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City Remembrance Ceremony marks the 5th anniversary of officer Jon Coutchie’s passing

Beloved fallen LBPD Motor Officer Jon Coutchie, who, devastatingly, was killed in a crash on Sept 21, 2013, at the young age of 41, will be remembered in this year’s City Remembrance Ceremony on Sept 21, marking the fifth anniversary of Officer Coutchie’s End of Watch.

In honor of Officer Coutchie’s ultimate sacrifice five years ago, City employees, family, friends, and members of the community are encouraged to attend the event to remember the sacrifice of the Police Department’s two fallen officers. The Police Memorial honors two LBPD officers who were killed in the line of duty, Coutchie in 2013, and Gordon French in 1953.

Six months after Coutchie became a motor officer in March 2013, he died after a crash at Cleo Street and Coast Highway while responding to a report of a reckless driver.

City Remembrance Ceremony Jon

The Remembrance Ceremony on Sept 21 will mark the 5th anniversary of officer Jon Coutchie’s death in the line of duty

The Remembrance Ceremony has become an annual tradition that is open to any member of the public wishing to attend. Last year more than 100 people were in attendance and included a presentation by the LBPD Honor Guard and comments by LBPD Capt Jeff Calvert and former LBPD Chief Paul Workman. 

The ceremony will take place outside of the LBPD in front of the Eternal Legacy memorial beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept 21. Refreshments will immediately follow the event.

Top of the World Neighborhood Association to host old-fashioned picnic at Alta Laguna Park

The Top of the World Neighborhood Association (TOWNA) will hold its annual Neighborhood Picnic on Sunday, Sept 23 at Alta Laguna Park from 3 - 5 p.m. You do not need to be a member of TOWNA to come and enjoy this meet your neighbor event, all are invited and all are welcomed. 

Neighbors are invited to bring their favorite dish to participate in an old-fashioned potluck dinner. 

Top of the World firetruck

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Photo by Gene Felder

Top of the World community enjoying 2017 picnic with a visit from local firefighters

The TOWNA Board is very concerned about recent fire damage and inappropriate activity such as setting fires and smoking in the Laguna Heights open space, and encourages anyone seeing such activity to report it to the Police non-emergency number at (949) 497-0701.

For additional information, contact Gene Felder at (949) 939-7257.

“Portraits Three Ways” exhibit will leave the CAP Gallery on Saturday, Sept 29

By “Charlie” Ferrazzi

 September may be the first month of fall, but it is the last month of “Portraits Three Ways,” the current exhibit at The CAP Gallery. September 29 will be your last day to view this intriguing exhibit.

 Jill Petrilak, Jan Magdaleno, and Andrew Petterson, and their individual takes on the genre of portraiture, make up the theme of this exhibit. Portrait subjects, styles and medium of work make this an interesting, varied and ‘must see’ exhibit.

 Jill Petrilak works in a traditional style. Originally studying at Art Center College of Design, after graduation she started as a portrait painter. She later became an animation illustrator for a number of the major studios to help support her family after the Northridge earthquake and has since retired and come full circle back to portraiture.

 Jill has recruited many of her friends to be her subjects, and now finds she is recruiting the younger generation of her family to pose. During an Artists’ Conversation, Jill quoted John Singer Sargent: “Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.”

 Having worked on deadlines for many years, Jill is capable of painting quick and efficiently; but now that she works on her own deadlines, she is enjoying taking time, capturing moments from the subject’s life, and mastering the complexities of her impression of them by the use of colour, shapes and brushstrokes.

Portraits Three Ways Petrilak Kevin

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“Kevin” by Jill Petrilak, oil on canvas

Jan Magdaleno attended Chouinard Art Institute on a four-year scholarship, studying fashion illustration where the focus was on the human form and drawing. After graduation, Jan went on to a career as an advertising director for Bullock’s Department Stores, ultimately becoming Corporate Fashion Art Director. She also returned to Chouinard to teach fashion illustration.

After leaving Bullocks, Jan went into partnership with a friend, owning Jebba Needlepoint, in Corona del Mar, for 25 years. During that time, she still maintained working in her art and keeping deadlines by creating custom canvases for their clients. After selling Jebba, Jan enjoyed immersing herself in art without dealing with tight deadlines. In a comment during an Artists’ Conversation, she quipped, “I wonder what a deadline would look like if you painted it.”

