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



March 20

Ashlie LeeAnn Mauldin

Beverly Factor

Brian Gordon

Desiree Goodson

Diane Hruby

Marcus Thesing

Mick Rasley

Paul Hamilton

Sally Quijada


March 21

Lula Buckle 

Ed Smith

Kim Ressler

Lauran Roberson

Michael Dean


March 22

Charles Michael Murray

John Gustafson

Michele Oliver Hall

Tommy Benson


March 24

Cathy Nokes

Charlotte Gulley

Christin Milan

Jenny Schmitz

Jim Schmitz


March 25

Britany Michaels

Bryan Gianesin

D’Anne Purcilly

Jason Farris

Suzanne Redfearn


March 26

Gilles Sensenbrenner

Jeanette Cotinola

Lee Field

Rachiel Macalistaire

Robert Hansen


March 27

Annamaria Pope

H Charton

Laura Bailey

Paul Laos

Sound Spectrum



1.Jimi Hendrix, Both Sides Of The Sky

2. King Gizzard & Lizard Wizard, Polygondwanaland

3. David Byrne, American Utopia

4. Ty Segall, Freedom’s Goblin

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5. Moby, Everything Was Beautiful & Nothing Hurt

6. Strawberry Alarm Clock, Incense & Peppermint

7. MGMT, Little Dark Age 

8. Doors, Absolutely Live

9. Beck, Colors

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10. Killers, Wonderful Wonderful

11. St. Vincent, Masseducation


Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy


 LAGUNATOTS invade No Square Theatre again this weekend

This year’s pint-sized parody show takes a playful swipe at all things “kid,” including boba, homework, and the horrors of having an embarrassing mom. Laguna-specifics like the demise of our poor pepper tree and the new rolling chairs in the schools are cast favorites. 

The youngsters from grades one through eight will sing, dance, and entertain with comedic takes on timely topics set to familiar tunes. The show has a LAGUNATICS-like spirit, but it’s about kids, and every moment is perfect, fun-filled family entertainment.

Remaining performances are March 23-25. Friday and Saturday performances are at 7 p.m. and Sundays are at 2 p.m.

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Submitted photo

Lagunatots “Slime tots” from the 2017 performance

LAGUNATOTS is directed by Ella Wyatt, music-directed by Susan Geiser, costumes by Brigitte Harper, and new parody lyrics by Ella Wyatt, with a number for the boys about “being a man” written by Laguna native Rufino Cabang, and a few special numbers written by cast members. 

The talented company includes kids from Thurston Middle School: Sydney Alderson, Chase Benson, Lula Buckle, Alfie Cant, Kamryn Crawford, Chloe Flaherty, Laird Garcia, Grace Gilchrist, Lila Goldstein, Darcy Hurley, Hannah Kaiser, Lauren Kimball, Olivia Lane, Joie Lucas, Sienna Mason, Brooke Shaw, Talia Stewart, Kate Storke, Berkley Thacker, Maya Trengove, MaryJeanne Walker; From El Morro Elementary: Marco Lapayese Calderon, Lila Tacklind, Leah Turner; From Top of the World Elementary: Kate Baker, Tatum Brennan, Will Briggs, Mason Bruderer, Story Bullington, Nicolas Camacho, Grace Gilchrist, Jonah Goldstein, Ava Guziak, Marco Lapayese Calderon, Maris Morgan, Allie Nottage, Douglas Nottage; Other schools: Anna Gabriel, Taite Morrison, Kemper Rodi.

Tickets are $15 for children, $25 for adults, and $35 for VIP seats. Dinner is available for $10 and is served an hour before the performance. It’s the best bargain in town. Arrive early and enjoy dinner and drinks al fresco before the show. 

No Square Theatre is located in Historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion Street.

For more information, visit

LBHS Schedules



Friday, March 23

Boys Baseball

@ Godinez – 3:30 p.m.



Saturday, March 24

Coed Swim 

Mission Viejo Invite 

@ Woollett Center – 9 a.m.


Police Header

Construction on Red Dragon Restaurant ramps up, the Chinese government reportedly owns Montage Laguna Beach, Gail Duncan sells The Art Hotel


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

For four years, the owner of the property at 680 S. Coast Highway, a location that once housed the popular Mosun Sushi & Sake and Club M, has kept the place dormant.

Luckily for Laguna Beach, the new property owner, Enshan Zhao, has plans to open an upscale authentic Chinese restaurant called Red Dragon Restaurant in the once hopping place. 

While the site has been mainly vacant for seven years, Zhao started construction in January, according to local architect Jim Conrad.

Red Dragon Restaurant

“It’s under construction finally. It started about 60 days ago. We’re primarily just working on the demolition right now,” Conrad said. “We hope to open spring or summer of 2019.”

The cost of the property was more than $3 million. Plans are to include a two-story, 213 seat restaurant with approximately 8,000 square feet of restaurant space and 2,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space, according to the restaurant’s website.

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Red Dragon Restaurant will replace Mosun and Club M with a five-star authentic Chinese dining experience, specializing in Cantonese and dim sum

“It would have been easier to just to build a whole new building but we have to work with the existing building due to city regulations. We have some grandfathered parking that we’re hanging on to,” Conrad said. “The hardest part is really working around the old building.”

The project will feature a fine-dining restaurant with private rooms, a terrace, an indoor bar and lounge, a rooftop bar and lounge, exterior patio dining area, and a parking lot with160 surface spots, per their website.

“It’s not going to be like what was there at all. It’s really going to be a five-star restaurant, where chefs are coming in from Hong Kong. It will be a fine-dining Chinese restaurant,” Conrad said. “That level of finish for the restaurant takes time.”

He said once the building is pretty much completed, “It will need four months of finish to get it to that level that we’re shooting for.”

The new upscale Chinese restaurant will serve authentic Cantonese cuisine, a passion of the entrepreneurial owner, who is a self-described hardcore food enthusiast.

“I have a lot of Chinese clients and they all tell me there is no real Chinese food in Orange County. The sort of Chinese American food that the restaurants serve is very different than the authentic cuisine,” Conrad said.

Zhao, a Laguna Beach resident, is in the process of building a second home here.

Montage Laguna Beach

It was recently reported that the Chinese government now owns Montage Laguna Beach, among other real estate assets, after it seized control of Anbang Insurance Group. 

