No Fireworks in NB — And Police (And Maybe You) Will Be on the Lookout

posted: July 3rd, 2015 11:21 am | 0No Comments

You might be able to buy so-called safe and sane fireworks in Costa Mesa and Huntington Beach. But if you light them here in Newport Beach, you’re breaking the law and police want to know about it.

“Police officers will be out in force this year, actively looking for illegal fireworks,” a community advisory sent this week said.

The advisory also says that if you witness illegal fireworks, you should report it immediately by calling (949) 644-3717.

“Given the high call volume during the holiday weekend, we ask that callers provide specific and timely information whenever possible; let us know where illegal activity is taking place (an exact address is very helpful) right away so that officers can address the issue,” the advisory said. “Violators will be cited and fireworks will be confiscated.”

Illegal fireworks include sparklers and fountains, the advisory states.

Last year, police issued three fireworks citations on July 4, said department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella, and so far this holiday season, they have not seen any “significant fireworks activity.” Fireworks did not cause any significant injuries in 2014, she said.

But residents have safety concerns about fireworks, she said, which prompted the advisory message.

“Because of the nature of fireworks activity, it is very difficult to respond and enforce effectively… unless we are notified in a timely manner and given the specific location where the activity is taking place,” she said. “Arming our residents with some tips on how to report fireworks will help them to partner with the NBPD against illegal fireworks activity and will help us, in turn, be more effective in our enforcement.”

This year, the Newport Beach Police Department also will send texts with traffic and other advisories on July 4 to anyone who signs up by texting NBJULY4TH​ to 888777.

CdMHS Football Players Take a Break From Summer Camp, Launch Tradition of Volunteering

posted: July 3rd, 2015 04:40 am | 0No Comments

Stop Hunger - Group Pic

Stop Hunger 2

A group of 70 Corona del Mar High School football players, along with 10 of their coaches, took a break from drills and training this week and spent time in Santa Ana, assembling more than 10,000 meals that will be delivered to Vietnam.

Head Coach Dan O’Shea, in his first season after four years as the team’s defensive coordinator, said this was the first-ever team Volunteer Day.

“We had talked about it, but this was our first time to do it,” he said. “We will definitely be doing this every year.”

On Wednesday, the players and coaches spent two hours at Stop Hunger Now’s Santa Ana facility. The international organization, founded in 1998, has provided more 180 million meals in 65 countries, the organization’s website states.

In all, the players packaged 10,152 meals, O’Shea said. The meals include a soy protein, rice and a dehydrated fruit or vegetable, which are bagged and shipped to people who are “in starvation mode,” O’Shea said.

“We explained the numbers to the kids,” he said. “The number of starving people in the world is staggering. Our kids need to do this. We’re very blessed in Corona del Mar.”

The athlete played music, singing along and banging a gong every time they packaged another 1,000 meals.

“It was phenomenal,” O’Shea said. “Not only as a team-building exercise. Our goal isn’t just to have you be a great football player. Our goal is to make you a better man.”

Summer camp is in its second week, he said, and then the team will have three weeks off before regular practice resumes.

Photos courtesy of Corona del Mar High School.

Your Guide to July 4 In Newport Beach

posted: July 2nd, 2015 08:37 am | 0No Comments

Parades — the boat and bicycle varieties — along with community festivals, a World War II-era airplane flyover and three different fireworks displays will help Newport Beach residents and visitors celebrate the Fourth of July on Saturday.

According to city fliers and webpages, the July 4 holiday will begin in Newport Beach at 9 a.m. Saturday with a bike parade beginning at 38th Street Park, located at Balboa Boulevard and 38th Street. Participants should decorate bikes, scooters, wagons and strollers and keep dogs on leashes, the city’s website states.

After the parade, there will be a free community festival from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. in Channel Place Park, where there will be carnival games, giant slides, jump houses, arts and crafts and food.For more information on this event, contact the Recreation and Senior Services Department at (949) 644-3151.

