Around Town: Hoag Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event, will return to Newport Beach Country Club

 Ernie Els, left, with Paul Folino after winning the Hoag Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club in March 2020.
Ernie Els poses with Paul Folino after winning the Hoag Classic at the Newport Beach Country Club in March 2020. The tournament resumes this year after having been canceled in 2021 and Els will again be among the golfers vying for the win.
(Drew A. Kelley)

The Hoag Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event, will return to Newport Beach Country Club from March 2 through 6.

Defending champion Ernie Els will be back with a chance to become the first back-to-back winner of the tournament.

Hoag Classic festivities will kick off with “Breakfast with a Champion” on Tuesday, March 1. Jim Furyk will be the featured speaker at the breakfast, scheduled for 7:30 a.m. that day.

Mesa Water District invites area students to enter water video contest

Mesa Water District — which services most of Costa Mesa and portions of Newport Beach and unincorporated Orange County, including John Wayne Airport — is hosting a video contest for students who live in or attend high schools and colleges in the district’s service area to promote water awareness.


Participants may submit a fun and informative video, of 60 seconds or less, addressing the following questions: Why is it safe to drink Mesa water straight from the tap (#ByeByeBottled); What does it mean to you that Mesa water is 100% local (#PurelyLocal); or Why do you love Mesa water (#ILoveMesaWater).

Animation, songs, poems, TikTok videos, monologues and stop-motion videos are welcome now through Feb. 22 at 11:59 p.m. Judges will pick winners based on accuracy, creativity, quality and entertainment values and announce winners in March.

Top prizes are $500 for third place, $750 for second place and $1,000 for first place. For contest rules and a map of Mesa Water’s service area, visit

OCC’s Recovery Kitchen receives national recognition for food waste reduction

Orange Coast College’s Recovery Kitchen, which opened in 2020 to serve food insecure students and has since distributed 212,392 meals and prevented 609,541 pounds of surplus edible food from going into landfills, was named last week among 11 recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Food Recovery Challenge 2020-21.

Nearly 600 business, government agencies and organizations nationwide participated in the voluntary incentive program, designed to help organizations set data-driven goals and implement strategies to reduce food waste. OCC’s national level award was given for Education and Outreach.

“No student should ever go hungry, Alexandra Yates, program director of the Costa Mesa campus’ Food Service Management Program, said in a news release Friday. “If we can tie [the kitchen] to curriculum so that we can train our future leaders, we can all work toward finding a solution to this problem.”

UCI professor, wife fund $100K endowment for Armenian Studies graduate students

University of Irvine officials announced this week that Diran Apelian, a distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and his wife, Seta, had recently funded a $100,000 endowment in support of students in the campus’ Armenian Studies Program.

Apelian said in a statement the endowment comes from a desire “that the Western Armenian language is sustained and that, more importantly, young people who are in need will have the resources enabling them to study.”

UCI’s Armenian Studies program offers two years of instruction in the language, and graduate and undergraduate programs in Armenian history and a minor in Armenian Studies are offered in UCI’s School of Humanities.

Laguna Beach Democratic Club to host O.C. Supervisor Katrina Foley

County Supervisor Katrina Foley will headline the monthly meeting of the Laguna Beach Democratic Club at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9. The Zoom meeting is free and open to all. Registration is available at

Foley, a former mayor of Costa Mesa and the first Democrat woman elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, will discuss the reasons she is running for reelection. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The club is currently conducting a membership drive. Individuals are invited to join as new members or renew their memberships at

Laguna Beach State of the City address coming up

Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf will deliver the State of the City address on Tuesday, March 1, at a luncheon to take place at the Montage Resort.

The event, scheduled to go on from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., is being hosted by the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce.

J.J. Ballesteros, chairman of the board for the chamber, will also speak about the organization’s activities. The chamber is celebrating 105 years of being a part of the Laguna Beach community.

Admission for the luncheon, which is open to the public, is $120 per person. Those interested can register at or by calling (949) 494-1018.

Viejo Street closure in Laguna Beach this Monday, Tuesday

Viejo Street in Laguna Beach is scheduled to be closed for a two-day period, beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, the California Department of Transportation has announced.

Spandrel and cross-gutter work is the cause of the closure. It is recommended by Caltrans that San Joaquin Street and Cajon Street be used as alternative routes.

Free tax prep offered through Orange County United Way

Orange County United Way is offering free tax preparation and electronic filing to low- and moderate-income individuals and families through its OC Free Tax Prep program.

The program offers three ways of filing: drop-off with an appointment where an IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) preparer files for you, virtually by uploading your tax documents to a secure online portal with your mobile device or do it yourself online at

A full list of VITA locations can be found at

For more information about OC Free Tax Prep, visit

Hoag physician elected president of American College of Nuclear Medicine

Gary Ulaner, M.D. was elected the 2022-23 president of the American College of Nuclear Medicine, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has announced. He assumed his new role late last month.

“I’m looking forward to serving the needs of nuclear medicine physicians across the country and working with an outstanding ACNM Board of Directors,” Dr. Ulaner stated in a news release. “As president, I will be developing accreditation programs to encourage optimal technical methods for molecular cancer therapies, as well as establishing a webinar series for radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians to gain knowledge of novel molecular imaging methods.”

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.