Category Archives: Laguna Beach Real Estate

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The Miracle Baby of Laguna Beach

By Amy Wilson

The Orange County Register

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. – Sometime after midnight, a baby asleep on Donald Duck sheets was swept out of her house, out of her crib and into the night. That she was found at all is a miracle.

That she was alive is whatever is better than a miracle.

Nine-month-old Tiffany Sarabia rode the mudslide yesterday in Laguna Beach that smashed three homes and killed two men. (one was a British fellow who barely escaped the mud that destroyed his residence and he went over to a friend’s house only to be killed when the slide destroyed that house as well)

The man who found her was likewise swept away. Gary Segraves, 51, had come to Laguna Canyon Road to help his daughter, Jenifer, who had been stranded in an earlier slide. He was staying the night when the second slide hit, slamming him into the side of an animal shelter. When Segraves stopped rolling, he realized there was a baby with him on a pile of rocks and twigs and living-room furniture.

Segraves had lost his glasses, and at first he thought she was a muddy doll.

“I pinched its fingers to see if it was alive,” he said.

Shaken, tired and hurt, Segraves handed the mud-swaddled baby to a stranger named Todd Tingley. The baby’s brown eyes were open. She looked up at Tingley, who told her she was safe now.

Tingley took the baby and jogged toward the road, to firefighter Frank Ybarra, aboard the first firetruck pulling up to the scene.

“I didn’t have one foot on the ground when they handed me a baby covered in mud,” Ybarra said. “She had mud packed in her mouth and nose. She was very cold and wet, and she was not breathing.”

Ybarra cleared her airway with a bulb syringe – five times, 10 times.

“She started moaning a little bit, and breathing,” Ybarra said. “She was living!”

That done, he cut her wet, filthy pajamas off her and wiped mud from her face.

Meanwhile, Teresa Sarabia, barely conscious, had been loaded onto an ambulance. When she awoke, she was frantic about her husband and three children.

“My baby! My baby!” she screamed.

Ybarra showed her the ambulance’s other passenger: a baby.


Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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One of my Favorite Stories – Laguna’s Native Flute Child Prodigy and Skate Board Speed Champion – Evren Ozan

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I remember walking around the Oak St. area around 2000 and seeing this pre-teen kid skate boarding over homemade ramps like no one else before and I took note. Only a little later did I hear this great story and ended up watching him at local concerts and listening to his award winning CDs.

Evren was six years old when he discovered the native flute on a cross-country road trip.  At the first stop, the Grand Canyon, Evren went straight to the native instruments counter and picked out a cedar flute.  He paid for it with all of his trip allowance, and could naturally play Indian tunes and has been playing native flutes ever since.

He was recognized for his given talents and studied under the masters in short order.

Evren has released three independent, instrumental albums:  IMAGES OF WINTER (2001); AS THINGS COULD BE (2003) and ALLUVIA (2006).

Evren Ozan retrospective from age six to fifteen; 5.5 minutes of music, film and photography featuring the award-winning recording artist and performer, Evren Ozan

Click here to watch the video

Hold on tight when you watch this – Speed, Power and Style! Here’s Evren unleashed with raw footy that captures his addiction. Filmed and edited by his LBDR homie … Nathan Bryant

Click here to watch the video

Some highlights of his music career include a featured solo performance at the Native American Music Awards when he was eight, being named a Davidson Fellow in Music at eleven, performing throughout the continental US and in Alaska, Hawaii, England, Belgium and, in Germany, in affiliation with Doctors Without Borders.  He has performed at events featuring Jane Goodall, Robert Kennedy, Jr., John McConnell, founder of Earth Day, and many, many environmental, charitable and educational venues, as well as concert halls, museums, schools, festivals, galleries and private events.

Evren has appeared in media such as National Geographic’s WORLD, News from Indian Country, Time for Kids, Scholastic, New Age Reporter, Body and Soul Magazine, Global Rhythms, Public Radio International’s, “The World,” and diverse public, independent, internet and international radio and satellite programs, newspapers and magazines.  His music is also featured in numerous independent films.
Evren is a member of the Recording Academy and was named on the 50th Grammy Awards Entry List for “Best New Artist” and “Best New Age Album” for ALLUVIA.  The Native American Music Awards named ALLUVIA “Best Instrumental Recording” for 2007, and recognized Evren as “Rising Star” in both 2001 and 2005.

