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Take Five: Meet Suzanne Joe Kai, Newport Beach filmmaker and part of NBFF

By AMY SENK

The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) is around the corner – October 21-28, and I know one film that is on my must-see list: Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres. I’m a longtime admirer of Fong-Torres, and I was thrilled to learn the filmmaker is Newport Beach resident Suzanne Joe Kai, an Emmy-nominated broadcast journalist who studied documentary film at Stanford University and was featured in an earlier NB Film Festival with her short, The Last Line, about Star Wars fans. Her new film already is getting rave reviews, and I was lucky to be able to catch up with Kai to learn more. 

Take Five Meet Suzanne Joe Kai

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Photos courtesy of Suzanne Joe Kai

Suzanne Joe Kai

Q: How did Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres come to life?

A: Ben and I knew each other as professional colleagues. He at Rolling Stone magazine, and I was a young staff television news reporter at KRON TV, which was the NBC television affiliate in San Francisco. We were all very young. I was one of the first three Asian American faces as broadcast journalists on-camera at a major network television affiliate in San Francisco; I was probably 21 or 22 when I became a staff reporter. The two others were Christopher Chow at KPIX TV (CBS) and David Louie at KGO TV (ABC). In fact, David is still broadcasting at KGO today. But Ben was at Rolling Stone magazine and in radio as well as television years before all of us. Fast forward, Ben contacts me that he is flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles to meet with “Q” and would I be able to meet after that. Of course, I said yes. So over dinner, I just simply wondered out loud, “You appear in rock and roll documentaries, but there’s no documentary about you?” Ben, I remember simply said, “Then why not do one?” So that was it. By the way, “Q” turned out to be Quincy Jones. I had just finished The Last Line, a fun short 28-minute award-winning documentary film about the inside world of Star Wars fans and it did great at festivals in the U.S. and Europe. In fact, it premiered at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Another festival surprised me by inviting Storm Troopers to march in the streets of London to welcome my film. 

Q: What were the biggest challenges and surprises in making the film?

A: Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres is my first feature-length documentary film. I didn’t realize there can be such a huge difference between making a short, 28-minute film and a feature length documentary film. The surprises were many. I originally approached it as a fun and entertaining rock-and-roll film centered around Ben’s life story, and it still is – but when I started to do the original source interviews, every single interview I did was a revelation. Then I realized Ben’s true story is very profound. I interviewed insiders at Rolling Stone magazine, rock stars, the music industry, community members and his family. I blocked myself from reading or seeing any films related to Ben or Rolling Stone magazine until after I finished my first phase of research. Then I started to look at what was already out in the public. To my surprise, most of what I filmed with the insider sources was not in any books or films. Challenges – that would make a list too long. The lucky thing is that early on, our film won documentary fellowships, like Film Independent’s Documentary Lab, NALIP.org’s Producer’s Lab, and the Producers Guild of America’s Power of Diversity Workshop, which is a multi-week intensive mentorship. I met amazing filmmakers who would become my advisers and executive producers for our film, so I am very lucky that our film has people with years of experience to help me guide our film to the finishing line.

Q: Why was this an important story to be told, and what do you want the audience to take away from this film?

A: I made this documentary about Ben Fong-Torres to correct an omission in our American history. I did a deep dive researching and filming more than 120 shoots over 12 years to find Ben’s extraordinary story. It’s a fun and entertaining film, but it became a bigger mission. Not only was Ben the first editor in charge of music coverage at Rolling Stone magazine, helping to shape American culture, he also broke the color barrier as America’s first editor at a national magazine of Chinese American descent. Ben’s true story has been lost for 50-plus years. This shocking lapse affects a lot – including our American, California, San Francisco, music, journalism, cultural and ethnic histories. It affects current and future generations, in a world of too few inspiring role models. Ben’s life directly intersects with the youth revolution of the ‘60s and its ideals of free speech, civil rights and its quest for truth and honesty. Now, more than 50 years later, we find ourselves still facing the same challenges today. There are many elements in the film that we can learn from Ben’s story that can positively affect people from all backgrounds. Plus, Ben shatters all of those negative Asian American caricatures and stereotypes that have been projected by mainstream media and Hollywood for years. His American story is one of very few about a central subject who is Asian American in a feature length documentary film with the potential to attract a wide general audience. With signs of change for more diversity, equality and inclusion in our world, I hope my documentary will entertain – and in entertaining – as well as educate audiences from all backgrounds to Ben Fong-Torres, whose real-life story can inspire us as human beings and help foster positive change to bring people together.

Take Five Meet Suzanne Tribeca

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Suzanne Joe Kai’s documentary world premieres at the 2020-21 Tribeca Film Festival 

Q: What was it like premiering at the Tribeca Film Festival?

A: The in-person screen at Tribeca was huge – multi-stories high. It took a lot of hard work with our film team to make our deadlines and there we were. We made it…staring at this huge screen. All I cared about was that there would not be any tech glitches with the screening. And Ben had invited a lot of his colleagues from his early years at Rolling Stone, so I wanted their feedback. It was supposed to rain that day, but luckily the whole film screened pitch perfect with no rain, and just as the credits started there began a sprinkling of rain. That was just as I was thinking of the people I missed who couldn’t be at our screening, including my documentary professor at Stanford, who had passed away and has been a guiding light throughout my adult life. Then just as the rain sprinkles started, they stopped. So, I wondered if that was a wink from the heavens, saying, “We are here with you.” The amazing thing is the reaction to the film. Ben’s more than 20 Rolling Stone colleagues who saw the film said I portrayed Ben accurately. Another said I nailed it. Press reviews and mentions, as well as audience comments have been positive.

Q: What advice would you give an aspiring filmmaker?

A: To just go out and make films. Short ones, long ones. Cell phones are becoming more sophisticated, in fact, one of the major scenes has footage from my cell phone. It’s sometimes when our professional film crew has packed up already, that the people we came to interview continue and really have fun, so luckily those precious moments were captured on my cell phone.

Editor’s note: “Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres” will be screened at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22. For more information and complete film schedules, visit www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.

~~~~~~~~

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


Newport Harbor nights

Newport Harbor drone

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

Wowed again by seeing another sunset over Newport Beach


Hoag welcomes renowned cardiac surgeon Timothy Lee, M.D., M.S.

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian announced that specialty trained and highly skilled cardiothoracic surgeon Timothy Lee, M.D., M.S. joined the Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag on October 4. 

 Having built a practice around personalized cardiac care in San Francisco, Dr. Lee comes to Hoag with extensive experience in minimally invasive surgeries, all arterial coronary artery bypass surgeries, the repair and replacement of heart valves and clinical trial research. He is double-board certified in surgery and thoracic surgery.

Hoag welcomes Lee

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Courtesy of Hoag

Timothy Lee, M.D., M.S.

Dr. Lee graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University before earning his master’s degree in clinical and translational research and his medical degree from the University of Michigan. He performed his internship and residency at New York University School of Medicine, where he received cardiothoracic surgery fellowship training and served as chief fellow and administrative chief. His research has been published in many peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Lee joins renowned cardiac surgeons Anthony Caffarelli, M.D., F.A.C.C., Newkirk Family Endowed Chair in Aortic Care, director of Hoag Cardiothoracic Surgery and the Elaine & Robert Matranga Aortic Center and Asad Shah, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.A.C.S., co-director of Hoag Cardiothoracic Surgery at Newport Cardiac & Thoracic Surgery. Hoag officials said Dr. Lee’s patient-centric approach to care make him the right fit for the team.

“Dr. Lee possesses the intellect, drive, compassion and expertise that patients have come to expect with Hoag’s cardiac care,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, president and CEO of Hoag. “We believe he will be an asset to our patients and to our community, and we are excited for Dr. Lee to join the Hoag team.”

The San Francisco native said he is looking forward to working with an institution that is recognized as one of the top cardiovascular hospitals in the nation.

“Hoag’s reputation for innovation makes it one of the premier places to work as a cardiothoracic surgeon,” Dr. Lee said. “I’m looking forward to joining this cutting-edge team.”

The Jeffrey M. Carlton Heart & Vascular Institute at Hoag is one of the preeminent cardiovascular centers on the West Coast, and is well respected for delivering quality care and exceptional patient outcomes in the areas of valve disease, vascular disease and cardiac arrhythmia. It has achieved international and national accreditation for many of its programs. Visit www.hoag.org for more information.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Local group announces major fundraising strides toward assuming sole jurisdiction of our Harbor

Tom new picSome 175 community leaders, harbor residents and elected officials gathered at the Balboa Bay Resort yesterday for a kickoff luncheon acknowledging the fundraising success of the Newport Harbor Foundation (NHF). The NHF announced that they’ve raised more than $275,000 to support an effort to have the Newport Beach Police, Fire and Harbormaster assume sole jurisdiction over controlling our harbor.

What made the $275,000 announcement even more exciting was the fact that an anonymous donor gave a matching gift, immediately making it $550,000.

Former Newport Beach Mayor and current City Councilmember Marshall “Duffy” Duffield was also recognized at the luncheon for his longtime service to the community and in particular to the harbor. The timing, coincidentally, celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Duffy Electric Boat.

“Today, I was touched by the community’s outpouring of financial support for my family business and Newport Harbor – the heart of our city. Now the hard work of ‘Taking Back Our Harbor’ begins,” said Councilmember Duffield.

Duffy built his first electric boat as a 16 year old growing up on Newport Harbor. Then, over the next half-century, Duffy followed up building and delivering 30,000 Duffy Boats throughout the world. 

So, what’s ahead for the NHF? In 2019, a group of concerned Newport Harbor residents organized, recognizing “decades of benign-neglect of the harbor and the need to begin creating our own Harbor Public Safety Department. The Foundation plans to purchase a fire boat and four patrol boats to jump start the effort. This is the first step to “Taking Back Our Harbor.” 

Why do it?

Duffy said, “We want to make our harbor healthier, cleaner and to get the public educated on what makes this harbor so special.”

The harbor is one of Orange County’s most popular tourist destinations. It is a thriving economy that is home to more than 1,000 businesses that employ nearly 10,000 workers. Charter cruises, ferry services, shipyards, fueling facilities, sailing, fishing, as well as retail stores and hotels combine to generate $1 billion in annual economic activity. 

Improving the harbor’s ecosystem will be one of NHF’s primary missions. According to a press release from the Newport Harbor Foundation, “Without constant dredging and proper management, our harbor will deteriorate over time. Working with the city, the Newport Harbor Foundation will provide the resources to improve our treasured asset for future generations.”

NHF Chairman Dennis Durgan, who is also a former harbormaster, pointed out that the harbor is made up of 25 miles of shoreline, home to 9,900 boats and 1,200 mooring, yet Newport Beach rests in the second position of control to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

That’s all expected to reverse once the fire and police boats are purchased and the start-up funding of some $2.5 million is attained.

To find out more and make this dream of many become the reality, go to https://NewportHarborFoundation.org.

As a post-script to the luncheon, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon did a nice job handling the emcee chores, while Durgan offered up his comments on the NHF efforts, Mayor Brad Avery “properly” introduced “Duffy,” while City Councilmember Will O’Neill presented “Duffy” with recognition for his long-time service.

Then, the audience was entertained by “Duffy” with the stories of his years on the water and the creation of his company.

And, just for good measure, the original Duffy Boat (1967) was on display at the entrance to the luncheon.

• • •

In 2003, the City of Newport Beach adopted the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines’ combat unit out of Camp Pendleton. What did that mean? Well, when these young men and women were away fighting for and protecting our freedoms, we were assisting their families back home here with emergency needs and social programs.

In order to continue this effort, the Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation was established to allow additional assistance through ongoing fundraising efforts. The mission was simple, “to provide charitable assistance and relief for the 1/1 Battalion and their family members who became injured, ill, distressed or some other way came to need assistance.”

Recently however, the Foundation was called upon to shift gears and to now handle the receipt and distribution of donations for the 2/1 Marines. These monies are for the families recently devastated by the August 26 terrorist attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan. I’ve added the photo below to remind you of that fateful event.

The Foundation is now seeking the community’s assistance in ongoing efforts and would like to direct everyone to www.oneonemarines.com to learn more and perhaps make a donation to the 2/1 Marines.

Fair Game caskets in airplane well 10.15

Courtesy of the U.S. Marine Corps and

Jason Minto, U.S. Air Force

A solemn time as the fallen begin their final ride home

• • •

Changes are afoot at the Orange County Fairgrounds. One of their more prominent users over the years has been the Crossroads of the West Gun Show that has regularly hosted events dating back to 1995.

No more.

Effective January 1, 2022, the fairgrounds will no longer allow gun shows courtesy of SB 264, introduced by Sen. Dave Min (D-Irvine) and signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom.


Council contemplates rebuilding Newport Pier, rehabilitating McFadden Plaza, surrounding area

By SARA HALL

A discussion this week posed the idea of rebuilding the aging Newport Pier and, as part of a larger master plan idea, possibly adding some resident- and visitor-serving amenities and improving the nearby area.

City Council held a study session Tuesday, Oct. 12 on the potential rehabilitation of Newport Pier, McFadden Plaza and the ocean front parking lot.

Councilmember Diane Dixon, whose district covers the Balboa Peninsula, suggested studying it holistically, in a master plan-type structure, forming a committee to study the project further as well as starting to explore possible options. They should look at other piers to see how they were built and then draw in visitors with the surrounding area, she added. 

They want to preserve and protect the cultural and historical aspect of the pier, Dixon said, but that doesn’t mean they have to replicate the old design, she said. Residents can get creative in what they want to see down there.

“Get the community to envision what this area could be,” Dixon said. Aim “to have a vision that could be open to new things.”

Dixon, who has long advocated for the improvement of the area, said they’ve discussed looking at it in a bigger picture, master plan approach for several years. These projects need to be done and have been identified in the CIP process, she said, but it’s really important to think long term about what needs to be done to invest in the area over the next five to seven years.

“It’s for our residents, it’s for our visitors, it’s for the long-term health of our city,” Dixon said. 

A rough concept of designs for a master plan is a great place to start, agreed Mayor Brad Avery.

“It’s time to shoot high, in terms of creativity and maximum usage. Give people lots of options of ways to enjoy getting out over the water, because that’s what it’s really about for folks,” Avery said. “It changes your entire perspective when you walk out on the pier. People tend to want to linger, have a drink, have a meal, have something to eat, and make it a very social place. I think it’s great.” 

It might be a long way to the finish line, certainly in terms of the timeline and funding it, he added, and they have to describe the way forward with community input. Ultimately, they’ll have a great plan, Avery said. 

Most councilmembers seemed to lean toward the idea of building a new pier. Although what that might look like is entirely up in the air.

Based on the council’s discussion, the new pier could have a Ferris wheel or parking on the pier itself, with a new restaurant at the end, and other amenities. There was some discussion if it should be wood or concrete. There was mention that the pier could be raised at the end and ramp down, or the entire thing raised (it doesn’t meet the current height standard to stay above the large swells). Or maybe the restaurant could be moved forward, particularly if the lifeguard building is reduced. The plaza and neighboring street front could be refreshed. The parking definitely needs to be improved.

There will likely be challenges with funding, historical components, and legal and bureaucratic hurdles.

Ultimately, council agreed it needs to be done and want to see what some possible master plan designs could potentially look like.

Council contemplates McFadden Square

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

The city is looking into rebuilding Newport Pier and rehabilitating McFadden Plaza

Deputy Public Works Director/City Engineer Jim Houlihan shared some very rough estimated costs, including to replace the entire pier (with a higher height and using concrete) could cost about $20 million.

Other rough cost estimates: $200,000 to remove the existing restaurant; $3 million to construct a new 6,230-square-foot restaurant building; $2.5 million to repair/replace just the end of the pier; $2 million to redesign and replace McFadden Plaza; $1.5 million to replace the pier public restrooms; $4 million to replace the lifeguard headquarters on a smaller footprint; $750,000 to refurbish the Dory Fleet facility; $2-$3 million to redesign/replace the oceanfront parking lot; and $2 million to separate the bicycle path between 15th and 36th streets.

It’s one of the busiest and oldest locations in the city, Houlihan noted. Hundreds of thousands of people come through that area every year, on top of the elements wearing it down.

The current CIP includes a project to demolish the existing restaurant building, replace most or all of the piles at the end of the pier and build a new foundation for a future restaurant building.

On Tuesday, in a straw vote, council unanimously agreed to demolish the restaurant building. A deck will be placed to cover the space and anything else will be put on hold as the city works through the new master plan process and decides what to do with the area. 

Another project currently in the CIP includes a study to look at improving pedestrian and bicycle circulation through the oceanfront parking lot and McFadden Square area. 

The facility finance plan also calls for the replacement of the lifeguard headquarters in the near future. It’s about 10-15 years out, Houlihan noted. 

Houlihan went over the history of the various facilities in the area.

Most of the surrounding buildings around the parking lot were built in the 1920s and 1930s, some are more than 100 years old, Houlihan noted. 

McFadden Plaza has been expanded over the years, including adding the centennial monument and the Ben Carlson statue. The last major rehabilitation project was more than 30 years ago.

Newport Pier is more than 80 years old, originally built in the late 1800s and rebuilt in 1940. 

This is where it all started, Councilmember Marshall “Duffy” Duffield said, while the historical aspect of it is interesting, it doesn’t show that the city is growing or thinking of the future.

“The thing is going to fall down, obviously,” Duffield said. “It needs to be replaced.”

The city spends more than $150,000 every year on maintenance, Houlihan said, more if any major work is needed to remove/replace damaged or falling wood piles and support beams. The pilings often get washed out and crews have to “gingerly” replace them, he explained. They’ve had to do that almost yearly in the last four or five years.

Council contemplates Newport Pier

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Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Newport Pier and surrounding area in 1987

The restaurant was built in 1989, but the last operator closed its doors in 2012. It’s now dilapidated and no longer functional, Houlihan said. 

“It is falling apart,” he said. “That’s one of the items we really want to get on and take care of in the near future.”

Councilmember Noah Blom, who, along with Dixon, requested the study session, said the area has a lot of great assets. But there are a multitude of issues in the area, he said, and improving it will make it better for the city at large. The current condition of the pier and empty restaurant is “shameful” for Newport Beach, he said. 

“(The pier) does not suit who we are as a city,” Blom said, with a “dilapidated, unused, almost condemned building sitting at the end.”

He spends a lot of time on the boardwalk and loves the area.

“I want to see us be the best Newport we can be,” Blom said. 

The pier has been frustrating for a lot of local residents, including herself, Dixon said. They got so close to having Bluewater Grill in the restaurant space, she noted, but it was never fully finalized. It’s a great opportunity, she added, it just hasn’t worked out.

Staff had also previously suggested possibly widening the pier just before the end in order to accommodate restaurant infrastructure.

“There’s a lot of different ways to look at what we can do to enhance serving visitors, enhance the resident experience and enhance the public access experience,” Dixon said. 

Although it will be challenging to create something dramatically different, she noted, because parking is such a tough issue.

Other piers, like Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, park cars on the actual pier.

“I can’t imagine cars parking on a pier, but they do,” said Duffield, who mentioned the SB pier. “I’ve driven on it and parked.”

The Santa Barbara pier is the “lifeblood” of the city, he said.

“If we had a stellar, hall of fame pier, with all these great amenities, people would come,” Duffield said. “It would work, (but) how do you get it off the ground?”

They also need to find out management, permittees and other pertinent information about the Dory Fleet, Duffield said, since they are at the center of the area the city wants to redevelop. They may not want to move or change anything, he added. 

There are likely historical hurdles as well, said Public Works Director Dave Webb. And they might deal with some difficulties with the California Coastal Commission, although the pier provides public access, he noted, and they could use this project to enhance that aspect.

Funding such a large project may also be a challenge, several agreed. Dixon suggested looking into federal grants or available funds.

And any project that rebuilds the pier will have to consider, as staff discovered in their research, that it’s currently too low.

“It doesn’t meet the height standard for waves,” Webb explained. “When they built the piers back then they really didn’t consider how much waves swell.”

Webb was in Huntington Beach when that pier was rebuilt, and it had been destroyed when the waves came up from below, he said. At the time, they raised the pier height and put it on concrete pillars, he explained.

If Newport Beach were to replace the pier at some time in the future the recommendation would be to raise it “out of that swell zone,” Webb said. 

There are also questions about the size, shape, location, fishing space, restaurant location, more views, parking, historical storefronts and more, Webb said. 

It’s a slow process, Webb pointed out, suggesting a subcommittee to get the ball rolling. 

“There’s a lot of public input and a lot of moving parts,” Webb said. “There really are a lot of big choices.” 

It can be component-driven, Webb said, and worked through as needed. 

Council contemplates Balboa Peninsula

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Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Newport Pier and the Balboa Peninsula

There was also concern about incorporating work on improving the boardwalk.

“This sounds fabulous, obviously,” Councilmember Joy Brenner said, “but I have a concern about the boardwalk because when we’re talking about the peninsula, that’s where we get the concerns from the residents about the safety of people.”

The overall plan should be broken down into manageable pieces and prioritized, Brenner suggested. 

“That is one of my top priorities,” she said. 

It’s a liability issue and residents continually ask about the boardwalk, she added.

There are definitely some issues with the bicycle path, Avery agreed, incorporating it sooner rather than later would be good. 

The circulation through the plaza area could definitely be worked on through this project and that could lead to the rest of the boardwalk plan. It doesn’t all have to be done at once, Webb said.

Although councilmembers have had opposing opinions in the past about a second trail or extended boardwalk.

The supportive direction from the council on Tuesday is a different tune from how a majority voted on a related project earlier this year. The earlier discussion focused on the boardwalk whereas this week’s study session concentrated on the pier.   

On June 22, a council majority rejected an agreement with IBI Group, Inc. for concept development of the Oceanfront Boardwalk Improvement Project, which included improvements for McFadden Square and the parking lot. Dixon, Brenner and Avery supported the project, while Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Muldoon, and councilmembers Duffield, Blom and Will O’Neill opposed.

Most of the concern at the time was about the cost of the contract and the idea of splitting or expanding the boardwalk and the California Coastal Commission’s involvement.

The proposed contract with the Irvine-based company had a not-to-exceed price of $283,015, although Dixon proposed cutting it down to $210,000.

During Tuesday’s study session although there was concern, councilmembers supported looking further into the idea.

Although one public speaker thought it might be best to tone it down a little.

It’s a very busy area, said West Newport resident George Lesley. The main restriction is parking and general maintenance and cleaning. It has a certain old Newport charm, he said, and warned about over-modernizing the area. 

“People are coming in droves,” Lesley said. “I’m a little concerned about the idea of ‘Let’s really revamp the whole area.’ To me, that’s a bad idea. It’s very popular as it is.”

~~~~~~~~

Sara Hall covers City Hall and is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Turbulent times for Southwest Airlines this past weekend

By GARY SHERWIN

Southwest Airlines, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.

News headlines were fixated this week on the operational meltdown at the fabled airline, which is continually bragging about its love for the customer.

More than 2,000 flights were inexplicably cancelled throughout last weekend, more than 29 percent of its schedule, leaving passengers stranded and essentially on their own. And my wife and I were two of them.

Why? Well, no one is really fessing up, but there were rumors of a rogue bunch of pilots who staged an informal sickout to protest an upcoming vaccine requirement. The Pilot’s Union denied that claim and Southwest management blamed the snafu on bad weather in Florida. That might have been a plausible excuse except that no other airline apparently had the same problem.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

We had gone to Kansas City over the weekend to visit our daughter, but it was clear that when we arrived at the airport to go home on Sunday, this would not be a smooth trip. After loading the plane, the pilot announced that there was a problem with two of the luggage bins and maintenance would have to come fix it. It would take three minutes, he said.

Twenty minutes later, a mechanic came onboard and put two pieces of tape on the bins and walked out. We waited some more. The pilot said that maintenance still hadn’t completed the paperwork. He said another three minutes. After a long delay, the mechanic came back with a ballpoint pen and wrote on the tape “Do Not Open” and walked out. Forty-five minutes later, we finally departed after maintenance finally signed the papers. I guess that epic penmanship on the tape did the trick.

The delay caused us to miss our connecting flight in Dallas. Love Field is the headquarters for Southwest and the terminal was in bedlam when we arrived with hundreds of angry customers scrambling to figure out their flights. Due to the chaos, you couldn’t use your app to rebook. You had to stand in a long line and deal with a live person.

When we finally spoke with a gate agent, he acknowledged the apparent sickout although that wasn’t what corporate was saying. The airline had automatically rebooked us on a return flight two days later, which was a no-go for us.

After two standby efforts failed, we finally got a plane home to Los Angeles, not Orange County and an Uber ride home with a driver who was literally falling asleep at the wheel when we arrived after midnight.

If you travel enough, you will rack up these kinds of stories in your life. But what was so troubling is that Southwest, a leader in customer service, failed so spectacularly in an area they normally excel at. Many people list Southwest as one of their favorite airlines.

Some have speculated that the airline is already suffering from the nation’s labor shortage, and they had just enough people and planes to operate but that if there was an unofficial sickout, that would be enough to cause havoc. However, union officials blamed the airline’s internal operating and scheduling systems as the culprit. 

During a time that the country is suffering with logistical issues into our ports causing empty store shelves and backed up orders, this was another example of something we expect to work but instead failed miserably.

Most troubling, it does cast a shadow on the upcoming holiday travel season. If employees choose to quit their airline jobs rather than get vaccinated, that will put more pressure on the system when travel is often at its peak.

Airlines like United and American are also enforcing vaccine mandates but so far have avoided the pushback from its pilots and crew. Nearly all United employees are now fully vaccinated, and their schedule normally proceeded this weekend.

Of course, no one is saying if there was a work slowdown, real or imagined. Southwest is playing coy and that is what is most frustrating.

While I was sitting at Love Field, I noticed a word cloud painted on a wall that stated Southwest’s core values. They highlighted “Feel the Luv,” and “Our Customers Make our Heart Beat.” They also prominently featured the manufactured phrase “Transfarency” which means their fares are clear and understandable, but also that the company is transparent in its dealings with customers.

Yeah, not so much this weekend. Crises happen to most companies at some point, but how you respond to it during these rough times are a telling sign that companies can live their values and not just paint them on a wall. A little straight talk would have been appreciated especially for us passengers flying with them this week.

But Southwest wasn’t talking, walking, or flying much over the past week and that’s regrettable for a company that was one of the few airlines still in the sky that purportedly cared about the customer and made flying a little fun. In fact, had they been candid about what happened, they would have left a better impression with their customers than denying it or sweeping it under the rug.

Southwest likes to talk about feeling the love. But there was none of that over the past week and most disappointing is that they appear uninterested in fixing the problem anytime soon.

Gary Sherwin is President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach & Company.


COVID-19: 35 new cases and two new deaths reported in Newport Beach this past week

Stu News Newport is reporting COVID-19 numbers on a weekly basis, as reported by the OC Health Care Agency.

This week, October 6-October 12, there have been 35 new cases in Newport Beach and two new deaths, bringing the overall totals to 5,005 cases reported to date and 95 overall deaths. 

During the past week, the county reported a total of 1,792 new cases, raising the total to 300,531 to date. The death totals for the county were 56 for the week, bringing the overall total number of deaths to 5,504.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 12, Orange County has performed a cumulative of 5,202,497 tests to date. There are 211 current cases of hospitalized patients in Orange County, of which 45 are in ICU.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call 714.834.2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the county’s data dashboard, click here.

COVID-19 numbers are updated weekly by Stu News Newport in Friday’s edition.

COVID SNN 10.15.21 1

COVID SNN 10.15.21 2

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Data courtesy of OC Health Care Agency


South Coast Repertory announces return of its renowned NewSCRipts play-reading series

South Coast Repertory (SCR) Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) announce the return of its renowned NewSCRipts play-reading series, part of The Lab@SCR, the Costa Mesa theatre’s comprehensive play-development program. The series begins Monday, Oct. 25 with Louder by Caroline V. McGraw at 7:30 p.m. on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

The popular series continues Monday, Dec. 6 with a yet-to-be-determined play. It wraps up with Funnie by Jessica Moss on Monday, April 25, 2022. NewSCRipts play readings are free and open to the public. Tickets can be reserved by calling SCR’s ticket services office 714.7085555, or online at www.scr.org.

In addition, SCR announces a new program: NewSCRipts in Schools. This pilot program brings a reading of McGraw’s Louder to the Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UC Irvine on Tuesday, Oct. 26. The NewSCRipts in Schools reading will be followed by a moderated discussion with the playwright, director and the actors. The NewSCRipts in Schools reading will be performed exclusively for an invited audience of UCI students and faculty. 

The NewSCRipts in Schools program gives UCI theatre students the opportunity to experience a reading of a play in progress, bringing them into the process with SCR-commissioned playwrights, actors and the director. Likewise, it enriches the development process for the playwright. By experiencing their play with two unique and vastly different audiences, the playwright gains valuable knowledge in how audiences will respond to their work. 

South Coast Repertpry announces Ivers

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Photo by Jordan Kubat

Courtesy of SCR

South Coast Repertory Artistic Director David Ivers

“Our NewSCRipts in Schools program provides a vital connection for SCR and the educational community of Orange County,” Ivers said. “And we’re thrilled that UC Irvine is joining us in launching this new program that will mutually benefit the playwright, the work in progress and UCI students. Their enthusiastic response in joining us in this partnership is a testament to UCI and their status as one of the premier drama programs.”

Don Hill, the chair of UCI’s Department of Drama, anticipates the partnership with SCR will create a greater understanding among his students into the storytelling process and what it entails.

“The Department of Drama in the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts (CTSA) is thrilled to be building an ongoing relationship with SCR,” Hill said. “The art of storytelling is the core of theatre, and this program helps inform and empower UCI drama students in exploring the world of playwriting and development. Having new works shared live directly with our community on the CTSA campus creates new connections and discoveries. The value of our students observing professional actors at work and being an active part of post-play discussions is immeasurable.”

For more information, visit www.scr.org.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


Look what’s happening at the library in October

During the month of October, there is a lot happening at Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL). From School Bingo to book discussions, a meet and greet with a bestselling author to of course…trick or treating.

Here’s a sampling of some activities, for all ages:

Look what s Ferncase

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Photos courtesy of NBPL

A black & white photograph by Richard L. Ferncase

Paris and Beyond, where you’ll take a stroll through the City of Light with the work of photographer Richard L. Ferncase. The exhibition is on display at Central Library during regular operating hours.

Back-to-School Bingo is a reading challenge and a game. Simply log into Beanstack here. Join the fun that continues through October 16. Geared to ages 0 to 12. Prizes include a Kindle eReader, art sets, outdoor play toys and Pop Its. They are looking forward to seeing you online

Book Discussion Group with sleep expert and neuroscientist Matthew Walker, who provides an exploration of sleep and how it affects our physical ND mental well-being. On Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m., Walker who is the  author of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, explains how to harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, and more, with actionable steps on getting a better night’s sleep. More information, go here.

Look what's Quintet

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Syrinx Quintet

Sunday Musicale where you can join the Syrinx Quintet on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 3-4 p.m.  in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library. Their work spans from Rameau and Mozart to modern-day composers and includes Victoria Lee on oboe; Micah Wright on clarinet; Patrick Olmos on saxophone; Mathieu Girardet on bass clarinet; and Alex Rosales Garcia on bassoon. Find out more, here.

Look what's Rusk

Shelley Rusk

2021 Concert at Marina Park with Shelley Rusk on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 3-5:30 p.m. As a professional singer, Shelley Rusk has worked for music artists such as Johnny Mathis, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Sandi Patty, Ray Boltz and Bill Gaither both in the recording studio and in concert. Shelley Rusk will be performing songs from some of Broadway’s greatest musicals of all time. Food trucks will be on hand. 1600 W. Balboa Blvd. Presented by the Newport Beach City Arts Commission. For more information, go here.

Finding the Right College for You on Wednesday, Oct. 20 from 7-8 p.m. in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library. In partnership with Collegewise and Strive to Learn, the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) is hosting a series of college planning seminars to help students and parents understand the college admission process, and help develop a strategy that optimizes the student’s potential for acceptance into a college that matches their goals. Geared to high school juniors, seniors and parents. Register here.

Look what's Halloween

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Look what’s Halloween

Children’s Halloween Extravaganza! Join trick or treating fun on Saturday, Oct. 30 at your local branch or Central Library all day. Crafts will be available (while supplies last). Don’t forget to wear your costume! Stop by the photo booth to have your picture added to their social media Halloween parade.

For more information and upcoming events, visit www.newportbeachlibrary.org.


Capturing iconic Newport Beach and beyond: Crystal Cove State Park

Capturing iconic Crystal Cove

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Artwork by Don Krotee

This drawing shows the native plants, coastal sage scrub, oak and sycamore trees commonly found on one of many hiking trails in Crystal Cove State Park. Located between Corona del Mar and Laguna Beach, Crystal Cove State Park encompasses 2,400 acres with beautiful backcountry wilderness as well as sandy beaches and tidepools. Hikers, bikers and visitors enjoy panoramic views and the beach. Crystal Cove’s protected habitat has been a source of inspiration for many plein air painters. One of the historic cottages in the Crystal Cove Historic District (found in the state park) has been named the “Painters Cottage” in honor of the artists. The media, alcohol-based architectural markers, are used every day in architectural practice and it is common to make this type of study drawing before a watercolor painting. 

