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Laguna Beach

Glennwood House of Laguna Beach wants us to “Mingle” and celebrate on August 10 at Madison Square Garden & Café 

The residents of Glennwood House of Laguna Beach, a home for 50 young adults with special needs, is about to celebrate their one-year anniversary. 

The long anticipated project required three years of planning, construction, and development. The City of Laguna Beach welcomed the concept with open arms, and last August the dream became reality. 

Now fifty young people with varying ranges of disabilities, from Downs Syndrome and other genetic disorders, to autism and physical handicaps, all call Glennwood “home”. For one hundred percent of them, this is their first experience of independent living.

Glennwood House staff member Sara Novak (in Glennwood T-shirt) with residents Tina, Lauren, and Amy, at Glennwood House on Ruby Street

The concept has been so popular that cities from all over the country have contacted Glennwood to inquire about ways to promote similar housing. And the response from individuals and families with special-needs loved ones is such that there is currently a waiting list of more than 60 young adults hoping for the chance to live at Glennwood. 

Glennwood House would like to make friends with the community, and invites everyone to their Martini Mingleon August 10, 5 p.m. at Madison Square Garden and Café. Many of the residents will attend, and virtually every family involved. Please come and meet your one-year new neighbors, all while helping to support this very vital and forward-thinking Laguna home.

The Martini Mingle event will help to raise awareness, and fund on-going support services as well as activities at Glennwood House. Plus it will be fun at the ever-cheerful Madison Square Café! 

Pre-sale tickets are $35, and at the door $40. Included will be hors d’oeuvres and Jon Madison’s famous martinis. There will be Glennwood-style auction items and raffle. All guaranteed for a great time!

The community is invited to celebrate this special home to special people.

Click on this link to get your tickets now:

Festival of Arts events for this week

Youth Arts Education Workshops

Dates/Times: Through August 29

Mondays – Fridays 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Cost: $10 material fee/session

Bring out that creative spark in your young artist at the Youth Arts Classes this summer at the Festival of Arts. Kids will enjoy art classes taught by professional Festival artists in mixed media, jewelry making, collage and more. Meanwhile, parents will have free time to view the artwork on display throughout the Festival grounds. Festival artists will also share some of their creative techniques in a fun and friendly environment that will inspire your kids to come back every week! Open to children ages 5 - 12. Reservations required. For information and a detailed schedule, call (949) 464-4234 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuesday, August 5: Ceramics (11 a.m.), Claytoon (1 p.m.) Wednesday, August 6: Ceramics (11 a.m.), Printmaking (1 p.m.) Thursday, August 7: Ceramics (11 a.m.), Figure Painting (1 pm) Friday, August 8: Wood Sculpture (11 a.m.), 

Encaustic/Wax Painting (1 p.m.)

Cost: $10 material fee/session

Art Talks: Lecture Series, “Runway Madness” Thursday, August 7 (12-1pm) 

On August 7 from 12-1 p.m.,  the Festival of Arts continues its Art Talks series with a lively discussion about the 2014 Festival Runway Fashion Show. Moderated by special events director Susan Davis, artists who entered the wearable art show will discuss their inspirations and answer questions from the audience. This is one of several topics discussed at the Festival’s weekly Art Talks: A Lecture Series. Each Thursday between July 10 and August 28, Festival artists lead conversations about their medium, inspiration, and careers in this fascinating and stimulating series.

Cost: Free with Festival admission

Nightly Music Schedule Daily 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Cost: Free with Festival admission

Tuesday, August 5: Max Bennett, Wednesday, August 6: David Correa and Cascada, Thursday, August 7: Steve Oliver, for the Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate series

Friday, August 8: Cinnamon and Clove

Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate: Chocolate, wine, and all that jazz, sweetens up the Festival of Arts this summer. Sample a wide variety of Kendall-Jackson wines expertly selected to compliment and enhance the nuanced flavor of high-end chocolates from XAN Confections. Thursday, August 7 (5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.) Live performance by Steve Oliver. 

The Festival’s casual and classy outdoor setting, together with the soulful sounds of jazz surrounded by fine art, creates an ideal evening for friends, sweethearts, and family.

