Back to Top

 Volume 11, Issue 42  |  May 24, 2019                                     


 

Remembering the life of Francis Cabang, Jr., Laguna legend and longtime friend of the community

The life of Francis Quentin Cabang Jr. (June 1, 1956 - May 13, 2019) will be honored at a Rosary and Vigil on Tuesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at McCormick & Son, 1795 Laguna Canyon Rd.

On the morning of Wednesday, May 29 at 10:30 a.m., a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church at 1042 Temple Terrace. 

Interment will follow at Melrose Abbey located at 2303 S Manchester Ave in Anaheim.

That afternoon, from 3 until 9 p.m., there will be a reception at Las Brisas Restaurant, 361 Cliff Dr.

Based on comments from friends and acquaintances during his many years in Laguna, Francis Cabang Jr. was loved by everyone he met. He was widely known as a “great guy” and a “class act,” and someone who was always ready with a smile. Sadly, Laguna lost a long time staple of the community on May 13. 

Remembering the close up

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Francis Cabang, Jr.,

His family has a long history in Laguna. Francis Cabang Jr.’s father, Francis Cabang Sr., was one of the first owners of Royal Hawaiian, which opened in 1947, and Francis Jr., along with other members of the Cabang family, ran the restaurant until 2006 when it changed ownership and underwent a major remodel.

Evidently, Francis Jr. was a wealth of information on Laguna and full of fun facts as many of his friends attest. He laughed a lot and he made others laugh as well. 

“I knew Junior, as well as the rest of the family. He was a great guy. Terrific. A sweet flirt. The family are all very close and spend a lot of time together, with Rufino driving down every week to have family dinners and take momma to visit Francis Sr.’s gravesite. Junior was a devoted brother and son. He was also a bit of a local historian and, best of all, he was quick with a smile, a hug, and a laugh. He will be missed by many, including me and certainly our No Square family. I know the family is heartbroken. It’s a terrible loss,” says Bree Burgess Rosen, vice-president/founding artistic director of No Square Theatre.

Repeatedly in friends’ observations, Francis is remembered for his kindness, decency, and thoughtfulness. It’s apparent that he touched many lives, and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

STANSFIELD500 1228


Laguna Logo

LBFD Captain Crissy Teichmann: Passionate about her profession

Story by SAMANTHA WASHER

Photos  by Mary Hurlbut

Captain Crissy Teichmann has been with the Laguna Beach Fire Department (LBFD) for 18 and a half years. Laguna was the first department that offered her a position and she was happy to take it. “I didn’t pick Laguna, they picked me,” she says. New firefighters have a bit of a fatalistic attitude when it comes to getting a job. It’s so highly competitive, if a department makes an offer, a new recruit generally accepts, no matter where it is. In Teichmann’s case, Laguna was a great place to start. 

However, starting and staying are different matters. Once you’re in and you’ve completed your “grueling” probation, it’s not out of the question to transfer to different departments – larger departments, for example, but even that isn’t seamless or without risk. And while Teichmann said she contemplated making a change after her first five years in Laguna, she ultimately decided to stay. Almost four years ago, she was promoted to captain, so the decision seems to have paid off.

Knowing what she wanted at the start

Promotions aside, when you talk with Teichmann about her job, it becomes very clear, very quickly that she loves what she does. “I knew in high school I wanted to be a firefighter,” she says. So she got to it. She worked for the Fire Service as a seasonal firefighter. She became a paramedic. She went to the fire academy. “I didn’t have to sit around and ponder life. I knew what I wanted to do,” she says. 

LBFD Captain close up

Click on photo for a larger image

Captain Crissy Teichmann has been with the Laguna Beach Fire Department for over 18 years

Doing what is necessary to stand out 

Sitting around is definitely not recommended if you want to become a firefighter. “You have to find ways to make yourself marketable,” she says. It’s a theme that comes up a few times during our conversation. Articles on the topic say it can take anywhere from two to seven years to become a firefighter, and that’s for the ones who get selected, many people don’t ever get the chance. So making yourself “marketable” is a surprisingly important part of the process.

To be a mom, or not is a serious question

Another important part of the process, for Teichmann at least, was deciding whether or not she wanted to have children as a firefighter. She says she really gave the subject a lot of consideration. “It’s not unrealistic to take time to ponder what type of parent you want to be,” she says. “I can be gone for 21 days at a time. How does that work? Women definitely do it and make it work.” But, she adds, “I was passionate about getting into the fire service. You have to be really dedicated to this profession. I decided I didn’t want to give up what I’d worked so hard for.” Fortunately, her husband, a policeman, was in agreement. 

And while Teichmann is at peace with her decision not to have a family, it’s a topic we spend a fair amount of time discussing, mostly because I am interested in what it’s like to be the only female in an entire department.

