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Fast facts from Newport Beach Police to keep our community safe

A series courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department 

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Courtesy of NBPD

NBPD leaves Nixle, moves to Newport Notified

On Monday, Feb. 12, the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) launched Newport Notified – a new notification system for sending alerts to the community. By subscribing to Newport Notified, you will be set up to receive text and/or email alerts directly from the Police Department for crime alerts, traffic advisories, community updates and emergency notifications.

By this Friday, April 12, NBPD will no longer send out alerts via Nixle. If you’ve been getting alerts from Nixle and you would like to continue receiving alerts, take a moment to sign up for Newport Notified so you can stay in the loop.

Sign up for Newport Notified here.

For more information about the Newport Notified system, you can visit nbpd.org/notified.

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Airport Commission reviews general aviation noise ordinance

By SARA HALL

The Orange County Airport Commission heard a presentation last week from John Wayne Airport staff on an overview of the general aviation noise ordinance.

At the April 3 meeting, Commissioner Susan Dvorak said she requested the presentation because they had some questions on the noise violation committee. It’s good to have a refresher and go over the ordinance, she added.

The general aviation noise ordinance (GANO) was adopted by the Orange County Board of Supervisors as part of the mitigation for the Environmental Impact Report 508/Environmental Impact Statement, and regulates hours of operation and maximum noise levels. Commercial airline hours of operation and noise limits are also included in the GANO.

General aviation is the operation of civilian aircraft (private) not under the control of a commercial carrier, explained Access and Noise Manager at JWA, Nikolas Gaskins. GA can range in size from a single engine Cessna to a private business jet.

“They all fall under the GANO and noise limits that are set up,” Gaskins said.

Gaskins also shared some history of the nighttime hours/curfews, which was tied to lease agreements in the 1960s. In 1971, OC supervisors adopted a resolution that established a curfew.

Curfew regulations and hours are contained in the 1985 general aviation noise ordinance, which was amended in 2014 to continue the obligation through 2035.

During the daytime, general aviation is limited to 101.1 to 102.5 decibels. GA can operate during nighttime hours, but at a much lower level (86.7 to 87.5 dB), Gaskins noted.

Most of the violations are during the nighttime hours, Gaskins noted, often within five or 10 minutes of the curfew.

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Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

A general aviation aircraft at John Wayne Airport

The Access and Noise staff uses a noise monitoring system that correlates flight track data and noise data, Gaskins said. The office analyzes all of the data on aircraft operations and uses a flight matching process to identify the aircraft, using the information on noise events that the system records. The GANO system was created specific to JWA regulations, Gaskins said, so it will track noise events and note if it’s above the limit.

Staff will then research the tail number of the plane, find out who the operator and/or owner is. They use a database called JETNET that has nearly “every tail number in the country and international,” Gaskins explained, and includes contact information for a lot of operators.

The aircraft’s registered owner is sent a notice of violation letter, which is essentially a warning, Gaskins said. It lists the measured noise level, the time and date of occurrence, and the GANO noise limits.

“So that they can see how high they went over the limit,” he explained.

The owner is asked to understand and comply with the noise limits during subsequent operations, and is provided a copy of the GANO, monitor location map, and information on the newly implemented Fly Friendly program.

If an aircraft violates the noise limits again, the consequences are stepped up a notch.

“Your second violation means we’re starting to get a little more serious,” Gaskins said.

The owner is informed of the violation by phone and then sent another notice of violation letter, which lists the measured noise level, time and date, and reiterates the GANO limits. The letter is routed through the county counsel so they are also aware, he noted.

If an aircraft exceeds the limits three times within three years, it can be denied use of JWA for three years, Gaskins explained.

On the third violation, the owner is informed via a phone call and another letter is sent by county counsel through certified mail that the aircraft operator and the aircraft itself are denied use of John Wayne Airport for three years. The letter also explains the GANO appeal of violation procedures. The aircraft owner may meet with counsel and airport administration to discuss the feasibility of the aircraft’s future use of JWA.

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Congratulations to the 2024 NMUSD Superintendent’s Character Trait Award Winners

High school seniors Samantha Forbath (NHHS), Marcelina Sanchez, Skylar Ford-Noel, Peyton Vovan (CdMHS), Connor Do, Jenny Fernanda Vazquez Bernal and Haifa Afridi were recognized as Superintendent’s Character Trait Award winners at the April 2 Board of Education meeting. These Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) students were nominated by their respective schools as representing one of seven specific pillars of leadership: Caring, Citizenship, Courage, Fairness, Respect, Responsibility and Trustworthiness.

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Courtesy of NBPL

(L-R) Marcelina Sanchez (Citizenship), Early College High School; Jenny Fernanda Vazquez Bernal (Responsibility), Back Bay High School; Haifa Afridi (Trustworthiness), Monte Vista Independent Study; Connor Do (Respect), Costa Mesa High School; Peyton Vovan (Fairness), Corona del Mar High School; Skylar Ford-Noel (Courage), Estancia High School and Samantha Forbath (Caring), Newport Harbor High School

Each student received a certificate of recognition, and banners with their name, photo, school and corresponding character traits will be displayed in the district office for one year.

“I am honored to recognize our amazing students who serve as a powerful example for our entire school community as they embody the values we strive to instill in all our 18,000-plus students. Their achievements attest to their sterling character and underscore the supportive environment fostered by our dedicated educators and families. Congratulations to each of you for being a shining example of admirable character,” said NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith.

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The Week in Review

A weekly newsletter from City Manager Grace L. Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members:

Beginning (this week), the Newport Beach Police Department will broadcast emergency messages exclusively through our new public notification system, Newport Notified.

If you have not yet signed up for Newport Notified, I encourage you to register today.

As of Friday, April 12, the Police Department will no longer send messages through Nixle, the previous platform. Current Nixle subscribers will need to subscribe to Newport Notified to continue to receive alerts.

The new system will be used to alert subscribers about emergencies and other community safety issues such as traffic and crime advisories. The system allows the Police Department to notify subscribers through their choice of text, email and voicemail.

Newport Notified will be used for emergency notifications related to incidents such as power outages, fires, evacuations, tsunamis and other hazards where public safety is at risk. It will also alert subscribers to major traffic accidents, neighborhood crimes and other community safety updates. Subscribers do not have to live or work in Newport Beach; visitors and those with family in the city are also invited to sign up.

You can sign up for Newport Notified at this link.

For more information on the new system and FAQs, visit nbpd.org/notified.

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

City Inspects Property Following Back Bay Landslide

City building inspectors responded to a landslide that occurred on Thursday, April 4 at about 4 a.m. in the 1400 block of Galaxy Drive near the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve.

Most of the backyard of one property slid down the hillside toward the bay. The home was yellow-tagged by city inspectors, along with the two adjacent properties, to limit access as a safety precaution while the slope stability is further assessed.

Fortunately, there were no injuries and no apparent damage to the homes’ structures.

The Galaxy Drive neighborhood experienced a landslide previously in March 2023, which resulted in the eventual demolition of one home.

Celebrate National Library Week

Ready. Set. Library! Join us from April 6-14 as we celebrate National Library Week with events including the launch of our new Seed Library, special storytime guest readers, a magic show, musicale and much more. Complete details are on our website at newportbeachlibrary.org.

“Little Library” Reconstructed at Mariners Park

The “Little Library” community book exchange at Mariners Park, 1300 Irvine Ave., was recently rebuilt and rededicated following an act of vandalism.

Last year, the city’s Public Works Department assisted with the installation of the lending library, which was donated by a local Girl Scout troop. Sadly, it was recently vandalized.

However, the “Little Library” was then reconstructed with materials donated by Heather Ignatin of the city’s Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission. The Girl Scout Troop painted it and handed it off to city staff to assist with the re-installation. Troop members planted daisies around the base.

Goldenrod Footbridge Makeover Completed

The city recently completed a series of improvements to the historic Goldenrod Footbridge in Corona del Mar.

The upgrades were completed in two phases: In the first phase, in October 2023, the city replaced the planters, irrigation system, and wooden arches and installed new lighting. A fresh coat of paint two weeks ago was the last step to prepare the iconic bridge for its centennial celebration in 2028.

Newport Beach Students Invited to Apply for College Scholarships

The city is accepting scholarship applications from college-bound seniors and transfer students until Monday, May 6 at 5 p.m. to earn up to $700 for educational expenses.

The city’s Ackerman Scholarship Program was established to assist qualified students in obtaining a higher education. Funds for the program are provided through an endowment from the Ackerman Trust. Scholarships may be used for tuition, books, laboratory and/or academic fees.

This year, there will be seven $700 scholarships awarded.

Students must meet both criteria A and B:

A. Be a child residing in Newport Beach OR be a child of a regular, full-time Newport Beach city employee.

B. Graduate from a high school in 2024 and are accepted to attend an accredited two-year community college or four-year college or university OR are transferring from a two-year community college to an accredited four-year college or university in fall 2024; AND have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

The criteria used for selection includes financial need, scholastic standing, school or community leadership, school and/or extracurricular activities, and career and life plans.

The deadline to apply is Monday, May 6 at 5 p.m.

OASIS Volunteers Invited to Annual Recognition Luncheon April 17

The OASIS Senior Center will host its annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, April 17 at 12 p.m.

If you have volunteered at OASIS within the past year, you are invited to attend and enjoy a delicious catered lunch.

Please RSVP by Thursday, April 11 by calling 949.644.3244.

The lunch will be held at the OASIS Senior Center, 801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar.

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Teens Ages 13-16 Invited to Apply for Summer Leadership Program

The city is offering a Teen Leader Program for teens ages 13-16. The program gives teens an opportunity to work side by side with city recreation staff in the two youth summer camps, three ACTIVE Kids after-school programs and at special events.

Participants can earn service credits, get involved in the community, develop and enhance life and work skills, and gain valuable job experience.

For more information or to apply, click here.

Swim Lessons – Summer of 2024

Swim lessons this summer from Monday through Thursday, will take place June 10-August 2. Register here.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well Mobile Crisis Response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

(Last) week, the Be Well team:

–Transported a person to a hospital for treatment and a shelter intake appointment.

–Transported a person to a medical detox facility.

–Transported a person to the Yale Navigation Center for an intake.

–Transported two people to the Be Well sobering station for treatment.

–Transported two people to homeless services providers.

–Collaborated with the Newport Beach Police Department to place a person into psychiatric care.

–Collaborated with the City of Huntington Beach’s Be Well team to locate and return a person to an assisted living facility.

–Collaborated with a medical facility to provide a rideshare home to another county after the person was discharged.

The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911, or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949.644.3717.

Homelessness Update

(Last) week, the city’s homeless outreach and response teams:

–Placed a veteran in housing at Mesa Vista Apartments after a stay at the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. The veteran had experienced homelessness for one year.

–Placed three people in permanent housing from the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. They had experienced homelessness for one to four years.

–Continued to shelter people. Twenty-three people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the city’s homeless response.

Click here for information on the city’s Good Giving program.

Updated Draft Housing Element Documents Available for Public Review

The city is seeking public input on draft documents related to implementation of the General Plan 6th Cycle Housing Element, which will guide residential development in Newport Beach through 2029.

In August 2023 and January 2024, the city released the draft Land Use Element revisions, the draft Housing Opportunity Overlay Zoning Districts, and the draft Objective Design Standards for public review and comment. Based on input received, these drafts have been revised and are now available for public review. In addition, initial drafts of the required Local Coastal Program amendments are also available for review.

Residents are invited to provide comments and feedback on the updated and new draft documents, which are available online here. Written comments can be submitted to gpupdate@newportbeachca.gov.

