54th Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade

Photos by Scott Brashier

54 Annual Heroes

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Parade theme – “Everyday Heroes”

54 Annual Sande

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Sande St. John, Citizen of the Year

54 Laguna Junior Citizens

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Laila Cruz and Nathan Solomon, Junior Citizens of the Year

54 Laguna Skipper

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Statue commemorating Skipper Carrillo

For more photos by Scott Brashier, see the slideshow below

Bel Canto to perform at LBUMC on Sunday

Bel Canto, the women’s choir from Azusa Pacific University, will perform during the 10 a.m. worship service at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church on Sunday, March 24. The choir, led by David Hughes, DMA, sang at the church two years ago to great acclaim. 

Caterina Paton, a member of Bel Canto and LBUMC, is one of twenty singers who will travel to Indonesia, including Bali, in May. This is APU’s first mission trip to Indonesia. 

Bel Canto group

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Bel Canto will perform at LBUMC on Sunday

“We’re putting on some large concerts, but also getting to participate in some worship services,” says Caterina. “Everyone is excited to get to know and learn about a new culture.” 

Following the service and the performance, a Polynesian Luncheon, complete with BBQ Chicken, will be held in Healton Hall at the church. Everyone is welcome. 

For more information, contact the church at (949) 499-3088 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LBUMC is located at 21632 Wesley Dr.

Judie Mancuso’s sponsored bill to protect lost pets clears first committee hurdle

In a recent unanimous vote, bill SB 64, sponsored by Laguna local Judie Mancuso, cleared its first committee hurdle. SB 64 requires all municipal animal shelters to microchip any adopted or recovered cat or dog, helping pets find their way home.

Microchipping of pets is the easiest and most effective way to help pets in the tragic event they become lost or separated during a natural disaster, but many pets in California have never undergone this simple process. That’s closer to changing following the 9 to 0 vote of the California State Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development on SB 64, a bill to mandate microchipping of cats and dogs in all municipal shelters.

“When lost pets are found, microchipping allows them to be returned to their families, instead of left to languish in a shelter. We’re proud to be joining Senator Chang and advocates from across the state to get more pets back into loving homes,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, a sponsor of SB 64.

Laguna's Judie group

Courtesy of Socialcompassioninlegislation.org

Judie Mancuso, CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation, gives a speech on animal welfare

“Our pets are part of our family, and we dread the thought of them becoming lost or separated,” said Senator Ling Ling Chang (R-Diamond Bar), who authored the bill. “I’m proud to work on SB 64, which would help reunite pets with owners, significantly reduce the number of euthanized pets, and save taxpayer dollars.”

When an unchipped pet is brought to a shelter, only 15 percent of dogs and 2 percent of cats make it home. Meanwhile, roughly 75 percent of microchipped pets are reunited with their humans. As Senator Chang mentioned in her remarks, the problem of lost pets is worsening as California sees more and more devastating wildfires. In October 2017, one dog, Bill, was accidentally separated from his family, the Robinsons of Santa Rosa, during the Tubbs fire, but, due to a microchip and the work of the Marin Humane Society and local police, the family was reunited. More families and pets deserve this kind of safety.

Since its founding in 2007, one of Social Compassion in Legislation’s primary goals has been to reduce euthanasia in state shelters, seeing this as both morally and fiscally worthwhile. “When dogs or cats come in with no identification, they are more likely to be euthanized. Given that half a million pets are put down in California shelters each year, we must do everything we can to get them into the homes where they will be loved and protected,” Mancuso added. 

The bill now advances to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

For more information, visit www.socialcompassioninlegislation.org.

Community invited to Transition Laguna Beach potluck tomorrow

Tomorrow, Wednesday, April 3 at 5:30 p.m., Transition Laguna Beach invites the community to join together for a community style potluck in the Top of the World neighborhood. “Bring your appetite, a dish to share, and pull up a chair in the fire station,” writes Transition Laguna Beach. “Wine is also allowed at this event. The Fire Station will provide tables and chairs.”

Thanks to the selfless efforts of Ellen and Roger Kempler, a new Little Free Library will grace the T.O.W. neighborhood next to Fire Station #3. This is the perfect chance to join in and celebrate with neighbors and friends. 

The Little Free Library Foundation has donated a library box under their Impact Giving Program for installation in front of Laguna Beach Fire Station #3. 

The library will serve firefighters, the school community, and neighbors, with the primary goal of raising awareness about nature, wildlife, and our local environment in a time of increasingly dangerous fires and lengthier fire seasons. As with other Little Free Libraries, the fire station’s library will also be stocked with books to entertain as well as inform. 

Community invited books

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New Little Free Library is located next to Fire Station #3

Because Laguna’s Fire Station #3 was the staging area for the fight against the June 2018 wildfire that threatened and forced evacuation of the Top of the World neighborhood, this is an especially well-timed gift that symbolizes the important partnership between communities and their fire departments in fire preparedness, prevention, and safety.

In keeping with the terms of the gift, neighbor Ellen Girardeau Kempler, who submitted the grant application, will assist helping maintain the library and will organize one community program – a story time or presentation – during the coming year. She will also see that the library is registered on the Little Free Library organization’s map and work with the city to promote the library through photos, news stories, and blog posts. 

To help keep the library stocked, firefighters and community members are welcome to replenish it, keeping in mind the objectives outlined above. Ellen will also seek assistance from Transition Laguna and other community groups, including the “book fairies” to help replenish.

Fire Station #3 is located at the corner of Tree Top Lane and Alta Laguna in T.O.W.

Join LOCA for Watercolors on the Beach on April 14 at Treasure Island Park

On April 14, from 9 - 10:30 a.m., LOCA invites the public to take part in a Watercolors on the Beach class at Treasure Island Park. Tour the tide pools and learn about ocean conservation, then learn to paint tide pool creatures in a watercolor journal with September McGee. 

Explore and learn about local tide pools and conservation efforts. Participants will learn how to create their own color renderings of local sea life with a step-by-step demonstration of various watercolor techniques.

Join LOCA beach

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Tour tide pools and paint tide pool creatures in watercolors with LOCA 

All students receive an art package that includes a watercolor journal, and a set of watercolors in a canvas tote. This educational program melds the arts and science beautifully. It offers families a wonderful activity to participate in together. 

This workshop is offered to ages 6 through adult.

This is a grant-funded program and is part of a new collaboration between LOCA Arts Education and Laguna Plein Air Painters Association.

The cost is $35 for adults and $20 for children ages 5-18 when accompanied by a paying adult. 

Advanced registration is required for all students. 

For more information and to register, visit www.locaarts.com/event.

Gather at the Lifeguard Tower on Sunday at noon to celebrate Earth Day with environmentalist Beth Leeds 

In 1970, environmentalist Beth Leeds learned from the Founders of Earth Day that the organizer’s celebration would be held in Los Angeles.

“I thought Laguna would be another perfect place to mark the day,” Beth says. “Thousands came to that first Earth Day here. Now I’m hoping people will join me this Sunday, April 21 at noon, for the 49th Earth Day celebration on Main Beach at the Lifeguard Tower.”

As the organizer of the very first Earth Day in Laguna, no doubt Beth will bring back the excitement and meaning of how we can act in support of the environment.

“It begins at home,” says Beth. “I have a challenge for Laguna: become the first town in Orange County to have toxic free homes. Every day, every minute, toxic runoff from our homes becomes runoff into our ocean and on our beaches.”

Beth knows how to convert homes so this doesn’t happen, and wants to spread the word.

Gather at tower

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

This Sunday at noon, celebrate Earth Day at the Lifeguard Tower

At the event, this enterprising woman will launch her Laguna Clean Ocean Campaign, with the goal of keeping toxic runoff from homes out of the ocean, and off our beaches by using safer-for-you home products.

Beth says she is very grateful to her friends, who have opened doors for her. “It means that when opportunities arise, I can act on a moment’s notice.”

Beth’s activism began when she was just eight years old – she was instrumental in getting the stop sign at Lower Cliff Drive installed. She has a long history of helping Laguna be the best it can be, which she tells Stu News includes her work on getting the Community Swimming Pool completed, and being one of the founders of the Laguna Beach Historical Society, the Laguna Beach Poets, and the Laguna Canyon Conservancy, as well as doing so much more for our community.

As they say, “There is no planet B” – so Sunday is a chance to gather and celebrate the planet we do have.

Weekly Wednesday ride

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Weekly Wednesday group

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Local Laguna mountain bike group that laughingly would not confirm their identity

Weekly Wednesday flowers

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Enjoying a trail ride through the vibrant spring blooms

Radiance of a dying day 

Radiance of sun and rock

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Photo by Michael Tanake

Evening closes in on what remains of the brilliant light of day

Laguna Beach Seniors presents Self-Care, Self-Love series on May 21 and 28

The Susi Q Center and Laguna Beach Seniors presents a Self-Care, Self-Love series on Tuesdays May 21 and 28 from 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Instructor Megan McCarver, M.A., C-IAYT, will lead the class. There series if free to attend.

Gain more energy and vitality empowering yourself to transform stagnant negative energy to light and hopefully new beginnings. 

Laguna Beach blue

Submitted photo

Megan McCarver, M.A., C-IAYT

Expect two weeks of self-development and personal growth exploring new daily self-care practices including personalized morning and evening routines for wellness. Students will be educated in rediscovering simple home remedies, kitchen spices, and local herbs to feel balanced and stronger in health. 

Register with Christine Brewer at the front desk by calling (949) 715-8105 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third St.

Rainbow Reflections…

A column about LGBTQ life in Laguna

By Craig Cooley

Rainbow Reflections Craig

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In just three weeks, the second annual Laguna Beach Pride 365 Festival will commence. With a much larger program than last year, the organization has outgrown the Boom Boom Room and has located to a new venue, Seven7Seven in Laguna Canyon (formerly Tivoli Too!). It is an excellent location with ample parking and has more than four times the space.

Announcing Pride entertainers and the schedule lineup

This year the event will include an entertainment stage, 10-plus vendor booths, garden patio, and huge dance pavilion, optional valet parking for everyone, and a VIP package that is the envy of any LGBTQ Pride Festival. 

Rainbow Reflections Seven

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Seven7Seven in Laguna Canyon

With a larger venue there is more room for “name” entertainers including Debby Holiday with her new dance releases, Joey Suarez, and Jennifer Corday. For music we have the Perry Twins, Dawna Montell, and DJ Arrow. It is an excellent lineup.

Thank you!

As a member of the Laguna Beach Pride 365 organization, I wish to thank the venue owner, Mo Honarkar, and Laguna Beach Company/Laguna Creative Ventures for working so closely with us and our event to make it the best that Laguna Beach has ever experienced. But perhaps more importantly, I wish to thank them for their fantastic support of diversity.

A current list of Laguna Beach Pride activities

May 31 – Club Nirvana Rooftop Deck 

Join us for a special edition of Rainbow Friday’s “Happy Hour Pride Kick Off Party” at Club Nirvana. Enjoy rooftop views, cocktails, and special nibbles. Watch the sunset and get the weekend off to a Prideful start! 

--303 Broadway St

--6 p.m. to 10 p.m. - No Cover

May 31 – Main Street Bar & Cabaret Dance

Laguna Beach Pride 365 welcomes you to Main Street Bar & Cabaret with our official Pride Weekend Kick-Off Dance Party. Enjoy your favorite beverages and dance the night away. Wear a Rainbow and join in the Best Rainbow Contest to win “Prizes and Surprises” for everyone.

--1401 S Coast Hwy

--9 p.m. to 2 a.m. - No Cover

What’s up on Sunday

June 1 – Laguna Canyon Nature Hike

Enjoy an early morning hike to get the juices flowing for a full day of Pride. Your tour director will meet you with bottled water and maps for the outing as you discover a portion of the 22,000 acres of preserved outdoor spaces that surround Laguna Beach. More details will be provided as they become available. All ages are welcome, 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

--Location in the Canyon to be determined...more to follow. 

--8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – it’s free!

June 1 – Love is Love Drag Bingo Brunch

Endora can call the number as no one else can, with her own raucous commentary, all in good taste, as always. Some great prizes will be awarded to the winners. The competition will be fierce. Enjoy some personable hosts and bingo card distributors who will certainly add to the entertainment value. All ages are welcome, 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

--OC Craft Gastro Pub, 237 Ocean Ave

--11 a.m. to 2 p.m. - $5 Admission with Welcome Rainbow Jell-O Shot. 

June 1 – Laguna Beach Pride Festival

Enjoy a day of entertainment with specialty vendors, GoGos, Queens, guest DJs, and special guest performances. VIP Package includes private lounge with no host premium bar, complimentary Lite Bites, and free valet parking. More details to follow. All ages are welcome, 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

--Pride Entertainer Wilhelmina Caviar hosts Debbie Holiday, Joey Suarez, and Jennifer Corday

--Seven 7 Seven, 77 Laguna Canyon Road

--3 p.m. to 12 a.m. Admission is $12 in advance, $15 at the door. VIP Admission is $45 in advance, $55 at the door. 

Rainbow Reflections Corday

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Courtesy of corday.net

Jennifer Corday

June 2 – West Street Beach Pride Celebration

Join us for an afternoon of fun at the iconic West Street Beach with featured guest DJ, entertainment, and dancing. All ages and all families welcome! 

--Officially known as Camel Point Beach 

--11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free!

June 2 – Pride Closing Party T-Dance

Featured guest DJs, GoGos, and Queens galore. All ages are welcome, 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult. 

--Mozambique, 1740 S Coast Hwy

--5 p.m. to 12 a.m.

-- $8 in advance, $10 at the door. 

You can pre-purchase discounted general admission or VIP tickets or make a donation to the nonprofit Laguna Beach Pride 365 at www.lagunabeachpride.org.

Rainbow Radio this Saturday features…

This week’s radio guest is Florian Klein to talk about the world premiere of Shooting Star – A Revealing New Musical.

Rainbow Reflections Florian

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Florian Klein

Shooting Star – A Revealing New Musical is a semi-autobiographical musical love story by Florian Klein (in the role of gay porn star Hans Berlin), with music by Thomas Zaufke and lyrics by Erik Ransom. The production is directed by Michael Bello (assistant director for the Tony Award nominee Summer: The Donna Summer Musical).

The daring musical explores identity, family, and love in the unexplored world of gay porn. It is an invitation to not only destigmatize our views on the adult film industry and its players, but also to meet the real people behind the scenes of this taboo (and fascinating) industry. 

The production goes beyond the stereotype and prejudice. We see that the standard image we as a society tend to assign any and all adult video stars is actually pretty far from the truth. Shooting Star shows the human side of adult video by focusing on the performers in the adult film world — their hopes, lives, and dreams. It is about finding oneself, a family, and above all else love. The movie trailer can be viewed on YouTube.

Florian Klein is originally from Germany, where he’s worked as an actor, singer, moderator, TV host, and HIV activist. In 2002, he moved to New York and later to Los Angeles – both times in pursuit of his acting career.

Club Q – Laguna Beach…

If you are not familiar with Club Q, let me explain. It is a vibrant social organization bringing together the LGBTQ community for various fun and affordable social events, from educational and related community efforts to entertainment and social mixers. Membership is free and includes all ages, from 18 up.

A list of upcoming events includes: 

--Friday, May 17 from 3 - 5 p.m., featured movie Boy Erased

--Friday June 7, from 3 - 5 p.m., guest Joyce, representing Shanti, is going to speak on “Sensuality and Intimacy After 60, Dispelling the Over the Hill Myth”

--Friday June 2 from 3 - 5 p.m., featured movie Bohemian Rhapsody

Club Q meets at the Susi Q Senior Center, 380 Third St. 

Rainbow Reflections group

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Craig Cooley, Nadia Babayi, and Chris Tebbutt

Recently the Susi Q celebrated its tenth anniversary at [seven-degrees] in the Canyon. Chris Tebbutt and I were there and shared the moment with Nadia Babayi. It was an emotional event as the Quilter family brought the community together with a proud heritage of giving back to the community.

So, there you have it for this week lots going on here in our beautiful beach city…lots to be prideful about.

Until next week, Craig Cooley here doing my best to keep up with all the LGBTQ fun in Laguna Beach.

If you would like to submit suggestions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as we love to keep everything interesting and relevant, and well, yes, fun and entertaining!

“Messy Church” at LBUMC focuses on Moving Mountains this Sunday, May 19

This month’s “Messy Church” activity focuses on Moving Mountains, using the Parable of the Mustard Seed as its starting point. The intergenerational event will be held Sunday, May 19, between 4 and 6 p.m., at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church. 

Barbara Crowley, who leads the program, says, “We’ll plant and we’ll play and we’ll experiment with feats of strength.” In addition, a meal is always served.

Crowley adds, “Messy Church continues to grow as an alternative for people looking for worship experiences outside of a sanctuary setting. The Parable of the Mustard Seed is perfect to explore questions of strength and power as this story gives some perspective for personal reflection. I extend an invitation to come to try to move mountains!”

Messy Church sign

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Courtesy of Facebook

The community is invited to LBUMC for “Messy Church” on Sunday

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

An RSVP is appreciated but not required. To RSVP or receive more information, contact the church at (949) 499-3088 or visit www.lbumc.org. LBUMC is a Reconciling Congregation.

Dusk at the Surf & Sand done right

Dusk at pool

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An evening glow to go with a glowing pool alongside crashing waves

The Ranch at Laguna Beach launches Adventure Camp

The Ranch at Laguna Beach recently announced the launch of Adventure Camp, an immersive youth outreach initiative aimed at connecting kids with the great outdoors. 

Formerly known as the Camping Outreach Program, Adventure Camp is powered by The Ocean Institute and Cox Communications and provides no-cost camping experiences at The Ranch at Laguna Beach for nonprofit youth organizations.

Adventure Camp offers unique locations for daytime activities and primitive overnight camping experiences during the summer months. The program is exclusively available on a limited basis to Southern California-based nonprofit groups focusing on youth mentorship, enrichment, and learning for at-risk and low-income kids.

The camp is held in partnership with The Ocean Institute at The Ranch at Laguna Beach’s Scout Camp, a storied location that served as an activity site for YMCA and Girl Scouts in the 1940s. With this meaningful setting as its backdrop, Adventure Camp empowers mentorship organizations to make a difference in young lives by connecting campers with nature and fostering a lifelong appreciation for the great outdoors.

The Ranch kids

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Kids exploring the trails at The Ranch 

With Adventure Camp, The Ranch at Laguna Beach also provides camping equipment such as tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, lanterns and more, as well as access to permanent bathrooms, potable water, and limited electrical power for general camping use, guided arrival and departure through the property, and overnight security as needed. Campers can also take part in on-site activities like organic gardening, bird watching, wildlife observation, and plant study. Transportation to/from The Ranch at Laguna Beach is not included.

“The Ranch at Laguna Beach and its Scout Camp are culturally significant locations, and the land is deeply meaningful to the community. When we became stewards of this incredible landscape, we recognized a responsibility to continue its legacy of making a positive impact on young lives,” said Kurt Bjorkman, General Manager of The Ranch at Laguna Beach. “We are proud to launch Adventure Camp and appreciate the support from Cox Communications, whose generous donation enables The Ranch at Laguna Beach and The Ocean Institute to continue this enriching outdoor program for kids who need it most.”

In the summer of 2018, The Ocean Institute and The Ranch at Laguna Beach partnered to host 12 campouts for 314 participants from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties. Through these campouts at The Ranch at Laguna Beach, kids from across SoCal engaged in summer camp activities, nature-focused explorations, overnight tent campouts, and beach time, with many kids experiencing such activities for the very first time.

The Ranch deer

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Wildlife visiting The Ranch 

“We’re excited to support families in the region through a program that fosters hands-on education, exploration of the great outdoors and appreciation for our environment,” says Jodi Duva, Vice President of Cox Business in Orange County. “Growing up I didn’t always have the opportunity to have experiences like this, so I’m proud to work for a company that is enriching summer for kids from all walks of life in a beautiful coastal city like Laguna Beach!”

The Ranch at Laguna Beach will host “A Day in the Canyon” on Thursday, Aug 22 to celebrate the launch of the newly rebranded Adventure Camp program.  This community event will be open to the public and held on the resort grounds, featuring activities, food and beverage, outdoor games and more, with all precedes benefitting Adventure Camp. Additional information will follow as event details are finalized.

Nonprofit youth organizations interested in applying for Adventure Camp can submit an application at www.theranchlb.com/ranch/adventure-camp

Those with questions on how to apply can contact Patricia A. Pegram, Outdoor Education & Summer Camp Program Manager for The Ocean Institute at (949) 496-2274 ext. 311 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Editor’s Note: Adventure Camp program dates are fully committed for 2019. Select spaces remain available for the 2020 summer season, and applications for 2021 campouts are currently being accepted. The Ranch at Laguna Beach recommends organizations seeking to partner with Adventure Camp apply approximately two years in advance due to the popularity and exclusivity of the program.

Nonprofit Waymakers raised $80,000 to support at-risk youth during annual golf tournament

Waymakers teed off during its 36th annual Swing For Kids Charity Golf Tournament presented by John Jory Corp. on May 16 at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine. More than 144 golf enthusiasts, community members, and Waymakers’ supporters took a swing and raised over $80,000 to benefit Waymakers’ Counseling and Support Programs. 

This year’s event was co-chaired by Greg Tippin, senior managing director, Newmark Knight Frank, and John Jory, president, Radiation Protection & Specialties, both longtime supporters of the nonprofit’s work. 

