Back to Top

 Volume 10, Issue 58  |  July 20, 2018                                      


 

Police Files

Teen boy rescued and airlifted from Emerald Bay Beach after boulder severs his arm

In a tragic accident, a 15-year-old boy was struck by a boulder, severing his arm and pinning him against the rocks at Emerald Bay Beach on Wednesday, July 18. He was airlifted to UC Irvine Medical Center in serious medical condition but is expected to survive. 

Local and county emergency services quickly responded to the teen who was walking along the rocks about 100 feet offshore at Emerald Bay Beach with a friend.

Orange County Fire Authority spokesperson PIO Capt Tony Bommarito said that he thinks the boy could be a local. 

Police Files Rescue 1

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

A teen loses his arm in tragic accident walking the rocks at Emerald Bay Beach; rescuers came fast airlifting him to UCI Medical Center

“His friend said that they’ve walked the area before. And his mom was with him. I can only speculate that they are [locals] unless they are a guest of someone,” Capt Bommarito said.

He explained that the boys were walking on the rocks along the waterline at the bottom of the cliffs. Basically along the waterline climbing up and down the rocks that were there, not scaling the cliffs or anything.

“His friend was with him. They were walking and a boulder came down about the size of a cooler, 400-500 pounds coming down. Hit him, knocked him down and basically landed on his right arm and severed his right arm in between his elbow and shoulder,” Capt Bommarito said.

 At the same time, he said the teen was knocked backwards and his foot got stuck in a crevice or a rock. They had to move the boulder so they could get him dislodged from where he was stuck.

“There’s no damage to his foot; it just kind of got lodged and they couldn’t get him out of it until they moved the boulder that cut off his arm,” Capt Bommarito said.

LBFD Engine 201 was integral in saving his life.

“They had what are called rescue airbags or heavy rescue airbags. They’re real flat, but we can stick them under things and in really small spaces, and we expand them with an air bottle,” Capt Bommarito said. 

The devices can lift thousands of pounds.

“They got the rock up enough so they were able to push it free from him and get him dislodged,” Capt Bommarito said. “They put him in a rescue basket, the OC helicopter came over, lowered the cable down and lifted him up into the helicopter and they went to UCI in serious condition.”

When asked how the teen was found and quickly rescued he said, “He started screaming or his friend started screaming which alerted the OC Parks lifeguards and one or two of them went over there, they put a tourniquet on his arm. That probably helped save his life, really.”

Police Files Rescue 2

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

Teen is expected to survive because of the quick response of local and county emergency agencies

Asked about a timeline of the events, Capt Bommarito said, “The fire department got the call at 3:20 p.m. He was extricated and being flown out at 4:01 p.m. I am thinking about 50 minutes total from the time of injury to when he was loaded into the helicopter.”

As of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, he said he hadn’t heard any updates about the teen’s condition. He went to the hospital on Thursday morning to check on him but was unable to see him.

Asking if he’ll be ok, he responded, “He’s going to live.” 

As for safety precautions in that situation for beachgoers or adventurers, he said there are really none. 

“You have to assume if you’re walking along a cliff that it’s unstable and unsafe until proven otherwise. And nobody is proving that it is, so you’ve just got to be cautious. Somehow you’ve got to be cautious,” Capt Bommarito said. “I’ve been a firefighter for 28 years. What it sounds like is just a fluke accident.”

He wanted to thank all the agencies involved in the rescue calling it a collaborative effort, which included OC Parks Lifeguards, LBFD and Orange County Fire Authority.

Large barge parks it at Thousand Steps Beach

On Wednesday, July 18, a large barge was spotted beached at Thousand Steps Beach. Stu News reader reports started coming in around 9 a.m. asking us what this barge was doing landing on our beach.

Stu News looked into the matter.

Greg Pfost, City of Laguna Beach Community Development Director, had some answers.

He explained that the barge was connected to a private residential project that is under construction at Thousand Steps Beach. The property has two structures, including a guest house right on the sand, and then it has a house further up the slope. 

“The house that’s on the sand has been deteriorating so the homeowner received approval from the City to remodel the lower structure that’s on the sand,” Pfost said. “We don’t have a lot of structures on the sand but that one is so they got approval from the City to refurbish the house because it’s falling apart.”

The City submitted the approval for the owner.

“The contractor, he worked out with this barge company to bring materials to the site off this barge because it would have been very difficult to deliver the materials, including steel, which is very heavy, from Coast Highway,” Pfost said. “There’s this steep slope and there’s no good way to get down Thousand Steps Beach.”

The only other option would have been to use a crane and crane it in, but that would have been more expensive and cost prohibitive. 

Police Files Barge

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jim Peasley

A large barge at Thousand Steps Beach causes a stir among locals

“So they contracted this barge company. It’s the same barge company that was used by South Coast Water District years ago; they used the barge as part of their tunnel rehab project,” Pfost said.

The barge first made a trip on June 18 to bring in materials to the home site and this was the second trip, which was to remove materials.

The homeowner needed authorization from three agencies to move forward with their barge. The ocean is regulated by California Coastal Commission, the sand is a County beach in this case, and the home itself is on Laguna Beach land. 

“What I made sure before this barge had any authorization to land is that they had County Parks’ approval because they were landing on their beach. They got approval from OC Parks,” Pfost said. “I also let them know they were arriving in waters and needed Cal Coastal Commission, and they got approval from the Coastal Commission.” 

So they were able to land because they secured all of the authorizations from the agencies they needed. Aliso Fish & Wildlife was involved in the review as well.

The only other barge landing in recent history is the one he recalled earlier involving the South Coast Water District. 

Stu News reader Brett Keast shared a memory from the 1970s of a barge landing at Three Arch, although that area was not incorporated as part of Laguna Beach at the time. 

