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 Volume 10, Issue 99  |  December 11, 2018                            


 

Police Files

Local man allegedly attacks local couple in Pavilions parking lot, cuts husband with knife

On Thursday, Dec 6, at 9:18 p.m., at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, two Laguna Beach residents got into a verbal confrontation. According to reports, a 50-year-old Laguna Beach resident was in his car stopped in front of Pavilions waiting for his wife, who was finishing her shopping in the store. 

Just prior to the wife exiting the store, the 69-year-old suspect, Thomas Giles, also a Laguna Beach resident, reportedly knocked on the driver side window of the couple’s vehicle, a Mini Cooper.

“When the driver rolled his window down, Giles told the driver to move his “F---in” car. Giles then pulled a knife and poked it at the driver,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said.

Sgt Cota added, “The driver’s wife approached and Giles [allegedly] threatened to stab her. In an attempt to protect his wife, the husband exited the car and a verbal and physical fight ensued.”

Police Files GilesAccording to Sgt Cota, the husband sustained a laceration to the left side of his head. Medics were reportedly requested.

The suspect threw the knife into nearby bushes and then attempted to flee as officers arrived, reportedly leaving his BMW in the parking lot, said Cota.

“Giles was caught and the knife was located. The victim sustained a minor cut near his ear,” Sgt Cota said. 

Thomas Allen Giles, 69, Laguna Beach, was arrested for multiple charges including assault with a deadly weapon and criminal threats. Per his booking information, he listed his occupation as night auditor at Crystal Cove Cottages.

Bail was set at $80,000.

BMW stolen out of garage in North Laguna

On Wednesday, Dec 5, at 9:05 a.m., LBPD officer responded to a residence in the 600 block of Cliff Drive for a report of a stolen vehicle. The officers met with the reporting party, who stated that she parked her BMW 328i in the garage the day prior. 

“The vehicle was left unlocked with the key inside. She closed the garage door and took the remote with her,” Sgt Cota said. “The day of the incident she could not locate the garage remote, so she used a key to enter the garage and noticed her BMW had been stolen.” 

The reporting person believes that the suspect(s) located the garage door remote that she may have dropped outside. There are no suspects at this time, Sgt Cota added.

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2018 Hospitality Night

Photos by Scott Brashier

2018 Hospitality Santa arrives

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Santa Claus arrives

2018 Hospitality girl and Santa

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Anxiously awaiting turn to see Santa

2018 Hospitality Grinch

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The Grinch arrives to ruin Christmas

2018 Hospitality trolley

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Even the trolley is in the holiday spirit


Festival of Mosaics program dedicates “Coastline to Canyon” mosaic at NCC

Photos by Scott Brashier

Neighborhood Congregational Church held a mural dedication ceremony Sunday for the community. The mosaic, titled “Coastline to Canyon,” fronts Glenneyre St at Saint Ann’s Dr. Led by local artist Mike Tauber, this was truly a community project.

Festival of Echols

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“Festival of Mosaics Committee” – (L-R) Pastor Rodrick Echols, Kristen Purll, Greg Rayes, Mike Tauber, and Susan Brown

There was a full house at the unveiling, including Council members Bob Whalen (Mayor), Steve Dicterow (Mayor Pro Tem), Toni Iseman, and Sue Kempf.

Toni Iseman said, “We have something here that is just the same but better. Whoever thought of it, Mike [Tauber], thought of its potential. We’ve got more places that need to be just the same only better. So keep your eyes open, and I thank all of you for all the work that’s been done here.”

Festival of Iseman

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Council member Toni Iseman

“More than 700 people participated in the Festival of Mosaics program,” stated Mike Tauber, Program Coordinator. Activities included tile glazing workshops with LOCA Arts Education at Laguna Art Museum, at the LOCA annual meeting, and at Festival of Arts Pageant of the Monsters. “We also did color picking, tile cracking, and puzzle making workshops at the church campus,” he added. “Lastly, the public came and installed the mosaics over several weekends in November,” he said. 

Festival of tiles

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Tiles designed by community members

Many local artists also participated in the program. The late Anne England created one of the tiles before she passed away, and it is now part of the wall.

 The project was supported by donations from Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima, and others. “We are grateful to our many volunteers, donors, and everyone who contributed to the making of this beautiful public art work,” stated Pastor Rodrick Echols.


