Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

The waters off Laguna Beach are about to become safer with the introduction of Wave Watch and you’re invited to the celebration

The City of Laguna Beach is inviting the community to the christening and dedication ceremony of its new Marine Safety Vessel, Wave Watch. But there’s a catch. You’ll have to drive up to Marina Park, 1600 West Balboa Blvd. in Newport Beach, on Friday, May 24, at 9 a.m. to partake.

Following the ceremony, a guided tour of the vessel will be available.

“The reintroduction of the Rescue Vessel Program through ‘Wave Watch’ represents a significant milestone for the Laguna Beach community,” said Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf. “This vessel fills a crucial gap in our offshore response capabilities, reinforcing our commitment to marine safety and emergency response from the water.”

A little bit about Wave Watch – it was crafted by Crystaliner and designed to withstand various ocean conditions and execute diverse rescue operations efficiently; it is equipped with advanced communication systems, including Lifeguard 800-megahertz radio and Ship-to-Ship V.H.F. radio, facilitating seamless coordination during emergencies; and it enhances community safety by providing a stable platform for immediate emergency medical.

Acting Laguna Beach Marine Safety Chief Kai Bond added, “‘Wave Watch’ is an invaluable addition to our marine safety efforts, dedicated to ensuring the well-being of all who enjoy our coastal waters. It substantially enhances our emergency response infrastructure, improving efficiency and effectiveness in on-water emergency operations.”

Reminder: Someone remember that bottle of Champagne for the customary christening against the boat’s hull.

• • •

Wednesday (May 8), the County of Orange released the results of the Orange County 2024 Point In Time (PIT) Count.

A total of 7,322 persons experiencing homelessness were counted during the 2024 PIT Count. Of the 7,322 individuals counted, 3,149 persons were sheltered while 4,173 persons were unsheltered. In comparing 2024 to 2022, there was a 37% increase in unsheltered population versus an increase in 18% in the sheltered population. However, when comparing 2019 to 2024, the increase was smaller at only 5% in the unsheltered population and 9% in the sheltered population. Total Orange County experienced a 28% increase from 2022 to 2024 and a 7% increase from 2019 to 2024.

“The 2024 Point in Time Count shows that the homelessness crisis continues to grow in Orange County with a majority of these neighbors stuck in the shelter system without permanent housing to move into,” said Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley. “While the data shows a decrease in unsheltered families and children, the number of unsheltered veterans, transitional age youth and seniors increased. Most of our unhoused neighbors have deep ties to Orange County and increasingly suffer from substance use disorders. We must re-double our efforts to build permanent supportive and affordable housing, especially for seniors, with renewed urgency.

“As the OC Housing Finance Trust Chair, I met with housing developers to drill down on ways we can cut red tape and decrease costs per unit. This week, I’m in Washington, D.C. advocating to close the federal government’s $17 million annual funding gap for affordable housing development in Orange County,” added Supervisor Foley.

To see the summary of the report, click here.

• • •

The Laguna Beach Police Department will host a Road Safety Expo on Sunday, May 19 at Top of the World Elementary School from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Included will be BMX, games, activities, vendors, lunch, face painting, bounce houses and more. The PD throughout will be promoting safe and legal operations of bicycles for all ages at this free event.

BMX riders will perform at 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Laguna Beach Fire Department will also get into the act with their own demonstrations at 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

You’re encouraged to bring your bike with you.

There will be a fun raffle for a chance to win a signed Tony Hawk helmet and an opportunity to win a bike and much more.

It’ll be a fun day…and, if the kids listen and learn, you can feel more comfortable sending them out in this busy world.

• • •

Mayor Sue Kempf and Councilmember Mark Orgill are moving forward with development plans across the board for a revamped Promenade. The mayor discusses that and touches on the committee meeting for Laguna Canyon Road Protect & Connect in this week’s Fair Game Laguna Podcast here.

• • •

Wednesday, May 15 at Susi Q Senior Center is live music they’re calling Bach Meets Bluegrass, from 10-11 a.m. It’s free.

Here’s what you have – Laguna Beach Live! and the Philharmonic Society of OC are teaming up and presenting Grammy-nominated violinist Tessa Lark and virtuoso composer/bassist Michael Thurber for a mix of Bach, bluegrass, jazz, folk and more.

Reservations can be made via thesusiq.org.

Lark’s credentials include performing with New York’s Carnegie Hall Citywide, La Jolla Music Society SummerFest, the Ravinia Festival, and the world premiere of Carlos Izcaray’s Violin Concerto – written for her – under the composer’s baton with the Alabama Symphony.

Thurber, a songwriter/bassist/producer, has an impressive young career that includes composing scores for The Royal Shakespeare Company, playing bass in The Late Show with Stephen Colbert house band, scoring shorts for Vanity Fair and BBC, plus co-founding the hit YouTube channel CDZA (30 million views).

Should be fun.

• • •

Tonight is the second Sunset Serenade at the Heisler Park Amphitheater featuring local singer/songwriter Jodi Siegel. Enjoy the sunset while listening to some good music.

Performance begins at 6:30 p.m.

You may also mark down Red Light Brass Band (Louisiana Jazz) for May 17 and Uncanny Valley (Rock) for May 24.


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