Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

 

Teen driver reportedly fails to stop at school crosswalk and strikes crossing guard during peak morning hours

We all know how beloved some school crossing guards can be to many kids and parents, particularly on their strolls to and from campus each day. If you don’t know what I mean, watch next time you’re around younger kids filling a crosswalk and witness the interaction and smiles often shared between the guards, kids and parents. It’s a safe feeling that everyone desires.

Well, I’m sorry to report that one of those beloved guards – this one working near Eastbluff Elementary – was struck and subsequently hospitalized in ICU Tuesday morning (Feb. 13) with substantial injuries when a vehicle apparently failed to heed a stop sign. A teenage driver, according to Newport Beach Police, allegedly ran a stop sign at Vista del Oro and Vista Roma while traveling approximately 18-20 mph.

First things first, the crossing guard has been identified as Kathy Japes, who reportedly suffered “moderate injuries, including a broken bone.” Fortunately, a GoFundMe effort has been established to assist Kathy in her recovery, which details a list of a number of more injuries incurred. There has been more than $11,500 raised to date.

The driver was at fault, according to NBPD, however stayed at the scene, cooperated with officers and was not cited. The vehicle was a small VW SUV.

No one else was injured in the incident.

Get well, Kathy.

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The City of Newport Beach Arts Commission is inviting residents to once again vote on the final selection of sculptures proposed for inclusion in Phase IX of the rotating exhibition in Civic Center Park.

The survey is being facilitated by Arts of Orange County at www.sparkoc.com/nb_sculpture_poll/ and will be available online through March 11.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of NB Arts Commission

One of the current sculptures on view in Civic Center Park – enjoy “Efram,” by James Burnes

 The proposed pieces that you’ll be selecting from were chosen by the Newport Beach City Arts Commission; curatorial panel members Tram Le, an Arts and Culture Specialist for the City of Santa Ana; and Alejandro “Man One” Poli Jr., artist and curator; along with representatives from Arts Orange County at the Commission’s February 8 regular monthly meeting.

The panel evaluated the works in four critical areas – artistic merit, durability, practicality and site appropriateness – and then selected artworks of various sizes, mediums and subject matter for the public online survey.

The survey, when completed, will select the 10 sculptures for Phase IX of the Sculpture Exhibition, which will then be reviewed by Newport Beach City Council for final approval at their April 9 meeting.

The selected sculptures will be on loan to the City of Newport Beach for two years. Sculptors, whose artworks are chosen for installation in Civic Center Park, will receive a small honorarium.

• • •

The Newport Beach Foundation – a non-profit group that has taken responsibility for “activating the next generation of community involvement and leadership in Newport Beach” – is now accepting applications for its Spring class of their Distinguished Citizen Program.

If you’re someone interested in learning about the key components that form the foundation of this city, trust me, you’ll want in.

The program runs five evenings (May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29) from 5:30-8 p.m. There are limited spots available. Applicants MUST live or work in Newport Beach.

Some of the city leaders who have presented during the program in the past include Mayor Will O’Neill, City Manager Grace Leung, business owner Mario Marovic, Gary Sherwin from Visit Newport Beach, Chief Joe Cartwright from Newport Beach Police, Chief Jeff Boyles from Newport Beach Fire, City Attorney Aaron Harp, Newport-Mesa School District Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith, Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton, Councilmember Lauren Kleiman, City Clerk Lelani Brown, and many other top city department and community leaders.

To apply, go here.

• • •

The next time you see a black abalone, otherwise known as Haliotis cracherodii, out on a dive, feel free to share this: this year, Orange County Assemblymember Diane Dixon introduced AB 2504 proposing to make the large edible sea snail, or gastropod mollusk, California’s State Shellfish.

That’s right, earlier this week Assemblymember Dixon, in an effort to honor the important role of the black abalone in “influencing California’s rich history and culture,” put forth the bill to bring attention to this species facing extinction.

“I am delighted to designate the shell of the black abalone as California’s State Seashell,” said Dixon. “This is a fun bill designed to offer an educational purpose while encouraging Californians to learn more about our beautiful coastline and fragile sea life.”

In other coastal news, Assemblymember Dixon also discussed AB 2393, sponsored by Orange County. The bill would enhance opportunities for public access and recreational activities on the coast, as well as promote coastal resource preservation.

Orange County, authorized by the Tidelands Grant Authority, leases tidelands and submerged lands bordering on and under Newport Bay, also known as Back Bay. AB 2393 will extend the available lease terms for the Newport Bay Tidelands to 66 years.

“It is crucial to extend the available lease terms for public trust lands at Newport Bay. I am looking forward to working with the county to ensure flexibility when creating land lease agreements for projects that encourage people to get outside and enjoy the beautiful Orange County coastline.”

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