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Balboa Island Museum presents dinner, movie premiere

Mark your calendars for Thursday, Sept. 17, when the Balboa Island Museum presents, “Golden Age of Newport Harbor,” a Tim Mang tour at 6:30 p.m. at the Balboa Yacht Club.

The evening includes dinner and a movie premiere in addition to a Q&A with Tim Mang and friends. This takes place outdoors and there is limited seating.

Balboa Island Museum Tim Mang

Courtesy of Balboa Island Museum

Tim Mang

Mang has lived in Newport Harbor for 75 years. His mother attended Newport Grammar School in 1916 and his uncles helped develop Lido Isle. He has an extraordinary memory and incredible stories to tell about growing up when movie stars came to the area to escape the Hollywood scene. He coached tennis at Corona del Mar and Edison high schools and in 2006, was named the National High School Tennis Coach of the Year. He was also inducted into the National High School Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The cost to attend is $100 per person. Wine will be served with dinner along with a no-host bar.

To purchase tickets, call 949.675.3952 or visit www.balboaislandmuseum.org/events.

Balboa Yacht Club is located at 1801 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach.


COVID-19: 29 new deaths reported in OC, 13 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 947 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including 29 new deaths received yesterday. There have been 19 deaths of Newport Beach residents, including one new death received yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 1,021 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of 13 cases yesterday, a per capita rate of 11.711 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 47,459 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 369 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 60 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 372 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 112 are in ICU.

The county estimates 39,678 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 27 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 27 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 27 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 27, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Tuesday begins Newport Beach Restaurant Month…bring your appetite

Newport Beach Restaurant Month Begins in 4 days...

Tom headshot 8.25.20I don’t know about you, but I’m clearing off my September calendar schedule for 30 days worth of Newport Beach Restaurant Month. A long list of Newport Beach’s very best restaurants are joining together for a month-long dining celebration.

Guess what, our restaurants can use it. 

After months of closures for COVID-19, then re-opening and re-closing, our restaurants have paid the price. This special month affords us, the consumer, to help them get back on some solid footing. 

Why is this important? We here in Newport Beach experience the best in dining opportunities. It adds to our own social lives and bolsters the tourism dollar that’s so important for the financial well-being of our city.

Here’s what you can expect for the month, besides just good food. Take advantage of a special Dine Pass that affords opportunities to win daily “foodie giveaways” and “four weekly grand prize vacation getaways.”

It’s simple to join in. First off, sign up for your Dine Pass and it will instantly be delivered to your phone via text and then a simple email to begin using.

Next, peruse the list of participating restaurants and then dine there, outdoors, or take your order home to enjoy. Each time simply click the “Check-In” button and you’ll be entered (each “Check-In” is an entry to a gift card or vacation stay in Newport Beach).

You’ll also find that many of the restaurants have exclusive offers to additionally unlock by simply showing your screen to redeem an offer.

There are so many good restaurants participating. Some of them include 21 Oceanfront, Arc Butcher & Baker, The Bungalow, Bayside, P.F. Chang’s, Harborside Restaurant, Five Crowns, Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens, Avila’s El Ranchito, Pescadou Bistro, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, SOL Mexican Cocina and Great Maple, to name a few.

There’re also other fun eating spots like Atomic Creamery, Afters Ice Cream, B.CANDY, Thrive Juice Bar and Sugar ‘n Spice.

As I said at the top of this column, our restaurants need our support. I hope you’ll make it a point to join. 

• • •

Fair Game white PVD pipe

Okay, I’ve posted a picture above. What is it? I’m talking about the white pipe apparatus attached to the railing near the end of Balboa Pier.

Well, as Jessica Roame, education manager of Newport Landing Whale Watching, explained to me, it’s a fishing line recycling container. Earlier this week, five of these containers were installed along the Balboa Pier.

Jessica, along with the companies she represents, Davey’s Locker and Newport Landing Sportfishing and Whale Watching, would love to see this fishing line recycling program expanded to all piers and fishing locations in Orange County. 

But, first things first, their next immediate goal is to expand to Newport Pier if the Balboa Pier recycling stations are successful.

Roame has a degree in biology from UC Riverside, is a lifelong scuba diver and is a “self-proclaimed whale nerd.” As you might imagine, her job suits her just fine.

Being around fishing vessels and seeing the action of the Pier, Jessica is extremely concerned about fishing line waste. Left unkept, it can entangle birds, marine mammals, and, can even damage boats.

The goal is simple, “To help keep monofilament out of our environment,” Jessica said. “We’d like to see fishing line recycling as commonplace as recycling cans and bottles. And to do this, we need to make it convenient for anglers to recycle the monofilament, keeping containers in spots along the Balboa Pier.”

So, with funding from the City of Newport Beach, signs and containers have been built and installed following guidelines created from a partnership of the Boat US Foundation, the California Coastal Commission and the California State Parks, Boating and Waterways.

There are currently 280 such stations in California, which to date has recycled, at last count, 1,672 pounds of fishing line. That, my friends, is a lot of tackle, better served out of our waterways, than in them.

Jessica and friends need your help; after all, someone has to assist with removing line from the containers. It’s all handled on a completely volunteer basis and she would love to find others to join the cause.

You can reach out to her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.675.0550, ext. 118.

Feel free to “drop her a line,” as they say in fisherman speak.

• • •

The drive-through COVID-19 testing site is now open Monday through Friday at OC Fair & Event Center until October 23. Hours, by appointment only, are from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Enter Gate 4 to access Lots E and F.

To make an appointment, visit https://360clinic.md.

• • •

Where’s a great place to retire to, you ask? Well, a study just released by SmartAsset, a personal finance website, named their Top 25 findings after examining 525 U.S. cities with a population of at least 65,000.

Data considered included safety, number of seniors, health care access and costs for older adults.

Two California cities made the top 10, Walnut Creek at 5 and Newport Beach at 8. 

For Newport Beach, low crime and lots of activities were cited as the strong positives.

What was number one? Fort Myers, Florida.


Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D. selected County Health Officer

In a unanimous vote by the Orange County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D., was selected as County Health Officer. 

Dr. Chau will serve as the Director of the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) as well as County Health Officer. He was hired on as the HCA›s Director on May 4, 2020 and subsequently assumed the role as Acting County Health Officer on June 9, 2020.

Dr. Chau worked for the HCA’s Behavioral Health Services team from 1999-2012 and was most recently Chief Clinical and Strategy Officer for Mind OC, the not-for-profit created to support the advancement of Be Well OC.

In addition to his time at Mind OC, Dr. Chau was previous employed by Providence Health System, the third largest health system in the country, as the Regional Executive Medical Director of the Institute of Mental Health and Wellness, Southern California Region. Dr. Chau was also appointed by the 23rd U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services serving on the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee.

Clayton Chau

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Submitted photo

Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D.

His past positions include Senior Medical Director for Health Services at L.A. Care Health Plan, the largest nonprofit health plan in the nation, responsible for behavioral health, care management, utilization management and disease management. In that capacity, Dr. Chau was actively involved in the development of the Los Angeles County Whole Person Care Program. He was also the Co-Principal Investigator for a multi-year Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ innovation grant in Transforming Clinical Practice.

Dr. Chau received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Chelsea University in 2004, and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1994. He completed his psychiatry residency at the University of California, Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley followed by a fellowship with the National Institute of Mental Health in psychoneuroimmunology focusing on substance use disorder and HIV. Additionally, he has served as an Associate Clinical Professor and lecturer at a variety of renowned academic institutions including the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Irvine.  Dr. Chau has conducted international trainings in the areas of health care integration, health care system reform, cultural competency and mental health policy.


Dolphin delight

Dolphin delight wave

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry) 

Spotting our dolphin friends off the coast makes us smile


Fairgrounds now offering fair foods

The coronavirus may have canceled this summer’s Orange County Fair, but that doesn’t mean all is lost.

If you’re missing out on your “fair food fix,” starting today (Aug. 28), the Fair Food Drive-Thru will offer summer treats from four food vendors bringing a taste of the OC Fair to go.

Fairgrounds teriyaki chicken bowl

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Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Teriyaki chicken bowl from the Hawaiian Chicken Bowl menu

If you’re longing for your favorite delightful indulgences, swing by and choose from special menus from one of the following: Cathy’s Cookies, Dippin’ Dots, Hawaiian Chicken Bowl and Hot Dog on a Stick.

Menu items include turkey legs, teriyaki chicken bowls, hot dogs and cheese dogs on a stick and chocolate chip cookies. 

You can find a map and a full menu of offerings at www.ocfair.com/drivethru.

Fairgrounds Cathy's Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies from Cathy’s Cookies

Enter through Gate 1 off Fair Drive, and you will be directed toward the order lane or passing lane. Guests will be required to stay in their vehicle and wear a mask while ordering from the vendor. Credit card payment is preferred. No walkups will be allowed, and no parking will be available. 

Fair Food Drive-Thru starts August 28 and will be open from 12-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Also coming to the fairgrounds:

–Autosonic Concerts will present Dead Man’s Party in a drive-in concert experience on Sunday, Sept. 27. The Oingo Boingo tribute band will perform live while guests enjoy the concert from the comfort of their vehicles. 

For ticket information, go to www.autosonicconcerts.com.

–Urban Legends of Southern California will come to the fairgrounds to save Halloween. Guests will enjoy in the safety of their own vehicle a drive-thru where scare seekers will experience immersive storytelling and terrifying sets. Come be entertained by live performances throughout the drive, plus experience three interactive show zones and an immersive show of lights, sound, special effects and monsters, who come alive. The drive-thru Halloween haunt runs October 1 through November 1. Tickets are on sale now at www.urbanlegendshaunt.com.

–Finally, don’t forget about the Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local farmers and merchants are on hand to sell fresh produce, food items, home goods and more. 

Parking and admission are free. You can find safety guidelines and more information at www.ocfair.com/events.


Take Five: Meet Gary Sherwin, president & CEO of Newport Beach & Company

By AMY SENK

It’s nearly September, and for the first time, that means it’s nearly time for Newport Beach Restaurant Month, an event that will incorporate an interactive, mobile Dining Pass that promotes dozens of participating restaurants while offering diners directories, exclusive offers, giveaways and prizes. Newport Beach & Company’s business unit, Dine Newport Beach, and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association worked to create the “Eat. Drink. Win.” event, which will be held September 1-30. I caught up with Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach & Co., to find out more.

Take Five Gary Sherwin at Media Event

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Gary Sherwin at Thursday night’s Drive-in & Dine Media Event at Newport Dunes rallies attendees to support our restaurateurs

Q: The restaurant business has suffered, like so many others, during the pandemic. Was that what led to the creation of a Restaurant Month, and can you tell me more about it?

A: We all know that 2020 has been an especially bad year for our dining community, and we anticipated that early fall would be an especially hard time – even worse than this summer. The fall season after school starts is a typically slower time for tourism when our restaurants and local businesses rely almost solely on locals and regional customers for business. With many coronavirus restrictions still in place throughout the country, September in Newport Beach is forecasted to be a time when our restaurants would need the most help. With our restaurants and hospitality community in such dire financial shape with severe restrictions in place, we knew we couldn’t run a typical Restaurant Week promotion with multi-course, fixed-price menus, which typically require steep discounts. So, the concept of a Newport Beach Restaurant Month – Eat. Drink. Win. Dine Pass came to fruition. This digital pass contains an all-inclusive restaurant directory, exclusive offers and opportunities to win daily and weekly grand prizes. When our Newport Beach & Company marketing team proposed the idea to the Restaurant Association board of directors, they wholeheartedly embraced the idea. The concept was then presented to city staff and city council for final approval for special COVID-19 Relief Grant funds to the Newport Beach Restaurant Association to help our struggling restaurants recover during this difficult time. This program would not be possible without the support and confidence in the program and our marketing team from the Newport Beach City Council, City of Newport Beach staff and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association board of directors. Newport Beach Restaurant Month is one of the new marketing tools in our promotional tool chest, and if successful, it could easily become an annual event, in addition to our flagship Newport Beach Restaurant Week, now in its 15th year next January. If we are successful and the restaurants see more business, we would definitely look to making this an annual event. After Restaurant Month, Newport Beach & Company plans to transition the new digital Dine Pass into multiple other promotions throughout the year, including rebranding the same pass and filling it with hundreds of holiday offers and special packages for the 112th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade this holiday season. 

Q: How will Restaurant Month work and what benefits are there for diners and restaurant owners?

A: Newport Beach Restaurant Month: Eat. Drink. Win. is designed to encourage locals and our residents in our neighboring cities to visit our restaurants for special deals and discounts – and the more often they check-in at participating restaurants, the more chances they can win big grand prizes. After signing up and accessing the Dine Pass, diners will be able to check-in on their phone and redeem all available offers. This is an easy way for restaurants who are facing staffing issues to manage the program from their end and to give the diner a convenient way to engage with the program.

Q: What are the most common requests and concerns that you have been hearing in the past five months or so from restaurant owners?

A: Our city leaders and staff have been flexible in allowing many of our restaurants to transition outdoor areas into outdoor seating and dining. We’re blessed to live and work in a city where our small businesses are appreciated, and we’re doing everything we can to make them successful. Our county is now off the watchlist, and through the perseverance of our local restaurants, residents and visitors, we hope to open our restaurants back up to indoor dining. It’s been a privilege to watch the entrepreneurship and resourcefulness of our local restaurants, but they need your help to thrive. 

Q: Some restaurants have announced they are permanently closing, and a few others have popped up. What do you think the future of restaurant dining is for Newport Beach?

A: The restaurant industry nationally has been clobbered by the pandemic, and we are seeing the unfortunate effect here locally with both permanent and temporary closures. However, with nearly 450 members, we have one of the best and largest restaurant associations in California with the state’s first-ever Restaurant Business Improvement District formed here over 25 years ago. The local restaurateurs who comprise the district’s board of directors have been phenomenal leaders in our community guiding our team as we develop campaigns, promotions and recovery efforts for all Newport Beach businesses. Our visitors and residents know Newport Beach is more than a place or city. It is an aspirational lifestyle community, and that’s why people come and live here. Good food and drink is part of that lifestyle and for chefs, it’s a great place to do business. But we need to get through this crisis first, so we sustain our existing restaurants and encourage others to open when the recovery starts. So, please keep the lights on and tastes flowing at our nearly 450 restaurants. Consider it your patriotic duty to help out our dining community, and in the process, you get to enjoy a great meal. 

Q: What’s your personal favorite restaurant, or a place that you like to go for special occasions? 

A: As many people know, Gulfstream is one of my favorite lunch spots, and I love their salmon. But Five Crowns is also a family tradition especially on Christmas Eve. You also can’t beat the French Dip sandwich at R&D Kitchen. A sentimental go-to place is Muldoon’s and their warm pub-like atmosphere with their wonderfully authentic Irish cuisine. And Mastro’s is a fabulous special occasion place. But asking me to choose a place is almost like asking a parent which of their children is their favorite. We are blessed with a lot of great places in town. 

Editor’s note: To participate in Newport Beach Restaurant Week, you must sign up for the Dine Pass at www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurant-month, then check-in at participating restaurants to access exclusive offers including free appetizers, special menu items and even discounts on your bill. The more check-ins at restaurants, the more opportunities to win.

~~~~~~~~

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


Sunset surfin’

Sunset surfin wave

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Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers) 

Surfer Joseph O’Leary catches an epic summer wave in Newport Beach


Support our local restaurateurs during Newport Beach Restaurant Month

Newport Beach Restaurant Month is taking place from September 1-30, an inaugural event incorporating an interactive, mobile Dining Pass that promotes dozens of participating restaurants while offering diners an all-inclusive restaurant directory, exclusive offers, giveaways and prizes. Dine Newport Beach, a business unit of Newport Beach & Company, along with the Newport Beach Restaurant Association have created “Eat. Drink. Win.” for your dining enjoyment.

Go and support our local restaurateurs while experiencing delicious dishes and refreshing libations. To sign up for the Dining Pass, visit www.visitnewportbeach.com/restaurant-month.

Support our local skaters at Gracias Madre

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Skating servers at Thursday night’s Newport Beach Restaurant Month’s Drive-In & Dine Media Event at Newport Dunes in front of the Gracias Madre booth. Gracias Madre served attendees spicy jackfruit birria tacos.

Here is a list of participating restaurants and establishments to date:

21 Oceanfront Restaurant

A Market

A Restaurant

Atomic Creamery

Afters Ice Cream

A&O Kitchen + Bar

Arc Butcher & Baker

Avila’s El Ranchito - Corona del Mar

Avila’s El Ranchito - Newport Peninsula

Balboa Lily’s

Bayside Restaurant

B.CANDY

Blaze Pizza

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Buddha’s Favorite

Chihuahua Cerveza

Coliseum Pool and Grill

Crocker’s The Well Dressed Frank

Fable & Spirit

Farmhouse at Roger’s Gardens

Five Crowns

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse Newport Beach

Flower Child

Gracias Madre Newport Beach 

Great Maple

GuacAmigos

Harborside Restaurant

Helmsman Ale House

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Hornblower Cruises & Events

Jan’s Health Bar

Lido Bottle Works

Malarky’s

Mama’s Comfort Food

Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub + Kitchen

Modo Mio

Newport Landing Restaurant

P.F. Chang’s at Fashion Island

Pescadou Bistro

Pirozzi

Port Restaurant & Bar

Reborn Coffee

Rendezvous French Bakery & Café

Royal Hen

SHOR American Seafood Grill

SOL Mexican Cocina

Stag Bar + Kitchen

Sugar ‘n Spice

Summer House Restaurant

Sushi ii

Sushi Roku

Tavern House Kitchen + Bar

The Alley Restaurant

The Bungalow Restaurant

THE LOT

The Winery Newport Beach

Thrive Juice Lab

True Food Kitchen

Wilma’s Patio Restaurant

Zinqué


Hoag to nurture new mothers through virtual reality

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has launched NurtureVR, a first-of-its-kind program for expectant mothers that uses virtual reality (VR) to augment prenatal education, pain management related to pregnancy, mindfulness and support women through postpartum care.

By combining accessible, immersive technology with compassionate, mindful care, NurtureVR bridges innovation with a deep support of women as they journey through pregnancy and into motherhood. Designed in partnership with VR digital wellness leader BehaVR based in Nashville, NurtureVR will be available in a pilot program involving 30 pregnant women next month.

“The goal is to nurture the relationship of the mother with her growing baby. We have incorporated the insights of women who are pregnant, were recently pregnant or are trying to become pregnant to ensure that no matter what kind of pregnancy you are experiencing, Hoag is going to take care of you the way only Hoag can,” said Allyson Brooks, M.D., the Ginny Ueberroth Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair of Hoag Women’s Health Institute. “How a woman experiences pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period is highly personal. NurtureVR was designed to meet each woman where she is.”

Hoag to nurture VR goggles

Photos courtesy of Hoag Hospital

Hoag Hospital’s VR (virtual reality) goggles

Beginning at 27 weeks, Hoag maternity patients in Newport Beach and Irvine will use VR headsets to access 14 weeks’ worth of educational material, meditation capabilities and other immersive experiences. This includes the ability to upload women’s own 3D ultrasound images for more personalized experiences. After the baby is born, the program continues for an additional eight weeks, with topics that cover maternal-baby bonding, partner intimacy, stress and hormonal and emotional changes.

NurtureVR is built upon decades of research into VR’s ability to mitigate pain, create experiential learning environments, lower stress and improve well-being.

“Hoag has incorporated VR technology to assist surgeons with operations since 2015, and the hospital remains a leader in using VR with patients for pain management, patient education and mindfulness,” said Robert Lewis, M.D., Chief of Neurosurgery and the Empower360 Endowed Chair for Skull Base and Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery, Pickup Family Neurosciences Institute at Hoag.

“We can see on functional MRIs that VR decreases a patient’s focus on the pain, eases the emotional unpleasantness of pain and even diminishes the physical sensation of pain, itself,” he said. “When you see the before and after, it’s amazing.”

NurtureVR goes far beyond pain management to supporting a woman’s relationship with her baby and her own wellness, Dr. Louis said.

“Our approach is unlike anything else we’re seeing in therapeutic VR or in women’s health. The idea is that VR can serve as a lifelong tool, something women can take with them through the ‘fourth trimester’, that eight-week period after a baby is born, and beyond,” Dr. Louis said. “They can draw on the meditation mindfulness, stress management and education they experienced through VR throughout their motherhood experience.”

VR engages all four systems of learning in the brain:

–The cognitive system, involved in processing information in the pre-frontal cortex.

–The experiential system, including vision, touch and hearing.

–The emotional system, for empathy, love and bonding.

–The behavioral system, which helps support feelings of reward and motivation.

“By engaging all four systems of learning synchronously, VR has been proven a highly effective tool for patient education, pain management and mental health and wellness,” said Peter Buecker, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of BehaVR. “We are excited to partner with Hoag to bring this tool to women as they journey through pregnancy and into early motherhood.”

Hoag to nurture Women's Pavilion

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Sue & Bill Gross Women’s Pavilion at Hoag Hospital

Because the VR experience can be customized and individualized for each woman, expectant mothers will experience different environments, sounds and visual experiences, based on their preferences and input. The individual journey is continuously refined and personalized with BehaVR’s Dynamic Experience Engine. This includes everything from a mother’s and baby’s skin tones, to the landscapes a woman sees, to the way a woman chooses to hold her baby while breastfeeding.

“The process of being pregnant is universal but how a woman experiences pregnancy, delivery and the postpartum period is individual, and this was designed to honor that,” Dr. Brooks said. “As you invest time in these modules, you’re ‘feeding’ your baby through your thoughts, so you actually see the umbilical cord lighting up as you progress over time. You’re creating this relationship with your baby that is in sync with the baby’s development.”

“This is a truly exciting time at Hoag,” said Walter Greenleaf, Ph.D., of Stanford University and Member of Hoag’s VR Advisory Board. “With the convergence of technologies today, Hoag is accelerating the advancement of VR for patients and now are able to make accurate and objective assessments of an individual’s mood state and stress level, instead of relying on inaccurate, subjective self-reported measurements. This approach allows us to develop new and powerful therapies for patients at Hoag that provide very effective solutions for many of the complex challenges in women’s health.”

Hoag physician leaders anticipate that VR will become the standard for maternal education, pain management, emotional health and support for the coming generation of parents.

“I envision mothers developing a relationship with the VR experience that allows them to feel better about themselves as people, to reduce feelings of angst and confusion and to remind them to take care of themselves,” Dr. Brooks said. “That is one of the reasons we named the program ‘Nurture’, to underscore the benefits of early relational health and why taking care of mom is so important. We recognize that healthy moms lead to healthy babies which leads to healthy communities, and VR is an exciting new tool to help get us there.”


School Notes

OC off State Monitoring List, District eyes reopenings

With the number of new COVID-19 cases declining, and a relatively low testing positivity rate, Orange County has made its way off the State’s Monitoring List as of August 22. This is a positive development and a testament to the communities in our county that have pulled together to reinforce the effectiveness of face coverings and physical distancing. 

It also brings schools within our county a step closer to resuming in-person instruction. However, at this time, no date has been set for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) to reopen to in-person.

Next steps, the county must now remain off the State’s COVID-19 Monitoring List for at least 14 consecutive days in order for schools to be eligible to reopen for in-person instruction with adherence to the state safety guidelines. But, county health officials are cautioning that transmission rates continue to exceed state thresholds in some areas. Therefore, NMUSD is working closely with the OC Health Care Agency to monitor the county and community data as they continue to plan and prepare to safely resume modified in-person instruction (Level 2). 

Once the 14-day period is complete and the county positivity rate and number of cases do not elevate above the standards set by the state, a start date will be set and details of the modified in-person instruction will be announced. 

Providing advance notice of a start date is essential to allow time to fully prepare for the transition from distance learning to reopening of the schools. This transition includes working with employee associations, providing services to our students such as transportation and food services, and implementing health and safety protocols. 

The District will also continue to closely follow the guidance of public health partners, including the county Health Care Agency and the California Department of Public Health. 

Students should continue to fully participate and engage in distance learning every day. Additional updates and next steps will be provided through this 14-day period. Parents and guardians can view the 2020-2021 School Reopening Website for additional information.

Drake named Assistant Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) has announced the appointment of John Drake as Assistant Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer, retroactive to August 1, 2020.

Drake has 24 years of experience in education and has been with NMUSD since 2010, serving as director of certificated personnel; director of curriculum and instruction and, as of 2018, acting assistant superintendent, chief academic officer. He also is a product of the District, having graduated from Estancia High School. 

While at NMUSD, Drake has been instrumental in the implementation of a cohesive instructional materials adoption process that garnered national recognition for its collaborative consensus process.

Schools Notes Drake named

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Courtesy of NMUSD

John Drake

He also led the development of a TK-12 grade math experience that set the stage for the success of students and provided resources and support needed for teachers to succeed in its implementation. Additionally, Drake supported instructional development for teachers and administrators that focuses on the principles and practices of responsive teaching, by creating learning experiences for teachers and administrators that build knowledge with a focus on responding to student thinking.

“I have had the privilege to work closely with Mr. Drake and am highly impressed with his ability to lead teams to consensus through positive relationships and collaborative approaches,” said Superintendent Russell Lee-Sung. “It’s not only what he does but how he does it, always with a calm demeanor and a purposeful vision.”

Prior to joining NMUSD, Drake served as a teacher, assistant principal and principal at the elementary, middle and high school level. While at the school sites he improved student learning outcomes and obtained schoolwide Distinguished School recognition. 

His education includes receiving his Master’s Degree in Education Administration and Supervision from the University of West Georgia and a Bachelor of Arts in English from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.


Summer’s waning, but there’s still time for that vacation

By GARY SHERWIN

With Labor Day approaching and summer in its waning days, the question is: Have you taken your vacation yet?

The pandemic changed those plans this year? Perhaps you should rethink that.

Sure, you could expect an argument like that from a tourism guy. But while I like to obviously encourage visits to Newport Beach, I’m going to suggest you get out on the road for other reasons.

You never know. You might come up with a great idea that could make you millions while sitting in a lounge chair with your favorite drink in hand. More on that later.

Research has shown that real time off (that’s when you are truly disconnected) has tremendous health benefits. But most people are pretty bad at that. A 2017 Glassdoor study said that two-thirds of people work on vacation. I’m certainly guilty as charged.

Gary Sherwin

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Being outdoors is one big component. Scientific Reports recently reported that a study of 20,000 people found that being in nature is associated with better health and well-being.

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) also recently said that “Taking a vacation allows us to come back feeling refreshed and recharged, with renewed focus.” Some companies are even requiring employees to take time off especially now that things are a bit slower.

They add that vacations may even help your personal bottom line. Data shows that those who take more than 10 days of vacation are 30 percent more likely to receive a raise, and those who take regular vacations have greater job satisfaction. 

While the big trips to far away locales may be off this year, you don’t have to go far to get the benefits. The real fun of it is going somewhere that is different from daily life. This may be a short drive from home, an extended road trip, or an excursion to the other side of town. 

In fact, one of the big winners this summer in town is the Newport Dunes and Marina, which is experiencing a record crowd that is up 20 percent over last year. The Dunes said that most of the RVers who are staying at the park come from a nearby 20-mile radius. 

Even the thought of planning a vacation and the anticipation of it is therapeutic. It gives you a sense of control during a period when it seems we have very little of it right now. 

Also important is that vacations are also great opportunities to create lasting, positive memories. Recalling happy experiences can head off stress, anxiety and depression – something that is much needed in our busy lives and even more so in current times. 

The question is what allows you to recharge? What nourishes you? For some, it’s soaking up the sun by the water. For others, it’s a creative pursuit, exploring a new location, trying new cuisine or engaging in an adventure sport. Knowing this will help inform potential destinations and activities, according to HBR.

So, get out there and enjoy a local vacation. Or may I suggest that you experience Newport Beach like a visitor and stay at one of our hotels. You never know what it might bring for your mental well-being. 

As to the multimillion-dollar idea you might dream up while lounging by the pool? Follow the example of Lin Manual Miranda.

He dreamed up the blockbuster musical Hamilton while on vacation. And the rest is, well, history.

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


Cox continues to commit to support kids and families during pandemic times

Cox, which provides services to much of Newport Beach, announced Tuesday an expanded commitment to bridging the learning divide as part of its ongoing effort to support kids and families with learning and teaching from home during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through June 30, 2021, Cox is suspending late fees and extending payment relief offerings for customers in the company’s low-cost internet program Connect2Compete who express an inability to pay due to pandemic hardships. 

“During this time of distance learning, our focus remains on connecting families with a K-12 student at home to the internet and keeping them connected during this unprecedented time,” said Pat Esser, president and chief executive officer of Cox Communications. “We continue to look at ways to support kids that need the tools to succeed and know it starts with an internet connection, device and digital resources.” 

Cox continues girl on chair

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Courtesy of Cox Communications

Cox is committed to supporting youngsters and families with learning and teaching from home during the coronavirus pandemic

Through June 30, 2021, Cox commits to the following as part of its ongoing efforts to bridge the learning divide:

–Actively promote Cox’s low-cost Connect2Compete program to drive awareness and adoption among eligible customers, including toolkits for schools to help families connect.

–Continue no requirement of deposits or application fees and proactively waive late fees for eligible Connect2Compete customers.

–Extend our low-cost Connect2Compete plans to eligible customers as long as they qualify.

–Offer consistent and transparent pricing to eligible customers during plan enrollment.

–Provide flexible payment arrangements for eligible customers who contact us with an inability to pay due to pandemic hardships.

–Partner with cities, school districts and community-based organizations to connect large numbers of low-income students to the internet.

–Provide timely, exceptional service, including offering a fast-track qualification process for Connect2Compete plan enrollment and service activation with schools. 

–Promote existing partnerships with hardware providers who offer a low-cost device along with a connectivity plan for eligible customers.

–Offer creative, interim solutions to provide connectivity before residential activation is possible, including immediate access to 3M+ Cox Hotspots nationwide.

Throughout the pandemic, Cox has implemented several programs to help families connect from home during the pandemic. Recently, the company announced a new offer for new qualifying families who sign up before September 30 to receive Connect2Compete free for two months including free remote technical support just in time for back-to-school. Families can qualify for Connect2Compete easily from their mobile device or desktop by visiting www.cox.com/c2c

In addition to connectivity, many students need equipment to get their work done. Cox continues to partner with local, regional and national organizations to provide discounted, refurbished laptops and accessories to families that qualify for the Connect2Compete program. The James M. Cox Foundation recently awarded a $100,000 grant to PCs for People, a nonprofit that is dedicated to providing high-quality, discounted computers to low-income families across Cox’s footprint nationwide. 

Cox also recently announced a new digital learning platform available to Connect2Compete customers to keep kids engaged in academics. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s digital platform, www.MyFuture.com, empowers children and teens to learn new skills, share accomplishments and earn recognition and rewards via gamification in a safe and fun online environment. 

The Cox Connect2Compete program is available to families who:

–Have at least one child that is a K-12 student at home. 

–Participate in one of these government subsidies programs: The National School Lunch Program, SNAP, TANF, Head Start, WIC, LIHEAP, or Public Housing 

For more information on Cox’s coronavirus relief efforts, visit www.cox.com.


On the Harbor: Experiencing the end of summer sailing

By LEN BOSE

Have you ever noticed the professional athlete after losing the big game? They are sitting on the bench looking into the crowd in disbelief that their season is over. That’s the feeling that rushed over me this week while on the harbor and noticing the signs of summer dissipating over the horizon. Time to step up, brush the dirt off and get ready for the fall season.

One of the first sounds of fall I picked up on was the barking of the sea lions, yes...“Who let the dogs out?” They have returned as they always do this time of year. My annual reminder is mostly focused on the boat owners who are new to the offshore moorings. Sea lions barking is the only notice of the upcoming wave, and yes, if proper deterrence is not put in place, they will invade and conquer. I would encourage you to plan ahead and spend the extra money on the proper tools to detour them. One such piece of equipment is produced by Seal Stop, 

www.sealstop.com/products.html. It’s clean, effective and acceptable by all the seal huggers. This with a layer of canvas covering your cockpit and swim step should do the trick, rather than receiving notice from the harbor department informing you that you will be fined unless you solve the problem. Reacting to such an urgent manner usually leads to a panic run to Home Depot for large orange buckets and plastic fencing which makes the harbor look like it’s trash pick-up day. Not to forget about all the repair bills and the day of a high-pressure wash you will have to complete before returning to your mooring. While you are out on your boats, remember to check your mooring gear; the Santa Ana winds normally return by mid-October.

• • •

This is when I normally step over the line and try to give you a fishing report. The only one I can give you is that the selection at Santa Monica Seafood has been discouraging since the virus outbreak. What I have noticed is the fishermen that do know what they are talking about seem rather excited over the last month and a half. The Balboa Angling Club Facebook page is full of members holding their catches high, or better yet having their catch on the crane. Balboa Angling Club has the Master Angler Billfish Tournament coming up on September 11-12. For those of you that are not familiar with the Balboa Angling Club and have a kid that is showing an interest in fishing, send them that way. Visit www.balboaanglingclub.org. Like I say every year, Balboa Angling Club is the best value in town with a long history in our harbor.

• • •

On the Harbor 20s fleet

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Photo by Don Logan

Harbor 20 Fleet Championships coming at the end of September

Just when you think you are headed out to the last of the Twilight Series, word comes down that the Newport Harbor Yacht Club is extending the Thursday night races through the end of September. The race will have an earlier start time of 5:30 p.m., but hey, I have four more races before calling it a Summer. BCYC wrapped up their Taco Tuesday this week with 37 entries in the Harbor 20 fleet and 23 PHRF boats. The top overall PHRF boats in C Fleet were Bob Kafka sailing his Catalina 30 Halcyon in third place, Caleb Everett aboard Tortuga in second and Scott Jones, who entered the BCYC Club-owned J-22, with many of the club’s best sailors onboard. In B fleet, we had Steve Fink sailing his beautiful Capri 30 Shadow in third, Joe Degenhardt’s Catalina 38 Lickity Split placed second, while Roger Gooding sailing his Evelyn 32 Rhythm was the boat to beat this year. In A fleet it was all about Jim Try Hard Bailey in first with Amante sailed by Tim Richley in second. This was the most competitive Harbor 20 fleet I have ever seen with nine competitors having a perfect attendance over 13 weeks. Participating in A fleet this year were four Newport Beach Sailing Hall of Famers: Jim Buckingham, Ann & Kurt Wiese and Argyle Campbell. Campbell took home the pickle dish this year in first place, followed closely by Team Rastello/Curtiss in second with team Conzelman/Thompson in third. In Harbor 20 B fleet, it was Chris Hill’s year with perfect attendance. C fleet Matt Hurlimann sailing Whatever to third place and a close battle for first with Debra Haynes sailing Spirit to second and John Bubb aboard Tiger ringing the bell in first place.

• • •

Word on the street is that there will soon be a Marine Recycling Station located at Veterans Memorial Park. I need to check in with Harbormaster Borsting before committing and can only hope it is more than an oil and bilge pads recycling station. “Slowly I turned and step by step, inch by inch.” Let’s hope that someday we might even be able to remove the old channel markers 10 and 12. Go to my website at http://lenboseyachts.blogspot.com for a look at Channel marker 12 two years ago and today, to notice how many times boaters run into these deadly obstacles.

Sea ya!