Milwaukee Tools’ Rolex Hole-In-One opportunity was an event highlight as attendees put their golf skills to the test in support of the emergency crisis and intervention programs that Waymakers offers to youth, families, and individuals facing conflict and crisis. 

Live and silent auction packages were up for bid at the dinner following the golf tournament, featuring a Kauai vacation at the Pono Kai Resort, Angels Diamond Club Tickets, and a stay at the Pelican Hill Resort with golf. 

Nonprofit Waymakers golfers

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Submitted photo

Ed Reitkopp, Jon Setoguchi, and Hugh Lee from Irvine-based law firm Atkinson, Andelson, Loya Ruud & Romo

All golf tournament proceeds directly benefit Waymakers and its programs. These services include: sheltering children ages 11-17 who are homeless, runaway, abused or those struggling with mental illness; supporting victims of crime and surviving family members as they learn to cope with the aftermath of crime; counseling families and youth through individual group and family therapy, academic support, job/career readiness, life skills and aftercare, offering lasting solutions to complex problems; and mediation services to help individuals experiencing conflict resolve their concerns and education programs that help Orange County residents lead healthier and safer lives.

The 36th annual Swing for Kids Golf Tournament sponsors included John Jory Corp., Purus Wealth Management, Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, Swinerton, Alert Insulation, City National Bank, Commercial Scaffolding Inc., Hackney Electric, Howard Building Corp., K2 General Contractors, Kaiser Permanente, Newmark Knight Frank, Pacific Western Bank, Radiation Protection & Specialties, Sage View Advisory Group, and Taber Company. 

Since opening in 1972, Waymakers has offered individuals, families, and communities the steadiest, surest, and safest means to positive outcomes. The staff and volunteers of Waymakers are focused on creating an environment where individuals facing conflict and crisis can make choices, which lead to strength and stability. 

Through crisis and intervention programs, Waymakers aim to achieve: family strengthening and reunification, homeless prevention, diversion of at-risk youth from the juvenile justice system, school dropout prevention, and a path back from the trauma of crime victimization. 

For more information on the Waymakers’ 36th Annual Swing For Kids Charity Golf Tournament, visit www.waymakersoc.org/events/swin-for-kids-golf-tournament.

Three Clubs Barefoot Golf Tournament raises over $60,000 for Laguna schools 

Monday, May 13 marked the Fourth Annual 3 Clubs Barefoot Canyon Classic at The Ranch, benefiting SchoolPower. With the theme of “Peace, Love, & BBQ,” this sold-out event entertained golfers and non-golfers alike. Generously underwritten by The Ranch at Laguna Beach and Hobie, 100 percent of the over $60,000 raised benefits the local Laguna Beach schools through SchoolPower.

Seventy-six barefoot golfers kicked off the afternoon’s festivities with a friendly nine-hole, four-person scramble competition. As in past years, players tackled some nontraditional shots, including teeing off with a softball bat, driving with opposite-handed clubs, and the replacement of putters with a hockey stick. 

First-time golf participant and SchoolPower Trustee Eric Brougher was one of several winners of hole challenges, scoring a golf cap for closest to pin. 

Three Clubs doll

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Photo by Kristin Karkoska, Blue Sky’s Studios

(L-R) Golfers Bret Hilyard, Chris Yelich, Mike Dirnt, Rich Knowland, and Pete Helfrich 

“The Ranch provided the perfect atmosphere to celebrate SchoolPower and all the kids it positively impacts,” Brougher said. “The Barefoot Classic is a fun and definitely unique event for any level of golfer that is looking to have a great time while supporting a worthy cause with their friends and community.”

Following golf, the party continued on the patio, where golfers and guests gathered for a cocktail reception that included tequila tastings by Nosotros Tequila and live music by blues guitarist Shawn Jones. Dinner featuring Santa Maria-style BBQ prepared by former NFL player Brandon Jessie’s BBQ81 rounded out the casual celebration. 

“The beauty of the location and warmth of the staff blew me away,” said guest Suzzette Arnal. “Add to that fabulous food and lively conversation, and it was a perfect night!”

Three Clubs girls

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Photo by Kristin Karkoska, Blue Sky’s Studios

Foursome Jen Murray, Lauren Halloran, Nicole McMann, and Alison Alexander

As in past years, lifelong Laguna resident and longtime SchoolPower supporter Mark Christy took to the podium and served as auctioneer for a live auction. A creator of the Barefoot Classic, Christy’s enthusiasm set a festive tone for the night. “Seriously,” he told the crowd, “spending an afternoon having an informal, kick-your-shoes-off, laughter-echoing-through-the-canyon blast while doing something cool for our schools and the kids? Priceless!” 

Christy is passionate about public education and giving back to Laguna Beach schools. “Laguna’s schools and teachers were a game-changer for my classmates and me,” says Christy. “We hope that the funds generated will afford our exceptional instructors the flexibility and resources to further connect with students.” 

Three Clubs Christy

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Photo by Kristin Karkoska, Blue Sky’s Studios

Mark Christy, owner of The Ranch

This year’s auction items included a one-of-a-kind glamping trip in The Ranch’s exclusive “Scout Camp,” an overnight stay in the exclusive Treehouse and dinner for four at Harvest, and a custom-made Hobie surfboard. Bidders also faced off to win four seats at the upcoming Angel-Dodgers series, courtesy of John Carpino and the Angels organization. To cap off the night, the crowd was treated to a surprise live performance by Green Day founder, vocalist, and bassist Mike Dirnt, who then auctioned off a signed bass guitar to the enthusiastic crowd.

SchoolPower’s mission is to enhance the educational experience of the whole student as they grow from TK through 12th grade. In 2017-18, SchoolPower contributed over $760,000 to the Laguna Beach school district to help support a wide range of programs, including small class sizes, academics, athletics, visual and performing arts, music, STEM programs, and wellness and student support. 

SchoolPower’s Wave of Giving is on now here.

Laguna Beach Republicans announce June 20 meeting with three key speakers

The Laguna Beach Republicans (LBGOP) will hold its next meeting on Thursday, June 20, at Mozambique. Social hour begins at 5 p.m.; the meeting starts at 6 and ends promptly at 7:15. The three guest speakers will include former mayor Larry Agran, Spencer Finkbeiner, and Councilman Peter Blake. 

Laguna Beach Blake

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Peter Blake will speak at LBGOP meeting on June 20

Emil Monda, President of the LBGOP, invites all Republicans, Independents, and Libertarians to listen to the speakers. “To help honor the flag and veterans in June, we have a special speaker, former Irvine Mayor Larry Agran of Build The Veterans Cemetery, [who] will tell us why they are having problems getting a new veterans cemetery built in the Great Park in Irvine…and what we can do to honor our veterans.” 

Spencer Finkbeiner, Financial Director of the California Federation of College Republicans, will speak to the group about how to market to young people.

Wrapping up the program, Laguna Beach City Councilman Peter Blake will give us an update on his first six months on the Council. There will be sufficient time for Q&A.

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

Mozambique is located at 1740 South Coast Hwy.

Where’s Maggi?

Yeah, it’s a place to lock your bike. Have you ever parked your bike here? Maggi wants to know who can say where these flowers grow! 

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 6 21 19

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Guest Column

Internet Parental Controls: The best-kept secret that shouldn’t be 

By Charla Batey 

Communications Specialist at Cox Communications

Summer break is here, and for many of us, that means our kids are home with a lot of free time on their hands. Whether we like it or not, much of that free time is spent on electronic devices. We can’t monitor our children’s every move online, but Internet parental controls are an underutilized, easy way for parents to make sure their kids stay safe while they are streaming, gaming, scrolling, or chatting. 

As our use of the Internet and the modes we use to access it have evolved, so have parental controls. Here are five tips for making the most of parental controls available for every Internet-connected device in your home: 

--Use them to control how much time your children spend online. On iPhones, especially, you have the power to set your child up on Family Sharing, and then set rules on your kids’ iPhone usage. Your Internet service provider may also have parental controls included in your subscription, which can help you restrict and monitor the time kids spend online while they’re at home. 

--Remember how many ways kids can access the Internet. Use resources like Internet Matters to figure out which devices and online accounts you can set parental controls on, and go from there. 

Internet Parental Charla Batey closeup

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Charla Batey

--Make controls on YouTube a priority. Use YouTube›s parental controls to set your account to “Restricted Mode,” even if you use YouTube Kids, so your kids won’t run the risk of viewing disturbing content when searching for clips of their favorite shows. 

--Don’t forget their email or social media accounts. Make sure you have access to your minor child’s accounts (usernames and passwords), and regularly monitor their interactions if possible. Otherwise, consider blocking a social media site or deleting an email account if you’re truly worried. 

--Create a “white list” for kids under five. Children five and under are navigating the Internet and tech devices very quickly and with ease nowadays. Choose a handful of sites you’re comfortable with, and make those the only ones accessible on the device your kid uses.

Most importantly, however, know what parental controls can and can’t do. 

Parental controls can control how much time your kid spends online using devices you and your family own, which online games your child can access, filter web browsers so that your children can only access pre-approved websites, prevent children from using certain devices, limit what children can search for online, and manage the types of videos that are searchable online. 

Parental controls cannot control who reaches out to your children on their own social media channels or what photos children view on their own social media channels if those websites are not blocked, or you don›t have access to their accounts. 

As many parents know, there are plenty of dangers for kids online, from seeing inappropriate content to being contacted by unsavory strangers. However, the Internet is an indispensable part of our lives, so it’s simply not practical for us to unplug or forbid our children from going online in any way. Internet parental controls can give parents the peace of mind they need while school is out and ensure kids’ time online this summer is what it should be: fun.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Check off this week’s challenge in the Maggi wins column. She totally stumped our readers with this pair of roaring lions. Hear her roar!

If you want to find this secret spot, walk on over to the parking lot on Center Street (across from the car wash).

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

Wheres Maggi 7 23 19

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Roaring lions and a mermaid, in a parking lot on Center Street

Football season is just around the corner 

Photos by Scott Brashier

Football season play

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Has everyone memorized this play? 

Football season defense

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Good defense! 

Football season footballs

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LBHS Football, coming off last year’s 10-3 record, in which the team made it to the CIF Semifinals, will travel to Baltimore, Md. for a neutral non-conference game vs. Green Street Academy on Thursday, Aug 22 at 6:30 p.m. The team will follow up with its first home game on Friday, Sept 6 at 7 p.m. against Big Bear.

Balmy afterglow

Balmy afterglow

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Basking in the beautiful hues of another extraordinary sunset in Laguna

Dennis’ Tidbits 


August 20, 2019

Weather still not an exact science 

Dennis 5At this time, the Western Pacific Tropics are on steroids with multiple typhoons having their way with the Philippines, Taiwan, and many parts of Asia, yet the Central and Eastern Pacific and the Atlantic are dormant and have been for quite some time now. There are a couple areas of disturbed weather here and there but that’s about it. Normally August is a very active month for tropical development and intensification, but thunderstorm clusters aren’t well-defined large areas of convective activity, the main players in the birth of such systems.

Right now the tropics are under the influence of a neutral zone with no sign of either El Niño or La Niña present. We’re sort of in between events so anything can happen. Historically the neutral zone sees more normal activity in both oceans but that is not always the case – like so far this August. Both oceans are acting erratically. Our last neutral zone occurred in 2013 and 2014, and it was a fairly normal season in the Tropical Convergence Zone. The much-hyped mega El Niño of 2015-16 behaved erratically for the first time anyone can remember over much of the globe. 

Things went kind of neutral in 2017 before another mild El Niño ran the show in late 2018 and early 2019. The most recent El Niño event pretty much followed the script here in the Pacific but did a total flip-flop in the Atlantic. The 2018 season in the Atlantic more resembled a strong La Niña event when tropical activity really ramps up with more and much stronger hurricanes. 

Florence and Michael were proof of that, both reaching Category 5 status at one point of their existence. Florence stalled out for days in the Carolinas dropping up to four feet of rain in just one week, about as much as we get in three and a half years locally! Then Michael appeared, and he became the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle in a place called Mexico Beach. Michael was the first Category 5 storm to make landfall in the U.S. since Andrew in August of 1992. The classic 2005 season was in the midst of a strong La Niña and look what happened. They ran out the alphabet and had to go six deep in the Greek alphabet that year. That was the year Katrina made shambles of New Orleans and the Mississippi coast.

Generally, Tropical Pacific waters are much warmer during El Niño events and as a result there are more systems and they tend to be quite a bit stronger. Surrounded by all of that hot water, the atmosphere contains much more moisture. The surface low pressure produces much stronger updrafts with minimal shear wind influence plus they have all of that hot water to work with which resulted in a greater number of major hurricanes that season. On one occasion, the Eastern Pacific ran out the alphabet and that was in 1992 with a fairly potent El Niño going on that year. However, the Atlantic was totally opposite with not one named system until the last third part of August. By that point, there are normally at least a half a dozen storms already in the books.

At this time, it’s a sketchy prognosis about if and when we will see La Niña conditions, but it seems to be headed in that direction. The waters off Southern California are quite a bit cooler this summer than the balmy readings we saw most of last summer. The waters SW of Baja are significantly down compared to a year ago this time, which shortens the life span of any spinners that move past the tip. 

For a long time now, probably 50 years or better, we thought we had the patterns pegged as far as La Niñas and El Niños until the two latest events that tricked everybody at the NOAA. That’s what’s interesting about the weather. It’s still an inexact science. Always a surprise. Modern technology has certainly put us closer to getting it right but just when we think we’ve figured it out, it has a new surprise, and it probably will for a long time to come.

The waters in the Gulf of Mexico are really warm, as high as 88 degrees in some spots and that hot water is a developing storm’s best friend. 

Like I said before, the Atlantic switch will turn on eventually and that happens fast. 

See you all Friday, ALOHA!

Dennis’ Tidbits


August 27, 2019

Our real summer starts on Labor Day! 

Dennis 5Well we almost pulled it off for the 56th Annual Brooks Street Surfing Classic over the weekend but the waves arrived just a bit too late. Saturday’s waves weren’t up to par, so we put the contest on hold, as it’s a two-day event. Sunday was a different story as a clean 3-5 ft. south swell compliments of former Tropical Storm Ivo with excellent shape came in from just the right direction. However, if we started the action Sunday, we would have had to have the finals on another Saturday or Sunday, but there’s no guarantee that there would be good conditions the rest of the season. Like I said, the planets almost have to line up for conditions to be favorable both days. Time is ticking on, so stay tuned on that one.

Boy, summer sure blew by fast as next weekend will be Labor Day Weekend and on Tuesday the 3rd, we get our town back. We’ll be able to drive across town in just a few minutes, and the beaches will be much quieter. That’s quite a transition between next Monday and Tuesday. 

For the locals, our real summer starts the day after Labor Day. That’s when the crowds are pretty much gone. Some of our finest weather happens in September and October and even into November in a good year. If there’s going to be a 100-degree day, it’ll happen in September and October. Certainly we’ll see at least some 90 degree days. In September the water is still pretty warm as a rule and even well into October in an El Nino year.

As we get into September, the morning marine layer is not as prevalent, and there are clear sunny skies from sunup to sundown. The days are still pretty long with at least twelve hours of sun until the last week of September. The rainy season hasn’t started yet with only an average of a quarter inch of rain in September, less than a half inch in October, and about 1.2 inches in November, but a lot of Novembers see much less than that. 

We’re also approaching the season when hot dry winds blow out of the northeast from a strong high pressure over the Great Basin, mainly Utah. That’s when we get our hottest days of the year. On September 19, 1939, a strong Santana wind event sent temps in Laguna up to an all-time high of 109 degrees and a whopping 119 in Santa Ana. These winds are extremely dry where humidity readings will plunge into the single digits even at water’s edge. That’s when the red flag is hoisted as the threat of wildfires increases across Southern California.

Normally the first Santana wind event of the season occurs around October 5, but it’s happened as early as September 1st as it did in 1955 and September 5th in 1988 when both events sent temps to above 100 degrees here in Laguna. The latest date for the first Santana wind event was on Christmas Day of 2000. 

Historically, not one season has escaped the wrath of the Devil Winds at some point. Back in the day, the early Spanish settlers used to call these winds  “Vientos Diablos” for Devil Winds. October 27, 1993 will lay testimony to that! 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Where’s Maggi?

Have you seen this surf dog? Maggi wants to know where! 

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 8 30 19

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Investigators seek public’s assistance to identify child annoyance suspect(s)

Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators are seeking the public’s help to identify suspect(s) involved in separate child annoyance incidents during the last week.

At approximately 9 a.m. on Thursday, Sept 12, deputies received a report that a 12-year-old female walking to Aliso Viejo Middle School was touched by a male suspect. The 12-year-old confronted the suspect and yelled at him before getting away. The victim went to school and reported the incident. 

Investigators seek sketch 1

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OC Sheriff’s investigators are seeking the public’s help to identify this man 

Special Victim’s Detail investigators responded, along with a sketch artist. The investigation is ongoing.

The victim described the suspect as a man, possibly Caucasian, in his early 30s, with dirty blond hair and a goatee. The suspect was wearing sunglasses and was dressed in all-black clothing.

At approximately 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept 17, deputies received a report that a 16-year-old female walking home from Aliso Niguel High School along the Aliso Creek Hiking Trail was touched by a male suspect.

As the victim was walking, the suspect pulled on her skirt. The victim slapped the suspect’s hand away, ran back home and reported the incident. The suspect ran off in an unknown direction. Special Victim’s Detail investigators responded, along with a sketch artist. The investigation is ongoing.

The victim described the suspect as a man, possibly Hispanic, between 30 and 40 years old, 5’6”, 140 pounds, with short black hair. The suspect was wearing sunglasses and was dressed in a black collared shirt and tan cargo pants.

Investigators seek sketch 2

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OC Sheriff’s investigators are seeking the public’s help to identify this man 

Investigators are working to determine if the incidents are connected.

If you or your child are the victim of a similar crime, immediately get to a safe area and call 9-1-1.

Anyone with information they believe may assist the investigation is asked to contact the Orange County Sheriff’s Department at (714) 647-7419, or submit an anonymous tip to OC Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS (855-847-6227) or at www.occrimestoppers.org.

Grom Squad 

Grom Squad Jax

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Photo by Chris Williams

13-year-old Jax Hutcheon

23rd Annual Pet Parade and Chili Contest this Sunday is hotter than ever

The 23rd Annual Pet Parade and Chili Cook-Off event this Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m. at Seven7Seven (formerly Tivoli Too!), will be hotter than ever.

This furry fundraiser is sponsored by the Laguna Board of REALTORS® and Affiliates’ Charitable Assistance Fund, and all proceeds go to Laguna’s pet nonprofits – Blue Bell Foundation, Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, Pacific Marine Mammal Center, and PUP (Protecting Unwanted Pets).

Twenty third pirate

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Shiver me timbers, just call me “Captain Hook”

Come hungry for a vast assortment of chilis

The afternoon begins with the annual “hotly contested” chili contest. Normally, participating REALTORS®, lenders, escrow providers, title insurers, and other Laguna-based Affiliates bring their best game (and soup pots) to the event. This year, though, some new and surprise entries have added themselves to the roster, including our own Laguna Beach Fire Department. Seems they think their “firehouse chili” takes no prisoners, but several other entries (including two years of returning first prize winners) will be there to take on the challenge.

Stay to cheer on plucky contestants in the Pet Parade

The chili contest is followed by the Annual Pet Parade, the only Laguna pet parade that offers prizes in several categories. Get that pet of yours ready now for a round of triumphant Halloween costume wins and remember – your pet can have paws, claws, hooves, and toes. 

Twenty third jesters

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We may be court jesters, but do we look funny in these hats?

In addition to the “Best Costume” category, pets strut their stuff for prizes in categories such as “Most Handsome Male,” Prettiest Female,” “Cutest Pet Baby,” “Most Gorgeous Senior,” and “Happiest Rescue.” 

It’s all happening at Seven7Seven from 12 to 3 p.m. Admission is free for children 16 or under and $10 for adults, and can be purchased at the door the day of event. Last-minute pet parade contestants are allowed at that time. Pet registration is $10 for each category. 

Come on down and support the Laguna Beach nonprofit entities that protect and ensure the longevity of our beloved pets. 

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

Where’s Maggi?

Where is she now? If you think you can name this spot, let Maggi know you’re onto her!

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 11 8 19

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Amendments to municipal code required to comply with federal regulations


The City Council on Tuesday will do some housekeeping, cleaning up disparities between city and federal regulations related to wireless facilities.

Staff has requested feedback from the council on recommended changes to the municipal code that respond to a Federal Communications Commission rule passed in October of 2018. The stated goal of the FCC rule is to streamline state and local reviews of wireless communication facility applications and to facilitate the deployment of small wireless facilities. 

The council will review at tonight’s meeting the amendments city staff has recommended to improve compliance with the FCC rule and move regulations of the facilities and similar utilities to the section of the city code dealing with streets and highways. 

Recommendations include offering incentives for facility locations to be shared and updating rules for facilities that use the public right of way. 

Among the 16 recommendations: 

--Applications that meet city aesthetic guidelines chosen by the council would be issued administrative permits for installations in the public right-of-way on commercial and city-owned property. 

--Deployment in residential areas would be strictly controlled. 

--View impacts should be minimized. 

--Locating facilities on pre-existing structures should be encouraged.

The council was advised in April that the city would either adopt the FCC guideline or default to the government regulation pertaining to the facilities, which are expected to accommodate Fifth Generation wireless infrastructure –commonly called 5G. The city has little say in the matter.

Asked at the April meeting how much discretion the city has, City Attorney Philip Kohn said, “The short answer is very little.”

