Fair Game



Newport Beach City Council says no to Prop 1 by saying no to League of California Cities

The City of Newport Beach took the lead this week as City Council voted to leave their membership in the League of California Cities. Council voted 5-2 to exit, with Councilmembers Erik Weigand and Robyn Grant dissenting.

“While the League of California Cities has regularly taken positions opposite the interests of taxpayers, the tipping point to leave the League completely came when they advocated for Proposition 1 despite acknowledging the serious and potentially disastrous effects buried in the fine print,” said Mayor Will O’Neill. “Specifically, Prop 1 will take away local control by requiring cities to approve rehab housing funded with billions of dollars of new bond money. The League of California Cities is supposed to advocate FOR cities, but they have actively harmed cities with this overtly political decision. Cities should not fund an organization putting Sacramento’s interests above our residents.”

Meanwhile, Councilmembers Grant and Weigand were “clearly in accord that Prop 1 would be detrimental to all cities,” instead believing that retaining a seat at the table and staying in the organization would allow Newport Beach to work to make change from within.

The mission of the League of California Cities is “to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.”

Since Newport Beach’s departure, the cities of Huntington Beach and Orange have joined them on the sidelines.

• • •

There’s only one way to lead into this piece – “crazy” Roy Englebrecht, a Newport Beach resident and one-time city council candidate, is at it again. Now mind you, Roy is an extremely successful guy. He’s made a wonderful life as a renowned promoter involved in the boxing and mixed martial arts world.

Locally, he’s presented regular cards in The Hangar at the OC Fairgrounds featuring fight nights under the guise of Fight Night OC; before that it was the Battle of the Ballroom for years at the Irvine Marriott.

Several months back, Roy announced that he was planning to form the Irrelevant Bowl, a spinoff somewhat of celebrating the last draft choice of the NFL that Paul Salata introduced to Newport Beach some years back. Only in Roy’s world the Irrelevant Bowl would celebrate college football’s “two worst college football teams” in a bowl matchup at year’s end.

So, while maybe Alabama and, say, USC (okay, I realize I’m dreaming here) would be playing for the National Championship, Roy’s game would feature the two teams at the opposite end of the spectrum in the football world with winless or near winless records.

But that’s not why I referred to him as “crazy.” It gets better.

Earlier this week, Roy announced he was looking at returning roller derby, or in this case, Extreme Roller Derby, back into American culture.

In his announcement he referred to “names like Ann Calvello, Ralphie Valladares, Charlie O’Connell and Joanie Weston (who) were household names for decades, staples of television around the United States with a spiritual home in Los Angeles’ iconic Grand Olympic Auditorium.”

Heck, I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and we had the Bay Bombers on TV as our team. Truth be told, it was one of the first dates I ever went out on in high school. It’s no wonder she and I never worked out.

In any case, back to Roy.

“Roller derby has always been part of the fabric of American sports culture, and with Extreme Roller Derby, we’re bringing it back to its home in Los Angeles to give fans a modern and extreme spin on this great sport,” said Englebrecht.

Here’s his plan: “Focusing on the established rule set of classic roller derby, but with no pre-determined outcomes or pro wrestling-esque antics, the banked track will be augmented by what will be simply known as “The Ramp” – a 20-foot-high ramp build at a 45-degree angle and attached to the banked track where two opposing skaters will begin each jam and race onto the track straightaway…now that’s extreme!”

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Roy Englebrecht

The proposed 20-foot-high ramp leading to the banked track

Roy is serious and now planning tryouts on May 17,18 and 19 in The Hangar at the fairgrounds. His goal is to find 100 skaters that will make up the league’s eight teams, based in Southern California but representing cities from around the United States.

“Once on board, these skaters will train for six months in order to be ready for the 2025 launch, which is destined to make headlines around the globe,” added Englebrecht.

Now that’s CRAZY…and I like it!

To register for the Open Tryouts, skaters can go to www.extremerollerderby.com/.

• • •

From roller derby to pickleball – Newport Beach Fire presents The 2nd Annual Picklefest 2024 on Saturday, April 13 beginning at 12 p.m. The event is hosted by The Tennis & Pickleball Club at Newport Beach.

Teams, both recreational and competitive, can join in at $50 per team. All proceeds go to charity.

Happy Dad Seltzer is the announced title sponsor.

Direct questions or interest to Jim O’Brien at 909.327.8344 or Tony Galaviz at 509.307.4781.

• • •

Congratulations to the Newport Beach Police team of runners on finishing fourth in a category of 17 teams in the 2024 Baker to Vegas run last weekend. The 120-mile course begins in Baker, Calif., home of the giant thermometer, and finishes at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas.

The NBPD team finished the race in 16 hours, 35 minutes and 4 seconds; the Burbank PD won this respective category in 15:14:04.

• • •

This morning (March 29) at 10 a.m., the City of Newport Beach will conduct a ribbon cutting for the Balboa Marina Public Pier, the city’s newest and largest pier in Newport Harbor near where the old Reuben E. Lee vacated some years ago.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of O.C. Supervisor Katrina Foley

New public pier is located just below the Coast Highway bridge in the spot of the old Reuben E. Lee

Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley is planning to join in for the festivities. She said, “After voting to approve much-needed improvements to the Balboa Marina on county tidelands in 2022, I am happy to see the vision for the pier completed. With 12 new public docks, an accessible lift and 26 new private slips, this will help the Balboa Marina Public Pier serve even more boaters. I remain grateful to our partners at the City of Newport Beach and the Irvine Company for their roles in this project. Now, I look forward to the community enjoying Newport Harbor even more in the years to follow.”

• • •

In honor of those who served our country, the Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach is inviting all veterans, families and friends for coffee and donuts this morning at 10 a.m. They will be providing Vietnam Veteran lapel pinning and celebrating our Vietnam Veterans all day. The museum is located at 210B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. What a wonderful start to the day!

• • •

Here’s an idea on how to get those kids, rising juniors and seniors in high school, off the couch and out of the house this summer. Sherman Library & Gardens is offering a six-week paid part-time internship from June 18-July 24 for students who might show an interest in the study or career options related to the field of horticulture and/or public gardens.

Students will “participate in a varied program of practical garden work, kids’ summer camp activities, field trips and individual projects. Whilst working alongside the Gardens’ horticulturists, educators, garden staff and volunteers, they will gain an insight into careers and opportunities in the fields of landscape architecture, garden design and horticulture by working on practical gardening projects and assisting with events.”

Find out more and apply here.


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