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Laguna Beach

Messy Church to gather on June 26

Messy Church, which welcomes everyone to its monthly get-togethers at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church, will gather this Sunday, June 26 from 4-6 p.m. This month’s theme is “Bless the Beasts and the Children.” 

Using arts and crafts, science experiments, play-acting and activities suitable for all ages, Messy Church offers spiritual exploration in a non-traditional atmosphere. A communal meal is always served as well.

“Messy Church shares the message that God loves us and we love one another,” said Barbara Crowley, who leads Messy Church at LBUMC.

A $5 donation is requested, but not required. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information, visit

Laguna Beach United Methodist Church is located at 21632 Wesley Drive, Laguna Beach, up the hill from the Gelson’s Shopping Center.

Fair Game


Laguna to introduce new fire chief and in-house ambulance service in the first days of July

TOM MARCHLaguna Beach has a new Fire Chief. His name in Niko King and he comes to the city with almost three decades of experience. He’ll assume the duties from retiring Fire Chief Mike Garcia on Tuesday, July 5.

There will be a community meet & greet following Chief King’s swearing in ceremony. The badge presentation and meet & greet will take place from 4-6 p.m. on July 5 in the City Council Chambers, where refreshments will be served.

• • •

The City of Laguna Beach has received their first of two ambulances to initiate their new In-House Ambulance Transport Service that begins next Friday, July 1.

The plan is to have dedicated ambulances, staffed 24 hours a day with two EMTs, placed at Fire Station #1 at 501 Forest Ave. and at Fire Station #4 31646 2nd Ave. The ambulances will be dispatched by the Laguna Beach Emergency Communications Center.

• • •

The City is planning a fireworks show on the Fourth beginning at approximately 9 p.m. The show will originate from Monument Point in Heisler Park.

Outside of that, fireworks are outlawed within the City of Laguna Beach. That includes those titled “Safe and Sane.”

Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Departments can and will seize any fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, mortars, roman candles, or anything that flies/shoots through the air, and those in possession may be cited for a misdemeanor offense, which carries a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months.

This is especially a sensitive time for dog owners, whose pets do not normally do well with the noises created. 

And, everyone should be concerned about the fire dangers. One misplaced firework could cause tremendous damage.

Residents who see and/or hear fireworks being used within the City can call the non-emergency hotline at 949.497.0701. Officers in the area being reported will be dispatched to investigate.

• • •

Other things that come into play during particular holidays, such as the Fourth, and certainly in the warmer summer weather that we need to be reminded of, are: 

–NO alcohol is allowed on the beaches.

–There is NO smoking in public places.

–Single-use plastics are NOT allowed on beaches, trails or in parks.

–NO drones are allowed to be used over City beaches, Heisler Park, Main Beach Park, Treasure Island Park, or Crescent Bay Park without a valid Remote Pilot Certificate issued by the FAA.

–NO canopies, awnings, umbrellas, tents or covers over six feet in height or wider than six feet square on or in any public beach, park; and, any canopy, awning, umbrella, tent or cover installed, shall have no more than one side closed to public view.

– No portable barbecues are allowed on City beaches or in parks.

– No dogs are allowed on City beaches from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. during the summer season, which extends from June 15 through September 10.

–All OC Park trails will be closed at sunset.

The Laguna Beach Police, Fire and Marine Safety Departments will be strictly enforcing all of these ordinances.

• • •

Heal the Bay just released their latest Beach Report Card that assigns letter grades from “A-to-F” for some 500 California beaches.

Two local beaches scored perfect water quality grades in all three segments year-round (Summer Dry Grade/Winter Dry Grade/Wet Weather Grade): Laguna Lido and Treasure Island.

Most other areas along the Laguna Beach coast also graded out well. 

A link to the complete 2021-2022 Beach Report Card, including all grades, can be found here.

• • •

Maybe you’re thinking about running for a Laguna Beach Unified School Board of Education spot. If so, there will be a virtual orientation for potential 2022 candidates next Thursday, June 30 at 12 p.m.

Interested parties should contact Victoria Webber at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday, June 29, in order to receive the link for the Zoom session.

• • •

Remember the elections…seems like months ago. Anyway, here’s our final look at the unofficial results (minimal votes continue to trickle in) and who is advancing on to November.

