Officer James Michaud and Community Services Officer Niki Hernandez were honored as the police department’s 2014 employees of the year at the annual Police Appreciation Breakfast hosted by the Laguna Beach Exchange Club this past Thursday, Jan. 22.
Police employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty while performing their jobs were recognized and several members were awarded medals for acts of heroism from significant events that occurred over the last few years Capt. Jason Kravetz said in a statement.
Hoops are On Again in Bluebird Park
Maintenance and resurfacing of the Bluebird Park basketball court has been completed and the court is now open, the city manager’s weekly report says.
New Hires Join the Force
Two new police officers were hired by the Laguna Beach Police Department last week.
Michele Maraj was a police officer in Fairfax, Va., for four years and holds a bachelor’s degree in social science.
Jordan Mirakian has worked as a police officer for 15 years with the San Diego Community College and San Diego State University. He has an associate degree in administration of justice and most recently served as a supervisor.
They will both begin by undergoing field training, getting to know the community, the city manager’s report says.
Re-financing Reduces Tax Bills
Debt issued to pay for undergrounding utility poles in six neighborhood assessment districts has been refinanced into a single loan at an average interest rate of 2.5%, the city manager’s weekly update says.
The refinancing deal, approved by the City Council in December, affects 265 property owners, who will save an average of 16 percent to 40 percent on future assessment levies. The tax savings per individual parcel ranges from $217 to $644 annually compared to the initial rate.
Property owners in the Cerritos, Dunning, Terrace Way and Rim Rock district will enjoy the largest cumulative savings of $315,752, while those on Dyer Place and Smith Way will save $36,060 per year.
Discussion Begins On the Nation’s Big Issues
Members of the community are invited to join the Great Decisions discussions that begin Tuesday, Jan. 27.
Eight topics will be discussed, including, for example, privacy in the digital age, Syria’s refugee crisis, and human trafficking. A limited number of briefing books are available and others can be purchased from the Foreign Policy Association, which sponsors the discussion with the League of Women Voters and the social action committee of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Laguna Beach.
Sessions at 2 and 7 p.m. take place at the Unitarian fellowship, 429 Cypress Dr. After the introductory meeting on Jan. 27, meetings will be held weekly on Tuesdays through March.
For further information, contact Jean Raun at 949 494 2247.
Grants Available for Local Art Programs
Applications are now available from the Festival of Arts Foundation for nonprofit organizations that promote fine arts in town. The submission deadline is Feb. 13.
Foundation President Scott Moore anticipates a record number of applications for the $120,000 in funding available.
Grant applications are available online at www.LagunaFestivalofArts.org or may be picked up at the Festival of Arts administration office, 650 Laguna Canyon Road.
Questions? Contact Moore at (949) 494-9680.
Experience a New Year Transition Ritual
Living Your Gifts, a Laguna Beach health and wellness company that embraces traditional and indigenous healing methods, invites the public to experience a New Year transition ritual, an indigenous African Dagara tradition.
The ritual will take place from 7-9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at the Temple of Light, 11 Goddard, in Irvine. The cost is $20 for online pre-registration, or $25 at the door.
Register at: www.livingyourgifts.com/events. For more info, contact Susan Hough at (703) 505-5152.
Laguna Beach is Open for Business
The next Open for Business workshop, hosted by the city of Laguna Beach, takes place from 6:30-9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12 at the Laguna Beach Community Center, 380 Third St.
Workshop participants will include Planning Commissioners Norm Grossman and Linda Dietrich, representatives from the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce and Ann Larson, the city’s planning manager.
“Our goal is to be proactive in attracting new business to Laguna Beach and these workshops are designed to educate new business owners and help smooth the process for getting the doors open with the least amount of red tape and delay,” said Mayor Bob Whalen.
For more information contact Monica Tuchscher, at 949-497-0745, [email protected]
Registration for CERT Training Begins
Applications are now being taken by the Laguna Beach Police Department for the Community Emergency Response Team, trained volunteers ready to assist in case of a disaster.
Training will begin on Wednesday, March 25 and will meet weekly through May 9 from 6-9 p.m. followed by one Saturday morning exercise.
Participants must be 18, live or work in Laguna Beach, and be free of felony convictions. Mandatory attendance is required at all classes.
Deadline for Potential Grand Jurors Extended
Orange county residents who are 18 or older can apply to serve a one-year term on the grand jury, which begins July 1. The grand jury performs civil oversight of local government by reviewing and evaluating county and city agencies.
The application, due Friday, Jan. 30, and more information are available online at www.ocgrandjury.org, by calling 657-622-6747.