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Around Town: Big Canyon Creek restoration wins award

Big Canyon Creek in Newport Beach is pictured after a restoration and water quality improvement project that won an engineering award.
(Courtesy of Burns & McDonnell)

The Big Canyon Creek restoration and water quality improvement project in Newport Beach won an Honor Award this month from the California chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Big Canyon Creek, which drains into the Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve, first raised concerns among city officials more than a decade ago when testing found it contained elevated levels of selenium, a naturally occurring element that is toxic to wildlife in high concentrations.

The $2.3-million project, planned and delivered by engineering company Burns & McDonnell, was backed by an Orange County Transportation Authority grant program that funded removal of transportation-related pollutants that entered local waterways during storms.

The city was able to restore six acres of degraded habitat to natural conditions. The project also connected the area to a larger trail system.


O.C. Home & Garden Show returns to fairgrounds

The annual Orange County Home & Garden Show returns to Costa Mesa this weekend, offering three days of vendors, experts, prize drawings and workshops at the OC Fair & Event Center.

The show, in its 41st year, will run from noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission is $6 online ($4 for senior citizens and military members). The cost is an additional $2 at the door. Parking is $8.

For tickets, visit For more information, call (801) 571-9012.


Gem Faire coming to OC Fair & Event Center

Almost 200 jewelry, gemstone, crystal, bead and mineral exhibitors will be on hand this weekend for the Gem Faire at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.

Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $7 and are good for all three days. Children 12 and younger get in free. Parking is $8.

The Fair & Event Center is at 88 Fair Drive. For more information, visit

Costa Mesa woman and cousin who was killed in Vietnam to be honored

A memorial service for Costa Mesa resident Diane Sorensen will be held Friday, the day before a tribute she helped organize for her cousin, Army Sgt. Francis “Rusty” Brockman III, who was killed in action in the Vietnam War.

Brockman, of Long Beach, was killed May 25, 1972. Decades later, one of his squad mates, John Clark, connected with Sorensen after posting information online on the Virtual Vietnam Wall.

Before Sorensen died this month, the two worked to coordinate a memorial tribute to Brockman, which will be held Saturday in Cypress and attended by his family members and several former squad mates.

“I am just heartbroken that she [Diane] has passed away before we completed our mission,” Clark said in a statement. “But it was her wish to carry on. By honoring him, we are honoring her too.”


Free Irish party Saturday at Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center

A free Céili Irish Party at the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa will precede Saturday’s performance by Dublin Irish Dance at Segerstrom Hall.

The party, from 5 to 7 p.m., will feature Irish food and live music by the Reelers.

Dublin Irish Dance will make its Segerstrom Center debut at 7:30 p.m. For tickets, call (714) 556-2787 or visit

The center is at 600 Town Center Drive.

Vanguard jazz festival slated for Saturday at Newport Mesa Church

Vanguard University’s music department will present its 14th annual jazz festival from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Newport Mesa Church in Costa Mesa.

Guests are invited to participate in workshops and network with professional musicians. Jazz experts such as Gary Gopar, director of the Cypress College Jazz Big Band, and J. Michael O’Neil, a Los Angeles-based pianist, are invited to perform.

General admission begins at $10 per person; group registration starts at $100.

For more information, visit


OCC hosts student theater performances this weekend and next

Orange Coast College’s student-run theater company will perform short scenes and a monologue Saturday and Sunday and March 3-4 at its Drama Lab Studio.

All shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., except for 2:30 p.m. March 4. Admission is free.

The college is at 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa.

Sherman Library to host benefit for Asian elephants Sunday

A dinner, reception, entertainment and auctions dubbed the Gray Event will be held Sunday at Sherman Library & Gardens in Corona del Mar to raise money to help care for Asian elephants in Thailand.

The reception begins at 4:30 p.m. with live Thai music, Thai appetizers, cocktails, beer and wine, a silent auction and an opportunity to “adopt” an elephant that lives at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand.

The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and includes Thai dancers and monks, a live auction, a cooking demonstration and a presentation about the nonprofit Save Elephant Foundation.

The dinner is sold out, but tickets to the reception are available for $125.

Net proceeds will go to the Save Elephant Foundation.