U.S. Representative 47th District 

*Katie Porter (D) – 86,719, 51.71%

*Scott Baugh (R) – 51.765, 30.86%

Amy Phan West (R) – 13,944, 8.31%

Brian Burley (R) – 11,950, 7.13%

Errol Webber (R) – 3,341, 1.99%

State Senator 36th District

*Janet Nguyen (R) – 120,124, 57.30%

*Kim Carr (D) – 89,503, 42.70%

State Assembly 72nd District

*Judie Mancuso (D) – 59,003, 43.31%

*Diane Dixon (R) – 58,120, 42.66%

Benjamin Yu (R) – 19,111, 14.03%

OC Supervisor 5th District

*Katrina Foley – 64,877, 41.76%

*Patricia “Pat” Bates – 34,458, 22.18%

Diane Harkey – 28,800, 18.54%

Kevin Muldoon – 27,223, 17.52%

(* Advances to November Election Day)

Other key races around OC included District Attorney Todd Spitzer who easily outdistance a field that included runner-up Pete Hardin. Spitzer received 62.49% of the vote and seems well on his way to a November victory. 

Cottie Petrie-Norris, who currently represents Laguna Beach but is moving to a new District, defeated Steven Choi in the newly redrawn 73rd Assembly District while getting 56.22% of the vote; and, Michelle Steel outpaced a field of three others with 49.03% of the vote in the 45th District U.S. Representative race.

City of Laguna Beach welcomes new Fire Chief Niko King

The City of Laguna Beach welcomes Niko King as the city’s new Fire Chief.  King brings almost three decades of well-rounded fire experience to the position and will begin his service to the City of Laguna Beach on July 5.

King’s fire experience includes 28 years with the Sacramento Fire Department, where he most recently served for six years as Deputy Fire Chief.  He has extensive supervisory and management experience, and his background includes expertise in the areas of fire operations, administration, fire prevention, emergency preparedness, training and development and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) divisions. Prior to becoming the Deputy Fire Chief, King served more than five years as Sacramento’s Assistant Fire Chief overseeing the Training Division to include a new recruit academy. King spent years as a Strike Team Leader in the field, a Type III Incident Commander leading an All-Hazards Incident Management Team, as well as a member of FEMA’s Incident Support Team under Urban Search and Rescue, with several federal activations to large scale disaster sites across the country.

City of Newport Beach welcomes new Fire Chief

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach’s new Fire Chief, Niko King

“Chief King is recognized as a professional, dedicated, fair leader of high integrity who motivates others and has a great passion for the fire service,” said City Manager Shohreh Dupuis. “We are delighted to have Chief King continuing the Fire Department success in providing outstanding services to our community in fire prevention, fire protection and emergency management.”

King holds a master’s degree in Homeland Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School; a Master of Science degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University, Long Beach and a bachelor’s degree in Applied Sciences, Business Administration and Organizational Communication from California State University, Sacramento. King is relocating to Southern California and said he has always enjoyed visiting Laguna Beach.

“I am excited and honored to be selected to serve as the next Chief for the Laguna Beach Fire Department,” King said. “I look forward to working with the great men and women of the Fire Department, the city’s leadership team, local residents and businesses owners in continuing to ensure the department carries out its mission at the highest level.” 

King will take over duties as Chief from retiring Fire Chief Mike Garcia on July 5.  King is the city’s 20th Fire Chief and will have a salary of $225,500 per year. The public is invited to meet Chief King at a badge presentation and swearing-in ceremony on July 5 at City Hall (Council Chambers) from 4-6 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Dennis’ Tidbits


The heat is on! 

“Summer’s here and the time is right for dancin’ in the streets”

Martha and the Vandellas, 1965, Motown Records

Dennis 5Yep, the heat’s on in a big way pretty much nationwide from border to border and coast to coast.

How heat waves occur: A heatwave occurs when a system of high atmospheric pressure moves into an area and lasts two or more days. In such a high-pressure system, air from upper levels of our atmosphere is pulled toward the ground, where it becomes compressed and increases in temperature.

The anomaly is usually associated with a change in the planetary waves, so that the prevailing winds from the southwestern deserts sweep farther north than usual and blanket a large region with hot, often humid air at ground level. 

