Phil Dike exhibition is slated to open at the Laguna Art Museum in June

On June 25, Laguna Art Museum will open Phil Dike: At the Edge of the Sea. The exhibition will be the first comprehensive museum exhibition in more than forty years of works by this prominent member of the California regionalist movement of the 1930s and 1940s, with more than sixty of his paintings that span from the 1920s through the early 1980s. 

Works exhibited will be from private and public collections from around California, including many that have never been exhibited before. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication highlighting the versatility of the native California artist, reproducing not only the paintings in the exhibition, but additional works in all media. 

Phil Dike (1906–1990) grew up in Redlands, California, and studied at the Chouinard School of Art from 1924 to 1927. There, he met artist Millard Sheets, who would become a lifelong friend. Dike went to New York in 1929 to study at the Art Students League, and also studied in the studio of artist George Luks and exhibited at the New York Water Color Club. 

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California Holiday depicts the entrance to Newport Harbor

He returned to Los Angeles and taught at Chouinard for a year before traveling to Europe and studying in France at the American Academy of Fontainebleau. He resumed teaching at Chouinard in 1931. 

Beach and harbor scenes dominated Dike’s work in the 1930s and 1940s. One of his best-known interpretations of the area is California Holiday, painted from watercolor sketches he made on Labor Day, and published in Life magazine in September 1941.

Of the painting he said: “This is the entrance to Newport Harbor…. The pageant of continuous activity, with more than the usual pictorial setting, has made it an exciting place to look and contemplate, if not to paint…. Maybe the exhilaration of wind, sun, and sea—sunburn, sailboats, and hot dogs may recreate moments for some of us.”

During the 1940s Dike began to abandon a strictly realist approach to incorporate semiabstract forms. By the late 1960s, his work reached nearly pure abstraction, but the dominant subject matter remained the sea and man’s relationship to it. 

By the 1970s, as Dike’s work became more abstract, human elements were reduced to mystical forms, and the elements of sky, sea, and sand were reduced to striated, textured patterns. 

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From Phil Dike’s “Wave” series

These works—collectively referred to as his Wave series—represent Dike’s mature style and powerfully express his passion for the sea. Dike retired from teaching in 1970 but continued to make his home in Claremont. As a professor emeritus, he influenced many young artists long after his retirement. In his last decades, Dike wrote poetry that expressed his feelings about the sea and man’s relationship to it.

“The days I walk on the beach,” he said, “are not just a search for a subject to paint, or to fill a notebook of facts and ideas, but to somehow reawaken the sensations of pleasure and wonder that I have felt for the sea in the years I have been painting. There is a deep satisfaction in the rhythm of the waves, the light, the smells, the sand and rock pieces that change from day to day….”

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive. Hours are Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thurs: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Closed Wednesdays; Closed Fourth of July, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. General admission is $7.

Barbara’s Column

They serve and protect and they were applauded at the Biennial Awards luncheon



A sell-out crowd applauded the officers, civilian employees and volunteers of the Laguna Beach Police Dept. at the 31st Biennial Awards luncheon, held on April 12 at [seven-degrees].

“These are outstanding employees,” said Chief Laura Farinella. “They have the fire in their bellies and I am proud to lead the organization.”

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2016 Officer of the Year Detective Cornelius Ashton pictured with

 Captain Calvert and Lieutenant Torres

Friends and families of the award winners and supporters of the department filled the event venue to hear about the accomplishments and exploits in the past two years deemed worthy of special recognition.  

“The City Council doesn’t always agree – you may have noticed – but we all agree that you are the best,” said Mayor Toni Iseman, opening the festivities. Lt. Tim Kliester served as master of ceremonies.

Sergeant Beckie White was honored as the best of the best in 2015 and awarded a Medal of Merit as Officer of the Year. 

White was awarded the medal in addition to the Lifesaving Medal for performing CPR on a man whose heart had stopped. He survived, due to her efforts. 

Officer Matt Meyer was named the 2015 Civilian of the Year. He has since graduated from the Police Academy and is now a sworn officer undergoing field training. 