At 10:30 a.m., the Mariners Park Independence Day parade will begin at the corner of Commodore and Mariners Drive at 10:30 a.m. After the parade, there will be a community celebration from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Mariners Park at 1300 Irvine Ave. The Mariners Elementary School Foundation and City of Newport Beach co-host this event, which includes games, activities and food that are available to those who have purchased a wristband. The bands are $15 each, or $10 for toddlers, and can be purchased at the event or in advance. For more information, call (949) 644-3151 or click here to see the Mariners Foundation website.

At 1:30 p.m., the American Legion Yacht Club and American Legion Post 291 will host the annual Old Glory Boat Parade in Newport Harbor. This year’s theme is United We Stand, and the parade will begin at Collins Island and follow a route throughout the harbor until 3:30 p.m. For more information, click here.

There also will be a July 4 coastal flyover performed by the Condor Squadron Officer’s and Airmen’s Association, a non-profit organization founded by a group of WWII fighter pilots. Four AT-6s will fly over Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and San Clemente, beginning in Huntington Beach and expected to fly over Newport Beach between 6:10 and 6:15 p.m.

There also will be fireworks at Big Canyon and a private display on a barge off the Wedge that will be visible from the Peninsula and parts of Corona del Mar, along with a Newport Beach-sponsored Fireworks Extravaganza with the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort at 1131 Back Bay Drive. Fireworks will begin at 9 p.m. Newport Beach residents can walk into the fireworks show at no charge, but the Dunes has a full day of holiday activities planned and will charge for car and bike parking. For more information on the Dunes’ holiday schedule, click here or call (949) 729-DUNE.

The Newport Beach Police Department has created a flier with information about all the events, along with information about street closures, parking restrictions and other laws regarding alcohol in public areas, use of fireworks, rooftop gatherings, the illegality of throwing water balloons or spraying water at pedestrians, bicycles or vehicles as well as beach hours and rules. To see the flier, click here.

Siren Test Scheduled For Friday

posted: July 2nd, 2015 04:20 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Outdoor Emergency Notification System will be tested between noon and 12:15 p.m. Friday, according to the city’s website.

The system consists of three warning sirens connected to a control panel at the Newport Beach Police Department. The sirens have been placed so they can be heard at Big Corona Beach as well as in West Newport and along the Balboa Peninsula.

The tests will be brief and the siren will sound at a reduced level. City officials say that if an actual emergency occurs, the sirens will sound for a longer time period and at much higher levels.

Thunderstorms in Forecast Today; Lifeguards Ask Beach Visitors, Boaters to Be Careful

posted: July 1st, 2015 02:17 pm | 0No Comments

Beach visitors and boaters should be cautious in and around the water today due to thunderstorms in the forecast, the city’s website states.

A post at 12:23 p.m. said that lifeguards are requesting caution because the beach “may be one of the worst places to be during a lightning storm.”

On Tuesday, lifeguards ended the Junior Guards program early and cleared beaches after lighting strikes were seen; read our story here.

According to the National Weather Service website, there is a 20 percent chance of precipitation this afternoon and a chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms with a high near 74 degrees. Tonight, there is a 20 percent chance of showers after 11 p.m., and Thursday there is a 20 percent chance of showers before 11 a.m., then the day will be mostly sunny with a high near 74 degrees. Friday will have patchy fog before 11 a.m., then cloudy through mid-mornign with gradual clearing and a high temperature of 71 degrees.

July 4 should be mostly cloudy, then gradually become sunny with a high near 70. Saturday night should have increasing clouds with a low near 63 degrees.

The city website offered the following tips in case a thunderstorm occurs:

• Beach goers should take shelter off the sand.
• If you are in the water and hear thunder, return to shore and take cover off the beach as quickly as possible.
• Open spaces should be avoided; heading indoors is the safest possible option.
• Generally, after 30 minutes without additional lightning or thunder, it is safe to return to the beach.
• Boaters and others in/on the water should observe the tips below to keep yourself and your family safe during thunderstorms:
• Always check the forecast before heading out into the water.
• If you are in the water and hear thunder, exit the water, dry off, and take shelter as quickly as possible.
• If you are in a boat and hear thunder, head back to the dock as soon as possible.
• Boats with aluminum hulls are especially at risk during a lightning strike.
• If you are in a boat and cannot make it back to harbor in a timely manner, move as quickly as possible away from the storm.

