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A Note from Shaena

Get ready to Rock For The Cause on March 5

Get ready to Rock For The Cause with us to help end homelessness in our community!

Several of us at Stu News have been touched by mental illness and homelessness within our own families, and we support the work of Friendship Shelter in providing shelter and hope for the most vulnerable in our community. 

We are honored to be co-hosting this year’s event for the sixth consecutive year – which was always one of Stu’s and my favorites nights together – along with Clay Berryhill, Danielle Cavallucci, Marshall & Elizabeth Ininns, and Rick & Dianne Allen. We invite everyone to join us for this fun night – all for a good cause – on March 5 from 6 to 10 p.m at Skyloft!

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Aga Stuchlik

Fun with friends: Greg and Barbara MacGillivray and Robert Smolka enjoying a previous Rock for the Cause 

The evening will feature fantastic live music by The 133 Band – featuring Laguna favorites Jason Feddy, Nick Hernandez, Beth and Steve Wood, Poul Pedersen, Frank Cotinola, Bob Hawkins, and others – as well as drinks and hors d’ouevres courtesy of Skyloft. All proceeds will directly help to end homelessness in our community.

Tickets start at $75, and will also include no-fee raffle tickets for donated items from local businesses (including an in-home wine tasting and gift cards to local restaurants).

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit


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Shaena and Lynette

Diane Armitage

How to Prepare For The Best Chinese New Year

Today (Friday, Feb 16) marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year. The crowing, strutting Year of the Rooster is behind us, and the Year of the Dog has arrived, all waggy-tailed and friendly. 

I often tell people that if their New Year (per Jan 1) didn’t start out very well, they have true redemption in the Chinese New Year, which normally begins in February.

What “Year of the Dog” Signifies For Us

Every 11 years, the Year of the Dog pads in, and each Chinese New Year ahead is said to take on the characteristics of the zodiac animal. Dogs are known for being brave, loyal and forthright. They also have a strong sense of justice; they aren’t afraid to speak their minds.

Small wonder, then, that we’re seeing daily announcements around the #MeToo movement and a litany of people moving out of spotlight business positions because they were less than honest or “pure of heart.” 

As the Year of the Dog really gets underway, prognosticators say that loyalty and honesty will take the platform, and a sense of protectiveness for what’s right and fair will dominate the airwaves through the next 12 months. 

In the Year of the Dog, when life starts feeling a bit stressful for you, it’s suggested that you play in your garden or take long, calming walks. (Seriously. Perhaps we should vote in The Year of the Dog more often.) 

How to Create the Best Change in Your Year Ahead

As you may know, the Chinese take this holiday very seriously. Weeks in advance are spent in preparation, and the holiday itself is celebrated for at least 16 days. In many cities in Asia, all business and manufacture grinds to a complete halt, which seems to always startle we Americans who find it difficult to leave our computers for a lunch break.

The Chinese believe (as do I) that when you properly prepare for the Chinese New Year, you open your world up to all sorts of great shift and change in the year ahead. 

Stocking up on oranges or tangerines can’t hurt either

Just as the ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui sets intention and feeds energy to various aspects of your life, the yearly change at Chinese New Year allows you to do the same. 

The list ranges from thoroughly cleaning your house on Chinese New Year’s Eve or in the first three days of the New Year (probably the most important), to buying certain red items (e.g., placing a Chinese coin with attached red ribbon under your front door mat for increased money in the year ahead).  

Stocking up on oranges and tangerines can’t hurt either, as oranges signify good luck and tangerines represent new wealth.

I usually create a large bowl of the two fruits as a centerpiece, making sure I replenish with plenty of fresh replacements through the 16 days of the Chinese New Year celebration. 

Chinese New Year Assistance

Happily, you will find assistance for your Chinese New Year preparations at The Chakra Shack (across from Penguins Restaurant) and Ruben Flores’ Laguna Nursery in North Laguna.

Mandarin King in North Laguna and Starfish Asian Cuisine in South Laguna normally create great food and drink specials to celebrate the Chinese New Year, too.

The Year of the Dog generally unfolds as a friendlier, more relaxed, “come together” kind of year. Let’s make the best of it starting this Feb 16!


Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book,

The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of ideas and upcoming events at her blog,

Something for everyone in our wilderness parks

Reservations required

Sign-up online:

949-923-2235. Parking: $3


Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park


Fitness Hike

Thurs, Feb 22

8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this difficult, strenuous and fast-paced, 4.8-mile hike (400-ft. elevation gain) over very steep, uneven terrain with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 15 and up. Please be sure you can maintain a 17-minute mile pace. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Road/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Online reservations required: For questions, call 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun. Parking: $3/vehicle.