~~~~~~~~

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


Airline traffic at JWA still way below 2019 levels

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport (JWA) decreased in July 2020 as compared with July 2019. In July 2020, the airport served 239,120 passengers, a decrease of 74.7 percent when compared with the July 2019 passenger traffic count of 945,962. 

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 49.2 percent and commuter aircraft operations decreased 11.7 percent when compared with July 2019 levels.

Airline traffic at JWA jets

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Courtesy of JWA

Total aircraft operations decreased in July 2020 as compared with the same month in 2019. In July 2020, there were 23,694 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), a 13.9 percent decrease compared to 27,520 total aircraft operations in July 2019.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 81.2 percent of the total aircraft operations during July 2020, increased 0.3 percent when compared with July 2019.

The top three airlines in July 2020 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (96,301), American Airlines (54,732) and United Airlines (29,968).


Decorative Arts Society grants $25,000 to support Blind Children’s Learning Center

Blind Children’s Learning Center (BCLC), the Santa Ana-based nonprofit with the mission to prepare children with visual impairments and other disabilities for a life of independence, has received a $25,000 grant from Decorative Arts Society (DARTS) to support BCLC’s Global Infant Development program.  Decorative Arts Society, based in Newport Beach, is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership group committed to improving the lives of women and children in Orange County.

BCLC’s Global Infant Development program provides critical home-based early interventions services for newly diagnosed and medically fragile infants and toddlers (birth to 3 years). The goal of the program is to ensure the optimal development of visually impaired babies and toddlers by ensuring they receive adequate stimulation to fully utilize any vision they may have, maximize their development and minimize developmental delays.

DARTS recognizes the importance of these early services and how life-changing these resources are for new moms and parents too, so that they may best care for their children. It is important for DARTS to support mothers throughout Orange County and BCLC’s Global Infant Development program helps them to do just that for a population that often gets overlooked, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Decorative Arts Society three women

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Submitted photo

(L-R) DARTS member Madeline Hayward; Angie Rowe, executive director of the Blind Children’s Learning Center; and DARTS member Angela Cord

“We at BCLC are extremely grateful for the generosity of the Decorative Arts Society,” said Angie Rowe, president and executive director of Blind Children’s Learning Center. “We believe our programs and services align with the mission of DARTS to improve the lives of women, children and families in Orange County, and feel beyond thankful for this partnership that has helped us expand our Global Infant Development program this year and serve mothers and children during this unknown time.”

Due to a growing and changing demand for services, BCLC has expanded its Global Infant Development program in 2020 and, with the help of DARTS, will serve 125 infants and toddlers throughout Orange County during the 2020-2021 school year along with 150 parents of visually impaired children (including 125 mothers) during this grant period. Infant and toddler support includes Individual Family Service Plans, weekly home visits, referrals for optometry services, deaf-blind intervention, counseling and more, and bi-annual progress assessments.  Parental support will provide necessary resources and support to parents so that they are equipped to help their visually impaired child meet their specific objectives and will also assist parents by attending medical appointments and providing individual and family counseling.

“My family and I feel so fortunate to have BCLC by our side during Emerson’s early years,” said Jeanne Wu, Emerson’s mom. “This organization has been able to support him in a lot of ways that other schools simply couldn’t. The staff truly understands his needs and have been essential as he transitions into kindergarten.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, BCLC had to pivot at lightning speed in order to serve its children and families, especially those in the Global Development program. Knowing this, DARTS worked quickly to get BCLC the awarded funding so that they may adapt quickly and effectively at a time that was so critical. Because of DARTS’s understanding and generosity, BCLC children, mothers and parents were able to continue to receive services virtually with absolutely no down time or loss of learning. DARTS helped make it possible for BCLC to provide more than 2,000 sessions of early intervention, vision stimulation and therapeutic services.


ENC now enrolling in After School Nature Camp for this fall

Environmental Nature Center (ENC) is now enrolling youngsters in their After School Nature Camp this fall for those in Kindergarten through 3rd grade (must be at least 5 years old by September 1).

After School Nature Camp will provide 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. Students attending school in person or at home will be provided with critical programming they will need to re-engage, re-connect and thrive.

ENC now enrolling boys in tree

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Courtesy of ENC

Youngsters can enjoy the fresh air and social interaction safely at ENC’s After School Nature Camp

After their virtual or in-person school day is done, 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.

The ENC will adhere to the most up-to-date health and safety standards from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the OC Health Care Agency. Learn more about their Camp COVID-19 Policies at https://encenter.org/camps/.

For additional information on the sessions and to register, go here.


New name for Segerstrom Center’s dance and music program for children with disabilities

Segerstrom Center for the Arts President Casey Reitz announced Wednesday that the Center’s School of Dance and Music for Children with Disabilities has been given a new name, Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities. 

“We wanted to create a name that would be symbolic of the vast diversity of our community and, especially, honor children and young adults with physical and cognitive disabilities and their families,” Reitz said in announcing the name change. “We have steadily expanded our adaptive classes to include more artistic disciplines, such as musical theater, to complement the dance and music classes. And we make every effort to create a safe and inclusive environment where competition does not exist, and everyone shines a bit brighter.” 

New name for Segerstrom singer

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Courtesy of SCFTA

Studio D: Arts School for All Abilities provides a realm of artistic disciplines for youth ages 4-22

Studio D under its previous name was selected as Best Special Needs Camp/Activity in Parenting OC Magazine’s 2019 Reader’s Choice poll.

The school offers classes for children and young adults ages 4-22 with physical and cognitive disabilities such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders, hearing and visual impairments and other complex needs, as well as siblings and individuals without disabilities. The classes encourage students to explore their full physical and creative potential through dance, music and self-expression. Social skills are also incorporated in the classes and the students build new friendships with their peers.

Jason Holland, the Center’s Vice President of Community Engagement, noted, “We are so gratified that, since our school was founded four years ago, enrollment has increased, and many students have returned year after year. And it has been rewarding beyond our dreams to follow many as they grow up and develop skills, self-expression and a love for the arts. 

“Just like our classes, we wanted a name for the school that was more inclusive and reflected the age range and artistic variety of the school,” he added. 

HolIand also noted a number of community organizations, including Easterseals, United Cystic Fibrosis Orange County and Orange County Regional Center to assist them with programs.


COVID-19: 7 new deaths reported in OC today; 1,008 cases to date in Newport Beach

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 1,008 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of eight cases today, a per capita rate of 11.562 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 918 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including seven new deaths received today. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 47,090 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 448 cases today. 

The county reports that 28 percent of ICU beds and 58 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 399 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 113 are in ICU.

The county estimates 39,129 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 26 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 26 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 26 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 26, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 15 new deaths reported in OC today, 1,000 cases to date in Newport Beach

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases today, a per capita rate of 11.471 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 912 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including 15 new deaths received today. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 46,642 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 353 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 33 percent of ICU beds and 58 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 385 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 113 are in ICU.

The county estimates 38,450 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 25 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 25 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 25 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 25, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Mutt Lynch’s introduces menu of OC Fair-inspired foods

No Fair this year? Mutt Lynch’s has introduced a menu inspired by the funky foods found at the OC Fair. Available for a limited time, the special menu sees the addition of iconic Fair favorites, including Giant Turkey Legs and Deep-fried Oreos. When the OC Fair was canceled this year for the second time in its 130-year story due to the coronavirus pandemic, Mutt Lynch’s found a way to keep its magic alive with a special menu recreating some of the Fair’s most iconic dishes.

“We go to the OC Fair every year as a family, and one of the biggest draws for us is the outrageously fun food,” said VP of food & beverage and second-generation owner Jerilyn Lynch. “The Fair signifies the peak of summer; being there creates a sense of carefree nostalgia. We think the world could use a bit of that right now, so we thought ‘If we can’t go to the OC Fair, we’ll bring the OC Fair to us!’”

Mutt Lynch’s is offering OC Fair-inspired foods which will be available through Labor Day.

Mutt Lynch's turkey leg

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Submitted photos

A jumbo smoked turkey leg

Giant Turkey Legs: A jumbo smoked turkey leg fit for a king, served with your choice of dipping sauce.

German Pretzel: A giant, pillowy pretzel served with whole grain mustard & queso two ways.

Corn Dogs: A dozen mini corn dogs served with mustard for dipping.

Poutine: Crispy brew city fries topped with a savory brown gravy and fresh cheese curds.

Churros: Four crispy-yet-doughy delights, double dipped in cinnamon sugar.

Mutt Lynch's fried oreos

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Fried Oreos

Fried Oreos: A true classic, eight of these little beauties, fried in pancake batter.

Funnel Fries: Fried dough made more manageable for dipping with chocolate hazelnut spread.

In addition to its new menu of OC Fair-inspired food, Mutt Lynch’s is currently offering its full menu – which contains more than 200 items, along with 40 beers on tap. The iconic beach bar has also expanded to offer outdoor dining, converting five parking spaces into a spacious beachfront dining area with plenty of seating, tiki torches and hanging Christmas lights, that have become a year-round staple at the restaurant. This year, the family-owned eatery celebrates its 45th anniversary and will soon unveil a sister concept set to open in Orange County in fall 2020.

Mutt Lynch’s is located on the Newport Beach boardwalk at 2300 W. Oceanfront and is currently open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. for outdoor dining as well as takeout and delivery. For more information, visit www.muttlynchs.com.


COVID-19: 353 new cases reported countywide

The county reports that there have been 996 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases yesterday, a per capita rate of 11.425 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 897 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 46,307 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 353 cases yesterday.

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 59 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 388 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 116 are in ICU.

The county estimates 37,907 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 24 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 24 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 24 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 24, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Newport Beach, along with Orange County, finally gets off the State’s watchlist

Newport Beach Restaurant Month Begins in 7 days…

Tom headshot 8.25.20Mayor Will O’Neill sent out a congratulatory message via Facebook last Friday exclaiming that “we did it,” of course referring to a significant reduction in Orange County community transmissions of COVID-19 and the reduced related hospitalizations.

To do it, OC needed three straight days of falling below the state’s metrics for their “watchlist.”

Well, you all have done well.

So, what was expected to be effective Saturday, then, check that, Sunday (due to a numbers reporting delay at the state level). The Governor then announced the removal yesterday and we’ll now hopefully continue on that path through a clean 14-day period that will potentially allow us to reopen schools soon.

If so, according to Clayton Chau, M.D., Ph.D., our OC Health Agency Director, then the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education can decide to resume all in-person instruction.

Other closure issues relating to many indoor business operations will still remain closed dependent upon the State Health Officer modifying the in-place State Order.

So, as a reminder, everyone needs to continue to use common sense in the battle to keep numbers down. Think mask-use at appropriate times.

• • •

As a past recipient of Newport Beach Citizen of the Year recognition, I have the honor of being a part of the selection process in the search each subsequent year.

Recently, one name has repeatedly been presented to the group, Joe Stapleton. And, it’s no wonder. Joe is simply involved everywhere you turn in Newport Beach. And, when I say “involved,” I should correct that and say, “Joe has led” everywhere.

The hard part about voting for Joe has always been that he is still so young (36) and has so much more to accomplish and get done. However, when you consider his body of work, there’s simply no question that he is absolutely deserving.

I mean, if he was on the downhill side of his life and he had his list of accomplishments, he’d be a shoe-in. 

That’s why this year, Joe was finally given the recognition he so richly deserves. Now, that doesn’t mean he’s done, quite the opposite. I feel Joe is just getting started.

If you know him, I’m sure you’ll agree. If you don’t know him, you should figure out a way to meet him.

I’m lucky in that I call him a friend.

Congrats Joe, well deserved.

• • •

We’re counting down to the kickoff of Newport Beach Restaurant Month beginning Tuesday, Sept. 1. At last check there were 50 choices of dining options already signed up to participate.

We are encouraging the community to support our restaurants during the month, and then beyond. Obviously, COVID-19 was not kind to dining establishments so far during 2020.

That being said, restaurants are prepared to serve you through outdoor dining or with plenty of dine-and-go options.

Check out the complete list of participating establishments. 

Oh, and don’t forget to register to win gift cards and prizes throughout the month. 

• • •

In case you’re waiting with bated breath, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce announced last Friday that the 112th Christmas Boat Parade will take place December 16-20.

Don’t delay, get those houses decorated and the boats gassed up.

After all, only 122 shopping days left.

• • •

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce will hold a Zoom August Sunset Mixer this Thursday, Aug. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

It’s free to attend, but you need to make reservations here.

Drinks are free, as long as you bring your own. 

The chamber is promising some fun networking with other business professionals and “will use breakout rooms and have some fun surprises in store.”

If you’re looking to build a network, it’s a good group.


Boys & Girls Clubs to hold 24-hour online fundraiser

As the country continues to be impacted by COVID-19, Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Orange County are needed more than ever before and continue to do “whatever it takes” to put young people on the path to great futures by creating safe places, connecting them with caring mentors, and providing life-enhancing programs focused on academics, health and leadership. Whether it is virtually or in-person, Boys & Girls Clubs meet kids where they are, offering hope and basic needs support for essential workers, families in need and youth of all ages. 

To that end, 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County – serving more than 90,000 youth – are coming together on Wednesday, Aug. 26 for “Greatness Amplified,” a 24-hour online fundraiser powered by the Orange County Community Foundation. Click here to donate.

Funds raised will support the Clubs’ implementation of a variety of strategies to support the youth and families of the region during this challenging school year, all while adhering to public safety guidelines. Donations will help clubs provide full-day programming with academic assistance for remote learning, alongside enrichment activities both on-site and online. Additionally, funding will help maintain support services including telehealth and wellness checks, Grab-n-go STEM activities, access to licensed therapists, food distribution, family resources, literacy and reading programs and more.

Boys & Girls Clubs youngster and adult

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Orange County

Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to helping and supporting thousands of diverse youth in achieving great futures through a tailored approach

“During today’s challenges, one thing is certain – Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Orange County are doing ‘whatever it takes’ to support our youth and their families, regardless of their situations,” said Jim Aurelio, board treasurer and past president, Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton. “Your gift to fund the Greatness Amplified’ campaign helps Orange County Clubs provide equity in services, facilitate a steady return to normalcy, aid schools with distance learning and build future preparedness through dedicated mentors. Each donation, no matter how small, allows us to reach as many kids as possible so they don’t fall behind in their education – and for that, we are grateful.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to helping and supporting the tens of thousands of diverse youth they serve to achieve great futures through a tailored approach that meets the needs of each unique community while addressing the five core areas that all Boys & Girls Clubs focus on. These core areas include closing the job skills gap, breaking the cycles of inequality, creating safer childhoods, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders and making their voices heard.

Click here to donate to the “Greatness Amplified” fundraiser. For information on specific Club programs, services and community offerings, visit www.bgcresources.org.

The participating clubs in Orange County include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast serving Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Orange and Santa Ana.


County introduces workforce model designed for youth

The County of Orange announced yesterday the launch of a new “Earn and Learn” program, an innovative workforce model offered to prepare Orange County’s youth for future business and life skills while earning wages.

“COVID-19 has presented a special struggle for Orange County’s youth trying to find relevant work experience and navigating their future career paths,” said Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor. “The ‘Earn and Learn’ program will provide youth the opportunity to earn wages while learning modern-day workforce skills to prepare them for the future.”

The “Earn and Learn” program will be offered through the County’s Ready S.E.T. Orange County (OC) Initiative and is designed to assist youth in making a successful transition to unsubsidized employment, post-secondary education, military, apprenticeship or trade placement to ensure self-sufficiency and a long-term positive employment outlook.

“A wide range of activities, services, and training needs to be accessible to youth, particularly at-risk youth and youth with disabilities,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “The ‘Earn and Learn’ program is designed to equip youth participants with the proper workforce development training to successfully transition into adulthood.” 

Youth enrolled in the “Earn and Learn” program will earn wages for participating in occupational skills training; financial literacy; leadership development, which includes peer-centered activities encouraging responsibility and other positive social behaviors during non-school hours; mentoring; and entrepreneurship.

“Businesses today are facing new challenges in how they operate due to COVID-19,” said Supervisor Donald Wagner, Third District. “This program allows the County to help the next generation of entrepreneurs anticipate and learn the skills needed to succeed in the years to come.”

Youth ages 14-21 will also have the opportunity to undergo a unique 10-week Entrepreneurship Academy delivered online. The courses will be delivered live by instructors with professional business experience who will guide students through the process of turning a skill or idea into a venture. Students will learn the fundamentals of business and graduate with a prototype, business plan, and venture pitch.

“COVID-19 is impacting the community financially and that includes our youth,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Fourth District. “The County is offering a unique model allowing youth to pursue their passion for business while also earning wages investing in themselves.”

The first academy for the “Earn and Learn” program begins on August 31, 2020, and enrollment will be on a quarterly first-come, first-served basis. Students will be able to choose among various days and times for their weekly classes. To sign up, students must be enrolled in the Ready S.E.T. OC Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program. To review eligibility criteria or to sign up for the Ready S.E.T. OC WIOA Youth Program, please visit www.oconestop.com/young-adults.

“The ‘Earn and Learn’ program will provide significant opportunities to our youth in underserved communities and give them the necessary tools and resources to be successful in their future career endeavors,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “The youth is our future, and this program is an example of how the County is investing in it.”


2020: A search for relevance

By DUNCAN FORGEY

“Relevance is not something you can predict. It is something you discover after the fact.” –Thomas Sewell

History points out that mankind makes transitions and changes incredibly difficult. Some classic examples of this in American history include the decision to separate from England, the Civil War, Post-Slavery America, Manifest Destiny, the Industrial Revolution, Unionization, World War l (“the war to end all wars”), the Great Depression, World War ll, Post-World War II and the Baby Boomer rebellion (Vietnam War and Civil Rights). We find ourselves in yet another very divisive period of our long-standing democracy, and the end to 2020 has yet to be determined.

Years ago, reflecting on our beloved country long before COVID-19, Black Lives Matter, an economic roller coaster and a political system that does what it damn well pleases, people rose up and told their leaders to correct things.

Cycles in life move about each of us in the moments that we live. With each year, a series of changes takes place and challenges the status quo. In the beginning as a newborn life is new, it’s exciting and a bit out of control. Parents, family and friends pay tribute to the infant. Watching and celebrating everything a baby does is a ritual. Walking, talking and pooping in your pants are challenges far greater than that of any Olympic athlete. An adoring crowd cheers each time victory is achieved. Each and every one of us have competed from time eternal.  Relevance comes naturally as the infant goes through stages of life.

Growing into a young person, children are the center of the universe. Those unfortunate young souls who do not experience this joy start their societal fall, often time ending in failure or death.

However for most, bodies change daily and the mind diffuses into a mass of contradictions. Transition into adulthood opens up amid daunting expectations.  Confusion and expectation battle like robot wars, while family and friends strive to give us relevance. When schooling ends, new experiences abound around work, travel, exploration, and eventually new families are born upon us.

Birth of our own children starts a brand-new cycle. Relevance is passed to the newborn just as it was at our date of birth. With each baby, relevance steps away and adults wrap themselves with a blanket revolving around work and importance. Through middle age, relevancy is found in ego and success, both of which can step on the true meaning of life. Energy is challenged with illnesses invading the body making days and living more difficult. Faster than a finger snap, we find ourselves “old.” Relevance lessens and younger people become strangers and do things perceived to be outdated. Younger generations challenge us at work, at home, in entertainment and with contrasting philosophies about life.

Families become distant and many live lives separately. With age, one becomes more and more independent, but in a sad way. Now you must earn every single ounce of relevance.

Shake it off! Look to the beautiful things that surround us. Be someone that you are proud of, not someone that you criticize. Growing old gracefully simply put means to know when to give up something and not hang on to it too long. The key to growing old is to replace it with something else...something new. Everything from relationships, homes, businesses, cars, thoughts and even beliefs must be expendable. If the time is right...let it go. People slow to learn this will not enjoy life to its fullest. Time on earth will be ungracious. Aging is hard and relevance is fleeting regardless of your age.

Look at the dissatisfied and sometimes hateful faces we see today each tearing up the other, not because one side is right and the other is wrong but because they do not know how to move forward. Power, money, prestige and ego have overtaken those that rule over us through business, politics and the media. Yes, “rule over us” is the right verbiage.

This same transition has shown itself through the Romans, Europeans, Russians and Chinese, and many other powerful civilizations throughout history. Not unique to the United States, it has shown itself forever. You cannot drive to the afterlife by car or carry your favorite things like the Pharaoh of Egypt tried to do.

