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 Volume 11, Issue 41  |  May 21, 2019                                     


 

Stu Saffer

June 20, 1942 – May 20, 2017 

Stu Saffer 1

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Yesterday, today, and every day we remember you, Stu

Stu Saffer 2

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Thank you for everything you did for our community and for so many of us personally

Stu Saffer 3

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We know you’re smiling…Virgina won the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship this year…and it’s only May, so the Angels still have a chance!

Stu Saffer 4

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“At the blueness of the skies

and in the warmth of summer,

We Remember Them.”

-Sylvan Kamens & Rabbi Jack Riemer

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Animal Files

4 deaths and 14 rescues of pinnipeds last week alone

According to police records, four dead pinnipeds were reported to LBPD, spanning four days, Saturday, May 18 to Wednesday, May 15.

On Saturday, May 18, at 4:27 p.m., at the 30800 block of South Coast Hwy, a “dead harbor seal was pulled out of the ocean by the lifeguard tower.”

According to police records, Montage security was contacted to dispose of the marine mammal.

On Friday, May 17, at 12:39 p.m., at the 1900 block of Ocean Way, a person reported a deceased harbor seal to LBPD that was located on the sand at the bottom of the stairs.

According to police records, the “RP requested that Animal Services take the seal to Pacific Marine Mammal Center if possible.”

“PMMC does not normally respond to dead pinnipeds unless [under] special circumstances or they are tagged,” PMMC Public Relations Coordinator Krysta Higuchi said. “We did pick up the harbor seal on Friday for education purposes.”

Then, on Thursday, May 16, at 4:23 p.m., at the 30800 block of South Coast Hwy, a person reported a “dead baby sea lion, approximately 4 feet long, at the northern most part of Treasure Island Beach.”

And on Wednesday, May 15, at 3:19 p.m., at the 100 block of South Coast Hwy, LBPD received a report in reference to a “large, dead seal carcass, at the north end of the beach, 100 yards from where the rocks start.”

Animal Files sea lion rescue

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Courtesy of PMMC

A sea lion rescued by PMMC off the Newport Bell Buoy on Friday

“Sadly we have seen a drastic increase in rescues especially sea lions, unusually late in the season. We’ve rescued 14 sea lions in the last week alone,” Higuchi said. “After releasing 13 over the weekend, we seem to just keep getting more in.”

PMMC has rescued 137 so far in 2019.

“In 2018, we rescued 133 all year, Higuchi said. “We are on track to double our rescue counts from last year in particular in California sea lions, dolphins and harbor seals.”

Every animal costs roughly $3,000 from rescue to release; the uptake in rescues has definitely caused a strain on PMMC’s resources.

“We had five animals this week come in with fishing hooks or other severe entanglements. We are going through almost 500 pounds of fish a day which equates to about $1 per pound,” Higuchi said. “And that’s on top of medical needs, fluids, research and lab costs, cleaning and other general operating supplies and needs.”

Animal Files sea lion ICU

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Courtesy of PMMC

Zion, a sea lion rescued by PMMC Friday, is being taken care of in ICU

It’s been a strenuous 2019 so far, Higuchi reiterated.

“We are taking on more this year than ever before. We are diving deeper into our research and conservation, learning more about what each animal is coming in with, why, and how we can fix it,” Higuchi said. “We are also expanding our education and outreach programs.”

Donations greatly help fund PMMC’s rescue and rehabilitation efforts. Please call (949) 494-3050 to report a stranded animal or visit www.pacificmmc.org for more information or to make a donation.

-By Suzie Harrison


Obituary

Duane Lowell Bickel 

November 16, 1929 – May 15, 2019

Duane Bickel close up

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Duane Lowell Bickel, 89, passed away at home in hospice on May 15, 2019, due to Corticobasal Degeneration, a rare Parkinson’s-like disease. His beloved wife, Darrcy Loveland Bickel, and caregiver Grace were by his side. 

A native Californian, Duane was born November 16, 1929, to Willie Alma Cooksey Bickel, a nurse, and Earl John Bickel, a radio patrolman with the LAPD, who died in the line of duty when Duane was seven years old. Duane attended Verdugo Hills High School and received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in Mathematics and Physics from UCLA and an MBA from the University of La Verne.

Duane joined Lockheed Aircraft Company as a Mathematical Analyst upon graduation and was a pioneer in the field of Computer Graphics. He held management positions in computing, including Department Manager of Advanced Technology. He was responsible for computer procurement, notably, purchasing the first Cray supercomputer, the most powerful computer of the time; and participated in the famed “Skunk Works.” We know little else of his career, as he strictly complied with Department of Defense secrecy requirements. When Lockheed merged with Martin Marietta, Duane chose not to accept a move to Georgia, and took early retirement. He was entrusted with the keys to the company’s operations in Burbank, where he turned out the lights and locked the doors for the last time.

Duane and his wife of 49 years, Patricia Mary Covick Bickel, a teacher and docent, deceased in 2002, moved from Glendale to enjoy retirement in Laguna Beach. They were members of St. Catherine Siena Catholic Church and active in the community. 

