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Dennis’ Tidbits



December 16, 2014

Rain and some old yarns about surfing hereabouts

Rainfall totals for December 2014 are already approaching the month’s norms with more water on the way. Last Friday’s rain event was a wild one in some spots with convective activity hammering some places. 

Did anybody see the footage of the EF-1 tornado that touched down briefly near Vernon, a small industrial area just southeast of LA Downtown? The very rare twister did no damage to any homes, thank goodness, as the area is all industrial structures, but the funnel tore up several roofs with its 95 mph winds. 

Several towns collected loads of hail that reached one inch in diameter. Funny thing is, while all of this madness was taking place here in Southern Cal, the sun was shining with record warm temps up in the land of suicide weather, the Pacific Northwest, where duck hunting, Skoal sucking rednecks that hate us Californians, look like Larry The Cable Guy on the loose. 

It’s California’s turn to get a bunch of rain, finally! Realistically, we need at least a couple dozen more of these drenchers just to break even, but at least Ma Nature is beginning to put a sizeable dent in this severe statewide drought. Just keep ‘em coming!

On this date in 1962, one of the biggest winter swells in memory hit the California Coast. It was the biggest North Pacific swell since January 10, 1953 when the Queen of the coast, (Rincon) had sets up to 20 feet! Imagine surfing triple overhead Rincon with less than a dozen guys out, lead by a young Reynolds Yater and the late Bob Simmons, who drowned off Tijuana Sloughs later that year. 

Both were pioneers in the surfboard industry. 

There weren’t that many surfers back in 1953; maybe 200 at the most; the explosion in the surfer population didn’t start until the late 50’s. By 1960 there was upwards of 50,000 surfers. Five years later, that figure more than tripled, thanks in large part by the birth of Surfer Magazine started by John Severson in 1960. The new publication opened up all kinds of doors. Surfer Mag is still in full swing 54 years later along with its partner Surfer Journal

Tidbits began surfing in 1960 at Doheny back when it was pristine before the powers that be messed it up and put in a harbor in 1970.

Doheny was such a neat place to surf and hang out and talk story with a host of famous surfers who frequented the place including the likes of Phil Edwards, considered the best surfer on the coast back in 1960. Hobie Alter, Doheny lifeguard Bob Moore, Bobby Patterson, a young Billy Hamilton (Laird’s stepdad), a young Corky Carroll, the list goes on. It was like going to the country back then. Dana Point was just a small one lane each way on PCH; a fishing town.

Before they put the harbor in, there were seven spots along the two mile stretch bordering the Point at Dana Point on the north and the mouth of San Juan Creek to the south. With no jetties, Doheny broke on any direction swell and its long tapering waves offered rides of 200 yards or more. The Point at Dana Point was a famous big wave spot during summertime big south swells. 

The spot gained the nickname “Killer Dana”. Now it’s called Killed Dana. Sad. 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Clouding Up and Raining All Over Us

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Lynn Whitlock

Reader Lynn Whitlock snapped this from her home on Temple Hills Drive Friday morning. That’s the definition of an ‘ominous cloud’ if ever there was one! Thanks Lynn, and we’re sure all of us who never got back to sleep can now see why…

Mary Spease

This is about the most water we heard of in one place from the Friday downpour.

Keep your umbrella handy!

It looks as if we’ll have more this morning and into Wednesday with the amount intensifying overnight. The weather service says a second storm will follow on the heels of the Tuesday rain throughout the day Wednesday. 

Daytime temps are expected to be in the low 60s.

Christmas Eve musical celebration at the Neighborhood Congregational Church for reflection, song and poetry

Neighborhood Congregational Church’s Christmas Eve Celebration at 7 p.m. will feature guest artists Jason Feddy, John Gardiner and Carrie Pohlhammer as they assist the Rev. B. J. Beu and church musicians in presenting “Let Yearning Be Our Journey,” a non-traditional festival of lessons and carols. 

John Gardiner (left) and Jason Feddy

Neighborhood Church welcomes the entire community to join them on Dec. 24, at 7 p.m. for a program of music, poetry, candlelight and carols. Jason will bring original as well as familiar tunes, and John and Carrie will bring scripture, drama, and poetry to the evening. Special guest Nick “I” Hernandez will join with NCC musicians, including pianist Pam Wicks, vocalists Mary Scifres, Katie & Emily Baker, and the NCC Bell Choir led by Jennifer Baker, to bring the Christmas story to life. 

Christmas Eve worshippers have also come to expect a “surprise” visit from local violinist Doug Miller, and NCC anticipates Doug’s arrival on Christmas Eve again this year. Traditional Christmas carols, along with candlelight and “Silent Night,” will round off this special service. 

