Town Crier: Week of March 8

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A focus on the brain and information processing at the Susi Q this month

Kristen Maahs-Kohlberg, Associate Director of the Community Outreach team at Alzheimer’s Orange County, is adamant that the food we put into our corporeal selves makes a major difference to our mental health.

“Nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel mentally, how clear our thinking is, and how sharp our focus,” she said.

And there’s a lot more to learn at Maahs-Kohlberg’s upcoming free presentation, Brain Food: Nutrition for a Healthier Mind, which will take place at the Susi Q on Wednesday, March 20, from 2 to 3 p.m.

With the advent of AI, not to mention the morass of social media these days, the brain needs to be in good shape to process information – and recognize disinformation.

That’s the focus of a special presentation, Fight “Truth” Decay: Combatting Misinformation, which will be held on Monday, March 18, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Susi Q.

Presented by Trudy Josephson, League of Women Voters, Orange Coast, the free session will offer suggestions about ways to find accurate and ethical information, no easy task in a biased and misleading news landscape. Visit www.thesusiq.org to learn about all the classes and clubs that are available to you, and to sign up for Brain Food and Fight “Truth” Decay. To RSVP by phone, call 949-715-8105, or email [email protected].

Laguna Canyon Conservancy to present Karin Vardaman

Laguna Canyon Conservancy’s next program will be held via Zoom on Monday, March 11 at 7 p.m. with Karin Vardaman as our guest speaker. She has been Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director since Dec. 11, 2023. She will bring attendees up to date on environmental projects including animal corridors, the Sawdust Festival pollinator garden, and other issues of concern. The public is invited, but attendance is capped at 100. The Zoom link for the Monday meeting is https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87210882742.

Karin Vardaman has spent a lifetime exploring the open spaces around Laguna Beach. Inspired by her love for this treasured space, Karin is very excited to serve as Executive Director of Laguna Canyon Foundation. Karin’s professional background includes acting as the Director for Animal Care and Operations at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, Senior Director at the Ocean Institute, and Founder and Executive Director at Working Circle, a nationally recognized nonprofit dedicated to wild wolf conservation. One of Karin’s professional accomplishments includes being listed as one of Forbes 50 over 50 women making an impact in 2021. In her spare time, Karin enjoys ocean-distance swims and competing in equestrian sports with her horse, Mikey.

Please check out the LCC website at www.LagunaCanyonConservancy.org

Aviary Gallery at the Hortense Miller Garden

Plant Wisdom is an ongoing series of drawings and paintings that celebrates plant life as beings, examining plant consciousness and communication systems. This work is a combination of observational drawing, studies of micrographs of roots and mycorrhizal fungi, abstract landscapes, and real and imagined plant and fungal forms. Inspired and guided by indigenous knowledge that affirms plant consciousness, as well as the writings of Suzanne Simard on Mother Trees, these works explore connections among different species of plants, trees, and fungi, and look at plant intelligence through the complementary lenses of scientific inquiry and imagination, revealing an expanded dimension of plant life.

To reserve a place to enjoy this exhibit as well as tour the Mid-Century Modern Miller house and garden go to www.lagunabeachcity.net, Hortense Miller Garden, or call 949-464-6645. Tours are available most Thursdays and Saturdays.

Hortense Miller Garden Community Open House

The Hortense Miller Garden is hosting an open house on Saturday, April 6, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. when no reservations are necessary. Bring the whole family. There will be light refreshments, a free art workshop for kids, entertainment, garden tours, a bee presentation and a plant sale.

Free parking and a shuttle to the event is available at The Church Of Christ Science, 635 High Drive, Laguna Beach. No reservations required.

For more information, go to www.HortenseMillerGarden.org

Susi Q offers free tech support on Thursdays: Special March presentation to focus on IPhone settings

The Susi Q tech team will host a special March presentation to focus on iPhone settings. Photo/Jo Ekbald

Susi Q offers free tech support for all ages at the Center, 380 Third Street, every Thursday between 12 and 2. No appointment is necessary. All ages are welcome.