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Don Krotee is a 35-year resident of Newport Beach, a member of the 2000 GPAC, a Corona del Mar Residents Association member, the founder of the Newport Heights Improvement Association, a board member of SPON and lives in Corona del Mar. He is an architect, a sailor and a fine artist who has been drawing and painting from an early age. He provides Stu News drawings and paintings from iconic Newport Beach, Calif. and the world.  Follow @donkrotee.art for more art by artist Don Krotee.


Good Morning CdM features Special Agent, FBI Virginia Kwon

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will present their “Good Morning CdM!” monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. 

The free meeting, with complimentary coffee and pastries, will feature Special Agent, FBI Virginia (Gina) Kwon, Orange County Resident Agency.

Agent Kwon will discuss “Cyber Security Issues Facing America and How to Protect Your Home and Business.”

The gathering will also provide updates from local legislative office representatives, including Newport Beach City Councilmember Joy Brenner, District 6; Congresswoman Michelle Steel, 48th District; State Senator Dave Min, 37th District; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, 74th District; and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley from the 2nd District.

The meeting is open to the community at large and no RSVP is necessary. Tables are set for social distancing.

The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar. 

For more information, visit www.CdmChamber.com.


Pacific Symphony’s classical season presents “Beethoven’s Eroica,” Ticheli world premiere

Pacific Symphony’s 2021-22 Classical Season is officially in full swing after an exciting opening weekend, marking the orchestra’s return to live music in the concert hall. The second program in Pacific Symphony’s season features two great Romantic masterworks and opens with an exciting world premiere by contemporary composer Frank Ticheli. 

“Beethoven’s Eroica” takes place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 14-16 at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall; doors open at 6:45 p.m. Single tickets start at $25. A preview talk with Jake Sustaita begins at 7 p.m. This concert is part of the Symphony’s 2021-22 Hal & Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 714.755.5799, or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

The Friday night performance will be live-streamed and the recording will be available to all ticket holders for online viewing for 30 days. 

Pacific Symphony's St.Clair

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony’s Music Director Carl St.Clair

Ticheli’s All the World’s a Stage is as playful, joyful and novel a work as you’re likely to hear in a concert hall. This piece d’occasion was commissioned by Pacific Symphony in celebration of Carl St.Clair’s 30th anniversary season as the orchestra’s music director. Ticheli, currently professor of composition at University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, was composer-in-residence with Pacific Symphony from 1991 through 1998. By now – as he comments in his note on the piece – “Carl is a dear friend of nearly 40 years.” 

In his compositional note, Ticheli shared: “All the World’s a Stage takes its name from the oft-quoted line from Shakespeare’s well-known play, As You Like It: ‘All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.’ For my piece, the ‘stage’ is literally the entire performance hall. The audience participates with the orchestra in various ways, making gentle wind sounds and whistling effects, snapping fingers to a specified rhythm, singing Shakespeare’s words set to an original melody, and so on.” 

Beethoven’s thrilling “Eroica” Symphony – a work so innovative and influential it changed the course of music history – closes the program. Leonard Bernstein said the first two movements are “perhaps the greatest two movements in all symphonic music.” The symphony’s second movement has been played as a funeral march at state funerals, memorial services and commemorations including to mourn the deaths of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President John F. Kennedy. One of the Beethoven’s most celebrated works, it marks a true milestone in classical music. 

The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall is located in Segerstrom Center for the Arts at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


Backhausdance rehearsals at Sherman Gardens

Backhausdance dancers

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Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Members of Backhausdance rehearse moves created exclusively for Sherman Gardens, inspired by its flora. Garden guests are invited to observe rehearsals taking place on select mornings now until the sold-out performances on October 16. Rehearsals take place from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14 and Friday, Oct. 15. Viewing is free with garden admission. Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.


A weekend to celebrate 90+ years of Newport Harbor High School

The Newport Harbor High School Alumni Association is in final preparations for Homecoming Weekend planned for October 15-17. This celebration has been 90 years in the making, dating back to when the school’s doors opened in 1930. 

A party had been originally planned for 2020 to formally celebrate the 90 years but was delayed by pandemic issues. Like many events, those plans were postponed to this year, and the NHHS Alumni Association is excited to finally invite everyone to the NHHS 90 (+1) Birthday Bash.

The weekend kicks off on Friday, Oct. 15 beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a Tailgate Dinner & Football Game. Guests can enjoy a lasagna dinner from the NHHS Culinary Arts program. Expect special appearances from mascot Tommy Tar, Cheer, Dance, Band & more. Then at 7 p.m., cheer on the Sailors against Huntington Beach High School in a reserved section on the 50-yard line. For more information and tickets, go to www.newportharboralumni.org/tailgate

A weekend Harbor tower

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Courtesy of the NHHS Alumni Assoc.

The Newport Harbor High School tower

Saturday, Oct. 16 begins at 11 a.m. with a private viewing of the documentary film, THE TOWER, featuring 90 years of memories, photos and interviews with favorite teachers and alumni. Attendees can walk through the free Campus Open House Festival from 12-3 p.m. There will be a “Battle of the Alumni Bands” (12 p.m., Walter Etc.; 1 p.m., The Milestones; and 2 p.m., Fireside Chats), with food trucks from TK Burger and Tacomiendo Mexican Grill, pop-up booths, campus tours, an opportunity to visit with teachers, coaches and staff in the Teachers Tent and view the NHHS Heritage Hall Museum. For more information and tickets, go to www.newportharboralumni.org/the-tower-documentary-interest.

On Saturday night, there will be a special Tars & Stars Concert Event featuring the band HONK. Doors open at 7 p.m., the All Star Alumni Jam Band performs at 7:30 p.m. and HONK plays at 8 p.m. The show will be outside, so everyone can enjoy great music with a view of the tower illuminated at night. 

There will be a Goodbye Brunch on Sunday, Oct. 17 at the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Other weekend events include a water polo alumni game on Saturday at 10 a.m. in the NHHS pool, a field hockey alumni game on Saturday at 11 a.m. on Davidson Field, class reunions, an afternoon of jazz and more. 

You can view the full event line-up at www.newportharboralumni.org/90th-bash-landing-page.

The proceeds from the weekend festivities will help support the NHHS Alumni Association’s Scholarship program, which prioritizes students attending a community college, trade, technical or nursing school. Because of the generosity of fellow alumni, over the last five years they have been able to help the career dreams of 26 NHHS students come true. For more information, visit www.newportharboralumni.org/scholarships.


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.”

The shelter is so happy to share with you the kindest kitty. Her name is Tortellini and she appears to be a little munchkin with her short stout legs. She’s the absolute best! She’s just about 6 years of age and will totally be the diamond in your household. 

Pet of the Week Tortellini

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Tortellini

If you’d like to meet a shelter favorite (Oops…Don’t tell the other furry pet guests that they shared this), feel free to reach out by calling 949.718.3454. They do require completed application forms for their animals, so simply print one up from their non-profit’s webpage at www.FONBAS.org. After it is completed, you can email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and upon review, they’ll call you to schedule an appointment. 

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Adult Dogs - $150

–Puppies - $225

–Adult Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

–Rabbits - $45

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


Ante Up for Autism gala raises $900,000

The 15th Annual Ante Up for Autism gala and casino night took place last month at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The Autism Community in Action (TACA), headquartered in Newport Beach, surpassed their fundraising goal by bringing in an impressive $900,000.

TACA’s mission is to provide education, support and hope to families living with autism. 

Ante Up for Autism Carney

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Courtesy of TACA

(L-R) Dan Carney, Glen Ackerman and Keith Banning 

Supporters for the evening included TACA Founder and Executive Director Lisa Ackerman, Master of Ceremonies actor Johnathon Schaech, event co-chairs and board members Keith Banning and Dan Carney, TACA Autism Ambassadors Jonathan Hallstead and Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer, along with many others gathering in person safely and responsibly, while the evening program was also live streamed to viewing parties hosted throughout the country. 

Ante Up for Autism Spitzer

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(L-R) Vicki Carney, Todd Spitzer and Kelly Ernby enjoying the gala and casino night

Major sponsors of Ante Up for Autism included the Warne Foundation and Broadcast Presenting Sponsor, Oldham Global. 

TACA was established in 2000, when numbers showed that one in 500 children were diagnosed with autism. Today, rates have dramatically increased. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most recent report states that one in 54 children has autism. 

Ante Up for Ackerman

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(L-R) Glenn Ackerman and Master of Ceremonies actor Johnathon Schaech

Funds raised enable TACA to annually provide services to more than 75,000 affected. On average, 600 parents and caregivers reach out to TACA every month for help. 

TACA offers free educational meetings, webinars, a parent mentor program, an online Hope and Help support group, scholarships, annual National Autism Conferences and a free Autism Journey Guide given to newly diagnosed families. 

Ante Up Green

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(L-R) Daneen Green, Celena Hallstead and Karen Lederman

TACA also has a strong social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. For more information, visit https://tacanow.org/ante-up-for-autism-2021/.


Festival of OC Chefs benefiting KidWorks a huge success

Festival of OC Chefs, benefiting KidWorks, hosted its first culinary event on Sunday, Oct. 3 at Newport Beach Country Club. 

The food festival, which featured 25 chefs, invited 425 guests to mingle and sample their fare. Renowned wineries, such as Duckhorn, JCB, Justin and Crown Point, were also a part of the mix. Guests were later seated on the lawn to sample desserts and be introduced to the chefs by MC DawnMarie Kotsonis. Chef Event Chair Pascal Olhats introduced Honorary Chef, Lindsay Smith-Rosales of Nirvana Grille, Laguna Beach, who has been featured as a celebrity chef on Food Network’s Chopped. She credited Olhats as her mentor.

Festival of OC Chefs Lindsay

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Photos by Tony Lattimore

(L-R) Newport Beach Country Club Host Chef Graeme Blair, Event Chef Chair Pascal Olhats and Honorary Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales

Chefs representing Newport Beach restaurants included Host Chef Graeme Blair and Lead Chef Rachel Putnam, Newport Beach Country Club; Robert Gomez, A Restaurant; Jacob Davis, Balboa Bay Resort; Victor Soto, Cannery Seafood of the Pacific; Elvis Morales, CdM Restaurant; Andy Arndt, Newport Beach Marriott; Kyung Carroll and Zack Kasara, Pelican Hill Resort; and Riley Huddleston, The Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub + Kitchen.

Featival of OC Chefs Murphy

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(L-R) Newport Beach residents and event co-chairs Tracy and Kevin Murphy, Lisa and Cory Alder, and Kyle and David Team

Kidworks’ board member and event co-chair Cory Alder shared the Kidworks’ story. Involved with the charity for 15 years, he lauded the nonprofit’s academic support, character and leadership development programs that empowers students in Orange County’s underserved neighborhoods from pre-K through their college years. He said the key was involving the entire family to ensure the student’s success. “We are most proud of the fact that 100% of our high school graduates enroll in college or university,” he stated.

Festival of OC Chefs Mendoza

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Newport Beach residents, event committee members/sponsors Ruben and Heidi Mendoza 

The Presenting Sponsors Kay Family Foundation, represented by Ethan Kay and the David A. Pyle Family, represented by Annie Pyle, were honored for their ongoing KidWorks support.

Fun was had as guests joined the Heads or Tails Game, with one guest left standing. The very happy winner, Newport Beach resident John Cornuke, guest of Natalie and Todd Pickup, received $500 in cash, which he promptly donated back to KidWorks. Newport Beach resident Bob Parsons was the winner of the 50-bottle premium wine tree raffle, donated by Mona Lee Nesseth and valued at $4,000.

Festival of OC Chefs Strader

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Newport Beach residents, event committee members/sponsors Camille & Tim Strader Jr., who is also a KidWorks board member

The event co-chairs included Lisa and Cory Alder, Tracy and Kevin Murphy and Kyle and David Team, with committee members Joey Booth, Darin and Jeff Garell, Nina and Ethan Kay, Heidi and Ruben Mendoza, Connie and David Oh, Camille and Tim Strader Jr., Eleanor and Tim Tang, and Sue and Nick Willett. Also attending were Board Chair Adrian Montero and KidWork’s CEO/Executive Director David Benevides. KM Productions was thanked for producing the event. 

Festival of OC Chefs Morales

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CdM Restaurant Chef Elvis Morales

Following a generous Fund-A-Need portion, which helped boost net proceeds to more than $640,00, the band, Flashback Heart Attack, took the heartfelt evening home. 

Festival of OC Chefs Huddleston

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The Mayor’s Table at Lido House Chef Riley Huddleston


Investing in smart home security pays

By Suzanne Schlundt, vice president, marketing-west region

Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, most consumers had smart technology of some kind in their homes. According to the 2021 Cox Communications Consumer Sentiment Survey on Smart Homes, 70 percent of respondents used voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri and nearly half (49%) had smart TVs.

But did you know that smart technology can also make your home more secure?

Since the pandemic, many of us have spent a lot more time at home and may be thinking more about ways to keep our families safe and comfortable. If you want a timesaving, cost-saving, worry-saving solution for protecting your home and managing your family’s safety, Cox has you covered. Cox has offered automated, smart home security since 2011, and we’ve spent the past decade perfecting our Cox Homelife technology to give our customers the peace of mind they deserve, helping them save time and money. 

Whether you’re on the smart tech train already or have yet to buy any smart products for your home, Cox smart security systems are a...well, smart investment.

What Does Home Security Mean to You?

Cox Homelife gives customers a choice in how they secure and control their home. We bring smart home capabilities to our customers with two distinct services. 

Cox Homelife Automation helps customers stay more connected to their homes while they’re on the go. Homelife Automation provides advanced features including:

–Control of door locks, lights and thermostats remotely using the Homelife mobile app;

–Setting triggers or custom schedules for energy-saving smart LED light bulbs and thermostats, so you can save on your utility bills;

–Text alerts about events or device activity, like when someone enters a door in your home;

–Indoor/outdoor HD camera with secure live camera viewing and motion-activated recording (captures photos and 15-second video clips).

Cox Homelife Security enhances the features of Homelife Automation by including 24/7, professionally monitored security. Homelife Security’s experts watch for intrusions and keep an eye on other important aspects of your home’s safety, including fire and carbon monoxide detection, and instantly alert you to any issues that may arise.

You can even use Cox Homelife systems with our Contour voice remote to control your thermostats, lights and door locks without even leaving the couch – and soon, you can control Homelife cameras and arming functionality with the Contour voice remote too. 

As part of our mission to keep people connected, during the coronavirus pandemic we rolled out Cox Homelife Care to provide extra peace of mind and support for seniors and their caregivers. If you’re a caregiver for an older loved one, Cox Homelife can give you extra peace of mind and support, with features including:

–24/7 monitoring in and out of home;

–Two-way communication through an easy-to-use mobile hub device;

–An automatic fall detection pendant.

All of these services are connected through the Cox Homelife Care Family App, which lets caregivers easily check on their loved one while they’re away. 

We want to make sure our customers understand and can use their Cox Homelife technology confidently. That’s why all Cox Homelife products include professional installation, as well as 24/7 phone and online support. We hook everything up through the reliable Cox broadband network and answer any questions you have about Homelife.

Cox Protects

We’re here to help you and your family navigate the new, exciting and innovative world of smart home technology by making complex things intuitive and easy to use. Our service technicians and customer care agents are focused on simplifying things for you, making it easy to secure your home with Cox Homelife. 

Cox Homelife smart security systems give you control and peace of mind, while saving your family time, money and worry. Learn more at www.cox.com/residential/homelife. For the 2021 Cox Communications Consumer Sentiment Survey on Smart Homes, go here.

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.


Newport Beach Fire Department’s Fire Service Day attracted community to a day of learning fun 

The Newport Beach Fire Department (NBFD) and Newport Beach Firefighters Association hosted a Fire Service Day on Sunday, Oct. 10 at Newport Beach Fire Station #7 in Santa Ana Heights. The free event, coinciding with Fire Prevention Week, attracted hundreds from the community.

Newport Beach Fire hook and ladder

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Photos by Lana Johnson

An attendee checks out the NBFD’s hook-and-ladder truck

The family-friendly event provided attendees with an opportunity to learn more about fire safety and view a live re-enactment of a vehicle extrication using the Jaws of Life along with fire scenarios. Fire and paramedic vehicles were on display along with the department’s antique fire engine.

Newport Beach Paramedics

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Youngsters explore a Paramedics vehicle

Newport Beach Fire Curty

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Curty Dell, age 2, stands in front of the antique fire engine

There were also educational booths staffed by Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers, NB Lifeguards, the NBFD firing up the grill with hotdogs and hamburgers (and served chips and refreshments), face painting by Fantasy Island Tattoo, and kids having the chance to aim & shoot water apparatus, with the help of the Explorers. Youngsters received red plastic firefighter helmets, stick-on badges and fire-helmet topped water bottles filled with pencils and lollipops…and of course the opportunity to climb aboard and “steer” a shiny red firetruck up in the cab.

Newport Beach Fire kids shooting

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Kids shooting water apparatus to douse simulated flames 

Newport Beach Fire CERT

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A CERT volunteer with a “junior firefighter” and his family

Newport Beach Fire grill

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Newport Beach firefighters grilling hot dogs and hamburgers

Newport Beach Fire Kim family

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The Kim family with the children dressed in fire gear with faces painted

Newport Beach Fire extrication

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NB firefighters after their simulated extrication using the Jaws of Life

Newport Beach tower

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Newport Beach Fire Station #7 firetrucks and training tower


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members: 

As the oil spill cleanup effort continues, I am cautiously optimistic that the worst may be behind us. Through the week, cleanup crews have been working hard to remove oil and tar deposits from the shoreline, and more than 14,000 feet of containment booms are being utilized to collect floating oil from the water. More than 900 workers are now conducting response operations on the shoreline, with crews deployed to the Peninsula and Corona del Mar, under a unified command led by the U.S. Coast Guard and state Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. As of Friday, 5,544 gallons of crude oil have been recovered by vessels, and about 172,000 pounds of oily debris has been removed from Orange County beaches. 

Newport Beach lifeguards are reporting a steady decrease in the amount of oil and tar washing ashore. As of Friday morning, only light oil deposits were observed. The oil spill is moving south and is starting to break apart. Oil has been observed 11 miles off of San Clemente and tar balls have been sighted in Oceanside, Carlsbad and Encinitas. 

Meanwhile, the city’s beach advisory remains in place. For health and safety reasons, residents and visitors must avoid contact with ocean water and oiled areas of the beach. The entrance to Newport Harbor remains temporarily closed to help prevent oil from entering the harbor. City recreation classes that utilize ocean-facing beaches have been temporarily cancelled (recreation classes in the harbor are continuing as scheduled). All fishing and collecting of shellfish, both recreational and commercial), is prohibited from Huntington Beach south to Dana Point. 

We have heard from many residents who are concerned about air and water quality. The South Coast Air Quality Management District, in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Orange County Health Care Agency, and a contracted environmental consulting firm are conducting community air monitoring through mobile air surveys and air sampling at 12 sites located along the Orange County coastline, including four sites in Newport Beach. As of Thursday, air samples from areas potentially impacted by the oil spill are similar to air quality on a typical day and below California health standards for the pollutants measured. Air monitoring efforts will continue. 

The city conducted water testing on Friday, Oct. 8), in coordination with the County of Orange, Huntington Beach and the state. 

While the numbers of injured wildlife have been lower than expected, we may see more in the coming days. Please avoid contact with oil and oiled wildlife, and if you see oiled wildlife, call 1.877.823.6926. 

The spill was caused by a rupture in a pipeline carrying crude oil from the offshore platform Elly, possibly damaged by a ship’s anchor. The exact cause of the spill remains under investigation. 

For more information and updates, visit the city’s website at www.newportbeachca.gov/oilspill. The official incident website is https://socalspillresponse.com/. Volunteers who meet certain minimum criteria can now register with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife at https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/volunteer.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of October 7, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,980 an increase of 44 cases from September 30. The total number of cases in Orange County as of October 7 was 299,334, an increase of 1,669 cases from September 30. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of October 7 was 286,423. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The county’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is here. Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page here by the California Department of Public Health. The county’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available here. Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page here

Homelessness Update 

–Eighteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. City Net completed three intakes this week. 

–City Net, the city’s contract homeless services agency, ordered Social Security award letters for several clients matched to Emergency Housing Vouchers. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority. 

–City Net completed a Vulnerability Index Intake Assessment for a man experiencing homelessness by the Newport Transportation Center. The assessment is used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the county’s Continuum of Care system. Some factors include age, health issues and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the client to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing. 

–City Net facilitated appointments for a client with Telecare and Collete’s Children’s Home. Collete’s Children’s Home provides a stable, safe transitional home for single women and mothers. 

–City Net ordered identifying documents (including a photo ID, birth certificate and Social Security card) for a person enrolled in their services. 

–City Net completed a housing assessment with a person enrolled in their services. The person was matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher last week. 

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, visit our Good Giving Program for details.

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on October 12, 2021 

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 12. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

A study session will begin at 4 p.m. Agenda items include: 

–Discussion on the conditions and potential rehabilitation of McFadden Plaza, Newport Pier and oceanfront parking lot areas. Staff will give a presentation on the current conditions of these public facilities and spaces. Council may provide direction on whether to explore rehabilitation or reconstruction. 

–Discussion on potential exclusive commercial solid waste collection and recycling franchise areas within the city. The council will discuss whether the city should explore establishing one or more exclusive commercial solid waste collection and recycling franchise areas. Possible commercial business areas that could be considered include the Corona del Mar business district, Balboa Island and Balboa Village Business District. 

–The regular session begins at 7 p.m., with the following item of note: 

Current Business: 

–Ratifying the October 5 proclamation of local emergency in response to the offshore oil spill. City Manager Grace Leung, acting in her capacity as Director of Emergency Services for the City of Newport Beach, signed the declaration October 5. The local emergency proclamation allows the City Manager to expedite certain decisions relating to the oil spill response and allows for reimbursement of costs incurred during the emergency. 

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, Oct. 8 and is subject to editing.


OCCF’s iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days raises $4.5 million in 2021

The Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, announces that its 2021 iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days raised $4.5 million for local nonprofits, making it the most successful year to date of the annual program and far exceeding the 2020 total of $3.2 million. Having grown from a single countywide day of giving in 2015, the effort now comprises a year-long series of Giving Days bringing together donors and nonprofits tackling Orange County’s greatest challenges. In total, OCCF’s Giving Days have raised nearly $15 million.

OCCF’s Collaborative Giving Days use an online giving model to match local donors to Orange County nonprofits with shared missions – from homelessness and workforce development to preserving ecosystems and supporting local veterans – to create momentum on a single shared day and leverage combined outreach efforts. OCCF held 10 Giving Days in 2021, garnering support from 8,485 donors and yielding $4,470,106 for 112 local nonprofits. 

OCCF s iheartOC adult and child

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Submitted photo

“We are thrilled to see the overwhelming response from the Orange County community in support of these organizations and their crucial efforts,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation. “The heart of OCCF’s mission is to inspire a passion for lifelong giving and drive sustainable impact in our community. We are proud to lead these collaborative initiatives to build a stronger, more resilient Orange County for all.”

The growing success of OCCF’s Collaborative Giving Days confirms that giving is most impactful when nonprofits work together. All 10 24-hour Giving Days exceeded their original fundraising goals, with several doubling their targets. In April, “Help Them Home” sought to raise $1 million for Orange County’s most vulnerable residents in need of shelter and housing. The Giving Day raised more than $2 million from 3,793 donors, benefitting 20 homeless-serving organizations. 

“We are incredibly proud of all the leaders and organizers who mobilized to make each Giving Day a huge success,” said Carol Ferguson, director of donor relations and programs at the Orange County Community Foundation. “We send a heartfelt thank you to all the donors whose generous contributions will be felt across Orange County, and we look forward to even greater impact in 2022.”


Campus JAX to celebrate 32nd anniversary

Jack Jasper, former owner/operator of JACKshrimp and current owner of Campus JAX, is celebrating his 32nd anniversary serving his unique California Cajun fanfare in Newport Beach.

A special event on the actual opening date of his first location 32 years ago at the foot of the Newport Pier is happening Wednesday, Oct. 13 featuring great local musicians. There is no cover charge and 100% of all food and beverage sales from the night – dining in or take out – will be used for JAX Feed The Need community service project providing meals to local homeless shelters. It’s a donation celebration, paying it forward and back to the community. And a bonus, guests can enjoy Happy Hour all night long.

Jasper has won the Volunteer of the Year (Marvelous Meal Sponsor) Certificate of Appreciation from Wise Place, a community of hope and housing, as well as the Excellence Award from The Token Smart Team for faithful dedication in offering real and tangible solutions to the homeless community in Southern California. 

Campus JAX Jasper

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Submitted photo

Jack Jasper

JAX Feed The Need community service project started during the COVID quarantine to bridge the gap of providing nourishment to homeless and women’s shelters in and around Orange County, while at the same time employing musicians eager to entertain to audiences, thus creating a win-win solution for those in need and displaced artists during COVID. He also offered a one-of-a-kind menu and a wonderful guest experience in the process. 

JAX Feed The Need charity events have raised enough funds through live and streaming music events weekly and private donations to provide more than 15,000 meals since its inception, and now attracts local chefs to offer their exceptional culinary skills who have volunteered to prepare and deliver meals every Wednesday.

A special thanks to the amazing generosity of those attending shows and individuals donating online at CampusJax.com. JAX Feed The Need is a true community project made possible by the Orange County community with talented musicians who come together to offer their support.

Campus JAX provides a lively yet intimate environment for dining, music and dancing. The restaurant accommodates up to 150 people and hosts weekly, world-renowned musicians and savory fare.

For more information and reservations, visit www.campusJAX.com, or call 949.261.6270. 

Campus JAX is located at 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach.


Regattas and Races…

Regattas and Races 10.12

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Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

NHYC

Barney Lehman Championships 

(October 9-10)

(12 Races)

Lehman 12

1 J. La Dow & Dahl, NHYC, Total 43, Net 32 

2 Curtiss & Moore, NHYC, Total 46, Net 36 

3 Reynolds & Hampton, SDYC/NHYC, Total 45, Net 37 

4 W. La Dow & Huillier, SDYC, Total 71, Net 54 

5 Ramming & Trumble, NHYC Total 86, Net 70 

6 Smith & Davidson, NHYC/BYC, Total 88, Net 73 

7 George Szabo, SDYC, Total 93, Net 80 

8 Macdonald & Blackman, NHYC, Total 102, Net 84 

9 Person & Voigt, NHYC, Total 102, Net 87 

10 Sinks & Martin, SDYC, Total 107, Net 93 

11 Hecht & Yakutis, SDYC/CYC, Total 115, Net 101

12 Killian & Landis, NHYC, Total 135, Net 119 

13 Stemler & Horton, NHYC, Total 138, Net 122 

14 Hause & Kraus, NHYC Total 148, Net 131 

15 C. Beek & H. Beek, L-12, Total 156, Net 139 

16 Aschieris & McKinley, NHYC, Total 178, Net 161 

17 M. Sentovich & K. Sentovich, NHYC, Total 191, Net 173 

BYC

Windependent Regatta 

(October 9-10)

Junior Sabot A

(10 Races)

1 Caleb Everett, BCYC, Total 26, Net 15 

2 Kingston Keyoung, BCYC, Total 28, Net 21 

3 Maddie Nichols, BYC, Total 35, Net 29 

4 Julia Getter, NHYC/BYC, Total 46, Net 37 

5 Siena Nichols, BYC Total 51, Net 43 

6 Zarrin Harvey, BCYC, Total 52, Net 44 

7 Charlotte Carmichael, NHYC, Total 64, Net 55 

8 Landon Stahl, BCYC, Total 76, Net 66 

9 Katharine Stone, BYC, Total 79, Net 69

10 Luke Roe, BYC, Total 98, Net 87 

Junior Sabot B

(10 Races)

1 Wilbur Smith, NHYC, Total 24, Net 19 

2 Paloma Arrigo, BYC/NHYC Total 30, Net 25 

3 Olivia Norton, NHYC, Total 32, Net 27 

4 Eddie Kliem, BYC, Total 39, Net 33 

5 Reid White, BCYC, Total 42, Net 36 

6 Jack McGhie, LBYC, Total 44, Net 37 

Junior Sabot C1

(10 Races)

1 Camryn Homer, BCYC, Total 22, Net 17 

2 Peyton Homer, BCYC, Total 23, Net 18 

3 Abel Berge, BCYC Total 33, Net 28 

4 Will Ramsay, NHYC, Total 37, Net 29 

5 Chloe Curtin, BCYC, Total 33, Net 33 

6 Jack Good, LIYC, Total 80, Net 72 

7 Claire Suplizio, LIYC, Total 80, Net 72 

Junior Sabot C2

(10 Races)

1 Jack Swartzbaugh, BYC, Total 15, Net 10 

2 Benjamin Benahmed, LIYC, Total 27, Net 19 

3 Molly Torres, BCYC, Total 30, Net 23 

4 Jewel Garcia, BCYC Total 32, Net 24 

5 Audrey Ingham, LIYC, Total 34, Net 27 

6 Victoria Swan, BYC, Total 37, Net 28 

7 Mira Burke-Wilding, BCYC, Total 37, Net 29 

8 Nico Rousset, LIYC, Total 45, Net 35

9 Isabella Swan, BYC, Total 61, Net 51 

Junior Sabot C3

(7 Races)

1 Jack Davis, BYC, Total 11, Net 7 

2 Taj Lewis, LBYC, Total 23, Net 15 

3 Allison Schock, BCYC, Total 24, Net 18 

4 Stella Wilson, BCYC, Total 23, Net 19 

5 Ruckus Choate, BCYC, Total 46, Net 36 

6 Trinity Pinkman, BYC Total 44, Net 36 

7 Jill Davis, BYC, Total 50, Net 42 

8 Jaron Dobkin, LIYC, Total 59, Net 48

9 Heidi Swartbaugh, BYC, Total 66, Net 52 

10 Kai Stenton, BCYC, Total 67, Net 53 

11 Brady Kosich, LIYC, Total 74, Net 60 

12 Simon Rousset, LIYC, Total 87, Net 73 

13 Cammie Suplizio, LIYC, Total 88, Net 74

Senior Sabot A

(4 Races)

1 Lynn Acosta, DPYC, Total 10, Net 5 

2 Lanny Coon, MBYC, Total 8, Net 5 

3 Susan K. Jennings, BCYC, Total 11, Net 7 

4 Dennis Allison, BYC, Total 15, Net 10 

5 Karen Stockman, BYC Total 16, Net 11 

Senior Sabot B

(4 Races)

1 Linda Ungerland, BYC, Total 7, Net 4 

2 Debbie Meany, BYC, Total 8, Net 5 

3 Teresa Power, BYC, Total 9, Net 6 

4 Eva Evans, BYC, Total 16, Net 12 

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents BalletX

Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents Philadelphia’s premiere contemporary ballet company BalletX, led by Artistic and Executive Director Christine Cox, in its SCFTA debut on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m.

BalletX, whose dancers were named “among America’s best” by The New York Times, commissions choreographers from around the world to create dance that is “fresh, inclusive and connects to what people want” (Philadelphia Citizen) while “positioning Philadelphia on the cutting edge of contemporary ballet” (The Dance Journal).

The Center program includes “Increasing” (2014) choregraphed by Mathew Neenan to music of Franz Schubert; “Napoleon/Napoleon” (2018) choreographed by Cayetano Soto to music by Aram Khachaturian, Vivaldi, Shostakovich, Antonio Machín and Chavela Vargas; and “Steep Drop, Euphoric” (2019) choreographed by Nicolo Fonte to music by Ezio Bosso and Ólafur Arnalds.

Segerstrom Center Kapeluck

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Photo by Bill Hebert for BalletX

Dancer Zachary Kapeluck in a duo during a Spring 2018 performance of Matthew Neenan’s “Increasing”

Now in their 16th season and with the support of donors, subscribers and single ticket buyers, BalletX has grown to reach 150,000+ audiences nationwide through performance seasons, free Pop-Ups across the Philadelphia region and extensive touring to such prestigious venues as Vail Dance Festival, Ballet Sun Valley, The Joyce Theater, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New York City Center, Laguna Dance Festival, Bermuda Festival, Belgrade Festival and more. 

Founded in 2005 by Cox and Neenan, BalletX is led by Cox, whose tenure as artistic and executive director has produced more than 100 world premiere ballets by nearly 60 choreographers, a record “few companies can match,” according to The New York Times.

BalletX has reached more than 2,000 Philadelphia public school students through an in-school dance education program, Dance eXchange and countless patrons through their engagement initiative, The X-Process, featuring open rehearsals and talkbacks with renowned choreographers and guest artists.

The company put down even deeper roots in Spring 2018 with the opening of its first-ever home – a 5,000-sq.-ft. studio and administrative headquarters named the Center for World Premiere Choreography. And in 2020, they launched an online streaming platform, BalletX Beyond, featuring world premiere dance films by choreographers from around the world.

