clear sky


Laguna Beach

Save the date for Friendship Shelter’s 2014 gala!

Friendship Shelter’s annual gala will be held on Friday, Nov 14 at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. Themed HOME, the evening will feature fine dining, live and silent auctions, and lively entertainment.

Submitted photo

The Gala Cabinet!

Keiko Sakamoto (Left), Jane Manolakas, Jeri McKenna and Teddie Ray

This year’s event is chaired by Jane Manolakas, Jeri McKenna, Teddie Ray, and Keiko Sakamoto, and will honor Jane and Joe Hanauer and Temple Bat Yahm for their outstanding generosity and community leadership. 

Additionally, a former Friendship Shelter client will be honored the evening of the event and will share his remarkable journey.

“Not only do we have a fabulous event cabinet this year, but the theme HOME ties into our mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness in our community in a very meaningful way,” said Dawn Price, Executive Director of Friendship Shelter. “We’re looking forward to another fun-filled evening to raise critical funds that directly impact the men and women who turn to us in despair, and leave with hope and the promise of a new beginning.”

Tickets to the gala are $250 each and sponsorship packages range from $1,500 to $25,000. Additional details can be found at:

All proceeds will benefit Friendship Shelter, which has helped homeless adults achieve self- sufficiency since its inception 26 years ago. Every night, nearly 100 people who would otherwise be on the street sleep safely under the care of Friendship Shelter staff at its flagship shelter on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach, the Alternative Sleeping Location in Laguna Canyon, or at various permanent supportive housing sites throughout South Orange County.

For more info about the Gala, or to purchase tickets, call (949) 494-6928 x. 16.

SILB to host Richard Burgi of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on November 4

Soroptimists International of Laguna Beach (SILB) has invited Richard Burgi of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to be the speaker at their Nov. 4th, 6 p.m. dinner meeting at Tivoli Terrace in Laguna Beach. The public is invited to see this presentation by joining them for dinner at a cost of $25.per person for the dinner.

On May 25, 1979, 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from the streets of New York City while on his way to school. The massive search efforts and media attention that followed focused the nation’s attention on the problem of child abduction and lack of plans to address it.

On July 27, 1981, 6-year-old Adam Walsh disappeared from a Florida shopping mall. His parents, John and Revé Walsh, immediately turned to law-enforcement agencies to help find their son. To their disappointment, there was no coordinated effort among law-enforcement to search for Adam.

In 1984, President Reagan signed into law the Missing Children’s Assistance Act, establishing a national clearinghouse of information about missing and exploited children. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) is designated by the U.S. Congress to fulfill this role, and opened its doors in Washington, DC in 1984. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® is the leading nonprofit organization in the U.S. working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues related to missing and sexually exploited children. As part of its Congressional authorization, NCMEC has created a unique public and private partnership to build a coordinated, national response to the problem of missing and sexually exploited children, establish a missing children hotline and serve as the national clearinghouse for information related to these issues.

If you wish to attend this dinner meeting ($25.00) to learn more about the National Center for Exploited and Abused Children and Soroptimist International please contact Maggie Hempen of SILB at maggiehs2000@gmail or 949-922-7291

Soroptimist International of Laguna Beach (one of the oldest non-profit’s in Laguna Beach) is a volunteer organization for business and professional women dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls, in local communities and throughout the world. Founded in 1948, the Laguna Beach club is part of Soroptimist International of the Americas where almost 100,000 Soroptimists in about 120 countries and territories contribute time and financial support to community-based projects that benefit women.

Police Files

Out of gas and out of luck

A passing motorist called police to report that a black Lexus was stalled on the center median of Laguna Canyon Road and the 73 Toll Road Monday afternoon.

When officers arrived on scene, it turned out that the Lexus, driven by an unidentified female, was out of gas. 

Routine police protocol includes checking the identity of all persons they make contact with during patrol.

Her passenger, Ian Lawrence Nelson, 25, of Corona, was found to be on active parole for robbery and subject to a random search at any time, any place.

He had a meth pipe in his shirt pocket and was arrested for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Also routine protocol, Laguna PD contacted his parole officer and later on Monday afternoon, Nelson’s parole was revoked and he was held without bail for pickup by the Department of Corrections in Santa Ana.


Bus drivers have radios and they use them as needed

An OCTA bus driver waiting at the Broadway bus depot called OCTA dispatch about a man and a woman who were “waving around a whiskey bottle” while seated in the gazebo area of the depot.

