CdM Residents Association Hosts Final Political Forum

posted: October 16th, 2014 07:52 am | 0No Comments

A crowd of more than 150 people gathered at the OASIS Senior Center on Wednesday for the last political forum of the season, an event that lasted 2 1/2 hours but focused as much on one-on-one opportunities to mingle with candidates and discuss Measure Y as it did on the formal program.

The event began at 5:30 p.m. with nearly an hour to register and socialize. City Council candidates had tables set up along the edges of the Evelyn Hart Event Hall, with pins, stickers, yard signs and brochures. There also were tables with information for and against Measure Y, which proposes changes to the City’s land-use portion of the general plan.

The candidate forum began at 6:35 p.m. and lasted 30 minutes, starting with a chance for all candidates to make statements. Every Council candidate attended except for Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, who underwent heart bypass surgery on Monday but vowed to continue his campaign.

Corona del Mar Residents Association founding board member and past president Debra Allen, moderated the panel and asked questions about parking, Measure Y and a CdM bypass plan, which would divert traffic from East Coast Highway through the village possibly by reducing or eliminating the 73 Toll road fees through Newport Coast.

The candidates shared common views on most issues.

The last part of the forum included a 20-minute discussion on Measure Y, with opponent Dennis Baker and proponent Larry Tucker representing each side. As volunteers cleaned up, guests had about 30 minutes to continue to chat and mingle with candidates.

City Council members Nancy Gardner and Ed Selich, along with Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustee Karen Yelsey were in the audience.

Others who attended said the forum wouldn’t change their votes but clarified their positions on the candidates and issue.

“Every single time you hear them, you see a different side and you learn more,” said Mary Lou Hergel, who said she’d attended three forums this year. “But it’s a no brainer for me. I’m very biased.”

Corona del Mar resident Adriana Fourcher agreed.

“It was informational but did not sway me,” she said. “It was a great forum. It was short and sweet, which was nice.”

CdMRA President Karen Tringali said she was happy with the turnout, and that the forum did what she hoped it would do.

“We called it ‘The More You Know,’ and I think we captured that,” she said.

The CdMRA board presented a gift of succulent plants to Councilwoman Gardner at the beginning of the event to thank her for years of service. Gardner is finishing her last term representing District 6.

Was she relieved she wasn’t on the dais, answering questions?

“No, I like that,” she said. “I was sitting here thinking, ‘Oh, why didn’t you say this or that…’”

Photos courtesy of Corona del Mar Today reader Frank Peters.

Child Cyber Trafficking Presentation Planned For Oct. 29

posted: October 16th, 2014 05:21 am | 0No Comments

St. Mark Presbyterian Church will host a free presentation on how to keep children safe from cyber trafficking from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 29.

“Child Cyber Trafficking: Why Your Child/Teen is At Risk” will offer parents and caregivers tips on how to detect the signs of online danger and how to respond if their children are victimized, according to an event news release. The event will be a non-religious presentation and will be adults-only.

Speakers will include Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice.

“Sandra serves as the University Network Chairperson on the Faith Alliance against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) Steering Committee,” the release said. “She began her anti-trafficking work in Athens, Greece where she served on the Board of the Athens International Nurses Association. She has also served as the administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) before returning full-time to Vanguard to extend the GCWJ’s work globally.”

Retired Deputy Chief Derek Marsh, who served at the Westminster Police Department for more than 26 years, also will speak. Marsh helped start the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force in 2004 and served as the co-chair of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force from 2004 through 2012, the release said. He has testified in front of Congress twice as an expert witness about local law enforcement issues in human trafficking.

There will be a question and answer session after the presentations.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church is located at 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road at MacArthur Boulevard. For more information call (949) 644-1341.

Coyote Chases Joggers, Dogs on Crystal Cove Trail

posted: October 15th, 2014 01:29 pm | 0No Comments


A woman and her daughter said a coyote chased them and their dogs for a quarter mile on a Crystal Cove State Park trail early Tuesday evening.

