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Laguna Beach

Boy Scouts return from Summer Camp

By Elliott Leeds, Star Scout of Troop 35

From July 29 - August 4, Laguna Beach Troop 35 went to Camp Bighorn in Hubert Eaton Scout Reservation for their Summer Camp. They participated in many fun and awesome activities that ranged from Archery to High Adventure.

Boy Scouts return Inspection

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Submitted photos

Troop 35 has fun doing Brotherhood Activity for inspection

The troop completed over one hundred merit badges (including the adult leader’s merit badges) to assist them in rank advancement. They took Archery, Swimming, Lifesaving, Sculpture Photography and Moviemaking, Art, Rifle Shooting, Trail To First Class, Trail To Second Class, Trail To Tenderfoot, The Adult merit badge, Indian Lore, Wilderness Survival, Horsemanship, and many other classes.

Boy Scouts return Mount

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Top of Mount Sorenson at the BSA monument for Arnold Sorenson who established the Hubert Eaten Scout Reservation (Twelve Mile Hike Trail)

“This year has been one of the most productive years for the troop,” said Katherine Stellar, the Troop Advancement Chair.

The location was breathtaking, nestled in the pine trees near Lake Arrowhead in the San Bernardino Mountains, and the Scouts had a wonderful time. 

For information about scouting, go to

Craig Strong reveals concept and name for his new restaurant, will partner with Tuvalu

After serving nine years as executive chef at the award-winning Studio restaurant at Montage Laguna Beach, Chef Craig Strong is opening and cheffing his own restaurant, Ocean at Main.

Located at 222 Ocean Avenue near Main Beach, Ocean at Main is in the former Taverna location and is slated to open by October 2018. It will be open daily for lunch and dinner.

Craig Strong reveals

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Chef Craig Strong

Strong, who lives in Laguna Beach with his family, warmly envisions the 126-seat, 4,500-square-foot Ocean at Main as a welcoming establishment in this idyllic Southern California community. To help achieve his goal, the restaurant, which received a $2 million renovation when it became Taverna, will undergo a physical refresh by Laguna-based Laurie Alter of Tuvalu Home, and a rebranding spearheaded by Strong. Dylan Cloughen, who worked with Strong previously and was most recently with the Mina Group, will serve as general manager.

Ocean at Main is located in the early 1940s iconic building that housed the venerable Laguna Beach financial institution, Laguna Federal Savings, whose motto was, “We’re local and we love it.” The historic building’s structure and existing Mission Craftsman-style will remain, including the prominent wooden beams, trim and cabinets. Tuvalu, known for its use of coastal-centric design, will introduce new tables and upholstered and cushioned chairs, bringing ocean blue, sea glass and sea foam hues to the indoor dining area, bar, lounge and outdoor patio with its stunning focal point, the tiled mural and fountain.

Strong’s commitment to providing a warm, approachable Southern California dining experience is a culmination of his years at top-level fine dining establishments, including Studio at Montage Laguna Beach, The Langham Huntington Hotel and Spa, Hotel Arts Barcelona, and The Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, Georgia. 

Strong will continue to support the local agricultural community and regional purveyors he has worked with over the years. He will serve chef-driven, seasonally changing dishes that highlight pristine ingredients – paying tribute to his French mentors like Paul Bocuse, with a slightly “lighter hand.” California’s diverse, fresh products and healthy lifestyle choices will be reflected on the menu, offering just-caught seafood and other mains, along with an emphasis on straight-from-the-farm vegetables. The menu will include flatbreads – making use of the kitchen’s existing pizza oven. Crafted cocktail, beer and wine lists will celebrate local talents and resources.

For more information and updates, follow Ocean at Main on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @oceanatmain.

Edison to replace poles on August 15 and 16

On Wednesday, Aug 15, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Southern California Edison (SCE) will be replacing a utility pole north of the Balboa Avenue and Del Mar Avenue intersection in Arch Beach Heights.

The pole is located approximately 175 feet north of the street intersection, adjacent to the emergency access fire road. The emergency access fire road shall remain open and clear of any obstructions during operations. 

Edison to replace

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

North Laguna and Arch Beach Heights will experience power outages as SCE replaces utility poles next week

On Thursday, Aug 16, between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., SCE will be replacing a utility pole at 353 Cedar Way in North Laguna.

The work is being performed during the night due to an outage associated with the pole replacement which will affect commercial customers in the vicinity. Cedar Way, between Jasmine Street and Aster Street, will be closed during operations. 

Emergency vehicle access shall be permitted at Cedar Way as needed. The affected residents and customers have been notified of the work and the street closure in advance by SCE. 

For questions or concerns about either project, please contact JC Holt, Construction Coordinator with Pro Energy Services, Inc. at (909) 781-3973.

Political notebook banner

Iseman announces candidacy


Councilwoman Toni Iseman announced this week that she will run for her sixth consecutive term on the City Council.

The decision was not an easy one, she said, but she felt compelled to run because of the significant issues facing the city. 

