and 127 deaths. Newport Beach has had 734 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of nine cases today, and four deaths. Irvine has had 1,040 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases today, and eight deaths. Dana Point has had 163 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of three cases today, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,308 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 16,173 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 22, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 34,646 cases in OC to date, 566 deaths, including two new deaths – 124 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 273 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 27.

Sadly, the County reports that 566 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received yesterday. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,646 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 661 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 124 confirmed cases to date, a per capita rate of 5.309 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,492 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 48 cases yesterday, and 143 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,896 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 45 cases yesterday, and 141 deaths. Newport Beach has had 775 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case yesterday, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,118 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Dana Point has had 178 confirmed cases to date, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,903 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 20,148 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 27, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 37,813 reported cases in OC to date, 651 deaths – 135 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 422 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, August 3.

Sadly, the County reports that 651 people have died due to COVID-19. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 37,813 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 555 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 175 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 135 confirmed cases to date, with new cases reported yesterday, a per capita rate of 5.780 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 7,222 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 103 cases yesterday, and 175 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,461 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 72 cases yesterday, and 157 deaths. Newport Beach has had 854 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of seven cases yesterday, and eight deaths. Irvine has had 1,198 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of three cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 185 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of two cases yesterday, and no deaths.

The County estimates 25,248 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 3, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 38,066 reported cases in OC to date, 653 deaths – 136 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 253 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, August 4.

Sadly, the County reports that 653 people have died due to COVID-19, including two new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 38,066 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 539 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 167 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 136 confirmed cases to date, with one new case reported today, a per capita rate of 5.822 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 7,288 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 66 cases today, and 178 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,521 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 60 cases today, and 157 deaths. Newport Beach has had 896 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 42 cases today, and nine deaths. Irvine has had 1,198 confirmed cases to date, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 186 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case today, and no deaths.

The County estimates 26,234 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 4, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 11 new cases reported in Laguna Beach today, 19 new deaths in OC

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 187 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of 11 new cases today (September 2), a per capita rate of 8.006 cases per thousand residents. 

Sadly, the county reports that 1,007 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 19 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 49,142 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 317 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 63 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

The county reports that 295 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 89 are in ICU.

The county estimates 42,375 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of September 2, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19 surge: 2,259 new cases reported in OC in last two days, 12 new cases in Laguna Beach

Orange County has experienced a two-day spike of 2,259 new cases of COVID-19, including 12 newly reported cases in Laguna Beach in that time. OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 71,953 cumulative cases of COVID-19, with 837 new cases reported today (November 24) and 1,422 new cases reported yesterday.

Sadly, the county reports that 1,556 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including two new deaths reported today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 305 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of 12 cases in the last two days and an increase of 29 cases since last Tuesday’s report.

The county reports that 28 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 463 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+35 since yesterday – includes ICU); 116 are in ICU (+11 since yesterday).

The county estimates 58,289 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 24, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,943 new cases and 18 new deaths reported in OC, 6 new cases in Laguna Beach (November 26 and 27)

OC Health Care Agency’s COVID-19 report released today (November 27) reflects a two-day increase of 1,943 new cases of COVID-19 in OC, 18 new deaths countywide, and six new cases in Laguna Beach. The report includes new cases and deaths from both today and yesterday, since the agency did not release a report yesterday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sadly, the county that 1,577 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 18 new deaths reported today (11 deaths on Thursday, seven deaths today). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports a two-day increase of 1,943 new cases of COVID-19 in OC (935 cases on Thursday, 1,008 cases today).

The county reports that there have been 316 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of six cases since Wednesday’s report and 32 cases since last Friday’s report.

The county reports that 25 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 506 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+27 since Wednesday’s report – includes ICU); 139 are in ICU (+24 since Wednesday’s report).

The county estimates 59,080 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 27, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,666 new cases reported in OC, 7 new cases in Laguna Beach 

OC Health Care Agency has reported 1,666 new cases of COVID-19 in Orange County today (November 28), marking a three-day surge of 3,609 new cases countywide. 

Sadly, the county reports that 1,577 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 323 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of seven cases today and 30 cases since last Saturday’s report.

The county reports that 24.8 percent of ICU beds and 63.4 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 534 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+28 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 138 are in ICU (-1 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 59,266 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 28, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,058 new cases reported in OC, 7 new cases in Laguna Beach 

OC Health Care Agency has reported 1,058 new cases of COVID-19 in Orange County today (November 29), marking a four-day surge of 4,667 new cases countywide. 

Sadly, the county reports that 1,577 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 330 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of seven cases today and 37 cases since last Sunday’s report.

The county reports that 25 percent of ICU beds and 63 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 597 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+63 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 148 are in ICU (+10 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 59,401 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 29, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Political notebook banner

Nine candidates have filed to run for city council

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Voters can add Paul Merritt’s name to the list of nine candidates running for a seat on the City Council who have picked up nominating papers from City Clerk Lisette Chel Walker, the city’s Election Official. 

Merritt, a 1965 graduate of Laguna Beach High School, was elected to the Laguna Niguel City Council in 1989, the year the city was incorporated, and re-elected in 1992. He ran both times under the name of Paul M Christiansen.

Merritt showed up on the 2014 list of Laguna hopefuls and after losing that election, ran for the US Senate in 2016, both times using the name of Merritt.

He lost the council race to retiring Mayor Kelly Boyd, Toni Iseman and Rob Zur Schmiede, whose terms are up this December. 

Boyd has declared himself out of this year’s election. Zur Schmiede is definitely in. 

As of Thursday, Councilwoman Toni Iseman had yet to commit officially to running for an unprecedented sixth consecutive term.

Neither Iseman nor declared candidate Peter Blake has picked up nominating papers. Incumbents must file the endorsement papers by August 10. 

The rest of the candidates get an extra five days to file, until August 15, because at least one incumbent is not running. Only Judie Mancuso, who was the first candidate to file an intent to run, and Lorene Laguna have filed their nominating papers. Twenty signatures are required, to be verified as registered voters in Laguna by the Orange County Registrar of Voters. 

Also in the race as of Thursday: Sue Kempf, Ann Christoph, Cheryl Kinsman, Elizabeth Bates and Allison Mathews.


A serene first day of spring

A serene beach

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Summer is just around the corner


Council to consider outsourcing dog licenses

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna’s dog owners may find it easier to license their pets if the council approves at tonight’s meeting a staff recommendation to outsource the procedure.

The dog licensing system currently in use was created by the Laguna Beach Police Department’s contract IT services provider. It has limited capability, including the inability to apply for or renew a license online through the city’s website. 

After vetting several options, staff has recommended outsourcing dog license management to Pet Data Inc. Staff also vetted the company and received positive feedback from nearby cities serviced by the company, according to the staff report.

If approved, Pet Data would handle all aspects of the city’s dog licensing program: mailing renewal notices, taking payment and answering questions, starting in May. 

Residents would still have the option of picking up licenses at City Hall or the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, through the mail and online at www.lagunabeachcity.net.

Council to dog

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Dog licenses may be outsourced

The proposed contract is for three years, with two optional one-year extensions, if staff is satisfied with the service. 

A $1,000 startup fee would cover the costs of creating licensing notices, transferring the information from the city’s database to Pet Data and training city staff on how to use the new program.

Pet Data would charge the city a fee for each license sold: $4.20 for a one-year, valid for one to 16 months; $6.20 for a two-year license, good for 17 to 28 months, and $8.20 for a three-year license, valid for 29 to 36 months. 

Online transactions though Pet Data would have a convenience fee of $2 when a credit card is used. Credit card transactions at City Hall and the Animal shelter will not be charged the fee.

Staff is not proposing an increase in the cost to pet owners since the last increase in July 2017. However, revenue to the city might increase due to the convenience, according to the staff report.

The proposal is on the Consent Calendar and will be approved without comment unless pulled for discussion by a member of the council or the public. 


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 3, 2019

McMusic   

Dennis 5Wow, it’s May already! When you get my age, months start seeming more like weeks. I’m 71 now, and every day above ground is a wonderful day.

Here are a few of McWeather’s favorite songs of all time: 

I’m thinkin’, there are maybe 50 or so that really moved me since Day One when I started listening to the radio. That would be 1953 when I suddenly became infatuated. I was six then and that was a couple of years before Bill Haley and his Comets blew the door down in 1955. Then a year later, Elvis was getting ready to rule the world. By late 1956, there was a new Top 40 station in L.A. called KFWB, 98 on the AM Dial. The new format was strictly Rock and Roll, a pioneer in musical format. 

Word got out really fast and by spring of 1957, the station was on the map! There was an explosion of new, really young talent popping out everywhere, and they were all really good. The bands were coming out of the woodwork and that’s because Elvis woke up the music world just the year before. He broke all the rules and the world was ready. The planets had lined up. He had the balls to gyrate on stage but he was unforgiving. Talk about shock treatment. 

All of a sudden the world knew this Elvis the Pelvis simply by seeing him on television for the first performance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in August of 1956. Millions of people were watching at 8 p.m. on Sunday on CBS. The parents hated it, claiming he was so vulgar. But I did catch Mom copping a brief stare on Elvis’ package. Everybody who was 25 or younger from the BBC in London to WCBS in N.Y. or WGN in Chicago or CBS in L.A. saw friggin’ Elvis for the very first time. 

By the summer of 1957, Tidbits could recite every rocker’s lyrics word for word. Every Saturday they would update the latest Top 40. For many years, McWeather was by that radio for three hours every Saturday. I kept a file of 3x5 note cards with just the Top 10 every Saturday. I did that every single week from 1957-1981 when MTV was born. 

In the earlier years, MTV was incredible with constant videos and only a couple of commercial breaks. There was one DJ named Mark Goodman that was on all day and some gal took over for the night shift. So simple. Solid music videos 24/7.

My list really varies radically, pretty crazy actually. I kind of jumped around, so it’s by no means in chronological order. Here goes:

“Unforgettable,” Nat King Cole, 1952; “It was a very good year,” Frank Sinatra, 1966; “His latest flame,” Elvis, summer of 1960; “Kashmir” live, Led Zeppelin, 1975’ “I Love You I’ll Kill You!,” Enigma, 1995; “Another man’s woman,” Supertramp, 1975; “Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan, 1965, a harsh commentary on the sudden transition from poor little rich girl to homeless. Masterpiece, for sure. 

“Voodoo Chile,” Jimi Hendrix, 1968 (Stevie Ray Vaughn did it in 1986 as a tribute to Jimi); “Ride My Seesaw,” Moody Blues, 1968; “Castles in Spain,” Michel LeGrand, 1957; “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Rolling Stones, 1968; “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” Nat King Cole, 1956; “Poor Little Fool,” Ricky Nelson, summer of 1958; “Uptight,” Stevie Wonder, 1958; “Dream,” Everly Brothers, 1959; “Like a Refugee,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1978; “Flesh for Fantasy,” Billy Idol, 1983; “Lola,” the Kinks, 1970; “Shapes of Things,” Yardbirds, 1966; “Baba O’Riley,” The Who, 1971; “Legend of a Mind,” Moody Blues, 1968, a story about Timothy Leary and LSD; “Broken Wings,” Mister, Mister, 1981; “Summer Song,” Chad and Jeremy, 1964; “Badge,” Cream, 1970, “Time After Time,” Cyndi Lauper, 1984; “Light My Fire,” Doors, 1967; “Whipping Post,” The Allman Brothers, 1969; “China Girl,” David Bowie, 1983 with Stevie Ray on guitar; “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield, 1966; “Baby I Need Your Lovin,” Four Tops, 1964. 