According to a statement by China’s Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC), Chinese officials arrested Anbang’s former chairman and general manager, Wu Xiaohui, on suspicion of economic crimes in June of last year. The commission has found that Xiaohui’s actions threatened the insurance giant’s solvency. He is expected to be prosecuted for financial crimes.

Besides the purchase of Montage Laguna Beach in 2016, Anbang also purchased Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point and Loews, Santa Monica, as well as 15 of 16 hotels owned by Strategic Hotels & Resorts. 

It has been reported that CIRC plans to run Anbang under the supervision of the regulatory authorities and its $315 billion in assets for at least one year to help stabilize the company and improve operation and management. 

Ownership of Montage Laguna Beach has changed three times in just two years, which is reportedly not uncommon for luxury resorts. 

Kacey Bruno, Vice President, Communications, Montage International said, “We have no comment.”

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The Chinese government has reportedly taken ownership of Montage Hotel & Spa, Laguna Beach among other luxury resorts and including over a dozen hotels

Opening in 2003, the 250-room Montage Laguna Beach was sold to Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. for $360 million, equating to $1.4 million per room. Situated on a 50-foot seaside bluff, the 30-acre property includes 60 suites in addition to the ocean-facing rooms. 

In addition to Montage Laguna Beach, Montage Hotels & Resorts includes a collection of ultra-luxury hotels, resorts including Montage Beverly Hills, Montage Deer Valley, Montage Kapalua Bay, Montage Palmetto Bluff. 

Each resort’s architecture and decor is unique to its surroundings, as exemplified in the Montage Laguna Beach’s Craftsman-style design, reflective of the Laguna’s artistic heritage. This year the company plans to open its first international destination, Montage Los Cabos.

The Art Hotel

It has been a sweet 16 years for owner of The Art Hotel, Gail Duncan. The collection of memories and the relationships she’s built over that span have become as precious to her as the art by local artists that adorn all the rooms.

Now that the hotel has been sold, as of Tuesday, March 6, these invaluable experiences are even more valuable to her, as she also had to leave the place she’s called home for all these years.

“I just left the apartment on Monday (March 19),” Duncan said. “The beauty of it is everyone knows it was my baby. I just fell in love with it and with being of service to people.”

Only a couple of weeks ago, Duncan had to give a presentation to the City Council on the Housing and Human Services Committee that she chairs. 

“From the bottom of my heart that night, it was about at the end letting them know how much they meant to me,” Duncan said. “At the tail end, I really wrangled saying something personal in front of the Council, but I said to them The Art Hotel was sold today.”

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Gail Duncan owned The Art Hotel for 16 years

Most important to Duncan was to express her sincere gratitude for three particular City employees that changed her life.

“If it wasn’t for Gavin Curran, Maggie Lotolc, and Laura Parisi assisting me in the beginning and holding me up at certain points, I wouldn’t be standing here today, just being so thankful,” Duncan said. “I wanted those City employees to be called out. If I didn’t have those City employees shaping me from my foundation, helping me businesswise, I couldn’t have been as successful without their wisdom.” 

It was hard for Duncan to encapsulate and share just a few of the many wonderful experiences.

One of her greatest memories was during the height of the festival season in the summer of 2012. The water heater broke down in her sold-out hotel. She said it was such an amazing example of humanity and kindness. Instead of people getting upset it brought them closer together, and rather than complaints, she received hugs and flowers.

 “It was just an incredible example of human nature at its finest holding each other up. It was one of the most special situations that I had been through,” Duncan said. “I couldn’t believe how it was the reverse, with people caring so much, helping me get through it.”

The art community and local artists were central to Duncan – after all, she named the hotel, The Art Hotel.

“Twenty-eight rooms each with a different artist. They were kind enough to lend me five or six pieces. There is a little story about them at each of the desks in the room. It was about exposure of the artists. If someone was interested, I would be the bridge to the artist,” Duncan said. “They all trusted me with their pieces. I just had in my heart I am The Art Hotel, I’m going to honor them and give them 100 percent of the sale.”

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The Art Hotel lived up to its name

The hotel had two unveilings in 2016 by the muralist Randy Morgan, who recreated the pool area. Not only was the mayor there but to Gail’s sheer surprise someone from another hotel was there to support her too.

“The murals weren’t about downtown or what’s across the street. They told a story. We ended up having four Art Walks that year and brought the community to the hotel for the first time,” Duncan said. “Randy is the one that mentored different artists, brought them in and exposed them. It just really took The Art Hotel to the best level before I sold.”

Those examples capture the essence of great memories and the many people she grateful for.

Anyway, it was a great ride. I learned a lot. I feel very connected to Laguna Beach. We all end up being family in town in some way or another,” Duncan said. “I will end up going into community service and will work even harder on Housing and Human Services.”

New Ownership of The Art Hotel…the next chapter

The new owners of The Art Hotel Rick Mangu and his wife Vicki are no strangers to Laguna Beach. They’ve lived in various parts of Orange County most of their lives. Nor are they new to hotel ownership. But they are very excited about this particular venture.

In an interview last week Mangu explained that they’ve only owned the hotel for a week. “We took it over last Tuesday, March 6.We used to live in Southern California before, so we know the area well. My daughter was one of the first graduates of Sage Hill High School on Newport Coast. We have family that lives in Crystal Cove and friends here,” Mangu said, explaining that they had to leave the area to take care of his elderly parents. Family is extremely important to Mangu.

“I am very happy that we are back in Orange County, and I am very honored actually to be in Laguna Beach,” Mangu said. “It’s amazing, you know, you go all over the world and to end up back in Laguna Beach, I dream of those things.”

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The Art Hotel is in good hands

As for owning other hotels, Mangu said, “It’s a friends and family type of deal. We try to do it as a small group of family and friends invested. That way I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket. I have been there and done that and now I am back again.”

The new owners are working with a design firm to make improvements to the exterior and update it to 2018, Mangu explained.

“We’re thankful to Gail. She is a great lady. I am very happy with her; she has helped us out quite a bit,” Mangu said.

Duncan stayed on the property to help the new owners transition and will continue through the summer. She feels the same and appreciates kindness of the new owners. 

“I get to still be there through the transition period. I get to experience enjoying the guests for at least a day or two through the summer, through the transition, and then let them have their dreams,” Duncan said.

The community is so vibrant and healthy there’s a lot of different activities. I think Laguna, I just find it kind of peaceful,” Mangu said. “I am very happy to be here. You don’t get a second chance all the time.”