All are welcome to be a part of this free celebration of worship, song, and creativity at Neighborhood Congregational Church on Dec. 24 at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, one block east of Coast Highway. Free parking is available in the church parking lot across from Ralphs on Glenneyre & Cleo. 

Neighborhood Church is an open and inclusive community of faith, proudly celebrating diversity in a myriad of ways in all of its ministries and events. Please visit or call 494-8061 for more information. 

Christmas Eve at LBUMC with operatic tenor Foltz

Operatic tenor Peter Nathan Foltz will perform a solo during the 7:30 p.m. Christmas Eve service at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Drive.

Foltz, a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music and Northwestern University School of Music, was a resident artist with the Los Angeles Opera and the Pittsburgh Opera Center in Pennsylvania. He has appeared at Glimmerglass Opera in New York and Deutches Symphonie-Orchestra in in Dortmund, Germany. 

LBUMC’s Chancel Choir will be accompanied by trumpet, flute, violin, percussion, piano and organ at the 7:30 p.m. service of carols and candles. Tenor Neal Paton, a member of the choir, also will solo, and the handbell choir will add to the musical service.

At 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, a Communion Service will be offered. This meditative time will feature LBUMC’s contemporary singing group Joyful Noise. Flickering candles and traditional carols will add to the quiet solemnity of the hour before Christmas joyfully arrives.

On the last Sunday of Advent, Dec. 21, LBUMC’s pastor Rev. Mandy Flemming’s sermon at 10 a.m., will focus on Mary, Jesus’ mother. Christmas music will be presented as well. Later that day, at 5 p.m., “The Longest Night” service will provide hope and healing for those in need. 

For additional information, contact the church at 499-3088 or go to its web page:

California Cool; LAM’s Art Auction 2015 set for Feb 7

Laguna Art Museum’s Art Auction 2015 will take place on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Art Auction 2015 will feature museum-curated works of art by over 100 of California’s most coveted artists, and delicious cuisine and creative cocktails from the finest local restaurants. Proceeds benefit Laguna Art Museum’s dynamic education and exhibition programs.

Auction co-chairs are Sara Heeschen and Deborah Lake. Committee members are Tina Cook, Jeannie Denholm, Vanessa Helin, Liz Kramer and Karen Morally.

Tickets are $125-$150. For tickets and more information, call 494-8971, ext. 219, or visit


Otho (Sonny) Mansfield Budd

September 12, 1923 – December 8, 2014


Otho (Sonny) Mansfield Budd was born on Sept. 12, 1923 and crossed over the rainbow bridge peacefully on Dec. 8, 2014.  At his side were June, his beloved wife of 55 years, Kathleen, his only daughter, and Stephen, his only son. He is also survived by his grand children: Chloe, Aria, Quinn, Eric, Dallen and Danielle.

He was 91.

Sonny was born in San Antonio, Texas and lived in the Philippines, Japan and China during his father’s time in the Army. From age seven, he lived in Mery-sur-Oise near Paris until he was 15, when he moved back to the States. In 1939, he settled in Laguna Beach where in 1942, he graduated from Laguna Beach High School. 

After high school, Sonny served four years in the Navy during WWII. While in the Navy, he worked on the V12 project at Cal Tech. He then went on to graduate form Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1948 with a BS in Electrical Engineering.

Though Sonny had a long and distinguished career as an Electrical Engineer, eventually founding the successful Budd’s Quality Electric in town, his deepest passions were in acting and singing. Sonny had an amazing tenor voice and could sing, act and story tell with the best of them. 

He put these gifts to good use at the Laguna Playhouse, where he performed in countless plays and musicals over a period spanning more than 50 years.  In 1961 he received an award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in a single act play in the Orange County Pepsi Cola Theater Competition. As recognition for Sonny’s outstanding contributions to the Playhouse, he was made an Honorary Life Member.

During his 65 years in Laguna Beach, he also was very involved in the community. Sonny donated his time and talents to the Festival of Arts as the Master Electrician for the Pageant of the Masters, served as President of the Laguna Beach Exchange Club, played Santa Claus during the Hospitality Nights in downtown Laguna and, for a 10 year period, was the Master of Ceremony for the Patriots Day Parade. He also served as President of the Senior Little League during Stephen’s baseball days and performed in multiple ballets for Ballet Pacifica where Kathleen performed as a dancer. 

Sonny was also very involved in the Neighborhood Congregational Church, where he and June were married on May 30, 1959. He was a member of the choir and a featured soloist for over 40 years, served as a church Moderator, and for many years, was in charge of all the sound equipment for services and performances at NCC.

Sonny will be remembered as a devoted husband, engaged and loving father and grandfather, committed community member, gifted artist, and as a man that would do anything for a friend or neighbor.  With a selfless attitude, a quick wit, and a joke to tell or a song to sing at a moments notice, Sonny always added laughter, joy, and a smile to the lives of everyone fortunate enough to spend time with him. 