“Funeral for a Friend,” Elton John, 1972; “I Want to Know What Love Is,” Foreigner, 1984; “Devil Inside,” InXS, Michael Hutchence on vocals; “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” Beatles with Eric Clapton on guitar, 1968; “White Bird,” It’s a beautiful Day, 1968; “Beat It,” Michael Jackson, 1983; “Boys Of Summer,” Don Henley, 1985; “Africa,” Toto, 1982; “Oh Well,” the original Fleetwoood Mac with Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, Nicky Kirwin, and John McVie, 1967.

“Pretty Ballerina,” Left Bank, 1966; “House of The Rising Sun,” Eric Burdon and the Animals, 1964; “Beck’s Bolero,” Jeff Beck, Truth album with Rod Stewart and the Small Faces; “Somebody to Love,” Jefferson Airplane, 1967; “Nowhere to Run,” Martha and the Vandellas, 1966; “Whiter Shade of Pale,” Procol Harum, 1967, “Better Man,” Pearl Jam, 1994; “Unforgiven,” Metallica, 2003,’ “I Put a Spell on You,” Lightning Hopkins, 1949, then Creedence Clearwater in 1969; “Today,” Marty Balin and Jefferson Airplane, 1967; “Dream On,” Aerosmith, 1977; “Baker Street,” Gary Rafferty, 1978; “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John, 1972.

“Layla,” Derek and the Dominoes with Eric Clapton; “Never Give Up,” Common Sense with Nick Hernandez, 1995; “Concrete Jungle,” Bob Marley, 1978’ “Mystic Eyes,” Them with Van Morrison, 1965; “White Room,” Cream, 1968’ “Tunnel Of Love,” Bruce Springsteen, 1985; “Tomorrow Never Knows,” Beatles, 1966; “Gimme Shelter,” Rolling Stones, 1969; “Cruising In Stereo,” Cars, 1979; “God Only Knows,” Beach Boys, 1966; “We Will Get By,” Grateful Dead, 1988; and “Eight Miles High,” The Byrds, 1966. 

Whew, I better stop here, ALOHA!


“An Urban Forest for All” starts dialogue on maintaining the tree canopies in Laguna Beach

 With the objective of educating and starting the conversation on ways to ensure Laguna’s green canopy can best continue to do its work of cleaning our air, retaining and filtering our water, cooling our bodies, and pleasing our senses, “An Urban Forest for All” was presented on Wednesday, May 1 at Laguna Beach City Hall. It included a lecture and slideshow.

The event was sponsored by the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund, which was established in 2018 by Barbara and Greg MacGillivray.

An Urban Barbara

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Barbara MacGillivray, co-founder (with her husband Greg) of the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund

Matthew Wells, Public Landscape Manager in Santa Monica and former Director of Tree Preservation for NYC parks, gave an educational and compelling talk on the care of sustainable urban forest management.

Laguna Beach resident Adam Schwerner, who is in charge of Disneyland’s “treescape” and formerly in charge of Chicago’s, asked Wells to make the presentation in Laguna.

Wells pointed out that in all urban areas of our nation, we are slowly losing our tree canopies and their many benefits. Development, climate changes, and here in Southern California with drought the new normal, we can no longer hope for the best. 

An Urban Wells

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Matthew Wells, Public Landscape Manager in Santa Monica

He says, “It’s time to restart the conversation and come up with a plan to care for the trees we do have like avoiding excessive pruning and enlarging tree wells. Plus as trees die or need to be replaced use better species for our Mediterranean coastal climate.” 

MacGillivray and others urge the creation of an Urban Forest Master Plan for Laguna Beach, with a community vision, guiding principles, sustainable metrics, and operational procedures. 

MacGillivray says, “Our town is uniquely surrounded by belts of green and blue, with a vibrant artistic heart, the beauty of our ‘treescape’ has long been part of that artistry and needs to be preserved for generations.”


Dennis’ Tidbits 

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 14, 2019

Temple of gloom 

Dennis 5We’ve been getting some pulses from the Southern Hemisphere lately. Last week there were some overhead sets at Lower Trestle and Sunday we got another long period SSW swell that built throughout the day, and further development is expected through the middle of the week. Better late than never!

On Wednesday, the Eastern Pacific hurricane season will get under way and will run until November 30th. There are some healthy clusters of thunderstorms forming down there in the tropical convergence zone. Let’s hope 2019 is a decent one as the last four have been very disappointing.

Local surface ocean temps are at around 62 degrees or so and that’s a couple of degrees below normal. We concluded our fourth consecutive winter with above normal readings once again as the average for the period December 1 to April 1 was 58.6 degrees, roughly 2.5 degrees above normal for that period.

Last Friday in Southern Nebraska, the largest hailstone ever recorded hit the ground on a farm with an amazing diameter of eight inches, weighing nearly three pounds! Paint a picture here: a soccer ball has a diameter of 8.65 inches. Can you imagine how violent the atmosphere was and how intense that super cell thunderstorm was? 

The cloud top of that cell was an incredible 62,000 feet! The speed of that updraft approached 150 mph. That’s almost Category 5 hurricane strength. That stone gathered so many layers of ice that when the surrounding atmosphere could no longer support the weight of that monster, it finally fell to earth at 125 mph!

A 40 mph updraft will produce marble size hail. A 50 mph updraft will pop out quarter size hail. A 60 mph updraft will create golf ball sized stones. When the draft reaches 80 mph, you get tennis ball size. A 90-100 mph updraft will result in baseball size. Softball size results from 110-120 mph updrafts but 150 mph? That’s almost incomprehensible! Thank God the thing didn’t hit anybody or any object, just the plain ‘ol ground.

Well, we’re still stranded in the “Temple of Gloom” with no end in sight.

Hope all you Moms out there had a wonderful day, ALOHA!


Memorial Day at Laguna Beach

By Arnie Silverman

Atop this imposing precipice

We stand with tranquil sea below

Softening our somber moods.

Reflected by that pacific sea

With white-sailed boats,

The deepest of blue heavens

Brightens our subdued souls.

We think of those with whom we served

In those lands across the seas.

Havoc was wrought with hope

That lives lost there

Would change history’s course.

We fought and feared as brothers.

Most returned; some did not.

It is for them that we now meet

To sanctify their sacrifice.

We stand here with personal pride,

And salute those who served and died.

Memories of them will long remain.

 Never, Never will it be said they died in vain.

Memorial Day Arnie

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Arnie Silverman 


Saturday Tradition – Farmers’ Market 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Saturday Tradition herbs

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Open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon, the Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market has something for everyone, including fresh herbs

Saturday Tradition sandwiches

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If you’re hungry, grab a sandwich, empanada or tamale, they have it all

Saturday Tradition radishes

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A large number of the produce stands are organic, these late spring onions are almost too beautiful to eat

Saturday Tradition olives

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Olive oils and olives that are not easily found


Dennis’ Tidbits 

By DENNIS McTIGHE

June 4, 2019

June gloom galore and no south swells in sight

Dennis 5The gloom continues. Of course June around here is typically gloomy but heck, we’ve already had enough gloom this spring to cover two Junes already.

The red tide we’ve been plagued with for a better part of the past week is subsiding as water temps are rebounding a bit with surface temps now at 62-64 degrees. We’ve had a pretty steady diet of Southern Hemisphere surf lately although it kind of fizzled out the last couple of days. Sunrise today occurs at 5:42 a.m. and sunset is at 7:58 p.m. this evening.

The Atlantic hurricane season began just last Saturday and runs through November. Presently, there is no system in either ocean but there’s a large area of disturbed weather off the Honduras coastline with a 40 percent chance of some kind of development in the next couple of days. Nothing going on in the eastern Pacific at this time. Normally the eastern Pacific tropics pop out at least two or three systems during the month of June. Stay tuned on that one.

It’s really hard to predict what kind of south swell season we’ll see here in 2019. It’s neither an El Nino nor La Nina at this time so anything goes I guess. I do know that the last four summers have been bunk for Baja swells or even significant Southern Hemi action. The summer of 2014 was our last decent south swell activity. There was a lot more Baja swell activity in decades past. Nowadays we’re lucky to get one per summer. Hurricanes down south seem to be taking different tracks that prevent their waves from reaching our south facing beaches. For instance, the years from 1954-2000, there was only one year that we didn’t have the Brooks St. Surfing Classic. Since 2000 we’ve had six no shows. 

In Major League Baseball, home runs are flying out of parks at a frantic pace. In the month of May, there were 1,135 home runs hit and that eclipses the record of 1,120 set back in August of 2017. The 1,135 home runs in just one month were roughly half of some entire seasons in years past. We just passed the one-third mark of the 2019 season, and hordes of players are on pace to hit at least 40 home runs, and a dozen are on pace to clout 50. A few guys are on pace to hit 60 or more. I love it!

See you Friday, ALOHA!


Marine Safety Files

Man needs chopper rescue after jumping off 80-foot cliff at Three Arch Bay 

On Sunday, June 2, at 1:31 p.m., Marine Safety, LBPD, LBFD, and Station 57 personnel responded to an emergency situation at Three Arch Bay at the 100 block of La Senda Drive. 

According to Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond, a caller had reported a swimmer in distress. “On scene we found a subject who was lying on the sand. Lifeguards and LB Fire made contact with the patient and provided medical aid. It was deemed necessary that he needed to go via helicopter to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo.

“It appears that he jumped off the south cliff of Three Arch Bay and injured his lower extremities. In the initial report it said it was an 80-foot fall,” Capt Bond continued.

According to police reports, the person who reported the incident indicated that the victim was an alleged trespasser on the property last seen in the backyard.

The RP said that the man was fully clothed, inside the water, past the breakers, and screaming. The RP further advised that he appeared to be going further into the water and that he was crawling on the sand.

This type of incident is pretty rare, according to Capt Bond.

“It was 80 feet, and the victim landed into the water, but unfortunately hit part of the rock when he entered the water and was able to self extricate on to the sand,” he said.

Capt Bond warned, “Jumping off of any rocks is dangerous and that’s something, if any public safety staff saw, they would stop it.”

The conditions were low tide during and leading up to the event. The low tide was 1.7 feet at 2:50 p.m., so the tide was getting lower at that time, which didn’t help.

 However, Capt Bond said no matter the tide conditions, jumping 80 feet off of anything, the tide might be irrelevant based on the distance of the fall. 

It is unknown where the subject is from. There has been no updated patient information as of press time.

