Police: Repeat DUI Offender Kills Cyclist in Hit-And-Run Crash

posted: October 20th, 2014 11:25 am | 0No Comments

A Huntington Beach man with a prior DUI conviction was arrested Sunday night after police say he struck and killed a bicyclist near Crystal Cove State Park, then fled the scene.

Neil Storm Stephany is accused of hitting Shaun Eagleson, 30, of Fountain Valley about 5:03 p.m. on East Coast Highway just east of Los Trancos, according to a news release.

“The bicyclist and white Toyota Tacoma were both travelling on East Coast Highway when the collision occurred,” the release said. “The driver of the truck fled the scene without stopping to render aid and continued westbound on East Coast Highway.”

The collision critically injured Eagleson. Five Newport Beach Fire Department personnel transported him to a trauma center, where he died at about 9:45 p.m. Sunday, the release said.

Police located the driver at Newport Center Drive and East Coast Highway, where he was arrested and booked on suspicion of felony DUI causing great bodily injury, hit and run, narcotics possession and possession of drug paraphernalia. After the cyclist died, he was booked on murder, the release said, and bail that was initially set at $100,000 was changed to no bail.

“Further investigation revealed that Mr. Stephany has a prior conviction for Driving Under the Influence,” the release said. “In California, a previous DUI conviction, and the subsequent required alcohol education, is considered an adequate indicator to suggest ‘implied malice’ in subsequent DUI arrests involving the death of another party.”

Police continue to investigate the collision, and anyone with information should call Investigator Eric Little at (949) 644-3746.


Drum Circle A Hit At OASIS

posted: October 20th, 2014 07:46 am | 0No Comments


By Susan Hoffman, special to Corona del Mar Today

On a recent Wednesday morning, the walls of the OASIS Senior Center were vibrating from the beating of the drums. The Drum Circle event was brought back by popular demand, and this was the second gathering.

A drum circle is made up of a group people who want to participate in playing hand drums and percussion for the fun of it rather than in preparation for a performance. The circle has no beginning or end, creating equality. It can include any number of people and of all ages, although organizers say it’s especially beneficial to seniors. The purpose is to form a collective voice and share rhythm and unconscious synchronization.

Lee Kix, who has a background as a professional musician, is the drum master. Kix worked as a percussionist and drummer before an injury (along with putting three kids through college) changed his career.

He retired about four years ago, which is when he discovered trainings for drum circles. He had observed that participants were having a great deal of fun. Kix has come full circle himself by returning to his passion for playing drums, only now he is called a “Trained Health RHYTHMS Facilitator.”

“There’s more to it than just making noise,” Kix said. “Group drumming reduces stress, increases creativity, boosts the immune system and improves overall mood. The increased white blood cells means the body is rocking out.”

He encourages participants to keep an open mind, without expectations. The “magical part,” according to Kix, is to see where it takes you. He believes there is no such thing as a silly noise; it’s about having fun and feeling invigorated. He calls it “your own little creative moment.”

On this drum circle Wednesday, after Kix finished handing out a variety of drums to the 30 or so participants, he shouted “Let’s rock.” With his enthusiastic style, he then set the pace and everyone else joined in.

”I love drumming,” said participant Patti Johnsen. “I always wanted to play a musical instrument, and the rhythm thudding leads your body and just takes you somewhere.”

Kix, who is also big on using found objects, had placed two large plastic bags filled with discarded, used water bottles that now contained either rice or beans. He passed two bottles to each person and then led everyone in a bottle shake rhythm of alternating sounds before directing a finale consisting of a group toss into the center of the circle. The lesson was symbolic.

“One of the hardest things to do in life is letting go,” Kix said. “It’s important to let go of stuff in life.”

Birgitta Schaeffer was back for a second time because she had so much fun the first time.

“Beating a drum is very primal,” she said. The beans and rice water bottle instrument idea was a hit at her son’s birthday party, as well, she said. Just make sure to let the sun absorb all the moisture from the bottles before filling them.

Drum Circles will take place at OASIS at 1 p.m. on Oct. 22, Nov. 13 and Dec. 10.


CdM Today Poll of the Week

posted: October 20th, 2014 05:10 am | 0No Comments


Crash Closes Coast Highway Near Crystal Cove

posted: October 19th, 2014 06:42 pm | 2Comments

A traffic accident near East Coast Highway and Los Trancos has closed two westbound traffic lanes, according to a Newport Beach Police Department alert.

One westbound lane remains open, the alert said, but the accident “will require a detour of of traffic” for the next three to four hours.

Details about the crash were not immediately available, and police and fire department representatives did not immediately respond to a request for information.

The Orange County Register is reporting that a man was seriously injured and transported to Mission Hospital after being struck while riding his bicycle, and that a 23-year-old was arrested on suspicion of DUI in connection with the 5:02 p.m. crash.


Sherman Library & Gardens to Host Garden Fusions Dinner on Oct. 30

posted: October 19th, 2014 05:51 am | 0No Comments

Sherman Library & Gardens will host the last in a series of Garden Fusions dinners on Thursday Oct. 30, according to a news release.

This event’s dinner will feature California native plants, part of a celebration of native flora in the gardens coinciding with fall as the best season to plant natives, the release said.

“Combining elements is a hallmark of a great chef and a great designer,” the release said. “This Garden Fusions evening will combine the Native plant knowledge of Antonio Sanchez, Nursery Manager for Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden and the culinary art of Chef Pascal Olhats, Executive Chef of Café Jardin.”