The OCTA dispatch called LBPD and officers were dispatched to the scene where they saw the couple trying to hide the bottle.

When things were finally sorted through, Derek Ramirez Owen, 40, no fixed address, was under arrest for an OC Court warrant for failure to appear, DUI and possession of less than an ounce of marijuana. Bail for the warrant was $15,000.

Stacy Overton, 36, no fixed address, also had an outstanding warrant in the system. She was wanted as a parolee at large by the California Department of Correction for parole violation. 

She was held without bail for DOC pickup in Santa Ana.

OC Register endorses Boyd and Hall for City Council race 

From a press release

In the OC Register article: Boyd, Hall for Laguna Councilin their opinion/editorial section, The OC Register officially recommends Michele Hall for a seat on the Laguna Beach City Council and also recommended incumbent Kelly Boyd. 

As the momentum of this arduous, even sometimes zany election builds into its final week, voters are looking for substantive clues as to which candidate is their best bet. Michele Hall may have just won the grand sweepstakes of the local Laguna campaign race with the endorsement of the O.C. Register. 

The article states, “Ms. Hall greatly impressed with her “Mandate for Renewal” plan, an outline for transparency, accountability and efficiency in local government”. The article ends with a direct request to voters to place the challenger and incumbent in City Hall, “The Register recommends voters send them to fill two of the three open City Council seats on Nov. 4”.  The article states both will continue to make Laguna Beach a great place to visit and to call home. 

The article is timely after the recent announcement of four Mayors of Laguna Beach all endorsing Michele Hall. Mayor Elizabeth Pearson stated, “I am pleased to announce my endorsements of candidates whose philosophies are similar to mine as it relates to property rights, pro-artists and pro-business, and who have convinced me of their fiscally responsible approach to governing- a long-time supporter of mine, Michele Hall.”

Current City Council member and former Mayor Steve Dicterow adds to the support, “Michele is the first of her generation to run for a seat on city council. I have known Michele for 20 years. I’m supporting her because I trust her judgment.”

Former Mayorand Woman’s Club - Woman of the Year 2014, Cheryl Kinsman says, “I’ve found her to be an honest, hardworking Mom who represents Laguna’s younger generation with fresh ideasShe is the type of council member Laguna needs to lead our city into the future.” 

Former Mayor Wayne Baglin endorses Hall on her ability to bring a well rounded skill-set to city council along with some desperately needed innovative ideas. “Hall is qualified to do the job based on education and experience, in addition to having fresh ideas, being politically independent, a problem solver and a team player. These are the attributes Michele Hall will bring to Laguna Beach City Council when she is elected”.

Hall is anxious to keep the positive velocity moving forward, “When the excitement of the campaign is over, the council must not stagnate. It must be fused with new ideas and productive energy”.

Even though Hall is the former President of the Laguna Beach GOP, she attracts a foundation of varied supporters. Fiscally conservative with a degree from Berkeley with an emphasis in water conservation and private property rights, Hall is the only candidate with school aged children and is hopeful to bring a safe, fun and economically sound skatepark to the kids of Laguna. 

Hall focuses on less government in city hall and goes on to say, “I will collaborate with the voters choice to get the peoples work done. I value the endorsement of Mayors Pearson and Kinsman and will proudly carry on the tradition of strong, creative, female leaders of our city”.  

With the stamp of approval by the 4 Mayors of Laguna Beach and now the OC Register coming just in the nick of time, Michele Hall may just get the opportunity to roll-up her sleeves, get to work and give back to the community she loves and promises to serve. 

Tuesday’s Crisp and Clear Moon Shot

Click on photo for a larger image


Scott Brashier

Normandin gains endorsements as Election Day draws close

Carol Normandin’s volunteer campaign manager, Robin Walker, announced this week that their website has received over 100 individual endorsements for Normandin’s election to the LBUSD School Board. “We are proud to have support from all quarters of the community,” Walker said. “It reflects Carol’s ability to lead, her track record of dedication to our children, and her demonstrated history of keeping the best interests of our students close to her heart.” 

Carol’s endorsements include Wendy and Brent Martini, Holly and David Wilson, Jeff and Suzy Elghanayan, current Mayor Pro Tem and former school board member Bob Whalen, current and past school board members such as El Hathaway, Tim Carlyle and Betsy Jenkins, and many community leaders such as Michael Pinto, Peter Kote, Peter Barker, Kelly and Willis Boyd, Bree Burgess Rosen, Lisa and Gary Arthur, Kim and Ari Novick, Terrell Anansi, Anne Johnson and many others at 

On the website, Normandin’s endorsers shared comments regarding their support. “I’m always so impressed with how deeply Carol cares for education,” wrote Thurston teacher Carl Nelson. “As a teacher, I could talk shop with her for hours! So supportive, passionate and very knowledgeable about education, she wants the very best for our students.” 

