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NB Film Fest partners with Philharmonic Society and Irvine Barclay for Charlie Chaplin tribute

On Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m., the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Irvine Barclay Theatre present multiple Grammy Award-nominated violinist Philippe Quint in the west coast premiere of Charlie Chaplin’s Smile: A Musical Tribute to Charlie Chaplin, a new multimedia recital with pianist John Novacek, featuring new arrangements of works and video clips from Chaplin’s most celebrated films – Modern Times, City Lights, Monsieur Verdoux, The Kid, Limelight and A King in New York – interspersed with works by composers that had a great impact on Chaplin’s compositional style: Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Brahms, Gershwin and Stravinsky.

NB Film Fest partners with Philippe Quint

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Courtesy of Irvine Barclay Theatre

Violinist Philippe Quint

During the performance, Quint will also narrate the stories that he has written and based on Chaplin’s, My Autobiography. Quint’s recent debut on the Warner Classics label, Chaplin’s Smile, a project that was more than three years in development, featured 13 original arrangements of original songs by Chaplin that received worldwide acclaim. Chaplin’s granddaughter, Kiera Chaplin, said in Forbes Magazine, “I think it’s amazing that in 2019, one hundred and thirty years after his birth, my grandfather Charlie Chaplin is still around and loved by so many, that even a hundred and five years after his first movie was made, he still surprises people.

Quint’s new album Chaplin’s Smile is allowing him to be discovered by a whole new audience as a talented composer, a side of him many people did not know.”

His appearances in recent seasons have taken him to the London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony, Weimar Staatskapelle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, China National Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Berlin Komische Oper Orchestra and Leipzig’s MDR performing under the batons of such renowned conductors such as the late Kurt Masur, Marin Alsop, Edo De Waart, Andrew Litton, Tugan Sokhiev, Ludovic Morlot, James Gaffigan, Carl St.Clair, Michael Stern, Vladimir Spivakov, Cristian Macelaru, Kristian Jarvi, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jorge Mester, Jahja Ling, Krzysztof Urbanski, Carlos Morgan Prieto, Tugan Sokhiev, Tito Munoz, Steven Sloane and Bramwell Tovey.

The pre-performance lecture moderator Gregg Schwenk, founder/CEO of the Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) and executive director/co-founder of the Orange County Film Society will lead a panel focusing on the genre of silent film, discussing Chaplin’s influence and other famous silent film contributors at 7 p.m. The performance begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets range from $32-$100 and can be purchased here.

Irvine Barclay Theatre is located at 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine.


ENC President’s Week Camp gets kids up close with nature

During President’s Week vacation, 72 youngsters were enrolled in the Environmental Nature Center’s (ENC) President’s Week Camp, filling it to capacity.

ENC kid at stream

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Photos courtesy of ENC

A kid checks out the rippling stream

Kids were active and kept busy enjoying a reading of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax and making “Earth Protector” badges; embarking on a bird hike with binoculars; participating in a week-long compost study; creating mobiles, based on studying past presidents’ contributions; investigating rollie pollies under logs; reading about dragonflies and making a dragonfly craft; meeting ENC’s resident salamander and then doing watercolor portraits of this amphibian; making seed balls; and maybe best of all – roasting marshmallows over a campfire.

ENC youths hiking

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Youths hike the trail with magnifying lenses

ENC has spots available for Spring Break Camp, taking Place April 6-9. To find out more about it and to register your child, go here.

The Environmental Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach.


Gearing up for the N2E

Gearing up for the N2E

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Photo by Laurie Morrison

Courtesy of NOSA

Newport Beach is gearing up for the 73rd Annual Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, taking place April 24-28. Come cheer all the sailors on as they take off just outside our harbor and head down to Ensenada, Mexico. We wish them fair winds.


Local firefighters union endorses Katrina Foley for State Senate

Earlier this week, Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley received the endorsement of the Newport Beach Firefighters Association, Local 3734 in her bid for California State Senate, 37th District. She is running against incumbent John Moorlach and challenger David Min. 

Moorlach has held the position since March of 2015, while Min is a professor of law at UCI.

Local firefighters union endorses Katrina Foley for State Senate

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Courtesy of Katrina Foley

Katrina Foley

In making their endorsement public, Robert Salerno, president of the Newport Beach Firefighters Association, Local 3734, released the following statement:

“Mayor Katrina Foley is an experienced elected official with the strong base of support we will need to win in November. Her ability to deliver results is unmatched. We are certain that she will continue to make public safety a top priority so that our beaches and wildfire-prone spaces are protected. The Newport Beach Firefighters Association is proud to support Mayor Katrina Foley for State Senate.”

Earlier, Foley has received the local endorsements from the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers, Congressman Harley Rouda and Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris.

Foley is currently the mayor of Costa Mesa.

The Primary election will be held on Tuesday, March 3.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

OCYSF shows how fundraising works to benefit the masses

Fair Game Tom NewHow many times have you supported a nonprofit by donating money or attending a fundraiser with the promise of what’s going to happen with the money raised? Well, how do you know if the money ever really gets there? 

I received a note from my friends at the Orange County Youth Sports Foundation this week highlighting their November 2019 fundraising dinner at the Fashion Island Hotel. The dinner honored former longtime Angels executive and current President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum Tim Mead. Mead was selected as OCYSF’s 2019 Sportsman of the Year

The list of where the money went is impressive: 

1 – Through Higher Ground OC, they provided funds for 100 kids to participate in a baseball program.

2 – Through OC Grip, a gang reduction and intervention program, OCYSF helped underwrite a taekwondo and soccer program for at-risk kids throughout Orange County.

3 – With the E&P Education and Leadership Program, they sponsored 18 young men of color to a year-round program leveraging sports to help them hone skills necessary to achieve success for college and beyond.

4 – Through the Kevin Armstrong, M.D. Memorial Sports Foundation, they purchased 200 pairs of running shoes for intermediate school students to participate in a daily running regimen that culminates in a 5K and 10K competition.

5 – Through the California Showcase, presented by former UCLA coach Terry Donahue and the National Football Foundation, they helped underwrite a one-day tryout for local high school seniors hoping to obtain football scholarships to NAIA, Division II and III schools.

6 – With Girls on the Run Orange County, they sponsored 38 low-income girls from grades 3-8 to a running and mentoring program culminating in a 5K race.

7 – Through the Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation, they sponsored OC burn victims to a two-week summer camp allowing them to interact through sports activities designed to overcome esteem issues as they integrate back into local schools.

8 – With the Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Santa Ana, they purchased sports equipment and related clothing for children to use at their facility.

9 – With Scholars’ Hope Foundation, they funded a summer camp in a sports-related environment that teaches at-risk kids from 4th-9th grade how to overcome problems, create trust and grow.

10 – They also purchased tickets to Angels games to send hundreds of at-risk or disadvantaged kids to the Big A, often for their first experience of seeing a Major League Baseball game.

11 – Through Pure Game, they approved funding for sports equipment to launch a soccer program at an elementary school in Costa Mesa that’s planned to get underway this spring. 

Additionally, OCYSF funds 12-15 scholarships of $2,500 each to selected high school seniors in OC who have demonstrated their commitment to excellence by overcoming obstacles. Criteria includes need, community service, sports activities and GPA, with the students then being honored at a banquet in May highlighting their individual achievements. 

Wow, now that’s a successful fundraiser. To find out more about OCYSF or to donate, go to www.ocysf.org.

And, if you’re involved with a nonprofit group that is in the fundraising game and you want to tout their achievements to the world, or at least our world, let me know. 

• • •

Most everyone knows that the Hoag Classic returns March 4-8 to the Newport Beach Country Club bringing in the best of PGA Champions Tour golf. There’s a lot going on throughout the week besides just good golf. For example, there are pro-ams, parties, a breakfast and a kids’ day.

That being said, one of my favorites is when the Hoag Classic takes time to honor our servicemen and women with their 5th annual Military Appreciation Day. I’ve been fortunate to be inside the ropes for this ceremony the last few years. It takes place just across the way from the beautiful clubhouse at 9 a.m. on Saturday of tournament week.

It’s touching, but more importantly, it reminds us just how fortunate we are to have men and women that put everything on the line to protect our freedoms around the world.

So, here’s what you need to know. All active duty, military reserve, national guard, military retirees and veterans are invited for the ceremony and the day of golf viewing with complimentary admission, food and beverage. And if that’s not enough, they can bring three guests along to enjoy the same things. All we ask is for you to register to here so they can get you your vouchers.

It’s Hoag’s way of saying “thank you for your service.”

The ceremony will include an honoring of military members with a color guard procession, a flyover courtesy of Lyon Air Museum, the singing of the national anthem, a special recognition of military dignitaries and a Military Village showcasing all benefitting military charities.

The day is presented by CoreLogic.

And, while you’re there, visit the Konica Minolta Field of Flags, where loved ones can be remembered for their service to the country.

Trust me, if you love this country, you’ll want to be there. And, just so we’re clear, again, it’s Saturday, March 7 at 9 a.m.

As the old American idiom goes, “Freedom isn’t free.”


Flashback Friday: Answer

If you guessed Jeff Herdman, Newport Beach City Councilman representing District 5, you are correct! Jeff is pictured above at age 3 in Belmont Shores, Long Beach.

Send in a treasured past photo!

You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. We’ll even surprise them if you want. 

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Flashback Friday

A very dapper young boy…

Flashback Friday 2.21.20

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Here is our Flashback Friday...harkening back to yesterday...and we hope you can guess who it is.

Clue: I think you can tell he was destined for local office someday.

Good luck guessing this one. The answer appears today at the bottom of Stu News.

Send in a treasured past photo! You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. Or one of your special friend.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line and include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Hoag’s Heroes presents check to Hoag Hospital Foundation

On Thursday, Feb. 20, Hoag’s Heroes, an alumni group from SolMar, presented a check for $15,000 to the Hoag Hospital Foundation. SolMar is Hoag’s residential and outpatient chemical dependency treatment center, which raised funds through several outings including a golf tournament and a Halloween event.

Hoag's Heroes check

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Photo by Lana Johnson

(L-R) Bill Serr, Hoag’s Heroes alumni board president; Stacy Skwarlo, executive director, Hoag Hospital Foundation; Lorrie Odell, SolMar alumni coordinator; Scott Steward, Hoag’s Heroes alumni treasurer; Janet Fraser, Hoag’s Heroes alumni vice president; and Kambria Hittelman, director of neurobehavioral health, Hoag


You Must Remember This: Bal Week

By NANCY GARDNER

Long before there was spring break, there was Easter vacation. It was a big deal locally, so big that it had its own name: Bal Week. From the early 1920s, a huge portion of Southern California’s population descended on Balboa during the Easter break where they were welcomed with open arms. Why they were so popular is easy to see. Balboa lived off tourists. Memorial Day through Labor Day, the joint was jumping with people spending enough money to carry the town for the rest of the year – almost. By spring, things were getting pretty tight, so when kids started coming down during Easter vacation, it was a huge shot in the arm. To quote my father, who was around at that time, “Made up mostly of high school and college kids, the crowds drank, played, raised hell – and spent money.” The natives loved it. There wasn’t much the kids could damage, and as for noise – hey, if noise helped the bottom line, they were all for it. The city rolled out the red carpet, Balboa became THE place to go during the break and Bal Week was born.

You Must Remember Bal Week girls on bike

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Photos courtesy of Sherman Library

Girls joyriding in the 1940s during Bal Week

For several decades this was a migration embedded in the SoCal DNA. So what happened? Again, according to my father, in the 1950s there was new blood in the city’s Junior Chamber of Commerce. Filled with energy and enthusiasm, they decided to build on Bal Week...make it even bigger and better. As their first step, they decided to put on a street dance. To get more of the community involved and spread the benefits, they decided to put the dance on Balboa Island. They cordoned off a block of Marine Avenue, had a band and a huge success. They couldn’t have fit one more body, and just as in Balboa, there was dancing and drinking and noise but, as my father put it, what was “good clean fun a couple of hundred yards across the bay was a real pain in the neck” to the more sober-sided denizens of the Island, and it marked the beginning of the end of Bal Week.   

Because of its importance to the local economy, it had been basically a no-penalty period. Authorities looked the other way, and that was part of the attraction. You could drink, you could yell, and you didn’t end up having to call your parents to post bail. No longer. Just as has been done more recently on the Peninsula over the 4th of July, the outraged Islanders demanded that ordinances be enforced, strictly! With the beefed up police presence, the crowds were brought under control, and those who had previously come to Balboa for a hedonistic venture looked for less restrictive pastures. Within a few years, the scene had transferred to Palm Springs and the River.

You Must Remember Bal Week Beach

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A crowded beach near Balboa Pavilion during Bal Week

Bal Week was no more by the time I got to high school. There were a few visitors down for the break, but it was mostly a local crowd. On one evening during Easter Week, some of my friends were going to the Island where what activity there was took place. I begged my parents to let me go since “everybody” was going to be there. They agreed with the usual admonitions to behave myself and be a little cautious, particularly of boys I didn’t know. This sort of warning was unnecessary since with a mouth full of braces and a pre-pubescent body, I reminded most boys of their bratty little sister, hardly someone you’d want to hit on. Still, it was very exciting. The sidewalks of Marine Avenue were thronged with kids milling around with the biggest clot in front of the Jolly Roger. Here you could stand by the window and watch as tortillas were lowered into the deep fryer and then made into a crisp, greasy taco. Perfect teenage fodder.

