Up Front | Around Town

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Sailor Jerry Bungalow-3OCEAN EXPLORATION

Locals have a new place to shack up over at Pacific Edge Hotel—this summer, The Bungalows debuted its Sailor Jerry Bungalow, inspired by renowned American tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins, who was also known as “Sailor Jerry.” Decked out with branded Sailor Jerry paraphernalia—including sailor artwork by Norman, a customized pinball machine and surfboard—the bungalow will surely be a hot spot for entertaining on the hotel’s beachfront location. In addition to its eye-popping colors of aqua and orange, the bungalow features a private bathroom with a shower, a bar area, catered food and beverages, and a private oceanfront deck area. —A.T.

 

THE CAT’S MEOW

It’s time to raise some cash for the cuddly cats in our lives: The Blue Bell Foundation for Cats, which provides a home for felines whose owners can no longer care for them, kicked off a $500,000 fundraising campaign Oct. 12 at Madison Square & Garden Cafe. Through the Meow Mixer and other events, the foundation hopes to raise enough money to provide needy cats with a forever home for years to come (it typically costs $6,500 per feline to retire at the sanctuary). In addition, the campaign is designed to raise awareness for the little-known “cat retirement home” in Laguna Canyon. The Meow Mixer featured cocktails and hors d’oeuvres for guests. For more information about making a donation to the campaign, visit the group’s website at bluebellcats.org. —K.M.

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CELEBRATING CREATIVITY

When SOURCED. a california collective opened its doors, many people wondered why no one had thought to bring a group like this to Laguna sooner. Composed of like-minded and creative individuals who each boast specialized artistic talents, SOURCED. offers a unique opportunity for the artists to collaborate with one another on projects, and creates a one-stop shop of sorts for interior, fashion or event design. Now, having just celebrated its first year of business, the group is showing no signs of slowing down. “SOURCED. started as a way to accomplish more, be more connected, pull together resources and strengthen individual businesses by working alongside each other,” says Michelle Mercado, the organization’s creative director. “[It] has become more than an office space or a retail shop,” she continues. “It is a community of creative entrepreneurs doing what they love with the support of others.” With a new retail co-op that allows local artisans to sell their handcrafted goodies and plans for future classes in calligraphy, watercolor and floral design, there are sure to be many more anniversaries to come for SOURCED. —B.B.

 

SHARE THE ROAD, SAVE LIVES

Slow down, obey the law, share the road, and don’t text and drive, Laguna resident Joan Marcus-Colvin advises motorists when asked for tips to prevent collisions with bicyclists. Joan has become a bike safety advocate since her husband John Colvin was struck and killed while cycling on Coast Highway in June. “John was a passionate cyclist who loved the hills and roads of Laguna Beach,” his widow says. “If our efforts could make even the slightest improvement to road safety, then John’s untimely death will not be in vain.” And John is not the only one to have died while cycling on Coast Highway—less than a year earlier, Debra Deem was hit and killed by a minivan. Joan is hopeful that a new state law, which requires 3 feet of space between vehicles and bicyclists, will help save lives. Of course, there are steps that bicyclists can take to protect themselves, too. While Joan admits that she’s no expert, she urges cyclists “to follow the laws like any moving vehicle.” “Wear crazy bright colors and safety gear such as lights and helmets,” she continues. “[And] … ride with your friends. A group of cyclists are so much more visible than a single rider.” Reflecting on the day her husband was hit, Joan says, “I drove by the accident on my way home and saw emergency vehicles still on site and then walked in the house and saw his bike gone. I knew instantly it was him.” It has been four months since the crash that took John from his wife and two college-age daughters. “He was an incredible father and husband, and we miss his presence every day,” Joan says. For her, part of moving forward is encouraging action by the city, motorists and bicyclists to prevent this kind of tragedy from affecting other families. That’s a mission we strongly support, too. —S.S.

 

ONE FOR THE DOGS

Laguna resident Judie Mancuso was the driving force behind legislation signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown in August, giving restaurants the option (starting Jan. 1) to allow pet dogs in their outdoor seating areas unless a city or county prohibits it. Although many restaurants have permitted pooches on their patios for years, the practice was technically illegal in the state. AB 1965, authored by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, was proposed by Judie after a restaurant worker told her it was against the law to bring her two Chihuahuas on the patio although she had done so at another location in the chain. “I said, ‘That’s a law that needs to be changed,’ ” Judie recalls. “… You want to take … [your dogs] with you to be a part of your day and part of your life.” Animal issues are close to Judie’s heart: Previously, she championed a pet lover’s license plate that raises money for free and low-cost spay and neuter services. —S.S.