The FCC claims the order was necessary to “help ensure the United States wins the global race to 5G” by removing regulatory barriers that it claims would “unlawfully inhibit deployment of infrastructure necessary to support these new services.”

Local regulations related to radio frequency emission impacts on the environmental, human health and safety concerns could not be imposed to restrict cell towers, according to City Attorney Travis Van Ligten.

Local governments tried unsuccessfully to obtain a stay of the FCC order pending the outcome of litigation. 

Mayor Bob Whalen said in April that the city’s best hope is legislation. A previous legal challenge by the city some years ago on its control of telecommunications installations had ended up in court – and it didn’t go well for Laguna.

“These [installations] are going to happen,” said Matt Lawson, chair of the Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee. “We don’t have that much control.”

Tonight’s recommendations provide the council with strategies to implement an efficient process for small-scale cell sites, to minimize the number of utility poles and health risks and still comply with federal and state requirements.

Near winter twilight 

Near winter view

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut 

All is calm and bright on this beautiful December night

A slice of heaven

A slice sky

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The dark sky bears down, shutting out the amber light

City of Laguna Beach named 2019 Tree City USA Community

The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce it has been recognized as a 2019 Tree City USA Community by the Arbor Day Foundation. This is the second straight year the City has received the award, as the City was also named a Tree City USA Community for 2018.

“We are extremely proud that our community has received this recognition for the second year in a row,” said Laguna Beach City Manager John Pietig. “The City of Laguna Beach puts great effort and resources toward maintaining and protecting our urban forest.”

To achieve the Tree City USA recognition, the City met the required four core standards of sound Urban Forestry Management: maintaining a tree board or department/division responsible for tree care, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and holding an Arbor Day observance and proclamation. 

City of tree

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach named 2019 Tree City USA

In 2019, the City of Laguna Beach also hired a new City Arborist to lead the City’s Urban Forest Management Program and Tree Care Services.

“The City appreciates the benefits of trees in our community and takes great pride in maintaining our urban forest,” said Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis. “Last year, the Public Works Department replaced over 30 street trees in our Downtown and along Coast Highway.” 

The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters. More than 3,400 communities across the United States have made the commitment to becoming a Tree City USA.

The City will celebrate its 2019 Tree City USA designation at its upcoming annual Arbor Day celebration on Thursday, March 12 at Lang Park (located at the corner of Coast Highway and Wesley Drive) from 3 - 5 p.m. The tree planting ceremony will tentatively start at 4 p.m.

For more information contact Nate Faris, City Arborist, at (949) 715-0821 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Laguna Food Pantry receives grant from S.L. Gimbel Foundation

 Laguna Food Pantry is pleased to announce it has received a $15,000 grant from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Fund, which is administered by Inland Empire Community Foundation. 

Based in Riverside, Inland Empire Community Foundation is a trusted steward of the region’s charitable resources. The Foundation brings together key collaborators to determine community needs and acts as a catalyst for positive change.

Laguna Food Pantry will use this generous grant exclusively for the Pantry’s food distribution program. Through a contract with Second Harvest Food Bank, the majority of the approximately 6,000 pounds of daily groceries received by the Pantry are donated by eight local grocery stores.

Laguna Food volunteers

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Volunteers (L-R) Cecile Scott, Rebecca Washington-Lindsay, and Nancy Oughton

Pantry volunteer drivers rescue food seven days a week, food that would otherwise end up in landfills. In addition to food from local markets, the Pantry relies on other sources of donated or purchased food. 

The Pantry buys in bulk at local food banks and wholesale and retail outlets.  The most significant expenses are milk and additional produce to supplement the donated fruits and vegetables. The S.L. Gimbel Foundation’s grant will greatly offset the cost of these supplemental purchases.

“We are honored to be a recipient of this generous S.L. Gimbel Foundation grant and are grateful for the support of the Inland Empire Community Foundation,” said Anne Belyea, Executive Director of the Laguna Food Pantry.  The grant will allow us to continue to purchase fresh produce and milk to supplement the food we rescue daily from local grocery stores,” Belyea added.

Now in its twenty-sixth year serving its neighbors in need, the Laguna Food Pantry collects approximately 6,000 pounds of groceries daily and distributes this food to approximately 110 families each weekday. Forty percent of these families have children. 

 Located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd in Laguna Beach, the Pantry is open from 8 to 10:30 a.m., Monday through Friday. The Pantry is run entirely by its three-person staff and 125+ volunteers. 

For more information, contact the Pantry at (949) 497-7121 or visit www.lagunafoodpantry.org.

Not long until the Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade – will you be marching or watching?

The 54th Annual Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade will march at 11 a.m., Saturday, March 7, starting at Laguna Beach High School, then proceed down Park Avenue, turn right on Glenneyre and right again on Forest Avenue, ending just past City Hall at Ocean Avenue.

Stu News is even more excited than usual this year, because our wonderful reporter Barbara Diamond will be the Grand Marshal.

Not long shaena

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Stu News hopes to see you there!

Because the 53rd parade was rained out, the same honorees will ride down the parade route: Grand Marshal Barbara Diamond, Honored Patriot Arnie Silverman, Citizen of the Year Sande St. John, Artist of the Year Roxanna Ward, and Athlete of the Year Jade Howson, as well as the 2020 Junior Citizens, Laila Cruz and Nathan Solomon, Class of 2020, chosen by the Laguna Beach High School staff. 

The lineup will include bands, equestrians, classic cars, and floats. Patriotic attire is suggested for attendees and participants. 

Click on the link here for a PDF of the full lineup of floats.

For further information, contact Sandi Werthe at (949) 494-6016 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit the Parade website at www.lagunabeachparade.org.

Editor’s note: Interested in walking in the parade this year? We invite all of our readers to march with Stu News. We’ll have a live band performing with us –  members of the Laguna Beach Community Concert Band – and special treats to share. If interested, dress in Patriotic colors and/or attire, and meet us at the LBUSD parking lot at 550 Blumont St between 10:30 and 11 a.m. for the parade - we're entry #51. All readers are invited, including pups, kids, and grandkids – the more the merrier! For more info, email Shaena at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A beautiful day to vote your way

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

A beautiful legion

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American Legion Hall welcomed voters on a lovely sunny day

A beautiful cops

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Officers Krotine and Patel enjoy meeting residents at the Susi Q and Community Center

The Gross Family Foundation donates $1.5 million to support SoCal COVID-19 relief efforts

The William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, the charity founded by retired financial asset manager Bill Gross and his son and daughter, announced this week that it donated a total of $1.5 million to charities and organizations providing relief from the effects of coronavirus and its impact on Southern California communities. 

The Gross Family Foundation’s donations include $250,000 each to the OC Food Bank and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County to assist in relief efforts of individuals and families facing hardships due to economic effects of the virus. Additional donations include $200,000 each to the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) Coronavirus Care Fund, World Central Kitchen, The Recording Academy’s MusiCares, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, and the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation. 

The Gross Bill

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Bill Gross, Laguna resident 

“Jennifer, Jeff, and I are honored to support the heroic work being performed by these organizations and the volunteers who are tirelessly working to provide relief to the people who need it most during this unprecedented crisis,” said Bill Gross, the co-founder of the Newport Beach-based PIMCO fixed income asset manager and a longtime resident of Orange County. “Those with means are obligated to provide assistance to their communities to help alleviate the impact of the crisis and support the basic needs of families and individuals.” 

The OC Food Bank, a program of Community Action Partnership of Orange County based in Garden Grove, aims to make a positive impact in people’s lives by helping them meet basic needs and strengthen their support system, working with nearly 400 local charities, soup kitchens, and community organizations to end hunger and malnutrition. Second Harvest Food Bank of Irvine works through a network of more than 300 nonprofit partner agencies and programs to provide wholesome food and fresh produce to more than 250,000 hungry children, seniors, and families in Orange County every month. 

The Gross Jennifer

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Courtesy of Jennifer Gross

Jennifer Gross speaks at a Vatican conference

The NDWA’s Coronavirus Care Fund provides emergency assistance for qualifying home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners who are experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The World Central Kitchen, founded by chef José Andrés, provides meal preparation and distribution to U.S. food-insecure households affected by the coronavirus crisis. The Recording Academy and its affiliated charitable foundation MusiCares have established the COVID-19 Relief Fund to help its peers in the music community affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. 

United Way of Greater Los Angeles has announced the creation of the Pandemic Relief Fund to support L.A. County’s unsheltered residents who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus, and low-income individuals, students, and families at imminent risk of homelessness and hardships due to health and economic impacts of coronavirus. And the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, an advocacy and action nonprofit founded by and for restaurant workers, set up its Restaurant Workers COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund to provide direct crisis relief assistance to workers, assist other nonprofits serving restaurant workers, and to grant zero-interest loans to get restaurants back up and running. 

These contributions support Bill, Jeff, and Jennifer Gross’s longstanding commitment to provide financial resources to organizations that provide a direct benefit to the communities in which they serve. The William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation has donated $41 million to 73 nonprofit organizations since 2018.

Three important COVID-19 questions answered

By Gregg DeNicola, M.D., Caduceus Medical Group

Of all the questions I am receiving on COVID-19, I can narrow down the most important to three. 

--Do I have it? 

--Am I over it? 

--Am I contagious? 

It turns out even distinguished specialists are not in agreement. After all, no one had ever heard of COVID-19 three months ago. Doctors like pointing to peer reviewed data. In this case there is…well, none. That forces us to use logic, and a bit of faith we are making rational choices. Let’s answer those three questions using these principles. 

--We have come to the conclusion that the PCR test via nasal swab is the gold standard. It isn’t 100 percent. But it’s the best we have. It does take a few days to get the result, during which time you should stay isolated. But we have had at least six patients who tested negative on a “quick” test and allowed us to do the PCR – which was positive. The concern is more with false negatives than positives. This is too critical a disease to risk a false negative. 

It is clear that all “COVID-19 tests” are not equal. 

The inaccurate sense of safety from a false negative can lead to a life-threatening infection to those close to you if you spread it unknowingly. Same issue with the newer “antibody” screens. They test your immune response to the virus. But finding the virus itself is obviously preferred.

Moral: We advise avoiding all COVID-19 tests other than nasopharyngeal PCR swabs at this time. Ask prior to going to the testing center. They may be hard to find, but there are several centers here in Laguna offering them. 

--To “close” the case is tougher. Most of our re-swabs at one and two weeks post-diagnosis have remained positive. The experts are telling us to keep testing to at least four weeks out. This is where serum antibody tests are superior to PCR tests. If your body has mounted an antibody response to COVID-19, you may assume you are recovered if you have no symptoms. That means the infection has run its course, and you will not get it again. 

Unfortunately, we are having difficulty finding antibody tests on the market with the accuracy we feel is needed. At Caduceus, we prefer an antibody test to close your case. Absent one, a PCR swab also works. But do you need to stay isolated even if you have no symptoms until one of these tests show recovery?

The CDC says no. They ask for three days of no fever or symptoms, and one week from diagnosis. But using that criteria ignores our data that all cases still show active virus via PCR at one week. 

Moral:  We advise either an antibody or PCR test to show recovery prior to discontinuing isolation. Be patient. Wait for proof of immunity. If any disease begs for an accurate immunity, this is it. 

--Determining if you are contagious is the toughest job we have since no test can reliably tell us that. The PCR tells us if there is virus in your nose...but it is so sensitive, it may pick up viral fragments that are not contagious. You may be three weeks out from your diagnosis, feeling great with a positive PCR. Are you contagious? We just don’t know.

The antibody test? Tells us you are immune but not if you can pass it. Another virus, Hepatitis B, has some patients show immunity but they are active carriers for a lifetime. 

The experts are hoping to develop a test we use with HIV called a “viral load” – telling us both how bad it is, as well as how infectious. But that doesn’t exist now. 

Is it possible there will be “asymptomatic carriers” that can keep spreading COVID-19 for months or years? That is a question no doctor wants to have to answer. Including yours truly. We pray the answer is no.

Moral: There is no definite test to ensure you are not contagious. The best test we have now is the PCR swab. 

Fortunately, every day we analyze more data. And share it. And learn. Keep getting tested. More data means lives saved. 

Caduceus Medical Group is located at 333 Thalia St.

For more information, go to www.caduceusmedicalgroup.com or call (949) 499-0577.

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An Updated List of Mother’s Day Special Meal Options

By Diane Armitage

In Tuesday’s Stu News Laguna, I published the first round of Laguna restaurants that are offering special menus for Mother’s Day. This is a follow-up with many added options. 

We all know that moms, aunts, nieces, sisters, and dog/cat/turtle moms love to get out of the kitchen on Mother’s Day – it is easily the busiest day in restaurants all year long. 

This year, the scenery is a little different. You may be stuck in the house, the backyard, or in a park somewhere, but you can still rescue that dear woman from cooking. 

Pre-order today (Friday) or Saturday

Just about every restaurant is asking for pre-orders so that they can control ordering and costs. You will see their specific instructions below. Now is the time to jump on it! 

All of the below options are priced with tax and tip being additional. 

This time, I’m starting with last in the alphabet first, because we’re all about fairness here: 

Restaurants with special menus

The Drake Laguna Beach is offering a prix-fixe menu of hearty options that feed up to four people. The springtime chopped salad starts the party, with main course options being filet mignon ($195), ribeye steaks ($195), Alaskan halibut ($220), or a mixed grill of pork chops, lamb “lollipop” chops, two filets, and two Jidori chicken breasts ($240). Three sides accompany each order as well as dark chocolate Budino (Italian custard). A slew of craft Mother’s Day specialty cocktails are available to-go as well. 

An updated list lollipops

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Courtesy of The Drake Laguna Beach

For one of its Mother’s Day options, The Drake is offering lamb “lollipops” and Mother’s Day cocktails to-go 

I’m sure that pre-ordering is preferred by The Drake for Friday or Saturday, but I haven’t been able to confirm. Pick-ups begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday (Mother’s day). 

Skyloft is offering a special brunch or pre-ordered family meals for Mother’s Day. Pre-orders must be done by Thursday at 2 p.m. Brunch options are available same day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for $9 each. Regular lunch and dinner menu options are also available all day long.

Pre-ordered family meals for Mother’s Day feed four to six people with dinner options that include prime rib ($175), oven-roasted salmon ($160), Cajun pasta ($130), and Beyond Meat stuffed bell peppers ($100). All selections come with house salad, Texas toast, red velvet cake, and a choice between two bottles of wine.

Selanne Steak Tavern is offering two remaining options: Order from an a la carte brunch menu of nine popular items plus sides. Or, pick and choose options in their family-style Mother’s Day Brunch for Two priced at $130. 

Pre-order your brunch options through Saturday afternoon. Pick up your brunch items on Mother’s Day between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and pick up Mother’s Day Dinner between 3 and 6 pm.

Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook, our newest entry to Laguna Beach, is offering yet another peek into its coming menu with a Mother’s Day meal package priced at $169 for four to six people. Pre-order through Saturday between 2 and 8 p.m. and choose your day and time for pickup. 

Start with a large family-style salad of butter lettuce, hothouse tomatoes, and herbed goat cheese. Your primary proteins are an even split between two salmon filets and two ribeye steaks. Family portions continue with mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, and oatmeal raisin cookies. Add a 6-ounce Alaskan halibut filet for an added $20. 

An updated list Sapphire

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sapphire, Cellar. Craft. Cook.

Order Sapphire’s Mother’s Day meal package and receive gifts for Mom, too

As an added gift, every Sapphire Mother’s Day Meal Box also includes a gift package for Mom with a Sapphire gift card for $25 and Spa Gregorie’s goodies that include a facial mask, cell phone sanitizer, and a $20 Gregorie’s gift card.

Royal Hawaiian Fire Grill is re-introducing its Easter success, a full rack of Australian wood-grilled lamb dinner for $89, which feeds three or four people. Pre-order by Friday, May 8 before 8 p.m., with pickup only on Sunday, May 10, from 2 to 7 p.m.

The lamb dinner includes mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, and the Farmer’s Market salad, plus a choice between two bottles of wine. 

Reunion Kitchen is offering a “brunch feature” on Mother’s Day – short rib benedict with a poached egg and chipotle hollandaise. Or, order the Mom’s Prime Rib Dinner for $30, which includes a 4-ounce boneless cut with blue cheese mashed potatoes and asparagus. No pre-ordering is necessary.   

Oak Laguna Beach is offering a prix-fixe menu of options for up to four people for $175. Pre-order until Saturday at 3 p.m. 

Choose from two different salad options and a choice of two of three “main events” that include herb-roasted chicken, grilled baby back ribs, or broiled salmon. Choose two sides, too, and enjoy fresh-based cornbread and house-baked cheesecake for dessert. 

Oliver’s Osteria is offering two surf and turf menu options in its “Menu Della Mamma.” Each menu is priced for individuals as well as for a family meal that feeds four. 

Oliver’s first four-course menu option is $60 per person or $200 for the family meal and starts with Chef’s best-selling beef meatballs stuffed with fontina cheese. Then, it’s a “primo” course of ribbon pasta with mascarpone cheese and porcini mushrooms. The third course offers sautéed chicken breasts in artichoke sauce with a fourth-course finish of house made Tiramisu.

An Updated list seabass

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Courtesy of Oliver’s Osteria

Oliver’s Osteria is offering two separately priced prix-fixe menus, one of which includes Chef’s best-selling whole seabass 

Oliver’s second menu option starts with a salad of octopus, apples and celery. The second course is spaghetti with fresh mixed seafood, with the third course being whole Seabass filet baked in a bed of sea salt and fresh herbs. Tiramisu finishes the meal. This second menu option is $75 per person or $260 for four people. 

Nirvana Grille is offering a variety of a la carte options for Mother’s Day. Pre-order in advance for pickup and delivery on either Saturday or Sunday. Choose from salmon and bagel boards for starters, consider more than 10 appetizers, four salads, eight sides, and eight desserts. Proteins on Mother’s Day include steelhead salmon, herb-grilled whole Loup De Mer, rack of lamb, grilled filet, and Herbs de Provence pork.

An updated list Nirvana

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Courtesy of Nirvana Grille

On Mother’s Day, Nirvana Grille is offering a variety of a la carte specialties, including grilled filet

Lumberyard is offering both brunch and dinner options for four. Pre-order by calling the restaurant. Brunch orders will be available for pickup on Saturday between noon and 8 p.m., and Mother’s Day dinner orders will be available for pickup on Sunday between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. 

Brunch, priced at $70, is more of a fun craft kit, starting with smoked salmon and herbed creme fraiche, and then throwing in everything you could possibly need for a make-at-home brunch including artisan bread, house made pancake batter, a dozen farm eggs, and a bottle of Prosecco. Syrup and churned butter are included, too. 

Dinner comes ready-made and priced at $85 with salad, a whole rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn bread, apple cobbler, and a choice between two bottles of wine.

GG’s Bistro is offering two options – one for up to five people, and another for a party of two. Pre-order by Saturday morning for pickup on Saturday or Sunday. 

An updated list appetizers

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Courtesy of GG’s Bistro

GG’s Bistro’s Mother’s Day combination plate includes popular Mediterranean appetizers, Turkish meze items, as well as a heaping plate of the restaurant’s best-selling kebabs (pictured below)

The larger option is a Mediterranean mixed grill platter entrée that serves up something fun for everyone. Priced at $95, the combo includes GG’s best-selling kebabs, a variety of Mediterranean appetizers, and added Turkish meze items (i.e. house made hummus, roasted pepper carpaccio, and eggplant dolmas).

For smaller parties, enjoy GG’s popular Avocado Crevette appetizer and the same mixed grill platter described above, sized for two. It sells for just $45.   

An updated list kebabs

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Courtesy of GG’s Bistro

GG’s Bistro’s best-selling kebabs

Broadway by Amar Santana is offering three specialty menus, each of which serves two or four people. Pre-order can be placed through this Friday, May 8 before 4 p.m. Pick up any time on Mother’s Day between noon and 6 p.m.

From Broadway, choose from Roasted Chilean Seabass Cioppino ($150-$280), Braised Lamb Pappardelle ($95-$180), or Beef Chateaubriand ($150-$280). Each includes starters, salads, and a choice of dessert. 

Consult my Restaurant Directory for all to-go options for Mother’s Day

Every restaurant currently open in Laguna Beach is here for you on Mother’s Day. While the above restaurants have created specialty menus, you have plenty of options with regular brunch, lunch and dinner menus. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is now open for curbside and delivery orders Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Welcome back! 

Check out all the latest updates in my Laguna Beach Restaurant Directory©. Now in its 12th version, it’s updated weekly via my conversations with each of our restaurants offering to-go options. It’s now accurate through Friday, May 8.

Just go to my website, https://thebestoflagunabeach.com/, to download it.

Let’s get out and support our Laguna Beach restaurants and keep this community of amazing restaurateurs and chefs alive.    

The best-selling author and blogger on The Best of Laguna Beach™, Diane Armitage is on an endless quest for the most imaginative adventures in Laguna’s restaurants, events, and lifestyle. Check out chef interviews, retail and restaurant news, and favorite events at https://thebestoflagunabeach.com/ and follow on Instagram @BestofLagunaBeach (look for Diane’s smiling face).

Resident walks every street in Laguna Beach:

New Year’s resolution turn into pandemic hobby

By Sharael Kolberg

What started out as a New Year’s resolution ended up being the perfect activity to keep busy during the coronavirus pandemic. Janelle Naess, founder of Laguna Beach Walks, challenged herself to walk all 419 streets in Laguna Beach in 2020, and she only has one street left. 

