Monster Mile Draws Thousands to Balboa Pier

posted: July 31st, 2014 03:59 pm | 0No Comments

Hundreds of Newport Beach Junior Guards attacked the Monster Mile this morning, starting with a parade and then running a mile on the sand before swimming a mile back to the Balboa Pier.

“Since 1989, I’ve watched it from the (lifeguard) boat,” said Capt. Brian O’Rourke, who oversees the program. “Seeing it for the first time from the beach was absolutely fantastic. Just amazing.”

The guards — 1,350 of them this year between 9 and 16 years old — trained all summer for the event, which began at 10 a.m. This year’s theme was Super Heroes, and the Junior Guards’ trailer had been transformed with images of Superman, Wonder Woman, Spiderman and Batman.

The guards and instructors traditionally wear costumes, including random costumes of bananas, a donut, a container of parmesan cheese and Colonel Sanders with a bucket of biscuits. This year, there also were plenty of Bat Girls and Aquamen along with girls dressed as firefighters, a group of guards wearing masks of presidents and soldiers.

Eight marines from the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines of Camp Pendleton, who recently came home from Yemen, attended the event, high-fiving the guards during the parade, then sounding the starting horn and cheering the racers on at the finish line.

“The first-place winner gets to join the Marines,” joked Lance Corporal Charles Legido.

Jack Simpson, 15, of Mill Valley, placed first for the A group boys with a time of 26 minutes, 27 seconds.

“I wanted to one-up myself,” he said at the finish line. “Last year I was second. It was my last chance to try, and I wanted to do well.”

Parents lined the race course and filled the Balboa Pier, cheering for the racers and flying a huge American flag. Before the race, music played — the Batman theme, Neil Diamond’s “America” and Tom Petty classics. After the race, guards received sunglasses and t-shirts. Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff ran and swam the race, and Fire Chief Scott Poster and Newport Beach Police Deputy Chief Dave McGill watched the race from the sand.

The Super Heroes theme was selected months ago, but many said it couldn’t have been a more perfect choice, with dozens of guards paying tribute to lifeguard Ben Carlson, who died after saving a man’s life earlier this month. Carlson was a veteran lifeguard and had been a Junior Guards instructor for years.

Owen Stefano, 11, borrowed her father’s firefighter uniform and added Carlson’s name to the helmet. Others wrote his name, and the phrase “Ben Did Go” and “Ben Would Go” on t-shirts and in zinc on their bodies.

Bridget Walton, 11, wrote his name on her shirt.

“Ben Carlson is a hero,” she said. “It’s a tribute to him.”

“I know he’s a hero,” said Alexis Escobedo, 11, who lives in Arizona but spends summers in Newport Beach. “He’s a real-life hero, and that’s the best kind.”


Road Work Closes Lane on Avocado

posted: July 31st, 2014 09:31 am | 0No Comments

City crews are repairing asphalt on Avocado Avenue between East Coast Highway and Third Avenue, the city’s Facebook page states.

The work is expected to last through 3:30 p.m. today.

One lane is closed, and officials advised motorists to avoid the area.


CdM Boutique Closing

posted: July 31st, 2014 05:11 am | 0No Comments

The Bohemia clothing boutique at 3601 East Coast Highway is closing after nearly five years in business in Corona del Mar, according to a sign in front of the store.

The shop opened in September 2009 in a space that had been vacant for more than a year. The previous tenant had been the Angelic Sanctuary Spiritual Healing Center.

Online business records indicate the owner also operates a boutique called Bohemia Gals in the Balboa Village at 613 E. Balboa Blvd. The boutiques specialize in “the hottest boho chic styles,” according to a company website.

Attempts to reach the owner for comment were not immediately successful.


From the Police Log: Thefts Reported in CdM, Newport Coast

posted: July 30th, 2014 03:00 pm | 1Comment

A petty theft from a motor vehicle was reported in the 800 block of Avocado Avenue on Tuesday, according to police record. The theft occurred between 4 and 11 p.m. July 23, and the loss was $350.

Police also took a report of a burglary from a motor vehicle in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive on Tuesday. The burglary occurred between 7 and 9 p.m. July 26, with a loss of $975. A grand theft from buildings was reported in the 23000 block of Newport Coast Drive on Tuesday. The theft, with a loss of $2,400, occurred between 9 a.m. July 25 and 8 a.m. Monday.

Police took a report of a grand theft from a motor vehicle, with a loss of $2,550, on Monday at Marigold and Seaview avenues. That theft occurred between 9 a.m. Sunday and 7:54 a.m. Monday, a report said.


