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Volume 16, Issue 16  |  February 23, 2024

TOP HEADLINES THIS ISSUE

TOP STORIES THIS MONTH

Laguna Life & People – Brayden Belden: a long road to Athlete of the Year

Seventeen-year-old Brayden Belden’s journey from suffering a traumatic brain injury six years ago, to being selected as Athlete of the Year for the 57th Patriots Day Parade, is nothing short of miraculous…

Planning Commission holds off on hearing Hotel Laguna exterior plans as project heads to Heritage Committee

The Planning Commission this week continued their discussion and action on proposed plans for changes to the exterior of the historic Hotel Laguna until the Heritage Committee reviews the project. Read on for the proposed exterior changes…

TOP STORIES THIS MONTH

Gelson’s Laguna Beach to close permanently on March 2

Despite rumors concerning lease issues or other potential reasons for the closure, a spokesperson from the store said that the reason for the closing is that the “store was not profitable.” Gelson’s Laguna Beach will have modified hours during their final week…

Jedidiah Coffee launches with ribbon cutting and large crowd of coffee lovers

It’s been a 13-year journey to the realization of Steve and Embry’s dream of opening Jedidiah Coffee, which is named after their stillborn son Jedidiah (2011). The shop is located at 397 N. Coast Highway on the corner of Coast Highway and Jasmine Street…





Brayden Belden: a long road to Athlete of the Year

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Seventeen-year-old Brayden Belden’s journey from suffering a traumatic brain injury six years ago, to being selected as Athlete of the Year for the 57th Patriots Day Parade, is nothing short of miraculous. Navigating that road involved an endless amount of hard work, rehabilitation and Belden’s unyielding commitment to healing – and surfing.

As a result of his dedication, Belden came in sixth in the Junior Men’s category (14-17) in the 2023 Brooks Street Surf Classic in September.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Brayden Belden is a junior at LBHS and a member of the LBHS surfing team

“I was very surprised [at being selected as Athlete of the Year],” Belden said. “I never expected in a million years that it would have happened like this. I entered that contest hoping just to make the heat and making the finals was just mind blowing.”

What’s even more astonishing is his recovery. Asked if he wanted to include the details of his accident and recuperation in this article, Belden replied, “Of course, it’s part of my story.”

It happened during ski week in 2018. “We went to Mount Bachelor in Oregon with family friends,” he said. “I’d been snowboarding before, and I caught onto it quickly because I was a good surfer. On the last day, I’d been off the jump three times already and my dad told me not to show off for anybody, but I got too much speed.” Belden propelled 30 feet into the sky off a massive jump. Finding him unconscious, his father, Matt, performed CPR.

“Initially, they only gave him a few hours to live,” said his mother, Denise. He was first sent to Saint Charles Hospital (where the surgeon said the only way to save him was to transfer him to a well- known Portland hospital). So, he then was sent to Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel in Portland where he spent three months.

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Courtesy of the Belden Family

Belden during semi-finals at the 2023 Brooks Street Surf Classic. He was already well-known as a surfer before his accident.

Belden was in a three-week coma and the accident left him with right-side hemiplegia. Doctors assured his parents that he would make it, but warned them that he might be a different child.

Denise described a hopeful moment. “One of my favorite stories is about his iPad. I didn’t know the screen code and he couldn’t tell me what it was. I didn’t know if he was in there cognitively – he could only move a finger on the iPad in front of him, but he knew the code. He unlocked the iPad, so I knew he was in there (somewhere).”

Belden had to relearn everything – walking, talking, eating – and he admitted, “I was basically reborn as a baby.” But he progressed rapidly.

He later spent time in Baltimore for therapy on his (right) frozen shoulder. “I was right-handed before the accident, but I became left-handed, and now I’m ambidextrous,” Belden said.

Due to that injury, he said, “I’m obviously not as strong a paddler as some of the kids my age.” One would imagine that would make it harder to compete, but that doesn’t seem to stand in Belden’s way.

As explained by Denise, “He brought himself back to surfing by working hard.” Only two years after the accident, he stood up on a long board (on the first try) then went to short boarding and on a family trip to Hawaii, he caught the very first wave.

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Photo by Bob Booth

Belden during the August 2021 Brooks Street Classic

Belden started surfing when he was 7 or so – after the family moved here from San Francisco (to be closer to family). “I first got on my dad’s big 10-foot-long board and then made my way up to longboards then eventually shortboards,” he said.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Calls report “wrongdoings” at Hotel Laguna; City issues three stop work orders

Stu News Laguna’s editorial department was alerted several times over the past week by a concerned citizen that some “unpermitted work” was taking place at the Hotel Laguna.

According to the City, upon investigation, this is what was discovered: On (Thursday) Feb. 15, the city’s building division received a call from a local resident regarding some work being performed at the Hotel Laguna. The building inspector found plumbing repairs were underway, and since there were no active plumbing permits (filed), the inspector posted a Stop Work order.

Again on (Friday) Feb. 16, the building division received a call from a resident stating there was work underway on the sand behind the Hotel Laguna. When the building inspector arrived, several workers were preparing to place concrete and possibly install a deck. Work was stopped before any concrete was placed and another Stop Work order was posted.

Then, on (Wednesday) Feb. 21, the building division again received a third call regarding active construction at the hotel. The inspector found the plumbers were back at work. The plumbing contractor had submitted plans for review, but had not yet received a permit. Another Stop Work was posted.

The city is continuing to monitor the situation and stop work orders will remain in place until proper permits have been secured.

Elsewhere in Stu News today, City Hall reporter Sara Hall offers a detailed Planning Commission meeting overview on discussions involving the Hotel Laguna actions underway relating to their overall restoration.

The Hotel Laguna has been a controversial property in recent years. Laguna Beach resident and developer Mo Honarkar had been leading the efforts to renovate the 100-year-old property, as part of his overall real estate portfolio. However, a partnering investor group with Honarkar, Continuum Analytics, last year went to court challenging his leadership in the project and through a court order assumed control of development.

Since that time, there have been several back-and-forths between the two sides, including at one point police intervention. Future control still rests within the courts; however, a final determination in the overall complaint is not expected for some time.

• • •

Next week, the Laguna Beach City Council will hold two meetings on Tuesday and Thursday at 5 p.m. Both meetings will be in-person only and Zoom will not be available. However, the meetings can be watched live on Cox channel 852 or on the city’s website at www.lagunabeachcity.net/agendas. Click here to submit comments for City Council meetings.

• • •

Dogs, and their owners, are invited to the ribbon cutting officially opening the new Moulton Meadows Park Dog Play Area next Thursday, Feb. 29 at 10 a.m.

The City of Laguna Beach is excited to show off a variety of new amenities and enhancements to the park, including new benches, new fencing, a modified irrigation system, renovated turf, new landscaping and a new asphalt path along the frontage of the dog play area.

“Our community is excited for the grand opening of the Moulton Meadows Dog Play Area, a project that creates a permanent space for dog owners to enjoy,” said Mayor Sue Kempf. “We took time to create a space where dogs and their owners can explore, socialize and have fun. We are grateful for Senator Dave Min’s commitment to our community securing the funding for this project.”

Senator Min secured $300,000 in state funding to help make a significant contribution to get this project completed.

“Orange County’s open spaces are part of what makes our communities an incredible place to live, work and raise a family. Laguna Beach is no exception, and (next week), we’re doubling the state of California’s impact in the city,” said Senator Min. “This investment is a reflection of the strong state and local partnership that helps to meet the needs of Laguna Beach families. Thank you to the city leaders and the many residents, including our very vocal canine community, who made this dog play area a reality for Moulton Meadows.”

Everyone is invited to come out and enjoy.

• • •

You’ll be jazzed to know that the inimitable Maiya Sykes will be featured in a cabaret setting at [seven degrees] next Wednesday, Feb. 28 as part of Laguna Beach Live! Wednesdays Winter 2024 series.

You may remember Maiya for her instant four-chair turn on The Voice. She and her exceptional band will kick off the six-part Jazz Winter series, featuring world class jazz musicians.

Tickets are available for $37.50 in advance, $40 at the door, or $225 for the full season at www.lagunabeachlive.org.

Future dates and performers include: March 13 – Matt Johnson and The New Jet Set: “Swingin’ the Disney Songbook” featuring Adryon de Leon; March 28 – Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Téka & Quintet featuring saxophonist Robert Kyle; April 10 – Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French Pop and Americana; April 24 – Renowned soul, jazz and R&B vocalist Raffia Thomas & Quintet, and on May 8 – Grammy Award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring Cuban vocalist Adonis Puentes.

All concerts are from 6-8 p.m.

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Planning Commission holds off on hearing Hotel Laguna exterior plans as project heads to Heritage Committee

By SARA HALL

The Planning Commission this week continued their discussion and action on proposed plans for changes to the exterior of the historic Hotel Laguna until the Heritage Committee reviews the project.

Commissioners voted 5-0 on Wednesday (Feb. 21) to continue the item until March 6. Commissioners questioned why the project was placed on the Planning Commission agenda at all if it hadn’t yet been heard by the Heritage Committee. Staff confirmed that it was simply a procedural oversight.

The continuance will allow the panel tasked with evaluating historic preservation issues to weigh in. The Heritage Committee is scheduled to hear the project on Monday.