-By Suzie Harrison


Bystanders turn into lifesavers at “Sidewalk CPR” during Hands-Only CPR training

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

National “Sidewalk CPR” week was from June 1-7, and during that time, locals and visitors to Main Beach and students at Laguna Beach High School had the opportunity to learn Hands-Only Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) from the Laguna Beach Fire Department (LBFD). This national event teaches participants how to effectively and efficiently deliver proper CPR with a quick lesson provided by local firefighters and medical professionals. 

Citizen CPR is rapidly growing as a way to empower bystanders to save a life when someone suffers sudden cardiac arrest. LBFD teamed up with the Orange County Emergency Medical Services Agency and the American Heart Association to bring “Sidewalk CPR” to Laguna last Friday on the Main Beach Cobblestones.

Laguna Beach Engineer Firefighter Paramedic Pat Cary says, “In total, from both sessions, we had around 500 people who learned the Hands-Only CPR.” 

Bystanders turn beach

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Hands-Only CPR at Main Beach Cobblestones

With 80 percent of all cardiac arrests occurring at home, learning how to properly provide CPR can double or triple a loved one’s chances of survival. 

Hands-Only is compression for the layperson, teaching the use of hands-only with no breathing. The hands serve as an external pump. 

At lunchtime on Monday, firefighters brought the training to LBHS. They set up the equipment in the quad, turned on the music, and announced the training. Approximately 140 students took advantage of the instruction.

Bystanders turn lifesavers

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Bystanders become lifesavers with LBFD on Friday

Firefighter Cary lists the steps in Hands-Only CPR:

--Shake and shout to determine if the person is (definitely) non-responsive, and then call 911 and put the phone on speaker mode

--Find landmark in the center of the chest, push hard and push fast

--Stay on the phone with 911 until paramedics arrive

(If you tire, find someone near you to quickly teach and then take over the CPR.)

Cary says, “If you don’t use it, you lose it, so it’s always good to take a 

refresher course.”

For anyone wanting to take a course in CPR for adults, children, infants, foreign body dislodging, or AED (automated external defibrillator), on August 3 from 8 a.m. - noon, the Laguna Beach Fire Department will teach a class on CPR/AED at the Susi Q Community Center. The class is for anyone with limited or no medical training who desires course instruction in CPR and AED use. Upon completion, students will receive an American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR Course Completion Card that is valid for two years. The cost is $50 for the class.

To register, go to the City of Laguna Beach’s summer catalog at www.lagunabeachcity.net.


Independence Day in Laguna Beach

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Independence Day 1

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Laguna Beach shows its love for our country yesterday at annual Brooks Street Parade

Independence Day 2

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Happy birthday, America

Independence Day 3

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American pride on full display

Independence Day 4

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Our future leaders

For more photos by Mary Hurlbut, see slideshow below


There’s a new Captain in town: LBPD announces Captain Rachel Johnson

Captain Rachel Johnson has been announced as LBPD’s new full-time Captain. She will fill the Captain position held by Captain Richard Rocchi, who was the Interim Police Captain following Captain Jason Kravetz’s retirement announcement early last year. 

Johnson formerly worked as a Police Lieutenant for the Newport Beach Police Department. During her tenure of 14 years with NBPD she most recently was assigned to the Patrol Division as a Watch Commander and Jail Manager. 

There's a Captain Rachel Johnson

LBPD Captain Rachel Johnson

Johnson also oversaw the Police Explorer POST, Mounted Unit, Honor Guard, and Reserve Officer Program. Prior to joining NBPD, Johnson was an OC Sheriff’s Deputy for four years, and prior to that, she served in the United States Marine Corps from 1997-2001, where she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan and San Diego. 

She earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Phoenix. Johnson was born and raised in Texas, is an avid baseball fan, runs half marathons, and is training for an ultra-marathon in 2020. She is the mother of three: ages 8, 11, and 13. 

She is very excited for the opportunity to join our department and get to know everyone. 

-By Suzie Harrison


Sad aftermath of balloon holidays threatens sea life; Rich German leading charge for city ban

By DIANNE RUSSELL 

The beginning of the week held some magical days at sea for Rich German – on Monday, he sighted five humpback whales, 10 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and thousands of common dolphins. On Tuesday, he spotted more Pacific white-sided dolphins, a Mola mola (sunfish) – rare this time of year – and to top it off, a gray whale swam upside down under his board. 

“An amazing couple of days on the water,” says German.

However, along with all this wonder and beauty, there was a disturbing discovery – German gathered 31 mylar balloons, mostly red ones from Valentine’s Day. 

Sad aftermath German balloons

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Submitted photo

Mylar balloons collected by Rich German

Mylar balloons usually signify some special occasion – a birthday, wedding, or a holiday – but they also have a dark side. A large percentage of them end up in the ocean, threatening to harm marine animals that can ingest them or become entangled in their strings. Mylar balloons are made of synthetic nylon with metallic coating, and are non-biodegradable, which adds yet another danger to the environment. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says, “Birds, turtles, and other animals commonly mistake balloons for food, which can harm or even kill them.”

As a call to action, German hopes to raise awareness on this issue. He has reopened a previous petition (with 1,659 signatures) for banning mylar balloons in Laguna Beach, with the intention of collecting more signatures in preparation for presenting it to the City Council. To sign the petition, click here.

When asked what residents can do right now to help make a difference, German says, “Sign the petition so we can let the city know we all want to raise more awareness, ban the balloons, and protect the marine animals!”

Sad aftermath boat

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Courtesy of PMMC

Member of Pacific Marine Mammal Center research team grabs balloon

Coincidentally, this issue is also on the radar of Pacific Marine Mammal center.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) Events and Public Relations Coordinator Krysta Higuchi says, “No animals recently were found to have died…because of balloons specifically but…we actually have a social media post scheduled for tomorrow about this specific issue. Our team was on the water Monday doing research and sea lion surveys and it turned into a balloon cleanup. Sad aftermath of a ‘balloon holiday’ (Valentine’s Day).”

Sad aftermath PMMC balloons

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Courtesy of PMMC

PMMC collection of balloons from Monday

According to balloonsblow.org, “When a balloon is let go, it will blow away, only to burst or deflate and return to pollute the Earth. Balloons can travel thousands of miles, polluting the most remote and pristine places. Once they do, they become a danger to any animal that comes in contact with it.”

     German says, “Laguna has done so much to protect its precious coast…like the MPA and no-take zone. I don’t think a lot of people realize where their balloons go when they release them and the negative impact they have on the environment and marine life. And I believe it is our responsibility to protect the ocean and the sacred life that lives in it. My hope is we can ban balloons here – and/or find a biodegradable alternative to mylar and latex – and that other cities will follow and do the same. This is a simple move that can make a real impact.”


4,941 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 30 deaths in last three days

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, May 22, reflect that there have been 4,941 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 108 new cases reported today. 

Sadly, the County reports that 118 people have died due to COVID-19, including six deaths reported today, 14 deaths yesterday, and 10 deaths the day before. 230 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 95 are currently in ICU.

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 44 cases to date, a per capita rate of 1.884 cases per thousand residents. 

Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 63 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 5.375 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 137 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 166 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 26 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 770 reported cases to date, a net increase of 12 cases today. Santa Ana has had 885 reported cases to date, a net increase of 27 today.

The County reports 368 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have conducted 93,906 tests as of today, with a 5.3 percent positive rate.

The County is not releasing data on the number of individuals who have tested negative following a positive test at this time.

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 22;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


Arnie Silverman, Laguna’s 2019 Patriot of the Year, awarded the Korean Peace Medal

Well-known Laguna Beach resident Arnie Silverman, 2019 Patriot of the Year, accepted the Korean Peace Medal in a ceremony last week at the Korean Consulate General’s home. 

Arnie says, “On Thursday, June 25, two members of our VFW Post here in Laguna Beach, in recognition of their active service during the Korean War on the 70th anniversary of invasion by North Korean forces, were honored with being presented the Korean Peace Medal at the home of the Korean Consulate General in Los Angeles. There were multiple guests – Korean and American – who offered praise of all who had served.” 

Arnie Silverman with couple

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Photo by Meryl Cook

Korean Council General and wife with Arnie Silverman

The speaker was Major General Major General Laura Yeager of the 40th Division of the 8th Army. 

“It was a rewarding ceremony and we were honored to be so chosen,” says Arnie. 

Norman Abbod served aboard a destroyer, the USS Henderson, and Sgt. Arnold Silverman served as a forward observer and gunnery sergeant of a heavy weapons company with the 35th RCT.

Arnie Silverman guys

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Photo by Meryl Cook

Norman Abbod (on left) and Arnie Silverman were awarded Korean Peace Medals

This commemorative medal is an expression of appreciation from the Korean government to United States service men and women who served in the Korean War.

Korean War Veterans who served in the Korean War may be eligible for the Korean Ambassador for Peace Medal.

The Ambassador for Peace Medal began to be presented to veterans as a special memento for those of who returned to South Korea through the “Revisit Program.” The honor has since expanded to veterans who cannot travel the long journey to Korea.

Arnie Silverman daughter

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Photo by Meryl Cook

Arnie with his daughter Meryl 

Arnie says, “The so-called forgotten war should not be as ignored as it has been. Too many lives were lost and when you juxtapose where North Korea is as a nation with South Korea today you will realize that in spite of there never having been a final cessation of conflict, we did some good there. I can’t count the number of times I listened to speakers who spoke of WWII, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq without mentioning Korea. We were treated very graciously at the ceremony and were proud to be so honored.”


COVID-19: 14 new deaths reported in OC, 418 new cases – 133 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 418 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 31.

Sadly, the County reports that 618 people have died due to COVID-19, including 14 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 36,196 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 593 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 191 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date, a per capita rate of 5.694 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,832 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 77 cases today, and 161 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,191 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 76 cases today, and 153 deaths. Newport Beach has had 820 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of seven cases today, and eight deaths. Irvine has had 1,174 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 182 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of one case today, and no deaths.

The County estimates 23,499 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 31, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,422 new cases reported in OC, 11 new cases in Laguna Beach

Orange County experienced a spike of 1,422 cases of COVID-19 yesterday (November 23), including 11 newly reported cases in Laguna Beach. OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 71,116 cumulative cases of COVID-19.

Sadly, the county reports that 1,554 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 304 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date. This represents a per capita rate of 13.015 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 25 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 428 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 105 are in ICU.

The county estimates 58,102 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 23, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 2,655 new cases and 22 new deaths reported in OC, 9 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,662 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 22 new deaths reported today (December 11). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 2,655 new cases of COVID-19 in OC today, marking a seven-day surge of 14,415 new cases countywide and 97,302 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity countywide continues to fall. The percentage of ICU beds currently available in OC is 10.7 percent unadjusted and 2.3 percent adjusted.* 54 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that there have been 378 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including nine new cases reported today and 29 new cases reported since last Friday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 584 new cases today; Anaheim experienced an increase of 441 new cases today.

