Laguna Beach

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects offers cardiac screenings at LBHS on Aug 19 at Breaker Day

Local nonprofit Heartfelt Cardiac Projects will offer cardiac screenings on Monday, Aug 19, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at Laguna Beach High School (625 Park Ave) in the North Gym. Held during the annual back-to-school Breaker Day, the screening is open to the public – adults and kids ages five and up. The screening event is sponsored by the LBHS Athletic Boosters. To register, go to

School begins on August 26, and this screening is held in conjunction with Breaker Day when students check in, receive textbooks, get school picture forms, Chromebook loaner contracts (ninth graders and new students in the district), and complete other procedures.

Heartfelt, a nonprofit organization, was founded by Laguna Beach resident Holly Morrell, whose family has a long history of the heart disease known as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Morrell’s involvement with cardiac screening is dedicated to the memory of her six family members, including her father, who lost their lives to this condition.

Heartfelt Holly

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Laguna resident Holly Morrell, founder of Heartfelt Cardiac Projects

Heartfelt is dedicated to saving lives through early detection, education, and increased public awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It strikes people of all ages who may seem to be healthy, even children and teens, especially young athletes. In the last 20 years, Heartfelt has saved hundreds of lives and performed more than 50,000 screenings at schools and community centers throughout Southern California. 

Morrell says, “Heartfelt is appreciative for being invited to provide cardiac screenings at the high school, during Breaker Day, for a few years now. It is a wonderful opportunity to serve the community and makes getting a heart screening convenient for Laguna Beach families. This Heartfelt effort is particularly meaningful as Laguna Beach High School has already experienced nothing short of a miracle, with student athlete Sam Tyrrell surviving full cardiac arrest while in his Spanish class. 95 percent of cardiac arrests, outside of the hospital, are fatal.” 

Heartfelt boy

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You’re never too young to have a screening – boy at previous event

 LBHS teacher Jose Luis Gonzalez quickly performed CPR, and athletic trainer Tim Crilly was able to use an automated external defibrillator, a device that helps the heart start beating regularly after cardiac arrest. In a matter of minutes, an ambulance arrived.

To further Heartfelt’s dedication to saving lives, Morrell competed in an Amazon Prime reality TV series, The Social Movement, about social entrepreneurs whose mission is to improve society. As a result, she was invited to attend a meeting at the UN in NYC.

And, of course, Morrell will be at the screening on August 19. She says, “I wouldn’t miss it as Laguna is my hometown and where Heartfelt is based.” 

To register for the screening or for more information on Heartfelt, go to

Meet Pet of the Week Sandy

Sandy is currently taking the title of Pet of the Week. She is a nine-month-old terrier who is spayed. Sandy is known to be very active and will play with you all day long. She gets along great with all types of dogs and is especially good around children. She would do best with a loving family that can keep up with her daily adventures. Sandy is sure to show you unconditional love and would be a fun companion to have by your side. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see Sandy adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the Week Sandy

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Fun-loving sandy is looking for her forever home and family

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

Guest Column

Chamber of Commerce July news

By J.J. Ballesteros

President, Chamber of Commerce

July was a busy, but very productive month for the Chamber. On July 1st we brought back our golf tournament held at Aliso Viejo Country Club. We had over 120 players participate in a competitive, but fun, day of golf and games. We were pleased to see so many faces from town participating in this event and enjoying each other’s company while golfing and networking. Many thanks to our Title Sponsor Troparé (a Data Solutions Company) and the many other sponsors who made the tournament so memorable. Mark your calendar for May 18, 2020 for next year’s tournament!

On July 5th we held our Chamber night at the Pageant of the Masters. This year’s show, “The Time Machine,” took us all around the globe and into the past, present, and future in search of great art and amazing stories. Please be sure to see “The Time Machine,” you will not be disappointed.

Chamber of golf

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Golf Tournament at Aliso Viejo Country Club

On July 11th the Chamber held its second Breakfast Panel of the year. The topic was on how social media can grow your business. Sharael Kolberg from Kolberg Creative Services, Kristin Lewis from The Garage Collective, and Rachel Holder, Marketing Coordinator for Rubel Jewelers, spoke on the very practical ways you can use Instagram to help promote and grow your business. We had over 45 people in attendance and received amazing feedback on the information that was shared. For panel notes please visit the Chamber website and select the Resources tab. 