BalletX is one of three of the most innovative North American dance companies headed to Orange County. Along with the recent Alonzo King LINES (September 11) and Parsons Dance Company (November 20) , the Center is hosting an extraordinary range of performances from modern dance to contemporary ballet.

Segertrom Center Lubin

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Photo by Vikki Sloviter for BalletX

Skyler Lubin (lifted) with (L-R) Zachary Kapeluck, former BalletX company dancer Stanely Glover and Andrea Yorita are performing Nicolo Fonte’s “Steep Drop, Euphoric”

“Each of these companies was chosen to open our season because of the quality of the dancers and the unique style of the choreographers. Nothing can compare to the excitement of live dance,” said Judy Morr, executive vice president. “The choreography is imaginative and each company has its own unique style. Dance is the perfect way to open our season back at Segerstrom Hall stage. This is an experience you do not want to miss.”

Single tickets for BalletX start at $39 and are now 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 discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ COVID-19 policy requires ticket holders to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to attend all indoor performances and events. Fully vaccinated means attending a performance is at least 14 days after your final vaccine dose. To enter the theater, bring proof of vaccination, either your physical vaccination card, a picture of your vaccination card, or a digital vaccination record. Those who are under age 12 and anyone without proof of being fully vaccinated must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours (three days) prior to entering the theatre. Masks are required at all times for all patrons and visitors regardless of vaccination status in all indoor spaces at Segerstrom Center. Performance ticket holders who do not comply with these policies will not be admitted.

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


The Newport Beach Book Fairy explains herself

By AMY SENK

There’s a Book Fairy in town, and I tracked her down. It wasn’t hard, because I’ve known her for years through her various volunteer roles in the community, including co-PTA president for Corona del Mar High School back when my youngest was a student there.

Fiona Ivey, a former schoolteacher, has always loved books and is probably one of the most voracious and open-minded readers I’ve ever met. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that her social media accounts often will show a photo of a book being held up at a different location throughout Newport Beach. 

“Loved this recent release, Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty,” one recent post said. “I Book Fairy’d it at Sherman Library & Gardens for a lucky reader to find.” Before that, she had dropped books at the CdM fire station and library, by a Chinese restaurant and outside a movie theater.

“There are Book Fairies all over the world,” she told me recently over a cup of green tea near her Newport Coast home. “I think you could call it a movement. Emma Watson is a Book Fairy…Kate Middleton has been one, too.”

The Newport Beach Book Fiona

Photo by Amy Senk

Fiona Ivey

According to the I Believe in Book Fairies website, the project was launched in 15 countries in 2017 and has grown to more than 100 countries with more than 10,000 book fairies who leave “books in plain sight for lucky strangers to find, read and then share again.”

Ivey heard about the movement and wondered if there were any Book Fairies in Newport Beach, or in Orange County, or even in California.

“There are,” she said. “But I thought, ‘I’ll be a Book Fairy in Newport Beach.’ It started as a non-random act of kindness, but it’s been so good for me.”

She began fairy’ing in 2017 and has given away about 60 books since then, all books she has read and wanted to pass along. Sometimes, she will leave a book in an intentional spot. A book about a girls sports team was the book she left by Newport Harbor High School’s fields. The recent CdM library drop-off was a book with a main character who obsesses about drought and fire. She currently has two books in her car to drop off, but she’s waiting to find the right place for them, she said. 

“I’ll put a note in there that says to find it, read it, share it, with a hashtag (#NBBookFairy),” she said. She adds a ribbon and posts photos that include a brief synopsis and the drop-off location. But, she adds, “I don’t think there are rules.” 

Sometimes, she will see a person pick up the book, but she doesn’t stick around and spy. Once, she left a book on Balboa Island while she took a walk, and by the time she walked the loop, it was gone. Some books she likes more than others, but they are all well-written and worthwhile. Some are for teen readers and others for adults. Most are new releases, but sometimes she will buy and pass along a copy of Where the Red Fern Grows, one of the books that turned her into a lifelong reader as a child.

The Newport Beach book free book

Courtesy of Fiona Ivey

One of the many free books you might spot around town, courtesy of the Book Fairy

Ivey said she grew up around books and newspapers in a family of readers. When she was an elementary schoolteacher for 10 years in Tustin before having kids herself, she taught reading, writing and history, mostly to sixth graders.

“If I could turn a kid into a reader in sixth grade, I could create a lifetime reader,” she said. Even in her retirement, she wants to pass that onto as many people as possible.

She adores Free Little Libraries, and she regularly stocks the one in her parents’ yard. Her HOA doesn’t allow the structures, but she’s working on that, she said. 

She and her husband also are mentoring an 8 year old as a “Big Couple” through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and they recently treated him to a copy of Captain Underpants after a trip to Barnes & Noble. He read it at the table during dinner, and she was thrilled. She’s also written her own young adult novel and is sending out publication queries. 

And all the while, she’s reading new books. We spent less than two hours together; her reading list is set for the next several months, with Daisy Jones & The Six at the top. 

So, when you’re out and about in Newport Beach, keep your eyes peeled for a treat from the Book Fairy. I have yet to discover one, but maybe one of my readers will have more luck. If so, please let me know – and if you’re inspired to become a Book Fairy yourself, Fiona Ivey would be a good role model.

~~~~~~~~

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. She and her husband have two children attending college at the University of Missouri and Duke University. She is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Balboa Island Artwalk announces winners

The 26th Annual Balboa Island Artwalk, presented by Mary Hardesty Realty, took place on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. along the South Bayfront Promenade on Balboa Island.

The day, showcasing talented local artists, was filled with art, music, sun and fun. Eighty artists exhibited paintings, hand-crafted jewelry, blown glass, sculpture and photography. The fine art was complemented by live music on four stages along the walk. 

Balboa Island Debra Huse

Photos courtesy of the Balboa Island Artwalk

(L-R) Artist Debra Huse, Mary Hardesty of Mary Hardesty Realty, John Eagle (2019 Mary Hardesty Realty Award of Excellence winner) and Erika Primeau of Mary Hardesty Realty

2021 Artist Award Winners:

–Mary Hardesty Realty Award of Excellence: De Carter-Ray, glass artist.

–Mayor’s Choice Award: Carolyn Johnson, mixed media artist.

–Huse Skelly Gallery Award of Excellence: Anne Gaffey, mixed media artist.

–Randy Higbee Gallery Awards: David E. Allen, painter; Deborah Hotchkiss, painter/photographer; and Karen Werner, painter.

Balboa Island Artwalk DeCarter Ray

Mary Hardesty Realty Award of Excellence was bestowed upon De Carter-Ray’s (Classical Glass Studios) glass art

Balboa Island Avery and Johnson

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Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery with mixed media artist Carolyn Johnson of Laguna Beach, the recipient of the Mayor’s Choice Award

Balboa Island Anne Gaffey lobster

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Mixed media artist Anne Gaffey’s, “Rock Lobster” won the Huse Skelly Gallery Award of Excellence

Balboa Island Karen Werner Balboa Island No School

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Karen Werner and her “No School Today,” oil painting that won a Randy Higbee Gallery Award

Balboa Island Orange Tree oil

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Artist Deborah Hotchkiss’ “Orange Tree Oil” won a Randy Higbee Gallery Award

Balboa Island David Allen painting

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Artist David E. Allen’s oil on panel “Laguna Rocks” garnered a Randy Higbee Gallery Award

A special thank you to all of the 2021 Balboa Island Artwalk’s sponsors, artists and friends for making the show a tremendous success. Save the date for next year’s Artwalk, scheduled for Sunday, May 15, 2022.

For more information, visit www.balboaislandartwalk.info.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Beaches and water back open to swimmers and surfers

Tom new picGreat news, as of 2 p.m. yesterday (Monday, Oct. 11), all City beaches were fully re-opened, following the oil spill off the coast reported back on October 2.

According to reports released by the City, all water quality testing shows that our ocean water is safe again for swimmers and surfers to return. Water samples collected last Friday were clear of “unhealthful levels of petroleum-related toxins.”

“Water quality samples were analyzed by Eurofins Calscience, an independent water-testing lab hired by the City. Ten locations were sampled that had been impacted by the spill, from the Santa Ana River Jetty to Little Corona Beach. Among other toxins, the samples were tested for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and total petroleum hydrocarbons, which are indicators for the levels of oil present in the ocean water.”

The City will continue to monitor water quality on our ocean beaches for the next several weeks.

You can continue to check out reports on the City’s website.

And while most onshore oil has been removed, it is still a possibility that the public may see “oiled materials and tar balls” still wash ashore. However, people are urged to not touch or spread any residue.

Additionally, cleanup crews will still be surveying our local beaches and cleaning up materials they find. Meanwhile, community members who would like to volunteer in the cleanup effort moving forward are encouraged to register at https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer.

• • •

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris has been appointed Chair of the newly formed Assembly Select Committee on the Orange County Oil Spill for 2021-22 Legislative Session

California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon made the announcement yesterday.

• • •

Although my grandson is only 2, he may have found his calling in life last Sunday at the Newport Beach Fire Department’s Fire Service Day. The event took place at Fire Station 7 next to Newport Beach Golf Course. 

With several hundred families in attendance, the fire department and lifeguards put on a wonderful day, especially through the eyes of a little boy. Besides being able to climb aboard the fire trucks, kids were also able to aim and shoot a small water apparatus, get their faces painted, enjoy a burger or hot dog and each received a stick-on badge and plastic red firefighter’s helmet.

Fair Game with grandson

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Firefighter-in-training Curty Dell, 2, at the helm of the tiller, as Newport Beach Firefighter Bobby Salerno looks on

For the adults, there was a demonstration beginning from the initial call for assistance to the arrival of fire trucks and a paramedic unit, complete with a demonstration using the Jaws of Life to extract a dummy from one of two wrecked cars on-site.

And if that wasn’t enough, every minute or two another plane took off from JWA and flew overhead, putting a 2 year old in seventh heaven, as he did his best Fantasy Island Tattoo impression, pointing and saying, “airplane, airplane.”

It was a great day to be “Papa.”

• • •

Victoria Kennedy is the owner of Kennedy Contemporary nestled in next to Kean Coffee on Westcliff. She notified me that she’s showcasing 13 new works by local wood sculptor Heather Zusman and is kicking it off with an artist reception this Thursday, Oct. 14 from 5-7 p.m.

The showcase is called Shadow and Form and here’s how Zusman creates her pieces. She uses wood, “creating intricate compositions that bend, curve and swell, casting shadows on the wall.”

Kennedy tells me that “while most wood sculptors bend single pieces of wood with heat or steam, Zusman uses a highly involved process, sometimes gluing together 15 to 20 layers of veneer, then placing the glued veneer in vacuum-sealed packs and manipulating the wood on a peg board. As the air is removed from the vacuum, the layers of veneer are solidified and transformed into graceful works of art.”

Zusman is the first American to train at the prestigious Waters and Acland Furniture School in Staveley, Cumbria, England, and later continued her training in Takamatsu, Japan, at the Naoki Ikushima Factory.

Thursday’s opening is benefitting the Neurology Department at Hoag Hospital, with a portion of sales going to fund Parkinson’s research.

The exhibition will run until November 8 and be available for viewing Thursdays through Sundays from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

• • •

Here’s one for the thirsty. The OC Boo Ha Ha, a haunted Oktoberfest offering “witchcraft beer” and live music, is planned for Friday, Oct. 29 and Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Pacific Amphitheatre on the OC Fairgrounds.

Guests can “enjoy three hours of unlimited beer tastings and live performances.” 

Friday will present Lit, with special guests Mest and Handsome Devil. Saturday offers up A Flock of Seagulls, with special guest The M80s.

It’s a ticketed event you can check out at Ticketmaster.

• • •

My friend Jim Walker from The Bungalow restaurant in Corona del Mar always seems to be helping someone or some group in need. Here’s the latest: a group named Patient Safety Movement Foundation is holding a fundraiser on Wednesday, Oct. 27 where The Bungalow is donating 25 percent of all food and non-alcoholic beverage sales to the cause.

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation has a “bold vision of zero preventable patient harm and deaths across the globe by 2030.” After all, did you know medical errors claim the lives of more than 251K Americans each year?

In fact, prior to COVID, medical errors were the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

Sounds like something we all should support.

• • •

The community must be relatively happy with things over at John Wayne Airport. For the second time in the last few months, the Airport Land Use Commission has cancelled their scheduled October monthly meeting.

The next meeting is now scheduled for November 18 at 4 p.m.


Auryn String Quartet makes farewell tour stop with Ein Kleines Haydnfest

Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents the Auryn Quartet on the occasion of their farewell United States Tour, with a program titled Ein Kleines Haydnfest, this Sunday, Oct. 10 at 3 p.m. at the Samueli Theatre.

After an outstanding career of four decades as one of classical music’s most sought-after and respected ensembles, Auryn Quartet has decided to retire at the end of 2021. The four musicians who founded the quartet in 1981 – Matthias Lingenfelder, violin; Jens Oppermann, violin; Stewart Eaton, viola; and Andreas Arndt, cello – have all remained with the ensemble and have brought a fresh and pioneering approach to all the genres of music that they’ve performed on the world’s great stages. 

Joining Auryn Quartet for this concert are Armen Guzelimian, piano and Benjamin Howard, baritone. 

The quartet’s long-lasting success is described well in the words of one of Germany’s major presenters: “Those who for 40 years have performed successfully on chamber music and other stages, definitely must have done a lot – if not everything – the right way.”

Auryn String Quartwt ensemble

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Courtesy of scfta.org

Auryn String Quartet

The all-Haydn program includes String Quartet in C major, Op. 20, No. 2; Piano Sonata in E-flat Hob/XVI 52 (1794); String Quartet in F major, Op. 77, No. 2; String quartet in F minor, Op. 55, No. 2; Se dal suo braccio opresso (Armida), Sailors Song, She never told her love (Shakespeare); Mai non sia inulto (Orfeo ed Euridice); and String Quartet in D major, Op. 76, No. 5. 

Southern California-based pianist Armen Guzelimian has a long-standing personal history with Segerstrom Center for the Arts. He has appeared as soloist  with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, in chamber music performances at Founders Hall and Samueli Theater, and as collaborator with baritone Thomas Hampson in recital. Guzelimian’s distinguished performances as a brilliant soloist, outstanding chamber musician and collaborator have earned him high acclaim both nationally and internationally. 

Marked as a “standout” (Chicago Tribune), baritone Benjamin Howard has become a young talent to watch. In 2019, he debuted with Pacific Opera Project, performing Pish-Tush in The Mikado. Earlier that year, Howard was named a first-place winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance. Additional highlights include Rapunzel’s Prince in Into the Woods and the Sergeant in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Utah Festival Opera. As a concert soloist, Howard recently performed in LA Opera’s 2019 Opera for Educators series. 

Tickets are on sale at www.scfta.org.

Samueli Theatre is located at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


Childhelp to hold Beach Ball Gala

The Orange County Chapter of Childhelp will hold its Beach Ball Gala on Saturday, Oct. 23 at Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach from 6-11 p.m. Event Chairs Linda Burns and Kelly Haugen will lead the committee in transforming the main ballroom and patio into a Riviera-style beach club.

Enjoy an evening to remember with cocktails, dinner and dancing to live music by Woody and the Longboards, silent and live auctions, and casino-style gambling, all to raise money toward stopping child abuse and neglect, and to support the children under Childhelp’s care. Event Sponsors include Jacquie & Michael Casey.

Childhelp to hold chairs

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Photo by John Watkins

Childhelp Fall Gala committee chairs from a previous event, (L-R) Joy Whitlock-Estrada, Janet Ronnenberg and Gina Van Oker

The evening’s honoree, Los Angeles prosecutor Jonathan Hatami, will be recognized for the conviction of the abusers of Gabriel Hernandez, who are featured in the Netflix docuseries, “The Trials of Gabriel Hernandez.” Hatami will be presented with the Benevolent Heart Award.

Tickets are $250. 

For more information on tickets, sponsorships, donations or underwriting, visit www.bidpal.net/childhelpocgala2019, or contact Linda Burns at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 949.463.8804.

Paséa Hotel and Spa is located at 21080 Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach.

The Orange County Chapter of Childhelp meets every First Thursday of the month at the Newport Beach Yacht Club, with board meetings preceding the general meetings.

Childhelp is a U.S. nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Founded in 1959 as International Orphans, Inc. by Sara O’Meara and Yvonne Fedderson, Childhelp is one of the largest nonprofit child abuse prevention and treatment organizations in the nation. Childhelp is proud to report that for each dollar expended, more than 92 cents is invested into serving the children in need of their program services, which include three group homes in Costa Mesa and the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont, Calif.


JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR makes exclusive SoCal engagement at Segerstrom Hall

In an exclusive Southern California engagement, Segerstrom Center for the Arts presents the reimagined 50th Anniversary tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR following critically acclaimed, sold-out engagements in the U.K. for eight performances only November 9-14. 

Featuring lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, the North American tour of this iconic musical is helmed by acclaimed director Timothy Sheader and cutting-edge choreographer Drew McOnie.

Aaron LaVigne leads the show as Jesus, joined by James T. Justis as Judas and Jenna Rubaii as Mary. The tour also features Alvin Crawford as Caiphas, Tommy Sherlock as Pilate and Tyce Green as Annas. Christian A. Guerrero joins the cast as the standby for Jesus and Judas. 

The ensemble includes David Andre, Sara Andreas, Courtney Arango, Wesley J. Barnes, Milena J. Comeau, Lydia Ruth Dawson, Derek Ferguson, Brian Golub, Brittany Rose Hammond, Garfield Hammonds, Quiana Holmes, Darrell T. Joe, Sheila Jones, Jacob Lacopo, Paul Louis Lessard, Eric A. Lewis, Tommy McDowell, Danny McHugh, Jenny Mollet, Sarah Parker, Erick Patrick, Sandy Redd, Cooper Stanton and Chelsea Williams. 

Rounding out the creative team, is set and costume design by 2016 Tony Award nominee Tom Scutt, lighting design by Lee Curran, sound design by Keith Caggiano and Nick Lidster, with music supervision by Tom Deering and North American music supervisor David Holcenberg.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Beeks

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Photo by Matthew Murphy

James Delisco Beeks and the company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is set against the backdrop of an extraordinary series of events during the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ, as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.”

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is a proven musical phenomenon with a worldwide fan base. As demonstrated by NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, this epic work attracted more than 9.6 million viewers, earned the highest ratings in its time period and received the highest critical ranking of any live musical event on network TV.

On September 17, a variety of special edition Jesus Christ Superstar albums, remastered at Abbey Road, were released. These special anniversary editions are a celebration of the original 1970 double concept album and its continued success spanning an incredible 50 years.

Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, selling out two consecutive engagements in 2016 and 2017. The production played a West End engagement at the Barbican in 2019 before returning to Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre in a concert version during the summer of 2020.

The North American tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR is produced by Stephen Gabriel and Work Light Productions and will have traveled to more than 50 cities during its three-year run. The original production was produced by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Tickets for the Olivier awarding-winning production from Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre are on sale at www.scfta.org, at the Box office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. Single tickets start at $28. For inquiries about group ticket discounts for 10 or more, call the Group Services offices at 714.755.0236.

For additional information, visit https://ustour.jesuschristsuperstar.com/.

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


Orange County Museum of Art’s Art Sense Gala raises $1M, celebrates a one-year countdown to the October 22, 2022 opening of its new home

On Friday, Oct. 8, the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) hosted its first Art Sense Gala, which took place in person at the construction site of the museum’s forthcoming building at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. The Art Sense Gala was held one year to the date of the public opening of its new home designed by Morphosis Architects under the direction of Pritzker-prize winner Thom Mayne and Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling, who were both present.

Orange County Museum Zuckerman

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Photos by Owen Kolasinski

Courtesy of OCMA

(L-R) Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and director of OCMA; Anton Segerstrom, OCMA trustee and partner of South Coast Plaza West; and Sally Crockett

One of the first major in-person events of the season, the sold-out Art Sense Gala had a futuristic theme, welcomed 280 guests, and netted $1 million for the museum and its operations. The sum raised is three times the achievement of any previous OCMA fundraising event. Earlier this week, OCMA announced free general admission for a decade upon opening its new building in October 2022, courtesy of a $2.5 million commitment from Newport Beach-based Lugano Diamonds.

Orange County Museum Ferders

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Idit and Moti Ferder, Lugano Diamonds

Anton Segerstrom, OCMA trustee and partner of South Coast Plaza West, introduced Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and director of OCMA, who said, “You’re all living the profound, but yet simple vision that was put together by 13 audacious women 60 years ago next year. You are bringing the best of modern and contemporary art here to Orange County to be shared by our community, but also our nation and everyone who comes here to visit. I believe access to art is a basic human right. It’s not a privilege. That’s what we are doing here. Your support of OCMA is transforming lives.”

Orange County Museum Green

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OCMA trustee Sean Green of Artenal and his wife, Aga 

OCMA Art Sense attendees included artists Jennifer Guidi and Sarah Cain, Sean Green of Arternal and his wife Aga, Idit and Moti Ferder of Lugano Diamonds, Thom Mayne of Morphosis Architects, Michelin-star awardees Yassmin Samardi and Tony Esnault of Knife Pleat, Paul and Lilly Merage, Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom, Bob Olson, Lucy Sun and Warren Felson, Casey Reitz of  Segerstrom Center for the Arts and his wife Naomi, Raj and Martha Bathal, Teri Kennady, Alison Beaumont Hoeven, Britt Meyer, Carl and Janet Nolet, Ken and Stephanie Grody, Jim Pick and Rosalyn Laudati and Pat Maciariello of Compass Diversified Holdings and his wife Aleeza.

Orange County Meyer

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Nicole Meyer of Morphosis Architects with Brandon Welling, Morphosis Architects Partner-in-Charge

Guests interpreted the futuristic theme in joyful, playful, whimsical, fun and energetic looks while enjoying an evening that embodied the event’s name, Art Sense, with a sensory experience that engaged all five senses. This included wines selected by Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher, caviar provided by Pearl Street Caviar, and dancing under the stars, which started before dinner ended and lasted well into the night, to music sets by DJ Dylan Regan. The charcoal grey and lavender décor was designed by Leproux Collective.

Orange County Museum Kiddoo

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Bruce Kiddoo, Heidi Zuckerman and Cheryl Kiddoo, OCMA trustee 

In the spirit of the evening, Zuckerman wore a vintage dress – a 1970s Victor Costa iridescent deep burgundy purple silk taffeta dress with strapless ruffled neckline purchased from Shrimpton Couture.

Orange County Museum Segerstroms

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Anton and Jennifer Segerstrom

Art Sense was presented by lead sponsor Sotheby’s with sponsorship contributions from Lugano Diamonds and J.P. Morgan.

Orange County Museum Guenther

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Julia Guenther and Wayne Guenther 

In addition to the corporate sponsors, Art Sense was made possible by the event underwriters Lucy Sun and Warren Felson, Cerity Partners LLC, Robert and Britt Meyer, Erica and Jerry Fink, Lisa and Richard Merage, Keiko Sakamoto and Bill Witte, Justin and Julie Wilson, Alexandra and Alan Airth, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Ygal and Sheila Sonenshine, Frances Frankel, Twyla Martin, Valaree Wahler, Jeri and Danny McKenna, Creative Fundraising Advisors, Pat Jorgensen, and Karen and Scott Green.

Orange County Museum Merage

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OCMA trustee Lisa Merage and Richard Merage 

Proceeds raised from the Art Sense Gala benefit the museum and its operations. 

For more information, visit www.ocma.art.


Taking a hard hat tour of OCMA

On Tuesday, Oct. 5, the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) held a hard hat media tour of its new home at Segerstrom Center for the Arts designed by Morphosis Architects.

The morning began with introductory remarks by OCMA CEO Heidi Zuckerman and Morphosis Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling. Guests were then divided into two groups for a guided site walkthrough to see the building progression ahead of its completion and planned opening on October 8, 2022. An informal lunch followed.

Taking a hard hat construction

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Capturing OCMA in its construction phase

Zuckerman shared that when the museum opens, admission will be free for 10 years thanks to a gift of $2.5 million from Newport Beach-based Lugano Diamonds. “Our goal is to remove as many barriers of entry as possible, and to connect as many people as we can to art and artists,” Zuckerman said. “We are deeply grateful to Lugano Diamonds for fostering these connections by supporting the cost of admission for the next decade – it will be a wonderful way to throw open our doors next year.”

Taking a hard hat framing

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Photo by Aleksey Kondratyev

Courtesy of Clark Construction

Looking up to view the structural framing

OCMA’s $93 million, 53,000-square-foot facility (which broke ground September 2019), is anchored by the open public plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. It is designed by Morphosis, the global architecture and design firm founded by Los Angeles-based Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne. California Biennial 2022 (CB22) will be the inaugural special exhibition in OCMA’s new home, which includes 25,000 square feet of flexible exhibition space, approximately 50 percent more than its former Newport Beach location. Begun in 1984 and now being resumed after a hiatus, CB22 will be guest co-curated by Elizabeth Armstrong, Essence Harden and Gilbert Vicario, and continues the museum’s six-decade history of presenting new developments in contemporary art and identifying emerging artists on the verge of national and international recognition. Fred Eversley: Reflecting Back (the World), the artist’s first museum retrospective on the West Coast since a groundbreaking 1978 exhibition of his work at OCMA (then known as the Newport Harbor Art Museum), will also be part of the inaugural slate of exhibitions. The exhibition examines five decades of Eversley’s career and the technical innovation employed in his sculptures.

Taking a hard hat atrium

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Courtesy of Morphosis

Rendering of the entry atrium

With flexible exhibition galleries, dedicated space for educational 

programming and areas for public gathering, OCMA’s new building will provide expanded access to the museum’s permanent collection, which comprises important works of modern and contemporary art and to its world-class special exhibition program. The main floor is dedicated to reconfigurable open-span exhibition space, complemented by mezzanine and street-front galleries that can accommodate temporary and permanent collection exhibitions spanning a variety of scales and mediums. The upper level includes administrative offices. A spacious rooftop terrace, equivalent in size to 70% of the building’s footprint, serves as an extension of the galleries with open-air spaces that can be configured for installations, a sculpture garden, outdoor film screenings or events. Above the light-filled lobby atrium is an architectural space for education activities and performance, illuminated by a full-height window overlooking the terrace.

Taking a hard hat terrace

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Courtesy of Morphosis

Rendering of the terrace and grand stair

A grand outdoor public stair curves toward the museum’s entry, creating dialogue with Connector, the monumental sculpture by Richard Serra at the heart of Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Linking the museum to the arts complex’s Julia and George Argyros Plaza and adjacent performing arts venues, the stair will become an inviting gathering space for pedestrians and visitors. A high-performance façade of light-colored, undulating bands of glazed terracotta paneling creates a distinctive character for the building, playing off the forms and language of neighboring works of architecture. Additional features will include a museum store and café.

Along with its predecessor institution, the Newport Harbor Art Museum, OCMA has an established reputation as an innovative art museum with a history of actively discovering and engaging with living artists at pivotal points in their careers. The museum has organized and presented critically acclaimed exhibitions that have traveled nationally and internationally to more than 35 venues. The museum’s collection of more than 4,500 works of art includes important examples of modern and contemporary art and artists inspired by or working in or from California, including John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray and Ed Ruscha.

Approximately 280 supporters will attend a sold-out gala tonight at the museum’s indoor/outdoor event space.

For more information, visit www.ocma.art.


Take Five: Meet Mike Villani, actor and Paralympics volleyball announcer

By AMY SENK

Michael Villani and I met only recently, but it was inevitable we would become fast friends. We both are University of Missouri School of Journalism grads who ended up in California, and spending time with him is time well spent, whether he’s telling stories of his acting career, describing various Olympics and Paralympics games he’s announced, or introducing other friends he knows from years of living in Newport Beach. He recently was in Toyko, where he was announcing sitting volleyball matches, but as soon as he came home, I caught up with him to learn more. 

Take Five Mike Villani

Photos courtesy of Mike Villani

Mike Villani

Q: What do you wish people knew about the Paralympics games?

A: When I did it in Rio, especially sitting volleyball, I thought to myself, “Really. How interesting can this be?” Well, I found out it’s the most exciting sport in the world. Paralympics are so special. I’ve done the World Games, Special Olympics for the Kennedys. I’ve done Wounded Warrior Games at the Air Force Academy for the Department of Defense. I’ve done the Invictus Games for Prince Harry. Those are all such heartwarming events, because people who don’t have the abilities that we do are giving 110% to do their best in a sport that they’ve chosen. I welled up a number of times. If you watch the Paralympics, you just see the excitement on the faces on all of the contestants, not just the ones who win. It’s a personal goal for them. I’m hoping to go to Paris to do the Paris Olympics in 2024, sitting volleyball again. It’s probably more exciting than regular volleyball. Everything is set on the floor. The net for the men is brought off the floor a little bit, and the net for the women is brought down almost to the floor. The serves, spikes and digs, for these people who have to move with their hands around the floor to get to where the ball is, it’s unbelievable. It is just so exciting.

Q: You also have a long list of acting and voiceover credits. What was your favorite television or movie experience? 

A: I’ve been an actor since I got out of radio in 1980. I got an agent in Hollywood for voiceover and acting. I’ve been in a number of movies, major movies with big stars. One of the most fun and exciting movies that I was in was Up Close & Personal with Robert Redford and Michelle Pfeiffer. I was the Philadelphia newscaster, and Michelle was a weather girl in some small little town who came to work in our station. She and Robert, who was her agent, had a love interest. Stockard Channing was my co-anchor; I got to work with Stockard, and I’m a big fan of hers from Grease and The West Wing. That was a lot of fun and an exciting movie. Another one was working with Jim Carrey in Man on the Moon (the Andy Kaufman story.) I played Merv Griffin, who was a talk show host as everyone knows – well, all of us old people would know he was a talk show host. He was also a very powerful, rich man in Hollywood. He was a producer. He owned Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune and a number of game shows. He was just a very powerful guy. It was ’73 when Andy Kaufman went on Merv’s show. He wanted to wrestle women. Andy was a strange guy. Merv wanted to play the part, because a lot of the Taxi people got to star in it. Danny DeVito was in it and Marilu Henner played herself. They said no to him, and he was a bit upset about that. But it just wasn’t the same timeframe, so they had a nationwide casting, and I was lucky enough and blessed enough to be cast as Merv Griffin. So, I went to Danny DeVito and Milos Forman, or my agents did, and said, “Mike would like to talk to Mr. Griffin about things, and how it was that day when he was on the show.” I just really wanted to meet him. And they said, “No contact. Merv is very upset he’s not able to play the part. As a matter of fact, tell Mike we’re sorry, but we’re cutting all his lines.” So in the movie, you see me doing a lot of facial gestures, a lot of arm movements and things, but all my lines were cut to appease Merv Griffin. God rest his soul.

If anyone is a gamer, I did a couple of voices that I was pretty proud of, and I didn’t even know the games at the time. I played Peach Wilkins in BioShock. Peaches was a little guy, then he becomes mutated in the game and he gets really weird. Then the other one was a game, and when I went home and mentioned to my wife what I had done, she said, “Are you kidding me? All of your nephews and nieces play the game.” It was World of Warcraft. I played Lord Ignacius, the God of Fire. “You have to kill me to go to the next level. Hahaha!”

Q: Like me, you ended up in Newport Beach after studying journalism at the University of Missouri j-school. How did you end up in California?

A: My background basically is the Journalism School at the University of Missouri. I’m a St. Louis boy. Go Mizzou! I graduated in 1970 and knew I needed to be on either coast to pursue my career, which was acting, voiceover and radio. At the time I was in radio. With 300 bucks, my parents’ blessing and a car that was paid for, I came out here and worked at the USC radio station. I lived at my fraternity house for a year and a half, Alpha Tau Omega. I worked for the radio station there, got into radio, and worked in Los Angeles for about a year and then moved down to Orange County and worked for a couple of big stations down here. I started freelancing in 1980, in on-camera, commercials and voiceovers. In 2004, a friend of mine who was a corporate video producer, called me in my studio and said, “Mike, I know the head of sports production for the games in Athens in 2004, and they need one more announcer, and I’m going to recommend you.” And I said “Fine,” and it worked out. I went to the Athens Olympics. I announced indoor volleyball. From there, the same people hired me in Beijing, where I did indoor volleyball. I went to Vancouver with that company for the 2010 Winter Games and I announced figure skating. Then Rio came along, and I did the Paralympics there. Because I did Paralympics and sitting volleyball in Rio, the federation liked me enough to bring me back to Tokyo.

Take Five announcers

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(L-R) Japanese announcer Nahoko; Mike Villani; producer and show caller Kara Toussaint; and Villani’s colleague and other English announcer, Dave Rogers

I just got back from Tokyo and that was a very interesting experience. They had me in quarantine. First of all, I took two COVID tests before we went. Got off the airplane, another COVID test. I had to wait in the airport for an hour for that. Then got my luggage, went through customs and they took me to my hotel where they put me in a small, Japanese room. Very nice, very clean. But I was only able to stay there and walk to my venue, which was a half mile away. I did two matches in the evening, and then I had to walk back to my hotel room and stay there for the duration. They let us out for about 30 minutes a day. When I say, “let us out,” they allowed us to go to the mini-mart to get supplies and things like that. They had little things of tea sandwiches, and I’d come back from the venue and have a midnight snack. We were able to eat meals at the venue, and a couple at the hotel. They had vouchers for us for all of that. In the venue, it was in a convention hall and they had a very nice dining area. So, we were able to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, depending on our schedule. I came home and told my wife, Kim, please let’s not have rice for a while. Every meal was rice. It was healthy and I actually came back a little lighter. Then we were tested the first three days we were there. You had to spit into a tube and turn it in. They wanted to keep checking on you. And two days before I left, I had to be checked again, or I couldn’t leave the country. Thank God I was negative. They kept a tight rein on COVID. You had to wear a mask the entire time. I was supposed to announce in my mask. I actually pulled it down when I was at the desk announcing for obvious reasons. It was a wonderful experience. The Japanese people are beautiful people – polite, gracious. The city I was in just outside of Tokyo was clean and safe. I felt wonderful there. It was a great experience. 

Q: What is your next project?

A: Actually, I’m waiting for Hollywood to open up for on-camera, in-person auditioning. I had just signed with one of the biggest commercial agencies – I’ve been with almost all of them, up there, but this is one I really wanted to be with. And my interview with them a year and a half ago was the last interview they had and then they shut down their office. They said for only a couple of months while we get over this (COVID. So I don’t have anything right now in the works. My golf game – that’s my next gig. My wife and I may go to Rome in January for my birthday. The only thing with that is out of sight, out of mind. When I book out with my agents for trips like that, it’s very difficult because you obviously can’t audition, and you can’t work. They are not real happy about that, so I have to be really careful. I used to play young dad and middle-aged dad parts. Now I’m playing grandpas, and I have to believe that there is something right around the corner. That somebody is writing something for Mike Villani, or else you couldn’t survive in this business. 

Q: Do you have a favorite memory from covering a sporting event?

A: Yes, I absolutely do. I was the announcer for figure skating in Vancouver, as I mentioned. I was the English announcer, but the premier announcer for all of figure skating in Canada is Pj Kwong. She is the queen of figure skating and figure skating announcing, so I was kind of carrying her bags and walking a couple of paces behind her. But they and she let me do the figure skating medal ceremonies. That’s when Evan Lysacek beat Evgeni Plushenko, the Russian for the gold in figure skating. I love to watch figure skating. It did the bronze, silver and gold medal announcing, and I realized at that time, that I was the venue announcer, but NBC was taking the audio from the venue that I was doing. It was one of the most exciting things I’ve ever done, when I was able to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, the gold medal goes to Evan Lysacek. Please stand for the National Anthem of the United States of America!” The German producer who has produced figure skating for a long time gave me the dirtiest look, like, “You’re not supposed to be biased on anything.” But I couldn’t help it. It was exciting. As a matter of fact, it was so exciting, I walked back to the train station in Vancouver where they had cars for us, but I walked. I walked in the rain. I was so heady. I was tingling. It was very, very exciting. 