OC Superior Court judge voids approval of The Ranch’s Girl Scout Camp development plan without an environmental impact report


Orange County Superior Court Judge William D. Claster voided on Tuesday the City’s approval of the development of the Girl Scout Camp at The Ranch at Laguna Beach without an environmental impact report.

South Laguna resident Mark Fudge challenged the city’s decision to allow the development without first preparing an EIR. 

Laguna Beach, the City Council, the Planning Commission and Sue Kempf, who chaired the commission at the time it recommended approval of the project, were named as defendants.

Claster ruled that a preemptory writ of mandate be prepared that directed the City to at least void its determination that the camp is categorically exempt from preparing an EIR under the California Environmental Quality Act; to reconsider whether the remaining phases of the project are to be considered with the camp; and reconsider whether the camp and any other phases of the project qualify under the existing facilities exemption or any other exemption.

The development of the camp is the third phase of the overall project, which the California Coastal Commission approved in June 2015, reportedly citing the proposal as compensation for the loss of lower-cost accommodations after the rehabilitation of the property by principal investor Mark Christy and thus not requiring an EIR. 

Claster ruled that the city’s reliance on California Coastal Commission findings as an EIR substitute was improper. 

CEQA is invoked by the judge in his decision

To qualify, the commission would have had to be the first agency to grant discretionary approval for the project – however, the City had previously issued a building permit for the renovation of the hotel, making the City the determining agency on whether the application was exempt from a CEQA review. 

Categorical exemptions from CEQA review are allowed for projects that are not deemed to have a significant effect on the environment. In such a case, a notice of exemption, commonly called a Negative Dec, is prepared, citing reasons to support the exemption, and filed.  

Fudge contended in the case ruled on by Claster on Tuesday that the City allowed new lighting, as well as development of the two-acre camp that could significantly impact and damage the environment.

The project in question, as approved by the Council, included re-landscaping of the camp area on the northeast corner of the 84-acre property. 

Youth Group campouts of no more than 40 per night were permitted and daytime events were approved for groups of 150 or less people, with a maximum of 12 events per month.

Proposed daytime activities included weddings, group banquets, yoga and educational tours.

A previous CEQA challenge by Fudge was dismissed on statute of limitation grounds. Fudge also sought California Coastal Commission rejection of the proposed development. 

City Attorney Philip Kohn and City Manager John Pietig declined to comment on the court’s ruling, which they only received late Tuesday. Fudge did not return a phone call from Stu News.

One and done: Preservation Task Force chosen on first ballot


Hell froze over Tuesday night in Laguna Beach.

Council members Toni Iseman and Steven Dicterow, described by Dicterow as philosophical opposites, took just over one hour to interview 23 candidates and choose 11 of them to serve on the Historic Preservation Task Force. Each applicant was allowed two minutes to plead their case – and some didn’t take that long.

Marilyn Alexander, Jeffrey L. Benedick, Ann Christoph, Steve Fairbanks, Patrick W. Gallis, Norm Grossman, Becky Jones, Michael LaRiche, John Loomis, David Raber and Dan Rosenthal were selected on the first ballot – two more than originally planned.    

“Hell just froze over,” said Dicterow. “Toni and I agreed on 11 appointments on our ballots so we’re expanding the task force to 11.” 

The City Council appointed Dicterow and Iseman to choose the members of the task force and to act as non-voting council liaison to the group. 

They chose applicants from 15 names each had put on the first ballot, expecting to keep voting until they agreed on nine.  

Twelve of the 35 listed applicants withdrew their names, did not attend the meeting or were not residents, a requirement to serve on City boards, committees or commission. Benedick was the only applicant chosen who was not at the meeting.

Iseman urged applicants who didn’t make the cut to continue to participate in the process.

“You should still go to the meetings,” she said. 

The task force will attempt to do what has so far been out of reach – reach consensus on the ordinance. 

“Although we have gone through hearing after hearing, so far there has been no dialogue, no give and take, and lots of misinformation,” said Jones, a former planning commissioner who helped develop the original historical preservation ordinance.

That sums up why the council decided a task force was needed. 

Iseman said consensus is the goal.

Six of the selected 11 own buildings on the city’s Historical Register, the inventory, or most likely are qualified to be on one or the other. 

Christoph owns two: her home and her office building are on the register.

Fairbanks, who was a member of the city’s Heritage Committee from 2002 to 2008, also owns a home on the register.

Benedick’s application stated that his home was reviewed by a qualified historian and is presumed to be historic, but not listed. Raber’s application included the information that he owns a cottage built by two Laguna Beach teachers in 1953 – treasured for its heritage, but not on the inventory.

Rosenthal’s 1926 cottage in North Laguna was on the original inventory, but was removed at the request of the owner at that time. Alexander also owns a 1926 cottage on a tree street in North Laguna and a second property built between 1922 and 1930. Neither is on the inventory or register.

The remaining five chosen applicants brought a variety of experience to the table. 

Gallis recently retired after from building and remodeling homes in Laguna for 30 years. Grossman is a former planning commissioner. LaRiche is a real estate broker. Loomis is an architect, with the rehabilitation of Laguna Presbyterian Church and the Casa del Camino to his credit. Raber is a consultant for a software product development.

No date has been set for the first meeting of the task force. Date, time and location will be announced. Task force meetings will be open to the public.

Roux redux – the return

Story and photos by MAGGI HENRIKSON

Not rising from the ashes, but more like emerging transformed from its cocoon, Roux is beaming in its new incarnation.

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Roux owners, Cindy and Michael Byrne

Yes, it was closed for a time after the well-publicized split with the former chef. Now, we’re not looking back, we’re looking forward. I know I was looking forward to the new chef’s approach to the Roux theme – classic, yet understated New Orleans style.

I’m happy to report that Chef Robert Villanueva has brought his own spin on the essentials at Roux, and has also leaned a little more toward seafood. The classics including shrimp, and catfish Orleans remain in Creole style, but seasonal fish, and killer Red King Crab Legs have moved in too.

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Chef Robert Villanueva

Chef Robert says he puts his Asian spin on the French here, and I think it’s a global win. “Spicy Garlic Shrimp is really Thai Green Curry,” he says with a smile. “It’s all about fresh ingredients, and treating every ingredient properly.”

Owners Michael and Cindy Byrne have re-opened the restaurant just three weeks now, and they wanted to make sure to get everything right. “We’re only going to have so many things on the menu, so it has to be good,” said Michael. Being careful to get the menu right, and honoring the space properly is important. “It took 14 months to get a 39 seat restaurant opened, I’m not going to let it fail,” he said. “I have to do the right thing here.”