An upper level High may settle over the mid-continent, thus destroying any cloud cover with its descending compression-heated currents until the blessing of fair weather turns to the curse of drought. In addition, heat from the hot, dry ground feeds back into the atmosphere, tending to perpetuate the heat-wave circulation. Whatever the cause, the effect is uncomfortable and dangerous. Continental heat waves like the one that’s going on right now live in human memory the way fierce winters do.

In summer the jet stream can be an ill wind indeed. As the sun drives the polar front back into Canada, the jet stream keeps to the cool side of the boundary and shifts northward where it pretty much rides in a semi-straight line the skirts the U.S.-Canadian Border from west to east – so the summer is a “normal” one, hot but not too hot and humid but not too humid. 

However, in some summers, the polar front and the jet stream may be oriented so that their eastern segment is displaced farther to the north, setting the stage for a midwestern and eastern heat wave. A persistent High can block the jet stream northward and sometimes in other summers, the High’s clockwise sinking circulation draws in hot dry air from the southwestern deserts and dry air from the northwest. This classical Dust Bowl pattern brings hot and dry weather to the mid-continent but often means cooler-than-normal conditions in New England and the far northwest like it’s been all month up until the 21st.

Heat index: (It isn’t the heat; It’s the humidity). The job of keeping the body cool falls increasingly upon the evaporation of sweat as the temperature rises. Meanwhile, the other forms of heat dissipation such as radiation and convection which depend upon temperature differences between the skin and surroundings, are reduced in effectiveness. In turn, the rate of evaporation of sweat is influenced by the humidity in the surrounding air. (Wind speed and thermal radiation are also factors).

 Discomfort is usually a complaint as soon as sweating begins, although, to be sure, the discomfort and heat stress on the body would be much greater if one could not sweat. Clothing reduces the effectiveness of sweating, but it is needed for protection from the sun. In order to reflect heat and enhance circulation of air, hot-weather clothing should be light colored, lightweight, porous and loose fitting. For most individuals, cotton or high-cotton blends are still the best hot weather fabrics.

Finally, Laguna and surrounding areas were treated to a rare thunderstorm on Wednesday morning thanks to remnant moisture and unstable air from post tropical storm Blas which dissipated off the Baja west coast. Now we have tropical storm Celia who is intensifying about 300 miles SSW of Acapulco, Mexico, and she’s expected to become a hurricane in a couple of days. Stay tuned on that one.

Have a safe and healthy and happy weekend, ALOHA!

Oranges and yellows

Oranges and yellows 6.24 SNL

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The sun peeking behind the hillside on a cloudy evening makes for a cascade of orange and yellow hues

The Plant Man: beautiful roses

By Steve Kawaratani

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

– William Shakespeare

The Plant Man Steve Kawaratani

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

Roses evolved from a ceremonial constituent of paganism, to serious medical usage by early practitioners of healthy living and were named for their medical attributes. The Rosa gallica, the Apothecary rose, became a cure all for almost any ailment. Dog Rose, Rosa canina, was reputed to combat rabies and the Damask Rose, thought to have originated in Syria, was used to make rosewater. 

The Plant Man beautiful roses sunrosa

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Sunrosa shrub rose

Roses are approaching their blooming peak, as we have officially crossed into summer and they can be enjoyed for their blossoms and delightful fragrance. Your favorite nursery will still have an ample selection for your rose collection – from the antique roses of yesterday to today’s disease-resistant English, hybrid tea, floribunda and modern shrub roses.

Shrubs bought in containers can be planted in the garden most of the year in Laguna (do avoid hot weather), but this is a great time to establish roses prior to the shorter days of autumn. The “perfect” hole for your rose should be 1 1/2 times as deep and two times wider than the container in which the rose is growing. Create a backfill mixture beneath and adjacent to the rootball with a combination of 1/2 native soil mixed with 1/2 of a quality planting mix, 4 tablespoons of Gro power and the essential rose cocktail.

Catharine’s Rose Cocktail:

1 cup of gypsite

1 tablespoon of soil sulfur

1 tablespoon of chelated iron

Avoid disturbing the rose’s rootball during transplanting. I recommend that you cut and remove the bottom of the container and place the rose in the hole; the bud union should be about 2” above the ground. Then cut the sides of the container and fill the hole loosely with soil.