It is not our choice how long it takes to die. So, it is imperative to maintain your relevance no matter the circumstances surrounding life. It is vital to enjoy life by being someone new each day. Be prideful of aging and look to your past with a smile, despite the challenges. Only the future awaits you, not the memories you hang on to. Be relevant to younger people who need your guidance. Be relevant to every person you encounter along the way. Of utmost importance, be relevant to yourself, because it is your mirrored image that knows you the best. That reflection knows who you are much better than any other living person.

~~~~~~~~

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


Drive-through COVID-19 testing to open at OC Fair & Event Center

The Orange County Health Care Agency will begin conducting drive-through COVID-19 testing at OC Fair & Event Center starting tomorrow, August 26, two days later than originally planned. 

Testing is by appointment only and will take place Monday through Friday from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. in parking lots E and F. Guests will enter and exit through Gate 4.

Setup began on last Wednesday, Aug. 19. Testing is being conducted in collaboration with 360 Clinic and is scheduled to continue through October 23.

“OC Fair & Event Center is proud to provide use of the fairgrounds to assist the County in providing this valuable testing to Orange County residents,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Michele Richards. “It’s part of our emergency service to the community.”

For information on testing, visit https://360clinic.md/.

For information on COVID-19 in Orange County, visit https://covid19info.ocgov.com/ or contact the Orange County Health Care Agency.


Orange County off state watchlist

The County of Orange has been removed from the California state watchlist of counties related to coronavirus issues.

Orange was one of several counties that produced a reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases, transmission rates and hospitalizations for three consecutive days.

Once removed from the statewide list, counties are then able to consider reopening schools for in-person learning, if they remain off that list for 14 more days.

Indoor businesses such as nail salons, barbershops, massage services and fitness centers still remain closed, until a revised order comes down from the state’s top health officer.

The state is expected to release updated state guidelines this week.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back 8.25.20

Click on photo for a larger image

Sailing Canoes heading toward Corona del Mar, 1926 or 1927. The photograph was taken from the South Bay Front beach near the mouth of Grand Canal.

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


Activists rally to support U.S. Postal Service

A rally in support of the U.S. Postal Service took place around the country Saturday, including one outside the post office at 204 Main St., on the Balboa Peninsula.

The rallies were part of a movement led by MoveOn.org themed “Save the Post Office Saturday.”

Activists are in opposition to alleged moves to dismantle the post office by President Donald Trump and are pushing to have Postmaster General Louis DeJoy resign. Groups are particularly opposed to any changes in the postal system prior to the November elections.

The House initially approved a $25 billion emergency funding bill for the U.S. Postal Service in a special Saturday session. The bipartisan bill passed 257-150, with 26 Republicans supporting the effort in addition to Democratic leaders who were in support.

At the heart of the issue is the concern that mail slowdowns or cuts would potentially interrupt the quality delivery of ballots through the election process.

The bill passed also calls for the U.S. Postal Service to prioritize election mail as “first-class,” thus ensuring a quality delivery process of mail-in ballots.

The bill would now move to the Senate, where the GOP majority leadership is expected to stall the issue.

President Trump has also threatened to veto the bill should it ever get that far.


Sweet summer nights

Sweet summer sunset

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Photo by Michelle Mar (Instagram @msmichellemar) 

Things have been heating up in Newport Beach lately, including the sunset views


The beauty of a Newport Beach wave

The beauty blue

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry) 

Brilliant waves of blue splash and crash on our shore


What’s on the agenda

Newport Beach City Council

August 25, 2020

Two items on the Study Session calendar include discussions on improvements for the Superior Avenue and W. Coast Highway intersection and replacements of parking meters.

The intersection talks will include a recommendation by staff to approve several amendments for the project, including a revised conceptual design for the proposed pedestrian bridge.

Aged parking meters lead the other discussion. Repairs, inoperable and outdated meters are resulting in a loss of revenue. 

Staff will present a replacement plan with options.

Later in the evening, the regular agenda’s Consent Calendar highlights include an adoption of an amendment for a Hoag Hospital development agreement and a resolution in support of the Newport Beach Police Department.

There are three public hearings. First is the awarding to non-exclusive commercial solid waste franchises; a zoning code amendment for usages by wine tasting rooms in industrial zoned districts; and, an appeal on a Planning Commission decision involving an AT&T small cell installation.

The meeting will be adjourned in memory of former councilman Dick Nichols and resident John Hamilton.


Fairgrounds to offer fair food starting Friday

The coronavirus may have canceled this summer’s Orange County Fair, but that doesn’t mean all is lost.

If you’re missing out on your “fair food fix,” starting Friday, Aug. 28, the Fair Food Drive-Thru will offer summer treats from four food vendors bringing a taste of the OC Fair to go.

Fairgrounds teriyaki chicken bowl

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Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Teriyaki chicken bowl from the Hawaiian Chicken Bowl menu

If you’re longing for your favorite delightful indulgences, swing by and choose from special menus from one of the following: Cathy’s Cookies, Dippin’ Dots, Hawaiian Chicken Bowl and Hot Dog on a Stick.

Menu items include turkey legs, teriyaki chicken bowls, hot dogs and cheese dogs on a stick and chocolate chip cookies. 

You can find a map and a full menu of offerings at www.ocfair.com/drivethru.

Fairgrounds Cathy's Cookies

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Chocolate chip cookies from Cathy’s Cookies

Enter through Gate 1 off Fair Drive, and you will be directed toward the order lane or passing lane. Guests will be required to stay in their vehicle and wear a mask while ordering from the vendor. Credit card payment is preferred. No walkups will be allowed, and no parking will be available. 

Fair Food Drive-Thru starts August 28 and will be open from 12-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Also coming to the fairgrounds:

–Autosonic Concerts will present Dead Man’s Party in a drive-in concert experience on Sunday, Sept. 27. The Oingo Boingo tribute band will perform live while guests enjoy the concert from the comfort of their vehicles. 

For ticket information, go to www.autosonicconcerts.com.

–Urban Legends of Southern California will come to the fairgrounds to save Halloween. Guests will enjoy in the safety of their own vehicle a drive-thru where scare seekers will experience immersive storytelling and terrifying sets. Come be entertained by live performances throughout the drive, plus experience three interactive show zones and an immersive show of lights, sound, special effects and monsters, who come alive. The drive-thru Halloween haunt runs October 1 through November 1. Tickets are on sale now at www.urbanlegendshaunt.com.

–Finally, don’t forget about the Farmers’ Market every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local farmers and merchants are on hand to sell fresh produce, food items, home goods and more. 

Parking and admission are free. You can find safety guidelines and more information at www.ocfair.com/events.


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, 

We reached an important milestone on Wednesday, August 19. That was the first day that Orange County was below all of the state’s COVID-19 data monitoring thresholds. (The downward trend continued for three consecutive days and our county was removed from the monitoring list on August 23. This initiated a 14-day countdown until schools may reopen their classrooms, at the discretion of each school district. That could occur as soon as September 6.)

What we don’t yet know, however, is how Orange County’s removal from the state’s watchlist will affect other sectors as the state’s July 13 health order remains in effect until it is modified. The governor is expected to issue updated guidelines for certain sectors (this) week with a staged approach to reopening those businesses. 

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of August 20, the number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 974 and the total cases in Orange County was 44,936. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 20 was 36,596. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. 

COVID-19 News and Resources 

The State’s “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees, and more. The document, available at this link, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees. 

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 714.834.2000, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more. 

The county also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for county residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, go here for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest city news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state, and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the city on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our city staff on Nextdoor.

Accessory Dwelling Unit Website Update 

On January 1, 2020, new State law became effective amending Government Code sections 65852.2 and 65852.22 by imposing new limits on the city’s ability to regulate accessory dwelling units (ADUs) and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs). On March 24, 2020, the City Council adopted revisions to the city’s Zoning Code updating its regulations for compliance with state law and authorized staff to submit an amendment to the Implementation Plan of the Local Coastal Program (LCP) to the California Coastal Commission (CCC). The LCP Amendment would revise regulations for properties located within the Coastal Zone and is currently under review by the CCC. To provide guidance to the public regarding these new regulations and increased allowances for ADU and JADU construction, the city has created a website accessible at www.newportbeachca.gov/ADU. The website includes background, public meeting documents, a summary of the changes, processing information for properties in the Coastal Zone, and a user friendly reference table that summarizes the regulations by type of ADU/JADU. 

Senate Bill 330 (Housing Crisis Act of 2019) Webpage Update 

On October 9, 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Housing Crisis Act of 2019 into law, commonly known as Senate Bill 330 (Chapter 654, Statutes of 2019) to respond to the California housing crisis. Effective January 1, 2020, SB330 aims to increase residential unit development, protect existing housing inventory, and expedite permit processing. This new law makes a number of modifications to existing legislation, such as the Permit Streamlining Act and the Housing Accountability Act and institutes the Housing Crisis Act of 2019. Many of the changes proposed last for a five-year period and sunset on January 1, 2025. Under this legislation, the city is restricted in ordinances and policies that can be applied to residential development. The revised definition of “Housing Development” now contains residential projects of two or more units, mixed-use projects (with two-thirds of the floor area designated for residential use), transitional, supportive, and emergency housing projects. 

To provide guidance to the public regarding these new regulations, the city has created a website accessible at www.newportbeachca.gov/sb330 that provides additional background, a Q&A overview of the law, and a Residential Development Flowchart to assist in navigating these new complex regulations.

Homelessness Update 

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the city’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey. 

Success Stories: 

–A longtime Newport Beach resident who has experienced homelessness for more than 10 years was placed into a motel room using federal COVID-19 relief funds. City Net staff helped her obtain a state-issued Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card and a new, valid ID. Her ongoing case management is a collaborative effort between the Newport Beach Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Officer, the city’s Homeless Coordinator, and the City Net case managers. 

–The city’s Homeless Liaison Officer established contact with the family of a man, originally from South Carolina, who has been homeless in Newport Beach for several months. The Homeless Liaison Officer helped the family locate the man in a local hospital. The family coordinated travel for him to return to South Carolina. 

–City Net staff completed a Vulnerability Index Intake Assessment with a man staying by the Newport Pier and placed him into a motel through Project Roomkey. The Vulnerability Index is used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the county’s continuum of care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the man to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing. 

–City Net staff referred two people to the Santa Ana Armory and coordinated transportation. A third man who is staying at the Armory started a new full-time job and plans to find stable housing soon. The Orange County Emergency Shelters, located in Santa Ana and Fullerton, are operated by Mercy House. Mercy House, established in Orange County in 1987, provides comprehensive services for people experiencing homelessness. 

–City Net staff placed a mother and her teenage son into a motel for several weeks. The pair fled a domestic violence situation and lived in their car before reaching out to the OASIS Senior Center for assistance. The mother has cancer and needed a stable place to regroup and transition into a better living arrangement. The OASIS staff connected the woman to City Net for case management and the motel placement. 

–City Net staff continues to provide support and case management to several elderly people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing. The City Net hotline number is 714.451.6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at 877.7.CRISIS or 877.727.4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call 714.834.3000. 

Library News 

The Newport Beach Public Library Board of Library Trustees is pleased to announce that the Corona del Mar Library was selected as a showcased library in American Libraries magazine’s 2020 Library Design Showcase. American Libraries’ annual celebration of new and renovated libraries features the year’s most impressive new and renovated libraries. The magazine looks for “shining examples of innovative library architecture that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.” 

The Corona del Mar Library was featured as a unique “shared space” library, highlighting the innovative joining of the Corona del Mar Library and Fire Station No. 5. The article also makes note of the library’s “colorful children’s area, reading spaces for teens and adults, stroller parking and the outdoor porch for year-round use by the seaside community.” 

The Corona del Mar Library, located at 410 Marigold Ave. in Corona del Mar, is one of four libraries in the Newport Beach Public Library system, which includes the Central Library, Crean Mariners Branch Library and Balboa Branch Library. The 10,314-square-foot Corona del Mar Library and Fire Station No. 5 was designed by WLC Architects to replace two aging adjacent buildings in order to maximize interior space, energy efficiency and parking areas. The joint-use facility opened in September 2019.

For more information on the Newport Beach Public Library, visit the website at www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For questions, please call 949.717.3800, option 2 or send email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Youth Summer Camps Wrap Up 

The Recreation & Senior Services Department worked hand in hand with our instructors to get summer camps up and running this year. Our instructors and staff replaced original summer plans and pivoted to adapt to state and county guidelines to ensure we were offering the safest version of our camps. From art, sports and dance to bodyboarding, surfing, paddle camp, and more, we ran 115 in-person outdoor camps and 11 online camps for approximately 2,400 participants during the course of 10 weeks. Staff worked with instructors on creative ways to modify programs to shift outdoors. In addition to city offerings, staff coordinated with eight Newport Beach youth sports organizations to offer more than 1,350 hours of additional summer camp programs on cvity fields for kids. Perseverance was key this summer, as group games were creatively adapted to focus on individualized skills and instructors redesigned activities to make sure kids were safe while still having the opportunity to socialize, be active, and get outside for some good old fashioned fun. 

Tsunami Warning System 

As part of the city’s Emergency Management Plan, the city has a tsunami warning system which will alert the community should there be a tsunami warning. There are currently three sirens located at West Newport Park, Marina Park and West Jetty View Park. The city recently replaced the system as it was old and no longer functioning properly, with a new system that included enhanced features such as voice announcement capability. The three new sirens for the system are tested every month and are working properly. During the monthly testing, staff has noticed that there are some gaps where parts of the community may not be able to hear the warning. There is a balance to ensure that everyone can hear the warnings, and at the same time not be so loud that it affects individuals close to the sirens negatively. 

Staff is in the process of evaluating additional sites in order to fill the gaps in audibility. This process will take some additional time to evaluate, fund and install the sites. We anticipate that within the next year to 18 months we will be able to provide and install viable solutions. 

This is not the only mechanism by which residents can be warned of a tsunami or other emergency. We recommend that all residents sign up for Nixel, e-notifications, and AlertOC through the County of Orange. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on August 25, 2020 

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, August 25. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here. 

The Study Session starts at 4 p.m. 

–The City Council will receive an update on proposed improvements to West Coast Highway and Superior Avenue which includes widening of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and pedestrian bridges across both Superior Avenue and PCH. This project received a $1.2 million dollar grant from OCTA. Staff is requesting modifications to the original conceptual design on Superior to integrate and coordinate with the bridge structure crossing PCH. This item is also on the regular City Council agenda for additional funding and approval of the new conceptual design.

–The city’s current parking meters are becoming outdated, and many are inoperable. Staff will present options to the City Council on the replacement of these meters as we continue on the long-term plan to move to a citywide mobile payment application system for parking. 

The Regular Meeting will follow at 6 p.m. and the following are items of note: 

On the Consent Calendar: 

–The city will consider accepting the recently completed street improvements on Bison Avenue, San Joaquin Hills Road and San Nicolas Drive as part of the city’s on-going street maintenance program. 

–Construction contracts for two very long-awaited Underground Utility Projects are up for consideration, Assessment District 111 between 31st and 23rd Streets on the east and west side of Balboa Boulevard and Assessment District 22 Phase 2 from 36th to 23rd Street. These projects are funded through property assessments and the utility companies and therefore do not impact the city’s General Fund. 

Public Hearings: 

–New non-exclusive commercial solid waste franchises for 15 entities will be considered. New franchise agreements are required to accommodate and enforce new state laws related to recycling. 

–City Council will consider an amendment to the Zoning Code to allow wine tasting rooms within the city’s Industrial Zoning District, located in the west Newport-Mesa side of town.


Joe Stapleton named 2020 Newport Beach Citizen of the Year

Joe Stapleton has been named the 2020 Newport Beach Citizen of the Year, an award presented each year to that “individual who best represents the qualities each of us admire and respect among our friends, neighbors and associates.”

The award, presented by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, is given to “someone who helps others achieve; for their long-term, continuing commitment to the community; for ‘being there’ when there is service called for; to someone who everyone else wants on their committee when there’s a job to be done; to someone who gets things done; and, to someone who makes Newport Beach their home and their life.”

Nothing could better define Joe Stapleton.

Joe Stapleton

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Megan Black Photography

Joe Stapleton

When Stapleton was asked what the award meant, he said, “It is rare that I am without words, but this means the world to me. None of us do the work we do because of recognition, we do it because of our love for Newport Beach. I understand the commitment and responsibility that come with this honor, there are so many others who are well deserving of this recognition. The list of those before us, represents individuals who have dedicated their lives to our great City. It will continue to be my goal to inspire the next generation of community leaders. 

“Joe Stapleton always walks into situations trying to figure out how to improve his community and the people who live here,” said Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill. “I am just so glad to see someone who is the very example of volunteerism be named Citizen Of The Year during The Year Of The Volunteer. Congratulations Joe!”

Stapleton, who is the president and co-founder of Spinnaker Investment Group, serves on the City of Newport Beach’s Finance Committee, is a past city Harbor Commissioner, on the boards of dozens of community and civic organizations, including the Pacific Art Foundation, Leadership Tomorrow, Seven Seas, The Elite OC, the Newport Beach Foundation, the Lott IMPACT Trophy award committee, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, Speak Up Newport, Commodores Club, Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade Ring of Lights and has served with the Corona del Mar Residents Association.

“Joe has contributed to the welfare of Newport Beach and its civic life more than many people twice his age,” said Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin. “His efforts as Chairperson of the Newport Beach Foundation is a stellar example of this. By reactivating this organization, he has brought new people and voices to the table that will be the future leaders shaping this city. He is dynamic, fun and the type of exceptional person who is the model Citizen of the Year.”

In Stapleton’s professional life with Spinnaker Investment Group, he oversees the firm’s client relationships while advising businesses and individuals on customized wealth and investment management, life insurance, group benefits and executive compensation solutions.

His business partner Morgan Christen, Spinnaker Investment Group’s CEO & CIO, said of Joe’s involvement, “First and foremost, it has helped develop a market for him to work within. Having come to California from Tucson, Ariz. with no contacts, the community involvement has helped and accelerated his career more than most in this business. 

“His love of Newport Beach is so big…maybe a bit too much,” he added, with a smile. 

Stapleton is a graduate of the University of Arizona and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Finance and Entrepreneurship.

He and his wife Sarah live in Newport Beach.

The selection of the Citizen of the Year is voted on by past recipients. Former Mayor and longtime activist Nancy Gardner was the 2019 awardee.

In normal times, a Citizen of the Year Dinner is held celebrating the honoree. Due to COVID-19 impacts, plans are undetermined at this time.

Citizen of the Year Award Recipients:

2019   Nancy Gardner

2018   Debbie Snavely

2017   Homer Bludau

2016   John and Elizabeth Stahr

2015   Paul Watkins

2014   Jack and Nancy Skinner

2013   Jean Watt

2012   No Award Given

2011   Tom Johnson

2010   Ralph Rodheim

2009   Norm Loats, Ed.D.

2008   Lula Halfacre

2007   Evelyn Hart

2006   Dennis O’Neil

2005   Seymour Beek

2004   Bill Ring

2003   Scott Paulsen

2002   Bill Grundy

2001   Dayna Pettit

2000   Thomas C. Edwards

1999   Clarence “Bus” Turner

1998   Marian Bergeson

1997   Rush N. Hill, II

1995/96   Lucille Kuehn

1994/95   Michael Stephens

1993/94   Bob Robins

1992/93   Art Gronsky

1991/92   Jim Dale

1990   Paul Salata

1989   Bill Hamilton

1988   Hans Prager

1987   Bob McCurdy

1986   Jackie Heather

1985   Charley Hester

1984   William D. Lusk

1983   J. Peter Barrett

1982   Harry Babbitt

1981   William P. Ficker, Bill Banning

1980   Robert Shelton

1979   T. Duncan Stewart

1978   Robert Wynn

1977   Arvo Haapa

1976   Ray Watson

1975   Richard “Dick” Stevens

1974   George Hoag

1973   Phil Tozer

1972   John Lawson

1971   John Macnab, Doreen Marshall

1970   Fred Schope

1969   A. Vincent Jorgenson

1968   Judge Robert Gardner, Walter Longmoor

1967   John Murdy

1966   Theodore Robins

1965   Isabel Pease

1964   Robert Reed

1963   Dr. Basil H. Peterson

1962   Paul A. Palmer

1961   Carroll Beek

1960   Gerald Lynch

1959   David Nielsen, M.D.

1958   William “Bill” Spurgeon

1957   J.L. “Les” Steffensen, James “Jim” Edwards

1956   Edward Milum, M.D.

1955   Joseph A. Beek

1954   Dora O. Hill

1953   O.W. “Dick” Richards

1952   Myford Irvine

1951   Robert Callis

1950   Harry Welch

1949   Robert “Bob” Murphy


Leaders join to break ground on Grant Howald Park enhancements

Elected officials and members of the City’s Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission gathered yesterday, August 24, for a ceremonial groundbreaking to mark the start of a project to enhance Grant Howald Park, known as a family favorite in Newport Beach. 

Among other amenities, the project will add synthetic turf fields, a new 4,700-square-foot playground, a picnic area, additional seating areas, updated restroom facilities and beautification of the frontage facing Fifth Avenue. The synthetic turf fields will allow for year-round, multi-purpose use of the fields and save an estimated 2.3 million gallons of water a year.

Leaders join council with shovels

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Amy Senk

(L-R) Mayor Will O’Neill and councilmembers Brad Avery, Diane Dixon, Joy Brenner and Jeff Herdman were on hand for the groundbreaking

Construction begins this week and is expected to be complete in spring 2021. Most of the park will be closed during construction. However, the tennis courts and Community Youth Center will remain open, with parking and access from Goldenrod Avenue. 

The 3.1-acre Grant Howald Park, located at 3000 Fifth Ave., opened to the public in 1954 and became a city park in 1972. The last significant construction work was in 2008 and 2010 to upgrade the Youth Center. 

The architect for the rehabilitation project is RMJ Design Group, and Environmental Construction Inc. is the contractor. The construction cost for the project is $4.5 million of a total project cost of $6.3 million. The project is being partially funded by private development fees set aside for park improvements.

Visit www.newportbeachca.gov/granthowaldpark for more information.


THE LOT Summer Drive-In Series ends Sunday, so catch these screenings

THE LOT in Fashion Island is closing out its three-week outdoor summer movie experience. All films take place in a drive-in format on the upper level of the parking structure located between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom at Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach).

On Thursday, Aug. 27, enjoy Little Women (PG-13); on Friday, Aug. 28, view Avengers: Endgame (PG-13); on Saturday, Aug. 29, take in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (PG); and finish off the series with A Star is Born (R) on Sunday, Aug. 30. Screenings start at approximately 8 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Each ticket purchased at $60 is valid for one car and all passengers inside. The number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in your vehicle. Also, each ticket comes with a $20 gift card to THE LOT, which can’t be used for the drive-in series. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

THE LOT Little Women

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Photos courtesy of THE LOT

“Little Women” is a refreshed on-screen version of the literary classic by author Louisa May Alcott

Little Women synopsis: Greta Gerwig directs a refreshed version of the literary classic. In the years after the Civil War, Jo March lives in New York and makes her living as a writer, while her sister Amy studies painting in Paris. Amy has a chance encounter with Theodore, a childhood crush who proposed to Jo but was ultimately rejected. Their oldest sibling, Meg, is married to a schoolteacher, while shy sister Beth develops a devastating illness that brings the family back together. For tickets and more information, go here.

Avengers: Endgame synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply starts to dwindle. Meanwhile, the remaining Avengers – Thor, Black Widow, Captain America and Bruce Banner – must figure out a way to bring back their vanquished allies for an epic showdown with Thanos – the evil demigod who decimated the planet and the universe. For tickets and more information, go here.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom synopsis: A prequel to Raiders of the Lost Ark, set in 1935, the year before, the professor, archaeologist and adventurer by the name of Indiana Jones is back in action in his latest adventure. This time he teams up with a nightclub singer named Wilhelmina “Willie” Scott and a 12-year-old Chinese boy named Short Round. They discover the great mysterious terror surrounding a booby-trapped temple known as the Temple of Doom. It’s all up to Indiana to stop the bad guys, rescue the lost children, win the girl and conquer the Temple of Doom. For tickets and more information, go here.

THE LOT A Star is Born

“A Star is Born” featuring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, was an Academy Award nominee

A Star is Born synopsis: Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga update this classic movie. Seasoned musician Jackson Maine discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally. She has just about given up on her dream to make it big as a singer – until Jack coaxes her into the spotlight. But even as Ally’s career takes off, the personal side of their relationship is breaking down, as Jack fights an ongoing battle with his own internal demons. For tickets and more information, go here.


The world remembers Kobe Bryant

Yesterday, August 24, was a day to celebrate the life of Kobe Bryant. It was so designated earlier this summer by the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

Bryant was killed earlier this year (January 26) aboard a helicopter that crashed in Calabasas. Also on board were his daughter Gianna, Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Christina Mauser, John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli and pilot Ara Zobayan.

It was a sad day, particularly here in Newport Beach where many of the victims, including Kobe Bryant, had connections.

Since that day, a phenomenon has erupted across the globe of Kobe Bryant murals being painted honoring the great Laker star.

According to www.KobeMural.com, a website designed for fans to easily find Kobe murals for free, there are 267 such murals around the U.S., including 208 here in Southern California, and 64 in other parts of the world.

Kobe mural

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Courtesy of Instagram.com/Kobe Mural

and KobeMural.com

Kobe and Gianna Bryant remembered on a CdM mural

One of those murals resides in Newport Beach, located at the Golden Spoon, 2445 E. Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. It simply says, “In memory of,” with a picture of Kobe and Gianna, complete with a halo, and a listing of the other victims on that ill-fated helicopter.

Kobe Bryant Day was designated by the Supervisors, where Board chair Michelle Steel said, “He was a treasured member of our Orange County community, Kobe Bryant was the basketball legend that inspired so many young men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”

If checking out Kobe murals is up your alley, see the mural map at KobeMural.com. You’ll find every listing, complete with address, including in countries such as the Philippines, Australia, Taiwan, Japan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Russia, Croatia, Spain, Italy, China and Germany.

Yes, indeed, Kobe was on the worldwide stage. He won’t soon be forgotten.


COVID-19: OC moves off State’s monitoring list

After meeting the State’s COVID-19 thresholds for the third day in a row on Friday, Orange County came off the State’s monitoring list today. If the county remains off the State’s monitoring list for a period of 14 consecutive days, in-person instruction (schools) can resume. Once a county comes off the monitoring list, it is still subject to the Governor’s July 13 order with respect to business sector closures. Indoor operations shall remain closed until the State Health Officer modifies the Order and authorizes reopening.

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 897 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including one new death received today. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 992 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of two cases today, a per capita rate of 11.379 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 45,954 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 153 cases today. 

The county reports that 29 percent of ICU beds and 58 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 380 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 111 are in ICU.

The county estimates 37,452 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 23, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: OC expected to move off State’s monitoring list

After meeting the State’s COVID-19 thresholds for the third day in a row on Friday, Orange County is expected to come off the State’s monitoring list tomorrow (Sunday). If the county remains off the State’s monitoring list for a period of 14 consecutive days, in-person instruction (schools) can resume. Once a county comes off the monitoring list, it is still subject to the Governor’s July 13 order with respect to business sector closures. Indoor operations shall remain closed until the State Health Officer modifies the Order and authorizes reopening.

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 896 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 14 new deaths received today. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 990 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of three cases today, a per capita rate of 11.356 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 45,801 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 493 cases today. 

The county reports that 30.9 percent of ICU beds and 58.7 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 392 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 110 are in ICU.

The county estimates 37,241 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 22, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: One new death and 13 new cases reported in Newport Beach, 26 new deaths in OC

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 882 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 26 new deaths received today. There have been 18 deaths of Newport Beach residents, including one new death received today.

The county reports that there have been 987 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of 13 cases today, a per capita rate of 11.321 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 45,308 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 372 cases today. 

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 58 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 397 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 117 are in ICU.

The county estimates 36,830 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 21, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Boys & Girls Clubs to hold 24-hour online fundraiser

As the country continues to be impacted by COVID-19, Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Orange County are needed more than ever before and continue to do “whatever it takes” to put young people on the path to great futures by creating safe places, connecting them with caring mentors, and providing life-enhancing programs focused on academics, health and leadership. Whether it is virtually or in-person, Boys & Girls Clubs meet kids where they are, offering hope and basic needs support for essential workers, families in need and youth of all ages. 

To that end, 13 Boys & Girls Clubs in Orange County – serving more than 90,000 youth – are coming together on Wednesday, Aug. 26 for “Greatness Amplified,” a 24-hour online fundraiser powered by the Orange County Community Foundation. 

Funds raised will support the Clubs’ implementation of a variety of strategies to support the youth and families of the region during this challenging school year, all while adhering to public safety guidelines. Donations will help clubs provide full-day programming with academic assistance for remote learning, alongside enrichment activities both on-site and online. Additionally, funding will help maintain support services including telehealth and wellness checks, Grab-n-go STEM activities, access to licensed therapists, food distribution, family resources, literacy and reading programs and more.

Boys & Girls Clubs youngster and adult

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Courtesy of Boys & Girls Clubs of Orange County

Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to helping and supporting thousands of diverse youth in achieving great futures through a tailored approach

“During today’s challenges, one thing is certain – Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Orange County are doing ‘whatever it takes’ to support our youth and their families, regardless of their situations,” said Jim Aurelio, board treasurer and past president, Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton. “Your gift to fund the Greatness Amplified’ campaign helps Orange County Clubs provide equity in services, facilitate a steady return to normalcy, aid schools with distance learning and build future preparedness through dedicated mentors. Each donation, no matter how small, allows us to reach as many kids as possible so they don’t fall behind in their education – and for that, we are grateful.”

The Boys & Girls Clubs are committed to helping and supporting the tens of thousands of diverse youth they serve to achieve great futures through a tailored approach that meets the needs of each unique community while addressing the five core areas that all Boys & Girls Clubs focus on. These core areas include closing the job skills gap, breaking the cycles of inequality, creating safer childhoods, mentoring tomorrow’s leaders and making their voices heard.

Click here to donate to “Greatness Amplified” on August 26. For information on specific Club programs, services and community offerings, visit www.bgcresources.org.

The participating clubs in Orange County include the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast serving Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Orange and Santa Ana.


NB Public Library Foundation to hold four-part virtual program with contemporary creatives

Newport Beach Public Library Foundation (NBPLF) has announced the launch of a new virtual program called “Studio Chats: A conversation with contemporary creatives in a time of COVID with NBPL Foundation CEO Meg Linton.”

This 24-minute conversation followed by a brief Q&A gives viewers an intimate glimpse of what three contemporary artists and an architect are working on and thinking about during this time of physical distancing and uncertainty. Creativity never sleeps, so join the NBPLF for an inspiring chat about art and now. The first conversation with artist Deborah Aschheim is on Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1:05 p.m. To reserve a virtual seat for this free event, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive a Zoom invitation and link.

This program is the NBPLF’s first foray into virtual programming, and is in line with its mission of providing diverse and intellectually stimulating cultural events for the community. After a reservation for the event is made, a Zoom link will be sent along with a little light reading about the presenter, so attendees can enter the conversation prepared with some background information about the guest artist and their work. 

Studio Chats schedule:

NB Public Aschheim

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Photo by Deborah Aschheim

“365 Days of Voters 2020,” pen and ink drawings/social media project by artist Deborah Aschheim

–Tuesday, Aug. 25 at 1:05 p.m.: Artist Deborah Aschheim discusses her 365 Days of Voters Instagram drawing project. This is an individual’s visual diary documenting voters from all backgrounds and why they vote. Aschheim has exhibited her work in Orange County at Laguna Art Museum, Orange County Great Park Gallery and Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. 365 Days of Voters. View it at https://www.instagram.com/365daysofvoters/.

NB Public Porter

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Courtesy of NBPLF

Architect Michael Patrick Porter

–Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 1:05 p.m.: Santa Barbara-based architect Michael Patrick Porter discusses how the pandemic is shaping conversations about urban planning and home design for the future. Porter is a former president of the American Institute of Architects in Orange County, and has designed homes up and down the Southern California coastline.

NB Public Tempo

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Courtesy of NBPLF

“Word Up, Homie: Orange is the Opposite of Blue, Not Red, 2020,” house paint, acrylics, spray paint and golf leaf on canvas by artist Holly Tempo

–Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 1:05 p.m.: Artist Holly Tempo discusses her abstract paintings inspired by her daily walks in her Inglewood neighborhood. Her painted and conceptual gestures speak to her urban setting’s geographic and cultural history, its state of transition/gentrification and what it means to be an artist during COVID 19. Tempo is a 2019-20 City of LA Department of Cultural Affairs COLA fellow and a 2012 recipient of a grant from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

