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Volume 5, Issue 95  |  November 27, 2020


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Get ready, with purple comes curfews

Fair Game Tom Johnson newYesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that a curfew, designed to quiet the concern of an anticipated COVID-19 spread, would go into effect across the state beginning tomorrow night. The order would limit the gatherings and movements of people nightly from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. 

The design is to stop families from interacting with others during those hours, except for those specifically required to do so. One goal is probably to create a roadblock to Thanksgiving celebrations.

Is the curfew the right call? Don’t know. But when that very same Governor is using questionable judgment and dining out with a lobbyist (of all people) at the noted Yountville French Laundry restaurant, it’s hard to stomach his ask.

One can easily argue that there are two sets of rules here in California. One for the citizenry and one for him. Afterall, this is not the first time.

Still, the increasing spread of COVID seems to be real as we wait for a vaccine. In a good news-bad news scenario, while numbers of cases are moving up, the death rate percentages seem to have significantly dropped from the earliest days.

No enforcement plans were announced with the Governor’s announcement, but I don’t expect the police to pull you over if you’re out and about.

• • •

Another response to the state’s recent actions to move Orange County back into the Purple Tier was with the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ move to assist restaurants. 

On Wednesday of this week, the Board launched the Orange County Restaurant Outdoor Dining Grant Program to support local restaurants. The Program will make funds immediately available to award $1,000 grants to 1,000 eligible restaurants through CARES Act federal funding.

The grants are intended to help alleviate financial hardships to restaurants. And, trust me, there have been many.

Restaurants are required to submit an application on the County’s website to be considered for the grant funding. Eligible applications will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.    

• • •

And with these COVID times, it seems as though it’s one store closing after another. So anytime a new one opens it’s a good thing, right? 

Case in point, Monique Lhuillier, an internationally recognized luxury designer, is opening in the Saks Fifth Avenue Wing at South Coast Plaza. Monique Lhuillier offers entire ready-to-wear collections of bridal, footwear, handbags, accessories and fragrance collections, along with their debut of the ML Monique Lhuillier contemporary and new intimate apparel collections.

They are now OPEN.

• • •

Usually we run local crime activities under Police Beat or Police Files here in Stu News. But we’ve been watching one series of cases in particular recently and are very happy to report here the perfect outcome.

A week or so ago, Stu News was notified of a series of burglaries hitting various locations around the Harbor targeting fishing gear, tens of thousands of dollars’ worth. The alleged thief was even so brazen, as to allegedly return to the scene of one of the crimes a second time, only to be caught on surveillance video.

Well, as Newport Beach Police do, more often than not, they seem to have gotten their man. Detectives this week arrested one Christopher Adam Garofalo, 27 years old, from Santa Ana.

Seems his alleged burglaries included multiple locations on Shipyard Way, Harbor Island Drive, W. Coast Highway, Anchorage Way and Back Bay Drive.

But in the end, with the victims working closely with the PD, together posting photos and videos online seeking help, help finally came in the way of an arrest.

So what does Mr. Garofalo face? Try grand theft from boats, receiving stolen property with a value greater than $950 and burglary from boats.

And the really good news is that he won’t be fishing anytime soon.

A couple of the victims were the Stanalands, John of real estate fame and wife Rachel, a noted veterinarian. 

An NBPD spokesperson credited both of them with their diligent follow-up and dogged determination in the case.

See, good things do happen to good people.

• • •

Speaking of good people, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris will partner with the Power of One Foundation tomorrow for a Thanksgiving Food Distribution Drive

 If you or someone you know is in need, contact her office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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