Town Crier: Week of May 26

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Lisa Morrice will sing with the Laguna Community Concert Band on Memorial Day, May 29 at the cobblestones on Main Beach. Photo/Peyton Webster

Free Concert on Memorial Day, May 29 Celebrates Our Troops

The Laguna Community JaZz and Concert Bands salute our troops on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30 with a free concert at the cobblestones on Main Beach.

The 17-piece Laguna JaZz band kicks things off with an eclectic mix of Big Band, latin, rock, and pop starting at 11:00 a.m. with jazz vocalist Ginger Hatfield. At 12:30 p.m., the Laguna Community Concert Band plays flag-waving favorites including “Stars and Stripes Forever,” a medley from the musical, “Chicago,” featuring vocalists Gary Greene and Lisa Morrice, while special guest artist Eliana Merritt, from Laguna Beach High School, will perform a dance to “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Like all of the band’s performances, this concert is free. 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

Memorial Day Ceremony at Monument Point

On Monday, May 29, Laguna Beach American Legion Post 222 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5868 will conduct a Memorial Day ceremony in remembrance of their comrades who died protecting our country in all wars and conflicts. The ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at Monument Point in Heisler Park. The keynote speaker will be Vietnam veteran Colonel Robert Seitz, U.S. Army (RET).

Memorial Day is set aside by Presidential Proclamation as a day to honor all the brave men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.

Your organization is invited to join these veterans groups in showing your appreciation for those who have given all so that we may continue to enjoy our American way of life.

During the ceremony, many organizations place floral offerings at the Heisler Park Memorial Monument. If sending or bringing floral arrangements, please be sure the organization’s name is attached and have the flowers delivered by 9:30 a.m. No glass containers are allowed. If planning to present a floral offering during the program, call Auxiliary member Sandi Werthe at (949) 494-6016 or [email protected].

Tickets are selling out fast for Susi Q’s “Evening with an Author” featuring Janelle Brown

Tickets are selling out fast for “An Evening with an Author,” featuring talented and entertaining best-selling author Janelle Brown, whose latest book, I’ll Be You, provides book clubs with meaty issues to discuss and suspenseful enjoyment. 

The event takes place on Tuesday, June 6, from 5 to 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. for attendees to mingle while sipping wine and enjoying light hors d’oeuvres prior to the program.

Brown’s latest book, I’ll Be You, is included in the $35 cost of the program.

Esteemed arts columnist, published short-story writer and podcaster Marrie Stone will be in conversation with Brown, whose novels are perfect summer reads. Set in Hollywood, I’ll Be You is a page-turner that touches on cults, twinship and celebrity culture. 

The event is the second of a series of “Evenings with an Author” planned for the Susi Q. Novelist Lisa See will be featured on Sept. 13.

Those interested can register online for “An Evening with an Author” at www.thesusiq.org and click on Classes. To RSVP by phone, call (949) 715-8105 or email [email protected].

“We like to think of the Susi Q as the place where the generations meet,” said Nadia Babayi, executive director. “This event is a good example of programming that attracts every age group. We’re thrilled at the response.”

The Susi Q is operated by Laguna Beach Seniors, established in part to enable older adults to “age in place.”

Blessings of the Artists Prayer Service on June 4

All are invited to attend a non-denominational prayer service at St. Catherine of Siena Church on Sunday, June 4, at 4 p.m., bringing together those in the community who keep the reputation of Laguna Beach as a City of Art alive. It recognizes the talents and gifts the artists share with prayer and blessings, especially now, as Laguna enters its Summer of Art. An outdoor reception will follow the prayer service at 1042 Temple Terrace, Laguna Beach. More information is available by contacting Angela at (949) 510-6930. 

Laguna Comes Together in Support of South Swell Donuts Owner

A family-owned Laguna Beach business is getting a big help from their community after the owners were in back-to-back car crashes. According to a GoFundMe page set up for the owners of South Swell Donuts, owner Jackie was hit by a suspected drunk driver on her way to work last weekend, suffering serious injuries including broken ribs. Jackie’s husband had also been in a car accident recently.

Due to her injuries, Jackie is unable to work for the rest of the month, so the community is raising money to support the business in her absence. In a matter of hours, more than $11,000 has been raised to support the South Swell Donuts family. 

To view the GoFundMe, please visit: https://gf.me/v/c/jwbr/ppurdk-please-help-jackie-with-south-swell-donuts. 

Aloha Week at Health in Balance Offers Free Treatment

Health in Balance will offer free treatment for the community from June 6 to 9 at 330 Park Avenue, Suite #3, Laguna Beach. The visit will include a full body health and postural assessment, hands-on therapeutic bodywork and a gentle adjustment. A $15 donation is suggested. Money raised will go towards Schoolpower and The Friendship Shelter. Those interested can book an appointment by calling (949) 497-2533. 

