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These three can tell you it’s never a good time to drive in Newport Beach after you’ve been drinking

It was a bad week for DUI issues around Newport Beach. 

Monday, April 16, just before 6 p.m., Madison Sherrill Fairfield, a 26-year-old dental assistant from Riverside, was arrested for DUI. However, because of a minor passenger(s) in the vehicle, she was also charged with cruelty to a child with possible injury or death. Fairfield’s bail was set at $100,000.

There was also Brett Robert Thurston, 37, Newport Beach, whose DUI was made possible by driving without lights at dark. The arrest was made at 10:30 p.m., Saturday, April 14, on W. Balboa Blvd. and 7th Street. To make matters worse, Thurston was driving with a suspended license. His bail was set at $10,000.

Finally, we have Sergio Arredondo Cervantes, 36, from Pomona, who was arrested Sunday, April 15, at 6:44 p.m. at 9th Street and Balboa for DUI. Here was his problem – Cervantes had 3+ priors listed for DUI. Bail was set at $50,000.

Scroll down to Police Beat for all arrests & crime report

Letters to the Editor:

Elected officials should be held accountable

After some sanctimonious pontification about election integrity, it looks like the City Council did not need subpoenas to investigate violations of our campaign laws, they could have just looked at Scott Peotter’s campaign reports on the City Clerk’s webpage.

Once again, Peotter has accepted excess contributions from Woody’s Wharf and from Duffy Duffield. Amazingly, these are the same two donors who made excess donations to Peotter in 2014. Then, the city attorney and city council ignored the violation. These are serious offenses and the penalty in the Municipal Code for both making and receiving an excess donation is removal from office.

In 2015, Peotter and Duffield were key votes in reversing the city’s position, allowing Woody’s to play loud music late into the evening and awarding them $355,000 in taxpayer’s money. No wonder the owners can afford to be generous to Peotter.

The council is spending taxpayer dollars to pursue subpoenas related to state election laws, where they have no jurisdiction, in an effort to harass their opponents. The council actually is responsible for enforcing the Municipal Code and the entire city is watching to see if they will pursue these violations by Peotter and Duffield with the same vigor. I am not holding my breath.

Our elected officials should be held accountable for obeying the laws of the city. Their two-faced, political hypocrisy is now on full display for all to see.

Gerald A. Giannini

Newport Beach

Thanks for the memories...Duncan

I enjoyed Duncan’s article (“Free Flowing,” published April 13), which brought back many fond memories having moved to Newport with my family in 1953. Looking forward to future articles.

Lawrence Cunningham

Newport Beach

Fair Game


What in the world is going on at City Hall?

TomJohnsonBecause only one side is talking, here’s what appears to be going on at City Hall. Remember we wrote Tuesday about potential campaign contribution violations with Newport Beach Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and City Councilman Scott Peotter? Did they violate campaign contribution laws, for a second time?

Well, trying to get legal documents served to Peotter and Duffield has proven challenging to the opposition. City Attorney Aaron Harp is refusing to accept them on the councilmembers’ behalf. And, apparently Peotter and Duffield have been laying low. Harp, himself, has been served.

One of the issues in the document they’re refusing to receive is a potential conflict between Harp and them. As a subordinate, Harp might not have the power to act. 

Those issues include not only dealing with the alleged improper campaign contributions, but now with a story developing about next Tuesday’s City Council agenda.

Apparently, two items were anticipated to show up under the agenda’s Closed Session. The first was a request by Lauri Preedge to correct the Council’s apparent Brown Act violation related to City Manager Dave Kiff and his subsequent “resignation.” The other is the Martha Peyton vs. the City of Newport Beach for the municipal code violations.

Why aren’t these items agendized? Was that a Duffield-Peotter decision or a Harp decision?

If shenanigans are continuing to go on behind closed doors, then we need to find a way to get to the bottom of it. Our City is better than this.

Harp needs to either step up to the plate and take on the issues in question with the support of a court or a special counsel needs to be appointed. 

I don’t know if something right or wrong is going on, but the fish might be starting to rot from the head.

• • •

On a more positive note, a new movie is in the works detailing the life of Ben Carlson, the Newport Beach Lifeguard killed back in July 2014. Part of Water” is a tribute to fallen hero Ben Carlson and the world of Lifeguarding.

Carlson was a lifeguard for 15 years in Newport Beach and became the first lifeguard in United States history to lose his life in the line of duty.

The film is by Tim Burnham and Jack Murgatroyd, both former producers of Dirty Old Wedge.

One of Ben’s closet friends, Skeeter Leeper, is also joining the project management team for the film. Leeper was a roommate, fellow lifeguard and traveled the world surfing with Carlson.

Carlson, of course, was killed diving into the heavy surf in a rescue attempt of a swimmer in trouble. The swimmer managed to survive, but Carlson didn’t. 

However, Ben’s name has continually remained in the news locally with great support for the Ben Carlson Foundation. He’s had our lifeguard headquarters dedicated in his name, a statue in McFadden Square, scholarships in his name and more.

And, it’s all deserving!

A Kickstarter campaign for the film has been started here.

• • •

Our own Newport Beach Carlo Valdes, who competed on the U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team in the South Korea Winter Olympics, was honored at Mariners Christian School with the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award. He attended elementary school there. Congrats!

Stump the Stu

Plaque unveils famous quote

Stump the Stu 4.20.18

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This one was a bit challenging...the plaque is located on the outside of a drinking fountain located above Little Corona Beach. It was correctly guessed by Deb Pirdy and Jim Kaminsky, the latter who gets extra points for understanding the verbiage.

Kaminsky shared, “The photo is of the plaque on the drinking fountain that overlooks Little Corona Beach at Poppy and Ocean Blvds. It is from the poem “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” from poet Samuel Coleridge. Legend has it, that if you sip from the fountain, an albatross will soar above the cliffs.

Stu loves research and found the stanzas from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that read:

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

A special thank you to Millie Rosing who took the photo and to her friend, Lisa Applebee, for sharing it with us!

Join us on Tuesdays as we try and stump you each week with a picture of something unique in our community.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Sign up today for ENC’s Reading in the Redwoods

Bo Reading Lorax

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Courtesy of ENC

ENC Executive Director Bo Glover reading “The Lorax” in the redwoods

Join the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) for a very special Reading in the Redwoods event this Sunday, April 22 beginning at 9:30 a.m.

ENC Executive Director Bo Glover will read The Lorax (you’ll LOVE his silly voices when he reads this one, and he may even have a few magic tricks up his sleeve!).

Enjoy this classic “Earth Day” themed book under the canopy of their tallest trees while your family relaxes together on a blanket or towel.

Afterward, children and their adults will participate in hands-on activities related to the theme of the book: Lorax Bingo, Earth Lanterns, and Planting Butterflies, Hummingbirds & Bees. Parents must remain with children at all times. All ages are welcome. Bring your own blanket or towel.


9:30 - 10 a.m.: Meet the Endangered Amphibian Ambassadors and have a snack during check-in

10 a.m.: Hike out to the Redwoods

Cost: $5 per child, pre-registered member; $7 per child, pre-registered non-member; $10 per child, unregistered walk-in. There is no charge for adults.

To register and pre-pay,

Sign of the times

It’s another edition of Sign of the times, so put your thinking caps on. Below, you’ll find this week’s clue. What you see is the letter “L” which is just a partial glimpse of a sign in Newport Beach. Stu thinks this one captures the perfect breeze.

Good luck!

Send your guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

SOTT 4.20.18

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Lido House opens with grand fanfare

Lido House full front shot

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Photos by Lana Johnson

Community leaders, Newport Beach Chamber Commodores and supporters, NBFD personnel and city residents gathered together on Wednesday, April 18 to ring in the grand opening of Lido House. The turnout of hundreds was overwhelming for the ribbon cutting!

Steve Rosansky, president and CEO of the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, was on hand presenting recognition, in addition to Newport Beach Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, council members Brad Avery, Diane Dixon and Jeff Herdman, as well as representatives from the offices of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Senator John Moorlach and OC Supervisor Michelle Steel, who presented proclamations.

Ribbon cutting

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Robert Olson, developer of Lido House, gets ready to cut the ribbon

Lido House developer Robert D. Olson welcomed the crowd, and after the ribbon cutting, invited attendees to enjoy a champagne reception, keeping the afternoon festive!

Seeking the ultimate beach retreat? Lido House is a four-story property exuding “casual” luxury. It has 130 guestrooms, a presidential suite, several executive suites, and five charming three-story guest cottages. The 2,248-square-foot Mayor’s Table Pacific Pub & Kitchen seats 142 people and serves three meals daily. Get pampered at the Boost Spa. Stop by for a freshly brewed coffee or an ice cream from Crew Coffee and Creamerie, accessed from the street, offering locally roasted brews and syrups made in-house, as well as the hotel’s own specialty ice cream flavors.

Olson, a true visionary, incorporated many of the elements of this Cape Cod-inspired boutique hotel from his own charming abode on Balboa Island. General Manager Adam Beers oversees the day-to-day operations.


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NBFD personnel came out to support the grand opening

Lido House is located at 3300 Newport Blvd., Newport Beach. For more information, call 949.524.8500 or visit

Author Colson Whitehead engages audience at NBPLF Literary Series talk


Colson Whitehead

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Photo by Lana Johnson

Colson Whitehead getting ready to sign my copy of “The Underground Railroad”

Extremely engaging...erudite...witty and very humorous is the way I would like to begin to describe writer Colson Whitehead, who I had the privilege of meeting, as well as listening to at Newport Beach Public Library Foundation’s (NBPLB) Library Live Series on Wednesday evening, April 18.

Whitehead spoke about his recent novel, The Underground Railroad, a No. 1 New York Times bestseller that won both the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He read passages from two of its chapters (Georgia and Indiana) well as sharing the intimacies of his life and his passion for writing...peppered with a very dry sense of humor.

Born and raised in Manhattan, he mentioned multiple times that he “loved staying at home,” which I found hard to believe as he appeared extremely gregarious and outgoing. His favorite pastime readings were comic books, sci-fi and anything by Stephen King.

Whitehead said his first writings were two five-page epics in his junior year at college; researching this...I found he attended Harvard.

From 1991 - 1996, he had a stint at NYC’s Village Voice, a weekly alternative newspaper. He hooked up with a TV editor of “Growing Pains” and “Who’s The Boss,” then began making a living as a fiction writer.

In Spring 2000, he created his vision for The Underground Railroad, and four years ago sold the concept to his editor. Chronicling a young woman’s journey through slavery during a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South, Whitehead takes us through different U.S. states, creating a “human train,” with each locale offering “new possibilities.”

Underground Railroad bookcover

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Submitted photo

His book, which he has traveled with for the past one and one-half years, has been translated into four languages and is slated to be turned into a TV mini-series.

What’s next for this award-winning prolific writer of eight books, who has established himself as one of the most versatile writers in contemporary literature? Could be a love story or science stay tuned.

Editor’s Note: To find out how to become a member of the NBPLF and the many benefits it offers, such as receiving live streams of the Literary Series, contact Susan Groux, Director of Programs at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A special thanks to Dan and Linda Schmenky of Lido Village Books, who were onsite selling Whitehead’s book to be signed. I will treasure mine.

A Night of Music and Magic on Argyros Plaza

Argyros Plaza

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Photo by Nick Koon/Courtesy of

LET THERE BE LIGHT! on Segerstrom Center for the Arts’ Julianne and George Argyros Plaza this Saturday, April 21. The Center presents “Brilliance! – A Night of Music and Light.” The Center is encouraging guests to gather family and friends of all ages to don their favorite light-up and glow-in-the-dark fashion statements to help transform the Argyros Plaza into a sensory feast of light, color and music. 

Santa Ana electronic artist Dulse kicks off the evening’s magic at 7 p.m. The spotlight hits the Argyros Stage and De Lux promptly at 8:30 p.m. LA’s popular post-disco dance-punk DIY duo that sounds like they could have come out of 1979 or 1982 just as easily as 2018 will be on hand until 10 p.m.

Snap a one-of-a-kind photo in Brian Stocker’s Light Painting Photo Booth – definitely not your standard Kodak moment! Embellish your face with luminescent paint designs and wander through the Blacklight Forest. Local innovators Summit Technology Laboratoy (UCI) will be premiering prototypes of lasers on the Interactive Veil, the Mediaquarium and 3D projections in Design Your Vase.

The Plaza’s Center 360 ‘Glow Bar’ will be open for snacking and beverages. And, at the end of the night, drive home safely with Uber. First-time users, enter the promo code “SCFTA” and get up to $15 off your ride.

It’s trippy, it’s fun and it’s free.

For more information, visit

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

Pacific Symphony unveils the sublime beauty of Beethoven’s “Emperor” with pianist André Watts

Andre Watts

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Courtesy of

Virtuoso pianist Andre Watts

Considered one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century and a perennial favorite of Pacific Symphony, André Watts returns to the stage with one of Beethoven’s most beloved works – his Fifth Piano Concerto, “Emperor.” A work prized for its serene and tender second movement, Beethoven’s last piano concerto is a testament to the composer’s emotional range.

From sheer beauty to dazzling grandeur, the “Emperor” requires extreme virtuosity from its soloist, making it an ideal centerpiece in the hands of the talented Watts. Complementing the evening is Shostakovich’s electrifying Symphony No. 10, full of tragedy, terror and – ultimately – triumph, when the orchestra, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, delivers an unforgettable night of deeply contrasting music.

“Watts Plays Beethoven” includes image magnification during the performance to enhance the experience and provide a closer look at the artists at work. The concert takes place Thursday - Saturday, May 3 - 5 at 8 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets are $35 - $126. A preview talk with Alan Chapman begins at 7 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 714.755.5799, or visit

“André is an American treasure as an artist and musical ambassador,” said Maestro St.Clair. “What a joy and honor to perform with him. He has never stopped searching or finding deeper and deeper meaning in all the repertoire he performs. This, combined with his virtuosity and vast experience, makes him the consummate musician we all know him to be. We have performed Beethoven’s Third and Fourth Piano Concertos together in past seasons. So, I thought why not do the ‘Emperor?’ Lastly, we are dear friends with mutual trust and respect for one another’s musicianship. This is a rare gift in our musical world.”

NBFF welcomes Irish Spotlight films


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Photos, courtesy of NBFF

“Maze” is based on a high-security prison breakout

The 19th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival presented by Pacific Sales will screen the West Coast’s largest celebration of Irish Cinema from April 26 - May 3. Highlights include an Irish Showcase Celebration, premieres of feature-length narrative and documentary films, two Irish Shorts programs, and Q&A’s with Irish filmmakers and actors.

On Sunday, April 29, the Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) will present its Irish Showcase, an evening celebration of Celtic cinema and culture. The event will feature the premiere of the three highly anticipated Irish films, Maze (2017), The Drummer and the Keeper (2017), and Michael Inside (2017), followed by a festive post-screening party.

Based on the true story of the 1983 Maze High-Security Prison breakout, Maze (directed by Stephen Burke) follows the development of a prisoner’s improbable friendship with his warden, who was born on the opposite side of North Ireland’s political divide. As the film unravels, it becomes clear that the prisoner is grooming the warden for use in his master plan of escape, resulting in severe consequences for the both of them.

The Drummer and the Keeper

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“The Drummer and the Keeper” brings Asperger’s syndrome to the forefront

The Drummer and the Keeper (directed by Nick Kelly) opens as a rock drummer begins occupational therapy for his recent bipolar diagnosis. As part of his treatment, he takes up soccer, where he encounters a teen with Asperger’s syndrome. While the two don’t get along at first, they eventually develop a mutual friendship as they help each other cope with their conditions and the world around them.

Michael Inside

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“Michael Inside” is a multiple cinema award winner

Winner of the Galway Film Fleadh’s Best Irish Film and the Cork Film Festival’s Audience Award in 2017, Michael Inside (directed by Frank Berry) brings audiences an unforgettable on-screen experience. Caught holding drugs for his friend’s older brother, 18-year-old Michael is sentenced to three months in prison for a crime he did not commit. Once inside, he is befriended by an older drug dealer and exposed to severe violence and intimidation.

The Irish Showcase films will screen on Sunday, April 29 with viewing times at 6 p.m. for Maze, 6:15 p.m. for The Drummer and the Keeper, and 6:30 p.m. for Michael Inside at Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

The post-screening celebration takes place at 8 p.m. at Muldoon’s Irish Pub, 202 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, and will feature music by Sligo Rags and hosted hors d’oeuvres. Admission to the Irish Spotlight Film and the Post-Screening Party is $25.

The Festival will also celebrate Irish feature-length narrative and documentary films as well as an outstanding Irish Shorts program.

Two outstanding short films from Ireland will screen on Sunday, April 29: Irish Coffee & Shorts at 12 p.m. at The LOT in Fashion Island, 999 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, and Shorts O’ the Irish at 3 p.m. at Edwards Big Newport, 300 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. The Irish Shorts programs are curated collections of some of the most influential Irish films on the international festival circuit and feature several North American premieres. Admission to the (non-Showcase) Irish feature-length narrative and documentary films and the Irish Shorts programs is $15.

For ticket information and updates visit

Local non-profit receives $87,072 grant to work with Hoag Hospital

Santa Ana-based nonprofit MOMS Orange County recently received a $87,072 grant from the HealthCare Foundation for Orange County (HFOC). The “Partners for Health” grant will directly support MOMS Orange County’s program of monthly home visitation to help mothers and their families have healthy babies. MOMS Orange County will be working with Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian to implement this program. 

Through this low-cost, high-impact program, MOMS Orange County expects to serve approximately 2,000 women during pregnancy and 1,500 infants beginning at birth through the infant’s first birthday. HFOC support is focused on the central Orange County cities of Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange, Santa Ana and Tustin.

“We are deeply grateful to The HealthCare Foundation for Orange County and our partners at Hoag for their continued support and commitment to our programs and the families we serve,” said MOMS Orange County CEO Pam Pimentel, RN. “This grant will help us continue to serve new mothers and their families in the initial stages of development.”

MOMS pic

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Submitted photo

MOMS Orange County clientele spending playtime with their infant

Provided by MOMS Orange County Maternal-Child Health Coordinators under the supervision of staff RNs, mothers living in vulnerable conditions receive one-on-one health education, risk screenings and support during pregnancy to help increase their chance of delivering a healthy baby. After babies are born, the focus turns to promoting their healthy growth and development resulting in more knowledgeable, confident parents and healthier, thriving babies who are on track with their development. The program helps build the protective factors that are essential to positive infant health and development. In addition to the nonprofit’s home visitation program, MOMS Orange County offers group classes for new and expectant mothers and fathers, as well as parent-baby group classes.

“Hoag is honored to partner with MOMS Orange County on such a pivotal program that is improving the lives of at-risk pregnant women and babies in our community,” said Michaell Rose, DrPH, LCSW, Director of Operations, Hoag’s Department of Community Health.

The HealthCare Foundation for Orange County was formed in 1999 and is dedicated to funding effective, preventative health programs for women and children through independent and collaborative grant making activity.

“We are fortunate to have such strong organizations in Orange County that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children and women and we are pleased to invest in MOMS Orange County’s programs to help families have healthy babies,” said David Dobos, chair of the Grants Committee for HFOC.

Sherman Library & Gardens Private Gardens Tour this weekend

Private Gardens Tour 2018 Art

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Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

The 22nd Annual Private Gardens Tour, hosted by the Sherman Library & Gardens Volunteer Association, is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, April 21 and will feature six amazing gardens in the Newport Beach area from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Attendees will mingle with musicians and artists as they stroll the gardens. The Tour includes a light lunch at Sherman Library & Gardens from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

This year, the Garden Tour Committee has found gardens that they believe will inspire, engage and stimulate your sense of what a garden can be. These gardens are an extension of the house and the people who live in them. They are examples of how gardens make the house a home and connect your family to the natural world. 

For the third year, proceeds from the Tour will go toward the PCH Frontage and Entrance Redesign Project. Ruben Flores of Visionscape, Inc. has completed the conceptual design, keeping with the style and history of the Library & Gardens. The plans will be unveiled in a few months as the official fundraising campaign is launched.

Thanks to the support of the Tour by Friends of Sherman Library & Gardens and many in the community, the Volunteer Association has already donated $50,000 in support of the frontage project. You are invited to participate by attending the Tour and to also help by making an additional donation.

New this year, is a silent auction and opportunity drawing, valued at more than $12,000! Select prizes and tickets will be at the homes and at Sherman Gardens. Among the silent auction items: “It’s Vegas, Baby”: A two-night stay at the Cancun Resort, Las Vegas, worth $400; “A Tear of Delicious Pies”: A freshly baked Polly’s Pie every month for one year and Starbucks coffee goodies, worth $200; “Summer Fun for Watersports Fans”: A day of fun awaits at Newport Beach Aquatic Center and a gift card to The Counter, worth $300. The silent auction takes place at Sherman Gardens.

Tickets: $50 Friends; $60 Non-members. Tickets will include a map of the gardens. You can start at any garden you like and visit the gardens in any order you wish. Shuttle tickets, which are optional, are $45. The shuttle will visit each garden on the tour, plus make a one-stop at Sherman Library & Gardens for the light lunch. The shuttle meets in the front of the Yard House restaurant in Fashion Island at 10:30 a.m. It will depart promptly at 11 a.m. There will be no other shuttles after 11 a.m.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 949.673.2261.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.

You Must Remember This: Follies


For many years, my mother was active in the Assistance League. I don’t think she was ever involved in the administration, but she went every week to the dental clinic and the thrift shop. Unlike my father who could (and did) make a story out of crossing the street, she never talked that much about what she did. It was the doing that she liked, not the relating of it, so I’m rather vague about her exact duties. However, there was one Assistance League event that I remember quite well, and that was the Follies they put on for several years.

It was a revue. A professional came down from Hollywood with a script and music, and all the women and their husbands made up the cast. I got to go to a couple of the productions, and the thing that was amazing was these were people I knew. Like most kids, I didn’t pay much attention to my parents’ friends. They were grownups, what else could you say – until the Follies. Suddenly, they were not simply folks who dropped by for a drink with my folks. They were glamorous stars, up there on stage belting out songs.

It wasn’t just the music though. I loved every part of it, even the skits. It didn’t matter that most of them went over my head. It was the stage. It was acting. So great was the impression, that I still remember one. It featured Margie Neal and Van Hays. She was sitting on a couch, and her line was “Art, art, how I love art.” There was some back and forth as he tried to impress her, and then at the finale, he ripped open his shirt, and cried, “The tattoo!” It brought down the house. I had no idea what was going on or why people were laughing, but I laughed and clapped as hard as I could. You couldn’t have asked for a better audience.

The Boyfriend

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Submitted photo

A dance number from “The Boyfriend” musical

It may have been the Follies that spurred my desire to appear in musicals. First semester at UCSB was my big chance. They were putting on The Boyfriend, and I was determined to get a good part, and then – horror of horrors – I woke up the morning of the tryouts with laryngitis. I’d never had laryngitis. Why now? Not to be deterred, I went to the audition. Dancing no problem, then it was time to sing. I croaked through a few lines of song – and found myself cast in the second lead. Wow! That just shows that if you’ve got talent, it comes through no matter what the circumstances. Several weeks into rehearsal with me singing my heart out each day, the director pulled me aside. “Do you get laryngitis often?”  “Never,” I assured him, only to see his face fall. My voice with laryngitis was funny. My natural voice...somehow, I had gone 18 years without realizing I didn’t have one. Fortunately for everyone, I decided to transfer from UCSB before the production, so they never had to fire me.

As for the Follies, I don’t know when or why they discontinued it. Perhaps it was more trouble than it was worth, but it made a big impression on me, much bigger, I’m sorry to say, than the truly worthy Assistance League productions – the dental clinic and thrift shop.


Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, long-time resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to StuNewsNewport.

Las Vegas mass shooting survivors organize cycling event

Brittany Lessard, 33, and Jimmy Lessard, 34, of Laguna Niguel, were enjoying the final moments of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas watching the final act, Jason Aldean perform. 

At 10:05 p.m., Stephen Paddock opened fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort, using 12 AR-15 rifles modified with bump-fire stocks firing at an automatic rate for approximately 10 minutes – resulting in 59 people being killed and more than 500 injured.

The Lessards suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from this atrocity, and want to raise awareness for PTSD. Jimmy and his associates from the Newport-Mesa YMCA have teamed up to form Crime Survivors, which will host Ride 4 Healing, a 300-mile stationary bike event to reach out to those who have experienced trauma in their life.

Ride 4 Healing takes place on Saturday, May 19 from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. at the Newport-Mesa Family YMCA. The event is free of charge to attend.

Teams of five (200 will take turns biking a total of 300 miles) will cycle on stationary bikes for four hours. The mileage is significant in that it is the distance between Orange County and Las Vegas. Registration fees: $500 for a team of five; Single riders are $150.

Additional planned activities include yoga, painting and self-defense class – activities chosen to help participants thrive in a “safe space.”

To register as a sponsor and to find out more about Ride 4 Healing, visit

Newport-Mesa YMCA is located at 2300 University Drive, Newport Beach.

Kathleen Neff named OneOC Spirit of Volunteerism honoree

Kathleen Neff

Submitted photo

Kathleen Neff of Junior League of Orange County, headquartered in Newport Beach, has been named a 2018 OneOC Spirit of Volunteerism honoree for her volunteer work with the nonprofit, whose mission is promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

A resident of Irvine, Neff is currently serving as the League’s Human Trafficking Advocacy Manager. She has embraced her role with enthusiasm and passion, leading her committee in supporting the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force’s (OCHTTF) efforts in bringing awareness to the presence of human trafficking in Orange County. Neff and her committee coordinated the League’s 4th Annual Human Trafficking Roundtable, coordinated the League’s involvement in OCHTTF’s “Be the One” social media campaign in January 2018, and led a donation drive for victims of human trafficking.

Neff is dynamic and exhibits a positive spirit. Her passion about advocating on behalf of human trafficking victims is contagious, and the League is very fortunate to have her as a member and a leader. She will receive her honor at the Spirit of Volunteerism event, set for April 26 at the Disneyland Hotel.

For more information on Junior League of Orange County, visit

Imaginology welcomed more than 46,000 students, parents to the OC fairgrounds

Kids in sacks

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Photos, ourtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Kids enjoy friendly competition during the sack races

The robots are being dismantled and packed away, the glue and glitter is being cleaned up, and the animals are resting after three days of visitors. With record-breaking attendance, OC Fair & Event Center’s largest community give-back event, Imaginology, has come to a close. In total, Imaginology hosted more than 46,000 guests over the weekend, up nearly 30 percent from 2017.

Several events took place within Imaginology, including Dia del Nino, an annual festival that was previously held in Santa Ana, and featured several performances and artist workshops on Sunday. Throughout the weekend, Vital Link hosted its STEM Showcase, which celebrated tech and gadgets in a hands-on way, featuring robot competitions, 3D and VR demonstrations and more. Over in Livestock, 4-H and FFA groups competed in master showmanship events, and in Baja Blues, Academic Chess

hosted its Tournament of Champions.

Cow with girl

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Cow-milking demos attracted crowds to Millennium Barn

With myriad exhibitors, demonstrations and hands-on activities, here are a few numbers to help digest the fun:

--46,131 guests attended 2018 Imaginology

--1,000 LEGO pieces were used by contestants in the Bytes and Bots MiniMAKEathon competition

--400 paper airplanes flew across The Hangar during Aerospace Adventure

--30 gallons of milk were produced from the cow-milking demos in Millennium Barn

--16 community entertainment performances took place on Main Mall Stage

--400 boys and girls participated in Fishing in the City

--450 people took a ride on the tractor that circled the fairgrounds

--6.5 pounds of wool was shaved off during sheep shearing in Centennial Farm

--8 hats were entered into Imaginology’s first-ever Steampunk Hat Contest

--60 pounds of honey were sold by OC Beekeepers Association

--1,346 burgers and brats were sold by Boy Scout Troop 339

--14 other vendors and local organizations provided delicious dining options for guests, including Boy Scout Troop 274, OC 4-H Tri-City, Cathy’s Cookies and Scooter’s Italian Ice

--Finally, six scarecrows were entered into the annual Scarecrow Contest, including one made by Xander Leising, age 9, of Long Beach. Leising didn’t let his severe allergy to hay stop him from entering the contest. Instead, he decorated his scarecrow while wearing a Hazmat-like suit and mask.

Xander Leising in hazmat suit

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Xander Leising decorates his scarecrow in a Hazmat-like suit to combat allergies

Imaginology 2018 was held April 13 - 15 in an effort to showcase S.T.E.A.M.-powered education. The event provided exhibits and demonstrations based on the facets of science, technology, engineering, arts and math. The event offered various educational hands-on activities designed to inspire and encourage academic and career exploration. Several arts-related competitions were hosted by the OC Fair with participation from hundreds of local schools. Results of the competitions are posted at

The OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Come find out about goat yoga!

Goat yoga

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Courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

Adorable bouncing baby goats will take over Centennial Farm at OC Fair & Event Center this Saturday, April 21 as Orange County’s only goat yoga event kicks off.

The Goat Yoga Experience & Fun Farm Day offers a unique opportunity to be part of the latest viral sensation. It’s a traditional yoga class with baby pygmy goats invited in to frolic, nuzzle and climb on class participants.

But there’s more – and it’s free! Although the two goat yoga sessions quickly sold out, there is plenty of goat fun to be had with goat selfie stations, playtime with goats and chick petting. Centennial Farm is open for exploration – perfect for human and goat kids of all ages.

Come watch as Spectra Yoga of Costa Mesa offers two beginner level sessions from 10 - 11:30 a.m. and again from 12 - 1:30 p.m. on the lawn in front of Centennial Farm’s Millennium Barn. The Fountain Valley Cloverdales 4-H Club will supply cuddly baby goats to join in on the fun. The Farm is open until 4 p.m.

“We’re excited about introducing agriculture to the community in a unique and fun way, as well as partnering with two great Orange County organizations such as the Fountain Valley Cloverdales 4-H Club and Spectra Yoga,” said OC Fair & Event Center CEO Kathy Kramer.

The event will also feature a bake sale and frozen fruit bars fundraiser, and opportunity drawings for farm-fresh gift baskets, with proceeds benefiting the Fountain Valley Cloverdales 4-H Club and Centennial Farm. Exclusive souvenir T-shirts will also be sold.

The OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Celebrate Earth Day in Upper Newport Bay

Lady and kids

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Photos courtesy of Newport Bay Conservancy

Orange County Parks in partnership with Newport Bay Conservancy presents Earth Day at the Bay on Sunday, April 22 at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. 

Upper Newport Bay celebrates its 28th Earth Day – a day to think about how we can protect our planet and preserve it for the future. Many booths will feature family-friendly activities including arts & crafts and science discovery. There will be a scavenger hunt with small prizes for all participants and entry into larger prize drawings. The day will be filled with live music from Danny Maika.

Lady with Hawk

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife will emphasize protection of Marine Protection Areas. Environmental Nature Center, OC Parks and OC Bird of Prey will participate in live animal presentations. OC Health Care Agency, OC Vector Control, Irvine Ranch Water District, OC Used Oil Recycling Program and OC Lead Poisoning Prevention Program are among a host of others that will be in attendance.

The entire event is free and open to the public, but bring some money for the opportunity drawing, featuring great prizes from local merchants. All proceeds benefit the Upper Newport Bay. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks.

Boy with microscope

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Newport Bay Conservancy is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the Upper Newport Bay, one of the largest natural remaining estuaries in Southern California. The Interpretive Center is an OC Parks facility. As a steward of significant natural and cultural resources, OC Parks manages and operates a system of regional parks, beaches, harbors, trails and historic sites that are places of recreation and enduring value.

For more information, visit, or call 949.923.2290.

Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach.

CdM Chamber Sunset Networking Mixer set for April 24


Submitted photo

Join the Corona del Mar Chamber for their upcoming Sunset Networking Mixer at El Cholo Restaurant on Tuesday, April 24 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

The evening’s festivities will include delicious bites like chips and duo salsas, tray-passed chicken taquitos, mini quesadillas and pecan pralines. Ole!

Enjoy a complimentary first margarita, wine, or beer with special Happy Hour prices thereafter.

Cost: CdM Chamber members, free; Non-members, $10.

El Cholo Restaurant is located at 3520 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. Parking is available in back of the restaurant or on the street.

Attention bee lovers…volunteer at America’s Pet Expo

Bees on Hive

Submitted photo

The Orange County Beekeepers Association (OCBA) is seeking volunteers to help out at their America’s Pet Expo booth on Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 29 at the Orange County Fair & Event Center.

This booth is a great way for the OCBA to reach to the public and especially the youth of our community. They will be hosting a live observation beehive (under glass), and selling honeystix and jars of honey to raise funds for the OCBA.

If you are new to the club or beekeeping, don’t worry – it’s the perfect time to learn. It also is an ideal way to get a crash course before working the booth at the 2018 Orange County Fair.

Available shifts:

Friday, April 27: 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. (three people needed)

Saturday, April 28: 2:15 - 4 p.m. (four people needed)

Sunday, April 29: 2 - 6 p.m. (three people needed)

OCBA needs at least four people to man each shift. If interested, please reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with shifts you can fill. You must include your name and phone number. Parking passes are needed on Saturday and Sunday. People signed up will receive information on picking them up. For more information, visit

Stump the Stu

We hope this one will wet your whistle…

Stump the Stu 4.17.18

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Perhaps, this is the Stu’s favorite yet! The words on this plaque are part of a famous quote. Okay. Where are these words located? And you get extra points for who this quote can be attributed to. Good luck!

Take the challenge and submit your answers to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The correct answer is in Friday’s edition, along with the correct guesses. So, join us in the fun.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Newport Beach is going “John Wayne Crazy” starting April 25

John Wayne and Captain Bert Minshall

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Submitted photo

John Wayne and his captain, Bert Minshall, aboard the Wild Goose

John Wayne fans will be in for a treat when Hornblower Cruises & Events continues its tradition with an exclusive series of cruises honoring John Wayne, beginning on Wednesday, April 25, on board the famous yacht, Wild Goose. The John Wayne Celebration Cruises commemorate Wayne’s life and times in Newport Beach.

Get in on the fun and #talklikewayne on Hornblower’s Facebook page at @HornblowerLA to win tickets aboard the cruise. All you have to do is record your best impersonation of the legend and post it with #talklikewayne, and you’ll be automatically entered to win tickets on one of the John Wayne Celebration Cruises on Hornblower offered now through June 2018.

Highlights of the Cruise: Passengers will be transported back in time as they choose a variety of cruises aboard Wild Goose, between April 25 - June 16. Guests will have the chance to meet Wayne’s Captain, Bert Minshall, who will be on board to share stories and autograph his book available for sale, On Board With The Duke.

In addition, Hornblower annually collaborates with Madame Tussauds Hollywood to reunite the wax replica of John Wayne in True Grit attire back on board the Wild Goose.

Stroll the outer decks or explore the family salons and staterooms on Wild Goose. Hornblower will cruise by the location that was formerly John Wayne’s 10- bedroom, seven-bath waterfront mansion, where he and his family lived, and where the Wild Goose was docked for many years. Passengers will enjoy an unforgettable front seat to the sights and sounds of Newport Harbor, and guests can also indulge in adult drink specials made with “Duke Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”

To purchase tickets, call 888-Hornblower or visit the website at Discounts are available for children, groups, seniors and the military. Taxes, service fees and landing fees are additional. Cruises depart from Hornblower Cruises, South, 2431 West Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach.

Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

A Look Back 4.17.18

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The large sailboat in this photograph from 1922 is The Wave, a boat owned by Hal Will Smith. Balboa Island was nearly a decade and a half old at the time and there were still many empty properties on the island, as shown by the empty lots visible on South Bay Front to the right of the castle.

Visit Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store located at 331 Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Tuesdays - Sundays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 949.675.3952. www.balboaislandmuseum.organd  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Fair Game


Petition lists possible issues with Peotter donations and asks the court for help

TomJohnsonMartha Peyton, of Corona del Mar, appears to have opened up a hornet’s nest with her Superior Court filing last week requesting a Petition for Writ of Mandamus, listing Newport Beach City Attorney Aaron Harp as the respondent, and City Councilman Scott Peotter and Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield as the Real Parties of Interest.

