NewLeftHeaderSNN

clear sky

52.3°F

Newport Beach


Newport Beach Public Library presents Sunday Musicale with cello trio

Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) presents three cellists – Ashley Kim, Inhee Na and Wonsun Keem – in its next virtual Sunday Musicale, beginning November 15 at 9 a.m.

The three cellists will be performing music from different periods and styles with various techniques of cello playing. From Beethoven and Bach, to the contemporary composer Shostakovich, and from classical music to the famous movie soundtrack from Studio Ghibli, you will enjoy hearing familiar repertoires performed by the cello trio.

Newport Beach Public Library Ashley Kim

Photos courtesy of NBPL

Ashley Kim

Ashley Kim is a cello teacher and performer who resides in Orange County. She received a BA from Seoul National University and MM from the Juilliard School. She also studied at USC. She is a winner of prestigious competitions such as Dong-a International and the Korean Broadcasting System competition. She appeared as a soloist with Seoul City Orchestra, Korean Broadcasting Symphony, Daejeon City Orchestra and I Artisti Orchestra. She was a principal cellist at Del Gesu Strings and has had concert tours around the world including Chile and Ecuador. Kim continues to perform recitals throughout Orange County and Seoul, Korea. She is a chairperson of Chamber Music Connect and regularly appears at Chamber music concerts of CMC at Concordia University. She teaches orchestra classes at Savanna School District, Centralia School District and Santiago Canyon College.

Newport Beach Public Library Inhee Na

Inhee Na

Inhee Na earned her Bachelor of Music from Korea National University of Arts, continuing her education in Vienna, Cologne (Master), and Berlin (Konzertexamen). She received additional training in master classes with world famous cellists, such as Mstislav Rostropovich and Janos Starker. She received first prize at the Felix-Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Domenico-Gabrielli, Joong-Ang and KBS competitions, as well as the Kronberg Cello Festival. A dedicated educator, Na has held teaching positions for cello and chamber music at Korea National University of Arts, Chung-Ang University and Suk-Myung Women’s University. She is the featured soloist with all major Korean orchestras, the LA Sinfonietta and the Korean-American Youth Orchestra at Walt Disney Hall. She has performed throughout Europe and Asia, and is currently the principal cellist of the LA Sinfonietta and a member of the cello quartet LA Cellisten.

Newport Beach Public Library Wonsun Keem

Wonsun Keem

Wonsun Keem started playing the cello when she was 13 years old and graduated from Seoul Arts High School, received her Bachelor of Music at Seoul National University, and her Master of Music at Yale University. Throughout her music career, she has won numerous major music competitions including the Korea America Corporation Music competition and Baroque String Competition as a soloist. While attending Yale School of Music, she performed in a piano trio, string quartet and piano quartet. She has performed countless times in the Seoul Arts Center, Sejong Arts Center, Maria Callas Hall, Kumho Arts Hall, Tokyo Opera City Hall, Osaka Symphony Hall, Sprague Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York and Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Since moving to Los Angeles, Keem has joined the Landmark String Quartet and Dream Orchestra. She also believes in giving back through music education, and teaches the next generation of musicians throughout the Los Angeles area.

This concert was filmed locally as part of NBPL’s Virtual Programming. Music lovers can view the concert for free at www.newportbeachlibrary.org/ebranch/virtual-programming.

This event is funded by generous donations from the Friends of the Library.  Newport Beach Public Library presents a variety of programs that foster cultural arts enrichment. For more information, contact the library at 949.717.3800, option 2, or visit the website at www.newportbeachlibrary.org.


COVID-19: 6 new deaths reported in OC, 4 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,520 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including six new deaths reported yesterday (November 12). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 63,460 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 295 cases yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 1,311 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 15.038 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 30 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 251 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 89 are in ICU.

The county estimates 55,777 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 12 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 12 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 12 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 12, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


2020 Election results

2020 Election results


Beauty from above

Beauty from above

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Emily Kaszton (Instagram @thedroneangel)

Basking in the beauty from above along the coast of Newport Beach


CdM resident wins baseball’s National League MVP

Corona del Mar resident Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves has won the 2020 Most Valuable Player Award for the National League. The award was announced yesterday.

Freeman received 28 of 30 first-place ballots that were voted on by members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers finished second in the overall voting and also received the other two first place ballots.

San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado was third.

Freeman and his wife, Chelsea, moved to CdM with their young son in 2019 and spend the off-season in town.

Freddy grew up playing baseball in Orange at El Modena High School.


District 1 Town Hall to discuss area concerns

Diane Dixon will host a District 1 virtual Town Hall meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. and the public is invited.

Topics on the agenda include:

–Oceanfront Boardwalk safety.

–Recent changes to short-term rental housing regulations.

–New City fire station.

–Lido water main replacement.

Registration in advance is required. Go here to sign up. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Measurable progress being made on the City’s homelessness front

Tom headshot 8 1.25.20The homelessness issue is always a difficult one to find solutions to, primarily because of the old adage not in my backyard

For example, past discussions for a Newport Beach solution have included a possible homeless facility being built in the City’s Corporation Yard on Superior Avenue. But, as you might expect, the City of Costa Mesa didn’t like that idea because residents of the facility would primarily spill out into Costa Mesa during the daytime, forcing them to probably deal with any related issues.

When other areas or neighborhoods in Newport Beach were brought up, people objected.

Well, the City has been venturing down a couple of paths in recent time. The first is “working with a recommended developer to build up to 50 units of permanent, supportive housing within the City.”

That idea still doesn’t answer the “where” issue.

Another path is an offer from Costa Mesa to create a regional partnership for shelter services to be shared with Newport Beach.

Discussions on that front are heating up. A possible facility in the Airway Avenue area is being bandied about, with both cities seriously discussing and hopefully finalizing the idea over the next month or so.

That plan would be for a 70-bed facility to be constructed, utilizing a $2.5 million grant from the County of Orange. Newport Beach would then lease 20 of those beds for their use.

It seems like a potential win-win.

It’s also nice that the leadership of both cities seems to be amicably working together to get this issue handled.

If all goes to plan, we could have a completion date of sometime in March.

Currently, how is the homeless issue progressing in Newport Beach these days?

A report presented to City Council last month shows major progress, stating that “many previously homeless individuals and families have been sheltered in motels during the past several months under the statewide initiative known as Project Roomkey. Others were placed into sober-living facilities, supportive housing, congregate living and other housing arrangements.”

City staff estimates that the number of homeless individuals in the City has gone from an average of 60-70 at any given time in early 2020, to between 20-30 as of last month.

According to the report, here are some of the specific signs of progress:

–Under Project Roomkey, 33 people who were housed in local motels during the pandemic continue to stay there and remain off the streets.

–A longtime Newport Beach resident, who has been homeless for six years, moved into a sober living home and is now employed full-time after successfully completing a rehabilitation program.

–A veteran, who previously lived in a tent near the Balboa Pier, has been placed in “new supportive housing.”

–A family of four that was living in a van is now in permanent housing.

–Several other recently homeless have rejoined out-of-state family members and are leaving the area.

–A facility called The Cove is operating with 12 units of affordable housing specifically designed for military vets.

So how is the City accomplishing these successes? Well, the “City utilizes an interdepartmental Rapid Response Team to quickly address homeless issues and related concerns. The team includes a full-time Homeless Coordinator and a Homeless Liaison Officer from the police department. These efforts are supplemented with contracted support from City Net, a homeless outreach agency, and Orange County social service agencies.

“Newport Beach and City Net staff work together to engage regularly with homeless individuals and direct them to appropriate county, state and federal resources with a goal of permanently sheltering all those who are experiencing homelessness.”

All of this has translated into 1,287 outreach meetings conducted with homeless individuals since March. 

The City, from the Mayor through staff is to be commended.

• • •

Last issue we mentioned the King Tides coming this Sunday and Monday. According to Newport Beach Utilities Director Mark Vukojevic, the City is prepared.

“The Utilities and Public Works Departments are ready for this weekend’s King Tides and, knock on wood, tides and weather seem to be looking good,” said Vukojevic. “We do expect some localized flooding from seawall leaks (and such), and we will have extra crews roving to respond to pump those down.

  “Two physical metrics we look for are forecasted weather and the difference between actual and predicted tides. So far this week, the actual vs. predicted tides are tracking very close to each other. In other words, the actual high tide is not much higher than the predicted high tide. 

“Last week was a different story, where we saw the actual high tide was about eight inches higher than the predicted.”

The weather calls for sunny skies this weekend with no rain or high winds. The first high tide is expected Sunday at 8:23 a.m. at +6.89 ft. and Monday at 9:02 a.m. at +6.85 ft. Corresponding low tides those days will be -1.27 ft. at 3:23 p.m. on Sunday and -1.28 ft. at 4:13 p.m. on Monday.

• • •

It’s tough enough in normal years to plan and organize an auction for a community fundraiser. One can only imagine trying to put one together in today’s environment.

Well, the always popular Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Christmas Boat Parade Auction is being forced to go virtual this year. The auction is the fundraising backbone for the Chamber in conducting their business to successfully manage said Boat Parade.

Bottom line, they need donations. Your item will be listed in their online auction catalog that will go to thousands of people, it will also be promoted on the Chamber’s website and in their promotional emails. Join in by simply clicking www.christmasboatparade.com/auction/, fill out the form and the Chamber will follow up. If you have questions you can call 949.729.4400.


Take Five: Meet Amanda Boyer, Activities Director for Newport Harbor High School

By AMY SENK

Newport Harbor High School students have returned to campus, along with other high schoolers in the Newport-Mesa district, all part of the latest COVID adjustments leading to the current hybrid schedule. But even last spring and earlier this schoolyear, when classes were held online instead of on campus, when sports were junked and rallies and dances put on hold, school spirit has been strong and persistent – thanks to the students and staff who comprise Associated Student Body, or ASB, groups on each individual campus. I caught up with Amanda Boyer, Newport Harbor’s activities director, to learn more about how school spirit survives a pandemic.

Take Five Amanda Boyer

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Amanda Boyer

Amanda Boyer

Q: What kinds of activities do the Newport Harbor ASB students plan over the course of a typical year?

A: In a typical year, ASB students plan things like registration and first day of school hospitality, club rush, pep rallies, homecoming festivities, dances and events, lunchtime activities, kindness week, culture night, welcome aboard events for incoming freshmen, senior class events and much more. They also support many of the programs and events on campus, from guiding lost parents at back-to-school night, to cheering on the field hockey team in a big game, to attending a play in our theater, they are always looking for ways to build school spirit on our campus. ASB students also participate in district task forces such as the Human Relations Task Force and Mental Health Task Force, district-wide kindness week and beach clean-up and other community events. 

Q: Obviously, this is not a typical year. How have things been changed to deal with remote learning rather than on-campus events?

A: This has been a dramatic change for ASB. The students are passionate about working towards a positive, inclusive and fun school culture where students exude Sailor pride in all they do. This is often most achievable when they can have shared experiences with their classmates and come together to support one another, but since they weren’t able to gather in person, ASB students have been forced to get creative online. We started our Hybrid Schedule (earlier this week) and went to a Level 2 Hybrid Model, and it was really nice to see students on campus again. From a giant poster wall to yard signs welcoming students back to music playing in the quad to NH masks everywhere, it was a great morning filled with Sailor Spirit. We look forward to getting creative with all that being on campus now allows when it comes to school spirit and shared experiences.

Q: What has happened with school dances and events like the Battle of the Bay rally?

A: As we transition to hybrid, we are hopeful that we will be able to come up with some fun and creative ways to gather students in a safe way. Since CIF pushed the sports calendar back, we are also hopeful that we will still have Battle of the Bay athletic competitions and a rally where we can continue to have fun with the longtime rivalry against that one school across the bay. 

Q: How have ASB students been handling this strange situation?

A: Overall the ASB students have kept their spirits high. They have had to think outside the box, get creative and work together in a new way. 

Q: What have been the most successful new events and traditions to come out of this situation?

A: Social media has been the biggest platform for ASB so far this year. They have worked hard to create content online for social media to connect students to one another and to Newport Harbor. From contests to teacher takeovers to a virtual tour of campus to funny videos with teachers, such as “Chemistry on Halloween,” they have had to get creative with their content. They have also used their Instagram platform to highlight and promote the videos that many other programs have created to perform such as Dance Team and Vocal Music. We (also) currently have 57 clubs at NHHS. Our Club Rush this year was virtual, and most clubs have been meeting at their Faculty Advisor’s Zoom code during lunchtime. The club presidents have been very active in promoting their clubs and running meetings so that students can get connected to something they are passionate about. 

~~~~~~~~

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


Nominators share Stu News/Spa Gregorie’s Promotion winners

Stu News Newport is excited to publish the winning submissions for our “Rest for the Best: De-stress. Refresh. Restore. Promotion” in partnership with Spa Gregorie’s. Thank you to the nominators who shared their compelling emails about those deserving of a luxurious pampering experience at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach. We look forward to hearing from each of the winners about their memorable spa day.

Winner: Sarah Jay

Nominator: Darcie Dodds Schott, co-worker and friend

I’d like to nominate my co-worker for the “gift of a treatment” promotion at Spa Gregorie’s.

I have worked with Sarah Jay for four years and have gotten to know her as a friend as well. Less than a week before the COVID quarantine shut everything down in March and mandated everyone stay at home, Sarah accepted the placement of an 11-year-old foster daughter in her home. Sarah had been preparing to be a foster mom, and hopefully adopt the right placement, for several years. Who would have predicted the intensity in which this chapter of her life would play out! Sarah is single, faithful, and knew that her fate included welcoming a daughter into her life, though she expected to ease into the process with time to adjust while she was at work, the daughter at school...not all day, every day together from day one.

Sarah went from working in our Santa Ana-based office – where we serve low-income and foster kids like the one now living with Sarah (www.thinktogether.org) – to working remotely from home indefinitely, with 24-7 parenting on her plate.

Sarah has stepped into her new role with respect and humility, caring for a pre-teen girl who comes with a hefty amount of emotional needs, and it’s been rewarding but also demanding in ways she couldn’t have imagined. The girl Sarah had met a handful of times leading up to March has been in foster care for years because her birth mother is an addict and in prison. The girl’s father is out of the picture and also in and out of prison.

Sarah is committed to bringing light to the girl’s mostly dark world, and this has resulted in plenty of days weighted down by intense conversations, occasional arguments, and all the rest that comes along with raising a pre-teen girl. She has done an amazing job of balancing the young girl’s unique needs, supporting monitored visits with the birth mom who is for the time being out of prison, and trying to remember her own well-being during the minimal time she has when her foster daughter is at church under another adult’s supervision.

I would be moved to know that Spa Gregorie’s would give Sarah a little TLC to recharge her body and mind with some well-deserved indulgence.

Thanks for taking the time to read my request,

Darcie Dodds Schott

Winner: Tasha Gillespie

Nominator: Jerry Weichman, boss

I would very much like to nominate one of my team members for the Spa Gregorie’s giveaway.

Here’s some background:

My husband and I run a pediatric and adolescent mental health practice, the Weichman Clinic at Hoag Neurosciences Institute. Our team of clinicians treats pretty much every mental health issue a child or teen can deal with and we are supported by an incredible administrative team.

During pre-COVID times, our front desk team regularly fielded calls from stressed out parents looking for ways to help their children’s mental health and our team does an incredible job showing empathy, support and responsiveness. However, since the COVID crisis, the frequency of full-panic, emotional parent phone calls has gone through the roof. But one of our employees stands out in particular, Tasha Gillespie.

Tasha is a single mom of a preschool age daughter and in addition to working with us, she also is putting herself through college online to fulfill pre-nursing requirements. She also supports her mother, who also lives with them. Her plate has always been very full, and she never complains.

When the COVID quarantine hit, Tasha’s partner at our front desk decided that due to health reasons they had to work remotely for the next year. While understandable, this left Tasha alone at our front desk to field these phone calls completely solo plus help handle all of our other administrative needs. The stress level of the families we treat has increased consistently since March, the types of urgent and intense calls coming to Tasha from parents looking for help for their children has sky-rocketed, and the emotional meltdowns occurring via phone are at an all-time high. In addition to handling scheduling for 17 doctors and therapists and troubleshooting telehealth issues for our remote patients, Tasha has also found herself as a surrogate therapist to some of these parents who need to vent to ANYONE about all of the things going wrong.

Her attitude is upbeat and positive, she never complains, and she does an incredible job handling the challenges with grace and dignity. We can tell she is stressed out from her workload and definitely deserves some pampering but would never take the time to treat herself. We think she would be an outstanding candidate to receive this treat from Spa Gregorie’s. She truly has been on the frontlines of the mental health crisis created by COVID-19.

As an aside, Spa Gregorie’s was the only source of disinfectant we could find in the early COVID days and due to them we were able to keep our offices sanitized for the patients who needed to be seen in person. We were so grateful for their pivot and in a way, they really did help us stay open so we could continue helping others.

Thanks for the consideration!

Cara Weichman on behalf of Jerry Weichman


Steel, Petrie-Norris and Min win seats for Washington and Sacramento

Although election results have not been certified as final, it is apparent that Michelle Steel, Cottie Petrie-Norris and Dave Min have all won their races.

Steel, who ran against Harley Rouda in the very hotly contested 48th Congressional race, accepted his concession earlier in the week in announcing her victory.

Steel finished with more than 200,000 votes and edged Rouda 51 to 49 percent.

In his concession, Rouda hinted at a possible return in two years to challenge Steel for another shot at the seat.

Another race that has remained extremely close is the 74th State Assembly races between incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris and Newport Beach City Councilwoman Diane Dixon.

Although several thousand votes remain throughout Orange County, Petrie-Norris’ lead appears to be insurmountable. She presently leads in the counting with 132,776 of the votes, compared to Dixon’s 130,072.

In the 37th State Senate, challenger and UC Irvine Law professor Dave Min beat incumbent John Moorlach in gaining more than 51 percent of the vote.

City council races in Newport Beach had incumbents Will O’Neill and Brad Avery winning, and challenger Noah Blom convincingly beating incumbent Jeff Herdman with nearly 60 percent of the vote.

Mayor O’Neill’s vote total is far and away the highest council total in city history with 40,799.

Another city race was the Measure Z Harbor Commission ballot initiative that easily passed with 55 percent of the vote.

Finally, the Newport-Mesa School Board will welcome three new Trustees in Leah Ersoylu, Carol Crane and Krista Weigand.

The vote totals are below and will be updated again once certified.


Workshops seek community input on the future of housing

Newport Beach faces a challenge imposed by Governor Gavin Newson of planning for an additional 4,834 housing units within the City over the next decade. The question city officials are facing is where do they go?

With that in mind, the city is inviting the community to discuss issues faced with the Regional Housing Needs Allocation being imposed. Two collaborative, virtual workshops are scheduled for Monday, Nov. 16 and Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The first workshop on November 16 at 6 p.m. will focus on the airport area and western portions of the city, including West Newport and West Newport Mesa. The second one on November 17, also beginning at 6 p.m., will focus on Newport Center and the Coyote Canyon Landfill. 

Both workshops will take place over Zoom with additional input opportunities offered online.How should Newport Beach housing grow in the future? The community is invited to discuss that question and provide input during two collaborative, virtual workshops scheduled for Nov. 16 and 17. | November 9, 2020 These workshops will help shape the city’s “suitability” of housing densities, which will be included in an update to the General Plan.

These workshops continue a series of virtual workshops, online activities and educational videos to engage Newport Beach residents in the General Plan update. The workshops will be discussion-based, with polls and surveys incorporated. 

To attend the meeting, residents must register here, or for more information visit www.NewportTogether.com.

If you are not able to attend the live workshops, you can watch the recordings at www.NewportTogether.com and then provide input at your convenience.

The city’s General Plan Housing Element details the city’s strategy for enhancing and preserving community character and identifies strategies for expanding housing. The Circulation Element governs how cars and people move through the city on local roadways, buses, ferries and trails. Over the next few months, the City of Newport Beach will host more opportunities to provide input into the housing.


You Must Remember This: The Broering family

By NANCY GARDNER

The Broering family has a long history in our city. Hans and Marge lived on Amethyst on the Island with their three children – Ann, Bubba (Larry) and Weegee (Gretchen). Aunt Gretchen, for whom Weegee is named, lived in an apartment over the garage. Aunt Gretchen was a working woman, and that is my memory of her – in a well-tailored, well-designed suit with excellent shoes. I’m sure she wore casual clothes at some point, but I can’t remember an instance.  Weegee was quite a bit younger than her siblings, I so I never knew her well. I knew Bubba a bit better. It was an accepted fact – with as much viability as many accepted facts – that he only ate two things growing up...hamburger meat and ice cream. Despite that limited diet, he grew up a healthy specimen who easily qualified to be a summer lifeguard for the city. For those of us who knew him it was amazing that he passed the test, not because he wasn’t a good swimmer but because he was practically blind. When he guarded at Little Corona, the regulars acted as an extra set of eyes to be sure he didn’t miss a flailing swimmer.

As for the parents, Marge was famous for the sweaters she knitted. I don’t know that I appreciated her talent that much until I attempted to knit one for my then-husband. He was 5’10” with a swimmer’s build. The sweater I ended up with would have looked big on LeBron. I realized then just what a talent Marge had.  As for Hans, the most remarkable thing about him to me as a child was his name.  Other fathers had names like John and Mike and Bob. Hans sounded very exotic.  The only other one I could think of was Hans Brinker. However, compared to the boy with his finger in the dike, Hans didn’t seem very heroic. Little did I know.  Many years later when doing some research, I discovered his significant role in our city’s history. He was one of the Young Turks (YTs) in the early 50s that wrested political power from the Balboa set that ran the city for years. Working together, the YTs developed the city charter and got it passed by voters, paving the way for our city’s evolution. If you look at the charter, he’s one of the signers.  He also served on the city council. Maybe not as dramatic as a finger in the dike, but certainly noteworthy.

You Must Remember Broering

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Nancy Gardner

(L-R) On the stand – Nancy Gardner, Christin Neal and Ann Broering who is waving her hat. In front is Marge Broering taking the photo next to Ann’s horse, Annie. This image took place at the Pasture in the 1950s, long before any development in the hills.

I don’t know that Ann and I had much choice being friends in our early years since our mothers were good chums, but we became good friends on our own, partly drawn together by our love of horses. It was Ann and I along with Christin Neal who climbed down one side of Morning Canyon and up the other to discover a horse which we followed until we came upon Al Beltran. We persuaded our parents to buy the horse ($60) and pay for the board ($12/month) to roam what is now Crystal Cove State Park plus Cameo Shores. We were soon followed by lots of other girls (and a few boys) and the establishment of the Pasture. We eventually all got our own horses: mine a pale palomino called Rangle, Ann’s a chestnut named Annie, and Christin’s black and white pinto called Glory Be – and charged around in heady equestrian freedom.

Ann was very creative. Whenever we put on a horse show, she would design the posters that the rest of us put together under her direction and which the various businesses in Corona del Mar let us put in the window. I don’t recall a single person ever coming to one of our horse shows as a result, but we had the satisfaction of seeing the announcements as we walked through town. Ann had wanted to be a teacher for as long as I knew her. Graduating with her general credential she started teaching elementary school and found she hated it! She worked at the Five Crowns for a period while she determined her next step and then tapped into her creative streak and became an interior designer, working for the Warmingtons, among others.

She was very astute in her choice of husbands. Don Roberson was probably the most upbeat person I’ve ever met. He also went into real estate, and I remember seeing him during one of those periodic collapses of the housing market. The industry was hemorrhaging jobs, including Don’s. He scrambled to find work and ended up in the sort of situation that sends the average person into a deep depression. Not Don. It was honest work and he was glad to have a job – the original lemonade guy. I imagine that kind of character wears well in a marriage.

Ann and Don lived in the desert for a period because of work, spent some time in North Laguna, but after Don’s death – way too soon – Ann moved back to Newport which seems appropriate given her father’s legacy as one of the shapers of its success. 

~~~~~~~~

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


Shredding Newport

Shredding Newport

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers)

 Surfer Tom Rezvan enjoys surfing a nice set


Crystal Cove Conservancy cancels tree lighting

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, following health and safety guidance from the state and county departments of health and California State Parks, Crystal Cove Conservancy has canceled its annual tree lighting and holiday bazaar.

The Crystal Cove holiday tradition, typically held in early December, has been bringing community and families together for holiday cheer for 23 years.

Crystal Cove shack and tree

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

Crystal Cove decorated during the holiday season

“We are of course sad not to be able to host this wonderful event again this year, but the health and safety of our members, park-goers, staff and volunteers remains our top priority. We look forward to gathering with our neighbors again next year to welcome Santa back to the beach,” said Kate Wheeler, Conservancy president and CEO. “Through this crisis, we’ve all seen how important protected natural spaces like Crystal Cove are to communities, and we hope our neighbors and supporters will find their way here to explore the quiet of the park in winter until we can gather together again,” she added.

While in-person gatherings are on hold for now, the Conservancy continues to provide important environmental education programs via distance learning through virtual field trips, hands-on home explorations and engaging virtual materials, helping inspire underserved students from some of the most under-resourced schools. Each of these programs is tied to real conservation projects in the Park and to rigorous Next Generation Science Standards, ensuring that important habitat restoration projects continue and that the programs are meeting real needs of teachers struggling to adapt curriculum to remote learning. 

For more information, visit www.crystalcove.org.


Local group completes Marriott Hotel purchase and plans large investment

By GARY SHERWIN

Many in the Newport Beach business community were surprised and even a bit concerned when the city’s largest hotel, the 532room Newport Beach Marriott Hotel and Spa, was sold last week to a local investment group for a reported $200 million.

Was it because of the business downturn related to COVID-19? Was the property in distress? Why were they selling it now? I fielded several calls from some anxious local people concerned about the future of the property and its General Manager and prominent business leader, Debbie Snavely.

It turns out the worries are unfounded. Ultimately, it was about a signature Newport Beach hotel and some local residents who saw an opportunity to reinvigorate a prized asset.

The Pickup and Martin families, who live here and already own the Balboa Bay Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club, thought they could be good stewards of a hotel they drive by every day on their way to work in Newport Center.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

The Pickups and Martins’ real estate investment entity, Eagle Four Partners, joined with Lyon Living, founded by the late real estate icon General William Lyon and CEO Frank Suryan, to buy the property – reportedly the largest hotel deal in California this year. 

The Marriott purchase adds to Four Eagle’s hospitality assets which include hotels in Denver, San Diego, Napa and Reno.

Kory Kramer, an Eagle Four Partner and who previously served on the Newport Beach Planning Commission, put the deal together in a little more than two months, which is remarkable since the offer was unsolicited. HOST Hotels and Resorts Inc, a real estate investment company based in Bethesda, Md., owned the hotel for decades and made it clear that it wasn’t for sale.

But that didn’t stop Eagle Four from pursuing it. Kramer said that he and the family obviously knew the hotel well and saw tremendous opportunity in their hometown.

“We saw the hotel property as being a jewel in Newport Center, but we thought it had so much more potential,” Kramer said in an interview this week.

Perhaps most importantly, the purchase adds a fifth major Newport Beach hotel to be put into local ownership. In addition to the Irvine Company that owns Pelican Hill and Fashion Island Hotel, local developer Bob Olsen controls Lido House. Eagle Four purchased the Balboa Bay Resort and Club in 2012.

Having owners nearby is a great thing for Newport Beach and having that many under local control is highly unusual. Local owners usually have a greater vested interest in the health and maintenance of their hotel assets, and they have a commitment that is often times very personal to them.

That’s the case here and this deal is a particular point of pride for the Pickups, Martins and Lyon Living.

Kramer said that Newport Beach residents can expect a completely reimagined Marriott experience when the renovation, already scheduled for next year, is completed. HOST was already underway with a $30 million upgrade to the property starting in April. New ownership plans to spend tens of millions more.

“It will be a completely different experience from the arrival, to the pool area, event lawn area, spa and the guest room product,” Kramer said. Completion is expected by the end of 2021 just as the tourism industry recovers from the pandemic. “It is an important location at the heart of Newport Beach. We thought it needed good local ownership and stewardship like we’ve done with the Balboa Bay Resort and Newport Beach Country Club.”

Marriott will continue to manage and operate the hotel under a long-term agreement and to the relief of many, Debbie Snavely will continue to serve as General Manager. Snavely is active in many local organizations and was named by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 2018.

Snavely will be a vital part of the renovation and was involved during the sale process. “Part of buying a hotel is also securing the intellectual property and team members and Debbie is critical to that objective,” Kramer said. Snavely has been GM in Newport Beach for a decade.

Additionally, Eagle Four is exploring new synergies with the adjacent Newport Beach Country Club, but Kramer indicated that nothing has been finalized to date.

Did COVID-19 play a role in the sale? Perhaps. While the hotel wasn’t for sale, HOST has acknowledged that the pandemic has played havoc with a lot of their assets. That includes the 1,966-room Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City, which has essentially been a tourism ghost town for months. A little unexpected cash right now was probably welcome.

