Laguna Beach

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A note from Stu 


Hats off LBHS

Girls Water Polo

Laguna’s Girls Water Polo team dominated the weekend SoCal Tournament in Irvine with five one-sided wins.

The Breakers (24-2) are ranked #1 in the latest CIF Division I poll with the postseason seeds just around the corner.

See tournament coverage in our Sports section today.


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And we’re having fun doing it thanks to you, our readers! •••

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Diane Armitage

Best Valentine Prix Fixe menus are going fast


OK, folks. As much as you may decry the blasphemous sale of love on Valentine’s Day, the fact is this: If your partner is expecting some sort of special Valentine’s Day dinner in one of Laguna Beach’s finest restaurants, you had better get hustling. 

Several restaurants are already booked solid, and that includes places like Las Brisas, whose food mention … ehrm … doesn’t reside in my Best of Laguna Beach travel guide.

Given that we’re expecting the usual crazed upswing in people and traffic this coming holiday weekend, most Laguna restaurants are simply offering their regular menus with Valentine’s Day specials on Sunday. 

If, however, you’re determined to enjoy a romantically inclined prix fixe menu, there are still 12 restaurants offering multi-course prix fixes that still have seating availability. I’ve listed all of these in my blog, but here are the five I would personally recommend: 

Broadway by Amar Santana – Our Top Chef season participant is very close to selling out his 5-course menu at $110/person. 

Nirvana Grille - Always a perennial favorite for romantics, Chef Lindsay at Nirvanais offering a 4-course prix fixe, $59/person. 

Driftwood Kitchen’s Chef Rainer is offering prix fixe menus at $79/person on both Saturday and Sunday. 

K’ya Bistro, one of my forever favorites with Chef Craig, still has seatings at $99/couple (not per person, per couple).

Chef Azmin at Sapphire tells me that seatings are closing out for his 3-course prix fixe dinner, priced from $76-$88 per person, depending on your entrée choice.

Whether you choose a specialty menu, or decide to choose from regular menu offerings around town, be sure to make your reservations immediately so that you won’t find yourself sitting down to dinner at 10 p.m. 

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day! 


A published writer and marketing agency owner for 30 years, Diane Armitage authors the popular blog, www.LagunaBeachBest.com 

and the newly revised: The Best of Laguna Beach: The Travelers’ and Residents’ Guide. She is a regular contributor to StuNewsLaguna

Something for everyone in our wilderness parks

Reservations required Sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities.html 

949-923-2235. Parking: $3


Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park


Feb 9 Tue California Native Plants and Uses 9-11 a.m. Learn about the many fascinating uses of California native plants during the pre-mission period, on this 2-mile hike (490-ft. elevation gain) over steep and uneven terrain. This hike will focus on plants used historically for tools, food and building materials. For ages 12 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve.

Feb 11 Thur Fitness Hike at Dilley 8:30-10:30 a.m. Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 5.5-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (900-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 15 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve. 

Feb 13 Sat California Native Plant Hike 8:30-11:30 a.m. Learn about the seasonal life of California Native Plants with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalist on this enjoyable 2.5 mile hike (45-ft elevation gain) over moderately uneven terrain. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve.


Aliso & Wood Canyons

Wilderness Park


Feb 10 Wed Yoga Hike 9-10:30 a.m. Stretch your mind and body on this 2.4-mile hike with a yoga twist over steep and uneven terrain (100-ft. elevation gain) led by Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 12 and up. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area. Parking: Free.

Feb 13 Sat Family Bandito Bike Ride to Dripping Cave 9-11 a.m. Join a band of bike wielding young explorers on a ride to Aliso’s most intriguing attraction. We’ll learn the mysterious legends of this famed bandit hideout as well as about its previous inhabitants - the Acjachemen people. For those who can comfortably ride 5 miles (150 ft. elevation gain) on dirt trails with some sandy sections. Children ages 8 and up, or younger if peddled by an adult.  Bike, helmet, water, snack, and weather appropriate clothing/ shoes are required. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Ranger Headquarters. 



Scroll down for events at Crystal Cove Park

Crystal Cove State Park


Enjoy a free sea glass jewelry making activity on Wednesdays (2/10, 2/17, 2/24) from 10-4 in the Education Commons in the Historic District at Crystal Cove State Park (Park in the Los Trancos lot - PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk across the street or take the shuttle.)  Learn how to turn sea glass into a one of a kind creation.

