Monthly Archives: April 2015

Art Show at Noll Surfboards


Art Marketeur, Noll Surfboards, Art Show, Scotty Carter, Ben Ginsberg, Aarong Goulding

Noll Surfborads Art Show

My intention for the Aliso Beach website is to promote artists and split the profits between the artist and charities that benefit Aliso Beach and Laguna area coastal water and marine ecosystem health.  It some point it will indeed mean that I put together an Art Show featuring carefully selected Aliso Beach photographers and artists.  With experience representing artists in Art Walk, Exhibition and Gallery arrangements, I have built a template for shows.  The work isn’t easy and the preparation is significant but I enjoy putting them on.

Currently, I have an Art Show organized for Noll Surfboards on May 23rd featuring 3 really gifted photographers and a surprise artist which will be announced a little closer to the show.  As constructed this isn’t any old show.  The show features 3 of the most gifted photographers I know in Scotty Carter, Aaron Goulding and Ben Ginsberg.  All three have been published in major surf related publications and have an expertise that is worth noting.

The art show has a couple of features that make it worth attending.

1) The show will feature 4 artists including 3 of the best coastal photographers in Southern California and a painter that will be a surprise.

2) There is an invite only champagne hour for special guests, art collectors and art related industry professionals.

3) There is music from the incredible Aja Lee, the gifted Ukulele player and singer from South San Diego.

4) There is a Tequila Tasting from El Perdido.

5) There is food, wine and beer as well!

6) There is a charity raffle that benefits Wings For Life.  By the way, there are some incredible prizes including phone cases, matted prints, framed aluminum pieces, sea glass jewelry and so much more.  Some folks are going to walk out of this show making out like bandits with lots of loot.

7)  The art and artists are fantastic and the host Noll Surfboards Jed, Candace and Travis are some of the finest people I know.  It is always a treat to do shows with them.



VIP Champagne Hour (Special Invite Only) 5:30-6:30 pm

General Admission Art Show:  6:30-9:30 Pm

Music by Aja Lee 6:30-8:00 Pm

Food:  Won’t Last Long 6:30 Pm until its gone.

Tequila Tasting:  5:30 Pm until its gone

Charity Raffle With AAAAAMAZING Prizes 8:30 pm


Hope to see you all there!




Posted in Art Events Tagged , , , , |

Jehovahs Witness


Jehovah's Witness, Watchtower, Jehovah's Witness Recruitment Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, ALiso Creek Beach

Jehovah’s Witness Recruitment Aliso Beach


Before I say anything else, I am asking sensitive people not to take this the wrong way.  I have absolutely nothing against people who are Jehova’s Witnesses and in my experiences, members of this group have been nothing but friendly and polite to me.  I have been coming to Aliso Beach for 30 years and until recently I had never seen a religious group of any kind, set up a recruitment and informational pamphlet station.  The interesting thing is if it appeared someone was setting up a booth to promote sales of a product or service, that endeavor would be shut down by any number of Laguna Police, State Park Ranger and maybe even the Lifeguards if their staffing did not have them short on manpower. How do I know this?  State Park Rangers have told an artist I know that he could not photograph and show a finished art piece in the parking lot at Aliso.  In fairness, Jehova’s Witness has non-profit status as do all of the clean up groups like Surfrider Foundation South Orange County and similar charitable entities enjoy the same opportunities to promote at places like Aliso Beach.  Jehovah’s Witness Recruitment and an information stand has been there several Sunday’s over the last couple of months. Since I had never seen this stand before, it struck me as odd.  If you are like me, you find the presence of God in the ocean.  If I wanted to become a Jehovah’s Witness I would not go to Aliso Beach to do that, but I understand that religious groups compete for membership and a high traffic and accessible beach to strike up conversations with people in a stress free environment appeals to church volunteers. This strategy seems like a departure from the age old strategy of canvasing neighborhoods and ringing doorbells.  To be honest, I have opened up a door or two in my lifetime to find members of Jehova’s Witness interested in sharing their faith, and I have also dodged a knock on the door or 10 knowing full well it is very likely to be Jehova’s Witness.  Given that Jehovah’s Witness has always recruited heavily on a person to person basis, I am sure they know they are successful only some of the time and the only way to grow membership is through the process of sharing their faith as they have always done.

