Fraud trends and financial elder abuse featured at Council on Aging’s Sr Protection Program on May 31 

Laguna Beach Seniors and the Council on Aging – Southern California (COASC) announce that Kelli J. Morris, JD, LLM, Director of the Senior Protection Program (SPP) and Financial Abuse Specialist Team (FAST), will be the featured speaker for Fraud Trends + Financial Elder Abuse on Thursday, May 31 from 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Senior Center.

Approximately one in 10 Americans, age 60 and older, has experienced some form of elder abuse, with financial elder abuse being one of the fastest growing crimes and least reported form of abuse in America. 

Education needed to prevent elder abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse states, “Unfortunately, we simply do not know for certain how many people are suffering from elder abuse and neglect. Signs of elder abuse may be missed by professionals working with older Americans because of lack of awareness and adequate training on detecting abuse. The elderly may be reluctant to report abuse themselves because of fear of retaliation, lack of physical and/or cognitive ability to report, or because they do not want to get the abuser in trouble.”

COASC’s Senior Protection Program (SPP) provides education and empowerment to help seniors recognize and guard themselves against financial exploitation.

Susi Q located at 380 Third St. For more information, go to or call (949) 464-6645.

This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:


Celebrate and enjoy your



May 25

Cameron Jones 

Debra Kubisak

Kerry Rubel

Michelle Bendetti


May 26

Catharine Cooper

John Boyd

Lindsay Smith-Rosales

Mark Meisberger

Regina Hartley

Richard Belyea

Vicki Orgill


 May 27

Jude Hannah

Suzanne Lilly


May 28

Erica Jones

Steve Kawaratani


May 29

Bob Earl

Cherish Spalding Craig

Deb Hendrix

Kathryn Mace

Ron Geisman

Sound Spectrum



1. Arctic Monkeys, Tranquility Base Hotel

2. David Byrne, Utopia

3. Grateful Dead, Live 1969-1977 

4. Eric Clapton, Complete

5. Beach House, 7 

6. Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides of the Sky 

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7. Jack White, Boarding House Reach

8. Chris Stapleton, From A Room, Volume 1 

Click on photo for a larger image 

9. A Perfect Circle, Eat The Elephant 

10. David Bowie, Welcome To The Blackout 

11. LCD Soundsystem, American Dream 


Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy


Camp Pinniped kicks off exciting summer season at Pacific Marine Mammal Center on Monday, June 4

Pacific Marine Mammal Center’s Camp Pinniped starts off the summer season on Monday, June 4. This weeklong camp attracts children ages eight to 13 from all over the nation. It’s a perfect experience for budding veterinarians, scientists, and animal lovers. 

The facility offers a unique experience for children to witness a marine mammal hospital in action. Campers learn how the animal care team rehabilitates the seal and sea lion patients through a series of mock activities including weighing fish, preparing fish smoothies, cleaning pens and learning the art of marine mammal rescue. Each day has a different theme in order to provide a well-rounded study of the ocean environment. Each theme is creatively reinforced through games, arts and crafts.

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Submitted photo

Campers learn about rescued seals

Young aspiring marine biologists and ocean conversationalists will experience a marine mammal hospital in action. Children will engage in mock rescues and rehabilitation, meal preparation and research and observation of the current real life marine mammal patients. 

This year, the kids will be learning about elephant seals, orcas, sea otters, and oil spill cleanup, in addition to PMMC’s mission of rescue, rehab, release, and research. 

Senior camp counselor, Malena Berndt, started her PMMC journey 12 years ago when she was just eight years old. “I loved camp so much, I never left,” she said as she feeds some animals during her animal care volunteer shift. “This place is magical. It instilled something inside of me that made me want to volunteer, educate and pursue a career in this field.” 

Camp is held Monday through Thursday at PMMC from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday is a Beach Day from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. PMMC does not offer extended day care hours. 

The cost is $350 per camper. Campers may receive a $30 discount to Camp Pinniped if attendee is a Harbor Seal Club Member or above (by using a membership code). Call PMMC’s Membership Coordinator at (949) 494-3050 to verify membership and receive the code. Tuition is non-refundable, unless there is proof of emergency.