“Back in the early ‘70s my dad had a military barge land at Three Arch to bring in equipment and build volleyball courts and bathrooms,” he said.

Even with these three known barge landings over the past decades, none have been on a Laguna Beach City beach. 

“To my knowledge there have been no barge landings on City beaches,” said Pfost.

Do you have any interesting Laguna Beach barge or boat stories to share? Submit with details and photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bad mix: pills, $100 bills, coke, and meth land Tustin woman in jail

On Tuesday, July 17 at 6:49 p.m., LBPD conducted a vehicle stop in the 900 block of Glenneyre Street near Thalia Street. According to LBPD PIO Sgt Jim Cota, officers contacted a female, identified as Tustin resident Dianna Tateyama, 55. 

“She was shaking and jittery as officers spoke to her. Officers observed a pill bottle of Ciprofloxacin, 15 pills, on the passenger side seat that was prescribed to Victor Hernandez,” Sgt Cota said. “She claimed the pills were hers and she did not know Victor Hernandez. This was a violation.”

Police Files TateyamaCiprofloxacin is an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections.

Tateyama consented to a search of her vehicle. Inside the center console were three narcotic pipes and two empty baggies containing cocaine and methamphetamine. 

According to Sgt Cota, a female officer observed a clear plastic baggie hanging out of her bra. A search of the bra revealed two $100 bills and three small plastic baggies. Inside the baggies were cocaine and methamphetamine. Inside her wallet was $528.00 in cash. The baggies of narcotics were individually packaged with 4 grams of narcotics each. 

Tateyama was arrested and booked on four felony charges: possession of a controlled substance for sales, transporting a controlled substance on a highway, possession of a controlled substance, and sales of a controlled substance. 

Bail was set at $25,000.

Unknown substance sprayed on City Trolley, causing temporary panic

According to LBPD, on Thursday, July 19 at 4:24 p.m., officers responded to Laguna Avenue and South Coast Highway to a report of someone spraying an unknown chemical on a City Trolley. 

“Several people on the City Trolley reported they were coughing and having difficulty breathing,” Sgt Cota said. “As the investigation continued it was determined someone may have sprayed something by mistake, possibly sunscreen.” 

LBFD responded as well and found no caustic agent or anything suspicious. 

“Allegedly there were five people who were experiencing irritation after someone allegedly sprayed some sort of unknown substance on the trolley,” LBFD Chief Ed Valdez said. “There were two fire trucks and one ambulance that responded – a total of four paramedics and four EMTs.”

The person who allegedly sprayed the substance was gone upon emergency responders’ arrival. He had gotten off the trolley and walked away, according to witnesses.

The scene was cleared around 5 p.m. as if nothing had happened.

No one was taken to the hospital and all of the trolley riders declined medical attention. Some of the trolley riders even admitted that the symptoms they were feeling could be psychosomatic, induced by thoughts of possibly being harmed. 


Suzie’s ARTiculation

Laguna’s best will impress when local music legends’ 133 Band plays at FOA on Saturday, July 21

By SUZIE HARRISON

In a league all their own, that’s the 133 Band, Laguna’s All-Star band that features local music legends Jason Feddy, Nick Hernandez, Poul Pedersen, Steve Wood and Beth Fitchet Wood, Alan Deremo, Frank Cotinola, Bob Hawkins, and manager Clay Berryhill.

This musicians’ dream team will take center stage in a must-see concert at the Festival of Arts on Saturday, July 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Lagunas best Band

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna’s 133 Band is taking center stage at the FOA on Saturday

Berryhill, who is also a singer/songwriter and musician, had the brilliant idea to assemble Laguna’s best musicians, singers and songwriters and form the 133 Band, a band that truly exemplifies Laguna’s sound. 

He wanted to capture that essence, that unique blend. It was his dream, so he sold his business Simple Mobile, the well-known wireless company that he co-founded, to devote his time to making his dream a reality. 

He had been listening to these different groups play in many iterations since the late ‘70s, a huge fan of each of the members and their respective bands. 

For this endeavor, Berryhill started a new company, 133 Filmusic Group, and a record label with the same name. He filmed the 133 Band every chance possible for his music documentary “133 The Road to Laguna,” resulting in 800 plus hours of footage that he’s in the process of editing. He expects to premiere the film this year along with an original soundtrack with 12 songs.

On a recent Monday, I had the pleasure of seeing them perform at Mozambique. Talk about a fanbase, every square inch was taken in the bar, at the bar, every seat, every bit of the dance floor was packed with people who were on their feet, recording, enjoying the sounds, devotees like I haven’t seen in Laguna Beach. 

It’s easy to see his vision and understand the reason it has become his world. The band is unique in myriad ways and unlike any other band, 133 is a powerhouse with not one lead but five front leads and eight songwriters.

Lagunas best Poul Beth Nick

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna’s Super Band, 133, is electric and captivating with so much talent 

“In the film it talks about the Laguna Beach music scene. It has a unique sound. I thought why don’t I document this on film,” Berryhill said. 

He wanted a chance to tell his story about getting a second chance in his new chapter in life and captured the individual personalities along the way in the film.

Each individual tells their story, everything from drug addiction to bad record deals, being weary on the road, big offers turned down to stay in Laguna Beach. What emerged out of that is a story of the life of a musician, what a life of a musician is like,” Berryhill said. “They sacrificed a lot for their art. All for the benefit of us, what we listened to tonight; it’s all woven in the story. Somehow along the way it became a band.”

In the beginning, trying to get the band together he went to each member individually and asked them to be part of the band. At first they said no. They all have their own bands and different styles from Reggae, R&B, pop, and rock. The thing they all had in common is Laguna Beach, and a sound that defines the town. 

“Nick I was the first one. We were coffee buddies at Jean Paul’s Goodies. One morning I said ‘hey I’ve got this idea of putting together a band of my local favorites, wanna be the first one to join?’ We walked over to my golf cart and played him a CD of a song I wrote, he said yup, why not,” Berryhill recalled.