Laguna’s only female firefighter

Teichmann is not unaware that as the only female firefighter in Laguna Beach, it’s a point of interest. And, like many women in male dominated fields, she is happy to acknowledge her unique status but is determined not to make it the central part of her story. “The guys judge you, making sure you can carry your own weight,” she says. Everyone must meet the same physical requirements, for example. However, while everyone is accountable, there is a team aspect to all of it. “We help each other out. We’re doing it all together,” she says. 

LBFD Captain fire engine

Click on photo for a larger image

Capt. Teichmann with Engine One at the downtown fire station

Taking physical fitness very seriously

The physical aspect of firefighting is something Teichmann and the rest of the LBFD takes seriously. The LBFD provides its firefighters the time to stay in shape. Teichmann says that she and her current crew meet at 1,000 Steps at 5:30 a.m. to get their workout in, for example. 

The fact that they all do their workout together is one of the things Teichmann says she loves about her job. “I love the camaraderie. It’s a forced relationship. Everybody has a personality, but that bond we form here is what makes us so successful,” she explains.

Committed to fitting in

Being the only woman has not hampered her ability to fit in, even in the beginning when it really could have. Teichmann was hired just as the city was being sued by one of its female firefighters. “The guys were a little standoffish at first,” she recalls. “But I’ve always been part of the group. There’s never been that feeling of being different.”

“Goofing around a lot” is one of the ways Teichmann says the group bonds. “We’re lighthearted. You get to know people’s strengths and weaknesses. I love the guys I work with,” she says emphatically. And, in case you’re wondering, as I did, cooking at the station is a “thing.” “There can be some elaborate meals. But it is not OK to try out a recipe on the crew for the first time,” she says. “Guys who cook one bad meal are banished for life,” she adds only half in jest.

The job checks all of her boxes

In addition to the camaraderie, Teichmann says she was drawn to the job because it’s different every day. Plus, ”It’s cool to be able to help people. Every day is different. I’m an active, outdoorsy person and I like making decisions.” The only thing she doesn’t like about the job? “Getting a call when I’m in the shower, in the middle of shampooing my hair. That’s the worst part of my job. I’m serious!” she laughs.

LBFD Captain kitchen

Click on photo for a larger image

The fire station kitchen is an integral and important part of station life

The shampoo issue aside, Teichmann loves her job, the people she works with, and she has embraced the challenges Laguna provides. “I’d love it either way,” she says. “Small town or big agency. The plus side is I’m working with crews I know. And nothing is easy here,” she says. “We train harder.” 

Laguna may be small, but it’s never boring

The LBFD must contend with the open space and its dangers, both in terms of fire and injuries sustained on trails; they must execute a lot of water rescues which entail landing the helicopter “all the time,” she says. The houses and the access routes to them can be tough to navigate and lacking uniformity. There are even radio issues due to the terrain. “You just don’t have that in LA,” she says. “We see it when outside people (firefighters) come in. There is a huge learning curve.” In short, while Laguna may lack size, it doesn’t lack for action. “That’s part of the appeal,” she says.

Of course, Teichmann doesn’t mean disasters are appealing. But for someone who likes to do something different every day, Laguna provides ample opportunities. In the event there is a disaster, something that is on everyone’s mind with the knowledge that our very lush hillsides will eventually turn to fire fuel in the months ahead, Teichmann would like Laguna’s citizens to take the time to make a plan. 

Make a plan and stick to the plan

“People need to be able to stand on their own for awhile,” she says. “The city is doing a lot, but you can’t prevent it (fire),” says Teichmann. That means stock up on supplies, check and maintain landscaping to mitigate the threat to your residence, stay off the phone lines, and sign up for the city’s NIXLE alert system. Also, in case of evacuation, Teichmann says it’s incredibly helpful for people to put a sign in their window when they leave letting emergency responders know that no one is home. It saves time as they check the neighborhoods.

LBFD Captain gym

Click on photo for a larger image

The station gym, like the kitchen, sees a lot of action due to the importance of physical fitness 

Laguna is beautiful, but vulnerable. The LBFD never forgets that fact, and neither should we. Captain Teichmann is extremely serious when she says the best thing residents can do is “Be prepared. Have a plan and stick to the plan.” She’s talking about disaster preparedness, but she could just as easily be talking about her career path.

“I’m surprised by how many girls aren’t interested in (becoming a firefighter),” she says. “I wish we could get more women interested, but I want them to be realistic about the job and whether they want to do it.” Because, not to sound cliché, being a firefighter is more than a job. As Teichmann describes it, “It’s an intense profession. It’s also your second family.” And Captain Teichmann embraces both parts equally.