For the past 20 plus years, I have walked some of the same streets in town,” says Naess. “Almost every house I pass by has something interesting to see. I call it ‘urban hiking.’ I thought about all the other streets I haven’t walked and was dying to see what else I was missing.” 

Naess can often be seen walking alone or with friends in various parts of Laguna, often with her bright pink nbrhd hat that appropriately reads, “Stoked.” It started in 2012, when Naess had a different goal in mind…to see all the pieces in the Laguna Beach Public Art Collection, which is close to 75.

While on my quest to find the art, I found so many other interesting aspects of our unique coastal community,” says Naess. “If I, a local, missed all these things, I bet many of our visitors did too. Laguna Beach is much more than some great restaurants, cool hotels, and fun beaches. We have art, history, and a story to tell.” 

Her discoveries led her to start Laguna Beach Walks walking tours, as a way to show visitors and locals the charm, public art, and walkability that Laguna has to offer, while also getting some exercise. She created free downloadable walking maps that can be found on her website at www.LagunaBeachWalks.com.

“Laguna Beach is like one giant outdoor museum. So many interesting things to see! Public Art, historic landmarks, coastal blooms, unique architecture, scenic ocean views,” says Naess.

On January 1, 2020, she wanted to start her quest by walking First Avenue but found out there is no First Avenue (or First Street), so she started on the street before Second Avenue, Eagle Rock Way.

Resident walks street

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Photo by Ashley Tyus

Janelle Naess on one of her walks

She has been chronicling her journey on her Instagram account @LagunaBeachWalks, where she includes photos that she takes of quirky Laguna during her walks, as well as a map highlighting the streets that she’s walked on a particular day. 

During her walks, she has come across lots of interesting things to see, such as funky mailboxes, interesting architecture, beautiful gardens, captivating art…and has met some of the homeowners along the way.

When asked what her favorite street is, she replies, “That’s like asking me which child of mine I like best. Every street in Laguna is different and unique in their own way. Each street has its own personality and interesting traits.”

Shortly after she began her journey, the coronavirus hit, and suddenly she had more time on her hands, especially since she wasn’t shuttling her three teenage kids to sporting practices and events since they had all been canceled. 

“I had no idea how long this resolution would take me. I had given myself a year, but with the recent social distancing rules, I wasn’t able to travel for work or my kids’ sports,” says Naess. “I had more time on my hands to accomplish my goal at a faster pace.”

After walking all but one street in Laguna, Naess is ready for the grand finale…to walk the approximately seven miles of Pacific Coast Highway from one end of Laguna to the other. The date is set for Friday, May 29 at 9 a.m. She will begin her final walk at the entrance to town in North Laguna and end approximately three hours later at the entrance to town near Three Arch Bay. 

She is inviting anyone that is interested, to join her, at your own risk. For those who can’t or don’t want to make the trek, she will be broadcasting the walk live on her Instagram for people to follow along virtually.

Guest Column

June is LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month

By Chris Tebbutt, Co-Founder

Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance

The month of June is officially LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month in Laguna Beach, as proclaimed by City Council in 2017. It’s the time of year when our city honors the rich contributions of the gay community to Laguna Beach. City Hall proudly raises the rainbow flag for the entire month of June. 

Since this year’s annual Laguna Beach Pride festival had to be canceled, it is even more important to show support for our LGBTQ community. While a public celebration of pride is vital, this year gives us the opportunity to demonstrate the resilience of Laguna Beach and recognition that Pride, at its core, is about showing every member of our LGBTQ community that they are not alone. We may well be more isolated this year, but we definitely are not alone. 

June is Mary

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

June is officially LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month in Laguna Beach

Whether you are LGBTQ, or a valued ally, we invite all Laguna Beach residents, businesses, and organizations to raise the rainbow flag for the month of June! Raise the rainbow flag to give hope to the high school student who feels that life may never get better or the senior citizen who is feeling alone. Raise the rainbow flag for everyone who may find it comforting, uplifting, and welcoming during these uncertain times. 

June is Soul

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Submitted photo

Summer Meek, co-founder of The Soul Project 

As founding members of the Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance, Visit Laguna Beach, and Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, we encourage our local business community to participate as well. In addition to raising the rainbow flag, consider optimizing your merchandising and window displays, run an ad or promotion such as a specialty cocktail or hotel getaway. Showing your pride is also simply good for business! 

If you would like to fly a rainbow flag and don’t have one, we will be happy to safely deliver one and help you hang it at no cost.            

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call/text (949) 485-9898.

County’s top health official resigns

Dr. Nichole Quick, the chief health officer of the County of Orange, resigned last night (Monday, June 9). She becomes the second high-ranking Orange County health official to depart office in recent months.

Dr. Quick last month issued the controversial order requiring residents of the County to wear face masks in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Since that order, Quick has received a number of threats and criticism, including demonstrations in front of her home, which required heightened security for her and her family.

Quick departed with a severance agreement giving her $75,000. 

Her resignation is the County’s second following David Souleles, the deputy agency director of public health services, who retired in April.

Health Care Agency Director Dr. Clayton Chau is expected to assume Quick’s duties.

Parking Structure Study: Iseman asks for study to be expanded


Councilwoman Toni Iseman wants the City Council to consider adding three more sites to the parking structure study to be conducted by Walker Consultants. 

The council on Tuesday will consider Iseman’s request to expand the consultant’s Cost/Benefit/Analysis and add a Feasibility Study for a Downtown Parking Structure located within the City-owned parking lots adjacent to City Hall. If her proposal is approved, the estimated cost of the expansion will be added to the previously approved $35,000 cost of the study, with each additional site to cost $12,000. 

Approval of the original parking study was part of the Economic Recovery and Business Development Plan to address the parking demand for downtown businesses. Controversial changes in parking requirements have been proposed with some residents objecting proposed reductions, with others in support. The California Coastal Commission has the power to require the city to replace lost spaces if it feels the reduction of spaces would affect public access to city beaches.

Parking structure traffic

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Council will consider Parking Structure study expansion

Spaces have been lost on Forest Avenue, at least temporarily, during the trial of the pedestrian-only Promenade.

Iseman is recommending the consultants’ Feasibility Study include parking lots privately owned by the Laguna Presbyterian Church, Wells Fargo Bank, and the parking lot behind the Laguna Playhouse. 

The through church lot is located between Third Street and the alley behind it. The Wells Fargo lot is on either side of the bank and behind it, accessible from Broadway or Ocean Avenue. The Playhouse parking lot was previously considered for a site when the Village Entrance plan for a parking structure fell apart. 

The council meeting will begin at 5 p.m. and may be viewed live on Cox cable channel 852, online on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/agendas, or on Zoom.

Public participation 

Comments may be submitted in writing on any item on or not on the agenda via mail to: City Clerk, 505 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, CA 92651; by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or interactively at www.lagunabeachcit.net/comment

Zoom participation 

The Zoom phone number is (669) 900-9128. The identification number is 93651175337#. Press nine on your phone to speak. 

Zoom participants may listen and comment on the phone or computer during public comments by dialing the phone number and waiting for instructions. 

When a caller hears “Your phone is unmuted,” they may proceed with their comments. 

Individual comment periods are usually three minutes, but may be reduced, depending on the number of callers in the queue. Callers are advised to prepare remarks accordingly.

Callers may also access the meeting at the following link: https://lagunabeachcity.zoom.us/j/93651175337

If unable to access this Webinar system, callers may submit comments via email during the meeting to the city clerk, who will attempt to identify the writer and the content of the email during the meeting. 

The email is unlikely to be read into the record if it is not brief and to the point. A summary may be provided to the council. 

Council requests that all written comments be limited to 200-or-less words.

Budget workshop set for 3 p.m. today; Regular meeting set to begin at 5:30 p.m.


A budget workshop will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. today, Tuesday, June 23.

City staff will make a presentation and answer questions about the revisions to the previously approved 2020-2021 budget, necessitated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The council will have an opportunity to hear from the public and provide direction to City Manager John Pietig before adoption of the revised budget, scheduled for June 30.

“We do not yet know the full impact this pandemic will have on our city and its finances, and while we remain optimistic that Laguna Beach will recover, no one knows how deep the pending economic downturn will be or how long it will last,” Pietig informed the council by letter. 

“Our priorities are to protect and preserve the health and safety of Laguna Beach residents, maintain prudent fiscal reserves, and provide as many services as possible.”

As expected, the revised budget is affected by the loss of revenue due to the pandemic and must be compensated for by cuts in expenditures, according to the proposed budget prepared by Pietig and Director of Administrative Services Gavin Curran. 

“We started right after the April 7 council meeting,” said Curran. 

Some requests from the council at that meeting have been included in the proposed budget. 

The main feature is the estimated reduction in revenue from $111.7 million to $93.7 million. The biggest hits are in the Transient Occupancy Tax, the Business Improvement District, and sales taxes – a combined drop of probably $11 million, with $7.1 in the General Fund. 

The reductions are due to the significant and sudden decrease in the travel and tourism industry, as people began staying at home to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Consumer spending also has suffered, due to job or salary losses. 

Decreases in revenue are expected in community development services and recreational programs. 

Pietig is proposing a budget that does not include any layoffs or furloughing other than reductions in recreation and transit services approved by the council in May. Staffing will be decreased by the elimination of vacated positions and consolidation of some recreation and pool services into the Public Works Department. 

These savings are in addition to the Municipal Employees’ Association forgoing a negotiated 2.5 percent pay increase that was to go into effect on July 1. Management typically follows. 

“I very much appreciate our employees’ cooperation and understanding in these difficult times,” said Pietig. “Their efforts are very helpful in minimizing reductions in services and preventing layoffs.”

The scheduled 2.5 percent salary increase for the Police Employees’ Association, set to start January 1, has not been removed from the proposed budget but may be revisited in the fall, depending on the financial situation at that time. 

To avoid further cuts in the budget that would require reductions in services and the layoff of employees, Pietig is suggesting the council tap the $13.2 million General Fund Reserve for $1.5 million. Four affirmative council votes are required to reduce the reserve below 10 percent. Other proposed General Fund modifications include a $1.8 million reduction in contact services, health care, overtime, travel, and dues.

On the brighter side, the notoriously frugal Pietig expects property taxes, the source of 56 percent of the General Fund revenue, to be relatively unchanged and the 10 percent Disaster Reserve Fund to remain intact. 

The proposed budget and meeting agenda is available for review on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/cityhall/citygov/

The public may participate in the meeting via Zoom by calling (669) 900-900-9128 (the Webinar ID is 93657705035#) or clicking here.

The meeting may also be viewed live on Cox cable channel 852 and online on the City of Laguna Beach website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/agendas

The public may submit comments on any agenda item or on any item not on the agenda in writing via mail to the City Clerk at: 505 Forest Ave, Laguna Beach, CA 92651, by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by using this interactive form: www.lagunabeachcity.net/comment.

Solo sailboat

Solo sailboat ocean

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Solitary ship glides on a sea of tranquility

A different Fourth of July

a different beach

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Beaches closed for the holiday weekend

a different greeter

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Greeter Michael Minutoli is back!

Flying flags

Flying flags Orange Inn

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Orange Inn celebrates our freedom

Peaceful Promenade

Peaceful Promenade street

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Forest Ave Promenade – the perfect place to enjoy the end of summer

Under an orange sky

Under an tree

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Photo by Scott Brashier 

Low sun on the horizon paints the sky a bittersweet hue

Dennis’ Tidbits


August 4, 2020

Waves have been just ankle snappers this summer

Dennis 5Now I’m 73 and amazingly still above ground. Happy birthday to Tom Brady and Barack Obama, who also share my birth date. We Leos gotta stick together!

We’re at the halfway point of summer 2020 on Wednesday, and the first half definitely was not an epic one by any stretch of the imagination. Ocean temps were the coldest in 10 years, and outside of the big Southern Hemi back on July Fourth weekend, the waves have been all about ankle snappers. 

The marine layer just wouldn’t lighten up and the west winds were relentless, all thanks to the enemy, La Nina. I kinda had a feeling this was going to happen as we were overdue for a crummy summer. Actually, nine out of the last ten have been meager, wave wise. Only 2014 had an above average summer for south swells. By my standards you have to go all the way back to the summer of 1997 to find a season that was truly epic, arguably thanks to the strongest El Nino of the 20th century, right up there with the monster El Nino of 1982-83.

Seeing as I’m up there in years, I guess I’m spoiled, having seen and ridden lots of standout swells from the late 50s to around the turn of the century, so I set the bar pretty high as far as consistency and quality are concerned. Back when I was a grom, it seemed that almost every summer had loads of yellow and red flag days. Nowadays almost every summer has too many green flag days. Back in the day, six Baja swells were considered a slow summer. We haven’t even had a total of six Baja swells since 2014, and even those were only 3-5 foot stuff. 

Speaking of really epic summers, 1997 popped out a total of five major hurricanes with three of those reaching Category 5 status, namely Guillermo, Linda, and Nora here in the Eastern Pacific tropics. Guillermo was the real record-setter for longevity, lasting a whole month from July 27 until August 25 and maintaining Category 5 status for a whopping 15 days.

Guillermo was fueled in the super-hot El Nino 90-degree waters off the coast of Panama. He gave rapid intensification a whole new meaning as he went from a Category 1 to a Category 5 in just 48 hours, with sustained winds of 162 mph and gusts as strong as 175, along with a central pressure of 909 millibars. 

Not only was he strong, he was huge in size, nearly 700 miles across, with hurricane-force winds extending 250 miles out from the center and tropical storm force winds extending another 200 miles out, nearly the size of Texas! The last time we’ve had a hurricane that big in the Eastern Pacific was in late August of 2014, with Category 5 Marie. 

Guillermo began moving to the WNW at only 6-8 mph, very slow for a hurricane. He entered our swell window on August 5, still crawling along at 6-8 mph to the WNW. His waves began to appear on August 8, and because of his snail’s pace his waves lasted over a week, which is a long time for a Mexican swell.

 After that he continued to the WNW setting his sights on Hawaii, still a dangerous Category 4. Several days later he was centered only 250 miles ESE of Hilo, Hawaii as hurricane warnings were posted. But the next day Guillermo made a sharp right turn and began moving to the north, bypassing Hawaii by only about 200 miles, still a strong Category 3. They really dodged a bullet on that one! 

He continued moving northward for several days, and on August 23 he was still a Category 2 about 200 miles west of San Diego. He gained momentum to the north and finally on August 25 he became an extra tropical storm about 1,800 miles west of Oregon. There he hooked up with a strong early season low-pressure system and began plowing eastward, sending a huge way out of season NW groundswell at California that lit up Rincon, a winter break at a solid 8-10 feet for three days with 75-degree water to boot.

The low finally made landfall in central Oregon, dropping up to five inches of rain there. So we got two major swells from the same storm, a south and a northwest. What a storm! That’s the magic of a strong El Nino! 

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Guest Column

Showing up even, especially when you ain’t feelin’ it

By Dr. Vidya Reddy

Hello, and welcome. This week, let’s talk about showing up, no matter what.

Some days, you’re just not feeling it. It’s not that you’re too exhausted, it’s that you’re not in the mood to do the important task that’s staring you in the face.

You want to just go to distractions all day long, do anything but this thing you’re resisting.

I get it. I have plenty of these days too. And sometimes, the answer is just rest.

Other times, it’s useful to find a way to do the work anyway, because if we only do our important work when we feel like it, we might not ever get it done.

It’s useful to learn to do it even when we’re not feeling it.

But how do we do that?

The mistaken belief

Most of us have an expectation that we should feel in the mood to do something. We should be excited, rested, focused. And when we do it, it should be easy, comfortable, fun, pleasurable. Something like that.

That results, predictably, in running from the things that feel hard, overwhelming, uncomfortable. It means that when we’re not feeling it, we are going to run to distractions and comforts. Nothing wrong with this, but it usually creates a life we’re not happy with.

Showing up wings

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Photo by Pieter Baetens

Experiences are more meaningful when they’re not easy

When we do the thing we don’t want to do, it is often uncomfortable or difficult. We feel like we’re forcing ourselves to do something we really don’t want to do, which can feel coercive.

No wonder we avoid it! Who wants to feel coerced?

But that comes from our belief that we should only do things when we’re feeling in the mood, and that things should be easy, comfortable and fun. That means we can never do anything hard.

What if we could open to doing hard things, and maybe even loving them?

Doing hard things when I’m not feeling it

So for me, I try to notice when I have an expectation that I be in the mood, or that the thing be easy, fun, or comfortable. Just noticing the expectation allows me to choose.

Once I’m in a place where I can choose…I can decide that actually, it’s not just “fine” that I do things that are uncomfortable when I’m not in the mood…in fact, it’s an experience I choose to practice with.

I choose to open myself to this work.

I choose to move into something challenging, difficult, uncertain, uncomfortable. Just like I choose to do a workout or go for a run, even when they’re hard.

And further, I can actually love the experience. Sure, it might not seem like it, but can you love a child when they’re being difficult? You might not love the way they’re being, but you can love them. You can love any of your friends or family when they’re difficult – the way they’re being might not be your favorite, but you love them anyway.

Showing up doctor

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Photo by Johnny Antezana

Dr. Vidya Reddy

I can love writing this article, even if I’m not quite in the mood for it. I can change my experience, by being grateful that I get to write it. That I’m even alive right now! That I have so much love in my life that people want to read this.

And I can see that some tasks are a brick in the larger building that I’m putting together. One brick at a time, I’m creating a meaningful future. I can wait to be happy when the building is done…or I can love every single freaking brick. I choose to love the brick, and the laying of that brick.

Many of our most meaningful experiences are difficult. Running a marathon, giving birth to a child, creating anything important or meaningful. These are not easy experiences, and yet, they’re more meaningful because they’re not easy. Would we rob ourselves of these meaningful experiences by shying away from their difficulty?

So the training is to 1) notice the expectation that has me shying away from the work, and 2) open myself up to the meaningful experience of that work, despite its difficulty, despite my not feeling it.

There’s something beautiful that happens when you do something even when you’re not feeling it. 

In Peace, Love and Gratitude 

‘Til next time 

Dr.Vidya Reddy, ND, AMS, DAC, CLC 


I created the Naturally Happy podcast as tool to help, as a reflection exercise and for building your spirit muscle. Please listen to it at https://naturally-happy.com/podcast/. Use the podcast guide to find episodes to create much needed catharsis in your life.

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Maggi thought she would stump us with this one, but Stu News readers were onto her whereabouts. First on it, bright and early, with the answer “It’s on Solana Way,” was San Dee Frei, followed by Bernadette Murphy, Leticia Christy, Traci Bowman, Nancy Wade, and Tina Haines.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along!

Look for the next photo challenge coming up on Friday.

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“Gas station” on Solana Way

Kelly Osborne announces candidacy for LBUSD School Board

Laguna Beach parent and community volunteer Kelly Osborne has announced her candidacy for the LBUSD School Board. Osborne has spent the past six years as a dedicated and trusted volunteer for Laguna Beach schools, serving as president of both Top of the World (TOW) Elementary PTA and the president of Laguna Beach PTA Council, which oversees PTAs at the four district schools. 

“As a member of the School Board, I will respectfully listen to all stakeholders, seek out facts and data, and act ethically,” said Osborne. “Students will be at the forefront of my decision-making process.” 

Kelly Osborne announces

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Kelly Osborne is running for a position on the LBUSD School Board

Osborne has made many important contributions during her years of service. Working collaboratively with district leaders, Osborne helped TOW earn the highest credential of the U.S. Department of Education as a Green Ribbon school and led the physical and educational transformation of TOW’s outdoor classroom. She has volunteered in the school gardens and raised funds for the schools through both PTA and SchoolPower. Osborne has served on Curriculum Council for LBUSD, founded an annual Walk to School Day program for TOW, started a community-driven shoe drive for Thurston Middle School, and currently sits on a scholarship committee for Laguna Beach High School students. 

Osborne also has a deep, personal understanding of the pressing issues families and students are going through right now, with two children, a 5th and 7th grader, at home. “Addressing the challenges posed by COVID-19 is my top priority,” she said. 

Osborne’s experience in education is wide ranging: fully credentialed teacher, preschool director, K-12 substitute teacher, outdoor educator, and curriculum consultant. She has a Masters of Education, with a specialization in e-learning. She received a B.A. in Human Development and a B.S. in Management Science from the University of California, San Diego. In addition to her experience in education, she has a solid financial background, with 10 years of experience in investment banking. 

“I will use the leadership and financial skills I have developed throughout my career, along with my years of service as a dedicated public school volunteer, to invest in and advocate for the future of our community by ensuring students, teachers, and schools thrive.” 

To learn more, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., message her on Instagram or Facebook at @kelly4schoolboard, or visit her at www.kelly4schoolboard.org.

Where’s Maggi?

Who has slowed down to take a look at this sign? Maggi did! Now, where did she spy it?

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

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Where’s Maggi?

Hmmm…where was she looking at this sign?

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

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Dennis’ Tidbits


September 15, 2020

Depression forecast to affect the weather, too: Is the country ready for Teddy?

Dennis 5On this date, September 15, 1997, one of the biggest hurricane swells of all time marched into Southern California, thanks to Category 5 Hurricane Linda, who at one time had sustained winds of 184 mph, gusts up to 225, and a central pressure of 896 millibars. Those stats made her the strongest Eastern Pacific hurricane of all time until Category 5 Patricia dethroned Linda in October of 2015 with sustained winds of 200 mph, gusts as high as 230, and a central pressure as low as 882 millibars.