From the Police Log: Petty Theft From Vehicle on Waterfront Drive

posted: July 1st, 2015 02:08 pm | 0No Comments

A thief stole $745 in items from a car in the 2200 block of Waterfront Drive, according to a police report.

The petty theft from a motor vehicle was reported Tuesday. The theft occurred between 10 p.m. Saturday and 5 a.m. Sunday, the report said.

Police took a burglary report at 10:49 a.m. today in the 7900 block of East Coast Highway, online logs state. Police also responded to a report of a structure fire at 12:01 p.m. today in the 1400 block of Avocado Avenue, but the incident turned out to be burning toast and not a fire.

For Second Year, Private Fireworks Show to Be Visible For CdM Residents

posted: July 1st, 2015 04:57 am | 0No Comments

Last summer, Corona del Mar residents were surprised when their July 4 holiday night suddenly was aglow with fireworks from a private display set off from a barge near the Wedge.

This summer, the same private resident has applied and been granted a permit for another July 4 display.

According to the special events permit, the fireworks will be set off from 9 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday from a barge on the ocean near the Wedge. The permit, which cost $2,671, is for the Caruso 4th of July Party/Fireworks Display and allows for an event from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. including the fireworks. The permit, issued Monday, states that 45 people will be attending, and includes conditions such as no alcohol on public property,that all boats must be a minimum of 1,000 feet from shore and that the event must be comply with conditions from the Newport Beach Fire Department, including an inspection.

Deputy Police Chief David McGill said that spectators will be able to see the display from various locations on the Peninsula and Corona del Mar, and that people should not attempt to go to the Wedge for viewing. Beaches will be closing at 10 p.m. promptly, he said, and traffic congestion could be severe if crowds head to the Wedge for fireworks.

City staff on Monday also issued two other special event permits for fireworks displays, including the city-sponsored display at the Dunes Waterfront Resort. That display is permitted to go from 9 to 9:25 p.m. The other permit is for fireworks at Big Canyon, where the display will go from 9 to 9:20 p.m.

Last year, city staff did not announce the private display in advance because of concerns that the holiday, which fell on a Friday, would create traffic congestion and crowd control problems on an already-taxed police department; read our story here.

Lightning Interrupts Junior Guards — Possibly For First Time in Program History

posted: June 30th, 2015 06:51 pm | 0No Comments

photo (2)The Newport Beach Junior Guards program was underway, participants riding waves in the ocean and others taking a snack break on the sand, when two whistles blew. Then two whistles blew again, and again.

Instructors had spotted lighting strikes in the area, and they immediately cleared the beach and canceled the rest of the day’s activities.

Newport Beach police issued an emergency alert just before 4 p.m., warning that lifeguards had reported several lighting strikes close to the beach. A City Hall Facebook message said that beach visitors should “immediately seek shelter away from the water and off of the beaches.” Newport Beach Junior Guards officials sent parents an email, announcing that the program was shut down 20 minutes before the 4 p.m. end time because of weather.

“At 3:40 p.m., we started clearing the beach of Junior Guards,” said Capt. Brian O’Rourke, who oversees the program. “We moved everyone to the park in Balboa, and the instructors took final roll to make sure that we had everyone accounted for.”

The early cancellation and evacuation of guards was the first time that lighting has interrupted the 31-year-old Junior Guard program, O’Rourke said.

Visibile lightning strikes seemed very close to the Balboa area, with “very active thunder,” he said. Instructors took guards into the Balboa Inn garage for shelter, where they waited for parents to pick up about 700 children.

“It was a very organized and calm evacuation and cover by the instructors and the Junior Guard participants,” O’Rourke said An all-clear was given at 4:40 p.m., he said.

Within minutes of the alert and the first raindrops, crowds heading away from local beaches jammed roads including Marguerite Avenue and Balboa Boulevard. The line for the Balboa Ferry was several blocks long.

The police alert warned that lighting is extremely dangerous, especially at the beach.

