Grant Howald Coyote Attacks At Least Two Pets

posted: May 21st, 2015 04:17 pm | 0No Comments

A coyote has been hanging out in Grant Howald Park over the past few days, attacking at least two pets, according to an alert issued today by the Newport Beach Police Department.

One case involved a pet Chihuahua that was killed after it went to investigate a coyote that was attacking a pet cat, according to Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg. The same coyote has been spotted in Grant Howald Park over the past few evenings, and another larger dog is currently in a veterinarian hospital after an attack, according to a Flower Street online community website. The police alert said a small dog and a small cat were attacked. The attacks appear to be by the same animal, although it is not known if the coyote is male or female or how old it is.

Coyotes are common in Corona del Mar and can be seen roaming residential neighborhoods, especially those near Morning Canyon or Buck Gully. Coyotes will often observe human’s patterns, Schomburg said, and if someone routinely lets out a dog into a back yard every morning at the same time, a coyote could plan an attack for that time.

“They’ll jump an 8-foot-fence,” she said. “They know your routine. They are so smart. They will come back once they know there’s food. And this time of year, they are a little more bold because they’re trying to feed all their pups. This one is at the park because it’s found a food source, and there’s water in the park.”

Officers have been patrolling the park since the attacks, but Schomburg said there is little that animal control officers can do unless the coyotes attack humans. Instead, she said, residents should focus on protective and preventive measures.

Residents can protect their pets from coyote attacks by not letting them outside unsupervised, she said. Cats are not permitted to roam off your property, according to municipal code, and extendable leashes that exceed 6 feet also can put pets at risk.

“If you see a coyote on your property, make noise,” Schomburg said. “Bang pots and pans, use a bullhorn. They’ll go elsewhere.”

The police alert said that coyotes can be found throughout Orange County.

“They are a native animal and a critical component of the ecosystem,” the alert said. “Contrary to popular belief, these animals do not require open space or wild areas to survive. In fact, most of the coyotes found in urban environments are descended from generations of coyotes who have lived and flourished in the urbanized areas of Orange County.”

Coyotes are not domesticated but “are very comfortable living alongside human beings,” the alert said.

“They have little fear of people and are frequently seen in close proximity to joggers and bicyclists, or in residential areas. While they are not normally a danger to humans, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered. Therefore, if you encounter a coyote, it is important to leave a comfortable distance between yourself and the animal.”

Coyotes will defend their territory, but if you keep your distance, they will act less threatening, the alert said. Children should be taught to avoid strange animals and not to feed wild animals.

Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, the alert said, but are active at all hours.

The alert offered the following safety tips:

• Fence off animal enclosures (fully-enclosed, if possible).
• Cats, small dogs, and other small animals should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced area. It is highly recommended that small pets are always accompanied by their owner when outside the home, and that pets are not left in yards overnight.
• Keep dogs on a leash (at a maximum length of six feet) at all times. Extendable leashes do not meet the requirements of the Newport Beach Municipal Code, and will not adequately prevent your dog from becoming the victim of a coyote attack.
• Feed your pets indoors.
• Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit and standing water.
• Store trash in heavy-duty containers.
• Keep yards free of potential shelter materials, such as thick brush or weeds.
• Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
• If a coyote begins frequenting your neighborhood, let them know that they are not welcome. Make loud noises, show an aggressive posture, or spray them with a garden hose to deter them from approaching your property. For everyone’s safety, it is essential that coyotes preserve their natural wariness of humans.

The alert also said that trapping or killing urban coyotes is not effective.

“These programs have been shown to actually create a vacuum in nature, leading to larger litters of coyote pups and a long-term increase in the overall coyote population,” the alert said. “Coyotes are actually beneficial to the balance of the local ecosystem, as they prey on rodents and other small wild animals.”

If a coyote does threaten humans, local Animal Control officers work with state officials, Schomburg said. But attacks or aggression toward humans is unusual, she said, and she could remember just one recent case, more than a year ago, in Newport Beach.

“We have to learn to live with them,” she said.

Anyone with questions or concerns should call Animal Control at (949) 644-3717.

