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Laguna Beach

Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition designs should be submitted by Friday Nov 17

Also, the Arts Commission is currently accepting designs for the annual Children’s Holiday Palette Exhibition. Children ages 5 to 17 years old may submit an original design celebrating the holiday season. Up to 12 designs will be selected for display at City Hall throughout December. 

Designs must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Fri, Nov 17. 

Santa Shark image wins Arts Commission’s 51st Palette Competition

The Arts Commission selected a design by artist Kelly Hartigan Goldstein for this year’s Palette competition. The new palette will be installed outside City Hall. 

The palettes can be seen throughout the City, extending to South Laguna. 

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Photo courtesy LB Arts Commission

Kelly Hartigan Goldstein’s winning design

The Palette competition and events are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Call Mike McGregor, Arts Program Coordinator at (949) 497-0722 extension 5 for information.

Barbara’s Column

Taste of Laguna was yummy



Photos by Scott Brashier

The annual Taste of Laguna was a night to savor.

A record-breaking crowd attended the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce signature event, held Oct 19 on the Festival of Arts Grounds. Tasty samples by Laguna’s finest restaurants and chefs were showcased. 

“There was a great turnout, a wonderful setting and a fantastic job by the chamber staff getting so many local restaurants to participate,” said Norm Grossman, chamber board member.

The event also included live entertainment, wine tastings, craft beers and specialty cocktails, enhanced by the festive atmosphere. 

Back by popular demand was the 1960’s era Photo Booth Bus, sponsored by Tortilla Republic.  

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The music was catchy

Nick’s and South of Nick’s was the presenting sponsor. 

“The event was really a tremendous success,” said chamber President Ken Fischbeck, who was accompanied by his wife, Lynda. “I think everybody had a great time.”

Other chamber officials enjoying the event President-elect DaveRubel, Treasurer Chris Tomlin, Larry Norton, Dawn Kneeper, Scott Sanchez and Cary Redfearn, whose Lumberyard was among the participating restaurants.

Also among the record-breaking crowd of more than 600; Visit Laguna Beach President and Chief Executive Officer Ashley Johnson, seen chatting with Casey Graves, general manager of the Inn at Laguna and the Beach House; Doug Vogel, Laguna Playhouse director of development; Genny Boccardo-Dubey, Laguna Art Museum deputy director, Peter and Barbara Crane, immediate past president of the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club; and Jean Law, stalwart member of the Laguna Beach American Legion Post 222 Auxiliary.

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The photo booth was back

Between noshes, Patriots Day Parade President Chris Tomlin said the committee is currently selecting nominees for honorees in the 2018 parade.

The number of participants also broke an event record, according to Nia Evans, chamber marketing and event manager. 

“We had 40 participants this year, mostly restaurants,” said Evans. “It gets bigger every year.”

Taste of Laguna was the first major chamber event since Meredith Dowling was hired as the new executive director. 

“She is talented and creative, exactly what the chamber needs,” said Heidi Miller, owner of Tight Assets on South Coast Highway and the World Newsstand around the corner of Ocean Avenue. 

Miller is exactly what an ailing friend needed.

Learning that her friend needed a new kidney, Miller called and asked about his blood type.

Bingo. First hurdle for a transplant passed. 

“After four months of testing, it was determined that I am a perfect match,” said Miller. 

The operation is scheduled for next month. 

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And the food was yummy

Non-restaurant participants in Taste of Laguna included Gelato Paradiso, Laguna Baguettes, Laguna Beach Beer, Rugg Winery, Whole Foods Market and Laguna Beach Emergency Service, staffed by personable Marine Safety officers Porter Hogan, Matthew Walker and Blake Cole.

Folks who didn’t attend the event also missed sampling the menus of 15FiftyFive Lounge at the Surf & Sand, Asada, C’est La Vie, Harmony Tea, Hennessey’s Tavern, Jan’s Health Bar, Kitchen in the Canyon, Kya Bistro and Rooftop Lounge, Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille, Las Brisas, Main Street Bar & Cabaret, Mosaic Bar and Grille, Mozambique, Oak, Okura Robata Grill and Sushi Bar, The Organic Cellar, Reunion Kitchen & Drink, Royal Hawaiian, Sapphire Laguna, Sergio’s Empanadas, Skyloft, Starfish Laguna, Taverna, The Cliff, Three Seventy Common Kitchen + Drink, The Grove on Forest, Ti Amo by il Barone, Tivoli Terrace, Tommy Bahama, and Tortilla Republic.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading 

Time to do the Art Walk shuffle 

and explore Laguna’s rich and eclectic art galleries


Get your art on, art fix, and art discovery revved up and ready to experience the myriad exhibits, artists, and art mediums at First Thursdays Art Walk, Nov. 2, 6 to 9 p.m. Art Walk celebrates the diverse cultural art scene of Laguna Beach and is free to the public with participation by more than 30 member galleries.

