Police Investigating CdMHS Break-In

posted: September 11th, 2014 07:48 am | 1Comment

UPDATE Newport Beach police are on the Corona del Mar High School campus this morning after a report of a burglary.

“We have learned that the CdM campus ASB office was broken into last night,” a school email said. “NBPD are on the campus this morning to investigate.. Please don’t be alarmed as you arrive to campus this morning and see the police activity.”

According to police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella, a custodian found the broken window at about 6:05 a.m.

“Officers responded to investigate and found that there had been a burglary,” she said. “The suspect(s) appear to have broken a window and then removed property from the ABS office and the SRO’s (school resource officer’s) office. The primary loss appears to be a small projector and an empty cash register.”

The value of the stolen items was less than $1,000, she said. UPDATE: A police report states that the loss was $230, and that the burglary occurred between 7 p.m. Wednesday and 6:05 a.m. Thursday.

Some students reported blood at the scene, which Manzella said apparently was from the suspect or suspects being cut by broken glass.

Another email announced that the ASB office is closed for the day. ASB stands for Associated Student Body.

The school is located at 2101 Eastbluff Drive.


“Pilgrim of Newport” to Return to Newport Beach on Friday

posted: September 11th, 2014 05:12 am | 0No Comments

The tall ship Pilgrim of Newport will return to Newport Beach on Friday as part of a two-day event to honor the ship’s builder, Dennis L. Holland, who died earlier this year.

Corona del Mar residents will be able to see the ship off the jetties around 11 or 11:30 a.m. Friday, said event organizer Eric Longabardi. The ship will be greeted by fireboat water cannon salutes and a flotilla of local boats, he added.

The ship will dock at Newport Sea Base at1931 West Coast Highway for a two-day free event that will let the public view the ship and enjoy a dockside, nautical-themed festival with entertainment. From 4 to 5 p.m. Friday, the ship will take a short memorial cruise outside Newport Harbor with family and friends aboard to honor Holland. Corona del Mar residents will again be able to see the boat between 4:30 and 5:30 when it again will be off the Corona del Mar coast.

On Friday the event will take place from noon to 6 p.m., and on Saturday it will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be model ships, antique cars, pirates and other entertainment, he said.

The ship is the only tall ship ever to built and launched in Orange County, Longabardi said. The ship’s home is in the Ocean Institute in Dana Point; read more here.


City Arts Commission to Discuss Plaque to Commemorate CdM Artist; Ben Carlson Statue

posted: September 10th, 2014 05:54 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Arts Commission will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday, when plans to honor Corona del Mar artist Rex Brandt will be on the agenda.

According to a staff report, the commissioners could vote to recommend to the City Council to reclassify the former Rex Brandt and Joan Irving residence, school and studio — known as Blue Sky — from Class 4 Structure of Historic Interest to Class 5 Point of Historic Interest, as well as to place a commemorative marker near where the home and studio once stood near the Goldenrod Footbridge.

Some neighbors, however, say the proposed plans are flawed and that the area needs to be spruced up before calling attention to it as an historic site.

Brandt, who was born Sept. 12, 1914, was a renowned painter known for his depictions of Newport Beach and Balboa Bay. He served as a Newport Beach Public Library trustee in the 1940s and 1950s and designed the city seal. He and artist Irving bought the Blue Sky lot in 1940, paying $250, a staff report said. Blue Sky no longer exists, the report states.

“The Brandts established the Summer School of Painting in 1947,” the report states. “At the school, the Brandts would teach their students the plein air method of painting outdoors. Many students passed through the school, and it was at Blue Sky where Brandt and Irvine were able to create elegant, naturalistic paintings that captured the feel of mid-century California for which they are renowned.”

The City of Newport Beach is planning a celebration of the 100th anniversary of Brandt’s birth year on Nov. 1 at the Central Library, and the Arts Commission has been considering more lasting ways to honor the artist.

A Fine Arts ad hoc subcommittee suggested that a sunken boulder could be used as a marker, with two plaques noting the significance of the Blue Sky site as well as explanation of the city seal and its elements.

At least two neighbors, however, say that although they support recognizing the talent and accomplishments of Brandt, they think a boulder doesn’t fit with the footbridge and “is somewhat reminiscent of a cemetery.”

They also said that the Goldenrod Avenue end of the footbridge is not well maintained, with empty spots where vegetation has died because of dogs, and a trash receptacle and traffic signs in need of cleaning or replacing.

“In short, in its current condition, it is not a fitting place for honoring the Brandts, unless there is a clear an continuing plan for improvement and maintenance of the area,” they wrote.

The letter writers, Michael Marcus and Kathryn Hennigan, suggested that a low fence around the plantings could prevent dogs from damaging them, and that a different design for the plaque would suit the neighborhood better.

