Irvine official to speak at Conservancy dinner

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy will host Beth Krom, mayor pro tem of Irvine and chairwoman of the Orange County Great Park Corp., at its monthly dinner meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at Tivoli Terrace.

Krom will speak on the topic, "Growing the Orange County Great Park," and detail the progress in turning the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro into a "great metropolitan park," according to an announcement from the conservancy.

The dinner is $15 for nonmembers and $10 for members. Tivoli Terrace is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road on the grounds of the Festival of Arts. To attend, call (949) 494-6465 and leave your name, phone number and number of reservations.

—Cindy Frazier

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AT&T upgrades mobile network in Laguna

AT&T announced this week that it is making improvements to and expanding mobile broadband coverage in Laguna Beach, according to a news release.

The upgrades will help bring faster speeds, more reliability and better service to customers in the area.

"We've seen an astounding 8,000% increase in data traffic in the last four years. This has been our call to action to keep pace and stay ahead of customer demand," Andy Shibley, vice president and general manager of AT&T, said in a statement. "To ensure this, we're adding new cell sites, enhancing in-building coverage, increasing data speeds and, most importantly, servicing and tuning our network."

AT&T has also introduced 4G to its Laguna Beach network, which will make wireless data speeds up to four times faster on devices like tablets and smartphones, according to the news release.

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Jewish officer to talk about time in Iraq

A Jewish military officer will speak about her experiences serving in Iraq and Afghanistan during an event at 7 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Chabad Jewish Center.

Laurie Lans, a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve, was part of Operation Enduring Freedom/Operation Iraqi Freedom from January 2003 to August 2003, according to a news release. She served again in Iraq from September 2005 to September 2006, and then in Afghanistan from June 2010 to June 2011.

Her stories will include attending a menorah-lighting ceremony at Saddam Hussein's palace, how she honored the Sabbath and kept kosher during her tours.

The cost to attend is $18. To RSVP, call (949) 499-0770 or visit http://www.chabadoflaguna.com.

The Chabad Jewish Center is at 30804 S. Coast Hwy.

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Residents create Donor Advised Fund

Laguna Beach residents Susie and Jim Jaqua have started a donor advised fund at the Laguna Beach Community Foundation, according to a news release.

They will also partner with the foundation's grant program by donating $10,000.

"As the fifth generation of a family of bankers concerned with philanthropy, we understand how community foundations can accomplish charitable goals. Susie and I have personally engaged community foundations to help with our previous charitable activities," Jim Jaqua said in a statement.

According to the foundation's website, "donor advised funds allow you to contribute assets to your fund at any time and recommend grants to support qualified nonprofit organizations of your choice."

For more information about the Community Foundation, contact Darrcy Loveland at (949) 715-8223 or darrcyloveland@lagunabeachcf.org.

—Kelly Parker