Laguna Beach out to defend “Most Water Wise City” title 

Mayor Elizabeth Pearson is vowing to defend Laguna Beach’s title of “Most Water Wise City” that residents have secured the past two years. The Wyland Mayor’s Challenge for Water Use Efficiency is a friendly competition between cities locally and across the nation to see who is the most “water wise.” 

The month-long competition provides opportunities for people throughout the United States to participate in a localized online pledge to use water efficiently, save energy, reduce landfill waste, and encourage overall resource conservation by reducing their “water footprint.” 

“Laguna Beach is proud to support this community-based competition,” says Mayor Pearson. “California is facing unprecedented dry conditions. Uncertainties remain about the future of the region’s supplies from both Northern California and the drought-plagued Colorado River, our two imported water sources in Laguna. By participating in the Wyland Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation, attention is focused on our individual responsibility to use this precious resource wisely.” 

To secure the title for a third year and promote the importance of using water efficiently Mayor Elizabeth Pearson, along with the Laguna Beach County Water District, is asking Laguna Beach residents to log onto throughout the month of April, and complete the online Water Pledge.

Some examples of the online pledge include washing only full loads of laundry, fixing leaky faucets, watering lawns before 8 a.m., keeping cars tuned, walking or biking short distances, and the more fanciful tip, “sing shorter songs in the shower.” 

At the conclusion of the pledge, participants will see a summary screen with their projected reductions of water, energy consumption, CO2 output, hazardous waste, and landfill waste over the course of a year, simply by adhering to their pledges. 

The cities with the highest percentage of residents taking the pledge win. (Participants in winning cities can qualify for prizes, including a Toyota Prius Plug-in, home water makeover kits, and other prizes). A top 10 list of cities in each size category and region will be updated in real time, so residents can follow along and encourage their friends, families, and neighbors to join in.

The Wyland Foundation, a nonprofit environmental education organization founded by Laguna local artist Wyland, sponsors the Mayor’s Challenge. The challenge raises awareness about water conservation and – by extension – the positive implications these reductions have on our local and global environment from the energy we use to products we make to the food we grow, package, eat, and sell.

In the state of California alone, nearly 20 percent of all energy consumption goes towards moving, cleaning, and heating water. As it has become increasingly clear, the value of water use efficiency has enormous benefits to local economies, the environment, and even our global climate. In heavily populated drought-plagued states the benefits of conservation are incalculable; in water abundant states the energy savings and the environmental benefits are enormous. The bottom line is: water conservation not only benefits every state in the nation – it benefits the entire planet.

Laguna Beach County Water District provides water service to 22,000 residents within an 8.5 square mile area of Laguna Beach. The District’s mission is to furnish a high quality, reliable water supply in a financially responsible manner, while promoting water-use efficiency.

LGOCA to host “No Bullying” art benefit on Thursday

Three artists will be presenting at the Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art (LGOCA) and speaking out against bullying, on April 24, from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. 

The forum includes the artists, Maxwell Ivan Carraher, Dana McMullen, and Eric Nadeau, with their works in sculpture and photography. Each will be giving a short talk on the subject of bullying and how it has touched their lives. There will be additional guest speakers and resources available to help identify bullies, save lives, and aid in victim’s recovery.

Earlier in the afternoon of April 24, there will be a paint-your-own anti-bullying T-shirt project, from 3 – 7 p.m. It will be a fun and educational workshop for kids of all ages. Visit the gallery site at to reserve your T-shirt in specific colors and sizes. 

The LGOCA gallery donates a large portion of all proceeds to humanitarian causes.

Rob Jones’ Journey crossed the finish line at Camp Pendleton


Thousands of people watched and cheered the journey of double amputee Rob Jones, as he biked across America, and through Laguna a week ago, raising money for veterans. After more than 5,200 miles he made it to the finish line at Camp Pendleton, accompanied by much fanfare. 

Photo by Maggi

Click on photo for a larger image


Double amputee Marine vet Rob Jones (center) bikes to Main Beach

“It really would not have been the same without all of you,” he said at the podium. “It would have been a lot less successful.”

For all 181 days Rob wore his “Team Rob” T-shirt.

Rob biked through snow, mud, and rain. The before and after T-shirts say it all

Rob has already raised over $115,000 for his three charities: the Semper Fi fund, Salute America’s Heroes, and Ride to Recovery. If you’d like to help, you can go to his website at:

What’s he going to do next? No, not Disneyland.

Rob says he’d like to do a triathlon or stand-up comedy! Go Rob! 

Do you have your designated driver set up for tonight

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign. DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Friday, April 18 between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.

“This is a ‘Zero Tolerance’ crackdown so Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!”

After falling dramatically for five straight years, figures for 2012 show an increase to 802 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 1 life and resulted in 37 injury crashes harming 52 of our friends and neighbors,” said Lieutenant Jeff Calvert.

DUI can impact the economy in addition to the pain and suffering of those immediately affected. Conservatively, a fatality has a $1.4 million impact, an injury $70,000, and a crash that only damages property averages nearly $9000.

Funding for this program is from a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Report Drunk Drivers, Call 911!

