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What's up this week in the Village

In the spotlight this week:
- Tickets on Sale for Spring Celebrity Series at Clubhouse 3
- Valentine Dinner Dance on February 14
- Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 8
- Fun Club Happenings!

Read on for what's up!

Clubhouse 2 Renovation Project

GRF has established an ad hoc committee that will be tasked with preparing recommendations for the renovation of Clubhouse 2.

The Committee is currently researching fiscally responsible renovation options that will maintain Clubhouse 2’s current structure while enhancing its functionality. Work will also be necessary to bring the building into compliance with current building codes.

Keep reading for current information on the Clubhouse 2 Renovation Project.

Tickets on Sale Now for Spring Celebrity Series at Clubhouse 3

Tickets are on sale now for the Spring Celebrity Series!  This year’s star-studded lineup includes a comedy and magic Show, a tribute to Willie Nelson, a tribute to the Ladies of Film, and a Big Band Wartime Review.

Tickets are available now at the Clubhouse 3 Box Office. Ticket prices for reserved seating are $23, or $80 for the series. Value seating is only $15, or $50 for series. If you have any questions please call the Clubhouse 3 Box Office at 949-597-4288.

Keep reading for details!

Free Guitar Workshop on Feb. 4

Have you ever wanted to learn to play the guitar, but thought it was too hard to learn or just didn’t have the time? Well, here is your chance to experience a sample. The Recreation Division presents a FREE Guitar Workshop with experienced instructor, Cherri Farrah. Cherri has discovered a fun and simple way to teach the basic building blocks of mastering the guitar and is trained on the six string, twelve string, classical and Spanish guitar.

The workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 4 from 2 -3 p.m. at Clubhouse 2 in Dining Room 3 and will cover guitar history and basics followed with Q & A time. No registration is needed so feel free to drop by. Please bring pencil, paper and your guitar for a complimentary tuning.

This workshop is for Laguna Woods Village residents ONLY, call the Recreation Division for more information at 597-4273.

Chinese New Year Celebration on Feb. 8

The Recreation Division is excited to present Laguna Woods Village’s 5th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration Sunday, February 8 at the Clubhouse 3 Theater. The Year of Goat officially begins on Feb. 19, 2015 (the Lunar New Year / Chinese Spring Festival) and ends on Feb. 7, 2016.

Join us for a colorful and exciting evening filled with Chinese folk dances, music and songs. All performed by our Laguna Woods Village residents as well as dancers and musicians from surrounding Chinese communities. Accompanied by an Erhu (Chinese violin) master from China.

The doors and GRF no-host bar will open at 6:00 p.m., entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now for assigned seating, and may be purchased at the Clubhouse 3 Box-Office while supplies last. Tickets are $5 each. The deadline for refunds is February 9. For more information, call 597-4288, 597-4289.

GRF January 6 Board Meeting Highlights

In what may have been the longest GRF meeting in recorded history, the Board tackled a variety of issues on January 6, 2015. Several of those issues of interest to members were raised at the very opening of the meeting during Members Comments. Specifically, one member addressed concern over the lack of AEDs or defibrillators which can deliver an electric jolt to the heart muscle when such an event strikes an individual. When it came to time for the board to respond we learned there was significant risk of liability if the affected individual failed to survive and this becomes an issue for our attorney to address. While the Board expressed concern for the person needing an AED, it also must be concerned with the significant liability issue.

New Meditation Class starting at Clubhouse 2

The Recreation Division is proud to add a new Monday afternoon meditation class. Instructor Zahir Movius will meet with residents on Mondays at Clubhouse 2 in the Main Lounge, starting January 5, 2015. The class will be held from 3:30 PM -5:00 PM every Monday. 

Students will learn meditation and healing practices using sacred fire. Zahir will be teaching the practice and benefits of meditation; how to use fire, and the other elements: water, earth, air and sky, for self-healing, including relief of stress and negativity. Zahir has over 12 years of experience as a Zen Buddhist monk in California and Japan, 10 years of experience as a Sufi instructor of the Dances of Universal Peace, certified facilitator of Grof Holotropic Breathwork, and graduate of the Four Winds Society, school of shamanic light healing.