Free trolley service for Art Walk runs from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Trolleys begin at the Laguna Art Museum (north) and Bluebird Canyon Road (south). The trolley route runs as far north as Viejo Street, up Laguna Canyon Road as far as Canyon Acres, and south to Bluebird Canyon Road. For more information, visit

Laguna College of Art + Design – aka LCAD, 374 Ocean Ave., LCAD’s BFA Animation program is proud to present, “Animation Celebration: The Art of Traditional Animation,” an exhibition featuring cleanup drawings and original cels from films and TV shows like The Jungle Book, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Roger Rabbit, The Secret of NIMH, Sleeping Beauty, Tom and Jerry, and many more.

LCAD will hold a reception on Nov 2 and a second one on Dec 7 during Art Walk.

“Long ago, somewhere in time between cave paintings and computers, sheets of paper reigned supreme as the surface of choice for professional animators. Some of animation’s most elegant drawings were born on these magical sheets that made their ways into the greatest animated features of Hollywood’s golden age of film. 

Animation Celebration: The Art of Traditional Animation,” invites us all to journey back in time to a bygone era when the masters of our medium were at the tops of their games,” said LCAD’s Chair of Animation, Sean Bishop. For information, call 376-6000 or visit

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Photo courtesy of the LCAD website

Enjoy the exciting Animation Celebration featuring the classics at LCAD

Sandstone Gallery, 384-A N. Coast Highway, will feature “Controlled Chaos,” acrylic paintings on canvas by Scottie Flamm in the Front Gallery along with “Nostalgia,” mixed media paintings by Dominique McKenziein the Skylight Gallery. Exhibiting artists are Scottie Flamm, Susan Gale, Ann Kim, Sunny Kim, Dominique McKenzie, Anne Moore, Hyatt Moore, Marie-Pierre Philippe, Jong Ro, and Lynn Welker. 

Meet the artists during Art Walk Nov 2, 6 to 9 p.m. Complimentary refreshments offered. For information visit call 497-6775 or visit

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Photo courtesy of the Art Walk website

Sandstone Gallery is featuring “Controlled Chaos and “Nostalgia” and a reception

Studio 7 Gallery, 384-B N. Coast Highway, will feature work by Janine Salzman, the gallery’s Artist of the Month. Salzman was born and spent her formative years in the exotic Tunis, Tunisia, in North Africa. Inspired as a child by the mingled sights, sounds and flavors of the French, Arabic and Sephardic cultures of this Mediterranean seaport, she wanted to paint the beauty that surrounded her.

Later in Paris where she attended secondary school, she discovered and was captivated by the great French Impressionist masters such as Cezanne, Monet and especially Van Gogh.

After years of disciplined hard work and many courses taught by international contemporary masters such as Jove Wang, C. Hartley, and J. Mendez, Salzman has fulfilled her dream of becoming a professional artist. Laguna based, Salzman says, “I am a California representational impressionist artist of seascapes, landscapes, portraits and still life.” For information call 497-1080 or visit

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Photo courtesy of the gallery’s website

Studio 7 Gallery will show work by Janine Salzman the gallery’s Artist of the Month

The Festival of Arts’ foaSOUTH gallery, 1006 S. Coast Highway, is proud to present Patrick Kelly, a well-known and established art figure in the art culture, both locally and throughout the United States. A world traveler, Kelly began exhibiting at the Festival in the 1960’s and has participated in many areas of development for programs at the Festival of Arts. 

“It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to organize an exhibit of Patrick Kelly’s artwork. His ability to explore creative possibilities seems unlimited. With these works, both the engaging compositional designs and color applications are skillfully combined with a personalization of the image, resulting in stimulating compositions,” said curator Pat Sparkuhl.

Selected works from the Festival of Arts’ Permanent Art Collection are presented in themed exhibits at foaSOUTH and loaned out to museums and institutions for specific exhibitions that advance cultural history and understanding. For information, call 494-1145 or visit

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Photo provided by the gallery

Discover works by former FOA artist Patrick Kelly featured at foaSOUTH

To learn more about First Thursdays Art Walk and a full listing of participating galleries, please visit

National Philanthropy Day will celebrate the Mellors, longtime supporters of Laguna Playhouse 

Residents Suzanne and James Mellor’s passion for giving back to the arts community will be celebrated as Outstanding Philanthropists on Thu, Nov 16, at the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Orange County National Philanthropy Day (NPD) luncheon. 

