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Laguna Beach

Women must get smart about salary negotiation

Are you, or is some woman in your life, currently working for 80 percent of what a man would get for doing the same job? Or are you, or is some woman in your life, about to enter or reenter the labor market? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, attending AAUW’s  (American Association of University Women)  upcoming free salary negotiation program can pay off in added paycheck dollars over the life of your career. 

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Lesley Danzinger leads a workshop for LCAD (Fine Arts and Illustration) students

Negotiation skills and strategies will be offered in these Start Smart and Work Smart workshops that will take place on Sun, Jan 28 at the Laguna College of Art and Design from 3 - 5 p.m. in Studio 1. Lesley Danziger, Start Smart Chair, will share workshop exercises, along with persuasive tips and tactics to use in real-life salary negotiation interviews. Parking is free and refreshments will be served.  

In 2018 in U.S. women are still earning 80 percent or less on average than men for the same job. Many factors feed into the gender pay gap. One immediate, proactive thing women can do to close the gap is to learn to negotiate better.  

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Pat Griggs leads a workshop for students earning certificates as Speech and Language Pathology Assistants at OCC

For program questions contact Madeleine Peterson at 949 376-8494 or visit the AAUW-LB website at For general membership information contact membership co-chairs: Leah Vasquez (949) 494-5787 or Rachelle Cano (818) 307-7562.

Party with Shanti OC at [seven-degrees] as the organization celebrates its 30th anniversary

Shanti OC celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The celebration, which takes place on Jan 21, will include a tribute to former executive director Sarah Kasman on the occasion of her retirement with a party, and everyone’s invited. 

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Founder of Club Q Larry Ricci with Sarah Kasman at a Susi Q event last year

The event will take place at [seven-degrees] from 5 - 8 p.m. and will include appetizers, hosted bar, and a final farewell. There will be performances by Men Alive and Frank & Co, including guest speakers Dr. Charles Garfield, who created the Shanti service model, and Laguna Beach council member Toni Iseman, a long-time Shanti supporter and former mayor of Laguna Beach.

Sarah’s vision and dedication has kept Shanti OC a relevant source for assistance in the HIV community. She has worked endlessly to put in place the team, leadership, and the vision to carry on the mission. 

This is also a chance to meet Shanti OC’s new executive director, Dr Lindsay Fitzpatrick, who joined the organization two years ago and has had great success leading the mental health department.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


Donna Jean Williams

March 24, 1949 – January 2, 2018

0n January 2, 2018, my beautiful sister, Donna Jean Williams passed away in her Dana Point home after a yearlong battle with cancer. Donna was born, March 24, 1949, in Santa Monica, California and grew up in Culver City, CA.  An original descendant of the famed Maybelline Cosmetics family and MGM executives, she attended Westchester Lutheran School, Linda Vista Grammar School, in Blair Hills CA, Notre Dame Academy, Culver City Jr and High School and finally Santa Monica High School and College.

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Donna in 1966

She loved surfing and got her first Dewey Weber surfboard on her 15th birthday in 1964. From that time on she spent most of her time at the beaches in Santa Monica, where she hung out with a group of surfers who represented Zephyr surfboard shop in surf competitions in the early 70’s. “The Z Boys” became a big part of Donna’s life and she was there at the birth of skateboarding in Santa Monica and Venice CA. She was also interested in a modeling career and attended Patricia Stevens Modeling School and eventually became an extra in several films.

In the 1970’s she lived in Marina Del Rey and enjoyed many endless summers as part of the surf generation. In the 1980’s Donna began an active an real estate career in Marina Del Rey. Eventually she transferred to the Dana Point CA office to be near family members. On a daily basis, Donna could be seen walking her popular poodle Lola at the Harbor. Donna was a lifelong patron of the arts, world traveler, an animal activist, gifted gardener and a talented artist.   “A true fashionista.”