NB Munoz Hernandez

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Courtesy of NBPLF

“Angle Angel,” acrylics painting by artist Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez

–Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 1:05 p.m.: Artist Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez discusses his recent abstract paintings and sculptures inspired by his neighborhood and growing up in Boyle Heights. When he is not in his studio, Muñoz Hernandez works at the esteemed Robert Graham Studio and was a featured artist in the exhibition, “Bridging Homeboy Industries: Fabian Debora, Alex Kizu and Juan Carlos Muñoz Hernandez.

Event details:

All virtual Studio Chats take place on Tuesdays at 1:05 p.m.

Location: NBPL Foundation’s Zoom Webinar Room.

–Free event with registration.

–Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to make your reservation.

–Questions: Call 949.717.3818 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Scanxiety: How to keep if from derailing your next cancer scan

Physicians who work with cancer patients have coined a term for what they have come to recognize as a common and impactful part of the patient experience: “Scanxiety.”

In broad terms, scanxiety is the stressful basket of emotions that can affect patients in connection with cancer scans, and the uncertainties and fears that may accompany them. It affects both patients who are actively receiving treatment and patients in follow-up care. It can spring up when a scan appointment is calendared, while the scan is being performed, or while waiting for the results.

It’s easy to understand why scans can create a special kind of anxiety when you consider the ways that cancer, and the experience of the imaging technologies themselves – like having to lay still inside a tight space to get an MRI, or having to drink a foul-tasting liquid prep – can cause people to feel vulnerable, depressed and out of control. They may also develop physical symptoms associated with anxiety, such as headaches, heart palpitations, chest pain, increased blood pressure, breathing problems, upset stomach and fatigue.

Coping with scanxiety during cancer treatment is difficult enough. Add to that an uncertain public health and economic environment due to the COVID-19 crisis, and a real concern emerges. “It’s entirely normal to be anxious,” said Tingting Tan, M.D., Ph.D., a medical oncologist who specializes in thoracic cancers at City of Hope Newport Beach, “but scanxiety left unmitigated may contribute to a cancer patient stopping or postponing important care. It is a situation where proactive stress reduction can make a meaningful difference in keeping a patient on course.”

Scanxiety Tingting Tan, M.D., Ph.D

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Courtesy of City of Hope

Tingting Tan, M.D., Ph.D., City of Hope medical oncologist

Four ways to reduce scanxiety:

Try one or more of these coping mechanisms to reduce the burden and restore a sense of control when dealing with scanxiety:

1. Identify the most distressing aspects of the scans. Is it waiting for your appointment, actually having the scans, or knowing that the results are in but you don’t know what they are? Be aware of when you’re going to be most nervous, and ask your physician for advice.

2. Surround yourself with people who understand. Stay engaged with supportive, reassuring people who “get” you and can put you at ease.

3. Employ distraction techniques that work for you. Do you have a favorite way to relax, such as mindfulness exercises, having a conversation with a friend or family member, or listening to soothing music? Visit the City of Hope YouTube channel and try their guided imagery meditations and deep breathing videos.

4. Make a plan with your care team. Do you need to minimize the time spent in the waiting room to keep your anxiety level from rising? Who is going to give you the results? Will it be a call, an email, an office visit? Will you want to bring someone with you? Will you set yourself coping tasks to deal with the period between when you know the results have arrived and when you learn what they are and what they mean?

Having scans to check on a cancer is an important part of the care plan; don’t let scanxiety dampen your spirits. People use different coping strategies, but finding a healthy, constructive technique for scanxiety that’s right for you isn’t a job you have to take on alone. Your physician, family and friends are among your best resources for advice and encouragement.

City of Hope Newport Beach is here to help keep your treatment moving according to plan, and they’re doing everything necessary to ensure a safe in-person visit when you come to see them. Learn more about their COVID-19 protective measures and policies.To make an appointment with a physician at City of Hope Newport Beach, call 949.763.2204. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org/OC.


THE LOT Summer Drive-In Series continues

THE LOT in Fashion Island is in the midst of its three-week outdoor summer movie experience. Tonight’s feature (Friday, Aug. 21) is Spiderman: Into the Spider Verse. For tickets and more information, go here.

All the films take place in a drive-in format on the upper level of the parking structure located between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom at Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach).

THE LOT Jurassic Park

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Photos courtesy of THE LOT

“Jurassic Park” is rated PG

Then tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 22, enjoy Jurassic Park (PG) and on Sunday, Aug. 23 take in Grease (PG). Screenings start at approximately 8 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Each ticket purchased at $60 is valid for one car and all passengers inside. The number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in your vehicle. Also, each ticket comes with a $20 gift card to THE LOT, which can’t be used for the drive-in series. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Jurassic Park synopsis: Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically engineered dinosaurs, including the vicious and intelligent Indominus rex. When the massive creature escapes, it sets off a chain reaction that causes the other dinos to run amok. For tickets and more information, go here.

THE LOT Grease

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“Grease” is the most successful movie musical of all time

Grease synopsis: Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. A wholesome exchange student (Olivia Newton-John) and a leather-clad Danny (John Travolta) have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines? For tickets and more information, go here.

Additional movies and showtimes to be announced.


Thinking of making your business remote? The tech tips you need to know

By Jodi Duva, Cox Business

The COVID-19 pandemic is helping companies discover that a remote workforce provides surprising benefits. Many businesses are considering permanently shifting to some form of a virtual office as we continue to weather the pandemic and even after we emerge. Is yours one of them? 

If so, you’re not alone – and you likely have some research-backed reasons for wanting to do so. A significant number of employees want to continue working remotely, even after offices reopen. Studies have shown that companies save an average of $11,000 a year for every employee working from home, even just part time – and that remote employees are often more productive. Plus, more remote workers are better for the environment. These benefits are encouraging some companies, from large corporations like Facebook to smaller local businesses, to extend their flexible/work-from-home policies to all employees instead of a select few. 

Transitioning to a virtual office is not difficult, but business owners must move quickly. The checklist of things businesses need to put in place before going remote is short – however, everything on it is important, and it’s more than just making sure your employees have access to high-speed internet at home. 

Thinking of making

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Submitted photo

Thinking of making your business remote? Cox Business offers tech tips for a successful transition.

Based on Cox Business’ experience helping companies go either fully or partially remote, here’s what business owners need to consider to successfully transition to virtual work. 

Strong IT cloud storage solutions: Since employees are no longer onsite, you need a solid cloud storage system and infrastructure to store documents and information. 

Stronger cybersecurity tools and education: At the office, the company network and equipment provide a high level of protection, but when an employee works remotely, he or she might not be taking enough security precautions while using their home network. Companies need to both boost their cybersecurity systems and proactively educate employees about new cyber threats facing remote offices (more than just the usual “don’t respond to spear phishing emails” lecture). 

VoIP phone systems: Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems allow workers to manage outgoing and incoming calls online, instead of being dependent on physical analog office phones. Installing a VoIP system now eliminates the need for employees to forward work calls to their mobile phones, and allows businesses to cut the costs of phone hardware sooner. 

UcaaS: Unified Communications as a Service (UCaas) providers are cloud services that centralize all your workflow, productivity, storage and communications tools, including phone and internet. Essentially, they help employees manage everything in one central place online. 

Digital services for physical and mental well-being: Consider adding access to subscription-based meditation and workout apps to benefits packages, or ensuring virtual mental health telemedicine services are in your medical plan. With more employees working remotely – and likely putting in longer hours as a result – comes the potential for technology fatigue. Looking after their physical and mental well-being is more important than ever. 

The business environment and the needs of our workforce are changing rapidly. No matter what the post-pandemic workplace looks like, there are many good reasons to take your business entirely online. Keep these tech tips in mind if you’re considering going virtual, and your transition will be more successful. 

As Vice President Cox Business for the Orange Coast market, encompassing Orange County, Palos Verdes and Santa Barbara, Jodi Duva is responsible for leading a world-class team delivering customized communications solutions to local business communities. She is very involved in the community and serves on the boards for Orange County Business Council, Girl Scouts of Orange County and Melvin Gordon’s Beyond the Flash Foundation. Duva grew up in the Boston area and is an avid New England sports fan. She and her husband Devin have two children, Lucas, age 14 and Samantha, age 12. She enjoys fine wine, spending time with her family, and cheering for her kids on the soccer and softball fields.

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.


COVID-19: Three new deaths reported in Newport Beach, 23 new deaths in OC

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 856 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 23 new deaths received yesterday. There have been 17 deaths of Newport Beach residents, including three new deaths received yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 974 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases yesterday, a per capita rate of 11.172 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 44,936 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 429 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 58 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 400 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 118 are in ICU.

The county estimates 36,596 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 20, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

It was so hot in Newport Beach this week…how hot was it? 

Newport Beach Restaurant Month Begins in 11 days…

Tom Hoag maskIt’s been hot out there in recent days, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Since Thursday, Aug. 13, temps have been 80 degrees+, with a high of 90 degrees on Tuesday, Aug. 18. It’s forecasted to stay around the 80-degree level into early September.

Temps are record setting, in case you’re keeping track; the previous record high for an August 18 was 82 degrees back in 1986.

And, the hotter and hotter it got this week, the funnier I thought it would be to write a column about possibly “buying a camel.” It was going to be a joke, and then I realized online that one can actually buy a camel.

How much you ask? 

Well, for the Maasai or Samburu people of East Africa, where cows represent wealth, a camel can go for about “36 goats or sheep, or three donkeys, or 12 cows.” Other conversions say a camel costs 60,000 Kenyan shillings, translating to around $700 U.S.

But, in the U.S., the true average price of a camel is about $5,000, with certain coloring and training for pack or saddle capabilities adding to the value.

Here’s some other things you may or may not know about camels, or even care about for that matter. Camels produce more milk than cows, they’re more tolerant of drought, and they “feed on plants that aren’t attractive to wildlife,” therefore, there’s no competition for food. But perhaps the best thing is that according to members of the Maasai Camel Project, “camels don’t need a lot of looking after. You can let them loose at night without the fear of losing them to lions.”

Well, I think I’m sold, the final question being one hump or two.

• • •

Speaking of temps, according to the updated messaging from the Newport Beach Lifeguard headquarters, water temperatures off Newport Beach were 75 degrees yesterday. That’s about as good as it gets here. 

Might be time for a swim.

• • •

The first candidates’ debate for City Council is in the books. Yesterday morning the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted the first one of the election season. Lucy Dunn, president of the Orange County Business Council, did a nice job moving it along.

My only takeaway was that everyone seemed to agree with everyone else on most of the issues, leaving what seems like little cause for change. I’m sure as the campaign heats up, some of those things will change. 

• • •

City Council member Joy Brenner, who represents Corona del Mar, will conduct a Virtual Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 5:30 p.m. Her planned topics include CdM Village traffic noise, one-way streets, residential parking permits, discussion of a community survey and more.

The program is being done in conjunction with the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce.

You can attend by Zoom webinar or by listening in on the telephone. To RSVP, go here.

• • •

Reminder, there’s still another week for small businesses to apply for a second round of COVID-19 relief grants. Applications will be accepted through 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28.

This latest round of funding has $470,000 available from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), as well as from the CARES Act.

Interested, go here.

• • •

Don’t forget to start clearing your social calendar for the month of September. The Newport Beach Restaurant Association will feature 30 days of dining with Newport Beach Restaurant Month.

Diners will be eligible to win gift cards and local vacations during the month-long feast.

Details to come. Starts September 1. 

Plan to get out there and support our restaurateurs – they’ve had a very tough 2020 so far.

• • •

On August 11, Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA) accepted a check for $52,000 from Avenue of the Arts Hotel. The funding supports the Center at Home online virtual programming. Located on SCFTA’s website, a special “Learn at Home” section is filled with free online activities and educational programs conducted by Center teaching artists. These are the uniquely trained artists selected by the Center’s Education Department to conduct classes, assemblies and residencies in schools.

Center at Home was created in response to stay-at-home safe practice policies mandated by California in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and cancellation of live, in-person events. The content is for all ages and provides hours of entertainment, exploration and discovery – all in the comfort and safety of home.

Visit www.scfta.org for more information.

• • •

Finally, on Wednesday the call to duty ended for Newport Beach Police Department Special Victims Unit Sergeant Doug Jones who retired following 30 years. Thank you on behalf of our community for your service.


Cooling Center open today until 5 p.m.

The Newport Coast Community Center will be open today, Friday, Aug. 21, until 5 p.m. for residents who need an air-conditioned place to escape the heat.

Seating areas in the Center are spaced apart to allow for physical distancing. Face coverings are required. Please do not come if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or recently had symptoms. 

The Newport Coast Community Center is located at 6401 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach. For more information, call 949.270.8100.


Cylinders summer shorebreak

Cylinders summer wave

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Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry) 

Making a big summer splash on the Newport shore


Jacob Decker receives Oliver Halsell Care Award for July/August

It’s no wonder Jacob Decker, a resident of Newport Beach, was selected to be the July/August winner of the Oliver Halsell Care Award from Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary and Fairhaven Memorial Services. The award is presented six times each year to individuals whose exemplary work goes above and beyond their job description. 

Decker’s enthusiasm for his work in the home health care industry is contagious as he peppers his conversation with words like “magical” and “exciting” to describe his day-to-day profession. Even working with patients and families dealing with a positive COVID-19 diagnosis has not dampened his enthusiasm.

“Yes, it’s a lot more difficult these days with all the preparation needed to enter the home and there is more education and training than ever,” Decker said. “But it’s so rewarding as we help each of these families and their needs, whether it’s home health care or skilled nursing.”

Jacob Decker in tuxedo

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Courtesy of Jacob Decker

Jacob Decker

Not only does Decker need to completely outfit himself in PPEs (personal protection equipment) prior to entering homes, but he, and all his co-workers, must screen themselves every morning for signs of the virus and submit results digitally to their office. The company follows rigorous health care standards and is one of few private home health care companies that works with patients with positive COVID-19 tests.

Decker is area manager for a company formerly known as Nurse Next Door (a Canadian-based franchise) that just this month became independent, now known as Providence Home Care. As it was before, it is part of Providence St. Joseph Health and provides private health care workers and skilled nurses, to families throughout the Providence network in Southern California, as well as other families that require these services.

Decker’s path to home health care is unusual. Following his degree at Chapman University, he began working in the trade show industry, attracted to the prospect of traveling to trade shows around the country. While he did well in that field, he said, “I spent a lot of time behind a desk and while I did get to talk to people, the conversation was usually about pricing. It just wasn’t my calling.”

Ironically, Decker returned to his earliest roots, when he observed and appreciated the work his father did in home health care – co-founding Sea Crest Home Health and Hospice, which today is another significant player in this industry. Decker watched and learned and realized, later, how rewarding it was to be dealing with families at difficult times in their lives.

“I’m definitely a people person and my favorite part of my job is when I see we’ve brought a sense of relief to the families we work with. It’s personally rewarding, I’m doing what I should be doing in my life,” Decker said.

Decker is being honored not only for his compassionate work with Providence Home Care, but his dedication as a partner with the Creative Visions program, which brings uplifting opportunities in networking and education for caregivers and is held at Fairhaven’s Santa Ana location.

Ruth Rincon, general manager at Fairhaven, explained the decision to honor Decker: “Jacob is one of those people who does a tremendous job and everyone appreciates. It was an easy decision. We have observed his work not only with St. Joseph’s, but we’ve worked side-by-side with our Creative Visions program. Jacob is truly deserving of this award.”

As part of the award, Fairhaven will make a charitable donation in Decker’s name to his chosen charity, ALS Association of Orange County.

Fairhaven is accepting nominations for the remainder of 2020 to recognize more outstanding individuals whose kindness and dedication to serving others proves inspirational. Fairhaven’s Oliver Halsell Care Award winners are drawn from many fields including private care, hospice, social work, counseling, assisted living, medical providers, nursing, therapy, volunteer work and more.

For more information or to nominate an outstanding caregiver, call 714.922.2953 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Lovely Lido Isle

Lovely Lido houses

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz) 

The view from atop our beautiful city never disappoints


Restaurant Month is coming and you have chances to win just by participating

Newport Beach & Company’s business unit, Dine Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association announced this week the launch of the first-ever Newport Beach Restaurant Month: Eat. Drink. Win. being held September 1-30. It’s always a great time to dine in Newport Beach, but September is bound to serve up double the deliciousness with all of the ways to dine to win.

Created to bring together the crème de la crème of the region’s best culinary community, the inaugural Newport Beach Restaurant Month features a one-of-a-kind digital Dine Pass that houses an all-inclusive epicurean directory to the best bites in town. After signing up, patrons will unlock a variety of exclusive offers and opportunities to win daily foodie prizes and weekly grand vacations. Inclusive of all the ways to dine, outdoors, grab-and-go or for take-out at participating establishments, guests earn “check-ins” to win.

Restaurant Month cheeseburger

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Courtesy of Newport Beach & Company

Enjoy a cheeseburger, fries and a cold libation among the many dining offerings during Newport Beach Restaurant Month

Here’s how it works. Newport Beach Restaurant Month developed an interactive mobile Dine Pass that integrates local dining directories, exclusive offers and daily foodie giveaways and four grand prizes. The pass can be used through the web or saved on the home screen of phones for easy one-tap access. You simply go to www.VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Month/ and sign up for a Newport Beach Restaurant Month Dine Pass. Then, the pass will be instantly delivered via text and email and is ready to use. The Pass can then be saved on the phone’s home screen for quick and easy access. Next, browse participating restaurants for al fresco dining or take-out and order. When you arrive, simply click the “Check-In” button to redeem exclusive offers. Each “Check-In” is an entry for daily giveaways and vacation stays in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Restaurant Month encourages safe and socially distanced dining following all state and county guidelines including outdoor patio seating and take-out offers. Go to www.VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Month/ for an updated list of participating restaurants and to sign up for your culinary pass.

The Newport Beach Restaurant Association is comprised of more than 450 restaurants and foodservice operators and is a non-partisan, non-profit cooperative marketing association that brands Newport Beach dining and promotes the commercial welfare of restaurants and the foodservice industry in the City. 

Dine Newport Beach is a strategic marketing initiative cooperatively created and managed by the Newport Beach Restaurant Association and Newport Beach & Company. It is designed to enhance the economic vitality of the Newport Beach culinary community by showcasing and promoting Newport Beach as a dining destination offering innovative cuisine, fresh fare, diverse experiences and a variety of exceptional restaurants.


School Notes

School’s back from summer

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, teachers officially returned to local schools and worked to finalize schedules as they prepare for Monday, August 24, the official first day of school.

Here’s what to expect. The first week of school only, student instruction will occur in the morning via Distance Learning, up until lunch time, and will focus on building connections, creating community and routines. In the afternoon teachers will be engaged in professional development and preparation time.

While each school’s schedule may vary, all will include the following parameters, the first for Elementary level:

–Each school schedule will have the same start and end times as the 2019-20 school year.

–Daily, live whole class “morning meeting.”

–Daily, live English Language Arts/English Language Development and mathematics instruction.

–Social studies and science is integrated into English and mathematics instruction.

–Wednesday minimum day.

–Consistent teacher office hours for parent/student questions and support.

–Daily, live and asynchronous minutes for instruction consistent with parameters outlined on page 11 (Level 3 - Distance Learning) of the 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

At the Secondary level:

–Each school schedule will have the same start and end times as the 2019-20 school year.

–Schedules will follow the odd and even schedule format.

–Each academic period will include daily 20-30 minutes of live (synchronous) instruction per class. 

–Daily, live and asynchronous minutes for instruction consistent with parameters outlined on page 11 (Level 3 - Distance Learning) of the 2020-2021 School Reopening Plan

–Consistent teacher office hours for parent/student questions and support.

As NMUSD reopens, grab-and-go meals are available

During the COVID-19 school closures in spring 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture provided a waiver to school districts throughout the country that allowed Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) to serve meals to students without requiring a student ID or payment. As of now, this waiver is no longer in place for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Starting August 24, NMUSD will serve daily grab-and-go meals at all school sites except Ensign Intermediate and Corona del Mar Middle/High School, due to ongoing construction. Students from Ensign, Corona del Mar, or Cloud Campus may pick up grab-and-go meals from any other NMUSD school. Locations and serving times are subject to change.

Meals will be available for pick up Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.-12:30 pm. Students can pick up meals from any school. Meals will be available for purchase or as part of the free and reduced meal program for students who qualify. Prices are $1.50 for a full price breakfast, $.30 at the reduced price, while lunches are $3.25 at full price and $.40 at the reduced price.

Upon arrival for meal pickup, families will be asked for their student’s first and last name or student ID. Payment can be made online at www.MySchoolBucks.com or by mailing a check payable to NMUSD Nutrition Services to 2985 Bear St., Bldg. B, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Cash payments will not be accepted.

Families are encouraged to apply for the free and reduced meal program if applicable. To qualify, parent/guardian(s) must complete an application one of the following ways: www.nlappscloud.com (student ID number is required) or by submitting an application in person at the secure dropbox located outside the Nutrition Services building at 2985 Bear St. Bldg. B, Costa Mesa. Paper copies of the application are available online on the Nutrition Services website or at the same address noted above.

If those options do not work for you, please call Nutrition Services at 714.424.5090, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for assistance.


Person-to-person contact…wow, was that nice for a change

By GARY SHERWIN

I’ll admit it, I took the plunge last week.

After avoiding even semi-large groups outside my non-virus bubble for almost five months, I opted to meet with a dozen people I haven’t seen for a while last week in a room.

Now we didn’t do this irresponsibly. We had large tables, each of us sat at individually, that separated us at least six feet. We masked up every time we got up, including to refill a water glass. When we went outside, we kept our distance from each other when we weren’t covered up.

At the end of the day, I didn’t question my safety or that of the group. But I did feel something else that surprised me. Fulfillment.

Our group was comprised of CEOs who lead tourism marketing organizations throughout Southern California. While we have met numerous times over Zoom, our conversations have been tactical in nature. We talked about how everyone has been managing their budget during the downturn or how their hotels are faring.

Gary Sherwin

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

But we never discussed deeper questions like how everyone was dealing with things emotionally or the deep professional challenges we are feeling during a pandemic that has wiped out large parts of our industry.

For those more thoughtful discussions, we needed to meet in person and see a real computer-free human being. Technology is wonderful, but it can put limits on how transparent we can be with others, especially in larger group chats.

That day we met for about six hours and we covered a wide array of topics that I couldn’t ever imagine discussing in a Zoom call. The conversations were rich, meaningful and candid and it left me more comforted than I had been in weeks. It was proof that we are indeed in this together and it wasn’t some cheesy slogan.

It was also more evidence that in-person meetings are still preferred over technology. Online chats can be efficient, but they will never provide the significant psychological benefits of sitting across from someone and talking. Human beings are social in nature and that’s why getting together in person with groups will return faster than we anticipate as soon as it is safe to do so.

That’s not to say that things won’t be different, especially in the short term. When a vaccine becomes available, you may have to carry a record of vaccination prior to attending a conference. You will likely have your temperature checked at the door. Your gathering may look like a visit to the doctor’s office before you enter the convention hall to meet with your friends.

This scenario is already playing out in the black market. There are reports of non-publicized parties and gatherings where organizers hire doctors to do quick COVID-19 tests in parking lots. Before you enter the party, a professional will do a rapid test and then you return to your car. You are texted with the results 20 minutes later before entering the building assuming it comes back negative.

These kinds of tests don’t come cheap and they aren’t 100 percent reliable either. Rapid tests cost anywhere from $150 to $500 apiece and some organizers are passing through the charge as part of admission.

No event organizer wants to be brandished as irresponsible and the publicity they would receive for hosting something that becomes a super spreader would probably be professional suicide.

Of course, events like these are actually illegal to do right now anyway, but that’s beside the point.

All of these safety checks are occurring while this pandemic still plays out. Expect them to continue for the foreseeable future since we are all likely to have a fair amount of paranoia anytime we attend a group function.

Some of these illicit events even have attendees wear color-coded wristbands that indicate if someone is open to hand shaking or even a hug.

While the inconvenience of proving your vaccination at every event or having a thermometer thrust at you in a hallway will be annoying, I suspect we will get used to it and perhaps even welcome it.

The payoff for engaging with our friends and colleagues will be worth it, especially if we haven’t seen them for a while. Ultimately no virus can destroy the essential human need for authentic connection.

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


Balboa Island Artwalk postponed

The Balboa Island Artwalk coordinating team and Mary Hardesty Realty have been working closely with the City of Newport Beach to move forward with their celebration of art and live music scheduled for September 27. Due to the unpredictability of the current health crisis, they have made the difficult decision to postpone the Balboa Island Artwalk until Sunday, May 16, 2021 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. along the South Bayfront Promenade. Although the postponement is disappointing, they look forward to welcoming everyone to this community celebration of art and live music next year.

Balboa Island Artwalk booth

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Courtesy of Balboa Island Artwalk

2019 Balboa Island Artwalk booth

The Artwalk is the premier showcase for talented local artists with art, music, and sun and fun for the whole family. Admission is free to this fine art show featuring 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.

The Balboa Island Artwalk is presented by Mary Hardesty Realty.


CdM Library highlighted in top library trade magazine

The Corona del Mar Library was selected as a showcased library in the 2020 Library Design Showcase published in the September/October issue of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association (ALA). 

American Libraries’ annual Design Showcase features the year’s most impressive new and renovated libraries. The magazine looks for “shining examples of innovative library architecture that address patrons’ needs in unique, interesting, and effective ways.” 

CDM Library exterior by NBPL cropped

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Photos courtesy of NBPL

Corona del Mar Library and Fire Station celebrated the grand opening on July 20, 2019

The CdM Library was featured as a unique “shared space” library, highlighting the innovative joining of the Library and Fire Station No. 5. The article also makes note of the library’s “colorful children’s area, reading spaces for teens and adults, stroller parking and the outdoor porch for year-round use by the seaside community.”

Library Services Director Tim Hetherton noted, “The City Council, Board of Library Trustees, and staff from the Library, the Fire Department and Public Works are justifiably proud of the branch’s innovative dual-purpose functionality and efficiency. It is a beautiful and well-used building set in a vibrant and proud community.”

CDM Library Interior by NBPL

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CdM Library’s bright and airy interior

The Corona del Mar Library, located at 410 Marigold Ave., is one of four branches in the Newport Beach Public Library system, which includes the Central Library, Crean Mariners Branch Library and Balboa Branch Library. 

The 10,314-square-foot Corona del Mar Library and Fire Station No. 5 was designed by WLC Architects to replace two aging adjacent buildings in order to maximize interior space, energy efficiency and parking areas. The joint facility opened in September 2019.

For more information on the Newport Beach Public Library, visit the website at www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For questions, call 949.717.3800, option 2 or send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Note: All library branches are currently closed to the public, but available for on-line services and curbside pick-up.


Sexual assault case involving Newport Beach reality TV surgeon and girlfriend referred to state’s Attorney General

An Orange County Superior Court judge yesterday referred the prosecution of a Newport Beach orthopedic surgeon and reality television star and his girlfriend to the state Attorney General. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office first asked the state Attorney General to take over the case in September 2019 after declaring a conflict and renewed that request after the judge denied the People’s motion to dismiss the case following a comprehensive three-month de novo review of the evidence.

The decision by Judge Gregory Jones comes after he declined to grant the People’s February 7, 2020 request to dismiss the charges against Grant Robicheaux, 39, and Cerissa Riley, 33, based on a lack of sufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In the summer of 2019, a new prosecutor was assigned to prosecute the case after former District Attorney Tony Rackauckas admitted during a sworn deposition that he utilized the case to gain worldwide media attention weeks before the 2018 election for District Attorney. The prosecutor asked to be removed from the case due to non-work-related issues before a complete review of the evidence could be completed.

In September 2019, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer declared a conflict in prosecuting People v. Robicheaux and Riley due to the possible perception that this case had been tainted by politics as a result of statements made by the former District Attorney during the sworn deposition.

The state Attorney General declared that the election of a new District Attorney cured the conflict issue and directed the OCDA to continue with the case.

Following the state Attorney General’s direction, District Attorney Spitzer assigned two new prosecutors to do a three-month complete case re-evaluation, which included a review of thousands of photographs, tens of thousands of text messages, hundreds of hours of audio recordings, and thousands of pages of transcripts of interviews with alleged victim interviews, witness interviews and depositions.

A complete review of all the evidence was never done by the prior District Attorney administration.

The de novo review directly contradicted public statements made by the prior district attorney that video depicted up to 1,000 unconscious women being sexually assaulted. In fact, there was not one video or picture that depicted an unconscious woman being sexually assaulted by the defendants.

The de novo review revealed there was insufficient evidence to prove the filed charges beyond a reasonable doubt, which is the legal burden prosecutors must meet to obtain a criminal conviction.

The two prosecutors assigned to the de novo review presented their findings to a group of their peers and then to the OCDA Executive Team in January. The de novo prosecutors declared that it would be unethical to proceed on the case given the lack of evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The OCDA Executive Team unanimously agreed that the office must move to dismiss the case in accordance with the rule of law.

In June 2020, prosecutors once again declared an irreconcilable conflict in People v. Robicheaux and Riley and asked Judge Jones to refer the prosecution of the case to the state Attorney General’s Office. Jones referred the case to the state Attorney General’s Office yesterday.

“I am confident that the state Attorney General’s Office will resolve this case in a fair and just manner. I referred this case to the Attorney General’s office in September 2019 because of my concerns of the possible perception that this case had been tainted by politics even before it was filed. When the Attorney General ordered my office to keep the case, it was then and only then that a complete re-evaluation of the case revealed a lack of evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. A lack of admissible evidence does not mean that a crime was not committed; it means we lack the evidence to meet our legal burden in a court of law. Without sufficient evidence to prove the filed charges beyond a reasonable doubt, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office is ethically prohibited from moving forward with this prosecution,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer.


Take Five: Meet Noah Gerard, Newport Beach 2020 Junior Lifeguard of the Year

By AMY SENK

Last spring, the COVID-19 shutdown nearly claimed a Newport Beach summer standby when city officials announced that the city’s beloved Junior Guards program would be slashed so only the oldest kids could participate. In the end, the program, established in 1984, opened to all age groups, with a few modifications. And while some things were different this summer for the guards, one tradition remained firmly in place: the naming of the annual Junior Guard of the Year at the end of the season. I caught up with this year’s choice, Noah Gerard, 15, to find out more. 

Take Five Noah Gerard

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Photos courtesy of the Gerard family

Noah Gerard being named Newport Beach 2020 Jr. Guard of the Year

Q: Congratulations on being named the JG of the year. How did you find out, and what went through your head when you heard your name?

A: The Guards A Group leader, Ms. (Natalie) May, gave a really nice speech about the JG of the Year. She talked about a kid who behaved well and was super respectful and who was killing it in the events all summer. Then she announced the name, and it was me. I was so shocked and really happy.

Take Five Noah first day

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Noah on the first day of Jr. Guards in 2014

Q: What was Junior Guards like this year with the COVID-19 related changes made to the program?

A: All the instructors made it feel like a normal year, but with masks on and reminders all the time to stay socially distant. It was so cool that they set it up so we could still have guards. As we say in guards, it was still a super epic summer.

Q: In all the years you have participated in NBJGs, what was the highlight – the funniest, craziest, scariest thing and your favorite memory?

A: In my seven years of Junior Guards, getting the JG of the Year award was the highlight. As a second-year B, Mr. (Blake) Grove took me out into giant surf with waves breaking outside the buoy at A Street. It was really cool, but I have to admit I was scared. Favorite memory? Jumping off the pier for the first time when I was a 9-year-old. I am glad my instructor, Mr. (Cole) Othmer, made me jump.

Take Five Noah first jump

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Noah’s very first pier jump in 2014

Q: What are your plans for the rest of the summer and for the fall?

A: I am starting Corona del Mar High School as a freshman water polo player, and we are already training hard. I am looking forward to starting high school. I love both the ocean and the mountains and love to surf and also I’m on the ski team at Mammoth in the winter.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A: My dream is to attend the United States Naval Academy for college. When I grow up, I hope I am doing something to serve my country and help people. Hopefully, I am always around the ocean. 

Take Five Noah Ben Carlson

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Noah attending the Ben Carlson service in 2014