Library Live Event to Feature Novelist Anne Perry

posted: May 21st, 2015 05:03 am | 0No Comments

A Library Live event featuring historical novelist Anne Perry will take place Thursday June 11, according to a Library Foundation news release.

Perry is an international bestselling author of more than fifty novels, which have sold more than 25 million copies, the release said. In 2000, she won an Edgar award for her short story “Heroes.” She also was selected as one of the 20th Century’s 100 Masters of Crime by the Times, and this year she received the Premio de Honor Aragón Negro.

“Her first series of Victorian crime novels, featuring Thomas and Charlotte Pitt, began with ‘The Cater Street Hangman,’” the release said. “The latest of these, ‘The Angel Court Affair,’ has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Perry’s Thomas Pitt character features in one of the longest sustained series by a living writer with 29 titles to date.”

In 1990, she began a second series of detective novels, and the 21st and most recent was published last month. Her books have sold more than 25 million copies and have been translated into 14 languages.

The June 11 event is $25, or $20 for Library Foundation members and students. The event will begin at 6:30, with the lecture and a Q&A opportunity from 7 to 8:15. The event will conclude with book sales and signing and a coffee reception.

The event will take place at the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave.

To purchase tickets, click here.

TVT Film Festival to Launch at Port Theater on Thursday

posted: May 20th, 2015 12:55 pm | 0No Comments

The first annual TVT Film Festival will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Port Theater, organizers said.

“The first Annual TVT Southern California High School Film Festival aims to provide a platform for young filmmakers to showcase their work, receive feedback, and inspire others,” the event’s website states. “The Advanced Institute of Art and Writing at Tarbut V’Torah (TVT) in Irvine is putting on the festival as a way of bringing together the many excellent high school film programs in the area. The TVT Southern California High School Film Festival strives to provide a larger audience, more immediate feedback, and a culture of creativity in the Orange County area for devoted young artists.”

Teachers Kevin Bachelder and Kim Hays organized the event, and advanced institute students will be performing and selling cps of original music.

Admission is $10. Awards, including a first-place prize of $4,000, will be presented, and the first- and second-place winning films will be screened.

The evening’s highlight will be the screening of TVT’s feature length film “Anything for Love,” Bachelder said.

This is the first year the event is open to the public, and organizers said hope the event will include entries from other local high schools in the future.

The Port Theater is located at 2905 East Coast Highway.

NBPD Seek Help in Identifying Rolex Robber

posted: May 20th, 2015 12:20 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Police Department issued an alert today, seeking the public’s help in identifying a man who grabbed a woman and stole her watch while she was in a parking structure off Newport Center Drive.

The robbery occurred at 1:45 p.m. May 12, when the suspect approached the woman, the alert said.

“The suspect then grabbed the woman and removed a Rolex watch from her wrist,” the alert said. “The victim sustained a minor injury to her wrist as a result. The suspect then fled on foot in an unknown direction.”

The man was described as Hispanic, about 5 feet 5 inches tall and 130 to 150 pounds and was wearing a tight black shirt and dark pants. Police released surveillance photos of the suspect.

Detectives are working to identify the man, and they ask anyone with information to call Det. Garrett Fitzgerald at (949) 644-3797.

Photos courtesy of the NBPD.

CdMHS’s Resource Officer Announces Relocation to Harbor

posted: May 20th, 2015 11:22 am | 0No Comments

Corona del Mar High School’s School Resource Officer Vlad Anderson will transfer to Newport Harbor High School for the 2015-2016 school year, he said in an email to staff and families this morning.

Anderson has been at CdMHS for four years, and his replacement has not been named, he said.

Newport Harbor’s current school resource officer, Marie Gamble, is rotating to a police patrol position, Anderson’s email said, and he will be replacing her. His CdMHS assignment will end June 19, the last day of the school year.

“I have enjoyed the time here at CdM more than you know and I will be missing you all,” Anderson wrote. “I also want to thank you. Serving the CdM has been a pleasure and an honor. I value the accomplishments we have made, relationships we have established, and the support you have afforded me. I have the utmost confidence that my successor will be received with the same support you have shown me. While this assignment is supposed to be a job, I can assure you that you have made it more than that. Even though I will no longer be on campus, I wish you well and hope to cross paths with you somewhere in Newport in the near future.”