Camp Pinniped spots are still available, for schedules and to register, go to

PMMC is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, call (949) 494-3050.

Seventh annual Laguna Bluebelt photo contest award presentations take place on Friday, June 8

Calling all photographers, family, friends, supporters, generous sponsors and ocean lovers: Meet the artists who won awards in the Laguna Bluebelt photo contest and celebrate their achievement in support of our Marine Protected Areas.

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Photo courtesy LBC

Deanne King: Octo on the Run: Amateur Honorable Mention, 2018

The Artist Reception and exhibit of winning photographs takes place on Friday, June 8 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – World Oceans Day – at Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave. The awards presentation will take place at 6 p.m.

Everyone is invited to stop by and enjoy free music, appetizers and drinks with friends old and new. There is ample parking at Lots 11 and 12 across street from the Gallery.

All donations and 15 percent of art sales will benefit the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition and their work.

The Laguna Bluebelt Coalition works to protect and improve Laguna’s Marine Protected Areas.

For more information, visit

Annual Boys and Girls Club Harry Bithell Pancake Breakfast will be held on Saturday, June 9

Saturday, June 9 will mark the fourteenth year the Bluebird Branch of the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach has been open to serve youth members in the community.

In honor of the anniversary, the branch will hold its annual Harry Bithell Pancake Breakfast in beautiful Bluebird Park from 8 to 10:30 a.m., at no cost to the public (donations are always welcome).

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Submitted photo

Last year’s pancake breakfast was a great success

The Club invites residents to come and bring neighbors and friends for a morning of fun, meet the wonderful staff and Boys & Girls Club families, while enjoying a delicious breakfast. Kids will also delight in arts & crafts and park games. Oscar Parra, Branch Director, will host the Saturday morning event. 

“We are thrilled to be serving the community here at Bluebird Park! Our annual Harry Bithell Pancake Breakfast is more than just an anniversary occasion; it’s about celebrating how effectively our programs help children build character, creativity and academic success.” 

Oscar adds, “We would like to thank Harry Bithell, who has been a huge supporter over the years, plus our community partners, donors, and anyone else who has helped sustain Bluebird since the beginning. A special thank you to Las Brisas restaurant, who will be catering this year’s event again.” 

For more information about Bluebird Branch’s 14th Annual Harry Bithell Pancake Breakfast, contact Oscar Parra at (949) 715-3056 or email

For more information on the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach including after school and summer camp programming, contact guest services at (949) 494-2535 or visit

 Volume 10, Issue 42  |  May 25, 2018                                        

Laguna Life And People 012417

Best-kept secret, hidden treasure: that’s Bill Atkins, unique in Laguna for his brilliant graphic art skills


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Bill Atkins’ art is visible all over California, not only on the walls of art- and poster-lovers, but on the byways and highways of our state. Many know his work, but few are aware of the talented man behind the iconic license-plate “whale-tail” image seen around California. 

This achievement came about because the California Coastal Commission chose Atkins to design the license plate graphic after he won the CCC design competition in 2011. He was delighted to be able to work on a project promoting our oceans and sea creatures, a cause dear to his heart.

To be quite clear, Atkins is quick to point out, “I won the contest itself, but along with another artist, Elizabeth Tyndall, from Northern California, who was also then chosen to contribute to the license plate. She did not help in the design, but I included a portion of her painting in the ocean background layer.”

The plate is the newest and among the most popular choices for drivers who are proud of our state and who care about the health of its oceans. (Profits are donated to the Commission’s education program.)

“The design is deceptively simple,” Atkins notes, showing me several of the more than 50 versions that he completed as part of his commission to develop the design. “There are layers upon layers, if you look carefully.” 

The winning design, now adorning many a vehicle, shows a humpback’s fluke against the blue of the ocean and scudding white clouds. “I needed to pay attention to the tiniest detail, for example, tilting the tail to make sure the last two letters of California are visible,” he explains.

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Bill Atkins shelters from the recent rain

“Deceptively simple” is a description that applies to much of Atkins’ work, which requires significantly more artistry and attention to detail than most people realize.

