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A note from Stu 


Laguna Beach is smelly…

The Weather Channel 10-24-14

Reader Bob Couse has written several letters over the recent past (and in today’s edition) about how smelly it has been at Main Beach from the piles of rotting kelp that has washed onto the beach.

For all who thought he was a complainer, he has an ally in The Weather Channel.

The Associated Press published on Oct 24 an article headlined: “Laguna Beach is smelly, and experts believe it’s the seaweed.”

The article says people come to our beach “…but when they are greeted by a nasty smell, they’re quickly being driven away…”

Bob Couse has been saying the same thing and that ain’t good for business.

Several years ago, the well-meaning Nancy Caruso became concerned when the kelp beds had disappeared. She decided to do something about it and began a program of planting new kelp beds along our shoreline.

At the time, there were quiet rumblings that nature would replace the vanished kelp beds in due time…when the water temps dropped.

Director of Public Works Steve May is quoted in the AP article: “This is the highest volume of kelp that has washed ashore in the last 20 years or more…”

In May of 2011, a 40-yr-old experienced free diver became entangled in kelp only about two feet below the surface. He was unable to free himself and died from drowning.

A Marine Safety source at the time said they had never had a diver drown from being entangled in kelp before then. On a promise of anonymity, he said that new kelp had grown back and was mixed with the planted kelp.

“Kelp does not wrap around a person’s leg but we think when there is all this extra [kelp] in the water, two stipes [stems] from two kelp forests can create a scenario such as happened…”

Kelp on the beach stinks – there are no two ways about it.

We don’t question Caruso’s motives, but we have to wonder when we see that in the AP article she is quoted as having told the LA Times: “It smells good.” 

We have an annual kelp fest here – maybe it ought to be renamed the annual smelly fest.


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Diane Armitage

This Halloween – it’s The Dead Man’s Party

Every year, we always hear rumors of huge private Halloween parties, so let’s just set the Official Laguna Beach Halloween Party record straight from the get-go here:  

Until two years ago, there were two infamous and highly revered private Halloween parties in Laguna Beach. 

In 2011, though, The Dead Man’s Party went public, moving from a private residence in North Laguna to the White House Restaurant on Coast Hwy just a block south of Forest. Why the commercial entity? The party had simply grown too large for the confines of its proper neighborhood.

All souls (living and non-living) are invited to participate, and this party just gets larger every year. This Halloween phenom was created by Bruce White (aka: Shark Bite Lounge), and he’s still at the helm for the live music and extreme haunted house décor.

This is a seriously committed Halloween party, complete with renowned tunnel entrance that tends to intimidate even the heartiest of souls. And, be sure you don’t miss sitting in the old-fashioned electric chair for your Instagram photo op of the evening.  

This party won’t allow you in the regular White House restaurant entrance, but through said -famous tunnel from the back alley behind the restaurant.  

Very decent cover charge. 

Live bands all night. 

And the party rocks ‘til the ghouls come home. 

It’s Friday night (Halloween night), official start at 9:30.


Diane Armitage is the author of a recently published 175-page book – “Laguna Beach’s Best” – a travel guide for locals and visitors. She writes a subjective blog found at She is a regular contributor to StuNews

Living Montessori Day - 40 years of serving with open house Nov 5

Montessori School of Laguna Beach will host a community outreach program on Wednesday, Nov 5 from 9-11:30 a.m. Every year they invite parents and children ages 0-5 to come, experience a day in the Montessori School. 

This is a great opportunity for children to take part in cooking, dancing, gardening, music, painting, and many other activities that Montessori children experience regularly.

In addition, Parents will get a guided tour by Montessori parents and observe children in action in their classrooms.  If you are a parent considering a program for your child ages 2-6, this would be the perfect opportunity to visit the facility, and find out about their School by talking to parents and the director. 

Please e-mail to reserve a spot or simply come by to take part in this unique event.

Montessori School of Laguna Beach is at 340 St. Ann’s Drive.

LBHS Winterfest Boutique is now taking vendor apps

The Laguna Beach High School Winterfest fundraiser will take place on Saturday, Dec 6. Formerly known as the Annual LBHS Holiday Boutique, Winterfest promises to be better than ever.

The community-wide event will have more vendors, live entertainment, delicious homemade food, and more shoppers! They are adding gift-wrapping services, a sit-down café and a craft area for kids while parents shop.

It will be held in Dugger Gym at the high school with vendor check-in from 8-9 a.m., and shopping will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

All vendors are welcome to participate as long as their goods are appropriate for a school campus, and do not compete with food, drinks and desserts being sold by the PTA. There is a flat fee of $75 per vendor.

