Memorial Ride Scheduled for Sunday

posted: July 17th, 2014 05:14 am | 0No Comments

Bicycle safety advocates announced a memorial bike ride that will meet at 8 a.m. Sunday in Laguna Beach.

The short ride will memorialize Debra Deem, who was killed in August 2013 while bicycling on East Coast Highway near Newport Coast Drive, and John Colvin, who was killed last month on Pacific Coast Highway in Laguna Beach while on a training ride for his first Ironman Triathlon.

Riders will meet at Heisler Park, which is one block west of Coast Highway on Cliff Drive. There will be a short invocation at 8:15 a.m.

“Following the invocation we will ride north on Pacific Coast Highway toward Newport Coast Drive, retracing both Debra and John’s last ride,” an email invitation said. “We will continue past the site of his death at Emerald Bay, turn off PCH at the site of Debra’s collision, and climb that hill for them.”

The ride will officially end at Pelican Hill Road, but organizers said riders should continue on if they wish.

“The families of John and Debra both wish that the ride serve to elevate the profile of cyclists in the eyes and minds of drivers, too many of whom are not aware of the our rights on the road, do not expect to see us on the road, and pass too closely when we ride to the right,” the email said. “With this in mind please stay visible on Pacific Coast Highway through Laguna Beach, especially on the part of the road where John was killed. Ideally, ride solo or no more than two abreast. If you can, please leave a gap of 15-20 seconds between riders.”

The group will not stop at the location where Colvin was struck because it is unsafe, but riders may request a flower at the start of the ride that they can drop along the road at any location.

Bicyclists are asked to ride to the start of the ride, but street parking may be available in downtown Laguna Beach or at Heisler Park. Riders also can park at the Newport Coast Community Center at 6401 San Joaquin Hills Road and ride to the start.


From the Police Log: Burglary, Paraphernalia Arrests

posted: July 16th, 2014 04:20 pm | 0No Comments

A 28-year-old Riverside man was arrested at 12:33 p.m. Tuesday in the 2300 block of Bayside Drive on suspicion of commercial burglary with no forced entry, according to a police report. The man’s bail was $20,000.

Police also arrested a 44-year-old Costa Mesa woman at 1:11 a.m. Tuesday at Jasmine and Second avenues on a warrant; her bail was $15,000, a report said. And police arrested a 34-year-old Lomita man at 3:11 a.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive on suspicion of possession of unlawful paraphernalia; bail was $500, according to a report.


Junior Guards Visit Little Corona Beach

posted: July 16th, 2014 10:03 am | 0No Comments


Crystal Cove to Host Free Movie on Thursday

posted: July 16th, 2014 05:13 am | 0No Comments

Crystal Cove State Park will host a free movie night at 8 p.m. Thursday featuring “Two of a Kind,” a movie filmed at Crystal Cove.

The film will be shown in front of Cottage #13, the Film and Media Center.

Organizers suggest bringing a beach chair, warm jacket and blanket and a flashlight. Parking is available at the Los Trancos lot for a $15 day-use fee. Refreshments will be available for purchase.


UPDATED: DA Reviewing Prom Bus Case

posted: July 15th, 2014 04:19 pm | 0No Comments

The California Highway Patrol has completed its investigation of a June 7 incident in which a Corona del Mar High School student fell from a party bus headed to prom onto the 73 freeway, a spokesman has confirmed.

The District Attorney’s office is reviewing the case, but no charges have been filed, said Roxi Fyad, a D.A.’s office spokeswoman.

A CHP official earlier said that the D.A.’s office had not reviewed the case, but Fyad said that information was not accurate.

Charlotte Boyse, 17, was one of 58 students on the bus headed to prom at the Arroyo Trabuco Golf Course when the incident occurred on the 73 south of Newport Coast Drive. According to a CHP news release, the bus was traveling 35 to 40 miles per hour, and Boyse was standing and dancing on a seat bench next to a window when she leaned against the window and it opened, causing her to fall into the middle of the road. She then ran to the center divider.

Boyse was taken to the hospital and treated for scrapes and a bruised tailbone.

According to an accident report, the “cause of this collision was other than the driver.”

The driver, the report said, claimed she checked all windows and latches at the begging of the shift, making sure all windows were latched shut because the bus was air conditioned.

Boyse told investigators that she was on the left side of the bus next to the second to last window.

“Ms. Boyse noticed cool air coming from a vent on the ceiling of the bus,” the report said. “In order to get closer to the air vent, Ms. Boyse stepped up onto the bench in which she was sitting on.”

She and another girl began to dance, and when she leaned her back against the window, it flung open.

“When asked, Ms. Boyse claimed she did not unlatch the window, or know if anyone else had unlatched it,” the report said.

Another girl on the bus told investigators that no one touched the window latches, and that all windows were covered by black curtains, which no one had moved.

The window was 4 feet 8 inches wide and 2 feet 8 inches tall, the report said. A supervisor inspected the window and “found the window latch to be in good working condition.”

Students had chipped in about $50 each to rent the party bus, which was supplied by the Leon Party Bus company in Downey. The company apparently was operating illegally, based on letters and records of the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates party buses; read our earlier story here. The incident led to a new PUC investigation, but updates on that case were not immediately available.

Boyse’s father, Conrad Boyse, said she was doing well. He also questioned who should have been responsible for making sure that the functioning latch was securely fastened.

Photo courtesy of the Boyse family.


Motorcyclist Killed in Crash I.D.’d

posted: July 15th, 2014 02:49 pm | 0No Comments

The Orange County Coroner’s office has identified a motorcyclist who died in a crash Monday morning near Crystal Cove State Park as Dwight Palmer, a 58-year-old from Mission Viejo.

