The first chance for residents to meet with a project architect to ask questions and learn more about the proposed new Corona del Mar library and fire station — which some city staff members have been calling a “fibrary” — will take place at Monday afternoon’s Board of Library Trustees meeting at the Central Library.
On March 24, the City Council approved a $457,750 contract with WLC Architects, a Rancho Cucamonga a firm that has designed more than 100 fire stations throughout the state. The firm will design a building that will replace and combine the fire station and library branch, which are on adjacent lots in the 400 block of Marigold Avenue.
Some residents, however, have expressed concerns that the library part of the project seems small — 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.
“As part of the design process, Public Works and WLC Architects will prepare several outreach opportunities to the surrounding community, the Board of Library Trustees, and Library staff,” a staff report for Monday’s meeting states. “These opportunities will give the public and end users the opportunity to meet with the Project Team to discuss the features, aesthetics, and/or other elements to make the project a success for the entire Community.”
The project’s architect, Kelly Needham, will attend Monday’s meeting to discuss the design process, possible design elements and to hear feedback from residents, the staff report states.
“He has a wide variety of experience and expertise in project design,” the report states. “His work has a strong emphasis on human needs and how to integrate these needs into the built environment. He has experience in a wide variety of project types but has specialized in the design of civic, educational and essential service facilities.”
Read our earlier story here.
The trustees also will vote on the placement of two paintings that were donated by Gene and Diane Crain.
Earlier this month, the Newport Beach Arts Commission voted to accept the Crain’s donation of two paintings by Rex and Joan Irving Brandt; read our story here. The library trustees now must approve the placement of the watercolor paintings, and then the City Council will have to approve accepting the paintings into the city’s art inventory.
The paintings could be displayed in the Local History area on the second floor, the entry hallway to the Library’s administrative offices or on the second floor utilities column, adjacent to the reference desk, a staff report states.
The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave. The public may attend and make comments.
1. Celebrate Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Crystal Cove State Park, where volunteers will be able to help with projects including painting curbs, sweeping ramps, power washing signs, planting cactus, removing concrete and other debris, weeding the hummingbird garden and cleaning the beach. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #4. At 2 p.m. Saturday, when the tide falls to a low of 0.2, you can join a guided tidepool walk to Pelican Point. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot. From noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, you can tour the 12-acre Historic District and learn about the cove’s history and plans to restore 17 more cottages. Park at Los Trancos parking lot and meet at the bluff top deck of the overnight rental check-in cottage. At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, a park naturalist will lead a sunset hike that will explore the park’s bluff and share information about the Coastal Sage Scrub plant community. Wear sunscreen, a hat and shoes that work on pavement and sand and bring a light jacket, water, a snack and came. Meet at Pelican Point parking lot #2, at the top of the boardwalk near the parking lot. The events are free, but there is a $15 day-use fee to park in state park lots.
2. Roger’s Gardens will host Backyard Bluebirds with Bob Franz from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday, where you can learn about how to attract and encourage bluebirds to nest in your gardens. Franz is the former president of the Southern California Bluebird Club. The event is free. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.
3. The City of Newport Beach will host a free hike to explore the flora and fauna of Buck Gully from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. Meet at the OASIS Senior Center’s auxiliary parking lot at Fifth and Marguerite avenues.
4. Harbor Day School is hosting a Maker Space Faire from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday to raise awareness and interest in the science, technology, art, and engineering fields. The faire, aimed at students from kindergarten through eighth grade, will feature mini computers, made straw rockets, create widgets using a 3D printer and more. The faire will be held in the Blass Gymnasium at the school at 3443 Pacific View Drive. For more information or to R.S.V.P., click here.
5. Celebrate the final days of Library Week 2015 with Annie Banannie, a balloon storyteller, who will appear at the Vincent Jorgensen Community Meeting Room at the Mariners library branch at 1300 Irvine Ave. from 3 to 3:45 p.m. Saturday.
Newport Beach Arts Commission Vice Chair Arlene Greer was the guest speaker at the meeting, and she explained that the city had issued a call for entries for the second round of its inaugural Sculpture in the Civic Center Park exhibition. The new artwork will be added to the park in August, and the original ten and the new ones will be displayed together for a year. In September 2016, the original ten will be de-installed, and the second round will remain until September 2017.
Corona del Mar resident Barry Allen, who has criticized the sculpture choices publicly in the past, told Greer that the sculpture garden was “junk.”
“The alleged works of art were very upsetting to me,” he said. “‘Pretty Boy’ is an insult in everyone’s intelligence,” he said, referring to an 11-foot-tall sculpture now in the park. Another piece called “Big Wet Dog,” he said, depicted a dog lifting its leg on city property. He added that he had changed his mind and now appreciated a piece called “Cub Triptych” by Gerardo Hacer.
Other CdMRA board members also spoke, including Laura Curran, who said she wished the artwork in the park had an association with the native plantings.
“One of the goals of these art exhibitions is to engage conversation,” said CdMRA President Karen Tringali.
Greer agreed, thanking the board members for their input.
“I will take comments back to the (sculpture in the park) sub-committee,” she said. “Art is subjective. We’re not perfect. We do the best we can.”
The arts commission, she said, was working on a program to reach out to schoolchildren so they could visit the park and learn about the sculptures.
