Fair Game


Stapleton adds police and fire endorsements to candidate resume

Fair Game Toms new headshotLast issue we reported financial disclosures for a number of local candidates. No surprise to most was that District 1 City Council candidate Joe Stapleton led all in number of donors (more than 300) and amount raised ($150,000+). 

What we didn’t report at that time was the fact that Stapleton also received the endorsements of the Newport Beach Police Officers’ Association and the Newport Beach Firefighters’ Association.

Both are huge and carry a tremendous amount of weight.

In their announcement, Mark Fasano, President of the Newport Beach Police Association, said, “We know Joe Stapleton is going to do what’s best for Newport Beach because he has already put in the work. He went through our Police Citizen Academy. He’s going to support our cops, keep Newport Beach safe and represent the best of citizen leadership in our community.”

The same was echoed by Newport Beach Firefighters’ Association President Bobby Salerno, who said, “Our firefighters want to show up for people who’ve shown up for them. Joe Stapleton went through our Fire Ops 101 training. He’s invested the time to get to know us. We know we’re backing someone who has our back and that means a lot to us.”

Joe’s council race is the only one in town so far that has multiple candidates, as Tom Miller has also announced. And although Miller seems like a great guy and has the money to fund his own campaign if he so desires, he’s going to find Stapleton’s record as something almost unsurpassed from previous local candidates.

His involvement led him to be named the 2020 Newport Beach Citizen of the Year; he’s served on the Harbor Commission and the City’s Finance Committee, as well as another dozen or so other charitable organizations.

Joe’s so accomplished, it almost makes me wish that Miller had another spot to land in, because he, too, represents good things for the community. 

Miller pointed out to me this week that although the recent disclosure statement didn’t report it, that he’s “hired a very strong fundraising team in early December.”

He added, “During our initial meeting to discuss a game plan, I told them I DO NOT intend on holding fundraising events during the month of December while everyone is focused on spending their hard-earned money on Christmas. I actually had people ask me how they can donate and I suggested they hold off until I start holding events in the spring. I am certain to have hundreds of donors over the next several months.”

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Speaking of City Council candidates, I also caught up this week with Erik Weigand. Erik announced his intentions to run for office shortly before the end of 2021 for termed-out Duffy Duffield’s District 3 seat come November. 

On the first go-around of financial disclosure statements, truth be told, Erik, too, was pretty quiet. However, he told me that it was by design, choosing instead to focus on endorsements, versus also bugging people for donations during the holiday season when their financial focus might be on other things, and rightfully so.

He added that now that the holidays are behind us, the kids are back in school and people are back to work, he says he’ll get busy in the next few months seeking ample financial support.

Two things to note, first, he has no other announced candidate as of yet, so it’s not like he’s playing catch-up to anyone; and second, there are still nine months until Election Day giving him more than ample time.

And let’s be honest, as Miller reminded me, “The campaign isn’t won in December or January.”

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Elsewhere in Stu News today we review new issues pertaining to what I call, “good old fashion garbage.” It pertains to trash collection, recycling and more.

Besides preparing for the arrival of new recycling carts, with green lids, the story also notes that 14,000 residences will have the trash collection day changed. Go to to see if and how you might be affected.

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According to the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce news note, Lido Bottle Works has been named one of the Top 100 Places to Eat in America for 2022 by Yelp.

According to the Chamber, Lido Bottle Works is a gem of the Newport Harbor dining scene specializing in locally sourced cuisine, craft beer and California wines.

The restaurant, listed at No. 58, is located in Lido Marina Village. It was only one of four California restaurants that made the list.

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How about a new idea for a pet for those little ones at home? Worms! Okay, maybe not. However, Sherman Library & Gardens is offering an upcoming Family Workshop titled Worm Composting. It’s planned for Saturday, Feb. 26 at 9:30 a.m.

Here’s what you’ll learn: how to compost with worms (imagine getting rid of those leftover strawberry tops, veggie trimmings, or paper and napkins). You’ll even leave the workshop with your own beginners kit to take home. Yes, and that means worms.

I just found out the class is currently sold out, however, there may be another class added, so if you are interested please add your name to the waitlist.

This class is just one of a number that Sherman Library & Gardens conducts each and every month. Others include painting classes, planting activities, tours, story time and more.

You can find out about these and others when you go to

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Perhaps you’ve noticed that the 2022 Winter Olympics are underway in Beijing.

The question posed to me the other day, “Does Newport Beach have anyone on the team?”

The answer is yes. Carlo Valdes has made the team in both the 2-man and 4-man bobsled. 

Carlo was born and raised in Newport Beach and then went on to UCLA where he played football, before moving over to track and field as a decathlete and then a javelin thrower.

He previously made the 2018 Olympic team in the 4-man bobsled, finishing 20th as a member of pilot Justin Olsen’s team.