Lagunas best Nick H

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Hernandez was the first musician to become part of the 133 band formed by Berryhill in his second chapter in life

Steve Wood was next. 

“I needed someone to produce the album, that plus the fact he’s a brilliant musician, writer and singer made him the true ‘must have’ to make the project legitimate,” Berryhill said. He didn’t want to at first but then he called me back and said ok, I’m afraid someone will screw it up if I don’t do it. I quickly said, ‘oh yeah Beth’s gotta be in the band too’...‘click’ it worked, she was in.”

Feddy was the next, he met him after his show on KX 93.5 at the Coffee Klatch. He said I’m busy as hell, but ‘Ok, why not.’ 

“I cornered Poul one afternoon at The White House during one of his solo gigs there. Same story, ‘hey man wanna be in a band?’ Uh...who is in it?? I told him and he basically said the same thing as the others, ‘sure why not,” Berryhill explained.

Bob Hawkins was a phone call – he’s too hard to track down, when he’s not sleeping he’s teaching or playing. He was in. 

The two drummers in the band, Drew Hester and Frank Cotinola, were in too. And Deremo, the bass player, was eveyone’s choice. Boom, he was in!

“It’s a lot of talent pushed into one band,” said Pedersen. “I love all these people and respect them. It’s fun and I would like to see it go further and do more things.”

Feddy with his usual brand of humor said he joined the band for cold hard cash. 

“That’s why I became a musician is the cold hard cash because there is so much money in it,” Feddy said. “These people were my friends before. The truth is you love and respect people from afar and you never get to see them because you’re playing a gig. So for me personally, it’s a chance to hang out with them. You’re always learning something, it’s like a master class. And it’s really fun, it’s like a playground.”

“It’s really a local band that happens to be accomplished, a high-quality accomplished local band,” Berryhill said. “September 2013 is when the band started. The very first meeting of the band is on captured on film. They didn’t know I was making a film up until that day. I had a camera and sound crew there, they walked in and said WTF?”

The 133 Band will play on Saturday evening at the Festival of Arts located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Laguna Beach residents get in free at the Festival with proper ID. For more information on the band, visit www.facebook.com/the133band.

Until next time…so many local music legends, so little time!


School Board meeting addresses need for School Resource Officer plus Student Instructional Calendar

By MAGGI HENRIKSON

The School Board meeting of July 17 included a presentation by Laguna Beach Police Department (LBPD) Chief of Police Laura Farinella, during which she presented a memorandum of understanding between LBPD and the Laguna Beach Unified School District to provide a School Resource Officer (SRO).

The meeting also addressed the prickly issue of changes to the Student Instructional Calendar.

School Resource Officer

In an effort to further promote safety for our schools, the Laguna Beach Police Department is developing a School Resource Officer program that will seek to develop and enhance rapport between youth, police officers, school administrators, and parents. LBPD would assign one full-time law enforcement officer to serve as the SRO during the regular school year. The SRO would be employed and retained by LBPD and school site principals would confer with the SRO to develop plans and strategies for improving safety on each Laguna Beach school campus, while adjustments to the program can be made throughout the school year.

The public comments included some in favor of an SRO officer on campus for safety reasons, and some opposed, fearing that this presence would only escalate problems such as altercations between students, and could mean backpack searches for contraband.

school board grounds

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

SRO will be trained to de-escalate situations when conflict occurs on school grounds

Chief Farinella stated at the meeting that it’s not about law enforcement, unless behavior is merited. Any enforcement would be in coordination with the school principal.

“It’s not enforcement; it’s education, it’s guidance, it’s prevention, intervention,” she said. “It’s all of those things, so it’s not about going through backpacks, putting the canine through the school, that is not what it’s about. We want [that person] to be a mentor and teacher.” 

There is training along guidelines from the School Resource Officer association including understanding education codes and social media issues. 

The chief further described the SRO methodology, “When kids have altercations, [and are] emotionally upset, the officers have de-escalation techniques.”

SRO would rotate among schools

LBPD would rotate the officer to all schools, most likely starting at the high school “and navigate around to the other schools throughout the day.” It might be El Morro one day, TOW the next. “Maybe opening car doors in the morning at one school, at lunch at a different school.” 

The chief clarified that there is no money exchange between the school district and the SRO. “We just want your approval to be embedded and woven into the fabric of the school system,” she said.

Chief Farinella stated that the effectiveness of the program would be reviewed after a year. “I would love to come back after a year and report, ‘these were the contacts, these were the issues’ – to quantify the success and also qualify, like ‘yes, we feel like there’s a sounding board for issues.’”

The Board is expected to vote on the agreement at the upcoming August 21 meeting. If approved, it would take effect by the fall and would last until August 2021.

Student Instructional Calendar

Also at the July 17 Board meeting, staff presented revisions to the proposed 2019-20 student instructional calendar per Board direction from the June 19 Special Board meeting; the presentation included projected start and end dates for future years through 2022-2023. At the direction of the Board, staff will bring forward alternate start and end dates for future years to the August 21 Board meeting as an information item. 

Leisa Winston, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources and Public Communications said, “To recap what we’ve done so far, over the last year our committee met to survey assumptions, review data, study the issue, and they developed the recommended restructure of the 2019-2020 school year.” 

After subsequent Board meetings (April 12, June 19), community input, and survey results, the committee identified its revised priorities for the school year.

The top three factors identified in the committee’s survey results for the new curriculum calendar were, for those who supported the committee’s recommendation: that the semester end at winter break, that there would be increased test preparation, and that the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week be off. For those who opposed the committee’s recommendation, they cited family vacations, traffic, and empty beaches as issues.

