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Laguna Beach

LOCA Art Club season kicks off Jan 18, features artists, a public art tour, and stage set design

LOCA Arts Education invites artists and creative people to its Art Club events, offered monthly in Laguna Beach. The fun, educational, and interactive gatherings take place on third Thursdays of each month. 

“Everyone can participate,” said founder Betty Haight, “it’s for artists and non-artists alike”.

Submitted photo

Jonathan Burke, LCAD president

The 2018 season opens with Jonathan Burke on Thurs Jan 18, 4 – 6 p.m. at LCAD Gallery, 374 Ocean Ave. Burke, president of Laguna College of Art and Design, will share fascinating insights on composition, structure, and presentation in art.

Painters Betty Haight, Kathy Jones, and Stephanie Cunningham are featured on Feb 15. They will discuss the benefits of working collaboratively, and how great works evolve as a result of working together. 

On March 15, Jeff Rovner, a magician, lawyer, and software designer, will reveal how those pursuits affect his photography, and the path that led him to exhibit his Cirque portraits at Festival of Arts. 

Donna Ballard, City Arts Commissioner and LOCA Board Member, will lead a narrated walking tour of public art at Heisler Park on April 19.

“There’s a great story behind each of these beautiful installations, statuary, and artist-designed benches,” she said. “It will be a fun, relaxing tour at this beautiful ocean-front park.”

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Photo courtesy LOCA Arts Education

Set designs for Clybourne Park by Laguna Playhouse will be presented May 17

The season finale is on May 17 at LCAD Gallery. Artists from Laguna Playhouse will discuss the visual aspects of theatrical stage design, and how sets and props are created. Attendees will enjoy a preview of designs for the Chicago row-house themed Clybourne Park, showing at the Playhouse in June.

LOCA members are admitted free to all regular art club events. Guests and visitor admission is $20 per event. 

The April walking tour is free. Advance registration is requested.

Call (949) 363-4700, visit the calendar page at or learn about membership at

Yoga on the Farm workshop focuses on fitness and fun at Bluebird Canyon Farm on Sat, Jan 13

On Sat, Jan 13, Bluebird Canyon Farm presents a morning of meditation and beauty during Power Vinyasa Yoga on the Farm, hosted by Beth McCall. This workshop will include a full 60-minutes of yoga, a brief tour of the farm, and a healthy juice or tea made from organic produce grown on the farm. The workshop check in time is 9 a.m.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Beth McCall, Yoga instructor

Power Vinyasa Flow Yoga is a powerful, energetic form of yoga where students fluidly move from one pose to the next while connecting their breathing to their movements. 

The cost for the workshop is $25. Parking is limited, participants are asked to use public transportation or park on Rancho Laguna Rd.

Bluebird Canyon Farms is located at 1085 Blue Bird Canyon Dr., 949-715-0325. 

For more information, go to

Reception showcases talented Boys & Girls Club photographers and artists

The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach invited the community to see this year’s talented young photographers and fine artists representing various mediums when the Canyon branch held a reception celebrating the opening of the 2018 National ImageMakers Photography & Fine Arts exhibit on Dec 14. 

The exhibit was part of the Boys & Girls Club of America’s national arts contest that enables members to develop their creativity and cultural awareness through visual arts and design, giving them the opportunity to be recognized as artists on a broader level. Dozens of photos plus art pieces representing colored pencil drawing, pastel, watercolor, oil & acrylic, sculpture and collage went on display that were later judged by Laguna Beach artisans, Mary Church, Pat Sparkhul and Tom Lamb. 

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Submitted photo

Boys & Girls’ Talent on show

“This exhibit is one of many opportunities we have throughout the year for young minds to explore their creative side and develop their artistic and technical skills by taking photos and much more. It is thrilling to see members get a chance to make art from the world around them and learn to look closely at what they see with an imaginative eye,” said Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Art Director, Caitlin Reller.

Throughout last year, members have been participating in Photography Club and producing art under the direction of Ms Reller in the facility’s 1,200 square foot art room, with the exhibit showcasing some of their most inspired work. The first place pieces will go on to be judged at the Regional exhibit, and then on to National, where the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has won many times in the past. 

Winners will be featured on the virtual gallery at Boys & Girls Club of America’s website and Headquarters Gallery in Atlanta and compete against over 4,000 other Boys and Girls Clubs across America. Be sure to make time to see the exceptional work of these young and talented club members through the end of this month. 

