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Laguna Beach

Laguna Canyon Conservancy elected new officers at May 14 meeting – the next meeting is September 10

The Board of Directors of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy (LCC) elected its officers for the 2018-2019 year re-electing Gene Felder as President, and Robert Reed as Treasurer. The Board elected Harry Huggins as Vice-President, and Lorene Laguna as Secretary.

Laguna Canyon Conservancy

The LCC membership elected the Board of Directors at the May 14 LCC dinner meeting. Members also elected to the Board were Max Brown, Janine Robinson, Carey Strombotne, Kimberly Stuart, and President Emeritus Carolyn Wood. LCC President Gene Felder expressed thanks to Eva Hodjera, Trudy Josephson, and Sharon Larimer who will be leaving the Board, thanking them for their dedication and efforts to Save Laguna Canyon.

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy dinner meeting will resume Monday, Sept 10.

The LCC monthly dinner meeting no longer meets at Tivoli Terrace on the Festival of Arts grounds. The LCC dinner meetings are now at Seven 7 Seven (formerly Tivoli Too!) at the Art-A-Fair at 777 Laguna Canyon Road.

After twenty-eight years, the LCC Board has increased dues and dinner prices. Beginning in 2018, dues are $15 per person per calendar year. Dinner tickets are $15 for members, $20 for non-members and may be paid at the door with prior reservations. Doors open at 6 p.m. Space is limited.

Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market has it all – and now free giveaways also this Saturday, July 28

LB Farmers’ Market has everything from soup to nuts (literally, we think, although we could be wrong about the soup). Farm fresh eggs, flowers, fresh honey from a local farm, cheeses, bread, spreads, every vegetable and fruit you can think of, and made to order crepes, empanadas and other yummy food to eat on the spot or take to the beach. The list is endless. You get samples of much of it too!

Laguna Beach fruit at market

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Endless varieties of produce available at market

The Ballesteros Group is now one of the co-sponsors (along with Mamas OC Food Services) for the LB Farmers Market. Their goal is to provide massive exposure for the market and all of the vendors through word of mouth and social media. 

This Saturday, July 28, they will be handing out reusable grocery bags and waters to those who attend the market. Residents and visitors may also notice a banner in front of the market on Friday to remind everyone about the following day.

Laguna Beach eggs

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lots of farm fresh eggs

Farmers’ Market sets up shop at #12 Lumberyard parking lot (across from The Festival of the Arts) every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Rain or shine.

Best one stop shopping anywhere! And some of it is organic. They even have Paleo and Gluten free baked goods.

On Tuesday, July 31, look for Stu News coverage of the July 28 give-a-ways along with its history and a current rundown of the Farmers’ Market vendors and their products.

Permanent Catalina Street roundabout will cost between $450,000 and $750,000


The Council is scheduled to discuss tonight whether to spend $750,000 to make the roundabout permanent at Catalina Street and El Camino Del Mar.

That is about $400,500 more than was reserved for the project in the 2017 mid-year budget.

The design is based on input from the public workshop held by the city and the city’s Complete Streets Initiative, and developed to improve the island, surrounding parkways and pedestrian crossings. It has been approved by the Design Review Board.

Recommendations from the workshop included planting the roundabout with drought-tolerant plants and a specimen tree with nighttime down lighting as the focal point of the median island. It was also recommended that different pavement styles be used in the crosswalks to increase visibility and aesthetics, to landscape the parkways and protect existing eucalypti. Curb and other modifications would comply with the American Disabilities Act. 

“Complete Streets” objectives drive up costs

The temporary roundabout was approved in 2015, stemming from previous efforts by the city to meet the Complete Streets Initiative and to gauge public response before considering a permanent installation.

Public response has been positive, staff reported.

The cost to make it permanent could be reduced by $300,000 if the scope of work is limited to improvements and beautification of the center median island, according to the staff report.

However, the project then would not meet any Complete Streets objectives that originally supplied the impetus for the temporary roundabout.

The item will be heard as regular business, with an opportunity for the public to comment.

Artist Anne England, in the twilight of her years, would love to hear from friends & fellow artists


Beloved long-time Laguna artist, painter, and printmaker, Anne England, is enjoying her golden years peacefully at home, under palliative care after several cancer diagnoses and multiple surgeries – and at this time, she would love to receive emails and cards from people who have touched and enriched her life these many years. 