“It was crazy,” said Lisa Goon, a former Corona del Mar resident who now lives in the Port Streets. “It would not leave us alone. It was surreal.”

The incident occurred about 6 p.m., when Lisa and her daughter, Maddy, 18, decided to go for a run with their two dogs. They started running at the beginning of a trail near Pelican Point Drive, each with a dog on a 5-foot-long leash.

“Maddy is a faster runner, so she ran down the ramp and was going to wait by the bathrooms,” Lisa said. “All of a sudden I heard panicked screaming, and I saw someone’s arms flailing above the brush.”

Lisa said she ran with her dog, Bode, toward her daughter. Meanwhile, she said, Maddy said she was running with her 22-pound dog, Chloe, when the dog suddenly stopped, then pulled away from Maddy’s grasp.

According to Lisa, a coyote that looked like a big German shepherd was in the path and appeared to be about to pounce on the dog. Maddy lunged to grab the leash, scraping her knees, coming within a foot or two of the coyote. Then she and the dog turned and ran.

Lisa said she ran toward them and maneuvered herself and her larger dog between the coyote and her daughter, but the coyote continued toward them.

“I raised my arms and roared,” she said. “It stopped, but it didn’t scare it away.”

She told her daughter to pick up the smaller dog and run.

“The coyote was interested in getting to that dog,” she said. “I stood there and roared at the coyote.”

Then she began backing slowly away, up the trail for about a quarter mile, with the coyote following her a few feet away.

“I wasn’t turning my back on it,” she said. When she reached East Coast Highway, she said, the coyote finally turned and left them alone.

“I have run that trail a million times,” Lisa said. “I’ve seen bobcats but never anything like this.”

It was close to dusk but still light outside, Lisa said.

Coyotes tend to show themselves at that time of day, said Valerie Schomburg, a Newport Beach Police Department Animal Control officer.

Online police logs show a report of a “vicious animal loose” at East Coats Highway and Los Trancos about 6:39 p.m. Lisa and Maddy drove home but did not immediately report the coyote to police, and details were not available about the later animal sighting.

Lisa said her daughter showed incredible bravery.

“Her fight really kicked in, not her flight,” she said. “It was seriously scary, and she is seriously brave.”

A Crystal Cove State Park superintendent did not immediately return a call seeking comment for this story.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Goon, showing Maddy with Chloe when the dog was a puppy.

Council OK’s A-Frame Signs for CdM; Other Areas Could Follow

posted: October 15th, 2014 10:25 am | 1Comment

The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved changes to the city code that will allow A-frame signs to be placed in front of Corona del Mar businesses, and Balboa Village and other areas in the city also could eventually have signs permitted.

Council’s support of the A-frame signs contrasted with the city’s Planning Commission, which in August approved the measure in a 4-2 vote. At that meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Larry Tucker said that any business owner currently using the signs was a scofflaw, and he predicted that sidewalks would be overrun with signs in an “A-frame sign war.” Commissioners also were concerned that city staff would be overwhelmed by trying to ensure the signs were placed on private property and not in the public right of way. Read our earlier story here.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District sent a letter to the city in January, asking for changes in city code that would allow A-frame signs.

The Planning Commission had considered allowing the signs throughout the city, but in some areas, including Balboa Island, merchants did not want the signs, so the commissioners limited the signs to Corona del Mar only.

At Tuesday’s Council meeting, however, Councilman Mike Henn said that Balboa Village merchants were interested in having A-frame signs, perhaps for a one-year trial period.

“I would support that,” Mayor Rush Hill said. “There are other areas in town that might want to be included.”

The Council considered delaying the matter entirely, but in the end voted to approve the signs for Corona del Mar and decide about other areas in a separate action item later.

There was no public comment, despite an email from the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce sent to members asking them to make their opinions known on the topic.