Duane and Darrcy Loveland, attorney, married in 2004 and celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary this month. Duane was a romantic, asking Darrcy to marry him flying in a hot air balloon over Temecula with a champagne brunch in a vineyard upon landing. Duane and Darrcy enjoyed traveling the world but were always glad to return home to Laguna Beach.

Duane was fun-loving, honorable, a gentleman and a role model for his entire family. He was active in many Laguna Beach organizations and a member of both St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church and Laguna Beach United Methodist Church. He was Secretary and Treasurer of Neighborhood Watch, a presenter at Police Awards events and a member of the Exchange Club, helping to organize Pancake Breakfasts and purchase and wrap Christmas gifts for needy families. For over 30 years, Duane attended Wednesday breakfasts with his gang of men friends that he said met to solve the problems of the world. Duane also organized the annual Woods Cove End of Summer Party. 

Survivors include his wife, Darrcy Loveland Bickel; a daughter, Janice Fenster and her husband Alan, of Tiburon; a son, Glenn Bickel, of Westwood; Georgia Bickel; four grandchildren: John, Henry, Peter, and Madelyn Bickel of Georgia; and brother-in-law Bill Dunagan, of Kansas and husband of Duane’s deceased sister Lorraine.

Friends and relatives are invited to attend Duane’s Celebration of Life on Friday, May 31, at 1 p.m. at the Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, 21632 Wesley Dr, with a reception to follow in the church Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions are requested in Duane Bickel’s memory to any of the following: Laguna Beach Seniors, Laguna Beach United Methodist Church or St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church.


Laguna loses longtime community optometrist and sports vision pioneer Dr. William Harrison

Founder of Laguna Eyes Optometry, Doctor William Dean Harrison has been a pillar of the Laguna Beach community since 1977 when his office opened on Ocean Ave. As an optometrist specializing in vision enhancement over a 53-year career, he found great joy in helping people from all walks of life, especially in the community of Laguna Beach. 

Laguna Dr Bill

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Dr. Bill Harrison

Dr. Harrison of Laguna Niguel, loving husband, father, grandfather, community optometrist, and sports vision pioneer, lost his four-year battle with squamous cell cancer on May 4, 2019. He was preceded in death by his father Stanley, his mother Hettie, and brother Gary. He is survived by his wife Linda, his children Alicia, Ryan, and Craig, and his grandchildren Nicole, Zachary, Parker, Makayla, and Ryder.

Laguna loses family

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Dr. Harrison and his family

“Dr. Bill” was born October 5, 1942 in Laredo, Texas. When he was three, his family moved to Alpaugh, Calif. He was raised in California’s Central Valley, where he held the National Junior Olympic long throw record at 13 years old, earned 13 varsity letters at Bullard High of Fresno, and spent many summers in the backcountry of Yosemite with his father. As one of the Valley’s top baseball talents in the early 1960s, he played on select teams against international competition and was recruited to play baseball on scholarship at the University of California at Berkeley. He is currently still #7 on the all-time ERA record for Cal Baseball. While at Cal, he was a member of the Pi KA fraternity and earned a Doctorate of Optometry. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and created the first optical center at the Sacramento Army Depot in 1965. 

After his military service, Doc applied his passion for optimizing visual abilities to the athletic world, beginning with professional golf and baseball. In 1971, while practicing optometry in Davis, Calif., he began working with the Kansas City Royals baseball organization and helped develop their groundbreaking Royals Baseball Academy. 

Laguna loses with daughter

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Dr. Harrison and his daughter Alicia

Dr. Bill enjoyed many honors over the years for his contributions to optometry and the sports world; however, going home to Fresno in 2012 to be inducted into the Bullard High School Baseball Hall of Fame was one of his greatest joys. He was an athlete at heart and an optometrist who loved to help others see their best and to improve the visual performance of both amateur and professional athletes. 

He enjoyed time with his grandchildren, the beauty of nature, travels with his wife – 

especially to Kauai’s Hanalei Bay. He was known by all for his big smile, creative thinking, positive outlook, and his kind, compassionate spirit. 

The Dr. William D. Harrison Memorial Fund has been created by his alma mater to continue the legacy of Dr. Bill’s pioneering and passion for Sports Vision. The fund will be used to promote and support the growth of the Sports Vision Program at the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry. This will benefit the education of optometrists and serve the athletic community.

To support the Dr. William D. Harrison Memorial Fund, go to https://give.berkeley.edu/egiving/index.cfm?fund=FN0236000 or send a check to:

Dr. William D. Harrison Memorial Fund for Sports Vision (Fund Number # FN0236000) 

Berkeley Optometry, attention: Ciel Mahoney, 397 Minor Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720

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One dark and quiet evening

One dark beach

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The gray light between day and night


Police Files

Man allegedly tries to stab White House staff with fork

On Friday, May 17, at 9:29 p.m., LBPD officers were contacted by White House security in reference to a male subject who allegedly attempted to stab a security guard from the establishment at the 300 block of South Coast Hwy. 

