Dennis’ Tidbits


May 15, 2018

Can’t wait to hear hurricane names for this season? Here they are…I can see the headlines already – “This Bud’s for you”

As you’re reading Tuesday’s edition of Stu News Laguna, the 2018 Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season is officially underway and lasts for the next six months when it expires on November 15. The Atlantic Season begins on June 1 and expires on November 30.

Here are the names given alphabetically for the 2018 Eastern Pacific season: Aletta, Bud, Carlotta, Daniel, Emilia, Fabio, Gilma, Hector, Ileana, John, Kristy, Lane, Miriam, Norman, Olivia, Paul, Rosa, Sergio, Tara, Vicente, Willa, Xavier, Yolanda, and finally, Zeke. Since the National hurricane Center began assigning names to tropical systems in 1950, the Eastern Pacific has never run out the entire alphabet. We got as far as Winnie in 1983 and Waldo in 1990 and Xina in 1985. Those three seasons by the way were all excellent south swell producers, particularly the mega El Nino summer of 1983.

The Atlantic Basin however was on steroids in 2005 when the entire alphabet was used and then National Hurricane Center had to resort to going six names deep in the Greek alphabet. Three major hurricanes’ names were forever retired that year – Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. Anytime a named tropical system makes landfall and causes major damage and casualties, that name is retired and given a new name for that particular letter of the alphabet.

Here on our side there have been only two tropical systems that directly affected us and that was way before we started naming these spinners. Through extensive research and today’s high technology it was discovered that a category 2 hurricane (winds of 96-110 mph) made landfall near San Diego way back in 1858 as a result of a major El Nino event. There was hardly anyone around back then so no big deal. Today it would have been catastrophic. On September 25, 1939, a high-end tropical storm made landfall near San Pedro with winds up to 70 mph, up to seven inches of rain and 20-25 foot storm surf that completely dismantled the pier at the northernmost end of Main Beach in just four hours. That pier, which extended past Bird Rock, was built way back in 1915 and had withstood many storms, but these monster waves marched in at such a severe south angle the waves just ate the pier up. That kind of swell angle was unprecedented, hence all that damage.

Last season we made it all the way up to Ramon but not even one trickle resulted as every system moved the wrong way. The enemy, La Nina, was running the show and that’s not a good thing. Summer 2017 was a fraud in general with a total of only four lackluster Southern Hemis occurring all season. In a normal year we’ll see at least a half dozen Baja swells. Our best Baja swell season by far was the 1972 season when our friend El Nino was running the show. That season we had surf from every tropical system making 1972 the best year ever by far. There was Ava, Beatriz, Celeste, Diane, Estelle, Fernanda, Gwen, Hyacinth, Inez, JoAnne, Katie, Miranda, Norma, and Odile. Back in 1972 they were still using ladies’ names but in the late 1970’s they went to boy, girl, boy, girl etc.

The five strongest Eastern Pacific hurricanes on record were Patricia in October of 2015 with sustained winds of 200 mph with gusts up to 228, and a central pressure of 894 millibars. Hurricane Linda in September of 1997 had sustained winds of 184 mph with gusts up to 225 with a central pressure of 899 millibars. Then there was Guillermo in August of 1997 with sustained winds of 175 mph with gusts of 192 and a central pressure of 902 millibars. Fourth place belongs to Kathleen in September of 1966 with sustained winds of 172 mph with gusts of 188 mph and a central pressure of 904 millibars. And finally Marie in August of 2014 with sustained winds of 162 mph with gusts up to 175 with a central pressure of 909 millibars. Hoping for a decent season this time around!


Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee selects Harley Rouda as its “Red to Blue” candidate

According to a press release from businessman and tech entrepreneur Harley Rouda’s campaign, “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is picking a horse in the race to unseat Rep. Dana Rohrabacher amid Democratic fears the party is in grave danger of being locked out of another crucial House battle in California...

“The committee on Friday added Harley Rouda to its “Red to Blue” program, elevating him over seven other Democrats on the ballot in Rohrabacher’s 48th Congressional District.”

Photo from website

Harley, wife Kaira, and their four kids

The Rouda campaign has also been endorsed by grassroots organization Indivisible 48, as well as The Sierra Club, labor unions and the California Federation of Labor and, according to the campaign, more members of Congress than all other candidates combined, including the entire Democratic Congressional delegation from Orange County. 

A recent survey by Tulchin Research showed GOP incumbent Dana Rohrabacher leading with 30 percent of the vote, with GOP challenger Scott Baugh capturing 13 percent of the vote and both Democratic candidates, Harley Rouda and Hans Keirstead, tied with the same percentage – 13 percent. 