Sonny was truly a unique and special human being and will be missed by all.

Sonny’s memorial service will be held at the Neighborhood Congregational Church at 340 St. Ann’s Dr. in Laguna Beach on Sat. Dec. 20 at 2 p.m.

Police Files

Speeding drunk driver evades cops – for a few minutes

A Nissan Pathfinder got the attention of a Laguna patrol officer a minute before three a.m. Sunday when the SUV drifted across the centerline in the 100 block of S. Coast Hwy from northbound to the officer’s southbound lane.

The officer pulled a quick U-turn and took off after the Nissan. Instead of pulling over for the red lights and siren, Captain Jason Kravetz said the driver.”…sped up and continued northbound at a high rate of speed.”

The Nissan continued reaching speeds of nearly 100 mph into Corona del Mar all the while straddling and crossing lanes into oncoming traffic and blowing through a few red lights for good measure, police said.

The Laguna officer pulled back and stopped chasing the SUV in CdM at East Coast Hwy and Bayside Drive.

Newport cops located the Nissan at 3:10 a.m. – unoccupied with extensive frontend dame and airbags deployed – all the way up to Superior Avenue and Nice Lane according to Captain Kravetz. Quite a distance in 10 minutes.

“No damaged vehicles or structures were found by Newport officers.” 

Newport officers and the OC Sheriff’s copter searched for the driver and located him walking near an apartment complex on Ticonderoga. They detained the suspect until Laguna cops arrived and placed Anthony Michael Mikusi, 28, of Huntington Beach into custody and transported him to the city jail.

His SUV was towed to the LBPD for evidence.

Mikusi was booked on charges of felony evading, reckless driving and DUI.

“We still have no idea what he hit…” said Captain Kravetz.

Unanticipated Benefit of Baking Cookies

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Agnieszka Stuchlik

Our good friend Aga always seems to find the best when she’s not expecting it. Over the weekend, a friend invited her for a visit to her Arch Beach Heights home to bake cookies. The photo above was what greeted Aga and she made sure she captured it. “I hope you like it,” she wrote. We do, Aga, we do! She also included a shot of the baking: “I’m sending the one of the cookies as a Merry Christmas to everyone and good cheer for the holidays!” We’re all in good cheer, to be sure, whenever Aga sends us a new photo or two. She’ll be in Canada for the holidays and promises to send us “…some cool pictures of the Aurora Borealis and snow!”

Click on photo for a larger image

The Woman’s Club of LB is collecting toiletries and linens for the women residents of Human Options and Friendship Shelter

Tomorrow, Wednesday Dec 17 from 9 to 11 a.m., The Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach is collecting toiletries and linens for the women residents at the Human Options Shelter and the Friendship Shelter to hopefully brighten their holidays.

Unused toiletries in any size (shampoo, soaps, makeup, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.) or unused or gently used linens (towels, sheets, etc.) can be dropped off at the Club or call 949-887-3247 for a pickup today. (286 St. Ann’s Drive.) 

There are currently 27 female residents plus 27 children in the shelters so new toys would also be welcomed.

Laguna lingerie shop Romantic Boutique hosts a holiday party

This Wednesday, Dec. 17, local lingerie designer and shop owner Shereen Loth will host regular and new clientele at her storefront, Romantic Boutique, 1857 S. Coast Highway (across from Sweetwater Carwash) from until 7 p.m. All residents and visitors to Laguna Beach are invited for cocktails, wine tastings, nibbles, giveaways and general frivolity. Special giveaways are reserved for those wearing “Sexy Santa” attire to the event! Local contributors include PRP Wine International, Rich Low Hair, Mary Kay Cosmetics, RWorld Jewelry, and See Jayne Events.

Romantic Boutique by Delicate Illusions specializes in lingerie, rave-ware, bikini’s, sexy costumes, stilletos, and so much more! Some of their best selling brands are Delicate Illusions, J. Valentine, Lelo, Shirley of Hollywood, Ellie Shoes and California Exotics. Established in 1987, Delicate Illusions started as a manufacturer of lingerie and sleepwear and discovered success with a niche market for exotic dancewear and clubwear for plus-size women. In 1997, a boutique called Lingerie and More was opened in Mission Viejo. In 2006, both the boutique and the manufacturing plant were moved to Laguna Beach on South Coast Highway.

Shereen, a resident of Laguna Beach, has been a fashion designer since the age of 14, starting her career by making prom dresses for all of her classmates. She graduated Brooks College in 1987 at which time, Delicate Illusions manufacturing was launched. In 1997, her first lingerie store was opened. 

For the past 17 years, she has had vast experience with all of the sexy lingerie and toy manufacturers available. She is an expert in fit for all brands, and also performs perfect alterations while you wait so that everyone leaves far above-satisfied!

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