The committee’s revised recommendations have, thus, identified six factors of change in the 2019-20 instructional calendar: 180 school days, no change to Thanksgiving week (school in session on Monday and Tuesday), two district-wide non-student days (January and March), starting approximately one week earlier on August 26, finals ending before winter break, and the school year ending June 11.

For more information, the revisions to the proposed student instructional calendar may be seen here.


Barbara’s Column

Streets and parks are sites for sore eyes… 

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Laguna’s streets and parks are sites for “Art in Public Places“ – art that is meant to embellish the city and be seen by the public without stepping a foot in a museum or gallery and without paying for admission.

But the outdoors, and occasionally vandals, are not always kind to the art that distinguishes Laguna Beach. “Vandalism is rare,” said a thankful city Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl, who oversees the city’s collection of public art. “Vandalism should be reported to the police.”

Weather is not kind – and not reportable. Repairs and maintenance of the city’s collection of public art are ongoing.

Three of the city’s collection have just undergone restoration: The “Laguna Tortoise” at Bluebird Park; “Word on the Street” in Heisler Park; and “Boy and Dog” at Jahraus Park.

The restoration projects were funded by Laguna Beach lodging establishments and the City. 

“Tortoise” sculptor Michele Taylor was hired to repair some of the glass inserts that lend sparkle to the two-ton, nine-foot long turtle that draws the attention of visitors to the park. The Bluebird Canyon Drive Avenue gate to the park is also being refurbished. 

barbaras column tortoise

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Tortoise, Bluebird Park

Los Angeles based artist Scott Froschauer will be in charge of repairing any damage to the pseudo traffic signs installed in Heisler Park at Jasmine and Cliff Drive. 

Froschauer used the materials and visual language of the familiar signs, but replaced the usual negative instructions such as STOP, DO NOT ENTER or WRONG WAY with positive messages.

Sculptor George Stripling was hired by the city to remove an undetermined liquid that was sloshed onto “Boy and Dog.” The late Richard Jahraus used to say he was [the model for] the boy at about three years old. He claimed he was teased unmercifully about his sculpted bare backside.

However, Sawdust artist Ora Stirling informed Poeschl this weekday that the Ruth Peabody sculpture should be named “Girl and Dog.” She said the Scottish terrier model for the sculpture was named Mawgie.

The piece was previously and more extensively restored in 2008 by the late Cheryl Ekstrom, creator of the “Warriors Against Angst”. Ekstrom and Stripling both have pieces in the city’s collection of bronze sculptures.

Whether it is a boy or girl with the dog, the sculpture is the oldest in collection of public art displayed in Laguna Beach, according to Poeschl.

Marlo Bartels’ “Canyon Chess and Checkers” at Main Beach and the “Sunbathers” in Nita Carmen Park” are next oldest, Poeschl said.

barbaras column word

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Dianne Russell

Word on the Street: The most recent public art installation

“Boy and Dog” was installed in 1933. Bartels’ mosaic table and chairs was done in 1981 and the two oft-repaired figures have sunbathed on the grass at Nita Carmen Park since 1982, all three created and installed before the City passed an Art in Public Places Ordinance in 1986.

The ordinance requires developers of commercial property or four-or-more units to set aside one percent of the estimated cost of construction for public art or make a 1.25 percent contribution to the Art-in-Lieu Fund. Mind you, the percentage is based on their estimate of construction costs – which is considerably less that the value of a completed project.

Either way, they get off cheap. 

“Laguna doesn’t have a lot of development,” said Poeschl, who last year celebrated her 20th year as staff for the Arts Commission. ”We are not like Brea which has huge development projects.

“The Cultural Arts Plan (approved by the City Council) includes a recommendation to consider revising the contributions.”

City public art acquisitions are selected by the Arts Commission, to be approved by the City Council and funded by the Business Improvement District, commonly called the BID. Laguna’s hostelries volunteer a two percent contribution on top of the annual bed taxes, now the City’s second highest revenue source. 

barbaras column kraken

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Tide Pool Kraken, near Fisherman’s Cove, by Casey Parlette

Besides the BID, funding also includes private donations, cultural arts grants by the City and the Art-in-Lieu Fund, which is pitifully inadequate. 

Sixty of the 100 pieces of public art belong to the city, 40 are owned by private individuals or businesses.

Goals of the Art in Public Places programs are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents – not to mention the substantial economic benefits to be gained through aesthetic enhancement of its public spaces. 

No wonder Visit Laguna Beach supports public art. 

“As a long-standing arts colony, Laguna Beach’s art in public places allows visitors to immerse themselves in a wealth of creativity created by local and international artists who continue to add to the culture of our community,” said Ashley Johnson, CEO and President of Visit Laguna Beach.

In recognition of the importance of public art to the charm of Laguna, the organization compiled a list of art that shouldn’t be missed by visitors to Laguna. Not a bad list for locals to take a look at either. It’s on the Internet. 

Lest we forget

Robert Wyland’s very first Whaling Wall lives on only in memory. Painted in Wyland’s youth on the retaining wall between his gallery and the Hotel Laguna, the mural was whitewashed when he bought the former Fahrenheit 451 building, blocking expansion of the hotel.

The Tell by Mark Chamberlain, Jerry Burchfield and 1000s of contributors is also not on the City’s list of Art in Public Places and is now lost to us. The 636-foot long photographic mural was part of the Laguna Canyon Project, an artistic response to the explosive growth in South Orange County and especially the threats of development in Laguna Canyon. It played a crucial role in the preservation of the canyon, once again demonstrating the power of art to move mountains as well as emotions.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for residents or visitors to do in Laguna by reading StuNewsLaguna.com. Contributions are welcomed.


Violent crime has decreased in Laguna by 26 percent in two years, says City Manager

Since 2016, violent crime (murder, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault) has decreased 26 percent in the City of Laguna Beach. 