The additional investment by Eagle Four and Lyon Living into the Marriott’s renovation will be a major game changer for the Newport Beach tourism scene; the biggest since they bought the Balboa Bay Resort and pumped millions into it.

When they purchased that property, it was a bit tired but is now a sleek contemporary property that has permitted them to go after higher rated business which has helped increase the city’s transient occupancy tax. They know how to reinvent hotels.

“We’re bullish on Newport Beach’s future and we believe strongly in the city. This is a pivotal asset in a beautiful urban village. Our goal is to create a really great experience for our community and guests,” Kramer said.

As Donald Bren, Chairman of the Irvine Company and developer Bob Olsen know, when you seriously invest in a luxury quality hotel product in Newport Beach, you rarely go wrong and the upside is pretty massive. 

The key point is that we’re fortunate that we have businessmen in town like Eagle Four and Lyon Living that when they can put their money anywhere, especially during an economic downturn, they choose to invest here. 

That’s an amazing statement of faith in our city and tourism industry.

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


Poolside snow and premier Boat Parade viewing at Balboa Bay Resort

This holiday season, Newport Beach’s premier waterfront resort, Balboa Bay Resort, will transform its outdoor pool into a Winter Wonderland with snow, warming cocktails, holiday movies and our community’s historic and iconic boat parade.

For the past 111 years, the Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade has floated through Newport Harbor, showcasing crafts of all sizes – from kayaks to multi-million-dollar yachts – decorated with hundreds of thousands of holiday lights. Balboa Bay Resort offers some of the best views of the parade. This year, the crowds and parade might look a little different, but ones of the perfect places to view the holiday spectacular has not changed.

To celebrate the parade taking place from December 16-20 and overall holiday season, the property will pop up a snowy Winter Wonderland at its outdoor pool, where the weather is notoriously warm and sunny each season. On select evenings (December 4 and 5, December 11 and 12, all nights of the boat parade and Christmas weekend) guests and Balboa Bay Club members will be treated to snow, holiday cocktails, hot chocolate and evening holiday movie screenings, or a live stream of the boat parade.

Poolside Boat Parade

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Balboa Bay Resort

The Balboa Bay Resort provides premier seating for the Christmas Boat Parade

Winter Wonderland Movie Schedule with snow begin falling at 6 p.m. and movies starting at 7 p.m.:

–Friday, Dec. 4 - Elf

–Saturday, Dec. 5 - The Nightmare Before Christmas

–Friday, Dec. 11 - The Grinch

–Saturday, Dec. 12 - Home Alone

–Wednesday, Dec. 16 through Sunday, Dec. 20 - The 112th Newport Beach Christmas Boat Parade stream

–Friday, Christmas Day Dec. 25 - The Santa Clause

–Saturday, Dec. 26 - The Polar Express

The Winter Wonderland package, perfect for staycations or travelers who prefer palm trees over pine trees, includes:

–One-night stay in premier accommodations (all rooms have balconies – some of which have bird’s-eye views of the parade and others of Winter Wonderland movies.)

–VIP tickets to the Winter Wonderland event, which include:

~A dedicated private daybed, decorated for the holidays to view the movies.

~A curated holiday box amenity with s’more fixings, popcorn, pretzels, cookies and more.

–A cozy holiday blanket.

–Two smoked whiskey cocktails from A&O Kitchen+Bar’s new whiskey concierge.

Poolside Daybed

Click on photo for a larger image

A private daybed, poolside and decorated for the holidays, is the perfect cozy space to view the movies...complete with snow

Starting rates for the package begin at $439. Guests can book their stay any time based upon availability at www.BalboaBayResort.com, or by calling 949.630.4238. You do not need to purchase the package to participate in the Winter Wonderland festivities. Balboa Bay Club members can purchase tickets through reservations for $10 each.


Tickets to go on sale for Nights of 1000 Lights at Sherman Library & Gardens

Tickets go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, Nov. 17 for Sherman Library & Gardens’ “Nights of 1000 Lights.” Pre-sale tickets for members are available now through November 16.

Nights of 1000 Lights takes place for 10 days only: December 10 (Members Night), 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22 from 5-9 p.m. each night.

Tickets to go on sale light tunnel

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

The technicolor light tunnel is a highlight of this festive event

Stroll through Sherman Gardens safely this holiday season and experience a dazzling display of lights and entertainment. Listen to old-time Appalachian music, boogie through the Disco Inferno, strut down the technicolor light tunnel, add your wish to the wishing tree and discover surprises throughout the gardens.

Nights of 1000 Lights is happening with the comfort and well-being of Sherman Library & Gardens’ members, volunteers, guests and staff as the top priority.

The event features advance ticket sales only; no tickets will be sold at the gate. Tickets are $15 for Members, and $25 for Non-Members. Children 3 and under are free. All guests must wear a face covering and choose a time ticketed entry to ensure safe physical distancing to adhere to protocols. This beloved annual event will sell out.

Visit https://thesherman.org/event/nights-of-1000-lights-4/ for tickets.


2020 Election results

2020 Election results1112

 


COVID-19: 2 new deaths reported in OC, 7 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,514 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including two new deaths reported today (November 11). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 63,165 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 335 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,307 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of seven cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.992 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 63 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 244 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 83 are in ICU.

The county estimates 55,559 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 11 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 11 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 11 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 11, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Rouda concedes as Steel will head to Washington

Congressman Harley Rouda acknowledges his defeat in 48th District race against Michelle Steel and looks to a possible rematch in 2022.

“We did not win this election,” said Rouda. “And while it isn’t the outcome we had hoped for, it’s never been more important for our leaders to hear the voice of the people, and to accept their judgement. I do.”

“While one campaign ends today, another is just beginning,” added Rouda. “I look forward to having voters compare my opponent’s two years in Congress with my accomplishments on November 8, 2022.”

Steel, on the other hand, accepted victory, “To the voters of Orange County, thank you for entrusting me to be your representative in Congress. In this election, you weren’t simply voting for a person, but also for the idea that the American Dream is alive and well in Orange County.”

The vote counts as of Tuesday night (Nov. 10) showed Steel with 199,133 votes or 51 percent, compared to Rouda with 191,341 votes and 49 percent.

Other races have Cottie Petrie-Norris still narrowly ahead of Diane Dixon in the race for the 74th Assembly. Petrie-Norris has 50.5 percent of the vote, with a vote count lead of 2,745 votes.

The 37th State Senate has Dave Min still ahead of John Moorlach with 51.2 percent of the vote.


2020 Election results

2020 Election results1111


COVID-19: 3 new deaths reported in OC, 4 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,512 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (November 10). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 62,830 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 267 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.912 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 224 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 79 are in ICU.

The county estimates 55,330 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 10 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 10 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 10 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 10, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Pets of the WeekDog and Cat print

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

It is with the utmost excitement that the Newport Beach Animal Shelter has been given the opportunity of getting this sweet, bonded pair ready for adoption – Kary and Kandy.

Pets of the Week Kary and Kandy

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Shelter

Meet Kary and Kandy

Meet Kandy and Kary. As a bonded pair for 10 years, they are both kind, completely loving and it’s wonderfully endearing to watch Kandy be Kary’s lead through this life. Both dogs are fun-loving senior chihuahua mixes. Kandy has the shorter coat and Kary has a longer coat. Kary requires grooming and she is blessed in her eyesight with being able to see shadows. Both dogs love everyone and bring light to all those they meet.

If you’ve been thinking about adoption and have been waiting to find a beautiful pair, then Kandy and Kary are definitely a dream come true. If you’d like to learn more about these gentle pups, feel free to contact the shelter at 949.718.3454 or email your interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Newport Beach Animal Shelter adoption fees:

–Adult Dogs - $150

–Puppies - $225

–Adult Cats - $90

–Kittens - $110

The shelter requires adoption applications as part of the adoption process; the easiest way to obtain the application is to head to the shelter’s website at www.FONBAS.org. There you will find the application plus more information about the shelter now and its goals for the future. 

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


Nordstrom Local arrives at Westcliff

With the goal of being closer to customers to better serve them on their terms, leading fashion retailer Nordstrom opened a 1,193-square-foot Nordstrom Local service hub at 2043 Westcliff Drive, Ste 103, Newport Beach on Friday, Nov. 6. 

“Opening Nordstrom Local service hubs in the Los Angeles area is part of the continuation of our market strategy in one of our largest markets to provide customers with greater access to merchandise selection and faster delivery while increasing convenience and connection through our services,” said Ken Worzel, chief operating officer at Nordstrom. “Nordstrom Local customers who engage with our services at a Local including curbside pick-up, returns, alterations and styling spend more than two-and-a-half times compared to other customers.”

Nordstrom Local customer

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Nordstrom

A customer checking out the new Nordstrom Local in Westcliff

At Nordstrom Local Newport Beach, customers will have access to the following services:

Order Pickup: Order today from www.Nordstrom.com, www.NordstromRack.com or www.HauteLook.com and pick it up in your neighborhood.

Contactless Curbside Pickup: Place an order online and choose curbside pick-up. When you arrive at your Nordstrom Local, they’ll bring your order out and place it in the trunk of your car.

Fast and Easy Returns: Dropoff your returns from Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Haute Look, Trunk Club and other online retailers. They will take care of the rest.

Alterations: Get expert alterations on your purchases from Nordstrom, other retailers or items from your own closet. Need it fast? Enjoy same-day hems, sleeve shortening, sizing adjustments, simple repairs and more. Their alterations experts will make sure you have the perfect fit.

Styling: Expert stylists can help with everything from styling tips to helping advise on a complete wardrobe refresh at no cost to you.

Gift wrapping: Leave the wrapping to Nordstrom Local. In addition to complimentary signature silver boxes, they offer complimentary gift wrapping for all Nordstrom purchases. Gift-wrapped items can also be picked up in-store or via Curbside Pickup. Plus, the gift wrap is 100 percent recyclable. Non-Nordstrom purchases can be wrapped for $8 per package.

BEAUTYCYCLE: Bring in your empty beauty packaging to be recycled for free with Nordstrom BEAUTYCYCLE.

Clothing donation drop-off: In support of Nordstrom’s commitment to local communities, bring in your gently used fashion for drop-off at their donation box, which will be distributed to a local non-profit. 

Nordstrom Local’s operating hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Call 949.763.2922.


Local recognized for service by Assemblywoman this Veterans Day

Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris will be honoring six Orange County residents tomorrow, November 11, as 2020 Veterans of the Year.

The veterans were nominated by community members from the six cities comprising the 74th Assembly District. They are being honored for their service in the armed forces and in their communities. 

“Their service records span from World War II to current active duty and are reflective of the diversity and wealth of experience in our district,” said Petrie-Norris.

Local recognized Nancy Ise

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Nancy Ise of Newport Beach, U.S. Navy Captain, retired

Nancy Ise has been selected to represent Newport Beach. Her employment career includes being the Assistant Director/Investigator for the Department of Labor-Veterans’ Employment and Training Service. During her 23 years she carried out the mission to prepare America’s veterans, service members and their spouses for meaningful careers, provide them with employment resources and expertise, protect their employment rights and promote their employment opportunities.

Ise was a Captain, U.S. Navy-retired. She served on active duty and in the Reserves during Vietnam through the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT). Other assignments included time as a Line Officer including communications, logistics, strategic planning, transportation and leadership training. 

Other representatives receiving honors as 2020 Veterans of the Year include Carol Singleton, U.S. Army from Costa Mesa; David Hayward, U.S. Air Force from Huntington Beach; Mohamed Omar Diab, U.S. Marine Corps. from Irvine; Anthony Michael Page, U.S. Army from Laguna Beach; and Gary Bain, U.S. Air Force from Laguna Woods.

A special Facebook live event will take place at 11 a.m. The community is invited to come together to celebrate them, and the sacrifices of so many like them.


“Raise the Roof” campaign begins to raise remaining funds for new City animal shelter

Furry friends who are lost, abandoned, or need a place to go when their owners are unable to care for them will have a new home thanks to Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS). 

A recently launched campaign, “Raise the Roof,” is underway seeking the remaining $500,000 to build a state-of-the-art animal shelter for Newport Beach. The initial campaign by FONBAS raised $2 million to buy the property and start planning for the building.

Two major donors, Doug and Eva Le Bon and the Audrey Steele Burnand family, joined to provide the initial funds to purchase an existing kennel property on Riverside Drive in Santa Ana Heights, very close to the City’s currently operated animal shelter. 

Now, the Le Bons have offered a matching challenge grant of $250,000 to kick off this next campaign, so every donated dollar is doubled.

Raise the Roof Valerie and Jonathan

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of FONBAS

Valerie Schomburg, Newport Beach Police Department Animal Control Supervisor, Officer Bubbles (the dog) and Jonathan Langford, president of the board of directors, Friends of Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS)

“’Raise the Roof’ is the final step in a four-year campaign to benefit the animals and residents of the City of Newport Beach,” said FONBAS President and Corona del Mar resident Jonathan Langford. “Plans are in place to complete construction by the end of 2021.” 

FONBAS is dedicated to serving the needs of animals to restore their wellbeing and reunite them with their owners or find new forever homes. It was founded in 2017 by a group of local community leaders in a public-private partnership with the City of Newport Beach,

FONBAS supplements funding for the current Newport Beach Animal Shelter to provide upgraded amenities and medical care and is dedicated to providing a permanent animal shelter for the City of Newport Beach.

The public can participate at any level either by donating money or becoming a FONBAS member. To donate to “Raise the Roof” or become a FONBAS member go to www.FONBAS.org.


Newport Beach Central Library features Youth Ocean Art exhibition

The Newport Beach City Arts Commission, in conjunction with Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter and the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, presents an exhibition of Youth Ocean Art on display at the Newport Beach Central Library gallery through January 8, 2021 during the library’s modified operating hours.

This mixed-media collection calls for care for our friends in the oceans, who suffer from our increased use of plastic since the COVID-19 pandemic started. A study showed plastic in the oceans will triple in 20 years. These young artists use creative and thought-provoking messages to call for change.

Newport Beach Central Library Trashimi

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of NBPL

“Trashimi” by Jennifer Kim, age 13, is part of the exhibition

“Through my research of ocean pollution, I was shocked by the sheer number of trash thrown away into the sea, as well as the thousands of dead fish from oil spills in the ocean,” said Jennifer Kim, 13, who created her artwork, titled Trashimi. “The pollution is symbolized by a sick-looking fish with a soda can body, to represent ‘sashimi’ on the plate that the food we eat ends up on. Around it are garnishes for the ‘sashimi’ which are trash, such as cigarette butts, plastic water bottles, and so on. The ‘soy sauce’ is made of petroleum, and there are ‘lemon’ garnishes of old tires. I used acrylic paint to emphasize the fish along with several other ‘garnishes’ on watercolor. Around the plate are old articles concerning pollution. I named this piece Trashimi to reflect on the items from the sea that we will eventually consume, but also as ‘trashme’ because the trash that we humans throw away just come back to us in a cycle,” explained Kim.

Newport Beach Central Library Float One

Click on photo for a larger image

“Float One” by Emmanuel Ramirez, age 18, is among the mixed-media collection

According to NBPL, for our children, our environment and our economy, we must support every business and policy that aim at plastic reduction – now. And most importantly, each of us must lead by example – with a sense of duty and a vision for the future.

All the artwork on display was created by students for a Bow Seat Ocean Awareness contest.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave, Newport Beach. For more information, visit www.newportbeachlibrary.org.


YMCA of Orange County’s annual “Stockings for the Troops” donation drive in full swing

The YMCA of Orange County (YMCAOC) is determined to keep its tradition of sending hope and gifting joy alive with the organization’s annual “Stockings for the Troops” donation drive from now through November 13. The event helps bring holiday cheer to military personnel overseas who are away from their families and friends during the holiday season, which is especially important during the exacerbated hardships of COVID-19.

YMCA girls with stockings

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of YMCA Orange County

Girls at the YMCA holding stockings waiting to be filled with items for military personnel overseas

YMCAOC is asking the community for donations of edible treats such as candy canes, individual snack packs, trail mix packs, and protein bars, as well as personal care essentials including toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, socks, hand warmer packets and small size baby wipes packs. Items will be collected at YMCAOC Child Care Sites, Health & Wellness Centers and the Association Office in Tustin. YMCAOC students and staff will then sort the donations and fill stockings. Last year, they collected enough to stuff 748 stockings, and are hoping to surpass that number this year.

To make the gifts more meaningful, YMCAOC is also asking for handwritten letters or cards, so that every stocking is accompanied with a special message letting the recipient know how much their service is appreciated. This year’s stocking stuffing parties will look different, with social distancing and masks required, but the goal of spreading holiday cheer will be the same. Nonprofit Words of Comfort, Hope & Promise will pack and ship all stockings overseas to troops.

YMCA Happy Holidays cards

Click on photo for a larger image

Handmade holiday cards with warm wishes accompany the stuffed stockings for our troops

The YMCA of Orange County is dedicated to serving their surrounding communities and making the community a better place for all. To accomplish this goal, YMCAOC created its “Stockings for the Troops” program to support our troops, while also teaching YMCAOC students the importance of giving back. Students are given a chance to do something special and meaningful for someone they won’t ever meet, but it also helps them to understand what it means for people to serve our country and the sacrifices they make, especially during the holidays.

Get all the details and see a full list of donation requests and drop-off locations at https://ymcaoc.org/donation-drives/.

The Newport-Mesa Family YMCA is located at 2300 University Drive, Newport Beach.


CdM Highway of Flags seeks volunteers

The Corona del Mar Flag Committee is looking for volunteers to help place the traditional American flags up and down Pacific Coast Highway in Corona del Mar for Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11. 

If you are able to help in this patriotic effort, meet in front of the Corona del Mar Chamber office (between Starbucks and the Port Theater) at 2855 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar on Saturday, Nov.11 beginning at 6 a.m. for setup and/or takedown at 4:30 p.m. at the same location.

CdM Highway of Flags

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of CdM Chamber of Commerce

(L-R) Danielle Rivas, Renee Pepys Lowe and Michelle Peschel

This will only take about an hour of your time and your assistance is greatly appreciated.

The committee requests you please arrive on time for instructions. For more information, call 949.300.3068 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Community invited to “Full Steam Ahead,” free family event and virtual benefit for Child Creativity Lab

On Thursday, Nov. 12, the entire community is invited to a free and fun family event from 6-6:30 p.m. benefiting Child Creativity Lab (CCL), a nonprofit that many residents in Newport Beach have supported since its start in 2012.

The benefit is aptly named “Full Steam Ahead” – whereas other organizations were recently forced to slow down, Child Creativity Lab sped up to do more. Like steam, CCL pivoted and transformed, expanding its virtual learning options as well as meeting the increased demand for robot kits.

To experience the mission, guests have the option to order a free robot making kit. The tight 30-minute program will feature an insider tour led by CEO Tracey Hill. 

Community invited to Dutch

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Marty Dutch

Marty Dutch, vice president, director of Philanthropy Services at First Foundation and previous Child Creativity Lab board member

According to Newport Beach resident Marty Dutch, vice president, director of Philanthropy Services at First Foundation, who previously served on the board of CCL, “When you step through the doors of Child Creativity Lab, you must pause to absorb it all. Your creativity feels sparked as you enter into a world of industrial bins filled with treasures. You see feathers, fabric, glitter, paint, Legos and ‘trash,’” said Dutch. “Yes, what we normally toss away as trash, is now repurposed with glue guns and spray paint. Children are invited to use their individual imagination and creativity. In addition to the Makers Center, CCL has recently stepped up to provide more STEAM Kits to teachers and nonprofits who crave new ideas for student engagement. I am so happy to support this small organization as it continues to ignite creativity in kids throughout Orange County.”

Child Creativity Lab has a mission to foster the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and leaders through unique hands-on creativity exploration programs. The community supports the mission by donating up-cyclables including common refuse products that can be converted to robot making kits. Using unconventional materials makes STEM more inclusive and less intimidating to children no matter their family’s professional demographic.

Community invited to child

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Child Creativity Lab

This youngster’s imagination is sparked by creating a sculpture from treasured up-cyclables

Another Newport Beach native and CCL supporter, Carol DiStanislao, managing director of Octane’s Enterprise Solutions, shared, “As a technology sector executive, I am so impressed with the work of Child Creativity Lab. They are educating our future workforce which aligns with Octane’s goal to create 55,000+ new technology sector roles in Southern California by 2030. As a mom who knows the power of STEAM, I support this organization’s innovative efforts to ensure that every child enjoys learning. Additionally, the Octane Foundation for Innovation partners with CCL who participated in the first cohort of our nonprofit accelerator program https://octaneoc.org/octane-foundation-for-innovation/#npa.”

Community invited to Marble Ramp

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Child Creativity Lab

Kids get excited exploring marble ramps at Child Creativity Lab

Giving back matters to CCL. With that, the nonprofit continues to donate STEAM kits to childcare locations open to essential workers and first responders. CCL ensures that K-8th grade students throughout Orange County have access to high-quality Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) educational programming. 

When California schools began to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCL canceled its workshops and events in line with California’s “Stay at Home” mandate and immediately pivoted its STEAM + Creativity programming to a virtual model. These past months, more than $6,000 worth of STEAM Challenge Kits were dispersed along with fabric for face masks. CCL strives to best meet the needs of schools, students and parents by adapting avenues of distribution throughout the public health crisis. 

Parents, like teachers, see the value Child Creativity Lab offers in the joyful eyes of their children. According to Amie Boston Escalette of Newport Beach and mom of an early learner, “CCL provides a safe and fun environment for children to cultivate creative critical thinking. By utilizing up-cycled materials, kids have an opportunity to really use their imagination as they learn.”

As Orange County navigates the challenges of 2020, Child Creativity Lab remains committed to helping children become well rounded critical thinkers, problem solvers, innovators and future leaders.

To learn more, visit www.childcreativitylab.org. Questions can be directed to the event chair Suzanne Ellingson via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and guests can register here.

If you and your business would like to get involved, contact CEO Tracey Hill  at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or by phone at 310.739.0072.


Heroes Hall reopens with new exhibit: WWll paintings from the South Pacific

Heroes Hall at the OC Fair & Event Center has reopened, and on display is a new exhibit, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific.

Featured is the visual diary of Miller, who chronicled his military service in the South Pacific theater during WWII. He was a self-taught artist who had been drawing throughout his lifetime, teaching himself perspective, anatomy and drawing and painting techniques.

Heroes Hall framed paintings

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Heroes Hall features the new exhibit – “Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific”

During the three-and-a-half years he fought in World War II, Miller sketched nearly 700 scenes of a soldier’s life, and 83 are featured in this exhibit. He drew the familiar horrors – firefights, destruction, wounded carried back from battle – but also less-documented moments: boredom, distraction, even silliness.

He drew on whatever he had available, from large sheets of paper to the insides of cigarette cartons and painted with children’s watercolor sets. With these humble materials Miller created powerful works of art, full of wonderful color and skilled draftsmanship, with dramatic action and keen observation.

Miller, from Nashua, N.H., sketched all or most of the scenes onsite, completing unfinished works and adding or expanding his written comments when back in the barracks. These comments are an intricate part of this exhibition.

Kept in a brown paper bag for most of his life, Miller gave the paintings to his sister for safekeeping. Miller’s niece and her husband, Nancy and Robert Dennis, vigilantly preserved his artwork and, along with the Wright Museum of WWII in New Hampshire, made this show possible. The exhibit is on loan from the Wright Museum of WWII.

For more information, visit www.ocfair.com/millerexhibit.


Neither vandals nor viruses can stop The White Dress’ dream gowns and CdM Christmas month

By AMY SENK

I’ve known Marlis Fyke for years, and while I’m long past the days of being in the market for a wedding dress, I’ve always loved walking by The White Dress at 2853 E. Coast Highway. I enjoy sneaking a peek in the window at all the gowns, and the corks collected from bottles of bubbly that celebrated a bride-to-be finding the dream dress. Sometimes you see an actual bride celebrating.

It was great to see them opening after the COVID shutdowns, but then Fyke had to board up the windows when protesters publicized plans to visit Corona del Mar. Those precautions turned out to be unnecessary – we had no looters or rioters in CdM. Yet in September, a man walking past the shop at 3 a.m. smashed the front window for no apparent reason, an act of vandalism that was caught on camera. The window was repaired, but in late October, vandals struck again. (I also remember taking a photo of a boarded-up window there in September 2018. It’s like a magnet for vandals.)

Neither vandals White Dress 2018

Click on photo for a larger image

File photo by Amy Senk

A bridal gown and boarded-up window at The White Dress, 2018

Cameras once again captured the most recent crime, which Fyke said was a drive-by shooting with a BB gun-type weapon. A rug shop at 2831 E. Coast Highway also was damaged.

A police spokeswoman said that officers were dispatched about 1:10 a.m. on October 27 after a burglary alarm report. They don’t know if the incidents are related; there did not appear to be entry made into either business. Fyke said one dress in the window was ruined by the shattered glass. 

Neither vandals White Dress boarded up

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Amy Senk

A recent photo of The White Dress boarded up 

I reached out to Fyke recently, expecting her to complain about this streak of bad luck, and the stupidity and waste of vandalism. But instead, she said she feels grateful to be running a business she loves with a staff that is like family.

“These incidents are hard on your psyche,” Fyke said. “But everyone is healthy and is fine. We’re thriving as a business. I care so much about my staff, and every day, we help women find the dress of a lifetime. That makes me happy.”

The uplifting stories far outweigh the negative incidents that piled up in awful 2020, she said. One of her favorites, ever, is about a man who brought fancy Champagne and flowers to the shop in advance of his fiancé’s appointment – he knew she would find her dress that day, and he wanted to surprise her with a top-notch celebration, with Fyke’s help.

“I had such a wonderful experience at the White Dress! I didn’t have much time to find a dress and had never tried on dresses before, so I was a bit nervous going into the experience, afraid I wouldn’t find what I wanted or that they wouldn’t be able to get it to me in time for my wedding,” said Jill St. Geme, a recent customer and CdM High School graduate. “Katie, the manager of the White Dress and stylist of 12 years, was my stylist and was amazing. She made me feel so comfortable and made the whole process so easy and enjoyable. She helped me find the dress of my dreams in about 30 minutes and made sure I would get it in time for the big day.”

I have hated seeing her business needlessly harmed, and I was impressed with her attitude. She’s an inspiration. 

• • •

Many people I know are working hard to make the best out of bad situations. Take the Corona del Mar Christmas Walk, which has been an annual event for more than four decades. Each year, thousands of locals and visitors jam the streets of Corona del Mar’s business district on a Sunday in early December. There would be stilt-walkers, Santa, bands, free snacks, a beer and wine garden, balloons, tons of people, all jammed together. Not COVID-friendly, not in the least.

