Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Behold, the Viking. It seems this classic Jorg Dubin sculpture is well loved by our keen readers.

The first correct response of “Where is It?” came from Mark Porterfield, who had the distinct insider’s advantage of living there! Further Stu News readers with their sharp eyes out included William Kail, Bradley Bright, John Walker, Julie Hall-Harkey, Diane Chesley, Hugh Fast, Jeff Meberg, Don Mason, Ina Inouye, Gail McClain, Dennis Piszkiewicz, Tim O’Neil, and Coby Laird. 

Viking lives on Coast Hwy at Bluebird, in front of The Shoals. We love it!

Maggi will have another mystery coming up on Friday. 

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Viking, located on Coast Hwy and Bluebird Canyon Dr. 


Outta the bubble – travels within a few hours of Laguna

Time to blast off: it’s the JPL edition

Story and photos by MAGGI HENRIKSON

Sometimes there’s an itch to get really far out of the bubble. As in, far out, spaceman. For that very special opportunity, outer space is easily accessible in less than two hours, via NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

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The Jet Propulsion Laboratory welcomes you to their universe

I joined a group tour led by Laguna’s master tour guide, Bill Hoffman of Hoffy Tours (www.hoffytours.com). I, along with a bunch of freaky space nerds, couldn’t wait to glimpse into that bastion of super science that researches and designs the crazy vessels that dare to go where no man has gone before.

In case JPL is unknown to you for some unearthly reason, here are a few of the life changing accomplishments they can be credited with: they invented digital image processing (developed for Mariner and Ranger missions in the 60s), oh, and 3-D computer animation (developed in the ‘70s to model the flight of spacecraft); then they went and figured out the Global Positioning System (GPS) which I’m sure I can no longer live without; they developed the tiny image sensor chips that are now commonly in use in our cell phone cameras and computers. 

Essentially, they put the fun in tech.

Getting your spaceship on

JPL is indeed accessible, albeit in a very careful way. Located at Caltech, in Pasadena, it’s an easy drive to get there, but like any quest for knowledge, you must first make preparations. Short of a Hoffy Tour, the JPL Public Services Office offers tours free of charge for groups and individuals. All tours are only on an advance reservation basis, and for obvious security reasons there’s no other way to walk around the campus on your own, oh no, no.

Tours must be reserved at east three weeks in advance. There’s a limit to the number allowed in, and many dates are booked way in advance – the tour quota fills up quickly – so plan accordingly. There are Public Group Tours (like the Hoffy Tours), Educational Group Tours (Thurston or LBHS could offer these in the future?), and Visitor Day Tours (for your average individuals). To books any of these, visit www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/tours/views

Here are the tour details for individuals and families of 10 people or fewer: tours are on Mondays and Wednesdays, alternating; tours generally start at 1 p.m. and last 2 - 2.5 hours; there’s walking involved; a finalized roster of attendees will need to be submitted online three weeks prior to the tour date; any guest not on the finalized roster will not be allowed entry; a government issued ID is required (for 18 and older).

What’s going on in the lab

I was lucky enough to watch the Caltech and JPL engineers working on their latest project, the great Mars soon-to-be-lander, InSight.

InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport), aims to listen to the deep interior of Mars, potentially offering clues about the planet’s seismic activity. On May 5, InSight was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base and it will reach Mars in late November, landing on the 26th.

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 Mission Control, where engineers monitor and communicate live with spacecraft

According to the JPL website, InSight is “designed to give the Red Planet its first thorough checkup since it formed 4.5 billion years ago. It is the first outer space explorer to study in-depth the ‘inner space’ of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core.”

Of course, NASA made a fabulous YouTube video of the InSight launch, which you can see here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=mo6HnBZ7N-Q&feature=youtu.be

November is going to be exciting, because of InSight’s approach and landing on Mars. Beginning June 4, tour dates for November will become available to request a reservation. (Strict rules – reservations begin at 9 a.m. and must be made online). Get yourself on this website on June 4 if you want a chance to tour JPL in November: www.jpl.nasa.gov/events/tours/views

Touring JPL

The tour of the best space facility in the world begins with a video/multimedia presentation, “Journey to the Planets and Beyond,” which provides an overview of the Laboratory’s activities and accomplishments. There are models of many of the JPL space exploring ships and satellites. Following that, there’s a walk through the Caltech campus to various JPL facilities including the Space Flight Operations Facility (it may be Pasadena, but you’ll hear, “Houston, we have a problem” ringing in your ears), and the Spacecraft Assembly Facility.

