Saturday was a special night at the Glennwood Gala, marking the seventh anniversary of escrow closing

Photos by Scott Brashier

Saturday night’s Glennwood Gala at The Ranch at Laguna Beach took place on a very special night: exactly seven years to the day that escrow closed on the property, which would ultimately become the beloved home of approximately 50 developmentally disabled adults.

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Good friends Grace and Claire had a wonderful time at the gala

“Dreams, visions, great ideas…none of that happens without true commitment,” said Master of Ceremonies Richard Henrikson. “And after that moment of commitment, we worked on design, construction, staffing, licensing, finding residents – after all that, four years ago we opened the door to Glennwood, moving all of them in over two back-to-back weekends.

“Remember that, what thrilling chaos that was?”

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Richard Henrikson gave an energetic keynote address and was MC

The sold-out crowd nodded and applauded at their tables under the stars at the beautiful setting. They’d enjoyed champagne and amazing hors d’oeuvres including spinach pastries, “the best ever deviled eggs” and Caprese. They’d wandered alongside tables containing incredible Silent Auction items ranging from original art by the residents of Glennwood to spectacular vacations to a painting created live by Tom Swimm.

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Tom Swimm painting “live at the Gala”

And now, during dinner, a delicious salad followed by roasted lemon chicken breast accompanied by spiced lentils, rainbow chard and chimmichurri sauce, they enjoyed hearing of the great strides that have been accomplished at Glennwood over the past few years. 

“Glennwood is at full occupancy with a waiting list, and we are fully staffed. Residents are out and about in the greater Laguna community, living their slogan ‘Lovin’ our life in Laguna,’” Henrikson told the audience “must be A-listers,” he said.

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Gift tree: funds are needed for improvements to the dining room

He cautioned, however, that there are still financial needs to be addressed, including renovations to the dining room to make it more versatile as a multipurpose room; renovations to the activities room including the art space; and the need to a private conference room for training and private meetings.

Henrikson also gave his thanks to sponsors Todd Hansen of the OC Foundation, Comerica Bank, Stu News Laguna, the Glennwood Board and “invaluable staff, Faith Manners, COO, who is our rock; Rachel Landers, associate director, and our indispensable senior staff, who keep Glennwood running smoothly.”

For more information about Glennwood House, visit

Scott Brashier captures the magic of the 54th Annual Brooks St. Surf Classic: check out his photo gallery

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Great shots of the action this last weekend


Gallery of Scott’s best shots, below:

Water district seeks to regain independence


The Laguna Beach County Water District is seeking a legal separation, if not a divorce from the city.

District General Manager Renae Hinchey’s proposal on Thursday to the Board of Directors to consider restoration of the district’s independence met with resistance from three members of the City Council, which serves as the board. In the face of the opposition, Hinchey proposed lessening the council’s duties to the approval of the annual budget and commission appointments.  

“You have a really full plate,” Hinchey said. “The commission focuses solely on water and has a lot of knowledge on what is going on.” 

The district became a subsidiary of the city in 2000 to avoid a shotgun wedding to another district, under a new state law on consolidation of small agencies, passed in 1997. For the previous 75 years, the district had functioned independently, governed by a board of directors.

“The sole purpose of the district becoming a city subsidiary was to protect it from a forced merger with another district and the subsequent loss of local control,” Hinchey reported. “But that threat no longer exists.”  

Following the agreement with the city, the district’s sitting board of directors was reconstituted as a commission that would continue to operate as previously, meeting every other week to review items on the agenda, according to Hinchey. The City Council was to serve as ex-officio board that meets quarterly. 

Are two governing bodies one too many?

The district now takes the position that two governing bodies are one too many.   

“What do you bring to the table that the commission doesn’t?” asked former Mayor and commission member Jane Egly.

Besides Egly, three other commission members attended the meeting: former Mayor Cheryl Kinsman, Design Review Board member Debbie Neev and Mark Lewis, all in favor of the proposed split.

In the proposal presented Thursday, Hinchey outlined justifications for the restoration of independence, beginning with redundancy and the adverse effects it has on the district.

Every agenda item presented to the board has already been vetted by a district committee and voted on by the commission, according to Hinchey. She attributes the delay of important capital improvement projects and the timely adoption of resolutions that require board approval to the time lapse between commission and board meetings. 

The duplication of effort to prepare almost identical agendas for both governing bodies also costs money, according to Hinchey.

“A financial analysis that I requested showed that the added layer of bureaucracy costs the district customers about $51,000 a year,” said Kinsman, a certified public accountant. 

Zur Schmiede adamantly opposed to “divorce” proposal

Councilman Rob Zur Schmiede, who voted against the proposal with Mayor Pro Tem Kelly Boyd and Councilman Bob Whalen, was adamantly opposed to Hinchey’s proposal.

“I don’t want to consider separation,” Zur Schmiede said. “Having the board at the top of the pyramid is valuable.”

Councilman Steven Dicterow disagreed. 

“The board doesn’t add anything,” said Dicterow. “It’s just an extra layer. We don’t spend the time or have the expertise the commission does. I think we should seriously consider a separation.”

Mayor Toni Iseman, who voted with Dicterow to consider the proposed independence, raised the issue of medical insurance for the board.

“Ken Frank (former City Manager) never let the council have it, but the board gets it,” said Iseman. “It has never felt right.”

Whalen wasn’t thrilled with Hinchey’s presentation, but declared the decision on separation might be better left to the community. 

The district has 8,700 connections to the community, from Crystal Cove to Nyes Place. South Laguna is served by the South County Water District.