The county reports that 1,122 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+97 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 265 are in ICU (+8 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 64,716 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 11, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 2,091 new cases and 18 new deaths reported in OC, 5 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,680 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 18 new deaths reported today (December 12). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 2,091 new cases of COVID-19 in OC today, marking a seven-day surge of 14,540 new cases countywide and 99,393 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity countywide remains low. The percentage of ICU beds currently available in OC is 11.2 percent unadjusted and 1.7 percent adjusted.* 53 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that there have been 383 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including five new cases reported today and 30 new cases reported since last Saturday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 361 new cases today; Anaheim experienced an increase of 303 new cases today.

The county reports that 1,150 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+28 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 273 are in ICU (+8 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 65,217 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 12, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 4,406 new cases and 2 new deaths reported in OC, 14 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,781 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including two new deaths reported today (December 23). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 4,406 new cases of COVID-19 today, marking a seven-day surge of 23,652 new cases and 134,820 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity remains very low and hospitalization numbers very high. The percentage of adult ICU beds currently available in OC is 8.2 percent unadjusted and 0 percent adjusted.* 44 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 1,854 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+48 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 394 are in ICU (+4 since yesterday’s report).

The county reports that there have been 451 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including 14 new cases reported today and 44 new cases reported since last Wednesday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 898 new cases today; Anaheim experienced an increase of 844 new cases today.

The county estimates 77,076 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 23, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Village Entrance contract on Tuesday’s agenda

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The long drawn-out development of the Village Entrance has not been cheap. And it may get even more expensive.

Funding of $8,366,000 for a design was approved in December of 2017. The approved amount is about $2.5 million short for the completion of the base project. And that does not include restoration of the exterior of the Digester Building, which members of the self-styled VE Committee contend they were promised, accusing city staff of pulling a fast one.

“I am so tired of projects running over budget, and I am sick and tired of people saying we said things we didn’t say,” said Mayor Kelly Boyd, who will preside over Tuesday’s council meeting, contrary to a story in Stu News last week. 

City Manager John Pietig said his recollection of council discussion about the Digester was approval of paint and repair job, not a formal restoration, which would require hiring an historic architect. The council could opt for more extensive work without delaying the start of the main project, but financial issues need to be considered, said Pietig. The cost is estimated at $33,174, less a $100,723 credit from the base bid. 

Councilwoman Toni Iseman said the restoration, as understood by the VE Committee, was a council compromise of Iseman’s proposal to renovating the interior as well as the exterior.

CS Legacy Construction Co. came in with the lowest of three bids on the project, not including proposed additional items: $7,673,503. The high bid for the base project was $9,777,490.

Staff described CS Legacy as qualified and properly licensed for the project and recommended council approval of the contract, provided they want to move ahead with the project.

Besides a difference of opinion on what was promised for the Digester, VE Committee member Ann Christoph said reducing the height of the fence along the channel was included in a multi-page list of recommendations the group submitted, but was ignored.

The staff report estimated the cost of the more decorative, lower fence at $564,959, minus a $128,601 credit from the county, if replaced. However, it was reported that the county would not agree to lowering the height.

Three options will be presented to the council on Tuesday:

--Award the contract in the amount of $8 million and appropriate $2.5 million from the Parking Fund for a total project amount not to exceed $10,865,610

--Direct staff to proceed with some, none or all of bid alternates (Digester, fence and retaining wall)

--Reject all bids and not proceed with the Village Entrance at this time


Hide and Seek: Temporary art comes to Laguna Beach

Illustrator David Zinn will be brightening the streets of Laguna Beach with temporary installations throughout downtown and Heisler Park from March 26 - 30. Zinn’s work is inspired by objects, street fixtures, and cracks in the sidewalks to create his creatures and monsters into trompe I’oeil illustrations.

Hide and Sidewalk

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Courtesy of Zinnart.com

David Zinn will brighten the streets of Laguna with his creative art installation

Zinn’s temporary street drawings are composed entirely of chalk and charcoal and are always improvised on location. Some favored characters are Sluggo (a bright green monster) and Philomena (a flying pig) but the menagerie of characters is only limited by the size of the sidewalk. So where will you be able to see them? You will have to seek them out!

Audiences of all ages are invited to join Zinn on Saturday, March 30 at the Heisler Park Amphitheatre at 11 a.m. to participate in a free workshop or watch the process unfold. All ages are welcome. 

If you are an illustration street art aficionado, a seeker of whimsy or humor, or young (both age and heart) then this is the temporary art illustration for you. Zinn says of his work, “Since the installations are so fleeting, the experience of seeing one in real life is more surprising and more exceptional.

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Courtesy of Zinnart.com

Zinn’s temporary street drawings are composed entirely of chalk and charcoal

Adam Schwerner, Chair of the Temporary Art Sub-Committee of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission, explains, “We want to explore every genre of temporary, and you can’t get more temporary and fleeting than chalk art. It’s a thrill to invite David to Laguna Beach and have programming that younger members of our community can embrace and enjoy.” Arts Commission Chair Michael Ervin added, “As we develop this temporary program, residents are going to enjoy broad variety of work that will be diverse in content, artist and location.”

This is a program of the City of Laguna Beach and has been funded by the Lodging Establishment and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit www.zinnart.com.


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 24, 2019

Memorial Day Madness 

Dennis 5The atmosphere is on steroids big time. Round after round of severe weather is invading the Plains with multiple tornadoes, huge hail, and torrential rains on the average of every three or four days. So far this season, it’s been a rough one especially for flash flooding. Texas and Oklahoma have been the main targets for twisters with several EF-4 and EF-5 twisters imposing their will across the landscape. 

Now that it’s getting warmer way up in places like the Dakotas, severe weather is hitting them hard as of late as super cell thunderstorms are reaching heights in the atmosphere as much as 55,000 ft. and that’s when huge hail develops and grows into monster stones. Then you’ve got the intense lightning every five or six seconds so there is continuous thunder for sometimes several hours on end. 

After all this madness moves on toward the east, there’s maybe a one or two-day break and then it starts all over. This pattern doesn’t show signs of changing anytime soon.

It always snows in Denver in May, never fails. Sometimes Denver will see more snow in May than they do in March. They’ve already had two hefty snow events so far this month.

Here in Laguna we’re still locked into temps as much as 5-10 degrees below normal as the elusive 80-degree day is still far out of reach.

Some areas in the Sierra Nevadas have had up to three to four feet of new snow all the way down to 5,500-6,000 ft.

There are no named storms yet down in the tropical Convergence Zone, but there are several large clusters of thunderstorms lurking off the coast of Central America. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and will run up until November 30th.

Here comes Memorial Weekend and you know town is going to be a total zoo. Not a good time to be out in public!

ALOHA!


Kobe Bryant among group that dies as their helicopter crashes into Calabasas hillside

Kobe Bryant, 41, the legendary star of the Los Angeles Lakers and a Newport Coast resident, was killed Sunday morning in a helicopter crash into a Calabasas hillside north of Los Angeles. 

Eight other people were on the Sikorsky S-76B helicopter, built in 1991, and all were killed. Those included Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna; Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; former Harbor Day School basketball coach Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and pilot Ara Zobayan.

Kobe Bryant

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Courtesy of Bryant Facebook Page

Kobe Bryant was among the victims in a tragic helicopter crash on Sunday that killed all nine aboard

Kobe played his entire 20-year career with the Lakers, was an 18-time All-Star, 15-time member of the All-NBA Team, 12-time member of the All-Defensive Team, the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player, led Los Angeles to five NBA Championships and won two Olympic gold medals representing the USA.

He is considered by most to be one of the greatest players in NBA history.

He leaves behind his wife, Vanessa, whom he married in 2001, and daughters Natalia (17), Bianka (3) and Capri Kobe (7 months).

Kobe Bryant Main Beach

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Courtesy of Blair Filmworks

A memorial was set up at Main Beach on Monday

Altobelli was scheduled to begin his 28th season today at OCC. During those years, “Coach Alto,” as he was called by his players, led the Pirates to the state championship in 2009, 2014 and 2015. He also won his 600th career game in 2017 and was named national coach of the year by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2019.

His wife Keri and daughter Alyssa, a teammate and friend of Gianna, were also killed in the crash. They are survived by another daughter and two sons.

Mauser was a basketball coach at Harbor Day and helped to manage her husband Matt’s band, Tijuana Dogs. 

Kobe Bryant Mausers

Mauser Facebook photo

Matt and Christina Mauser

The helicopter left John Wayne Airport at 9:06 a.m. headed north, flying over Dodger Stadium, then circling several times in a holding pattern over Glendale before heading west. 

Then at 9:47 a.m., authorities were called reporting a helicopter crash and a surrounding fire. Los Angeles County Fire Department responded and extinguished the fire by 10:30 a.m.

Witnesses reported hearing the helicopter struggling prior to crashing. 

Kobe artwork

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Photo by Zalan Szabo (Instagram @zalansz)

Local sand artist pays tribute to tragic loss of Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash that also took the lives of his 13-year-old daughter Gianna; John Altobelli, his wife Keri and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser; Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton; and Ara Zobayan

An investigation has been launched by the FAA and the NTSB.

Some reports said that foggy conditions were in the area before the crash and created a low ceiling that may have been a cause. Reports say the helicopter banked hard into a turn attempting to gain altitude, before suddenly crashing.

The passengers were headed to the Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for a youth tournament called the Mamba Cup. The Mamba Cup featured travel teams of boys and girls in fourth through eighth grade.

Kobe was scheduled to coach on Sunday.

For more coverage of this story, visit www.stunewsnewport.com.


7,064 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 174 people have died, 9 deaths reported today

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, June 5, reflect that there have been 7,064 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 296 new cases reported today. 

Sadly, the County reports that 174 people have died due to COVID-19, including nine deaths reported today. The County reports 283 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 123 are currently in ICU. (Effective June 3, 2020, the data source for positive COVID-19 hospital patients is the California Department of Public Health daily inventory of hospital status. The data is entered by hospitals into an online web interface at the end of each day. The Orange County data represents the 26 hospitals with emergency receiving centers and licensed ICU beds.)

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 46 cases to date, a per capita rate of 1.969 cases per thousand residents. 

Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 86 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 7.337 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 151 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 215 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 30 reported cases to date.

Santa Ana has had 1,386 reported cases to date, a net increase of 67 cases today. Anaheim has had 1,248 reported cases to date, a net increase of 79 cases today.

The County reports 385 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have conducted 148,371 tests as of today.

The County reports that 3,021 people have recovered from COVID-19 to date. The County states on its website:

“While every case of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is reported to HCA, there is no practical way to find out if they’ve recovered. Moreover, many people may have experienced some symptoms of COVID-19, but were not tested, making it impossible to know the exact number of COVID-19 infections and recoveries. However, because it is important to know approximately how many residents may have been exposed and recovered in Orange County, an attempt to estimate the number of recovered cases [has been made] by taking the difference between the prior 28-day cumulative case count and current day mortality to determine the current day recovered total. Please note that these data are only an estimate and should be interpreted with caution. [Methodology: Prior 28-day cumulative case count – current day mortality = current day recovered]”

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of June 6;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


7,321 reported cases of COVID-19 in OC to date, 176 people have died, back-to-back highest single-day case count increases to date

Numbers released by the OC Health Agency today, June 6, reflect that there have been 7,321 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 274 new cases reported today. 296 new cases were reported yesterday, June 5. Yesterday and today mark the highest single-day case count increases in the County to date.