Love birds, but need help with identification? Join Crystal Cove State Park birders on a guided winter bird walk on both the inland and coastal areas of the park on Saturday, Feb 13 at 8:30 a.m.  Meet at the Berns Amphitheatre. 

Help us learn more about Moro Canyon’s Ecosystem at Field Science Saturday Feb 13 from 8:30-10:30 a.m. Become a citizen scientist as we study leaf litter microbes, restoration and herbivory, and fuel moisture levels.  This month we will also be participating in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Great Backyard Bird Count, to help create a global snapshot of the world’s bird populations!  Meet at the Berns Environmental Study Loop Amphitheater. 

Love nature?  Why not Take Your Valentine on a Hike” to celebrate Valentine’s Day on Sunday, February 14 at 9 a.m.  Join a park naturalist at Crystal Cove State Park to learn about the plants and animals living in the parkMeet at the Berns Amphitheater. 

Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live at Crystal Cove State Park on Sunday, Feb 28 from 11-2pm at the Historic District Education Commons where Park Naturalist Alex will host a Beachside Chat.  Park in the Los Trancos lot.


Volume 8, Issue 12                                                                            February 9, 2016

Is the city’s proposed ordinance to allow only non-profits to deliver medical marijuana to cardholders over-burdening to those who need it?
Is the city’s proposed ordinance to allow only non-profits to deliver medical marijuana to cardholders over-burdening to those who need it?
You must select at least one item to vote!

Events, programs at Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org


Drum Circle

Drum Circle

Mon: 1/11-2/8-3/7| 2:30-3:30pm

Free – Donations Appreciated

“Keep to the rhythm and you keep to life” – Lee Kix, drum leader.

Family Caregiver

Support Group

2nd & 4th Wed | 3- 4:30pm | Free

Sharing confidential, emotional support and resources among caregivers.

Club Q Laguna

1st and 3rd Friday | 3-5pm

Join Laguna’s LGBT seniors for seasonal potlucks, free movies and snacks, speakers, and outside group events. In good company, the club also enjoys working on community service projects.

Ted Talks

1st & 3rd Tuesday | 10-12 p.m.

Limited Space

TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, in the form of short, powerful talks. Contact Al Gumb if you’d like to join: (949) 627-7541

Computer Assistance

Thursdays Noon-3pm. Please call ahead. One-on-one help with your laptop, smart phone, or tablet, PC & Mac/Apple, Windows 7&8.

Benefits Enrollment Center

Council on Aging and Laguna Beach Seniors introduce the Benefits Enrollment Center at The Susi Q to assist seniors and persons with disabilities find and apply for benefit programs.

Enrollment Available every first Monday 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Free 

Call to register: 497-2441

Social Services Support

Feeling the Blues Counseling

One-on-one sessions for men and women.Schedule an appointment with a mental health professional. 10 free sessions. Call for more information (949) 497-2441


More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org


Care Management

Mon – Thur | 9am- 3pm |

Friday | 9am – 5 pm


Providing linkage to resources that promote safety and quality of life. Call for appt.

Small Circle Standing Yoga

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9-10am. $4 per class. The overall benefits will affect every aspect of your health and the quality of your daily life. Exercises can be performed while standing or while sitting in a chair. No floor or mat exercises are performed. Instructor: Wayne Lawrence

Adult Hula Lessons

Fridays from 1:30-2:30.

$3 suggested donation per class. Come and dance the hula with us! The gentle and graceful movements will make you forget your troubles and mentally transport you to the islands. 

Ukulele University

Strum your cares away!

Beginning Ukulele:

Thurs | 1/7-2/25 | 9-10 a.m. | 

$50/series or $5/class

Intermediate Ukulele:

Wed | 1/6 – 2/24 | 9-10 a.m. 

$55/series or $7/class

Free Play Along for all levels

Wed | 10:15-11:15 a.m.

Take the bus to the Susi Q

The city’s blue buses now stop right in front of the Susi Q Monday – Saturday all day. 

Schedules will be posted at all bus stops, so getting here is easier than ever. You won’t have to deal with traffic or parking!

Current Events Discussion Group

Tuesday and Friday | 9:30- 11:30am

Join this discussion of newsworthy events, and topics of special interest.


Join us for Bingo every Monday and Thursday from 10:30-11:30am. Try your luck to win prizes and gift cards. National Charity League sponsors “Birthday Celebration Bingo” on the 3rd Wednesday of every month, from 10:30-11:30am. Free!

Monday Movie and Popcorn

Free every Monday from 12:30-3pm. See movie schedule at susiq.org.

