CdM Today’s Top Stories This Week

posted: February 28th, 2015 02:27 pm | 0No Comments

1. Expanded beer garden and Champagne toasts at Scenic 5K finish line? The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce president has been talking to the city’s police chief about possible changes to the chamber’s signature events; read our story here.

2. Metal grates won’t be added to Corona del Mar’s tree wells because of a $300,000 estimated price tag; read our story here.

3. A City Council member raised concerns at Tuesday’s meeting about beach bonfires and enforcing rules about burning illegal items and making fires outside the rings; read our story here.

4. The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District hosted a community meeting to gather feedback on a beautification project to add flowery street signs and other floral details along East Coast Highway; read our story here.

5. A section of Marguerite Avenue will be closed next week; read our story here.

El Cholo Opening Now Scheduled For March

posted: February 28th, 2015 05:58 am | 0No Comments

El Cholo restaurant will open mid-March, a company spokeswoman confirmed in an email.

The restaurant, located at 3520 East Coast Highway, originally had a September opening date, which was then changed to February. The restaurant will replace Landmark, which closed in April.

El Cholo has had a license to sell alcohol since May 2014, according to online records for the California Department of Beverage Control.

The El Cholo location was scheduled to open shortly after the closure of the El Cholo at 5465 Alton Parkway, which had been open for 15 years.

Corona del Mar This Weekend: Five Great Things For Your To-Do List

posted: February 27th, 2015 01:49 pm | 0No Comments

1. Scott LaFleur, the garden director of Sherman Library & Gardens, will discuss his favorite genus of plants, trilliums, at a free Weekend Gardener event scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Trilliums — named because nearly all parts of the plants come in threes –take up to seven years to produce their first flower, according to a news release, and there are two species native to California and 48 species in the world. For more information about the event, call (949) 673-2261. Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 East Coast Highway.

2. The Central Library will host a Making Memories for Children event on Sunday, featuring musician Craig Newton. The event will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the Friends Room, when Newton will teach how to write and record a song. Refreshments will be served. Seating will be first-come, first served with limited space, and no advanced reservations will be accepted. The event is free, but there is a $10 suggested donation at the door. The library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave. For more information call (949) 548-2411.

3. Rain or shine, you can visit the Corona del Mar Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Bayside Drive and Marguerite Avenue.

4. The first CdM Rockin Surf Concert, a benefit for the Corona del Mar High School surf team, will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the school’s lecture hall. Tickets will be available at the door and cost $15. Eight bands will be featured, and food truck will be on hand. CdMHS is located at 2101 Eastbluff Drive.

5. If there’s a break in the rainy weather forecast, head to Crystal Cove State Park. At 9 a.m. Saturday, you can join a Canyon Hike that meets at the Ranger Station at the School-State Park entrance, and there will be a beachside ranger chat in the Education Commons of the Historic District from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. At noon on Sunday, there will be a guided tidepool walk when the tide falls to a low of -0.3; meet at the Reef Point parking lot near the restroom. At 3:30 p.m. Sunday, there will be a walk through the park’s bluff, where a volunteer naturalist will take you through the coastal sage scrub community, one of the rarest and most threatened in the world. Organizers advise wearing sunscreen, a hat and sandals or shoes that will be suited for pavement and sand, along with a light jacket, water, a snack and a camera to capture the sunset over the ocean. 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 lots.

From the Police Log: Thefts, DUI Arrest

posted: February 27th, 2015 11:45 am | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a 22-year-old Irvine woman on Tuesday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of forgery, grand theft by fraud, conspiracy to commit crime, identity theft and commercial burglary, a report said.

The woman was arrested at 6:30 p.m. Her bail was $20,000.

Officers also arrested a 57-year-old Westminster man at 3:33 a.m. Thursday at MacArthur Boulevard and San Miguel Drive on suspicion of petty theft and receiving stolen property valued at less than $950, a report said. His bail was $500.