Last Party Before Demolition, Construction of AERIE Project Begins

posted: July 30th, 2014 10:33 am | 0No Comments

With demolition scheduled to occur within weeks, a group of about 200 people gathered Tuesday night for the last-ever party at the site of the future AERIE condominium complex.

“I’m excited,” said Richard Julian, the owner of the property at the corner of Carnation Avenue and Ocean Boulevard. “I hope it turns out to be worth all the effort.”

Julian and his wife, Karen, first spotted the property and its views 12 years ago and knew they wanted to live there. Ultimately they envisioned a luxury condominium complex that would be in the style of Spanish architect Antoni GaudĂ­, overlooking the Newport Harbor, jetties and Pacific Ocean.

“We wanted it to look like it was growing out of the bluff,” Rick Julian said.

Neighbors, however, complained that the project would be too big, too ugly and would destroy coastal bluffs; read our original story about the project here. The Julians fought for nearly three years to get the project through the Newport Beach Planning Commission and City Council, then finally received Coastal Commission approval in June 2011. Along the way, the project was reduced in size by one unit to seven units, with a 17 percent reduction in square feet and a 61 percent reduction in bluff excavation. The project will be 51,124 square feet and involve excavation of 9,810 cubic yards of coastal bluff.

“It was a matter of time,” said Brion Jeannette, AERIE’s architect, who attended the party. “It took a little bit longer than we expected, but we’re really glad to be here now.”

In the end, he said, some neighbors who had opposed the project sent the Julians letters of congratulations. One vocal opponent moved from the area, he said.

Demolition should take place in three weeks, along with asbestos abatement and other work. Construction won’t begin until after Labor Day as part of an agreement with the city to avoid adding to summertime beach traffic, and the project will take 26 months to complete.

Wednesday’s gathering was called a groundbreaking party, and the Julians held engraved shovels while they welcomed the crowd, although they never actually used the shovels to break ground.

Guests included Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce President Steve Rosansky, City Council candidate and neighbor Michael Toerge, former Orange County Register columnist and attorney Frank Mickadeit, family and friends of the Julians, neighbors and former residents of the 14-unit apartment complex.

Ellen Trujillo of Corona del Mar, who wore a name tag that said “Apt. 1,” lived in the apartment complex for 26 years. Knowing it was going to be demolished, she said, gave her mixed feelings.

“It needs to be torn down,” she said. “It’s old and it’s run down. But it was a fabulous location. It seems so tiny now, but it was the best.”

Corona del Mar resident Kent Moore said he lived in Apartment 3 from 1970 to 1983.

“It was the greatest party place in the whole area,” he said. “We were either on the beach or up here, having a party. It was the greatest bachelor pad. That view when you walked in and saw through the bay windows — that had a lot of effect, if you get my meaning.”

AERIE will have 360-degree views, a private beach, boat docks, a shared “Sand Dollar Lounge” with a teppan grill, wok and pizza oven, a pool, private health club, elevators, wine cellars and green construction, according to a handout.

Julian said three of the units are available. Paul Julian, the Julians’ son, said the properties are not yet being marketed so no sale price is available, but the units currently are valued at an average of $3,000 per square foot.


Entryway Project Outreach Meetings Could Be Held in August

posted: July 30th, 2014 04:58 am | 0No Comments

Beautification plans for the Corona del Mar entryway at MacArthur Boulevard and East Coast Highway have been on the back burner for more than a year — but that could change with two community meetings that may be scheduled in August, members of the CdM Business Improvement District board said.

The meetings have not been formally scheduled, but B.I.D. board member Jim Walker said he hoped they would be set for Aug. 10 and 19. Business owners and residents, particularly those close to the East Coast Highway-MacArthur Boulevard area, would be encouraged to attend, Walker and others said.

The Business Improvement District had been considering plans for the East Coast Highway-MacArthur Boulevard entrance to Corona del Mar since the early 1990s, and in 2011, a citizens committee created a plan that would have moved the squeeze lane, where three lanes of East Coast Highway merge to two, from Carnation to Acacia. The $1.2 million plan then would have converted the former roadway to expanded sidewalks with landscaping and other features.

But the City Council in January 2013 rejected that proposal, specifically citing residents’ concerns with a summertime traffic study; read our stories here and here.

In May 2013, the City Council discussed a scaled-down version of the plan during a Study Session; read our story here. The smaller project would cost about $450,000.

City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner had said a Corona del Mar parking plan needed to be conducted before any improvements were approved. The city’s Planning Commission last week discussed the completed parking plan, which the City Council will consider next; click here to read that story.

Corona del Mar Today will update readers with information about meetings when they are scheduled.


