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Laguna Beach

 Volume 13, Issue 83  |  October 15, 2021

Fair Game


Local church is going to the dogs this weekend

Tom new picI don’t know what you’re doing this Sunday, Oct. 17, but my dog is telling me that we’re going to the Blessing of the Animals Worship Service at Neighborhood Congregational Church in Laguna Beach. 

The church is inviting pets, their families and friends for a “memorable moment of sharing and togetherness” at a 10 a.m. service.

Okay now, let’s use a little thought here. Pets should be properly controlled, meaning some will probably need some type of restraint, while others may need to make the trip in a carrier. But it’s all good! And all are welcome.

I’m assuming dogs will sit with the dogs, cats with cats and bunny rabbits with bunny rabbits…and so on and so forth. But I could be wrong.

Anyway, God should have it all under control. If I remember correctly, he helped Noah.

On Sunday morning Pastor Rod Echols will provide a special blessing for all pets in attendance. If you can’t bring them, for example, I know it’s hard to ride a horse into a church, but in that case, you can bring a photo and Pastor Rod will bless those too.

Children are welcome, they’ll also need to be restrained or in carriers…no, that’s just a feeble attempt at some humor. They’re certainly encouraged to be a part of it.

If you’re not vaccinated, you’ll still be invited, please just wear a mask.

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive.

• • •

The Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival 2021 is this Thursday evening, Oct. 14 at the Festival of Arts from 5-10 p.m. Lots of exciting things will be going on – two bands in conjunction with a KX FM partnership, 20+ restaurants to enjoy, two local artists in action and, I’m told, a “great” silent auction with trips and a bunch of other good stuff.

Sandy Morales, Laguna Beach Chamber President & CEO, tells me she’s expecting it to be quite the party with a crowd of 1,200 expected. VIP is sold out and enters the grounds at 5 p.m., with general admission ticketholders entering at 6 p.m.

For more info, go to

• • •

Today is the long-awaited and official grand reopening/ribbon cutting of the Hotel Laguna from 4-5:30 p.m. Following an extensive renovation, guests are expected to enjoy the ground floor lobby featuring an expansive art collection of local artists and photographs of the hotel’s rich 90-year past, the terrace patio overlooking the Pacific and two new restaurants.

One is Larsen, led by Michelin-rated chef Craig Strong, offering panoramic views, while the second restaurant, Fin, will serve modern Japanese cuisine in a more intimate setting.

The ribbon cutting is expected at 4:30 p.m., with the Honarkars, Mayor Bob Whalen, Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, other city councilmembers and many other local dignitaries expected to be on hand.

• • •

Thursday, Oct. 14, is the next Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education meeting. Reminder, all regularly scheduled meetings will be held at Thurston Middle School in the library.

To check out the agenda, go to

Some of the items include public hearings on 2021-22 amendments for different bargaining units and then approval; an MOU with the Laguna Art Museum for elementary art education and the approval of amended employment contracts for the district’s top management.

• • •

Finally, and also Thursday, is Live! at the Museum: Duo Apollon, featuring Aaron Haas and Anastasia Malliaras performing an “original art song repertoire for voice and guitar, as well as transcriptions from piano.”

Guests are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy the museum store and a cash bar beginning at 6 p.m., with the concert beginning at 7 p.m. 

Advanced tickets are recommended: $13 for adults, $11 for seniors and students and free for LAM members. Go here, to register.


Lana Johnson, Editor -

Tom Johnson, Publisher -

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Stacia Stabler and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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