Newly restored Hortense Miller house and gardens ready for viewing at Open House on Sat, March 24

On Saturday, March 24, the Friends of Hortense Miller Garden will host an Open House at the newly restored mid-century home and wild gardens that occupy 2.5 acres high above Boat Canyon. The property was once owned by St. Louis native Hortense Miller, who called Laguna Beach home for more than 50 years, and was one of the town’s most colorful and feisty environmentalists. She gave her property to the City in 1976 to protect it from development. 

No reservations are necessary for the Open House, which will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and admission is free. There will be free art workshops for children age five and up. Sack lunches will be permitted. Due to some steep terrain, walking shoes are recommended. 

Submitted photo

Open House on March 24 to view restored house and garden

Continuous shuttle service will begin at 10 a.m. from the First Church of Christ Scientist parking lot located at 635 High Drive. The last shuttle will leave at 3:20 p.m.

“For more than two years, the Board, along with our dozens of volunteers, have been focused on repairing and restoring Hortense’s home and improving many of the areas along the garden’s various trails,” said Diane Lannon, the incoming president of the Friends of Hortense Miller Garden Board. 

Submitted photo

Hortense Miller mid-century home high above Boat Canyon

“Outgoing President Marsha Bode led her amazing team on this effort, and the results are just outstanding,” said Lannon. “Our focus will now shift towards building our membership and soliciting additional volunteer gardeners and docents. It takes a lot of people to maintain what Hortense, along with the help of a few friends, basically did by herself until she was 93.”

Currently, an annual membership is $30 and includes invitations to special events throughout the year such as sunset gatherings, the holiday event, and Hortense’s September birthday party. Docent tours of the house and garden are given throughout the year on Thurs and Sat from 9:45 a.m. to noon. The suggested donation is $10 per person. 

For more information, visitwww.hortensemillergarden.orgor call (949) 244-2010.

Non Toxic LB organization will participate in LBUSD meeting to raise awareness about toxic pesticides 

Non Toxic Laguna Beach, otherwise known as NTLB, a local grassroots organization with more than 200 members, has announced that they’ll be attending an upcoming Laguna Beach Unified School District meeting to voice their concerns about the use of any toxic pesticides on school grounds. 

Taking place April 17 during Earth Month, kids and adults together will approach LBUSD and express support for the continuing transition to safer, organic methods of landscaping. 

Public comment during open session at the meeting begins at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held at the LBUSD office located at 550 Blumont Street.

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that there is no safe level of pesticide exposure for children. Pesticides are toxic chemicals, poisons created to kill. They are dangerous for all living things, including adults and pregnant women, and are particularly dangerous to a child’s developing organ systems. Children are at a greater risk because they are developing very rapidly, and have special windows of vulnerability. The effects of exposure to these pesticides may have an impact on developing organs, on maturing systems and functions, and on the developmental process of growth.

There are proven, cost effective and safe options that are non-carcinogenic and non-endocrine disrupting. 

NTLB is partnering with Non Toxic Irvine which has worked with its school district and city council to avoid the use of toxic pesticides. The City of Irvine adopted an historic organics-first landscaping policy in Feb 2016. 

Non Toxic Laguna Beach was started by locals Christiane Engel and her five-year-old son, Austin. “Most parents do not want to expose children, teachers and school staff to harmful pesticides purely for cosmetic reasons (weed abatement),” said Christiane Engel. “We are here as a resource to help the school district make the full transition to a safe, organic option.”

Fundraiser for longtime Marine Room manager Denise Puglisi is this Sunday at 5 p.m.

Two days before Thanksgiving, Lagunan and former Marine Room manager Denise Puglisi was admitted to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with multiple cancer issues. 

At that time, her physicians developed a treatment plan, part of which was a gamma knife procedure on the spot on her brain, which it is hoped will have good results. She has also started chemo to treat spots on her lungs and is currently on her fourth treatment. 

Unfortunately, all of this has left Denise unable to work her normal load.

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Submitted photo

Denise Puglisi

Denise owns her own business as a personal assistant/concierge service as well as being a vintage collector and seller. 

Many Lagunans likely know her from her former position as manager of The Marine Room through the 90’s and 2000s. She assisted Kelly Boyd and the Marine Room Tavern for many years. 

“Denise’s upbeat ‘go get em’ personality has been loved and appreciated by many through the years,” says friend Kerry Walker-Collins. “She has helped countless others in her life. She is a rare type of person who always shows up for others in need no matter what.”

Denise is a sole provider without much family so friends are rallying around her and hoping the community will support her too by attending the event at the Sandpiper Lounge this Sunday, March 18 at 5 p.m. 

Friends the Missiles of October, Bob Hawkins, and Jason Feddy are playing at the event. There will be a door donation of $20 going directly to Denise Healing Fund. Raffle prizes with raffle ticket sales will also be happening night of event.

If you cannot attend please consider making a donation of any size, through Venmo (@denise-puglisi) or at

Elvis will be in the building: LBHS’s production of All Shook Up promises to get you rockin’ to the music

Laguna Beach High School Drama and Park Avenue Players invite you on a trip back in time to 1955, where the story is all-new and the hits are all Elvis in All Shook Up. The production opens Friday, March 16 at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre. 

The musical will be presented on March 17, 23, and 24 at 7 p.m. and on March 18 and 25 at 2:30 p.m.

It’s not an earthquake you’ll be feeling around town soon, it’ll be the spirit of Elvis shaking things up at the Artists Theatre

All Shook Up features a guitar-playing young man who rides into a square little town in a square little state and changes everything and everyone he meets in this hip-swiveling, lip-curling musical fantasy that will have you jumpin’ out of your blue suede shoes with such classics as “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Jailhouse Rock”, and “Don’t Be Cruel.”

