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Laguna Beach

Undergrounding credits up for sale


Aliso Viejo has more Rule 20-A credits than it needs. Laguna Beach needs credits and has the money to buy them. Sounds like a win-win for both cities.

Rule 20-A credits are used to underground electrical lines and poles along key arterial roads. 

Laguna Beach recently received an offer from Aliso Viejo to transfer credits of $89,479 to Laguna at a cost of $49,213. The proposed purchase will be on the consent calendar of Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

Undergrounding is a primary goal of the City Council, starting with Laguna Canyon Road and extending to major evacuation routes and eventually the entire city.

The city has previously bought unused credits. Most recently the council authorized on Oct. 24 the purchase of credits from Rancho Santa Margarita and Indian Wells. 

Even after recent purchases, there is balance of $380,000 in the 2012 appropriation to buy credits. 

Staff recommends the purchase and also using up to $2 million of Measure LL funds for future purchases of 20-A credits that become available at the rate of 55 cents per $1 of credit.

The Aliso Viejo deal is on the consent calendar, which is approved without discussion unless “pulled” by a member of the council or the public.

Two Thanksgiving dinners: Enjoy good food and do good too with Friendship Shelter and RUFF

Friendship Shelter community dinner will take place at NCC

The Friendship Shelter will put on their community Thanksgiving dinner on Thurs, Nov 23 from noon -  2 p.m. The event will take place at the Neighborhood Congregational Church located at Glenneyre & St. Ann’s Drive.

Everyone is welcome, and is also invited to bring a dish. Volunteers are needed to help clean up at 2 p.m.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate a turkey, contact Mary at 949-497-5641 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RUFF Thanksgiving dinner will take place at Tivoli Terrace

RUFF Rescue Organization, otherwise known as Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends, in association with Tivoli Terrace and June Neptune, will hold its annual RUFF Thanksgiving Dinner, on Thurs, Nov 23. 

Adults $45, and children are under 12 are $15.

The event will feature full entertainment, dinner with all of the trimmings, and of course friendly pets are always welcome to attend. This annual benefit has been running strong for over 30 years, and the goal is to help raise funds for the RUFF Rescue Organization. RUFF helps support the cost of veterinarian bills, adoption, and getting pets spayed or neutered. The afternoon should be fun for the whole family.

For more information or for reservations, call 949-494-9650 or log onto

Festival of Unity takes place at the FOA Forum

On Oct 22, the Baha’is of Laguna Beach sponsored the Festival of Unity, a bicentenary event celebrating Baha’u’llah’s “gift of unity to all of humanity.” The Baha’i’s worked alongside members of the wider community to create, through participation, a harmonious evening with the spirit of unity in action.

The public was invited to attend this celebration of the transformative impact of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings on the lives of families, neighborhoods, and communities around the country and the world. 

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Community leader Harley Rouda 

 “The Light of Unity Festival is being celebrated throughout the world, not only by Baha’i communities but people from all walks of life and from diverse faiths and religions have joined together,” Kerry Mogharebi said. “It is a healthy sign…this is an antidote to the racial prejudice and materialism that are corroding American society.” 

With more than six million followers who reside in virtually every nation on Earth, the Baha’i faith claims to be the second-most widespread faith, surpassing every religion but Christianity in its geographic reach. Bahai’s reside in more than 100,000 localities around the world, an expansion that reflects their dedication to their ideal of world citizenship.  

The Baha’i faith is the youngest of the world’s independent religions. Its founder, Baha’u’llah, is regarded by Baha’is as the most recent in the line of messengers of God that includes Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Krishna, Zoroaster, Christ, Muhammad and the Bab. The central theme of Baha’u’llah’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society.

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Festival of Arts full house

The concepts found in Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings are not self-executing. For them to have effect it requires a human response, the religion says. 

On October 22, at the Festival of Unity, the speakers were from diverse faiths, nationalities, and backgrounds, yet the connection of “being one family” was evident.  The capacity filled room lit up as the quote of Baha’u’llah came to life:  “So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The earth is but one country and mankind its citizens.” 

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Laguna Beach Interfaith Council Chairperson, Beth Garlock

“Now more than ever we need positive models of social change that bring people together rather than divide them,” said Suzy Elghanayan. “This is what we will be celebrating during the Unity Festival and throughout the year.”