The proposed exterior changes for the hotel, located at 425 S. Coast Highway, includes: Replacing exterior doors, windows and fire escapes throughout the exterior of the building (in the existing locations); modifying the paint and awning colors and restoring archway details around the street level café windows located at the northeast corner of the building.

In a letter to the Heritage Committee, Laura Oatman, a principal at Oatman Architects (the applicant for the project), noted that while the building qualifies as a “rehabilitation” under the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, that doesn’t preclude them from applying stricter design guidelines. It simply provides flexibility in the interpretation of the period of significance which is from 1930-1950 for this building, she noted.

“As architects with a great reverence for historic buildings, we have chosen more rigorous design standards, interpreting the most pertinent ‘period of significance’ for the Hotel Laguna to be in the early 1930s,” Oatman explained.

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Art by Oatman Architects/Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

A rendering of the proposed changes to the exterior of Hotel Laguna

Noting that they are requesting some minor modifications to allow for easier maintenance using newer materials, she detailed the improvements they are proposing for the exterior, which includes: new wall paint and trim; new windows; replaced fire escape stairs; restored awnings, cleaned up finishes on the roof and restored signage.

According to the historian’s assessment from Chattel, Inc., the historic preservation consulting firm for the project, President Robert Chattel wrote that “the proposed project would have a primary rehabilitation treatment with limited restoration to return the appearance of several exterior features closer to conditions during the identified period of significance based on historic documentation while also preparing the subject property for contemporary hotel use.”

All exterior elevations would be painted using classic light buff with a Morris room grey accent. Though the specific location of paint colors on the facade do not need to exactly match historic to be in conformance with the Secretary’s Standards, historic documentation including photographs and postcards are being used as inspiration for design, Chattel noted. All replacement windows at the second and third floor would have a bronze frame. Existing window and door frames at the first floor are proposed to remain, and be primed and painted a matching bronze color.

The assessment notes that the proposed colors are in line with Chattel’s recommendations and are reflected in historic documentation and paint color analysis. He also explained that bronze was chosen to achieve the desired contrast with the lighter stucco and due to the limited colors available from the window manufacturer.

“The proposed colors are compatible, do not detract from the historic character of the subject property, and continue to be found to be in conformance with the Secretary’s Standards,” Chattel wrote. “The proposed project would return much of the character of the building to its early period of significance while preparing it for contemporary hotel use.”

After reviewing historic documentation and photographs from the 1930s, Chattel found that most of the original windows and frames were previously replaced.

Plans call for all existing second- and third-floor guestroom windows to be removed and replaced with new windows similar in appearance to those shown in the early documents. Guestrooms at all elevations would have new paired Marvin Essential bronze-color fiberglass double hung windows separated by an integrated mullion. Windows would have a new trim and sill to match. Previously infilled windows would remain clad in stucco.

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The art of the hustle: Michael Savas’ LCAD exhibition showcases the diverse range of a working artist

By MARRIE STONE

This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit www.stunewslaguna.com/arts.

Back in the 1970s, when Michael Savas was still deciding on a profession, it came down to music or art. Like a lot of 20-somethings in the ‘70s, he played in a band and took classes at Orange Coast College. But he figured art might be the better long-term choice. So, without any technical training – but a lot of talent, hard work and relentless determination – Savas began building a 45-year art career from the ground up.

“I put together some promo materials, found a mentor and – slowly but surely – started building a freelance business,” said Savas, who has taught at Laguna College of Art + Design (LCAD) since 1996 and served as Chair of the Illustration Department since 2005.

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Courtesy of Michael Savas

Michael Savas has taught at LCAD since 1996 and served as chair of the Illustration Department since 2005

Now through March 17, Michael Savas: Variety of Creation is on exhibit at the LCAD Gallery. The show spans several decades of Savas’ diverse and prolific career including technical illustrations, digital prints, acrylic portraits, oil paintings and airbrush work. Unfortunately, there wasn’t space for his many watercolors, sculptures, children’s book illustrations, gouache, reduction cut prints and other works.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

“Michael Savas: Variety of Creation” is on display at the LCAD Gallery on Ocean Avenue through March 17

In addition to a few dozen outstanding pieces on display, the exhibit conveys the full life of a working artist, the art of the hustle and what it can take to make a living in an ever-evolving field. It also demonstrates how quickly Savas had to pivot his skills and adapt to new technologies that threatened to drive him out of business. When Savas saw how digital tools were coming to take his job in the 1990s, he learned to use them to his advantage and was soon hired by LCAD to teach.

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Photo by Marrie Stone

“Reuland Electric Motor Co.” (1996), acrylic and airbrush on board. Companies initially resisted digital technology. As an early adopter, Savas convinced them change was inevitable. He taught his first LCAD class on computer imaging.

Savas began as a self-taught portrait artist at amusement parks like Disneyland and Marine Land. He refined his ink and technical skills during the ‘80s, finding lucrative work in the aerospace industry as a technical illustrator. His clients included companies like McDonald Douglas, Hughes Aircraft and Northrop Grumman. That paved the way for jobs with other manufacturers including Rainbird Sprinklers, Reuland Electric Motors and several others. He also worked in advertising for companies like Mars Candy, Quaker Oats and Carl’s Jr.

“I hadn’t taken any technical or perspective classes. I learned that on my own. I went to the library and studied books on perspective, dimetric drawing, isometric drawing – which is what they did back then.”

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Photo by Marrie Stone

“Meter” made for Beckman Instruments (1997), acrylic and airbrush on board

The technical aspects of art weren’t the only skills Savas learned. There was also the business of art. He taught himself how to pitch clients by stuffing envelopes and selling himself to agencies. He learned how to invoice, pay taxes and get a business license. He even discovered how to sue a client when they stiffed him on a bill. And he won.

“I was a hustler turned artist,” Savas said. “I needed money. I would do anything anyone paid me to do, and I didn’t turn anything away. If I didn’t know how to do it, I would research and learn. But when you’re self-taught, you always feel like an impostor. What legitimized my career was getting the degree.”

Savas returned to school in the 1990s, earning his BFA from LCAD and his MFA from California University Long Beach.

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57th Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade line-up

The 57th Laguna Beach Patriots Day Parade on Saturday, March 2 will salute as honorees “Grand Marshal Captain Rick Shoemaker,” “Honored Patriot of the Year Colonel Richard Seitz,” “Citizen of the Year Karyn Philippsen,” “Junior Citizens of the Year Elaina Seybold and Tyler Palino,” “Artist of the Year Mike Tauber” and “Athlete of the Year Brayden Belden.”

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Courtesy of LB Patriots Day Parade

Vietnam Vets march in 2023 Patriots Day Parade

The parade starts at 11 a.m. on Park Avenue near Laguna Beach High School, turns right on Glenneyre and right again on Forest Avenue, ending just past City Hall.

For information, email shworthy@cox.net, or check the website www.lagunabeachparade.com for more information. To access the parade line-up, go to the middle right of the website page and hit “Click on for the line-up.”

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Public invited to attend grand opening of new Moulton Meadows Park Dog Play Area on February 29

The City of Laguna Beach is excited to invite the community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Moulton Meadows Park Dog Play Area. The event is scheduled to take place on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. at Moulton Meadows Park (Balboa Avenue and Capistrano Avenue) in Laguna Beach.

The new Moulton Meadows Park Dog Play Area has a variety of new amenities and enhancements for the community including new benches, new fencing, a modified irrigation system, renovated turf, new landscaping and a new asphalt path along the frontage of the dog play area.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for February 29 at Moulton Meadows Park

“Our community is excited for the grand opening of the Moulton Meadows Dog Play Area, a project that creates a permanent space for dog owners to enjoy,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf. “We took time to create a space where dogs and their owners can explore, socialize and have fun. We are grateful for Senator Dave Min’s commitment to our community securing the funding for this project.”

A significant contribution to the funding of the Moulton Meadows Dog Play Area was made possible by Senator Dave Min (D-Irvine), who secured $300,000 in state funding for the project.

“Orange County’s open spaces are part of what makes our communities an incredible place to live, work and raise a family. Laguna Beach is no exception, and today, we’re doubling the state of California’s impact in the city,” said Senator Dave Min. “With the help of $300,000 secured in the 2023-24 state budget, this investment is a reflection of the strong state and local partnership that helps to meet the needs of Laguna Beach families. Thank you to the city leaders and the many residents, including our very vocal canine community, who made this dog play area a reality for Moulton Meadows.”

The city invites community members and their dogs to come out to the ribbon-cutting ceremony and enjoy the new amenities at Moulton Meadows Park Dog Play Area.

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Two council meetings to cover: updated public art program; master plans for parks, recreation, facilities; committee appointments; council policies; tenancy termination noticing ordinance

By SARA HALL

Laguna Beach City Council will hold two meetings next week and cover a variety of notable items.

At the Tuesday (Jan. 27) meeting, council will consider: An updated public art program policy; a contract for the park, playground, and recreation master plan; council meeting agenda order of business; policies updating procedures for councilmember placement of items on council agendas and establishing the format of meeting minutes; a contract for the citywide safety action plan; a donation to reconstruct decorative stone planters and refinish the main entrance doors at city hall; an ordinance amendment regarding single family residential one- and two-unit developments and urban lot splits; an ordinance amending certain portions of city code and determining that no further environmental review is required and a 2024 community survey.

