Laguna Beach

Sunday Night’s Inspiring Sky

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Bob Heitel

Main Beach on Sunday

Underground utility assessment districts refinanced

City Treasurer Laura Parisi announced Friday that at 10 a.m., Jan 15, 2015 the refinancing of six assessment districts into a single loan with Arizona Business Bank, CoBiz Public Finance, Inc. was completed. The refunding documents were approved by the City Council of the City of Laguna Beach Dec 16, 2014. 

The districts have 265 property owners who will save an average of 16% to 40% on their 2015/16 assessment levy depending on their prior district. The levies are included in the property tax bills. The average savings by district follows (source: Fieldman Rolapp and Associates):

Cerritos, Dunning, Terrace Way, and Rim Rock: Total gross savings $315,752; seven district years remaining, $442 average annual savings per parcel, 26% annual cash flow savings.

Allview Terrace: Total gross savings $84,575; 12 district years remaining, $294 average savings per parcel, 16% annual cash flow savings.

Dyer Place and Smith Way: Total gross savings $36,060; four district years remaining, $644 average annual savings per parcel, 32% annual cash flow savings.

Supplement to district 99-1: Total gross savings $11,859; four district years remaining, $247 average annual savings per parcel, 40% annual cash flow savings.

Agate, Ocean Way, Bluff Drive, Sunset Ridge, Ledroit, Hillcrest and Louise: Total gross savings $83,550;five district years remaining, $217 average annual savings per parcel, 24% annual cash flow savings.

Loma Terrace and Bent Street: Total gross savings $50,265; five district years remaining, $279 average annual savings per parcel, 32% annual cash flow savings.

Overall total gross savings is $582,061, with an average annual savings per parcel of $343.

The assessment districts were formed to remove the utility poles and place the utilities underground in each of the above neighborhoods. The outstanding bonds were refinanced at an average rate of 2.5%, which was lower than the cost of the former bonds in each district.

Questions regarding the refunding may be directed to City Treasurer Laura Parisi, CPA, CCMT, CFIP, 497-0327.

Laguna Beach volunteer sets the tone for Ocean Institute 2015 Jazz Festival coming up for three days this weekend

A Laguna Beach resident leads the Festival committee to success, Jan. 23-25. Tickets are on sale now.

The smooth tones of the 2015 Ocean Institute Jazz Festival aren’t the only thing that’s hot in Dana Point. Dedicated Laguna Beach resident Melinda Williams has put in close to 200 hours of volunteer time on the Jazz Festival committee to help bring the Ocean Institute’s 2015 Jazz Festival to life this year. From auction items to restaurants to gourmet Chefs to lining up the talent, she has cheerfully performed miracles for this year’s Jazz Festival, and it shows. 

Because of her efforts, Rick Braun and Friends Elliott Yamin, and Norman Brown perform on Friday and Saturday. Hot salsa jazz band DW3 takes the stage at Sunday’s Encore Performance. Proceeds from the Jazz Festival benefit the Ocean Institute to help fund their hands-on educational programs and workshops for children age K-12. 

Elliott Yamin

Limited tickets are still available from $75 - $500 per person, depending upon day and event at or call 949-496-2274, ext. 337 for more information or ticket purchase.

 Using the ocean as the classroom, the Ocean Institute inspires children to learn. The Ocean Institute has become nationally known for its hands-on marine science, environmental education and maritime history programs. More than 115,000 K-12 students and 6,000 teachers annually participate in the Institute’s 61 award-winning, immersion style programs.

Historical Society; Police Chief Paul Workman willlook back at Laguna’s police chiefs and the early days

On Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., the Laguna Beach Historical Society will have a presentation about the Laguna Beach Police Department: The Early Days.

The presentation will be by retiring chief Paul Workman of the Laguna Beach Police Department. 

The presentation will cover the police chiefs from the first Chief Abe Johnson up to the early 1950s, the Police Station, a “mystery officer” from the 1920s, a story about the second Chief Johnson, the shooting of Officer Gordon French, and a recent find in the department’s storage.

Chief Workman has been with the Laguna Beach Police Department since 1975. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Fullerton and attended the Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College. He also attended the FBI National Academy class 211. Paul Workman has been the Chief of Police since May of 2009.