Sadly, the County reports that 176 people have died due to COVID-19, including two deaths reported today. 

The County reports 282 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 122 are currently in ICU.

Laguna Beach has a cumulative case count of 46 cases to date, a per capita rate of 1.969 cases per thousand residents. 

Los Alamitos, with a population of 11,721 and 86 reported cases to date, has the highest per capita rate in OC, 7.337 cases per thousand residents.

Newport Beach has had 158 reported cases to date. Irvine has had 222 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 31 reported cases to date.

Santa Ana has had 1,438 reported cases to date, a net increase of 52 cases today. Anaheim has had 1,297 reported cases to date, a net increase of 49 cases today.

The County reports 385 cases to date in its “Other” category, which includes the aggregate case count of the unincorporated areas of the county that have less than five cases, plus cases incarcerated in Orange County jails.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have conducted 154,511 tests as of today.

The County reports that 3,156 people have recovered from COVID-19 to date. The County states on its website:

“While every case of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is reported to HCA, there is no practical way to find out if they’ve recovered. Moreover, many people may have experienced some symptoms of COVID-19, but were not tested, making it impossible to know the exact number of COVID-19 infections and recoveries. However, because it is important to know approximately how many residents may have been exposed and recovered in Orange County, an attempt to estimate the number of recovered cases [has been made] by taking the difference between the prior 28-day cumulative case count and current day mortality to determine the current day recovered total. Please note that these data are only an estimate and should be interpreted with caution. [Methodology: Prior 28-day cumulative case count – current day mortality = current day recovered]”

For more information, visit www.ochealthinfo.com/novelcoronavirus.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of June 6;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 34,833 cases in OC to date, 581 deaths, including 15 new deaths – 130 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 187 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 28.

Sadly, the County reports that 581 people have died due to COVID-19, including 15 new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 34,833 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 640 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 203 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 130 confirmed cases to date including six new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 5.566 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,570 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 78 cases today, and 147 deaths. Anaheim has had 5,954 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 58 cases today, and 146 deaths. Newport Beach has had 793 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 18 cases today, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,132 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 14 cases today, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 178 confirmed cases to date, and no deaths.

The age group with the most confirmed cases is 25-34 years old, accounting for 7,942 of the total confirmed cases in the County to date. 

The County estimates 21,066 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 28, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 35,272 cases in OC to date, 587 deaths, including six new deaths – 132 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 439 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County today, July 29.

Sadly, the County reports that 587 people have died due to COVID-19, including six new deaths received today. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,272 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 626 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 204 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 132 confirmed cases to date including two new cases reported today, a per capita rate of 5.651 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,665 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 95 cases today, and 151 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,024 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 70 cases today, and 147 deaths. Newport Beach has had 804 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 11 cases today, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,152 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 20 cases today, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 179 confirmed cases to date, a net increase one case today, and no deaths.

The County estimates 21,926 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 29, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 506 additional cases, 17 new deaths reported countywide – 133 cases in Laguna Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reported 506 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the County yesterday, July 30.

Sadly, the County reports that 604 people have died due to COVID-19, including 17 new deaths received yesterday. There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date, according to the County.

According to the County, OC is experiencing “elevated disease transmission,” “increasing hospitalization,” and “limited hospital capacity.” The County reports a total of 35,778 cumulative cases to date.

The County reports that 592 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 189 are in ICU.

Laguna Beach has had 133 confirmed cases to date including one new case reported yesterday, a per capita rate of 5.694 cases per thousand residents.

Santa Ana has had 6,755 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 90 cases yesterday, and 157 deaths. Anaheim has had 6,115 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of 91 cases yesterday, and 149 deaths. Newport Beach has had 813 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of nine cases yesterday, and six deaths. Irvine has had 1,160 confirmed cases to date, a net increase of eight cases yesterday, and nine deaths. Dana Point has had 181 confirmed cases to date, a net increase two cases yesterday, and no deaths.

The County estimates 22,787 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the County, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of July 30, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


LBUSD COVID-19 Dashboard

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Courtesy of LBUSD

For more information and to access the dashboard, visit www.lbusd.org/resources/covid19/covid-19-reporting


COVID-19: 3,121 new cases and 14 new deaths reported in OC, 8 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,694 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 14 new deaths reported today (December 13). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 3,121 new cases of COVID-19 in OC today – the highest number of new cases reported in a day to date – marking a seven-day surge of 15,636 new cases and 102,514 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity countywide remains low. The percentage of ICU beds currently available in OC is 11.2 percent unadjusted and 1.6 percent adjusted.* 54 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that there have been 391 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including eight new cases reported today and 34 new cases reported since last Sunday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 752 new cases today; Anaheim experienced an increase of 600 new cases today.

The county reports that 1,236 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+86 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 284 are in ICU (+11 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 65,621 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 13, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 2,594 new cases and 3 new deaths reported in OC, 4 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,734 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (December 18). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 2,594 new cases of COVID-19 in OC today, marking a seven-day surge of 19,075 new cases and 116,377 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity remains very low. The percentage of adult ICU beds currently available in OC is 9.2 percent unadjusted and 0 percent adjusted.* 51 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that there have been 413 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including four new cases reported today and 30 new cases reported since last Friday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 549 new cases today; Anaheim experienced an increase of 495 new cases today.

The county reports that 1,557 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+38 since yesterday’s report – includes ICU); 358 are in ICU (+15 since yesterday’s report).

The county estimates 71,216 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 18, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fiery crash in the Canyon results in major injuries

An investigation is underway following a traffic collision in the Canyon resulting in major injuries and a vehicle fire on Wednesday afternoon, according to LBPD PIO Lt. Jim Cota. The collision snarled traffic on Laguna Canyon Road for about three hours.

At 3:27 p.m., Laguna Beach Police and Fire responded to a multiple-vehicle collision at Laguna Canyon Road and Canyon Acres Drive.

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Courtesy of LBPD

Multi-car collision in the canyon results in vehicle fire and major injuries

“Officers arrived and discovered there were six vehicles involved, and two were engulfed in flames,” Lt. Cota said.

“Four persons were transported to Mission Hospital – Mission Viejo with major injuries. Traffic was diverted, and one lane in each direction was opened for the majority of the time.”

According to Lt. Cota, Motor officers (traffic) will be conducting the investigation, but the initial assessment is that one vehicle (party believed to be at fault) was traveling at an excessive speed, crossed over the center median, and caused the multi-car crash. 

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Courtesy of Celine Macmillan

The aftermath on Wednesday

This incident is still under investigation, and specific details are still being sorted out.


Political notebook banner

Twelve candidates to run for three City Council seats

Twelve Laguna residents have picked up papers to run for City Council, and all but two have turned in all the necessary information, according to City Clerk Lisette Chel-Walker.

Candidates who have completed their nominating papers include (in no particular order) Sue Kempf, Ann Christoph, Allison Mathews, Toni Iseman, Rob Zur Schmiede, Judie Mancuso, Peter Blake, Lorene Laguna, Elizabeth (Liz) Bates, and Paul Merritt.

Cheryl Kinsman and Sue Marie Connolly have also filed but have yet to turn in their papers (as of press time), according to Chel-Walker.

The date for filing for new candidates (not including incumbents) has been extended to August 15.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

 Maggi’s spot has been spotted – at Bluebird Park. It might have been tricky to locate as it’s inside the park gate, but several Stu News readers were onto the smiley face’s whereabouts.

First on it was JJ Gasparotti, followed by Karen Feuer-Shwager, Vicki Borthwick, Lisa Staight, Bernadette Murphy, and Janet Bescoby. 

Thanks for keeping Maggi on her toes, and for sending in your answers! 

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It’s a cool face at Bluebird Park’s gate


Don’t let the sun go down

Dont let sunset

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Photo by Scott Brashier

A ball of light lulls on the horizon, leaving coral clouds in its wake, beautiful in its brief journey


Laguna Beach nonprofit launches Orange is the New Pink® Thrive Tribe

Orange is the New Pink® Thrive Tribe, part of The Laurus Project Outreach Initiative, is helping breast cancer survivors in Laguna Beach get empowered in a supportive and inspiring environment to take control of their health and live their best lives. 

Thrive Tribes are designed to bring together health education, resources, and activities and deliver them to women affected by breast cancer directly, in their communities. Each month, The Laurus Project will provide education about a topic relevant to the challenges women affected by breast cancer face along with a suggested activity that spurs action. An example would be education on nutrition partnered with a cooking tutorial. 

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Photo by Studio Alani

Summer Tarango, Leader of Laurus’ “Laguna Beach Thrive Tribe”

Thrive Tribe members are women who have been affected by breast cancer through prior diagnosis or are at high-risk for the disease. Each tribe, led by a volunteer breast cancer thriver or a high-risk leader, serves as the link between tribe members and The Laurus Project education, programs, and activities.

Tribes are located in cities across the U.S. and meet every month with The Laguna Beach Tribe heading up the launch. To join, survivors can click on the “Thrive Tribe” link found on The Laurus Project website (www.thelaurusproject.com). An inspiring pledge of commitment to self-care is part of the membership process of joining a tribe. 

“It’s about community and empowerment. We are delivering up-to-date health information to individuals affected by breast cancer in their community and empowering them to take control of their health in a supportive and inspiring environment.” said Teresa Lawsky, founder of The Laurus Project®. 

Women whose city or community does not have a Thrive Tribe can apply to become a Thrive Tribe leader on The Laurus Project website. 

The Laurus Project will be kicking off the launch with a Spring Fling fundraiser on Saturday, May 25 at The Garage Collective in Laguna Beach. Event sponsors are The Garage Collective, Summer’s Table, Argaux, and The Flower Stand, Laguna Beach. 

Event tickets are available on The Laurus Project website at www.thelaurusproject.com.


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 10, 2019

Good news, home runs; bad news, May gloom 

Dennis 5We’re not even at the first quarter mark of the 2019 Major League Baseball season as home runs are flying out of baseball parks at a record torrid pace. In just 36-38 games played so far in a long 162-game regular season, almost two dozen players are on pace to slug 40, 50, and even 60 home runs before all is said and done, and that’s being achieved without the two heaviest home run hitters in the lineup, the New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. 

In the previous record year for home runs in 2017, Stanton hit 59 and Judge 52, but both have been on the injured list for a better part of the new season so far. The 2017 season saw 16 ball clubs with more than 200 home runs. This year there are 20 teams on that pace and two teams are on pace to clout nearly 300, an amazing feat in itself! The home run parade is being led by Christian Yelich of the Milwaukee Brewers with 18 and Cody Bellinger of the L.A. Dodgers with 16. Stay tuned on that one!

