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Up Front | Around Town

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On the Air

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Laguna’s newest—and only—talk radio station, [email protected], debuted in March. In partnership with local station KX 93.5, [email protected] features “smart talk” programming, including auto trends, parenting, fitness and fashion, in addition to blues, jazz and soft rock, with many of the shows hosted by Laguna’s residents. The studio for the new, online-only station is located inside the building of One Laguna, a high-tech, interactive media center for locals and visitors, at 225 Forest Ave. [email protected] streams online 24/7 at kx.onelaguna.com. (onelaguna.com) —A.T.

Wonder App Makes Gift Giving Easy

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Go green this year with gift giving by using the new Wonder app, created by Laguna Beach resident Gerry Goldstein and San Francisco resident Paige Cattano. Debuted in February, the app gives consumers the convenience of giving e-gift cards to friends and family directly from their smartphones, and the recipient can accept it immediately from his or her phone or computer. Additionally, the virtual gift card is linked directly to the recipients’ credit cards via the app, so users never have to frantically shuffle through their purses or wallets to find a gift card. In fact, Laguna-based businesses already have adopted the technology, including The Rooftop Lounge, House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, K’ya Bistro, La Casa del Camino, ZPizza and a few others. “Wonder is all about helping great local merchants access cutting-edge gifting technology to get discovered, and then transact seamlessly with customers,” Gerry says. “ … Wonder [also] lets consumers give local, unique and thoughtful gifts versus the generic cards you find on the grocery store gift card rack.” (gowonder.com) —A.T.

 

Lifeguards Prep for Summer

In February, 56 men and women endured the physically and mentally demanding summer lifeguard tryouts—the first day of what would be many more to come for the majority of participants that successfully completed the series of strenuous events. In addition to a 1,000-meter swim, competitors must go through a series of beach swims and sprints to test their mental and physical capacity. At the day’s end, 53 of the participants passed and were admitted into the lifeguard department’s training program, an intensive 100-hour, eight-day training academy that teaches cadets—the lifeguard department’s term for rookie lifeguards—the skills to recognize and make rescues, promote beach safety, provide emergency first aid and enforce all local beach ordinances. After the cadets complete the training, the highest-ranking guards are hired to protect city beaches for the summer season, which begins June 21. —A.T.

A New Addition

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The completion of a building expansion project in the making since fall 2013 has come to fruition at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center. For the past several months, the center has been in the process of building an addition to its main structure, which includes a more functional intensive care unit, a permanent gift shop, a new multipurpose room, expanded storage areas, a visitors’ restroom and viewing deck. The expansion is a welcome add-on, as it will play a big role in helping the center to increase its capacity for seals and sea lions in need of rehabilitation. (949-494-3050; pacificmmc.org) —A.T.

 

Unearthing History

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Buried treasure still exists: A forgotten landmark, dating back to as early as 1945, was recently unearthed during a renovation of an Ocean Avenue building, originally home to the now-defunct Laguna Federal Savings and Loan Association. While removing a concrete slab behind a wall-sized fountain, about which the construction team already knew, a 4-foot tiled pool was discovered at the fountain’s base. This salvaged relic will become part of the newly refurbished building, which will house Dom Demarco’s Pizzeria & Bar. The building, designed by Aubrey St. Clair—who also designed City Hall, the Laguna Beach County Water District building and others in town—is one of the first in the city to receive historic status based on restoration plans. Those plans aim to rewind the clock back to 1952 with the design, materials, windows, doors, tile work and roof features, as well as renovating the patio and tile fountain back to their original glory. —A.T.

