Around Town: Costa Mesa Chamber hosted Hispanic Heritage Month event at Café Sevilla

Mariachi Juvenil Herencia Michoacana perform during the Costa Mesa chamber's Hispanic Heritage Celebration Month event
Members of the Mariachi Juvenil Herencia Michoacana perform during a Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration Month event at Cafe Sevilla on Wednesday, Oct. 6.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The Costa Mesa Chamber of Commerce joined with elected city officials during an event at Café Sevilla earlier this month to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and to recognize Latinos making a difference in the local community.

After a musical performance by Mariachi Juvenil Herencia Michoacana, Mayor John Stephens and members of the City Council honored prominent business owners, civic leaders and organizations for their civic contributions and exemplary leadership within the Hispanic community.

For the record:

10:42 a.m. Oct. 31, 2021Around Town has been updated to correct that Holiday Night Market at Newport Harbor High School will be held on Sunday, Nov. 7.

Honorees at the Oct. 6 event included Chamber President and Chief Executive Carla Valenzuela, Andre Rangno of Orange Coast College, El Metate Market, Patti Bonilla of El Toro Bravo and Johnny Rojas, a newly appointed planning commissioner and chapter president of the Veterans Assn. of Real Estate Professionals.

Costa Mesa Police Department to hold ‘Prescription Drug Take Back’ Oct. 23

On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Costa Mesa Police Department will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, by accepting expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications.

CMPD encourages residents to participate in this event in order to ensure proper disposal of unwanted prescription drugs and eliminate the potential for misuse, abuse or accidental poisoning.

The following items will be accepted: prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, pet medications and liquid medicine. The following items will not be accepted: needles and sharps, inhalers, illicit drugs, chemotherapy medication or mercury thermometers.

The Costa Mesa police station is located at 99 Fair Drive. Needles and sharps may be disposed of at a dropbox outside Costa Mesa Sanitary District, 290 Paularino Ave.

Huntington Beach Central Library hosting Halloween-themed kids events Thursday

The Huntington Beach Central Library will be holding a Monster Mash Storytime and Trick-or-Treat Night on Thursday at 7 p.m.

Children are invited to wear their Halloween costumes and come to the library for a Halloween-themed story time, with kid-friendly tales and songs to sing. That will be followed by trick-or-treating inside the library.

The program is for all ages, but recommended for children ages 3 to 8 and their families. Space will be limited due to COVID-19 restrictions, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

All participants over the age of 2 are asked to wear a mask, either under or over their Halloween costume mask.

Halloween Escape Rooms at Huntington Beach Central Library on Tuesday

On Tuesday, tweens and teens are invited to participate in either of two age-specific Haunted Library Escape Rooms, at the Huntington Beach Central Library.

There will be a “family room” open to participants ages 11 and up, with two 45-minute sessions available at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The second room is for teens aged 13 to 17 only, and will take place at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Siblings ages 11 and up are permitted with a teen registration.

Registration is required and space is limited, so participants are asked to register for just one escape room.

Registration is available by going to the Huntington Beach Public Library events calendar at, and searching for “haunted library.”

HB Listens plans evening of dialogue Thursday

HB Listens, an interactive program through the Huntington Beach Human Relations Task Force, will be holding an evening of dialogue on Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Huntington Beach Central Library Room B.

The topic is community wellness, and Huntington Beach residents are invited to attend. A representative from Be Well will share how their program is addressing the issue of community wellness in Surf City.

There are limited spots available for the free event, and pre-registration is required and available on Eventbrite.

Volunteers sought for Laguna Beach on-demand trolley beta testing

Laguna Beach officials are requesting volunteers to participate in beta testing for a new on-demand trolley service.

The city began testing the new service this week. It utilizes hybrid vans that run along the former neighborhood trolley routes in Arch Beach Heights, Bluebird Canyon and Top of the World, and in the downtown area.

The first 150 residents to respond to the call for volunteers will be included in the test user group and given instructions for how to request a ride. Residents are asked to send a message to with their name, cell phone number and email address to participate.

The free shared ride service is set to begin on Nov. 8.

Laguna Beach Pumpkin Carving Contest nears

Laguna Beach’s second annual pumpkin carving contest is fast approaching.

Those wishing to enter their spooktacular creations must carve their pumpkins at home, then drop them off at the Community and Susi Q Center on Thursday between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m.

Pre-registration is required and should be completed by Wednesday at 5 p.m. Pumpkins, which may be carved, painted, airbrushed or sculpted, will be eligible for various awards, including for the most original, the scariest, the best overall and the Mayor’s Award.

The pumpkins that win the contest will be displayed at the Promenade on Forest from Oct. 29 to Nov. 1.