Parent Karin Riches shared, “In the ten years I have known Carol, she has impressed me with her sharp intellect, high energy, efficiency, integrity, and pure devotion to promoting our kids’ happiness and achievement. Her advocacy on our school board will be a tremendous gift to Laguna Beach students.” 

Carol volunteered for over eight years with SchoolPower and was Vice President of the Community Campaign raising millions of dollars for the district. Tom Koch said, “I had the good fortune to work with Carol when I was President of SchoolPower. She always brought her ‘A’ game. She is a tireless supporter of kids and education. Carol would be a tremendous asset to the school board.”

In addition to campaign manager Walker, over 20 parents from the community have volunteered on Normandin’s campaign distributing signs and flyers, hosting events, and working on social media. “As soon as I heard Carol was running for school board, I signed up to help in anyway I could,” said Christine Fugate. “Carol Normandin is by far the most knowledgeable person I know about the Laguna Beach school system. I have complete faith in her as my representative.” 

Prior to becoming a full-time parent and volunteer, Carol owned an executive search firm and worked as an executive recruiter for over fifteen years. In her campaign, she has stressed her desire to help the district adopt policies to better hire and retain personnel, her dedication to transparency and communication, and her past commitment and connection to the schools, teachers and students of Laguna Beach.

Carol lives at Top of the World with her husband, Ken Parker, three children and Storm, the family dog. 

Since 2005, their children have attended Laguna Beach schools with one child currently at Top of the World Elementary and one at Thurston Middle School.

If it’s time to change the time – think smoke detectors

Fall back at 2 a.m. Sunday

The Laguna Beach Fire Department wants to ensure that all residents check their smoke alarm batteries on Nov 2, when they move their clocks back for daylight savings.  On average, 60% of fire related deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that were not working properly. 

The LBFD offers the following tips for making sure smoke alarms are maintained and working properly.

Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound. 

If a smoke alarm “chirps” indicating a low battery, replace the battery immediately.  

Replace smoke alarms if they do not respond properly when tested.

Never remove or disable a working smoke alarm.

The Laguna Beach Fire Department offers free batteries and the installation of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for residents of Laguna Beach. These items are intended for property owners of residential properties; not apartment and/or income properties. To participate in the Fire Department program, please visit the following website: and complete the “Free Smoke Alarm” sign up form.  A representative from the Fire Department will contact you and schedule an appointment to determine how many detectors are needed and install them. 

Please remember, this program is not intended to install detectors in each room, only to provide one on each floor. 

For more information, contact Ed Valdez, LBFD Division Chief, 949-497-0700 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City’s Housing & Human Services Committee going all out to bring attention to Hunger & Homelessness Month

The City of Laguna Beach is proud to announce our 7th Annual National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month in November.  Proclaimed by the City Council and organized as a public service by the Housing and Human Services Committee, this month-long event brings awareness to the Laguna Beach community about the hungry and homeless that are in need in our community.  

Lauriann Meyer, Chair of the City’s Housing & Human Services Committee stated, “The purpose of Laguna Beach’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness month is to enhance the community’s awareness of the issue in our society, our own hungry and homeless in Laguna Beach, and our community’s nonprofits that address our hungry and homeless in Laguna Beach.” 

For the first time, with the City Council’s approval, the committee has branded the event with a new logo and website that made its debut this week:  “This year, our committee is committed to giving our community one clear and concise message using a brand identity, with multiple marketing impressions, and make them aware that the event exists while giving them a call to action,” expressed Marc Bruderer, second-term member of the committee and strategic marketing professional.

In past years, this event just included The Food Pantry’s Food Drive and The World Hunger Bowl and was previously only the first week in November.   But now in its 7th year, at the Housing & Human Service Committee’s request, the City Council extended the event to the whole month of November due to the additional programs now offered.    “We are bringing this event to a whole new level.  It’s not just a food drive anymore, but a way to participate, volunteer, attend events, and get involved” said Faye Chapman, long-time veteran of the committee and founder of Changing Souls, the non-profit organization that organizes the annual kick-off event, The World Hunger Bowl.