Cost: Concerts are free; Wine and Chocolate pairings (21 and over) are $15 in addition to Festival of Arts admission. Limited seating available in reserved section for an additional $25 per person by calling (800) 487-3378.

As one of the nation’s oldest and most highly acclaimed juried fine art shows, the Festival of Arts features the artwork of 140 award-winning artists. Patrons can enjoy the work of exhibiting artists, demonstrations and art workshops, daily art tours, live music, special events, dine at on-site restaurants and much more. For a full listing of events, visit

Through August 30, 2014

Open daily from 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.

Early closing: August 23 at 3:30

Ticket Information

General Admission: Weekdays $7, Weekends $10

Students & Seniors: Weekdays $4, Weekends $6

Free Admission for Children 12 and under, Military, and Laguna Beach Residents.

Festival of Arts Grounds 650 Laguna Canyon Road

(800) 487-3378

City Council sets busy agenda for tonight’s meeting


Tuesday, August 5, the City Council meets to address 17 items in its regular meeting at City Hall, Council chambers. 

The regular order of business will review considerations for an alternate member of the Design Review Board, Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee items, a proposed revision of the plan for implementing construction-staging procedures, allowance of additional building height for the Festival of Arts entrance, and fire safety recommendations for the Red Flag Safe Pilot Parking Restriction Program.

Item No. 15 on the agenda will focus on the redevelopment and update of the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters façade and entrance. The design will include additional building height and associated improvements subject to conditions, “to better represent the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters, and to improve visitor experience by making the area access compliant.”

Click on graphic for a larger image

Architectural rendering by Bauer Architects

Proposed entrance for Festival of the Arts and the Pageant of the Masters

Item No. 16 on tonight’s agenda is Councilmember Kelly Boyd’s proposal of a resolution to further bicycle and pedestrian safety instruction. He recommends that the City Council authorize the Mayor to send a letter supporting Senate Resolution No. 17, which encourages the State of California to promote bicycle and pedestrian safety instruction in schools and at home. The recommendation summarizes the Senate Resolution stating, “Specifically, children will learn defensive walking tactics, safe bike riding and skateboarding tips, and the dangers of using electronic devices while walking, bike riding, or skateboarding.”

Under consideration from the PTC are replacing the “No Parking” notifications on the 14 foot-wide Pedro Street with a “Tow Away – No Parking” restrictions, adding 50 feet to the restricted area in order to improve traffic flow, and the installation of raised crosswalks at the intersection of Los Robles at El Camino del Mar, and on Short Street at El Camino del Mar. The crosswalks are requested for the safety and accessibility of an incoming high school student who requires a power wheelchair for mobility and will need to cross through these two intersections. 

The Red Flag Fire Safe Pilot Parking Restriction Program was first presented in a public workshop for the residents of Diamond/Crestview last May. The program is intended to improve access of fire and emergency equipment in areas with smaller roads. Diamond/Crestview was selected for the pilot study because the area has only one street in and out.

During days of “Red Flag” fire danger (low humidity and high winds), of which there were seven in 2014, and seven in 2013, parking would be temporarily eliminated on narrow streets, and permitted on one side of the street only, on streets greater than 27 feet. The program will review efficacy for one year, and the City Manager will report the results back to the City Council next July. The proposal before the Council is to establish the pilot program for one year. 

The Laguna Beach City Council’s closed session begins tonight at 5 p.m., and the public access meeting begins at 6 p.m. It is also broadcast live on Cox channel 852, high definition, and channel 38 on standard Cox cable.

6th Annual Lobsterfest to serve up seafood, music and family fun at Newport Dunes with fresh Maine lobster

The 6th Annual Lobsterfest at Newport Beach will be hosted by Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina on Sunday, Aug 10, 2014, from 3 – 8 p.m. This annual celebration of summer centers around a lobster dinner with dancing to live music, opportunity drawings, prizes, and fun on the beach for the entire family.