~~~~~~~~

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


COVID-19: 14 new cases reported in Newport Beach today, 18 new deaths in OC

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 833 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 18 new deaths received today. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 969 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of 14 cases today, a per capita rate of 11.115 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 44,507 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 295 cases today. 

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 419 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 124 are in ICU.

The county estimates 35,860 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 19 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 19 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 19 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 19, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Cooling Center open this week, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Newport Coast Community Center will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 18 through Friday, Aug. 21 for residents who need an air-conditioned place to escape the heat.

Seating areas in the Center are spaced apart to allow for physical distancing. Face coverings are required. Please do not come if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or recently had symptoms. 

The Newport Coast Community Center is located at 6401 San Joaquin Hills Road, Newport Beach. For more information, call 949.270.8100.


Examination confirms fatal thresher shark injuries, need for euthanization

On Friday, Aug. 14, Newport Beach Lifeguards observed a small thresher shark that washed ashore near the Balboa Pier. Lifeguards closed the water in the area to swimmers and monitored the shark’s activity. The shark made no effort to swim back to deeper water and continued to display behavior consistent with injury or illness.

Newport Beach Animal Control was called to assist. An Animal Control officer concurred the behavior of the shark, along with visible injuries, indicated that it was in grave condition and would not survive if returned to the water. The decision was made to remove the shark from the water and euthanize it.

The shark was then transferred to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Fisheries Branch and examined by a Senior Fish Pathologist. The pathologist determined that the shark had suffered a massive intracranial hemorrhage along with numerous abrasions and lacerations on the eyes, head, flanks and fins. The nature of the injuries strongly suggests that the animal was recently caught in a commercial fishing net. Thresher sharks can sustain severe lesions from fishing nets, and when hauled onto a boat deck in the net.

When injured ocean wildlife is found on Newport’s beaches, City staff will either leave the animal undisturbed until it returns to the ocean, or assist the animal while maintaining public safety. This thresher shark was humanely euthanized to reduce suffering, based on severe injuries for which there was no potential for recovery.


COVID-19: 14 deaths, 955 cases in Newport Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 955 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of one case today, August 18, a per capita rate of 10.954 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 815 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including five new deaths received today. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 44,212 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 287 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 409 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 124 are in ICU.

The county estimates 35,421 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 18 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 18 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 18 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 18, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Upcoming August events at OCMA

Don’t miss these upcoming events taking place this month at/or in conjunction with OCMA. From cinema and an interactive performance to crafting + craft beer, these happenings will keep you busy in August.

Cinema Orange: Albert Frey: The Architectural Envoy, Parts I and II (Double Feature). Both films are available from Thursday, Aug. 20 at 12 p.m. through Saturday, Aug. 22 at 11:59 p.m. In this two-part film series, step into the story of Albert Frey, the unpretentious Swiss-born architect who helped bring modernism to the United States, and whose innate curiosity of the American landscape inspired an extraordinary style that blended industrial techniques with a love for nature. Part I explores Frey’s early life and work in Europe to his architectural accomplishments in New York in the 1930s. Part II explores his Southern California period from 1939-1998. Presented in partnership with the Newport Beach Film Festival and organized by Leslie Feibleman, director of special program and community cinema, NBFF. RSVP to receive the access link on the first day of the screening period.

Upcoming August Cinema Orange

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Courtesy of Design Onscreen and the Jean Farrar Finlayson Collection

An image from Cinema Orange: “Albert Frey: The Architectural Envoy, Part ll”

WE ZOOM YOUR ROOM by artists Frankie Martin and Forest DerrMartin of Pumpernickel Palace on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. Head back to (virtual!) school with a customized Zoom background made by artists Frankie Martin and Forest DerrMartin. Call in via Zoom to participate in an interactive performance that lampoons techniques used in infomercials and results in a new Zoom background designed live for you during your call, in exchange for a family-friendly joke. RSVP to www.ocmaexpand.org to receive the Zoom call in number. Limited space available.

Upcoming August WE ZOOM

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Courtesy of Frankie Martin and Forest DerrMartin

OCMA’s “WE ZOOM YOUR ROOM” is an interactive performance

Crafting + Craft Beer. Play with simple embossing techniques to create a special, personally crafted metallic hanging. Led by teaching artist Elizabeth Cardenas, this creative exploration draws inspiration from Allan Sekula’s photograph from OCMA’s collection, “Dockers Unloading Sugar Ship” to engage with concepts of labor and craft. For supplies (including instructions), head over to local craft brewer Green Cheek Beer Co. at 2957 Randolph Ave., Unit B in Costa Mesa and mention this project at the drive-through to receive 10 percent off a 4-pack of a craft brew and a free art pack from OCMA. Drive through from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. RSVP to have this information emailed to you along with a link to the demo video. Art packs will be available while supplies last, on a first come, first served basis. No purchase is necessary.

OCMAExpand is located at South Coast Plaza Village, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana. It is currently closed to the public. For more information, visit www.ocmaexpand.org.


Planning Commission to consider changing CdM 76 station to 7-11

The Newport Planning Commission will consider an application to replace the existing 76 (Gas) Station building with a convenience market during a public hearing at its Thursday, Aug. 20 meeting.

The applicant is also requesting the ability to serve alcohol.

Plans have the proposed convenience market located in about the same location as the existing service building. The existing pumps, canopy and driveway access to the site would remain unchanged.

According to the application, while the applicant has been considering the 7-11 brand, the owner has not yet decided one way or the other.

However, the applicant is hoping to receive a favorable decision from the Planning Commission following the Public Hearing.

The hearing will start shortly after 6:30 p.m. The agenda and the staff report for the project will be available this afternoon on the City’s website here.


Wake Up! Newport to hold 2020 Newport Beach City Council Candidates Forum

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is presenting a special 2020 Newport Beach City Council Candidates Forum at Wake Up! Newport on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 9 a.m.

Lucy Dunn

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Photos courtesy of NB Chamber of Commerce

Lucy Dunn, CEO, Orange County Business Council is the moderator

Meet the candidates representing Districts 2, 5 and 7 via a webinar on Zoom. The program will be moderated by Lucy Dunn, CEO, Orange County Business Council.

Brad Avery Nancy Scarbrough

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Representing District 2 – Brad Avery and Nancy Scarbrough

Be an educated voter! Come hear directly from the Newport Beach City Council Candidates running for office. Following an interactive panel format, the event will give you a first-hand look at their positions and experiences on various important topical issues.

Noah Blom Jeff Herdman

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Representing District 5 (L-R) Noah Blom and Jeff Herdman

The event is free to the public, but reservations are required. To join the webinar, go here. When you receive a confirmation, you will be directed to an email where you can submit questions.

Will O Neill

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Representing District 7 unopposed – Will O’Neill

The event is sponsored by First Republic Bank.


COVID-19: 14 deaths, 954 cases in Newport Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 954 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases yesterday, August 17, a per capita rate of 10.943 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 810 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 43,925 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 216 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 29 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 414 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 132 are in ICU.

The county estimates 34,909 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 17 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 17 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 17 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 17, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

When mail call is no longer needed

Newport Beach Restaurant Month Begins in 14 days…

Tom Hoag maskCongressman Harley Rouda (CA-48) is holding a press conference today with the theme “Don’t Mess with USPS.” The release announces the event that will take place at the Adams Ave. post office in Costa Mesa at 11 a.m. It got me thinking about what our mail future should really be.

After all, maybe it is time to mess with the USPS.

Think about it, the post office has had a wonderful history. Service people during wartimes relied on it and used it as their only communication to home, and vice versa. People for years wrote out checks and paid their bills through the mail. When the time came and you wanted to talk to an old friend, you sat down and wrote a letter. Who remembers penmanship? It was the way things were done.

Not so much today. Bill paying has been moved to automatic payments from your bank. In fact, who even orders checks anymore? My kids have probably never even ordered a box. If you want to talk with that old friend you do it through Facebook, or some variation thereof. Service people around the world now simply walk into an area filled with computers allowing them to basically Skype home.

Okay, you say Christmas cards. You got me. But that’s only one month.

Perhaps the model of an everyday home delivery system no longer works or is even needed.

I read online where some people looking for solutions said, “If the billionaires would each kick in a billion dollars, or if everyone would go out and buy a bunch of stamps,” these things would save the system. Why?

Think about billionaires for a sec. Normally, they don’t invest in broken businesses, that’s why they’re billionaires. As far as option two, I know I don’t want or need a bunch of stamps because, quite frankly, I won’t use them.

Kids today are growing up more familiar with an Amazon truck in their neighborhood versus the white, red and blue postal jeep.

It’s probably time to let it die. There are certainly enough workarounds to make that happen. 

If you disagree, then go see Harley and the other leaders gathered today in their effort to continue to “ensure timely delivery of essential mail.” 

As for me, I’m just pressing send.

• • •

When the dust finally settled for the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education race, two names that initially pulled papers, Laura Kelly and Joanne Nichols, eventually changed their minds and decided not to run. However, a new name, Alexis Zavouris, jumped in.

So, the three races stack up as follows: Carol Crane vs. Charles Kent Booker for the Trustee Area 1 seat, currently held by Martha Fluor, then Amy Peters, Krista Weigand, Xeno Ralf Muller II and Zavouris vie for Trustee Area 6, incumbent Dana Black’s seat.

The third race has challenger Leah Ersoylu battling incumbent Vicki Snell for Trustee Area 1.

• • •

City Council candidates face the music for the first time this Thursday morning when the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce hosts the first forum of the 2020 election season.

Lucy Dunn, CEO of the Orange County Business Council, will moderate.

All five council candidates are expected to participate, including incumbents Brad Avery and Jeff Herdman, along with challengers Nancy Scarbrough and Noah Blom. Mayor Will O’Neill, who’s running unopposed, is still expected to join in.

Register here through the Chamber for the 9 a.m. Zoom.

Speaking of forums, the Speak Up Newport Candidates Forum will take place Wednesday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m., also in a Zoom webinar format.

More details as they present themselves, but, let’s just say I’m honored to have been asked to moderate this one. I’m also told that the SUN committee is formulating the format and questions.

• • •

John Joseph Domanskis died August 8. Dr. Domanskis was a board-certified Plastic Surgeon who had a private practice in Newport Beach. During his career he served as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Hoag Memorial Hospital. He was 75.


Back on the road: taking kids to college during a global pandemic, part 2

By AMY SENK

We moved our youngest child to college in the middle of tornadoes, lightning storms, a hurricane, a 5.1 earthquake, and of course, a global pandemic. She was having so much fun that she forgot to tell us her COVID test was negative until about six hours after she learned the results. 

This was the second and final college drop-off for me in two weeks. I drove my son to Missouri for graduate school, and then, the first week of August, my husband and I flew to North Carolina to get our daughter settled.

The afternoon before we left, we took a farewell drive around Newport Beach, including a ride on the ferry, where we saw dozens of unmasked visitors walking past the Ferris wheel, huffing and puffing past the junior guards who piled onto the ferry alongside us. It was a perfect day: sunny, a slight breeze, the water full of boats and paddle boarders and three ferries operating with lines of cars on both sides. The next morning, our daughter’s friend picked us up, along with four very full suitcases, and we flew through Chicago to North Carolina. 

Back on the road Jilly and chapel

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Photos by Amy Senk

Jilly Senk, Amy’s daughter, stands in front of the Duke University chapel the day before move-in

My daughter’s university, Duke, was guaranteeing housing for freshmen and sophomores only, all single rooms, and only through the first semester. Pack light, they said, because at Thanksgiving, she would need to empty her dorm room and plan on not returning. It felt like packing for a very expensive and elite summer camp more than packing for college. We arrived in a lightning storm, and it rained hard on and off the next day as we made the college-dorm-shopping rounds (Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, Whole Foods). We found a quiet coffee shop with outdoor seating and had lunch near campus at a restaurant with lots of vegan options. We took a walk around campus, where we saw only about five other people, explored the town of Durham and went by the American Tobacco Trail. We shopped for a backpack at REI, then lingered as a storm stalled overhead, hammering the building’s tin roof. 

Back on the road Krzyzewskiville sign

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The Krzyzewskiville sign is dedicated to Duke’s men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski

The next day, we headed to campus for the move-in. First stop was on West Campus, where students had appointments to be tested for COVID-19. Parents waited in a nearby parking lot (next to Krzyzewskiville, where student basketball fans camp for tickets during normal times). The test activated her dorm’s key card, and we next drove to East Campus to find her room and unload her stuff (including a college-provided care package that included wipes, masks and condoms). Then we moved the car, went back to help her unpack, said our goodbyes. She was to stay in her room until she received her test results, and we had to promise to go away and let her quarantine in peace. The whole move-in took about two hours; later I was surprised at the parents who said they spent six or seven hours with their kids and clearly ignored the pack light advice.

Back on the road COVID test wristband

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Jilly’s COVID-19 test wristband

We left, stopping by the popup bookstore to buy Blue Devil masks, and headed to the airport, passing the Lucky Strike smokestack and the Durham Bulls baseball stadium. Our flight through Dallas to LAX was uneventful, filled with respectful travelers in masks, although we did observe a flight attendant warn a passenger several times to pull his mask over his nose, finally saying it was his last warning before he was added to a no-fly list. (He complied.)

At home, all is well. From tidbits collected during a few calls and text message exchanges, bolstered by frequent browsing through parent message boards, things on campus are fine. My daughter tested negative – the university later reported that out of 3,116 tests, only four were positive. Frankly, there were more people wearing masks and being careful in Durham and in airports than I’ve seen in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach. Maybe she’s safer there than at home, where I still see Nextdoor types claiming that masks make you sick and that sunshine prevents viruses.

Back on the road signs

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Signs throughout Duke’s campus extoll face coverings and safe distancing

My daughter so far has met with an adviser, registered for classes (only one in person, the rest virtual) and been busy making friends, mostly students from New York, New Jersey and Florida. They are supposed to wear masks, not hang out in one another’s rooms, so they picnic on the lawns or gather outside in the evenings when it cools down. The humidity of North Carolina appears to have been her biggest challenge, but I have a hunch that will change as classes begin this week. The refrain I’ve heard from the moment we took her to campus to frequent texts that followed were the words, “I love it here.”

Back in the empty nest, we have been quarantining, working, catching up on stuff, clearing out desk drawers and shelves from kids’ rooms, tossing practice ACT tests from two years ago, out-of-date AP test guidebooks, and packing lists from youth and government trips. We watched the Class of 2024 convocation ceremony on YouTube, us in the family room and our daughter on a campus lawn. It was good to have the formality, even remotely. 

Back on the road murals

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Murals on campus share student sentiments

One thing I am determinedly refusing to do is be sad about having kids who have made it to college, in a general as well as a COVID-19 sense, when so many of my daughter’s friends are stuck at home. Sure, I cried a little when we parted, but from now on, giving into crying and being lonely seems very self-indulgent, almost like I’d be tempting fate, daring the universe to make something happen to force them home early. We are lucky that moving them to school has been as seamless as it has been, and I want them to stay happily where they are. It’s a sense of normalcy in an upside-down world, and I’m celebrating that, flying college flags and wearing my Blue Devil and Truman Tiger face masks.

~~~~~~~~

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.


Guest Column

Steve Rosansky

Getting back to “somewhat” normal feels really good

Last week I got to do something normal…Well sort of…And you know, it felt really good! One of my favorite duties as President of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce is presiding over ribbon cutting ceremonies for new businesses. One of our member partners, ZO Skin Centre, asked us to christen their new location in Fashion Island with our giant scissors and a fat blue ribbon.

We had all the trappings, including Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery presenting a City proclamation commemorating the auspicious occasion. And pictures, lots of pictures.

The great thing about a new business opening is the hope and joy of the new owners as they set out on a journey. No business owner opens a new business thinking they are going to fail. There is always some trepidation as to not knowing the future, but it is always overcome by the excitement of seeing their dream come to fruition.

Guest Column Rosansky Ribbon Cutting

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Photo by Joyce Lau

Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Steve Rosansky (second from right) welcomes ZO Skin Centre with a commemorative ribbon cutting celebration

In some ways it’s like christening a new boat, you know there’s going to be days that may not be perfect; you may encounter rough seas or a strong headwind. But mostly you anticipate happy days and smooth sailing as you slice through the waves to your destination.

The reason I said “…Well sort of…” is that we all had to respect the times we live in and wore masks and tried to socially distance as best as we could. None of the usual hand shaking or hugging that you would typically see, which sometimes lends an awkwardness to the occasion. But you know what, it really didn’t matter in the end. The proclamation and certificates were still presented and the ribbon was cut and the pictures were taken. It seems like a small price to pay in order to keep on with our daily life.

And you know what else, the best thing is I get to do it all over again this week. UCI Health has asked us to do another ribbon cutting for their new integrative health facility in Newport Center. I can’t wait!

Steve Rosansky is the President & CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.


JWA announces JetStream Summer Fest

Following the success of the JetStream Music Festival earlier this year, John Wayne Airport (JWA) will once again come together with 12 airports across North America via Facebook Live tomorrow, August 19 at 3 p.m. for JetStream Summer Fest, celebrating “Live Music at a Safe Distance.”

Hosted by Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the free, multi-hour livestream can be viewed on each participating airport’s Facebook page in support of the creative community during the health pandemic. 

Featuring a diverse range of performances by local musicians, the event will also include a performance by Grammy Award-winning musician Kenny Loggins.

For more information, including how to watch the show, view the JetStream Summer Fest Facebook page.

Popular local musician Jason Feddy, one of 14 musicians from the JWAlive music performance program, will participate in JetStream Summer Fest on behalf of John Wayne Airport. 

JWA Jason Feddy

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Courtesy of jasonfeddy.com

Local musician Jason Feddy will perform in tomorrow’s JetStream Summer Fest on behalf of John Wayne Airport

To read musician bios and learn more about the JWAlive music program, visit www.ocair.com/jwalive.

Festival viewers can tip musicians through a virtual tip jar and are encouraged to create a Facebook Watch Party with friends and family and share the stream on social media using the hashtag #JetStreamFest.

The full artist lineup features:

–Jackie Venson - Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

–Kendal Conrad - Lehigh Valley International Airport (ABE)

–Ayana Sade - Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT)

–Chuck Courtenay - Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)

–Destiny L. & Taifa - Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)

–Bashiri Asad - Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

–Monte Skelton - Evansville Regional Airport (EVV)

–Lucy Michelle - Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

–Ribo Ruckus - El Paso International Airport (ELP)

–Jason Feddy - John Wayne Airport (SNA)

–Hilo Hi-Flyers - Long Beach Airport (LGB)

–Champagne Sunday - Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)

–Kenny Loggins - Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

As an essential part of the community, John Wayne Airport remains open to provide air travel facilities to guests and airline partners, and supports the vital flow of air cargo and passengers through Orange County.

Visit www.ocair.com to learn more about John Wayne Airport.


Local church has collected more than 8,000 pounds of food, cash donations

The congregation at Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church has completed five community food drives, so far, delivering more than 8,000 pounds of food to those in need, plus more than $2,000 in cash donations.

Father Steve Sallot, the pastor at Our Lady Queen of Angels, recently stated, “Church services inside may have been paused, but the world still needs us, so we are moving back outside and continuing to serve a world in need.”

To meet the continuing high demand for donations, the church will be holding two additional food drives to benefit Catholic Charities of Orange County and SPIN (Serving People in Need). The two drives will take place Sundays, August 23 and August 30, between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The community is invited to drive through the Parish Center parking lot to drop off dry non-perishable food items.

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church is a parish in the Diocese of Orange, serving more than 4,000 parish families for more than 59 years. The church is led by pastor Father Sallot, and the parish Knights of Columbus Council is supporting the drive.

For more information on the church, visit www.olqa.org.


Rolling up to Ruby’s

Rolling up pier

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz) 

It’s “cheeseburgers in paradise” for these youngsters


School Notes

Board agenda highlights of tonight’s meeting

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Trustees meets this evening (August 18) at 6 p.m. over Zoom. You can log in here. The Agenda for the meeting can be found here and is posted online the Friday prior to the meeting.

Some of the agenda highlights are: 

–There will be an update on the reopening and the start of the 2020-21 school year. District staff will provide an update for teachers who begin their work year today, with students returning Monday, August 24.

–The Board will approve an agreement for employment with the Assistant Superintendent, Chief Academic Officer, John Drake.

–The Board will also approve a contract with the Orange County Department of Education for math support for grades K-5 for the upcoming school year. OCDE will provide professional learning experiences to support the implementation of CA state mathematics standards.

–The Board will approve an agreement with the OCDE for math support for grades 6-12. With the approval of Illustrative Mathematics as the high school instructional materials, OCDE will maintain their support with coaching to support middle school math fellows, instruction during distance learning for secondary math teachers, implementation of new match curriculum with a focus on supporting English learners in Distance Learning context and development of shared vision for teaching and learning of mathematics with secondary principals.


Orange County Coastkeeper welcomes new Membership Advisory Committee

Orange County Coastkeeper welcomes a new Membership Advisory Committee (MAC) comprised of individuals from Orange County, the Inland Empire and Coachella Valley. Among them is Dani Gold of Newport Beach.

The role of the committee will be to effectively communicate with Coastkeeper’s membership in order to understand what local issues are most important to the communities it serves. Committee members will gather multiple times within a year to organize and recommend the best solutions for the community, then present ideas to the board of directors for consideration.

Six members now serve on the committee with the exception of one vacancy.

Orange County Coastkeeper Dani Gold

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Courtesy of Dani Gold

Dani Gold

Gold of Newport Beach has been a member of Coastkeeper since 2001. Not only has she previously served on the Coastkeeper board, but has volunteered her time to conduct water quality research for organizations such as Surfrider and Coastkeeper. Currently, she is the director of the Okeanos Foundation.

The other five members include Stephanie Pacheco, Fountain Valley; Stephen Mayville, Yorba Linda; Esther Julier, Riverside; Tony Quiroz, Coachella Valley; and Patricia Leal-Gutierrez, East Coachella Valley.

“The role of the Membership Advisory Committee will be integral to our success as a strong community resource,” said Garry Brown, founding director of Orange County Coastkeeper. “They are important voices and, together with Coastkeeper, our mission for clean water will be even stronger.”

For more information on Orange County Coastkeeper, visit www.coastkeeper.org.


Newport Beach Republican HQs is open

Newport Harbor Republican Women (NHRW) has announced the opening of their 2020 Republican Campaign Headquarters for Newport Beach at 430 West Coast Highway near Dover Drive. It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. The headquarters’ phone number is 949.402.8040.

Interested parties are invited to stop by and see a “wonderful selection of patriotic and 2020 Trump merchandise.” Items can also be viewed on the Newport Harbor Republican Women’s Facebook page.

The NHRW is also seeking volunteers to help with voter registration, voter integrity, walking precincts, handing out yard signs and candidate information, working the Recall Newsom petitions and phoning Republicans to “get the vote out.”

Founded in 1952, the organization has operated the Republican Campaign Headquarters for Newport Beach for every general election for more than six decades. They organize and finance it themselves for the OCGOP.

According to the Newport Harbor Republican Women’s website, the group strives to promote the principles upon which this country was founded: Freedom, Equality and Justice.

Among the activities the NHRW offers are nine educational speaker luncheons from September to May at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach, as well as regular current events action meetings in homes, and an annual social garden party with local legislators. They provide scholarships to graduating high school seniors and foster outreach to youth. They participate in Balboa Island’s annual family parade.

Learn more at www.nhrw.org or email Campaign HQ Chair Libby Huyck at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also call the headquarters at 949.402.8040.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

Newport Beach A Look Back 8.18.20

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Newport Beach in part owes its success to the Red Car. Operated by the Pacific Electric from 1905 to the 1950s, the Red Car connected Newport Beach, Balboa Peninsula and East Newport to Los Angeles, negating the need for a car to reach the beach communities.

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


Restaurant Month is coming and you have chances to win just by participating

Newport Beach & Company’s business unit, Dine Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association announced yesterday the launch of the first-ever Newport Beach Restaurant Month: Eat. Drink. Win. being held September 1-30. It’s always a great time to dine in Newport Beach, but September is bound to serve up double the deliciousness with all of the ways to dine to win.

Created to bring together the crème de la crème of the region’s best culinary community, the inaugural Newport Beach Restaurant Month features a one-of-a-kind digital Dine Pass that houses an all-inclusive epicurean directory to the best bites in town. After signing up, patrons will unlock a variety of exclusive offers and opportunities to win daily foodie prizes and weekly grand vacations. Inclusive of all the ways to dine, outdoors, grab-and-go or for take-out at participating establishments, guests earn “check-ins” to win.

Restaurant Month cheeseburger

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Courtesy of Newport Beach & Company

Enjoy a cheeseburger, fries and a cold libation among the many dining offerings during Newport Beach Restaurant Month

Here’s how it works. Newport Beach Restaurant Month developed an interactive mobile Dine Pass that integrates local dining directories, exclusive offers and daily foodie giveaways and four grand prizes. The pass can be used through the web or saved on the home screen of phones for easy one-tap access. You simply go to www.VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Month/ and sign up for a Newport Beach Restaurant Month Dine Pass. Then, the pass will be instantly delivered via text and email and is ready to use. The Pass can then be saved on the phone’s home screen for quick and easy access. Next, browse participating restaurants for al fresco dining or take-out and order. When you arrive, simply click the “Check-In” button to redeem exclusive offers. Each “Check-In” is an entry for daily giveaways and vacation stays in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Restaurant Month encourages safe and socially distanced dining following all state and county guidelines including outdoor patio seating and take-out offers. Go to www.VisitNewportBeach.com/Restaurant-Month/ for an updated list of participating restaurants and to sign up for your culinary pass.

The Newport Beach Restaurant Association is comprised of more than 450 restaurants and foodservice operators and is a non-partisan, non-profit cooperative marketing association that brands Newport Beach dining and promotes the commercial welfare of restaurants and the foodservice industry in the City. 

Dine Newport Beach is a strategic marketing initiative cooperatively created and managed by the Newport Beach Restaurant Association and Newport Beach & Company. It is designed to enhance the economic vitality of the Newport Beach culinary community by showcasing and promoting Newport Beach as a dining destination offering innovative cuisine, fresh fare, diverse experiences and a variety of exceptional restaurants.


Recall Gavin bike ride protest through Newport Beach planned

There is a Recall Gavin effort afoot and it’s coming to Newport Beach with a mobile bike ride rally this Saturday, Aug. 22 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The starting point is the Big Corona State Beach parking lot at 3100 Ocean Boulevard.

The ride will meander some 12 miles to Superior Avenue and back to Big Corona. All riders are encouraged to wear a “Recall” sign on their back for cars to see.

The cause has also joined the effort of “Open Our Schools.”

Sharon MacDougall, one of the Recall Gavin supporters said, “We decided to add the cause to ‘Open Our Schools’ as this is a relevant topic that is drastically affecting all children across the nation in the liberal states that are not allowing physical school openings. I am a mother of a 6th and 9th grade child and this is personal to me. Not only is the quality of the education from ‘Distance Learning’ inadequate, it is having a devastating effect on the marginalized, lower income families who can’t manage this learning style due to work obligations, or not having the technology or skills to help their kids adapt to this teaching method.”

MacDougall also said that a speaker and a frontline doctor will kick off the meeting prior to the ride.

For more information on the Recall Gavin effort, go here.


Summer mornings under the pier

Summer mornings shadows

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Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers)

Morning sunlight ushers in the absolute beauty of Newport Beach


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, 

The 2020 Census is moving into the final stages as door-to-door census takers are being deployed through the end of September. Census takers will be visiting households (including live-aboard boaters in Newport Harbor) that have not yet responded online, by phone or by mail. 

Community members can still respond via phone or internet until September 30 to avoid a knock on the door. Newport Beach is still behind Orange County and the nation in its census response. If you haven’t done so, I encourage you to respond at www.my2020census.gov or 844.330.2020. 

The City continues to work to contain the potential impacts of John Wayne Airport’s General Aviation Improvement Program (GAIP). On August 11, the Orange County Board of Supervisors (Board) selected the private companies that will build out and operate the airport’s new general aviation (GA) facilities. Known as Fixed Base Operators (FBOs), the companies will enter into 35-year leases with the County. As Newport Beach’s long-term neighbors, we strongly believe their leases must contain certain provisions to balance FBO operations with protections for the surrounding communities. 

We communicated the City’s desired lease terms prior to the Board meeting and expected a resolution on our recommendations that day. However, after the Board selected the FBOs, Supervisor Steel raised Newport Beach’s requested lease terms, but other Supervisors felt it was not appropriate to discuss them at that time, citing potential legal and regulatory issues. Supervisor Steel has informed us that the Board’s Airport Ad Hoc Committee, which is comprised of Supervisors Steel and Bartlett, will discuss and finalize the lease terms and then provide direction to the Airport Director. The full Board is expected to approve the final, negotiated leases in the fourth quarter of this year. 

The Board’s August 11 action did include lease language that preserves more than 34 acres for the smaller and quieter GA aircraft and sets aside the remaining 25+ acres for storing the larger GA aircraft, such as private jets. We are very appreciative of the Board’s commitment to this important provision. In addition, the City continues to communicate and advocate the inclusion of lease terms that will: 

–Prohibit the operation of a General Aviation Facility (the space used for processing international passengers).

–Prohibit commercial airlines, such as JetSuiteX, from operating out of an FBO. 

–Restrict the operational hours of the FBOs to match the hours of the commercial curfew. 

Further, the City is asking for a requirement that any future lease amendments pertaining to these provisions be approved by the Board of Supervisors. You can find more information about the City’s efforts at www.newportbeachca.gov/gaip.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of August 13 was 930 and the total cases in Orange County was 42,171. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 13 was 32,984. 

These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. The State reports that recent issues with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic laboratory reporting system have been resolved, and that the case counts are now up to date. 

COVID-19 News and Resources 

The State’s “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees and more. The document, available at this link, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees. 

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 714.834.2000, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. County staff monitors the hotline and email box and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more. 

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, go here for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state, and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Library and local organizations like SCORE, including online learning and business databases. You can also follow the City on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and look for alerts from our City staff on Nextdoor

CDBG Economic Development Grant Program 

The City is inviting qualified small business owners to apply for a second round of COVID-19 relief grants. Applications will be accepted between August 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. and August 28, 2020 at 5 p.m. The latest round of funding, about $470,000, is from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as well as CARES Act funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To be eligible to apply for the grants, a business will need to demonstrate the need for financial support that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, being forced to shut down and/or had to lay off employees). Under CDBG requirements, the business must also meet certain low-income criteria for the owner or employees. Grant applications were available as of August 14, 2020 at 9 a.m. 

For more information or to watch one of the informational webinars on the grant program, please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/cdbgedgrant.

CDD Second Quarter Report (April – June 2020) 

The Community Development Department (CDD) Second Quarter Activity Report is now available at www.newportbeachca.gov/cdd. The report compiles operational statistics to illustrate the volume of business activity that the department handles on a quarterly basis. This past quarter, CDD faced operational challenges due to the COVID-19 crisis. Staff worked out logistics on how to safely maintain development services for the community during the closure and for a brief reopening in May, which limited customer access into the Permit Center. Staff continued to improve the Project Submittal Instructional website to provide alternatives to the public with submitting projects online, or through a “bin” drop-off and pick-up system for applications and plans. 

Circulation Element Update 

At its regular meeting on August 20, 2020, the Planning Commission will review and discuss its newly assigned task of discussing and guiding policy changes related to transportation and circulation within a public forum for the Circulation Element update. The meetings will serve as one of several ways the public can participate in the discussion of community transportation and circulation issues. As a note, the Planning Commission meetings will not serve as the primary means of community outreach, rather these meetings will supplement the work of the Housing Element Update Advisory Committee (HEUAC) and will serve as an additional opportunity for public participation. 

The Planning Commission is scheduled to review this item and provide any necessary direction to staff at a regular meeting to be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at the City of Newport Beach Council Chambers, 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660. The staff report and agenda can be found here

For questions regarding this item, please contact Ben Zdeba, AICP, Senior Planner at 949.644.3253 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Jim Campbell, Deputy Community Development Director at 949.644.3210 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Homelessness Update 

Addressing homelessness continues to be a priority in the City’s ongoing COVID-19 response, working closely with contractor City Net and regional partners throughout the county and state. Recently, people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness have been placed in motels through Project Roomkey, a state initiative to provide shelter during COVID-19. Newport Beach staff and City Net staff are collaborating with the Illumination Foundation, a local non-profit agency working with the state to facilitate Project Roomkey. 

Success Stories: 

–A longtime Newport Beach resident who has experienced homelessness for many years was enrolled into a sober living home. He completed a medical detoxification program to qualify. With his new sobriety, the man accepted a job offer with his former employer and is working again. His ongoing case management is a collaborative effort between the Newport Beach Police Department’s Homeless Liaison Officer, the City’s Homeless Coordinator, City Net case managers, and staff from Share Our Selves. 

–Staff placed a man into Project Roomkey and coordinated transportation to the motel. Staff continues to provide them with housing assistance and case management. 

–City Net staff completed five Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments, used to screen clients to determine proper placement in the County’s Continuum of Care system. Some assessment factors include age, health issues, and length of time being unsheltered. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing. 

–City Net staff continues to provide support and case management to several elderly people sheltering in motels while they await placement into permanent, supportive housing. 

The City Net hotline number is 714.451.6198. Those who call the hotline may leave a detailed voicemail message for themselves or others in need and City Net staff will respond within 48 hours. For immediate assistance call the County’s Crisis Prevention Hotline at 877.7.CRISIS or 877.727.4747. To enroll in Project Roomkey, call 714.834.3000. 

OASIS Senior Center Activities & Assistance 

Although OASIS remains closed to “in person” activities, staff is very much available to assist the senior community in a variety of ways. Services such as transportation, meals-on-wheels, information and referral, senior assessments, medical Insurance counseling, legal information, medical equipment loan program, sharps container distribution, and friendly phone calls are just a few services that are being offered. Staff has also developed an array of virtual programs that one can Zoom into and join. A few examples are a “Coffee Talk with staff,” “Best Vacation I’ve Ever Had” discussion, and “DIY Flower Arranging” and health lectures. Additionally, on demand programs have been posted on the OASIS webpage to include “Cooking with Staff” demos, “Car Care Tips” and “Weekly Brain Teasers.” It’s our ongoing goal to help our older adult population stay connected while “staying at home.” For more information and assistance please call the center Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 949.644.3244 or online at www.newportbeachca.gov/OASIS so we can assist you.


COVID-19: 949 cases in Newport Beach to date

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 949 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of 11 cases yesterday, August 16, a per capita rate of 10.886 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 810 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including one new death received yesterday. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 43,709 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 342 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 57 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 422 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 133 are in ICU.

The county estimates 34,461 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 16 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 16 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 16 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 16, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 20 new deaths reported in OC today, 513 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 809 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 938 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases today, a per capita rate of 10.759 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 43,367 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 513 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 57 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 434 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 138 are in ICU.

The county estimates 34,115 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 15 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 15 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 15 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 15, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 20 new deaths reported in OC today, 683 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 789 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 20 new deaths received today. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents.

The county reports that there have been 934 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases today, a per capita rate of 10.713 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 42,854 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 683 cases today. 

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 56 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 436 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 152 are in ICU.

The county estimates 33,697 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 14 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 14 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 14 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 14, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Orange County Community Foundation to host Greatness Amplified Giving Day

On August 26, the Orange County Community Foundation (OCCF), based in Newport Beach, will host Greatness Amplified, a Giving Day for Boys and Girls Clubs in Orange County. Together, the 13 Boys and Girls Clubs aim to raise $150,000 to provide critical services to children and families in the midst of the pandemic. 

The participating organizations include Boys and Girls Clubs in Anaheim-Cypress, Brea-Placentia-Yorba Linda, Capistrano Valley, Central Orange Coast, Fullerton, Garden Grove, Huntington Valley, Laguna Beach, La Habra, South Coast Area, Stanton, Tustin and Westminster.

“In the midst of a public health crisis, we are proud to once again be supporting our local Boys and Girls Clubs to maximize their positive impact on children and youth throughout Orange County,” said Shelley Hoss, president and CEO, OCCF. “We continue to be inspired by the resiliency of our local nonprofits and the outpouring of generosity from the Orange County community during these uncertain times.”

Orange County Community boy

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Submitted photo

Thirteen Boys and Girls Clubs aim to raise $150,000 for critical services to children and families during the pandemic

Since the pandemic began, the aligned clubs have monitored health and safety guidelines and crafted strategies to support members and local communities with enhanced summer enrichment programs, youth and family virtual programming and college-bound virtual services. While adhering to public safety guidelines, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Orange County have been working tirelessly to serve youth through their summer programs and ensure the community receives needed support and mentorship.

Now in its third year, Greatness Amplified is the latest in a series of Collaborative Giving Days launched by OCCF to boost the capacity of local nonprofits. OCCF will power the Greatness Amplified campaign with seed funding to support the marketing assets, campaign resources and collaborative partnerships.

This Giving Day is the latest of a series that, to date, has raised more than $10 million for Orange County nonprofits. OCCF first challenged Orange County residents to “give where their heart lives” during the inaugural iheartoc Giving Day in 2015, raising more than $1.8 million for 347 participating nonprofits in just 30 hours. In 2018, OCCF restructured iheartoc as an expanded opportunity for nonprofits to connect with one another in support of their shared missions.

To give online, visit https://greatness-amplified-giving-day.ocnonprofitcentral.org/.

Additional collaborative Giving Days will be announced throughout the year. For more information, visit www.oc-cf.org/iheartoc.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast serves Newport Beach.


Liverpool FC International Academy offers free youth soccer skills clinics

Liverpool FC International Academy SoCal Newport Mesa is excited to offer free youth soccer skills clinics for local Newport youths ages 6-11, to be held in Newport Beach.

Following the recent announcement from the County of Orange authorizing the return of youth sports, LFCIA So Cal, one of Orange County’s premier youth soccer programs, has organized this opportunity for the benefit of all interested Newport youth soccer players to get back on the field, while maintaining safe return to play protocols and following all CDC youth sports requirements.

Liverpool FC two boys

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Courtesy of Liverpool FC International Academy

Liverpool FC International Academy teaches soccer skills adhering to CDC safety protocols

Free skills clinics for boys and girls ages 6-11 years old, conducted by professional camp leaders and accredited coaches, will take place Saturdays on August 15, 22 and 29, from 9-10:30 a.m. at Bonita Canyon Sports Park, Field #5, located at 1702 Ford Road, Newport Beach.

In order to reserve your child’s spot, register at www.freecamp.lfciasocal.com. Space is limited. Let’s get kids outside and active.

For more information, contact Barb Salamoff, LFCIA SoCal Director of Community Outreach, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Newport Beach is your education destination

With the start of the school year upon us, there are plenty of opportunities to continue to learn outside the “classroom.” Newport Beach is filled with educational subjects and experiences for children of all ages. Here are some places to explore from science, art and history “classes” with plenty of time for recess...so go re-discover our community with the youngsters. Practice social distancing and wear face coverings when you come in close contact with others.

Science Class:

Crystal Cove Tide Pools. When the water recedes at low tide, rocks are revealed with pools of ocean water along the shoreline. Peek inside and you will find a thriving habitat filled with many living organisms. It is prohibited to pick up or remove any plants or animals living in this marine protected area, so observe a variety of sea creature where they are. The four viewing areas include Reef Point, Rocky Bight, Pelican Point and Treasure Cove. To see species you might find from crabs, sea stars and sea anemones to aquatic plants and more, visit www.crystalcovestatepark.org/tide-pool-creatures/. Wear shoes with a good grip.

Newport Beach is your education tidepools

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

At low tide in Crystal Cove, view myriad sealife that call tidepools home

Back Bay Science Center | Virtual Classroom. The Back Bay Science Center is temporarily closed, but they’ve put together an interactive guideline on the ecology and biology of the Upper Newport Bay. After, make the virtual classroom a reality by taking a stroll along the 3.5-mile Back Bay loop filled with diverse plant and animal life. www.oppia.org/explore/PGWzeIEYjHxZ

Crystal Cove Conservancy | Virtual Project Crystal. The Crystal Cove Conservancy, Crystal Cove State Park and UC Irvine have designed a program to address concepts such as plant ecology, the water cycle and how new scientific ideas can protect undeveloped spaces. Participants will learn about real-life challenges in protecting Moro Canyon while investigating scientific questions, designing a model, setting up an experiment, analyzing data and ultimately creating a recommendation for Crystal Cove State Park. Project Crystal is designed for the fifth grade curriculum and is available online through Google Classroom. Visit their site for more information. https://crystalcove.org/education/distance-learning/virtual-project-crystal/

Art Class:

Newport Beach Civic Center Sculpture Garden. Twenty unique sculptures can be viewed at Newport Beach’s Civic Center Park which are part of an ongoing exhibition from the city. The 14-acre park is a local’s favorite for a leisurely stroll along various paths which take you to each sculpture, including 10 new ones in Phase V. There is an elevated vantage point above the park which showcases sweeping ocean views and 360 vistas of the coastline. Go here for more information and to view the newest installations.

Newport Beach is your education Fractured Peace

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Courtesy of NB Cultural Arts

 “Fractured Peace” by artist Nancy Mooslin is among the Phase V sculptures at Civic Center Park

Timree Paint Studio | Online Paint Classes. Timree Paint Studio in Westcliff makes it easy for your little ones to discover their inner artist. Sign up for a variety of online streaming packages for live classes and access to previously recorded streams so the creativity never stops. Paint kits are also available to order which comes with all the necessary art supplies in one easy box. Visit Timree’s website for more information. Timree Paint Studio makes it easy for your little ones to discover their inner artist! Sign up for a variety of online streaming packages for live classes and access to previously recorded streams so the creativity never stops. Paint kits are also available to order which comes with all the necessary art supplies in one easy box. Visit Timree’s website for more information. www.timree.com

Crystal Cove Conservancy | Virtual Summer Art Camp. Crystal Cove Conservancy’s ongoing Virtual Summer Art Camp is designed for artists of all levels! Participants will learn about the fundamentals of art such as tools, concepts and composition and will ultimately put it all together to create their very own Crystal Cove inspired drawing or painting. The program is free to join and no special materials are required. Visit their site for more information. https://crystalcove.org/education/distance-learning/virtual-summer-art-camp/

History Class:

Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society | Virtual 10 Minutes History Talks. The Balboa Island Museum is an homage to the deep history of Balboa Island and its inhabitants. The museum is temporarily closed but has created “10 Minutes History Talks,” a series of videos with museum curator, Celeste, on topics that are part of Newport Beach’s rich history such as sailing, whaling, important figures and more. www.balboaislandmuseum.org/

Recess:

Balboa Ferris Wheel. Sometimes life is about enjoying the little things. Ride the Ferris Wheel at the FunZone. Take a ride up to the sky, grab your favorite scoops of ice cream from Cowafornia Ice Cream & Coffee and spend some quarters on the old-school games at the arcade. Yes, life’s a beach.

Newport Beach is your education ferris wheel

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

The Balboa Ferris Wheel, a Peninsula landmark, offers great harbor views

Glow in the Dark Stand Up Paddleboarding. Available only during the summer, SUP Glow by Pirate Coast Paddle Company hosts a guided night tour through the calm waters of Newport Harbor. A magical experience that is not to be missed. www.visitnewportbeach.com/tours-and-whale-watching/pirate-coast-paddle-company/

Newport Beach is your education white egret

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Courtesy of Newport Bay Conservancy

A white egret at Upper Newport Bay

Walk the Back Bay. Whether you take a shortcut or hike the entire 10.5-mile loop, the Back Bay is filled with fresh air and sweeping views. It’s family friendly, dog friendly and social distancing friendly, no matter what time of day you go. View the birds and waterfowl that migrate here or call the Back Bay home. www.visitnewportbeach.com/vacations/back-bay/

Stroll Sherman Library & Gardens. Spend a few hours getting lost among lush greenery, the sound of fountains and the smell of fresh flowers. This summer, check out Sculptura Botanica, an exhibit of botanically themed installation of sculptures from local landscape designer, Dustin Gimbel. www.thesherman.org


COVID-19: 24 new deaths reported in OC, 348 new cases

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 769 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 24 new deaths received yesterday. There have been 14 deaths of Newport Beach residents, including two new deaths received yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of nine cases yesterday, a per capita rate of 10.668 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that there have been 42,171 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 348 cases yesterday. 

The county reports that 29 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 438 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 143 are in ICU.

The county estimates 32,984 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 13 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 13 20 2

 COVID 19 County 8 13 20 3

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Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 13, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

It’s election time and the attacks are on

Tom Hoag maskYou can tell we’ve entered campaign season for the November election. Personally, I’m not big on the slanderous attacks on opponents from one candidate to the other. Unfortunately, that’s too often now become the norm. Me, I’d rather hear what they’re going to do for me, rather than hearing them just rip someone else.

But, from the looks of things, character attacks certainly appear to be the case in the early battle for the 48th Congressional seat.

For example, incumbent Harley Rouda claims that Michelle Steel is “Orange County’s most corrupt politician” in awarding one of the General Aviation contracts to a “donor.”

Or, Michelle Steel’s counterattack on Rouda calling him “sickening for his politicization of the pandemic,” or his attendance at “racist frat parties.”

Former Newport Beach Mayor and current councilmember Diane Dixon, in her race for the 74th Assembly seat, attacks her opponent, Cottie Petrie-Norris, for voting on a bill that “ended young careers and destroyed the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of hard-working independent Californians.”

It got me wondering, did Cottie really wake up that morning thinking, “How can I screw over the greatest number of Californians in one fell swoop?”

Hardly, but get used to it.

We have nearly three months ahead of us with some very hotly contested races. Certainly the 48th Congressional is big since Dana Rohrabacher lost to Rouda two years ago. This year you figure the Republicans are coming hard after Rouda, not only to get that seat back, but also for the fact that Michelle is the wife of Republican National Committee member Shawn Steelzone. His mere presence brings a lot of money and attention to this race.

The Petrie-Norris/Dixon matchup is also hotly contested. Petrie-Norris beat Matthew Harper to take away one of the few Republican seats still heading to Sacramento. Dixon has an uphill task, fighting the stigma in which no Newport Beach City Council person has ever gone on to be elected to a higher office. Sure, she joins a list of a number of others who have tried, all to no avail.

Here in the City, we have four residents vying for two Council seats and seven locals battling it out for two school seats representing Newport Beach on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board.

Incidentally, the first debate has been scheduled for City Council by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce. The Candidates Forum will take place via Zoom on Thursday, August 20 at 9 a.m. 

Lucy Dunn, CEO of the Orange County Business Council, will moderate the panel.

Attendees are required to register here.

• • •

As you might expect, the coronavirus pandemic has not been kind recently to restaurants. A forced restaurant closure in March, followed by a hopeful re-opening and then another closure in the months following crushed many pocketbooks. The latest casualties are Provenance and The Counter.

Provenance, an upscale restaurant in Eastbluff, was owned by chef Cathy Pavlos. She closed her doors last Sunday after operating the place dating back to 2014.

The Counter, located in the Westcliff Shopping Center, initially closed for coronavirus, and just never re-opened. The place has now been cleared out and for lease signs now fill the windows. So much for a good hamburger.

Those are just two of the struggles happening everywhere. So what’s Newport Beach doing about it? In speaking with marketing guru Doug McClain, associated with both Visit Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Restaurant Association, they’re planning a big September “Restaurant Month.”

For 30 days, residents will be encouraged to dine out and support our many local eateries. Doug told me there will be contests and prizes available all month long in an effort to get people dining out. Look for details in Stu News in the coming days, and then clear out your calendars to make time to support our restaurants. More than ever, they need it.

• • •

Do you like my new mask? I’m thrilled with it and why not, it’s from one of my favorite places, Hoag Hospital. Well, to be fair, it’s actually from Hoag’s Hospital Foundation, courtesy of Cara Uisprapassorn, the Executive Director of Donor Experience.

If you’re not friends with Hoag, you might want to be, especially during these trying times. Of course, you’re talking to someone whose life has been saved there more than once.

Thanks Cara, I’ll wear it proudly.

This one replaces the previous orange one with a smile worn in the last few issues, sent to me by Deanne Thompson at John Wayne Airport.


Summer living

Summer living seals

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Photo by Kevin Pellon (Instagram @socalsnapz) 

These seals have the right idea for a relaxing night in Newport Beach


Sunset surf sessions

Sunset surf wave

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Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers)

Surfer Parker Cohn enjoys the surf at dusk in our beautiful city


THE LOT launches Summer Drive-In Series

THE LOT in Fashion Island kicked off its three-week outdoor summer movie experience on Thursday, Aug. 13 with the Newport Beach Film Festival’s Spotlight and World Premiere of The Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story, directed by Dana Brown.

All the films take place in a drive-in format on the upper level of the parking structure located between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom at Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach).

Tonight, Friday, Aug. 14, enjoy Transformers: The Last Knight (PG-13) and on Saturday, Aug. 15 and Sunday, Aug. 16 take in The Goonies (PG). Screenings start at approximately 8 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. Each ticket purchased at $60 is valid for one car and all passengers inside. The number of passengers must not exceed the number of safety belts/seats in your vehicle. Also, each ticket comes with a $20 gift card to THE LOT, which can’t be used for the drive-in series. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Transformers: The Last Knight synopsis: The key to saving the future lies buried in the secrets of the past and the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. Now, it’s up to the unlikely alliance of inventor Cade Yeager, Bumblebee, an English lord and an Oxford professor to save the world. For tickets and more information, go here.

The Goonies synopsis: The family favorite about a group of young misfits called The Goonies who discover an ancient map and set out on an adventure to find a legendary pirate’s long-lost treasure. For tickets and more information, go here.

Additional movies and showtimes to be announced.


Local rolling in U.S. Amateur golf championship

Newport Beach’s Stewart Hagestad, who plays out of Big Canyon Country Club, has advanced to the quarterfinals of the United States Amateur Championships taking place this week at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Oregon.

Yesterday, Hagestad beat Harrison Ott, from Brookfield, Wis., 4 & 3 in the Round of 16. He got off to a fast start, winning four of the first six holes. Then, after losing the 9th and 11th holes, Hagestad won the 12th and the 14th, before closing off the match at 15.

Earlier rounds had Hagestad beating Spencer Tibbits of Vancouver, Wash., 3 & 1 in the Round of 32 and beating Argentinian Abel Gallegos in the Round of 64, 1 up. In that match, Gallegos took a 1 up lead into the 17th hole, before Hagestad came back birdieing the 17th and 18th holes to win the match.

In today’s Quarterfinals, Hagestad plays Tyler Strafaci of Davie, Fla. Strafaci won perhaps the most controversial match of the Championship yesterday, when, with the match tied on the 18th hole, his opponent’s caddy was penalized with loss of hole for “testing the sand” in a fairway bunker to cost his player the match.

Strafaci is a highly ranked player out of Georgia Tech and earlier this summer captured the North & South Amateur.

The tournament kicked off earlier in the week with two rounds of medal play. Hagestad shot rounds of 73-66 to finish tied for 11th, becoming one of 64 players to advance to match play.

Hagestad qualified for this year’s Amateur through earning multiple exemptions as a playing member of the 2017 and 2019 Walker Cup, as the eighth-ranked golfer in the Men’s World Amateur Golf Rankings, as a winner/runner-up/quarterfinalist from the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship (2016 Champion and 2019 quarterfinalist), as a 2019 U.S. Open Championship qualifier and for making the round of 64 at the 2019 U.S. Amateur Championship.


Newport Beach tourism is showing some signs of life

By GARY SHERWIN

While most parts of the country are sweating out the dog days of summer, July and August are usually high season in Newport Beach with glorious days spent on the harbor and lazy days on the beach. It’s the time of year that makes our inflated real estate prices almost justifiable.

It is also our peak visitor season with hotels and home rentals nearly full and rates the highest. Of course, this annus horriblis (horrible year) is vastly different.

So where do we stand five months into the pandemic with our hospitality economy? Like everything these days, there is some good and bad news out there.

Since I am an optimist, here’s the positive stuff. People are visiting Newport Beach and they are spending. Properties like Lido House with its 130 rooms are doing strong business. Overall weekend summer business is also showing life and the average daily rate, a barometer of hotel health, is at $290 a night, about 15 percent lower than last year.

Restaurants with outdoor patios are doing well on the weekends as well, although overall volume is down with indoor dining off limits for now.

Gary Sherwin

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Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Recreational vehicle travel is especially popular this year and the Newport Dunes is reporting high occupancy for their pads. Those pads aren’t inexpensive either and sometimes cost more than a hotel room.

Nationwide, California continues to hold wide appeal as a safe and healthy destination to visit. The top destinations people have said they want to visit in the next six months include Florida, Las Vegas, Hawaii, followed by the Golden State.

On the flip side, citywide hotel occupancy is currently averaging about 40 percent a week when we are usually hitting about 85 percent this time a year. There are few, if any, international guests and most business is regional drive in although our office is getting calls from around the country about visiting. 

Two hotels, the Renaissance Newport Beach and Fashion Island Hotel, remain closed and several of the other hotels are not offering all their rooms for occupancy to promote social distancing. Safety is still a top concern.

To help make the most of the summer season, Visit Newport Beach has embarked on a significant Southern California digital marketing campaign that will run through the end of September with the theme line: “Newport Beach: A Summer Tradition.” Nostalgia goes down well in a pandemic.

Newport Beach started seeing an upward trend in June, but those numbers decreased in July as the virus spread grew and beaches were closed during July 4th. The monthlong upward trend in infection rates slowed business considerably but has since rebounded in August. Fortunately, this weekend is promising hot temperatures which is always good for tourism.

In the meantime, hotels are getting creative to generate revenue. Pelican Hill, the Balboa Bay Resort and others are capitalizing on all the weddings that have been canceled by offering “Elopement Packages” that allow an intimate group of people to gather and celebrate a couple’s nuptials. Demand has been brisk. In fact, my daughter was one of those brides last week and it created a wonderful memory for all of us. 

In this pandemic world we now live in, the thing that is often forgotten is that even thinking about a vacation or a special event, much less experiencing one, brings psychological lift for people. A recent study by Destination Analysts indicates that 6 in 10 people believe planning a trip in the next six months would give them happiness.

So just getting people to even think about planning a trip here is a good thing. While tourism business is slow right now, even encouraging people to dream about traveling in the future is worthwhile. Most people agree that their psychological health needs to be prioritized and that includes stress relief and relaxation by the anticipation of going somewhere.

Because, at the end of the day, tourism is all about creating magic moments and that’s what we excel at in Newport Beach. No virus can destroy that.

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


Supervisors name August 24 “Kobe Bryant Day”

Kobe Bryant

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Courtesy of Bryant Facebook Page

Kobe Bryant

The Orange County Supervisors, led by Board Chair Michelle Steel, voted earlier this week to officially make August 24 “Kobe Bryant Day.”

Bryant’s birthday is August 23 and 24 is significant because that was one of two numbers (also 8) that he wore throughout his career.

A Newport Beach resident, Bryant died January 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others on his way to a youth basketball tournament in Calabasas.

Steel said in her comments, “Bryant was a treasured member of our community” and “inspired so many men and women to pursue their dreams and never give up.”

In addition to the two Bryants, others who were killed in the crash included Payton Chester, Sarah Chester, Alyssa Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, John Altobelli, Christina Mauser, and the helicopter’s pilot, Ara Zobayan.

The Altobellis and Chesters were also from Newport Beach and Mauser coached at Harbor Day.


Take Five: Meet New NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Russell Lee-Sung

By AMY SENK

When the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) superintendent retired at the end of July, board members named Russell Lee-Sung as interim superintendent, and then in a 6-1 vote not long after, made him superintendent through June 2022. The vote was not without controversy – some said there should have been a national search, or a one-year contract. Board members, however, said he was well vetted, interviewed and would provide the district with stability during uncertain times. According to a district news release, Lee-Sung has 34 years’ experience in education and has been with the district since 2015. He has served as assistant superintendent, chief human resources officer, assistant superintendent, chief academic officer and, as of 2017, deputy superintendent, most recently guiding the district through COVID-19. I caught up with him to learn more.

Take Five Russell Lee Sung

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Courtesy of NMUSD

NMUSD Superintendent Dr. Russell Lee-Sung

Q: What have been the biggest challenges in the month or so since you’ve taken over the superintendent’s position?

A: The biggest challenge has been making sure we remain focused on creating and implementing a plan to reopen our schools, while keeping our employees both physically and mentally safe. With the rules and guidance changing this has been particularly difficult.

Q: How much impact did protests and petitions have in the decision to not go forward with the 4x4 plan?

A: It is important that we listen to all feedback, on any issue, regardless of what form it comes to us such as emails, letters, individual meetings, advisory meetings or petitions. On this issue, we probably would have reached the same decision with or without the protest since we had received feedback, both positive and negative, from a variety of sources. The 4x4 Model at our secondary schools has many benefits intended to reduce stress on students, allow for deeper learning for each course, and allow teachers to provide greater attention to fewer students per semester. There were clearly wide differences of opinions on the features and challenges that came with this model. Ultimately, our decision to not move forward was done in consultation with principals and the feedback received from parents, teachers, counselors and community. As a whole, it was evident that the necessary support for success for this model was not present at all school sites.

Q: What do you think the biggest challenges will be this school year?

A: In this environment, the greatest challenge throughout the year will be to keep everyone physically and mentally safe. This is expected to be a year of continuous adjustment to changing conditions and regulations while educating our students. Building connections and relationships with our students and establishing routines is essential and obviously a challenge when not physically together. I know our teachers and principals are already thinking about the best methods to get to know their students and to create structure and routine. In addition, adjusting what and how we teach in a remote setting or switching to a cohort of half of our students at a time will also be a significant challenge. With all of these challenges our staff is preparing to provide the highest quality instructional program and mental health support, regardless of the instructional model we are in throughout the year.

Q: When you aren’t working, how do you relax? What are your hobbies and pastimes? 

A: I enjoy playing the piano, reading a variety of non-fiction books and follow professional sports such as the Dodgers (sorry Angels fans) and Lakers. As much as possible, I also spend time with my two adult sons to stay connected with them and their careers. 

Q: What is a typical day like for a superintendent in this crazy time of COVID?

A: It is typical for superintendents and other leaders to work long days. However, during this crisis the long days, ranging from 12 to 17 hours, have been the norm as well as many hours each weekend. This is not exclusive to the superintendent during this time. Many NMUSD leaders and employees have been working long hours and days to keep up with the demand. Zoom has been the primary source of our communication and collaboration around problem-solving and decision-making. We all do our part to support each other and to keep each other going day to day. As superintendent, I have been trying to do my best to keep our trustees and public up to date and to listen to and seek feedback so we can constantly adjust, prepare and continue to lead the district.   