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

An evening with photographer Todd Glaser

On Saturday, Nov 18, from 5 - 8 p.m., renowned surf photographer Todd Glaser will give a presentation at the Surfing Heritage and Culture Center with special guests. Entrance is $5, and is an all ages event.

Todd’s work has taken him to remote surf spots from Tahiti to Alaska to Indonesia to Mexico. Todd has captured some of the biggest names in the surf world in images and photographed some of the world’s most famous and dangerous waves.

Todd Glaser is a San Diego-born photographer, surfer, and waterman. A Surfer Magazine staff photographer since 2008, Glaser is prolific for his young age, earning more than a dozen covers during his tenure at the magazine. Equally talented shooting land, water, and lifestyle photography, his work has also appeared in The New York Times, Outside, Rolling Stone, Men’s Health, GQ and the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, in Washington DC. 

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Todd Glaser: professional photographer ever since he was young

He recently released his first book titled Proximity, a 300 page hardbound color book documenting the eight of the world’s best surfers traveling to new waves and capturing their relationships. 

Todd was awarded a Follow The Light Foundation grant in 2008 and won 2009 Surfer Magazine Photo of the Year, amongst numerous other awards. Glaser can be found riding waves around his home, on a variety of equipment types, and enjoying the company of his wife, Jenna.

Dennis’ Tidbits


November 14, 2017

Aloha to La Nina?

Latest from the NOAA shows a fairly strong La Nina event taking shape and all of the symptoms are in place, at least at this latest Tidbits installment on November 14, 2017. The Eastern Pacific High has settled off the California coast and extends over a thousand miles out to sea. There’s another high pressure over Utah, all part of the expanding ridge. There are some healthy storms lined up out there that look like they’re aiming at our state but once they approach that ridge they take aim at the Pacific Northwest where they deposit truckloads of rain and snow in the Cascades. Incidentally, the Cascades receive more snow than anywhere else in the continental U.S. annually with an average of about 580 inches in a normal season with as much as 1060 inches one season! 

So in a typical strong La Nina event the jet stream slams into the Northwest and continues eastward until it crosses the Rockies and then proceeds to take a sharp drop to the southeast with lots of Polar Continental air behind it, leaving the Midwest vulnerable to frequent and significant snow events with frigid temps and strong northwest winds and copious amounts of lake effect snowfalls in the Great Lakes.

As you well know by now, the latest El Nino and La Nina events have behaved totally out of character. Historically, El Nino has meant above to well above rainfall locally while El Nino’s counterpart has resulted in below normal rainfall here, but not this time for some odd reason. The much-touted strong El Nino of 2015-16 resulted in way below normal rain for that season with only about eight inches, while the following La Nina saw California abruptly snap out of its five year severe drought.

If this healthy La Nina that we’re in now behaves in its usual manner, then we’ll see a much drier and warmer winter down here with more frequent Santana wind events and prolonged dry spells in between any rain events. Surely a few storms will make it down here, temporarily breaking down the eastern Pacific high, but storms will be few and far between, unlike the relentless procession of storms that assaulted California last year. I’m calling for 8 -10 inches with a lot of 70 plus degree days and even a few 80’s thrown in the mix. I’m going out on a limb with this forecast and there’s probably somebody with a chainsaw right behind me. 

Stay tuned, ALOHA!

Dogged about dogs and art, Michael Jacques signs new book at The Forest & Ocean Gallery on Nov 18

During his creative life, Michael L. Jacques has made countless paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Yet he emphasizes that none of them have engaged his heart and mind as much as his multitudinous depictions of dogs. “It’s fair to say that I am almost as passionate about dogs as I am about art,” he says. 

The Forest & Ocean Gallery presents a result of Mr. Jacques’ passion, a hard-cover book titled “The Blue Rabbit and Other Dog Affairs” at a special book signing event on Sat, Nov 18, from 6-9 p.m. 

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Michael Jacques signs book “The Blue Rabbit and Other Dog Affairs” on Nov 18

Additionally, on Sun, Nov 19, from 6-9 p.m., Mr. Jacques will share his insights into the effect color has on all aspects of daily life in a special presentation “Color in Your Life.” 

The gallery will display paintings from the book and giclée reproductions for sale between Nov 13 and Nov 26.