Remove the sides of the container carefully and the rootball will remain intact. Water the soil thoroughly with a solution of 1 tablespoon of Vitamin B1 to a gallon of water (further insurance against transplant shock). Check for soil settling, add more soil if necessary and then water again.

The Plant Man beautiful glowing peace

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“Glowing Peace” Grandiflora Rose

What’s in a name? Playboy once graced my rose garden when I was younger, but I have grown more comfortable with Glowing Peace over the ensuing decades. No matter the name, I will always hold a special affection for roses, as they represent a constancy of flower perfection. See you next time.

Steve Kawaratani has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 949.494.5141.

Purple reigns

Purple reigns.jpg 6.24 SNL

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Photo by Scott Brashier

An explosion of colors

Solitude at Crystal Cove

Solitude at Crystal Cove

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Photo by Joel Goldstein

The state or situation of being alone

Fair Game


Music fills the air and the streets in the Fête de la Musique

TOM MARCHWhat a cool buzz the town had Saturday. The 2022 Laguna Beach Fête de la Musique filled the Main Beach Cobblestones, city sidewalks and many surrounding store fronts with the different sounds of music. Thirty-three different locations to be exact.

It was delightful. And I wasn’t alone. People gathered and looked on, others danced, or simply tapped their feet, to enjoy the rhythm of each of the different genres. 

The Fête de la Musique, celebrating its 15th year in Laguna Beach and taking place in some 1,000 cities around the world, was presented locally by our Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association, along with their sponsors – The Ranch, Hobie Sports and Tuvalu.

When I arrived at the Cobblestones midday, the Laguna Community JaZz Band, fronted by Lisa Morrice, was performing. And performing well, I might add! Crowds were beginning to fill the surrounding walkways and grass areas as the day began to take shape; a mime on roller skates skillfully moved around delighting everyone she encountered with her unique sense of humor through her mannerisms, while beachgoers enjoyed the adjoining sand, the water and waves, and volleyballers volleyballed nearby. “Volleyballed,” is that even a word?

Fair Game SNL Lisa Morrice

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Lisa Morrice performed with the Laguna Beach JaZz Band Swing Set and kept the tunes coming while the energetic mime on roller skates continued to engage the crowd 

Fair Game SNL Sandro and Tamara Eristavi

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Sandro and Tamara Eristavi, returned to the Fête, belting out their multi-lingual tunes on the Lumberyard Patio near the Beach House

Anyway, you get my drift, it was a nearly perfect setting! As I later walked along Forest, restaurants appeared to be overflowing out into the parklets. And besides just the music, I even encountered a collection of belly dancers making their way down the sidewalk. It certainly gave the sense that we’ve come a long ways in the past couple of years.

Check out our Friday’s edition for complete Fête de la Musique coverage and photos.

Fair Game SNL Rick Weber, tenor

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Photo by Jeff Rovner

Tenor Rick Weber entertained crowds in front of the Free People boutique

• • •

Later, I headed up to the Hotel Laguna to check out their new “Beach Club,” the new members-only venue downstairs, overlooking the spectacular beachfront.

The exclusive club invites private members and hotel guests to an extremely comfortable setting…think plush couches and chairs, a complete bar, dining, TVs, elaborate local artwork…all just steps from the sand. It is certainly luxurious comfort.

One notable “first member” arrived and told me that they looked everywhere around town for some desirable office space, then, after comparing prices and seeing what was available, made the decision that it made more sense to work out of there, utilizing his laptop, and entertaining his clientele in a perfect setting.

It was hard to argue.

Fair Game Mo Honarkar and his daughter Hasty

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Hotel Laguna owner Mo Honarkar and his daughter Hasty, who is overseeing the interior design and marketing efforts of the Beach Club, extended a warm welcome

Fair Game Beach Club couches and chairs

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The comforts of the “Club” are wonderfully casual, yet luxurious…replete with ocean views

Hotel Laguna owner Mo Honarkar and his daughter Hasty took me through the space acknowledging the upgrades that have been completed so far. They first pointed to the ceiling, where a ho-hum popcorn finish had previously covered the space, only to be removed to uncover wonderful wooden beams and a shiplap look in one area and fabricated metal beams adorning the other. 

