Misbehaving at the Library Could Result in Yearlong Bans

posted: October 17th, 2014 01:08 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach Board of Library Trustees will meet Monday, when they will vote on whether to refine the punishments for bad behavior on library premises.

“In order to have a better tool to help ensure a safe and enjoyable environment, and to ensure customers have the best experience possible, the Library Use Policy has been amended,” according to a report included in the meeting’s online agenda. “The Policy will also address customers having more equitable access and recourse.”

The major changes are that customer “behavior expectations” will extend to the entire premises and not just inside the library, and that customers will no longer be banned indefinitely. Instead, a customer could be suspended, with escalating durations of up to a year for repeat violations. They also will be able to appeal, the report states.

Behavior that could lead to a suspension includes smoking within 100 feet of all library entrances, sleeping, lounging on furniture, occupying more than one space when other customers are waiting, and eating or drinking in areas where it’s not permitted.

Upon a first violation, staff may ask the person to behave correctly and leave for a day, and a second violation could lead to a 30-day suspension. A third violation could lead to being asked to leave for the day and a 30-day suspension, and a fourth violation could result in a suspension of up to one year.

If a violation is severe enough, however, the library services manager also could suspend a customer for a year even if it isn’t a fourth violation, the report states. Library staff will have to issue written notices, and patrons may file an appeal.

The trustees also will hear an update on the Corona del Mar library branch project, which will rebuild and combine the fire station and library branch on Marigold Avenue. A staff report states that a project proposal may go before the City Council on Nov. 11. It also states that a survey about what library patrons want to see in the branch may be extended to Oct. 30 at the request of the Corona del Mar Residents Association.

To read more about the library branch project, click here.

The meeting will begin at 5 p.m. in the Central Library at 1000 Avocado Ave.

Traffic Delays Possible at Newport Coast Drive, Coast Highway Next Week

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

Electronic message boards in Corona del Mar are warning of possible traffic delays on Tuesday and Wednesday Oct. 21 and 22 at East Coast Highway and Newport Coast Drive.

The warnings are related to Newport Beach’s traffic signal modernization project, said Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman.

“Crews will be rewiring the signals on October 21 and 22 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” she said. “Public Works expects this to cause some traffic delays and is recommending motorists use alternate routes when possible.”

From the Police Log: Petty Thefts Reported

posted: October 16th, 2014 01:14 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police took a report of a petty theft in the 3000 block of Ocean Boulevard on Monday, with a loss of $600. The theft occurred between 5:45 p.m. Monday and 8:14 a.m. Tuesday, a report said.

Police also took a report of petty theft in the 700 block of Newport Center Drive on Tuesday. That theft, with a $50 loss, occurred between 3 and 4 p.m. Oct. 11. Police took a report of someone taking an auto without the owner’s consent at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday at Third and Iris avenues.

Officers arrested a 53-year-old Newport Beach man at 11:40 p.m. Wednesday at Marguerite Avenue and East Coast Highway on a warrant for an alcohol-related vehicle code misdemeanor. His bail was $2,931, a report said.

Meeting Includes Q&A With Code Enforcement Staff

posted: October 16th, 2014 11:22 am | 0No Comments

Can Corona del Mar homeowners rent their homes to short-term vacationers? Why did a local spin studio cancel 6 a.m. classes? And what about campaign signs on public property — should those be allowed?

The Corona del Mar Residents Association board met today, with Newport Beach code enforcement Supervisor Matt Cosylion and enforcement officer Cassi Palmer as the guest speakers.

Cosylion introduced Palmer as the new officer for Corona del Mar, then took questions from board members. About 30 people attended the meeting at the OASIS Senior Center.

Board member Barry Allen asked for clarification of the city’s rules on boarding houses, or short-term rentals using online services such as airbnb.

“What if you see that is going on in your neighborhood?” he asked.

Cosylion said the rules are complicated. For instance, he said, a homeowner can rent a room to a single person but not necessarily to several unrelated people. Neighborhoods that are zoned R-1 can’t have short-term rentals, he said, and anyone renting a home for a short-term vacation must be licensed and approved. He urged anyone concerned to call or email him.

CdMRA board member Dennis Baker asked about campaign signs, apparently referring to a public comment at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, when a woman complained that she got the runaround when she asked about signs on public property. City Manager Dave Kiff told the woman that while staff did remove signs from public areas about once a week, he did not want to risk their safety by having them attempt to remove signs placed high on poles.

City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner told the CdMRA group that the rules weren’t enforced for another reason.

“The City Council don’t want them cleared, and the staff takes direction from that,” she said. “They don’t say that.”

When city crews do remove the signs, she said, they take them to the City Yard, where candidates or their workers can retrieve them and re-use them. Years ago, she said, she tried to change the rules so the signs would be destroyed.

“I got no support,” she said. “There’s no willingness on the Council’s part.”

Board member Debbie Stevens asked about code enforcement violations at Studio Cycle, a spin exercise studio at 3711 East Coast Highway. The studio recently announced all 6 a.m. classes were canceled until further notice.