“Beach-goers should take shelter off the sand,” the alert said. “If you are in the water and hear thunder, return to shore and take cover off the beach as quickly as possible. Open spaces should be avoided; heading indoors is the safest possible option.”

In general, the alert said, you should wait for 30 minutes without lightning or thunder before it is safe to return to the beach.

The alert also offered safety tips for boaters and others on or in the water in these weather conditions:

• Always check the forecast before heading out into the water.
• If you are in the water and hear thunder, exit the water, dry off, and take shelter as quickly as possible.
• If you are in a boat and hear thunder, head back to the dock as soon as possible. Boats with aluminum hulls are especially at risk during a lightning strike.
• If you are in a boat and cannot make it back to harbor in a timely manner, move as quickly as possible away from the storm.

Photo courtesy of the NBJG program.

From the Police Log: Pair Arrested in Stolen Car Case

posted: June 30th, 2015 06:33 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested two people Saturday on suspicion of taking autos without the owner’s consent, reports say.

The pair were driving a stolen gold Buick sedan northbound on Coast Highway, said Newport Beach Police Department spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella.

“Officers stopped the vehicle just past Pelican Point Drive and both parties were taken into custody,” she said.

A woman, 42, of Huntington Beach, was arrested at East Coast Highway and Pelican Point Drive at 5:55 p.m. The woman, who also had two misdemeanor warrants, had bail set at $20,000. A man, 43, of Orange, was arrested at 5:56 p.m. at the same location, and his bail also was $20,000, a report said.

A grand theft from a motor vehicle was reported in the 2300 block of Second Avenue on Sunday, according to a police report. The theft, with a loss of $1,000, occurred between 6 a.m. and 3:27 p.m. Friday, a report said.

Police took a report of tampering with a vehicle in the 4600 block of Brighton Road at 2:18 a.m. Monday, and they took a report of shoplifting less than $950 on Monday in the 3400 block of East Coast Highway. The shoplifting, with a loss of $22, occurred between 2:23 and 2:29 p.m.

Police took a report of petty theft of motor vehicle parts, with no amount lost, on Friday in the 23000 block of Newport Coast Drive. The theft occurred between 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Friday, the report said. Officers also took a report of forgery with no loss listed on Friday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive. The incident occurred between noon and 12:05 p.m. May 19.

Police took a report of annoying or threatening communication on Friday in the 3400 block of Catamaran Drive. The incident occurred between 3:29 p.m. March 1 and 3:29 p.m. Friday. Officers also took a report of misdemeanor vandalism/defacing property on Thursday in the 3800 block of Inlet Isle Drive. The incident occurred between 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. Thursday, a report said.

Police also took a report of petty theft of mail or packages on Thursday in the 500 block of Seaward Road. The theft, with a $400 loss, occurred between 2:02 p.m. June 2 and 11 a.m. June 19.

Police arrested a 35-year-old San Clemente man at 3:33 a.m. Monday at San Joaquin Hills Road and Avocado Avenue on suspicion of possession of narcotics, possession of unlawful paraphernalia and two felony warrants from San Bernardino; bail was $10,000, a report said. Officers also arrested a 43-year-old Costa Mesa man at 5:13 p.m. Saturday in the 1000 block of Avocado Avenue on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated; bail was $500.

Police also arrested a a 64-Glendale man at 6:49 p.m. Saturday in the 3300 block of East Coast Highway on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated and drinking in public; bail was $500.

SoCal Ed Issues Flex Alert For Today, Wednesday

posted: June 30th, 2015 12:56 pm | 0No Comments

The California Independent System Operator has issued a Flex Alert for today and Wednesday, according to the Southern California Edison’s website.

“Demand for electricity is predicted to increase throughout today and tomorrow due to hot weather conditions,” the website states. “Southern California Edison (SCE) is issuing an urgent call for customers to please reduce electricity usage now through 9 p.m. Wednesday.”

The Flex Alert is in effect from 2 to 9 p.m. today and Wednesday.

Customers should try to conserve energy, including turning off unnecessary lights, postponing the use of major appliances and turning air-conditioning thermostats up to 78 degrees or higher.