Police took a report of a petty theft in the 1500 block of Avocado Avenue on Thursday. The theft, with no loss listed, occurred at 2 a.m. Thursday, a report said. Officers took a report of a petty theft from a motor vehicle on Thursday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a $20 loss, occurred between 3 and 4:16 p.m. Thursday. Officers took a report of a petty theft on Wednesday in the 1100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft occurred between 5:25 and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, and the loss was $892. Police took a report of a petty theft from a building on Tuesday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a $600 loss, occurred between 9:43 p.m. Feb. 21 and 10:41 a.m. the next day.

Officers also arrested a 51-year-old Huntington Beach woman at 11:03 p.m. Wednesday at East Coast Highway and Reef Point Drive on suspicion of DUI; her bail was $2,500.

Christmas Walk Could Feature Expanded Beer Garden

posted: February 27th, 2015 04:47 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce has been meeting with city and police officials to explore ways to expand the beer garden at the annual Christmas Walk, as well as adding a V.I.P. lounge for Champagne toasts at the Scenic 5K finish line.

Traditionally, the Christmas Walk’s beer garden is located in the parking lot area near Bandera restaurant, where 21-and-older crowds cram into a fenced-off space.

“We want more of a civilized and upscale beer garden,” said Linda Leonhard, president of the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, which organizes the annual event. A private area, perhaps sponsored by a winery, also could be featured within the beer garden, she said.

Leonhard described her vision to the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District board at a meeting Thursday, adding that she had talked to Newport Beach Police Chief Jay Johnson about a month ago. She has not heard back from Johnson, she said, but she believed he was going to discuss the proposal with city recreation officials and others.

The expanded beer garden could be in the same general location, but she hoped to have permission to close a stretch of Bayside Drive between Marguerite and Larkspur avenues.

Other changes could include designating parking lots with specific themes during the walk, possibly a children’s area or a classic car area, she said. The designated areas could help the walk draw sponsors and increase revenue, she said. The 2015 Christmas Walk is scheduled for Dec. 6.

The Scenic 5K, held each year in June, also could be updated and changed with a V.I.P. option for runners.

“Instead of ending up in Restaurant Row,” she said, “there could be a lounge at the finish line where you could celebrate with a Champagne toast.” The lounge also could feature beer and wine and live entertainment.

During race registration, participants could pay an extra fee for access to the V.I.P. lounge, she said.

“There seems to be a trend with this in a lot of races,” she said.

Leonhard said she planned to follow up with the police chief this week.

Section of Marguerite to Be Closed Next Week

posted: February 26th, 2015 05:02 pm | 0No Comments

A city repaving project will close Marguerite Avenue from Bayside Drive to Seaview Avenue from March 2 through March 8, according to the Newport Beach city website.

The intersection at Bayside Drive and Marguerite will remain open, the website states.

The work is part of the Ocean Boulevard and Marguerite Avenue Pavement Reconstruction Project going on in the area, the website states. In January, the City Council approved replacement of sections of the roadways in the area; read our earlier story here.

City officials recommend that motorists use alternate routes. A full street closure is required during construction, the city website states.

San Joaquin Hills Road Construction Scheduled For Saturday

posted: February 26th, 2015 01:41 pm | 0No Comments

Weather permitting, lanes will be closed Saturday on San Joaquin Hills Road, according to a Newport Beach webpage. The closure will be between Marguerite Avenue and Spy Glass Hill Road.

Lanes will be restricted to one lane in both directions between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. while crews prepare and pave the roadway, the webpage states. Traffic delays are expected, and motorists should take alternate routes.

The project could be delayed if it rains. The National Weather Service forecast shows a 60 percent chance of showers on Saturday.

Hefty Price Tag Dooms Plans to Add Grates to CdM’s Tree Wells

posted: February 26th, 2015 10:52 am | 0No Comments

A $300,000 price tag has stalled a proposal to add metal grates around Corona del Mar’s business district tree wells.

Mayor Ed Selich had proposed installing the grates at the January Corona del Mar Business Improvement District, citing years of wasted effort and money to keep plants alive in the wells; read our earlier story here.

But the village has nearly 180 tree wells, all different sizes, said board member Scott Laidlaw at a B.I.D. meeting today. Custom grates would cost more than $300,000, he said.