City Seeks Resident Input on General Plan Update

The city’s General Plan is being updated to reflect the community’s current needs and future aspirations. The General Plan contains goals that establish values and direction, policies that guide decision-making and programs that carry out the actions needed to achieve these goals. The last comprehensive update of Newport Beach’s General Plan was in 2006.

A core part of updating the General Plan is engaging with residents and other stakeholders to capture and articulate a shared vision for the city for the next 20 years.

You are encouraged to visit the project’s website at www.newportbeachca.gov/gpupdate to learn more. To provide input through the website, go here.

On the Agenda: April 9 City Council Meeting

The next City Council meeting is Tuesday, April 9. Items of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda and reports can be viewed here.

A study session will begin at 4 p.m.:

–Discussion on the Balboa Yacht Basin. City staff will provide an update on a project to redevelop the Balboa Yacht Basin buildings.

The regular meeting will begin at 5:15 p.m. Agenda items include:

–General Plan Update Steering Committee report. Since the previous report to the City Council in September 2023, the steering committee has held three public meetings, the General Plan Advisory Committee has held five public meetings and various subcommittees have held three public meetings.

–Approval of the Residences at 1400 Bristol Street development and a resolution overriding an Orange County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) determination of inconsistency. The project would develop 229 apartment units atop a 422-space parking structure and a pedestrian bridge connecting the project with the approved Residences at 1300 Bristol Street. The proposed project is located at Bristol and Spruce streets near the John Wayne Airport. Project approval would require a resolution overriding the ALUC’s determination of inconsistency with the 2008 JWA Environs Land Use Plan (AELUP).

–Approval of the Residences at 1401 Quail Street project and a resolution overriding ALUC’s determination of inconsistency. The project would develop a 67-unit for-sale condominium building atop a 146-space parking structure at Quail and Spruce streets near John Wayne Airport. Project approval would require a resolution overriding the ALUC’s determination of inconsistency with the 2008 AELUP.

Approval of new sculptures for the Civic Center Park rotating sculpture exhibition (Phase IX). The City Arts Commission recommended 10 sculptures based on the results of a public survey. If approved, the sculptures will be installed in June and remain on display for two years.

This Week’s Events

Tuesday, April 9

City Council Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 4 p.m.

Wednesday, April 10

GPAC Recreation/Natural Resources Subcommittee Meeting

Balboa Island Meeting Room – Bay 1D

100 Civic Center Drive – 3:30 p.m.

Harbor Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Thursday, April 11

Zoning Administrator Meeting

Via Zoom – 10 a.m.

Finance Committee

Civic Center Community Room

100 Civic Center Drive – 3 p.m.

City Arts Commission

Newport Beach Central Library, Small Conference Room

1000 Avocado Ave. – 5 p.m.

See Full Schedule

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, April 5 and is subject to editing so the information is current.

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Newport Beach family makes transformational $25 million gift to change landscape of Hoag Irvine

Scheduled to open in 2026, Hoag’s reimagined Sun Family Campus in Irvine will be built around the Du Family Hospital Pavilion in honor of a generous $25 million gift from long-time philanthropists Ben and Carmela Du. The Du Family Hospital Pavilion will serve as a focal point welcoming patients and visitors to Hoag’s $1 billion expansion project in Irvine.

When complete, the expanded campus will include substantial renovations to existing facilities alongside new state-of-the-art specialty care centers for surgical innovation, cancer, and digestive and women’s health, in addition to a dedicated urgent care for cancer patients.

The expansion will bring six new buildings, 155 inpatient beds, eight operating rooms, two additional procedure rooms, and 120,000 sq. ft. of ambulatory facilities to the Sun Family Campus.

“The Du family’s extraordinary vision and dedication has improved and will continue to improve access to the highest-quality care throughout Orange County for generations to come,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian. “The Du Family Hospital Pavilion will stand as a beacon to a campus where visitors’ health care needs are met by innovative, comprehensive and holistic programs. It is appropriate that this sweeping transformation in health care will bear the names of visionary benefactors like Ben and Carmela.”

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Courtesy of Hoag

An artist rendering of Du Family Pavilion (subject to approvals)

While residents of Newport Beach, Ben and Carmela have long felt that supporting Hoag’s expansion in Irvine was a logical choice. “The campus is central to more communities. We feel it’s important that Hoag is expanding its reach. We are honored to be involved and to support the Irvine area and other growing South County communities,” Ben said.

Originally from the Philippines, Ben and Carmela Du immigrated to the U.S. in 1967, subsequently founding and later selling a successful international manufacturing company that has given them the privilege to give generously to others over the years.

As supporters of Hoag, Ben and Carmela have been at the forefront of transformative giving that has improved access to leading-edge medicine for countless people in Orange County and beyond. Their first major gift to Hoag in 2015 established the Benjamin & Carmela Du Endowed Chair in Urologic Oncology, which continues to support breakthroughs in prostate cancer treatment at Hoag. In 2018, the couple’s $5 million gift, the largest gift to Hoag’s Irvine campus at the time, allowed Hoag to unveil the Benjamin & Carmela Du Emergency Pavilion, the groundbreaking emergency department that expanded much-needed emergency care to Irvine and the surrounding area’s residents.

“Ben and Carmela have been such loyal friends of Hoag. They have helped us transform emergency care in Irvine, which has increased Hoag’s ability to care for our community. We are so grateful for their generosity,” said Marcy Brown, senior vice president and chief operations officer at Hoag.

Ben and Carmela are also members of Hoag Innovators, a group of community leaders dedicated to catalyzing innovation at Hoag through the power of collective giving. Among several other projects, Hoag Innovators recently funded a Prostate Cancer Screening Clinic pilot in spring 2023. This innovation brings personalized, preventive care to patients using a next-generation, non-invasive diagnostic tool to detect genetic markers of prostate cancer earlier and more accurately while reducing the need for biopsies.

“Giving back is an important part of our family legacy,” Carmela Du said. “We are inspired by Hoag’s work to redefine the future of health care, right here in Orange County. We fully support the vision of Hoag’s expanded care.”

The couple also gives of their time. Ben served on the Hoag Hospital Foundation board of directors for nine years and has served on the Foundation’s Finance and Investment committees. Their daughter Lizette and two granddaughters share in the family’s excitement about what this legacy of giving will mean for patients and the community.

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Council to consider next phase of Civic Center Park sculptures, residential projects in Airport Area

By SARA HALL

There are several notable items on the agenda tonight for the Newport Beach City Council.

At tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, April 9), council will consider selections for Phase IX of the Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, and two separate residential projects in the Airport Area.

Last on the agenda, during current business, council will consider selections for Phase IX of the sculpture exhibition in Civic Center Park.

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Photos courtesy of City of Newport Beach

The top choices – Top row, (L-R): “Gecko” by Doug Snider; “Interplay” by Peter Ambrosio; “Growing Wings” by Hilde DeBruyne; “Heavy Landing” by Vojtech Blazejovsky and “Natural Wonders” by Michele Moushey Dale. Bottom row, (L-R): “Glee” by Cindy Debold; “Trillium Bus Stop Bench” by Matt Cartwright; “Duality” by Giuseppe Palumbo; “Reaching Man” by Ron Whitacre and “Millefolium” by Catherine Daley.

The Arts Commission approved 10 sculptures and four alternates at their March 14 meeting. The pieces are planned to be displayed for a two-year period.

For this phase of the rotating sculpture exhibition, the commission and local arts professionals reviewed the submissions for artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness, and approved 28 pieces to be included in an online public survey. A total of 1,873 validated votes were cast.

The top choices (after two were excluded due to durability concerns) are: Gecko by Doug Snider; Interplay by Peter Ambrosio; Growing Wings by Hilde DeBruyne; Heavy Landing by Vojtech Blazejovsky; Natural Wonders by Michele Moushey Dale; Glee by Cindy Debold; Trillium Bus Stop Bench by Matt Cartwright; Duality by Giuseppe Palumbo; Reaching Man by Ron Whitacre and Millefolium by Catherine Daley. The alternates are Cycles 3: Frogs, Bees, Birds by Peter Hassen and Time and Awareness by D. Yoshikawa Wright.

As in previous phases, private funds in the form of a $10,000 donation from the Newport Beach Arts Foundation will be used to augment the total cost of Phase IX.

At the council planning session in February, there was discussion about funding, the rotation timeframe and potential changes to the program. At the budget review last year, there was some disagreement, but council ultimately agreed to fill a funding gap for the next phase of the rotating art pieces.

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Rendering by Robert Hidey Architects/Courtesy of Intracorp and City of Newport Beach

A rendering of the motorcourt and the Residences at 1401 Quail Street

During public hearings, councilmembers will consider two residential projects in the Airport Area, the Residences at 1400 Bristol Street, and, during a separate item, the Residences at 1401 Quail Street. For both, the council will also consider overriding the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission’s determination of inconsistency.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved on December 7 plans for Bristol Street and then on December 21, they also supported the nearby Quail Street project.

For the Bristol Street project, the applicant, the Picerne Group, is planning to develop a 229-unit apartment building atop a 422-space parking structure and a pedestrian bridge that connects over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential project at 1300 Bristol Street.

The project would require demolition of two office buildings totaling 38,764 square feet and a surface parking lot within the 2.38-acre site, located at the northwest corner of Bristol Street and Spruce Street.

Of the 229 units, 23 units would be affordable and restricted to very low-income households. The remaining 203 units would be market-rate, for-rent apartment units. There will be an overall mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units (almost all the affordable units will be one-bedroom or studio units).

The project includes a steel truss pedestrian bridge that extends over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential apartment project at 1300 Bristol Street. Both properties are owned and will be operated by the same entity. The second-story bridge is intended to provide connectivity between the two and allow sharing of amenities. The applicant will be required to enter into a lease agreement (or other form of agreement) with Newport Beach subject to the payment of fees for the use of air space over the city’s right-of-way.

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Assistance League’s Cheri Harris Dental Center continues low cost, comprehensive and ongoing dental care to the underserved

It is noteworthy that the early founding member volunteers of the Assistance League® (AL) of Newport-Mesa had the foresight to make dental care accessibility a programmatic priority more than 72 years ago. To this day, the Cheri Harris Dental Center continues its commitment to providing low cost, comprehensive and ongoing dental care to more than 700 underserved children and adults in the community each year.

In its current location at 2220 Fairview, Costa Mesa, the Dental Center is located in the Assistance League of Newport-Mesa headquarters building sharing space with the nonprofit’s Thrift Shop, Treasures on Consignment Shop and business offices. Providing access to low-cost dental care is made possible by funds raised by volunteers through sales in the shops, donations from the community, grants and fundraisers.

Photo courtesy of Assistance League of Newport-Mesa

(L-R) Anne Wong, Sandy Sudweeks and Nancy Yeager, Assistance League members dedicated to managing the Dental Center program

The Dental Program is also dedicated to community outreach. Last year, more than 1,500 dental hygiene kits were distributed through another of the AL’s programs, Operation School Bell, which provides clothing, books and other school essentials to students referred by Newport-Mesa Unified School District facilitators. They firmly believe a student’s self-esteem is improved by bright smiles and new clothes. These programs, managed by volunteers, serve to further AL’s mission to transform the lives of children and families in need.

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Seventeen-year-old Melanie, who received her braces from the Assistance League’s Dental Center, is delighted with her new smile

Dental Center services include general and preventative dentistry, dental and hygiene care, orthodontic and endodontic services, and emergency dental services. The Dental Center’s professional staff includes three dentists, two orthodontists and a hygienist, who take time away from their own local practices to manage the care of the dental and orthodontic patients. The dental staff is assisted by trained member Assistance League volunteers.

