Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. will host a tribute to Elisabeth Brown, Ph.D. during its annual 7 p.m. meeting on Feb. 27 at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive. Brown will step down as president of the organization after 37 years, but continue to serve on its board. Vice President Norm Grossman will serve as interim president while the board considers candidates to fill the position long-term
Brown is well-known throughout Laguna Beach and Orange County as a scientist, naturalist, and effective proponent of open space and wildlife preservation in Orange County. “For [more than] 30 years Elisabeth has been synonymous with the Greenbelt. No one person can replace her, it will take the entire board to fill her role,” Grossman said.
Brown joined the organization in 1980 to learn more about the natural history of the area. Laguna Greenbelt, Inc., founded by Jim Dilley, was an early champion of protecting the canyon from large building projects. “We knew we were going to be in a fight for the canyon, and I realized if I wanted to talk about the natural history, it needed to be saved,” Brown said.
“Moving forward, my goals are to see a functioning wildlife corridor in existence and the Laguna Greenbelt as the recognized protector of open spaces and all that make them special,” Grossman said. “Thankfully, Liz is not leaving the Greenbelt board, only moving to a position where she can concentrate her efforts on making the Irvine-Laguna Wildlife Corridor a reality.”
Unitarians Present ‘Divine Resonance, A Journey Into Sacred Sound’
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 429 Cypress Way, invites all to an experience of sound healing presented by Stacy Pendleton chanting in Sanskrit, toning, and playing singing bowls, with a guided meditation interwoven throughout the experience at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.
Brooke Briggs Joins Messy Church Feb. 23
Brooke Briggs will join Barbara Crowley in leading Messy Church, Sunday, Feb. 23, at Laguna Beach United Methodist Church. Briggs, who has recently joined LBUMC’s staff as children and family ministries coordinator, is the director and teacher of Magic Steps Music Classes in Laguna Beach and Laguna Niguel.
Messy Church, which is held 4-6 p.m. monthly, is a multi-generational gathering that welcomes people who seek spirituality but are not comfortable in a traditional church setting. “February’s Messy Church is God’s valentine to the world,” said Crowley. “We’ll make sweets for those we know and tokens for those who might need a little surprise love.”
For those who like experiments, there will be an exploration of the miracle of how love grows and stretches. There also may be a little magic. Games will give an opportunity to grow friendships and trust with one another.
All are invited to Messy Church, where a communal meal is always served in addition to the other activities. An RSVP is helpful, but not required, and a $5 donation is suggested. For more information or to RSVP, contact lbumc.org or call 949-499-3088. Laguna Beach United Church is located at 21632 Wesley Drive, up the street from Gelson’s Shopping Center.
Public Invited to Give Trolley Input
The City of Laguna Beach is inviting members of the public to provide input on Neighborhood Trolley services, routes and usage at three upcoming listening sessions and through participating in an online survey.
Three public listening sessions regarding Neighborhood Trolley service will be held at the Laguna Beach Community and Susi Q Center. The first session on Feb. 24 from 6-7 p.m. will focus on the Top of the World neighborhoods and routes; the second session on Feb. 26 from 6-7 p.m. will focus on Bluebird Canyon and Arch Beach Heights neighborhoods and routes; and the March 9 session from 6-7 p.m. will focus on North and South Laguna neighborhoods served by the Coastal Route. The public is invited to attend any or all of the sessions to provide input or ask questions about Neighborhood Trolley service.
The public is also invited to take an online survey to provide feedback regarding Neighborhood Trolley service by visiting: bit.ly/NeighborhoodTransitSurvey2020. Printed copies of the survey will also be made available for the public at the Susi Q Center and at City Hall.
For more information, contact Michael Litschi, Deputy Director of Public Works, Transit and Parking, at 949-497-0303 or [email protected].
Peace Prayer for Laia Hansen
A community peace prayer is set for Sunday, Feb. 23, at 5 p.m. at Main Beach (north side of the Lifeguard Tower) for Laia Hansen, a long-time Top of the World teacher who recently passed away.
“Even though she spent many difficult years battling cancer, it never slowed her enthusiasm for life and others,” event organizers said in a statement. “She truly exemplified a loving grandmother, a devoted mom, a thoughtful sister, a passionate teacher at Top of the World (CLC), and a best friend to all. Laia exuded love and peace. Plans for her service are unknown at this time, but we would like to come together as a community to honor her with a peace prayer.”
Laguna Presbyterian Celebrates 75th Anniversary of Troop 35
Sunday, Feb. 9, marked the first anniversary of girls being admitted to Laguna’s Troop 35 of Scouts BSA (formerly known as Boy Scouts of America) and the 75th anniversary of the troop’s founding.
Laguna Presbyterian Church, recognizing the value of scouting to all young people, opened a troop for girls last February allowing them to pursue the path toward Eagle Scout, a statement from Tom Fay, Laguna Presbyterian Chartered Organization Representative, said.