Timeless sounds of Nancy Wilson and Roadcase Royale fire up the Irvine Bowl on a chilly night 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Scott Brashier

The chilly sub 50-degree temperature on Saturday night didn’t prevent the Irvine Bowl audience from rocking the amphitheater. KX 93.5’s Holiday Concert, KXMas, featured a diverse and impressive lineup of musical talent to usher in the holiday season. And to add to the frivolity, before the concert, attendees were treated to carolers in a Winter Wonderland, as well as craft food and libations and a silent auction. The event was sponsored by The Honarkar Family and The Hive.

Two bands warmed up the crowd and just in the nick of time. Even Santa was in attendance, and I envied his heavy suit.

The first band was Gothic Tropic, the solo project of Cecilia Della Peruti, a mix of pop and classic rock, which introduces some hard edges to the world of pop. Her guitar style was inspired by ‘70s heroes and the era of female rock nobility. 

La Sera, composed of bassist Katy Goodman and her husband, Todd Wisenbaker, continued the extraordinary musical beat of the evening.

Timeless sounds La Sera

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La Sera, Katy Goodman and Todd Wisenbaker

Fans of Nancy Wilson and Roadcase Royale, her new band, came ready to be dazzled and were not disappointed. Most couldn’t stay put in their seats, either getting up to be near the band or standing to keep beat to the music. If there had been a roof above the stage, the power, genius, and fire of Wilson and Roadcase Royale would have blown it right off. 

Timeless sounds yellow guitar

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Nancy Wilson, guitar virtuoso from age 10

A guitar virtuoso from the age of 10, Nancy, and her sister Ann, led the multi-platinum rock group Heart. Together they have gone on to sell 35 million records. 

Aside from Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wilson on vocals and guitar, Roadcase Royale is made up of Liv Warfield on lead vocals, Ryan Waters on lead guitar, and Heart members Chris Joyner on keyboards, Dan Rothchild on bass, and Ben Smith on drums. Nancy Wilson is celebrated as one of the seminal musicians in the history of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The band released their first album, First Things First, on Sept 22, 2017 via Loud & Proud Records. 

Timless sound crowd

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Crowd can’t sit still during the performance

Teeming with talent and sass, Warfield sang some of the songs with Wilson (as well as solo) and joined her on Even It Up, adding a sultry quality to the already classic song. Her dynamic stage presence filled the theatre and the canyon. 

The mix of old and recently written songs was brilliantly interwoven. The band began with “Even It Up” (released in 1980), following it with a song from the new album Get Loud.” The set then went as follows: “Hold On To My Hand,” “Not Giving Up,” “These Dreams,” “All Through the Night,” “What About Love,” “You Wreck Me,” “Cover Each Other,” “Insaniac,” “No Way Back,” “Mind Your Biz,” “Straight On,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Silver Wheels/Crazy,” and “Barracuda.”

Timeless sounds Liv

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Wilson on left as Liv Warfield belts out a song, Dan Rothchild on guitar

We were lucky enough to sit in the second row, center, and got the maximum effect from the acoustics and a great view of the musicians. As Wilson and the band began, singing new songs mixed with previous hits, it was obvious that the music is timeless. I was sitting between fellow Stu News writer Marrie Stone, who wasn’t even in grammar school when Heart’s first album came out in 1975, and my 13-year-old grandson, who before the concert didn’t know who Nancy Wilson was. Yet, considering the age spans and varying tastes, the music resonated with each of us. 

Timeless sounds keyboard

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Chris Joyner on keyboards

Marrie said, “I loved hearing all the old Heart classics – “These Dreams,” “Crazy on You,” “Barracuda,” “What About Love” and “Straight On” – with Roadcase Royale’s unique twist. As Wilson said, ‘This isn’t the version you’re gonna hear while shopping at Ralph’s.’ Liv Warfield’s voice blew me away. It felt both utterly new and sweetly nostalgic at the same time.”

The guitarists (and all the musicians) impressed my grandson, and that doesn’t easily happen. 

For the audience, the musical synergy of Roadcase Royale created a stunning evening of reminiscing over the classic songs, while at the same time, embracing the new ones. 

“This band is special because everybody brings something unique to the table,” Warfield says. “We definitely have something going on.”

Do they ever!

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Where’s Maggi – the answers!

We here at the Stu News family, like so many of our readers, were very saddened by the news of the passing of GG’s owner Bulent Gundogar. We honor his memory in this small way, and offer heartfelt condolences to the Gundogar family.

This little Christmas cottage is housed at our one of our favorite restaurants, GG’s Bistro. 

Maggi asked where was this photo taken, and first in with the correct answer was Laurie Kirkland. Other observant readers included Kathryn Delp Dew, Deborah Glass, Cathy Bosko, Maureen Meehan Aplin, Kristen Purll, and Bernadette Murphy.