Conversations with LCAD President Steven Brittan at St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s is inviting the community to a complimentary event hosting Steven Brittan, the President of Laguna College of Art + Design. The event is being held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church on Saturday, May 27, at 4 p.m. Complimentary wine, cheese and fellowship will be served before Brittan’s presentation.

Brittan’s discussion topic will focus on art and spirituality and how art and creativity can address global issues. We look forward to getting to know Steven Brittan better and hearing about all the exciting things LCAD has going on.

“We are at a critical moment in human history where creativity and ingenuity are needed most. It is a moral imperative for each and every one of us to rise to the occasion, to problem-solve, constructively disrupt, and innovate with the collective purpose of making the world a better place,” says Brittan in his message to LCAD.

Brittan has taught art and architecture at prestigious institutions, including Columbia University, RISD, Boston Architectural College, and Harvard University, where he earned his master’s in architecture. Brittan is passionate about practice-based learning and has established multi-disciplinary collaborations with design industry partners and private art institutions for students and faculty.

All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP the total number of guests to; St. Mary’s Parish Office, [email protected], or call (949) 494-3542

Abalone Presentation at the Susi Q on May 30

In collaboration with the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, the Susi Q is pleased to host an important presentation on the disappearance of abalone along our coastlines, including suggestions as to what we can do locally to restore the numbers of these beautiful mollusks.

Award-winning author Ann Vileisis, whose books explore our human relationship with nature, food, and the environment through history, will headline the event. Nancy Caruso of the marine education and restoration group Get Inspired will provide an update about local abalone.

“With their iconic appeal, abalone capture our attention and help us to see the crucial importance of healthy kelp forest ecosystems to all of marine life –and to the wellbeing of our planet,” Vileisis said.

The free event will take place on Tuesday, May 30, from 4 and 5 p.m. at the Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street, in downtown Laguna.

A limited number of signed copies of Vileisis’s book will be available from the author. Light refreshments will be served. Free parking underground. Register online at www.thesusiq.org and click on Classes & Registration. To register by phone, call (949) 715-8105.

Upcoming Laguna Bluebelt Coalition events

The 12th Annual Laguna Bluebelt Photo Contest is open for submissions of images captured over the past year. The submission deadline is July 7 with an artist reception later at the Laguna College Art & Design Gallery. 

The Bluebelt Photo Contest highlights and celebrates Laguna’s Citywide network of marine protected areas connected as a Bluebelt for sea life restoration serving as a nursery supporting regional fisheries from Dana Point and Newport Beach. Photo contest rules for submission can be found at contest.lagunabluebelt.org.

On June 3 at Main Beach, the 13th Annual Laguna KelpFest, sponsored by the Laguna Ocean Foundation, will celebrate and educate visitors about the important contributions Laguna’s Kelp Forests play in providing a home for sea life and mitigating the effects of climate change by sequestering carbon and shading the sea floor to cool rising sea temperatures – a necessary step in addressing sea level rise. More information about KelpFest is available at www.lagunaoceanfoundation.org.

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation at Gelson’s Laguna Beach tomorrow

This Saturday, May 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Catmosphere Laguna cats and kittens will be featured for adoption at Gelson’s Laguna Beach location, 30922 Pacific Coast Highway.

Catmosphere Laguna Foundation introduced Orange County’s first Cat Café & Lounge. 

Catmosphere Laguna Rescue is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit feline rescue that serves Laguna Beach and the surrounding communities every day of the week and is 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. 

Details can be found by contacting Catmosphere Laguna Foundation at (949) 619-MEOW (6369) or [email protected].

Laguna Beach Animal Shelter and Catmosphere Laguna Adoption Event Dates 2023: June 17, Aug. 19, Oct. 21 and year-end holiday events.

LGBTQ Coalition Leader, 47th Congressional Candidates to Speak at Laguna Beach Democratic Club Meeting 

Stories about the vilification and abuse of the LGBTQ community – who account for at least seven percent of all Americans – are in the news daily. How to interpret and respond to this new wave of persecution will be the topic of a talk by Peg Corley, Executive Director of the LGBTQ Center OC, at the Laguna Beach Democratic Club meeting on Wednesday, May 31 at the Susi Q Community Room. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the meeting presentation at 6 p.m. Corley’s discussion is titled, “LGBTQ+ Advocacy in an Era of the Politicization of Marginalized Communities.” Also speaking will be Dom Jones and Joanna Weiss, two candidates for the 47th Congressional District.  

