CdM Today Poll of the Week

posted: August 24th, 2015 05:11 am | 0No Comments

Salon to Hold 35th Summer Birthday Mixer

posted: August 23rd, 2015 12:27 pm | 0No Comments

The owner of Toni’s Salon on Heliotrope Avenue is hosting a party on Monday to celebrate her 35th summer in business, according to an event flier.

Toni Van Schultze said the party will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. in the salon and beauty supply shop at 436 Heliotrope Avenue. The event will include drawings for products, skin analysis opportunities and a chance to mix and mingle.

Anyone who plans to attend is asked to R.S.V.P. by calling (949) 675-0655.

Click here to read an earlier story about a Locks of Love event at the salon.

Speak Up Newport Announces Scholarship Winners

posted: August 23rd, 2015 06:23 am | 0No Comments

The Speak Up Newport Board of Directors awarded the 2015 Dorothy Hardcastle Scholarship Awards to two local students, including Ryan Farhat-Sabet of Corona del Mar High School, according to a news release.

Each winner received scholarships of $2,000. The scholarships are awarded each year to graduating seniors from CdMHS and Newport Harbor High School, the release said, in recognition of their contributions to their community. The scholarships were established in the memory of Dorothy Hardcastle, an original Speak Up Newport member, in 2989.

The CdMHS winner was honored for his academic record as well as his community involvement, the release said.

“He is a seasoned public speaker, serving as President of the Junior Statesmen of America and Director of Debate during his junior year and participating in debates at year-round JSA conventions,” the release said. “He received Best Speaker gavels during his sophomore and junior years. He is a lifetime member of the National Forensics League and was on the political speech and debate team. In addition, Ryan enjoys music, performing with the Madrigals choir at CdM and playing piano and guitar.”

Farhat-Sabet also was part of the Newport Beach Teen Leader Program, where he worked with children at the Community Youth Center and was a volunteer camp advisor. He also taught children’s classes at the Baha’i Feasts and volunteered at the monthly pancake breakfasts at the OASIS Senior Center, all while maintaining a 4.4 grade point average and passing AP exams in 11 subjects. He will be attending Washington University in St. Louis and plans a career in medicine or business.

Samantha Schroff was named the winner for Newport Harbor High School, the release said.

“Samantha has been very active in the community, demonstrating energy, determination and a get-it-done attitude,” the release said. “She is interested in public policy and planning, and served as an Advisory Board Member on the Newport Beach Mayor’s Youth Council for three years.”

In high school, she maintained a 4.3 grade point average and will attend the University of Southern California this fall.

CdM Today’s Top Stories This Week

posted: August 22nd, 2015 02:16 pm | 1Comment

1. A new app, designed by a Corona del Mar High School grad, could help CdMHS students, parents and staff during an emergency; read our story here.

2. Plans to add Ocean Boulevard improvements are on hold after residents’ complaints; read our story here.

3. Two lots involved in a controversial merger are now for sale; read our story here.

4. The AERIE project construction is moving along; read more about the project’s status here.

5. Corona del Mar’s new dolphin topiaries are slow growing, which has led to another delay in their installation in the Marguerite/East Coast Highway median; read our story here.

After 5 Years, ICE Investigation into Stone Shop Continues

posted: August 22nd, 2015 12:14 pm | 0No Comments

It’s been five years since federal agents raided the Phoenician Stone shop in Corona del Mar, and the investigation is still ongoing, according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Yes,” said ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley in an email. “I have confirmed that the investigation remains ongoing.”

On Aug. 3, 2010, ICE agents swarmed the shop in the 3000 block of East Coast Highway, taking over part of a neighboring tire business parking lot, using saws, forklifts and crates for items they were seizing. At the time, investigators said the agents were serving a search warrant but declined to elaborate because the investigation was ongoing.

Now, no new information has been made available, and the case remains open.

Last year, Haley said, “it is not uncommon for complex, multi-faceted investigations to take time.”

The shop opened in 2004, selling stone mantles, columns, fountains and other decorative items — many that were installed in luxury homes in Newport Coast and Crystal Cove.

In an interview in 2012, owner Joe Sage said the day of the raid began like a normal business day until 10 to 15 agents showed up with their guns drawn. He recalled being handcuffed in front of customers for about 15 minutes.
Eventually he was allowed to leave, he said, but discovered when he went to the bank that day that his account was frozen.

