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Elder statesman Allan Beek passes just short of 97th birthday

Allan Beek, of Newport Beach’s first family fame, died early yesterday morning (Jan. 11), according to his daughter Elizabeth (Beth) Beek Blackford.

Allan had fallen over the holidays (Dec. 23, 2023) while in the bathtub, fracturing his T-12 vertebrae. After initially refusing emergency room care, he was taken to Kaiser Permanente in Irvine 11 days following the accident, before being transferred to Riverside Community Hospital on January 4.

No surgery was performed, but Beek was fitted with a back brace and began physical therapy in anticipation of discharge and return to Regents Point’s skilled nursing facility, Windcrest, for further rehabilitation. During Wednesday evening’s preparations for transfer however, his vital signs became very unstable, with “very low blood pressure, 80% O2 saturation, difficulty breathing” and he was instead readmitted to Riverside’s Intensive Care Unit, where he passed away at 1:58 a.m.

In accordance with his wishes, Allan’s brain and body were immediately donated to the University of California, Irvine 90+ Study. For more info on this UCI study, go to

Beek was a longtime, respected community activist who was especially involved in Still Protecting Our Newport (SPON) and other efforts that he believed had an adverse effect on negative growth, increased traffic, environmental concerns and unwanted change for Newport Beach.

Allan, who shared a January 23 birthdate with his deceased brother Bart, would have turned 97 this year.

He is survived by his wife Jean Cohen Beek, and daughters Elizabeth “Beth” Beek Blackford of Palm Bay, Florida and Katharine Beek of Fresno.

When asked about plans for a service, Beth shared that a family birthday celebration has been celebrated annually in January and that this year the gathering “might turn into something special.”

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Courtesy of the Beek family

Allan Beek

• • •

The Lecture Hall proposed for a site next to the Newport Beach Central Library passed this past Tuesday (Jan. 9) in a 4-3 vote by City Council. The Lecture Hall will come in at a cost of some $23 million, with the city contributing one-half of the costs and the Newport Beach Library Foundation contributing the other half.

The vote went down with Mayor Will O’Neill, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton and Councilmember Lauren Kleiman voting no.

Groundbreaking for the project could begin as early as next month.

The Hall presented conflicting issues, with one side encouraged by what they termed the community benefit, the anticipated planned uses and the completion of the Civic Center complex area.

The other side was primarily concerned with continuing growing costs that now exceed $23 million.

One result that came out of Tuesday’s approval is that no additional changes to the project that would increase costs are permitted, until the Library Foundation completes their $11.7 million contribution. And, once completed, the Hall will then be managed by the city and not by the library or the foundation. The foundation will also pay a usage fee of $700 for their programming that presently includes the Witte Lecture Series, Library Live, and various medical programs, financial workshops, book groups and more.

The Hall is expected to open by 2026 and will be called Witte Hall, recognizing a $4 million contribution by Bill Witte and Keiko Sakamoto.

• • •

The Orange County Board of Supervisors has re-elected Donald Wagner, from the Third District, unanimously as Chairman for 2024 and the Fourth District’s Doug Chaffee as Vice Chairman.

Wagner’s past record shows a commitment to fiscal responsibility, improving public safety and enhancing the quality of life for OC residents.

Chaffee said he plans to continue to create new initiatives that address healthcare and public safety. He also will continue to encourage everyone to practice kindness as a special human value that brings us together and connects us despite our differences.

Newport Beach is represented by Fifth District Supervisor Katrina Foley.

• • •

As the end of August and early September rolls around each year, calls begin asking the question, “Are you ready for some football?”

Well, here in Newport Beach, we’re a little different. About this time (January/February) of year our question is somewhat different…“Are you ready for some golf?” Okay, maybe it doesn’t have the same ring to it, but it certainly fits our lifestyle.

Of course, with golf we’re talking about the Hoag Classic Newport Beach, the annual PGA TOUR Champions event held at Newport Beach Country Club.

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Submitted photo

Past Hoag Classic action at Newport Beach Country Club’s finishing 18th hole

Big announcement this week – McCarthy Building Companies has joined the tournament beginning this year as presenting partner.

“Hoag is thrilled to welcome McCarthy Building Companies as a presenting partner of the Hoag Classic Newport Beach alongside long-standing partner City National Bank, said Scott Easton, executive director of the Hoag Classic. “This partnership will allow us to continue to produce one of the best professional fields on tour and create elements that will inspire and attract new fans and provide the loyal fans who have supported the event for years additional elements to enjoy and look forward to.”

McCarthy Building Companies, which have proudly served Orange County for more than 30 years, has signed a three-year presenting partnership with the Hoag Classic Newport Beach.

“The Hoag Classic Newport Beach is one of the most iconic and beloved events our city holds each year,” said Jim Madrid, McCarthy Building Co.’s executive vice president. “This partnership gives us the opportunity to celebrate with our business partners and elevate the Hoag Classic Newport Beach while broadening its impact on the Newport Beach community.”

In addition, it was also announced the Hoag Classic will feature new lifestyle events, including a kick-off party at VEA Newport Beach that will take place on Friday, March 22, featuring live music and entertainment.

For current tournament information and to purchase tickets to the 2024 Hoag Classic Newport Beach, visit

• • •

Newport Beach resident Roy Englebrecht is a favorite of mine. He’s been a very successful promoter over the years bringing boxing and mixed martial arts cards to local venues around the area. However, his latest idea might leave one asking the question, “Has Roy taken one punch too many to the head?”

An innovator and Hall of Fame promoter, Roy has come up with a new concept that should catch the attention of college football coaches, players, media and fans…it’s called the Irrelevant Bowl.

I know, I know, I know…can you say Paul Salata?

Salata, of course, beginning back in 1976 would recognize the last draft choice in the National Football League’s annual draft each year and bring them to Newport Beach for their own multi-day party. Roy’s idea would be sort of a spinoff on that, inviting the two bottom-feeders in college football to their own bowl game.

“No polls, no rankings, no controversy, just two winless or near winless teams looking for redemption and one elusive win,” said Englebrecht, who hopes to launch the inaugural Irrelevant Bowl in 2024. “Knowing that the NCAA has become more flexible with the number of teams’ wins to qualify for a bowl, I will petition the NCAA asking them to grant a waiver in 2024 so that two teams would be eligible to play in the inaugural Irrelevant Bowl.”

Be honest…how many of you waited on pins and needles for the Cal and Texas Tech, each with 6-6 records, to play in the Independence Bowl? The winner got a better than .50 record…yippee! Now don’t get me wrong, I actually like Cal…my point is how many meaningless football games do we need that don’t stand for anything.

Fast forward to the Irrelevant Bowl. This year would’ve featured a 2-10 Vanderbilt team facing 1-11 Akron. That would be fun. And the winner would be the best of the worst. That’s something!

According to Englebrecht’s plan, the Irrelevant Bowl would provide six-figure payouts to the two participating teams, along with team travel, team lodging and team meals in a host city to be determined. And should either of the last two teams picked pass on playing, the next lowest team would be invited.

Who would’ve thought that Irrelevant Week would’ve grown into what Salata intended way back when? And to think, now they’re THE topic of conversation on the final day of the NFL Draft, and this year came within a couple of late season bad throws to possibly having the league’s MVP.

I say, Roy, let’s make this happen!

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