CdM Chamber Mixer Scheduled for July 29

posted: July 24th, 2014 05:31 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will host a Sunset Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday July 29 at Sherman Library & Gardens in the library building, according to an emailed invitation.

The event is free for members at $20 for guests and will include live music, networking opportunities, appetizers and refreshments and a docent-led tour of the gardens.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 East Coast Highway. Free parking will be available behind Sherman Library & Gardens.

Passengers, Dog Rescued After Boat Catches Fire and Sinks off Crystal Cove

posted: July 23rd, 2014 04:56 pm | 1Comment

A 24-foot long boat caught fire 3 1/2 miles off Crystal Cove this afternoon, a Orange County Sheriff’s Harbor Patrol official said.

The fire occurred about 3:30 p.m., and two passengers and their dog were rescued by another boat passing by, said Sgt. Fritz Von Rettberg.

“The boat was fully engulfed” when Harbor Patrol boats reached it, he said. “We put it out, and the boat sank after that.”

No one was injured in the incident. Smoke could be seen from Corona del Mar as well as from Crystal Cove, he said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, Von Rettberg said. The value of the boat was not immediately known.

Photo courtesy of Corona del Mar Today reader Sarah Drislane.

Woman Critically Injured in Solo Crash

posted: July 23rd, 2014 04:47 pm | 0No Comments

A Laguna Beach woman was critically injured when her car crashed on Newport Coast Drive earlier today, according to a police news release.

The 46-year-old woman was driving southbound on Newport Coast Drive when her vehicle left the roadway and crossed the center median just north of Pelican Hill Road South about 11:24 a.m. She was the only person in the car, police said, and no other vehicles were involved.

The woman was ejected from the vehicle and sustained critical injuries, the release said, and Newport Beach Fire Department paramedics transported her to Mission Hospital.

The crash is under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call Investigator Scott Grecco at (949) 644-3747.

Police issued a Nixle alert after the crash, advising motorists to avoid the area.

Police Urge Motorists to Avoid Newport Coast Drive Near Coast Highway

posted: July 23rd, 2014 11:58 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Police Department has issued an alert, warning motorists to avoid both directions of Newport Coast Drive between East Coast Highway and Pelican Hill Road North because of a traffic accident.

The alert was issued at 11:56 a.m.

No other details about the incident were immediately available. The alert is in effect “until further notice,” it said.

Goldenrod Footbridge Will Be Added to NB Historic List

posted: July 23rd, 2014 11:32 am | 1Comment

The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to add the Goldenrod Footbridge to the city’s list of sites of historic significance.

A staff report had suggested ways of pursuing a state historic designation for the bridge, which was built in 1928 over what is now Bayside Drive. But that plan would have taken years, cost as much as $10,000 and possibly created problems in the future if repair work needed to be done on or near the bridge; read our earlier story here.

At Tuesday’s meeting, City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner said the residents who asked for her assistance in having the bridge listed as historic wanted local recognition, and that the city’s K-2 policy would be appropriate.

City Councilman Ed Selich said, “I’m not sure what the benefits would be to get the state assignation, but I could see a lot of pitfalls.”

Corona del Mar resident Ron Yeo, who led the effort to have the bridge recognized, said that the K-2 policy was appropriate, particularly under the criterion that describes “(u)nique structures or places that act as focal or pivotal points important as a key to the character or visual quality of an area.”

The vote was 6-0.

The Council also agreed Tuesday to lease city land at the Big Canyon Reservoir site to Harbor Day School for a parking lot, which would be used during school drop off, pick up and for special events. The 25-year lease agreement would charge $11,440 per year in rent.

Read our earlier story here.

In other Council news, Councilwoman Gardner asked that city staff see if there is park space anywhere in the city to create a second dog park. The city’s first dog park opened last year within the new Civic Center park.

“There are a lot of dogs,” she said.

Voters Will Decide on Land Use Amendment

posted: July 23rd, 2014 09:52 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach City Council voted 4-1 at Tuesday’s meeting to approve an amendment to the city’s land-use portion of its General Plan and to put the item on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The vote came after about an hour of public testimony, most of it from residents who said the amendment would worsen traffic congestion in the Newport Center and Corona del Mar area.

“It benefits no one but T.I.C. — The Irvine Company,” said Corona del Mar resident Barry Allen. “They are leaving you to take the blame. No — better yet, hell no — to this badly flawed plan that benefits only one entity.”

The amendment would allow 500,000 square feet of office space, 50,000 square feet of retail and 500 new residential units in Newport Center and remove entitlements of not-yet-built hotel and dwelling units in Newport Coast and 58,000 square feet of not-yet built shopping centers “across town,” according to City Manager Dave Kiff. The number of average daily car trips from the changes would be a reduction of 2,922 trips from the 2006 General Plan’s “buildable entitlement,” he said.

The Council first considered the amendment at a meeting earlier this month but delayed a vote, in part because City Councilman Ed Selich suggested adding a “Corona del Mar Bypass Plan” that would divert traffic off East Coast Highway through Corona del Mar.

“The by-pass plan shall, among other things, identify traffic measures that divert traffic on surface streets, such as new signage,” according to a memo included in a city staff report.

City Councilman Nancy Gardner of Corona del Mar, who was the only dissenting vote on the matter, expressed concern that the original language — which would require the bypass to be implemented before development was approved — had been changed to having the bypass merely be analyzed and considered.

“If we only have to consider it….If this is the language that you want to approve, I can’t…I can’t,” she said.

