Volume 8, Issue 77  |  September 26, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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Fair Game


Don’t look now, but major problems are brewing at The Wedge and it’s not good!

TJ headshot AugThe Wedge is a Newport Beach landmark. People who surf would never visit NB without taking a peek as to what’s going on down there.

That’s why it was so alarming when reader Kathy Frazer brought to my attention the severe, and I mean SEVERE, sand erosion problem there. 

Kathy was at a fundraising event last week when a man sitting next to her started reaching out and begging for someone to help. Apparently, he lives by The Wedge and showed her a picture on his iPhone of the sand gone and the “beach” now down to dirt.

Evidently, the erosion happened over the course of just five days following the recent Pacific storms and resulting high waves.

The gentleman told Kathy that he’s contacted Congresswoman Michelle Steel’s office. You might be aware that she’s been a tremendous help recently in getting sand replenishment up and down the Orange County coast. Unfortunately, she told him it could be 2024 before she can get help.

As this photo shows, this borders on catastrophic and can certainly not wait another two years.

Hopefully, we can get this message to some folks who may be able to help.

Fair Game The Wedge washout

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Photo by Kathy Fraser

Erosion from storms has caused huge erosion issues at The Wedge

• • •

There’s news circulating that someone named Ashley Johnson has been named the new Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer for Newport Beach & Company/Visit Newport Beach

If the name sounds familiar, yes, it’s my kid…all grown up. Ashley has been at Visit Laguna Beach for the past 16 years as president & CEO, where she led their much smaller destination to tremendous, award-winning successes. If I sound biased, I am.

Fortunately, when the Newport Beach job presented itself, Ashley jumped at the opportunity to meet with President & CEO Gary Sherwin. Most people know Gary, but for someone a generation younger and working their way through the tourism industry, nobody can teach and lead a path to learning the biz better than him.

Sure, there will be people that might say I possibly had something to do with this, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Ashley is so qualified and capable, that involving me would have been a hinderance.

All and all, though, I’m tremendously excited and why not. I have loved this community forever and for years have raised Ashley with that same love. She’ll be great.

She doesn’t roll into town until early October, but I encourage you to reach out and meet her. 

Trust me, she’s so good, you’ll think she’s adopted!

• • •

I’ve been remiss in promoting the upcoming Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange County Gala this Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum. This is the fundraiser that supports Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Orange and Santa Ana.

Jaril Tudio, from Spinnaker Investment Group, is chairing the event.

There’s still time to buy tickets, buy a table or bid on the auction items. It’s the Be Great Gala 2022. Check it out at https://e.givesmart.com/events/rDe/.

• • •

I know this isn’t necessarily a Newport Beach story, but sometimes, for whatever reason, we have to venture out. One such case was last Saturday.

My granddaughter and I ventured out to the Paul Frank painting and clock making class at the Laguna Art Museum. Kate is 5, and if early indications of talent are anything, she better not make her career as an artist. 

Trust me, I know where she gets it. When I was a kid, my older brother could color a picture beautifully. The crayon would be evenly applied perfectly, the borders of whatever he was coloring properly highlighted…a true piece of art.

Me, the colors were uneven, I barely stayed in the lines and my choices of colors were horrendous.

It’s no wonder why our mother always hung his pictures prominently on the front of the refrigerator and mine were hung on the back…next to the cord, facing the wall.

Still, Kate and I tackled Paul’s class intent on creating beautiful clocks of a couple of the Paul Frank characters and, perhaps, hanging them for all to enjoy.

Kate chose Mika the Cat…me, of course, being the traditionalist, took Julius the Monkey.

It’s pretty cool how Paul and his team have the class set up. Each artist, that’s me and Kate, got a plastic bag with all the elements of our character cut out in pieces, ready for paint.

For example, for Julius, I got his torso, with a hole cut for where the clock and hands would eventually stick through; two arms and, separately, two hands; Julius’ face included the main part of his head, with a template to add definitions that you’d attach over it with eye and nose holes already cut, two pieces for the ears and, of course, his lips.

Kate’s was similar for Mika.

Me, I called up a picture of Julius on my mobile phone to access the proper color scheme. Kate, on the other hand, decided she didn’t need any help. So, Mika the Cat, which is normally black, had in Kate’s case a half-red and half-yellow body, a pink head, with yellow highlighted eyes, one beige arm and one white arm. 

Fair Game Mika in window

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Photo by Tom Johnson

Kate’s work of art

Paul wasn’t handing out awards for the day, but I had to figure that if he did, Kate certainly would have won. Maybe not for the best clock, but certainly for the cutest kid in the class (being honest, there were two other little ones in the class who also were awfully cute).

I think the most fun Kate may have had on the day, was taking the tray of different colors of paint and mixing them to make new colors.

“Hey, Papa, look, red and yellow make orange,” and so on.

By the time the class ended Kate realized that everything mixed together makes brown if you catch my drift…oh, and that water glasses to clean your brushes in can actually be knocked over and spill across the table and on to the floor. It was quite the mess! But, when it’s Papa and Kate, it’s all fun and she can do no wrong.

Fair Game Kate at table

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Photo by Tom Johnson

Smiles were the order of the day

Quite different than being a parent, I might add. If you don’t believe me, ask my daughter whose ears are probably still ringing from incidents like those mentioned above.

Oh, we live and learn.

Bottom line is, keep an eye on the Museum and take advantage of their classes. They’re fun. And if and when Paul Frank returns, I’d make it a point to check him out. Just don’t tell him you know Tom and Kate.

Fair Game Paul Frank and Kate

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Photo by Tom Johnson

Paul Frank (left), as Kate Dell, 5, shows off her Mika the Cat work of art

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