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Artist Open Studios February event Saturday, Feb 7

This Saturday, Feb. 7, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., art enthusiasts are invited to visit local professional artists in their studios during the Laguna Beach Artist Open Studios event. Participants can catch the free shuttle service from the Act V parking lot, located at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road, and take advantage of free parking for this free, unparalleled artistic adventure. 

A lucky participant will be eligible to receive two free tickets to this summer’s Pageant of the Masters. A form will be handed out, just have an artist at each of the five stops sign it, then enter the drawing to win. The winner will be notified.

Artist Open Studios is a celebration of Laguna’s thriving visual arts community. It is not only a fantastic opportunity to see, buy or commission art, or find original holiday gifts. It is also a venture to explore the city’s iconic artist colony – a time to uncover new talent and rediscover established artists. Who could resist the chance to step into the heart of where art is created, to experience something unique, something you just can’t see anywhere else?

Located throughout Laguna Beach, the majority of artist studios are nestled along Laguna Canyon Road. These studios, surrounded by oak trees and rich canyon colors, are the creative backdrop for many artists. Experience why legendary artists William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, and Edgar Payne set roots here in the early 1890s, captivated by the natural, idyllic setting. 

Observe 31 artists working in a spectrum of art media - fused glass, painting, printmaking, and bronze lost-wax demonstrations. Enjoy the behind the scenes process manifested in an artist’s own creative space.

The first stop visit painter John Repka. At the second stop, don’t miss the opportunity to make your own piece of kiln formed glass with Maggie Spencer, and view her colorful work. Each month, she presents a new project for visitors to try. Her studio is popular, often buzzing with activity.

Tucked in a serene spot at the third stop in the canyon, experience the creative ceramic and wood studio space, with Sandy Groves.

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Submitted photos

Sculptural jewelry by Linda Ames

Laguna Canyon Artists complex, at the fourth stop, offers a cluster of studios with a host of artists who work in a variety of art mediums, including artist Linda Ames. After multitasking as a painter, glass artist, and metal smith, Ames found that her passion is designing and creating sculptural jewelry.

“Since I was small I’ve always wanted something unique, one of a kind or very personal. It makes sense that is what I do now - design and create something from my thoughts and dreams, playfully changing my art piece until it says just what I want it to say,” said Ames. “Even though it’s the process that excites me, when I see someone try on my sculptures and love them, I have to admit it puts a big smile on my face.”

Her work is colorful, mobile, and well constructed. She considers herself an artist not a jeweler. Ames said that she creates her art using high-quality sterling silver, 14K gold fill, and organic and semi precious stones.

At the very last stop in the canyon, experience fun interaction, and demonstrations with artists Louis Longi, Olivia Batchelder, Deborah Paswaters, and Micha von Doring, who work on bronze, silk, painting and wood, respectively. Batchelder said visitors enjoy the mix of working artists and the camaraderie they experience at their stop.

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Olivia Batchelder

“My studio is behind the colorful gate. When you come to AOS, you’ll be greeted by a large silk installation of silk panels, suspended between the trees at the front of the property,” said Batchelder. “You will find me at work on a large silk canvas, laid across sawhorses for painting horizontally, where I paint with dye-colors in big swaths. The dye-color seeps onto the cloth different from the way paint lays down on canvas. It’s pretty magical. Come see.”

Batchelder’s Landscape Wrap is still one of her best and most popular pieces. The original idea for it goes back to the December 2010 flood, when her house and studio space were being rebuilt after water and mud damaged everything.

“I didn’t have a lot of space or equipment, so I used what I had. I choose double crepe georgette silk for its superb drape and matte texture, and worked with a rectangle that I folded into quarters so it would fit on my small 6-foot work table for cutting,” Batchelder explained. “I kept it simple - just a band of imagery on each end of the garment, and I cut a neck hole and front slit, then hemmed it simply. Each piece felt personal, and I signed each one.”

Batchelder said that she loves the creative process and gets excited about her finished work. “It’s always new, and always holds mystery. I get into the zone, and that is a fabulous place, for an athlete or for an artist,” she said.

“Artists live a rich life. This is in our work, or way of seeing, our friendships, our independence, and our moments with our art. Artists are called to art,” Batchelder said. “When you talk to us, see us at work, you get to see that we are very serious about our art, and very real people, digging deep.”

