From the Police Log:

posted: May 28th, 2015 12:49 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a 20-year-old Anaheim man at 11:31 p.m. Wednesday at Ocean Boulevard and Marguerite Avenue on possession of a controlled substance, according to a report. His bail was $500.

Officers also took a report of a grand theft from buildings in the 1400 block of Avocado Avenue on Wednesday. The theft, with a loss of $1,600, occurred between 1 and 5 p.m. Wednesday. Police also took a report of an annoying call in the 400 block of Orchid Avenue on Wednesday. The incident occurred at 2:22 a.m.


CdM B.I.D. Meeting Includes News Racks, New Businesses, A Toast to Entryway

posted: May 28th, 2015 11:14 am | 0No Comments

Members of the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board today raised glasses of sparkling apple juice to an entryway project, in the works for nearly two decades and finally funded by the City Council at Tuesday’s meeting.

The plan would remove and relocate eight parking spaces along East Coast Highway near MacArthur Boulevard and replace the roadway with expanded sidewalks and landscaping, as well as make Carnation Avenue a one-way street between Fourth Avenue and East Coast Highway, allowing several of the parking spaces to be relocated there on a stretch that is currently painted red. The project was not originally included in the City’s 2015-2016 budget, but Councilman Scott Peotter requested it be added, and at Tuesday’s meeting, the Council passed a budget that included $400,000 for the project; read an earlier story here.

The entryway project’s roots trace back to 1998, when Corona del Mar business and community leaders began to explore ways to improve the village. Mayor Ed Selich spoke at today’s B.I.D. meeting, describing how the organization first spent three years working to gain control over East Coast Highway through the village in order to make median and other improvements. The B.I.D. originally supported an entryway plan that was more elaborate and would have moved the East Coast Highway squeeze lane, where three lanes reduce to two, from near Carnation to closer to Acacia Avenue, with a $1.3 million price tag. When residents complained about traffic concerns, that plan was tabled and the smaller version was proposed.

The B.I.D. group today also discussed a stalled project that would replace old, out-of-compliance news racks with about six centralized racks throughout Corona del Mar. That change requires a new ordinance, but city staff hasn’t made progress on it, said B.I.D. Chairman Bernie Svlastad. Selich said if the B.I.D. gave him information on the locations for the new racks, he would follow up with city staff.

The B.I.D. group has been working to upgrade news racks in Corona del Mar for several years, and in 2013, city staff tagged several old, broken racks for removal; read our earlier story on news racks here.

“They’re still a mess,” Svalstad said today.

The meeting also included an update on street sweeping changes, which will shave an hour off four-hour parking restrictions on street-sweeping days. Currently, streets are swept weekly, and parking restrictions are in place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Proposed changes presented today would change the east part of the village to 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays. In the northwest part of the village, Tuesdays and Wednesdays would be changed to 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and in the southwest area, Mondays and Tuesdays would be changed to 9:30 to 12:30 p.m.

The changes won’t completely ease parking problems around restaurants during lunch rush hours, but the changes won’t cost the city more money either, said city Utilities General Manager George Murdoch. The City Council could consider the changes at a meeting on 23.

B.I.D. board member Scott Laidlaw also told the group that a newly constructed building at 3500 East Coast Highway will have a new, upscale yogurt business, a boutique and an investment business with 20 employees.


Police Announce DUI Checkpoint for Friday

posted: May 28th, 2015 05:01 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Police Department has announced a DUI checkpoint that will take place from 8 p.m. Friday until 2 a.m. Saturday in an undisclosed location.

The checkpoint will be funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a department news release.

According to the release, officers “will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily.”

“Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely,” the release said. “Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent).” Marijuana was slightly more prevalent then alcohol, the news release said.

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed three lives and resulted in 187 injury crashes harming 249 of our friends and neighbors,” said Sgt. Michael Schiavi in the release. Statewide, there were 802 deaths in 2012 because of DUIs, the release said.


