Dennis’ Tidbits


July 22, 2016

Microburst going viral

Just the other day, on Wednesday, I’m sure a lot of folks out there viewing their Facebook pages got to see the incredible photo of a super strong microburst right over downtown Phoenix. The photo went viral as it was also shown on the Weather Channel and even made headlines on several world news channels that evening. The event was part of the annual summer monsoon season over the Southwest when super cell thunderstorms strike the region from around July 1 through about the middle of Sept.

For those not familiar with a microburst, I’m here to enlighten y’all. 

Microbursts are small-scale, hard-hitting downdrafts that result in both vertical and horizontal wind shears that can be extremely hazardous to low-altitude aircraft. 

Microbursts most commonly occur during strong convective activity. They can appear at the point of heaviest rain during a thunderstorm. The stronger the storm, the more intense the microburst. 

The downdraft’s cold air (usually one mile in diameter) accelerates as it descends from the cloud base (about 1,000 – 3,000 feet above ground) reaching its highest speeds about five minutes after initially hitting the ground. The resulting “curl” (air moving away from the impact point) accelerates further, and can extend to approx. 2.5 miles in diameter, creating a serious threat to nearby aircraft; witness the horrific crash of a commercial airliner that was attempting to land at Dallas Airport killing all 235 people aboard in 1985. That downdraft reached top speeds of 6,000 ft. per minute.

Microbursts back then were not easily detectable by conventional radar due to their size, duration, (only 15 minutes max), and because they can appear in areas without surface precipitation. With today’s technology, what with Doppler Radar and other stuff, there’s at least enough warning for an aircraft to steer around this microburst; remember, they’re only 2.5 miles in diameter, max. 

Visual clues, however, provide proof of their existence. These clues include rings of blowing dust that often mark the impact point of a microburst; a rainfood - the unfinished outward distortion of the edge of an area of precipitation, suggesting the presence of a wet microburst; and a dust foot – the resulting plume of dust after the microburst hits the ground and moves away from its impact point. 

Multiple occurrences of downdrafts of this nature can continue for up to an hour; it is not uncommon for more than one microburst to occur in one area, particularly during the stronger storms. Tidbits witnessed a strong microburst near Tucson years ago. We got a half-inch of rain in just eight minutes with near hurricane force winds! 

Take notes, there’ll be a quiz next year. No hurries. 


Festival of Arts events, classes, music, Fri-Mon

Daily Live Music Schedule

Dates: Daily – Aug. 31, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Cost: Free with Festival admission

Friday, July 22: Tim Weisberg

Saturday, July 23: Greg Adams & East Bay Soul, 1 – 2:30 p.m., Concerts on the Green, & The Black Market Trust, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, July 24: Pendleton Sisters, 2 – 4 p.m., Sunday in the Park 

Kiki Ebsen & Gigi Worth, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Click on photo for a larger image

Kiki Ebsen & Gigi Worth

Monday, July 25: Peter Sprague

Adult and Teen Art Workshops

Painting with Carole Boller

Date: Friday, July 22

Time: 3 – 5:30 p.m.

Cost: $50 material fee

In this easy, fun and entertaining class, students will create their own painting inspired by Laguna Beach. With step-by-step instruction from artist Carole Boller, students will paint the sun setting over the ocean using a colorful palette of acrylic paints. At the end of the class, you’ll have a beautiful finished painting to take home. Discover your inner artist at the Festival of Art’s Adult and Teen Art Workshops. Ages 13 and up. Reservations preferred. 

For full schedule and reservations, visit

Youth Arts Education Workshops

Dates/Times: Now – Aug 31

Mondays – Fridays, 11 a.m. & 1 p.m.