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Smart engineers and a dummy at work at JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility

It was amusing that in the huge Assembly Facility they have a dummy human in protective gear on the lab floor (which you see through thick glass from a gallery above). They put those fake engineers in place in case there’s no one working at the time, so you can get a sense of what they look like, all suited up. I was happy to see actual engineers working diligently on the Mars landing crafts. As the Matt Damon character in the movie Mars said, they were “science-ing the s*** out of it.”

The engineers are suited in fully sterilized gear so as to not bring one speck of human debris – and inherent bacteria – onto the construction of a ship about to insert itself into outer space and on to other worlds. Everything about the lab is carefully regulated to control contamination.

To infinity and beyond

A visit to NASA’s JPL is indeed another world. The sense of the possible is palpable as you observe really smart people doing complex and innovative work. It’s like one foot is on the earth and the other in some distant galaxy.

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A model of the Cassini space probe, which finished its two-decade long scientific mission in 2017 with a carefully controlled fall into Saturn’s atmosphere

Clearly, the JPL mission is to find information in space that can help us learn about our home on earth, and our relationship to the rest of our solar system. One side effect could be that we find other life out there in the cosmos.

Their chronicle statement reads, “missions of the future will…create instruments that can peer into the darkness among the stars in search of blue dots like our own world.”

If you’d like a peek into the cosmos, JPL is the lens through which to see it. You’ll maybe feel teensy weensy in the context of the universe, but you’ll expand your imagination beyond the moon and back.

This is a worthy getaway from Laguna – so close, yet light years away.


LAM announces Centennial Year exhibition Art Colony: LB Art Association, 1918-1935, on June 24

On Sunday, June 24, Laguna Art Museum (LAM) will open the exhibition Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935. The opening of the exhibition will be the premiere event in a year-long celebration marking the museum’s 100-year history and legacy. 

In the summer of 1918, a group of artists led by Anna Hills and Edgar Payne opened their first exhibition in a temporary pavilion and formed the Laguna Beach Art Association (LBAA). Ten years later, they led a successful effort to build a custom-designed and permanent gallery, which opened in 1929 and survives within the present museum building. The founding of the LBAA is the beginning of the story of Laguna Art Museum, and the story of Laguna Beach, the art colony. 

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Joseph Kleitsch, The Drug Store, c. 1925, oil on canvas

Art associations were a phenomenon of the late nineteenth-century, but no two were alike. The Laguna Beach Art Association was a pioneering organization whose inception helped determine the fortunes of the Laguna Beach art colony and its artists. It grew from a relatively small organization to one that included hundreds of members in and beyond LB. It was devoted to promoting art in So Calif, and it also traveled exhibitions to cities outside of California and championed arts education in schools. 

The LBAA charted its own course, and its development and struggles reflected artistic and economic issues that confronted other art colonies in the early twentieth century. Its members included Laguna Beach luminaries – those artists who exhibited nationally and internationally – as well as many whose reputations never extended far beyond the city. Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935 will be the first large-scale, critical study to focus exclusively on the art association’s growth and development, honoring the early artists who influenced the fabric of the developing community and surveying its evolution through the 1930s. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Art Museum

Art Colony: The Laguna Beach Art Association, 1918-1935 will include approximately 100 paintings, including many works by major artists that were seen in the original exhibitions of the Laguna Beach Art Association. The exhibition will be on view through January 13, 2019.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.

Hours areSunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; closed Wednesdays; closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

 General admission is $7; admission for students, seniors (60+), and active military is $5; admission is free for children under 12 and Museum members.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr, on the corner of PCH and Cliff Dr., 

(949) 494-8971.

For more information, go to www.lagunaartmuseum.org or call (949) 494-8971.


Fischinger exhibition will debut on May 31 at LAM

On May 31, Laguna Art Museum will open Oskar Fischinger: Paintings from the Permanent Collection. The special installation of the museum’s holdings in the work of this innovative German-born artist and filmmaker, who was based in Los Angeles from 1936 until his death in 1967, will be on view through June 17.

The German-born Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) was an abstract artist working in both painting and film. Based in Berlin from 1927, he was acclaimed for his technically innovative art films, in which he animated forms and colors and synchronized them with music. 

The addition of motion and sound brought new dimensions to the abstract art pioneered by Wassily Kandinsky and other avant-garde painters of the early twentieth century.