Classes are FREE and drop-in; no registration is required. Nothing is needed for the class - chairs will be provided. If you would like to sit on the floor, bring a yoga mat. Recreation Division coordinated classes are for Laguna Woods Village residents ONLY. Call 597-4273 for more information.

Corporate Members elect four new GRF Directors

John Beckett, Jo Ann di Lorenzo, Kathryn Freshley, and Kim Shirley were elected to the Golden Rain Foundation board by a vote of the Corporate Members at the Golden Rain Foundation Annual Meeting on November 12.

Their terms will expire in November 2017.

Immediately following the Annual Meeting, the Golden Rain Foundation appointed new officers at their Organizational Meeting; The new officers are:

President: Kathryn Freshley
First Vice President: Lucy Shimon
Second Vice President: Sharon Roddan
Secretary: Mary Stone
Treasurer: Margaret Klein

Congratulations to the new GRF Directors!

Community Access is currently processing vehicle decals for 2015

Community Access is currently processing vehicle decals for 2015.  The new “5” year sticker is orange in color, and year stickers with instructions on how to apply it to the existing vehicle decal are expected to be mailed by the end of December.  Please be advised 2014 decals will be valid through Sunday, February 1, 2015 in order to provide time for delivery and application.   Please do not to go to Community Access directly for the “5” year sticker.  Only residents with vehicles that currently do not display a Vehicle Decal should visit Community Access for a new decal.  Please contact Community Access at 949-597-4443 with any questions.

Exception:  the Third Laguna Hills Mutual Board of Directors, on April 15, 2014, adopted Resolution 03-14-43 which provides a Resident Vehicle Decal Limit for residents of Third Mutual.  The limit is based on the number of original bedrooms in a manor.  Specifically, up to two vehicle decals can be issued for a one-bedroom manor;  and up to three vehicle decals can be issued for two- and three- bedroom manors.  Also, up to two vehicle decals for golf carts and/or golf cars can be issued regardless of the number of bedrooms.   This rule will be applied to the Vehicle Decal program for 2015.  Therefore, residents  in Third Mutual who are in violation of the rule will not receive year stickers via mail; affected residents will instead receive a letter with instructions on how to obtain year stickers for the vehicles they wish to retain.   If you live in Third Mutual and have more vehicles than allowed, please come into Community Access at your earliest convenience to turn in any excess decals and have the records updated.  This will help to avoid delays in processing your 2015 Vehicle Decal renewals.

United Mutual to Launch Monthly E-Mail Newsletter for its Residents

The United Laguna Woods Mutual Board is set to launch a monthly e-mail newsletter to keep its residents informed about news and events in United Mutual. The newsletter will be sent each month shortly following the regular Board meeting. Topics will include: a message from the President of United Mutual, Board information (including operating rule additions or changes), topics of interest, and project updates and highlights.

“The United Board endeavors to expand opportunities for enhanced communication with the residents,” said Pat English, United Board President, “To achieve this goal, the Board has created a monthly e-mail newsletter. I hope the residents of United find this publication informative and useful.”

Residents of United who would like to receive this free monthly e-mail newsletter may sign up by clicking here. Current editions will be available on the website under Resident Links, Boards and Committees, United Mutual. A small number of printed copies of the e-mail newsletter will be available in the Community Center lobby for residents of United who do not have access to e-mail.

United Mutual to realize 13 million gallons a year in water savings

The El Toro Water District (ETWD) is on its way to saving more than 13 million gallons of water per year through a toilet replacement program.  To understand what 13 million gallons looks like, just imagine 13 football field-sized swimming pools at ten feet deep.

ETWD applied for a rebate on behalf of the United Mutual community in Laguna Woods Village, and recently received approval for $90,000 in rebates to replace toilets through a program sponsored by the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

“The largest amount of water used inside your home goes toward flushing the toilet,” said MWDOC Water Use Efficiency Program Manager Joe Berg.  “Our rebate programs for replacing old fixtures with new high efficiency ones makes it a win-win for everyone, and most importantly helps fight the drought.”