~~~~~~~~

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


On the Harbor: A bit about Novamar Insurance

By LEN BOSE

Last May, I received a call from my good friend Craig Chamberlain: “Hey Len, work is getting in the way and I have to drop off the crew list for Transpac.” He went on to explain how the Marine Insurance business has been turned upside down, and he needed to stay in town to keep his company on a straight course. Chamberlain has owned his own marine insurance business for 38 years now under the name Novamar Insurance. You probably have noticed the sign, and office along Mariner’s Mile on Pacific Coast Highway. His wife Julie and I were both in the same second-grade class, although we didn’t know each other that well. She was at the front of the class, while I was in the back corner facing the opposite wall.

Now that the Chamberlains have their company back on the foils, I thought I would reach out to him for an update on the Marine Insurance business. When I asked the question, “What’s new in the Marine Insurance business?,” he explained the change in the market as simply as he could to me (remember I sat in the back of the class). With more than a dozen marine insurance companies leaving the market we have tighter markets, fewer participating insurance companies, tighter underwriting, and the remaining companies are being more selective with reduced capacity and higher prices. Reduced capacity because of fewer insurance companies writing yacht insurance. They say no, more often than they used to, and we need to submit complete underwriting packages to insurance companies to provide the best terms for our clients. If an agent sends in an incomplete underwriting package and the client is turned down, it is extremely difficult to send in additional information and try to turn that “no” into a “yes.” With fewer marine insurance agencies available, the remaining companies just can’t write billions and billions of yacht insurance. They have their capacity limits and can’t write billions of dollars of insurance on boats sitting in Fort Lauderdale should a hurricane come through. That lack of capacity has really affected the market.

On the Harbor Chamberlain

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Len Bose

(L-R) Craig Chamberlain and Charlie Baily

I then asked how a customer should complete their due diligence before purchasing a boat?

“Buyers should have a clear understanding of their insurance requirements before they start shopping, similar to getting prequalified for a loan. One doesn’t want to learn the fine details of their policy the day before the deal closes. In today’s world, it’s easy for owners to overbuy and not have the experience to run a 35’-plus boat. Many companies will just say no, other companies will require a skipper while the boat is underway for the first year or have the owner receive training, and be signed off on by their skippers, Chamberlain explained. He went on to share what underwriters are looking for today. “There are some variables. Let’s say the vessel is under 10 years old, or it’s a production boat that is used in our local water with an experienced owner…this will take two days to get a couple of quotes. If it is a boat over 10 years old, the underwriter is looking for a clean survey with a resume of the owner’s experience owning vessels of a similar type and size. A clean survey is very important, because up to a couple of years ago underwriters had a better understanding that 25-year-old boats will have a larger recommendation list. Today, vessels need to have a clean survey along with the owner having experience with that type of vessel,” Chamberlain said.

Boat owners have to keep in mind that the information they gave about their experience can be easily proven, or if they have a claim due to lack of maintenance, the insurance companies will not pay the claim or rescind the policy. Many insurance companies have made the wording of their contracts much tighter.

We both have the same opinion that sellers should take the time to get their boats ready for sale and the survey beforehand. The insurance agency’s largest concern is if the boat might sink or burn. For example, if there are bad thru-hulls, broken hoses, no hose clamps, bilge pumps that don’t work, leaky shaft logs, or unused wiring that has never been removed. These are the types of items that alarm underwriters, and they will just say “no.” In the past, brokers would work out a survey allowance with the buyer allowing some time to make the recommended fixes. That option is now becoming a thing of the past. This could lead to a problem for some sellers who find out they have a leaky rudder post during a survey and if they place their boats back in the water they don’t have any insurance. With today’s shipyards being weeks out before they can fit you into the scheduling, this can lead to a volcanic eruption for most sellers.

I asked Chamberlain the best way boat owners can maintain the insurance policy. “If something changes, and/or you leave your navigation area, you will need to update your policy. If you purchase a new dingy, contact your agent. If you update your fishing or diving equipment, jet skis, foil boards, deck slides, etc., make sure your agent knows. If any type of charter occurs, you will need to update their policy with a special endorsement. If there is any significant change, for example, if you re-power the boat, it never hurts to give updates to your insurance agent on what you are doing with your vessel. If you go cruising, advise your agent six months ahead of time, as they will want crew resumes and a general outline of your plans.

The Chamberlains are not paying me to write this story; we all know how closely knit the marine industry is and I have worked with them for more than 32 years myself. There are many reasons why I refer my clients to Novamar Insurance. All of their agents are boaters with a ton of experience and offices all over the country to help clients locally. Their Mexico branch started 12 years ago, is licensed in Mexico and has a staff of 15. If there is a problem in Mexico, it’s an advantage to their clients to have the local representation. Having an agent that can speak to the authorities or Port Captain can be helpful.

The Chamberlains have cruised Mexico, so I had to ask what their favorite destination was. “Playa la Ropa off of Zihuatanejo is pretty darn nice…we spent a month there. The whole Sea of Cortez is like one big anchorage – you are only a short distance from the next anchorage. It’s a pretty magical place,” said Chamberlain.