The dinner will begin with hors d’ oeuvres in the central garden’s newly planted native beds, along with tips on growing and caring for the plans. Dinner will be California-inspired and served on the central patio with a special table side cooking demonstration. The evening will end in the tea garden.

Tickets are $60 per person, or $50 for Sherman Library & Gardens members, and include a signature drink during the hors d’oeuvres our. Beverages, tip and tax are not included. To purchase a ticket call (949) 673-0033.

Garden Fusions events will return in 2015, with the kickoff dinner scheduled for Saturday Feb. 14 for a Valentine’s event with a them of the “secret (sex) lives of plants,” the release said.

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


CdM Today’s Top Stories This Week

posted: October 18th, 2014 02:59 pm | 0No Comments

1. A woman jogging with her daughter in Crystal Cove State Park on Tuesday said a coyote tried to grab one of their dogs, then followed them up the trail to the park’s exit; read our story here.

2. The City Council approved A-frame signs for Corona del Mar and said other areas of the city could be included down the road; read our story here.

3. Delegates from Okazaki, Japan gathered with Sister City and Newport Beach officials this week to unveil a shogun statue and celebrate a 30-year partnership; read our story here.

4. The Corona del Mar Residents Association’s October board meeting included a Q&A with city code enforcement staff; read our story here.

5. The Corona del Mar Residents Association held the final political forum of the campaign season this week at the OASIS Senior Center; read our story here.


“L.A. Confidential” Author to Appear at Central Library

posted: October 18th, 2014 06:14 am | 0No Comments

A Library Live event featuring author James Ellroy will take place Oct. 30 at the Central Library, according to an emailed announcement.

Ellroy, who wrote “L.A. Confidential,” will discuss his newly released thriller, “Perfidia,” the announcement said.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the program will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m. There will be book sales and signing until 9 p.m. The program is free, but reservations are advised. You must be present to obtain a ticket, and unclaimed reservations will be released at 7 p.m. To reserve a spot, click here.

The Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave.


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

posted: October 17th, 2014 02:49 pm | 0No Comments

1. The SCAPE Gallery in Corona del Mar will host an artist reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, featuring artist Tom Lieber, whose paintings are on display through Nov. 8. The gallery is located at 2859 East Coast Highway.

2. Sherman Library & Gardens will host a free California native plants event at 9 a.m. Saturday, featuring Garden Director Scott LaFleur, who will lead a tour and talk on native plants and the best selections for home gardens. Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 East Coast Highway.

3. Crystal Cove State Beach will host a Beachside Chat with Ranger Jenn from 11 a.m to noon Saturday at the Historic District’s Education Commons, where you can learn about the animals that live in the park. Park in the Los Trancos lot, and walk through the tunnel or take a shuttle to the Historic District. You also can join a naturalist-led family hike that meets at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Berns Amphitheater, inland at the School-State Park entrance. The hike will feature plants and animals living in the park. The events are free, but there is a $15 day-use parking fee.

4. Roger’s Gardens will host Fall Planting with Cristin Fusano from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Fusano is an expert garden designer who will discuss the longest growing season, which begins this month, when it is the ideal time for planting many vegetables, herbs, spring blooming bulbs and more. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.

5. Pinch Me! will perform on the patio at the Island Hotel from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Sunday at 690 Newport Center Drive. The band, which has roots in Corona del Mar Elementary School and Corona del Mar High School, will feature a special appearance by Shaena Stabler perming a new single called “Run Away.” For more information click here.


Misbehaving at the Library Could Result in Yearlong Bans

posted: October 17th, 2014 01:08 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Board of Library Trustees will meet Monday, when they will vote on whether to refine the punishments for bad behavior on library premises.

“In order to have a better tool to help ensure a safe and enjoyable environment, and to ensure customers have the best experience possible, the Library Use Policy has been amended,” according to a report included in the meeting’s online agenda. “The Policy will also address customers having more equitable access and recourse.”

The major changes are that customer “behavior expectations” will extend to the entire premises and not just inside the library, and that customers will no longer be banned indefinitely. Instead, a customer could be suspended, with escalating durations of up to a year for repeat violations. They also will be able to appeal, the report states.

Behavior that could lead to a suspension includes smoking within 100 feet of all library entrances, sleeping, lounging on furniture, occupying more than one space when other customers are waiting, and eating or drinking in areas where it’s not permitted.

Upon a first violation, staff may ask the person to behave correctly and leave for a day, and a second violation could lead to a 30-day suspension. A third violation could lead to being asked to leave for the day and a 30-day suspension, and a fourth violation could result in a suspension of up to one year.

If a violation is severe enough, however, the library services manager also could suspend a customer for a year even if it isn’t a fourth violation, the report states. Library staff will have to issue written notices, and patrons may file an appeal.

The trustees also will hear an update on the Corona del Mar library branch project, which will rebuild and combine the fire station and library branch on Marigold Avenue. A staff report states that a project proposal may go before the City Council on Nov. 11. It also states that a survey about what library patrons want to see in the branch may be extended to Oct. 30 at the request of the Corona del Mar Residents Association.

To read more about the library branch project, click here.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave.


Traffic Delays Possible at Newport Coast Drive, Coast Highway Next Week

posted: October 17th, 2014 05:17 am | 0No Comments

Electronic message boards in Corona del Mar are warning of possible traffic delays on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 21 and 22 at East Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive.

The warnings are related to Newport Beach’s traffic signal modernization project, said Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman.

“Crews will be rewiring the signals on October 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said. “Public Works expects this to cause some traffic delays and is recommending motorists use alternate routes when possible.”