Creature feature photo

Bob Cat on the prowl

Reader John Bohas lives near Moulton Meadows Park. He tells Stu News that he sees many interesting wild creatures passing by his home. 

Early a few mornings ago he spotted this hefty bobcat heading towards the canyon.

(Stu News loves to publish interesting reader photos, so please send them along for consideration for publication. Mostly we’re looking for quirky and unusual shots of Laguna creatures and features – though of course interesting photos of people, pets, sunsets and ocean photos are also good.

Send your pics to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with information including the what, where, when, who and how of the shot...Thank you!)

CAP presents a special juried – free – exhibit by Laguna Plein Air Painters Association artists

By M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi

“California, The Golden Stateˮ is a collaboration of Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) and Community Art Project (CAP). Water, rocks and cliffs of the California shoreline, rolling hills and towering trees of inland areas, and even some of the architecture to be found within the state borders, can be seen in this juried exhibit of 60 works by 27 Signature and Artist Members of LPAPA. 

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Submitted photo

“Santa Ysabel Preserve West” by Bradbury-Bennett  

While enjoying the exhibit, I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Bradbury-Bennett. (She pointed out that there was no relationship to either of the famous people that could be linked to her last name.) I had admired her piece “Santa Isabel Preserve West.” 

Working in shapes and colors, applying thin layers that contained rich color, the boulders in the field had a solid feel of strength and weight. The sunlight was strong yet not harsh; just a feeling of a very warm sunny day.

Bradbury-Bennett told me that she had been painting since her teens but had gone into electronics materials engineering when it became time to earn a living. Now being retired, she has been able to get back into her painting full time. “Like being in heaven,” is how she described it. She is a San Diego County resident and a member of the San Diego Plein Air Painters group. She has been the organizer for the last 5 years for this 10 year old group. Her work is mostly done on site, to be able to really feel what she is painting. Her enthusiasm and love of painting comes through when you talk to her.

Another piece that caught my eye was “Route 66” by Max Rendon, a 16” x 16” piece of sunshine. An old filling station done in brilliant yellow made bright from the sun and with a deep to light sky in a strong blue palette, the work of Maynard Dixon comes to my mind. It makes you want to spend time enjoying it.

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Submitted photo

“Point Lobos Grandeur” by Tom Swimm 

Talking with Kirsten Anderson, she revealed that she prefers to use mostly pure color on her palette, giving the works richness. Boats, sunshine, and coastal areas are her preferred subjects. She enjoys working on site doing her studies for larger pieces she may do later in studio. She can paint the same scene over and over and not have it come out the same. She always finds something different to focus on.

Painting in paint-outs is something she excels at. Anderson commented, “Painting is work, but enjoyable work. I enjoy the problem solving as I go along, finding myself more focused. I have won a number of awards at paint outs. At the end, my brain may be fried, but I have accomplished creating something.”

Awards were presented to the top three artists. First place went to Tom Swimm for “Point Lobos Grandeur”: the largest of the pieces at 48” x 60” which shows some of the beautiful coastal cliffs and arches in the Point Lobos coastal zone. Swimm has strong definition between his lights and shadows, yet there are also subtle changes going on that add depth and perspective to the scene. 

Second place went to Fernando Micheli for “Batequitos Lagoon Evening.” Coastal wetlands in the Carlsbad area, the scene has dramatic shadowing in the foreground that contrasts with the still brilliant sunlight in the distance. A quiet and calming scene to enjoy.

Third place was given to Kirsten Anderson for “Eucalyptus Glow”. Her style is rough and loose with direct and deliberate strokes. She allows some of the lower layers to show through giving the feel of a colorist’s style of working. There is a glow that seems to come from within the stand of majestic eucalyptus trees.

The public is invited to come enjoy and explore the beauty of California and see why it has the nickname The Golden State.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. Visit for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits or to join the e-mail list or to become a member and supporter of CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

The dog days of summer last year inspired a day with dogs – and now The Cliff introduces Yappy Hour  

Story and photos by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Laura Buckle, our food writer, just got the news that The Cliff is introducing “Yappy Hour,” Monday – Friday 3 – 6 p.m. Laura says they’ll offer four delicious puppy plates for guests’ four-legged friends as well as discounted Tito’s vodka cocktails.  (The Cliff Restaurant is located at 577 S Coast Highway.)

There’ll be yummy treats for the guest and the human’s best friend to enjoy along with The Cliff’s killer sunsets, Laura reports.

Which inspired us to run this article from last year, about hanging out with dogs in Laguna during the dog days of summer… 

The dog days of summer have arrived, and so it seemed like a good idea to spend a day with some dogs here in Laguna Beach, one of the most canine-friendly places in California.

So off Dianne, our senior writer, her miniature Australian shepherd Charley, and I headed to the Dog Park in the Canyon, a spacious area of more than two acres, with shaded benches and different areas for large and small dogs along with humans of all shapes and sizes.

While happy Charley, leash-free, chased a Frisbee, Dianne chatted to several dog-owners. “The truth is that people may not know owners’ names, but they always know the dogs’ names,” Dianne explained to me. 