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Donna with her sister Sharrie

In later years she attained a business degree at Vanguard University and continued both her real estate and family financial consultant work for many years. She possessed a delightful spark for life, full of creativity, humor and compassion enjoyed by all who knew her.  She’ll be especially missed by her sisters Sharrie Lynn Williams, Billee Rae Williams, and her brother, William Preston Williams lll, as well as her niece Georgia Youtsey, (Craig) grandnephews Kailer and Rex Youtsey and a multitude of friends, fans and colleagues.  

A memorial party is being planned this spring.  Location and time will be posted soon.

Nugget is looking for a new quiet home

Nugget is a one-year-old spayed female cat on the lookout for a new owner to take her in. She is very sweet and needs a quiet home to fulfill her needs. She is filled with love and is excited for the new adventures that lie ahead. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes Nugget will be taken in as soon as can be.

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Nugget is a sweet and quiet cat in need of a new home

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, (949) 497-3552. For information on adoption procedures, visit

Marshall Innins will speak at the LB Business Club on Thurs Jan 18 at 7:30 a.m.

The Laguna Beach Business Club is proud to announce Marshall Innins, Marshall Innins Design Group as its speaker on Thurs Jan 18. The Club holds a breakfast meeting on the Third Thursday of each month at 7:30 a.m. and hosts speakers who discuss topics valuable to achieving success in personal and business lives, and of interest to businesses in Laguna Beach.    

Marshall Innins, principal at Marshall Innins Design Group in Laguna Beach, is a graduate of the School of Architecture at Cal Poly Pomona and is a well-known local architect. His work includes several local favorites such as the Rooftop Deck at Mozambique and more recently completely remodeled Skyloft.

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Photo by Laura Buckle

Kitchen in the Canyon is a great venue for LB Business Club meetings

Marshall is currently involved in the planned renovation and restoration of the Coast Inn, with a long history of attracting celebrities and the site of the famous Boom Boom Room. The planned renovation is currently pending before the Laguna Beach Design Review Board. Marshall will discuss the project and the neighborhood issues raised by the planned renovation and the steps being taken in planning to address neighborhood concerns. 

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. This month’s meetings will be held at the Kitchen in the Canyon, located at   845 Laguna Canyon Road, Laguna Beach.  Non-members are welcome - Meals are $25.00. 

For more information about the club or to register to attend a meeting, contact a club member or Peter Freeman, at 949-341-0500, or visit

Friday Happy Hour Party at Boom Boom Room welcomes Coast Inn supporters


In most cases, people in this town throw a party after they meet favorably with Laguna’s City Council. 

Chris and Marcella Dornin, though, are throwing the party before the Jan 23 meeting with the Council to discuss the future of The Coast Inn.

This Friday, Jan 19 at 6 p.m., the venerable Boom Boom Room is open for business once again with a “Coast Inn Support Party.” 

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The OC Kooks will play at the Coast Inn support party

Anyone and everyone interested in the revitalization of The Coast Inn is invited for hors d’oeuvres, open bar and live music entertainment by the OC Kooks.  

City Council will discuss Coast Inn at Jan 23 meeting

The Dornins, who purchased The Coast Inn property in 2013, say their party is both a thank you and an informational event in hopes that long-time supporters will also attend next week’s Tuesday City Council meeting.

It’s been four long years of ongoing discussion with the City and the Laguna Beach Planning Commission with repeated instruction to “go back to the drawing board” on their renovation plans.  

The Coast Inn project, which includes historical restoration and renovation of the hotel rooms and restaurant/bar (known since the late seventies as The Boom Boom Room), was denied by the Planning Commission in December. 

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The Coast Inn as it looked 1933 - 1954

Next stop? The January 23 hearing in front of the City Council. 

After one Planning Commission member noted that she denied the project because there seemed to be more opponents than supporters, The Coast Inn decided to send out a rallying cry for greater attendance at next Tuesday’s hearing.

As Chris Dornin notes, “The bottom line is this: This is an existing commercial property with grandfathered rights that is re-opening one way or another. The concerns the opposition has regarding trash, noise, parking, traffic and so forth exists today whether or not the proposed project is approved.

“Our proposed renovation provides for a significantly less intensive solution for surrounding neighbors than the existing property creates today with its current approved uses.”