Also part of the studio tour, downtown, just off the canyon on Ocean Avenue, Artist Open Studio participants will discover painter Cliff Wassmann, and his works.

For a list of participating artists, and details about the drawing for two free Pageant of the Masters tickets, please visit the Cultural Arts Department page at or call (949) 497-0722. For more information about the 2015 Pageant of the Masters, themed “The Pursuit of Happiness,” visit

Participating Artists: Linda Ames, Ebrahim Amin, Olivia Batchelder, Elizabeth Bridy, Cynthia Britain, Elaine Cohen, Lydia Delgado, Micha von Doring, Phil Eaton, Lani Emanuel, Michael Ervin, Paul Gardner, Lorenzo George, Sandy Groves, Gina Mead Howie, Veronica Khristov, Louis Longi, Fitz Maurice, Patrice Miller, Deborah Paswaters, John Repka, Sheryl Seltzer, Michael Situ, Judi Smolin, Maggie Spencer, Tom Swimm, Cheyne Walls, Cliff Wassmann, Deborah Weinstein, Susan Wills, and Tracy Young.

Tunnel; Vision; Quest.

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Bruce McDermott

El Moro Beach

Five-time Grammy nominee, Jazz vocalist and arranger Tierney Sutton highlights Saddleback’s Jazz Day Feb 7

Saddleback’s Jazz Day on Feb. 7 offers performances by the aspiring and the inspiring, a day-long event leading up to a must-hear appearance by the Saddleback Big Band and Grammy nominee jazz singer Tierney Sutton on the McKinney stage at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 general; $7 students/seniors. Call the ticket office at 949-582-4656 (noon - 4, Tues - Sat) or order your tickets online at

A five-time Grammy Nominee for Best Jazz Vocal Album as well as for arranging, Tierney Sutton was Jazzweek “Vocalist of the Year in 2005.” 

She grew up in Milwaukee and attended Boston University and Wesleyan, where she gained a degree in Russian language and literature. At Wesleyan, Sutton became involved in singing jazz, and after graduating she went to Berklee for a few semesters, studying under Jerry Bergonzi. 

The Tierney Sutton Band

In 1994 she moved to Los Angeles and has since become a fixture in the area’s jazz scene. For the past 20 years, Sutton has fronted the Tierney Sutton Band featuring pianist Christian Jacob, bassists Trey Henry and Kevin Axt, and drummer Ray Brinker. The band is an incorporated unit and makes all musical as well business decisions together. They tour throughout the world and have headlined in recent years at Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. For 11 years, Sutton taught in the Jazz Studies Department at the University of Southern California. In 2008, she became the Vocal Department Chair at Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, California. 

Her 2001 release, Blue in Green, was a tribute to pianist Bill Evans that offered several songs that he had either recorded or collaborated on. Another record of standards, Something Cool, followed in 2002 and offered several different genres including country and show tunes. She followed up with three more fine records for Telarc, 2004’s Dancing in the Dark, 2005’s I’m with the Band, and 2007’s On the Other Side. Both I’m with the Band and On the Other Side received Grammy nominations and helped raise Sutton’s profile nationally. In 2009, Sutton -- a practicing believer in the Baha’i faith -- returned with Desire. Although the album includes Sutton’s interpretations of jazz standards, it also features several recited passages from The Hidden Words of Bah’u’llah, a sacred Baha’i text.

Saddleback College is located at 28000 Marguerite Pkwy in Mission Viejo, just east of Interstate 5 at the Avery Parkway exit. Complimentary parking is available in Lot 12 with overflow parking in Lot 10. Take Avery Parkway to Marguerite Parkway turn left to the third traffic light, which is Saddleback’s Marguerite entrance. Turn right into the campus and take the second left to “Theatre Circle,” turning right into Lot 12.

Laguna Beach Library’s February events

Laguna Beach Library will host a host of fun events throughout February. All programs are free, graciously funded by Friends of The Laguna Beach Library. Laguna Beach Library’s February Events:

Tuesday, Feb. 3, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Pajama Storytime to Sunshine Readers. Please come wear pajamas and slippers and enjoy the Sunshine Readers as they whisk the whole family off to dreamland. The National Charity League, Laguna Chapter generously provides this program.

