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A Note from Lynette

When my husband and I moved to Laguna Beach four years ago – after many years of visiting so often from Irvine that I felt like a resident – I discovered StuNewsLaguna for the first time. 

I was agog to learn all that was going on in my new hometown.

Local friends who were not aware of Stu News were astonished to hear about all the activities in which I participated.

“How did you know about that?” they’d ask, and soon they joined in. 

(I had no idea I’d be working for Stu News Laguna just a few years later!)

One of my first and most favorite events was the Tour de Coop, a tour of backyard chicken coops, which this year has expanded to include organic gardens and innovative water-saving backyard strategies. 

Can I egg you on to walk, bike, or run the Tour de Coop?

I met some unusual chickens – some are quite hairy! – discovered that some lay blue eggs, and got the chance to hold a lovely warm freshly-laid egg in the palm of my hand. 

Plus I enjoyed visiting homes all around Laguna, some with deceptively nondescript facades yet amazing backyards – and invariably friendly owners.

I’d strongly recommend doing the Tour de Coop. It’s a side of Laguna not many people get to see – during an event hatched by environmentally sensitive people who know we have something great to crow about.


We Love Laguna and We Love What We Do!

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


Save trees – read StuNewsLaguna!


Don’t forget – 510-5218 – 24/7 – call with your news tips!

Cell phone photos - email:


Stu & Shaena

Diane Armitage

PMMC’s Martini Madness is ready to rollick on May 7

The super-popular annual Martini Madness party, a spring fundraiser for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, is looking to exceed last year’s record-breaking attendance with a return to The Cliff Restaurant on Sunday, May 7th. 

Initially the brainchild of Jon Madison’s Madison Square & Garden Café, the Martini Madness Party moved last year to The Cliff Restaurant to expand its capacity, and the crowds happily filled in.  

 “It was a no-brainer to do this again for PMMC,” says Andrew Turula, General Manager of The Cliff Restaurant. “Both of our entities have been here in Laguna Beach more than 30 years, and it’s important to us to support the little home-grown cause that became a nationally recognized hospital for seals and sea lions.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

The Martini Madness party rollicks from 4 to 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 prior when purchased at, or $60 at the door and give access to the Cliff’s signature martinis, house wine, and a sizable spread of appetizers and light bites. 

Live music will be provided by F Jams, and there’s a hint of some kind of virtual sea lion experience that I’ll be standing in line for, assuredly. 

PMMC Overrun with Poisoned Pregnant Sea Lions

The party couldn’t happen at a more appropriate time as, in the last two weeks, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center has been overrun by adult females – many of whom are pregnant – who are being poisoned by a toxic algae bloom. 

The pregnant moms have been ingesting a greater number of fish to feed their fetuses, but the fish have ingested domoic acid from an algae bloom, exploding in growth because of our wet winter. The toxins attack the brains, causing the soon-to-be moms to become lethargic, have seizures and potentially die. 

Of the 25 pregnant sea lions rescued in just the last two weeks, 14 have died at PMMC. These are catastrophic numbers for our little hospital, recognized globally for its near-miraculous endeavors in rehabilitating thousands of seals and sea lions.

100% of Proceeds Go To PMMC

With your help, The Martini Madness party can be a great boost to PMMC. Raffle tickets also are available this year – I happen to have a bundle of them I’m happy to sell! – and priced at one for $20 or seven for $100. Contact me at for raffle tickets, and go to the PMMC’s website for Martini Madness tickets. I’ll see you there!


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

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: 

949-923-2235. Parking: $3


Laguna Coast

Wilderness Park


Apr 23 Sun Nursery and Plant Care 8-11 a.m.

Join at native plant nursery and care for native plants from their seed stage to their mature, ready-to-be planted stage. Volunteers may collect seeds, sow seeds in flats, bump plants up, plant at restoration sites, sterilize plant containers, and/or help maintain the facilities for the plants. Gain hands-on experience with habitat restoration while working alongside other zany and interesting plant lovers! Wear close-toed shoes, layered clothing and sun protection (hat, sunscreen). Bring water. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area.

Apr 27 Thu Fitness Hike at Willow 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Raise your heart rate and your spirits on this moderate, fast-paced 5.5-mile hike over steep and uneven terrain (571-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteers. Ages 15 and up. Not for beginners. Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Willow Canyon Staging Area.


Aliso & Wood Canyons

Wilderness Park



Apr 23 Sun Bird Walk 8-11 a.m.

Spot local native and spring migratory birds with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer naturalists on this slow and easy 2-mile walk through a landscaped suburban parkland setting at Laguna Niguel Regional Park. No experience necessary. Ages 12 and up. Wear hiking or walking shoes and bring your binoculars. Laguna Niguel Regional Park, 28241 La Paz Road, Laguna Niguel.

