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Letter to the Editor:

Nancy Gardner column stirs thoughts of a favorite childhood teacher

Nancy Gardner’s article in your 1-8-18 edition regarding her former teacher at Newport Harbor High reminded me of my favorite teacher, who happened to teach 4th grade in a Sioux City, Iowa school. I never forgot this woman, who had never married or raised her own children, nevertheless was the most influential teacher in my life. Unlike Nancy’s teacher who sounded fun and progressive, Miss Trehune was known for endorsing long-held American traditions and rules which she believed important.

My respect for this teacher has grown with each passing year as I experience the rewards of living according to the words and truths she taught. She was unforgettable, but not due to her personality, looks, or any awards. In fact, she was exceedingly plain looking, deplorably blunt, and frighteningly honest. Yet, for more decades than I care to share, she remains the teacher that most influenced my life.

She always began Monday mornings asking if anyone would like to share something special they had done over the weekend. I had nothing to report of significance, but being a veracious child I raised my hand. When she called on me I began my little speech and soon realized it needed something a bit more exciting if I wanted to keep everyone’s attention. I was actually pretty good at embellishing at that age, but I didn’t get too far into the fiction portion before Miss Trehune stopped me and asked if what I had said was really true. Apparently, I had exaggerated beyond anything she found acceptable and used it as an example to the class that one must always stick to facts. I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was, but it accomplished my teacher’s apparent purpose. Not only did I strive to never exaggerate after that experience, I do my best to always be as accurate as possible.

Miss Trehune was even more eager to point out the good among her nine-year-old students, whenever she saw an example to do so. My Mom hadn’t time to make my lunch one morning and there was no school cafeteria. I was given money to go across the street to a local restaurant. I sat by myself at the lunch counter, ate, and went back to class. The first thing Miss Trehune did when class began was to announce she had just witnessed something special by a student in our class.

I was totally shocked when she identified me as that student. I had no idea Miss Trehune had lunched at that restaurant as well. She had noticed a man and his wife wanting to eat at the counter, but there weren’t two seats together. I saw their problem as well, so I told the couple I would move to another seat so they could sit together. Obviously no big deal, but from that time to now, due to Miss Trehune, I’ve purposed to think more of others in similar situations.

Miss Trehune never let a teaching opportunity go to waste. We were the children she never had and as such she devoted her life to teaching us more than just facts from books; she taught us tools to be better people. Teaching was not just her profession, it was her life. I sometimes wonder how many students she taught incorporated this amazing woman’s advice into their lives and thus benefited from her wisdom. A teacher like Miss Trehune is a gift that keeps on giving throughout life and thus helps make our World a bit better for everyone.

Bonnie O’Neil

Newport Beach

Guest Column

Dave Kiff

An insider’s look at what’s going on in and around City Hall

Dave Kiff

Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff

Happy 2018 to you! I hope that your holidays were safe, fun, and relaxing (unless you like it otherwise, and that’s fine too – I know more than a few holiday adrenaline junkies). Anyway, back here at City Hall we’re revving up for another year. The new Mayor is Duffy Duffield and the new Mayor Pro Tem is Will O’Neill.

Our first meeting of the year starts with a Study Session at 4 p.m. and then goes to a Regular Session at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9.

As to Study Session, we’ll honor Pacific Life on its 150th Anniversary. Then the Council will go into two policy items:

A briefing by the City’s consultant that looks at the state and regional economy

that’s Beacon Economics. We had Beacon do a public workshop about this time last year, and I think that the folks attending got a lot out of it. This time, it’s a Study Session item so that more people might be able to hear it or see it online. This can be a good one to tune in to if you want some solid guidance about the current (and possibly future) state of the regional economy. I should probably put in here something about not making investment strategies or decisions based on this, as they are just projections and you can’t come back after investing the kids’ college fund in Bitcoin to say “well, the City’s economist said so…”

An update on past actions, present activities, and the future goals regarding Ocean and Bay Water Quality. This is always a great subject for the community to learn more about, as some really significant strides have been made to improve the water quality of our Bay, especially. The City is well-served by members of the Water Quality/Coastal Tidelands citizens committee, and the goals we’ll talk about on Tuesday reflect the Committee’s ideas as well as the perspective of our good Public Works staff.

On the Regular Session agenda are a few housekeeping items and others, of which I think only one seems worth a community mention. That is the appeal by Electra Cruises of a parking management plan (PMP) for Lido Marina Village. I don’t have a perspective on the merits of the appeal, but it is a good time to remind folks about zoning and parking in our commercial areas. 

Most commercial areas, like Lido Marina Village, have parking standards set forth in the code, and they are generally linked to the types of land uses in the area. Parking requirements can be addressed in a variety of ways – with on-site parking or offsite, with shuttles or more. In Lido Marina Village, the new restaurants and shops are bringing more customers and employees to the area, resulting in greater use of the private parking structure there (and to some extent, to surrounding residential areas).  

The structure is also used by Electra Cruises’ patrons. In this case, a parking management plan helps determine how to best accommodate all uses – sometimes on an hourly basis. While this PMP was approved by the Planning Commission, Electra appealed the approval to the City Council. The City Council will hold a public hearing to determine the merits of the appeal, and then can decide to reject, modify, or accept the PMP.   

A few notes:

The Council’s annual planning/goal setting session is likely to be Monday

evening, Jan. 29 at Marina Park, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is tentative and subject to change, but you may want to pencil it in on your calendar if you like attending these (and you know you do). There will be cookies.

The City Finance Committee meets next Thursday afternoon, Jan. 11, at 3

p.m. here at City Hall in the Corona del Mar Conference Room (Bay D, 2nd Floor). No cookies.

Newport Beach Restaurant Week is coming up, starting on Jan. 15 and going

through Jan. 28. It’s a fun and creative time to try out new (or old favorite) restaurants. More information at

A personal note here, and I get to do this as it’s my e-mail. Twenty years ago

(Jan. 5, 1998), I walked into my first day of work at (the old) Newport Beach City Hall, starting my job as an “assistant to” the city manager. I was nervous and excited, and so honored to be working for this great community. I was looking forward to some great projects, experiences, and fun people to meet and to work with.  Twenty years later, those expectations were all met. And they continue to be met. I hope that you enjoy living and/or working in Newport Beach as much as your city staff – including a much older me – enjoys serving here.

Thank you for reading. Please forward this Guide to family, friends and members of your HOA if you represent one. I always like hearing from you, too, so please don’t hesitate to ask a question or offer a comment. 


Dave Kiff

City Manager

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