On July 23rd, the City Council once again approved changes in the parking code recommended by the Chamber to ease some of the restrictions on local businesses. The main intent of these changes is to allow businesses more flexibility in implementing innovative practices to grow their customer bases. 

Chamber of Taste

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Taste of Laguna Food and Music Festival

The Chamber is in full motion planning for Laguna’s event of the year – The Taste of Laguna Food & Music Festival. We have secured Julie Laughton Design Build as our Title Sponsor. Tickets are on sale, and we promise to make this an evening to remember. You can visit the event website to purchase tickets at

As always, we look forward to hearing your feedback. We aim to be the voice of our businesses and want to continue our support of this great community. Feel free to email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any thoughts or ideas.

Stay cool in August and thank you for your support! 

For more information about Chamber, go to

Red Cross Blood Drive was a success thanks to 35 life-saving donors 

Residents stepped up to participate in a Red Cross Blood Drive at Laguna Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, Aug 7 to save lives due to a blood shortage from the recent shootings. 

“The blood shortage emergency across the nation bumped up further following recent shootings,” stated blood drive coordinator Sandy Grim. 

 “It was another great day of saving lives at Laguna Presbyterian Church. 35 people participated and we were able to collect 35 pints of blood that will be used to save up to 105 hospital patients lives.”

Red Cross church

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Red Cross thanks the community for recent blood drive success

Laura Rudd of American Red Cross Blood Services attributed the drive’s success to Grim’s efforts. “Sandy, once again, your determination paid off with success! You were able to fill up those open time slots and get enough donors to walk through the doors of Tankersley Hall to give their life-saving blood.

“Three people donated double red cells which counted as six towards the goal. And one last bit of exciting news to share: 11 of the people who participated were first-time blood donors! That is so fantastic to see. Hopefully they will become regular blood donors at LPC.

“Many thanks to you, all of the donors and the volunteers who contributed to this wonderful blood drive. We will see you again on October 9.” 

To schedule an appointment for the October 9 blood drive, sign up at and use sponsor code “laguanp” or email Laura Rudd at the Red Cross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Walk-ins are also welcome. 

Please remember to bring a photo ID or Red Cross Donor Card on the day of donation. 

Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.

14-year-old Laguna Beach youth Francis Jacobs signs professional contract with OC Soccer Club

Orange County Soccer Club announced yesterday the signing of 14-year-old soccer standout Francis Jacobs, who becomes the youngest male to sign a professional contract in United States soccer history. The Laguna Beach native joins amidst interest from multiple European clubs and is eligible to make his historic first appearance as early as Saturday, Aug 17 against Las Vegas Lights FC.

Jacobs becomes the youngest professional soccer player in U.S. history after inking his deal at 14 years, 4 months, and 29 days. 

The next youngest player was Freddy Adu who was 14 years, 5 months, and 16 days old when he signed with Major League Soccer and D.C. United in November 2003. 

Close to home

Jacobs joins OCSC following a successful stint with the Irvine Strikers, where his performances earned him national team call-ups with both the United States U-14 National Team and, most recently, as a participant in the 2018 U.S. Junior National Team camp. Jacobs had training stints with Bundesliga clubs Cologne and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany, but the option of staying close to home made joining OCSC the right step for the player and his family.

“He’s had opportunities to play abroad,” Jacobs’ father Jeff told ESPN. “But I didn’t think that would have worked out for him because he’s 14 and taking him out of his nest was not the right move at this point. What OCSC has offered couldn’t be any better. 

“We live very close by. Francis’ life will stay intact in terms of friends and normalcy. And OCSC has an amazing training environment, an amazing team, and the staff has assured my wife and I that they’re going to look after him and do what’s best for him.”

LB native shirt

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Courtesy of Orange County Soccer Club

Francis Jacobs, center, became the youngest soccer player in U.S. history to sign a professional contract when he inked a deal with OCSC

“Francis is a special Orange County talent and has shown a maturity on the field way beyond his years,” said OCSC President of Soccer Operations & General Manager Oliver Wyss. “He is the perfect model of player to develop in our pathway to professional program that we have established here in Orange County. The entire organization is committed to providing him with guidance, training, and support as he begins the first step in what we believe will be a long professional soccer career. Our training environment will allow him to learn every day from our experienced technical staff and play alongside top pro players, some of which have played on the highest international level in Mexico and Europe. Francis has a bright future ahead and we are proud to have him and his family as part of Orange County SC.”

