Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Up and at ‘em…Fair Game is back…from sick bed to feet back on the ground…let’s get going!

Gosh, do I feel out of the loop. Having a medical issue that knocks you on your keister for an extended period of time is challenging. But thankfully, because of family, the great Hoag team and the encouragement of friends, life is definitely improving.

All that being said, this week I’m fully returning to the fray. I’ve already booked coffees with the two mayors that affect our publications to help get my finger back on the pulse.

Other political news has one Miles Patricola jumping in to oppose Sara Weber for the soon-to-be-vacated District 7 seat our Mayor Will O’Neill represents on the City Council.

We’ve discussed Weber before. She seems to be on solid footing with endorsements from police and fire, and just about anyone who’s anything in Newport Beach politics.

Patricola is a local kid whose family owns Rothschild’s Restaurant on PCH. His resume on his campaign website notes he went to Corona del Mar High School, then Orange Coast College, before moving to Colorado. After battling the cold there, he moved home and decided to run for City Council.

He said, “My professional career in civic engagement has always focused on being actively involved in my community, making others feel seen and appreciated, and encouraging people to make their voices heard.” However, he didn’t list any accomplishments on what he’s done to make this a success.

One note of interest, on his campaign paperwork, where it notes that City Council is non-partisan, he checked the box that he’s “Democrat.”

That was interesting.

The other council race has Newport-Mesa School Board trustee Michelle Barto facing off against Nancy Scarbrough, an activist that’s been intimately involved in and around city politics for years now. They’ll battle for the seat to be vacated at year’s end by incumbent Brad Avery, who’s termed out in District 2.

Another race taking shape is for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District in Trustee Area 3. Board President Carol Crane is being challenged by Phil Stemler.

Who knew Crane had a target set on her back. The school board seems to have been operating just fine with Crane at the helm.

It seems once the board roped in Superintendent Dr. Wesley Smith that the District has been on a strong track.

Stemler must not agree. He’s come out strong with endorsements from many of Newport Beach’s current political leadership. He’s a local, attending Eastbluff, Harbor View, Harbor Day and Corona del Mar High School.

After graduating from Yale and then the University of San Diego School of Law, he’s become a public corruption prosecutor.

Philip is married to Whitney and has two school-aged boys.

The actual nomination period for City offices opens on July 15 and closes on Friday, Aug. 9. That’s when candidates get the proper signatures and submit them with the proper paperwork to City Clerk Leilani Brown to become official candidates.

BTW, if you’re thinking of getting engaged in supporting one of the City Council candidates, according to our City Clerk the campaign contribution limit moved to $1,400 effective last July 1.

More to come on all the candidates as things formally take shape.

• • •

Speaking of politics, as we previously reported, our Mayor Pro Tem Joe Stapleton is now the Chairman of the New Majority Orange County, replacing Lucy Rawlins.

The New Majority is one of the largest statewide political organizations in California. Through education and contributions, they seek to inform their membership and contribute resources to Republican and other philosophically aligned candidates and issues that share their mission.

More information about the New Majority can be found at https://newmajority.com.

This is a big move for Joe, and like most other things he embarks on, Joe should do great things with the NMOC.

He’s also told me that he’s resigned from more than a handful of local organizations that he’s been involved with over the years, to clear the needed time on his calendar to devote to the NMOC.

• • •

What else? We have a new Junior Lifeguard facility that the community recently celebrated. I’m told its spectacular.

And one of the great things is that not only will it serve the JGs, but it’s also going to be a place for meetings, gatherings, weddings, et al.

Sounds like a win all the way around.

• • •

The Balboa Peninsula Trolley is rolling with summer operations on weekends and holidays providing free service. It runs from 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. in 15-minute intervals.

According to the city website, “for those planning a day at the beach, the trolley can accommodate bicycles, surfboards under six feet long and beach gear.”

Trolley riders traveling from outside the area can utilize free parking at the city’s Avon Street municipal parking lot located near the Tustin Avenue and Avon Street intersection within Mariners’ Mile along Coast Highway.

The trolley service is provided by the City of Newport Beach and funded through grants from the Orange County Transportation Authority (Measure M2 funds). For more information, visit newportbeachca.gov/trolley.

• • •

The 4th of July is just around the corner. As a reminder, NO fireworks are allowed in the city limits.

But, there’s a lot on the calendar for the day.

The city hosts the Newport Peninsula Bike Parade and Community Festival beginning the 4th at 9 a.m. at Balboa Boulevard and 36th Street. The composition of the parade is primarily bikes and dogs.

There’s also a free festival with carnival games, slides, jump house, arts & crafts and food. It’ll run until 11:30 a.m.

There’s also the Mariners 4th of July Family Bike Parade which has morphed into a community-organized event meandering down Mariners Drive, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

On the water will be the Old Glory Boat Parade sponsored by the American Legion Yacht Club and Post 291. It begins at 1 p.m. and will feature red, white and blue decorated boats.

Separately, later in the day is a 4th Coastal Flyover. The Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airmen’s Association, a non-profit organization founded by a group of WWII fighter pilots, will fly AT-6s over at approximately 5:35 p.m.

Then, finally, is the Fireworks Extravaganza at the Newport Dunes beginning a 9 p.m. Residents can walk into the Dunes for free that evening (need photo ID).

The Dunes also has a full day of activities, including food and music. Gates open at 8 a.m. and there will be a $50 per car parking fee throughout the day, first-come, first-serve.

• • •

Friday is the grand opening of the Newport Beach Historical Society’s new museum located in the Balboa Fun Zone. The affair begins at 5 p.m., with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. featuring our Mayor, Will O’Neill, and Steve Rosansky, CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

The community is invited to join in.

• • •

Well, it’s great to be back! Look forward to seeing you all around town…and getting my hands dirty again!


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