CdM Today’s Top Stories This Week

posted: August 30th, 2014 12:01 pm | 0No Comments

1. Huge waves drew crowds to Newport Beach this week; click here, here and here to read more, and click here to see some amazing photographs.

2. A City Council member has appealed a Planning Commission decision to allow the Port Theater to expand its alcohol service; read our story here.

3. The City of Newport Beach’s charcoal-only beach fire ring application to the California Coastal Commission was incomplete; read more here.

4. A new bicycle lane near Corona del Mar High School was completed this week, days before the start of school; read more here.

5. Roger’s Gardens opened its annual Halloween boutique this week; read our story here.

Newport Escapes Week of Big Waves With Little Damage

posted: August 30th, 2014 08:01 am | 0No Comments

This week’s high surf caused caused beach erosion but little serious damage in Newport Beach, a city spokeswoman said.

“I only got a report of damage near the lower walkway at Big Corona,” Mary Locey said. “The waves washed away sand from the walkway area and the tide will eventually shift the sand back. No other damages or flooding have been reported.”

Corona del Mar residents noted on Friday and today that local beaches were covered with seaweed and had a winter look, with washed-away sand and debris churned up in the waves.

“The waves have also exposed lots of sea shells and broken glass,” Ron Yeo said. “Visitors to the beach should be warned to be on the look out as they walk along the intertidal area or enter the water. We picked up over 100 pieces of broken glass and probably did not get all of them. Nasty to step on.”

Photo by Ron Yeo.

B.I.D. Approves $5,000 for “Disgusting” Tree Wells

posted: August 30th, 2014 05:53 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District voted this week to spend $5,000 to improve village tree wells that have broken irrigation systems and dead or missing plants.

“We did a tour of tree wells, and what we found was disgusting,” said B.I.D. board member Scott Laidlaw at the group’s Thursday meeting at the Civic Center.

At least 35 of the tree wells had irrigation systems that were not operating, Laidlaw said. A new contractor had recently taken over maintenance of the tree wells, but during the transition, many of the plantings in the tree wells weren’t getting enough water, he said.

In other places, he said, the irrigation hoses are loose and spray water onto the sidewalk and onto nearby parked cars.

In July 2011, the B.I.D. planted about 100 tree wells in the village, but within two months, many of the plants had died, were trampled or stolen; read our story here.

The B.I.D. arranged for irrigation in the tree wells about 15 years ago, with members asking businesses if they could tap into their private water lines to water the wells, said Scott Palmer, a board member.

Laidlaw said many of the plants from 2011, which were drought-resistant and included many succulents, did not thrive as well as they had hoped.

“The drought-tolerant approach sounds great but it really isn’t, ” he said. “They aren’t traffic friendly.”

“People open their car doors and walk through them,” Palmer said.

Vector Control Issues West Nile Advisory

posted: August 29th, 2014 05:16 pm | 0No Comments

The Orange County Vector Control District issued a public health advisory on the West Nile virus, according to a post on the City of Newport Beach website today.

“Orange County is currently experiencing a high level of West Nile virus infections,” the website states. West Nile virus is transmitted through infected mosquito’s bites and can potentially cause severe illness.

According to the district’s website, two birds in Newport Beach tested positive for the virus, and four humans have been infected in Costa Mesa. Two people died of the virus — a person in Huntington Beach and a person in Seal Beach, the website states.

The Vector Control District urges residents to reduce the number of mosquitoes in the community by dumping and draining all stagnant water.

The district issued the following tips:

• Dump or drain any standing water. Without stagnant water, mosquitoes cannot complete their life cycle. Call the Vector Control District for help with stagnant water sources that cannot be emptied, such as large fountains, decorative ponds, and unused swimming pools.

• Avoid runoff from overwatering lawns and washing vehicles. Runoff can accumulate in street gutters and underground storm drain systems, creating an ideal breeding habitat for mosquitoes.

• Make sure all windows and door screens on your home are in good shape, fit tightly, and have no holes that may allow mosquitoes to enter.

• Try to stay indoors at dawn and dusk when biting mosquitos are most active. Wear mosquito repellant when outdoors.

Notify Vector Control if you see a dead bird so they can test it for the virus, and please mosquitoes, stagnant waters or recently-deceased birds by calling (714) 971-2421.

CdM This Weekend: Five Great Things For Your To-Do List

posted: August 29th, 2014 02:51 pm | 2Comments

1. It’s Labor Day weekend — back-to-school shopping time.

2. If you’re ready for summer to be over and for Halloween to be here, head to Roger’s Gardens, where the holiday boutique is now open to the public. You also can view the new exhibition called California Beaches, which will run through Sept. 30 and feature Northern California guest artists Kathleen Dunphy and Clark Mitchell and others. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.

3. Recycled Rags will host its monthly parking lot party from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, featuring hotdogs, lemonade and coffee, as well as discounted items on racks in the back lot. Recycled Rags is located at 2731 East Coast Highway. For more information call (949) 675-5553.

4. Crystal Cove State Park will host a beachside chat from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday in the Education Commons in the Historic District, and there will be a Family Walk at 9 a.m. Sunday that meets at the Berns Amphitheater, located inland at the School-State Park entrance.

5. It’s Labor Day weekend — head to the beach!

From the Police Log: Thefts from Vehicles, Drug Arrests

posted: August 29th, 2014 12:38 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police took two reports of grand theft of motor vehicle parts in the 3400 block of Seabreeze Lane on Wednesday.