“Officers arrived on scene and immediately detained Laguna Beach citizen Craig Dunlap for the assault. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that Dunlap was inside of the establishment and making a large scene. When he was asked to leave, he tried to stab a security guard with a fork,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

Security was able to stop the attack and escort Dunlap outside and hold him until police arrived.

Craig Bland Dunlap, 67, of Laguna Beach, was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Laguna man arrested in alleged bike theft

On Thursday, May 16, at 7:41 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 1100 block of Glenneyre Street for a report of an attempted theft. 

The RP reported the suspect had jumped the fence into her yard and tried to take her bicycle. 

“Officers arrived in the area and based on the description given detained a male just down the street near the entrance to Bluebird Beach,” Sgt Cota said. “She positively identified the male as the suspect and was desirous of prosecution.”

According to police records, the RP said that when she confronted the suspect he said, “I’m sorry, I just needed a bike.”

Laguna Beach resident Ryan Terrance Conley, 18, was arrested for violation of trespassing, loitering, and attempted theft.

According to Stu News records, this is the fifth arrest for Conley by LBPD in the last year. Other arrests by LBPD included arrests on suspicion of shoplifting and battery, among others.

Bail was set at $1,000.

Cut & rescue crash, man transported to hospital

On Sunday, May 19, at 11:05 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to Laguna Canyon Road and Phillips Road in reference to a cut and rescue traffic collision.

“Upon the officers’ arrival, the male driver, a 22-year-old Lake Elsinore resident, had extricated himself and was standing outside his vehicle,” Sgt Cota sad. “He had collided with a yellow parking pole, a fire hydrant, the Phillips Road street sign and an Edison pole before overturning his vehicle.” 

Police Files cut and rescue

Photo provided by LBPD

A 22-year-old Lake Elsinore man is in the hospital after a cut and rescue 

car collision in the Canyon 

According to Sgt Cota, the suspect was arrested for suspicion of DUI and transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo for medical assistance.

-By Suzie Harrison


Susi Q celebrates 10th anniversary in style

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Susi Q Jane

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Former Mayor Jane Egly and friends

Susi Q band

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Four Stringerz with Tom Joliet on ukulele played for the crowd enjoying the sunshine

Susi Q food

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Breakfast spread for attendees, who mingled and listened to the music

Susi Q belly dancer

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Who doesn’t need a belly dancer at a celebration? Susi Q offers belly dancing classes by J.J. & the Habibis

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2019 Woman of the Year Toni Iseman to be honored 

at Woman’s Club luncheon on June 14

On Friday, June 14, Toni Iseman will be honored as Woman of the Year at the Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach’s annual luncheon. Since 1995, the Woman’s Club has recognized a local woman for her consistent volunteer service to the community in diverse ways. 

Of her selection as Woman of the Year, Iseman says, “This will be an opportunity to celebrate our unique town, look back at our history and issues we are facing.”

President of the Woman’s Club Kitty Malcolm explains the election. “The Woman of the Year is selected through a process – our members are all encouraged to nominate women in the community who have given unpaid volunteer time to consistently contribute to the community through charitable, civic, nonprofit or philanthropic activities. After the nominations are received, the nominees are voted upon by the membership and the person with the most votes is selected to be Woman of the Year.” 

2019 Woman close up

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Toni Iseman, Woman’s Club 2019 Woman of the Year

Serving six consecutive terms, Iseman has been a member of the City Council for 21 years (with four terms as mayor), and for 30 years has been politically active advocating for Laguna Canyon. She has also worked to reduce noise and light pollution and has fought traffic congestion by spearheading the free trolleys to help shuttle visitors and residents through town. Iseman, who was raised in Fremont, Neb. and moved to Laguna in 1970, continues the longest streak of consecutive years on the council.

During her years on the council, Iseman’s core values have not changed – putting individuals first, residents’ well-being ahead of visitors, and preservation of the Greenbelt and Laguna’s unique character as essential. “The same, only better” has been her mantra for years. 

Malcolm continues, “There were four outstanding candidates this year, each of whom were nominated for the value their contributions have brought to the community. Toni’s election is a recognition of the time and energy she has committed to the community through the many and varied activities she has been involved with for over 30 years, aside from her service on City Council. It was an election by a group consisting of 160 members. Not all members responded to the nomination or the voting process, but a pretty impressive number did.”

The luncheon will take place between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the Woman’s Club, located at 286 St. Ann’s Dr.

For more information on the Woman’s Club, go to www.wclb.org.


LB Cowboys win South Orange County Flag Football League 6th Grade Division Championship

Competing against 27 teams, on Friday, May 10, the Laguna Beach Cowboys won the South Orange County Flag Football League 6th Grade Division Championship. 

Coach Tim Towe says, “It has been an absolute honor coaching these players for the last five years. It’s a special group of young men as they understand the value of playing as one unit and supporting each other whether things are going good or bad. We lost one game this season by one point against the top rated team that simply dominated the league this year.”

