Immunization rates in LBUSD increased due to Senate Bill 277: but still below “herd immunity” threshold

Although immunization rates have increased in LBUSD since SB 277 went into effect in 2016, they remain below the threshold, as reported by the Grand Jury this week. SB 277 no longer allows parents to submit a personal belief exemption to a currently-required vaccine. 

The report indicates that the number of vaccinated students in LBUSD has increased since the 2013-2014 school year. However, the number of unvaccinated students in the district remains below the Center for Disease Control’s “herd immunity” threshold of 92 percent to 94 percent.

The percentage of immunized students in LBUSD is currently 86.5 percent, as compared to 71.1 percent in 2013-2014. “It’s important to note that our staff have developed systems and internal controls to make our families aware of the SB 277 requirements and enforce them as required by law. We have a large number of grandfathered personal exemptions, and we have no authority to require these students to vaccinate. As these students move through our system, the levels of personal exemptions will drop off and our rates will continue to improve,” said Dr. Jason Viloria, LBUSD superintendent of schools. 

Personal belief exemptions valid until student reaches seventh grade

Personal belief exemptions submitted before Jan 1, 2016, remain valid until a student reaches seventh grade. At that time, students with a valid personal belief exemption filed before 2016 must meet all age-appropriate immunization requirements for admission. Since this law was passed just last year, the district continues to have 241 students enrolled on personal belief exemptions that were submitted before January 1, 2016. 

Prior to the first day of school, conditional lists are made at each district school site. The lists include the name of the student, vaccinations not yet received and dates that missing doses are due. Each month, the list is evaluated by staff and parents are notified by telephone and email of upcoming due dates. The district allows 10 days past the due date before exclusion is enforced, as recommended by the authors of the California Immunization Handbook. Staff review student enrollment reports quarterly to ensure that new students have not been missed in the enrollment process

Certificate of Excellence is awarded for Laguna’s 2017 Investment Policy

City Treasurer, Laura Parisi, announced that the 2017 Investment Policy had received the Certification of Excellence Award by the National Association of Public Treasurers’ of the United States and Canada.  

According to Roger Wisecup, CPA, CPFA, ACPFIM, a team of reviewers from the Investment Policy Certification Committee reviewed the Laguna Beach Investment Policy and determined that it met the criteria set forth by the association and approved the issuance of the award.  

A plaque will be presented to the City at the association’s annual conference in July. The California Municipal Treasurers Association also certified the policy in 2014.

A Concert to Celebrate What Unites Us will feature Matt Venuti, Pam Wicks, and Doug Miller on May 20

On Sat, May 20, at 6:30 p.m. “A Concert to Celebrate What Unites Us” at Neighborhood Church presents Matt Venuti, Pam Wicks and Doug Miller for an evening of unusual instruments, special songwriting, piano, synthesizer and violin.  

Matt Venuti is a singer, songwriter, and world-renowned player of awe-inspiring new musical instruments called the Hang, Gubal, Gudu and Hang Gu, that originated in Switzerland, but are truly multicultural instruments. His latest album, The Rhythm of Life, debuted at #6 on the ZMR top 100 Radio chart and was nominated as one of the top vocal albums of 2016 by One World Music, Europe. 

Submitted photo

Matt Venuti performs at Neighborhood Church on May 20

Jill Lawson of the Huffington Post calls Matt “a Soul-stirring Maestro who invokes the essence of love into his music.” 

Music by Pam Wicks and Doug Miller will add to the spirit-filled, healing musical program of the evening. 

Reception with organic wine and snacks begins at 6:30 p m., with the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. 

To see a little snippet of Matt playing his special instruments, go to:

This fundraiser for the Music Ministry helps bring local musical talent to the Sunday Worship. Suggested donations are $10 to $20. 

Neighborhood Church is located at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, and works towards social justice. Free parking is off Glenneyre behind Ralphs Supermarket. To reserve tickets, call 949.494.8061.


Mission Hospital Laguna Beach May 22

Breaking the Stigma:
A Dialogue about Mental Health

St. Joseph Hoag Health is committed to providing solutions
to one of the most critical health issues we face: mental health. During Mental Health Awareness Month, they’re building awareness, eliminating stigma and starting meaningful conversations about mental illness, which affects one in four people
in the country at any given time. 

Guest speakers include Richard Afable, MD, President and CEO, St. Joseph Hoag Health; Tarek Salaway, chief executive, Mission Hospital; and actress and singer Shar Jackson. Representatives from the hospital’s community partners will be in attendance, 

including National Alliance on Mental Illness, Cigna and Alzheimer’s Orange County. 