As I waited for my taco, I was quite aware that Tom Brickner was just a few feet from me, perched on the back of a bench from which he was pontificating with all the assurance that only a teenager can muster. Since he was older and considered very cool, I paid close attention to his remarks, one of which was that girls should never sit with their legs spraddled; it was unfeminine. You would have thought the Dalai Lama had spoken. I knew that one sat primly in a skirt, but he said NEVER to sit otherwise. I told myself I would certainly follow that mandate from here on out, except I spent most of my time in jeans, not skirts, and I kept finding myself casually sprawled in a chair with a book, legs akimbo. I would sternly remind myself about Tom Brickner’s mandate, but I was too comfortable to actually change my position. Next time, I would tell myself. Next time I would surely heed his exhortation, but all these years later I’m still in jeans, still sprawling. Sorry, Tom, but you know what they say: You can wow a girl with your mandates, but you can’t actually expect results.

~~~~~~~~

Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, longtime resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Mayor O’Neill recognizes CdMRA Year of the Volunteer proclamation

The Corona del Mar Residents Association (CdMRA) will be recognized by Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill as one of the recipients of his Year of the Volunteer Initiative.

CdMRA was formed in 1987 by resident volunteers with the goal of having meaningful and productive engagement with City leaders. CdMRA is a resident advocacy organization for all who call Corona del Mar their home, regardless of whether their residence is located in the Village, in a planned community or an apartment home. In working with City leaders, CdMRA provides a unified voice for its membership through its member outreach accomplished by timely newsletters, surveys, meetings and events.

Mayor O’Neill will acknowledge CdMRA, its volunteer board and its membership at the February 25 City Council Meeting, starting at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers. This is a public meeting and all are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Corona del Mar Residents Association, visit www.CdMRA.com, or follow their social media feeds on Facebook and Instagram.


Pop of pink 

Pop of boat

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

A pink boat stands out in another beautiful day on the bay


Wondrous Wedge sunrise

Wondrous Wedge sunrise

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instgram @its_jason_berry)

“Every day a million miracles begin at sunrise!” –Eric Jerome Dickey


Guest Column

Will O’Neill

Mayor Will O’Neill: The first 60 days

Guest column Will O Neil l

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Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill 

2020 started strong with ribbon cuttings for a City of Hope cancer treatment center opening in Newport Center and a Hoag Urgent Care opening in Newport Coast. I was named Vice Chair of the San Joaquin Transportation Corridor Agency, spoke to Newport Coast Elementary, presided over a City Council meeting for the first time, kicked off Restaurant Week, joined volunteers who cleared over 100 bags of trash from the Back Bay, and went to Sacramento to advocate on behalf of Newport Beach to CalPERS on pension reform issues.

Then word broke on January 26 that our community lost eight dads and moms, daughters and sisters, in a sudden, terrible helicopter crash. Vigils and memorials sprung up all across our City as people mourned publicly and privately. My Mayor’s Message this week covered many of these events that I attended, including our City Council’s decision to read short statements about each person lost before our council meeting.

As my Message concludes, the last word for now belongs to Kobe Bryant, who wrote a book two years ago in which he said: “I went from watching what was there to watching for what was missing and should have been there. I went from watching what happened to what could have and should have happened.” We are too painfully aware of what is missing, what could have and should have happened. Be present, be loving, and be the light in this darkness.

Guest column Will O'Neill family

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Courtesy of Will O’Neill

(L-R) Mayor Will O’Neill with his wife Jennifer and their children, Sean and Aubrey

Housing Update

Significant changes to California’s housing laws have taken place over the past two years. The State’s justification has been a state-wide housing emergency and the belief that cities have failed to build sufficient numbers of housing units.

That simply has not been the case in our City despite barriers imposed by State and Federal agencies.

In our last housing cycle, the State of California demanded that Newport Beach plan on zoning five new housing units under its metric called Regional Housing Needs Assessment. We instead approved and saw built 1,712 new housing units.

We are not a City averse to housing. We are instead a City averse to being caught in the middle of competing priorities of different government agencies.

In a City of 45,000 housing units where nearly every square inch of land is regulated in some way by a different government agency, we are now tasked with finding spots to zone 4,832 new housing units over the next eight years.

We are fortunate to find unity in our response to this dictate, which will track along three concurrent paths of pushing back legally, pushing back politically, and working toward compliance. We need your help. 

Volunteer Spotlight

This month, I celebrated the Year of the Volunteer with so many great people in our community.

Ten young men earned their Eagle Scout rank. Barbara Sloate was recognized for her many years of service at the OASIS Senior Center. Inside the Outdoors spent the MLK Day of Service in our Upper Newport Bay. Over 220 residents attended the CERT awards banquet. Eight young women went above and beyond as Assisteens for our local Assistance League. And even more. We will continue to celebrate some of the very best our City has to offer this year.

Regional Representation

Newport Beach ought to be a strong leader at the regional level. I was recently named Vice Chair for the San Joaquin Hills TCA board and look forward to this leadership role.

Most folks don’t know that there are actually two boards for the TCA. Newport Beach sits on only one board, the San Joaquin board, which manages the 73 Toll Road. That board is rarely in the newspaper, whereas the other board (Foothill/Eastern) that oversees the 133, 241, and 261 Toll Roads often is.

My overarching view of the San Joaquin board’s role is to pay down debt. Everything flows from there. We paid down the entirety of the unfunded pension liabilities last year and have created a toll policy in line with bondholder documents. The 73 is not in expansion mode, so let’s keep laser focused on that core responsibility.

I also traveled to Sacramento this past month to attend a stakeholder forum at CalPERS. I came away convinced that the new Chief Investment Officer has his head on straight and will do his best.

But I also came away deeply concerned that cities across this State are in dire straits and that there is little chance that CalPERS will hit its mark consistently over the next decade (though, most likely, it will hit it this year). Click on this link to see slides that explain my concern.

As I’ve said in my pinned tweet, “If your city is currently (1) using reserves to balance its budget or (2) claiming it needs taxes to preserve services in a GOOD economy, just wait…”

Reliving The Boat Parade

Finally, if you’re looking for a little more of that Christmas glow, take a view of this great video recap of our 2019 Christmas Boat Parade. How can you say no to those smiling faces??

Did You Know?

My name has shown up on slate mailers that advocate a yes vote on the current Proposition 13 (very much NOT the property tax protection initiative). While I would certainly appreciate your voting for me for the OC GOP Central Committee, I encourage you to vote NO on this proposition.

If you’d like to sign up for Mayor O’Neill’s newsletters, the link is here.


Take Five: Meet Ron Yeo, creator of “Jungle Junk Critters” at Sherman Gardens

By AMY SENK

When Ron Yeo of Corona del Mar retired as an architect, he turned his Jasmine Avenue workshop into an artist’s studio. Drafting tables now hold collections of carefully sorted bottle caps, cans, plastic toys and more, all that eventually could become playful sculptures that are on display now through March 31 at Sherman Library & Gardens at 2647 E. Coast Highway. “Jungle Junk Critters” is an eco-friendly collection of art created from Yeo’s trash collections during daily hikes to the beach or in alleys and on streets along the way. I caught up with Ron for a studio tour and preview of the collection to find out more. 

Take Five Ron Yeo with Jungle Critter

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Photos by Amy Senk

Ron Yeo with one of his “Jungle Critters”

Q: You’re an architect turned sculptor with a current exhibition of work at Sherman Library & Gardens. Can you tell us about the exhibit, the pieces and how you created them?

A: Some are little birds. These are all just created out of old soap jugs or hand vacuum cleaners and things like that. All my artwork, I try to have a lot of fun with it, and I want to bring a smile to people, or a Wow! So I think, what can I make out of junk, that I can recycle into things that will fit into this misty environment. I had a collection of old window blinds that made perfect feathers, and we live a block away from the studio, so I walk the alley back and forth, and people are throwing away things all the time. I pick up the window blinds and the vacuum cleaners, and I put them all together, and I just have a lot of fun doing crazy things. I’m a collector and you just never know what you need. I’ve been collecting things – I have coffee cans and things like that. I started out small, and it just grows and grows and grows. These are all organized by brand and color. The plastic stuff I pick up at the beach is overwhelming. I’ve got trays over here, trays over there. I haven’t thrown anything away yet. I don’t know how you’d weigh it, but there are bundles of it’

Take Five Ron Yeo with collectibles

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Yeo among his recycled, sorted collectibles

Q: What will become of the pieces after the exhibition closes?

A: They will go for sale, but I think they are pieces nobody wants in their living room or their garden. But hopefully they sell, or maybe they will go into another exhibit, or they will go into our garden.

Q: Do you have a favorite piece from this exhibition? What is your favorite creation of all times?

A: Well, they are all my favorites, but I think I like Ichabod Crane the best. They all have a character of their own. Ichabod is a nice little guy. This is from a light standard that I found in the alley, so I cut it off and made two legs out of it and added the jug and the window blinds and a little SCUBA thing from the beach that I picked up. I pick up a lot of things at the beach because we walk it every morning. Once Paul (a friend) said, ‘I can just see a sloth hanging here, (on a tree in the yard)’, and I thought, ‘Oh no, not a sloth’. And the next day, I was walking down the alley and somebody threw out a pillow. And I thought, that furry thing could be a sloth. So I made a sloth, and it’s kind of a cute little guy. I’ve been trying to spray it with waterproofing.

Q: Is your main drive to be creative or pick up trash?

A: It’s three ways. It’s to recycle things, and to be creative and to have fun. I put in at least four hours a day. Sometimes all day, sometimes all night, just depends on how much fun I’m having.

Q: You’ve been very active in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and follow city issues closely, particularly when it comes to trees. What are your other civic passions?

A: We are all fighting SB330 (Senate Bill 330, the Housing Crisis Act of 2019). That’s where the state is forcing housing onto us, units. Eventually the goal is to get high-density near work areas and freeways and get rid of single-family homes and things like that. I’m for local control. I’m kind of a libertarian at heart. And the trees – you never have enough trees, unless they block the view.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Liverpool Football Club International Academy SoCal launches new community development center

Liverpool FC International Academy (LFCIA) SoCal, in partnership with Newport Mesa Soccer Club, is launching a new community development center, “creating an authentic academy experience” in Newport Beach and surrounding communities.

LFCIA SoCal will give players the ability to train under the tutelage of LFC International Academy coaches learned in the principles and methodologies that are at the center of what is taught at LFC’s Academy in Liverpool.

Liverpool Football Club

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Submitted photo

Liverpool FC International Academy comes to Newport Beach 

Through the unique coaching methods of Liverpool FC, players will learn to improve technical and tactical aspects of their game while learning key life skills centered on the four values of the Liverpool way: Ambition, Commitment, Dignity and Unity.

Supplementing the existing programming in Irvine/Tustin, Rancho Santa Margarita, Cypress and surrounding areas, this community development center will offer both recreational programming and competitive club soccer fully supported by the mission, vision and core values instilled in each and every one of its staff and coaches. Heading up the program will be CDC Directors Floreal Taboada, Mark Arblaster and Nick Dodd. Check out the website here

 Newport Mesa Soccer Club is serving the cities of Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Costa Mesa and surrounding communities.


Local teen actors to appear in “Movie Shorts”

The Braver Players present “Movie Shorts,” a film premiere on Sunday, March 8 at 11 a.m. at Triangle Square. The Braver Players’ founder and artistic director Chelsea Braverman is a Newport Beach local. In addition, her daughter Sadie Braverman and two other teen actors featured in the films, Eliot DeLucia and Delaney Hendrick are also from our community.

Here are synopses of the featured films:

No Goodbye, featuring Griffin Calvert and Bella Kelso – On the eve of going away to college, and all that awaits them, a couple decides to skip saying goodbye the following day.

Get It Together, featuring Delaney Hendrick and Elizabeth Riley with Sadie Braverman, Fumine Oshita, Paris Lases-Perez and Madeline Martin – A support group for young teens gets a new arrival and one of its long-time residents welcomes them in.

Same Day, Different Classroom, featuring Colin Daniels and Tatum Harkavy – Friendship, romance and tragedy blossom between Mike and Ashley through the same classroom on many days.

Outlook Awkward, featuring Mary Kate Moniak, Eliot DeLucia, Sophia Malone, Jack Ireland, Aidan Pearce, Grayson Rabinovich with Colin Daniels and Collin Heinrich – A Sadie Hawkins Dance wreaks havoc with three groups of friends as they struggle to find a way through the drama, the chaos and awkwardness of being in middle school.

The four short films, a culmination of a 10-week on-camera acting course, are written and directed by Braver Players’ acting instructor Brian Stevens. He is an actor, writer and filmmaker who teaches acting at Orange County School of the Arts.

In addition, The Braver Players conduct after-school acting programs for children and teens, centering around musical theater training, acting classes, vocal classes and theater camps at several Newport Beach schools.

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students. To learn more about the Braver Players, visit www.braverplayers.org.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Where’s my other three-day weekend?

Fair Game Tom NewOkay, we’re back from the three-day weekend, and although I enjoyed the extra day, somehow I seem cheated.

Think back to the old days, boy I hate referring back to my childhood that way, but then we celebrated Lincoln’s and Washington’s birthdays separately. Lincoln’s on February 12th and Washington’s on the 22nd. That meant we had two three-day weekends. 

What happened?

Well, I checked and here’s what I found out. President’s Day is the third Monday of the month, honoring our first President George Washington. A Uniform Federal Holidays Act came about in 1971 to change things. That was my freshman year of college, so no wonder I don’t remember.

The Act basically says the day honors no specific U.S. President, but now all of them. However, it’s built around Washington’s Day.

So what happened to Lincoln’s Day?

All those years we were celebrating Lincoln’s Day, other states weren’t. Many instead celebrated Thomas Jefferson.

Who knew? Lincoln was then dropped from the title role.

But, when I look at the bigger picture, I realize we now have an extra day in January celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. King’s birthday was January 15th, so we celebrate it on the third Monday and get a three-day weekend there.

Okay, fair is fair.

• • •

There’s a story the TV show Inside Edition has aired. Supposedly, a 25-year-old fitness model, her name is Zoe Klopfer, was illegally videoed by a photographer in her bathroom, while she was naked and using the facilities.

The reason I bring this up is because once she discovered the illegal activity and took the memory card out of the camera, she turned it over to the Newport Beach Police.

Supposedly there were 271 files on the memory card, many of them other women.

Police say it is “an open and active investigation.”

The suspect, his name is William Francis, denies all charges and has not been arrested or charged with any crime.

Women need to be careful out there.

• • •

Newport Harbor High School’s girls water polo team is on a roll as they’re advancing through the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs. Last Thursday the Sailors, 21-7, beat a very strong team from Santa Margarita, 9-7, to advance to the semifinals.

Sophomore Taylor Smith led the team scoring two goals over the final five minutes to protect the NHHS lead.

Next up is Laguna Beach this Wednesday in Irvine.

The Breakers bring in a 25-1 record, so they’re really good. They’ve played NHHS four times this season and won all four. Obviously, they’re the top seed.

Newport Harbor is a young team and who knows, never say never. Good luck girls!

In the other semi is Foothill vs. San Marcos.

The winners of both contests will advance to the finals.

• • •

I know you’ve been holding your breath for this one, 2020 World Team Tennis has announced their summer season schedule. Believe it or not, this year marks WTT’s 45th season.

Our own Orange County Breakers will open up on the road against their rival the San Diego Aviators on Sunday, July 12 down south.

Both teams will then make the drive north and play the next night here in Newport Beach, beginning at 6 p.m. The Breakers play at the Palisades Tennis Club.

Maria Sharapova and Steve Johnson are the big names on the Breakers roster.

The 14 regular season schedule includes seven home matches. To find out more, visit www.breakertennis.com.


Pet of the Week Dog and Cat print

Stu News Newport is delighted to be working with the Newport Beach Animal Shelter to help get the word out in search of loving homes for pets that deserve a warm, nurturing environment and a place to call “home.”

Magnolia (aka Mama Kitty) definitely knows how to strike a pose. At 7 years of age, she is a mellow young lady that enjoys companionship. She will do well in a home that is filled with peace and kindness. A gentle energy surrounds Magnolia and she shares that effortlessly with others by just being herself. She is a wonderful domestic shorthair tuxedo that is looking forward to meeting all caring, interested adopters.

Pet of the Week 2.18.20

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Magnolia

If you are interested in finding out more about Magnolia, or any other animals up for adoption, the Newport Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20302 Riverside Drive, Newport Beach. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 949.644.3656, email Valerie Schomburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information related to the shelter’s undertakings, please feel free to visit the shelter’s affiliated nonprofit’s website, www.FONBAS.org. FONBAS (humans and furries alike) looks forward to making your acquaintance. 

Also, consider becoming a founding member of an incredible nonprofit that supports the city’s efforts with providing wonderful opportunities to our stray, injured, ill and owner surrendered domestic pets.

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Dogs - $130

–Puppies - $150

–Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

To find out how you can help support the shelter, visit www.nbpd.org and click on “Our Animal Shelter” to view the wish list. The shelter can always use food and treats; new toys; grooming, hygiene and comfort products; as well as laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, sponges, scrub pads and lint rollers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out and sign the application on the website.


Segerstrom hosts The Center Session: A Night with The Beatles with Christian James Hand

Take a deep dive into the music of some of the greatest songs ever recorded during The Center Session: A Night With The Beatles with Christian James Hand.

Popular KLOS 95.5 FM host Christian James Hand brings his groundbreaking radio segment, “The Session,” live to Samueli Theater on Friday, March 6. Hand is a British musician, music producer, radio personality and voice-over artist. In this exclusive one-night-only event, he will guide the audience through a track-by-track breakdown of some of the Beatles’ most iconic songs.

Equal parts fascinating and informative, Hand methodically deconstructs the songs, isolating individual tracks and illustrating the genius behind each note and the inspired arrangements that comprise the band’s beloved discography. According to the LA Daily News, “You’ll never listen to music the same way again.”

Segerstrom hosts The Center Session

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© John Mccoy Michele Cardon/Orange County Register/ZUMA Wire

Christian James Hand brings his radio segment to Samueli Theater

A wine and hors d’oeuvres reception begins at 7 p.m. with the performance beginning at 8 p.m. All proceeds from the evening support Segerstrom Center for the Arts and its array of exceptional programs.

This event contains language which may not be suitable for younger audience members and is recommended for ages 17 and up.

Ticket prices differ based on section and are available at price points of $100, $150 and $200. Seat assignments in a given section are assigned on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are available for purchase at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling 714.556-2787. Visit the Center’s website at www.scfta.org for more information.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa.


Segerstrom Center presents an evening of jazz with Cécile McClorin Salvant

Segerstrom Center for the Arts proudly presents a doubleheader evening of two performances by multi-Grammy Award-winning jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant and the esteemed Aaron Diehl Trio on Saturday, March 28. Performances will be at 7 and 9 p.m. in Samueli Theater.

Since winning the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition in 2010, Salvant has evolved into one of today’s most prescient forces in jazz.

Segerstrom Center Cecile Savant

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Courtesy of scfta.org

Jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant

She opens the evening with a fearless approach to art that transcends the conventional. Said Rolling Stone, “Salvant is regularly and rightly considered one of the greatest jazz singers of her generation, but that label sells her short.” She is joined by her musical director and jazz piano virtuoso Aaron Diehl at the helm of his trio who then take Center stage as one of the preeminent interpreters of the Great American songbook.

Single tickets start at $39 and are available online at www.scfta.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings of 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Newport Beach.


Flashback Friday is here...and we want your mug

Flashback Friday harkens back to yesterday...and we think it’s fun that our readers have been submitting their “mugs” so others can try and guess who is in the photo.

We want yours!

Send in a treasured photo from your past. It can be of you, your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, family member...you get the idea. Include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday to post in Stu News on Friday, to end the work week on a high note.

Please send your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Guest Column

Diane Dixon

AB5 latest symptom of a failing one-party state government

Guest Column Diane Dixon

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Councilperson and former Mayor Diane Dixon

If you want to see how badly things can go south in a one-party state, look no further than the new law known as AB5.

The law basically requires many businesses that use independent contractors to reclassify those workers as employees. Proposed and pushed by labor unions and waltzed through the Democratic-controlled Legislature, the law was portrayed as a way to get big businesses to pony up a fair wage and benefits for all their workers.

However, the reality is that AB5 was drafted by a union organizer, and this bill was designed as a way to grow union membership. Independent contractors cannot unionize, but if you convert them into employees, you can try to make them union members.

And when the people you’re supposedly helping end up suing you, you’ve really messed it up. Organizations representing independent truckers and freelance writers and photographers have gone to court to get the law overturned, at least as it’s applied to them.

The truckers note that AB5 is unconstitutional because it will have an impact on interstate commerce, which is the purview of the federal government. Plus, it interferes with their right to form contracts with whomever they please.

“Independent truckers are typically experienced drivers who have previously worked as employees and have, by choice, struck out on their own,” explains the truckers association’s CEO Shawn Yadon, in a statement.

In other words, we don’t need AB5, thank you very much.

The freelancers have a different legal argument, but their motivation is that AB5 is going to cost many of them their livelihoods. Organizations that use freelancers are not going to bring them all in-house. They’ll either spread the work among existing employees, bring in a fraction of their freelancers and have them do it all, find out-of-state sources of content, or just do without.

This is the upshot for many independent contractors – from retirees who continue to work as consultants, to young parents who need flexible hours to raise their families, to construction workers, to nurses, physical therapists and many other healthcare workers – they’re not going to gain protections, they’re going to lose work and lose income.

Of course, AB5 was also a message to the new and burgeoning app-based business sector (including most notably ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft) that Sacramento is the boss in this state and they’re looking at you, Silicon Valley.

Now, poking one of the state’s major industries in the eye – especially one that is eminently mobile – is a pretty bad idea. Poking several of the state’s major industries in the eye is just an awful idea. But guess what? AB5 is also disrupting the film and music industries. Some out-of-state companies doing business here have already said they’re going to suspend California operations, while many homegrown companies are eyeing the door. And who’s suffering? The film production workers, musicians and technicians – i.e. the workers Sacramento was sanctimoniously “protecting.”

So, drive away both the tech and entertainment sectors and guess what? California is back to selling oranges, folks.

AB5 is a job-killer, and it must be repealed. Truck drivers, journalists, translators, event planners, photographers, land surveyors, musicians, manicurists, and even rabbis are all being harmed.

This is no way to run a state.

We need more people with real-world business experience in our Legislature who understand how Sacramento is harming our economy. People with good, flexible jobs who could set their own hours are now losing the independence they wanted in their jobs or may even lose their jobs entirely.

As a person who spent decades in the leadership of a Fortune 300 company and has served as a councilmember and two-time mayor in local government, I know that things won’t get better until Sacramento gets some adults who can work with both businesses and workers, who are fiscally responsible and who are aware that their actions can have unintended and counterproductive consequences and exercise the proper caution and forethought.

Our Legislature is filled with career public employees and union activists. We need more people with private sector experience who actually understand the implications of proposed laws. We need legislators who want to grow our economy, rather than abuse the legislative process to give gifts to their favorite special interest groups at the expense of everyone else.

Diane Dixon is a council member and two-time mayor of Newport Beach. She is a candidate in the 74th Assembly District, which includes Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Laguna Beach and the southern halves of Irvine and Huntington Beach.


Join the community as Protravel is presented with CDM Business Beautification Award

Come mix and mingle on Tuesday, Feb. 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., when Protravel International is presented with the CdM Business Beautification Award.

Enjoy an evening in the neighborhood, as you help celebrate with this leader in luxury and corporate travel.

Join the community

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Courtesy of CdM Chamber of Commerce

The CdM team at Protravel

Festivities include hors d’oeuvres, refreshments, music and an awards ceremony. Bring a friend as you network with other community members.

The CdM Business Beautification Award is presented by the CdM Business District for storefront enhancement contributing to the overall charm of CdM Village.

Protravel International is located at 2700 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.


Leonard Bernard: CdM’s unofficial poet in residence

By AMY SENK

Leonard Bernard writes in a “treehouse,” and he edits at his “office” by Tower Five at Big Corona Beach. Every day, without fail, he begins his day writing longhand in ink – poetry, children’s books, songs, and once, a libretto that he still hopes to have turned into an opera.

“When I was 10 years old, I set these grandiose plans,” Bernard said. “I would write 30 children’s books, 1,000 songs, 10,000 poems. I’ve met all those goals.”

He’s actually surpassed the poetry goal with 11,000 and counting, and he published one collection called Poems About Girls at the Beach. A children’s book, Pelican Paradise, also was published and can be found at online sellers, and another, Itza: The Boy Who Rode A Jaguar, was translated to Spanish and included in schools.

Leonard Bernard in his treehouse

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Photos by Amy Senk

Leonard Bernard chillin’ in his “treehouse” on Ocean Boulevard

Bernard, 59, is well-known around Corona del Mar with his crinkly blond hair and surfer looks. He rides a red bike around town, or a battered red Jeep with a license plate that says “Boy Kat” – he’s a cat lover whose cat, Hemi, keeps an eye on things in the “treehouse” (what he calls his Ocean Boulevard apartment) when he’s at the beach or running errands. He grew up throughout Europe, including Germany and France, until he was 17 years old. He attended college in Seattle, lived in Hawaii and then ended up with his mother and stepfather in Shore Cliffs when they were sick. He stayed in that neighborhood from 1992 until last summer, when he relocated to his apartment, which he calls the “treehouse,” because it has an enormous golden trumpet by his front door. He’s had opportunities to move to Japan to teach haikus – another specialty – but his ties to CdM and Hemi (named for Hemingway, a favorite writer) have those plans on hold.

Creating such an immense catalog of work comes from his daily routine, he said.

“I do write every morning,” he said. “I have to rise before the collective noise, before the dawn.”

He blocks out the collective noise of the daily grind, writing fresh stuff in longhand with a pen from his collection. He has thousands of pens, most gifted to him from people he meets, and he uses one and one only “until the ideas run out,” he said. One pen gave him 100 songs, he said. Another had loads of ideas until he lost it on a beach on Oahu at a resort where he was working. A year later, he found it in the sand. “But it had no more ideas in it,” he said.

Leonard Bernard and red Jeep

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Bernard, pictured here with his red Jeep, “Boy Kat”

“Afternoons, I review it (his work) at the beach,” he said. “I have an umbrella beach chair at Tower Five. Someone made me a little sign that says, ‘Do Not Disturb,’ but people always come up and say ‘Hey, what’s the sign all about?’ I don’t mind. I’m not the kind of writer who needs peace and quiet and solitude.” Many of those people he meets end up as the subject of a poem. Sometimes, they lead to connections to help him promote his work. He once met a man playing beach volleyball who had a connection at Netflix, and Bernard recently sent them three screenplays for animated musicals.

“I’ve had such amazing opportunities by setting an internal lodestar,” he said.

After writing and editing, he swims in the ocean every day, even if it’s cold. “Especially if it’s cold,” he said. He also practices Loga – his own invention, which combines classic yoga poses with tai chi and Western-style isometrics. He also maintains an active Instagram account, @cdmbeachpoet, where he regularly posts poems that he displays and reads aloud.

Leonard Bernard and pen collection

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An extensive pen collection, most of which have been gifted to Bernard, ink his words…until the ideas run out

Bernard doesn’t suffer from writer’s block, he said, not even close.

“I have such a backlog,” he said. “No writer’s block, although I’ve written 100 poems about writer’s block. My creation is born of discipline. I don’t moon around waiting to be struck by the muse.”

Before we parted, I offered Bernard the Muji pen I’d been using to take notes, telling him I hoped it offered lots of ideas. If you see him, say hi – you might just become the subject of his poetry.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 20 years and was publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online newspaper that ran daily for seven years. Senk, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is involved in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and the Corona del Mar High School PTA. She and her husband have two children.


Tickets now available for Gift of Literacy Luncheon with CNN journalist, author Isha Sesay

On Friday, May 1 from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., the Newport Beach Public Library’s Gift of Literacy Luncheon will feature award-winning CNN journalist and author Isha Sesay as the guest speaker.

Sesay began her television career as a researcher for the BBC before joining Sky and then CNN as a news anchor and correspondent. In 2014, Sesay led a CNN news team to a Peabody Award with her coverage of the kidnapping of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria by the Boko Haram terrorist group. She stayed with the story over the years, spending time with many of the 164 girls who escaped or were eventually released as part of the negotiations with the Nigerian government, as well as with the families of the 121 still unaccounted for. Beneath the Tamarind Tree is the story of these remarkable girls.

Tickets now available Isha Sesay

Courtesy of NBPL

Isha Sesa, author of “Beneath the Tamarind Tree”

Tickets are now available for $100 per person, which includes lunch and a copy of Beneath the Tamarind Tree with an opportunity for book signing. Space is limited and will sell out quickly. For tickets, visit www.newportliteracy.org.

Proceeds from the lunch, opportunity drawing and silent auction provide funding for Newport/Mesa ProLiteracy programs.

The event takes place at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach located at 1107 Jamboree Rd., Newport Beach.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.717.3874.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

Newport Beach A Look Back 2.18.20

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In the late 1800s, a man simply called Old Pete lived in this tiny, dockside shack inside the harbor

Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboamuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


NBPD provides simple steps to shield against bike theft

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) recovers hundreds of bikes a year, and most of the time have very little information to discover who they belong to. It may be surprising, but more than half of all stolen bicycles were left unlocked or relied only on a cable lock.

Here is some helpful information from the NBPD to help you protect your bicycle and your investment.

Registration:

–Registering your bike is critical to ensure you have the information needed by law enforcement, insurance and the community to help recover a lost bike.

–It only takes a few minutes and is easy to do. Download the 529 Garage smartphone app, or visit www.project529.com to record the important details of your bike and capture photos. The 529 Shield is a tamper-resistant decal with a unique code that lets thieves know that your bike is registered and law enforcement in recovery. Check out the Shield & Gear page for the best place to find a 529 Shield near you. If you have trouble or questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NBPD provides simple steps

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Locking Tips:

–Always use a high-quality lock designed for bikes. Never rely on a cable lock as a primary means to secure your bike. They are easily defeated in seconds.

–Always lock a wheel and the frame to a secure bike parking structure. This disables the bike from being ridden and makes it difficult to attack with tools. Never lock only the top tube. The thief can damage your bike trying to twist the lock apart, or ride away if they defeat the rack. Never lock only the wheel. Thieves will quickly remove it, attach a stolen wheel and ride away on your bike.

–Never leave your bike locked up outdoors over night. Any lock can be defeated with enough time and the right tools.

–Never leave your bike unlocked in your garage, bike cage, balcony, or on your car. About a quarter of stolen bikes are taken from these locations.

–If you need help choosing the right lock for your bike or how to help on how to use it properly, a local bike shop can assist you.

Reporting:

–While thousands of stolen bikes are reported each year, even more go unreported. Better reporting means more returned bikes and helps law enforcement prioritize their efforts. Always report a missing bike to the police.

–If your bike goes missing, simply select the “bike from your garage” and tap missing bike alert. After a few questions, the NBPD will alert the 529 network and social media.

–Next, make sure to file a police report. This publishes all details across different police systems. It will also be required to get your recovered bike back.

–Watch your biker on sites like craigslist, Kijiji and Rakuten – especially in neighboring communities. Criminals will often misspell or misrepresent the details and may wait for a few weeks to list it.

–If you find your bike online, contact the police immediately and work with them to assemble a plan. Never attempt to recover a stolen bike.

Fast Facts:

–Bike theft is a $500 million annual epidemic in North America, as a bike is stolen every 30 seconds.

–More than 80 percent of cyclists have lost a bike to theft, or know someone who has.

–Tens of thousands of recovered bikes go to auction every year, because the police can’t identify the owners.

–Stolen bikes are often used to commit secondary crimes like Theft from Auto and Break & Enters.

–Sixty percent of riders do not lock their bike in their primary storage.

Bicycle security tips, courtesy of the Newport Beach Police Department


Lido Isle love

Lido Isle drone

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

The view from atop Newport Beach is spectacular


Letter to the Editor

This resident sings the praises of local political representatives and their accomplishments

Cottie Petrie-Norris and Harley Rouda are so busy seeking positive legislation for their districts, that they have not had the time nor inclination to get involved in negative political battles with their opponents. Both of them tout impressive lists of legislative conquests and have been overly generous with the time they have devoted to meeting their constituents face to face at town hall locations and at numerous public events.

Cottie’s latest legislative achievements have been directed against fighting homelessness in Orange County. She is trying to increase the number of emergency shelters, working with local leaders to open a new mental health treatment and housing facility to get people who need help into treatment and off the street, and is leading a working group that she has established in the legislature on Substance Abuse Treatment. She is approaching the homelessness situation with a “services first” approach while also supporting laws that protect sensitive areas, public parks, and neighborhoods. 

To that effect, during her first term in the State Assembly, she has supported providing more that 650 million dollars in funding to assist local cities in addressing the crisis. Finally, in another effort to help the homeless population, Cottie secured $2.9 million dollars to provide housing for homeless veterans in Orange County, money that will be in a program led by United Way.

Homelessness is not the only issue that has caught Cottie’s attention. She authored a new bill which has already been signed into law, which invests in green infrastructure along the California Coast to combat sea level rise, and she secured a state grant of $4.5 million to finance a 150-day program called FIRIS which would provide a potential tool for wildfire combat. 

As if that were not enough for a freshman state assemblyperson, Cottie also authored two other bills, AB 469 and AB 558, both signed into law by the governor. The first bill improves transparency and preserves sensitive information, the second provides pro-bono legal services for active military members.

Harley Rouda has also captured the imagination of many of his constituents in Orange County with his amazing energy and accomplishments during his first term in Congress. To the gratitude of many of his constituents, Harley has promoted bipartisanship, common sense and duty toward those he serves. He has been the most legislatively productive freshman member of Congress, introducing 28 measures and co-sponsoring 279. Sixteen of his personally sponsored measures were passed by the legislature. 

He has chaired several hearings, held two town halls and over 1,000 meetings, sent numerous responses to constituents, scheduled almost 1,000 tours of Congress, and secured close to $20 million in grant funding. 

Harley is most proud of his efforts at bipartisanship while addressing Orange County’s unique problems: climate change, which has already affected Orange County’s coast, prevention of wildfires and storms which are becoming more extreme, cleaning up our air and drinking water, and properly managing spent nuclear fuel at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. 

The accomplishments of these two amazingly energetic freshman representatives are staggering. It is comforting to know that Orange County is being so well served in Sacramento and Washington D.C. by such conscientious and positive leadership.

Lynn Lorenz

Newport Beach


Boats and beauty on the bay

Boats and sailing

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Presidents’ Day weekend sunshine and boating filled Lido Isle over the long weekend


Norteno, country and reggae highlight latest OC Fair entertainment lineup

More exciting shows have been announced for the Toyota Summer Concert Series at Pacific Amphitheatre for the 2020 OC Fair. Ramon Ayala with Enigma Norteno will perform on July 18; Brett Eldredge with Lauren Jenkins on July 23; and Stick Figure with Collie Buddz, The Movement and Iya Terra on July 31. 

Ramon Ayala, the “Accordion King” himself, returns for a night of Norteno music with that traditional ranchera style. Ayala and his crew will be accompanied by special guest Enigma Norteno. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and ticket prices range from $37.50-$72.50.

Next, country music singer/songwriter Brett Eldredge is back for more OC Fair fun this year with fan favorites like “Wanna Be That Song,” “Love Someone” and “Don’t Ya.” Eldredge will be joined by up-and-coming singer/songwriter Lauren Jenkins. The show starts at 7:30 p.m., and ticket prices range from $47.50-$87.50.

Finally, in a night full of reggae, Southern California’s own Stick Figure is at the helm with their upbeat dub sound and songs like “Smokin’ Love,” “Weight of Sound” and “Sound of the Sea.” The Once In A Lifetime Summer Tour also features Collie Buddz, The Movement and Iya Terra. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. and tickets range from $31-$66.

Tickets for these shows go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster and include same-day admission to the 2020 OC Fair. More performances and action sports at the OC Fair will be announced in the coming months. Sign up for pre-sale emails at www.ocfair.com/newsletters

The 2020 OC Fair takes place from July 17 through August 16, and is open Wednesday-Sunday.

The OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa. www.ocfair.com


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Homeless Update – Success Stories - City Net, the City’s contracted social services provider, continues to assist people with accessing and navigating resources in the community. Their outreach efforts, coordinated with the City and County’s resources, continue to provide housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in the community. 

Last week, City Net case managers connected several people experiencing homelessness to appropriate social services agencies in Orange County, including: 

–Toured an apartment for a man who is being sheltered in a motel. The man liked the apartment and now the Orange County Housing Authority must certify the unit to accept the man’s housing voucher. 

–Assisted a man who is in the process of getting his Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) voucher. The City Net team provided transportation to obtain his birth certificate and other necessary documents to proceed to the next step. 

–Completed new intake with client at the transportation center and transported him to Micah’s Way to apply for his birth certificate. Micah’s Way, located in Santa Ana, provides case management and advocacy to individuals and families without housing. Services include assistance with obtaining a California ID and birth certificate from any state. The Micah’s Way staff and volunteers provide service in several languages as well. 

–Completed new intake with a man who spends his day at Sunset Ridge Park. The City Net team is in the process of referring him to the Hospitality House Shelter in Santa Ana. Hospitality House is a men’s sober living facility the Salvation Army operates. 

–Completed a VI-SPDAT for an elderly client who was recently evicted from his permanent supportive housing unit to put him back onto the County’s Coordinated Entry System housing list for another opportunity.

–Called Cal-Optima’s mobile clinic to assist a woman at the Newport Transportation Center who claimed to have body and hair lice. After the assessment, the City Net team and Homeless Liaison Officer went to Rite-Aid to pick up the necessary prescription for her. 

In addition to the City Net team, Newport Beach’s Rapid Response Team (comprised of staff from several City departments such as the Fire Department, OASIS Senior Center, and the Police Department) conducted outreach with the City’s Homeless Liaison Officer. The team engages with homeless individuals in the field to help connect them with resources. Last week the Rapid Response Team, along with support from other City staff, focused on Sunset View Park. Staff removed unattended belongings to store at the City’s Corporation Yard for 90 days. Staff also engaged with a man who was traveling up the coast and had set up a lean-to by the Sunset View Park parking lot. Staff reviewed the park hours and curfew enforcement with him, and he agreed to leave before the curfew. 

February 27 Program to Focus on Youth Homelessness – On Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., the City will host a program to address youth homelessness, featuring staff from Project Hope Alliance. Project Hope Alliance works to end homelessness among elementary to high-school age youth in our community. The free program will be in the Friends Meeting Room at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. 

March 26 Program with Families Forward – On Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m., the City will host a program to address families in need of housing security, featuring staff from Families Forward. Families Forward, based in Irvine, has been providing housing navigation, food bank items, and job training for Orange County families since 1984. Their staff will present information about their organization’s rapid re-housing resources, as well as renter’s rights and education.

Upcoming Balboa Village Advisory Committee (BVAC) Meeting – The Balboa Village Advisory Committee (BVAC) will meet next Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Marina Park. The meeting will begin at 4 p.m. The BVAC will get a presentation from representatives of Discovery Cube’s Ocean Quest on its plans for the future. The BVAC will also hear about updates on efforts to fabricate and install new wayfinding signage, the status of the Balboa Theater, and other active or pending construction projects throughout the Village. 

Also at this meeting, the BVAC will review its progress with addressing the strategies identified in the City Council-approved Balboa Village Master Plan. Initially formed in September 2012, the BVAC was tasked with overseeing the vetting and implementation of the recommended strategies, including a trolley program and streetscape improvements. 

The BVAC will discuss potential future initiatives and its sunset date of December 31, 2020. The BVAC meets monthly on the third Wednesday of each month at Marina Park on an as-needed basis. For additional information, please check the City’s webpage here

Residential Design Standards Community Meeting – The City of Newport Beach Community Development Department will be hosting a second community meeting regarding proposed changes to residential design standards intended to minimize bulk and mass associated with current residential development trends. The meeting will be held on Monday, March 9 at 6 p.m. within the Civic Center Community Room located at 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach CA, 92660. 

Draft amendments to the Zoning Code and Local Coastal Program have been completed and are now available for public review. 

Please contact Jaime Murillo, Principal Planner, with any questions regarding the proposed amendments at 949.644.3209 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Planning Commission Meeting – Discussion on ADUs 

On Thursday, Feb. 20 starting at 6:30 p.m., the Planning Commission will hold a regular meeting in the City Council Chambers. An item on the agenda that affects everyone living in the City relates to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). The ability to develop ADUs on any residential property will be expanded due to State mandates. The agenda with links to the staff reports for each item can be found on the City’s website here.

Recent Blustery Days – Last week’s blustery days kept the Public Works staff and contractors busy with tree-related clean up. In all, two City trees failed: a Sweetgum and a King Palm. Both were located in the Corona del Mar area. Additionally, staff monitored City streets and parks, on the lookout for broken limbs and downed palm fronds, both public and private. Incidents were low and minor in nature. This is most likely a result of our regular trimming cycle and inspection efforts. In 2019, City Council approved a change in our City trees trimming cycle from a 3-year to a 2-year cycle, and we are already seeing the benefits to this cycle change.


Hoag Classic week is less than a month away

Returning for its 25th year to Newport Beach Country Club (NBCC), the Hoag Classic will showcase golf’s legends. Included in this year’s field are Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Retief Goosen, Ángel Cabrera, Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh, John Daly and Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who will challenge 2019 Champion Kirk Triplett to compete for the title. 

Hoag Classic Fred Couples

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Courtesy of Hoag Classic

Golf legend and Newport Beach resident Fred Couples

Here’s a breakdown of the week’s schedule of events:

Tuesday, March 3 it begins with the “Breakfast with a Champion” featuring Els and presented by Allergan. The breakfast tees off at 7:30 a.m. in the NBCC Ballroom.

Wednesday and Thursday, March 4-5, is the “Legends Pro-Am,” presented by Konica Minolta.

Friday begins tournament play with Round 1. Gates open at 8 a.m., with tee times beginning at 10:30 a.m. 

Saturday, in addition to Round 2, is “Military Appreciation Day,” presented by Kingston Technology. Opening ceremonies for it begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by tournament play at 10 a.m.

Sunday is Round 3 and “Youth Day,” also presented by Kingston Technology. There will be a contest for youth throughout the afternoon. Final round tournament action starts at 10 a.m., with the Awards Ceremony planned for 5 p.m.

Good-Any-One-Day tickets for the Hoag Classic are available online before the event for $25. Tickets purchased at the Main Gate on the day of the event are $30. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at participating Roger Dunn Golf Stores. Children age 11 and under receive complimentary admission. For more information, visit www.HoagClassic.com. 

Newport Beach Country Club is located at One Clubhouse Dr., Newport Beach.


Sunday Musicale to feature Susan Greenberg and Cristina Montes Mateo on flute and harp

On Sunday, Feb. 23 from 3-4 p.m., Sunday Musicale will feature Susan Greenberg, flutist and Cristina Montes Mateo, harpist. The musicians will be performing at Central Library in the Friends Meeting Room, and the event is free of charge.

As the First Prize winner in the XII Edition of the Torneo Internazionale di Musica (Rome, 2006) and the First Prize winner in the International Harp Competition V. Bucchi (2009), Cristina Montes Mateo is recognized internationally as one of the leading harpists of her generation.

Sunday Musicale Greenberg and Cristina Montes Mateo

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Courtesy of NBPL

(L-R) Flutist Susan Greenberg and harpist Cristina Montes Mateo

Flutist Susan Greenberg is a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, where she has been a frequent soloist on both flute and piccolo, and she enjoys a versatile career as soloist, chamber musician, symphony player and recording artist.

Seating is first come, first served, limited by the room capacity of 200. Funding is donated by Friends of the Library.

Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.


NMUSD announces first day of school for 2020-2021 academic year

Starting with the 2020-2021 school year, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) students will start school prior to the Labor Day holiday. The first day of school will be Monday, Aug. 24, 2020.

There are several benefits to the new calendar, including the first semester ending prior to winter break, affording students and families time together, versus students studying for semester exams. There are greater summer opportunities for students to participate in camps/programs, internships and jobs, often filled by students who begin summer earlier. Additional benefits can be found at the link here.

As some may recall, in Winter 2017, the District’s Calendar Committee, comprised of certificated (teachers) and classified staff, parents, District administrators, and employee bargaining units, recommended starting school prior to Labor Day beginning with the 2020-2021 school year based on the student benefits. On February 11, 2020, the NMUSD Board of Education approved the Tentative Agreement reached with Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers, which includes a revised teacher work calendar for the 2020-2021 school year.

Key dates in the 2020-2021 calendar include:

–August 24, 2020 - First day of school

–December 18, 2020 - End of first semester

–January 4, 2021 - Return to school

–January 11, 2021 - Non-student day, Professional Development Day

–June 10, 2021 - Last day of school for secondary students

–June 11, 2021 - Last day of school for elementary students

View the School Calendar Webpage for additional information. The District will let parents know about upcoming registration dates.


KidWorks’ first annual Women’s Pickleball Tournament comes to town on March 27

KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based nonprofit that provides academic, spiritual and leadership programs for underserved children and teens, is inviting women to pick up a paddle and participate in the First Annual Women’s Pickleball Tournament to benefit KidWorks’ Campus Crash program that provides first generation, low-income students with their first encounter with college.

The fundraising event is set for Friday, March 27 from 9 a.m.1 p.m. at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club, located at 11 Clubhouse Dr. in Newport Beach. Registration and a light breakfast, including mimosas, are scheduled from 9-9:30 a.m., followed by tournament play until 12 p.m. Lunch, a KidWorks program and awards ceremony begin take lace from12-1 pm.

Players must register by March 13 to ensure their place in the tournament. Individual registration is $75 per player. Sponsorships are available, too. To register, visit https://kidworksoc.org/pickleball.

KidWorks first annual

Courtesy of The Tennis Club at NBCC

Four ladies gearing up for pickleball at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club

No experience is required playing pickleball, a popular paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis. Tournament balls will be provided and a limited number of paddles will be available for rental the day of the tournament.​

“As a key part of KidWorks’ College Success Initiative, Campus Crash is designed to expose students to a real-life college experience that instills in them the belief and motivation that college can be their reality,” said KidWorks’ Executive Director David Benavides. “Many of our KidWorks youth are the first in their families to graduate high school and continue on to college.”

Benavides said that visiting college campuses is an integral part of KidWorks’ formula for success. Over the course of a week, students will travel to 10 California campuses during Spring Break. Campus tours, meeting with students, eating in the cafeteria and attending lectures provide a meaningful snapshot for their potential life in college. For the past several years, 100 percent of KidWorks high school students have graduated on time and 100 percent have gone on to college.

Tournament committee members are Betsy Flint of San Clemente, and Corinne Morgenstern, Sharon Roy, Leslie Montgomery and Kyle Team​ of Newport Beach.

For more information, call Associate Director of Development Lisa Gels at 714.834.9400, ext. 126 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Love is in the air

Love is Pier

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Photo by Eric Goodman (Instagram @ericgoodmanphotos)

A lovely pink sunset for a day of love in our beautiful city


Sandcastle love fills Newport

Sandcastle hearts

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Photo by Chris Crosson (Instagram @sandcastlekit)

A sweet Valentine’s Day quote from local sandcastle artist Chris Crosson


What’s open, what’s closed for President’s Day

City Hall and most City facilities will be closed in observance of the President’s Day Holiday on Monday, Feb. 17. There will be no street sweeping on Monday and for the remainder of the week, street sweeping will be on its regular schedule. Trash collection will remain on its regular schedule, Monday through Friday. Please set your carts curbside on your regular collection day.

For questions about street sweeping, please contact the Utilities Department by calling 949.644.3011 and for questions regarding trash collection, please contact the Municipal Operations Division by calling 949.644.3066.

Additionally, the United States Postal Service will not deliver mail, but UPS and FedEx will operate as usual.

Most retail and grocery stores will remain open and many will celebrate President’s Day sales.

Finally, Newport-Mesa Unified School District will close for what is traditionally referred to as Ski Week from Monday, Feb. 17 through Friday, Feb. 21.


Hoag named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2020 by Healthgrades

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has once again been recognized by Healthgrades as one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals™ for 2020. Hoag has received this designation for nine consecutive years – 2012-2020 – and remains the only Orange County hospital in the Top 50 and Top 100.

“As one of the top hospitals in the nation for clinical excellence, Hoag is honored to be recognized by Healthgrades,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag. “We are committed to our patients and providing a level of personalized care that is unsurpassed in Orange County.”

Hoag at sunset

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Submitted photo

Hoag Hospital has once again been named one of America’s 50 Best Hospitals for 2020 by “Healthgrades”

Healthgrades selected its list of top performing hospitals for exhibiting clinical excellence across a range of conditions and procedures, and consistently delivering superior outcomes. Specifically, the recipients of America’s 50 Best Hospitals Award™ have achieved the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence™ for at least six consecutive years, placing them in the top one percent in the nation.

For a complete list of recipients, visit www.healthgrades.com.


Forbes Travel Guide awards Balboa Bay Resort Four Stars

For the third year in a row, Forbes Travel Guide awarded Balboa Bay Resort

with Four Stars. Earlier in the month, U.S. News & World Report also rated Balboa Bay Resort as the No. 1 hotel in Newport Beach.

Forbes Travel Guide awards

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Submitted photo

Balboa Bay Resort located along picturesque Newport Harbor

“It is an honor for our resort to achieve the Forbes rating for the third year in a row and to be recognized by U.S. News as the number one hotel in Newport Beach, all in the same month,” said Marina Dutton, general manager at Balboa Bay Resort. “Retaining our Four Star rating and receiving such a high ranking with U.S. News are both achievements that we share with our entire team who all work together to provide our guests with memorable experiences during their visits to Newport Beach.”

Forbes Travel Guide is the only independent, global rating system for luxury hotels, restaurants and spas. U.S. News & World Report ranks the best hotels based on an analysis of industry awards, hotel star ratings and user ratings.


Flashback Friday

From Thin Mints to Samoas and Tagalongs…

Flashback Friday 2.14.20

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Here is our Flashback Friday...harkening back to yesterday...and we hope you can guess who it is.

Clue: This Brownie readying to sell cookies continues to embrace the Scout traits of being trustworthy, respectful and approachable while embodying the utmost integrity in her current leadership role.

Good luck guessing this one. The answer appears today at the bottom of Stu News.

Send in a treasured past photo! You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. Or one of your special friend.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line and include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Flashback Friday: Answer

If you guessed Grace Leung, Newport Beach City Manager, you are correct! Grace is pictured above at age 6, selling Girl Scout Cookies, with her younger sister, Linda…as a “tag-along.”

Send in a treasured past photo!

You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. We’ll even surprise them if you want. 

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


City Council approves changes to short-term rental regulations

At its February 11 meeting, the Newport Beach City Council approved new regulations designed to balance the needs of short-term rental property owners with those of residents living near the rental units. Stricter parking requirements, occupancy limits, and a cap on the total number of units were among the proposed changes to the City’s short-term rental regulations. 

A City Council Ad Hoc committee, comprised of three Council members, reexamined the City’s short-term rental policies over the past year after residents expressed concerns about increased impacts due to the ongoing rentals. Newport Beach has 1,465 permitted short-term rental units in operation, which generate about $4 million a year in transient occupancy tax revenue to the City. 

The Ad Hoc Committee took into account the concerns and solutions raised by the rental property owners and neighboring residents as it developed a list of recommendations. The proposed changes included:

–A limit on the maximum occupancy to two people per bedroom plus two additional occupants. For example, under the formula, a two-bedroom house could allow up to six people.

–A parking requirement of at least one space for each rental unit.

–A cap on the total number of rentals citywide of 1,600 units. A waiting list will be developed once the cap is reached. In addition, 58 units currently permitted outside the coastal zone will be phased out over the next 10 years.

–All property advertisements will be required to include the City permit number, which will enable greater enforcement of non-permitted, illegal rental housing.

–The addition of an answering service to address non-emergency neighborhood concerns. 

The proposed changes were approved 5-2 with a final approval scheduled to take place February 25.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Valentine’s Day is for love and a good old Salisbury steak

Fair Game Tom NewI hope you’re having a wonderful Valentine’s Day. It’s the one day a year that celebrates romance and love.

For me, I’ll probably enjoy a Swanson’s TV Dinner, Salisbury steak, if I’m lucky. Then, I’ll pour myself a robust glass of my favorite iced tea and dine alone under the fluorescent lights in my kitchen, TV blaring in the background. Who said being a bachelor wasn’t the best?

I hope yours is better.

Did you know the most popular gifts given on this day are flowers, jewelry, chocolate, greeting cards and a night out on the town?

Just a tip for those of you giftless at this point. I remember how many years those flower sellers on the street medians saved my bacon with a beautiful bouquet that would hopefully last another day. Of course, that’s why I’m eating Salisbury steak.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day ranks as the fourth most popular day to get engaged. Yup, right behind Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.

Now, if you’re thinking about buying that engagement ring today, here’s the rule of thumb you’ll be advised to follow so you don’t look cheap. Plan to spend two months of your income on an engagement ring. So, for example, if you’re making sixty grand a year, you’ll need to spend $10,000; a hundred thousand, about $16,500. 

But, if you’re making thirty grand a year, here’s my advice. Get a roll of quarters and head down to your local grocery store and find their gumball machines. Go to the one with the plastic cases and keep trying until you get that plastic case with the ring inside. After all, love is love.

Of course, that’s why I’m eating Salisbury steak, alone, tonight.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all.

• • •

Most of the time when I’m singing the praises of tourism, I’m talking about Visit Newport Beach. Not today. 

I’ll start with Visit California. They’re a nonprofit group that has a mission to market California’s travel industry that brings in nearly $150 billion in traveler spending, which translates to some $11 billion in state and local tax revenue.

In other words, they’re big.

Every other year Visit California hosts an Outlook Forum that educates and celebrates the tourism industry.

In 2020, it was earlier this week in San Diego. On the final evening they feature the California Poppy Awards to honor the state’s best and brightest tourism promotion. The top award is the Best Overall Brand Identity.

Drumroll please.

This year’s winner was Visit Laguna Beach. Why is that important, you ask? Well, my daughter Ashley Johnson Raines is their CEO, and the win is quite an accomplishment for a bureau of their size.

It’s one of those father moments where I couldn’t be prouder. I just had to tell someone.

• • •

Anyone who follows local politics knows that former City Councilman Scott Peotter was a lightning rod during his time in office. At one point there was even an unsuccessful recall attempt to remove him from office.

In any case, earlier this week I received an email from Scott called Peotter’s Picks. It’s his explanation for taking back Orange County on Election Day.

The question is this, is receiving an endorsement from Peotter a good thing, or a bad thing? Honestly, I don’t know.

That being said, his picks were Kelly Ernby in the 74th State Assembly race, over his old dais mate Diane Dixon and incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris.

His second and last pick was for Ken Williams who is running for re-election on the Orange County Board of Education.

Election Day is approaching fast. Most people will be voting by mail, while some will wait and try out the new machines being debuted this year.

In any case, VOTE!

• • •

So, imagine my surprise on Tuesday when I opened up my Stu News. There, with their bright Valentine’s Day advertising message, was South Coast Plaza. That’s right, that South Coast Plaza. It felt like we hit the promised land!

It surprised me because when they finally made their commitment to join us I was on a snowmobiling trip in the remote parts of Idaho. 

But it reminds me, if you’re looking to promote your business, why not check us out. I believe we’re hitting more readers in Newport Beach and the surrounding communities than any of our competitors, and our rates are surprisingly inexpensive for an entire month at a time.

Besides, not only will we promote your message, you’ll be supporting our voice to further expand and cover more of this community.

It’s a win-win.

We’re easy to find, but if challenged, shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Heck, I’ll even buy you a cup of coffee.


Council approves water quality, public access improvements in revised Harbor Code

The City Council has approved updated Harbor Code regulations aimed at improving water quality, safety and shared public access to City-owned docks, among other changes. 

The recommendations were developed by a subcommittee of the City’s Harbor Commission with extensive input from the public, City staff and full Harbor Commission. 

 “The Harbor Commission led a very inclusive process, with great suggestions coming from the recreational boating community, commercial harbor operators and local residents,” said Harbormaster Kurt Borsting. “This level of public participation sharpened the recommendations, and hopefully will result in higher community buy-in as we all work together to protect and improve Newport Beach’s crown jewel.”

Under the new Harbor Code, the Harbor Department will now inspect vessels for proper marine sanitation systems and require dye table testing to guard against illegal waste dumping in Harbor waters. Other updates address permitted lengths of off-shore moorings and increase public notifications on proposed development projects. The Harbor Department will also play a greater role in assisting boat owners with the humane deterrent of sea lions.

Among other benefits, the Code updates help clarify the Harbor Department’s evolving role after its first two years in operation, Borsting said. 

“Our primary mission is to be stewards and ambassadors of this amazing Harbor,” Borsting shared. “This update will help us educate the Newport Beach boating community and visiting boaters on how to best achieve that shared goal.”


Next Gen Mutt Lynch family looks to expansion

Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach’s award-winning beach bar, celebrates 45 years in business in 2020. Founded by Gail and Dan Lynch in 1975, the iconic beach bar has been a family-owned business for over four decades. As the beloved establishment heads into its 45th year in business, the family unveils big plans for the future of Mutt Lynch’s.

Forty-five years since its inception and the iconic restaurant remains a family-owned business in every sense of the word, with the next generation rising up to bring the beloved brand to new heights. Siblings Meghan Murray and Ryan Lynch, along with their spouses Alex Murray and Jerilyn Lynch, are coming together to continue the legacy of Mutt Lynch’s.

Gail and Dan Lynch opened the original Mutt Lynch’s location near the ferry dock on the Balboa Peninsula – naming it after Dan’s father Emmett Lynch, who was affectionately given the nickname “Mutt” when he served in the Army during World War I. 

Next Gen Mutt Lynch family group

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Submitted photos

(L-R) Alex Murray, Ryan Lynch, Jerilyn Lynch, Meghan Murray and founders Gail Lynch and Dan Lynch

In 1982, a fire originating in the hotel above the restaurant left their dream in ruins. Later that year, they were able to relocate to their current location on the oceanfront boardwalk of the Newport Beach Pier. Somehow, the wooden bar from the original location survived the fire and is the focal point of their bustling beach bar today. 

Entering into their 45th year, the family looks to build and expand upon the success they’ve grown for the past four and a half decades – including expanding to a second location in 2020.

“As we gear up for expansion, we’re identifying even more ways to welcome in the next generation at Mutts,” said partner Meghan Murray. “We’re looking to build upon the natural progression of our regulars, many of whom have grown up and started families of their own. For 45 years, our family has been in the business of helping people create lifelong memories, and we look forward to building upon that as we all grow together.”

Next Gen Mutt Lynch exterior at night

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Mutt Lynch’s exemplifies Americana at the beach, bringing to life repurposed retro furnishings while fusing boardwalk culture and layered pub history to create its one-of-a-kind vibe. Mutt Lynch’s is widely recognized for its convivial atmosphere, for which it has garnered numerous accolades including being named one of North America’s Best Beach Bars by Men’s Journal

The oceanfront restaurant boasts one of the most extensive menus in Orange County with more than 200 items, including classic dishes and innovative creations from regulars that have become menu mainstays. With 40 beers on tap, the restaurant is also known for popularizing the Schooner – a 32 oz. glass goblet filled with the guest’s drink of choice.

“Forty-five years in, and we are so fortunate to have a loyal demographic continuing to celebrate with us,” said founder, Gail Lynch. “It is so fulfilling to see my children fully embrace what we’ve built with Mutt Lynch’s and take the reins, steering our legacy into its exciting next chapter.”

Mutt Lynch’s is located on the Newport Beach Boardwalk at 300 W. Oceanfront, and is open 365 days a year. Winter and Spring hours are from 7 a.m.-10 p.m. and until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. 

For a full menu and more information, visit www.muttlynchs.com/.


On the Harbor: Sailing aboard Only Child with my wife and first mate, Jennifer

By LEN BOSE

As you know, today is Valentine’s Day and on the 20th it will be my 27th wedding anniversary. Therefore, I can’t think of a better time to thank my beautiful first mate, Jennifer, for putting up with all my temper tantrums and feet stomping when things don’t go my way on the racecourse, hence why my boat is named Only Child.

About six years ago, Jennifer decided to sign up as my teammate aboard my Harbor 20, and as I tell everyone who expresses any type of interest in joining the fleet, that sailing with my wife has been one of the best things that has ever happened to our marriage. With me being on the heavy side, I always needed to find small crew and quite often these crew people turned out to be female. After about three years of seeing different female crewmembers next to me aboard Only Child, Jennifer felt it would be better joining me, rather than wondering who was sailing with me throughout the season.

Like any team sport, it was not easy for her to jump aboard and start competing at the level I try to compete at. She had difficulty with the close proximity of the other boats and would exude terror as we ducked or crossed our competitors and harbor traffic. She has grown somewhat used to my temper tantrums and at the same time, I have had to demonstrate better control of my emotions. Last weekend during the NHYC Winter Series, a competitor asked for room at a mark. I felt they clearly did not have an overlap when we entered the mark rounding the zone. We rounded the mark without incident, yet the request for the room was irritating and my mouth started moving before much thought. After the race I said something of the sort, “I am getting rather tired of your stuff.” Jennifer also gets upset when I bicker with our competitors and said, “We almost made it through the day without you having to do that.” Believe it or not, I have reduced my bickering at competitors and the race committee. The funny thing is now that Jennifer understands the rules better, she can be heard chirping at our competitors when they bump into us. As we sailed back to the starting area Jennifer said, “You know if they really had an overlap, they would have been yelling a lot louder.”

On the Harbor sailing aboard

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Courtesy of Joysailing.com

Len and Jennifer Bose aboard “Only Child” during Midwinters

Each season it is more enjoyable to sail with her as she can provide me with more information. “They are going faster than us over there or they have just stopped,” she will tell me. The kinetics in a Harbor 20 is continuously improving each season, which means that the movement of our weight is working together to better our boat performance during maneuvers. She will now get rather upset with me when I blow a big lead and let someone slip by us and she still tells me we will get to the weather mark a lot faster if I could sail faster than everyone else and directly into the wind.

Over the last couple of seasons, we have been getting better and I can’t think of a better person to do it with. She was aboard for two days after we won one of the NHYC Winter Series days and we will be bringing our best effort out to the racecourse this weekend as the H20 Mid-Winters sail out of BCYC.

The moral of this story is to make sure you go boating with your partner, be it a Harbor 20, Duffy electric boat or something that can take you to Catalina or further. Like I always tell my customers: “Make sure it’s our boat, not your boat.” 

• • •

Some winter sailing results:

The BCYC Hot Rum Series sailed on November 17, December 15 and January 19. Robert Bents, sailing one of UCI/City Newport Beach Sailing Clubs’ J-22s could not hold on to the first place pickle dish in PHRF Class C with a 1.1.5 which allowed Don Albrecht and his Cal 25 Valkyrie to catch him with consistently finishing in second place throughout the three-race series with a 2.2.2. C fleet had seven boats on the starting line and if you are looking at value along with finding a way onto the racecourse, the UCI/City of Newport Beach Sailing Club is the best value in town. In Class B, there was a three-way battle between the Rosene Family on Radical Departure, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split and John Szalay’s Pussycat. Pussycat sailed to a 1.2.2 and received top honors within the five boat fleet. Three boats competed in A fleet with Tim Harmon’s Cirrus first onto the podium.

Over at NHYC, the 2019-20 Harbor 20 Winter Series sailed the first Sunday of November, December, January and February in a 16-race series with 49 boats entered. Like any series, 50 percent is the attendance with about an average of 30 boats showing up each month. With an average of nine boats showing up in C fleet, Michell and Jeremy Quinton who sail out of Dana Point Yacht Club, were one of three teams with perfect attendance. Team Kraus never won a day, yet sailed the most consistently and won the popular vote. So glad I encouraged them to compete. Bob McDonald finished in second followed by Debra Haynes.

In B fleet, an average of eight boats show up each month with three boats having perfect attendance, of those three boats, Brad Dwan took home the top prize sailing in this best form throughout the series. Second, also with perfect attendance, was Kathryn Reed, followed by Steve Schupak in third.

In A fleet with an average of 13 boats showing up each month and five participants with a clean attendance record, third place went to Adam Deermount and Bill Menninger taking turns at the tiller. They missed one day of the series, yet took it two days of the four-race series. In second place was Jennifer and Len Bose with a perfect attendance and winning the first day of the series. In first place and sailing the most consistently thought the four-month series was Phil Thompson with a clean attendance record...winning one of the four-day series. 

The sailing season will soon be in full swing with the Mid-Winters this weekend, The NHYC Islands race on February 21 and 22 is followed by the SDYC Puerto Vallarta Race on March 6-14 with six Newport Beach eateries. Next up is the BCYC H20 on March 8, then the April 5 Weiss Series. Of course, the Newport Beach to Ensenada Race takes place April 24-26. As always wish us luck!

Sea ya!

