Briefly In The News

City's sewer lift station project progressing

The mammoth Main Beach sewer lift station project is on time and within its budget.

Director of Water Quality David Shissler and Project Director Wade Brown gave a PowerPoint presentation at the Feb. 7 City Council meeting that showed how well the project is progressing.

"The amount of equipment and manpower is extraordinary," Shissler said. "It is like Tonka Toys times 10.

Shissler said much of the same equipment will be used for the construction of the city's new Lifeguard Headquarters at Main Beach.

As of the report, 80 truckloads of dirt had been removed. It will be replaced by a prefabricated lift station. The 67,000-pound base will be transported to Laguna on a truck with 60 wheels.

"We are going down 14 feet below sea level," Shissler said. "It has to be watertight. We are doing the biggest possible job in the smallest possible space."

He described it as a "thumb puzzle," where one thing has to be moved in order to do another thing.

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New app features Laguna news, photos and more

If you ever wanted to stay constantly connected to the latest goings-on in Laguna, now there's an app for that.

Available now for smartphones is Laguna Beach 7, the free app available now in Apple's app store and the Android marketplace.

In addition to real-time weather and news, there is also an events calendar, interactive photo galleries, streaming videos and integrated Google maps, according to a news release.

"It's a very exciting new way to stay connected with everything that's going on around town," Teri Morin, founder of Laguna Beach 7, said in a statement.

For more information, visit http://www.lagunabeach7.com.

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Building upgrades will save Laguna money

Thanks to federal stimulus funds, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system at City Hall is now more energy efficient, which will save the city thousands of dollars a year.

Improvements include new units that will provide each zone of the building with tempered air and sensors that will turn off lights when they are not needed, according to a news release.

Recent upgrades also replaced the lighting of 2,500 lamps with efficiency-engineered ballasts at places like City Hall, the Community Center, Fire Stations Nos. 1 and 2, and more.

The funding of $131,000 came from a block grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act from theU.S. Department of Energy.

The city is now expected to save $21,844 in energy costs and lessen greenhouse emissions by 58 tons every year, according to the release. Maintenance costs will also decrease over the next 10 years.

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Dust off treasures to donate to collection

Laguna Beach Seniors is seeking donations for its Legacy Collection, which will be a staple item up for bid at the silent auction during the sixth annual Legacy Ball on March 9.

The collection should include unique items like jewelry, antiques, art and books valued at $200 or more, according to a news release.

The group is accepting new or gently used items for the collection until Feb. 28. Proceeds from the Legacy Ball and auction will go toward programs that benefit seniors at the Susi Q Senior Center.

For more information, call Christine Brewer at (949) 497-2441 or christineb@thesusiq.org.

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PMMC chooses new board of directors

The Pacific Marine Mammal Center announced this week its board of directors for 2012.

Jeff Brumett was named president, along with Linda Wolcott as vice president, Nancy Bushnell as treasurer and Vicki Tales as secretary, according to a news release from the center.

Other changes include the addition to the board of Kathryn Burton Gray, and the resignation of former president Jock Stalker.

Stalker will continue to help with fundraising and projects, according to the release.

"Jock's leadership has been instrumental in moving us through the disastrous flood and the recovery activities that were essential to our getting up and running again," Brumett said in a statement.

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Volunteer team returns from Thailand

Pastor Jay Grant from Church by the Sea and his team recently returned from a dental mission trip to the slums of Bangkok and a village nearMyanmar'sborder.

The group included long-time resident and dentist Teru Yamamoto, who was assisted by Samantha Ryder, Linda Ungerland, Anita Delaney, Wes Davis and Shari Yamamoto.

They saw more than 160 patients who had never been to a dentist.

Before leaving, Teru Yamamoto left some portable dental equipment behind in order to help a volunteer dentist in the area, who didn't have many tools to work with.

There are plans for the team to return next year with more supplies and treatment. Interested volunteers should contact Yamamoto at truyama@yahoo.com or call Church by the Sea at (949) 494-6191.

—Barbara Diamond and Kelly Parker

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