(And then, of course, there are all those whose lives she has enriched beyond measure – but she’s too self-effacing to mention those during our phone conversation.)

Anne can’t wait to hear from you

How about writing that note right now?

As she said, with a smile in her voice, when I told her I’d like to visit her, “Make it soon!” Anne is at peace, she’s quick to say, but she likes her peace with (let’s say) some pizazz: in other words, she’d adore a bit of lively company too, whether in person or via snail or email.

So – let her know how your career is going; maybe how you’re feeling about the art scene in Laguna; or perhaps your fond memories of times spent in her presence. Do you have favorites amongst her many thought-provoking works of art? Tell her. 

Artist Anne portrait

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Anne England

Anne can certainly rest easy knowing that, as the founder of the compassionate nonprofit FOA’s Artists Fund, she has enabled many a hard-working but badly paid artist to find comfort and vital financial help during illnesses, or following personal tragedies and natural disasters.

“That’s a highlight of my life,” she says. “When someone comes to you in confidence with a personal challenge and then later says, ‘I wouldn’t have made it without your help’ – there’s nothing like it, to know you’ve made a difference. Especially for artists, who are so badly paid for their talent and hard work. We have wonderful people volunteering their time for the Artists’ Fund.”

The Artists Fund is Anne’s proudest legacy

“[The Artists Fund] is wonderful in that way because most people don’t know who is benefiting, which is as it should be, it’s no one’s business except the person concerned, and we really do need to support artists in this town. That’s the legacy I’m most proud of.”

The Artists Fund, founded in 1999 and still going strong, provides disaster and medical relief grants for artists who cannot afford to pay the costs of such unanticipated events. 

Anne credits Mike Tauber, FOA exhibitor for many years, for kicking the program into high gear and making a huge success of the fundraising. 

“That was such a great feeling, knowing the project was going to take off. That’s one of my best memories, remembering that, thanks to Mike. And now we have such a great president in Shirley Rush. And I can’t say enough about the Board members.”

Board members of the Artists Fund include Wendy Wirth, Vice President; Geraldine Cropser, Secretary; and Ashley Gregg, Treasurer.

Tie-One-On brings in the big bucks

Mike tells me that the first fundraiser was Tie-One-On, Anne’s idea. 

“She had Festival artists decorate silk ties and sold them to the public each summer 1999-2004. They were show-stoppers!” Mike says. “I started helping her with that in 1999. Then together we did Art-In-A-Box for two years, and then in 2007 we came up with Art-To-Go.”

The current Art-To-Go theme is Red Hot, which Anne and Mike created together. 

“She’s great to work with – we have a similar vision,” Mike adds. “The Artists Fund has distributed more than $180,000 in grants to Festival artists suffering from fires, mudslides, injuries, and unexpected circumstances.”

Artist Anne art to go

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Photo by Mike Tauber

Anne is the co-founder of Art-To-Go 

In addition, Anne is among the founders of LOCA, today one of Laguna’s most active and successful nonprofits. 

“Artists need to be able to work and be paid,” she says. “LOCA has been great that way, encouraging the art community, and it means that artists can teach others too.”

Anne was also involved with LCAD and has exhibited at both the Festival of Arts and Sawdust. 

Founding LOCA is another highlight of Anne’s life

“It’s been such a blessing to be surrounded by like-minded people in this town, people who are on the same page, and I think the Festival of Arts is one of the finest shows around,” she adds.

A very successful watercolorist, printmaker, and art instructor, Anne is much loved and respected by fans and peers alike.

And the Artists Fund has evolved: along with assisting numerous FOA artists who were victims of medical necessity, natural disaster or other debilitating circumstances, its executive board recently voted to expand services to include counseling, mentoring, scholarships, and a personal assistance program.

Artist Anne in Italy

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Photo from website

Anne during one of her visits to Italy

In researching Anne’s life and art, I was struck by this quote from Laguna Beach Arts Patron Magazine, words that seem to capture the essence of her philosophy and her connection with the ineffable through her beautiful art, particularly a work called Life Tower. Life Tower, she says, combines mythology, nature, music and destiny.