~~~~~~~~

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


Register now with your Valentine to beat Spirit Run’s February 15 price increase

The 37th Annual Spirit Run is taking place on March 1. Have you registered yet? Prices increase tomorrow, February 15. Register now to beat the increase and save more by taking advantage of one of the current promotions.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, Spirit Run invites you to register with your loved one and save. Couples who register for the “Sweetheart Deal” by February 16 can each save $10 off a single adult race.

Register now with your Valentine

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Courtesy of Spirit Run

Spirit Run is offering a $5,000 cash purse in the Elite Mile and almost 300 other non-cash prizes in the adult and youth races. Also, each adult, child and dog will receive a custom “Spirit” medal at the finish line. To celebrate the awards, Spirit Run is offering a discount. Register online with code AWARDS and save 15 percent on any entry. This discount expires February 16. 

Today is the last date to purchase your adult-sized event shirt. Can’t decide if you’d like one? Register online with code LASTCHANCE and receive a free adult shirt with your entry.

Learn more about Spirit Run at www.nmspiritrun.org.


Take Five: Meet Jackie Wu, community outreach manager, OC Registrar of Voters

By AMY SENK

Registered voters throughout Orange County – 1.6 million people –have been receiving ballots in the mail over the past week or so; all part of a brand-new voting system that launches with the March 3 election. Voters can fill out these mailed ballots, then drop them at one of 110 secure boxes, or they can head to one of 188 vote centers, some which will open a week or more before election day. I caught up with Jackie Wu, community outreach manager for the Orange County Registrar of Voters, to learn more. 

Jackie Wu

Courtesy of Jackie Wu

Jackie Wu, community outreach manager for the Orange County Registrar of Voters

Q: The March 3 election will be the first to utilize the new voting system for Orange County. What triggered the decision to overhaul the process and who made the final decision to change it?

A: The Vote Center model of voting modernizes elections and voting. The State passed Senate Bill 450 in 2016 to allow counties to transition to Vote Centers and the Orange County Board of Supervisors authorized the transition in 2019.

Q: How will the new system work – what should voters expect?

A: Every registered voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot with a prepaid postage return envelope. Voters may return their vote-by-mail ballot via regular U.S. mail, at a Vote Center or at a ballot drop box. At a Vote Center, a voter can choose to vote on a paper ballot or electronically through a ballot-marking device. For more information, please visit www.ocvote.com.

Q: Does this mean no more absentee ballots? 

A: Absentee ballots are now called vote-by-mail ballots. They are still available to voters and each registered voter in Orange County will receive one under the Vote Center model.

Q: Do you have any predictions about which option voters will use...will most mail or use boxes or go to a vote center?

A: No predictions. We think that it is possible that the vote-by-mail option may increase since every voter will receive a vote-by-mail ballot.

Q: How do you think this new system will affect voter turnout?

A: Counties that transitioned in 2018 reported some increased turnout, but that may have been due to an unusually high turnout midterm election cycle overall in 2018. We will find out in 2020 and build historical data for future projections. What is interesting is to note the cost differences. The Polling Place Model with 900 locations costs between $23,000,000-$40,000,000. The Vote Center Model with 188 locations costs $8,537,550-$14,177,550.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a monthly contributor to Stu News Newport.


Women film directors featured at LUNAFEST

While talented female directors continue to be shut out of major industry awards, they will be in the spotlight on Saturday, March 14, when LUNAFEST takes place at the Marion Knott Studios at Chapman University in Orange, hosted by ZONTA Club of Newport Harbor.

LUNAFEST, the creation of the energy bar company Clif Bar, consists of seven short films on diverse topics by and about women. Both domestic and international directors are among this year’s lineup, with films that promise to elicit both laughter and tears.

Women film directors Jessica De Nova

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photos

ABC7 reporter Jessica De Nova

The fundraiser begins at 1 p.m. with a VIP reception that includes refreshments, a silent auction, wine pull and opportunity drawing. The screening begins at 2:15 p.m., with an in-person director’s interview midway. ABC7 reporter Jessica De Nova will emcee the event, including the director Q&A.

De Nova, who was raised in Santa Ana, has returned to Orange County as part of the ABC7 team after covering high-profile news stories in Oregon, Arizona, Nevada and Florida. De Nova is particularly happy to be this year’s emcee because she is personally familiar with the ZONTA organization and its mission to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy. As a high school senior, De Nova received a scholarship from the local ZONTA chapter to further her college education, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college. Being the emcee brings her ZONTA involvement full circle.

Women film directors Ballet After Dark

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A scene from the film “Ballet After Dark,” one of the movies to be shown at LUNAFEST

LUNAFEST is the primary fundraiser of the year for ZONTA Club of Newport Harbor, with proceeds going to fund scholarships for female film students at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media Arts and to provide funding for Girls on the Run Orange County, a nonprofit that helps girls recognize their inner strength, develop skills and establish a lifetime appreciation for fitness. While there are 1,200 ZONTA clubs in 67 countries, with 30,000 members overall, ZONTA Club of Newport Harbor is the only club in Orange County and includes members from throughout the county.

The public is invited to attend. More information and tickets are available here.

Tickets are $40 through February 21 and $45 after February 21 until the event. If still available, tickets at the door are $50. The student cost is $20.


Guest column

Why security should be your first smart home investment

By Charla Batey, Cox Communications

Smart security systems are vital for securing your home and streamlining your daily life.

More people than ever are investing in smart home devices such as smart speakers and thermostats. But with smart appliances ranging from dishwashers to kettles and lightbulbs, choosing that first smart home device can feel like a minefield.

A great place to start is with arguably the most important element: security. 

While there are dozens of smart devices out there for conveniences such as voice-activated lighting and automated thermostats, smart security systems can offer a significant boost to traditional home security, while also being easier to control. 

Personalized security

Smart security systems can often be purchased as DIY-friendly installations where you can implement additional devices as needed. 

The Cox Homelife system, for example, is designed around the Homelife Hub, which securely connects to your home WiFi and works with motion-sensitive HD cameras that can be placed inside or outside the home, streaming live video so you can check on your home from afar. If the cameras detect motion, they can start continuously recording video 24 hours a day. These recorded clips, as well as the live video feed, are easily accessed from a companion smartphone app.

If you’re just starting to invest in your smart home security, then such cameras may be sufficient for monitoring your home when you’re away. For extra security – and peace of mind – you might also think about room motion sensors or activity sensors for doors and windows; these can be programmed to send alerts to your smartphone if triggered or activate your trusty HD cameras to start recording. 

Guest Column security camera

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Submitted photo

The Cox Homelife system, including a motion-sensitive HD camera, is a great place to start for investing in your home security

What’s more, a top-notch smart security system can connect other smart home devices that can help create the perfect home environment, which is personalized according to rules you program into central control units such as the Homelife Hub. 

Automating your house

Certain devices within a smart security system can also automate the little – and important – things around the house. Motion sensors, for example, can be programmed via the Homelife Hub with rules that automatically turn on smart lightbulbs if someone walks into a room. An internet-connected, motion-sensitive camera indoors isn’t only useful in case of intruders but can alert others if a vulnerable family member or friend falls. 

And for simply checking who’s at the door, those HD cameras can do double duty as a doorbell camera. For example, someone standing at the doorstep could trigger an alert sent to your smartphone app, allowing you to view the live video feed to see who your visitor is before opening the door – or, if you install a smart door lock as well, even remotely let them in. The Cox Homelife system also supports smart plugs that can turn any appliance or device into a smart gadget that can be programmed to automatically disconnect from (or connect to) power depending on use, for example, or time of day.

This automation has the additional benefit of ensuring you use electricity only when you need it, reducing your utility costs as well as boosting your home’s eco friendliness. 

Smart home management

Perhaps the most underrated feature of a smart home security system, however, is that smartphone app, which offers unprecedented micro-control over your home. You can keep tabs on your property while you’re away, be that over a live video feed or recorded clips or enabling cameras or a forgotten sensor en route to the airport. 

In fact, one recent study found that smart home users benefited the most from being able to control and monitor their homes remotely, which provided them with a sense of security. 

Once you get in the flow of securing your home in precisely the way that makes you feel safe, you may also feel inspired to explore the benefits of other smart home devices – and a worthy smart security system should support that, too.

This is paid content by Cox Communications. Cox provides residents in the Newport Beach area with digital cable television, telecommunications and Home Automation services. Cox also provides scholarships to local high school students in its service area through its Cox Cares Foundation. For more information, visit www.cox.com.


Local therapist to offer free “Essential Oil Class” on February 21

Arolyn Burns, LPCC, LMFT, a Corona del Mar-based Licensed Therapist, will offer a free “Essential Oil Class” on Friday, Feb. 21 at 4 p.m. for those interested in learning more about the therapeutic benefits of essential oils. The event will be held at her business office, The A Treatment Center, at 2333 E. Coast Hwy #C, Corona del Mar.

According to Burns, the benefits of essential oils are wide-ranging and include natural solutions for inflammation, respiratory pain, coughs, asthma, insomnia, sport injuries, colds, mood, diabetes, burns, cuts, indigestion, arthritis, bronchitis, snoring, headaches, energy fatigue, ear aches, flu, memory, allergies, stress, heartburn and much more.

Burns will offer snacks made with essential oils and will also offer a door prize ticket for those arriving on time. RSVP to Arolyn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local therapist Burns

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 Courtesy of atreatment.com

Arolyn Burns, M.A. LMFT, LPCC will host a free “Essential Oils Class” at her Corona del Mar office on February 21

Arolyn Burns, M.A. LMFT, LPCC is a Licensed Therapist with a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University, licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. She has brick and mortar offices in Corona del Mar as well as Pasadena. In addition, she does phone and online therapy. She has also been a guest speaker at UCLA, Pepperdine, Las Encinas Hospital, several International locations and a repeat expert guest on radio and television shows. She is a published poet.

For more information, visit www.theatreatment.com

The A Treatment Center’s Newport Beach office is located at 2333 East Coast Hwy #C, Corona del Mar.


Anne Frank’s stepsister to speak at the Irvine Barclay Theatre in March

The Chabad Center for Jewish Life and the Barclay Theatre present Eva Schloss, Anne Frank’s stepsister, who will be speaking at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Tuesday, March 17 beginning at 7:30 p.m. A VIP reception begins at 6 p.m.

Enter the world of Anne Frank as told by her stepsister and childhood friend. At the age of eight, Schloss became friends with Frank, playing hopscotch and drinking lemonade together.

Scloss went into hiding in Holland and was betrayed, captured and sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The perilous reality of her survival is difficult to imagine, and yet it reminds us that life is precious and fragile, that the power of good is immeasurable and love makes a difference. 

With fewer Holocaust survivors left to share their story, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear from one of the individuals who survived the horror of that dark period in history.

For more information and to purchase tickets, which begin at $30, visit www.AnneFrankOC.com.

The Chabad Center for Jewish Life is located at 2240 University Dr., Newport Beach. The Barclay Theatre is located at 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine.


Liverpool Football Club International Academy SoCal launches new community development center

Partnering with Newport Mesa Soccer Club, Liverpool FC International Academy (LFCIA) SoCal is launching a new community development center, “creating an authentic academy experience” in Newport Beach and surrounding communities.

LFCIA SoCal will give players the ability to train under the tutelage of LFC International Academy coaches learned in the principles and methodologies that are at the center of what is taught at LFC’s Academy in Liverpool.

Through the unique coaching methods of Liverpool FC, players will learn to improve technical and tactical aspects of their game while learning key life skills centered on the four values of the Liverpool way: Ambition, Commitment, Dignity and Unity.

Supplementing the existing programming in Irvine/Tustin, Rancho Santa Margarita, Cypress and surrounding areas, this community development center will offer both recreational programming and competitive club soccer fully supported by the mission, vision and core values instilled in each and every one of its staff and coaches. Heading up the program will be CDC Directors Floreal Taboada, Mark Arblaster and Nick Dodd. Check out the website here

 Newport Mesa Soccer Club is serving the cities of Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Costa Mesa and surrounding communities.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Spitzer wants to drop all charges against Robicheaux and Riley, but judge says wait!

Fair Game Tom NewSo what’s going on with Dr. Grant Robicheaux and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley? Both were charged months ago after being accused of a series of sexual assaults.

Then, in the last couple of weeks, those charges came into question as District Attorney Todd Spitzer announced he would seek to dismiss all of them.

Why you ask?

Well, Spitzer seems to feel that the case was used by former District Attorney Tony Rackauckas as a political ploy in his effort to gain re-election in his run against Spitzer.