So as best I can tell, and I’m no lawyer, back in 2017, Duffy and Scott Pappas, one of the principals in Woody’s Wharf, each had $1,100 contributions reported on Peotter’s mid-year 460 report.

The $1,100 is the maximum allowed by Newport Beach Municipal Code Section 1.25.030 for an individual donation to a political campaign per election cycle. The “per election cycle” being the key here. 

A violation of the campaign contribution limit is potentially a misdemeanor.

Additionally, a misdemeanor conviction also “voids” the elected official’s office.

So fast forward to December 6, 2017, Duffy invites potential donors to a hosted event for Peotter at Woody’s Wharf, complete with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. That all was followed by a harbor cruise on Duffy’s new 56’ private yacht.

It sounded like a nice evening. However, someone has to claim those in-kind donations from Pappas and Woody’s Wharf, and Duffy.

On February 5, 2018 (five days after the legal deadline for filing), the Committee to Oppose the Recall of Scott Peotter reported an in-kind donation of $1,799.28 from Woody’s Wharf.

Did Peotter or Duffy do something wrong? That’s for the legal process to decide and where the writ of mandamus comes into play. 

You see, City Attorney Aaron Harp is the one who should be reprimanding any council wrong-doings. However, in Harp’s defense, he reports up to that same council.

So, you can see the problem and the conflict: If Harp raises a red flag, the council could simply turn around and make life very difficult for him. Must I remind you of Dave Kiff.

So, a writ of mandamus would be an order from a court to a government official, in this case Harp, ordering him to properly fulfill his official duties and/or correct an abuse of discretion.

I pity Harp.

B-t-w, I contacted Harp, Duffield and Poetter for comment. Harp responded that he hadn’t seen the petition yet and Peotter, when I asked if he’d like to comment, answered, “Not to you.” By press time, Duffield did not respond.

So, I guess Scott and I are no longer friends. I’ll get over it.

• • •

Well look who’s making his way back home. Former editor of the Daily Pilot, Steven Cahn, will be the featured speaker at the 57th Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner on Wednesday, April 25. Cahn is now a partner in California Strategies, LLC. California Strategies, a leading public affairs and government consulting firm.

The event is put on by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and honors the outstanding student scholars from Newport Harbor, Corona del Mar and Sage Hill. Additionally, the event will honor the Teacher of the Year from each school.

It all takes place at the Hyatt Regency John Wayne Airport, 4545 MacArthur Blvd., the old Radisson Hotel, from 6 - 8:30 p.m.

For information on the event, go here.

B-t-w, I hear the “new” Hyatt Regency is “very nice,” according to Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin.

ENC to hold Spring Faire with lots of surprises


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Courtesy of

Mark your calendar for Sunday, May 6 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., when the Spring Faire and Butterfly House opening (only one of its kind in OC!) take place at the Environmental Nature Center.

Promising a fun-filled day for the entire family, the ENC’s 13th annual Spring Faire will feature a Youth Art Show, crafts, face painting, sing alongs with local performers (Vermillion Voc lists and the Young Singers of Orange County), a dramatic reading of The Lorax on the “Fire Circle Stage,” nature games, live native animals, and delicious food and beverages from local restaurants.

There will be animal crafts galore, but if that’s not enough to keep you busy...they’re also bringing you live hawks and owls from the OC Bird of Prey Center! Francisco the Bug Guy will also be on hand with some interesting arthropods. Don’t miss the ISOpod (Interactive Sea Life Outreach), a unique mobile aquarium featuring sea stars, a shark and a sea anemone. You will also have the opportunity to purchase native plants that will attract butterflies and birds to your yard.

ENC kids with art

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Courtesy of ENC

In conjunction with the Faire, ENC is calling all young artists, ages 4 - 18, to exhibit their art. Guidelines include exploring one or more California ecosystems, and can include plants, animals and people. For additional information and on how to enter your creative art (winners will receive awesome prizes!), visit The entry deadline is Sunday, April 29.

To find out more about the Spring Faire and schedule of events, visit

Environmental Nature Center is located 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach. For more information, call 949.645.8489.

Brew Hee Haw to come to OC Fair

OC Brew Hee Haw

Courtesy OC Fair & Event Center

If you enjoy sampling a great IPA or blonde, “hop” on over to the 5th Annual Brew Hee Haw Craft Beer Roundup, returning to the OC Fair with three craft beer roundup sessions on Saturday, July 14 at 12 and 6 p.m., and Sunday, July 15 at 12 p.m. 

The successful, award-winning collaboration between Brew Ha Ha Productions and OC Fair & Event Center offers four hours of unlimited tastings, a commemorative tasting glass and free admission to the OC Fair. Awarded First Place at the Western Fairs Association’s Annual Convention for Best Event Within an Event, Brew Hee Haw features dancing, fun games and unlimited tastings from some of the country’s top breweries. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy unlimited tastes of more than 80 craft beers with a wide selection of styles ranging from pale ales, IPAs, stouts, saisons, hefeweizens and many more. Located next to the Pacific Amphitheatre, craft beer enthusiasts can enjoy sips from their favorite brewers throughout Southern California and beyond, including Artifex Brewery, Chapman Crafted Beer, Four Sons Brewing, Faction Brewing, Beachwood Brewing, Stone Brewing Co., Unsung Brewing Co. and many more.

In addition to fun games and catchy tunes, guests will enjoy four hours of unlimited tastings and a commemorative festival glass.

For the fourth year in a row, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of OC & Inland Empire are partnering with the Brew Hee Haw team and will receive a portion of the proceeds. 

Tickets are available for purchase at Limited early bird tickets are $45 online. Regular ticket prices are $55 each and, if available, day-of prices are $65 each. The 5th Annual Brew Hee Haw is a 21 and over only event. IDs will be checked.

The OC Fair is open Wednesday - Sunday, July 13 - August 12. OC Fair & Event Center is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Early-bird ticket prices are $45 and on sale now (while supplies last). Presale ticket prices are $55 and general admission is $65. Visit

O’Neill recognized with tax watchdog award

Last week, Orange County’s independently elected Auditor-Controller Eric H. Woolery, CPA, recognized Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill with a coveted Taxpayer Watchdog Award. 

“As a Member of Newport Beach’s Finance Committee and City Council, Will O’Neill has actively worked to find aggressive pro-active solutions to looming pension challenges in Newport Beach,” Woolery said. He added, “All communities would benefit from having Watchdogs like Will O’Neill in public leadership keeping a close eye on Taxpayer funds.” 

Will Oneill and Eric Woolery

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Submitted photo

Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill receives the Taxpayer Watchdog Award from Orange County Auditor-Controller Eric Woolery

O’Neill, who began championing fiscal responsibility and transparency as a Member of the City of Newport Beach’s Finance Committee, has continued to provide leadership on financial matters since his election to the City Council in 2016. 

“Pro-active attention to pensions are critical as our liabilities continue to grow,” said Mayor Pro Tem O’Neill. He added, “I’m proud of the stance Newport Beach has taken to have the public’s interest and Taxpayer dollars constantly on our minds.” 

Mayor Pro Tem O’Neill joins a list of Taxpayer Watchdogs that includes attorney and former County Public Financing Advisory Council (PFAC) Chairwoman Lisa Hughes, longtime County Audit Oversight Committee (AOC) Chairman Dr. David Carlson, Senator Patricia Bates, County Treasurer Shari Freidenrich, former Sutter County Auditor-Controller Robert Stark, Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner, Huntington Beach Mayor Mike Posey, Huntington Beach City Treasurer Alisa Cutchen, Cypress Mayor Pro Tem Stacy Berry, Orange County Taxpayers Association CEO Carolyn Cavecche, and others. 

Woolery is a Taxpayer advocate who was elected to serve as Orange County’s Auditor-Controller in June 2014. He previously served as Treasurer of the City of Orange and the chief financial officer of a county department. Woolery graduated from Orange Lutheran High School and California State University, Fullerton. 

O’Neill is serving his first term on the City Council. He continues to serve on the City’s Finance Committee as a City Council representative. In addition to public service, O’Neill is a partner with the law firm of Ross, Wersching & Wolcott, LLP, and is a member of the Newport Harbor Exchange Club.

Sign of the times

On Fridays we give you a partial glimpse of a sign around town. You guess what the overall name of the business is. 

So, we gave you a “letter” from a popular business sign. The answer is Nespresso in Fashion Island at 401 Newport Center Drive. We received correct guesses from Jessica Battioli-Caputo, Alice Brownell, Carolyn DiOrio, David Pittman, Jeanine Emigh, Rebecca Lightfoot and Michele McCormack. Congrats to all of you who know a thing or two about a great cup of coffee...and home brewing.

Thanks for playing!

If you’re a business and you want to play, please send a high-quality photo of your sign to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

Nespresso full front

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Here’s what’s happening in CdM...



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Photo by Amy Senk

The CdM fire station at its temporary digs at the OASIS Senior Center

The old Corona del Mar fire station, along with the CdM library branch, are now vacant on Marigold Avenue, with the temporary fire station now in place in the OASIS Senior Center’s auxiliary parking lot. A groundbreaking event is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 for the new, combined fire station and library, which should be complete by summer 2019.

A corner of the OASIS lot at Marguerite and Fifth avenues has been turned into the temporary fire station, with portable buildings, curved tent-like structures to protect equipment, a flagpole and even a CdM fire station sign.

• • •

Meanwhile, the school year is heating up for local high school students, who are getting ready for Advanced Placement exams, finals, SATs and ACTS – and the Newport Beach Recreation Department has developed a new program to help ease the pressure.

“In light of the recent teen suicides, the Recreation Department has put together a new program to try to assist teens with relief from the academic and general pressures of being a teen,” said Jennifer Schulz, a recreation supervisor, in an email. “We are calling it Study Break and it will be free recreation classes for high school-aged teens on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. alternating between the Marina Park and OASIS community centers. We have a variety of different classes – meditation, mindfulness, art, cooking, fashion design sketching, yoga and fitness for students to take a little break from these pressures. Our wonderful instructors are volunteering their time to make this program happen.”

Corona del Mar High School administrators have been promoting the Study Break program in its daily announcements. The first event will be at Marina Park on Wednesday, April 25, followed by an Art Night on Wednesday, May 2 at the OASIS center. The events, which are scheduled weekly through mid-June, are free. For more information, call 949.270.8150 or follow #CNBSTUDYBREAK on Instagram.

• • •

Mark your calendars for the Corona del Mar Annual Town Meeting, scheduled for 5 - 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25 at Sherman Library and Gardens. The event, organized by the Corona del Mar Residents Association (CdMRA) and Corona del Mar Business Improvement District, is free and open to the public and features refreshments, a Community Expo and social hour from 5 - 6 p.m., followed by the Speakers Program and opportunity drawings.

The social hour will take place in the gardens at 2647 E. Coast Highway, where organizations will have representatives at tables to offer information and materials, with a chance to meet and greet. Organizations scheduled to have representatives attend include city departments like Community Development, Public Works, Recreation and Senior Services, police, fire and lifeguards and more. There also will be representatives from the OASIS center, the Boys & Girls Club, Newport Beach Film Festival, UCI Oceans and Friends of the Newport Animal Shelter, among others. Corona del Mar’s City Council representative, Scott Peotter, will speak, as well as Newport Beach Fire Chief Chip Duncan and Police Chief Jon Lewis, who will discuss fire prevention and public safety.

“Following on the heels of the 2017 fire storms that devastated communities in Santa Barbara and Napa and Sonoma counties, fire prevention is so very important for all of us now,” said CdMRA President Joy Brenner.


Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 17 years and was publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online newspaper that ran daily for seven years. Senk, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is involved in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and the Corona del Mar High School PTA. She and her husband have two children.

Discover colorful treasures heading to Crystal Cove

Los Trancos tunnel

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

A mural in the Los Trancos tunnel heading to Crystal Cove’s Historic District

The walk from the Los Trancos parking lot towards the Crystal Cove Historic District is always a pleasant one, passing under the shade of trees along the frog-filled creek. But a particularly interesting part of this path is the Los Trancos tunnel and its many murals that decorate all 300 feet. The majority of these were painted during one of our Earth Day events back in 2001. About 200 volunteers, visitors, families and park staff, all joined together to leave a lasting legacy to future generations on the importance of the commitment to protecting the park we love.

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the Crystal Cove Conservancy Wave Enewsletter.

Two Spring Break Art Workshops this Thursday

Youngsters…enjoy some art this week during Spring Break! Art + Soul Collective is offering two workshops this Thursday, April 19.

Clay/Mobile Spring Break Camp: Geared to ages 6 - 12, join Miss Leslie from 2 - 4 p.m. in this fun-filled clay workshop. You will create a mobile with all sorts of summer clay pieces, and attach them to driftwood for a celebration piece to welcome in the sun. The cost is $60.

Beach ArtLRG

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Courtesy of Art + Soul Collective

Beach Art Spring Break Camp: Geared to ages 8 - 12, join Miss Leslie from 9 - 11 a.m. for a morning of beach art. You will make art from where you live and celebrate summer, which is just around the corner. Two projects are in store. The cost is $30.

Art + Soul Collective is located in Cannery Village at 3111 Villa Way, Newport Beach. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 949.438.0736. For a schedule of upcoming art classes and workshops (for youth and adults, alike), visit

Sheriff to be featured speaker at WiNN forum

The third annual Women in Newport Networking (WiNN) Community Forum will be held on Monday, April 23 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. in the Community Room of the Newport Beach Civic Center, 100 Civic Center Drive. 

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens will be the forum’s special guest speaker. 

The event was originally planned for Wednesday, April 25, but after an unanticipated scheduling conflict recently arose for Sheriff Hutchens, the event was rescheduled to Monday, April 23.

Sheriff Hutchens“We’re delighted to have Sheriff Hutchens as this year’s keynote speaker,” said Diane Dixon, a Newport Beach City Councilmember and one of the founders of the WiNN forum. “She is highly engaging and readily shares what she’s learned and experienced throughout her career in public service. I’m confident forum guests will be inspired and entertained by what Sheriff Hutchens shares with us.” 

WiNN forums are designed to create awareness of ways to serve the Newport Beach community and civic organizations. The April 23 forum will highlight opportunities to serve on City of Newport Beach boards and commissions or with City support groups.

The event is free and open to the public. 

“I welcome Newport Beach women and men to attend this year’s forum to network and learn about the many volunteer-based civic and community groups doing outstanding work in our city,” Dixon added. 

Representatives from the following City boards, commissions and support groups will be on hand to share information and answer questions: The Board of Library Trustees; the City Arts Commission; Civil Service Board; the Harbor Commission; Parks, Beaches and Recreation Commission; the Planning Commission; the Newport Beach Public Library Foundation; the Newport Beach Arts Foundation; Friends of the Newport Beach Animal Shelter; Friends of OASIS; Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); and Leadership Tomorrow.

For more information or to RSVP, visit

Segerstrom Center presents Brentano Quartet

Segerstrom Center presents BrentanoLRG

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Photo by Sara Langdon/

Courtesy of

Brentano Quartet

The Brentano Quartet will be joined by five-time Grammy Award winner and beloved American soprano Dawn Upshaw at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on Friday, April 27 in Samueli Theater at 8 p.m.

The concert promises to be an inspired finish to the Center’s current Chamber Music Series. The Brentano’s “luxuriously warm sound (and) yearning lyricism” (The New York Times) will be beautifully matched with Upshaw’s “tonal luster and pristine musicianship” (South Florida Classical Review).

Alone, the Brentano will perform Mozart’s String Quartet K. 465 “Dissonance” and a novel juxtaposition of a pair of works by Viennese composers from different centuries, the Webern/Schubert Bagatelles interspersed with Schubert Minuets, Op. 89. Upshaw will be featured in Respighi’s “Il Tramonte” (“The Sunset”) and Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2.

SCFTA Dawn UpshawLRG

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Photo by Brooke Irish/

Courtesy of

Soprano Dawn Upshaw

Single tickets start at $29 and are available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 10 or more, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236. 

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.

NMIIC Interfaith Council announces National Day of Prayer breakfast

Newport - Mesa - Irvine Interfaith Council (NMIIC) is holding its annual prayer breakfast at Our Lady Queen of Angels on Thursday, May 3 beginning at 7 a.m. The guest speaker is the President and CEO of United Way, Sue Parks, who will discuss “United to End Homelessness.”

Sue Parks

Submitted photo

Sue Parks, President and CEO, United Way

Tickets are $20 per person or $160 for a table of eight with a reservation by Tuesday, May 1. The cost is $25 per person at the door.

Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church is located at 2046 Mar Vista Drive, Newport Beach. For more information and to register, visit the website at

Letters to the Editor:

Koll Center Residences “too much”

I received a mailer from the Koll Center Residences asking me, “Where Should Newport Beach Grow?”

They have a project that is three 13-story buildings they want to add to the Airport area. (They don’t say the size in the mailer, but that’s what it is).

So, in answer to their question about growth…I don’t want this large, this massive, this tall and this dense of a project anywhere in Newport Beach. If I only consider traffic, it’s too much. I believe most citizens of Newport Beach would say the same.

Since our Planning Commission and City Council have made so many changes to our City’s existing General Plan, we need to work together to update a General Plan where we can all be in agreement.

Thank you,

Jo Carol Hunter

Newport Beach

Reflecting on the PTA Reflections Program

I was thrilled Stu News highlighted the PTA Reflections Program recently. Reflections is dear to my heart. 

As a five-time PTA president, twice on Harbor Council, a Reflections chair in several Newport Beach schools, and on Fourth District PTA (all of Orange County), I was privileged to revise the program and give workshops about it at two California State PTA conventions. 

As many know, PTA’s slogan is that PTA advocates for all children, in every way, in everything. That’s what’s so special about Reflections. It encourages creativity for children at every grade level and in every area of the arts – no boundaries. And now it is incorporating technology arts. Thank you for a wonderful article and encouraging the Reflections Program.

Bonnie Engstrom

Former PTA president at:

Roy O. Andersen Elementary School

Corona del Mar High School

Mira Vista High School

Harbor Council PTA (all Newport-Mesa schools)

Is Rohrabacher perpetuating misunderstanding on sanctuary city laws?

There seems to be a misunderstanding of what the three California “sanctuary” laws are intended to do, which is being perpetuated by Dana Rohrabacher, a partisan city council, and a lack of appropriate and informed reporting on the part of the Daily Pilot.

Under the laws, state and local agencies would not be able to detain immigrants for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement based on mere “hold” requests, something many departments already stopped doing after a 2014 court ruling. Subpoenas and court orders would be honored and followed but not mere requests.

Electronic fingerprint records for all offenders, booked into state prisons and local jails, will continue going to the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, concurrent with the booking.

Police and sheriffs will continue sharing inmates’ release dates and transferring people to immigration authorities if they have been convicted within the last 15 years of one of roughly 800 offenses outlined in the Trust Act. That California law prohibits state and local law enforcement from holding people past their release dates for federal immigration agents unless they’ve been convicted of certain crimes.

Those certain crimes include all serious and violent crimes, registered sex and arson offenses, domestic violence charges and other felonies. They also cover many nonviolent offenses and “wobblers” – crimes that can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor.

The California law is designed to enable the State to better enforce its state laws, most particularly its criminal laws. When people are afraid to call the police because they or their families may be deported, violent criminals are free to act without consequence. California has lawfully decided that it wants people to report crimes instead of just hiding. The State has also properly decided that it does not want to be forced to defend lawsuits brought by people who are arrested by ICE and confined for years without cause or a court order. ICE makes law enforcement more difficult, not better. 

Second there is Supreme Court precedent exactly on point which provides that the federal government is responsible for enforcing federal laws and it cannot force states to “deputize” state law enforcement personnel to do that job. The federal government may not punish states for refusing to cooperate with federal law enforcement agents by withholding federal funds unrelated to the action in question. There have been repeated suits over this and California has successfully challenged the Trump administration for threatening to withhold federal funds over rules which forbid collusion with ICE officials. The only unfortunate possibility is that the US Supreme Court, as now politicized, is only too willing to ignore or reverse established precedent, particularly when it comes to immigration. It is sad when we must hope for justice and not expect it.

I object to the City Council spending one penny of the City’s money on a partisan issue that is being more than adequately challenged by A.G. Sessions and the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Kristin M. Cano, Attorney at Law

Corona del Mar

When Newport Beach was free flowing


Two brown baggers

Submitted photos

Two brown baggers going to Newport Elementary

Returning to Newport Beach this month, I am looking at our town from a totally different perspective. This is the last visit as a resident, because after a long and difficult decision, my wife and I have decided to cut the cord. We are leaving Newport Beach, the longest relationship of my life. Being a fifth generation Californian and lifelong resident of Newport Beach, the driving factors are crowds, the intensity of life, the loss of any semblance of small town and, of course, age.

I spent this month visiting memories and searching out a wonderful group of lifelong friends. Everywhere I went, past faces and experiences were clouded by a maze of population or lurking in the shadows of new construction and McMansions. Certain locations still remind me of the previous era when Newport Beach was much more kind. My memories since 1951 can only be described as “epic.”

Life started in a tiny rental on 13th Street with my family and 11 cats. It was summer and day after day was spent at the beach. This behavior set patterns in the mind of an almost 4 year old that remains to this day. Old Newport Beach taught all its citizens how to really love life.

Stars were prolific in the night sky. There were no airlines, only occasional prop planes. There was no traffic and sunsets were crisp and clean, like a tropical paradise. Radio waves from LA were non-existent and we talked to a lady on the telephone to make a call. Crowded days came only on hot summer weekends and holidays. Lifestyles were easy going and clothes were basic. Fathers dressed for work, but the rest of the time everyone was casual.

Outdoors won out over indoors. We learned to not wear shoes, to smile a lot, and fun always seemed to be the centerpiece of activities. Even during deaths of grandparents, hard times or tragedies, everyone came together in a sincere and helpful manner. It was not “The Little House on the Prairie,” but more like a beachfront Ozzie and Harriet. Life was good.

Newport Beach was truly a small town; a village, a hamlet. It was paradise. The rest of the nation talked about Newport News, Virginia and Newport, Rhode Island. To the rest of the world, Southern California was the not-so-wild west with too many farms, crazy Hollywood and a growing aircraft industry. Egos on the east coast thought of Southern California with the same respect they held for “southerns” and “hillbillies.” Little did they know that we had it all.

To this quiet environment came a group of baby boomer kids from all over Southern California. Babes to teens ventured out into the city in ways that would terrify today’s Newport Beach mothers. Over the decades, organized baseball came about, the Scouts were popular and church life created outlets for youngsters’ energy. These, however, were not able to satisfy our zest for life, so the ocean, mountains and hillsides became our escape. A child’s day went from breakfast to after sundown. Home was for eating, sleeping and being safe.

Lido Isle Cub Scout Troop

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Lido Isle Cub Scout Troop

In those early years, it was our chain of education that instilled real character into us. This “Newport attitude” constantly surprises or shocks others, but is a treasured vitality by those of us that lived it.

In Newport Elementary, learning levels were surreal. Sure, there was reading, writing and memorization of arithmetic, however, these were not the deepest learning experiences underlining our education. Boys and girls, rich and poor, smart and not-so-bright, athletes and musicians all banded together on our blessed beachfront blacktop to experiment with fun.

We watched the large surf and felt its trembling energy under our feet. We ran to help, only to cry for a beached whale. There were intense games of marbles, foursquare and baseball. Boys and girls were equals, only in very different ways. Food sharing was commonplace and puppy loves evolved and disappeared as quickly. Today, we still talk to one another with an innocent love totally different than any other kind.

Even as we and the town grew, Newport El kept its unique distinction and charm. The teachers, dedicated to learning, were as much in love with the school as the students and parents. Fathers worked, mothers cared and kids learned to be independent.

A “safety patrol,” composed of fourth and fifth graders, attired in yellow hats and sashes made sure the rest of the student body behaved. Teaching us responsibility, respect and a sense of right from wrong was an everyday presence.

Bicycling to Newport El was a major breakthrough. It got us off the bouncing bus driven by Craig, who worked at the Lido Theater and after two jobs ran our only pet store. He was just one of the many common folk heroes that evolved around us in the ‘50s and ‘60s. Money was noticed and sometimes brandished about, but depth of a person’s sincerity was paramount. We had already learned how to free flow. By chipping away at our parents’ control, we tried to take control of our lives early on.

Gangs of 7-year-old boys and girls were forming on the “mean” streets of Lido, Peninsula Point, West Newport and the Heights. Each with their territory and not truly understanding the cultures of the others. Sleepovers gave us a look at how the different neighborhoods defined fun.

The Lido gang consisted of about seven boys and five girls. Each step along life’s way was shared with children we truly trusted. Moms had a rule when we first got bikes. “Do not go off the Island! You can ride the streets and stradas of Lido but not off island,” they would say in unison like grizzled union bosses. The breakout came when one of the gang convinced his mom that other moms were giving in. Probably a “little white lie,” but the next day, brown lunch bags in hand, we all left for Newport El.

Crossing the bridge for the first time was exhilarating. We passed Harry the barber, where he gave out Pluto Platters with haircuts. Straight to the boardwalk and then left toward McFaddenʻs Landing. A long stop at Henry’s Market, where we would stand staring at the wall of candy. I always settled for wax candy and Abba-Zabbas. Hadley’s had the best fresh glazed donuts in the world, making each day memorable.

Abba Zabba

Abba-Zabba…the candy bar of choice

After growth spurts that made girls change and boys uneasy, Horace Ensign came about. Back on the buses and “up the hill.” Feeling so grown up and important because we had graduated from elementary school, a whole new world erupted.

Girls grew breasts and boys talked dirty. Santa Claus was definitely gone, but Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale took his place. Radios could now be heard and music became important. The Santa Ana airport was a tad busier, but no more than an obnoxious fly buzzing around your head. Homes seemed to be popping up everywhere, entire neighborhoods were born out of our playgrounds. New construction provided plenty of wood for skateboards. Life still seemed simple.

Horace Ensign was the last great melting pot of Newport Beach. New friends from Costa Mesa, the Heights and Corona del Mar gathered with those of us from the beach. After a short period of testing each other and a few fights, Newport Beach youth was intra-connected from the Santa Ana River Jetties south to the Irvine Ranch and east to the Back Bay.

Blessed, once again, with dedicated teachers with a flair for discipline, a new wrestling match began between pre-adolescents and adults. Most conflicts revolved about fun and fads.

To energetic pre-adolescent boys of that era, one teacher stands out. Mr. Jacobson or “Jake” as he was known. Jake was ex-military with a metal plate in his head, or so the rumors went. He looked 8 feet tall with shoulders that rivaled King Kong. And like the great ape, Jake knew what to do if any of his “monkeys” acted up. If his tough manner and whistle failed, the final resort was the “paddle.” If he quietly invited you into his “office” you knew it was trouble. Tears flowed in that office not because of the pain from the swats, but from the guilt felt by disappointing one our true “heroes.”

Eighth grade rumors were that seniors at Newport Harbor High School would haze freshmen in humiliating displays of power over newcomers. It did not matter, because once you stepped into the hallow halls of NHHS you had attained the only goal in life that you had up to that point. The right to be a “Sailor” meant you will soon drive a car, play sports, push your music or surfing skills to new levels, meet and fall in love.

Band on the Newport Harbor High School quad

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Matt Marshall’s band on the Newport Harbor High School quad

It had been a shrine our entire young life. Older siblings and friends told tales of getting jobs, climbing the steps of the tower, ditching school to go to the beach, playing football against Anaheim, getting ready for college, swimming, cheerleading, the Senior Play and going to Disneyland for Grad Night. This was the eve of a new dawn.

Childhood passed into adolescence and life was still very good, less the acne, insecurities and naiveté. Challenges, mischief and lessons of NHHS remained a form of fun for student and teacher alike.

Street Light

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The street light reminded us when it was time to go home…it was getting dark

We will always remember these wonderful times growing up during the waning years of the Golden Years of California. Unique relationships were built upon years of experiences. Stories of tragedy and sadness kept us in reality. Accidents, disease, divorces and eventually drugs, alcohol and Vietnam killed friends, family and eventually the fun. Young people marched boldly to the edge of life where they stood at the cliff and watched others fall over. Death and sadness stood next to us like whispering demons because that is simply life’s journey.

But now with seven decades behind us, it is our fantasy that today’s youth be injected NOT with heroine or meth but with fun, hope and faith, which are so fleeting when growing up. We now sit here like our grandparents wishing that we had known where life was taking us back when it was truly fun. 


Duncan Forgey, who made his home here in Newport Beach for many years, now resides in Hawaii. He is a monthly contributor to StuNewsNewport.

Sign of the times

It’s another edition of Sign of the times, so put your thinking caps on. Below you’ll find this week’s clue. What you see is a small part of an overall sign in Newport Beach, that may just perk you up.

Good luck!

Send your guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

SOTT 4 13 18

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Stump the Stu

Hardly a stump here…seems like the whole community got this one right

Stump the Stu 4.13.18

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Tuesday we said, “Let’s pray you get this one.” The correct answer was St. Andrews Presbyterian Church at 600 St. Andrews Road, Newport Beach. 

Well, God has a nice way of answering prayers. Correct guesses were plenty and came in from Bill Finster, Carol Strauss, Charles Davison, Chase Reif, Christina Chacon, Don Webb, Gloria Sullivan, Gordon Bowley, Mickey Dunlap, James McCulloch, Joe Stapleton, Judy Leeper, Judy Weightman, Julie Lenk, Keith Yonkers, Linda Daniels, Lou Ellen Long, Lynn Swain, Michele McCormack, Nancy Thompson, Peter Bretschger and Tony Shaw. 

Join us on Tuesdays as we try and stump you each week with a picture of something unique in our community.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Fair Game


 Surprise, surprise, council votes to oppose SB 54

TomJohnsonThe City Council did vote to accept a new amended contract of the employment of City Manager Dave Kiff, with his “in office” duties ending August 31.

He has buyout provisions as if he’s being terminated, but the council majority is saying no, no, no, this is a resignation. 

I urge you to read city councilwoman Diane Dixon’s comments, published in their entirety, that she expressed to her fellow councilmembers Tuesday night with regard to the Kiff ouster.

• • •

It’s certainly not rubber stamp time at Newport Beach City Hall these days. At Tuesday’s council meeting, coming up on the consent calendar, two councilmembers voiced objections over the approval of Balboa Peninsula Trolley Program summer program.

Their concerns didn’t go anywhere, and they really didn’t expect it would.

Funded by a grant from the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the new proposal called to expand the trolley operation from 10 weeks to 15 and included some additional parking changes.

The opposition came from Mayor pro tem Will O’Neill and councilmember and former mayor Kevin Muldoon.

I asked Muldoon, “Why?”

“It is a quaint amenity, but I think the free market is better suited to meet transportation demands,” he said.

Muldoon is probably referring to Newport Beach’s financial commitment. Originally the City signed up for a 10-week summer agreement (last year) with their contribution being $93,471. 

Expanding this year, an additional five weeks will add another commitment of $69,600 from the City.

O’Neill added, “The trolley’s ridership numbers were good last year, but the cost per rider were high. I’d like to see us get the costs per rider down before expanding a program that requires matching funds.”

The program was approved for the expansion in spite of their opposition.

• • •

Nobody should be surprised that Newport Beach voted to adopt a resolution opposing Senate Bill 54, called by some as the Sanctuary State bill signed into law by California Governor Jerry Brown last October (2017).

U. S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has filed a federal lawsuit aimed at SB 54.

Anyway, Newport Beach, with their unanimous vote, joins Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Yorba Linda, Aliso Viejo, Westminster, Orange and Los Alamitos as cities against the state bill.

City councilman Scott Peotter brought the resolution item back to the council during a recent meeting. 

• • •

Everyone’s friend, John Ursini, of Newport Rib Company fame, keeps reminding me that OCYSF needs more help, more publicity.

It’s hard to argue with John and the group. 

John gives money and John raises money.

In this case, they’re raising money for kids in Orange County who couldn’t participate in youth sports programs without them.

OCYSF…stands for Orange County Youth Sports Foundation

They have a banquet coming up on Tuesday, April 25, at the Fashion Island Hotel, where they’re honoring Rod Carew as their 2018 Sportsman of the Year.

It will be a fabulous evening with an auction of great sports items, dinner and program, plus a live auction. Then there’s the head table and their interactions with Carew.

Autograph seekers, it’s easy.

You have to pay to play, but the money is going to where it should. Check it all out at

I promise you, you’ll have a great time.

Dixon attacks Mayor and Mayor pro tem for what she says were their parts in Kiff “firing”

By Newport Beach Councilwoman Diane Dixon

Diane DixonThey wanted to fire him. They decided to fire him. They fired him. But they didn’t tell anyone. 

On what basis did a minority of two council members decide they had the authority to force out Dave Kiff? 

Please see the timeline (below), as presented to me by the city manager. 

I would like to know how the Mayor and Mayor pro tem, without authority, without advising the full Council and without seeking its input, advice, counsel or approval, singlehandedly approached the city manager last February to demand that he retire four months earlier than planned. Then, also without consulting the full Council, they took steps to terminate the contract of the city manager and singlehandedly dictated and negotiated the terms of a new contract to end his employment. 

We are a city with a Charter and with City Council policies that dictate a process and procedures for the hiring, firing and performance evaluation of our city manager and other high-level appointees. 

The actions of the Mayor and Mayor pro tem are completely inconsistent with our council/city manager form of government, which has served this city and its residents exceptionally well for over six decades. 

Our City Charter allows for the honorific titles of mayor and mayor pro tem. Honorific. The two councilmembers who hold these temporary titles are first and second among equals – equal to the other five members of the Council. They are not the chief executives, the king or dictators. They are not empowered to act unilaterally without consultation, debate and if necessary a vote of the full Council. 

Where is transparency? There was no vote of the full Council. There was no discussion among the full Council. There wasn’t even a meeting of the full Council. This was simply an ambush by two councilmembers who – independently of the full Council – took these actions applying some tortuous legal scheme to terminate the employment of the city manager.

Your Council did not approve the idea, the negotiations or the terms. 

The Council was never presented with a draft document. 

Councilmembers Avery, Herdman and Dixon only saw this contract for the first time last week when it was released to the general public. Yet negotiations have been underway since mid-February. There was ample time and opportunity to schedule a closed meeting for the Council to review the city manager’s performance and his contract. But the Mayor and Mayor pro tem hid their actions from the Council and the public. 

If this matter had been processed according to the Charter and Council policy, and a closed session with full debate had been appropriately scheduled, the outcome may have been the same – or it may have been different. That is what democracy is all about.

Transparency. Debate. Vote. 

But we will never know, because democracy didn’t happen here. 

The actions of the Mayor and Mayor pro tem were not those of public officials acting in the public interest. They were the actions of officials trying to pull something over on the public, to do something in their own political or personal interest without regard to the good of the city and its residents, to do something that may not stand the light of day. 

The Mayor pro tem in particular ran in 2016 on a platform stressing ethics and transparency. Please tell the people of Newport Beach: Where is the transparency in secretly forcing the retirement of the city manager and creating and negotiating the terms of a 50-page contract without City Council review and debate? How is that ethical? 

Looking to the future, I hope that the result of this sad chapter in our city’s history will result in a new majority on the Council that will return transparency to our city government, respect to our citizens and restore the mutual bonds of trust that must exist in a representative form of government. 

• • •


(This is a chronology of events that Dixon claims to have happened between the Mayor, Mayor pro tem and the City Manager leading up to Tuesday night’s vote for “resignation.”)

Prior “hints and directives” in public:

2015: (Mayor) Duffield: “We have Kiff where we want him. We want to get rid of him.” Stated to several people in the community and reported back to Kiff.

2016: “Give him a gold watch and move on.” Duffy and (Scott) Peotter to Herdman; reported in Barbara Venezia’s column in the Daily Pilot.

2016: Duffy in NHYC table conversation: “Dave will be fired and given a gold watch and patted on the back and retired.” Reported to Kiff by a mutual friend.

2016-17: Peotter recommends Mark Denny, assistant City Manager of Dana Point, to come in as Kiff’s successor.