“I am very excited for Francis, who is a young and gifted local talent, to join our team,” said Head Coach Braeden Cloutier. “I’ve been really impressed with his poise and ability on the ball that he’s shown us these past few months. This is a great opportunity for Francis, and also an exciting challenge for the entire Orange County SC technical staff to do everything possible to help him reach his fullest potential.”

Jacobs will now look to follow in the footsteps of Orange County SC teammate Aaron Cervantes, who signed his first professional contract at 15 years old prior to the 2018 USL Championship season. This year, Cervantes has become a regular in goal for OCSC recording eight appearances and two shutouts while splitting time with the United States U-17 National Team.

“It is really exciting to be playing for Orange County SC,” said Francis Jacobs. “I would like to thank Mr. Keston, Oliver, and Braeden for giving me this special opportunity. I want to make everybody who has helped me get here proud and I am looking forward to the future.”

LB native playing

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Courtesy Orange County Soccer Club

Jacobs has been training with Orange County SC all summer

Having trained with Orange County SC and clearing eligibility requirements for USL Championship play, Jacobs is eligible to take the field as early as Saturday, Aug 17 against Las Vegas Lights FC.

Although Jacobs will be eligible for selection for next weekend’s game against the Las Vegas Lights in the USL, which plays at one level below MLS, OCSC manager Braeden Cloutier told ESPN FC it was unlikely that Jacobs would play.

Cloutier told ESPN, “I just want to make sure we’re doing this at the right pace and the right time,” he said about playing Jacobs. If Jacobs does see the field, he will become the youngest American to play in a professional league match.

“I’m pretty excited just because I’ve worked really hard throughout the years to get to this point, and the guys are really cool on the team,” Jacobs told ESPN via telephone. “So it’s pretty exciting to join a team you really like, and I’m looking forward to the future.” 

OCSC GM Oliver Wyss told ESPN that Jacobs has been training with the club’s first team since May, and during that time the 5-foot-11 midfielder showed he could compete playing against men who, in some cases, are more than twice his age. 

Beyond his age

“As a 14-year-old he’s already more mature than most of the teenagers that we come across who play for us,” Wyss said. “I think that has a dramatic impact because his coachability, his smarts, his intelligence, are very, very high for a young man. That also played into the equation.

“If you just looked at age, it’s a big step to make. But the reality is he’s trained with us all summer long. We have the chance to evaluate him continuously, and we feel he is ready for the next step. We will give him the time and it’s not something where we rush into it. It’s ultimately up to Francis to prove that he’s ready to make a game appearance for our first team.”

The next step will be for Jacobs to prove his worth in practice ahead of this weekend’s match. 

“It will be really exciting,” Jacobs said about possibly making his debut. “But it comes down to how you play in the practices. It’s the coach’s decision of which lineup he wants to put out there.”

Jacobs will attend a local private school in the afternoons in order to continue his education. 

Orange County Soccer Club is Orange County’s only professional soccer team and is part of the United Soccer League (USL), the fastest growing Division II professional soccer league in the world. The USL is comprised of 34 teams across the United States. The team plays its home games at the Orange County Great Par’s Championship Soccer Stadium, located in Irvine.

For more information about Orange County Soccer Club, and to experience professional soccer in the OC, visit

Dennis’ Tidbits


August 9, 2019

Western Pacific churning up 

Dennis 5At this time, the tropics in the Central and Eastern Pacific, the Caribbean, and the Atlantic Basin are all quiet, but the Western Pacific is a different story. Three typhoons and a tropical storm – about to turn hurricane – are churning up the waters in a big way over there. As you probably know by now, typhoons are exactly the same as hurricanes, cyclones, and willy-willies – only the names are different.

Closer to home in the Eastern Pacific, there have been seven named systems up to this point, which is about the normal production up to August 9th. Normal tropical system production over any given season is around 14-16 storms with at least five spinners making it up to major hurricane status (Category 3 or higher with winds of 111 mph or higher). The strongest Category 5 on record in the Eastern Pacific was Patricia in October of 2015 with sustained winds in excess of 200 mph with gusts as high as 228 mph; the central pressure was all the way down to 872 millibars, also a record.