Dornin welcomes questions and comments

Dornin says he welcomes questions of clarification, comments or concerns at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In advance of the Jan 23 meeting, the Dornins are also asking that supporters send positive letters of support to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with copies to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fly Me to the Moon! offers heavenly experience at St. Catherine’s Annual Pasta Dinner & Fundraiser - Feb 1

St. Catherine of Siena Parish School’s Sixth Grade Class presents its Annual Pasta Dinner and Fundraiser on Thurs, Feb 1, with dinner seating at 5:30 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. 

Guests will enjoy a pasta dinner, entertainment, an opportunity raffle for a private jet to Las Vegas, a “stock the cellar” wine raffle, a wine tasting, and a gourmet dessert bar. 

All this and St. Catherine’s open house, from 5-7:30 p.m. 

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The beautiful St. Catherine’s of Siena campus

For attendees’ convenience, there will be a complimentary shuttle available to and from the Gelson’s parking lot.

St. Catherine’s is located at 30516 S Coast Hwy.

Tickets may be purchased at

Food Pantry chooses Groundhog Day to celebrate its fourth annual PantryPalooza happy hour party

The Laguna Food Pantry will rock downtown with its fourth annual PantryPalooza happy hour fundraiser with live music by The Agave Bros. on Friday, Feb 2 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Skyloft, 422 S Coast Hwy. Tickets are $75 at  A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Guests must be 21 or older.

Opportunity drawing tickets will be sold to win dinner for two at The Loft at the Montage Laguna Beach.

The band’s drummer, Russell Pierce, a prolific artist, came up with the guitar-playing, top hat-wearing groundhog for the PantryPalooza promotional posters.

“Laguna Beach is far from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, but we decided to have fun with the Groundhog Day theme,” said Anne Belyea, Laguna Food Pantry executive director. “According to folklore, if it is sunny on Feb 2 when a prognosticating rodent named Phil pops out of his burrow and sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. 

“It’s a funny Pennsylvania Dutch tradition that became more well-known after the release of the hilarious 1993 Bill Murray movie. For us, it’s a day to repeat a successful annual event that brings Lagunans out of their burrows to dance and support the Pantry.”

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Fourth annual opportunity to have fun and help feed needy neighbors

The Agave Bros. band will play danceable rock from the ’60s to current hits. In its signature style, the band recreates music from Motown, the Beatles, Rolling Stones, U2, Santana, Bowie, Pink Floyd, and many others. 

The Laguna Beach musicians have been playing together and separately for years: lead vocalist Bob Campion, singer and guitarist Santi Pierini, bass player Geoff Glass, drummer Russell Pierce, and percussionist Steve Reid will treat PantryPalooza guests to tunes they may not have heard for years.

Every weekday, Laguna Food Pantry collects and distributes 3,500 lbs of free, fresh, nutritious groceries. Approximately 400 families and individuals in need shop at the pantry each week. Half of those families include babies and children. 

Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. New volunteers are always welcome. Phone: 949-497-7121. Website is

Laguna Beach Rotary presents the Grapes for Grads logo design winner, Alejandro Serrano

The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach awarded $500 to this year’s Grapes for Grads® logo designer, Alejandro Serrano. Alejandro graduated from LCAD in December 2017. He studied Graphic Design + Digital Media.

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Photo by Pati Stoop 

Graduate student Alejandro Serrano (L) was awarded $500 by the Rotary Club’s President, Stan Carmichael

Alejandro said, “It was a tremendous privilege to be given the opportunity to design the logo for the 2018 Grapes for Grads Scholarship Fundraiser. Being part of this project blessed me in more ways than I imagined. I was able to partake in an event that helps fellow art student follow their dreams.”

Alejandro’s design will be printed on all of the event promotional materials including flyers, print ads, signs and t-shirts. Each year a student artist from LCAD is selected to create the Grapes for Grads logo.

The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach is proud to host the 13th annual Laguna’s premier wine tasting event. Grapes for Grads raises scholarship funds for graduating seniors from Laguna Beach High School and students attending Laguna College of Art and Design.    