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Oskar Fischinger, Snow White – Red Circle, 1943, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches, Laguna Art Museum Collection, Gift of the Gregory Schwayder Rosenblum Trust

In 1936, his career in Germany curtailed by the rise of the Nazis, Fischinger moved to Hollywood and began working for the movie studios. He designed animations for Disney’s Fantasia (1940) but soon parted company with Disney over the creative constraints imposed on him. 

Although he managed to make some of his own films while in Hollywood, the last in 1947, he found no support at any of the studios for his experiments in “visual music.” In the last twenty years of his life he devoted himself to inventions – notably an instrument for creating light shows – and painting.

In his paintings Fischinger sought to match the dynamism of his animated films, with forms suggestive of planets, nebulae, radio waves, and energy moving in space, as well as lively brushwork and a variety of surface textures. Anyone familiar with his films tends to imagine them becoming animated. For all the obvious points of comparison between Fischinger and the great modern artists of Europe, from Kandinsky and the Russian Constructivists to Paul Klee and Joan Miró, his paintings remain very much his own, an original contribution to the history of art in Los Angeles.

Laguna Art Museum is the museum of California art. It collects, cares for, and exhibits works of art that were created by California artists or represent the life and history of the state. Through its permanent collection, its special loan exhibitions, its educational programs, and its library and archive, the museum enhances the public’s knowledge and appreciation of California art of all periods and styles, and encourages art-historical scholarship in this field. 

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive in Laguna Beach, on the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Cliff Drive.

Hours areSunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.; closed Wednesdays; closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.

General admission is $7; admission for students, seniors (60+), and active military is $5; admission is free for children under 12 and Museum members.

For more information, go to www.lagunaartmuseum.org or call (949) 494-8971.


Ocean Institute’s grand donor appreciation event

On Friday, May 4, Ocean Institute former board president Mel Chamber and his wife Linda hosted the Ocean Institute’s annual Donor Appreciation Event at their beautiful home in Dana Point. 

With the spectacular backdrop of Dana Point Harbor and view of the Ocean Institute, President and CEO Dan Pingaro excited more than 70 guests with information on new programs, upcoming events, and how their charitable investments are making a life-changing impact on tens of thousands of students throughout Orange County, including more than 10,000 students from Title I schools.

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Mel and Linda Chambers (far right) with guests at Ocean Institute’s grand donor appreciate event

In attendance was Dr. Chris Lowe of California State Long Beach’s world-renowned Shark Lab, who gave a teaser of his May 24 presentation as part of the Ocean Institute’s Distinguished Speaker Series presented by the Nicholas Endowment. Norma Edith Aguilar, of the Mexican Consulate in Santa Ana, presented the Ocean Institute with a certificate of recognition for its service to students in the Mexican community through the Adopt-A-Class program and the Ocean Institute’s Tall Ships Festival.


Rhythm Ride Studio of Laguna Beach hosts Charity Ride for Chelsea Rush on Saturday, May 19 

Rhythm Ride Studio of Laguna Beach is hosting a fundraising event to celebrate Chelsea Rush, and invites residents of Laguna Beach to participate in their Charity Ride on Saturday, May 19 from 12 - 1:30 p.m. The 90-minute indoor cycling event will be hosted by Rhythm Ride owner, Stephanie Chapel, and Chelsea. 

Chelsea will be cycling along with the group on a demo FES bike. To take part and ride in this event, each bike costs $100, and participants can either ride solo for the whole 90 minutes or form a team of three, where each rider takes part in a relay riding for 30 minutes each. Riders and teams can also be sponsored for taking part in the Charity Event.

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Chelsea doing physical therapy

Chelsea Rush is a 26-year-old mom with quadriplegia, who was paralyzed from the chest down in an ATV accident on February 29, 2016. All proceeds raised by the event will help fund a Functional Electrical Stimulation Bike (FES). The bike provides in home therapy to help Chelsea regain motion and stimulation. 

Rhythm Ride is supporting this cause as the Studio’s core values are rooted in being intentional, and Laguna Beach is a special community that helps and supports each other. 

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Chelsea and her baby

The Studio Rhythm Ride is an indoor cycling studio focused on riding to the rhythm and beat of the music. The rhythm brings the class together, allowing all skill levels to enjoy. Highly choreographed classed provide riders with an exceptional workout that is physically challenging and fun. 

Team/rider sponsorship teams and riders for this fundraiser can sponsored by family, friends, businesses for taking part in the event. To submit sponsorships, go to https://events.helphopelive.org/event/4661/signup. 

Rhythm Ride Studio is located at 1100 S Coast Hwy, #209A.

For more information about the event, contact Stephanie Chapel at (949) 677-9345 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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