The Week in Review

A weekly newsletter from City Manager Grace L. Leung

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Courtesy of City of Newport Beach

Newport Beach City Manager Grace Leung

Community Members:

On Friday, April 26, the Newport Beach Police Department celebrated and honored sworn and civilian staff for exceptional service and acts of heroism during the 2023 calendar year. The 51st Annual Police Appreciation Luncheon event, a moving and inspiring ceremony held at the Pendry Hotel, was attended by more than 500 community members, elected officials and families of NBPD officers and staff.

Each year, award nominations are submitted to committees in each award category. Nominees are evaluated by the committees and recommendations are submitted to the Chief of Police for consideration.

Please join me in congratulating the officers and civilian staff recognized for outstanding service:

–Lieutenant Gary Clemente, 2023 Sworn Supervisor of the Year

–Officer Austin Laverty, 2023 Officer of the Year

–Records Manager Megan Schilf, 2023 Civilian Supervisor of the Year

–Community Services Officer Thu Do, 2023 Civilian of the Year

–Volunteer Judy Johnson, 2023 Volunteer of the Year

Lifesaving awards, for exceptional rescue actions, were presented to the following police officers: Jared Edwards; Sean Esswein; Mark C. Hamilton; Gary Hufford; Tyler Knox; Zachary Michael; Michael Querry; Mitchell Rivas; Matthew Wong and Lina You.

Awards of Merit, for acts of bravery and exceptional service to the community, were presented to the following police officers: Gary Abrahamyan; Joseph Azucena; Tony Gallegos; Joshua Granger; Nicklas Haring; Kyle Markwald; Michael Querry; Beau Rains; Mitchell Rivas; Matthew Wong and Lina You.

Thank you to our event hosts, the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Commodores Club, and event sponsors, the Balboa Fun Zone, Julie Laughton Design Build and the Chase-Fainbarg and Feuerstein families.

Congratulations to all those recognized at this year’s ceremony – and thank to you all members of our Police Department team for your ongoing service and commitment to community safety!

To read about the officers’ actions that led to the lifesaving and merit awards, visit this link on the NBPD’s website.

City Manager, Grace K. Leung

Come “Touch a Truck” May 18 at the Balboa Pier Parking Lot

In celebration of National Public Works Week, please join us for this year’s “Touch a Truck” event on Saturday, May 18 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. at the Balboa Pier parking lot. It will be a hands-on opportunity to get up close to heavy trucks and equipment – and learn how they are used to keep Newport Beach well maintained. There will be trash trucks, backhoes, loaders, street sweepers and more, along with informational booths from City staff and contractors.

The first hour, from 9-10 a.m., will be quiet with no honking or lights for those with sensitive ears or eyes.

Irv’s Burgers and Kona Ice trucks are joining the fun with food and beverages for purchase.

City, Elementary Students Celebrate Arbor Day

On April 26, the City of Newport Beach celebrated Arbor Day with the third-grade class of Newport Coast Elementary School at the Newport Coast Community Center. This year marks Newport Beach’s 34th year as a “Tree City USA” and our 21st year receiving the “Growth Award” from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Members of the City Council, Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission, City staff and parents joined the celebration.

The event included the presentation of a proclamation from the Mayor, tree planting, a discussion about the city’s urban forestry program and the significance of Arbor Day, and a student display of art and poetry. The students planted five trees at the community center.

New Landscaping Brightens Entry to Castaways Park

The city recently hosted a California native planting event at the Dover Drive frontage of Lower Castaways Park.

The city partnered with Stanbridge University students to plant three California Sycamores, 10 Toyon shrubs and dozens of Berkley Sedge, Matilija Poppy, Black Sage, Buckwheat and Encelia. Fortunately, the soil provided easy work for volunteers and more than 200 plants were planted in about four hours.

City Representatives Advocate for Improved Community Engagement on Federal Aviation Matters

City Councilmembers Noah Blom and Lauren Kleiman led a City of Newport Beach advocacy trip to Washington, D.C. earlier this week to talk with Congressional offices and federal agencies about aviation-related matters. Joined by City Attorney Aaron Harp and Assistant City Manager Tara Finnigan, the councilmembers advocated for greater community engagement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation on aviation matters affecting communities. The Newport Beach delegation’s timing coincided with the Senate beginning discussions on H.R. 3935, the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024, which proposes a community collaboration program, a concept advanced by the city representatives when they visited the Capitol last year. The Newport Beach delegation also advocated for communities to be recognized as stakeholders in the FAA’s planning process for the future implementation of emerging technologies, known as Advanced Air Mobility.