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The AL Dental Center team

To determine income qualifications for participation in the program, families should contact the Dental Center office at 949.645.2882 and speak to the office supervisor, who is fluent in English and Spanish, or email alnmdental@gmail.com. MediCal Dental Insurance is accepted and there are reduced rates for patients without insurance.

If you would like to donate to these programs which benefit local children and families in need, donate items to the Thrift Shop, or join AL’s volunteer team, by contacting the Assistance League offices at 949.645.6929, or www.alnm.org.

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Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club Remembers John McDonald

The Newport Beach Lawn Bowling Club (NHLBC) lost one of its long-time members, John McDonald.

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Photos courtesy of NHLBC

John McDonald

McDonald and wife Cathy joined the Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club in 2007. He was the greens keeper for eight years and Cathy was one of the best club decorators. She would turn the clubhouse into a marvel at each holiday.

Together, the McDonalds ran 18 Christmas stores called the Christmas Guild in many locations during the holidays.

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(L-R) Cathy McDonald (John’s wife) with children Halle and Adam. Not pictured: Tri (other son).

McDonald leaves behind three children, Halle, Adam and Tri.  He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

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NHLBC members wearing tradition club whites gather to honor club member John McDonald

The Newport Beach Lawn Bowling Club is located at 1550 Crown Drive North, Corona del Mar. For more information, visit www.newportharborlbc.com.

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Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

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In 1956, White’s Cafe closed and in this photo developed in 1958, is the remodel of the building that is the popular Village Inn

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email info@balboaislandmuseum.org.

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It’s a kids’ world during April with exciting events at Newport Beach Public Library

Hey kids! From Children’s Storytime guest readers, a craft afternoon and LEGOS® and coding for kids, to reading to a dog (who loves to listen!), a magician and an author visit and poetry month celebration, April is filled with exciting events at the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL).

In addition, join NBPL as they continue to celebrate National Library Week through April 14. The library is a place to connect with others, learn new skills and focus on what matters most. Be sure to visit and attend special events at your favorite library branch during this week!

Check out what’s happening in April…

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Photos courtesy of NBPL

Track your reading through Beanstack and be entered for the opportunity to win a prize

Beanstalk Spring Challenge

Continuing through Tuesday, April 30, join the Spring Reading Challenge! Read every day through April, track your reading through Beanstack and be entered for the opportunity to win a prize!

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From April 8-13, NBPL welcomes children’s storytime guest readers

Children’s Storytime Guest Readers

From April 8-13 from 10:30-11 a.m., join storytime with special guest readers including City of Newport Beach dignitaries and other local leaders all week long. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library.

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Get creative with rotating DIY crafts

Children’s Crafternoon

On Tuesday, April 9 from 4-5 p.m., get creative with rotating DIY crafts. Arts and crafts provide opportunities to practice fine motor skills, imagination, critical thinking and more. Recommended for families with children ages 3 and up. April’s theme is “We Love Pets!” Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library.

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Bark: Read to a Dog at the Corona del Mar Branch on April 11

Bark: Read to a Dog

On Thursday, April 11 from 4-5 p.m., come visit the Corona del Mar Branch and read to a dog! Young readers can read a book of their choice with a specially trained furry friend. This is a great way for children to build confidence and increase their reading skills. Funding is generously provided by the Friends of the Library.

Explorer Magician California Joe

On Saturday, April 13 from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Mariners Branch, join Explorer Magician California Joe on a magical journey around the world as the NBPL celebrates the end of National Library Week. This is a great show for all ages. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library.

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Let you imagination run wild on LEGO Saturday

LEGO® Saturdays

On Saturday, April 6 and 20, drop into the Central Library Children’s Room between 2-4 p.m. on the first and third Saturday of each month to create with LEGO®. Get inspiration for your creations by choosing from one of their LEGO® challenges and let your imagination run wild! All ages are welcome. Funding is provided by the Friends of the Library.

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Join author Rashin Kheiriyeh as she shares her new book “Rumi-Poet of Joy and Love”

Children’s Author Visit and Poetry Month Celebration

On Tuesday, April 23 from 4-5 p.m. April is National Poetry Month! Join in celebration at Central Library with special guest and children’s author Rashin Kheiriyeh as she shares her new book Rumi-Poet of Joy and Love. Kheiriyeh is a multi-award-winning author-illustrator and painter who has more than 90 children’s books to her credit. Participants will also enjoy writing and illustrating poems with different activities and prompts. For ages 6-11. No registration is required. Materials are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Library branches:

–Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach

–Balboa Branch, 100 E. Balboa Blvd., Balboa

–Corona del Mar Branch, 410 Marigold Ave., Corona del Mar

–Crean Mariners Branch, 1300 Irvine Ave., Newport Beach

For more information and a complete listing of events, visit the NBPL calendar here.

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A glimpse at Crystal Cove in April

Crystal Cove State Park is offering a variety of events in April. During the spring, the beaches and park are less crowded, providing the perfect opportunity to hike, explore and discover the flora and fauna, and take in picturesque ocean vistas.

Here is a glimpse at a few of the offerings.

Friday, April 12: Perimeter of the Park from 7:15-11:30 a.m.

Ready for a challenging hike to tour the Crystal Cove backcountry? Join a park docent as you go from the “gills to the hills” on this strenuous but very scenic loop hike. The distance is around nine miles; elevation/gain loss, around 1,500 ft. The hike is done at a moderate pace with one or two short breaks. Be sure to bring plenty of water and a snack. Arrive by 7:15 as the hike will start promptly at 7:30 a.m. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at the stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs towards the Ranger Station). $15 day use fee.

Saturday, April 13: Spring Bird Walk from 8-10 a.m.

The birds are twitterpated and spring is an invigorating time to see “birds in love!” Crystal Cove State Park is a great spot to identify new species as well as seeing and hearing resident avian friends like California Gnatcatchers, Greater Roadrunners and Osprey. Come join a park naturalist for an easy Spring Bird Walk along Moro Canyon. Meet at the Berns Amphitheatre (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow signs towards the campground). $15 day use fee.

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Photos courtesy of Crystal Cove State Park

Stewards will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding and planting

Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20: Stewardship Days from 8-11:30 a.m.

Come help Crystal Cove Conservancy and work alongside California State Parks on habitat restoration projects during Stewardship Days. Participants will aid in activities such as weeding, seeding, and planting. Be prepared to walk about 30 minutes to the project site (3 miles round trip) on mostly flat, but uneven canyon trails with slight elevation gain. This event is recommended for ages 8 and up. All participants under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Contact Jennifer Mendez at jennifer@crystalcove.org for questions and to register.

Friday, April 19: Walk on the Wildside from 10-11 a.m.

At Crystal Cove, you walk upon some of the rarest land in Southern California – coastal sage scrub. Come join a park docent for this Walk on the Wildside and enjoy a one-hour springtime slow-paced stroll through this wild place. Enjoy spring blooms and learn about this native habitat as you walk along a boardwalk to the beautiful Pacific Ocean. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot (PCH coastward at Newport Coast, right at kiosk to first lot). $15 day use fee.

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Volunteers are needed to help clean the beach, bluff trail and parking lots

Saturday, April 20: Earth Day Beach Cleanup from 8-11 a.m.

Come spend a few hours giving back to Mother Nature at their Earth Day beach cleanup. Volunteers are needed to help clean the beach, bluff trail and parking lots. They encourage you to bring your own supplies including buckets and recyclable bags to help reduce plastic bag usage (but they will have plenty on hand if needed). Meet at Reef Point Lot (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk, then left to the first restroom building, which is on the right). Fee is waived for cleanup. If you are under 18, see this link for a waiver and bring along with you.

Sunday, April 21: Full Moon Hike from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Explore the Park After Dark, on a guided interpretive two-hour, four-mile Full Moon Hike at Crystal Cove State Park. A park naturalist will lead hikers on this moderate to difficult loop trail with uneven terrain and a steep uphill climb, elevation gain of 600 ft. This hike is suitable for ages 10 and up. Hikers must wear sturdy shoes, bring water, a snack and dress in layers. Please bring a red flashlight, but if you don’t have one, they will have plenty to share. Meet at the Ranger Station (PCH inland at stoplight School-State Park, follow the signs to the Ranger Station). $5 entrance fee. Please RSVP to Let’s Go Outside @letsgooutside.org.

Saturday, April 27: Beachfront Geology Tour from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Crystal Cove State Park is hosting a Beachfront Geology Tour along the coastal section of the park to explore several diverse and geologically outstanding sites which all display a story from a different geologic time. Meet at the Los Trancos lot at the trailer (PCH turn inland at stoplight “Los Trancos”). $15 day use fee.

Sunday, April 28: Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk from 6-8 p.m.

Join a docent for a slow-paced walk along the beach at low tide stopping to admire sea treasures, birds and interesting rocks on this Sunset Treasure and Photo Op Walk at Crystal Cove State Park. Let the sounds of the sea and sights soothe you while walking to an ideal spot to watch the sun sink behind Catalina Island. You’ll walk on flat, firm sand except for the steepish paved ramp from the parking lot to the beach. Meet at the restroom building at Reef Point (PCH coastward at the stoplight Reef Point, around the kiosk to the southernmost end of the lot). $15 day use fee.

For a complete calendar of events, go to www.crystalcovestatepark.org/park-calendars/.

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On Campus: this week in high school athletics

Corona del Mar High School

Friday, April 5

TBA – Boys Track & Field at the Arcadia Invitational

TBA – Girls Track & Field at the Arcadia Invitational

Saturday, April 6

TBA – Boys Track & Field at the Arcadia Invitational

TBA – Girls Track & Field at the Arcadia Invitational

7 p.m. – Boys Lacrosse vs. Loyola

Monday, April 8

12 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball in League Finals at Big Corona Volleyball Courts

Tuesday, April 9

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Newport Harbor

6 p.m. – Boys Lacrosse at St. Ignatius

Wednesday, April 10

2:45 p.m. – Boys Track & Field at Edison

2:45 p.m. – Girls Track & Field at Edison

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Newport Harbor

Thursday, April 11

12 p.m.  Boys Lacrosse at Tamalpais

Friday, April 12

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Newport Harbor

Saturday, April 13

8:30 a.m. – Boys Track & Field in OC Championships at Mission Viejo High School

8:30 a.m. – Girls Track & Field in OC Championships at Mission Viejo High School

Results

Monday, April 1

Boys Golf beat Newport Harbor, 185-198, at Newport Beach Country Club

Tuesday, April 2

Softball lost to Estancia, 32-15

Newport Harbor High School

Friday, April 5

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Laguna Beach

3:15 p.m. – Softball at Los Alamitos

4 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse vs. Lynwood

6 p.m. – Boys Lacrosse vs. Lynwood

Saturday, April 6

11 a.m. – Baseball vs. Summit

Monday, April 8

3:15 p.m. – Softball at Fountain Valley

Tuesday, April 9

3:15 p.m. – Softball vs. Huntington Beach

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Corona del Mar

5 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Los Alamitos

Wednesday, April 10

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Corona del Mar

Thursday, April 11

5:45 p.m. – Boys Volleyball at Huntington Beach

Friday, April 12

3:15 p.m. – Baseball vs. Corona del Mar

Results

Monday, April 1

Boys Golf lost against Corona del Mar, 185-198, at Newport Beach Country Club

Tuesday, April 2

Boys Tennis lost at Laguna Beach, 9-9

Girls Lacrosse beat Beckman, 16-5

Pacifica Christian High School

Saturday, April 6

8 a.m. – Boys Track & Field in Irvine Distance Carnival at Irvine High School

8 a.m. – Girls Track & Field in Irvine Distance Carnival at Irvine High School

Monday, April 8

TBA – Baseball at Anaheim

Tuesday, April 9

TBA – Boys Golf vs. Tabut V’Torah at Strawberry Farms Golf Club

Thursday, April 11

3 p.m. – Baseball vs. Calvary Chapel Downey at OCC Baseball Field

3:15 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. Fairmont Prep at OCC

3:30 p.m. – Boys Golf vs. Anaheim Discovery at Costa Mesa Country Club

5 p.m. – Boys Volleyball at Capistrano Valley Christian

Friday, April 12

TBA – Baseball at Calvary Chapel Downey

3 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball vs. Waldorf at Newland Sand Courts