“There is so much at stake,” said Iseman. “I just realized I could not live with myself if I didn’t run. It would be so hard not to be able to vote – so hard not to be able to explain my position.” 

Iseman has never been shy about expressing her opinions.

“I think after all these years, I have made everybody in town mad at me at least once,” said Iseman. “But I think they know my heart’s in the right place.”

Angering voters may not be the way to win elections, but council members must not be afraid to make tough decisions, Iseman said. 

“They have to be aware that decisions have consequences and look beyond the approval,” said Iseman “We can’t look at the approval of a place like the Drake (proposed replacement for Tabu) without being aware of the impacts on public safety. That corner is dangerous now, without having a nightclub there.”

Iseman announces closeup

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Toni Iseman announces her candidacy for a sixth consecutive term

Iseman most often speaks off the cuff when addressing a group, only rarely resorting to notes. She uses analogies to make her points. She is a commanding speaker, perhaps due to her career in education – teachers have to be able to hold student’s attention – and as a high school and community college counselor. She retired in 2005 from Orange Coast College, prior to her third term on the council.   

A resident since 1970 of Laguna Beach, Iseman was first elected to the City Council in 1998. 

“I was recruited then and I am still being recruited,” she said. 

She is the darling of Village Laguna. 

Iseman’s core values have not changed. She puts individuals first, residents’ well-being ahead of visitors, and preservation of the Greenbelt and Laguna’s unique character as essential.

“The same, only better” has been her mantra for years. 

Iseman’s main concern when she first ran for office was the preservation of Laguna Canyon. It was known, but not publicized, that she was the Laguna Canyon Phantom, who posted Gillette Razor-type signs in the dead of night opposing planned development in the canyon. 

Once committed to a position or a project, she perseveres, even when on the short end of a 4-1 vote, nibbling away, perhaps asking if the motion-maker would consider changes in the motion. She frequently will request the mayor to extend the time allotted to a speaker about issues of particular interest to her or ask a question that prolongs public testimony.

Iseman can be a pit bull, for example, her decades-long opposition to federal laws related to cell towers and to the Cox Cable franchise she calls a monopoly, both to no avail, but she can be practical when it suits her. 

She fought tooth and nail against moving the city’s corporation yard to ACT V, yet that relocation led to one of Iseman’s biggest triumphs: adoption by the council of her proposal to offer free trolley rides into town for tourists that park their cars at ACT V. 

The free rides have resulted in increased ridership and fewer cars clogging city streets. 

Improving downtown traffic is one of Iseman’s pet projects. She considers the prohibition of southbound left-hand turns off of Coast Highway unless specifically permitted and the use of young traffic controllers on weekends at highly traveled intersections as two major achievements – although she is frustrated at the time it took to implement her ideas.

“The traffic controllers took at least five years from the time I first thought of it,” said Iseman.

She would like to take another shot at convincing downtown employees to park at Act V and be shuttled to their jobs.

“It would have to be businesses with more than 10 employees and they would get paid from the time they park their cars,” said Iseman. 

Another big goal is the installation of parking meters in South Laguna. She said South Laguna residents are concerned visitors would park free in the neighborhoods.

“But that is what they are doing now,” Iseman said.

Meters that offer longer parking would draw visitors out of the neighborhoods, she said. 

Iseman is also interested in a review of Design Review decisions. She has asked for the statistics on the number of homes reviewed; the number approved at the first, second and third hearings, the number turned down and the number appealed. 

“Some decisions made by the city just don’t make any sense,” she said. “We are at the point people will ask a few years from now: ‘What were they thinking?’” 

She feels her election for a sixth term would help prevent the question from arising.

Fire and light from TOW last night

Photos by Scott Brashier

Fire and light 1

Fire and light 2

Fire and light 3

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The greatest beauty is almost always in the abstract

Laguna Beach Library presents Musical Storytime

On Monday, Aug 13, Laguna Beach Library is presenting Musical Storytime with Brooke Briggs from 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. 

Laguna Beach Library Brooke

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Join Brooke Briggs in an interactive morning of musical fun 

All morning long there will be lots of reading, singing, dancing, and playing musical instruments with Miss Brooke. Additionally, there will be award winning sing-along storybooks and interactive storytime. 

This is a free program for all interested.

The library is located at 363 Glenneyre Street. 

For more information on this upcoming event, call (949) 497-1733.

“We live a lucky life”: A stunning sunset capture by Tina Treglia

We live a sunset

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Photo by Tina Treglia (@ttregs)

It’s in calm and stunning moments like these that we are reminded just how lucky we are to call Laguna Beach our home

Laguna’s new Tree Removal Ordinance: know the facts

The City of Laguna Beach recently adopted a Tree Removal Ordinance to establish protection of the urban forest in the City by requiring a permit be issued before the removal of private trees in three categories. 

To help build awareness about the new tree removal policy, the City recently sent out a mailer to residents, “Check before you chop,” alerting locals that if you are considering removing a tree on your property or in the public-right-of-way adjacent to your property to know the facts first.