(I am mostly a cat person though I’ve learned to love dogs because of dog-owning friends. The closest place I’ve seen to a cat park is the Blue Bell Senior Cat Sanctuary in the Canyon, where approximately 50 cats live in relative peace in the sprawling cottage.) 

The first dog park in Orange County

The dog park in the Canyon, founded in 1992, was the first of its kind in Orange County.Local residents including Jon Madison have donated trees, offering the necessary shade.

Knowing how dog-friendly, not to say dog-obsessed Madison is, Dianne, Charley and I headed next to Madison Square and Garden Café.

We sat in the dappled shade and enjoyed a cappuccino while Jon regaled us with tales of the furry kind. 

“If dogs had credit cards, I’d have the most profitable business in town,” he said, noting that on any given weekend, the Café will play host to several dozen dogs – and the way the tables are placed, you’d hardly notice, he said (and we agreed), because the dogs who patronize his quirky restaurant, with its fascinating garden décor, are generally well-behaved and well-groomed. They are not allowed to eat off plates.

Every day is a “good-dog” day at Madison Square and Garden Café: Here is Dianne with her dog Charley and owner Jon Madison

However, Madison is always ready with water and low-calorie tasty treats for his dog patrons. 

“My customers talk to each other about the different breeds and often they’ll share the kind of information that helps them choose a family dog because of certain characteristics,” he noted. 

He mentioned that he’d recently encountered a cross between a standard poodle and a Doberman, which, he says, had the dignity and looks of Louis XIV of France.

Dogs are one thing. But Madison has also played host to two cats on long leashes, a potbellied pig (which felt like touching a hairbrush, he said), several parrots, a bunny and a snake, the latter two fortunately not at the same time. 

Madison discouraged the snake owner from returning, because after all, as he says, “Who needs a boa constrictor in your face when you’re trying to eat?”

He encourages a cappella dog music, which is to say, dogs howling in unison for short periods of time to the applause of customers. Beagles are apparently the best breed for this kind of musical performance.

We left Jon to his customers and headed downtown to The Lumberyard, which, because of its lovely shaded patio and location next to the Naked Dog Bistro, has become a mecca for dogs and their owners.

Sharon Haron with Precious

Owner of The Lumberyard Cary Redfearn said that some customers order a plain chicken breast or hamburger for their dogs. 

Cary also told us that the most unusual breed he has seen at the restaurant is an Entlebrucher. 

I Googled Entlebrucher and “What do you call a cross between a poodle and a Doberman?” I learned that the latter is known as a Doodleman (!) Pinscher, and that an Entlebrucher looks like a smaller version of a Swiss Mountain dog.

After a great lunch of poke, we set off around three o’clock to The Cliff Restaurant. 

Off to The Cliff

As always, The Cliff astonishes with its gorgeous sweeping view of the ocean and Main Beach. What attracts most dog owners is a menu that is a pooch’s delight. 

[The Cliff was friendly to canines last year, when this article was first written – and now that it is offering Yappy Hours, it is even more friendly… Visit to learn more.]

Gluten-free, dairy-free snack treats are flavored individually with liver, carrots, and peanut butter, to mention a few.

Owner Sharon Haron’s chow mix, Precious, headlines the dog menu. Customers know now to call ahead for the best tables for pets and people.

Charley was in his element.

But doggone it, even the best of days come to an end. We left The Cliff and I returned home to a hungry cat, Boris, whose menu never changes. Tuna entrée is his thing, and he prefers it served straight from the can. 

Never does he ask to go out for a walk, and he certainly has no expectation of a restaurant meal.

Meanwhile back at Dianne’s place, Charley was waiting for his specially cooked chicken breast.

And they say cats are fussy! 

To become a member of Friends of Laguna Beach Dog Park, visit

(Other dog-friendly downtown restaurants that are fine with dogs on their patios include Anastasia Café; Central Coastal Peruvian; GG’s Bistro; Gina’s Pizza, north and south; Hennessey’s Tavern; Laguna Beach Brewery and Grille; Moulin Bistro; Ristorante Rumari; Rooftop Lounge; Sapphire; Sushi Laguna; Taverna; Urth Café; and Zinc Café…and probably more…seems dogs are welcome almost everywhere in Laguna where there is outdoor seating!)

Three “old goats” combine forces and talents in aiding Nepal and finally meet up in the US

Three “old goats,” as executive director of R Star Foundation, Rosalind Russell, calls herself, Dan Laney, and Robin Pierson, all share an interest in R Star and helping the Nepalese improve their economy. The nonprofit R Star provides real live goats and thus income for Nepalese families impoverished by a devastating earthquake two years ago.

But despite their volunteerism for R Star and visits to Nepal, the three hadn’t met. Recently, they did, of all places, at the OC Fair, in the livestock arena (of course), where Dan is an official “goat judge.”

Rosalind and Dan had initially met on Facebook, became friends, and joined together in their respective missions to help Nepal’s economic growth one goat at a time. The two finally met in Kathmandu in late December 2016. 

Dan recently taught the women of R Star’s village better ways of caring for their animals’ health and wellbeing. He is also teaching the Livestock Department of Nepal how to instruct the villagers. 

