Dennis’ Tidbits


June 20, 2017


Storms circle the globe, but aren’t stopping here anytime soon

Today is the beginning of yet another summer. It is the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. Not so much day length but the amount of sunshine, which is exactly 14 hours and 26 minutes. The sun rises tomorrow at 5:42 a.m. and sets at 8:08 p.m. 

The kids love summer because they’re out of school, like that song Alice Cooper sang in 1972: “School’s out for the summer…no more pencils, no more books, no more teacher’s dirty looks.”

Some people either hate summer or love summer. People don’t like the traffic, especially downtown, but that’s a small sacrifice for living in such a beautiful place. Personally, I love summer. The water’s warm, the sun’s out all day (if we don’t have gloom), and the tourists don’t bother me because they’re dropping a lot of money in our money bucket and it’s a beautiful place for them. So be nice to them, they’re not ocean savvy so bear with them. Some of them are really nice people. We’re just all God’s children, so tolerance is the key. We’re just loaning out our town for three months.

It’s also the season for south swells, from storms that are either off Mexico or in the Southern Hemisphere because it’s still winter down there. They have a storm trap in the Southern Hemisphere, much like ours in the Northern Hemisphere during the winter, and they travel eastward forming off of New Zealand and then making their way eastward. 

Some storms will live until they circle the whole world. First, they’ll form in the belt they call the “Roaring 40s” (that’s 40-something degrees south). And if the storms are robust enough they’ll take a tour of the whole world and end up in New Zealand a few weeks later. 

That’s how a place like Jeffreys Bay in South Africa gets some of best point breaks in the world. It’s a sight to see and real blessing to ride that place. When it’s on, you can get up to a mile long ride. Their winters are similar to ours, with water temperatures at about 58 degrees. They face to the southeast and the prevailing winds are from the northwest, which means a lot of the time the winds are straight off shore which enhances the waves, a lot like the Santa Ana winds do here.

If the storm holds it together, the next stop on its tour is the Southern Indian Ocean and Indonesia. When they travel a little bit more, that gives the whole Western Australian Coast their swell source, in places like Margaret River and Perth. Perth is the same latitude as we are except on the other side.

The storm, if it’s still together, will end up right back at New Zealand, having completed a 24,000-mile journey across four oceans.

Our other storm source is from storms in the Eastern Pacific off of Southern Mexico. The hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30, and that is our other source of surf although last summer we didn’t get one Baja swell because they all moved the wrong way and it was a small window. 

If we do have a really good summer, I hope you’re not working because last summer was a fraud.

Coastal Eddy, a gallery, presents “Ode to Mary” by Gifford Myers

Coastal Eddy a gallery is excited to present “Ode to Mary” by Gifford Myers. Since the early 70’s Gifford Myers’ work has included paintings, public art and sculpture with an emphasis in ceramics. 

This exhibition of work will reflect decades of Myers’ stylistic art, primarily ceramic, combined with other materials and a variety of techniques. The show title is a loving nod to a long time muse. 

Photo courtesy coastal eddy

Ragazzo Malinconico…Melancholy Boy (2001) by Gifford Myers

Since 1995 Myers has traveled to Italy to collaborate with friends. As an outsider he was able to see things “directly or obliquely, simply or convoluted, with humor and/or intellect…what sometimes appears comic may actually be tragic.” This is reflected in the piece “Ragazzo Malinconico…Melancholy Boy” (2001) where the clown image, an alter ego, is expressed with a fiberglass cast of the original “David” and found objects. 

Myers’ work can currently be found in museums across the globe and closer to home in LAM and LACMA. The show runs July 8 – September 3.  

The Artist’s Opening Reception is on Saturday, July 8, from 5-8 p.m. and is open to the public. 

The only ceramic art gallery in Laguna Beach, coastal eddy is located at 1417 S. Coast Hwy, in the HIP district of Laguna, 949.715.4113.

$60,000 raised by The Tahirih Justice Center Fundraiser will help women and girls fleeing violence

With a backyard filled with 50 guests including children, The Tahirih Justice Center Fundraiser at Suzy & Jeff Elghanayan’s home on Sun, June 11, raised just under $60,000. 

The words of the founder Layli Miller-Muro were spellbinding and transformational, according to those present. 

Layli is globally recognized for her work with girls/women who are victims of trafficking, sexual mutilation, abuse, or other violent actions. She has been nominated as Time’s most 100 influential people in our country due to her ardent work.

Layli explained to the guests what Tahirih is: an advocacy program that supports girls and women fleeing from violence across the globe as well as right here in the States.  

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Submitted photo

(l-r) Officer, Carey Eisenberg, Noushin Berjis, Suzy K Elghanayan, Eva LaRue, Jeff Elghanayan, Karen Pierce, Cathie Lawler, founder of the Tahirih Justice Center Layli Miller-Muro

While Tahirih served more than 2,000 clients and their family members in 2016, they still had to turn many away. This is what keeps them up at night and fuels their mission, Layli said.

To view a video of one of Tahirih’s heroes, go to a recent PBS Newshour story that highlights the Tahirih Justice Center’s work on forced marriage: PBS Newshour- Forced Marriage in the US.  

Go to for further information on how the organization (with the help of donations) works to educate people and eradicate injustice.