LB Cowboys team

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(L-R) Fletcher Liao, Sawyer Thomson, Henry Rounaghi, Charlie Kelly, Preston Towe, Max Gardner, Grant Regal, Jarod Sirsansie, and Charlie Hunt with Coaches Jake Hiemstra and Tim Towe

Coach Towe continues, “When the playoff bracket was announced, our players recognized the possibility of playing this team again in the semi-finals and that was exactly who they wanted to play. They were focused and asked for a special practice to prepare for them – we ended up playing them and it was a battle...0-0 at halftime – the players were so nervous, but the boys stayed positive, stuck to their game plan, and won the game 19-6 and went on to win the Championship. The smiles and feeling of accomplishment on their faces was priceless and that’s really what it is all about!”


Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School presents 16th Annual Masters’ Pageant Show on May 31

In a tribute to Laguna Beach’s heritage, each spring for the past sixteen years, Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School performs a Masters’ Pageant Show and offers a student art exhibit. For one evening, the school by the sea transforms itself into a gallery of live art and talent beyond compare. 

All are invited to join in celebrating the amazing art and creativity of the students and marvel in their recreation of famous paintings. This year’s show takes place on, Friday, May 31, with the exhibit opening at 6 p.m. and the curtain call at 7 p.m.

Saint Catherines whips

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Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

“Snap the Whip” – 2018 pageant

St. Catherine Board Development Chair Kelley Renezeder says, “The artwork is chosen by our art director, Christine Thomas, and based on well-known paintings and artists. All students are welcome to participate and many help build and paint the sets. The best part of the students’ engagement is developing their recognition and love for the arts. This is noted every year when students come back from school break and tell stories of how they were able to recognize famous paintings in museums and monuments because of their involvement in the Masters’ Pageant.” 

Parent volunteers also continue to enrich the lives of students. Their time and talent includes creation of the initial canvas, to lighting, costumes, makeup, and set design. 

Saint Catherines peanuts

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Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

2018 recreation

Before the Pageant, visitors are welcome to a student art exhibit, showcasing the top artistic talent of the school. The event is free and donations are accepted at the door. Refreshments will be available for purchase. 

Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit Catholic elementary (TK-8) school. The school offers a faith-based high school preparatory curriculum in a unique small school environment.

Saint Catherines ballet

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Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

From 2018 pageant – “La Classe de Dance”

Saint Catherine of Siena Parish School is located at 30516 S. Coast Hwy.

Parking is available at the Gelson’s/Wesley parking structure, with complimentary trolley service from 5 to 9 p.m.

VIP Parking available by calling the office at (949) 494-7339.

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Nicolai Elghanayan secures first win of 2019 season at Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series race

Laguna Beach native Nicolai Elghanayan just got his first win of the 2019 season. Behind the wheel of his KTM X-bow, Marco Polo Motorsports driver Elghanayan won Saturday morning’s Pirelli GT4 America Sprint series race on Canadian Tire Motorsport Park’s Grand Prix circuit. 

The 50-minute, 32-lap contest featured an exciting duel between polesitter Elghanayan and second-on-the-grid Spencer Pumpelly in the No. 66 TRG – The Racers Group Porsche 718 Cayman CS MR.

From the drop of the green flag, Elghanayan held the lead over Pumpelly, with three-time series champion Michael Cooper in the No. 10 Blackdog Speed Shop McLaren 570S GT4 slotting into third. Pumpelly though overtook Elghanayan to head the pack later in the first lap.

On the Lap 6 restart, Pumpelly led Elghanayan, Cooper, Andretti, and Am competitor Drew Staveley in the No. 12 Ian Lacy Racing Ford Mustang GT4 to the line.

Nicolai Elghanayan winner

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Nicolai Elghanayan after his first win of the 2019 season

Pumpelly and Elghanayan then began an intense back-and-forth duel for the lead that lasted for numerous laps. Elghanayan would pass for the lead, only to have Pumpelly come back to regain the lead.

On Lap 26 through Turn 10, Elghanayan grabbed the lead from Pumpelly and this time he would not relinquish it – by Lap 28 he had built an eight-car lead over Pumpelly. 

At the checkered, Elghanayan crossed the line for the victory 1.6 seconds ahead of Pumpelly. Cooper finished third. 

Elghanayan’s passion for racing began when he was just a boy. Last year in an interview for Stu News, he said, “When I was nine, my parents got me a poster with a new Lotus concept car. Ever since then I was determined to race a Lotus when I grew up. Fast forward 10 years and I became the 2x Lotus World Cup champion. After Lotus Cup, we moved onto Pirelli World Challenge in hopes of getting some podium finishes in 2019, but instead, we won at Lime Rock, Connecticut in May, which was a massive shock for us all.”

And now he has a grand win under his belt for 2019.


Where’s Maggi – the answers!

The little gate can be found at…Village Green Park on Monterey Street and Virginia Way, in South Laguna.

Who knew where Maggi was? Laurie Kirkland did, as did Lucinda Prewitt, Bernadette Murphy, and Penny Marino. 

Thanks for sending in your guesses, and keeping Maggi on her toes.    