The California Democratic Party has endorsed Hans Keirstead as their candidate of choice.

Countdown to Motown with the LagunaTunes Chorus takes place on June 10 at 4 p.m. 

On Sunday, June 10 at 4 p.m. at the Artists’ Theatre at the high school, LagunaTunes Chorus (Laguna’s own all-community, no-audition vocal group) celebrates Motown songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s with a free concert. Get ready for a high-energy flashback to the days when radio DJs brought us the top hits on radio countdown shows! The list includes classics made famous by Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, and groups like The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, and Gladys Knight and the Pips. 

Founded in 2003, LagunaTunes Chorus celebrates fifteen years with the return of one of its founding directors, Roxanna Ward, in a special guest appearance. Ward, a popular local musician, teacher, and entertainer, is also well known for her sellout cabaret and comedy appearances. 

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Hear the music of The Four Tops and so many more Motown singers

LagunaTunes Director Bob Gunn also directs the St. Mary’s choir and MenAlive (Orange County’s Gay Men’s Chorus). His MenAlive concerts have brought audiences to their feet all over southern California, across the USA, and in Europe. 

New members are encouraged to join LagunaTunes…without fearing an audition. It’s a friendly and inclusive group, and singers of all training and experience levels are welcome. Some members read music, some do not; age levels cover a broad range, and all are united by a love of music. Emphasis is on fun, learning, improving performance skills, and the joy of group singing. After a few weeks of rehearsal, new members are typically surprised at how well they can sing! 

The LagunaTunes Chorus also presents another concert in December, with rehearsals starting in September. Rehearsals are weekly, Monday nights (7 - 9 p.m.) at Thurston Middle School, 2100 Park Ave. Two or three Saturday practices are also held in preparation for the concert. 

LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone and presents two concerts per year. Funding is provided by the Festival of Arts Foundation and The Lodging Establishments and City of Laguna Beach. 

For more information, visit or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Community Clinic’s Cinco Fiesta is a Hit

Nearly 135 locals arrived at [seven-degrees] last Sunday to show their support for the Laguna Beach Community Clinic. They were welcomed by Dr. Jorge Rubal, the Clinic’s CEO and Medical Director, who announced that the event had been generously underwritten by board members Roya Cole and Mark Orgill, and that all funds raised would be dedicated to patient care. The event raised more than $130,000.

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Dr. Pamela Lawrence, Dr. Jorge Rubal, Dr. Lauren Rubal, Kristen Whalen, Bob Whalen

Guests enjoyed a lively evening that included dancing to music by The Heretics, fun with a selfie-booth, and a live auction that featured four packages offered by b.spoke custom menswear, two packages offered by Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as well as a rejuvenation package offered by Dr. Alexis Furze.

The centerpiece of the evening was the premiere of a new four-minute film on the Clinic featuring its history, staff interviews, and patient testimonials. 

“For those of you who just heard our story for the first time, I hope we’ve captured your heart. For the many of you who have been with us for years, I hope you’ve been moved to see how much we do thanks to your support,” stated Dr. Rubal after the film concluded.

George Heed, who has been serving on the Board of Directors for the past nine years, also served as the Honorary Event Chair, remarking, “I would like to express my deep appreciation to our family of supporters. The necessary and important services the Clinic provides could not be done without your generosity and commitment to a healthy Laguna Beach.”

City’s banner days are here again

The artists’ designed banners are now on display throughout the city. The 2018 selected banners by artists Al Esquerra, Kelly Hartigan Goldstein, Bill Atkins and Cydette Vikander can be viewed at Main Beach.

The banner program is sponsored by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

Visit Mexico without leaving Laguna: Attend AG Vision Gallery’s Grand Opening on May 18

This Friday, May 18, owner Adriana Guzman will host the Grand Opening of her store, AG Vision, with a ribbon cutting at 4:30 p.m. followed by a celebration between 5 and 9 p.m.


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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

AG Vision offers Mexican ambiance and authenticity

The AG Vision gallery emphasizes custom, handcrafted, distinctive and authentic items for all selections. All products are designed and manufactured in Mexico. The collections of Fausto Polanco and the artwork of Victor Amaya, the “coffee artist,” plus an array of work from yet-to-be-discovered artisans will be available. 

Come celebrate with live entertainment, refreshments, gallery specials and raffles for true piñatas. 

AG Vision is located at 572 S Coast Hwy. Visit for more information.

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