But wait, now Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones is saying hold on. He wants to review the case and decide where it heads next. Are there charges or aren’t there charges?

The case dates back to the fall of 2018 when Robicheaux and Riley were accused on allegations of drugging and raping multiple women.

Rackauckas said there were “thousands of videos” of evidence. Spitzer now says “not one” exists.

So, someone is lying. 

Meanwhile, there are accusers on one side against the doctor and his girlfriend.

But, if those charges prove false, the doctor and his girlfriend will have been harmed in a big way.

The judge has promised a ruling by April 3.

• • •

Did you ever think about renting your home out on a short-term basis for travelers coming into the marketplace? Well, if the answer is yes, listen up.

The City Council is looking at some new regulations on such listings. For example, right now there are 1,465 “official” homes on the list, with most located in what’s called the “coastal zone” (point of order, to be legal you have to register through the city).

The coastal zone is defined as the Balboa Peninsula, Balboa Island and Corona del Mar

Homes outside this area currently on the approved list will get another 10 years to rent their homes out and then be removed.

A city limit would be capped at 1,600.

Homes eligible would need at least one off-street parking place per unit, and they’d also be limited to two guests per bedroom, with two extra floaters allowed.

Obviously, this protects against the old party house where 25 people would jam a three-bedroom home and party for a week. Ah, the good old days!

Anyway, all this and more is being discussed Tuesday night. If you have concerns or questions, maybe you want to show up.

• • •

Just a heads-up, voting for the Primary Election on March 3 is now underway with mail-in ballots. 

So, in order to hit the electorate, candidates and political action committees are now sending out fliers. One hit late last week and was filled with apparent non-truths about an opposition candidate for a statewide office.

Don’t be fooled. Read the fliers and then research the candidates. Unfortunately, politics ain’t what it used to be. Lies and untruths now seem to be the norm.

• • •

The High School CIF-SS Basketball Playoffs have taken shape with the teams moving on being named.

On the boys side, Newport Harbor, Newport Beach Pacifica Christian and Sage Hill are in and all open up Wednesday.

The Tars (22-6) open up at home against Eastvale Roosevelt (21-7), Pacifica Christian (20-7) hosts El Toro (15-11), and Sage Hill (11-16) plays at home against Artesia (15-13).

On the girls side, with the games on Thursday, Corona del Mar (21-7) plays at Cerritos (17-11), Sage Hill (16-9) visits Don Lugo (18-10) and Newport Beach Pacifica Christian (10-9) goes up to play Santa Monica Pacifica Christian (13-10).

All games are at 7 p.m.


Pet of the Week Dog and Cat print

Stu News Newport is delighted to be working with the Newport Beach Animal Shelter to help get the word out in search of loving homes for pets that deserve a warm, nurturing environment and a place to call “home.”

There definitely isn’t enough time in the day to introduce you to all of the beauties that keep smiles on our faces. We aren’t sure how a beyond sweet, soft furred, healthy and clean big boy ended up stray but he did. He was obviously well loved. The area where he was found was rechecked for signs, but nothing turned up. The Shelter posted on Nextdoor with photos and still nothing. They’ve shown him as a found stray through the appropriate and required avenues and, you guessed it...nothing. So now, we get to share him with you as an available adoptable. They have named him Kiko, and he’s all that anyone can dream of in a cat. He is a big love bug. If you have been looking for “the one,” he’s single and available. He’s asked us to keep his fan club exclusive so that he still has time to enjoy his long cat naps. He’s been assured that we’d only share him with the best.

Pet of the Week 2.11.20

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

MEET KIKO

If you are interested in finding out more about Kiko, or any other animals up for adoption, the Newport Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20302 Riverside Drive, Newport Beach. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 949.644.3656, email Valerie Schomburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information related to the shelter’s undertakings, please feel free to visit the shelter’s affiliated nonprofit’s website, www.FONBAS.org. FONBAS (humans and furries alike) looks forward to making your acquaintance. 

Also, consider becoming a founding member of an incredible nonprofit that supports the city’s efforts with providing wonderful opportunities to our stray, injured, ill and owner surrendered domestic pets.

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Dogs - $130

–Puppies - $150

–Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

To find out how you can help support the shelter, visit www.nbpd.org and click on “Our Animal Shelter” to view the wish list. The shelter can always use food and treats; new toys; grooming, hygiene and comfort products; as well as laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, sponges, scrub pads and lint rollers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out and sign the application on the website.


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Update – On February 3, the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) staff held a workshop to preview the Draft RHNA Appeal Procedures. SCAG accepted comments on their draft appeal procedures until February 10. SCAG staff will present the final appeals procedures for review and approval by the RHNA Subcommittee on February 24, and the Regional Council on March 5. 

The deadline for filing an RHNA appeal is tentatively scheduled for May 25 at 5 p.m. Appeals will be accepted by any affected jurisdiction, other jurisdictions in the SCAG region, or by the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). After the submission deadline, SCAG will notify affected jurisdictions and make all appeals available for a 45-day review and comment period. SCAG will then hold public hearings on each appeal. Any housing units resulting from successful appeals will then be reallocated back to other jurisdictions in the SCAG region based on a formula. For additional information regarding the Draft RHNA Appeals Procedure, please click here

Map of Development Constraints – Staff developed a map of development constraints to assist with identifying locations in the City to allow for housing in compliance with the latest RHNA numbers. The purpose of the map is to identify locations in the City that are not affected by flood hazards, very high fire severity zones, seismic hazards, or environmentally protected lands. The map can be found on the City’s 2020 Housing Action website at www.newportbeachca.gov/housingactionplan.

Political Signs – With the upcoming election, there has been an increase in political signs throughout the City. There is no limit on the number of signs posted in the City by a candidate; however, they must be located on private property. Political signs are not allowed on City public property. Public property may include sidewalks, parkways, medians, and light poles. Code Enforcement and Public Works will remove all signs that are on public property. If you would like to report a political sign on public property, please contact the Code Enforcement Division at 949.644.3215. 

For frequently asked questions on political signs and other code violations, click here.

CDD Fourth Quarter Report (October – December 2019) – The Community Development Department Fourth Quarter Activity Report is now available at www.newportbeachca.gov/cdd. The report compiles operational statistics to illustrate the volume of business activity that the Department handles on a quarterly basis. The last quarter of 2019 was extremely busy! The Building Division took in 10 times the number of new construction/major remodel project plan submittals during the last three working days of 2019 in comparison to a typical workweek. The significant increase in submittals is attributable to new California Building Codes that became effective January 1, 2020. Code Enforcement experienced a 10 percent increase of new cases and 22 percent increase in inspections while maintaining their response time service levels. Both the Planning Division and the System and Administration Division were busy processing nearly 70 percent more cases than third quarter. Most of the cases are for Zoning Compliance and Coastal Development Permits. 

Community Meeting for CDBG Consolidated Plan 2020-24, Tuesday, February 18 – In advance of preparing the Consolidated Plan for 2020-24, the City of Newport Beach and the Community Development Department will be hosting a Community Meeting to solicit feedback from interested citizens, local public service organizations and other stakeholders as to the needs of the community. The meeting is being held on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bay Island room at Marina Park Community Center, located at 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. Free parking is available during the event, in the public lot at Marina Park. 

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year strategy developed to guide the City in its annual administration of the federal U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, which programs and projects benefit low- and moderate-income people in Newport Beach. Even if you cannot attend the meeting, the City encourages residents to complete the online Resident Survey http://bit.ly/NewportBeachResident. More information about the CDBG program can be found on the City’s website

AT&T Small Cell Use Permit Update – Six minor use permit applications for small cell telecommunications facilities, submitted by AT&T, have been deemed complete and are being scheduled for a public hearing with the Zoning Administrator. The first application is on the Zoning Administrator agenda for Thursday, Feb. 13 at 3 p.m.; the meeting will be held in the Corona del Mar Conference Room in Bay 1E at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Dr., Newport Beach. These small cell applications are for facilities located on City-owned streetlight poles in the public right-of-way, pursuant to a Master License Agreement between AT&T and the City. Property owners within 300 feet of the sites will receive written notice in advance of the public hearing. Additional information regarding small cell telecommunications facilities is available on the City’s website.

Homeless Update – City Net, the City’s contracted social services provider, continues to assist people with accessing and navigating resources in the community. Their outreach efforts, coordinated with the City and County’s resources, continue to provide housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in the community. 

Last week, City Net case managers connected several people experiencing homelessness to appropriate social services agencies in Orange County, including: Helping one client obtain medical services through the County’s Comprehensive Health Assessment Team; Referring another to the Hospitality House men’s shelter in Santa Ana. Hospitality House, operated by The Salvation Army in Santa Ana since 1964, provides sobriety treatment programs and shelter in a supportive setting; and, a third client received an OCTA bus pass to travel to the DMV to obtain a new valid photo ID, which will allow him to access County resources. 

In addition to the City Net team, Newport Beach’s Rapid Response Team (comprised of staff from several City departments such as the Fire Department, OASIS Senior Center, and the Police Department) conducted outreach with the City’s Homeless Liaison Officer. The team engages with homeless individuals in the field to help connect them with resources. Last week the team: Reconnected with a Veteran at the Balboa Pier who has applied to The Cove and the new Veterans’ Village opening this Spring. The Cove will provide 12 units of supportive housing to military Veterans in Newport Beach. The Veterans’ Village in Santa Ana provides 75 units of supportive housing to Veterans and their families; Engaged with people at the Newport Pier. Staff motivated one man to keep an appointment that day with Share Our Selves (SOS), a social services outreach provider in Costa Mesa, and ensured the man boarded the correct bus to the SOS office. Staff provided another man with a document needed to receive medical care and scheduled a doctor’s visit for him; and, spoke with several people at the Newport Transportation Center. Staff encouraged one man to visit SOS and helped connect him to free library resources that will assist in his job search. An elderly woman was referred to two senior housing opportunities in the area and was offered medical assistance for a foot injury. 

February 27 Program to Focus on Youth Homelessness – On Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6 p.m., the City will host a program to address youth homelessness, featuring staff from Project Hope Alliance. Project Hope Alliance works to end homelessness among elementary to high-school age youth in our community. The free program will be in the Friends Meeting Room at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave. 

City Arts Commission to select works for Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, Phase V – At the February 13 meeting, the City Arts Commission will recommend ten of the submitted works for inclusion in the Sculpture Exhibition, as well as three alternates. The public is encouraged to attend to offer their input on the submitted works. In preparation for the selection of works, the City Arts Commission conducted an online survey that invited the public to select individual works for inclusion in Phase V. The February 13 regular City Arts Commission meeting includes a curatorial selection panel where the public can express their preferences. In addition to the City Arts Commissioners, the panel will include David Michael Lee and Tyler Stalling. 

Mr. Lee is Director and Curator of the Coastline Art Gallery at Coastline College in Newport Beach, where he also teaches art. Previously, he oversaw the Phyllis & Ross Escalette Permanent Collection of Art at Chapman University. He holds a BA in photo/studio arts from Columbia College Chicago, and an MFA in drawing, painting and printmaking from California State University Fullerton. He has curated or organized nearly 100 exhibitions at university, community and private art galleries in the region. As an artist, his work has been seen in seven solo exhibitions and nearly 100 group exhibitions. He studied painting with the celebrated late artist Tony DeLap. 

Mr. Stallings is director of Orange Coast College’s Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. He was Artistic Director at UCR ARTSblock’s – encompassing the California Museum of Photography and the Barbara & Art Culver Center of the Arts, from 2007-2017, and was Chief Curator at Laguna Art Museum from 1999-2006. He co-edited the anthology, Uncontrollable Bodies: Testimonies of Identity and Culture (Seattle: Bay Press, 1994) and is the author of an essay collection, Aridtopia: Essays on Art & Culture from Deserts in the Southwest United States (Blue West Books, 2014). 

The curatorial panel assessment will include the following: All top-scoring artworks in the online public survey will be considered and discussed. Additional images of the highest scoring works will be reviewed. Additional information provided in application such as a statement of interest and resume may be used to help narrow down submissions; Works will be considered in light of the following criteria: Artistic Merit – Artwork is of high quality and demonstrative of originality and artistic excellence, and artist has strong professional qualifications; Durability: The artwork is made of high-quality materials, which can withstand the natural outdoor elements of coastal Southern California and artwork requires minimal to no maintenance; Practicality: Artwork is of appropriate subject matter for audiences of all ages and artwork is safe and shall not exhibit unsafe conditions or factors that may bear on public liability; and, Site appropriateness: Artwork is suitable in scale to be seen in environment and artwork is suitable for viewing from all angles.

Ten artworks and three alternates of various sizes, mediums, and subject matter will be recommended; Based on scale and impact of work, the committee will assign artworks to site locations; Based on artwork value and preliminary budget provided by artists, the committee will assign honorarium amounts to each artwork; and, the public will be provided with an opportunity to review the submitted works and offer input on the panel’s selections. 

The City Arts Commission will approve the Committee recommendations at the February 13, 2020, meeting. The City Arts Commission will make a final recommendation to City Council at the March 10, 2020 regular meeting. 

Newport Pier Area Water Main Replacement – Construction for the Newport Pier Area Water Main Replacement project is well underway. Since breaking ground on January 6, 2020, the contractor has completed replacement of three deteriorated water valves, installation of the new water main on 23rd Street and is currently working in the alleys that are bounded by Balboa Boulevard, West Oceanfront, 23rd Street and 24th Street. The contractor will be working their way up towards 31st Street before they mobilize and address water main replacement in the West Newport Community. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting tonight, February 11 – Our next City Council meeting is tonight, Tuesday, Feb. 11. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

Study Session begins at 5 p.m. for this meeting to discuss prohibiting motorized uses on the Oceanfront Boardwalk. Shared use of this amenity has been talked about for decades. Yes, we found a staff report from 1980 on the subject of bicycles on the Boardwalk! Over the last several years, technology has changed at a rapid pace and the types of motorized vehicles on the Boardwalk has increased significantly. Council asked for a study session on this item to see if prohibiting this type of activity is something the community and the City Council would like to consider. 

The Regular Meeting begins at 7 p.m. and the following are items of note: On the Consent Calendar is an agreement with Newport Bay Conservancy to designate funds for Phase 2A of the Restoration Work in Big Canyon. The Newport Beach Conservancy has been awarded two grants in the amount of $1,688,731 which will provide funding to restore nine acres of coastal sage, upland, riparian and freshwater marsh habitats, remove invasive or diseased trees in an additional two acres and replanted with a native plant palette. The project is expected to be completed in 2023. The City enjoys a great partnership with the Newport Bay Conservancy, and we are thrilled to get this grant. 

Current Business includes an Ordinance to Amend the Newport Beach Municipal Code as it relates to Short-Term Lodging. The City Council and staff have worked extensively with the community on this issue over the past year. With the advent of home sharing websites and the prevalence of short-term rentals, many concerns were raised by residents living next to the short-term rental properties. The proposed changes will set a new standard for short-term rentals and provide the City with additional tools to enforce residential standards. Several changes include providing adequate parking for guests, limiting the number of guests in a rental unit, providing exterior signage and an answering service to respond to complaints 24/7 and limiting the total number of permits that can be issued citywide.


Breezy along the Harbor

Breezy along boats

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stacia Stabler

Lido Village on a cool Sunday


Crystal Cove Conservancy to receive $2 million from the Coastal Conservancy

Crystal Cove Conservancy will receive a $2M boost from the California State Coastal Conservancy to help in the nonprofit’s fundraising efforts to restore the 17 remaining cottages along the North Beach of Crystal Cove State Park.

 The Coastal Conservancy voted at their public meeting on February 6 to approve $2M in funding that will go towards the second phase of the project – the historic restoration of the 17 cottages.

The first phase of the project began in December 2018 after $19M was secured through private donations and low-interest loans to fund the first portion of the project, which includes hillside retaining walls, underground utilities and a 650-foot elevated pathway and boardwalk that will protect the 1930s-50s era beachfront bungalows from 2050 sea level rise projections of 50 feet. The infrastructure construction phase continues to be on time, on budget and is expected to be complete in late June 2020. 

Crystal Cove Conservancy to receive

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Photo by J. Christopher Launi

Crystal Cove’s North Beach

“We are thrilled about the tremendous support from our longtime partners, the California State Coastal Conservancy,” said Kate Wheeler, president & CEO of Crystal Cove Conservancy. “This funding will ensure that we will be able to seamlessly transition to the second and final phase of renovating the cottages, which will result in an additional 24,000 low-cost overnight stays for the public to enjoy,” she added.

 The Coastal Conservancy has been a longtime supporter of Crystal Cove Conservancy and the work they do to ensure that as many people as possible have access to the coast. These are the first grant funds awarded under California’s Proposition 68 which provides funding for low-cost coastal accommodations.

 Crystal Cove Conservancy continues its efforts to raise additional funds to support the project’s second phase and has identified about $12M of the $28M needed in total, with $16M left to acquire to fully complete the project.

The restoration of the 17 remaining cottages will complete the vision for Crystal Cove State Park, create a sustainable revenue stream to support conservation and education efforts in the park and result in an additional 22 affordable overnight rental units coming online. 

One of these last 17 cottages, designed to operate as a hostel-style dorm, will host overnight coastal engineering programs for underserved high school students from around Southern California.

“With our partners at University of California Irvine, we will be educating and inspiring students from inland and underserved communities about the challenges of sea level rise and future coastal change as they sleep mere feet from the ocean,” Wheeler said.


Dame Zandra Rhodes brings art and fashion to John Wayne Airport

Known as a pioneer of the British and international fashion scenes since the late 60s, Dame Zandra Rhodes brings her theatrical sense of style and design to John Wayne Airport (JWA) in a new “The Art of Opera” display showcasing her vibrant and textile-inspired set and costume designs for two operas, AÏDA and The Pearl Fishers. Ticketed passengers can view the exhibit through June.

“When it comes to art and culture, Orange County takes center stage through the combination of local, national, and international creativity and artistry,” said Orange County County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel. “Visitors, as well as art and fashion enthusiasts alike are sure to enjoy viewing the colorfully detailed opera costumes and set designs by Dame Zandra Rhodes.”

Passengers strolling through the Vi Smith Concourse Gallery located on the Departure (upper) Level (post-security), across from Gates 2 through 5 in Terminal A, Gates 18 through 21 in Terminal C and the free-standing display cases across from Gates 14 will have the opportunity to view captivating displays depicting Rhodes’ artistry and creativity to bring life and color to the opera’s stage and its characters.

Displays of Rhodes’ conceptualized art, photos, sketches, and more used as inspiration to design the sets and costumes for the following operas include:

AÏDA (Terminal A): An opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi. The production takes place in the Old Kingdom of Egypt and tells the story of a captured and enslaved Ethiopian princess named AÏDA and Egyptian military commander Radamès who faces the challenge to choose between his country, and his love for AÏDA while also escaping the unrequited affection of the Egyptian King’s daughter.

The Pearl Fishers (Terminal C): An opera by French composer Georges Bizet, tells the story of two men who take a vow to remain friends eternally. Set in ancient times on the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), their pledge of friendship is put to the test when they both fall in love with the same woman, a priestess who is fighting her own internal battles versus the prospect of love.

As the daughter of a fitter for the Paris fashion House of Worth and lecturer at Midway College of Art, Rhodes’ mother was the driving force that inspired her to join the fashion industry. After graduating from The Royal College of Art in London, Rhodes’ early textile designs were picked up by leading brands; however, they were considered too outrageous by many traditional British manufacturers. Ultimately, this led Rhodes to open a clothing shop with a co-designer, then later take her collection on her own across the country.

Throughout her 50-year career, her iconic textile collections have been featured in British and American Vogue magazines and sold internationally to Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and various boutiques. She has designed for clients as diverse as Diana Princess of Wales, Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Paris Hilton, Joan Rivers, Lauren Bacall and Queen’s Freddie Mercury, and continues to collaborate with brands that inspire her, including Valentino, TopShop and MAC Cosmetics. Through a partnership with IKEA, Rhodes will soon launch a line of home designs that explore a variety of local patterns and culture. 

For more information about John Wayne Airport’s Art Programs, visit www.ocair.com/terminal/artexhibits/.


Stormy Sunday at the beach

Stormy Sunday tower

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Wind and rain made an appearance for a cozy winter day at Tower 32


Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Board Meeting Brief 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

In the interest of keeping the community informed, please see below for a brief review of some items on the upcoming Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Board Meeting. 

The NMUSD Board of Education meeting agenda is posted online the Friday prior to the meeting. Click the following link to view the full NMUSD Board of Education meeting agenda.

Board Meeting Agenda Highlights:

Study Session – Revised Joint Powers Agreement Between Coastline Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and Newport-Mesa Unified School District

Report

15.a. Education Technology Update - The Director of Education Technology and the Director of Information Technology will give an update on technology use in the district.

Consent Calendar

17.a.1. Ratify Award of Bid # 122-19 with TELACU Construction Management for Site Security Fencing at Ensign Intermediate and Corona del Mar High School/Middle School - The Board of Education authorized the Assistant Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer to advertise and award Bid #122-19 Site Security Fencing. The lowest qualified and responsive bidder was determined to be TELACU Construction Management. The contract has been awarded and is now being brought to the Board of Education for ratification.

17.a.4. and 17.a.5. Authorize the Advertisement and Award of Bid No. 101-20 for 2020 HVAC Installation at Corona del Mar and Costa Mesa High School - The advertisements will be published for general circulation, bids will be evaluated for adherence. It is requested that the Board of Education authorize the Assistant Superintendent, Chief Operating Officer to award the bid to the lowest, responsible, qualified bidder.

17. b.3. Approve 2019-2020 Comprehensive School Safety Plans. The purpose of this plan is to identify appropriate strategies and programs that provide and maintain a high level of school safety. 

17.d.2. Ratification of Expansion of Services Offered in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NMUSD and ONE Recovery for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year - It is recommended that the services with One Recovery expand to serve Estancia and Corona del Mar High Schools. The program includes after school support groups, individual support sessions, and weekly parent support groups to address the needs of students struggling with substance abuse, emotional and behavioral dysfunctions, and destructive behaviors.

Public Hearing/Action Calendar

19.a. Public Hearing Disclosing the Provisions of the 2019-20 Tentative Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers - The total cost is already included in the Board’s First Interim 2019-20 budget adoption. Cost provisions of the Tentative Agreement includes: a salary schedule increase of 3.50 percent, effective December 1, 2019; an hourly schedule increase of 3.50 percent, effective the month following NMFT ratification; a 1.4 percent off schedule salary increase paid for the period from December 1, 2019 until June 30, 2020; additional health & welfare cost of up to $1,148 per participant for the 2019-20 year, effective December 1, 2019.

19.d. Receive and Approve the California School Employees Association, Chapter #18 Initial Proposal for Reopener Negotiations to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District for Negotiations 2020-2021 - There is currently a Collective Bargaining Agreement in place between the NMUSD and the CSEA through June 30, 2022. The District has received CSEA’s initial proposal for reopener negotiations for 2020-2021. 

19.f. Approve Newport-Mesa Unified School District Initial Proposal for Reopener Negotiations to the California School Employees Association, Chapter #18 for Negotiations 2020-2021 - The «sunshining» of this proposal has no direct fiscal implications. 

Discussion/Action Calendar 

20.a. Approve Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the University of California Irvine (UCI) Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Healing Ambassador (DIRHA) Program for Costa Mesa and Estancia High Schools - The DIRHA Program teacher/liaison will work with students to promote a deeper understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion through academic preparation, experiential learning, and leadership development for Estancia and Costa Mesa High School students. Students will attend seven seminars/workshops led by UCI faculty and staff on topics that address the topics of diversity, race and racism, religious diversity immigration, gender diversity, racial healing, and project methods, as well as two field trips.

20.D. Approve Schedule of Board Meetings, July 2020-June 2021. It is recommended that the Board of Education approve the dates, place, and time for the regular meetings of the Board of Education for June 2020-June 2021. 

Board Meeting Overview

Board meetings are where elected officials conduct the business of the school district. Agendas for regular meetings of the NMUSD typically consist of a closed session and an open session. 

Closed session agenda items are confidential and cannot be shared with the public. If the board agenda contains a closed session, the topics will be routinely related to confidential employee or student issues and/or pending litigation. The Board may also discuss various negotiations with its chief negotiator in a closed session.

Open session items are non-confidential agenda items in which the board conducts its business in view of the public. Open session agenda items are divided into the following sections: 

Public comment is provided so that members of the community can speak to the Board. If a speaker addresses an issue that is not on the agenda, the Board is restricted from responding to the speaker. If a speaker addresses an issue that is on the agenda, the Board may respond when the agenda item is scheduled to be addressed in the agenda. The purpose of the open meeting law, commonly referred to as the Brown Act, guarantees that public organizations will only make decisions or address issues that have been publicly posted. Public comments on non-agenda items do not meet this threshold. 

Presentation is when an item is being presented to the Board or from the Board. Examples include presentation of a check or proclamation to the Board, or the Board presenting a Distinguished Service Award to a staff member.

Report is a verbal communication from staff on a topic of interest to the Board.

Consent calendar items are routine items of business that occur on a regular basis. The board will approve the consent calendar in one vote, unless the board pulls it for discussion. Often, consent calendar items are related to contract renewals, construction change orders, purchase of previously approved instructional materials, supplies and routine approvals required by state law. 

Discussion/action calendar items are required to be publicly approved separately. Items in this category are new items that have not been previously approved, require a policy change, or are related to compensation changes for all employees.


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Loving Tiara: A local author’s compassionate tribute to her beloved daughter

By LANA JOHNSON

Tiffani Goff is a retired home stager, interior designer, blogger and now a published author of her memoir Loving Tiara. She is appearing for a special program and book signing on Saturday, Feb. 15 from 12-3 p.m. at Seaside Gallery & Goods, 124 Tustin Ave., Newport Beach.

Her book takes us on a journey of being a loving and compassionate wife and mother of three daughters – Tabitha, Tiara and Trinity and her husband, Lou. At the age of 16, Tiara succumbed to Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), a rare genetic disorder, causing her severe spasms and seizures throughout her life.

I read Tiffani’s memoir and caught up with her, a Newport Harbor High School graduate who grew up in Newport Beach, to understand what she and her family shared raising Tiara with so many complicated medical challenges, and celebrating their life together. I pulled some of her most notable excerpts from her book.

“I would rather die taking care of her (Tiara) than give up on her. I am her mother, her voice, her strength, her advocate, and her biggest fan. I am also a wife and a mother to my two other beautiful girls. They all need me to be strong, so they can pretend our lives are ‘normal.’ Even when I feel like dying inside, I carry on, because that is who I am. This is the story of loving Tiara.”

Excerpt From: Tiffani Goff, Loving Tiara, Apple Books

Loving Tiara book cover

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Photos courtesy of Tiffani Goff

The touching book cover of “Loving Tiara” with Tiffani and her daughter, Tiara

Q: Can you take us though your journey as a parent and having your child diagnosed with a rare medical condition? What exactly had Tiara experiencing such severe complications and who did you reach out to for medical treatment? How long did this transpire from the diagnosis before she tragically passed at the tender age of 16?

A: Tiara was diagnosed with Tuberous Sclerosis at seven months of age after six weeks of trying to figure out what was wrong with her. She was falling behind developmentally, was having numerous daily episodes of lunging forward while screaming out and was no longer making eye contact or engaging with family members. After multiple failed attempts trying to determine the cause of these issues, her pediatrician at Harbor Pediatrics said she needed to be admitted to CHOC right away. Once they hooked her up to an EEG machine at CHOC, the issue was glaringly obvious. She was having infantile spasms, a rare and devastating type of seizure, generally associated with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). After seeing the EEG results, they did a CAT scan of her heart, brain and kidneys. They found three tumors in her heart but determined they weren’t interfering with function and numerous tumors in her brain, which were causing the seizures.

“At Tiara’s one-month (year-old) checkup, her pediatrician, Dr. Krumins, noticed a large white patch on her neckline. He thought it was a typical ash-leaf birthmark but said we should keep our eye on it. 

“At her three-month checkup, she was starting to fall behind developmentally. She didn’t follow or track with her eyes, she wasn’t moving like a regular three-month-old, and her neck control wasn’t great. We weren’t super worried, since all kids progress at their own rate, but we were now on alert. When she was four months old, it became apparent Tiara was not like other babies. There was definitely something medically wrong with her.”

Excerpts From: Tiffani Goff, Loving Tiara, Apple Books

Loving Tiffany at Mariners Park

Tiara after she survived brain surgery at Mariners Park – shooting hoops was her passion

TSC is a genetic disorder that causes benign tumors to form in the major organs, including the eyes, brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, thyroid and skin. All the organs must be monitored throughout the life of the patient. The most critical issue was stopping the infantile spasms immediately, because there is a direct correlation between how long the child suffered from infantile spasms as to how severely delayed they would become. Infantile spasms can cause a child to become severely developmentally delayed. The medication Tiara needed to stop the infantile spasms was not FDA approved at the time. Hence, the only way to obtain it was through a drug study at UCLA. So, from the moment she was diagnosed, our lives were forever changed. I now had to manage uncontrolled seizures, a heart condition, brain tumors, developmental delay, becoming a regional center consumer, physical, speech, and occupational therapies and doctors who didn’t know how to treat a child with TSC.

Q: I have only one daughter who is now 36 and I can’t imagine the pain you endured with Tiara’s suffering. Please share her everyday challenges but also her joys. Her name alone...shines!

A: As for her tragically passing away at 16, it wasn’t a tragedy. She received many miracles throughout her life and should have died at least three other times, but she was a fighter and kept making it through. She was incredibly strong willed, which was a curse and a blessing. She was in a drug-induced coma on a ventilator at least six times in her short life. She survived a brain surgery which resulted in her brain swelling so much during recovery it caused her traumatic brain surgery and two severe strokes. Her physicians said that if she lived, she would never walk, talk, breathe, or eat on her own. She walked out of the rehab home three months later, with her trach removed and her G-tube taken out a few weeks later. Her ability to recover often shocked the medical community – she was known as a miracle girl. She was a “frequent flyer” at CHOC and UCLA, and the nurses and doctors at both facilities were our extended family. Because she continued to suffer from intractable epilepsy her entire life, never going a day without a seizure, she was always on a concoction of medications that had serious side effects and were extremely hard on her body. At the end of her life, she was taking 30 pills a day and still having seizures. She lived with constant respiratory issues and was on oxygen almost 24 hours a day for the last year of her life. Tiara living to be 16 was a miracle and a true gift. I knew she was dying the last six months of her life, and when I finally put her on hospice, she only lasted two weeks. She needed my permission to let her go, and when I knew she had lost all quality of life, I gave her to God.