Up until 1924, water was supplied to Laguna Beach residents and visitors by privately owned wells in Laguna Canyon. When the wells began to dry up, salt water intruded and the owners discontinued the service.

A group of men, identifying themselves as duck hunters on the lookout for a club location, found a source of water in Huntington Beach and put up their own money to pay the $4,000 deposit on the land. 

In 1925, two years before the city was incorporated, voters approved formation of the Laguna Beach County Water District, 359 to 0. A year later the voters approved a $600,000 bond, 437-0 to buy the “duck hunters” land, build a 13-mile pipeline and a new water system. 

The taps opened in 1927 and haven’t closed since.

Celebration of future Skipper Carrillo sculpture will now take place on Thursday Oct 12 (not 13)

Forest and Ocean Gallery artist Randy Morgan, along with Skipper fans, are proposing the creation of a bronze life-size sculpture monument of Skipper Carrillo, along with a plaque, telling the Skipper story and honoring his unique place in Laguna Beach High School history.

The “Have a home run day” monument will honor this inspirational character and consolidate his place in the community and Laguna lore. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Skipper Carrillo in his “dugout”

Funding for the monument will come from private donations.

Sculptor Randy Morgan says, «I’m honored to be the artist to create the life-sized bronze monument sculpture of our beloved Skipper entitled Have a Home Run Day to honor his life and legend and his place in Laguna lore as one of Laguna Beach’s most beloved characters. 

“The sculpture will be created in bronze classic old world style, chosen patina, and will capture the smiling Skipper, waving his arms and yelling his mantra...”Have a home run day” (how many times have we seen him do it!). A donor plaque, and a plaque telling Skipper’s life story, will also be placed at the site, fulfilling a promise made to Skipper and his family to create the monument.”

Forest & Ocean Gallery will host a fundraising party on Thursday, Oct 12 from 6 - 9 p.m. Skipper and his sister Alicia will be present. The intended location of the monument will be announced at the event.

There will be “thank you” gifts for all donations.

Contact Forest & Ocean Gallery for more details. The Gallery is located at

480 Ocean Ave. (949) 371-3313

Canyon 2 fire reminds us: Be prepared…Local Hazard Mitigation Plan Workshop scheduled Oct 18 at Susi Q 

The City of Laguna Beach has started preparation of a Local Hazard Mitigation Plan (LHMP), a five-year strategic plan to improve local resilience to hazard events, and 

would like input from the community. Residents are invited to attend a workshop at Susi Q, 380 Third St, the Hazard Profiles Open House on Wed, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.

Development of the plan, (the first such plan for LB), is being funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The plan is being prepared by public safety officials and City staff, with support from members of the Laguna Beach Emergency & Disaster Preparedness Committee, other affected agencies, and technical consultants. 

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Photo by Lexie LeFevre

Canyon 2 fire as seen from a residence on La Palma early afternoon yesterday

The LHMP will summarize the natural and human-caused hazards that pose a threat to the community, including drought, flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires. 

In addition to protecting Laguna Beach from current and future hazards, having an LHMP will allow LB to be eligible for grants from FEMA for additional hazard mitigation efforts. It will also make LB eligible to receive additional disaster relief funding from the State of CA, per CA Government Code Section 8685.9.

It will also incorporate regular feedback from key LB community members. The City plans to release a draft of the plan for public review in Jan of 2018, with final adoption planned for the summer of 2018, following approval from the California Office of Emergency Services and FEMA.

At League opening, Laguna Beach High School Surf Team wins big over Newport Harbor, 94-75

The Laguna Beach High School Surf Team came out of the gates firing against Newport Harbor High School for the league opener to win 94 to 75. Friday’s League event was held at 56th St in Newport, and the LBHS surfers led the way in several of the divisions. The surf had been flat for several weeks, causing a couple of the non-league events to be cancelled, but Friday, the event was able to get underway.

The conditions with the swell increase were tricky with a lot of close out waves, however, there were a number of memorable performances.

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Submitted photo

Travis and Tess Booth

The first heat of the day was a Boys Shortboard heat, and our boys came out energized, taking a clean sweep. Travis Booth found his way in and out of a thick backside barrel to take the win, while Kiko Nelsen and Jett North did great as well finishing in 2nd and 3rd. A few heats later, Sam Nelsen and Liam McCue were surfing very nicely and took 2nd and 3rd. 

Later Jake Levine and freshman Tyson Lockhart found barrels of their own and both secured wins. Meanwhile Nate Madigan surfed his way into a 2nd. Trey Lockhart and Jeremy Shutts finished in 4th.

The girls continued to look as strong as they did last year and were led once again by Kayla Coscino. She was unstoppable in both her Shortboard and Longboard heats, securing some excellent scores to take the wins. Meanwhile Kalohe Danbara took a 2ndin Shortboard, newcomer Kelly Smith took a 4th and Freshman Jade Howsen, competing in her first ever school Longboard heat, finished 4th.

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Submitted photo

l-r Kayla Coscino, Tess Booth, Jade Howsen and Claire Kelly

The Boys Bodyboard category saw Travis Booth do double duty and come up in 2nd, while Jameson Roller had some nice rides in Longboard and took 3rdand Freshman Zac Henderson took 4th. 

The coaches thank the families, friends and team mates who showed up to support the team.

The next LBHS surfing events will be on home turf at Thalia on Tues, Oct 10 against San Clemente and Thurs, Oct 12 against Newport once again.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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

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

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