On Thursday (Jan. 29), council will hold a special session to hear the items that were skipped after the abrupt adjournment of the February 13 meeting due to a “disturbing incident of “Zoom bombing” that disrupted the proceedings. The special meeting also has a few notable new items added to the agenda.

At the special meeting, council will consider: An ordinance related to tenancy termination noticing; consultant services agreement for the development of a facilities master plan; a variety of appointments for six city committees; a level three risk assessment of a public tree recommended for removal and resolutions authorizing the city manager to apply for various state grant funds.

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

Council will consider an updated public art policy on Tuesday (pictured: “Seabreeze: by Sukhdev Dail)

Up first during regular business at the Tuesday council meeting, council will consider an updated public art program policy and provide direction to help develop a proposed ordinance that would revise pertinent sections on the city’s municipal code to align with the changes outlined in the new policy.

On Oct. 5, 2021, council approved retaining Cultural Planning Group to draft an updated public art program policy.

Members of the Arts Commission unanimously agreed on May 10, 2021, to kick off the effort to provide more guidance and combine all public art elements into one ordinance, which would cover more than what’s currently described in city code. The process includes updates and revisions, and aims to establish specific standards for public art.

David Plettner-Saunders and Linda Flynn with CPG, the consulting firm tasked with reviewing and recommending updates to the policies, gave a presentation and asked for direction during a public art policy update workshop on December 7. On Jan. 24, 2022, commissioners received a brief presentation about the progress on updating the policy.

In preparing the draft policy, CPG engaged stakeholders and interviewed artists, developers, architects, business owners, donors, and community and nonprofit organizations to streamline processes and provide transparent and consolidated policies.

The policy recommendations will:

–Organize all programs (art in public places, murals, etc.) to be referred to as “public art program.”

–Provide explicit and greater authority to the Arts Commission to fulfill its role as decision maker in relation to the public art program and asks the council to only substitute its judgment in cases where there is a departure from Oregon following the policy guidelines.

–Aim for comprehensive and transparent policies by consolidating policies and making them available online as a resource for all.

–Acknowledge and respect the role and importance of artists in the program.

–Provide clear criteria for the selection of artists, artworks and sites.

–Provide all new artwork a specific exhibition time frame as opposed to permanently accessioning them into the collection (private development projects have a 20-year minimum).

–Set stronger criteria and authority to de-access works.

–Set clear criteria for donations and responsibilities for the cost of maintenance.

–Allow artwork memorials honoring organizations or events and eliminates individual memorials.

–Encourage financial contributions of any amount to a public art fund.

–Provide that maintenance costs for donated artworks and memorials become the responsibility of the donor.

–Create a policy for responsibilities on each partner to assure mutuality and workload and costs as it relates to the production of public art projects.

–Limit artist to four pieces in the city collection at any one time.

–Provide a well-defined appeals process.

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Cultural opportunities: Two concerts at Cultural Center will feature classical music and world-famous blues performer Guy King

By THERESA KEEGAN

This story is a part of our Arts section. For more arts stories as well as our arts calendars, visit www.stunewslaguna.com/arts.

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) has become a harbinger of the arts, welcoming a diverse group of artists to our community. This upcoming week’s performances highlight that versatility.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, a Ukrainian pianist who helps traumatized children through music will take the stage with a violinist and a Chinese soprano singer to produce Lunar Lullaby and on Wednesday, Feb. 28, the internationally famous blues performer Guy King will kick off a series celebrating this all-American genre.

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Courtesy of Lyena Atonyicq

(L-R) Lyena Atonyicq, vocalist and pianist, lived and performed in New York before moving to California seven years ago. She is joined by soprano Diana Skavronskaya after the show.

“Pretty much we’re all foreign born, but we all moved here and live here,” Lunar Lullaby organizer Lyena Atonyicq said of her performers. “But music is international and has its own unspoken language of peace.”

She will be joined on stage with soprano Elaine Huang and violinist Xenia Deviatkina-Loh. The three women are creating a night of “enchantment and impact” according to Atonyicq, who hopes to raise funds for her nonprofit, Artomya.

They will feature some of her own compositions, as well as many classical pieces and some lively pieces by George Gershwin.

“Music is my life,” said Atonyicq. “It offers me a different perspective on the world. Many people travel the world and go to museums to learn about culture. To me, music is the same way. It opens your eyes to the world around us.”

She left her home country of Ukraine 24 years ago to pursue a music education in the United States. But it was her world travels in 2003 that solidified her focus on the healing power of music – especially for children.

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Courtesy of Lyena Atonyicq

(L-R) Lyena Atonyicq joined harpist Alisa Sadikova in New York

“Classical music heals your nervous system,” she said. “It raises your vibration and it regulates your auto immune system.”

While she spends time teaching students piano and voice in person, Atonyicq also offers online Zoom sessions. Getting parents involved is key to a program’s effectiveness she says. A goal is for the practicing to continue throughout the week.

“It’s a relationship when you teach students,” she said.  “Every child has difficult days, so I give parents very easy ways to calm them down.”

In addition to her trio, the Lunar Lullaby evening will also feature Laguna Beach’s own Eric Henderson. The gifted guitarist who has trained under Andres Segovia always presents an amazing show that pushes musical boundaries.

“The whole night should be fun – and delicious,” said Atonyicq. “I am bringing Ukranian cakes (known as Kyiv cakes) to share.”

When Guy King starts playing the blues at the Cultural Arts Center on Wednesday, he will be the inaugural act of a monthly blues series the center is offering. It will also be one of King’s first concerts since returning from a tour in Switzerland with his band earlier in the month.

The trio will be performing some of the songs King has written and composed, as well as other blues favorites.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Chicago-based Guy King is a quintessential performer of the blues. He writes, composes and arranges many of his own pieces.

It’s a long way from his youth in Chicago when he’d read liner notes on his older siblings’ albums and be carried away by the music of Marvin Gaye and Eric Clapton and an ever-evolving line-up of musicians.

“Then the blues came in and swept me off my feet,” said King. “All the elements pulled together. I understood how they worked.”

With the innocence of youth, he decided he’d become a musician.

“I didn’t know what I didn’t know,” he said. But he practiced continually, and felt he was getting better. As others affirmed that he was good, and improving, he kept at it. Although his family was always musically inclined – his parents insisted all their children would learn an instrument – King didn’t receive formal training in mastering the blues. As a youngster, he sang with big bands, and he took naturally to performing.

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LagunaTunes is now accepting new members

LagunaTunes Community Chorus will resume rehearsals on Saturday, Feb. 24, in preparation for the June concert, Showtunes! The season kicks off with a potluck brunch at 10 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 24 at St. Mary’s Guild Hall (428 Park Ave., Laguna Beach). Prospective new members are invited to come, enjoy brunch and sing. Returning members will provide the food.

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Courtesy of LagunaTunes

LagunaTunes members at brunch rehearsal

Both new and past members are welcome, and there are no auditions. If you sing in the shower or sing along with the car radio, you’re eligible. All you need is a desire to sing and learn with a fun group of people and a great director. Recorded rehearsal tracks are available for all parts. Listen to them in your car, while exercising, any time you want to learn effortlessly between rehearsals.

The free June concert will feature songs from The Great White Way to Tinseltown, Broadway to Hollywood. It will be Sunday, June 9 at 4 p.m. in the Artists Theater at Laguna Beach High School.

Regular LagunaTunes rehearsals are on Mondays, starting February 26 at 7-9 p.m. at Thurston Middle School (2100 Park Ave., Laguna Beach). Bring a check for $90 (music fee) and a willingness to sing. COVID vaccinations, though not required, are encouraged.

The chorus is led by Bob Gunn, former long-time director of the Orange County’s Men Alive chorus and Laguna’s St. Mary’s choir. LagunaTunes is a 501(c)(3) organization that provides choral singing to everyone. Funding is by the FOA Foundation, the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

For more information, visit www.lagunatuneschorus.org, or email lagunatuneschorus@yahoo.com.

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LB Garden Club Monthly Meeting and Speaker Series on March 8

Join the Laguna Beach Garden Club on Friday, March 8 as they feature Alan Barry for their Monthly Meeting and Speaker Series. Social time and refreshments will take place between 9:30-10 a.m., and meetings begin promptly at 10 a.m. Meetings are held at Laguna Presbyterian Church in Tankersley Hall located at 415 Forest Ave., Laguna Beach. Non-members are invited to attend for free on their first visit.

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Courtesy of Laguna Beach Garden Club

Alan Barry will speak on the “Joy of Bird Feeding” on March 8

Barry, an engineer and an educator, will be speaking on the “Joy of Bird Feeding.”

Take an engineer and an educator, move them to South County, and they discover birds! Barry and his wife Maggie, moved to Rancho Santa Margarita 26 years ago. They were immediately enthralled by the variety of birds in their yard, and sought out a bird feeding resource. This brought them to Wild Birds Unlimited in Mission Viejo. After having been customers for several years, they bought the franchise from the original owner in 2014.

Now both retired from their prior careers, they continue to enjoy operating the store with their team of fellow bird lovers. Barry’s presentation will speak to all aspects of the hobby of bird feeding focusing on the actions you can take in your own yard to attract local birds.