Water war ends

By BARBARA DIAMOND

The City of Laguna Beach, South Coast Water District, Emerald Bay, South Coast Wastewater Authority and Mouton Niguel issued a joint statement Tuesday that all parties to litigation related to the Coastal Treatment Plant had resolved their differences and looked forward to working together in the future towards the betterment of the region and the coastal environment.

The City, South Coast and Emerald Bay had filed a suit in May 2017 to force Moulton Niguel Water District to comply with the terms of its contract with the Coastal Treatment Plant.

“Nearly two years ago, we were forced to litigate to protect ocean water quality and the financial interests of our ratepayers,” said Councilwoman Toni Iseman, who represents Laguna on the SOCWA Board. “Today, we’ve signed a settlement agreement that achieves these goals remarkably well.”

The settlement was reached following a judge’s ruling in February that Moulton Nigel was responsible for unpaid the invoices owed the treatment plant. 

“This was a long, but ultimately very successful, process for our three agencies,” said Susan Thomas, director of the Emerald Bay Service District. “Litigation was necessary to protect the ocean. We are now relieved the matter has concluded with a settlement that ensures the $2.1 million in past-due invoices are paid and that our agencies will be reimbursed approximately $2.7 million to cover legal expenses incurred during litigation.”

Under the terms of the joint agreement, Moulton Niguel agrees to uphold past, current and future contractual obligations in accordance with the South Orange County Wastewater Authority Joint Powers Agreement, through February 19, 2030.

Parties to the settlement agreed to the following interpretation of the Coastal Treatment Plant contract:

--Two-thirds vote of Project Committee 15 to pass operations and maintenance budgets at the Coastal Treatment Plant

--Two-thirds vote of Project Committee 15 to approve necessary repair, replacement and rehabilitation projects at the Coastal Treatment Plant

--Contract term expires February 19, 2030

--Moulton Niguel Water District will pay approximately $2.1 million to cover past invoices dating back to July 1, 2016

--Moulton Niguel will pay approximately $2.7 million to reimburse legal costs incurred by Laguna Beach, South Coast and Emerald Bay during the dispute.

“We believe this is a good Settlement Agreement for all involved. It ensures that the Coastal Treatment Plant will have the necessary funding to operate effectively, and that our three agencies will be reimbursed for legal expenses. More importantly, it puts us on a path to planning for the facility’s future to optimize its value to South Orange County,” said South Coast Water District Director Dennis Erdman.   

The Coastal Treatment Plants, located in Aliso and Woods Canyon, has a capacity of 6.7 million gallons a day, 37 percent of which comes from Laguna Beach, 31 percent from South Coast Water District, 3 percent from Emerald Bay Service District and 29 percent from Moulton Niguel Water District.


Council and public weigh in on proposed budget and wish list

By BARBARA DIAMOND

City Manager John Pietig’s proposed two-year budget, to begin July 1, was vetted by the council and the public at a workshop on Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. City coffers are plump enough to accommodate funding the majority of the items on the council and staff  “wish list” in addition to capital and department improvements.

“The economic outlook for the City of Laguna Beach continues to remain positive with moderate revenue growth expected for the next two years,” Pietig wrote in a letter to council members. “The total proposed General Fund expenditures (discretionary spending) are $69.3 million in fiscal year 2019-20 and $72.2 for fiscal year 2020-21.” 

Specifically, the council voted 5-0 for an increase in Community Development fees for large projects, a pilot program for a dog park at Moulton Meadows, proposals to upgrade safety at the Alternate Sleeping Location (to come back to the council in six months for review), supplemental funding for a greenhouse gas emissions inventor and a request from the Chamber of Commerce for funding to expand the holiday lighting to include the highway between Legion and Aster Streets. 

The council split 3-2 on implementation of a Cultural Arts proposal to connect better with the global art world, increased hours for the Arts Program Coordinator and adding a second part-time position, Councilwoman Toni Iseman and Mayor Pro Tem Steve Dicterow opposed.

If approved as expected by the council at the June 18 meeting, the budget will fund improved services in the Community Development Department, address homeless issues, and enhance the city technologic capabilities and advance safety services, according to Pietig. 

Notable additions to the budget include adding three new positions to the Community Development Department; funding for the advancement of the Fire Department Strategic Plan; programing Measure LL funds to support additional police and lifeguard patrols at Main Beach and Heisler Park; expansion of a fuel modification program to protect structures and evacuation routes and payments toward the city’s unfunded pension liability.

The city will pay the California Public Employees Retirement System $1,510,000 in the next fiscal year, a $700,000 increase over the present year, and $1,970,000 the following year, a $1,200,000 increase. The increases are projected to continue to escalate to an estimated $3,100,000 by the 2024-25 budget. The city will also pony up an extra $2 million in the next two fiscal years toward the unfunded liability.