Maine lobster flown in fresh on the morning of the event will be prepared on-site alongside a buffet that includes tri-tip, corn on the cob, salads, and dessert. Live entertainment from 3 – 8 p.m. will be provided by “Instant Replay,” a high-energy rock-n-pop band playing favorites from more than seven decades. Special activities for youngsters will be on-site with Camp James.

Tickets for the Lobsterfest at Newport Beach are $55 per person in advance, $75 at the door. Additional lobster may be purchased for $20 each. A special “box” meal for children under 12 is available for $20 in advance and $25 at the door. VIP tickets, which include all-you-can-eat lobster, complimentary wine, valet parking, and reserved seating are $150 in advance. Tickets can be purchased online at

A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Make-a-Wish Orange County and Inland Empire, Leadership Tomorrow, and New Directions for Women. Make-a-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. Leadership Tomorrow, in conjunction with the Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and Tustin Chambers of Commerce, is a nine-month program designed for informed citizens committed to learning more about their communities. New Directions for Women provides rehabilitation treatment services for women suffering from alcoholism, substance abuse, and other chemical dependency problems.

Lobsterfest takes place at 101 North Bayside Drive, Newport Beach. Enter from Pacific Coast Highway.

For more information and to purchase tickets for the Lobsterfest, visit or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ruben Flores and Visionscape honored with multiple California Landscape Contactors Association awards

The California Landscape Contactors Association (CLCA), Orange County/Long Beach Chapter presented the 2014 Trophy Awards on July 26. A local Laguna Beach company, Visionscape, and its president, Ruben Flores, were honored with awards in several categories, including the Sweepstakes Award for Best Overall Landscape Project, commercial or residential.

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Ruben Flores

Flores and Visionscape, Inc. were presented with trophy awards for the following:

Landscape Beautification Outstanding Achievement – Small Residential Landscape Install (Pickens Estate), Medium Residential Landscape Install (Youngman Estate), Residential Maintenance, up to $500 per month (Pickens Estate)

Landscape Beautification Winners – Sweepstakes Award/Best Landscape Project Overall (Johnson Estate), Brilliance Award/Best Landscape Lighting (Meberg Estate), Residential Maintenance greater than $1001 per month (Donnelly Beach Cottage), Unlimited Residential Landscape Install (Donnelly Beach Cottage), Landscape Lighting Project, 36-80 fixtures (Kaufman/Redding Estate)

The CLCA sponsors the Trophy Awards annually to encourage interest in landscaping, to recognize crafts people who produce outstanding landscapes, create pride in superior workmanship, and to bestow public recognition on companies, institutions, municipalities, and residents for their interest in a beautiful California.

In addition to his landscape company, Visionscape Inc., Flores also owns Laguna Nursery on South Coast Hwy, is the President of the Laguna Beach Beautification Council, and serves on the Board of the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

The Sounds of Summer – Laguna nights are filled with music 


The scent of sea air and Coppertone breezed past me as I turned the page of my book.  I found a quiet spot on the beach to enjoy a few chapters before the crowds took over.  Summertime in Laguna and the livin’ is easy.  Lounging on the beach, hiking in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and Main Beach boardwalk strolls at sunset.  

And after the sun goes down, it’s all about the music.  On any night of the week, Laguna’s bars, restaurants and streets are pulsating to the beat of jazz, folk, rock, bluegrass, country, reggae and everything in between.  Laguna is loaded with live music venues, and the music scene heats up like the summer sun as musicians take center stage at the Sawdust Art Festival, Art-a-Fair and Festival of Arts.

I discovered Laguna’s music scene after moving here in 2004 while shopping on a Sunday afternoon.  I was coming out of a boutique on Ocean Avenue and heard gritty, soulful renditions of songs by Bob Dylan and The Animals emanating from The Marine Room.  Mesmerized by the sounds of what I learned to be The Missiles of October, I became a Sunday afternoon Marine Room regular and have been rocking-out there ever since.  

