Construction in Begonia Park Part of Water Quality Project

posted: November 25th, 2014 09:54 am | 0No Comments

Construction has begun in the lower section of Begonia Park to install a device that will collect trash before it reaches the ocean, part of a $1,277,350 project approved by the City Council in June.

The project will construct a Continuous Deflective Separation, or CDS, unit in Begonia Park. The project is expected to be complete by February.

A second unit is in design for installation on Bayside Drive at Fernleaf Avenue. CDS underground units use centrifugal action that lets water flow through but traps debris, including trash, leaves and sediment that crews will remove the debris before and after storms,vas well as throughout the year.

Read our earlier stories here and here.

Photo courtesy of Ron Yeo.


Residents Launch Effort to Create Buck Gully Lookout Point

posted: November 25th, 2014 05:04 am | 0No Comments

Between city funds and the Corona del Mar Business Improvement District, most of East Coast Highway through town is landscaped and cared for. But then there’s a stretch between the Shore Cliffs neighborhood and the Crown Cove senior care center, where trash collects in the dirt and weeds, all overlooking a view over Lower Buck Gully to the ocean.

“It’s the last remaining un-landscaped area along East Coast Highway,” resident Ron Yeo said at a recent Corona del Mar Residents Association meeting. “It’s a poor-looking area of Corona del Mar. It’s sort of an orphan, down there.”

Yeo, who is on the CdMRA’s Reforestation Committee, made a presentation at the group’s November board meeting, describing how the area could be transformed to create a Buck Gully Vista Point. The group plans to work with city staff, or perhaps the senior center, to add irrigation and to improve the area.

“We’ve tried for years to do something about it,” said Sandie Haskell, a board member. But the area is outside the B.I.D. boundaries, and the land is privately owned.

“It’s a gateway to Newport Beach, but it’s this big ugly thing coming into Corona del Mar,” she said.

Councilman-elect Scott Peotter attended the meeting and agreed to meet with Yeo and others to discuss the ideas.

Yeo said the area was not a destination point, where people would want to drive and park to enjoy the view, but rather a popular path for pedestrians heading to Crystal Cove State Park, or from neighborhoods on the southern part of town headed into the village.

“It has a lot of foot traffic,” said Karen Tringali, the CdMRA president.

The group voted unanimously to work to move the project to the city’s Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission. Yeo said the city might need to seek an easement to go forward with plans.

Bottom image courtesy of Ron Yeo.


Planned Signal Outage at San Joaquin, Marguerite on Tuesday

posted: November 24th, 2014 04:59 pm | 0No Comments

A planned signal outage at San Joaquin Hills Road at Marguerite Avenue is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, according to the City of Newport Beach’s website.

“While out of operation or flashing red, traffic signals are treated as 4-way stops in all directions,” the website states. “Alternate routes are recommended as traffic delays are expected.”

Crews were working on the signals in September, when a hardware issue resulted in days of four-way, flashing red lights.


From the Police Log: Alcohol-Related Arrests

posted: November 24th, 2014 02:19 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested two Bloomington men early Sunday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive, reports state.

One man, 20, was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated, and his bail was $500. The other man, 22, was booked on suspicion of DUI, and his bail was $2,500. The men were arrested at 5:08 a.m.

A 30-year-old Stanton woman was arrested at 12:05 a.m. Saturday in the 1500 block of Crown Drive on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated; her bail was $500, a report said. A 31-year-old Winnetka man was arrested at 4:52 p.m Saturday at East Coast Highway and Iris Avenue on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated; his bail was $500.

Officers arrested a 23-year-old Garden Grove man at 5:55 p.m. Saturday at East Coast Highway and Newport Center Drive on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and possession of metal knuckles. His bail was $20,000. At 5:55 p.m. at the same location, officers arrested a man, 22, of Orange on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and providing false identification to an officer; his bail was $500.

Police arrested a 20-year-old Anaheim man at 12:45 a.m. Friday at Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway on suspicion of DUI and obstruction an officer; bail was $2,500. At 2:49 a.m. Friday, police arrested a 23-year-old Costa Mesa man in the 100 block of Civic Center Drive on suspicion of obstruction an officer; bail was $500.