The meeting also will include a presentation from members of the Ben Carlson Memorial and Scholarship Foundation about a plan to donate a Carlson memorial statue to the city.

A staff report did not provide details about the statue, which would honor the longtime Newport Beach lifeguard who died July 6 while saving a man’s life in rough surf; read more here.

The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in Council Chambers of the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive. The public may attend and make comments.


From the Police Log: Driver, Cyclist Argue Over Thrown Water Bottle; Cyclist Arrested

posted: September 10th, 2014 04:19 pm | 0No Comments

A 47-year-old Newport Beach man was arrested this week after a confrontation with a motorist in the 800 block of Avocado Avenue over a thrown water bottle, police said.

The man was arrested at 11:43 a.m. Sunday, a report said. He also was booked on felony vandalism, and his bail was $20,000.

“The victim alleges that the arrestee (a bicyclist) threw a water bottle at her vehicle, causing damage to the driver’s door, while she was turning from Coast Highway onto MacArthur Boulevard,” said police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella in an email.

The victim followed the cyclist to a coffee shop, where he refused to speak with her, Manzella said.

“Security at the shopping center contacted the Police Department after the two involved parties began arguing,” she said. The cyclist denied involvement, and the victim requested “a private person’s arrest,” Manzella said.

The man is not in jail, according to online jail logs.

Police also arrested a 29-year-old Newport Beach man at 1:32 a.m. Monday in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of vandalism; his bail was $500. Officers took a report of vandalism/destroying another’s property in the same location at 1:05 a.m. Monday; no loss was given.

The arrest and vandalism report were related to the same incident, Manzella said.

“When staff at the hotel tried to escort (the suspect) off the premises (due to issues with his behavior in the bar) they allege that he broke several cocktail glasses in anger,” she said.

Officers found the man at the intersection of Newport Coast and Santa Cruz drives, she said.

Police also took a report of petty theft/shoplifting incident in the 900 block of Avocado Avenue on Monday. The theft occurred between 5:35 and 5:42 p.m., and no loss was listed. A 19-year-old Newport Beach man was arrested in the same location at 5:56 p.m. on suspicion of petty theft/shoplifting as well as carrying a switchblade. His bail was $500.

Police also took a report of burglary from a motor vehicle in the 1100 block of Newport Center Drive on Monday. The burglary, with a $250 loss, occurred between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday. Officers took a report of petty theft from a motor vehicle at Santa Cruz and Newport Center drives on Monday; that theft occurred between 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Monday. And police took a report of petty theft of motor vehicle parts on Monday in the 500 block of Newport Center Drive. That incident, with a $20 loss, occurred between 7:30 and 9 p.m. Friday.


9/11 Motorcycle Riders to Head Through CdM on Thursday

posted: September 10th, 2014 12:10 pm | 0No Comments

The annual Remember 9/11 motorcycle ride will take place Thursday afternoon, leaving from Cook’s Corner at 2:15 p.m. and rolling through Corona del Mar about an hour later.

Long Beach Fire Department engineer Gary Biggerstaff founded the ride in 2003, and in 2011, about 1,000 riders participated. For the last few years, a few hundred riders participated, Biggerstaff has said.

The riders will leave Cook’s Corner in Trabuco Canyon and will follow Santiago Canyon North toward Laguna Canyon, then north on Coast Highway. Participants are asked to bring a transponder to pay the toll charge on Toll Road 241 and to obey all traffic laws. The ride ends in Long Beach.

Corona del Mar residents traditionally gather on East Coast Highway sidewalks with posters and flags to salute the riders as they pass.

The riders usually pass through Corona del Mar between 3 and 3:15 p.m.

Read about last year’s ride here.


Council Delays Decision on CdM Parking Plan

posted: September 10th, 2014 09:15 am | 0No Comments

Proposed plans to improve parking in the Corona del Mar business district are going back to the drawing board.

The Newport Beach City Council’s comments of a proposed Corona del Mar parking were so negative at an afternoon Study Session on Tuesday that staff decided to work on the plan further, pulling the item back before a vote at a later meeting.

The city last year hired a private consultant to create the plan, which included community meetings and studies of parking availability. The 97-page report listed short-term recommendations, such as increasing parking time limits on East Coast Highway from one hour to two hours and possibly eliminating fees at city-owned lots, revising the city’s zoning code regarding parking requirements for businesses in Corona del Mar, better managing employee parking, restriping and painting when possible to create more spaces and exploring shared-parking arrangements with owners of private lots.

The Planning Commission voted unanimously in July to forward the plan to the City Council.

Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, who represents Corona del Mar, recused herself from the discussion because of a potential conflict of living within 500 feet of a section of East Coast Highway involved in the plan.