For more information on the 2018 National ImageMakers Photography and Fine Arts exhibit, contact Art Director Caitlin Reller at (949) 494-2535 ext. 7854, or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Kathryn Kramer leads Spring Film Genres Class at Susi Q Senior Center beginning on Jan 16

Irvine Valley College’s 2017 Emeritus Teacher of the Year, Kathryn Kramer, will lead a film screening and discussion group beginning Tues, Jan 16, at 12:30 p.m. at Susi Q with a sweet Indian comedy. This class is open ended/open exit, meaning that one doesn’t have to attend each meeting, but early enrollment is highly recommended. Such IVC offerings are again being offered totally free to registered students. 

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Reese Witherspoon in Wild screens on Jan 23

Full schedule of movies: (Selections may change without prior notice.) 

1/16/18: The Lunchbox 2013 India 104 min. A mistake blossoms into opportunity. 1/23/18 Wild 2014 USA 115 min. Reese Witherspoon. Based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir. 1/30/18 Songcatcher 2000 USA 109 min. A musicologist seeks the old ballads. Stars Janet McTeer. Wr/dir Maggie Greenwald won three awards. 2/6/18 Foreign Letters 2012 USA 99 min. An immigrant coming-of-age story based on the director’s personal experience. 2/13/18 Elle 2016 France 130 min. Dutch director Paul Verhoeven adapted this revenge tale which earned 61 awards and an Oscar nom for lead actress Isabelle Huppert (who won the Cesar, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and many more). 2/20/18 The Founder 2016 USA 1125 min. Michael Keaton stars as Ray Kroc, a persistent and ambitious salesman who founded an empire. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star.

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Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron screens on March 6

 2/27/18 Monster 2003 USA 109 min. Charlize Theron won the Oscar for transforming herself into “freeway killer” Aileen Wuornos; with Christina Ricci. Directed by Patty Jenkins. 3/6/18 Atomic Blonde 2017 USA 115 min. Watch for the stunts, not the story. The ice queen archetype comes alive as Charlize Theron’s MI6 Agent Lorraine Broughton “is equal parts spy-craft, sensuality and savagery” (Focus Features). 3/13/18 The Hundred-Foot Journey 2014 USA 122 min. Restaurant owners clash. Helen Mirren stars and Lasse Hallstrom directs. 

To enroll in the Emeritus program, call (949) 451-5555 or follow these instructions to register online at then log in using your username (or Student Number) and password (or Student PIN). It takes only a day to receive a PIN if you fill out a new application. 1. Click on My Classes 2. Click on Register for Classes 3. Select Term (Fall, Spring, Summer) 4. Enter Section ID/Ticket # 5. Click on Add Class.

Susi Q Community Center is located at 380 Third St, LB, 949-464-6645.

Josh Tanaka (15) named Individual Photo Camera winner in the 2017 Wyland National Art Challenge

Laguna Beach’s Josh Tanaka (15) was chosen as the Individual Photo Camera Winner in the 2017 Wyland National Art Challenge. The Wyland Foundation and its partners provided 100 schools with paint supplies, educational materials and 50 square foot canvases to look at the economic, cultural, and aesthetic value of the world’s resources. 

More than 3,600 students who participated were encouraged to work together while studying the coast and climate issues. 

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Photo by Josh Tanaka

Winning photo by Josh Tanaka

Stu News is particularly proud of Josh, who is one of several young photographers making up the group Frothy Films, and whose photos we featured weekly in the summer. We knew he and his friends’ talents were important to showcase.

Frothy Films is a group made up of friends who love to have fun and take photographs and edits. We are an extreme team that does crazy stuff,” Michael Tanaka, Josh’s older brother, tolds Stu News. “We all have been friends with each other for a long time and one day decided why not start a team of ocean lovers?

“We chose the name Frothy because of the meaning. Frothy is light and entertaining, always making it fun. Since summer just started we will meet up daily to get surf and sunset shots and most importantly have fun!”  

In a congratulatory message from Wyland to all the winners, he says, “Aloha to all the amazing artists for this year’s 2017 National Wyland Art Challenge. I just reviewed all of the submissions at my studio here in Hawaii, you artists keep getting better each and every year. I’m very proud of your art and conservation message. We have announced and shared the national winners and finalists on our website.

“Congratulations to all the artists around America who are making a difference.” 

It is the hope of The Wyland Foundation that recognizing conservation through art will lead students to a greater understanding of their role as future caretakers of our water and other natural resources.

For further information on the challenge, go to

Chabad seeks to reclaim the lost art of human connection with JLI’s six session course

How are our almost constant interactions with devices affecting our relationships? This question is what drove Rabbi Goorevitch of Chabad Laguna Beach to offer JLI’s new six session course Communication: Its Art and Soul, beginning on Wed, Jan 24 at 7 p.m. located at 30804 S. Coast Hwy.