Cost: $15+ fee, per child, per class

Bring out that creative spark in your young artist at the Youth Arts Classes this summer at the Festival of Arts. Kids will enjoy art classes taught by professional Festival artists in mixed media, jewelry making, collage and more. Meanwhile, parents will have free time to view the artwork on display throughout the Festival grounds. Festival artists will also share some of their creative techniques in a fun and friendly environment that will inspire your kids to come back every week. Open to children ages 5 –12. Reservations required. For schedule and reservations, visit

Friday, July 22: Sculpture (11 a.m.) & Easy Jewelry (1 p.m.), Monday, July 25: Ceramics (11 a.m.) & Painting (1 p.m.).

Concerts on the Green - Special Event

Greg Adams & East Bay Soul

Date/Time: Saturday, July 23, 1 – 2:30 p.m.

Cost: Free with Festival admission

The popular Concerts on the Green music series presented by Cambria Estate Winery and Vineyards continues at the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts on Saturday, July 23, 1 – 2:30 p.m., with legendary performers Greg Adams & East Bay Soul. A founding member of Tower of Power, Adams’ legendary horn arrangements created their signature sound and made the group one of the most enduring musical entities today. East Bay Soul is a combination of instrumental soul funk and rhythm and blues vocals built on a design to discover new achievements in jazz music. Their sound has roots in the uniquely soul based genre associated with the San Francisco East Bay Area.


Wine & Painting Nights

Wine Still Life with Mike Tauber

Date: Saturday, July 23

Time: 8:30 – 10 p.m.

Cost: $50 material fee

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mike Tauber


Festival of Arts Wine and Painting class, “Wine Still Life,” with Mike Tauber 

Uncork your creativity this summer at the Festival of Arts. Enjoy a fun painting workshop, while surrounded by beautiful art. Learn easy step-by-step painting techniques, as taught by noted Festival exhibitor Mike Tauber. Beginners and all levels are invited – take home your finished masterpiece. All supplies and complimentary wine or beverage are included. For adults 21 and up. Reservations required. 

Books in Brunch - Featured Event

Featuring Steve Hely Author of “The Wonder Trail”

Date: Sunday, July 24

Time: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Cost: Cost: $75, includes admission to the Festival of Arts Fine Art Show, author reading and discussion, brunch, hardcover copy of book and book signing

New this summer, the Festival of Arts introduces Books and Brunch, an event where patrons can meet and talk with two of today’s most popular authors. On Sunday, July 24 at 11:30 a.m., the Festival of Arts welcomes comedic writer and author Steve Hely with his newest book, “The Wonder Trail,” a travel book about his journey through Central and South America. Hely, writer for “The Office” and “American Dad!” is a recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Sunday Afternoon in the Park

Live Performance by Pendelton Sisters (Folk)

Date: Sunday, July 24

Time: 2 – 4 p.m.

Cost: Free with Festival admission

Sundays at the Festival of Arts features a musical series with an eclectic mix of music from Bluegrass to World Fusion. From 2 – 4 p.m., “Sunday Afternoon in the Park” will provide the perfect atmosphere to browse the art gallery, picnic on the green, or simply relax in the beautiful weather of Laguna Beach. 

Justine Bennett and Jamie Drake have been friends and collaborators for years. Both solo artists in their own right, they have come together as “The Pendleton Sisters,” sharing traditional folk material and original works. Drake & Bennett are members of the musical theatre production, “Lonesome Traveler,” which had a successful run at the Laguna Playhouse and most recently Off Broadway at 59E59 Theatre’s in New York City. Drake has collaborated with Tim Robbins, Peter Yarrow and recently sang on Moby’s forthcoming album. She enjoys writing, producing and teaching Music Together to families and their toddlers. Bennett has worked closely with producer Chris Seefried (Fitz and the Tantrums, Counting Crows) and her music has seen much success on television shows such as “One Tree Hill,” and Helen Hunt’s most recent film, “Ride.” She was also recently added to Adam Cohen’s band (Leonard Cohen’s son) and has been touring the world playing music.

Art & Story Time

“I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More” by Karen Beumont

Date: Monday, July 25

Time: 11a.m. – 12 p.m.