For tickets, visit For more information, contact Patty Patterson at (949) 673-0034 or

Laguna Beach police to be on the lookout for DUI

Laguna Beach police will have officers on patrol Sunday evening through early Monday looking specifically for drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers.

The saturation patrols will last from 5 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday in areas of the city with frequent DUI crashes and arrests, according to the Police Department.

Funding for the operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Ska and punk festival headed to Huntington Beach

The first Back to the Beach, a ska and punk music festival launched by Blink-182’s Travis Barker and Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, is coming to Huntington State Beach on April 28-29.

Feldmann plans to reunite Fishbone’s original lineup for its first performance together since 1993, while Barker will play with Goldfinger.

Also on the bill are 311, Sublime with Rome, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Save Ferris, the Aquabats, Hepcat, the Interrupters, Less Than Jake, Mustard Plug, the Suicide Machines, the Aggrolites, Mad Caddies, Big D & the Kids Table and the Untouchables, with more acts expected to be announced.

Back to the Beach also will feature a carnival, beach games, bounce houses and food.

Tickets are available at

Pacific Amphitheatre summer concert lineup expands

An Aug. 12 concert by veteran rockers the Steve Miller Band and Peter Frampton is among four shows recently added to the lineup for the 2018 Toyota Summer Concert Series at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa.

Also joining the list are the Happy Together Tour on July 15, featuring the Turtles, Chuck Negron, Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, Mark Lindsay, the Association and the Cowsills; UB40 and Freddie McGregor on Aug. 3 and Trevor Noah on July 14.

Shows announced earlier were Kool & the Gang and the Village People on July 18; Steve Martin, Martin Short, the Steep Canyon Rangers and Jeff Babko on July 20; Straight No Chaser and Jon McLaughlin on July 8 and Brett Eldredge and Honey Country on July 29.

For tickets and more information, visit

Fair-housing clinic for tenants and landlords Monday in H.B.

A Fair Housing Foundation walk-in clinic will be held Monday in Huntington Beach to give tenants and landlords the opportunity to meet with a housing counselor to discuss rental housing issues, tenant/landlord disputes or questions about fair-housing laws.

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon at Huntington Beach City Hall, 2000 Main St.

Registration is available at

Fashion show to benefit F.V. senior services

The annual Fit & Fabulous Fashion Show, a fundraiser for senior services in Fountain Valley, will be held Monday.

The event runs from noon to 3 p.m. at the Center at Founders Village Senior and Community Center, 17967 Bushard St. It will include a fashion show by Chico’s, along with lunch and prizes.

Tickets are $15 and are available at the center’s reception desk.

Newport planning department schedules open house

The public is invited to meet the planning staff of the Newport Beach Community Development Department at an open house Monday night.

Residents can learn about projects that planners are working on and how staff guides a project through city codes and other requirements.

The event will run from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Community Room at the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive. RSVPs are encouraged at or (949) 644-3200.

Laguna Art Museum’s California Cool Art Auction raises $466,000

The Laguna Art Museum’s California Cool Art Auction on Feb. 10 reached sales of more than $466,000, making it the museum’s most successful art auction to date, organizers said.

Proceeds from the 36th edition of the event will benefit the museum’s exhibitions and education programs.

The auction, attended by about 300 people, featured works by more than 100 California artists.

Ocean View district to showcase student performances March 1

The public is invited to the Ocean View School District’s annual music festival at 6:30 p.m. March 1 at Marine View Middle School in Huntington Beach.

The free festival will showcase more than 400 students in vocal, dance, instrumental and group performances. Marine View is at 5682 Tilburg Drive.

Environmental Nature Center to host Youth Art Exhibit in May

The Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach will present its seventh annual Youth Art Exhibit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 6.

Students ages 4-18 can exhibit their “Ecosystems of California” themed art at the center’s Spring Faire, where winners will be announced. Entries can be in any medium except film and may show plants, animals, landscapes and people.

Entries will be accepted between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. April 20-29 at the nature center, 1601 E. 16th St.

The first-place prize in each category is a $50 Art Supply Warehouse gift card. The second-place prize is an art supply kit donated by Saddleback College’s fashion program. The third-place prize is a $25 gift card donated by the Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa.