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Briefly In the News

HIV/AIDS grants go to local groups

Two Laguna Beach organizations will receive part of more than $750,000 in grants from Kaiser Permanente earmarked for more than 60 nonprofits in Southern California.

Many of the 2009 grant recipients were selected by committees at each medical center and included physicians, nurses, health educators and other Kaiser Permanente staff members who work with HIV and AIDS patients from the communities they themselves serve. Other agencies were chosen because they provide services that are not covered by insurance benefits or are not available through state, county and federal agencies.

Kaiser Permanente’s HIV grant funding in Orange County was awarded to Laguna Beach Community Clinic; Laguna Beach-based ACTION: Aids Care Teams in Our Neighborhoods; AIDS Services Foundation Orange County; Shanti Orange County; The Center OC; Mercy House Transitional Living Centers; and the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team.


Bates speaks to Conservancy

Supervisor Pat Bates will be the keynote speaker at a Monday dinner meeting of the Laguna Canyon Conservancy at Tivoli Terrace.

Bates served four terms as mayor of Laguna Niguel and three terms as Assemblywoman for California’s 73rd Assembly District. She was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2006. Bates will give an update on the Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness Park and the Dana Point Harbor renovation, among other issues. An opportunity for Q & A will follow.

Doors open at 6 p.m., dinner is served about 6:35 p.m. and the program follows. Dinner tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers and may be paid at the door with prior reservations. Membership is $10 per year. Reservations are required by Saturday by calling (949) 494-6465. The public is invited to attend.


Garden Club hosts orchid expert Dec. 11

The Laguna Beach Garden Club will present orchid hybridizer and expert Charles Weckerle-Thrun speaking on “Cold-Tolerant Orchids for Southern California" at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 11.

Weckerle-Thrun began growing orchids at 15 and has been hybridizing orchids for 20 years, specializing in cooler-temperature-tolerant varieties. He belongs to 26 orchid societies in Southern California, and manages his own orchid collections under the names of Rowland Collection and Lothlorien Orchids.

The meeting will be at the Neighborhood Congregational Church, 340 St. Ann’s Drive. The meeting is free one time for guests. For more information, visit

Spark of Love toy drive runs through Dec. 24

The Laguna Beach Fire Department is participating in the “Spark of Love" toy drive campaign, which runs through Dec. 24. All local fire stations in Laguna Beach, as well as Thurston Middle School, will serve as drop-off sites for the public to bring new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment. In addition, CVS drugstores will serve as toy collection points.

As in the past, the Orange County “Spark of Love" Toy Drive is combining its efforts with “Toys for Tots." Together, these campaigns will collectively gather toys to be disseminated to the various charitable organizations throughout Orange County through a central warehouse.