Cost: Free with Festival admission

A new event this summer. Art and Story Time, presented by Crayola, is a weekly series for children 5 and under. Every Monday from 11a.m. – 12 p.m., enjoy a different book read aloud plus a hands-on art project. There may even be special surprise visits from illustrators, story characters, and more. Fun for children and their parents. 

A dab of blue here, a splash of red there, a goopy smear of green… everywhere. To the tune of “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” one creative kid floods his world with color, painting first the walls, then the ceiling, then HIMSELF! Before this feisty artist is through, he’ll have painted his head, back, hands, legs, feet, and . . . Oh no — here comes Mama! Karen Beaumont’s zippy text and David Catrow’s zany illustrations turn an infamous childhood activity into raucous story time fun, giving a silly twist to the fine art of self-expression.

The Festival of Arts, located at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, is open daily through Aug 31, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information about the exhibitors, events, and for tickets, please visit or call 800-487-3378.

“My Laguna” photo contest winners are announced

On July 21, assistant city manager Christa Johnson announced the winners of the City’s “My Laguna” 2016 Photo Contest. 

The winners are: in the Beach Life category, Charlie Dickerson and Dave Munday; in the Built Environment Category, Rob Blayden and Adam Casper; in the Community Life category, Walter Hill and Dan Skaggs; in the Parks and Open Space category, Nicholas Hoffs and Tom Swimm. Each will be awarded $100. 

The contest ran through June 1. The juror, Laguna Beach photographer Rob Gage, reviewed 94 submissions from 38 photographers who live, work, or exhibit in Laguna Beach. Rob Gage was an advertising photographer for more than 40 years and is currently exhibiting at the Festival of Arts.

Winning photographs will be presented at an upcoming City Council meeting and are now on display on the City’s website at:

Suzie’s ARTiculation

The most wonderful time of the year


I get asked by Laguna outsiders all the time about our art festivals and what our artists really do for jobs, to make money. The dialogue goes back and forth with the question rephrased. As hard as it is for them to understand, our artists are professional artists and creating art is what they do for a living. We are so lucky that Laguna is a true artist colony with so many gifted artists. Art in Laguna means professional artists 365-24-7, which is even better this time of year with our renowned art festivals. Bring it on!

There is so much to experience at our festivals, including new and exciting art events. Kicking off Sunday at the Festival of Arts is “Books and Brunch,” a new summer event “to showcase another great artform, writing,” said Susan Davis, Director of Special Events and Member Services.

“We have partnered with Laguna’s own Laguna Beach Books to bring in exciting contemporary authors to talk with and meet our patrons,” said Davis. 

This Sunday, July 24, author Steve Hely will be discussing his recently published book “The Wonder Trail: True Stories from Los Angeles to the End of the World.” 

A talented author and writer, Hely was the editor of The Harvard Lampoon and a comedy writer for several TV shows including “30 Rock,” “The Late Show With David Letterman,” “The Office” and “American Dad!” 

“The Wonder Trail” is the story of the LA based author’s trip from Los Angeles to the bottom of South America. Throughout his adventure, the author collected stories, bits of history, anecdotes, local color, and fun and interesting facts. Hely set out to discover each area, and the result is a blend of his collected stories, travel writing, and comic memoir. 

“Books and Brunch,” is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $75 and includes admission to the Festival, author reading and discussion, brunch, and a hardcover copy of book and book signing.

“Rising Stars” is another new series on Tuesday nights at the FOA.

“We’ve asked prominent people from the music world to come down and introduce their favorite ‘rising star.’ We started off the summer with two-time Grammy nominated saxophonist Mindi Abair introducing her Berklee College buddy Greg Manning, who put on an amazing performance,” Davis said. 

“Mindi graciously joined Greg for a few songs.”

 The festival was also thrilled to welcome Grammy winning, and two-time Academy Award nominated performer and songwriter, Melissa Manchester. 