Attention Artists: Newport Beach Art Exhibition Submissions Due by May 10

Calling all painters, sculptors, photographers and mixed media artists! Enter your art in the 2024 Newport Beach Art Exhibition.

Categories include: painting (oils, acrylic, watercolor), drawing (ink, pencil, charcoal), photography and 3D Art (sculpture and 3D mixed media). The one-day juried art show will take place on Saturday, June 29 from 1-6 p.m. at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

The final deadline for entries is May 10. Enter at

New Playground Installed at Peninsula Park

The new Peninsula Park Playground is now open to the public following renovations. The existing playground had deteriorated due to the harsh marine environment and outdated playground equipment.

The renovations included the installation of new lifeguard-themed playground equipment, including a rescue board, rescue boat and rescue truck. Flexible rubber surfacing was also installed. The existing climber and swing set remain.

City Invites Residents to Serve on Commissions, Committees

Looking for a way to serve your community?

The City of Newport Beach is seeking residents to fill vacancies on the following commissions and committees. Meetings are held at the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive, unless otherwise specified.

Board of Library Trustees. One seat is open for a four-year term expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 5 p.m. on the third Monday of each month, at the Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

Building and Fire Board of Appeals. Two seats are open for four-year terms expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are as needed on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons.

City Arts Commission. Two seats are open for four-year terms expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 5 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month at the Newport Beach Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.

Civil Service Board. Two Fire and Police department nominee seats are open for four-year terms expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 5 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.

Harbor Commission. One seat is open for a four-year term expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 5 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission. One seat is open for a four-year term expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 5 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

Planning Commission. Two seats are open for four-year terms expiring June 30, 2028. Meetings are at 6 p.m. on the Thursday preceding the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month.

All applicants must be residents who do not hold paid office or employment in city government. Applications and more information can be found at, or picked up from the City Clerk’s Office at 100 Civic Center Drive, Bay E, 2nd Floor.

The application deadline is 12 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8 or until the vacancies are filled.

Be Well Mobile Crisis Response Update

The Be Well mobile crisis response team operates in Newport Beach 12 hours a day, seven days a week to respond to mental and behavioral health crises. The mobile unit is staffed with mental health specialists and works closely with the city’s police and fire departments.

(Last) week, the Be Well team:

–Collaborated with the County’s Crisis Assessment Team to place two people into psychiatric facilities.

–Transported a person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Transported two people to crisis stabilization units.

–Transported a person to the Be Well sobering station.

The mobile crisis team is dispatched through the Newport Beach Police Department. To request service, dial 911 or call the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 949.644.3717.

Homelessness Update

(Last) week, the city’s homeless outreach and response teams:

–Transported a person to the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

–Obtained a client’s birth certificate and coordinated benefits.

–Continued to shelter people: Twenty-three people who had been experiencing homelessness in Newport Beach are sheltered in the Costa Mesa Bridge Shelter.

Click here to view the latest homeless dashboard, which includes key monthly and yearly data on the city’s homeless response.

Click here for information on the city’s Good Giving program.

City Seeks Resident Input on General Plan Update

The city’s General Plan is being updated to reflect the community’s current needs and future aspirations. The General Plan contains goals that establish values and direction, policies that guide decision making, and programs that carry out the actions needed to achieve these goals. The last comprehensive update of Newport Beach’s General Plan was in 2006.

A core part of updating the General Plan is engaging with residents and other stakeholders to capture and articulate a shared vision for the city for the next 20 years.

You are encouraged to visit the project’s website at to learn more.

This Week’s Events

Tuesday, May 7

Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Wednesday, May 8

Harbor Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 9

Finance Committee Meeting

Civic Center Community Room

100 Civic Center Drive – 3 p.m.

City Arts Commission Meeting

Newport Beach Central Library, Small Conference Room

1000 Avocado Ave. – 5 p.m.

Planning Commission Meeting

City Council Chambers

100 Civic Center Drive – 6 p.m.

See Full Schedule

Editor’s Note: City Manager’s Updates was received Friday, May 3 and is subject to editing so the information is current.


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