The Eastern Pacific ran out the entire alphabet once and that was in 1992; 1983 came close, making it up to Winnie in early December; 1985 saw Xina and 1990 saw Waldo. Because the waters off Baja and Southern California are much cooler than the Eastern Seaboard, averaging in the low 70s at their warmest, tropical systems lose most of their punch by the time they move northward up into higher latitudes. Remember, a hurricane needs at least 80-degree water to keep it fueled. 

There have been two exceptions when a strong El Nino event occurred, pushing ocean temps up to 80 degrees as far north as Southern California and opening the door for a Category 2 storm that made landfall near San Diego way back in September of 1858. 

In September of 1939, a high-end tropical storm made landfall near San Pedro. Several other systems have found their way up here but were merely tropical depressions by the time they reached us with winds less than 39 mph and maybe a couple inches of rain at the most.

It’s a whole different ballgame on the East Coast and Gulf of Mexico. Ocean temps there can reach 80 degrees as far north as New England with the help of the super warm Gulf Stream where water temps soar to 90 degrees in the gulf and the mid to high 80s as far north as North Carolina. 

On a couple of occasions, a hurricane has held it together as far north as Nova Scotia (my mom’s birthplace), which is 46.5 degrees north latitude! That’s a big target, from the Texas coast all the way up to Maine. Four Category 5 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S; in 1934 a Category 5 hit the Florida Keys with winds up to 175 mph; in August of 1969, Category 5 Hurricane Camille made landfall near the Louisiana/Mississippi border. Category 5 Andrew hammered extreme Southern Florida south of Miami in August of 1992, and Category 5 Michael moved ashore near Pensacola, Florida in 2018.

The Atlantic Basin is off to a very slow start with no systems in June or July and early August but that can change in a heartbeat as they’re entering the busiest time of the season, which normally peaks in mid-September. It was really quiet like this in 1992 when the first storm of that season didn’t form until the third week of August and that was devastating Category 5 Andrew. 

Same deal in 2004 when nothing happened until mid-August and suddenly four major hurricanes appeared in the span of only two weeks; Charley, Danielle, Earl, and Francis – so people are beginning to squirm back there. 

Thank goodness we don’t have to worry much about that stuff. 

That’s why we live here! ALOHA.

Ann Wareham to speak at Laguna Beach Business Club meeting on Aug 15

The Laguna Beach Business Club (LBBC) is proud to announce Ann E. Wareham, artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse, as the featured speaker at the group’s August 15 meeting. 

The LBBC holds a breakfast meeting the third Thursday each month at 7:30 a.m. and hosts speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in one’s personal and professional lives.

Ann E. Wareham joined Laguna Playhouse in 2010 as Associate Producer and assumed the role of Artistic Director in August 2011. She worked for 27 years as a producing partner and Producing Associate to Gordon Davidson at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles, producing such plays as Ain’t Misbehavin’, Pippin, Spring Awakening, No Child…, Sweeney Todd, Distracted, Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Edward Scissorhands, In the Continuum, Pyrenees, The Black Rider, Without Walls, Stuff Happens, Like Jazz, The Talking Cure, A Perfect Wedding, and Putting It Together

Ann Wareham portrait

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Ann Wareham is the featured guest speaker at LBBC’s Aug 15 meeting

Ann was part of the producing team for Deaf West Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening at Inner City Arts and the Wallis Theatre in Los Angeles as well as for its critically acclaimed production on Broadway in 2015. In 2010, she supported the Pasadena Playhouse as Associate Producer for the West Coast premiere of Dangerous Beauty. Her early producing career included productions at the CAST Theatre, the Met, and Theatre Rapport in Los Angeles, and The Victory Theatre where she served on the board of directors. 

The LBBC is a group of local business professionals and entrepreneurs. The group meets monthly to discuss current events, business opportunities, and share insights within the context of our community and our lives. The club’s goal is to build and maintain relationships with local professionals and businesses that club members are proud to recommend to clients and friends. 

Meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Seven7Seven. Non-members are welcome. The non-member guest fee is $20, payable in cash or check (payable to the Laguna Beach Business Club) the day of the meeting. 

For more information about the LBBC or to register to attend a meeting, visit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact member Pamela Knudsen (949) 285-3730.

Seven7Seven is located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Don’t Stop Believin’ Gala raises $1 Million for Shea Therapeutic Riding Center

The Shea Center Gala recently filled the Montage Laguna Beach Grand Ballroom with 450 friends and generous sponsors of the J. F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano.