Violent crime

“We are aware of a rumor stating Laguna Beach’s violent crime rate and money spent policing per person are much higher when compared to neighboring cities,” reads the City Manager’s statement.Using per capita metrics to compare Laguna Beach’s crime rates or spending statistics is not a representative statistic because it does not take into account the fact that Laguna Beach services an estimated six million visitors per year, in addition to our 23,000 residents. This is typical in coastal communities and other towns with significant visitor populations.” 

The statement makes the point that when fairly evaluating how many employees, both sworn and non-sworn, are needed to appropriately police a city, the size of the residential, working and visitor community must all be considered. 


Where’s Maggi?

Pull up a chair. Oh, wait, it doesn’t move. These chairs are permanently parked somewhere and Maggi asks, where? 

Drop a note and let her know if you’ve passed by, or grabbed a seat here. 

Submit your answer to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This photo mystery spot will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 7 20 18

Click on photo for a larger image


Government Finance Officers Assocation awards City highest form of recognition for financial reporting

The Government Finance Officers Associate (GFOA) has awarded the City of Laguna Beach the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting.  This is the highest form of recognition in government accounting and financial reporting and represents a significant accomplishment for the City of Laguna Beach, according to the GFOA.

The City of Laguna Beach was judged on its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the year ending June 30, 2017. The City’s CAFR shares high-level, organizational facts and figures and details on the financial health of the City with the public. The City was judged by an impartial panel and met the high standards of the GFOA program, which includes demonstrating a spirit of “full disclosure” to clearly communicate the City’s financial story and encourage the public to read the City’s Annual Financial Report. 

Government Finance

“It is critical we keep our community informed about the financial health of our City,” said Laguna Beach Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran. “This award only reinforces the continued commitment to financial transparency by the City of Laguna Beach, and I am proud of the dedication of the City’s finance team toward that effort.”

This is the third consecutive year the City has received the award. To receive the Certificate of Achievement, a governmental unit must publish an easily readable and efficiently organized comprehensive Annual Financial Report, whose contents conform to program standards.

GFOA, a professional association established in 1906, represents nearly 19,000 appointed and elected local, state and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners in the United States and Canada. It provides top-quality publications, training programs, services and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.  The association is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.


Tree topples over and hits two BMWs in one shot

Stu News reader Carl Wineforder sent us the following photo and story on Tuesday, for a tree falling event that occurred on Monday:

“Just thought I’d send this to you regarding a local happening. Yesterday around 3 p.m. a tree fell over onto Broadway close to the Laguna Playhouse (maybe 50 yards toward PCH). Only in Laguna could a tree fall and hit two BMWs in one shot. The white BMW was parked and heavily damaged. The black BMW was apparently hit while driving along Broadway, but didn’t appear damaged or was only slightly damaged.”

Tree topples

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Carl Winefordner

A large tree fell on top of two BMWs on Monday; luckily, no one was injured


Book club boom thriving at Laguna Beach Books

By DIANNE RUSSELL

The book club phenomenon has been around for a while and is growing with leaps and bounds. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, the New York Times reports an estimated five million Americans belong to a book club. Even more belong to online reading groups like those on the popular site www.goodreads.com, which has 40 million members. 

Right here in Laguna Beach, there’s a flourishing book club that meets monthly at Laguna Beach Books (LBB). According to Danielle Bauter of LBB, it started over 10 years ago when they first opened the store. 

“Our bookseller, Chris, moderates our book clubs. Our owner Jane (Hanauer) felt that it was important to have a monthly book club discussion and that Chris would be a good facilitator due to his academic background and ability to bring so many different elements together based on his historical knowledge.”

Book club discussion

Click on photo for larger image

Courtesy of LBB

LBB book club meets the third Wednesday of the month

If the book club boom of recent decades has any clear starting point, it would be 1996, when Oprah Winfrey launched the book club segment of her enormously popular television program (per www.daily.jstor.org). Oprah’s Book Club established a template for millions of women to follow: A few friends discuss the monthly selection over dinner, share personal stories, and give empathic interpretations of the text.

It seems everyone you talk to belongs to a book club, some with wacky names like Book Babes. Although I didn’t join at its inception, my book club has by now read 104 books. And strangely, the one book that everyone strongly disliked prompted the most lively discussion.

How does LBB book club handle its discussions?

Danielle says, “Chris is also able to ensure that there is a fair discussion and that everyone has an opportunity to contribute. This keeps our regulars coming back month after month, on average we have between 10 and 15 people attend.” 

As reported by Danielle, the books that have generated the best discussions are:

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

A Gate at the Top of the Stairs by Lorrie Moore

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

How do they pick the books for discussion?

My book club chooses books on a rotating basis, alphabetically by the member’s first name, and that member then offers two books for the others to vote on.

Book club drinks

Click on photo for larger image

Dev Bhatia takes a break from book club discussion

However, LBB book club handles it a different way.

“Regarding selecting the books,” says Danielle, “we make choices collaboratively, and we meet quarterly, so that we always have them announced at least months in
advance. Our only criterion is that it be paperback and lean more toward literary fiction. We read anything from classics to more contemporary.”

The last six books they’ve discussed, starting with the most recent (on 7/18) are:

10:04 by Ben Lerner

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart

Dear Life by Alice Munro

The Bell by Iris Murdoch

The Soul Thief by Charles Baxter

Machine Dreams by Jayne Anne Phillips

Their favorite titles have been:

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon

The Huffington Post lists a couple of reasons to join a book club: reading books you wouldn’t otherwise read, and the fact that some books just need to be discussed. So true, some books just beg to be talked about, and that’s what’s happening at LBB every month.

LBB is located at 1200 S Coast Hwy.

For more information about the book club, go to www.lagunabeachbooks.com or call (949) 494-4779.