Neither vandals CdM Walk

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Amy Senk

Santa poses with a couple and their adorable Frenchie at last year’s CdM Christmas Walk

But instead of canceling the entire event and claiming it as another virus casualty, CdM Chamber of Commerce President Linda Leonhard worked all summer with city officials, business leaders and others to reimagine the event. Late last month, the chamber announced that this year, the Christmas Walk would be a month-long event, with a storefront holiday lighting contest and possible pop-up entertainment events and more. There will be a guide with December discounts and activities mailed to CdM residents or available at the Chamber office, so keep an eye out for more information.

~~~~~~~~

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.


Nominators share Stu News/Spa Gregorie’s Promotion winners

Stu News Newport is excited to publish the winning submissions for our “Rest for the Best: De-stress. Refresh. Restore. Promotion” in partnership with Spa Gregorie’s. Thank you to the nominators who shared their compelling emails about those deserving of a luxurious pampering experience at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach. We look forward to hearing from each of the winners about their memorable spa day.

Winner: Lisa Moloney

Nominator: Kirsten Daffron, best friend

Hi! Here is my pick for someone who really, really deserves a massage!

My best friend is Lisa Moloney. Lisa is a former California Teacher of the Year runner-up so you can imagine how much she adores her middle school students. Since Covid, she has had to suddenly learn to be a virtual teacher to her over 100 students while working out of her own home.

Lisa’s husband has suffered several strokes the past few years and isn’t able to help out with the household duties as much as he would like. Her son has autism and although works his tail off to help, is also frustrated being stuck at home all day, and cannot do everyday chores, so they are left for Lisa to have to do.

They also have a “farm” of animals that all need taking care of. Again, Lisa is the main caretaker for them. As if this wasn’t enough of a burden, her daughter got a 3rd degree burn on the bottom of her foot and has been on crutches.

Lisa has basically been doing four people’s jobs at home while still trying to maneuver a new world of teaching in these crazy times. I’m thinking she could really use a deep massage right about now. 

Kirsten Daffron

Winner: Jennifer Joiner

Nominator: Faith Joiner, daughter

Dear Stu News Newport and Spa Gregorie’s,

Twenty-twenty has been a difficult year for all of us, but for my mom it has been exceptionally challenging.

My younger sister has struggled for years with an undiagnosed disease which has taken away her ability to walk, talk properly, and use her hands, therefore, my mother has become her caretaker. Several weeks ago, my sister endured a major surgery which brought her a great deal of pain. The pain became so great that it caused her to have seizures so bad that she had to be hospitalized and eventually placed into a coma. My mom stayed by her side for hours on end, reading books, singing to her, and praying for her constantly. I know that seeing her own daughter in such an unsteady state must have been unimaginably difficult, yet she remained strong in the midst of it all.

Selfless giving has always been one of her most beautiful attributes, yet this time I am hopeful that she will be able to receive something back for all she has given. Since she has always given her best and will continue to do so, I believe she deserves some well needed rest.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Faith Joiner


Studio88 hosts donation site to benefit HomeAid Orange County

This year, Studio88, the coworking space for interior designers, is leading efforts in supporting HomeAid Orange County in its mission to end homelessness by becoming part of HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month Committee.

Studio88, in collaboration with studio member Design Tec, is hosting a donation site at the studio at 20371 Irvine Ave., Suite 240, Newport Beach. They are inviting interior designers – and everyone in the local community – to donate canned food items and $20-$25 grocery gift cards from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, through November 13. With your generous donations, their team will create Thanksgiving Meal Boxes for families and individuals in need this holiday season. For a list of items that are in need, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Studio88 four ladies

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Katy Erin

(L-R) Anne Guggisberg, Lana Canova, Alicia Turner and Chris Johnson (founder) at Studio88’s coworking space for interior designers

Studio88 and Design Tec are also looking for at least five sponsors for this year’s initiative, at levels ranging from $1,500-$10,000. They would like to recognize and thank their first two sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and HomeStreet Bank. If you’re in a position to sponsor, them hope you’ll reach out. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

HomeAid Orange County was founded 31 years ago by the OC Chapter of the Building Industry Association. Simply put, they develop housing options for other nonprofits that serve those experiencing homelessness in our community. Since it was first founded by the BIASC, HomeAid OC has developed 71 different forms of housing that almost 72,000 have been able to call home.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, HomeAid OC is working to support those most in need in our community by providing them with a Thanksgiving meal this holiday season.

If you have questions or want more details about HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month and Thanksgiving Meal Drive, visit https://studio88.com/events-create-and-connect/ and click on events.


United to End Homelessness encourages community to participate in November events

United to End Homelessness is raising awareness and drawing attention to the issue of homelessness leading up to and during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. A variety of virtual education and advocacy events and community outreach opportunities are scheduled. 

Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week is slated to take place from Sunday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 22.

“Many people in our community are experiencing homelessness or are on the verge of becoming homeless. This has been a trying time for all but especially for our neighbors without a home,” said Becks Heyhoe, executive director of United to End Homelessness. “It is our collective responsibility to make sure everyone in Orange County has safe, stable housing and our hope is that we can rally the community during Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week to raise much-needed awareness for this critical issue.”

The following free virtual events and initiatives are open to participation from the public: 

–Hunger and Homelessness Awareness “Essential” Social Media Campaign

This year’s social media campaign will seek to raise awareness about how essential a home is in solving homelessness as well as highlighting the different resources that are currently available. On your own social media platforms, educate your friends, families and coworkers about the several essential elements required to end and address homelessness, including but not limited to service providers also known as our “Unsung Heroes.”

Learn how to correctly utilize the social media kit by attending a social media kit workshop on November 5 from 12-12:30 p.m., or 6:30-7 p.m. Go here to RSVP.

To sign up to receive the social media kit, click here.

–Community Chats

Attend virtual interviews and discussions with industry experts about various topics related to the current COVID-19 pandemic and homelessness.

~Thursday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day Series

-9:30-10 a.m. – “An Overview of Veteran Homelessness.” RSVP here.

-12-12:30 p.m. – “Property Owners Ending Homelessness.” RSVP here.

-4-4:30 p.m. – “Service Providers Supporting Those Who Served.” RSVP here.

~Thursday, Nov. 19 from 12-12:30 p.m. – “Stability is Essential.” RSVP here.

-Confirmed speakers include David Gillanders, executive director of Pathways of Hope; Karyn Hay, housing stabilization coordinator for Friendship Shelter; and Shay Sorrells, chief program officer for Orangewood Foundation.

~Friday, Nov. 20 from 12-12:30 p.m. – “Prevention is Essential.” RSVP here.

-Confirmed speakers include David Cordero, executive director of the Apartments Association of Orange County; Victor Cao, vice president of public affairs for California Apartment Association; and Elizabeth Andrade, chief executive officer of Family Assistance Ministries.

–Homelessness 101 Class

Gain a better understanding of the homeless system in Orange County, including the most up-to-date statistics and best practices for solving homelessness in our community.

~Thursday, Nov. 12 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. RSVP here.

–Housing Champion Advocacy 101 Class

Learn how to be an effective voice for more supportive and affordable housing in your community, how to move housing projects towards approval and how to deliver strong public comments at key city council and commission board hearings.

~Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP here

For more information about United to End Homelessness, visit the website at www.unitedtoendhomelessness.org/.


COVID-19: 308 new cases reported in OC, 7 new cases in Newport Beach

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 62,583 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 308 cases yesterday (November 9).

Sadly, the county reports that 1,509 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County. There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 1,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of seven cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 14.866 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 205 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 76 are in ICU.

The county estimates 55,063 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 9 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 9 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 9 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 9, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

With Steel off to D.C., who fills her spot on the Board of Supervisors and when?

Tom headshot 8 1.25.20The results of last week’s election have yet to be certified, but it appears that Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel will be moving on to a new home representing the 48th Congressional District. Steel presently has a 7,600+ vote lead while taking 51 percent of the vote. It appears she’ll replace one-term incumbent Harley Rouda.

Assuming Steel wins, what then happens to her seat with the Board of Supervisors representing the Second District? Well, to get the answer I checked in with none other than Neal Kelley at the Orange County Registrar of Voters for the answer. As you might imagine, Kelley has been kind of busy as of late.

“As for timing, the county charter would have the special election (for the vacancy) falling likely in early/mid-March,” said Kelley. “I haven’t been completely focused on this, but we are working on a few calendar scenarios and it’s dependent on exactly when the vacancy would occur. But that time frame is very likely.” 

The next question becomes who runs for that then open seat? 

A couple of names already have open campaign accounts ticketed for Supervisor 2022, so they’d have to be considered fairly serious. They are Newport Beach City Councilman Kevin Muldoon and Huntington Beach City Councilman Mike Posey.

Muldoon’s account, in fact, has had recent activity according to his July 31, 2020 Committee Candidate Statement filing. 

In the filing period through July 31, 2020, Muldoon raised $23,335, spent $6,280, leaving him with an account ending cash balance of $65,278.

Similar action with Posey who gathered just more than $29,000 in contributions during the same period leaving him with an ending cash balance of $23,348.

Either one would need a lot more money than that to truly run a meaningful campaign. 

For example, Steel’s 2018 filing shows that she spent more than $240,000 in the final year leading up to her election to win that seat.

What other names might join in the mix? How about Diane Dixon, who looks like she’ll lose a very close Assembly run against Cottie Petrie-Norris? She’d probably be looking for something else to do because she’d be termed-out here in Newport Beach for council duties.

Another one might be Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley who won in a romp for re-election and come two years she’ll also be termed out with no place to go.

State Senator John Moorlach, Costa Mesa City Councilman Allan Mansoor and former Assemblyman Matthew Harper are all out of a place to hang their hats moving forward, so I’d be surprised if one or more didn’t take a look.

Here’s one for you, how about Newport Beach Mayor Will O’Neill? I figure he was probably more poised for a 2022 congressional run had Steel lost this year, but with that issue off the table, what’s next? 

I asked the Mayor about the Supervisor spot: “I endorsed Michelle Steel for Congress and I’m encouraged to see her progress at this point,” said O’Neill. “The ‘What Is’ has required so much of my attention as Mayor this year, so I haven’t had significant time playing ‘What If.’ I place a high premium on good, competent local leadership and appreciate the faith people have placed in me for this position in a tough year.”

O’Neill certainly appears to have the creds and support. The 40,000+ votes he received last Tuesday are nearly 10,000 more than any other council candidate has ever received in Newport Beach. 

Still, the geography for the Board of Supervisor Second District is bigger than just Newport Beach. It also encompasses Costa Mesa, Cypress, Huntington Beach, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, Stanton, the unincorporated area of Rossmoor, and portions of Buena Park and Fountain Valley. So name recognition and money will be the keys.

So, just when you thought election season was in the rearview mirror, buckle up, there’s apparently more to come.

• • •

Before we get away from the November results, as I mentioned above, Petrie-Norris probably will be spending two more years in Sacramento after narrowly defeating Newport Beach City Councilwoman Dixon for the 74th Assembly spot and newcomer Dave Min should join her on the 37th Senate side by beating Moorlach.

There’s also great news on the Newport-Mesa Unified School District front, with three new Trustees. Leah Ersoylu appears to have ousted incumbent Vicki Snell in Area 1, joining newcomers Carol Crane and Krista Weigand who both won vacant seats in Areas 3 and 6.

Lots of work ahead for that group to get this community back on board and positively engaged. The good news is that I believe we have the right team to do that.

• • •

Speak Up Newport will hold a Zoom webinar tomorrow afternoon from 4-5 p.m. The subject is a look into the new Newport Beach Animal Shelter.

Featured will be panelists Jon Langford, President of Friends of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS), and Valerie Schomburg, City Animal Control Officer. The two will discuss the move from limited rented facilities into a permanent new state-of-the-art home. 

In order to do so, FONBAS originally set out to raise some $2 million. Well, I’m told that last week an anonymous donor delivered the final funds to the tune of $250,000. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Get the shovels ready, it appears there’s a groundbreaking on the horizon.

To attend the Zoom, go here to register.

• • •

Sports editor, sportswriter and now twice published author Richard Dunn will have a book launch of One Pitch Wonder, a baseball memoir and tribute to his young son Julian, who passed away of brain cancer at only nine years of age in 2013. The celebration for Rich and Julian will take place at Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizza at 2300 SE Bristol St. on Sunday, Nov. 22 from 5-6:30 p.m.

The book will be available that evening and also on Amazon. All proceeds benefit Julian’s LEGO Corner at CHOC.

I have to ask, is there anything better than supporting a cause that raises funds to finding a cure to combat cancer for our children? I think not. Hope I’ll see you there.


King Tides will hit town Sunday and Monday

King Tides are expected to hit Newport Beach Sunday and Monday, Nov. 15-16. They are the highest high tides of the year, about a foot or two higher than average tides, which corresponds to the one to two foot rise in sea level expected during the next few decades. 

The first High Tide is expected Sunday at 8:23 a.m. at +6.89 ft. and Monday at 9:02 a.m. at +6.85 ft. measured at the entrance to Newport Bay. Corresponding low tides those days will be -1.27 ft. at 3:23 p.m. on Sunday and on Monday, -1.28 ft. at 4:13 p.m.

Newport Beach’s Utilities Director Mark Vukojevic says the city will be ready and will formulate a plan according to anticipated weather and rain conditions later in the week.

Although King Tides are not caused by the rising sea levels, according to the California King Tides Project, the sea level rise being experiencing now and in the future is caused by burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas. Carbon dioxide in our atmosphere acts like a blanket, trapping in heat that would otherwise escape. When fossil fuels are burned, they’re adding more carbon dioxide, “thickening the blanket” and warming the planet and ocean.

Sea level is then rising because land-based glaciers and ice sheets are melting into the ocean and also because water expands in volume when it warms. The amount of sea level rise will ultimately depend on how quickly fossil fuels are stopped from burning.

The King Tides simply offer a look into the future as to what the sea level rise issues could cause.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

A Look Back Marine Avenue

Click on photo for a larger image

Marine Avenue, circa 1930s

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are currently closed to the public. Purchases can be made online. 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..


School Notes

Newly elected Board members share what’s on their mind

The 2020 Election brought about three new members to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s seven-person board. All three new Trustee-elects have offered up their comments concerning their election victory and their priorities and goals.

Leah Ersoylu (Area 1 includes Early College, Estancia, TeWinkle, Adams, California and Killybrooke)

“Running against an incumbent, during a pandemic, was no small feat. I knew this would be an uphill battle when I decided to run last year.

“This would have not been possible without the support of the community. Hundreds of individual donors helped us raise nearly $30,000 and added to the $17,500 from the teachers union, so we had enough funds to be viable. These funds were critical to helping us get the word out to voters – we sent mailers, ran Facebook ads and had fliers dropped throughout the district door-to-door, twice. 

“In addition, dozens of parent volunteers worked tirelessly getting those fliers out, sharing social media posts and talking to neighbors. 

“I am grateful for all of the support. People wanted change and they were willing to work for it – it was true democracy in action.

“Top of mind, I’m interested in getting settled in, meeting the other Board members and key staff, as well as all principals in my Area. 

“As far as projects, I’m interested in making sure the community is both aware and has input into the location of the $32 million Estancia Theater. I’ve been vocal about what I think of tree removal and want to be sure other options are exhausted. I’m also interested in learning where we are in terms of a vision of mathematics, given such a large proportion of our middle and HS students are not performing at grade level. 

“Overall, I’m excited to get to work for all of our families and will always be open to listening to the community.” 

Carol Crane (Area 3 includes Back Bay/Monte Vista, Corona del Mar and Eastbluff)

“The short game is to assess, monitor and adjust NMUSD’s current pandemic learning models in order to mitigate the loss of learning and provide the (educational and social emotional) support that our students, teachers and staff need to be successful; to be sure that CdMHS construction stays on track; and to meet and get to know my fellow trustees. 

“The long game is to focus heavily on quality of education, social/emotional health, communication and transparency; trustee visibility and outreach in order to regain and maintain the confidence and trust of the community and its stakeholders (we have experienced a flight to private schools – how do we/will we get those families back?); build and sustain the mission of the Human Relations Task Force; and, Superintendent search to select an individual that will execute the above.

“I am honored to have been elected as the next trustee for Area 3 and I am eager to roll up my sleeves and get to work. I am looking forward to working with the new Board in formulating policy that will benefit our district.” 

Krista Weigand (Area 6 includes Harper PreSchool, Kaiser, Mariners, Newport Heights and Woodland)

“I want to thank everyone who supported my campaign and helped elect me as a Trustee for Newport-Mesa Unified School District. 

“Since I announced my candidacy, I have met so many wonderful people who all share the same goal of making our district second to none. This campaign was truly a family effort with my husband and I, along with our wonderful volunteers, knocking on over 6,000 doors. Meeting voters face-to-face has taught me a lot about what’s important to the residents of Newport-Mesa. 

“I also want to thank the other three candidates in the race who put themselves out there with the common goal of benefiting our students and community.

“As a Trustee, my top issue is getting our kids safely back on campus and keeping them there. I am passionate about making sure our kids have the best education possible during this difficult time. I also want to make sure our district has the correct leaders in each position that will set our schools up for success.

“With my background in project management, I want to put concrete processes and reporting procedures in place to make sure that we are never behind the eight ball on any project whether that be construction or reopening our schools.”


Workshops seek community input on the future of housing

How should Newport Beach grow in the future? The community is invited to discuss that question and provide input during two interactive, virtual workshops scheduled for November 16 and 17.

The city must plan for an additional 4,834 housing units over the next decade to comply with the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA). These workshops will help shape the city’s “suitability analysis” of housing densities, which will be included in an update to the General Plan.

The first workshop, on November 16 at 6 p.m., will focus on the airport area and western portions of the city, including West Newport and West Newport Mesa. The November 17 workshop, also beginning at 6 p.m., will focus on Newport Center and Coyote Canyon Landfill. Both workshops will take place over Zoom with additional input opportunities offered online.

The November workshops continue a series of virtual workshops, online activities and educational videos to engage Newport Beach residents in the General Plan update. The workshops will be discussion-based, with polls and surveys incorporated.

November 16. Part 1: Airport area and Western portions of the City, including West Newport and West Newport Mesa.

–November 17. Part 2: Newport Center and Coyote Canyon Landfill.

To register via Zoom go here.

The workshops will be recorded and available at www.NewportTogether.com. If you are not able to attend the live workshops, you can watch the recordings and provide input at your convenience. 

The City’s General Plan Housing Element details the city’s strategy for enhancing and preserving community character and identifies strategies for expanding housing. The Circulation Element governs how cars and people move through the city on local roadways, buses, ferries and trails. Over the next few months, the City of Newport Beach will host more opportunities to provide input into the Housing and Circulation Elements, as well as environmental justice policies for the General Plan Update.


I’ll take remembrances for $800: Trebek will be missed by his viewers in Newport Beach

I'll take remembrances

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Nadine Turner

On a walk around Balboa Island yesterday, Nadine Turner of Newport Coast came across this sand sculpture by Chris Crosson remembering Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek who passed Sunday of cancer. Trebek was the host of the show for the last 36 years. He will certainly be missed by many.


Falling for fall

Falling for sunset

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stan Sievers

 November colors paint the sky in Newport Beach


2020 Election results

2020 Election results


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, 

Orange County’s COVID-19 case numbers have been trending upward, although the County still remains in the “substantial” (red) tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy

The state system tracks three COVID-19 metrics: average daily case rates per 100,000 population, the percentage of positive tests, known as the positivity rate and the health equity metric. 

As of this week, Orange County recorded 6.0 average daily cases, up from 5.1 average daily cases last week. The test positivity rate increased from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent this week, which would qualify Orange County to move into the “moderate” (orange) tier, if not for the higher case numbers. The health equity metric decreased slightly this week, from 6.0 percent to 5.7 percent. The equity metric needs to be below 5.2 percent to move into the moderate tier. 

For more on the status of Orange County and others, visit www.COVID19.ca.gov.

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of November 5, the number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 1,270 and the total cases in Orange County was 61,112. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of October 30 was 54,429. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. 

COVID-19 Resources 

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is the state’s four-tiered, color-coded system for re-opening California’s businesses. Counties move through each of the four tiers based on two key metrics: case rates and the percentage of positive tests. 

Moving from tier to tier requires a 21-day wait time and counties will be required to meet the metrics for the next tier for two weeks in a row. 

The County of Orange COVID-19 data and information can be found 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 maintains a list of FDA-approved testing sites for county residents at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

District 1 Virtual Town Hall November 19 

Please join us for a virtual town hall meeting for residents of Council District 1 (Peninsula area) on November 19 from 5-6:30 p.m. via Zoom. 

The topics will include Oceanfront Boardwalk safety, recent changes to short-term rental housing regulations enacted by the City Council, the new city fire station near Lido Isle and the Lido water main replacement project. 

Please register for the Town Hall in advance at this link

We Want to Hear From You! Visit www.NewportTogether.com

Due to the October 2021 state-mandated deadline to submit an adopted Housing Element, the city is currently focused on updating the Housing and Circulation Elements and we need your participation to do that. 

On October 20, 2020, the city hosted its first virtual housing workshop via Zoom and conducted several polling activities. These included providing input on which types of housing products (i.e., single-family residences, multi-family structures, etc.) would be best suited for each area of the city, as identified during the Listen & Learn efforts in 2019. If you did not make it to that workshop, then don’t worry. The same activities have been provided online here. You can register or sign in, access the mapping tool, and drop pins for where you believe the state-mandated 4,834 new housing units should be planned. In addition, you can provide input on which type of housing is best suited for each location. 

The next virtual housing workshops are planned for Monday, Nov. 16 and Tuesday, Nov. 17 both beginning at 6 p.m. The entire community is invited and encouraged to participate in the discussion. For more information on the Wednesday, Nov. 11 Holiday Closure – Veterans Day; Thursday, Nov. 12 Zoning Administrator Meeting City Hall, City Council Chambers 100 Civic Center Drive (See agenda for instructions on how to participate) 10 a.m.; Thursday, Nov. 12 City Arts Commission Meeting Virtual Commission Meeting (See agenda for instructions on how to participate) at 5 p.m. and upcoming opportunities to get involved and to provide input virtually, visit www.NewportTogether.com. Be sure to register to stay informed and stay engaged. The city needs and appreciates your input. 

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. 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. 

Success Stories 

–The Homeless Liaison Officer assisted a woman by reuniting with her family in Wisconsin. The woman lost her teaching position due to COVID-19 and could not afford her rent in Newport Beach. The woman’s wallet and identification were stolen while she was unsheltered for several weeks. The Homeless Liaison Officer contacted the woman’s family to make travel arrangements, collaborated with the Transportation Security Administration at John Wayne Airport to allow her to fly without an ID, and transported her to the airport for her flight. 

–A young couple who experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for the past seven months recently rented a room from a family member. They continue to work with the Homeless Liaison Officer, City Net staff, and the Homeless Coordinator for ongoing support, access to job resources and counseling services.

–The Homeless Liaison Officer reunited a woman with her family in Northern California. The woman fled south during the fires and came to the Orange County beach communities for clean air. Her husband contacted local police departments to locate her and encourage her to return home. After spending several weeks unsheltered in Newport Beach, the woman agreed to contact her husband and reunite with her family. 

–A man experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach for two weeks worked with the City’s Homeless Liaison Officer to return to his family in Oregon. 

–Two people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness were enrolled into City Net services. City Net staff completed Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments for each. The assessments are 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. Following the assessment, one person is awaiting placement into a detox center and the second is entering a domestic violence shelter. Case managers will follow up with the clients to provide housing assessments and prepare documentation for housing. 

–City Net completed two housing assessments for people enrolled in their services. One person is identifying relocation options in Orange County to find affordable housing. 

–City Net assisted two people in the Balboa Pier area to access the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) service. The EBT system is used in California for the delivery, redemption and reconciliation of issued public assistance benefits, such as CalFresh, CalWORKs, and other food and cash aid benefits. Established in 2004, EBT provides up to $125 a person a month to purchase food. 

–With the assistance of City Net, a man staying in a Project Roomkey motel has returned to a sober living home operated by Project Kinship and re-enrolled into a support program. Project Kinship, established in 2014, provides support and training for people impacted by incarceration, gangs and violence. 

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

Throughout the month of October, 22 military veterans and their families have been housed through the county’s Coordinated Entry System. The Coordinated Entry System manages a roster of eligible veterans and works with service providers, such as City Net, to match veterans with housing opportunities. Most of the veterans were placed into the new Placentia Veterans Village, which offers 50 units of permanent, supportive housing. 

Via Lido Soud & Nord Water Main Replacement Begins 

Construction for the Via Lido Soud & Nord Water Main Replacement project is now beginning. The water mains on Lido Isle were installed in the 1930s and are in need of replacement after almost 90 years of service. These water mains serve water to the individual homes as well as provide fire protection for the island. The contractor is currently working on exploratory potholing work to identify existing utilities or possible trench line obstructions. City crews are also busy performing water test shut-downs in anticipation of the water main installation efforts that are scheduled to start November 12. During these water test shut-downs, inland residents can expect to have intermittent interruptions in water service lasting no longer than an hour. We understand many of you are currently working from home and the construction noise, as well as water service disruptions, can make it difficult. Please know that the contractor and city crews are trying very hard to keep these disruptions down to a minimum. Should you have any questions regarding this project, please contact either Alfred Castanon or Mike Sinacori at 949.644.3330. 

Insider’s Guide for the Newport Beach City Council Meeting on November 10, 2020 

Our next City Council meeting is Tuesday, Nov. 10. Items that may be of interest are highlighted below. The entire agenda, and all reports, can be viewed here

The Newport Beach Public Facilities Corporation meeting will begin at 4 p.m. to discuss proposed financing for the new Fire Station No. 2. A Council Study Session, on the status of the City’s General Plan update, will begin at 4:30 p.m. The Council’s Regular Meeting begins at 6 p.m., with the following agenda items of note: 

On the Consent Calendar: 

–An award of contract for phase 2 of the Water Transmission Main Valve project, which replaces large diameter valves that are critical components of our water infrastructure. The $3 million project will replace 22 valves at various locations and is funded in the Water Enterprise Fund through water rates. 

–Consideration of an $880,000 contract award for the Balboa Crossing Improvement Project. The proposed project would improve and upgrade sidewalks, drainage, pavement, landscaping and traffic signals on the Balboa Peninsula at 26th and 28th streets. 

–Approval of an annual Measure M2 expenditure report. The Orange County Transportation Authority oversees distribution of M2 bond funds, approved by voters in 2006. The city received $2.6 million in M2 Funds in FY 2019-20. 

Current Business includes: 

–Potential award of a construction contract and adoption of a financing plan for the new city fire station near Lido Isle. The new Fire Station No. 2, at 28th Street and Newport Boulevard, will replace the current Lido Fire Station No. 2 on 32nd Street, which is nearly 70 years old and does not meet current building codes. The council will consider a $6.3 million construction contract award and a 10-year financing plan not to exceed $10 million. The total cost of the project is estimated to be $9.05 million. 

–Updating the fair market value per acre to be used in assessing in-lieu park dedication fees. The Newport Beach Municipal Code requires developers that subdivide land parcels for residential housing projects to dedicate land for park space, pay in-lieu fees, or a combination of both. The fee was last updated in 2007. 

–An annual review of the city agreement with Sierra by the Sea, which operates sober living facilities in Newport Beach. Following review of the operations and requirements of the zoning agreement, staff concludes the operator is in compliance with all requirements.


COVID-19: 512 new cases and 3 new deaths reported in OC, 5 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,509 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (November 8). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 62,255 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 512 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,289 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.786 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 201 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 72 are in ICU.

The county estimates 54,847 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 8 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 8 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 8 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 8, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Petrie-Norris and Dixon remain close in 74th Assembly race with votes left

Saturday, November 7, former Vice President Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris were declared winners of the 2020 Presidential Election.

But here in Orange County several races are still too close to call with some 100,000 OC votes still to be counted.

The closest remaining local race is between incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris and former Newport Beach Mayor and current City Councilwoman Diane Dixon in the 74th Assembly race. Each count since the election has seen a tightening in the overall margin. Petrie-Norris currently leads by just over 3,000 votes. 

Another close battle is between Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel and incumbent Harley Rouda for the 48th Congressional seat. Rouda led early in the vote count, but less than a day following the election Steel had assumed slight control and has not looked back. Her lead widened to nearly 5,000 votes by Friday’s reporting and 7,000 by Saturday.

Newcomer Dave Min and John Moorlach remain close in the 37th State Senate race. Min leads by nearly 7,000 votes. 

Winners for Newport Beach City Council seats are Brad Avery in District 2, Noah Blom in District 5 and Mayor Will O’Neill in District 7.

Newport-Mesa Unified School District appears to have three new Trustees with Leah Ersoylu claiming the District 1 seat over Vicki Snell, Carol Crane defeating Charles Booker in District 3 and Krista Weigand beating Amy Peters in District 6.

Petrie Norris and Dixon


COVID-19: 3 new deaths reported in OC, 8 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,506 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported today (November 7). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 61,743 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 322 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of eight cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.728 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 31 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 199 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 72 are in ICU.

The county estimates 54,799 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 7 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 7 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 7 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 7, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 9 new deaths reported in OC, 6 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,503 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including nine new deaths reported today (November 6). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 61,421 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 309 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,276 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of six cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.636 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 38 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 177 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 72 are in ICU.

The county estimates 54,645 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 6 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 6 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 6 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 6, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Top five things to do at ENC in November

Here are the top five things to do at the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) during the month of November to get children and adults exploring the diversity of programs and opportunities that ENC offers.

Herb Walk: Learn Native Plant Uses on November 7 from 1-2:30 p.m. Join Herbalist William Broen to learn traditional and modern uses of plants as well as how a plant’s survival tactics affect how they are used by us, how we can tell a lot about plants through our senses, plant folklore and more. Broen’s walks are informative, interactive, accessible, fun and understandable. He is always happy to share his knowledge of botanical medicine with interested people. Broen is a Bioregional Herbalist (one who focuses on local California plants) and he uses a constitutional approach that integrates knowledge and concepts from many world traditions. He has been conducting lectures on medicinal and edible plants of California and the Southwestern United States for 20 years. For more information and to register, go here.

Top five things Broen

Photos courtesy of ENC

Herbalist William Broen leads an informative walk identifying native plants

Nature Camps on November 9-20 at 9-11 a.m., 1-4 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.; and November 23-December 4 at 9-11 a.m., 1-4 p.m. and 3-5 p.m. Join the Before or After School Nature Camp to enhance your child’s education this Fall. ENC Nature Camps provide a learning experience while also giving campers the opportunity to get outside for 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 need to re-engage, re-connect and thrive. After their virtual or in person school day is done – or before it begins – campers spend time at the ENC with friends and mentors for hands-on learning, creative enrichment and expression, a chance to explore without stress. For more information and to register, go here.

Top five things Boy and girl

Click on photo for a larger image

Before and After School Nature Camps encourage hands-on learning

Family Holiday Photo Sessions on November 14 at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:15 p.m. Book an hour in the Center to take your family holiday photos. Bring a photographer or take your own. If bringing a professional photographer, please complete a photo permit, but the fee for this session covers the permit fee.

All Nature Center guidelines must be followed, including staying on the trail. Masks must be worn by all visitors over 2 years old, except for when photos are being taken. Family units of up to 10 people are welcome. No pets. For more information and to register, go here.

Top five things Family

Click on photo for a larger image

Take your family holiday photo along an ENC nature trail

Bird Watching Hour at the ENC on November 18 from 7:30-8:30 a.m. ENC has noticed a diversity of bird species on the grounds and they wanted to share. Join them for a quiet hour of bird watching before the kids start arriving for their program at 9 a.m. Registered birders will have an hour to walk the grounds independently (this is not a naturalist-led program). No walk-ins; the ENC is still closed to the public except for those registered for programs. All Nature Center guidelines must be followed, including staying on the trail. Masks must be worn by all visitors. Space is limited to keep numbers small and safe. Please remain physically distanced from others while here. Here is a list of birds sighted at the Center in the past. They can’t wait to hear about what you see. For more information and to register, go here.

Top five things Hummingbird

A hummingbird is among the many birds spotted at ENC

Teachers Night Out at the ENC on November 19 from 4-5 p.m. The Teachers Night Out series brings all kinds of educators together for fun afternoons of learning exciting hands-on ways to teach children about science and nature. Join in person or virtually as you walk through the Center, after hours, to discover some engaging ways you and your students can learn about “Bringing the Outdoors In.” With many districts continuing virtual education through the end of the school year, bringing nature to virtual learners remains a challenge for classroom teachers. Afterwards, you’ll enjoy a light meal together and share some wine by the campfire. Many thanks to Las Palmeras, ENC’s wine sponsor, and Indarra, Modern Indian Cuisine their dinner sponsor, along with Chef Swarm The Pot Pie Guy, the dessert sponsor. For more information and to register, go here.

Top five things Teachers

