Laguna Beach

Mission Hospital brings back popular three-part “Date Night Dinner” with your teen starting Tues Jan 23

Mission Hospital is hosting a three-part dinner series for teens and their parents as part of their popular “Date Night” program. This series will take place on every Tues, Jan 23- Feb 6 from 6:15 - 8 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, located at 380 3rd St. 

The series will be $45 per family, and scholarships are available. 

Date Night has become a great opportunity for parents to nurture and build their relationship with the special young person in their life. 

“Believe it or not, teens tell us that they want to spend more one on one time with their parents away from technology and all the many other distractions that today’s busy families face,” says Marci Mednick of Mission Hospital. “This series brings in top notch presenters to help teens build valuable life-skills that will help prepare them for their journey ahead.”

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Submitted Photo

Ray Lozano will be the speaker for the Date Night program and series

Ray Lozano, with a background in entertainment, captivates audiences with his humorous and engaging style. Each of the evenings will focus on different topics aimed to empower young people to lead a healthy lifestyle while arming parents with skills to help them. Dinner is included in hopes that families can relax and enjoy their time together. 

Today’s teens face many challenges that are unique to this generation making it more difficult than ever to be a teen, and the parent of one. Maintaining open and honest communication about tough subjects such as drugs and alcohol is one of the biggest hurdles families face. 

Just like other decisions they make, young people want to know the facts, yet doing it in an engaging and meaningful way takes an expert. 

Additional Date Nights will be held in San Clemente beginning Thurs, Jan 13 and in San Juan Capistrano beginning Tues, Feb 13. 

For more information or for a complete listing of classes go to or call 949-364-4871.

Winter waves: Wonderful wild water


Found art in foam form: Curlicue/corkscrew/caterpillar?

Wild wave tosses spray over its salty shoulder

A frenzy of flung foam

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The end is near…Interpreting Views closes Jan 30

By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi

Time is running out to see Interpreting Views at The CAP Gallery. It is a ‘must see’ and a great way to get your beginning of the year Art Fix. Cheyne Walls, Mike Tauber and Troy Poeschl are the artists and Nature is the subject – three artists each with their own view of Nature.

Cheyne Walls presents his view through the lens of a camera. His color images are richly saturated with the many levels of color found in Nature: his light, brilliant or subdued, enhances the ambience of the scene. Printing his images on a special metallic paper makes them seem to vibrate with life.

For a change of pace, Walls also shoots in black and white. In this palette, he explores the textures and pattern created by time and Nature. Sometimes he feels that the scene has more to say in black and white than in color.

Returning multiple times to a particular scene, Walls waits till the light, weather and feel of the scene is “right” before taking his shots.

Mike Tauber celebrates Nature through his tile works. Drawing the image onto a flat tile, tracing the drawing with wax and then filling in the areas with various glazes, he then fires the tiles at high heat. The end result is an image that has the painterly feel of the California plein air painters. His palette choice mimics the old school palette with its mixing and layers of color. Coastal scenes, inland scenes and a new series of images of retro cars and trailers on the road, his inspiration comes from vintage ads, orange crate labels and Nature itself.

Viewing Tauber’s work, there is a feeling of calmness. Shady trees, sunny beaches and tranquility invite the viewer to step, spend time and enjoy the view.

Troy Poeschl views Nature through a lens and through his work with wood. Using panoramic style in his lens work, he gives the viewer a feeling of standing at one point and being able to experience the scene from right to left and back again. A river at your feet, the wide view of mountains, trees and clouds: all visible by just moving your eyes from side to side. 

This panoramic viewing of Nature is not just a horizontal view to Poeschl. He also presents a vertical panoramic view. Starting at the ground at his feet, he pans up to the sky and then over to behind him capturing the height and grandeur of being out in a natural open space: a view that can remind you how big the world is and how small we all are.