February 12, 2018: Mayor Duffield and Mayor pro tem O’Neill meet with Kiff at the regular Monday agenda review meeting (City Attorney Harp was dismissed):

Duffy, O’Neill: “We want to talk some serious business with you about speeding up your retirement.”

Kiff: “I was planning to retire after the November election, as the timing might allow for better candidates to apply.”

Duffy: “That makes sense.”

O’Neill: “No. That’s not going to work.”

O’Neill: “We” want this change during summertime. “We” will make sure you are whole. We will have time to celebrate your career. You will be on the books until December 31, but you would leave in the summer when a replacement is hired. Think about this and get back to us Friday (February 16) with your terms.

February 16, 2018: Kiff presented his terms:

Amicable transition, stay until age 54 (November 2018), city-paid attorney;

$20,000 in retiree medical/or paid into deferred compensation account. Subsequently, Kiff’s lawyer and the City’s outside counsel negotiated terms resulting in Kiff’s retirement effective August 31, 2018 with the contract ending December 31, 2018.


Former mayor and current city councilwoman Diane Dixon made these comments at the Tuesday, April 10 City Council meeting with regard to the vote to accept the “resignation” of City Manager Dave Kiff and the offer of a severance package to him. The council would later vote to accept Kiff’s resignation.

City Hall cancels Political Outreach Fair


A Political Outreach Fair featuring 48th district congressional candidates, city council candidates and a voter registration drive – was cancelled just 48 hours before it was scheduled to take place at the Newport Beach Civic Center. The city-affiliated club was formed this school year and is comprised of Corona del Mar students.

Club member, event organizer and CdM senior, Zach Glabman, said he was driving after school on Thursday when a friend called to tell him to check his texts. He went to a coffee shop and found out that the city had pulled the plug on the event.

“I freaked out a lot. I immediately drove to City Hall, then drove to school to talk to Mrs. Scott,” Glabman said, referring to Kathy Scott, the school principal.

Glabman said he personally invited all the candidates, and that seven congressional candidates and two or three city council candidates were scheduled to appear. The event was scheduled to take place from 1 - 3 p.m. Saturday, April 14 and was to include free refreshments.

Glabman said his first reaction when the city wouldn’t reconsider was to move the event to the Corona del Mar High School campus. Scott was on board, he said, and he filled out a facilities request to use the school’s lecture hall. But within an hour or so, he realized that changing the location at the last minute was “unreasonable.”

“It is frustrating,” Glabman said. “But I’ve dealt with stuff like this before. It happens.” He had already contacted all the candidates to inform them of the cancellation.

According to Deputy City Manager Tara Finnigan, “I’m still gathering details, but there seem to be a couple of event prep/execution reasons why staff decided it was best to have it at a later date.”

Celebrate July at the OC Fair with these performers

Hotel California

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Photos courtesy of OC Fair

Hotel California – A Salute to The Eagles

The 2018 OC Fair lineup is expanding with several more tribute bands at The Hangar, including Hotel California, Journey Unauthorized and Zeppelin Live, plus Daredevils and Wheels at Action Sports Arena. Tickets for these shows are on sale now. In addition, the Fourth of July pre-Fair show is presented by Pacific Symphony at the Pacific Amphitheatre, featuring Brass Transit. Tickets for this show are also available now.

The Line-Up:

Hotel California – A Salute to The Eagles on Thursday, July 26 at 8:30 p.m. at The Hangar. Tickets start at $17.50. Celebrate the music of The Eagles with Hotel California, a tribute band that features a dynamic and exciting show with five highly experienced music industry professionals. The performance will include a showcase of mega hits, such as “Take It Easy,” “Heartache Tonight” and, of course, “Hotel California.”

Journey Unauthorized – A Tribute to the Music of Journey on Friday, July 27 at 8:30 p.m. at The Hangar. Tickets start at $17.50. In a complete concert production, Journey Unauthorized pays tribute to the music of Journey, featuring the full range of well-known songs such as “Any Way You Want It,” “Faithfully,” “Wheel In the Sky,” and the ultimate sing-along fan favorite, “Don’t Stop Believin’.”

Journey Unauthorized

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Journey Unauthorized – A Tribute to the Music of Journey

Zeppelin Live – A Live Rock Tribute to Led Zeppelin on Saturday, July 28 at 8:30 p.m. at The Hangar. Tickets start at $17.50. Zeppelin Live has paid tribute to Led Zeppelin since 1999, performing favorites like “The Song Remains the Same,” “Kashmir” and “Stairway to Heaven” at concerts, clubs and festivals all over the world. By popular demand, this will be their 10th year in a row at the OC Fair.

Daredevils and Wheels on July 18 – 20 at 8 p.m.; July 21 at 2 and 8 p.m.; July 22 at 1 and 7 p.m. at Action Sports Arena. Tickets start at $17.50. The Nerveless Nocks will present five nights of Daredevils and Wheels, an extreme aerial stunt show featuring jaw-dropping tricks at dangerous heights, and motorcycle stunts inside a giant metal ball. Warning: these shows are not for the faint of heart!

Tickets are available via Tickemaster. More performances and action sports at the 2018 OC Fair will be announced in the coming weeks.

Celebrate the Fourth of July at Pacific Amphitheatre with the music of Chicago, known as the “rock and roll band with horns.” Brass Transit, a Chicago tribute band, will perform hits such as “If You Leave Me Now,” “You’re the Inspiration” and “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” with the Pacific Symphony, conducted by Richard Kaufman. The evening will also include patriotic tunes and a fireworks displsay. This concert is part of Pacific Symphony’s SummerFest 2018. Tickets are available via Ticketmaster. Attendees of this pre-Fair show can save their ticket stub for one free admission to the 2018 OC Fair on any of the 23 days of the Fair.

The 2018 OC Fair takes place July 13 - August 12 and is open Wednesday through Sunday. It is located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa.

Letters to the Editor:

Could the Kiff exit get even uglier

Newport Beach’s City Manager Dave Kiff will be retiring soon. Normally, his myriad of fans would simply wish him well, but this is not a normal situation. Team Newport (Councilmen O’Neill, Muldoon, Peotter and Duffield) are running him out of town despite wide acknowledgement among his peers and the residents that he is one of the best city managers in California. 

Our bay is no longer covered with green mats of algae because of his advocacy for clean water. We are proactively addressing our pension liability under his direction. His enormous depth of knowledge about the airport benefits everyone under the John Wayne flight plan, making his departure especially mourned by those concerned about flight noise.

Team Newport claims that Dave is retiring of his own accord and vigorously deny that they have pushed him out, but his newly amended contract calls for severance pay. 

Have you ever heard of a retiree getting severance pay? Of course not. 

Councilpersons Herdman, Avery and Dixon were left completely out of this power play and were never even aware that Mr. Kiff’s contract was being discussed until it was a done deal. 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Ms. Dixon presented Mr. Kiff’s description of events, confirming that he had been forced out. These backdoor dealings are clearly a violation of the Brown Act, for which the maximum penalty is removal from office.

The jungle drums are beating that Team Newport has Mr. Kiff’s ultimate replacement already chosen. Meet Mark Denny, a man with a prior conviction for voter fraud and exactly 10 months experience as a city manager. What Mark does have is a virtual web of political connections to the people who have the greatest influence over Team Newport and this may well be enough to get him the job. It is telling that he was hired as city manager in Dana Point even though he never even applied for the job, had absolutely no experience as a city manager and there were other excellent candidates for the position. 

Making a bad situation worse, there is much speculation that Team Newport is considering removing Mr. Kiff effective immediately and replacing him on an interim basis with Assistant City Attorney Michael Torres. Mr. Torres has no experience whatsoever as a city manager and has had no opportunity to develop administrative nor leadership skills in his current position. This is a situation that can only lead to chaos. Newport Beach deserves better than this, but we may not get it.

It is time to clean house in Newport Beach, but not by removing Dave Kiff. It is time for Team Newport to be swept from office and elect representatives who put “city before self” on the City Council. Character matters. Team Newport has revealed with absolute clarity the foul nature of their character through their words and deeds. 

I can only hope that the next election will rid us of the dry rot that currently permeates our city council and I will do my level best to ensure that occurs.

Susan Skinner

Newport Beach

Is the housing project worth it?

Once again, we are facing down an enormous housing project designed to enrich some developer but entangle the rest of us with more traffic and more high rises. I’m not sure why our decision makers aren’t listening to the residents, but they aren’t. 

The vast majority of my neighbors see no value whatsoever in these monstrous developments, but they keep coming and coming. At the moment, it’s the Koll Center Residences, three high-rise luxury condominium towers. Eventually we will exceed the capacity of our roads and face gridlock all the time, just like L.A. Not exactly what I signed up for.

Tom Baker 

Newport Beach

Young professionals give back to the community

On Monday, April 9, the Newport Beach Association of REALTORS® Chapter of the Young Professional Network (YPN) volunteered at Someone Cares Soup Kitchen in Costa Mesa, to give back to the community.

Someone Cares

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Courtesy of NBAR

(L-R): Amber McDonough, Katie Hughes, Bree Lepante, Carly Smith, Michael Tsamoudakis, Ivan Novakovic and Sacha De La Cruz, with NBAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN)

The Newport Beach Association of REALTORS® is located at 401 Old Newport Blvd., Ste. 100, Newport Beach. For more information, call 949.722.2300 or visit

Sherman Gardens seeking high school intern

Sherman Library & Gardens

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Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Sherman Gardens is seeking an inquisitive, energetic and motivated high school student to join the horticulture team for a fascinating educational experience. This internship will provide a chance to experience the horticulture profession in a botanical garden setting.

The intern program is a mix of educational experiences including mini-classes led by guest speakers which provide hands-on learning sessions on topics such as gardening skills, orchids, bromeliads and palms. Field trips and behind-the-scenes tours to other botanic gardens, private gardens and nurseries provide interaction with colleagues involved in different aspects of the horticulture industry.

The selected intern will be working alongside the Gardens’ horticulture staff and recipients of the Arnold D. Haskell Scholarship. The Haskell Scholarship is awarded to a student enrolled in the public horticulture major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Together they will work on gardening projects at Sherman Gardens. An individual project will provide an opportunity to research a plant or species of interest and share that research with Sherman Gardens guests via the Discovery Cart. The Discovery Cart is an interactive mobile learning station.

The intent of the internship is to show high school students that horticulture and botany are viable and rewarding college majors and career paths. 

--- Here are the details:

Compensation: $15.50 per hour

Duration: 6-8 weeks (20 - 30 hours per week). Schedule is negotiable.

Dates: July 9 - August 24

Number of Positions: One

Qualifications: High school student entering junior or senior year with a 2.5 or higher GPA

--- How to apply: Cover sheet with name, grade level, email address, phone number, extracurricular activities, clubs or organizations. Include activities, employment or vacations internship needs to be scheduled around

--- Write an essay: 500 words or less, 12 pt. font, double spaced on “Why does this internship appeal to you? Why is horticulture, the environment and/or plants important to you?”

--- Application due date: Tuesday, May 1

Email your information to: Gardens Director Scott LaFleur at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Hard copies can be mailed to: Scott LaFleur, Gardens Director, Sherman Library & Gardens, 2647 East Coast Highway, Corona del Mar, Calif. 92625

Last chance to sign up for ENC Spring Break Camp


Courtesy of ENC

Kids…get up and get active during spring break and join the Environmental Nature Center (ENC) for Spring Break Camp, taking place April 16 - 19. Each day, campers participate in exciting, age appropriate hands-on activities. Both full and half day camps are available.

ENC will be holding Little Naturalist Camp for children ages 3 - 5, and Nature Camp for elementary-aged youngsters in kindergarten through 6th grade. For more information on registration and costs, visit and

The Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach. For more information, visit

CdM Chamber luncheon features Film Fest CEO

NBFF marquee

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Courtesy of CdM Chamber of Commerce

On Tuesday, April 17, join the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce at their monthly networking and speaker luncheon from 11:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. at Bayside Restaurant.

The featured speaker is Gregg Schwenk, Newport Beach Film Festival CEO. Come find out what films, celebrities and parties are happening during the NB Film Fest and how you can obtain discount tickets.

In addition, attendees will enjoy a delicious lunch, which includes roasted chicken, seasonal vegetables, potato puree and lemon sauce as you take advantage of networking opportunities. A vegetarian alternative is also available. The event is open to the public with an RSVP only by Friday, April 13.

Check in and networking takes place from 11:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.; the lunch and program is scheduled for 12 - 1:15 p.m.

Cost: CdM chamber members, $30; non-members and community friends, $40. No payments will be accepted at the dor.

For more information, call 949.673.4050 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bayside Restaurant is located at 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach.

Newport Boat Show coming to Lido

Boat Show 2

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Courtesy of Len Bose

Calling all boating enthusiasts! Here is the show you’ve been waiting for – the 45th Annual Newport Boat Show, coming to Lido Marina Village from April 19 - 22. The Newport Boat Show is the premier yacht show in the west. Newport is the one show that features big boats and trawlers. With more than 200 boats on display and no limit on the size of bigger vessels, this is the show that serious buyers won’t want to miss.

This year’s show will feature the newest vessels to reach the Western United States, plus, there will be a whole host of exhibitors on hand shoreside and in the water to showcase innovative products and services that make owning and operating a big boat more enjoyable.

Boat Show Hours:

Thursday, April 19: 12 - 7 p.m.

Friday, April 20: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Saturday, April 21: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Sunday, April 22: 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Ticket prices: Adults, $15; Children, 12 years and younger are free; Military (with ID) receives a $5 discount. Advance online savings of $2 is good through April 14.

The boat show will take place at 3432 Via Oporto, Lido Marina Village, Newport Beach. Free off-site parking and shuttle service (every 30 minutes) will be available from Hoag Health Center, 500 Superior Ave., Newport Beach. Parking in the Lido Marina Village structure will be $30 per vehicle per day.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website at

NBPLF Witte Lecture Series features Masha Gessen

Masha Gessen

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Courtesy of NBPLF

Masha Gessen will be speaking on The Future is History on April 28 from 2 - 3:30 p.m. as part of the Witte Lecture Series in Newport Beach Central Library’s Friends Room. A self-proclaimed “opposition journalist in Russia,” Gessen is the author of many books, including Words Will Break Cement: The Passion of Pussy Riot.

As a journalist living in Moscow, Gessen experienced the rise of Vladimir Putin firsthand. In her 2012 bestselling book The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin, she gave a chilling account of how a low level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in a short time, destroyed years of progress and made his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

Gessen will speak about her new book The Future Is History, recently longlisted for the National Book Award, in which she follows the lives of four people born at what promised to be the dawn of democracy in Russia. Each of them came of age with unprecedented expectations, some as the children and grandchildren of the very architects of the new Russia, each with newfound aspirations of their own – as entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers and writers, sexual and social beings. The author charts their paths against the machinations of the regime that would crush them all, and against the war it waged on understanding itself, which ensured the unobstructed reemergence of the old Soviet order in the form of today’s terrifying and seemingly unstoppable mafia state.

The lecture and Q & A begin at 2 p.m., with book sales and signing at 3:15 p.m. Tickets are $35 for the general public; $30 for Library Foundation members; and $20 for students/teachers. Dessert and coffee will be provided. For additional information on purchasing tickets, visit, or all 949.548.2411. 

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 100 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Welcome Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to the Segerstrom stage

Alvin Ailey

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Photo by Paul Kolnik/

Courtesy of

Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes the return of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in an exclusive Southern California engagement April 18 - 22. The Company will dance new programs that feature five works never before seen at the Center and several set to music by legends of the jazz world. The three Southern California Premieres are: Members Don’t Get Weary (2017), choreographed by Bessie Award Winner Jamal Roberts to music of John Coltrane; Victoria (2017), choreographed by Spanish choreographer Gustavo Ramírez Sansano to music by Michael Gordon; and a new production of Mass (2004/2017), choreographed by Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle to music of John Mackey. Two works new to Segerstrom Center are Ella (2008), to music of Ella Fitzgerald and In/Side (2008), to music of Nina Simone.

The programming also includes beloved Ailey classics The Golden Section (1983), choreographed by Twyla Tharp to music of David Byrne; Stack-Up (1982), choreographed by Talley Beatty to music of Earth, Wind & Fire, Grover Washington Jr., Fearless Four and Alphonze Mouzon; and the American Masterpiece Revelations (1960), choreographed by Alvin Ailey.

In addition, the engagement opens on April 18 with Discover Ailey, a special hour-long moderated performance that includes complete performances of Members Don’t Get Weary, Ella and Revelations. Discover Ailey is an ideal introduction to Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Company’s energy, artistry and spirit of dance. Tickets starting at $19 are specially priced for this unique and informative evening.

In anticipation of the Company’s return to the Center, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s stay begins with its popular free Ailey community dance event – Revelations Celebration on Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza. Visitors of all ages are invited to participate and engage with Company performers, teaching artists and to enjoy other activities as well.

Acclaimed Company teaching artist Nasha Thomas-Schmitt, master teacher for Arts In Education and former AAADT star, will teach the distinctive movements from three of the most well-known pieces in the Company’s cornerstone work, Revelations, including “Rocka My Soul,” “Wade in the Water” and “I’ve ‘Been Buked.” Fans and novices alike are welcome.

Ticket prices for the full performances start at $29. Tickets for Discover Ailey on April 18 start at $19. Tickets for all performances are available online at or by calling 714.556.2787, and at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. For inquiries about group ticket discounts, call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236. Free Preview Talks by Company members will be conducted one hour prior to each performance. The Friday evening, April 20 Preview Talk will be sign language interpreted. Audiences can also participate in a number of fun and informative pre-show activities. Artists and program are subject to change. 

NBCC to hold upcoming April events

On Wednesday, April 18 from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., join the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce for a business networking luncheon at The Capital Grille in South Coast Plaza.

Topics will include: What companies are looking for in today’s candidates, The RIGHT way to prepare for interviews, Why face to face communication still matters, How to stand out in a competitive job market and How social media is critical to your career success.

Cost: Chamber members with a reservation, $35; members at the door and potential members, $40. This includes lunch and free self parking.

To secure a reservation, visit

Water Grill

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Courtesy of NBCC

On Thursday, April 26, join Chamber members from Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana at the After Hours Multi-Chamber Business Mixer from 5:30 - 7:30 at Water Grill in South Coast Plaza. Enjoy an evening of networking fun, appetizers and cocktails (no host bar).

Cost: Chamber members are free, and non-members are $35. Parking is $6.

For more information and to sign up, visit or call 714.885.9090.

Water Grill is located at 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

Real estate professional Adrienne Brandes is named to the CdM Chamber board of directors

Brandes and Duffield

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Adrienne Brandes with Newport Beach Mayor Marshall “Duffy” Duffield

Adrienne Brandes of Surterre Properties has been chosen to serve on the board of directors of the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce, and was recently appointed by the mayor during a special ceremony at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach

 As one of the most successful real estate professionals in the area, Brandes has been a resident of Orange County for more than 25 years. Her philanthropic work has aided Heartfelt (screening young athletes for Sudden Cardiac Arrest), Orange County School of the Arts, The Center Stars (Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts), Chapman University and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Prior to her board appointment, she regularly volunteered for the Chamber.

“The Chamber greatly enhances the quality of life for the residents of Corona del Mar,” Brandes said. “Through fundraising events and other activities focusing on the development of local businesses, the Chamber increases the sense of community. This is important to me not only as a resident but also as a real estate agent, since the majority of clients I serve are right here in Corona del Mar.”

Pinwheel Project at Fashion Island benefits CASA

Casa Pinwheels

Submitted photo

Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Orange County will be displaying 3,100 pinwheels on Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15 at Fashion Island in conjunction with Child Abuse Awareness Month recognized during the month of April. The pinwheels represent each of the 3,100 children who are currently in the Orange County foster care system.

Stop by the CASA booth next to the display on the Neiman Marcus/Bloomingdale’s Lawn to view the pinwheels and show your support. With a donation of $25 or more made at the pinwheel site, you will receive a card with exclusive offers to Fashion Island merchants, redeemable all weekend.

Exclusive offers include:

Mariposa at Neiman Marcus: Enjoy one complimentary appetizer listed on the menu between restaurant hours from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

CUCINA enoteca: Take $15 off your purchase of $50 or more. *Discount applies to food purchase only. Not valid on alcohol, tax or gratuity.

FIG & OLIVE: Receive a complimentary Crostini Trio with any purchase.

GARYS: Enjoy 25 percent off any one item. *Cannot be combined with any other offer. In-stock items only.

Rebecca Taylor: Take 20 percent off full-priced items. *Not valid on 3rd party items or La Vie.

CASA thanks participating businesses and volunteers assisting with this event from the Capital Group and Kids 4 CASA of Corona del Mar High School.

To sponsor a pinwheel, visit

N2E announces event schedule

NOSA sailing

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Courtesy of

The 71st Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race is less than three weeks away, which means Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) members are not only putting the final touches on preparations for the iconic race but on the celebratory events leading up to race day.

Before starting the West Coast’s largest, most fun and competitive race Friday, April 27 off the Balboa Pier, racers are invited to share the race committee’s enthusiasm and appreciation for N2E sailors at three local events.

“We look forward to spending time with sailors before the race, to show our appreciation, to impart last-minute tactical strategies, ensure pre-race preparedness and of course and most importantly, share in the camaraderie that made N2E famous,” said Vice Commodore John Long.

The annual Skippers Luncheon, a 25-plus-year N2E tradition, takes place at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club on Wednesday, April 25 at 11:30 a.m. Ullman Sails professionals will be the keynote speakers. For the past four years, the Ullman team has provided valuable inside information about racing that only sailmakers are privy to, along with how to use sail knowledge to effect winning strategies. Topics also include the latest in weather forecasting, and recognition is given to skippers who have sailed N2E more than 20 times. RSVP is a must; cost is $15 per person.

The Skippers VIP Reception typically earmarked for boat owners and crew, city officials and sponsors is also on Wednesday, April 25. Sterling BMW’s Newport Beach showroom has graciously hosted memorable N2E events. For the past five years, this reception has become the primary fundraiser for the charities the organization supports in Ensenada via opportunity drawing prizes and a silent auction. Last year, more than $9,000 was raised for Centro de Atencion Especializada Para Autistas, an underserved and deserving school for autistic children. RSVP is a must, and it takes place form 6 - 9 p.m. 

On Thursday, April 26 from 6 - 10 p.m., skippers, crew and guests are invited to the must-attend N2E event of the year – the annual Sail Away Party – at the American Legion Yacht Club. This tradition dates back to the second race when sailors attended a formal dinner in suit and tie. Today’s racers show up in festive team gear to enjoy tasty bar favorites and dance to live entertainment, and maybe win opportunity drawing prizes.

For those partaking in the festivities in Ensenada, “Fiesta de Baja” will be held at the Hotel Coral & Marina from 6 p.m. to midnight on April 28. All sailors and their support crew are welcome to enjoy a Guadalupe Valley-style barbeque dinner with local beer, wines and cocktail pairings. Dance the rest of the night away to a live band and enjoy fireworks at 11 p.m. to begin to end your night!

For more information, email NOSA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.644.1023.

Monster and Sea 24 Team Newport paddleboards for cancer


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One in three people will battle cancer at some point in their life.

Cancer is an all-encompassing disease that taxes our energy, spirit and finances to their limits.

What about the rest of us? It’s our job to stand up and lend a helping hand – be it emotional, spiritual or financial when we can. That’s why Monster and Sea began the 24-hour paddle out four years ago.

For the third year in a row, Team Newport, a group of six paddlers, will paddle in shifts over 24 straight hours, beginning at 8 a.m. on April 14 and finishing at 8 a.m. on Sunday, April 15 to raise funds to help people battling cancer. Your donations go straight to helping those that need it most during their most desperate hours.

In 2017, this event raised $17,000; this year, the goal is $20,000. There will be $1,000 envelopes given directly to cancer sufferers. The event takes place at 18th Street and Bay.

For more information, visit

Pink Fantail electric boat is showcased during Lido Boat Show for a good cause

During this year’s Newport Boat Show, taking place April 19 - 22 at Lido Marina Village, you’ll see some colors like never before!

Nestled on the boardwalk at Lido Marina Village will be the first ever Pink Fantail, a French Riviera-inspired electric boat. EB Rentals, a new electric boat company located in Lido, has acquired the boat with a mission and a cause.

 Partnering with Susan G. Komen and Stand Up for a Cure, these two non-profit organizations are promoting breast cancer awareness from the proceeds of sales and rentals of this boat.

Pink Fantail

Submitted photo

Pink Fantail electric boat

EB Rentals will donate 15 percent of all proceeds generated from the rentals of the Pink Fantail to these two organizations, while the Canadian Electric Boat Company, builder of the Fantail, has agreed to donate $5,000 on all sales of Pink Fantails to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

The Pink Fantail can be viewed on the main boardwalk at Lido Marina Village from April 20 - May 15, after which it will be available for rental at EB Rentals.

Reservations at EB Rentals can be booked online directly at or by phone at 949.612.8248. The Pink Fantail can be ordered online from the Canadian Electric Boat Company’s website at

Lido Marina Village is located at 3434 Via Lido, Newport Beach.

Little Lido Kids Club features The Rainbow Fish

Rainbow Fish bookcover

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Submitted photo

You’re invited to the Little Lido Kids Club on Thursday, April 26 from 10 -11 a.m. at Lido Village Books. Bring your children and enjoy a book about a famous rainbow fish.

Kids will enjoy creating a one-of-a-kind rainbow fish of their very own and moms will love the opportunity drawings and specials from participating Lido Marina Village retailers including $25 off your purchase of $50 or more at Eberjey, 15 percent off your purchase at Bailey44, 10 percent off your book purchase at Lido Village Books and 10 percent off your purchase at Sweaty Betty (first-time customers only). This event is free and open to the public, but the Club asks that you RSVP by visiting

Each person who RSVPs will receive one entry for a drawing for a copy of the book of the day from Lido Village Books, a free week at Curl Fitness, a gift certificate to Sweaty Betty, and a free gift bag from Aesop. You must register before 8 p.m. on April 25 and be present to win.

Can’t make it? Don’t worry, the Little Lido Kids Club will be held the third Thursday of every month!

Lido Village Books is located at 3424 Via Oporto, Suite 102, Newport Beach, California.

Beyond the Canvas – Surrealism: Joan Miró

Joan Miro

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Courtesy of NBPL

Award-winning professor Jacqueline Hahn will continue this fascinating art lecture series on legendary artists’ lives and artistic movements at Newport Beach Public Library, taking place April 25 from 7 - 8 p.m.

Joan Miró was a Spanish painter, sculptor and ceramicist born in Barcelona. Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism, a sandbox for the subconscious mind, a re-creation of the childlike, and a manifestation of Catalan pride.

Learn more about the great masters of art in a fascinating visual presentation. Free to the public; seating is first come, first served, taking place in Central Library’s Friends Room. Sponsored by Friends of the Library.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 100 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Stump the Stu

Let’s pray you all get this one

Stump the Stu 4.10.18

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Last week we talked about “a stairway to heaven” here in Stump the Stu. That one led to the beach. Well, there’s no stairway this week, but heaven certainly comes to mind. Where is it? We welcome any and all guesses.

Take the challenge and submit your answers to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The correct answers are in Friday’s edition, along with the correct guesses. So, join us in the fun.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Sign of the times

On Fridays we give you a partial glimpse of a sign around town. You guess what the overall name of the business is. 

So, we gave you a glimpse of a crown with a “W” at the front of the awning. The sign is from Winston’s Crown Jewelers in Mariner’s Pointe at 100 W. Coast Highway #101, Newport Beach. We received correct guesses from Barbara Peckenpaugh, David Pitman, Carol Reinhold, Bobbi Schaaf, Lynn Swain and Laurie Veitch. You all shine bright!

Thank you for playing.

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

Winston Crown Jewelers

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Sailors and spectators alike: N2E to set sail April 27

N2E race

Courtesy of 

“Choice” is the theme of this year’s Newport To Ensenada International Yacht Race, as participating sailors can choose from one of three competitions to enter in the Orange County-to-Mexico competition.

The Newport To Ensenada Race kicks off on April 27 this year. Two other races will start on the same day: Border Run Race and Border Run Sprint.

Sailors can decide which one of the three races to participate in, with the Border Run Race ending in San Diego and Border Run Sprint finishing in Dana Point. All three races begin in Newport Beach; the Newport To Ensenada Race runs from April 27 - 29, while Border Run to San Diego takes place April 27 and 28.

The Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) purchased both Border Run events in 2017 and decided to run all three races – Newport To Ensenada, Border Run Race and Border Run Sprint – at the same time.

NOSA itself was formed in 1947 and launched its first race – the Governor’s Cup – shortly thereafter. Sailors arrived at Newport Harbor Yacht Club on April 23, 1948 to participate in the Governor’s Cup, which would navigate from Newport Beach to Ensenada. There were 117 boats in this first-ever race, with the registration fee set at $22.50. Only 65 boats completed the 125-nautical-mile contest, according to NOSA. The Governor’s Cup was renamed Newport To Ensenada International Yacht Race, or N2E, in 1949.

Those competing in the Border Run Sprint to Dana Point will start and finish on April 27. Newport To Ensenada competitors are expected to arrive at Hotel Coral and Marina by late afternoon on April 28. A trophy presentation will take place at Hotel Coral and Marina on April 29 at 2 p.m.

A bus will transport some people from Ensenada back to the United States; the bus ride is $50 per person and leaves at 5 p.m. on April 29 from Hotel Coral and Marina. NOSA will host a “Saturday Night Fiesta” event at Hotel Coral and Marina from 6 p.m. to midnight on April 28. Contact NOSA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 949.644.1023 for more information.

On the Harbor: What’s happening in Spring?


Spring has arrived, and the harbor is blooming. The removal of the mooring cans in front of Newport Harbor Yacht Club (NHYC) indicates that a swarm of Harbor 20s will soon be showing up to team race in two different events from April 9 - 14.

The first event on April 9 and 10 is the Palmer Grandmasters, followed by the main event – the Baldwin Cup taking place April 12 - 14. You might ask what is the difference between the two events? The simple answer is the old folks’ race is the Palmer and the kids’ race is the Baldwin. Which is kind of cool, because us old guys still like to have our day in the sun.

I won’t be competing in this event, because I have no clue how to team race, and frankly I have never reached the skill level these competitors have. I always defer to the NHYC website for its team racing definition: “Team racing, like most traditional team sports, involves strategy, advanced skill and teamwork. However, unlike other fleet racing, team racing pits a team of four against another team of four boats. This added dimension forces players to have a tremendous amount of boat-handling ability and quick reactions.

Harbor 20s

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Courtesy of Newport Harbor Yacht Club

Harbor 20s in the bay

“The key to watching these races and understanding if your team is winning the race is counting the place of each of your team’s boats, and if that number is less than 18, your team is winning the race. This is why you’ll see leading boats turn around and try to slow down the opposing team’s boats, making an effort to have their teammate pass an opponent.”

I have written this before…the excitement level has increased tremendously. While attending these events, the umpires are “informed” of their bad calls. Yes, team racing has umpires on the water similar to an umpire on the baseball field. Quite often you will hear the gallery shouting, “Come on, ump! Make a call!”

If this peaks your interest, you can go to to watch the action. I will be on the docks drinking one or two of the 25 cent beers, heckling the umpires and telling the old guys to pull their pants up and get back in the race. Always good times and I will buy you a beer if you see me and tell me you read my column. 

• • •

Other activities around the harbor include the 71st Newport to Ensenada yacht race scheduled April 27 - 29 along with the 55th Annual Lily Call Bay Fishing Tournament April 28 and 29 hosted by the Balboa Angling Club.

I know more about team racing than I do about fishing, and what I’ve noticed is the number of people fishing in the harbor with their game faces on. It’s rather obvious who is competing, because there is no lawn chair or beverage cooler next to them. These fishermen are taking notes and climbing fences to find the right spots. Here are the details of the event: 4# Test Max in Newport Harbor for Croaker, Corbina, Halibut and Bass. It is limited to the first 75 anglers and entries must be received by Wednesday, April 25. The cost is $40 per person with an awards banquet at the Chicken Coop on Sunday, April 29 at 4 p.m. I’m a huge fan of the Balboa Angling Club, so if you’re still looking for ways to get your kids involved with the harbor, this is the place at 200 A Street, right next to Hills Fuel Dock.

We’ll be sailing in the Ensenada race this year aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. This will be No. 33 for me, and I’ve never been more ready to get off the starting line. The owner of the boat can’t make it this year and threw me the keys. It’s the same feeling as my father throwing me the keys to the car for the first time. We’ll be flying the BCYC burgee and have put together a solid team of Doug Carey, Craig Chamberlain, Carson Reynolds, Max Moosman, and Kat and Andy Dibbel. 

Wish us wind and luck!

Sea ya


Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Newport Beach Association of Realtors® to hold poker tournament for charity

On Wednesday, May 9, the Newport Beach Association of Realtors® is holding its Charity Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament.

Poker chips

Submitted photo

Highlights of the evening include food by Red O Taste of Mexico of Fashion Island, a cash bar, music, roulette, blackjack and prizes. The Buy In is $80 (unlimited re-buys are available until break); $30 for non-poker players includes admission and food (with roulette and blackjack tables for non-poker players).

Check in is at 4 p.m. with music and food; play starts sharply at 4:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to the final three.

Proceeds benefit Childhelp Orange County, whose treatment programs help children affected by child abuse and in the prevention of child abuse.

For more information and to register (deadline is Friday, April 27 for reserved seating), visit, or call 949.722.2300.

Newport Beach Association of Realtors® is located at 401 Old Newport Blvd., Suite 100, Newport Beach.

Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society 

A Look Back 4.10.18

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It’s 1931, these two young girls look to escape the heat of the sun…well, in those days the best you could do sometimes was a rain umbrella. As you can see, the island was not fully developed back then and there were still empty, undeveloped lots like the one behind them.

Visit Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store located at 331 Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Tuesdays - Sundays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 949.675.3952. andThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NBFF features “Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future”

eco farming

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Photo by Jason Hosking

Practicing eco farming

Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF), Orange County Parks and the Newport Bay Conservancy are presenting a screening of “Living the Change: Inspiring Stories for a Sustainable Future.” Shown in conjunction with the 2018 Earth Day at the Bay and as part of the quarterly Environmental Film Series, the screening is free, open to the public and takes place Thursday, April 19 at 7 p.m. at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Upper Newport Bay. Seating is first come, first served.

Living the Change explores solutions to the global crises we face today – solutions any one of us can be part of – through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.

Directors Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson of Happen Films have brought together stories from their travels around New Zealand, along with interviews with experts able to explain how we come to be where we are today. From forest gardens to composting toilets, community supported agriculture to timebanking, Living the Change offers ways we can rethink our approach to how we live. Timebanking is a time-based currency. Give one hour of service to another, and receive one time credit. You can use the credits in turn to receive services, or you can donate them to others. Each and every one of us has the power to create change. The film aims to generate discussion as widely and deeply as possible about how each of us views the future and our part in it.

Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center is located at 2301 University Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.923.2290.

Letter to the Editor:

Don’t like the Koll Center Residences

I try to stay current with developments proposed to my City…especially a major project like the Koll Center Residences.

I oppose it in its current size. It’s three huge 13-story buildings. So dense, so massive, so imposing on other buildings. It also will add a large amount of traffic. There is no way this project fits into the area for which it’s proposed. I would turn it down.

Since our Planning Commission and City Council many times don’t recognize our current City’s General Plan, let’s work together to update a General Plan with which we can all agree.

Thank you for listening,

Jo Carol Hunter

Newport Beach

In Memoriam: Rabbi Mark Miller


Rabbi Mark Miller

Submitted photo

Rabbi Mark Miller

Newport Beach lost the most influential spiritual leader in the city’s 111-year history last week with the passing of Rabbi Mark Miller after a lengthy illness. He was only 70.

His funeral on Sunday, April 8 at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach attracted more the 750 people, and a shiva minyan – a prayer service that starts a week of mourning – will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 at the synagogue and is open to the public.

I first met Rabbi Miller when I became editor of the Daily Pilot in 1990. But before I get to some personal stories, here are the outlines of his remarkable life.