Teachers gather around the campfire to discover new ways to engage their students

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


Tamara Mellon shoe truck at Fashion Island

It’s a shoe-in! The Tamara Mellon – TM Mobile Store (mobile shoe closet) has pulled up at Fashion Island through November 7. The 24-foot open air truck displays women’s luxury footwear from floor to ceiling in sizes 35-42, affording customers the opportunity to shop their perfect size in an outdoor setting.

Tamara Mellon shoe truck

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Fashion Island

Tamara Mellon TM Mobile Store with a peek inside their shoe closet

Customers who visit the TM Mobile Store are invited to stop by any time during open hours or book an appointment slot to avoid wait times (social distancing will be followed and PPE is provided).

The mobile truck is parked near Macy’s in Pacific Court, 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

To reserve a 15-minute appointment, visit the website at www.tamaramellon.com/pages/mobilecloset.


Pacific Chorale announces 2020 virtual holiday concert and gala

On Thursday, Dec. 3 at 5 p.m., Pacific Chorale will bring its perennially popular Tis the Season! holiday concert to online audiences for the first time. In the expectation of continuing restrictions on in-person gatherings and performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Robert Istad has assembled a program of cabaret-style offerings featuring individual singers from the Chorale intermixed with “virtual choir” selections, in which members of the larger Chorale membership record their individual vocal performances at home, to be edited together into one composite performance.

The program will also include guest performances by the Southern California Children’s Chorus and the students of Pacific Chorale’s new Academy @Home online music education program. The virtual program is being produced by Greg Christy of Brite Ideas of Rancho Santa Margarita, who has produced stunning live and virtual events for clients such as Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Audi and BMW. Pacific Chorale’s virtual choir selections are being prepared by Washington D.C.-based Arts Laureate.

Pacific Chorale Istad

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Andrew Brown

Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Robert Istad

According to Istad, “The holiday season is inextricably linked with memories of wonderful times with my family and friends. As I assembled the program, I hoped to inspire you to recall the moment you discovered the beauty of Ella Fitzgerald’s and Bing Crosby’s recordings, singing by candlelight with your family on Christmas Eve and unbridled laughter around a shared table. Most importantly, Pacific Chorale and I hope you’ll feel the love and warmth of those moments in your hearts.”

Among the highlights of the evening will be the premiere of a new arrangement of the carol “We Wish You a Merry (Virtual) Christmas,” commissioned from Emmy Award-winning composer Gary Fry, the principal pops arranger for ensembles such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Symphony. The program will also feature an intimate duet arrangement of the traditional “In the Bleak Midwinter” as recorded by Renée Fleming and arranged by Rob Moose, a member of Bon Iver and musician and arranger that frequently collaborates with artists such as John Legend, Ben Folds, LeAnn Rimes and Josh Groban.

Pacific Chorale soloists

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Drew L. Kelley

Pacific Chorale cabaret soloists

While the online concert will be free for all to view online, the program will be accompanied by a virtual gala fundraiser for the 52-year-old Orange County organization, including an online auction. Viewers will be able to watch and donate on silent auction items such as trips to Hawaii, Mexico and Paso Robles, jewelry, and unique gift baskets prepared by members of the Chorale. Donations and auction bidding to support Pacific Chorale’s ongoing artistic and education programs will be accepted via text and an online portal during the broadcast. Gala sponsorships are available ranging from $250-$15,000. Sponsors will enjoy prime recognition and benefits including access to bonus material and specially curated and home-delivered VIP “Cozy Kit” gift boxes to enjoy while watching from home. All gala donations received during the broadcast will be matched up to $30,000, thanks to a generous grant from Platinum Corporate Sponsor Salt-Away Products.

“This year, more than ever, we know we are all going to ‘Need a Little Christmas,” said Andrew Brown, president of Pacific Chorale. “That is why Rob Istad and our Pacific Chorale team started early this year to dream up a streamed holiday show and virtual gala, to bring a little holiday cheer into the hearts of our Chorale family, and hopefully a little financial support in Pacific Chorale’s holiday stocking!”

More details about Tis the Season! are forthcoming. Visit www.pacificchoraleorg/tis-the-season/ for the most current information. Gala sponsorships and VIP boxes start at $250.


UCI MIND adapts annual fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research with virtual venue

For the first time in the event’s decade-long history, the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND)’s A December to Remember gala will raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research in a digital setting. While many sectors remain at a standstill due to the pandemic, nonprofits like UCI MIND know that their mission must march forward. The virtual gala event will take place online on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 5:30-7 p.m., and is free to attend. To register to attend, visit https://aesbid.co/ELP/UCIMIND20/.

“We saw an incredible opportunity as we reimagined our annual gala to welcome more attendees than ever to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and the discoveries made here at UCI MIND, as well as to inspire members of our community who share a dedication to our mission,” said Senior Director of Development, Danny Harper. “This digital format gives us a platform to educate, entertain, and engage more hearts and minds, no matter where they are, and no matter if they decide to wear black-tie attire or their pajamas.”

UCI MIND 2019 gala

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Laurel Hungerford

Harriet Harris (second row center) and her family after receiving the UCI MIND Award at the 2019 “A December To Remember” gala event

The online broadcast will feature testimonials, an online auction and performances from Justin Willman, the star and creator of the hit Netflix series Magic for Humans, and Ashley Campbell, singer-songwriter and daughter of the late Glen Campbell. Both performers have personally witnessed the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in their lives and understand the importance of supporting organizations like UCI MIND, Orange County’s only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, as they work toward a cure for the disease affecting 5.8 million Americans.

Those who find themselves craving a culinary experience to accompany the educational and entertaining event are invited to add one of three dining options to their registration. Food and drink packages will be safely delivered by 5 p.m. on the day of the gala.

“When my mother, Harriet Harris, received the UCI MIND Award during last year’s gala event, our entire family was filled with immense pride in her dedication to this cause,” said Chris Taylor, Newport Beach resident and one of the title sponsors of this year’s A December To Remember fundraiser. “We stand with her and with UCI MIND in their mission to make memories last a lifetime. Despite the challenges of this year, UCI MIND is adapting the event to meet this unique moment. My siblings and I are thrilled to offer our support and drive awareness of the innovative research happening right here in Orange County.”

UCI MIND’s A December to Remember Gala is just one way to support its mission to advance research into improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Those interested in contributing to this critical mission can donate to UCI Mind or enroll in the UC Consent-to-Contact (C2C) Registry to learn about research participation opportunities.

For more information, visit www.mind.uci.edu.


Spirit adding more flights to JWA, with Allegiant, Air Canada and Sun County coming in 2021

The bright yellow planes of Spirit Airlines are about to begin touching down at John Wayne Airport (JWA), with more flights coming soon. Yesterday the airline announced plans for more service to the airport in 2021 with a second daily flight to Las Vegas and new nonstop service to Phoenix.

JWA will become the newest dot on Spirit’s route map beginning November 17, when the airline launches its previously announced daily flight to Las Vegas and twice-daily service to Oakland. 

Orange County recently awarded Spirit additional takeoff and landing rights for 2021, which allowed for the expansion to PHX and additional flying to LAS.

Spirit adding more flights jet

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of JWA

Look for the bright yellow Spirit jets at JWA beginning November 17

“We’ve wanted to bring More Go to Orange County for a long time now, and we appreciate the airport giving us an opportunity to expand so quickly,” Spirit Airlines Vice President of Network Planning John Kirby said. “People are ready to travel again, and we are excited to expand our service portfolio from John Wayne with new nonstops to Phoenix and expanded service to Las Vegas, giving our guests more access to low fares on the West Coast.”

Spirit’s three nonstop destinations come along with one-stop service throughout the U.S. The flights to Las Vegas offer convenient connections to another 15 major cities. Plus, JWA’s magical location means vacationers arriving in Orange County will find themselves closer to Disneyland than ever.

“It’s exciting that Spirit is adding new destinations from John Wayne Airport, Orange County,” John Wayne Airport Director Barry Rondinella said. “The addition of Phoenix and extra Las Vegas service to more than 20 nonstop destinations means even greater choice and convenience for our guests.”

Other companies expecting to join service out of Orange County in 2021 include Air Canada, initiating service beginning May 1; Allegiant beginning service February 11; and Sun County starting April 8.


Studio88 to host donation site to benefit HomeAid Orange County

This year, Studio88, the coworking space for interior designers, is leading efforts in supporting HomeAid Orange County in its mission to end homelessness by becoming part of HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month Committee.

Studio88, in collaboration with studio member Design Tec, is hosting a donation site at the studio at 20371 Irvine Ave., Suite 240, Newport Beach. They are inviting interior designers – and everyone in the local community – to donate canned food items and $20-$25 grocery gift cards from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday, through November 13. With your generous donations, their team will create Thanksgiving Meal Boxes for families and individuals in need this holiday season. For a list of items that are in need, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Studio88 four ladies

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Katy Erin

(L-R) Anne Guggisberg, Lana Canova, Alicia Turner and Chris Johnson (founder) at Studio88’s coworking space for interior designers

Studio88 and Design Tec are also looking for at least five sponsors for this year’s initiative, at levels ranging from $1,500-$10,000. They would like to recognize and thank their first two sponsors, Kaiser Permanente and HomeStreet Bank. If you’re in a position to sponsor, them hope you’ll reach out. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

HomeAid Orange County was founded 31 years ago by the OC Chapter of the Building Industry Association. Simply put, they develop housing options for other nonprofits that serve those experiencing homelessness in our community. Since it was first founded by the BIASC, HomeAid OC has developed 71 different forms of housing that almost 72,000 have been able to call home.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, HomeAid OC is working to support those most in need in our community by providing them with a Thanksgiving meal this holiday season.

If you have questions or want more details about HomeAid’s Homelessness Awareness Month and Thanksgiving Meal Drive, visit https://studio88.com/events-create-and-connect/ and click on events.


KidWorks’ First Annual Women’s Pickleball Tournament nets $12,000

Dozens of motivated Orange County women recently picked up their paddles and took to the courts to participate in the First Annual Women’s Pickleball Tournament organized by KidWorks, a Santa Ana-based nonprofit that provides academic, spiritual and leadership programs for underserved children and teens.

More than $12,000 was netted at the fundraising event, held October 23 at The Tennis Club at Newport Beach Country Club, in support of KidWorks’ College Success Initiative that is aimed at ending the poverty cycle by providing students the tools they need to graduate from college and launch careers.

KidWorks Carpenter

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of KidWorks

Kim Carpenter of Newport Beach gets ready to serve

Event sponsors included Newport Beach Country Club, Oltmans Construction, BCandy, Leslie Montgomery and an anonymous donor. Popularity is soaring for the paddleball sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton and table tennis.

“At the core of our College Success Initiative is a commitment to education because we know it leads to higher income, improved health and a better future,” said KidWorks Executive Director David Benavides. “We are developing life-ready learners who are leaders.”

KidWorks Seidner and Sheward

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Leslie Seidner, KidWorks Advisory Council and Leanne Sheward, both of Newport Beach

For the past several years, 100 percent of KidWorks’ high school students have graduated on time and 100 percent have gone onto higher education,

Tournament committee members included Heather Gaughan, Corinne Morgenstern, Sharon Roy, Leslie Montgomery and Kyle Team​ of Newport Beach. Team is also a KidWorks board member.

KidWorks Browne and Gaughan

(L-R) Vivian Browne of Newport Beach and Heather Gaughan of Corona del Mar

KidWorks high school senior Yosely Ocampo shared with the women the impact KidWorks has made on her life. Also participating in the event were Vicki Booth of the Peter and Ginny Ueberroth Family Foundation and Leslie Seidner, a member of the KidWorks Advisory Council, both who reside in Newport Beach.

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

KidWorks Morgenstern and Vigil

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Corinne Morgenstern of Corona del Mar and Susan Vigil of Newport Beach


Nominator shares Stu News/Spa Gregorie’s Promotion winner

Stu News Newport is excited to publish the winning submissions for our “Rest for the Best: De-stress. Refresh. Restore. Promotion” in partnership with Spa Gregorie’s. Thank you to the nominators who shared their compelling emails about those deserving of a luxurious pampering experience at Spa Gregorie’s Newport Beach. We look forward to hearing from each of the winners about their memorable spa day.

Winner: Michelle Waxman

Nominator: Bill Sharp, husband

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be a teacher right now, this week, in Orange County?

I’m not a teacher but I share a home office with one and I have to tell you about my wife, Michelle. She’s been teaching high school English for 31 years and she has never worked harder or more passionately than she has since classes started last month and it’s been astonishing to observe. The COVID pandemic hit suddenly back in March, shutting down schools with barely a couple days’ notice, and teachers were suddenly almost totally on their own without any real plan or solid online platform in place to guide this notion of “remote learning.” The spring semester ended in a whimper.

For many teachers not too far from retirement the new technologies have been a sign from above to follow the exit signs. But not Michelle. From the moment of the shutdown (and through the summer) she has dedicated herself to raising her game, becoming the best online teacher possible, then teaching her students how to be the best remote learners possible. Sitting in front of twin computers in our Newport Heights “virtual classroom” she broadcasts five times a day for 40 minutes at a time right into the living quarters of 170 Anaheim high schoolers, somehow getting them to wake up, sign on, solve their IT issues and learn about literature and grammar and parts of speech and how to express thoughts creatively.

When the Zoom-teaching day is done, she remains at her station late into the night (and into the weekend as well), mastering the dozen different software systems this online scheme requires and building out lesson plans for the following day. It is exhausting, endless and often frustrating work but it’s what it takes to make a difference in young lives. I have to salute Michelle and all the other teachers like her who have made it their loving mission to make this horrible situation a little bit better for the kids who are desperate to interact in a group and get their education back on track.

If there’s a woman who really deserves a massage or a facial or just a “thumbs up,” it’s Michelle Waxman.

Regards,

Bill Sharp


Dogs and cats and a place to live on next Speak Up Newport agenda

Speak Up Newport (SUN) will feature the “New Newport Beach Animal Shelter” at its upcoming Wednesday, Nov. 11 meeting from 4-5 p.m. 

With SUN currently unable to hold its normal programming at the Civic Center, this will be the group’s eighth in a series of special programs presented via Zoom.

Some five years ago, after concerns for animal welfare at outsourced animal shelters, the City of Newport Beach began operating its own shelter in a rented facility within the city.

Fast forward, local residents formed Friends of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter (FONBAS) and raised close to $2 million to acquire a new site and construct a permanent, state-of-the-art animal shelter.

The SUN program will feature FONBAS President Jon Langford and City Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg, who will present the shelter’s progress and construction plans.

The event is free to the community who are kindly asked to register here to attend. 

Prior to the event, residents are encouraged to email questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the discussion.

Speak Up Newport is a nonpartisan citywide residents group organized to promote the common good and general welfare of the Newport Beach community. This is accomplished through drawing attention to the desirable and unique quality of life in Newport Beach; taking action to inform residents of the issues impacting Newport Beach; celebrating the good things that happen in Newport Beach; and recognizing the people who have a positive impact on Newport Beach.

For more information of the monthly meeting or membership into Speak Up Newport, go to www.speakupnewport.com.


23rd Annual Luncheon celebrates Orangewood ambassadors

On Thursday, Oct. 29, the 23rd Annual Ambassador Luncheon celebrated Orangewood ambassadors, caring individuals and groups whose annual gifts of $1,000 or more support the Foundation’s efforts. Representing the business, government, education and philanthropic sectors, through their generosity and presence in the community, Orangewood ambassadors help spread the word about the important work with foster and community youth, providing even more youth the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. 

The luncheon, held via Zoom, took place at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana with the presentation of the General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award, bestowed on a worthy individual or couple who have given of their time and resources and who reflect the unending commitment to Orange County youth that has been demonstrated by Founding Board Chairman General William Lyon. Each attendee was treated to a special hand-delivered boxed luncheon, courtesy of Fork in the Road Catering.

23rd Annual Luncheon Sonya and Joe

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Orangewood

Sonya and Joe Lozowski, recipients of the General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award

 This year’s keynote speaker was Wes Moore, the CEO of Robin Hood – one of the largest anti-poverty forces in the nation. He is a bestselling author, a combat veteran and a social entrepreneur. Moore’s first book, The Other Wes Moore, is a perennial New York Times bestseller, capturing the nation’s attention on the fine line between success and failure in our communities and in ourselves. That story has been optioned by executive producer Oprah Winfrey and HBO to be made into a movie.

Throughout the program, invited attendees were encouraged to donate what they could to the Foundation. There were $95,000 live, organic donations, with another $68,000 pre-event donations, along with a $100,000 match from the Lyon Family.

Recipients of the General William Lyon Crystal Vision Philanthropy Award were Sonya and Joe Lozowski. For them, helping foster children goes deeper than supporting the Orangewood Foundation. For them, it’s personal. The couple grew up in Michigan and are both graduates of the University of Michigan. Joe had a thriving career in the commercial interiors industry and Sonya was a successful internal medicine physician and assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School.

 In 2002, the Lozowskis moved to Orange County and the following year, Sonya and Joe learned of three young siblings in Michigan who had been neglected and placed in foster care. For two years, Sonya flew every month to visit the children – Andrew, Joey and Lily. In 2005, the couple were able to adopt the children. Sonya gave up her medical practice to focus full-time on their care. “Sonya’s the hero here, not me. She’s devoted her life to these kids,” said Joe, who together with Sonya also have two biological children.

23rd Annual Luncheon Chris

Submitted photo

Orangewood Foundation CEO Chris Simonsen

In 2008, Orangewood CEO Chris Simonsen invited Joe to get involved with Orangewood. He and Sonya agreed, and the couple has been a generous supporter of Orangewood programs, including the Samueli Academy, ever since. Joe serves on the Foundation’s board and co-chaired the capital campaign for phase 1 and 2 for the Samueli Academy, raising more than $26 million. Sonya and Joe have provided college scholarships to 11 Samueli Academy graduates and taken a personal interest in the students’ success.

The Orangewood Foundation program helps foster youth to improve or strengthen their physical, emotional and “relational” health which are often necessary on the road to self-sufficiency through the following:

–Housing: Orangewood provides housing referrals and assistance, plus transitional housing through its three Rising Tide sites. The newest program, The Lighthouse, offers housing and other services to victims of sex trafficking.

–Life skills and employment: Several Orangewood programs help current and former foster youth learn essential life skills that children and teens from stable families often learn from their parents, either directly or through observation.

–Education: Samueli Academy, a program of Orangewood Foundation that just reached phase 3 of its capital campaign, raised more than $35.5 million. Through the capital campaign, Orangewood was able to expand Samueli to now include 7th and 8th grade, rather than just 9th-12th, build new innovative classrooms and labs to enhance their project-based/work-based learning approach, and build on-campus dorms to provide foster youth with on-campus housing, whereby students will be able to move into them starting next semester. Operations of the dorm fall under another Orangewood program – the Youth Connected Program (YCP) – and will accommodate up to 48 foster youth by its fourth year of operation. Through an innovative 5/2 model, the Youth Connected Program will offer students the ability to live in the on-campus dorm Sunday night through Friday afternoon, and with their foster family on weekends. This will provide students with a stable, nurturing and community-oriented environment during the week to enhance their learning and development, and consistent family connections on weekends.

23rd Annual Luncheon boxed lunch

Courtesy of Orangewood

Luncheon participants were treated to a hand-delivered boxed lunch, courtesy of Fork in the Road Catering

Ways to give to Orangewood Foundation include:

–Become an Ambassador: Donors of $1,000 or more each year receive special recognition and an invitation to the annual fall luncheon.

–Donate Services or Items: Orangewood distributes non-perishable food and hygiene items throughout the year for youth who are struggling with basic needs.

–My Orangewood: Orangewood Foundation “My Orangewood” program is a great way to celebrate or mark an occasion and support Orangewood’s youth at the same time.

–Monthly Giving: Their need is 24/7 – extend your support by becoming a monthly donor.

For more information on giving to Orangewood Foundation, visit www.orangewoodfoundation.org.


COVID-19: 3 new deaths reported in OC, 8 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,494 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including three new deaths reported yesterday (November 5). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 61,112 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 271 cases yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 1,270 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of eight cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 14.568 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 35 percent of ICU beds and 64 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 178 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 76 are in ICU.

The county estimates 54,429 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 5 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 5 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 5 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 5, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


City’s Director of Finance/Treasurer has abrupt departure

The City of Newport Beach’s longtime Director of Finance/Treasurer Dan Matusiewicz has been terminated, according to a statement released by the law firm Wagner Zemming Christensen, who appears to be representing him.

Matusiewicz has worked for the City for 29 years and is highly respected by those in the community whom he has interacted with.

According to the release, “Matusiewicz was in charge of a $300 million investment portfolio, a $300 million budget and has produced balanced budgets for nearly three decades, including producing budget surpluses averaging $10 million per year.”

It was also noted that Matusiewicz and his staff prepared a balanced budget with little to no impact on City services during this past year even when faced with a $30 million revenue shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City’s Public Information Manager, John Pope, acknowledged Matusiewicz’s departure in the following statement:

“The City of Newport Beach can confirm that Dan Matusiewicz has been terminated. The City of Newport Beach has always placed high expectations on everyone who works for the City, especially its senior managers. Our City Manager expects prudence, discernment, and service to our community over personal pride because these (and many other) qualities are expected by our residents of all those who work at City Hall. 

“While it would be inappropriate to discuss the specific details surrounding Mr. Matusiewicz’s departure, the City stands behind its decision to terminate his employment.” 

The law firm in their statement also highlighted several aspects of Matusiewicz’s employment saying, “(he) is well known for his expertise in managing underfunded pension liabilities for the City. He has had consistent state-wide prominence as a leader in the area of finance and his appearance at many government finance conferences alongside CalPERS staff and other industry experts, a testament to his knowledge, skills and abilities. 

“As recently as October 19, 2020, a CalPERS actuary went on record as stating that Matusiewicz has saved the City $73.5 million in interest by his aggressive approach to paying down the City’s pension obligations. 

“Ironically, the day after the actuary reported on the multi-million dollar interest savings to the City, including the Mayor, two council members and the City Manager, he was placed on administrative leave for no substantive reasons.”

Pope and the City countered by saying, “As the public knows, the City’s finances are actively managed by the City Council, City Manager, Finance Committee and Finance Department staff. Together, they have dedicated countless hours to strengthening the City’s finances.”

Pope continues that in spite of Mr. Matusiewicz’s claim of sole credit for the city’s financial condition that it “is misguided and fails to acknowledge that the City’s financial health is based on the collaborative efforts of a dedicated group of highly educated and experienced colleagues.

“It is disappointing that Mr. Matusiewicz would leave numerous meritless allegations in his wake. Even so, we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Several high-ranking community members and a former top city official seemed surprised when contacted by Stu News concerning Matusiewicz’s exit.


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Counting continues, some races finalized, while Mayor Will O’Neill receives record voter support

Tom headshot 8 1.25.20Locally, it’s all done except for the final counting. And surprisingly, there are still some local races up for grabs. 

One race still very close is the 48th Congressional race between incumbent Harley Rouda and challenger Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel.

As the counting began in the evening hours Tuesday, Rouda jumped out to a lead and very early indications pointed to his success. Not so.

Steel charged back taking the lead narrowly, before opening up a nearly 5,000-vote lead by last (Thursday) evening’s ballot reporting.

On the state level at the 74th Assembly, Cottie Petrie-Norris is getting a formidable challenge from former mayor and current Newport Beach City Councilperson Diane Dixon.

Every count has Dixon closing. Last evening Petrie-Norris lead Dixon 51-49 percent.

The same story in the 37th State Senate race where Dave Min, a UCI Law professor, maintains a small lead over John Moorlach. Min is currently holding 51.6 percent of the vote.

Here in Newport Beach, Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery turned back challenger Nancy Scarbrough, with Avery now hitting 60 percent of the vote. 

The win sets up what should be the potential naming of Avery as Newport Beach’s next mayor come December.

Newport Beach’s most controversial race involved incumbent Jeff Herdman and his opponent, small business owner Noah Blom. That race included a number of below the belt charges against both candidates which at times seemed to turn up the heat.

In the end, Blom prevailed convincingly approaching 59 percent of the vote.

In a letter elsewhere in Stu News today, Blom acknowledged Herdman’s work in the city over the last four years and is asking that the “tumultuous nature of the election” be put behind us, calling for “unity” moving forward.

The one sure bet going into the election was the re-election of Mayor Will O’Neill, who ran unopposed. How well did our mayor do? Well, the unofficial top voter getter in previous Newport Beach City Council races in the City’s history dates back to former Mayor Steve Bromberg in 2004 with 32,804 votes.

Two others that came close to Bromberg’s number including multi-time Mayor Ed Selich with 31,506 and former councilman Tony Petros with 30,506.

Well, Mayor O’Neill blew all of those numbers away with now 37,353 votes…and counting.

Another City contest is the approval of a Harbor Commission with Measure Z. It passed with 55 percent of the vote.

In school board races it appears that new representation rose to the challenge and will assume all three seats on the ballot.

In District 3, Carol Crane easily defeated Charles Booker with more than 65 percent of the vote. Crane will represent the Corona del Mar High School area.

The most crowded NMUSD race was in District 6 with four candidates. Krista Weigand won with 50 percent of the vote, followed by Amy Peters with more than 38.5 percent. Xeno Ralk Muller II and Alexis Zavouris took 7.5 and 4 percent, respectfully.

The third NMUSD race is across the border in Costa Mesa where challenger Leah Ersoylu appears to have knocked off incumbent Vicki Snell in District 1. Ersoylu has more than 53 percent of the vote. However, with less than a 700-vote lead, we still won’t call it.

Stu News will continue to update local numbers until the counting concludes each night at 5 p.m.

• • •

Eagle Four Partners, LLC and Lyon Living announced the acquisition of the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa this week.

The group Eagle Four Partners, LLC is made up of a number of notable local names, including Kevin Martin, Todd Pickup, Joe Moody, Rick Weiner and Kory Kramer.

Eagle Four Partners’ assets portfolio includes the Balboa Bay Resort, Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, Estancia La Jolla, Meritage Resort & Spa in Napa, Ko’a Kea Resort in Kauai as well as other branded hotels in California and Arizona. They also own Newport Beach Country Club.

“Newport Beach is our home. We are proud owners of the Balboa Bay Resort & Club and Newport Beach Country Club. Partnering with Newport Beach-based Lyon Living, we believe our group will transform the Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa into a preeminent community asset for future generations,” said Martin.

Fair Game Marriott Hotel

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Werner Segarra Photography

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa

Marriott International will continue as the hotel’s operator led by veteran general manager Debbie Snavely. “I’m excited to have new owners based here in Newport Beach who have a strong dedication to the local community and a plan to elevate our hotel through a major repositioning. We will successfully attract higher-rated leisure and business and group events within the local coastal luxury market. This is great news for Newport Beach.” 

The hotel sits on 10 acres opposite Fashion Island and Newport Beach Country Club, with 532 guest rooms and 32,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor venues.


Surfers’ delight

Surfers delight wave

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Michelle Mar (Instagram @msmichellemar)

 Newport Beach waves for days make happy surfers indeed


2020 Election results

2020 Election results


Giant fir arrives at Fashion Island

Giant fir arrives tree

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Fashion Island

The 90-foot-tall white fir arrived at Bloomingdale’s Courtyard in Fashion Island on Wednesday, Nov. 4. A crane lifted the tree in place and custom decorations will be added. The tree will be lit every night, and families will be able to take complimentary photos in front of the Christmas tree, as well as visit with a virtual Santa, and enjoy other festive activities during the holiday season, from November 20 through January 2, 2021.


Newport Beach Arts Commission holding photo contest for prizes

Calling all photographers to give it your best shot!

To encourage public awareness of the Sculpture Exhibition in Civic Center Park, the Newport Beach City Arts Commission is sponsoring a photography contest, and you are invited to enter.

Visitors to the sculpture garden are asked to submit photographs of the works on display, and/or photographs depicting interaction with the sculptures. Winners will be selected by the City Arts Commission.

Newport Beach Arts Unbearable Lightness

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of NB Arts Commission

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Patricia Vader is among the sculptures in Civic Center Park

The City Arts Commission will accept entries from any digital device, including smartphones (limit 10 submitted photos).

Submissions can only be accepted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and the deadline is Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Prizes will be awarded as follows: First Prize, $150 gift card; Second Prize, $100 gift card; and four (4) Third Prize Winners, a $25 gift card each.

Details, guidelines and the entry form can be found here.

So…get clicking!


School Notes

District and teachers reach accord on secondary school reopenings

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) and the Newport-Mesa Federation of Teachers (NMFT) have reached an agreement for secondary school reopenings. The agreement was announced on Monday evening, Nov. 2.

Highlights of the agreement include:

–Employees will assist in disinfecting desks in their classrooms.

–Approval of the hybrid secondary instructional model that includes:

~Four days a week, full days with alternate cohorts.

~Each class divided into two cohorts: students remain in their assigned cohorts and attend in-person classes on the days designated on their schedules and students in either cohort may elect to participate in at-home learning.

~Daily live interaction of at least 15 minutes per class with at-home cohort.

~Student support/intervention block of 30 minutes.

~One day a week Distance Learning (DL) for both cohorts, with teacher professional development and staff/department collaboration time.

~School sites will vote to finalize their school schedules and will communicate specific schedules this week.

The District and NMFT will continue to negotiate items related to elementary schools for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Costa Mesa Middle and High School, Corona del Mar Middle and High School, Ensign Intermediate School, Estancia High School, Newport Harbor High School and TeWinkle Middle School will transition to hybrid in-person instruction on Monday, Nov. 9. 

High schools in District repped by students at Board level

Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) has a Student Board Member Program where a student from each of the high schools, and one from Cloud Campus, serve as student board members. Student board members share updates from their school at each NMUSD Board of Education meeting and have preferential voting responsibilities on student-related items.

The seven student board members serve as spokespersons for their school sites and zones. They are responsible for updating the Superintendent, District leadership, Board of Education and community with information regarding student interests, activities, concerns and ideas gathered from their general student populations. 

“Students’ input on decisions we make that directly impact their education and experiences at school is extremely valuable to us,” said NMUSD Board Vice President and current Student Board Member Program Liaison Karen Yesley. “Student perspective and observations of programs and decisions enhance our ability as a Board to provide relevant and purposeful student programs,” she said.

Student board members are elected for one-year terms and are committed to:

–Maintain good standing in their academics, active involvement in their school community and with their social peers.

–Attend NMUSD Board meetings, which includes review of the agenda.

–Obtain training on the roles and responsibilities of a student board member, the Brown Act, Robert’s Rules of Order, ethics and other applicable board governance and community relations responsibilities.

–Attend the California School Board Association (CSBA) Annual Education Conference. 

This year’s students are Baylee Board, Newport Harbor; Troy Tsubota, Corona del Mar; Paulina Enriquez, Early College; Brittany Ebergenyi, Estancia; Maddiline Mcnamer, BackBay/Monte Vista; Elisabeth Leiby, Cloud Campus; and Luka Gogorishvili, Costa Mesa.

“I want to give back to my school community and ensure that students have the same great opportunities and experiences that I have had,” said Corona del Mar High School Student Board Member Troy Tsuboata. “I believe we must use our common ground to create long lasting positive change,” he said.

A formal selection process for student board members includes a submission of an application, resume, transcript, letters of recommendation, introductory video submission and an interview with the NMUSD Board of Education.

Due to a unique school year, student board members have continually shared thoughts and ideas related to school reopening, student mental health supports, and how students are staying engaged and connected while apart.


Take Five: Meet Karina Tarsadia, Sage Hill School sophomore and philanthropist

By AMY SENK

When you imagine what a philanthropist looks like, you might not think of a high school sophomore – but Sage Hill School sophomore Karina Tarsadia has created a nonprofit to help other local students, and she will be recognized on November 19 at the 35th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards program. The event, produced by the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, began in 1986 and has since recognized more than 1,000 honorees. This year, Karina, 16, will be honored as their Outstanding Youth for her Backpack Project, which she launched last year after service trips to Cambodia, India and Africa inspired her to help others. I caught up with Karina to learn more. 

Take Five Karina Tarsadia

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sage Hill School

Karina Tarsadia

Q: Congratulations for being honored at the 35th Annual National Philanthropy Day Orange County! How did you hear about this award, and what was your immediate reaction?

A: I heard about the award because someone from National Philanthropy called me first. I was very thrilled and shocked that I was an honoree. I was so excited to be considered for this award. 

Q: Can you tell me more about the Backpack Project?

A: The goal of the project is to give away backpacks and to bring the community together. During last year’s event, we were able to give away 5,000 backpacks to students in need in the Anaheim and Santa Ana area. Unfortunately, coronavirus stopped us from having our annual event this year. But thankfully, we were able to adjust it into a drive-through event. Through this drive-through, we were able to give away 15,000 backpacks. I was fortunate to be able to work with the most amazing partners, and I know I would not have been able to do it without them.

Q: What has been your biggest hurdle in creating and growing this project, and what has been the biggest reward?

A: The biggest challenge to date was trying to figure out how we would adapt the event while following COVID-19 guidelines. Last year’s event was held at Angels Stadium, with lots of different activities throughout the day. I knew that an event like this would not have been possible this year. I also knew that it was necessary to get our backpacks out to the students. Through countless research and planning, we finally decided on a drive-through event, which in turn allowed us to increase the number of schools we worked with. Though COVID-19 presented us with a challenge, it turned out to be our biggest reward because we were able to reach even more students this year.

Q: What are your plans for the rest of high school – and beyond?

A: As of right now, we only do backpacks and supplies for students. However, we are looking into doing a Christmas toy drive and supporting students and families at different times of the year. I also would love to expand our reach with different projects. For plans outside of the project, I hope to continue working hard in school. I am so thankful to be a student at Sage Hill since they truly emphasize service and promote service learning, which allows me to do service with my peers. When I’m not in school or working on the backpack project, I like to spend time hanging out with my friends and family. I also really enjoy spending time with my dog. 

Q: I understand that you were inspired by traveling in India, Cambodia and Africa. Can you tell me about those trips and what you think of traveling and where you would like to visit next?

A: During the service trip that I have taken, the thing always stands out to me are the children. They are always around the same age as me, and so I felt this connection towards them. During the trips, we would do many different activities, but one of my favorites was doing math problems with the students. Though there was a language barrier, we were still able to communicate since math is universal. The next service trip I would love to take is to Vietnam. 

Editor’s Note: The 35th Annual National Philanthropy Day Awards program takes place on Thursday, Nov. 19 from 12-1 p.m. and will be held virtually. To register, go here. National Philanthropy Day began in Orange County in 1986 and is now celebrated in hundreds of locations around the world.

