Within an hour – and your dog will love you forever


Sometimes it’s nice to get out of town for the day, and experience what it must feel like to be in Southern California on vacation. But, for those of us that commute, or just can’t stand the freeways, travelling for more than an hour is less of a vacation, and more of an increasingly loud voice inside your head that keeps demanding, “What are all these people doing on the road on a perfectly beautiful Sunday?”

I like my southland adventures in small doses, with as little inner dialog as possible, and weighing in on the side of reward over risk regarding the freeway ratio.

One of my favorite “within an hour” trips has the added bonus of including Banshee, my super cute Yorkshire terrier.

Hands down, the best adventure for pups and their humans is Del Mar - North Beach. It is a blue-ribbon dog beach in every way.

Click on photo for a larger image

Maggi photo

Del Mar North Dog Beach - miles of smiles for dogs and friends

Located along the old highway 101, directly across from the Del Mar Fairgrounds, it starts at the mouth of the San Dieguito River. Parking along the highway is $3 an hour, but there is a free lot within walking distance (west of Coast Highway, along Sierra Ave. and the sidewalk on Via de Valle). You can also find parking along some of the parallel streets.

When the tide is high, there is less of the beach for the doggies to romp on, but it’s still clean, beautiful, and full of friendly people. When the tide is out, there are miles of sand fun and waves, with colorful cliffs and tidepools. Oh, and zillions of dogs (toy sharing is part of the fun), all of which I find to be the playful, happy sort.

There’s only a leash requirement from June 16 - Labor Day. 

When Banshee has her fill of running, swimming, and sniffing other dogs, we stop in Del Mar for a bite to eat at one of the many dog-friendly cafes, then mosey back up the coast to Solana Beach, where there is a do-it-yourself dog washing place.

Photo from Dog Wash Facebook Page

Stop by on the way home and leave the sand behind 

How convenient! You can’t miss it- it’s even called Do It Yourself Dog Wash (112 West Plaza, Solana Beach). Everyone wins. Get a card for their “Dirty Dog Club”, and the 10th visit is free.

Laguna’s Lynn Lowry makes special donation to Laguna Beach Community Foundation – from proceeds of Tesla sale

(L-R) Lynn Lowry and Dan Pingaro, Laguna Beach Community Foundation’s Executive Director at her home here for 50 years. Lowry donated $60,000 to LBCF 

Intrigued by the technology, longtime Laguna resident Lynn Lowry purchased a Tesla Model S exactly one year ago with the intention of driving it for a year, then donating the proceeds to charity. 

With connections to several Laguna Beach Community Foundation supporters and a desire to strategically utilize the funds, Lowry met with LB Community Foundation Executive Director Dan Pingaro this week and presented a $60,000 contribution.

Paul Merritt enters November race for LB City Council 

A statement by Paul Merritt for City Council 

Candidate for the Preservation of Laguna Beach’s Heritage

I was graduated in 1969 from Laguna Beach High. I earned a Bachelor’s and Juris Doctorate law degree. 

Laguna Beach is a Masterpiece. We love it more every day!

I offer my candidacy to serve on the City Council to preserve the heritage of our Village and increase the safety of our citizens and visitors. We must do more to stop petty crime, public indolence and camping, and street and neighborhood violence. We must immediately reduce speeding and vehicle danger that has senselessly injured and killed people here.

Most Council candidates have good ideas and goals. But my actions speak more than words. 

I have spoken out that the grant and federal funding of the Marine Mammal Rescue Center would be in jeopardy if a homeless shelter was placed near it. For this and other reasons I oppose a homeless shelter deep in the canyon. I am for rallying every possible help for the mentally ill but don’t believe in public lounging or tolerated harassment as a mitigation or cure.  

Unfortunately, a signal has been put out that invites people from outside the Village to come and be homeless here. Our next City Council must do everything possible to reverse the trend.

I support our Police for a major crackdown on speeding and reckless driving. My experience in law enforcement planning will aide the Council in reducing injury and death on our streets. We have an alcohol-on-the-road problem.

I authored, filed and paid for the Public Referendum for a Public Vote. This  application that played a major role in reversing the City Council approved $55 Million debt for the Ugly-Parking-Garage Village Entrance Plan.  

