CdM Meeting Helps B.I.D. Fine-Tune Beautification Project Ideas

posted: February 24th, 2015 12:03 pm | 1Comment

About 15 people attended a Corona del Mar Business Improvement District meeting Monday night, offering their opinions on a project that would add floral touches to the village to emphasize a Flower Streets motif.

The latest plan would cost about $60,000 and would add blue, oval-shaped street signs along East Coast Highway with images of flowers that match the name of the street, along with four flower medallions that would be installed on the sidewalks at Marguerite Avenue. Eight decorative pots with built-in irrigation and plants also would be placed at Marguerite Avenue.

The sidewalk medallions and pots could be added to other intersections in the future, said Bernie Svalstad, chairman of the CdM B.I.D.

Several people at the meeting said they did not want a colorful flower placed in the middle of the intersection at Marguerite Avenue and East Coast Highway, which was part of an original plan discussed in July 2013; read that story here.

Svalstad said city staff had already said that plan would not work, and it was no longer being considered.

The B.I.D. will work to refine the plans, Svalstad said, with new drawings. He said after the meeting that he didn’t know when the project might begin.

The meeting, held in the Civic Center Community Room, lasted about an hour and a half. Corona del Mar’s City Councilman Scott Peotter attended the meeting for an hour but didn’t make comments.


Councilman Will Raise Concerns About Illegal Beach Fires at Tuesday Meeting

posted: February 24th, 2015 05:11 am | 5Comments

These days, you can burn charcoal or wood in the fire rings at Big Corona State Beach. But some visitors have been making fires directly on the sand, creating a mess and potentially a dangerous situation, residents and city officials say.

On Valentine’s Day, five fires were burning directly on the sand at Big Corona, according to Frank Peters, a neighbor and vocal opponent of wood-burning fires. The fires, he said, extended as far as 200 yards east of the fire rings.

The next day, he said, he walked the beach with city park patrol officers.

“They found two buried fires that were still burning,” he said. Wood was smoldering under the sand at 10 a.m., when families with children were already on the sand nearby.

City staff said that fires built outside of rings are unusual.

“They’re not unheard of, but they’re not common,” said Tara Finnigan, a city spokeswoman. No citations were issued for the fires earlier this month, she said.

Newport Beach City Councilman Keith Curry said he plans to mention the issue at tonight’s City Council meeting. Curry also raised the issue at the Corona del Mar Residents Association’s board meeting on Thursday.

The city has received many complaints and reports of burning violations since the charcoal-only rules were changed to allow wood earlier this year, he said in an email. The complaints include one from a Peninsula resident who said on Presidents Day, he found a table, possibly stolen from a nearby homeowner, partly burned in a fire ring, as well as trash and debris scattered near rings.

Presidents Day was not crowded on the beach, the resident’s email said, but the mess was terrible.

“What will this mess look like on a summer day?” he asked.

At the CdMRA meeting, Curry also raised concerns about the cost of enforcing rules that permit charcoal only in some fire rings, while allowing wood burning in other rings nearby. At the meeting, some members commented about the lack of enforcement, and liability concerns associated with visitors burning themselves on embers in open sand.

The City currently is seeking public input on several possible configurations of beach fire rings. The online survey, which will be open through March 6, originally proposed seven configurations but has been expanded now to include nine.

A group of residents on the Balboa Peninsula suggested the two additional plans, stating they preferred those options, the online survey states.

City staff will submit a plan to the California Coastal Commission for approval, possibly at the agency’s June meeting that is scheduled to take place in the Council Chambers at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

Read our earlier stories here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Top two photos courtesy of Frank Peters. Bottom photo, of a Peninsula fire ring, courtesy of Councilman Keith Curry.


Tuesday City Council Meeting to Address West Coast Highway Sanitation Project, Jet Packs

posted: February 23rd, 2015 01:34 pm | 0No Comments

The Newport Beach City Council will meet Tuesday, beginning with a 4 p.m. Study Session that will include a presentation by the Orange County Sanitation District about an ongoing project that has snarled traffic on West Coast Highway.

The project, which began in September, will replace a large sewer line that takes wastewater to a treatment plant in Huntington Beach. The pipe runs along Coast Highway, and crews have shut down lanes and removed on-street parking during construction. In January, crews twice ruptured gas lines, creating even worse traffic problems, and earlier this month, crews accidentally damaged a power line that caused a traffic signal outage.

The Study Session meeting also will discuss whether to follow a Harbor Commission recommendation to allow “water propelled vessels,” or jet packs, only offshore, as well as whether to limit the number of operators, according to an email blast from City Manager Dave Kiff.

The Council’s regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m. The consent calendar includes a review of a proposed new ordinance for massage businesses, along with approval of a notice of completion for a project that installed storm drain trash and debris interceptors at locations including Begonia Park and in Cameo Shores; read our earlier story here.

The meeting will take place in Council Chambers at the Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive. The public may attend and make comments.

