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Briefly In Business

Art Hotel ‘best’ in discount category

Art Hotel "” Laguna Beach has been voted “best discount hotel" on Citysearch, an online local guide.

“We always try to provide the best value and comfort in Laguna Beach," said owner-manager Gail Duncan. “It is an honor to be recognized by Citysearch users in Southern California."

The 28-room hotel in North Laguna boasts a heated pool and Jacuzzi with coastal views and many in-room amenities. The hotel is at 1404 N. Coast Hwy. For more information, call (949) 494-06464. To view voting results, visit


League honors bag merchant

Fay Badamchian, owner of Laguna Hand Bags, was honored during National Volunteer Week by the Laguna Beach Assistance League for 15 years of donations to the league’s thrift shop, 526 Glenneyre St.

League President Joan Schnitter said Badamchian “exemplifies a person who voluntarily takes action year-round to strengthen their community." Badamchian, who has owned Laguna Hand Bags for 25 years, donates a variety of merchandise, including hats, handbags, sandals and sunglasses to the thrift shop as well as to other organizations.

Laguna Hand Bags is at 490 S. Coast Hwy.


Tabu Grill helps boy with autism

Tabu Grill recently hosted a wine dinner to assist a local family with an autistic child. The family of 7-year-old Koa Bartholomew, whose aunt, Momi Bartholomew, works at Tabu, needed funds for an individual educational assessment to determine how to best educate Koa, according to Maile Bartholomew, another aunt.

The Bartholomew family started the Hope for Koa project in March after Koa’s parents attended an autism advocacy conference.

“The economy is no excuse for Koa not to succeed to his fullest potential; we are part of a close-knit, loving community who want to help," said Maile Bartholomew. For more information, visit or

Balestra joins Newport law firm

Melanie Balestra has joined Cummins & White LLP, a business and insurance law firm based in Newport Beach. As part of the health-care practice group, she will focus on issues that affect health-care providers, including nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists and dentists.

Balestra will represent clients before their respective boards in California and Arizona and assists health-care providers in setting up practice in a variety of areas including family practice, aesthetic medicine and other specialty areas. She will also handle medical malpractice insurance coverage and defense work. Balestra also is a pediatric nurse practitioner and will continue her work at the Laguna Beach Community Clinic.

For more information, visit