Lorraine Hornby is part of the team that volunteers its time at the Susi Q to help locals who find themselves flummoxed by the complexities of our computerized existence.

“There’s no reason to be embarrassed about what you don’t know about your phone and other devices,” Hornby stressed. “We’re carrying around powerful computers, and it can be overwhelming at times to attempt to comprehend their capabilities.”

The volunteer team answers a wide range of questions.

“Recently, I helped someone navigate the DMV website to renew her driver’s license. We can help people find a file they’ve lost or organize their information on their laptops,” Hornby said.

Her best advice is simple: the most important thing is to slow down, take time to read error or odd messages, and not “just keep tapping.”

Hornby will give a special presentation titled “Tech Talk: Understanding Important iPhone Settings” on Thursday, March 28, from 1 to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit www.thesusiq.org. To RSVP by phone, call 949-715-8105, or email [email protected]. Class size limited to 25 students.

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation and Gelson’s Dana Point Adoption Event 

On Saturday, March 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Catmosphere Laguna cats and kittens will be featured for adoption at Gelson’s Dana Point store, 24 Monarch Plaza.

Future adoption event dates continue monthly throughout 2024

Laguna Beach Animal Shelter and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates 2024: Saturdays, April 20, June 15, Aug. 17 and Oct. 26 (Halloween event) and year-end holiday events.

Gelson’s Dana Point and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates in 2024: Saturdays, May 18, July 20, Sept. 21, and Nov. 16, and year end holiday events.

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation introduced Orange County’s first Cat Café & Lounge. Catmosphere Laguna Rescue is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit feline rescue that serves Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities every day of the week dedicated to finding forever homes for homeless, relinquished, abandoned and special-needs cats and kittens. Laguna Beach has long been known and loved for its artistic community and embrace of nature in all its forms. Catmosphere Laguna Foundation enhances and strengthens that reputation in its mission to prevent cruelty to animals by rescuing, fostering, and assisting in public adoptions and awareness of the plight of homeless felines. Volunteer opportunities are available.

Contact Catmosphere Laguna Foundation at 949/619-MEOW (6369) or [email protected].

Laguna Beach Business Club 2024 Speaker Series

The Laguna Beach Business Club has announced its March 21 meeting speaker and private investigator Daniel Mulrenin. The LBBC holds monthly breakfast meetings starting at 7:30 a.m. and hosts speakers that discuss topics valuable to achieving success in your personal and professional lives.

Mulrenin will recount the details of his crucial involvement in the Rayford/Glass case investigation, spearheaded by the nonprofit organization Innocence OC. This led to the release and exoneration of two innocent men from 17 years of imprisonment.

After being honorably discharged from the United States Marines as a sergeant, Mulrenin became a police officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, retiring as a lieutenant after 28 years. In addition to various roles with LAPD, Mulrenin served as a detective working burglary, crimes against persons, street, and major narcotics cases, and detective commanding officer and officer-in-charge of LAPD’s Abused Child Unit.

Mulrenin’s expertise extended beyond LAPD as he served on a task force with the FBI, LASO and Orange County Sheriff’s Department. He later became the officer-in-charge of LAPD’s Bomb K9 Unit, overseeing administration, training, and deployment of 25 Bomb K9 Teams as well as managing the explosive bunker at LAX. Transitioning into the private sector, Mulrenin has been a private investigator for 15 years and is a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court of Private Investigators. He has handled numerous cases involving robbery, multiple murders, and other criminal and civil matters.

Mulrenin and his wife have been Laguna Beach residents for 27 years. 

Club meetings begin with a buffet breakfast and brief networking roundtable. Meetings are hosted at Nirvana Kitchen + Pantry, 303 Broadway St., # 101, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. Non-members are welcome! The non-member guest fee is $30 payable by Venmo or cash/check payable to the Laguna Beach Business Club the day of the meeting. Space is limited. Guests, be sure to receive RSVP confirmation. For more information about the LBBC or to register to attend the meeting please either visit our website at lagunabeachbusinessclub.com, or write at: [email protected].

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