For now, the restaurant is open Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights, with Saturday and Sunday following shortly.

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Red King Crab with clarified butter & lemons

Tweaking the menu items, Michael asked the chef to give the oysters “more zip” – and he did it the very next day. “We made sure people left saying, ‘That’s good… Wow!’”

The oysters are amazing. 

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Fried Cornmeal Oysters with Lemon & Cornichons

Chef will also listen to customer’s requests. While I was there, he made a gorgeous catfish dish for a customer who didn’t want the creamy sauce – chef made it with his version of a marinara.

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Catfish Orleans, dusted with flour, sautéed in olive oil with lump crab and chef’s custom-ordered marinara, served over herbed rice

The atmosphere is still warm and romantic, and I would call the menu sexy, even. Nothing like a nice glass of red wine, some juicy oysters, and…what? I opted for the New York Steak, grilled to perfection and glazed with a red wine peppercorn demi glace. It was absolutely tender and flavorful, and left me wanting more even though I couldn’t finish it, the 12 ounces being enormous.

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New York Steak 12oz with red wine peppercorn demi glace

The other half of this romantic dinner was my husband, Richard. He chose the Atlantic Salmon. It was nice and moist with a crispy seared top, and served with spring green vegetables.

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Atlantic Salmon 8oz with cilantro & lime crème fraiche and radish

Chef Robert is making these dishes three nights, and Michael anticipates adding to the chef repertoire with other fine chefs making weekly appearances. He’s also talking about doing pop-up dinners with guest chefs once or twice a month.

“We’re trying the idea of a “house band” of chefs who can pick it up right away, like a music house band.” 

Sounds fun. We’ll stay tuned for all that’s deliciously shaking up at Roux.

860 Glenneyre St | 949-715-3707

Breakers baseball team dominates Saddleback: Bats and arms came ready to play

Laguna’s bats and arms came ready to play Tuesday. Breakers’ hitters jumped on Saddleback for 25 runs and 19 hits, leading the team to a 25-0 victory. The pitching was equally effective. Jack Loechner started on the mound and was perfect through two innings before retiring early. 

Remy Mackel and Kent Cebreros combined for six strikeouts on the bump to no-hit the Saddleback side.  

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Submitted by Monica Silva

Eric Silva, Freshman, trotting home

Saddleback did not advance past second base the entire game. Senior Michael Kerner was hot with four hits while Grady Morgan and Sawyer Chesley both homered over the fence for Laguna. 

Laguna is now 2-0 in League play. The team’s next game is today (weather permitting), Friday, March 23 at Godinez before returning home next Tuesday, March 27 against Costa Mesa, and Friday, March 30 against Estancia.

LBHS boys varsity golf matches this week: the winning continues

By Sean Quigley, LBHS Head Golf Coach

On Monday, the LBHS Boys Golf Team had an Orange Coast League match on Estancia’s home course, Mesa Verde Country Club, in Costa Mesa (par 36). Mesa Verde is one of the most challenging and best courses the team plays all year.

Laguna won the match 202-227, bringing the team’s record up to 2-0 in league and 4-3 overall.

The medalist (low score of the match) was senior captain Kyle Sharp. He shot an even par 36. This was the fifth time this year he has won medalist honors. 

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Submitted photo

Team captain, Kyle Sharp

In addition, junior Chase Gioffredi finished strong when he went on a tear with three birdies in a row on holes 7, 8 and 9 to finish one over par at 37. Senior Ben Sharp also played extremely well shooting three over par at 39.

The green complexes on this course can be tough, rewarding good shots and penalizing poor shots; so having three players finish under 40 tells me they were playing smart and hitting good shots. 

Player scores on Monday: Kyle Sharp – 36, Chase Gioffredi – 37, Ben Sharp – 39, Gus Morck – 42, Kyle Shaw – 48, Miles Stripling – 49.

On Wednesday, LBHS took on Costa Mesa High School at Costa Mesa County Club, a par 35-course. Laguna won 198-225, bringing our record up to 3-0 in league, and 5-3 overall. Kyle Sharp was the medalist again, shooting 37. He has been the medalist in six of the eight matches we have played this year.

Junior Gus Morck stepped up and shot his best score of the season, posting a four over par 39. In addition, senior Ben Sharp has bounced back nicely over the last two matches, posting a 38 today and a 39 in our last match (on Monday).

Player scores on Wednesday: Kyle Sharp – 37, Ben Sharp – 38, Chase Gioffredi – 39, Gus Morck – 39, Miles Stripling – 45, Kyle Shaw – 47.

We are off to a great start in the Orange Coast League with a 3-0 record.  We have won League for the last three years, so another first place finish this year would give our seniors a clean sweep of four straight championships during their high school careers.  

Our team scores have been good, consistently in the high 190’s to 208.  Overall, we are posting lower team scores than last year so our prospects look good so far.

LBHS Surf Team finishes in the top three in the National Scholastic State Regional Championships

By Coaches Scott Finn and Alisa Cairns

Congratulations are in order as LBHS surf team finished thirdin the National Scholastic State Regional Championships a couple of weekends ago. The event was held at Seaside Reef. 

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Submitted photo

Kayla Coscino, Coach Scott Finn, and Jameson Roller

It was an all out team effort highlighted by Kayla Coscino finishing second in Girls shortboard and Jameson Roller finishing second in the Boys longboard division. Our six shortboarders, Sam and Kiko Nelson, Jake Levine, Trey Lockhart, Travis Booth, and Jeremy Shutts put up some amazing performances throughout the day too.

Dennis’ Tidbits


March 23, 2018

Updrafts up the size of hailstones – in Missouri one grew as big as a soccer ball – be glad we mostly we just get raindrops

Spring 2018 is here and supercell thunderstorms become part of the vocabulary, especially east of the Rockies. Big time tornadoes and huge hailstorms are now on the increase as the months of April, May and June are the busiest months of the year for such activity. This week has seen several EF-3 twisters invade Alabama, Mississippi, and northern Georgia. Hail the size of baseballs pelted some areas too, falling out of the skies at speeds in excess of 100 mph, the velocity equaling the fastest fastball thrown in Major League Baseball! Picture thousands upon thousands of baseballs coming at you vertically. Scary thought, eh? 

I witnessed such an event on April 1, 1967 in Amarillo Texas Air Force Base where I was in Air Force Weather School, no foolin’! Exposed vehicles suffered many broken windshields in addition to hundreds of deep pockmarks!

Supercell thunderstorms are born from large clusters of cumulonimbus clouds on steroids. Supercells are found in every state east of the Rockies where three major components come together, cold dry air from the northwest, warm, moist, unstable tropical air that streams northward from the Gulf of Mexico where surface water temps can approach 90 degrees on occasions and thirdly, strong, warm, dry winds from the WSW that blow from northern Baja, across Arizona and New Mexico at mid levels to instigate intense rotation within the supercell.

Cumulonimbus are the only kind of cloud that produce these violent updrafts that spawn heavy twisters and off the charts huge hailstones. Some of these cumulonimbus clouds can push 50,000 feet and on some occasions as high as 60,000 feet up in the atmosphere. Here in the West, thundercloud tops rarely push past 25,000 feet so tornadoes and hail larger than say, marbles are rare. Vertical updrafts in these storms rarely exceed 40 mph so mostly it’s pea to maybe marble sized hail, roughly the size of quarters in extreme cases, but once you get into eastern Colorado, eastern Wyoming, and the Great Plains, the Midwest, the Ohio, Tennessee, Mississippi Valleys, and the Deep South hailstones the size of baseballs and even softballs can occur, in fact the largest hailstone ever recorded was years ago in Missouri where a farmer picked up a stone the size of a soccer ball that weighed 2.8 pounds!

Regular rain clouds known as nimbostratus possess little or no vertical lift so raindrops don’t get pushed upwards so they fall as water droplets unless of course it’s cold enough to snow. Water droplets morph into hail when they ride on updrafts that push them into freezing air so that water droplet freezes and falls as a tiny hailstone out from the base of the thunderstorm. If it’s pea sized hail, the updrafts were only 40 mph.

The general rule of thumb here is the taller the storm cloud, the stronger the updraft which pushes that stone higher in the atmosphere where the surrounding air is getting much colder and more dense. An updraft of 50 mph will add a couple of more layers of ice on that frozen water droplet and the hailstone will likely be as big as a quarter. A 60 mph updraft will usually produce stones the size of ping pong balls. 70 mph updrafts will up the size to golf ball status. Tennis ball size is the product of 80 mph updrafts. 90-100 mph will pop out baseball size. Once you get into the 100-125 mph zone, you’re talking softball size with dozens of layers of ice when finally the surrounding air can no longer support the weight of this monster of a hailstone and it finally crashes to Earth. 

The behemoth of a stone that got as big as a soccer ball was estimated to have ridden a violent updraft that was upwards of 150 mph and the cloud top was at least 65,000 feet above the earth’s surface. Fortunately that monster claimed no victims as it landed on farm soil but it actually left a two foot wide crater much like a friggin’ meteorite! Just for the hail of it! 

See y’all next Tuesday! ALOHA!

“Next generation” of engaged and involved LB residents meet at the Marine Room on March 29

Laguna Beach NextGen will host their next event on Thursday, March 29 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Marine Room. Special guest speaker, City Manager, John Pietig, and Utility Undergrounding Program Manager, Wade Brown will offer a presentation on issues of relevance to the community. 

Laguna NextGen represents the “next generation” of local residents and professionals with an emphasis on community involvement. They strive to engage the new generation in civic and philanthropic involvement through meetings, events, and socials, thereby obtaining a pulse on issues affecting local residents, businesses, government, and resources. 

Board members include Lea Abel-Stone, Catherine Talarico, Katrina Puffer, Nicole Anderson, Danielle Ward Shuster, Meghan MacGillivray Weil and Katie MacGillivray.

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NextGen is a fun group of community-conscious Laguna Beach individuals

The event is a no-host happy hour where NextGen supporters will be able to learn about Laguna Beach City current events and civic involvement. The meeting is open to the public.  

The NextGen Board thanks Marine Room owner, Chris Keller, for donating the space for its meeting and City Manager, John Pietig and team, for their time and willingness to speak to the group about City involvement and current events.  To get involved, follow Laguna NextGen on Instagram, visit their Facebook page or their website at

NextGen’s goals include “updating the NextGen on issues at the City that affect us and our children; encouraging involvement in our local community by raising money for Laguna Beach nonprofits; connecting the NextGen with non profit needs and board positions; and being a social networking group for local business owners and professionals.”

Montage Laguna Beach has a new look and new offerings in honor of its 15-year anniversary

Celebrating its 15th year anniversary, Montage Laguna Beach unveiled a newly refreshed Lobby Lounge with a breezy new palette, fresh modern furnishings and a new menu with gourmet teas and coffees and light breakfast offerings and desserts.

As the resort’s centerpiece, the Lobby Lounge sets the stage for the iconic Montage experience, evoking a “wow” factor when guests enter and take in the stunning Pacific Ocean panoramas. Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows and indoor and outdoor seating allow guests to unwind and soak in the true California beach experience.

“We’re thrilled to unveil our new look in the Lobby Lounge, which has always been a lively gathering spot for our hotel guests and the community,” says Anne-Marie Houston, resort manager for the 250-room oceanfront property. “We look forward to introducing this refreshed space and its updated food and beverage offerings to our new and return visitors.”

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The new look of the Lobby Lounge

Following an extensive renovation, the new Lobby Lounge captures the California beach lifestyle with a sun splashed transitional style, accentuated by California plein air artwork and plush new furnishings. Enhancements include fresh paint in muted beige colors; refinished wood floors throughout the entrance and Lobby Lounge; refurbished lobby bathrooms; a refreshed grand staircase complete with a new contemporary chandelier as well as modern seating and lounge tables. Artful-style lighting fixtures, textured rugs and soft beige leather accents all infuse understated elegance.

The Lobby Lounge now serves breakfast choices, such as fresh pastries and homemade granola, accompanied by coffee and tea service starting at 6:30 a.m.

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Photo by Maggi

Montage now serves breakfast – pastries, granola, coffees, teas,

 and hot chocolates

 There’s a new Modbar espresso system, which uses Vittoria Coffee. And, Grand Cru Valrhona is highlighted in three unique chocolate beverages. Desserts, served daily until 10 p.m., include crème brûlée, matcha tiramisu and a Viennese-style chocolate cake.

