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REFUGEE PRINCE: Today is special for Orange...

REFUGEE PRINCE: Today is special for Orange County’s 15,000 Laotians. Their homeland’s royal family--in exile in Paris since communist control of Laos in 1975--will appear at an annual Laotian event at Santiago High School in Garden Grove. Heading the delegation is Crown Prince Sourivong Savang, 34, heir to the throne. . . . “We see them as father of the whole country,” says Seng Chidhalay, an organizer. “We still have hopes that they can solve the problems in Laos, and bring us back there. We all love them.”

AIR REFRESHENER? The state’s Air Quality Management District not only has troubles with its own programs (A1), it has had running battles with local municipalities. So the smirks were plentiful when AQMD official Larry Rhinehart gave an “outreach” speech at this week’s Buena Park City Council meeting. . . . The AQMD board is moving in a more “business friendly direction,” says Rhinehart, now on a city-by-city tour. . . . Mayor Don R. Griffin’s response: “We’ve had a lot of discussions about you folks over the years. This is refreshing.”

FRIGHT ART? He writes best-selling horror fiction, makes millions with his scary movies, and on Monday Clive Barker will have his first museum exhibit at Laguna Art Museum’s Costa Mesa annex (F1). No, the show’s not a way to cash in on Barker’s mainstream fame, says museum director Naomi Vine. . . . His work “is very strong aesthetically,” says Vine, “and I was very interested in the way the books and the movies and the paintings all got at the same thing--this incredibly inventive imagination.”

HIGH HORSES: You can get in free this weekend at the sixth annual horse show at Central Park in Huntington Beach. But then, you don’t get the poached salmon flown in from Alaska. For that you have to pay $125 for the VIP ticket. But the ticket also gets you a front-row seat for the horse-jumping competitions, and mariachi music during the gourmet luncheons. . . . “It’s absolutely elegant,” says co-chair Diana Casey. Proceeds go for the city’s Art Center.

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