PCM Landscape Manager assists University of California in Integrated Pest Management Education

An estimated 75,000 Spanish-speaking landscapers work in Southern California. Many lack adequate expertise in IPM and safe use of pesticides, in part due to the rarity of training opportunities in Spanish. Increasing educational services stressing pest prevention to this large clientele – which has quadrupled over 20 years – can significantly reduce overuse and misuse of pesticides in urban environments and improve the health and safety of the work environment for this important segment of the profession.

Thanks in large part to Laguna Woods Village Landscape Manager Jerry Rathje, over 600 Spanish-speaking landscapers have been trained under a contract between University of California Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to reduce ground and surface water pollution leading to water quality degradation.

Ongoing Italian Language class meets on Thursdays at Clubhouse 5

Buongiorno, Laguna Woods Village!  “Let’s Speak Italian” is an ongoing Italian Language class that meets on Thursdays at Clubhouse 5 in Multi-Purpose Room #2.

Resident instructors Joseph LaFranca & Carl Distefano will teach each class beginning at 3:00 p.m. and will continue to meet each Thursday. The course will emphasize elementary Italian focusing on vocabulary building and grammar. Intermediate and advanced levels will be added on as needed.  Please check with the instructor for additional details.

Students of all levels are welcome to join anytime. This class is a free drop-in class for Laguna Woods Village residents ONLY. For more information call 597-4273.

Network Channel Location Changes

As Broadband Services has increased the number of Digital Sub-Channels that can be seen on HD TV’s, while adding the channels to our line-up, there were some network channel location changes.  Here is a list of where you can now locate the following channels on your HD TV.


Broadband Services Increases Channel Line-up

Broadband Services customers will enjoy an increase in available local programming by mid-September with the addition of 19 local channels & 1 Digital College Sports Channel.


El Toro Water District Declares a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage

The El Toro Water District (ETWD) Board of Directors declared a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage Aug. 15, 2014 in response to the State Regional Control Board’s (SWRCB) Emergency Conservation Regulations limiting outdoor water use.

Under a Level 1 Water Supply Shortage, lawn watering is limited to three days per week during the months of April through October.  In the months of November through March, lawn watering is limited to one day during the week.

“The District recognizes and thanks its customers for taking measures to conserve water, but we need to do more in these extraordinary circumstances.  We are in a serious drought,” said ETWD General Manager Bob Hill.

Effective Aug. 30, 2014, ETWD residents and businesses must comply with limited irrigation schedules based on their city of residence.  Aliso Viejo and Mission Viejo are scheduled for Mon., Thu. and Sat. or Sun.  Laguna Hills, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest are scheduled for Tue., Fri., and Sat. or Sun. “These state mandates require the District’s compliance.  We will work diligently to educate our customers about what this means – what we are doing, what they can do and how we can assist them in reducing their water usage.” said Hill.

In addition to the limited irrigation schedule, the SWRCB ordered four prohibited activities:

- No direct application of potable (drinking) water to driveways and sidewalks.
- No watering of outdoor landscapes that cause runoff to adjacent property, walkways, roadways, parking lots or structures.
- Use of a hose to wash a vehicle, unless using a positive shut-off nozzle.
- Use of potable water in a non-recirculating fountain/decorative water feature.

50th Anniversary Book Available from the Historical Society

Get your limited edition copy of "Laguna Woods Village at 50 Years" from the Laguna Woods Historical Society now!

The full color, hard copy book chronicles the history of Laguna Woods from predevelopment to the present. The price is $50.00 (including sales tax).  The first 250 books sold will be signed by the three authors.  The Historical Society will print a total of 1,000 books, each of which will be numbered.  The book will not be reprinted.

The books are now available for purchase, each weekday, at the Historical Society building next to Clubhouse 1 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Click here to download the order form.

Questions about SCE Streetlights

Residents have noticed some streetlights have become brighter in recent weeks. According to Frank Wasko, Southern California Edison (SCE) Regional Manager, “SCE has replaced the old mercury vapor walk way lights In Laguna Woods that were installed in the 1970's with brand new high pressure sodium vapor lights.” Questions about the new streetlights should be directed to SCE Customer Service at 1-800-655-4555.