The Housing & Human Services Committee encourages the community to participate in the Food Drive benefiting the Laguna Food Pantry, which is logistically made possible by Waste Management who picks up the non-perishable food from food drive locations and neighborhoods throughout the city and delivers it to the Food Pantry.  Barbara McMurray, long time supporter, volunteer, and executive of the Food Pantry stated at the October 21 City Council meeting “The Most important items that are needed are Canned Tuna, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Pasta, Pasta sauce, and Cereal.”

Other opportunities to participate include volunteering time at the Friendship Shelter by signing up to be a guest chef for the Shelter’s lunch or dinner by calling 949-494-6928 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Or giving the Alternate Sleeping Location, which houses homeless year round, their most need items:  socks and toiletries.  Fill socks with toiletry items and drop them off at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic.

The planned events:

“Gratitude for Glennwood” Gala on Nov 1st at The Ranch at Laguna Beach.

“The World Hunger Bowl” on  Nov 6th at 7 [seven-degrees]

The Friendship Shelter’s annual “Home” Gala on  Nov 14 at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel,

A FREE exclusive one-time screening of the movie, “The Fisher King,” (Rated “R”) on Nov 21 at The Forum Theater.  Sponsored by Waste Management.  Limited Seating.  

The Annual Laguna Beach Community Thanksgiving Potluck dinner on Nov 27 at The Laguna Beach Neighborhood Congregational Church sponsored by The Friendship Shelter.  All are welcome.

To learn more about Laguna Beach’s Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, the community is encouraged to visit;

The Purpose of Laguna Beach’s Hunger and Homelessness Awareness month is to enhance the community’s awareness of:

(1) the issue in our society
(2) our own hungry and homeless in Laguna Beach
(3) our community’s nonprofits that address our hungry and homeless in Laguna Beach.

The Housing & Human Services Committee assesses and identifies housing opportunities and human needs for all segments of the community, provides input on the City’s Housing Element of the General Plan, informs and makes recommendations to the City Council and other community leaders, and increases awareness to the community of programs to fill these needs.

For The Housing & Human Services Committee history or mission: Lauriann Meyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

City will host free composting workshop tomorrow

The City of Laguna Beach and its solid waste contractor, Waste Management, are teaming up to host a free composting class for residents on Saturday, Nov 1. The class will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Community Center, located at 380 Third Street.

Attendees will learn how to recycle yard and food waste into valuable organic fertilizer for the garden using simple composting techniques. Compost bins and worm bins will be available for purchase during the class at a discounted price. For more information regarding the class, contact the class instructor, Lisa Ryder, at (310) 874-2499, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For other questions, please contact Liz Vazquez-Avila, City of Laguna Beach Public Works Department, at (949) 497-0344 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Anne Kerry Swank’s artworks now in the Vatican 


Laguna Beach artist, Anne Kerry Swank’s limited edition watercolor photographs, part of her “The Angel Project” series, have found a home in Rome.  

She states that her works “present angelic compositions imbued with the highest virtues of grace and nobility as an inspiration to us all.” The images were gifted to His Holiness Pope Francis by Kerry Swank through the guidance of Dr. Donald L. Jolly Gabriel and are now hung at the Vatican. 

Submitted photo

Watercolor photograph entitled “Serenity”

The first limited edition watercolor that was received and selected for display is "Serenity”. It measures 30x40 inches. The image is a vision depicting an angel that represents the Holy Spirit and God’s peace within. The second limited edition watercolor is “Divine Presence”. It measures 35x35 inches and depicts an angel representing the Holy Trinity.

Submitted photo

“Divine Presence”

Watercolor photography is a multiple-step process. Kerry shoots the images in black and white, develops the prints and then paints over the image in watercolors to provide the colors. 

Both images were photographed at the Royal Horse Stables, Christiansborg Castle in Copenhagen, Denmark, and hand colored by the artist. 

“These images radiate love, hope and joy. God is only a prayer away,” the artist said. “Ask in faith. The messengers are sent by God to guide and help us in all ways.”

Anne Kerry Swank was born in Copenhagen. She learned about light and photography from her father. Moving to California in 1979, Ms. Swank enrolled in photography courses at Orange Coast College. There, influenced by mentor Rick Steadry, she developed her talent into a profession, beginning her career in architectural photography. 

Seeking to concentrate on more figurative work, she became a successful portrait artist, drawing a large following for her classic style, capturing the nuances of light and shadow. 

“The Angel Project” is Ms. Swank’s latest and most extensive endeavor.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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