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Laguna Beach

Gift the music lover on your list with a Winter Season of Live Jazz (and be entered to win a Summer Season, too!)

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Photo: [seven-degrees]


Trumpeter Bijon Watson and Latin Jazz Syndicate at [seven-degrees] in 2014

Why settle for giving an average, ordinary gift this holiday season when you can gift an entire season of Laguna Beach Live! world-class jazz for just $105?

Laguna Beach Live!the non-profit entity dedicated to bringing globally renowned jazz, blues and classical music to Laguna Beach at an affordable price – is once again offering a lively (and very warming) Winter Jazz Season beginning Jan. 21. The annual sell-out shows take place in the gorgeous [seven-degrees] event center, whose acoustics and staging serve as perfect partner to the phenomenal incoming talent. 

Winter Jazz Season Tickets for the 7-concert event series are just $105, with single tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door. 

As a special holiday offer, for every Winter Jazz Season Ticket you purchase before Dec. 21, you are also entered in a raffle to win two tickets to the entire 2015 Summer Season of Jazz at The Ranch. 

Last year, when Laguna Beach Live’s celebrated live jazz season outgrew its venue, it moved to the spectacular patio above the Ben Brown Golf Course at The Ranch, with sell-out crowds of 300 and more at each event. Clearly, where LagunaBeachLive! goes, rabid fans follow.

Purchase the Winter Jazz Season Ticket (just $105 per person) at by Dec. 21 to qualify for the Summer Season raffle. Seating is preassigned according to date of purchase and group size, with season ticket holders considered “V.I.P.”     

Then, beginning Wednesday, Jan. 21, and every other week thereafter, enjoy the world-class talents of Trumpeter Bijon Watson, Brazilian Guitarist phenom Teka, award-winning jazz singer Sara Gazarek, and the very popular Tony Guerrero and his Jet Set Quintet. 

Add to that acclaimed trumpeter Gabriel Johnson, Grammy award-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe and the industry’s go-to saxophonist Rickey Woodard with Frank Potenza as part of the exciting Winter Jazz Season lineup. 

(See more details on each of the upcoming acts at )

Winter Jazz Season concerts are 6 – 8 p.m. Handcrafted cocktails, beers, wines, and an innovative dinner menu are available at each concert for purchase. 

Be a part of the growing community of live jazz enthusiasts this coming January. The Laguna Beach Live! Winter Jazz Season is a quintessential, affordable and thoughtful gift for every music lover in your life (including you).

Crystal Cove Alliance tree lighting and Deck the Cove will celebrate the holiday season this Saturday


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Photo by J. Christopher Launi

Crystal Cove Alliance (CCA), official nonprofit partner of Crystal Cove State Park, will celebrate the holiday season with “Deck the Cove,” a complimentary family event on Saturday, Dec. 6, taking place on the sand at the Crystal Cove Historic District. Santa Claus is scheduled to make a special beachfront appearance.

The main event is the 18th annual tree-lighting ceremony, a tradition that has grown in size and scope each year. This year also features a holiday bazaar with plenty of local artisan gift opportunities. Deck the Cove will pay homage to Crystal Cove’s rich history with retro holiday décor and a unique spin on a fun family tradition.

At sunset, the Cove’s picturesque beach will be illuminated by twinkling lights and decorative ornaments on a statuesque evergreen tree. Décor will reflect the vintage character of the historic district’s time period between 1935 and 1955. In addition to the tree lighting, the historic district’s seaside cottages will be transformed into a seasonal display of holiday lights, vintage decorations, and giant candy canes.

“We look forward to this tradition every year because it awakens the magical history and old-fashioned holiday spirit of Crystal Cove,” says Laura Davick, CCA founder and director of external affairs. “We hope Orange County families will bundle up to join our festivities and become a part of the most unique tree display in Southern California. This is an extra special time for children to get a few private beachside words with Santa about their holiday wishes. There is no better way to kick-off the holiday season with family and friends.”