Anderson regularly attended PTA meetings, providing parents with updates on issues at the school, from social media concerns to parking and traffic problems. He provided his cell phone number to students and parents and routinely responded to questions and concerns, even outside school hours.

PTA Co-President Lisa Pearson said she has already had emails from parents, asking if there was a way to keep Anderson at CdMHS.

“He is going to be greatly missed by the entire CDM community,” she said.

Co-President Carol Crane agreed.

“Officer Anderson is an integral part of the CDM school community,” she said. “Foremost he’s always been a student advocate who will go to any length to connect with kids and make a positive difference in their lives. Furthermore, he reached out and supported the parent community with his wisdom and insight about teen behavior and how to parent kids in this day and age. We are losing a valuable member of our family. Vlad will be sorely missed by all.”

In 2014, the PTA named Anderson as an Honorary Service Award winner; read our story here.

Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said there would be a new officer in place by the start of school.

“The Detective Division will work with Vlad and the new SRO to set up the school assignments,” she said.

Sherman Library & Gardens to Host Garden Fusions Dinner on May 27

posted: May 20th, 2015 05:28 am | 0No Comments

Sherman Library & Gardens next Garden Fusions dinner will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday May 27, according to a news release.

The dinner event, called Artful Displays: From Garden to Plate, is an “experiential dining event” that will highlight the inaugural sculpture exhibit called Metaling in the Garden, the release said. Ruben Flores of Laguna Nursery is sponsoring the exhibit; read our earlier story here.

The event costs $55 for members and $65 for non-members. The dinner will begin with hors d’oeuvres of cheese and fruit, with Flores discussing art in gardens. Chef Pascal Olhats “will employ textures, colors, aroma, architecture and balance during his tableside cooking demonstration ~ ‘Art You Can Eat’,” the release said. The three-course dinner will feature an “art” beet salad, a braid of salmon and halibut or stuffed chicken and a mini croque en bouche for dessert. A signature drink is included during hors d’oeuvres, and additional beverages, tip and tax are extra.

The event will be limited to 50 guests. To reserve a spot, call (949) 673-0033.

Sherman Library & Gardens hosts Garden Fusions dinner from February through October, when Chef Pascal matches wine and food and a horticulturist host shares information related to the evening’s theme.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 East Coast Highway.

Investigation Into Fatal Crash on Jamboree Could Take Months

posted: May 19th, 2015 03:16 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police investigators have interviewed the passenger who survived a single-car crash Monday afternoon that killed the driver on Jamboree Road, a department spokeswoman said.

The crash occurred about 12:20 p.m. Monday on southbound Jamboree Road between Santa Barbara Drive and Island Lagoon Drive. A silver Mazda Miata collided with a concrete light pole on the side of the road before flipping over, said Jennifer Manzella, a Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman.

Newport Beach firefighters declared the driver dead at the scene. The Orange County coroner’s office identified the driver as Trent Morris, 22, of Wildomar. A woman who was a passenger was extricated from the car and taken to a trauma center in serious condition, and later police said she was in stable condition.

Southbound lanes of Jamboree Road were closed at Santa Barbara Drive for about four hours, and crews were on scene hours later cleaning.

The crash remains under investigation, the release said, and anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Dave Darling at (949) 644-3746.

Manzella said that fatal collision investigations take months to complete, and information about speed or whether the victims were wearing seat belts was not immediately available.

“We don’t have any reason to believe that alcohol or drugs were a factor,” she said.

In May 2013, five Irvine students were killed in a car crash when their car hit a tree in the median while heading south along Jamboree Road at Island Lagoon Drive. Police later said speed was the cause of the crash; read our story here.

CdM Library Plans Need Work, Trustees Agree

posted: May 19th, 2015 12:30 pm | 1Comment

The Newport Beach Board of Library Trustees agreed with residents at a Monday meeting, telling an architect that they want to consider adding a second story to the Corona del Mar library branch when it is rebuilt and combined with the fire station.