From the Police Log: Another Mail Theft, Burglary Report

posted: May 27th, 2015 12:07 pm | 0No Comments

A few days after issuing an alert about thieves stealing mail and packages from Newport Beach and Corona del Mar homes, police received another report of petty theft of mail.

The most recent incident occurred between 10:27 and 10:30 a.m. May 12 and was reported Tuesday in the 2800 block of Harbor View Drive, a report said. The loss was $169.

Police issued an alert Monday after several reports throughout the city, including a package theft on Morning Canyon Road and on Acacia Avenue in Corona del Mar. Click here to read our earlier story.

Police also took a report of a burglary from a motor vehicle on Tuesday in the 3600 block of Catamaran Drive. The burglary, with a loss of $525, occurred between 7 a.m. May 22 and 8 a.m. Monday, a report said. Police had taken a report of vehicle tampering on Monday in the same location.

Officers also took a report of a grand theft from a building in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive on Tuesday. The theft, with a loss of $4,450, occurred between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.


Harbor View Wins Track and Field Spirit Trophy

posted: May 27th, 2015 11:56 am | 1Comment

Harbor View Elementary School won the 2015 Spirit Award trophy at the Newport Beach Youth Track and Field event, ending Eastbluff Elementary School’s nine-year run.

“Each year, we recognize the school that brings the most spirit by awarding a trophy to the winning school,” the city’s Recreation Department’s website states. “Winners are determined by adding up the scores of the finishing athletes who place (1st through 6th) from each school in the Newport-Harbor area. Congratulations to Harbor View for claiming the crown this year!”

Eastbluff claimed the trophy from 2007 through last year. In 2006, Andersen Elementary won, the city webpage states.

The meet took place on April 17 at Corona del Mar High School. Click here to see the results.

Students received the trophy at a Flag Deck celebration earlier today, when Molly Patience, a Newport Beach recreation coordinator, visited the campus.

“It is so wonderful when our students and parents are recognized for their hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm,” said Principal Todd Schmidt. “I know how incredible they are…it’s nice when others get to see it as well.”

Photo courtesy of Lynda Kwon, a Harbor View Elementary School volunteer.


City Closes CdM Cave Because of Falling Rocks

posted: May 27th, 2015 10:48 am | 0No Comments

Large rocks falling from the roof of a cave near Big Corona State Beach have closed a section of beach while city engineers make repairs.

Loose rocks, sand and vegetation, along with natural slough-off from roots through a sand vein above, caused the problems, said Tara Finnigan, a Newport Beach spokeswoman.

The condition is normal for a natural slope, she said, and city staff will pick up the debris and remove loose pieces.

Park Patrol officers alerted lifeguards, who alerted city engineers about the problem earlier this week, and lifeguards cordoned off the area. The cave is at Rocky Point, near a bay beach off the Big Corona beach, said Lifeguard Battalion Chief Mike Halphide.

Photo courtesy of the City of Newport Beach lifeguards.


City Council Approves Budget, Including CdM Library/Fire Station Project

posted: May 27th, 2015 10:43 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach City Council approved the 2015-2016 budget at Tuesday’s meeting, including funds for a Corona del Mar library and fire station project that Councilman Scott Peotter suggested be delayed by a year.

The Council voted 4-3, with Peotter and Council members Kevin Muldoon and Marshall “Duffy” Duffield dissenting. Peotter said he thought the budget did not have enough details.

The Corona del Mar library and fire station project would demolish the existing buildings, which are next to each other on Marigold Avenue, then rebuild them as one building with shared common spaces. Preliminary plan called for a one-story library with 2,500 feet, compared to its current 3,750, and a two-story fire station with living quarters on the top floor. The City Council approved a contract with an architect this spring, and a city webpage said construction would begin in Spring 2016. The project has already been budgeted for $6 million, but adding features to the library portion would require more money, including as much as $150,000 for an elevator.

Peotter said that some residents, including members of the newly formed Friends of the CdM Library group, might appreciate more time to raise private funds for the library to make it larger, perhaps with a second floor, along with other features. A yearlong delay would let city staff reach out to the community to find out what they want in a newly built library.

