few clouds


Laguna Beach

Holding back the sun

Holding back clouds

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The thick gray clouds can’t keep the rays of sunlight from peeking through

Rhapsody in red

Rhapsody in sun

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The sky closes in on the sun and sea in a symphony of scarlet and amber

Salute to solidarity

Salute to planes

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Photo by Joel Goldstein

Thunderbirds flyover on Friday was a show of national solidarity for first responders and health care workers during COVID-19 pandemic

Laguna Beach Community Foundation disburses $600,000 to several local nonprofits, courtesy of Wayne Peterson Fund

This week the Laguna Beach Community Foundation is disbursing $600,000 to local charities to help mitigate the effects of the coronavirus disease and lockdown.  

The charities include: the Laguna Food Pantry, the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center, the Friendship Shelter, the COVID-19 Relief Fund, and the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

The disbursement funds originated from the estate of leader and philanthropist Wayne Peterson, founding trustee of the Community Foundation, who passed away last year. He served as mayor of Laguna Beach from 1995-1996 and was a member of the City Council from 1992-2000.

Laguna Beach boys and girls

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Boys & Girls Club is one of the nonprofit recipients of funds disbursed this week by Laguna Beach Community Foundation, courtesy of the Wayne Peterson Fund

According to Community Foundation Board Chairman Tom Davis, “The Wayne Peterson Fund has also made a gift of $100,000 to SchoolPower for use in connection with the social emotional support programs at the Laguna Beach schools.” 

Jim Fletcher, Community Foundation trustee, adds, “Wayne loved Laguna which was reflected in his public service and philanthropy. The charities were chosen from organizations that Wayne supported during his lifetime. The Trustees of the Community Foundation felt that accelerating disbursements during this time would have been supported and encouraged by Wayne. Wayne’s legacy has also significantly benefited LCAD.”

Laguna Beach pantry

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The Laguna Food Pantry is also a recipient 

The Laguna Beach Community Foundation strengthens the community by encouraging philanthropy. The organization provides expertise and resources to assist local charities, connect donor passions with nonprofit needs, and work with local professional advisors in assisting their clients in giving now and beyond their lifetimes with a legacy gift.

For more information about Laguna Beach Community Foundation, go to

Dennis’ Tidbits 


May 19, 2020

Fortieth anniversary of catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens

Dennis 5Local surface ocean temps are nudging up into the upper 60s, around three degrees above the normal to date. On Sunday evening, I noticed a new pulse filling in from the Southern Hemisphere, so we’re off to a pretty good start to the south swell season.

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Mount St. Helens is a symmetrical volcanic cone in southwestern Washington about 45 miles northeast of Portland, Oregon. Most of the cone that can be seen now was formed within the last thousand years, but this overlies an older volcanic center that probably has existed for at least 40,000 years. Mount St. Helens has had a long history of spasmodic explosive activity. It is an especially dangerous volcano because of its past behavior and the high frequency of its eruptions during the past 45 years.

On May 18, 1980, a powerful explosion occurred from Mount St. Helens at 8:32 a.m. that was heard up to 200 miles away. The explosion climaxed a series of activities that began with an earthquake shock of magnitude 4.1 on March 20, 1980. Remarkable photos taken as the explosion began show the once north uplift peeling away from the volcano, as a large vertical cloud began to rise from the summit and rose very rapidly to more than ten miles above sea level, passing through the tropopause at seven miles. Winds blew the cloud to the east. Ashfall fell in Yakima, Washington, nearly 100 miles away and caused respiratory problems for some residents. 

By mid-afternoon, the ash had reached Spokane, Washington, reducing the visibility to only 10 feet, although only a half inch of ash was deposited there. Almost two inches of ash were reported from areas of Montana west of the Continental Divide, but only a dusting fell on the eastern slopes. Slight ashfall occurred in Denver the following day. For the next several days, the ash blew generally to the east, causing some problems for aircraft over the Midwest.

The U.S. Geological Survey identified three components of the initial eruptive event in addition to the vertical cloud.

The first component was a directed blast which leveled the forest on the north and northwest flanks for a distance of up to 15 miles from the former summit. The blast swept over ridges and flowed down valleys, depositing significant quantities of ash. Although the blast was hot, it did not char fallen or buried trees. Many people were known to be killed by the blast, and many others in the devastated zone were missing.

The second component was a combined pyroclastic flow and landslide that carried the remnants of the north flank uplift across the lower slopes and about 17 miles down the Toutle River valley, burying it to depths as great as 180 ft. Large quantities of mud, logs, and other debris, called lahar, clogged several valleys around Mount St. Helens, rendering some shipping lanes impassible in the Columbia River.