Wheres Maggi 5 21 19

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Little gate at the Village Green Park, South Laguna


Laguna Beach Live! invites all to an afternoon delight at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Enjoy a delightful afternoon of incredible bluegrass music and delicious BBQ on Saturday, June 8 at Bluegrass & BBQ presented by Laguna Beach Live!. 

Laguna Beach Live! is once again partnering with three very talented local companies to bring an even greater hometown experience. 

Laguna Beach Beer Company, established in 2014 by lifelong Laguna Beach residents, will be serving Tuava Guava (Hefeweizen) and Ruby St. (Grapefruit IPA). Purple Corduroy, a California culture inspired wine company produced by the three Bromigos, Dr. Riptide, SLi Dawg, and “Brandavi,” with a Laguna Beach-to-Lodi connection, will be offering Red Siren (Zinfandel) and Blonde Siren (Sauvignon Blanc). 

Gnarly Q will be there too, offering freshly smoked choices of Pulled Pork, Bacon Wrapped Chicken Thighs, Tri Tip of beef or vegetable skewers (all plates include baked beans, baked corn mash, and Hawaiian style coleslaw).

Laguna Beach outside band

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Enjoy a delightful afternoon with live bluegrass music, beer, and tasty bites at Bluegrass & BBQ on June 8

Entertaining the crowd will be The Miskey Mountain Boys, featuring world-class musicians who have performed all over the worl  and at such events and venues such as the Hollywood Bowl, the Disney Studios, Pops Symphony Orchestras, The Tournament of Roses, and The United Artists Theater In Los Angeles. They have also been featured performers in radio, televisio,  and film, including The Academy Awards, A Prairie Home Companion, and HBO’s Big Love

Bluegrass & BBQ will be held on the pastoral campus of Laguna College of Art & Design, 2222 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

The concert is from 5 - 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 for BBQ and social hour. Concert-only tickets are $20 in advance for adults, $25 at the door. Children (12 and under) are $10 in advance, $13 at door. VIP tickets, available in advance only, are $100 and include reserved table seating, the concert, and your choice of BBQ served at your table. General admission includes seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Chairs are provided. Barbecue and beverages will be sold separately. Sorry, no outside food or beverages are permitted.

To purchase tickets, visit www.lagunabeachlive.org or call (800) 595-4849. For more information, call (949) 715-9713.

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Local hockey tryouts welcome Laguna Beach students

Attention hockey players – did you know that there is a local ice hockey team that Laguna Beach High School students compete in? The Newport Mesa Ice Kings compete in the Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League (ADHSHL). 

The Ice Kings is comprised of students from CdM, Newport Harbor, Laguna Beach, Costa Mesa, and Estancia high schools. If you plan to go to one of those schools in the fall and would be interested in joining the team, the team is holding tryouts for the upcoming 2019/2020 school year on Saturday, June 9 at 11 a.m. at the new Great Park Ice & Five Point Arena in Irvine. 

Local hockey puck

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Submitted photo

Laguna students are invited to try out for The Ice Kings

Players of all skill levels are encouraged to tryout – they have B level thru AA skaters on the team. They even have a few ex-roller hockey players! The games are competitive, full-contact, high school style hockey and most are played in the new state of the art Great Park Arena (the same place the Ducks train and practice). 

If you are interested, contact Board President Jim Hoey at (949) 355-1599 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Team Manager Ron Kalinowski at (949) 891-2533 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Laguna Beach Firefighters flip again for the Annual Pancake Breakfast on Memorial Day at Heisler Park

Last year over 800 people attended the Pancake Breakfast presented by the Laguna Beach Exchange Club in honor of Memorial Day. Again this year, Laguna Beach Firefighters will be on hand to flip hundreds of pancakes from 7 a.m. until 10:30 at Heisler Park. The cost of breakfast is $6.

Laguna Beach chefs

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Firefighters busy at work during last year’s Pancake Breakfast, including Pat Cary (front)

Originally held on May 30, Memorial Day was moved in 1970 to the last Monday in May and declared a national holiday in 1971. It marks the unofficial start of summer while Labor Day marks its end.

The Firefighters want to thank their sponsors – White House Restaurant, Mozambique, and Skyloft – for their support. 

Heisler Park is located at 375 Cliff Dr.


American Legion and VFW to conduct Memorial Day ceremony

On Monday, May 27, Laguna Beach American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars will conduct the organization’s 92nd Memorial Day ceremony in remembrance of all of their comrades who died in all the wars and conflicts protecting our country. 

The ceremony will take place at Monument Point in Heisler Park at 11 a.m. sharp. The keynote speaker will be Korean War Veteran Arnold Silverman. Music will begin at 10:30. 

American Legion flag

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Laying of a wreath in honor of our veterans

The public is invited to come early, as seating is limited. For more information, contact Richard Moore at (949) 376-6340 or Sandi Werthe (949) 494-6016.

Many organizations place floral offerings on the Heisler Park Memorial Monument during the ceremony. If you send or bring floral arrangements please make sure your organization’s name is attached. It is suggested that those having flowers delivered try to get them in place by 9:30 a.m. If you intend to send or bring floral arrangements, please call Sandi Werthe at (949) 494-6016 or Beth Johnsen at (949) 378-4321.