Besides The Marine Room, which has top-notch musical talent on any given night, I frequent The Cliff’s cozy outdoor mini-amphitheater where live music of all genres draws crowds of all ages.  There’s something so endearing about watching  five-year-olds dancing to a Beatles cover band, except maybe watching the grandparents sing along to those undying tunes from their childhood. Some of my other favorite live music hot-spots are Hotel Laguna, Hennessy’s and Mozambique, where Jason Feddy’s acoustic sets, Anesha Rose’s raucous covers of Janice Joplin and Nick I’s reggae-rock can be heard.  Yet, during the summer months, there’s nothing better than hearing live music at all of Laguna’s art festivals.

The musical talent in this town never ceases to amaze me.  From up-and-coming teens to seasoned 60-somethings, we are blessed with stellar sounds from all ages, for all ages.  Enjoy everything that summer has to offer; the great outdoors and those good vibrations!

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UCI Extension open house

Interested in furthering your education? The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is hosting a free open house on Thursday, Aug 7 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Come and learn about OLLI’s stimulating classes, meet friendly participants, enjoy an appetizer, coffee, and conversation, and pick up a fall 2014 catalog and enroll in the fall semester.

The open house will be in the Onken Classroom in the Woodbridge Village Shopping Center, 4662 Barranca Pkwy, Irvine. The classroom is on the second floor above Barnes & Noble. 

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949-451-1403.

Neighbors turn out in support of Rob Zur Schmiede

Submitted photo

Last Saturday morning 34 Oak Street neighbors turned out to sign Rob Zur Schmiede’s official nominating papers including Nick and Alison Alexander above, as he seeks one of the three open City Council seats. “I am grateful for...[all of the neighborhood]…support as we begin this important campaign.”

MY HERO films merit top awards at competition

Two Southern California environmental films produced by the MY HERO Project have been named winners in the 2014 Best Shorts Competition. The competition, based in La Jolla, is a global, avant-garde contest that honors filmmakers around the world who create high quality short films and new-media projects.

The short documentary The Kelp Lady is a winner of the Award of Merit. The film features Orange County marine biologist, Nancy Caruso and her efforts to protect several endangered species by restoring the natural kelp forests along the Orange County, California beaches.

Anabelle Vo, Nancy Caruso, and Wendy Milette

Caruso takes her passion for the marine environment inside nearby schools with her non-profit organization, Get Inspired! The organization introduces students to the ocean habitat, and helps them raise kelp, abalone and sea bass, and later return the sea life to its natural ocean environment. 

Caruso’s efforts to replant the ocean have helped to grow and restore the local kelp forests to more than 100 acres, as she and her volunteers work to protect the most vulnerable species along the Orange County coast.

The other winner of the Award of Merit is the film, Saving the Canyon with Mary Fegraus. The educational documentary highlights the successful efforts of Laguna Beach environmental activist, Mary Fegraus. 

Fegraus was a driving force in the effort to preserve 20,000 acres of open space from development.  The area is now the South Coast Wilderness. It is made up of Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Crystal Cove State Park, the City of Irvine Open Space, and Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, and offers miles of hiking trails, a Nature Center, and a safe, natural habitat for indigenous wildlife.

Fegraus’ efforts have ensured that the outdoor sanctuary will remain open and undeveloped for future generations.

Both films were produced by Leanne Meyers, Wendy Milette, and Anabelle Vo, of the MY HERO Project.

“The MY HERO is very grateful to the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, and the Massen Greene Foundation for their support of these two films,” said Milette. “The impact of media that educates and raises awareness about environmental issues is long lasting, and will continue to influence future generations for years to come.”

MY HERO is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to sharing stories of the world’s heroes in an ongoing effort to promote peace and cross-cultural understanding. MY HERO’s free, interactive website features stories, videos, music, and art. For more information, visit

Laguna Beach Toastmasters meeting canceled for Aug 4

The Laguna Beach Toastmasters club will not hold its weekly meeting on Monday, Aug 4 due to a scheduling change at the library.

The club will resume meetings at the regular time on Monday Aug 11, 6 - 7:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Library.  a

The club is hosting free open house meetings every Monday evening to build interest in starting the public speaking club in Laguna Beach.  Parking is available just west of the library.

Contact John Barry to learn more about Toastmasters, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (714) 457-2279.

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