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A Note from Lynette

While I was walking downtown last Saturday morning, car after car passed me with a large Christmas tree strapped to its roof, pine needles all a’tremble, I thought of the various traditions that families create around this holiday – including my own, when it comes to Christmas trees, anyway. 

Single mom = small tree

I became a single mother when my sons were just two and five, and for the ensuing seven years, living in an upstairs apartment, I lacked the necessary dorsal muscles to wrestle a large porcupine-y pine tree from the top of my car into our home. 

So I bought a small artificial tree, under which I placed all the gifts from Santa and from me – happily, the contrast of the small tree made the parcels look much larger and more numerous. The kids found it hilarious, fortunately. 

Knock over Santa – or the tree? Decisions, decisions

By the time I remarried seven years later, the tree had become a tradition, rather than a necessary substitute for a large one. The kids loved it then, and love it now, thirty years since the first time we topped it with a small Santa. 

Every year I haul it out, fully decorated, and place it on a side table, and we are ready for festivities. I don’t have to worry about a mess of pine needles, or that Boris will try to climb it (though he does knock it to the ground sometimes).

So it was that I got a great kick out of seeing a Mini parked downtown with a mini tree on the top. I shall have to do that too, to show off my tiny but tenacious tree, which has survived a total of four cats in its lifetime, and overseen many a merry Christmas. 

Mini car, mini tree…works for me…

Whatever your traditions, here’s wishing you the most marvelous of holidays! 

We Love Laguna and We Love What We Do!

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

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Save trees – read StuNewsLaguna!

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Don’t forget – Email lynette@stunewslaguna.comwith your news tips, emails, letters, press releases and cell phone photos. For breaking news call 715-1736

Shaena & Lynette

 Diane Armitage 

8 Days Till Christmas and the Holiday Events Keep Piling On

This weekend, I added more holiday events to my LagunaBeachBest.com calendar. Initially, I thought the whole holiday event, get-in-the-spirit-or-we’ll-drag-you-in kind of giddiness would die down after this last weekend. 

Absolutely not true. The holiday events in Laguna Beach and neighboring Dana Point just keep coming.  

Of course, there are the classic standbys – the Dana Point Boat Parade, the return of the famously popular Aladdin & His Winter Wish at the Laguna Playhouse, the 8th Annual Pancake Breakfast (with the REAL Santa) at The Ranch, and the gorgeous Dana Point Harbor Parade of Lights, this year titled Happy Harbor Days

Seasonal Specials

But there are some nifty finds I’m come across that you should know about…for you, for gift hinting, for gifts you can give, AND for those visiting relatives who are always looking for something to do.  

For starters, the Surf & Sand Resort is offering very special locals’ room rates through January, specially priced spa treatments for locals and, my favorite, hot cider and freshly baked donuts for sale for anyone who simply walks by and follows their nose to the outside 15FiftyFive Lounge on any Friday night. 

This holiday season, the tall ship Hawaiian Chieftain, is moored at the Ocean Institute, and tours of all three ships are available – you can even sail out on the ships and engage in mock cannon battles. 

And when the crowd in your house becomes overwhelming, The Durban Room (Mozambique’s speakeasy) is open every night of the week with great mixology and live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Durban even offers late night revelry on Friday and Saturday with powerhouse R&B vocalists until midnight.   

Cider and donuts at LB Ranch

Creating a Better Holiday for Others

Innovated by firefighters, the annual Spark of Love Toy Drive asks that you drop off new toys and sporting equipment at any of our four fire stations until Dec. 24. Starfish Laguna is at it again with their very popular Toy Drive & Holiday Party on Mon, Dec. 18 – bring a new, unwrapped toy and receive 50 percent off your entire bill all day and evening.

 And, for those who find the holiday season an emotional struggle, three of our Laguna churches have come together for a Blue Christmas Service on Thurs, Dec 21, to help people find peace and hope for themselves and their loved ones.  