Jan’s love of drawing shows in her selection of works on display. Charcoal, graphite works, some highlighted with watercolor or oil – she enjoys working in various mediums, though charcoal is her favorite. She is also not limited to just a model or friend. Carrying a sketchbook and drawing tools, she will often sketch people she observes wherever she is at. Street fair strollers, museum wanderers and beachgoers are just a few of her subjects. For her, it is bringing life to her subjects by the way they hold themselves, the look in their eyes and expression of their face. All have possible stories to draw.

Portraits Three Ways Magdaleno Daydreamer

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“Daydreamer” by Jan Magdaleno, Charcoal, watercolor & pastel

Jan’s portrait work is not just about the human species. Being an avid dog lover, she has done many commissioned portraits of animals for clients. Not limiting herself to the usual canine or feline, she has also done hamsters, llamas, giraffes, cheetahs, and koalas, to name a few. Again, it is the way she is able to breathe life into her subjects that make her works so desirable to animal lovers.

Andrew Petterson is the son of parents who were both art educators. From an early age, his world was filled with limitless access to many art media and support in any and all interest in pursuing art. After leaving home, he spent hours in museums studying the Masters by drawing and painting, learning the how and whys of their methods. From live portrait and figure models, he has gotten an even deeper understanding of the human figure and its structure.

 Andrew has spent time as a fabricator/designer/engineer, collaborating with Oakley on a custom project of 50 original hand-painted eyeglass frames. He has also designed and executed custom designs for various businesses in the sports and motorcycle worlds.

Portraits Three Ways Petterson Maura

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“Maura” by Andrew Petterson, graphite and charcoal

Andrew still spends time studying the Masters, doing maybe two copies of a piece and then creating his own version of the work. He strives to paint every day and complete a work in that one day. Preferring charcoal as his main medium, he feels that the “simplicity of charcoal forces you to tell your story.” He also works in graphite, both very straightforward mediums that can be strong and direct or can add nuance to a piece. Like Jan Magdaleno, Andrew is always keeping an eye out for new faces to draw and paint, further honing his skills. The goal of each piece is to be better than the last through improvements, no matter how minor.

Three artists, three interpretations of the art of portraiture: an exhibit that is not to be missed. After September 29, visitors will have missed out.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of Art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibitions in The CAP Gallery: a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions located in the Rotunda 

Gallery space on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Ave.

For more information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, visit www.caplaguna.orgor call (949) 533-7507.

A message from the Laguna Beach Historical Society President

By Edward Storke

Putting pen to paper to write my first column as president, I’d like to start by paying tribute to our immediate past president: Dr. Gregg DeNicola. He has done an outstanding job leading The Laguna Beach Historical Society. His administrative skills and optimistic vision has helped lead our society to grow and progress. I salute his term of office. We all owe him gratitude for his tireless service. He will continue to help the Laguna Beach Historical Society as a member of our Board of Directors. He has helped Laguna Beach Historical Society further its mission, which “shall be the collection, presentation, and dissemination of knowledge about the history of Laguna Beach.”

A message from grad

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Courtesy of LB Historical Society

Edward Storke and Nelda Stone present a $1,000 scholarship to Delaney Basile on behalf of LB Historical Society

In June, Nelda Stone and I presented a $1,000 scholarship to Delaney Basile, Laguna Beach High School senior, on behalf of our society. Her thank you note, in part, states, “I am so honored and grateful for the doors that this scholarship can open up for me and I am excited to have your support.” She continues, “I think that history plays such an important role in learning from the past and I am excited to see where it can take me.” Delaney will be attending UC Berkeley in the fall. 

On Friday, June 8, Heidi Miller, Johanna Ellis, Anne Frank and I made a presentation on Laguna Beach history to students at Top of the World Elementary School. We brought with us pictures and artifacts, which we showed, to an enthusiastic group of students. On June 11 and 13, third graders from El Morro Elementary School came to The Murphy Smith Bungalow as part of an exploration of Laguna Beach history. Please plan to visit the bungalow any Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m.

Blake kicks off campaign at symbolic Rooftop Lounge


Art gallery owner Peter Blake kicked off his campaign for a seat on the City Council on Saturday at the Rooftop Lounge. The location was significant.

“When I thought about where I would have a campaign kick-off party, I thought this would be perfect because it was here, years ago, that I finally started to come to terms with the fact that there were aspects of Laguna Beach that I was starting to dislike intensely.”

Over the years, his dislike escalated, but he had no burning desire to run for office. 

“I kept waiting for someone to step up to the plate so that I wouldn’t have to do this,” said Blake.

But here he is – one of 11 candidates seeking election to the council. He assured the congenial crowd of an estimated 50 supporters that he is in for the long haul.