For further information, please contact: Lieutenant Jeff Calvert at (949) 464-6655 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dennis’ Tidbits

April 18, 2014


By Dennis McTighe

How many thunderstorm days do we average in a year?

Now that gas is well over four bucks a gallon, I can just hear one of the oil bigwigs saying, “It’s time to add another big yacht to my collection, and I want that big mansion at Pelican Point so I’ll just use the summer blend excuse. The gullible public will buy that one. Turn that camera away from me, I don’t want the people out there to see me licking my chops!” 

Thursday saw yet another round of those drab, milky drought clouds but no rain, of course. We’re still on course to break the all time dry season record of 3.71 inches set back in 2006-07. We’re at 3.4 inches with nothing in sight except maybe for a little drizzle tonight and Friday from the thick June gloom type stratus.

The intense storm I wrote about in my last column was indeed, a pretty intense deal, but that’s what happens this time of year from Texas to the Dakotas and points east. It’s the ripe time for supercell thunderstorms and dramatic squall lines like the ones I witnessed in the Texas Panhandle. I admit, that one was a bit extreme, but they do happen.

A squall line is a long line of storms with a leading edge of strong wind gusts is called a multicell line storm. Moving forward, the wind gusts of cold air force warm, moist, unstable air into the updraft at the storm front’s edge; torrential rain, intense lightning and very large hail with tornadoes immediately follow. A large area behind this produces significant rain or heavy snow on some occasions with major drops in surface temperatures.

The most severe and rare type of thunderstorm is a supercell. No, that’s not a place where O.J. lives, rather it is a highly organized storm consisting of one main updraft which can reach speeds of 150-175mph! This rotating updraft is called a mesocyclone and works to produce extremely large hail up to five inches or more in diameter, major downbursts up to 100 mph and fierce tornadoes. Sometimes these supercell cumulonimbus tops can extend over 10 miles above the earth’s surface. Any thunderstorms we get around here rarely have cloud tops of more than 25,000 feet.

Here in Laguna, we average only around five or six thunderstorm days a year as the atmosphere here is normally fairly stable. The dynamics just aren’t in place here on the Pacific west coast as a rule. Once in a while during the summer monsoon season a most rare supercell will develop with tops maybe as high as 30,000 ft. will occur popping out an occasional funnel cloud.

The prime area with the greatest frequency of strong thunderstorm activity where up to 90 thunderstorm days a year occur are parts of the Deep South into Florida. Florida also has the distinction of having the most lightning in the U.S. so any thunderstorms we get around here are little punk storms compared to points east.

A couple of exceptions to the rule have occurred locally. On September 30 and October 1, 1981 there were 17 hours of continuous thunder with two inches of rain here in Laguna where several strong cells were clustered here and remained nearly stationary. Then there was March 1, 1983 when an intense squall line plowed through here during the morning hours.

Happy Easter, everyone! ALOHA!

Rhythm Ride spin studio marks its fifth anniversary with “Six for Five” food drive for Laguna Food Pantry

In its first five years in business, stationary bikers – or “spinners” – have flocked to Shelley Arends-Cornwell’s tidy studio on the second floor of the Village Faire building.

To mark this milestone of her business success, Shelley and her physically fit crew are holding “Six for Five”, a food drive to collect the top six most-needed non-perishable food items for the Laguna Food Pantry. 

Rhythm Ride spin studio owner, Shelley Arends-Cornwell, hosts a contribution box for Laguna Food Pantry’s six most-needed food supplies through April 25

The top six requested food items are canned tuna, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, pasta sauce, and cereal. Monetary donations to the Laguna Food Pantry will also be accepted at the front desk.

Andy Siegenfeld, chair of the all-volunteer Laguna Food Pantry, noted, “Our six suggested food items are especially important for the Pantry to have on hand as school breaks approach, and families whose children receive a subsidized daily meal at school will not have those to fall back on. We need to have a good stock of nutritious options that are easy to prepare.”

According to Arends-Cornwell, who has been instructing spin classes for 15 years, “We’re like a big family here at the studio. Almost everyone is active in the community and busy with lives of taking care of our kids. When I heard that the pantry gives out 2,500 pounds of food a day to our neighbors who don’t have enough, and that 20 percent of the people it feeds are children and babies, I saw an opportunity to make the studio’s fifth anniversary meaningful and helpful to folks who need it.”

Anyone may donate to Rhythm Ride’s collection box, now through April 25. The studio is located in the Village Faire building, 1100 S. Coast Highway, Suite 209A.

The Laguna Food Pantry, formerly the Laguna Resource Center, provides free, fresh, nutritious groceries to low-income households. Families are invited to shop in the Pantry’s friendly, retail-style setting once a week. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road, north of the dog park, the Pantry is open from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run entirely by volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome. To inquire about helping to pick up, sort and stock food items, call 497-7121 during morning operating hours. Learn more about the Laguna Food Pantry at


The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer. She also designs our marketing materials - and is responsible for our new logo.

Maggi Henrikson is our Associate Editor; Diane Armitage, Niki Smart, Erin Burris, Allison Martin, and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Cliff Getz, Mike Altishin, and Jay Rubin are the staff photographers. Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena takes care of our sales goals and strategic marketing and finds ways to keep Stu on topic and on target…it’s baseball season!

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc