Town Crier: Week of Jan. 5


Laguna Canyon Conservancy to host Zoom meeting on Laguna’s trees

The public is welcome to join the Laguna Canyon Conservancy in a Zoom general meeting presenting four of Laguna Beach’s longtime residents who are local champions when it comes to the protection of Laguna Beach’s trees and its designation as a Tree City USA Community. They will each present information for about 15 minutes and questions will be welcomed. The Zoom meeting will be held on Monday, Jan 8 at 7 p.m.

Bob Borthwick, an award-winning landscape architect known for the Avalon waterfront design and other large public coastal projects.  Bob has worked on numerous Laguna Beach city projects over the years, serves on several environmental non-profit Boards and is well-informed on the city’s changing landscape. Borthwick will discuss downtown Laguna’s iconic trees, Eucalyptus, Ficus, California Pepper, Sycamore, Magnolia and others; The Laguna Canyon Creek Channel rebuilding in the Arts District; the trees removed and new planting and The Laguna Canyon Road medians near the festivals.

The next speaker is Ann Christoph, an award-winning landscape architect specializing in historical projects and native plants, Christoph has also served Laguna Beach as a city council member, a past mayor, landscape projects manager, and frequently contributes at council meetings to items that involve the environment and trees.

Ann will discuss the Landscape Scenic Highway Resource Document as it pertains to Laguna; What trees are appropriate for Laguna Beach’s climate and recent neighborhood issues with city-maintained trees.

Ruben Flores is master landscape designer-builder for public and private clients, owner of Visionscape, Inc. and the Laguna Nursery. Ruben is often a public speaker for protecting Laguna’s trees and the environment. Flores will discuss what makes a tree well-groomed and an asset; How often and when to prune trees, especially for fire safety concerns; How to improve our views, our gardens and the environment together.

Barbara Macgillivray is well-known for her and her husband’s film company MacGillivray-Freeman Films, and their generous charitable support of the world’s oceans, Macgillivray is also a hard-working advocate for the trees of Laguna Beach.

Macgillivray will discuss the beginnings of Laguna Beach getting a Tree City USA Community title; Establishing an arborist position for the city; The start of Arbor Day and the Laguna Beach Urban Tree Fund.

The Zoom Meeting ID is 850 8026 0786 and the link is

LOCA Expands to South Laguna, offers extended learning classes

LOCA Arts Education has expanded its class offerings to the south end of town, at the new Laguna Beach Community and Recreation Center, overlooking Treasure Island Park. The location is easy to reach from town, but also from neighboring communities of Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, and San Clemente.

LOCA’s all new classes, open to the public, are offered in a series – rather than as single-events. The classes are taught over several weeks, in three to eight sessions. “Our extended learning schedule allows students to get familiar with each instructor, and slowly build a “toolbox of skills” that will make them better artists,” said Sherry Bullard, LOCA Education Coordinator.

Beginners and all-levels are invited. Offerings include oil painting of nature scenes with Lisa Rainey, from Jan.12 to March 1. Adult students will learn composition, drawing, color mixing, and brushstrokes among other techniques. Lydia Delgado will teach watercolor painting over three sessions, with an emphasis on keeping colors fresh and lively. Sherry Bullard will teach clay building to after-school kids Jan. 17 through Feb. 28. Slab, pinching, coiling, and glazing will be taught and kiln firing is included. Nature lovers will love Art on the Wild Side, for kids and adults, taught by Allison Keefe and Elizabeth McGhee. Everyone will learn about native plants, animals, and tidepool life – and create drawings, paintings, and collages.

The center offers panoramic ocean views and free on-site parking. Register now on the Art Escapes pages at 30516 S. Coast Highway at Cardinal Drive.

Opera and Shakespeare buffs are going to love January at the Susi Q

Continuing the goal of supporting the arts in Laguna Beach, the Susi Q will present two programs in the new year that will delight lovers of Shakespeare and of opera.

On Tuesday, Jan 23, from 4 – 5:30 p.m., in partnership with Lyric Opera of Orange County, Susi Q will host a production of Puccini’s “La Bohème” following the success of Figaro in the same venue.

Lyric Opera OC’s operas are presented in a concert format, with minimal to no staging or costumes, but with piano accompaniment. English supertitles appear on Susi Q’s large flatscreen TVs to aid the audience in following the story behind the opera.

“[In this opera], a poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher are living together in Paris when one freezing Christmas Eve their lives are changed forever,” explained Diana Farrell, Lyric Opera OC’s Artistic Director/President.