“Melissa introduced longtime keyboardist Stephan Oberhoff with his band ‘Heartbeat Brazil,” Davis said. “It was an extraordinary performance that wowed the crowd when Melissa joined Stephan for a few songs.”

“Rising Stars” is on Tuesdays, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., continuing on July 26 through Aug 30. The series is free with Festival admission.

“Whether it’s enjoying the music, sipping wine and buying art for the adults, imaginative art activities for the kids or special events for the whole family, the Festival of Arts provides an art experience for everyone,” said Sharbie Higuchi Festival Marketing/PR/Merchandise Director.

Sawdust Art Festival is busy celebrating its 50th Anniversary with many new features and creative events.

“The painted bus installation, hand painted by Sawdust artist Star Shields, is the first thing you see when you walk through the gates and has offered a nice fresh look to the festival. It is an interactive photo op and our visitors love it,” said Kelsey Paprocki, Sawdust Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator.

In celebration of the 50th Sawdust Art Festival, their Merchandise Shop received a complete makeover. 

“We have all new products for sale including t-shirts, hats, coloring books and our 50th Anniversary Remembrance Book entitled ‘The Dream That Came True - Celebrating 50 Years at the Sawdust Art Festival,’” said Paprocki. “We have received nothing but glowing remarks on our new merchandise shop and our 50th anniversary merchandise. It has been flying off the shelf.”

As far as new art classes, the Sawdust is offering a Sawdust Studio Art Class (SSAC) After Dark on Wednesday evenings, 7 to 8 p.m. Each class offers admission to the festival, an art class and a glass of wine and costs $45. 

“We are offering a Mixed Media Printmaking class, Screenprinting class and Intro to Acrylic Painting class,” said Paprocki. “It has been a great success.”

“This has been an incredible summer for the Sawdust Art Festival. Our artists really raised the bar this summer with their booths and their new artwork,” said Paprocki. “We have had great responses from visitors who say that the grounds feel different this year; it is clear to all who visit that this is a special year. We welcome guests to come enjoy the festival and experience the magic that is the Sawdust Art Festival.”

Until next time…so much Festival Art & Events, so little time!

Sawdust Art Festival event calendar, 


There is something new and different every day at the Sawdust Arts Festival, ranging from special admission promotions, special events and entertainment.

Friday, July 22: Studio Art Classes, 8 – 10 a.m., Silk Painting with Olivia Batchelder. Cost: $95. Laguna Beach Artist of the Year, Batchelder, will be offering her ‘Laguna Flora on Silk’ Silk Painting Class as a two hour Sawdust Studio Art class! Following a brief demonstration, students will choose and mix their own colors and learn the process of painting on silk. Paint a beautiful textured silk piece with the artist that will be ready to take home at the end of class. The SSAC program highlights the artistic history of Laguna Beach while providing professional Sawdust artists the opportunity to teach their craft in hands-on classes. For a full schedule and reservations visit:

Saturday, July 23: Studio Art Classes, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Beadwork with Lylah Jarvis. Come join Lylah in a day-long class to learn the art of Navajo beadwork. Students will learn to create a pattern and weave this beaded pattern onto a loom in a traditional Navajo way. Beadwork lends itself to creating intricate, colorful and beautiful designs that will be sewn onto leather for bracelets, barrettes, bags, purses, clothing, and moccasins or as your own original piece of work. The class will include materials and the opportunity to purchase a beautiful handmade loom if you would like to continue beading at home.

Click on photo for a larger image 

Submitted photo

Learn the art of Navajo beadwork with Lylah Jarvis

Monday, July 25: Sawdust After Dark- Laguna Beach locals night. Residents get free entry after 5 p.m. with photo I.D. 

Daily: Ceramic Center, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 – 9 p.m., Throw A Pot: One-on-one instruction at the potter’s wheel for all ages, Cost: Free with admission to take home as greenware, $10 to glaze, fire and pick up; $18 to glaze, fire and ship to your home.

