Around Town: Civil War Days re-enactment returns to Huntington Beach – Los Angeles Times

The Huntington Beach Historical Society will present its annual Civil War Days re-enactment Saturday and Sunday at Central Park, 7111 Talbert Ave. Admission is free.

Saturday’s events start at 10 a.m. and include a battle at 1:30 p.m., delivery of the Gettysburg Address at 3 and 4:45 p.m., and a dance at 7 p.m.

Sunday’s festivities start with a church service at 9 a.m. Battles are scheduled for 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

For a complete list of events, visit

Hawaiian dinner coming to Newport Dunes

The Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort will host a Hawaiian luau dinner on Saturday, starting at 6 p.m. The event will include entertainment, dancing and traditional Hawaiian cuisine.

Tickets cost $99, plus fees. For more information, call (949) 729-3863 or email

Back Bay center hosts nocturnal insect walk

The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach will host a family-friendly program Saturday exploring nocturnal insects of the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

The free “evening insect safari” runs from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at 2301 University Drive. Parking is free. Children 16 and younger must have a legal guardian present to participate.

For more information, call (949) 923-2250 or email

Classic cars return for fairgrounds cruising event

Great Labor Day Cruise

Michael Trujillo drives his 1937 Ford coupe during the Great Labor Day Cruise in 2015 at the OC Fair & Event Center. The event returns Saturday and Sunday to the Costa Mesa venue.

(File Photo)

The OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa will host the 37th annual Great Labor Day Cruise on Saturday and Sunday.

The event will feature a 1.25-mile route for classic cars to mosey around the fairgrounds. Featured cars will include pre-1987 American-made vehicles, pre-1974 Volkswagens and late-model Ford Mustangs, Chevrolet Camaros and Dodge Challengers.

General admission is $12. Children 12 and younger can attend for free. Parking is $9.

For more information and an event schedule, visit

Boots on the Beach country fest Sunday at Newport Dunes

Boots on the Beach, a country music festival, returns to the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort on Sunday.

Scheduled performers include Blown Away, a Carrie Underwood tribute group.

Festivities start at 4:30 p.m. and go until 9 p.m. at Newport Dunes, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach.

General admission is $20. For tickets, visit and search for “Boots on the Beach — Labor Day Weekend 2019.”

UCI scientists are awarded $2.7 million for research project

A group of UC Irvine scientists has won $2.7 million in federal funding to study how soil microbes’ response to drought may yield clues to withstanding climate change.

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The project by researchers from UCI’s School of Biological Sciences and Department of Earth System Science stems from work they’ve been conducting in Orange County parklands in partnership with the Irvine Ranch Conservancy. By studying the microbiome of dead plant matter at those sites, the team found that the several hundred species of bacteria and fungi shift in composition when deprived of moisture, UCI said.

“Now that we’ve identified these changes, we want to find out the mechanisms causing them to occur,” Steven Allison, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, said in a statement.

It’s possible that some microorganisms not cut out for dry conditions might adjust by mutating, the university said. That scenario could hold promise in withstanding climate change, Allison said.

“How species can adapt to climate change is one of the big mysteries in our field,” Kathleen Treseder, a professor of Earth system science and ecology and evolutionary biology, said in a statement.

Former Costa Mesa fire chief dies

John Petruzziello — Costa Mesa’s fire chief from 1979 to 1993 — has died, the city announced this week.

“The Costa Mesa fire family wants to acknowledge and honor the many contributions that Chief Petruzziello made to the community,” a city news release stated.

Petruzziello is survived by his wife, Chreta, and their children. Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 12100 Ridgecrest Road in Victorville.

Newport Beach church names new pastor

Christ Church by the Sea in Newport Beach recently named a new pastor.

The Rev. Paul Capetz is a Southern California native and graduate of UCLA, Yale Divinity School and the University of Chicago Divinity School. He has worked as a parish minister, youth director, college chaplain, hospital chaplain and seminary and college professor, according to Christ Church’s website.

Local Boys & Girls Clubs fundraising nets $280,000


Area Boys & Girls Clubs, including this branch in Costa Mesa, recently participated in a fundraising campaign.

(File Photo)

Orange County-area Boys & Girls Clubs, includes those in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach and Costa Mesa, recently participated in a fundraising campaign that netted more than $280,000 in 24 hours.