The audience will enjoy an intimate up-close, one-of-a-kind, operatic performance featuring guest conductor Jacob Sustaita of the Pacific Symphony, and starring a distinguished LOOC cast of eight. The performance is generously sponsored by Faye & Wayne Baglin & Joy Dittberner.

While the concert itself is free, there will be a registration fee of $5 to cover administrative costs. Doors open at 3:15 p.m. for light refreshments. Click here to register.

Parking will be limited. Please consider carpooling, ride sharing or City transportation.

Shakespeare Reading Circle attracts would-be thespians

Julie Lupton’s “Shakespeare Reading Circle” is another Susi Q nod to the classics of the past. She’ll lead participants – you! – in reading from Shakespeare’s play “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” The play, focused on love and marriage, jealousy and revenge, features Falstaff – who appears in the Henry IV and V plays – as a man in love.

Lupton assigns parts scene by scene, breaking frequently for discussion. No background in Shakespeare or drama is required.

During the course of Lupton’s program, she’ll be reviewing clips from Verdi’s “Falstaff” which she calls “the play’s greatest adaptation and operatic masterpiece.”

And in a happy coincidence, Lyric Opera’s next presentation at the Susi Q following La Boheme will be “Falstaff,” on April 24.

Lupton, Ph.D., is the co-director of UCI’s New Swan Shakespeare Center and Distinguished Professor of English at UC Irvine.

Shakespeare Reading Circle: “The Merry Wives of Windsor” will take place on consecutive Tuesdays between 4 and 5:30 p.m., beginning Jan 30 with the last session on Feb 27. This class is being offered only on Zoom. Click here to register.

To RSVP by phone, call 949-715-8105 or email [email protected].

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

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.

Orange County to host Global Climate Generation Event: ‘The Climate Generation: Born into Crisis, Building Solutions’

Learn how young people confronted by climate issues around the globe are actively shaping change. A team of journalists from The Christian Science Monitor traveled for eight months to report on the work of young emerging leaders on several continents and will share their stories and photos next month at the Newport Beach Civic Center. The event is especially geared toward environmental groups, nature study groups, climate-oriented organizations, educators, universities, community colleges, high schools and middle schools.

The event is based on a Monitor series supported by the Pulitzer Center and will be held Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room of the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach. Reservations are required and can be made by email to [email protected] and leaving the name and contact information for each attendee. All are welcome.

Project editor Clara Germani shared how the project impacted her: “I was seeing positive connections across the world that give me hope. There was not a single place we traveled to where there wasn’t a sense of a solution focus. [Those interviewed] are taking the first steps of living amid global warming.”

For more information, contact Christine Negley, Monitor Distribution Chair, [email protected] or [email protected] or 312-330-6855 to leave a voicemail. Event is locally sponsored by the Christian Science Reading Room at 2436 West Coast Hwy, Ste. 105, Newport Beach.

Laguna Art Museum events

Resolution Mindfulness – Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.

Start your New Year resolution by bringing the whole family together for a day of mindfulness at Laguna Art Museum. This day of guided meditation and visualization, journaling activities, and creative expression will be led by Holistic Certified Professional Coach and Kids Yoga Instructor Alyssa Linkletter. Participants will set New Year’s goals and decorate a collaborative Wishing Tree for the New Year.

Live! At the Museum: Cantilena Trio – Jan. 7 at 1 p.m.

Cantilena Trio featuring Susan Greenberg, flute; Jon Lee Keenan, tenor; and Kenton Youngstom, guitar is a consummate ensemble and a favorite among audiences.

Live! at the Museum is presented in partnership with Laguna Beach Live!

Laguna Live! concerts are partially funded by the lodging establishments and City of Laguna Beach. Advance tickets recommended. Laguna Art Museum members and Laguna Beach Live! members are free. Non-members: $14 per person.

Self Help Graphics & Art: Special Event and Celebration – Jan. 13 at 6 p.m.

Join us for a panel discussion with artists and administrators who will discuss the past, present, and future of Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG) as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Self Help Graphics & Art at a special closing reception for the exhibition. Discussion will include SHG’s support of artists and its role in the evolution of Chicano practices. Speakers are: Cultural leader and former director of Self Help Graphics Tomas J. Benitez; artist Alex Donis whose work is included in the exhibition; SHG Director of Artistic Programs and Education Marvella Muro, and artist Patssi Valdez whose work is also included in the exhibition. The panel will be moderated by Rochelle Steiner, LAM Curatorial Fellow and Guest Curator of Marking an Era: Celebrating Self Help Graphics & Art at 50, which is on view at Laguna Art Museum.

More information about LAM events can be found at

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