Stu News Laguna’s Stu Saffer among honorees at the Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Honorees Brunch 


Photos by Mary Hurlbut

This year’s Patriots Day Parade is indeed a special one. It’s the 50th Annual Patriots Day Parade in Laguna Beach, and Stu News Laguna’s own fearless leader, editor and co-owner will be celebrated as Citizen of the Year. 

Stu Saffer, Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade’s Citizen of the Year

 Sunday saw the annual Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade Honorees Brunch, a festive and joyful event that brought together friends and family to venerate this year’s Parade Honorees—an impressive group of community members of all ages—at Tivoli Terrace.

The Citizen of the Year Award is a momentous honor, given to a person who has made significant contributions to the people and community of Laguna Beach. 

Brunch attendees had the privilege of hearing the story of how Stu founded Stu News Laguna, and how he’s gone about accomplishing his goal of “making Laguna smaller.” He was recognized for providing the community with reliably objective and timely news.

“This year we honor Stu Saffer, community volunteer, journalist, editor and publisher who has so greatly enhanced civility and public discourse over many years in a town known for the diversity of its citizens and their viewpoints,” said Patriots Day Parade Association President Charles Quilter in his Presentations of Honorees speech Sunday.

This year’s Honorees also include the Honored Patriot of the Year, Lt. Col. Carlos McAfee, USMC (Ret), who is the newest member of the American Legion’s Post 222 in Laguna Beach. Fourth generation Lagunan Kelly Boyd is this year’s Grand Marshal.

The 2016 Athletes of the Year are skimboarding champs Nick Hernandez and two-time World Champion Sam Stinnett. 

Lt. Col. Carlos McAfee, the Honored Patriot of the Year

The Junior Citizens of the Year, Elle Mahdavi and Alexander Rounaghi were honored for their outstanding leadership and academic achievements. Thurston eight-grader Nicole Motherway was recognized for her essay, “Celebrating Our 50th,” and LBHS student Garry Ledesma, Jr., for his Patriots Day Parade Cover Art win. 

The Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade was founded in 1967. Its founders’ goal was to bring together members of the community to celebrate a love of country and community—a spirit that the Parade continues to preserve today. 

The 2016 Parade will take place on Saturday, Mar 5, at 11 a.m. 

For more information, visit

Stu News is awarded Green Enterprise of the year


Stu News Laguna was awarded the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Spirit of Laguna Green Enterprise of the year, decided by votes including those from the general public. Publisher and Co-Owner Shaena Stabler accepted the award for Stu News on behalf of founding partner, Stu Saffer and herself.

The Green Enterprise was one of twelve categories of honors selected. The others included winners among restaurants, building industry, non-profits, individual volunteers, citizens, government official, city professional, retail stores, galleries, business, and professional services.

“We are so proud and honored to be recognized, along with these other amazing nominees,” said Stabler. 

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Shaena Stabler (left) accepting the award from Orange County 5th District Supervisor Lisa A. Bartlett

What Stu News offers the community of Laguna Beach, and way beyond, is access to the news with relatively zero carbon footprint.

“You’d be surprised and even horrified how many trees are used to put out a single edition of a print newspaper,” Stabler said. “The cost to the environment is enormous. We believe in the online newspaper model. People want to know the news but realize there is an environmental impact with print.”

Saffer pioneered the hyperlocal online newspaper model, founding Stu News Laguna in 2009. At the time, there were only a handful of news sources utilizing strictly digital access. Today there are thousands more online, and the news of Laguna shared through Stu News has spread to all 50 US States, and more than 150 countries around the world.

“We want to be news with a conscience,” said Stabler. “People can be vacationing in Fiji, and still feel connected to our community. We’re Laguna’s first green newspaper.”

Getting the word out there is what Stu News does so well – and purposefully. Stabler added, “We represent conscious distribution.”

Separated at Birth

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Submitted photo

Morris Skenderian and his better two-thirds, Stephanie attended Al Pacino’s final performance in ‘China Doll’ in New York last week. Morris and Stephanie went backstage after the performance so that he could confront Pacino (he’s the guy on the left above). “I finally got to meet the guy who’s been impersonating me for the past many years and making a killing off it,” Morris wrote, adding that Pacino agreed to ‘cease and desist’ the impersonation and that…“I’m better looking.”

Where’s Maggi?

Scenes, sculptures, and things around town

Do you know where Maggi’s been? She’s hoping that quite a few of our readers have spied these same spots around town. 

Let her know if you’ve got a clue to her whereabouts!

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

The correct answers will be in Friday’s edition and on our Facebook page.

Have fun and thanks for playing.

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Dennis’ Tidbits


February 9, 2016

The high beach temps of El Zero

On this date in 1971 at 6 a.m. a magnitude 6.6 earthquake struck near Sylmar, California killing 66 people and injuring hundreds, with damages in the hundreds of millions. The shaking lasted a whole minute.

There’s a high pressure ridge currently covering the entire Pacific West Coast with bright sun and record high temps even up in the Pacific Northwest. The Oregon coast saw temps up into the low to mid 70’s; temps found more in mid summer months. 

Rain will return later this week up there but all of California will stay warm and dry possibly the next two weeks or more with temps into the 80’s even here at the beach. It looks like a dry February, at least at this point. 

Remember back last November when all U.S. and European computer models calling for drenching rains from a relentless parade of mid latitude Pacific storms with projected rainfall totals of double to triple seasonal norms here in California with more rain here in our state than the Pacific Northwest? Hah, what a joke! At this rate we’ll be lucky to even reach seasonal norms. As a matter of fact, the U.S. map is looking a whole lot like it was a year ago when a huge ridge dominated the West as all incoming storms rode way up above the ridge into Canada and plunged southward riding a huge low pressure trough east of the Rockies with frigid temps and heaps of snow while out here it was in the 70’s and even 80’s for weeks at a time. 

It’s gonna be in the 80’s here and even the 70’s in Northern Cal all week and beyond. I’m calling it El Zero, but you gotta love 80 degrees on the beach in February.

Rainfall wise, we’re at 6.2 inches compared to a normal to date of 7.1. We’ll be lucky at this point to reach the seasonal normal total of 13.95. 

Stay tuned, ALOHA!


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Ashton Embury

Ashton is 15, home-schooled and “…into doing photography…”

We’re glad he is and thank him for his great soothing shot

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James Vaughan

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Mary Hurlbut


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, Erin Burris, Michele Hall, Suzie Harrison, Allison Rael, Elizabeth Nutt, Niki Smart and Samantha Washer are staff writers.

Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Anita Razin, Fonda Eaton and April Steinert are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Aga Stuchlik, 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 football season!

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

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