Poeschl’s work in wood is a celebration of the unique characteristics and beauty of each piece. Serious consideration is given to exploring and bringing out these elements as he designs and shapes each part and determines its placement in the finished design. Sometimes the outside bark of a piece of wood can be as important to the whole as the internal sections of the wood: both sections telling of the growth and creation of the wood. The patience and time involved to hand finish each piece allows Poeschl time to find the perfect point of beauty of this natural material.

Just as Nature is ever changing, so has this exhibit. With just a few weeks left, it is not the same as when it opened. If you have seen it, see it again. If you haven’t then don’t wait. It will soon be gone, just as the leaves of spring are, come the fall.

The CAP Gallery is located at 260 Ocean Ave, 2nd Floor, Wells Fargo Bldg. Phone (949) 553-7507. Visit Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; Admission is free. Exhibition ends – Jan 30.

Second annual Swing for the Sea Lions golf tournament will take place on Monday March 26

On Mon, March 26, the 2nd annual Swing for the Sea Lions golf tournament will take place at the Aliso Viejo Country Club at 12 p.m. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Now-healthy sea lions hang out at PMMC

This tournament will benefit patients at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and will include on course contests, raffle prizes, silent auction, dinner, and a helicopter ball drop with a chance to win up to $2,000. 

Sponsorship is available, and there is an early bird special when purchasing tickets of $175 player or $700 foursome until Jan 31. 

For more information or to sign up, visit

Park Avenue looked like this back in the 40s

Painting by Joseph Kleitsch

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Reader Robert Story sent us this image of a painting showing Park Ave before it was blocked by the new library (looking east from PCH)

Commission reviews proposed fixes to Downtown Plan, Landscape element


Planning Commissioners unanimously recommended at Wednesday’s meeting to sunder the Civic/Arts District, designed to strengthen Laguna’s claim to be an arts colony.

The recommendation will be included in commission-recommended revisions to the Downtown Specific Plan, subject to City Council approval. Proposed revisions to the plan’s six sections by consultant MIG are under review by the commission, compared to recommendations by staff, public groups and individuals. 

“The word civic means government to most people,” said Hasty Honarkar, who supported the split. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Planning commission recommends that the civic area is not part of a combined civic/arts district

An outer boundary for the separate arts district was left undecided. Commissioner Anne Johnson favored extending it to include the primary campus of the Laguna College of Arts and Design. 

“It would be folly to exclude the college,” said Johnson, but she was outnumbered.

Even the Art District Ad Hoc Committee, which included LCAD President Jonathan Burke, failed to sway the commission majority.    

“LCAD is its own arts district,” said commission Chair Susan McLintock Whitin.

Commissioners Ken Sadler and Roger McErlane also opposed the inclusion of LCAD, pending a report by staff with suggested options on district boundaries at the next hearing on the district.   

However, everybody agreed on the stated goal of enhancing Laguna’s reputation as an art colony.

“It is critical for the arts district to have its own identity,” said former planning commissioner Norm Grossman.

Grossman spoke on behalf of a more recently organized, broad-based, ad hoc committee providing public input on revisions to the downtown plan, which includes Laguna Canyon. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Discussion centered on the extent of the Arts District

“The canyon is different than downtown,” said Penny Milne, president of the Canyon Alliance of Neighborhoods Defense Organization.

“The Downtown Specific Plan should not determine the character of the Arts District,” Milne said. 

McErlane disagreed. 

“Distinguishing it from the downtown is a mistake,” he said.

Wednesday’s revisions will be reviewed at a later date by the commission. 


Scenic Highways Element

The Planning Commission unanimously supported sub-committee recommendations for changes to the Landscape and Scenic Highways Element in the city’s General Plan.

Recommendations included reducing the eight topics to three, [as] Community Development Assistant Director Jim Pechous said [eight] would unduly burden staff. 

The commission also recommended adding a matrix that summarizes policy and action items at the beginning of each chapter, moving some topics to other elements, changing highways to read corridors, and complying with findings of then-Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse. 

Commission recommendations did not include incorporating the languishing Landscape and Scenic Highways Resource Document into the element – a blow to landscape architects Ann Christoph and Bob Borthwick, city-appointed writers of the document with Greg Vail after the 1993 fire – and its supporters.

“I am shocked and appalled at what is going on here,” said Barbara Metzger. “We have waited 25 years for this to be made an element.”

Borthwick and Christoph both spoke in favor of including the document in the element, describing it as organized the way the commission wants the element to be organized.

“The sub-committee found the revisions proposed (for the element) too difficult to read and understand,” said sub-committee member McErlane. “Putting the resource document into the existing [element] just makes it messier.”

McErlane asked staff to prepare an evaluation of the time and costs to divide the element into three sections. 

The hearing was continued to Feb 21, as requested by Village Laguna President Johanna Felder and CANDO President Milne to allow their groups to have time to review the proposed changes.

Revisions available for review

The current Downtown Specific Plan, the proposed revisions and the Scenic Highways Element and proposed revisions are available for review at

California Coastal Commission responds to guest column by James Pribram in our 1/16 issue

We were surprised to read the opinion piece by James Pribram titled “What happened to being good stewards of the beach?” The column raises concerns Mr. Pribram has with a public accessway to the beach being built at Agate Street in Laguna Beach. The city of Laguna Beach has an approved local coastal plan and was therefore able to issue the coastal development permit for this project, which was not appealed to the commission by any member of the public. 

Mr. Pribram writes that he recently raised concerns with a Coastal Commission enforcement officer about the construction impacts, but that our staff member did not respond. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our agency depends on and is grateful for those active members of the public who alert us to situations. 

We checked our agency phone logs and the staff member in question called Mr. Pribram on January 8 and spoke with him about his concerns, and subsequently tried to follow up with Mr. Pribram on at least four other occasions and left messages. Our staff member also responded to the email he received from Mr. Pribram on January 16 three minutes after receiving it. 

Construction projects are rarely perfect and it is a balancing act to provide for long-term public beach access while also protecting access during construction. Doing these kinds of projects during the summer risks taking an accessway out of circulation during the busiest time of year for beachgoing, but doing them in winter can require temporary protections like cement blocks to prevent damage to the accessway under construction.

The goal here is to provide permanent access for the public to get to this stretch of coast and we will continue to be grateful to our partners in the public who help us protect that access here and elsewhere.

Noaki Schwartz

Public Information Officer

California Coastal Commission

Editor’s note: James Pribram’s Guest Column is reprinted in full on our Letters page – just click on our Letters tab at the top of our two Front Pages.

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.

Christmas is over, but kindness lasts forever: Tony’s Treehouse “Adopt A Family” touches many lives

Becky Martinez, executive director of Tony’s Treehouse, reports that the Adopt A Family campaign during the holiday season was a huge success. She says the program touched the hearts of many residents, as evidenced by monetary donations via their website, along with emails of support. 

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Submitted photo

Becky (l), with volunteers. Far right - Carmen Arguello. In between - Roger and Lynn Tomalas (in Santa hat) and family, & Sue Bottassi (in front), fundraiser coordinator 

“The kindness of strangers - isn’t it wonderful,” Becky says. “With those cash donations, the Treehouse was able to take on a couple of last minute families, and provide their holiday meals and gifts. We received several requests from residents who wanted to commit to adopting families, which in total provided holiday presents for over 22 adults and children on our ‘Adoptee’ list.” 

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Submitted photo

Kate Hanson (of Laguna), who works for Trippy Hippy, with Becky. Trippy Hippy donated ‘Neon’ light up shoes for every child in the Adopt A Family program

Becky continues, “You should have seen the boxes and boxes of wrapped presents - our house was truly Santa’s Workshop!  Tony’s Treehouse is most grateful for the generosity of Laguna Beach residents for the continuing good work. We are in this together!”

Tony’s Treehouse mission statement is, “Continuing the compassionate spirit of Tony Martinez by uniting family, friends and community, who are dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in need.”