The June 1 event was the premier therapeutic riding center’s 28th annual gala. This year’s theme grew from the popularity of 1980s music, and the hit song “Don’t Stop Believin’” from the rock band Journey. 

The “Don’t Stop Believin’” gala also honored the positive outlook and courage of Shea Center clients, and their families who never stop believing in their abilities and potential successes.

Arriving gala guests were dressed in fashion styles from the 80s – known for big, bright, extreme fashions, such as “big hair,” new wave, and punk rock. The gala attendees were greeted with well-remembered music from that decade. One of the guests dressed as lead singer Gene Simmons from the band KISS and his wife as Madonna. 

Everyone gathered on the luxury resort’s Pacific Lawn, as strolling servers offered guests specialty cocktails and appetizers. Always a favorite, the “Wine Wall” returned this year, where guests made choices from a foliage wall with only arms and hands in sight offering a variety of stemmed glasses of wine. 

Surrounding the guests were 195 silent auction items carefully arrayed on draped tables. In two special areas, extraordinary collections of fine wines and high-value luxury items were offered. This included jewelry from Winston’s Crown Jewelers and David Yurman creations, and South Coast Plaza gift certificates leading to Giorgio Armani, Coach, Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo, and Tod’s. Also available were romantic getaway packages ranging from the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel to Les Saisons Sun Valley, Idaho. 

Later in the evening, opportunity drawing winners took home a David Yurman at South Coast Plaza pendant necklace with pavé diamonds and a signature cable motif; and a $2,000 gift certificate for Ralph Lauren at South Coast Plaza. 

As the coastal temperature began to cool, guests were invited into the Grand Ballroom for a sumptuous dinner and the evening’s program. The menu by Montage Laguna Beach senior chef Jackson Tiano was specifically created for this special evening. 

Shea Center Executive Director Dana Butler-Moburg welcomed guests and set the scene by reflecting on the Center’s 41 years of improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs. She also thanked past recipients of the “Michael Lewis Friends of the Disabled Award.” 

That award named after the riding center’s first rider in 1978 celebrates the contributions of individuals, organizations, families, and companies that positively affect the lives of people with disabilities at The Shea Center and in the greater community. 

Don't Stop Jeff

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Laguna Beach resident Jeff Cunningham was presented with the “Michael Lewis Friends” award

Later in the evening, this year’s “Michael Lewis Friends” award was presented to Jeff Cunningham from Laguna Beach. Butler-Moburg spoke about Cunningham as a Shea Center board member. 

She said, “Jeff Cunningham gets things done. He looks at the impossible and makes it possible. He leads with grace and integrity; he’s a leader to admire and truly one of the good guys!” 

Gala emcee and auctioneer Jim Nye offered Shea Center friends an array of travel and culinary experiences on which to bid. Included were: 

--An in-home three-course dinner and cocktail demonstration for six prepared by Chef Mellgren of Craft House in Dana Point, in which Mellgren will create, teach, and share recipes. 

--A luxurious two-night romantic getaway at Montage Laguna Beach. 

--A Meritage Resort and Spa Napa Valley getaway, traveling with JetsuiteX and the use of a luxury car while there. 

--An Exclusive Resorts luxury getaway from a worldwide list of exquisitely appointed residences. 

--An elegant private dinner for 12 at the Chef’s Table in Studio at Montage Laguna Beach. 

--A one-year Monarch Beach Resort Family Spa & Fitness Membership. 

--An unforgettable six days in a charming apartment in the heart of Paris, France. 

--Dinner for 25 at the new Glasspar Restaurant in Dana Point for seafood, and an oyster bar and tap room. Owner and chef Rob Wilson will personally prepare and host the evening. Specialty meats provided by The Butchery Quality Meats; wine provided by Riverain Vineyards. 

Also auctioned, with the help of young Nick Green and his dad Jimmy, was a pint-sized remote-controlled kid’s Ferrari, a la “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” 

Dana Butler-Moburg returned to the podium to introduce the Fosheim Rider Support Fund, which raises money that goes directly to Shea Center program needs and financial aid for riders. 

Dana explained, “There is an important number to remember about us when you think about how we are! We receive no federal, state, or county dollars at The Shea Center. Our rider fees are less than 14 percent of our total $4.4 million operating budget. We are supported almost entirely by private, generous gifts from people like you.”