Heisler Park is located at 375 Cliff Dr.

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Hobie Laguna Beach presents film screening with Big Wave World Champion Paige Alms tonight

Join local surf shop Hobie tonight, Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m., for a special film screening with Big Wave World Champion Paige Alms. The film is by Bjarne Salen and presented by Endlessflow Films. The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. 

Hobie Laguna wave

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Photo courtesy of Hobie Instagram

Big wave surfer Paige Alms 

This new film looks at the passion, dedication, and work ethic that have helped Patagonia surf ambassador Paige Alms break down barriers while becoming one of the best big-wave surfers in the world. Paige will be at the event sharing stories before and after the film. 

Hobie Laguna Beach is located at 294 Forest Ave.


Budget workshop set for this afternoon

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City Council and the public will hear this afternoon (Tuesday, May 21) a presentation on the proposed 2019-2020 budget.

Adoption of the budget is scheduled for June 18. The new fiscal year starts July 1.

The presentation and proposed timeline include:

--The proposed budget and an IT Master Plan (10-15 minutes)

--Capital Improvement Program and South Main Beach restroom rehabilitation (15 minutes)

--Wish list (5 minutes)

--Council questions and comments (30 minutes)

--Preview of Wastewater System Capital and Financing Plan (15 minutes)

--Preview of Transit System – upcoming policy issues (15 minutes)

--Public comment and council direction (30-60 minutes)

The presentation will begin at 2 p.m. and is expected to end at 4:30, to allow time for a closed session prior to the regular council meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 6.

A complete staff report on the proposed budget is available on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net

Tuesday’s agenda will also include hearings on the Crestview and Woods Cove Undergrounding Utilities Assessment Districts and the extension of the Business Improvement District, which funds art and other tourist-attracting activities.


Sixth Annual Crystal Apple Awards Winners

By Claire Wittkop and Yuika Yoshida

Students at LBHS

In partnership with Brush and Palette newspaper

Throughout high school there are teachers who truly make an impact on students. These teachers are committed to their students and provide encouragement both inside and outside the classroom. The Crystal Apple Awards make it possible for students to nominate teachers who have inspired them. Laguna Beach High School’s recipients this year were math teacher Valorie Quigley and ceramics teacher Somer Selway.

“When I found out, I was really excited and extremely flattered that I was nominated,” said Quigley. “Molly and I have a great relationship, so for her to think that highly of me and nominate me means a lot to me. I like being with my students and I’m just trying to make sure that their stress is as low as possible.”

The Sixth Annual Crystal Apple Awards were held Thursday, March 20 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This unique community event honors teachers from four local high schools. For LBHS, a total of 24 teachers were nominated this year.

Sixth Annual group

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Assistant Superintendent Alysia Odipo, senior Molly Cohn, math teacher Valorie Quigley, ceramics teacher Somer Selway, senior Bella Fonk, Principal Dr. Jason Allemann, and senior Cal Nielson attend the Crystal Apple Awards to acknowledge the importance that teachers play in the lives of students

“I remember the first time I did poorly on a math test, Mrs. Quigley calmed me down and went over each question calmly in order to comfort me. I think this shows how caring Mrs. Quigley is. Not only does she take immense time and effort in her lessons, but she also takes time to support each and every one of her students,” said senior Molly Cohn, one of Quigley’s nominating students.

At the event, Quigley and Selway heard heartwarming speeches by the students who nominated them.

“I’m really honored to receive the award and I am so humbled, and I feel like all teachers deserve a Crystal Apple,” said Selway.

Every teacher makes a significant difference in their students’ lives, and it is important for them to be recognized.

“Ms. Selway understands that life happens. She is always there to support us as people, rather than just academically,” said senior Bella Fonk.

Stu News Laguna is proud to feature LBHS students’ writing in partnership with the high school’s journalism class and the Brush and Palette student newspaper.

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Guest Column

Every student, every day: Expanding access to Advanced Placement courses for students

By Jason Viloria, Ed.D., LBUSD Superintendent

One of the goals set by the board of education has been to increase access to courses for all students. I am proud to report that more Laguna Beach High School (LBHS) students are taking – and passing – Advanced Placement (AP) exams than ever before. This year, LBHS has 391 students taking 780 AP exams. The number of students enrolled in AP courses has increased by over 130 students since 2016. Consequently, the total number of exams has increased by almost 300 during that same time, all while maintaining a pass rate above 90 percent.

Our continued success and growth in enrollment are due in large part to our dedicated LBHS staff who, committed to our goals of every student, every day and continuous improvement, work to open doors of opportunity for our students. In the last three years, LBHS has added four additional AP courses including Art History, Computer Science A, Computer Science Principles, and Statistics. In conjunction with the PTA, the site has paid for every student to take the PSAT 9, PreACT, and PSAT/NMSQT in 9-11th grade. The information gained from individual student scores from the PSAT 9 allows our counseling staff to identify the students who may have the potential to succeed in specific AP courses based on the strengths identified in their results. The ability to use this data to help grow our AP enrollment for all students is vital to our school’s ongoing success.