Also on the downside: Laguna’s transit system is running off the rails. The costs are increasing. Ridership is decreasing. Subsidies are draining the parking fund.

Pietig, who has been warning that the transit system was in dire straits, said that even a major marketing effort last year failed to improve ridership. “The two-year budget keeps the status quo,” said Public Works Director Shohreh Dupis. “We will come back later this year [to council] to address some of the issues.”

Microtransit is an option under consideration. The service resembles the old Dial-A-Ride model, with an Uber-like delivery, but is more expensive for the riders. 

“We are going to need to see if microtransit can be implemented in Laguna Beach,” said Dupuis. 

Pietig also said the expanded Sally’s Fund is a consideration.

Overall, the  proposed two-year General Fund budget is balanced with sources of revenue comprised of taxes, service fees, grants, interest earnings and fund transfers, which exceed expenditures by $561,00 in the 2019-20 fiscal year and by $512, 000 in 2020-21. The City’s General Fund reserve remains intact at 20 percent of the annual operating costs. The Disaster Fund, originally a one percent sales tax approved by the voters in the wake of the Bluebird Canyon landslide in 2005 and sunsetted, continues to earn interest and provides another 10 percent reserve. 

Property taxes are the city’s highest revenue source. Bed taxes are the second highest. 

The police department gets the biggest slice of the pie chart – 27.4 percent. Emergency/Disaster Preparedness Committee Chair Matt Lawson wants even more.

 “We ask the council to minimize discretionary spending on everything not directly related to public safety to preserve as much funding as possible for the essential recommendations coming in July from the Mayor’s Fire Safety Subcommittee and the Police Departments’ Strategic Plan update.”

The council did add $45,000 to the proposed expenditures to fulfill the request by Councilman Peter Blake for a beach patrol officer to be stationed at the Alternative Sleeping Location and $10,000 to buy a metal detector for the site.   

However, Sonny Myers, Community Emergency Response Team instructor and communication chief, said any discussion about expenditures should include a plan to address the city’s aging public safety infrastructure. 

“Although charming and beloved, our City Hall, Operations Center, our Police Department and all of our Fire Stations are old and must be brought up to date,” said Myers. “Old and charming are quaint, but not safe.”    

The Fire Department gets the second highest funding, with 20.2 percent of the General Fund. Public Works comes in third at 18 percent, which includes funding capital improvement projects such as the long-wanted sidewalks and street improvements, and the more contentious maintenance of city trees. 

Water quality gets the least funding at one percent of the general fund.

As always cautious, Pietig advised the council that they should be mindful of potential economic changes, the growing demand for city services and the ominous increase in pension costs. 

Pietig anticipates that the budget which he will present at the June meeting will be approved and go into effect July 1, as city law requires.


Laguna Beach – A Look Back

Courtesy of Laguna Beach Historical Society

Laguna Beach A Look Back 5 24 19

Click on photo for a larger image

Laguna Beach – the early 1930s

The Hotel Laguna as we know it now opened in 1930, with its landmark sign identifying the downtown area from miles away. The sign was removed in 1996 due to new signage ordinances.

The Cabrillo Ball Room opened in 1926, becoming a mecca for a jazz with a 7,500-square-foot dance floor. Some say that Mickey Rooney was known to play drums there on occasion.

The Laguna Beach Bath House, as seen, was opened in the Depression era, and survived until the 1960s.

The autos will be recognized by car buffs as Ford or Chevys from the 1928-1932 era.

The Native American teepee looking building in the foreground is actually an upside down ice cream cone and apparently held the Jackson Ice Cream store on Main Beach. Little is known about this interesting building, but photos taken from a similar angle in the mid-1930s do not show this building, implying it was removed prior to that time.

Thus it would be an educated estimate that this photo, with all of its wonderful history behind it, was from the early 1930s.

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.


Dennis’ Tidbits

By DENNIS McTIGHE 

May 24, 2019

Memorial Day Madness 

Dennis 5The atmosphere is on steroids big time. Round after round of severe weather is invading the Plains with multiple tornadoes, huge hail, and torrential rains on the average of every three or four days. So far this season, it’s been a rough one especially for flash flooding. Texas and Oklahoma have been the main targets for twisters with several EF-4 and EF-5 twisters imposing their will across the landscape. 

Now that it’s getting warmer way up in places like the Dakotas, severe weather is hitting them hard as of late as super cell thunderstorms are reaching heights in the atmosphere as much as 55,000 ft. and that’s when huge hail develops and grows into monster stones. Then you’ve got the intense lightning every five or six seconds so there is continuous thunder for sometimes several hours on end. 

After all this madness moves on toward the east, there’s maybe a one or two-day break and then it starts all over. This pattern doesn’t show signs of changing anytime soon.