“It is official and it is not going to stop,” said Blake. “I have taken your money, and I am going to spend it. You know I am not going to get into all that stuff right now, because I hate political speeches, and I am not a politician.”

Nor is he always politically correct.

After years of telling himself that Laguna could survive interference with property rights and obstructions to opening places like the Rooftop, he says, he found himself no longer willing to stand aside and let what he called “little people” run the city. 

“I finally woke up one day and thought I have had it,” Blake said. “I have had it with them. I want them out.”

Blake kicks off

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Submitted photo

Peter Blake with wife Stephanie at the Rooftop

Among other things, he wants changes in the Design Review process. 

“I don’t want Design Review telling us what we can and can’t do with our homes,” said Blake. “I don’t want to hear ‘Oh, I don’t like that.’ Who are you to tell me I can’t have that door? If we have five people on the board who are truly professionals – architects, designers, tastemakers – it would be easier for me to accept their ruling.”

Blake also wants a more cordial City Hall. 

“I grew up in the restaurant business,” said Blake. ”When you walk into City Hall I want them to treat you like the hostess would treat you if you walked into a restaurant, not like you are an invading army. I don’t want people disrespecting residents in the community.” 

Another issue for Blake is Laguna’s homeless population.

Blake, who has worked in the downtown since the 1990s, expressed his perspective at the kick-off.

“I don’t care what some socialite is telling me about what is happening,” said Blake. “I don’t care what a homeless advocate is telling me, I don’t care what someone who is recording stats for the police department is telling me. I can tell you what is happening: we have a crime-ridden downtown.”

Blake said he wants to rid downtown of unpublicized low-level crimes. 

As for tourists: Blake doesn’t think candidates devoted to “resident-serving” businesses understand how Laguna has changed.

“This isn’t a coastal community,” Blake said. “This is a tourist community. Six point eight million visitors come here. But I am not pro-tourist.

“They make me really ill for about two months of the year. But I have been here since the ‘80s and they’ve been here. I have talked to people who have been here for two generations and [tourists] have been here.”

Blake won’t promise to get rid of the tourists, because he doesn’t think it is possible. However, he would like an upgrade of tourists he claims come to Laguna and don’t spend any money and leave town with their coolers.

He would also like an upgrade in downtown businesses that would attract locals. 

“I agree with a lot of the things [Peter] says about Laguna,” said local Mary Williams. “I think we need new blood on the City Council, and I am happy to see he is running.”

Blake said that the audience also included a couple of candidates whom he believes have gone out of their way to tell it like it is. 

Council candidate Lorene Laguna said the city needs a change in leadership, which is doable with three seats open if the candidates at the Blake kick-off support each other. 

“We need to have three council votes as the voice of God in Laguna Beach,” she said. “I am running on a ten commandments of Laguna Beach platform.

“I stand for term limits, and so does Peter. That is the only way we are going to get fresh new ideas in.”

Robin K. Hall, a resident of Laguna for 35 years, is also a Blake supporter.

“He is proactive and I think that he will bring issues to the table and look for solutions that work for all parties,” said Hall. 

For more information on Blake’s views, his website includes a two-hour podcast.

“There is no chance that you won’t be entertained on some level,” said Blake. “There is no chance that you won’t find something that you totally hate me over, but there is a good possibility you might actually like what you hear.

“I am also happy to write rebuttals to anyone who writes letters to the editor about me [that] I think are mean-spirited. 

“I promise I am going to do everything I said I was going to do. Voting for me is actually getting what you bought. You know exactly what is in your cart when you get to the register with me.”

Dana Fuchs to perform new album at Mozambique and Skyloft in October

World-class singer and songwriter Dana Fuchs will perform in Laguna Beach on October 19 at Mozambique and on October 21 at Skyloft. She will be performing in support of her latest album, Love Lives On. 

Dana Fuchs is a Jagger blues-jammer, Otis soul sister, juke joint Janis and Sexy Sadie all rolled into one passionate performer and compassionate singer. Dana is a prolific songwriter as well with an international following. 

Dana Fuchs to black

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Photo by Merry Cyr

Dana is a passionate performer and compassionate world-class singer and songwriter

You might recognize her unforgettable rasp which put her on the map when she performed in JANIS! Off-Broadway, then in the Julie Traymor classic “Across the Universe.” 

A New York transplant, Fuchs went to Memphis to record the robust 13-song album, adding to her rich musical and artistic history that has included six previous albums and starring roles as two wonder women – one real, one fictional – on the stage and screen. 

