Will proposed Slice eatery be too much for Laguna to digest? New Forest Ave pizzeria is approved

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Folks who search out casual, family-friendly, sit-down eateries with reasonable prices will find what they are looking for Slice opens up on Forest Avenue. 

The Planning Commission approved on Wednesday the application by Lumberyard restaurant owners Cary and Suzanne Redfearn to open a pizzeria kitty-corner from City Hall. 

The historical building at 477 Forest was previously occupied by home goods retailer Stephen Frank and will be restored to its original character. 

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Historic building on Forest to become new pizzeria, Slice

“You couldn’t find better stewards for a historical property,” said resident Aaron Talerico.

He also read a letter from several young families in support of the Redfearns’ project. 

“About two months after the store closed, I was staring out the window and wondered if it could be converted to a food use,” said Cary Redfearn. “When my children were younger, there weren’t many choices in Laguna for a fast casual restaurant. We went out of town.”

Fast casual restaurant is intended to appeal to families

Redfearn said that fast casual restaurant customers place their order at a counter and the meal is served to them at their table.

“We will also offer the Slice of the Day – one vegetarian pie, 18 inches, different every day,” said Redfearn. “We are creating something different in Laguna.”

Salads and personalized pizza will be the only food items on the menu. Pizzas will cost $10, salads, $8. Beer and wine will be served.

“This will be a wonderful place for families with their little tribes to come in,” said Commissioner Anne Johnson, a long-time advocate of restaurants suitable for children.  

Prisma Romeo, wife of one of the owners of Romeo Cucina, opposed the application.

Plenty of Italian restaurants in Laguna already, Prisma Romeo says

“There are plenty of Italian restaurants in Laguna and 14 of them sell pizza,” she said. “There is not enough restaurant business to go around.”

However, planning staff stated that restaurants had not reached the saturated point, carefully monitored in the downtown.

“I had heard of concern by some restaurants,” said Redfearn. “I am disappointed. This is not an Italian restaurant. We are providing something unique and there is room for all of us.”

The building had been as C-rated due to extensive remodeling, but was unanimously upgraded by the Heritage Committee to E for Exceptional, contingent on the completion of proposed restoration.

Restoration includes removal of the mansard roof, added in 1969 to cover the irregular parapet, which is in more in character with Mediterranean/ Mission Revival- influenced architecture. New lighting fixtures will be installed.

Windows and doors on the Forest Avenue façade are original.


The call of my gall: or, why I am so happy about the new imaging equipment at Mission Laguna Beach

Story by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Except for a recurring case of tennis elbow (despite never playing the game) I was, a few years back at 59, a healthy individual. 

But one early morning, caught in the intertidal zone between sleep and wakefulness, I dreamed that I had swallowed a large conch shell. Then I woke up and the conch shell was still lodged in my upper abdominal area.

I don’t like to fuss. But I knew something was wrong. I’d had quite a few episodes of similar pain, though not as bad. I was driven to the ER at Mission Hospital Laguna.

During sweaty moments of agony while being admitted – which fortunately didn’t take long – I caught sight of myself in the mirror. My eyes had turned a delicate shade of lemon.  

“Gallstones, most likely,” the doctor said.

During the course of my life, I have spent quite a bit of time thinking about my various organs, being by nature somewhat of a hypochondriac. 

For one thing, my father died of cardiac arrest when he was only 39 years old, so I have long been attuned to every skip and beat, every twitch and hopscotch of my heart. 

Most organs, some moles and a few muscle aches have had their fifteen minutes during my decades-long scrutiny. 

But my gallbladder? No. Oh, I knew I had one. Where it resided, I had no idea. I had never, ever, ever worried about my gallbladder. 

No one talks about gallbladders. No one makes movies starring pale heroines abed, suffering biliary colic, gazing into the eyes of her beloved as she fades away. Bile is not romantic. Bile is vile.

Now I know that the gallbladder, a pear-shaped organ, is approximately three inches by two and is tucked into a space beneath the liver. It stores bile, which is used to break down fatty foods. 

Like an automated pet feeder, it sends out bile as needed.

Sometimes the bile duct becomes blocked with migrating gallstones.

Turns out the bile duct is extremely anti-immigration—think Minute Men, think Donald Trump—and in my case was reacting accordingly, creating a wall, sending boatloads of bile back, which had subsequently invaded my liver, inflaming the organ to a riotous red, and making a solid attempt to poison my pancreas.

I was admitted to the hospital. My nurses had Midsummer-Nights-Dream kinds of names, Blossom and Aricela. They fluttered around me.

She is a very sick woman, I heard someone say, and I felt a perverse pride. I am not a hypochondriac, not today, I thought. Today I am very sick.

Because of the uncertain diaspora of my migrant stones, I needed an MRI.

So I was loaded onto a gurney and driven in an ambulance to the main Mission Hospital. Pain meds helped, but there was discomfort, let’s say, en route. I’d rather have been happily abed with my new IV.

To say I enjoyed the MRI would be dishonest, but I liked that it was finding out what was causing me such pain.

Back on the gurney, back in the ambulance. The novelty of actually being in an ambulance wears off fast. Too much history has taken place in those vehicles to make them a pleasant ride. Better than a hearse – but, you know.

Fortunately the MRI had been able to pinpoint the exact location of the migrating gallstones, which made the subsequent surgery to flush the stones out much easier. 

My gallbladder was removed several weeks later. I haven’t missed it one bit since.

Polyp and pimple, bump and bend, stone and bone, we (me, myself and I) are all in this together, that I understand now. I cannot worry about the multitudes I contain.

But that level of comfort is only possible because of imaging machines, without which my life might not now be, well, my life (there’s more to tell, but I’ve bored you enough, and all is good now). 