For more information on Tony’s Treehouse, go to

Citizen Academy gives residents a chance to observe LBPD in action – and an adrenaline rush or two


Photos courtesy LBPD

Citizen Academy, a highly-praised 13-week hands-on but no-stress course designed to provide community members with a better understanding of the workings of Laguna Beach police officers, and to help foster communication between police personnel and citizens, begins on Thursday Jan 25 at 6 p.m. 

Past graduates are effusive about the value of the experience – and the fun they had while taking part. 

Gaining a greater perspective on what police work entails is imperative, according to past graduate Mario Visin. 

One of the most impressive moments for Visin was how dangerous a routine traffic stop can be for a police officer. 

“An officer is set at a disadvantage here, so the training that goes in to learning how to approach a vehicle is tremendous,” Visin said. 

First responders face major challenges with every call

Past graduate Garrett Woods agrees that this was a revelation, realizing how little information first responders may have when responding to a call. 

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Learn to handle firearms at the shooting range

“Someone calling in to 911 might be panicked and might be unable to get the necessary facts out. This leaves officers up against the challenge of not knowing what is happening at a location,” he said. “They don’t know whether it’s a drunk beach-goer, a choking child, or an armed robber. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that well.” 

Woods went on to say “I learned skills I never would have known otherwise and gained a completely new perspective on the city I know and love.”

Mario Visin also said that the K9 demonstration using LBPD’s Ranger was “incredible,” one of the highlights of the course. “Ranger is highly trained and is a valuable asset to the force. He can sniff out the drugs and chase down the bad guys on command.”

Expect an adrenaline rush – or two…

Spoiler alert: according to Visin, the event even has an unannounced shooting off of a gun in order to provide a taste of what sort of hyper awareness/readiness a police officer needs to have in order to respond in the case of an emergency.

These heightened adrenaline moments are something that only the best Hollywood movie makers can depict and make it feel real – until, that is, you take part in the Citizen Academy. 

But, better than Hollywood, the Citizen Academy promises to give you the real facts behind some of these glitzy moments. 

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Working with Ranger demands some suiting up

Sonny Myers, another past graduate (class 22), CERT Board member and Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee Member, already had an extensive background in understanding what to do in case of an emergency, but going through the Citizen Academy gave him “a real appreciation of the professionalism, commitment to duty and ongoing training that our Police Department undertakes every day to make our city a better place to live,” he said.

“It was a blast!” says Sonny Myers

Myers had been selected to be class president by Captain Darin Lenyi, now Police Chief of the city of Placentia. “Our class was taught gun safety and we did target practice with AR-15 long rifles. I found out that I’m actually a pretty good shot. It was a blast!” 

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Guns, guns, and more guns

Stu News Laguna’s own Allison Rael, who has covered the Citizen Academy in the past took part in the classes “during a time when nationwide anti-police sentiment was on the rise. I found the class to be extremely enlightening given the context and it gave me a new perspective.”

The course demystifies what a police officer’s daily routine looks like, and allows residents to see first hand how highly trained professionals operate under a pressurized set of circumstances.

Visin mentioned that the Citizen Academy “has a membership feel to it that could be expanded to have real value for the community and the members.” This inspired him to start “working on a community cause based technology that connects people, place and things.”

Learn about crime scene investigation and more

The academy course, which meets every Thursday from 6 – 9:30 p.m. for 13 consecutiive weeks, beginning Jan 25, includes instruction in the following areas: history of the LBPD, investigations, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, driving under the influence investigation, gangs, narcotics, neighborhood watch, crime prevention, crime scene investigation, police K-9 program, volunteer programs, and other relevant topics. 

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A lesson in handling evidence

There is also a a tour of the LBPD and the OC Jail. Academy members will be given the opportunity to shoot at the police firing range and participate in mock scenarios. 

Applications should be received by Jan 19 and are available at or

For questions regarding this program, contact class coordinator Ross Fallah at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 464-6624.

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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