Create a legacy for The Boys & Girls Club of LB

This is the time of year to talk to a financial advisor, CPA and estate planning attorney on how to lower yourtaxes for 2017. The Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach has estate planning and tax specialists that can assist in planning needs. 

Here are some ideas: Give tax free from a IRA up to $100,000 a year to the Boys & Girls Club, consider a Donor Advised Fund and donate Appreciated Stock to the Boys & Girls Club, or a charitable bequest (one of the easiest ways to leave a lasting impact on the Boys & Girls Club), or consider a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust or become a member of the Heritage Club. 

For more information, contact Andrea Randle at 949-715-7918.

Burst into song with Brooke Briggs at Sing-Along Storytime on June 27 at Laguna Beach Library

Back by popular demand, the Laguna Beach Library presents Sing-Along Storytime with Brooke Briggs on Tues, July 27, at 10:30 a.m. This musical sing-along is a 30-minute interactive story time with reading, singing, dancing, and musical instruments. 

Submitted photo

Sing along with Brooke Briggs at Sing-Along Storytime on June 27 at LBL

Miss Brooke fills the room, so it’s best not to be late. It’s a free family story time for kids of all ages. No preregistration is necessary. LBL is located at 363 Glenneyre St. For more information, call 949-497-1733.

LBUSD announces appointment of LBHS principal

On June 13, the Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education unanimously approved the appointment of Dr. Jason Allemann as principal of Laguna Beach High School effective July 1.  

Dr. Allemann has more than 10 years of experience as a high school principal, currently serving as principal of Dana Hills High School. He has also served as a principal, assistant principal, and counselor in the Anaheim Union High School District.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University in psychology, a master’s degree in social work from California State University, Long Beach, and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from the University of Southern California.  

Dr. Jason Allemann

“I am honored and excited to work at such an innovative school and district that has an amazing network of support from the greater school community. I am eager to get to know the staff and students that make Laguna Beach High School a premier organization work for and learn from,” said Dr. Allemann.

Dr. Allemann was determined to be a good match for the district based on student, parent and staff survey and input meeting feedback.  

“Dr. Allemann has demonstrated leadership in uniting students, parents, and the community for continued success in academics and the growth of a positive school family, and we are excited for him to bring those skills to Laguna Beach. The feedback I received from parents, students, and staff overwhelmingly focused on a principal who is visible on campus, focuses on continuous improvement and expanding educational opportunities for students, and has experience working in high performing schools. I am excited to have Dr. Allemann join the Laguna Beach team,” said Dr. Jason Viloria, Superintendent of Schools. 

Dr. Allemann has demonstrated success in moving concepts from ideas to reality and working collaboratively with stakeholders. Under his leadership, Dana Hills High School expanded opportunities for students in career technical education industry pathways connected to the local community.  

He has experience working with students with diverse needs, including English Language Learners and special education, and has the knowledge, understanding and desire to support the success of all students.

Have fun with the LBPD at Ruby’s on July 15: They’ll work for tips of a different kind, all for a great cause


Laguna Beach police love to serve the public and they love to get tips – but usually they want the types of tips that help them catch the bad guys.

But that isn’t the kind of serving they’ll be doing or the sorts of tips they’ll be looking for on Saturday July 15 at Ruby’s Diner…on that day, officers will be serving hungry customers and hoping to get donations for the Special Olympics as tips in return for their good work.

Tip-A-Cop should present an arresting sight

It’s hoped that many residents will turn out during the five hours, from noon to five p.m., where they can be served and protected at Ruby’s Diner in a very personal way. 

The Tip-a-Cop event should present an arresting sight, watching the cops nabbing dishes to take to the tables, checking dinner plates instead of license plates and writing up orders instead of tickets.

The officers’ generosity, giving of their time, and willingness to get their hands dirty in a different way from usual, is much to be admired.

Some are more confident about their waiting skills than others.

Emergency Management Coordinator Jordan Villwock tells Stu News Laguna, “I worked at BJ’s Pizza when I was younger so I know how to do the job. I’m looking forward to refreshing my serving skills and working alongside the Special Olympics athletes.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo courtesy LBPD

Beach Patrol Officer Aureliano Becerra does time in the mini-jail at a previous year’s event (and doesn’t seem to like it much…)

On a more serious note, Corporal Darrel Short is excited about Tip-a-Cop because, he says, “I like being able to serve the public in a different way than law enforcement normally does and the Special Olympics is a noble cause.”

The event is doubly meaningful for Detective Jordan Mirakian. “As an athlete and police officer, I enjoy the opportunity to work alongside other athletes. The Special Olympics is an amazing non-profit that encourages teamwork and confidence,” he says.

The LBPD, along with the international law enforcement community, has a longstanding relationship with the Special Olympics. 