NDP is a special day set aside for the purpose of recognizing the great contribution philanthropy makes to our society – and to honor individuals, businesses, and support organizations that are active in the philanthropic community.  

The “Outstanding Philanthropists” award is the highest award that will be presented at this year’s NPD luncheon, and it will be bestowed on Suzanne and James.

 Laguna Playhouse served as the lead nominator of the Mellors along with letters of support from Laguna College of Art and Design, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations, and peer Laguna philanthropists, Laura and Louis Rohl.

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Submitted photo

James and Suzanne Mellor

“We are thankful to the Association of Fundraising Professionals for acknowledging the commitment to philanthropy and the arts by both Suzanne and James,” said Ellen Richard, Laguna Playhouse Executive Director.  “Not only do they donate financially, but they volunteer their time and provide leadership to our board and many other organizations throughout the entire country.”

For more than twenty years the Mellors have supported almost every arts related charity in Laguna Beach and many more throughout Orange County.  They don’t just support the arts though, they strive to create opportunity for others to experience and enjoy the arts.

Recently, as honorees of the Laguna Playhouse May 2017 annual gala, and in an effort to inspire more youth to attend the theatre,the Mellors created The Mellor Fund to provide free tickets to young audiences ages 21 and under.  

Mellor Fund provides free Playhouse tickets for youth

Through a large contribution from the Mellor family along with additional support from their friends, the fund raised nearly $100,000 and will allow thousands of youth to enjoy theatre.

Lifelong proponents of the arts and humanities, the Mellors first moved to Laguna Beach in 1981. Though they remain philanthropically connected to D.C., Jim being on the board of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellors have catapulted themselves into promoting and enriching the arts scene in Laguna Beach and Orange County.

Besides the Playhouse board, James Mellor currently serves as immediate Past-Chairman of the Board of the Laguna College of Art and Design. Suzanne Mellor serves on the boards of Laguna College of Art and Design and Laguna Art Museum, is an appointee to the city’s Arts Commission, and is an “Angel” at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. 

“One of the most rewarding part of development work is having the opportunity to help honor and tell the story of such great and deserving philanthropists such as Suzanne and James,” said Doug Vogel, Director of Development at Laguna Playhouse.

Morning in Laguna

Photo by Scott Brashier

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A beautiful shot by Scott: see the marvelous texture he’s captured in the waves

In an attempt to reconnect with each other, an Orange County family disconnected their technology

Sharael Kolberg’s memoir, “A Year Unplugged: A Family’s Life Without Technology” chronicles a year when the Kolberg family was living in the heart of Silicon Valley, while they bravely weaned themselves from their technology addictions in an effort to reclaim quality family time. 

This meant an entire year without television, e-mail, Internet, cell phones, iPods, laptops, and digital cameras, for personal use. No Craigslist, eBay, Facebook, Twitter, video cameras, Yahoo Maps, American Idol, or online banking. Not an easy task for most Americans, especially difficult for a family immersed in technology.

“We realized that we had gotten into the habit of spending evenings with the TV on while checking e-mail or Facebook,” said mom Sharael Kolberg. “It became way too easy to give in to our then six-year-old daughter’s request to ‘watch just one more show’ when I had dishes to do, laundry to wash, dinner to cook. We decided to turn off our technology and take back our family.”

The year unplugged was filled with ups-and-downs as the family explored whether technology helped or hindered their personal relationships, finances, time and the environment.

“It was difficult for some of our friends and family to understand and accept our decision to live unplugged,” said dad Jeff Kolberg. “But we felt it was important and hope that our experience and lessons learned will inspire others to contemplate their dependency on modern technology and realize that sometimes it’s better to do without certain things in order to improve the quality of your family’s life.”

Now that they are back to a living with limited technology (by choice), Sharael has been doing speaking engagements to share what her family learned from the experience. 

The book is available for purchase at To contact Sharael, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call (949) 395-7116.

Dennis’ Tidbits


October 27, 2017


Dennis is a bit under the weather today, but he’ll be back on Tuesday!


Here’s one of Scott Brashier’s photos from the Brooks St. Classic to cheer him up

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Laguna Round Robin Volleyball Results are here

The Men’s and Women’s 2017 Round Robin Volleyball Tournaments were held at Main Beach over the weekend under perfect skies and conditions.  Players competed in the Open or Social divisions in doubles beach volleyball in a round robin format.  