Read our earlier stories here, here and here.

NBFD to Host Disaster Preparedness Expo on Sept. 19

posted: August 22nd, 2015 06:04 am | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Fire Department will host its 7th annual Disaster Preparedness Expo from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday Sept. 19 at the Central Library.

The annual event takes place each September, which is National Preparedness Month. Typically, about 1,000 people attend the expo, which features activities for all ages, information about purchasing disaster kits from several vendors and information. CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteers also will attend.

The library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave. For more information call (949) 644-3112.

CdM This Weekend: Five Great Things For Your To-Do List

posted: August 21st, 2015 02:18 pm | 0No Comments

1. The City of Newport Beach is going country on Sunday with a Concert on the Green musical event featuring the Kellie Rae Band. The show will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive, when the band will play current country hits and well as classic country favorites. The concert is free, and organizers suggest bringing a picnic dinner, low-slung beach chairs or blankets.

2. Roger’s Gardens will host the 15th Annual Tomato & Pepper Tasting from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday. Tomato expert Steve Goto and other tomato fans will be on hand with an assortment of dozens of hybrid and heirloom tomatoes for tasting. They will answer questions and describe new varieties and edible gardens horticulturist David Rizzo will bring peppers from his home garden. Participants should bring tomatoes and peppers from their gardens for the tasting; just separate them by variety and we will do all the cutting and preparation while you taste tomatoes. April Goto also will bring salsa. Roger’s Gardens is located at 2301 San Joaquin Hills Road.

3. Crystal Cove State Park will host an Astronomy Night event at 8 p.m. in the Berns Amphitheater, located inland at the School-State Park entrance. At 7 p.m. Sunday, there will be a guided Sunset Hike that also meets at the Berns Amphitheater. The events are free, but there is a $15 day-use parking fee in state park lots.

4. The Newport Bay Conservancy will host a Community Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Back Bay Science Center, where you can tour the facility including the loop trail and marine life, as well as learn about educational programs and volunteer opportunities. There also will be hands-on activities for kids. No reservations are required. The Back Bay Science Center is located at 600 Shellmaker Road in Newport Beach.

5. Fashion Island will host live music this weekend, with performances from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Neiman Marcus/Bloomingdale’s Courtyard and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the Nordstrom Courtyard.

Neighbors Say No Thanks to Project that Would Add Parking, Extend Sidewalk on Ocean Blvd.

posted: August 21st, 2015 12:53 pm | 1Comment



There’s a sidewalk on Ocean Boulevard that ends awkwardly at Dahlia Avenue, and there’s a nearby spot that could be a landscaped, improved vista point. The wide roadway near Carnation Avenue could be developed to add a dozen more parking spaces, and the entire area needs repaving.

But a city project, which already has $2.2 million in funding, is on permanent hold because neighbors have opposed the plans.

One China Cove resident started a petition and went door-to-door seeking signatures, and about 60 people including City Councilman Scott Peotter attended a meeting late last month to discuss the project with city staff.

No one at the meeting supported the plan, other than the repaving portion.

One problem, residents have said, is that extending the dead-end sidewalk would deposit pedestrians right at the top of the sloping roadway out of China Cove. Others say that adding the 10 to 12 new parking spaces in the middle of Ocean Boulevard would mean residents were overlooking an ugly parking lot, and that the wide street is often used to stage construction vehicles for workers in China Cove, which has narrow streets with limited parking. The vista, residents said, could create more trash and noise.

City staff first introduced the plans to the Corona del Mar Residents Association last November. At the time, one neighbor immediately noted issues with narrowing the roadway in order to add landscaping and parking; read our story here.

Assistant City Engineer Mike Sinacori, who attended the neighborhood meeting, said the original ideas to improve the area came from former City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner. At this point, he said, any work would be at least a year away. Meanwhile, the plans seem to have stalled.

“Right now, nothing is the next step,” he said.

CdM Farmers Market Offers Flowers, Fruit — and Soap

posted: August 21st, 2015 04:38 am | 0No Comments


By Susan Hoffman, special to Corona del Mar Today

Anti-aging products aren’t usually found on ones shopping list when visiting farmers markets. But at the Corona del Mar Farmers Market, right alongside the fresh produce, sits James Derner’s trademarked Clean Living and Natural Luxury products. The ingredients are derived from nature and are non-toxic and biodegradable.