Thanks for spotting Maggi’s whereabouts, and for sending in your answers. 

Wheres Maggi 12 11 18

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In fond memory of GG’s own Bulent Gundogar, we looked at this Christmas cottage, now housed on GG’s patio


Breakfast with Santa at the Sawdust on Saturday was a huge success

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

On Saturday, Dec 8, Sawdust Art Festival partnered with the Laguna Beach Fire Department to host their very first “Breakfast with Santa”. Local firefighters cooked a delicious pancake breakfast for over 140 guests while Santa milled around with the kids, all for a great cause. 

Breakfast with Firefighters

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Laguna Beach Firefighters grilled up pancakes for the community on Saturday

The local Starbucks in Laguna Beach generously provided complimentary coffee for guests to enjoy with their pancakes. Proceeds from the breakfast will be donated to the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association, who will distribute the funds to Spark of Love Toy Drive and other areas of need. 

Breakfast with kid

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All done, time to go play in the snow

Toys were also collected during the breakfast for Spark of Love Toy Drive and will continue to be collected until the close of the show, December 16. Any new, unwrapped toys donated at the gate during the festival will grant guests free admission. 

Breakfast with mom

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Post-pancake photo ops at the Winter Fantasy

Sawdust Marketing Coordinator Franky Duschane comments, “We hope to make this an annual Winter Fantasy tradition with the Laguna Beach Firefighters Association and are incredibly grateful for their generous participation – it made the event very special for our guests!”

Winter Fantasy is open one more weekend, December 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information including tickets, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org/festivals/winter-fantasy.


Happy birthday, Dianne Russell!

Happy birthday Dianne

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Yesterday was Stu News’ Associate Editor and writer extraordinaire Dianne Russell’s birthday. She is such an important part of our Stu News family, a bright light to everyone that knows her, and a gift to our community and humanity as a whole. Thank you for YOU, Dianne!

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No Square Theatre’s Annie is one of the best shows you will see in Laguna all year

No Square Annie 1

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It’s a Hard Knock Life: No Square Theatre’s Annie production receives five stars and a standing ovation from Stu News Laguna

No Square Annie 2

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I Don’t Need Anything But You: Rob Harryman (Oliver Warbucks) and Tessa Espinola (Annie) shine in this heartwarming tale of father-daughter love, hope, and redemption

No Square Annie 3

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Easy Street: Laura Buckle (Lily St. Regis), Karen Rymar (Miss Hannigan), and Tyler Below (Rooster) executed their parts to perfection

No Square Annie 4

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Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow makes a cameo appearance as Judge Brandeis

For tickets to Annie, go to www.nosquare.org


Help needed for family of Laguna Beach Fire Captain

By Rachel Roselli

In the early morning hours of September 5, 2018, many local Laguna residents were getting their kids back into the school year, reminiscing about the summer’s extremely humid days, and looking forward to the holidays, which are now upon us. On that day, Eric Lether, one of our Laguna Beach Fire Department firefighters, his wife Michelle and family would undergo a life-changing event that would begin a new normal for the family. 

Help needed coming home

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Coming Home

Around 4:45 a.m., local respondents were called to their residence. The call was made by Eric regarding his wife Michelle. Within minutes, she was rushed to Mission Hospital, and, within a short couple of hours, underwent three surgeries to help what was determined to be an aneurysm and cerebral bleeding of her brain. 

The road back would be long, and the recovery will take nothing but courage and strength for this family. Eric and Michelle have five children and a family we only wish was our own. They radiate the love that would never let this family believe that this mother/wife couldn’t recover and when they look back they will say “we did it together.”

Help needed Michelle

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Michelle Lether

Initially, Michelle was at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo and then later transferred to a rehabilitation center in Brea. With her hard work and determination, she will be able to get back to her home today, on December 11. However, this story doesn’t end once Michelle makes the journey back to her house. She will need 24-hour care and many hours a week of therapy. Most of all, she will need the determination to keep pushing forward.

Eric has been with Laguna Beach Fire Department for over 18 years, and as a long-time friend, it makes this story so much more special to Laguna Beach and me. I want to share this story with the most incredible amount of love I have ever seen. I pray that this astonishing wife and family will find all the happiness, safety, and love that was founded from the beginning of their lives together and has continued for over 20 years.

Help needed family

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Part of the Lether family

Eric and his family have put up a GoFundMe account for the community if you would like to help. Eric is back to work on the Laguna Beach Fire Department, so if you see him or the department personnel around town, give them an extra heartfelt “hello.” They have all pulled together to provide Eric with the time he needed and needs with his family.