Sea ya.

~~~~~~~~

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


Waiting for waves

Waiting for waves

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Photo by Todd Walker (Instagram @twalkerphotograph)

Wishing the best for the oil spill clean-up and brighter beach days ahead


Look what’s happening at the library in October

During the month of October, there is a lot happening at Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL). From School Bingo to book discussions, a meet and greet with a bestselling author to of course…trick or treating.

Here’s a sampling of some activities, for all ages:

Look what s Ferncase

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Photos courtesy of NBPL

A black & white photograph by Richard L. Ferncase

Paris and Beyond, where you’ll take a stroll through the City of Light with the work of photographer Richard L. Ferncase. The exhibition is on display at Central Library during regular operating hours.

Back-to-School Bingo is a reading challenge and a game. Simply log into Beanstack here. Join the fun that continues through October 16. Geared to ages 0 to 12. Prizes include a Kindle eReader, art sets, outdoor play toys and Pop Its. They are looking forward to seeing you online

Happy Hour this Saturday, Oct. 9, where you can join Project Adult Literacy with best-selling author Maggie Shipstead. Shipstead will be discussing her Booker Prize shortlisted novel, Great Circle. Wine, beer and light hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. in the Bamboo Courtyard. Tickets are available here.

Book Discussion Group with sleep expert and neuroscientist Matthew Walker, who provides an exploration of sleep and how it affects our physical ND mental well-being. Author of Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams, Walker explains how to harness sleep to improve learning, mood and energy levels, regulate hormones, and more, with actionable steps on getting a better night’s sleep. More information, go here.

Look what's Quintet

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Syrinx Quintet

Sunday Musicale where you can join the Syrinx Quintet on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 3-4 p.m.  in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library. Their work spans from Rameau and Mozart to modern-day composers and includes Victoria Lee on oboe; Micah Wright on clarinet; Patrick Olmos on saxophone; Mathieu Girardet on bass clarinet; and Alex Rosales Garcia on bassoon. Find out more, here.

Look what's Rusk

Shelley Rusk

2021 Concert at Marina Park with Shelley Rusk on Sunday, Oct. 17 from 3-5:30 p.m. As a professional singer, Shelley Rusk has worked for music artists such as Johnny Mathis, Dolly Parton, Donna Summer, Sandi Patty, Ray Boltz and Bill Gaither both in the recording studio and in concert. Shelley Rusk will be performing songs from some of Broadway’s greatest musicals of all time. Food trucks will be on hand. 1600 W. Balboa Blvd. Presented by the Newport Beach City Arts Commission. For more information, go here.

Finding the Right College for You on Wednesday, Oct. 20 from 7-8 p.m. in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library. In partnership with Collegewise and Strive to Learn, the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) is hosting a series of college planning seminars to help students and parents understand the college admission process, and help develop a strategy that optimizes the student’s potential for acceptance into a college that matches their goals. Geared to high school juniors, seniors and parents. Register here.

Look what's Halloween

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Look what’s Halloween

Children’s Halloween Extravaganza! Join trick or treating fun on Saturday, Oct. 30 at your local branch or Central Library all day. Crafts will be available (while supplies last). Don’t forget to wear your costume! Stop by the photo booth to have your picture added to their social media Halloween parade.

For more information and upcoming events, visit www.newportbeachlibrary.org.


All ashore

All ashore dining

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

Dine alfresco at your favorite local spots while the weather is still warm


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Although we’re not out of the woods, oil clean-up has gone well and volunteers now sought

Tom new picNewport Beach City Manager Grace Leung has signed an emergency declaration in response to the 126,000-gallon oil spill off the coast of Newport Beach and surrounding cities. The city council is expected to ratify it at their meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 12. 

What that effectively means is that the city can now request additional resources from the state and federal governments as they become available to assist in response and recovery efforts.

As most everyone knows by now, the spill originated on Saturday, Oct. 2 (remember the smell?) off the coast of Huntington Beach. The cause is now assumed to be a tanker ship, sitting off the coast waiting for entry into our overcrowded West Coast ports, whose anchor purportedly latched onto and then broke an underwater pipeline.

According to our City Manager’s office, as of yesterday, “modest amounts of oil continue to come ashore, with the majority of the spill remaining offshore. Maps from the last 24 hours show the highest concentration moving to the south of (Newport Beach).”

She also points out that these storms now coming into our area and the upcoming high wind forecasts could negatively impact the movement of the oil.

The harbor entrance into Newport Beach remains closed, but there are ongoing discussions as to when it might be reopened.

As off yesterday, there were some 300 people on our local beaches doing cleanup.

Fair Game beach cleanup

Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Registered workers combing the local beach removing the effects of last week’s oil spill

The public had been advised to steer clear of the beaches and all wildlife being affected. That, however, is changing. Volunteers are now being encouraged to register to help. Requirements: they must be at least 18 years of age, be able to lift 25 pounds and “willing to follow county COVID procedures”

If you’d like to register, go to https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer.

Other ways to help are through donations. There are several good local organizations that could use the help, specifically, the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the Surfrider Foundation.

I’m sure that many locals are donating to the cause. One donation of note is $10,000 coming from the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina.

“While our location is luckily unaffected by the coastal spill, the ecological impact that this disaster has had on our community is tremendous,” said Phil Ravenna, general manager of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. “We wanted to make sure that these incredible organizations have the resources they need to respond quickly to support the wildlife affected by this crisis and continue their important work for many years to come.”

State Senator Dave Min is reportedly putting forth legislation to have the oil rigs off the coast removed permanently and ending future drilling. I like it, but I’d feel better if it was coming from Congresswoman Michelle Steel, only because it’s a federal issue.

People love to overreact in situations like these. Fortunately, no one has proposed preventing container ships from coming into our west coast ports, yet. I wish I could bet that it wouldn’t happen but leave it to some wacko to do so.

If you’re wondering where most of the things come from in your everyday life, remember this: at the Port of Long Beach alone, 4,296,693 TEUS have been off-loaded year-to-date. A TEAU is a “20-foot equivalent unit of cargo capacity” or perhaps better translated to a cargo container seen on the back of a truck or stacked on a passing freight train.

And that’s only Long Beach. The Port of LA brings in another 9,000,000+ annually.

• • •

John Emme was a beloved baseball coach and teacher at Corona del Mar High School. He died tragically last month, a week after crashing while riding an electric bike.

He will be remembered in a “Celebrating John Emme” remembrance on the CdM baseball field on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. It seems only fitting that it will take place on the field where John did some of his best work and where he lived out the passion of his life.

• • •

There’s a young professionals group through the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce that call themselves NAVIGATE. It’s dedicated to “providing a unique and interactive experience with content specially designed to engage ages 25-40.”

So, if you fit those parameters and feel like having some fun, why not try on their upcoming Pumpkin Decorating Contest for size. It happens next Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at Sherman Library & Gardens

Those attending will network and then be placed on teams where they’ll decorate pumpkins. Pumpkins and decorating materials will be supplied.

Of course, there will be prizes, and while costumes are encouraged, they’re not required.

Admission is free and a no-host bar will be provided. Reservations, however, are required and you can register here.

• • •

Meanwhile, the Corona del Mar Chamber will feature Congresswoman Michelle Steel at their upcoming Good Morning CdM! meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Rep. Steel will offer up an inside report on what’s happening in congress.

The meeting will also feature legislative updates from the offices of a number of local officials, including Councilwoman Joy Brenner, Senator Dave Min, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Supervisor Katrina Foley.

It’s free and open to the community at large. No RSVP is required.

The BCYC is located at 1601 Bayside Drive in CdM.

• • •

Correction: In Fair Game we earlier reported in error that the California Coastal Commission was meeting this week. The meeting is scheduled virtually next Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 13-15.


School Notes

Parents education meeting dates set for 2021-22

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) is hosting virtual parent education meetings surrounding various topics to support parents and students. All sessions will be virtual, from 6-7 p.m. via Zoom. 

The first meeting is set for Wednesday, Oct. 20, with the topic “Halloween Doesn’t Have to Haunt Your House.” It will be presented by Dr. Riba, a health consultant. 

The link to join the meeting is https://nmusd.zoom.us/j/98334642785.

Future dates for other meetings will be December 1; January 19, 2022; February 16, 2022; March 23, 2022; April 20, 2022; and May 18, 2022.

For more information, go to www.nmusd.us/parenteducation or call 714.424.5016.

NMUSD to hold public forums on federal funding

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) receives Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds under the American Rescue Plan Act. These funds are to address students’ academic, social, emotional and mental health needs, as well as any opportunity gaps due to COVID-19.

The public forums, whereby the community can provide input on the district’s plan to use federal funds to continue to serve student needs, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 9-10 a.m. and 6-7 p.m. To register, go here. For questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


City approves $1.2M contract for mental health mobile crisis response team

By SARA HALL

City Council last week unanimously approved a $1.2 million contract for a mental health mobile crisis response team, which will serve both homeless individuals and residents. 

Council voted 7-0 on September 28 to approve an agreement with Mind OC and it’s Be Well OC mobile response team for an initial one-year term. The partnership will launch in December. The partnership is for mobile response services to address mental health challenges among the city’s homeless population, as well as residents and visitors who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

There was general support for the program from the dais. 

“This is a great thing,” said Mayor Brad Avery. 

Assistant City Manager Carol Jacobs also noted city staff’s excitement about the program.

“This is a great project,” she said. 

Newport Beach’s approach includes services like City Net, rapid response, a dedicated homeless coordinator, and providing shelter and permanent supportive housing. The mental health aspect is the “next piece of the puzzle,” she said.

“This issue can’t be solved, it can only be managed,” Jacobs said. 

Police and fire departments in Newport Beach receive about 4,500 calls for service involving mental health every year. 

Under this program, dispatchers will work with Be Well to determine if it’s appropriate to bring Be Well on site (versus a police or fire response). Be Well will respond to any mental health issue in the community in cooperation with public safety. Experienced crisis counselors and paramedics will respond to mental health calls for service to the police department’s non-emergency or 911 call lines, reducing the need for police and emergency medical services

There will be a learning period, Jacobs noted. 

“We’re going to take some time and take it slow,” she said. 

At first, Be Well will be the secondary responder and may take over after police have evaluated the situation. As officials on both sides get more comfortable with the arrangement, Be Well may be the first response to low level calls. Police may also opt to send in Be Well professionals first, as seeing an officer in a uniform can cause people to become scared or edgy, Jacobs noted. 

If not responding to calls, Be Well will work with city staff and City Net to address homeless needs. Evaluations can be done on site and transported to a local crisis center, detox facility, or shelter if necessary.

City approves mental van

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Courtesy Be Well OC

An example of a Be Well OC mobile crisis team van

Be Well has an Orange County campus that provides crisis stabilization services, sobering/recovering station, residential substance use services/withdrawal services, and residential services for mental health and substance use disorder. 

There will be two people in the community available 12 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s the initial contract, Jacobs noted. They will focus on COVID issues for the first year.

They have promised that they can gear up within three months, so by the end of the year the team will be on the street and available to provide services.

The lag time is the van and getting the vehicle retrofitted, said Marshall Moncrief, chief executive officer of Mind OC, the nonprofit that manages Be Well. 

They’ve ordered vehicles with Newport Beach and other cities in mind, he added and they’re sitting on a freighter anchored offshore. As soon as the vehicle is delivered, they can retrofit it in four to five weeks, he added. 

There are only so many beds at the facility, but the important thing to understand is that the crisis services are on a 24-hour cycle, Moncrief explained. 

“So, because it’s the right level of care and it’s the right provider, we stabilize the vast majority of people in under 24 hours and get them out into outpatient levels of care and back to community,” Moncrief said. 

When the program is live in a community, they can often avoid facility-based care by being so prompt and immediate service from within the community itself, he added. In Huntington Beach, they’ve been able to use community resources to meet the needs of the vast majority of the people they’ve been interacting with and avoid facility-based care. 

“All of those ingredients come together to make sure this thing works for you,” Moncrief said. 

They should be able to handle the call volume, as currently projected, with the one van, Moncrief confirmed. They will work closely with the police to monitor the response times. As other neighboring cities launch their own programs, they anticipate sharing resources. 

“We can really optimize this thing over time,” Moncrief said. 

It will cost $1,093,180 to have a two-person team on the 12-hour/seven days a week schedule and an additional $132,000 for the van and supplies.

Funding will come from the CDBG-CARES ACT for $717,079, the general fund account for $376,101 and an anonymous donation from a local resident for $132,000. SB2 funds will also offset the cost of shelter, reducing the general fund costs. City staff is pursuing grants, additional donations and other cost-sharing opportunities to offset future costs.

The Be Well OC program will augment the city’s current efforts to address homelessness, including a shelter partnership with Costa Mesa and a new pilot program that provides volunteer opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness to learn and/or rebuild job skills and a path toward stable employment and housing. 

City approves city hall

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Photo by Sara Hall

A homeless person sleeps near council chambers at Newport Beach City Hall

The current homeless population averages approximately 60 in the winter and 95 in the summer, Jacobs noted. These numbers increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, she added. 

In July, a point in time count was conducted by City Net, a team of nonprofit professionals who work to end street-level homelessness through the coordination of community efforts and provides a variety of outreach and engagement services and operate programs including census coordination.

According to the City Net report, about 82% of Newport Beach’s homeless live on the street and about 12% in a vehicle or RV. 

Approximately 22% have been homeless for three to five years, 17% for six to 10 years and 12% for more than 21 years.

“That’s a very, very long time to be on the streets,” Jacobs said. 

More than half of the homeless individuals are white and most are male. The majority (of all ethnicities and genders) are aged between 45-64, but there are at least 10 who are senior citizens over the age of 65. 

The data is tracked on a monthly basis, Jacobs explained.

“So that we can track who’s who and how we’re doing with them,” she said.

But it is a “point in time,” Jacobs emphasized, it’s a very transient group and many are just passing through as others arrive. Some are here during the day and elsewhere at night. The core, long-term group does seem to be getting smaller, she noted. 

After a lot of hard work, there have been a number of success stories since 2019, she noted. They have permanently housed 67 people, including one man who was homeless for three decades and another who was homeless for eight years at Newport Pier. 

The city has provided 1,743 shelter nights since the shelter opened in May, including a man who was homeless for 12 years who went into permanent housing and a female senior citizen who was homeless for 15 years and is now at a shelter. 

“That means for those nights people were not on our streets and I think that’s something we can really be proud of,” Jacobs said. 

There is a very small percentage of people who will “self-exit” the shelter and less than a handful of people they have asked to leave because they can’t behave properly, Jacobs said. 

They have also been working with the City of Costa Mesa on the 60-day rule that doesn’t allow people back in the shelter if they were asked to leave. Some people deserve a second chance a little sooner, Jacobs said, depending on the situation and the violation that got them kicked out. 

It can be hard for people with mental health issues, particularly if they’ve been on the street for a long time, she added. They don’t have the same skills after being homeless for so many years, including not knowing how to sleep in a bed, Jacobs said. 

“We have to give them some grace as they try to figure out how to be sheltered,” Jacobs said. 

Jacobs and others emphasized mental health is not limited to just homeless people and the Be Well services are open to any resident or visitor. 

Councilmember Joy Brenner recalled her neighbor who became an alcoholic after his wife died and later called in a bomb threat to the police. The neighborhood was roped off and it took hours to resolve the situation, she said. 

“He was not a dangerous person, he did not have a bomb,” Brenner said. “Somebody that had the capability of talking to him would have been able to go in there and save us a lot of resources [and handle the situation better].”

Anyone in the community who has a mental health issue can get help from the Be Well response team, she added. 

Rev. Cindy Voorhees, the senior priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, urged the council to approve the program.

Mental health issues are springing up all over, not just with homeless people, she noted. She’s been working with researchers in Israel who have called the COVID-19 pandemic a collective trauma worldwide.

“I’m on the frontline every day,” she said. “I can’t tell you the amount of trauma that I deal with on a weekly basis.”

She deals with hundreds of families struggling with mental health. People knocking on the door looking for support, she said. It would be helpful to be able to utilize Be Well in a number of situations. A Be Well van with a plain clothes professional will often make someone feel more comfortable than a uniformed officer, Voorhees noted. 

“You’ll be seeing a tsunami of mental illness coming up in the years to come,” Voorhees said. “I do believe it’s getting worse out there. We need the help.”


Perspective tells us this spill is terrible, but certainly not the worst ever

By GARY SHERWIN

For the last year and half, Newport Beach has endured COVID-19, economic dysfunction, labor shortages, hotel closures, social protests, Disneyland being closed for over a year and now this.

For a celebrated, tourism-dependent beach town like ours, news of a significant oil spill this past weekend is one of the worst things you can hear. 

Disasters like this are obviously a black eye on communities and our friends in Huntington Beach have gotten the brunt of the pain. In addition to tremendous negative media coverage, the Pacific Airshow, attracting several million people during its three-day weekend, was cancelled on Sunday. Estimates are that the show brings in as much as $100 million in spending, no chump change for sure.

A plausible theory for this crisis is that a cargo ship dropped anchor and ruptured the oil line which seems reasonable given how many vessels are lined up waiting to get into LA and Long Beach’s ports.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Maybe that’s the case. Perhaps it is something else which we’ll learn after the investigation is complete. But I know one thing, those oil rigs that you see off the coast are old, outdated technology and they need to go. Built in 1980 and earlier, they are rusty, ugly platforms to secure crude in an age when we are moving past fossil fuels.

This spill is a wake-up call for all of us that live and work near the ocean. Perhaps during the heyday of oil shortages in the ‘70s, the rigs might have made sense, but not anymore. Now they are risky structures even though we are assured by the rig’s owner, Amplify Energy, that they are inspected regularly. Sorry, I don’t buy it. What structure with underwater pipes stays truly viable after 40 years in salt water?

These rigs need to be dismantled soon, but there is also another issue with this crisis. We need a sense of perspective as to what we are dealing with right now.

The spill this weekend was no doubt bad; more than 126,000 gallons. Already considerable birds, wildlife and wetlands have been impacted and it is cause for huge concern. So far, the impact is similar to the spill from a ruptured pipeline in Santa Barbara in 2015 that sent 143,000 gallons into the ocean.

But it is not even close to other similar disasters though. In 1990, an oil tanker ran over its anchor off Huntington spilling nearly 417,000 gallons that killed 3,400 birds. And it’s nowhere near the blowout of a rig platform in 1969 that sent 4.2 million gallons of crude oil off Santa Barbara, which is the worst marine spill in California history. 

It was not even comparable to the 1971 oil spill in San Francisco that dumped 800,000 gallons into the bay because two tankers ran into each other in foggy weather.

And it’s not remotely close to the largest oil spill in U.S. history that resulted in 134 million gallons of oil sent into the Gulf of Mexico after an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform in 2010. 

Let’s be clear though. I’m not minimizing what happened last weekend. Any oil spill that generates significant ecological damage is awful for nearby beach cities as well as the birds and sea life that are killed.

But what is also missing is clarity in word choice by local officials. 

When several people used the word “massive” to describe the oil spill this weekend, they put this disaster on par with a Deepwater, which it clearly isn’t. This crisis will likely take months to fully clean up and using extreme language to the media will make this situation considerably worse.

Ask any of the cities along the Gulf Coast how they managed after Deepwater, and they will tell you that the public relations hit and resulting lost jobs far surpasses the impact of the disaster itself. Tourism losses were estimated at $23 billion in visitor spending over several years and British Petroleum, the rig’s owner, ended up allocating millions to local states impacted to aid in tourism recovery.

The ecological impacts are significant, but so will be the economic fallout because visitors will assume our beaches, especially Huntington, may be unusable until sometime next year and maybe longer. Already, we are seeing hundreds of thousands of dollars in hotel cancellations along the coast.

Talk like that flies in the way of facts. Estimates by Visit Huntington Beach is that some of its beaches are not even affected including Sunset Beach. In addition, there is a chunk of their beaches that are unaffected but closed as a precaution, a situation like Newport Beach. 

However, as tragic as this event is, it is being catastrophized even further by the media and officials by not providing the full understanding on what happened. With headlines reading “There’s Tar Everywhere,” they exaggerate the situation, even as bad as it is.

In the short term, we will probably have to live with these rusted rigs and hopefully technology is speeding up to contain disasters like this quickly. For communities that are dependent on clean and safe ocean water, it is imperative that we have policies in place to avoid these events in the future.

But we also need to think before we talk. Our culture today tends to refer to issues and situations in extremes and that isn’t good for anybody. People don’t have time to compare oil spill facts. They just believe it when officials call the effects of the spill “irreversible.” 

These rigs need to go and whoever caused this needs to be brought to justice. But we inflect more economic damage on communities like ours with careless words. That language only gives more reasons for visitors to stay home which will further hurt all of us.

Gary Sherwin is President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach & Company.


Regattas and Races…

Regattas and Races

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

BYC

14 Mile Bank 

October 2, 2021

PHRF A Division

1 Flaquita – Paul Casanova, SBYRC

  Elapsed 2:53:58, Corrected 3:07:02

2 Fast Exit II – John Raymont, BYC

  Elapsed 2:29:00, Corrected 3:13:20

PHRF B Division

1 Destroyer’s Kite 35 – Jim Bailey, NHYC 

  Elapsed 3:24:16, Corrected 3:06:04 

2 JIM – John Snook, HYC 

  Elapsed 3:26:45, Corrected 3:08:33 

3 Marisol – Seth Hall, CRA

  Elapsed 3:25:15, Corrected 3:11:43 

PHRF C Division

1 LegacyBrian Dougherty, LIYC 

  Elapsed 3:40:35, Corrected 3:06:59

PHRF D Division

1 FairwindTim Bercovitz, ALYC 

  Elapsed 4:51:25, Corrected 3:16:13 

2 Altheris – Raymond Booth, BYC 

  Elapsed 4:22:45, Corrected 3:26:45

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Jamie Browning Band featuring a Salute to Tom Petty tonight at Campus JAX

The Jamie Browning Band featuring a Salute to Tom Petty will be playing at Campus JAX tonight, Friday, Oct. 8 from 8-9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Browning, the lead vocalist and guitar player, has enjoyed a music career spanning 40 years. He has performed and recorded with such artists as Buffalo Springfield, Love, Neil Young, the Dirty Dancing World Tour, Bill Medley, Michael McDonald and more.

You will hear the music of Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, the Eagles, Bob Dylan, Albert King, Eric Clapton and of course, Tom Petty. A very diverse performance geared for energy and fun awaits.

Jamie Browning Band Browning

Click on photo for a larger photo

Photo by Tim Rushmore

Jamie Browning Band

Since then, the band grew to 11 instruments and Luke Carlsen & the Fresh Rhythm have been regulars at the Disneyland Resort’s Saturday night Swing night, Vibrato in Bel-Air, and Clifton’s and the Cicada Club in DTLA.

Cost: $40 per person for Ultra VIP Section Tables for 2 or 4 people;
$30 per person for VIP Section Tables for 2 or 4 people, $30 for single barstool seats; $20 per person General Seating Tables for 2 or 4 people, $15 single barstool seats; and Booths for 4 people, $200.

One entree purchase per person is required, as are reservations.​ A $10 surcharge will be added if no entrée is purchased and there are no drink minimums. No outside beverages are allowed.

For tickets, visit https://campusjax.seatengine.com/shows/153079. For more information about Campus JAX and upcoming shows, visit www.campusjax.com.

Campus JAX is located at 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach.


COVID-19: Fifty new cases and one new death reported in Newport Beach this past week

Stu News Newport is reporting COVID-19 numbers on a weekly basis, as reported by the OC Health Care Agency.

This week, September 29-October 5, there have been 50 new cases in Newport Beach and one new death, bringing the overall totals to 4,970 cases reported to date and 93 overall deaths. 

During the past week, the county reported a total of 1,807 new cases, raising the total to 298,739 to date. The death totals for the county were 29 for the week, bringing the overall total number of deaths to 5,447.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 5, Orange County has performed a cumulative of 5,142,122 tests to date. There are 230 current cases of hospitalized patients in Orange County, of which 60 are in ICU.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call 714.834.2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the county’s data dashboard, click here.

COVID-19 numbers are updated weekly by Stu News Newport in Friday’s edition. 

SNN COVID 10.8.21 1

SNN COVID 10.8.21 2

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Data courtesy of OC Health Care Agency


Bloomingdale’s and Collage Culinary Experience debut at launch of new initiative

Last weekend, Bloomingdale’s, Collage Culinary Experience, and StyleCon teamed up to launch their new initiative, Eat, Play, Together, to recognize a commitment to a global perspective and the resilience and diversity of the Orange County community. 

The three days of events coincided with the grand opening of Collage and the unveiling of a year-long renovation of Bloomingdale’s in South Coast Plaza, including the launch of a luxury flagship “fragrance hall” and fine jewelry pavilion, both first of their kind in the Bloomindale’s coterie of department stores.

Alzheimer’s of Orange County benefited from a private shopping event on Thursday, Sept. 30. Guests enjoyed restaurant tastings from AnQi and live standup comedy along with one-night-only shopping opportunities.

Bloomingdale's Preston Antonini

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Courtesy of StyleCon

Bloomingdale’s General Manager Preston Antonini celebrates the Collage’s official ribbon cutting

On Friday, Oct. 1, the night’s red-carpet celebration included more than 400 guests from the social and business community who were among the first to experience the restaurants of Collage.

Located on two floors within Bloomingdale’s, Collage brings together culinary concepts like Paradise Dynasty, the renowned Singapore eatery with more than 100 worldwide locations, in its U.S. debut, Mah Jong’s by Chef Mike and Le Shrimp Ramen. Concepts coming soon include Bruxie, Egg LXII, Mochinut, PhoHolic, Churrino, Cha Redefined and more.

The evening kicked-off with a ribbon cutting by Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley, Costa Mesa Mayor John Stephens, Collage Culinary Experience founder Morgan Zhang, and Bloomingdale’s General Manager Preston Antonini.

Live music was a crowd favorite with a performance by Anatalia Villaranda of American Idol and The Voice.

Bloomindales' Anatalia Villaranda

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Courtesy of StyleCon

“American Idol” and “The Voice” star Anatalia Villaranda performs for the opening night crowd

“It is really something to see the community come together in such a big way for the first major post-pandemic event,” Antonini said, describing the grand opening weekend as “signaling the turning of the corner on economic revitalization in Costa Mesa and Orange County as a whole.”

The excitement culminated on Saturday, Oct. 2 with a live show in Bloomingdale’s, presented by StyleCon, showcasing the hottest trends in international cuisine, beauty and fashion.

Newport Beach-based entrepreneurs Robyn Grant and Irene Martino founded StyleCon in 2014 as a cornerstone of all things fashion and beauty.

The StyleStage was co-hosted by TikTok “phenom” Leah La Rosa, previously featured on ABC News Live and Good Morning America social platforms along with Chef Jamie Gwen, acclaimed television and syndicated radio personality.

Thousands of shoppers joined the event throughout the day, including more than 100 social media influencers with all guests being treated to Collage restaurant tastings.

Beauty and fashion panels included “The Power of Beauty,” a live makeup transformation by beauty brand powerhouses Charlotte Tilbury, Gucci Beauty and Valentino Beauty; “MY LAGOS MY WAY,” a fine jewelry styling by LAGOS; and “Scentsational,” featuring fragrance powerhouse, The House of Creed.

Culinary panels included “Collage Top Chefs” with Chef Mike of Mah Jong’s and Nick Farkas from Churrino, in addition to “The House of An” with three generations of Ans – Elizabeth An, daughter Bosilika and mother Chef Helene An, sharing their story of the cuisine of their restaurant empire. The Ans’ gifted the crowd with a complimentary signed copy of Chef Helene’s book, an: to eat, and a Noods “to-go” box featuring An’s famous garlic noodles.


Passenger traffic still behind pre-pandemic times of 2019

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport (JWA) increased in August 2021 as compared to the pandemic times of August 2020. This year, the airport served 831,522 passengers, an increase of 211.1 percent when compared with the August 2020 passenger traffic count of 266,986 and a decrease of 11.8 percent when compared to the pre-pandemic times of August 2019 with 942,541 passengers.

Commercial aircraft operations increased 89.6 percent and commuter aircraft operations decreased 5.1 percent when compared with August 2020 levels. Comparing August 2021 to 2019 levels, commercial aircraft operations of 7,305 decreased 5.4 percent and commuter aircraft operations of 520 decreased 4.6 percent.

Passenger traffic jet

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Courtesy of JWA

Total aircraft operations increased in August 2021 as compared with the same month in 2020. In August 2021, there were 29,814 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a 29.8 percent increase compared to 22,963 total aircraft operations in August 2020, and decreased 0.4 percent compared to August 2019 of 29,921 total aircraft operations.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 73.7 percent of the total aircraft operations during August 2021, increased 18.5 percent when compared with August 2020 and increased 2.1 percent when compared to general aviation activity of 21,520 in August 2019, which accounted for 71.9 percent of total aircraft operations.

The top three airlines in August 2021 based on passenger counts were Southwest Airlines (355,670), American Airlines (138,241) and Alaska Airlines (105,812).


Senator Min wants all California oil drilling in coastal waters to end

Senator Dave Min announced that he would be introducing legislation in the next legislative session that would end all drilling in California state waters, including under existing leases. This legislation, which comes in response to the Orange County oil spill just off the coast of Huntington Beach, comes one day after Senator Min called for a ban on all drilling in federal waters off the coast of California. Senator Min is the first legislator across the country to propose such a ban at either the federal or state level in wake of the recent spill.

Senator David Min

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Courtesy of the Office of Senator Min

Senator Dave Min

“California is known around the world for its beautiful beaches and coastal ecosystems, which attract more than 150 million visitors each year and facilitate a $44 billion coastal economy that employs half a million people,” said Senator Min. “The Orange County oil spill illustrates once again that offshore oil drilling is a bad deal for Californians. The revenues and jobs created by offshore drilling are miniscule in size compared to the negative economic impacts this creates. We must end all offshore oil drilling along California’s coast, including drilling performed under existing leases. I intend to introduce legislation doing just that.”

This legislation would complement Senator Min’s call earlier this week for federal legislators to end all drilling, including under existing leases, in federally controlled water off the coast of California.

Senator Min represents the cities of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach in the 37th District, which are the cities primarily impacted by the oil spill, which has been estimated to be as large as 133,000 gallons in size. These communities also contain some of the most important and protected marine ecosystem preserves in the state, such as the Huntington Beach Wetlands, the Bolsa Chica Reserve and the Crystal Cove Conservancy.


Childhelp Rich Saul Memorial Golf Classic delivers great day on the course, nets $425,000+

The Orange County Chapter of Childhelp held their 39th Annual Childhelp Rich Saul Memorial Golf Classic on September 23 at the Pelican Hill Golf Club and netted more than $425,000.

The event continues in the spirit of the late NFL great Rich Saul, who was dedicated to changing the lives of abused and neglected children. The tournament, which was sold out with 114 golfers, hosted a full day of golf and camaraderie in addition to an incredible online auction.

Childhelp cheerleaders

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Photo by Ann Chatillon

Jacquie Casey and her son Steve Casey with the Rams Cheerleaders

In attendance were former LA Rams, Vince Ferragamo and Reggie Doss and an appearance by the Rams Cheerleaders. 

Golfers were presented with a Gourmet Lobster Mac and Cheese Dinner for Two Meal Kit provided by Bracken’s Kitchen and a bottle of ZF Vineyards wine as they departed the golf course. 

Childhelp Hong group

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Photo by Ann Chatillon

Three Rams Cheerleaders with (L-R) Jamie Saul Hong, Rick Reiff, John Westersten, Martin Morgenstern and Eileen Saul

Tournament winners were the PPNC, Inc./David Wheeler group with Tyler Schmidt, George Schmidt and David Wheeler.

Childhelp winners

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Photo by Ann Chatillon

(L-R) Tournament winners Tyler Schmidt, George Schmidt and David Wheeler

Event co-chairs were Cathie Caporaso, Eileen Saul and Debra Violette and the Corporate Sponsor Committee co-chairs were Justin Wheeler, Matt Fletcher and Jim Violette.

A huge thank you to these Event Sponsors:

–Platinum Title:

~Jacquie and Michael Casey

–Gold Title:

~The Cleo A. Bluth Charitable Foundation

~O’Connell Family Foundation

–Executive:

~Fidelity National Title Group

–Associate:

~Black Knight, Inc

~Connor, Fletcher & Hedenkamp LLP

~Merrill Lynch/Gabe Pate

~Property Insight/Jim Violette

Childhelp co chairs

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Photo by Ann Chatillon

(L-R) Co-chairs Catherine Caporaso, Eileen Saul and Debra Violette

And a special thanks to the many Corporate Sponsors, too.

There is still time to donate to their “Raise Your Virtual Paddle” campaign, which is ongoing until Tuesday, Oct. 12 by texting childhelpocgolf2021 to 243725 or go to www.one.bidpal.net.

Childhelp Jaime and Vince

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Courtesy of Childhelp

(L-R) Jaime Saul Hong and Vince Ferragamo

Childhelp is proud to report that for each dollar expended, more than 92 cents is invested into serving the children in need of their program services, which include three Group Homes in Costa Mesa and the Childhelp Merv Griffin Village in Beaumont, Calif. Anyone wishing to make a donation to Childhelp should contact either Eileen Saul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Diana Miner at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by mail to Childhelp, P.O. Box 2954, Newport Beach, Calif. 92659.


Happy hour this Saturday at Central Library with best-selling author Maggie Shipstead

Join the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) this Saturday, Oct. 9 for happy hour with best-selling author Maggie Shipstead.

Shipstead will be discussing her Booker Prize longlisted novel, Great Circle and the global adventures that prompted the story. The book is being adapted for a TV series.

Synopsis: Spanning Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London and modern-day Los Angeles, Great Circle tells the unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost.

Happy hour Shipstead

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Courtesy of NBPL

Maggie Shipstead 

The event takes place at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach. Wine, beer and light hors d’oeuvres will be served in the Bamboo Courtyard at 6 p.m., followed by the 7 p.m. presentation in the Friends Room.

Tickets are $35 and available at www.newportliteracy.org.

Proceeds from the evening support Project Adult Literacy, a program of the Newport Beach Public Library.

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


October in paradise

October in umbrellas

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Photo by Emily Frangie (Instagram @thedroneangel)

No bad days when they look as pretty as this


Spectacles in the sky

Photos by Scott Brashier

Spectacles Blue Angels duo

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Spectacles Canadian Forces Snowbirds

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Spectacles USAF Heritage

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Spectacles Blue Angels Pier

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Spectacles Yak

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The fifth annual Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, which began Friday and continued through Saturday, featured North America’s three jet teams – the Thunderbirds, U.S. Navy Blue Angels and the Canadian Forces Snowbirds. The aircraft were seen and heard over the City of Newport Beach. The final day was canceled due to the oil spill off the Orange County coast.


Fall peaks

Fall peaks wave

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Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansieversphoto)

Magic is in the air in Newport Beach


Corona del Mar Scenic 5K … a huge success

The 39th Annual Corona de Mar Scenic 5K, presented by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, was held on Saturday, Oct. 2 with runners and walkers filling the village streets. From the Men’s and Women’s 5K races to the 2-mile Fun Walk/Youth Run and the always popular 1K Kid’s Dolphin Dash, the community came together for exhilarating exercise and a memorable day to share with family and friends…and it was an overwhelming success, attracting 1,000 participants.

Corona del Mar Women

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Photo by Amy Senk

The ladies are off for the Women’s 5K

Festivities located on the bluffs above beautiful Big Corona del Mar State Beach included awards, vendor exhibits, restaurant tastings for registered participants, entertainment and, of course, all with pristine ocean views.

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Councilmember Joy Brenner particularly enjoyed the camaraderie.

Corona de Mar Bress family

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Photo by Amy Senk

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris with three generations of the Bress family who participated this year (L-R) Nigel Bress, 24, Dennis Bress, 59 and Dennis Bress Sr., 83, who walked the race

“It’s so fabulous, especially after the year and a half we’ve endured. It couldn’t be more gorgeous out here,” said Petrie-Norris.

“Part of our problem during the pandemic was that we were sitting home getting angry. Now, we can gather outdoors like this, and the anger will lessen. There will be more joy,” shared Brenner.

Corona del Mar Wonder Women

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Photo by Amy Senk

In their best Wonder Woman poses (L-R) CdM Chamber President & CEO Linda Leonard, Janet Widing, NB Councilmember Joy Brenner, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Arolyn Burns with “A Treatment Center.” Widing and Burns won for Best Costume.

Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Linda Leonard with extremely happy with the outcome. “It feels wonderful to have live events,” she said. “Normally the race is in June, so this is the first time we have sunny photos without all the June Gloom!”

Corona del Mar Dolphin

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Photo by Amy Senk

The start of the 1K Kid’s Dolphin Dash

Corona del Mar Sanner

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Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

Dolphin Dash winner Brayden Sanner, age 7 1/2

Corona de Mar DiGrado

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Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

(L-R) Race chair for 20 years, Jim DiGrado with race emcee Rudy Novak

Corona delMar Lesher

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Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

(L-R) Presenting Sponsor Casey Lesher recognized by Assemblywoman Petrie-Norris and Councilmember Brenner

Corona del Mar Beach Hut

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Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

Beach Hut Deli’s sandwiches on Restaurant Row

Corona del Mar Chipotle

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Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

Chipotle serves favorite menu items on Restaurant Row

Corona del Mar Runners

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Photo by Amy Senk

Running through CdM village

A special thank you to this year’s sponsors, Restaurant Row eateries and the many volunteers. Once again, Stu News Newport was proud to be a Media Sponsor.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Oil, oil everywhere and that’s not good!

Tom new picI can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven along our coast past Huntington Beach, noticing the oil rigs off in the distant horizon, and imagining, “what if?”

Unfortunately, “what if” came true this weekend with the spill off the coast of Huntington Beach that has allowed an estimated 126,000 gallons of oil to taint our ocean waters. The initial results are tragic. According to www.savingoceanwildlife.org, “dead birds and fish are already washing up on shore. Boaters have reported seeing dolphins swimming through the oil slick, mammals, along with our species of whales (many of them already endangered such as our humpback, blue and fin whales), seals and sea lions and our five species of endangered turtles.” 

Fortunately, all hands are on deck working with a common goal of limiting the impacts.

First off, the U.S. Coast Guard has established a unified command along with Amplify Energy and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response

As of Sunday, a total of 3,150 gallons of “oily water mixture” has been recovered, with nine boats dispatched for further oil spill recovery, three shore assessment teams and 3,700 feet of boom has been deployed to contain the oils movement.

Beaches have been closed in Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach, with an advisory issued urging people to stay out of Newport Beach’s waters; Newport’s harbor has been closed to incoming and outgoing boat traffic, in order to prevent oil from entering bay waters; and many of our local officials, including councilmembers Joy Brenner, Diane Dixon, Kevin Muldoon and Will O’Neill have taken to the air to get a bird’s eye view of the breath of the spill and to determine the next steps.

Fair Game boater

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Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Boater being advised to turn around due to Newport Harbor being closed, with boom in the background

Stu News Newport harbor columnist Len Bose reports, that in his discussions with Harbormaster Paul Blank, Patriot Environmental Services, based out of Wilmington, has deployed a double boom in front of the harbor entrance as of Monday morning. Additionally, three boats were also on duty waiting at the harbor entrance to stop any ingress or egress.

 Supervisor Katrina Foley issued the following statement: “The ramifications will extend further than the visible oil and odor that our residents are dealing with at the moment. The impact to the environment is irreversible. We must identify the cause of the spill, and for the greater good of our cities, beaches and coastal ecological habitat we need to understand how to prevent these incidences moving forward. Our beaches are an integral part of our culture and economy, popular tourist destinations, and a California staple.”

Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) requested a Major Disaster Declaration from President Biden and urged Governor Gavin Newsom to throw his support to that request. 

Another impact the spill has caused are cancellations local hotel bookings dependent on beach and ocean enjoyment. It’s always important to remember that those “booked” room nights contribute to the city’s third largest revenue/tax source. So, any loss is a loss for the city.

Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin has joined with Visit Laguna Beach and Visit Huntington Beach to form the OC Coastal Tourism Coalition to address crisis tourism matters and to coordinate proper messaging.

In the meantime, members of the public are asked to avoid assisting with cleanup in the oiled areas. Trained spill response contractors are working to do this. Public volunteers are not requested at this time, but information can be found at https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer

If anyone encounters oiled wildlife, please avoid contact and call the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 1.877.823.6926.

• • •

The California Coastal Commission has a virtual hearing this week from Wednesday through Friday. Wednesday, however, is the day that focuses on Newport Beach issues and most importantly includes the appeal on the 2510 W. Coast Highway project.

For those people who have had their head in the sand for the last number of months, okay, just kidding, this project includes a three-story sales office, 35’ tall, with 39,842 sq. ft. of mixed use that includes 36 residential dwelling units. 

Nearby residents and appellants assert that the city failed to process the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) application correctly and failed to adequately address Local Coastal Programs (LCP) environmental concerns. Those translate to not protecting scenic and coastal qualities, public safety, proper public access and public recreation.

Mark Moshayedi is the developer and over time has attempted to appease those residents with outreach while at the same time dramatically improving the development’s design use.

The appeal is restrictive, however, and only allows the commission to look at the five feet of the development fronting Coast Highway. If something is then determined wrong there, the commission can stop the entire project.

Coastal Commission staff recommends that “no substantial issue exists with respect to the appeal.”

The project has primarily been controversial because the Moshayedi family owns and plans to develop a major portion of Mariner’s Mile and this is a precursor to all of that. 

Go here to review the meeting

• • •

Councilmember Diane Dixon will host a District 1 town hall tonight, October 5, at Marina Park. It’ll run from 5:30 -7 p.m.

Planned topics for discussion were reducing homelessness, public safety, trash & recycling and short-term lodging. Something tells me “oil” will now enter the presentation.

It’s free and the public is invited.

• • •

Orange County Youth Sports Foundation annually hosts a fundraising Sportsman of the Year Banquet. Sources tell me this year’s honoree will be broadcasting legend Bob Costas.

An event will reportedly be planned for January, probably at the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa.

Keep an eye on their website, https://ocysf.org, for emerging details.

Monies raised from this and other events support efforts to purchase uniforms, equipment and other needs to support underprivileged Orange County youth.

• • •

If you know a deserving veteran, you have until Monday, Oct. 11 to nominate them to Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris as she seeks the 2021 Veteran of the Year for District 74.

You can submit nominations to https://a74.asmdc.org/2021-veteran-year-nomination.

• • •

Speaking of Cottie, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce will feature her at their Thursday, Oct. 7 WAKE UP! Newport meeting beginning at 7:45 a.m. at the Newport Beach Public Library. Petrie-Norris will offer a Sacramento legislative update.

It’s free to the public. Info and reservations can be directed to www.newportbeach.com.

• • •

On Wednesday, Oct. 13, Speak Up Newport will present one of the most important topic discussions in some time. The live in-person and Zoom discussion will focus on SB 9, that has been signed into law, that allows four housing units to be constructed on a single-family zoned lot.

Speak Up will present advocates on both sides of the issue.

It’s a free event and takes place beginning with a reception at 5:15 p.m. and the program from 6-7 p.m. No RSVP is required.

For those choosing Zoom, you must register prior to the event at www.speakupnewport.com/senate-bill-9/.

• • •

If you happened to watch the Stanford-Oregon football game last weekend, you hopefully noticed Newport Beach’s own John Humphreys catching and then “pinballing” his way off tacklers into the end-zone for the game winner in overtime. The score gave Stanford a 31-24 win.

Humphreys, a sophomore wide receiver, played his high school ball at Corona del Mar.


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung.jpg

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members: 

I’m pleased to report that Newport Beach will soon be taking a new and promising approach to mental health crisis response. The City Council this week unanimously approved a one-year contract with Be Well OC for mobile response services that will address mental health challenges among the city’s homeless population. It will also serve residents and visitors who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. 

Be Well OC’s approach is to deploy experienced crisis counselors and paramedics to mental health calls for service to the Police Department’s non-emergency or 911 call lines. After the initial response, the team will transport patients to a local crisis center, detox facility or shelter, depending on the situation. In addition to providing specialized help, it will allow the city’s police and emergency medical teams to focus their efforts on other types of calls (our police and fire dispatchers receive about 4,500 mental health-related calls per year). Be Well OC staff will work closely with the city’s public safety teams to ensure an appropriate response to each call for service. 

The program will launch in December 2021 with a dedicated two-person team working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. We believe it will be a valuable addition to our portfolio of services that addresses homelessness and mental health challenges in the community. For more information, see the city’s news release

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of September 30, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,936, an increase of 69 cases from September 23. The total number of cases in Orange County as of September 30 was 297,635, an increase of 2,764 cases from September 23. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of September 30 was 283,787. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The county’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available here. Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page here by the California Department of Public Health. The county’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available here. Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page here

Recycling Update 

In advance of new state deadlines, the city and our contractor, CR&R, are distributing blue-top recycling carts to all households in Newport Beach that do not currently have one. On January 1, 2022, recycling will become mandatory throughout the state. If you are new to the recycling program, you will receive a guide in the mail to recycling best practices, along with FAQs. The recycling guide is available here.

Treasury Report 

The July 2021 Treasury Report is available on the city’s website at www.newportbeachca.gov/treasury.

As of July, the city’s portfolio totaled just over $322 million. Approximately $63.5 million of the portfolio was invested in very liquid investments available for day-to-day operations and major construction expenditures. 

The short-term portfolio ($242.8 million) had a weighted average effective maturity of 1.86 years. The trailing 12 months’ total return was 0.33 percent. Our benchmark for the same period, the ICE BofA 1-3 Year Treasury index, returned 0.14 percent. The income return on the portfolio, a better measure of income earned from the portfolio, was 1.77 percent. 

Homelessness Update 

–Two people experiencing homelessness near the Balboa Pier are sheltered in a motel while they await Emergency Housing Vouchers. One has been unsheltered for eight years after losing an apartment; the other has lived in a vehicle for a year after losing her housing. 

–Nineteen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. City Net completed three intakes this week. 

–City Net, the city’s contract homeless services agency, ordered Social Security award letters for several clients matched to Emergency Housing Vouchers. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority. 

–City Net ordered identifying documents (including a photo ID, birth certificate and Social Security card) for a person enrolled in their services. 

–City Net completed a housing assessment with a person enrolled in their services. The person was matched to an Emergency Housing Voucher last week. 

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, visit our Good Giving Program for details.

Seasons Change – Four Reasons to Adjust Your Sprinkler Range 

The Utilities and Public Works departments would like to remind residents with the change in seasons, NOW is a good time to adjust your sprinklers. 

–Start saving water ahead of the potential statewide drought declaration.

–Reduce urban runoff (i.e. water running down the gutter into the harbor).

–Avoid squishy, wet grass. 

–Save money.

An average home uses enough water to fill a swimming pool every two months. That’s about 7,500 gallons every month (10 HCF on your bill). Many homes use even more. Simply reducing your outdoor sprinkler watering time by a minute or two per sprinkler station will save a tremendous amount of water. If you would like a visit or to have a conversation from our Utilities Department staff to review your water use, feel free to contact us at 949.644.3011. 

Editor’s Note: Stu News Newport received City Manager’s Updates on Friday, Oct. 1 and is subject to editing.


Racing Hawaiian style

By DUNCAN FORGEY

Newport Beach’s notoriety is widespread for many different reasons. For over a century, its beauty and fantastic weather have attracted people from around the world. Entrepreneurial ingenuity, real estate development and an ever-present desire for status has resulted in wealth and power for residents.  The city has fathered fortunes in music and entertainment, technology and aerospace, internet and computers, clothing and fashion, food and restaurants, athletics, ocean sports and surfing, yachting and competitive sailing, as well as unique inventions and politics. The city thrives on success.

But, if you dig deep into Newport’s vibrant history, a lesser-known activity grew out of the harbor that did not worry about wealth or status – outrigger canoeing. Seemingly insignificant to most, this competition is endeared by all those who truly love the sea. Evolving from men and women in ancient canoes exploring the Pacific Ocean, the mere sight of a working outrigger canoe casts a glorious contradiction to the expensive yachts and waterfront homes that ring the bay.   

Outrigger canoeing dates back to the Austronesian speaking peoples of Southeast Asia. Like mosquitoes on a pond, these hardy watermen moved about the Pacific Ocean. In 1500 BC with the creation of the lateen sail, wanderers started settling throughout Polynesia, New Zealand and traveled as far east as Madagascar. Traveling in hollowed-out tree trunks, these explorers crossed vast oceans and moved from island chain to island chain resulting in a growing population throughout the South Pacific.

Racing Hawaiian Toeppners

Photo by Duncan Forgey

Ocean paddlers JoJo and Carl Toeppner

Early canoes arrived in Hawaii approximately 1,500 years ago. In 1778, Captain James Cook landed on the Island of Kauai. During this voyage, he wrote of seeing about 1,500 canoes throughout the island chain. These “low in the water” boats were essential for development of the Hawaiian culture. Efficient people movers, they became essential for everyday needs like fishing, trade and carrying warriors into battles. Relying on the ocean’s currents and winds, it was often pure muscle and brawn that paddled the crafts across millions of miles of ocean. This strength and endurance became models for today’s modern-day paddlers.

California adopted the tradition with a Hawaiian-style outrigger race on September 20, 1959 – the same year Hawaii became a state. Albert “Toots” Minvielle, Tommy Zahn, Ira Dowd and others combined to organize and bring this sacred sport to the mainland. It pitted an experienced Hawaiian team against a group of mainland surfers and Hawaiians under the tutelage of Noah Kalama and Tom Johnson. Two traditional Hawaiian canoes, the Malia (calm waters) and the Niuhe (shark), built from Hawaii’s sacred koa wood, paddled 27 miles from Avalon to the Dunes in Newport Harbor. The forever-famous Duke Kahanamoku served as Grand Marshal helping introduce Hawaiian traditions to early ocean loving groms of Newport Beach.   

Two notable names rarely celebrated in Newport Beach history, are the Kalama and the Kamalani clans. Of Hawaiian blood, they moved to town in the 1950s and their children attended Costa Mesa and Corona del Mar high schools.   Youngsters Tubby, Ilima and Leina’ala Kalama and their cousins, Leilola, Ben and John Kamalani were inspirational to all who picked up a paddle.

For the first race, Noah assembled watermen, surfers, lifeguards and swimmers. He then introduced them to the outrigger canoe and after months of practicing in the bay, he eventually took them into the open ocean. They tested and honed their skills, and the art of ocean paddling and outrigger canoe racing was born when they competed in the first Catalina to Newport race.    

A second race in 1960 had five boats: two Minveille Hawaiian crews, two newly designed fiberglass boats and Lorrin Harrison’s 1950 dug-out outrigger. By year three, there were eight teams. Today, there are about 1,000 participants in the annual two-day event. 

Spreading out like an ancestral tree, California paddlers and their canoe clubs grew from the roots of the 1959 race. Mainlanders learned about the intense competitiveness of the Hawaiian teams, plus the strength of Hawaiian Aloha and its long-standing traditions. 

In the beginning, 16-year-old Leiola and her cousin Ilima, were leaders for the many youngsters in Newport, alongside early “pioneers” Billy Whitford, Pete Antista, Pete Oliver, Bill Petit, Jessie Flores, Conrad Bagley, Alden Doesberg, Jim Miller, Mike Montepert, Pat Glascow, Spinny Richardson, Jeff Evans and many more. 

Racing Hawaiian Imua

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Courtesy of SCORA (Southern California Outrigger Racing Assoc.)

Imua Outrigger Canoe Club during the Catalina Race

As word spread, more paddlers came forward. Noah started the Newport Beach Outrigger Club and Dennis Campbell founded the Imua Outrigger Canoe Club the day he walked into Blackie’s By the Sea and asked for volunteers. A tough and lasting rivalry within the harbor was born between all the teams. During the 1960s and ‘70s, men and eventually women raced, plus dozens of young boys and girls of the bay clamored to get aboard one of these fantastic boats. Many young people find canoeing to be one of the best ways to show pride and strength in a sport very few people understand. 

Bud Hohl, Whitford and John Rader started the Offshore Canoe Club, which eventually spun off into the Newport Aquatic Center in 1998. This Back Bay facility has since become a world-renown center for competitive watersports. 

NAC Catalina Race

Courtesy of SCORA (Southern California Outrigger Racing Assoc.)

NAC in the Catalina Race

Initially, women were not allowed to compete in long distance or open ocean racing. Women’s paddling was born with a series of shorter regattas in 1963 when they paddled in Long Beach. It was not long before local women were competing in some of the same races as the men. JoJo Toeppner, a Newport native, has paddled her entire life. She also has set an incredible record unlike any other in the sport. Toeppner is the only person to have ever completed all 40 Molokai Hoe Canoe Races in Hawaii. The 41-mile Molokai race takes between five and six hours to complete and passes through one of Hawaii’s most dangerous channels. This race attracts competition from all over the world.  Toeppner’s husband, Carl, was a member of the “Blazing Paddles” which won the Molokai race. Despite still being a mystery to the general public, canoe paddling has grown exponentially throughout the decades.

Racing Hawaiian Long Beach

Courtesy of Leiola Kamalani Oliver

First Women’s Outrigger Race, Newport Outrigger Club, Long Beach, 1964

So, the next time you sip expensive wine while cruising the harbor in your Duffy, don’t just look at the large homes and huge yachts. Think about the beauty and history of Newport Harbor and the Hawaiian traditions that are steeped in the city. When an outrigger canoe silently passes you, notice the concentrated paddlers with their heads down. Understand that they are not being driven by the wind, an outboard motor or a giant Cummings diesel. Each canoe is propelled by the ancient spirits of the Ali’i Royalty of Hawaii through the strong arms and backs of today’s paddlers. These perspired and dedicated athletes paddle with the same intensity as ancient warriors who crossed from island to island over 400 years ago.     

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Duncan Forgey, a lifelong resident of Newport Beach, now makes his home in Hawaii. He is a regular contributor to Stu News Newport.


Jamie Browning Band featuring a Salute to Tom Petty at Campus JAX

The Jamie Browning Band featuring a Salute to Tom Petty will be playing at Campus JAX on Friday, Oct. 8 from 8-9:30 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Browning, the lead vocalist and guitar player, has enjoyed a music career spanning 40 years. He has performed and recorded with such artists as Buffalo Springfield, Love, Neil Young, the Dirty Dancing World Tour, Bill Medley, Michael McDonald and more.

You will hear the music of Jackson Browne, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, the Eagles, Bob Dylan, Albert King, Eric Clapton and of course, Tom Petty. A very diverse performance geared for energy and fun awaits.

Jamie Browning Band Browning

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Photo by Tim Rushmore

Jamie Browning Band

Since then, the band grew to 11 instruments and Luke Carlsen & the Fresh Rhythm have been regulars at the Disneyland Resort’s Saturday night Swing night, Vibrato in Bel-Air, and Clifton’s and the Cicada Club in DTLA.

Cost: $40 per person for Ultra VIP Section Tables for 2 or 4 people;
$30 per person for VIP Section Tables for 2 or 4 people, $30 for single barstool seats; $20 per person General Seating Tables for 2 or 4 people, $15 single barstool seats; and Booths for 4 people, $200.

One entree purchase per person is required, as are reservations.​ A $10 surcharge will be added if no entrée is purchased and there are no drink minimums. No outside beverages are allowed.

For tickets, visit https://campusjax.seatengine.com/shows/153079. For more information about Campus JAX and upcoming shows, visit www.campusjax.com.

Campus JAX is located at 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back The Kerper House

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The Kerper House at 316 Amethyst Ave. on Balboa Island, circa 1940s

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Council approves partnership with Be Well OC for mobile mental health, crisis response 

The Newport Beach City Council has approved a contract agreement for mobile response services to address mental health challenges among the city’s homeless population, as well as residents and visitors who may be experiencing a mental health crisis.

On Tuesday, Sept. 28, the council approved a $1.2 million agreement with Mind OC to fund its Be Well OC Mobile Crisis Response Team for an initial one-year term. The partnership will launch in December 2021. 

Mind OC is a local nonprofit organization focused on coordinating services across multiple public and private systems to provide mental health support for the community. 

Under the Be Well OC program, experienced crisis counselors and paramedics will respond to mental health calls for service to the Police Department’s non-emergency or 911 call lines, reducing the need for police and emergency medical services. Newport Beach will have a dedicated two-person team, 12 hours a day, seven days a week. Patients can be transported to a local crisis center, detox facility, or shelter, as needed. Be Well OC staff will work closely with the city’s public safety teams to ensure an appropriate response to calls for service. 

The program’s first-year cost, about $1.2 million, is being offset by an anonymous donation from a Newport Beach resident of $132,000 for a van and set-up costs. Federal grants will be used to fund about $717,000 and the remaining $376,000 will come from funding currently allocated for homeless shelter operations. City staff is pursuing grants, additional donations and other cost-sharing opportunities to offset future costs.

The Be Well OC program will augment the city’s current efforts to address homelessness, which include a shelter partnership with the City of Costa Mesa, and a new pilot program that will provide volunteer opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness to learn and/or rebuild job skills and a path toward stable employment and housing.

Through a comprehensive, proactive response to addressing homelessness, the city has helped 67 homeless individuals obtain permanent housing since 2019. The city’s homeless population fluctuates seasonally, between about 60 in the winter and 95 in the summer.


OCCF’s Tracy Branson awarded non-profit CFO of the Year

The Orange County Community Foundation’s (OCCF) chief financial officer of 30 years, Tracy Branson, has been named CFO of the Year by the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ) for the nonprofit sector.

Since joining OCCF in 1991, Branson has played a pivotal role in OCCF’s emergence as one of the largest and fastest-growing community foundations in the nation. As a key executive, Branson has helped propel OCCF to top-tier status among more than 780 U.S. community foundations, ranking in the top 7% in assets with $500 million in charitable funds and the top 2% in annual granting activity. OCCF has granted more than $200 million in the past two years and a total of $830 million since its inception to nonprofits in Orange County, across the nation and around the world.

OCCF s Tracy Branson

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Courtesy of OCCF

Tracy Branson

The CFO of the Year award is one of Orange County’s premier business events to honor financial executives in five categories: Public, Private, Not-for-Profit, Rising Star and Lifetime Achievement. Each outstanding award recipient promotes and supports excellence in financial reporting, establishes procedures and sets an example of ethical behavior throughout their organization, manages growth, employs efficiencies, ensures a solid financial position, and contributes to the advancement of their industry and community. This year’s honorees represented some of Orange County’s top companies, including Vizio Inc., Virgin Galactic, Tilly’s, OCCF and Landmark Health, LLC. 

“Tracy represents the best of both the head and the heart,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation. “After more than three decades with OCCF, she continues to inspire our staff, board, donors and nonprofit partners with her expertise, dedication and selfless service to our community. This honor is a well-earned recognition of the legacy she continues to create in Orange County, and we’re all the better because of her.” 

Branson, who holds an economics degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, became passionate about financial best practices and accountability early in her career while working at Ernst & Young. She approaches business decisions not only with an eye for impact on the bottom line, but on the needs of the Orange County community. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

OCCF is recognized as the center of gravity for Orange County philanthropy, acting as an unparalleled resource for local philanthropists and their families for more than 30 years by offering unique insights, deep knowledge and a diverse array of tools to support both lifetime and legacy giving. To learn more about the Orange County Community Foundation, visit www.oc-cf.org.


Big Canyon’s Hagestad wins the Mid-Amateur Championship for the second time

Last week, Newport Beach’s Stewart Hagestad, 30, won the 40th U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship over Mark Costanza, 2-and-1, at Sankaty Head Golf Club, Siasconset, MA. It marked the second time in five years (also 2016) that Hagestad won this prestigious title.

Hagestad, who plays out of Big Canyon Country Club, is a second-year MBA student at the University of Southern California, where he played college golf.

In the finals 36-hole match, Hagestad built an early 7-up lead that closed to 5-up after 18. Costanza, of Morristown, N.J., continued to whittle away before Hagestad finally closed the door.

Big Canyon's Hagestad

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www.instagram.com@stew

Stewart Hagestad

The victory earned Hagestad a gold medal and possession of the Robert T. Jones Memorial Trophy for one year, an exemption into the 2022 U.S. Open, a likely invite to the 2022 Masters, exemptions into the 2022 and 2023 U.S. Amateur Championships and an exemption into the next 10 U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.

Most top amateur golfers eventually move on to play professional golf. Not so for Hagestad, as of yet. For those that haven’t made the move to professional, Hagestad joins the ranks of top modern-day amateurs Jay Sigel (won the U.S. Amateur, British Amateur and Mid-Am and competed in nine Walker Cups) and Harvie Ward (two U.S. Ams and one British Am, three Walker Cups and one NCAA Championship). Both Sigel and Ward turned professional at 50 to try their hand on the Senior Tour.

Hagestad’s resume includes the two Mid-Am championships, a Metropolitan Amateur and three victorious Walker Cup teams.

Bobby Jones is unquestionably considered the top amateur golfer ever.


A thank you to our firefighters

A thank you Rotary

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Courtesy of Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa

The Rotary Club of Newport-Balboa thanks Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles (far left) and the members of the Newport Beach Fire Dept. for being their special guests at the Rotary’s September 30th meeting at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Pictured in front next to Chief Boyles is Rotary President Cassidy Castleman.


Newport Beach Fire Department hosts Fire Service Day on October 10

The Newport Beach Fire Department (NBDD) and the Newport Beach Firefighters Association are hosting a Fire Service Day on Sunday, Oct. 10 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Newport Beach Fire Station #7 (20401 SW Acacia St., Newport Beach) in Santa Ana Heights. This free, community event coincides with Fire Prevention Week. 

Newport Beach Fire engine

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Courtesy of NBFD

Fire Service Day takes place at Newport Beach Fire Station #7 in Santa Ana Heights

The event provides the public with an opportunity to learn more about fire safety and view live demonstrations of vehicle extrications and fire scenarios. Fire and lifeguard apparatus will be on display along with the department’s antique fire engine. There will also be educational booths staffed by their Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers. There will be plenty of photo opportunities. 

Please note that this community event is only held at Newport Beach Fire Station #7 (20401 SW Acacia). There is ample street parking and limited handicap parking available in the station’s parking lot. The Newport Beach Firefighters Association will be serving lunch. 

Due to COVID restrictions, station tours will not be provided at this year’s event. Visitors are encouraged to follow current CDC COVID recommendations.


Chamber to present 2022 Economic Forecast with UCI Paul Merage School of Business

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, will present the 2022 Economic Forecast on Tuesday, Oct. 5. The luncheon will take place at the Balboa Bay Resort beginning with registration at 11 a.m., followed by the program from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

The program will be a post-pandemic economic and financial forecast looking ahead to 2022 for budgeting, finance, real estate and investments.

Chamber presents Schwarz

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Courtesy of NBCC

Christopher Schwarz

The featured speakers for the event will be Christopher Schwarz, the associate professor, finance from the UCI Paul Merage School of Business and Seimone Jurjis, the community development director for the City of Newport Beach.

Chamber presents Schwarz

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Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Seimone Jurjis

Schwarz, who is also faculty director for UCI’s Center for Investment and Wealth Management, will present the economic and financial forecast, while Jurjis will present recent developments in state legislation affecting real estate interests, while also discussing the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) and SB9 and 10.

For more information or to register, go here.


ENC’s Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch with animals, crafts and entertainment galore

On Sunday, Oct. 17, head over to the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) for the 46th Annual ENC Fall Faire & Pumpkin Patch from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for a day of fun.

This family-friendly festival attracts hundreds of visitors who enjoy the Log Area pumpkin patch (where you can pick out your favorites!), a petting zoo, pony rides, crafts & games, embark on a virtual “craft crawl” and “story walk,” face painting, entertainment on the Fire Circle Stage and tasty food from local restaurants including Bluewater Grill, Shirley’s Bagels, Pizza Bakery and Al’s New York Café at the Savor OC Showcase. 

Be sure to check out (and bid on) the items in the ENC’s online auction from October 11-17, with the auction closing on October 17 at 3 p.m. Bid on excellent items like gift certificates for frozen yogurt from House of Yogurt, Mexican food from Descanso Restaurant and Mi Casa, a polymer clay jewelry class from Dancing Bear Arts and music lesson from Molly’s Music.

ENC s Fall Faire kid in patch

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Courtesy of ENC

So many pumpkins to choose from in the ENC patch

Through the generous support of the community, the ENC will continue to provide equitable access and inspire all to protect the natural world by serving as our community’s leader in ecological responsibility, sustainable practices and environmental education. To donate a silent auction item, complete this form If you have questions, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you renew or become an ENC member on October 17, you’ll receive a free pumpkin! Not a member? Sign up at https://encenter.org/become-a-member/.

New this year will be pumpkin patch pre-sales. Register at https://encenter.org/become-a-member/ to get early bird status to the pumpkin patch. Pick up your pumpkin(s), with proceeds supporting the ENC and ENC Nature Preschool, or just take festive photos in the Pumpkin Patch. Pre-sale dates: October 13, 14 and 15 from 3-6 p.m. - ENC members only, registration required; October 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. - Everyone welcome and no registration is required.

To help make this event more sustainable, parking will be tight, so if you live close by, walk or ride your bike. Bring your own reusable water cup and receive free lemonade and water. Bring your reusable plates and utensils and receive a raffle ticket to be entered to win a fabulous prize.

Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach. For more information on upcoming events, visit www.encenter.org.


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.

Meet Jackson, a young 8-year-old Chi mix is as sweet as they come. He loves his walks and is a total little buddy dog. He has a heart of gold and, upon meeting him, it’s very apparent that he’s a gregarious guy. When it comes to small dogs, Jackson is truly as wonderful as they come. If you’ve been in search of your next, long term, meaningful, relationship, then Jackson is your happy boy.

Pet of the Week Jackson

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Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Jackson

Shelter staff can easily be reached at 949.718.3454. They’ll be happy to answer any and all questions that you may have. They do require completed application forms for their animals, so simply print one up from their non-profit’s webpage at www.FONBAS.org. After it is completed, you can email it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and upon review, they’ll call you to schedule an appointment. Jackson and all of his shelter pet guests look forward to seeing you.

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Adult Dogs - $150

–Puppies - $225

–Adult Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

–Rabbits - $45

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


CdM Chamber meeting to feature Congresswoman Michelle Steel

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will present their Good Morning Corona del Mar monthly meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. 

The free meeting, featuring complimentary coffee and pastries, will feature Congresswoman Michelle Steel, 48th District who will present, “The Inside Report on What’s Happening in Congress.”

CdM Chamber Steel

Courtesy of the Office of Michelle Steel

Congresswoman Michelle Steel, 48th District

The gathering is intended to bring updates from the local legislative office representatives, including Newport Beach City Councilmember Joy Brenner, from District 6; State Senator Dave Min, 37th District; Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, 74th District; and Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley from the 2nd District.

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.

The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club is located at 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar. There is no RSVP required to attend. Tables will be set for social distancing.


CdM sunset wonders

Cdm sunset drone

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

The light shines down over the top of CdM and beyond


City has document shredding and e-waste disposal event set for October 16

The City of Newport Beach will offer a free document shredding and e-waste disposal on Saturday, Oct. 16 from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. in the Harbor Day School parking lot at 3443 Pacific View Drive in Corona del Mar. 

Newport Beach residents are invited to bring documents and household electronic waste for free shredding and disposal. Residency will be verified, so please bring identification. Residents can bring up to 10 standard file boxes for shredding.

Acceptable items for shredding include bank and financial statements; credit card statements or pre-approved credit card offers; old IRS tax forms, checks or bills; old credit cards & plastic/paper membership cards; and junk mail, of any size and color. Documents can be bound with staples or paper clips.

Unfortunately, the shredder cannot accommodate X-rays or larger plastic items such as binders. Material is shredded on site. 

Acceptable items for e-waste disposal include computers, computer monitors, keyboards, televisions, printers, DVD players, cell phones and other small electronic devices.

No other household hazardous waste will be accepted. 

For more information, call 949.644.3055.


Pretty in paradise

Pretty in boats

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Photo by Stacia Stabler

Boats brighten the way on Balboa Island


Regattas and Races…

Regattas and Races...10.1

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Photo by Bronny Daniels | Joysailing.com

NHYC

Harbor 20 Fleet 1 Championships

(September 25-26)

(10 Races)

Harbor 20A

1 D’Art – Deermount & Menninger, NHYC, Total 26, Net 18 

2 Ping – Wiese & Wiese, NHYC, Total 25, Net 20 

3 Shana’s Secret – Thompson & Conzelman, NHYC/BCYC/LIYC, Total 26, Net 21 

4 WINGS – Boukather & Stemler, NHYC, Total 59, Net 49 

5 Zephyr – Allen & Helias, NHYC, Total 64, Net 54 

6 Only Child – Bose & Bose, BCYC, Total 66, Net 55 

7 Downhill – Gloege & Haus, NHYC, Total 67, Net 56 

8 Arrowhead – Macdonald & Macdonald, NHYC, Total 70, Net 60 

9 Blue Skies – Thorn, Thorn & Barnes, BYC, Total 75, Net 64

10 Aquavit – Camerini & Detwiler, UCISA, Total 78, Net 67 

11 Jubilee – Yates & Kinkaid, NHYC, Total 104, Net 93 

12 Fortunatelee – Johnson & Peterson, BYC, Total 130, Net 117 

Harbor 20B

1 (none) – Madigan & Madigan, BYC, Total 24, Net 18 

2 Lucky Lady – Newman & Kennedy, BYC, Total 32, Net 25 

3 Adrenalin – Noring & Foy, SBYC, Total 40, Net 30 

4 Dragon Lady – Kimball & Kimball, ABYC, Total 44, Net 33 

5 Whatever – Fischbacher & Hurliman, BSSB, Total 50, Net 42 

6 Sail Dates – Corkett & Corkett, Jr., NHYC, Total 60, Net 50 

7 Spirit – Haynes & Haynes, BCYC, Total 69, Net 60

8 Whit’s End – Whitney & Whitney, NHYC, Total 75, Net 65

9 (none) – Chan & Logan, NHYC, Total 78, Net 68 

10 Idros – Duncan & Duncan, NHYC, Total 79, Net 69

Harbor 20C

(No scores posted)

News relating to racing in or around Newport Harbor should be forwarded to Tom Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Corona del Mar Scenic 5K tomorrow

The 39th Annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K, presented by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, takes place tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 2. This highly anticipated and attended race/walk winds through the charming streets of Corona del Mar.

From competitive runners to those seeking an exhilarating social activity to share with family and friends, the community comes out in full force for this legendary event.

If you aren’t signed up to participate, you can still head down to the Ocean Boulevard blufftop to cheer on your favorite walkers and runners, as you enjoy pristine ocean views and activities for all ages. 

Corona del Mar balloon arch

Courtesy of Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce

The start line at a previous CdM Scenic 5K

Race Times:

–6 a.m. Event Day Registration Begins

–7:30 a.m. Warm-up

–7:55 a.m. Men’s 5K Race

–8:20 a.m. Women’s 5K Race

–8:45 a.m. 2 Mile Fun Walk/Youth Run

–9 a.m. 1K Kid’s Dolphin Dash

The supporters of the CdM 5K this year have been announced and include the following:

–Presenting Sponsor: Casey Lesher, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

–Corporate Sponsor: Hoag 

–Contributing Sponsor: Mariners Escrow Corporation

–Supporting Sponsor: Priestley Family Chiropractic

–Supporting Sponsor & Race Warm-Up: Rooted Soul Movement

–Official Pace Car Sponsor: Porsche Newport Beach

–Supporting Sponsor: Kurvana

–Supporting Sponsor: CR&R

–City Support Sponsor: City of Newport Beach

Stu News Newport is once again proud to be a Media Sponsor for this year’s CdM Scenic 5K.

For more information, visit www.CdmChamber.com.


Surf’s up and “school” starts Monday

The Endless Sun Surf School, operated by Tim and Amy Reda, begins after-school surfing classes on Monday, Oct. 4. This will mark the 10th year running the program that originally began by picking kids up at Newport Elementary years ago and walking them to the Newport Pier for lessons.

Now the program has grown to five different after-school classes, offering all different levels for children ages 5-17. This includes children attending any local school or homeschool, not just Newport Elementary.

Surfs up kids surfing

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Photos courtesy of Endless Sun Surf School

Four young surfers enjoying the ride

Each weekday is a class that’s offered at a different time and for a particular age group and level.

Students attending will be provided surfboards and wetsuits in a 4:1 or better student-teacher ratio. The school is located in the lower level of the lifeguard headquarters at the Newport Pier and contracted through the City of Newport Beach Recreation Department.

Surf s up Tim and Amy

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Tim and Amy Reda with surf students from Newport Elementary

For more information and to register, go to www.EndlessSunSurf.com. Space is limited.


COVID-19: 66 new cases and 1 new death reported in Newport Beach this past week

Stu News Newport is reporting COVID-19 numbers on a weekly basis, as reported by the OC Health Care Agency.

This week, September 22-September 28, there have been 66 new cases in Newport Beach and 1 new death, bringing the overall totals to 4,920 cases reported to date and 92 overall deaths. 

During the past week, the county reported a total of 2,624 new cases, raising the total to 296,932 to date. The death totals for the county were 63 for the week, bringing the overall total number of deaths to 5,418.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, Orange County has performed a cumulative of 5,054,229 tests to date. There are 288 current cases of hospitalized patients in Orange County, of which 72 are in ICU.

For questions about the data presented by the county, call 714.834.2000 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To view the county’s data dashboard, click here.

COVID-19 numbers are updated weekly by Stu News Newport in Friday’s edition.

SNN COVID 10.1.21 1

SNN COVID 10.1.21 2

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Data courtesy of OC Health Care Agency 


From Rock, Paper, Scissors to Halloween Movie Night – Argyros Plaza has a full October line-up 

October has arrived, and Segerstrom Center for the Arts has a full line-up of events on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza all throughout the month.

Since opening in October 2017, Segerstrom Center has welcomed more than 100,000 visitors to Argyros Plaza at nearly 350 free and low-cost events.

In celebration of Argyros Plaza’s fourth anniversary this month, they’re packing October with fan favorites for all, from movie night to silent disco.

The month of fun begins with Rock, Paper, Scissors: ‘80s edition on Sunday, Oct. 3. They’re bringing back everything ‘80s with a celebration of rad art and live music. Get your crafting on with decade-themed art making activities while enjoying a throwback concert packed with hits by decade icons from Journey to Bon Jovi. Local band Knyght Ryder will have you singing along to your favorite ‘80s jams all afternoon. To keep you safe, tickets will be in pod seating and are $25-$30 per pod.

Next up, get ready for a Halloween Movie Night & Drag Show dedicated to a spooky cult classic, beginning with an unmissable live drag performance from Miss Clair Voyance and her fellow queens. Before the film, join Miss Clair Voyance and her sinister sisters Leeko Rae, April Showers and Dannica Diamante as they transform the Argyros Plaza into their very own Hallo-Queen stage and bring to life everyone’s favorite Halloween icons on Friday, Oct. 15 from 7-10 p.m. Cost: $10 per person.

From Rock Fall for All

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Photo by Doug Gifford

“Fall for All” celebrates global autumn cultural traditions

Fall for All returns on Saturday, Oct. 16, so come out and enjoy a fall celebration of different autumn cultural traditions from around the world from Dia de los Muertos to Diwali. This fun-filled annual event for the whole family will feature engaging live music and dance performances from local community groups and festive activities.

From Rock All Abilities

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Courtesy of scfta.org

Performances in the “All Abilities Celebration” showcase the talents of individuals with disabilities

The inclusive programming continues on Saturday, Oct. 23 from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., as the Center invites everybody to join their All Abilities Celebration. Segerstrom Center for the Arts and VSA Orange County present the third annual All Abilities Celebration where performances and local community partners will highlight opportunities for individuals with disabilities. At the Center, they celebrate the unique attributes, characteristics, abilities and perspectives of each member of our community. This event is presented in partnership with VSA Orange County whose mission is to provide arts, education and cultural opportunities by, with and for people with disabilities, making the arts accessible to people of all abilities. Cost: $5 per person.

From Rock Silent Disco

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Photo by Stan Sholik

“Silent Disco” promises an evening of great tunes spun by the Silent DJs

To wrap up the month, on Saturday, Oct. 30, the ever-popular Silent Disco Halloween edition returns. Grab your favorite costume or most ghoulish glow-in-the-dark gear and meet on the plaza for a night of good times and great tunes spun by the Silent DJs. Whether you love Halloween classics or EDM, their DJs have something for everyone. Pick a channel or enjoy all three on the light-up headphones they’ll have waiting for you on the dance floor.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Julianne and George Argyros Plaza is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit www.scfta.org.


War Heroes on Water parade, sportfishing tournament returns October 2-5

War Heroes on Water (WHOW) returns October 2-5 for its fourth straight year with a competitive sportfishing tournament off the coast of Southern California benefiting combat-wounded veterans. The event kicks off publicly with an inspiring, patriotic and visually stunning community boat parade at 5 p.m. at the Newport Harbor East Turning Basin.

Led by the tournament flagship Bad Company 144, the parade will feature 40 of the SoCal sportfishing community’s top sportfishing yachts. The public is invited and encouraged to share its gratitude for the sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S. armed forces by cheering for the veterans – on land or on water – as they head out to sea with their WHOW teams. 

War Heroes parade fleet

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Submitted photo

War Heroes on Water (WHOW) parade fleet

The boat parade lineup begins at 4 p.m. with the parade starting at 5 p.m. with the singing of the national anthem and presentation of colors by the Orange Country Sheriff’s Color Guard. A map of pedestrian viewing areas is available here

A WHOW 2021 Kickoff Party on Linda Isle takes place on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 12 p.m. This exclusive event will feature a silent auction, veteran send-off, live entertainment and a great vantage point for the 2021 WHOW boat parade. Tickets are $250 and can be purchased here.

Created by loanDepot founder and CEO Anthony Hsieh, this year’s tournament will be the largest to date, tripling the number of participating veterans to 100 and raising more than $1.2 million. Following the fishing tournament, an awards ceremony and military flyover take place on Catalina Island on Monday, Oct. 4.

What makes WHOW special is that it helps veterans readjust to civilian life after their return from their overseas tours. Recent events such as the pullout from Afghanistan and the isolation from the pandemic have added to veterans’ challenges, making an event like WHOW more important than ever. With the calming setting of the open ocean, these veterans have the opportunity to open up to one another, forge new relationships and bond over similar experiences and feelings, allowing for much needed healing to occur. 

For additional information, contact Tournament Director Rod Halperin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


You Must Remember This: national parks

By NANCY GARDNER

Like the beaches, our national parks were a lot less crowded in my youth. I was probably 9 when we went to Yosemite, and there were no waits, few cars, nothing like what’s on today’s Yosemite home page about restrictions in place to reduce traffic jams. Now one might dismiss this observation as a memory colored by nostalgia, and I admit to a certain amount of that. When I recall that period, every summer beach day was sunny which is a bit improbable, so maybe the park was just as crowded then as today? Hardly.

In 2019, about 4.5 million people visited Yosemite. Back in the ‘50s it was under a million, so I stand by my statement: Things were a lot less crowded. We had the pleasure of seeing bears as they mooched around campgrounds, deer came up close, but the thing that made the biggest impression was the firefall.  Now there are two firefalls. One is when certain atmospheric factors combine, and Horsetail Falls is illuminated by the sunset to look like it’s on fire. That one I know nothing about. When we went, the firefall tumbling down the cliff was real fire. It was a tradition started in the 19th century in which a bunch of burning wood, coals, etc. was pushed off the lip of a steep cliff at night. It was quite a sight, but one that seems a little out of step with national park culture which eventually proved to be the case. In the 1960s, the fiery firefall was ended partly because it drew such huge crowds that the meadow was trampled and partly because it was not “natural,” which the park should be. Still, for a 9 year old it was definitely the high point of our visit, but that wasn’t the only thing I took away with me.

One purpose of our travels was to increase our knowledge, and from that trip I learned to spell Yosemite. I was intrigued that something that looked like it should be pronounced yo-seh-might was actually pronounced you-seh-mitt-tee, and I couldn’t wait to share this fact. As soon as I got back, I rushed to the stables (where Irvine Terrace is). I was one of the younger riders, most of the other girls were in their teens, but it was a pretty inclusive group because of our shared love of horses. I saw four of them talking and trotted up.

“Do you know how to spell Yosemite?” I challenged.

They pretended not to care, but I knew that was simply a cover because they didn’t know how to spell it. I was also convinced that they really wanted to know, so I promptly spelled it for them. While they did their best to hide it by going off to brush a horse or soap a saddle, I knew they were gratified that I was so generous in sharing my knowledge, and the only reason they didn’t ask me to ride with them that afternoon was – well, I wasn’t quite sure why – but was certain there was a valid reason.

The next year we visited three more parks, all easier to spell: Zion, Bryce and Yellowstone. Zion didn’t seem as unique as the others, but I liked it best because we rode horses. Bryce was interesting for all the formations and then we got to Yellowstone. I was a child who had no difficulty imagining all sorts of personal disasters in all sorts of situations, and one look at Yellowstone, and my imagination went into high gear. I don’t know what it’s like today, but in those days they must have had a lot of confidence in the good sense and good footing of visitors, because there were all these wooden paths, most without railings, leading you around and across mud pots and hot springs and various other things that were just waiting to boil you to death. It reminded me of how foolish we were to leave the safety and comfort of Corona del Mar, and no one could have been more relieved when the four of us emerged intact and headed for home. As for Old Faithful, it was some water spurting up. I was too young to appreciate the uniqueness of its regularity.

Happily, for me at least, that was the last of our big trips, and after two unsuccessful attempts to send me off to summer camp, my parents gave up and let me stay home and spend my summer at the beach, and while I can’t prove every day was sunny, I feel quite comfortable stating that the beaches were less crowded. I couldn’t find the number of beach visitors in the ‘50s (150 million in 2019), but the state population was between 11-12 million and now is about 40 million, and when you couple that with the beaches not being as popular then – I rest my case.