“One day I heard this voice in my head and it said, ‘I am circling the great tower. I have been circling for 10 thousand years and I still do not know if I am an eagle or a great storm or a mighty symphony’ and I made this piece,” she is quoted as saying. 

Anne agreed with me. “That’s true, that work does represent me well – the storm clouds, the light behind…” 

Anne England began the creative process in Florida, majoring in Art at Florida State University with a concentration in watercolor, oils and printmaking. She studied and worked there until the freedom of lifestyle and expression lured her to California in 1962.

Where to send your messages

Anne welcomes love notes, anecdotes, and stories of good times together in the arts community of Laguna Beach with the people she cherishes most.

The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts is receiving all cards, digital messages, and emails. Send cards care of The Artists Fund at Festival of Arts to 650 Laguna Canyon Rd, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and send messages via the website at and on Facebook at @ArtistsFundAtFestivalOfArts or

Dennis’ Tidbits


July 24, 2018

The summer of ’58 was an epic one – I remember it well – that’s when I started keeping records of the weather

Dennis 5It just dawned on me that I’ve been keeping weather and ocean conditions for 60 years now. In the summer of 1958 I was staying in Laguna with my folks in a little cottage that my Mom and Pop would rent every summer from the Belnap family. Grant and his wife Eva lived across the street from us in Whittier and my folks were good friends with the Belnaps. They owned two small houses in Laguna and one of them was pretty much vacant most of the time so the door was open to us every summer for get this, 80 bucks a month!

I was 10 going on 11 as my birthday fell on August 3. I was already a full-fledged beach bum spending every day from like 9 a.m. until at least 5 or 6 p.m., most of the time in the water unless it was yellow or red flag. Every morning I would go down to Main Beach, first checking the surf and what color flag was flying that day. Then I would take the water temp and air temp and write down those conditions for the day on 3 by 5 inch note cards. This became a daily ritual for every day that particular summer. Those early records were pretty simple back then but in the summer of 1959 my pop bought me a barometer and a wet bulb dry bulb thermometer for my 12th birthday.

Meanwhile my ocean savvy was growing by the year as I was already good at bodysurfing and standing up on hard canvass inflatable surf mats from George Moore’s raft and umbrella stand at Main Beach and by the time I was 12 I was going out on yellow flag days with no trouble at all.

My interest in weather and ocean conditions was growing by the day and by the seventh grade I had over three dozen weather related books including books on severe weather, cloud atlases, and climatology. I was still employing the note card format until 1963 when I now had collected in my weather arsenal two special thermometers that automatically marked the high and low each day, two barometers, one a barograph and the other an aneroid barometer, a sling psychrometer for measuring humidity and dew point, two anemometers for measuring wind speed and direction, two water temp thermometers, two rain gauges, one a five-inch cylinder and the other a one-inch, and a cloud symbol brochure. I was equipped!

So now I would map out on standard 8.5 by 11 inch blank paper a monthly calendar, and since I was such a good printer, I would mark down in each box for that day all the information I gathered. I still use this format today but yes, I do have daily records that go back to July of 1958.

I can tell you now, the summer of 1958 was an epic one as we were in the middle of a strong El Nino with tons of surf, lots of sun and an average water temp for that summer a balmy 72.8 degrees with 12 red flag days and 38 yellow flag days – and that was the beginning of a 60-year journey and counting. My weather buddy here in town is equally as fanatic about the weather and surf and he’s been keeping daily records almost as long as I have, in fact, Spyder is the one who turned me on to the calendar format way back then as he is a top notch weather guy and calligrapher. Here we are, two old farts still writing the weather every day and we probably will until we drop! 


Journey around the sun: the angle of our dangle as we move through space

Photo by Tom Berndt

Journey around sunset

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A reminder that the Earth is round – and moving

Pet of the Week, Wyatt, is looking for a new home

Wyatt is currently Pet of the Week. He is a six-month-old neutered male hound lab mix. Wyatt loves to play and will be a very big dog by the time he grows up, so he will need a lot of space to run around. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes to see Wyatt adopted as soon as possible. 