One case occurred between 8:30 p.m. Tuesday and 8 a.m. Wednesday, and the loss was $1,025. The other case occurred between 10 p.m. Tuesday and 9:28 a.m. Wednesday, and the loss was $4,000. No other details were immediately available.

Police also made two arrests at 12:37 a.m. Thursday at Marguerite Avenue and East Coast Highway, reports stay. A 26-year-old Anaheim man was booked on suspicion of narcotics possession, and a 20-year-old Anaheim man was booked on suspicion of possession of concentrated cannabis. Bail for each was $20,000.

Police arrested a 49-year-old San Clemente man at 3:46 p.m. Wednesday at Corporate Plaza and Newport Center Drive on suspicion of DUI with three priors. Online jail records indicate the man remains in custody.

Police took a report of petty theft from a motor vehicle in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive on Thursday. The theft, with a loss of $535, occurred between 9:34 and 11:50 p.m. Aug. 22. Officers also took a report of a petty theft with no monetary loss in the 1100 block of Sandcastle Drive on Thursday. The theft occurred between 8 and 8:03 a.m. that day, a report said. Officers also took a report of petty theft from buildings in the 22700 block of Pelican Hill Road South on Thursday. The theft, with a loss of $850, occurred between 3:15 and 4:50 p.m. Aug. 22.

Bike Committee to Meet Tuesday

posted: August 29th, 2014 12:38 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Bicycle Master Plan Oversight Committee will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Civic Center Community Room.

The meeting will include a presentation of the Bicycle Mater Plan document as well as a police update on recent bicycle accidents and other bicycle statistics, according to an agenda posted on the city’s website.

The meeting is open to the public, and members of the public may make comments.

Shoppers Find their Inner Ghouls With Opening of Roger’s Gardens Halloween Boutique

posted: August 29th, 2014 05:02 am | 0No Comments

The sun may be shining and the surf may be up, but for a certain segment of the population, it’s time for Halloween, and Roger’s Gardens agrees.

“Halloween is definitely it for us,” said Lisa Hovagimyan, who has shopped at Roger’s Gardens Halloween boutique with her brother, Jilber, for the past 10 years.

“It’s the way we get our pagan on,” joked Jilber as they headed into the boutique during a sneak preview earlier this week for loyal customers.

The boutique opens to the public at 9 a.m. today, with this year’s theme being “Hauntingly Beautiful.”

“We’re showing that Halloween can be beautiful and elegant,” said Eric Cortina, Roger’s Gardens’ creative director. “It’s definitely elevated.”

Shoppers entered the boutique past enormous busts and statuary, then passed displays of skeletons, folk art candlesticks, pens shaped like blood-filled needles, dolls, hats and more. As they filled baskets with creepy faux plants, fake frogs, ornaments and other items, staff took the full baskets to set aside and replaced them with empty ones. Some shoppers were dismayed when a few items were already sold, apparently to V.I.P. customers who had been in even earlier in the week.

Rhiannon Brown, 12, of Irvine, was eying an extremely high-backed black chair ($1,100), which she said she would use year-round if she could afford it.

“I love Halloween,” she said, as her mother, Diane Brown, gazed at a table set with bloody martini glasses below a chandelier created of goblets and crystals. Nearby, a wall was filled with rams heads that sparkled next to equally sparkling busts.

Julien Hereld, 12, of Huntington Beach had a small gift box that he showed several employees. When they opened it, a bloody finger rested inside.

“My dad showed it to me last night,” he said. His grandmother, Phyllis Hereld, said she’d been bringing him to the boutique since he was a newborn.

The boutique will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Oct. 28. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.

Waves Attract 50,000 Visitors to NB; Lifeguards Make 73 Rescues

posted: August 28th, 2014 11:30 am | 1Comment

With waves as high as 20 to 25 feet at some Newport Beach beaches on Wednesday, lifeguards made more than 73 rescues while more than 50,000 visitors flocked to the city for a peek, according to a city news release. Lifeguards also made 8,000 preventative actions on Wednesday, the release said.

The high surf and strong rip currents, caused by Tropical Storm Marie off Mexico, will continue today, the release said.

“Large crowds are expected again today to the Balboa Peninsula which will create heavy traffic and severely limited parking,” the release said. Visitors should be prepared for traffic delays of two hours or more, and police will have a “heavy presence” in the area to make sure cars move and don’t block roads. City officials urge visitors to use public transportation, bicycles or walk to the area.

Newport Beach Lifeguard Capt. Rob Williams said that today’s surf is about 6 to 10 feet with some larger sets.

“We have already had rescues this morning as the current is very strong throughout our City, especially around the rock jetties,” he said. “With the surf being a little smaller, people have more confident so we have more people in the water today than yesterday.”

On Wednesday, a sig alert was issued for the Peninsula; read our story here.

Photos courtesy of Karin Helfrich.

NBPD to Conduct DUI Checkpoint on Friday

posted: August 28th, 2014 08:17 am | 1Comment

The Newport Beach Police Department Traffic Unit will conduct a DUI checkpoint starting at 8 p.m. Friday at an undisclosed location, according to a news release.

The checkpoint will end about 3 a.m.

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

“Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed one life and resulted in 186 injury crashes harming 245 of our friends and neighbors,” Sgt. Michael Schiavi said in the 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.

Statewide, driving while intoxicated led to 774 deaths, the release said. According to recent statistics, 30 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their system.