Deck the Cove festivities will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Throughout the day, the holiday bazaar will have hand-crafted holiday gifts for sale and the fine art show and sale will feature recognized California Plein Air Artists with paintings featuring Crystal Cove. The bazaar also will include a complimentary lesson on wire-wrapping sea glass found at Crystal Cove, allowing participants to turn sea glass into one-of-a-kind jewelry or beautiful holiday ornaments to take home.

The tree-lighting ceremony will feature strolling carolers and Santa Claus’ arrival at 4 p.m. The Beachcomber Café will provide hot cocoa, apple cider, and homemade cookies while guests search for a prime spot on the sand to prepare for Santa Claus’ arrival.

This holiday celebration has become part of the Cove’s colorful history. The coastal tree, located next to The Beachcomber Café, will remain lit and decorated throughout the holiday season. As the only holiday tree display on the beach along the California coast, it is the perfect place for family holiday photos.

Proceeds from sales throughout the entire holiday season will benefit restoration, conservation, and education efforts for Crystal Cove State Park and the Historic District. Parking is $5 per hour or $15 for the day and is located at Los Trancos parking lot on the inland side of Pacific Coast Highway. Shuttle service is $1 each way. Carpooling is encouraged. For information, visit or email info@

American Legion Auxiliary starts off the season of giving


The Laguna Beach American Legion Auxiliary started the season of giving right before Thanksgiving with a donation for Holiday meals for both Thanksgiving and Christmas for military families at Camp Pendleton. 

That was soon followed by the American Legion Post 222 members donating money to purchase a trunk load of toys for the children of the veterans at the Long Beach Veteran Medical Center.  That event is called “Operation Santa”; it ensures a wonderful Christmas for them.

(L-R) Jean Law, Cynthia Martinez, Diane Connell, Beth Johnsen and Sandi Werthe

Their next event of “Giving” was to partner with a non-profit organization called “Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise”.  This year Legion Auxiliary members along with the children at the Laguna Beach Top of the World Elementary School and The Prentice School in North Tustin signed more than 200 Christmas cards and letters thanking them for their sacrifices and for keeping us safe at home. 

They then proceeded to stuff 3,000 Christmas stockings filled with goodies for our troops overseas. 

Donations for our troops, their families and our Youth programs are always welcomed and can be sent to: American Legion Auxiliary Unit 222, P.O. Box 517, Laguna Beach CA 92652. 

Police Files

Wonder if this Thanksgiving duck ever was cooked?

A caller on Blumont Street called police last Sunday at 1:17 p.m. asking them to check out a man leaning against a car in her driveway. She explained to the dispatcher that she thought the man was intoxicated.

Captain Jason Kravetz said officers saw the man answering the caller’s description as they headed toward the caller’s driveway.

Kravetz said in an email, “They saw the man stumbling down Park Avenue with a paper bag containing a frozen duck (wrapped – it came from a market).”

Bernd Heinrich Stramm, 55, Ontario, Canada, was taken to the city jail after he was arrested for being drunk in public until he was deemed to be sober.

There was no indication about the status of the frozen duck.


You better watch out on Nyes Place, you’re likely to pout

In this case, you needn’t worry about upsetting Santa – it’s the cops who will be looking for you to do something bad.

Residents on Nyes Place have been coming to City Council meetings recently complaining about people speeding down the hill where the steep grade makes it difficult to stop when necessary.

LBPD is asking for the public’s cooperation in reducing speeds along Nyes Place.

And, their traffic officers will be increasing enforcement along the roadway.

Slow down or you might find the cost of a ticket will cut into your holiday shopping budget this year!


Cleo St Beach sewer lift station vandalized Monday

Police said a man, described only as being homeless, vandalized the sewer lift station at Cleo Street Beach Monday morning. Numerous callers beginning just before nine o’clock said the man had uprooted plants, broke off sprinkler heads, roof tiles and yanked off loose concrete before writing graffiti on the walls.