To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/michellelether.


Laguna Beach Boys Scouts collected over 400 socks for the homeless 

Laguna’s Boy Scout Troop 35 and the congregation of its chartered organization, Laguna Presbyterian Church, collected socks for the homeless during the month of November. The service project was part of the Laguna Beach Hunger and Homeless Awareness Month outreach and brought in over 400 pairs of socks. 

Laguna Beach socks

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Troop 35 Amber Fox patrol members with the sock donations for the homeless in our community

The scouts advertised the service project through social media and at local schools, and had a great return. Of the more than 400 pairs of socks collected, 50 percent were for men, 30 percent were for women and 20 percent were for children. The socks included standard white and black socks as well as pastel colors, bold designs, and even two pairs of Mike Trout Angels socks. 

Laguna Beach Boy Scouts Troop 35 and Patrol meet every other Thursday at 7 p.m. at Laguna Presbyterian Church. The troop is lead by Scoutmaster Clay Leeds. 

For more information, visit www.lagunabeach35.mytroop.us.

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Dreams come true when you wake up in paradise 

Dreams come sky

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Photo by Katarina Bates (@Bellariana Instagram) 

A December sunrise that had Laguna in awe once again


Laguna Board of REALTORS® installs 2019 Board of Directors

C.A.R. President Jared Martin recently installed the 2019 Laguna Board of REALTORS® Board of Directors and the Affiliate and Charitable Assistance Fund Directors and Officers. The ceremony also honored the REALTOR® and Affiliate of the Year. The event was held at the Surf and Sand Resort and was attended by 180 REALTORS, Affiliate members and guests. 

The Laguna Group

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(L-R) Frank Hufnagel, Traudi Hansen, Dave Csira, Marie Thomas, Cari Young, Dede Westgaard-Pike, Jim Ardery, Brendy Michael, Spencer Wall, and Charles Brickell (Not pictured: Mahmoud Aldimassi)

During the event, 2018 President Traudi Hansen passed the gavel to Dave Csira, the new 2019 President. Jeffrey Redeker from Partners Bank of California was named as Affiliate of the Year. Frank Hufnagel from Surterre Properties was named with the high honor of REALTOR® of the Year.                       

The Laguna awards

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(L-R) Affiliate of the Year, Jeffrey Redeker – Partners Bank of California and REALTOR® of the Year, Frank Hufnagel – Surterre Properties

The mission of the Laguna Board of REALTORS® is to meet the ongoing professional needs of the membership in the unique coastal marketplace they serve, maintaining the highest levels of excellence and integrity.

The Laguna Board of REALTORS® is a professional trade association and was chartered by the National Association of REALTORS® as a local Board in 1924, even before Laguna Beach became a city. It has grown from a handful of real estate agents sharing information, to a full service Board of REALTORS® providing all of the services and products its members require.

For more information, visit www.lagunarealtors.org.


Tony’s Treehouse Adopt A Family Program offers gift giving that makes a difference

This season celebrates Tony’s Treehouse’s 18th Annual Holiday Adopt Program, and it is already in motion. Tony’s Treehouse asks that the community joins with friends, co-workers, or a favorite Scout Troop and adopt one of their identified needy families. 

Those donating can shop or volunteers can shop, either way it will make for an extra special holiday season for everyone. The deadline for gift delivery, Wednesday, Dec 19, is quickly approaching.

Tony’s Treehouse is a nonprofit organization based in Laguna Beach. It was founded by Becky Martinez in memory of her 9-year-old boy named Tony. The legacy he left his family and friends is one of giving, loving, and living life to its fullest extent.

Tonys Treehouse kids

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Make it a special holiday season

Tony’s Treehouse is again partnering with Share Our Selves (SOS) of Orange County for this program. SOS is a full-service program that provides year-round care and assistance to families in crisis. 

Volunteers identify qualified needy households, prepare their personal packets, family story and wish list, and participants are then connected with one of the families. 

There are opportunities for service on several different levels, so those interested in participating can contact Tony’s Treehouse. They say, “Have fun working ‘hands on’ with your family or co-workers…or donate to the cause to make a difference in the County.”

Tonys Treehouse volunteers

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Roger Tamales Family and Becky, Sue, and Carmen at SOS gift delivery site in 2017

If a member of the community decides to “adopt” a family, the final gift delivery date is Wednesday, Dec 19, at the Orange County fairgrounds (volunteers can assist in delivery, if needed). 

Tony’s Treehouse is dedicated to “Continuing the compassionate spirit of Tony Martinez by uniting family, friends and community who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in need.”