The dreaded gloom has been harsh on us this time around. We’ve already had more gloom than some entire spring seasons. I’ve noticed a pattern here and that is after a wet winter, the gloom sets in early and often. The stubborn and thick marine layer extends all the way inland to the 5,000 ft. level of the coastal facing slopes of our mountain regions and morning drizzle has been more frequent than normal. 

I know a few folks that get so fed up with this constant gray, they retreat to the deserts where the marine layer doesn’t reach. This is where climate depression comes into play. Not everyone suffers from it, but for some, like present company, it affects the energy level to quite an extent. 

I normally get up early when it’s nice weather, but on a day like today, why bother? The usual spring in my step becomes more like the Thorazine Shuffle and motivation goes out the window. A few days of it I can handle but when it becomes week after week, my posture is transformed into one of the Walking Dead, and we still have most of May and June to deal with. 

But it’s still a walk in the park compared to some place like Seattle where they get nine months of this crud a year and it’s 20-30 degrees colder to boot. Maybe, though, we’ll get a break and keep the faith that June just might brighten up. Until then, I’m going back to bed! 

ALOHA!


Wildfire Preparedness Week continues through Saturday

Governor Gavin Newsom has declared wildfire Preparedness Week through Saturday, May 11. California’s wet winter created a sizable crop of new grass growth, but don’t let the wet weather fool you as the abundant grass dries.   

The City of Laguna Beach encourages our residents to help safeguard their homes by using fire-safe construction materials, and to look for points of entry where embers could intrude into the home during a fire. 

Home and property safety preparation should include creating defensible space by clearing vegetation at least 30 feet away from your home, and using fire resistant landscaping to help stop the spread of wildfire. Residents should also remove all dead or dying vegetation from your yard, roof, and rain gutters.

Wildfire Preparedness plane

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Submitted photo

Aliso Fire Air Drop

Go to www.AlertOC.com to register or update your cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the emergency notification system. You should also register for Laguna Beach’s Nixle Community Alert system. This system is different than AlertOC because it is used to communicate local traffic related information, community events, as well as urgent safety messages in the City. To sign up, simply text 92651 to 888-777. 

You can now purchase a Laguna Beach specific Emergency Kit Backpack for $50 on the City’s website via https://bit.ly/2DlnFGy or in person at the Susi Q Community Center, 380 3rd Street, during normal business hours. 

Wildfire Preparedness fire

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Submitted photo

Aliso Fire below TOW

To help protect customers and communities during extreme weather events, the electrical utility company may shut off power for public safety in an effort to prevent a wildfire. Under the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas and Electric is helping to prepare residents for power outages during times of extreme weather or wildfires. For additional information on creating an emergency plan specific to Public Safety Power Shutoff, visit www.prepareforpowerdown.com

Sign up for a free Wildfire Consultation by the Laguna Beach Fire Department by visiting www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/fire or by calling (949) 497-0700.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

The swirly bench has been spotted by a few Stu News readers. Mark Porterfield had the advantage of seeing it from his house. Charlie Ferrazzi knew that it resides at S Coast Hwy at Bluebird, as did Linda Potichke.

Thanks to everyone who sent in their guesses.   

Keep searching for Maggi! 

Wheres Maggi 5 14 19

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Bus bench with a swirl – on S Coast Hwy at Bluebird


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 17, 2019

I did it my way 

Dennis 5On this date (May 17, 1958), I stood up on a wave for the very first time. Not on a surfboard but on a surf mat from George Moore’s mat and beach umbrella stand on Main Beach on the corner of Broadway and Coast Highway.

It was a Saturday and the weather that day was sunny and warm with no gloom at all. The water was already warm at 70 degrees as a healthy El Nino was going on in 1958. The green flag was flying, and the waves were a mellow and manageable 2-3 feet. 

I was a ten-year-old grom and weighed maybe all of 70 pounds on a good day. The reason I bring that up is these mats were hard canvas and when fully inflated, one could easily knee paddle them to catch a wave. 

At ten years young, I already had plenty of water savvy and was an accomplished body surfer on waves up to maybe 4 or 5 feet. I learned how to swim at Main Beach when I was three and instantly became a lifelong water baby. I belonged in the ocean and still do to this day. 

It took a whole season of practice to learn how to knee paddle in the summer of 1957, so by the following season, I could easily catch waves on my knees. I noticed some of the other groms my age were standing up on these four feet by three feet wide hard canvas little wave vehicles, so I figured it was time to try standing up too. 

It took some doing but after at least a dozen tries, I was on my feet. To say I was stoked is an understatement. I knew right then and there I would eventually end up standing up on a surfboard. That became a reality on July 20, 1960 at Doheny on a fun 2 to 3-foot day before they ruined the place with a harbor in 1970. 

I’m 71 now and still experience the stoke like it was my very first time. I miss maybe 20 days a year in the water to this day. I’ll surf and paddle and bodysurf ‘til I drop. To be landlocked would be like doin’ time! The memories of that very first ride are still so vivid it’s like I did it yesterday! The stoke and the childish enthusiasm will never leave. 

Heck, it sure beats old age and treachery. To me, Laguna is still a magical place and always will be. I’m so stoked my Mom and Pop found this place in 1939 on a tip from “Blue Eyes.”

Thank you, Mr. Sinatra! ALOHA!


Barbara’s Column

Dance Dance Dance 

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna Dance Festival celebrated 15 years of world-class performances with an evening of “Dance, Dance, Dance” on Saturday night at [seven-degrees]. They could have danced all night and the audience would have still wanted more.

From the time the gala began at 6 p.m. until 9ish, when they took to the dance floor, the audience was spellbound by the dance students and professionals who entertained throughout the evening. 

“This is the most fun gala in town,” said Karen Wilson, chair of the festival board. “And we get to watch these exquisite dancers.”

The performance by professionals Oksana and Jonathan Platero was breathtaking, but it was the students of dance who stole hearts. 

Young dancers included students from Mater Dei and Laguna Beach High Schools, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School and USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, of which Jodie Gates is vice dean and director. Gates’ students Jackie Schiffner, Meagan Yamashita and Juan Miguel Posada were the USC scholarship performers. 

Gates, who has been dancing since she was five years old and performed for 25 years with prestigious ballet companies such as the Joffrey, is the founder of the Laguna Dance Festival. 

Dance Dance Wilson

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Courtesy of Laguna Dance Festival Facebook

Karen Wilson, chair of the festival board, introduces dancers

“The arts, like sports, are critical to our culture and specifically our youth,” said Gates. “Dance requires dedication; it is competitive, engaging, inspirational and enriches a young person’s life. Dance does for us what sports does: it teaches community, collaboration, scholarship and critical thinking.”

Each year the festival awards scholarships to help young dance/athletes achieve their dreams, Gates said. 

Scholarship winners Jessica Ward, who attends the Classical Ballet Academy; Jacob Kurihara, who attends Huntington Beach Academy of Performing Arts; and Sophia Frilot, a student at the Orange County School of the Arts, were among the dancers on Saturday. Ward and Frilot also participate in the Westside Dance project. 

Wilson and William J. Gillespie, whose generosity of time and money help make scholarships possible, were honored at the gala.

Laguna’s Dance Festival began modestly in the home of Stu Byer and Jeff Rehn, both of whom attended the gala, and supported by balletomane Janet Eggers. My how it has grown. An Advisory Board and an all-volunteer Board of Directors handles most of the administrative and fundraising business, and a growing group of dedicated volunteers staff the festivals.

Dance Dance boy

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Courtesy of Laguna Dance Festival Facebook

Dancer wows crowd

Board members include Robert Braun, Mari and Ward Bukofsky, Kathy Conway, Mary Dawe, Susan Giusto, Stacy Hagen, Nancy Meyer, Amanda Paracuellos, Robbie Prepas, Deborah Schlesinger and Edie Tonkon. Guitos and Hagen chaired the gala. 

Executive Director Joy Dittberner is a master of organization – you should see her timetable for the Saturday event. It began Thursday afternoon with the delivery of wine and covered the meals for staff, guest arrivals, a champagne reception, pop-up performances on [seven-degrees] rooftop, herding the guests downstairs for dinner, and concluded with the audience taking to the dance floor at about 9 p.m. 

Dance enthusiasts at the gala included Betsy and Dr. Gary Jenkins, Nancy and Mike Meyer, which whom Gates lived when she first moved to Laguna Beach, soloist sponsors Chris Quilter and Laura Tarbox, Barbara and Greg MacGillivray, Lauren and Richard Packard, Cindy and Bill Shopoff, Marcus Skenderian, Joe and Jane Hanauer, Jeff Benedick, Leah and Howard Englander, Charlotte Bloom, and Becky Jones.

“I am new to this,” said Jones “And I am mesmerized,”

The evening also included an auction of big ticket items, VIP passes to Porsche’s Experience Center, described as a theme park for grownups, a three-day trip to New York, dinner for 10, catered by Chef Maryann Minck, four tickets to the Dodger-Angels Freeway Series and two tickets to a Rams or Chargers game, and seven nights at one of several lavish resorts located in Acapulco, Cancun – Riviera Maya, Nuevo Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Penasco with concierge service included.

Dance Dance girl

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Courtesy of Laguna Dance Festival Facebook

Student dancer 

The final auction item was a $1 bill. Three bidders offered $5,000 for it. Six bidders offered $2,500. Nine raised their paddles at the $1,000 mark. Eleven bidders promised $500 for the bill. Nine offered $100, but the always generous Al Roberts tossed in a last minute $3,000 bid.

Jim Nye was the auctioneer. 

“We know how to put on a show” said Gates. 

Unfortunately, the show won’t be in Laguna this year. The Playhouse, where the festival has always appeared, could not accommodate dates that were feasible for the Dance Festival. The Irvine Barclay Theatre will host the 2019 festival. 

Coffee with Cottie

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris is inviting Laguna Beach residents to join her for a cup of coffee and conversation about fire safety and legislation. 

Petrie-Norris will be at Fire Station 1 next to the city Council Chambers from 9 to 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 8.

For more information and to reserve space, call (949) 251-0074 or visit http://asmdc.org/js.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading StuNewsLaguna.com. Contributions are welcomed.


Korean War Veteran Arnold Silverman delivers speech at Memorial Day Ceremony at Monument Point

Photos by Scott Brashier

The following speech was presented by Arnie Silverman, Korean War Veteran and Honored Patriot of the Year for Laguna Beach’s 53rd annual Patriots Day Parade, at the Memorial Day observance at Heisler Park yesterday, May 27.

Good morning. On behalf of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts here in Laguna Beach, I welcome you to this Memorial Day observance. Rather than repeat the old, patriotic platitudes that apply to this day, I thought I would get a little personal and also readdress some relevant issues I’ve discussed in the past.

For me, this is not a holiday and it certainly is not a day of celebration. It is instead a day of somber reflection and remembrance. Each year at this time, I recall my brothers who fought beside me in that bitter Korean cold but did not return home. And we were indeed brothers. With no thoughts of ethnicity, race, faith, color or country of origin, we protected, looked after, and comforted one another.

