Laguna Beach

Community is invited to Patriots Day Parade Honoree Brunch on Sun Feb 4 at Tivoli Terrace

The community is invited to celebrate the 2018 Patriots Day Parade honorees on Sunday, Feb 4 at the Honoree Brunch. The brunch will be staged from 11:15 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Tivoli Terrace, Festival of Arts grounds.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Enjoying the 2017 Parade

Honorees for the March 3 parade are Grand Marshal Gloria Fickling, Honored Patriot George Ciampa (WWII), Citizen of the Year Heidi Miller, Junior Citizens Marisa Schatz and Joseph Ravenna, Artists of the Year Laguna Art Museum, and Athletes of the Year Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation Girls Junior Olympics Champions.

Reservations should be made by January 22. The cost is $30 per person.  For further information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (949) 494-6016.

Cottie Petrie-Norris announces campaign plans, organizes group for Women’s March in Santa Ana

Cottie Petrie-Norris, who is running for the California State Assembly as representative of the 74th District, is kicking off her campaign by organizing a group to go to the Women’s March in Santa Ana on Sat Jan 20. 

The Women’s March takes place between 9 a.m. and 12. 

“For many of us, 2017 was a year of awakening,” Petrie-Norris said. “There were many dark moments, but there were also moments of light, moments of love and moments of hope. In 2018, that love and hope is going to fuel us and carry us to victory!”

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Submitted photo

At last year’s successful Laguna Beach Women’s March

The Laguna Beach Democratic Club has organized at luxury bus to take residents to the March. The bus leaves the High School at 8 a.m. and returns at 1 p.m. Tickets can be bought by visiting this link here.

Petrie-Norris’s official campaign launch will take place on Sat Jan 27 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Provenance Realty. Prior events will include poster making at a private home, and T-shirts are available for sale. For more information, visit

Cultural Arts calendar with free listings is now available from the city

The City of Laguna Beach cultural arts calendar features free listings for events presented by arts organizations in Laguna Beach. The publication is facilitated by the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance and City and funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

The calendar is a great source of information about local art events, exhibits, performances and classes. It also includes images of artists and artwork, some of which are featured on the cover.

The quarterly calendar is distributed to all local residences alongside the City’s seasonal Recreation Guide. Brochures may be obtained from Visit Laguna as well as the City’s Community Services or Cultural Arts Departments. A digital version is also available via at

Art organizations and galleries hosting local events and exhibitions open to the public are encouraged to participate in this free opportunity. The deadline to submit information for the upcoming Spring calendar is January 11, and will include events occurring in March, April and May.

For more information or to submit materials, contact Arts Program Coordinator Michael McGregor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 497-0722 ext. 5.

Draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is complete, ready for public review on Jan 8

The City’s draft Local Hazard Mitigation Plan will be available as of Jan 8 on the City’s website as well as in hard copy form at the City Clerk’s office, Susi Q Center, and the Public Library.

A Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP) is used to identify risks and vulnerabilities associated with natural disasters, and to develop long-term strategies for protecting people and property from future hazards. Having a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan is beneficial to the City as it is a condition for receiving certain types of non-emergency disaster assistance, including funding for mitigation projects. 

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Laguna Beach fires, 1993

Over the last six months, a Hazard Mitigation Planning Committee comprised of city staff, external stakeholders, and Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee Members, was established and met five times to provide input for the LHMP.

Additionally, city staff facilitated two community meetings which provided outreach and collected community feedback for the plan. Beginning on Monday, Jan 8, the LHMP will be available on the City’s website as well as in hard copy form at the City Clerk’s Office, Susi Q Center, and the Public Library. 

Following FEMA and California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) guidelines, the LHMP draft will be open for public review period until March 6 at 5 p.m.

The Community can provide input on the plan by contacting Jordan Villwock, Emergency Operations Coordinator, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ';document.getElementById('cloak4e58e92792e0f773b6f321c11e3f9aca').innerHTML += ''+addy_text4e58e92792e0f773b6f321c11e3f9aca+'<\/a>'; or (949) 497-0389. 

The development of the LHMP was funded through a Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) grant in the amount of $99,375.

Poet Laureate Kate Buckley’s Poetry Showcase hosts Victoria Chang & Garrett Hongo at LCAD Gallery

Laguna Beach’s Poet Laureate, Kate Buckley, announces that the Poet Laureate’s Showcase on Thurs, Jan 18, from 7-9 p.m., will feature award-winning poets Victoria Chang and Garrett Hongo. 