Guest Column Dr Viloria

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Dr. Jason Viloria, LBUSD Superintendent

Advanced Placement courses are opportunities for students to explore subjects they love, immersive experiences that encourage students to make real-world connections, providing for them an avenue to identify their place in the world. They are challenging, and at times stressful, but in the process, students develop a sense of confidence as they discover what they’re capable of accomplishing when they work hard in an area they’re passionate about.

The key to our success has been to identify courses in areas that interest our students, beyond the traditional, elective classes. With the introduction of AP Statistics, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Computer Science A, and AP Art History, LBHS currently offers a total of 21 Advanced Placement courses.

Throughout the first two full weeks in May, 52 percent of students in grades 10 through 12 will be taking AP exams. Among those, are students that for the first time, in AP Computer Science or AP Art History, have found a subject area that they are passionate about, including students that have been classified as special education students. In increasing access to Advanced Placement courses, we have sought to increase opportunities for students that have not traditionally fallen under the umbrella of the adjective term “the AP student.”

In the graduating class of 2018, 51 percent of students had taken and passed an AP exam. That means that more than half of the seniors that crossed the platform into the real-world left with an experience of the rigor of college coursework under their belt.

Our hope, as we continue to focus on improving in this area, is that we redefine “the AP student.” That by the time our students graduate they have, at least once in their high school experience, come in contact with a course that inspires them, a course that gives them a glimpse at a future they are excited and optimistic about but most importantly, that they leave with the self-awareness, self-advocacy skills, and self-confidence to successfully navigate the next chapter.


Movie Star Robots: R2-D2 & BB-8 replicas

Photos by Mary Hurlbut 

Movie Star two robots

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Mike Senna is a skilled prop maker/hobbyist and computer programmer who built an exact working replica of R2-D2 in 2003 for charity events because he was looking for a challenge and wanted to bring joy to children. In 2015 he built a working BB-8 replica. 

Movie Star Mike

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Mike’s R2-D2 has represented Lucasfilm and Disney since 2005 and has been filmed for VH1, MTV, Access Hollywood, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Verizon, Toyota, and many other appearances. 


American Legion Auxiliary Unit 222 collects “Poppy” donations for Active Duty Military and Veterans

The members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 222, Laguna Beach, are asking for donations to their “Poppy Fund” for active duty military and veterans in exchange for a red paper poppy. 

Congress designated Friday, May 24 as “National Poppy Day” and the Auxiliary will have a table at Pavilions in North Laguna that day from 4 to 6 p.m.

American Legion poppies

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Poppy donations for Active Duty Military and Veterans 

Poppies will also be available on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27 during the 11 a.m. American Legion ceremony at Heisler Park, Monument Point. 

Donations can also be mailed to ALA Unit 222, P.O. Box 517, Laguna Beach, CA 92652 in exchange for a poppy. 

For further information, contact Sandi Werthe, Treasurer and Poppy Chair at (949) 494-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   

The Unit is a 501(c)(19), Federal ID 95-6050005.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Laguna Board of REALTORS® appreciates their Affiliated Business Partners

The Laguna Board of REALTORS® membership includes Affiliated Business Partners. The purpose of the Affiliated Business Partner is to interact with the Board and REALTOR® members to exert a positive influence on the real estate industry and the community. Recognize, Acknowledge, Reward, and Encourage describes LBOR’s hardworking Affiliated Business Partners; a “RARE” group that supports our community. 

The Laguna group

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Affiliated Business Partners

 As quoted by LBOR President and Broker Dave Csira, “We could not do a real estate transaction without these trusted and valued business partners.”

Jeffrey Redeker, Affiliate Chairman, states that members are trusted advisors to the real estate industry and the communities where they serve. The relationships, partnerships and strong ethical standards that members uphold add to the strength of the Laguna Board of REALTORS® now and in the future. 

The Laguna Pet Parade

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Booth at Pet Parade-Chili Cookoff

 Affiliated Business Partners are vital to the success of REALTORS®. They comprise of appraisers, contractors, cleaning services, escrow, financial, inspection, insurance, lenders, movers, notary, pest control, photographers, media, staging/design, title companies, and many more. 

LBOR Association Executive Bobbie Jordan says, “Their commitment to service and involvement with assisting REALTORS® is outstanding.” Affiliated Business Partners also give back to their communities by volunteering at the Laguna Board of REALTORS’ Charitable Assistance Fund Events, Educational Seminars, New REALTOR® Orientation, and assisting with numerous local nonprofits in Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Patriots

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Patriots Day Parade

 To find an Affiliated Business Partner who works hard providing great customer service and fulfilling the public’s need, go to www.LagunaRealtors.org and click on find an Affiliate. Searching by company type, company name or representative makes finding the right company a breeze. 


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invites community to PMMC talk with Wendy Leeds

On Wednesday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m., the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach invites the community to a presentation titled “From Sea Lions to Whales, PMMC Saves Lives.” The guest speaker will be Wendy Leeds, Animal Care Coordinator for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC).