~~~~~~~~

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


Former NB Councilmember Richard “Dick” Nichols passes 

Former Newport Beach City Councilmember Richard “Dick” Nichols passed away Friday, August 7. He was 80 years old.

Nichols was elected to the Council in November 2002 to represent District 6 as a supporter of the Greenlight initiative, a growth-control measure that Newport Beach voters passed in 2000. However, his tenure quickly became marked with controversy after making repeated racially insensitive comments in 2003. 

Several examples were, “What I have a problem with is illegal aliens with special rights demanding special treatment,” and implying that “Mexicans improperly cause accidents and then collect money from the victims.”

Later, while the Council was discussing a potential expansion of the grassy area at Corona del Mar State Beach, Nichols said, “With grass we usually get Mexicans coming in there early in the morning and they claim it as theirs, and it becomes their personal, private grounds all day.”

In the days following that comment, the remaining six councilmembers attempted to force Nichols to resign in front of a standing room only audience, split between supporters and opponents. The effort was unsuccessful, but Nichols was publicly rebuked.

Former NB Councilmember Nichols

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Courtesy City of Newport Beach

Richard “Dick” Nichols

Steve Bromberg, who served as mayor at the time, challenged Nichols for what he saw as a “pattern of racially derogatory speech.”

In 2006, when Nichols was seeking a second term, the Orange County Republican Party central planning committee voted overwhelmingly to not endorse him. He subsequently lost his re-election bid. 

In the years following, he was a member of the Republican Party Orange County Central Committee.

He was a long-time small business owner. His education included a B.S. in Science Engineering, and a M.S. & Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University, where he proudly claimed to have played football under coaching legend Ara Parseghian.

His arrangements are under the care of Pacific View Memorial Park and Mortuary. No public services are scheduled at this time.


Church gathering fills Pirate’s Cove beach

Church gathering

Photo by Mike Villani

Despite coronavirus concerns, many of the Orange County faithful are still gathering for prayer and baptism, many times along our coastal fronts. This photo taken from just offshore on the evening of Friday, July 31, shows a rather large gathering around 6:30 p.m. in Pirate’s Cove at Big Corona.


High school athletics can begin Monday with guidelines

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) will reopen high school athletics beginning this Monday, Aug. 17, under specific guidelines issued by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) for youth sports and school-based athletics. 

At this time, state guidelines permit only outdoor activities and require all athletes to maintain social distancing of at least six feet and a stable cohort. 

For sports that cannot be conducted with sufficient distancing or cohorting, only conditioning and training is permitted. Any activity that promotes congregating is not permitted at this time (i.e. competitions, events, assemblies). 

NMUSD has developed a plan in accordance with the state guidelines along with an approval process that must be followed in order for each athletic team to begin activity. Athletic directors and coaches have been notified of the plan and approval process. 

Once athletics have reopened, NMUSD school-based programs will begin to consider outside user (non-district) groups where possible and while maintaining safety on at campuses and facilities. 

Many frequently asked questions regarding youth sports policies by the CDPH can be found here.


On the Harbor: Experience our bay on a Duffy

By LEN BOSE

This week, I spent a lot of time shuttling Duffy electric boats to and from the shipyard for prospective buyers to complete their inspection process before they purchase a boat. The Duffy market has exploded this year with the demand reaching new heights. From what I am hearing, this is true across the board in the marine boating market. Similarities are also heard from the recreational vehicles market. I am a superstitious man so the less I say about the increased activity the better.

Let’s just say if you are considering moving to a brand new Duffy and selling the boat you already have, there has never been a better time. I sound like a salesman right, yet it is true. In the meantime, let me take you back to some of my fondest memories aboard an electric boat.

While on the harbor, during these warm summer days, I thought back to all the good times I have had while cruising the harbor.

As a college student, I recalled all the Friday nights we found a place to park the boat in the Rhine Channel, starting our night at Snug Harbor, and working our way down the channel to Woody’s Wharf.

Quite often, we would meet some new friends and introduce them to the harbor by returning to the Duffy and continuing to cruise down the peninsula, frequently stopping by the yacht clubs and other favorite restaurants to use their facilities and partake in the local nightlife.

Favorite stops along the route included the Studio Cafe, which we referred to as the “Who Do You Know.” Then we stopped off at Dillman’s, Class of ‘47, and the Balboa Saloon before returning to the boat, many times with new crew members.

On numerous occasions, many of our new crew had never experienced the harbor aboard a Duffy.

On the Harbor Len Bose

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jennifer Bose

Len Bose aboard a Duffy electric boat

As proper gentlemen and yachtsmen, we could not comprehend how anyone could miss out on experiencing our harbor at night, with the moon, stars and lights reflecting off the rippling water. In the late summer months, during a red tide, the bright, glowing bioluminescence in the water was more entertaining than the laserium.

Staying on course, we would then cruise down to the east end of the harbor and visit the two Corona del Mar yacht clubs before stopping on Balboa Island at the Village Inn. Many times, our visits were short, because it was more fun to be on the harbor rather than in a crowded restaurant.

Other frequent stops were the lighthouse beach on Harbor Island, the different water slides around the harbor, or a climb up on one of the fiberglass whales in Newport Dunes. If the water was still warm and the tide high, there was the occasional thought of jumping off one of the harbor bridges before returning to our starting waypoint.

On one of these summer nights, there was one crew member who grabbed my complete attention. Our first date was a Duffy cruise, just the two of us, and a stop for dinner at George’s Camelot in Lido Village. While leaving the restaurant, when rounding Z mark and heading under the Lido Isle bridge, I asked if it would be okay to kiss her. Two years later in the same location, where we jumped off a bridge together and had our first kiss, I asked her to marry me.

Now, 20 years later, I and that same crew member, now promoted to the first mate, along with our teenage deck hand, take Duffy harbor cruises together. Our deck hand has heard the story before and is uninterested each time we reminisce about all of our good times together. The stops along the route are less frequent and the nights much shorter. What has not changed is the beauty of our harbor and how my first mate looks at me each time we pass under the Lido bridge.

If you have never taken a Duffy electric boat cruise around our harbor, I highly recommend it. The truly priceless time on the water with your high school friends or your grandchildren will be cherished throughout your lifetime.

There are many places to rent a Duffy for the night – from the Duffy rentals on Pacific Coast Highway, the Irvine Company, Marina Boat Rentals at the Balboa Fun Zone and Windward Sailing Club.

If you are considering a new Duffy, just stop by the Duffy showroom and ask for Matt or Jim. No high-pressure sales from this team; they just want to make sure you enjoy your harbor experience.

Should you wish to look over what the brokerage Duffys have been selling for, please visit my blog site at http://boseyachts.blogspot.com.

Sea ya.

~~~~~~~~

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


Clay Lacy Aviation and ACI Jet led general aviation lease awardees at JWA

The Orange County Board of Supervisors approved three companies Tuesday, August 11, to provide services for general aviation services at John Wayne Airport. 

The companies selected are Clay Lacy Aviation, ACI Jet and Jay’s Aircraft Maintenance, all of which will now move ahead to negotiate leases with JWA officials, which then will go to the supervisors for final approval.

Three different parcels were awarded. Clay Lacy Aviation received the Northwest Parcel, ACI Jet the Northeast and Jay’s Aircraft Maintenance the Southwest.

Clay Lacy and ACI are defined as Full Service FBOs and will provide a full-complement of services including fuel, tie downs, maintenance, aircraft hangars, offices and other ground handling services.

Additionally they both offer a variety of other services including charters, avionics repairs and upgrades, and parts and warranty sales and service.

All three companies receive 35-year leases. 

Clay Lacy Aviation general aviation plane

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Courtesy of JWA

John Wayne Airport is the home base for approximately 500 private general aviation aircraft

Some of the more controversial issues brought up during the process have included hours of flight operations, eventual buildout of hangar facilities and the possibility of establishing customs facilities.

General aviation services do not fall under the agreements previously negotiated that established curfews for commercial aircraft, leaving open for concern their potential hours of operation.

Additionally, critics against the process also have been concerned about future hangar buildouts being more targeted to larger jet facilities, rather than smaller private plane usage and smaller commercial services skirting the main terminal.

Supervisor Chair Michelle Steel has assured concerned Newport Beach leaders that provisions will be included during the negotiating stages protecting hours of operation, noise levels, hangar buildout and excluding facilities that would include customs facilities for international general aviation flights. However, that all remains to be seen. During discussions this week, while Steel pushed for those approvals, she received pushback from supervisors Andrew Do and Lisa Bartlett.

Scott Cutshall, senior vice president of business operations for Clay Lacy Aviation said, “Our goal was to bring our services to the airport, so we are delighted to be selected. We are also in full support of the city and community goal to include language in the leases that ensures the Steel Amendment throughout the term of the lease to protect space for small piston general aviation.”

Currently, JWA is the home base for approximately 500 private general aviation aircraft. General aviation accounts for a majority of JWA’s total aircraft operations, takeoffs and landings, representing 67 percent of Airport operations.

Atlantic Aviation, which also competed for one of the two full-service FBO locations, was unsuccessful in their attempt, despite scoring the highest in the county during the application process.


What’s happening at Newport Beach Public Library?

Although the library is closed to the general public, a lot is happening to take advantage of – from the mobile app and distance learning to virtual programs.

NBPL Mobile App: Take the Newport Beach Public Library with you using the new NBPL Mobile App. Find reading materials, eBooks & eAudio, news, online resources, special events and more.

~Search the catalog

~Manage your account

~Place holds and renewals

~Find your nearest library

~Access online resources

~Connect via social media

~Contact NBPL

Download the Newport Beach Public Library App from the Apple Store or Google Play Store and get started using the easy and convenient NBPL mobile app.

What s happening NB Library

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of NBPL

Newport Beach Central Library

Distance Learning Hub: Geared for students K-6th grade, NBPL librarians have created an extensive list of online educational resources to support educators, parents and caregivers with digital learning, and engage students grades K-6 on a wide variety of subjects. Subjects include Art & Music, Social Studies, Literacy and STEM. Create, read, code, meditate, write and travel with these distance learning resources at www.newportbeachlibrary.org/children/.

Curbside Service: Available Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., browse the Library Catalog and order library materials by placing holds using the website catalog. Pick up books, DVDs, audiobooks, video games, craft packs and more at your convenience. Eligible library materials will now automatically renew if there are no holds on loaned materials.

Virtual Programs

~Tune-in Tuesdays beginning on August 25 at 9:30 a.m. will feature stories, songs and interactive play, but doesn’t have to be Tuesday to watch. Look for storytimes at www.newportbeachlibrary.org/children/.

~This is What Blind Looks Like, now showing on YouTube. Twenty-six-year child development educator and author Kim Cox talks about her new book, This is What Blind Looks Like in this virtual interview. She has written a unique series of books, the Warrior Moms, designed to give children the skills to understand and talk about differences; and to learn positive ways to include classmates with unique needs through self-awareness, friendliness and empathy. Her books offer support for students, parents and educators.


Seaside Gallery & Goods welcomes author

Seaside Gallery Madeleine Westerhout

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Courtesy of Seaside Gallery & Goods

Seaside Gallery & Goods is making this summer special with a book signing engagement with author Madeleine Westerhout on Saturday, Aug. 15 from 2-5 p.m. in the Pelican Courtyard. Westerhout’s “Off the Record: My Dream Job at the White House, How I Lost It, and What I Learned” will be available onsite for purchase. This is a free outdoor, socially distanced engagement. Seaside Gallery & Goods is located at 124 Tustin Ave., Newport Beach.


COVID-19: 245 new cases reported in OC today, 11 new deaths

The OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 921 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in, sadly, the deaths of 12 Newport Beach residents. This represents a decrease of 22 cases and two deaths in Newport Beach today. 

The county reports that there have been 41,823 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 245 cases today. The county reports that 745 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including 11 new deaths received today.

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 63 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 440 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 141 are in ICU.

The county estimates 32,218 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 12 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 12 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 12 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 12, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 1,051 new cases reported in OC today, 10 new deaths

The OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 943 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in, sadly, the deaths of 14 Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of 11 cases in Newport Beach today, August 11, a per capita rate of 10.817 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 41,578 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 1,051 cases today. The county reports that 734 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC, including 10 new deaths received today.

However, a glitch in the California Department of Public Health’s data system has contributed to a number of “missing” case results, some of which have not yet been reported in state or county data. 

According to Dr. Clayton Chau, Acting Orange County Health Officer, the data glitch involved some 300,000 tests statewide, whose results – positive or negative – were not initially released.

The data glitch has been fixed, according to the state’s website, however not all data has been released.

“Recent issues found in the state’s electronic laboratory system that contributed to delays have been corrected. Today’s data include some cases from prior days, and we continue to work through the backlog,” the state’s website reads.

Until then, Dr. Chau said, the state has “paused” its watch list – meaning counties will not be added or removed from the list until after the glitch has been fixed and the backlogged case data released.

In regards to OC elementary schools that may be applying for a waiver to reopen in-person learning, Dr. Chau said those applications are also on hold. The county is accepting applications, but informing applicants that their applications cannot be processed until the data glitch is resolved.

“The conversation can’t start until we know what our community case rate is,” Dr. Chau said.

While daily positive cases and the testing positivity rate have been affected by the glitch, hospitalization and ICU data has not, according to Dr. Chau. The county reports that 36 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

Dr. Chau explained that the county also looks closely at hospital staffing levels, as having enough beds or ventilators does not necessarily mean the county will have adequate staffing.

The county reports that 441 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 141 are in ICU.

The county estimates 31,445 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 11 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 11 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 11 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 11, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Early CdM rancho days to 1915: A diamond in the rough

By DUNCAN FORGEY

The Bolsa de Joaquin Rancho included an inconspicuous and nameless bluff with wide open views of the expansive Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island on the horizon. For time eternal, this rocky point acted as a gateway to a swampy bay protected by a long peninsula of sand. Spanish overseers named the surrounding marshlands Ciénaga de las Ranas (swamp of frogs). The mesa to the south sat empty, awaiting its destiny.

In 1837, José Sepúlveda was granted ownership of the lands surrounding the bay. He built a family residence just north of the Back Bay near present day Santa Ana. By the end of the Mexican-American war in 1847, California went through rapid changes. After decades of wealth, a series of alternating droughts and floods and bad luck turned the tide for Sepúlveda and his huge cattle ranch.   Additionally, statehood, the discovery of gold and a huge increase in California’s population put an end to the ranchos.

In the 1860s, James Irvine, along with partners Llewellyn Bixby and Benjamin Flint, started purchasing large properties around Southern California. Irvine ended up with 108,000 acres which he named the Irvine Ranch. The purchase of the Irvine Ranch was the beginning of a transformation in Orange County that would rid it of agriculture. This included huge changes to Newport Bay and yet-to-be settled Corona del Mar. The Irvine dynasty was one important cog in the establishment of today’s Southern California megalopolis that extends from the Mexican border to Santa Barbara. 

Duncan's Early George Hart

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Sherman Library

George E. Hart

On June 29, 1904, Los Angeles real estate man George E. Hart, purchased 706.08 acres of ranch land prominent to the south side of the harbor and called it Rocky Point. With its large oceanfront beach, and sandstone cliffs, it overlooked the entrance to Newport Harbor. This purchase ran from present day Poppy Avenue east to the Back Bay and from the beach to approximately Fifth Street. 

Hart created a parcel map that included some 2,500 lots and streets within current “old” Corona del Mar, Irvine Terrace, Promontory Point and Bayside Drive. The deal was $10,000 down towards a total purchase price of $105,912.  This came to approximately $150 an acre. In early July 1904, lots in the new development of Corona del Mar went on the market.

W.B. Artz of Tustin and C.S. Forgy of Santa Ana were hired to handle the sales. By the 13th of July, Santa Ana’s newspaper the Daily Evening Blade reported that, “35 of the choicest and highest priced lots” had already sold.

Reality was quite different. Early sales were to C.D. Ball of Santa Ana – three lots, E.T Ames – four lots and Blanche Naylor – one lot. Prices ranged from $100 for standard lots with choice locations selling for as much as $750.

Homeowners in Corona del Mar pay top dollar for locations with any glimpse of the ocean. Today’s buyers expect to pay many millions to secure a view anywhere in Corona del Mar. Homes built prior to the 1950s were designed for comfort and warmth instead of views, and had smaller windows and centrally located fireplaces.

Money was paid in three annual payments, with the final payment due after the George E. Hart Company had completed certain aspects of the project. At this time in Corona del Mar’s history, there was no town structure, little water and access was difficult. Compared to other oceanfront towns (Redondo Beach, Long Beach, Santa Monica), the drive to CdM was long and arduous. Sales were difficult because building sites on the peninsula and Balboa Island seemed to make more sense. CdM’s inaccessibility would factor heavily into Hart’s eventual failure.

Upon purchase of a lot the contract contained the following promises:

–Standard Lots were to be 30’ x 118’ which is still true today.   

–A village would be established to support the homes.

–Irvine Company water would be made available for use. (initially a Buck Gully well).

–Pier Avenue (Marguerite) would be graded for one-half mile.

–A bayside and oceanfront pier would be built.

–All roads would be oiled.

These items were to be completed by the due date of the buyers’ third payment.

Another key marketing pitch was that the Pacific Electric Red Cars would push beyond Balboa and across the entrance channel to Electric Way in Corona del Mar. This would make access to Corona del Mar easier. It was never a guarantee, but rather a heavy topic for conversation. Hart further promised to build special fencing in town and pay taxes on the land. All of these incentives were promised based upon a projection of healthy sales. If the development proved unsuccessful, it would revert back to the Irvine Company.

Water was secured and the bayside pier was completed and functioned for a few years. The proposed 600-foot oceanfront pier at Big Corona beach ran into problems. In 1904, two storms damaged the structure under construction. The Blade announced large portions of the pier were washed away by “…breakers snapping off the piles close to the sand, as if cut by a knife.” It was never resurrected.

Payments by the few buyers stopped due to Hart’s failure to meet his contractual obligations. In all of 1904 only nine lots were sold. Indeed, Rocky Point and its new township were off to a rocky start.

By 1905, the Red Cars had stretched from Huntington Beach to the Pavilion building in Balboa. But that was as far as they got. Buses were available to continue down to the harbor’s entrance and launches were provided for rides to the bayside pier and Hotel Del Mar. Prohibition of alcohol was later added to the community’s rules. As a result, no lots sold in 1905 nor in 1906. 

Duncan Early CdM Bayside Drive

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Bayside Drive – Bayside Pier and Hotel Del Mar

Hart had to restructure the development. Trying to reduce his overhead, he deeded back 360 acres to the Irvine Company and maintained control of his “village,” consisting of a remaining 347 acres.

Hart built three roads (Back Bay Drive, Bayside Drive and Ocean Boulevard). His three-story Hotel Del Mar rose atop the bluff hoping to attract visitors and more importantly, buyers. Guests of the hotel had to drive an unpleasantly rough road around the Back Bay or take a water launch to the hotel. Captain Frank Vallely, Newport Harbor’s original ferryman was the go-to guy for keeping people moving about the tiny harbor. In his reign as the harbor’s main mariner, he recorded more hours on the water than anyone else.   

Duncan's Early CdM Halliday and Everett

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Early Corona del Mar homes, Halliday (L) and Everett (R)

Hotel Del Mar, like the development itself, was not a thriving enterprise. It opened seasonally during the hot summer months and weekends. It sold more meals than it had overnight guests. Any visitor to CdM was encouraged to buy a lot and incentivized with a one-third deduction in price if they built a house. Most visitors hurried home without a purchase. Despite the anticipated “building boom” with all the incentives, Corona del Mar could boast only 15 houses by 1915.

With his health in decline, George Hart decided to end his 11-year struggle with his beloved “Crown of the Sea.” He disposed of his land after a total of 100 sales since its inception. Aside from the three roads, the hotel and a couple of sidewalks, the remainder of his “village” was raw land full of critters, birds and snakes.

On January 14, 1915, International Indemnity Company floated a $30,000 loan allowing Hellman Commercial Trust and Savings Bank of LA to sell the land to the F.D. Cornell Company. This confusing transfer took over a year and a half to culminate. Fay Dey Cornell started the transformation of the village long before the ink had dried on the deal. Mr. Cornell, nephew of Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, was ready to make Corona del Mar a success. George E. Hart, on the other hand, received 5,000 acres of agriculture lands known as Rancho El Sobrante adjacent to the city of Riverside. Corona del Mar was starting yet another stage of its mercurial growth.

Duncan Early CdM Hendicks

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Dr. William “Bill” Hendricks

This account is dedicated to two of Corona del Mar’s most noted historians: Dr. William “Bill” Hendricks, director of the Sherman Library for 48 years and Douglas Westfall author of The History of Corona del Mar. 