~~~~~~~~

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


Local fires lead to hotel occupancy the hard way

By GARY SHERWIN

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that just about anything is possible.

From the pandemic, recession, political division, social protests and now the massive local wildfires, you just couldn’t imagine any of it occurring, and certainly not simultaneously.

If monkeys started flying and Martians landed in the Back Bay demanding a frozen banana on Balboa Island, I almost would believe it.

It’s been that kind of year.

The latest episode was the wildfires in Silverado and Yorba Linda that forced 100,000 people out of their homes and into local hotels last week, including Newport Beach. In fact, so many people stayed in town, the city was at near capacity for the first time since January.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Having people forced to flee their homes certainly isn’t the way you want to generate business, but it was a welcome shot in the arm for a few nights at area hotels who have seen record low occupancy.

Last week, when most hotels were expecting occupancy in the 20s mid-week, the evacuations pushed occupancy to well into the 80s. That number likely would have been higher if all hotel rooms were available.

Fashion Island Hotel and the Renaissance Newport Beach remain closed completely and a few hotels are still not offering all their rooms for sale to promote social distancing while also having a reduced workforce to service those rooms.

State law mandates that any hotel offering rooms during a crisis cannot jack up rates when they have a captive audience who desperately need a place to stay. All rates need to be stabilized for a month after a specific local disaster. So, if your rates are really low, they need to stay low regardless of demand.

That can be a problem for hotels. If you plan on a discount rate because you expect low occupancy and then the hotel is suddenly at capacity, that really hits the bottom line.

That wasn’t a problem here in town since all the hotels offered existing rates which have been pretty healthy since the pandemic began.

The one bright spot over the last few months has been robust rates in Newport Beach regardless of occupancy. Historically, hotels have lowered rates during downturns to encourage more business.

During the 2008 recession, many hotels around the country played the rate game and lower, more competitive pricing began. The problem with that strategy is getting the rate back up quickly once the economy rebounds. It turns out – surprise, surprise – that consumers like cheap hotel rooms and push back once rates go up.

It seems that most of the Newport Beach hotels have embraced what is called in the business “rate integrity,” which is holding rates to where the hotel’s perceived value is. In other words, luxury hotels should charge luxury prices regardless of market demand.

That is why Newport Beach as a hotel market has landed in a sweet spot during the pandemic. Overall, occupancy is relatively good compared to other nearby destinations, but its average daily rate is considerably higher than neighboring cities.

For example, Huntington Beach’s overall occupancy is 10 points higher than us, but their nightly rate is about $100 a night cheaper. Newport Beach hotels have opted to have fewer guests, but the ones that show up pay a higher rate. It’s a more profitable strategy.

Consider poor Anaheim that is at 28 percent occupancy with average rates at about $80. That’s a horrific combination.

The evacuees with the recent fires paid the going rate at local properties but a few lowered them slightly out of respect for those affected.

When the evacuations were announced, Newport Beach hotels were flooded with reservations and the city was essentially sold out within hours. Some of the hotels were trying to quickly reopen closed rooms but getting them available for occupancy in short notice is not easy. You just can’t turn the lights back on and put out some fresh bed linens.

Most hotels have also had fewer employees due to the reduction in business and ramping back up quickly in a matter of hours is a difficult proposition. From getting the water back on and rooms cleaned, it can take weeks to get back up. Couple that with trying to provide some much-needed comfort to several unfortunate families who had to flee their homes with little notice and were understandably stressed out.

We received several reports that our hotels rose to the occasion and not only accommodated as many guests as they could but also delivered an empathetic experience for many people, some of whom arrived with only the clothes on their back.

It was yet another one of those unpredictable and chaotic episodes that 2020 has brought us.

I can’t wait for New Year’s Eve.

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


On the Harbor: Catching up with OC Sheriff’s Harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn

By LEN BOSE

After the Trump fundraiser a couple of weeks ago, I thought it would be interesting to give OC Sheriff’s Harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn a call and check in with him. I did happen to bump into him during the fundraiser on the dock just next to Palmer Luckey’s home. At that time, I asked if it would be okay to give him a call and catch up. He said, “Anytime Len.”

Lt. Corn and I both estimated that there were more than 200 boats over 25 feet in the Five Points area of the harbor that day. I asked him to describe the events leading up to the arrival of President Trump.

“He was supposed to come into town a couple of weeks earlier, but he tested positive for COVID-19, so that delayed his first trip. We found out about his arrival about a day and a half before he arrived. It’s always challenging to communicate between the feds, city, state and county. At that point, we got a hold of the Secret Service, Coast Guard, Newport Beach Police and Fire departments. We all started talking on the phone to put a game plan together. Our concern was based around the harbor. Our mission was 100 percent the waterside. We then met with Secret Service the day before, on scene, then asked what they needed from us and what we can do for them with the outfits we would have available. For the most part, we worked with the Coast Guard keeping the security zone clear,” Lt. Corn explained. “The security zone was a 300-yard perimeter off of Mr. Luckey’s dock.”

On the Harbor Lt. Corn

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Lt. Chris Corn

OC Sheriff’s Harbormaster Lt. Chris Corn with his wife, Donna

Thinking that some of you might be confused as to when you should call the City Harbor Department or the OC Sheriff’s Harbor Department, Lt. Corn reminded me: “Call us for just about everything, other than mooring rentals. Everything else such as law enforcement, marine firefighting, loud music at 2 in the morning, pretty much anything on the water we handle,” he said.

Now that winter is approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to review our moored boats before the Santa Anas or winter’s clearing westerly breeze kicks in. “Remember to check on your boats, mooring lines, bilge pumps, loose canvas. Just remember not to forget about the boat,” said Lt. Corn.

Last week the first Santa Ana hit. “I don’t recall the exact number of boats we had to rescue that broke free from one of their mooring lines, we had a lot of them, two boats broke free from their single point moorings and were adrift in the high winds. We noticed gusts of wind from 40-50 knots,” said Lt. Corn. “Perfect time to check your mooring tackle and look for any loose canvas, in fact, the forecast is for breeze this weekend.”

We all noticed how impacted the harbor was this summer and I wondered what Lt. Corn observed. “An increase of all types of boats, all areas of boating from megayachts to trailerable boats. With social distancing playing a big part in everyone’s lives, a lot of people returned to the harbor,” he said.

I was wondering if the OC Sheriff’s Department had any unusual responses this summer similar to a couple of years ago with someone tried to steal a large motor yacht and then go to Woody’s dock with it. “Recently we did have a person have a food reaction, on one of the large charter boats, who could not breathe, and our guys responded and gave him oxygen while our second team transported the fire department paramedics to the boat to stabilize him. We then transported him to Hoag from our docks. We had a couple of boat fires this year but nothing unusual. Pretty much what we do every year,” Lt. Corn said.

With the “William B” boat fire still singing in my head, I asked if the Sheriff’s Department has been training with the Spill Trailers granted from the state. “We do, we train every single month. Our training sergeant will put together our training scenario for the month. It varies from month to month, sometimes twice a month,” Lt. Corn said. “We constantly train, we never talked about this before Len, but did you know when a new deputy starts at the Harbor Department, they go through more than 600 hours of harbor department training before they start?” Lt. Corn brought up that the OC Sheriff’s trailer in Newport Beach was used a couple of months ago when the Pilgrim sank in Dana Point. “Everything went as planned while deploying the hazmat equipment containing all the hazardous materials. In response, the state awarded us the third trailer after reviewing the Pilgrim sinking,” Lt. Corn shared.

Lastly, I asked Lt. Corn if they have found any navigation lights for the Upper Bay channel markers. “We found the correct lights to use and have done so in Huntington Harbour. We plan on installing them in Newport very soon. We just need to meet with the City Harbormaster and the Harbor Commission to identify which county channel markers should have lights on them,” he said.

Over my 13 years as a harbor reporter, I have interviewed six OC harbormasters, and Corn has become one of the best among them, along with the same ranks as Long and Alsobrook. Corn is approachable, and he attends most harbor meetings from Huntington to Dana Point. I tease him about the nine different yacht club opening days he attends in the hot sun and in full dress uniform each year. He’s a good one, and if we are lucky enough to keep him for the next two years, our harbors will most certainly benefit.