She received rave reviews for playing Janis Joplin in Love, Janis, an Off-Broadway musical tribute. She also played Sexy Sadie in the 2007 film Across the Universe, the overlooked gem that gave familiar Fab Four tunes a healthy injection while bringing to life classic Beatles characters.

The new record Love Lives On, the seventh since her 2003 debut, is all about as Fuchs will say, “Hope and redemption.” Love Lives On will be released on May 18 on Fuchs’ own new label called Get Along Records.

For more information on Dana’s tour, including dates and other locations, visit

Glennwood House will celebrate five wonderful years on Sept 29 at Seven 7 Seven

Glennwood House in Laguna Beach will be celebrating its 5-year anniversary on Sept 29 from 12 - 4 p.m. This fundraiser/party will be held at Seven 7 Seven (formerly Tivoli Too, next to the Sawdust Festival). All ages and community members are welcome.

The community is invited by Glennwood House to join in for an outdoor festival of fun. Two well-known local bands will be performing at the event, The Stick Shifts and Elu The Dust. There will also be face painting, a photo booth hosted by Desi DJ Productions, which will be set up in a 1970s VW van, a silent auction, food and beverage and local vendors to browse.

Glennwood House Residents

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Glennwood residents are an integral part of the Laguna Beach community

Glennwood House, which opened the summer of 2013, is a 42-room independent living facility serving special needs adults 18 through 59 years of age. With an amazing ocean view and walking distance to beach access, Glenwood is truly a magical place. The campus includes a full service dining hall, gym, organic garden, media room, art studio and game area for residents to enjoy.

Fundraising events at Glennwood support their program services and recreation programs and ensure that independent living is a fulfilling and life giving experience for all who live at there. 

Glennwood House Diana

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Resident Diana Neff enjoys the sun on the Glennwood patio

Tickets are $60 per person and $20 for children. For more information and tickets, visit or call Jill Epple at (949) 715-4863. 

Seven 7 Seven is located at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd.

Iseman packs the house at campaign fundraiser


A crowd estimated as high as 170 folks attended the kick-off of Councilwoman Toni Iseman’s sixth campaign for a seat on the City Council, held Saturday at the home of Betsy and Dr. Gary Jenkins. 

The decision to run was not an easy one. Although she loves serving on the council, Iseman doesn’t like campaigning. She vacillated almost to the deadline to file her nominating papers.

“I would change my mind almost every day,” Iseman said. “Gary would come up to me and be like you gotta run. I had a lot of people telling me I had to run and I was going, ‘Well, that’s easy for you to say!’ 

“What brought me to this decision is that our town is at a tipping point. The next four years are going to be so important. Where will we be in four years if we don’t have a knowledgeable, experienced council, people who hit the ground running, and know where the bodies are buried?

“We need seasoned, responsible, ferocious people who aren’t afraid to ask the tough questions: who aren’t afraid to say no, to look for compromise, [or] at what is ahead of us.”

Iseman advised voters to listen carefully in the next eight weeks to what candidates are saying and consider the source.

“Never in the history of Laguna Beach has the town been so toxic,” Iseman said. “It isn’t a big group, but it is a vocal group that is very toxic and they’ve got a lot of money.”

Be wary of angry people and what could happen if they run the town, she said. She also warned voters to be aware of ill-informed candidates. 

“You will hear a lot of people who don’t know what they’re talking about,” Iseman said. “It is one thing for them to not know what they’re talking about, but it is another thing if they get elected. That’s a big concern.”

She defended the design review board that has been trashed by other candidates. 

“If we didn’t have Design Review, I can’t even imagine what would happen in our neighborhoods,” Iseman said. 

She also cited what she considers unwarranted criticism of Friendship Shelter Executive Director Dawn Price and the shelter. 

“We are so lucky that we have that kind of leadership there,” Iseman said. “Know this: They are not responsible for our homeless population. There is homelessness all over this country. But what they have done so successfully is find homes for over 100 of our homeless people.” 

Iseman said the city treats the homeless with dignity, which isn’t always easy with people who are mentally ill or addicted.

“We’ve got some people that really think our town is broken,” said Iseman. “They do not see what so many of us see and that is how lucky we are that those who came before us did what they did.”

Those accomplishments included the successful fight to limit building heights, acquisition of open space and restoration of the ocean.

‘We are so lucky to have a real downtown,” said Iseman. “We didn’t have much to do with it, but we are so lucky to have the most glorious beaches anywhere in the world. 