Police also arrested a 21-year-old Costa Mesa man at 8:51 p.m. Sunday in the 7800 block of East Coast Highway on suspicion of petty theft; his bail was $500.


CdMHS Teachers Don Turkey Suits For Make-A-Wish

posted: November 24th, 2014 10:57 am | 0No Comments

Two Corona del Mar High School teachers are taking turns wearing turkey suits this week as part of a fundraising contest for the school’s Make-A-Wish club.

“Not sure how I got so lucky,” said Laura Mayberry, who received 145 votes in the pay-per-vote campaign. “On the up side, Make-A-Wish has gotten a lot of attention on campus, which is very positive. I’ve heard students comment that they’ve never heard of fundraisers for Make-A-Wish before and many have been motivated to give money for this worthy cause.”

Last week, club members set up a table at breaks and lunch and collected a dollar per vote in the first-ever Turkey Teachers fundraiser, said Sabrina Froehlich, a senior who is co-president of the club. The idea, she said, came from an organization newsletter that offered fundraising ideas, and Newport Harbor High School’s club suggested the Turkey Teachers event.

“We thought, ‘This is amazing,’ so we jumped on it, too,” Froelich said.

First, she said, club members used dues to buy a $25 turkey costume online. Then they approached several teachers and Principal Kathy Scott, who all agreed to participate.

“We tried to think of the teachers who would have the most support, and we went to them and said, ‘You don’t need to do this, but if you want to, it would be really cool.’”

Mayberry tied with teacher Dave Sizer, who will wear the turkey suit on Tuesday. Other teachers, including Brandon Fischer and Jennifer Walters also participated, Froehlich said.

“Ms. Mayberry was threatening students not to vote for her,” Froehlich said. “Which made students want to vote.”

The fundraiser raised $349, which made it worthwhile despite having to wear a full-fledged turkey suit to school, Mayberry said.

“Last year the club didn’t raise enough money to grant a child a wish, so this year they have committed to trying to raise money to grant two wishes,” Mayberry said. “While the turkey outfit isn’t particularly appealing, I was motivated to participate to raise money for this cause and to help my students make their club and vision a success. It is important students feel supported by their teachers. The fundraiser was very creative and a big hit.”

Mayberry said she hoped her students would enjoy her turkey garb, and that it would remind them not to take life too seriously and to be philanthropic.

“Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for the things we have and to thank those who help us when they don’t have to,” she said.

The CdMHS Make-A-Wish club is hosting another fundraiser Nov. 28, 29 and 30, where club members will be at Tommy Bahama’s in Corona del Mar Plaza to wrap gifts. All donations and tips will be contributed to the club’s sponsorship of a child’s wish, Froehlich said.

Photo courtesy of Sabrina Froehlich.


Arts on Council Study Session Agenda

posted: November 24th, 2014 07:14 am | 0No Comments

The last City Council meeting of the year before four sitting Council members make way for newly elected ones will take place Tuesday at the Civic Center.

The Study Session will begin at 4 p.m. and will include a presentation about the City’s Arts and Culture Master Plan, according to the meeting’s agenda. Arts OC, a group hired by the City, will present the final plan, which was approved by the Arts Commission at its last meeting.

“The current City Council will not adopt the plan, as the Plan will be considered by the 2014-2016 City Council sometime after the first of the year as a decision item,” City Manager Dave Kiff said in an emailed Insider’s Guide to the Council meeting. “This is a chance to hear more about it prior to further consideration.”

“Several public areas are addressed in this plan as venues for a variety of arts and cultural events and concerts,” according to an email blast from the Corona del Mar Residents Association. “Venues like the Civic Center, Oasis and others are in close proximity to residential areas, and we therefore encourage you to review the plan in detail.”

Click here to read the plan.

The regular meeting begins at 7 p.m. The agenda’s consent calendar items includes a plan to spend $119,8000 on playground improvements in 2014-2015, as well as an amendment the the City’s management agreement with the New Irvine Ranch Conservancy for the Buck Gully Open Space Reserve.