“Marrying images and typography for the kind of result I want, and that my clients want, can be tricky,” Atkins says. “Poster art is sometimes not given the same respect as other art forms, maybe because here in Laguna plein air has ruled for so long, but it has a rich history and demands a lot of focus. I love the challenge.” 

Atkins’ posters depict iconic local places and events, including Crystal Cove cottages and the Festival of the Arts, as well as famous performing artists such as Cyndi Lauper. Atkins is also a long-time teacher, and has taught digital imagery and art at LCAD and Irvine Valley College among other schools.

Posters are unique, he says, because they tend to carry explicit messages through images and typography, images that transcend international and cultural barriers. Think of travel posters, and film posters, or of Atkins’ Sister Cities series, featuring scenes from Laguna’s sister cities: Menton, France, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and St. Ives, England. The detailed graphics and colors reflect the commonality and shared appreciation of our ocean-side communities. 

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Bill Atkins contributes his time and talents to many nonprofits

These images are among his favorites, especially as they helped win a grant from the City for the Sister Cities nonprofit, which, as he mentions, “brings an international flavor to our town.” He’s an active member of Sister Cities as well as many other Laguna organizations, including the Garden Club, the Beautification Council and, more recently, helps with Susi Q’s Gallery Q. 

He’s donated his time and talent to graphic arts campaigns benefiting the Art Museum, AIDS Services Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign. His generosity and warm spirit are legendary among those in the know.

Atkins’ love for his work, Laguna Beach, and the outdoors, is evident to me as I chat to him on the deck of his apartment, surrounded by greenery, including native plants and succulents and a plate of fruit that looks ready to be turned into a still-life.

Hummingbirds dart among tree branches in this super-serene setting, and Atkins shows the same high energy as he jumps up and down to find various examples of his art to answer my questions about his award-winning work, which includes attractive bronze plaques honoring legendary figures such as Harry Lawrence, “Mr. Laguna.”

Atkins has wanted to be an artist since he was a young boy. “My father was fine with that, as long as I had a career like a friend of his, a commercial artist who made money – ‘not the other kind,’ my dad said,” he laughs.

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Bill in his studio, holding the whale-tail license plate

His immediate goal is to improve his social media skills and rework his website,, to raise his visibility locally. “I don’t think many people know about me,” he notes. “That’s partly because marketing isn’t my favorite thing to do. Most of my business comes through word-of-mouth and that’s the way most of my teaching jobs have come also.”

Atkins’ work has been on display on the walls of the Wells Fargo Building and, for the past 18 years, at Vintage Poster Gallery on Coast Hwy, where his work has proved popular among locals as well as visitors looking for vibrant art.

Like so many Lagunans, Bill Atkins, a Philadelphian by birth, says he visited here with a friend and was so charmed that within three months or so, he’d packed his things and moved, back in the early seventies. “Somehow I knew this was my home,” he says.

It’s a decision he’s never regretted. While he would love the time (and resources) to travel more, for the moment he feels content in his secluded eyrie in the woods, his small but cosy apartment inland from Crescent Point and close to Dartmoor, his favorite wilderness trail. 

“Posters are history, they’re cultural icons,” he says. “People need posters. They always will. They fill eyeballs!”

And by extension, the public needs artists who create posters, and plaques, and banners, and who are uniquely sensitive to creating meaningful, beautiful synergy between the written word and images.

Especially artists as talented, generous and sweet-natured as Laguna’s Bill Atkins.

Laguna Playhouse offers two exciting new productions this summer 

Laguna Playhouse is getting ready for Summer at the Playhouse and will feature two exciting new productions.

On July 5 - 29, the Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet will be performed. This musical is based on a true story, and is inspired by Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. The Tony Award nominated Million Dollar Quartet explodes on stage with a monumental night of rock ‘n’ roll. 

Featuring 21 timeless hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Fever,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “See Ya Later, Alligator,” “Fever,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Hound Dog,” this thrilling musical brings you inside the recording studio to experience an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayal and celebrations. This musical is recommended for audiences 10 and up.

Additionally, on August  8 - September 2, the play End of the Rainbow will be performed. Written by Peter Quilter and directed by Michael Matthews, it’s set in December 1968 and Judy Garland is about to make her comeback, again.