Saturday, April 13

8 a.m. – Girls Track & Field in OC Championships at Mission Viejo High School

8 a.m. – Boys Track & Field in OC Championships at Mission Viejo High School

Results

Tuesday, April 2

Baseball won at Sage Hill, 9-0

Sage Hill School

Friday, April 5

3:15 p.m. – Baseball at Cerritos

5 p.m. – Coed Track at Arcadia Invitational

Saturday, April 6

8 a.m. – Boys Volleyball vs. TBA at Wiseburn Da Vinci Tournament

8 a.m. – Coed Track in Irvine Distance Carnival at Irvine High School

5 p.m. – Coed Track at Arcadia Invitational

Monday, April 8

4 p.m. – Boys Golf vs. Portola

4 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Portola

Tuesday, April 9

3 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. Northwood

3 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball vs. Orangewood Academy

3:30 p.m. – Baseball vs. Portola

3:30 p.m. – Boys Golf at Portola

4 p.m. – Girls Beach Volleyball vs. Irvine

5:15 p.m. – Boys Volleyball at Laguna Hills

Wednesday, April 10

3:30 p.m. – Baseball at Portola

3:30 p.m. – Coed Swimming at University

3:30 p.m. – Boys Tennis vs. Woodbridge

4 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse vs. Beckman

Thursday, April 11

3:30 p.m. – Coed Track at University

Friday, April 12

3:30 p.m. – Baseball vs. Portola

3:30 p.m. – Boys Tennis at Northwood

4 p.m. – Girls Lacrosse at Valencia/Placentia

5:15 p.m. – Boys Volleyball at Irvine

Results

Monday, April 1

Girls Lacrosse lost at Laguna Beach, 16-0

Tuesday, April 2

Baseball lost to Pacifica Christian OC, 9-0

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Fast facts from Newport Beach Police to keep our community safe

A series courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department 

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Courtesy of NBPD

NBPD leaves Nixle, moves to Newport Notified

On Monday, Feb. 12, the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) launched Newport Notified – a new notification system for sending alerts to the community. By subscribing to Newport Notified, you will be set up to receive text and/or email alerts directly from the Police Department for crime alerts, traffic advisories, community updates and emergency notifications.

By this Friday, April 12, NBPD will no longer send out alerts via Nixle. If you’ve been getting alerts from Nixle and you would like to continue receiving alerts, take a moment to sign up for Newport Notified so you can stay in the loop.

Sign up for Newport Notified here.

For more information about the Newport Notified system, you can visit nbpd.org/notified.

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Look what’s happening at Upper Newport Bay

April is a busy month at Upper Newport Bay, with spring blossoming all around. From Toddler Treks and Critter Investigation of Clever Cottontails to nature journaling and celebrating Earth Day, the outdoors await!

Here’s the line-up:

April 10 from 10-11 a.m.: Critter Investigation: Clever Cottontails

OC Parks invites you to learn more about one of our most mammals: the cottontail rabbit. Join this fun program to learn about these clever creatures and how their populations thrive in our parks. This program includes a storytime, age-appropriate hike and themed craft. Activities will begin at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Program content is tailored for the preschool and kindergarten level (ages 2-6), but all are welcome to attend. Please wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes. Advance registration required. Register here for Clever Cottontails.

April 12, 19 and 26 from 10-11 a.m.: Toddler Treks

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Courtesy of OC Parks

Toddler Treks includes a storytime, age-appropriate hike and themed craft, geared for ages 2-5

Spending time outside is one of the best ways to nurture curiosity and instill a love of the natural world. Bring your young ones and join OC Parks staff to learn all about Upper Newport Bay. Toddler Treks is offered every Friday and includes a storytime, age-appropriate hike and themed craft. Each week will focus on a different topic that encourages young ones to learn about the outdoors. The program begins at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Program content is tailored for ages 2-5, but all are welcome to attend. Please wear comfortable attire and closed-toe shoes. Advance registration is required. Register here for Toddler Treks.

April 20 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Earth Day at the Bay

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Photo by Calvin Dean Hang

OC Parks at their vendor booth during a previous Earth Day

OC Parks and the Newport Bay Conservancy invite you to attend their annual celebration: Earth Day at the Bay. This free, family-friendly event features environmental-themed exhibits from community partners and local artists. Booths will feature activities which include arts and crafts, science discovery and educational information. There will be live music throughout the day as well as a scavenger hunt complete with prizes. Be sure to enter the opportunity drawing as well. Food trucks will be on-site with tasty treats available for purchase. For more information, visit https://ocparks.com/events/earth-day-bay.

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Courtesy of OC Parks

Explore Upper Newport Bay through nature journaling

April 26 from 9-11 a.m.: Nature Journaling

Nature journaling is a wonderful tool to make observations, create lasting memories and foster a deeper connection with nature. Each session will cover the basics of nature journaling, including basic art principles and journal anatomy. Monthly prompts will help guide your eyes and ears to the wonders in nature. Bring a nature journal and your own art materials such as pencils, pens, or watercolors. A portable chair is recommended along with sun protection, water and snacks. Be prepared to move along the trail a short distance and sit to document the beauty around you. This program is geared for ages 12 and older. No experience is necessary. The program and parking are free. You will begin on the patio of the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center. Adverse weather may cancel the program. Advance registration is required. Register here for Nature Journaling.

Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach. The Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located here. For more information, call 949.923.2290 or email unbic@ocparks.com. Visit https://newportbay.org.

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Regattas and Races…

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Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

2024 Lorin Weiss Series

Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Sunday, April 7

Harbor 20 A Fleet (One throwout per day)

1 Ping, Wiese/Leith, NHYC

  1-1-1-[3]-3 Total 6, Series Total 18

2 Zephyr, Legg/Helias, BCYC

  [3]-2-2-1-1 Total 6, Series Total 16

3 Blue Skies, Thorne/Thorne, BYC

  5-5-[7]-2-2 Total 14, Series Total 46

4 Only Child, Bose/Eliot, BCYC

  2-[9]-4-5-5 Total 16, Series Total 48

5 Shana’s Secret, Thompson/Dwyer, BCYC

  4-[7]-3-6-6 Total 19, Series Total 24

6 Wood In It Be Nice, Reed/Reed, ABYC

  6-6-5-4-[8] Total 21, Series Total 40

7 Aquavit, Camerini/Detwiler, WSAOC

  [9]-4-6-7-4 Total 21, Series Total 53

8 Downhill, Gloege/Hause, NHYC

  7-3-8-[9]-7 Total 25, Series Total 42

9 Sail Dates, Corkett/Corkett Jr., NHYC

  8-8-[9]-8-9 Total 33, Series Total 56

10 Symbo, Symes/Symes

  [10]-10-10-10-10 Total 40, Series Total 52

Harbor 20 B Fleet (One throwout per day)

1 Rascal II, Madigan, NHYC

  [6]-2-1-2-1 Total 6, Series Total 26

2 Symbo, Symes/Symes

  1-1-[10]-1-5 Total 8, Series Total 28

3 Spirit, Haynes/Haynes, BCYC

  3-[5]-2-5-3 Total 13, Series Total 20

4 Chloe, Campbell, BYC

  2-8-[7]-4-2 Total 16, Series Total 36

5 Mili Apa, Watanabe/Sutherland, UCISA

  4-7-[8]-3-4 Total 18, Series Total 38

6 SailN Win, Fuller/Drever, NHYC

  [8]-4-3-6-6 Total 19, Series Total 28

7 First In Class, Chan, NHYC

  [9]-3-4-9-7 Total 23, Series Total 33

8 Friday, Zorayan/Davis, LIYC

  7-6-5-7-[8] Total 25, Series Total 45

9 Adios, Bretschger/Bretschger, BYC

  5-[9]-6-8-9 Total 28, Series Total 37

Harbor 20 C Fleet (One throwout per day)

1 Independence, Ray, SSC

  Total 0

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at tom.johnson@me.com.

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Line ‘em up and head ‘em home

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Photo by Dennis Moran

Sailors head home up the Lido Channel after a day on the water

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Get out and explore Buck Gully with three stunning hikes, assist with habitat restoration, learn about plant life

Taking a trek in the Buck Gully Reserve, which connects Corona del Mar and Newport Coast, is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the cooler autumn weather. Explore this 300-acre natural habitat on foot, with three hikes led by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy staff and an opportunity to assist in habitat restoration.

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Enjoy panoramic views as you take in the canyon’s natural beauty

Bridges of Buck Gully Hike: Buck Gully is a natural, coastal canyon which opened up to the public in 2012 with the installation of four bridges to allow for safe public access. Discover the bridges on Tuesdays, April 16 and June 4 from 8-11:30 a.m., which facilitate exploration of the Buck Gully Reserve, and also provide viewing platforms from which to pause and observe the abundant life in and around the stream. The guided program starts with a short walk from the OASIS Senior Center to the beginning of the Buck Gully trail, offering a visually dramatic entrance into this special canyon. Open to those 16+ years and older. Conducted at a walking pace at approximately 3 miles per hour. Distance is 5 miles; duration is 3.5 hours with moderate difficulty. This hike is free, but registration is required. Meet at the OASIS Senior Center auxiliary lot at 5th and Marguerite in Corona del Mar. Register at www.letsgooutside.org.

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Several bridges provide vantage points for taking in reserve vistas

Buck Gully Loop Hike: Come and explore the entire Buck Gully Reserve trail system on Tuesdays, May 7 and June 18 from 8-11:30 a.m. Beginning from the OASIS Senior Center, you’ll hike up through the almost three-mile length of the canyon, then along San Joaquin Hills Road for about a mile, stopping at Canyon Watch Park, where you will take in the panoramic view of the reserve and the Pacific coastline before descending back into the canyon along the Bobcat Trail. This hike is 6 miles; duration, 3.5 hours with high-moderate difficulty and conducted at a walking pace, approximately three miles per hour. It is geared to those 16+ years of age. This hike is free, but registration is required. Meet at the OASIS Senior Center auxiliary lot at 5th and Marguerite in Corona del Mar. Register at www.letsgooutside.org.

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The stream is running, making for a memorable late afternoon/early evening hike

–Buck Gully Upper Loop Evening Hike: Explore the richness of Buck Gully Reserve as you hike during the beautiful early evening hours on Tuesday, May 21 from 4-6:30 p.m. The stream is running, and the rich plant and animal life are enjoying the cool, shady canyon making for an evening hike in a natural oasis amid the suburban surroundings. Walk along San Joaquin Hills Road, which overlooks Buck Gully for the first mile, then drop down into the canyon on the Bobcat Trail, looping back through the upper end of the gully along the Buck Gully Trail. This activity is conducted at a walking pace, approximately 3 miles per hour. The distance is 4 miles; duration, 2.5 hours with moderate difficulty. This hike is open to those 12+ years and older. This hike is free, but registration is required. Staging area is the Newport Coast Community Center at 6401 San Joaquin Hills Road. Register at www.letsgooutside.org.