Applications (available as a PDF to be downloaded HERE) are accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis since space is limited to the gym.  

A confirmation or wait list email will be sent to you within two days of receiving your payment, including detailed directions for the day. Once you receive your confirmation please help the organizers advertise the event so that it is a success for all.

Something for everyone in our wilderness parks

Reservations required Sign-up online: 

949-923-2235. Parking: $3


Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park


Oct 28 Tue Beginning Fitness Hike 9-10:30 a.m. Now is a great time to start a new fitness routine beginning with an easy 2-mile hike over moderate but uneven terrain to Barbara’s Lake and back (100-ft. elevation gain). Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer and registered dietitian to learn about fitness and nutrition during this 1.5-hour hike. Wear walking or hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, and bring water. Ages 12 and up. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, James Dilley Preserve. Donation: $2/person.

Oct 31 Fri Halloween Hike and Star Gazing 6-8:30 p.m. Join Laguna Coast Wilderness Park staff for a slow 3.8-mile Halloween Hike over sometimes steep and uneven terrain (600-ft. elevation gain).  If the sky is clear, we will do some stargazing from the ridge. For those whooooo are not afraid of the dark…Ages 12 and up. Bring a flashlight, good walking shoes, water and dress in layers, as the canyon can get cold at night.  Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area.


Aliso & Wood Canyons

Wilderness Park


Oct 30 Thur Fitness Hike at Canyon View 8:30-11 a.m. Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this strenuous, fast-paced, 6-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (400-ft elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 15 and up. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Canyon View Staging Area. Donation: $2/person.


Scroll down for events at Crystal Cove Park

Crystal Cove State Park

Enjoy a free sea glass jewelry making activity on Wednesday 10/29 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 autumn bird walk on both the inland and coastal areas of the park on Saturday, Nov 1 at 8 a.m.Meet at the Berns Amphitheatre.

Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live at Crystal Cove State Park on Saturdays, Nov 1, 8, & 29 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Historic District Education Commons where Ranger Jenn will host a Beachside Chat.  Park in the Los Trancos lot.

65 artists exhibiting in “Art and Nature - The Inner Soul” at Gallery Q 

Gallery Q at the Susi Q Center is pleased to announce the opening of “Art and Nature - The Inner Soul” as part of the community-wide Art & Nature festival and conference by Laguna Art Museum Nov. 6 to 9. Gallery Q is currently showing over 65 individual pieces of art from a wide range of mediums such as sculptures, paintings on silk and watercolors created on rice paper. 

Many are for sale with a percentage of each one sold going to support future exhibits at Gallery Q. 

Exhibiting artists are from Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities, The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) and Irvine Valley College. 

The exhibition is open to the public now through Dec. 10 and can be viewed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For additional information, please contact Judy Baker, 497-2441 ext. 6 or email at

Gallery Q is located at the Laguna Beach Community and Senior Center 380 Third St. It is a public exhibition space dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the talent of emerging as well as professional artists of all ages in Orange County. Gallery Q, for five years now, has curated up to six shows per year and honors the artists with an opening reception. 

For more information about the Gallery Q or the Susi Q Center, visit


Volume 6, Issue 85                                                                            October 28, 2014

If your vote were limited to only one person for the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Governors, which of the following would you choose?
If your vote were limited to only one person for the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Governors, which of the following would you choose?
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:

Club Q Laguna

1st and 3rd Friday | 3-5pm

A social group for Laguna’s LGBT community and friends.

It’s Your Estate

Fri | until 10/31 | 1:30-3pm | Free. Facilitated by Peter Kote.  Providing the resources seniors need to make confident financial, estate, and charitable decisions.

Computer Assistance

Thursdays 9am-3pm. Drop in for one-on-one help with your laptop, smart phone, or tablet, PC & Mac/Apple, Windows 7&8.

The Alexander Technique

Mon | 9/29-10/27 | 1-2pm | $80. Discover healthy posture and spinal alignment for better balance. Facilitator: Sharon Jakubecy, M.

Join Our Hike

3rd Thurs | 10/16 & 11/20 | 8am | Free. Meet new hiking buddies, catch up with old friends and all while getting fit and enjoying nature! 

Photo Narratives

Wed |until 11/19 | 12-3pm |$150 pre-registration or $20 drop-in. Learn to tell stories through photographs.

Family History Workshop

Wed | until 11/19 | 3-5pm | Free. Discover your family tree.  Genealogy for beginners.  Facilitator: Beth Sand

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 third Friday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. 

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

Case Management

Mon, Wed & Fri | 8:30am- 5pm | Free

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

More Susi Q events below

LOCA paint a leaf classes at Laguna Nursery Oct 30

Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA) is collaborating with Laguna Nursery in presenting “Fifty Shades of Green” garden-themed art workshops. 