There also will be a public hearing on a Balboa Village Parking Management District and Resident Parking Permit Program, and the Council could approve a $1.2 million project that will improve the pavement on a stretch of San Joaquin Hills Road between Marguerite Avenue and Spyglass.

“Other streets are in there, too, but this is a section that nearly knocks your teeth out,” Kiff’s email said. “Orange County’s Measure M2 (the sales tax increase for transportation) covers the lion’s share of this project’s cost.”

There also will be a discussion of paying down the City’s unfunded liability more quickly, the agenda states.

“This is called a ‘fresh start,’ and the City Council has done it once before – back in April 2013,” Kiff wrote. “It means that instead of rolling the unfunded pension liability forward too far into the future, you work with Cal-PERS to accelerate the payments, paying more earlier (especially in the first 5 years). In April 2013, the estimate of savings for the first fresh start over 30 years was $113 million (that set an amortization period for our Public Safety pension plan of 25 years, among other things). This time, the amortization period would shrink to 19 years, costing about $23 million over five years but saving $129 million over 30 years.”

To see the complete agenda, with links to staff reports, click here.

The meeting will take place in Council Chambers at the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive. The public may attend and make comments.


CdM Today Poll of the Week

posted: November 24th, 2014 05:01 am | 0No Comments


CdM Sunset, 11/23/2014

posted: November 23rd, 2014 04:58 pm | 0No Comments


Crystal Cove Tree Lighting Event Planned for Dec. 6

posted: November 23rd, 2014 11:11 am | 0No Comments

The annual Crystal Cove State Park “Deck the Cove” event will take place Saturday Dec. 6, with a tree-lighting ceremony, holiday bazaar and a beachfront appearance by Santa Claus.

The free family event, sponsored by the Crystal Cove Alliance, will take place in the park’s Historic District, according to a news release.

“The main event is the 18th annual tree-lighting ceremony, a tradition that has grown in size and scope each year,” the release said. At sunset, the beach will be illuminated with lights and ornaments on a holiday tree.

“Décor will reflect the vintage character of the historic district’s time period between 1935 and 1955,” the release said. “In addition to the tree lighting, the historic district’s seaside cottages will be transformed into a seasonal display of holiday lights, vintage decorations and giant candy canes.”

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. you can visit the holiday bazaar, with hand-crafted holiday gifts for sale, and an art show and sale with paintings of Crystal Cove created by California Plein Air Artists. There also will be free lessons on wire-wrapping local sea glass, allowing you to turn sea glass into jewelry or ornaments to keep.

“We look forward to this tradition every year because it awakens the magical history and old-fashioned holiday spirit of Crystal Cove,” said Laura Davick, founder and director of external affairs for the Crystal Cove Alliance, in an email. “We hope Orange County families will bundle up to join our festivities and become a part of the most unique tree display in Southern California. This is an extra special time for children to get a few private beachside words with Santa about their holiday wishes. There is no better way to kick-off the holiday season with family and friends.”

Santa will arrive at 4 p.m., the release said, and the Beachcomber Cafe will provide hot cocoa, apple cider and homemade cookies. There also will be strolling carolers.

The tree, located by the cafe, is the only holiday tree on display along the California coast, the release said. It will remain lighted and decorated throughout the season.

The event is free, but parking is $5 per hour, or $15 for the day, at the Los Trances lot, located inland. There is a shuttle service to the Historic District that costs $1 each way. Organizers recommend carpooling.

Proceeds from sales at the event will help the Crystal Cove Alliance’s efforts to preserving the “cultural, natural and historic resources of Crystal Cove,” the release said. The alliance has created educational programs and renovated 29 historic beachfront cottages in the park that are available for overnight stays.


Thanksgiving Holiday Closures

posted: November 23rd, 2014 05:47 am | 0No Comments

Newport Beach City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday. City library branches also will be closed beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and the OASIS Senior Center will be closed Thursday and Friday.

Also, trash pickup on Thursday will take place instead on Friday, and Friday’s pickup will be delayed until Saturday. There will be no city street sweeping on Thursday or Friday.

Banks and post office branches also will be closed on Thursday, and Newport-Mesa Unified School District schools will be closed Wednesday through Friday.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District meeting, typically held on the fourth Thursday each month, will be held at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 4 instead.