“Jewish wisdom includes many powerful and original insights into the art of communication that are more relevant today than ever,” explained Rabbi G. “The goal of this course is to mine these texts and seek out their golden teachings. I believe this can help us reclaim the lost art of deep human connection in spite of our devices.”

“In Jewish philosophy, communication is more than just a tool: it is who we are. Humans are defined as communicative beings with a communicative soul, and aligning ourselves with this soul is our raison d’être. In Communication: Its Art and Soul, we contrast Jewish thought with scientific discovery to unearth the essence of communication and how to utilize its powers to better ourselves, our relationships, and all of society,” reads a description of the course on JLI’s website.

Program receives rave reviews

The course has received rave reviews from relationship professionals, including Harville Hendrix, founder of IMAGO Relationship Therapy and author of the best-selling book, Getting the Love You Want. Hendrix refers to the course as “truly artful and soulful, an absolute must.”

“The integration of these two streams of knowledge, the secular/psychological and Jewish tradition is remarkable,” writes Mona Fishbane, former director of couple training at Chicago Center for Family Health, endorsing the course. “The approach is sophisticated, practical, and sure to be helpful to students.”

Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship.

Interested students, call (949) 499 0770 or visit for registration and for other course-related information. 

Dennis’ Tidbits


January 12, 2018

Flip flops for us but not for Fargo – or much of the rest of the US – that’s why we live here!

This week’s storm dropped a hefty 1.64 inches here in town, 1.97 in Aliso Beach and nearly 2.5 inches in nearby Capistrano Beach. Laguna’s season total now stands at 2.19 inches compared to a normal to date of 5.11 inches, so that’s a good start. On a scale of 1 to 10 this storm was about a 7 but in Santa Barbara County it was more like a 20. As individual January storm totals go, the 1.64 didn’t even make the top ten. There have been a lot of heavier storm totals historically with quite a few individual storm totals amounting to well over three inches.

Now we do a quick about face as temps will rise well into the 70’s even here at water’s edge for the next 5-7 days with no rain in sight at least through the 18th, but longer-range models show more significant storm activity from the 19th through the 24th. Our thirsty soils absorbed the moisture nicely with minimal runoff thanks to abundant ground cover in our beautiful hills that surround our town. This seve- day dry period will enable our soils to be ready for the next onslaught of rain should it materialize as predicted. 

Up north, well, you already know the drill. In Montecito near Point Conception a whopping .54 fell in just five minutes on Tuesday. Over a 60 minute period, that would have amounted to nearly six inches! Even normally bone dry Las Vegas got in on the action with nearly 1.5 inches from this storm and that’s over one third of their whole year’s normal of 4.1. 

Our storm is racing eastward as we speak crossing the Continental Divide. A lot of Pacific storms that plow east from California tend to lose a lot of their punch when they cross the Rockies but not this one. The NOAA gave this winter storm the name Hunter, actually a very appropriate name because it’s hunting down the entire eastern two thirds of the U.S. this week while hooking up with another Arctic blast so it’s gonna get real ugly over the next three days or so. 

That’s why we live here! While we’re laughing in 80 degree sunshine this weekend it’ll be below zero in at least 20 states east of the Rockies. I repeat, that’s why we live here! Nuff said! Time once again for shorts and flops. Try that in Fargo! 


Despite challenges LBHS Surf team members put in impressive effort at Scholastic Surf Series Event #2

Written by coaches Alisa Cairns and Scott Finn

A small group of LBHS Surf team members put in a mighty impressive effort last Sunday at the Scholastic Surf Series Event, making the Individual Finals in all Divisions, with Individual Champions Jameson Roller, Tess Booth and Jade Howson [performing really well].

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Submitted photo

Tess Booth and Jameson Roller

Given the end of vacation and some illness and injuries, it was quite an undertaking to put together a team, so the kids available had to step up and compete in multiple divisions where they could.

In Team competition we were up against St Margaret’s who had a full team, while we were short three Shortboard boys with Jameson Roller, Jackson Jenkins and Sam Starr surfing it all in Shortboard and Longboard and Jameson also doing Bodyboard.

Meanwhile our mighty women’s team of Tess Booth competing in both Shortboard and Longboard and Kelly Smith in Shortboard, and Jade Howson in Longboard gave their very best effort. 

The event was held at Golden West in Huntington Beach and the surf was really fun, about the best we have seen at that location. We ended up being edged out by 10 points in the team competition, but most of the kids continued on in the individual competition where they dominated nearly each division Final.  

