Laguna Beach

Lagunans on November cruise reach milder weather

A travel log by CAROLE ZAVALA

Boston, Beans and Ben

Calm seas, milder weather and face-to-face sessions with U.S. immigration officials greeted us in Boston Harbor. I headed for Quincy Market and a bowl of their world famous Boston clam chowder. Our server Samantha (from Salem) worked her magic and brought chowder, Stella Artois and a roasted beet salad with the creamiest goat cheese I’ve ever eaten. 

Thus fortified, I found the Freedom Trail and wandered by some of the oldest and longest running taverns and restaurants in America. Ben Franklin hangs out in front of Ye Old Union Oyster House, ca. 1826, and contemporary revolutionaries were indulging their yearning for ale next door, at the Bell in Hand, ca.1795.

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“Ben Franklin” hangs out by the Union Oyster House

Onward to Paul Revere’s neighborhood, which now houses more than 50 Italian cafés along with delis and bakeries (and a CVS where I stopped for more Claritin). Unfortunately I was too full to indulge in any of the mouthwatering offerings.

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Looking toward the Old North Church, Paul Revere stands guard out front

Paul’s statue greets one at the front of a park that leads to the Old North Church, beautifully restored and elegant in its simplicity of design and structure. I found exquisite watercolors by Charlie Wang, a Chinese immigrant who has been in Boston for 20 years creating ethereal versions of historic Boston. I couldn’t resist, and bought two from his brother.

As I was leaving Little Italy, I noticed a small alleyway and caught a whiff of something yummy. Following my nose, I discovered one of Boston’s most famous delis, Bricco Panatteria. Filled with locals, conversations included critiques of the fresh ravioli, the olives and the fragrant breads. 

I felt as if I had wandered into the Boston version of “Moonstruck.”

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Boston’s best, the Brico Panaterria

I needed an overview of this great city and its role in our history and jumped on a city tour trolley. Our driver, an irreverent but well informed local, covered the basics with humor and affection. We got glimpses of Old Ironsides (made of oak, and never defeated in battle), graveyards holding ancestors (including a female from the Mayflower), the park where the famous children’s book Make Way for Ducklings is placed, and the Omni-Parker Hotel where JFK proposed to Jackie. (Take note trivia fanatics - it’s also the home of Parker’s rolls).

I loved Boston and its perfect combination of charm, history, great food and friendly locals. The weather was perfect - clear, sunny and in the mid-sixties. 

Cheers from The Legend of the Seas!

Check out a few more of Carole’s photos below

Click on the left side photo to see them all


KX 93.5 is throwing another kick-butt party at the Marbar on Thanksgiving night – it’s “KXGiving”!


Jump into your sweatpants and benefit KX 93.5 and Laguna Food Pantry


Once the Thanksgiving family festivities slow down, you’ve eaten the last piece of pie and you’ve risen from your second turkey nap, slip on your sweatpants and head down to the Marine Room Tavern for another kick-butt party brought to you by KX 93.5. 

It’s “KXGiving!”

The Marine Room party, which begins at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Nov 27,is only $5 at the door, and all proceeds benefit KX 93.5, Laguna’s Only FM and Whole Foods “Feed 4 More.”

Sweatpants are not required, but strongly encouraged for this turkey-themed shindig complete with drink specials from Wild Turkey served by the illustrious Wild Turkey girls. Well-known Laguna DJ and on-air personality Steve “The Ruckus” Whelan, will be spinning an eclectic mix sure to keep the crowd on the dance floor from 9 p.m. until 1 a.m. There will be fun giveaways, raffle prizes provided by Whole Foods like gift cards and baskets and a chance to do your good deed for the Thanksgiving season.

In keeping with the spirit of giving, KX 93.5 has partnered with Whole Foods to help celebrate the season of gratitude. A portion of the funds raised at KXGiving will go to Whole Foods’ “Feed 4 More” program, which focuses on providing pantry stockers and shelf-stable items to the Laguna Food Pantry. Funds raised will be used to purchase the pantry stockers and the food will be delivered in January to the Laguna Food Pantry.

Party with a purpose this Thursday night! 

Don’t forget your sweatpants.

Free screening of The Fisher King tonight at Forum Theatre

In honor of homeless advocate and late star, Robin Williams, Laguna’s Housing & Human Services Committee is inviting you to a free screening of Williams’ acclaimed film, The Fisher King, at 6 p.m.tonight, Friday, Nov. 21 at the Festival of Arts’ Forum Theatre for National Hunger & Homeless Awareness Month. 

The Fisher King – Mercedes Ruehl won the 1991 Best Supporting Actress Oscar

Starring both Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges (above with Ruehl) in award-nominated roles, this drama/comedy tells the story of a DJ’s journey to redemption by trying to help a former professor and mentally ill homeless man who lost his wife in a bar shooting as a result of the DJ’s radio rant. 

A Q&A to discuss the complex issues of homelessness and mental illness will follow the screening of the film.