“All through Wednesday, we took turns lying by her head or her feet, and holding every part of her body as we prayed for her to pass. She was no longer wearing her oxygen and was struggling to breathe. I kept suctioning her to help with the secretions, but her body was shutting down.

“Early Wednesday evening, her soul left her body (January 14, 2015); I don’t know the exact moment. I just know that when Tabitha and I slept with her that night, we couldn’t feel her. It wasn’t like it had been the previous nights when I slept next to her, clinging to every ounce of her being. As we watched her struggle to breathe, I sent a text to my family that said, “Her soul is already gone, but her body has not finished the process yet. I hit send and looked over at her. 

“She took her last breath at 8:18 a.m. She was sixteen years old. The hospice nurse showed up forty minutes after she passed, with an amazing art project for us. She brought a canvas and some paints. We gathered around Tiara’s bed and I dipped Tiara’s hand in blue paint and placed her handprint in the center of the canvas. We then took turns dipping each of our hands in a different color paint and layered our handprints around Tiara’s. The finished project is the most valuable piece of art I will ever own.”

Excerpts From: Tiffani Goff, Loving Tiara, Apple Books

Immediately following Tiara’s TSC diagnosis, she started receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy through the Orange County Regional Center. Just before her third birthday, she transitioned into the Newport-Mesa School District. They placed her at  Harper Preschool to continue her early intervention services. When it was time to start elementary school, she was placed in a special day class at Killybrooke Elementary. Tiara would progress developmentally and then would have a status seizure lasting four hours and would lose all her skills. She had to relearn to walk on several occasions and was mostly nonverbal until she was about 6 years old. She had the most expressive face, so I could usually figure out what she wanted or needed. This process of making strides developmentally and then losing skills continued throughout her life. I think her development peaked at about 9 years old and then started to decline as her condition evolved. At 9 years old, she could write a few letters of her name, identify about 20 animals, count to 20 with a few mistakes, identify colors, sing lots of songs, run, shoot hoops, swing a bat, and talk well enough that family members could understand what she was saying. Tiara had the most incredible smile! She was always smiling and had so much self-esteem; she was the envy of her sisters.

Loving Tiara tickling her mom

Tiara figures out how to tickle her mom, Tiffani

Whether she was 300 lbs., which she was at the end of her life, or completely emaciated, both side effects from her anti-epileptics, she would prance in front of anyone who would watch, striking poses. She was feisty, funny and always needed to be the center of attention. She flirted with any teenage boy who came over to hang out with Tabitha, her older sister. Her younger sister, Trinity, who arrived two years after a vasectomy, was her best friend. Tabitha and Trinity were always vying to be Tiara’s favorite person. She wore a diaper her entire life, loved music, dancing, coloring, ripping up magazines and having parties at our house. She was a total party girl and loved to get dressed up with costume jewelry, sunglasses, hats, anything that was dramatic and directed all the attention towards her.

Q: You mentioned you and your husband are almost empty nesters. Tell me a bit about your family life and what you enjoy doing together, with your girls and specifically your ties to Newport Beach. 

A: My husband, Lou, and I are almost empty nesters because Trinity, our youngest, is a senior at Mater Dei. We moved out of Newport six months before Tiara died and now live in Mesa Verde. I couldn’t work while caring for my girls, and after the recession, we almost lost our house. We were finally able to sell the house for enough money to pay off the mortgage and start over. My life was so empty after Tiara passed away. I started a staging business. I have a law degree, but have always loved interior design, a natural talent given to me by God. This business allowed me to immerse myself in hard physical labor, replacing my caretaking role with Tiara. After the botched brain surgery in 2011, Tiara never returned to school, and I was her primary caretaker. Taking care of her was physically exhausting, and I needed to replace that loss with work.

We were able to sell our house on Redlands (in Costa Mesa), because I completely transformed it before putting it on the market. I removed all my bright decor, decluttered, painted the walls white or gray, and my real estate agent was blown away at the transformation. In my mind, I made it boring so that it would appeal to a wide range of buyers and it worked. After Tiara passed, people came out of the woodwork, offering me jobs even though I hadn’t asked. Within two months, I was life coaching a Newport lady, organizing someone’s home, decorating someone else’s, and I was so confused. My real estate agent told me I needed to start a staging business that was different than other stagers, so I did. I worked with homeowners’ existing furniture and just updated accessories, decluttered, added new pillows, and moved furniture around, so the flow was better. Because I was more flexible, cheaper and worked harder than most stagers, my business took off. You can look at my website, www.twigdecor.com to see my style. I recently retired from staging and have transitioned into accepting interior decorating clients only. My goal is to become a full-time writer, but I can’t afford to turn down all decorating jobs at this time.

Lou and I are still recovering financially and are homebodies, so we spend our free time at home together. We have been married 28 years this month, and it is a miracle we are still married and like being together. 

Q: How did blogging about your days with Tiara’s suffering help you heal? 

A: I started my blog in 2012 after Tiara had survived the brain surgery. She was alive and stable, but we were at home together all day, and it was a depressing time in my life, and I needed something, so I started the blog, tiffani goff at home (tiffanigoff.com). Growing up in Newport and going through the public school system (Newport Heights, Ensign and Harbor), I knew lots of people and became very active on Facebook, sharing my posts. Because I was so honest and transparent, I gained a large following rather quickly. Tiara would often be recognized as I pushed her in her wheelchair around Balboa Island or as she played basketball at Mariners Park.

Loving Tiara listening to music

Listening to music with her earplugs was one of Tiara’s greatest pleasures and calmed her through many seizures

Q: Beginning to write your book in February and finishing it in November is a fairly short process time wise. What motivated you to just sit down and write and how did you get it published?

A: As for writing my book so quickly it was in celebration of my 50th birthday. The real estate market had slowed, so my staging business was slow as well. All my friends were talking about big plans for their 50th birthdays, and because I didn’t want to throw a big party, I couldn’t afford it, I tried to think of something more monumental. My blog readers had been asking me to write a book for years, and I kept promising to do it, but I just hadn’t. Last February, I decided I would write my story for myself and to honor Tiara. I promised myself to finish the first draft by September 11 (my B-Day) and completed it early on August 19.  Thank goodness, because the editing was more time consuming than the first draft. My goal was to have it self-published by October 27, which would have been Tiara’s 21st birthday. I didn’t make that goal because I couldn’t rush the final edit. I worked 10-12 hour days writing, editing and figuring out how to self-publish, and it was released on November 20, 2019. My goal is for Loving Tiara to become a bestseller and for me to share Tiara’s incredible story with the world. It is practically impossible to have a bestselling book, but if I could take care of Tiara, I figure I can do this.

“We celebrated a Mass for her at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Wednesday, January 21, 2015. I think nearly four hundred people showed up to support Tiara and our family. I gave the eulogy, my final gift to her, and then we buried her, in the coolest turquoise casket you have ever seen, at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona del Mar. Lou and I bought the space next to her grave, so we will be buried with her when it is our time to see her again in Heaven.”

Excerpt From: Tiffani Goff, Loving Tiara, Apple Books


Community offers their final goodbyes to the Altobelli family

A public memorial was held yesterday afternoon in Angel Stadium for the three members of the Altobelli family killed in the helicopter accident two weeks ago along with Laker basketball legend Kobe Bryant and five others.

The service honored Orange Coast College (OCC) baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri, and their daughter Alyssa. Alyssa was a teammate of Kobe’s daughter, Gianna, and both played for the Mamba youth basketball team; the helicopter was on its way to a weekend tournament at the Mamba Academy in Camarillo.

Community offer Altobelli familiy

From GoFundMe account

(L-R) Keri, John, Lexi, J.J. and Alyssa Altobelli

A makeshift shrine adorned with flowers, sports memorabilia and photos was on display near a podium erected on the field. Attendees filled the first deck of seats from third base to the left field foul pole.

Altobelli was the coach at OCC for some 27 years, winning four junior college state titles, while also being named the National Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2019.

His daughter Alyssa attended Ensign Intermediate School in Newport Beach and dreamed of someday playing basketball for the University of Oregon. Her No. 5 jersey was retired by the school last week. 

A separate memorial service for Alyssa was held recently in Mariners Park that was attended by hundreds of schoolmates and community members.

The Altobellis also had two other children, a son, J.J., who is a scout for the Boston Red Sox, and a 16-year-old daughter, Lexi.

All victims of the crash were recognized at the beginning of the service as their names were read.

A public memorial is next planned for Bryant and his daughter on February 24 at Staples Center. The memorial is open to the public.


Flashback Friday is here...and we want your mug

Flashback Friday harkens back to yesterday...and we think it’s fun that our readers have been submitting their “mugs” so others can try and guess who is in the photo.

We want yours!

Send in a treasured photo from your past. It can be of you, your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, family member...you get the idea. Include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday to post in Stu News on Friday, to end the work week on a high note.

Please send your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Mezzo-Soprano from Newport Beach headlines “The World of Opera: Stories of Love”

Beautiful love stories, told through some of the most beloved opera music of all time, will unfold on Sunday, Feb. 16, when the Parnassus Society presents “The World of Opera: Stories of Love” at the Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo.

The 3 p.m. concert is the perfect finale to Valentine’s weekend, with selections from romantic operas such as Madame Butterfly, Tosca and La Traviata sung by highly acclaimed performers.

The audience will enjoy performances by world-renowned artists who also call Orange County home. Featured are Mezzo-Soprano Milena Kitic, a Newport Beach resident, Tenor Bruce Sledge, Soprano Julie Makerov and Bass-Baritone Aaron Pendleton. Scott Dunn, Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, will lead the Parnassus Chamber Orchestra.

Mezzo Soprano Milena Kitic

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Courtesy of Parnassus Society

Mezzo-Soprano Milena Kitic

“We recognize that opera is an acquired musical taste and not everyone is ready to dip their toes into the world of opera via a full-length operatic performance,” said Dr. Kenneth Tokita, Parnassus Society founder. “We have asked these incredibly talented, in-demand opera singers to perform a sampling of arias that will wow both opera ‘regulars’ and ‘newbies.’”

Two young artists from the Orange County School of the Arts and Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices will be showcased: Soprano Maggie Liu and Mezzo-Soprano Elizabeth Minerman. Adding further visual excitement will be the Claudia de la Cruz Flamenco Dance Company.

The Parnassus Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to growing the cultural advancement of Orange County by nurturing the development and professional careers of artists and promising young artists. Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Tokita of Irvine, longtime patrons of the arts, founded the Parnassus Society in 2014. They host bi-annual competitions for young artists, as well as public performances of acclaimed professionals and talented emerging musicians.

Through the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. Tokita, the Parnassus Society can present world-class performers while keeping ticket prices affordable.

General admission tickets are $25-$50; seniors, students and active military are $15-$25. Parking is free.

Soka Performing Arts Center is located at 1 University Dr., Aliso Viejo.

For tickets and the program, visit http://bit.ly/worldofopera.


Newport Beach Lifeguard candidates try out under cool, rainy conditions

Newport Beach Lifeguard candidates lined up

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Lifeguards

Grey skies, rain and chilly temperatures on Sunday, Feb. 9 didn’t discourage these Newport Beach Lifeguard candidates from trying out. No wetsuits were allowed, but goggles were optional. Tryouts consisted of a 1,000-meter ocean swim and 1,000-meter run-swim-run. Top finishers were invited to an interview yesterday, with the Basic Lifeguard Academy to be held March through April.


Mile Races...ready, set, go!

Spirit Run hosts mile races for every age and ability level, even for dogs! So come join the 37th annual Spirit Run on Sunday, March 1.

–Open Mile - High school and older who finish in 10 minutes.

Elite Mile - Men/women who finish in 4:15 and 4:50 minutes, respectively.

Dog Mile - Age 13 and older with dogs on leash.

Family Mile - Adults and families, 20 minutes to finish.

11-14 Mile - Ages 11-14 (pre-high school).

9-10 Mile - Ages 9-10.

7-8 Mile - Ages 7-8.

5-6 1/2 Mile - Ages 5-6.

4 1/4 Mile - Age 4.

You may ask, why the mile? There are plenty of great reasons.

Mile Races Elites taking off at the starting line

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Photos courtesy of Sprit Run

Elite Milers take off at the starting line

The Mile Is Attainable.

–Family Mile - Would you like to participate in Spirit Run with your family? Or, are you interested in a casual stroll yourself? In either case, the Family Mile is perfect for you. Completing the Family Mile is attainable. With 20 minutes to finish, you can run or walk yourself, or with family and friends.

–Dog Mile - Research shows people who run or walk with their BFF canines are healthier and live longer. The doggos love it and benefit, too. Participate with your pooch in the Dog Mile. With 20 minutes to finish, you can run, jog, or walk together.

Adults - Test Your Fitness.

Remember your mile time trial in high school track or PE class? Do you wonder if you can still run that fast or even faster? Race the Elite or Open Mile and find out. The course is point to point and fast, and offers a great way to test your fitness or set a personal record. Check out the Course Maps here.

Mile Races Open Milers

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Open Milers – and they’re off

Kids - Race Your Age Group.

Rather than a single “fun run,” Spirit Run offers kids six, separate 1/4 - 1 mile races separated by age groups. This way, the little ones don’t have to race the big kids. Better yet, youth competitors meet Steve Scott, Olympian and World Record Holder for running the most sub 4-minute miles. Scott pumps them up and runs with them.

Mile Races Steve Scott and kids

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Olympian and World Record Holder Steve Scott running with the kids

Compete for Prizes.

Thanks to the generosity of its sponsors, Spirit Run offers competitors a cash purse in the Elite Mile and incredible non-cash prizes:

Elite Mile - Cash purse and more (stay tuned for details).

Open Mile - $50 Dick’s Sporting Goods Certificates for ages 19 and older; Blaze Pizza for a year for ages 15-18.

Dog Mile - $25 Lazy Dog Gift Card.

11-14 and 9-10 Mile - Blaze Pizza for a year.

4, 5-6, 7-8 Mile - Balboa Candy Gift Card.

Visit the Awards Page for details.

Even More Fitness And Fun. 

Fitness nuts, double or triple your fitness and fun with multiple races. Double up and race the Open Mile followed by the 5k. If you want your best 5k or 10k time, race the 5k or 10k, and cool down in the Family Mile. Triple up for extreme fitness and fun with the 10k, Open or Family Mile and 5k. You are eligible to win in each race. Visit the Race Schedule to plan your races.

Mile Races Family Run

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Join in the fun of the Family Mile

Save On Entry Fees For Mile Races.

Spirit Run is offering you another incentive to register for a mile race –savings. Register for any mile race or multiple races including the mile by February 9 with code MILE and save 15 percent.

Bring Back The Mile.

Spirit Run is a BringBackTheMile.com featured event. Bring Back the Mile believes, “No running distance...has the history, the enduring appeal, or the magic of the mile.” Click here to learn why running a few minutes a day may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Click here for research showing that running only six miles a week delivers more health benefits and minimizes risks


Vote Center demos offered at Central Library

The League of Women Voters, in coordination with the Orange County Registrar of Voters, will present “Vote Centers 2020: Secure and Convenient” in two special programs at the Newport Beach Public Library on Monday, Feb. 10 at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. 

Both sessions will include a talk about the convenience, accessibility and security of the new Vote Centers and Ballot Drop Boxes, as well as a Q&A and demonstration of the new voting equipment and procedures. 

The presentations will be held in the Central Library Friends Room at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Attendees will also find out about how the new changes in voting will allow more days and more ways to vote; how to still vote in person; and information about mail ballots and how they can be delivered directly to secure Ballot Drop Boxes any time for 30 days up to Election Day. 

There will also be a live demonstration of Vote Center equipment and procedures by staff from the Orange County Registrar of Voters. 

Admission is free.

Newport Beach Vote Center locations include Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Dr.; Marina Park Community Center, 1600 W. Balboa Blvd.; Newport Coast Community Center, 6401 San Joaquin Hills Rd.; Newport Harbor Lawn Bowling Club, 1550 Crown Dr.; Newport Harbor Lutheran Church, 798 Dover St.; and Oasis Senior Center, 801 Narcissus Ave.

Ballot Drop Box locations in Newport Beach include Avon & Riverside Ave.; Bob Henry Park; Newport Beach Civic Center/Central Library drive-thru; and Oasis Senior Center auxiliary parking lot drive-thru.


You Must Remember This: Bill Cleary, surfer

By NANCY GARDNER

For many years, if you wanted to get to Little Corona from the CdM side, you had to make your way down a rocky bluff. Even the path the lifeguard truck took was unpaved. We regulars thought that was a fine arrangement since it discouraged inlanders – particularly inlanders with lots of gear like umbrellas and such. One sunny summer day we were lying in the sand when we noticed a stranger making his way down the hill. It wasn’t very long before he was talking to my father, and this was our introduction to Bill Cleary.

Now if you’re not a surfer you’ve probably not heard of him, and even if you surf, unless you’re into the history of the sport there’s a good chance you’re also unaware, but Bill has a real place in the 60s and 70s surf world. He became known as a gonzo surf journalist, publishing Surf Guide, both the book and the magazine, and writing for the major surf journals after he folded the magazine.  Like so much else in surfing, he got his start right here, specifically at Little Corona.

He had grown up in San Marino, and in those days few inlanders surfed unless the family had a summer home at the beach. He was no exception, but that was about to change. Recently discharged from the Marines, he wanted to become a waterman, so that summer he was at Little Corona almost every day getting into bodysurfing. That fall he went off to UCLA, and from then on, he was a board surfer.

Bill and I had an interesting relationship. I was just starting high school when we met, but we were buddies. We’d play cards when he came down, laze in the sun, talk. It was during one of those conversations that he threw out a rather general, “if you ever come to UCLA call me,” type thing which seemed harmless enough at the time because we both knew I was going to UCSB. What neither of us knew was how much I’d hate it – so much that I left after the first semester and decided to go to UCLA. That was the way it was in those days. If you had decent grades, you went wherever you wanted in the UC system, no big deal. So there I was at UCLA, having never even visited the campus, and as I’m sitting in the dorm feeling rather overwhelmed, I remembered Bill’s offer and called him. “Come and help me get my classes.” He tried to demur, but I reminded him of what he’d said, so the next day he came to school and stood in line (yes, all of you post-computer people, that was how you once got your classes – going from classroom to classroom and standing in line). Once that ordeal was over, he invited me to come to his place to go surfing. He lived on the beach in Topanga.  It was LA’s version of Crystal Cove, funky cottages in peculiar shapes and sizes, inhabited by a diverse group, with a great point break – and that was where I spent that first semester at UCLA. Every day after class I drove to Topanga and surfed.

You Must Remember This Surf Guide

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Courtesy of Nancy Gardner

Surfer Linda Benson graces the cover of Bill Cleary’s “Surf Guide” magazine, November 1963

At this time, the counterculture was just beginning to throw out a few tendrils, and the intersect with surfing was a natural. We already had our own way of dressing, our own language, and a certain attitude, at least some of us. Bill early on gained a reputation of someone who didn’t necessarily do what society thought he should do, which fit right in with the times. It became a small area of dissension between us. At one point I heard him encouraging some kid who idolized him to do his own thing. I got onto him afterward. “Did you tell him you have a trust fund?” In my mind it was a lot easier to do your own thing when you knew that whatever you did that check came in every month. I don’t think I made an impression. From his perspective, I was both young and square, and he was right on both counts – not that it made me wrong. Despite the occasional difference, that first semester at UCLA we were really close, surfing, going to parties and then something shifted. We remained friends, but we were on different paths and never regained that close bond we briefly had.

While he was at UCLA, I don’t think Bill had any clue as to what he might do in life. Because of the trust fund, there wasn’t the urgency there was for some others, but at some point he began to focus on surfing as a career – not in the water but as part of the culture, and that was when he came up with the idea of Surf Guide, which was just what its name said – an illustrated guide to surf spots on the coast. I am actually in it. He had asked to use a photo of me on a wave at the Wedge, and just before it was being printed, the publisher made him call me.  I didn’t use the outrigger surfing method most of the time. I had grown up with arms down at the side which was the way I was in the photo. He had captioned it “Nancy Gardner hanging two at the Wedge.” I guess the publisher thought I might be offended and sue, but I thought it was funny, so that’s the way it reads.  The book was successful enough that he decided to launch Surf Guide magazine. It had the usual articles and photos, but it went beyond that. Surfing lagged when it came to attitudes toward women. It wasn’t that long ago that if a woman surfer was even shown, she was shown on the beach in a bikini. Bill was ahead of his time in that respect. He was one of the first if not the first to feature a woman on the cover – Linda Benson. What was great was that it was about her surfing. She had just come out of the water, holding her board, her hair wet – a surfer, not a babe. The magazine also included fiction, and he really tried to make it good fiction. I think maybe at the back of his mind was something like what Hugh Hefner had accomplished with Playboy: interesting articles, notable fiction, with surfing photos in place of the nudes. Maybe it took the nudes to make a profit, because he shut the magazine down after a relatively short run.