“In the latter part of the 20th century, Laguna Beach was famed as a haven for gay people to relax, socialize, and recreate. Laguna Beach was among the first US cities with an openly gay mayor. West Street Beach will soon sport a rainbow pride lifeguard tower. As Democrats always seeking ways to expand human rights, our club stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community to say, ‘We’ve come a long way, and we won’t go back.’ Lives are at stake,” Laguna Beach Democratic Club Chair Peggy Wolff said.  

Admission is free. New members and prospective members are welcome to attend. Members do not need to be registered Democrats – independents may join – although Democratic Party registration allows members to vote on club matters, including candidate endorsements. 

More information about the Laguna Beach Democratic Club is available by visiting thelbdems.com. 

The Chakra Shack to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Metaphysical shop and spiritual community center the Chakra Shack has officially posted its sign-up roster for its annual Summer Solstice Celebration on June 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 976 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach. This free event will be comprised of live music, a sound bath ceremony, intention setting, a solstice blessing, games, prizes, food and drink. The Chakra Shack strives to create a safe, positive experience at all of the events hosted in store for those who are part of and want to be part of the local spiritual community.

The Summer Solstice Celebration has been the Chakra Shack’s most popular and sought-after event for three consecutive years, filling the store with individuals from all walks of life.

“In beautiful Laguna Beach, California, the Chakra Shack resides in a large storefront on Pacific Coast Highway. Our motto is: Adventures in Energy Awareness and Soulful Living. And we carry these values with us as we assist the community in finding spiritual products and services to promote growth,” founder and owner Jill Templin shared.

The Chakra Shack’s experienced staff has mindfully curated all of the in-store events, including the Summer Solstice Celebration and Winter Solstice Event. This small business aims to continue creating a positive, eye-opening and community bonding experience for everyone who chooses to participate in the events and browse the shop.

More information can be found by visiting chakrashack.com.

Laguna Art Museum Programs

May 27 at 11 a.m. – Storytime Saturday

Bring your little ones to Laguna Art Museum for an interactive Storytime and art-making experience. Read-alouds will be supplemented with mindfulness exercises, art-making projects, or in-gallery activities that promote meaningful connections with caregivers and others. In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, this month’s session will feature a read aloud of “I Am Golden,” written by Eva Chen and illustrated by Sophie Diao, followed by a kid-friendly arts and crafts activity.

May 28 at 11 a.m. – LCAD Workshop: Amanda Kazemi

Join recent MFA graduate from LCAD, Amanda Kazemi as she leads a workshop on needle-felting. During the workshop, participants learn the basics of needle-felting while creating your very own seal. Supplies included with purchase of ticket. The workshop is intended for guests aged eight and older: all children must be accompanied by at least one paying adult.

‘Groove for Good’ at The Drake Restaurant in Laguna Beach 

The Drake Restaurant will host an elevated culinary and entertainment experience on June 6, benefiting The Drake Gives and Save The Music Foundation. The evening will feature a three-course meal curated by The Drake, complete with wine pairings, plus entertainment provided by Cueva Entertainment. The bordeaux and gold-themed evening, produced by Elite O.C. Productions, will fuse together community leaders and difference makers who are committed to making an impact locally. Immersive fundraising opportunities will be available alongside a silent auction and live auction led by auctioneer extraordinaire Zack Krone. The experience will offer valuable sponsorship opportunities that include VIP perks from table-side butler service to promotional exposure. Capacity is limited due to the Drake Restaurant’s unique footprint, and sponsorships, including tickets for the evening, are expected to sell out. Sponsorship and attendance details can be found at www.thedrakegives.org. 

Mad Scientist of Music Coming to Laguna

Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal is coming to the Artist’s Theater at Laguna Beach High School on June 18, starring the Mad Scientist of Music, Ross Wright (aka Elvis Schoenberg) and featuring classical guitarist Eric Henderson. Free parking is available.

A wild and seductive orchestral ride that pushes against the boundaries of genre and dares to suggest a world stripped of those borders, the Orchestre Surreal presents radically different artistic expressions that, in Elvis Schoenberg’s world, have every obligation to collide. The result is a celebratory deconstructing of known and unknown songs with the wit and whimsy of Spike Jones and the musical complexities of Frank Zappa and a showcasing of the wackiest wacky-savant orchestra of twenty-five musicians in recent history. Local musician Phil Goff will also be featured. The doors open at 7 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 7:30 p.m. for general admission. Tickets can be purchased here www.eventbrite.com/e/elvisshoenbergs-orchestre-surreal-featuring-eric-henderson-tickets-624918256327.

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