“The man was upset over a recent breakup and took it out on the sewer lift station,” Captain Jason Kravetz related, adding, “I do not have an estimate of the damage at this point…”

Kravetz said the suspect, well known to police, was not immediately arrested. “We will act further based upon whether or not the damages rise to a felony amount.”

Odyssey Imports will host a Small Business Saturday event

Look for the Shop Small decals in Laguna’s store windows!

The first-ever Small Business Saturday was held just four years ago. It encouraged people across the country to shop at small, local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and started a holiday shopping tradition. 

This single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. This year, the big day is Nov 29. 

As this is movement is organized by American Express, by registering their American Express Card, members get a $10 statement credit, after they spend $10 or more in a single, in-store transaction. Card Members can take advantage of this offer up to three times, for a total of up to $30 in statement credits.

Businesses all over town will participate tomorrow. $100 spent in town will see $68 returned to the community. 

More info at

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Submitted photo

Mosaic lamps from Odyssey Imports

You can also “Shop Small” with Odyssey Imports Laguna Beachfrom 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy the holiday cheer with festive music, complimentary gift-wrapping and a Free Gift with purchase! Discover their exquisite selections of authentic artisan jewelry, ceramics, blown-glass, ornaments and other gifts imported from the Mediterranean. 

Odyssey Imports: 490 S Coast Hwy #8 (inside the Panno Plaza).

Montage Holiday Tree Lighting and Open House on Dec 1

Photo by Scott Brashier


This beloved annual event and new Laguna Beach holiday tradition features photos with Santa, holiday carolers, hot cocoa, children’s activities and live music followed by the tree lighting. 

While you are at Montage, try enjoying special holiday bites and cocktails in their restaurants and Lobby Lounge. Take advantage of complimentary personal shopping assistance in all of our Montage shops and boutiques – the perfect way to get started on your holiday gift giving. 

This evening is complimentary to the local community and resort guests and gets going at 4:30.

Laguna’s churches to celebrate Joy of the Season on Friday

The Interfaith Council of Laguna Beach will celebrate the Joy of the Season on Dec. 5, when churches all over town will be opening their doors to welcome visitors with music, refreshments, and warm hospitality.

Here’s the schedule of events to help you celebrate the season: 

At 5:30 p.m., The Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Drive, will have a mini-concert with a collection of Christmas music will be performed by Sodalis, a local piano quartet, which exudes a spirit of enthusiasm and joy at each of its performances. 

From 6 to 9 p.m., The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints, at 682 Park Ave., will have nativities from around the world on display, and the 100 member LDS Missionary Choir will perform throughout the night. A live Nativity can be viewed on the front lawn; refreshments will be served.

At 6:30 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 428 Park Ave., will have a “Blue Christmas: A Service of Comfort and Light”. This quiet and reflective prayer service will offer comfort and healing to those who may be suffering from loss or feeling isolated during Christmas.

From 5 to 9 p.m., The Little Church by the Sea’s Worship Team will be performing Christmas carols on the patio area in front of The Flower Stand on Forest Avenue. Hot beverages and homemade baked goods will be served. 

And join The Laguna Presbyterian Church at 415 Forest Ave. Caroling, cookies and hot cider will be offered to all visitors throughout the night. The annual tamale sale, as well as the church’s youth’s hot dog sale, will be in the Fellowship Hall.

Laguna Art Museum store open Black Friday weekend 

Laguna Art Museum will be holding its annual Black Friday Sale in the Museum Store on Friday, Nov. 28 to Sunday, Nov. 30, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit the museum store Black Friday Weekend and receive 10% off all items, or 20% off if you are a museum member.

New merchandise is now available, just in time for the holidays. 

The museum store offers affordable, portable, and local giftware that reflects the nature of Laguna Beach, a community celebrated for its art and artists. The store offerings include branded museum merchandise, some custom-designed by artists; art and design items from local artists, selected with an emphasis on unusual and one-of-a-kind pieces not to be found in other stores; museum publications; publications and merchandise related to current exhibitions; and books on California art generally. Black Friday discounts are only valid for in-store purchases. 