This format is unlike other tournaments because players start out playing six games with six different partners, which seeds the top players into further elimination rounds. It’s a very social and demanding format and the players get to meet a lot of new friends as well as play some great and challenging games. The finalists are almost always just about out of gas by the end.  

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Submitted Photo

Players at the Sunday Women’s Open and Men’s Social Divisions 

Sponsors for this year’s tournaments  were Skyloft Restaurant & Bar with their great rooftop deck food and music, Tatra Tea, The Inn at Laguna, Mago Hot Sauce, Awards N More, Plastic Clothing- great sports and active wear for volleyball lifestyle, and the California Beach Volleyball Association. Also, without the support and guidance of the City of Laguna Beach, these tournaments wouldn’t be possible. 

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Submitted Photo

L-R: Champions Jolie Dyl, Jordan Denmark, Marcela McKibben & Ali Hecht

Here are the results:  Women’s Open results: Marcela McKibben and Ali Hecht champions, Jolie Dyl and Jordan Denmark finalist, Emily Young and Danielle Gallo 3rd, Susan Postnikoff and Kelsey Mollick 3rd, Marisa Doran and Lina al Bargash 5th, Bree Hammel and Wendy Dvorak 5th, Simone Gibson and Carine Garcia 5th, Stormy Dvorak and Bethany Protzmann 5th.

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Submitted Photo

L-R: Bobby Jacobs, Rado Dvorsky, Michael Boag champion, Tom “TK” Kohler

Men’s Open results:  Mike Boag- champion Tom “TK” Kohler, 2nd Rado Dvorsky and Bobby Jacobs 3rd, Sean Wahlquist, Ken Ball, Todor Dvorsky, Clark Hubbard 5th. Men’s Social results:  Bong Pascua and Chasen LaMarr champions, Chris Kerfoot and Rick Smith finalists, Patrick Halliday and Peter Walinsky third, Craig Berquist and Jon Cedeno third, Shawn Shahi and Brian Bixler 5th, Will Gutierrez and Carl Meiswinkel 5th, Fahim Fazli and Adam Kerfoot 5th, Michael Finn and Mike Langson 5th.

Women’s Social results: Adriana Rueda champion, Adriana Pham 2nd, Jill Sweeney 3rd, Caitlin Halliday 4th, Aria Roller, Juli Evans, Marisol Carl 5th. 

Clinic launches new community event: Cuban salsa performance is sensational

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

“I’ve been dancing to the music of La Charanga Cubana since I was 16,” says Dr. Jorge Rubal, CEO and Medical Director of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic. “Music brings people together and gets you on your feet and moving.”

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Dr. Jorge Rubal and his wife enjoy the music

And that’s exactly what happened in the parking lot of the Clinic last Sunday afternoon. About 80 locals turned out to hear a live performance by La Charanga Cubana, a nine-member band, many of whom have traveled throughout Europe preforming Salsa music.  

Guests also enjoyed authentic Cuban treats provided by Porto’s Bakery, and complimentary Salsa lessons provided by world class dance instructor Kati Hernandez.

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Fun for all at salsa event

Dr. Rubal said, “the idea behind the event was to bring our community together, let them know that the Clinic is here, in the good times when we dance, as well times when we’re needed”.

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The music inspired everyone to dance

The Clinic plans to have the band back again next October. “It was very rewarding to see our guests having a good time with their friends and family. Edgar Hernandez, the band leader, knows how to read a crowd, and he tells me we are on to something.  I think so too,” stated Dr. Rubal.

Boys water polo team shines in impressive victory

Laguna Beach’s boys water polo proved their spot as a CIF-SS Division 2 playoff contender by posting an impressive victory Saturday night.

Senior Larsen McCarroll scored five goals and sophomore goalie Caden Capobianco made four of his seven saves in the fourth period to help the top-seeded Breakers defeat a strong and rising Redlands East Valley team, 9-7, in the finals of the Steve Pal Memorial at Beckman.

Due to his stellar performance, McCarroll was named OC Register’s “Athlete of the Week” for boys water polo. 

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Submitted photo

L-R, Marshall Eichenauer, James Nolan, Will Clark, Kai Cameron, Colton Gregory, Zach Cord, Peter Weiland, Larsen McCarroll, Caden Capobianco, Sebi Jacobs, Riley Baumgardner, Marcon Salib, Coach Trevor Lyle

The Breakers went on to defeat Palos Verdes High School 15 - 12 on Tuesday, and rolled over Estancia 22-5 in their Orange Coast league match Wednesday. 

Breakers finish the week Thursday against their rivals to the south, Dana Hills High School, before entering into the first round of CIF playoffs November 1.

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