 

Laguna’s Sister City Gets a Visitor

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Laguna Beach’s newest city sibling, San Jose del Cabo, in Mexico, received a visitor from its far-flung Southern California relative earlier this year. Christopher Ybarra, a student at the Laguna College of Art & Design, was the first exchange student selected and sponsored by the Laguna Beach Sister Cities Association (LBSCA). Christopher spent 10 days in the vacation destination, where he met the mayor and engaged in the arts scene, including visiting 18 galleries—one of which was Francois Paris’ O Gallery, which was featured during the Mexican city’s First Thursdays Art Walk on Jan. 9. “In San Jose del Cabo, I did mainly plein-air painting, which was new to me,” Christopher says. “Now … I see a new confidence in the way I approach a painting. In total, I gained a great life experience by navigating through a foreign city and connecting with galleries.” In reciprocity, LBSCA plans to host a return visit by a young artist from San Jose del Cabo this summer. —A.T.

 

Singing the town’s Praises

Longtime Laguna Beach resident Mike McCaffrey has penned a melody as an ode to the town he cherishes that may have Lagunans humming along soon. The 80-year-old’s aptly titled “Laguna” song, which he wrote and recorded late last year, tells the story about a young girl in love. To bring his vision of a starry-eyed teenage girl to life, Mike enlisted Laguna Beach High School student Marlie Becker. The breezy and beachy tune includes the sounds of guitar, ukulele, drums and Marlie’s enchanting female voice that sings about the allure of this magical seaside city: “Laguna, nestled by the sea/is softly calling you and me.” Mike plans to give the song out for free, however, Hobie Surf Shop and Sound Spectrum Music & Memorabilia have agreed to stock copies. —A.T.

 

The St. Regis Monarch Beach, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and Montage Laguna Beach were named again to the AAA Five Diamond list of hotels for 2014.

 

Renew and Hydrate with Obagi

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The Obagi Skin Health Institute recently opened the doors to its ocean-view Laguna Beach office, where Dr. Zein Obagi and his expertly trained staff offer some of the most advanced skincare techniques available. One of their most popular treatments, the HydraFacial, is the perfect maintenance facial to keep skin radiant and healthy as summer approaches. The rejuvenating 60-minute treatment uses a series of cleansers and serums to repair and protect skin while extracting oil build-ups and damaged tissue. As guests relax in the calming facial room, state-of-the-art, crystal-free microdermabrasion infuses a light serum into the skin while simultaneously exfoliating to reveal glowing skin. Much milder than traditional microdermabrasion, the treatment requires no downtime yet still achieves results. Afterward, a soothing plumping treatment restores skin’s firmness before skin is exposed to LED lights, which promote collagen production and healing. To calm skin, a soothing dry ice treatment is applied before a hot towel wrap and renewal serum. Suitable for even sensitive skin, anyone looking for a fresh and renewed complexion will surely enjoy this revitalizing service. (949-667-5115; obagiskin.com) —B.B.

 

Taking a Stand

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As the saying goes, “If you make it, they will come.” This statement couldn’t be truer at El Morro Elementary School, where an after-school lemonade-selling club has raised the most money in its history for research to cure childhood cancer. Teacher Jennifer Carlson’s Laguna Lovin’ Lemonade club raised $408 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a national charity dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer. The event sold more then 400 cups at $1 per cup during lunch, far surpassing last year’s total of $250. As part of the club, students learn about fundraising, marketing, advertising, public relations, cost-benefit analysis and other companies with a philanthropic focus, in addition to designing a new logo for the business. At the fundraiser, local apparel company The Soul Project donated shirts for the participants to sport. —A.T.

 

A Giving Heart

Kelly Cornwell Serving Meals at the Community Service Programs Laguna Beach Youth Shelter

One Laguna Beach resident is truly wearing his heart on his sleeve. Kelly Cornwell, who is also director of sales for UPS, was among the worldwide shipping company’s top employees in the running for UPS’ Jim Casey Community Service Award, the highest honor that can be given to UPS workers. As the winner at the UPS corporate office, Kelly received $1,000. Yet, instead of saving it for his family, the father of two donated the money right back to his favorite nonprofit organization, Community Service Programs (CSP), which runs a children’s shelter in Laguna. But this wasn’t Kelly’s first time giving back—in 2003, the UPS Foundation gave Kelly an unexpected check for $20,000, a reward for hundreds of service hours that he donated to the community over the past several years as part of the company’s Neighbor to Neighbor volunteer program. Yet again, Kelly, who has served as a CSP youth shelter advisory board member and chairman for more than a decade, donated the money toward remodeling the aging kitchen at CSP’s Laguna shelter. In fact, through his time, monetary donations and sponsorships, Kelly has helped to raise more than $200,000 for CSP through local efforts and the UPS Foundation. Now that’s wearing your heart on your sleeve. —A.T.

 

Boys & Girls Club Breakfast

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The Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach held its sixth annual Community Partners Breakfast on March 26 at seven-degrees, where approximately 150 leaders and organizations from Laguna Beach and Orange County, including teachers, city councilmen and police and fire department members, gathered to support the nonprofit that empowers young people. After indulging in a breakfast spread, attendees heard from President Bill Wood and Executive Director Pam Estes on the recent achievements of the club and future goals. Moreover, last year, the club served more than 1,500 youths at its clubhouses in addition to giving out over 7,000 meals to children in need. In fact, the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach accomplished all of this while maintaining a positive cash flow—for the fifth year in a row. Yet, the club acknowledged that without the help and support of all the community volunteers over the past year, none of it would have been possible. —A.T

 

New Store Openings

Surfwear Meets Style

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Combining elements of art, surf and retro-inspired fashions, Latitude Supply Co., which recently opened its flagship store at 1550 Pacific Coast Hwy., will give Lagunans another reason to go shopping. Influenced by nautical scenes, the store offers clothing for men and women, including jackets, shorts, T-shirts, dresses and more. “I was born and raised here, and my collections have always been inspired by the imagery and scenery of our beautiful community,” says Jonathan Riff, founder of Latitude Supply Co. “It is an honor to be able to come back and be able to open my first shop in Laguna Beach.” (949-715-5800;
latitudesupplyco.com)
A Place for Pooch

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Everyone knows that dogs are more than welcome here in Laguna. And while there are many pooch-friendly places in town, there’s nothing quite like Naked Dog Bistro, at 424 Forest Ave. Conceptualized last summer by mother-and-daughter team Charlotte Bloom and Lindsay Poe, Naked Dog Bistro is a special eatery and retail boutique dedicated to our four-legged friends. In fact, the bistro prides itself on providing nourishing foods and treats (including gluten-free chow), as well as products that aid in overall health and fitness, for dogs. (949-715-9900; nakeddogbistro.com)

A Fine Footing
A new store featuring Italian shoes, Quattro Passi, has opened at 305 Forest Ave., Ste. 103. Owned by Gabriella Caltabiano, the shop features high-quality and comfortable, yet stylish, footwear by brands that have been staples in Italy but are unknown in the United States. This spring, Quattro Passi is slated to bring Italian handbags, followed by children’s shoes in the summer. (949-494-6500; quattropassishoes.us)
One-stop Shop

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Open since last December, Jasmine Street General Store, owned by local resident Carol Robinson and located at 397 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., brings a feeling of a true neighborhood shop with a selection of toys, gifts, local art, handcrafted jewelry and other items, as well as beach chair and boogie board rentals. “The location is perfect for me—I can walk to work,” Carol says. “To be able to live and work in Laguna is a dream come true.” (949-463-8618; jasminest.com)

Beach Couture
Established for the sun-worshipping beach bunny with an eye for style, Ruby Mint, a luxury beach towel and lifestyle brand, merges style with the seashore. The brand offers oversized towels large enough to fit two people with bold, playful prints in exquisite textiles. “First, growing up on the beach, everyone’s beach bag made certain to have the best and most stylish essentials: sunscreen, hats, swimwear,” says Laguna native and founder Erin O’Neil. “But then, people would cruise down to the beach with a ratty, old beach towel that had been passed on for decades. It was the missing piece for the oh-so-chic beach-going gal.” While Ruby Mint does not have a storefront location, products are sold on its website and at Laguna Supply.                     (ruby-mint.com) —A.T. LBM

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