Most of those in my unit were draftees. We did not volunteer for service but once having been inducted, like our fathers, brothers, sisters, and other family members and friends who fought in the war of the 1940s, we felt duty bound, if not conditioned by their examples, to honor our commitment to our country. 

Korean War speaking

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Arnie Silverman

We climbed with full field packs, rifles, and heavy mortar components seemingly every one of those perpendicular Korean hills and ravines, survived monsoon flooding, withstood the frostbite conditions of below zero temperatures, and cutting-cold winds, always under fire; always facing an always higher ground-dug in-positioned foe. The artillery fire was constant – you never knew if it was theirs or a short round from our side. And if one of those shells had, as we used to say, your name on it, you were done; you were meat. 

The skirmishes were vigorous and deadly. On dark nights, you could not see who or what was coming at you and judged targets by sound only. Flares were used but they were ineffective. A cartridge flying by your ear or the scream of an artillery shell were particularly frightening. Worst of all was the agony of seeing a comrade fall in battle. 

I think of platoon brothers, Booker, Aaron, Bill, Damien, Paul, Justin, and too many others. And especially at this time, I ask myself that old, haunting question, why them and not me? Why was I able to return home and not them? Was it luck? A blessing from above? I don’t have an answer to that. But each year, I remember and salute them. 

Korean War crowd

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The crowd gathers at Monument Point 

They and those we honor today are legacies of an unbroken chain of courageous, proud men and women who served our country with honor, who waged war so that we might know peace and security; who braved hardship and who paid the ultimate price or in Lincoln’s elegant words, gave their last full measure of devotion so that we might know freedom.

Since WWI, our armed forces have fought in ten plus wars: WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Bay of Pigs, Grenada, Invasion of Panama, The Persian Gulf, Intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Invasion of Afghanistan, and the Invasion of Iraq. If you include Syria, it’s 11. Over 400,000 American troops were killed in WWII, over 36,000 troops died in the so-called “forgotten” war in Korea, over 58,000 died in Vietnam, and in Afghanistan and Iraq over 4,400 have died.

I believe if those fallen could speak to us, they would say that while they did not know they would be called upon to storm some impregnably defended beach, or battle in those Korean mountains, the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan or the deltas and dangerous jungles of Vietnam, they were willing to give all for their country; that while they did not know they would be called upon to lose their lives, they were willing to take that risk to save the lives of their brothers and sisters in arms and the nation at large.  There was no thought of sacrifice. We/they did all that we could to defend and protect ourselves, but for some those measures did not prevail.

Korean War singing

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Singing of National Anthem

Oliver Wendell Holmes, the great Supreme Court Justice and Civil War veteran, said in a Memorial Day speech in 1884, “But grief is not the end of all. I seem to hear the funeral march become a paean, a song of triumph. I see beyond the forest, the moving banners of a hidden column. Our dead brothers still live for us, and bid us to think of life, not death – of life to which in their youth they lent their passion and joy.” 

President Herbert Hoover, the 31st president, speaking of WWI in a Memorial Day ceremony in 1931, said “It was the transcendent fortitude and steadfastness of these men – those doughboys – who in adversity and in suffering through one of the darkest hours of our history held faithful to an ideal. Here men endured that a nation might live.”

On this day, when we honor and remember those heroes, something significantly positive if not beautiful happens nationally. Most Americans deeply divided now by all kinds of issues – political, business, immigration, health, economic, Constitutional, environmental, religious, and you name it – on this day gather together to remember with gratitude those fallen heroes and in so doing, we become even for just this one day a united, civil entity. It’s an inspiring thing to observe and be a part of. Wouldn’t it be something if we could maintain that unity and civility, whatever our differences now?  Yes, it would be, but it is not happening. And why not?

Korean War Petrie Norris

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Assemblywoman District 74 Cottie Petrie-Norris 

We have become tribal. We group now into separate segments of thought and values and seem locked in them. “Our” kind of people are under threat from “their” kind of people. The gaps between rich and poor, rural and urban, educated and less educated, black and white, left and right are widening. A question I keep pondering is when did bipartisan, compromise, collaboration, and negotiation become dirty words?  We seem to see our adversaries as foes to be crushed. We seem to have no interest in alternate concepts. In our support of our current views, many of us are subject to spreading outrageous charges against those with whom we disagree. It seems too many of us have abandoned critical thinking and accept the credibility of those charges without thought. 

We’ve always been a contentious people from Jamestown to the landing of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock to now. Disputation is in the national genome. Over the two plus centuries of the nation’s existence, with issues like a deadly civil war, union worker strikes, anti-war marches, women’s suffrage, prohibition, abortion, income distribution, even a farmers’ rebellion over a whiskey tax, we have as a people been in contention but have always found a way to resolve our issues and move forward as a nation. 

Korean War hat

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Veteran in attendance 

When you read the writings of the Founders – Madison, Jefferson, Hamilton, Washington, Marshall, Adams and the rest – you learn that while all had their own preferences and prejudices, they joined together with compromises and “give and take” to create the Constitution. Jefferson intensely distrusted if not disliked Washington and Hamilton but worked with them and Adams in creating the systems and institutions of government we have today. You can also see the results of negotiation in the accomplishments of Lincoln, both Roosevelts, and even Lyndon Johnson who somehow persuaded a hostile, seemingly intractable segregationist block in both houses to approve the voting rights bill. 

Have we strayed too far from the aspirations and principles of the founders and our great leaders? When I read polls that state that three-fourths of Americans believe we’re heading into a civil war or see the hate-filled attacks on religious minorities, or the hateful diatribes in the various hate-filled online forums, I wonder. But, on reflection with all of that, though we may disagree on all kinds of issues, when it comes to our belief in the basic, enriching principles, the sinews upon which this great nation was founded – 

our cherished freedoms, our economic opportunities, the equal protection of our laws, the free franchise to choose who will govern, and all of the traditions and heritage as passed on to us by the Founding Fathers, I believe we as a nation are and remain united. But we must be vigilant. With political polarization accelerating here and worldwide, many democracies including ours are under contention and unless we all work to defend and preserve it, our democracy will not last as we know it. 

Korean War folded flag

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Arnie holds a folded flag

And we also need more civility in our daily lives. We recently lost one of the great leaders of Laguna, a patriot, Dave Connell. Dave was politically one of the most conservative people I ever met, and I guess you can call me a NY progressive. Almost every day, we would argue over the internet about some political issue but always with mutual respect and appreciation. Sometimes in humor, we would question each other’s sanity. But when we met, when we got together, we hugged and confirmed our friendship for each other. In short, while we had different values and beliefs and came from essentially different worlds, we remained the best of friends. And how about Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Scalia. Talk about being at opposite poles, they argued against each other on so many cases before the Court but stayed the best of friends until his death. And that is how it should be and that is the America the Founders had in mind and that is the America our fallen heroes fought and died for. 

And finally, I ask everyone to support our veterans. We must never stop fighting for them. They never stopped fighting or sacrificing for us.

Thank you for joining us here and expressing your patriotism and respect for those we are honoring today. We remain a great country and with people like you will always be so. I salute all of you, and ask that you remember that…

Those who would disrespect our flag have never been handed a folded one.


BID extended another year

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna’s lodging establishments agreed to assess themselves for another year to fund the Business Improvement District (BID), which must be approved annually by the hotel and motel owners and voted on by the City Council. 

Each of the establishments contributes two percent of the gross hotel room receipts collected from guests, which is the city’s second largest source of revenue after property taxes, to the BID. The estimated contribution for fiscal year 2019-2020 is $2,720,000.

Half of the assessment is allocated to Visit Laguna Beach to promote tourism. The other half is divided up among Laguna College of Art + Design, Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Art Museum, Arts Commission Programs and Community Art Organizations, with each to get $272,000.

The Arts Commission will submit recommendations in June for the funding of its programs and Cultural Arts funding. The council will act on the commission’s recommendations in the next budget to go into effect July 1. 

All grants that are distributed to art agencies require that all written materials produced for dissemination include that “Funds for this program are provided by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.”

The BID was formed in 2001. An advisory board was created, composed of the mayor, mayor pro tem, city manager and four members of Visit Laguna Beach. The board is charged with preparing the annual report on the district activities, as required by the state.

Several different names have been suggested for the BID, but to date the advisory board has resisted any change. The board has also declined to extend the boundaries of the district outside the corporate limits of the city.


Enjoy BBQ and one-of-a-kind “Classgrazz with The Miskey Mountain Boys on June 8

By DIANNE RUSSELL

What goes together better than delicious BBQ and world class bluegrass? On Saturday, June 8 at LCAD, there’ll be plenty of both – BBQ fare along with the sounds of The Miskey Mountain Boys, a unique bluegrass band that plays what they call “Classgrazz.” All courtesy of Laguna Beach Live!

Not only is the combination of bluegrass and BBQ a great duo, the alliance of Laguna Beach Live! and local businesses makes for a winning combo as well.

Ava Burton of Laguna Beach Live! says, “We’re very excited to once again partner up with so many local organizations for a celebration of classic American folk music and food. Thoroughly enjoyed by audience members of all ages, our Bluegrass & BBQ is a truly fun Laguna Beach Live! community event.”

LB Live! is partnering with three very talented local companies to deliver an even greater hometown experience. Laguna Beach Beer Company, co-founded in 2014 by lifelong Laguna Beach residents, will be serving Tuava Guava (Hefeweizen) and Ruby St. (Grapefruit IPA). Purple Corduroy, a California culture inspired wine company produced by the three Bromigos – Dr. Riptide, SLi Daw, and Brandavi – with a Laguna Beach-to-Lodi connection, will be offering Red Siren (Zinfandel) and Blonde Siren (Sauvignon Blanc). Gnarly Q will be there too, offering freshly smoked choices of Pulled Pork, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, Tri Tip of beef or vegetable skewer (all plates include baked beans, baked corn mash, and Hawaiian style coleslaw).

The Miskey Mountain Boys: also a great partnership 

On the bluegrass front, no one does it better than The Miskey Mountain Boys. They’ve been described as “A bluegrass band like no other, that features the world class musicianship of Michelle Lynskey, John W. Marshall, Evan J. Marshall, Alex Finazzo and Deborah Kollgaard.”

Individually, they’ve performed all over the world, and at such events and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, The Disney Studios, Pops Symphony Orchestras, the Tournament Of Roses, and The United Artists Theater in Los Angeles. They have also been featured performers in radio, television, and film, including the Academy Awards, “A Prairie Home Companion,” and on HBO’s series Big Love.

Their combined talents and expertise create an incredible, one-of-a-kind band, that seamlessly blends jazz, classical, and swing with traditional Bluegrass into a new genre they lovingly call “Classgrazz.”