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Detective Sergeant Jim Cota is good at serving the public in every way

During this event, customers are encouraged to “tip the cop” for their service in the form of a tax- deductible donation, 100 percent of which goes to the Special Olympics program. This is in addition to the customary tip left for the restaurant’s server for their service.  

While supporting a great cause, the community can enjoy great food, and interact with some of Laguna Beach’s ‘Finest’ and Special Olympics athletes. 

Fun for kids, too: what kid doesn’t want to see a police car up close?

The Police Department will have static displays with a police car, motorcycle, police K-9 unit and a mini jail. There will also be a fingerprinting station, face painting, and a balloon artist. 

Special Olympics relies on fundraisers for the many services it provides to our Special Olympics athletes. Events are held annually in more than 170 countries for people with intellectual disabilities. More than 3.1 million athletes of all ages are involved in these Special Olympics programs. 

The LBPD is proud to be able to play a small part in providing opportunities for the athletes to train, compete, have fun, and become productive and respected members of society. 

The Tip-a-Cop fundraiser will take place on Sat, July 15, from noon to 5 p.m., at Ruby’s Diner located at 30622 Pacific Coast Hwy. 

For further information, contact: Lieutenant Joe Torres at (949) 497-0330 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Funds are needed to help the man who helps protects our homes


Residents may not recognize Agotilio Moreno’s name but they know him by sight--- traversing the hillsides of Laguna with goats.

Moreno, whose home and family are in Peru, has spent two decades helping Laguna prevent wildfires, now he needs help. 

“His wife, Alejandrina, has breast cancer and he can’t afford to leave his job to go home and care for her, said Kim Duensing. “He has been herding goats in Laguna for 20 years, seven days a week, even Christmas – I know because he spends the holidays with us. His visa is set up so he can only go home every three years to visit his family. He pays income taxes, but isn’t eligible for Social Security. 

“If he makes it home to his tiny Incan mountain village, he and his wife must travel 14 hours by bus to reach the hospital in Lima for her treatment and then they must stay at a hotel.” 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jeff Rovner

The goatherd with one of the kids in the herd

Efforts to bring his wife to the United States were dropped because of the expense of the medical care here and the Morenos have no health insurance. 

Duensing is among the folks trying to raise money so Morena can go home to care for his wife, help pay for her health care and expenses for his twin daughters’ last two years in college while he is not working.

“Agotilio told us about his wife’s illness about a year ago, but we didn’t understand the severity until another family – Paul and Laura Storke – called us and advised that it was worse than we realized,” said Duensing. 

Her husband, Dr. Rob Duensing, called the hospital in Lima, Peru to check on Alejandrina’s medical record. 

“That was when we found out how bad it was,” said Duensing. 

The Storkes and the Duensings decided they had to do something to help Moreno get home. 

“First we contacted Fire Prevention Officer Ray Lardie, Moreno’s supervisor,” Duensing said. “Agotilio was afraid he wouldn’t get his job back if he left to care for his wife. 

“Ray said it wouldn’t be a problem so we put the story out on so people could donate online to Laguna gives back #Agotilio.”

The Duensings also set up a bank account for the online or direct donations to Moreno.

It is a labor of love.

Duensing first met Moreno when she and her husband bought the old church in Bluebird Canyon and converted it to a private home. 

“Agotilio had parked his trailer on the back parking lot for years and I told him he could stay,” said Duensing. “We have just loved every minute spent with him.

“Independently of us, Ulla Hengstebeck walked the entire Skyline Drive to distribute flyers on his behalf.”

Duensing plans to attend the council meeting on Tuesday to make residents aware of Moreno’s plight. The parents whose children attended the Community Learning Center will be at the Farmers Market on Saturday to sell lemonade and tell Moreno’s story.

A Note from Shaena

On June 20, Stu would have been 75 years old. He wasn’t here to celebrate his birthday in person, but he would have loved the gift of the wonderful film that has now memorialized his Celebration of Life forever (see below or visit Thank you so much to Sparkle Films, who produced the film, and to all those who participated in the Celebration last Saturday, in person or in spirit.

The film, which was beautifully edited and produced by Cory Love Sparkhul, with cinematography by Sparkle Films, features speeches by Brandon Leahy, myself, Chris Keller, Bob Whalen, Sharbie Higuchi, Toni Iseman, Pastor Don Sciortino, and Mark Christy, as well as the photography of Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier. 

(Cory says to make sure to watch the film in HD. I agree. The cinematography is awesome!)

I wanted once again to thank Laguna Beach Little League for their amazing contributions to the day, staffing the Snack Bar, creating the beautiful centerpieces, and chalking up the field in such creative ways. 

Thank you also for the many, many tributes to Stu that we’ve received here at Stu News, and thank you for the confidence you have shown in the Stu team’s ability to continue his tradition. We aim to do him proud!


Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

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

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

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

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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