Right now a strong La Nina event is going on, resulting in a quiet Eastern Pacific hurricane season and a hyperactive Atlantic and Caribbean season. Yet another tropical system is getting set to attack the central Gulf States. Late last Friday, tropical storm Sally formed near the Florida Keys, and while moving to the WNW and then NW, she will more than likely intensify into a hurricane.

When she slows down to about 6-8 mph, prolonged torrential rains and storm surges up to 12 feet or more are likely to occur. Some places in Southern Mississippi and Southeastern Louisiana could get as much as two feet of rain, so here we go again!

Meanwhile a new tropical depression has formed off the coast of Western Africa and all indications point to rapid development into a major hurricane over the next five days as it moves to the west at latitude 15 degrees north. The new system will have the name Teddy. To make matters worse, yet another tropical wave is not far behind Teddy and it, too, has a strong chance of development. Stay tuned on all that. 

Here in Southern California we’re basically safe from attacks from major tropical systems with only two events historically over the years. We’ve had a few tropical depressions that affected our weather to a degree, with maybe an inch or so of rain and some increase in surf on south facing beaches. 

Way back in 1858, a Category 2 hurricane made landfall near San Diego, but casualties were at a minimum and there was little structural damage, because there was simply hardly anyone around at that time. If that had happened here in modern times, the conversation would be much different. 

The other event occurred on September 25, 1939, when a high-end tropical storm made landfall near Long Beach causing winds up to 65 mph, up to seven inches of rain, and high surf that dismantled the pier at the north end of Main Beach. When those two systems hit us the water temp was at 80 degrees, which kept these two systems alive because of a strong El Nino in 1858 and 1939.

Other than those two events, we’re just not a regular target for these systems as they either move out to sea or dissipate in the colder waters off the west coast of the Baja Peninsula. The waters up here are simply too cold for a system to sustain its strength, whereas the Atlantic has the super warm Gulf Stream. Some storms have made it as far north as Nova Scotia and even Newfoundland at 48 degrees north latitude. 

The East Coast and Gulf of Mexico have to squirm every year at this time, especially when there’s a strong La Nina going on. That’s why we live here! We have our own set of issues here like fire, flood, earthquake, and drought, so we’re not getting off the hook by any means, especially this year as the entire West Coast is on fire and it seems to get worse every year. 

Stay safe and healthy everyone, ALOHA!

Reindeer on the roof

Reindeer on orange

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Shouldn’t there be snow instead of sun?

Where’s Maggi?

Where has Maggi been now? (And she did not put her feet in!)

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

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Where’s Maggi?

Where does this happy little seahorse reside?

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

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Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Several Stu News readers were faster than the average tortoise with their responses to Maggi’s photo challenge. Who knew where to find this tortoise sculpture (which resides beside a hare, by the way…)? Steve Hoffman knew, and so did John Walker, and Mark Porterfield. 

Thanks, everyone, for playing along! 

Check in on Friday for a new challenge.

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    Tortoise sculpture on Coast Hwy, between Bluebird and Calliope

Spectacular surfing

Spectacular surfing Booth

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Session with Jeff Booth

Parents and students protest in support of reopening in-person learning for secondary schools

A group of LBUSD parents and students gathered on Friday at Main Beach to show support for the start of socially distanced in-person classes for students at Laguna Beach High School and Thurston Middle School. 

According to the organizers, a growing number of local Laguna Beach parents are disappointed with the fact that the Laguna Beach Unified Board of Education voted at their meeting on September 17 to open elementary schools on October 12 but did not vote to reopen secondary schools at the same time.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parents and students gathered at Main Beach on Friday in support of reopening in-person learning at LBHS and Thurston Middle School

During the summer, the LBUSD Board of Education approved a plan developed and put forth by LBUSD superintendent Dr. Jason Viloria, and a committee of LBUSD teachers and staff that changed the secondary schools to the trimester system with two classes per trimester. The stated goal of the trimester system was to allow for the grouping of students into cohorts to allow for a faster transition back to in-person education once Orange County was given the green light by the state to proceed which was on September 22.

The district plan proposed only two options for the 2020-2021 school year from which parents could choose, the group states. One option was the trimester system with students in cohorts to expedite in-person learning and the other option was an all-online asynchronous option with no in-person teaching that is monitored but not taught by LBUSD teachers. An overwhelming majority of parents chose the trimester option. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Protesters were wearing masks during the gathering

The group states that several other much larger school districts in Orange County have successfully prepared for resuming in-person learning, with neighboring Capistrano Unified, a district of more than 47,000 students, slated to return to in-person learning on October 13. The Laguna Beach Unified School district comprises fewer than 3,000 students. 

“I am extremely disappointed in the school board’s decision to delay the reopening of our secondary schools. This district has had the time and the resources to develop a plan to return to school, but they have failed at every level to make it happen,” states parent Celeste Gilles. 

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Parents and students who protested would like to see secondary schools reopen for in-person learning before second trimester

“I would like to see my two high school students in class now. The students who want to go back should be able to be on campus five days a week, in their cohorts, for their two classes. The teachers should be able to live stream their class to those students who would like to stay home,” adds parent Janelle Naess. 

“Our kids’ mental health will suffer because of this. We have a unique opportunity in Laguna Beach since we are such a small school district to do something really incredible and we are not,” adds parent Candice Dartez.

School Board candidate Amy Kramer receives many community endorsements

Laguna Beach Unified School District Board of Education candidate Amy Kramer has received many community endorsements, according to a news release received this week.

“Amy is a person who listens carefully, is respectful, and who works well with groups to formulate and execute decisions addressing community issues. She will bring intellect and energy to the job of Trustee and would be an excellent addition to the LBUSD Board. I endorse her candidacy without reservation,” explains former Mayor Pro Tem and City Council Member Rob Zur Schmiede. Amy worked with Zur Schmiede on the successful campaign for measure NO on KK to stop two marijuana dispensaries from being installed in our city. 

School Board candidate family

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Amy Kramer with her family

Amy is a 25-year resident of Laguna Beach with three children who have attended Top of the World, Thurston Middle School, and Laguna Beach High School: two have gone on to UCLA and one is still in middle school. She has a Masters in Speech Communication, has taught and lived in Japan, headed marketing and PR teams in the tech industry, currently supports her family-owned business, and works as a para-educator for Special Education students. She has served on PTA and in several executive positions for SchoolPower, including as President where she helped raise over $900,000 in that year. 

Former SchoolPower President Lynn Gregory worked with Amy and explains, “I have witnessed Amy’s diplomacy in difficult situations. She is a careful listener and her responses are thoughtful and well reasoned. She does her homework – researches the issues and works to identify creative solutions to complex problems. Amy’s leadership, dedication, and positive demeanor will be an asset to our Board of Education.”

Amy is also endorsed by former SchoolPower President and former Endowment President Tom Addis, School Board Trustee Dee Perry, former Mayor of Laguna Beach Kelly Boyd, former SchoolPower Trustee Susan Hunt, Member of Laguna Beach Community Coalition Beth Garlock, Real Estate Broker for Surterre Properties and State Director for the California Association of REALTORS® Michael Gosselin, former PTA President Thurston Middle School Celine Macmillan, Council Member Peter Blake, and former Mayor and Council Member Steve Dicterow. 

To learn more about School Board candidate Amy Kramer, visit her website www.amykramerforschoolboard2020.org and view her newly released Q&A video under “NEWS.”

Climate Investment Grant application ratified


The City Council on Tuesday ratified City Manager John Pietig’s decision to apply for a California Climate Investment Grant.

Pietig was forced to move without prior approval from the Council because the grant was announced on May 9 and the deadline to apply was June 6. Due to the time constraints, Pietig authorized Fire Chief Mike Garcia to submit an application on June 5 for a $3,292,500 state grant.

“It would be a total home run if we are successful in getting this grant,” said Mayor Pro Tem Rob Zur Schmiede.

The goal of the grant program is to minimize carbon emissions from wildfire and maximize carbon sequestration in healthy wildland habitat.

Sequestration is a natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

If awarded the grant, the City would be required to contribute $874,200 over three and a third years. Credit for the City administrative support would reduce the contribution by almost $400,000.

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Unpleasant memories of the 1993 fires spur Council action

Grant funds would be used to create firebreaks around structures in Laguna Canyon and Canyon Acres, fuel treatments to reduce ignition and spread all the way to the Irvine City limits, and habitat restoration in parklands.

The city would be responsible for maintaining the grant benefit area at an estimated annual cost of $200,000 to $500,000. Allowed clearance methods would be by hand-crews or goats.

Laguna Canyon Foundation or the Orange County Fire Authority, both partners of the City in the proposal, were named for non-city jurisdiction.

“We are enthusiastic supporters of this project,” said Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones.

Other partners in the grant proposal include the City of Irvine, Greater Laguna Coast Firesafe Council, Natural Communities Coalition (formerly Nature Reserve of Orange County) and Orange County Parks. 

“My family and Hallie’s family lost homes in 1993,” said Supervising Park Ranger Barbara Norton. “We are very sensitive to this.”

Letters of support for the City’s application were submitted by Mayor Kelly Boyd, State Senator John Moorlach, and Assembly member Matthew Harper.

The Council directed Pietig to identify and secure funds to meet the required grant match and to research and identify funds for the annual maintenance starting in 2023.

LOCA invites public to murals tour on Thursday

LOCA Arts Education invites art lovers to join in a tour of the recently commissioned murals in the Laguna Beach Civic Art District this Thursday, March 21 from 4 - 5:30 p.m.

Participants will enjoy a docent-led walk along The Hive commercial center and Art-A-Fair properties, viewing and discussing the six painted murals that were installed during the center’s 2018 Summer of Color program, co-curated by Torrey Cook and Ben Rubin. Artists include Brett Crawford, Chad Hasegawg, Okuda, Beau Stanton, James Thistlewaite, and Faith XLVII. 

LOCA invites painting

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Courtesy of The Hive

Enjoy LOCA’s docent-led tour of the Laguna Beach Civic Art District on Thursday

LOCA members are admitted free to all regular art club events. Guests and visitor admission is $20 per event. 

Advance registration is requested. To register, call (949) 363-4700 or visit the calendar page at www.locaarts.org

The event will take place at 891-777 Laguna Canyon Rd. Free parking is available at The Hive.

A vision of the tropics

A vision clouds

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Photo by Tom Berndt

Crystal blue clarity

Bee’s Folly

Bees Folly purple

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Photo by Tom Berndt 

A sweet snack

Laguna Beach resident Patti Compton launches Music Preserves Foundation

On March 30, Patti Compton, a Laguna Beach resident for 14 years, along with co-founder Anthony Small, launched the highly anticipated Music Preserves Foundation in time for the music festival season. The mission of the foundation is to inspire and educate the community through the preservation and presentation of music. 

The newly-formed foundation inspires appreciation for music by creating impactful music and arts programs at music festivals, in the schools, and year-round in the community through curation and presentation of lectures, art exhibits, music performances, educational programs, and cultural collaborations.

Compton, recent Public Relations Director for Omega Events and music history buff, created the idea of building a music foundation in Dana Point to capture the magic of the music played at the festivals and transform it into year-round enrichment for the community. 

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Patti Compton and Anthony Small, co-founders of Music Preserves Foundation

“The foundation provides valuable music and arts education and cultural learning opportunities for local students and the community,” states Compton. “Music is about connection and there is a great opportunity to capture the allure of the music that flows through Dana Point and use it to create educational opportunities and forge greater connection and understanding through music.”

Small, Dana Point Arts and Culture Commissioner and local musician, says, “Providing music education to the community and encouraging artists has been a passion of mine for years, and I am excited by this opportunity to enrich the lives of the people of Dana Point and South Orange County on a larger scale. Working with city officials and community members to bring this idea to fruition has been a great honor. The support for Music Preserves Foundation demonstrates the commitment to providing year-round cultural opportunities.” 

Festival producers have partnered with Music Preserves Foundation to give back to the community. Doheny Blues Festival founder Rich Sherman of Omega Events is looking forward to the partnership. “Having experienced working with Patti and Anthony in the past, I am excited to see the foundation unfold and partner with them at the Doheny Blues Festival to develop a creative educational component at the festival.” 

Music Preserves Foundation will host a music history education stage at the Doheny Blues Festival and also bring students backstage to meet and be inspired by musical artists.

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Music Preserves Foundation launched March 30

Festival producers John and Elenie Reese of SGE are committed to giving back to the community and partnering with Music Preserves Foundation at their events at Doheny State Beach. “It is an integral part of our mission that we support nonprofits and make a difference. We look forward to creating unique opportunities for students and the community through our partnership with Music Preserves Foundation.”

The education programs will be delivered to students through a partnership with the Capistrano Unified School District. Amy Hanacek, CUSD board member, states, “We are overjoyed by this unique opportunity to ignite our students’ passion for music through our partnership with Music Preserves Foundation.”

For more information on Music Preserve Foundation, go to www.musicpreserves.org.

Wild and wonderful

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Wild and poppies close up

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California Poppies – The California poppy is native to grassy and open areas from sea level to 2,000 meters (6,500 feet) altitude in the western United States throughout California, extending to Oregon, southern Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and in Mexico in Sonora and northwest Baja California. 

Wild and fence

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It was selected as the state flower by the California State Floral Society in December 1890, winning out over the Mariposa lily (genus Calochortus) and the Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) by a landslide, but the state legislature did not make the selection official until 1903. Its golden blooms were deemed a fitting symbol for the Golden State.

Wild and purple

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Yellow Fiddlenecks and Parry’s Phacelia: Phacelia parryi is a species in the Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not) family known by the common name Parry’s Phacelia. It is native to southern California and Baja California, where it grows in coastal and inland mountain ranges and deserts. It is found in many types of local habitats, such as coastal sage scrub, chaparral, and open, recently burned slopes. It is an annual herb growing a mostly erect stem 10 to 70 centimeters long. It is hairy and coated in soft and stiff glandular hairs.

Rainbow Reflections…

A column about LGBTQ life in Laguna

By Craig Cooley

Rainbow reflections Craig

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Craig Cooley

A new Board of Directors

Laguna Beach’s own Laguna Beach Pride 365 organization has become a nonprofit California corporation and will soon be recognized on the federal level with its 501(c)(3) application in process. With that the organization will have a new Board of Directors. 

Rainbow Reflections pride

 Craig Cooley, yes moi, will serve as President, Jonathan Colliflower as Vice President, Michelle Volz as Treasurer, and Harry Huggins as Secretary. There remain two BOD vacancies to be filled. If you might be interested, let us know and attend one of our meetings to find out what it is all about and how rewarding volunteering can be! 

Rainbow Reflections Board

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New Board of Directors: (L-R) President Craig Cooley, Vice President Jonathan Colliflower, Treasurer Michelle Volz, and Secretary Harry Huggins

Laguna Beach Pride 365 is all about the community and giving back to it in many ways. From the group’s relationship with other nonprofit organizations to the education and awareness of the diverse culture that is a big part of Laguna Beach; from addressing the challenges of LGBTQ youth at risk, and yes, indeed, an annual festival to celebrate the positive aspects of “Pride.” 

The most recent contribution was the entire BOD’s volunteering to assist a very successful community organization, G4G, that is “Gay for Good’s,” 10th year anniversary celebration this last Sunday in Los Angeles at the LA River Center and Gardens.

Rainbow Reflection G4G

This Friday, April 12 at 6 p.m., at Nirvana Grille, Laguna Beach Pride will host its own Silent Auction fundraiser. Local community businesss have generously donated more than $5,000 in auction items, from hotel stays to yoga training sessions. 

Restaurants top the list: Watermarc, Skyloft, Mozambique, and Dizz’s, to name a few. It is a great opportunity to bid on an item and win it, often at half or less of the retail cost! And to also support the diverse community we all enjoy. The silent auction benefits the annual Pride Festival that is just a few short weeks away. If you can’t make it to the Silent Auction at Nirvana and you would like to support the organization, just link to Laguna Beach Pride 365 at www.lagunabeachpride.org/corporate-sponsor.

More about the Pride Festival weekend: Planned is a full host of events for three days, May 31 - June 2. This year it is more about activities like hiking in the canyon.

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Hiking activities planned for Pride Festival Weekend

And events such as social mixing with a Saturday afternoon Drag Bingo hosted by none other than our iconic local entertainer “Endora.”

Rainbow Reflections Endora

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Drag Bingo with Endora

The venue, Seven 7 Seven (formerly Tivoli Too), is located in the Canyon at, appropriately, 777 Laguna Canyon Rd. There will be more than 20 informative organizations represented at the event. From the local Gay Realtors Association to the local Laguna Beach Police Department, from yoga demonstrations to health and wellness booths, from social groups to community assistance programs…just about everything will be represented! There is some great entertainment scheduled too – from new artists to popular dance DJs. To see a full celebrity schedule and list of events and activities, go to www.lagunabeachpride.org/festival-2019. 

Rainbow Reflections van

Here, a first…in Laguna Beach!

The big news in the LGBTQ community is that there is a gay Presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg. I know, hard to pronounce (try Pete BOOT EDGE EDGE). But for all of us here in Laguna Beach, that is nothing new, as our very own Fred Karger officially ran for President in 2012. Yes! We have many firsts here in Laguna Beach. So, I have started a one-man campaign, by myself, and that is to get Pete to visit us here in Laguna Beach. 

And if he can’t do that, then maybe he can call in on my weekly Rainbow Radio program for 20 minutes or so. I would love to have Fred Karger in the studio with Pete on the phone.

Rainbow Reflections Fred

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Fred Karger

We could ask all the “Barbara Walters” kind of questions – the ones everyone needs to know – well, professional presidential questions that is.

He is a serious contender and has placed third behind Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in fundraising and is positioned to be included the preliminary presidential debates. He was indeed on Meet the Press this last week. Check it out, he makes excellent sense. 

So, I have sent a message to Pete’s offices and asked if he could spare 20 minutes for the radio program, or even the Laguna Beach Pride event the first of June. If you are so inclined, help me out, maybe a GoFundMe for travel expenses to entice Pete to our fair beach city! Now that would be very cool.

Rainbow Reflections Pete

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Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg

To contact Pete Buttigieg, connect with his team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Mailing address: Pete for America, P.O. Box 1226, South Bend, IN 46624

So, there you have it for this week – lots of going on here in our beautiful beach city – lots to be prideful of. 

Until next week…Craig Cooley here doing my best to keep up with all the LGBTQ fun in Laguna Beach. 

If you would like to submit suggestions, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as we love to keep everything interesting and relevant, and well, fun and entertaining!

With love to all, from Craig at Rainbow Reflections…

The path taken 

The path boy

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Carefree boy on the Ridge Trail between TOW and Moulton Meadows

Kids scramble to fill baskets at American Legion & Women’s Auxiliary egg-cellent Easter Egg Hunt

For over 50 years, the American Legion has sponsored the tradition of an Easter Egg Hunt for kids nine and younger. On Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Laguna Beach High School baseball field, armed with baskets, the little tykes roamed the area in search of the colorful bounty.

Kids scramble Spratt

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Submitted photos

LBPD Motor Officer Thom Spratt set off the siren that started the Easter Egg Hunt. The bunny lives with Owen Orgill (Mark Orgill’s son).

Kids scramble group

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The veterans of Laguna Beach American Legion Post 222 and the Women’s Auxiliary again sponsored the clubs’ annual Easter Egg Hunt. They gather around the Easter Bunny.

Kids scramble Miller

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Doug Miller, Sande St. John and other bunny fans celebrate Easter 

Legion Street at sunset 

Legion Street traffic

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Photo by Judy Barry

The blaze of sunset, it seems, in a series of brake lights

Nestor on the prowl

Nestor on church sign

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Photo by Leonard Porto III

Where are those church mice?

Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991 at LAM extended to September 22

Laguna Art Museum announced that Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991, which opened on January 17, 2019 and was previously scheduled to close on May 27, will remain on view through September 22. 

In conjunction with the exhibition, on May 23, the museum will host Victor Hugo Viesca, Cal State LA professor and co-producer of the Self-Help Graphics oral history project, for a talk titled “Creating Our Own World Where We Belong: The Cultural Value of Self Help Graphics & Art.”

Self-Help Graphics is an East Los Angeles printmaking workshop and arts center that emerged from the Chicano movement of the 1960s. It was founded by Sister Karen Boccalero, who was inspired by the committed social and political commentary she saw in the silkscreen prints made by her fellow nun, the celebrated Sister Corita Kent. 

Self Help animal

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Ricardo Gonsalves, “Don Juan’s Got the Blues,” 1988, silkscreen (18 colors)

In 1982, Boccalero launched the Screenprint Atelier program, which provided Chicano and Latino artists of the Los Angeles region with studio facilities, materials, and the technical guidance of a master printer. The result was an extraordinary and exuberant flowering of the silkscreen print.

Self-Help Graphics, 1983-1991 is comprised of prints from the large Self-Help Graphics collection purchased by the museum in 1992 with the help of Charlie Miller, René and Norma Molina, and funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition includes sixteen works by Glenna Boltuch Avila, Alfredo de Batuc, Yreina Cervántez, Sam Coronado, Alex Donis, Ricardo Gonsalves, José Lozano, Delilah Montoya, Malaquías Montoya, Raoul de La Sota, Gilbert “Magu” Luján, Miguel Angel Reyes, Frank Romero, Eloy Torrez, and Patssi Valdez.

For more information on the Laguna Art Museum, visit www.lagunaartmuseum.org.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Dr.

City kicks off “Keepin’ It Clean” campaign to keep beaches and public areas cleaner

The City of Laguna Beach is pleased to announce the start of its 2019 “Keepin’ It Clean Laguna, Leave No Trash Behind” anti-litter campaign. 