Pet of the Week Wyatt copy

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Wyatt is ready to grow up in a new home

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, their 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. Call (949) 497-3552 or go to the website for information on adoption procedures:

Laguna is a happening place, with businesses busting out all over the place this summer

Executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, Meredith Dowling, has been madly busy in recent weeks – though Laguna being Laguna, of course Dowling is always busy working with new businesses and encouraging existing ones to make the most of this great location.

And this Thursday will be a testament to the hard work of everyone involved, from owners and managers, to all who contribute to the Chamber’s outreach.

Laguna is Jim and Kathy

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Submitted photo

Jim and Kathy Smith, owners of Laguna Beach Brewery & Grill

The evening of July 26 will see the official opening of Laguna Beach Brewery & Grill with a ribbon cutting at 6:30 p.m. Attendees will be treated to live music, house brews for $4 all night, and complimentary botanas/appetizers.

Laguna Brewery & Grill is located at 237 Ocean Ave and the event takes place from 6 p.m. – close. The event is open to the public and there is no fee to attend. To RSVP, call (949) 497-3381 or (949) 677-0889.

Earlier that day, the Temecula Olive Oil Company is hosting a Flavor Journey from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. The store is located at 263 Forest Ave, and the event is also free and open to the public. 

Laguna is a Temecula

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Temecula’s store on Forest Ave

Later that evening (also on Thursday July 26), the Chamber is hoping to hold a special tequila-themed reception at AG Vision Gallery at 572 S Coast Hwy, but details are yet to be finalized. 

“These are all ‘experience’ themed events, to help locals and visitors learn more about what these businesses have to offer and that they are not just retail stores or restaurants,” Dowling notes. 

“The owners and managers are very hands on and are excited to be part of the Laguna Beach Business community. More and more of our local businesses are reaching out to the Chamber to help them create, plan, and promote new events, opportunities, and experiences for current and future customers. 

“We hope these pop-up events and activities will inspire more local residents to shop local and shop small. We also hope these customized experiences will also add to the menu of recommendations that hotel concierge’s and/or hotel staff will want to mention to their guests,” Dowling adds.

Laguna is Lennon

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Photo by Brian Hamill

Iconic photo of John Lennon by photographer Brian Hamill

There is another free event this Saturday, July 28, from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. The Chamber is helping to coordinate and promote this fun evening during which the works of iconic photographer, Brian Hamill, who will be there in person, will be on display. The event is sponsored by Julie Laughton Design Build.

Dowling says that the Chamber itself will be holding an Open House to celebrate their new office renovations, but that event is still a couple weeks out. Stay tuned.

Those hedge funds will eat you up every time? Readers, send us your caption suggestions

Photo by Scott Brashier

those hedge crash

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Send your suggested caption to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – no prizes, but the appreciation of the community!

Tithing church grants local nonprofit R Star Foundation $1,500

The San Juan Christian Science Church is unique. How so? Most churches tell their congregants to ‘tithe’, which of course helps both the church to manage their hard costs, and the gift-giver manages to live on less than they have earned. 

“In all my years associated with churches I have never known of a church which actually ‘tithes’ (10 percent of all they bring in), to a specific group,” says Rosalind Russell, founder of nonprofit R Star Foundation. “This church does!”

This is the eighth year R Star Foundation has been on the nominated ‘tithe’ list for previous 12 months and selected to be gifted to once again. 

“This is not something which can be applied for, rather a member of the church has to be the sponsor of the group,” Russell adds. 

tithing church group

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Submitted photo

Rosalind Russelll, Rose Petal Star (the cat), member, Carole Dadurka, and Paul Garman, R Star’s sponsor.

The gift of just under $1,500 will be thoughtfully applied to projects in Nepal, likely toward the creation of organic growing greenhouses to help the poorest rebuild after the devastating earthquake that occurred three years ago. The quake destroyed homes along with the year-round growing season, curbing the ability of families to add income beyond the skimpy two seasons in traditional fields. 

Currently R Star has 44 greenhouses in place in as many villages in Nepal’s rural areas.

Everyone is invited to join with R Star in their successful work to lift up one of the poorest countries in the world. For more information, contact R Star at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (949) 497-4911 or send donations to PO Box 4183, Laguna Beach, CA 92652.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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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.

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