As a bonus this holiday season for new members, the museum will add a complimentary Laguna Art Museum t-shirt, mug, or both, based on your gift membership level.

Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. For information about membership, the museum, or to shop online, visit or call 494-8971.

Annual Hospitality Night next Friday, December 5

City’s schedules of events

This year’s Hospitality Night event is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 5 from approximately 5 to 10 p.m. 

Hospitality Night is co-sponsored by the City of Laguna Beach and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the beginning of the holiday season. The festivities will begin with entertainment at City Hall and the arrival of Santa Claus to light the Pepper Tree at 6 p.m. From there, the activities move to lower Forest Avenue with entertainment and merchant open houses. 

To accommodate pedestrian traffic in the downtown area, portions of Forest Avenue, Beach Street, 3rd Street and the Pepper Tree Parking Lot will be closed to vehicular traffic prior to and during the event. Free public parking will be available at the City’s Forest/Laguna Canyon (Lot 11), Lumberyard (Lot 12) and Community and Susi Q Center parking lots.

The public should expect heavy traffic on Dec. 5 during the afternoon and evening commute hours, and motorists are encouraged to take alternate routes and carpool. Road closures in the downtown will begin at approximately 3 p.m. Importantly, Forest Avenue between Broadway and Third Street will be closed to vehicular traffic (with the exception of City and OCTA buses) between 5:45 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. The City will send courtesy traffic alert reminders via text message and email to subscribers beginning Friday afternoon, Dec. 5. To subscribe to this free service, please visit the City’s website at and click on the “Traffic Alerts” icon. 

If you have any questions, or for more information about city events, please contact Tom Toman, Deputy Director of Community Services, at 497-0303.


Laguna Concert Band

Ed Peterson-Music Director of the Laguna Concert Band with Tessa Mansour (left), Sydney Haik and Sara Gordon during a rehearsal earlier this week. The three girls will be featured in a “Christmas On Broadway” number on Hospitality Night. 

The 70-plus community members of the Laguna Concert Band, celebrating its 15th year, is pulling out all the stops as it concludes its jam-packed and star-studded 2014 performance schedule with two spectacular Holiday Performances in December beginning with their annual appearance at the Balboa Bay Resort’s Tree Lighting Ceremony on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m., and a combined performance with the 18 piece Swing Set swing band at Laguna’s Hospitality Night on Dec. 5, at 5 p.m., at the Peppertree Parking lot on Forest Avenue across from the Presbyterian Church.

Both performances will feature Holiday favorites highlighted by select numbers featuring talented local guest artists. The trio of young blossoming artists Tessa Mansour, Sydney Haik and Sara Gordon will be featured on the popular holiday medley, ‘Christmas On Broadway’ and local Laguna artists Suzy Elghanayan will perform ‘Let It Go’ from Disney’s 2013 animated feature film ‘Frozen’. Kim Sayer will be accompanied by the band on two traditional favorites, ‘O Holy Night’ and ‘White Christmas’. Ed Peterson, Music Director will share the director’s stand with Pete Fournier during the two evening’s performances.

A first for the Concert Band on Hospitality Night in Laguna will include a joint performance with the Thurston Middle School Band at 6 p.m. at the City Hall front lawn as a portion of the Laguna Concert Band travels up the street after their 5 p.m. performance to join the young musicians. In addition, the Laguna Concert Band is gifting stand lights to the middle school band thanks to the coordinated efforts of Jon Mann, Thurston’s band director and the Laguna Concert Band’s board members Jennifer Baker and Linda Hughes.  

“Everyone will enjoy hot chocolate and cookies after the performance, compliments of the band,” said Hughes. The 18-piece swing band, Swing Set will continue to entertain from 5:50-6:30 p.m. in the Peppertree lot.


Laguna Presbyterian Church

The church bell will ring in the season from 5 - 7 p.m. Enjoy complimentary holiday cookies, coffee and hot apple cider in the Rose Garden. The tradition of homemade tamales continues. Tamales will be sold (dine or dash) in Tankersley Hall beginning no earlier than 5 o’clock. Proceeds from the tamales will benefit the La Playa ESL Center.