He also suggested adding $5 million to the budget to repair sea walls in a more timely fashion.

Members of the Friends of the CdM Library group attended Tuesday’s City Council Study Session and regular meetings, saying they did not want a delay.

“We are in full support for moving forward on this project,” said Joy Brenner, who organized the Friends of the CdM Library group.

City Councilman Keith Curry said that a delay in funding the CdM project would kill it altogether.

“If this money goes away from the Corona del Mar library, that project is going to be sidetracked and probably aborted,” he said.

Peotter said that wasn’t his intention. Ultimately, Mayor Ed Selich asked for a straw vote on the idea of delaying the library project, and there wasn’t enough support of Peotter’s suggestion to go forward with it.

The Council meeting discussed the budget for two hours at the Study Session and for another 45 minutes at the evening meeting. The Council ultimately approved a General Fund budget that “as proposed is balanced and includes $178.2 million in General Fund operating expenditures and $5.3 million in new General Fund Capital Improvement Plan Expenditures,” a staff report said.

Read our earlier stories on the library and fire station project here, here and here.


Rug Store to Replace Eva Verra Boutique

posted: May 27th, 2015 09:28 am | 0No Comments

The Eva Verra boutique at 3435 East Coast Highway, which opened in July 2013, will be replaced by a rug shop.

Eva Verra has two shops in Sherman Oaks and Santa Monica, a company website states. The Corona del Mar shop could reopen at another location, possibly in Newport Beach, but for now the shop will close, an employee said. Signs in front of the shop indicate that a moving sale is underway with 50 percent discounts.

Another sign indicates that Amir Rugs will be moving into the space. Currently, Amir Rugs is located on Red Hill Avenue in Costa Mesa. The Amir Rugs Facebook page indicates that the business has been holding clearance sales there earlier this month. Previously, the shop had been located on East Coast Highway in a space that was taken over when Crown Ace Hardware expanded in early 2014; read our story here.

Before Eva Verra opened, the space was occupied by Ebanista interior design. Previously, it had been an Erica Dee clothing boutique.


SPON Annual Meeting Scheduled for Saturday Morning

posted: May 27th, 2015 04:42 am | 0No Comments

SPON — which stands for Still Protecting Our Newport and Stop Polluting Our Newport — will hold its 41st annual meeting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, according to an email announcement.

The meeting will be held at the Environmental Nature Center at 1601 16th Street in Newport Beach.

“In keeping with their long‐standing mission, this year’s Annual Meeting guest speaker is Terry Watt, A.I.C.P.,” the announcement said. Watt’s presentation will be “Sustainability: What does that mean for Newport . . . and you?”

The meeting also will cover SPON’s major accomplishments from 2014 as well as a 2015 watch list of issues and projects that the group will be monitoring.

A group of Newport Beach residents formed SPON in 1974 to preserve and protect the environmental and residential quality of life in Newport Beach, the invitation states.

For more information, call (949) 864-6616.


Lifeguards Rescue Two People Stranded on Ladder Rock

posted: May 26th, 2015 11:51 am | 0No Comments

Newport Beach lifeguards made 14 rescues over the three-day holiday weekend, including two people who were stranded on Ladder Rock off the Cameo Shores coast on Monday afternoon.

“The call in CdM started as a 911 call of persons in distress south of Little Corona,” said Lifeguard Battalion Chief Mike Halphide in an email. “Lifeguards responded with two units and a rescue boat along with Newport Firefighters and medics.”

The rescuers found several people on Ladder Rock off Brighton, he said, and one person had superficial injuries after slipping on the rocks. The person then was afraid to jump from the rock, he said.

Lifeguards helped two people into the water and onto the rescue boat, where they were taken to shore by lifeguards. There were no major injuries and no one was taken to a hospital, he said.

In all, he said, lifeguards made four rescues in Corona del Mar between Friday and Monday and 14 overall in the city. They performed 9 First Aids in Corona del Mar, and 21 overall; 98 preventative actions in Corona del Mar and 713 throughout the city; and had 179 public contacts in Corona del Mar and 782 overall in the city.