Remembrance Ceremony Next Week for Fallen Officers

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Fallen officer Jon Coutchie will be honored at the city’s Sept. 21 remembrance ceremony. Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Police


This year’s city remembrance ceremony marks the fifth anniversary of police officer Jon Coutchie’s End of Watch.

Coutchie initially joined the Laguna Beach Police Department in 2009. He died on-duty in a tragic traffic accident on Sept. 21, 2013, when his northbound motorcycle ran into a southbound vehicle, as it turned left across Coast Highway at Cleo Street. Coutchie was attempting to locate a speeding vehicle, which had eluded another officer.

Fallen officer Jon Coutchie will be honored at the city’s Sept. 21 remembrance ceremony. Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach Police

The remembrance ceremony will also pay tribute to officer Gordon French, whose watch ended Feb. 13, 1953. French was shot and killed after being taken hostage by a prisoner attempting to escape the police station. French had served with the Laguna Beach Police Department for three year

City employees, family, friends and members of the community are encouraged to attend the event to remember the sacrifice of the police department’s two fallen officers.

The ceremony will take place outside of the Laguna Beach Police Department in front of the Eternal Legacy memorial beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 21. Refreshments will immediately follow the event.


 Laguna Ocean Foundation Seeking Docents

The Laguna Ocean Foundation is looking for tidepool docents. Pictured is one of the tidepools’ most popular sights, the two-spot octopus.

The Laguna Ocean Foundation is currently looking for volunteer tidepool docents to educate the public about the unique ecology in Laguna’s protected tidepoo

The next class training will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 26, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Back Bay Science Center, 600 Shellmaker Road, Newport Beach. Docents are required to be at least 18 years of age and volunteer at the tidepools at least one monthly three-hour shift at Crescent Bay, Shaws Cove, Woods Cove or Goff Cove, all within the Laguna Beach Marine Protected Area.

To sign up for the program or for further information, contact Suzanne Welsh, Tidewater Docent Coordinator, at [email protected]or 949-522-5187.

For more information on Laguna Ocean Foundation, visit


Business Club to Hear from Foundation Chief

Dr. John D. Miller of the Mission Hospital Foundation is the guest speaker at the Laguna Beach Business Club breakfast meeting, set for 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 20, at Kitchen in The Canyon, 845 Laguna Canyon Road.

Dr. Miller recently joined the Foundation as the chief development officer. He is an ordained minister and has a bachelor’s degree in economics.Order breakfast from the menu and join the roundtable networking. Non-members are welcome for $20. For more information about the club or to register to attend a meeting, contact a club member or email: [email protected]


Laguna Food Pantry Celebrates 25 Years

The Laguna Food Pantry is celebrating 25 years with a benefit on Sept. 16. Photo courtesy of the Laguna Food Pantry

Meet old and new friends from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16, as the Laguna Food Pantry observes a milestone: 25 years of helping people in need.

The “Come to the Table” benefit will include a delicious afternoon of fun and fellowship with food by Chef Alessandro Pirozzi, a signature cocktail, beer, wine, birthday cake, and live music, all in a garden setting at 483 Linden Street, the home of longtime volunteers Sharon and Roger McErlane.

Reservations are required. Tickets ($100-$115) are available at:

For more information, call 949-497-7121.





 Top of the World Neighborhood Picnic This Sunday

A scene from last year’s Top of the World Neighborhood Association picnic, which returns this Sunday. Photo by Gene Felder

The Top of the World Neighborhood Association (TOWNA) will hold its annual neighborhood picnic on Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Alta Laguna Park from 3-5 p.m. All are invited and welcomed; you do not need to be a member of TOWNA to come and enjoy this meet-your-neighbor event.

Neighbors will be bringing their favorite dish to participate in an old-fashioned potluck dinner.

Condolences to long-time serving board member Carolyn Wood on the recent death of her husband Andrew Jackson Wood.

The TOWNA board is concerned about the fire damage and inappropriate activity such as setting fires and smoking in the Laguna Heights open space and encourages anyone seeing such activity to report it to the police non-emergency number at 949-497-0701.






Real Talk on Restorative Justice

Real Talk – Laguna Beach is hosting a talk on restorative justice on Wednesday, Sept. 19, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Susi Q Center Community Room, located at 380 Third Street.

Facilitator Brett Brian is Senior Deputy District Attorney with the O.C. District Attorney’s Office. Brian has extensive trial experience and has worked with the Juvenile Court System, Gang Units, and assisted the Riverside County Probation Department in creating a Restorative Justice program for juvenile offenders.

The talk will explore the benefits of restorative justice and how the three parties (victim, offender, and community) might work together to bring about justice and correct wrongs.

RSVP to [email protected]

The event is sponsored by the Laguna Beach Interfaith Council and the Bahá’í’s of Laguna Beach.


Historical Society to Talk HIP District

On Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 7:30 p.m., Susan Elliott of the Laguna Beach Historical Society will present information about the local HIP District. The talk will take place at the Susi Q Community Center.

Elliott will discuss the new and the old versions of favorite places and historic buildings in the HIP District, including history, stories and memories from old time Lagunans who remember it as it used to be.

Formerly known as “Laguna Heights,” “Arch Beach,” and “The Village,” the stretch of South Coast Highway from Thalia Street to Bluebird Canyon Drive has had a re-birth as the “HIP District,” a name conceived by businesses in the area. (HIP stands for Historic and Interesting Places). The area has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years as owners have renovated and re-imagined the historic properties which had experienced ups and downs in the decades since they were built. The area is known for the Art Center, the Pottery Shack (now known as The Old Pottery Place), the Casa del Camino Hotel, and many bars, restaurants, and shops.


AAUW-LB Membership Mixer Highlights Women Trail Blazers

Laguna Beach’s branch of the National American Association of University Women (AAUW-LB) is marking its 52nd year of its annual membership mixer, an informal event held at the Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD).Members, prospective members and the publicare invited to join AAUW-LBfor a stimulating presentation on Sunday, Sept. 23, from 3-5:30 p.m.

Program chair Barbara Hamkalo selected Dr. Tammi J. Schneider as this year’s featured speaker. Schneider is anotedprofessor of religion at Claremont Graduate School. She’ll be speaking on “Women in the Book of Genesis: They May Not Be Quite Who You Think They Are.”Schneider’s research draws together the varied fields of archaeology, Assyriology and Biblical studies in an effort to understand the ancient Near East, especially the interactions among various peoples.

AAUW’s mission is to empower women and girls to reach their full potential through education.

“We want to get the message to younger women that it’s possible to follow their passion when choosing a career,” Hamkalo said. “We’re really telling them the sky can be the limit, but you have to reach, sometimes reach hard, for it.” 

Both the event and parking are free. LCAD is located at 2222 Laguna Canyon Road. Appetizers and drinks will be served. Those joiningAAUW-LB at this mixer receive a discounted membership fee.

For membership information, contact membership co-chairs Leah Vasquez 949-494-5787 or Rachelle Cano 818-307-7562, or visit AAUW-Laguna Beach online at For questions about the program, contact Barbara Hamkalo at [email protected]

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