To see the complete agenda, click here.


From the Police Log: Man Arrested Twice for Sleeping at Civic Center after Hours

posted: February 23rd, 2015 12:10 pm | 0No Comments

Newport Beach police arrested a man twice in a week after they found hm sleeping in a vehicle in the Civic Center parking structure, according to reports.

The man was arrested at 3:34 a.m. Feb. 13 and booked on suspicion of sleeping in a vehicle, drinking alcohol in public and use of a city park after hours, a report said. The man, who said he was 58 years old and from San Clemente, had bail set at $25.

The man was arrested again on Feb. 18 at the same location on suspicion of the same three charges, a report said. That time, he said he was 60 years old and from Tustin, and his bail was $500. Each time, the man gave no response when officers asked his occupation. One of the arrests came after police made a routine patrol check, online logs state. The Civic Center is located at 100 Civic Center Drive.

Police also took several vandalism reports in the past two weeks. On Feb 13, officers took a report of misdemeanor vandalism with property damage in the 400 block of Seward Road. The vandalism had occurred between midnight July 1 and midnight Feb. 6. Officers took a report of felony vandalism at Third and Jasmine avenues at 12:46 p.m. Feb. 16, and they took another report of misdemeanor vandalism with property damage on Feb. 17. That incident occurred between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Feb. 16. Another misdemeanor vandalism report was taken Saturday in the 23000 block of Newport Coast Drive. That incident involved defacing property and occurred between 10 p.m. Friday and 6 a.m. the next day, and another misdemeanor vandalism incident, involving defacing property, occurred between 5 p.m. Saturday and 8:16 a.m. Sunday in the 3000 block of Ocean Boulevard. No loss was listed on any of the vandalism reports.

In other police news, officers took reports of several thefts and made several alcohol-related arrests in the past two weeks.

On Feb. 13, officers took a report of a petty theft pickpocketing incident in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a $750 loss, occurred between 12:30 and 2:46 p.m. that day. Officers took a report of a petty theft from buildings, with no loss amount listed, in the 22700 block of Pelican Hill Road South on Feb. 13. The theft occurred at 10:38 a.m., a report said. Officers took a report of petty theft of motor vehicle parts worth $25 in the 300 block of Marguerite Avenue on Feb. 14. The theft had occurred between midnight Dec. 1 and 5:09 p.m. Feb. 14.

A grand theft from buildings with a $500 loss was reported on Feb. 15. That incident occurred between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive, a report said.

Another petty theft of motor vehicle parts was reported Feb. 15 in the 1600 block of Marguerite Avenue. That theft, with a $360 loss, occurred between 11 p.m. Dec. 12 and 9 a.m. the next day. A petty theft with a $500 loss was reported on Feb. 15 in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive. That theft occurred between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. A petty theft from buildings in the 20400 block of Newport Coast Drive was reported on Feb. 16. That theft, with a $150 loss, occurred between 3:50 p.m. Feb. 10 and 3:30 p.m. Feb. 13, a report said.

Officers took a report of a grand theft with a $4,000 loss on Feb. 17 in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft occurred between 10 a.m. and noon on June 11, a report said. Another grand theft involving fraud was reported on Wednesday in the 1600 block of Newport Center Drive. That theft occurred between 12:46 and 1 p.m. on Aug. 26, and the loss was $1,630. Police took a report of petty theft from a motor vehicle in the 600 block of Acacia Avenue on Wednesday. The theft occurred between 5 p.m. Tuesday and 7 a.m. Wednesday, and no loss was listed. A grand theft from buildings was reported Wednesday in the 900 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a loss of $1,100, occurred between 4 and 7 p.m. on Feb. 15. A petty theft from buildings was reported in the 500 block of Dahlia Avenue on Thursday. The theft, with a loss of $325, occurred between 11 a.m. Jan 23 and 5 p.m. Feb. 3.

Police took a report of grand theft from a motor vehicle on Saturday in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a $2,800 loss, occurred between 5 and 7 p.m. Jan. 1. Officers also took a report of a petty theft from a motor vehicle on Saturday in the 400 block of Newport Center Drive. The theft, with a $225 loss, occurred between 5 and 7 p.m. on Friday.

Police arrested a 47-year-old Whittier man at 5:01 p.m. Feb. 13 in the 600 block of Newport Center Drive on a warrant for driving with a suspended license; bail was $10,000, a report said.

