Abstract…It Rained in Laguna Beach!

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Scott Brashier

Some of us may not recognize those ‘blisters’ above – they are raindrops. Scott was as amazed as everyone else when he found himself in the midst of a real downpour at Alta Laguna Park Sunday. But, since he saw it, Scott captured it in the abstract for us and we include two of his photos in this issue.

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Maggi went abstract too

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Maggi was excited about Sunday’s rain too. After it stopped, she spotted this on her stone patio and snapped away. “I know you and Scott love abstract. Me too!”

Mission Hospital Laguna Beach:

Dedicated to Serving the Needs of the Community

Mission Hospital Laguna Beach (MHLB) is dedicated to their Mission – to extend the healing ministry of Jesus in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by continually improving the health and quality of life of the people in the communities they serve. When Mission Hospital joined the Laguna Beach community in 2009, MHLB also committed to giving back to the community. 

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As a nonprofit hospital, MHLB has invested more than $30 million in the community through charity care, community benefit and capital investment. In fact, MHLB significantly exceeded the targeted dollar amounts required by the California Attorney General’s Office in these areas:

Charity Care: $2,041,190 (Target); $4,867,800 (Actual)

Community Benefit: $2,092,000 (Target); $2,533,500 (Actual)

Capital Investment: $5 million (Target); $22.7 million (Actual)

Over the past five years, MHLB has focused on building strong community partnerships with local organizations to serve the most vulnerable populations in the community. Their community partners include: Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q, Friendship Shelter, Laguna Beach Unified School District, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, Age Well Senior Services and more. 

From offering community flu clinics each year, to providing free transportation to seniors, and reducing youth alcohol and substance use, MHLB is proud to be able to make a difference in the community. 

Christy Cornwall, director of community benefit at Mission Hospital, commented on MHLB’s involvement in the community. “As a hospital, we strive to do more than take care of people when they’re sick; we also help educate and empower people to play an active role in their health in order to prevent illness. 

“Whether it’s ensuring access to care through transportation or helping develop programs at local schools to decrease the incidence of drinking and drug use with teens, we are privileged to be able to give back.”  

In addition to serving the broad needs of the community, MHLB is a leader in providing the most advanced, diagnostic health services in the region. MHLB offers 24-hour emergency care, intensive care and medical/telemetry services, as well as highly specialized behavioral health services, including chemical and pain medication dependency and eating disorder programs. 

“Mission Hospital Laguna Beach completes the continuum of care for Mission Hospital as a whole. Our Laguna Beach location encompasses healing the whole person – body, mind and spirit, and we will continue to play an active role in the community” said Michael Beck, vice president of operations at MHLB.

For more information, visit mission4health.com/lagunabeach

The wonder all around you… let’s go find it! 

Maggi likes exploring “Laguna vignettes”, as she calls them. Here are some nice examples. Have you seen them?

If you know where, drop her a note and say so!

Begin with the photo below then click on the left-hand photo in the slideshow to view all three. 

Good luck!

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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Laguna knows how to spread the love around


We know we can’t survive on beautiful beaches and charming streets alone. The chauffer that drives Laguna’s economy is tourism. The tourists come because of our beautiful beaches and charming streets, our fabulous people, and our proximity to two major metropolitan areas.

They also come to tie the knot.

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         Photo courtesy ClickChicksPhotography.com 

Laguna is wedding destination number one, according to Visit Laguna Beach (formerly the Visitor’s Bureau). Their website positively glows with accolades: 

“Named best place to get married numerous years in a row, many brides and grooms are choosing Laguna Beach for their beach weddings. When it comes to beach options, we have more than 20 to choose from! From beautiful, cozy coves to weddings on the sand just steps from your hotel or resort, Laguna Beach offers the perfect beach wedding for any desire. The city also provides an array of pre- and post-wedding activities.”

It may be impossible to pin down the exact dollar figure, but with venues such as the Tivoli’s, Montage Laguna Beach, The Ranch at Laguna Beach, Surf & Sand, and [seven-degrees] booked year-round, suffice to say that weddings bring a chunk of change to our stretch of sand.

The City of Laguna Beach also issues permits for small size, public venue weddings, as in our parks and on our beaches. The Rec Department estimates there are between 100-200 of these permits issued annually.

The benefits to the community are huge. First of all, who doesn’t smile at a wedding? That’s good for the heart! Then, in addition to the visiting wedding guests who no doubt fall in love with Laguna, there are the various services and businesses that support the wedding “industry”, if you will.