City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner of Corona del Mar recused herself because the City Attorney said she had a conflict because she owns property within 500 feet of where signs may be placed. The vote was 6-0.

The new law would allow A-frame signs within 10 feet of the primary entrance of a business or a pedestrian courtyard. The signs should not interfere with pedestrians or block parking spaces, or be located in landscape planters, among other restrictions. The signs also should not be illuminated or have flags, pennants or balloons.

CdM Home Tour Underway

posted: October 14th, 2014 02:16 pm | 0No Comments

The CdM Home Tour — the only fundraiser each year for the Corona del Mar High School PTA — is currently underway, with more than 1,600 participants spending the day visiting seven homes in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach.

“I liked the nooks and crannies in the Port Streets one, the views in the Spyglass one and the pool in the Roger’s Gardens one,” said Charlene Metoyer, former principal of Harbor View Elementary School and current school board candidate.

Metoyer said it was her first home tour experience, but others said they’d been going for years.

“We wouldn’t miss it,” said Karen Julian, who with her husband is building the AERIE condominium complex that broke ground this fall at Carnation Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

This year, she said, she noticed a lot of brightly colored glass tiles.

Which was her favorite home?

“They’re all so different,” she said.

The event began with breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien at Fashion Island, then self-guided stops at the seven featured homes, which included the Cameo Shores home of Roger’s Gardens’ owners Kerry and Gavin Herbert; read more about their home in our story here. Participants gathered for lunch at Sherman Library & Gardens, where there also was a boutique featuring booths selling jewelry, pillows, B.Toffee, stationery and more.

The event will conclude with a reception at Bliss Home & Design from 4 to 6 p.m.

Last year’s tour raised more than $200,000, and organizers said they hoped to raise even more this year.

Sister City Celebration Includes Shogun Statue Unveiling

posted: October 14th, 2014 02:05 pm | 0No Comments

With bamboo in the background, strains of Japanese music in the air and a guest in a kimono bowing to those wearing jeans, the Central Library this morning set a perfect stage for an East-meets-West celebration of 30 years of Sister City partnership between Newport Beach and Okazaki, Japan.

“We are grateful you are here with us,” Mayor Rush Hill told 32 delegates visiting from Okazaki as a translator repeated his words in Japanese.

Okazaki Mayor Yashuhiro Uchida also spoke.

“I hope we can continue to cultivate this wonderful friendship,” he said.

To mark the Sister City 30-year anniversary, the Japanese delegates had given a statue to Newport Beach depicting Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, who was born in Okazaki and is considered to be the founder of the Edo Period and the first shogun to establish a peaceful Japan. The sculpture is made of granite from Okazaki.

“To us, he’s a superhero,” Uchido said. “Any Japanese person would know about him.”

Then he and Mayor Hill lifted a black cloth to unveil the Friendship Statue, and Yasuko and Seth Siegel of the Sister Cities Newport Beach group blessed the statue.

“This statue will be here, hopefully, eternally, as a symbols of peace,” Siegel said.

The Japanese delegates also received gifts — pens and lapel pins — from Newport Beach. At tonight’s City Council meeting, they also will receive a proclamation and keys to the city.

The Japanese delegates arrived Sunday and Monday and have toured City Hall and the Civic Center Park, where they enjoyed the bunny sculptures, said Liddy Paulsen, President of Sister Cities Newport Beach. The group will spend the afternoon at Fashion Island, enjoy a harbor cruise and leave Wednesday or Thursday, said Connie Skibba, a Sister Cities board member.

The ceremony included photo opportunities, a performance of “Amazing Grace” and a traditional Japanese dance, “Crane and Turtle,” performed by Kyoko Kamio, who wore a pale pink kimono with a gold obi and danced with a gold fan. Before she began, she insisted the guests of honor move from the front of the audience because dancing with her back to them would be impolite, her translator said.

Robyn Grant, a Newport Beach Board of Library trustee, said her favorite part of the event was noting the similarities in the two cities and their organizational systems.