Intermediate Ballroom Dancing

Mon | 2- 3pm | Intermediate | $7 per class – Drop-ins welcome! Waltz, Rumba, Swing, Watusi, ChaCha, Country two-step, Fox Trot. No partner required.  Instructor: Candis Davis

Health Insurance Counseling (HICAP)

1st and 3rd Mon | 9a.m.- Noon | Free

Provides assistance and objective information to help seniors and disabled persons make informed decisions about health care coverage, Medicare benefits and supplemental insurance plan options.  Sponsored by the Council on Aging.  Call for apt.


More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling 497.2441

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter: www.susiq.org


Shakespeare Reader’s Theatre

2nd Thur Monthly | 12-1:30pm | Free

Explore with Julia Lupton from UCI’s Shakespeare Center.

Contemporary Short Story Discussion Group

Second and fourth Tuesdays

2 – 4 p.m.

Members will take turns leading discussions of selected stories. Contact Alison King, Ph. D. for more information: (714) 608-1322 or email her at: aking@csusm.edu

Free Estate Planning Legal Advice

3rd Thursday of each month from 12-2 p.m. Local Attorney Leslie Daff is available to answer questions pertaining to estate planning, probate, and trust administration and to prepare and notarize financial powers of attorney, advanced health care directives, HIPAA authorizations, and trust amendments (to leave bequests to Laguna Beach Seniors, INC.) at no charge.

We have Bridge for all levels!

Call to find out about classes!


Bridge Group needs fourths

The Round Robin Bridge group is looking for new players and substitute players.  The group meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month from 10:30-3 at the Susi Q. If interested, please contact Kathy Oliver at (949) 497-7927 or (949) 231-9235.

Tabletop Treasures

Mondays | 9am – Noon.

Fabulous recycled and second time around treasures for sale at bargain prices. Small donated items are always appreciated for drop off from 9am-3pm. No clothing please. Proceeds benefit weekly Bingo and fund the Laguna Beach High School Scholarship from LBS.

Coffee Talk support group

Please join Laguna residents and facilitators including Kay Wenger, LMFT, in a supportive atmosphere where concerns, coping skills, and helping tips are shared. This free ongoing group meets every other Monday 10-11:30 a.m.

Mahjongg Wednesdays

If you are an experienced Mahjongg player, feel free to join us every Wednesday at 12:30 in the Game Room at the Susi Q.  

Tiles can be provided for you.

Needle Art Group 

The Susi Q Community Needle Art Group meets on the last Friday of every month at 1 p.m.  They create handmade items for local organizations. 

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group

Join us the first Wednesday of every month from 1:30-3 p.m. for an informational meeting and informal discussion.  Strategies will be shared for dealing with loved ones who are affected by the disease.

Table Tennis every week

Tabletop tennis, or ping pong as some might label it, is offered every Mon & Wed | 12:30 – 4pm

Friday | 12:30 – 2:30pm

Saturday times vary

There is a $25 annual fee. 

Bring your own paddle or borrow one of ours.  All we ask is that you wear non-skidding shoes. 

All levels of play are welcome!

 CAP Gallery artists’ exhibition at Wells Fargo until April 15 

The exhibition, “Portraiture” features three artists who present their personal perspective on the art of portraiture. Elizabeth McGhee, Ellen Rose and Bruce Vanderwilt each have distinct styles of presenting the human form. This exhibition gives viewers the chance to enjoy the uniqueness of each artist’s style.

The exhibition will run through  April 15 at the CAP Banking on Art Gallery, Wells Fargo Bldg., Second Floor, located at 260 Ocean Ave.

The gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free. For information visit: www.caplaguna.org

City Hall

Committee Meetings – Etc. 


Tuesday, February 9

City Council

Council Chambers – 6 p.m. 


Thursday, February 11

Design Review Board

Council Chambers – 6 p.m.



The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer. She also designs our marketing materials - and is responsible for our new logo.

Maggi Henrikson is our Associate Editor; Diane Armitage, Erin Burris, Michele Hall, Suzie Harrison, Allison Rael, Elizabeth Nutt, Niki Smart and Samantha Washer are staff writers.

Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Anita Razin, Fonda Eaton and April Steinert are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Aga Stuchlik, Mike Altishin, and Jay Rubin are the staff photographers.

Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena takes care of our sales goals and strategic marketing and finds ways to keep Stu on topic and on target…it’s football season!

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising


Email: StuNewsLaguna@Yahoo.com with news releases, letters, etc