Born in 1993, Evren is of Anglo, Osage and Turkish descent.  He has studied music theory and improvisation with Berklee Music and Stanford University’s EPGY, native flute with traditional instrument maker and musician, Guillermo Martinez, and continues to study classical silver flute and theory.  Mac Ritchey of Possum Hall Studios has produced all of Evren’s albums to date,  and a fourth album is in pre-production.   A homeschooler, Evren’s other interests include flying and downhill skateboarding. In 2009, Evren was named the IGSA Junior Downhill World Champion, and in the fall of 2011, Evren began college full-time. While majoring in pilot aviation training and logging time at a local airport, Evren continues to perform and demonstrate the Native American flute to audiences of all ages.

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Who lived in Orange County before you?

500 BC: Indians (*8) – Coronne clan, later known as Tongva Indians, lived at Aliso Creek and Laguna Lakes.  They dubbed the area as “Lagonas,” the Indian word for lakes.  They depended upon the fresh water, game, and marine life for survival.  Remnants of these villages were seen by the early homesteaders.


Acjachemen (Ah-HAWSH-eh-men) village. * Illustration by Mary Leighton Thomson

A Thriving Nation 12,000 BC – 1542 AD

California has a rich Native American heritage.  Hundreds of tribes call California home, more than any other state.  The native inhabitants of San Juan Capistrano and all of Orange County belong to the Acjachemen Nation.  For more than 10,000 years, the Acjachemen (A-ha-che-men, also called Acagchemem or Juaneño) occupied the pristine coastline, vast valleys, and majestic mountains which spanned from Long Beach to Oceanside, as far east as Lake Elsinore, and westward to Catalina and San Clemente Islands.  The Acjachemen possessed an intricate social structure based on clans.  Villages were governed by male and female clan chiefs called Nu and Coronne who oversaw hunting and gathering expeditions, migrations to seasonal settlements, tribal councils, and ceremonies.  Villages contained populations of about 50 to 250 people each.  Women and men wore grass skirts and animal skins with elaborate jewelry made of shells, seeds, and beads.  Within the village, Acjachemen families lived in ki-chas, dome-shaped huts made of willow and tule, and ate wi-wish or acorn meal, fish and roasted deer or rabbit meat.  Hunting was performed with bow and arrows, snares, and throwing sticks.  Elaborate stone bowls, grinding stones, and tools were ingeniously made by the Acjachemen as well as intricately woven baskets.  The Acjachemen were a deeply spiritual people who celebrated their religion in sacred ceremonies of dance and song.

An Inflicted Nation 1543-1834

Spanish exploration of Alta California began with the voyage of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542.  This would be the first contact between Europeans and Native Californians.  In 1769, Gaspar de Portola’s expedition of Spanish soldiers and Franciscan padres would be the first recorded contact in Orange County between the Acjachemen and Spanish.  WIth the advent of Spanish occupation of California in 1769, the native peoples were integrated into the mission system.  By 1776, Father Junipera Serra, charged with establishing missions in Alta California, founded the seventh mission known as the Mission San Juan Capistrano.  The Acjachemen were forced to adapt to a new way of life and system of beliefs which were foreign to them.  The newcomers also introduced diseases which inflicted a loss of over 60% of the Acjachemen population.  The Mission San Juan Capistrano was established upon an Acjachemen sacred site and was the basis for a new identity for the Acjachemen who were then named San Juaneños by the padres.

A Transformed Nation 1835-1940

In 1821, Mexico achieved independence from Spain leading to the liberation of the Juaneños by Mexican Governor Figueroa in October 1833.  With the Mexican occupation of Alta California, the Acjachemen/Juaneños became transformed into citizens of Mexico overnight and thus adopted Mexican culture, names, and a second language.  The Mission San Juan Capistrano became dismantled, secularized, and abandoned.  The Mission San Juan Capistrano was placed on public auction in 1845 by order of Mexican Governor Pio Pico.  Don Juan Forster, and English settler, then purchased the Mission San Juan Capistrano for $710.  By 1848, Mexican and American troops were at war over the western territory.  Having defeated the Mexican army, American forces negotiated the surrender of California to the United States via the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  Thus, the Republic of California was established in 1850 and California became the 31st state in the American Union.  This opened the flood gates to American immigrants into southern California.  The Acjachemen were forced again to adopt another foreign culture and a third language — English.  American Indian Agents sent Native children to far-away boarding schools, while their parents learned the new rancho occupations.  Native Americans would remain foreigners to the United States until the passing of the Federal American Indian Citizenship Act of 1928.  The California Mission Indian Federation was founded during the early 1900s to fight for California Indian Native rights and recognition.  Acjachemen representation within the Federation was in the form of traditional clan leaders called Capitane.