To donate, go to www.tonystreehouse.org/financial-needs.

For further information, contact Becky Martinez at (949) 412-9138 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Construction Cat, children’s book by local author Barbara Odanaka, featured at LB Library today

Books make great holiday gifts for children, one that keeps giving many times over,

and Construction Cat, local author Barbara Odanaka’s fourth book, released in October, fits the bill perfectly. 

Odanaka wil be at a “my story time” event at the Laguna Beach Library today (Tuesday) from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. reading her book aloud. (This reading was originally scheduled for November 27.)

Odanaka says, “As an author, I tell children that there is nothing so rewarding as a good tale told well. Whether you read it or write it, a great book is a like a treasure chest that stays with you your whole life. And it all starts with one string of wonderful words!” 

Construction Cat with book

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Photo by Ken Hada

Barbara Odanaka at Whale of a Tale Bookstore in Irvine

A 20-year Laguna Beach resident and children’s book author, Odanaka’s latest project was published by Simon & Schuster’s Margaret K. McElderry imprint. Her first children’s book Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes the Trash! was released in 2006, followed by Skateboard Mom, and A Crazy Day at Critter Café

“I admit it: I’m a crazy cat lady!” says Odanaka. “I also enjoy shredding stereotypes, as with my first book, Skateboard Mom. Construction Cat is a tale of a hardworking Mama Cat who runs the construction site…while Pa Cat stays home to mind the kittens.” 

The book, illustrated by artist Sydney Hanson, has gotten positive reviews thus far, including a nice one from Kirkus Reviews. 

Construction Cat bookcover

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Odanaka will read Construction Cat at Laguna Beach Library today at 10:30 a.m.

Amazon named it an Editor’s Choice for October.

A recent review of the book on Amazon says, “I absolutely adore this book! It’s perfect for those who love cats and construction. My favorite thing about this book is that the main character is a working mother. Kids need stories which portray women as diligent and hard workers! The structure of the story itself is wonderful, too! The rhyme scheme is great and the words are chosen very well. The artwork is beyond words, as the characters are absolutely gorgeous! I’m definitely giving this book 5 stars!”

The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre, (949) 497-1733.

For more information on Barbara Odanaka, go to http://barbaraodanaka.com.

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Catmosphere Laguna announces “Kit-Lit,” a writing contest for cat lovers

Local writers are encouraged to start their creative engines meow for a writing contest for cat lovers, hosted by Catmosphere Laguna. Submissions are open to anyone over 16 who lives in Orange County now through February 1. Selected winners will read their work at a special event on February 11. 

Catmosphere Laguna sleep

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Photo by Dianne Russell

Cat lovers with a passion for writing can enter to win cat-themed prizes

Prizes for the top three writers include: Lunch with the best-selling novelist/Literary Laureate of Laguna Beach Suzanne Redfearn and LCAD Creative Writing Professor/Poet Laureate of Anaheim Grant Hier to discuss their work; free visits to the Catmosphere Café cat lounge; plus tote bags and other goodies and tickets to Blue Bell Foundation’s Cat’s Meow champagne lunch where the winners will read their work. 

All genres are accepted, from poems to all kinds of fiction essays, as long as the piece is fewer than 750 words and original. Winners will be published and the contest is open to the best writing, regardless of genre or style. 

To enter, send your cat-themed meowsterpieces as Word attachments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. To ensure anonymous judging, do not include your name on the document. 

The nonprofit Catmosphere Laguna Foundation, which transitions rescue cats and kittens from their loving and awesome environment to their furrever homes is sponsoring the contest.

For more information, visit www.catmospherelaguna.comor call (949) 619-MEOW. 

Catmosphere is located at 381 Forest Ave.


Jason Feddy performs in The Skivvies tonight at Laguna Playhouse

Laguna Playhouse brings back last year’s sensation in an all-new outrageous holiday event, The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf, with one more performance tonight, Tuesday, Dec 11 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s guests include: Jason Feddy, Laguna’s resident rock star; Nick Adams from the Falsettos national tour; Nicole Parker from the Wicked national tour; Seamus Dever from Castle; and Kirsten Vangsnes who plays Penelope Garcia in Criminal Minds. 

Laguna Playhouse Jason

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Courtesy of Jasonfeddy.com

Laguna’s own rock star Jason Feddy will be a guest star in the show

Broadway’s Lauren Molina and Nick Cearley return to the Laguna Playhouse for two nights of the most outrageous holiday show of the season. This undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo perform stripped down, mashed up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello, and an array of zany instruments as well as many special guest artists performing along with, and some even in their own “Skivvies.” 