Carnival for Kids is a one-day mecca for homeless children: homelessness is not just an LB issue

Story by Diane Armitage

In March last year, one of the restaurants I was marketing, Skyloft (Chef Arthur Ortiz) got involved in the giant OC Chef’s Table. In one evening, more than 30 of Orange County’s top chefs came together at the Disneyland® Resort to create multi-course dinners for patrons, all of whom were there to raise money to stop homelessness. 

Other Laguna restaurants participating included Driftwood/The Deck (Chef Rainer Schwarz), Splashes (Chef Ron Fougeray), Sapphire (Chef Azmin Ghahremna) and Slapfish (Chef Andrew Gruel).

The benefactor, Illumination Foundation, is a super-innovative nonprofit that is tackling homelessness from the other side with surprising solutions that are actually working. In fact, the Orange County Business Journal just wrote a large article on Monday about Illumination Foundation’s solution in recuperative care. By housing homeless individuals who have just been released from hospitals and emergency rooms, they’re moving these individuals into permanent housing while saving hospitals millions of dollars a year. 

Addressing the needs of homeless children, too

What I like most about Illumination Foundation, though, is its additional focus on homeless children. Right now, in Orange County alone, more than 30,000 children are unstably housed, meaning they’re either moving from motel to motel, sleeping in cars, or sleeping on the streets with their parents or guardians. 

We can spend our time putting blame on how those kids got there in the first place, or we can do something about helping these children. 

carnival three people

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo credit Brandon Miller

Co-founder Paul Leon with Dilan and Celine

In the above photo, flanking Illumination Foundation Co-Founder Paul Leon, are brother and sister, Dilan and Celine, who were first introduced to the IF Children’s Resource Center when they were small children. 

Now, having graduated at the top of their high school classes, and with financial support from the Simon Family Foundation, both have achieved full-ride academic scholarships to their universities of choice. On his wall, Dilan has one framed photo – the day he first met Paul Leon at the Resource Center.

Among many activities and donation drives, Illumination Foundation has created children’s resource centers, which tutor and feed kids daily, all year long. (The success stories from kids who emerge from Illumination Foundation’s resource centers are nothing short of amazing.) The centers also offer the organized fun events that every child deserves. 

carnival two girls

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Illumination Foundation

Kids of all ages attend Illumination Foundation’s one-day Carnival for Kids

On July 28, it’s their fifth annual Carnival for Kids, a one-day event that features everything from big rides to carnival-fare food, activity booths and even a petting zoo. Hundreds of Illumination Foundation families are specifically invited to LaPalma Park in Anaheim, and admission is free. 

With Disneyland® Resort leading the way as its largest sponsor, the event includes restaurateurs, seasoned carnival vendors, foundations (including the Bickerstaff Family Foundation), the Anaheim Hills Rotary, the Honda Center, and a number of corporate sponsors (including Starbucks, CalOptima, Target and Sprouts Farmer’s Market). Each is committed to helping Illumination Foundation build the best carnival yet.

What we can do to help

There are plenty of ways we can step in and help bring this year’s Carnival to life. While it may seem that the big sponsors have it all handled, Illumination Foundation says they still need volunteers for the booths and overall event. They’re also asking for in-kind donations, particularly in school supplies. And, of course, you can also sponsor more children into the Carnival. 

In our world today, we could all use a feel-good activity. As I’m sure you remember carnivals and amusement park field trips from your childhood, this is your chance to “pay it forward” for children who are really struggling out there. Go to www.IFHomeless.org/CFK2018to get involved.

Diane Armitage is the best-selling author of the book, The Best of Laguna Beach, and offers a cornucopia of Laguna based reviews, finds and upcoming events at her blog, www.TheBestofLagunaBeach.com.


Laguna Beach Farmers’ Market has it all – and now free giveaways also on Saturday, July 28

LB Farmers’ Market has everything from soup to nuts (literally, we think, although we could be wrong about the soup). Farm fresh eggs, flowers, fresh honey from a local farm, cheeses, bread, spreads, every vegetable and fruit you can think of, and made to order crepes, empanadas and other yummy food to eat on the spot or take to the beach. The list is endless. You get samples of much of it too!

Laguna Beach fruit at market

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Endless varieties of produce available at market

The Ballesteros Group is now one of the co-sponsors (along with Mamas OC Food Services) for the LB Farmers Market. Their goal is to provide massive exposure for the market and all of the vendors through word of mouth and social media. 

On Saturday, July 28, they will be handing out reusable grocery bags and waters to those who attend the market. Residents and visitors may also notice a banner in front of the market on Friday to remind everyone about the following day.

Laguna Beach eggs

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Lots of farm fresh eggs

Farmers’ Market sets up shop at #12 Lumberyard parking lot (across from The Festival of the Arts) every Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. Rain or shine.

Best one stop shopping anywhere! And some of it is organic. They even have Paleo and Gluten free baked goods.

On Tuesday, July 31, look for Stu News coverage of the July 28 give-a-ways along with its history and a current rundown of the Farmers’ Market vendors and their products.


Sickle moon on a summer night

Photo by Scott Brashier

sickle moon

Click on photo for a larger image

Sickle moon over Laguna


Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement designation given to Laguna College of Art & Design

Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) was selected as a participating school in the new federal Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. 

“We are very proud of our veteran students and alumni who have proudly served our country and distinguished themselves as artists and designers,” said LCAD President Jonathan Burke. “Through this partnership, more than 20 veterans will be able to receive financial assistance to study in all of our nine majors this fall.”

Yellow Ribbon LCAD building

Click on photo for larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

LCAD receives Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program designation

Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays tuition expenses for eligible veterans. The bill’s Yellow Ribbon Program permits private colleges like LCAD to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to help fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state tuition rate.

During the 2018-19 academic year, LCAD will contribute funds to help pay tuition expenses for veterans who participate in the program. The Yellow Ribbon program helps to meet the gap not covered by the standard VA reimbursement.