The Scholarship Fundraiser and Wine Tasting event will be held on Sunday, April 22 at the newly remodelled Festival of Arts grounds. 

For more information about sponsorship, the silent auction or ticket purchases, visit

Local teens perform in 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway 

Los Angeles-based youth performance group Le PeTiT CiRqUe® (LPC) recently returned from Oslo, Norway, where the team had the honor of performing for the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, ICAN, an organization seeking to abolish nuclear weapons. 

Laguna Beach residents Haley Rovner, who attends Sage Hill School, and Staci Ensminger, a Laguna Beach High School student, were part of this elite performance group. Along with their Le PeTiT CiRqUe® troupe, Rovner and Ensminger performed in front of 10,000 live audience members and an estimated broadcast audience of approximately 350 million households in 100 countries.

The Nobel Peace Prize Concert audience was filled with celebrities, dignitaries and the Norwegian Royal family, who were treated to a star-studded line up of performers, including John Legend, Lukas Graham, Sigrid, Zara Larsson and Matoma. Golden Globe nominee, David Oyelowo, hosted the event. 

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Photo by Olav Stubberud

Nathalie Yves Gaulthier, (on left) Haley Rovner (second row from back, far right), Staci Ensminger (second row from back, second from right)

“The young artists of Le PeTiT CiRqUe® were privileged to share their messages of hope and peace during The Nobel Peace Prize Concert,” said Le PeTiT CiRqUe® founder Nathalie Yves Gaulthier. “The biggest takeaway for our team was to dream big and believe in their potential to make a difference in the world.”

According to both girls, the concert was like a dream, but it was also a life changing experience.

“Oslo felt like I was dreaming the whole time, and it really didn’t hit me that I was actually performing for the event until the morning after the show,” says Rovner. “Meeting so many of our world’s influential and leading people, as well as some other incredible artists, really inspired me to help people and to think about the bigger picture.”

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Photo by Olav Stubberud

Aerialists performing to “We All Need a Hero”

Ensminger agrees, “It was so humbling to meet the Nobel Peace Prize winner as well as the Norway royalty. When I was performing on stage, it was insane to think thousands of people were watching. It really didn’t even feel real until we were stopped for autographs. That was when it hit me: I flew all the way to Oslo, Norway, I performed in front of an audience of 10,000 people, and I did it to promote peace in the world by doing what I love.” 

She was particularly affected by her trip to the Nobel Peace Center. “In Norway, we went to the Nobel Peace Center. There I learned about all the catastrophic effects that nuclear bombs have on the world. Our guide explained that the US has the highest numbers of bombs which was shocking to me. Why are we condoning bombs that have potential to end so many lives?”

For Rovner and Ensminger, who grew up across the street from each other in Laguna, it was even more meaningful to share this adventure.

Ensminger says, “I’ve been best friends with Haley for as long as I can remember, this made the trip so much more exciting.”

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Photo by Olav Stubberud

Haley Rovner (with hoops)

And as evidence they are close friends, Rovner says almost the same thing about their friendship and expands on their similar interests. 

”Staci and I have been friends for as long as I can remember, and we watched each other get involved in circus over the years. She started out as an amazing gymnast and I started hooping pretty young, so we would always try to trade tricks and teach each other things. Now that we both perform together, we’ve been learning new skills together and love to share our interests with each other.”

For both Ensminger and Rovner, it took a tremendous amount of hard work and perseverance to get to Norway and this prestigious performance. But what an extraordinary experience to share, one they will long remember and cherish.

 LPC’s mission is to provide professional level entertainment but also use cirque as a tool for social change and education and, therefore, a large percentage of its performances are for charitable events, particularly children’s causes. The group has raised approximately $5 million in the past five years. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize Concert, LPC recently performed at the CBS TV special, Jump, Jive and Thrive, which benefited many cancer research organizations, such as the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, as well as the Starlight Foundation’s major fundraiser, Dream Halloween, which LPC has headlined for the past seven years.

For more information on LPC, go to

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

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