But Council members Tony Petros, Ed Selich and Keith Curry each expressed reservations about the plan during a 5 p.m. Study Session. Curry said he thought that private parking lot owners would be reluctant to share their spaces, despite the plans’ optimism about shared lots, and Petros thought that residential parking should be protected more, and that the plan should be more “granular” and isolate areas with specific parking issues.

“Let’s go down block by block,” he said.

Corona del Mar Business Improvement District Chairman Bernie Svalstad spoke, saying that the village was at a crossroads and needed improved parking to attract thriving businesses.

“We need this plan or Corona del Mar is not going to develop,” he said. “It’s just going to degenerate.”

Mayor Rush Hill said the idea of shared parking needed to be developed further, perhaps by offering incentives to property owners, which could be less costly for the city to pay for then buying lots and building parking structures.

The item was on the Council’s regular meeting agenda as well, but before the public hearing began, Community Development Director Kim Brandt said that staff wanted to take back the plan for additional work.

The Council continued with the hearing but took no action.

During the second discussion of the plan, Councilman Ed Selich said that residents who believe that Corona del Mar has attracted banks because of parking concerns are incorrect. Banks require the same parking as general retail, he said, so there must be other reasons banks have moved into the village.

Property owner Allyson Preston spoke at the second meeting, describing the complexities of problems that can come from sharing parking lots, including wear and tear to the lot, vandalism of parked cars, towing cars that block delivery trucks and more.

Svalstad spoke again, emphasizing the need for action.

“We need to address this,” he said. “We can’t just throw this under the bus.”

During the meeting, Gardner asked whether staff should look into city rules involving short-term rentals after some resident complaints in Corona del Mar.


CdMHS’s New Pool Locker Room Project Complete

posted: September 10th, 2014 04:38 am | 0No Comments

Corona del Mar High School’s aquatics facility has a new locker room, a project fundraising volunteer said in an email.

“Aquatics athletes moved in last week,” said Angela Kraus, who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the new facility.

Construction began late in 2013. Funding for the project came from several sources, including more than $400,000 in community donations, nearly $350,000 from the City of Newport Beach and more than $500,000 from state and district sources. The new 3,000-square-foot building has restrooms, showers and more than 150 lockers. Previously, there was no changing room, and students change on the deck or behind makeshift curtains, Kraus has said.

Part of the funds came from sale of fish tiles, and 11 tiles are still available for purchase and inscription, Kraus said. Orders will be first come, first served, and may be placed online by clicking the donate tab. The deadline for orders is Friday. For more information about the fish tiles, read our earlier story here.

A formal ceremony to unveil the facility will take place at 2 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 7.


Pyrosomes Wash onto Big Corona Beach

posted: September 9th, 2014 09:32 am | 0No Comments

About 100 pyrosomes washed onto the beach at Big Corona this morning, something not been seen before in Corona del Mar, a city expert said.

“Pyrosoma is a glow in the dark pelagic tunicate,” said Michelle Clemente, a Newport Beach marine education supervisor, in an email. “Although it is not uncommon to our waters…no one around here has ever seen it!”

According to the jellieszone website, the creatures typically inhabit tropical waters and some will grow to 4 meters long.

“Pyrosoma atlanticum is one of the few pyrosomes that visits the temperate West Coast,” the website states.

Clemente said the creatures migrate vertically, meaning they move up and down the water column opposed to back and forth.

“It’s very cool,” she said.

The creatures on the beach were about 3/4 inch in diameter and 4 to 5 inches long, said Ron Yeo, a Corona del Mar resident.

All the pyrosomes were dead and “past the glowy stage,” Clemente said.

Recent big swells and warm water probably caused them to wash ashore, she said. The creatures won’t hurt beach visitors, she said, and will probably wash back to see about 10 a.m. at high tide.

Photos courtesy of Ron Yeo.


Laguna Supply Opening in Corona del Mar

posted: September 9th, 2014 05:38 am | 0No Comments

The Laguna Supply women’s boutique is expanding and will open in October in Corona del Mar, according to a sign in the window of the business at 3250 East Coast Highway.

A new business license was issued on Aug. 23, according to online city records, and a sign in the shop states that the boutique will open in October. The space was formerly occupied by Franklin Realty.

Laguna Supply’s owners did not immediately respond to an email seeking information about the boutique.

According to Laguna Supply’s website, owners Dana Marron and Laura Hart “have played effortlessly to their strengths and created a store that is the ‘go-to’ for chic locals and visitors.”

“Like their partnership, the assortment both contrasts and compliments…its classic but beachy, sophisticated but natural, proper but fun…simple but genius,” the website states. The Laguna Beach location is at 210 Beach Street.


CdM Sunset, 9/8/2014, by Karin Helfrich

posted: September 8th, 2014 06:35 pm | 1Comment