The third component was a pumiceous pyroclastic flow funneled northward through the breach, formed by the destruction of the north flank bulge. This flow dammed the outlet of Spirit Lake, trapping a large quantity of water. 

Since May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens has erupted 35 times but most were pale in comparison to the initial blast and most of these have been predicted thanks to modern science technology. 

See y’all on Friday at the beach now that it’s open.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Steve Parks is the winner this week. He knew this tile work is at the Casa Laguna Hotel. He had the advantage of experience, “One of my favorite places,” he said in an email. “Owned it 1978-1984.” Hah, he ought to know!

Thanks for playing along with Maggi!

Look for the next photo challenge coming up on Friday.    

Where's Maggi 5 19 20

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Tile artwork at Casa Laguna Hotel, on S Coast Hwy

Love letter to Laguna

Love letter banner

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Solidarity for our city

Weapons banned at public assemblies on public or city property


An urgency ordinance approved by the City Council on May 12 prohibits carrying or possessing weapons or items that could be considered a weapon or used as a weapon while attending public gatherings on public property. 

The council unanimously approved the urgency ordinance submitted by retiring Police Chief Laura Farinella that extended an existing ordinance. There was no public comment on the item. 

“We did not change the original ordinance; all we did was expand the areas where you cannot carry these items,” said Farinella. “Come and voice your First Amendment rights but do it peacefully.”

Demonstrators are welcome to bring flags, just not on a pole that could be used as a weapon, clarified Farinella.

Farinella’s recommendation is a response to groups and individuals planning and carrying out demonstrations, rallies, and protests in Laguna Beach and elsewhere related to the curtailment of activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Demonstrators are bringing with them items already banned by the ordinance passed in 2017 because events during the “America First” rally spilled over from city beaches and adjoining parks to other public property. 

The extended ordinance adds sidewalks, streets, and city facilities to the areas designated in Ordinance No. 1628. The additions will better protect demonstrators, non-participating members of the public, and public safety personnel, according to the staff. 

An urgency ordinance requires a four-fifth vote of the council but does not require a second reading to take effect.

Authorities still searching for coyote that attacked local resident, victim is recovering at home

At approximately 7:45 a.m. on Friday, May 15, a coyote attacked a 91-year-old male resident in the driveway of his home on Oak Street near Temple Terrace. The resident was in his driveway by himself, when the coyote came up from behind him and bit him on the legs. The coyote caused significant bite injuries to the resident’s legs, with blood coming out. The resident was transported to the hospital. 

Following the attack, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture created a Task Force to work together to capture the coyote in question. The City sent out a community release on Friday afternoon, urging residents to be vigilant and alert until the coyote is captured. 

“So far, despite the best efforts of the California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the suspect coyote has not been captured,” stated Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres on Monday.

“Residents should report coyote sightings to Animal Services at (949) 497-0701 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Residents should continue to follow safe practices regarding contacts with coyotes.”

According to DNA results obtained, the coyote that bit the local resident was an adult female.

The victim is recovering at home after returning from the hospital on Friday afternoon, stated Beres. “The resident has multiple puncture wounds on his legs, and has started to receive rabies shots as a precautionary measure.”

The City reminds residents to protect themselves and their pets and property from coyotes. Coyotes are most active at dusk and dawn, and in urban environments they are more active at night but they can be seen at any time of day. 

The City advises residents to use “hazing” techniques to shoo away coyotes, such as standing tall, yelling, and waving arms while approaching the coyote; using a whistle, air horn, bell, or other device; banging pots or pans together; stomping your feet; using a water hose, pepper spray, or throwing tennis balls or rocks at the coyote.

If you have any concerns regarding wild animals, or see a coyote in a residential area, call Laguna Beach Animal Services at (949) 497-0701. You may also report coyote sightings to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

4,434 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 18, reflect that there have been 4,434 reported cases of COVID-19 in Orange County to date, including 59 new cases reported yesterday. 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 154 reported cases to date. Dana Point has had 24 reported cases to date.

Anaheim has had 701 reported cases to date, a net increase of six cases yesterday. Santa Ana has had 744 reported cases to date, a net increase of 16 cases yesterday.

The County reports 353 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 seven cases in this category yesterday.

Sadly, the County reports 88 deaths due to COVID-19. 194 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19; 78 are currently in ICU.

The County Public Health lab and reporting commercial labs have tested 80,533 people as of yesterday, with a 5.5 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

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna.

4,434 reported cases 1

4,434 reported cases 2

4,434 reported cases 3

4,434 reported cases 4

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data, as of May 18;

Click here to visit page that is updated daily

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