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Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

He’ll be flying high at this Sunday’s Super Bowl

Fair Game Toms new headshotTrivia question for you Super Bowl know-it-alls. Name a performer participating in this year’s Super Bowl from Newport Beach? 

Give up? 

How about Steve Hinton Sr., president of Planes of Fame Museum in Chino and an Air Force Heritage flight pilot. Steve will fly a P-51 WWII “Mustang” fighter plane, from the museum, in a group of aircraft over SoFi Stadium during Sunday’s national anthem. 

Pretty cool!

Planes of Fame Museum is “known throughout the world for its collection of mainly military aircraft, many of which are in flying condition.” Check them out at https://planesoffame.org.

Just an fyi, Steve’s wife, Karen Maloney Hinton, was a Corona del Mar High School Class of 1975 graduate and rumored to have possibly been their Valedictorian. Whether she was or wasn’t, it sounds good. And, it’s always nice to know the brains of the family.

Fair Game SNN Steve Hinton

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Planes of Fame Museum

Super Bowl bound Steve Hinton

• • •

Fire struck our neighbors to the south (Laguna Beach) yesterday in the early morning hours. Newport Beach Fire was part of the effort to knock down a fire which could have had a devastating outcome.

According to Newport Beach Fire Chief Jeff Boyles, “the Emerald Fire started just after 4 a.m. NBFD sent five fire engines as part of an initial, aggressive attack in the beginning phases of the fire along with units from Laguna Beach and the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). The OCFA had jurisdiction and assumed overall incident command with assistance from LBFD. 

“Although the high sustained winds, low humidity and relatively warm temperatures proved to aid in spreading the fire, we were fortunate in that the Emerald Fire was the only major fire burning throughout the State of California giving us a deep pool of aerial resources to draw from.”

 Chief Boyles said the fire burned some 150 acres, with 375 firefighters being deployed, including 10 strike teams from regional agencies and five helicopters (from OCFA, Los Angeles County and Cal Fire.) 

Additionally, fixed wing aircraft, specialized firefighting equipment, hand crews and bulldozers were brought in to navigate the difficult terrain of Laguna Beach.

 The good news, no injuries and no structure damage.

Can the news get any better than that?

• • •

Monday is Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you’re seriously in love and you’re looking for that magical place to propose? 

Well, did you know that Yelp named the Top 10 places in the U.S. to do so? Any guesses of what or where in Newport Beach made the list?

If you said Gondola Adventures, get the ring out and drop to one knee!

To check them out, go to https://gondola.com.

If you want to see some of the others that made the list, perhaps for future ideas, go here.

• • •

Perhaps you’re not ready to propose…maybe you just want a good photo with that loved one. Here’s an idea, head over to Sherman Library & Gardens, mention Stu News to get into the Central Garden for free and take a photo in front of their wonderful red ribbon display. 

It works for Lunar New Year photos, too.

• • •

Mark it down, the 2022 Economic and Financial Update, presented by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, will feature Christopher G. Schwarz, Ph.D. via Zoom at 11:30 a.m. on February 23. Schwarz is the Associate Professor of Finance and Faculty Director at the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business.

It’s free with a reservation through the Chamber at www.newportbeach.com.

• • •

A year or two ago I walked into the little Ralphs, as I call it, on Westcliff. No sooner had I walked through the automatic doors when I was forced to jump out of the way of several young teens bolting to the same doors, with bottles of liquor in their hands.

Oh to be young! And stupid, for that matter.

It dawned on me that the kids had just pulled off a grab and run. The interesting thing was that no one from the store moved to do anything about it. So, I walked up to the manager or supervisor on duty and told them what had happened and they said that it frequently did, but that they were told by management to stand down.

No yelling, no chase, no confrontation.

If I wasn’t so old, heck, I might try it. What a great way to save money.

Anyway, this past Saturday, I arrived home to an email from an irate resident from Eastbluff that had just witnessed something similar. As he entered the Ralphs there, another patron indicated to him that “the store was just robbed of alcohol.” So, he gave chase and ran out to the parking lot in an attempt to intervene but the suspects were already gone.

The man said that he then reported the incident to the store manager, but got the feeling that they didn’t care and would do nothing about it. 

Not being happy, the witness finally offered up this, “I called the NBPD but they would not take my report unless Ralphs pursued it. This is absurd. This is my neighborhood and I do not want to sit idly by and say, oh what the heck, this is happening all over. No, it should not happen anywhere, but especially not in my neighborhood.” 

Well, like it or not, it’s a different world out there. We, Ralphs, the police, we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

Somedays, it’s a sad state of affairs.

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