It always snows in Denver in May, never fails. Sometimes Denver will see more snow in May than they do in March. They’ve already had two hefty snow events so far this month.

Here in Laguna we’re still locked into temps as much as 5-10 degrees below normal as the elusive 80-degree day is still far out of reach.

Some areas in the Sierra Nevadas have had up to three to four feet of new snow all the way down to 5,500-6,000 ft.

There are no named storms yet down in the tropical Convergence Zone, but there are several large clusters of thunderstorms lurking off the coast of Central America. The Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1st and will run up until November 30th.

Here comes Memorial Weekend and you know town is going to be a total zoo. Not a good time to be out in public!

ALOHA!


Chef Craig Strong introduces new summer menu at Ocean at Main

Michelin-starred Chef Craig Strong has unveiled a new menu at his scenic Laguna Beach restaurant Ocean at Main. Inspired by his recent travels through Italy, Greece, and Croatia, Strong’s new summer dishes mark the first major menu overhaul since the restaurant opened in October 2018.

Recently honored as a Best New Restaurant by Orange Coast Magazine and named among James Beard award-winning critic Brad A. Johnson’s “75 Best Places to Eat,” Ocean at Main has made a splash in the heart of Laguna Beach. 

Since its debut last fall, the restaurant has attracted a loyal crowd of locals and curious travelers alike. As the restaurant heads into its first peak season of summer, Strong presents new dishes that artfully display both his pedigree and personal style.

Chef Craig salad

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Start off with a mouth-watering Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad

“Early in my career, I had the opportunity to work in Barcelona. My time cooking there made a big impact on my life and career,” comments Chef Craig Strong who held a sous chef position at the prestigious Hotel Arts. “When it comes to art and cuisine, Spain holds on to tradition while simultaneously pushing its boundaries; I find myself inspired by that same duality when I’m cooking.”

Awakening the senses to a summer spent abroad, Strong’s new menu delivers the richness of European fare through Spanish chorizo and housemade pasta with a contrast of refreshing seasonal ingredients like English peas, rhubarb, and watermelon. With vibrant, geometric pops of color, Strong’s dishes visually resemble the Gaudí-adorned streets of Barcelona where you’ll find a convergence of classic technique and modern design.

Chef Craig Halibut

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Dive into the Halibut with saffron couscous, rhubarb, buttermilk sauce, tarragon oil, asparagus and almond

While staples like Strong’s Oxtail Kale Risotto and Roasted Beet Salad remain, Ocean at Main’s new summer menu includes the following new dishes:

--Crab and Melon Salad - Dungeness crab, vanilla aioli, cantaloupe, honeydew, daikon radish, honey vinaigrette

--Watermelon Heirloom Tomato Salad - watermelon, cucumber, tomato, jicama, gazpacho

--Summer Cavatelli - cherry tomato, English peas, pea tendrils, brodo, sugar snap peas, chorizo

--Corn Ravioli with Lobster - lobster, corn, truffle butter, brown butter crumble, lime cream, lime zest

--Halibut - saffron couscous, rhubarb, buttermilk sauce, tarragon oil, asparagus, almond

--Scallops - sunchoke, cordycep, kumquat, chicken jus

--Lamb Chop and Croquette - lamb, haricot vert, fava bean, maitake mushroom, mustard frill

--Grilled Una Salmon - artichokes, squash blossom, fennel salad, bouillabaisse

--Charred Garden Pizza - burrata, arugula, fennel, cauliflower, onion, black garlic

Chef Craig dessert

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

For dessert, the vegan Coconut Pavlova will take you to the tropics 

Pastry Chef Keara Wilson’s new dessert menu featuring dishes like Dulcey Panna Cotta shows off summer strawberries while a vegan Coconut Pavlova gives a taste of the tropics with passion fruit, guava, and coconut.

Ocean at Main is located in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach (222 Ocean Ave) and is open for lunch and dinner daily from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., and for weekend brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

For more information, visit www.oceanatmain.com or connect with @oceanatmain on Instagram and Facebook.


2019 Laguna Beach City photo contest, “Urban Laguna Beach,” now open

The annual Laguna Beach City photo contest celebrates Laguna Beach’s vibrancy, vitality, and livability through the camera lens. This year, the City is pleased to announce its annual photo contest opened on May 22 and continues through June 5.

Photographers are asked to submit their high-resolution photographs for contest consideration reflecting this year’s theme, “Urban Laguna Beach” – life downtown and away from the beach.

2019 Laguna street

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

These city lights on Broadway are a great example of this year’s contest theme 

To enter, photographers must submit their high-resolution photos of Laguna Beach online at http://bit.ly/2019LBphotocontest by the contest deadline of 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5. Any photo taken within Laguna Beach City limits is eligible and the contest is open to anyone.