His grandparents, fleeing religious persecution in Russia, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1890s and settled in Chicago. His father, a decorated war hero, survived the Bataan Death march and internment in a Japanese prison camp during World War II. Rabbi Miller’s parents owned a deli and practiced Reform Judaism.

Rabbi Miller described growing up in a close family that lived a “simple Jewish life” that included “fond memories of lots of food and warm holidays.” Rabbi Miller studied politics and the law at American University, and received a Masters of Arts degree in Hebrew Letters, Rabbinic Ordination and Doctor of Divinity degree from the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. He served for three years as associate rabbi of Temple Sinai in Roslyn Heights, N.Y. before coming to Newport Beach.

Rabbi Miller arrived at Temple Bat Yahm in 1977, a year after the fledging Reform synagogue bought a prefabricated building from a savings and loan in Newport Center and moved the structure in a 2 a.m. convoy down Jamboree Road to a newly purchased four-acre site on Camelback Street. It was said to be the first Jewish house of worship on the Irvine Ranch.

Over the next 35 years, Rabbi Miller’s leadership enabled Temple Bat Yahm to evolve into one of the most prominent synagogues in the country. The congregation swelled to more than 650 families, and Rabbi Miller – with his passion, intellect, charisma and humor – had an uncanny knack for getting world-renowned Jewish leaders to make pilgrimages to Newport Beach (not known as a center of American Jewish life) to speak. Those included four Prime Ministers of Israel: Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak; Holocaust survivor, writer and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel; and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

A renaissance rabbi, Miller also taught at UCI and Chapman University, wrote columns for the Daily Pilot and Orange County Register, served on a variety of boards that supported local, national and international Jewish causes, and delivered the invocation for sessions of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives (you can view one of those prayers here to get a sense of his oratory style). A long-suffering Cubs fan (“Every team can have a bad century,” he often joked), he also had the honor of giving the invocation for the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2003.

He became rabbi emeritus at Temple Bat Yahm in 2012. If you want to see the love the congregants had for Rabbi Miller, check out the moving comments about his passing on Temple Bat Yahm’s Facebook Page.

Now for some of my memories of Rabbi Miller.

He loved to tell stories. Like the one about the time he sat behind home plate at an Angels game, his biblical beard standing out among the spectators. The game went into extra innings, and the play-by-play announcer pointed out the bearded fan on the television monitor and said, “I don’t want to say this has been a long game, but that guy was clean shaven when it started.”

He was one of Israel’s staunchest defenders. For many years, I taught a class at UCI called “Religion, Politics and the Media,” and Rabbi Miller would always be gracious enough to come in and talk with my students. The Muslim students in the class didn’t always appreciate his hawkish views on the defense of Israel, but he never backed down and answered each question they had. One evening, things got so heated that I had to cancel the rest of class – and Rabbi Miller asked me to escort him to his car, just to be on the safe side. The inability to have a respectful exchange with college students really shook him.

He established a thriving Jewish community of national renown in a community and county that, especially back in the day, wasn’t all that welcoming. I remember he told me about the debate to put a directional sign for Temple Bat Yahm on Jamboree Road: Yes, it would help congregants find the synagogue but it would also do the same for anti-Semites. That’s a tough world for a leader to be in, but he always did it with grace and perspective.

He talked often and lovingly about his family, including his wife and five children. His email address was Abbaof5@... . He leaves behind his wife Wendy; his children Ariella, Talya, Eliya, Jacob and Neely; son-in-law Jarret Calmenson; his brother Scott Miles; and his mother Renata Zaks.

He had the unusual trait of actually liking journalists. When I was editor of the Pilot and later religion writer for the Los Angeles Times, Rabbi Miller would be gracious and patient in explaining Jewish traditions or issues. He could be counted on for delivering the perfect quote and sending an email complimenting me on a story.

He lit up any stage. Each year, for example, Rabbi Miller made the Daily Pilot’s Top 103 Most Influential list. At the annual Top 103 luncheon, we’d ask various honorees to give short speeches, but always placed Rabbi Miller in the final slot – and gave him extra minutes – because he was our cleanup hitter. He brought down the house each time with a booming oratory that made the crowd laugh, sometimes cry and always feel empowered to make the world a better place.

Each year, he’d come off that stage with a twinkle in his eye and ask me, “How’d I do?”

I replied, “You’re the best. As always.” 


William Lobdell is the former editor of the Daily Pilot, a religion writer for the Los Angeles Times and the author of “Losing My Religion.”

Guest Column

Dave Kiff

An insider’s look at what’s going on in and around City Hall

Dave Kiff

Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff   

Here is what’s going on at the upcoming Newport Beach City Council meeting set for tonight, April 10, 2018. Meetings are held in the Newport Beach Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive – the public is always welcome. I do not highlight all of the items on the agenda – please go to the City’s webpage and review the agenda if you want to see all of the items.

There is a brief study session in the afternoon with a number of presentations, like National Library Week. Lots of cool stuff happening during the upcoming week at our always-terrific Newport Beach Public Library system. 

Study Session starts at 4:30 p.m. in case you want to attend. Then the Regular Session starts at 7 p.m. 

The items that seem worthy of highlighting and/or explaining are these:

With the Balboa Peninsula Trolley getting prepared to roll into its second summer (with some changes, like the offsite parking area will be off of our Avon Street Lot near Tustin Avenue, instead of at the Lower Hoag Campus), the Council will be asked to finalize the grant agreement with OCTA that helps fund the program.

A quiet but important agenda item involves the disposition of a special improvement district’s reserves – in this case, back to the property owners associated with the taxes paid into the district. This includes about 273 parcels and is part of what we referred to as the Circulation Improvement and Open Space Agreement (CIOSA) that was envisioned in 1995.

The Council will consider an amendment to the city manager’s contract (that’s me) that plans for a transition for me, as well as for a recruitment for a new city manager. I’m actually not allowed to comment on it, so I will save you some reading time. 

Lastly, the Council will consider an action relating to Senate Bill 54 (De Leon, 2017) which some have dubbed the “Sanctuary State” act. The Council previously opposed aspects of SB 54 as it was going through the Legislature last year. The proposed resolution to be considered on Tuesday would state the City’s continued opposition to SB 54.  

As always, I enjoy hearing from you about this or any other community issue involving the city government. So does the City Council – remember that you can email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your thoughts or ideas.  

Thanks for reading!



Dave Kiff

City Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Friendship Circle plans Spring Festival

Spring Festival

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Submitted photo

Friendship Circle will hold a Spring Festival on Sunday, April 15 from 2 - 4 p.m. for Orange County children with special needs and their families. The event takes place at Bonita Creek Park, 3010 La Vida, Newport Beach, and will offer children with disabilities and their families a fun-filled and entertaining time, giving caregivers a chance to find out about the free year-round recreation programs that Friendship Circle offers to children with special needs.

During the festivities, children will be paired with a trained teen buddy, enjoy a bubble show and playtime hosted by Bubblemania, carnival games, face painting and more. Drinks and an edible art project/snack will be provided. An informational booth and registration areas will be available to help answer questions about the Friendship Circle’s special needs programs including sports leagues, Sunday circle, cooking classes, and summer and winter camps.

“Friendship Circle has made a tremendously positive impact on my autistic son. I am so happy that more families with children with special needs will be able to find out about Friendship Circle’s terrific programs through this fun-filled Spring Festival,” said Elayne Blieden, longtime Friendship Circle parent.

The Friendship Circle Spring Festival is a great opportunity for children with special needs and their caregivers to discover the happiness that Friendship Circle provides for its members and the respite it provides for parents of children with special needs.

To register and for more information, contact Helen Cohen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For more information about Friendship Circle, visit or call 949.721.9800.

College decision time approaches…have you done all you should?

By Cara Jones

Screams of joy and excitement and sighs of disappointment are being heard by students as they receive the news of acceptance, rejection or waitlist from the universities they applied to. 

April is the college decision month. Applications filled out and college essays written and completed months ago, the submit button pushed and the nerves set in. Nothing evokes more trepidation for students than waiting to hear the answer to the question: “Did I get in?” It was once a letter in an envelope, large and bulging with papers if accepted; small and one page if declined. Now students receive email alerts and log in to navigate application portals to find out their educational fate.


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The decision can be the easiest component on the road to college if all steps prior were taken. It begins with high school course selection and balancing extra circular activities at and away from school. Where to apply is the most critical component to college planning. As (Wayne) Gretzky said, “You miss every shot you don’t take,” however, with application fees averaging $65 each and time being of the essence, comprising the where to apply list needs to be generated by reflecting the student’s individual profile.

There is no “perfect” university and rankings are just that; numbers on a sheet. What can be perfect is the fit. When a student is accepted to one or more universities that they are qualified for and thrilled about attending is the goal.

College campus visits are one of the best ways to decide where to attend. Take the campus tour, held by senior students who are a plethora of information. Take time by yourself and walk around, visit the library, a dorm if possible. Attend a sporting event or play and get the flavor that the city provides.

Once accepted there is a long “to do” list of items and it is imperative that all are completed by specified due dates. Universities have another section of those wait listed and hoping for admittance. May 1 is the last day to accept; known as “college decision” day.

The college decision can also be to attend a two-year college and then apply as a transfer student to a four-year university. The competitiveness of the top 40 universities and sky-rocketing costs of attendance continues to make this a legitimate and respected option. General education courses enable students to customize their educational schedule to reflect their intended future schools requirements (UC, Cal State, Private or Out-Of-State universities). Coastline Community College District in Orange County is one of the most respected and esteemed districts in the country, consisting of Orange Coast College, Golden West College, Santa Ana College, Fullerton College, Irvine Valley College, Cypress College and Saddleback College.

The college decision process takes parents and students on an emotional roller coaster. When the ride is over, take a deep breath and be proud of the decision and celebrate your future as a college student.

Cara Jones is the principal of College Access, an Orange County company that strategizes with families to maximize college admissions and ensure all deadline dates are met with requirements fulfilled.

City offers grant process for local event support

The City of Newport Beach is accepting applications from community and non-profit event organizers seeking financial support for their Newport Beach-based events occurring between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019. The application deadline is Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m.

The special event support grant program enables community event organizers to apply for funding to help cover some of the costs associated with hosting an event in Newport Beach. This is a competitive process. Submitting an application does not guarantee funding. Applicants should read the Special Event Support Program Overview to gain an understanding of the program’s eligibility, qualification and evaluation criteria and how the grants are funded.

To learn more about the program or to submit an application, visit

CdM Residents Association to meet

The Corona del Mar Residents Association Board of Directors hosts its monthly board meeting at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 19. The board will hear from Southern California Edison representatives regarding an upcoming project to upgrade electrical transmission equipment in portions of Corona del Mar that will require construction activities and temporary electrical outages. All members are welcome.

The meeting is held at the OASIS Senior Center Room, Room 5, 801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar.

For more information, visit or call/text 949.478.2454.

Attention bee lovers…volunteer at Imaginology

Bees on hive

Submitted photo

The Orange County Beekeepers Association (OCBA) is seeking volunteers to help out at their Imaginology booth this weekend, Friday, April 13 through Sunday, April 15 at the Orange County Fair & Event Center.

This booth is a great way for the OCBA to reach to the public and especially the youth of our community. They will be hosting a live observation beehive (under glass), and selling honeystix and jars of honey to raise funds for the OCBA.

If you are new to the club or beekeeping, don’t worry – it’s the perfect time to learn. It also is an ideal way to get a crash course before working the booth at the 2018 Orange County Fair.

Available shifts:

Friday, April 13: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. (one person needed); 12 - 3 p.m. (one person needed).

Saturday, April 14: 1:30 - 5 p.m. (one person needed).

Sunday, April 15: 10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. (two people needed); 1:30 - 5 p.m. (two people needed)

OCBA needs at least three people to cover each shift. If interested, please reply to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with shifts you can fill. You must include your name and phone number. Parking passes are needed on Saturday and Sunday. People signed up will receive information on picking them up. For more information, visit

A rare bald eagle sighting

Bald eagle

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Photo by Russ Kerr

This rare sighting of a bald eagle was captured by nature photographer Russ Kerr at Upper Newport Bay. It is eating the remainder of an American coot.

“Suits for a Cause” clothing drive benefits WHW

The Orange County legal community concluded its month-long clothing drive supporting job seekers of nonprofit WHW with a celebratory luncheon on Thursday, March 29 at the Orange County Bar Association in Newport Beach. Seventy-four law firms and legal businesses and organizations joined together for the 8th Annual “Suits for a Cause” clothing drive throughout the month of March to donate professional suits to WHW, which provides the unemployed and underemployed the skills and resources they need to get and keep a good job.

This year’s “Suits for a Cause” provided more than 500 suits and thousands of pieces of business and casual attire, and accessories.

Justice Eileen Moore and honorary chair

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Photos courtesy of WHW

Associate Justice Eileen C. Moore and Honorary Chair Ron Brand of The Brand Firm

During the luncheon, Justice Eileen C. Moore provided an exclusive presentation on “Gender Issues in the U.S. Supreme Court and Hollywood Movies” which looked at law and culture with regard to women including how issues involving women have evolved in the nation’s highest court and how the movie industry has portrayed women at these same times. Her presentation was MCLE certified and fulfills the Elimination of Bias requirement for attorneys. The luncheon was sponsored by Skorheim & Associates, AAC.

Ferruzo and Ferruzo

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Colleen McCarthy and James Barone, law partners at Ferruzo & Ferruzo LLP, Newport Beach

The list of Newport Beach participants included: Bisnar Chase; Carlson & Jayakumar; Rynn & Janowsky, LLP; OC Women Lawyers Association; Call & Jensen; Archer Norris; Ferruzo & Ferruzo LLP; Risner & Associates, Inc.; The Foley Group, PLC; One LLP; Constitutional Rights Foundation; Blue Law Group; Robinson Calcagnie, Inc.; Janice A. Ramsay ALC; and Bick Law, LLP.

WHW was founded by two legal professionals and survivors of domestic abuse who faced the task of rebuilding their professional wardrobes and self-esteem to return to the workforce in 1993. WHW has grown from providing 63 women with professional apparel to help prepare them for interviews 25 years ago to now serving more than 8,000 job seekers (men and women) each year and empowering them to navigate a complex job search with a multitude of tools. WHW is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and since its inception has served more than 90,000 job seekers with programs including Employment Readiness Workshops, Computer Training, Job Placement Assistance, Employment Retention Assistance and Professional Apparel including interview-appropriate apparel and accessories.

For more information about “Suits for a Cause” and the full list of legal firms, groups and companies that participated this year, visit

Political Outreach Fair takes place April 14

Newport Beach Civic Center

Submitted photo

The Council of Youth Ambassadors presents the 2018 Political Outreach Fair taking place Saturday, April 14 from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

Attending Congressional Candidates include: Dr. Hans Keirstead, Kevin Kensinger, Michael Kotick, Paul Martin, Brandon Reiser, Boyd Roberts and Harley Rouda, In addition, local city councilmembers will be present.

Pet of the WeekDog and Cat print

StuNewsNewport is delighted to be working with the Newport Beach Animal Shelter to help get the word out in search of loving homes for pets that deserve a warm, nurturing environment and a place to call “home.”


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Courtesy of Newport Beach 

Animal Shelter


What a wonderful day to introduce one of the biggest beauties currently available at the Newport Beach Animal Shelter. His name is Gandalf. He LOVES love and isn’t fazed by meeting new cats. He will be an absolute wonderful addition to a peaceful household where he can nap underneath comfy blankets and sweetly peek his head out to greet you. If you’ve been looking to add an unforgettable gentleman to your family, feel free to stop by and meet Gandalf at your convenience.

At any given time, the shelter can have 4 - 5 dogs and 7 - 8 cats/kittens and other pets available for adoption. At times, they receive owner turn-ins that would do best adopted out together. 

Adoption costs at the shelter:

Dogs - $130

Puppies - $150

Cats - $90

Kittens - $110

If you are interested in finding out more about Gandalf, or any other animals up for adoption, the Newport Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20302 Riverside Drive, Newport Beach. It is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 949.644.3656. Email Valerie Schomburg at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To find out how you can help support the shelter, visit and click on “Our Animal Shelter” to view the wish list. They can always use food & treats; new toys; grooming, hygiene & comfort products; as well as laundry soap, dish soap, paper towels, sponges & scrub pads and lint rollers. If you are interested in volunteering, you can fill out and sign the application on the website.

NBPD re-releases video: “Lock It or Lose It”

Back in 2011, the Newport Beach Police Department released a video entitled “Lock It or Lose It.” The cost figures have become a bit outdated in the past seven years, but the message is still very applicable.

Lock It

Submitted photo

NBPD tracks the circumstances around burglaries and thefts from cars, and in the vast majority (around 80 percent) of all these crimes, no force is used. Remember to take a minute to lock your car, roll up your windows, and remove your valuables – every time you park. Lock it…or lose it.

The video can be seen on YouTube at

City offers high school students a free break from the grind with a variety of classes

The City of Newport Beach Recreation & Senior Services Department is offering free study break sessions for Newport Harbor and Corona del Mar High School students. It’s the City’s way to offer students a break from the academic pressures and enjoy a variety of classes to help renew and refresh themselves.


Classes take place Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. beginning April 25 at Marina Park and alternating with the OASIS Senior Center.

The schedule is as follows:

April 25 - Mindfulness & Meditation with Jennifer Lambert (Marina Park)

May 2 - Art Night with Lisa Albert (OASIS)

May 9 - Fashion Design Sketching Instructed by Fashion, Design and Sew (Marina Park)

May 16 - Unique Fitness and Strength with Michael Ryan (OASIS)

May 23 - Unique Fitness and Strength with Michael Ryan (Marina Park)

May 30 - Healthy Recipes and Cooking with Nasira Burkholder-Cooley, DRPH, RDN (OASIS)

June 6 - Mindfulness, Meditation and Yoga with Jennifer Lambert (Marina Park)

June 13 - Paddle Night with UCI (Marina Park)

For more information, call 949.270.8150 or follow on Instagram at #CNBSTUDYBREAK.

Marina Park is located at 1600 West Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach and OASIS Senior Center is located at 801 Narcissus Ave., Corona del Mar.

Sunday Musicale features Dali Ensemble

Dali Ensemble

Courtesy of NBPL

(L-R): Dali Ensemble is comprised of Catherine Del Russo, oboist; Kevan Torfeh, cellist; and Kirstin Fife, violinist

The Newport Beach Public Library presents a Sunday Musicale with the eclectic Dali Ensemble L.A. on Sunday, April 22 at 3 p.m. in the Central Library Friends Room, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

The Dalí Ensemble L.A. features three award-winning musicians, Catherine Del Russo, oboist; Kirstin Fife, violinist; and Kevan Torfeh, cellist. The trio will present a recital that is educational, diverse and entertaining with a repertoire that depicts a rainbow of the history of western music from the Renaissance Period to the 21st Century.

The program also features original compositions by Kirstin Fife, inspired by the Spanish Surrealist painter, Salvador Dali, and Latin flavored tangos and waltzes written by Spanish composers and arranged by the talented violinist.

Admission to the Sunday Musicales is free. No registration is required. Seating is first-come, first-served, limited by room capacity. Funding is provided by donations from the Friends of the Library.

For more information, call 949.717.3800, ext. 2 or visit the website at

Sign of the times

It’s another edition of Sign of the times, so put your thinking caps on. Below you’ll find this week’s clue. What you see is a small part of an overall sign in Newport Beach, that many pass by on a daily basis taking in its “sparkle.”

Good luck!

Send your guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

SOTT 4 6 18

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Kids…don’t miss out on ENC Summer Nature Camp


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Submitted photo

Campers looking at ENC’s collection of insects

The ENC has offered Summer Nature Camps since 1977. Nature Camp provides quality science education in an outdoor, hands-on setting. ENC Nature Camp emphasizes experiential learning. Campers spend most of their time outside, having a great time observing nature up close using tools like binoculars, magnifying lenses and microscopes. Science concepts are introduced in a fun environment, with crafts, games and hands-on activities.

This year’s Summer Nature Camp at the Environmental Nature Center is for kids ages 3 through grade 8 with one-week sessions running from June 25 - August 16 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. or 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

 Camps include: Little Naturalists, ages 3 - 5 years; Nature Adventure Camp, grades Kindergarten - 3; Science Explorers Camp, grades 4 - 6; and Order of the Raven, grades 6 - 8.

Enrollment is limited to small classes of 15 students per teacher with a high school assistant, and most of the camp teachers are ENC Naturalists. Each week has a different theme and different activities, so sign up for more than one session.

Fees: Full Day Nature Camp (9 a.m. - 3 p.m.) costs $265/student per session ($238.50 for ENC members). Half Day Nature Camp (9 a.m. - 1 p.m.) costs $180/student per session ($162 for ENC members). Fees include all costs of instruction, laboratory and art supplies, and an organic cotton camp T-shirt. Nature Camp is held Monday through Thursday. There is no camp on Fridays, except during the week of July 3.

To view the complete camp schedule and to enroll, visit

Environmental Nature Center is located at 1601 E. 16th St., Newport Beach.

Full “STEAM” ahead at OC Fair

“Imaginology” is coming to the OC Fair & Event Center from April 13 -15…and it’s all about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) for kids!

kid under parachute

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Photos courtesy of OC Fair & Event Center

What better way for youngsters to learn than by trying things themselves? Plus, the event is free.

Here is a min-guide to some of the family-friendly hands-on activities taking place.

Scavenger Hunt - Put your wit, brain and legs to the test in a tricky, fast-paced game that will bring out your competitive spirit. Find hidden treasures in a scavenger hunt that may leave you scratching your head in a search for cool gadgets as you explore the fairgrounds. Plus, new this year is an Instagram component for social-media-savvy kids. 

Location: OC Promenade

When: Saturday and Sunday, all day

Learning category: All

Dig for Roots - Carrots and beets are delicious additions to suppertime, but what’s it like to harvest the bounty yourself? Find out on this mission to dig for real veggies. This activity is perfect for kids in kindergarten and younger.

Location: Country Meadows

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Science

Tech Play - Try your hand at the interactive LED installation, featuring ELENCO Snap Circuit toys and several Makey Makey demos to try out. Think you can use a banana to power a bulb? Find out!

Location: Action Gallery South

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Technology

kids on mini tractors

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Radish Seed Planting - Offering a peppery, satisfying crunch with every bite, radishes have a unique place in the vegetable hierarchy. Learn about the array of colors, textures and variations they come in. Plant a radish to take home, grow and start your own mini farm.

Location: Country Meadows

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Science

girl with goat

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Clay Play - Let’s have a clay play day! There’s nothing wrong with getting your hands a little dirty, especially when it’s in the name of art.

Where: Action Gallery South

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Arts

Mini Hat Craft Workshop - Make a fashion statement of your own in the mini craft workshop and design a hat with your personal trademark style and creativity.

Location: Main Mall

When: Saturday and Sunday, all day

Learning category: Arts

The Amazing Maze - Think you can find your way out? Test your navigation skills here if you dare – just try not to get lost.

Location: Heroes Hall Lawn

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Engineering

Cornhole Competition - Practice the velocity and the angle of a throw by playing a classic game of cornhole at the Raising Cane’s booth.

Location: Main Mall

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Mathematics

girl with violin

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Community Service Project - Do a good deed and discover a new hobby. Learn calligraphy and make a card to send to someone serving our country – you’ll help put a smile on the face of a brave soldier.

Location: Action Gallery North

When: Saturday until 3 p.m.

Learning category: Arts

Sew Easy - And it will be “sew” fun! Learn the simple basics of sewing and make a plush piggy to take home.

Location: Action Gallery South

When: Friday - Sunday, all day

Learning category: Engineering

kid superhero

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Imaginology is open Friday, April 13 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, April 14 – 15 from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free and most activities are included. Parking is free on Friday; $8 on Saturday and Sunday. Friday is Field Trip Day and is open to the public; schools and large groups of 10 or more are encouraged to register, but it is not required. On Sunday, Imaginology will host the Dia del Niño festival, in collaboration with Arts OC and Media Arts Santa Ana; activities include workshops and performances throughout the day.

For a complete schedule of events and a list of exhibitors, visit

Fair Game


Kiff agreement re-written, out on August 31…at the latest

TomJohnsonTuesday night at the Newport Beach City Council meeting, the council will discuss City Manager Dave Kiff’s “new amended agreement” and discuss the process to find his replacement.

First off, the new agreement, the sixth amended and restated employment agreement between the City and Kiff, calls for Kiff’s employment end-date to be changed from April 24, 2019 to August 31, 2018.

The current council must really want him out, check out his “good-bye” package: $20,000 in a deferred compensation contribution; up to $5,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by Kiff on the agreement; and an $84,000 one-time lump sum payment.

Good for you, Dave!

However, there are also a couple of other clauses in the agreement that should be noted, including that Kiff cannot be terminated prior to August 31, good; and, if a new city manager is appointed any time prior to August 31, they would immediately assume all duties. 

Kiff, on the other hand, would then be placed on Administrative Leave until August 31.

Hey Dave, don’t let the door hit you in *** *** on the way out!

• • •

Also on Tuesday’s agenda will be the potential recommendation for a resolution opposing Senate Bill 54, California Governor Jerry Brown’s sanctuary state law he signed into legislation effective January 1, 2018.

A number of Orange County cities have passed resolutions in the last two weeks including Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley and Los Alamitos.

This seems like a natural for Newport Beach, but you never know who’ll show up from neighboring cities.

• • •

Here’s some comforting news, yuck, yuck. Newport-Mesa Unified School District will continue their school air-conditioning updates this summer with six additional schools. One thing you always worry about in projects like this are cost-overruns.

You know government.

Cumming, a company from Aliso Viejo, will handle the project. 

Their team overseeing it and hoping to avoid those potential cost overruns is Regional Director Mark Fergus, contracted at $210/hour; Alan Campbell, Managing Director, $210/hour; Mario Antony, Senior Cost Manager, Lead, $175/hour; Mitch Berg, Senior Cost Manager, MEP, $175/hour; Kenny Rodgers, Senior Cost Manager, MEP, $175/hour; Simon Hovesepian, Senior Cost Manager, $175/hour; and Pasha Bank, Cost Manager, $160/hour.

Wow, that’s great oversight and at such a small cost. What possibly could go wrong?

• • •

Perhaps you’re a churchgoer? Well, St. James the Great will return to their building on the Peninsula this Sunday, April 8 after being locked out since 2015. It should be quite a celebration.

Their pastor, Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees, has been leading the congregation off-site for the last few years as several unsuccessful attempts to sell the property failed for a number of reasons.

Recently, the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, which oversees the property, decided to return it to the local congregation.

The church is located at 3209 Via Lido. 

• • •

Stu News Newport is proud to be a sponsor for Corona del Mar Scenic 5K race/walk for the second year in a row.

Race day is Saturday, June 2, running through the beautiful streets of CdM. There are men’s and women’s 5Ks, a two-mile walk, a youth two-mile and a Kid’s Dash 1K.

This is one of the CdM Chamber of Commerce’s big events. You can register to run or walk at; or, if you’re a vendor looking to show off your services or wares, there are spaces still available. Call Linda Leonhard at 949.673.4050.

After 10 years of hands-free law, challenges still remain

Cell phone driving

Ten years after “hands-free” driving became law, drivers are using their cell phones less often…but distracted driving remains a serious safety challenge. April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the first week in April is California Teen Safe Driving Week, making this an ideal time for safety advocates to focus their efforts on education and enforcement statewide.

The Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the Newport Beach Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies are joining with community partners throughout the state to make the roads safer by highlighting the dangers of distracted driving, especially as related to cell phones. The goal of Distracted Driving Awareness month is voluntary compliance by all drivers, but sometimes officer intervention – and citations – are necessary to communicate the importance of distraction-free driving.

Traffic officers throughout the state have issued hundreds of thousands of citations over the past three years to drivers who were texting or making calls on a hand-held cell phone. Recent legislation made it illegal to use any smartphone apps while driving, further limiting drivers’ cell phone activity. Still, we all continue to see people driving dangerously while distracted by their phones.

Since 2011, OTS has conducted an annual observational study of hand-held cell phone use. “This year’s study on the use of handheld cell phones and texting shows a decrease over past years; however, more work needs to be done to target those who were observed to still be breaking the law,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “The best way to put an end to distracted driving is to educate all Californians about the danger it poses. We will do this through enforcement and education efforts like our new advertising campaign ‘Just Drive’, reminding drivers to put down their phones and focus on the road.”

“California’s distracted driving laws have been saving lives for a decade now,” said former State Senator Joe Simitian, who authored the state’s hands-free and no-texting laws. “Every day, somewhere in California, someone is sitting down to dinner with their family who wouldn’t have made it through the day without these laws on the books. That’s tremendously gratifying.”

In 2007 (the last full year before the hands-free law went into effect), more than 33,000 drivers in California were involved in distracted driving collisions. Preliminary 2017 data shows that that number decreased to fewer than 22,000 collisions last year. 

“These numbers show a heartening and significant improvement, but there’s still work to be done,” said Chief Jon Lewis of the Newport Beach Police Department. “Smartphones are a part of our lives now; texting, phone calls, social media posts…the cell phone activity is constant, but doing these things behind the wheel can have deadly consequences. Changing these dangerous habits will help make our roadways safer for everyone.”

The NBPD has the following safety tips for drivers:

If you need to read a text message, or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. (If you are on a freeway, please exit; do not pull over to the side of the freeway.) Once you are safely off the road, it is safe to text.

If you have a passenger, consider making them your “designated texter.” Allow them to access your phone to respond to calls or messages.

Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.

Cell phone use can be habit forming. Are you struggling to avoid the distraction? Consider putting your cell phone in the trunk or the back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your final destination.

The Newport Beach Police Department is deploying extra officers with grant-funded resources throughout the month in city locations with higher numbers of traffic collisions. Violators will be stopped and cited, with fines set at $162 for first-time offenders. This campaign is funded by a grant from the California Officer of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Leadership in Heels presented distinguished panel to discuss “breaking the glass ceiling”

Many women in business strive to “break the glass ceiling.” On Thursday, March 22 at the Center Club in Costa Mesa, the Leadership in Heels speaker series hosted a panel of glass-breaking, C-suite executives for “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: What Happens When the Heels Get Too High,” who authentically shared their stories on what it takes to break the glass ceiling, the rewards of being glass-breaking executives and the sacrifices and struggles of “the heels getting too high.”

According to the Department of Labor in a report on this topic, the glass ceiling is an “invisible barrier between women and the executive suite, preventing them from reaching the highest levels of the business world regardless of their accomplishments and merits.”

Scharrell Jackson

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Photos by Kait McKay Photography

Leadership in Heels Founder and CEO Scharrell Jackson, a full-time partner, COO and CFO for Squar Milner in Newport Beach, addresses attendees

Panelists shared personal experiences with breaking the glass ceilings in their respective careers, including Kim Letch, managing partner of Irvine-based Ernst & Young LLP; Cheryl Osborn, p[resident at Casco Contractors in Irvine; Dr. Jackie Eubany, cardiologist; and Pernille Spiers-Lopez, former president and CEO of IKEA North America and author of the book Design Your Life.

Attendees received tangible tools and advice on how to break the glass ceiling, including: 

Identify what you want and have the confidence to ask for it.

Build your own power and strength.

Recognize and manage stress. Take the time to care for yourself first. 

Find a mentor or sponsor to help guide you.

Set boundaries and know when to say no.

Don’t get bogged down by the negative.

Have one life and don’t strive for ‘work/life balance’ but strive to be happy and positive in all aspects of your one life.

Take a pause, especially when times get frantic. 


Count your wins and make an inventory of why you are qualified, especially when you feel uncomfortable or underqualified.

Leadership in Heels Founder and CEO Scharrell Jackson, a full-time partner, COO and CFO for Squar Milner in Newport Beach, one of the top 70 accounting firms in the nation, moderated the panel and shared the challenges and rewards she has faced as a glass-breaking executive at this first Leadership in Heels event of 2018. Jackson began the leadership series with the goal to authentically pivot lives forward personally and professionally while stimulating the mind and penetrating the heart.

Scharrell and ladies

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(L-R): Dr. Jackie Eubany, Cardiologist; Kim Letch, Managing Partner of Irvine-based Ernst & Young LLP; Leadership in Heels Founder and CEO Scharrell Jackson; Cheryl Osborn, president at Casco Contractors; and Pernille Spiers-Lopez, former president and CEO of IKEA North America

“Many businesswomen want to break the glass ceiling but don’t quite know how. Others don’t consider the cost against the reward,” Jackson said. “I have shattered the glass ceiling, reaped many rewards and shed many tears. It is my goal to ensure that we understand not only what it takes to break the glass ceiling, but what happens when the heels get too high and how to win all the time!”

Attendees included C-suite executives, middle managers, entrepreneurs, community leaders, those just beginning their careers, and college students. In addition to interactive presentations and exercises, the Leadership in Heels speaker series offered breakfast, networking and giveaways.

In addition, each event honors an extraordinary business leader and on March 22, Leadership in Heels honored Pattie Grimm, host of the “Women Kicking Glass” radio show. Grimm was chosen for her unwavering commitment to highlight women who have broken the glass ceiling.

A portion of net proceeds from “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” benefited Irvine-based nonprofit American Heart Association, which is dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Leadership in Heels has raised thousands of dollars for Orange County nonprofits including WHW, Human Options, Girls Inc. of OC, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire, Successful Survivors, THINK TOGETHER, and Working Wardrobes.

For more information about Leadership in Heels, visit the website at

Stump the Stu

On a beautiful day, it’s tough to beat this descent

Stump the Stu 4.6.18

Click on photo for a larger image

When we said earlier in the week that “this really is a stairway to heaven,” we meant it.

Where is it you ask? Lynn Swain correctly guessed the Crystal Cove stairs…and, she wasn’t alone.

“The stairs lead you down from the Coast Highway by Ruby’s Shake Shack to Crystal Cove State Park and The Beachcomer Restaurant,” wrote Bill Finster.

“These are the steps that lead down to the beach (and up to the walking/biking trail) at Crystal Cove Park. This is at the western boundary of the state park,” added Doug Thomas.

A special thanks to Bill Lobdell, who shot and sent us this photo!

Join us on Tuesdays as we try and stump you each week with a picture of something unique in our community.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think StuNewsNewport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Sherman Library & Gardens: A fresh new look, inspiration

New logo

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Courtesy of Sherman Library & Gardens

Spring is a time for renewal, rebirth, rejuvenation, reconnection and refreshing your garden. Every gardener knows that gardens are never stagnant. They are full of energy and inspiration that changes, grows and evolves over time.  An organization should do the same.

After 50 years, Sherman Library & Gardens is embarking on a major change – they have adopted a new logo and updated their mission statement  as part of their

Vision for the Future initiative.

Why the change? The original logo, a group of fuchsia with Sherman Library & Gardens in an ornate script, did not translate well to the needs of the digital era. They found the need for an easily recognizable symbol that could work equally well on either a large sign or on a hat in the gift shop. The process started more than two years ago when Sherman Library & Gardens partnered with the Laguna College of Art + Design. Sherman Library & Gardens became a case study for a class, and each student worked on a branding concept from logos and typeface to signs and merchandise that would rejuvenate the Sherman Library & Gardens brand to reconnect the organization with a new generation.

To inspire the next generation of supporters and advance public understanding of how Sherman Library & Gardens serves the community the mission statement was also refreshed.

A mission statement is a short statement of an organization identifying the scope of its operations, what kind of product or service it provides, its primary customers or market, and its geographical region of operation. The mission can change to reflect an organization’s priorities. While their priorities remain the same as when Arnold Haskell founded the Library & Gardens, it has been refreshed to emphasize their three pillars of history, horticulture and the arts. A mission statement is also used to inspire staff, volunteers and members to join and support the organization.

Sherman Library & Gardens is located at 2647 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar.

Tenant Rights Workshop at the Civic Center

On Thursday, April 18, the Fair Housing Foundation (FHF) will be holding a Tenant Rights Workshop at Newport Beach City Hall in the Corona del Mar Conference Room at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach from 10 a.m. -12 p.m.

For rent

Submitted photo

This workshop is free and open to the public. Attendees will learn about how they are protected under fair housing laws, what their rights and responsibilities as tenants are, and how to deal with tenant-landlord disputes. A housing counselor will also be on hand to answer any questions from participants.

The FHF, servicing residents of the city of Newport Beach, provides mediation and counseling services through their housing assistance hotline at 1.800.446.FAIR and through walk-in clinics. They also investigate issues of discrimination related to housing.

For more information or to RSVP for the Tenant Rights Workshop, call 1.800.446.FAIR.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show to take Segerstrom stage

Australian Pink Floyd

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Courtesy of

Australian Pink Floyd at Segerstrom for one night only

Segerstrom Center for the Arts welcomes the biggest and most spectacular Pink Floyd show on the planet: “The Australian Pink Floyd Show,” arriving for one night only, Thursday, Sept 6 to Segerstrom Hall. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, “Aussie Floyd” has sold five million tickets worldwide and has been described by The Times as “The Gold Standard” and The Daily Mirror as “The Kings of the Genre.” The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPFS) gave its first ever concert in Adelaide, Australia in 1988. Since then, the show has been staged in more than 35 countries worldwide; played at David Gilmour’s 50th birthday celebration and were even joined on stage by Rick Wright. TAPFS is the leading and biggest show of its kind in the world.

Tickets for The Australian Pink Floyd Show start at $49 and are on sale now, available online at, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling 714.556.2787. For inquiries about group ticket savings for 20 or more, please call the Group Services office at 714.755.0236.

Performing the music of Pink Floyd with note for note perfection, this critically acclaimed tribute show has been astonishing audiences worldwide. Striving to reproduce the Pink Floyd experience for loyal fans and bringing their music to new audiences, the show continues to include a stunning light and laser show, video animations, state-of-the-art high resolution LED screen technology and other special effects. To accompany these visuals are several large inflatables including a giant pig and their own distinct Pink Kangaroo.

Police Files

Costa Mesa Police lead Newport Beach bust of fentanyl pill lab

Three Orange County men have been charged in a scheme to use the synthetic opioid fentanyl and a similar drug to manufacture and distribute counterfeit pharmaceutical pills designed to look like brand-name oxycodone pills. 

A criminal complaint filed Wednesday, April 4 in United States District Court, alleges that the men obtained fentanyl and an analogue called cyclopropyl fentanyl through Internet suppliers, used a pill press to make counterfeit pills, and distributed the narcotics through the mails, often arranging sales through a Darknet marketplace. 

The complaint alleges one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. The three defendants named in the complaint are: Wyatt Pasek, 21, of Santa Ana; Isaiah Suarez, 22, of Newport Beach; and Duc Cao, 20, of Orange. 

All three men were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon in conjunction with the execution of federal search warrants across Orange County. They were charged in federal court on Wednesday and made their initial court appearances on Wednesday afternoon. All three defendants remain in custody at this time.

When the defendants were arrested, authorities seized a pill press lab in Suarez’s apartment, along with bags that contained nearly 3 kilograms of what appear to be counterfeit oxycodone and Xanax pills, and bags that contained approximately 4.5 kilograms of white and blue powders that are currently being tested. 

A search of Pasek’s residence revealed approximately 13,000 pills that appeared to be counterfeit oxycodone and bundles of United States currency.

“Fentanyl is an extremely powerful drug that is further complicating the severe problems we are seeing in relation to this nation’s opioid epidemic,” said United States Attorney Nicola T. Hanna. “Using fentanyl in a counterfeit pill that appears to look like a less-lethal opioid dramatically increases the possibility of overdoses, and deaths that we see far too often.” 

“Our country is facing a multifaceted threat: dangerous opioids such as fentanyl and its analogues are inundating our mail system and are being pressed into counterfeit pharmaceutical pills that are flooding our streets,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge David J. Downing. “These are alarming trends, and multi-agency coordination is paramount to combating this epidemic.”

“We recognize that the opioid epidemic transcends the boundaries of our Costa Mesa community and this case is a prime example of that. Fentanyl is a highly dangerous opioid that contributes heavily to the epidemic,” said Costa Mesa Police Chief Rob Sharpnack. “We want to thank the agencies involved for partnering with us on the investigation that got these three individuals off the streets.” 

During a six-month investigation led by the DEA and the Costa Mesa Police Department, authorities recovered blue pills stamped “A 215” that resemble 30 mg pills of the opioid oxycodone. The pills, which were linked to Pasek, were later tested and determined to contain fentanyl or cyclopropyl fentanyl, according to the affidavit in support of the complaint. 

On March 5, Cao was observed depositing seven packages into a Postal Service collection box. When those packages were searched pursuant to a court order, authorities discovered approximately 1,400 blue pills with “A 215” markings that were being shipped to addresses across the United States, according to the affidavit, which noted that pills from all seven parcels tested positive for fentanyl. 

On April 2, Cao visited Pasek’s residence, then travelled to the pill press lab in Newport Beach, and then drove to a Post Office in Santa Ana, where authorities later recovered 13 boxes that were similar to those seized on March 5. The 13 boxes contained over 4,000 “A 215” pills. 

The affidavit describes intelligence obtained during the investigation that “indicated that Pasek only sells narcotics through the Internet and ships his products through the mail.” Authorities believe that Pasek’s drug trafficking activities are done through “Darknet marketplaces where the primary currency of doing business is bitcoin.” 

During his court appearance on Wednesday, Cao was ordered to be detained as he is a citizen of Vietnam and his student visa has expired. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 18, and an arraignment is set for April 23. 

Suarez’s detention hearing was continued until yesterday afternoon, and Pasek is due back in court today. 

If they were to be convicted of the charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, each defendant would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. 

This matter is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Costa Mesa Police Department, the United States Postal Inspection Service, IRS Criminal Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration - Office of Criminal Investigations and the United States Marshals Service. 

Scroll down to Police Beat for all arrests & crime report

NMUSD recognizes “Reflections Arts Program” winners

Nearly 600 Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) students participated in the Harbor Council Parent Teacher Association’s (HCPTA) Reflections Arts Program. Twenty-five students advanced to the Fourth District PTA level of competition, which represents all schools with PTAs in Orange County. Adams Elementary School student Zarrar Zubair received the California State PTA Award of Excellence and advances to the National PTA competition. 

Zarrar Zubair

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Courtesy of NMUSD

Adams Elementary School student Zarrar Zubair advances to the national PTA Reflections Arts Program competition

HCPTA, which includes representatives from all PTAs in NMUSD, hosts the yearly Reflections Arts Program to enhance quality arts education by providing an opportunity for students to explore their artistic talents through visual arts, literature, music, dance, photography and film production. Each year the artwork must fit a particular theme; the theme for this year was “Within Reach.” The National PTA has sponsored the program since 1969.

Students are divided into four age divisions: primary (preschool through second grade), intermediate (third through fifth grades), middle (sixth through eighth grades), and high school (ninth through twelfth grades). Each of these categories and divisions are judged by the local school PTA, before submission to the Harbor Council PTA, then the District (Orange County) PTA, CA State PTA and National PTA.

The following 25 students were honored by Harbor Council PTA with an Award of Excellence:

Visual Arts:

Emerson Betz (Eastbluff Elementary)

Milo Ely McGregor (Newport Elementary)

Brooke Allen (Newport Elementary)

Dulce Estrada (Newport Harbor High)


Angeline Shipman (Newport Coast Elementary)

Avery Burk (Anderson Elementary)

Isabelle Goodman (Davis Magnet)

Celine Niu (Corona del Mar High)

Musical Composition:

Amelia Lake (Lincoln Elementary)

Jamie Chen (Newport Coast Elementary)

Ruby Brennan (Davis Magnet)

Nina Meindl (Corona del Mar High)

Special Artists:

Zarrar Zubair (Adams Elementary) - California State PTA Winner

Angelina Espinosa (Davis Magnet)

Film Production:

Finn Miller (Lincoln Elementary)

Natalie Ashworth (Lincoln Elementary)

Katherine Odeen (Corona del Mar Middle)

Ian Turner (Corona del Mar High)


Emmy Jacobson (Newport Elementary)

Aaron Gruber (Adams Elementary)

Iabi Ishida (TeWinkle Intermediate)

Isabel Kehoe (Estancia High)

Dance Choreography:

Brielle Foote (Newport Coast Elementary)

Ella Lin Espinosa (Newport Coast Elementary)

Haley Atkins (Newport Harbor High)

In 2016, 24 NMUSD students advanced to the Fourth District (Orange County) PTA Reflections level for consideration. Of these artists, four received an Award of Merit, and one received an Honorable Mention.

“It is an honor to recognize the amazingly talented students in our district,” said HCPTA Reflections Chair Cynthia Strasmann. “We are fortunate to have a district that values arts programs and that we celebrate all aspects of student achievement,” she said.

NMUSD schools can expect an announcement of next year’s Reflections Arts Program in the fall of 2018. Next year›s theme will be “Heroes Around Me.”

Come to the Edge at The Pacific Club on April 11

On Wednesday, April 11, The Pacific Center hosts “Come to the Edge,” featuring author Jean Ardell, speaking on her work, Memoir: The Art and Craft of Telling the Truth of Our Lives.

Ardell grew up in New York City, the daughter of a mother who loved books and a father who loved baseball. She has worked in Orange County as a freelance writer since 1988, covering a range of subjects including domestic violence, politics, the environment, travel and baseball.


Jean ArdellHer work has appeared in numerous publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Orange County Register, Orange Coast, where she was a contributing writer, and many others. Her profile of author Dean Koontz earned the Orange County Press Club’s 1995 Best Profile award. Her first book, Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime appeared on the Los Angeles Times best-sellers list, and continues to be used as a text in college and university sports history courses.

Ardell has led memoir writing workshops at such venues as the Newport Beach Public Library, the University of California Extension at Irvine, and local churches, as well as privately. She graduated with honors in English from the University of California at Irvine and holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California Master of Professional Writing program. She lives with her husband Dan, who played first base for the Los Angeles Angels, in Corona del Mar. 

Enjoy this fascinating speaker along with breakfast, table discussion and live entertainment. Doors open, registration and the buffet line begins at 6:45 a.m.; the program starts promptly at 7 a.m.

Pre-register for this event to assist with food and seating needs. The event is free and valet parking is available. You can validate your parking ticket at the front desk when you leave. To register, visit

The Pacific Club is located at 4110 MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach.

Alzheimer’s fundraising gala raises $.5 million+ for local Dementia support services, research 

Alzheimer’s Orange County’s (“AOC”) sold-out fundraising gala, headlined by title sponsor Julia & George Argyros, was a smashing success, shattering fundraising goals and raising more than $550,000 for the organization, a record-breaking amount in the event’s 19-year run history.

The gala, held at the Balboa Bay Resort on Saturday, March 24, was themed “Broadway Memories: Backstage.” EliteOC Productions transformed the venue into a glamourous backstage musical set, with whimsical details like studio lights shining on guests during cocktail hour and a makeup station outfitted with a professional makeup artist ready to dole out rouge and powder touch ups.

The night began with a cocktail hour in the outdoor patio, where 314 people gathered and showed support for AOC. Guests enjoyed drinks, a high-end whiskey tasting, and silent auction bidding, and were then ushered into the ballroom for a gourmet three-course dinner.

Six people

Submitted photos

(L-R): Cary Bren, Angela Bren, Victor Assad, Lia Iacocca Assad, Ronnie Beauchamp and Jack Cancelleri

AOC president and CEO, Jim McAleer, opened the program, with a video featuring the event’s eight committee co-chairs welcoming the crowd. Broadway star and actor Cheyenne Jackson started off the evening with a dazzling performance, followed by appearances from Juan Pablo Di Pace and Megan Hilty. Throughout the evening, AOC recognized the following four honorees, celebrating them for their tremendous contributions to the organization:

Philanthropy Partner - John Kelley

Community Partner - HCP, Inc.

Corporate Partner - Discount Tire & Service Centers

Lifetime Achievement - Debi and Tom Pavlik

Although the evening was a celebration of AOC’s work and of its supporters, the organization reminded its guests of the looming issue at hand: The alarmingly increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease in Orange County, and the urgency to find a treatment. To cement AOC’s dedication to local research initiatives, McAleer announced that 25 percent of all donations raised throughout the evening will fund AOC’s research efforts, which include clinical trials education and a new research grant to fund young researchers.

Four people

 (L-R): Jim McAleer, Debi Pavlik, Tom Pavlik and Margie Wright

AOC screened an emotional short video that both captured the hardships of loved ones of those afflicted with the disease, and the support that AOC provides to alleviate these burdens. Donations fired off strong during the “fund-a-need” portion of the evening, starting with a $25,000 commitment from the Pavlik family that was matched by sisters Alison and Catherine Beaumont, who recently lost their mother to the disease. The energy level in the room exploded during the live auction, where guests went toe-to-toe for exclusive items like a VIP Angels Baseball Suite Package, reservations at a lakeside villa in Italy, a weekend New York City getaway, and more. 

The gala was spearheaded by an event committee that was co-chaired by Debi Pavlik, Jacqueline DuPont Carlson, Lia Iacocca Assad, Nelly Harris, Bette Aitken, Alison Hahn,  Alaina Staimos and Leriza Panem-Bacchus.

School Notes

In an effort to support a focus on school safety, Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro has assigned Deputy Superintendent Russell Lee Sung to immediately conduct an in-depth review of all safety related procedures, update policies and procedures (where necessary), and provide assistance to all school sites and work locations throughout the district. 

Since this will require focused attention in the next several months, Director of Curriculum and Instruction John Drake will temporarily assume many duties of Chief Academic Officer. 

While all NMUSD schools have comprehensive safety plans to respond to safety-related incidents that meet or exceed the compliance requirements of the state, NMUSD will have a renewed focus on all safety practices. 

Since October 2017, district administrators from various departments throughout the district have been meeting regularly to review all aspects of safety. Lee-Sung has facilitated this process and supported and worked with site principals and district management. 

On February 27, the Board of Education directed staff to provide recommendations for improved safety. 

Newport Coast Elementary

Newport Coast Elementary received the Distinguished School Award for their outstanding Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) model program, which supports academic achievement of all students, refines the implementation of character education programs, increases attendance and maintains a low number of suspensions.

The Distinguished School Award honors California’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Schools selected for the Distinguished School Award demonstrate significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap.

The PBIS program at Newport Coast Elementary follows state priorities of pupil engagement and school climate, as well as NMUSD priority of promoting students’ holistic development, becoming responsible thinkers and problem solvers with opportunities to learn about the impacts of their choices, and expectations of the highest positive behavior and civic responsibility.

The program has reduced the number of behavioral issues on campus and provided more effective in-classroom learning time. The increase in engaged academic activities has improved the academic performance of all students. Results show a steady overall growth in academics, as measured by district benchmark assessments, improved report card grades and teacher observations. 

Newport Coast Elementary also received recognition as an Exemplary Arts School for their arts education program. School administration and teachers work to provide consistent arts instruction, incorporate standards-based projects and demonstrate learning through the arts.

All grade levels receive instruction in dance, movement and music. Students submit more than 200 original works in dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts to the annual PTA Reflections Arts Contest.

Newport Coast Elementary

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Courtesy of NMUSD


NHEF Board Meeting – Tuesday, April 10 at 12:15 p.m. at Heritage Hall

Spring Recess – Monday - Friday, April 16 - 23

PTA General Meeting – Wednesday, April 25 at 9:30 a.m. at Library Reading Room

Spring Drama Musical: Grease – Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29 at 7 p.m. at Robins Loats Theater


Footloose, the Musical – Friday and Saturday, April 6 and 7 at 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m.

Spring Festival Concert – Monday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

Vocal Zone Concert – Tuesday, April 10 at 7 p.m.

Spring Recess – Monday - Friday, April 16 - 23

Sage Hill School

Parent Association General Meeting – Tuesday, April 10 at 8 a.m. at Le Bon Family Lobby

One Acts Performance – Thursday and Friday, April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m. at The Black Box Theater in the Studio

Spring at Sage Parent Information Night – Tuesday, April 17 at 6 p.m. at The Black Box Theater in the Studio

Parent Association – Career Series Mixer – Thursday, April 19 at 6 p.m. at Pelican Hill

Dance Performance – Saturday, April 28 at 7 p.m. at The Black Box Theater in the Studio

NBCC’s NAVIGATE to hold The Social at Center Club

Calling all modern professionals!

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce’s NAVIGATE is hosting The Social at The Center Club on Thursday, April 12 from 6 - 9 p.m.

NAVIGATE, a young professionals group is dedicated to providing a unique and interactive experience involving networking activities and professional development in a social and modern atmosphere with content specifically designed to engage ages 25 - 40.

Festivities include a Tap Takeover by Latitude 33 Brewing with complimentary appetizers. Business casual attire. Cost: $10 valet for guests. Reservations are required.

The Center Club is located at 650 Town Center Drive (Garden Level), Costa Mesa.

To register, visit

Laura Tarbox to offer investment advice to locals

Laura Tarbox

Submitted photo

Laura Tarbox, Certified Financial Planner™

Laura Tarbox, of Newport Beach-based Tarbox Family Office, a UCLA graduate with 37 years of investment and financial planning experience, will speak at the non-profit educational event, “It’s Your Money!” on Friday, April 20 and 27, at 1:30 p.m. at the Laguna Beach Senior Center. The event will be moderated by Peter Kote, founder of the “It’s Your Money” workshop series.

These sessions are part of a series on financial planning, with a focus on finding the right adviser and how to think about your overall financial plan.

Tarbox, who founded her own wealth advisory firm in 1985, focuses on true, fee-only financial planning (including estate and tax planning, charitable giving, insurance and retirement optimization) for the total financial well-being of her clients. She will talk about how to find the right adviser, along with comprehensive financial planning and how to develop a healthy investment philosophy.

Tarbox is one of the earliest pioneers of the financial planning profession. Her company, Tarbox, is recognized as one of the top wealth management firms in the country.

The Laguna Beach Senior Center is located at 380 Third St., Laguna Beach. No RSVP is required.

Tarbox Family Office is located at 500 Newport Center Drive, Suite 500, Newport Beach.

You Must Remember This: The Depression


One day when Grandmother Harris, my mother’s mother, was babysitting me, she told me about the Great Depression and the neighborhood meals that were a part of it.  Everyone would bring what they had, as little as that might be, throw it in a big communal pot, and then everyone shared the meal. The other thing she told me about was the laugh circles. She described how when people were down they’d sit in a circle, and one person would start laughing, and soon everybody else was laughing. She demonstrated. We sat down on the carpet in the living room, and she started laughing, and pretty soon I was rolling on the floor. The result of all this was that I couldn’t wait for us to have another Depression. It would be such fun!

Grandmother Harris

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Grandmother Harris holding infant Nancy Gardner

Of course, as I got older I began to learn about the economic hardship that was behind the communal meals and laugh circles, and another Depression didn’t seem as attractive. Still, like much of history, it was hard to relate to until my father made it more immediate by telling about the building of Harbor High. He described the lines of men standing there every morning, hoping for a day’s work. They were ready to do anything – carry lumber, dig holes, pick up nails – just to be able to go home to the family with a little bit of money.

Unfortunately, many went home with nothing, but there they were, back the next day praying to be chosen. Nothing of this was ever mentioned in my four years at Harbor which is too bad. Think of the impact, if there had been even a small display of photos – not just of the triumphant groundbreaking for the school or the ceremonious ribbon cutting when it was completed, but of the desperate men lined up hoping that they would have a chance at a day’s work. That would have brought the Depression home in a way that studying the National Recovery Act never could. It also would have given some life to the building itself.

As for those who actually lived through the Depression, I think many of them suffered something like PTSD, at least if my mother was any example. The house was long paid off, she and my father were in great shape financially, and yet, she would have these weird reactions about some of the smallest expenses.

I remember once taking her to the market. Among the things on her list was sherry, a glass of which she enjoyed in the evening. She could easily have afforded a well-aged sherry, but that would have been a frivolous expense when there was Gallo’s at a fraction of the cost. Unfortunately, on this particular occasion, Albertson’s was out of Gallo’s half gallon sherry which is what she always bought. Not a problem. They had plenty of the smaller bottles, so I put two in the shopping cart. My mother immediately removed them. The reason? You saved 50 cents by buying the larger bottle compared to two smaller bottles. She was already buying the bargain brand, and now this? “You’d rather go without sherry than spend 50 cents?” I asked incredulously, but she was adamant. Fifty cents was 50 cents.

She could remember when…I thought about a laugh circle, but the liquor aisle of Albertson’s didn’t seem like quite the place. 


Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, long-time resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to StuNewsNewport.

Join in fun camaraderie at the Tri-Chamber Mixer

On Thursday, April 26 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., head over to Water Grill in South Coast Plaza for the After Hours Tri-Chamber Mixer. Participating chambers include Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Santa Ana.

Meet new friends and business acquaintances while enjoying cocktails and appetizers (no host bar).

Cost: Free to Chamber members; non-members, $35. Parking is $6. For more information, call 714.885.9090.

Water Grill is located at 3300 Bristol St., Costa Mesa.

It’s time to Speak Up on the issue of homelessness


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Speak Up Newport is presenting a forum on Homelessness on Wednesday, April 11, in the Newport Beach Civic Center’s Community Room.

The crisis of homelessness affects almost every local community, including the City of Newport Beach.

A three-person panel of experts on the subject will look at what is being done in the county, and in our city, to provide services to the homeless. What works and what doesn’t? What are the advocates for this population doing to combat this crisis? What can concerned citizens do to help (and what shouldn’t they do?).

The panel for the forum includes Helen Cameron, Director of Supportive Housing, Jamboree Housing Corporation; Tony Yim, Homeless Liaison Officer with the City of Newport Beach; and Dave Kiff, Newport Beach City Manager.

The reception takes place from 5:15 - 6 p.m., hosted by The Bungalow, and the program and Q&A starts at 6 p.m. It is free to the public and people are encouraged to bring their neighbors. There is no charge to attend and the public is invited. Reservations are not necessary. For more information, call 949.224.2266.

Newport Beach Civic Center is located at 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Good Morning CdM welcomes Todd Spitzer

Todd Spitzer

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Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer

Good Morning CdM, the monthly government and community affairs discussion group, meets Thursday, April 12 from 7:30 - 9 a.m.

Come listen to Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer who will address the following topics: Public Safety, Homelessness (where we are now and the next steps), Crime Rates in Orange County and OC Drowning Prevention Task Force.

The morning will also feature legislative updates from these office representatives: NB Councilman Scott Peotter; Congressman Dana Rohrabacher; Senator John Moorlach; Assemblyman Matthew Harper; and Orange County Supervisor, Michelle Steel.

This event is open to the community at large, so bring a friend or colleague to attend. No RSVP is necessary and there is no admission charge. Enjoy complimentary refreshments.

Good Morning CdM takes place at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club 1601 Bayside Drive, Corona del Mar.

For more information, visit

GEMfest at Sage Hill School to engage middle school girls

On Saturday, April 28 from 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., as many as 200 middle school girls from all over Orange County are expected to visit Sage Hill School for GEMfest, a festive day of panels and workshops designed to inspire 11- to 14-year-old girls.

Featuring two keynote speakers – Wende Zomnir, co-founder of Urban Decay Cosmetics and Sage Hill alumna Courtney Conlogue, ranked No. 2 in the Women’s Surf League – the event will include panels on careers in entrepreneurship and STEM.

Among the dynamic speakers are a Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineer, a food scientist, a YouTube influencer and many more. Attendees at the unprecedented event will also choose from workshops on body image, public speaking, coding and tools for success. Each participant will receive an epic gift bag! The day will conclude at 1:30 p.m. following lunch, where the girls (all Sage Hill students) will participate in the school’s Service Learning Program, in which students identify a need in the local or global community and either create their own project or further the work of an existing organization. Seeking ways to mentor younger girls, five juniors and one senior this year created the Service Learning Group Girls Empowerment Movement (GEM), which is organizing the event.


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Photo by Rick Davitt

“I think it’s important to empower girls especially when they’re in middle school because that’s the point when they start figuring out who they are as women,” said GEM member Lily Humphrey, explaining how the idea for GEMfest developed. “It’s important to provide role models for them at that stage so they can feel positive about themselves and feel like they can do anything.”

“Not all girls have these amazing mentors in their lives,” said GEM member Eliza Feffer. “We’re bringing the mentors to them so they can get the inspiration they need to be successful.”

“GEM epitomizes the goal of Sage Hill’s service learning program,” said Patricia Merz, Head of School. “The members have embraced our school’s public purpose objectives by creating an opportunity for personal growth for younger girls from all over Orange County. At the same time, by organizing GEMfest, they are developing their own confidence and tools for success, no matter what paths they pursue.”

GEM members handled cold-calling potential speakers and organizing all the logistics of the day, as well as drumming up interest from local middle schools. When you’re reaching out to women who are much older than you and they’re really successful, you think, ‘I don’t know if they’re going to take me seriously,’” Feffer said. Reaching out to speakers “taught me that when you’re passionate about a project and you’re confident, they’re going to enjoy your message and want to be part of it,” she added.

Feffer was among those who visited local private and public schools to personally invite girls to attend. They have also partnered with Girls Inc. of Orange County to spread the word. Tickets are $12 with limited seating, but waivers are available.

“We really want a diverse range of girls coming in,” Feffer said. GEMfest was also awarded a $2,500 grant from Los Angeles non-profit Visionary Women, to help defray costs of the event.

“The feeling that our students have – that they want to reach out to younger women – they’re seeing the next generation above them feels the same way about them,” said their adviser, Director of Communications and Marketing Torrey Olins. “It’s a nice circle. Everyone’s paying it forward.” Which makes the GEMfest experience priceless for everyone involved.

For additional information about GEMfest and to purchase tickets, visit

Sage Hill School is located at 20402 Newport Coast Drive, Newport Coast.

Darnell Wyrick Quintet at Back Bay Bistro

Darnell Wyrick

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Darnell Wyrick Quintet brings cool jazz to Back Bay Bistro

The Darnell Wyrick Quintet will perform at Back Bay Bistro on Saturday, April 7 from 8 - 10 p.m., a treat for all music lovers.

Guests are promised a night of wonderful music by some of Orange County’s great Jazz musicians, and fantastic food at a picturesque venue on the water.

Come early and enjoy dinner before the show. A full bar will be available during the show. Tickets are $20. For more information, call 949.729.1144.

Back Bay Bistro is located at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort, 1131 Back Bay Drive, Newport Beach.

One person’s garbage can now be your compost…free giveaway Saturday


The City of Newport Beach and CR&R Environmental Services (CR&R) will co-host a compost giveaway this Saturday, April 7 from 9 - 11 a.m. Newport Beach residents can receive two free 30-pound bags of organic compost while supplies last.

Residents can pick up their compost in the Big Canyon Reservoir parking lot, located at 3300 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar (near the intersection of Marguerite Avenue and Pacific View Drive). Residents should bring the event postcard recently mailed to them by CR&R, or proof of residency may be required.

For additional information, contact CR&R at 949.625.6735.

Pelican Hill to hold Princess Tea & Story Time

Princess Tea

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Courtesy of Pelican Hill

Calling all princesses! Tea is being served and your presence is requested.

On Sunday, April 8 from 2 - 4 p.m., Princess Tea & Story Time is taking place at The Resort at Pelican Hill, and your attendance will add to the day’s memorable festivities.

Come enjoy a magical afternoon tea time in the Great Social Lounge with special princess appearances and readings of classic children’s story books by the fireside.

The cost is $65 per adult and $45 per child under the age of 12. Parent supervision is required for all children in attendance. Prices exclude tax and service charge.

Additional princess tea and story times are scheduled for April 22, May 6 and 20, and June 3 and 17.

The Resort at Pelican Hill is located at 22701 Pelican Hill Road, Newport Coast. For more information, call 866.284.7394.

SAVE THE DATE: Summer Soiree coming to the ENC

Paper lanterns

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Escape to an evening inspired by nature at the Environmental Nature Center’s (ENC) Summer Soiree, to be held Saturday, June 9.

Schedule of Festivities:

5:30 p.m. - Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres

7 p.m. - Dine under the stars with live music and an auction

Cost: $150 per person or $1,500 per table. Casual attire and trail-friendly shoes are recommended.

Proceeds support the ENC’s environmental education programs and help to build our community’s first nature-based preschool.

RSVP by Friday, June 1 at For additional information, contact Lori Whalen at 949.645.8489, ext. 103. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

RIBBA 4 & Community Art Fair this Saturday

Local artists will exhibit their work this Saturday, April 7 at Coastline Art Gallery at Coastline Community College as part of the RIBBA 4 & Community Art Fair. The art fair will take place from 3 - 8 p.m. with the RIBBA 4 reception from 5 - 8 p.m.

Karen Feuer Schwager

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Artwork by Karen Feuer-Schwager will be on display this Saturday at Coastline Art Gallery

The Community Art Fair will feature hundreds of artists exhibiting and selling their arts and crafts. RIBBA 4 is an exhibition within the fair, in which participating artists have submitted their work to the gallery in the same style of frame from IKEA. As many as 150 members of the art community are expected to display their works of art on the walls as part of the RIBBA event.

Coastline Art Gallery is located at 1515 Monrovia Ave in Newport Beach.

For more information, contact David Lee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Project Hope Alliance welcomes Boulton to BOD

Project Hope Alliance announced that Sean Boulton, principal of Newport Harbor High School, is joining their board of directors. Boulton is a veteran educator and is serving his fifth year as principal of Harbor High.

Sean Boulton“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Boulton to Project Hope. His experience and insight will be a great benefit to Project Hope and our mission to end homelessness, one child at a time,” said Jennifer Friend, CEO of Project Hope Alliance.

“It is an honor for me and my family to help end homelessness – it is something we are passionate about,” Boulton said. “Project Hope Alliance (PHA) actually does something about it – PHA does not round up homeless people, it does not just feed them a meal, or give them clothing. PHA actually deals with the root causes of homelessness and puts families back on track.”

Boulton is currently entering his fifth year as principal of Newport Harbor High School. Last year, he was named 2017 Catalyst of Hope, awarded at the Annual Project Hope Alliance Anti-Gala. The award recognized his work in supporting the Promotor Pathway Program. The Promotor Pathway program of PHA serves disconnected and disengaged homeless youth ages 14-24. The Newport-Mesa Unified School District is the first school district in California to adopt the program, which operates out of Harbor High School.

The Project Hope Alliance board of directors oversees the organization’s activities and is focused on accomplishing its mission to end homelessness, one child at a time. Current board members include: Alisha Ballard, The Legacy Foundation; Pete Deutschman, The Buddy Group; Lynn Hemans, Taco Bell; Joe Lewis III, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, University of California at Irvine; Eric J. Rans, Michelman & Robinson, LLP; and Ray Weston, Taco Bell. 

Since 2012, Project Hope Alliance has moved more than 900 children and parents out of homelessness. To learn more, visit

Passenger traffic up overall at JWA


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Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in February 2018 as compared with February 2017. In February 2018, the Airport served 763,505 passengers, an increase of 7.4 percent when compared with the February 2017 passenger traffic count of 711,010. 

Commercial aircraft operations increased 5.6 percent and commuter aircraft operations decreased 34.8 percent when compared with February 2017 levels.

Total aircraft operations increased in February 2018 as compared with the same month in 2017. In February 2018, there were 23,348 total aircraft operations (take-offs and landings), an 18.8 percent increase compared to 19,649 total aircraft operations in February 2017.

General aviation activity, which accounted for 71.5 percent of the total aircraft operations during February 2018, increased 25.3 percent when compared with February 2017.

The top three airlines in February 2018 based on passenger count were Southwest Airlines (275,908), United Airlines (121,920) and American Airlines (118,988).

OC Marathon, Half Marathon in Newport Beach

The 2018 SDCCU OC Marathon Running Festival, a world-class event with one of the best and most picturesque courses attracting 14,000 full-, half- and 5k participants from 46 states and 22 countries, begins in Newport Beach on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.

Runners will navigate their way across diverse coastal and inland terrains, passing through Irvine and Santa Ana, and end at the Orange County Fair & Events Center in Costa Mesa. In addition to the Marathon and Half-marathon, there is the Wahoo’s OC 5k, Kids Run the OC “Final Mile,” the Ultimate Finish Line Festival and the OC Lifestyle and Fitness Expo.

Saje girls

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The OC Marathon Running Festival welcomes Saje Natural Wellness as a sponsor

Saje Natural Wellness has been announced as the Official Essential Oils and Natural Wellness sponsor. This support will directly benefit more than 10,000 marathoners and half-marathoners, who will receive a Saje “Runner’s Reward” kit which includes Pain Relief and Peppermint Halo, and two 100 percent plant-based essential oil blends to help restore and relieve tired muscles.

To register for the races and for more information, visit

City’s longtime Crime Prevention Specialist announces exit


Newport Beach and Corona del Mar will lose a crime-fighting friend with the retirement later this month of Andrea “Andi” Querry, the police department’s crime prevention specialist for the past 19 years.

Querry’s last day will be April 27, and her replacement has not yet been selected.

Querry with officers

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NBPD’s Andrea “Andi” Querry (on left) will be retiring at the end of this month, after serving the Newport Beach community for 19 years

“Over the years, many of my evenings and weekends have belonged to the wonderful Newport Beach community, but now I plan to be the mom that can always say ‘yes’ to volunteering at school, carpooling and attending a fieldtrip here or there,” Querry said. “I love to garden, and so that is my very own Neighborhood Watch secret. When you are out in the yard, you feel good, the yard looks beautiful and you get to know all your neighbors. I will also be filling my time with my love of art, sewing, refinishing furniture and DIY projects. Most of all, I am looking forward to more family time with my wonderful husband, Randy, and our two girls. I also plan to have dinner on the table before 7 p.m. on most nights.”

As the department’s crime prevention specialist, Querry coordinated Neighborhood and Business Watch programs and community presentations that educated the public on crime trends and prevention methods. She also conducted commercial and home security inspections.

“Andi has been phenomenal in her position of crime prevention specialist,” said her supervisor, Lt. Tom Fischbacher, who also is the chief’s executive officer. “Her relationships and credibility in our communities has been instrumental in a highly effective crime prevention strategy. She will be greatly missed by her NBPD family, but we wish her well in her new role as a stay-at-home mom.” 

Querry with little girl

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Querry, seen here at a community event, will relish her new role as stay-at-home mom

Over the years, Querry has watched as her job changed with evolving technology. Before cell phones, she and volunteers could spend days passing out fliers by the hundreds to alert residents about a crime trend in a neighborhood.

“Now, once I know about the crime trend or burglary, with a push of the button on average it goes to 800-plus residents,” Querry said. 

Residents, she said, also have shown growing enthusiasm for involvement.

“Last March we had 200 plus attend a meeting at OASIS, several meetings at the Civic Center with 80 or more, and in January, 100 plus at the Newport Beach Aquatics Center,” she said. “When you have a watchful, engaging community, there is less opportunity for criminals. Newport is that community,” Querry shared.

Construction on townhomes by Gallo’s is underway

Construction has begun on townhomes that are planned for the empty lot next to the Corona del Mar Gallo’s Italian Deli at 3900 E. Coast Highway. 

“Right now, they are working on undergrounding the utilities in the rear,” said Marcelo E. Lische, the project’s architect. 

Five years ago, the city’s Planning Commission approved plans to remodel the 45-year-old sandwich shop and build six townhomes on the adjacent empty lot, which years ago held a burger stand and a gas station. Over the past few years, the plans have been modified several times and permits expired, but now the project is underway and expected to be complete in 12 to 18 months. 

The good news for fans of the Gallo’s Combo or the meatball sub?

“Gallo’s will not close,” Lische said. “At some point they will move into a food trailer to be located at the property.”


Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 17 years and was publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online newspaper that ran daily for seven years. Senk, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is involved in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and the Corona del Mar High School PTA. She and her husband have two children. recognizes NMUSD’s commitment to transparent curriculum adoption

Newport-Mesa Unified School District’s (NMUSD) successful approach to curriculum adoption was featured in a case study by, an independent nonprofit designed to improve K-12 education. increases the capacity of teachers, administrators and leaders to seek, identify, and demand the highest-quality instructional materials.