Tickets range from $51 - $56 and can be purchased online at www.lagunaplayhouse.com or by calling (949) 497-ARTS (2787). Group discounts are available by calling (949) 497-2787 ext. 229. Prices are subject to change.     

Laguna Playhouse is located at 606 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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Selections from the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters at Laguna Beach City Hall

The Festival of Arts is pleased to announce a new art exhibit at Laguna Beach City Hall entitled “Selections from the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters” now through January 18, 2019. The hours for the exhibit are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., closed every other Friday. 

Selections from Cheryl

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Deputy City Clerk Cheryl Baldridge contemplates a piece on display at City Hall

In addition to pieces from the Festival of Arts Permanent Art Collection, the display also features historic ads, costumes, and behind-the-scenes photographs from the Pageant of the Masters archives. 

The Pageant of the Masters is arguably one of the most unique productions in the entire world. Audiences are amazed and enchanted by ninety minutes of tableaux vivants (“living pictures”), incredibly faithful re-creations of classical and contemporary works of art, with real people posing to look exactly like their counterparts in the original pieces. 

For more information, call (949) 494-1145 or visit www.foapom.com

Laguna Beach City Hall is located at 505 Forest Ave.


Net-Works invites community to Christmas Breakfast and Celebration on Sunday, Dec 23

Don Sciortino, founder of Net-Works, invites families, friends, and members of the community to attend a Net-Works Christmas Breakfast and Celebration on Sunday, Dec 23, at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach. The breakfast begins at 9 a.m. and the celebration starts at 10.

Net Works at tables

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Attendees enjoy 2017 Net-Works Christmas Breakfast

Sciortino says, “This is about making friends with the homeless of Laguna and  remembering that around the table, we become friends, family and community.” 

Music will be provided by Zach Churchill and Eric Henderson, as well by others in the homeless community.

“May the season bring people together to ‘let love win,’” says Sciortino.

Net Works backpacks

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At 2017 breakfast, Net-Works handed out knap sacks filled with practical items for the homeless guests

If community members are interested in helping or giving a gift for a homeless friend, contact Don Sciortino at (949) 328-7230  or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is located at 286 St. Ann’s Dr. 

For more information about Net-Works, go to www.net-workslb.org.


Watch and listen for the Laguna Beach Girl Scouts caroling with Santa on the trolley this Friday

On Friday, Dec 14 from 4 - 9 p.m., hundreds of local girl scouts will be on board the trolleys singing holiday carols for the community to enjoy, while they traverse the streets of downtown Laguna.

Watch and Santa

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Local Girl Scouts join Santa on the trolley for a night of Christmas caroling fun

In addition to caroling for the Laguna community, participating girl scouts will also make hundreds of candy cane cards for our military troops stationed abroad during the holidays. Join in with the holiday singing fun or simply stop and listen as they go by singing delightful songs. 

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Holiday shopping without breaking the bank

By Loreen Gilbert

The holidays are upon us and shopping mania has begun. It’s the time of year when our consumer-driven culture convinces us that the way to express love is to give things to people. And the myth we buy into is that the size and cost of a gift we receive determine how much we are loved. That misperception has busted many a budget, so don’t fall into that trap as you go about your holiday gift giving. Shop wisely. 

In today’s digital world, price comparisons are a click away on your iPad. Make sure you compare costs before you buy. Consider being flexible with what you give. In other words, find out what items you can find at a reasonable price versus having something in mind that may not be in the budget.

Holiday shopping close up

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Loreen Gilbert

Here are six ideas to manage the amount of money you spend, while still letting your loved ones know how much you care:

--Homemade gifts. Every year, the Container Store creates a list of do it yourself gifts that are easy to put together and are sure to delight the people in your life. People are surprised and pleased to receive something you made just for them, even if it may not be museum quality. 

--Create an overall gift budget and make a list of all the people for whom you want to buy a gift. From there, you can play with the numbers, to make sure everyone gets a gift and that no one is inadvertently left out. 

--If you realize that you don’t have enough money to purchase all of your gifts, get a side job to help pay for your gift list. During the holidays, retailers are looking for seasonal help and most places give their employees discounts to shop with them. Or consider driving services such as Lyft and Uber or even delivery services like Grubhub to supplement your gift savings. 

--Create an experience, versus giving an object. Consider taking the family on a vacation and letting them know that the vacation is their gift. Most likely, they will remember an experience much longer than they remember an item. 

--Today more families are creating a new tradition by donating some of the money they would have spent on family gifts, and instead they give that money to a family in need, following the old adage, it is better to give than to receive. Giving and receiving are both joyful elements of the season, so enjoy the season to the fullest, but keep your heart in line with your pocketbook.

