Volume 15, Issue 75  |  September 19, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

Share this story

Fair Game


Laguna Art Museum takes Pride and goes Boom…Boom

TJ headshot AugIt’s Pride Month, a month many parts of the country dedicate to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Laguna Beach, with its notable past in this arena, is no different. And, as part of this, Laguna Art Museum has announced its upcoming event, LAM Goes Boom: A Pride Celebration on Saturday, June 10. This event will pay homage to the iconic gay bars of Laguna Beach, including the legendary Boom Boom Room.

“Pride Month holds a special place at our museum, which has a proud history of being an important partner in Laguna Beach as a place of inclusivity,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “Art has the power to foster dialogue, promote understanding and inspire change. We are eagerly looking forward to welcoming the community to the museum this June as we come together to embrace the LGBTQ+ community and the vibrant spirit of Pride Month.”

LAM Goes BOOM: A Pride Celebration honors the legacy of the city’s bygone gay bars, specifically the historic Boom Boom Room, once a local hub that drew members of the Southern California LGBTQ+ community for decades before closing in 2007.

The evening will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, with a screening of Fred Karger’s documentary about the efforts to save the longtime gathering place, Save the Boom, in the museum’s galleries.

Following the screening, the atmosphere will shift into a lively dance party with DJ SoulFire. Advance tickets are strongly recommended and admission includes one cocktail for guests aged 21 and above. Museum members can attend for $20, while non-members are welcome for $35.

• • •

Well, if you tuned in recently to Mornings with Ed on KX FM Radio, guess what, no Ed. So, what happened?

I spoke with Ed Steinfeld yesterday and he said simply, “It was time!”

Ed talked about some of the concerns he had in the direction the station was heading and offered himself up to do more. The station management decided then to pivot elsewhere.

Ed, who thought “he’d never, ever leave the station,” decided around early February that maybe it was time. Still, it made him “sick to his stomach” to even think about.

Tyler McCusker, the founder and president of KX FM, said, “Ed resigned on his own volition. We wish him the best.”

So, with no Ed in the morning, what’s the station planning? “Our station remains Laguna’s only FM,” said McCusker. “It has never – and will never – be about one person. KX will affirm our connection to the community through our dozens of community volunteers. Mornings will be hosted by longstanding members of the KX family. This week, we have Tommy Benson, Ida Mae, John Ford, Steve Reid and Greg Friedman. They are all amazing and diverse hosts, representing different facets and tastes of Lagunans, something long needed in our morning programming.”

Ed, on the other hand said that he started purchasing needed equipment for his own station “one piece at a time.” He also said he filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in early February for his own signal.

Then, last week, he said he gave notice and offered to finish out his week, but station management, which is often the case, decided to end things immediately and Ed was out.

Still, he said upon announcing his new intentions of “launching a new station” that the community response has been “overwhelming.” And, he’s hoping his application before the FCC will come to fruition this fall.

However, in contacting the FCC about new applications in waiting, I was directed to their link “How to Apply for a Radio or Television Broadcast Station” (www.fcc.gov/media/radio/how-to-apply) which clearly stated that “The FCC is not accepting applications for new FM commercial broadcast stations at the present time.” It was the same for non-commercial FM educational radio broadcast stations and lower power FM non-commercial broadcast stations.

So, unless Ed’s application was accepted prior to those areas being closed, it would seem an application for consideration might be difficult. No confirmation on Steinfeld’s status could be obtained through the FCC.

Steinfeld, who was the morning voice on KX FM and had spent the last five years at the station, announced in a media release last week that “He’s taking all that (experience and success) to his new venture.”

He’s calling the new venture the Voice of Laguna radio station, which he says plans to “give a voice to every corner of the community, and every corner of the world. It is what radio was meant to be, a complete and trusted source of entertainment, information and, most of all, relevance. Important topics, serious conversations with policy makers, artists, musicians and people making a difference…and the BEST music in Southern California.”

He officially launched yesterday (Monday, June 5) and can be found at www.voiceoflaguna.com, and soon on iHeart and IOS and Android apps that he hopes are released soon.

Steinfeld is a 25-year Laguna resident, and will spend time working in a studio out of his home and being accessible at the “newspaper stand.” He’s hoping people will give him a listen and “support those who support him.” To contact him via the way Alexander Graham Bell made famous and Steve Jobs made convenient for every pocket and purse, call 949.715.7062.

As for KX FM, McCusker said, “We’re excited to announce some changes that we’ve been planning for a while. News to come soon! Regarding individual claims about the station’s viability, we are currently transitioning staff and forming strategic partnerships to ensure the station’s long-term strength and success. We are extremely confident that KX FM will remain an indispensable resource for Laguna Beach for years and years to come. I’m excited to give you some more good news on that front in our own press release soon.”

• • •

I received one of the official signals that summer is upon us here in Laguna Beach. Okay, some would say, “Oh, you mean that the sun came out?” No, although that was nice to have over the weekend, but that’s not what I was referring to. I was actually talking about news that the Pageant opening is just a month off and tickets for individual performances of the Pageant of the Masters are on sale for shows beginning in the Irvine Bowl officially on Friday, July 7 at 8:30 p.m.

As it celebrates their 90th anniversary, this year’s theme, ART COLONY: IN THE COMPANY OF ARTISTS, “acknowledges the deep connections of the Festival and Pageant to the early artists who settled in Laguna Beach. It will also feature other memorable stories of artists assisting one another through cooperation and fellowship in vastly different eras and circumstances around the world.”

As always, this year’s performances will again be nothing short of spectacular. For ticket information, go here.

Make certain you allow ample time before the performance to mosey around the Festival of Arts Show, which in itself is unbelievable.

Enjoy more than 100 award-winning OC artists in the open-air gallery enjoying works that include painting, glass, ceramics, photography and more.

It’s GOOD!

Here’s a link to the artists that are involved and some of their work.


Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

Email: Editor@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc.


Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising


*The content and ads in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of the publisher.

© 2023 2S Publishing, LLC - All Rights Reserved.