Among recent LCAD veteran alumni, Charity Oetgen, BFA in Drawing & Painting (2014) and MFA in Painting (2017), is very excited to see LCAD participate in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. 

Yellow Ribbon ribbon design

“This will help so many students make the most of their LCAD education while lessening their student loan debt,” she said. “LCAD gave me the skill and confidence to take on projects that embody everything I want to do with my artwork, blending conservation and art to make a difference.”

Oetgen recently published six paintings in an issue of National Geographic that honored the 50th anniversary of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. Collectors of her artwork now include the ARCUS Foundation, Claudine André (of Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary), and Damien Mander (of International Anti-Poaching Foundation and the Jane Goodall Institute). 

For more information, LCAD students who are veterans should contact Chris Brown, director of admissions + financial aid at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

For more information about LCAD admissions, news, events and the Annual Fund, visit www.lcad.edu. Follow on Facebook at @LCADBFA, Twitter @LCAD and Instagram @lcadbfa.


Aliens lasering Laguna? No, just a streaky sunset

Photo by Tom Berndt

Aliens lasering tree

Click on photo for a larger image

A perfectly proportioned pic, as beams from the sunset appear to bisect the tree 


Art Talks and Tea at FOA brings artists and art-lovers together to dig deeper into a variety of topics 

The Festival of Arts holds Art Talks and Tea every Wednesday between 1 and 2 p.m., offering festival-goers a great opportunity to meet one on one with local artists for informative discussions. The progam will continue until the end of August.

Artists share their history, inspiration, and career in art as they present their work and dig deeper into the understanding of painting, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics and other art on the grounds.

Figurative sculpture is the topic this coming Wednesday, July 25. Antje Campbell will discuss this art form as well as 3D artworks along with Paula Collins, Jorge Fernandez, Rachel Young, Nikita Young, and Jon Edward.

Art talks and tea

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo from FOA website

Antje Campbell leads a discussion

Participants will enjoy a fun and unforgettable time. Each week is filled with new artists and new activities. For more information or to check the sechedule, visit www.foapom.com/festival-of-arts-art-talks-and-tea

Additional subjects include mixed media, abstract painting, secret passions, recycled runway fashions, and the Pageant of the Masters.

Art Talks are free with regular Festival admission, no reservation required. Festival of Arts is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

The Laguna Beach Festival of Arts is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to promote, produce and sponsor events and activities that encourage the appreciation, study and performance of the arts. 

Throughout each year the Festival of Arts sponsors art education programming, art exhibits and provides art scholarships to local high school students as well as grants for local nonprofit art organizations through its Foundation.


Early bird gets the tickets for LPAPA 20th Laguna Plein Air Invitational Collectors Gala on October 13

All are invited to join the celebration and be part of the tradition of Laguna Plein Air Painters Association’s (LPAPA) Annual LPAPA Invitational Collectors Gala. It will be held on Saturday, Oct 13 from 7 - 10:30 p.m. at the Laguna Festival of Arts (FOA). Early bird tickets are now available through July 31 for only $125 each, $25 less than the cost of tickets after August 1.

LPAPA and the Laguna Beach community celebrate two very special milestones this year. The first LPAPA painting invitational was presented in 1999. This year, LPAPA celebrates its 20th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational in its new home at FOA.

Early bird reception

Click on photo for larger image

LPAPA Invitational Collectors Gala Reception

And 100 years ago in 1918, the first Laguna Beach Art Association was established, and the first art gallery in LB was opened by early plein air artists, such as Edgar Payne, William Wendt, Frank Cuprien, Anna Hills, and many others. LPAPA’s mission, as a nonprofit art organization, is dedicated to preserving and honoring Laguna’s rich artistic legacy established by these early plein air artists. 

 To commemorate these milestones, a unique celebration has been planned for the 2018 gala. To take advantage of the early bird gala ticket price of $125 (now through July 31), click here.

Early bird Hills

Click on photo for larger image

Photo from LAM

“After the Storm” by Anna Hills, 1922

On August 1, advance tickets will be $150, and $175 on October 12 and at the door.

LPAPA members receive a discount on gala tickets. Sponsors and partners receive VIP gala tickets plus other benefits. 

FOA is located at 650 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For questions, contact Rosemary Swimm at (949) 376-3635 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For further information, go to www.lpapa.org.


Laguna Beach resident Tarek Hafiz named one of office technology’s “2018 Difference Makers” 

Tarek Hafiz, owner and President of CBE Office Solutions, was recently recognized as one of the office technology industry’s “2018 Difference Makers” by ENX/This Week in Imaging Magazine, a leading publication that reports on office technology manufacturers, distributors and end-users.

Hafiz successfully transformed a 1990s copier dealership into an information technology and network support specialist. Plus Hafiz accomplished the feat in Southern California, a market long considered by industry analysts to be one of the country’s toughest markets for office technology dealers and manufacturer-direct branches, due to its expansive geography, high media costs and competitive environment.

“We’ve added more talented people, added products and made significant investments in customer support systems,” said Hafiz, who founded the company as Cell Business Equipment in 1993 and is now celebrating 25 years in business. “But changing the perception of our business and the benefits we provide our customers was the toughest hurdle, and there’s still more work to be done.”

Laguna Beach resident Tarek

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted Photo

Tarek Hafiz, owner and President of CBE Office Solutions 

A name change to CBE Office Solutions was one step toward becoming fully authorized to sell and service products that connected to the network. This meant adding smartboards, security cameras, mailing systems and more to an already impressive line-up of printers, multifunction products (MFPs) and high production equipment from Sharp, Canon and Ricoh. 

