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Briefly In the News

26th annual AIDS Walk announced

Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be up early May 6.

The 26th annual AIDS Walk Orange County will begin at 7 a.m. at the Disneyland Resort. The walk is expected to raise $750,000, all of which will stay in Orange County and be distributed to nine agencies, including the Laguna Beach Community Clinic, according to event chair Ken Jillson.

“These agencies provide care for men, women and children infected and affected by HIV/ AIDS,” said Jillson. “They also offer testing and education.”


Laguna is home to 440 people living with HIV/AIDS, Jillson said.

The walk is organized by AIDS Services Foundation, founded in Laguna by Jillson and Al Roberts. Five thousand walkers are expected, Jillson said.

The entry fee is $50. Participants will have free parking and enjoy a 5K walk through Disneyland and Disney California Adventure before they open to the public.

“We are so pleased to have the walk at Disneyland again and we are hoping to attract the youth of Orange County and give them the knowledge and ability to prevent getting infected,” said Jillson. “This includes knowing their HIV status. Testing will be available free of charge at the walk.”


Nonwalkers may make donations to the foundation. A $25 donation provides eight meals. Three round-trip visits to the doctor would be paid by a $55 donation. A $100 donation provides six months of case management.

To register for the walk or for more information, call (949) 809-5700 or visit


Entangled gray whale spotted up north

June, the entangled gray whale spotted off the coast of Orange County last week, has been sighted again off the coast of Gorda in Monterey County, according to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.

A rescue team from the center attempted to cut away debris from the whale last week but had to head back to shore when it got dark. The whale could not be found the next time the crew went out to finish the job.

June is now outside the center’s territory, and the original rescue crew is deferring to the National Marine Fisheries Service and a sister organization to attempt to help the whale now, according the center.

For more information, contact Jim Milbury at



ZeroTrash receives $5,000 grant

ZeroTrash Laguna Beach was awarded a $5,000 grant from Keep America Beautiful and Waste Management.

The nonprofit was one of 42 community cleanup groups awarded the grant, and will use the money to open more ZeroTrash organizations inland, according to a news release.

Every first Saturday of the month, ZeroTrash organizes a community cleanup in Laguna Beach and other cities. Waste Management provides a recycle and trash bin at each of the nonprofit’s five Laguna Beach “Pick It Up!” locations.

The group also weighs the waste collected in order to keep track of how much trash has been collected. In April, volunteers collected 220 pounds of trash and 490 recyclables. Local businesses also provide coffee, food and trash pickers to the volunteers. Avila’s El Ranchito Mexican Restaurant helped out in April.


Executive director search at PMMC


The Pacific Marine Mammal Center is in search of a permanent executive director.

The nonprofit’s board of directors announced the job opening earlier this month, and the new director is expected to start in July. Qualifications and details can be found at

According to a press release, PMMC’s mission is to rescue, medically treat and rehabilitate marine mammals that are stranded along the Orange County coastline; release healthy marine mammals back into their natural habitat; and increase public awareness of the marine environment through education and research.


Weed abatement deadline looms

May 18 is the deadline for noticed property owners to abate weeds, according to the city manager’s weekly update.

If weeds are present after the deadline, the city will abate the weeds/hazard and recover the costs through a property tax assessment. For more information or questions, call Fire Prevention Officer Ray Lardie at (949) 497-0756.


Photo studio offering a doggone good deal

Romero Fine Portraiture and Animal Crackers Pet Rescue are teaming up to raise money to save animals.

Photographer Don Romero is reducing prices and will donate a portion of his pet portrait sales to Animal Crackers.

To schedule an appointment, call (949) 494-5828 or email

— Barbara Diamond, Alisha Gomez and Kelly Parker