Beginning Sunday, April 8, a new social hour takes place Sunday through Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m., offering 25 percent off the Lobby Lounge menu. Also, an array of craft cocktails have been created by the resort’s beverage manager Troy Smith, with new quaffs, including the Cool Cucumber (Plymouth Gin, Verjus, cucumber, grapefruit essence, egg white); Wilson (Aalborg Akvavit, Suze, grapefruit and pineapple); and Purple Rain (Greenbar Lemon Vodka, Licor 43, concord grape juice, lemon).

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Photo by Maggi

New craft cocktail, the “Wilson”

All craft cocktails, beers, spirits and wines by the glass are served until 12:30 a.m. daily. In addition, the Lobby Lounge features daily live entertainment starting at 3 p.m.

For more information, visit

Radio Service Grant awarded to KX 93.5,

only low-power FM to receive federal grant this year

KX 93.5, Laguna’s FM station, received the Radio Community Service Grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) for $71,821. The CPB is a private corporation created by Congress in 1968, and the largest single source of funding for public radio and television. 

This year, KX 93.5 is the only low-power FM (LPFM) in the country to be awarded the grant. The grant requirements are rigorous, and this year is the third time KX 93.5 has applied for the grant, according to station General Manager Tyler Russell. 

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KX 93.5 DJs: (l-r) Kevin W., Sharon J., Scott D., Arina B., Zach Churchill ride in Patriots Day Parade  

Although there are more than 1,500 LPFMs in the country, most grant applications are denied, because these stations are not able to fulfill requirements.

“This funding is huge for the organization,” said Russell. “Not only does it help us with our general operating budget in a major way, it also validates us as one of the most important and most successful independent radio stations in the country.” 

Some of the grant requirements that most LPFMs have trouble fulfilling are having several full-time staff members, having an annual budget of at least $300,000, maintaining a “Community Advisory Committee,” and proving that they provide valuable service to disparate parts of a community. 

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Station Studio

“With the funding, KX 93.5 will be able focus more this year on creating quality programming, rather than stressing about the next fundraiser,” said Russell. 

Since Oct 2012, KX 93.5 is the only licensed FM radio station in Laguna Beach’s history. It’s a non-profit, non-commercial radio station with hundreds of volunteer contributors, focused on the music, the listener, and the local community. KX 93.5 provides a voice and a creative outlet for musicians, bands and artists squeezed out by commercial radio. 

To consider supporting KX 93.5, visit 

For more information, contact Tyler Russell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Great music for a great cause will be offered on April 25 by Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Beach Live! is presenting the very talented jazz vocalist Leslie Lewis on April 25. Proceeds will support Live! Music & Kids, a music education program offered, at no charge, to children at the Boys & Girls Club and Laguna schools.

MacGillivray-Freeman films has just joined the cause as well. Film clips of the new America’s Musical Journey will entertain concert goers and one lucky guest will win a private screening of one of their films, with a Q &A with filmmakers and a tour of their offices in Laguna. 

An extra treat for VIP ticket buyers will be a personal copy of America’s Musical Journey Coffee Table book which is 80 pages of stunning photos from iconic musical cities, behind the scenes filming stories and a historical look at the birth of American music. 

Internationally renowned Jazz vocalist Leslie Lewis brings her stunning vocals with a solid sense of swing. 

Leslie has performed as featured vocalist with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony with J.T. & Sunshine Band, Jazz Tap Ensemble and has performed with members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. 

Now relocated to Paris with husband, pianist Gerard Hagen, Leslie is back by popular demand having wowed the Laguna Beach Live! audience  during her sell out 2017 Jazz Wednesdays Summer Concert.

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Leslie Lewis will performing at [seven-degrees] 

The Leslie Lewis concert is in the cabaret club setting, from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m, at [seven-degrees], 891 Laguna Canyon Road. Tickets are $40 online and a special VIP package for $100 includes premier seating, special coffee book, a visit with the artist and a signed CD. A special menu and full bar are available.

 For tickets, visit or call (800) 595-4849. The information line is (949) 715-9713.

Who were the penguins dining at Penguin Café? If you know their identities, email us…

Something fishy was going on at the Penguin Café the other day. Two penguins, identities unknown (mystery shoppers?) sat themselves down at a table and ordered their meals.

We’re sure they must have been satisfied, otherwise there would probably have been a flap.

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Photo by Barbara Corman

Two penguins check out the menus at Penguin Café

Did climate change drive them here, or just the chance of a great breakfast?

We may never know.


Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation hosts first Annual Lawn Bowling Tournament fundraiser, April 20
         Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation has announced their first Lawn Bowling Tournament fundraiser. This unique event will be held Friday, April 20, from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club, 455 Cliff Drive, in beautiful Heisler Park. 

Lawn Bowling is a game played with heavy balls, the object of which is to propel one’s ball, so that it comes to rest as close as possible to a previously bowled small ball (the jack). Lawn bowling is played chiefly outdoors (although an indoor version is also popular in the UK) on a closely trimmed lawn called a green. 

LB Lawn Bowling Club in Heisler Park

Upon entering the tournament, individuals will be placed into teams of four. Before the tournament begins, the coaches from the Laguna Beach Lawn Bowling Club will show participants how to properly play the game. After a few practice rounds, the tournament will begin. 

The tournament will be run in bracket-play. Once all teams are entered (teams must be entered by April 18), the brackets will be displayed at the event. There will be a taco cart, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. By purchasing a tournament entry or social ticket, attendees will receive a wrist band for a taco plate and access to the open bar. There will be a few raffle prizes, so participants should get ready to purchase raffle tickets. 

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LB Water Polo Foundation in Patriots Day Parade

From Olympic gold medalists to NCAA and age group national champions, Laguna Beach Water Polo Foundation (LBWPF) has produced some of the best water polo players in the United States. Boys and girls from eight to 14 years of age achieve a better understanding of the water polo game as they practice and improve on the fundamental techniques in preparation for the Junior Olympic national championships each July. 

For more information, go to or contact Foundation General Manager Robert Grayeli at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Upcoming blood drive at Laguna Presbyterian Church on April 4 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The American Red Cross and Laguna Presbyterian Church is hosting a blood drive on April 4, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Tankersley Hall, located at 415 Forest Ave. 

To schedule your appointment, sign-up online at

and use sponsor code: lagunap. You can also email Laura Rudd at the Red Cross at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Streamline your donation experience and save up to 15 minutes by visiting to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.

Contact the Church Office with any questions at (949) 494-7555.

Joan Gladstone is stoked that her painting is selected for juried Crystal Cove Art in the Park show

Local artist Joan Gladstone’s painting, Stoked, was selected by the Crystal Cove Conservancy for its annual Art in the Park event on Saturday, March 31.