A few residents spoke in support of letting voters decide on the amendment in November, but most expressed concern about increased traffic in the Newport Center area, particularly how it will affect already congested Corona del Mar.

“It’s packed,” said Dennis Baker. “I have to see what I believe with my eyes.”

Allan Beek said residents were not complaining about a lack of shopping centers and office towers.

“Is anyone here suffering from lack of enough traffic?” he asked the Council “That is what the amendment offers.”

Resident Jean Ardell said a Corona del Mar bypass should have been implemented 20 years ago.

“I think it’s unconscionable to tie the Corona del Mar bypass to new development,” she said. “It should have been alleviating our traffic right now.”

Gardner asked that the Council continue the item to work out the details rather than push it to a vote that could divide the city.

“It just seems to me that we have so many questions,” she said.

Selich said there was “no such thing as a perfect land-use plan” and the Council should move ahead.

Mayor Rush Hill agreed, stating that there had been 26 meetings and 13 public hearings on the subject.

“I can’t see throwing away the staff time we have invested,” he said. “I’d like to hear from all of the public at the polls.”

The Council then formally voted to add the item to the November ballot, which drew more criticism from Gardner and members of the public who said the language would be confusing.

“It’s not saying yes for no,” said Newport Beach Resident Jim Mosher. “It’s saying somehow that ‘Yes’ will reduce traffic,” said Jim Mosher, a Newport Beach resident. “This is just utterly misleading, confusing and deceptive.”

“We’ve got traffic today on the road that does not disappear,” said Karen Tringali, Corona del Mar Residents Association President Karen Tringali, after the meeting. “It may be less more, but it will be more.”

She added that city staff created a temporary Corona del Mar bypass last summer during a water main construction project, but local streets were jammed despite signs and other outreach efforts. During the meeting, Gardner expressed concern that the plan might not divert traffic, and that adding signs might require approval from other government agencies. The Council discussed whether the 73 toll road might handle more motorists if the tolls were eliminated or reduced from Newport Coast Drive to Bonita Canyon Road — but that decision is not a Newport Beach City Council decision.

“This is a disappointing day for Corona del Mar,” Tringali said.

Council members Mike Henn and Leslie Daigle had excused absences and did not vote on the amendment, although Daigle arrived in time to vote in support of adding the item to the November ballot.

Music Program At CdM Library Thursday Afternoon

posted: July 23rd, 2014 05:15 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar library branch will host One World Rhythm, an interactive music program, from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, according to the library’s website.

The program will let everyone play instruments including drums, the website states. Children must be accompanied by adult, and the event is first-come, first-served with space limited by room size.

The library is located at 420 Marigold Ave.

From the Police Log: Drug Arrests, Bad Check Report

posted: July 22nd, 2014 03:20 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a 42-year-old Garden Grove woman Monday afternoon on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession of unlawful paraphernalia, according to a report.

The woman was arrested at 1:21 p.m. in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive. Her bail was $100,000.

Police arrested a 42-year-old Huntington Beach man in the same location at 1:25 p.m. Monday, also on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance. His bail was $20,000.

Officers also took a report of someone passing a fictitious check in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive at 11:34 a.m. Monday, according to a report.

Ready for Disaster? CdM Community Workshop Planned for July 30

posted: July 22nd, 2014 10:59 am | 1Comment

Newport Beach’s Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, is hosting a 90-minute community workshop on Wednesday July 30 to teach families about preparing for an emergency or disaster.

The Family Preparedness and Resilience event, which includes light refreshments, will begin at 6 p.m. in the Evelyn Hart Event Center at the OASIS Senior Center at Fifth and Marguerite avenues.

“Something as simple as an extended electrical outage can wreak havoc on communities that are ill prepared to cope with a disruption of this nature,” according to an email from the Corona del Mar Residents Association. “We also live in a wildfire zone (Buck Gully and Morning Canyon), and of course earthquakes are always a concern.”

Newport Beach city staff and CERT volunteers will explain how to prepare in case your family needs to shelter in place, as well as how to prepare for an evacuation and what to consider if children are at school or family members are away at work when something happens.

The event is free, but organizers request that you R.S.V.P. by emailing Info at

Sherman Library & Gardens to Host French Dinner Event

posted: July 22nd, 2014 05:13 am | 0No Comments

Sherman Library & Gardens will host “Garden Fusions — an Experiential Dining Event” on Thursday July 31, according to an event invitation.

The event is the fourth in a “Garden Fusions” dinner series, created by Chef Pascal Olhats, the invitation said.

“Herbs De Provence is an evening designed to highlight Orange County’s highly acclaimed French Chef Pascal Olhats and Sherman Gardens’ Herb Horticulturist Carol Younger,” the invitation states. “This ‘Garden Fusion’ will treat guests to a gourmet four course French cuisine dinner and will include tips on how to grow and use herbs in your garden. Plus, a very special highlight of the evening will be a tableside cooking demonstration by Chef Pascal.”

Tickets cost $60 per person, or $50 for Sherman Library & Gardens friends. Beverages, tip and tax are not included, although a signature drink will be included during the hors d’oeuvres hour. For ticket purchase or information, call Café Jardin at (949) 673-0033. The event will be limited to 50 guests.

The event will begin with hors d’ oeuvres in the sun garden and a tasting of French wines, the invitation said, while Younger describes “growing tips and insights on great culinary herbs” and a walk through the garden to show how herbs can be used in landscaping. The main course will be served on the central patio as the sun sets, with Chef Pascal cooking table side. Dessert will be served by candlelight, the invitation states.

The “Garden Fusions” events will be held the last Thursday of the month through October.