You also need a permit to remove a tree if it is a Heritage Tree on the official Heritage tree list for the City or if it’s a Design Review approved tree that’s included as part of a landscape planned through the design review process.

In short, the designated trees have been categorized by the City per the ordinance: Category I: Heritage trees, Category II: Design Review approved trees, and Category III: trees privately maintained in the public right of way. 

Lagunas new tree removal

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

A new tree removal ordinance asks residents to “Check before you chop”

The tree removal ordinance pertaining to the new rules went into effect on July 26 and requires a tree removal permit prior to removal of the tree pursuant to LBMC Chapter 12.0.6.

The City’s website states, “Trees add to the scenic beauty and character of our community. They also prevent erosion, decrease wind, counteract pollutants, and help maintain a climatic balance. The Tree Removal Permit Process establishes a procedure and helps us monitor requests for removal of trees that fall into the aforementioned categories.”

The Tree Removal Permit page has useful information that includes a Tree Removal Permit information Guide, Tree Removal Permit Application, a Heritage Tree List and fee schedules to mention of few.

If you are unsure if your tree requires a permit for removal or for more information on the tree removal permit process, see the Tree Removal Permit page on the City’s website at or call (949) 497-0322.

First Public Art Piece in Laguna Beach

Born in Highland Park, IL on March 30, 1893, Ruth Peabody first studied sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago and was taught to paint as a child by her mother, Elanor Colburn. The two women moved to Laguna Beach, CA in 1924, and became active in the local art scene. 

First Public boy and dog

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Boy and Dog, bronze statue installed at Jahraus Park in 1935

At Peabody’s studio, she sculpted fountains and memorial plaques when not teaching privately and at Laguna Beach High School. During her early career, she painted portraits and abstractions, and garden and flower subjects in her last years. 

She gave the Laguna Art Museum her painting, Cook Book, an oil on canvas, painted in 1925.

She died in Laguna on Oct 22, 1966.

Kathryn Kramer offers 12-week Global Cinema Class for movie buffs at Susi Q

This year, the focus of Kathryn Kramer’s global cinema class is diverse cultures. Beginning on Tuesday, Sept 4 and continuing through Tuesday, Nov 20, the class will meet at Susi Q Community Center at 380 Third Street every Tuesday from 12:30 - 3 p.m. The fee for the 12-week course is $40.

Kramer, an award-winning filmmaker and college instructor, teaches Emeritus Film as Literature, English 52X, for Saddleback College. 

This course examines narrative film from recent years, emphasizing the director’s role with special attention to foreshadowing, symbolism, and recurrent motifs. The session focuses on diverse cultures and time periods united by their humanity. 

Kathryn Kramer Souvenir

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Souvenir, a French film, starring Isabelle Huppert and Kevin Azais

The schedule is as follows: 

9/4/18; Souvenir 2016, France 90 min. A lonely factory worker connects with a younger co-worker. 

9/11/18; Genealogies of a Crime, 1997 France 103 min. Based on a true case, a lawyer (Catherine Deneuve) agrees to defend an obnoxious young man (Melvil Poupaud) with whom she becomes entangled. This satiric comedy, directed by Raoul Ruiz, has an offbeat structure. 

9/18/18; Anonymous, 2011 UK 130 min. Proposes that Edward De Vere (Rhys Ifans) penned Shakespeare’s plays. Expect swordplay, humor, and aristocratic bed-hopping. 

9/25/18; Caramel, An ensemble of Christian woman in Lebanon have limited independence. 

10/2/18; Days and Clouds, 2007 Italy 118 min. A husband loses his job. 

10/9/18; Downfall, 2004 Germany 156 min. Based on the memoir of Hitler’s secretary Traudl Junge, Bruno Ganz’s disappearance into der furher earned him seven awards. 

Kathryn Kramer Wilderpeople

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople starring Julian Dennison (on left) and Sam Neill

10/16/18; The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, 2016 New Zealand 101 min. Sam Neill stars in this offbeat comedy. 

10/30/18; On the Beach at Night Alone, 2017 South Korea 101min. Kim Minhee won the Silver Bear for best actress for playing an actress reeling from the aftermath of an affair. 

11/6/18; Entre Nous/Coup de foudre, 1983 French 110 min. Diane Kurys wrote and directed this tale based on her parents’ marriage. An exquisite period piece with captivating performances by Isabelle Huppert and Miou-Miou. 

11/13/18; I Am David, 2003 UK/USA 90 min. A youngster experiences wartorn Europe. 

11/20/18; Beasts of the Southern Wild, 2012 93 min. Melting ice-caps flood a ramshackle bayou community, releasing ancient aurochs. Quvenzhane Wallis deserved the Oscar for carrying this entire film, which won 65 awards. 

Register at the front desk at Susi Q and use City of Laguna Beach registration forms with checks payable to the “City of Laguna Beach.” 

For more about Susi Q, go to

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

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

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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