~~~~~~~~

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


The lucrative international tourism market is re-emerging following a COVID hiatus

By GARY SHERWIN

It’s sometimes referred to as Newport Beach’s hidden and most often overlooked revenue stream and generates tremendous cash not only at hotels, but also at Fashion Island and even at our luxury car dealers. 

In fact, this category spends more money per capita than just about any other group.

International tourism is frequently forgotten when you think of people coming to town and staying here. Locals sometimes think – is someone really going to fly 13 or more hours to come for the privilege of visiting our city?

In fact, yes, they are and in normal years, we get a lot of those people.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Last week the Biden Administration announced that they will lift travel bans for foreign visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID, which will reopen our valuable international markets once again. That’s great news for our community.

For some people in town, international travel, which pre-pandemic brought in more than 8.2 million visitors to California each year, looks glamorous and discretionary, but for our Newport Beach hospitality industry it simply isn’t. These guests stay longer in our city and spend much more money during each visit than most of our domestic visitors.

Ask any of our luxury properties that heavily depend on international guests to pay their bills. For those hotels that attract the Middle East market, one of the most lucrative in the world, those guests often stay for more than 30 days, and they bring their extended family and staff. They spend significantly at places like Fashion Island and dine out at some of our most expensive restaurants.

Even in this uneven pandemic recovery summer of 2021, Middle East visitors came to Newport Beach and stayed, renting luxurious villas and some even buying fancy cars as souvenirs.

The announcement that the 18-month travel ban is ending in November from 33 countries, including the European Union, China, Iran, South Africa, Brazil and India, is a major step forward in the tourism industry’s long recovery, which has lost more than $500 billion since the pandemic began.

Before the shutdown, Newport Beach relied on visitation from people in the United Kingdom, Canada, Middle East and China, which made up about 16 percent of our total visitors in our $1 billion tourism industry. All those markets evaporated literally overnight in March 2020, and they largely haven’t been heard from since.

Now there is a glimmer of hope. In addition to national reopening of the markets, Air Canada is starting to breathe life again with new air service into Orange County/John Wayne Airport from Vancouver starting tomorrow October 2. There will be four flights a week with hopes that this lucrative market can become daily starting next year.

But with everything these days, there are complications. Unvaccinated people will be banned from visiting the U.S., including countries where it is more difficult to get the vaccine.

Even with a return to more international visitation, Newport Beach will see a slightly different visitor mix going forward. The Chinese market will likely be smaller for quite a while as the U.S. and mainland China continue to have economic and political disputes. The United Kingdom will be one of the first to rebound locally but the effects of Brexit, which is still causing financial chaos, may slow the short-term flow of visitors.

There have been some who have questioned whether pursuing international visitors to Newport Beach is worth the effort. I say if we don’t, we are committing significant economic malpractice. California attracts more foreign visitation than almost any other state, except for Florida. For us to not pursue our fair share, is leaving money on the table that our neighboring cities are more than happy to take from us.

Visit California, the state’s tourism marketing organization with a $130 million annual budget, traditionally spends most of its funds in managing several international offices across the globe. We capitalize on those efforts, and they have benefited us on a local level.

I mentioned last week that Newport Beach will be even more of a luxury market in the years ahead with higher average daily rates and a more cosmopolitan clientele. To accomplish that, many of these free spending visitors will come from foreign lands who want to enjoy our aspirational lifestyle.

And let’s get another perception corrected while we’re at it. Soliciting international visitors, despite its glamorous perception, is not easy work. Ask anyone in the tourism industry who knows this market and is required to spend long days making client calls in a foreign land while suffering from extreme jet lag and bad airport food. You’re there to book business, not sightsee.

Opening America once again so people can visit is a great step forward in healing our economy. Now Newport Beach must wake from its international slumber and restart the difficult work to bring these international visitors – and their wallets – back to town.

Gary Sherwin is President & CEO of Visit Newport Beach and Newport Beach & Company.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Newport Beach’s “Mr. Everything” has officially thrown his hat into the ring for a city council seat

Tom new picWell, I’ll be honest and tell you that I’ve been waiting for this one. Joe Stapleton, “Mr. Everything Newport Beach,” is announcing today his intentions to replace Diane Dixon in her vacated Newport Beach City Council seat come 2022.

Nobody, and I seriously mean nobody, does Newport Beach like Joe does. If I run into someone that doesn’t know Joe, and that would be rare, here’s how I describe him: “Joe’s on every important committee serving Newport Beach…oh, and he’s not just on it, he chairs it! And he steps up offering to do most of the work…usually right after the meeting so that he’s sure everything gets done! He’s the best!”

It’s how he is.

Joe is also a very successful Newport Beach entrepreneur, opening and operating Spinnaker Investment Group, LLC, along with partners Morgan Christen and Andrew Krongold.

Joe’s done so much locally at such a young age that in 2020 he was the youngest person ever to be named Newport Beach’s Citizen of the Year. Simply put, most people don’t get that recognition until much later in life because it takes that long to build up the credentials that Joe’s accomplished over the last dozen years.

When I said he’s been involved, I mean it! Try this list on for size: he currently serves on the City’s Finance Committee, he’s a past Harbor Commissioner, he’s active on the board of directors of more than a dozen community and civic organizations including The Pacific Arts Foundation, Leadership Tomorrow, The Elite OC, the Newport Beach Foundation and the Corona del Mar Residents Association. 

Oh, there’s more (deep breath in): Charter Update committee member, Newport Beach Chamber board, Skipper of the Newport Beach Commodores Club, board member of The Pacific Club, the Lott Trophy, Literacy Project, The New Majority, and the OC Marathon (exhale).

(Inhale) He’s also a graduate of Fire Ops 101 for Newport Beach and the Citizen Police Academy. Additionally, he’s also been recognized with the Newport Beach & Co. Dennis O’Neil Partner in Progress Award and 40 Under 40 by the OC Metro in 2014.

Joe would be an excellent addition to the City Council and in my estimation would be doing it for Newport Beach and not as a stepping-stone to a bigger office.

He would represent District 1.

• • •

Tuesday the curtain rose for the Knife Pleat, under the guidance of restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi and chef Tony Esnault, as they received the prized Michelin Star. Knife Pleat, offering classical French cuisine, is located in South Coast Plaza’s Penthouse.

“We’re overjoyed to be recognized by Michelin, the ultimate standard of excellence in dining,” says Sarmadi. “We thank our team who’s played an essential role in earning this distinction, and South Coast Plaza, for providing the impeccable environment in which we’ve been able to thrive.”

Not that it’s an old hat for Esnault, but it kinda is. Previously he’s earned a combined five Michelin stars as the executive chef at Alain Ducasse at the Essex House and Adour at the St. Regis, both in New York City.

South Coast Plaza’s Debra Gunn Downing, the executive director of marketing, added, “South Coast Plaza is elated that Knife Pleat has been recognized with a Michelin star, the ultimate designation of culinary excellence. Chef Tony Esnault, restaurateur Yassmin Sarmadi and their wonderful team have created an exceptional Southern California dining destination.”

With that distinction awarded, future reservations will probably be in order. Bet on it. 

• • •

The Newport Beach Fire Department and the Newport Beach Fire Association will be hosting a Fire Service Day on Sunday, October 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Newport Beach Fire Station #7 at 20401 Acacia in Santa Ana Heights. 

This free, community event coincides with National Fire Prevention Week.

The public will enjoy live demonstrations of vehicle extrications and fire scenarios, and to participate in a meet and greet with Newport Beach Fire and Lifeguard personnel. There will also be fire and lifeguard apparatus on display along with the department’s antique fire engine. 

Members of the Newport Beach Fire Association will be grilling hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch and drinks will be provided.

• • •

There’s still time to register for the best local walk/run in town with tomorrow’s 39th Annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K. Besides the 5K run for men and women, there’s the 2-mile walk and dog walk, a 2-mile youth run and a 1K Kid’s Dolphin Dash.

The day is hosted by the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce and attendees can also enjoy a post-race restaurant row and live entertainment.

It’s fun and it also offers killer views.

Don’t walk, run for more info at the CdM Chamber website.

• • •

Check out Speak Up Newport’s October monthly meeting planned for Wednesday evening, Oct. 13, at the Newport Beach Civic Center Community Room, beginning at 5:15 p.m. with a reception, followed by the meeting at 6 p.m.

The meeting presentation will focus on SB 9, the controversial housing issue recently signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. The bill allows for up to four units being built on a single residential lot.

That means that you could have a fourplex put up next door on both sides of your existing home in your current residential neighborhood.

It’s scary and definitely a game changer.

The evening will have speakers defending both sides of the issue. 

Go to www.SpeakUpNewport.com to find out more information. You’ll be able to attend in-person or online.

• • •

Beware of noise this weekend. The Pacific Airshow is taking place today through Sunday over Huntington Beach with some fantastic air presentations.

Because of the size and speed on some of those jets participating, I assure you they will invade the Newport Beach air space which will translate into loud noise.