Please do not use the church parking lot; street parking is available.

For more information about the LB Garden Club, go to www.lagunabeachgardenclub.org, or contact info@lagunabeachgardenclub.com.

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CLASS-UPDATE-0102


The Plant Man: Use the outdoors to stay in shape between storms, while connecting with your garden

By Steve Kawaratani

“Gardening is an exercise in optimism.” –Unknown

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Photos courtesy of Steve Kawaratani

Steve Kawaratani

In the midst of this winter’s storm tracks, there is an opportunity to take advantage of the wet and tempestuous power of the Pineapple Express. If you can’t escape to sunnier environs, why not make use of the outdoors to stay in shape between storms, while being connected with your garden and occasionally singing in the rain.

Your garden offers the perfect setting for stretching, exercising and developing calmer introspection. Select a favored area, spread out your mat and feel the relaxing environment you have created; breathe deeply and rejuvenate your body and spirit. The pitter patter of receding moisture falling gently on leaves after raining creates a soothing mood – relaxing in your garden is the best remedy for the occasional winter blahs.

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Dodging the winter storms in my Loreto garden

Take the opportunity to combine your joy of gardening with your fitness routine. Gardening can be an effective workout, as it engages various muscle groups and enhances your overall well-being. The beauty and fresh air of your garden will increase your enthusiasm to workout, for sure.

Mid-February is a great time to prepare for spring. Prune deciduous, flowering shrubs to encourage healthy growth and improve their overall appearance, and deadhead spent flowers to encourage another round of blossoms. It’s also an excellent time to cut back perennial grasses and clean up flowerbeds to enjoy a neat and tidy garden.

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Handle with care, as each bag of planting mix weighs 40 pounds

As you tend to your plants, by pottering, raking and weeding, you’ll find that gardening may increase your heart rate and improve your flexibility. Lifting bags of planting mix to mulch garden beds will strengthen your arms, legs and back, however, please do so carefully to avoid straining muscles.

Consider walking the streets and trails in and around Laguna Beach during breaks in the rain. Put on your walking shoes and meander through your neighborhood, Heisler or Moulton Meadows parks. Follow the winding paths and enjoy the lush greenery and spectacular ocean and canyon views. Walking in between storms is a great way to stay active and immerse yourself in the beauty of Laguna’s natural surroundings.

The intermittent rain showers should be embraced as essential to invigorate your senses and help forestall the specter of the next drought. So, grab your goatskin gloves and get gardening. Transforming your garden into a personal wellness venue will promote a healthy lifestyle and help create beautiful blooms and memories. See you next time.

Steve Kawaratani has been a local guy for seven decades and likes to garden and drive the Baja Peninsula with Catharine and Loki. He can be reached at plantman2@mac.com or 949.494.5141.

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Cultural Arts invites public to dedication of temporary sculpture installation on March 7

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Photos courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

“Dream Big” by Elizabeth Laul Healey

–Thursday, March 7, 5 p.m.

Dream Big Public Art Dedication

The Arts Commission invites the public to attend the dedication of the temporary sculpture installation Dream Big by Elizabeth Laul Healey on Thursday, March 7 at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave. The sculpture will be installed on the front lawn at City Hall and be on display March through May 2024.

Sunset Serenades Artwork

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“Sunset Beats” by Kimberly Duran

Kimberly Duran’s design was selected by the Arts Commission for the Sunset Serenades Promotional Artwork competition. The 2024 Sunset Serenades concert season starts the first Friday in May.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

Year in Review

The Arts Commission and Cultural Arts review their 2023 accomplishments. To view, click here.

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2023 banner by Tatyana Zen

Banner Competition

Deadline: March 4

Honorarium: $4,000

Watch the new “Artist Perspective” video (click here) featuring local artist Al Esquerra sharing his best practices for the City of Laguna Beach annual Outdoor Banner Competition. The Arts Commission is also accepting design submissions for the 2024 Banner Competition. You can participate and be a part of Laguna Beach’s artistic community by applying today.

Open to residents of Orange County, 18 years of age or older. The completed banners are displayed on lampposts throughout the city of Laguna Beach during June, July and August and celebrate the summer season.

This program is funded by the lodging establishments and city of Laguna Beach.

Click here for the 2024 Banner Competition program guidelines. The deadline to apply is March 4.

Art That’s Small at City Hall

Deadline: March 9

1st – $600 | 2nd – $300 | 3rd – $150

The Arts Commission invites artists to participate in their temporary public art and exhibitions opportunities.

These programs are funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach.

Public Art Ordinance & Policy

The City of Laguna Beach Arts Commission will present its concept and recommendations for policies for public art to the City Council on February 27. The purpose of the report is to provide a consolidated and updated set of policies that could become a comprehensive program guideline available online for all artists, stakeholders and the public.

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Vietnam veterans are encouraged to participate in the Patriots Day Parade

The Patriots Day Parade is planned for Saturday, March 2 and Vietnam veterans, along with other U.S. military service veterans, are being encouraged to join in for the festivities.

A parade entry position (entry #9) has been reserved for local Vietnam vets to participate in the parade again this year. The group, South Orange County Vietnam Veterans, has been doing so every year since 1985.

The parade organizers invite all branches of the service – including those from World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria – to participate and be recognized for their service.

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Courtesy of South Orange County Vietnam Veterans

Local veterans proudly wave their flags to the applause of many onlookers during a previous Patriots Day Parade

Veterans are encouraged to wear their uniforms (or parts thereof).

The group will organize near Laguna Beach High School, located at 625 Park Ave. from 9-10 a.m.

Parking will be challenging because of pre-parade organization, so those planning to participate should arrive as early as possible to ensure a parking spot. Those needing additional assistance may go to the check-in booth at the corner of Park and Short streets for information.

The parade will cover about six blocks (all downhill or level ground) and will begin promptly at 11 a.m.

The Vietnam vet group is also seeking a convertible automobile that would allow those needing to ride, rather than march, the opportunity to do so.

Additionally, the veterans a are planning their traditional annual get-together at Hennessey’s Tavern (213 Ocean Ave.) immediately following the parade’s conclusion.

Interested veterans should contact Patrick Freeman at patrick@lagunabeachinsurance.com, or call 949.497.7473.

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LAM adds new February events and anticipates California Cool Art Auction

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Photos courtesy of LAM

California Cool Art Auction announces participating artists

California Cool Art Auction, a sell-out annual event, is just around the corner – March 2 at 6:30 p.m. Experience the live and silent auctions alongside a night of specialty-crafted cocktails & appetizers, a red-carpet experience, live music, artist meet & greets, and more. Laguna Art Museum (LAM) has just announced its participating artists.

The annual California Cool Art Auction and Benefit brings together the art community in support of the museum’s mission to enlighten people of all ages through California art.

 Preview auction artworks in person. Online bidding will conclude on March 4.

Laguna Art Museum’s California Cool Art Auction is powered by Artsy, enabling art lovers from around the world to view and bid online. Artsy is the world’s largest and fastest growing marketplace for buying and selling art, with the world’s largest database of contemporary art.

Preview and get ready to bid on more than 125 original artworks in support of your museum. The majority of artworks are on view now at the museum for you to enjoy during museum hours. Proceeds from the annual auction provide vital support to the museum.

Want a closer look at the artworks available in the Art Auction? Many of the available artworks are on display now at the museum to view with admission. Featured are high-profile artworks at affordable starting bids. For a list of participating artists, click here.

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Adam Neeley, “Modern Alchemy” continues through July 29

–Modern Alchemy: The Fusion of Art and Nature in the jewelry Designs of Adam Neeley

Adam Neeley is an award-winning artist/jeweler who transforms precious metals and gemstones into wearable art by traditional goldsmith techniques and modern technologies. His unique designs are inspired by the vast variety of shapes and colors found in the natural world. In fact, it was his childhood interest in collecting rocks that eventually drew Neeley to the master goldsmiths in Italy, where he would study the art of jewelry making. Eventually he developed his own style and techniques of goldwork that have won him international acclaim, as well as prestigious awards across the jewelry industry.

Through many years of trial and error, Neeley developed a never-before-seen technique that he calls Spectra Gold, which seamlessly changes one color of gold into another. This is accomplished by a labor-intensive forging process to create a subtle gradient, or ombré, of color from yellow gold to white gold and more. This, along with his creation of totally new colors of gold, adds to the sense that his jewelry is created by a modern-day alchemist.

This exhibition will explore both the creative working processes of this innovative jeweler, and some of the raw and faceted gems and minerals used by him to create his art. Collaborating with world-class lapidaries, such as Stephen Avery, Neeley creates truly imaginative pieces that go beyond contemporary designs into the realm of dreams and fantasy inspired by imagination and the world around him. Neeley is a true 21st century alchemist.

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Storytime Saturday – February 24

Saturday, Feb. 24, 11 a.m.

Storytime Saturday, Radiant Child

Bring your little ones to Laguna Art Museum for an interactive storytime and art-making experience unlike any other. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others.

This month’s selection is Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe with an art-making activity that celebrates the extraordinary work of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and reminds kids that beautiful art can be outside the lines.

Free with museum admission.

All children receive free admission. Admission fee required for accompanying adults only. For tickets, click here.

