Briefly In the News

Shelter seeks volunteers to help with application clinics

Volunteers are needed to help the Friendship Shelter assist residents interested in applying for the Orange County Housing Authority Section 8 waiting list.

Training will be held Friday and Saturday, and volunteers will be assigned shifts to work during the application window of Feb. 16 to 25, according to a news release from the shelter.

The Section 8 waiting list is the only chance for low-income families, seniors and those with disabilities to get a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. There are a limited number of vouchers, and many people apply once the application process is open. The last time the waiting list was opened was November 2005, according to Karen Roper of Orange County Community Services.

"A Section 8 Housing Voucher is, for many of the people Friendship Shelter serves, the permanent solution they need in order to secure stable, permanent housing," the shelter's associate executive director Mark Miller said in a statement. "Friendship Shelter is pulling out all the stops to ensure we are doing everything we can and employing every resource we can marshal to ensure that all who qualify have the opportunity to apply for this life-changing assistance."

Application clinics will be held at the Alternative Sleeping Location, Bridge Hall at Neighborhood Congregational Church and the Friendship Shelter.

Those interested in volunteering should call outreach manager Taylor Mathieson at (949) 494-6928 ext. 16 or email

For more information about the application clinics, call the shelter at (949) 494-6928.


Karger makes it on California primary ballot

Laguna Beach resident and Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger has qualified to be on the ballot for California's primary election June 5.

He will join the other remaining Republican candidates — Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer, according to a news release from Karger's campaign.

"I am thrilled to be on my home state's ballot," Karger said in a statement.

"Now if Fox News, CNN, NBC and the other networks would include me in their future debates, there would be a fresh new moderate candidate among a pretty mediocre field of Republicans. Just let me in one debate," he added.

Karger has also been on the primary ballot in New Hampshire, Michigan, Maryland, North Carolina and Puerto Rico.

In California, there are 172 delegates up for grabs.


Eat up at second annual a la Carte

The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau is preparing for the annual Laguna Beach a la Carte — A Food & Wine Experience, taking place from March 8 to 11.

The four-day event allows attendees to indulge in world-class cuisine with food and wine pairings, see chef demonstrations and grab special offers from local restaurants, according to a news release.

A la Carte's signature event is Laguna Beach Uncorked! — an International Wine & Food Fest, which will be from 1 to 4 p.m. March 10 on the Festival of Arts grounds. Guests can take part in tastings from 22 Laguna restaurants and 30 wineries. Tickets for this event are available at

Now in its second year, a la Carte has expanded its offerings and added sponsors, including the Coastline Pilot.

For a full list of events and menu specials, visit


Laguna recognized for use of social media

The Laguna Beach Visitors & Conference Bureau has been awarded a 2011 Grand Prize Award of Excellence from the North American Travel Journalists Assn.

The bureau was recognized for its outstanding use of social media to promote events like its Laguna Beach Foodies Campaign, according to a news release.

It topped all other convention and visitors bureaus/destination marketing organizations to win one of the awards, which also honor the best in writing, photography and promotion in the travel industry around the world, according to the release.

"We strive to be at the forefront of technology and are honored to have our social media campaign recognized as the best for a destination management organization," Judith Bijlani, president & CEO of the bureau, said in a statement.


Foundation gives grant, receives donation

The Laguna Beach Community Foundation has granted $10,000 to the Crystal Cove Alliance. The money will be earmarked for the group's operations, according to a news release.

The nonprofit will use the funds to help develop new community programs to be held in the Education Commons and media center in Crystal Cove State Park.

For more information on the Crystal Cove Alliance, visit

It was also announced this week that the foundation has received a donation of $10,000 from Laguna Beach residents Peter and Kathy Halper.

"Kathy and I believe it's important to give back to the community as a way to show our appreciation of just how fortunate we are to live in this incredible community," Peter Halper said in a statement.

For more information on the foundation, visit or call (949) 715-8223.


Rotary Club seeks grant applications

The Rotary Club of Laguna Beach is now accepting applications for its 2012 community grant awards.

All applications must be postmarked by March 15, and grant announcements will be made May 1.

To apply or review grant guidelines, visit Email applications to or mail them to Laguna Beach Rotary, P.O. Box 2, Laguna Beach CA 92652.

For more information, call Jeff Redeker at (949) 371-7595.


Laguna woman is president of Council on Aging

A Laguna Beach resident has been named the new president and CEO for the Council on Aging — Orange County.

Lisa Wright Jenkins is active in community service with many nonprofit organizations, including the Girl Scouts of Orange County, Holt International and the Orphan Dress Project.

"I'm honored to be serving our Orange County senior community," Jenkins said in a prepared statement. "I look forward to partnering with our clients, volunteers, contributors, board, and staff. ... We will ensure that the rapidly growing senior population is provided with the help and protection they not only need, but deserve."

The Council on Aging serves more than 75,000 seniors and their families, and its mission is to "promote the independence, health, and dignity of older adults through compassion, education, and advocacy," according to a news release.

—Kelly Parker

Twitter: @KellyParkerTCN

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