Buckley has launched a Poet Laureate’s Showcase series of readings, aimed at bringing nationally known poets to LB. Literary luminaries featured to-date include Noah Blaustein, Grant Hier, Sarah Maclay, Christopher Merrill, Kathryn Nuernberger, and Tom Zoellner.

This literary series will be held at the Laguna College of Art + Design Gallery, located at 374 Ocean Ave. The evening will conclude with a conversation with the poets and refreshments. This series is free and open to the public and graciously hosted by the Laguna College of Art + Design. The Poet Laureate program is funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Kate Buckley has poems published or forthcoming in Bellingham Review, The Cafe Review, Chaparrel, North American Review, Poetry Foundation, Rattle, Shenandoah, Silk Road Review, Slipstream, and many others. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press), named a Midwest Book Review Selection, and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Kate’s awards include a Gabehart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. Her short story, “The Gods of Flight,” was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Victoria Chang’s fourth book of poems, Barbie Chang, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2017. The Boss (McSweeney’s) won the PEN Center USA Literary Award and a California Book Award. Her other poetry books are Salvinia Molesta and Circle. Her poems have been published in Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Best American Poetry, and many other places.  In 2017, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Sustainable Arts Foundation Fellowship. Her picture book, Is Mommy?, illustrated by Marla Frazee, was published by Simon & Schuster and was named a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Los Angeles and is Teaching Faculty at Antioch University’s MFA Program.

Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawai`i and grew up on the North Shore of O`ahu and in Los Angeles. He was educated at Pomona College, the University of Michigan, and UC Irvine, where he received an MFA.  His work includes three books of poetry, three anthologies, Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai`I and The Mirror Diary: Selected Essays, published just this summer.  Poems and essays of his have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Parnassus, Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, APR, Honolulu Weekly, LA Weekly, and the LA Times.  Among his honors are the Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA grants, and the Lamont Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets.  He teaches at the University of Oregon, where he is Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences. 

For more information on the poets, go to, and

New Year’s Day results in gridlock on our roads – and on our wilderness trails

Photos by Scott Brashier

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On New Year’s Day, seems like hundreds of people made good on their resolutions to hike and bike – or simply headed out in their cars for a day of fun in the sun in Laguna

Hallie Jones & Derek Ostensen will speak at LCC on Mon Jan 8, discuss Aliso Creek & give other updates

The next Laguna Canyon Conservancy dinner meeting will be held Monday, Jan 8 at Tivoli Too! at the Art-A-Fair at 777 Laguna Cyn Road (not at Tivoli Terrace on FOA grounds as previously).

Speakers Hallie Jones and Derek Ostensen of the Laguna Canyon Foundation will provide an update on Foundation activities with a focus on efforts to Save Aliso Creek.

The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed a $100 million project with significant implications for Aliso Creek and regional wilderness. The project proposes to remove several miles of sensitive habitat within Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, as well as armor large segments of the creek, and dispose of 300,000 cubic yards of excavated material near public trails.

A coalition of community groups, including Laguna Canyon Foundation, has coordinated a response to the draft Environmental Impact Report released in October, and will be discussing the Army Corps plan, environmental concerns with that plan, and the recommended alternative.

After twenty-eight years, the LCC Board has increased dues and dinner prices. For all, dues are due in Jan 2018, and are $15 per person per calendar year. Doors open at 6 p.m. 

Dinner tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members and may be paid at the door with prior reservations. Those wishing to attend should make reservations by emailing Max Brow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 235-8277. Space is limited.

Hotel Laguna lawsuit moves to state court: now includes 31 defendants


Andersen Hotels moved its legal battle from Federal Court to the State Superior Court in search of restitution after the company’s more than 30-year operation of Hotel Laguna and lease with Merritt Farms ended.

The lawsuit, filed Dec 28, maintains that Merritt Farms failed to comply with the terms of its lease with Andersen Hotels, which gave the Laguna corporation right of first refusal if the property owner decided to sell its premises. 

State lawsuit includes a total of 31 defendants

According to Andersen Hotels’ lawsuit, the corporation learned early in 2017 that Merritt Farms had agreed to a 99-year lease with Kimbark LLC, its principals Joe Hanauer, Greg MacGilllivray and James “Walkie” Ray, all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

Andersen Hotels claims a 99-year lease is equivalent to a sale and that the deal was specifically structured to avoid the plaintiff’s right of first refusal. 