Fourth Friday Habitat Restoration in Buck Gully on Fridays, April 26, May 24 and June 28 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Birds and other wildlife need healthy habitat to thrive. Simple things like planting native plants or removing non-native plants can greatly improve habitat for wildlife. You can be part of that positive impact while enjoying the beauty of Buck Gully. Come help with a variety of activities ranging from seed collection to weeding invasive plants. This activity takes place on sloped terrain and sturdy hiking boots are highly recommended. All training, tools and gloves will be provided to ensure your safety and comfort. Rattlesnakes are occasionally seen here and generally avoid people, but protective gear will be provided. Walking pace is approximately 3 mph with a distance of one to five miles and a duration of three hours. The difficulty is moderate. This is geared to 18 years+. Meet at the OASIS Senior Center auxiliary lot at 5th and Marguerite in Corona del Mar. Register at www.letsgooutside.org.

–Plants Among Us: Learning About Plants at Buck Gully on Wednesday, April 10 from 9-11:30 a.m. Curious to learn about the plants among us? Join this hike at Buck Gully Reserve where you’ll look at local flora, talk about native and non-native species and learn how different plants impact our ecosystems. Learning to identify plants, both native and non-native, is a great way to cultivate knowledge about local flora and fauna. This activity is geared toward participants who re curious about our local plants and ecosystem. Bring water, a light trail snack, sturdy closed-toe shoes, sunscreen, hat and supplies to keep you safe during the journey. The distance is 6 miles; duration, 2.5 hours with moderate difficulty. This hike is open to those 8+ years and older. This hike is free, but registration is required. Staging area is the OASIS Senior Center auxiliary lot at 5th and Marguerite in Corona del Mar. Register at www.letsgooutside.org.

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Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical makes world premiere at SCR from April 7-May 4, cast and schedule changes announced

It is a musical eight years and countless hours in the making, returning one of the country’s most accomplished playwrights, Craig Lucas, back to one of his theatrical homes. And with Lucas’ return, South Coast Repertory (SCR), in conjunction with Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei, presents the world premiere of Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, lyrics by Sean Hartley and Daniel Messé, music by Messé, book by Lucas. Directed by Ivers, it runs April 5-May 4, on the Segerstrom Stage as the centerpiece to SCR’s 60th season.

This week, a cast change was announced and Chris McCarrell is now playing the role of Peter.

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Photo by Bronwen Sharp

Playwright Craig Lucas

Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical is produced in association with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater, where it will appear in the 2024-25 season.

The original Prelude to a Kiss was a 1988 SCR world premiere play. It went to Broadway, where it received a Tony Award nomination and a Pulitzer Prize nomination, before moving to Hollywood and becoming a feature film starring Alec Baldwin and Meg Ryan. It returns to SCR as a musical that explores what happens when a mysterious guest requests a kiss at Peter and Rita’s wedding – and their lives are forever changed. Refreshed, reimagined and elevated by a breathtaking score, this modern fable soars through the peaks and valleys of love – the perfect salve for our disconnected times.

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Courtesy of SCR

Jon Daley plays the role of Julius

“I think audiences can expect a book and source material that is tried and true, really gorgeous, inspired writing,” said Ivers, who will direct. “I know it’s must-see theater because the source material is so strong and because Craig, Sean and the brilliant Dan Messé have worked together to deliver a score that, to me, is one of the most inspiring, beautiful, heart-lifting, affirming scores that doesn’t shy away from some of the challenges of the world.”

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Courtesy of SCR

Hannah Corneau plays the role of Rita in “Prelude for a Kiss, The Musical”

“I think we have a really, really beautiful piece of theater on the page,” continued Ivers.

SCR commissioned Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical in 2016. Three years later, Ivers directed it as a featured reading at the theater’s Pacific Playwrights Festival. When Ivers became SCR’s artistic director in 2018, he watched a video of one of the songs during the play’s early development phase. Afterward, he called his artistic team together and told them, “I’d like to bring this here.”

Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical brings Lucas’ work back to SCR for the first time in a decade.

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Courtesy of SCR

Chris McCarelle is now playing the role of Peter

“I’m overjoyed to be returning with the musical of Prelude to a Kiss to South Coast Repertory where the play first opened its eyes and looked around,” Lucas said.

Hartley’s musical theaterworks include Cupid and Psyche, written with composer Jihwan Kim, produced off-Broadway in 2003.

Messé and Lucas have made theater magic together before. Along with co-lyricist Nathan Tysen, they collaborated on the musical adaptation of the French film Amélie, which debuted on Broadway in 2017.

For Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, SCR assembled a stellar cast of the best and brightest actors from Broadway and regional theater – award winners and rising stars. The cast features Hannah Corneau (Rita), Jonathan Gillard Daly (Julius), Julie Garnyé (Leah), Bella Hicks (Ensemble), Jimmie “J.J.” Jeter (Taylor), Robert Knight (Ensemble), James Moye (Rita’s Dad), Caroline Pernick (Ensemble), Conor Ryan (Peter), Tristan J. Shuler (Ensemble), DeAnne Stewart (Angie) and Tony Award-winning actress Karen Ziemba (Rita’s Mom). Rachel Lykins and Robert Zelaya are the understudies.

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Courtesy of SCR

Karen Ziemba plays Rita’s mother

The Creative Team: The design and creative team includes Wiley DeWeese, music director; Nick Kassoy, assistant music director; Julia Rhoads (founding artistic director, Lucky Plush Productions), choreographer; Scott Davis, set design; Marcus Doshi, lighting design; Linda Cho and Herin Kaputkin, costume design; Andrea Allmond, sound design; Yee Eun Nam, projection design and Greg Pliska, orchestrator. JZ Casting, Geoff Josselson, CSA and Katja Zarolinski, CSA handled casting with additional casting by Joanne DeNaut, CSA. Maisie Chan is the production manager, Talia Krispel is the production stage manager, and Kathryn Davies is the assistant stage manager.

Courtesy of SCR

James Moye plays Rita’s father

Accompanying the actors is an eight-piece band led by DeWeese and Kassoy and featuring Greg Huckins, Jay Mason, Sorah Myung, Martha Lippi, Justin Smith, Tim Christensen and Louis Allee.

Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical received generous support from Honorary Producers Apriem Advisors, Sophie and Larry Cripe and John and Laura Drachman, Laurie and Steve Duncan, Michael Ray, and Samuel and Tammy Tang.

Note: The Friday, April 5 performance at 8 p.m. and the Saturday, April 6 performances at 2;30 p.m. ab 8 p.m. have been canceled. SCR is truly sorry for this inconvenience and their ticket services office will be contacting all ticket holders as quickly as possible to reschedule them into other performances.

Tickets range in price from $34-$112, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatergoers ages 25 and under.

For more information or tickets, go to www.scr.org, or contact SCR by phone at 714. 708.5555.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

2023-24 Upcoming SCR Productions: Prelude to a Kiss, The Musical, April 7-May 4; Galilee, 34, April 21-May 12. Outside SCR’s: The Old Man and The Old Moon at Mission San Juan Capistrano, July 20-Aug. 11. The annual showcase of new works, the Pacific Playwrights Festival, runs May 3-5.

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Disney’s Aladdin opens May 7 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts

The Costa Mesa return of Disney’s Aladdin opens May 7 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts for a limited engagement of one week, through May 12. In Costa Mesa, Aladdin will play Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

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Photos by Deevan Meer

Senzel Ahmady as Jasmine and Adi Roy as Aladdin

The production features Adi Roy (Aladdin), Marcus M. Martin (Genie), Senzel Ahmady (Jasmine), Anand Nagraj (Jafar), Aaron Choi (Iago), Sorab Wadia (Sultan), Jake Letts (Babkak), Nathan Levy (Omar), Colt Prattes (Kassim), Nichalas L. Parker (Standby Genie, Jafar and Sultan) and J. Andrew Speas (Standby Genie, Sultan and Babkak).

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Marcus M. Martin plays the Genie

Rounding out the cast are Kolten Bell, Collin J. Bradley, Brandon Burks, Kyle Caress, Edward Cuellar, James Caleb Grice, Evin Johnson, Tyler Johnson-Campion, Nicole Lamb, Brandon J. Large, Lizzy Marie Legregin, Adam Mandala, Sonia Monroy, Gabriela E. Moreno, Angelina Mullins, Adriana Negron, Katie Pohlman, Kyra Smith, Asten Stewart and Jessica Mallare White.

Aladdin, the hit musical based on the Academy Award®-winning animated film, opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre to critical acclaim on March 20, 2014, and quickly established itself as one of the biggest new blockbusters in recent years. Having played more than 3,000 performances, the New York production is among the Top 20 longest runs in Broadway history.

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Arabian Nights

Hailed by The New York Times as “fabulous and extravagant,” the Broadway production has broken 16 New Amsterdam Theatre house records and spawned nine additional productions on four continents. Worldwide it has welcomed nearly 20 million people, and can be seen currently on Broadway, on tour across North America and the U.K. and Ireland, as well as in Japan and Spain, with a new production in Seoul, South Korea opening in fall 2024.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Group, under the direction of Andrew Flatt, Anne Quart and Thomas Schumacher, Aladdin features music by Tony Award and eight-time Oscar® winner Alan Menken), lyrics by two-time Oscar winner Howard Ashman, three-time Tony Award and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice and six-time Tony Award nominee Chad Beguelin, with a book by Beguelin, and is directed and choreographed by two-time Tony Award winner Casey Nicholaw.

Aladdin is designed by seven-time Tony Award-winning scenic designer Bob Crowley, eight-time Tony Award-winning lighting designer Natasha Katz, and three-time Tony Award-winning costume designer Gregg Barnes and sound designer Ken Travis.

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Aladdin (Adi Roy) and the Magic Lamp

The production team also includes illusion designers Jim Steinmeyer and Rob Lake, hair designer Josh Marquette and makeup designer Milagros Medina-Cerdeira.  The music team is headed by music supervisor and music director Michael Kosarin, who also created the vocal and incidental music arrangements, joined by orchestrator Danny Troob and dance music arranger Glen Kelly. John MacInnis is the associate choreographer, Jason Trubitt is the production supervisor and Myriah Bash is the general manager. Anne Quart serves as executive producer.

Tickets to Aladdin are available at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts Box Office, by phone at 714.556.2787, and online at www.scfta.org. Ticket prices for the engagement start as low as $49.

Performances: May 7-12: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

The Box Office is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

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Crystal Cove Conservancy hosts talk with California Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot

Join Crystal Cove Conservancy and Bank of America for a conversation between California’s Secretary of Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot and Conservancy President and CEO, Kate Wheeler, about issues facing California’s vast protected lands and waters including climate resilience, maintaining biodiversity and expanding equitable access to the outdoors.

The event takes place on Wednesday, April 3 at 5 p.m. with a sunset reception to follow at the Cottage Check-in Deck, located in the Crystal Cove State Park Historical District #35 Crystal Cove.

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Courtesy of Secretary Wade Crowfoot

Wade Crowfoot

Secretary Crowfoot is responsible for stewarding the state’s vast natural and cultural resources. With 280 state park units, more than 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, 5,200 miles of trails, 3,195 historic buildings and more than 11,000 known prehistoric and historic archaeological sites, California’s Department of Parks and Recreation contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation.

Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a sunset reception following a guided discussion and Q&A with Secretary Crowfoot as he delves into topics such as strengthening California’s climate resilience, maintaining biodiversity, and expanding equitable access to the outdoors.

Event Schedule:

–4:45 p.m.: Check-in Deck

–5-6 p.m.: Guest welcome, interview-style discussion and audience Q&A

–6-7 p.m.: Sunset reception with light bites and drinks

The Conservancy’s “Cove Talks” aim to bring influential individuals working to change the world to Crystal Cove State Park, as they share a diverse collection of experiences and viewpoints. These talks are another step towards connecting the community to the natural world, while deepening their understanding of issues facing local parks, the coast and the planet.

This Cove Talk is generously sponsored by Bank of America.

To RSVP, go here.

Parking is available at the Los Trancos Parking Lot located inland off Pacific Coast Highway. Day use parking costs $5 per hour, up to a maximum of $15 per day.

To get to the Cottage Check-in Deck, take the Los Trancos crosswalk to cross PCH and follow the Crystal Cove Trail to Cottage Check-in.

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KidWorks’ popular Women’s Pickleball for a Purpose Tournament returns April 11

The newest edition of KidWorks’ Women’s Pickleball for a Purpose Tournament is set to return to the pickleball courts at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club on Thursday, April 11 from 10:45 a.m. until 3 p.m. to support the nonprofit’s College Success Initiative™.

The fundraising initiative is the brainchild of KidWorks Women, a dedicated committee of volunteers who selflessly assists the 30-year-old Santa Ana-based nonprofit that provides academic enrichment, personal development, and leadership programs for children and teens in Central Ana. Over the last four years, the KidWorks Pickleball Tournament has raised more than $220,000 in total.

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Courtesy of Kidworks

Last year’s committee. (L-R) Heather Gaughan, Sharon Roy, Kim Carpenter, Beth Hallett, Debbie Trammell, Kathy Ursini, Wendy Hafer Cox, Lori Junkins, Corinne Morgenstern, Kyle Team, Lisa Gels and Jill Schriber.

The success of the tournament largely depends upon sponsorships, which are on sale now.

“Your support ensures our deserving students will continue to benefit from robust college and career programs,” said KidWorks CEO and Executive Director David Benavides. “Activities like our College Apps Academy, Campus Crash and mentorship programs are designed to prepare first generation, low-income students on their journey towards college success.”

For more information, contact KidWorks Director of Development Lisa Gels at lisa.gels@kidworksoc.org, or 714.834.9400, ext. 126. “As a KidWorks Pickleball sponsor, you are helping to place students on a direct path towards college success,” said Gels.

The 2024 tournament committee members from Newport Beach are chair Debbie Trammell, along with Kathy Ursini, Lori Junkins, Heather Gaughan, Sharon Roy, Jill Schriber, Ellen Small, Wendy Hafer Cox, Susie Luer, Beth Hallert, Sharon Rinker, Holly Anderson and Kyle Team, who is also a KidWorks board member. Other committee members are Janet Dichiro and C.C. Knowles of Corona del Mar and Betsy Flynn of Laguna Hills. Also participating in the event is Leslie Seidner, a member of the KidWorks Advisory Council and resident of Newport Beach.

Sponsors committing thus far to the tournament include:  Presenting Sponsor – The Gaughan Family; Court Sponsor – Oltmans Construction; Champions Of The Court – The Ammerman Family, Frome Family Foundation and the Schlinger Family Foundation; Darling Dinkers – Wendy Hafer Cox, Cathy Frandsen, Beth Hallet, MB Realty Solutions, Shelly Read and Claudette Shaw; Queens Of The Kitchen – Kathleen Bauer, Helen Fedalan, KPMG, Schriber Family Fund, Kyle Team and Sandra Wirta; Lovely Lobbers – Holly Anderson, Victoria Clement, Tammi Cluck, Sandy DeYoung, Susan Graham, Irrelevant Team, C.C. Knowles, Heidi Lynn, Charlotte Saydah, Barb Siegel, Kathy Ursini, and Veloz – Lori & Mitch Junkins. The rosé wine sponsor is Zotovich Vineyard and Winery.

For the past decade, nearly 100 percent of KidWorks’ high school students have graduated on time and have gone on to pursue higher education.

Since 1993, KidWorks has helped children, youth and families living in under-resourced neighborhoods in central Santa Ana, California. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, KidWorks makes an 18-year commitment to its students walking with students from Pre-K through B.A.

The outcome is self-reliant young adults who are equipped to succeed in life and are motivated to give back.

For nearly a decade, KidWorks celebrated that almost 100% of their high school seniors graduated on-time and all continued their education. They are also proud to report that 75% of their college students returned to school this fall. In addition to their traditional after school programs, they added supplemental support to better meet the needs of students and families.

To learn more about the upcoming tournament, visit www.kidworksoc.org/pickleball.

To learn more about KidWorks and to read their success stories, visit www.kidworksoc.org.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Voting is officially open to determine Newport Beach’s Best Burger; and, guess who’s come out of retirement to start another clothing line?

For those of you who were around in the early 1970s, hamburgers and the competition for the best one began taking center stage. At 3 1/2 years of age, Rodney Allen Rippy first debuted as the official pitchman for Jack in the Box’s Jumbo Jack, saying in his own little cute way, “It’s too big a-eat!”

McDonald’s wasn’t too far behind when they released their little bragging effort by reminding us that the Big Mac was “two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun.” (The faster the better!)

Wendy’s introduced us to Dave over the years, and Burger King tried to get us to somehow fall in love with a goofy king running around in tights with his stupid crown. Sorry, that one didn’t work for me!

Now, all of these were fast food burgers…something to eat in a pinch, while traveling along the highway in the car, or to simply feed the kids.

But, knowing that a good burger is always top-of-mind and something to actually enjoy, it got Gary Sherwin, the president & CEO of Visit Newport Beach, and me into a discussion about who has Newport Beach’s best burger (fast food outlets not included)?

We decided, why not ask you, the Stu News readers to nominate your favorites. And so you did.

The response was great and now, as step two in our not-so elaborate process, the voting begins. Below is every place that was nominated…go to bestofnb.com and cast your vote now through April 29 for Newport Beach’s Best Burger.

We’ll then take the top five vote getters and conduct a blind taste test with our well-regarded panel of judges, including Celebrity Chef Jamie Gwen, Newport Harbor Yacht Club Director Ray Jacobi, who previously ran the iconic Ritz Restaurant and the Four Seasons Hotel, and John Wortmann, chairman of the Balboa Bay Club and a frequent diner.

Then, and only then, will we be able to crown Newport Beach’s Best Burger.

Readers, you’re up!

Here’s the list of nominees for you to find at bestofnb.com: ARC Butcher & Baker in Newport, A Restaurant, Balboa Island Grill (BIG), Bayside Restaurant, Beachcomber, Billy’s at the Beach, Bungalow in CDM, Cassidy’s, Champagnes Kitchen, Fable and Spirit, Farmhouse, Fleming’s, Gulfstream, Irv’s, MALARKEY’S, Mario’s Butcher Shop, Mariposa at Neiman Marcus, Mayor’s Table, Olea, R+D Kitchen, Ruby’s, Tavern House Kitchen, The Chicken Coop (aka Zubie’s Chicken Coop), The Place, The Stand, TK Burger and Wilma’s on Balboa Island.

As the old saying goes, “vote early and vote often!”

• • •

Sometimes you meet people in life that you just, I think they call it, “vibe” with. Thom McElroy is one of those guys. I can’t explain it, I just feel it when we connect.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t say we’re friends, but a little more than acquaintances.

Thom was one of the co-founders of Volcom, and that might in its own right say enough. Oh, he’s also a grad of San Diego State, my old alma mater.

Anyway, I was excited this past week when an announcement came across my desk announcing the launch of Flair Play, based out of Newport Beach, that has an impressive team of players behind it.

Of course there’s Thom, who has come out of retirement for this, and his wife Andrea McElroy. She’s “an avid participant in both tennis and golf,” and that’s important because as you’ll see it will factor in momentarily.

They’re joined by Kit Hoover, host of Access Hollywood and the Coop with Kit podcast, and – she’s also an avid pickleball player; there’s Casey Ladd, a pickleballer in her own right, who is also the wife of the president and general manager of Puma/Cobra Golf, and finally, Kristy Gladdings, a popular and avid Newport Beach tennis player.

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Courtesy of flairplayactive.com

The Flair Play Active team

As Thom explained to me, it’s “a women-run business, with four very smart and passionate ladies.” Which will tell you who sits in the background and offers his consult.

So, what is Flair Play? Well, glad you asked; it’s “a classy, flirty, cute and conservative women’s lifestyle clothing and accessories brand for pickleball, golf and tennis.”

It’s a combination of the sports you want to be playing today, in styles that you want to be seen in doing so. And don’t just take my word for it – check them out at https://flairplayactive.com/, or on Instagram and Facebook at Flairplayactive.

The brand is already taking off and can be found carried in the states, as well as in the Bahamas. BTW, Flair Play is offering wholesale and consumer direct online, too, as just an fyi.

• • •

The Newport Harbor Foundation (NHF) is gearing up and has announced the Inaugural State of the Bay Luncheon planned for Wednesday, May 15 at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. The VIP Sponsor Reception begins at 11:30 a.m., followed by the luncheon and program at 12 p.m.

On the agenda as guest speakers are Seymour Beek – discussing the Ferry electrification status; Paul Blank, our wonderful Harbormaster – offering a Harbor Department update; Bill Kenney, NHF Board Member – reviewing the mooring fields reconfiguration and rate updates, and Duffy Duffield, NHF Board Member – updating on the trash collector and dredging projects.

The NHF was created “for the purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing Newport Harbor for the benefit of the City of Newport Beach, the homeowners on or near the bay, the commercial operators in the bay and the recreational users of the bay.”

And trust me, they have big plans to do so.

As a reminder, according to the NHF, “each year the harbor generates $391.9 million in economic output, supports 4,807 jobs and generates $167.5 million in labor income.”

In other words, this is important.

Consider attending this first true kickoff. Contact and RSVP to Julie Ackman at 714.335.7500, or at julie@julieackman.com.

(Link “bestofnb.com” through to the following URL:
www.bestofnb.com)

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Backyard landslide results in three Back Bay yellow-tagged homes

A landslide occurred in the 1400 block of Galaxy Drive, located above the Back Bay, in the early morning hours yesterday (Thursday, April 4). City inspectors responded and yellow-tagged three homes, which now offers those residents limited access.

The home most affected was at 1466 Galaxy Drive which lost most of its backyard. The homes immediately adjacent on both sides were also tagged.

Newport Beach City Councilmember Erik Weigand, whose District 3 represents the area, said, “This morning, I was saddened to learn of a new landslide occurring on Galaxy Drive.

“While at a neighboring property, I was able to see firsthand the damage created by the slope collapsing into the Back Bay. I also observed small amounts of soil sliding downward, proving the area is still unstable.”

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

A majority of the backyard of the residence located at 1466 Galaxy Drive can be seen at the bottom of the slope

Weigand added, “Coincidently, just last week, Assistant City Manager Seimone Jurjis and I participated in a conference call organized by Assemblymember Diane Dixon with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), seeking more assistance with last year’s hillside failure.

“Upon learning of today’s landslide, I immediately reached out to Assemblymember Dixon as well as Senator Janet Nguyen and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley. All three were very receptive.”

Weigand also noted that the images show that the hillside collapse has allowed debris to enter the waterway of the Back Bay’s side canal below. “To me, that appears to inhibit the bay’s ability to flush water in and out of this section. Hopefully this will bring more attention to the situation and force CDFW to take action, said Weigand.

“I am thankful nobody was hurt and I appreciate our staff’s efforts to immediately assist the affected homeowners, ensuring they were safe,” he added.

According to a City of Newport Beach spokesperson, “We are working with the homeowner who has retained a geotechnical expert. The city will expedite the permit review process once the homeowner develops a plan to stabilize the property.”

A similar slide occurred back in March 2023 in the 1900 block of Galaxy Drive.

Unfortunately, another storm is moving through before clearing this weekend, with an expected .2” of rainfall to the already oversaturated soil.