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KING OF THE KICKFLIPS

Though Nyjah Huston was barely out of diapers when Tony Hawk put skateboarding on the map, the 19-year-old is now sweeping the floor with his competition in the skateboarding world. The Laguna Beach resident (who also boasts a home in the hills of nearby San Juan Capistrano) has officially swept the Street League Skateboarding season, most recently taking the grand prize at the 2014 Street League Skateboarding Nike SB Super Crown World Championship on Aug. 24 in New Jersey to continue his undefeated streak. Along with the trophy and bragging rights, Nyjah was awarded $200,000 in prize money—not a bad haul for a summer job. In addition, the young boarder’s epic season was made even more so at the ESPY Awards in July, where he was voted Best Male Action Sports Athlete for the second consecutive year. Congratulations on a great summer, Nyjah! —B.B.

 

SHORT FILM FEATS

Two films with ties to Laguna Beach were recently named winners at the 2014 Best Shorts Competition, a La Jolla-based contest that recognizes superlative short films and media projects from filmmakers around the world. The films—both of which were produced and submitted by Jeanne Meyers, Wendy Milette and Anabelle Vo of The My Hero Project in Laguna—cover notable, local female conservationists. “The Kelp Lady” short documentary covers the work of Nancy Caruso, a marine biologist who has dedicated her time to restoring Southern California’s kelp forests in order to preserve several endangered species. Similarly, “Saving the Canyon” documents the work of Mary Fegraus, the founding executive director of Laguna Canyon Foundation, who played a pivotal role in preserving the South Coast Wilderness area, which includes Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and Crystal Cove State Park. Both entries received an Award of Merit, which distinguishes notable artistic and technical productions. Laguna owes many thanks to these women for fighting to preserve its natural habitat and, hopefully, these awards will alert even more people to their causes. —B.B.

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SURFBOARDS ON PARADE

Given its “Surf City” moniker, it is no wonder that Huntington Beach chose to raise funds for skin cancer treatment and prevention by utilizing the talents of legendary surfboard shapers. In August, the Rotary Club of Huntington Beach launched the Surfboards on Parade exhibit, which called for 28 boards to be placed on display around the city. Locations such as the Shorebreak Hotel, Huntington Beach Art Center and Duke’s restaurant are housing the boards that have been shaped by the likes of Tim Bessell, Robert August and Chuck Dent, and adorned with the work of celebrated artists such as Andy Warhol and John Van Hamersveld. Laguna Beach’s very own Wyland also lent his skills in collaboration with shaper Tim Stamps to create a great white shark-bedecked piece. On Oct. 11, the creations were displayed at The Waterfront Beach Resort during the Night of a Million Waves Gala and Art Auction, where they were auctioned to the highest bidder. Proceeds from the event will go to the Hoag Family Cancer Institute to support skin cancer research and education. —B.B.

 

RAISE THE ROOF

A rooftop deck may be coming soon at Rock’n Fish restaurant, which serves up seafood, steaks and drinks in the historic Heisler Building at 422 S. Coast Hwy. in downtown Laguna. The Planning Commission voted in September to recommend approval of the project, which next must be considered by the City Council—that hearing is scheduled for Oct. 21. If the council gives a green light to the project, architect Todd Skenderian says structural drawings would be submitted to the building department as soon as possible. The construction timeline is unknown, but once complete, diners would be able to enjoy ocean views while sipping a cocktail such as the eatery’s signature Navy Grog, made with Bacardi rum and fresh tropical juices topped with a layer of Hawaiian dark rum. Now that’s a rockin’ way to celebrate an afternoon or evening in Laguna. —S.S.

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  1. […] Up Front | Around Town Locals have a new place to shack up over at Pacific Edge Hotel—this summer, The Bungalows debuted its Sailor Jerry Bungalow, inspired by renowned American tattoo artist Norman Keith Collins, who was also known as “Sailor Jerry.” Decked out … Read more on Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper […]

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