The second annual Greatness Amplified Giving Day, launched by the Orange County Community Foundation, attracted 377 donors.

Free O.C. bus passes available to Golden West College students

The Orange County Transportation Authority launched a bus-pass program this week with Golden West College in Huntington Beach.

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The program, which is in the first of three pilot years, enables students of the community college to ride on the county bus system for free — whether to the campus, work or anywhere else.

Costs for the first year of the program will be covered by the state cap-and-trade-funded Low Carbon Transit Operations Program. The second and third years will be funded by the Associated Students of Golden West College.

For more information, visit

Orange Coast College to offer social media education

Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa is offering a social media communication certificate program to help students prepare for careers in social media publicity and marketing.

“Students will be learning which platforms to use, depending on their target audience,” Michael Mandelkern, OCC’s literature and language dean, said in a statement. “There are many jobs available right now that pay well because many companies are looking for someone who’s able to do this, but not very many people are trained in social media strategy.”

UC Irvine offers scholarships for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players

With the start of classes about a month away, the UC Irvine e-sports team announced that it will be offering scholarships for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players for the 2019-20 school year.

Current or incoming students will be considered for six $6,000 scholarships to play for UCI this year. The scholarships are part of a pilot program funded by a $50,000 donation. Teams will compete in collegiate tournaments as well as individually at major Super Smash Bros. Ultimate tournaments around the country. The multi-player fighting game was released last year on Nintendo Switch.

Tryouts for the team will be held on campus in October.

UCI medical students get handheld ultrasound devices

The 104 members of UC Irvine School of Medicine’s incoming class of 2023 got a surprise this month when Dr. Michael Stamos, the school’s dean, presented them with Butterfly iQ handheld ultrasound devices to keep.

Nine years ago, also during the school’s White Coat Ceremony, UCI became the first medical school in the country to give its students their own iPads.

The Butterfly Network’s ultrasound devices retail for nearly $2,000 each.

“When our faculty director caught wind of Butterfly coming into existence, we had talked about this being a big game-changer for us,” Dr. Warren Wiechmann, associate dean for the School of Medicine, told MobiHealthNews. “Historically, we had been using a lot of laptop and cart-based ultrasounds, which are technically portable but they’re not handheld and they are still a little bit limiting for our students. So when we heard about Butterflies, that really opened up the possibility that we could move toward this idea of having every student with an ultrasound machine in their pocket.”

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Student Christina Grabar told MobiHealthNews that she’s “looking at doing a program for ultrasound initiatives, global outreach around the world, in the summer between first and second year. I think having my own Butterfly and being able to use it well before the program starts is not only going to enhance my research but then when I’m going to teach other physicians about this technology, I’ll feel even more comfortable with it.”

Laguna Beach Unified names Spirit of Laguna winner

Brandon Lee, an instructional assistant at El Morro Elementary School, was recently named the recipient of the 2019 Spirit of Laguna award.

The award recognizes a Laguna Beach Unified School District staff member who “exemplifies extraordinary service to others,” according to a district news release.

Lee has been with Laguna Unified since 2013. He also serves on district committees and the labor negotiations team for the classified employees’ bargaining unit.

“[Lee] is always so engaged in his duties, happy to be here and, most importantly, builds meaningful relationships with students and staff,” El Morro Principal Chris Duddy said in a statement. “He has a unique way of building connections with the students he serves by focusing on their strengths and building on them. It doesn’t hurt that he loves music and isn’t afraid to dance in front of the kids.”

Laguna Beach school district names principal as HR director

The Laguna Beach Unified School District appointed Michael Conlon, principal of Top of the World Elementary School, as district director of human resources.

“I am excited about this opportunity and look to draw on my past experience in system implementation and change leadership to further enhance the services provided to the district through the department of human resources,” Conlon, who has been principal at the school since 2014, said in a statement. “It has been an honor serving as the principal at Top of the World Elementary and I look forward to continuing my support of the campus in this new role.”

He will begin his new position in mid-September. An interim principal will take over at Top of the World. The district said it expects to begin recruitment for a new principal in January.

The HR position comes out of a July 16 vote by the board of trustees to restructure two administrative positions. Leisa Winston, assistant superintendent of human resources and public communications, has taken on the title of deputy superintendent of human resources and instructional services. Staff recommended the district approve a position for director of human resources to manage the day-to-day operations of the department.

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