Girl Scouts of OC honor Laguna Beach girls and volunteers at Appreciation Luncheon

On Sunday, June 4, Girl Scouts of Orange County and its Board of Directors came together with more than 700 guests to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of Girl Scouts and the adult volunteers who support them at the Celebrate! Recognition luncheon at the Disneyland Hotel. 

The following Laguna Beach residents, a husband and wife team, received a prestigious award during the event.

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2017 Good Guy Award Recipients: Lorrin Montag Sr., Andrew Knobloch, Cesar Carrasco, Doug Hill, and Steve Baker

Steve Baker was honored with the Good Guy Award, a special recognition designed to say ‘thank you’ to the terrific men who work “behind the scenes” to assist Girl Scouts without having an official title. 

Steve has worked behind the scenes for over 10 years supporting his wife, children, and their three Girl Scout troops. He’s constructed Food Fair booths, carted truckloads of cookies during the Cookie Sale, and shared his computer expertise. He even marched in the local Laguna Beach Patriot’s Day parade proudly wearing a cookie box costume.

Jennifer Baker received the Appreciation Pin, a national award that recognizes volunteers who have delivered outstanding service to Girl Scouts. Jennifer leads two troops and also supports event planning for the Laguna Beach Service Unit. Her innovative ideas created the Girl Scout Mother/Daughter Tea and Girl Scout Caroling on the Trolley. 

Jennifer is an advocate for Girl Scouts’ Highest Awards programs and arranges to have older girls demonstrate their Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award projects to the younger girls at community events.  

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Submitted photo

2017 Appreciation Pin Recipients: Lorena Montes, Brigitte Lindstrom, Addy Lerner, Lisa Craig, Sue Baldwin-Laird, Chris Evans, Jennifer Baker.

Reflecting on the award recipients, Girl Scouts of Orange County CEO Nancy Nygren shared her gratitude. “I am very proud to take part in this celebration, honoring some of the hardest working, most dedicated volunteers any organization could have. Together, we are educating our communities about the importance and relevancy of the Girl Scout Leadership Development Experience while changing thousands of girls’ lives for the better.”

To volunteer, reconnect, donate, or join, visit

Kate Buckley, Laguna’s first Poet Laureate, launches Poet Laureate’s Showcase at the Library

Kate Buckley, Laguna Beach’s inaugural poet laureate, is launching a Poet Laureate’s Showcase series of readings, aimed at bringing nationally known poets to Laguna Beach. 

She’s kicking off the series with two events featuring such literary luminaries as Christopher Merrill, Kathryn Nuernberger, and Noah Blaustein. 

The first event, featuring readings by Blaustein, Buckley, and Merrill, followed by a Q&A, will be held this Wednesday evening, June 21, at the Laguna Beach Public Library, 363 Glenneyre Street. The reading will be held from 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 

Christopher Merrill has published six collections of poetry, including Brilliant Water, and Watch Fire, for which he received the Lavan Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets; translations of Aleš Debeljak’s Anxious Moments and The City and the Child; as well as several edited volumes. 

His journalism appears in many publications, and his awards include a knighthood in arts and letters from the French government. He directs the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa. In April 2012 President Obama appointed Merrill to the National Council on the Humanities.

Noah Blaustein has published poems in many literary magazines, from Zyzzyva and the Harvard Review to Art/Life. Interviews with him have been featured at The Georgia Review, The Los Angeles Times, and National Public Radio. 

The anthology he edited, “Motion: American Sports Poems,” was pick of the year by the editors of National Public Radio, The Boston Globe, The New Orleans Picayune, and the Librarians of The New York Public Library. His second collection, After Party, will be published Fall 2018 by The University of New Mexico Press.

Kate Buckley holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University and is the author of A Wild Region (Moon Tide Press), named a Midwest Book Review Selection, and Follow Me Down (Tebot Bach). 

A four-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Kate’s awards include a Gabehart Prize and the North American Review’s James Hearst Poetry Prize. Her short story, “The Gods of Flight,” was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. Kate is currently serving as the Poet Laureate of Laguna Beach.

To receive information on upcoming events, visit

Laguna Food Pantry will benefit big-time from Locals’ Day at Another Kind Café this Thursday June 22

 On the cusp of festival season in Laguna Beach, the owners of Another Kind Café have announced they will hold “Locals’ Day” to benefit the Laguna Food Pantry. The popular restaurant, which serves Vietnamese and Thai-inspired cuisine, will donate a generous 50 percent of the day’s sales to the Pantry, the volunteer-run nonprofit that provides free groceries to 300 low-income families a week.

Manager Thinh Nguyen said, “We and the Laguna Food Pantry are both in the business of feeding people, so it was a good fit for us. My wife Vy and I are very interested in helping and being part of the community that has supported us.”

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Submitted photo

Manager of Another Kind Café, Thinh Nguyen, and his wife Vy

Another Kind is located at 793 Laguna Canyon Rd at the entrance to the frontage road. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The contemporary eatery, which opened last fall, has indoor and outdoor dining areas with canyon views, ample parking, and takeout service.

Visit to view the menu or call 949-715-9688.

The Laguna Food Pantry provides free, nutritious groceries to anyone in need. Half of the families served include babies and children. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd, north of the dog park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m., Mon through Fri. New volunteers are always welcome. Phone: 949-497-7121


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