Sea ya.

~~~~~~~~

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


2020 Election results

The closest race still on the board is for the 48th Congressional seat between incumbent Harley Rouda and Orange County Supervisor Michelle Steel. Steel presently leads at the 5 p.m. reporting time from today’s OC Registrar vote counts by nearly 3,000 votes.

Remaining votes still to be counted in all of Orange County are estimated at 202,166. Some of those obviously will affect all races below.

Locally, it appears that incumbent Brad Avery has retained his District 2 City Council seat and he’ll be joined by newcomer Noah Blom in District 5.

Three new Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board members were elected, including Leah Esoylu in District 1, Carol Crane in District 3 and Krista Weigand in District 6

Stu News will regularly update vote counts as they are released by the OC Registrar of Voters.

2020ElectionUPDATED


COVID-19: 7 new deaths reported in OC, 2 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,491 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including seven new deaths reported today (November 4). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 60,841 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 237 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,262 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of two cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.476 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 182 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 78 are in ICU.

The county estimates 54,170 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 4 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 4 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 4 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 4, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


2020 Election results

Incumbent Brad Avery and newcomer restaurateur Noah Blom have won their respective races for Newport Beach City Council seats. 

Avery won a head-to-head battle with activist Nancy Scarbrough for the District 2 seat representing the Newport Heights and Mariners Mile area. As of 7 a.m. on November 4, Avery had garnered almost 60 percent of the vote.

In the most controversial race of the fall, Blom won a bitter race against incumbent Jeff Herdman. Attacks on Blom’s restaurant operations and family issues didn’t seem to cloud the vote. As of this update, Blom had earned 58 percent of the vote.

Mayor Will O’Neill, running unopposed, will serve another term representing District 7, with over 35,000 votes.

Newport Beach’s only proposition was Measure Z calling for a Harbor Commission and is in a position to pass, pending final votes to be tallied, with 55.2 percent of the vote.

In the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, all three seats up for election will have new representation, as incumbent Vicki Snell lost in Costa Mesa’s District 1, while Martha Fluor and Dana Black had decided not to run for re-election.

Newcomers include Leah Ersoylu in District 1, Carol Crane in District 3 and Krista Weigand in District 6.

As of this update, Ersoylu had taken over 53 percent of the vote; Crane had 65 percent; and Weigand fended off her closest challenger Amy Peters with 49.8 percent of the vote compared to Peters’ 38.5 percent.

With 93 percent of precincts closed Michelle Steel leads Harley Rouda in the battle for the 48th Congressional seat, while it appears that incumbent Cottie Petrie-Norris has retained her 74th Assembly seat in a race with Newport Beach City Council member Diane Dixon; and newcomer Dave Min looks to have unseated John Moorlach for the 37th Senate seat.

Stu News will continue to update election counts.

2020Election


COVID-19: 306 new cases reported in OC, 5 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,484 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including two new deaths reported today (November 3), less one previously reported death. There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 60,604 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 306 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,260 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.453 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 37 percent of ICU beds and 65 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 177 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 60 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,934 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 3 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 3 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 3 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 3, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


OC Supervisors approve $5 million grant benefiting child care programs

On October 28, the County of Orange Child Care Relief Fund announced the portal for child care providers to apply for funding to sustain their operations. 

Orange County Supervisors unanimously allocated $5 million in CARES Act emergency funding to support licensed Orange County family child care homes and center-based child care programs – providing an important lifeline to local providers struggling to survive the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. 

The funds will be distributed by Charitable Ventures to qualified early care and education providers in Orange County. 

“This CARES Act funding is critical to rebuilding Orange County’s economy and making it possible for parents to go back to work knowing their children are safe and receiving quality care,” said Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee. “Our workforce depends on quality child care and I’m pleased we received unanimous support from all the Supervisors.” 

“Parents have long struggled to find accessible and affordable child care,” said Vice Chairman Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “The pandemic has only exacerbated challenges for working families who depend on child care services. Orange County’s COVID-19 Child Care Relief Program will allow for a safe and reliable space for children to stay, as we continue to rebuild our economy.” 

The funds may be used by eligible licensed or licensed-exempt child care providers in Orange County to pay staff, purchase supplies, help cover mortgage and rental costs, and business resilience and environmental improvements for children’s learning spaces. 

The grant process will be guided by a committee of representatives from First 5 Orange County, Early Childhood OC, Charitable Ventures and the Local Planning Council representative. Funds will be dispersed on a first-come, first-served basis to all eligible applicants. The application is available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese. 

“We are thrilled to be able to support the administration of this relief program through Charitable Ventures. Support like this will play an important role in ensuring survival for many Orange County’s child care providers, particularly those serving the infant and toddler population,” said First 5 Orange County President and Chief Executive Officer Kim Goll. “Even before the pandemic, there were not enough child care providers to support demand in Orange County.” 

“These relief funds come at a critical time,” said Anne Olin, president and chief executive officer of Charitable Ventures. “Emergency funding for small businesses forced to close due to the pandemic is a critical component of helping our economy recover and supporting working families.” 

Earlier this month, First 5 Orange County published a detailed report that underscored the harsh child care landscape parents and providers alike are currently facing. The Orange County Child Care Landscape Analysis found there are currently only enough licensed slots to care for 5 percent of the county’s children between the ages of 0 and 2. Meanwhile, the analysis determined that, even if only one-third of infants and toddlers in Orange County required child care, there would still only be enough licensed capacity for one in seven children. Exacerbating the lack of licensed child care spots, many Orange County working families are stymied by the high price of care, which averages $15,650 yearly for one child and more than $26,000 for two children in full-time, licensed care. The high price of care and lack of availability are functions of the high costs to deliver care, and other factors included in the full report.

The analysis pointed out that the COVID-19 pandemic has only deepened the crisis. Nearly half of Orange County’s child care providers closed their programs from mid-March to early June, and then began reopening with new requirements and reduced capacities to maintain social distancing guidelines. 

 Grant applications will be accepted during a two-week window, from October 30 through November 13 at 5 p.m. All funds received must be spent on qualified expenses by December 30, 2020.   

To apply for funding or for more information go here.

To view the Orange County Child Care Landscape Analysis, visit http://occhildrenandfamilies.com/childcare/.


Atria Newport Beach hires food and beverage director

Atria Senior Living announced a key addition to its Atria Newport Beach leadership team, naming James Poper as food and beverage director. In this role, Poper will manage the operations of the food and beverage staff of Atria’s newest Signature Residence. Atria Newport Beach will offer three dining venues with a variety of menu options made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients crafted with an inventive approach. The culinary team also strives to accommodate special dietary requirements.

Poper previously served as Director of Operations for the Great Dane Baking Co/Butter & Cream in Orange County where he managed the daily operations of the multi-unit bakery chain with locations in Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach and Laguna Niguel. In supervising a staff of more than 40 employees, Poper defined service standards and focused on strengthening company culture to enhance customer experiences. His focus on creating a positive, efficient workplace culture has fueled his success over the last decade.

Atria James Poper

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy Atria Senior Living

James Poper, Atria Newport Beach’s food and beverage director

“We’re delighted that James Poper is joining our team. He is wholly focused on creating optimal guest experiences through uncompromised quality and service, which absolutely reflects Atria’s values,” said Sarah Laloyan, Atria senior vice president of operations. “James will lead the team here to ensure culinary excellence at Atria Newport Beach.” Laloyan added that with the addition of Poper, the Atria Newport Beach leadership team boasts more than 80 years of hospitality experience.

In his food and beverage director role, Poper will supervise the culinary staff of Atria’s newest Signature Residence, which will offer a variety of seasonal menu options each day. “I am excited to join Atria Newport Beach and to continue the excellence that exists throughout Atria, from sourcing premium ingredients to ensuring optimal nutrition to serving the most delicious fare,” said Poper. “My priority is to get to know the residents personally, learn their preferences and craft menus around their tastes and nutritional needs, so that we are fueling their whole health.”

Atria Newport Beach, an all-inclusive senior living community opening in late 2020, will be home to several dining venues, including a modern, full-service restaurant, Vasco’s, which will feature a seasonally changing menu of Californian and Asian influences. Atria Newport Beach will also host the Avalon Lounge, which opens to a 669-square-foot lounge terrace, where residents can enjoy cocktails and small bites. The 1888 Bistro will offer casual fare for indoor, alfresco and grab-and-go dining, along with a private dining room that can be reserved for special occasions.

Through its Engage Life® events program, Atria residents can engage in safe, socially distanced events such as small-group dining, science drives and drive-up/patio visits from family and friends. The community is also offering in-apartment dining options and room service to residents who prefer these extra safety measures. 

For more information on Atria Newport Beach, click here.


Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach presents its Second Annual Black & White Party

Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach is holding its Second Annual Black & White Party on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.

Themed the “Golden Age of Newport Harbor,” festivities include dinner, drinks, music and an auction. The event takes place at the Royal Hen located at 311 Marine Island, Balboa Island. The cost is $200 per person and RSVPs must be made by November 14. 

Tickets can be purchased at www.balboaislandmuseum.org/events. Sponsorship opportunities are available at the $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 levels.


Better Business Bureau receives warm welcome from Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce

The Better Business Bureau serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) recently received a new member plaque from the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce.  The BBB relocated to Newport Beach from the City of Orange in October 2018.  The plaque was presented at the BBB campus located at 120 Newport Center Drive. Presenting the recognition was Kay Walker, ambassador co-chair and member of the board of directors for the Newport Beach Chamber. 

Better Business 3 people

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of the Better Business Bureau

(L-R) Beau Randles, Gwen Earle and Kay Walker

“On behalf of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, we welcome the Better Business Bureau as one of our newest members,” said Walker. 

Representing the Better Business Bureau, Orange County Campus was Gwen Earle, regional director and Beau Randles, business community executive.

“It truly is an honor for the BBB to become a member and community partner of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce,” said Earle. “We look forward to connecting with the business community to further our mission of being the leader in advancing marketplace trust.”


Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum reopen today

Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum at OC Fair & Event Center will reopen to the public today, Tuesday, Nov. 3. Visitors must make a reservation in advance.

Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall will both be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (last reservation accepted at 2 p.m.; groups will be allowed to stay until 3 p.m.). Parking is free and available through Gate 1 off of Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Admission to both venues is free and masks are required.

Centennial Farm Goat

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

This goat is looking forward to seeing visitors again at Centennial Farm

“We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “These venues are really the heart and soul of our fairgrounds year-round and we have all missed doing what we do best – educating and entertaining. I know our animals at the Farm are especially anxious to see visitors again.”

This will be the first chance for visitors to see the new exhibit at Heroes Hall, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific. Through his watercolor paintings and sketches, Miller, of the U.S. Army, shares his story of a soldier’s experience during World War II in the South Pacific. He used limited resources – from large sheets of paper to the insides of cigarette cartons – to create powerful works of art. The exhibit is on loan from The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro, NH. To learn more, visit www.ocfair.com/exhibitions.

Centennial Farm Heroes Hall

Click on photo for a larger image

Heroes Hall is premiering a new exhibit of WWll watercolors and sketches  from the South Pacific

OC Fair & Event Center’s top priority is the health and safety of guests and staff. Visitors will be required to make reservations in advance so the number of guests can be limited. No walkups will be permitted.

Before entering, guests will check in at the Wellness Booth for temperature checks. Hand-sanitizing stations have been added and regular cleaning will be conducted throughout the day.

To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to www.ocfair.com/reservations.

Food or drinks are not allowed, but bottled water or water in enclosed containers is permitted. More information can be found on the FAQ page.


Clean up tips following the fires

The recent wildfires in Orange County have deposited large amounts of ash and soot on indoor and outdoor surfaces, which can pose risks to health and environmental quality. So here’s what do you do to clean up safely: 

Around the home

–In most cases, gently sweeping indoor and outdoor hard surfaces followed by wet mopping is the best way to clean up ash residue. A damp cloth or wet mop may be all that is needed on lightly dusted areas.

–If you wet down ash, use as little water as possible and push wash water into a vegetated area – NOT into the storm drain.

–If you have solar panels, clean them as soon as possible, as ash can severely reduce the solar energy output. Simply wash the ash off with air or water. Do not use a pressure washer. If fires continue, you may need to clean your solar panels more than once.

–DO NOT USE LEAF BLOWERS under any circumstances as they blow fine particles around and create more health concerns.

–Avoid circulating ash into the air as much as possible by using a HEPA filter vacuum. Do not use shop vacuums and other non-HEPA filter vacuums, as they do not filter out small particles and can blow particles into the air.

–Well-fitting dust masks may provide some protection during cleanup. Masks rated N-95 or P-100 are more effective than simpler dust or surgical masks. However, wearing a dust mask can significantly reduce (but not completely eliminate) the amount of particles that are inhaled.

Avoid possible health issues

Ash from forest fires is relatively nontoxic; however, all ash contains small amounts of cancer-causing chemicals. Fire ash may also irritate the skin, nose, throat and lungs.

–Do not allow children to play in the burn debris or ash areas.

–Wash ash from toys and play equipment before allowing children to play with them.

–Wear gloves, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when cleaning ash, and avoid skin contact. If ash does get on your skin, wash it off as soon as possible.

–If you have a vegetable garden or fruit trees, wash the fruit or vegetables thoroughly before eating them.

–Do not consume any food, beverages, or medication that has been exposed to burn debris or ash.

–Clean all utensils, glasses and dishware before use that may have been exposed.


In The Garden Banner for November

Flor de Muerto

By Erin Aguiar, Horticulture Manager
Sherman Library & Gardens

Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a time for remembrance, family, food and flowers. This Mexican celebration has its roots in Aztec culture and continues to evolve into modern Mexican culture. November 1 and 2 is the time when spirits of loved ones visit the living. Great care is taken to guide the spirits into a family’s home where food and drink are offered for their long journey.

In the Garden Erin Aguiar

Click on photo for a larger photo

Photos courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Erin Aguiar, horticulture manager at Sherman Library & Gardens

La ofrenda, the offering, is a wondrous display of candles, favorite dishes and drinks of people who have passed on, photos of our loved ones, brightly colored sugar skulls, and flowers…lots of flowers. The most iconic flower of Día de los Muertos is Cempasúchil also known as Flor de Muerto or Mexican Marigold. This cheery bright orange pompom flower is indigenous to Central America and thrives in the summer sun. Its original name Zempoalxochitl, comes from the Aztec Nahuatl language and means 20 (zempoal) flowers (xochitl), which describes is densely clustered petals in each pompom. The brightly colored petals are sprinkled to mark the pathway home and the flowers adorn the ofrendas, the offerings.

In the Garden petals

Click on photo for a larger photo

The many petals of the Cempasúchil flower

Those familiar with marigolds also know its distinct aroma – an unseen haze moving freely in the wind. This strong fragrance, along with the burning of traditional incense and the steam rising from bowls of molé, attracts the attention of the spirits. The breeze also catches the colorful papel picado banners and flicks the flames of candles, signaling to the traveling spirits.

In the Garden La Catrina

Click on photo for a larger photo

La Catrina is a traditional symbol of Día de los Muertos

An ofrenda can be a dazzling display or humble offering. What’s most important is the significance of each item. If this is your first time celebrating Día de los Muertos, start small. Gather photos and keepsakes of loved ones, light a candle, gather some marigolds and welcome the spirits home.
In the Garden The Ofrenda

Click on photo for a larger photo

The ofrenda shows the difference between life and death

In the Garden Frida Kahlo

Click on photo for a larger photo

A photo of Frida Kahlo adorns the flower-filled ofrenda

Erin Aguiar is Horticulture Manager at Sherman Library & Gardens. She enjoys discovering the intersection of plants, places and people.


Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach

Newport Beach A Look Back 11.3.20

Click on photo for a larger image

Little Island, circa 1920s or 1930s. The center building is located where 200 Crystal Avenue is now.

Balboa Island Museum Newport Beach and the Museum Store are located at 210 B Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are currently closed to the public. Purchases can be made online. 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..


School Notes

Breakfast added to grab-and-go meals beginning yesterday

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) began including breakfast yesterday, November 2, in the grab-and-go meals at elementary schools.

Effective September 2, the United States Department of Agriculture reinstated the waiver to school districts throughout the country that allowed NMUSD to resume serving free meals to all students without requiring a student ID or payment. As of now, this waiver will be in effect until December 31. 

NMUSD will continue to 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 p.m. Students can pick up meals from any school. As a reminder no paperwork is required; students do not need to be present; and meals must be consumed off-site.

District offers up Zoom parents’ meeting tomorrow night

NMUSD will hold a Virtual Parent Education Meeting tomorrow evening, November 4, from 6-7:30 p.m. The topic of the presentation is Mindfulness Practices with your Child.

Parents are encouraged to join as the District shares research-based mindfulness tools and practices that can be used at home to help children grow into the best versions of themselves.

These mindfulness strategies can easily be implemented into families’ everyday routines to help promote a calmer and happier climate at home, which results in happier and healthier students in the classroom.

To join in the Zoom meeting, go to https://nmusd.zoom.us/j/94077844919.

For questions, call 714.424.5050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The program is done in partnership with Harbor Council PTA as part of their Parent Education Series.


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, 

This week’s key COVID-19 case numbers for Orange County mostly held steady, with slight increases in two categories, keeping us in the red tier of the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy for a while longer. 

The state system tracks three COVID-19 metrics: average daily case rates per 100,000 population, the percentage of positive tests, known as the positivity rate, and the health equity metric. As of this week, Orange County recorded 5.1 average daily cases, up from last week’s 4.6, and a 3.2 percent positivity rate, holding steady from 3.2 percent last week. The health equity metric this week is 6.0 percent, creeping a bit higher than last week’s 5.6 percent. 

For more on the status of Orange County and others, visit www.COVID19.ca.gov

COVID-19 Cases in Newport Beach 

As of October 30, the number of COVID-19 cases in Newport Beach was 1,237 and the total cases in Orange County was 59,442. The number of recovered COVID-19 patients countywide as of October 30 was 53,054. These figures are provided to Orange County by the California Department of Public Health. 

COVID-19 Resources 

The Blueprint for a Safer Economy is the state’s four-tiered, color-coded system for re-opening California’s businesses. Counties move through each of the four tiers based on two key metrics: case rates and the percentage of positive tests. 

Moving from tier to tier requires a 21-day wait time and counties will be required to meet the metrics for the next tier for two weeks in a row. 

The County of Orange COVID-19 data and information can be found 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 maintains a list of FDA-approved testing sites for County residents at https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/covid-19-testing-and-screening for testing information. The SOS Health Center in Newport Beach is an approved community testing site. Call 949.270.2100 for an appointment. 

Short Term Lodging Update 

The City Council has adopted a series of reforms aimed at reducing community impacts from short-term rental lodging in Newport Beach, and may consider further changes in the coming months. 

Some of the new short-term lodging regulations approved by City Council between July and October include the following: 

–A three-night minimum stay for all short-term lodging rentals. 

–A cap on the number of short-term rental permits to 1,550 and create a waiting list for new permits once the cap is reached. 

–No short-term rentals to anyone under 25 years of age. 

–Short-term lodging permits can be transferred to immediate family members upon the death of a permit holder, and to new owners upon the sale of the property. 

–Occupancy must align with existing building and fire codes. 

–Permit numbers must be placed in all advertising to help prevent illegal rentals. 

–Renters of short-term lodging and their guests must comply with all local and state parking laws or permit holders may be fined 

A majority of the regulations are already in effect. The 25-year age limit and parking rules will take effect in late November. The cap on the number of permits and the minimum night stay will not go into effect until they are reviewed and approved by the California Coastal Commission, which is not expected until late 2021. 

In addition, the City Council may consider additional restrictions specific to Newport Island. On October 13, the Council directed staff to return with a draft ordinance that would restrict new short-term rental permits and require that property owners live in the short-term rental units. This would also require Planning Commission and Costal Commission approval and would not take effect before late 2021. 

At the October 27 City Council meeting, Council members Joy Brenner and Diane Dixon directed staff to return with two items for further discussion. The first is to review the transferability provisions that were recently adopted for short-term lodging permits. The second is to discuss and possibly strengthen the municipal code provisions that related to enforcement of short-term lodging regulations. For more information, visit the City’s short-term rental information page. 

Appeal of Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Allocation Filed

On October 26, 2020, the City filed an appeal with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) of the Draft Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) Allocation of 4,834 units for Newport Beach. This allocation represents the number of housing units that the City will have to plan for in the upcoming 6th Cycle Housing Element Update (2021-2029 Planning Period). The appeal will be available for a 45-day review and comment period and then scheduled for a public hearing between December 10, 2020 and January 10, 2021. Any housing units resulting from successful appeals will then be reallocated back to other jurisdictions in the SCAG region based on a formula. To review the City’s basis for the appeal, please click here

Wildlife Protection Signs Installed Near Santa Ana River Outlet 

The City has installed new signs in the beach area near the outlet of the Santa Ana River to alert the public to wildlife protection laws in the area, which includes a prohibition on dogs. The signs include moveable plastic sidewalk boards and permanently anchored metal signs. 

Dogs are not allowed in the area because they disturb protected habitat for two bird species, the snowy plover and California least tern. Disruption of the bird habitats by humans and dogs is prohibited under Newport Beach municipal code. Under Orange County law, it is unlawful for people or dogs to enter the river channel. 

Open Budget Data Updated Through September 30, 2020 

The City of Newport Beach makes financial information available to review the status of revenues and expenditures. The online Open Budget Portal provides citizens an in-depth and friendly view of the City’s financial data including the City’s revenue sources, expenditures and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The site provides users the ability to view the financial data in a table, chart or graph format. Interactive features of the site allow for searching by departmental or other types of budget categories. The CIP portion of the site organizes information by funding category, funding source or by project. Users will also find project photos, the current phase of the project and a map showing the project’s location.

Click link to view an interactive snapshot of General Fund revenues through September 30, 2020. 

Click link to view an interactive snapshot of General Fund expenditures through September 30, 2020. 

Note: Open budget data is refreshed on a monthly basis and does not remain static. The narrative above represents the status of General Fund revenues and expenditures through September 30, 2020 and may not match data accessed subsequent to this time. 

October’s Shredding and E-Waste Disposal Event 

On Saturday, October 17 the Public Works Department held a successful shredding and E-waste collection event at the Harbor Day School parking lot located at 3443 Pacific View Drive. The event took place from 8 a.m. until noon. City staff and ERI crews unloaded boxes and bags of documents for shredding and electronic waste from 554 vehicles. A total of 28,000 lbs. of paper was collected for onsite shredding services and 10,804 lbs. of electronic waste was collected for proper disposal/recycling. Staff welcomed residents, checked identification and inquired where residents learned of the event. This information is helpful for effectively communicating with residents regarding these types of events in the future. The program is usually held bi-annually at the Harbor Day School parking lot location, but due to Covid-19, only one event is scheduled for this year. To make up for the missed opportunity there will be another shred only event on Saturday, January 23, 2021. 

Newport Beach Pier Inspections 

On October 27, 2020, the City Council approved a Professional Services Agreement for COWI North America, Inc. (COWI) to inspect the Newport Pier and Balboa Pier (Piers) as a part of the City’s ongoing biennial Ocean Piers Maintenance Program. COWI is tasked to conduct non-destructive inspection of every accessible timber member and connection hardware on the Piers from mudline to the concrete decks. The inspection findings will form the basis of a FY 2021-22 maintenance capital improvement project. 

COWI started the underwater pile inspections this week with specialty certified divers. COWI is scheduled to continue its work Monday through Saturday during daylight hours to take advantage of the calm weather ahead of the approaching (stormy) winter months. After the underwater inspections have been completed, COWI will deploy a mobile “crane” on the Piers for its personnel to continue inspecting the Piers’ underside. This piece of equipment was successfully deployed on the Piers for past pier inspections and will not impede pedestrian nor vehicle movements on the Piers. 

Weather permitting, the inspection work should be completed, and the equipment moved off the Piers no later than April 30, 2021.

Newport Coast Community Center Opens as Care and Receiving Shelter During Silverado Fire 

The Recreation & Senior Services Department activated the Newport Coast Community Center as a care and receiving center on Monday, October 26 to assist our colleagues and residents in the City of Irvine during the Silverado Fire. Irvine care centers filled quickly given the large numbers of evacuees, which prompted the request for our assistance with aid. At approximately 1:15 p.m. the shelter was open and received occupants immediately. The community center served as a place for evacuated families to get up to date information on the emergency, rest, food/water, and even refuge for some pets. OASIS staff provided boxed dinners for all, while our aquatics staff chipped in and set up children’s areas with activities and a movie. The center drew a total of 64 people who checked in throughout the eight-hour duration, with a maximum capacity of 54 people in the facility at one time. The center closed at approximately 9 p.m. once the occupants received overnight accommodations. The Recreation & Senior Services Department trains regularly on shelter operations, with an all hands shelter drill taking place this last year. Our combined training and teamwork were truly appreciated by our Irvine neighbors. 

Orange County Fire Watchers 

The Orange County Fire Watch volunteers were deployed to two strategic locations in Newport Beach on Monday. These volunteers are specially trained in deterring arson activity, ensuring early fire detection, and providing public education about the risk of wildland fire. 

Upon learning of the red flag warning and the potential impact on the local coastal area, Fire Marshal Kevin Bass requested fire watch assistance in the Bonita Canyon area and along Ridge Park Road. Additionally, the Fire Department’s Fire Prevention inspectors were patrolling the Buck Gully neighborhoods and other portions of Newport Coast. When the Silverado fire erupted early on Monday morning, the department was thankful to have the volunteers in the area keeping an eye on the community. While Newport Beach is geographically far enough away from the fire, the risk of windblown embers was high when the initial fire broke. If a fire developed, the watchers and the department’s inspectors early warning would ensure first responders arrived on scene quickly. 

The volunteer program is a combined effort led by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, Orange County Parks, Orange County Fire Authority, and in conjunction with local municipalities. Volunteers are routinely deployed to high visibility areas where ignition sources are likely. Their training includes learning about the wildland fire history in Orange County, the behavior of wilderness fires, procedures for safety, and recognizing and reporting dangerous situations. Fire watch volunteers must also complete the standard OC Parks volunteer requirements, which includes background checks and core training classes. 

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or learning more about the program, email Tony Pointer at 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. 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. 

Success Stories 

–A young couple who experienced homelessness in Newport Beach for the past seven months recently rented a room from a family member. They continue to work with the Homeless Liaison Officer, City Net staff, and the Homeless Coordinator for ongoing support, access to job resources, and counseling services. 

–The Homeless Liaison Officer reunited a woman with her family in Northern California. The woman fled south during the fires and came to the Orange County beach communities for clean air. Her husband contacted local police departments to locate her and encourage her to return home. After spending several weeks unsheltered in Newport Beach, the woman agreed to contact her husband and reunite with her family.

–Five people in Newport Beach experiencing homelessness were enrolled into City Net services. City Net staff completed Vulnerability Index Intake Assessments for each. The assessments are 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 completed two housing assessments for people enrolled in their services. One person is identifying relocation options in Orange County to find affordable housing. 

–City Net assisted two people in the Balboa Pier area to access the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) service. The EBT system is used in California for the delivery, redemption, and reconciliation of issued public assistance benefits, such as CalFresh, CalWORKs, and other food and cash aid benefits. Established in 2004, EBT provides up to $125 a person a month to purchase food. 

–City Net reconnected a man staying in a Project Roomkey motel with his case manager at a sober living home operated by Project Kinship. The man has re-enrolled into their program. Project Kinship, established in 2014, provides support and training for people impacted by incarceration, gangs, and violence. 

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


COVID-19: 6 new cases in Newport Beach

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 60,298 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 183 cases yesterday (November 2).

The county reports that there have been 1,255 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of six cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 14.396 cases per thousand residents.

Sadly, the county reports that 1,483 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County. There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that 37 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 183 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 60 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,690 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 2 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 2 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 2 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 2, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

The race has been run, who will be the winners?

Tom headshot 8 1.25.20Vote, vote, vote!

Today is Election Day. It’s the culmination of months of campaigning for offices…national, state and local. 

On the national level, if Biden wins, we’ve been promised an immediate “plan that goes into effect to address the COVID pandemic, he’s promised the return of civility to politics and he puts into play his 42 years of government experience to fix all of what ails America.”

On the other side, if Trump wins, “he promises to drain the swamp, a COVID vaccine should be released any day now, he’ll open up his personal taxes to eliminate public scrutiny and, of course, he’ll finish building that wall.”

Promises, promises. It’s what makes politics.

That being said, in this space I’d like to address our local elections and, in particular, those who ran.

First off, I want to commend those who entered the fray, putting themselves out there for public scrutiny, exposing their pasts and their almost every move. I know it hasn’t always been easy, and it also hasn’t always been fair, as some of them unfortunately found out.

Tomorrow, no matter what happens, whoever wins or loses, their commitment and determination has made our town better by creating discussion and thought on what’s important and what’s needed.

Afterall, public discourse is usually a good thing.

Newport Beach is a very special place, as we all know. For those lucky enough to move into office, I urge them to put personal agendas aside, forget any bad blood, and then opening themselves up, listen to all citizenry and react accordingly.

There’s so much that needs to be done. Traffic, parking and the airport are always at the forefront; housing, which includes both maintaining and improving our neighborhoods and, don’t forget, we still have to find a spot for 4,832 new dwellings (thanks Governor Newsom); we have a business community that has been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and will need specific attention and creativity for economic recovery; a tourism industry that is a major contributor to the City’s tax base that needs help and support to return to pre-pandemic levels of hotel occupancy; short term lodging caps and proper management; and, even, homelessness-related issues.

It’s a big job, and many times it’s a thankless job. For those making decisions from the dais, you will get criticism…it’s all part of it. Thick skin becomes a necessity.

Welcome, or welcome back, to the City Council.

• • •

The Newport-Mesa Unified School District board is no different. Three races assure us of a least two new trustees, and perhaps three.

The departing guard left after sitting on the board for 28 and 24 years respectfully. Far, far too long.

The new blood needs to reconnect the board to a community that has been by and large ignored by past leadership.

Curriculum, class scheduling, campus maintenance, including trees of all things, and long-term District leadership are just some of the more important issues new board members will face.

I’m happy that Karen Yelsey remains as the experienced and calming voice for that group. Hopefully, she’s someone that new members can lean on. 

I’m also expecting and hoping that newer voices like Michelle Barto and Ashley Anderson will have an opportunity to spread their wings and move into bigger leadership roles.

Most importantly, I hope the Board will listen to its constituency. It’s something that has been missing.

• • •

After months of being stuck in or near home, it’s nice to see things opening back up.

Two places at the OC Fair & Event Center that I always find enjoyable are Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall. Both reopen today and will continue to be open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Both are free to the public, including nearby parking. Reservations ARE REQUIRED, so go here to book a time.

As always, Centennial Farm includes the animals, including those always entertaining pigs. However, just an fyi, a recent check of the Pig Cam shows no little piglets at this time. But, I’m sure that’ll change given time.

Right next door is the actual farm garden with almost every vegetable imaginable growing there. It’s great.

Heroes Hall is across the way and is a museum celebrating the legacy of Orange County veterans and others who have served our nation.

One current exhibit on display is the private Charles J. Miller collection of WWII Paintings of the South Pacific. It’s comprised of watercolor paintings and etchings by Miller chronicling his military service in the South Pacific Theater during WWII.


Corona del Mar Christmas Walk...Reimagined!

For more than 42 years, the popular Corona del Mar Christmas Walk has proudly promoted merchants and restaurants of Corona del Mar’s Village Business District in a grand one-day celebration. This year, the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce is pushing forward under unprecedented circumstances and tight timelines with a reformatted concept to spread some holiday cheer throughout the community and support the local CdM businesses. 

Due to current event guidelines and restrictions in Corona del Mar, the 2020 Christmas Walk has been “Reimagined,” and will be celebrating and promoting the CdM village businesses for the entire month of December with various holiday promotions, activities and contests for the community to enjoy. 

Corona del Mar 3 ladies

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of the CdM Chamber of Commerce

Three festively dressed ladies at a previous Corona del Mar Christmas Walk

The CdM Chamber is partnering with the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District to present this month-long celebration, which is set to kick off on December 1 and run through the end of December. The goal is to celebrate and promote the Village merchants through various avenues in an effort to engage nearby residential and surrounding communities to shop and dine locally. The Chamber and CdM BID will be adhering to safety guidelines and will work with local businesses to ensure proper safety procedures that positively support the well-being of residents and visitors.

Festivities include:

–A Christmas Walk Guide that will contain wonderful discounts and activities from CdM local businesses and restaurants to be redeemed by customers throughout the month of December. The guide will be direct mailed to 7,000 CdM households, distributed throughout the community and available at the CdM Chamber office.

–A Storefront Holiday Lighting and Décor Contest presented by the CdM Business Improvement District. This initiative’s goal is to encourage business owners to decorate their storefront in the most magical way possible to light up CdM and attract visitors from near and far. Local business contestants will enter to win prizes to local restaurants, a captain-led boat tour for up to eight people and more! Contestants will also receive public relations and media promotion, and all winners will be selected by a people’s choice.

Other activities may include pop-up live entertainment, art displays and more.

For more information, visit www.CdMChamber.com and www.CdMVillage.com. For live updates, visit the chamber’s Instagram and Facebook pages @CdMChristmasWalk and @cdmchamber.


UCI MIND adapts annual fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research with virtual venue

For the first time in the event’s decade-long history, the University of California, Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI MIND)’s A December to Remember gala will raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s research in a digital setting. While many sectors remain at a standstill due to the pandemic, nonprofits like UCI MIND know that their mission must march forward. The virtual gala event will take place online on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 5:30-7 p.m., and is free to attend. To register to attend, visit https://aesbid.co/ELP/UCIMIND20/.

“We saw an incredible opportunity as we reimagined our annual gala to welcome more attendees than ever to learn about Alzheimer’s disease and the discoveries made here at UCI MIND, as well as to inspire members of our community who share a dedication to our mission,” said Senior Director of Development, Danny Harper. “This digital format gives us a platform to educate, entertain, and engage more hearts and minds, no matter where they are, and no matter if they decide to wear black-tie attire or their pajamas.”

UCI MIND 2019 gala

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Laurel Hungerford

Harriet Harris (second row center) and her family after receiving the UCI MIND Award at the 2019 “A December To Remember” gala event

The online broadcast will feature testimonials, an online auction and performances from Justin Willman, the star and creator of the hit Netflix series Magic for Humans, and Ashley Campbell, singer-songwriter and daughter of the late Glen Campbell. Both performers have personally witnessed the impact of Alzheimer’s disease in their lives and understand the importance of supporting organizations like UCI MIND, Orange County’s only state and federally designated Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, as they work toward a cure for the disease affecting 5.8 million Americans.

Those who find themselves craving a culinary experience to accompany the educational and entertaining event are invited to add one of three dining options to their registration. Food and drink packages will be safely delivered by 5 p.m. on the day of the gala.

“When my mother, Harriet Harris, received the UCI MIND Award during last year’s gala event, our entire family was filled with immense pride in her dedication to this cause,” said Chris Taylor, Newport Beach resident and one of the title sponsors of this year’s A December To Remember fundraiser. “We stand with her and with UCI MIND in their mission to make memories last a lifetime. Despite the challenges of this year, UCI MIND is adapting the event to meet this unique moment. My siblings and I are thrilled to offer our support and drive awareness of the innovative research happening right here in Orange County.”

UCI MIND’s A December to Remember Gala is just one way to support its mission to advance research into improved diagnosis, treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Those interested in contributing to this critical mission can donate to UCI Mind or enroll in the UC Consent-to-Contact (C2C) Registry to learn about research participation opportunities.

For more information, visit www.mind.uci.edu.


Fashion Island to expect tree delivery tomorrow

Watch Fashion Island transform into a soon-to-be winter wonderland! The 90-foot-tall white fir is scheduled to be delivered to the Bloomingdale’s Courtyard on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at 6 a.m.

Fashion Island tree delivered

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Fashion Island

The 90-foot-tall tree being delivered to Bloomingdale’s Courtyard last year

The tree is making its way from Mount Shasta to Newport Beach, and is being unloaded from a giant flatbed truck. Cranes will be lifting the tree in place and custom decorations will be added.

Fashion Island tree installation

Click on photo for a larger image

A crane straightens the white fir during last year’s installation

 Given today’s public health restrictions on large group gatherings, Fashion Island has decided to suspend its traditional tree lighting ceremony for this holiday season. Instead, the tree will be lit every night, and families will be able to take complimentary photos in front of the Christmas tree, as well as visit with a virtual Santa, and enjoy other festive activities during the holiday season, from November 20 through January 2, 2021.

For more information, visit www.FashionIsland.com.


Holiday Gift Faire at Sherman Library & Gardens

The Sherman Gardens’ Volunteer Association is presenting its Holiday Gift Faire for three days only: November 5, 6 and 7. Members of Sherman Library & Gardens receive a 15 percent discount on all Garden Shop purchases of seasonal plants, handmade items and unique holiday gifts. “Members Morning” is Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. This special shopping time is reserved for Members only and their guest. Not a member? Receive 15 percent off a new membership opened at the Holiday Gift Faire.

Holiday Gift Faire gifts

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

The Holiday Gift Faire rings in the holiday season and raises money for the Library and Gardens. In addition to plants and Garden Shop merchandise that is for sale, an accomplished group of crafty volunteers that call themselves “The Sowers” have been busy creating an assortment of holiday gifts.

“We’re looking forward to unveiling our handmade treasures at the Holiday Gift Faire,” said Kathy Dahlquist, chairperson for The Sowers. “With this year’s stay-at-home orders, The Sowers have created an abundance of one-of-a-kind items,” she added.

Proceeds from the Holiday Gift Faire will go toward garden projects and special events that are supported by the Volunteer Association at Sherman Library & Gardens.

Holiday Gift Faire Hours: Thursday, Nov. 5 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 6 from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; and Saturday, Nov. 7 from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. For more information, call 949.673.2261 or visit www.thesherman.org.


Winners announced for Stu News/Spa Gregorie’s Promotion

Stu News Newport and Spa Gregorie’s are excited to announce the winners in our “Rest for the Best: De-stress. Refresh. Restore. Promotion.”

We received so many compelling submissions as to why loved ones, dear friends and co-workers deserved a pampering spa experience...that it was difficult to decide.

Winners announced relaxation

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Spa Gregorie’s

Congratulations to these five (5) winners with a thank you to those who submitted their nominees. They will each be receiving a Spa Gregorie’s gift certificate along with a card signed by all the Spa Gregorie’s managers welcoming them to a much-deserved massage.

–Tasha Gillespie, who was nominated by her boss, Jerry Weichman.

–Sarah Jay, who was nominated by her co-worker, Darcie Dodds Schott.

–Jennifer Joiner, who was nominated by her daughter, Faith Joiner.

–Lisa Moloney, who was nominated by her best friend, Kirsten Daffron.

–Michelle Waxman, who was nominated by her husband, Bill Sharp.

In addition, we had six runners-up, who will be receiving a special gift from Spa Gregorie’s, as well.

In upcoming issues of  Stu News, we will be publishing the nominations, and hope that these deserving five will share their experiences and photos with our readers after they enjoy their memorable day.


Smoky sunrise

Smoky sunrise tower

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jason Berry (Instagram @its_jason_berry)

 A ruby red sunrise fills the sky amid recent OC fires


OC Fair & Event Center now using goats as landscapers in challenging areas

They are quite the sight at the OC Fair & Event Center: a herd of 18 Angora goats chomping away at weeds while their trusty miniature donkey guards keep watch. The animals are hard at work solving problems by clearing weeds and improving the soil on the berm around Pacific Amphitheatre.

“The berm is a challenging area for our landscaping crew and the goats are the perfect solution, but we do have some coyotes around the property so the two miniature donkeys will help protect the herd,” said Barbara Gregerson, OC Fair & Event Center’s landscape supervisor. “Not only will the goats and donkeys eat the vegetation, they will fertilize and break up the soil, preparing it for planting.”

OC Fair donkey and goat

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

A miniature donkey keeps watch as this Angora goat clears weeds

Gregerson developed the animal landscaping program to reduce erosion, maximize water filtration and improve the resilience of the soil. Once the soil improves, the ultimate goal is to create a diverse habitat of California native plants that invite birds, butterflies and other pollinators.

The berm has been divided into quadrants where the animals will be rotated to evenly work the land. In addition to the weeds and grasses on the berm, the goats will have shelter, water and supplemental feed to ensure they are getting a well-rounded diet. They will also receive regular veterinary care like the animals that reside year-round at nearby Centennial Farm.

The goats and miniature donkeys are on loan from Eureka Mohair Farm in Tollhouse, Calif., a longtime competitor in the annual OC Fair livestock competitions. They will be on the property through December and will return in March and work until the annual OC Fair in July. The plan is then to have the animal landscapers back again in September through December 2021 and continue the pattern for a couple of years.

OC Fair goats

Click on photo for a larger image

Goats eating the weeds on the berm around Pacific Amphitheatre

The annual cost of the program is almost the same as using traditional landscapers. There were fencing and shelter costs to get the program up and running and OC Fair & Event Center will cover feed and veterinary care for the animals in exchange for their labor. Gregerson says the expenses basically even out.

Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum are reopening to the public today, Nov. 3. Hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Free admission and parking; masks and reservations are required. To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to www.ocfair.com/reservations.

Visitors to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall may catch a glimpse of the goats and donkeys at work on the berm, but there is no public viewing area at this time.


Lido Isle remembered: “The Great Halloween Wars” and the fine art of trick or treating

By DUNCAN FORGEY

The birthplace of modern Halloween is thought to be Europe, with origins stemming from the ancient Celtic and Pagan traditions known as Samhain.  Mexico parades through the streets for Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), while elsewhere, tourists flock to Romania’s Bran Castle in Transylvania where the legendary Dracula Vlad “The Impaler” Tepes of world literature was born.  There are Halloween-like celebrations on every continent throughout the world.

In the 1960s, kids of Lido Isle roamed in “gangs” for Halloween. Friends and older siblings knocked on doors of every house putting the fine art of trick or treating to work. A fruitful effort could fill up a pillowcase.

The Cheyenne Kid, Mighty Mouse, Superman, Rocky and Bullwinkle, or Wonder Woman walked Lido streets alongside Boris and Natasha, Bugs Bunny, Cinderella, or the more traditional ghouls and ballerinas. Like tiny military squads, they moved about grabbing candy, homemade cookies and a treasure chest of suckers, gums and Milky Ways. An annual rumor that one bayfront home was giving out silver dollars provoked anxiety among the trick or treaters. It usually proved to be an exaggeration at school the next day.

Lido Isle remembered cub scouts

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Duncan Forgey 

Cub Scouts remind us of the cronies that called Lido Isle home. Duncan Forgey is pictured in the second row from the bottom, second from right.

After the little kids were bedded at home and parents were celebrating at costume parties, the streets of Lido were overrun by adolescents. Youthful bands of east-enders waged war against west-enders both steadfast in defending their turf. Prominent Lido names like Duey, Warmington, Marshall, Rosso and Haskell battled the Edler, Ober, Reed, Montgomery, Chasin and Cowan kids. Mid-island became a staging area for young street soldiers, and numbers grew to more than 50 with “skirmishes” increasing in ferocity as the word spread.   

A soldier’s best weapon was his fast feet. His goal was to “nail” the enemy with water balloons or eggs, gaining access to enemy territory by way of Via Lido Nord, Via Lido Soud and the many stradas crisscrossing the island. The most memorable battles protected the Lido clubhouse or held Piazza Lido. They practiced “hit quick and run like hell” techniques. Firefights left soldiers exhausted with scraped knees, and cuts and bruises, while strategy, courage and mischief made the “The Great Halloween Wars of Lido Isle” unique.

An overly optimistic W.K. Parkinson paid a purported $45,000 for the sandy islet in 1923. Following the end to World War I, the federal government targeted Newport Harbor for a submarine base with wharves and industrial facilities. The shallowness of the bay saved it from becoming another San Pedro. 

William C. Crittenden bought the sand in 1928 and hired Swiss architect Franz Herding to help design a unique residential development. Following a great depression and World War II, Herding’s creation gave the tiny seaport of Newport Beach a taste of a European paradise.

With $1,222,861.95 in improvement monies, they dredged the island and subdivided it for homes. Brilliantly, they buried electrical wires, created streets and stradas and built an infrastructure for just under 1,000 building sites. As bonds against future sales, this money was an early version of today’s Mello-Roos assessments.

Crittenden and Herding’s vision was to create a high-quality development with the flair of prestigious cities in Italy, Spain and France. Homes were built with Mediterranean architecture, red tile roofs and emphasized south-facing patios maximizing sun exposure. Private beaches, a clubhouse, tennis courts and boat gardens were additions making it a truly unique community. 

Lido Isle remembered LIYC

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Duncan Forgey 

Lido Island Yacht Club at the start of a regatta in front of the clubhouse

The development was named for an exquisite Italian resort off the Adriatic Sea. Lido Isle (never say Lido Island) eventually became Newport’s “smartest” new address. Each of the 33 streets have historic or literary notoriety. For example: Barcelona was a fourth-century port city and ancient capital of Catalonia; Genoa, a fifth-century Roman port and gateway to the Roman Western Empire and the birthplace of Columbus; Nice, a beautiful city on the French Riviera and home to the rich and royal of Europe; Ithaca, a Greek Island significant because Ulysses’ wife Penelope waited there for him to return from the Trojan Wars.

P.A. “Pappy” Palmer is the name most associated with the success of Lido Isle. The island’s primary salesman, Palmer sat day after day on the sparsely occupied sandpit. By 1946, gross real estate sales reached an all-time high of $790,340 and Lido Isle had come into its own. As the post-World War II economy surged, large numbers of new families moved onto Lido.

It was this post-war boom that transformed not only Lido Isle but other parts of Newport Harbor into a burgeoning and vibrant mixture of a blue- and white-collar residents. Young professionals from Los Angeles and Riverside counties moved to the resort on a year-round basis to raise their families. Loaded with children during the 1950s and 1960s, residents took full advantage of an Angling Club, the Lido Isle Yacht Club, three tennis courts and a full-service clubhouse with pool table and snack bar. Island leaders maintained an active social schedule for all ages.

Today’s sophisticated multi-million-dollar Lido Isle is known for bigger houses, smaller patios and a more formal lifestyle. With the disappearance of vacant lots, opportunities were lost for endless games of over-the-line, tackle football and block parties. During the days of Bonanza-style TV shows, Richard’s Lido Market, Atkinson’s, Christmas tree forts, Craig the bus driver and the Lido Round Up, the “Halloween Wars of Lido Isle” rose to prominence among youth. It typified a carefree lifestyle provided by the influence of the ocean, bay and extensive open spaces available at that time. It was short-lived because this night of revelry became notorious citywide, gaining the attention of parents, politicians and the police. Only strong memories remain and those will never die.   