St. Joseph Hoag Health said, “We believe health care means caring for the whole person — body, mind and spirit. Join us for refreshments May 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at 31872 Coast Highway, Laguna Beach in the basement auditorium.” 

RSVP to Lorie Stults, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or (949) 499-7221.

Ocean Institute offering Seafarer’s Odyssey summer program for children ages 9 to 10 in June

Registration is open for the Ocean Institute’s Seafarer’s Odyssey summer program for children ages 9 to 10.  Sailing, rowing, and the arts of the sailor – experience them all with fun, hands-on activities. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

The Captain and The Kids

The odyssey begins with exploration and discovery of human powered vessels as you learn to row a traditional longboat. From there travel on through the Golden Age of Sail aboard our schooner, Spirit of Dana Point, and continue through time, to tour our modern research vessel and explore the sea floor using ROVs and more. From the past to the present, join us as we embark on a maritime adventure through time that you will never forget!

The week-long program will be offered five times over the summer; the first begins June 19.  The cost is $360.  Register online or call (949) 496-2274 with questions.  To register online for Seafarer’s Odyssey or see other summer programs offered at the Institute, please visit

Doheny Blues Fest will host giant pre-party at Mozambique on Wednesday May 17


Just to ensure that everyone is primed for the 20th Annual Doheny Blues Festival in Dana Point on May 20and 21, the Festival has announced its first-ever Pre-Fest Party on Wednesday, May 17.

Taking place at Mozambique Steakhouse in Laguna Beach, this Pre-Fest Party is a full-on, one-night festival of some of the greatest incoming talent, right from the Doheny Blues Festival bill of play. 

International bands dropping into Mozambique

The party starts at 7 p.m. with three scheduled Doheny Blues Fest acts – the fantastic Kid Ramos with The Memphis Kings jumping in, and the famed Parisian Blues Artist Nico Duportal, whose performances have gained worldwide critical acclaim as both “incendiary” and “galvanizing.” (From a writer’s perspective, those are two terribly creative words!) 

These three bands regularly tour all over the world and play in front of massive audiences. 

But don’t expect it to end there. 

Rich Sherman, the president and founder of Doheny Blues Festival, has sent out a personal invite to every musician coming in that weekend, encouraging them to drop in for the Pre-Fest Party at Mozambique. 

Given that international greats such as Kenny Loggins, Daryl Hall and Justin Bieber are known to drop into Mozambique’s stage, I wouldn’t be surprised to see even more significant musicians join the fray on stage.

Festival love extending through Laguna Beach

Rich Sherman, the president and founder of Doheny Blues Festival, approached Ivan Spiers of Mozambique with the idea as “it was time to reach out to one of the largest venues in the area that’s proven such a strong supporter of live blues and jazz.” 

Their partnership is a fresh idea for two cities nestled right next to each other, and certainly moves in the direction of the truly great jazz festivals (New Orleans, Austin) where surrounding bars and restaurants show their support for these festival giants by hosting phenomenal jazz and blues music at their locations during the entire festival week. 

“I love blues and jazz,” says Spiers of Mozambique. “Since the day we opened, we’ve always had Blues Night on Wednesday night here, and now our Durban Room is booked three and four nights a week with great blues and jazz acts, and that’s proven so popular that we’re moving into late night acts there, too.

“It’s a real pleasure to partner with Rich and the Doheny Blues Festival, especially given the cause we’re supporting.”

Launching the Doheny Blues Foundation, too

The Pre-Fest Party isn’t just about getting some jive in your jump before Saturday’s gates open at Doheny. 

The Wednesday party primarily celebrates the launch of the Doheny Blues Foundation, a non-profit entity that will promote awareness about blues music, provide education about its history, culture and present-day relevance, and support musicians financially through a Musician Community Program. 

With a combination plan of membership programs, performances for youth, financial assistance for musicians during difficult periods, education for local youth, and scholarships for graduating seniors, the Doheny Blues Foundation looks to be starting out of the blocks with the same giant thinking and strategy that boosted the Festival to fast international fame.

Cover charge for the Pre-Fest Party is just $10, with those proceeds going to the Doheny Blues Foundation. So see? You’ll be the first supporter of this great Foundation!

The party starts at 7 p.m. 

My suggestion to you? Get in line early! Wednesday, May 17 will most definitely be one memorable night.


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

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Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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