BBQ and outside

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Courtesy of themiskeyboys.com

(L-R) Deborah Kollgaard, John Marshall, Michelle Lynskey, Evan Marshall, and Alex Finazzo

Michelle Lynskey, a talented and powerful slap bassist, is also a classically trained vocalist and dancer. It was her passion as a slap bassist that allowed her to find a way to combine her musicality with the rhythm and percussion of her championship dancing, all into one art form, thereby creating her own unique and exuberant expression on the big fiddle. 

On bass and fiddle, John Marshall is one of the most recognized and lauded slap bassists in bluegrass. He has trained classically as a violinist at the Occidental College of Music in Los Angeles. He was recently nominated for his performance in the Johnny Cash tribute show, The Ring of Fire, where he wowed audiences with his solo bass rendition of Cash’s most well-loved tunes. 

​Evan Marshall on mandolin, fiddle, and vocals, is an internationally renowned mandolin virtuoso, and is generally regarded as the world’s premiere solo performer in the ​Duo-Style. In 1995, Evan made his first appearance on “A Prairie Home Companion,” where he performed his signature piece, The William Tell Overture

Deborah Kollgaard, who is on cello, fiddle, and vocals, is one of the most accomplished and sought after cellists in Southern California. Currently a member of the Pasadena Symphony Orchestra, she can also be heard on numerous television and movie soundtracks and has performed as part of the Motion Picture Academy Awards.

Guitarist Alex Finazzo is a high-energy flatpicker inspired by the works of Doc Watson, Tony Rice, and Dan Crary. His style makes no apologies for his bluegrass roots, yet it’s evolved into an eclectic blend of influences, rich with heartfelt melodies, impressive technique, and a dash of dry wit. Alex has taken the stage at some of the region’s largest bluegrass festivals and street fairs. 

BBQ and LCAD

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Submitted photo

Past BBQ and Bluegrass event on lovely LCAD grounds

Featuring uniquely “Miskified” musical arrangements, innovative elements, driving bluegrass, and powerhouse vocals, this show blends mastery with laughter, joy, and camaraderie to create an unforgettable experience for their audiences

Michelle says, “While our upcoming concert will be the first time The Miskey Mountain Boys have performed for Laguna Beach Live!, our mandolinist, Evan Marshall, has been involved with Laguna Beach Live! for several years, performing solo at the Laguna Art Museum or the Bluegrass Barbecue a half dozen times. We are really excited to be part of the Bluegrass & BBQ and are looking forward to an amazing evening!” 

How the band got together

The band has been together for five years, but evidently the genesis of the band goes way back. Brothers Evan and John Marshall have been playing bluegrass music together for over 45 years and were both members of the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies show at Disneyland, which lasted for over 20 years until the act was retired in 2014. 

As for the rest of the band, Evan met Michelle when she attended one of his solo concerts; John got to know Michelle when she became his show director at Disneyland.  Evan met Alex through mutual friends in the Southern California bluegrass community and introduced him to the budding group. Michelle had known Debbie for years through the Celtic music community. 

BBQ and close up

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Submitted photo

The Miskey Mountain Boys play at inside venue

Michelle says, “Four of us are classically trained musicians, which allows us to create such intricate and interesting arrangements that blend multiple musical styles.  Our mutual respect and admiration for each other has deepened across the years and has developed into long lasting friendships that go well beyond just being bandmates.  The fun and camaraderie you see on stage is genuine and is at the very heart of this incredible collaboration.” 

Their latest endeavor Miskey Before Breakfast is described as:

“From the very first resonant bowed bass opening of the title track, to the fast and furious final notes of the cd, Miskey Before Breakfast takes listeners on a musical journey they’ll never forget. From classical bluegrass to classical music, from the sounds of swing to blues and jazz, each track carries the distinct signature that only this band can deliver. Their unique arrangements and infectious energy ‘Miskify’ each tune, providing that innovative and creative flavor that leaves the listener happily satisfied.”

Don’t miss this afternoon of “Miskified” music, fun, food, and beautiful surroundings.

To purchase tickets visit www.lagunabeachlive.orgor call (949) 715-9713.

Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Live! presents more than 30 concerts annually from monthly Live! at the Museum chamber music, a multi-day Music Festival in February exploring modern classical music and new composers, to the Jazz Wednesdays Summer and Winter Series. Special concerts sprinkling the year include Bluegrass, Gospel, Blues, Big Band, and Pop. Strong supporters of music education, free outreach programs are offered to Laguna Beach Boys & Girls Club, Laguna public schools, and the Susi Q Senior Center.

Bluegrass & BBQ will be held on pastoral campus of Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The cost for concert-only tickets is $20 in advance for adults, $25 at door; and $10 in advance for children 12 and under, $13 at the door.

VIP tickets are available in advance only for $100, and include reserved table seating, the concert, and your choice of BBQ served at your table. 

General admission includes seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs are provided. Barbecue and beverages will be sold separately. No outside food or beverages will be permitted.

To purchase tickets or for more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.


Waiting period for 56th Annual Brooks St. Surfing Classic now officially open

The waiting period for the 56th Annual Brooks St. Surfing Classic opened on Saturday, June 1. Unfortunately, a bombing swell wasn’t on tap to get the Classic in the water on the first day of the waiting period.

This year’s contest T-Shirt was designed by Kaj Garmshausen using pointillism technique. Brooks St. Surfing Classic Contest Director Brandy Faber says, “We are also doing something fun with this year’s contest T-shirt thanks to one of our sponsors, Vissla, who donated really nice Pocket T’s to the contest in assorted colors. The washed out look of the T-shirts really complement Kaj’s vintage inspired design and they will be available in a variety of colors for the first time ever.”

56th Annual surfing

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Contestant at 2018 Brooks St. Surfing Classic

Surfing ceramist Robert Jones created the trophies this year in a multi-color clay design, which will look great on the winner’s mantlepieces.

Faber says, “Thanks to our sponsors for making the contest happen once again this year: Volcom, Billabong, Vissla, Salty Crew, Roark, Laguna Surf & Sport, The Shop, Laguna Beach Beer Company, XS, Purple Corduroy and Your Design Bro!”

For more information, follow Brooks St. Surfing Classic on Facebook at www.facebook.com/brooksstreetclassic.


Welcome to the new Stu News layout…

We are excited to unveil our new layout today. We’ve attempted to make a few changes to improve your enjoyment.

First off, you’ll probably notice the slightly larger font sizes. We hope your eyes will appreciate it.

Secondly, we’ve eliminated the left “sidebar” as we call it. You would notice it as the column running down the left side of our page. We’ll now run a two-column vs. three-column style to make your mobile reading more complete.

Thirdly, we have combined our Front Page I and II back together again into one stream, and added some “read more” links on longer stories.

Special thanks to our webmaster Michael Sterling for working diligently to bring our ideas to fruition.

And to all of our advertisers, who help keep the whole thing going.

We dedicate today’s new edition to our founder Stu Saffer, who inspires us every day to be the best local news publishers we can be, and who left us too soon.

This year marks 10 years of Stu News; we look forward to the next 10 with you, Laguna!


OC Democratic Party circulating petition for JWA name change

There’s a move afoot, led by the Democratic Party of Orange County, to remove John Wayne’s name from Orange County’s airport. The group is currently circulating an online petition effort to do so.

In social media posts, the Democratic Party of OC cites comments from Wayne made in a 1971 Playboy magazine interview. One comment listed that is attributed to Wayne says: “I believe in white supremacy...I don’t feel guilty about the fact that five or 10 generations ago these people were slaves.”

Wayne is one of Orange County’s most famous residents. Additionally, he was one of Hollywood’s top box office draws for three decades, a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Naval Heritage Award and was also pursued by Republican backers to run for national office in 1968.

Another issue against Wayne points to his comments in the same interview referring to Native Americans. “I don’t feel we did wrong in taking this great country away from the Indians. Our so-called stealing of this country from them was just a matter of survival. There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves.”

Michelle Steel, currently an Orange County Supervisor and a candidate for the 48th Congressional seat in November, said in a statement: “John Wayne led the movement to make Orange County home to Vietnamese refugees, he was an ardent supporter of our men and women in uniform, and his family foundation has been a national leader in cancer research.

“As an immigrant to our country, I am extremely sensitive to the actions and statements of people who perpetuate and make racist statements. The comments by John Wayne from 50 years ago are wrong and sad from someone who so many people across America hold in high regard. 

“While I have experienced racism first-hand, I do believe that a person should be judged on the totality of their actions and contributions to society which is why I support keeping the name John Wayne Airport,” added Steel.

Rep. Harley Rouda (D-48th District), who as the incumbent will face Steel in this November’s congressional race, said, “Our community, particularly our airport, should be welcoming to all. It is clear that John Wayne’s legacy is one riddled with offensive comments and bigoted beliefs. I support the first amendment rights of Orange County community members who are questioning the status quo. As our nation progresses and seeks to rectify generations of injustice – revisiting the sins of our past is an important conversation. I hope the Orange County Board of Supervisors listens to and respects residents’ concerns.”

Other than JWA, Wayne’s name is also attached to the John Wayne Cancer Foundation whose “investments in research have resulted in groundbreaking treatments and the establishment of a cancer institute in Santa Monica.”

You can read Wayne’s 1971 Playboy interview in its entirety here.

The petition for the removal of Wayne’s name is available here.

The petition against renaming the airport is available here.


COVID-19: 3,490 new cases and 1 new death reported in OC, 9 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,782 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including one new death reported yesterday (December 24). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reported 3,490 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, marking a seven-day surge of 24,527 new cases and 138,310 cumulative cases to date. 

ICU capacity remains very low and hospitalization numbers very high. The percentage of adult ICU beds currently available in OC is 7.9 percent unadjusted and 0 percent adjusted.* 44 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 1,893 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (+39 since Wednesday’s report – includes ICU); 405 are in ICU (+11 since Wednesday’s report).

The county reports that there have been 460 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, including nine new cases reported yesterday and 51 new cases reported since last Thursday’s report.

Santa Ana experienced an increase of 583 new cases yesterday; Anaheim experienced an increase of 421 new cases yesterday.

The county estimates 77,459 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

COVID-19 numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna. (The next update will be on Saturday, Dec 26.)

*From OC Health Care Agency: Adjusted ICU capacity takes into account the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU (the higher the percentage of COVID-19 positive patients in the ICU, the more the adjustment).

COVID 19 County 12 24 20 1

COVID 19 County 12 24 20 2

COVID 19 County 12 24 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of December 24, as reported by the county; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 3 new deaths reported in OC, 3 new cases in Laguna Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,292 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (October 7). There have been “less than five deaths” of Laguna Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 55,042 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 144 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 229 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laguna Beach to date, an increase of three cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 9.804 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 183 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 64 are in ICU.

The county estimates 49,303 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call (714) 834-2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 10 7 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 7 20 2

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of October 7, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Statement from Mayor pro tem Rob Zur Schmiede

It is with disappointment and great reluctance that I must announce that I am no longer able to seek re-election to the City Council seat that I have proudly held these past four years and am immediately suspending my re-election campaign.

My younger brother Tom was involved in a near fatal vehicle collision in Louisville, KY on June 16th. He was rear-ended at high spee