Andersen Hotels’ lease expired on Dec 31.

Kimbark Group LLC maintains that the lawsuit is without merit.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Hotel Laguna

The lawsuit filed with the State also includes Does 1 – 25 as defendants, to be named at a later date, and Earl Merritt.

Among the nine causes for action, the lawsuit claims that terms of the 99-year-lease were concealed from the plaintiff, blocking the opportunity to evaluate whether to exercise the right-of-first-refusal.

Also, Merritt’s alleged failure to maintain fire sprinkler, electrical fuses and electrical panels was blamed for a costly fire at the hotel in 2016 and potential loss of insurance. 

Andersen’s suit further claims that named defendants and Does 6 – 10 were active participants in conduct designed to interfere with its relationship with Majestic Realty Co., a development and management company, with whom, Andersen Hotels said, they had signed a deal to renovate the hotel, thereby providing a prospective economic advantage. 

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Hotel Laguna has been a familiar structure in Laguna for many years

According to the lawsuit, Merritt Farms instructed the defendants Does 6 – 10 to undercut Andersen’s relationship with Majestic and contract directly with Majestic. 

Majestic is not one of the named defendants. 

Kimbark Group LLC issues statement in response to lawsuit

Kimbark Group LLC issued a statement via attorney Janet E. Humphrey. 

The statement reads in part: “Instead of attempting to remedy the deficiencies in its federal complaint against Kimbark Group LLC as per the judge’s ruling, on December 28, 2017 Andersen Hotels filed a similar, unwarranted complaint in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Orange Justice Center…

…As with the federal action, Kimbark Group LLC, formed by Joe Hanauer, Greg MacGillivray and James “Walkie” Ray, and its attorneys Songstad Randall Coffee & Humphrey LLP, continue to assert that the recently filed state action is without merit and will fight the allegations in court. Kimbark is continuing to work with E.W. Merritt Farms to obtain an agreement to operate the hotel.”

The name “Hotel Laguna” is also at issue

Controversy has risen over the use of the name Hotel Laguna, which Andersen claims is trademarked.

In the ninth Cause for Action, the suit asks the court to order the defendants and all in participation be enjoined from using the name while a decision is pending and permanently thereafter anywhere in the United States.

If the injunction is made permanent, the suit requests an order for defendants to deliver to the Andersen attorney anything with the name Hotel Laguna on it.

Damages to be established, according to proof at trial, are also requested as part of the lawsuit, along with contractual attorneys’ fees.

Dennis’ Tidbits


January 5, 2018

Cold (very cold) & wet everywhere else: high & dry here – and flat

Tuesday saw the highest and lowest tide of the year, thanks in part to the moon which was closer to the Earth causing a bit more gravitational pull and secondly this full moon occurred close to the December 21 Winter Solstice. The morning high tide that day peaked at 7.2 ft. and the afternoon low tide bottomed out at -1.8 ft. It’s a rare event to have a nine foot tidal swing here in Laguna.

What better time to yell it for the millionth time…that’s why we live here! The only ones getting off the hook from winter’s wrath is Southern California, most of Arizona, and a better part of a half of Nevada and that’s it! On Wednesday the high in Anchorage, Alaska, 61.1 degrees north Latitude, was a balmy 44. New Orleans, 29.6 degrees north Latitude had a high of only 34. A record 5.2 inches of snow fell in Charleston, South Carolina. Tallahassee, Florida had their first snow in 28 years where a record 4.2 inches was collected. 

A very powerful nor’easter is hammering the Northeast from a low 100 miles off the coast with an unbelievable central pressure of 950 millibars, a pressure commonly found in Category 3 hurricanes. The Polar outbreaks just keep on coming and it looks like that pattern is set for maybe the whole winter.

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Photo by Dylan Parry

View from Lynette’s son’s window in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, on Jan 4

Meanwhile in Southern California it remains high and dry as high pressure refuses to budge. Laguna is still at 0.41 inches since last July 1. Normal to date is now 4.16 inches. It seems that all pressure systems here in the western third of the U.S. are firmly locked into place. Could this be our driest season ever? At this rate we have a good chance of breaking the all time record of 3.41 set in the 2006-07 season.

In all the years I’ve been logging the daily weather and surf, I’ve never seen a flat spell of this duration. Once again, today, the waves are being measured in inches here in town with no sign of any swell activity from any direction in the immediate forecast. Might have to get a job. Whoops, did I just really say that? 

Stay tuned, ALOHA!

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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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.

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