Sworn means they carry guns and have sworn to uphold the constitutions of the United States and California and do their damnedest to perform the job they have pledged to do. (That is a paraphrase).

Cornelius Ashton was named 2016 Officer of the Year. His exemplary record as a juvenile crimes investigator includes the timely arrest of an Uber driver who had sexually assaulted a female juvenile and the investigation of a woman who has sexually assaulted her daughter.

Jenna Moore was honored as the 2016 Civilian Employee of the Year. She has saved the city thousands of dollars sussing out erroneous bills, helped develop the department’s media team, and assisted in the production of public service announcements and the luncheon at which she was honored.

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Life Saving Award recipient Corporal Andy Peck

Sande St. John and Connie Burlin assisted Farinella in presenting the awards. They represented the Laguna Beach Exchange Club, a sponsor of the event.   

The Command Staff chose Natasha Hernandez for the Leadership award. 

Proud family members participated in the Badge Pinning Ceremony for promoted and new comers to the department. Captain Jason Kravetz, who has the second longest employment record with the department, exceeded only by George Ramos, and followed closely by Nit Farnes, introduced the honorees. 

Jeff Calvert was sworn in as captain; Kleiser as lieutenant. 

Officers Zachary Fillers, Julio Gallardo, Meyer and Andrew Reyes, Dispatcher Thalia Moreyra and Beach patrollers Tanner Flagstad and Ron Goodwin are the new hires. 

Kleiser announced the recipients of the Ribbon of Commendation: triple award-winner Ashton, Liz Chavez, Angie Cleveland, Jason Farris, David Gensemer, Darin Germaine, Luke Gilbertson, Mike Jeffries, Lana Laser, Eric Lee, Mike Lee, Eric Lether, Darrel Short, Dave Lopez, Steven Mcdowell, Dave McGill, James Michaud, Jen Neuenschwander, Abe Ocampo, Jen Querry, Jesse Schmidt and Spring Sendele, who started with the department as a teenager in the Police Explorer program, kin to scouting. 

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Chief Farinella presenting the COP Retirement award to 

Jean Lamphere (first COP in Orange County)

Medals of Merit were awarded to Ashton, Gensemer and Reserve Officer Lance Larson.

Alice Gutierrez, Paul Bixby.Andrew Peck, Jordan Mirakian, Jonathan Nava and Joy Butterfield were presented with Lifesaving Medals.

Commendations were conferred on Volunteer Citizens on Patrol Daud Ahmed, Mike Anderson, Luci Berkowitz, Gary Hess, Clare Hill, Beth Johnson, Jean Lamphere, Ramona Loucks, Bo Nielson, Nanci Nielsen, Bill Odlum, Mona Roberts and Ben Teschner, a grandfather who went to and graduated from the Academy after training as a volunteer. 

Sadly missed: Vic Opincar, husband of Loucks and bicycle patrol partner of Nielsen. He succumbed to cancer earlier this year. 

The volunteers have donated more than 130,000 hours since the program began in 1994. 

Lamphere, who was a founding member, has retired after amassing 13,835 hours.

A newly minted award was presented to Mark Orgill for his contributions to the community.

But wait – there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading

The ECO-Warrior Foundation and Chronic Tacos collaborate for an Earth Day celebration on April 22 

On Saturday, April 22, the ECO-Warrior Foundation and Chronic Tacos partner for a special Earth Day beach cleanup. It will take place between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at Aliso Beach in Laguna Beach. They will have waivers, bags, and gloves for everyone and, as a special thank you, Chronic Tacos will be providing tacos for all volunteers.

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(l-r) Riley Berberian, ECO-Warrior Pres of Board, Brad Berberian, Kate Berberian

According to their website, the mission of the ECO-Warrior Foundation is simple: to educate, activate and motivate individuals and communities to keep our beaches and oceans clean and pollution free. Founder James Pribram says, “I think the question we need to ask ourselves is, ‘What good is the beach if we can’t enjoy the ocean?’” One of his mottos is, “Save the ocean, one wave at a time.”

