Town Crier: Week of Dec. 16

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Laguna Environmental Groups To Celebrate Toni Iseman Jan. 12

Toni Iseman
Laguna environmental groups will honor former Laguna Beach City Councilmember Toni Iseman Jan. 12 Photo/Greg O’Laughlin.

Toni Iseman’s history-making 24 years as a Laguna Beach City Councilmember is extraordinary, but it is her even longer commitment to environmental service that also deserves recognition. Her fierce dedication to the Save The Canyon efforts and the 1989 Walk in the Canyon are well known, and ever since that time, Iseman has been a constant promoter of expanding and preserving open space in and around Laguna Beach. In honor of her contributions, Laguna Canyon Conservancy, The Laguna Greenbelt, Village Laguna, Laguna Canyon Foundation and CANDO (Canyon Alliance of Neighborhoods Defense Organization) are co-hosting a retirement party for Toni on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023.

The party will be held at Bridge Hall in the Neighborhood Congregational Church at 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach from 6 to 8 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. It will be a luau-themed event with live music, a catered dinner, photo displays, time for tributes and special surprises. Guests are encouraged to wear Hawaiian-style attire. The public is invited, and reservations are necessary by Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The cost for dinner, which includes one glass of wine, is $25 per person for members of any of the sponsoring groups and $35 per person for non-members. One can reserve a space via the website www.lagunacanyonconservancy.org/event.

Sparks of Love Toy Drive runs through Dec. 24

Left to right: Laguna Beach Fire Chief Niko King, Fire Batallion Chief Crissy Teichmann, Fire Administrative Captain Eric Lether and Mayor Pro Tem Bob Whalen promote this year’s Spark of Love Toy Drive at Fire Station 1.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Spark of Love Toy Drive which will run from November 23 through December 24.
Toy drop-off locations include: all four Laguna Beach Fire Stations as well as City Hall and the Police Department.
Any new unwrapped toy must be in their original packaging or box. Sports equipment (balls/tennis racquets, baseball bats) is not required to have a box or package. We cannot distribute clothing, personal care items, blankets etc.
Toys to consider include board and card games, arts and craft kits, Legos, building blocks, dolls, infant toys, and youth sports equipment of all kinds.
For questions related to the Spark of Love toy drive feel free to contact Captain/Paramedic Pat Cary at [email protected]

Holiday Sing-Along on Saturday at the Garden Park from 2 to 4 p.m. 

Bring your singing voices, joyous spirit, treat or snack to share—an event for the whole family.

Members of the Garden Band will lead the singing. Enjoy the South Laguna Community Garden Park at 31610 Coast Highway. For more information and to donate SouthLaguna.org/garden.

Village Laguna Holiday Party on Dec. 19

Village Laguna‘s annual potluck Holiday Party will be held at the Laguna Presbyterian Church on Monday, Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. Included in this event will be a distribution of donations to the Laguna Beach organizations we help support. Village Laguna will provide the basics for the holiday meal – turkey, ham, rolls and condiments, soda and water. Bring your favorite side dish, salad or dessert (enough for 8 – 10) to share and enjoy festive holiday music and good cheer. All are welcome.

Surfboard Menorah Chanukah Celebration at Laguna Main Beach This Sunday

Join us at the cobblestones on Sunday at 2 p.m. for music and dancing with DJ Eldad, variety performer and illusionist Jerry Langford, crafts for the kids, face painting, dreidels, latkes, and lighting of the way cool surfboard menorah! Admission is free.

The iconic Surfboard Menorah, an idea created by staff at Chabad Laguna Beach, is constructed from surfboards donated by friends and congregants. The Surfboard Menorah was designed by Steve Sachse and shared with Laguna Beach contractors Mike Tomkins and Tony Hempen, who volunteered their time to put it together.

Kids Tie Dye Chanukah Party Dec. 20

Calling all kids Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 4:30 pm at Chabad Laguna Beach located at 30804 S. Coast Hwy.

Tie Dye your own warm Chanukah beanies, glaze some tiedye yummy donuts, and join a Chanukah dreidel spin off. Delicious treats and Menorah light up rings for all kids. Cost is $7 per child. RSVP to [email protected]

Chanukah Storytime with PJ Library at Main Beach Dec. 21

Hey kids! Join us at the Laguna Main Beach cobblestones on Dec. 21 at 4 p.m. for some Chanukah stories with your favorite PJ Library books, Crafts, Guitar sing along, Chanukah cookies decorating and lighting of the Surfboard Menorah. Admission is free. RSVP to [email protected].