Festival of Arts Foundation funding grants in theamount of $120K available – submission by Feb. 13

Festival of Arts Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now available for 2015 Art Grants. Nonprofit organizations that have programs that promote fine arts in and about the City of Laguna Beach may apply. Submission deadline is Feb. 13, 2015. 

Grant applications are available online at or may be picked up at the Festival of Arts administration office located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. 

“The Foundation board anticipates a record number of applications this year, and looks forward to giving approximately $120,000 in grants to the qualified recipients,” said Festival of Arts Foundation President Scott Moore.

For more information on the grant application process, please contact Scott Moore at 494-9680. 

In 1989, the Festival of Arts with a $1.5 million donation established the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts Foundation, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, in order to guarantee annual financial support for the arts in Laguna Beach.

The Foundation, co-founded by John Rayment and David Young, was designed to hold these funds in a permanent endowment. The earnings and income from this endowment would be distributed annually in the form of scholarships to graduates of Laguna Beach High School and as grants to nonprofit art organizations and educational institutions in and about the city of Laguna Beach.

The Foundation operates independently from the Festival of Arts. In 2007, the Festival of Arts assumed the financial responsibility of the art scholarships, enabling The Foundation to focus on its grant program for local non-profit art organizations.

The Festival of Arts Foundation is comprised of a five-member board of trustees who oversees and administers the program including Scott Moore (president), John Campbell (vice president) Bob Earl (treasurer), Jacquie Moffett (secretary), John Rayment (board member).

Experience a New Year transition ritual at the Temple of Light

Living Your Gifts, a Laguna Beach health and wellness company that combines traditional therapeutic and indigenous healing modalities in coaching, workshops and rituals, invites you to a New Year transition ritual, in the indigenous African Dagara Tradition. Ritual is simply the act doing anything with intention, as a tool for healthy living. The transition ritual, “Leaving the Story, Grounding Your Gift,” offers an opportunity for a guided, holistic transition of spiritual and psychic energy into the New Year, in a safe and sacred space to release and renew. 

The evening will be facilitated by Susan Hough, BSW, and CTI trained Life Coach, and Co-Founder of Living Your Gifts, at the Temple of Light, 11 Goddard, Irvine, at 7 p.m. on Jan. 30. The cost is $20 for online pre-registration, or $25 at the Door.

In the West African Dagara tradition, the New Year begins in late January, when the transition ritual takes place. In the Dagara tradition there are five elements - Fire, Water, Earth, Mineral and Nature, which preside over distinct realms of activity, transformation and healing. 

2014 was a Mineral year, which guides communication, the translation of symbols and myths, and the transformation of ‘stories’ (personal and ancestral). 

2015 is an Earth year, which will preside over the realm of heart, home, balance, identity, nurturing, empowerment, support, and care. 

The transitioning ritual allows a space to complete the transform of any stories that are no longer working, and to welcome in and root oneself in the nurturing, supportive, and empowering Earth year energy, which will aid in the ability to stay grounded. 

Benefits of attending the transition ritual include: a guided holistic transition of your spiritual and psychic energy into the new year, and a safe and sacred space to release and renew, and the creation and support of Community,

The New Year ritual will consist of a grounding meditation, followed by a ritual incorporating mineral elements to release, and earth elements to renew. It will end in prayer to support what you personally need to be grounded in 2015. 

There is no experience necessary to participate; it is for open for all ages and for both men and women and last about two hours.

What do you need to bring for the ritual? Bring dirt from home (preferably your birthplace, or from the area around your current residence), five rocks (of any size) that you may take back home with you, and a yoga mat or blanket. Pre Register at:

For more information about the Transition ritual event, or Living Your Gifts, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or contact Susan Hough at (703) 505-5152.

Community Emergency Response Team training program

The Laguna Beach Police Department announced registration for the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Course. A Community Emergency Response Team is an organized and trained group of volunteers ready to assist in case of a disaster. The CERT program consists of 25 hours of classroom and hands on training. It concludes with an exercise drill to apply the skills and knowledge obtained during the classroom sessions. 

Training includes disaster preparedness, fire safety, disaster medical operations, light search and rescue, CERT organization, disaster psychology, CERT and terrorism, and traffic control and scene management.

Training will begin on Wednesday, March 25. Classes will then meet weekly from 6 to 9 p.m. followed by one Saturday morning exercise on May 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mandatory attendance is required at all classes. 

To be considered for this training, you must be a resident of Laguna Beach or work within the city limits, be at least 18 years old and have no felony convictions.

Applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. March 20 (the City of Laguna Beach reserves the right to refuse admittance into this program). All individuals will receive a confirmation email if accepted into the program.

To register please, fill out the online registration form at and email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or drop it off at the Police Department, 505 Forest Ave.

Celebrate an event that truly shaped Laguna with the Laguna Friends of Architecture Friday at 6:30

Join friends for a glass of wine and watch a documentary on ‘The Walk in the Canyon’ this Friday evening, Jan. 23 at 6:30. 

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Submitted photo

The ‘stage’ at The Walk in the Canyon in 1989

This ‘Walk’ in 1989 consisting of 7,000 passionate people, was a pivotal milestone in the history in of Laguna as it was the largest environmental protest march ever held in Orange County (to this day) and it brought the Irvine Company to the negotiation table for the sale of the land. The bottom line is that it prevented a 3,500 home development and we now have the Greenbelt around Laguna.

As original organizers of the event, Harry Huggins and Charles Murray will give little known insight into this event at 6:30 p.m. at Studio 1 at Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) this Friday the 23rd. Please email any questions to Sean McCracken at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

American Legion honors Police and Fire departments

On Thursday, Jan 15, the Laguna Beach American Legion hosted an overflow crowd at their monthly dinner social meeting to honor members of the Laguna Beach Police and Fire departments. 

Commander Richard Moore opened this special program noting that, “Civilization has many requirements. Our Constitution mentions two of them: establishing justice and insuring domestic tranquility. Our news is flooded with reports of failed societies whose governments cannot establish or maintain justice because they cannot insure domestic tranquility. Tonight we are honoring two special public servants from the Police and Fire departments, who make the process of establishing justice and maintaining domestic tranquility a reality for us. This year we honor Firefighter David Lopez and deceased Police Officer Jon Coutchie, who was killed in the line of duty in 2013.” 

Police Chief Paul Workman accepted the American Legion Award of Merit for Jon Coutchie’s family. Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse presented the American Legion Award of Merit to Dave Lopez. Dave’s wife pinned the medal on Dave’s chest to the applause of the crowd.

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Submitted photo

Laura Lopez pins the American Legion Award of Merit on her husband, firefighter Dave Lopez. He was honored for his contributions to enhance the LBFD’s Emergency Medical Services program and for his volunteerism as a bag piper of the Honor Guard. He played them at several ceremonies for officer Jon Coutchie.

Commander Moore concluded, “I speak for all the military veterans of our Post and our women’s Auxiliary in thanking our Police and Fire Departments for their key role in making civilization possible in Laguna Beach.”

At the close of the meeting Vice Commander Dave Connell thanked Police Chief Workman, who is retiring, for his long service to the City, State and Nation and wished him a happy and productive retirement. Commander Moore thanked Don McIntosh, Post Judge Advocate, for coordinating this special program.

A Note from Stu

The tacos were great – the company was even better!

Photo slideshow by Mary Hurlbut

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Shaena and I were happy with the turnout Friday at El Ranchito 

Shaena and I were tossing ideas back and forth Sunday about where/what we would do for our February community event/gathering. She said I couldn’t ask everyone to bring me a valentine. I had tried to get her to go along with that idea so that for once in my life, I could get more valentine cards than anyone else.

I argued that Feb 14 was a Saturday and we would hold our February dealy-bob, as usual, on a Friday, the day before.

“We need to be near the end of the month,” she informed me. I knew she was right. 

We’ll just have to wait to finalize those plans – but, alas – no valentine cards!

This past Friday at El Ranchito was a blast – big, big turnout and that’s what we hope for. As has been the case pretty much since we started the monthly rather than weekly thingamajigs, we met many new faces and new readers who had recently come to know about StuNewsLaguna. We both really enjoy getting to know you all.

Shaena said there were 200-plus who came Friday. That’s great! We both appreciate that more than you know.  

Staff members Maggi Henrikson, Dennis McTighe, Samantha Washer, Diane Armitage, Scott Brashier and Mary Hurlbut, who took the photos in this piece, were there. 

Look for an announcement in the not-too-distant future about what we’ll be planning for next month.

And, in case you hadn’t noticed, we don’t know exactly what to call out get togethers. Will you help?

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your suggestions!

Thanks again for being there!  

Check out Mary’s slideshow below

Click on the lefthand photo to start and see them all


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.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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