Recently I researched and reported to the City Council about the lack of collection of City Business License fees from many major corporations. At this writing the City is still muttering about it.

At my own expense I went to court and stopped the closing and attempted private taking of the historic St. Francis Church on Park Avenue.

I have raised the issue of lack of enforcement of downtown parking time limits, which takes up dozens of parking spaces weekly by employees of downtown businesses and others.

This past springtime 19 of my neighbors had me spearhead a project to review our Water bills. The good news was our water company accepted the variance and the billings were reduced.

I will oppose the ruin of our Village by some mercenary developers who use special influence in our city with political contributions and clever zoning changes.  Check the public record of donations to the candidates. Some of this activity is public and some very hidden.

As a former Laguna Niguel City Councilman, two term Parks Director, Public Safety Commissioner, Planning Commissioner, Chairman of the Orange County Economic Development Commission, adjunct Law Professor, property owner, Broker, professional fiduciary, corporate officer and businessman, I will help bring peace and respect to our streets and our citizens. 

I have worked for the Village with local charities, houses of worship, the Chamber of Commerce, the Taxpayers Association and many individuals. I served for more than 10 years on the Laguna Beautification Council. I am a candidate for a Protected and Preserved Village...the place you want to live.

Human trafficking in OC – topic by expert at LBUMC

Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, will speak at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Ave., at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 9. Her topic is “What Human Trafficking Looks Like in Orange County and What We Can Do.” 

Morgan’s appearance is sponsored by the church’s United Methodist Women, but is open to everyone in the community.

Dr. Sandra Morgan

Human trafficking, which is a modern term for slavery, is more prevalent than most people are aware of and Morgan is an expert on the subject. She has an RN and PhD and serves as the university’s network chairperson on the Faith Alliance against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) Steering Committee. She has served as the administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.  

Vanguard’s Global Center for Women and Justice partners with this task force to offer anti-human trafficking training to community professionals, including health care providers, law enforcement officers, teachers and social workers. It also supports students and the community with research and education to prepare them for advocacy and action. 

For more details, contact Barbara Morgan: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Gabe Rabben may not be a brother but he’s righteous


Laguna Beach High School graduate (2005), Gabe Rabben thanks Laguna’s schools for nurturing his passion as a musician. He took every opportunity from grade school through high school to study music. 

He’s now a musician making big waves.

Gabe Rabben warms up before Wembley Stadium, London

For the last six years Gabe has been playing and touring with Righteous Brother Bill Medley, as his drummer, back-up singer, and instrumentalist.

Gabe has been playing with Bill Medley for six years

He left Laguna for a life on the road, and now calls Nashville home. 

Gabe also has a band of his own, called Friends of Lola. Together with his girlfriend, Cyrena Wages, and her brother Houston Wages, they make up a soulful, country trio, along with accompanying musicians.

Friends of Lola has self-produced an EP, toured several states, hosted shows in Nashville, and has appeared three times at the famous Bluebird café.

Now Friends of Lola is appealing to the community to help them take the next giant leap into the music world - by fundraising through Kickstarter. 

The way that Kickstarter works is that the band has set a financial goal to reach through campaigns such as a video plea for donations (see the link at the bottom). The donations raised will go toward the band’s goal of producing a high quality professional recording and video. (In the case that their goal is not met, all the donated monies will be returned). 

It’s a way to bring the community together to make creative things happen.


Facebook Campaign gives away Living Trust package  

Laguna Beach Legal has launched a Facebook Campaign and will be selecting a recipient to receive a free, Complete Single Living Trust Package, which is a $750 value. The Package includes: a Certificate of Trust, Living Trust, Pour-Over Will, Financial Power of Attorney and  Healthcare Power of Attorney. 

The winner will be announced on Aug 1. To enter go to Laguna Beach Legal’s Facebook page and follow the instructions, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laguna-Beach-Legal-Document-and-Mediation-Services/277061338975094.

Laguna Beach Legal, owned by Ellie Ortiz (above), is Orange County’s best legal document and mediation service. The office is located in Boat Canyon at 682 N. Coast Highway. For information, call 497-9800 or visit the website http://lagunabeachlegal.com.


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