Fish Fry at Bluebird Park benefitted Glennwood

Staff photos by Scott Brashier

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The Laguna Beach Anglers hosted their 8th Annual Fish Fry last Saturday in Bluebird Park honoring the memory of Jerry Piper of the Laguna Beach Auto Parts Store and former Angler as well as raising money for Glennwood House.

Laguna Beach Anglers including Steve Battaglia, Vic Ireland and Alfred “Dee” DeVito catch and freeze the fish during the fishing season and organize the annual Fish Fry to share their catch with the community.

Restaurants that participated this year included include Adolfo’s Mexican Food, GG’s Bistro, Mozambique Steakhouse and the White House. Most of those who bought the $10 ticket brought their own favorite dish to add to the buffet.

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Residents and staff members from Glennwood House enjoyed the Fish Fry

Glennwood House, located at S. Coast Hwy and Ruby Street, provides a safe and independent environment for adults with developmental disabilities.

The Fish Fry raised nearly $3,000 for Glennwood House!

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The organizers: Back (L-R): Diane Ludwig, Steve Battaglia, Clay Berryhill. Alfred “Dee” DeVito and Steve Crawford. In front is Norma Battaglia. Hats off to all!

Assistance League continues to grow with new members

New members continue to be drawn to the Assistance League of Laguna Beach. Attracted by the nonprofit’s more than 50 years of community service, its philanthropic programs, and its dedicated volunteers, new members join its ranks, raising the League’s membership roster to over 200.  

New members: L to R, front row: Carol Beer, Karen Walker, and Eimi Betar. L to R, back row: Inez Fraser, Heather Byer, Jo Murphy, Stephenie Bash, and San Dee Frei. Not pictured: Mary Blum, Kae Espeland, Vidya Reddy, and Karen Newkirk.

With the ongoing addition of new members, the League has been able to increase its philanthropic program activity, fully staff its Thrift Shop, participate in collaborative efforts in the community, and hold successful events such as its annual Friend Raiser and upcoming Chamber Mixer.

Tarnished Treasures donations needed for Woman’s Club Tarnished Treasures Holiday Luncheon on December 5

The Woman’s Club is excited to announce that they will once again be accepting your “Tarnished” items as a tax deductible donation. 

These items will be sold at their Tarnished Treasures Holiday Luncheon on December 5. Any remaining unsold items will be donated to Laguna low income and adopted families at a special holiday party on Saturday, December 6th at the Woman’s Club. 

They will also be accepting hotel size toiletry items (such as shampoos, soap, or toothbrushes) to be donated to needy families. Canned and packed food would be greatly appreciated for food baskets. 

Drop off locations are: the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive – (949) 497-1200, Tuesdays 9 – 12 or Thursdays 2 – 5, until Dec. 4 and except Thanksgiving;  and Kinsman & Kinsman Office, 32355 S. Coast Hwy – (949) 499-8000, Monday – Friday 9 – 5, until Dec. 3 and except Nov. 21 through Dec. 1.

Unfortunately they cannot accept large items such as sofas, mattresses or furniture, etc. For more information visit

Sister Cities garden installed in Heisler Park Monday

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Photos by Jorja Puma

Happy Planters!

This past Monday, members of the Laguna Beach Garden Club joined forces with the Laguna Beach Beautification Council, Laguna Nursery, and the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (all shown above) to install a Sister Cities garden in Heisler Park. The land for this project was unanimously granted in March of 2009 by the Laguna Beach City Council. 

The Sister Cities represented in the garden are Menton, France; San Jose del Cabo, Mexico; and St. Ives, England. Each of these gardens has plants representative of those specific cities.

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Sister Cities garden

The Sister City Garden Project is primarily funded by the Laguna Beach Garden Club with a portion of a grant from the Laguna Beach Community Foundation in partnership with the Massen Greene Foundation.

Local author Sharon McErlane at LB Books Sunday

This Sunday, Nov 23 at 4 p.m., Laguna Beach Books will welcome Sharon McErlane, author of the books A Call to Power: The Grandmothers Speak, and Our Love is Our Power: Working with the Net of Light that Holds the Earth, for a talk, Q&A, and signing. With her will be two women from the Netherlands, part of a large international movement that has sprung up around these books.

Sharon McErlane has been a teacher and a marriage and family therapist for more than three decades, teaching techniques for emotional and spiritual integration to guide people on their life’s path. 

In 1996 while walking her dog beside the beach, the Council of the Grandmothers made themselves known to her, explained their mission, and proceeded to change her life. Since then she has passed on the Grandmothers’ Empowerment into the energy of Yin to thousands of people, carrying the Grandmothers’ message and lessons around the world. 

At present there are more than 150 Grandmothers’ groups, spreading the Grandmothers’ message in different countries, passing on their empowerment and working with the Net of Light that the Grandmothers say, “will hold the world during these times of radical change that are now upon you.” 

The Grandmothers messages and the locations of empowerment groups are posted at

A Call to Power is the story of the author’s encounters with these wise women. It invites women and all readers to take part in the sacred evolution of our planet. 