As aggressive as the canvasing has been in neighborhoods I have lived in, the information pod with Watchtower Publications and information regarding up and coming events seemed to be loosely attended.  As strange as it was to see the pod stocked full of faith based materials encouraging beach visitors to take the information pamphlets, I was surprised that the stand wasn’t staffed.  Maybe this is by design or the way the County of Orange which operates Aliso Beach Park requested it to be.  Though I walked up to the information stand to take a picture for this story, I was never approached  or acknowledged for standing there.  I was aware of a pair of men and women on those Sundays that could have been there for Jehovah’s Witness Recruitment at Aliso Beach.  If they were there to stage the recruitment, they didn’t swarm me, ask if I had questions, or try and pass off any documentation on me. Honestly, I have never felt like I have ever been agitated by these folks and nor have I ever felt like my boundaries had been crossed where I feel like I had to push them away.  If you call me a doorbell dodger…you got me!  That I am sometimes because sometimes I just am not up to or interested in talking.  In putting the stand there and not aggressively pursuing beach visitors that stop by to check the information stand out, I think they are doing it the right way.  While Jehovah’s Witness Recruitment at Aliso Beach is a way I have never seen generate membership increases, it could just work.  I heard a quote related to a professional athlete that I have always appreciated and I think the recruitment strategy seen at Aliso Beach subscribes to this truth!  The quote goes something like this, “You strike out 100% of the time that you don’t bother to take swings”.  Jehova’s Witness understands that a varied approach to recruitment will land members that might not have been reachable with door knocking.  Many people are put off by solicitation by someone coming to the door, so trying different things is smart!  It’s marketing!  Whatever strategy they choose for their recruitment efforts, they fully understand the concept of sharing. A Laisse Faire approach at Aliso Beach is the best way to recruit there in my opinion, and in cases where beach visitors show interest of course it is in the best interests of membership to greet visitors and answer questions if they have any.  I wish them luck in their efforts to grow membership.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Creek Tagged , , , , , |

Ocean Condition Education


High Surf Aliso Beach, Big Waves Aliso Beach, South Swell Aliso Beach

Big Wave Aliso Beach

Ocean condition education is really important for everyone.  Having a basic understanding of the dangers posed by the ocean and waves can save lives.  On the weekend of March 29th, a heat wave combined with beautiful beach weather and large waves brought inexperienced beach visitors together in ocean conditions that challenged even experts.  Waves in the 8-12 foot zone were exploding on the shoreline with children and adults wading in the shallows unaware of the fury headed their way.  On a February weekend, a teen that ventured to close to the large, breaking waves lost his life in a manner that was completely avoidable.  We have to acknowledge that if we choose to put ourselves in dangerous spots in the path of large incoming waves, we could be injured or die.  Injury or loss of life can happen in the blink of an eye.

There were so many people on the beach and I felt sorry for lifeguards whose ability to watch over a long stretch of beach was tested all day.  On one sweep of the beach a lifeguard sprinted north to the water in front of the mouth of Aliso Creek to keep some people out of the water that had no business swimming under those ocean conditions.  As he sprinted back south, he got to a parent desperately trying to hang on to a little one that was getting carried out towards the waves by white water pummeling him down the slope of the beach towards incoming waves.  It was a close shave for sure and that parent is lucky that the lifeguard got there in time to help catch that child.  6-12 foot waves and red flag conditions are no place for the inexperienced and little ones.

The whole point of this particular blog is to get people to think about how ocean current ocean conditions affect how they might experience the beach and how certain ocean conditions affect their safety in the water.  The people that can handle the water when the waves are big are an elite group of watermen, and while their getting out to the waves and riding them look easy, they will admit that the water conditions were heavy.  There were probably 10 people in the water that day and everyone else that made an attempt to get into the waves was clearly in over their heads and shouldn’t have been in the water.  Ocean condition education is important because it can literally save lives.  No beach day is complete without being in the ocean and waves.  Children look forward to getting in the water and waves when visiting the beach and are disappointed when they can’t be in the water.  Whether there are dangerously big waves or not, the attraction to the shore and the movement of the water is very real.  This puts kids on the firing line of large waves at Aliso Beach.

So, how do families get ocean condition education?  The first place that parents can go to determine if a beach day will be safe is surf reports like Surfline which gives you a current report for Aliso Beach and then a regional forecast for the next 3 days.    Beyond the 3 days this service becomes a premium and paid for service.  If you have a schedule where it is easy to make beach trip decisions for family within a 3 day period the Surfline report will work just fine.  I prefer the free service from Solspot because they provide a 7 day forecast for Aliso Beach and two regional long range forecasts .  One long range wave forecast is delivered late Monday and the other late Thursday. This offers parents the opportunity to look out over a 7-14 day period to see what the waves will be like at their favorite beaches around the times they plan a visit.  Just this past August I saved a family the trouble of holding a birthday party at Aliso Beach because I knew that Hurricane Marie would bring historic waves and severe beach erosion for the day it was planned.  I had a feeling the waves would eat away at the sand everyone loves so much and would pin visitors back in the parking lot.  That day was way to dangerous and it would have put a damper on a special day for a little boy!  Given the state of Aliso Beach following Hurricane Marie wave event was evidence that not doing the party at the beach was a great decision.

My personal recommendation for families with children that want to enjoy the water at Aliso Beach is to visit when the waves are 3 feet or below.  There are dangers with waves at 3 feet at this Laguna area beach because of the slope of the sand leading to the water and the shore break conditions typically found there.  At this size, there is a decent chance that your kids will be able to enjoy the water safely.  Generally speaking, a day of waves 3 feet or less would call for lifeguards to raise a green flag.  When it gets a little bigger than 3 foot they may change the flag to yellow which cautions beach visitors of higher surf than normal.  When you get above 6 feet they will fly a red flag and if you are anything but experienced, it is recommended you avoid the water.

If you forget to check the waves before heading down, make sure to talk with your friendly guys and gals dressed in red that work extraordinarily hard to keep you safe while at Aliso Beach.  They won’t bite!  I promise!  They will tell you if they think conditions are safe that day and they will make recommendations based on the day’s surf conditions that are geared to protect you.  Pay close attention to the flags green, yellow and red because they provide a great insight into how safe the water is for swimming that particular day.  Please note that with the arrival of wave events those flags can change colors in the middle of your visit as new wave energy arrives.  Again, this is another great reason to talk with lifeguards who are updated on the possibility of dangerous increases to wave heights and the presence of rip tides every day.  Lifeguards want to make sure that everyone gets home safe from a day of enjoying the beach.

There are opportunities for people to know the conditions before they go and I am surprised how unprepared people are for dangerous surf while at Aliso Beach.  If people talked to lifeguards on March 29th, their kids would not have been within 15 feet of the white water blasting the shore.  If people understood the color flag system used by lifeguards to tell them how dangerous the water is at present time, they would be much better off.  Beach visitors can use free reports online from the providers above for ocean condition education that gives them an idea of whether or not the water will be safe for a planned visit up to two weeks away.  I remember being a young boy and being excited about every visit to the beach from the foothills of Los Angeles County.  Getting in the cool water and waves was a huge draw for me and if I couldn’t get in the water, I was terribly disappointed.  The joy I found in being the ocean is not something that is lost on me as an adult and I know how excited people are to take a salt water plunge.  I get it!  My suggestion is that a quick ocean condition education through the free reports online and having conversations with lifeguards about current conditions at Aliso Beach will always go a long way to keep you and the kids safe when you visit the beach and find yourself staring at an often unpredictable Pacific Ocean.

Posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Safety, Aliso Beach Stories Tagged , , , , , , |

Canopy Question


I put up this website over a year ago with two goals.  The main goal was and continues to be to have this website be one of the best sources for information on this popular Laguna Beach.  When I put the website up I was surprised to get even one Aliso Beach question let alone a canopy question that would stump me or require me to do more research.  With ties to photographers and artists from the community, I also wanted to create an art sale program where proceeds of sales would be shared with Laguna Beach charities that focus on Laguna Beach ocean water quality.  It seemed like a win-win to me worthy of helping facilitate as well as a win-win for artists looking for more exposure and sales while benefiting a beach that is important to them.  I give myself a “B” grade on the depth of the information included on the Aliso Beach website and an “F” grade for the artist portion of the website.  Other areas of my life have needed attention but I do not personally accept that as an excuse.  My pledge is to continue to expand the information on the website, continue to write about the happenings at Aliso Beach on the blog and get the artist portion of the website rolling so that I can honor my commitments to the website and beach.

On the informational side of the website I am doing something right because people seek me out for information on Aliso Beach. I get online inquiries from people looking for answers to questions. Questions include things like:  “Can I reserve a fire pit for a birthday?” and  “Will the waves be safe enough for my child this weekend?”  I even found myself in the middle of a lost pair of prescription glasses belonging to a special needs child whose quality of life required those glasses post surgery.  By the grace of God, I was able to locate those glasses and return them to a young boy.  What a blessing to help a mother and child be re-united with these special glasses.  None of that is possible without the hard work I put into the website.  Creating a content rich website on Aliso Beach makes the website searchable and makes me somewhat of an authority on the beach and so people seek me out online when they have questions.  Aliso Beach the website makes me no money.  I am passionate about the beach so I continue because I am told over and over that people enjoy the blogs and that they appreciate what I do.  I get a kick out of it I really do, and when someone hits me up online with a question, I am always more than happy to try and help.  In fact, getting involved in those questions is the highlight of my day when I get them.

Dana Brown had a canopy question yesterday and I was tempted to give her the answer logic would have given me.  Glad I didn’t throw her under the bus and encourage her to break the rules.  It would have been on me.  The regulation I was informed of is not something I have seen written anywhere, although I am going to go back and see if I can find something.  The question that stumped the founder was:  Can a Canopy be setup at the beach?  if so, is there a size restriction or type?  I knew the answer to the first part was yes because with the intensity of the sun here in Southern California, and especially at the beach, canopies are fairly common.  The canopies I have seen on the beach range in sizes but I can’t say that one is so much bigger than another that I saw any need to question that.  The inner-voice in my head told me I better make the call and find out.  Despite the fact that I am well-read on everything Aliso Beach, something told me that Dana Brown knew something that I didn’t because of her specific reference for size regulations.

So, I made the call to the county.  The regulation as quoted by the County Representative for Aliso Beach is a limit of one Canopy per party not to exceed 10 foot x 10 foot.  Dana has a birthday celebration coming up and so getting the answer to the question will help her and family celebrate while not running afoul of the Aliso Beach rule enforcers…..whoever they may be.  I have yet to see someone cited for a canopy violation but was happy to call up Dana and let her know what I found.  As is always the case, she was a little taken aback that I would actually call her. To me that is strange but I think in our world and as members of society, we have fallen off the tracks a little bit in our call to provide service to each other.  Personally, I don’t think what I did deserves any special praise.  I help when and where I can and when an inquirer on the Aliso Beach website provides a phone number, I love to make the call and speak with someone that also enjoys Aliso Beach.

Enjoy your family birthday celebration at Aliso Beach Dana.  I might just drop by with some Aliso Beach website trinkets for you and say hello!  Thanks for reaching out!  I love being involved in the community and helping when I can!

Posted in Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Stories Tagged , , , , , , |