One-Time-Only Events

Single holiday events flit in and out, so be sure to take notice of the Glassblown Ornament Class at Sawdust (Dec. 15), the Balvenie Whisky Dinner at Montage (Dec. 14), a one-day-only Holiday Tea event at Monarch Beach Resort (Dec. 16), and a Chanukah Comedy Night at the same resort on the same evening (Dec 16).

Take a glassblown ornament class at Sawdust

Kids who miss Santa at The Ranch on Dec 16 can Breakfast with Santa the following morning, Sunday, Dec 17, at the Marriott Laguna Cliffs in Dana Point – but he’s warned me that this is the absolute LAST visit he will allow as he simply must get back to the North Pole. 

Check out the first-ever “Skivvies: Sleigh My Name” Holiday Concert at the Playhouse (I’m going to let you read the details), and the Swingin’ With Santa Holiday Concert by our community chorale, LagunaTunes. 

Although Montage Resort’s Gingerbread House Decorating classes are sold out already, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel is offering a Gingerbread House Workshop on Sunday, Dec. 17. As they always have a gigantic baked-and-decorated display in their lobby, you can pick up some great ideas on the way to the class. In fact, place your bid for their annual Surfboard Auction, too, as you meander the opulent entrance.

The Always-Changing Calendar

My LBbest.com Calendar is joyous and innovative life in motion, so be sure to plink back often for updates on Christmas Eve services, New Year’s Eve parties and weight loss classes in the New Year (I’m kidding, I’m kidding.) Now get out there and enjoy a more creative holiday season!

During the holiday season, I don’t charge to add holiday events to the calendar, so if I’ve somehow missed your holiday event, please send it over to Diane@LagunaBeachBest.com 

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, www.LagunaBeachBest.com

Something for everyone in our wilderness parks

Reservations required

Sign-up online: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities

949-923-2235. Parking: $3 

 

Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park

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California Native Plant and Uses 

Tue, Dec 12 

8:30 a.m.- 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 (I-5 or 405 south to 133 south to stoplight at 73 toll road; make a U-turn, go 1 block. Dilley is on the right.) For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun. Parking: $3/vehicle.

 

Fitness Hike at Sycamore

Thu, Dec 14

8:30 a.m.- 10:30 a.m.

Please be sure you can maintain a 16-minute mile pace. 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. 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: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. For questions, call 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun. Parking: $3/vehicle.

 

Keep It Wild Volunteer Day

Sat, Dec 16

8 a.m.- 11 a.m.

Come on out and help restore the wild lands we so enjoy! There’s no better way to start a Saturday morning than by joining Laguna Canyon Foundation and OC Parks staff in an invigorating project of non-native plant removal and/or planting native plants. Help us make a healthier environment for the native wildlife and for ourselves. 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). For questions call: 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri & 949-923-2235 Sat/Sun. Parking: Free for Keep it Wild volunteers!

 

Restoration Stewardship 

Tue, Dec 19

8:30 a.m.- 11 a.m.

Join OC Parks and Laguna Canyon Foundation for a morning of invigorating habitat restoration work in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. Help us 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 activities, including removal of non-native plants, seed collection, planting of native plants or trash pick-up. No experience is necessary and all tools will be provided. Close toed shoes and pants are recommended. Bring water, a hat, and sunscreen for sun protection. 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: www.lagunacanyon.org/activities. For questions, call 949-497-8324 Mon-Fri or 949-923-2200 Sat/Sun. Parking: Free for Keep It Wild volunteers!

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Off-season transit hours 

Laguna Beach Transit off-season hours are as follows:  

Coastal Trolley: Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Sat, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Neighborhood Trolleys in Top of the World, Arch Beach Heights and Bluebird Canyon: Monday through Thursday 6:40 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Neighborhood Service to North and South Laguna: Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

For more information visit the City’s website at http://lagunabeachcity.net/
cityhall/transit_and_trolleys
.

Annie tickets on sale now for upcoming show 

No Square Theatre is presenting the winner of seven Tony awards, Annie. This year’s show will be directed by Joe Lauderdale, music directed by Roxanna Ward, and choreographed will be by Ellen Prince. 