The crash occurred about 9:13 a.m. at East Coast Highway and Reef Point Drive and involved a vehicle and motorcycle. Palmer was declared dead at the scene.

Westbound traffic lanes were closed for several hours, and police in Newport Beach and in Laguna Beach issued alerts to warn motorists to avoid the area.

The crash remains under investigation, and anyone with information should call investigator Eric Little at (949) 644-3746.


El Cholo: No More Free Parking in Our Lot

posted: July 15th, 2014 05:06 am | 3Comments

An El Cholo will be opening this fall in the former Landmark Steakhouse space — but the restaurant has already claimed ownership of its parking lot off Orchid Avenue, adding chains to prevent people from using the spots.

“We’re going to be doing lunch,” said Carlo Divita, chief financial officer for the El Cholo restaurant chain. “We need to make sure customers have a place to park.”

El Cholo, which will open at 3520 East Coast Highway, is paying $4,000 to $5,000 per month for about 29 spaces, including a parking lot as well as five adjacent parallel parking spaces. On Monday, workers were adding permanent chains that cordon off the area.

Ritz Cleaners owner Arman Karakesis said a realtor visited him about a month ago and warned that the spaces were going to be reserved.

“It shouldn’t affect us that much,” he said. “But now we’ll have to put up signs on our building saying ‘Half hour parking.’ We’ll see what happens.”

Divita said many of the spaces were used by residents or employees of nearby businesses, not necessarily customers of local shops and restaurants. El Cholo wanted to implement parking restrictions now so residents could become accustomed to the change, and so construction equipment could be parked there, he said. Construction won’t begin for weeks, he said, and restaurant currently is working on its city permits.

In the past, Landmark’s owners had informal agreements to let businesses use the spaces during the daytime because the restaurant opened only at night.

“They didn’t bother securing it because they didn’t need it,” Divita said. “We are not going to be a nightclub. For us to be successful we have to do lunch.”

City code requires specific numbers of parking spaces be available, 30 for lunch and 45 for dinner, he said. When the restaurant opens, an attendant likely will monitor the spaces.

“I know parking is tough there,” he said.

Construction on the restaurant space will include some structural improvements, as well as removal of the black awnings in front and addition of a retractable awning. Disabled access will be added to the front of the restaurant, instead of from the side, and landscaping and planters will be upgraded. The restaurant recently removed dead or dying palm trees from the front of the restaurant.

Landmark closed in April.

Read our earlier stories here and here.


One Lane Remains Closed After Fatal Crash

posted: July 14th, 2014 02:29 pm | 0No Comments

Police have reopened traffic lanes on westbound East Coast Highway at Reef Point Drive following a fatal motorcycle crash earlier this morning, although one lane remains closed, a spokeswoman said.

The crash occurred about 9:13 a.m. and involved a vehicle and motorcycle. The motorcyclist was declared dead at the scene.

Newport Beach police earlier today issued an alert, warning motorists that westbound traffic lanes will be closed for several hours while officers investigate the crash. Laguna Beach police also issued an alert.

The crash remains under investigation, and anyone with information should call investigator Eric Little at (949) 644-3746.


From the Police Log: DUI Arrest, Theft Reports

posted: July 14th, 2014 12:01 pm | 1Comment

Police arrested a 21-year-old Laguna Beach man early Saturday at East Coast Highway and MacArthur Boulevard on suspicion of DUI, according to reports.

The man was arrested at 2:29 a.m., and bail was $2,500.

Police also took a report of identity theft in the 900 block of Sandcastle Drive on Friday, a report said. The theft occurred between 8 a.m. June 23 and 11:53 a.m. Friday. Police took a report of narcotics possession in the 500 block of Goldenrod Avenue at midnight Saturday, a report said, and officers took a report of petty theft from a vehicle on Friday on Mainsail Drive. The theft, with a loss of $100, occurred between 11 p.m. Thursday and 7:44 a.m. Friday.


Planning Commission to Discuss CdM Parking Plan on Thursday

posted: July 14th, 2014 11:06 am | 1Comment

A year after the Newport Beach City Council hired a private company to create a parking management plan for Corona del Mar, that plan will go before the Planning Commission at a Thursday meeting.

The plan suggests revising the city’s Zoning Code for Corona del Mar, extending time limits on East Coast Highway, adjusting pricing in off-street lots, restriping parking spots to create more spaces, increasing public parking supplies by creating shared parking agreements with private property owners, increasing the supply of bike parking and other short-term solutions. If the short-term solutions are not adequate, the plan proposes long-term solutions that include creating a residential permit program, shuttles and a peak-period valet service.

“The strategies included in the plan should be evaluated within a five-year period, to determine impacts on parking behavior and success in achieving the plan’s goals,” the plan states. “If necessary, any of the strategies could be discontinued or modified if they fail to meet these goals.”

The Planning Commission will hold a hearing to discuss the plan and could forward it to the City Council for approval and implementation, possibly at an Aug. 12 meeting.

“Should the Plan be approved by the Planning Commission and City Council, the specific parking strategies would be further refined and reviewed at future public hearings as required,” the plan states.

The Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Council Chambers at the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive. The public may attend and make comments.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District has been discussing parking concerns in Corona del Mar for years. Last summer, the city hired Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates Inc. to create a parking management plan. City officials and consultants held two public meetings, collecting input from residents and business owners.

Corona del Mar has 3,465 parking spaces, with 2,033 or 59 percent located in on-street spaces, the report states.

“The Plan describes that there is an abundance of empty parking spaces, even at peak hour, but many of these spaces are not easily usable by the public,” the plan states.

Read our earlier stories here and here.