My best advice, don’t complain, get out there and find a nice viewing spot to enjoy it all.

• • •

And, it’s not October without a little Christmas celebration going on at Roger’s Gardens as they introduce their 2021 Christmas Boutique beginning next Friday, Oct. 8. Check it out.


Jim Folsom to speak at Sherman Library & Gardens on October 13

Sherman Library & Gardens, in partnership with Cultivar restaurant and South Coast Plaza, presents the 2021/2022 Lunch & Lecture Series. The monthly series features a horticulture speaker combined with a delicious lunch. 

Kicking off the 2021/2022 Lunch & Lecture Series on Wednesday, Oct. 13 is Jim Folsom, director emeritus of The Huntington in San Marino, Calif. 

Folsom joined The Huntington staff in 1984 as assistant curator and was named director of the botanical gardens in 1987. Prior to retiring on December 31, 2020, he was charged with the stewardship, care and interpretation of more than a dozen thematic gardens that cover 130 acres of the 207-acre grounds. 

Jim Folsom smile

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Submitted photo

Jim Folsom, director emeritus of The Huntington in San Marino 

“Jim’s indelible imprint on The Huntington is everywhere. It can be seen in the gardens he has built, the botanical collections he has developed, the relationships he has nurtured with donors, and in the passion for the natural world that he has shared enthusiastically through programs for young and old. We will miss the contributions of The Huntington’s one-of-a-kind Pied Piper of botany,” said Huntington President Karen Lawrence.

Folsom will talk about the SoCal Mediterranean climate, and what it means globally and for the local gardener. He’ll also share some of his favorite gardens in the world. This ticketed event is open to the public. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet The Huntington’s one-of-a-kind Pied Piper of botany.

Seating is limited and registration is required. Tickets are $25 for Members and $35 for Non-Members. Lecture only: Free for Members; $5 for Non-Members. Purchase tickets at www.thesherman.org, or call 949.673.2261. 

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.


School Notes

Virtual College and Career Night planned for Wednesday, Oct. 20

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), in partnership with Vital Link OC, will present their Virtual College and Career Night on Wednesday, Oct. 20, from 6-8 p.m. The event is open to all students, grades 7-12 and their families.

The Virtual College and Career Night will offer various opportunities to learn about college programs, assistance available and the ability to connect directly with more than 150 colleges and universities from throughout the United States and internationally.

Included in the evening will be live breakout sessions with topics offering Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®), information on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the introduction to industry representatives to a variety of popular sectors, and information on military and Regional Occupational Programs (ROP).

Registration is required to attend the Virtual College and Career Night. To do so, complete the registration form using your personal email, not your school email. An access code will be sent to your registration email on Tuesday, Oct. 19 for access to the event.

For more information, call 714.424.5032.

Valente part of Colgate University Class of 2021

Natalia Valente, of Newport Beach, has graduated from Colgate University in the Class of 2021. Valente, a graduate of Newport Harbor High School, majored in French. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree Cum Laude at Colgate’s 200th Commencement, which was held in person at the school’s Andy Kerr Stadium on May 9 of this year.

Colgate University is a distinctive, leading university known for its intellectual rigor, world-class professors, campus of stunning beauty and alumni famously loyal to their alma mater. Colgate offers 56 majors and supports 25 Division I athletic teams on a campus of about 3,000 students in central New York. 

Learn more at www.colgate.edu.


South Coast Repertory celebrates healthcare workers with free tickets

Mindful of the incredible work healthcare employees do on an hourly basis, South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei) announced the theatre is making 1,000 complimentary tickets available to Orange County healthcare workers for the world-premiere of its season-opener, A Shot Rang Out.

The tickets are available for performances between October 2 and October 24 and will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis until the 1,000-ticket allotment is gone. Healthcare workers can request their complimentary tickets by visiting https://www.scr.org/healthcare.

South Coast Ivers

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Submitted photo

Artistic Director David Ivers 

“The tireless dedication of our healthcare workers during this pandemic has been inspiring,” Tomei said. “SCR is proud to be able to provide a little joy to those who have given so much for the betterment of our community.”

According to Ivers, “The story Richard Greenberg has so masterfully crafted in A Shot Rang Out gives us a lens with which to see where we’ve been, where we are and where we’re going in these ever-changing and unpredictable times. It speaks directly to what we are all facing as we navigate the return to living our own lives outside of isolation, while offering hope for the future.”

Running October 2 through November 6, A Shot Rang Out is an enthralling, timely and often-funny glimpse at the present. Coming out of a long period of isolation, an actor returns to the stage, discovering meaning and understanding of what led to his seclusion.

His story of redemption takes you on a path through his isolation, where he draws inspiration from movies, theater and 20th century popular culture to understand how emerging from isolation brings its own surprises, including the renewal of hope and discoveries that unravel the mysteries of love.

All ticket holders must wear a mask and provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of performances.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.


59th Annual Sandcastle Contest draws crowds to CdM State Beach

Thousands of spectators converged on Corona del Mar State Beach on Sunday, Sept. 26 for the 59th Annual Sandcastle Contest hosted by the Commodores Club of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.

This family-friendly event, themed “Explore the World!,” attracted myriad sand sculptors who brought their talents to create unique creations along the beach.

59th Annual Exploring

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Photo by Amy Senk

Chris Crosson’s team won the Commodores Award for Overall Best Creation with their “Exploring the World of Animals” sculpture

Presented by First Republic Bank and City of Hope Orange County in addition to a number of other local businesses, castle creators welcomed cheering fans to share in the day’s festivities.

“It was great to see friends and family enjoying the beach and expressing in sand their vision of this year’s theme, “Explore the World!,” said Steve Rosansky, president and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. “It’s just one of the ways that the Chamber enhances the civic environment here in Newport Beach.”

59th Annual Crosson

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Photo by Ed Olen

Sand sculptor Chris Crosson works on his creation

Castles and sculptures were judged by Marie Case, Dorothy Larson and George Lesley, who had the difficult task of choosing the winners.

59th Annual Sandcastle Sharks

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Photo by Amy Senk

“Pool Sharks” with its bit of whimsy garnered the Most Humorous Award

“Every year, our Sandcastle Contest is better and better. And this year with the theme, “Explore the World!,” there were some amazing entries,” said Case. “We love seeing the teams and the ideas they carve in the sand – some teams come back every year – families, scout troops and neighborhood kids…all are there working together to build their sandcastles and sand sculptures.”

59th Annual Mayan Temple

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Photo by Ed Olen

People’s Choice was awarded to the Mayan Temple created by the Jawa team

Teams, comprised of children to professional architects, competed for trophies, although most participants simply enjoyed a great time in the sand, with each receiving a commemorative T-shirt.

This year’s categories were Commodores Award - Overall Best Creation, Best Display of Theme, People’s Choice Award - Best Creation, Most Humorous Creation, Most Unique Sandcastle and Most Unique Sand Sculpture.

The Commodores Award for Overall Best Creation: “Exploring the World of Animals!,” was awarded to Chris Crosson from Doggie Walk Bags. 

59th Annual Jawas

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Photo by Ed Olen

The Jawa team takes the trophy for their Mayan sculpture

59th Annual Sandcastle Chamber

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Photo by Amy Senk

This magnificent sand creation captures the “Explore the World!” contest theme


Take Five: Meet Ceci St. Geme, elite runner who blazed a path for collegiate women

By AMY SENK

I’ve known Ceci St. Geme for more than a decade – my son and her youngest were friendly back in the day, and I always knew she was an avid runner, that she’d been on the cover of Runner’s World magazine several times, set records and that she worked with the cross country and track athletes at Corona del Mar High School. This summer, however, she posted a 1982 photo on social media that showed her and some of her Stanford teammates and coach before the first-ever NCAA women’s track meet and I realized my longtime friend was part of history. With the Corona del Mar Scenic 5K returning this weekend, running has been on my mind, and St. Geme’s career has been long and inspirational, so I caught up with her to learn more. 

Take Five Ceci

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Photos courtesy of Ceci St. Geme

Ceci St. Geme

Q: That photo you posted this summer blew my mind. What are your memories of that meet and how does it feel to be part of history? 

A: The NCAA meet was at BYU in Provo, Utah in 1982 and the first year to include women. I remember my Stanford teammates and going to a pool on campus, but we weren’t allowed to wear bikinis or chew gum and couldn’t find coffee anywhere, which we liked to drink before our races. I was the high school national champion in the 3000m the previous year and was a dark horse to win the NCAA as a freshman. My great coach, Brooks Johnson, even told me so but did say I had a chance to win if I didn’t leave it to a sprint at the end. The race went out conservatively because everyone was afraid of the altitude. With two laps to go the favorite, Monica Joyce, a gal from Ireland who ran for the University of Washington, tripped on the guard rail as she was leaning to spit…I saw it as my chance to get a jump on the field and took off gapping the other runners by 100m. I tied up with lactic acid badly due to the altitude in the last 100m, but heard my dad yell from the crowd to use my arms and they carried me across the finish line to win. I set the still-standing American Junior record (under 20) for 3000m in 8:57.2.

Q: You grew up in Connecticut playing tennis and ballet dancing. How did you get into running, and what were some of your career highlights? 

A: I danced ballet for the Greenwich Ballet Workshop, but realized I wasn’t quite flexible enough to take it to the professional level, so I switched to tennis in junior high. I was extremely close to my dad who taught me every sport and he loved tennis. We would go to the U.S. Open every year and I wanted to be the next Chrissy Evert with a wooden racket and all. My sophomore year in high school my neighbor, who was a runner, encouraged me to go out for indoor track to stay in shape for spring tennis, and I was instantly a much better runner than tennis player. That spring I won the Connecticut State 800m, the Connecticut state meet in cross country my junior and senior years. I won the Kinney (now Footlocker) Cross Country Nationals at Balboa Park in San Diego my senior year, and was Connecticut State Champion in the 800, 1500 and 3000 my senior year, finally winning the U.S. Nationals 3000m on the track at UCLA. I was offered a full scholarship to Stanford University, won the NCAA track title and was second in NCAA cross country.

Q: You and your husband also have six kids. How did you manage motherhood and running, and did your kids follow in your footsteps?

A: Running has always been a great outlet for me, it always came naturally to me and I love it. Luckily it is time efficient so I could get a good workout in quickly whether pushing a jogger stroller or getting a babysitter between pick-ups and drop offs. I first retired from running after college due to injuries, got my MA in Education and taught at Palo Alto High School. I then took a marketing job with AVIA while having our first two daughters. I made a comeback and ran in the 1992 trials, but didn’t make the Olympic team due to a foot injury. In 1993 we had our third daughter, Jill, and I came back to competition very quickly finishing second at the U.S. Cross Country nationals seven months after having her and winning the 1994 U.S. 5000m title the next year. I got injured again while running at the Pan American Games in Argentina, and my dad, who was always a big part of my running career, passed away in 1995, so I retired supposedly for good. We had three more children and moved the family to Newport Beach in 2001. I got back into Masters running in my 40s because of Corona del Mar High Coach Bill Sumner, and helped coach the track and cross country teams with him for 12 years. All five of our girls became runners in high school and a few went on to run in college. It was such a blessing to coach and keep an eye on our children as their mother too. Also, raising our family in the Port Streets definitely helped…it takes a village. I have had the most supportive husband Ed St. Geme all along the way.

Q: How has the sport changed over the years, especially for women? 

A: When I was competing into my 30s I was the old lady out there, and probably the only mother of three to win a national championship. Now you see women running very competitively into their 40s and after having children all the time. I think there is a better understanding of nutrition and strength training so female athletes are strong, not too thin and battling injuries as much. I think the internet has also enabled better coaching and equipment across the board. There is much better corporate sponsorship of women now, too.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start running but feels out of shape or self-conscious? 