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This week in Breakers sports

Saturday, Feb. 24

11 a.m. – Baseball vs. LBHS Baseball vs Esperanza Orange

Monday, Feb. 26

TBA – Boys Golf vs. El Toro at Tijeras Creek Golf Club

Tuesday, Feb. 27

3 p.m. – Baseball vs. Capistrano Valley Christian

3 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball vs. Huntington Beach at Beach/PCH

3 p.m. – Girls Swimming & Diving vs. Fountain Valley

3 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving vs. Fountain Valley

3 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. San Clemente

5:30 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Mission Viejo

Wednesday, Feb. 28

2 p.m. – Boys Golf vs. El Toro at Ben Browns GC

Thursday, Feb. 29

3 p.m. – Boys Golf vs. Aliso Niguel at El Niguel CC

3 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball at Corona del Mar on Big Corona Volleyball Courts

4:30 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Wilson/Long Beach

Friday, March 1

6 p.m. – Boys Volleyball vs. Northwood

Saturday, March 2

TBA – Boys Track & Field at Mt. Carmel High School

TBA – Girls Track & Field at Mt. Carmel High School

TBA – Girls Lacrosse vs. TBD in Rose Bowl Tournament at Rose Bowl Stadium

Results

Saturday, Feb. 17

Boys Volleyball beat La Habra, 2-0, in the Portola Tournament at Northwood HS

Boys Volleyball beat Cerritos, 2-1, in the Portola Tournament at Northwood HS

Boys Volleyball lost to Upland, 2-0, in the Portola Tournament at Northwood HS

Boys Volleyball beat Portola, 2-1, in the Portola Tournament at Northwood HS

Boys Volleyball lost to Claremont, 2-0, in the Portola Tournament at Northwood HS

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LOCA has something for every art lover and artist

Art lovers will meet Laguna Beach’s most fascinating artists and industry professionals at LOCA Art Talks. Events are Thursday evenings, now through May in Downtown Laguna Beach. Attendees will receive a post-event coupon for 15% off dining at nearby restaurants.

LOCA Art Talks schedule:

March 14: Art and Jazz – The iconic imagery of Blue Note Records, with jazz singer and historian Elena Gilliam. Registration is open.

April 25: Andrew Myers – Career Retrospective, with Andrew Myers. Registration is open.

May: Public Art in Downtown Laguna Beach, with Mike Tauber and guest artists. Registration opens soon.

Become a LOCA member and enjoy free admission to all LOCA Art Talks, and many other benefits.

LOCA’s newest teaching location is in the south end of Laguna Beach, easily reached from Downtown, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel and San Clemente.

The expansion allows LOCA to offer “extended learning” series of classes whereby students, both adults and families, can build a “toolbox of skills” over several weeks.

LOCA students will enjoy the hilltop location, panoramic ocean views and free onsite parking. Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, 30516 S. Coast Highway. Enter on Cardinal Drive, just south of Nyes Place.

Know someone who loves art and Laguna Beach? Surprise them with a LOCA 2024 membership and they’ll enjoy a full year of art experiences of their choice! Your $50 purchase ensures them a bounty of benefits including free admission to six LOCA Art Talks lectures, an exclusive Membership Sunday Brunch and Art Talk, a shout-out feature in their eNewsletter, half-priced registration to LOCA’s workshops taught by well-known Laguna Beach artists throughout the town – and much more.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Give the gift of art experiences for a full year

What they’ll get:

Your thoughtfully chosen gift will be presented as a charming reusable box, topped with a LOCA pencil, and elegantly wrapped with a bow. Inside is a 2024 membership card listing the fantastic benefits. A $250 value!

Buy it now for $50:

Use LOCA’s secure and easy “Gift a Membership” red checkout button on their membership page by clicking here. Your package will arrive by mail in 4-7 business days.

Check out all the Custom Art Escapes LOCA has to offer – there’s something for everyone.

Courtesy of LOCA

Projects have included “Bioluminescence” inspired by recent ocean phenomenon

Families Love LOCA at the Library

LOCA’s Family Art Classes at Laguna Beach Public Library have been a smashing success. The “happy hour” 4:30-5:30 p.m. timeslot has made it convenient for parents and kids to enjoy a creative learning space, led by Allison Keefe. “We encourage parents and kids to work together,” Keefe said.

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Courtesy of LOCA

Art on the Wild Side 

–Through March 4, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Art on the Wild Side

South Laguna Community and Recreation Center

Eight consecutive Mondays (skip February 19): Inspired by nature conservation, Elizabeth McGhee and Allison Keefe will teach drawing, collage, printmaking and painting of subjects native to local coasts and canyons, including insects, plants, animals and tidepool life.

Ages 6-adult. Fee: $195 includes all materials. 30516 S. Coast Highway with free onsite parking. To register, go to www.locaarts.org

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Courtesy of LOCA

Shibori and Indigo Dyeing – February 28

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 1-4 p.m.

Shibori and Indigo Dyeing with Reem Khalil

This two-session textile workshop will demonstrate the ancient practice of Shibori tying, clamping, stitching and wrapping of silk or paper. This is a two-part class held on two consecutive Wednesdays in the Susi Q art room of the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Senior Center.

Shibori will then be dipped in an indigo vat. You will walk away with several pieces of wearable and fine art pieces.

Fee: LOCA Members $50/Non-members $100.

To register, go to www.locaarts.org.

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LPAPA announces 20th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Juried Show on March 4

LPAPA’s 20th Annual “Best of Plein Air” Juried Art Show – a celebration of paintings by LPAPA members created outdoors “en plein air.”

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Photos courtesy of LPAPA

“Best of Plein Air” Juried Show – March 4-April 1

Show Overview & Timeline: (All times shown are Pacific Time)

Online Art Catalog Exhibition (Finalists & Top Semi-Finalists): March 4 through April 1.

Online Preview Auction: Opens 10 a.m. Monday, March 4, ends 8 p.m., Thursday, March 7.

LPAPA Gallery Show (Finalists):  Opens 11 a.m., Thursday, March 7 through Monday, April 1.

Art Walk Gallery Reception & Awards: Thursday, March 7, 6-9 p.m. (awards 7 p.m.) Gallery awards presentation will be live-streamed on Facebook.

Award Winners: Award winners will be announced during the March 7 Art Walk Gallery Reception. The 1st Place award-winning artist also receives a coveted “golden ticket” invitation to participate in LPAPA’s 26th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, October 5-13.

LPAPA is proud to present its Juried Art Shows, Signature Showcase Exhibitions, Signature Artist in Residence Exhibitions and Featured Members at their beautiful gallery located on Gallery Row in Laguna Beach, Calif.

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, LPAPA Gallery, 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. Hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday through Monday, and by appointment. Hours extended to 9 p.m. for First Thursdays Art Walk reception (6-9 p.m.).

To contact, call 949.376.3635 or email info@lpapa.org.

Online Paint Party Paint Alongs:

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New Paint Party Paint Alongs – February 28 and March 6

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Daddy’s Girl – February 28

Online Paint Party

Save more than $35 when you enroll in the series of four, or purchase individual courses for $59/each.

Sunset Sky – March 6

New Paint Party Paint Alongs are here. Grab your paint and easel and join award-winning artist Debra Huse for live, online Paint Parties.

Discover Huse, who will provide the reference photos and guide you from start to finish as you paint together, brushstroke by brushstroke. Enjoy exclusive pro tips and insightful instruction. Paint Parties are fun for everyone, from beginner to more advanced painters. Complete a great little painting in only two hours. See, paint and learn with other artists from across the world.

To register, click here.

Annual Signature Showcase

The LPAPA Gallery features their 3rd Annual “Signature Showcase” gallery exhibition features original plein air and studio works created by LPAPA Signature Artist Members on display until March 4.

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Signature Showcase

Participating Signature Artists: Geoff Allen, Richard Boyer, Carl Bretzke, Cynthia Britain, Brienne Brown, Saim Caglayan, Larry Cannon, Rick J. Delanty, Gil Dellinger, Carole Gray-Weihman, Scott Hamill, Nita Harper, Mike Hill, Catherine Hillis, Charlie Hunter, Debra Huse, Chuck Kovacic, Jason Li, Calvin Liang, Richard Lindenberg, Kim Lordier, David Marty, Eileen McCullough, Terry Miura, Lisa Mozzini-McDill, Robin Purcell, Jeff Sewell, Mark Shasha, Michael Situ, Durre Waseem and Ran Wu.

The LPAPA Gallery hours are Thursday through Monday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., or by appointment, with extended hours to 9 p.m. the first Thursday of each month. For assistance, call the LPAPA Gallery at 949.376.3635, or contact Bonnie Lander at bonnie@lpapa.org, or Toni Kellenberg at toni@lpapa.org, or by phone at 949.291.0882

Laguna Plein Air Painters Association/LPAPA Gallery is located at 414 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach.

For more information, go to www.lpapa.org.

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Blue skies make for great views

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Photo by Scott Brashier

According to the Four Preps, “Twenty-six miles across the sea Santa Catalina is a-waitin’ for me.”

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Sawdust Festival looks forward to more exciting classes

Sawdust Art Classes has many expressive and informative classes offered every week that the Sawdust Art Festival wants to share with you (far too many to mention here!).