Art in the Park is a juried show.

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In addition to the art show, the Conservancy will host many lively events including swing dancing, ukulele music and watercolor painting between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Additional details can be found at

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Pink Chair

Gladstone’s painting “Pink Chair” is on display at the Art That’s Small exhibit at Laguna Beach City Hall through April 20. An artists’ reception takes place on April 5 between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

R U ready to meet R2-D2? Be at the Library on March 31 to greet the droid dude – and Wall-E

Computer programmer Mike Senna will bring his two famous robots, R2-D2 and Wall-E Replicas, to Laguna Beach Library on Saturday, March 31 from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Mike is a skilled prop maker hobbyist who makes a living as a computer programmer. He built his first R2-D2 in 2003 because he was looking for a challenge and wanted to bring joy to children. 

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Mike Henna with his droids

R2-D2 has represented Lucas Films since 2005, in TV shows, commercials and at events such as the 2007 and 2016 Rose Parades, and 2016 Oscars. Mike makes educational presentations to share how he built his creations and to encourage kids to pursue their education.

He lives in Orange County with his wife and two young adult children. He helps lead an international R2 Builders Club and has filmed numerous tutorials for the club on various aspects of building droids.

The program is free, provided by the Friends of theLaguna Beach Library. All ages are welcome.

The Laguna Beach Library is located at 363 Glenneyre Street. Call (949) 497-1733 for more information.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Laguna Dance Festival receives a 

$2,000 grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation

A generous grant of $2,000 was awarded by The Festival of Arts (FoA) Foundation to The Laguna Dance Festival in support of its Master Class Series and free First Thursdays Art Walk performances. 

The grant enables Laguna Dance Festival to continue fulfilling its mission of providing outstanding dance education for young artists, free community performances and present world-class dance. 

The Laguna Dance Festival uniquely offers sensational world-class dance on a theatre stage, art galleries and site-specific outdoor venues. 

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Desmond Richardson, Artistic Director of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, teaching The Laguna Dance Festival’s master class in February 2018

Attracting both dancers and dance lovers to this idyllic resort setting, Laguna Dance Festival is dedicated to audience awareness and appreciation through major annual performances, as well as education and small group opportunities, as well as through major annual performances. 

The Laguna Dance Festival is one of Orange County’s major cultural art events as well as an important showcase for new and established dance companies and artists. 

This year, the Fall Festival will take place September 29 – October 7. There will be free performances throughout the year, master classes and a new week-long dance intensive in June. 

For more information, go to or call (949) 715-5578.

Laguna Print Ad

World Cinema Focus: Noir offered at Susi Q Community Center April 3 through May 8

Irvine Valley College’s 2017 Emeritus Teacher of the Year, Kathryn Kramer, offers World Cinema Focus from Tuesday, April 3, through Tuesday, May 8 at Susi Q Community Center, 380 Third St.

This course examines the global medium of film, emphasizing narrative story and directorial technique. Course Objective: Explore how filmmakers depict or defy genre expectations to create complex layers. This semester, the class looks at films that include classic noir riffs with twists.

The cost is $30, and the class runs on Tuesdays from 12:30 p.m. - 3 p.m.

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Film schedule: 

April 3: Angels over Broadway, 1940 USA 79 min. This early film noir won writer/director Ben Hecht (The Front Page) an Oscar nomination. Stars Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Rita Hayworth, and Thomas Mitchell. 

April 10:  Alias Betty, 2001 France 103 min. Director Claude Miller adapts a Ruth Rendell novel regarding parent-child relationships. 

April 17: Rapt, 2009 France 125 min. Writer/director Lucas Belvaux depicts a rich man’s abduction. 

April 24: Fargo, 1996 USA 98 min. A modern classic in which a car dealer’s crimes escalate. Winner of 75 awards including Oscars for the Coen brothers’ screenplay and best actress. 

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Get Out

May 1: Tell No One, 2006 France 131 min. A doctor goes on the run, only to uncover various truths about family members. Directed and written by Guillaume Canet.

May 8: Get Out, 2017 USA 104 min. An interracial couple visit her folks in the suburbs. Nominated for four Oscars; won best original screenplay. Class potluck and DVD exchange at this final class.

Participants register at the front desk at Susi Q, using City of Laguna Beach registration forms with checks payable to the City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to

Mission Hospital Foundation receives generous gift for hospital’s new Cancer Institute opening in 2019

Judi and Bill Leonard, longstanding members of the Mission Hospital family, have made a transformational legacy gift to name the hospital’s new Cancer Institute. Their eight-figure gift will significantly advance cancer care for the nearly two million people who live in south Orange County. 

The new 104,000-square-foot building, to be dedicated the Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness at Mission Hospital, is currently under construction and will open in 2019. 

The Leonards’ first gift to Mission Hospital was way back in May 1999. Through a direct mail solicitation they donated $100 to support cancer programs and services. Over the past 15 years, Judi and Bill, and the Leonard Family Foundation, have made 24 individual gifts, generously supporting multiple events and campaigns. 

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(L-R Jennifer Jones (Director, Corporate Relations and Major Gifts), Bill and Judi Leonard, Gwen Anderson (Executive Director, Mission Hospital Foundation) and Tarek Salaway (Chief Executive, Mission Hospital)

 “We are humbled and blessed by the engagement of the Leonard family and the enduring impact they will have on the health and wellbeing of our community,” says Tarek Salaway, Chief Executive of Mission Hospital. “Their generosity will enable Mission Hospital to revolutionize cancer care to south Orange County and provide a comprehensive level of care that was previously unavailable in our community.” 

Bill served on the Foundation Board of Directors from 2006 to 2014, and his daughter, Debbie Perez, has served on the board since 2015. The Leonards instilled the value of philanthropy from a young age in their children, Chris and Debbie, and they continue to live those precious values. 

“Judi and Bill Leonard are perfect examples of philanthropy at its best,” shares Gwen Anderson, Executive Director for Mission Hospital Foundation. “Philanthropy is such a core part of who they are that anytime they see a community or individual need, they embrace that need and make it happen. They give from their hearts.

“The Leonards often give anonymously, without any fanfare, and have asked Mission Hospital to hold the amount of their gift in confidence,” says Anderson. “It is the largest single gift in the history of the Foundation.