A: Try to find a training buddy at least a few days a week. Start by walking and adding in stretches of jogging. I always like an event to aim for so maybe find a local 5K to walk or jog. There are plenty of training plans online if you want to get faster. Also make sure to find shoes that work for you and change them four times a year. It is your only piece of equipment, and it will help keep you healthy. I like Brooks Glycerin and ASICS Nimbus.

~~~~~~~~

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


Controversial SB 9 to be discussed at upcoming Speak Up Newport monthly meeting

What does SB 9 mean for your residential neighborhood? Find out at the next Speak Up Newport monthly meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 13, both live and on Zoom. 

 SB 9 is the law recently signed by Governor Gavin Newsom that allows up to four housing units to be constructed on single-family zoned lots.

With that, what will you do? What will your neighbor do?

Speak Up Newport will present speakers from both sides of the SB 9 issue attempting to answer the following questions:

–Will SB 9 help solve the housing shortage in Orange County and in California?

–Does SB 9 override homeowner association (HOA) restrictions?

–What local zoning rules does SB 9 have to follow?

–What are the parking requirements?

–Will speculators be buying homes and converting them to fourplexes?

–Will you be able to object to having a duplex or fourplex next door?

Answers to these issues and others will be tackled.

The meeting will take place in the Civic Center Community Room beginning with a reception at 5:15 p.m., followed by the program from 6-7 p.m. Both are free to the public with no RSVP required to attend in-person. 

Zoom attendees will need to register at www.speakupnewport.com/senate-bill-9/.

Controversial SB 9 Daniel Controversial SB 9 Bea

Courtesy of Speak Up Newport

Daniel Graham and Bea Dieringer

Speaking on the issues will be Daniel Graham, associated with People For Housing & OC YIMBY (yes in my backyard) and Bea Dieringer, the mayor for the city of Rolling Hills.

Pre-submitted questions may be sent to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 Attendees will also have the opportunity to submit questions during the program.


Artwalk returns to South Bayfront Promenade 

The 26th Annual Balboa Island Artwalk, presented by Mary Hardesty Realty, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. along the South Bayfront Promenade on Balboa Island. The Artwalk is the premier showcase for talented local artists with art, music, sun and fun for the whole family. 

Artwalk returns colorful

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Courtesy of the Balboa Island Artwalk

“Colorful Competition ll,” an original oil by artist Debra Huse, is featured in this year’s Artwalk

This free fine art show, stretching more than a mile, features 100 artists exhibiting paintings, fine jewelry, blown glass, sculpture and photography. Spectators will enjoy live music throughout the day on five stages along the walk. 

For more information and to view the participating artists, visit www.balboaislandartwalk.info.


SPOTLIGHTON

Are you doing your fair share?

Philanthropy is the lifeblood of nonprofits throughout our community and across the country. Kindness funds help to the homeless and downtrodden; children, who in many cases, would have to do without; medical and health support for so many who are out of other options; and so much more.

Our Spotlight on Philanthropy is designed to show you the inner workings of programs touching our community and, hopefully, encourage you to take a closer look.

Featured Charitable Organization:

Spotlight on Surfrider logo

Explain the purpose of the Surfrider Foundation?

The Surfrider Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s ocean, waves and beaches, for all people, through a powerful activist network.

How many people are serviced by the Surfrider Foundation, who are they and where do they come from?

Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, Calif., the Surfrider Foundation now maintains more than one million supporters, activists and members, with more than 170 volunteer-led chapters and student clubs in the U.S., and more than 700 victories protecting our coasts.

Spotlight on Surfrider Hill Day

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Photos courtesy of the Surfrider Foundation

Surfrider staff, volunteers and coastal industry reps at Coastal Recreation Hill Day

What are the services provided by the Surfrider Foundation?

From testing our coastal waters to ensuring that runoff stays in your garden to reducing plastic pollution, Surfrider’s programs and campaigns help to ensure that our marine ecosystems are protected. Programs include Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force, Ocean Friendly Gardens, Ocean Friendly Restaurants and local beach cleanups.

Why should people give?

For 37 years, the Surfrider Foundation has worked to ensure that the ocean, waves and beaches are safe and accessible for all people. We do this, in part, through grassroots organizing across the nation to give everyone a voice when it comes to protecting and enjoying our coast. With one foot in the sand and the other in the water, the Surfrider Foundation is the only nonprofit organization with 100 percent focus on protecting our coasts. 

How do you give or donate?

Donations can be made atwww.surfrider.org/support-surfrider. In addition to gifts, there are a variety of other ways to make a lasting contribution, including workplace giving, employer matching contributions, and memorials and tributes, to ensure that our ocean, waves and beaches are protected for future generations.

Spotlight on Surfrider trash

Items collected at a beach cleanup with the Surfrider LA Chapter

Can someone volunteer? If so, how? What opportunities are available?

Anyone interested in protecting the ocean and coasts can get involved by finding the nearest chapter or student club at www.surfrider.org/chapters.

Please describe any internal clubs, partnerships, committees.

Our irreplaceable national network of chapter and student club volunteers serves as the first response to local threats in coastal communities across the U.S. Volunteers collaborate at both local and national levels with regional staff and issue experts to carry out our mission through campaign, program and educational initiatives in their local communities. 

What are the major fundraisers for the Surfrider Foundation? Please provide a description and tell us when they are.

Every year, Surfrider Foundation hosts two bicoastal fundraising events in support of our mission to protect the world’s ocean, waves and beaches. These annual events take place in Montauk, N.Y. (July), and San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (October 9, 2021), and rally our largest and most dedicated communities to celebrate coastal victories and raise critical funds to support the hard work of our coastal defenders. Most importantly, the events are a place where we continue to cultivate the friendships and vibrant networks of people who form the core of our organization.

More information about our events can be found at www.surfrider.org/one-ocean-event.

Spotlight on Surfrider band

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(L-R) Jack Johnson, Lukas Nelson, and Adam Topol perform at a Surfrider’s annual event

What are the names and titles of the leadership group, including the board of directors?

Staff Leadership

Dr. Chad Nelsen – Chief Executive Officer 

Michelle Kremer – Chief Operating Officer

Spencer Campbell – Director of Development

Angela Howe – Legal Director

Edward Mazzarella – Director of Chapters

Eddie Anaya – Director of Marketing

Pete Stauffer – Environmental Director

Board of Directors Leadership

Adrianna Estrada – Chair

Dan Lammot – Vice Chair

Steve Shipsey – Secretary

Tom Garcia – Treasurer

Where is your location?

The Surfrider Foundation is headquartered in San Clemente, Calif.

Contact address and information:

Surfrider Foundation

P.O. Box 73550

San Clemente, Calif. 92673

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.surfrider.org

949.492.8170

Spotlight on Philanthropy is underwritten by

OneRoot Foundation logo


ENC After School Nature Play Club has spots open for November

This fall, the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) is offering After School Nature Play Club to enhance the education of children in our community. After School Nature Play Club is offered on Wednesdays from 2-5 p.m. in four-week sessions. The club provides a learning experience while also giving campers the opportunity to get outside for fresh air, physical activity and a chance to hang out socially with their peers. Campers will spend time at the ENC with friends and mentors for hands-on learning, creative enrichment and expression and a chance to explore without stress. 

ENC After School girl with leaf

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After School Nature Play Club offers an outdoor, hands-on learning experience for youngsters

The club is geared to students enrolled in kindergarten through third grade this fall (must be at least five years old by September 1, 2021).

Spots are still available for Session 2, which takes place November 3, 10, 17 and December 1 from 2-5 p.m. Fee: $150 for the four-week session (four, three-hour days).

For more information, go here.

Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach. For more info, visit www.encenter.org.


Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach presents TIN BOX Theatricals 

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach is presenting TIN BOX Theatricals, “Fall Fever – Goblins to Gravy on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

Balboa Island Museum exterior

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Courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

The show is a rousing variety of songs, sketches and timely verse that covers the colorful shift in seasons and fetes the start of school, fall sports, spooky Halloween, a fun family Thanksgiving and more.

 Tickets are $20, which include wine and appetizers, and can be purchased at www.balboaislandmuseum.org/tin-box-theatricals/.

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach is located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island.

For more information, call 949.675.3952, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. www.balboaislandmuseum.org


Capturing iconic Newport Beach and beyond: Point Wilson Lighthouse, Washington

Point Wilson Lighthouse, Washington

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Artwork by Don Krotee

Due to increasing vessel traffic in the late 1800s, a lighthouse became crucial for this portion of Puget Sound. The first tower was a wooden structure built atop the keeper’s quarters. The original wood frame and a fixed fourth-order Fresnel Lens provided 13-mile visibility. The beacon was lit in 1879 by the original lighthouse keeper. In 1914, the wood structure was replaced with masonry with a 51-foot tower, as seen in the painting, the tallest in Puget Sound. The original Fresnel Lens is in the restored lighthouse today. The building complex is on display within the Fort Worden State Park and the lighthouse tower is open to the public, offering overnight rentals in the adjacent house. This painting was done on Fabriano 300# extra white paper and is cut from a 30 x 22 full sheet into its 22-inch square format.  The work is fully transparent watercolor. 

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Artist Don Krotee is a 36-year resident of Newport Beach, a member of the 2000 General Plan Advisory Committee, a Corona del Mar Residents Association member, the founder of the Newport Heights Improvement Association, a board member of SPON and lives in Corona del Mar. He is an architect, a sailor and a fine artist who has been drawing and painting from an early age. He provides Stu News color prints of his original drawings and paintings from Newport Beach and around the world.


Corona del Mar Scenic 2-Mile Fun Walk offers creative expressions

If you are seeking big smiles, creativity and healthy outdoor socializing, sign up for the upcoming CdM Scenic 5K that features a great alternative to running with a 2-Mile Fun Walk.

The walk, which has become highly anticipated throughout the years, includes wacky costumes, themes and creative community enthusiasm that is guaranteed to entertain.

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce is in full swing with the preparation of the 2-Mile Fun Walk, a variety of 5K races and the ever-popular 1K Kids’ Dolphin Dash to be held on Saturday, Oct. 2. Located on the bluffs above beautiful Big Corona del Mar State Beach, festivities include awards, vendor exhibits, restaurant tastings for registered participants, entertainment and more.

Register today and join the fun at www.Cdmchamber.com.

Corona del Mar Scenic orange runner

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Courtesy of CdM Chamber of Commerce

This runner, covered in orange from head to toe, exudes community spirit at a previous CdM Scenic 5K

The CdM Scenic 5K schedule lineup:

–6 a.m. Event Day Registration Begins

–7:30 a.m. Warm-up

–7:55 a.m. Men’s 5K Race

–8:20 a.m. Women’s 5K Race

–8:45 a.m. 2-Mile Fun Walk/Youth Run

–9 a.m. 1K Kid’s Dolphin Dash

The supporters of the CdM Scenic 5K this year include:

–Presenting Sponsor: Casey Lesher, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury

–Corporate Sponsor: Hoag 

–Contributing Sponsor: Mariners Escrow Corporation

–Supporting Sponsor: Priestley Family Chiropractic

–Supporting Sponsor & Race Warm-Up: Rooted Soul Movement

–Official Pace Car Sponsor: Porsche Newport Beach

–Supporting Sponsor: Kurvana

–Supporting Sponsor: CR&R

–City Support Sponsor: City of Newport Beach

Stu News Newport is once again proud to be a Media Sponsor for this year’s CdM Scenic 5K.

For more information, call 949.673.4050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Pacific Symphony’s Season Opening Celebrates a Return to Live Music 

Pacific Symphony’s 43rd season begins on Thursday, Sept. 30 with an Opening Night Celebration featuring a grand reception, dinner and entertainment surrounding the first concert of the 2021-22 Hal and Jeanette Segerstrom Family Foundation Classical Series: “Emanuel Ax Plays Mozart.” Hosted by the Symphony’s board of directors and chaired by Judy Whitmore, this special event honors Sally Segerstrom, Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Susie and Steve Perry, and Rae and Ted Segerstrom. Funds from the event support the Symphony’s artistic and education programs. 

The festivities begin with a cocktail reception and gourmet dinner al fresco on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. The theme for the evening is “A Notable Gathering” which was coined by Event Chair Judy Whitmore to celebrate not only the Symphony’s return to the Concert Hall, but the organization’s resilience during the pandemic and to express gratitude to the Pacific Symphony family that made it possible.

Pacific Symphony St.Clair

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Courtesy of Pacific Symphony

Pacific Symphony with Music Director Carl St.Clair conducting

At the center of this grand evening is the concert, featuring internationally celebrated pianist Emanuel Ax, who gives a dazzling display of consummate artistry in Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17. Led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, the concert takes place at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The piano performance by Emanuel Ax is generously sponsored by The Michelle F. Rohé Fund.

The program opens with the symphonic world premiere of Tower Ascending by Wayne Oquin. As St.Clair comments, “I enjoy welcoming people back with a work that they’ve never heard before. It’s a tremendous piece that features virtuosic playing from several of our principal players, solo trumpet, solo flute and solo clarinet.” 

Following the opening work will be Mozart’s charming Piano Concerto No. 17. “Emanuel Ax is a consummate artist and one of the most profound pianists I’ve had the opportunity to know and to work with,” says St.Clair. “And he’s rarely been with us: just one other time in my 32 years as music director. So, naturally, we’re just ecstatic to welcome him back to perform with us. Having him do a Mozart piano concerto will be pure virtuosity and in such a classic, elegant way.” 

During the intermission, the Opening Night festivities continue with a lavish Champagne reception in the Box Circle Lobby. Revelers will have the opportunity to toast the return of live music before going back into the hall to enjoy the final piece on the program, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. A post-concert reception on the plaza with the sounds of live jazz caps off the evening.

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


A promise fulfilled in Orange County

City of Hope Orange County now has four locations in the region providing highly specialized cancer care for patients and their families

When City of Hope unveiled its bold vision to bring its lifesaving care and pioneering research to Orange County, it was in response to a pressing need in the community. Nearly 20 percent of patients with cancer left the region for advanced care, which created a burden on patients and their families. Additionally, cancer rates are expected to grow in Orange County by nearly 20 percent by 2028.

By welcoming Pacific Shores patients, physicians and staff, City of Hope is delivering on its promise and providing increased access to its breakthrough discoveries and lifesaving treatments. In delivering advanced cancer care closer to where people live, City of Hope is alleviating the burden on patients who have had to travel far from home for world-class and highly specialized cancer treatment. City of Hope Orange County now has locations in Huntington Beach, Irvine and two in Newport Beach. 

A promise COH regional map

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Courtesy of City of Hope

City of Hope’s four regional locations

“This is exactly what is needed in the pursuit to treat and cure cancer – a coming together of a best-in-class physician group and a world-renowned academic cancer research and treatment institution,” said Edward S. Kim, M.D., M.B.A., physician-in-chief, City of Hope Orange County. “City of Hope is leading the way in redefining how cancer breakthroughs are delivered – equitably and efficiently – to communities.”

More patients now have access to the expertise of more than 1,000 City of Hope researchers and highly specialized physicians, hundreds of clinical trials, pioneering treatments, expanded cancer education and prevention resources, and new innovations that are making care more convenient and effective. One in three Americans will receive a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime. City of Hope is committed to changing that statistic to answer the call of those in need. 

The new locations add to the comprehensive network of care that City of Hope is developing in Orange County. A Newport Beach location opened in 2020 and, in 2022, City of Hope will open a world-class cancer center in Irvine, thanks to an outpouring of community support. The region’s only specialty hospital exclusively focused on treating and curing cancer is also scheduled for the Irvine site in 2025.

“We are fulfilling our promise of bringing advanced cancer care into the heart of our communities. City of Hope is honored to work with the nation’s leading researchers and clinicians, and we are privileged to welcome these like-minded experts from Pacific Shores to our team,” said Annette M. Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Hope is indeed growing across the Southern California region.” 

For more information on City of Hope Orange County, go to www.CityofHope.org/OC.

This is paid content by City of Hope. For more information on the City of Hope Newport Beach location, visit www.cityofhope.org/newport-beach.


City of Hope’s Edward S. Kim, M.D., M.B.A. named a national diversity leader

City of Hope Orange County’s Edward S. Kim, M.D., M.B.A. has been named among a prestigious list of top diversity leaders in U.S. health care by Modern Healthcare magazine. The honor recognizes the nation’s most influential health care executives who have demonstrated a commitment to expanding and advancing access to care. 

Dr. Kim, who serves as physician-in-chief at City of Hope Orange County and the vice physician-in-chief at the City of Hope National Medical Center, was honored with the “Top 25 Diversity Leaders in Healthcare” recognition for his trailblazing work in reforming clinical trial practices that traditionally exclude minority populations, along with the seriously ill and older patients. Dr. 

Kim points out these exclusions not only harm patients but can also seriously flaw medical research findings.

City of Hope s Kim

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Courtesy of Courtesy of City of Hope

Edward S. Kim, M.D., M.B.A.

“I am humbled to be recognized by Modern Healthcare,” said Dr. Kim, who also was honored for fostering a culture of inclusion. “Most importantly, it’s exciting that our work in making clinical research more inclusive has been noted. Clinical trials lead to groundbreaking treatment for cancer and other serious illness. However, we must increase access to these trials to benefit all patients and speed of pace of progress in cancer research. Clinical results mean so much more when they reflect the diversity of patients that we see in the real world.”

“Congratulations to my friend and colleague Ed Kim on being recognized as a Top 25 Diversity Leader in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare,” said Annette M. Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Ed is a tireless advocate for making cancer research and treatments more inclusive. We are so blessed to benefit from his leadership as we build a cancer campus for and with our diverse communities.” 

Dr. Kim is instrumental in the development of a network of advanced cancer care and a visionary cancer campus opening in Irvine that will include widespread access to clinical trials, leading-edge treatments, and innovations in cancer prevention and early diagnosis. Lennar Foundation Cancer Center at City of Hope Orange County will open in 2022.

Earlier this year, Dr. Kim was named among the nation’s top cancer leaders by Friends of Cancer Research, a national organization dedicated to advances in science, policy and regulations that speed lifesaving treatments to patients.

Before joining City of Hope, Dr. Kim held leadership positions at the Levine Cancer Institute in North Carolina and University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is among the country’s foremost experts in molecular prognostication for lung, head and neck cancers, which greatly advances cancer detection and personalized therapies.

Dr. Kim has also been the principal and co-principal investigator on numerous studies and protocol. The author of more than 200 scientific articles, book chapters and reviews in top-tier journals, his work is published in The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Discovery, Cancer, Clinical Cancer Research and Cancer Prevention Research.


Crooner Matt Mauser to perform at Campus JAX charity event 

Local mega talented entertainer, lead singer of Tijuana Dogs and crooner Matt Mauser is bringing his special Rhythm Section show to Campus JAX on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. His 6:30 p.m. dinner show is sold out, but there is a waitlist, and the cocktail set show is selling out quickly.

Crooner Matt microphone

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Photo by Joan Fuller

Matt Mauser

It’s not the Tijuana Dogs or his Big Band Sinatra show but the perfect blend of the two featuring members from both bands for a one-of-a-kind show as only Mauser can do.

Whether it’s Tom Jones, Bobby Daren, Frank, Elvis or the Bee Gees…you never know who Mauser will bring to the party.

Proceeds from this charity event benefit Feed the Need.

To purchase tickets, visit https://campusjax.seatengine.com/shows/153605.

At Feed the Need Missions, their mission is to mobilize believers to feed people physically and spiritually in their communities while actively building disciple-making relationships. 

Campus JAX is located at 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach. For more information about Campus JAX and upcoming shows, visit www.campusjax.com.


Newspaper donations needed at the Animal Shelter

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is currently in need of newspaper donations. The donations will be used to help line cages, litter boxes, and for runs. Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, is hoping that anyone who can help with this request will drop off newspaper donations to the shelter as soon as they can. 

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, the shelter’s return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of 50 percent.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. For information on adoption procedures, call (949) 497-3552 or go to https://puplagunabeach.org/.


Updates on flu vaccines, COVID boosters and more

As the fall season begins, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) encourages all residents over the age of six months to get vaccinated against influenza, also known as the seasonal flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American Academy of Pediatrics, influenza vaccines can be safely co-administered with COVID-19 vaccines for both eligible children and adults.

“Last year, we saw very low numbers of flu cases, most likely due to the mitigation measures that were in place to avoid the spread of COVID-19 including mask wearing, social distancing, and remote working and learning,” said Dr. Clayton Chau, county health officer and HCA director. “Now that people are returning to normal activities, and due to reduced population immunity from low virus activity since the COVID-19 pandemic started, we may see an early and higher prevalence of influenza this year. Many people have already experienced a great deal of stress with COVID-19 alone, so we do not want them to worry about the flu, too. If you are not yet vaccinated for either COVID-19 or the flu, please know that you can receive both the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time.”

Dr. Chau says late September is a good time to get vaccinated against influenza as the flu season typically lasts from October through May. The virus constantly changes, which means people can get infected with the flu every year. Like COVID-19, the best way to prevent the flu is through vaccination. Eligible residents are encouraged to get their flu shot when it becomes available, by asking their doctor, visiting their healthcare provider, or going to a local pharmacy or clinic. For more information on flu shots in Orange County, visit https://ochealthinfo.com/flu.

Vaccine Booster Shots

On September 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the administration of booster shots of the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine for certain populations. The HCA will begin offering booster shots once they receive recommendations and approvals from the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup and the California Department of Public Health. The HCA continues to focus on delivering vaccines to the most vulnerable population and hard-to-reach communities. 

Status of COVID-19 Cases in Orange County

Between September 16 and September 23, the seven-day average COVID-19 case rate dropped from 12.3 to 11 per 100,000 people, with the average number of daily COVID-19 cases declining from 396 to 356. The positivity rate also decreased from 4.3 to 3.6 percent, hospitalizations from 367 to 313 per day, and ICU admissions from 108 to 87 per day. Orange County COVID-19 case counts and testing figures are updated daily, Monday through Friday, at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc.

According to a recent study from the Peterson Center on Healthcare and KFF partnership, 287,000 unvaccinated people were hospitalized due to COVID-19 between June to August 2021, resulting in a cost of more than $5 billion. 

“Hospitalizations of people who are unvaccinated against COVID-19 are very costly, but they are preventable,” said Dr. Regina Chinsio-Kwong, deputy county health officer. “During this recent surge, more than 91 percent of those hospitalized from COVID-19 were unvaccinated individuals. Data from the CDC indicates that the incidence of COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death is higher in unvaccinated persons. These are additional reasons why we continue to encourage our unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated. As we enter the flu season, we need to be extra careful about protecting ourselves, our loved ones and neighbors against getting sick or hospitalized. The most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the flu is by getting vaccinated.”

Residents who have not yet received their initial COVID-19 vaccine series can visit any local pharmacy or healthcare provider, or go online to www.Vaccines.gov, https://MyTurn.ca.gov or https://Othena.com, to schedule a vaccination appointment. For more details, go here.

CDC Advisory on Delta-8 THC

On September 14, the CDC released a health advisory regarding the potential for adverse events related to the use of delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) products, due to reports of adverse events occurring in both adults and children under the age of 18. 

Delta-8 THC is a psychoactive substance found in the Cannabis sativa plant, of which marijuana and hemp are two varieties. Delta-8 THC products are sometimes marketed as “weed light” or “diet weed.” The health effects of delta-8 THC have not yet been researched extensively and are not well-understood. A wide variety of delta-8 THC-containing products have entered the marketplace, including, but not limited to, vapes, smokable hemp sprayed with delta-8 THC extract, distillates, tinctures, gummies, chocolates and infused beverages. 

From December 2020 through July 2021, the FDA received reports from both consumers and law enforcement of adverse events that resulted from the use of products containing delta-8 THC, including vomiting, hallucinations, trouble standing, difficulty breathing and coma. National poison control centers received 660 exposure cases from January 1 through July 31, 2021. Of the exposure cases, 39 percent involved pediatric patients less than 18 years of age and 18 percent required hospitalizations, including children who required ICU admission.


Two Newport Beach residents among OCMA’s eight new trustees

The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) announced the addition of eight new trustees: Barbara Bluhm-Kaul, Phillip J. Bond, Idit Ferder, Sean Green, Linda P. Maggard, Cheryl Kiddoo, Robert Olson and Lucy Sun. They have joined the board under the leadership of CEO and Director Heidi Zuckerman, who came to OCMA in February 2021. In October 2022, the museum will open in its new home: a building at Segerstrom Center for the Arts designed by Morphosis under the direction of Pritzker Prize-winning architect Thom Mayne and Partner-in-Charge Brandon Welling.

Robert Olson resides on Balboa Island and Lucy Sun makes her home in Newport Coast.

Two Newport Beach Olson

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Photos courtesy of OCMA

Robert Olson

Olson is the founder of R.D. Olson Development, a Newport Beach-based firm engaged in the development and re-positioning of commercial properties nationwide. He established the company in 1997 following nearly 20 years as founder and CEO of R.D. Olson Construction. Olson was the 2016 Robert Mondavi Wine & Food Award winner. He has also been the recipient of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award, Construction Financial Management Association’s Construction Executive of the Year award and the Orange County Business Journal’s Excellence in Entrepreneurship award. He was recognized as a 2012 Hotel Icon by Real Estate FORUM magazine and is a frequent speaker at leading industry events. An active member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), including having served as chairman of the California Coast Chapter, he also serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross. He is an MBA graduate of the University of Southern California.

Two Newport Beach Sun

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Photos courtesy of OCMA

Lucy Sun

Sun is a former managing director of Goldman Sachs and worked in the firm’s equity division in New York and London for more than two decades. A graduate of Vassar College, she also holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, as well as an MA in art and archaeology from the University of London. Sun has served three terms as a trustee of Vassar College (2000-2012) and was a trustee and co-chair of the board of trustees at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In 2014, she was appointed by Mayor Ed Lee to be a commissioner of Asian Art for the City of San Francisco. She and her husband Warren Felson have owned a home in Orange County for 20 years, while living full time in London and San Francisco, respectively, and moved their primary residence to Newport Coast in 2019.

The new trustees bring a range of philanthropic and professional expertise that will add fresh perspectives to the museum as the institution enters a new era. A long-time champion of Southern California’s most adventurous artists, with a reputation that resonates far beyond the region, OCMA is now doubling in size with its new building, enabling it to show its important and distinctive collection and thought-provoking temporary exhibitions at the same time, while engaging more actively than ever before with the dynamic and fast-growing community around it.

The OCMA board of trustees is the museum’s governing body; the addition of Bluhm-Kaul, Bond, Ferder, Green, Kiddoo, Maggard, Olson and Sun brings the total number of board members to 32. OCMA’s mission is to enrich the lives of a diverse and changing community through modern and contemporary art.

“As we grow closer to celebrating OCMA’s 60th anniversary and opening our new home in 2022, we are grateful for the fresh energy and enthusiasm of our new trustees, who will help us to honor the institution’s past and forge this new era for the museum within the community and on the world stage,” shared Craig W. Wells, president, OCMA board of trustees.

“Since OCMA’s founding by a board of 13 women in 1962, the museum has been fortunate to have the guidance and leadership of passionate community members supporting the arts,” said Heidi Zuckerman, OCMA CEO and director. “It has been an honor to take the helm at OCMA at this exciting time and build upon all the great work by the current trustees, who have brought us so far. The new trustees add an investment to our museum in the form of diverse voices at the table.”

Along with its predecessor institution, the Newport Harbor Art Museum, OCMA has an established reputation as an innovative art museum with a history of actively discovering and engaging with living artists at pivotal points in their careers. The museum has organized and presented critically acclaimed exhibitions that have traveled nationally and internationally to more than 35 venues. The museum’s collection of more than 4,500 works of art includes important examples of modern and contemporary art and artists inspired by or working in or from California, including John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Catherine Opie, Charles Ray and Ed Ruscha.


SPIN names new executive director for local non-profit

Stephanie Smolkin has been appointed executive director of Serving People In Need (SPIN), a Costa Mesa based non-profit known for providing access to permanent housing to Orange County’s homeless and low-income families in crisis since 1990. 

Smolkin joined the SPIN team in 2011 as controller and grant administrator. Over 10 years, she’s overseen and managed all aspects of SPIN’s financial and accounting processes. Her responsibilities also focused on developing policies and procedures for the overall organization and programs’ administration.

SPIN names Smolkin

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Courtesy of SPIN

Stephanie Smolkin

In addition, Smolkin has written and administered grants and donations from government, foundation and corporate donors, while additionally providing monthly financial reports, budgets and analyzed data relating to programs and its funding sources to ensure the fiscal solvency of SPIN.

The SPIN board of directors is placing their trust in Smolkin to carry forward the tradition of community service, following in the footsteps of former CEO Jean Wegener, who for more than 30 years, improved and stabilized the lives of so many Orange County families and individuals. Wegener passed away in June of this year.

SPIN provides first month’s rent and deposits for apartments located throughout the county and support systems it believes are critical to maintaining housing and to prevent clients from returning to homelessness. Of the funds generated by SPIN, 90 percent goes directly to its programs and clients. 

To learn more about SPIN, visit www.spinoc.org.


Renowned physicians to guide Hoag’s leading Digestive Health Institute

Officials with Hoag Digestive Health Institute – ranked last month among the top 50 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report –announced the appointment of two renowned physicians to guide the institute’s current treatment programs and planned expansion.

Tse-Ling Fong, M.D., FACP, FAASLD, has been named director of the Hoag Liver Program, while Caroline Hwang, M.D. has been named director of the Margolis Family Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program.

“We are thrilled to welcome Drs. Fong and Hwang to the Hoag Digestive Health Institute,” said Chief Clinical Institutes Officer Teresa Conk. “Their experience and expertise in gastrointestinal care will build upon Hoag’s commitment to enabling patients to achieve some of the highest clinical outcomes in the nation.”

Dr. Fong obtained his medical degree from the University of Southern California. Following his residency in internal medicine at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, he completed a hepatology fellowship at the USC Liver Unit. He also completed a fellowship in gastroenterology at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center before becoming a clinical associate with the Liver Diseases Section at the National Institutes of Health. 

Renowned physicians Fong

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Photos courtesy of Hoag

Tse-Ling Fong, M.D., FACP, FAASLD

Dr. Fong is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and members of the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and Western Society for Clinical Investigation. For more than 12 years, he has been named to the “Best Doctors in America” distinction. 

“Very few hepatologists lead liver programs in Orange County. The fact that Hoag has asked me to run the program represents the commitment of Hoag to support our liver disease patients,” Dr. Fong said. 

Board-certified in gastroenterology and a recognized expert in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, Dr. Hwang came to Hoag in 2019 from Keck Medicine of USC, where she was medical director of their IBD Center and served as an assistant professor of medicine, as well as a mentor for numerous physicians-in-training specializing in IBD/GI care. 

Dr. Hwang is a member of the American Gastroenterological Association, American College of Gastroenterology and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. She received her Doctor of Medicine from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles. She then went on to complete an internal medicine residency at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, a clinical research fellowship for the Hereditary Colon/Pancreatic Cancer Prevention Program at Columbia University and a gastroenterology fellowship at University of California San Francisco. 

Renowned physicians Hwang

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Caroline Hwang, M.D.

“Hoag’s multidisciplinary approach puts the patient first, and I am excited to work with a talented team to help address these debilitating GI conditions and improve patients’ quality of life,” Dr. Hwang said. 

“The Hoag Liver Program takes advantage of cutting-edge technology and highly skilled specialists who are all focused on liver disease. There’s nothing else like this in Orange County,” said Robert T. Braithwaite, Hoag’s president and chief executive officer. “This same approach is being applied to the IBD Program, as Hoag continues to attract the most established experts and pioneering minds in their respective fields.”

Hoag will bring its cutting-edge research, comprehensive care, clinical trials and promising therapies to Irvine in addition to its Newport Beach campus.

A distinctive feature of Hoag’s program is that it brings together a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, rheumatologists, radiologists, pathologists and others who meet regularly to discuss complex cases and establish a comprehensive approach. The inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) program also provides patients with access to dedicated registered dieticians, nurse navigators and clinical trials with promising new drugs.

Braithwaite said Hoag is proud to be ranked in the top 50 nationally in Gastroenterology and GI Surgery in U.S. News & World Report’s 2021-2022 Best Hospitals Rankings. Hoag Digestive Health Institute offers programs for a wide range of digestive health issues, leading the way in complex digestive care and works collaboratively with Hoag-affiliated specialists, providing access to a highly specialized surgical team to provide expert care.

For more information, go here.


OCCF’s “Igniting Potential” Giving Day raises $454,218

On September 22, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, hosted “Igniting Potential,” a collaborative giving day to support Orange County’s youth. During the 24-hour online effort, 895 donors contributed $454,218.

In a national study conducted by The Jed Foundation and Fluent Research from September through October 2020, six in 10 parents reported their children had experienced mental or emotional health challenges. These challenges were most commonly due to social isolation, anxiety and trouble concentrating. Many of Orange County’s 689,000 youth ages 17 and under, continue to suffer the long-term effects of isolation and lack of academic and social engagement created by the COVID-19 pandemic. In line with these findings, according to the 2020-2021 Orange County Community Indicators Report, the Cherese Mari Laulhere Mental Health Inpatient Center at Children’s Hospital of Orange County indicated an increase in youth suicide attempts, severe depression, and acute mental health hospitalization during the first six months of 2020.

OCCF s Igniting Potential kids

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Submitted photo

OCCF’s giving days support Orange County’s youth

“Igniting Potential” supports programs that help Orange County youth remain engaged and committed to achieving their full potential. Giving Day participants included Assistance League of Irvine, Child Creativity Lab, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Early Childhood OC, Giving Children Hope, Helping Others Prepare for Eternity, Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Kid Healthy, Kidworks Community Development Corporation, MOMS Orange County, Parentis Foundation, Pretend City - The Children’s Museum of Orange County, Scholar’s Hope Foundation, The Literacy Project, The Prentice School, The Youth Center and YMCA of Orange County.

“We are thrilled with the support Orange County youth received during our final Giving Day of 2021, and thank all the contributors who demonstrated their commitment to the promise and potential of Orange County’s next generation,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO of the Orange County Community Foundation.

This event is part of OCCF’s iheartOC Collaborative Giving Days, an annual initiative that designates cause-specific giving days focused on critical community issues. The online giving model matches OC nonprofits with shared missions – from homelessness and workforce development to preserving ecosystems and supporting local veterans – to create momentum on one shared day and leverage a combined outreach effort for collective success.

This year, OCCF Giving Days raised more than $4 million from 8,485 donors in support of 112 local nonprofits. Since its start in 2015, OCCF Giving Days have raised nearly $15 million for Orange County nonprofits.

For more information about Orange County Community Foundation Collaborative Giving Days, visit www.oc-cf.org/givingdays.


City Manager’s Updates

From the desk of Grace Leung

Grace Leung

Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members: 

On September 18, I had the pleasure of attending Coastal Cleanup Day with 118 other volunteers, including 10 city employees and their families, who gathered at Corona del Mar State Beach. The event was part of a statewide beach cleanup day sponsored by the California Coastal Commission, in alignment with International Coastal Cleanup Day. 

CdM was one of seven cleanup sites in Newport Beach, hosted by organizations such as the Newport Bay Conservancy, Orange County Parks, California State Parks, American Legion Yacht Club, Newport Landing Whale Watching and the Banning Ranch Conservancy. At CdM State Beach, 235 pounds of trash was collected, estimating that each participant collected about two pounds of trash. Cigarette butts and food wrappers were among the most collected items followed by bottle caps, bottles and straws. For a pristine stretch of beach, there was still enough to clean up, with small pieces of plastic and polystyrene foam being almost immeasurable. Events like Coastal Cleanup Day are a great way to inspire change, motivate people to use and waste less and to gather data to help support environmental policy. Thank you to all those groups and community members who participated!

The City of Newport Beach is developing a more organized, year-round effort to help align community volunteer groups with cleanup opportunities and needs, including beaches, bay areas, hiking trails and more. I will be releasing more information on the program in the coming months. 

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of September 23, the total cumulative number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 4,867, an increase of 35 cases from September 16. The total number of cases in Orange County as of September 23 was 294,871, an increase of 2,421 cases from September 16. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of September 9 was 279,753. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The county’s daily, weekday update of COVID-19 case information is available here. Those seeking vaccination options can visit the HCA page, here by the California Department of Public Health. 

Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) Review of the City’s Draft Housing Element Update and October 12 City Council Item to Overrule 

City staff has been working alongside its consultants, the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, City Council and the community over the past two years to draft an update to the Housing Element in order to comply with the statutory adoption deadline. 

As part of the process, the California Public Utilities Code requires the city to submit its draft Housing Element update to the Orange County Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) for a review of consistency with the 2008 John Wayne Airport Environs Land Use Plan (AELUP). 

On the afternoon of September 16, the ALUC held a public hearing. ALUC staff made a brief presentation and recommended that the ALUC find the city’s draft Housing Element Update inconsistent with the AELUP based on: 1) potential noise impacts with placing new housing sites in the 60-65 dBA and 65-70 dBA Community Noise Equivalent Level (CNEL) contours; 2) potential safety impacts with placing new housing sites in the Safety Compatibility Zone 4; and 3) a general concern of land use incompatibility that is inconsistent with ALUC’s purpose and responsibility. 

Although the ALUC acknowledged the city’s challenge in accommodating such a high Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) allocation, the ALUC unanimously moved staff’s recommendation and found the draft inconsistent with the AELUP. 

California Public Utilities Code includes provisions to review and possibly overrule ALUC’s determination through a two-thirds City Council vote. City staff will be placing a draft resolution on the City Council’s agenda for consideration on the evening of October 12. If the resolution passes and is adopted, the city will issue a Notice of Intent to Override to the ALUC, as well as to the Caltrans Department of Transportation, Division of Aeronautics. This letter will indicate the city’s intent to find the update consistent with the purposes of the State Aeronautics Act and to override any determination of the ALUC that the proposed update is inconsistent with the AELUP. The letter will include findings in support of the city’s intended action. 

For more information, you can view the ALUC staff report here and the October 12 City Council agenda will be posted here

Homelessness Update

–Two people experiencing homelessness near the Balboa Pier entered a

motel while they await Emergency Housing Vouchers. One has been unsheltered for 8 years after losing an apartment; the other has lived in a vehicle for a year after losing their housing. 

–The Homeless Liaison Officer transported a man to the new Be Well OC campus. He has experienced homelessness around Newport Boulevard for two months. The man entered the Crisis Stabilization Unit at Be Well OC, then entered a medical detoxification program. He now resides in a residential rehabilitation program in Los Angeles. The Be Well OC campus provides mental and behavioral health treatment in a residential setting. 

–Seventeen people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are now sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter. 

–City Net, the city’s contract homeless services agency, ordered Social Security award letters for several clients matched to Emergency Housing Vouchers. Emergency Housing Vouchers are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and allow people to pay affordable rent based on their fixed incomes. Nine people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach have been awarded vouchers so far and are working with a housing navigator to locate apartments. The voucher program is being administered by the Orange County Housing Authority. 

–City Net transported a client to a mental health appointment and completed two housing assessments with people enrolled in their services. 

–Staff continues to provide food gift cards, support and case management to a person sheltering in a motel while she awaits placement into permanent, supportive housing with an Emergency Housing Voucher. 

To donate to those experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach, visit our Good Giving Program

Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation 

The City of Newport Beach adopted the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines Combat Unit based out of Camp Pendleton in 2003 to assist in emergency family needs and social programs. The Newport Beach 1st Battalion 1st Marines Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to continuing the efforts started by the City of Newport Beach through fundraising efforts. Their mission is to provide charitable assistance and relief for the 1/1 Battalion and their family members who are injured, ill, distressed or otherwise in need of assistance. Their secondary purpose is to provide the same type of assistance to all members of the United States Marines and their families, either active or retired. 

The community’s involvement in expressing their gratitude for those who defend our country’s ideals and interests has been profound and has allowed them to fully focus on their assigned mission. Recently, the foundation was called upon to provide assistance to the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines in order to aid with the receipt and distribution of donations for the 2/1 Marines and families who were recently devastated by the August 26 terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. The foundation is seeking the community’s assistance in this effort and would like to direct you to www.oneonemarines.com to learn more and make a donation to the 2/1 Marines. Thank you in advance for your continued support. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on September 28, 2021 

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 28. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

A study session will begin at 4 p.m. Agenda items include: 

–Council will review and discuss the Library Lecture Hall project. Public Works, the Library Lecture Hall Design Committee, and Library Foundation members will present the current Library Lecture Hall concept plans, an updated project schedule and cost estimates. 

The regular session begins at 6 p.m., with the following items of note: 

On the Consent Calendar is: 

–A resolution to create the City Council Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee. The committee will be charged with reviewing and adjusting voting district boundaries in alignment with the 2020 U.S Census. The city’s seven council districts are adjusted every 10 years, following the Census, based on updated population data. 

–A resolution to create the City Council Ad Hoc General Plan Update Committee. The committee will provide recommendations to the City Council regarding the city’s General Plan update, including: reviewing legal requirements pertaining to individual General Plan elements; identifying a resident committee along with roles and responsibilities; shaping the initial scope and priorities of the update; and establishing a general schedule. 

–A notice of completion for the Via Lido Soud and Nord water main replacement project. The $4.04 million project replaced old, deteriorated cast-iron water main pipes, originally installed in the 1930s, along the outer ring roadway on Lido Isle. The project also included water main replacement for a cast-iron water main located on Via Antibes. 

Public Hearings and Current Business include: 

–Consideration of a 28-unit condominium development project proposed at 150 Newport Center Drive. The applicant, Newport Center Anacapa Associates, LLC is proposing to build a four-story structure of 28 residential condominium units and common space amenity areas over a two-level, below grade parking garage. The site is currently occupied by Newport Beach Car Wash, located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Newport Center Drive and Anacapa Drive, which would be demolished. The council will consider approval of a General Plan Amendment, Zoning Code Amendment and Development Agreement for the project.

–A proposed contract agreement with Mind OC to fund its Be Well OC Mobile Crisis Response Team for a one-year initial term. The agreement would help address mental health challenges among the city’s homeless population, as well as residents who may be experiencing a mental health crisis. Mind OC is a local nonprofit organization focused on coordinating services across multiple public and private systems to provide mental health support for the community. Under the program, experienced crisis counselors respond to mental health calls for service to the police non-emergency or 911 call lines. The team addresses the emotional, physical and social well-being of the patient, alleviating the need for police and EMS involvement. Patients can also be transported to a crisis center, detox center, or shelter as needed. The program’s first-year cost, about $1.2 million, would be offset by the anonymous donation from a Newport Beach resident of $132,000 for a van and set-up costs. The remaining amount would be funded by $717,079 in federal grants and $376,101 from funding currently allocated for homeless shelter operations. Staff is pursuing grants, additional donations and other cost-sharing opportunities to offset future costs. 

Editor’s Note: Stu News received City Manager’s Updates on Friday, Sept. 24 and is subject to editing.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Balboa Pavilion, circa 1908

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Balboa Pavilion, circa 1908

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free general admission on all days. Two-hour parking is available on Marine Avenue. For more information, call 949.675.3952, visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Grant’s council run appears to be music to the ears of local residents

Tom new picIn last Friday’s Fair Game, I touched on a couple of rumors floating around town, mentioning in one that Robyn Grant would be running for Kevin Muldoon’s City Council seat when it becomes vacant in 2022. The news obviously struck a nice chord around the community and people came to her support in a big way:

“Thanks for the great news about Robyn Grant’s run for City Council – I’m in full support!” said Jean Watt. Yes, that Jean Watt, SPON founder, former Citizen of the Year and former City Councilmember.

Speaking of former city council people, Jeff Herdman also lobbed in the following, “I am in full support of Robyn Grant and will work hard to ensure her a successful election bid. You are correct in saying she is what Newport needs right now.”

Realtor DeAnn Carrol said, “So glad to see your positive coverage for Robyn Grant’s bid for city council. I’ve known her for 30 years and wholeheartedly concur with your opinion and assessment of her. Robyn has my full support!”

Barbara Foster wrote: “I am a long-time friend of Robyn’s and I have to say – you nailed it! Everything you said about her is true. Newport Beach is very lucky to have such a committed, resourceful and caring citizen willing to step up to leadership roles – for only one reason – to serve her community as she has done for years. And she has been a tried-and-true friend over many years.”

From a cohort of hers from the Newport Beach Civil Service Board, “I have served with Robyn for a number of years and believe she would be a great City Councilmember,” added Mike Talbot.

Then there was this from residents Rose and Pete Reynolds: “I wanted to send a note in response to the article of my dear friend Robyn Grant. I have known Robyn Grant and her family for 20 years.

“My family and I are in total support of Robyn for Newport Beach City Council.

“Robyn has been generous with countless hours of volunteer time to make Newport Beach the best it can be in all aspects of city life. She has served on numerous boards and has an all-around view of our city. She has indeed made our city a better place to live for each one of our residents.

“Outside of Robyn’s city life, she is a friend to people from all walks of life. I have witnessed Robyn in numerous situations with people and she is likeable, approachable, smart, a great problem solver and willing to help anyone who needs assistance. 

“My husband and I are in total support of Robyn Grant for city council.”

Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education member Carol Crane added: “Had to jump in and echo your enthusiasm regarding Robyn Grant. Sat down with her last week and was very impressive not only due to her very long history and record of volunteer service to her beloved city (NB) but largely due to her independent and common sense/common ground approach to governance.

“Additionally, she’s running because she genuinely cares and she is not bound to any special interest except to ALL the citizens of Newport Beach. It would be refreshing to have her on the city council. She’s the “real deal!”

And finally, Silvie Reynolds chimed in with: “Thank you so much for writing about Robyn’s campaign. She is a longtime leader and great advocate for our community. All with a smile! I look forward to her winning and serving.”

All I can say is that we don’t always get things right, but in this case, it sure seems it worked out that way.

BTW, other rumors are bouncing around town naming several other potential council candidates. You know who you are! Let me know when you’re ready to announce and we’ll add you to the discussion. 

There’s also news on the NMUSD board front where I’m hearing three seats may be open in 2022. That’s bound to have a huge impact.

And, we couldn’t talk local politics without mentioning the controversial “Elect our Mayor” petition that is now actively being circulated around town. People are lining up on both sides of the issue, so it’s attracting lots of voices. To find out more about it, go to www.electourmayor.com.

The election is still a ways off, but people love their local politics!

• • •

I also told readers last week about Newport Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Brian McDonough being assigned to fight the Windy Fire in the Sequoias area of Northern California.

How important is his role? Well, last Thursday Brian led a group of 20 firefighters from Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Orange into a fire fight that saved multiple structures and homes. Their deployment will last for two weeks.

Thanks Brian and the NBFD for making a difference!

• • •

One of the great things about putting much of the pandemic restrictions behind us is that events such as the 22nd Annual Newport Beach Film Festival are now back on the calendar. The 2021 event is scheduled for October 21-28 in a theater near you.

Submissions for this year’s festival are now closed and judging is underway.

More details to come as we near Opening Night.

• • •

A cool event returns to our waterways beginning this weekend (Saturday, Oct. 2). The program is called WHOW and stands for War Heroes on Water. It’ll be the fourth straight year with a competitive sportfishing tournament off the coast of Southern California benefiting combat-wounded veterans.

Here’s what’s included: beginning Saturday at 4 p.m., some 40 SoCal sportfishing yachts will begin lining up in the Newport Harbor East Turning Basin, with 100 participating veterans aboard to kick things off. Then at 5 p.m. there will be the singing of the national anthem and the presentation of the colors by the Orange County Sheriff’s Color Guard.

The public is encouraged to join in on the festivities from boats or nearby on shore, sharing their gratitude for the sacrifices these men and women of the U.S. armed forces have made by cheering for the veterans before they head out for a few days of sportfishing.

The program is designed to help these vets recover from the physical, emotional and moral wounds from the battlefields and to raise money for the Freedom Alliance. This year they’re expecting that amount to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $1.2 million. 

Freedom Alliance is a charitable organization that has awarded more than $18 million in college scholarships to the children of military heroes killed or disabled in military service and has spent millions more helping injured veterans and military families with outdoor recreational therapy trips, Heroes Vacations, care packages for deployed troops, mortgage-free homes, all-terrain wheelchairs and much more. To learn more, visit www.FreedomAlliance.org.


Breast cancer survivors, supporters unite at Susan G. Komen MORE THAN PINK Walk

Breast cancer survivors, “thrivers,” and supporters walked in neighborhoods, on treadmills, and on trails and beaches across Southern California to raise funds for Susan G. Komen as part of the organization’s signature MORE THAN PINK Walk fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 25. The event was held in a “walk where you are” format for the safety of all participants in Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire. The walk united the community as women, men, and children rallied around their loved ones affected by breast cancer and so far raised more than $357,000 for the lifesaving research, advocacy and patient care support that Komen provides.

Breast cancer ladies and balloons

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Submitted photos

This year, Komen created a one-of-a kind digital experience that connected participants from all across the community who walked and fundraised to end breast cancer. No matter where the public joined in from with their walk teams, participants were connected by Komen’s vision for a world without breast cancer. Leading up to the event, Komen used its “Power of ONE Week” and web-based opening ceremonies to build up to the MORE THAN PINK Walk Day. On walk day, registrants were able to recreate some of the excitement, camaraderie and unity of Komen’s energetic in-person events by coming together via technology-powered activities, challenges and inspirational story sharing, all while enjoying the Walk in a location of their choosing, with their nearest and dearest.

Breast cancer girl in pink

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One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in her lifetime and more than 44,000 people in the U.S. die every year from breast cancer. Susan G. Komen’s work coming out of the pandemic is arguably more important than ever. Screenings, clinical trials and research were largely halted during COVID-19 lockdowns, making the funding of key research and breast health services all the more critical to get life-saving progress back on track. 

Since Komen’s founding in 1982, with support from people in communities all over the U.S., Komen as collectively invested $1.1 billion in research and more than $2.3 billion to advocate for the needs of the breast cancer community and to help people living with breast cancer and metastatic disease to get the care they need. Thanks to increases in early detection and more effective treatments, the breast cancer mortality rate (deaths per 1,000 diagnosed) has decreased by 41 percent since 1989. 

Breast Cancer hands above sand

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 Fundraising for the MORE THAN PINK Walk campaign continues on through Sunday, Oct. 24 to support the Komen Helpline, Treatment Assistance Program and navigating of patients into care and support, where the organization is seeing the biggest need following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Breast cancer ballon arch

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Bay Island brilliance

Bay Island drone

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz)

Looking out over the Newport Harbor from above


Festival of OC Chefs to benefit KidWorks

Festival of OC Chefs, benefiting KidWorks will be hosting its inaugural event on Sunday, Oct. 3 from 5-9 p.m. at Newport Beach Country Club.

The Food Festival taking place from 5-7 p.m. showcases 25 chefs, whereby guests will mingle and sample their fare. Renowned wineries and spirits will also be part of the mix. Beginning at 7 p.m., attendees can sample desserts and be seated at tables for the program. Following the Fund-A-Need portion at 7:45 p.m., the band, Flashback Heart Attack, will entertain for dancing until 9 p.m. The event is sold out, but there is a waiting list. Tickets are $500 per person.

Honorary Chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales of Nirvana Grille, Laguna Beach is being recognized. The Presenting Sponsors are Kay Family Foundation and the David A. Pyle Family.

Festival OC Chefs

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Photos by Bob Hodson Photography

Chefs who will be at the Festival of OC Chefs 

Chefs representing Newport Beach restaurants include Host Chef Graeme Blair and Lead Chef Rachel Putnam, Newport Beach Country Club; Robert Gomez, A Restaurant; Jacob Davis, Balboa Bay Resort; Victor Soto, Cannery Seafood of the Pacific; Elvis Morales, CdM Restaurant; Andy Arndt, Newport Beach Marriott; Kyung Carroll and Zack Kasara, Pelican Hill Resort; and Riley Huddleston, The Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub + Kitchen.

Festival OC Chefs 4 chefs

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(L-R) Participating Chefs Pascal Olhats, Kyung Carroll, Graeme Blair and Andy Arndt

According to Chef Event Chair Pascal Olhats, “It is a difficult time for the hospitality industry to go through, however chefs and restaurants are part of the local community. We were all separated for some time, so now we can reacquaint and what is better, but to do it for a great cause like KidWorks.”

As a fixture in the Orange County restaurant scene who has been the owner and executive chef for several noted French restaurants, Olhats observed that most local restaurants are still in a recovery mode and still suffer from consequences of the pandemic, but draws attention to many of the families served by KidWorks that even before the pandemic were already having hard times, often living from paycheck to paycheck.

“They are certainly going through an even worse time now as their families and relatives are part of the restaurants’ workforce, too,” said Olhats. “So, helping KidWorks is certainly helping some of these families and giving kids hope and help for a better future. I am very proud to be able to help and glad we will make it an event that guests will remember.”

Chef Graeme Blair of the Newport Beach Country Club echoes these sentiments. “It’s important that we all do our part. We are fortunate to work in a privileged community here in Newport Beach. I’m astonished how our members and our owners are so supportive of causes like KidWorks. As staff members at the Club, we want to follow their lead and give back, too. It’s the right thing to do.”

Executive Chief Kyung Carroll of Pelican Hill Resort said, “As a chef, I’ve always felt a sense of duty to give back to my community through being involved with various charity events. During these unprecedented times, as it has been difficult for so many, it gives me a sense of duty to give back. Being invited to participate in this event for KidWorks is a no brainer. I’ve always had a soft spot for anything that has to do with kids, because of my childhood. My brother and I lived in an orphanage, fighting for a bed to sleep in, then living in foster care, to being fortunate enough to be adopted. I know how it is to have little to nothing, to having just about everything. I look forward to being a part of this.” 

“We are honored to have these high caliber chefs lend their time and talent in support of our educational initiatives designed to transform the lives of our students,” said KidWorks CEO and Executive Director David Benavides.

To learn more about the Festival of OC Chefs, visit www.kidworksoc.org/chefs.

For the past seven years, 100 percent of KidWorks high school students have graduated on time and 100 percent have gone onto higher education. KidWorks’ mission is to restore at-risk neighborhoods one life at a time. Since 1993, KidWorks has grown into a vibrant community development non-profit that serves central Santa Ana students and families through a fully licensed preschool, after-school programs, tutoring, mentoring, and adult services in the areas of health, parenting classes and support groups. www.kidworksoc.org.

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