The Fosheim fundraising started fast with an initial gift of $50,000 from Bill and Jenny Klein. Quickly the ballroom was full of waving bid paddles. The energy level jumped further when Eden and George O’Connell excited the room with a $100,000 donation. By the time the Fosheim Fund closed, it had generated $409,000. 

The reported gala proceeds from the entire evening were just over $1 million. “It was a fantastic evening for our guests and for our clients,” said Butler-Moburg. “The generosity of our friends was overwhelming; we are truly grateful for the support that transforms the lives of those we serve.” 

Gala Co-Chairs were Allyson Constantino, of Laguna Niguel, and Pam Moellenhoff, of Dana Point. The Premier Sponsor was The Klein Family of Laguna Hills; Event Sponsors were Irvine BMW/The Damon & Karyn Shelly Family of Laguna Beach; and the Moellenhoff Family, of Dana Point; the Entertainment Sponsor was the O’Connell Family Foundation Trust in San Juan Capistrano; Platinum Sponsors were Ira Hermann-Capstone Partners in Newport Beach, and Nancy and Derek Lewis of Newport Beach; Gold Sponsors were The Gilbert Aguirre Family Trust of San Juan Capistrano, John M. Frank Construction, Inc. of Laguna Hills, The Gregory Family of San Juan Capistrano, and South Coast Plaza; The Media Sponsor was COAST Magazine

The Shea Center in San Juan Capistrano is a privately funded 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization addressing 75 different physical and cognitive disabilities. Licensed therapists, certified instructors, and dedicated volunteers work with trained therapy horses in a modern equestrian facility to improve client strength, coordination, and ability. 

Many clients speak their first words or take their first steps at The Shea Center. 75 cents of every dollar of revenue goes directly to program services; 17 cents go to fundraising expenses; and eight cents goes to management and general operating expenses. 

For more information about The Shea Center, go to or call (949) 240-8441, ext. 109.

Crystal Cove California Gnatcatcher 

Crystal Cove bird

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Photo by Jean Brotherton

The California Gnatcatcher is an endangered species and is only found in coastal Southern California and Baja California. Habitat loss is the reason so few exist.

Laguna Beach Books to host author and chef Jeff Gordinier on August 18 

Laguna Beach Books is proud to welcome author and chef Jeff Gordinier to the store on Sunday, August 18 at 4 p.m. Jeff will be discussing and signing copies of his new book, Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World

Hungry is a book about not only the hunger for food, but for risk, for reinvention, for creative breakthroughs, and for connection. Feeling stuck in his work and home life, writer Jeff Gordinier happened into a fateful meeting with Danish chef René Redzepi, whose restaurant, Noma, has been called the best in the world. 

A restless perfectionist, Redzepi was at the top of his game but was looking to tear it all down, to shutter his restaurant and set out for new places, flavors, and recipes.

This is the story of the subsequent four years of globe-trotting culinary adventure, with Gordinier joining Redzepi as his Sancho Panza. In the jungle of the Yucatán peninsula, Redzepi and his comrades go off-road in search of the perfect taco. 

Laguna Beach Gordinier cover

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Laguna Beach Books proudly welcomes author Jeff Gordinier on Aug 18

In Sydney, they forage for sea rocket and sandpaper figs in suburban parks and on surf-lashed beaches. On a boat in the Arctic Circle, a lone fisherman guides them to what may or may not be his secret cache of the world’s finest sea urchins. 

Back in Copenhagen, the quiet canal-lined city where Redzepi started it all, he plans the resurrection of his restaurant on the unlikely site of a garbage-filled lot. Along the way, readers meet Redzepi’s merry band of friends and collaborators, including acclaimed chefs such as Danny Bowien, Kylie Kwong, Rosio Sánchez, David Chang, and Enrique Olvera.

Hungry is a memoir, a travelogue, a portrait of a chef, and a chronicle of the moment when daredevil cooking became the most exciting and groundbreaking form of artistry.

Jeff Gordinier is the food and drinks editor of Esquire and a frequent contributor to The New York Times, where he was previously a reporter. He is the author of X Saves the World and co-editor of the essay collection Here She Comes Now. He lives north of New York City with his wife, Lauren Fonda, and his four children.

This is a ticketed event; tickets are $26 plus tax and include a copy of the book. Tickets can be purchased at the store or online at

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 South Coast Hwy.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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