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Photos courtesy of Sawdust

Pottery Wheel Experience – February 24

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m.

Pottery Wheel Experience

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit at a potter’s wheel and actually throw a pot?

Robert Jones will take you through the process step-by-step, allowing you to gain confidence so that, with his help, you will make your own pottery pieces on the wheel. Each student will make two pieces that he will then fire and glaze in his own studio so that you will end up with a beautifully glazed mug or bowl which you can truly call your own. Please note, the firing and glazing time will take approximately 3-4 weeks before ready to collect. If you wish your items to be mailed, there will be an additional cost to cover postage and packing.

Absolutely no experience is necessary to take this class, however closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing are recommended. All materials are included in the cost.

Cost: $105.

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Art Meets Technology – February 23

Friday, Feb. 23, 1-2:30 p.m.

Art Meets Technology

A brand-new pop-up class where you can really let your imagination fly! With AI technology, you will create a computerized image using your ideas. This printed image will be the basis for your painting. You’ll transfer this image onto paper using a printing plate.

The process is simple with really satisfying results. You will learn to use different types of mediums in this fun class, including gelli plates, posca markers, acrylic paints, and other mixed media including Mica powder and stencils. A great way to loosen up those creative juices. Suitable for both adults and children over 10 years of age. Once you have registered for this class, you will be asked for a few sentences that best describe what you would like to paint so that the instructor can prepare your digital image. If you wish, you may bring your own image or design.

Cost: $45 per student. Cost is inclusive of all materials, a colored digital print and a finished acrylic painting that will be framed in a mat board for you to take home.

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Ski Week Art Camp – February 23

February 23, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 23: Linocut Printing

Each class will explore a different technique in the art of printmaking. Some classes may have two or three different activities, giving students a better understanding of how that art material and method works. Students can take an individual class for $50.

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Magical Diorama – February 24

Saturday, Feb. 24, 12 p.m.

Magical Diorama

Transport yourself to a miniature world of magic in a box. Each two-hour class is held in the artist’s home studio filled with all the elements that you will need to create your little world of fantasy. You can choose from an array of intriguing elements to build a unique creation that is evocative of whimsy and magic. Feel free to bring your own memorable tokens, scraps of letters or mementos to add your own personal touch. Figurines, broken jewelry, trim, or buttons all add interest to your fantasy realm. No experience is necessary, just a desire to have fun and play. This is a fun, funky class where the only requirements are enthusiasm, patience and a smile!

Cost: $100.

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Laguna Beach Master Community Calendar

The following are calendar links for regularly scheduled meetings and events in Laguna Beach:

City of Laguna Beach meetings & events calendar

www.lagunabeachcity.net

Laguna Beach Public Library – everything at the library calendar

www.ocpl.org/libraries/laguna-beach

Laguna Beach Unified School District news & events calendar

www.lbusd.org/calendar

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce community events calendar

www.lagunabeachchamber.org/events/calendar

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No Square Theatre holds auditions beginning on March 12 for Dogfight

Initial auditions (by appointment) for the play, Dogfight, which will open on May 17, at No Square Theatre, will be held:

Tuesday, March 12 – 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13 – 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Thursday, March 14 (TBD, if needed)

To schedule an audition appointment, email Ella Wyatt, artistic director, No Square Theatre at theellawyatt@gmail.com.

Callbacks (by invitation):

Monday, March 18 – 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19 – 6:30-9:30 p.m.

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Courtesy of No Square Theatre

Auditions for “Dogfight” begin on March 12

Dogfight features music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. It is based on the book by Peter Duchan and directed by Karen Rymar. Christopher W. Smith is the musical director, and it will be choreographed by Sabrina Harper.

Rehearsals/Performances

Rehearsals begin March 25 and will be scheduled weekday evenings and weekend days. Final rehearsal schedule will be determined based on cast availability within those options. Cast will not be called seven days a week. Tech rehearsals will begin on Saturday, May 11, and performances begin on Friday, May 17 and continue through Sunday, May 26.

Those who are auditioning should prepare a contemporary musical theater song (not from the show) under three minutes to demonstrate range, musicality and storytelling abilities. They should also bring a headshot, resume and sheet music in the appropriate key; an accompanist will be provided. (Also bring a list of all conflicts from March 25-May 26.)

For more information, click here.

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This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays!

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to: editor@stunewslaguna.com

Celebrate and enjoy your birthday!

February 20: Ronald Chilcote, Salem Alkateb, Steven Chew

February 21: Caroline Rustigian (Bruderer), Chris Bledsoe, Christopher Schulz, Karlie Noyes Hunter, Marty Kansriddle, Richard Henrikson, Ryan Kollock

February 22: Brent Crawford, Ethan Wayne, Faith Darling, Jason Feddy, John Bodrero, Karen Polek, Russell Pierce, Susan Trudeau

February 23: Laura Baldwin Henkels

February 24: James “Jimmy” Echternach, Jeff Grice, John Skaggs, Marla Moore, Mika Inoue, Pamela Levin

February 25: Angela Costa Roque Baptista, Frank Cotinola

February 26: Kerry Harker

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LAM collaborates with California artists for 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash

Laguna Art Museum (LAM) announces the highly anticipated 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash continuing through March 4 with both online and in-person auction events. The auction will feature works of prominent California artists, on view to preview in person at Laguna Art Museum with paid admission, now through March 2, or via Artsy beginning today. Bidding for the annual auction is open online via Artsy.

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Courtesy of LAM

Sarah Genn, “My Heart is a Thousand Colors” (Light Punk) and (Hickey), 2024

On Saturday, March 2, the museum will host the annual California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash, promising an unforgettable evening from 6:30-10 p.m. Join more than 100 California artists in support of raising money for Laguna Art Museum during a night that brings the vibrant spirit of California to life. The proceeds generated will play a pivotal role in fueling the museum’s exciting phase of growth. Exclusive artworks will be available for purchase on Artsy both before and during the event.

“The 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash stands as a testament to the boundless creativity and generosity within our community. We are eager to welcome guests to the museum on March 2 for this extraordinary event in support of our exhibitions and education programs,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director of Laguna Art Museum. “With an impressive array of artworks and an esteemed guest list, the evening promises to be unforgettable.”

The impressive line-up of prominent California artists includes Laddie John Dill, Shepard Fairey, Ed Ruscha, Astrid Preston, Elizabeth Orleans, Cristopher Cichocki, Blue McRight, Ed Moses and many more. To keep the night lively and extra entertaining, friend to Laguna Art Museum, and the best in the business, auctioneer Zack Krone has been recruited for the event.

Registration for the online auction will open today via Artsy. For more information, registration and to purchase tickets to the exclusive event on March 2, click here. Presale tickets to the event on March 2 are available for $215 through March 1. Pending availability, tickets for the event will be available at the door on March 2 for $225. To participate in the online auction via Artsy, register by clicking here.

Laguna Art Museum’s California Cool Art Auction + Benefit + Bash supports Laguna Art Museum’s mission through the generosity of the participating artists and attendees. Through artwork donations, these artists have shown their love and support of Laguna Art Museum as a leading arts organization in Southern California.

Laguna Art Museum is seeking additional sponsors for the 42nd Annual Art Auction + Benefit + Bash. Gain exclusive access, preview the art and receive an invite to a VIP event – all while supporting the museum’s mission. For more information, contact Crystal Tosello, development manager, at ctosello@lagunaartmuseum.org.

For more information about the 42nd Annual California Cool Art Auction and Laguna Art Museum, visit https://lagunaartmuseum.org/.

Event Sponsors: Artsy, Barbara and Tad Danz, Elliott Kornhauser and Joe Baker, Katrina Foley, Ken and Jan Kaplan, Lori and Harley Bassman, Nolet’s Gin and Kettle One Vodka, Wendy Aird, WGB Insurance and William Gillespie Foundation.

Laguna Art Museum is located at 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

The Art Auction will be on view in all galleries on the Main Floor.

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Meet Pet of the Week Lilly

Lilly’s tabby markings may appear only on her head and tail, but she is colorful from head to toes (or paws!) This wonderfully petite cat is full of personality. She is 2 1/2 years old, spayed and is both independent and confident. She prefers to be the lone center of attention, so she would not do well with other animals or children, but once Lilly snuggles into your lap you will know you have a friend for life. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping to have Lilly adopted as soon as possible.

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Courtesy of the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Lilly, an independent cat who is confident and petite

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is 5% as compared to the national return rate of 50%.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. Call 949.497.3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures at www.puplagunabeach.org/our-pets.php.

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Festival of Arts now accepting scholarship applications, deadline March 8

The Festival of Arts of Laguna Beach (FOA) announced that applications for the 2024/2025 academic school year are now open to local students. Applicants must be a graduating high school senior who resides in Laguna Beach or attends Laguna Beach High School. Applications are available online by clicking here. Deadline to apply is March 8 at 4 p.m.

Since 1957, the Festival of Arts scholarship program has supported rising young artists by making it possible for students to pursue college studies in the arts. Last year, the Festival awarded six students with first-year scholarships totaling $120,000 and renewed scholarships totaling $30,900 for nine students.