Residents of Laguna Beach, as well as those who work, attend school or exhibit within the city, may submit their pumpkin into the contest.

Applications welcomed for Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce board

The Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce is taking applications to serve on its board of directors next year.

Those interested in applying must complete the application and collect 30 signatures from Chamber members in good standing by Nov. 5.

To verify that a business is a member of the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce, search for the business on or call the Chamber at (949) 494-1018.

Laguna Art Museum: One Hour, One Painting

Art enthusiasts can spend an hour in front of a single painting with author and art critic Peter Clothier on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Laguna Art Museum.

Clothier will discuss Peter Krasnow’s painting “Waterways” during the evening.

Admission is $7 for museum members, and tickets are $14 for the general public.

Fountain Valley to screen “Onward” at Movie in the Park on Saturday

There will be a movie in the park put on at Fountain Valley Sports Park, 16400 Brookhurst St. on Saturday, as the animated movie “Onward” will be shown at dusk.

Attendees are encouraged to dress up for Halloween and participate in trick-or-treating at booths that will be set up for the evening. There will also be games available to play.

Fountain Valley residents can discard old batteries at recycling stations

A battery recycling program is available to Fountain Valley residents, who can discard their household’s used batteries to be repurposed for other needs at one of three locations.

The three battery recycling stations are located at the Fountain Valley Recreation Center, 16400 Brookhurst St., the Senior Center, 17967 Bushard St. and at City Hall, 10200 Slater Ave.

Residents may turn in several types of used batteries: AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9 volt, rechargeable batteries, and cell phone batteries.

This program is not available to businesses.

Additional information on this program can be obtained by calling the public works department at (714) 593-4441.

Holiday Market at Newport Harbor High coming up

The community is invited to support local vendors when Newport Harbor High School holds its Holiday Market on Sunday, Nov. 7, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the school campus, 600 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach.

Shoppers will find a wide variety of goods for sale, such as home decor, hand-crafted jewelry, clothing, accessories, gourmet treats and more, according to organizers. Among the many vendors expected to participate are BackHouse Fragrances, Crew Quarters, Bird + Shop, Style Society Boutique, Glitter for Breakfast, Strap Lab and Heather Pullis Designs.

The event will be held in the small gym and courtyard in front of the big blue anchor. Admission is $3.

Vanguard University partners to offer free COVID-19 testing

Officials with Vanguard University recently announced a new partnership with Health Space Group to offer free COVID-19 PCR testing to the Orange County community as well as Vanguard’s own students and staff.

Testing is now available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Layne Building on the Vanguard Campus, 55 Fair Drive., Costa Mesa. Tests will be offered through May 31, 2022.

The program will offer results within 24 to 48 hours, except for tests conducted on Friday and Saturday, which will be available by the following Monday. Guests must bring a government issued driver’s license or ID and a medical insurance card. Those without insurance may fill out an uninsured program form on site.

Parking is available on the East Lot, at the corner of Newport Boulevard and Fair Drive. Walk-ins are welcome. Members of Health Space Group will be on hand to provide temperature checks and answer any health-related questions.

Original O.C. Swap Meet scares up trick-or-treat fun Oct. 30

Returning to Costa Mesa’s O.C. fairgrounds on Oct. 30, the Original O.C. Swap Meet will celebrate Halloween with more than 150 vendors, many of whom will be offering a special trick-or-treat opportunity for children who attend.

The first 500 kids who come to the event, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., will receive a special gift bag with a prize inside. Admission is free, and parking costs $10 per vehicle. For more, visit

OCC counselor named ‘Counselor of the Year’ by County Ed Department

Eileen Tom — a counselor at Orange Coast College and chair of the counseling department — has been named Community College Counselor of the Year for 2021-22 by the Orange County Department of Education and will be honored in a Nov. 10 virtual symposium.

Tom, who graduated from OCC as the first member of her family to attend college, returned to the Costa Mesa campus in 2008. She is the assigned counselor for OCC’s transfer and honors program and also serves on the college’s Curriculum Committee and is the counseling liaison for the campus’ STEM Academy.

“Returning to work at the college that started me on my journey is a point of great pride,” Tom said in an Oct. 11 release. “I am deeply appreciative to be valued for the work I care so deeply about.”

The theme of this year’s symposium will be “Reconnecting, Resetting and Restoring” and will focus on promoting excellence, equity and access for all learners.

Laguna Beach Hospitality Night to take place Dec. 3

Hospitality Night will return to the downtown area of Laguna Beach on Friday, Dec. 3.

The festivities are scheduled to take place from 5 to 10 p.m. and will include the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at the Pepper Tree lot, 322 Forest Ave. at 6 p.m., where Santa Claus will be a featured guest.

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