On the Harbor: From President Trump coming to town to Measure Z


Plenty going on in the harbor this week with the President stopping by for a quick visit, to recognizing and understanding Measure Z on the Newport Beach ballot.

Nothing better than a warm Sunday afternoon to step aboard a Duffy and people watch while cruising the harbor. This last Sunday brought in everyone from LA and Orange County to get a view of the President while he attended a fundraiser at the end of Lido Isle. The excitement in the air was electrifying while the road traffic started to back up hours before the President arrived, causing me to travel east through Costa Mesa then head down Dover just to make it to my slip. I had flashbacks to both of the Huntington Beach riots from my youth, yet the mode was much more similar to a Beach Boys concert. Everyone was there to get a glimpse of the President with most of the crowd wanting to display their support.

On the Harbor Coast Guard

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos by Len Bose

The Coast Guard on patrol to keep harbor visitors at a safe distance from President Trump’s fundraiser at Palmer Luckey’s home on Lido Isle, curtained off from the water

The Coast Guard and the Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Department were assigned to keep spectators’ vessels three hundred yards away from the end of Lido. Around five or six boats were moved from their Newport Harbor Yacht Club moorings so that the Coast Guard could establish their perimeter. Similar to attending Cal Jam 2, we had to push our way to the front and by doing so test the perimeter. A huge difference between the Coast Guard demanding that you back up compared to the local Sheriff’s deputies. While we started to tie up to one of the empty mooring balls, the Sheriffs came up alongside us and said, “Hey Len how you doing? Do me a favor and back up to the other line of moorings, good to see you.” This occurred while the kid on the front of one of the Coast Guard boats behind his FN M240 machine gun and black face covering signaled with two fingers to move off to the side as they approached. After coming alongside, the helmsman would yell “Back up NOW!” Yes, I took offense that the Coast Guard decided to exhibit their firepower.

Just then, I noticed on top of the home of the person throwing the fundraiser were a dozen secret service agents with binoculars, and when the President arrived, the high-powered weapons appeared on the roof line. Quite exciting, although with the President’s arrival the curtains were closed around the event and everyone’s view from the water was blocked from the main event. But the crowd on the water continued to grow and the attention was on how the Coast Guard would keep people out of the restricted area. One beginning sailor who had no idea what was ahead of him, saw a clear path and sailed into the open water; another elderly lady paddle boarded around the corner; and then you had the clueless boatniks that had no idea what was going on around them because they had their faces too deep into their phones. The reaction was always the same by the Coast Guard bringing the boat on a full plane, then turning hard port or starboard while the kid on the machine gun was almost tossed off the boat. We come alongside to escort them out of the restricted zone. One of the best quotes of the day was from a spectator alongside us, “Looks like that guy in the Coast Guard boat only knows two speeds – stop and full speed.” Flashback to the time when that new Sheriff’s deputy mistakenly ran over the black swan Rupert while responding to a call. I laughed to myself thinking what would happen in today’s political atmosphere.

On the Harbor boat

Click on photo for a larger image

President Trump supporters on their boat in Newport Harbor

After the President left Palmer Luckey’s home, the curtains opened and the crowd rushed to the stage. This is when the best people-watching of the day began. I better not describe what I witnessed on the harbor that day because my editor would probably take almost everything out for being politically biased. One thing I can take the time to describe was that the patriotism energy level was at an all-time high and everyone was having a good time on the harbor on this warm sunny Sunday.

• • •

Regarding Measure Z on your Newport Beach ballot. I hadn’t heard of this measure because I live in Huntington Beach, until a reader who is a good friend contacted me. “I enjoy your articles in Stu News. It looks like it makes sense to vote ‘yes’ on Z, but I would like an affirmative (or not) from someone who knows the inside story.”

My reply can be viewed here.

After reviewing Measure Z, I would vote YES. Jim Mosher’s rebuttal against Z makes a strong argument to wait and write the Measure with more thought placed into it. I have found that one should always review and consider Mosher’s comments and suggestions. This measure does not need the scrutiny that Mosher is calling for, being more of a seat of the pants sailor/get ‘er done kind of person. It is more productive to place the powers and duties of the Harbor Commission beyond the political whims of future councils. This Charter amendment would formalize such powers and duties in the City’s Charter. In other words, “my gut” tells me a YES vote is the best thing for our harbor now and well into the future.

To the rest of my readers, remember that the Harbor Commission was instrumental in obtaining our RPG 54 permit, recommending changes in Title 17, lobbying for dredging funding, keeping a communication line between our different harbor users – most of our harbor commissioners are active boaters – and are providing information to our council members who only see the harbor when they drive over the PCH bridge.

One last story. Not very long ago there was a council member that said, “I do not need to hear from any commissioner about the harbor, I know everything about the harbor that I need to know already.” The only time I noticed that council member near the harbor was at the bar at the yacht club during the early bird specials. Let’s not regress into the past. Please vote YES on Measure Z.

Sea ya.


Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.