Laguna Beach’s “Girl Troop” will hold an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Laguna Presbyterian Church’s Youth Center. Girls ages 11 and over interested in learning more can contact Tanya Hovanesian at [email protected]. Boys 11 and over interested in Laguna Beach “Boy Troop” can contact Kimberly Leeds at [email protected].
The boy and girl troops hold some joint activities, such as Scout Sunday. Camping, meetings and other activities are often separate events, allowing youth to develop leadership skills and bonds with same-gender peers.
At the Court of Honor award ceremony, “Girl Troop” scoutmaster Jane Heath presented each girl with a special award for being a “Founding Member” of the troop, as well as merit badges and rank advancements the girls have earned in the last several months. “Scouting has been incredibly fun, and it’s inspiring to see how many girls are joining us. Together we will be among the first female Eagle Scouts,” scout Ani Hovanesian said.
Republicans Announce Meeting and Speaker
All Republicans, Independents and Libertarians are invited to attend the LBGOP February meeting from 6-7:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 27, at Mozambique, 1740 S. Coast Highway. Stephen Frank of the California Republican Party will speak on the 2020 election. Frank is publisher of California Political News and Views (capoliticalreview.com) and a frequent guest on talk radio. RSVP to [email protected].
City Announces New Voting Process
The City of Laguna Beach has partnered with the Orange County Registrar of Voters to make voting more convenient in the upcoming Presidential Primary Election.
Voters have the option to vote in person at one of two Vote Centers in Laguna Beach: the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Center, 380 3rd Street or American Legion Post 222, 384 Legion Street. Both locations will be open Saturday, Feb. 29, Sunday, March 1 and Monday, March 2 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday, Election Day, March 3, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
All registered voters in Orange County will receive a vote-by-mail ballot, which can be mailed anytime on or before March 3. The mail in ballot can also be dropped off at ballot drop boxes located at the Laguna Beach Library, 363 Glenneyre Street, the Laguna Beach Community & Susi Q Center, 380 3rd Street or the American Legion Post 222, 384 Legion Street.
During the election, traffic on 3rd Street and Park Avenue could be impacted. The city advises residents to take alternate morning routes on Monday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 3.
Residents can also vote at any regional Vote Center. Visit ocvote.com for a list of the Vote Centers and more information regarding the upcoming Presidential Primary Election. Contact Laguna Beach City Clerk Lisette Chel-Walker at 949-497-0309 or [email protected] with additional questions about voting locally in Laguna Beach.
Women’s Giving Circle Funds Equipment for Saddleback Medical Center
Beauty In Grace, MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center’s women’s giving circle, held their annual member luncheon Feb. 4 at Montage Laguna Beach. Each year, Beauty In Grace pools its $1,000 membership gifts to make a donation to a women’s health service at the medical center. This year, they donated $75,000 to purchase bilirubin screening units for Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum (LDRP) along with other equipment needed for pregnant mothers during high-risk deliveries.
“Your generosity is enabling us to purchase equipment that is vital to the excellent care we provide in The Women’s Hospital,” said Beauty In Grace Chair Cathy Han.
The Ranch Earns Forbes Travel Guide Award
Forbes Travel Guide, the global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas, presented The Ranch at Laguna Beach with a new Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Hotel award, a statement said.
Spread over 87 acres, The Ranch features 97 guest rooms and suites, the only golf course in Laguna Beach, a 3,000 square foot indoor/outdoor spa and a robust activity program for guests of all ages. The Harvest Restaurant offers seasonal California comfort food and grab-and-go items at Ben’s Pantry. The Ranch is also California’s only member of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World program.
“On behalf of the entire team at The Ranch, we are honored to receive a Recommended ranking for the Forbes Travel Guide,” said Kurt Bjorkman, general manager of The Ranch “We are committed to providing an authentic and relaxing Laguna Beach experience for our guests.”
Laguna Proclaimed a Tree City USA Community
Laguna Beach has been recognized as a 2019 Tree City USA community by the Arbor Day Foundation, a statement from the city said. The city also received the award for 2018. The Tree City USA program is sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.
The 2019 Tree City USA designation will be celebrated at the annual Arbor Day event from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 12, at Lang Park (at the corner of Coast Highway and Wesley Drive). A tree planting ceremony will tentatively start at 4 p.m. For more information, contact Nate Faris, city arborist, at 949-715-0821 or [email protected].
Four core standards of sound Urban Forestry Management are required to receive the recognition: maintaining a tree board or department/division responsible for tree care, having a community tree ordinance, spending at least $2 per capita on urban forestry, and holding an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.
In 2019, the City of Laguna Beach also hired a new city arborist to lead the city’s Urban Forest Management Program and Tree Care Services.