Wednesdays, Feb. 4, 11, and 25, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., Early Literacy Children’s Storytime. This program is designed for toddlers and preschoolers with adult participation. Our Early Literacy Storytime models the five skills that are crucial for every child to become ready to read when they enter Kindergarten: Talking, Singing, Reading, Writing, and Playing. We include s to ries, fingerplays, songs, movement, and playful activities. Free. No preregistration required.  

Wednesdays, Feb. 4 and 18, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Transcendental Meditation Group. Practice and learn meditation with the local TM group. Reduce stress and anxiety, learn how to relax and enjoy a more balanced life. Meets in the community room. For additional information, contact Louise Allison at 375-5770.

Thursdays, Feb. 5, 19, and 26, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., Peapod Academy Children’s Storytime. The Peapod Academy has space for a few new cadets. Join some of the cutest babies in town and the adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy songs, finger plays, board books, and other cadets. Get to know others and help your baby learn pre to reading skills. Free. No registration required.  

Thursdays, Feb. 5, 19 and 26, 4:30 to 5:45 p.m., Persian Language Tutoring. Free Persian language tutoring for youth ages 5 to 8. Meets in the Community Room. For more information contact the library or inquire at the Information Desk.  

Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Valentine’s Day Storytime and Craft Event. Partnering with the Laguna Beach Parents’ Club, we’ll meet at the Library for a Valentine’s Day Storytime and Craft Event. We’ll make several crafts to take home, and share stories along with refreshments. For toddlers and preschoolers with adult participation. Preregistration required, so please sign up at the Children’s Information Desk or inquire at the library.

Saturdays, Feb. 7 and 21, 2 to 4 p.m., Poetry Workshop. Participants should bring 10 copies of a poem they wish to have read and work to shopped. Each poem will be read by the poet and perhaps by another reader. Participants then respond with emphasis on positive comments and constructive suggestions. Recommended for advanced poets to this is not a workshop for beginners. Meets in the Community Room. Contact John Gardiner at 715-7507 for more information.

Monday, Feb. 9, and 23, 6 to 7:30 p.m., Toastmasters Open House Meeting. Come learn about the benefits of being a member of toastmasters and how you can enhance your public speaking and leadership skills. Meets in the Community Room. For more information contact the library or inquire at the Information Desk.


Tuesday, Feb. 10, 3:15 p.m., Kid’s Art and Book Group. A hands-on workshop taught by professional artists from Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA). Books and art go together. Readers in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade choose a book from our monthly themed selections to read. We’ll meet at the library to create a masterpiece based on the books for the month. February’s theme is “Trees.” Advanced signup will be required. Class is limited to 18 participants in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade LB schools or homeschooled. Children attend on their own without an adult. Gather at the library at 3 pm. Class starts promptly at 3:15 pm.

Tuesday, Feb. 10, 10:30 a.m., Laguna Beach Library Book Group. We will be meeting to discuss the book, “Olive Kitterage.” Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, Elizabeth’s Strout’s novel, “Olive Kitterage” is filled with grand human drama to desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. “We’re always alone. Born alone. Die alone,” says “Olive Kitteridge,” redoubtable seventh to grade math teacher in Crosby, Maine (Library Journal). For details, please inquire at the Information Desk.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 6 p.m., World of Wolves. Wolves! Not what the movies and folklore want you to believe. Presented by Skie Bender of Wolf Haven International. Enjoy a fun family friendly presentation about wolf behavior, communication, family structure, the differences and similarities of wolves and dogs, and the importance of wolves in an ecosystem. See video footage of both wild wolves and Wolf Haven’s wolves, plus hands to on displays of wild animal skulls, antlers, and tracks. This is a family friendly program for children 5 to 12 years old with adult participation. No preregistration required.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 6 p.m., Men and Women Lecture and Discussion. Meet to discuss and learn about how men and women communicate differently. Jean to Pierre Ruiz moderates this event. Meets in the community room.

Saturdays, Feb. 14, 21 and 28, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Children’s Craft Open House. Get creative. Let your imagination run wild. Children 12 to years and under are encouraged to come to the library Saturdays, during the hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal projects. Adult supervision is recommended. 

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 3:30 p.m., B.A.R.K. Read to a Dog Program. Do your kids love to read aloud, or just need to practice their reading skills? Come meet Venus and her owner, Theresa, from Beach Animals Read to Kids (B.A.R.K.). Children can read to a certified therapy dog, eager to listen and love. Aaarf. Sign up at the Children’s Desk. Drop to ins welcome too.