Daily: Children’s Art Spot, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m., & 3:30 5:30 p.m.Classes are for kids ages 4+. Art fun for the little ones. *Free with admission, although most are complimentary, some classes and workshops may require a materials fee.

Daily: Studio One, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., 1 – 3 p.m. & 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. Painting, printmaking, collages and a wide variety of art workshops for visitors ages 7 to adult. Cost: Free with admission.

Daily Live Music Schedule, 11 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. 

Free with Festival admission

Enjoy live entertainment at three outdoor stages, the Tavern, Grill, and Main Deck, on the festival grounds. Musical acts of all genres, roving entertainment, and much more are on schedule to perform during our festival.

Friday, July 22: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.,Trisha Freeman Solo, Tavern & Robert Charles Starr, Grill; 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Kenny Hale Band, Main Deck; 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Pawnshop Kings, Tavern, & Paul McIntire, Grill; 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Hunter & the Dirty Jacks, Main Deck.

Saturday, July 23: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.,Rocky’s Revival, Tavern & Pasion Gitana, Grill; 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Upstream, Main Deck; 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Nightwalkers, Tavern & Victoria, Grill; 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., World Anthem, Main Deck.

Sunday, July 24: 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Really Classic, Tavern & Peter Dobson, Grill; 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Brightside, Main Deck; 4:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., Barefoot Kindred, Tavern, 5 p.m. – 9:30 p.m., Adam Lasher Band, Main Deck; & 6:30 8 p.m., JJ & Habibis Belly Dancers, Main Deck, and Roaming, 8 8:15 p.m.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Doug Miller 

Experience belly dancing with JJ & Habibis Belly Dancers on Sunday evening

Monday, July 25: 11 a.m. 3:30 p.m., Chris & Sue, Tavern; 11:30 a.m. 4 p.m., The Dayna Lane Band, Main Deck; 4:30 9 p.m., Jesse Miller- Duo, Tavern; 5 9:30 p.m., The Sharp Brothers, Main Deck.

The Sawdust Art Festival is open daily from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. through August 28 with special July 4 hours, 10 a.m. 6 p.m. Tickets are Adults: $9, Senior 65+: $7, Children ages 6-12: $4, Children ages 5 & under: free. For more information on these and upcoming programs, visit the Sawdust Art Festival at or call 494-3030. The Sawdust is located at 935 Laguna Canyon Road.

Police Files

Two men and a woman arrested on total of 19 charges including stealing a vehicle 

A car stop on Goff St at a quarter before midnight last Saturday turned out to be a lot more than the vehicle code violation that attracted an officer’s initial attention.

Vanessa Wilson, 24, Colton, Justin Kimbro, 25, San Bernardino and Anthony Flores, 22, also from San Bernardino, were arrested for 19 charges.

Officers learned post haste that the vehicle had been reported stolen on Friday in Riverside and began treating the incident as a crime scene.

Wilson and Kimbro were both charged with felony vehicle theft and possession of a controlled substance when methamphetamine was located. Wilson also was charged with possession of unspecified stolen property. Flores was held for the meth charge.

In addition to the fresh charges above, all three had warrants.

Wilson had eight outstanding warrants including a no bail warrant out of Pasadena for two counts of ID theft. The other seven were from San Bernardino containing charges of grand theft, drug possession, shoplifting and possession of stolen property. The total bail on those warrants was $105,000.

Flores had warrants with charges of drug possession and shoplifting. His total bail was set at $50,000.

Kimbro had three San Bernardino warrants, each with two charges: one for grand theft and possession of stolen property, one for grand theft and petty theft and the third for being under the influence of a controlled substance and utility theft. Total bail: $70K.

All three were booked here and taken to county jail.


The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Lynette Brasfield is our Associate Editor; Maggi Henrikson is our Contributing Editor; Diane Armitage,  Barbara DiamondSuzie Harrison, Allison RaelSamantha Washer and Laura Buckle are staff writers.

Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle, Fonda Eaton and April Steinert are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Aga Stuchlik  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