Beginners and all levels are invited. New classes and instructors are offered once monthly, on Thursdays 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the nursery. Participants may enjoy one or many classes.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by LOCA

Leaf study with Mike Tauber

The program kicks off on Oct. 30 with a leaf study in acrylics taught by Mike Tauber. Attendees will learn to create color bleeds using pigments, opaque, and transparent mediums. Everyone will take home a beautiful finished canvas.

Cost for a single class is $30, or $125 for a flexible five-pack, for adults ages 16-up. All supplies and free parking are included. 

Register in advance at, email, or call (949) 363-4700. Laguna Nursery is at 1370 S. Coast Highway at Mountain St. 

Free parking is available in the rear.

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:

Small Circle 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 suggestion 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!

Play Along: Ukulele

Wed | 10:15-11:15am | FreeDrop-ins welcome!

Beginning Ukulele Players

Thur. | 9-10am | until 11/20 | $50/series or $5 drop in – Drop-ins welcome! Instructor: Tom Joliet

Intermediate Ukulele

Wed | 9- 10am | until 11/19 | $50/series or $5 drop in – Drop-ins welcome! Instructor:  Jack Morse

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

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

Feeling The Blues?

Free Counseling!

If you are age 55+ and struggle with the blues, schedule a low-cost private session with one of our licensed therapists. You don’t have to feel lost. Call for an appointment. Se habla español

More Susi Q events below

The Annual Fall Women Artists Event and Fundraiser Nov 2

The Annual Fall Women Artists Event and Fundraiser will be held Sunday, November 2 from Noon to 5 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive.

Proceeds raised from the auctioned items will support a scholarship fund for one student at the Laguna College of Art + Design. 

The registration fee for the event is $25 per artist for Woman’s Club members and $40 (early bird pricing) per artist who are non-members. With your fee and artwork donation, you will be entitled to showcase and sell your creations to the public in the Clubhouse.  

Artists who are interested in participating may contact the event chair, Kim Salter at or by phone at (949) 230-1169.  

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:

Health Insurance Counseling (HICAP)

2nd and 4th Thur | 9a.m.-1p.m. | 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.

Contemporary Short Story Discussion Group

Second and fourth Tuesdays

2 – 4 p.m.

Members will take turns leading discussions of selected stories from “The Ecco Anthology of Contemporary American Short Fiction”. Contact Alison King, Ph. D. for more information: (714) 608-1322 or email her at:

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.

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 11:30-3 at the Susi Q. If interested, please contact Kathy Oliver at (949) 497-7927 or (949) 231-9235.

Bridge: Intermediate

Fri | 12:30-2:30pm | 10/3 – 11/21

Prerequisites: Advanced Beginning Bridge #1 & 2.  Contact Ann at 949-495-4564 for more information.

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.

Mindful Music

Fri | 10:30am - Noon| Free Explore the power of music for brain health; raise joy and self-esteem, improve health through music and singing. Fun, interactive, singing, music with Kathy Williams. Provided through a generous grant from the Picerne Foundation.

More Susi Q events below

League of Women Voters will present the ballot issues twice here

A goal of our Democracy is an informed, participating electorate. Ballot issues are often confusing. Pros and Cons on the Ballot Issues will be presented three times in Laguna Beach by a representative from the Laguna Beach branch of the Orange Coast League of Women Voters. 

This presentation will be hosted on Wednesday, Oct. 29; 12 noon by the LB Library.

All are welcome to attend.

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:

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.

Tabletop Tennis every week

Tabletop tennis, or ping pong as some might label it, is offered every Mon, Wed & Fri. 

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. 12:30-4 p.m. on Mon and Wed; 12:30 – 3 p.m. on Friday.

TOWNA Board City Council endorsements

The Board of Directors of the Top of the World Neighborhood Association endorsed Toni Iseman & Rob Zur Schmiede for Laguna Beach City Council candidates for the upcoming Nov 4th election.

The Top of the World Neighborhood Association (TOWN) Board of Directors are volunteers elected by neighbors in open meetings. Many neighbors, particularly those that were unable to attend or view Candidates’ Forums, appreciate recommendations from the Board.

The TOWNA Board endorsement does not signify that a majority of our neighbors support these candidates or that the TOWNA Board unanimously supports these candidates.

City Hall

Committee Meetings – Etc. 


Tuesday, October 28

Environmental Sustainability Committee Meeting

Community Center – 6 p.m.


Friday, October 31

Urban Planning Coordinating Committee

Community Center – 8 a.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, Niki Smart, Samantha WasherErin Burris, Allison Martin, and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Cliff Getz, 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 baseball season!

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