The winning photographs will be selected by a local marketing professional. First-prize photographs receive $500 and winners of additional categories receive $100 each. 

All winning photographers will receive recognition at a future Laguna Beach City Council meeting, be featured on the City’s social media channels, and will have their photo posted in a gallery on the City’s website. 

For a complete list of contest rules and information about how to enter, visit www.lagunabeachcity.net/photocontest.


Quiet prelude to summer

Quiet prelude trolley

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Before the craziness starts on Forest Ave


LBBC presents “Urban Design for Downtown Laguna, a Citizen’s Perspective” with Norm Grossman, May 29

The Laguna Beach Beautification Council is proud to present “Urban Design for Downtown Laguna, a Citizen’s Perspective” with Norm Grossman on Wednesday, May 29 at Montage Laguna Beach.

Norm Grossman has been involved with planning and development issues in Laguna Beach since moving here in 1978. He has served on the Laguna Beach Planning Commission from 1988 to 2000 and from 2001 to 2015. Prior to that, he served on the Design Review Board from 1984 to 1986. 

LBBC presents Norm

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Norm Grossman will speak at the LBBC meeting on May 29

He has stayed involved in City planning issues as a Board member of the Laguna Beach Beautification Council and the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce. His professional background includes 25 years as an electrical design engineer and manager in the aerospace industry and 20 years as a college instructor and administrator.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Leah Vasquez, President of LBBC, at (949) 494-5787 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Complimentary parking is provided by Montage Laguna Beach.

Montage Laguna Beach is located at 30801 South Coast Hwy. The event will be held in Executive Suite #225.


Spotlight on Lilies 

Spotlight on park

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Tom Berndt

Sun lovers in Heisler Park


ART4KIDS, INC. receives $2,000 Grant Award from Festival of Arts Foundation

The Festival of Arts Foundation has awarded $2,000 to ART4KIDS, INC. to provide art materials for Laguna Beach children in distress. Since 2001, ART4KIDS, INC. has donated supplies of art materials to various Laguna Beach nonprofits that aid children. 

This year’s grant funds will be used to provide art materials to Waymakers Teen Shelter, Even Start Boys & Girls Club preschool, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Laguna Art Museum’s children’s program, and Laguna Food Pantry. 

Funded by private donations and grant awards, ART4KIDS, INC., serves social service agencies in Orange County. Since its inception, ART4KIDS, INC. has helped 50,000 children – ill, hospitalized, abused, orphaned, or homeless children facing major life challenges.

ART4KIDS INC painting

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Pam Schader

A two-year-old chemotherapy patient carefully creates her first painting, using materials supplied by ART4KIDS

The value of the program is supported by research showing visual art to be one of the most effective modalities for processing trauma. 

Founder Pam Schader, M.A., has directed the nonprofit for 18 years. She commented, “ART4KIDS serves children at more than 50 Orange County social service agencies each year. We are striving to meet the demand for donated art materials. The message of ART4KIDS is that art is a life skill available to all at difficult times. Therefore we hope to increase our capacity to include ‘to go’ artpacks for the teen clients at the Waymakers shelter to take with them when they leave. We currently supply one Laguna agency with 45 artpacks per year but they have expressed their need for 250 per week!”

ART4KIDS provides workshops for children at the Braille Institute, Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach, and special needs classrooms. 

ART4KIDS, Inc. welcomes donors and volunteers to assemble artpacks, work at art booths and workshops, make handmade cards, and identify children in distress.

Learn more at www.art4kidsinc.org.


Local artists host fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio on June 1

Award-winning sculptor Ron Whitacre and author/artist Kathryn Lang-Slattery will be hosting their fourth annual Art Show, Open Studio, and champagne reception on Saturday, June 1, from 4 to 9 p.m. 

This exhibition will be held at their private residence on the intimate and historical Fredrick M. Lang estate in South Laguna. 

Local artists toast

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Ron Whitacre and Kathryn Lang-Slattery will host the fourth annual Art Show and Open Studio in their beautiful home on June 1

In Laguna Beach, Ron Whitacre’s best known work is “Harmony,” a large steel sculpture of a man, woman, and child, installed in 1998 over the entrance to the Art-A-Fair. 

Ron Whitacre will be available to discuss his process and his inspirations. His welded steel sculptural works are unusual in their fluidity and movement. 

Classic legends, mythical creatures, and the human figure in motion such as dancers, acrobats, musicians, and contortionists inspire him. In addition, his humorous greeter figures are popular with art collectors. 

Pen and ink drawings and pastel paintings by Kathryn Lang-Slattery will also be on display. 

Sip champagne, nibble chocolate treats, and enjoy the art. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive address.