His website further states, “Ocean trash is indeed a modern-day sea monster. Disposable plastics—packaging, cosmetics, drinking straws, cigarette butts, and fishing nets—many designed to be used only once—are discarded as litter, filtering into streams and gullies that feed into our oceans, rivers and lakes, where it destroys aquatic habitats.”

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Trash collection area during one of ECO-Warriors cleanups

Last year, the ECO-Warrior foundation hosted beach cleanups and Adopt-A-Beach programs in partnership with the California Coastal Commission’s California Coastal Cleanup Day. They finished out the year on a winning streak, with the first Upstream Cleanup Initiative, before the first rain fell on several different waterways in Laguna Niguel, picking up 551 pounds of trash. Working with a team of volunteers, the foundation removed approximately 3,000 pounds of debris headed for the ocean in 2015. 

For more information, contact; James Pribram, director (949) 836-1450.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, speaks at Soka University Commencement on May 26

Daniel Habuki, PhD, president of Soka University of America, announces that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD, co-founder of the field of positive psychology, will be SUA’s Commencement speaker on Fri, May 26.

Csikszentmihalyi was born in Fiume, Italy (now Rijeka, Croatia), to Hungarian parents. He left Italy in 1956 to study in the United States and received a PhD in Human Development from the University of Chicago in 1965. He started teaching at a nearby college and began developing the basic model of the flow experience. In 1970, Mihaly returned to the University of Chicago, where he became Chair of the Department of Psychology. 

In 1999, he accepted an offer to teach at the Drucker School of Management of the Claremont Graduate University in California, where he later started the first doctoral program in Positive Psychology. He is currently the co-director of the doctoral program in Positive Developmental Psychology, in the Department of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences at Claremont. He is the author or co-author of 250 peer-reviewed articles and 19 books, translated into 26 languages.

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Dr. Csikszentmihalyi speaks at Soka Commencement on May 26

He is considered the world’s leading researcher on positive psychology. He once said: “Repression is not the way to virtue. When people restrain themselves out of fear, their lives are by necessity diminished. Only through freely chosen discipline can life be enjoyed and still kept within the bounds of reason.”

In 2009, Csikszentmihalyi was awarded the Clifton Strengths Prize and received the Széchenyi Prize in Budapest in 2011. He sits on the Board of Trustees of the International Positive Psychology Association, an organization he co-founded in 2001.

“We’re very proud that Soka University is welcoming Dr. Csikszentmihalyi,” added Dr. Habuki.  “Our mission is to foster a steady stream of global citizens committed to living a contributive life. Discussions on happiness, creativity and positive approaches to life and peace are central to our core values. We hope that this Commencement will help empower students to live happy and productive lives.”

Soka offers an 8:1 student/faculty ratio, average class size of 12, and study abroad for every undergraduate student (included in tuition). Admitted students whose annual family income is $60,000 or less may be eligible for Soka Opportunity Scholarships which cover full tuition. Additional scholarship opportunities are available for higher income levels. About 60 percent of Soka University’s students come from the US and 40 percent have come from more than 50 other countries.

Workshop – Mortgage brokers vs. banks and direct lenders, on April 29 10 – 11:30 a.m.

In the fourth of a series of workshops, held on the last Saturday of each month, a free workshop will be presented by Richard T. Cirelli of RTC Mortgage Corporation and James Hitchcock of Raymond James Pacific Wealth Solutions Group. This event will be at the Laguna Board of Realtors office, 939 Glenneyre St., 2nd floor, on Saturday April 29 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. 

Rick Cirelli will compare the various types of mortgage lenders including the pros and cons of Mortgage Brokers, Direct Lenders, Portfolio Lenders, big Banks and Non-Banks. His discussion will include comparing costs; loan products offered by each; and how to navigate the potential pitfalls of each type of lender. 

