Laguna Beach – Looking Back

Photo series courtesy The Laguna Beach Historical Society

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Telephone Company Building gets a 20-year facelift

This photo – circa 1949 – would be 20 years after the building opened in 1929

Visit the Murphy-Smith Bungalow (home of the Laguna Beach Historical Society, on Ocean Avenue). It is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Laguna Beach Historical Society is a non-profit, all volunteer organization, which runs free historical programs at City Hall, and has a newsletter, website, and is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

January Book Club at Laguna Beach Books tomorrow

Laguna Beach Books will host its January Book Club Wednesday, Jan 18, at 6:30 p.m. at the store located at 1200 S. Coast Hwy (494-4779).

The group will discuss “Sacred Hunger” by Barry Unsworth.

Have Lens. Will Click.

We love you photos – keep ‘em coming!

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Scott Brashier

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Mary Hurlbut

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Marshall Aren

Dennis’ Tidbits


January 17, 2017

Rainfall! Lot’s more beginning overnight Wednesday 

By this time next week there’s a good chance that our entire year’s normal rainfall of 13.95 inches may be surpassed as four rounds of significant precipitation are expected to plow through the entire state. Right now there’s a little ridge of high pressure over us making for a nice Monday and today but that ridge will soon be bullied out of here as storm system after system will be running the show. 

Right now, Laguna’s total for the season is at 7.66 inches, which is about an inch above where it should be. NOAA projects a half inch to an inch of rain on Wednesday night into Thursday, followed by 1-2 inches on Friday, around a quarter inch this Saturday with 1-2 inches on Sunday and 2 up to 3 inches next Monday. 

The Sierra Nevada are looking at an additional 5-8 feet from all this as this round of storms are coming out of the Gulf of Alaska so they’re much colder with snow levels where they should be at 4,000-5,000 feet. If all this additional predicted moisture pans out then bingo! The entire state will be out of the drought status that has been plaguing the state for going on six years. 

This is the way it was almost all the time when I was growing up with plenty of rain and mountain snow from November through March and sometimes into April.

We had quite a few wet winters back then like 24.42 inches in 1957-58, almost 20 inches in 1961-62, four consecutive seasons from 1965 through 1969 with 22.00 in 1965-66, 20.44 in 1966-67, 16.57 in 1967-68 and a whopping 29.49 in 1968-69 with 18.81 falling in January of 1969 alone. 

So the stubborn ridge that has been camping out over the Eastern Pacific for the last five winters is history, thus opening the door for these much needed rain and snow makers.

Sunrise today is at 6:55 a.m. and sunset is at 5:07 p.m. so we’re gaining a couple of minutes per day of sun time. 

That bright object you see in the SW sky after sunset is our third brightest object in the sky, third only to the sun and the moon. Venus is at its brightest during the planet’s crescent phase. Remember, planets don’t twinkle as they’re reflecting light rather than generating their own light as stars do.

Finally, local ocean temps are now at 55-56 degrees and that’s right at normal and the water hasn’t been this cold in nearly three years. You have to go back to March of 2014 when it was also 55-56. 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Special council meeting tonight reviews LCR recommendations


Undergrounding utility poles is considered a top priority to reduce the danger of wild fires in key areas of Laguna - and none is more key than Laguna Canyon Road.

The City Council will hold a special meeting tonight, Tuesday Jan 17, to review nine proposed strategies to move ahead with underground utilities throughout the city, starting with Laguna Canyon Road and a draft master plan for the road. The proposals are in line with recommendations by the Laguna Canyon Road Task Force.

Staff is proposing using Measure LL and the Street Lighting Fund for the first four years to underground utilities in areas at risk for wildfires; on roads that serve as access and egress for residential neighborhoods; and to facilitate and encourage utility undergrounding assessment districts and/or implementation.

Development of an incentive program to form larger and more cost-effective utility undergrounding districts on major evacuation routes such as Bluebird Canyon and Upper Temple Hills drives; Thalia, Glenneyre and Monterey streets;  Pacific Coast Highway and Virginia Way Staff proposes to use Measure LL money pay for the first four years of undergrounding.

Authorization is sought by staff to request Southern California Edison to begin the design process for undergrounding poles along Laguna Canyon Road at the city’s cost of an estimated $1.5 million over the next 24 months.

The master plan for the road, which is state owned, operated and maintained, would require a cooperative agreement with Caltrans. Consulting fees for the proposed development of a Laguna Canyon Road Master Plan are estimated at $500,000 over the next two years. 

Meantime staff is seeking direction from the council to work with the Utility Undergrounding Working Group to identify additional sources of funding, which could include a Special Tax District or General Obligation Bonds, to promote undergrounding, with the understanding that any additional tax measures would require a vote by residents. 

Staff will report back to the council by August on funding sources.

The word that comes to Mind for these photos:Nice!

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Scott Brashier

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Mark Porterfield

Sunset surfers at Bluebird Beach


The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

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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.

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