Cosylion said he’d received several noise complaints about the studio, and that the business had an operator’s agreement to open at 7 a.m. The business could apply for a new agreement with a 6 a.m. start time through the city’s Zoning Administrator, he said outside the meeting room.

The meeting also included City Council updates. Councilman Ed Selich said that Speak Up Newport would be holding a meeting discussing the 405 toll lanes in November, and in January the group may hold a meeting to discuss tolls on the 73.

Gardner said the City was considering changes to sidewalks on Ocean Boulevard as well as removal of diseased trees on Poppy Avenue.

CdM Residents Association Hosts Final Political Forum

posted: October 16th, 2014 07:52 am | 0No Comments

A crowd of more than 150 people gathered at the OASIS Senior Center on Wednesday for the last political forum of the season, an event that lasted 2 1/2 hours but focused as much on one-on-one opportunities to mingle with candidates and discuss Measure Y as it did on the formal program.

The event began at 5:30 p.m. with nearly an hour to register and socialize. City Council candidates had tables set up along the edges of the Evelyn Hart Event Hall, with pins, stickers, yard signs and brochures. There also were tables with information for and against Measure Y, which proposes changes to the City’s land-use portion of the general plan.

The candidate forum began at 6:35 p.m. and lasted 30 minutes, starting with a chance for all candidates to make statements. Every Council candidate attended except for Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, who underwent heart bypass surgery on Monday but vowed to continue his campaign.

Corona del Mar Residents Association founding board member and past president Debra Allen, moderated the panel and asked questions about parking, Measure Y and a CdM bypass plan, which would divert traffic from East Coast Highway through the village possibly by reducing or eliminating the 73 Toll road fees through Newport Coast.

The candidates shared common views on most issues.

The last part of the forum included a 20-minute discussion on Measure Y, with opponent Dennis Baker and proponent Larry Tucker representing each side. As volunteers cleaned up, guests had about 30 minutes to continue to chat and mingle with candidates.

City Council members Nancy Gardner and Ed Selich, along with Newport-Mesa Unified School District Trustee Karen Yelsey were in the audience.

Others who attended said the forum wouldn’t change their votes but clarified their positions on the candidates and issue.

“Every single time you hear them, you see a different side and you learn more,” said Mary Lou Hergel, who said she’d attended three forums this year. “But it’s a no brainer for me. I’m very biased.”

Corona del Mar resident Adriana Fourcher agreed.

“It was informational but did not sway me,” she said. “It was a great forum. It was short and sweet, which was nice.”

CdMRA President Karen Tringali said she was happy with the turnout, and that the forum did what she hoped it would do.

“We called it ‘The More You Know,’ and I think we captured that,” she said.

The CdMRA board presented a gift of succulent plants to Councilwoman Gardner at the beginning of the event to thank her for years of service. Gardner is finishing her last term representing District 6.

Was she relieved she wasn’t on the dais, answering questions?

“No, I like that,” she said. “I was sitting here thinking, ‘Oh, why didn’t you say this or that…’”

Photos courtesy of Corona del Mar Today reader Frank Peters.

Child Cyber Trafficking Presentation Planned For Oct. 29

posted: October 16th, 2014 05:21 am | 0No Comments

St. Mark Presbyterian Church will host a free presentation on how to keep children safe from cyber trafficking from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 29.

“Child Cyber Trafficking: Why Your Child/Teen is At Risk” will offer parents and caregivers tips on how to detect the signs of online danger and how to respond if their children are victimized, according to an event news release. The event will be a non-religious presentation and will be adults-only.

Speakers will include Sandra Morgan, director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice.

“Sandra serves as the University Network Chairperson on the Faith Alliance against Slavery and Trafficking (FAAST) Steering Committee,” the release said. “She began her anti-trafficking work in Athens, Greece where she served on the Board of the Athens International Nurses Association. She has also served as the administrator of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) before returning full-time to Vanguard to extend the GCWJ’s work globally.”

Retired Deputy Chief Derek Marsh, who served at the Westminster Police Department for more than 26 years, also will speak. Marsh helped start the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force in 2004 and served as the co-chair of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force from 2004 through 2012, the release said. He has testified in front of Congress twice as an expert witness about local law enforcement issues in human trafficking.

There will be a question and answer session after the presentations.

St. Mark Presbyterian Church is located at 2200 San Joaquin Hills Road at MacArthur Boulevard. For more information call (949) 644-1341.

Coyote Chases Joggers, Dogs on Crystal Cove Trail

posted: October 15th, 2014 01:29 pm | 0No Comments


A woman and her daughter said a coyote chased them and their dogs for a quarter mile on a Crystal Cove State Park trail early Tuesday evening.

“It was crazy,” said Lisa Goon, a former Corona del Mar resident who now lives in the Port Streets. “It would not leave us alone. It was surreal.”

The incident occurred about 6 p.m., when Lisa and her daughter, Maddy, 18, decided to go for a run with their two dogs. They started running at the beginning of a trail near Pelican Point Drive, each with a dog on a 5-foot-long leash.

“Maddy is a faster runner, so she ran down the ramp and was going to wait by the bathrooms,” Lisa said. “All of a sudden I heard panicked screaming, and I saw someone’s arms flailing above the brush.”