“The present imbalance of energy on Earth has placed all life in danger,” the Grandmothers declare. “It is time to return to balance, and for this, women must lead.”

Our Love Is Our Power chronicles the author’s adventures with the Great Council of the Grandmothers as these wise women teach her how to infuse herself and the planet with the long absent energy of the Feminine Principle.  They also demonstrate how to amplify the power of the Net of Light that they say, “is here to hold the earth now while the energies of yin and yang shake, rock and roll back into balance.” 

The adventure with the Grandmothers continues…

Laguna Beach Books is an independent bookstore striving to create a community-enriching environment with a superb selection of books for adults and children, exciting author events and readings, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Laguna Beach Books is owned by Jane Hanauer and is located at The Old Pottery Place at 1200 S. Coast Highway. 494-4779.

I Like This Grape: Enjoying the culture of wines 


Naushad Huda is out in front of wine’s newest and growing body of consumers, the “Millennials”. He’s created a forum to put a fresh spin on the often-stuffy world of wine appreciation.

“What I wanted to do was an on-line magazine with a modern perspective,” he said. “Millennials are the largest buyers of wine, but it’s not being marketed to them.”

So he created an interactive website called “I like this grape” ( His target audience is that generation following the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials are generally the 20-somethings that the marketplace is looking to tap into as major consumers now and in the coming years.

Submitted photo

Naushad Huda

According to The New York Times, young adults in their 20’s are moving to surpass baby boomers as the largest age group, changing the way everything is sold. “There are more 23-year-olds – 47 million of them – than any other age, according to census data from June. The second most populous age group was 24, and third was 22. By 2020 [millennials] will account for one-third of the adult population.”

Naushad sees potential in those numbers to create a community of wine lovers, tied in with contemporary culture. “This isn’t Robert Parker’s wine world anymore,” he says. “Wine culture is driven by millennials and intertwined with art, fashion, music, film and inspiration.”

Melissa Saunders, owner of wine importer Communal Brands noted the importance of this age group to the business of wine, and the culture of oenophiles. “Historically, wine has been marketed to older generations and came with huge pretense. But this generation is blowing all of that out of the water,” she said. “They don’t care about the pretentiousness of a wine, they want something that is authentic and speaks to them. This is a huge marketing opportunity.”

Naushad agrees, and he’s designed his website like an interactive magazine with daily posts on wine and modern wine culture. 

“It’s less intimidating to explore new wines,” he says. “You can say, ‘I like this type of grape’, click on it, and we’ll have other sources. The website is an impetus to an experience. It’s shared. More humanistic.”

Additionally there are stories about trends, travel, and music. A couple of the really fun features include a music-and-wine pairing (#vinomusic), and a weekend’s worth of wine experimentation (#vinoweekend). The “vinomusic” pairing Naushad is suggesting now highlights seasonal reasons for comfort and joy. 

“What better to pair the quintessential, winter romantic hit ‘Baby it’s Cold Outside’ than with a dark, smoky, ready-for-a-cast-iron steak glass of 2010 Nickel and Nickel Harris Vineyard Merlot?” he comments on this week’s posted recommendation.

Readers can click on Ilikethisgrape’s recommended two wines for the weekend to try out in their section, “vinoweekend”. It’s currently honoring the movie, Sideways, with a house cuvee from the Hitching Post, the Buellton restaurant featured in the movie (2012 Hitching Post “Hometown” Santa Barbara Pinot Noir). 

There are links to access purchasing the recommended wines as well as the music. Visitors to the website are invited to share comments and feedback, and to share their experiences on Facebook and Twitter.

Baba’s Jam – raspberry jam – now at Farmers market

Barbara Dugally (L) and Karen Banse at Farmers Market at Irvine Regional Park 

Friends for only about a year, Barbara Dugally, 68, told Karen Banse, 67, that she had a lifelong dream of selling her homemade raspberry jam at local farmers’ markets after making it for family, friends, and clients for 40 years.  

Barbara knew of Karen’s sales background and the two ambitious ladies sought the permits required, purchased labels, jars, EZ-UP, table, and fabric for matching aprons and tablecloth and the business was born…only a little over a month ago! 

When Barbara’s first Granddaughter came along she had some difficulties saying her name and only managed: “Baba” - thus the name - “Baba’s Jam!”  

The next step was to identify the farmers’ markets where they wished to have a booth.  Presently they can be seen with their friendly smiles in Laguna Beach Saturday 8-12, Laguna Niguel Sunday 8-12, Irvine Regional Park Tuesday 9-1, and Kaiser Sand Canyon Irvine Wednesday 9-1, and Capo Beach Wednesday 3-7.

Yes, these two ladies stay busy!

The reaction to the jam has been very positive!  After 40 years, Chef Barbara has mastered her recipe and Karen says most customers say, “Oh wow!” or “Oh my God!” after tasting it.  

The two women are enjoying the friendly customers and vendors they’ve met.

Stop by Laguna’s Farmer’s Market from 8 a.m. and noon on Saturday and sample a taste of Baba’s Jam and it’s a safe bet you’ll take some home with you! 

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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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.

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