The annual “Keepin’ It Clean, Laguna” outreach aims to urge visitors to dispose of their waste and recyclables responsibly, especially at the receptacles located at the top of the City’s beach access stairways and along Coast Highway. 

City kicks sign

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

This sign reminds us to please keep our beaches and ocean clean 

The anti-litter outreach reinforces the City’s initiatives to keep our beautiful beaches and public areas clean and free of trash by the following efforts:

--Over 600 trash and recycling containers are placed throughout the City in public places

--Additional trashcans and signage have been placed at frequently visited beach accesses and sites along Coast Highway

--Contract services have been added to empty the trash receptacles at beach approaches, Main Beach, Heisler Park, and Coast Highway twice a day during the summer starting on July 1

--Enhanced restroom cleaning at Heisler Park and Main Beach and increased pressure washing in the downtown area began this month through the end of September

“This outreach is an attention-grabbing educational effort to encourage visitors to use the 600 trashcans and recycling containers placed throughout the City for trash disposal,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works. “Through these additional efforts, we are providing all of our visitors the opportunity to pitch in and do their part to keep our town clean.”

The City’s efforts range from placing signs near trash receptacles and a social media campaign encouraging visitors to dispose of their trash in receptacles located on beach accesses and public places. 

This is the City’s second year of the campaign, which aims to promote public awareness on community cleanliness, environmental protection, and effective use of provided trash disposal resources.

Laguna’s Heartfelt founder Holly Morrell competes in Amazon Prime reality TV series

The founder of local heart-screening nonprofit Heartfelt, Holly Morrell, has been tapped to compete in an Amazon Prime reality TV series about social entrepreneurs whose mission is to improve society. 

Filmed in Montreal, The Social Movement will follow Morrell and her team of 10 entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors from around the world with whom she’s been matched to solve the major issue of access to affordable healthcare. Her team will create a broad, society-altering business strategy for Heartfelt and be challenged to overcome a series of trials and pitching rounds.

“This unique new Amazon Prime show could catapult Heartfelt to a global level that could help save even more lives through futuristic new technologies I have only been able to dream of. To work with a team of experts in their fields to advance the ability to prevent needless health tragedies is a delicious opportunity!” Morrell said prior to her trip to Montreal.

Heartfelt’s competitors in the show will be three other teams of ten, each working together to solve three equally important socioeconomic issues: wage inequality, global warming, and hunger and homelessness. The winning team chosen by a panel of high-profile judges will win funding and an invitation to return for season two of The Social Movement. 

Lagunas Heartfelt closeup

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Submitted photo

Holly Morrell, founder of Laguna’s nonprofit Heartfelt

What compelled her to do this work? “I started offering community cardiac screenings in 1999. After losing six of my own family members to a genetic heart condition, and continually hearing of other families who had lost loved ones to sudden cardiac death, I decided to begin to work to save lives.”

Morrell spent the week of July 1 in Montreal to meet and strategize with and advance her team as they were being filmed for The Social Movement. The show will be seen in the summer of 2020 on Amazon Prime in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Its creator and executive producer is Chris LaVoie.

Her team consisted of: Team Leader: Julie Lyle – former CMO of Walmart/Barnes & Noble – USA, Co-Team Leader: Patrick St-Louis – Canada, additional team members: Saira Demmer – England, Sahiqa Bennet – Dubai, Briar Prestige – Dubai, Muhammad Chbib – Dubai, Larry Kihlstadius – USA –  Georgia, Ian LaJoie – Canada, Sara Blain – USA – Florida, and Rachel Vancelette – USA – NYC. 

After returning from Montreal, Morrell said, “Participating in The Social Movement, produced by Chris LaVoie, for Amazon Prime, was an experience of a lifetime and absolutely life-changing. Meeting and working with my Heartfelt Team was awe-inspiring! Witnessing all the brilliant minds, working together, to solve a social issue, was an education unlike anything I have ever experienced.” 

Lagunas Heartfelt on stage

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Submitted photo

Morrell with her team during filming

“Being selected as one of only four nonprofits to participate in a life-changing project was the first overwhelming blessing. My heart is full of gratitude to Chris for the incredible opportunity. He is a wonderful human being with spectacular vision. I am tremendously appreciative of the time he spent with me, and the respectful way he gently urged me to step out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars. 

“I am deep in reflection of what can only be described as a dream-like week in Montreal. It speaks volumes that the ‘Amazon Prime’ bit isn’t even the most rewarding part of the experience: It’s frosting on the proverbial cake for sure, but not the most meaningful.” 

She also couldn’t say enough about how everyone involved touched her heart in a very unexpected way. “I know we have created forever friendships, and these relationships are what I cherish most.”

Morrell also acknowledges LaVoie’s sincere interest in her mission, beyond the filming. “I am filled with excitement for when we meet up again and start making huge strides in saving more lives from sudden cardiac arrest.”

Lagunas Hearfelt team

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Submitted photo

Heartfelt Team

On Monday, August 19, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., there will be a cardiac screening at Laguna Beach High School (625 Park Ave) in the North Gym. The screening is open to the public – adults and kids ages five and up. The event is sponsored by the Laguna Beach High School Athletic Boosters. To register, go to website listed below.

Heartfelt is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through early detection, education, and increased public awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It strikes people of all ages who may seem to be healthy, even children and teens, especially young athletes. In the last 20 years, Heartfelt has saved hundreds of lives and performed more than 50,000 screenings at schools and community centers throughout Southern California. 

For more information, go to heartfeltcardiacprojects.org.

City of Laguna Beach announces Teen Leadership Academy

The City of Laguna Beach is excited to announce its First Annual Teen Leadership Academy. The mission of the Leadership Academy is to provide a well-rounded foundation of education for future leaders of Laguna Beach. 

Through a variety of classes, interaction, and guest speakers, students will become introduced to fundamental leadership principles designed to enable them to become effective teenage leaders and eventual adult leaders in their communities. 

This is not a class for students to learn how to become police officers, although there is an opportunity to learn about some law enforcement topics. Participants will, however, get to learn about community involvement through beach clean up, volunteering at the OC Food Bank, listening to lectures from experts in the field of leadership, as well as ways to handle peer pressure.

City of beach

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Students will learn about community involvement through beach clean up

The City will be accepting applications until July 24. The Teen Leadership Academy will be held on Monday, Aug 5 through Saturday, Aug 10, with Saturday being a Commencement Ceremony. 

The daily schedule will be demanding and on average will be approximately 8 hours long. This is a free, week-long leadership class for students who will be attending high school in the fall.

The City is looking for teens who are interested in making a difference in their community. Applications are due on July 24.

The application packet can be found here.  

For questions, contact CSO Natasha Hernandez at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (949) 497-0382. 

Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

In 1913, the Jahraus family built and incorporated the Laguna Beach Lumber Company, and built this iconic structure on what is now 3rd and Forest.

They started providing over 90 percent of the lumber, hardware, and paint to the town’s early settlers and homesteaders.

During the building boom of the 1970s, the city convinced the Lumberyard to move into the Canyon, to avoid the large trucks and sawing at the mill next to the building. In 2001, the Lumberyard sold to Ganahl Lumber, which still occupies that canyon property. 

Laguna Beach A Look Back 7 26 19

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The Lumberyard is one of Laguna Beach’s most iconic structures

The Normandy style building on 3rd became the Ivy House Restaurant (ivy was growing over the sides), and later Cedar Creek. In 2008, local businessman Cary Redfearn brought in local architect Gregg Abel, son of the Lumberyard’s original designer Chris Abel, to bring the Lumberyard back to life.

The remainder of the old mill became the Lumberyard Mall, a wonderful place to now sit and people watch.

• • •

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.

Village Entrance Public Art proposal by artist Marc Fornes begins review on Aug 12

Artist Marc Fornes was retained by the City of Laguna Beach in March 2019 to develop a proposal for the Art in Public Places installation to be located at the Village Entrance. The Arts Commission will start the review process of his proposal at its meeting on Monday, Aug 12 at 5:30 p.m.

Over the past ten years, Marc Fornes and his team of artists and architects have designed and built a number of thin shelled pavilions and installations that push the limits of form, structure, and space. His public art pieces aim to provide unique spatial experiences for communities while also contributing to the visual identity of the site and catalyzing community engagement.

The proposed design by Fornes is a pavilion style sculpture, created from layers of aluminum suspended over pedestrian and bicycle pathways in curvilinear patterns. The sculpture offers a sense of space with opportunities for artists and the community to gather for such events as live music, readings, and screenings. 

Village Entrance rendering

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Courtesy of theverymany.com

Rendering of Marc Fornes’ proposed Village Entrance installation project

The artist has included other concepts such as a pedestrian bridge, which are not part of his proposal or intended for inclusion in the Village Entrance Project. Fornes says in his proposal, “Ultimately, our design aims to highlight the existing natural beauty, history and visual culture of Laguna Beach. 

“The structure is an articulation of meeting points, a nexus nestled at the entrance to the City. Connections between channel and street, canyon and water, city and nature will be born under the pleated colors of our pavilion allowing the spirit of Laguna Beach to shine even more brightly.” 

Pat Kollenda, Vice-Chair of the Laguna Beach Arts Commission, explains, “This is an exciting opportunity to discuss a fabulous proposal by a talented artist who has an international reputation for his innovative designs. This will likely be a discussion of how our community is reflected through an iconic sculpture that is a space we can gather and enjoy.” 

Arts Commission Chair Adam Schwerner added, “When we undertook the Cultural Arts Plan the community overwhelmingly responded that they wanted a space to gather, a place where their artists could share their talents through performance and art. A proposal such as this opens up a new kind of opportunity for the community.”

Marc Fornes will present his proposal on August 12 and following public input the Arts Commission will take action on August 26. Meetings are held in the Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave. For additional information, contact Cultural Arts Manager Sian Poeschl at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

To view the proposal, click here.

Blood orange sky   

Blood orange trees

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The sun ignites the trees and they blaze like incandescent candles

Great tips for tourists by anonymous artist

Photos by Kathy Tanaka

Great tips multi

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Good advice – pay attention, be respectful

Great tips staircase

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Take a moment to look at them

Great tips water

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Water safety and etiquette

Laguna Beach Rotary Club honors Charles Besso as October Student of the Month

Laguna Beach Rotary Club has awarded its October Student of the Month Award to Laguna Beach High School Student, Charles Besso, in the field of Visual Arts.

The Student of the Month receives $500 at graduation. Ward Blackburn says, “When I joined the club almost 30 years ago, the award was $100. I’m glad we’ve kept up with inflation!”

Laguna Beach Besso

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(L-R) Sarah Campbell Besso (mother), Charles, Bridget Beaudry-Porter (LBHS instructor), and Anthony Besso (father)

According to the club’s website, “The Rotary is ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things by connecting with other Rotarians.”

      Charles Besso loves to paint and enjoys trying various art forms. He is also interested in environmental studies and plans on attending a four-year college after graduation. 

   For more information about Laguna Rotary, visit 


Guest Column

My first Laguna Beach visit
By Arnie Silverman

“It’s only a hop, skip, and a jump to my place at Arch Bay in South Laguna Beach. Just go south on the freeway to Canyon Road, follow Canyon Road all the way to PCH, go south on PCH to Arch Bay and the address I gave you. You, my wife, Judy, and I will have dinner at a place nearby.” Those were the words from my new boss, Warren Blossom.

After a successful turn as manager of the New York branch of the company I was then with, I was promoted to a national sales responsibility and ordered to report to headquarters in Tustin. I arrived in the morning, met my new cohorts, was briefed on what my new responsibilities were, and assigned an office. At 3 p.m., I decided to disappear and see what the surrounding areas offered. I chose to explore Laguna Beach. While I had never been there, I had heard much about the place and could not wait to see it.

I found the 5 freeway and headed south as instructed. After driving a few miles, I thought that this was the longest hop, skip, and jump I had ever taken.  For me a hop, skip, and a jump was from Manhattan to Brooklyn. As a matter of fact, I started to believe I had driven too far when, alas, a sign indicated that I was approaching Canyon Road South to Laguna Beach. I turned on to Canyon Road and with anticipation viewed the surroundings. There was nothing there, just grassy hills. 

I drove past the art school, a veterinarian, various car repair shops, a winery/liquor store, and various it seemed to me run-down dwellings, and must admit I was pretty unimpressed. It appeared to me as I approached the town that this was like most other shanty beach towns I had seen. It was not until I arrived, where the high, dark, almost black hills rise with the bright, just then setting sun illuminating the background and setting off those hills, that I was persuaded to pull over and just admire the scene. 

Guest Column My first Arnie

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Arnie Silverman

I drove on into downtown LB to PCH, where upon seeing what was called Main Beach, I reverted to my somewhat cynical view of the place. That damned beach is a postage stamp, I thought. What makes it so great? Early for my meeting with the Blossoms, I turned right on PCH up to Cliff Drive and turned left where again my opinion had to be revised. For driving that short street to Myrtle and stopping to view the glorious site of the majestic Pacific, the rugged rocks protruding from the shore and the bright landscaping and foliage of the hill dazzled me. The day was cloudlessly clear, and I joked to myself about possibly seeing Hawaii from that Heisler Park precipice. This is one hell of a site I thought.

I continued south on PCH to Three Arch Bay, found the Blossom residence and was greeted by Warren and Judy, a very successful real estate broker in Laguna. Their place was a large, three-level home perched on a hill overlooking PCH and the ocean. What a view of the ocean and what a delightful home they had. The three of us then drove to a Mexican restaurant at that time at the entrance to the Dana Point Marina. Now, you must understand that I had never been in a Mexican restaurant before and did not know what to expect. Warren ordered nachos and I have to confess that for me they were a taste thrill. Never had I tasted anything better. The sharp cheese, jalapenos, and salted chips were overwhelmingly delicious to me. How many milligrams of sodium I had with that I do not want to know. To top that off, I also had a chili burrito with the hottest sauce offered. Talk about heaven. That was it. Today, on a low-sodium diet, I would not touch those dishes. But it was sure fun that night. 

Impressed now with the city, I settled into a place on PCH called Eilers’ Inn (named after the LB greeter, Eiler Larsen – it’s now called the Seven4One). In reality it was kind of a run-down place. While clean and recently painted, the furniture seemed worn and second hand and by modern inn standards, dated.  What it had was a manager, Kathleen, who was gracious, charming, and genuinely welcoming. The place was owned by three local sisters including Kathleen. Though the bed springs creaked and the mattress was a little lumpy, I found the place charming if not quaint and the location right in the center of downtown was ideal. I stayed there, with several visits back home in Joisey, for three months, and finally sold my house and moved the family to California.

Cox Charities awards $50K in grants to nonprofit organizations in OC

Cox Charities has awarded $50,000 in grants to 10 nonprofit organizations in Orange County and Palos Verdes to support initiatives that focus on youth, education, conservation, and the military. Laguna Beach Assistance League: Early Intervention Program was among the grant award recipients. 

A philanthropic arm of Cox Communications that is funded by employee donations matched by the company, Cox Charities is celebrating 20 years of giving in California in 2019.

“Our employees are passionate about giving back,” said Sam Attisha, senior vice president and region manager for Cox in California. “Being part of Cox Charities is one way they can do that, whether it’s awarding scholarships to high school students or funding local nonprofits through grants. This year is significant to our employees because it marks 20 years, and nearly $7 million, of giving back through Cox Charities. And our company supports their efforts by matching their donations so they can make an even bigger impact in the community.”

Cox Charities checks

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Cox Charities presents checks to 10 nonprofits in the area 

A diverse volunteer board of Cox employees oversees Cox Charities and its giving programs, which include nonprofit grants, awarding scholarships to high school seniors, and supporting programs and organizations focused on Cox Charities’ giving pillars. To date, Cox Charities has contributed nearly $7 million to local communities, including San Diego, Orange County, Palos Verdes, and Santa Barbara.

The 2019 nonprofit grant recipients in Orange County and Palos Verdes are:

--Audubon Starr Ranch: Community-based habitat restoration and youth science at Aububon Starr Ranch Sanctuary

--Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County: High School Bigs STEM Initiative in South Orange County

--Brackens Kitchen: Recovery Food and Community Feeding Program

--Child Creativity Lab: Adopt-A-School

--Homefront America: Giving Thanks to Heroes

--Human-I-T: Setup Program

--Laguna Beach Assistance League: Early Intervention Program

--Laurel House: Shelter for At-Risk Teens

--OC Rescue Mission: Tustin Veterans Outpost

--Peninsula Friends of the Library: Computer Bar Study Area for Students

Funded by employee payroll donations that are matched by the company, Cox Charities provide support to communities in Cox Communications’ service area by awarding scholarships to high school seniors, Innovation in Education grants to local schools, and grants to nonprofit organizations. A volunteer advisory board of Cox employees oversees Cox Charities and its giving programs. The committee evaluates requests based on the organization’s mission, programming, and written grant application. Cox Charities provides funding to initiatives that support the company’s philanthropic cornerstones of youth, military, education, and the environment. 

For more information, visit www.coxcharitiesca.org.

Halloween in Laguna continued

Photos by Scott Brashier

Halloween in Laguna 1

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Marvel-ous costumes

Halloween in Laguna 2

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Life imitates art

Halloween in Laguna 3

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Brooks Street after dark

For more photos by Sott Brashier, see slideshow below

Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

Last week we looked at Laguna’s haunting, now this week let’s look at a Laguna mystery.

The first post office to be founded in town was at the general store in 1887 but under the name “Lagona.” The postmaster – Nicholas Isch – successfully petitioned for a name change to Laguna Beach.

The second main post office would be built on the corner of Beach and Broadway in 1938, and served the city only through the mid 1940s. It was in a Mediterranean revival style in a rectangular footprint, stucco siding, and red tiled gable roof. As traffic downtown grew, its location posed access issues and it was rendered unusable after just a few years.

The building stands today, very much in appearance to its days as a post office. The facade and even front steps are identical. Trees on either side of the steps are gone, and a wall lamp is now placed to the right of the front door. The ornate tile around the front door is sadly gone, and the current door makes the building look older than it is – and is a work of art in itself, which is part of the mystery. Who would put such a beautiful door on an abandoned post office?

After the post office moved out, the structure served various commercial and community interests, and was bought and sold multiple times. The mystery lies in why it sits, apparently abandoned in the middle of our downtown, and on top of that, for many years.

Laguna Beach A Look Back 11 5 19

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Laguna Beach Post Office, date unknown

Public records tell us it was last sold in 2006 to Buck Fine Arts for an undisclosed price. 2019 tax records assess it at $4.1 million. Buck Fine Arts appears to no longer exist, or at least is not findable.

Little known to locals, Gerald Buck was apparently using the space to house what may have been the largest collection of art and books done by California artists. Mr. Buck was a Newport Beach developer who was a lover of the arts and used his fortune to amass a large collection.

He was gregarious yet private but had enough of a reputation to sit as a trustee of the Museum of American Art at the Smithsonian.

After purchasing the former post office he extensively renovated the inside, incorporating state of the art climate controls, exhibition lighting, and sliding storage racks. We know this because he opened the gallery rarely for invited guests, usually artists he respected. But, just as today, there was no exterior signage, and no indication the building was occupied.

In case you were planning to contact Mr. Buck requesting he open this gallery, don’t bother. He passed away at a Tijuana clinic being treated for throat cancer in 2013. His wife passed in 2013 as well, leaving his estate to his two children in a trust.

The long-hidden treasure was donated to UCI by his trust in 2017, consisting of over 3,000 original works, valued at tens of millions of dollars. Experts who have examined the works were thrilled to find art they had assumed may have been lost or destroyed. Some called it the greatest collection of California art in private hands in history.

Yes this amazing and rare collection was hiding right here in River City...in plain sight.

So one mystery may be explained – explaining what was in our old post office all that time.

But now another...despite Buck’s death, no apparent sale of the building is recorded. It apparently is still owned by the trust. Is it now empty, with its contents recently moved? Does the family ever go inside? Will they ever sell it? And yes, the most common comment – wouldn’t it make a great restaurant?

• • •

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.

Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

This circa 1900 photo of the Hemenway cabin reveals what a visitor to turn of 20th century Laguna would see on entering the village. The area is now known as Canyon Acres, and Harvey Hemenway was the original pioneer of the neighborhood. In 1880, he established what was the eighth homestead in Laguna Beach in the area just north of the now-Sawdust Festival.

Hemenway had an interesting story for his arrival to town. According to legend, he was in San Francisco and abducted onto a ship, which was taking him to South America for slave labor.

One night the shipped was docked, and Harvey noticed some lights on a nearby shore. He jumped ship and swam onto what is now Main Beach, and the rest is well – Laguna history.

During the 1890s he built this home on the southeast corner of Arroyo Drive and Canyon Acres Drive, on the very edge of the then-138-acre homestead plot. A visionary and Civil War vet, Harvey saw the big picture of Laguna and laid claim to a second 40-acre parcel in 1895, just before this home was completed.

He became known as a town leader, and sat on both the election and school boards.

He passed away in 1908, and was buried at Santa Ana Cemetery, listing his occupation as simply “farmer.”

Laguna Beach A Look Back 11 22 19

Hemenway cabin, circa 1900

The cabin then passed hands to a master local blacksmith – yes, we had real blacksmiths in town before Model Ts invaded the area – named “Old Dad” Fisher. He cut down the eucalyptus trees surrounding it, and covered the entire structure with them – and the “Hemenway Home” became known as the “Eucalyptus House.”

In the 1930s it became a Native American art store where large Native American blankets would hang on the rails outside, attracting buyers from locals and tourists alike.