Our paths continued to diverge, and we eventually lost touch. I heard he developed Parkinson’s and then of his death at a much-too-early age, but he had already made his contribution to surf lore. As for me, I have many fond memories of him, but the most enduring is that first day, watching him make his way down the bluff to Little Corona, ready to be introduced to surfing. 

~~~~~~~~

Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, longtime resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


State grant awarded to clean up harbor of abandoned, wrecked or damaged boats

A $175,000 state grant will be used to remove and dispose of abandoned, wrecked or damaged vessels in the Newport Harbor.

The grant, awarded under the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways Surrendered and Abandoned Vessel Exchange (“SAVE”) program, is intended to clear harbors and waterways of derelict vessels and other hazards that may impede navigation or threaten water quality.

With a previous SAVE grant of $125,000, the City was able to fund the removal of 25 such vessels, said Harbormaster Kurt Borsting. The new funding will augment these efforts through September, 2021, he said.

The grant “will greatly improve our ability to keep Newport Harbor free of hazardous vessels that present a public safety or pollution concern to the community,” Borsting said. “The Harbor Department is very grateful to the state for awarding these funds.”

In addition to assisting the City with the responsible disposal of abandoned vessels, a portion of the funds will be used to give qualifying recreational boat owners a free, easy and safe option to surrender unwanted vessels. The Vessel Turn-In program was designed to encourage private owners to surrender unwanted boats that might otherwise become environmental or safety concerns on California waterways. 

Individuals interested in learning more about the SAVE grant and how to apply for the Vessel Turn-In program can contact the City of Newport Beach Harbor Department at 949.270.8159.


Spaces are still available at ENC’s Presidents Week Nature Camp

Presidents Week Nature Camp awaits at the Environmental Nature Center (ENC), and spaces are still available for campers currently enrolled in Kindergarten through 6th grade. The camp runs from February 17 through 20 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 

The ENC has offered Nature Camps since 1977. The camps provide quality science education in the outdoors. Campers learn while adventuring.

Spaces are still available

Courtesy of ENC

Learning outside increases kids’ abilities to think creatively and improves problem-solving skills. Children who participate in outdoor education have increased enthusiasm for learning, improved academic performance and improved critical thinking. Time spent outdoors also correlates with increased physical activity and fitness in children. ENC Nature Campers make crafts, play games and participate in hands-on activities.

For more information, costs and to register, click here. ENC members receive 10 percent off camps.

Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach.


Hoag Classic week is just a month away

Returning for its 25th year to Newport Beach Country Club (NBCC), the Hoag Classic will showcase golf’s legends. Included in this year’s field are Ernie Els, Fred Couples, Retief Goosen, Ángel Cabrera, Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh, John Daly and Miguel Ángel Jiménez, who will challenge 2019 Champion Kirk Triplett to compete for the title. 

Hoag Classic Fred Couples

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Courtesy of Hoag Classic

Golf legend and Newport Beach resident Fred Couples

Here’s a breakdown of the week’s schedule of events:

Tuesday, March 3 it begins with the “Breakfast with a Champion” featuring Els and presented by Allergan. The breakfast tees off at 7:30 a.m. in the NBCC Ballroom.

Wednesday and Thursday, March 4-5, is the “Legends Pro-Am,” presented by Konica Minolta.

Friday begins tournament play with Round 1. Gates open at 8 a.m., with tee times beginning at 10:30 a.m. 

Saturday, in addition to Round 2, is “Military Appreciation Day,” presented by Kingston Technology. Opening ceremonies for it begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by tournament play at 10 a.m.

Sunday is Round 3 and “Youth Day,” also presented by Kingston Technology. There will be a contest for youth throughout the afternoon. Final round tournament action starts at 10 a.m., with the Awards Ceremony planned for 5 p.m.

Good-Any-One-Day tickets for the Hoag Classic are available online before the event for $25. Tickets purchased at the Main Gate on the day of the event are $30. Tickets can also be purchased in advance at participating Roger Dunn Golf Stores. Children age 11 and under receive complimentary admission. For more information, visit www.HoagClassic.com. 

Newport Beach Country Club is located at One Clubhouse Dr., Newport Beach.


Genre-bending Pink Martini returns to Pacific Symphony’s Pop Series

The musical stylings of world music group Pink Martini will once again join Pacific Symphony musicians onstage for the fourth time since 2010, as Andy Einhorn conducts a special set of shows on March 23 and 24 at 8 p.m.

Pink Martini is part big band, part classical ensemble, part salsa troupe and all fun. The energetic and enthusiastic “little orchestra” finds its musical inspiration from cultures around the world, easily jumping from genres like pop, jazz and classical to establish its own unique blend of music.

Formed in Portland, Ore., the 12-member ensemble has been a popular favorite in many countries for more than a decade with its revitalization of vintage Big Band sound, in combination with 1940s jazz, cross-cultural rhythms and much more.

Genre bending pink martini ensemble

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pink Martini returns to Segerstrom Center in March

This performance in Pacific Symphony’s Pops series, taking place Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at 8 p.m., features a dozen musicians with songs in 25 languages.

Pink Martini performs its multilingual repertoire on concert stages and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Asia, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East, Northern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, South America and North America. The ensemble made its European debut at the Cannes Film Festival in 1997 and its orchestral debut with the Oregon Symphony in 1998 under the direction of Norman Leyden. Since then, the band has gone on to play with more than 70 orchestras around the world, including multiple engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, the San Francisco Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House and the BBC Concert Orchestra at Royal Albert Hall in London.

Tickets start at $50, and this concert is sure to sell out. To purchase your tickets and find more information, visit www.PacificSymphony.org or call 714.755.5799.


Decorative Arts Society presents landscape designer Kathryn Herman

The 25th annual Decorative Arts Society Series is presenting a special guest lecturer, landscape designer Kathryn Herman, on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Edwards Big Newport Theater. Herman will discuss “The Allure of the Garden.”

Herman’s strong horticulture background, interest in architecture and extensive world travel has informed her work in the U.S. and around the world. She has received numerous awards for landscape design, including induction into the New England Design Hall of Fame, and the Arthur Ross Award. Herman has served as a trustee for the National Board of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, and she currently serves as the Chair of their Travel Programs.

Decorative Arts Society Herman

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Courtesy of Decorative Arts Society

Kathryn Herman

The breakfast buffet begins at 9 a.m., followed by the program from 9:45-11 a.m. If you would like to attend, non-members can pay $75 at the door. If you are interested in joining the Decorative Arts, the $300 annual membership dues include all five lectures, and you can join anytime throughout the year (the fee is not prorated).

Edwards Big Newport Theater, where all lectures are held, is located 300 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach.

More information about the Decorative Arts Society lecture series can be found here.


Balboa Island Classical Concert Series continues February 11

The Balboa Island Classical Concert Series continues on Tuesday, Feb. 11 from 7-8 p.m. at St. John Vianney’s Chapel on Balboa Island, with a performance by Yalyen Savignon on violin and Elizabeth Zosseder on harp. Don’t miss this season opening concert!

Balboa Island Classical Concert Zosseder

Submitted photo

Harpist Elizabeth Zosseder to perform with Yalyen Savignon on violin

Both women have impressive musical backgrounds as well as global appearances. Tickets are $15 per person and in limited supply. Tickets are available at Island Home Décor at 313 Marine Ave., Balboa Island and online at www.balboaislandnb.org. 

St. John Vianney Chapel is located at 314 Marine Ave., Balboa Island.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Batten down the hatches this weekend for High Tides and rain, but City departments are on the case

Fair Game Tom NewMark Vukojevic, the City’s astute Utilities Director, dropped me a note updating the information concerning this weekend’s High Tides. 

“The latest forecast shows that rain is coming on Sunday and Monday to join the High Tides, with a 6.7-foot high tide at 8:44 a.m. on Sunday and 6.5-foot high tide at 9:29 a.m. on Monday. That means our 30+ Utilities and Public Works Department staff will be out there to pump the rainwater at the closed tide valves.

“Expect to see our trucks, our pumps and a bunch of smiley faces in yellow rain slickers on the Peninsula and Balboa Island.”

• • •

Memorial services updates: first off is the Altobelli Family Celebration of Life for John (56), Keri (43) and Alyssa Altobelli (13), all of whom were killed on the helicopter crash along with Kobe, Gianna and four others. Their service will take place this Monday, February 10 at 4 p.m. in Anaheim Stadium. Doors will open at 3 p.m.

As John’s brother Tony said, “There will be plenty of room so if you’d like to be a part of this, we’d love to have you!”

Another service for Sarah and Payton Chester, also killed in the same accident, is private and scheduled for tomorrow at an undisclosed site.

Finally, and totally unrelated to the crash victims, but still worthy of note, former Newport Beach Citizen of the Year, longtime owner of Malarky’s and The Cannery, Bill Hamilton’s service is tomorrow, February 8.

Bill died December 14 and will be remembered in a service at 10 a.m. in the Chapel at Mariners Church, 5001 Newport Coast Drive, Irvine.

• • •

Did you vote for Phase V in the Invitational Sculpture Exhibition for our Civic Center Park? If not, there’s still time, but you have to do it today.

Up to 10 artworks could possibly be selected and showcased for the next two years on the hill above City Hall.

The 14-acre site was specifically designed by renowned landscape architect Peter Walker for this exact use.

So put your two cents in and vote at www.sparkoc.com/nb_sculpture_poll/.

• • •

My friend Robin Kramer has opened the new Irvine Ranch Market on Balboa Island in the old Hershey’s Market spot.

It’s taken some time to get the store ready, but early indications are that she and her co-owner partner David Wong did it right.

I’ve shopped their other store up on Irvine Ave. for years and love it. Do yourself a favor, give it a try.

• • •

It’s a jungle out there and no place reflects that better than Sherman Library & Gardens’ “Jungle Junk Critters” in Corona del Mar.

Ron Yeo, a retired architect, has taken years of junk, trash, debris, whatever you call it, and designed in into art that is now on display in the Gardens.

Stop by and check it out, it’ll be there through April.

• • •

Get your tickets now to the Fourth Annual Winter Bar Crawl for a Cause now. The event is Saturday, February 22, and begins at Malarky’s Irish Pub at 1 p.m. 

The Crawl benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Orange County Chapter and will have the theme this year of 80s Aprés Ski.

Other stops along the afternoon will include Helmsman Ale House, Stag Bar + Kitchen and Blue Beet.

Thanks once again to Mario Marovic and Andrew Gabriel for another strong community effort by getting behind this.


Aerie project lights up the night for Kobe

Aerie project sunset

Photo by Richard Julian

At sunset, this tribute to Kobe Bryant in the LA Lakers colors is captured at the Aerie construction project at the corner of Carnation Avenue and Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar. A memorial service celebrating this basketball legend and his daughter Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26, will be held at the Staples Center on February 24 at 10 a.m. The date is symbolic as it represents the two jersey numbers of the father and daughter basketball players: Kobe wore No. 24 during the latter part of his legendary career with the Lakers, while Gianna wore No. 2 on her youth basketball teams.


Ending the day the Newport way

Ending the boats

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Boats and a cozy fireplace compliment a crisp winter night in Newport Beach


Flashback Friday: Answer

If you guessed Tim Riley, you are correct! Tim was our Newport Beach Fire Chief from 1991-2006, and now makes his home in Rancho Mirage.

Send in a treasured past photo!

You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. We’ll even surprise them if you want. 

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Hoag now offers the most comprehensive Aortic Disease Center in Southern California

Hoag’s Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute recently expanded its ability to manage and treat complex aortic pathology with the launch of the Hoag Clinic for Marfan Syndrome and Related Conditions. Hoag is one of only two hospitals in California to offer these services to the specialized care provided at the Elaine & Robert Matranga Aortic Center, recently named following a generous gift by the couple.

Aortic disease, especially in patients with connective tissue conditions, can lead to arterial rupture or dissection, which kills more than 15,000 people every year. Home to some of the most skilled surgeons, cardiologists and physician specialists, Hoag’s comprehensive approach spans from active surveillance to leading-edge treatments such as valve-sparing aortic root replacement, descending thoracic aortic stent grafts or hybrid endovascular approaches. In addition, Hoag offers 24/7 emergency care services for acute aortic emergencies.

Hoag’s newest team member, David Liang, M.D., Ph.D., leads the Marfan Syndrome and Related Conditions clinic as the program director. Dr. Liang is a specialist in the rare condition Marfan syndrome, as well as other related connective tissue conditions. He is internationally recognized as an exceptional physician and dedicated patient advocate, as well as a member of The Marfan Foundation’s Professional Advisory Board.

Hoag now offers aortic team

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Submitted photo

(L-R) Back row: Carey O’Bryan, M.D.; Anthony Caffarelli, M.D., director, Hoag Cardiovascular Surgery; David Liang, M.D. Front row: Megan Boeglin, RN; Christian D’Angelo, patient with Marfan Syndrome; and Rita Weise, nurse practitioner

“Patients with Marfan syndrome or a related condition not only need to be closely monitored for aortic disease but also require specialty care in many other areas including orthopedics, physical therapy, pulmonology, pain management, and perinatology,” explained Dr. Liang.

Hoag’s network of compassionate and highly qualified physicians and nurses offers a multidisciplinary team to provide comprehensive care for rare or complex conditions.

“If you or a loved one is living with a connective tissue condition, you know that finding the care you need can be tough and coordinating between specialists can be tougher. We have created the Hoag Clinic for Marfan Syndrome & Related Conditions to help bring top-level doctors who understand your medical need to Southern California. Simply calling or emailing the center directly, you will be navigated to the right team member,” said cardiothoracic surgeon Anthony Caffarelli, M.D., director of Hoag Cardiac Surgery, Elaine & Robert Matranga Aortic Center and the Newkirk Family Endowed Chair in Aortic Care.

“My role is to closely monitor and help patients manage their conditions. Despite active surveillance, many of our patients need to have aortic surgery. Partnering with a great cardiac program and surgical team will be a great service for patients in Southern California and the surrounding areas,” said Dr. Liang.

Hoag’s commitment to combining compassion with state-of-the-art facilities and superior physician talent has earned the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag a leading national reputation. Recently, the Society for Thoracic Surgeons rated Hoag’s Cardiac Surgery Program 3 out of 3 stars for both coronary artery bypass grafting and aortic surgery – an achievement reached by only the top 1.8 percent of programs in the country.

“This partnership speaks volumes about the commitment we have made to our community to expand what we offer to include highly specialized doctors who can provide high-quality care for even the rarest diseases. We are very excited to have Dr. Liang here at Hoag,” said Dr. Caffarelli.

Hoag is also collaborating with The Marfan Foundation to connect with leading researchers and community members in combating these conditions to support patients and families. On Saturday, Feb. 29, Hoag will be the presenting sponsor of The Foundation’s Southern California Walk for Victory. The walk brings together connective tissue condition patients from all over Southern California, allowing them to connect and further build a community of support. For more details, visit Marfan.org/WalkSoCal20.


Flashback Friday

Have you missed me?

Flashback Friday 2.7.20

Click on photo for a larger image

Here is our Flashback Friday...harkening back to yesterday...and we hope you can guess who it is.

Clue: His favorite color is red.

Good luck guessing this one. The answer appears today at the bottom of Stu News.

Send in a treasured past photo! You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. Or one of your special friend.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line and include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


NMUSD to hold Autism Resource Fair

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Special Education department welcomes you to their Autism Resource Fair on Thursday, April 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Costa Mesa High School gymnasium.

The fair will include exhibitors that offer a variety of services such as community support programs, and sports and recreational resources. The Newport Mesa Special Education staff will also be in attendance and they look forward to seeing you there.

For more information and for a list of participating organizations, visit the NMUSD website here, or contact Jolene Delgado at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or 949.515.6782. Childcare will be provided.


Morning perspective

Morning perspective fence

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instgram @its_jason_berry)

Looking out to a new day in a fresh way


Take Five: Meet Ryan Sumner, manager of Balboa Island’s new Irvine Ranch Market

By AMY SENK

Since the 1920s, Balboa Islanders have been able to grab their groceries or do general shopping at a market at 200 Marine Ave. And while the space has been vacant for the past year, Irvine Ranch Market just opened a new grocery, their second location on Wednesday, Feb. 5. Smaller in space than the original Irvine Ranch Market in Costa Mesa, the new addition will feature a variety of items from freshly baked and prepared items to pantry staples, and will bring their signature enthusiasm and customer care that shoppers have come to expect to the Island. I caught up with Ryan Sumner, the new market’s manager and son of the owners, to learn more. 

Take Five Ryan Sumner

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Courtesy of Ryan Sumner

Ryan Sumner, manager of Irvine Ranch Market on Balboa Island

Q: Everyone I know was anxiously waiting for the Irvine Ranch Market to open on Marine Avenue in the old Hershey Market space. Can you share a behind-the-scenes look as to what was entailed prior to opening this week?

A: We pretty much took it over last August and renovated the building hands-on to make it work for what we wanted. It is approximately 4,000 square feet. It has been a delightful journey.

Q: You are a classically trained chef. Tell me more about your background and how that will shape your approach to running the BI market?

A: Right after high school, I attended Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles. Upon completing school, I went on to work in various restaurants including the Beachcomber Cafe in Crystal Cove, Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s, then opened the restaurant Lighthouse Cafe on the Peninsula. Similar to what I did as a chef, I will oversee here...it’s about serving your product to the highest standards. We will curate seasonal food offerings with a little flair compared to your typical market.

Q: How do you think the Balboa Island location will be different from the Irvine Avenue location? Will it specialize in certain items or options, or offer things that are different from the Costa Mesa location?

A: There will be a lot of similarities between the two stores, but it is toned down quite a bit. We will have our fresh made sandwiches, sushi, butchered meats and curated seafood delivered daily from our Cost Mesa store, fresh breads from Bread Artisan, as well as a made-to-order grab and go salad station and soups of the day. We are putting together a catering menu to fit any occasion (including beachgoers and Duffy boaters). We will also be providing delivery service to Balboa Island residents with our very own golf cart, soon to come

Q: What food trends do you predict will be hot in 2020, and will your market try to be on top of those?

A: I believe more and more people are concerned with what is going into their body. We will use fresh ingredients to provide wholesome home cooked foods to our customers. We are experimenting with foods for people with dietary restrictions, such as gluten free and plant-based protein meals.

Q: As a legit foodie, what are your favorite restaurants in Newport Beach, and where in the world would you make a dinner reservation if the sky was the limit?

A: Some of my favorite restaurants to go to for a quick bite or for a nice meal would be Zinque, A Restaurant and Dory’s Deli. A restaurant that I’ve been wanting to go to for quite some time is in Yountville, California. I’d love to experience The French Laundry by Chef Thomas Keller.

Editor note: The Balboa Island Irvine Ranch Market’s hours are 7:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily. The phone number is 949.409.6500.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a monthly contributor to Stu News Newport.


Mayor’s Dinner reception was filled with lively camaraderie

The 39th Annual Mayor’s Dinner, featuring Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa on Thursday, Feb. 6 kicked off with a warm reception.

We thought it would be fun to capture the mix and mingle prior to the evening’s program. 

Mayor s Dinner Will O Neill and Greg Smith

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Photos by Lana Johnson

Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill and Greg Smith

Mayor s Dinner Katrina Foley and Michele Gile

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Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley and the evening’s Master of Ceremonies Michele Gile, KCAL 9 and CBS 2 Orange County reporter

Mayor s Dinner Selich and Webb

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(L-R) Two of our former Newport Beach mayors, Ed Selich and Don Webb

Mayor s Dinner Jeff and Sally

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Newport Beach Council member Jeff Herdman and his wife, Sally

Mayor s Dinner Averys

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 (L-R) Russ Fluter with Julie Avery and Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery

Mayor s Dinner Joy and Matt

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Newport Beach Council member Joy Brenner and Matt Brisbois, NBFD Life Safety Specialist

Mayor s Dinner Steve, Mario and Katrina

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(L-R) Newport Beach President and CEO Steve Rosansky, restaurateur Mario Marovic and Katrina Foley

Mayor s Dinner Rush and Linda Hill

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Rush and Linda Hill

Mayor s Dinner Joe and Sarah

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Joe and Sarah Stapleton

Mayor's Dinner Kay and Jim Walker

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Kay and Jim Walker

Mayor's Table NBFD table

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Our Newport Beach Fire Department shared a table at the gala


Mile Races...ready, set, go!

Spirit Run hosts mile races for every age and ability level, even for dogs! So come join the 37th annual Spirit Run on Sunday, March 1.

–Open Mile - High school and older who finish in 10 minutes.

Elite Mile - Men/women who finish in 4:15 & 4:50 minutes, respectively.

Dog Mile - Age 13 & older with dogs on leash.

Family Mile - Adults and families, 20 minutes to finish.

11-14 Mile - Ages 11-14 (pre-high school).

9-10 Mile - Ages 9-10.

7-8 Mile - Ages 7-8.

5-6 1/2 Mile - Ages 5-6.

4 1/4 Mile - Age 4.

You may ask, why the mile? There are plenty of great reasons.

Mile Races Elites taking off at the starting line

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Photos courtesy of Sprit Run

Elite Milers take off at the starting line

–The Mile Is Attainable.

~Family Mile - Would you like to participate in Spirit Run with your family? Or, are you interested in a casual stroll yourself? In either case, the Family Mile is perfect for you. Completing the Family Mile is attainable. With 20 minutes to finish, you can run or walk yourself, or with family and friends.

~Dog Mile - Research shows people who run or walk with their BFF canines are healthier and live longer. The doggos love it and benefit, too. Participate with your pooch in the Dog Mile. With 20 minutes to finish, you can run, jog, or walk together.

Adults - Test Your Fitness.

Remember your mile time trial in high school track or PE class? Do you wonder if you can still run that fast or even faster? Race the Elite or Open Mile and find out. The course is point to point and fast, and offers a great way to test your fitness or set a personal record. Check out the Course Maps here.

Mile Races Open Milers

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Open Milers – and they’re off

Kids - Race Your Age Group.

Rather than a single “fun run,” Spirit Run offers kids six, separate 1/4 - 1 mile races separated by age groups. This way, the little ones don’t have to race the big kids. Better yet, youth competitors meet Steve Scott, Olympian and World Record Holder for running the most sub 4-minute miles. Scott pumps them up and runs with them.

Mile Races Steve Scott and kids

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Olympian and World Record Holder Steve Scott running with the kids

Compete for Prizes.

Thanks to the generosity of its sponsors, Spirit Run offers competitors a cash purse in the Elite Mile and incredible non-cash prizes:

~Elite Mile - Cash purse and more (stay tuned for details).

~Open Mile - $50 Dick’s Sporting Goods Certificates for ages 19 and older; Blaze Pizza for a year for ages 15-18.

~Dog Mile - $25 Lazy Dog Gift Card.

~11-14 and 9-10 Mile - Blaze Pizza for a year.

4, 5-6, 7-8 Mile - Balboa Candy Gift Card.

Visit the Awards Page for details.

Even More Fitness And Fun. 

Fitness nuts, double or triple your fitness and fun with multiple races. Double up and race the Open Mile followed by the 5k. If you want your best 5k or 10k time, race the 5k or 10k, and cool down in the Family Mile. Triple up for extreme fitness and fun with the 10k, Open or Family Mile and 5k. You are eligible to win in each race. Visit theRace Schedule to plan your races.

Mile Races Family Run

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Join in the fun of the Family Mile

Save On Entry Fees For Mile Races.

Spirit Run is offering you another incentive to registerfor a mile race –savings. Register for any mile race or multiple races including the mile by February 9 with code MILE and save 15 percent.

Bring Back The Mile.

Spirit Run is aBringBackTheMile.comfeatured event. Bring Back the Mile believes, “No running distance...has the history, the enduring appeal, or the magic of the mile.” Click hereto learn why running a few minutes a day may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease. Click herefor research showing that running only six miles a week delivers more health benefits and minimizes risks


NBPD presents Citizens’ Police Academy class this Spring

If you ever wanted to “go behind the scenes” to find out more about local law enforcement, the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) offers a Citizens’ Police Academy to our community. This engaging and informative program is designed to increase understanding of the Police Department’s operations and to allow community members the opportunity to interact with their outstanding personnel. Topics covered include SWAT, the K9 Program, CSI, Dispatch, narcotics, traffic laws, firearms, detective investigations, and more.   

Students will participate in informative classroom-style presentations as well as practical demonstrations with a variety of Police Department personnel. Activities include a police facility tour, a jail tour, a simulated car stop exercise, firearms instruction in the shooting range, fingerprinting and crime scene investigation, and a community-oriented policing challenge. Each student will also be given the opportunity to go on one four-hour ride-along with a Police Officer during the course of the Academy.

NBPD presents guys with canine

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Photos courtesy of NBPD

Instructors are drawn from all areas in the department. Students meet the Chief of Police, managers, supervisors, patrol officers, detectives, dispatchers, and other department employees. NBPD encourages students to ask questions and express their concerns about pertinent issues. A major goal of the Citizens’ Police Academy is to increase understanding between citizens and the Police Department, and to enhance the strong relationships NBPD has with the community.

While the Academy will give students a better understanding of how the Police Department is organized, the services they provide, and how they serve the community, it is not based on a traditional police academy. The program is not designed to prepare students to be police officers or provide training in the field of law enforcement. A typical Citizens’ Academy class is made up of 24 students of all age groups, and instructors will accommodate any physical limitations.

Successful graduation of the Citizens’ Police Academy is a pre-requisite for the Department’s Volunteers in Policing Program.

NBPD presents woman on NBPD motorcycle

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–Citizen’s Police Academy Schedule: The Academy is 12 weeks long, with one three-hour class each Wednesday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The Academy culminates in a graduation ceremony in Week 12, which friends and family are welcome to attend. All classes are held at the Police Department at 870 Santa Barbara Dr., Newport Beach. Sessions are held twice a year: once in the spring and once in the fall.

Upcoming Spring 2020 Class: (Class 47) held on March 4, 11, 18 and 25; April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; May 6, 13 and 20.

–Application Process: Prospective participants for the Citizens’ Police Academy must live or work in Newport Beach, be at least 21 years old, have no felony convictions, outstanding warrants, or pending criminal cases. All applicants will be required to submit to a criminal background check before acceptance into the Academy.

If you are interested in joining, application forms are available at the Police Department’s front desk, by mail on request, or at this link. Completed applications must be returned to the Community Relations office via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), by mail (Newport Beach Police Department, Attention: Heather Rangel, 870 Santa Barbara Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660), or by hand at the front desk. After preliminary review to confirm eligibility, a list will be compiled and students will be assigned to the next available session.

For further information, contact Program Coordinator Heather Rangel at 949.644.3662 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

The money is flowing for the March primary, see who has what in their wallet

Fair Game Tom NewCampaign Disclosure Statements were due to be filed in January 2020 for the previous six-month totals of fundraising. I decided to take a look at the upcoming California March Primary scheduled for March 3 and figure out who has what to spend in their run up for office.

Just to separate the men from the boys, or as in Elizabeth Warren’s case, the men from the women, for fun I decided to look at the country’s top office, President of the United States. You ever wonder what kind of money it takes to run for president? 

Well, President Donald Trump has $211 million on hand, compared to the top challengers of Tom Steyer ($206 million), Michael Bloomberg ($200 million), Bernie Sanders ($109 million), Elizabeth Warren (just under $82 million), Pete Buttigieg (almost $77 million) and Joe Biden ($61 million).

That tells me we’re going to be seeing a lot more Bloomberg and Steyer commercials. Can’t wait!

Locally, here’s what I found. In the 48th Congressional District incumbent Harley Rouda (D) has $1,728,074 on hand, compared to challengers Michelle Steel (R) with $1,374,094 and Brian Burley (R) $17,759.

That tells me it’s a two-person race.

On the state level, incumbent John Moorlach (R) has two challengers to his State Senate 37th District. Moorlach has $411,985 on hand, while Dave Min (D) has $212,506 and Katrina Foley (D) has $161,236.

Over in the state Assembly race in the 74th District, incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris (D) has $834,228, while Newport Beach Mayor and challenger Diane Dixon (R) has $153,389 and Kelly Ernby (R) has $79,428.

The top two vote-getters in the above listed races (non-presidential) will move onto the fall’s General Election

• • •

This weekend presents the last King Tides of the year. So, how will it affect us?

Saturday, Feb. 8, the morning high time is 7:59 a.m. with tides of 6.60 ft., followed by a low of -1.51 ft. at 3:06 p.m. Then Sunday, high time is 8:42 a.m. at 6.67 ft. and low at 3:42 p.m. at -1.50 ft.

These measurements reflect estimates at the entrance to Newport Bay/Corona del Mar.

So what is Newport Beach City Utilities Director Mark Vukojevic forecasting for his team’s plans?

I asked him of any concerns, he said, “Maybe…if it rains.”

The good news is that rain is in the distant forecast, however, if the forecast firms up with rain by tomorrow (Wednesday), then his team will be planning an expanded pumping crew to mobilize.

We’ll try and update with Mark in Friday’s Stu News Newport with a look ahead to the weekend.

• • •

Congrats to Thomas Dialynas, 30, of Newport Coast who won the 24th annual Surf City USA Marathon this past Sunday. He completed the 26-mile, 385-yard course in 2 hours, 26 minutes, 47 seconds.

The race drew 2,200 participants for the marathon, another 12,000 for the half-marathon and 3,000 for the 5K.

Way to represent Thomas!

• • •

Santa Margarita High School has an 11-14 boys basketball record. Recently they had to forfeit a win from earlier this season because the team they played (Spirit Academy of Tustin) in a November tournament was not a CIF-SS member. That makes the game unsanctioned and required them to forfeit it. 

So, with just three games remaining on their 2019-2020 schedule they might not qualify for the Southern Section playoffs which requires at least a .500 record for the season.

So, in order to improve their chances for an at-large berth, the Eagles have added a game with Sage Hill. It will be played tomorrow night, February 5, at Santa Margarita beginning at 6 p.m.

Sage Hill currently has a 10-14 record and will also play another game tonight, so you’d have to think Santa Margarita’s chances have improved.

B-t-w, the Eagles won last season’s Division 1 Championship.


Americans lead the charge at Oracle Challenger Series tourney

American Madison Brengle beat Stefanie Voegele (Switzerland), 6-1, 3-6, 6-2, to win the Oracle Challenger Series Newport Beach for her first career WTA title on Sunday. Brengle’s win marked the first time an American woman has won an Oracle Challenger Series event since Danielle Collins did so in 2018.

The match started with Brengle dictating from the baseline, drawing errors from a clearly nervous Voegele. She held her serve without facing a break point and capitalized on her opportunities on the Swiss’ serve to win the first set 6-1 in just 27 minutes.

“I felt like I was able to move the ball around,” said Brengle. “I tried to pick on what I could. When I had the chance to stay aggressive, I did. I missed a few at the start, but I feel like I was good at continuing to go for it.”

Americans lead the charge Brengle

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Photos courtesy of Oracle Challenger Series

American Madison Brengle celebrates match point for the win

In the men’s final, Thai-Son Kwiatkowski’s impressive display of power and serving propelled him to a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Colombian Daniel Galan and his first career ATP Challenger Tour title. 

“I almost didn’t come to this tournament,” said Kwiatkowski during the trophy ceremony. I had a really bad week of training last week and my girlfriend dumped me two weeks ago, so to win this is amazing.”

He came into the final after already achieving a big milestone, as he was previously 0-5 in ATP Challenger semifinals. But he knew not to take his opponent lightly and to focus on his game.

“He qualified for the Australian Open last week, so I knew he’s super match tough and playing well. I was incredibly nervous, it was my first ATP Challenger final. I just tried to not think about what was on the line and play every point. It was super difficult, it was a little bit cooler than yesterday. But I hung in there really well,” Kwiatkowski shared.

Americans lead the charge Kwiatkowski

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Thai-Son Kwiatkowski is overcome with emotions following win

The tournament was held this past week at the Newport Beach Tennis Club.

Other action over the weekend had Ariel Behar (Uruguay) and Gonzalo Escobar (Ecuador) winning the Men’s Doubles over Antonio Sancic (Croatia) and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn (Austria) 6-2, 6-4.

On the women’s side, the USA’s Hayley Carter teamed with Luisa Stefani (Brazil) to beat Marie Benoit (Belgium) and Jessika Ponchet (France) 6-1, 6-3.

The two American men and two American women who accumulate the most points over the course of the four events in the Oracle Challenger Series receive wild cards into their respective singles main draws at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.


Flashback Friday is here...and we want your mug

Flashback Friday harkens back to yesterday...and we think it’s fun that our readers have been submitting their “mugs” so others can try and guess who is in the photo.

We want yours!

Send in a treasured photo from your past. It can be of you, your spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, family member...you get the idea. Include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday to post in Stu News on Friday, to end the work week on a high note.

Please send your photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Friends of the Library to hold book sale on Friday and Saturday

Attention, all bibliophiles! The Friends of the Library is holding another big book sale on Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8 in the Newport Beach Central Library. Thousands of used books will be for sale and the proceeds will help fund library programs and services during the year.

Last year the Friends of the Library donated $296,377 to the library, most of it generated from book sales, so every book donated and every book sold supports the library.

On February 7 from 1-4 p.m., the book sale is open to Friends of the Library members only. All books are three for $1.

On February 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., everyone is welcome. The cost is $3 a bag, and the library supplies the bags.

Future 2020 book sale dates include: June 5 and 6; October 2 and 3.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Housing Action Plan Webpage Created – The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is in the process of determining how to allocate or distribute the final State Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) regional determination to each individual jurisdiction in the region. For Newport Beach, SCAG’s draft methodology results in a RHNA allocation of 4,832 dwelling units that the City must plan for in the October 2021-October 2029 Housing Element planning period. Every jurisdiction must plan for its RHNA allocation in the housing element of its General Plan by ensuring there is enough sites and zoning to accommodate their RHNA allocation. This estimated allocation will be very challenging for the City to plan for, especially given the affordability requirements. In order to address the issue, City Council asked staff to prepare a Housing Action Plan to guide the City and its efforts moving forward with the mantra of “firmly challenge and plan to comply.” 

In furtherance of the Housing Action Plan, which City Council reviewed at its January 14, 2020 meeting, City staff created a new webpage. This new page will be regularly updated with the City’s efforts to challenge yet work towards compliance with the State Housing Element law and the deadline to adopt an updated housing element to the HCD by October 2021. 

Whether you are interested in reviewing the tasks and assignments that are part of the action plan or you would like to see the correspondence being sent from the City to the State and its legislators, this page will be very helpful for you moving forward. Check it out by visiting www.newportbeachca.gov/housingactionplan.

Homeless Update – Success Stories: City Net, the City’s contracted social services provider, continues to assist people with accessing and navigating resources in the community. Their outreach efforts, coordinated with the City and County’s resources, continue to provide housing opportunities for people experiencing homelessness in the community. City Net utilizes the Vulnerability Index intake assessment to screen clients on a number of factors to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some factors include age, health issues and length of time being unsheltered. 

Last week, City Net case managers connected several people experiencing homelessness to the appropriate social services departments in the County of Orange for assistance. Using the Vulnerability Index, case managers connected one client to medical services through the County’s Comprehensive Health Assessment Team. Another client qualified for a referral to the Community Resource and Referral Center for Military Veterans (City Net staff provided the veteran with an ID waiver and bus pass to obtain a valid photo ID before his appointment). A third client was provided transportation to obtain a certified birth certificate needed for a potential housing voucher. A fourth client was assisted with an apartment application to help upgrade from transitional housing to permanent housing. City Net case managers continue to stay in contact with these clients to help ensure a positive outcome. 

Also this week, City Net’s Newport Beach outreach team welcomed a new Master of Social Work graduate intern from Cal State Fullerton. She joins the team in the field on Mondays and Fridays for the duration of the spring semester.

Mental Health Forum – Last week, the City hosted a Community Mental Health Forum comprised of mental health experts from local service providers. This program was a result of the Homeless Task Force participants’ focus on the myriad issues surrounding homelessness. Elected officials, City staff and other agencies in the State and County are all coordinating efforts to address this critical issue in our communities. The program will be available for viewing on the City’s website in the NBTV section in the coming days. 

Clayton Chau, MD and PhD, represented MIND OC and Be Well OC. Dr. Chau founded MIND OC as the nonprofit entity supporting Be Well OC, a new model for delivering mental health services in the County. The new model unifies public and private partnerships, academic institutions, faith communities and community resources to coordinate access points and service delivery. Be Well OC broke ground on their first of three planned service hubs in the City of Orange. The new wellness hub is scheduled to open in Fall 2020. Dr. Chau discussed how the collaboration and coordination of the Be Well OC model is the first of its kind in the State of California and has proven successful in other states and countries. 

Min Suh, MSW, represented the Orange County Healthcare Agency. He has served in several capacities beginning as a Peer Support Specialist. Peer Support Specialists represent a new sector of mental health and wellness staff in that they connect with clients through their shared lived experience of healing from mental illness. People with lived experience complete specialized training to enter the mental healthcare field. Mr. Suh now oversees peer workforce development for the County. The County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline offers 24-hour, immediate service for all County residents in crisis or thinking suicidal thoughts. The Hotline phone numbers are 877 7.CRISIS or 877.727.4747. 

Heidi Sweeney, MSW, represented the National Alliance on Mental Illness for Orange County (NAMI-OC). Ms. Sweeney also entered the mental healthcare field by beginning as a Peer Support Specialist through her lived experience healing from mental illness. NAMI-OC offers programs, resources and crisis intervention services throughout the County. Ms. Sweeney is the Lead Trainer for NAMI-OC’s signature programs, such as family support groups. NAMI-OC also staffs the OC Warmline seven days a week. Orange County residents with mental health concerns, substance abuse, or in need of community resources may call and speak to a representative. The OC Warmline staff is available 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The OC Warmline phone numbers are 714.991.6412 or 877.910.9276 for toll-free service. 

Western Snowy Plover Management Plan Update – The Planning Division submitted the Western Snowy Plover Management Plan for East Balboa Peninsula Beaches (Plan) to the California Coastal Commission for their review last July in hopes of obtaining a coastal development permit. Since the submittal, City staff have been working with Coastal Commission staff and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to create a plan that balances the need for resource protection and public access. The Western Snowy Plover (WSP) is a federally designated threatened species and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has designated the beach area between B and G Streets as critical habitat for the WSP. The WSP also inhabit other areas of the Balboa Peninsula east of the critical habit area. The Plan includes provisions for habitat management that takes into account predator management, recreation management, municipal operations in and around the critical habitat, signage, public education and monitoring to document how the local WSP population is affected by human related activities in the area. 

A public hearing before the Coastal Commission is anticipated to take place in March. The latest version of the plan can be viewed on the City’s website at www.newportbeachca.gov/snowyplover.

For more information or to be placed on our interest list for notice of future meetings, please contact Gregg Ramirez, Principal Planner, at 949.644.3219 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Short Term Lodging – On February 11, the City Council will consider changes to the City’s short term lodging ordinance. The changes stem from complaints received from residents that live next to short term lodging units. The City Council formed an ad hoc committee to review the existing ordinance and propose changes that strike a better balance between the residents that live next to short term lodging units and property owners that own short term lodging units. The changes involve parking requirements, occupancy limitations, contact phone numbers, signage and requiring platforms to have more responsibility in ensuring only legal units are booked. 

Concrete Street Pavement Reconstruction Project – The Public Works Department started the construction phase for the Concrete Street Pavement Reconstruction project on Monday, Feb 3. The project limits include Anade Avenue, Montero Avenue and Alvarado Place from Bay Avenue to Edgewater Place, and 6th Street from Balboa Boulevard to Bay Avenue. 