The case study reviewed NMUSD’s nine-month curriculum adoption process for elementary math and English language arts instructional materials. The case study notes NMUSD’s commitment to a transparent adoption process that was data driven, aligned to state standards and teacher-centered.

Bridge Training teachers

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Courtesy of MNUSD

NMUSD educators undergoing professional development training

As part of the process, NMUSD partnered with the Orange County Department of Education who supported the district with their deep knowledge and expertise to provide guidance on the adoption process, evaluation tools, professional development and final program selection process.

The adoption process began with a Steering Committee, which included educators throughout the district. The Steering Committee reviewed and determined which two instructional material programs would be piloted. The next step in the process was intensive training into the shifts in mathematics. Each program was then piloted for seven weeks.

After months of meetings, piloting and evidence gathering, the materials adoption team reviewed the results and began the consensus process to select the best instructional materials for NMUSD students. The first task in the consensus process was to build a shared definition and understanding of what consensus means.

“The idea is that all voices are heard, and you don’t move forward until everyone, even those who most oppose it, can see the will of the group emerging,” said George Knights, director for assessments for NMUSD.

Based on the analysis of the results, a consensus was reached through a variety of activities designed so that all voices would be heard and eventually reveal the will of the group. At the end of the nine-month process, the NMUSD Board of Education adopted the recommended math and English language arts curriculum for elementary students.

While the comprehensive, teacher-centered adoption process ends there, the implementation, ongoing support for students and teachers, and parent education continues.

The implementation process began with a summer professional development series, where teachers participated in various training opportunities to learn the new material and approaches on how to best implement the material.

NMUSD also has implemented a yearlong Moonlight Series, which are two-hour grade specific sessions to review upcoming units of study. The lead pilot teachers from the adoption process and district staff lead these monthly sessions.

As part of the momentum that’s building specific with elementary math instruction, schools also began incorporating parent education sessions. Each school site has flexibility as to how they engage, educate and provide parents with resources to support their child’s learning. Some schools have hosted “bring your parent to math class day” or “muffins and math day,” for parents to see firsthand what math looks like in the classroom today. Schools also have or will host formal parent meetings and presentations to provide a greater understanding of the state standards and how students are learning math concepts to best prepare them for future success.

To learn more, read the full case study here.

Fair Game


Easter Sunday changes a life forever

TomJohnsonToday I was planning to write a column looking back on Easter Sunday. I was going to tell you how much I enjoyed attending the 9:30 service at St. Andrews Presbyterian. I was going to write about the impactful message given by Pastor Chap Clark, and the beautiful performances of the orchestra and choir. I even thought about mentioning the many colorful flower arrangements gracing the stage and representing in memorial a number of former church members.

But I’d also thought about what things need to be written concerning what’s going on around town. Like, Dave Kiff is leaving, who’s coming in? Some are saying someone has already been “selected.” Others aren’t saying. 

But heck, isn’t it just life as usual?

I was also thinking of writing about all of the board and commission seats opening up at the end of June that are important in the operation of our city. People would need to know they could find all the info on the city website.

Then I was going to remind everyone that the City of Newport Beach is hosting a Special Olympics area basketball tournament for the first time in the city’s history on Saturday, April 28. 

But even more importantly, I wanted to remind residents that it all kicks off this Thursday, from 6 - 9 p.m., when the City will be host the Unity Torch Walk, Hometown Hero Hoop Shoot Challenge and BBQ at the Newport Beach Civic Center.

Still more, like the plan to have the Special Olympics athletes joining city leaders, local officials, city staff and hopefully the public in the Unity Torch Walk, in-and-around basketball and a barbeque. And, obviously, everyone’s invited.

Those were all things I’d planned to write about and then something else happened. 

Early afternoon on Easter Sunday, my 17-month-old granddaughter (the one and only) pointed to me across a room filled with other people after being asked, “Where’s Papa?”

First time!

It came with a huge smile, as her eyes lit up. 

But then she did it!

What is it, you ask?

While still pointing at me, she said, “Papa.”

Papa? What a perfect day!

And the other good news is that I’ve obviously been called a lot worse. Some of those names more recently than others, but that goes with the territory.

What a fun chapter of life to look forward to. How did I get so lucky?

Letters to the Editor:

Planned condo towers seem out of place

I used to work in a four-story office building in Koll Center Newport and still have friends there who’ve been worrying lately about a new project that is being proposed next door called the Koll Center Residences. It is apparently three very large condo towers that will be put where the parking lots have been for the offices. They will tower over the next-door business properties and force workers to park farther away in another bulky parking garage.   

Even though Koll Center Newport is a fairly intense business complex by previous Newport standards, it was well laid out and provides a pleasant place to work with an open feeling that is a big relief from maneuvering around Los Angeles. 

Putting three bulky 160-foot high, luxury condominium towers in this location just seems out-of-place, out-of-scale and out-of-order. Are the people who work there going to be able to live in these very large luxury condos? It makes me seriously wonder who thinks up these things.

Thank you for considering publishing this so that other Newport Beach residents can be made aware and weigh in before it’s too late.

Tamara Watt

Newport Beach

Could a replacement for Kiff already be in the works?

The jungle drums are beating that the replacement for Dave Kiff has already been picked.

Meet Mark Denny, a man with a prior conviction for voter fraud and only 9 months experience as a city manager.

In 1996, Mark was convicted of voter fraud when he helped arrange a decoy Democratic candidate in a tight Assembly race. Dana Rohrabacher’s future wife was involved in that incident as well. He was working for Curt Pringle at the time.

He then worked as former Supervisor Bill Campbell’s chief of staff until he was hired as the director of county parks in 2008. Around 2014, he was hired as the Chief Operating Officer of the county, a position that involved overseeing the Registrar of Voters. This created a flurry of controversy given his prior conviction and he was ultimately stripped of the ability to oversee elections.

He was in the COO position for 3 years before moving to Dana Point as the Director of Parks and Recreation in the fall of 2016. During that time, the OC Register reported that he was under investigation for awarding $1 million dollars of no bid contracts while running the parks department. According to the article, the contracts were awarded to a friend of a friend of Denny’s with little oversight and no appropriate paperwork.

I spoke at length with a city official in Dana Point yesterday and this is what I learned:

Dana Point, like our city, has a council majority of three who often are at odds with the other 2 councilpersons. The gentleman I spoke with didn’t know if Dave Ellis was involved but said that it is commonly believed that there is an outside person or group who is directing decisions for the council majority (sound familiar)?

A bit more than a year ago, the city manager there said that he was planning to retire in a few years and that he thought that it would be good to have a Parks and Recreation director. The council agreed and created this position on a Tuesday night and by Friday, Mark Denny had been offered the job and accepted. It was clearly planned in advance. The information about his past became known after he had accepted the job.

The city manager then announced that he was going to retire immediately.

The city hired a recruitment specialist to find experienced candidates. The well-respected assistant city manager applied for the job and the recruiter found them a number of excellent candidates. Unexpectedly, the assistant city manager withdrew his application, leaving three finalists for the job. 

Mark Denny never even applied for the job, but when the selection occurred, the three members of the ruling cabal picked him in July 2017.

He has now been city manager for 9 months. The man I spoke with was quite guarded in his description of how Mark was doing on the job, but did say that he was “learning on the job.” He said that the skill sets Mark had acquired at the county are quite different from the skill set needed to run a city. 

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this scenario is pretty similar to our own. If you google Mark Denny, there are quite a few articles written about him, many of them uncomplimentary. 

Newport Beach deserves an experienced, ethical city manager to replace Dave Kiff and we should settle for nothing less.

Please feel free to forward this widely. Sunshine is probably the only antidote to the dry rot that has taken hold of our city.

Susan Skinner

Newport Beach

NBCC Marine Committee to feature Coastal Commission update

Newport Harbor

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Courtesy of

The Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce Marine Committee meets once a month to provide information and education on all topics that are “marine oriented.”

The Tuesday, April 5 meeting beginning at 5:30 p.m., will feature special guest speaker, Don Schmitz, president and principal of Schmitz and Associates, who is the Coastal Commission consultant to the City of Newport Beach.

Schmitz will be covering the following topics: an update on the local Coastal Plan, proposed Harbor Master Plan and an update on Eel Grass.

This is a free event and open to the public. Reservations are not needed and there is plenty of free parking at Marina Park (parking code is 170434).

Marina Park is located at 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.

Burger Boss comes to town this month


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Burger Boss, a Corona-based chain, is scheduled to open its sixth location in early April. It will occupy a free-standing building (formerly Newport Burger) at the corner of Orange Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach.

According to the create-your-own American burger joint owner Mo Farha, they wanted an eatery near the beach, so when the location at 6800 Pacific Coast Highway became available, it seemed like the perfect venue.

Customers order via a large touchscreen kiosk upon entering. They can choose a protein patty of grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken or turkey, or black beans, and pick from 30 toppings, 15 sauces and a variety of cheeses.

Fresh made-to-order burgers and the beach, it doesn’t get much better. For more information, visit or call 714.882.5858.

Bramble Candles to hold grand opening this weekend

Bramble Candles

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This Sunday, April 8 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., stop by the Bramble & Co Candles studio in the Pelican Courtyard at Seaside Gallery & Goods for their grand opening celebration. Owner/instructor Michelle Bendetti is ready to welcome you to the world of candle making.

The festivities include BYOB candle making workshops (bring your favorite libation), where you’ll learn candle making basics from choosing the right container, to proper pouring temperature and burning instructions for extending the life of your candles. The cost is $55, which includes hands-on instruction and all supplies needed to make soy wax candles. The minimum class size is four and maximum 10 for in-studio. Larger events and parties are available in the courtyard. Nibbles will be served, and you’ll go home with a candle or two.

Bramble & Co Candles is located in Pelican Courtyard at Seaside Gallery & Goods, 124 Tustin Ave., Newport Beach.

Brad Orcutt of Newport Beach is honored with St. Mary’s School award

Brad Orcutt

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2018 Father Ernest D. Sillers Legacy Award is bestowed upon Brad Orcutt

St. Mary’s School announced Brad Orcutt of Newport Beach, as the winner of the 2018 Father Ernest D. Sillers Legacy Award. Each year, St. Mary’s honors an eighth-grade student who demonstrates superior leadership skills, evidence of service and civic responsibility, and Orcutt was selected from a total of 12 finalists as the most outstanding.

The competition focuses on four main principles called the “Four A.C.E.S. of Leadership,” which form the cornerstones of a strong community – attitude, commitment, engagement and service. Some of Orcutt’s extracurricular activities include acting as student ambassador for St. Mary’s, serving as safety commissioner for the associated student body, three years of school volleyball and basketball, and four years of school football. He has also served his community by volunteering with the Orange County Food Bank, Friendship Shelter and CSP Youth Shelter. Additionally, he regularly assists an elderly neighbor with shopping, errands and odd jobs around her home. Orcutt was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award by Lion’s Heart in 2016 and is on track to receive it again in 2018 in recognition of the exceptional hours of community service he has logged.

Orcutt was announced as the recipient of the award at the Tribute to Leadership Assembly on March 16 at Coast Hills Church in front of more than 1,000 students, parents and members of the community.

“On behalf of the entire St. Mary’s community, it is my privilege to announce that Brad Orcutt has achieved a significant honor as the recipient of this year’s Legacy Award,” said Dean of Students, Jim Cox. “He is a shining example of St. Mary’s core values and the environment through which we cultivate and prepare our students to become innovative global leaders of tomorrow by instilling a lifelong pursuit of learning, leading and service.”

Among the list of finalists for the 2018 Father Ernest D. Sillers Legacy Award is Henry Lew, also of Newport Beach.

St. Mary’s School, established in 1994, is an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School dedicated to inquiry-based academic excellence, developing well-rounded, confident children who flourish in a creative environment founded on Christian values. For more information, visit

Book signing event at Barnes & Noble

Richard Franzi

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Join author/radio host/keynote speaker Richard Franzi, CEO and founder of Critical Mass for Business, for the signing of his new book, Killing Cats Leads to Rats, at Barnes & Noble in Fashion Island on Saturday, April 7 at 2 p.m.

Nationally recognized, Franzi is dedicated to making a lasting positive impact on the lives of business leaders through the power of peer learning. His work has been featured in media such as, CNBC, American Express Open Forum, and Orange County regional print publications.

For more information on Franzi, visit

Barnes & Noble is located at 401 Newport Center Drive, A215, Newport Beach.

Boards and commissions openings at the City

The City of Newport Beach is currently accepting applications to fill the following upcoming vacancies (all terms are for four years, expiring June 30, 2022): Board of Library Trustees (one seat), Building and Fire Board of Appeals (two seats), City Arts Commission (one seat), Civil Service Board (one seat), Harbor Commission (three seats), Parks, Beaches & Recreation Commission (two seats) and Planning Commission (one seat). 

The deadline for filing applications is noon on Wednesday, May 9, 2018.

All seats will become vacant when the existing terms expire on June 30, 2018.

All applicants must be qualified electors of the City, none of whom shall hold any paid office or employment in City government (Section 702 of the City Charter).

The City is also currently accepting applications to fill the following upcoming vacancies: Newport Coast Advisory Committee, requires a Newport Coast resident, (one seat), no application deadline; and Aviation Committee (two seats).

The application and additional information about the Boards and Commissions openings can be found at or obtained from the City Clerk’s Office, 100 Civic Center Drive (Bay E, 2nd Floor) or by calling 949.644.3005. Additional information about the City’s Boards and Commissions can be accessed through the City’s website at

For questions about serving on a City Board, Commission or Committee, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 949.644.3005.

All-John Williams Boston Pops to take the Segerstrom stage

Conducted by Keith Lockhart, the Boston Pops Orchestra returns in an evening dedicated to the works of multi-Oscar winner and Boston Pops Laureate Conductor John Williams, whose iconic film scores include E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and countless others.

Keith Lockhart

Courtesy of

Boston Pops Orchestra Conductor Keith Lockhart

This one-night-only performance takes place Monday, April 16 at 8 p.m. in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. Tickets start at $48.

Affectionately known as “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops is famed for its annual Fourth of July concert at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River Esplanade, and also performed at the Statue of Liberty for the monument’s rededication in 1986.

A recipient of the 2017 Commonwealth Awards for Achievement, Lockhart is the 20th Conductor of the Boston Pops and the second longest-tenured conductor of the Boston Pops (after Arthur Fiedler, who was at the helm of the orchestra for nearly 50 years). Lockhart has led the Boston Pops on more than 40 tours of the U.S., and in appearances at Super Bowl XXXVI, the 2008 NBA Finals and the 2013 Boston Red Sox Ring Ceremony.

A pre-concert lecture by Brian Lauritzen begins at 7 p.m.

Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, call 714.556.2787 or visit

“Cheers for Literacy” – the ultimate cocktail war

On Wednesday, April 25 from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m., join in an evening of friendly competition at “Cheers for Literacy,” taking place at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar. Two teams will battle it out in the ultimate cocktail war! The team collecting the most tips – wins.

Cheers Left Cheers Right

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(L-R): Team One - Sabrina Neas and Nina Ardalan vs. Team Two - Michele Babcock and Liz Hurley

Team One from 6 - 7 p.m. is comprised of Sabrina Neas, senior account manager, Zillow Group and Nina Ardalan, trial attorney, Ardalan Law Group. These ladies will go head to head against Team Two mixing it up from 7 - 8 p.m., made up of Michele Babcock, principal, MB Realty Solutions and Liz Hurley, senior VP/partner, VOIT Real Estate Services.

All cash tips help at-risk children learn to read in conjunction with Literacy Project.

So, come root them on! For more information, call 949.721.1319.

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar is located at 3131 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach.

Stasha Speaks!

Spring flowers – lovely to look at…but not ingest


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April showers bring May flowers is how the saying goes. And though Springtime flowers are beautiful, if ingested by us critters they can be deadly. 

Rocco and Stasha

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(L-R): My brother Rocco and I – ready for Springtime showers

Rocco and I love the Spring rain. My buddy and I put on our raincoats splashing around the yard as things begin to bloom. But our mom keeps a watchful eye on us – especially Rocco, because that dog puts anything and everything in his mouth! He’s a curious dog willing to eat most anything, which could get him in big tummy trouble.

If he were to dig up plant bulbs and munch on them, it could be deadly. Plants with bulbs like tulips, daffodils, narcissus, and hyacinths, can be particularly dangerous to dogs, especially the skin at the bottom of the bulb. Dogs eating these flowers or bulbs can experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or worse.

“More severe symptoms as a result of larger ingestions can include increased heart and respiratory rate, foreign body obstructions, and, in rare cases, cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats),” according to

If you’re not familiar with Pet MD, you should be. It’s a good website to keep up to date on the latest recalls of pet products, as well as overall information on animal health issues to stay abreast of.

But getting back to dangerous plant-eating for dogs, it’s what’s in bulbs that can be deadly for us furry pals.

Tulips and hyacinth, for example, contain lactone, which when chewed or swallowed, can cause tissue irritation to our mouths and esophagus.


Daffodils contain lycorine, an alkaloid with something that triggers vomiting.


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Lilies are especially tricky because there are several different types – Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies which contain oxalate crystals can cause tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx and esophagus – resulting in minor drooling. Potentially fatal lilies are Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter and Japanese Show varieties – all of which are highly toxic to cats too! Even small ingestion (such as two – three petals or leaves) can result in severe kidney failure.


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There are two crocus plants: one that blooms in the Spring (Crocus species) and the other in Autumn. The Autumn Crocus is highly toxic and can cause severe vomiting, gastrointestinal bleeding, liver and kidney damage, and respiratory failure.


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Other plants equally as dangerous to dogs are azalea/rhododendron, foxglove and oleander.

For a complete list of symptoms, plants and fertilizers pet owners should be aware of for the safety of their animals, Nationwide Pet insurance’s page on Summertime Toxins is a good reference. Visit And a good phone number to keep handy is the Pet Poison Helpline’s emergency hotline (1.855.289.0358) available 24 hours a day.

If you suspect your animal has eaten something in the yard that could be dangerous, the first rule of thumb is to get them to a vet at once.

Stay safe this Spring and enjoy the flowers – just don’t eat them. 

Bark at ya later,

Woof Woof


You can email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and check out my past columns at

Sign of the times

On Thursdays we give you a partial glimpse of a sign around town. You guess what the overall name of the business is. 

So, we gave you a glimpse of the “Q” on top of this sign. The sign is from Via Lido Drugs at 3445 Via Lido. One correct guess came in from Michelle McCormack. She said, “I’m thinking the Q stands for quality drugs.”

Close Michelle. There is a parent organization over Via Lido Drugs and several other Orange County pharmacies that is called Quality Drug Corporation.

Thank you for playing.

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

Via Lido Drugs

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Stump the Stu

This really is a stairway to heaven

Stump the Stu 4.3.18

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The question for you is where is this? What do you find when you get to the bottom or perhaps it’s at the top? We welcome any and all guesses.

Take the challenge and submit your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The correct answers are in Friday’s edition. We also run the correct guesses on Friday. So, join us in the fun.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Side Deal to appear at Campus JAX

Side Deal

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On Saturday, April 7, Campus JAX presents Side Deal, a new band of hit makers featuring the founding members of Train, Sugar Ray and Pawnshop Kings.

This one night only intimate performance supports Side Deal’s first vinyl release. Tickets are $75 for VIP (with a special meet and greet and an acoustic set from 5 - 6 p.m.); $50 for general admission for either of two shows at 6 and 10 p.m.; and $500 for a booth. To reserve your tickets, call 949.261.6270.

Campus JAX is located at 3950 Campus Drive, Newport Beach.

NBFF coming later this month; announces film lineup

American Animals at NBFF

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The 19th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival (NBFF) is taking place Thursday, April 26 through Thursday, May 3, and tickets are now on sale.

Kicking off the film line-up is American Animals, a 2018 British-American crime drama (one of the most audacious art heists in U.S. history) written and directed by Bart Layton, that will be having its West Coast Premiere during the festival. Starring Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan, Blake Jenner and Jared Abrahamson, it will be showing at Edwards Big Newport in Fashion Island. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and it is scheduled for release this June.

The film fest will feature nearly 350 films from 50 countries. In addition to short subject programs, documentaries, action sports films and narrative movies, there are seminars and panels, retrospective films and post-screening parties every night of the festival.

For more information and a complete schedule of film screenings, galas, costs and venues, visit

True justice in Newport Harbor?


California has been the centerpiece of “celebrity” crimes and trials since the beginning of the 20th Century. One of the earliest was the three-trial acquittal of silent film start Roscoe Conkling “Fatty” Arbuckle in 1922. One of Hollywood’s favorite silent movie stars, at the peak of his career, Arbuckle made the equivalent of $14 million in today’s money. He was accused of the rape and manslaughter of actress Virginia Rappe in San Francisco. The entire country was riveted with his court appearances.

Fatty Arbuckle

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Comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle starring in the 1919 silent film, “The Hayseed”

Then, of course, no history buff of California can forget Elizabeth Short, known posthumously as the “Black Dahlia.” She was an attractive young lady found murdered in Leimert Park in LA. Although unsolved (despite more than 500 confessions to the crime), the murder and its gory details had lasting cultural intrigue for Southern California.

Black Dahlia

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The “Black Dahlia” – Elizabeth Short

Recently deceased Charles Manson and his “family” created terror during a cult crime spree in the late 1960s. Murders were based upon his desire to start an apocalyptic race war (Helter Skelter). Having deep connections in both the drug culture and Hollywood, he often used other people to commit many of his crimes. His subsequent trial was a “must follow” battle between Manson and his “family” versus Vincent Bugliosi and the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office.

OJs dream team

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O.J.’s “Dream Team”

But the granddaddy of them all is the story of Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson. To this day, the O.J. Simpson trial draws tremendous interest and stirs up age-old racial issues. His acquittal of the deaths of his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and waiter Ronald Goldman shocked the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office to its knees. O.J.’s life story of childhood struggles to football and Hollywood successes, to arrest, incarceration and failure is an epic plight proving the old Mark Twain adage: “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

When all these judgements came down, there was shock and disappointment in the legal system. Fatty Arbuckle, not guilty; Elizabeth Short, no arrest nor conviction; Charles Manson, no death penalty; and O.J., not guilty.

But what does this have to do with Newport Beach? Other than our residents following these landmark court cases riveted to their newspapers, radios and TVs, they did not directly affect Newport.

But there was one trial that did. The year was 1947 and the post-World War II boom was gaining momentum. The LA Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson, supersonic aircraft were being tested, Ferrari began its manufacturing of cars and the tubeless tire was born. People like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn were oft visitors to the then famous Newport Beach. Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stephen King and O.J. Simpson were all born in 1947.

And it was the year for Newport Beach’s “celebrity” murder case. It had the same cultural aspects for Southern California as the others. A circus-like environment, packed courtrooms, volatile press coverage and emotional conflicts among all parties were a daily occurrence in the 133-day court trial. The plot line included all the elements of a classic murder mystery: wealth, greed, murder, stupidity and bitterness.

Most Newporters today have never heard of it. Virtually unknown, this crime resulted with laws regarding the sale and accessibility of dynamite. Paralleling today’s cries about accessibility to AK-15s and other guns, this trial changed behavior in America.

The victims were Walter E. Overell, 62, and his wife Beulah, 57. The killing took place on their 47-foot yacht, the Mary E, which was moored in the harbor east of Bay Island. The boat exploded. As police officers Larry Goddard and George Calihan responded, they saw a young couple running hand in hand in the opposite direction. The fire department was called and they found Walter and Beulah dead on the boat. The police scanned the scene, collected evidence and the bodies were taken to Baltz Mortuary in Corona del Mar.

Chris Craft ad

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An advertisement for a 47-foot Chris Craft, the type of yacht that set the scene for the high-profile Overell case

Murder was not a consideration until the autopsy, the unusual evidence that was found and discussions with the Overells’ daughter, Louise, and her boyfriend George “Bud” Gollum, were completed. The young couple happened to be the two running away from the scene that night. They were engaged and in love, but George was not popular with Mr. and Mrs. Overell. The Overells were a high-society couple who lived in Flintridge near Pasadena and Mr. Overell was dead set against this romance.

Living among the wealthy, Mr. Overell made a “modest fortune” in furniture manufacturing and real estate investments. This gave the Overell family access to Newport Harbor, yachts and the “good life” of 1947 Newport Beach. Beulah was a well-known socialite and friend of Senator Frank Flint, developer of Flintridge.

They had one child, Louise. In those days, it was believed that children born to “older” women had inherent problems, and Beulah gave birth to Louise when she was 39. Therefore, Louise, considered unattractive and a spoiled child of wealthy parents, grew up under these circumstances. At the time of the murders, she was a first-year journalism student at USC. Her father had threatened to disinherit her if she married “Bud” Gollum.

Thinking the explosion was caused by a gas leak from the butane tank, Fire Chief Frank Crocker investigated and found a wire leading to 30 unexploded sticks of dynamite attached to a time clock. The clock was set, but failed to go off at the precise time when then the ship’s clock was stopped due to the initial and smaller dynamite explosion. According to the autopsy report, both parents suffered skull fractures that could not have been caused by an explosion. In fact, the injuries to their heads were the exact shape of a ball peen hammer.

The coincidence that the two kids were on board with the parents and happened to row to shore, eat hamburgers and malted milks at the time of the explosion seemed too convenient to Newport police officers, and murder was suspected.

As in most high-profile cases, different investigating parties started to assist each other. They found wire and a switch button to match those on the boat in George Gollum’s car. Plus, there was a bundle of his clothes spattered with blood. As confirmed by the Overells’ housekeeper, the alarm clock on the boat was found to have come from Louise’s bedroom and often did not work properly.

NB Police Chief Hodgkinson, Orange County Sheriff Musick and Captain McGaff of the Bureau of Records compiled the evidence and arrested and booked the young couple for suspicion of murder on March 19, 1947. Proof of purchase of the dynamite, locating the ball peen hammer and “Bud’s” bloody shoes, combined with inconsistent stories of what happened that night, took authorities only four days after the murders to come up with a powerful number of facts linking the young couple to the murder of Louise’s parents. Law enforcement thought they had a foolproof case.

While both suspects were incarcerated and awaiting trial, they started a long string of letters and communication, revealing a dark and treacherous relationship. Despite all of this, the jury voted differently.

Louise Overell

Louise Overell, after a non-guilty verdict

The not guilty verdict was as unsuspected as O.J.’s, Robert Blake’s and Casey Anthony’s from the legal system’s point of view. Just as in these more contemporary cases, a highly aggressive defense team attacked every prosecution witness viciously, discredited items of evidence and used a strategy of illogical conclusions to “confuse” the jury.

Marcia Clarke said after the O.J. trial, that her jury was manipulated from a “reasonable doubt” to a “reason to doubt.” As concluded by historian Brooks Wilson in The Newport Harbor Murders Revisited, the Overell jury was manipulated into deciding between “reasonable doubt” and “unreasonable doubt.” He concludes in the subtitle of his book: “The criminal justice system found guilty.”

Careers were made and ruined by the verdict. Dynamite was forever “controlled” so an impressionable young 21-year-old and his 17-year-old girlfriend could not simply walk in to buy some. 

Newport Harbor 1949

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Newport Harbor, 1949

The post-trial lives of Louise and “Bud” never panned out the way they wanted. There was hostility in the two camps, so they never married after the acquittal. Her inheritance was much smaller than expected because of the trial. As they grew older, their short period of fame faded quickly. This meant that for the rest of their lives, they lived in shame for what they had done.

George “Bud” Gollum died in 2009 in Alaska. No one knew who he was or why he was “famous.” His local paper did not even run an obituary announcing his death. He left behind two ex-wives and two children.

Louise died in 1965 in Las Vegas, a victim of alcoholism.  


Duncan Forgey, who made his home here in Newport Beach for many years, now resides in Hawaii. He is a monthly contributor to StuNewsNewport.

Stump the Stu

See horse at NBCC

Stump the Stu 3.30.18

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Well Newport Beach, you came through with flying colors. This piece titled “Empress of the Sea” was completed by David L. Spellberg for the Newport Beach Country Club in 2016. The artwork is located at the entryway of the Newport Beach Country Club.

There were many correct guesses: Bill Finster, Doug Forde, Jillian U. Sabaugh, Joe Stapleton, Judy Leeper, Peter Bretschger, Shari Esayian, Tom Anderson, Vicki Hatfield and Rachel Peterson.

Join us on Tuesdays as we try and stump you each week with a picture of something unique in our community.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think StuNewsNewport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Spring Art Show and 2nd Annual Art in the Park celebration this Saturday

Watercolor CCC Art in the Park

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

This Saturday, March 31, the Spring Art Show and 2nd Annual Art in the Park Celebration takes place from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Crystal Cove Historic District.

Join Crystal Cove State Park and Crystal Cove Conservancy with free family-friendly art events, such as sea glass wrapping, outdoor musical performances, watercolor painting, sing dancers, basket weaving and more. For a full schedule of events, visit

The Spring Art Show continues through Sunday, April 1 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos and then walk across the street or take the shuttle). Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

Sign of the times

It’s another edition of Sign of the times. Contestants, put your thinking caps on. Below you’ll find this week’s clue. What you see is a small part of an overall sign in Newport Beach. This one has been a city favorite for a long while…welcoming locals and visitors like.

Good luck!

Send your guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

SOTT 3.30.2018

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Letters to the Editor:

Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions

I didn’t prepare myself to speak at the City Council meeting on Tuesday about the City Manager’s resignation because, even though I have the greatest respect for Dave Kiff, I felt I needed more facts and information. I basically believe that his sudden announcement to retire early without even the usual “need to attend to health or family matters” excuse is because of something certain City Council members have caused to happen.

I came away from the City Council meeting without much more in the way of facts and information, but I also came away with an opinion, some questions and a not so comfortable observation. My opinion is that at least four of the Council members have acted to coerce/induce the City Manager to resign all of a sudden without any notice to the public and at least to one of the other City Council members. (Brad Avery is totally silent, and Diane Dixon had left the meeting.)  That in itself is alarming, distressful and totally not understandable.

My questions come as a result of my having had the experience of serving on the City Council. It’s always the matter of getting four votes for anything. You can acquire and assure yourself of the four votes by telephone or whatever. In this case the only question that has been asked and answered is whether 3 Council members came to Dave and asked for his resignation – his answer was no. But no one has asked the myriad of other questions. Was it two members who came to his office; was it one member; was it a phone call? Did Council members Dixon and Avery get asked if they wanted to ask for his resignation?  We don’t know because Councilman Avery remained silent and Council member Dixon had fled the meeting.  

My observation was that the four Council persons who were consistently and vehemently accused by members of the public and past elected officials at the meeting chose to absolutely ignore the pleas and comments and people.  They noticeably and I would add arrogantly said nothing. I can’t believe that I, in their place would have said nothing, unless I was indeed in on the very thing the people were complaining about and felt that I could get away with it politically and legally. It looks to me that somebody/s has let their little power trip go to their little heads and this is most definitely not what the people of Newport Beach, let alone the City Manager, deserves. As has been said, it’s disgusting!

Jean Watt

Newport Beach

Former Mayor denounces council in Kiff action

The following is a complete transcript of former Mayor Michael Henn’s comments at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

Mayor Duffield and council members, my name is Michael Henn. I was Mayor of Newport Beach in 2011 and a city councilmember for eight years.

I am here tonight regarding the retirement of Dave Kiff, City Manager.

Dave, among a long line of great city managers for Newport Beach, you are the finest. Your knowledge, dedication, integrity, work ethic and accomplishments are second to none. I count among the foremost blessings of my life the opportunity to work with you for the betterment of our city. 

Congratulations to you and your team on 20 years of superb service to our residents. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

I wish you and Tom success and happiness in all the remaining chapters of your life.

However, it is with a heavy heart that I appear here tonight. It is alleged that you were encouraged to retire early by a small group of councilmembers, and that this was done: 1) in private, 2) without the knowledge of councilmembers Herdman, Dixon or Avery, 3) that the councilmembers who did this, did so without the authority of the council acting as a whole, 4) that this action was not based on any sort of performance reason, and without due process.

The voters should know that in my eight years on council, never once did a rogue group of councilmembers engage in such a serious action against a senior city executive without notice, due process or the proper authority.

This action, if true, is a terrible affront and is deeply disrespectful to fellow councilmembers, and to the voters who elected them.

Councilmembers Peotter, Muldoon and O’Neill, and Mayor Duffield, you, or some subject of you, are apparently the rogue councilmembers. You owe the voters of this city answers to the following questions:

1) Are the allegations true? 

2) If so, what were your true motivations? 

3) Who were the councilmembers that conducted this rogue act? 

4) Mayor Duffield: as mayor, one of your prime responsibilities is to assure proper due process and respectful treatment of all your council colleagues. You must have known about this. How could you be so feckless as to standby and allow this disrespectful and insulting action to occur, or worse yet, encourage it

5) Have the rogue councilmembers already picked a new city manager? Is it Mark Denny from Dana Point?

6) If not, how will council assure that a proper, fully-inclusive and objective process be used to select the next city manager?

Most of all, Dave Kiff, Councilmembers Avery, Herdman and Dixon, as well as the voters of Newport Beach, deserve an apology.

Mike Henn

Newport Beach

Kudos to Kiff from friend

In all the years I have known Dave Kiff I have found him to be an intelligent, knowledgeable, hardworking, caring person who will go out of his way to assist when he’s called upon, professionally or otherwise. 

He will always land on his feet and let them take him whichever way he chooses to go because he can!!

And, you can never not like a person that loves dogs!

Let us all know where you land, when you do, so we can keep track of you Dave!

Lynn Cathcart 

Friends of OASIS, Board of Directors

Newport Beach

NB Police Department employees honored

The 47th Annual Police Appreciation Breakfast was held Thursday morning, March 29 at the Hyatt Regency, Newport Beach. The event was hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Commodores Club, and sponsored by the Maseeh Family, Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, and Newport Beach & Company.

Members of the Police Department were honored at the breakfast, which was also attended by city staff, community leaders, and members of the local business community.

NB Police Employees

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(L-R): NB Police Chief Jon T. Lewis, Connie Frink, Brandon Rodriguez, Lauren Wyse, Jason Blakely and Marc Spiegel

Nominations for the Police Department Annual Awards are collected by committees for each award category. Members of the Police Department who receive award nominations are discussed by those committees and then recommendations are submitted to the Chief of Police for consideration.

The following members of the Police Department received recognition in the listed categories:

Sergeant Jason Blakely, 2017 Officer of the Year

Sergeant Brandon Rodriguez, 2017 Sworn Supervisor of the Year

Records Supervisor Connie Frink, 2017 Civilian Supervisor of the Year

Dispatcher Lauren Wyse, 2017 Civilian of the Year

Volunteer Marc Spiegel, 2017 Volunteer of the Year

Additional awards were given to the following recipients:

Chief’s Citation presented to Margaret “Peg” Peterson of the Orange County Healthcare Agency

For the last five years, Peterson has been assigned to the NBPD in the role of Psychiatric Emergency Response Team clinician. She has been instrumental in the Department’s work with the homeless population, offering her extensive experience in the mental health field and her ability to build rapport with individuals in crisis. She is recognized for her dedicated service and for being a resource for the staff and our community.

Chief’s Citation presented to Reserve Officer Steve Schogel

In 2017, Reserve Officer Schogel began an innovative project, marrying his work as a part-time Reserve Officer with his profession as a Physician Assistant to create the Newport Beach Police Department Naloxone Program. After extensive research and recommendations by Reserve Officer Schogel, Naloxone (a medication used to rapidly reverse opioid overdoses) has been issued to every field officer in the Police

Department. Use of the medication has already saved a number of lives here in Newport Beach, with a few examples appearing below as Lifesaving Awards. Schogel’s expertise in the medical field has also led him to develop an eight-hour First Aid, CPR, and automated external defibrillator (AED) training course for the Department, ensuring that staff have the tools they need to render aid in critical situations. He is recognized for his diligence and his dedication to these significant projects.