Laguna Community Concert to Give Concert Dec. 18

This holiday season brings a series of free concerts to fans of the Laguna Community Concert and JaZz Bands.

The Laguna Community Concert Band performs its holiday repertoire, at the Laguna Beach High School Artists Theatre on Dec. 18 at 2 p.m. The concert features favorites such as “The Hanukkah Song,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “White Christmas,” as well as a visit from “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” and a rousing sing-a-long finale. Vocalists include Lisa Morrice, Gary Greene, and Samantha Morrice.

“We just played a concert at the Laguna Playhouse to an enthusiastic crowd on November 18,” Mark Lowery, co-conductor of The Laguna Community Concert Band said. “Everyone — audience and band — really enjoyed themselves. And that’s why we perform, to bring the joy of live music to Laguna Beach.”

Now in its 22nd season, The Laguna Community Concert Band rehearses at the Laguna Beach High School band room on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. For the latest news about the concert and jazz bands and a calendar of concerts, or if you would like to play with the band, go to the website at www.lagunaconcertband.com.

32nd Annual Sawdust Winter Fantasy Ends this Weekend

Join us this holiday season for one-of-a-kind gift shopping, festive entertainment, visits with Santa and more! Open weekends from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through Sunday. Tickets are available at sawdustartfestival.org.

Bare Bones Theatre Presents “Santa Hates Me” on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m.

A fun-filled night of holiday music, poems and tall tales that celebrate the Naughty in all of us. Starring Jason Feddy, Ava Burton, Tom Shelton, Diana Burbano and Lionel Shelton, directed by Lojo Simon. Santa does NOT want to see kids at this event, it’s rated for adult audiences. Grant funding was made possible by the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach. Limited Seating

Laguna Art Museum’s tenth annual Art & Nature Festival is currently on view through Feb. 15

Laguna Art Museum’s tenth annual Art & Nature Festival is currently on view through Feb. 15. The Art & Nature festival raises environmental awareness and explores the cross-sections between nature and the arts.

Art & Nature exhibitions include The Sea Around Us by artist Rebeca Mèndez, an immersive 360-degree video art installation, that transports viewers to an area of the Pacific Ocean located 30 miles from the Laguna Beach Coast, portraying the ocean as a fully animated body as well as a place of deep interconnectedness for all living things. Using scientific footage, the video shifts to thousands of oozing barrels of DDT on the seafloor being sampled by robotic arms. Pyramidion by artist Kelly Berg is an interactive sculptural experience that invites viewers to contemplate the layered history and unique geology of Laguna Beach. The Big One by artist Robert Young is thought to still hold the record as the largest painting ever created in Laguna Beach and is on display in the California Gallery. Five Summer Stories: The Exhibition, is presented in partnership with MacGillivray Freeman Films and Coast Film Festival in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic surf documentary, includes a sneak peek of the film and historic imagery, clothing, and items from the era of the film.

In addition to the Art & Nature festival exhibitions, Her Great Gift: The Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection is on view through Feb. 12, 2023. The collection includes 40 artworks made from the 1830s through the 1970s that trace how artists documented the California experience. Her Great Gift is the first presentation of the Nancy Dustin Wall Moure Collection and features some of the earliest known oil paintings made in Southern California, California plein air paintings, watercolors from the WPA period, mid-century abstractions and explorations into Light and Space. Artists include Mabel Alvarez, Karl Benjamin, Norton Bush, D.J. Hall, Roger Kuntz, Fernand Lungren, James McCray, Arnold Mesches, Charles Rollo Peters, F. Grayson Sayre, Stanislav Szukalski, John Law Walker, Julian Bracken Wendt, William Wendt and many others.

The museum also presents Photography & Seduction: William Mortensen’s Laguna Beach, on view through Jan. 15, 2023. The exhibition honors the Laguna Beach resident and is one of the only museum exhibitions of his work, illustrating his ascent as one of the most famous photographers of his time. Photography & Seduction a journey through Mortensen’s career from his star-studded Hollywood beginnings to his teachings, as well as influences, processes and more. The exhibition aims to share Mortensen’s contributions to and influence on American photography, while also sharing his connection to Laguna Beach.

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