Laguna Beach resident Loreen Gilbert is the founder and president of WealthWise Financial Services, Inc.


Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood on Thursday

Live! at the Museum presents Celtic Consort of Hollywood this Thursday, Dec 13 at 7 p.m. The Celtic Consort of Hollywood consists of award-winning concert and studio musicians Christina Linhardt (soprano, flute), Shawna Selline (harp), and Mark Sellin (cello, mandolin, and fiddle). 

Together and separately the group has performed all over Southern California (as well as abroad) from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to Walt Disney Concert Hall, with weddings, club dates, and recording sessions in between.

Live Celtic Consort of Hollywood

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Check out Live! at the Museum featuring Celtic Consort of Hollywood

Live! at the Museum, a special collaboration of Laguna Beach Live! and Laguna Art Museum, takes place the second Thursday of each month from 7 - 8 p.m. The concert is free to museum members and to non-members with museum admission. 

Pre-reservations for Celtic Consort of Hollywood are available online through the Museum’s website at www.lagunaartmuseum.org or by calling (949) 494-8971, ext. 203. These seats are held until 6:50 p.m. Additional seats are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information about the series and other concerts, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (949) 715-9713.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.


Laguna Beach Acupuncture presents Tuesday Teatime with Dr. Anne Davies

Today, Tuesday, Dec 11 and next Tuesday, Dec 18, the community is invited to drop in for a free cup of delicious 5 Mountain Heirloom Organic tea at Laguna Beach Acupuncture from 4 - 6 p.m. This is an informal opportunity for the community to meet owner and practitioner Dr. Anne Davies, if you don’t already know her, and enjoy a great cup of tea. 

Laguna Beach teas

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Teatime is an informal way for the community to get to know the doc

Enjoy the famous Detox Pu’er if you need a bit of energy to get through the rest of your day. Select the Heirloom Silver White packed with polyphenols to help reduce inflammation. If you need to relax and unwind after a trying day, savor a cup of Nile Valley Chamomile.

Questions about Chinese medicine and modalities such as acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping or the broader principles of Yang Sheng “nourishing life”, are welcome. 

Dr. Anne Davies’ studies of Chinese Medicine began as a teenager at the Taoist Sanctuary. She left her native Southern California to earn a BA in Psychology and an MA in HR and Organization Development. She went on to travel the world and enjoy a successful career in management consulting. Still, she never lost her passion for Chinese Medicine. 

Laguna Beach doctor

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Dr. Davies opened her Laguna Beach practice in 2013

After Davies retired from consulting in 2007 she earned an MS in Traditional Oriental Medicine and a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego. Anne is both an NCCAOM nationally board-certified Diplomat and a California state licensed acupuncturist. She opened her private practice in Laguna Beach in 2013. 

At Laguna Beach Acupuncture, Dr. Anne listens closely to her patients. She addresses their pain using time tested healing methods and traditional medicines. She also works with patients to create a realistic treatment plan and helps them to achieve their health goals. Her bias is prevention so she may also suggest some new ideas for patient’s nourishment, movement and building resilience for a brighter, healthier future. 

For more information, visit www.lbacu.com or call (949) 407- 8728. 

Laguna Beach Acupuncture is located at 1100 South Coast Hwy, Suite 312.


Laguna Beach Garden Club presents “Growing Tilandsias” on Friday

On Friday, Dec 14, Laguna Beach Garden Club will host its monthly meeting at Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church. Light breakfast and coffee will be served as special guest speaker Larry Bourget discusses “Growing Tillandsias.”

Larry and his wife Belen are passionate about tillandsias and how to display them in the best possible way. There are many varieties of tillandsias and secrets to keeping them healthy. Using driftwood and cedar roots as backdrops for these independent plants, Larry shows how to highlight their beauty. Specimens will be for sale at the meeting.   

Laguna Beach Garden plant

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Larry Bourget will share his knowledge on tillandsias and highlighting their beauty 

The Laguna Beach Garden Club is committed to the advancement of gardening, horticulture, ecology and conservation through education and participation in related community projects. The club serves the Laguna Beach area and wants to keep it beautiful and fun.

The public is welcome and there is no charge for guests on their first visit. 

For more information on the garden club, visit www.lagunabeachgardenclub.org.

Laguna Presbyterian is located at 415 Forest Ave.