~~~~~~~~

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


City offering up second round of COVID-19 relief grants

The City of Newport Beach is inviting qualified small business owners to apply for a second round of COVID-19 relief grants. Applications will be accepted between August 14 at 9 a.m. and August 28 at 5 p.m.

Earlier this summer, the City awarded $2.1 million in small business grants with federal money from the CARES Act received by the County of Orange and distributed to Newport Beach for small business grants. The latest round of funding, about $470,000, is from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as well as CARES Act funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

As before, the Orange County Small Business Development Center will administer the grants. 

Applicants are encouraged to participate in one of two informational webinars on the grant program being offered on Tuesday, August 11 at 11 a.m., and Thursday, August 13 at 4 p.m. Click here to register for the webinars

To be eligible to apply for the grants, a business will need to demonstrate the need for financial support that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, being forced to shut down and/or had to lay off employees). Under CDBG requirements, the business must also meet certain low-income criteria for the owner or employees. 

Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to:

–The business must be a for-profit business, independently owned and operated, with the principal office located within Newport Beach city limits.

–The business must be legal and located in a commercial or industrial space.

–The officers of the business must reside in Orange County.

–The business must have an active Newport Beach business license for at least six months. 

–The business can have no more than 30 full-time employees, or an equivalent combination of full- and part-time employees, including the owner. 

In addition, the business applicant must meet the following CDBG eligibility requirements:

–The business owner’s current household income is at or below 80 percent of the Orange County median income, adjusted for household size; or

–The business intends to retain at least one full-time equivalent, permanent low- and moderate-income job, of which 51 percent of its employees are low- and moderate-income, full-time or equivalent employees. 

Grant applications will be available on August 14 at 9 a.m. 

For more information, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/cdbgedgrant.


County program incentivizes restaurants to follow COVID rules

The County of Orange announced the launch of a new SafeDineOC COVID-Safe Restaurant Campaign yesterday to incentivize restaurants to follow California Department of Public Health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Our restaurant owners across Orange County need help right now, and we need to take steps wherever possible to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District. “These grants give financial support to those owners to help cover costs that they are incurring to offer a safe, protected dining experience to their customers and workers.”

Restaurant owners may apply for a $1,000 grant per Orange County restaurant location for taking steps to create a COVID-safe environment for their customers and employees. The grant will reimburse restaurants for purchases of personal protective equipment including face masks, cleaning products, employee training and costs for physical distancing of tables and chairs, as examples.

“Restaurants drive our local economy, create thousands of jobs and generate millions in local tax revenue,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District. “SafeDineOC is a product of a proposal I brought to the board in mid-July to increase COVID-19 restaurant safety compliance while also supporting small businesses that are keeping their employees and customers safe.”

The SafeDineOC campaign is sponsored by the County of Orange and managed by the Orange County Business Council, which will handle intake and approval of all restaurant applications as well as disbursement of the $1,000 grants to restaurant owners. Through its comprehensive database of restaurants, the OC Health Care Agency will ensure the promotion of the campaign to all restaurant owners in the County.

Restaurants that apply and are approved will be added to a list of COVID-safe eateries organized by city that will be available to consumers on the SafeDineOC website. This online resource will enable the public to see which restaurants offer a safe dining experience in Orange County. 

The application form is in multiple languages and OCBC staff is available to answer questions. More information about the program may be found at www.safedineoc.com.

Restaurants that apply for the program must meet all qualifications, which will be verified by the OCBC. Funds will be distributed within 45 days. All restaurants must submit receipts for CARES ACT-qualified purchases for final reimbursement grant payment on purchases made March 1, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

“We all want to visit OC restaurants and feel safe,” said Orange County Business Council President Lucy Dunn. “The Board of Supervisors created a great program to reward restaurants that follow health protocols for today’s outdoor dining as well as preparing for future dine-in service when the time comes. OCBC commends the Board of Supervisors for their response. Innovative ideas and solutions like SafeDineOC ensure Orange County will remain on a path toward both good health and economic recovery.”


Hoag offers clinical trial for pancreatic cancer patients

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has been selected to conduct a Phase 2 clinical trial that researchers hope will demonstrate preliminary efficacy on pancreatic cancer.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of just five percent. The new combination therapy uses the body’s own immune system to fight off deadly cancer cells.

“Hoag will be the first in Orange County to offer cell therapy for solid tumors, and was exclusively selected as the only hospital in Orange County to offer this pancreatic cancer trial as part of its new cell therapy program,” said Burton L. Eisenberg, M.D., F.A.C.S., executive director of Hoag Family Cancer Institute and the Grace E. Hoag Executive Medical Director Endowed Chair.

“Pancreatic cancer is a deadly cancer. Our present-day therapies are better than they use to be, but science is not anywhere near where it needs to be for these patients,” Dr. Eisenberg said. “Hoag continues to push forward and expand our ability to offer patients with advanced pancreatic cancer new hope as we deliver on innovative treatments, such as immunotherapy clinical trials.”

Hoag offers clinical trial

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian

Hoag Cancer Center

This type of immunotherapy, also known as cell therapy, harnesses the body’s own immune system to target, kill and “remember” cancer cells. The agents involved in this pancreatic cancer clinical trial have been “designed” to find pancreatic cancer cells and initiate a large immune response against them. This may allow the body to develop its own antibodies to fight the cancer.

The treatment involves combining standard-of-care chemotherapy with investigational therapies, including cell therapy company NantKwest’s tumor-targeted natural killer cells, PD-L1 t-haNK; ImmunityBio’s superagonist, N-803, and the drug aldoxorubicin HCI. The trial will compare the results of the combination therapy against the use of chemotherapy alone in patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer.

“This unique approach to orchestrating the innate and adaptive immune systems to target and kill cancer cells may be an important new approach for pancreatic cancer patients,” said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of NantKwest and ImmunityBio. “We are excited to collaborate with Hoag to offer this investigational approach to more patients who suffer from pancreatic cancer.”

 Hoag’s commitment to innovation and excellence has earned the hospital a reputation as an effective partner for these investigational new therapies on par with leading academic centers.

“For many patients, especially those with advanced cancers, a clinical trial can offer a more effective treatment option than standard therapy,” Dr. Eisenberg said. “Hoag continues to relentlessly pursue innovative treatment options and leading-edge medical advances to deliver a level of care that is truly personalized medicine.”

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.764.4577.


Want a flood map property change? Now’s the time

Newport Beach property owners seeking FEMA approval for flood map changes based on the addition of soil (fill) to change land elevation or redirect waterways have until August 14, 2020 to submit applications. 

FEMA has advised the City that it is suspending application processing for Letters of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-Fs) and Conditional Letters of Map Revision based on fill (CLOMR-Fs) in the City of Newport Beach and other communities. 

If you are a property owner seeking one of these approvals, please be advised:

–Applications received after August 14 will NOT be accepted and will be suspended without issuing a determination.

–Applications that were sent before this effective date will be processed and completed provided that the documents have all the necessary information.

–Requests to reopen already existing LOMR-F and CLOMR-F applications must be received before August 14 (this applies to applications that were closed due to inactivity). 

Property owners are asked to direct questions to FEMA’s Julia Gillespie at 510.627.7248 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.v.


NB Film Festival to screen legendary surf filmmaker’s story at Fashion Island drive-in

The Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) announces a spotlight screening of the world premiere of A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story, directed by Dana Brown. Presented in partnership with Fashion Island and THE LOT, the film will be shown in an outdoor drive-in format on the upper level of the parking structure located between Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom at Fashion Island (401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach) on Thursday, Aug. 13 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Tickets for the screening went on sale August 3 for $75 per car. Each ticket

includes a $20 gift card for THE LOT, a signature Fashion Island tote bag and a

limited-edition movie poster designed by artist Troy Lee and autographed by

Dana Brown and Lee. This screening serves as a kick-off event for THE LOT Drive-In Summer Movie Series at Fashion Island, continuing weekly through August 30.

NB Film Festival Bruce Brown

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Photos by Bruce Brown Films

Bruce Brown

The Festival, which was originally scheduled for late April was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story was formally scheduled to be the Opening Night Film. Dates for the 21st annual Newport Beach Film Festival will be released at a later time.

A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story is the highly anticipated film from Dana Brown in partnership with Irvine-based SCS and Red Bull Media House. Brown lends his storytelling prowess to a truly memorable and personal piece of work in a form of a penned love letter to his father. A road trip turns into a rare, intimate look at the amazing life of his legendary father, Bruce Brown (The

Endless Summer and On Any Sunday). Dana started the project with his father as a long-overdue road trip they took together traveling up the west coast and Hawaii.

“The Film is a tribute to my father. Dad started the whole action sports film genre.He broke the mold; he broke the rules; he broke open the film category. There will never be another one like him,” said Dana Brown. “We could not think of a better fit for our world premiere then the Newport Beach Film Festival which

places such a strong focus on Action Sports programing and continually

acknowledges Dad’s legacy in the Southern California community.”

“The health and safety of our filmgoers and staff is our number one priority.

While we are disappointed to not present a full festival in August, we are thrilled

to bring the community together to celebrate and honor the legacy of Bruce

Brown and his impact on documentary filmmaking and surf culture,” said Gregg

Schwenk, CEO and co-founder of the Newport Beach Film Festival. “With the

Festival’s long-standing commitment to action sports cinema and deep relationship with the Brown family, it is the ideal film to celebrate a legendary

filmmaker in an iconic setting.”

NB Film Festival Bruce Brown

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Behind the lens, Bruce Brown captures his subjects

“It’s a fabulous story that has rarely been told: the freewheeling adventurous

days when lifestyle sport programming was born,” said James Schiefer, Schiefer

Chopshop founder.

“The 21st Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is Southern California’s largest lifestyle film festival and fastest growing in the United States bringing 50,000 attendees to our shores annually,” said Gary Sherwin, president and CEO, Newport Beach & Company. “We applaud Gregg and the team for their incredible commitment to keep the spotlight on film, filmmakers and Newport Beach despite these unprecedented times.”

NB Film Festival Bruce and Dana

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(L-R) Bruce with his son, Dana Brown

The Newport Beach Film Festival is sponsored by the City of Newport Beach, Visit Newport Beach, Fashion Island, THE LOT and Morgan Stanley.

To purchase tickets for A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story and for information about the Newport Beach Film Festival, visit www.NewportBeachFilmFest.com.

A Life of Endless Summers: The Bruce Brown Story is available August 18 on your favorite streaming platform to include iTunes/Apple TV, Amazon, Xbox Video, Vudu and Vimeo. In addition, with a variety of OnDemand/Cable platforms starting August 25 on Sky, On Demand, AT&T, Vubiquity, Dish and Telus. It will also air on Hawaiian Air on September 1 and Amazon Prime on September 18.

To learn more about THE LOT Drive-In Summer Movie Series at Fashion Island and purchase tickets for upcoming films, click here.


COVID-19: 886 new cases reported in OC, eight new cases in Newport Beach

The OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 932 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, resulting in, sadly, the deaths of 13 Newport Beach residents. This represents an increase of eight cases in Newport Beach yesterday, August 10, a per capita rate of 10.691 cases per thousand residents. 

The county reports that there have been 40,527 cumulative cases countywide to date, an increase of 886 cases yesterday. The county reports that 724 people have died due to COVID-19 in OC. 

However, a glitch in the California Department of Public Health’s data system has contributed to a number of “missing” case results, some of which have not yet been reported in state or county data. 

According to Dr. Clayton Chau, Acting Orange County Health Officer, the data glitch involved some 300,000 tests statewide, whose results – positive or negative – were not initially released.

The data glitch has been fixed, according to the state’s website, however not all data has been released.

“Recent issues found in the state’s electronic laboratory system that contributed to delays have been corrected. Today’s data include some cases from prior days, and we continue to work through the backlog,” the state’s website reads.

Until then, Dr. Chau said, the state has “paused” its watch list – meaning counties will not be added or removed from the list until after the glitch has been fixed and the backlogged case data released.

In regards to OC elementary schools that may be applying for a waiver to reopen in-person learning, Dr. Chau said those applications are also on hold. The county is accepting applications, but informing applicants that their applications cannot be processed until the data glitch is resolved.

“The conversation can’t start until we know what our community case rate is,” Dr. Chau said.

While daily positive cases and the testing positivity rate have been affected by the glitch, hospitalization and ICU data has not, according to Dr. Chau. The county reports that 33 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide. 

Dr. Chau explained that the county also looks closely at hospital staffing levels, as having enough beds or ventilators does not necessarily mean the county will have adequate staffing.

The county reports that 468 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 152 are in ICU.

The county estimates 30,657 “recovered cases” according to its data criteria.

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 data dashboard, click here.

Numbers are updated daily by Stu News Laguna and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsLaguna.

COVID 19 County 8 10 20 1

COVID 19 County 8 10 20 2

COVID 19 County 8 10 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of August 10, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

The candidates have answered the call and an election with a number of open seats awaits

Fair Game Tom Johnson newThe period of time to file for a run at City Council in Newport Beach came and went this past Friday as the qualifying window closed.

Three Districts were potentially up for grabs.

No one stepped forward in District 7 to challenge Mayor Will O’Neill. To me, that’s good news. Mayor O’Neill has done a masterful job leading the City through a very trying year with the challenges of COVID-19. Small business struggles, the closing of the beaches, losses of key revenue streams, and still, O’Neill has met each challenge out front, leading the charge and being the confident voice of this community.

He’s done a great job and is certainly deserving of another term.

Two other incumbents weren’t so lucky.

In District 2, Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery is being challenged by Nancy Scarbrough, while in District 5, City Council member Jeff Herdman will face off against restaurateur Noah Blom.

Avery’s strengths are his knowledge of the harbor, a strong commitment to public safety and his association with a council that’s been cognizant of fighting for property values and property rights. He’s also proud that this council has also operated under a balanced budget.

Scarbrough, however, believes there is still work to be done in the areas such as State mandated high-density, low-income housing issues, homelessness, airport noise and pollution, as well as the all-important General Plan Update facing the City at some point.

In the other race, Herdman has been the City’s lead on the Aviation Committee which is arguably the leading issue always facing this community. Jeff also ran on his own four years ago against a slate of candidates and has proven the ability to operate in that arena with a strong voice.

Blom, on the other hand, is an interesting challenger. He grew up in this city to parents who have been involved for years and is a small business owner understanding the challenges facing them today. One other notable fact is that Blom has the endorsements of Mayor O’Neill and council members Duffy Duffield and Kevin Muldoon.

There are 84 days leading up to Election Day and obviously a lot of work to be done. Candidates’ forums of the past will probably differ with what’s ahead. Think Zoom, or some variation thereof.

• • •

Remember back a few months ago when the Newport-Mesa Unified School District became adamant about cutting down trees at Ensign Intermediate School. NMUSD administration wanted to build a new parking lot entrance on the Cliff Drive side of the property.

One of the claims made by then Superintendent Fred Navarro called the new lot necessary due to safety concerns regarding students. Navarro even went on record citing “14 accidents involving students and vehicles.”

Well, George Barfield, a neighbor to the Ensign Intermediate School site, didn’t fully buy that claim. 

So, George investigated, even meeting with NBPD management.

Guess what? His concerns seemed to point out that there weren’t any “publicly recorded accidents.” Incidents possibly yes, but no accidents appearing to jeopardize student safety.

Sure, perhaps a bike bumped a car, or a skateboarder fell as a result of a vehicle, but no real accidents. 

It seems that the claim of 14 accidents was used, perhaps erroneously, to try and add credibility to the District’s unwanted construction plans.

Just another apparent example of their lack of integrity dealing with the community as a whole.

The good news is that, regardless, the Superintendent is gone through retirement, and not a moment too soon.

Next up is a November election for three of the seven NMUSD Board of Education seats. Two of the three trustees have announced that they won’t run for re-election. In the third race, an incumbent, Vicki Snell, faces a worthy opponent in District 1. Snell has worked in lock step with the former superintendent and other trustees, so if you’ve been happy with their leadership, Vicki just may well be your candidate. 

Otherwise, Leah Ersoylu might be your answer. She’s a parent and business owner who has volunteered in everything from PTAs, to school foundations, served as a coach, on school site councils and other related committees. 

The other two races focus on Trustee Areas 3 and 6.

In 3, Martha Fluor will step down following a tenure on the board that dates back to 1992. Four people are running, including Charles Kent Booker, a business owner, Carol Crane, a retired educator, Laurie Kelly and Joanne Nichols, with no description available. 

In Trustee Area 6, Dana Black exits, leaving Xeno Ralf Muller II, who lists himself as a private music instructor, Amy Peters, a businesswoman and parent, and Krista Weigand, a businesswoman, parent and coach, vying for the seat.

Regardless of who wins, the board make-up will dramatically change and, to me, that’s a good thing.

• • •

I’m a University of Arizona sports fan. Although I never attended there, I figure that paying for my daughter’s education gives me the right to cheer for them. Sorry, San Diego State’s loss.

Basketball makes it easy to be a fan of the Cats. They’re always good.

But in football, quite frankly, we stink. One year, and one year only, we were good. If you doubt me, check out 1998 when the Wildcats finished 12-1 and were ranked number 4 in the country.

Dating back 87 years, never ever have we gone undefeated. Well, that is until this year. Today the Pac-12 is joining a number of other college football conferences and canceling the 2020 season. Hence, this becomes our first undefeated season on record.

Who can argue? The fact is, Merriam-Webster’s definition of undefeated is “not having suffered a defeat.” 

Well, that’s us. As my friend Paul Salata would say, it’s “irrelevant” how we got there. Tonight, I’m celebrating!


Guest Column

Jeff Herdman and Diane B. Dixon

Newport Beach City Council Members

Newport Beach urges county to include long-term protections with general aviation project leases

A recent letter to the editor about John Wayne Airport’s General Aviation Improvement Program (GAIP) contained incorrect information about the City of Newport Beach’s response to the County’s future plans for the airport. The City, local aviation-focused community groups and neighboring communities have taken extraordinary steps and spent countless hours working to protect our neighborhoods from any additional noise and air quality impacts caused by John Wayne Airport’s operations. Here are the correct facts. 

The City has closely tracked the GAIP since April 2017, when the County of Orange first initiated the required environmental review for updating its general aviation (GA) facilities. When the draft environmental impact report was released for public review in September 2018, we were immediately and justifiably concerned. The proposed project and most of the alternatives went far beyond updating facilities and would have surely led to an eventual increase in general aviation jet traffic over Newport Beach and other cities.

Those who have been with us in the trenches know the past 23 months have been filled with highs and lows, long meetings and late nights. But the time was well spent: The project the County is now going to build is much better for our community than what was originally proposed. Newport Beach did not get everything we asked for, but the Board of Supervisors heard and directly responded to a number of our concerns about the project. In fact, the Board-approved project contains two elements critical to restricting the growth of GA jet operations at the airport.

Specifically, the adopted plan allows just two fixed base operators (FBOs) – the airport wanted three – and the Board set aside more than 34 acres, the majority of the space available, for the smaller and quieter GA aircraft. This, in turn, reduces the space available for GA jets and there will be fewer GA jets parked at John Wayne Airport when this project is completed than there are today. 

There’s still work to be done. The City is now focused on how the FBOs will manage their facilities. We are urging the County to limit the amenities the FBOs offer and the hours they operate as we believe this will help prevent an increase in GA jet traffic and a corresponding increase in overflight noise and pollution. We firmly believe such restrictions should be included in the leases between the County and the FBOs. 

Accordingly, the City is asking the Board to:

–Limit the hours of operation of the FBOs to match the commercial airline curfew hours.

–Eliminate the general aviation facility (the proposed space that would be used to process international passengers).

–Prohibit commercial airlines, such as JetSuiteX, from operating out of an FBO facility.

–Ensure the land use restrictions (already approved by the Board) are included in the long-term FBO leases.

It’s important to remember that the County of Orange owns John Wayne Airport and has complete control over its operations. Every airport-related protection Newport Beach has today is the result of negotiations based on strong, fact-based arguments, our community coming together around a shared set of facts and principles, and the County’s willingness to hear and respond to Newport Beach’s concerns. Anything short of that diminishes our chances of getting and maintaining the protections essential to our quality of life.

Should you wish to learn more about the GAIP and the City’s position, visit www.newportbeachca.gov/gaip.

Jeff Herdman and Diane Dixon serve as chair and co-chair, respectively, on the City’s Aviation Committee.


Save the Date: “Restaurant Week Uncorked” launches September 13-26 

Save the Date, as this year, the Orange County Restaurant Association will be encouraging diners to support their local restaurants with an added Fall OC Restaurant Week – Restaurant Week Uncorked – from September 13-26.

“Our local restaurants are facing some of the toughest times right now,” said Pamela Waitt, president of the OC Restaurant Association. “We’ve added a Fall Restaurant Week to encourage our communities to support their restaurants at this crucial time. The OC Restaurant Association sees this event as an opportunity to unite the culinary industry to emerge stronger as restaurants navigate through the current challenges together. This event has also been refocused to promote Family Meals, which we’ve seen as a popular to-go option for many households at this time.”

The special Restaurant Week Uncorked event will extend over two weeks to maximize guest exposure and experiences. In addition to offering special menus for dine-in business, participating restaurants will be featuring Family Meal options to-go, to “feed the needs” of the community.

“With distance learning now set for all students in our county, Family Meals will be a much-needed option for many households,” added Waitt. “As always, Restaurant Week will include great dine-in menus, but added focus on takeout speaks to the current consumer trends and looks at how we, as a society, will adjust to the coming months with a new normal.”

During Restaurant Week Uncorked, Family Meals and Meal Kits will range from $30-$70 for families of four (guest size may vary). Many restaurants will take advantage of alcohol sales to go with phenomenal specials on wines by the bottle and batch cocktails for takeout. Restaurant Week Uncorked will encourage diners from across the county to experience new menus from a wide variety of options, from upscale to family friendly establishments, that showcase our county’s diverse dining options.

Participating restaurants, offerings, cocktails and more will be updated at https://restaurantweekuncorked.com.

Sponsors for this year’s event include Melissa’s Produce, 95.5 KLOS, Orange Coast Magazine, The Fork Report, Herradua, Woodford Reserve, Chambord, Arctic Glacier and OCfoodies.

For general information, or to learn about participation or sponsorship visit 

https://ocrestaurantweek.com. To learn about or join the Orange County 

Restaurant Associaton, visit www.OCRestaurantAssociation.org.


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, 

Newport Beach has joined the Wyland Foundation in the Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation happening this month. Please support water conservation by taking the pledge at www.mywaterpledge.com, now through August 30. 

This week the City announced a second round of COVID-19 relief grants available to qualified small business owners. Applications will be accepted between August 14 at 9 a.m. and August 28 at 5 p.m. 

Earlier this summer, the City awarded $2.1 million in small business grants with federal money from the CARES Act received by the County of Orange and distributed to Newport Beach for small business grants. The latest round of funding, about $470,000, is from the City’s allocation of federal Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as well as CARES Act funds received through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). 

Applicants are encouraged to participate in one of two informational webinars on the grant program being offered on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11 a.m. and Thursday, Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. Click here to register for the webinars

To be eligible to apply for the grants, a business will need to demonstrate the need for financial support that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic (for example, being forced to shut down and/or had to lay off employees). Under CDBG requirements, the business must also meet certain low-income criteria for the owner or employees.

Click here for a full list of qualifications and application information. 

As a reminder: The City Council’s next meeting will be on Tuesday, Aug. 25. The month of August is generally a quieter period around City Hall and in recent years, the City Council has opted to hold one meeting, instead of two, in that month. 

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach as of August 7 was 902 and the total cases in Orange County was 38,711. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of August 7 was 28,109.

These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. Please note that the reported cases may be lower because of issues with the California Department of Public Health’s electronic laboratory reporting system. The State is working to resolve the issue. 

COVID-19 News and Resources 

The State’s “COVID-19 Employer Playbook” includes guidance for workplace safety, best practices for an outbreak, testing information for employees, and more. The document, available at this link, provides useful information for business and industry to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and prepare for cases among employees. 

The County of Orange continues to add new COVID-19 data and information to its website at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/coronavirus-in-oc

The County of Orange Healthcare Agency’s COVID-19 Hotline can be reached at 714.834.2000, or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. County staff monitors the hotline and email box, and answers questions about industry reopening and activity resumption, current guidance and more. 

The County also maintains a growing list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents who are showing symptoms of COVID-19. If you are showing symptoms, please contact your healthcare provider for testing information first. If you do not have a healthcare provider, go here for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Please visit www.newportbeachca.gov/covid19 for the latest City news and useful web resources, including information about the federal, state, and county resources available to help small businesses and workers that have been financially impacted. We also have a page of free resources available through the Newport Beach Public Libra