“On top of that, we have, I think, probably the best police department and the best fire department. That doesn’t happen by accident, that takes a real persistence in finding the best people and hiring the best people.”

Iseman opined that some exciting things are coming down the pike, naming the renovation of the Hotel Laguna and the future of movie theater on South Coast Highway. 

“This town is filled with wonderful people that I would have never known if I had not been on the council,” Iseman said. “And a lot of you are here today and I want to thank each one of you for being here.”

 City Councilman Bob Whalen urged the guests at the kick-off to work hard for Iseman’s re-election. 

“Toni and I don’t agree on all issues but we have mutual respect and work well together,” said Whalen. “The fact that we don’t agree on everything is good. The best council is where a range of views are represented before a decision is made. 

“Toni’s presence on the council means that the history, character, and core values of Laguna are always well represented. Let’s make sure that Toni’s voice continues to be heard on the council for another term.”

State Assembly candidate Cottie Petrie-Norris, who counts herself as one of Iseman’s supporters, thanked Iseman for her contributions to Laguna in the past and for what she will do in the future.

US Congressional candidate Harley Rouda also endorsed Iseman. 

“Toni has given her life to dedicated service to pushing our country forward, our community forward, and doing the right thing,” Rouda said. “I am thrilled to support Toni, endorse Toni, and do anything I can do make sure she [continues as a Councilmember] of Laguna Beach.”

Social Compassion in Legislation featured during campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics

Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a California-based animal protection advocacy organization led by City Council candidate Judie Mancuso, is a featured partner of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics during its North America-wide campaign to end animal testing for cosmetics. As a recipient of Lush’s Charity Pot program in 2018, lids of the Hand and Body Lotion feature SCIL throughout North America beginning Sept 10 through the end of the month.

This year, SCIL co-sponsored SB 1249, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act, which was authored by state Senator Cathleen Galgiani, and recently passed the legislature with bipartisan support. Once enacted, the law will ban the sale of cosmetics sold in California, which were tested on animals by the manufacturer or any of its suppliers after 2020. The bill is now on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk awaiting his signature.

Social Compassion in jar

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Submitted photo

Lids of Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics’ Hand and Body Lotion feature SCIL

“We knew that making California the first cruelty-free state in the country was not going to be easy,” said Mancuso. “Opponents fought to maintain the status quo. But our coalition didn’t back down and we were able to get the strongest cosmetic animal-testing bill anywhere in the United States through the legislature and get the opposition on our side in the end.”

During the nine-month fight for SB 1249, several animal welfare groups worked alongside Social Compassion in Legislation, including co-sponsors of the bill, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, but Mancuso said the bill would not have passed without the corporate leadership of Lush Cosmetics. “Lush was there to show legislators that companies can thrive while being cruelty-free up and down their supply-chain,” says Mancuso.

Throughout the bill’s legislative journey, Lush spoke on behalf of SB 1249 in front of several legislative policy committees and lent its voice at press conferences. “At Lush, we wrote our company non-animal testing policy to exclude suppliers not just testing on animals for cosmetics purposes, but testing for any purpose,” said Hilary Pickles, Lush’s Charitable Giving Ambassador and Communication Developer. “We were happy to stand before state policy makers and ask that California pass SB 1249.”

Social Compassion in Legislation founder Judie Mancuso will be in Lush’s Newport Beach location at 249 Newport Center Dr. on Sunday, Sept 23 from 2 - 6 p.m.

Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit political advocacy organization that has been a vanguard voice sponsoring landmark legislation since its founding in 2007. SCIL’s vision is to instill greater compassion into society for the protection, rights, and welfare of all animals. 

To learn more, click here.

Mindfulness and Meditation for Adults classes start on Oct 9 at the Susi Q Community Center

Mindfulness and Meditation for Adults classes taught by Marion Jacobs will begin on Oct 9 at the Susi Q Community Center.

“I will be teaching an 8-week, one-hour class beginning Oct 9, on Mindfulness and Meditation for Adults. I’ll be including some fascinating information about mindfulness, including what the research shows, and how and why it works, Marion Jacobs said. “We’ll also do one or more meditations each session.” 

The class will experience a variety of interesting meditations and discussions, based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program. Jacobs said the power of meditation helps with focus, and the ability to stabilize and quiet the mind. The class is appropriate for both beginners and advanced students and will be held on Tuesdays, from noon to 1 p.m. Oct 9 to Dec 4, except on Nov 20. The cost is $60

Susi Q Community Center is at 380 Third Street. For more information or to register, call (949) 464-6645.

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