Saturday, Feb. 28, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Time Management Workshop “Making Time.” Join Thilde Peterson from Whole Self Living for a free workshop. Learn about time and productivity management. Preregister by phone or at the Adult Information Desk. Meets in the Community Room.

Laguna Beach Library regular hours are Monday to Wednesday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays and holidays, Thursday, Feb. 12 Lincoln’s Birthday and Monday, Feb. 16, Presidents Day. 

Laguna Beach Library is at 363 Glenneyre St. For information, call 497-1733. 

CUBA: Explore Cuban culture through 11 artists and benefit Friendship Shelter at saltfineart on Feb 26 

saltfineart, Laguna Beach, will present 11 contemporary artists on Thursday, Feb 26 from 6-8 p.m. that will explore Cuban culture and benefit Friendship Shelter of Laguna Beach. .

Carla Arzente is the founder of saltfineart, a contemporary gallery dedicated to Latin American art and culture. Over the past four years, Arzente has formed relationships with the prolific and well-established Latin artists as well as emerging talent from over 21 countries, curating exhibitions that approach art from a regional and cultural perspective.

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Submitted photo

Giancarlos Pruna Milanes

Arzente has traveled to Havana on numerous occasions to meet with artists living and working there. Her aim is to present Cuban art that conveys an accurate feeling to the lives of the average citizen. She will speak about these artists, their lives and the work they fearlessly put out into the world.

Enjoy delicious tapas and handcrafted mojitos during the exclusive visual presentation by Arzente. 

Tickets are $80 per person. To purchase tickets, please visit:

Mabel Polet

Among the artists she will present, ranging from emerging to world famous, are Esterio Segura, Aimme Garcia, Roberto Diago, William Perez, Abel Barroso, Alejandro Campins, Ernesto Javier Fernandez, Jorge Lopez Pardo, Marlys Fuego, Os Ortega and Mabel Poblet. 

In addition to the lecture and slide presentation, there will be a special exhibition of Cuban artists including many of the works mentioned in the presentation. For more information, visit

Citizen Academy Class 21 now accepting applications

The Laguna Beach Police Department is accepting applications for the Citizen Academy. The academy starts Thursday Feb. 26 and will meet from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for twelve consecutive weeks (the thirteenth week is graduation). 

Applications will be accepted until Feb. 20, 2015. 

The Citizen Academy is a twelve-week non-stress course designed to provide community members with a better understanding of the Laguna Beach Police Department and to help foster better communications between police personnel and citizens. The Academy will include instruction in the following areas: History of the Laguna Beach Police Department, investigations, traffic enforcement, accident investigation, driving under the influence investigation, gangs, narcotics, neighborhood watch, crime prevention, crime scene investigation, police K-9 program and volunteer programs. There will also be a tour of the police facility as well as vehicles and equipment used by the department. Academy members will be given the chance to shoot at the police firing range and participate in mock scenarios. There is also a tour of the Orange County Jail. 

To obtain an application and announcement for the Citizen Academy, contact the Laguna Beach Police Department at 497-0701. For questions regarding this program, contact Class Assistant Ross Fallah at mailto: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Corporal Matt Meadows at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 497-0758. 

Applications are mailed, faxed or emailed to you upon request.


A note from Stu News staff writer Alli Martin, graduate of Class 20: If you’re thinking about taking this course, don’t think too hard – just apply! It’s an amazing class led by amazing people and includes amazing food almost every week. I learned so much from being a part of the Citizen Academy, and I know that you will too.

A Mars Landscape?

Naw, it’s Crescent Bay!

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Photos by Robb Mitchell

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Where’s Maggi - Answers

The wheres and whats

Maggi thinks these were easy – except one. Did you guess it? 

These are the “where – is – its” and “what – is – its” from Tuesday’s photo challenge.

Thanks for having fun. Tune in again next week, and beat Maggi at her own game.

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Horse sculpture at the Montage, facing Treasure Island Park 


Left – Stone bench on Temple Terrace

Center – Mailbox, on Glenneyre between Ruby and Moss

Right – In the sculpture garden, the knoll, at LCAD

Thanks for playing!