The construction contractor, Aramexx Construction, will be removing and reconstructing the concrete street pavement and sections of deteriorated concrete sidewalk, curb, gutter and alley/driveway approaches within the project limits. The contractor will also install new storm drain systems on Anade Avenue, Montero Avenue and Alvarado Place to improve the street drainage. Additionally, the contractor will construct new landscaped parkways on Anade Avenue and Montero Avenue. 

This project has been in the planning and design stages for several years. Staff is excited to finally construct the proposed improvements and would like to thank the neighboring residents for their continued patience and support.


Tribute to Kobe and friends left outside at Newport Coast Starbucks

Tribute to Kobe and friends left outside at Newport Coast Starbucks

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Photo by Jan Landstrom

This in from a friend of Stu News Newport, Jan Landstrom: “I met a lovely couple this afternoon who came all the way from Riverside to pay tribute to Kobe Bryant. The lady, Lorinda Howard, created a beautiful array of butterflies along with a beautiful note to the ‘Family, Friends and Community’. It’s really beautiful and very touching.”

They ended up leaving it outside the Starbucks at Newport Coast, one of Kobe’s favorite places.”

If you look closely at the display you can see each victim’s name from the tragedy on each of the butterflies.

Thank you Lorinda Howard.


Total aircraft operations at JWA down 15 percent year-over-year

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport (JWA) increased in December 2019 as compared with December 2018. In December 2019, the Airport served 891,492 passengers, an increase of 7.7 percent when compared with the December 2018 passenger traffic count of 828,070. 

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 0.5 percent and commuter aircraft operations increased 33.0 percent when compared with December 2018 levels.

Total aircraft operations

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Total aircraft operations decreased in December 2019 as compared with the same month in 2018. In December 2019, there were 20,718 total aircraft operations (takeoffs and landings), a 15.7 percent decrease compared to 24,579 total aircraft operations in December 2018.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 61.4 percent of the total aircraft operations during December 2019, decreased 23.5 percent when compared with December 2018.

The top three airlines in December 2019 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (274,794), American Airlines (153,370) and United Airlines (141,068).


Setting sail in Newport Beach

Setting sail boats

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

Another beautiful day along the Newport Harbor


Saturday inspiration in CdM

Saturday inspiration view

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Inspiration Point showing off a gorgeous sunny winter day at the beach


Fire Files

Devastating early morning fire hits Working Wardrobes

A huge fire broke out Sunday morning at Working Wardrobes’ headquarters in Irvine leading to complete devastation of the nonprofit’s building and all inventory.

Firefighters responded to the early morning call, at one point totaling nearly 100 personnel.

Fire Files Working Wardrobes

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Facebook

Working Wardrobes building in Irvine a total loss

Newport Beach Fire Department responded with engine NE67 from Station #7 with three personnel.

Still, by Sunday afternoon, the destroyed building was too dangerous for firefighters to enter.

The loss was estimated to be in the millions of dollars with the clothes, office equipment and building losses.

Working Wardrobes helps men, women, young adults and veterans overcome life’s challenges in their attempts to enter the workforce.

To help Working Wardrobes rebuild, visit www.workingwardrobes.org/rebuild.

Police Files

Burglar strikes by breaking glass and entering home, stealing money, watches and jewelry

A forced-entry residential burglary took place on Pelican Point Dive on Friday, January 24 between 5:45-6:30 p.m.

While the victims were out for the evening, an unknown suspect climbed over the back gate from the golf course onto the victim’s property. Once in the backyard, the suspect climbed a small wall onto the roof; from there, the suspect was able to access the second-story balcony leading to the master bedroom.

The suspect shattered a glass pane in the French doors and entered the home through a broken window pane.

Once inside the residence, the suspect forcibly removed a wall safe in the home and ransacked the master closet before fleeing the scene through the same broken glass pane used for entry.

Losses included U.S. currency, watches and jewelry.

There are no leads at this time.

Suspects break in through window after cutting electricity to the home

A forced-entry burglary also took place in the Newport Ridge North area between Friday, January 24 and Monday, January 27.

While the victims were out of town, an unknown suspect accessed the backyard of the property, forced open the utility box and cut the wires so that the power in the home did not work.

The suspect then attempted to pry open a kitchen window which resulted in shattering part of the window. The suspect was then able to access the latch through the broken window and slide it open.

After entering the home, the suspect went through cabinets in the living room and kitchen. The suspect also went upstairs where they ransacked the master bedroom, master bathroom and master closet.

The suspect located a safe within the home, opened it and emptied its contents before fleeing through a first-floor rear door.

Losses included purses, jewelry, shoes, U.S. currency and personal paperwork.

There is no suspect information available at this time.

If you see suspicious activity within your neighborhood at a home where you know your neighbors are on vacation, have gone out for the evening, or their home is for sale, please call the Newport Beach Police Department immediately at 949.644.3717.

D.A. Spitzer to discuss Robicheaux case and new developments in morning news conference

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer will hold a press conference this morning, Tuesday, February 4 at 10 a.m. to announce a set of critical developments that have occurred in the case of People v. Robicheaux and Riley since he assumed office in January 2019.

Grant Robicheaux, a Newport Beach doctor, and his girlfriend Cerissa Riley are facing 17 felony charges, including five counts of rape that allegedly took place in his Balboa Peninsula home.

Robicheaux and Riley have denied all of the charges saying that all meetings were consensual.

In September, Spitzer, in a letter to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, stated that his office couldn’t fairly prosecute the case because of alleged wrongdoings by his predecessor, former DA Tony Rackauckas.

Becerra declined to take the case and told Spitzer he was “fully capable.”

The accusations against Rackauckas were related to assertions of false claims he made regarding the case.

Robicheaux and Riley are accused of drugging and raping their alleged victims.

Lemur thief now sentenced to over 12 years in state prison for number of burglaries

Aquinas Kasbar, the 19-year-old Newport Beach resident who in recent times pleaded guilty to stealing a lemur from the Santa Ana Zoo and to committing a number of burglaries around the city, was sentenced to 12 years and 8 months in state prison.

Aquinas committed some 28 burglaries over a period of seven months in 2018 from a number of Newport Beach homes, stealing jewelry, cash and more. He was linked to the thefts from evidence sold to a pawn shop.

Previously he was sentenced to federal prison for stealing the lemur and then leaving it in a box at a Newport Beach hotel.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Lifeguards: On the Waterfront

Cool air brings nice waves, but quiet times to the beach

Last week, Newport Beach Ocean Lifeguards watched over an estimated 85,800 people. Saturday saw summer-like conditions with an estimated 25,000 people on city beaches. The boardwalk, pier, harbor and beaches were all crowded. 

For the last week, lifeguards made zero ocean rescues, seven preventative actions, 399 public contacts, 14 medical aids, 69 animal warnings and six code enforcements.

Fire Files Lifeguards

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Lifeguards Weekly Statistics are from Monday, January 27 through Sunday, February 2, 2020.

For January overall, lifeguards handled a beach population of 228,000, made zero ocean rescues, 80 preventative actions, 1,408 public contacts, 54 medical aids, 367 animal warnings and 25 code enforcements.

January is a busy time for the Newport Beach Lifeguards, having trained and recertified 32 returning lifeguards for the upcoming season. They are continuing preparation for the 2020 Junior Lifeguard Programs. The 2020 recruitment is underway. Prospective lifeguard candidates have until Tuesday, February 4 at 5 p.m. to apply to become a Newport Beach Lifeguard candidate. The testing process will take place Sunday, February 9 at the Newport Pier. Spectators can view the event from the Newport Pier. The first swim will begin at approximately 9 a.m.

The Newport Beach Lifeguards have a new community education program to teach community members lifesaving skills to provide emergency care prior to the arrival of first responders. The goal of the program is to train local ocean users how to intervene to reduce the likelihood of death or disability from an ocean-related injury. The Newport Beach Surfer Awareness in Lifesaving Techniques (NB-SALT) training provided by Newport Beach Fire Department lifeguard personnel will consist of the following three elements:

1. Ocean safety education and in-water rescue techniques

2. Bleeding control

3. Hands-only CPR

NB-SALT students will learn how to successfully respond to an emergency in a marine environment. The skills learned will be useful for many life-threatening events such as a drowning in a backyard pool, injury in a traffic accident, or when someone is in cardiac arrest and can be applied during any emergency situation.

The class will be offered to local Surf teams and surf classes as well as to the public throughout the year.

Statistics courtesy of the City of Newport Beach Fire Department/Lifeguard Operations Division.


Christmas Boat Parade Awards Dinner & Auction a huge success

The 111th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Awards Dinner & Auction held last Friday evening on January 31 at the Fashion Island Hotel was a great success with nearly 300 attendees.

Christmas Boat Parade Stapleton, Hill, Yahn

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Photos by David Kawashima

(L-R) Joe Stapleton, Rush Hill and Don Yahn, members of the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, who hosted the Boat Parade and Ring of Lights

More than 250 silent and live auction items were sold, raising money for next year’s parade and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. Awards were given to 36 winners of the Boat Parade and Ring of Lights. In addition, the memorable night filled with camaraderie featured a delicious dinner, wine and dancing.

Christmas Boat Parade awards

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Photos by David Kawashima

Plaques were awarded to Marie Case, Larry Smith, Joe Stapleton, Don Lawrenz, David Beek and Tim Shields for their service and dedication to the 2019 Boat Parade and Ring of Lights


Family fun awaits at Lido Marina Village’s Valentine’s Day Pop-Up

Valentine’s Day is typically thought of as a day to celebrate your significant other, but it is also an opportunity to have fun with the whole family and shower them all with love.

 On Saturday, Feb. 8 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Newport Beach’s Lido Marina Village invites OC residents and visitors to enjoy a Valentine’s Day Pop-Up on the Lido Deck. This sweet day by the sea will include fun events and activities for kids and families, ensuring that everyone has a great time spreading the love.

Family fun awaits Valentines girl

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Submitted photos

Alison Bernier Photography will be on-site taking complimentary photos

Schedule of Festivities:

–Alison Bernier Photography will be on-site taking photos of your sweet little Valentines with a beautiful balloon and flower-filled set styled by @beijoseevents from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. No reservations are required and you can sign up the day of the event. Sessions are free. An online gallery will be sent out the following week in time to share with loved ones on Valentine’s Day. 

Family fun awaits cookie decorating

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Get creative at the cookie decorating station

–Create and decorate: frost and sprinkle to your heart’s content at the Valentine’s Day cookie decorating station.

–Get crafty with a super cute Valentine’s Day craft for Lido’s littlest guests.

–Enjoy live music from 12- 3 p.m. with Zach Churchill.

–While supplies last, receive a mini-bouquet of flowers from French Buckets with any purchase of $150 or more at Lido Marina Village on the day of the pop-up. Just present your receipt at the French Buckets Flower Cart near the Secret Alley. Purchases must be made on February 8, 2020. To receive your flowers, the receipt must be presented to French Buckets between the hours of 12- 4 p.m. on February 8, 2020. Qualifying purchases include Lido Marina Village tenants.

Lido Marina Village is located at 3434 Via Lido, Newport Beach.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

Newport Beach A Look Back 2.4.20

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Well, these girls look beat! This wasn’t uncommon during Bal Week, when a large number of teenagers and college students would descend on the Newport area to have some fun in the sun between the 1940s and the 1960s.

Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboamuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


27th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night to benefit Share Our Selves

Share Our Selves (SOS) is excited to announce the 27th Annual Wild & Crazy Taco Night on Thursday, April 2 at SOS in Costa Mesa from 5:30-7:30 p.m. SOS is gathering more than 20 of the most awarded and recognized chefs from around Orange County alongside more than 700 foodies and philanthropists for what has become a distinct signature event consisting of unique tacos, craft beer and inventive margaritas.

As SOS is kicking off a milestone anniversary of 50 years of service, Wild & Crazy Taco Night serves as the first opportunity for the public to celebrate with the nonprofit. Over the years, OC chefs have continuously performed at their most creative for this event, as they personally compete to come up with the most unique tacos voted on by those in attendance.

27th Annual Wild chefs

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Photo by Luciano Leon

At last year’s event, the YELP People’s Choice Taco winner (as chosen by attendees) was the “Beauty and the Beast Taco” created by Chef Alessandro Pirozzi of Pirozzi Corona del Mar, which consisted of a red rose petal-infused tortilla, homemade bison sausage, spicy housemade salsa verde, and julienned yellow and pink parsley.

Each distinct taco is conceived solely for this event, allowing the discerning guests to enjoy an exclusive experience. Tickets include all-you-can-eat tacos and beverages, including DesMaDre Tequila, margaritas and beer from Salty Bear Brewing Co.

Among the participating chefs to date, the following are from Newport Beach and Corona del Mar: Richard Mead, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens;  Alessandro Pirozzi, Pirozzi Corona del Mar; Max Schlutz, Sessions West Coast Deli; Alejandra Padilla, SideDoor; and Josemaria “Chema” Velazco and Octavio Flores, SOL Cocina.

Another highlight returning this year is the pre-event VIP Party from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Participating guests will enjoy early admission, have the opportunity to connect personally with each chef, and sample each delectable taco before general admission attendees. Historically, the VIP Party has sold out every year.

Tickets: VIP Pre-Party – Early Bird price through March 12, $150; after March 12, $170. General Admission – Early Bird price through March 12, $80; after March 12, $90. To purchase tickets, visit www.shareourselves.org/events or call SOS at 949.270.2137.

All proceeds benefit the SOS Social Services, providing food, emergency financial relief, homeless support services and more to our low-income and homeless neighbors.

Share Our Selves is located at 1550 Superior Ave., Costa Mesa.


OCCF to host “Love Is” Giving Day

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, will host Love Is, a Giving Day to support healthy teen relationships in Orange County. Held during Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, Love Is aims to raise $135,000 for local organizations working to educate youth about the value of respect and the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships. The Collaborative Giving Day is the first of 2020 and the latest in a series launched by OCCF in 2018 to boost the capacity of nonprofits through collective giving. The eight Giving Days held throughout 2019 raised more than $1.6 million to benefit local organizations.

“The ‘Love Is’ Giving Day will deliver crucial support to our local nonprofits empowering teens to show respect and engage in healthy relationships,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “We proudly continue to encourage collaboration among these organizations seeking to help break cycles of abuse to improve outcomes for future generations.”

OCCF to host young couple

Submitted photo

Love Is will be a 24-hour online effort to raise critical funds for 12 nonprofits, including the Orange County Women’s Health Project, Human Options, Casa de la Familia, Find Your Anchor, LGBTQ Center OC, Women’s Transitional Living Center, Planned Parenthood of Orange & San Bernardino Counties, Inc., Laura’s House, The Priority Center, Tilly’s Life Center, OC Pride and the UC Irvine Initiative to End Family Violence.

OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural iheartoc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. OCCF nearly doubled those results in 2016, receiving contributions totaling $3.2 million for 418 participating nonprofits. In 2018, OCCF restructured iheartoc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions. In total, the Giving Days held to date have raised more than $8 million for Orange County nonprofits. 

To give online during the Love Is Giving Day, click here.

Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced over the coming year. For more information, visit www.oc-cf.org/iheartoc.


OC Fair announces latest entertainment acts, Demolition Derby new dates

The OC Fair has announced the ultimate trio of tributes headed to The Hangar during the 2020 OC Fair this summer: “Hotel California – A Salute to The Eagles” on Wednesday, July 29, “George Michael Reborn – A Tribute to WHAM! and George Michael” on Thursday, Aug. 6 and “Devotional – The Depeche Mode Experience with Technique – A Tribute to New Order” on Friday, Aug. 7. 

Tickets for these shows, which range from $17.50-$22.50, go on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 8, and are available via Ticketmaster and include admission to the 2020 OC Fair. More performances and action sports at the Fair will be announced in the coming months. 

OC Fair announces Demolition Derby

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Courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Demolition Derby comes to the Action Sports Arena in August

In addition, the popular Demolition Derby Series will be coming to the Action Sports Arena. Dates are: “Motorhome Madness” Demolition Derby on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and Friday, Aug. 7; “Orange Crush” Demolition Derby on Thursday, Aug. 6 and Sunday, Aug. 9; and “Damsels of Destruction” Demolition Derby on Saturday, Aug. 8.

The 2020 OC Fair is being held July 17-August 16 and will be open Wednesday-Sunday. The OC Fair announced in November its theme for the 2020 OC Fair, “All for Fun,” which is the first of three in a series that will celebrate the community.

For more information, visit www.ocfair.com.

Orange County Fair & Event is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.


NBFD holds CERT dinner and awards banquet

On Wednesday, Jan. 29, the Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) recognized the efforts of its Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, Ensign Teen CERT volunteers and Fire Explorers at the 12th annual State of CERT dinner and awards banquet. The event was held at OASIS Senior Center in the Evelyn Hart Events Center.

NBFD holds CERT dinner Laird and Jeff

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Photos courtesy of NBFD

(L-R) Spirit of CERT Award recipient Laird Hayes with Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles

The evening highlighted the Newport Beach CERT Program’s most recent accomplishments and its upcoming goals. CERT volunteers, Ensign Teen volunteers and Fire Explorers were recognized for their collective contributions to the NBFD and community in 2019.

The keynote speaker was Newport Beach Fire Department Life Safety Specialist and CERT Program Coordinator Matt Brisbois. He reviewed the CERT, Ensign Teen CERT and Fire Explorers programs’ accomplishments in 2019 and covered the future direction of the programs.

NBFD holds CERT dinner Matt Brisbois and awardees

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(L-R) Keynote Speaker NBFD Life Safety Specialist and CERT Program Coordinator Matt Brisbois; Ensign Intermediate Assistant Principal Jennifer Fox with the School of the Year award; Dash Farr, Fire Explorer of the Year recipient; NBFD Chief Jeff Boyles and fellow Fire Dept. personnel

The NBFD presented awards in several categories for outstanding contributions by its volunteers.

Special Recognition awards were presented to the following:

–Fire Explorer of the Year - Dash Farr

–Marilyn Broughton CERT Volunteer of the Year - Barbara Cole

–CERT Neighborhood of the Year - Lido Isle

–CERT Instructor of the Year - Fire Captain Carlos Medina

–Spirit of CERT Award - Laird Hayes

–School of the Year - Ensign Intermediate School, led by Assistant Principal Jennifer Fox

–Teen CERT Volunteers of the Year - Everett Heninger and Kate McAllister

NBFD holds CERT dinner NBFD Explorers

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Newport Beach Fire Department Explorers are recognized for their service

The NBFD thanks the 220 CERT volunteers who attended the event. In 2019, Newport Beach CERT volunteers worked more than 10,870 volunteer hours to better prepare themselves, their neighbors and the Newport Beach community for any unexpected emergency. Congratulations to all of the CERT volunteers who worked more than 100 hours in 2019.

NBFD holds CERT dinner Will O'Neill

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Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill congratulates NBFD Explorers 

If you missed the banquet this year, the 13th annual State of CERT awards banquet is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2021.

For additional information about the Newport Beach CERT Program, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.644.3112.


Johnny’s Real New York Pizza closes its doors

By AMY SENK

Nine years ago, John Younesi recreated his childhood favorite pizza place, a spot near PS 144 in Queens, bringing pizza “the way it’s s’pposta be” to Corona del Mar. This past weekend, the tiny spot at 2756 E. Coast Highway closed its doors permanently.

In a brief text message exchange, Younesi said the business had run its course. “Tough landlord,” he wrote. “Losing money. Might find another spot.”

We’ve lost a lot of businesses lately. Newport Stationers by Gelson’s is gone, and empty storefronts dot Corona del Mar’s business district. But Johnny’s was a favorite from the moment I met Younesi back in 2011.

Younesi had owned Stella’s Café in the same spot, but it closed in 2009. He considered getting out of the CdM restaurant business entirely, but in the end, he decided to open a pizza place. Back then, he told me stories of playing stick ball after school, then heading to Tony’s for a 35-cent slice of pizza and an Italian ice. He modeled the restaurant after Tony’s, with green and white tiles on the floor and Bakers Pride pizza ovens. And the tomato sauce was from family recipes, the crust was New York crunchy and not soggy.

Johnny's Real New York Pizza exterior

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Photo by Amy Senk

Johnny’s Real New York Pizza was a locals’ favorite

The business opened with a bang – by 4:30 p.m. the first day, they ran out of dough and had to close early, would-be customers informed me at the time. A year later, he opened another branch in the Bluffs Shopping Center, but that also has closed. A third location in Irvine remains open.

My family loved it. My son wrote Younesi a letter as part of a homework assignment, praising the perfect ratio of sauce to cheese. My daughter and her friend were on the Johnny’s webpage – we’d gone for a slice after Junior Guards, and Paris looks gorgeous while my kid clowned around.

I’ll miss seeing that, and I’ll miss the pizza, too. 

• • •

In other news, the Newport Beach Arts Commission last month agreed on recommendations for the Summer 2020 Concerts on the Green. The dates haven’t been chosen yet, but the commissioners agreed to the following shows: Yachty By Nature, a 70s and 80s soft rock group; Petty Breakers, a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute group; Don’t Stop Believing, a Journey tribute group; Rumours, a Fleetwood Mac tribute group; and Mark Woods’ Parrot Head Band, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band. The concerts take place on the lawn by the Newport Beach Civic Center, with food trucks to be available as in the past three years. 

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 20+ years and was publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online newspaper that ran daily for seven years. Senk, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is involved in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and the Corona del Mar High School PTA. She and her husband have two children.


Wake Up! Newport to address sea level rise on Thursday

On Thursday, Feb. 6 from 7:15-8:45 a.m., the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce presents its monthly Wake Up! Newport event at the Central Library.

The featured speaker is Dr. Brett Sanders, professor UC Irvine, addressing “Sea Level Rise and Newport.” As the sea level continues to rise, there are implications for a harbor community such as Newport Beach.

Wake Up! Newport Dr. Brett Sanders

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Brett Sanders, professor UC Irvine, will address sea level rise

Come hear what the future holds and what steps need to be taken. Dr. Sanders is an expert in computer algorithms for flood and erosion simulation, and recent research has been directed at using computer visualizations of flooding to improve flood awareness.

This is a free opportunity to meet one-on-one with legislative and government officials and stay updated on current local, state and federal issues. Breakfast treats will be provided.

This event is free to the public, but please make reservations so the Chamber can plan for food and seating. Contact Pam Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.729.4411. 

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.


Save the Date: Leadership Tomorrow alumni to mix it up at Lido House on March 5

Leadership Tomorrow (LT) alumni are invited to a mixer to relax and reconnect on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Lido House Newport Beach. This esteemed group of concerned citizens from throughout Orange County will have the opportunity to meet and mingle, in addition to hearing from the special guest speaker, Michelle Wulfestieg, executive director, Southern California Hospice Foundation (SCHF).

Save the Date Lido House

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Photo by Lana Johnson

SoCal Hospice Foundation is a nonprofit promoting awareness of palliative care options for the terminally ill since 2002, focusing on improving the quality of life for patients and families by addressing needs not met by medical insurances. Under the leadership of Wulfestieg, a two-time stroke survivor, award-winning author and speaker, SCHF has served more than 2,800 patients, families and community members. In 2021, SCHF will be launching the Heavenly Home Project, the first-of-its-kind residential care facility that will provide a loving home-like setting for those facing their final days in the OC community. 

The cost of admission is $15 which includes complimentary appetizers and a no-host bar. Valet and street parking are available.

To make your reservation online, click here.

Lido House Newport Beach is located at 3300 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach.


Pacific Symphony brings Peter and the Wolf to the Segerstrom Concert Hall stage

Enter the doors of Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall and dive into the world of Prokofiev’s educational and exciting Peter and the Wolf. Join guest conductor Maxim Eshkenazy as he leads Peter and his brave animal friends on an adventure to outsmart the Big Bad Wolf. Watch the Magic Circle Mime Co. and the colorful characters of the orchestra bring this timeless symphonic fairy tale to life.

Peter and the Wolf takes place on Saturday, Feb. 29 with shows at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. A Musical Carnival will be at each concert, encouraging children to test-drive instruments, interact with members of Pacific Symphony and participate in themed crafts. Activities start at 9 a.m. for 10 a.m. concertgoers and 12:15 p.m. for 11:30 a.m. concertgoers. Tickets start at $15.

Pacific Symphony Peter and the Wolf cast

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

The “Peter and the Wolf” cast will perform two family-friendly shows

This concert is part of the 2019-20 “Family Musical Mornings” series that consists of five 45-minute concerts designed for children ages 5-11, generously sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank.

Peter and the Wolf is Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev’s symphonic composition for children, telling the story of a young Peter and his animal companions. Prokofiev’s musical story calls for certain characters’ musical themes – such as Peter, the bird and the cat – be played by specific instruments; by doing so, Prokofiev created an easy way for children to become acquainted with the particular sounds of individual instruments within the larger symphony orchestra.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 714.755.5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


Pet of the Week Dog and Cat print

Stu News Newport is delighted to be working with the Newport Beach Animal Shelter to help get the word out in search of loving homes for pets that deserve a warm, nurturing environment and a place to call “home.”

Sergeant Little is checking in to say hello and he told us that he is looking forward to watching the Super Bowl next year in a home of his own. At just around 14 weeks of age, Sergeant Little hasn’t had the easiest kitten life but things are looking up for him now. Full of passion for all that is kitten, he loves batting toys all over the house, purring up a storm, showing affection, giving kisses and play time with his sister. He is a highly social kitten that will enjoy being the center of attention. He will do fine as an only cat, but would prefer to be adopted with his sister, or into a home that already has a young, established, playful cat. 

Pet of the Week 2.4.20

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

MEET SERGEANT LITTLE

If you are interested in finding out more about Sergeant Little, or any other animals up for adoption, the Newport Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20302 Riverside Drive, Newport Beach. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call 949.644.3656, email Valerie Schomburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information related to the shelter’s undertakings, please feel free to visit the shelter’s affiliated nonprofit’s website, www.FONBAS.org. FONBAS (humans and furries alike) looks forward to making your acquaintance. 

Also, consider becoming a founding member of an incredible nonprofit that supports the city’s efforts with providing wonderful opportunities to our stray, injured, ill and owner surrendered domestic pets.

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Dogs - $130

–Puppies - $150

–Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

To find out how you can help support the shelter, visit www.nbpd.org and click on “Our Animal Shelter” to view the wish list. The shelter can always use food and treats; new toys; grooming, hygiene and comfort products; as well as laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, sponges, scrub pads and lint rollers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out and sign the application on the website.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Helicopter crash victims still “top of mind” as community attempts to find normalcy

Fair Game Tom NewAn issue before the City Council Tuesday night was the potential approval of a contract to refinish benches on Balboa Island, all 109 of them, as needed. 

The benches on the average need refinishing every 18 months to two years. The contract was not to exceed the amount of $691,720, which was for an on-call maintenance and repair service agreement for two years.

Too much, it was decided.

Following some good discussions, the Council veered off in a different direction. They voted 6-0 (Jeff Herdman recusing himself) to reject the sole bid and instead refer the issue back to the Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission. They’ll request that PB & R look into a replacement plan with possibly some form of composite benches that would last considerably longer.

• • •

B-t-w, the Council opened Tuesday night’s meeting with a very nice remembrance of the deceased passengers on the ill-fated helicopter trip that  killed basketball legend Kobe Bryant.

Each councilperson took turns with remembrances of the nine deceased.

• • •

Well, I too think Mayor Will O’Neill is off to a good start as our new mayor, and obviously others do too, but who would think that the Mayor’s Dinner would already sell out this early? Then, I realized Michele Gile, of CBS2 and 9 fame, was the emcee. Now I get it!

I received an email from former Mayor Ed Selich who is one of the people behind this year’s 39th Annual Mayor’s Dinner. In bold red letters on the media advisory, it said that this year’s dinner is now sold out!

So, if you’ve been holding out waiting for I don’t know what, you’re now too late. The dinner is scheduled for next Thursday at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.

Congrats to Speak Up Newport for getting the word out early and the tickets and tables sold.

• • •

It’s probably too late for me to undertake a career change, but for those of you that like the water now’s the time to become a part of the Newport Beach Lifeguard team, or at least try.

Applications have been open and tryouts are Sunday, February 9.

Here’s what you need to know: first off, you have to be 16 or older on or before March 1. Next, there’s an information night tonight from 6-8 p.m. where you can get all of your questions answered and stay up to date on all of the trainings and deadlines. The workouts will be held at CdMHS pool and at the Lifeguard Headquarters.

Finally, if you make the cut, interviews will be Monday, February 10, and there will be a basic lifeguard academy in March through April.

To apply go to www.newportbeachca.gov/jobs.

• • •

Newport Beach resident and fight promoter Roy Englebrecht celebrates his Fight Club OC’s 10th Anniversary Year with another card set for Thursday, February 20 at The Hangar.

Fight fans will enjoy three boxing matches and three MMA battles. 

Tickets are now on sale at www.socalfights.com

The Hangar is located on the grounds of the OC Fair & Event Center.

• • •

John Wayne Airport is again a Community Partner for the Hoag Classic and “Official Airport” for the second consecutive year. The tournament tees off at Newport Beach Country Club on March 4-8.

John Wayne Airport will sponsor the 15th hole with the theme “Tee it High, Let it Fly.” They will bring the JWAlive music program out for a Live Music Happy Hour event after play on Friday, March 6. 

They will also host a vintage aviation-themed booth during the tournament.

Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Angel Cabrera will join this year’s field. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.hoagclassic.com.


Americans rolling at Oracle Challenger tennis tournament

Americans are alive and well in play at the Oracle Challenger Tennis Series at Newport Beach Tennis Club in men’s and women’s singles.

However, Thursday was a topsy-turvy day, as the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on the men’s side were all upset in the third round, while the top four women’s seeds all advanced through to Friday’s quarterfinals. 

Veteran Denis Istomin ousted No. 2 seed Frances Tiafoe in straight sets to start off the day, and American Mitchell Krueger outlasted top seed Taylor Fritz for a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory. No. 3 seed Miomir Kecmanovic also failed to advance, falling to Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan.

Americans rolling at Oracle Challenger tennis tournament 1

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Photo courtesy Oracle Challenger Series

Top-seeded Jessica Pegula hits winning forehand

The top-seeded women, however, had no such troubles, as No. 1 seed Jessica Pegula, No. 2 seed Taylor Townsend, No. 3 seed Christina McHale and No. 4 seed Tatijana Maria were all victorious. 

Play begins at 10 a.m. today (Friday), with plenty of intriguing quarterfinal match-ups on both the men’s and women’s sides. Pegula will take on fellow American Madison Brengle, while Townsend will face former Grand Slam semifinalist CoCo Vandeweghe. 

On the men’s side, Orange County native Steve Johnson will face No. 10 seed Bradley Klahn and former USC Trojan Raymond Sarmiento will match up against No. 13 Krueger. 

Americans rolling at Oracle Challenger tennis tournament 1

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Orange County’s own Steve Johnson

Winners move on to Saturday’s semi-finals and potentially on to the championship final on Sunday.

Notable Friday match times are Americans CoCo Vandeweghe vs. Taylor Townsend on Court 1 at 10 a.m., followed by more American women with Jessica Pegula vs. Madison Brengle in the second match.

Then, the men will get underway with Americans Bradley Klahn vs. Steve Johnson, also on Court 1.

American Christopher Eubanks and Romanian partner Marius Copil have moved into the semi-finals in Men’s Doubles. 

In Women’s Doubles, American Hayley Carter and her Brazilian partner Luisa Stefani and American Christina McHale and her Russian partner Valeria Savinykn have also both reached the semis.

For more information, go to oraclechallengerseries.com.


Audio Concepts under new ownership

Audio Concepts, expanding from Long Beach into Newport Beach, announces an ownership change after 35 years, adding modern technology services and expanding custom solutions for high-end homes in Orange County and Los Angeles.

The company is one of the largest and most trusted audio/video partners in Southern California offering world-class custom solutions for home automation, home theaters, security, Hi-Fi speakers and more. There are eight employees between the Newport Beach office and Long Beach showroom.

Audio Concepts showroom

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Submitted photo

Audio Concepts showroom

“We are excited about what we can do with over 30 years of Southern California legacy and see tremendous opportunity for growth,” said Justin Worley, Audio Concepts CEO. “Our business is poised to support the custom design and building community. We’ve met talented interior designers, architects, contractors, builders and other industry experts who are already invaluable partners.”

As full-service technology solutions providers, Audio Concepts is on the cutting edge of design and installation trends that meet customer needs and optimize the best solutions, deployed on time and on budget – all the while ensuring it performs as specified.

With a newly remodeled state-of-the-art showroom bordering Long Beach and Seal Beach on Pacific Coast Highway, the Audio Concepts team takes private appointments by request, or you can schedule an on-site visit at your home.

According to William Elson, president of American Society of Interior Designers, Orange County (ASID OC), he sees this acquisition as an opportunity to enhance technology services to the local interior design community, “Audio Concepts has been our go-to company for any and all needs we have for ASID OC. They are our first choice for our highly regarded Annual Expo in April and our very prestigious Annual Gala in September. We us them at all our functions.”

Audio Concepts is located at 895 Dove St., Ste. 300, Newport Beach. For more information, visit www.audioconceptsinc.com.


Wake Up! Newport to address sea level rise on February 6

On Thursday, Feb. 6 from 7:15-8:45 a.m., the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce presents its monthly Wake Up! Newport event at the Central Library.

The featured speaker is Dr. Brett Sanders, professor UC Irvine, addressing “Sea Level Rise and Newport.” As the sea level continues to rise, there are implications for a harbor community such as Newport Beach.

Wake Up! Newport Dr. Brett Sanders

Courtesy of Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Brett Sanders, professor UC Irvine, will address sea level rise

Come hear what the future holds and what steps need to be taken. Dr. Sanders is an expert in computer algorithms for flood and erosion simulation, and recent research has been directed at using computer visualizations of flooding to improve flood awareness.

This is a free opportunity to meet one-on-one with legislative and government officials and stay updated on current local, state and federal issues. Breakfast treats will be provided.

This event is free to the public, but please make reservations so the Chamber can plan for food and seating. Contact Pam Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.729.4411. 

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.


Flashback Friday: Answer

If you guessed Fletcher “Ted” Jones Jr., owner of the nation’s No. 1 Mercedes-Benz store, Fletcher Jones Motorcars Newport Beach, you are correct!

Send in a treasured past photo!

You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. We’ll even surprise them if you want. 

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Flashback Friday

What is he so excited about?

Flashback Friday 1.31.20

Click on photo for a larger image

Here is our Flashback Friday...harkening back to yesterday...and we hope you can guess who it is.

Clue: Whether it’s the “best or nothing,” he has put Newport Beach on the road map.

Good luck guessing this one. The answer appears today at the bottom of Stu News.

Send in a treasured past photo! You can submit yourself, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend or family member. Or one of your special friend.

We’re looking for eye-catching representations of your Flashback Friday.

Please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Flashback Friday in the subject line and include who is in the photo, when it was taken and any interesting things you can share about the pic. Let’s make Fridays a day to remember.


Friends of the Library to hold book sale

Attention, all bibliophiles! The Friends of the Library is holding another big book sale Friday, Feb. 7 and Saturday, Feb. 8 in the Newport Beach Central Library. Thousands of used books will be for sale and the proceeds will help fund library programs and services during the year.

Last year the Friends of the Library donated $296,377 to the library, most of it generated from book sales, so every book donated and every book sold supports the library.

On February 7 from 1-4p.m., the book sale is open to Friends of the Library members only. All books are three for $1.

On February 8 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., everyone is welcome. The cost is $3 a bag, and the library supplies the bags.

Future 2020 book sale dates include: June 5 and 6; October 2 and 3.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.


On the Harbor: OASIS Sailing Club, a best kept secret

By LEN BOSE

While traveling around the harbor this week, I came upon a place that gave me relief from my troubling situations. No, I am not referring to the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club bar, but rather two particular Catalina 34s sailing out of the harbor most every day of the week. I then came to learn about the Oasis Sailing Club (OSC) at www.oasissailingclub.org.

The OSC has been around for some 43 years and is a part of “Friends of OASIS,” which supports and shares in the operation of the OASIS Senior Center in conjunction with the city of Newport Beach. If you do not know about Newport Beach’s Senior Center, Google “Friends of OASIS.”

Now here is the best part: The OSC has two sailboats at the city’s Basin Marina. Members can sign up for day and evening sails and the occasional overnight sail aboard one of the two Catalina 34s.

So you might ask me what is the “ketch?” No, there are no ketches (a commonly used sailing term, for those who didn’t, um, catch the play on words). To join the OASIS Sailing Club, it’s just $50 for the monthly dues, and sailing is free. The cost of joining Friends of OASIS is $15 per year for a single membership; $25 for a couple and $300 for a lifetime membership per person. Compare that to my Harbor 20 cost of $600 a month, just for slip rent. Ask your accountant if it’s tax-deductible. 

On the Harbor OASIS VI sailboat

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Photos courtesy of OASIS Sailing Club

Sailing in the harbor on OASIS VI

While talking to my good friend Chris Hill, a skipper member of the OSC, I asked if members need to find a skipper and then form a party to go sailing. He replied, “They don’t need to form a party...we do it for them!”

The boats need a certified (by OSC) skipper and a mate (or two skippers) to sail. The sailing schedule for the following month is posted online and in person at the OSC monthly meeting. Skippers and mates sign up first, because without them the boat won’t sail. Then the calendar is made available to all OSC members who, on a first-come, first-served basis, sign up for dates they want to sail.

The skipper has the right to limit the number of crew members to six, while some take up to eight. So, when people sign up, they can see who the skipper will be and who else has signed up to sail. Some choose their sailing by date, others by friends or skippers with whom they prefer to sail. There are groups who go sailing together on a regular basis, bringing food and libations to share and enjoy.

I then asked Hill about some of the other social events the club schedules each year. He mentioned the summer picnic, Oktoberfest, Christmas party, St. Patrick’s Day Party and Opening Day.

I wondered if the OSC offered any seamanship lessons. “We’re not a sailing school and often refer members who have no sailing experience to OCC for initial training,” Hill said. “For those who have some sailing experience, we have a mate candidates training program, where they can enhance their sailing and seamanship skills to eventually become an OSC mate, and in some cases, a skipper. The club has members who came from being new members who knew nothing about sailing, to becoming mates and skippers.

“We also offer seamanship training sessions on anchoring, boat systems, docking/undocking, man overboard and maneuvers, such as heaving and figure 8s. Of course, most of the skippers are very happy to share their knowledge, so informal education happens all the time.”

On the Harbor people with sailboats

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OASIS sailboats back in their moorings after a day on the water

Another challenge I noticed while reading the OSC website, was the “Eva Challenge Series” where an OSC member takes one of the club boats out and around the oil platform “Eva,” then back to the harbor entrance. The record stands at three hours and 34 minutes, but I would have to think with the 2007 Catalina 34 added to the fleet this record will fall soon.

I asked if the OSC would fill up and limit its membership. At this point, that has not been a concern. I also should point out that any member of Friends of OASIS and the OSC can sign up for a sail. You do not have to know how to sail, you just need to want to be on the water.

This deal ranks up there with the Newport Aquatic Center and the Balboa Angling Club as being one of our harbor’s best kept secrets. I can’t think of a better way than spending an afternoon sailing around in the ocean with your friends, and it would be safe to assume the club will be more than willing to have volunteers come down and help with the maintenance on the boats.

Another thing for our local yacht clubs to consider is giving reciprocal privileges to the OSC members, and for some of our local marine industry members to show this group some love. 

Sea ya!