The last occupant of the home was “Aunt Maude Parkes,” who was known to use the front porch to crochet and in the evenings play the piano in the attic. Far from a recluse, she invited Canyon Acres neighborhood kids to come play in the oversized log cabin, while serving tea to the mothers – all while encouraging local gossip to be exchanged.

The current residents of Canyon Acres would do well to raise a toast to Harvey Hemenway – Civil War vet who escaped an abduction by swimming to shore, and in the process became one of our Founding Fathers.

• • •

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.

Seniors luncheon almost sold out: call to be added to waitlist


Laguna Beach Seniors sent out invitations to its Annual Holiday Luncheon and the community responded with enthusiasm. The popular event, set for December 2, is almost completely sold out.

The luncheon has been a holiday treat for more than 10 years. This year it will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Seven7Seven at 777 Laguna Canyon Rd, formerly Tivoli Too!. 

Seniors luncheon last year

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Courtesy of LB Seniors

Attendees enjoy Senior Luncheon festivities in 2018

Besides the traditional holiday menu, the event will include entertainment by the South Laguna Garden Ukulele Band led by Tom Joliet and opportunity prizes. 

The deadline for reservations is November 27, if any seats are still available. However, names will added to a waiting list, should seats open up. Include a preference for a vegan or vegetarian meal. Tickets can no longer be purchased online. 

For more information, contact Christine Brewer at (949) 715-8105 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“Communities Make a Difference”

World AIDS Day observed at Main Beach on Sunday

World AIDS Day is observed around the world on the first day of December; this year it falls on Sunday and an event will be held at the cobblestone area of Main Beach. The Laguna Beach HIV Advisory Committee hosts the event, which will begin on Sunday, Dec 1 at 4 p.m., with a Candlelight Vigil starting at 5 p.m. 

The theme this year is “Communities Make a Difference.” The mission of the Laguna Beach HIV Advisory Committee is: “Education about HIV, its transmission and prevention, plus assistance and support of those living with HIV/AIDS. We strive to diminish the social stigma still associated with HIV/AIDS.”

Communities make two ribbons

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Red ribbons honoring those taken by HIV/AIDS

By holding a brief, nondenominational memorial service on the cobblestone area of Main Beach, the HIV Advisory Committee of the City of Laguna Beach will honor those who have died of the infection and continue HIV awareness and support. With help from local high school volunteers, the tree trunks in downtown Laguna will be adorned with red ribbons honoring those taken by this disease. 

Communities make one ribbon

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

World AIDS Day observed on Sunday, Dec 1 

These ribbons will bear the names of people who lost their lives to AIDS. The memorial will be conducted by the Reverend BJ Beu and all are invited to participate in this heartfelt service.

AIDS was once a fatal illness, but now that treatment is better, people rarely die of the disorder. Early treatment is one of the keys to success, so anyone interested it free HIV testing will be given a coupon for a free anonymous test at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic. No appointment is needed, and the coupon never expires.

Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

In 1920, a group of local thespians banded together to form what they called the Community Clubhouse at 319 Ocean. They called themselves the Laguna Players and the birth of our local theater was complete. 

This circa 1920s photo shows the rich ivy and beautiful cursive font used fashionably in that era.

Laguna Beach A Look Back 12 3 19 A

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Laguna’s original Playhouse

The Playhouse survived fire and flood, not to mention the Great Depression. It was seen as an adjunct to the Pageant of the Masters, and attracted many Hollywood celebrities.

In the late 30s Douglas Fairbanks would bring his entourage down on his yacht, take in a play, and then camp on the sand at Emerald Bay, where he had wood planked tents set up in advance.

During the 40s local resident Bette Davis was a regular, encouraged to attend by her sister Barbara Berry, who had a job working backstage.

Fifteen years before appearing as Hans Solo, actor Harrison Ford appeared in a Playhouse production. M*A*S*H medic Mike Farrell was also “discovered” onstage at the Playhouse.

In the late 1960s the Ocean Street location was demolished when the city put up a parking lot. It moved to its current location on Broadway, named after Nellie Gale Moulton, who had donated $100,000 toward its construction. 

Laguna Beach A Look Back 12 3 19 B

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Callboard near location of the original Playhouse

Today the city leaves a callboard near the location of the original Playhouse, as shown here. May it always serve as a reminder of the vision of the Laguna Players who founded what is now the oldest continually running theater on the West Coast. 

• • •

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.

Kidney donor Heidi will walk alongside the Donate Life Rose Parade float on New Year’s Day


Heroic local businesswoman Heidi Miller, for whom “giving of herself” is not a metaphor but a physical reality – in 1991, she donated bone marrow, and, in 2017, one of her kidneys – has been selected to be part of Donate Life’s float in the upcoming Rose Parade.

Now in its 17th year, the Donate Life float is the centerpiece of a national effort to reach a broad audience with the simple, life-giving message that organ, eye, and tissue donation saves and heals lives. It is produced by OneLegacy, the largest such recovery organization in the world.

A boot camp junkie, Heidi has chosen to walk beside the float rather than ride on it.

“They like having donors walk, as it shows the power of donation, and that you’re able to walk the five-mile course without a problem,” Heidi explains. “Of course I laughed at that because I was running five miles 30 days after donating my kidney.”

Kidney donor Bruce

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Submitted photo

Carol Pickup, Bruce Cook, and Heidi Miller celebrate two years of improving health; Carol held a Kidney Awareness party for Bruce to get the word out that he was dying of kidney failure and needed a donor

Much has happened since the day Heidi “shared her spare” and by doing so gave Bruce Cook a new lease on life after five-and-a-half years of dialysis and a dire prognosis of mere months to live.

“First of all, Bruce is doing great. We just had a celebratory two-year lunch. He’s getting his strength and stamina back,” she says. “We are all so very grateful that everything worked out so beautifully. He is enjoying life, traveling, playing with his grandchildren, and writing the Bay Window Magazine as well as articles for the Los Angeles Times/Daily Pilot.”

Saving a life proved addictive for Heidi, but of course she knew she had to hang on to her remaining kidney. However, in the past two years she has worked diligently, mostly on her own dime, to raise awareness about the importance of living donors and the usually minimal impact on the donor’s own health. 

Kidney donor wonder

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In the hospital, Heidi was dubbed Wonder Woman – a role she would later play in CHOC Follies in a nod to her courage 

“Since my donation I have mentored 75 potential donors and recipients, helped match 17, and 11 have had surgery. Hospitals send people with questions to me and friends/family of people in need call me almost daily now. I can easily put their minds to rest,” Heidi is proud to say. “I’m a kidney whisperer. And I’m healthier, in better shape, and more filled with gratitude than ever before in my life.”

As the owner of TightAssets, a quirky clothing store on Coast Highway, and of the iconic World Newsstand, as well as a board member of Laguna Playhouse (37 years) and the Historical Society (six years), Heidi doesn’t have much spare time. Yet she’s managed to come up with creative ways to raise money to support the cause. 

Just as she repurposed her kidney, now, during the occasional lull in her store, she repurposes broken jewelry to create stunning necklaces, containers, and glittering Donate Life trees.

Kidney donor trees

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Submitted photo

Glittering trees, created from broken jewelry, are sold to raise money for kidney awareness outreach

“Locals have been so kind dropping off their used/broken jewelry, single earrings, and so on, for me to use on my pieces,” she says. “People are amazed at my creations. I’m getting better with experience. So people can help by donating their jewelry, buying my Donate Life creations, and shopping at my store.”

Heidi is planning to start a foundation in the spring to formalize the outreach efforts that she has championed. For now, she’s very excited about participating in the Rose Parade, something she has always wanted to do. Heidi pays tribute to the many friends who supported her nomination.

“I was nominated by Cedars Sinai and The Balboa Bay Resort. Then 250 of my friends wrote letters of recommendation to Donate Life/OneLegacy. When I finally met Kathleen Hostert, the head of the floats, she said, ‘So you’re the one we received so many letters in support of.’ My friends really helped me get a spot in the float.”

She can’t wait.

“It’s another way to raise awareness,” Heidi says. “I have four days of press interviews, float decorating, a New Year’s Eve Donate Life party, and so much more prior to the parade day. It’s going to be a blast.”

Guest Column

....and to all a goodnight

By Dr. Jorge Rubal, CEO and Medical Director of LB Community Clinic

How does your child react when you call out “it’s bedtime?” I’m guessing it’s not all teddy bears and lullabies.

Children and teens need about nine hours of sleep. Poor sleep habits can affect a child’s academic performance, but more importantly, lack of sleep can have lasting health effects. Research has linked poor sleep habits to obesity and mental health disorders. 

Here are some tips to help ensure your children get the sleep they need: 

Start by taking a look around your child’s bedroom. The bed should be a comfortable size and free of excess toys. The room should be a comfortably cool temperature, dark, and quiet. 

and to bedtime

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Develop a bedtime routine

Consider your child’s schedule. If your child has too many after school activities, they may find themselves cramming homework into the evenings or eating late – both are pitfalls to quality sleep. Also try cutting off screen time 30 minutes before bedtime. 

Next, work on developing a bedtime routine that you repeat each night with your child. Following a routine works to establish your child’s internal clock. You’ll observe, over time, that your child will become sleepy as they move through the steps of their routine. 

and to Christmas

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The Rubal family 

My wife and I have two young boys in grade school – and a baby. Over the years, we have come to cherish our bedtime routine. It starts with having them brush their teeth, then we read a story to our boys, followed by saying our prayers together. This simple bedtime routine also has a bonding effect. For my family, it’s one of the ways we share our love of reading, and our faith. 

We’re both physicians, so we’re well aware of the importance of instilling healthy sleep habits in our boys, yet we blow our routine on a regular basis. We often find ourselves joining in the tickling or giving in to requests for foot massages! The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that parents model consistency in their child’s bedtime routine as well as their own good sleep habits. I don’t need to sleep on that advice to know I’ve got my work cut out for me.

Children’s Moon

Children's moon half

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Why is a daytime moon sometimes called a children’s moon? It stemmed from the idea that children couldn’t stay up at night late enough to see the moon when it appears only in darkness. Another theory is that it’s called a children’s moon because their eyes were sharp enough to pick it out, and the older folks, with fading vision, could not tell it from the clouds.


Afterglow street view

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

“Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.” –Sharon Draper

Online giving after tragedies – donors beware

By Doug Bennett, Executive Director

Orange Coast College Foundation

With the recent Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, several GoFundMe campaigns and other online efforts to support the families of the victims have been started. Our immediate instinct is to want to help and intuitively we know that when grief is overwhelming, sometimes immediate financial assistance can be helpful.

Recently, there have been many reports of tricksters and impostors initiating campaigns. How can a donor know if a campaign is legitimate? My suggestions are:

–Carefully read the narrative posted on the appeal. If it sounds insincere and doesn’t offer enough information to make you comfortable, be cautious.

–GoFundMe campaigns have a contact email; don’t hesitate to email them and ask for verification of their status.

–If there is a phone number attached to the plea, call them if you are not sure.

–GoFundMe and other portals will sometimes shut down the creation of new funds immediately after mass shootings and other incidents to verify the validity of the funds being established.

–If you have a contact within the family or their support network and you are concerned about the validity of the campaign, try and call or email the organizers.

GoFundMe will also label if there is an option to email the organizer. Questions to ask include: How much/what percentage of the funds are going directly to the cause? Depending on how the giving portal is managed, it is anywhere from 0-20 percent that can be taken off the gift total for administrative fees. Ask the organizer if they are taking a cut of the donations above the processing fee. Try and find out what the fees are. If they don’t respond, don’t give. If you have the family’s address, you can also consider mailing them a check directly by snail mail.

Dennis’ Tidbits 


February 4, 2020

Love for the ocean born at age three

Dennis 5Wednesday marks the midpoint of winter with 45 down and 45 to go. We’ve been blessed with fantastic weather the past few days, as it feels like spring instead of winter with shorts and flops conditions with clear sunny skies and clear crisp nights. The bright object in the western skies after sunset is the planet Venus in its crescent phase. That’s when it’s the brightest.

Congratulations to the Kansas City Chiefs who won their first Super Bowl since 1970. Patrick Mahomes is only 24, and he’s the MVP of Super Bowl 54 and at 21, as a rookie, he passed for an incredible 50 touchdowns winning Rookie of the Year. He’s certain to be a Hall of Famer at the rate he’s going. Amazing player and amazing team!

Like I said before, at the tender age of five, I knew my life was going to be all about the ocean and the sky thanks to that dramatic weather at the Grand Canyon. That one event made such an impression, I still remember it like it was yesterday. When my folks and I returned to my birthplace in Hollywood after our three-day stay in the Grand Canyon, I spent a lot of time looking skyward during the day and looking above at the heavens when it got dark. I would ask my Pop questions like why didn’t we get thunderstorms in Hollywood like they get in Arizona during the summer, and he would explain all the dynamics it took to produce such storms.

I’m getting ahead of myself a bit here. My complete love and fascination of the ocean began two summers earlier when I was only three. We lived in Hollywood at the time, but during the summers my folks would rent a little cottage here in Laguna on St. Ann’s Street. One day Mom and Pop and I were down at Main Beach on a calm sunny afternoon with warm water and small surf. They went in the water about waist deep with me hoisted up on my Pop’s shoulders while Mom stood about 20 feet away in the shallows. 

Pop slowly lowered me into the water and showed me how to doggy paddle to Mom while he had both hands on my waist. I wasn’t scared in the least bit and instantly felt comfortable in my surroundings. My Mom held my hand while Pop went back to his spot about 20 feet away. I doggy paddled back to Pop all by myself, no problem! I went back and forth to Mom and Pop a bunch more times. My folks were totally amazed at my immediate connection with the Pacific. “I think we created a monster here!” Pop said to Mom. They couldn’t get me out of the water after that. I was hooked at three years old!

On days when the surf was rougher, my folks would take me up to the Laguna Beach High School pool that was heated at 82 degrees and the water was calm. It was there that I honed my swimming skills, but when the surf got big, we’d go down to the beach, and I would stand at water’s edge totally mesmerized, watching all that energy. I wanted in, but I was only three, mind you, so I was perfectly content to gaze at the pounding breakers. By then my folks knew they had created a monster! Then summer ended and we returned to Hollywood. Trouble is it was over 50 miles inland and away from Laguna, and I couldn’t wait for the next summer, so I had to be content with sloshing around in our big laundry sink, but at least I was in the water in some form! Crazy, eh? 

More on that next time, ALOHA!

Levi, the pot-bellied pig, living high on the hog, says local business owner Andrew Glinski


Readers may remember Levi, the wayward pot-bellied pig, whose claim to fame is that he got loose in South Laguna in September of 2016 and was recovered by Police Officer Mike Jeffries, but not without a struggle. Levi was hightailing it down Pedro Street after he disappeared from a local park. Andrew Glinski, his owner, had been desperately searching for him.

Elusive Levi wriggled out of a dog rope twice before Officer Jeffries finally corralled him.

As quoted in a news article, Officer Jeffries said, “Once I got him, I tried to set him on the floor in the prisoner’s seat, but the minute he felt himself going into the patrol car, the pig braced his legs to stay out. He was pretty smart.”

It’s not a surprise that Levi used clever methods to elude capture – pigs are the fourth smartest animal group on the planet, following only humans, apes and chimps, whales, and dolphins.

Levi the baby

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Photo by Andrew Glinski

Levi during his piglet days

According to the OC Register, when Glinski picked Levi up at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter, he said, “Words can’t describe how happy I am. I don’t think he [Officer Jeffries] really knows how much it meant to me. For me, it’s like he saved my kid.”

That was back in the days when Glinski brought his then eight-month-old, 80-pound pig to work with him (along with his Collie Winter). Levi is registered as an exotic pet per the City of Laguna Beach. Glinski says, “Everyone in town knew him.”

However, Levi currently tips the scales at 400 lbs, and Glinski admits, “He’s just too big to fit in my truck now.”

Levi the adult

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Photo by Andrew Glinski

Levi now weighs in at 400 lbs

Granted, Glinski loves animals, but how did he end up with a pig? “I had a Slingshot three-wheel car that I rented out, and this one guy kept renting it. He had turtles. One day he just put a baby pig in my hands, and Levi never left my side for three years.”

Lest you think Levi now has a “boaring” life, don’t feel sorry for him.

Although he can’t come into work with his owner every day like he used to when he was a mere piglet, Levi lives with Glinski on a 10-acre ranch on the border of Ortega Hwy and Lake Elsinore. Levi has lots of company – horses, alpacas, donkeys, ponies, birds, and two turtles named Robin and Howard. In addition to Winter, Glinski now has Coco, a rescue dog from Bali.

Levi the with Winter

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Photo by Andrew Glinski

Levi and Winter in Andrew’s truck

Glinski says, “I don’t have a wife or kids, and I love animals, so I have a lot of them.”

Although you could call what he has a mini-sanctuary, Glinski spent a year at a real animal sanctuary in Colorado. In 2018, he packed up, and with Winter in his truck, hit the road, ending up at the sanctuary. “They said I could live there if I worked three hours a day, but I became the main guy. In the year I was there, we rescued about 250 animals, going from 182 to nearly 500.” 

After that year, he decided to come back. “It was really hard work.”

Before opening up Relic Tint in February of 2019, Glinski ran a mobile detailing business. The shop housing Relic Tint had been vacant for a few years and needed some fixing up. “I taught myself to drywall,” he says.

Levi the and co owners

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Andrew Glinski (on left) and Lucas Harral, co-owners of Relic Tint

Glinski says he doesn’t mind the 31-mile trip into work – and back. “It’s my quiet time. I work a lot, and what could be better? I live in a 100-year-old cabin in the country, and right now I’m looking at the ocean.”

When Glinski does go home, he has a menagerie of animals to greet him, including one well-known pig who made headlines in 2016 hoofing it up Pedro Street toward Brooks Street until, disgruntled, he was taken into custody. 

Although Levi no longer visits Relic Tint, drop in anyway. It is located at 1009 S Coast Hwy.

Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

As we idly scan through archived photos to select an item for this column, there are times we just look upstairs and smile. It is certainly a nice gem when we see two photos approximately 20 years apart from the exact same location.

Last week we deduced the age of a photo taken in black and white from the corner of Forest and Coast Highway looking south (taken in 1938).

To reproduce the same angle today you could stand in front of Kush or BJ’s and look straight south toward the Heisler Building.

The 1939 Plymouth Coupe was a key clue in last week’s photo. In this week’s colorized photo, a beautiful 1956 Chevy two-door Bel Air occupies the exact spot. One obvious difference is the appearance of an old friend – the parking meter. In fact you’ll see a string of parking meters lining Coast Highway. However, looking at that same parking space today you’ll notice that no parking is allowed.

The White House, the Heisler Building, and Hotel Laguna appear to not have changed.

Laguna Beach A Look Back 3 3 20

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Looking back at Laguna Beach

The first clue as to the year of the picture is the Shell station logo, which is modernized. This type of Shell logo first appeared in approximately 1960.

Another interesting fact this photo points out is that there were actually two crosswalks at this corner of Forest, Park, and Coast Highway. The crosswalk on the north side near the station wagon is now gone.

If you look close you can see a sign for McHughes Toys where The Greeter’s Corner Restaurant is now. Owner Bart McHugh ran the Main Beach toy store for several decades.

The cars are good clues as to the date of this photo too.

Behind the 1956 Chevy is a 1958 Chevy, which is directly next to a 1960 MG. The long station wagon with fins can be identified as a 1960 Ford station wagon.

But the clincher is the white poster just above the station wagon. That slogan of Super Shell having nine ingredients for top performance was a campaign that began in early 1961 and ended sometime in 1962. Although we cannot nail the exact time of this picture as exact as last week, it would be safe to mark this photo as sometime in mid-1961 to mid-1962. Since the newest cars seen are 1960 models, 1961 would be the most logical estimation.

That puts a 23-year gap between the black and white and color pictures from the same location.

If you stand at this spot today you would of course see more modern cars, and the Shell station is gone. The street lights are a bit more modern. Otherwise the view has remained intact for almost 40 years.

• • •

Laguna Beach Historical Society is located at 278 Ocean Ave. They are open Friday - Sunday from 1 - 4 p.m. For more information, call (949) 497-6834 or visit www.lagunabeachhistory.org.

Hoag statement on preparedness efforts

“Hoag is prepared to protect our patients, physicians, clinical care providers, and all employees from the spread of infectious disease. We, like many other hospitals, care for patients with infectious diseases frequently and are well prepared to provide the best and appropriate care for these patients while ensuring the safety of our staff, patients, and visitors. We have an Infection Prevention team leading our preparedness efforts, which includes education, training, and drills so that our clinicians have the tools and communication systems to properly screen and isolate patients for infectious conditions.”

Dr. Philip Robinson

Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Hospital Epidemiology


Governor Gavin Newsom orders all California residents to stay at home

Thursday evening, March 19, Governor Gavin Newsom issued direction to all California residents to stay at home effective immediately unless they are participating in “essential functions” like purchasing food, getting prescriptions or necessary health care, or going to an essential job. Vulnerable populations and residents age 65 and older must stay home. The order, issued by the California State Public Health Officer and Director of the California Department of Public Health, is intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) to California citizens. (Click here to view the order.)

According to the order, when people need to leave their homes or places of residence for essential functions, they should at all times practice social distancing. According to the state’s guidelines, social distancing means maintaining a six-foot separation from all persons except for family members.

Many establishments not covered in previous orders are ordered to cease operations that require in-person attendance by workers at a workplace. All individuals are to stay home except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors.

