Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Visit Newport Beach lighting up Las Vegas with 1,000 drone spectacular Sunday following Super Bowl

This weekend is the Super Bowl. Visit Newport Beach (VNB) is at it again announcing that they will make history in Las Vegas after the big game by launching the first-ever 1,000 drone light show to take place on Super Bowl Sunday.

Here’s the deal: One hour after the game ends, a 12-minute light show is planned to captivate the huge Vegas audience with “a fusion of jaw-dropping Newport Beach visuals and real-time football flair.” The drone show theme, “Touch Down in Newport Beach,” will not only celebrate the excitement of Super Bowl LVIII but also extend “an invitation to fans and locals to experience the magic of Newport Beach post-game, just a 38-minute flight away.”

I’m told the excitement doesn’t stop there! According to VNB, “The main highlight of the light show includes the opportunity to enter to win a luxurious trip to, where else, but Newport Beach. The drones will create a QR Code in the sky, prompting viewers to scan it and enter for a chance to win the vacation package to Newport Beach. The post-game celebration getaway includes a two-night stay at Balboa Bay Resort, with an electric boat cruise in the harbor, whale watching for two, a two-hour Moke rental, $500 in food and beverage credit, a $200 shopping gift card to Fashion Island, as well as some other Newport Beach surprises.

Visit Newport Beach is also partnering with COX to exclusively live-stream the light show, ensuring that viewers all around the world can join in to watch.

In addition to the drone show, VNB using geo-fencing technology, is launching a Super Bowl commercial that will air in 60,000 hotel rooms along the Las Vegas Strip throughout Super Bowl Week. “The commercial uses fun football catchphrases tailored to the Super Bowl audience that lets viewers know Newport Beach is ‘wide open’ for visitation year-round.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

The drones will create a QR Code in the sky, prompting viewers to scan it and enter for a chance to win the vacation package to Newport Beach

You may watch the drone show livestream here.

• • •

Under the “did you know and do you care file,” this caught my attention.

The OC Fairgrounds just released their What’s Happening in February update and one item was a “Centennial Farm Workshop: Backyard bantams – Your guide to urban chicken keeping.” It’s planned for Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Is “chicken keeping” even legal in Newport Beach?

The short answer is “no.” Okay, the NB Muni Code allows some chickens in the R-A Zoning District on lots of 15,000 sq. ft. or more. And you should know that if you live there by chance, this Fairground’s class is going to teach you how to “embrace backyard chicken keeping within the confines of city living.” Attendees will discover the “exciting” world of bantam chickens, which are the “ideal choice for enthusiasts with limited space, who are keen to comply with city ordinances while maintaining good neighborly relations.”

Bantams, in case you didn’t know, are “petite and charming chickens, or so they say, which are also prolific egg producers.”

And this week I checked in with one of our councilmembers who told me, “residents need to apply for a permit” to have chickens in the remaining parts of Newport Beach. The councilmember then proceeded to let me know that “the Planning Commission just dealt with the (issue) of chicken keeping.” One Newport Beach resident wanted 12 emotional support chickens.

The issue went before Zoning, and they said “3” was the limit. The resident reportedly then appealed, obviously wanting more, and the Planning Commission countered with, “0.”

It’s a reminder of that old saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.”

Perhaps the best determination of where chickens are allowed in Newport Beach is this: Served under glass with a nice white wine, mushroom and caper sauce, with perhaps a side of rice.

In other words, no chickens in the yard.

• • •

Last week, I was approached by someone concerned with the removal of the last eucalyptus tree conflicting with the planned construction area for the new peninsula library and fire station. I encouraged her to write a letter to the editor expressing her concerns, which she did.

Besides, just the removal of what she claims to be a “beautiful tree” is the fact that this tree also serves as a nesting area for local Great Blue Herons.

Previous history has seen two other trees already removed next to it and this third is planned for perhaps a cord or two of firewood in the near future. That doesn’t make her, or a group of her friends, happy.

The good news is the Parks, Beaches & Recreation Committee is now planning to discuss the issue at this evening’s meeting beginning at 5 p.m.

Peninsula resident and letter writer Michele Silver (who isn’t against the construction, just the design) wants locals to be aware of the meeting, specifically because “it involves the rebuilding of our local library and fire station and the destruction of our more than 100+ year old magnificent eucalyptus tree.”

Her question, “is this how you want our peninsula to look?”

What she’s asking is: “Please show up and let the city know what you want.”

I leave the Blue Heron breeding grounds in your hands.

• • •

Everyone loves Roger’s Gardens…and a big reason why is because they do just about everything related to gardening better than most. That includes tomatoes. In fact, TomatoMania, one of their big annual events, is coming to Roger’s on March 1-4.

What does that mean? Remember when I said “everything” above: Okay, that translates to planting and growing them, tips for making your plants healthy, proper tools, what the benefits are for growing tomatoes, different ways to prepare them, as well as all the many different kinds. It’s everything except perhaps showing you how to consume them.

In fact, you can now order your tomatoes through Roger’s that includes an astonishing selection of more than 250 varieties of heirloom and hybrid tomato plants, including a number of new varieties for 2024.

That’s a lot of sauce my friends!

• • •

Remember not too long ago when people said, “it’s supposed to rain” and our often common reply was “we can sure use it!” Are you like me, longing for those times again?

I’m supposed to play in a golf tournament in the desert this Saturday and getting any practice in between now and then is going to be difficult…or at least, very wet…and yes, the greens will be slow.

Here’s the good news…the roof over my head currently isn’t leaking.

So, what’s next on the storm front?

The hour-by-hour forecast on Weather.com shows rain virtually every hour through late morning tomorrow. Then, it turns to some sun, with morning showers forecasted in again for Friday morning, before a sunny Saturday and then a week of partly cloudy conditions before, yes, some rain returns late in the month.

Please understand, I’m no weather prognosticator…I’m just reading and guessing like the rest of them.

Stay dry.

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