Restoration Stewardship

Tues, Feb 27

9 a.m. – Noon

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks at one of our habitat restoration stewardship eventsin Laguna Coast Wilderness Park as we learn and work together to create a healthier habitat for the native plants and wildlife that call the canyon their home. Depending on the time of year, volunteers will assist with various stewardship activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, and/or planting of native plants. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Please wear long pants, close toed shoes, sun protection and bring water. Come out and join the team to help restore the wild lands we all enjoy! Little Sycamore Canyon Staging Area/Nix Nature Center (west side of Laguna Canyon Rd/SR-133, approximately 3.5 miles south of I-5/405). Online reservations required:
Youth ages 16 and 17 are eligible to volunteer with parent permission. A form is required to be signed by their parent or guardian prior to starting the volunteer activities.

Youth under the age of 16 are not eligible to volunteer unless accompanied by an adult or guardian. Forms can be downloaded here. For questions, call 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun. Parking: Free for Keep It Wild volunteers!



Aliso and Wood Canyons

Wilderness Park


Trail Stewardship Day

Sat, Feb 24

8 a.m. – Noon 

If you enjoy using the park trails and aren’t afraid of a little hard work, this is your opportunity to give back by improving trails. You will also learn to see your favorite trails in a new way! Join Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks for a morning of trail maintenance. We will be using tools such as loppers, picks, shovels, and McLeods to clear brush out of trails, restore features that protect the trail, and/or build new features to improve trail sustainability. Ages 17 and up. Lunch and refreshments served. For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun. Parking: Free for Trail Stewardship Day volunteers.

City Hall

Council, Boards, Commissions, Committees – Etc. 


Wed, Feb 21

Planning Commission

6 p.m. 

City Council Chambers


Thurs, Feb 22

Design Review Board 

6 p.m.

City Council Chambers


Mon, Feb 26

Arts Commission

5:30 p.m. 

City Council Chambers 


Tues, Feb 27

Joint City Council and Arts Commission Meeting

4 p.m. - 5 p.m. 

City Council Chambers 


Tues, Feb 27

City Council Meeting

6 p.m. 

City Council Chambers 

CLICK HERE for agendas, meeting minutes and more info


Save the Date: The 28th Annual Collector’s Choice Silent Auction is set for April 20

Laguna College of Art + Design’s 28th Annual Collector’s Choice Silent Auction will feature works of art from LCAD alumni, LCAD faculty, and other recognized professional artists.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LCAD is a jewel of a college on the Canyon

The silent auction, which also will include non-art related packages and opportunity drawing prizes, will take place on Fri, April 20 from 6:30 - 9 p.m. This event will be at [seven-degrees], located at 891 Laguna Canyon Road. 

LCAD notes that the evening will include cocktails, seasonally inspired fare, live entertainment, and opportunities to purchase exceptional works art, all to benefit LCAD’s students and programs.

Tickets: $150/person. For more information, email Tracy Hartman at


Volume 10, Issue 15                                                                         February 20, 2018

Should Stu News publish “Letters to the Editor” about national politics?
Should Stu News publish “Letters to the Editor” about national politics?
You must select at least one item to vote!

Events, programs at Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling (949) 464-6645

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter:


Hearing Screenings

2nd Thurs | 1:30-3:30pm | Free

Hearing screening and consultation with audiologist Dr. Rose-Marie Davis includes complimentary hearing aid cleaning and minor repairs. Call 949-464-6645 to schedule an appointment.

Club Q Laguna

1st and 3rd Fri | 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 Tue | 10am-12pm

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:

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

1st Mon | 12:30-3:30pm | Free

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.

Call to register: 949-464-6645

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) 715-8104

More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling (949) 464-6645

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter:


Living Well with Chronic Illness Support Group

2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th Tue | 10-11:30am | Free

A caring support group open to individuals over 50 touched by any chronic/serious health related issues. For more information, reach out to facilitator Sandra Weiss at 949-715-8104.


Laguna Beach Seniors Men’s Group

Fridays | 11am-12:30pm | Free

For men 50+, get support from the general stress of everyday living and any other issues affecting your well-being. Open group, drop-ins welcome. Contact facilitator Clint Christie, M.A. at 949-715-8104 for details.

Care Management

Mon – Fri | 9am-5pm

Saturday (apt. only) | 9am-1pm


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

Exercise a la Susi Q: Mind | Body | Balance

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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 | 1:30-2:30pm | $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.

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!

Interpreting Current Events 

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

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


Mon & Thu | 10:30-11:30am | Free

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.