“It brings people to our city,” she said.
Image of “Pretty Boy” courtesy of the City of Newport Beach.
A 35-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of obstructing and officer, a misdemeanor warrant and for riding a bicycle on a sidewalk, a report said.
The man was arrested at 1:33 p.m. at Granville and Newport Center drives. His bail was $500.
Police also arrested a 30-year-old Riverside man at 8:42 a.m. Thursday in the 300 block of Iris Avenue on suspicion of possession of unlawful paraphernalia. His bail was $500, according to a report.
Officers also took a report of shoplifting in the 1100 block of Newport Center Drive on Thursday. The theft, with a loss of $240, occurred between 3:16 and 3:19 p.m., a report said.
With a goal of building a community of problem solvers and future engineers, Harbor Day School will host a community Maker Space Faire event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
The faire, aimed at children from kindergarten through eighth grade, will let participants create cardboard and tape structures, build Raspberry Pi computers, print 3D objects and control them with Arduino computers, code in Scratch and make videos, a news release said.
“This is also an effort to raise awareness and interest in the science, technology, art, and engineering fields,” the release said.
OC STEM and Discovery Science Cube also will attend, along with Harbor Day and Sage Hill alumni, said Noelle Becker, a school spokeswoman.
“We have a ton of other booths to create mini computers, made straw rockets, create widgets using a 3D printer, and so much more,” she said.
The faire will be held in the Blass Gymnasium at the school at 3443 Pacific View Drive.
For more information or to R.S.V.P., click here. Organizers requested advance registration.
Newport Beach police took a report of shoplifting on Wednesday at West of Camden at 3409 East Coast Highway. The shoplifting occurred between 2 and 2:10 p.m., and the loss was $57.
Lindsey Lamoureux, who owns West of Camden with her husband, said a couple was shopping in the store and apparently were working together.
“One looked at something in front of store, while one is in back of store to make it so you can’t have eyes on everyone at once,” she said.
She said the suspects could be the same shoplifters who hit the store in October, and she thinks other boutiques in Corona del Mar also may have been their victims.
The shop uses surveillance, and a camera filmed the two people shopping, and then the woman in a hat appears to stuff an item into her bag. To see the video, click here.
Lamoureux said she wanted to release the video to warn other shop owners, and she asked that anyone with information call the police.
West of Camden is a Corona del Mar Today advertiser.
Today is the last day to register for a city-sponsored class called Become a Waterwise Gardener, the Newport Beach city website states.
The free class will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday April 23 at the Newport Beach Civic Center Community Room at 100 Civic Center Drive.
The class, sponsored by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, will teach six ways to make your home garden “California friendly,” the city website states, including building a living soil sponge, using rainwater as a resource and more.
To reserve a spot in the class, call (949) 644-3195 or email conservation info at newportbeachca dot gov.
Newport Beach police took a report of a petty theft from a building in the 3200 block of East Coast Highway on Tuesday, according to police records.
The theft, with a loss of $795, occurred between 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. April 4, the report said. No other information was available on the report.
In a last-minute move, the Newport Beach City Council voted to include a Corona del Mar entryway improvement project to the 2015-2016 capital improvement budget.
In March, the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board agreed to send a letter to the City Council, asking for the project to be funded; read our story here. 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.
In a draft of the proposed capital improvement program budget for the upcoming fiscal year, however, the entryway project was included in a list of yellow projects, which have to wait, instead of a list of green projects, which will move forward.
The total proposed budget is $66,663,092, and the entryway project would add $410,000.
Councilman Scott Peotter, who represents Corona del Mar, asked that the project be included, particularly because the B.I.D. group had invested funds already into a traffic study and plans.
“Here we are in a self-help situation, where the CdM B.I.D. paid for.. arguably 10 percent of the cost, and it gets left out,” he said. “I have a problem with it being left out.”
Mayor Ed Selich and Council members Tony Petros and Keith Curry agreed it should be included. During the final budget vote, Petros said, it could be removed again if funds were not available.
City Manager Dave Kiff said he would work on allocating funds for the project.
“If that’s your instruction, I’ll go back and find the money, I’ll work on that,” he said.
B.I.D. Chairman Bernie Svalstad thanked the Council for the decision.
“It’s a major entrance to Newport Beach, and I think it will be a fine improvement,” he said.
TheCity Council will see a final budget document in late May or early June.
During a Study Session meeting earlier in the day, the City Council discussed the drought and the governor’s recent executive order on water conservation. Council members agreed that medians should be watered only to keep trees alive, and that grass in city-maintained medians should be allowed to turn brown in order to conserve water.
Sherman Library & Gardens will host its 19th Annual Private Gardens Tour from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, according to the organization’s website.
Artists and musicians will be on hand while participants stroll through exclusive private gardens in Corona del Mar, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, the website states. Flat shoes are recommended, and the event will take place rain-or-shine.
The tour includes a light lunch served at Sherman Gardens located at 2647 East Coast Highway.
Tickets cost $55, or $50 for Friends of the Gardens. An optional shuttle service to the gardens on the tour is available for an additional charge; call (949) 673-2261 for more information.
Tickets also will be available for purchase at Sherman Library & Gardens on Saturday.