Lifesaving Award presented to Officer Mark Fasano

On October 10, 2017, Officer Fasano responded to a call for medical aid at an apartment complex. A caller reported that his roommate, who had possibly overdosed on heroin, was no longer breathing. The caller began CPR, but when Officer Fasano arrived he found that the man still was not breathing and that his lips had turned blue. Officer Fasano immediately administered Naloxone, with the result that the man inhaled deeply and began to breathe again on his own. Officer Fasano stabilized the man until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived and transported him to a local hospital, where he made a full recovery. Officer Fasano is commended for his quick and decisive action, without which this man might have succumbed to the heroin overdose and passed away.

Lifesaving Award presented to Officers Rachel Cox and Bill Hume

Just before 4 a.m. on August 26, 2017, the Department received several calls about screams emanating from the area of an abandoned building near the intersection of 15th Street and Monrovia Avenue. Officers Cox and Hume responded and began to search for the person in distress. By following the sounds’ muffled moans, they were able to locate a woman lying face down on the ground. She was breathing shallowly, her lips were blue, and her mouth was full of vomit. The officers quickly assessed the woman and identified signs of opioid overdose. At the beginning of that very shift, these officers had received their first training on the use of Naloxone; now, mere hours later, Officer Cox administered the medication. The woman regained consciousness and began breathing again. Both officers are commended for their heroic efforts in saving this woman’s life.

Lifesaving Award presented to Officer Ricardo Adame

On August 8, 2017, Officer Adame was dispatched to the Post Office on Riverside Avenue in response to an emergency call that a man had passed out in the parking lot. When Officer Adame arrived, he found the victim lying on the ground between two parked vehicles. He pulled the man (who was not breathing and had no pulse) out from between the cars, positioned him on his back, and immediately began CPR. Officer Adame continued his life-saving efforts until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the man to a local hospital, where he regained his pulse and was placed on a breathing machine. The man ultimately made a full recovery. Officer Adame is commended for his quick response and immediate action in saving this man’s life.

Award of Merit presented to Sergeants Josh Comte and Brad Miller, and Officers Jeremy Duenas, Jon Jarema, Chris Kimble, Dennis Maisano and Steve Oberon

On the evening of February 18, 2017, a man called the Department to report that his adult son had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom. The night before, the son had participated in a pre-arranged illegal narcotics transaction, where 60 pounds of marijuana was stolen at gunpoint. The son was blamed for the theft and subsequently kidnapped. The kidnappers threatened to kill the victim if a ransom of $130,000 was not paid by his family. Working under pressure of that threat, personnel from the Detective Division (Sergeant Miller and Detective Maisano from the Special Investigations Unit along with Burglary Detectives Chris Kimble and Jon Jarema) worked alongside Patrol personnel (Sergeant Josh Comte and Officers Duenas and Oberon) to determine the victim’s whereabouts. After an intense investigation, they determined that the victim was being held in an Anaheim apartment, but was being moved to another location. At great risk to their personal safety, this team of NBPD sergeants and officers intervened in the armed suspects’ activities and rescued the victim, who was returned to his grateful family. All seven of these employees are commended for their exceptional work in finding and rescuing this kidnap victim.

Medal of Valor presented to Officer Troy Zeeman

On October 1, 2017, Officer Zeeman was off-duty, attending the Route 91 Country Music Festival in Las Vegas with his wife. At approximately 10:10 p.m., a gunman on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel opened fire on the crowd of 22,000 people below. Officer Zeeman, who was wounded by the gunfire, worked with another off-duty law enforcement officer to get more than 20 other concertgoers to safety, only receiving medical attention for his own injuries five hours after the shooting occurred. He is commended for his heroic actions during this horrific event, which undoubtedly saved multiple lives.

At the Appreciation Breakfast, the Police Department also premiered a video entitled “A Sense of Service.” The video can be accessed at

Movie in the Park to show “Surf’s Up”

Surfs Up

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On Friday, April 13 from 6:45 - 9 p.m., bring the whole family to Marina Park to enjoy a screening of “Surf’s Up,” as part of the Movie in the Park series.

While you spend some family time outdoors, enjoy the bay view, nautical-themed playground and free movie. There will also be free activities, candy and most importantly, popcorn, for you to enjoy. Food will be available for purchase.

Bring a blanket, towel of folding quad chairs to sit on. The movie begins at sunset.

For more information, call 949.270.8150.

Marina Park is located at 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.

NBFD’s CERT held bi-annual “Drill the Skills” class


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Photos courtesy of NBFD

“Drill the Skills” CERT classes are led by our Newport Beach Fire Department personnel

The Newport Beach Fire Department held its bi-annual Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) “Drill the Skills” on Saturday, March 24. The Newport Beach CERT “Drill the Skills” is held twice a year and serves as a final drill/graduation for both the fall and spring CERT programs.

This Spring, the Fire Department held two CERT programs – a Thursday Day program and an all-day Saturday program. Each CERT program includes approximately 24 hours of training. In total, 55 participants completed all of the CERT training classes and officially graduated on Saturday.


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CERT Volunteers observe a demonstration by an NBFD firefighter

For the drill, CERT volunteers participate in five hands-on drill stations that cover some of the most important aspects of the CERT training including: how to properly shore and crib, indoor search, fire suppression, triage and a medical operations review station.

The next Newport Beach Fire Department CERT programs will be held in late September with a Tuesday - Thursday evening program and an all-day Saturday program.

For additional information on the Fire Department’s CERT program, go to, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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NBFD firefighters and CERT volunteers join together for a group photo

Orange County Bar Association awards $10,000 grant to Human Options

Human Options, a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence, was presented a $10,000 grant from the Orange County Bar Association Charitable Fund. The grant will support the organization’s Legal Advocacy Program, which has been operating since 1986, and offers legal information, education and more to those affected by domestic violence. The Orange County Bar Association is located in Newport Beach.

The Legal Advocacy Program provides services including education on legal rights and remedies, court preparation and accompaniment, assistance with completing and filing applications for restraining orders, victim compensation, confidential address programs, and VAWA/U-Visas. Legal Advocates also provide support in domestic violence specific housing/lease and employment issues. Additionally, Human Options offers nine free monthly legal clinics with volunteer attorneys throughout the county on family law and immigration law issues. If a victim’s legal needs do not fit within the scope of the program, Human Options refers them to trusted community partners for services. 

Michael and Sandra

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(L-R): Michael Morris, partner at Minyard Morris with Human Options Legal Advocate Sandra Bear

“Legal support is critical for victims of domestic violence. Individuals who have experienced domestic violence often find themselves overwhelmed by a variety of issues in addition to physical abuse, including protection available to them under the law to obtain relief from the abusive partner,” said Maricela Rios-Faust, CEO of Human Options. “With this generous support from the Orange County Bar Association, we’re able to provide these comprehensive victim advocacy services in local courts.” 

Human Options is leading the way to end domestic violence, reaching more than 20,000 community members who received education through their prevention programs. More than 500 individuals found a safe home at their emergency shelter, and their teams have responded to more than 6,500 callers that contacted them for immediate crisis support, information and referrals through their 24-hour hotline.

For more information about Human Options, please visit

Wake Up! Newport slated for April 5 with FONBAS


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On Thursday, April 5 start your day at Wake Up! Newport and Friends of the Newport Animal Shelter (FONBAS). Sponsored by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce, come hear about a proposed public/private partnership to create a new city-owned animal shelter in Newport Beach. Representatives from FONBAS will outline this new proposal.

The event will take place from 7:15 - 8:30 a.m. at Newport Beach Central Library’s Friends Room.

This free monthly meeting affords participants the opportunity to meet one-on-one with legislative and government officials, and to stay current on local, state and federal issues.

To register, visit Please make a reservation so they can plan on food and seating. Breakfast treats will be provided. For additional information, call 949.727.4400.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Women of Greatness holds Brunch & Bubbly event

The Women of Greatness philanthropy group officially kicked off with the inaugural Brunch & Bubbly event at Fashion Island Hotel on Sunday, Feb 25. The event honored Charlene Immell, their 2018 Woman of Greatness. Immel has been a long-time Club supporter and was the Club’s first female board member and first female board president. Her involvement and impact on the organization over the years is truly inspiring.

Brunch and Bubbly

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(L-R): CEO Robert Santana with board members Nicole Carrillo Hall, loanDepot; and Ronnie Coffie, KPMG; along with keynote speaker, Josephine Lee

The event’s key sponsors were KPMG and Anne MacPherson; other sponsors included Nicole Carrillo Hall, Taco Bell, Frank & Shannon Tucker and First American Trust.

The Women of Greatness philanthropy group that hosts quarterly networking events and the annual Brunch & Bubbly event, remains focused on raising awareness of and funds to support the Club’s family programming. Last year, their Family Strengthening program served 364 unique families through 42 nonprofit and community partners.

Based on the belief that strengthening the entire family unit will put kids on a greater path to success, this initiative works to educate, empower, and equip the parents in our community to improve their family’s education, finances and health.

To learn more about Women of Greatness, contact Kristle Duran at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 714.543.5540 ext. 305.

Junior League Juniors held cleanup event at 15th Street beach

On Sunday, March 25, Junior League Juniors hosted a beach cleanup event at 15th Street beach in Newport Beach entitled “Keep Our Coast Clean.”

Kids in grades K-5 learned how they can help preserve our local beaches and help local wildlife through recycling, using reusable containers for their lunches and drinks, using less plastic, and knowing what can and can’t break down in the ocean or a landfill.

Junior League Juniors collecting trash

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Junior League Juniors collected more than 14 pounds of debris during the one-day beach cleanup

The Juniors decorated reusable lunch bags and signed pledges that they will help reduce marine debris before participating in a beach cleanup. In less than half an hour they collected more than 14 pounds of debris from the beach – including sporting goods, glass and clay pots, and lots of cigarette butts.

Youngsters decorate lunch bags

Youngsters decorating reusable lunch bags

It was a great event and the Juniors are excited to keep our beach clean and spread the word about how their friends and family can help.

For more information about Junior League Juniors, visit

Independent Bookstore Day coming in April

2018 IBD

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Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 28 to help celebrate Independent Bookstore Day.

Visit Lido Village Books from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and enjoy special merchandise created for and only available on this day. There will be free giveaways (while supplies last), and a 10 percent discount on all books purchased. Activities are being planned for youngsters.

For event details, visit

Lido Village Books is located in Lido Marina Village at 3424 Via Oporto, #102, Newport Beach.

Free monthly Sculptures in Civic Center Park lecture series to begin in April

Art lovers are invited to join artist Grace Divine for a series of free monthly lectures on the Sculptures in Civic Center Park to be held in the Central Library Friends Room, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach, beginning Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m.

David Boyer with Getting your Bearings

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Photo by Ryan Miller, Capture Imaging

/Courtesy of NBPL

Artist David Boyer with his wind sculpture, “Getting Your Bearings,” is the topic of conversation at the Monday, April 2 lecture

Each lecture will feature a different sculpture, discussing the artist, composition, inspiration and unique features of each piece. The first lecture will focus on one of the most prominent sculptures in the exhibition, “Getting Your Bearings.”

Artist David Boyer will be attending to talk about how he crafted the kinetic wind sculpture and its debut at the Burning Man Festival in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

The series will consist of nine lectures, each held on the first Monday of the month from April 2018 through March 2019, excluding the months of July, November and December. The complete schedule is as follows:  

April 2 - “Getting Your Bearings” by David Boyer

May 7 - “Cultural Pedestrians” by Sue Quinlan

June 4 - “Be Still and Know” by John Merigian

August 6 - “Cosmic Glints” by Patricia Vader

September 10 - “Burnt Matchstick” by Karl Unnasch

October 1 - “Life is a Balancing Act” by Cindy Debold

January 7 - “Popsicles” by Craig Gray

February 4 - “No Swimming” by Oleg Lobykin

March 4 - “Flight” by Steven Rieman

This program is free with seating on a first-come, first-served basis, limited by room capacity. For more information on Newport Beach Public Library resources and programs, contact the Library at 949.717.3800, option 2, or visit the website at

Fair Game


Tuesday’s example of politics was not appreciated by the community as a whole

TomJohnsonCount to 10…just walk away…take a couple of deep breaths…go to your room and read a book. Those were all things my dad used to tell me as a kid when I was about to lose my temper and blow my lid.

Boy I wish my dad would have been sitting next to me Tuesday night in the Newport Beach Council Chambers. Unfortunately, he died in 1996.

Anyway, lots of folks attended Tuesday night’s council meeting to support City Manager Dave Kiff, as a report emerged over the weekend that his employment was going to end.

Some higher ups (our electeds) say he’s decided to “retire,” and others are saying he was “forced.” 

Here’s the difficult part, nobody is talking.

But if the example demonstrated Tuesday by our Mayor, Marshall “Duffy” Duffield, was any example, community participation is not important and not wanted!

Here’s the deal, Tuesday night, “Public Comments on non-agenda items” was one of the first few matters listed on that evening’s agenda. Instead of calling it at its planned time, the council skipped over it. 

In fairness, the Mayor had announced earlier in the evening that that one item would be moved in front of public comments.

I was told after the meeting that the reason was so that “Councilmember Diane Dixon, who had an airplane flight to catch, could participate in the discussion and vote.”

No problem. Who could argue.

It’s what the council did next that was the problem. Instead of moving back to Public Comments and assuming the publicized agenda, the council continued on from there with multiple public hearings.

The audience was mad…and getting madder. 

With every item introduced, audience members questioned the council’s actions.

The council continually reassured.

Forced to stay until the end, the Mayor finally called for “Public Comments on non-agenda items.”

I honestly believe that the members in question for the Kiff action hoped that those watching on TV and in the council chamber audience would become tired and tune out or leave.

Some did, most didn’t. Kudos to two Kiff supporters who stayed the course, 96-year-old Elenor Ramsey and Elaine Linoff, also a nonagenarian, who stayed the course. Shame on you council.

Nearly everyone who remained in the chambers was there for this item. People from all walks of Newport Beach spoke in support of City Manager Kiff and urged a hope to change plans. Many speakers castigated members of the council.

One councilmember even chose to fight back on certain issues. It probably wasn’t the best of ideas.

Overall, the evening was an ugly example of community politics and is an unfortunate example of where our community is.

We should expect more from our council in the months ahead…or vote them out.

Let’s face it, the community is mad that Dave Kiff is leaving. The contract that he most recently agreed to runs into 2019. Most community members believe that Dave would not leave early on a commitment he agreed to, after all, for 20+ years in Newport Beach his integrity has been one of his highest qualities.

Mayor and councilmembers, we expect better from all of you!

Can we all at least be civil and do the right thing?


• • •

Orange County Youth Sports Foundation hosts OCYSY Sportsman of the Year 2018, Rod Carew, at the Fashion Island Hotel, Thursday, April 25. More details to come, in the meantime, check it out at

• • •

Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III has donated $40,000 to the men’s and women’s UCI crew teams as they head to Georgia later this spring for a championship regatta.

• • •

Congrats to Celine Niu, Newport Beach, tied for medalist honors in the AJGA Preview golf championships in Brookhaven, TX, in the Girls Division. Niu shot rounds of 78-74.

• • •

St. James the Great will reopen to their congregation a week from Sunday, April 8. Details to come Tuesday.

Dig into Spring at Charlie & Me


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Come meet Weston + Fira, two adorable French Bulldogs, of WTFrenchie

You’re invited to “Dig into Spring” at Charlie & Me at Lido Marina Village with special guests, French Bulldogs – Weston + Fira of WTFrenchie.

Join the festivities on Sunday, April 8 from 1 - 4 p.m. for a meet and greet with the Insta-famous duo WTFrenchie, complimentary monogramming with purchase, and a special Vanderpump Pet Pop-Up shop inside Charlie & Me.

During the event you’ll enjoy Dirty Cookie treats, small bites and beverages for you and your four-legged friend. This event is free and open to the public with no RSVP necessary.

Charlie & Me is located at Lido Marina Village, 3505 Via Oporto, Ste. 103, Newport Beach.

Compost giveaway on April 7


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On Saturday, April 7 from 9 - 11 a.m., the City of Newport Beach and CR&R are holding another free compost giveaway for Newport Beach residents. There is a two-bag limit per household. Proof of residency may be required.

The event takes place in the Big Canyon Reservoir parking lot located at 3300 Pacific View Drive, Corona del Mar.

For more information, call CR&R at 949.625.6735.

City to host Special Olympics basketball tourney fundraiser and you can play

The City of Newport Beach will host a Special Olympics area basketball tournament for the first time in the city’s history on Saturday, April 28. To kick off the festivities, Special Olympics athletes, the City of Newport Beach Recreation & Senior Services Department as well as Newport Beach police, fire, city council, local officials and community members will participate in the official Unity Torch Walk, Hometown Hero Hoop Shoot Challenge and BBQ on Thursday, April 5 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Newport Beach Civic Center. 

Special Olympics

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Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill and wife Jennifer announce the Special Olympics fundraiser with a couple of friends

The evening will include live music, craft beer, fine wines and a BBQ provided by Newport Rib Company. The Hoop Shoot Challenge will follow with police, fire, city council, local officials and community members partnering with Special Olympic athletes to battle it out on the court to see which team will be named Hometown Heroes for Newport Beach Hometown Special Olympics. 

Participation in this special event starts at just $65 and money raised will support the year-round training and competition events for the more than 539 Special Olympic athletes that call Newport Beach home. Teams can register to participate in the Hoop Shot Team event, be a torch walk participant or a torch walk supporter.

“The City of Newport Beach Recreation & Senior Services Department is energized by all the opportunity that keeps unfolding as we build community partnerships to provide inclusive programs for those with special needs to lead fuller lives and connect with their peers,” said Laura Detweiler, director, Recreation & Senior Services Department, City of Newport Beach. “We were inspired by our involvement with the Special Olympics World Games and are continuing to foster that relationship by co-hosting a Newport Beach Hometown Basketball Tournament. Additionally, we have been working diligently this last year to lay the foundation for a well-rounded special needs recreation program and are excited to see it come to fruition. Together we can do amazing things!” 

You can register and checkout all the information at

Banning Ranch Conservancy and Newport Banning Ranch settle six-year lawsuit

Banning Ranch trail

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View of a Banning Ranch trail

Banning Ranch Conservancy and Newport Banning Ranch LLC announced on March 16 that they have reached a mediated settlement of attorney fees related to the lawsuit against the City of Newport Beach. The lawsuit challenged the 2012 Certification of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and the City’s approval of the Newport Banning Ranch Project that would have allowed up to 1,375 homes.

In March 2017, the California Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Conservancy after a split-decision by the Orange County Superior Court and a setback at the Court of Appeals. As a result of the judgment, the City was ordered to rescind the EIR and project approvals.

“We consider this matter closed,” stated Steve Ray, executive director for Banning Ranch Conservancy. “We are looking forward to putting the contentiousness of the past 10 years behind us and creating a new dialogue with the City and the landowner.”   

Conservancy President Terry Welsh added, “We will continue our efforts to secure funding to purchase the Banning Ranch property for permanent open space.”

Newport Banning Ranch LLC Project Manager Michael Mohler noted, “We will continue to evaluate all options that could lead to accelerated cleanup of the oilfield and public access to the property. Banning Ranch Conservancy will be included in those discussions.”

Second Harvest Food Bank names Newport Beach resident to its board of directors

Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County recently appointed Dan Grable, chief operating officer of Goodman North America, to its board of directors. Grable brings vast knowledge in the areas of operations, administrative development, organization in charitable foundation and leadership to the nonprofit.

Grable, a resident of Newport Beach, is actively involved with all operating and administrative functions at Goodman North America, including finance and accounting, treasury, human resources, risk management, charitable foundation and information technology. He is also responsible for capital markets related functions, including establishing and maintaining banking and lending relationships, and assisting in deal structuring, acquisition and investment activities.

Dan Grable

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Dan Grabel is named to Second Harvest Food Bank board of directors 

Before his time at Goodman North America, Grable gained more than 30 years of investment, finance and management experience in commercial and residential real estate. He served in executive positions with Pharris Properties, Merage Investment Group, LNR Property Corporation, William Lyon Company, Pacific Life, Lincoln Property Company and Price Waterhouse. Over his career, Grable has been involved in more than US$8 billion of real estate transactions.

Grable holds a MBA from Stanford University and a BS in Accounting and Finance from the University of Southern California.

“As we continue to lead the fight to end hunger in Orange County, we welcome the addition of Dan Grable to our board of directors,” said Nicole Suydam, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. “His extensive knowledge, leadership and commitment to the community will strengthen our work and make an even greater impact towards creating a future in which no one goes hungry.”

Uncommon Goods: Artist Book as Object

Uncommon Goods

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Courtesy of

The Newport Beach City Arts Commission is hosting an exhibition featuring a reinterpretation of the “book” by 25 University of California, Irvine student artists. Students researched the history and creative production of the artist’s books at the special collections department of UCI’s Langston Library. There they explored the infinite possibilities of constructing and organizing data, or in some cases interweaving visual narratives, using unusual materials, color, line and form.

Their collective activity underscores what Johanna Drucker, visual theorist and cultural critic, suggests that “artist’s books became a developed art form in the 20th century. In many ways, one could argue that the artist’s book is the quintessential 20th century art form. Artists’ books appear in every significant movement in art and literature and have provided a unique means of realizing works within all of the many avant-gardes, experimental and independent groups whose contributions have defined the shape of 20th century artistic activity.”

The exhibition will be on display on the 2nd floor of the Central Library during regular operating hours, April 7 through May 5.

An opening reception is being held on Saturday, April 7 at 12 p.m. in the exhibition area, and some of the artists will attend the opening event and discuss their works.

Newport Beach Central Library is located at 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Temple Bat Yahm to observe Passover Seder

Matzo and wine glass


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On Saturday, March 31 at 6 p.m., join the Family Passover Seder 2018 at Temple Bat Yahm in Newport Beach. Celebrate Passover with family and friends during the interactive service and Hagaddah reading, which tells the story of Jewish ancestors being led from slavery in Egypt.

There will be live music, children’s activities and kosher ceremonial wine (bring your own wine for dinner). Reservations are required and can be made via the website. Please RSVP by Friday, March 24.

Cost: Adult members, $60; non-members, $70; children 5 - 12 years of age are $30; and children under age 5 are free.

Temple Bat Yahm is located at 1011 Camelback St., Newport Beach. Call 949.644.1999.

Stump the Stu

Where is this Hippocampus?

Stump the Stu 3.27.18

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Okay Stumpers, you were off your game last week so we’re gonna throw out one that many of you may have seen for the first time in March. Think where you were and what you did.

B-t-w, this sculpture is titled “EMPRESS of the SEA” and was completed by David L. Spellberg. Nice work…probably par for the course.

A hippocampus you ask, comes from the Ancient Greek word hippos meaning “horse” and kampos meaning “sea monster.”

We try and stump you each week on Tuesdays with a picture of something unique in our community.

Take the challenge and submit your answers to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The correct answers are in Friday’s edition. We also run the correct guesses on Friday. So, join us in the fun.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think Stu News Newport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Spring Art Show and 2nd Annual Art in the Park celebration this Saturday

Watercolor CCC Art in the Park

Courtesy of Crystal Cove Conservancy

This Saturday, March 31, the Spring Art Show and 2nd Annual Art in the Park Celebration takes place from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Crystal Cove Historic District.

Join Crystal Cove State Park and Crystal Cove Conservancy with free family-friendly art events, such as sea glass wrapping, outdoor musical performances, watercolor painting, sing dancers, basket weaving and more. For a full schedule of events, visit Park in the Los Trancos lot (PCH inland at stoplight Los Trancos and then walk across the street or take the shuttle). Day-use fee: $5/per hour (max. $15).

Sign of the times

On Thursdays we give you a partial glimpse of a sign around town. You guess what the overall name of the business is. 

So, we gave you a glimpse of a scripted “tree” edged in green. It came from the new “Wine country cuisine/chef-driven American bistro” Olea. It’s located at 2001 Westcliff Drive in The Walk. One correct guess came in from John Wortmann, from the famous Wortmann clan on Lido Isle.

Thank you for playing.

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!


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School Notes

PTA recognizes young artists

Annually, the Harbor Council PTA hosts a program called “Reflections.” The program is an art recognition program that has been sponsored by the National PTA since 1969.  

Each year, there is a theme established. The program honors students for their achievements in six categories: literature, film/video, visual arts, photography, dance choreography, and musical composition. Students are also divided into four age divisions: Primary (preschool through 2nd grade), Intermediate (3rd through 5th grades), Middle (6th through 8th grades), and High School (9th through 12th grades). Each of these categories and divisions are judged first at the school PTA Unit before being forwarded to the Harbor Council PTA.

After completing its judging, the Harbor Council PTA submitted their selections to the 4th District PTA which represents all schools with PTAs in Orange County. These are the names of the 4th District PTA Award of Excellence and Award of Merit honorees for recognition: Ian Turner, Corona del Mar High School, Award of Excellence, Film Production (High School); Katherine Odeen, Corona del Mar Middle School, Award of Merit, Film Production (Middle); and Angeline Shipman, Newport Coast Elementary, Award of Merit, Photography (Primary).


Spring Choir Concert – Wednesday, March 28, 6 - 8 p.m., Robert B. Wentz Theater

Band/Jazz/Orchestra – Friday, March 30, 6 - 8 p.m., Robins Loats Theater

PTA Executive Board – Wednesday, April 4, 8 a.m., Newkirk Conference Room

Spring Recess – Monday through Friday, April 16 - 23


Footloose, The Spring Musical, Wednesday, April 4 - Sunday, April 8 Performance times are April 4 at 4 p.m., April 5, 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. and April 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door for students, and $10 for general admission. You can purchase tickets at (BAPACO) or buy tickets at the door.

Spring Festival Concert – Monday, April 9, 7 - 8 p.m.

Vocal Zone Concert – Tuesday, April 10, 7 - 8 p.m.

Spring Recess – Monday through Friday, April 16 - 23

Sage Hill High School

Spring Break – Monday through Friday, March 26 - 30

Parent Association: 12th Grade Parent Lunch – April 4 from 12 - 2 p.m.

Parent Association: 9th Grade Parent Coffee – April 4 from 8 - 10 a.m., Le Bon Family Lobby (Studio Lobby)

Art Reception – April 5, 6 - 8 p.m., Studio at Sage Hill

Advisor/Advisee/Parent Conferences – April 9 (No classes)

Parent Association General Meeting – April 10 at 8 a.m., Le Bon Family Lobby (Studio Lobby)

Multicultural Symposium – April 11 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m., Sage Hill Campus

One Acts Performances – April 12 and 13 at 7 p.m., The Black Box Theater in the Studio at Sage Hill

Campus Tour – April 16 at 8:30 a.m.

Spring at Sage Parent Information Night – April 17 at 6 p.m., The Black Box Theater in the Studio at Sage Hill

Service Learning Day - Spring at Sage Afternoon – April 18 from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Theater Ensemble Auditions – April 18 from 3:15 - 5:30 p.m., The Black Box Theater in the Studio at Sage Hill

College Counseling: 11th Grade Parent Spring Wrap-Up – April 19 at 5:30 p.m., Argyros Family Lecture Hall (MMLH)

Parent Association - Career Series Mixer – April 19 at 6 p.m., Pelican Hill

Junior Class Grade Level Meeting – April 20 at 9:25 a.m., Argyros Family Lecture Hall (MMLH)

Parent Association Gelato Day – April 28 at 11:30 a.m., Wilkins Town Square

Dance Performances – April 27 and 28 at 7 p.m., The Black Box Theater in the Studio at Sage Hill

Mariners Elementary School

Jog-A-Thon – Friday, April 6.

Register now for the CdM Scenic 5K

CdM race over Goldenrod Bridge

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CdM Scenic 5K runners crossing Goldenrod Footbridge

Join the popular Corona del Mar Scenic 5K RACE/WALK through the charming streets of Corona del Mar, taking place Saturday, June 2. The race begins at 6 a.m. at Ocean Boulevard and Heliotrope. Walk-in pre-registration takes place on Friday, June 1 from 12 - 7 p.m. at Newport Beach Civic Center (Community Room), 100 Civic Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Race Schedule:

Men’s 5K at 7:55 a.m.

Women’s 5K at 8:20 a.m.

2-Mile Walk at 8:50 a.m.

Youth 2-Mile Walk at 8:45 a.m.

1K Kids Dash at 9 a.m.

Entry fees: Men’s & Women’s 5K Run, $38; 2-Mile Walk & Youth 2-Mile Walk, $28; 1K Kids Dash, $15.

For more information and to register, visit or call 949.673.4050. Vendor exhibit spaces and sponsorships are also available.

Photographer’s work is on display at JWA

From March 20 - April 19, photography by Stephanie Hager will be on display at John Wayne Airport (JWA) as part of JWA’s Community Focus Space Program.

These works can be viewed on the Departure (upper) Level near security screening areas in Terminals A, B and C, and on the Arrival (lower) Level adjacent to Baggage Carousels 1 and 4.

Stephanie Hager Little Corona arch at night

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Stephanie Hager/

Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

Little Corona arch at night by Stephanie Hager

“Ms. Hager’s work displayed at John Wayne Airport will engage the viewers’ senses,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do. “Her world-class photography will be a delight for travelers.”

Hager’s photography is known for having a bold feeling with vibrant energy and clean lines. The negative space provides the observer room for thought.

“My goal is to have the viewer feel something new and unique to themselves through the use of light, color and patterns,” Hager said. 

The photographer graduated with a degree in photo communications from California State University, Fullerton and was fortunate to have studied with some of the top photographers in the United States.

Hager has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years and has worked with advertising and editorial clients photographing outdoor adventure sports and lifestyle, portraiture, architecture and landscapes.

Newport Beach – A Look Back

Photo series courtesy of Balboa Island Museum & Historical Society

A Look Back 3.27.18

Click on photo for a larger image


Flashback to the Easter Holiday, 1951, when a group of girls were perched on a dock railing on their Balboa Island visit

Visit Balboa Island Museum and the Museum Store located at 331 Marine Ave., Balboa Island. They are open Tuesdays - Sundays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Call 949.675.3952. www.balboaislandmuseum.organd  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Library reconstruction about to begin…but what about the “Seagulls in Flight?”


Amid a farewell party, a book sale and logistical details regarding the demolition and reconstruction of the Corona del Mar library branch and fire station – an interesting question popped up at a recent meeting of the Corona del Mar Residents Association.

What will become of the sculpture in front of the Marigold Avenue branch?

The short answer, according to Newport Beach Library Services Director Tim Hetherton, is that the sculpture, “Seagulls in Flight” will be stored at Central Library, out of public sight, for the duration of the construction. When that’s complete, sometime next summer, the artwork will be returned.

Seagulls in Flight sculpture

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Amy Senk

“Seagulls in Flight” will return to the CdM Library site after reconstruction

It may be a small detail in the overall scope of the project, but the sculpture has a meaningful history for CdM residents, a history that was retold in 2015 when the city spent $4,450 to restore and repair the piece.

The sculpture was donated to the city in 1960, a year after the branch opened, to honor Molly McClintock, who lived in Shore Cliffs and died in a car crash shortly after graduating from Newport Harbor Union High School. The 18-year-old had been a drum majorette and popular student who is regularly remembered at class reunions every year.

Her friends recalled that she had moved to California from the south, and her mother was worried about her finding friends, but she fit in just fine. Her mother “made a huge sacrifice” to pay for the sculpture, which has an inscription that says: “To the youth of Corona del Mar in memory of Molly McClintock.” The piece, which depicts birds in flight with wings touching, originally was placed at Big Corona State Beach, but the salt air and sunlight caused damage, so it eventually was trucked to the shady spot by the library entrance.

Earlier repairs had been inadequate, Hetherton said back in April 2015. The piece was removed, restored, and replaced in about a month. Back then, Hetherton said he hoped to move the piece to another public area during library construction, but instead it will be kept safe in storage.

The branch is now formally closed, but a groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24 (changed from April 10), and the public is invited to attend.

In other news, the California Coastal Commission this month approved an expansion project for the Beachcomber Café at Crystal Cove State Park. Plans call for adding about 422 square feet to accommodate additional outdoor seating, as well as for repairs around the hostess area. About 40 extra seats will be added, with the work to take place during the off-season. According to a staff report from the Commission’s March meeting, such an increase typically results in increased parking demand, but parking already is in demand there, and the extra seating might help by reducing the café’s wait-time, which can be up to two hours on weekends.


Amy Senk has lived in Corona del Mar for 17 years and was publisher of Corona del Mar Today, an online newspaper that ran daily for seven years. Senk, a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, is involved in the Corona del Mar Residents Association and the Corona del Mar High School PTA. She and her husband have two children.

Kiff announces exit from City Manager job

After two decades with the City of Newport Beach (City) and nearly a full decade as its city manager, Dave Kiff has informed members of the City Council that he will leave his post toward the end of 2018. 

Kiff is committed to implementing a smooth transition and to assisting in addressing key initiatives that take additional familiarity, like efforts to limit the noise and pollution impacts of John Wayne Airport. 

Kiff describes the transition as “preparing for Dave 2.0,” where he may focus his energies on specific issues near and dear to him, specifically including homelessness and the outdoors. 

According to Kiff, “I have loved this job and this community a great deal. This is an amazing community to work for, and I have felt honored to do so nearly every day. But this is a pretty grueling job, with demanding issues and a resident base that deserves and expects 100 percent focus. I have to admit that over time that has worn me out a bit. As I get less young, I don’t recharge as quickly. I see, too, that as my “time remaining” (“TR” as Mayor Duffy Duffield calls it) gets shorter, there are other efforts and experiences that draw my interest. 

“But for this community, I know that the next city manager will become the leader of one of the best teams of department heads that I have ever known. I am confident that the City Council will get a number of terrific applicants for this post.” 

Mayor Duffield stated, “Dave’s steady hand at the City’s helm has helped steer the City through good skies and bad. We remain a community thankful for public service and we appreciate Dave’s decades of commitment.” 

Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill also commented, “Dave’s willingness to lead regionally on issues like pension reform and homelessness have set him and our City apart. No doubt we will expect similar leadership from Dave’s successor.” 

“I won’t say goodbye yet, as there are more months ahead of me here, but I will say that all is good. I’ll encourage anyone reading this to know that I remain full of optimism for the City’s future and my own,” Kiff said.

You Must Remember This: Preserving Newport’s history might be worth a look at our pavements


As a city, we’re not that big on our history. Books have been written about it, we have a couple of historical societies that have small collections, but the physical history succumbs to high property values. When I lived in New Jersey, what impressed me were how many old – and I mean really old – houses there were, and how people seemed to value their age instead of viewing it as an impediment. If someone needed a bigger house, they either bought a bigger house, or they did an artful job of expanding the old house, leaving the historical part and adding on, sometimes in the same style, other times deliberately going very modern in contrast…but I never saw a house scraped while I was there.

Obviously, it’s a much different deal here. There is one old house on Ocean Boulevard that the owners obviously appreciate. Some years ago, they added a second story, and I defy anyone to detect where the original house ends and the new addition begins, because they were so careful to maintain the materials and style, but that is a rare bird. More common is something like this: One of the first houses in CdM? The home of the woman who saved Big Corona from development? That’s nice. Scrape it. So, piece by piece we lose the actual history and have to resort to photographs to remind us of what once was.

Griffith Company in pavement

Courtesy of Nancy Gardner

Griffith Company, 1927 is etched in this Corona del Mar sidewalk

However, there is one piece of physical history that is still pretty common. Walk around CdM and look at the sidewalk. What’s stamped there? Griffith Company, 1927. Ninety years and still going strong. I asked Dave Webb, the Public Works director, if the department made any particular effort to save these historical sections. He said no, so that just means they poured really good cement. Because it was 1927 and because I am sometimes dense and don’t make obvious connections, I decided to see what I could find out about Griffith. It took me about 10 seconds to find a company headquartered in Southern California, established in 1902 – oh yeah, and that has done a ton of work in Newport like Newport Coast Drive and MacArthur. Oh, that Griffith Company. Just to be sure, I sent an inquiry. Yes, indeed, they were the same company, and they provided this link: I went online, and the first part in particular is fascinating. If you want to see what California looked like 60, 70, 80 years ago, they’ve got some wonderful footage.