A 45-year-old Newport Beach woman was arrested on suspicion of DUI at 10:24 p.m. Feb. 13 on Corporate Plaza Drive; her bail was $2,500. Another woman, 53, of Newport Beach, was arrested at the same location at 10:28 p.m. Feb. 13 on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicated, and her bail was $500. A man, 18, of San Rafael, was arrested at 4:25 a.m. Feb. 15 at Second and Marguerite avenues on suspicion of disorderly conduct while intoxicate; his bail was $500. A 31-year-old Newport Beach woman was arrested at 8:45 p.m. Friday at MacArthur Boulevard and East Coast Highway on suspicion of DUI; bail was $2,500. Officers also arrested a 57-year-old Irvine man at 1:41 a.m. Saturday at Marguerite Avenue and San Joaquin Hills Road on suspicion of DUI with a prior; bail was $15,000. Officers also arrested a 23-year-old Santa Ana man at 7:28 p.m. Sunday at Bayside Drive and Fernleaf Avenue on suspicion of driving with a suspended license, having an illegally modified exhaust system, failing to signal before turning and falling to stop at a sign; bail was $2,500.

Police took a report of a battery at 3:30 a.m. Saturday in the 22700 block of Pelican Hill Road South, and they took another report of a battery at 12:45 p.m. Sunday in the 100 block of Newport Center Drive, reports said.


Crabs Wash Onto Shore in Corona del Mar

posted: February 23rd, 2015 11:31 am | 0No Comments

Beach visitors this weekend noticed thousands of red crabs that had washed onto Big Corona State Beach, Balboa Island beaches and other areas.

Michelle Clemente, a Newport Beach marine education supervisor, said the creatures were pelagic red crabs, or Pleuroncodes planipes.

“They are up from the south now,” she said in an email. “They came with the warm water (although it is really not that warm now). They show up every few years.”

The crabs were off Balboa Island on Saturday and at Big Corona on Sunday.

In September, glow-in-the-dark pyrosomes washed onto the beach at Big Corona, which Clemente said had not been seen before in Corona del Mar; read our earlier story here.

The Orange County Register is reporting that the crabs are the “latest in a year of odd sightings along the coast caused by unusual warm water experts say are signs of El Nino;” read that story here.

Top photo by Corona del Mar Today reader Julie Kelly at Balboa Island; bottom photo at Big Corona by reader Ron Yeo.


Reminder: Back Bay Drive Closed Through Friday

posted: February 23rd, 2015 10:24 am | 0No Comments

Back Bay Drive will be closed today through Friday, the city’s website states.

Workers have been resurfacing, striping and installing new signs on the roadway from Shellmaker Road to Eastbluff Drive.

The road was closed to vehicles over the weekend but open for pedestrians and bicyclists, but it is again closed to all users today through Friday.

Back Bay Drive will be closed again in early March for additional maintenance in order to complete the project, the city website states.


Rain to Clear, Then Return on Friday

posted: February 23rd, 2015 10:08 am | 0No Comments

After a rainy Sunday and Monday morning, the weather in Corona del Mar should be sunny most of the week with a chance of showers in the forecast for the weekend, the National Weather Service’s website states.

There is a 30 percent chance of showers today, with a high temperature of 63 degrees, the website states. Tuesday’s high temperature is expected to be 68 degrees, Wednesday’s is expected to be 66 degrees and Thursday’s should be 64 degrees.

Increasing clouds are expected by Thursday night, and on Friday, there is a slight chance of showers with a high temperature of 67 degrees. There also is a chance of showers for Saturday and Sunday.


Live Music, Refreshments at Tuesday Chamber Mixer

posted: February 23rd, 2015 07:37 am | 0No Comments

The Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce will hold a Sunset Networking Mixer from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at The Boutique Real Estate Group offices, according to an event announcement.

Guitarist and singer Don Covel will perform at the mixer, said Raj Qsar, owner of The Boutique Real Estate Group.

No reservations are required. The event is free for chamber members and $20 for guests, and refreshments will be provided, including a ticket for a complimentary first drink.

The Boutique Real Estate offices are located at 3653 East Coast Highway. Street parking will be available.


Crystal Cove Will Be “In Bloom” With Spring Art Show Scheduled For March

posted: February 23rd, 2015 07:00 am | 0No Comments

The Crystal Cove Alliance will host its annual Spring Art Show and Sale on March 14 and 15, featuring the works of more than 30 plein air artists, organizers said.

The show, called “In Bloom,” will feature work from artists “who have captured the natural beauty and color of Crystal Cove in the spring,” a news release said. Visitors will be able to meet the artists, view the artwork, and 50 percent of proceeds from sales that weekend will benefit the Crystal Cove Alliance. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. on March 13, alliance members may attend a preview sale and reception.

At 1 p.m. on March 15, Jean Stern, executive director of the Irvine Museum, will present a lecture called “California Coastline through Art” that will discuss coastal ecology through the lens of plein air painting. To R.S.V.P for the lecture or the preview sale and reception, email ckoenig at crystalcovealliance dot org. The lecture will be head at the park’s Historic District’s visitor’s center.

The show will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday March 14 and Sunday March 15 in the Education Commons of the Historic District.

The Crystal Cove Alliance is the official nonprofit partner of Crystal Cove State Park and “is dedicated to preserving the cultural, natural and historic resources of Crystal Cove,” the release said.


CdM Today Poll of the Week

posted: February 23rd, 2015 05:05 am | 0No Comments