CTeen Israel Fest at Chabad dedicated in memory of Laguna Beach Sgt. Alex Sasaki

Local High School students and their friends got together this past week in celebration of Israel at the Chabad Jewish Center. 

Everyone enjoyed a delicious falafel bar, learned some fabulous history about the State of Israel, and packed care packages for the Israeli Defense Force Lone Soldier program. 

CTeen Israel group

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

CTeen’s enjoying Israel Fest last Sunday 

The afternoon was dedicated to the memory of Laguna Beach local Sgt. Alex Sasaki, who joined the IDF two years ago as a lone soldier and served in the Golani Brigade. Care packages will be taken to his Golani unit in Israel next month. 

With over 500 chapters in 37 countries and 6 continents, CTeen is the fastest growing network for Jewish teens of all backgrounds. CTeen offers awesome, meaningful programs, which harness the incredible potential of teenagers bringing purpose, self-discovery and giving to their communities. 

To learn more about CTeen, visit www.CTeen.com or call the Chabad office at (949) 499-0770.

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


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

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

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

Saint Catherines whips

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

“Snap the Whip” – 2018 pageant

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

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

Saint Catherines peanuts

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

2018 recreation

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

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

Saint Catherines ballet

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy St. Catherine of Siena

From 2018 pageant – “La Classe de Dance”

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

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

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


LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players present Little Shop of Horrors in concert this weekend

This Friday, May 24 at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 25 and Sunday, May 26 at 2:30 p.m., LBHS Drama and Park Avenue Players present Little Shop of Horrors in concert. A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatregoers for over 30 years. 

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.

LBHS Drama cartoon

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Feed the need for musical hilarity with this delicious sci-fi smash about a man-eating plant

The meek floral assistant, Seymour Krelborn, stumbles across a new breed of plant, which he names “Audrey II” – after his co-worker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it blood. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II’s out of this world origins and intent towards global domination. 

One of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows, Little Shop Of Horrors, the charmingly tongue in cheek comedy, has been produced worldwide to incredible success.

This LBHS Drama presentation is performed in concert style with live on-stage musicians at Thurston Middle School’s Black Box Theater.

Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults.

To purchase tickets, visit www.lbhs.booktix.com

Thurston Middle School’s Black Box Theater is located at 2100 Park Ave.


Local hockey tryouts welcome Laguna Beach students

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

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

Local hockey puck

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Laguna students are invited to try out for The Ice Kings

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

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


Breakers’ Community Day offers cardiac screening, athletic physicals, breakfast and much more on June 15

Laguna Beach High School Breakers will host a Community Day “Breakfast with the Breakers” on Saturday, June 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Activities will take place in various locations at the high school: the quad, Artists Theatre, library, and green room, and will include athletic physicals for $40, a pancake breakfast for $5 donation, sports teams, clubs, colleges, K-12 art activities, drama and student performances, and cardiac screening.

Families are invited to come and enjoy their 2nd annual “Breakfast with the Breakers” community day.

Breakers' Community quad

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

2018 event activities in the LBHS quad

To stop sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), Heartfelt is partnering with LBHS to offer student/athlete and family cardiac screenings in the north gym. For a donation of $85 per person, they will screen adults and kids, ages five and up. The echocardiogram (ECHO) and electrocardiogram (EKG) are the best tools for detection of the risks of sudden cardiac death. These tests typically cost $1,500 and are usually not covered by insurance.

Heartfelt Cardiac Projects is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from this nation’s number one killer, sudden cardiac arrest. Residents can help with their “heartfelt” efforts to save lives through early detection, education, and increasing public awareness. 

Breakers' Community pancakes

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Scott Brashier

Community flips over pancakes at 2018 breakfast

A young athlete dies from SCA every three days. SCA is the #1 killer of women, and kills 450,000 people annually.

To schedule a screening appointment, go to www.heartfeltcardiacprojects.org and click on “Schedule a Screening.”

The event is sponsored by the Laguna Beach High School Athletic Boosters.

LBHS is located at 625 Park Ave. Parking is available in the District Lot across the street from the school.


BBQ with Kitchen in the Canyon this Memorial Day

Let Kitchen in the Canyon take care of your Memorial Day BBQ this Sunday, May 26, as the restaurant will be serving a special holiday menu for $18 a plate from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Beer and wine will also be available for purchase. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is a neighborhood café where friends, family and enthusiastic food lovers can come together, eat delicious food and enjoy amazing Kean coffee in a warm, casual atmosphere, with a commitment to exceptional customer service. 

Kitchen in the Canyon is open every day from 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. at 845 Laguna Canyon Rd. 

For more information, visit www.kitcheninthecanyon.com.