OCVCD Tips to Avoid West Nile Virus Infection

West Nile virus is on the rise in Orange County. According to ABC 7 news, Six Santa Ana residents have been infected, as well as one each in Costa Mesa, Orange and Laguna Niguel. The district has found 105 dead birds carrying the virus in north county cities.

According to Orange County Vector Control Division (OCVCD), the best way to prevent West Nile Virus infection is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Keep reading for tips on mosquito bite prevention.

Community Project Updates

The Village boards and managing agent strive to maintain a beautiful and sound community, so there are always multiple maintenance and landscaping projects going on in Laguna Woods Village! Click through for brief updates on many ongoing maintenance and landscape projects in and around the community.

MORE Music choices added to the Digital Deluxe Package

Music lovers can now enjoy MORE of their favorite music with the Digital Deluxe package.  GRF Broadband Services has increased its listening options to over 40 music channels covering several different genres.

More music choice:   

900         Beautiful Instruments
901         Jazz Vocal Blend
906         Alternative
910         60’s Revolution
921         Classic Hits Blend
924         Today’s Hits
925         Retro Disco
926         Groove Lounge
932         Big Band Swing
934         Great Standards
938         Y2K Hits

The music channels are only available to customers with a Set-Top Box and who subscribe to the Digital Deluxe Package.

The addition of these channels was automatic. No action is required from subscribers to receive these channels.

A complete digital channel line-up is available at the Laguna Woods Village Community Center or

GRF Announces More Channels Available in HD

GRF Broadband Services has added 14 popular channels in High Definition (HD) to the cable line-up. Now, HD subscribers with an HDTV and an HD or DVR Set-Top Box can enjoy over 110 HD channels (some channels require a Premium Movie Package subscription).

Third Mutual Provides Monthly Newsletter for its Residents

The Third Laguna Hills Mutual Board is now publishing a monthly e-mail newsletter to keep its residents informed about news and events in Third Mutual. The newsletter will be sent to email subscribers each month. Topics include: a message from the President of Third Mutual, Board information (including operating rule additions or changes), setting the record straight, and project updates and highlights.

Residents of Third who would like to receive this free monthly e-mail newsletter may sign up by clicking “Sign up for Our Newsletter” on the top right corner of this page. To see the current edition, click Resident Links, Boards and Committees, Third Mutual, or click here.

A small number of printed copies of the e-mail newsletter will be available in the Community Center on the first floor in the racks outside of the Recreation Department, and at each of the clubhouses, for residents of Third who do not have access to e-mail.

Laguna Woods Village featured on 60 Minutes

Sunday, May 4, on 60 Minutes, Lesley Stahl reported on the groundbreaking 90+ study conducted by Dr. Claudia Kawas at UCI that has revealed some unexpected findings. Several Laguna Woods Village residents were a part of the study.

In case you missed it, the full episode of 60 Minutes is available to watch at for free! Click below to watch:

Significant Projects and Achievements 2013/2014

On September 10, 2014, Laguna Woods Village celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Laguna Woods Village is not just a great place to live, it’s a lifestyle opportunity, an ideal environment for those transitioning from careers and work to active retirement.

50 years ago, a community was born. We now we look to the future, and 50 more years of Resort Living, California Style.

Click here to download the Projects and Achievements pamphlet, or keep reading for just a few examples of programs and projects that contributed to the ongoing maintenance of Laguna Woods Village.

Tips on How to Stop Junk Mail

Tired of all of those unsolicited credit card offers clogging up your mailbox? Sick of lugging catalogs and junk mail to the recycling bin? All of this unwanted mail creates nothing but headaches and wasted paper, so it’s no wonder putting an end to it is a priority for many people. While you can’t eliminate everything, you can noticeably reduce the avalanche of paper in your mailbox just by picking up the phone or hopping online.

Here are a few simple ways to put a kibosh on the heaps of junk mail that keep piling up:

So Long, Pre-Screened Credit Offers: If your credit is anywhere near good, credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion—are selling your name to credit card companies as a hot prospect. That’s why you’re getting those “you’ve been pre-approved” offers every day.