Lisa said she ran with her dog, Bode, toward her daughter. Meanwhile, she said, Maddy said she was running with her 22-pound dog, Chloe, when the dog suddenly stopped, then pulled away from Maddy’s grasp.

According to Lisa, a coyote that looked like a big German shepherd was in the path and appeared to be about to pounce on the dog. Maddy lunged to grab the leash, scraping her knees, coming within a foot or two of the coyote. Then she and the dog turned and ran.

Lisa said she ran toward them and maneuvered herself and her larger dog between the coyote and her daughter, but the coyote continued toward them.

“I raised my arms and roared,” she said. “It stopped, but it didn’t scare it away.”

She told her daughter to pick up the smaller dog and run.

“The coyote was interested in getting to that dog,” she said. “I stood there and roared at the coyote.”

Then she began backing slowly away, up the trail for about a quarter mile, with the coyote following her a few feet away.

“I wasn’t turning my back on it,” she said. When she reached East Coast Highway, she said, the coyote finally turned and left them alone.

“I have run that trail a million times,” Lisa said. “I’ve seen bobcats but never anything like this.”

It was close to dusk but still light outside, Lisa said.

Coyotes tend to show themselves at that time of day, said Valerie Schomburg, a Newport Beach Police Department Animal Control officer.

Online police logs show a report of a “vicious animal loose” at East Coats Highway and Los Trancos about 6:39 p.m. Lisa and Maddy drove home but did not immediately report the coyote to police, and details were not available about the later animal sighting.

Lisa said her daughter showed incredible bravery.

“Her fight really kicked in, not her flight,” she said. “It was seriously scary, and she is seriously brave.”

A Crystal Cove State Park superintendent did not immediately return a call seeking comment for this story.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Goon, showing Maddy with Chloe when the dog was a puppy.

Council OK’s A-Frame Signs for CdM; Other Areas Could Follow

posted: October 15th, 2014 10:25 am | 1Comment

The Newport Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved changes to the city code that will allow A-frame signs to be placed in front of Corona del Mar businesses, and Balboa Village and other areas in the city also could eventually have signs permitted.

Council’s support of the A-frame signs contrasted with the city’s Planning Commission, which in August approved the measure in a 4-2 vote. At that meeting, Planning Commission Chairman Larry Tucker said that any business owner currently using the signs was a scofflaw, and he predicted that sidewalks would be overrun with signs in an “A-frame sign war.” Commissioners also were concerned that city staff would be overwhelmed by trying to ensure the signs were placed on private property and not in the public right of way. Read our earlier story here.

The Corona del Mar Business Improvement District sent a letter to the city in January, asking for changes in city code that would allow A-frame signs.

The Planning Commission had considered allowing the signs throughout the city, but in some areas, including Balboa Island, merchants did not want the signs, so the commissioners limited the signs to Corona del Mar only.

At Tuesday’s Council meeting, however, Councilman Mike Henn said that Balboa Village merchants were interested in having A-frame signs, perhaps for a one-year trial period.

“I would support that,” Mayor Rush Hill said. “There are other areas in town that might want to be included.”

The Council considered delaying the matter entirely, but in the end voted to approve the signs for Corona del Mar and decide about other areas in a separate action item later.

There was no public comment, despite an email from the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce sent to members asking them to make their opinions known on the topic.

City Councilwoman Nancy Gardner of Corona del Mar recused herself because the City Attorney said she had a conflict because she owns property within 500 feet of where signs may be placed. The vote was 6-0.

The new law would allow A-frame signs within 10 feet of the primary entrance of a business or a pedestrian courtyard. The signs should not interfere with pedestrians or block parking spaces, or be located in landscape planters, among other restrictions. The signs also should not be illuminated or have flags, pennants or balloons.

CdM Home Tour Underway

posted: October 14th, 2014 02:16 pm | 0No Comments

The CdM Home Tour — the only fundraiser each year for the Corona del Mar High School PTA — is currently underway, with more than 1,600 participants spending the day visiting seven homes in Corona del Mar and Newport Beach.

“I liked the nooks and crannies in the Port Streets one, the views in the Spyglass one and the pool in the Roger’s Gardens one,” said Charlene Metoyer, former principal of Harbor View Elementary School and current school board candidate.

Metoyer said it was her first home tour experience, but others said they’d been going for years.

“We wouldn’t miss it,” said Karen Julian, who with her husband is building the AERIE condominium complex that broke ground this fall at Carnation Avenue and Ocean Boulevard.

This year, she said, she noticed a lot of brightly colored glass tiles.

Which was her favorite home?

“They’re all so different,” she said.

The event began with breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien at Fashion Island, then self-guided stops at the seven featured homes, which included the Cameo Shores home of Roger’s Gardens’ owners Kerry and Gavin Herbert; read more about their home in our story here. Participants gathered for lunch at Sherman Library & Gardens, where there also was a boutique featuring booths selling jewelry, pillows, B.Toffee, stationery and more.

The event will conclude with a reception at Bliss Home & Design from 4 to 6 p.m.

Last year’s tour raised more than $200,000, and organizers said they hoped to raise even more this year.