Unitarian Universalist headshotThe mission of PMMC is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release marine mammals and inspire ocean stewardship through research, education, and collaboration. It undoubtedly makes its most visible contribution by keeping endangered marine mammals healthy and safe.

Leeds will explain how mammals at the Center are rehabilitated, the ways in which the public can help protect them in the wild, and the volunteer opportunities and education programs offered by the Center. 

Leeds, originally an Animal Care Volunteer, has been associated with the PMMC for more than 20 years. She is not only responsible for coordinating and facilitating rescue calls, but also completing the lengthy reports on each animal that are required. 

Leeds is the point-person for maintaining PMMC’s whale disentanglement gear and responding to and coordinating whale rescues as directed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) staff. She also visits California communities to provide training to local lifeguards and junior lifeguards, and acts as PMMC’s liaison to local sheriff’s departments and park rangers.

For additional information, contact Rachel Daniels at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (310) 714-2699.


Local Red Cross Blood Drive is a huge success, thanks to our community

The Red Cross thanks the community for donating blood during a local blood drive on Wednesday, May 15 at Laguna Presbyterian Church, after an “urgent need for blood.” 

The drive had forty people sign in, and collected thirty units of blood. That can save up to ninety lives. Twenty two of the forty had not donated before at the LPC location, and sixteen of them were walk-ins. 

“That is community, which is what we (Stu News, five other churches in Laguna Beach, LCAD, KX 93.5, Red Cross, and Laguna Presbyterian) are trying to build,” stated Sandy Grim, ARC/LPC Blood Drive Coordinator. 

The next Blood Drive is scheduled for Wednesday, August 7 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Laguna Presbyterian Church again. 

For more information, contact Laura Rudd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Laguna Presbyterian Church is located at 415 Forest Ave.


TACA invites parents of children with autism to Coffee Talk tomorrow

Join The Autism Community in Action (TACA) tomorrow, Wednesday, May 22, from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. at Oliver’s Osteria, for a special Coffee Talk all about summer. 

Whether your child is in the middle of progress or the middle of chaos, TACA is a place where you can get connected, find resources, and get referrals and tons of hope. If you’re wondering what you can bring to the table, it’s knowledge. 

Learn from TACA as well as the parents in attendance that also have children/adults affected by autism. Moderated discussion is aimed at the needs of attendees with a special focus on the topic of summer. 

Complimentary coffee and light breakfast will be provided by the event’s generous host, Oliver’s Osteria.

Parents new to TACA will receive an Autism Journey Guide.

RSVP to save a seat at https://tacanow.org/local-chapters/west/california/orange-county/. 

Oliver’s Osteria is located at located 853 Laguna Canyon Rd. There is free parking on site.


Laguna Beach Seniors recognizes Mental Health Awareness Month

During May, Laguna Beach seniors hopes that the community can take the time to focus a little more inward on the self-care and attention that is needed during Mental Health Awareness Month. 

Kay Wenger, M.A., LMFT, LPCC explains, “There are times in our lives when we sense that something isn’t quite right with our thinking, our emotions or our behavior. We may even recognize these issues in a loved one. This could indicate we have come to a point where we cannot deal with the stresses or events that have happened in our lives or that we may be experiencing chemical changes in our brain.” 

 Research shows that mental health issues affect as many as one in four people. These issues are always best dealt with in the early stages before they can affect our personal well-being, professional or financial lives, or personal relationships. 

Laguna Beach group

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Photo by Robert James Wenger

Laguna Beach Seniors care management and mental health support team: (L-R) Laura Lee, Anne, Vivian, Martha, Kay, Mary and John

Many mental health issues can be addressed by talk therapy with a trained professional, however some issues require medication and more intensive forms of treatment. The social stigma attached to mental health issues has lessened with every year that passes as people come to understand that so many of us are affected and it is not a reflection that we are a defective person. 

“As the mental health clinical supervisor at the Laguna Beach Seniors at the Susi Q senior center, I believe that mental health is something that needs to be discussed in every conversation around health and wellness in our country,” stated Wenger.

Laguna Beach Seniors is there to help for anyone going through a difficult time. Not only are LB Seniors’ services available to residents of Laguna Beach, they extend to the South Orange County community. 

Anyone between 50 - 100+ years old can take advantage of the mental health programs that the Susi Q offers – and, the majority are free of charge.

There’s “Heart to Heart,” a support group where individuals aged 50+ gather weekly to discuss important issues impacting their lives. The Susi Q also facilitates a Grief Recovery support group; Living Well with Chronic Illness support group; a Men’s Only group; Alzheimer’s and Dementia support group; and a discussion group addressing end-of-life issues called Death Café. 

The Susi Q also provides one-on-one counseling for at-risk and vulnerable seniors (55+) throughout all of South Orange County by way of our “Feeling The Blues” program. 

For more information, contact the care management team by visiting the Susi Q front desk, or by calling (949) 715-8104. Laguna Beach Seniors’ website is www.thesusiq.org

The Susi Q is located in downtown Laguna Beach at 380 Third St.

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