Remember, the correct answers and the slideshow are also on our Facebook page.


Free belly dancing class preview Thursday, Feb 12 at Susi Q

Jheri St. James, award-winning local dancer and instructor, will host a free preview belly dancing class from 7:30 – 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12, in Studio 2 at the Susi Q. Community Center, 380 Third Street, Laguna Beach CA 92651

JJ & the Habibis Laguna Beach Belly Dancers

The evening will include live performances, refreshments, and class time activities in the beautiful art of belly dancing, the oldest dance on planet earth, dating back to 20,000 B.C. in cave paintings depicting ancient goddess worship ceremonies.  

Treat yourself and all your family members to this opportunity to study this sparkling, fun dance form.  Learn about finger cymbals, veil dancing, ethnic cane dance, sword dancing, and as your skills increase, become part of the very active performance group: JJ & the Habibis Laguna Beach Belly Dancers!  

More information is available at, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or (949) 494-5031. Free parking is available in the downstairs garage at the Susi Q.

Dennis’ Tidbits



January 30, 2015

Breaking the California drought…one step forward, two steps back… 

After a most promising start to our 2014-15 rainy season during the last month of autumn, the faucet has completely shut off with the exception of the far southern reaches of the state; a total reversal of what normally takes place this time of year. 

Thanks to three subtropical lows that drifted north from Northern Mexico, places from Santa Barbara including the showers we are presently getting, plus the 1-2 inch totals from the last two lows, we’re not doing too bad down here with season totals only running about a half inch to an inch below seasonal norms, but in places like San Francisco, it’s seen a complete turnaround from the second wettest December on record there with 11.7 inches, eclipsed only by the 12.65 inches up there in December, 1955 from an atmospheric river.

With only two days remaining here in January, and no measurable precipitation forecast for at least another week in the Bay area, it will be the first time since 1850 when records started that not a drop of rain has fallen. The previous dry January record was set just two years ago up there with 0.06 and the previous dry January record was 0.21 inches in 1961. Normal January rainfall in San Francisco is 4.22 inches. 

As aforementioned, our state needs to receive back to back seasons with at least double normal rainfall just to break even, and I don’t think that’s gonna happen. That’s a tall order at this point.

Here in Laguna, we’re coming off one of our warmest Januarys on record. The rain we have been able to collect has been warm with temps still reaching the low 70’s even with the rain. It’s a wonder we’ve had any rain this month as the Pacific storm track is completely blocked by that strong elongated high pressure ridge that extends from Southern California all the way up to British Columbia. Even places like Seattle and Portland are closing this month with the third driest January on record. If it hadn’t been for these three lows sneaking in from the south, we’d be high and dry too, just like up the road!

With this persistent ridge, winter swells have been few and far between because the North pacific jet is once again doing its wiggle and wobble thing. There hasn’t been an active winter swell season for five consecutive seasons. The winter of 2009-10 was the last time we had an epic winter. According to my weather and surf records that go back to 1958, it’s the longest winter swell drought on record.

The winter of 1969-70 saw below normal rain for the first time in five years with only about 9 inches compared to a previous four year average of 23.5.

The surf that winter was a different story altogether with lots of big swell action from November through March but the capper was the huge swell from December 8-10, 1969 when the whole coast went ballistic with triple plus overhead surf at places like Rincon and Blacks. Up north, Mavericks wouldn’t be on the map for another six years by local Jeff Clarke but I’d be willing to wager it was 60-70 feet at least. Down south, Todos Santos wasn’t really relevant yet, but I’ll betcha it was at least 50 foot plus at outside Killers. 

There was a mild Santana going on at the same time so conditions were epic. This was the very same swell that gave Hawaii their biggest swell ever only four days prior to its arrival here in California. On the morning of Saturday, December 8, 1969, Tidbits was surfing playful 3-5 foot Rincon around 9:30. By noon it was a consistent 6-8 foot plus as every set was getting bigger and by sunset the waves were off the Richter at 12-15 plus capping way outside Indicators! Then in January and February of 1970 a series of strong 8-10 foot swells kept the surf way up for weeks on end with generally good surface conditions. 

I spent more time at the Queen than at college that season. I just had to. I got my PHD anyway; yea, Piled High and Deep! 

See y’all next Tuesday…Patriots by two touchdowns, ALOHA!

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