“They have a mayor and a city council, we have a mayor and a city council,” she said. “The symmetry between our cities is amazing.”

About 75 people attended the event, including former Mayor Don Webb, City Council members Keith Curry and Nancy Gardner and City Manager Dave Kiff. The ceremony concluded with refreshments that included cups of tea and trays of sushi.

The statue, however, already has been removed from the Central Library’s Bamboo Courtyard, said Tim Hetherton, library services director.

Eventually, he said, it will be installed at Irvine Terrace Park, where other gifts from Okazaki are placed, along with benches that commemorate two men who helped forge the Sister City friendship.

City staff said the statue was unveiled at the library because the setting was more suited for the event.

Code Enforcement Officers to Speak at CdMRA Meeting

posted: October 14th, 2014 05:07 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar Residents Association’s monthly board meeting will take place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. Thursday, with Newport Beach code enforcement officers scheduled as guest speakers, according to the meeting’s agenda.

The meeting will take place in room 5 of the OASIS Senior Center at Fifth and Marguerite avenues. The meeting will include City Council reports from three council members, along with code enforcement information. There also will be updates from a Planning Commission member and a Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission member, as well as updates from a reforestation committee and a safe streets committee, and a recap of a political forum that will be held by the group on Wednesday at the OASIS center.

Four-Car Crash Causes One Minor Injury

posted: October 13th, 2014 06:08 pm | 0No Comments

A four-vehicle collision occurred at 5:25 p.m. Sunday at San Joaquin Hills Road and San Miguel Drive, police said.

“The initial collision involved a Mercedes SUV headed northbound on San Miguel and another car that was headed eastbound on San Joaquin Hills Road,” said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella. “The Mercedes then went over the center median and collided with two cars that were waiting to turn left onto southbound San Miguel.”

A man driven the second vehicle, which was headed eastbound on San Joaquin Hills Road, sustained minor injuries but was transported to a hospital for medical attention, she said.

From the Police Log: DUI, Defrauding Innkeeper Arrests

posted: October 13th, 2014 04:03 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a 49-year-old San Clemente man Friday afternoon in the 2300 block of East Coast Highway on suspicion of defrauding an innkeeper of less than $950, police reports said.

The man was arrested at 2:16 p.m., and bail was set at $500.

Police arrested a 34-year-old Los Angeles man at 9:20 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of DUI at Irvine Terrace and East Coast Highway, reports state. His bail was $10,000. Officers took a report at 8:44 p.m. that night of a DUI with a prior arrest, records state.

Officers took a report of a grand theft from a motor vehicle with a $40,633 loss on Wednesday. The theft occurred between 9 a.m. Oct. 7 and 8 a.m. the next day, a report said.

Police also arrested a 57-year-old Costa Mesa man at 5:10 p.m. Thursday in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated. His bail was $500.

Officers took a report of identity theft in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive on Thursday. The incident, with no listed loss, occurred between 10 a.m. Sept. 28 and 12:46 p.m. Sept. 29. Police took a report of a petty theft/purse snatch on Thursday in the 7900 block of East Coast Highway. The incident, which occurred at 5:23 p.m., resulted in a loss of $180.

Police also took a report of taking an automobile without the owner’s consent in the 7900 block of East Coast Highway on Wednesday. The incident occurred between 10 a.m. Oct. 5 and 11:15 a.m. Wednesday. Police took a report of a petty theft of $50 in the 2900 block of Fourth Avenue on Wednesday; the theft had occurred between 7:15 and 9:15 a.m.

Officers arrested a 23-year-old Costa Mesa man on suspicion of obstructing an officer at 7:37 a.m. Sunday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive. His bail was $20,000. Officers also arrested a 69-year-old Laguna Beach man at 10:28 a.m. Sunday at East Coast Highway and Heliotrope Avenue on a warrant for drinking in public; his bail was $1,500.