Briefly In The News

Nonprofit moves to U.S.

Nonprofit MountainChild is hosting its launch party at 6 p.m. Saturday at Aliso Creek Inn in Laguna Beach.

The festivities include dinner, live entertainment and awareness programming about MountainChild and its vision for the future.

MountainChild's move to the United States will raise more awareness and financial aid for the humanitarian work in the most remote areas of the Himalayas, according to a news release.

The organization focuses on five core issues: health, sex trade, education, child labor and the environment. The group's activities include clean water projects, health and hygiene classes and creating education infrastructures and trafficking victim recovery programs.

For more information or to reserve a ticket, which are $35, visit


Hotel partners with Clean the World

Hotel Laguna is collecting gently used hotel soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotion to send to needy families worldwide as part of a new collaboration, according to a news release.

The hotel has partnered with Clean the World Global LLC, a charitable organization that focuses on reducing landfill waste and preventing hygiene-related illness and death in impoverished communities in more than 45 countries.

"Upon learning of the amazing work this organization is doing, I knew this was something the Hotel Laguna had to join immediately," hotel Chief Operating Officer Heinz U. Hofmann said in a statement. "It brings me extreme joy to be aiding in the cause of not only saving the lives of children throughout the globe, but also increasing our efforts of reducing our landfill waste and continuing our ongoing legacy to philanthropic causes."

As the largest global recycler of hotel amenities, Clean the World has more than 1,100 hotel property partners, which represent 260,000 hotel rooms, according to the release. In the last two years, the foundation has distributed more than 8.5 million bars of soap and has diverted 600 tons of discarded hotel waste from local landfills.


City manager's weekly message

The Arts Commission selected "Streamline Bench" on Sept. 12 for an artist-designed bench to be installed at the bus stop at Mountain Road and South Coast Highway, according to the Sept. 16 city manager's update.

The bench, designed by Larry Gill and Gavin Heath, will be created of stainless steel, concrete and hand-blown glass. Prior to City Council approval, the design will need to be reviewed by the California Department of Transportation and the Design Review Board. This program has been funded by the lodging establishments and the city of Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Beach County Water District said it will be conducting hydraulic pressure testing next week, according to the update. The testing procedures require fully opening fire hydrants to measure the available water pressure in adjacent areas. Storm drains will be pre-flushed to clean the majority of material out of the storm drains and into the city's urban water diversion units. Other discharge points will be sand bagged to contain and clean the resulting discharges.

The OC Health Care Agency's 2010 Annual Ocean, Harbor & Bay Water Quality Report states that Laguna Beach remains a leader in the region with nearly 100% compliance with water quality standards and second lowest beach closure rate in the past 10 years.


Gardening know-how offered

The Laguna Beach County Water District is hosting its second annual SmartScape Info/Expo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2, at its headquarters, 306 Third St., according to a news release. The free event highlights and promotes the benefits of using California-friendly plants and efficient irrigation techniques in landscapes.

"What makes the SmartScape Info/Expo unique is its focus on hands-on learning opportunities and face-to-face interactions with knowledgeable landscape and irrigation professionals," district General Manager Renae Hinchey said in a statement.

This year's event features rebates for irrigation SmartTimer controllers, a plant sale featuring California native, succulent and drought tolerant plants at below wholesale prices, and free compost. Attendees can visit regional gardening and irrigation gurus and learn about the latest water efficient landscape products and services. In addition, a kid's planting activity is planned.


Resident discusses arbitration at UCI

Laguna Beach resident Lester Savit will appear at "Muscular Arbitration: Trimming the Fat Out of Arbitration" on Oct. 13.

Co-sponsored by the American Arbitration Assn. and UC Irvine School of Law, the conference is from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the school, 401 E. Peltason Drive.

"With our overburdened legal system facing reduced resources, arbitration's potential to resolve disputes out of the courtroom more quickly and less expensively is increasingly important," Savit, a senior partner at Jones Day in Irvine and an American Arbitration Assn. arbitrator and mediator, said in a statement.

For more information or to register, visit or contact Rebecca Nako at or call (415) 981-3901.

— Jamie Rowe

Twitter: @jamierowe3

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