Put an end to it by calling 1-888-5-OPT-OUT (1-888-567-8688). You will need to provide your name, address, telephone number, Social Security number and date of birth to ensure your opt-out request matches your credit record rather than someone else who shares your name. You can also opt out via the Internet at:

Keep reading for more tips on cutting down on junk mail!

Free Donation Pickups from Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is offering free donations pickups for useable furniture, clothing, and household goods. Below are the items they are looking for:

Children's Clothing
Household Goods
Men's Clothing
Women's Clothing
Computer Systems

You can schedule a pickup by calling 1-800-728-7825 or by clicking here to go to their website to schedule the pickup. There are also drop-off locations which you can find by clicking here.


Construction Begins on I-5 South County Improvements

Measure M Logo SmallDrivers will see construction activity ramping up on the San Diego (I-5) Freeway in South Orange County as crews begin work on a $249 million traffic-relief project.

The Measure M I-5 South County Improvement Project will add a carpool lane in both directions between San Juan Capistrano and San Clemente, as well as rebuild the Avenida Pico interchange in San Clemente.

Learn more about the project and view closures and a detour map at

OCTA has launched a new way to receive I-5 South County Improvement Project information! Simply text SOUTHOC5INFO to 67076 to begin receiving weekly text message alerts with important closure and detour information.

For additional information or questions, email or call 1 (800) 724-0353.

Political Candidates: Rules for Distribution of Materials

Campaign season has begun, and Village residents may notice political publications on their front door thresholds. Political candidates and their volunteers/workers must obtain a Pass to Distribute Information from the Community Access Department before entering and distributing publications in the Community.

The GRF rules only permit candidates and their volunteers/workers to leave publications at the thresholds of front doors. Publications may not be distributed in community facilities, on vehicles, on doors, in mail boxes, posted on trees, street light poles, gates/fences or any other surface within the community. The Pass to Distribute Information does not allow the candidate or their volunteers/workers access to any community amenities or facilities.

Keep reading...

United Mutual Seeking Resident Comments on Bylaws

During the current United Bylaws review, the United Governing Documents Review Ad Hoc Committee invites comments from United Members to ensure their opinions are considered during this important review process. Submissions will be accepted using the established form, available for members’ convenience in two formats: a handwritten form available for a designated deposit-box in the Community Center lobby, or by electronic form on the Village website.

Keep reading for instructions...


ETWD Expands Recycled Water Treatment and Distribution

 Background: El Toro Water District (ETWD) has undertaken a comprehensive, multi-phase Recycled Water Expansion Project that will enhance local water supplies and reliability, reduce dependence on imported water and expand recycled water deliveries to meet future customer demand.

The Recycled Water Expansion Project includes two components:

• The District will expand its existing Water Recycling Plant to allow for the delivery of up to 1,675 acre feet per year of recycled water. One acre foot of water is the equivalent of enough water for two families of four for a year.

• Simultaneously, the District will construct approximately 100,000 feet or 19 miles of recycled water pipeline beneath the roadways in Laguna Woods and the northwest portion of Laguna Hills. 

Fact Sheet about Recycled Water Expansion Project

Smart Map which illustrates current and upcoming construction

ETWD Recycled Water Expansion Project Website

Keep reading...

Development around Oakbrook Village Shopping Center

On November 13 2012, the Laguna Hills City County approved a transformative two-phase redevelopment proposal for the existing Oakbrook Village Shopping Center.

Keep reading for details and to view a site plan...


Please be aware of these different types of scams which have been reported recently by some Village residents.

Always practice caution when opening e-mails from unknown senders. Be especially cautious of e-mails received from a funeral home condoling the death of an unnamed "beloved friend." Clicking the link in these messages will open a computer virus.

Keep reading for two examples of funeral home scam e-mails, and for more reported scams.

Video Tour of Laguna Woods Village
Be the first to experience Resort Living, California Style as you are guided through this coastal community located in beautiful Southern California. Keep reading to watch a brief YouTube tour of the Community.