Monday Movie and Popcorn

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

Intermediate Ballroom Dancing

Mon | 1:30- 2:30pm | 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 & 3rd Mon | 9am- Noon | Free

Providing 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 949-464-6645 for an appointment.

More Susi Q events below

More events, programs at the Susi Q

Events require advance registration by calling (949) 464-6645

Parking is Free!

Laguna Beach Seniors is on Facebook! Sign up to receive our newsletter:


Free Legal Clinic

Seaside Legal Services

Providing professional legal assistance to seniors age 55+ who cannot afford counsel. Attorney’s Jane Fulton and Leslie Lindgren provide help and/or referrals for family law; health-related issues; consumer problems; conservatorships; housing; elder abuse; bankruptcy; wills and power of attorney. Must be an OC resident with proof of residency. Call first to make an appointment, 949-715-8104. No walk-ins.

Contemporary Short Story Seminar

2nd & 4th Tuesdays | 2 – 4 pm

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

Free Estate Planning Legal Advice

3rd Thu | 12-2pm | Free

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, and HIPAA authorizations 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 11:30am-2:30pm at the Susi Q. If interested, please contact Penny Joseph at

Tabletop Treasures

Every other Monday | 9am-Noon (check the front desk for schedule)

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.

Heart to Heart

Mondays | 10-11:30am | Free

Join Laguna residents and facilitator Kay Wenger, LMFT, in a supportive atmosphere where concerns, coping skills, and helping tips are shared.

Open Game Room

Wednesdays | 12:30-4:30pm

Game day fun including Scrabble, Mahjongg and other board games.

Needle Arts Guild 

The Susi Q Community Needle Arts Guild meets on the last Friday of every month at 1pm creating handmade items for local organizations.

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiver Support Group

1st Wed | 1-3pm

Join us the first Wednesday of every month from 1-3 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

Mon & Wed | 12:30-2:30pm

Fridays | 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!

Crystal Cove State Park

If you love hiking, lace up those boots. The backcountry and wilderness areas offer you 18 miles of hiking trails through 2,400 acres of native wilderness, mostly the endangered coastal sage scrub plant community. For energetic backpackers, there are three environmental campgrounds, one in the canyon and two at the higher elevations. The higher trails offer beautiful vistas of the mountainous backcountry, geological formations and the Pacific Ocean. Exploring the lower trails offers hiking through riparian woodlands with oak and sycamore trees along the seasonal Moro Creek. Whether you trek the high or low trails or both, you will see native plants and animals that call this park home.


Sea Glass Jewelry

Wed, Feb 21, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Learn the art of wire-wrapping sea glass in the Education Commons in Crystal Cove State Park Historic District. Turn a found item into a beautiful
piece of jewelry. Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk across the street or take the shuttle.) $15 day use fee.


Coastal Geology Walk 

Sat, Feb 24, 10 a.m. – Noon

Visit several diverse and geologically outstanding sites which all display a story from a different geologic time. Meet at the Berns Environmental Study Loop Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park follow the signs to the Campground/Moro day use.)  $15 day-use fee.


Beachside Chat

Sat, Feb 24, 10 a.m. - Noon

Learn about some of the fun and interesting animals that live at Crystal Cove State Park. Find Alex and her bounty of nature props near the Historic District Education Commons by the Beachcomber Cafe. Park in
the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk through the tunnel or take the shuttle.) Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15.


Family Nature Hike

Sun, Feb 25, 9 a.m.

Winter is an exciting time to learn about our local nature. Join park naturalists on a family nature hike at Crystal Cove State Park to learn about the plants and animals living in the park. Meet at the Berns Amphitheater (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park follow the signs to the Campground/Moro day use.) $15 day-use fee.


Tidepool Walk to Pelican Point

Sun, Feb 25, 11 a.m.

Enjoy a super low -0.8 low tide at Crystal
Cove State Park where a volunteer will lead a guided walk and help identify animals and describe some awesome adaptations. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, right at kiosk to first lot.) $15 day-use fee.

Click on photo for larger image

Cassins kingbird

Love birds? 

Bring a pair of binoculars and look for feathered friends who have adapted to Crystal Cove, as you hike the trails, which go from easy to strenuous. Among the birds you might spot: Anna’s Hummingbird, American Kestrel, Black-Bellied Plover, Black Phoebe, Brown Pelican and the Great Blue Heron. For a directory of birds, visit
. For a trail map, visit

About Tidepool Etiquette: Crystal Cove State Park is a Marine Protected Area. Taking or possessing tidepool sea life is illegal. To help preserve the longevity of the tidepools: never remove animals, shells or rocks; never pick up animals, observe them where they are; walk gently, taking care not to step on plants.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillespie, Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc