renaissance

New Tech Chief Hired

Also Schoolpower fundraising earns ‘A’ grades Drawing from applicants nationwide who went through several rounds of interviews before a district-wide panel, school board members unanimously approved hiring a new technology director Tuesday who is currently employed at Saddleback...

New Group Plays Classic Tunes

By Roberta Carasso, Special to the Independent A new musical organization tuning up in Orange County will hold its second concert in its inaugural season next month in one of the county’s newest performing spaces. Laguna Beach resident Ronald Harris, continuing in his 12th year...

Lamb Wheels Into Volvo’s Spotlight

Swedish automaker Volvo, the corporate sponsor of the recently concluded LA Art Show 2014, invited Laguna Beach photographer Tom Lamb to be the signature exhibitor. Though his acclaimed aerial photographs with an environmental focus certainly got their attention, but his...

Dentist Puts Down His Own Roots

By Donna Furey, Special to the Independent A year ago as Dr. Alex Kalmanovich walked about downtown Laguna Beach, as he does with his wife Polina and their baby daughter most weekends, he received a phone call. A local dental practice was for sale. In the market for his first...

Stray Cat to Rock the Concert Band

He strutted into rockabilly fans’ consciousness with hit singles in the ‘80s as a bassist for the Stray Cats and now Lee Rocker will rock his hometown as a guest artist with the Laguna Concert Band. The band’s musical director, Ed Peterson, anticipates a full house at the Laguna...

Fine Art Painter Featured at Artist Eye Gallery

Artist Eye Laguna Gallery will feature fine art paintings by San Clemente artist Edward G. Beyer from Jan. 1-31. Beyer will be on hand, along with the 17 other gallery artists, during First Thursdays Art Walk, from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 2. In addition, the gallery, 1294-A...

Updated: Dragna Found Guilty in Nicholson Murder

After deliberating less than six hours, a jury found Matthew Dragna of Lake Forest guilty of the 2009 bludgeoning death of Laguna Beach’s Damon Nicholson. The jury’s verdict was announced in the Santa Ana’s Central Justice Center late Friday afternoon. Earlier in the week, the...

A Gift That Keeps Giving

Santa Claus temporarily took up residence at the corner of Forest Avenue and Glenneyre Street in a tiny abode known as Santa’s Hut. Frequented this time of year by wide-eyed kids and cheerful adults, the festive street corner also serves as a rendezvous spot for families selected...

Familiar Face Leads Local GOP

About 50 members of the Laguna Beach Republicans elected longtime resident Howard Hills as its incoming president at a meeting on Saturday, Dec. 14. Wasting no time, Hills and the local GOP group jumped into a political battle at the county Board of Supervisors this past week,...

Trial in Nicholson’s Murder Underway

The defense attorney for a Lake Forest man accused in the bludgeoning-murder of Laguna Beach resident Damon Nicholson told a Superior Court jury that an accomplice was responsible for the deadly attack during his opening statement on Wednesday. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 23, is...

Emerald Bay Gate Improvements Get Green Light

In a matter that has proved extraordinarily divisive to Emerald Bay residents since 2011, Laguna Beach’s City Council voted 3-1 on Tuesday to approve proposed road improvements at the gated community’s main entry, which do not include a controversial traffic signal as originally...

Mold Be Gone, ‘Lagunatics’ Back On

After three months of self-imposed restraint, “Lagunatics” will let loose their skewed sense of ethnocentric humor on the local stage once again. The 29 volunteer cast members of the annual spoof on la vida de la Laguna were sequestered from using the stage at the Forum Theater...

Jailed Suspect Faces Trial in ’09 Murder

Opening statements are expected Wednesday, Dec. 11, in the trial of a Lake Forest man suspected in the bludgeoning-murder of a Laguna Beach resident in 2009, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday. Matthew Thomas Dragna, 23, charged with one felony count of special...

Touring Laguna’s Underground

Getting past complaints over a five-year, $100 million project to widen a sewer tunnel and lay new pipeline in Laguna Beach’s coastal bluffs has been a major public relations hurdle for the South Coast Water District, which serves South Laguna and other cities. When the water...

Misgivings Surface Over Opening Up Views

  Chris Toy, a member of a committee appointed nearly a year ago to devise a new view ordinance for Laguna Beach, expressed profound disapproval of the latest draft during a public meeting this past Tuesday, Dec. 3. With new stipulations, the current draft reads like a...