Meet our Pet of the Week, Castro 

Castro is currently taking the title of Pet of the Week. He is a three-year-old tan terrier and is neutered. He came from a crowded shelter, and is looking for a new home with people who will embrace him. He is very smart and sharp, and all volunteers at the shelter have grown to love Castro immensely. He is a great friend and companion, and is ready to start a new chapter. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see Castro adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the week Castro

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Castro is ready to explore a new chapter in his life

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

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For information on adoption procedures, call (949) 497-3552 or go to www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.


City Manager’s Updates

Three things residents can do to prepare for the storms headed our way – 1) Go to www.AlertOC.com to register your cell phone numbers, text numbers, and email addresses into the mass notification system. It is recommended that you register your work and home addresses separately to ensure you receive proper notifications for each location. AlertOC is a critical link for residents and businesses to immediately learn of any required actions. Additionally, make sure you are registered for Nixle by texting “92651” to 888-777; 2) Get free sandbags if you’re a local resident or business; 3) Clean your gutters, trim your trees, and turn off your sprinkler system.

Water Quality at Winter Fantasy – On Sunday, Dec 16, from 12 to 3 p.m., the City of Laguna Beach Water Quality Department is collaborating with the Sawdust Art Festival Winter Fantasy. The City will be helping participants to design reusable bags using manhole lid patterns. The bags and workshop are free to the first 100 participants. The City encourages the public to stop by, make a bag, and learn about the City’s Water Quality Department.

Free Parking and Free Trolley to Sawdust Festival – The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is open one more weekend, this Saturday and Sunday, Dec 15 and 16. Bring the kids, meet Santa, and finish your holiday shopping early. Park for free in the Act V parking lot (Lot 16) and take the free trolley. For more information, visit https://sawdustartfestival.org/.

City Managers Sawdust

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Sawdust Winter Fantasy is a local wonderland

Friendship Shelter Seeking Blankets – Friendship Shelter needs blankets and twin-size comforters for the Alternative Sleeping Location (ASL). Donations are being accepted daily from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 1335 South Coast Highway (check in at the front desk, located at the top of the external stairs at the back of the building facing Gaviota Drive). The City thanks you in advance for your donations.

Trees Being Replanted Along Coast Highway – As part of the City Tree Replanting Project, the City’s Public Works Department is planting 30 street trees in the downtown area and along Coast Highway to replace trees that have fallen or been removed. The City also accepted a donation of $30,000 from the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund, which allowed the City to enhance the project by planting 24 and 36-inch box trees in lieu of 15-gallon trees and to provide deep watering tubes. The project includes planting the trees, installing a permeable rubberized tree well surfacing system, root barriers, watering tubes, and a 120-day plant irrigation and plant establishment period.

City Managers trees

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30 street trees are being replaced downtown and along Coast Highway

Bluebird SOCWA Odor Control System Going Forward – The Water Quality Department has successfully worked with the neighbors and interested community members to collaborate on an acceptable location of the odor control system for the Bluebird lift station.

Cultural Arts Calendar – Residents looking for arts events this holiday season can visit the City of Laguna Beach and Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Cultural Arts Calendar here.

These events are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Accurate Crime Statistics – Since 2016, violent crimes (murder, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault) have decreased 17% in the City of Laguna Beach. Property crimes in the City have decreased 38%. These numbers reflect crime statistics through November 26, 2018. Laguna Beach crime rate information is listed on certain relocation websites and is not representative of the actual situation. Using per capita metrics to compare Laguna Beach’s crime rates or spending statistics is also not representative because it does not take into account that Laguna Beach services six million visitors per year in addition to our residents. When fairly evaluating how many employees, both sworn and non-sworn, are needed to appropriately police a city, the size of the residential, working, and visitor community must all be considered.

Finance Officer Nancy Pauley Hired as Palm Springs Director of Finance – The City of Laguna Beach is accepting applications for the position of Finance Officer in the Administrative Services Department. The position has opened because Laguna Beach Finance Officer Nancy Pauley has been hired as the new Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs. Pauley’s last day with the City of Laguna Beach was November 30. Pauley has worked for the City of Laguna Beach for over 10 years, working annually on the City’s budget. She also played a key role in the City’s Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

To receive the Certificate of Achievement, a governmental unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive Annual Financial Report, whose contents conform to program standards. This is the third consecutive year the City has received the award. 

“Nancy has been the driving force behind our recognition of financial reporting awards, and she has been an instrumental part of the City’s Finance Division for the last decade,” said Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran. “She leaves big shoes to fill, and we wish her continued success in her new role as Director of Finance for the City of Palm Springs.” 

Details of the position and instructions on how to apply can be found at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lagunabeach. The position will remain open until filled.

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