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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is assuming similar role for Laguna Beach

Former Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff is returning to the ranks of running a city, having this week accepted the role for Laguna Beach. Kiff’s confirmation will come about in Tuesday’s upcoming City Council meeting under an item recommending the adoption of a resolution calling for the “appointing (of) Dave Kiff as City Manager.”

For those of you who know Dave, I think you’ll admit how fortunate the City of Laguna Beach is to attract someone of that quality and it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Laguna Beach lost their City Manager Shohreh Dupuis last summer, and has most recently operated under the interim leadership of former Irvine City Manager Sean Joyce.

When Dupuis departed, the city seemed fraught with internal issues. Joyce, during his service seemed to right the ship and return calm to the city, something that Kiff should be able to successfully build on.

Kiff left the employment of Newport Beach on August 31, 2018. Many active in the community and staff inside city hall appeared saddened by his departure.

I asked Dave about his return: “I’m looking forward to working on important projects and challenges with the staff, community and council. Laguna is a great town and we’ve missed being a part of it. Tom (Lochner) and I are both excited to be coming back,” said Kiff.

Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf added, “Dave Kiff is an experienced city manager and as a former resident he has the added advantage of knowing our city well. Dave is a great choice for Laguna and I look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Courtesy of Dave Kiff

New Laguna Beach City Manager Dave Kiff who will be fully confirmed at Tuesday’s council meeting

Several Newport Beach leaders commented on the news:

–Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill added, “Congratulations to Laguna Beach on recruiting an experienced city manager who will no doubt bring stability. We look forward to a continued and prosperous partnership between our cities.”

Homer Bludau, former city manager of Newport Beach, who employed Dave for a number of years as his #2: “Dave is one of the absolute finest city managers and public officials I have ever known. His integrity is absolute. His compassion is vast, and he believes in public service and doing the right thing for the right reasons with all his heart.

“This is a great city manager appointment for Laguna Beach, as he knows the city so very well.”

–Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO and former Mayor of Newport Beach Steve Rosansky said, “The residents of Laguna Beach should be ecstatic that they have managed to hire one of the top city managers in the State of California.

“During the years I worked with him, Dave proved to be a compassionate and caring administrator who had the respect of the City Council, his co-workers and the people of Newport Beach. He’s always all-in on any task he takes on.”

–“Dave Kiff was one of the most beloved city managers in Newport Beach history. Laguna Beach residents are fortunate to have a city leader with his considerable experience, intellect and exceptional character,” said Nancy Scarbrough, successful business executive, long-time activist, instrumental member of SPON (Still Protecting Our Newport) and a 2024 City Council candidate.

But no one conveyed their excitement quite like Susan Skinner, an activist with residences in both Newport and Laguna, “WOO-HOO! Dave is an excellent city manager and Laguna is damn lucky to have gotten him. He listens well, seeks to understand and is one of the most ethical and honest men I know.

“The added plus is that his city updates are wonderfully amusing. I’m delighted that Laguna snagged him!”

Kiff is expected to start in early May, a date which should be shared following Tuesday’s City Council formalities.

• • •

Sometimes the old inbox just seems to fill with more and more events, issues and news of goings-on in the city. This is one of those weeks. So, in an attempt to find more space on my computer screen and clear some things out, here goes:

• • •

This Saturday (April 6) from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. is the next Newport Beach Police Department Mobile Café. You know the drill, this is where the community is able to get together with our PD to just say hello, express problems or concerns, ask questions and more.

It’s an idea to allow the community to get together with the police at times that are not surrounded by an emergency or an emotional situation.

In any case, coffee will be hosted at the Corona del Mar Farmers’ Market, located at 3201 East Coast Highway. In addition to coffee and conversation, you perhaps will also be enticed with a pastry.

Enjoy.

• • •

Speaking of our police, consider yourself “NOTIFIED.” After a number of years of using Nixle as the official community notification system, beginning April 12 (next Friday), the NBPD is officially moving to the Newport Notified system.

If you would like to continue to get crime alerts, traffic advisories, community updates and emergency notifications, please register for Newport Notified here.

For more information about the Newport Notified system, you can visit www.nbpd.org/what-s-new/newport-notified.

• • •

Carol Crane, board president for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, has thrown her re-election hat into the ring officially. This week she announced her intentions with a save-the-date “campaign kick-off on Friday, April 24.”

Carol represents Trustee Area 3 which includes Eastbluff Elementary, Corona del Mar Middle & High School and Back Bay High School.

For more info, including time and place of kick-off, or to RSVP, go to crane4schoolboard.com.

• • •

If you’re an organizer that provides community programs available to Newport Beach residents, or a “qualified event organizer” seeking financial support for a Newport Beach-based event, these may be for you.

The City of Newport Beach is offering potential funding through two programs – the Community Programs Grant and the Special Events Grant.

The Community Programs Grant offers a total of $60,000 in available funds to assist in enhancing programs or services offered for residents. These can be programs that serve the community specifically and/or those that pay or incur city fees.

The Special Events Grants are broken into two categories:

Community and Charitable Events that serve and/or benefit local organizations or causes, and/or provide recreational, cultural, or social benefits to residents.

Signature Events that are large-scale with 3,000 or more people, based in the city, that promote Newport Beach regionally, attract visitors and provide measurable, economic benefits to Newport Beach.

The rules and regs are as follows: the grant program is designed to assist special event organizers with costs associated in hosting an event in the city. It is a competitive process, and submitting an application for the grants does not guarantee funding.

Applicants are encouraged to review the information and program overview to gain an understanding of the program’s eligibility, qualification, and evaluation criteria and how the grants are funded.

For more information on all of the above offerings, go here.

The absolute deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 23 at 5 p.m.

• • •

Speak Up Newport (SUN) provides valuable monthly programing to residents pertaining to issues facing the Newport Beach. Their goal is to provide an objective forum to review and discuss the challenges and opportunities for Newport Beach.

It’s comprised of a group of engaged volunteers. They operate on membership dues and one major annual fundraiser, that being the Mayor’s Dinner.

Additionally, Speak Up Newport provides one scholarship annually to Newport Harbor High School and one to Corona del Mar High School.

They are actively encouraging residents to join SUN as a member at a very nominal fee to help them continue to promote the common good and general welfare of the city. What is a “nominal fee” you ask? Try $50. But realize, those $50 memberships can help keep the organization solidly moving forward.

Find out more here.

• • •

Good Morning CdM, a community and government affairs discussion group/continental breakfast gathering that’s held by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, will feature City Manager Grace Leung at their April meeting.

Grace will discuss the current hot topics facing the city, offer a peek into the goal setting for the upcoming fiscal year which begins in July and more.

The meeting is free and no RSVP is necessary. It will take place at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club on Thursday, April 11 from 8-9 a.m.

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Council to consider next phase of Civic Center Park sculptures, residential projects in Airport Area

By SARA HALL

There are several notable items on the agenda next week for the Newport Beach City Council.

At the Tuesday (April 9) meeting, council will consider selections for Phase IX of the Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, and two separate residential projects in the Airport Area.

Last on the agenda, during current business, council will consider selections for Phase IX of the sculpture exhibition in Civic Center Park.

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Photos courtesy of City of Newport Beach

The top choices – Top row, (L-R): “Gecko” by Doug Snider; “Interplay” by Peter Ambrosio; “Growing Wings” by Hilde DeBruyne; “Heavy Landing” by Vojtech Blazejovsky and “Natural Wonders” by Michele Moushey Dale. Bottom row, (L-R): “Glee” by Cindy Debold; “Trillium Bus Stop Bench” by Matt Cartwright; “Duality” by Giuseppe Palumbo; “Reaching Man” by Ron Whitacre and “Millefolium” by Catherine Daley.

The Arts Commission approved 10 sculptures and four alternates at their March 14 meeting. The pieces are planned to be displayed for a two-year period.

For this phase of the rotating sculpture exhibition, the commission and local arts professionals reviewed the submissions for artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness, and approved 28 pieces to be included in an online public survey. A total of 1,873 validated votes were cast.

The top choices (after two were excluded due to durability concerns) are: Gecko by Doug Snider; Interplay by Peter Ambrosio; Growing Wings by Hilde DeBruyne; Heavy Landing by Vojtech Blazejovsky; Natural Wonders by Michele Moushey Dale; Glee by Cindy Debold; Trillium Bus Stop Bench by Matt Cartwright; Duality by Giuseppe Palumbo; Reaching Man by Ron Whitacre and Millefolium by Catherine Daley. The alternates are Cycles 3: Frogs, Bees, Birds by Peter Hassen and Time and Awareness by D. Yoshikawa Wright.

As in previous phases, private funds in the form of a $10,000 donation from the Newport Beach Arts Foundation will be used to augment the total cost of Phase IX.

At the council planning session in February, there was discussion about funding, the rotation timeframe and potential changes to the program. At the budget review last year, there was some disagreement, but council ultimately agreed to fill a funding gap for the next phase of the rotating art pieces.

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Rendering by Robert Hidey Architects/Courtesy of Intracorp and City of Newport Beach

A rendering of the motorcourt and the Residences at 1401 Quail Street

During public hearings, councilmembers will consider two residential projects in the Airport Area, the Residences at 1400 Bristol Street, and, during a separate item, the Residences at 1401 Quail Street. For both, the council will also consider overriding the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission’s determination of inconsistency.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved on December 7 plans for Bristol Street and then on December 21, they also supported the nearby Quail Street project.

For the Bristol Street project, the applicant, the Picerne Group, is planning to develop a 229-unit apartment building atop a 422-space parking structure and a pedestrian bridge that connects over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential project at 1300 Bristol Street.

The project would require demolition of two office buildings totaling 38,764 square feet and a surface parking lot within the 2.38-acre site, located at the northwest corner of Bristol Street and Spruce Street.

Of the 229 units, 23 units would be affordable and restricted to very low-income households. The remaining 203 units would be market-rate, for-rent apartment units. There will be an overall mix of studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units (almost all the affordable units will be one-bedroom or studio units).

The project includes a steel truss pedestrian bridge that extends over the Spruce Street right-of-way to the previously approved residential apartment project at 1300 Bristol Street. Both properties are owned and will be operated by the same entity. The second-story bridge is intended to provide connectivity between the two and allow sharing of amenities. The applicant will be required to enter into a lease agreement (or other form of agreement) with Newport Beach subject to the payment of fees for the use of air space over the city’s right-of-way.

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NBPD quarterly update

Courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) proudly serves every resident, visitor and business community member in our city.  Operationally, we divide the city into four separate areas. Each area has an assigned lieutenant, who acts as the area commander.

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Map and photo courtesy of NBPD

Operationally, NBPD divides the city into four separate areas, as shown in the map. Area 1 is the Peninsula, Area 2 is Newport West, Area 3 is Newport Center and Area 4 is Newport East.

Area commanders work closely with their communities to address the unique needs of each section of the city. They diligently monitor statistics and activity in their assigned area, track any emerging crime trends and direct resources to address topics of concern. They also attend community meetings, develop relationships, and form a deep understanding of the specific concerns of residents, businesses and visitors in each part of town.

Each quarter, you will get to hear from the area commander to share an update from their area. They may highlight a specific arrest, share about a crime trend in their area, or address a specific community concern they are focusing on.

To kick off these quarterly updates, Sgt. Court Depweg will be covering Area 1 (while Lt. Wolik is out of the office).

Area 1 Update

By NBPD Sgt. Court Depweg (Acting Area 1 Lieutenant)

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NBPD Sgt. Court Depweg

Shooting at an inhabited dwelling

Between February 6 and February 7, 2024, a resident living in the 1000 block of W. Bay Ave. shot multiple .22 caliber rounds from his rifle at his neighbors’ residences and vehicles. The rounds struck both house and vehicles. The suspect did so while either standing on his front porch or from inside his own residence. What was unusual about this incident is that the police department was never contacted with reference to the gunshots. If you recall, we had a major rainstorm move over Newport Beach bringing more than three inches of rain over those two days. We are not sure if the hard rain masked the sounds of gunfire.