Essential services will remain open, such as:

--Hospitals, clinics, and healthcare operations


--Grocery stores, farmers’ markets, food banks, convenience stores, take-out and delivery restaurants 


--Gas stations

Essential state and local government functions will also remain open, including:

--Police, Fire, and Marine Safety services will continue and 9-1-1 will be operating as usual

--Certain City offices will remain closed to the public, but operational

--Utilities (water, power, and gas)

Laguna Beach Trolley Service is canceled effective immediately. Sally’s Fund team members are providing transportation for seniors to doctor’s appointments. Call (949) 499-4100.

Additional Resources

The City is regularly updating additional information on COVID-19 prevention on its website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/coronavirus.

On the job 

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

On the beach patrol

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Friday Beach Patrol 

On the drone

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Officer Farris flying a drone to protect the trails

On the truck

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Officers Brakke and Tyson block the entrance to Alta Laguna Park

Where’s Maggi?

Where was Maggi walking when she spied this? 

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Wheres Maggi 4 17 20

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Where’s Maggi – the answers!

 Maggi thought she would get the win this week. But, no…Steve Hoffman knew this green butterfly is at Alta Laguna Park. Winner!

Thanks for playing along with Maggi.

Look for the next photo challenge coming up on Friday. 

Where's Maggi 4 21 20

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Playground butterfly at Alta Laguna Park

The yoke of time 

The yoke sun

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The sun sits like a cracked egg on the horizon, reminding us of the bondage of time

Dennis’ Tidbits


December 1, 2020

The end is nigh…for hurricanes

Dennis 5The 2020 hurricane season for the Eastern Pacific and Atlantic Oceans officially ended yesterday, November 30. Although a very rare occurrence, I wouldn’t completely rule out the formation of any more tropical systems in the Atlantic Ocean, and the way this year has been, who knows? The previous record year in 2005 saw a system form in January, but it had no effect on anybody as the tropical storm was way out in the middle of nowhere. Nevertheless the fact that such a system would show up in, of all months, January, is amazing.

The Eastern Pacific on the other hand was relatively quiet by Pacific standards. There were a total of 15 named storms, making it up to Polo. Only six storms reached hurricane strength and only two of those reached major hurricane status (Category 3 with winds of 111 mph or higher). The second storm of the 2020 season was the only system to make landfall and that was in a remote area near the Mexico/El Salvador border. 

Earlier on in the season, a system that forms way down there and fairly close to land usually has a tendency to blow back to the NE, anyway, instead of moving to the west or NW and out to sea, which most storms do by late June or early July. Hawaii was never even remotely threatened by any tropical systems this year. The last El Nino in 2015 saw six systems that affected the Islands in some way, shape, or form.

So far, this La Nina is behaving true to form, with consistently dry and sunny days not only here in Southern California but pretty much the entire state. The latest California drought monitor reveals that 95 percent of the state is under some degree of drought conditions, as high pressure in the Eastern Pacific and Great Basin continue to run the show. Intermittent strong Santana winds add fuel to the fire, so to speak. There’s another Santana episode slated for the middle of this week, so forget about any rain for the week and beyond. 

The surf suffers during a strong La Nina and the surf is being measured in inches here on Sunday, with nothing in this week’s forecast. Hawaii is off to a very slow start as well, with the north and west shores of the Islands only seeing a handful of overhead swells. 

Now it’s December and our shortest days of the year are upon us, with ten hours or less of possible sunshine for a good part of the month. Our earliest sunset of the year is only a week away with sunset occurring at 4:42 p.m. at our latitude, and our shortest day happening on December 21, the winter solstice, with nine hours and 54 minutes of possible sunshine.

December is our third wettest month on average, with about 2.6 inches of rain for the normal. Our wettest December was in 2010, with a real soaking of 11.85 inches from a hyper-atmospheric river the week leading into Christmas. 

Our second wettest December was in 1997 with 9.89 inches, with 8.08 of that falling on the weekend of December 6-7. We’ve had two rainless Decembers, in 1989 and 1990. Our average hi-lo air temp is 65-44, with our warmest December days of 86 on December 3, 1958 and December 12, 1979. Our coldest December night was 27 in town and 22 out in the canyon on December 10, 1978. 

December’s normal ocean temp is around 58 with the coldest recorded of 52 in 1948 and 1978, which were also the two coldest winters on record here in town. The warmest December ocean temp was 65 in 1972 and 1997. 


Dennis’ Tidbits


May 12, 2020

Hail, no! It won’t happen here.

Dennis 5Here on Sunday evening there’s some healthy wave energy from the Southern Hemisphere hitting our beaches. It’s been building all day with some overhead sets at Brooks Street and a solid 4-6 ft at Lower Trestles, coming in at an ideal direction. We’ve been getting some pretty decent pulses from the South Pacific so far this spring, which is making up for a dismal winter. Let’s hope we stay on a roll here.

Well, we’re locked into the May Gray syndrome, but at least our lives aren’t ruined in the matter of a few seconds by an EF-4 tornado or hail that does five billion dollars of damage during this supercell thunderstorm season. May Gray and June Gloom don’t seem so bad at all, as it’s a walk in the park compared to a lot of places in our country.

Occasionally, we have a hailstorm here in Laguna, but it’s usually pea to occasional marble-size, with no damage to speak of. Hail is always associated with thunderstorms falling out of a cumulonimbus cloud. Updrafts out here don’t amount to much, traveling no more than 30 mph at the most, plus the tops of these thunder makers extend no more than around 25,000 feet above the earth. But east of the Rockies it’s a different story altogether. Just yesterday in parts of eastern Texas there were reports of baseball-size hail riding updrafts of 85 mph. 

Hail is born when a raindrop that is getting ready to fall to earth suddenly gets caught up in an updraft, which proceeds to drive that raindrop high into the cloud where temps are well below freezing, thus forming a little ice ball. It may then begin its journey back to earth unless it becomes the property of that updraft, which if strong enough will repeat the procedure. 

This cycle will continue if the updraft is strong enough and can happen many times. Finally, when the surrounding air can no longer support the weight of this stone, that hailstone will finally succumb to the earth’s gravity and fall to the ground. 

Here’s the rundown: if the updraft is around 25-30 mph, hail size will be roughly pea to marble-size. If the updraft is 35-40 mph, you get quarter to half dollar-size hailstones. 45-50 mph updrafts will produce ping pong ball-sized hail. Golf ball-size stones are the product of 60 mph updrafts. 70-80 mph updrafts produce stones the size of tennis balls. Baseball-size comes from 85-95 mph updrafts. 

When updrafts reach 100-110 mph, we’re talking softballs. Grapefruit-size comes from updrafts up to 120 mph. The largest hailstone ever recorded was eight inches in diameter, roughly the size of a volleyball and weighing over two pounds! The updraft in this monster supercell was estimated to be 150-160 mph and the cloud top extended all the way to 60,000 feet. 

This freak of a hailstone hit the ground on a farm in western Nebraska and dug a two-foot-wide, six-inch-deep crater. Thankfully there was no damage as the monster landed in an open field far from any structures or people! Personally, the biggest hail I’ve ever witnessed was baseball-size in Amarillo, Texas Air Force Base on April 1, 1967.

Imagine thousands of baseballs falling from above at 100 mph, the speed of the highest velocity fastballs by a Major League pitcher! Scary stuff.

See y’all on Friday, ALOHA!

Disrupted plans reveal a spirit of giving for the Laguna Beach Community Clinic

“If there had been no pandemic, we’d be enjoying the afterglow of a huge celebratory gala to mark our 50th,” stated CEO and Medical Director of the Laguna Beach Community Clinic Dr. Jorge Rubal. Like so many families and businesses, the Clinic’s plans were disrupted. 

“We made the decision in February to postpone our gala scheduled for late May and shift the focus of that department to communications and outreach. We knew it was vital to regularly offer fact-based information to our patients and our community at large,” continued Rubal. 

The Clinic has been working closely with a broad spectrum of community partners to help navigate the City through the crisis and also support a healthy reopening.

Disrupted plans Wayne and Terry

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Courtesy of Paul Allen/LCAD Facebook

Wayne Peterson (on left) with his partner Terry Smith at a 2014 Laguna College of Art + Design event honoring their support

While other community clinics have collapsed due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the Laguna Beach Community Clinic has been able to stay fully operational without having to lay off any of its staff. 

“We’re fortunate to have a CEO who is both an excellent family physician and has an MBA. Jorge’s business acumen led us, and continues to lead us, through a very challenging time,” stated President of the Board of Directors Mark Orgill.

Dr. Rubal is quick to point out that the generosity of others outweighs his business skills, as illustrated by the recent $100,000 gift from the Wayne Peterson Fund of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation. 

Disrupted plans Roya Cole

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Submitted photo 

LB Community Clinic Board Member Roya Cole

“I also have to credit board member Roya Cole, her leadership had been phenomenal. She has personally outreached to her friends and associates to share our story and inspire giving,” praised Rubal. Thanks to a flurry of giving in the past two months, the Clinic is closer to reaching its goal of raising $500,000 in 2020. 

“To date we’ve raised nearly $350,000, and we’re feeling pretty good about reaching our goal,” added Rubal. The Clinic plans to use the funds, in part, to add a new family physician to its staff.

The Clinic is located at 362 Third St.

For more information on the Clinic, visit www.LBClinic.org.

Dennis’ Tidbits


July 3, 2020

Prepare for extreme highs and lows in July – tides, that is

Dennis 5The highest and lowest tides of the summer will occur this month on the appearance of the upcoming full moon, with a high tide of 7.1 ft around 8:30 p.m. and a low tide of minus 1.7 ft at around 4 a.m. the next morning. 

The same extreme tidal swing also occurs in January, but the time of the high and low tide is reversed, with the high tide occurring around 8:30 a.m. and the subsequent low tide happening around 4 p.m. 

Remember, the higher the tide, the lower the following low tide about seven-and-a-half hours later. The least extreme tidal swings occur during the first and last quarter moon.

Here we are two weeks into summer and we have yet to warm up to the normal high of 74. The gloom is still with us when it’s supposed to start mellowing out by this time. There’s been quite a bit of morning drizzle and light rain thanks to a persistent 4,000-5,000 ft thick marine layer. Even our desert communities are well below normal, scratching and clawing to even break the 100-degree mark. Local ocean temps, however, are pretty much at seasonal norms at 66-68 degrees.

The annual Brooks Street Surfing Classic waiting period is underway and we’re hoping it doesn’t turn out to be another long waiting period and eventually a no-go, as it has so many times since the turn of the century. From the event’s inception way back in 1954 until 2000 there was only one no-go, but since 2000 there have been a half dozen or more, not a good record at all. 

It’s becoming more like the annual shoulda, woulda, coulda event as the surf has not cooperated at all on weekends, the only time of the week we have a chance to pull this thing off. In the early years, however, any time of the week was a go. If a swell suddenly showed up on say a Wednesday, the contest was on.

A lot of things have to come together for Brooks Street to have decent waves for the event to be successful, as the break is kind of fickle. You want at least a consistent head-high swell coming from the right direction. Ideally that would be a short interval (10-11 second) Baja swell at 160-180 degrees for the spot to break correctly. That’s because of the spot’s bathymetry, meaning bottom contours necessary to allow the sets to arrive at a severe SSE to south direction, enabling the waves to peel nicely, with minimal sections to disrupt or shorten the rides. 

Heats are only 15-20 minutes long and you have to catch a certain number of rides within that short span. Baja swells are much more consistent than long period (16-18 second) Southern Hemisphere swells, which tend to have long lulls between sets – plus oftentimes these SSW to SW swells will close out shortly after takeoff, thus abbreviating maximum performance on any given ride.

Then the swell has to happen on a weekend. Oftentimes we’ve had a quality swell on days in the middle of the week, only to have that quality swell diminish by that Saturday. My motto is Baja or no-go.

Then you’ve got the tides to consider, as the spot only shines on a medium to medium-high tide at roughly 3 to 5.5 ft in height. On top of that, you’re hoping for decent surface conditions meaning minimal winds, so all these factors have to come together in a positive way. It’s almost like the planets have to be in perfect alignment for the place to shine but when it does, it’s so much fun! Over the decades we’ve pulled off this event as early as June 25 and as late as October 10. 

Here’s hoping for a great classic this year! 


Five percent sewer fee hike approved


Property owners from Irvine Cove to Cardinal Drive and along Laguna Canyon Road and a short segment on El Toro Road will find a five percent increase in sewer fees on their property tax bill for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. 

The increase is due to the hike in sewer fees approved by the City Council at the July 14 meeting. Officials said the increase was needed to provide adequate funding, maintenance, and improvements in the city’s sewage system in the wake of the November 2019 spill. Sewer user fees are included in tax bills.

About 9,700 users are included in the city’s service area. Property owners south of Cardinal Way are served by South Coast Water District. 

The increase will first show up on the tax bill received in September or October and must be paid by December 10 or a 10 percent penalty will be added to the bill. The second bill will be mailed to property owners in February and will be due no later than April 10 – with the same penalty for late payment exacted. 

City staff was instructed at the April 28 council meeting to pursue the increase in sewer fees, which requires the city to conduct a protest vote. Notices of the proposed increase were mailed in May to the property owners in the city’s service area. 

The notices included justification for the increase, the amount for each sewer user category, instructions for submitting written protests against the increase, and the time and place of the hearing at which the council would vote on the hike. Additionally, an online Zoom meeting was held on May 27 to answer questions, attended by two members of the public. 

As of July 9, the city received 16 protests against the increase. Time was allowed at the July 14 meeting for additional protests. One caller protested.

Waxing Crescent Moon

Waxing crescent sky

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Photo by Scott Brashier

“Perhaps the crescent moon smiles in doubt at being told that it is a fragment awaiting perfection.” –Rabindranath Tagore

Where’s Maggi?

Maggi took a pause here. Do you know where she was in Laguna?

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Where's Maggi 7 31 20

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Congressman Rouda looking to honor deserving women with excellence awards, submission deadline today

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote (19th Amendment), Congressman Harley Rouda (D-48th) will host the Women of Excellence Awards to Honor Accomplishments of OC Women on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

Congressman Rouda is seeking nominations for women living in his 48th Congressional District in the following categories: Small Business Leader, Environmental Champion, Front Line First Responder Hero, Extraordinary Teacher and Outstanding Community Leader. The deadline for submissions is today, Friday, Aug 14.

Congressman Harley Rouda

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Courtesy of the Offices of Harley Rouda

Congressman Harley Rouda

Once selected, the winners and three of their guests will be invited to a Virtual Awards Ceremony with Congressman Rouda at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

So, do you know an incredible woman that you would like to nominate? If so, visit here, fill out and submit the nomination form. Remember, nominations close Friday at 5 p.m.

Local youth deliver food to Laguna Food Pantry

Chris, Jeff, and Kyle Herkins – members of the Laguna Beach High School Destination Imagination Global Finals “Is This Real?” team – held a food drive recently to benefit Laguna Food Pantry, resulting in donations of approximately 200 lbs of food. 

Destination Imagination (DI) is a global educational nonprofit dedicated to inspiring the next generation of innovators, leaders, and creative problem solvers.

Local youth deliver

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Submitted photo

Chris (on left) and Jeff Herkins deliver the donations to Laguna Food Pantry (not pictured Kyle)

Prior to COVID-19, the Laguna Food Pantry helped 500+ families a week in South Orange County; since COVID-19 hit, the nonprofit is currently helping almost 1,000 families a week. The Pantry collects and distributes 5,000 lbs. of food every weekday. Approximately half of its shoppers have babies and children to feed.

Laguna Food Pantry is located at 20652 Laguna Canyon Rd.

For more information about the Pantry and to donate, go to www.lagunafoodpantry.org.

Sun cloud

Sun cloud birds

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The setting sun explodes into a multicolored mushroom-shaped cloud

Local hero Bob Mosier turns 96 this week

Story by Jeanette Huber

Poppa Bob Mosier is celebrating his 96th birthday on Wednesday, Sept 9. Long one of the movers and shakers of Laguna Beach, Poppa Bob is still enjoying life in his lovely home here in the Cove.

Poppa Bob celebrated with a birthday cake at the Greater Laguna Beach GOP meeting at Crescent Bay Park led by Jennifer Zeiter on Sunday. Attendance was high! 

Local hero Bob Mosier

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Submitted photo

Local hero Poppa Bob Mosier, who turns 96 this week, was all smiles on Sunday

Poppa Bob has been involved in local politics for at least 40 years and was celebrated at the meeting with a thoughtful birthday toast by council member Peter Blake. Council member Steve Dicterow was also in attendance, a longtime friend to Poppa Bob.

Happy 96th birthday to Poppa Bob Mosier and many more…he is determined to live to be 100!

Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow honored by City Council

At the Tuesday, Dec 1 meeting of the Laguna Beach City Council, Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow was honored by City Council resolution for his 20 years of service to the community.

“Steve has served the City long and well,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Bob Whalen at last Tuesday’s City Council meeting. “You have provided outstanding service over 20 years to the City, and I want to thank you personally.”

 Laguna Beach Steve Dicterow 1

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Laguna Beach Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow was honored at the December 1 City Council meeting, held via Zoom

Though his accomplishments on the Council over his 20-year tenure are many, they include adding new police officers and increasing the City’s Police Department and budget, opposing the county takeover of the City’s Fire Department, simplifying the Conditional Use Permit process for businesses, and designating the City of Laguna Beach as a World Kindness USA City.

Laguna Beach Steve Dicterow 2

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow served four terms as a City Councilmember – first from 1994-2006 and again in 2012-2020. He served four terms as Mayor.

“I am so grateful to this town for giving me the honor of serving them for 20 years – I am going to miss doing that, but I have never felt more hopeful and optimistic about the future,” Dicterow said. “I believe we need to act and work collectively to come to good decisions. That’s what democracy is about, and I see us on a birth of new democracy in this country and this City.”

--Release from City of Laguna Beach, Community Update

Where’s Maggi – the answers!

Everyone seems to be watching The Queen’s Gambit, and that got Maggi thinking about chess. Who knew where she spied this nice chess table?

Mark Porterfield knew it to be the Ruby Street Park, at Ocean Way, and so did Bill O’Hare, Linda Potichke, Rebecca Meekma, Janene Freitas, Julie Ross, and Dave Phoenix.

Thanks, everyone, for playing along! 

Check in on Friday for a new challenge.

Where's Maggi 12 15 20

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Chess setup in the little Ruby Street Park

Where’s Maggi?

Where did Maggi find this alien-looking thing?

Send your answers in to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The location will be revealed in Tuesday’s edition, and we’ll let you know who got it right.

Where's Maggi 12 18 20

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Boom Boom Bench

Boom Boom Bench

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Photo by Mark Porterfield

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission has reinstalled the “Boom Boom Bench,” the sculptural love seat by artist Michael Stutz at the beach access at Mountain Road. The original bench was created of weaved stainless steel and did not weather well in the oceanfront environment. The artist replicated the bench in bronze, a more durable material for the site. The piece was originally funded with the support of Mark Porterfield and Steve Chadima.

Dennis’ Tidbits


October 30, 2020

Our teams ride high, our temps go low

Dennis 5One more reminder…Daylight Savings Time comes to an end at 2 a.m. this coming Sunday. It will return on the second Sunday next March. Now we’re in the Dark Ages!

Way to go, Dodgers! They knew what they were doing when they signed Mookie Betts! Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for star third baseman Justin Turner, who tested positive for COVID-19. Now L.A. has two championships this year with the NBA Lakers and now the MLB Dodgers. Wouldn’t it be something if the Dodgers and Angels were in the World Series someday? That’s a long shot though as the Dodgers are winners and the Angels aren’t so hot, to put it mildly, so I don’t see that happening anytime soon. 

In the NFL the Rams are contenders with a 5-2 record so far, so we’ll see what happens, as it’s a long season with nine more games to go.

Local ocean temps have taken a major tumble with a drop of ten degrees just since last weekend thanks to those strong Santanas that really brought up all that cold water from the depths. Now temps are hovering around the 60-degree mark, only four days removed from the balmy 70 as late in the season as last weekend. Now that November is knocking at the door, it’ll be hard-pressed for the water temps to rebound very much at all. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

Boy, it just never lets up on the Gulf Coast, as yet another strong tropical system by the name of Zeta hit Category 2 strength just before making landfall near New Orleans late Wednesday afternoon. Zeta has tied the all-time record for the highest number of tropical systems in one season. There’s still a month remaining in the 2020 season. The probabilities of a system forming as late as November are small, but it has happened on occasion, so we can’t completely rule out that chance. The way this season has been on major steroids, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if something did pop up. 

The good news with Zeta is that it’s racing to the NE at 27 mph as of 11 p.m. Central Time on Wednesday, so the system was pretty much a blow-and-go event. By late Thursday or early Friday the whole thing will be moving off the Eastern Seaboard. No new systems are in the wings for at least the next five days.

Here comes November and just about anything can happen around here in our eleventh month, from occasional downpours to hot, dry Santanas. The average hi-lo temp is around 72-51, but it’s been as hot as 95 on November 1, 1966 and November 10, 1976. The coldest November night was 34 on November 15, 1978. Average November rainfall is about 1.6 inches with the wettest November on record in 1965 when we got drenched with 9.68 inches. November has gone rainless in 1958, 1975, 1980, 1991, 1992, and 2001. The normal November ocean temp is around 63 but it’s been as cold as 53 on November 30, 1978 and as warm as 71 from November 1-5, 1997.

There you have it. See you next Tuesday, ALOHA!

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