“I only use ingredients that are as close to nature as possible,” Derner said.

His soaps and skin-care line are free of parabens, or preservatives.

“I object to parabens because they mimic estrogen, which is one reason to avoid them,” Derner said. He also doesn’t use sulfates because they degrade into carcinogens.

His final focus is on anti-inflammatory and anti-aging products. His classes at UCLA about skin care and anti-aging “pounded into us that inflammation is 90 percent aging, 10 percent genetics,” he said.

The photo enlargement of a calendula flower hangs in the booth, symbolizing the origin and the role that natural ingredients play in creating the products. The oil from the petals produces anti-inflammatory effects, and they are used in lotions, shampoo, hand cream, lip balm and three soaps.

Customer Sandy Hess said the soaps look and smell great.

“The soaps produce a clean fresh scent rather than that nauseating perfume smell that so many so-called natural soaps claim, and they are really pretty to look at,” she said.

Derner became interested in clean products because of his own skin allergies to commercial products, especially scented soaps.

“I started making my own soaps using essential oils — distilled, or expressed from plant materials — for scent,” he said.

He also had a problem with dryness that is inherent in most soaps.

“Soap works by binding to the oils in your skin, the oils that have trapped dirt,” he said. “Rinsing removes the dirt and oil from your skin, but your natural oils are what keep your skin moist. Therefore I started adding 15 percent extra oil into all of my soaps to compensate.”

According to Derner, his initial efforts were a self-rewarding hobby until after his accountant saw how much money he was spending. The accountant convinced him to create Clean Living so he could sell his soaps and write off the loss.

“But that didn’t work, as the company was in the black from the first year forward,” Derner said.

Clean Living’s products are scented with aromatherapy-grade essential oils from plants and not synthetic fragrance oils, which can cause allergic reactions.

The shampoo and conditioner was a challenge to make, Derner said. He refused to use sulfates and chemicals, but customers wanted a lather that wouldn’t damage hair. The Eco-Pure Shampoo contains pro-vitamin B5 and oat protein.

One of his best sellers is mom’s favorite, with a lavender scent, marbled in a cream-colored bar.

Derner operates his business from Santa Monica and sells at the Corona del Mar Farmers Market, San Clemente Farmers Market, and in Beverly Hills and Culver City. The products can be found on the website and stores as well.

For more information, visit the Clean Living website.

A Love Of Water Is Inspiration Behind Deborah Mae Allen Art

posted: August 20th, 2015 12:18 pm | 1Comment

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By Susan Hoffman, special to Corona del Mar Today

Her painting style imitates a watercolor technique, her medium is acrylics and her subject matter is abstract.

Artist Deborah Mae Allen, a Corona del Mar resident of 14 years, has been painting for more than 21 years. Allen was born in Southern California and grew up in Texas.

After she and her husband moved to Corona del Mar, she set up her studio in the garage. The garage faced the alley between Poppy and Poinsettia avenues, which was a great way to get to know everybody but not so great in getting things done, she said.

Today, Allen works within the JG Editions studio, which she shares with her art dealer, Jillian Gabrielli. With the SCAPE gallery next door on East Coast Highway, it makes for convenient access to her work. The gallery frequently hand selects pieces for their clientele.

503 Found, a home goods store in Cannery Village, also represents her work.

Along with her paintings, Allen also does renderings for architects, builders and interior designers. The crossover provides further exposure to her fine art pieces, and designers frequently will purchase her work for clients.

Allen’s abstract art pieces are influenced by nature in general and inspired by water and other organic shapes such as cloud and sand formations.

“Most of my work doesn’t have to be blue to be inspired by water,” she said.

With the increase of water into the acrylic there becomes a fluid movement of color, which produces the translucency achieved through traditional watercolor technique.

Her current project is a collection of bone china, which is a joint collaboration with a china company. Allen’s British friend, Emily Johnson, is the owner and creative director of the England-based company 1882 Ltd., a Stoke On Trent Fine Bone China Brand.

“My friend, Em, photographed the waterscapes and landscapes in the Lake District of England, and I translated her photo journey into washes of color on plates,” Allen said.

The grouping of china will be released during this year’s London Design Festival 2015 and available locally after September.

The gallery is located at 2855 East Coast Highway.