~~~~~~~~

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


Segerstrom Center for the Arts to hold first fall musical theater training online

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is offering its first fall musical theater training program for young people ages 9-18. Students of all experience levels are welcome for this five-class virtual program, where they will be coached in musical theater performance and technique by some of the industry’s leading professional artists and educators.

The classes will be live but virtual on Tuesdays and Thursdays, November 5-19. Because the classes are live, they will provide immediate interaction between students and faculty while being completely safe for all. This format proved highly successful for the Center’s Five Days of Broadway program this past summer. Classes will focus on musical theater performance, acting, improv and dance.

Segerstrom Center boy

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of SCFTA.org

This youngster is enjoying some puppetry fun

The fall musical theater program will have two tracks, one for students ages 9-13 and one for ages 14-18. Entrance is not audition-based, so registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Capacity is limited. Tuition for all five classes is $150, and registration can be completed online here.

Classes will be 60-75 minutes in length. Classes for students 9-13 years of age will be at 4 p.m., and classes for students 14-18 years of age will be at 6 p.m. 

Sessions:

–Session 1 - Thursday, Nov. 5

–Session 2 - Tuesday, Nov. 10

–Session 3 - Thursday, Nov. 12

–Session 4 - Tuesday, Nov. 17

–Session 5 - Thursday, Nov. 19

Segerstrom Center girl

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Doug Gifford

This theatrical student took part in the Center’s Five Days of Broadway program this past summer

Among esteemed faculty for the 2020 inaugural fall program are Cheryl Baxter (first National Touring companies of Cats and 42nd Street, films Xanadu, Grease 2, television Criminal Minds, How I Met Your Mother and Netfix’s Lucifer); 

Olivia Espinosa (Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory); Chandra Lee Schwartz (Hairspray, Wicked); and Ben McFadden (Seattle Shakespeare Company, Seattle Children’s Theatre).


COVID-19: 1 new death reported in OC, 2 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,484 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including one new death reported today (November 1). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 60,115 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 233 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,249 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of two cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.327 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 35 percent of ICU beds and 67 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 181 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 55 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,462 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 11 1 20 1

COVID 19 County 11 1 20 2

COVID 19 County 11 1 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of November 1, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 8 new deaths reported in OC, 5 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,483 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including eight new deaths reported today (October 31). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 59,882 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 164 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,247 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.304 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 33 percent of ICU beds and 67 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 188 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 58 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,385 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 31 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 31 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 31 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

 Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of October 31, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 7 new deaths reported in OC, 5 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,475 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including seven new deaths reported today (October 30). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 59,718 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 276 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,242 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of five cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.246 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 36 percent of ICU beds and 67 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 182 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 61 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,265 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 30 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 30 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 30 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of October 30, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


CdM Chamber accepting board nominations

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce is seeking board of directors nominations for those you would like to see take an active leadership role in the Corona del Mar community.

The CdM Chamber board of directors is the policy making body and major force of the CdM Chamber of Commerce. An election to fill six (6) open board seats for the 2021/2022 term is approaching. By becoming a director, you become a part of what helps to shape and define the community’s economic development, growth and spirit. The experience of serving on the chamber’s board of directors can be a satisfying and rewarding experience both professionally and personally.

You must be a member or become a member of the CdM Chamber of Commerce to apply.

The deadline to submit nominations is Sunday, Nov. 1.

For more information about the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce and to submit a nomination, visit www.CdMChamber.com.


Save the Dates: Fabulous Fall Scavenger Hunt coming to Central Library

Mark your calendars for the Fabulous Fall Scavenger Hunt taking place at Newport Beach Central Library from November 9-21.

Come explore the sights, sounds and scents of the season as you hunt for fabulous fall items. With your imagination, create one-of-a-kind designs with the items you find. Pick up a Grab-and-Go craft bag to get you started on your nature adventure.

Grab-and-Go craft kits are available for pick up at any Newport Beach Public Library location beginning November 9 through November 21 (while supplies last).

Funding is generously donated by the Friends of the Library.

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


Middle and high schoolers encouraged to submit ideas in anti-hate initiative campaign contest

As COVID-related discrimination and xenophobia reach an all-time high, the Orange County Human Relations Commission (OCHRC) has responded by launching an exciting anti-hate initiative. The “To Know Better” multimedia campaign contest is designed to promote cultural acceptance through the voices of Orange County middle and high schoolers. 

In partnership with Orange County Public Schools and the Orange County Department of Education, “To Know Better” is a call to young people to incite some serious change in their schools and beyond.

“Racism and hatred of others because of their differences is unacceptable,” said Orange County Board of Supervisor, Chairwoman, Michelle Steel. “This campaign is about making people realize they know better than to treat others poorly.” 

Middle and high schoolers mask

Submitted photo

The “To Know Better” multimedia campaign contest is designed to promote cultural acceptance through the voices of Orange County middle and high schoolers

To participate in the multimedia campaign contest, students will work in teams to submit ideas for short digital videos that promote acceptance and inclusivity as well as timely calls-to-action like social distancing and wearing a mask. After submitting entries at www.knowbetter2020.com by Monday, Nov. 23, one winning campaign from each district will be selected by its District Supervisor to be executed in Orange County schools and beyond. Prizes include funding for the winning team’s school toward anti-hate initiatives, professional help in bringing initiatives to life, and the added bonus of clout on college, job and internship applications.

Since 1971, OCHRC has served the community with the mission to seek out and eliminate the causes of tension, discrimination and intolerance. It is known and recognized for its ongoing efforts to make Orange County a more accepting and unified community.

The Orange County Human Relations Commission is contracted by the County of Orange to work closely with law enforcement, nonprofit organizations, diverse faith leaders, and community members to respond and track hate crimes and incidents on behalf of the county.

To learn more about services provided by the county through the Human Relations Commission, visit www.occommunityservices.org/human-relations-commission.


COVID-19: 1 new death reported in OC, 7 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,468 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including one new death reported yesterday (October 29). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 59,442 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 229 cases yesterday.

The county reports that there have been 1,237 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of seven cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 14.189 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 35 percent of ICU beds and 66 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 181 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 59 are in ICU.

The county estimates 53,054 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 29 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 29 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 29 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of October 29, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

With Avery’s support, Short Term Lodging Ordinance passes

Tom headshot 8.25.20In my Tuesday Fair Game column I discussed a rumor about potential “late money” coming in to possibly sway the vote on the issue of Short Term Lodging.

I specifically called out Mayor Pro Tem Brad Avery. Fair or unfair?

Shortly after the issue posted, I received a telephone call from Avery with concern about my claims. He said the only reason for a possible “No” vote on the Short Term Lodging Ordinance was “to strengthen limits on the number of allowed units.”

He absolutely took offense to any claim of money playing a role in any of his votes. I respect and applaud him for that!

Well, Tuesday night came around and on the Consent Calendar vote that included the Ordinance, Avery did join councilmembers Joy Brenner, Diane Dixon and Jeff Herdman with his approval, while Mayor Will O’Neill, “Duffy” Duffield and Kevin Muldoon dissented.

So, my reported rumor was wrong. Shame on me!

Now parts of the approved Ordinance will head off to the Coastal Commission for further approvals, while several parts of it will return at councilmembers’ requests for “further discussion.”

A councilperson email that I received following the meeting said, “We got a lot of letters from people I’ve never heard from, or of, before (on the issue) and I think it made the difference...still, don’t feel like we are out of the woods on STLs.”

Time will tell.

• • •

With just days left until Election Day, thank goodness, I received a complaint from Noah Blom’s camp accusing opponent Herdman of utilizing his city email address to further his campaign for the District 5 seat.

Blom’s team cited three specific Herdman emails (sending them to Stu News), the first one asking a fellow councilperson to assist him in a coordinated “ballot harvesting effort”; the second, asking the same councilperson’s campaign manager to “assist (Herdman) in digging up dirt” on Blom; and the third asking the same councilperson to assist in getting Herdman admitted to an exclusive fundraising event.

Blom’s team “called for his opponent (Herdman) to immediately stop using taxpayer-funded resources (his City email address) to aid in his campaign.”

I checked with several other uses of emails during this election period asking for assistance or endorsing a fellow councilperson and found that private, personal emails were used by others.

Although this isn’t Watergate, it’s a definite no-no and should have not occurred.

• • •

As long as we’re talking about council, it’s a good time to remind residents that if you haven’t voted, get to it.

To review, restaurateur Blom is challenging Herdman for the District 5 seat. Blom’s strength is his small business knowledge that he offers up as the business community attempts to rebuild following the COVID-19 challenges. 

Herdman is asking for four more years to complete work he’s done with airport issues and his desire to continue as an independent voice on council.

In District 2, Avery is up against challenger Nancy Scarbrough. Avery, of course, has been a steady council voice with tremendous knowledge of the harbor, while Scarbrough brings a community activist role and potentially another independent voice.

Finally, Mayor Will O’Neill is running unopposed in District 7, but is still seeking widespread community support. And why not, he’s met the challenge of a very difficult pandemic year head on at every turn.

• • •

The other race deserving everyone’s attention is the new potential make-up of the Newport-Mesa Unified School District Board of Education. Finally, after years and years of reelected members, the Board will get an infusion of new blood. And, in my opinion, not a minute too soon.

There are three races. One in Costa Mesa and two involving Newport Beach voters.

As is our charge, we’ll focus on Newport Beach.

First up is District 3, formerly incumbent Martha Fluor’s spot. Charles Kent Booker takes on Carol Crane

Crane has been the most visible in the race. She’s a former teacher, who more recently has been actively engaged with the District.

In District 6, Dana Black’s old seat that includes Newport Beach schools Mariners and Newport Heights, Xeno Ralf Muller II, Amy Peters, Krista Weigand and Alexis Zavouris battle it out. 

Most of the focus has been on Peters and Weigand who seemed to be the most organized in their campaigns.

In all races, no matter who emerges, I believe the Board of Education will be stronger moving forward.

• • •

Here’s the question, what does $61 million get you in today’s world? For example, if you own an NBA team you can probably get a really, really good player for about two years. 

What else you ask?

Here locally, how about a mansion in Newport Coast? What I mean by a mansion is 18,717 sq. ft., six bedrooms and 11.5 baths, a swimming pool (I’d certainly hope so), a garage that can park 12 luxury cars, panorama of the ocean, a gym, home theater, sauna and, as you might imagine, a lot more.

The report is that Anthony Hsieh, the billionaire founder of loanDepot and an obviously very successful Taiwanese-American businessman, purchased the record-setting Orange County property that closed this week.

The price tag exceeds the previous record amount of $50 million Glenn Stearns paid earlier this year for author Dean Koontz’s mansion.

The agents involved were Rob Giem of Compass on the listing side and Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker repping buyer Hsieh.

The only way I’m entering that neighborhood is by probably doing some maid work.

Oh well.


Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach presents its Second Annual Black & White Party

Balboa Island Museum of Newport Beach is holding its Second Annual Black & White Party on Friday, Nov. 20 at 6 p.m.

Themed the “Golden Age of Newport Harbor,” festivities include dinner, drinks, music and an auction. The event takes place at the Royal Hen located at 311 Marine Island, Balboa Island. The cost is $200 per person and RSVPs must be made by November 14. Tickets can be purchased at www.balboaislandmuseum.org/events. Sponsorship opportunities are available at the $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000 levels.


Fall sessions

Fall sessions

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers)

Surfer Nolan Rapoza making the most of an epic fall session


Free flu shots today at OC Fair & Event Center

The Orange County Health Care Agency will be conducting free drive-through flu shots at OC Fair & Event Center today, Oct. 30, from 7 a.m.-3 p.m., for those ages 3 and up. 

Interested parties should visit www.360clinic.md to make an appointment.

Upon arrival to the OC Fair & Event Center, parties should enter Lot E and Lot F, entering through Gate 4.

For those unable to visit today’s drive-through, you are encouraged to go here to find information on other flu shot providers.

Separately, for information on COVID-19 in Orange County, visit www.covid19info.ocgov.com or contact the Orange County health Care Agency.


Offshore surfin’

Offshore surfin' wave

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stan Sievers (Instagram @stansievers)

Local surfer “Bones” enjoying a nice set in Newport Beach


You Must Remember This: Fern Pirkle

By NANCY GARDNER

Picture this: The hills between Corona del Mar and Laguna are covered with office space, hotels, a convention center and 50,000 houses. That was the initial plan presented by the Irvine Company for what became known as Newport Coast, and that very likely is what would be there today if it weren’t for Fern Pirkle. She saved a lot of open space that otherwise would have disappeared forever. She didn’t do it all by herself, but hers was the spark and the determination that made it happen.

Appalled when she heard about the plans, Pirkle didn’t throw the newspaper down in disgust and then go on with her daily routine. She founded an organization – Friends of Irvine Coast – and she fought the Irvine Company, with all its resources, to a standstill. In the years of contention, she never lost her temper and she never gave up. What the Irvine Company finally agreed to was far different than what had been proposed: No office space, no convention center and instead of 50,000 homes...2,600. Now many people said that the company never intended to build 50,000 homes. They put that number out knowing it would be whittled down, but even if that’s the case, I don’t think there would have been so much whittling without the constant pressure exerted by Pirkle and her group.

There was another consequence of her efforts. For years environmentalists and developers had battled. The developer usually won the right to develop but had to provide mitigation. A small amount of land would be set aside for habitat. The result was a map that looked like the land had measles – little dots of open space with no connectivity. It was not a recipe for the protection of species, so the environmentalists were disgruntled. At the same time, the developers weren’t exactly happy campers since they experienced delays and legal fees as a result of the opposition. There had to be a better way, and there was. Under the leadership of the Irvine Company, various landowners and stakeholders came together with the idea of providing “broad-based plans for the effective protection and conservation” of natural resources while “allowing appropriate development and growth.” The result was a Natural Communities Conservation Plan (NCCP)/Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP). The landowners agreed to set aside portions of their properties to create a large, connected open space with various protections for the plants and animals within that space. In return, they were given the right to develop other areas without fear of lawsuits. The result was the Nature Reserve of Orange County which includes the open space in back of Newport Coast, Buck Gully, areas of Irvine, Laguna and other properties. At the same time a nonprofit was established, the Natural Communities Coalition, to oversee the Reserve and ensure that the various conditions were met. It’s a great model for dealing with a lot of land use issues, and I don’t know that it would have been used locally if Pirkle hadn’t shown just how powerful a group of determined people can be.

I met Pirkle. Our Surfrider chapter was dealing with the Irvine Company because of runoff issues associated with the Pelican Hill golf course. This was after the company had agreed to the smaller amount of development, but Pirkle’s group was still active as monitors. Given their experience, we thought they were a good group to know, so I went to a meeting of the steering committee. Knowing what she had done, I was expecting someone quite formidable – say Dame Maggie Smith portraying one of her dowagers – but she was nothing like that. She was pleasant and approachable, made no effort to overawe someone who was quite ready to be overawed, and that’s probably why she was able to accomplish what she did.

After her death, SPON (Still Protecting Our Newport) planted a memorial tree for her in Bonita Canyon Sports Park, but her real memorial is the much smaller development of Newport Coast and the much greater open space that resulted from her efforts.

Editor’s Note: Fern Pirkle, a longtime Corona del Mar resident, passed away in 2016. She was 90 years old.

~~~~~~~~

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


The ABCs of our City’s current budget and its status

The City of Newport Beach makes financial information available to review the status of revenues and expenditures. The online Open Budget Portal provides citizens an in-depth and friendly view of the City’s financial data including the City’s revenue sources, expenditures and the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The site provides users the ability to view the financial data in a table, chart or graph format. Interactive features of the site allow for searching by departmental or other types of budget categories. The CIP portion of the site organizes information by funding category, funding source or by project. Users will also find project photos, the current phase of the project and a map showing the project’s location.

REVENUES

The City, along with other local jurisdictions, states and the federal government are facing an exceptionally challenging economic environment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of businesses and public facilities has negatively impacted various sources of City revenues, including sales tax and transient occupancy tax revenues, which are generally two of the City’s largest tax revenue sources. The Fiscal Year 2020-21 revised budget projects General Fund revenues of approximately $201.3 million, which is an approximately $28.6 million decrease from the fiscal year 2019-20 actual revenues.

Through September 30, 2020, the City’s General Fund has received $20.7 million, or 10.3 percent, of the $201.3 million of budgeted general fund revenues. Although materially less than the prior year, due to the tax remittance calendar, the percentage received to date compared to the total expected is a normal trend for this time of year.

The General Fund’s top three revenues sources (Property Taxes, Sales Taxes, and Transient Occupancy Tax) account for approximately 75 percent of all General Fund revenues. The City expects to receive $152.6 million of revenue from these three sources in fiscal year 2020-21, which is $17.8 million less than prior year actuals.

Property Tax

Property Tax is the top source of revenue for the City and represents almost half of all General Fund revenues. Property taxes are one of the least affected revenue sources by the pandemic and as a whole are budgeted to come in at $117.5 million for fiscal year 2020-21, which represents a 3.7 percent increase over prior year actuals. The City has collected about $1.8 million, or 1.5 percent, of budget through September 30, 2020. This is typical as property taxes are received in large part during December and April of each fiscal year. A better gauge for where the City is for the year on property taxes will be mid- to late- December when about half of secured property taxes should be received.

Sales Tax

Sales tax, the second largest revenue source for the City, is expected to finish fiscal year 2020-21 at $28.7 million, which is roughly a $7.5 million, or 20.7 percent, decrease from prior year actuals. As of September 30, 2020, the City has received $3.2 million, or 11.2 percent, of the sales tax budget, which is about $800,000 higher than expected. And, as with property taxes, sales tax results through September 30 are not indicative of budget performance by year-end. By late-November, the City will obtain its true 3rd quarter sales tax receipts, which will provide a better gauge of how sales tax is trending compared to budget.

Transient Occupancy Taxes

Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) are the most severely impacted revenue source and are budgeted extremely conservatively at $6.4 million for fiscal year 2020-21, which represents a 69.1 percent, or $14.4 million, decrease compared to prior year total TOT revenues. The City has realized 35.2 percent, or $2.3 million, through September 30, 2020, which was $1.7 million higher than expected for the quarter.

Click here for link to the General Fund broken down by revenue group through September 30, 2020. 

EXPENDITURES

As of September 30, 2020, General Fund expenditures totaled $47.6 million, which represents 21.4 percent of the $223.0 million revised budget.

Click here for link to the General Fund broken down by revenue group through September 30, 2020. 

Note: Open budget data is refreshed on a monthly basis and does not remain static. The narrative above represents the status of General Fund revenues and expenditures through September 30, 2020 and may not match data accessed subsequent to this time.


Second Harvest Food Bank, SPIN receive Bank of America Neighborhood Builders awards

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County (SHFB) and Serving People in Need (SPIN) have been named as the 2020 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardees. The nonprofits were selected for their work in the Orange County community to address issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically food insecurity and homelessness. 

As an awardee, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership development for the executive director and an emerging leader, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. 

“As we consider many of the challenges that our community is facing – from the health and humanitarian crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic – the Neighborhood Builders program is a relevant and timely initiative to support the communities we serve,” said Allen Staff, Orange County market president for Bank of America. “Basic needs must be met to achieve economic mobility. This program enables partners like Second Harvest Food Bank and Serving People in Need to plan strategically for growth and long-term sustainability, and we look forward to seeing how this investment helps these nonprofits make even greater strides to address food insecurity and homelessness.”

Second Harvest Food Bank quickly adapted to address the increased need for food due to high unemployment and to fill in for more than 150 partner network pantries that were initially forced to close at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Demand for food in Orange County more than doubled, rising from 2.8 million pounds of food distributed to the partner network in March to 5.4 million pounds of food distributed in September. SHFB restructured and streamlined its distribution/delivery model to provide food boxes of shelf-stable food items and produce and implemented temporary drive-thru food distribution events until its partner network was able to pivot to meet the increased need. Leveraging the Neighborhood Builders grant, SHFB will increase its organizational capacity to source and purchase additional truckloads of shelf-stable food to feed an additional 207,000 people through its partner network pantries.

“This generous donation comes at a critical time as we face increased demand for food, uncertain supplies and higher costs,” said Harald Herrmann, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. “We are deeply grateful for Bank of America’s leadership in support of our mission to feed all those in need, including the many newly vulnerable Orange County families who have been economically impacted by COVID-19. We also look forward to connecting with a network of like-minded peer organizations, their leaders and to personal growth opportunities ahead.”

With a 98 percent efficacy rate in keeping the people they serve in their homes, Serving People in Need will enhance its ability to support the growing need for Guided Assistance to Permanent Placement services including providing housing assistance, financial resources and support services to families who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. SPIN has seen a 120 percent increase in requests for rental assistance and a 40 percent increase in requests for move-in costs for housing from homeless families with children. Funds will be used to help these families secure or maintain housing, assist with on-going rent and utilities, and connect them with community resources to help them continue to maintain housing stability. 

“SPIN is honored and so very pleased to have been selected as a recipient of the Bank of America 2020 Neighborhood Builders Award,” said Jean Wegener, SPIN CEO. “SPIN will be able to assist more families impacted by COVID-19 who are facing numerous challenges – maintaining housing, finding new employment and childcare – through diversion, prevention, rental assistance and housing. We look forward to strengthening our leadership skills within our organization.”

The Neighborhood Builders program is an opportunity to provide relevant skills development and topics to help nonprofit leaders address current and future community challenges. Each year, Bank of America refines the Neighborhood Builders Leadership Program to include topics ranging from strategic storytelling to human capital management, and highlights themes that are critical to moving the nonprofit sector forward within broader societal and economic context.


Take Five: Sarah Laloyan, Atria Senior Living’s VP for Operations and Product Dev.

By AMY SENK

Orange County residents are aging – by 2040, almost one in four of the county’s population will be 65 or older, according to OC Healthier Together. This means many of us are starting to consider senior living options, for ourselves or our loved ones. And like most decisions in the age of COVID – it’s complicated. To find out more, I caught up with Sarah Laloyan, the vice president for operations and product development for Atria Senior Living, a brand-new facility opening soon in Newport Beach. Atria manages more than 200 senior living communities across the country and Canada, including some in severely impacted COVID cities like New York.

Take Five Sarah Laloyan

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Atria Senior Living

Sarah Laloyan

Q: An Atria Senior Living Facility is opening this fall in Newport Beach, near Hoag Hospital. Can you tell me more about Atria and what sets it apart from other senior housing facilities?

A: Atria Newport Beach is a brand-new, ground-up development combined with the thoughtful redevelopment of an older, pre-existing senior housing community. As part of Atria’s Signature Brand, we are making Atria Newport Beach our most technology-forward and pandemic-ready community to date across our 200-plus communities in the United States and Canada. We have designed it with apartments that are even more like home, including apartments with kitchens featuring full-sized refrigerators and abundant tech amenities for safety and convenience. The design also leverages ways to optimize quality of life and safety based on lessons we’ve learned since COVID-19 emerged. It is truly the first community of its type, offering modern senior living with elevated amenities and design – all housed in a prime location, across the street from Hoag Hospital and just minutes from Lido Marina Village, Balboa Island, Fashion Island and much more.

Take Five Atria Rendering

Click on photo for a larger image

Rendering of Atria Newport Beach

Q: What have been the challenges in opening a new facility in this COVID environment, and what steps will be taken to keep residents and staff members safe?

A: A lot of what we’ve learned through COVID has confirmed our direction with new Atria communities. Atria Newport Beach portends a bold new way for residents to live their best lives. The design includes features such as spacious apartments with touchless entry, wearable technology that will enable real-time monitoring of possible symptoms for residents and staff, handheld home automation, the latest in telemedicine support, open communal spaces, strong attention to access to daylight and thoughtfully designed bathrooms featuring the TOTO Washlet toilet system, a heated seat, self-cleaning features and other conveniences. The safety of our residents and staff is our foremost focus, and we are pleased to provide these technological and design features along with stringent testing protocols and digital contact tracing. 

Q: I have heard of people bringing their elderly family members home from senior living facilities to ride out the virus, but it isn’t going away. What are the advantages of taking the opposite approach and moving into a facility like Atria?

A: At the onset of this pandemic, quarantining was widespread. Such isolation for seniors flew in the face of everything senior living communities advocated for in the past. The reality is that people belong together. We know that human connection is absolutely vital to seniors’ well-being; social interaction reduces the risk of depression and keeps our loved ones more engaged and active. Senior communities provide this essential social environment. Now – as always – we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure that seniors can live their best lives with COVID safety top of mind. We truly believe that where we live can determine how well we live.

Q: Will families be able to visit, and if so, what arrangements are being made for social interactions?

A: Ensuring ample connection with family is an important component of senior living. At Atria Newport Beach, our innovative design includes contactless visiting areas as well as socially distanced, open-air spaces, to allow for safer family visits. Outdoor socializing can be enjoyed year-round in gorgeous Newport Beach. A large terrace on the south wing is the perfect covered space wide enough to have multiple socially distanced family gatherings at a time. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that ultimately the rules on family visits are made by state and local health officials, and Atria is fully committed to remaining in compliance with them.

Q: When is the best time to start thinking about moving into a senior facility, and what is the best way to approach the subject with loved ones?

A: For so many older adults living at home, a senior living community provides a positive alternative that fosters abundant cultural, social, educational and entertainment opportunities every day. Rather than associating a specific age at which to broach this topic, it helps to consider the issues that older adults may be facing. Senior communities provide options for interaction, dining, exercise, independence, transportation, housekeeping and emergency assistance in a safe setting. If these topics are becoming a challenge for any reason, it is time to think about the many benefits of moving to a senior living community. Among the biggest misconceptions about senior living is that there’s no reason to move while you are still healthy, or that such a relocation means reduced independence. However, at Atria we want to make sure we offer a home that feels like home to the resident. We seek to provide vibrant communities that offer an elevated experience with the warm company of peers every day. Atria’s senior communities provide safe ways to connect with neighbors and staff right outside residents’ doors, in addition to on-site, full-service restaurants with chef-prepared selections and group socially distanced activities amid beautiful properties with outdoor spaces to relax and enjoy the fresh air. The benefits keep seniors living healthier and happier for longer. We know this can be a difficult discussion. When planning to have the conversation with your family member, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. Come prepared with research so you can provide thorough information about senior living. Ensure everyone has a role and can talk openly about the options available. Lastly, take a listener’s approach, and keep the discussion going with your family. This is rarely a one-time conversation.