“We are so fortunate to have the community come together, as exemplified by the Leonard family, with a passionate desire to advance high quality world-class cancer services at Mission Hospital serving our Orange County community,” shares Margarita Solazzo, Chair, Mission Hospital Foundation Board of Directors. 

To learn more about the Leonard Cancer Institute, visit

Police Beat Primer

Compiled by Cameron Gillespie

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police logs published on the City of Laguna Beach's website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f).The press does not have access to written police reports.

Information in the police department log is deemed reliable and StuNewsLaguna is not responsible for mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Police Beat 032318

Incident Reports

Tuesday, March 20

South Main Beach | Warrant

9:21 p.m. A 28-year-old man with no fixed address was arrested on an Orange County warrant.

N. Coast Hwy | 200 Block | Trespassing, Drugs, Probation Violation

3:26 p.m. James Eugene Leis, 28, Laguna Beach, was arrested for trespassing, for possession of a controlled substance, for being in possession of drug paraphernalia, and for violating parole. No bail was set.

Shady Place | 28800 Block | Vandalism

8:33 a.m.The RP stated that her car had been broken into twice within the last week, but that no loss had occurred.

Monday, March 19

Laguna Canyon Road | 600 Block | Hit and Run

9:06 p.m. A 19-year-old Beaumont man was arrested for a misdemeanor hit and run.

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | Fraud

2:14 p.m. It was advised that the woman at the business was attempting to use what appeared to be fraudulent traveler’s checks. No other calls received from any other businesses were reported.

Stonington Road | Vandalism

2:09 p.m. The RP stated that a neighbor was being verbally disruptive, and then shook her fence, causing the fence to crack.

Coast Hwy | 31100 Block | DUI, Drugs

1:13 p.m. The RP stated that a subject was hitting the curb in the parking lot at the location. A 22-year-old Wisconsin man was arrested for DUI, as well as for being in possession of less than 28.5 grams of cannabis.

N. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Warrant

7:20 a.m. Gregory Scott Raia, 55, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant.

Sunday, March 18

VDS & Coast Hwy | DUI

8:35 p.m. A 28-year-old man from Irvine was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Oak & S. Coast Hwy | Drunk in Public

7:38 p.m. A 64 year old man from Laguna Beach was arrested for being drunk in public.

N. Coast Hwy | 1300 Block | Probation Violation, Resisting Arrest

7:59 a.m. A 29-year-old Whitter man was arrested on a probation violation, as well as for resisting arrest. No bail was set.


UPDATE: Last month, the police log indicated that Barbara Lynn had been arrested for suspicion of DUI on February 9. We want to update this story because while we always say there is a presumption of innocence with Police Beat entries, in this case she is actually innocent. Testing, subsequent to the arrest, proved that she was not guilty of the offense.


Library Events



Sat, March 24

Children’s Craft Open House

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Get creative! 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.


Sat, March 24

Belly Dancing in the Books 

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy this wonderful live event on the ancient art of belly dancing. Popular local troupe JJ & the Habibis Laguna Beach Belly Dancers. Come see, hear, and learn a few moves!


Mon, March 26

Third Street Writers 

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. 

Serious writers working on projects (short stories, novels, plays) meet to share feedback and support. This is not a workshop for beginners. Please contact the library for additional information.


Tues, March 27

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, March 27

Read to a Dog

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

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


Wed, March 28

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, March 29

Family Storytime

10:30 a.m. – Noon

Welcome to the Peapod Academy. Join some of the cutest babies, toddlers, & preschoolers in town and adults of their choice at the Library. Little peas will enjoy books & storytime, songs & 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 Library

363 Glenneyre St.


  Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers



The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn



Directorate S by Steve Coll

12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson

Skin in the Game by Nassim Nicholas Taleb


Children’s Books

Goodnight Lab by Chris Ferrie

I Can Be Anything by Diane Dillon 

Moon by Britta Teckentrup 


Staff Recommendation

In Praise of Difficult Women by Karen Karbo

1200 S Coast Hwy


“Celebration of Art” showcases exclusive art of all kinds at the big house on the hill on April 7

Art lovers are invited to the art party of the year, Celebration of Art, on Saturday, April 7, from 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. at 2190 Hillview Dr. This exclusive art showcase will feature works from painter Karen Petty, jeweler Leslie Edler, glassblower Mike Panetta, and designer Bohdana.

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Celebration of Art on Saturday, April 7

Petty, whose work has been featured at the Laguna Art Museum, attended the Chicago Art Institute. Her paintings of women have been described as “sensuous sinewy forms flowing into dreams.”

Inspired by her love of the ocean, Edler is well-known for her unique settings using freshwater pearls which reflect the beauty of the sea and nature’s gifts. Her Flamingo Jewelry maintains its prominent reputation with its distinctive collection of “one of a kind” jewelry. 

Bohdana is an Art Glass and clothing designer in Laguna Beach, in a style described as refined tribal, Bohemia to California. 

The Artist by Karen Petty

Glassblower Panetta often looks to the ocean for inspiration, making it a part of his everyday life. “The ocean is like glass, so beautiful and clear. It is always changing, there is always something new.”

Call (949) 280-5504 for more information.

Valet parking is provided.

For more information on the artists: For Karen Petty, go to For Leslie Elder, visit and for Mike Panetta, Bohdana can be seen on Instagram @bohdanam.

Laguna Beach Library hosts 20th Annual Poetry Contest, dedicated to the memory of John Gardiner

During the month of April, which is National Poetry Month, Laguna Beach Library (LBL) presents its 20th Annual Poetry Contest, this year dedicated to the memory of John Gardiner, Laguna Beach’s legendary poet. Last year, he served as Master of Ceremonies at the winners’ reception, where he hosted a public reading of winning poems from the community poetry contest.

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2017 Annual Poetry Contest winners

The theme is “Seascape Sonnets,” and entries will be accepted from April 1 - 30.

This event is for all ages, and there will be winners in all categories. 

Submissions are accepted physically at the Library or electronically. (See email address below.) 

Entrants may submit up to three original poems (each poem must include, name, address, phone number or email, and grade level, or pre-school or adult).

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One of the 2016 Poetry Contest winners reads her poem

Winning poets will be notified by late May. Original poems cannot be returned. 

Courtesy of Friends of Laguna Beach Library, prizes of $25 - $100 gift certificates will be awarded. 

For more information on Friends of the Library, go to

LBL is located at 363 Glenneyre St. Call (949) 497-1733 for more information, or email

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Lynette Brasfield is our Features Editor.

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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.

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