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Nicolas Besso (left) and Kelsey Bailey will take the stage in All Shook Up, opening tonight (Friday)

The cast, crew, and live band include more than 50 LBHS students in grades nine through 12, representing the drama, dance, chorus, and instrumental music programs.

Incorporating the visual arts department, the media arts students have designed original show artwork and laid out the program, while photography students will feature their 1950s themed photos of the cast members in the Artists Theatre lobby during the run of the show.  

All Shook Up is shaping up to be the biggest, most exciting production of the year

“The LBHS spring musical is typically our biggest and most exciting production of the year, and All Shook Up will be no exception,” said Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School Drama Teacher and Director, Alexis Karol. 

“After two years of princess musicals, we felt it was - indeed - time to shake things up. Featuring the music of Elvis Presley and inspired by Shakespearean comedies, including Twelfth Night, we expect All Shook Up will delight and entertain our school and community audiences,” she added. 

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Ian Winefordner (middle) and other students will present the “biggest, most exciting production of the year,” says Director Alexis Karol

Tickets are on sale now at Students pay $12, adults $17, with premium seats available for $22. 

All Shook Up may contain adult themed elements that are not suitable for some audiences, and so parental discretion is advised when purchasing tickets for younger audience members.

Doctor J to be honored by Laguna Beach Seniors


Laguna Beach Seniors will honor Dr. Korey Jorgensen with the 2018 Legacy Award on April 14 at The Ranch.

Jorgensen is being recognized for his decades-long contributions to the community. The Butler Family Foundation will be honored at the seniors’ annual Legacy Ball with the 2018 Cornerstone Award for its exceptional philanthropy on behalf of Laguna’s children and elders.

This is not the first award Jorgensen has received from a grateful community. Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Association named him 2010 Citizen of the Year with Dr. Tom Bent for his years of volunteer and professional service at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic.  

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Dr Korey Jorgensen at his home in Laguna

The clinic provides healthcare to those who would otherwise not receive it, a sure lure for Jorgensen, who began volunteering there in 1972 while still attached to the US Marines at the now defunct El Toro Marine Air Base. He continued to see patients at the clinic until November of 2014, according to a Stu News story written by Samantha Washer.

After leaving the Marines in 1973, Jorgensen practiced family medicine with a specialty in HIV while also volunteering working at LBCC. AIDs was still a death sentence in 1991 when Jorgensen gave up his private practice in Costa Mesa to start an HIV treatment program at THE LBCC.  

Under his leadership, the clinic qualified for money from the Ryan White Foundation, a program named for a 13-year old boy who was prevented from returning to school when diagnosed as HIV positive – contracted through a blood transfusion – and the clinic also benefited from a tax on cigarettes. 

Dr. Jorgensen, who, up until his retirement, was one of three doctors seeing patients at LBCC, also served as Clinic Director for several years.  

Back to volunteering at the clinic since his retirement, Jorgensen also chairs the Laguna Food Pantry and is a member of the city’s HIV Advisory Committee. 

He is also a captivated grandfather.

Tickets to the Legacy Ball are $250, partially tax-deductible. Reservations are required and only a few are still available. 

For more information about the event or to make reservations, call (949) 715-8102. 

Dennis’ Tidbits


March 16, 2018

There will be exactly 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark on St. Patrick’s Day

Even though the Spring Equinox occurs on March 21, the day with exactly twelve hours of sun will be on Saturday, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, with a sunrise at 7:04 a.m. and the sunset at 7:04 p.m. PDT. It’s the same deal with the Autumn Equinox with the actual twelve hours of sun on September 25 rather than Sept 21.

Due to recent rains the 2017-18 season will not go down in the record books as the driest ever, having surpassed the 3.41 mark from 2006-07. Our next hurdle is the second driest on record set in 1960-61 at 4.30. We are now at 4.03 as of March 14. Normal season total to date is 11.23. 

Last year on this date we were at 15.01. Time is running out for this season to even come close to the annual normal total of 13.95. April is the last month with any appreciable rain chances with an average of around 1.2, then the season really winds down with May averaging only about a quarter inch. April has been as wet as 6.02 inches back in April of 1965 and May had a record of 2.42 inches in 1977 but it’s highly unlikely we’ll reach those lofty goals, but as we all know by now, Ma Nature seems to always have a new surprise under Her sleeves.

The most rare event we call thundersnow has recently gained national attention with several reports out of Connecticut coming with the latest nor’easter to slam New England earlier this week. Although this event has been going on for probably eons, it was brought to national attention thanks to the antics of meteorologist Jim Cantore from the Weather Channel. He was on location for the first event a few years ago in Chicago. To say he was emotional is an understatement. The guy was jumping all over the place and was so excited the veins were showing in his neck. 

A couple of years later he was on location in New England when the phenomenon happened not once, not twice, but seven times! Infants were standing in front of the TV imitating his every move! It was a thing of beauty to watch him just lose it with childish enthusiasm. I want to meet this guy some day because that’s exactly how I act at the age of 70 whenever there’s a strong thunderstorm. My little universe is completely wrapped up in that moment. Now that event we call thundersnow is becoming the rage. They even came out with a new canned drink called Thundersnow! It’s a wonderful diversion for us as there’s so much BS going on in our world today it’s nothing but a healthy thing. Hats off to you Jim! We’ll never accuse you of being stoic! 

Have a great weekend, ALOHA!

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

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Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

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