LBPD on the job

LBPD on car

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Heading down Forest Ave


Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invites community to PMMC talk with Wendy Leeds

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

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

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

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

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

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

Police Beat Primer

Compiled by Suzie Harrison

Police Beat derives from information in the daily police and arrest logs published on the City of Laguna Beach’s website and required under CA Government Code Section 6254 (f). Additional information is obtained through communication with the Laguna Beach Police Department’s Public Information Officer.

Information in the logs is deemed reliable and Stu News Laguna is not responsible for any mistakes made available as public record by the Laguna Beach Police Department.

Any person arrested is innocent until found guilty in a court of law.


Incident Reports

Tuesday, May 21

Lower Cliff Drive | 200 Block | Battery Spouse/Ex-Spouse

9:13 p.m. Robert Frank Weller, 48, Laguna Beach, was arrested for battery of spouse/ex-spouse. Bail was set at $10,000.

S Coast Hwy & Cress St | Carrying a Concealed Firearm in Vehicle, Carrying Loaded Firearm in Public Place

4:51 p.m. Brandon Scott Fuller, 35, Aliso Viejo, was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle (bail was set at $500) and carrying a loaded firearm in a public place (bail was set at $500).

Dumond Drive | 100 Block | Animal Calls

2:16 p.m. LBPD received a call in reference to a “dead, headless baby elephant seal,” weighing 30-40 pounds. According to police records, “the RP was not on scene and the information was second hand from his son” who reportedly saw it. Public Works was advised.

S Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Animal Calls

2:12 p.m. LBPD received a call regarding a live scorpion in a resident’s home. LBPD advised the RP to put a container over it until they arrived on scene. The scorpion was removed and released.

Cliff Drive | 300 Block | Warrant 

8:17 a.m. Edward Schillizzi, 63, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for trespassing. Bail was set at $10,000.

Monday, May 20

S Coast Hwy & Diamond St | Contempt of Court, Warrant, DUI 

11:30 p.m. Kyle Nolan Vaught, 25, Trabuco Canyon, was arrested for being in contempt of court for violating a protective order (bail was set at $500), on a warrant for being in contempt of court (bail was set at $10,000), and on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500).

Forest Ave | 500 Block | Warrant 

10:32 p.m. Donald Leonard Pierce, 46, Laguna Beach, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant. Bail was set at $10,000.

Glenneyre St & Nyes Place | Warrant, Vehicle Theft, Personating to Make Other Liable, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle

2:48 p.m. Guillermo Sandoval, 32, South Gate, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant (no bail was set), for vehicle theft, for personating to make another person liable (bail was set at $20,000), and for possession of a stolen vehicle (bail was set at $20,000).

Glenneyre St & Nyes Place | Warrant 

4:05 p.m. Celeste Ann Hernandez, 38, Los Angeles, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant. Bail was set at $25,000.

N Coast Hwy & Beverly St | Warrant 

2:08 a.m. Mike Andrew Mitchell, 29, Rancho Santa Margarita, was arrested on a warrant for driving without a valid driver’s license. Bail was set at $1,500.

Sunday, May 19

Laguna Canyon Road & Phillips St | DUI

10:05 p.m. A 22-year-old Lake Elsinore man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Cliff Drive & Circle Way | Throwing Objects at/from Vehicle

5:38 p.m. LBPD received a report regarding liquid being thrown at the RP’s car. According to police records, approximately eight high school kids threw an unknown liquid at the RP’s car and were laughing at him. Per the RP, it was unprovoked and they randomly threw liquid at him. There was no damage to his vehicle, a silver Honda. LBPD went on scene to make contact with the RP.

N Coast Hwy & Broadway St | DUI

10:57 a.m. A 23-year-old San Clemente man was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

St Ann’s Drive | 200 Block | Battery, Warrant

9:23 a.m. Michael John Clemente, 52, Dana Point, was arrested for battery (bail was set at $500) and on an undisclosed warrant (bail was set at $1,500).

Circle Way | 1300 Block | Providing False Identification to a Peace Officer

7:52 a.m. Daniel James Moretti, 40, Laguna Beach, was arrested for providing false identification to a peace officer. Bail was set at $500.

S Coast Hwy | 800 Block | DUI, Driving with a Blood Alcohol Content 0.08% or Higher

4:32 a.m. A 30-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500) and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher (bail was set at $2,500).

Park Ave | 500 Block | Warrant 

3:41 a.m. Jason Christopher Hanson, 41, Covina, was arrested on a warrant for driving on a suspended license. Bail was set at $1,500.

S Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Driving with a Suspended License, DUI 

3:38 p.m. Jose Alberto Ballesteros Vargas, 23, Aliso Viejo, was arrested for driving with a suspended license (bail was set at $500) and on suspicion of DUI (bail was set at $2,500).