~~~~~~~~

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


Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum ready to reopen on November 3

Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall veterans museum at OC Fair & Event Center are set to reopen to the public on Tuesday, Nov. 3. Visitors must make a reservation in advance.

Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall will both be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (last reservation accepted at 2 p.m.; groups will be allowed to stay until 3 p.m.). Parking is free and available through Gate 1 off of Fair Drive in Costa Mesa. Admission to both venues is free and masks are required.

Centennial Farm Goat

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

This goat is looking forward to seeing visitors again at Centennial Farm

“We are very excited to welcome our guests back to Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall,” said Michele Richards, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. “These venues are really the heart and soul of our fairgrounds year-round and we have all missed doing what we do best – educating and entertaining. I know our animals at the Farm are especially anxious to see visitors again.”

This will be the first chance for visitors to see the new exhibit at Heroes Hall, Private Charles J. Miller: WWII Paintings from the South Pacific. Through his watercolor paintings and sketches, Miller, of the U.S. Army, shares his story of a soldier’s experience during World War II in the South Pacific. He used limited resources – from large sheets of paper to the insides of cigarette cartons – to create powerful works of art. The exhibit is on loan from The Wright Museum of World War II in Wolfeboro, NH. To learn more, visit www.ocfair.com/exhibitions.

Centennial Farm Heroes Hall

Click on photo for a larger image

Heroes Hall is premiering a new exhibit of WWll watercolors and sketches  from the South Pacific

OC Fair & Event Center’s top priority is the health and safety of guests and staff. Visitors will be required to make reservations in advance so the number of guests can be limited. No walkups will be permitted.

Before entering, guests will check in at the Wellness Booth for temperature checks. Hand-sanitizing stations have been added and regular cleaning will be conducted throughout the day.

To reserve a time to visit Centennial Farm and Heroes Hall, go to www.ocfair.com/reservations.

Food or drinks are not allowed, but bottled water or water in enclosed containers is permitted. More information can be found on the FAQ page.


Tony Award winner Jefferson Mays reprises his A Christmas Carol performance to benefit SCR

The South Coast Repertory (SCR Artistic Director David Ivers, Managing Director Paula Tomei) and producer Hunter Arnold unofficially kicked off the holiday season early, announcing that a special filmed version of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol starring one of the finest stage actors of our time, Tony Award® winner Jefferson Mays, will be released worldwide on Saturday, Nov. 28. This streaming video event will benefit SCR, as well as other community, amateur, regional theaters across the country which have been devastated by the pandemic. Directed by two-time Tony Award-nominee Michael Arden, adapted by Mays, Susan Lyons, and Arden, and conceived by Arden and Tony Award-nominee Dane Laffrey, the filmed version is based on the wildly acclaimed 2018 production, which made its world premiere at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse.

“Adding Jefferson Mays to our robust season offerings is sure to delight South Coast Repertory audiences,” said SCR Artistic Director David Ivers. “A theatrical telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story has been a part of Orange County’s holiday tradition for decades and we’re excited for the opportunity to partner with our theatrical colleagues across the country for this on-demand video production of A Christmas Carol.”

Tony Award winner Mays scary

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos by Chris Whitaker

Jefferson Mays in “A Christmas Carol,” 2018 Geffen Playhouse production

Jefferson Mays said, “A Christmas Carol was my first experience of living theater. My mother and father would read it out loud every year. My father would tell the story with clarity and humanity, while my mother, eyes ablaze, would transform into the characters, from the tortured Jacob Marley, to little Fan and the entire Cratchit family. Both, in their ways, created magic. And now here we are, aspiring to bring this magic to people across the country during this challenging time.”

According to Michael Arden, “My theater career began when I was a 10-year-old Texan playing Tiny Tim in the Midland Community Theatre production of A Christmas Carol. In a time when theaters and arts workers across the country are in great need, bringing a story that celebrates the power of creativity, community, and our shared humanity is humbling.” 

 Hunter Arnold added, “Due to COVID-19, the country’s theaters have lost over 80 percent of their income, a number that is devastating to our community. These theaters, the work they produce, and the artists and workers they support are a fundamental part of our society. We must fight for their survival.”

Tony Award winner Mays seated

Click on photo for a larger image

Ebenezer Scrooge comes to new life as Jefferson Mays plays more than 50 roles in “A Christmas Carol,” 2018 Geffen Playhouse production

SCR is a partner through a joint project between Arnold’s TBD Pictures, La Jolla Playhouse, and On The Stage. Other partner theaters currently include Actors’ Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Iowa Stage Theatre Company, Sankofa Collective, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, South Coast Repertory, Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Theatre Tallahassee and Vermont Stage.

The timeless tale of Ebenezer Scrooge comes to thrilling new life as Jefferson Mays plays over 50 roles in a virtuosic, master class of a performance that must be seen to be believed. This theatrical achievement comes from the haunting vision of one of Broadway’s most imaginative directors, Michael Arden.

A Christmas Carol was filmed at New York’s United Palace, chosen to preserve the power of the theatrical storytelling Mays and Arden have created.

Staged exclusively for this film and captured live with breathtaking clarity, this must-watch streaming event conjures the powerful spirits of Christmas and brings all the magic of live theatre home for the holidays.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are now available to purchase online at https://scr.org/jefferson-mays›-a-christmas-carol.


Hanley Investment Group launches 10th Annual Movember fundraiser

Corona del Mar’s Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a nationally recognized real estate brokerage and advisory firm specializing in retail property sales, is launching its annual Movember campaign. This November marks Hanley Investment Group’s 10th consecutive year growing mustaches and raising funds for the Movember® Foundation, a movement that supports groundbreaking projects for men’s mental health, suicide prevention and cancers. Hanley Investment Group has raised more than $243,000 for the Movember® Foundation.

Hanley Investment Group Ed Hanley

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Hanley Investment Group’s President Ed Hanley dons his face mask and T-shirt promoting Movember

“We know that this has been a very challenging year for everyone,” said Hanley Investment Group’s President Ed Hanley. “Mental and physical health have certainly been on everyone’s mind as we deal with the impact of the coronavirus and the lockdowns, loss of income and social unrest.

“So many of us have lost someone to cancer. My own father died of prostate cancer way too young. According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. But they don’t have to die. In fact, more than 3.1 million men in the United States who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point are still alive today. By 2030, the Movember Foundation aims to halve the number of men dying from prostate cancer and halve the number of men facing serious ongoing side effects from treatment,” Hanley shared.

The Movember® Foundation is the leading charity dedicated to changing the face of men’s health in the U.S. and around the world. During Movember, men start November 1st as clean-shaven and grow a mustache for the month, getting friends, family and colleagues to donate to their effort.

This year, Hanley Investment Group had face masks printed with a mustache so the company’s mustache-growing, Movember awareness campaign and fundraiser wouldn’t go unnoticed.

To donate to Hanley Investment Group’s Movember team, visit https://movember.com/t/hanley-investment-group. For more information on The Movember® Foundation, go to https://us.movember.com/?home.


Blind Children’s Learning Center’s golf classic raises $90,000

On Monday, Oct. 19, Blind Children’s Learning Center (BCLC) partnered with 19th Hole Golf Productions to raise $90,000 in support of children with visual impairments at its annual Dr. Frank Villalobos Fall Golf Classic at the Aliso Viejo Country Club. Despite the pandemic, BCLC – an OC-based nonprofit serving children with visual impairments and other disabilities by providing early intervention programming – has continued to provide essential support and resources to the children and families who rely on them. Knowing that education and development for children with visual impairments is more important than ever, the team effectively adapted and has since been able to safely reopen much of its in-person programming.

Blind Children's Learning Center shooter

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photos

The golf ball cannon could launch a golf ball 330+ yards, making for a fun tee shot

This physically distanced event – generously presented by the Villalobos family – included numerous guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants including staggered tee times, a touchless check-in process, individually packaged meals, snacks and refreshments, and touchless bidding on exceptional auction packages and experiences. With safety a top priority for the BCLC team, attendees were able to focus on raising as much money as possible so that there continues to be no loss of learning for the children BCLC serves.

“We could not be more humbled by the support we received from this year’s golf tournament,” said Angie Rowe, president and executive director of BCLC. “With so much uncertainty this year, one thing has remained certain – that we need to continue to be there for the children of our organization. Thanks to our amazing donors, board members, staff and supporters, we have not and will not waiver in our support.”

Blind Children's Learning Center Tom

Click on photo for a larger image

(L-R) Bill Pierpoint and Tom Johnson enjoy a day on the course to benefit the Blind Children’s Learning Center

This year’s golf tournament welcomed a record number of attendees – 135 to be exact – who all came together for a day of golf in support of BCLC’s mission. Tom Johnson, publisher of Stu News Newport, was among the field of golfers. Of the 135 in attendance was noted athlete and motivational speaker, Jake Olson, who lost his vision at a young age and remained determined to achieve his goals despite his blindness. Olson went on to play for the USC football team as a long-snapper and is now a motivational speaker, developmental team member for Travis Mathew and founder of the Out of Sight Foundation. Tournament participants with a Players Card had the opportunity to compete against Olson on one of the course holes.

Also in attendance were BCLC mother and son duo, Charlie and Kristin. Charlie, almost 2 years old, had to fight hard early on in his life and is now happily learning and growing though various early intervention services provided by BCLC. Charlie was able to meet and thank golfers throughout the event, which touched the hearts of all players that day. This priceless experience enabled attendees to see firsthand exactly how their support benefits young children with visual impairments and left a lasting impression on all guests. 

Blind Children golfer

Click on photo for a larger image

A golfer, wearing a face covering, tees off

“BCLC was the only place that gave me the chance to speak and share my fears – I was worried Charlie would be left behind,” said Kristin. “After a few short minutes at BCLC, I knew Charlie would be included in everything their amazing team has to offer. Charlie started in the toddler classrooms in August of this year after previously receiving early intervention services in our home, and we’ve immediately seen so much progress. It was such a special privilege that we were able to thank BCLC’s supporters at this year’s golf tournament.”

This year’s golf tournament was also special as it honored Dr. Frank Villalobos, who passed away earlier this year. A respected cardiologist, Dr. Villalobos spent his retirement committed to the children and families of BCLC. He served on the board of directors and spearheaded the golf tournament for more than 10 years. Through his leadership, a life-changing amount of funds were raised to help children with visual impairments and other disabilities. Dr. Villalobos was recognized for his dedication and support at this year’s tournament and will always be remembered for his passion and involvement in the organization. Additionally, the Villalobos family served as presenting sponsor of this year’s tournament. 

For more information on the Blind Children’s Learning Center, visit www.blindkids.org.


Organizers announce 2021 Newport to Ensenada as a “GO”

Despite ongoing uncertainties presented by COVID-19 restrictions, the Newport Ocean Sailing Association has announced that the 73rd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race will start off the Balboa Pier on April 23, 2021.

Although still six months before the start of the 2021 race, the board is planning for the best: the historical full fleet sail to Ensenada with courses to San Diego and Dana Point, but is also preparing alternative routes, parties and celebrations to ensure that the race, the fun, the camaraderie N2E is famous for, will go on.

Organizers announce 2021 Destroyer

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Tom Walker

“Destroyer” during the 72nd Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race

“If for any reason Mexico becomes off-limits, we will switch Ensenada entries to the San Diego course,” said Commodore William Gibbs. “In consideration of this possibility, we have upgraded the N2SD course from a 60nm drag race into a challenging 100nm race into Mexican waters leaving the Coronado Islands to port. But there will be a race.”

The 2020 race would have been Gibbs’ 20th time racing N2E, and he’s won just as many trophies. But it’s more than the winning that keeps him coming back. “The people, the parties, the race, Ensenada, it’s all great. It was those factors that lead me to volunteer with NOSA,” he said.

Fortunately, sailboat racing is showing great signs of life with many offshore and closed course races getting back on the calendar, with COVID guidelines followed for the safety of everyone. The safety and the well-being of participating sailors and volunteers is a priority for NOSA so all activities will follow concurrent health guidelines.

The success of any race depends on its participants, and NOSA is asking for the sailing community’s ongoing support of N2E by entering. 

“N2E racers, while being safety conscious as always, deserve to have a good time on their boats again,” said Gibbs. “There are traditions and institutions, such as the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race, that will persevere in the face of adversity.”

Notice Of Race documents are now posted on the NOSA website at https://nosa.org and registration is open with an early bird gift of 2020 collector hats for entries confirmed by December 15.


Denny O’Neill was Newport Beach’s Wiseguy

By GARY SHERWIN

A few years ago, I would be immersed in some issue at my desk only to look up and be surprised to find Denny O’Neill sauntering into my office, sitting down at my conference table and wanting to visit.

I quickly learned to drop whatever I was doing and take the time to talk with him. I was never disappointed. And I always learned something.

For those who don’t know Denny, he was the former Mayor of Newport Beach, a councilman and earlier in his life, the City Attorney as well as a polio survivor. He knew more about how the city worked and its way of getting things done than anyone else I ever met.

He earned the nickname “The Godfather” because he was. A candidate for city council would be committing political malpractice if they didn’t talk with him first before announcing their run.

Gary Sherwin

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Visit Newport Beach

Gary Sherwin

Denny was unbelievably wise. He understood how to get things done in a pragmatic, thoughtful way. He knew the levers of power and who wielded them. Newport Beach has an unspoken way of working and he embraced and even formed our local political culture.

We got to know each other first when we were on a planning committee for former City Manager Homer Bludau’s retirement party and shortly after that, he was appointed to our executive board of Visit Newport Beach.

He had no experience in tourism or hospitality but that didn’t matter. His gift to us was to be the sage counsel on all matters relating to the city and to provide informed institutional knowledge.

I miss my pop in and regular lunch visits with Denny, not only because of his dry wit and his charm but because of that valued insight.

Since Denny’s passing in 2017, we’ve seen the continual decline of local media and the observers who know how the city operates. Barbara Venezia had a local column for years about the mechanics of the city’s politics, but the Register and the Daily Pilot, which both published her work at separate times, have scaled back. Other than topical breaking news, there isn’t anyone over there with deep working knowledge of the city.

You’re reading Stu News and Tom Johnson thankfully and thoughtfully carries that torch now, but he is pretty much alone in the media world. 

I get it, times change, and new fresh leadership comes in. That’s a wonderful thing and the central premise behind the Newport Beach Foundation, which was founded by Newport Beach and Company and is independently dedicated to bringing in these voices. We need new engaged people to step up and contribute to the city’s future.

But there is a need for the Dennys in this city too. Decision making is never made in a vacuum. It needs perspective and context. There is a reason Newport Beach became the city it is now, and those voices are critical as we go forward. As things accelerate, sometimes it is best to slow down and be a bit more contemplative and gain the understanding of people who have been there. Newport Beach is a powerful economic success story and to learn how we got here through trial and error is always worth listening to anytime.

Make no mistake, I’m not advocating for going back to the good ole days. Every great city needs to move forward. But you can avoid a lot of mistakes by paying attention to history and either repeating it or not.

Newport Beach has a strong back bench of former leaders who serve on various boards, including ours. I value their counsel because they have been in the game and contributed to our collective success. But also, because they have valuable scar tissue and, in some cases, paid the price.

There are a host of former council people, Mayors and civic leaders out there who have made significant contributions to the development of the city. But there lacks a formula for fully engaging them and extracting that deep well of wisdom and learning.

Institutional knowledge is an unrated skill set but it is critical to making quality and thoughtful decisions. Let’s increase the participation of those who know this city and find a way to gather more of their insight. Let’s ask more questions of them and learn more about how we got to where we are. That doesn’t mean we have to always agree with them on decision making but we can understand their perspective and be better decision makers ourselves.

Unfortunately for all of us, Denny is gone, but the need for a wise and sage city Godfather is not.

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


Sherman Library & Gardens to hold Chrysanthemum Sale this weekend

Sherman Library & Gardens will hold their Chrysanthemum Sale this weekend on Saturday, Oct. 31 and Sunday, Nov. 1 from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Orange County Chrysanthemum Society will display magnificent mum blooms at Sherman Gardens over these two days. There will be creative floral sculptures on display and a large selection of beautiful mums available for purchase.

Sherman Library Chrysanthemum

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Schedule of Events:

–Saturday, Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.

Talk: Introduction to Chrysanthemums.

Renee Wherley, president of the San Gabriel Valley Chrysanthemum Society, will give an introductory talk illustrating the many classes of mums using examples from the show and taking questions from guests.

–Saturday, Oct. 31 from 10.30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kids’ Activities: Paper Flower Making.

Drop in to enjoy family arts activities and the reading nook under the pepper tree.

–Sunday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m.

Demonstration: Japanese Ikebana Using Chrysanthemums.

Valeria Brinkers, president of Ikebana International Floral Arrangement, LA Chapter, will give a demonstration of a Japanese Ikebana-style arrangement using chrysanthemums.

Entrance is included with your garden admission. Face coverings, physical distancing and other safety precautions will be in effect.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.

For more information, visit www.thesherman.org.


City making major inroads to solving homelessness issues

The City has reduced the number of people experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach by 50 percent or more since March and is completing discussions with the City of Costa Mesa on a regional partnership for shelter services, according to a report presented to the City Council on Tuesday, Oct. 27.

Many previously homeless individuals and families in Newport Beach have been sheltered in motels during the past several months under the statewide initiative known as Project Roomkey. Others were placed into sober-living facilities, supportive housing, congregate living and other housing arrangements.

As a result, City staff estimates the number of homeless individuals in Newport Beach, which fluctuated between about 60 and 70 in early 2020, is between 20 and 30 as of October 2020. 

Among other highlights of the Oct. 27 update on homelessness strategies:

33 people were housed in motels under Project Roomkey during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the program ended Sept. 30, all 33 continue to stay in the motels while they transition into permanent living arrangements. 

1,287 outreach meetings were conducted with homeless individuals since March. Multiple outreach meetings are often necessary with each person to build trust and connect them to support services and, ultimately, permanent housing. 

A longtime Newport Beach resident who had been homeless for six years was enrolled into a sober living home and remains employed full-time after successfully completing a detox program.

A veteran who had been living in a tent near the Balboa Pier for three years was placed into a new supportive housing facility for veterans in Santa Ana, where he is now living. 

A family of four that had been living in a van was placed into permanent housing after a brief motel stay. 

Several people have been rejoined with out-of-state family members after becoming homeless in Newport Beach. 

Newport Beach staff are selecting a recommended developer to build up to 50 units of permanent, supportive housing in the City. Staff expects to present a qualified developer for City Council consideration in early 2021. 

The City utilizes an interdepartmental Rapid Response Team to quickly address homeless issues and related concerns. The team includes a full-time Homeless Coordinator and a Homeless Liaison Officer from the Police Department. These efforts are supplemented with contracted support from City Net, a homeless outreach agency, and Orange County social service agencies. 

Newport Beach and City Net staff work together to engage regularly with homeless individuals and direct them to appropriate county, state and federal resources with a goal of permanently sheltering all those who are experiencing homelessness. 

In addition, the City’s efforts continue on long-term strategies to combat homelessness.

City staff anticipates the Newport Beach City Council will consider a partnership agreement with the City of Costa Mesa for shelter services on November 10. The Costa Mesa temporary shelter, now under construction is part of a regional approach that will help direct people experiencing homelessness to appropriate county, state and federal resources. 

The City is also evaluating developer proposals for partnerships in the building of permanent supportive housing, which is affordable housing with onsite services. The Cove, a 12-unit housing complex for military veterans, is an example of permanent supportive housing in Newport Beach.


COVID-19: 13 new deaths reported in OC, 2 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,467 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including 13 new deaths reported today (October 28). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 59,213 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 233 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,230 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of two cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.109 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 34 percent of ICU beds and 68 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 177 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 60 are in ICU.

The county estimates 52,852 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 28 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 28 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 28 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

Orange County COVID-19 case data as of October 28, as reported by the County; click here to visit page that is updated daily


COVID-19: 7 new deaths reported in OC, 7 new cases in Newport Beach

Sadly, OC Health Care Agency reports that 1,454 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County, including seven new deaths reported today (October 27). There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 58,980 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 255 cases today.

The county reports that there have been 1,228 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of seven cases today. This represents a per capita rate of 14.086 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 35 percent of ICU beds and 70 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 157 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 56 are in ICU.

The county estimates 52,643 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 27 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 27 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 27 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency

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


Hoag selected as trial site for first person to receive novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate

On Wednesday, Oct. 21, an individual at Hoag Hospital Newport Beach became the first person to be dosed in the Phase 1 clinical trial of hAd5-COVID-19. The novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate targets both the inner nucleocapsid (N), engineered to activate T cells, and outer spike (S) protein, engineered to activate antibodies against the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The Phase 1 trial, under development in a collaboration between NantKwest, Inc. and ImmunityBio, selected Hoag as the trial site and is enrolling 35 healthy adults ages 18 to 55 years old with the goal of examining the safety, side effects and immune system’s response of two successive doses of the vaccine candidate.

Hoag selected Robinson, Cao, Heim

Click on photo for a larger image

Photos courtesy of Hoag Hospital

(L-R) Philip Robinson, M.D., FIDSA, Hoag medical director of infection prevention and hospital epidemiology with Chen Cao, the first person to receive novel COVID-19 vaccine candidate in Phase 1 clinical trial with Laura Heim, RN, clinical research nurse administering the vaccine

With a reputation for providing world-class care, Hoag was selected as the trial site based on its comprehensive center for research and education that annually conducts more than 150 translational clinical trials funded by government, philanthropic foundations and industry sponsors, as well as its collaborative culture of innovation focusing on evidence-based best practices, expert medical staff and extensive clinical research infrastructure.

Since March, Hoag has participated in more than 20 COVID-19 clinical trials, providing patient access to cutting-edge therapies and innovative treatment including options that have documented improved outcomes, including decreased mortality and decreased length of stay for hospitalized COVID-19 patients. 

“We are privileged to be a part of this groundbreaking clinical trial with NantKwest and ImmunityBio,” said Dr. Philip Robinson, medical director of infection prevention at Hoag and principal investigator (PI) of the vaccine trial. “Since caring for the state’s first known COVID-19 patient back in January, Hoag has been working tirelessly on the frontlines of this rapidly evolving pandemic to care for all of our patients and give them access to the latest advancements in treatment options.”

Hoag selected Pharmacy technician

Click on photo for a larger image

Pharmacy technician measures dose for COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial

This is the first COVID vaccine trial conducted at Hoag and the first trial of this novel vaccine conducted anywhere in the United States.

“Our vaccine candidate, hdA5-COVID-19, is one of the only vaccine candidates in development that targets both the nucleocapsid protein on the interior of the virus particle and the spike protein on the virus’ surface,” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of ImmunityBio and NantKwest. “We believe this dual targeting is a key advantage that may lead to the stimulation of both T-cell-mediated and antibody-mediated immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which is an important differentiator from other vaccine candidates that only target the spike protein.”


Mutt Lynch’s to open sister concept Mutt’s in Eastbluff Village Center

This year, Mutt Lynch’s, Newport Beach’s iconic beach bar, celebrates 45 years in business. The milestone year also marks a major development for the company – the unveiling of its sister concept, Mutt’s, set to open in Eastbluff Village Center in Newport Beach this winter.

As the cornerstone of the Eastbluff Village Center, Mutt’s will serve as a central gathering place for the community, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner in a family-friendly, convivial atmosphere. The menu will focus on approachable American eclectic dishes and will feature beloved menu favorites from Mutt Lynch’s like its Pterodactyl Wings and made-to-order pizzas, while introducing family dinner specials. The new concept also upgrades its beverage program with a full liquor license focusing on a craft cocktail menu highlighting spirits from artisan distilleries across the United States.

“Right now, people are craving community. We’re all just mutts, looking to find our pack,” said Mutt’s co-owner Meghan Murray. “The progression of our brand is designed to follow our loyal Mutt Lynch’s customers, many of whom have grown up to raise families of their own. We created Mutt’s for them and their families – it’s a place where the community can come together, feel at home, and find their pack.”

Mutt Lynch's family

Submitted photo

Mutt Lynch’s to unveil sister concept, Mutt’s, this winter with a family-friendly ambience

At 2,675 square feet, the restaurant and bar offers plenty of indoor seating and a spacious patio. A celebration of eclectic Americana, the concept will carry much of the same character and charm of Mutt Lynch’s, but through a refined, family-friendly environment. Eclectic Americana decor, including repurposed retro furnishings and the brand’s signature year-round Christmas lights, visually conveys the brand’s celebratory catchphrase “It’s a Party and You’re Invited.” Mutt’s walls will be adorned with Schooner sconces resembling the 32 oz. goblet that has become synonymous with the Mutt Lynch’s brand. True to its ethos of celebrating small towns across the United States, Mutt’s is dedicated to supporting made-in-the-USA products including beers, wines, paper goods and merchandise. Its flagship location and business model will serve as a prototype for all future locations.

As co-owner of Mutt’s and partner at Brillstein Entertainment Partners, one of the largest talent management and television production companies, Alex Murray’s career has taken him throughout America. His travels throughout the country have created a roadmap on how to expand the brand.

“With Mutt’s, we want to continue to build upon the success and ethos of Mutt Lynch’s by celebrating what gives America character – its small towns and communities,” said Alex. “Mutt’s is a place where we can create memories with our children while reminiscing about and reveling in what makes our town great. Beginning with our hometown in Newport Beach, each Mutt’s location will celebrate its respective community with distinct decor and menu items that reflect unique elements of the town and its history.”

Mutt’s is located in the Eastbluff Village Center at 2531 Eastbluff Drive, Newport Beach and, like its sister concept Mutt Lynch’s, will be open 365 days a year for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more information, visit www.muttseastbluff.com.


COVID-19: 4 new cases reported in Newport Beach

OC Health Care Agency reports that there have been 58,725 cumulative cases of COVID-19 countywide to date, an increase of 152 cases yesterday (October 26).

Sadly, the county reports that 1,447 people have died due to COVID-19 in Orange County. There have been 26 deaths of Newport Beach residents to date.

The county reports that there have been 1,221 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Newport Beach to date, an increase of four cases yesterday. This represents a per capita rate of 14.006 cases per thousand residents.

The county reports that 32 percent of ICU beds and 70 percent of ventilators are currently available countywide.

The county reports that 162 individuals are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 (includes ICU); 59 are in ICU.

The county estimates 52,402 “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 Newport and reported on our social media pages @StuNewsNewport.

COVID 19 County 10 26 20 1

COVID 19 County 10 26 20 2

COVID 19 County 10 26 20 3

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of OC Health Care Agency