 

Tickets for the upcoming shows are on sale and hot off the press. Upcoming dates for the performances are Dec 2 at 7:30 p.m., Dec 3 at 2 p.m., Dec 8 &9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec 10 at 2 p.m., Dec 15 &16 at & 7:30 p.m., and Dec 17 at 2 p.m. 

Advance purchase of tickets for children over the age of 5 is $12.50, adults $35, and vip seating as well. If you arrive early, enjoy al fresco $10 dinner available 45 minutes before curtain call. Late arrivals will be seated at the discretion of the house manager.

For more information or to purchase tickets, log onto www.nosquare.org/productions.html. 


Cultural Arts Funding available for programming based in LB, deadline Feb 5

The City of Laguna Beach is currently accepting grant applications from non-profit organizations for cultural programming based in Laguna Beach. 

The deadline to submit an application is February 5, 2018. Applications must be submitted on-line at www.lagunabeachcity.
slideroom.com
.

 

Volume 9, Issue 100                                                                       December 15, 2017

Would you support a general obligation bond for citywide undergrounding?
Would you support a general obligation bond for citywide undergrounding?
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: www.susiq.org

 

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.

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 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: algumb@earthlink.net

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: www.susiq.org

 

*NEW* Living Well with Cancer Support Group

2nd & 4th Tue | 10-11:30am | Free

A caring support group open to individuals over 50 touched by any type of cancer. For more information, reach out to facilitator Sandra Weiss at 949-499-5293 or email her at scweiss@cox.net

*NEW* Ties That Bind 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

Free

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

Small Circle Standing Yoga

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.

Bingo 

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 www.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 & 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: www.susiq.org

 

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: aking@csusm.edu

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 pennyjoseph62@gmail.com.

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!

City Hall

Committee Meetings - Etc.

. . . 

Wed, Dec 13

Planning Commission Meeting

6 p.m.

City Council Chambers 

 

Thu, Dec 14

Design Review Board

6 p.m.

City Council Chambers 

 

Sat, Dec 16

Historic Preservation Ordinance Workshop

9 a.m.- Noon

City Council Chambers 

 

Tue, Dec 19

Environmental Sustainability Committee Meeting 

6 p.m.

Community & Susi Q Center

Crystal Cove State Park

crystalcovestatepark.org

 

Sea Glass Jewelry 

Wed, Dec 13, 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.

 

Great Plein Air Experience 

Thu, Dec 14, 9 a.m.- 2 p.m.

Celebrate over 100 years of plein air art at Crystal Cove State Park and spend a relaxing day capturing the beauty of
the Cove on canvas as the Crystal Cove Conservancy. No experience required; this introductory class is recommended for novices only. To register see crystalcove.org

 

Tidepool Walk to Pelican Point

Sat, Dec 16, 1:30 p.m.

A volunteer will 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.

 

Family Nature Hike

Sun, Dec 17, 9 a.m.

Join a park naturalist on the last family

nature hike of autumn at Crystal Cove State Park and 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, Dec 17, 2 p.m.

A volunteer will 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.


Net-Works Christmas Eve breakfast for the homeless – come help serve (and eat)

Net-Works is inviting all residents to enjoy Christmas Eve breakfast and celebration with homeless friends who will perform carols and special music. The festivities will take place at the Woman’s Club, 286 St. Ann’s Drive, on Dec 24 at 9 a.m.

“Come to eat, come to serve,” says Net-Works’ founder, Don Sciortino.

Knapsacks filled with practical items will be handed out. 

Want to donate toward a knapsack (filled with practical items) for our homeless friends?

Donate a knapsack filled with practical items

Sciortino is asking for community help to provide 80 knapsacks. Each knapsack costs $35 to fill.

Those who would like to donate are asked to call Don at 949-328-7230 or visit www.net-workslb.org to donate via Pay Pal or send checks directly to Net-Works LB, 303 Broadway #107, Laguna Beach, CA 92651.

Helping Hands from the Homeless is another project of Net-Works Laguna Beach.

To learn how you can get help from the homeless this holiday season, email Don at don@lagunabeachnet-works.org.

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 Gillepsie, 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: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

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

949.715.1736