Briefly In The News

Marine mammal center gets $15K grant

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center recently received a $15,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The money will go toward supporting the facility and its animal care operations. The center treats about 250 animals every year, and the rehabilitation costs are more than $600,000 annually, according to a news release.

The grant was the Wells Fargo Foundation's first contribution to the center.

"Our oceans and their sea life belong to everyone," Bao-Ngoc Liu, South Coast District manager for Wells Fargo said in a statement. "At Wells Fargo, we strive to make environmental stewardship a natural part of who we are and how we think."


Laguna ranks high on best beach list

Laguna Beach was named the No. 1 beach in California by the Daily Beast/Newsweek, according to a news release from the city's Visitors & Conference Bureau.

On the Daily Beast's list of the country's 20 most popular beaches, Laguna ranks as No. 6, narrowly edging out Newport Beach in the No. 7 slot.

The list was compiled using statistics from the United States Lifesaving Assn. and figured in beach attendance figures as well as the population of the beach cities, according to the release.

In 2010, Laguna Beach had 3,912,483 visitors with a population of 24,131, according to the release.

Other California cities that made the list include Huntington Beach, Del Mar, San Diego, Oceanside and Coronado.


City sidewalk installation underway

Construction began this week to install a sidewalk and handrail on Hillcrest Drive between Dolphin Way and High Drive. Parking on this portion of road is restricted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to City Manager John Pietig's Weekly Update of Aug. 4. The work is scheduled to be finished by the end of September.

Also, construction of underground utility structures in Mar Vista will be completed by the end of August, according to the update.

Finally, city crews recently removed weeds from Pacific View Park and rebuilt a wooden footbridge that accesses the park.


Wine and beer deals on tap

Laguna Beach restaurants will participate in OC Wine Week from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1, and OC Beer Week from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

These back-to-back events will replace the fall OC Restaurant Week this year, according to a news release. Wine Week will feature prix-fixe menus and wine-pairing options. Beer Week will feature beer offerings and deals throughout the county.

Participating Laguna Beach restaurants include: House of Big Fish and Ice Cold Beer, Katsuya, K'ya Bistro, Mozambique and The Deck on Laguna Beach.

For the full list of restaurants and more information, visit


'Velva Jean' author to appear at bookstore

Jennifer Niven, author of "Velva Jean Learns to Fly," will be at Laguna Beach Books at 4 p.m. Sept. 11.

She will read from and sign copies of her book and take questions from the audience.

In the follow-up to Niven's debut novel, "Velva Jean Learns to Drive," Velva Jean goes on the road and tries to make her dream of singing at the Grand Ole Opry come true. After a surprise visit from her brother, this dream gives way to a new one: becoming a female pilot.

Laguna Beach Books is at 1200 S. Coast Hwy., Suite 105. For more information, call (949) 494-4779.

—Kelly Parker

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