Instead, the board will continue to look for alternatives, including planting deer grass or rosemary, which have thrived in some tree wells. Dogs using the plants as toilets were the biggest plant killers, Laidlaw said. The group also discussed adding a row of bricks around the tree wells to protect them from being trampled by pedestrians.

Selich said that bricks surround the tree wells on Balboa Island, where artificial grass is used, but that tree roots move the bricks and create tripping hazards.

The B.I.D. board took no action on tree well improvements at today’s meeting and will continue to discuss options at future meetings. Chairman Bernie Svalstad said after the meeting that he never thought metal grates were the best solution.

“They get weeds and cigarette butts stuck inside,” he said.

In other news, the board discussed hiring a new consultant to work with the B.I.D. on a parking plan.

Last year, the City Council considered the results of a parking study, but comments from Council members were so negative that staff pulled the item before a vote; read our story here.

Board member Jim Walker said he had looked at aerial photos of the business district to identify areas where parking was available or underutilized, and that shared valet parking among businesses could be an option.

The board also discussed the April Town Meeting, which the B.I.D. and the Corona del Mar Residents Association co-host. The group considered how to condense information about B.I.D. financials, which some attendees have said are boring.

“The financials put people to sleep,” said board member Tom Nicholson.

“You could go over subjects that are more interesting, the projects we’re doing,” said Linda Leonhard, Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce president.

Svalstad said that presenting financial information was required at the Town Meeting, but he would ask city lawyers whether the information could be condensed or distributed in paper form for attendees who wanted it.

Leonhard also asked if wine and beer should be available to those attending the meeting. Last year, in a change from previous meetings, the event was alcohol-free in an effort to reduce noise; read our story here.

“I didn’t see a difference, honestly,” she said.

Nicholson said that wine and beer made the event more social and friendly.

“It makes it more of a community event,” he said. “Let’s do it again.”

B.I.D. members plan to discuss bringing back alcohol with members of the CdMRA.

The Town Meeting is scheduled to take place on April 22 at Sherman Library & Gardens.

Here Comes the Rain

posted: February 26th, 2015 09:59 am | 0No Comments

After several sunny, beautiful days, Corona del Mar is due for some rain, according to the National Weather Service’s website.

Today’s high temperature is forecast to be 66 degrees, with patchy fog. By tonight, there will be increasing clouds, with a slight, 10 percent chance of showers Friday and a 40 percent chance of showers Friday night.

On Saturday, showers are likely with a 60 percent chance of rain in the day and in the evening and a high temperature of 63 degrees.

Showers also are likely Sunday through Wednesday, the webpage states. By Wednesday, the website states, it should be mostly sunny with a high temperature near 65 degrees.

Marine Lecture Scheduled for March 4

posted: February 26th, 2015 05:21 am | 0No Comments

An Orange County Natural History Lecture Series event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday March 4 at the Back Bay Science Center.

Jere H. Lipps, director of the John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center, will present a lecture called “Dinosaurs to People: The History of Life in Orange County,” according to an event invitation.

“Join us as we cover 180 million years of biological and geological history in Orange County,” the invitation states. “Dr. Lipps takes us from the ancient tropical past through the appearance and extinction of dinosaurs and marine mammals to the arrival of humans and the development of modern-day Orange County.”

Lipps, a paleontologist, geologist, archaeologist and biologist, has a strong interest in climate change and sea level rise and the effects on the people of Southern California, as well as “the processes of evolution and extinction of marine animals ranging from single-celled foraminifera through reefs to marine mammals and the origin of animals more than 500 million years ago,” the invitation states.
He combines field, lab and molecular biology techniques in his studies and has worked in more than 100 countries and all continents.

The John D. Cooper Archaeological and Paleontological Center is a partnership between Orange County and Cal State Fullerton “to manage and utilize the County’s collection of artifacts and fossils for the benefit of the people of the County,” the invitation states.

The Back Bay Science Center is located at 600 Shellmaker Road in Newport Beach.

The parking and lecture are free, but advance reservations are requested by emailing marine education @ newportbeachca dot gov.

The gate opens at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 7:15 p.m.