Town Crier: Week of Jan. 19

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The South Laguna Community Garden Park accepting new members

Graham, the great-grandson of South Laguna Community Garden Park founders Morrie and Barb Granger, inspects a pumpkin. The garden is currently accepting new member applications. Photo courtesy of the Garden Park

The South Laguna Community Garden Park is once again accepting applications for new members. The Garden maintains 52 plots measuring six by eight feet, the perfect size for a family or friends to share. The Garden welcomes all levels of gardeners, and if you need help with amending, choosing plants, or anything else, its knowledgeable volunteers are ready to offer assistance. Joining the Garden is a great way to meet neighbors, contribute to the community, and improve health. Beds generally rent quickly. For more information, visit SouthLagunaGarden.org, email [email protected], or call (949) 228-8690.

Barbara Metzger’s Celebration of Life this Saturday

A Celebration of Life will be held for Laguna Beach historian and longtime community advocate Barbara Metzger on Saturday, Jan. 20, at 1:30 p.m. at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive, Laguna Beach. All are welcome.

Susi Q’s Evening With An Author to feature Pulitzer Prize-winner Hector Tobar

Susi Q’s next Evening With An Author will feature Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and novelist Héctor Tobar, the author of six books, most recently, “Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of Latino,” published by MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

Hector Tobar. Patrice Normand/Opale

The New York Times calls “Our Migrant Souls” “a resonant and deeply affecting book.” In the best-selling book, Guatemalan-born Tobar, an English and Chicano/Latino Studies professor at the University of California, Irvine, explores what it means to be “Latino” in the United States in 2024. 

Podcaster and arts columnist Marrie Stone will be in conversation with Tobar and anticipates an informative and lively discussion. 

“We’re living through dark times, and 2024 is poised to be another difficult year. What gives me hope, and the only path I can see through this mess, is making authentic human connections and having meaningful conversations about race, class, and the ‘great American experiment,’” Stone said. “This offers that opportunity.”

The Evening With An Author takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 13. The event will start with mingling, snacks and wine at 4:30 p.m. The program begins at 5 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. with book signings. The cost is $40, which includes a copy of Tobar’s most recent book, “Our Migrant Souls.” 

Register online for the event at www.thesusiq.org. To RSVP by phone, call 949-715-8105 or email [email protected]. The Susi Q Center is located at 380 Third Street, Laguna Beach.

The Susi Q offers a wide range of educational and fun programs, classes and clubs for older adults – though all ages are welcome. The Susi Q’s Care Management Department provides free consultation, education and practical resources for vulnerable seniors, enabling them to stay safe, informed, and independent. For more information on The Susi Q, the portal to access the best of Laguna’s community resources, visit www.thesusiq.org.

Pruning workshop for healthy and beautiful plants – NEW DATE: Jan. 27

Is pruning judged by the number of branches chopped off and hauled away or by the beautiful and safe tree form resulting at the end of the day?

You will learn the beautiful and safe approach at the next South Laguna Community Garden Park workshop on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 9 a.m. Participation is free. Reservations are requested. RSVP at [email protected].

Gilbert Briseño, master tree artist and landscape contractor, will demonstrate pruning for the health and beauty of trees and shrubs while considering each plant’s role in the total landscape. He will demonstrate and give you an opportunity for hands-on learning while making the Garden Park more lovely. Bring your gloves, loppers and clippers. The garden park is located on 31610 Coast Highway.

‘All Pride, No Ego’: A book party in Laguna Beach

Jim Fielding, a former Laguna Beach resident and author of “All Pride, No Ego: A Queer Executive’s Journey to Living & Leading Authentically,” is having a book tour party on Thursday, Jan. 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Chris Tebbutt is co-hosting the evening, along with Michael Fullen and Sue Greenwood. The book party will be held at Sue Greenwood Fine Art, 330 N. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach.

In “All Pride, No Ego: A Queer Executive’s Journey to Living and Leading Authentically,” celebrated corporate leader James Fielding delivers an inspirational leadership story told from the perspective of an out and proud LGBTQ+ executive. In the book, readers explore a call to action for authentic servant leadership that encourages people to own their truth and bring out the best in themselves and their communities.

Tickets Available for LBHS Theater Boosters January fundraising gala 

Laguna Beach High School Theater Boosters are hosting a gala on Jan. 20 at the Woman’s Club called A Night at the Copacabana, featuring former Laguna locals and special guests, Mark Waters, Director of Mean Girls, along with his wife, renowned actress, Dina Waters and a plethora of high school talent. Mark will conduct a Q&A session with the audience about his experience directing Mean Girls. The play adaptation of the movie is this school year’s theater spring musical, which has just been cast and will premiere in March 2024. At the gala, dinner will be included, and a silent auction will be part of the festivities, along with some surprises. The gala promises to be a fun and memorable evening, with the feel of “A Night at the Copacabana” driving the decor and vibe. Please note that The Woman’s Club’s capacity is limited. Ticket information can be found at https://lbpab.org/theatre.

The LBHS Theater Boosters is on a quest to raise funds for the theater program this year. Not since before COVID have they had any major fundraising efforts. They hope this year’s gala raises enough money to help supplement the costs of our theater director, Meghan Marshall’s wish for her students to attend three thespian festivals while bringing awareness of the program back to the community. As many may know, the high school theater program has a rich history of great entertainment and widespread community support. The Boosters are trying to restore the program to its former glory.

January GLBGOP Members Meeting

The next GLBGOP’s Members’ Meeting is on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Skyloft. The group has two local candidates and a compelling speaker joining them. Guy Selleck is a candidate for California State Senate CA37 District. Selleck is a successful local businessman who will discuss why he is running and what he wants to accomplish. Janet Nguyen is a candidate for OC Supervisor in the First District. Nguyen is currently a State Senator and has previously served in the State Assembly, as an OC Supervisor and on the Garden Grove City Council. Violet Sarhad is also joining us. Sarhad is an immigrant from Iran who was politically active in her home country at a young age. She immigrated to the US with her mother after the 1979 revolution. The event starts at 5 p.m. with a social hour in the Main Bar. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the newly remodeled Herb’s Room. Attendees can mingle with fellow conservatives and enjoy Skyloft’s wonderful food and beverages. RSVP at www.glbgop.com/upcomingevents.

The Honarkar Foundation to host Jorg Dubin Book Signing

The Honarkar Foundation is hosting a book signing for local artist Jorg Dubin next Sunday, Jan. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The foundation has produced a 120-page catalog on Dubin’s current exhibition, Paintings from the 2000s, and the event will be a chance to celebrate the show and promote the book, which will be available for purchase. Dubin will be present to sign books and answer questions. 

The Foundation will provide complimentary coffee served by Jedidiah Coffee and tasty treats from Sidecar Donuts. The Honarkar Foundation for Arts & Culture is located at 298 Broadway Street, Laguna Beach. 

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