Robert Quest, Co-Owner of Sundried Tomato Café hands the check to Melissa Sciacca, surrounded by Pacific Marine Mammal Center directors and supporters. (Coastline Pilot / October 6, 2011)

Laguna wins whale tail Mayor's Challenge

Laguna Beach has been declared the winner in the Mayor's Challenge from the California Coastal Commission.

The contest pitted Laguna against Dana Point and Santa Monica to see which city's residents could buy the most new whale tail license plates, which were designed in part by Laguna Beach artist Bill Atkins.

Laguna has been promoting the plate sales through decals on area transit system buses.

"I'm excited that Laguna Beach won!" Mayor Toni Iseman said in a statement. "It was great fun to participate in this friendly challenge and to support the California Coastal Commission (CCC) in their educational programs initiative."

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A week dedicated to fire prevention

Fire Prevention Week is Sunday through Oct. 15, and the Laguna Beach Fire Department is encouraging residents to come up with a plan in case of a house fire.

Firefighters will also visit local schools throughout October to help educate on fire safety and emergency preparedness.

On Oct. 15, the public is invited from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to tour any of Laguna's four fire stations, meet firefighters and ask questions.

For more information, call (949) 497-0700.

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Mammal center benefits raise more than $80K

Two recent benefits for the Pacific Marine Mammal Center have netted thousands of dollars to help keep the center's animal care and education efforts going.

The Marine Mammal Cabaret on Sept. 25 at the Aliso Creek Inn brought in more than $77,000, according to a news release.

Melissa Sciacca, the center's director of development and marketing, called the fundraiser the most successful in the organization's history.

Sundried Tomato Café celebrated its 10th anniversary Sept. 18 with a four-course dinner that benefited the center. More than 50 people attended, and the event raised $3,240. The night included a raffle that featured gift baskets donated by the Blow Salon and Spa.

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Spots open on board, committee

The City Council is accepting applications for the Board of Adjustment/Design Review Board and the Emergency Disaster Preparedness Committee, according to news releases from the city.