~~~~~~~~

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


NMUSD names new purchasing and warehouse director

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) welcomes Jonathan Geiszler as the director of purchasing and warehouse. Geiszler has nearly 20 years of experience in procurement, most recently serving as the director of purchasing and stores for Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD). 

Before becoming director in 2011, Geiszler served SAUSD as a purchasing manager, where he managed all daily operations of the purchasing department. As the director, he was responsible for the operations of the purchasing and transportation departments. He also managed the district’s bid, request for proposals, request for qualifications and independent contractor agreements. 

While at SAUSD, Geiszler was instrumental in planning and streamlining the district’s purchasing model for warehouse and non-warehouse items. He also developed processes for maximizing cost savings while providing the best products for the district. Training staff on purchasing practices, policies and procedures to better collaborate with multiple departments and school sites was also one of his responsibilities. In addition, he hosted quarterly business seminars for potential vendors to increase the pool of district suppliers.

At NMUSD, Geiszler will oversee the purchasing and warehouse departments, including guiding the district’s contracting process and procedures as well as the internal operations of the departments. 

Geiszler is expected to begin his role at NMUSD on February 10 and will be formally introduced at a future Board of Education meeting.


NB Lifeguards Information Night is tonight

Become a part of the Newport Beach Lifeguard team! The City of Newport Beach Lifeguard Division is seeking Seasonal Ocean Lifeguards to have a rewarding and epic summer. NB Lifeguards will be hosting trainings and workouts in order to prepare for tryouts on Sunday, Feb. 9. 

NB Lifeguards tryouts

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Lifeguards

NB Lifeguard candidates line up for tryouts 

Tonight, Friday, Jan. 31, the NB Lifeguards are holding Information Night from 6-8 p.m. at the Benjamin M. Carlson Lifeguard Headquarters, 70 Newport Pier, Newport Beach. Come get your questions answered and stay up-to-date on all trainings and deadlines. Applications are due by Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. To be eligible, applicants must be 16 years old on or before March 1, 2020. No prior lifeguard experience is required.

NB Lifeguards will be conducting interviews on Monday, Feb. 10. The Basic Lifeguard Academy will be held March through April.

Qualifying applicants will be invited to the February 9 tryout. No wetsuits are allowed, but goggles are optional. The tryout consists of a 1000-meter ocean swim and a 1000-meter run-swim-run. Top finishers will be invited to an interview.

To reserve your spot for Information Night and for more information, click here.


Take Five: Meet Annette Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County

By AMY SENK

City of Hope patients from Newport Beach can spend hours commuting to the Duarte campus, about 50 miles and a couple of freeways away from home. But a brand-new facility opened recently at 1601 Avocado Ave., the first phase of City of Hope’s billion-dollar plans to create an Orange County regional cancer care network with an Irvine center to open next year. I caught up with Annette Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County, to find out more. 

Take Five Meet Annette Walker

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Courtesy of City of Hope

Annette Walker, president of City of Hope Orange County

Q: The Newport Beach facility is part of a $1 billion effort to create an Orange County regional cancer care network that will include an Irvine center next year as well. Why is it important to expand services to this area?

A: City of Hope is expanding services beyond the traditional boundaries of a bench-to-bedside comprehensive cancer center and bringing the latest in therapies to Orange County residents. Nearly 20 percent of patients with a cancer diagnosis currently leave the area for treatment. Many of these patients head to City of Hope, making an up to two-hour trip to our main campus in Duarte. This can be a very stressful situation for patients and families and may even impede the healing process. By being here in Orange County, we bring tomorrow’s life-saving services to people who need them today.

Q: What services will Orange County patients be able to access in Newport Beach, and will they still need to visit the Duarte campus? Will all types of cancers be included in treatment options at the Newport Beach facility?

A: The Newport Beach location offers many services for different types of cancer – both rare and common. Although some patients will still need to travel to Duarte for services, we are excited to bring our world-class cancer care closer to home. For example, we have an innovative precision prevention and early detection program that helps inform individuals and families of their risk factors. Patients receive a road map to assist them in improving their health and decreasing their risk of cancer. For those undergoing cancer treatment, the center has an infusion center, supportive care, and extensive family and patient education. Most importantly, patients have access to a team of City of Hope physicians who practice in Duarte and Newport Beach, many of whom have specialized expertise not previously available in the area. 

Q: As president of City of Hope Orange County, what’s a typical day like for you?

A: I’m busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I believe it is my calling to do this work. I’m leading a team that is bringing a new era of cancer care to the place that’s been my family’s home for 40 years. In addition to planning the expansive network of care and cancer campus in Irvine, I spend significant time developing partnerships. No one is going to beat cancer alone, so developing collaborations – with physicians, researchers, communities, businesses, and gratefully patients and donors – is essential for this incredible initiative. I’m so grateful that the reception we’ve received since announcing our expansion into Orange County has been overwhelmingly positive. People want to be part of this extraordinary effort to treat and eventually eliminate cancer.

Q: Hearing a cancer diagnosis can be devastating – what advice do you have for people who are just starting their treatment?

A: Our doctors always say that with cancer your best shot should be your first shot. In other words, the sooner you receive expert care, the better. The doctors and scientists at City of Hope are among the best in their fields and have a long history of developing breakthroughs for cancer. Four of the world’s most-used cancer drugs were developed at City of Hope. Our incredible doctors translate the latest laboratory discoveries into treatments for our patients, so they are getting the benefit of the best in lifesaving medicine.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received from Newport Beach patients and their families about this new location?

A: Every day I hear the story of someone who is personally or caring for a loved one who is battling cancer. One in three Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis, so the need for having the very best in treatment closer to home is real. People are grateful that we are coming to Orange County, and excited that our experts will be more accessible. We’ve been called to this place and it’s gratifying that with community support we are opening our doors here.

~~~~~~~~

Amy Senk is a longtime resident of Corona del Mar and a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Sage Hill presents 3rd annual GEMfest

On Saturday, Feb. 29 from 9 a.m.-2 p.m., middle school girls in grades 6, 7 and 8 are invited to attend Sage Hill School’s third annual GEMfest event – a celebratory conference that aims to inspire young girls to “leap into their passions” and educate them (and their parents) about empowerment, self-esteem and independence.

The day features a series of conversations with this year’s special guests and keynote speakers, and various interactive workshops that attendees can choose from. The event will also include an all-new Marketplace area featuring local businesses and nonprofit organizations that attendees can visit and shop at, as well as sit down for lunch with approachable high school mentors. 

This year, GEMfest welcomes three inspirational women to join its lineup of featured guests, including entrepreneurs like Sophia Amoruso, founder of Girlboss Media and Nasty Gal Clothing, and Gorjana Reidel, founder of gorjana Jewelry. Additionally, Kellee Kim, a contestant on CBS’s Survivor season 39 and advocate for empowerment will be delivering this year’s keynote speech to close the event. Featured workshops, which attendees will have an opportunity to sign up for in advance upon registering, are planned to include topics such as self-defense, careers in science, public speaking, goal setting, coding and an introduction to bullet journaling.

Sage Hill presents GEMfest girls with confetti

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Photos courtesy of Sage Hill School

“GEMfest is an event that is put on by one of our Service Learning groups – a program in which Sage Hill students identify a need in the local or global community and create their own project, or, further the work of an existing organization,” said Torrey Olins, director of Communications and Marketing for Sage Hill. This particular group – Girls Empowerment Movement (GEM) – is comprised of seven high school seniors and seven juniors who plan and organize this event on their own, thanks to support and guidance offered by local professionals in the event planning, marketing and PR sectors. “The current GEM team also includes three male allies, who joined this group to learn more about how they can best support their female peers and the women in their lives,” Olins shared.

According to Ezugo Ononye, a senior at Sage Hill who has been part of the GEM team the past two years, “All three of us guys on the GEM team have sisters and mothers who inspire us. We want to do our part to ensure that all women feel supported and empowered to live their best lives, and helping to put on GEMfest is an incredible opportunity to help younger girls get the tools they need to realize their dreams for the future.” Ononye, who will be attending Cornell University next September, credits his experience with GEMfest for helping him gain skills such as project management, web design and networking. 

The event kicks off with an opening session on intention setting with two fireside chats with Reidel and Amoruso. Immediately following, attendees will have an opportunity to explore the Marketplace where they can shop and mingle with local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Sage Hill presents GEMfest girls with balloons

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During the next portion of the event, attendees will partake in a hands-on workshop (which are selected prior to the event upon registering) while parents and chaperones are invited to attend a special session led by experts on how to help students thrive physically, emotionally and academically during this period of their lives. During a lunch break, students will be able to converse with high school mentors just before the final afternoon session begins. This portion of GEMfest will feature a dance performance and message from keynote speaker, Kim. To conclude the event, the GEM team will share an inspirational message with attendees, encouraging them to live authentically and be the best versions of themselves.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online at www.gemfestoc.com. Space is limited, and two ticket options are available upon registration, including: $17 tickets for students and $27 tickets for parents, available online.

Each student attendee will receive a swag bag filled with giveaways from participating sponsors including Tilly’s, B. Candy, Gloss Moderne, Gorjana Jewelry, Urban Decay Cosmetics and Hu Kitchen. Parents and chaperones will also be given a gift bag with their own set of exclusive items.

Sage Hill School is located at 20402 Newport Coast Dr., Newport Coast.


Segerstrom Center Family Series continues with the production of Beep

Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ 2019–2020 Family Series continues with Beep on March 14 and 15 in Samueli Theater. From Australia’s renowned Windmill Theatre Company comes a slightly sideways tale about unexpected friendship, finding where you fit and learning to mix it up a little with Beep: “the most endearing robot of them all” (the Adelaide Review). With Windmill’s trademark design, gentle storytelling, music and puppetry, Beep tells the story of what happens when someone new comes to town.

Segerstrom Center Family Series Beep

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Photo by Luke Cardew

Courtesy of scfta.org

“Beep,” a special puppet robot, will delight audiences of all ages

Friendship is a breeze with the Beep pre-show activities. Create your own puppet robot friend and test out your building skills with the Rigamajig playground. Learn all about wind power and take home your very own pinwheel to share with a friend. Make sure to charge up and join an hour of fun before showtime.

Tickets to Beep are $20 and are available online at www.scfta.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Dr. in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. Group discounts for groups of 10 or more are available at 714.755.0236.

The Saturday’s March 14 performance at 10 a.m. will be Sensory Friendly/Relaxed. The Sensory Friendly/Relaxed performance is designed specifically for audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed sensory experience and casual environment, including (but not limited to) patrons on the autism spectrum, patrons with sensory sensitivities, or patrons with learning disabilities to enjoy with their families The Center offers many services for patrons with disabilities including removable wheelchair locations, binoculars and assistive listening devices. To learn more, visit www.scfta.org/accessibilityinformation.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa.


Sherman Gardens’ Lunch & Lecture series presents program on Nature Rx 

On select Fridays of every month, Sherman Gardens, in partnership with Cafe Jardin, features a horticulture speaker combined with a delicious lunch...the perfect way to end the week. The presenting sponsor is South Coast Plaza.

On Friday, Feb.14, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Sherman Gardens proudly features Dr. Donald A. Rakow, who will speak on “Nature RX: Improving College-Student Mental Health.”

Life today is full of stressors, and this is especially true for college and university students. To improve students’ mental and physical well-being, Rakow, an associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell, recommends a prescription of fresh air.

Sherman Gardens Donald Rakow

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Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Dr. Donald Rakow, assistant professor Cornell University

In a book coauthored with Gregory T. Eells, Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental Health (Cornell University Press, 2019), Rakow argues that campus programs encouraging students to spend more time outdoors can reduce the stress and anxiety of academic, social and relationship pressures, particularly for those also dealing with mental health issues, trauma, or substance abuse. In this Lunch & Lecture Series, Rakow will discuss the value of Nature Rx programs and present a step-by-step formula for constructing and sustaining them on college campuses.

Reservations are required. Cost for Advanced Reservations: Friends Lunch & Lecture - $30; Non-Member Lunch & Lecture - $40; Friends Lecture Only - Free (RSVPs are appreciated); Non-Member Lecture Only - $5. Lunch will be served during the lecture. Day of Walk-Ins

For more information, including reservations, click here.

Save the date for these future 2020 Lunch & Lecture speakers:

–March 13: Ron Yeo, creator of Jungle Junk Critters

–April 10: Lauri Kranz, Edible Gardens LA

–May 15: Dustin Gimbel, creator of “Sculptura Botanica”

–June 12: Teresa Sabankaya, author of The Posy Book

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. For more information, visit www.thesherman.org.


Sure they sell houses, but now they sell yachts, too

Engel & Völkers, known locally as a residential real estate firm, has announced the launch of its first yachting shop in the Americas.

Paul Benson, license partner of more than 27 Engel & Völkers real estate shops in Utah, California and Nevada, will oversee the newly established yachting business in Newport Beach which comes as the result of a partnership with Walter Johnson and Leeann Iacino of Walter Johnson Yachts. 

Johnson, an accomplished sailor with more than 30 years of industry experience, will serve as president and continue to lead day-to-day operations of the business, focusing on client service, talent attraction sales and growth. Iacino, with a professional background in both real estate service and yachting, will serve as chief operating officer with a focus on marketing and operational support for the Newport Beach location.

Sure they sell houses Iacino and Johnson

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Photos courtesy of Engel & Völkers

Leeann Iacino and Walter Johnson

“This is a tremendous milestone for our growth in the Americas,” says Anthony Hitt, president and CEO, Engel & Völkers Americas. “We’ve seen the value for our clientele by offering both luxury real estate and yachting services, which very much complement one another. This also opens exciting new referral opportunities for our global real estate network and strengthens the portfolio of offerings to our clients in the Americas and abroad.”

Engel & Völkers Yachting has been a leader in servicing the Mediterranean since 2007 and provides comprehensive services related to buying, selling and chartering yachts, including slips and moorings, yacht management, servicing, shipping and owner experience. In 2018, Engel & Völkers Yachting successfully brokered the luxury yacht Regina featured in the James Bond film Skyfall.

Currently operating out of the Engel & Völkers Newport Beach real estate shop, this Engel & Völkers Yachting location boasts eight advisors, with plans for expansion in the near future. This shop is the newest addition to the brand’s existing locations in the yachting hubs of Monaco and Antibes in the South of France.

“There was no yachting brand in the Americas with the reputation and ability to service both new and resale boats at all levels, which presented a huge untapped market opportunity for Engel & Völkers,” says Benson. “Yachting has traditionally been an insular, niche community, on a global scale. Engel & Völkers’ brand recognition and esteemed heritage opens up this new opportunity to our clients in the closely adjacent luxury real estate market with the added value we bring as a known quantity with a reputation for attention to detail and the highest level of service.”

Sure they sell houses E&V Yachting

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Johnson remains a competitive sailor in addition to his business role, which fuels his passion for yachting, and Iacino, a real estate professional for the last 30 years, has seen the fluidity between the yachting and real estate industry garner strong referrals and strengthen business offerings.

“We believe wholeheartedly that yachting is a people-first business,” says Johnson. “We’re not just selling boats; we’re helping our clients to achieve their dreams and create memories that will last a lifetime. It was Engel & Völkers’ like-minded business ethos that initially drew us to the brand, and we feel the time is right to introduce a fresh approach to modern yachting to the market in Newport Beach. It’s not about waiting and hoping for clients to find you; it’s about being proactive and understanding what a client is looking for, before they have to ask. The power of the Engel & Völkers global network, the tools and resources they provide, and the familiarity of a brand name known for luxury will help us meet this need in the market and take our business to the next level.”


Vigil for Alyssa Altobelli lights up the night

By LANA JOHNSON

Hundreds gathered, our community united...to pay tribute to Alyssa Altobelli, a 14-year-old young woman who loved her family, friends, basketball and her teammates immeasurably. Her life cut far too short in Sunday morning’s helicopter crash in Calabasas, that also took the lives of eight others, including her father, Orange Coast College baseball coach John and her mom, Keri.

Vigil for Alyssa Alyssa Mamba 5 1.31

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Alyssa Altobelli, No. 5 on the Mamba Team

Last night, beginning at 5 p.m. on the grass near the baseball field at Mariners Park, Alyssa’s life was celebrated as we wore green and yellow, representing her love for the Oregon Ducks. There were jerseys emblazoned with the No. 5, Alyssa’s court number for both her Mamba and Ensign Intermediate School basketball teams; “Live like Alyssa” green T-shirts with yellow lettering; and memorial tables overflowing with treasured photos, balloons, personal written messages, plush toys and bouquets. Handheld candles were lit from one another throughout the crowd.

Vigil for Alyssa BFFs around 5

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Alyssa’s BFFs gather to share their love

What touched me so deeply, was the joy of seeing youth sharing their memories with one another – hugging, chatting and although somber, uplifting one another with energetic laughter, as well.

BFFs shared Alyssa’s poem, “Where I Am From,” as well as personal memories – she always had a big smile and an infectious laugh...devoted to basketball and her teammates (thought about turning her room into a basketball court)...an avid animal lover.

Vigil for Alyssa lantern

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Lighting a lantern for Alyssa

As the sun was setting, nine lanterns were lit and soared above to pay tribute to the lives we lost on January 26.

Ron Stewart’s “Forever Young” played over the loud speaker.


Altobelli Family Support Funds

Organizer – Paul Toboni

$239,819 raised of $500,000 goal

Donate Here

Most devastating to the Boston Red Sox family, John, Keri and Alyssa Altobelli were the father, stepmother and younger sister of one of their scouts, J.J Altobelli.

As J.J. and his sister Lexi cope with the immense sadness stemming from the accident, the Red Sox want to rally to raise money for them. Ensuring that they don’t have to worry about financial insecurity moving forward is the least we can do.

The Red Sox and its Foundation will be providing financial and emotional support. These funds will help J.J. and Lexi as they are faced with funeral costs, Lexi’s future education, as well as other general living costs.

Organizer – Jeff Piaskowski and Others

$109,364 raised of $114,000 goal

Donate Here

An Orange Coast College “Pirate Forever” team fundraiser to help raise money for the Altobellis’ surviving son and daughter to help finish high school, go to college and plan their life to create their own family one day. 

Organizer – Orange Coast College Foundation

Donate Here

An Orange Coast College Foundation fundraiser to help cover costs.

Christina Mauser Family Support Funds

Organizer – Jose De La Jara and Others

$249,265 raised of $250,000 goal

Donate Here

Christina Mauser was a passenger on that fateful flight. She leaves behind her husband Matt and their three children – two elementary school aged and one toddler. She was a loving mother and wife, the girls’ basketball coach at Harbor Day School and worked with Kobe for the Mamba Team. 

All proceeds are going to the Mauser Family. 

Organizer – Doug Garn

$41,084 raised of $100 goal

Donate Here

This fundraiser hopes to alleviate some of the stress that the Mauser family now faces and allow them to mourn and process such a loss without as heavy of a financial burden. 

Requesting support to aid with funeral costs as well as financial support for Matt and his three children.

Thank you for your contributions.

Mambaonthree.org

Donate Here

The MambaOnThree Fund was created to honor Team Mamba’s mantra, “Mamba on Three.” It’s with that customary chant for togetherness, sisterhood and the ability to take on every challenge that this Fund was named.

The MambaOnThree Fund exists to honor and support loved ones of the seven other victims involved in the tragedy that occurred on January 26, 2020.

All donations to the Fund will be directed to their families.

(Donation amounts were up-to-date as of 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.)


Online giving after tragedies – donors beware

By Doug Bennett, Executive Director

Orange Coast College Foundation

With the recent Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, several GoFundMe campaigns and other online efforts to support the families of the victims have been started. Our immediate instinct is to want to help and intuitively we know that when grief is overwhelming, sometimes immediate financial assistance can be helpful.

Recently, there have been many reports of tricksters and impostors initiating campaigns. How can a donor know if a campaign is legitimate? My suggestions are:

–Carefully read the narrative posted on the appeal. If it sounds insincere and doesn’t offer enough information to make you comfortable, be cautious.

–GoFundMe campaigns have a contact email; don’t hesitate to email them and ask for verification of their status.

–If there is a phone number attached to the plea, call them if you are not sure.

–GoFundMe and other portals will sometimes shut down the creation of new funds immediately after mass shootings and other incidents to verify the validity of the funds being established.

–If you have a contact within the family or their support network and you are concerned about the validity of the campaign, try and call or email the organizers.

GoFundMe will also label if there is an option to email the organizer. Questions to ask include: How much/what percentage of the funds are going directly to the cause? Depending on how the giving portal is managed, it is anywhere from 0-20 percent that can be taken off the gift total for administrative fees. Ask the organizer if they are taking a cut of the donations above the processing fee. Try and find out what the fees are. If they don’t respond, don’t give. If you have the family’s address, you can also consider mailing them a check directly by snail mail.


Balboa Island golden hour 

Balboa Island drone

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Photo by Emily Kaszton (Instagram @thedroneangel)

The sun shines over our beautiful city, ending another wonderful day