“What’s wrong with adding a second story?” asked Trustee Eleanor Palk. “It’s packed with little kids. Maybe a second story would be an ideal place for that (story time events).”

Other trustees agreed, saying a second floor could be used as a community room or shared with firefighters.

In March, the Newport Beach City Council approved a contract with an architect to design combined library and fire station for Corona del Mar. The 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.

Architect Kelley Needham of WLC Architects attended Monday’s meeting in Council Chambers at the Civic Center. He showed the latest plans, which would have a fire station with driveways that would let crews pull their equipment straight into a garage rather than backing the large trucks off Marigold.

The new plans also include a shared lobby with public restrooms, and the library would have stroller parking for about 20 to 25 strollers and 800 square feet of outdoor space for a reading porch.

The shared public space and outdoor space would create a new library space that is close to what the public currently has at the CdM branch, Needham said. Adding a second floor, which many residents have also requested, would add to the cost of the project because it would require an elevator, which is not required for the fire station, he said. The fire station’s living quarters would be on the second floor, accessible by stairs. The American With Disabilities Act does not require elevators at a fire station in this instance, Needham said.

An elevator alone could add $150,000 to the budget, Needham said. The project has already been budgeted for $6 million.

The trustees all agreed that they wanted more space in the Corona del Mar library, and that a second story could be built during construction and left plain, to be completed at a later date when funds became available. Trustee Chair Robyn Grant urged members of the public to reach out to City Council members, perhaps during public comment opportunities at meetings, to express their wishes for funds to build a bigger library.

Not adding the second-story now “seems short-sighted,” Grant said.

Corona del Mar Resident and Trustee Jerry King said he’d had “read concerns since day one about the process.”

“The whole thing’s backwards,” he said. “It’s as if staff said, ‘Here’s what you’ve got tow work with, go shove down their throats.’ I don’t think they’re going to like that.”

City officials, he said, should have sought public input and considered design costs before deciding on the project’s budget instead of the other way around.

“That’s a little weird,” he said.

Several members of the public who attended a meeting last week of Friends of the CdM Library also spoke in support of keeping the Corona del Mar branch “cozy and warm” and just as big as it currently is.

Joy Brenner, who founded Friends of the CdM Library, said the exterior of the building also was important to consider.

“The exterior has to fit into the village,” she said. “It can’t be like City Hall.”

Brenner also said there was a chance to have a large, heavy work of artist Rex Brandt donated to the city, which could be incorporated into the project. The library could even be called the Rex Brandt Memorial Library, she said. (Click here to read about Brandt and a dedication of a plaque near the location of his studio.)

The trustees could have taken action, possibly approving the plans, but agreed not to put anything to a vote. It was not immediately known what the next steps would be.

Image courtesy of the City of Newport Beach.

Rain in Forecast for Thursday Night, Friday

posted: May 19th, 2015 05:19 am | 0No Comments

Cloudy weather with temperatures in the mid-60s will give way to rain after 11 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service’s online forecast.

The forecast states that there’s a 20 percent chance of rain Thursday night, along with a slight chance of showers Friday and Friday night.

Saturday will be cloudy, then gradually will clear and be sunny with a high temperature of 67 degrees. Sunday should have patchy fog before 11 a.m. and then gradually clear with a high of 67 degrees, and Memorial Day should begin with patchy fog, then clear with a high of 69 degrees.

From the Police Log: Disorderly Conduct Arrests

posted: May 18th, 2015 01:46 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a 41-year-old Newport Beach man early Sunday in the 800 block of Sandcastle Drive on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated.

The incident occurred at 12:15 a.m. The man’s bail was $500, a report said.

Police also arrested a 31-year-old man in the 100 block of Pelican Hill Road early Sunday on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. He was arrested at 2:33 a.m., and his bail was $500.

Police took a report of a burglary from a motor vehicle in the 1600 block of East Coast Highway on Saturday. The burglary, with a loss of $19,600, occurred between 9:30 and 10:20 a.m. Saturday, a report said.