The award can be added to a long list of recognitions Hafiz and CBE have earned in their first 25 years in business. CBE has been named an Elite Dealer multiple times by analysts covering the USA’s office technology, furniture and supply industries; listed on the INC 5000’s Fastest Growing Companies an astonishing nine times, which places them on the publication’s Honor Roll; named to the Orange County Register’s Top Orange County WorkPlaces multiple times; and has received many manufacturer awards for service excellence and customer satisfaction. 

CBE Office Solutions was founded by Hafiz in 1993 and currently serves Orange, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. In addition to their Irvine corporate headquarters, CBE has branch operations in West L.A., the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire.

The company has grown from being a distributor of copiers to become a single source solution for businesses of all sizes by providing a full range of IT services, managed print services, document management solutions and copier/printers.

For more information, visit www.cbeofficesolutions.com.


Laguna Beach Live! presents Anne Walsh Quartet July 25 at [seven-degrees]

The Laguna Beach Live! Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series features world jazz vocalist Anne Walsh Quartet on July 25 at [seven-degrees].

Laguna Beach Live Anne

Submitted photo

Anne Walsh

Anne Walsh began her singing career in high school choir and continued into college to study voice and music therapy. After graduation, Anne moved from Massachusetts to Los Angeles where she discovered her voice in many genres including rock & roll, jazz, opera, and musicals. 

She holds a Master’s degree from Cal State Long Beach and currently resides on the faculty of American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, a college for the performing arts. Presently, among gigs at the Long Beach Carpenter Center, McKinney Theatre, and various clubs including Spaghettini’s Jazz Club, Anne is touring nationally and internationally.

Jazz Wednesdays Summer 2018 is located in the distinctive [seven-degrees] event facility, 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. Concerts are from 6 - 8 p.m. Doors open at 5 p.m. for dinner and social hour. Dinner will be served through to 7 p.m. Dinner menu varies by concert. 

Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Seating is assigned according to date of purchase, season ticket holders and Laguna Beach Live! membership.

For more information, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org.


Spamalot opens tonight at No Square Theatre

Spamalot, the kids’ musical based on Monty Python’s “Search for the Holy Grail” and featuring some of our community’s brightest young talent, opens this weekend at No Square Theatre. This special edition is based on the book and lyrics by Eric Idle, with music by John DuPrez and Eric Idle. Ella Wyatt directs the talented young cast, with music direction by Susan Thoren Geiser. 

Spamalot single

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Douglas Spam is getting ready for the big performances ahead 

Spamalot (young@part) brings the comic genius of the zany British crew to a whole new generation. Monty Python fans of all ages will enjoy the familiar sight gags and laugh lines that have become part of our culture. Belly laughs are guaranteed, and coconuts are optional. (If you get that, you’re already a fan. If not, come and see why it’s funny!)

Spamalot Umbrellas

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Get ready to see young talent put on the number Umbrellas 

Featuring some terrific young talent: Chase Benson, Will Briggs, Rylee Bullington, Story Bullington, Nico Camacho, Alfie Cant, Caroline Coleman, Kami Crawford, Chloe Flaherty, Finn Flanagan, Laird Garcia, Jonah Goldstein, Lila Goldstein, Kate Hennessy, Alexandra Keyser, Lauren Kimball, Joie Lucas, Kate Motherway, Taite Morrison, Douglas No`age, Meghan Reardon, Kemper Rodi, Nathan Ryan, Kate Storke, Shelby Thomas, Lauren Trautenberg, Mackenzie Wrap, and Joely Rose Wyatt.

Performances open this weekend, Friday and Saturday, July 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, July 22 at 6:30 p.m.; and also run next weekend on Friday and Saturday, July 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, July 29 at 6:30 p.m.

No Square Theatre is in Historic Legion Hall, at 384 Legion Street, two blocks south of the High School. The High School has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited and the theatre has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance.

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by The Lodging Establishments & City of Laguna Beach, Patrick Quilter, Dorene & Lee Butler Family Foundation, Yvonne & John Browning, The City of Laguna Beach, Stella Charton in Memory of Lloyd Charton, Ann & Charlie Quilter in Honor of Joe Lauderdale, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Patrick Quilter/Quilter Labs, Festival of Arts Foundation, Laguna Board of Realtors Charitable Assistance Fund, Hall Family Foundation, and Vicki & Steve McIntosh.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $30 for VIP front row, and $10 for kids up to age 12. All tickets available at www.nosquare.org.


City Manager Updates

Shopper Parking Permits – Residents that have applied should receive their new Shopper Permit(s) next week. Shopper Permits are available only to residents of Laguna Beach (proof of residency required such as a utility bill in your name). They cost $80 each for the first two permits and $150 each for the third and fourth (with a maximum of four permits per household). Shopper Permits allow residents to park in City lots and at City meters for the posted amount of time without additional payment. The permits are valid for two years: from August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2020. 

If you are a resident of Laguna Beach and would like to purchase a Shopper Permit, please visit the City’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net. Just click the “Buy a Parking Permit” icon located on the City’s homepage. From the website, residents can purchase parking permits online or by mail by downloading a PDF version of the information packet and application.

City Manager Agate

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Maggi Henrikson

Agate Street stairs under construction

Agate Street Closure – On Friday, July 20, between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m., a portion of Agate Street between South Coast Highway and Ocean Way will be closed for resurfacing as part of the Agate Street beach access rehabilitation project. Pearl Street and Ocean Way will temporarily become two-way streets, and access to Viking Way will be maintained. For questions, please call Project Director Lou Kneip in the Public Works Department at (949) 464-6688.

Agate Street Beach Access – Re-Opening Ceremony – The City of Laguna Beach invites the community to a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, July 24 at 4 p.m. for the re-opening of the newly renovated beach access at Agate Street. The project included new stairways, overlooks, landscaping, lighting, benches and bike racks. 

For questions, please contact Lou Kneip at (949) 464-6688 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..