We talked with wedding go-to guy number one, the officiator extraordinaire, Michael Ahern. He goes by “Reverend Michael”, and he’s got a lot to say on the subject.

“I’m a romantic at heart,” he says. “What better job could I have?”

Reverend Michael has been named the number one best officiant by MyFoxTelevision’s OCcityvoter.com, and by Martha Stewart’s weddingwire.com. 

He performs about 120 weddings a year in our town. He bestows the vows, either custom-made or from his ready-perfected option of six statements. 

Brides/Grooms, Grooms/Grooms, or Brides/Brides seal the deal with Reverend Michael’s words; equal parts of non-denominational grace, panache, and reverence.

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Reverend Michael, Laguna’s top officiant

Reverend Michael enjoys his post-retirement gig, though he realizes it’s not a big moneymaker for anybody. Thankfully he’s enjoyed previous years of savings, as an ad man, PR guy, and art rep. But he secretly always wanted to be a priest. 

The first day he drove down the California coast 34 years ago he was on a visit from the mid-west. He stopped at the gazebo by Las Brisas and fell in love with Laguna. “I felt automatically at home,” he says.

These days he performs weddings at many places throughout Laguna but the beloved gazebo remains his favorite ceremonial spot.

He is contacted for officiating duties via the usual informational and social websites, and his own website: reverendmichael.com. He shares with prospective clients his own custom vendors list of Laguna’s ancillary, yet integral wedding providers: caterers, photographers, musicians, florists, hotels, and gift shops.

Wedding photographer, Leslie Cunningham, of ClickChicksPhotography.com is one of his recommended providers. 

“There is no one season,” said Leslie. “It’s not just summer. We are a perfect destination year-round.”

There are also beaches to host weddings that don’t require a permit, such as those south of Nyes Place (because they are under County jurisdiction). 

Leslie points out that many of the local reception venues will provide referrals and/or provisions from Laguna businesses. “Occasions, for example, at Laguna Village, is a lovely property and they will provide all the vendors,” she said. “They have local florists, photographers, and everything.”

Weddings make a natural fit for the environment here. There is something for everyone to fall in love with in Laguna Beach.

We can’t think of a better place to nurture and grow that love, like sprinkles of rain. Plus the trickle down “hearts” the local economy.

Jazzercise food drive brings in 350 pounds of food

Story and Photo by BARBARA McMURRAY

For City of Laguna Beach Recreation Department Jazzercise instructor Karen Hogenauer and her class attendees, it was no sweat. In just two weeks, their food drive to benefit Laguna Food Pantry brought in 350 lbs. of the six most needed non-perishable food items.

A few cans, jars and boxes at a time, Hogenauer and her crew gathered nonperishables that will help the pantry get through its traditionally lean summer months, when many of the children the pantry serves are out of school and going without the subsidized balanced meals provided for them at school.  

“Summertime is travel and vacation time for most families who are not in need of supplemental food, so we aren’t on the radar of most of our donors,” noted Andy Siegenfeld, board chair of the all-volunteer Laguna Food Pantry. “It is important for us to stock nutritious options that are easy to prepare.”

The top six requested food items are canned tuna, peanut butter, jelly, pasta, pasta sauce, and cereal.

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Some members of Karen Hogenauer’s (middle above) popular Jazzercise class took a moment to celebrate their successful food drive for Laguna Food Pantry.

According to Hogenauer, who has been instructing her aerobic exercise classes three times a week at Lang Park Gym for six years, said, “I am very aware of the needs of those who may be having difficult financial times. It can happen to anyone. I admire the way the Laguna Food Pantry offers free food to anyone who requests it and allows people their dignity while doing so. Because 20 percent of the people the pantry feeds are babies and children, holding this food drive was especially important to me, as a mother and a member of the community.”

The Laguna Food Pantry, formerly the Laguna Resource Center, provides free, fresh, nutritious groceries to low-income households. Families are invited to shop in the Pantry’s friendly, retail-style setting once a week. Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Road north of the Dog Park, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. It is run entirely by volunteers. New volunteers are always welcome; to inquire about helping to pick up, sort, and stock food items, call 497-7121 during morning operating hours. Learn more about the Laguna Food Pantry at www.lagunafoodpantry.org

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.


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, Niki Smart, Samantha WasherErin Burris, Allison Martin, and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

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

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, Maggi Henrikson, Cliff Getz, 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 baseball season!

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising


Email: Stu@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc