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Around Town: Skipper Carrillo statue to be unveiled in Laguna

Artist Randy Morgan shows a model of his Skipper Carrillo statue in 2017. The life-size version of the sculpture will be unveiled Sunday at the Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach.
(File Photo)

Sculptor Randy Morgan will unveil his statue of longtime Laguna Beach High School baseball volunteer Skipper Carrillo on Sunday after about three months of work and more than a year of fundraising.

The life-size bronze statue of Carrillo, who volunteered for the baseball team for more than 30 years, will be unveiled at 3 p.m. at the Forest & Ocean Gallery, 480 Ocean Ave., Laguna Beach.

Neighborhood meeting to discuss bicycle project in Costa Mesa

The city of Costa Mesa will hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss plans to add new bicycle lanes, roadway markings and pedestrian crossings on West 19th Street between Placentia Avenue and Marina View Park.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in Room 202 at the Costa Mesa Senior Center, 695 W. 19th St. Those who are unable to attend may write to project manager Nicole Jules at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive, or by email at


For more information about the project, call the city Transportation Services Division at (714) 754-5343.

Newport library gears up 25th-anniversary celebration

The Newport Beach Central Library plans monthly activities through July to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Highlights include National Library Week festivities in April, “Books, Bunnies and More!” in May, a Summer Reading Spectacular in June and a week of anniversary events July 7-13.

The library, at 1000 Avocado Ave., had its grand opening July 10, 1994.


“The 25th-anniversary year gives us the opportunity to look back at the history of the Central Library, acknowledge the individuals and organizations that pursued the dream and anticipate the future of library services in Newport Beach,” library director Tim Hetherton said in a statement. “We look forward to continue to serve the city with superb programs, excellent collections, technological enhancements, children’s activities, cultural arts programs, learning opportunities and other valuable resources.”

For more information, visit

Sandbags available for Laguna residents

With this week’s storms, the city of Laguna Beach is providing free filled sandbags to help Laguna residents fend off possible flooding.

The bags are available round-the-clock on a first-come, first-served basis to residents with ID (limit is 10 per property).

Sandbags can be picked up at the ACT V parking lot (Lot 16) at 1900 Laguna Canyon Road and the Aliso Beach inland parking lot at 31118 S. Coast Hwy.

Free unfilled sandbags are available at Laguna Beach’s four fire stations:

  • Station 1, 501 Forest Ave.
  • Station 2, 285 Agate St.
  • Station 3, 2900 Alta Laguna Blvd.
  • Station 4, 31646 Second Ave.

Star of early sitcom dies in Newport Beach

Mary Kay Stearns, star of one of TV’s earliest situation comedies, died recently in Newport Beach at age 93.

She died Nov. 17 but her death wasn’t publicly reported until last week. A cause of death was not listed.


Stearns, along with her husband, Johnny Stearns, who died in 2001 at age 85, starred in “Mary Kay and Johnny,” a sitcom that debuted in 1947 on the DuMont Network. The New York-based show later moved to NBC, CBS and back to NBC, where it ended in 1950, according to a Deadline Hollywood report.

The series is noted mostly for writing Mary Kay Stearns’ real-life pregnancy and childbirth into the show in 1948, years before the much better-known “I Love Lucy” did the same with Lucille Ball in 1953.

Mary Kay Stearns mostly retired from performing after “Mary Kay and Johnny” ended and the family moved to California, according to Deadline Hollywood. She is survived by her children, Jonathan, Christopher and Melinda, and a grandson.

Laguna’s Aliso Beach Park to get cleanup

The Eco Warrior Foundation will hold its first beach cleanup of the year Saturday to remove trash from Aliso Beach Park in Laguna Beach.

The cleanup is from 9 a.m. to noon. The foundation will provide bags and gloves and free parking passes for volunteers, as well as a lunch sponsored by Chronic Tacos.

Online auction precedes Newport awards dinner

The annual awards dinner for the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade and Ring of Lights decorating contest is set for Jan. 25 at the Fashion Island Hotel, but in the meantime, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is presenting an online auction of vacation and/or dining packages for Maui, Joshua Tree National Park, Napa Valley, Newport Beach and Cancun, Mexico.

The awards dinner, which starts at 6 p.m., will feature live and silent auctions of hundreds of items, including travel excursions, dining, jewelry and art. Tickets are $125 and include a four-course dinner with wine.

For reservations to the dinner or to join the online pre-event auction, visit


Gross Family Foundation donated $21.4 million to nonprofits in 2018

The William, Jeff and Jennifer Gross Family Foundation, the charity founded by asset manager Bill Gross and his son and daughter, announced Monday that it donated a total of $21.45 million to 28 nonprofits in 2018.

Among the largest donations were $5 million to the Children’s Hospital of Orange County small baby unit, $4.795 million to the VII Foundation and $2.161 million each to Doctors Without Borders and the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund.

“I am pleased to work with my son Jeff and daughter Jennifer in identifying and supporting worthy and important causes that benefit California as well as global communities,” according to a statement from Gross, a Laguna Beach resident and co-founder of Newport Beach-based Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO. “We are committed to doing our part to help others in their times of need, as well as furthering educational and healthcare organizations that are working to create better lives locally and around the world.”