Apr 23 Sun Intermediate Mountain Biking 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Catch beautiful canyon views on this 10-mile ride over steep and uneven terrain (1,600-ft. elevation gain) with Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistants. This is for intermediate riders with mountain biking experience. Appropriate mountain biking equipment required. Must have helmet, gloves, hydration; a snack is strongly suggested. Also, be prepared for varied weather on in the canyons. This bike ride is not for beginners. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Parkway.

Apr 23 Sun Introduction to Mountain Biking 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Join Laguna Canyon Foundation volunteer mountain bike trail assistants on this beautiful 8-mile bike ride (400-ft. elevation gain) on uneven terrain. Learn mountain biking basics and trail etiquette while enjoying the canyon views. Please come prepared with a bike suitable for off-pavement riding, sturdy shoes, helmet, gloves, water and snack. Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park Ranger Headquarters, 28373 Alicia Parkway.


Scroll down for events at Crystal Cove Park

Crystal Cove State Park

Enjoy a free sea glass jewelry making activity on Wednesday, April 26 from 10am-4pm in the Education Commons in the Historic District at Crystal Cove State Park. Learn how to turn sea glass into a one of a kind creation. Park in the Los Trancos lot - PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos then walk across the street or take the shuttle.

Help celebrate Earth Day at Crystal Cove State Park on Saturday, April 22 from 9am-1pm. Projects include: planting, weeding, mulching, and watering in the Historic District, painting curbs and gates, staining bulletin boards and monument signs, repairing ramps, painting educational banners and cleaning the 3.5 miles of beach. Earth Day is always a great opportunity for park lovers to get their hands dirty and see the immediate fruits of their labor. Meet at the Los Trancos lot near the trailer.

Enjoy a low 0.1 tide at Crystal Cove State Park where a volunteer will lead a guided tidepool walk to Pelican Point on Saturday, April 22 at 1pm 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.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a geology tour along the coastal section of the park on Sunday, April 23 from 1-3pm. Visit several diverse and geologically outstanding sites which all display a story from a different geologic time. Meet at Los Trancos lot at the trailer.


Volume 9, Issue 32                                                                                 April 21, 2017

Do you agree with City Council’s ordinance banning marijuana everywhere in Laguna except in one’s residence?
Do you agree with City Council’s ordinance banning marijuana everywhere in Laguna except in one’s residence?
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 consultationwith audiologist Dr. Rose-Marie Davisincludes complimentary hearing aid cleaningand minor repairs. Call 949-464-6645to 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 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: 

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: 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:


*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 

*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


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 1:30-2:30pm

$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.


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

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 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, 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

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

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 1 pm creating handmade items for local organizations. 

Alzheimer’s & Dementia Caregiver Support Group

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

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!

Downtown Specific Plan update – review amendments at next meeting, May 3

The City of Laguna Beach and consultant MIG will continue their efforts on the Downtown Specific Plan Update on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, during the Planning Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall (505 Forest Avenue).

City staff will present draft amendments to the Downtown Specific Plan for discussion with the Planning Commission. The focus of the presentation and discussion will be on MIG’s recommended draft amendments to Section III:  Issue Statements and Policies, Topic 6 (Municipal Services), Topic 7 (Hazard Planning) and Topic 8 (View Preservation) of the existing Downtown Specific Plan document.  A copy of the Section III, Topics 6-8 draft amendments, including a strikethrough/underline document for reference are available to review on the project webpage (link included below).  Public correspondence received by the end of day on Monday, April 24, 2017, will be incorporated into the staff report for review by the Planning Commission. Comments may be sent to Wendy Jung, Senior Planner at The staff report will available to view on the City’s website the Friday (April 28) before the scheduled Planning Commission meeting.

Additional meetings will occur in 2017 to review draft amendments to other sections of the plan and to further discuss key topics including, but not limited to Parking and Land Use.  This meeting and future meetings play an essential role to obtain input from the community and direction from the Planning Commission, and to identify the City’s priorities for the future of the Downtown.

For more information on the Downtown Specific Plan Update please contact: 

Wendy Jung, Senior Planner, at (949) 497-0321;

City Hall

Committee Meetings – Etc.


Monday, April 24

Arts Commission

City Council Chambers – 5:30 p.m.


Thursday, April 27

Design Review Board

City Council Chambers – 6 p.m.


Parking, Traffic and Circulation Committee

Community & Susi Q Center – 6 p.m.


Friday, April 28

City Hall Closed


Saturday, April 29

Composting Workshop

Bluebird Park, 798 Bluebird Canyon Drive – 10 a.m.



Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

Lynette Brasfield is our Managing Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, 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.

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Email: with news releases, letters, etc