Around Town: Speak Up Newport Beach to host webinar on regional housing needs allocation numbers

Donald Gates,
Donald Gates, left, site manager and resident, shares a laugh with Larry Haynes, Mercy House executive director, as they talk at the Cove Apartments, an affordable and supportive housing complex in Newport Beach for homeless veterans and low-income seniors age 62 and older.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Speak Up Newport Beach is hosting a webinar on the city’s regional housing needs allocation numbers on Jan. 13 from 4 to 5 p.m. Those numbers quantify the need for housing.

Cities are not required to directly build the houses, but must accommodate for it through zoning for residential development. Current draft numbers hold Newport Beach accountable for 4,834 units. The city of Newport Beach submitted its appeal of those numbers in October.

The webinar will include Larry Tucker, the chair of the housing element update committee, and community development director Seimone Jurjis.

To sign up, visit For more information on the webinar, visit

Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce to install board of directors

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce will conduct its annual board of directors installation via Zoom on Jan. 14 beginning at 5:30 p.m.

J.J. Ballesteros, chairman of the board of directors, will preside over the ceremonies. Mayor Bob Whelan will preside over the installation of the board officers.

The 2021 Laguna Beach board of directors includes Ballesteros, Chairman-Elect Julie Laughton, Vice-Chairman Dave Rubel, Treasurer Doug Vogel and Secretary Paula Hornbuckle-Arnold. Carmelit Green, Mark Meisberger, Reinhard Neubert, Craig Strong, Tyler Russell, Jeff Redeker, Jenna Cassidy and Hasty Honarkar are the other directors.

Cassidy, a new board member, is the partner and principal consultant at Laguna Ventures.

The installation can be viewed post-event at

Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce to host virtual update

The Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce will hold a virtual “AM Connect” event on Zoom on Jan. 15, beginning at 8 a.m.

The discussion will center around the Chamber’s past accomplishments, present opportunities and challenges and plans for the future. Guest speakers include Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce Chairman Bruce Berman, Chair-Elect John Villa and immediate past Chairman Sheik Sattaur.

Mayor Kim Carr will also provide a brief city update.

The virtual event is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Those interested must register in advance at to receive the Zoom link.

Pretend City Children’s Museum to host parent webinar

The Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine will be hosting a winter parent webinar series through March.

On Jan. 20, parents can join guest experts and the museum’s education team to discuss wellness and care for both the parent and the family unit as a collective.

February’s topics discuss race, how to have those conversations with children and building inclusion and diversity. March deals with science, math and technology. It also discusses screens and young children. Sessions will be held on Feb. 3 and 17 and on March 3 and 17. All webinars go from 6 to 7 p.m.

To register, visit

Newport Beach Garden Tour to celebrate 25th iteration

The 2021 Newport Beach Garden Tour is celebrating its 25th iteration this year and will take place on May 8.

The annual fundraiser is currently in its planning stages, according to the Sherman Library & Gardens. The Newport Beach Garden Tour showcases six residential gardens every year. The Garden Tour community is currently seeking recommendations.

If selected, home garden owners will permit visitors to wander their gardens from 10 to 3 p.m. on May 8. If the tour needs to go virtual, homeowners then will allow for a professional videographer to film their gardens in mid-to-late April.

To nominate a garden, provide the physical street address, the owner’s name and contact information to or by calling 949-673- 2261, ext. 300.

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