Luckily, a resident contacted the police department to report what he believed was a vandalism to his own vehicle, which was parked across the street from the suspect residence. When officers arrived and started to look at the evidence in front of them, they quickly realized this was not just a vandalism. The officers quickly began checking surrounding residences for potential victims of what at first glance looked like a drive-by shooting.

While checking the safety and wellbeing of the residents in the general area, they came across a residence that indicated to the officers that the shots being fired were actually from a neighbor and not an isolated incident, such as a drive-by shooting. Based on what the officers initially observed on scene and at the suspect residence, officers determined more than 20 rounds were fired in the direction of three homes – all occupied by multiple residents, young and elderly.

Due to the circumstances, officers secured the area with a perimeter, evacuated surrounding residents and prepared to contact the suspect. Supervisors requested additional resources including HB-1 (Helicopter), our Bearcat (Armor), detectives, parking control officers, Crisis Response Unit, etc. While coordinating the resources, the suspect exited the residence where officers immediately contacted the suspect and took him into custody without further incident.

The case was turned over to the Crimes Against Persons Unit (CAP). CAP authored a search warrant and recovered both the long rifle and ammunition from the suspect’s residence. During an interview of the suspect, he admitted to firing the weapon towards his neighbors.

The suspect was charged with the crime of Shooting at an Inhabited Dwelling – 246 CPC, a felony, and was placed on a 5150 WIC Hold. Due to the suspect’s previous police contacts and his felonious actions on February 6 and 7, he was designated as a prohibited person from ever purchasing, owning or possessing firearms.

This incident required many department resources and the participation of multiple divisions within the department working together to achieve a successful outcome. We as a community are very fortunate the suspect did not kill anyone over the two days of reckless shooting.

Homeless Liaison Officer (HLO) Update – Sgt. Maslin

HLO Thomson (with the assistance of Be Well and CityNet) got a mom and her two teenage children into a family shelter. The family has been homeless in Newport for several months and recently attended city council meetings to ask for changes to the municipal codes effecting homeless individuals. HLO Thomson bought them needed clothing and a hot meal prior to their intake at the family shelter in Orange. This was a wonderful collaboration by the team to get this family placed.

Stay tuned next week to hear an update from Lt. Schiavi in Area 2.

Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing series of community information provided by the Newport Beach Police Department.

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CdM student shadows NMUSD superintendent as part of senior project

When Corona del Mar High School Senior Shane Fenmore contemplated running for the position of his school’s Associated Student Body senior class president, he decided to attend Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board of Education meetings to get a feel for that role.

Instead of sitting quietly in the audience, Fenmore began advocating for his fellow students, providing comments and weighing in on the issues he felt were important to his education. He wanted to build on that connection to NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith, so he proposed an Experiential Learning Project (ELP) that would allow him to shadow the superintendent.

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Photos courtesy of NMUSD

(L-R) CdMHS Senior Shane Fenmore shadowed NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith

“I watched the superintendent during the meetings, and I admired his leadership style. He made everyone feel heard and important,” said Fenmore. “I wanted a stronger understanding of governance and effective leadership, and I wanted to learn how to be diplomatic and do what’s best for the greatest number of people.”

Dr. Smith believes that a student’s voice plays a crucial role in school district operations and decisions, as it offers unique perspectives and insights into the experiences and needs of those directly affected by educational policies. By actively involving students in decision-making processes, we are better equipped to serve their diverse needs.

“Kids are always watching, and they see how the adults around them behave. It’s crucial for our students to feel acknowledged and understood. Shane has witnessed our district’s commitment to students and knows that we hear them,” Dr. Smith said.

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(L-R) CdMHS Senior Shane Fenmore met one-on-one

with NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith to better understand how schools and school districts are managed behind the scenes

Fenmore has attended various meetings with Dr. Smith. He also has met one-on-one with the superintendent to gain a greater understanding of how schools and school districts are managed behind the scenes.

“I think this experience will help Shane become more well-rounded. He’ll better understand not only his education, including how it’s formed, but also how different aspects of the district, school site and state come together to provide him with his education,” said CdM ASB advisor Michael Dobyns.

Though he doesn’t plan to pursue a career in education, Fenmore believes he can use the knowledge he’s gained from shadowing Dr. Smith in his future with business or finance.

NMUSD students must complete an ELP in their senior year of high school as part of their graduation requirements. ELPs offer students the opportunity to explore an area of passion or interest that connects their learning to experiences outside of the classroom. Advisors/mentors guiding students through their ELP journey must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the school, and approved through the district’s volunteer process.

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American Legion Post 291 to hold Vietnam Veteran Welcome Home Weekend

American Legion Post 291 is holding a Vietnam Veteran Welcome Home Weekend, with the event showcasing remarkable exhibits, including the iconic Dustoff* Huey medevac, which the Vietnam Veterans of America generously provided. This historical artifact will be on view in Veterans Park from 12 p.m. on Friday, April 5 through Sunday, April 7, offering attendees a visible connection to the wartime era. The Vietnam Veterans of America members will be present throughout the display to answer questions and offer insights.

In addition, a dozen or so military-type vehicles will be featured.

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Courtesy of American Legion Post 291

Attendees will get a close-up view of the iconic Dustoff Huey medevac

A special “Coffee Talk” is scheduled for Saturday, April 6 from 6-8 a.m., where a live podcast will be presented with NGBN-TV. Dave Desrochers, a former offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks, has organized a Free Suicide Prevention Training, and will be bringing in award-winning suicide prevention expert and decorated Army Veteran Craig Hannum to host. A replay will take place from 9-11 a.m. and will be shown as well. The sessions are free to attend and watch. All veterans, family members of veterans, and those who love veterans are invited.

Those interested in attending the Free Suicide Prevention Training can register at www.ngbn.tv/savealife/.

On Saturday, April 6, an evening celebration will be held for American Legion members and their guests.

The Vietnam Veteran Welcome Home Weekend is the largest welcome home gathering in the nation, with more than 100 Vietnam Veterans and their guests expected to attend, making it a memorable occasion for all involved.

American Legion Post 291 (and Veterans Park) is located at 215 15th St., Newport Beach. For more information, visit www.al291.com/.

*Editor’s Note: The original call sign of “dustoff” was given to the first aeromedical helicopter evacuation unit, the 57th Medical Detachment, Medical Service Corps, U.S. Army. The countryside was dry and the medical evacuation, or medevac, helicopters would kick up a lot of dust in the fields where they landed.

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The Sacramento Chronicles

By ASSEMBLYMEMBER DIANE DIXON

April 5, 2024

Hello Newport Beach!

In Sacramento, committee hearings on 2,100+ proposed bills are in full swing. I spend much of my time meeting with groups and individuals advocating their various legislative issues coming before my committees. This month, we will face a major deadline: All bills with a cost impact to the state must be voted through a policy committee by April 26.

This week, I was added to a seventh committee: Privacy and Consumer Protection. I have replaced Assemblymember Vince Fong, who is running for Congress. I am looking forward to working with a whole new area of the law.

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Photos courtesy of the Office of Assemblymember Diane Dixon

Assemblywoman Diane Dixon (R-Newport Beach)

For me, a typical day consists of committee hearings overlapping with one another as we all scurry from one meeting to another. I am either presenting my own bill, serving as a committee member, or both. A lot of steps are achieved in this process walking back and forth between the Capitol building and our legislative offices across the street. I have hit 10,000 steps nearly every day, but who’s counting? On a more serious note, my staff and I are working hard to push my bill package through the process. Below are several of my bills to highlight for you this month:

AB 1931, or Kayleigh’s Law, will allow victims of heinous crimes to seek a lifetime injunction against their perpetrator. Current law allows for temporary restraining orders, or protective orders, in cases of domestic violence, harassment, elder abuse and other crimes to protect victims. These protective orders only provide short-term relief and require a victim to face their perpetrator in court every time the order is close to expiration. This bill will provide critical protections for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. The bill is currently awaiting a hearing date with the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Two weeks ago I held a press conference on my bill and several news outlets picked it up. You can watch it here. This is an important bill to every victim of sexual abuse.

AB 2121 – California has 1,801 licensed alcoholism and substance use treatment facilities (aka sober living or recovery homes) statewide, with 331 of these facilities located in Orange County. This bill would provide consistency for adult alcoholism and substance use recovery or treatment facilities with all other state-licensed group homes. It will protect existing neighborhoods, in addition to residents recovering in state-licensed group homes, by ensuring with distancing requirements there is not an overconcentration of these facilities in one neighborhood. This bill has been referred to the Assembly Committee on Health and is awaiting a hearing date.

AB 2626 will extend for 10 years the Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) compliance dates for local governments for their medium- and heavy-duty vehicles as required in the Advanced Clean Fleets Regulation. This extension would allow ZEV and battery manufacturers to advance technologies to address issues specific to these specialty fleet vehicles. Unfortunately, the Assembly Transportation Committee has indicated that it does not plan to set this bill for a hearing and instead encourages cities and agencies to work directly with the California Air Resources Board. I do not agree this is the best solution for our cities (or small and large businesses).

Next month I will update you on any bills successfully making it through their policy committees. There is progress!

In the district, I was thrilled to celebrate Women’s History Month. I honored Marcia Manker as my 2024 Woman of the Year. Manker serves as the current CEO for MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills and Orange Coast Center in Fountain Valley, which are leading acute-care hospitals serving the communities of Orange County. As CEO, she is helping to revolutionize women’s healthcare in south Orange County with the new MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center Women’s Health Pavilion targeted to open this summer. Additionally, Manker oversees all hospital operations, strategy development and business initiatives. With a commitment to mentoring other women, she embodies everything this award stands for. I am delighted to honor her with this recognition. Congratulations, Marcia Manker!

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Assemblymember Diane Dixon (R) presents Marcia Manker, CEO for MemorialCare Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills and Orange Coast Center in Fountain Valley, with recognition as Assembly District 72’s 2024 Woman of the Year

Mark your Calendars for Earth Day! This year, Earth Day falls on Saturday, April 22. I look forward to celebrating and protecting the future of my beautiful district by volunteering at a local beach clean-up event. If you would like to give back to your community, be sure to check out these volunteer events: www.orangecounty.net/html/earthday.html.

Assembly District 72 Non-profit Recognition. Do you know a non-profit organization making a difference in your community? Help me select one to honor by nominating them for California Nonprofits Day. Nominations close Tuesday, April 9, so please fill this form out: 2024 Non-Profit of the Year Nomination Form (ca.gov).

Not receiving invitations to my events? Send an email to assemblymember.dixon@assembly.ca.gov to be added to our distribution list or visit my website: Diane Dixon website. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Facebook and X.

Thank you Stu News for keeping our local residents informed! I am honored to reach Stu News readers with highlights about my life and times serving you in Sacramento. Until next month – be well!

Diane Dixon is a two-term Newport Beach City Councilmember and two-time Mayor. She is currently serving her first term in Sacramento.

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Nostalgia in Newport

Photo series courtesy of Newport Beach Historical Society

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Courtesy of Orange County Archives

Westcliff Drive, 1966

Newport Beach Historical Society is located at the Balboa Branch Library, 100 E. Balboa Ave., Newport Beach, Calif. 92661. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Both the library and museum are closed on Sundays. Free admission. For more information, visit www.newportbeachhistorical.org, or email info@newportbeachhistorical.org.

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