And now I am now within mere miles of an MRI at the amazing Mission Hospital Laguna Beach, which enhances my comfort level even more. 

Hooray for Sue and Bill Gross for their compassion and foresight. And hooray for all the nurses and doctors who took care of me, too.


The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach announces

2017 annual fundraising events

The Boy & Girls Club annual fundraising events support the programs the club offers to their members year-round, and as usual, they have an exciting series of events scheduled to benefit various club locations. 

17th Annual Art of Giving Gala – “The Rat Pack is Back!” kicks off the series.  On Sat, May 13, attendees will have a swinging good time at the Montage Hotel. Guests will start off with an exclusive cocktail hour that includes tasty morsels, and signature cocktails. The evening continues with an elegant dinner and a rousing live auction, followed by dancing with some Rat Pack inspired tunes. 

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Guests enjoy art and cocktails at the Annual Art of Giving Gala

3rd Annual Night Under the Stars Gala follows on Sat, June 3. Proceeds of this event will help fund a building for the Boys & Girls Club’ Program of Lake Forest. The gala will be held at the Hyundai Capital Building in Irvine. Guests will enjoy the sunset view from the Rooftop Sky Garden while enjoying dinner and drinks, and participating in the silent auction. 

17th Annual Bob Margolis Golf Tournament takes the fundraising series into July with the theme of “Lucky 7’s.” Guests will join the annual golf scramble at the Aliso Viejo Country Club on Mon, July 17. The tournament will end with a fun cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, and their traditional Chopper Ball Drop. Proceeds of this event go to the Club’s Blue Bird Branch in Laguna. 

4th Annual Night at the Ranch at The Ranch in Laguna Beach brings in the fall season on Fri, Sept 22. Beginning an evening of celebration, guests will experience signature cocktails, followed by a farm-to-table dinner prepared by a master chef, exciting live and silent auction items, and live music. 

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Iconic Annual Girls Night Out fundraiser

The 9th Annual Girls Night Out ends the event season with the iconic Laguna Beach fundraiser at the spectacular Wilson family home. This event, said by many to be unforgettable, is exclusively for women. Three hundred of the most influential women of Laguna come together for this big event benefiting the Club. With fantastic food, drinks, breathtaking views, and an amazing silent and live auction; this event always sells out fast. 

The Club welcomes all community members to participate in its events this year, as proceeds continue to help the Club keep their doors open. Anyone interested in getting more involved with The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach by becoming an event sponsor or joining an events committee, contact Michelle Ray at (949) 494-2535 x7584, or e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .  

To learn more about their events and to get updates visit www.bgclagunabeach.org.


Put all your eggs in one basket of fun and be part of the 4th Annual Laguna Beach Tour de Coop

Urban homesteaders who have victory gardens, chicken coops and eco-systems in their backyards are being urged to participate in Laguna’s 4th Annual Tour de Coop. It will be held on Sunday, April 30, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The route is to be determined.

Tour homeowners on the route should expect a flow of visitors on a self-guided tour to view their accomplishments in urban homesteading. 

The tour is a fun way to spread the word about the potential of backyard edible gardens, egg production, and water re-use/grey water systems, and to encourage the community to adopt similar principles.

Each visitor will check in to a designated location prior to arriving to the home and sign a release form to ensure a friendly visit. 

Accessed by bike or car or on foot, Tour de Coop (TDC) is a community tour of local homes that offer homesteading and eco-systems within an urban environment.

The number of visitors varies from year to year and home-to-home as it is a self-guided tour. There can be anywhere from 20-100 visitors within the four-hour period.

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Visitors get a close-up look at urban homesteading and fancy chicken coops

In honor of Laguna Beach’s history in agriculture and farming, the TDC’s mission is to maintain that heritage and encourage community by educating and encouraging urban homesteading. 

This event is free of charge and put together by friends and neighbors of Laguna Beach. 

For more information or to be included in this year’s tour, email: Reem Khalil at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Meghan Rider at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


More than 60 events take place during Trophy Invite Track Meet: here are great photos and some history

Photos by Scott Brashier

Back in the mid 1930’s Orange County consisted of 12 high schools, 10 of which were lumped into the Orange League regardless of size. Red Guyer recognized this inequity and the lack of any high school competitions for the county’s smaller schools. 

Due to this inequity, Laguna Beach hosted the first “minor” division track meet in 1937, and thus began the annual Trophy meet held almost every year until 1983.  

During the 70’s, Laguna’s State Champion Eric Hulst attracted elite runners for special one, two, and three-mile races featuring Southern California’s top long distance runners. 

By the late 70’s the two-day meet annually attracted athletes from more than 60 schools.

The Trophy Invitational was resurrected in 2010 for schools of all sizes, and the LBHS track was named the Eric Hulst Track. 

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A great capture of the moment this long jumper hits the sand

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These girls are on track for success

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The results are still in the air at this moment in time


Mission Hospital Laguna Beach gets a new MRI

This week the new MRI was installed at the Sue and Bill Gross Emergency Department at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. This lifesaving technology was made possible through the Gross’ very generous $10 million gift to enhance emergency services.  

The MRI will be open for service in late April.

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Mission Hospital is thrilled to get latest MRI machine

The MRI is part of a comprehensive plan funded by the Grosses that includes new imaging technologies, expanded and enhanced facilities, and the provision of emergency support services to ensure sustainability for generations to come.  

The need for advanced imaging technology is critical in caring for emergency medicine patients. 

The Gross’ gift will fund imaging enhancements that will enrich patient comfort and convenience, promote optimal healing and augment the efficiency of treatment.

To learn more about the exceptional care and services at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach or to donate, visit www.mission4health.com or call (949) 499-1311.

 

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

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