Filled with delightful paintings and drawings, as well as serious and humorous insights into the natures of humans and their canine friends, the book is a treasure for art lovers of all ages. “Drawing and painting allows me to share my way of seeing this special relationship,” Mr. Jacques explains. Proceeds from the sale of “The Blue Rabbit and Other Dog Affairs” help homeless and otherwise endangered children. 

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Mr. Jacques serves as instructor and admissions advisor at LCAD

Mr. Jacques, BFA, MFA, is an instructor and admissions advisor at the Laguna College of Art and Design. His award-winning work can be found in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute, the US House of Representatives and the Museum of American Art in Washington, DC.

The Forest & Ocean Gallery is located at 480 Ocean Ave., 949-371-3313.

Hours: Sun-Fri, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m., closed Mon.

For further information, go to

Ever wonder about the realities of starting a business in Laguna Beach? 

The City plans a series of conversations to debunk the myths and engage with the community on the realities of starting a business in Laguna Beach. 

On Thurs, Nov 16, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., representatives from the City Staff and Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and current business members will be available to answer any questions. This event will take place at the Community & Susi Q Center located at 380 Third Street. 

Any commercial real estate agents, commercial building owners and managers, prospective business owners and their representatives are invited to attend these free workshops as well. 

For more information about this upcoming event, contact Anthony Viera at 949- 497-0389, or log onto

FIFI’s BEST with BoD and Friends – Remembrance of an iconic OC culinary writer


On Thursday, Nov. 30 at 6 p.m., members of OC’s culinary community are coming together to host a benefit dinner in remembrance of one of its most prolific food writers and supporters of the local food scene, Fifi Chao, who recently lost a battle with cancer.

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Food writer Fifi Chao with her husband, Patrick

Break of Dawn (BoD) in Laguna Hills will host the Pop-Up dinner, FIFI’S BEST. The restaurant, which serves breakfast and lunch, will host 66 guests for this special eight-course, pop-up dinner for $200 per guest with 100 percent of the ticket price donated to Fifi’s husband, Patrick, and his family.

Break of Dawn Chef/Owner Dee Nguyen will be joined by the following OC Chefs:

Amar Santana, Broadway by Amar Santana/Vaca

Rainer Schwarz, Driftwood Kitchen/Hendrix

Yvon Goetz, The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

Joel Harrington, Lido Bottle Works

Greg Daniels, Haven Gastropub

Dean Kim, OC Baking Company

Tarit Tanjasiri, Crema Artisan Bakers

“Fifi was the center of our OC culinary universe – there isn’t another person with a more thorough understanding and appreciation of the local food scene,” explained Chef Nguyen. “We want to show her family the same support she always showed to us.

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Amar Santana, Chef and owner of Broadway by Amar Santana, is among the culinary talent preparing a memorable dish in honor of Fifi Chao

Those interested in attending this special celebratory dinner can email Chef Dee Nguyen directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Special thanks to Sysco Foods for their product donation.

From gray skies to purple majesty

Photo by Mark Porterfield

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Sunday’s sunset


Earlier last week…what a difference 15 minutes makes

Photos by Tom Berndt


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Changing colors as the sun sets on Aliso Beach

It’s kidney awareness time…step aside for a moment, hearts, lungs and breasts

Hearts, lungs and breasts seem to get most of the publicity when it comes to diseases – and of course all publicity that helps people is great – but now, with local Heidi Miller’s organ donation awareness program, all at once it is kidney time…

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Vikki Vargas of NBC News and Heidi

Heidi, who is about to undergo surgery on November 17 to donate one of her two kidneys to Bruce Cook of Newport Beach, wants to educate people about the process of being a live donor. 

And so, at a recent kidney donation event at her store, she handed out awareness bracelets and answered any questions potential donors (and recipients) might have. Almost 75 people of all ages attended.

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Gloria Zigner, Carol Lee (who takes Heidi to her appointments and will be staying with her at the hospital) and Heidi

“It’s all about The Big Ask, and The Big Give,” Heidi says. “There are all kinds of reasons why potential recipients are afraid to ask for a living donor, but all kinds of reasons why potential donors might want to give.”

Heidi, owner of the downtown store Tight Assets, urges people to visit the National Kidney Foundation’s website at to learn more about The Big Ask and The Big Give.

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