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Submitted photo

Jackson Jenkins and Sam Starr

Jameson Roller looked great on his new board taking first in Boys Longboard, second in Bodyboard and surfing well in Shortboard. Meanwhile Jackson Jenkins had a huge day taking second in Shortboard. Our girls were really strong as they have been all year. Tess Booth took first in Shortboard while Kelly Smith was close, taking second.

Then in Longboard, Jade Howson styled her way into a close win, while Tess was right on her heels in second place.

The next Scholastic Surf Series event will be Jan 28 at 9tenth St in HB.

Thank you to the kids who participated as well as the parents and friends who helped out!

Downtown outdoor business displays to be given six-month trial


Laguna’s Planning Department got more than it asked for Tuesday.

The City Council not only approved a trial of more flexible rules on outdoor and window displays and portable signage at downtown businesses, it expanded the time from four to six months. 

“This is an important issue for a lot of local merchants in what is becoming a tougher and tougher climate in retail,” said former Planning Commissioner Norm Grossman, who represented the Chamber. 

Under the current city code, only four businesses have approved outdoor displays and only restaurants are allowed to exhibit A-frame signs.

However, in April of 2017, a code enforcement sweep of downtown resulted in 15 sign violations and 11 unpermitted outdoor displays. 

The sweep also showed that some of the store frontages had available space for a portable sign and some merchandise, if permitted, leading to a department review of possible changes and the recommended trial.  

Staff recommended criteria for display trial

During the trial, display items will be limited to no more than five that are related to the business and located on private property – not on the sidewalk. 

A minor site plan will be required and an outdoor display permit will be issued over the counter - meaning no time-consuming hearings. 

Development Director Greg Pfost also suggested requiring a picture of what the sign would look like, but that was not included in the motion unanimously approved by the council, which says that displays must not exceed 18 square feet of the display area; and that if the business does not have an alcove or area available for a display without encroaching into the public right of way, an exemption could be granted to allow a larger window sign or interior window display.

Examples of business signs previously under discussion in 2017

Pfost also recommended that the displays should match the architectural style of the building – modified by Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede to “compatible” as better terminology. 

No date was set for the start of the trial, but a concluding date of August was mentioned, meaning the test would begin in February

Permitting outdoor displays has a precedent. In 2010, during a business turndown, the city approved a temporary moratorium on the ban, allowing displays of no more than 10 feet on private property, which was extended to July of 2011.

Past imperfect

A virtual ban against outdoor displays has been in effect for about 20 years prior to 2010, according to then City Manager Ken Frank.

The ban had led to bad blood between the city and the chamber, beginning when the city cracked down on the long-established Axeline’s Shoes, which had for years displayed racks of shoes in the recessed entrance to the store. Businesswoman Cayenne Bird was also cited for outdoor displays at her shop in the Collection on South Coast Highway. 

Bird involved the Chamber of Commerce in an aborted attempt to recall the City Council. Then-Councilman Dan Kenney resigned as City Hall liaison to the Chamber and relations were strained for a substantial period.

This time, city staff worked with the chamber, which will host a forum on how to make the trial a success – date to be announced.

Laguna Beach Books inundated with orders for “Fire and Fury”


“Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump-White House” has outsold the blockbuster “Fifty Shades of Gray” at Laguna Beach Books.

The first shipment of the Michael Wolff book was delivered at noon on Dec 5 and sold out within hours. The second shipment was delivered on Dec 8 and a third delivery has been ordered to meet the demand. 

“We had four calls before 10 a.m. on the eighth,” said Lisa Childers, store manager. 

The store doesn’t open until 10. Names were added to the waiting list.

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Submitted photo

LB Books owner Jane Hanauer with Fire and Fury

“Don’t give up,” said bookstore owner Jane Hanauer. “Give us a call.”

Distribution of the “tell-all” book about the Trump family, intimates and staff from campaign to White House was bumped up after the president made an attempt to block the publication – which apparently only increased the public’s interest.

Childers opined that publisher Henry Holt and Co. is filling orders from independent book seller before Amazon, which has warned customers of a two-to-four week delay in deliveries, according to retail market tracker Book Scan. 

Laguna Beach Books is located in the Old Pottery Place, 1200 South Coast Highway. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week. 

The store stocks a broad selection of books for children and adults and will fill special orders. 

A knowledgeable offers assistance in forming book clubs and makes recommendations upon request. A twice-monthly email newsletter includes scheduled events and recommended books. 

For more information, call (949) 494-4779.

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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