Fair Game Beach Club bar

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

The bar area, where mixologists will be pouring inventive cocktails, shows off the newly opened ceilings

Mo pointed to windows, previously covered on both sides by plywood, only to be uncovered to allow in lots of natural light to brighten the entire area.

He also walked me out onto the beachfront, where members may enjoy umbrellas, chairs and personalized service…all just steps to the sparkling sea.

Fair Game Beach Club beach umbrellas

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

And, when you choose to go outside, you can do that, too, with full service

It truly is a one-of-a-kind space and should be on everyone’s must see list as a place to check out.

And if the tray passed hors d’oeuvres, drinks and impeccable attention to detail were any indication, the Club certainly has a bright future.

Fair Game Beach Club umbrella pavilion

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Reserve your spot in the sand…here

Woman’s Club of Laguna Beach honors Dee Perry as 2022 Woman of the Year


On Friday, June 17, members of the Woman’s Club, community members, friends and family honored Dee Perry as Woman of the Year for 2022. Since 1995, the Woman’s Club has annually celebrated a local woman for her consistent community volunteer service.

woman's club iseman

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Photos by Nancy Villere, Crush Photo Studios

Laguna Beach Councilwoman Toni Iseman with proclamation for Dee Perry

The City Council was represented by councilmembers Toni Iseman and George Weiss. Some of those in attendance were Ann Christoph, Barbara Crane, Cheryl Kinsman, Deborah and Cody Engle, Gail Landau, Nadia Babayl, Stephany Skenderian, Renae Hinchey and Katie Burton-Gray.

Woman's club dee

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Dee Perry, 2022 Woman of the Year

For more than 40 years, Perry has fearlessly advocated for students and parents of the Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) from both inside and outside the classroom. She was an elementary school teacher at Top of the World and El Morro. Perry also worked as a special education teacher and speech pathologist and pushed to improve services for students in the English as a Second Language Program.

woman's club husband

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Jim Perry, her husband of 26 years, described Perry 

as courageous

In college, she worked at a home for foster kids and at 23, she and her then husband opened their home to two foster children, 8 and 11-year-old sisters. Soon after, Perry had her own child, Corey. After a divorce, she became a single mother of three and was seemingly undaunted by the task. 

During her tenure on the LBUSD boards, Stu News named her “Newsmaker of the Year” for the number of times her name appeared in the online publication in articles about her legal actions against the school board.

woman's club corey

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Perry’s son Corey Namba 

Perry is the president of the College and Career Advantage boards that serve more than 17,000 students from both the Capistrano Unified School District and LBUSD. She is actively involved in the arts, giving hundreds of tours for the Laguna Art Museum, serving both on the Crystal Cove Art Council and as a community development panelist for art grants for the State of California Arts Council. She is an advocate for and volunteer at our local school gardens and at San Joaquin Marsh & Wildlife Sanctuary and is a member of the Laguna Beach Garden Club and a board member of the Woman’s Club.

woman's club hula

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Perry and Hilde Pedersen Otterholdt hula to a ukulele tune by Brian Opengaard

Tributes were also made by teaching colleague Tamara Wong, lifelong friend Howard Hill, and friend and luncheon co-chair Jane Leary. 

woman's club brother

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Perry’s brother, Kane St. John

Because of Perry’s interest in hula dancing, the Woman’s Club was tropically decked out in a Hawaiian theme, including table floral arrangements by Joyce’s Flowers and stage flowers by Ruben Flores. Attendees were treated to a lovely luncheon by Produce Catering & Design. 

woman's club award

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President of the Woman’s Club Kitty Malcolm presents Perry with “Woman of the Year” award

Throughout the ceremony, Perry was described as a role model, inspirational, someone with a heart of gold, and by Howard Hills as part of the extraordinary population of women in Laguna Beach who have always been remarkable. 

The main consensus regarding Perry seemed to be a quote from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”

As the awards ceremony came to an end, Perry joined the ranks of the other 26 “Woman’s Club Woman of the Year” recipients.

For more information about the Woman’s Club, visit The Woman’s Club is located at 286 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach.

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In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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