Pass by the Heifer International table to find information on how you can empower a family to turn hunger and poverty into hope and prosperity. There may even be a special two-legged, feathered, guest present!

Join in singing the traditional Christmas carols, accompanied by live music from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Rose Garden. Laguna Presbyterian Church is proud to showcase, once again, our local artists. Their works will be on display and for purchase in the Youth Center (use Rose Garden entry). 

You can also grab a quick dinner of hot dogs, chips, and bottled water at the Forest Avenue entry to the Church Parlor. Proceeds benefit the Mom’s group of LPC.

Contemplate the wonder of the season - “Unto us a child is born” - in the quiet beauty of our historic sanctuary.

Laguna Presbyterian Church welcomes you to these special Christmas events.

Christmas Concert (Sanctuary): 5 p.m., Dec. 7

Children’s Christmas Musical (Sanctuary): 8:30 a.m. & 10 a.m., Dec. 14 

Christmas Eve Candlelight Services: 2 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m., Dec. 24

Find more information on the web at

Please contact the church with any questions at 494.7555

Purchase unique gifts that give far beyond the holidays: Neighborhood Congregational’s Joy of Giving Holiday Market

Neighborhood Congregational Church’s 10th annual Alternative International Holiday Gift Fair will take place Saturday Dec 6th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday Dec 7th from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Neighborhood Church’s Bridge Hall located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive. This year, an amazing array of gifts will be offered from Concern America, Bead for Life and SERRV. 

Submitted photo

Neighborhood Congregational Church Pastor BJ Beu and 

This unique event is free, festive, and open to the public. It is a wonderful way for shoppers to purchase handcrafted gifts that support artisans around the globe. Children can purchase gifts for teachers and family members at affordable prices, and also learn about the needs around the world. The International Gift Fair also provides many opportunities for shoppers to honor friends and family at the holidays who don’t need or want more “stuff,” but do appreciate making the world a better place! 

Concern America is a unique nonprofit development and refugee aid organization that offers fair trade crafts from Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Bangladesh.

Bread for Life offers opportunities for women in Uganda living on less than a dollar a day to become self-sustaining entrepreneurs by creating shea butter skin care products and jewelry made from colorful rolled paper.

SERRV is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunity and support to artisans and farmers in the United States, Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Many returning and local favorites will also joining this year’s Alternative Gift Fair at Neighborhood Congregational Church:

Rosalind Russell, Laguna’s “Goat Lady” with R Star Foundation serves and educates isolated and disempowered women and children of Nepal.

Shanti Hastkala brings beautiful handmade gifts, which provide financial independence for women in rural villages in India.

Equal Exchange is a worker-owned cooperative that works to raise and stabilize the incomes of small-scale farmers, farm workers and artisans providing fair trade coffees, teas, chocolates and olive oil.

Walk for Water has drilled more than 200 wells in Ethiopia and more than 60 in Haiti providing clean water to more than a million people.

Circulo de Amigas offers training and medical aid to poor women and children in Jinotega, Nicaragua. Enjoy their crocheted purses made from plastic bags and “Why Nicaragua”, the adventurous story of their founder, Pat McCully.

Arlyth’s fun and funky crocheted hats and the NCC Kid’s famous reindeer and snowman poop support the church’s mission efforts in Laguna Beach.

Gift cards will be available to purchase “gifts” in the name of a friend or loved one, supporting a variety of projects that can change lives, build communities, open doors of opportunity, and perhaps change a small corner of the world. 

Delicious homemade treats will also be served.

Last year’s event was a huge success, raising more than $5,000, all donated to the relief and support organizations represented. Again this year, shoppers can purchase gifts that provide support and sustenance for people in need, supporting both local and global efforts, with 100% of the money going directly to the designated organizations. 

Neighborhood Congregational Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive one block east of Coast Highway, with free parking at Cleo & Glenneyre.

Call 494-8061 or visit for additional information or directions.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

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. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

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