Wednesday is Deadline to Comment on Bicycle Master Plan Draft

posted: July 29th, 2014 04:46 pm | 0No Comments

The City of Newport Beach’s Bicycle Master Plan draft is available online, and the public is welcome to comment on the draft through 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee worked with a private consultant since June 2013 on the plan.

For more information or to review the plan, click here.

The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Sept. 2. Previous meetings have been held in the Civic Center’s Community Room.


Demolition of CdM Building Begins; Plans For Space Uncertain

posted: July 29th, 2014 07:46 am | 0No Comments

Demolition has begun of a building at 3500 East Coast Highway, the former location of Newport Floor Coverings. But plans for a replacement building remain uncertain.

According to online city records, a demolition permit was approved on July 17 for the existing 7,480 square foot, two-story building. Online records also indicate that an application was submitted for the shell only of a new commercial building in April. The new building would be 8,027 feet, online records show.

Plans for tenant improvements for the new building have not yet been submitted, said Brenda Wisneski, the city’s deputy community development director.

“Based on conversations with the property owner, the upper floor will be for their office, Hanley Investment Group,” Wisneski said in an email. “A tenant for the ground level has not been identified. The demolition permit has been issued, but the building permit has not.”

The city’s General Plan allows redevelopment while maintaining pre-existing parking conditions, she said. There is no parking on site, she said, so any new use that generates more than one parking space per 250 square feet would need off-site parking or a parking waiver, she said. Office or retail space would not require additional parking but a restaurant would.

Newport Floor Covering relocated to Costa Mesa in April after more than 50 years in business in Corona del Mar; read our story here.


Sherman Library & Gardens to Host Afternoon Tea

posted: July 29th, 2014 05:47 am | 0No Comments

Sherman Library & Gardens will host an an afternoon tea in the gardens on Wednesday afternoon.

The tea costs $29 per person, no including tax and tip, and includes a pot of tea, currant and chocolate scones, a selection of tea sandwiches and desserts. Seatings are available at 2:30, 2:45 and 3 p.m.

Reservation are required and may be made by calling (949) 673-2261.


From the Police Log: Thefts From Cars in CdM

posted: July 28th, 2014 04:48 pm | 0No Comments

Police are investigating four thefts from motor vehicles in Corona del Mar, all from unlocked vehicles, police said.

Online logs show that burglaries were reported between 6:47 and 9:44 a.m. today in the 300 block of Poppy Avenue, the 300 block of Marigold Avenue, the 4700 block of Hampden Road and the 4700 block of Surrey Drive.

“The majority of the property loss was from property left in plain sight inside the vehicle,” said Sgt. William Depweg. “We are encouraging the community to lock their vehicles and not leave property inside their vehicles.” Depweg said “miscellaneous items” were taken in the thefts.

Police also took two reports of burglaries from motor vehicles iN Newport Coast on Friday. One incident, with a loss of $1,800, occurred on Sea View Lane, and the other occurred on Tidal Surf, but no loss was available.

In other police news, a 63-year-old Pacific Palisades woman was arrested at 3:08 p.m.. Sunday in the 6900 block of East Coast Highway on suspicion of DUI with a prior, a report said. Her bail was $10,000.

Police arrested two 20-year-old Irvine women Sunday evening in the 400 block of Newport Center Drive, reports say. One woman was arrested at 6:55 p.m. and booked on suspicion of commercial burglary and shoplifting; her bail was $20,000. The other woman was arrested at 6:58 p.m. and booked on commercial burglary and shoplifting and possession of a controlled substance; her bail also was $20,000.

Officers arrested a 54-year-old Del Mar man at 11:04 p.m. Saturday at Poppy Avenue and East Coast Highway on suspicion of several crimes including DUI with a prior, driving with a revoked license and having an open container while driving. His bail was $50,000.

Police arrested a 37-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman at 12:33 a.m. Friday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated; her bail was $500, a report said. Officers took a report of a petty theft or pickpocket on Sunday. The incident, with a $60 loss, occurred at 5 p.m. Saturday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive. Officers responded to a DUI report at 2:20 p.m. Sunday at East Coast Highway and Los Trancos, and officers took a report of a residential burglary with forced entrance in the 400 block of Fernleaf Avenue on Saturday. The burglary occurred between 5:30 p.m. Friday and 1:45 a.m. Saturday, and the loss was $5,000.

Officers took a report of a grand theft from a building with a loss of $1,048 on Saturday in the 1100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft occurred at 10 a.m. Friday, the report said. Officers also took a report of identity theft at 2:44 p.m. Saturday in the 300 block of Poinsettia Avenue.