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Courtesy of FOA

Original watercolor illustration by Vanessa Rothe, 1988 Festival of Arts Scholarship recipient, for the 1988 Laguna Beach High School yearbook

Many Festival of Arts scholarship recipients pursue successful careers in the arts, including Laguna Beach artist Vanessa Rothe. With many accolades to her name including gallery owner, curator, fine artist, author, editor, lecturer and more, Rothe credits her Festival of Arts scholarship to her career success.

“I was so honored to be awarded the Festival of Arts scholarship soon after winning first place in the 1988 senior art contest at Laguna Beach High School,” shared Rothe. “The Festival of Arts scholarship played a pivotal role in helping me pay for my first years at the University of San Diego, where I took one art class at a time along with my business and literature majors. The scholarship encouraged me to take fine art classes and there was one particular art class, a graphic design class, which gave me a skill I could use for the rest of my life.”

The four-year, highly competitive scholarships are awarded to students who excel in Film, Performing Arts (dance, music and theater arts including performance and production), Visual Arts and Writing. A student may apply for any or all of the four categories, but will only be awarded one scholarship. The Festival of Arts Scholarship Committee includes Chair Pat Kollenda, and committee members Wayne Baglin, John Connolly, Marge Earl, Jacquie Moffett and Jeff Rovner.

“Students with talents in multiple fields are encouraged to submit an application in more than one category,” said Festival of Arts Board Secretary and Scholarship Chair Pat Kollenda. She continued, “This is an excellent opportunity for students who are considering a career in the arts.”

Rothe added, “My advice for any young artist today would be to learn to draw well first. Do the hard work at a young age, get your classical training in drawing and really understand light logic and ‘values.’”

For general scholarship information, click here. The Festival of the Arts is a non-profit organization that produces the Festival of Arts fine art show and the Pageant of the Masters. Their mission is to support the arts and art education in and about Laguna Beach.

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Laguna Beach FC announces spring rec program

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Photo by Chris Boyd

Laguna Beach FC is offering a Spring Recreation Program focusing on technical and tactical components of soccer, for players looking to take their game to the next level. The pro coaches provide a fun and positive training environment that ensures maximum learning. Geared for players born between 2016 and 2012 and runs every Saturday (10:30 a.m.-12 p.m.) at LBHS from March 16-May 11. Email Laguna Beach FC Director of Coaching Andy Thomas at allenglandsoccer@msn.com, or visit www.lagunabeachfc.com/events.

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North Laguna

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Photo by Scott Brashier

North Laguna in all its splendor 

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Alice by Heart: A Musical presented by No Square Theatre from March 8-17

To the naked eye, Alice by Heart may seem like another take on the famous Lewis Carroll story, but this musical is anything but. Set in 1941, in the debris after the London Blitz of World War II, the life of teen Alice Spencer is disrupted, as she and her best friend Alfred are forced to take shelter in a London underground tube station. However, Alfred, suffering from Tuberculosis, is quarantined. Alice urges him to escape with her into their cherished book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but the nurse destroys Alice’s book as a punishment for visiting Alfred, despite his quarantine. Alice becomes very defiant and declares she knows it “by heart” and will read to him anyway. The people hiding in the shelter slowly change into some of the book’s characters. This magical coming of age story explores the poignancy of first love, coming to terms with loss and finding the courage to move forward.

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Courtesy of No Square Theatre

(L-R) Sydney Penticuff, Erica Farnsworth, Rob Harryman, Diego Huerta-Gutierrez, Precious Montgomery, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Kito Garcia, Roni Dvir and Owen Stapp rehearse a scene from “Alice by Heart”

Directed by Ella Wyatt, choreographed by Sabrina Harper and music directed by Roxanna Ward, this show, with a rousing book and score by the writers of Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater and Jessie Nelson, will be one of the first Orange County productions of the musical. The cast includes Brennan Eckberg, Diego Huerta-Gutierrez, Erica Farnsworth, Kito Garcia, Lexi Maerov, Marco Lapayese-Calderon, Maverick Wyatt, Owen Stapp, Precious Montgomery, Rob Harryman, Roni Dvir and Sydney Penticuff.

Alice by Heart will run March 8-17 (Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 6 p.m.) and will have a special Theatre on the Spectrum performance on Saturday, March 16 at 3 p.m.

No Square Theatre is located in historic Legion Hall, 384 Legion St., Laguna Beach, two blocks south of Laguna Beach High School. The high school has ample free parking. Seating is extremely limited, and the theater has enjoyed a long run of sold-out events, so tickets must be purchased in advance. Drinks and refreshments are available for purchase.

No Square Theatre is generously sponsored by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach, Carolyn & Tom Bent, Carol Normandin in Memory of Emily Normandin-Parker, Chris Quilter, Jon Cobain, Mary & Carl Winefordner, Hall Charitable Foundation, Goldstein Family Fund and the FOA Foundation.

For additional information on events, auditions, classes and to purchase tickets, visit the website at www.nosquare.org.

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LBUSD invites local businesses and professionals to Career Roundup on March 12

Laguna Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) invites local businesses to participate as exhibitors at the upcoming Career Roundup, a unique opportunity to engage with students and offer valuable insights into potential career paths, internship opportunities, and entry-level requirements. The event is scheduled to take place on March 12, from 5-7:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach High School Dugger Gym.

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Photos courtesy of LBUSD

Exhibitor offers career insights to a student

The Career Roundup aims to provide a platform for businesses to actively contribute to the development of the next-generation workforce. By signing up as an exhibitor, local organizations can connect with motivated, bright students who are just starting to explore their career options. This is a chance to build relationships and identify potential interns or future employees before they enter the competitive job market.

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Students access information about the fashion industry

“By building strong connections between our schools and local businesses is fundamental to the success of our students,” said Superintendent Jason Viloria, Ed.D. “As we collaborate to shape the future workforce, we believe that by working together, we create pathways for our students to thrive and contribute meaningfully to the community they call home.”

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Students are exposed to real-world opportunities

Participation is free for all exhibitors, and LBUSD will provide tables, chairs and power needs to ensure a seamless experience. To sign up or for more information, contact LBUSD Coordinator of Career Education Kellee Shearer at kshearer@lbusd.org.

The Career Roundup can play a pivotal role in shaping the aspirations and future success of LBUSD students. These connections not only enhance students’ exposure to real-world opportunities, but also allow businesses to actively contribute to the educational process, ensuring that the workforce aligns with the evolving needs of the local community.

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Laguna Beach Business Club to welcomes award-winning journalist, podcaster and novelist Christopher Goffard

The Laguna Beach Business Club (LBBC) has announced their Thursday, Feb. 22 meeting speaker is award-winning journalist, podcaster and novelist, Christopher Goffard, as part of their 2024 Speaker Series. The LBBC holds monthly breakfast meetings starting at 7:30 a.m. hosting speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in your personal and professional lives.

Goffard will discuss the events leading to the creation of a hit podcast and Netflix series, Dirty John, his life’s work as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times and current projects.

Courtesy of LBBC

Christopher Goffard

At the Los Angeles Times, where Goffard has covered crime and courts extensively, he was part of the Pulitzer-winning team that exposed corruption in the city of Bell. He has also twice been a Pulitzer finalist for feature writing. His book, Snitch Jacket was a finalist for the Edger Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2008, and his blockbuster podcast Dirty John was adapted for TV and ranked by Rolling Stone among the two greatest true-crime podcasts of all time. His serialized podcasts Detective Trapp and The Trials of Frank Carson are being developed for television.

Goffard’s latest book, Dirty John and Other True Stories of Outlaws and Outsiders is a collection of his newspaper stories.

The LBBC is a group of local business professionals and entrepreneurs that meet monthly to discuss current events, business opportunities and share insights within the context of their community and lives with the goal of building and maintaining relationships with local professionals and businesses that they can proudly recommend to clients and friends. LBBC also supports their community by providing and participating in community services and/or events that benefit the citizens of Laguna Beach.

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Nirvana Kitchen + Pantry, 303 Broadway St., # 101, Laguna Beach. Non-members are welcome. The non-member guest fee is $30 payable by check to the Laguna Beach Business Club, or by cash the day of the meeting. Space is limited. Guests, be sure you receive RSVP confirmation.

For more information about the LBBC, or to register to attend the meeting, visit lagunabeachbusinessclub.com, or email info@lagunabeachbusinessclub.com.

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove

Crystal Cove State Park is offering a variety of public events in February. During the winter, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at a few of the offerings.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Assist Crystal Cove in restoring native habitats

Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24: Stewardship Friday and Saturday from 8-11:30 a.m.

Crystal Cove is offering two stewardship events during the month of February. Join Crystal Cove Conservancy and California State Parks staff as they work on habitat restoration projects throughout Crystal Cove State Park. Stewardship Friday and Saturday are volunteering opportunities open to all, which aim to connect people with the natural history and beauty of Crystal Cove State Park through stewardship efforts. These events are free. Registration is required, so, sign up here.

Friday, Feb. 23: Moro Canyon Loop, stories and sunset hike from 3-6 p.m.

Join a park naturalist on this hike, where you will warm in the canyon, ramble up the ridge and end the trek while watching the sunset from BFI trail. This popular hiking route has something for everyone: brief stories of the culture and history of Crystal Cove’s past residents, the progress of restoration projects within the park, designated habitat restoration and beautiful views. This five-mile hike is moderately paced (3.0 mph) with an incline of about 800 ft. and could be strenuous for some. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station).
$15 day use fee.

Saturday, Feb. 24: Full Moon hike from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile hike. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Reservations are required, so RSVP to laurel.gifford@parks.ca.gov.

For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.

Save the Date: Speaker event with Rich German, founder of Project O: March 2 from 1-3 p.m.

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Rich German, founder of Project O

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy as they fall even more in love with the ocean during a special speaker event featuring marine conservation advocate and founder of Project O, Rich German.

Guests will enjoy a special presentation and Q&A conversation with German, as he highlights the ocean’s beauty and its marine life as seen through his eyes, while also sharing about the perils our planet faces that impact humans. A post-event reception will be held for guests to mingle, as they enjoy complimentary lights bites and drinks on the Cottage Check-in Deck #35.

The event is free to attend, but RSVP is required, so register here.

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Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery”

Now through May 2024, view the Artists Fund “Special Sale Gallery” collection of affordable originals. Proceeds from sales support their Hardship Grant fund.

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Courtesy of Artists Fund

“Afternoon Light” by Cliff Wassmann, part of the Special Sale Gallery

All works are originals donated by past and present Festival exhibitors. Prices shown are reduced – to support their Hardship Grant fund for artists in need. Works may be collected in Laguna Beach or shipped at an additional cost.

To purchase artwork, contact curator Mike Tauber, call or text at 949.497.3597.

To view them online, click here.

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LBCAC adds new events to 2024

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Photos courtesy of LBCAC

A Celebration of San Juan Capistrano’s Arts & Culture – February 24

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1-5 p.m.

A Celebration of San Juan Capistrano’s Arts & Culture

31372 Guadalupe St., San Juan Capistrano

Lovers of culture, the arts and the history of San Juan Capistrano,

join your friends from the Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center (LBCAC) in a music-rich celebration of San Juan Capistrano’s Arts and Culture. This exclusive event is being held in an adobe home built in 1929 by Dr. Paul Esslinger, a well-known doctor in both San Juan Capistrano and Laguna Beach.

Welcome Reception with Artivist | Ricardo Duffy

Guests will be welcomed by its current owners with a home and property tour by Carmen Escamilla and by Chicano/Indigenous artist Ricardo Duffy.

Opera Reimagined Host & Tenor | Rick Weber

Classically trained vocalist and host of “LBCAC Presents: Opera Re-Imagined,” Rick Weber is inspired by the world’s most beloved tenors, like Luciano Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli and Mario Lanza.

Storyteller/Historian/Naturalist | Barefoot Joel

“Barefoot Joel” is the director of Naturalist for You, a 17-year-old environmental educational nonprofit, based in Orange County. Guests will be amazed by his retelling of San Juan Capistrano’s living history, based on his personal experiences restoring habitats, conducting biological surveys and guiding nature walks in the local wilderness.

Musician | Ryan Heflin

Heflin recently released a music video for his popular “California Dreamer” – a thoughtful, romantic song about the California of yesterday.

Supergroup | Tremoloco

Tremoloco is a SoCal-based band that draws from the sounds of Tex-Mex, country, zydeco, folk and blues in a blend of original and traditional songs, best described as Gulf Coast Folklorico.

Due to the intimate setting, space is limited, so please buy tickets now.

Cost: $20. For tickets, click here.

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Lunar Lullaby – February 25

Saturday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.

Lunar Lullaby, Musical Event Artomya

Join LBCAC for an unforgettable evening of classical enchantment as they present a special concert featuring world-renowned performers, including Eric Henderson, who promise to captivate your senses.

Diana Skavronskaya: A Lyric Coloratura Soprano Extraordinaire

Prepare to be mesmerized by the award-winning lyric coloratura soprano, Diana Skavronskaya.

Tal Vaknine: The Spellbinding Harpist from Jerusalem

Elevating the evening with ethereal harp melodies is the exceptional Israeli artist, Tal Vaknine.

Lyena Atonyicq: Pianist, Philanthropist and Opera/ Piano Coach

Completing their trio of musical virtuosos is LBCAC’s own Lyena Atonyicq, a concert pianist/coach with four masters in music.

Special Guest

Eric Henderson: Guitar Virtuoso and Composer

Trained by the master of the classical guitar Andres Segovia, Henderson covers a vast repertoire with technical mastery and passionate delivery. He has toured throughout the United States and Europe, as well as Japan and Russia.

For tickets, click here.

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Guy King – February 28

Wednesday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.

Guy King Trio

The Sky and Ocean Aren’t the Only Way to See Inspiring Blues in Laguna in 2024.

The Laguna Beach Cultural Arts Center has stepped up to preserve one of America’s most powerful and influential art forms, by providing a memorable OC haven for national touring blues legends.

The LBCAC offers its intimate listening room, stellar acoustics, state-of-the-art sound system and a host town recognized as one of the nation’s leading arts-centric resort destinations.

Guy King got his start in Chicago, with blues singer Willie Kent’s band “The Gents.” They played together for six years, and ultimately, King became Kent’s bandleader. Not long after Kent died, King began his solo career. King is known for his eclectic style and unusual technique of plucking the strings with the side of his thumb.

For tickets, click here.

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Photo by Barbara MacGillivray

Steve Wood and Beth Fitchett, Beth’s Tuesdays – March 5

Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays

Joel Rafael and Grace Freeman

Cost: $20. For tickets, click here.

Thursday, March 7, 6-9 p.m.

Art Walk featuring the music of James Clay Garrison

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Courtesy of LBCAC

Chris Cain – March 12

Tuesday, March 12, 7 p.m.

Laguna Blues, Chris Cain

Among the greatest compliments a musician can receive is praise from his fellow artists. With more than three decades of touring and 14 previous albums, master blues guitarist and vocalist Chris Cain has earned his reputation as a musician’s musician.

Cost: $30. For tickets, click here.

LBCAC is located at 235 Forest Avenue.

Checkout the calendar at www.lbculturalartscenter.org.

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Laguna Live! kicks off Jazz Wednesdays on February 28

Tuesdays through May, 11:30 a.m.

Live! Music Matters, free children’s program returns

Laguna Beach Live! is delighted to announce another series of their free, children’s program “Live! Music Matters.” An interactive music class for ages up to 6 years old, with caregiver involvement. Local musician Zach Churchill leads the sessions while attendees sing, dance, and play child friendly percussion instruments.

​The Tuesday morning sessions are held at Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre St.

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Photos courtesy of Laguna Live!

Zach Churchill at Laguna Beach Library – every Tuesday

Jazz Wednesdays returns:

Jazz Wednesdays feature world-class musicians in the cabaret setting of [seven-degrees] 891 Laguna Canyon Road. Held every two weeks, the six-part series kicks off on February 28 with powerhouse Jazz and Blues Vocalist Maiya Sykes and her sensational Tribute to Musical Legends.

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Maiya Sykes performs on February 28

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Soul of Jazz, Bijon Watson

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience, or to gift the experience, of some truly outstanding music.

Ticket prices for individual concerts remain at only $37.50 in advance; $40 at the door; $225 for the full season. Concerts are 6-8 p.m., doors open at 5 p.m. for bar and social hour. Drinks and food are available for pre purchase.

Click here for tickets, or call 949.715.3713.

The Line-Up

March 13: Matt Johnson and The New Jet Set: “Swingin’ the Disney Songbook” featuring Adryon de Leon.

March 27: Brazilian Guitarist and Vocalist, Téka, Quintet featuring Saxophonist, Robert Kyle.

April 10: Black Market Reverie with their “speak easy” jazz, a mix of jazz, classic French pop and Americana.

April 24: Renowned Soul, Jazz and R&B vocalist, Raffia Thomas brings stunning vocals and soulful vibes along with her quintet.

May 8: Grammy award winner Bijon Watson’s Latin Jazz Syndicate, featuring sizzling Cuban vocalist, Adonis Puentes.

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Flucello, (L-R) Antonina Styczen and Pola Benke – March 3

–Sunday, March 3, 1 p.m.

Live! at the Museum, Flucello with Antonina Styczen and Pola Benke

Flutist Antonina Styczen comes from the small town of Bielsko-Biala in Southern Poland, and at the age of 5, set her mind on having a career as a flutist. By age 6, she had enrolled in a local flute class, and since then has had experimental performance art rarely seen in glamorous concert halls.

Pola Benke, an esteemed cellist hailing from Poland, commenced her musical journey with the cello at the tender age of 8. She debuted as a soloist with the University Orchestra in 2007, rendering a

captivating performance of “Grave” by Lutoslawski. Her quest for musical excellence led her to earn a master’s degree in orchestral training from The Boston Conservatory, and later, to pursue postgraduate studies under the tutelage of the acclaimed Marek Szpakiewicz in Los Angeles.

The concert is performed at the Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach.

Cost: Free for members, $14 for non-members. Email ava@lagunabeachlive.org for reservations.

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Steve Wood and Beth Fitchett, Beth’s Tuesdays – March 5

Tuesday, March 5, 7 p.m.

Beth’s Tuesdays

Joel Rafael and Grace Freeman

Cost: $20. For tickets, click here.

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The day the moon seemed to visit Laguna Beach

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Photo by Scott Brashier

The moon seems to be tethered to the home high on the hill

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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.


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