In a London hotel room, with both her new young fiancé and her adoring accompanist, Garland struggles to get “beyond the rainbow” with her signature cocktail of talent, tenacity and razor-sharp wit. Featuring some of Garland’s most memorable songs, “You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do it),” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Trolley Song,” ”The Man That Got Away,” and, of course, “Over the Rainbow,” this savagely funny play offers a unique insight into the inner conflict that inspired and consumed one of America’s most beloved figures. This play is recommended for audiences 12 and up.

For more information on these upcoming events or to purchase tickets, visit

Mark Chamberlain’s Celebration of Life to take place June 3

A celebration of Mark’s life is scheduled for June 3 at 2 p.m. at Neighborhood Congregational Church. All are welcome.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

RIP Mark Chamberlain

Library Events



Sat, May 26

Children’s Craft Open House

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Get creative and let your imagination run wild! Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts. Adult supervision is recommended.


Tues, May 29

Crazy 8’s Math Club

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Crazy 8’s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids enjoy the math behind their favorite activities! This is an 8-week program for K-2nd grade. The club will meet once a week for one hour. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required. 


Tues, May 29

Read to a Dog 

3:30 p.m.

Kids can read aloud to Venus, a therapy dog, and gain confidence in their reading skills. She’s a very good listener! Bow-wow! Please pre-register at the Service Desk or call the library. Drop-ins welcome too!


Wed, May 30

Pre-School Playtime

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Calling all pre-schoolers and toddlers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.


Thurs, May 31

Family Storytime

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, and preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs and music, fingerplays, movement, hands on activities, arts & crafts, and other cadets. Each week has a different theme. Get to know others and support your little one’s developmental skills. No preregistration required.  

 Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers



The Only Story by Julian Barnes

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer



The Plant Messiah by Carlos Magdalena

The Soul of America by John Meacham

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict & Armen Keteyian


Children’s Books

The Honeybee by Kristen Hall & Isabelle Arsenault 

Ocean Meets Sky by The Fan Brothers

A Lion is a Lion by Polly Dunbar  

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Staff Recommendation

The Seasons of My Mother by Marcia Gay Harden


1200 S Coast Hwy


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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LagunaTunes Chorus members

LagunaTunes Director Bob Gunn also directs the St. Mary’s choir and MenAlive (the 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 email

Summer Jazz Series starts up June 13 at [seven-degrees] featuring vocalist Barbara Morrison

Laguna Beach Live! has announced that tickets are on sale for Jazz Wednesdays Summer Series 2018, presented by Laguna Beach Live! at unique event facility [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The Jazz Summer Series features seven concerts, occurring every two weeks from June 13 - September 5, with top jazz musicians from the region. 

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Submitted photo

Vocalist Barbara Morrison

Kicking off the season on June 13 is critically-acclaimed vocalist Barbara Morrison, followed by The Latin Jazz Syndicate on June 27 featuring vocalist Norell Thompson and trumpeter Bijon Watson.

Other performances include: July 11, guitarist Frank Potenza Organ Group; July 25, vocalist Anne Walsh; August 8, classic jazz with vocalist/bassist Kristin Korb Trio;and August 22, The Lineage Trio. The season concludes on September 5 with Laguna Beach Live! All Stars featuring Bijon Watson.

Ticketsare Cabaret Table seating $25/seat in advance and $30 at the door, with season tickets for $175. Tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715- 9713.

Other upcoming Laguna Beach Live! concerts include: May 22, Live! Music Insights with Dr. Robert Istad and a special trio of musicians who will explore “The Grass is Blue: America’s Legacy of Bluegrass and Spirituals”; June 4, Live! Music Insights “All That Jazz: An Historic Retrospective with Bijon Watson & all-star trio”; and June 10, the popular Bluegrass & BBQ featuring The Barefoot Movement, with food and beverages provided by Laguna Beach Beer Co, Purple Corduroy Wine, and Gnarly “Q” BBQ.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster.

Katie Ford is our Ad Designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Cameron Gillespie, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers and/or columnists.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are the staff photographers.

Stacia Stabler is our Account & Instagram Manager.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.