Nearly a decade ago, Laguna Beach’s Robin Pierson, a former journalist, offered her writing expertise as a volunteer for R Star. She has twice traveled to teach at the Top of the World in Nepal, a school R Star built and runs with an attendance of 60 Wojethar village children. 

To promote their work, during her last visit to Nepal, Robin wrote about Dan’s goat training for the villagers. But because Dan lives in northern California, she interviewed him on the telephone, and they never met.

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Submitted photo

L-R, Rosalind Russell, Dan Laney, and Robin Pierson finally meet at the OC Fair

Rosalind said, “The meeting was simply fun, filled with laughter with goats bah bah-ing in the background, with the smells of the sweet straw on the judging floor flooding our nostrils. It was like old home week in the barn, not like Nepal at all.” 

“The gathering was fun and educational as we watched and listened to Dan award the goat winners for their stock,” added Robin.

The three agreed to meet up in Nepal to continue efforts to assist the lives of the Nepalese. The Nepalese are still crippled by the severe home losses suffered during the quakes over two years ago, and these three are doing all they can to help.

In the meantime, they were grateful to meet in person in California, quite a contrast to Nepal. 

R Star is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers and generous donors. 

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call: 949 497 4911.

Join author Midge Raymond at LBB on Sun, Aug 13, as she discusses her new novel, My Last Continent

On Sun, Aug 13, at 4 p.m., Laguna Beach Books welcomes author Midge Raymond, who will be discussing her new book, My Last Continent. According to Laguna Beach Books, the novel is packed with emotional intelligence and high stakes, a harrowing, searching story of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences. 

It is only at the end of the world, among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica, where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few blissful weeks they spend each year studying the habits of emperor and Adélie penguins, Deb and Keller can escape the frustrations and sorrows of their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is tenuous, imperiled by the world to the north. 

My Last Continent, novel by Midge Raymond, topic of Aug 13 event at LBB

As Deb and Keller’s troubled histories collide with this catastrophic present, Raymond’s novel takes the reader on a voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. 

Midge Raymond is also the author of the award-winning short-story collection Forgetting English. Her writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, American Literary Review, Bellevue Literary Review, the Los Angeles Times magazine, the Chicago Tribune, Poets & Writers, and many other publications. She has taught creative writing at Boston’s Grub Street Writers, Seattle’s Richard Hugo House, and San Diego Writers, Ink. She has also published two books for writers, Everyday Writing and Everyday Book Marketing. Midge lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is co-founder of the boutique publisher Ashland Creek Press.

Laguna Beach Books is located at 1200 S Coast Hwy, Ste. 105, 949-494-4779. For further information, go to

Something to celebrate: Laguna Beach Physical Therapy reaches its 20th year in business

Laguna Beach Physical Therapy has a good reason to celebrate. They officially opened on Aug 7, 1997, and, as of yesterday, reached a landmark anniversary: 20 years in business. Although the office hasn’t been in Laguna Beach the full 20 years, they have been here for the last three. Owners Leo and Carol Fracalosy say, “We are fortunate to be a part of the community and share our wellness and health programs with consumers in Laguna Beach.”

Originally located in the Aliso Creek center, Kern Haug, MS, PT and Carol Fracalosy, PT started the PT facility, spending many hours advertising and marketing to local physicians and businesses. The clinic was the third one owned by Leo and Carol. 

Submitted photo

PT Aides Daniel Towey and Kendra Leach working with patient

Because so many of the referred patients from Laguna were driving to the Corona del Mar office, Leo, Kern and Carol wanted a new facility here, so they elected to start Laguna Beach Physical Therapy. 

In 2014, they relocated to their present site at Mission Hospital, in the Physicians West Building, 31852 S. Coast Hwy, Ste 303. The hospital gave them a new clinic, and LBPT purchased new equipment to fill it. Carol says, “It was a marvelous move.”

Leo and Carol consider themselves blessed to have such a wonderful staff. The facility employs three experienced Physical Therapists; Kern Haug, MS, PT, who has been with the firm 23 yrs., Alisa Sanchez, MPT, (12 yrs.), and Christie Torti, MPT, (4 yrs.). 

Submitted photo

Office Manager Maria Morales (on right) and Assistant Denise Ershadi

Brian Fracalosy, the biller and office manager, has been with the firm since 2000. Maria Morales, office manager and multi-tasker, has been with the company six years. The practice has had a multitude of PT aides who have gone into Physical Therapy programs across the nation. They also have a Certified Hand Therapist, Mary Crompton, CHT, who has an excellent reputation with the local orthopedic hand specialists here in LB and surrounding cities.

How has physical therapy changed in the last 20 years? Carol explains, “When we started in 1997, 100 percent of our patients were referred from medical doctors. However, three years ago, CA passed a law allowing patients direct access to physical therapy for injuries, so they don’t have to see the doctor first. This law has helped patients with recurring problems that pop up now and then. Now they can come to the office directly, thus saving time and money for the patient.”

“Our goal is to stay in practice another 20 years,” Carol says. “We are now a part of Monarch Health Maintenance Organization, which has been rewarding.” 

Happy 20th anniversary, LBPT.


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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