Briefly In The News

Interim director of Chamber announced

The board of directors for the Laguna Beach Chamber of Commerce has named Kristine Thalman as its interim executive director.

Thalman will take over for Rose Hancock, who recently resigned to explore other opportunities.

Thalman previously was chief executive of the Building Industry Assn. of Orange County, and she currently operates her own consulting firm in Laguna.

She has also served on the Laguna Beach Seniors board of directors and is an ambassador for the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.

"We are confident that Kristine's skills and experience will serve the Chamber of Commerce well, and we are glad to have her on board to execute exciting changes and oversee the development of great partnerships within the business community," Chamber President Chris Keller said in a statement.


Saturday is Harry Lawrence Day

Celebrate the birthday of Harry Lawrence, aka "Mr. Laguna" at 1 p.m. Saturday at Main Beach Park.

Lawrence has lived in Laguna since 1947 and has been a part of many community organizations and projects that helped make the city what it is today.

Oct. 1 has been Harry Lawrence Day since then-Mayor Jane Egly declared it on his 95th birthday.

The annual Main Beach celebration will include cake and ice cream, and the public is invited.


Weekly update from the city manager

•A workshop about the city's proposed ordinance to ban single-use plastic bags will be at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 19 in the City Council Chambers, according to City Manager John Pietig. The workshop is intended to provide information to and hear feedback from restaurant owners and members of the retail industry. For more information about the proposed ordinance, call (949) 497-0390.

•Kristen Berry has been named the city's new public safety communications supervisor. Berry has more than 22 years of experience in public safety dispatching. She is replacing outgoing supervisor Rita Fraser, who recently retired.

•The city's tree maintenance contractor will be inspecting and trimming about 225 eucalyptus trees in Laguna Beach during the next two months.

•At its Sept. 14 meeting, the Planning Commission approved Carmelita's, a new Mexican restaurant at 215-217 Broadway. The restaurant is family owned and operated.


'Heart of Gold' benefit will help children of Baja

Mozambique will host Corazon de Vida's "Heart of Gold: a benefit for the children of Baja" at 6 p.m. Oct. 19.

Corazon de Vida, or "Heart of Life," aims to help orphaned or abandoned children in Baja California. It provides support to 15 Baja orphanages, which house more than 750 children, according to a news release.

"Our goal is to increase funds to the homes we currently support to adequately cover their basic needs, as well as to support additional homes as fundraising allows," said founder Hilda Pacheco-Taylor. "There is a long waiting list for homes hoping to join our network."

The Heart of Gold evening at Mozambique includes a tequila tasting at 6 p.m., and a sit-down dinner will follow at 7 p.m. There will also be a silent auction and musical performances by John Huessenstamm and David Heath.

Tickets are limited and cost $95. To purchase tickets, visit For more information about the organization, visit


Laguna home will be host to Oceana benefit

The fourth annual SeaChange Summer Party to benefit Oceana will take place at a private residence in Laguna Beach on Saturday.

The event will be hosted by "The Office" actress Angela Kinsey, and actors Diane Lane and Josh Brolin are also scheduled to appear.

The Oceana organization works to protect the world's oceans, and has more than 500,000 supporters.

The SeaChange party will include a cocktail reception and a sit-down dinner. The event has raised more than $3 million for ocean conservation, according to a news release.

For more information on Oceana, visit

—Kelly Parker


TechComm committee gives annual report

The city's TechComm Committee is working with staff to develop its own website, committee Chairman Tim Templeton reported at the Sept. 20 City Council meeting.

"Since telecommunications is a critical utility, we felt it important to give residents a resource," Templeton said. "The city is working on more comprehensive navigation and web page links that incorporate all the current web pages of commissions, boards and committees."

He announced the committee's support for a proposal by Police Chief Paul Workman for a trial use of video cameras to monitor high-traffic areas, a proposal the council rejected.

Templeton voiced the committee's frustration with the city's limited options for television and radio communications, such as Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse, due to topography.

"We are reaching out to representatives from service providers for information about offerings," Templeton said.

The committee also considered applying to participate in a Google trial for broadband access, but changed courses when it appeared the city could not support such an initiative.

The committee is also in touch with the Disaster Preparedness Committee regarding backup communications options and has discussed with city staff options for using social media for communication in a disaster.

—Barbara Diamond

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