A Sovereign Nation 1941 – Present

Clarence Lobo became the first Acjachemen leader to formalize a government to government exchange between the Acjachemen Nation and Washington, D.C.  The Acjachemen were one of hundreds of tribes across North America to be overlooked as living tribes by Washington.  And thus began the pursuit for Federal Recognition of the Acjachemen Nation.  Clarence Lobo led this charge until is death in the 1980s.  During the 1980s, formal governmental structure was established and elected Tribal Council was inaugurated.  An official petition for Federal Recognition was submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Acknowledgement and Research (BAR) in August of 1982.  All Federal requirements were finalized and submitted in September 1999.  The Acjachemen Nation currently waits on a Ready for Active Consideration list for BAR’s attention and then finally Federal Recognition.  The Acjachemen Nation today is an organized, democratic body comprised of a membership of over 2,300 members.  Elected Tribal Council Members serve 4-year terms and direct the affairs of the Tribe.  Various Tribal duties are delegated to Committees including Culture, Archaeology, Education, Community Events, Basketweavers, and others.  The Acjachemen culture and language lives on in ceremony, traditional songs, and history. [from]

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Orange County Housing Report: The Luxury End is Back, But Tread Carefully!

2015 marks the year that the high end fully recovered posting the highest

number of $1 million plus home sales since 2005.

The Luxury Market: one-third of all homes that are listed “for sale” are over $1 million.


Today, there are only 205 total foreclosures and short sales on the active listing market in Orange County. In contrast, there are 2,040 homes priced at $1 million and up. In October, there were 348 sales at $1 million and up; yet, there were only 86 closed distressed sales. The distressed market is down to 2007 numbers, edging closer to pre-recession days. It’s almost no longer worth mentioning. On the other hand, the luxury market is back with a vengeance, posting numbers in 2015 that have not been seen since 2005, one of the hottest years in Orange County real estate.

For the luxury homeowner, this is great news. But, don’t misread this. Just because the luxury housing market’s numbers are back, it is not a pass to place a home “for sale” and have instantaneous success. Instead, it’s a tough market with tremendous competition among other luxury sellers. The number of buyers that can afford to purchase in the higher ranges is much more limited, so it takes a bit longer for realistic sellers to find success.

 Luxury homeowners are much more apt to overprice their homes. Yes, overpricing is rampant in every range, but it is at an epidemic level in the upper ranges. In taking a closer look at the 348 closed sales at $1 million and up, 83% had to reduce the asking price at least once in order to find success.

The biggest issue in the luxury market is that many homeowners place their homes on the market with expectations based upon articles written about the feverish pitch of the Orange County housing market for the past few years. They hear about multiple offers and closed sales higher than their asking prices. Homes are seemingly selling about as fast as they come on. But, you have to be careful in what you read. There are price ranges that are extremely hot, but they are primarily referring to homes priced between $250,000 and $750,000. That range accounted for 72% of all closed sales in October. The luxury price range only accounted for 14% of all closed sales.

Luxury sellers quickly find out the hard way that their market is vastly different than the Orange County housing market that they read about. Homes don’t necessarily fly off the market.

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November 20th meeting Laguna Friends of Architecture presents the architecture of Native California Indians

Come and join architecturally passionate friends for a presentation on the unique California native architecture on Friday, November 20th at 6 o’clock at Studio 12.

When the Spanish first arrived in today’s California there were over sixty tribes throughout the West Coast.  Each had their own traditional cultures and different environmental and climatic factors to deal with. This resulted in a wide assortment of buildings types and styles, based on the local resources of materials available.  

The result is a fascinating array of different creatively built structures that will be shown and discussed by cultural anthropologist, Stephen O’Neil. The presentation will present a review of structures, including residences for nuclear families and lineage groups, sweat lodges, ceremonial structures, granaries and workshop shelters.  The range of materials will also be shown, including brush structures of willow and tule, bark slab lean-tos, cabins of timber, semi- and fully subterranean structures, and open enclosures.

O’Neil also has archaeological experience, mostly on Native American prehistoric sites, but also Spanish, Mexican and American period adobes.  He has published in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly and many more journals. 

LFA looks forward to seeing you on Friday, November 20th at 6 o’clock at Studio 12 starting with some wine to get you in the mood.


Yurok – Humboldt County


Maidu – Chico County