Rick Cirelli

Jim Hitchcock, who runs Pacific Wealth Solutions Group of Raymond James in Newport Beach, will discuss this month all things “Income,” and specifically the fixed income capabilities and resources available to those who wish to receive income from a capital markets portfolio – and in particular “equity income,” i.e. income from stock dividends, which is a popular strategy these days with the low interest rate world in which we live.

Jim Hitchcock

Richard T. Cirelli of RTC Mortgage Corporation, located in Laguna Beach, is a mortgage industry veteran with over 40 years of professional mortgage experience.  Throughout his career, Rick has held executive positions with some of the country’s largest and most respected mortgage lenders.  Since founding his own company in Laguna Beach in 2000, Rick has built a strong reputation as a highly professional and knowledgeable mortgage broker. Rick has been originating Reverse Mortgages for over 10 years and is a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association (NRMLA); serves on the Board of Directors of the Laguna Beach Seniors, and is an active member of the Laguna Board of Realtors, Laguna Beach Rotary Club, Laguna Beach Business Club and the Laguna Beach Professional Alliance. 

James Hitchcock of Raymond James Pacific Wealth Solutions Group, located in Newport Beach, works with individuals and corporations in assisting them toward achieving their long-term goals.  His investment philosophy emphasizes a conservative asset allocation approach toward investing.  Throughout his career, Jim has given numerous presentations on retirement planning strategies and money management to individuals and corporations.

For more information about this event, call Richard Cirelli at (949) 494-4701 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

LB resident Loreen Gilbert honored at NAWBO-OC
Remarkable Women Awards Gala on May 11

Four remarkable women will tell their inspiring success stories to an anticipated audience of more than 300 businesspeople and guests on Thurs, May 11, as the National Association of Women Business Owners, Orange County Chapter (NAWBO-OC) hosts its 21st Annual Remarkable Women Awards Gala. The 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. luncheon at the City National Grove of Anaheim is one of Orange County’s premier events highlighting women’s achievements. This year’s theme is “Stand.”

“Our four honorees epitomize what you can accomplish when you stand for what you believe, stand in the face of obstacles, stand up for others, and stand together,” said NAWBO-OC President Liz Camaur.

The 2017 honorees include Loreen Gilbert, Business Advocate of the Year; Heidi Hendy, Lifetime Achievement Award; Anoosheh Oskouian, Business Owner of the Year; Scharrell Jackson, Entrepreneur to Watch.

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Loreen Gilbert honored as Women Business Advocate of the Year

Women Business Advocate of the Year, Loreen Gilbert, after working for an investment company and learning there was no path to advance, within six months opened her own financial planning firm, Irvine-based WealthWise Financial. The company helps women business owners achieve financial security. WealthWise is celebrating its 20th year in business, with Gilbert, founder and president, in the top two percent in gross revenue among 15,000 advisors working through LPL Financial.

As a natural leader, Gilbert was appointed to the 19-member Trump Pence Small Business Advisory Council. She is the only woman and the only Californian on the panel. As past president of NAWBO-OC, Gilbert presently sits on the executive board of NAWBO National and on the NAWBO National Taxes and Regulations Council, with a focus on efforts to reform the nation’s tax code. Gilbert lives in Laguna Beach.

“NAWBO-OC’s vision is that every woman business owner succeeds,” Camaur said. “We provide the information, resources and the environment for every one of us to thrive. When growing any business there are challenges we face. Our Remarkable Women Gala not only honors women who have reached the pinnacle of success, but their inspirational stories show us the possibilities when you stand in the face of those obstacles and hold fast to your dreams.” 

The event will include a silent auction. Dozens of auction items include a gift card for eight for barrel sampling and a tour of LeVigne Winery in Paso Robles, one month of unlimited classes at Pure Barre Newport, a one-night stay and buffet for two at Morongo Casino and Spa, and a makeup session for two at Richard Stevens Cosmetics. Proceeds will benefit the Women’s Business Institute (WBI), a nonprofit which provides funding for educational programs for women business owners seeking to supplement their skills through workshops, seminars or college courses

Tickets to attend start at $95. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For information or reservations, call NAWBO-OC at (626) 292-1400 or go to


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