Griffith wasn’t the only company paving Newport. Sidewalks with J. Paul Benson, Contractor 1926 can also be found, but I couldn’t find anything on Benson. There are also sections stamped CNB 1977, and hopefully come 2067, some resident will stare at them and marvel at the history. Or maybe, they’ll just marvel that our particular history can be told as well or better in the much-trod-upon sidewalks rather than the buildings. 


Nancy Gardner, former Mayor of Newport Beach, long-time resident and daughter of Judge Robert Gardner, is a regular contributor to StuNewsNewport.

Junior League to hold 4th Annual Golf Classic

Junior League golf

Submitted photo

Newport Beach-based Junior League of Orange County, California (JLOCC) invites golfers to participate in the 4th Annual Golf Classic and 19th Hole Party on Friday, April 6. The shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. and the 19th Hole Party begins at 5:30 p.m.

All golfer packages include golf carts, catered lunch by Chick-Fil-A, range balls, gift bags, entry into the $10,000 cash prize Hole-In-One contest and admission to the 19th Hole Party, which will include dinner and a cocktail, live jazz by The Bradford Project and a helicopter ball drop with tickets sold separately, along with a silent auction and awards. Non-golfers are invited to attend the 19th Hole Party. The helicopter ball drop opportunity prize is an overnight stay to New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV and a pair of tickets to see Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil®. Helicopter Ball Drop tickets will be sold at the door. Tickets for the 19th Hole Party only are $50 per guest. Costs are $225 for single golfers and $860 for foursomes. Golfers can purchase the tournament skills package, including two mulligans and entry into the contests – Putting, Longest Drive and Closest-to-the-Pin, for $40 ahead of the event.

All proceeds benefit the League’s volunteer training programs and community projects in partnership with its community partners that include the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, Orangewood Foundation, Samueli Academy, JLOCC’s own initiative, Junior League Juniors, which introduces children to volunteer and make an impact in the community, along with other additional volunteer projects throughout Orange County. There are sponsorship opportunities available, including advertising and event underwriting.

The event takes place at Oak Creek Golf Club, One Golf Club Drive, Irvine.

For information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit

Hop on over to Fashion Island for photos with the Easter Bunny

FI Easter Bunny

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Fashion Island

Continuing through Saturday, March 31, grab your bonnets and your favorite Easter garb and head over to Fashion Island’s Atrium Lawn for photos with the Easter Bunny!

Our favorite bunny is available for pictures in his Spring garden on weekdays from 10 a.m. - 8 pm. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hours of operation are subject to change, so call Guest Services at 949.721.2000 to confirm times.

Fashion Island is located at 401 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach.

Guest Column

Dave Kiff

An insider’s look at what’s going on in and around City Hall

Dave Kiff

Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff   

Here’s what’s going on at the upcoming Newport Beach City Council meeting set for (tonight) Tuesday, March 27th at 7 p.m. Meetings are held in the Newport Beach Civic Center at 100 Civic Center Drive – the public is always welcome. I do not highlight all of the items on the agenda – please go to the City’s webpage and review the agenda if you want to see all of the items.

There is no study session in the afternoon, so the Regular Session starts at 7 p.m. The items that seem worthy of highlighting and/or explaining are these:

Council Member Muldoon asked his colleagues to consider a statement in support of a ballot measure proposed for the November 2018 statewide ballot. This relates to tightening up some of the things that arguably were loosened with recent ballot and legislative actions involving the parole system and who is eligible and when. It also would place new penalties on parole violations, among other things.

Some new improvements and maintenance are/is coming for Peninsula Point Park near the Balboa Pier, and Bayview Park near the Marriott Bayview.

I think folks will be happy to see improvements to the crosswalks along Newport Boulevard and Balboa Boulevard – recall that we’ve had a number of community meetings that Council Member Dixon has hosted about further enhancing the visibility of current crosswalks on the Peninsula.  

The Annual “Status Report” on the General Plan and its Housing Element. This is usually a pro forma item, but it allows the staff and Council to ensure that we are following State law relating to reporting in on how we’re implementing the General Plan and whether there have been any recent changes to housing activity in the community.    

I’ve placed Advocacy for a Port Master Plan back on the agenda and will explain why. The goal of having a special carve-out for aspects of Newport Harbor’s public and private permitting is (to me) a good one. Today, nearly all permits to do things like dredging around residential piers, residential pier repairs, sea wall repairs, and more all have to go to the Coastal Commission. Ideally, those permits could be assigned to the City and City Council for approval, provided that we considered them through the same lens that the Coastal Commission would – same concerns, same protections, same compliance with the Coastal Act. This concept will not cause Newport Harbor’s current character to change – it’s about permit authority, not becoming port-like (or even Port-lite). Anyway, in order to even be able to submit a plan for permit authority to the Coastal Commission, we think we need state legislation to allow us to send a Port Master Plan in for Commission review and approval. There are certainly good questions involved in this process, and good reasons to ask questions, but It seems to make sense to try it out. There could come a time in the near future when we decide this isn’t going to work, and our advocacy agreements allow us to pull the plug quickly. Speaking of advocacy, Council Members Dixon and Peotter and I had a good conversation between Council meetings to become more comfortable with the approach and staffing that Don Schmitz and Sean Henschel will provide. Therefore, I was comfortable putting it back on the agenda quite quickly. If anyone has any questions about this at all, please contact me and I’ll wade through it with you.  

A couple of random notes:

A lot is going on regarding homelessness in our region. In fact, I spent last Saturday morning in Judge Carter’s chambers listening to updates about the clearing of encampments in the Santa Ana riverbed as well as a planned clearing of the Santa Ana Civic Center encampment. While I won’t include it here, I recently wrote up an email that I sent to a number of residents about this issue, including what we’re doing as a City and community. I can send that to you if you ask me by return email.

Secondly, Speak Up Newport is planning their Wednesday, April 11 forum on this issue. SUN meets at 5:30 p.m. – with the program at 6 p.m. –  in the Community Room at the Civic Center. Note, too, that a small (12-unit) “permanent supportive housing” location in town has recently completed its renovation and is open for business, housing six veterans and six low-income seniors. It’s an amazing place and looks terrific.  

We’re chugging along on our airport efforts, thanks to great enthusiasm by our key community groups. We’re now in the thick of a data study looking at ways to improve departure procedures so that planes can depart in the quietest manner (but still safely, of course) possible. Our groups like AWG, Air Fair and CAANP are really engaged on this. It’s exciting. I’m happy to fill you in more on this if you ask. This coming week may (emphasis on “may” because stuff like this is very uncertain) also see the first few planes using a new pathway in the Upper Bay that involves two gentle turns, versus the current “just one” turn procedure. I will confess to trepidation as to how this will work, but we’ll be following it very closely.

I hope everyone has a pleasant Easter and great spring break in the upcoming weeks.  

As always, I enjoy hearing from you about this or any other community issue involving the city government. So does the City Council – remember that you can email them at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your thoughts or ideas.  

Thanks for reading!



Dave Kiff

City Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Farm to Fork: A Foodie’s Point of View Fork


Celebrate Easter with these dining choices

Easter Sunday, coming April 1, is less than a week away, so if you haven’t chosen a dining venue yet to celebrate this Springtime holiday with friends and family, here are some suggestions. Make your reservations now to secure seating. This is the second in a two-part series.

Lamb on platter

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Bayside is serving both brunch and dinner. Sunday brunch is a three-course pre-prix menu with free-flowing champagne/mimosas. From starters such as roasted ruby beets with goat cheese and strawberries to main-course options ranging from frittata and king crab “Bayside” benedict to flat iron steak, grilled lamb chops and Alaskan halibut and for vegetarians…fusilli pasta primavera…leave room for dessert! There is also a Kids Menu. Cost: Adults, $49.75, tax and gratuity not included; Children 12 and under, $22. Sunday supper begins at 5 p.m. with a pre-fixe three-course menu available in addition to their regular dinner menu. You can select any dessert from their list. Cost: $40 per person, tax and gratuity not included. 900 Bayside Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.721.1222.

Harborside, where you can celebrate Easter on the Bay! Enjoy the Grand Buffet Brunch served upstairs in the Grand Ballroom from, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: Adults, $40; Children, $16. A bottle of Champagne, $6. Price doesn’t include tax or gratuity. They will be serving dinner beginning at 4 p.m. in the dining room. Reservations are required. Call 949.673.4633. 400 Main Street (Balboa Peninsula), Newport Beach.

Hornblower Cruise on Newport Harbor is awaiting those who enjoy the sweeter things in life. The brunch or supper buffet is brimming with classic breakfast fare, holiday classics and chocolatey treats. They’re taking Easter up a notch with free-flowing Champagne, live entertainment and even a visit from the Easter Bunny! Two-hour cruises take place at 10 a.m. aboard the Wild Goose, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Cost: Starts at $75 per person. Reservations are required. 3101 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. Call 949.631.2469.

Hornblower Yacht

Submitted photo

Easter brunch or the dinner buffet aboard a Hornblower yacht yields spectacular harbor views

Lighthouse Bayview Café in Marina Park is offering a special Easter brunch menu. Start with a bruschetta trio or jumbo lump crab tacos among others, with entrees such as honey ham Monte Cristo, herb crusted New Zealand lamb chops or avocado country toast. Call 949.933.1001. 1600 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.

Lighthouse Bayview Cafe

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Lighthouse Bayview Café in Marina Park affords bay vistas

Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Fashion Island will be serving a three-course Easter brunch from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Start with a bowl of fresh fruit or split pea soup (with fresh baked soda bread and sweet butter) with your choice of entrees such as Galway eggs benedict, Irish stew, Muldoon’s Reuben or BBQ salmon. Your sweet finish is a chocolate sundae or Irish berry tart. Some of the favorite libations are the Pub Bloody Mary, Irish Mule or Lucky Martini. Cost: $29.95. A children’s menu is available for those 10 years of age and under for $12.95. 202 Newport Center drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.640.4110.

Soda bread


Start your Easter meal at Muldoon’s Irish Pub with fresh baked soda bread

Newport Landing is offering an Easter buffet brunch on the harbor from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: Adults, $40; Kids under 10 years of age, $16. A bottomless glass of Champagne is $3. Price excludes tax and gratuity. 503 Easter Edgewater, Newport Beach. Call 949.675.2373.

Rockin’ Baja Lobster is serving specials all Easter weekend long. It’s Rockin’ Seafood Bucket is filled with Baja style- flavor and it’s made to share. Enjoy Canadian lobster tails, a snow crab cluster, shrimp, skirt steak, grilled chicken, free Caesar salad, grilled corn on the cob, “All You Can Eat” ranchero beans, citrus rice, warm tortillas, their famous honey chili butter and world-class fresh salsa bar. Cost: $59.99 for two. Available Friday, March 30 through Sunday, April 1. Reservations suggested. 2104 W. Oceanfront, Newport Beach. 949.723.0606.

Roy’s is offering Easter brunch and dinner. From 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., celebrate Easter brunch with their one-day-only, two-course prix fixe menu featuring favorites like lobster & shrimp omelet, macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi and slow roasted prime rib of beef. For dinner service from 3 - 9 p.m., enjoy a special menu of Roy’s classics including their fresh-from-Hawaii blackened island ahi, roasted macadamia nut crusted mahi mahi and new chef creations like their USDA prime New York strip steak. Pricing varies. A children’s (keiki) menu with a fresh fruit medley starter, choice of entrée and beverage is also available for $13. 453 Newport Center Drive (Fashion Island), Newport Beach. Call 949.640.7697.

Sol Cocina where Easter brunch and live entertainment come together from 12 - 3 p.m. Enjoy huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, macha and more! Specialty cocktails include the new Sol’s Bloody Mary and Paloma, as well as the Fro-Mo, mimosas and Michelada. Brunch will also be served Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Call about pricing. 251 Pacific Coast Highway, Newport Beach. Call 949.675.9800. To make a reservation, visit

Sol Cocina libations

Courtesy of Sol Cocina

Refreshing libations pair perfectly with Sol Cocina’s Easter brunch offerings

The Beachcomber, where you can enjoy brunch on the beach at Crystal Cove. Start with beignets and choose one of the Beachcomber’s delicious entrees, including surf & turf, dulce de leche pancakes, lobster mac & cheese, huevos rancheros and ribeye French dip and more from 7 a.m. - 4 p.m. Cost: Adults, $39.95; Children, $14.95 (who order off the Kids’ menu). Bottomless Champagne, mimosa or orange juice, soda or coffee. 15 Crystal Cove, Newport Coast. Call 949.376.6900.

Beachcomber shore

Click on photo for a larger image

After Champagne brunch at The Beachcomber, stroll the Crystal Cove shoreline

Submitted photo

The Bungalow is offering their Champagne brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Start off with a basket of freshly baked assorted muffins and your choice of juice or coffee. Among the first course selections: lobster bisque, heirloom tomato salad, Bungalow salad or fresh fruit cup. Among the entrée selections are eggs benedict your way, grilled lime chicken salad, California chicken breast, grilled king salmon, grilled vegetable tart, or mixed berry waffle. For an additional $6, you can enjoy roasted prime rib of beef or New York strip & eggs. Desserts are available for $5 each. Cost: Adults, $29. Bottomless Champagne or Bloody Marys for an additional $10 per guest. There is a menu for children under the age of 12 for $14. 2441 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. Call 949.673.6585.

The Bungalow interior

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Courtesy of

Dining at The Bungalow is always a memorable experience

True Food Kitchen is celebrating with an Easter brunch menu featuring special offerings from its not-yet-released Spring Menu. Guests will have the option to choose from a selection of dishes and Spring beverages that will only be offered on Easter Sunday. Enjoy seasonal flavors with dishes like the new Spring toast, seasonal ingredient salad and a strawberry & rhubarb crisp, along with Spring sips like the lemongrass margarita, strawberry bourbon smash and the refreshing cucumber cooler. Pricing varies. 451 Newport Center Drive (Fashion Island), Newport Beach. Call 949.644.2400.

Happy Easter…

Ciao Vincenza!

Fair Game


Kiff out at City Hall…others cry foul


The first clue came just after church Sunday morning, when I was told there was a “plan” to oust Newport Beach City Manager Dave Kiff at the end of tonight’s council meeting. The story had it, true or false, that “three council members visited Kiff, with a fourth vote in pocket, demanding he resign or that he would be terminated.”

One side is saying Brown Act violation, the other says absolutely not.

I immediately sent Kiff an email asking if three council members visited him demanding his resignation or telling him he would be terminated.

Kiff responded with an email straight to the point saying, “Tom, that did not happen.”

I also contacted Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill with a similar question. His response also said that “no such meeting has ever taken place.”

Later Sunday afternoon, Tara Finnegan, the City’s Public Information Manager, issued Kiff’s resignation to the media saying, “After two decades with the City of Newport Beach and nearly a full decade as its city manager, Dave Kiff has informed members of the City Council that he will leave his post toward the end of 2018.”

“I am happy in making this request and want the community to know that all is good with me, my family, and my work. There are great things ahead for all of us,” Kiff added in a cover letter.

One source said that they were told “that Kiff was asked to move the press release announcement up to Sunday afternoon” as the story began breaking.

You can imagine the different stories coming out of other camps. One story had Council Members Diane Dixon, Jeff Herdman and Brad Avery urging Kiff to hang on until the community had a chance to voice their concerns at tonight’s meeting.

Obviously, Kiff has said no.

Former Mayor Kevin Muldoon had this to say, “Dave told me a few months ago that he was intending to retire in November. He is the best City Manager in Orange County and will be missed.”

Lynn Swain said, “Dave Kiff is a great city manager and he is highly respected. I think the public deserves an answer regarding the actions of a majority of the council who have been pushing him out to appoint their own person. Team Newport continues to degrade our community with these backroom politics. Dave Kiff was forced to retire or be fired.”

Here are some thoughts from other community leaders (all council members were invited to comment).

City Council Member and former Mayor Diane Dixon: “I am saddened and disappointed by the news of our highly respected City Manager Dave Kiff’s decision to leave the City of Newport Beach.  During my tenure on the Council, I have appreciated Dave’s outstanding professionalism and his commitment to the City and its residents. We are very fortunate to have had a city manager with his years of experience and deep knowledge of government.

The circumstances surrounding the actions of some members of the City Council that led to Dave’s decision baffle me. I only learned of this news this weekend. I am surprised to discover that this process may have been underway for four weeks. It is clear that all members of the City Council were not involved in this process. I expect that we will learn from our Mayor and Mayor Pro Tem more about this mystery at (tonight’s) Newport Beach City Council meeting.  

It is my hope that all of us on the City Council share a common belief that transparency in city government is one of our core values.”

City Council Member Jeff Herdman: “I want to say for the public record that I was not aware of any effort to oust the city manager, to negotiate an exit, or assert that there were four votes, in violation of the Brown Act, to accomplish this illegal act by the council majority (Muldoon, O’Neill, Duffield and Peotter). 

At no time has the entire City Council considered the termination of our city manager’s employment, and I am now deeply concerned about the public’s trust in this body going forward. 

And why did the council majority do this? Is it in the best interest of the city? Knowing that Dave Kiff intended to possibly take an early retirement after the upcoming election, and after getting council members oriented and settled in, they fired him anyway! 

Self-promotion and campaign tactics are at work here. Individually, Muldoon wants to be able to say in his campaign for re-election that he followed through on his 2014 campaign promises (clean the swamp, no tax increases, lowering fees, etc. etc.). 

This being the “Year of the Harbor,” Duffy wants to hire a new city manager that will be at his beck-and-call in terms of accomplishing what he wants to do, and I might add, at a tremendous cost to the taxpayers. 

Peotter? This is just another example of his use of poor judgement for what he thinks will win him reelection. 

As far as O’ Neill is concerned, he was elected on a Team Newport ticket, so I guess he must fall in line! 

Collectively, the Council majority has set the stage for hiring their own city manager that they will be able to completely control and manipulate for the purpose of self-aggrandizement and accomplishing their own personal agendas with complete disregard for their constituents and their needs and wants. 

The Brown Act violation that has occurred, and that can be proven, is known as the “chain effect.” I’ll assume that Muldoon, Duffy and O’Neill thought they were not violating the Brown Act when notifying Dave of the termination of his employment because there were only three of them present. But these three council members did so knowing they had a fourth vote in the form of Peotter and would therefore have no trouble getting council approval (4 votes are all that is needed). Knowing they had his critical fourth vote is the essence of the “chain effect” violation. It is flat out prohibited and illegal. 

After Dave’s departure, the collateral damage that has been created by this action on the part of the Council majority is what we will have to deal with. The council majority must be held accountable for their misinterpretation of Council Policy for which they justified their action under, as well as blatant Brown Act violations.” 

Former Mayor Nancy Gardner: “I have worked with Dave since he was an Assistant to Kevin Murphy. He is a person of great integrity and character. I have seen how much he takes to heart the well-being of this city, and I am very sorry to see him leave.  

It is one thing if he is leaving because he wants to seek new adventures. Then we can only wish him the best. If, as has been suggested, there was a covert effort by certain council members to get rid of him, then this is an insult not just to Dave but to the residents and businesses that he has worked so hard for. It would mean that they were afraid to openly dismiss someone with his standing and popularity in the community and resorted to subterfuge to accomplish this.  

For the sake of our city, I can only hope that this is not true because if it is, it widens the gaps between us when we should be pulling together.”

Keith Curry: “Hiring Dave Kiff was the best decision the city council made in my 10 years serving the city. He has a stellar reputation and he effectively led our city through the recession. His efforts reduced the workforce by more than 100 positions while preserving city services. 

It appears that this decision is the result of members of the city council acting without the authorization and involvement of the entire council to precipitate the action. This is a serious violation of policy and past practices and a full investigation should be commenced.”

City Council candidate (2018) Joy Brenner: “The loss of Dave Kiff is tragic for our city. Dave is well regarded by so many, including most if not all former mayors and council members. It has appeared to me for several years that he has been put in the very awkward position of trying to give the council what they want while legally and ethically staying in integrity. 

Some members of this council play politics so often that I don’t trust anything to be straightforwardly above board. Was there pressure on Dave in an attempt to get more of a “yes” man or woman in this position? We must now demand an open and transparent search for a replacement. And, if actions of certain members of the city council resulted in this announcement, then a Brown Act violation needs to be investigated.” 

Easter Sunrise Service at the beach


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Submitted photo

On Easter Sunday, April 1, join Christ Church by the Sea United Methodist for its sunrise service at 6:30 a.m. at 14th Street Beach on Balboa Peninsula.

A complimentary breakfast will be provided across the street from the church following the service. Easter worship is also taking place in the Sanctuary at 10 a.m.

Christ Church by the Sea is located at 1400 W. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach. Call 949.673.3805.

Easter Egg hunt for the visually impaired this Friday

Easter Eggs in basket

Submitted photo

On Friday, March 30, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Hazardous Devices Section (HDS) will help provide a unique egg hunt experience for blind and visually impaired students of the Santa Ana-based Blind Children’s Learning Center. Seventy of the Center’s students will search the grounds of the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort for beeping eggs built by the HDS, an OCSD team also known as the Bomb Squad.

In the weeks leading up to the event, members of the Bomb Squad sharpen their basic electronic circuit-building and soldering skills to create a beeping component that is encapsulated in large, brightly colored plastic eggs to provide visually impaired students a sensory version of an Easter egg hunt.

“This is a fun way for our bomb technicians to practice a basic skill, but what they look forward to the most is participating in the egg hunt with the students,” said Lt. Martin Ramirez, Special Enforcement Bureau supervisor. “This is a favorite community event for us, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort will welcome the Center’s students from 10:30 a.m. - 12 p.m. After the egg hunt, students will receive an Easter basket filled with candy and toys donated by AT&T Pioneers volunteer network and have an opportunity to visit with the Easter Bunny. The students also will be treated to a beachfront picnic provided by Back Bay Bistro to cap off the event.

“Imagine how you would participate in an Easter egg hunt if you couldn’t see,” said Carolyn Baker, director of development for the Blind Children’s Learning Center. “This adapted version of a traditional activity gives our children the opportunity to join in on the fun and excitement. We are so grateful to everyone involved for giving our kids and their families a morning of adventure and special memories.”

College Planning Seminars at Central Library

College planning

Courtesy of NBPL

The Teen Services Department at the Newport Beach Public Library (NBPL) is hosting a series of college planning seminars to help students and parents understand the college admission process and develop a strategy that optimizes the student’s potential for acceptance into a college that matches their goals.

The NBPL has partnered with Collegewise to present three different programs open to the public that are free of charge. The presentations scheduled include: College Planning for Freshmen and Sophomores on Tuesday, April 3; Highly Selective College Admissions on Tuesday, May 1; and Secrets of College Admissions on Tuesday, June 5. Register online to attend. All of the programs begin at 7 p.m. in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library, 1000 Avocado Ave., Newport Beach.

Camp James Open House announced

Camp James

Submitted photo

On Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m., come experience the joy of Camp James at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort for yourself! Meet some of their amazing camp staff, try a sample of activities, and check out the gorgeous site for the very reasonable price of free! They look forward to seeing you there.

If you have any questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 949.729.1098 for more information.

Camp James is located at 191 North Bayside Drive, Newport Beach.

Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream fundraising program returns to the OC Market Place

I scream, you scream, we all scream for Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream! In response to inquiries from local, non-profit organizations and in alignment with the mission of the Orange County Market Place® to be the premier gathering place for the Orange County community and to support local organizations, the Orange County Market Place® has reintroduced the Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Fundraising Program.

Since its inception in 1969, the Orange County Market Place has been active in the community in many ways, including the work with nonprofit organizations for the betterment of the community. To help address the fundraising needs of organizations in the community, the Market Place developed a signature program. Originally developed in response to the September 11, 2001 tragedy, this program has proven beneficial in aiding community groups with their fundraising efforts.

Bobs Old Fashioned

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Courtesy of OC Market Place

“We are elated to reopen the doors of the iconic Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream stand with our first community fundraising group on March 31, 2018 at Grand Opening event,” said General Manager Adela Generally. “Our goal is to have a community group represented each weekend we are open in an effort to help fundraise and garner awareness for their cause in this community.”

The Orange County Market Place is currently accepting applications from 501(c)3 non-profit organizations. Those located within Orange County will be given preference for dates, but any non-profit interested in participating in the program is encouraged to complete the application, found at

The Market Place is a celebration of food, fun, value and the entrepreneurial spirit. With hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, it has grown to become the centerpiece of the Orange County outdoor shopping experience. Founded in 1969, the Orange County Market Place®, is owned and operated by Spectra and is located on the Orange County Fairgrounds at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa. The Market Place operates every Saturday and Sunday of the year except during the Orange County Fair in July/August.

Stump the Stu

One reader stumps the masses

Stump the Stu 3.23.18

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Tuesday’s submission was from Sherry Black. Well Sherry, you stumped ‘em. No correct guesses. 

So, where is it, you ask? This little spot is located near the trellis at the Hyatt Regency Newport Beach and Palisades Tennis Club. Rumor has it that it was a favorite spot of John Wayne’s to relax. Check it out.

Thanks Sherry!

Join us on Tuesdays as we try and stump you each week with a picture of something unique in our community.

If you have a unique spot or icon around town that you think StuNewsNewport readers would enjoy finding out about, please shoot it, share it and give us the answer, so we can challenge them!

Sign of the times

It’s another edition of Sign of the times. Contestants, start your engines. Below you’ll find this week’s clue. What you see is a small part of an overall sign in Newport Beach. Here’s a fairly new sign, but it’s seen a lot of traffic in its short life. 

Good luck!

Send you guesses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you’re a business and you want to play, you can send us a high-quality photo of your sign and we’ll take it from there and challenge our readers.

Let’s have some fun!

SOTT 3.23.18

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Police Files

Small plane takes nose-dive at JWA

Yesterday afternoon, March 22 at 12:50 p.m. “a single engine Piper Malibu aircraft skidded off runway 20R while landing, shearing off the nose gear. The disabled aircraft came to rest in the grassy infield ‘safety area’ between the two runways,” according to John Wayne Airport spokesperson Deanne Thompson.

The only person on board was not injured. Both runways at JWA were closed for approximately one hour while a runway safety inspection was completed, and the damaged aircraft was removed.

Man steals car, runs from police, takes meth break and is arrested

Monday morning, March 19, a caller contacted the Newport Beach Police Department to report that a driver of a gold Honda was driving poorly and seemed “out of it.” A check of the license plate showed that the Honda had been stolen earlier the same day in Westminster.  

Officers attempted to stop the Honda near MacArthur Boulevard and the 405, but the driver failed to yield. The pursuit proceeded into Irvine, where the driver ran several red lights and drove at dangerously high speeds. Eventually, with the assistance of air support from HB-1 (Huntington Beach Police Department’s helicopter) and OCSD personnel, an NBPD officer conducted a Patrol Intervention Technique (PIT maneuver) to disable the Honda on McGaw Avenue near Gillette Avenue. 

Then the driver proceeded to start to smoke methamphetamine from a pipe before exiting the vehicle. A search of his car later revealed meth and a meth pipe inside.  

The driver, later identified as Tuan Dinh Nguyen, 32, Santa Ana, initially lied about his identity to officers. He was eventually charged with taking an auto without the owner’s consent, evading peace officers with wanton disregard, possession of a controlled substance, possession of unlawful paraphernalia and a warrant related to receiving stolen property.

Nguyen’s bail was set at $50,000.

Teen makes himself at home while owners out of town

At some undetermined time on Sunday, March 18, Jonathan Villa, 18, of Los Angeles, entered an unoccupied home in the 1500 block of E. Bay Avenue. Villa stayed overnight while the homeowners were out of town and used the shower, ate food from the kitchen and gathered up a number of items that he intended to remove from the house.

A neighbor contacted NBPD to report suspicious activity and Villa was arrested at 7:58 a.m. on Monday, March 19.

He was held on $50,000 bail for residential burglary with no forced entry.

Scroll down to Police Beat for all arrests & crime reports

Photographer’s work is on display at JWA

From March 20 - April 19, photography by Stephanie Hager will be on display at John Wayne Airport (JWA) as part of JWA’s Community Focus Space Program.

These works can be viewed on the Departure (upper) Level near security screening areas in Terminals A, B and C, and on the Arrival (lower) Level adjacent to Baggage Carousels 1 and 4.

Sunset over Catalina

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Photo by Stephanie Hager/

Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

Sunset over Catalina by Stephanie Hager

“Ms. Hager’s work displayed at John Wayne Airport will engage the viewers’ senses,” said Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Andrew Do. “Her world-class photography will be a delight for travelers.”

Hager’s photography is known for having a bold feeling with vibrant energy and clean lines. The negative space provides the observer room for thought.

“My goal is to have the viewer feel something new and unique to themselves through the use of light, color and patterns,” Hager said. 

The photographer graduated with a degree in photo communications from California State University, Fullerton and was fortunate to have studied with some of the top photographers in the United States.

Hager has been a professional photographer for more than 25 years and has worked with advertising and editorial clients photographing outdoor adventure sports and lifestyle, portraiture, architecture and landscapes.

On the Harbor: Catching up with my good friend Mark Gaudio 


I picked up the phone this week and called my good friend Mark Gaudio for an interview. If you have ever raced a Sabot, Lido 14, Harbor 20 or Cal 20 the name should be familiar to you.

Gaudio was first introduced to the harbor in the ‘60s by his father, Ed, who first owned a 20-foot Glasspar powerboat. “I remember doing speed circles in the Back Bay with my dad,” Gaudio said. His father was an electrician and after working on a house on Lido Isle, the owner gave him the old Sabot on the side of the house. “I think I was six and my father had painted the boat with some sort of latex house paint in some ‘60s color. We rigged the boat up and went sailing. Just about the time we reached the Lido Isle Yacht Club, we gybed the boat, while dad was sitting on the main sheet, and we flipped the boat,” Gaudio explained.

The Gaudio family was very active in the Orange Coast Yacht Club, which had its clubhouse at the American Legion. Later, the club would merge with the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club and the Gaudios where there for the groundbreaking of the clubhouse now located on Bayside. “I have a photo of dad somewhere with him planting a shovel into the ground on the club grounds.”

Gaudio recalled fond memories on the harbor now lost in time. “We used to sail our boat over to Shark Island, now Linda Isle, and play Army. From there we would walk over the Pacific Coast Highway bridge to Will Wrights for ice cream. Summer days seemed to have the wind blowing 10 knots out of the west. We could pull our boats up onto a beach at the Fun Zone and goof around there, or we would sail up to the 19th Street beach and go to Tasty Freeze. Sometimes Phil Ramming and I would just fill our boats with water balloons and throw them at people on Balboa Island. You cannot do that now, but it sure was a lot of fun then,” Gaudio recalled.

Mark and Len

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Photo by

(L-R): Mark Gaudio and Len Bose

Today, Gaudio spends most of his time on the harbor coaching sabot sailors. During the summer he has more requests for coaching than he can handle, while during the winter he coaches Friday afternoons for BCYC and gives private lessons on Saturdays. He is the go-to guy when it comes to finding the racing sabot our just tuning one up. “Tuning a sabot is all about mast rake, leeboard angle and a vertical rudder,” Gaudio said. Most sailors in the harbor who have been coached by him recall the words: “Get off your knees.”

I asked Gaudio what are the dos and don’ts for sabot parents? “Parents can be overly competitive, which can lead to performance anxiety at the wrong time. Sailing is a hard sport, with many variables, weather included, it can be frustrating…sometimes physical, but mostly mental. Once a kid starts moving up, stay away from move up itis,” Gaudio said.

Gaudio explained that one of his concerns today is that there is too much focus on racing, with not enough attention on just harbor exploring and having fun. There are some kids out there today that will not leave the dock without a coach. In the end game he feels that this is hurting our sport.

So, before we ended the interview I asked for some simple bits of advice that I can write on my notepad. “Don’t pinch in light air, keep the boat moving, always look around to assess your competition. The wind in our harbor is the trickiest when it is coming out of the southwest with a bearing from 200 to 245 degrees, when you should focus on connecting the dots. When the wind is left at 200 degrees, consider going left; when it is right of 240 degrees, consider the right side of the course. Remember that you have a lot of traffic in the harbor to stay away from, and he always reminds his students to anticipate the high odds maneuvers of competitors.

This Saturday, the Harbor 20 fleet will be racing in the Earl Corkett Regatta out of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. At BYC, the Lido 14s will be gathering on Sunday for the Harry Wood Regatta. And, the PHRF fleet will be sailing out of BCYC to Catalina on Saturday and returning on Sunday in the Bogart Race.

Keep it fun everyone.

Sea ya! 


Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

Newport Beach’s Laura Oatman drops out of congressional race, endorses Harley Rouda

Newport Beach business owner and architect Laura Oatman dropped out of the race for California’s 48th Congressional District yesterday, endorsing technology entrepreneur and Democratic businessman Harley Rouda.

Recent public polling from Fight Back CA indicated that Oatman was tied with Rouda for the lead among Democratic challengers to Rep Dana Rohrabacher. She had also been backed by several prominent progressive groups, including Democracy for America, Justice Democrats and Our Revolution.

Laura and harley

Submitted photo

Newport Beach’s Laura Oatman endorses Harley Rouda

Calling for Democratic unity, Oatman released the following statement: “I am hoping all local activists…can now unite into one mighty force, and we can work together to get Dana out. I am calling on all six other Democratic candidates to do the same; this is not about any one of us. This is about all of us.

“I know Harley will be a strong and effective leader working to move us forward, from protecting our pristine coastline to fighting for Medicare for ALL, to tackling gun violence, to investing more in renewable energy like wind and solar and working to create more good-paying jobs. Orange County residents need a Congressman who will work hard for them, and after campaigning alongside him for over a year now, I am confident Harley is the right person for the job.”

Rouda expressed his gratitude for the endorsement by stating: “I am deeply grateful for this support from Laura Oatman, a widely respected progressive and environmental leader from our community. I look forward to campaigning with Laura throughout the 48th District in weeks and months ahead. In Congress, I will be an advocate for and champion of Laura’s Envision America 2050 Plan, which aims to create more good jobs and solve climate change.”

Newport Beach tops the list in the “10 Best Places to Visit in 2018” by

NB Pier Claudine

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Photo by Claudine Corr

Newport Beach Pier, an iconic city landmark

Newport Beach has topped the list in the “10 Best Places to Visit in 2018” by

Livability editors looked at more than 2,000 cities across the country to determine the 10 Best Places to Visit this year. Their ranking took into account important criteria like each city’s entertainment industry, cultural offerings and number of golf courses and parks, along with ease of transportation, crime rates, and average hot and cold temperatures throughout the year.

“The 2018 Best Places to Visit list includes a really fun mix of famous vacation destinations and off-the-beaten-path gems for any travel style and budget,” said Winona Dimeo-Ediger, managing editor. “Whether you’re looking for relaxation of adventure, these great cities will help you make the most of your vacation days.”

According to, scoring the coveted No. 1 spot on their list of Best Places to Visit in 2018, Newport Beach is a city that truly has it all – beautiful weather, outdoor adventure, golf, shopping, dining and cultural attractions galore. With 10 miles of coastline and a year-round Mediterranean climate, the community lays claim to Newport Harbor, the largest recreational harbor on the west coast, along with some of the best southern California surf spots that draw professional surfers from as far away as Australia and Hawaii. According to Visit Newport Beach, the area’s most famous place to see spectacular surf is The Wedge, located at 2172 E. Oceanfront, featuring massive waves most certainly not suitable for novice surfers.

“Newport Beach is a seaside holiday retreat beloved by millions of people around the world,” said Gary Sherwin, president and CEO of Newport Beach & Company. “A jewel of the southern California coastline, Newport Beach enjoys nearly year-round sunshine, which inspires an al fresco lifestyle of outdoor activities on the west coast’s largest recreational harbor, as well as dockside dining and shopping. With 10 unique and distinct neighborhoods and a calendar of special events, including the star-studded Newport Beach Film Festival, there is something for everyone.”

For more information, visit

CdM Chamber Sunset Mixer at Avila’s

All are invited to attend the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce’s Sunset Networking Mixer on Wednesday, March 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at Avila’s El Ranchito in Corona del Mar.


Courtesy of CdM Chamber of Commerce

Join Chamber members and community friends for an annual mixer filled with celebrations and festivities at the legendary Avila’s El Ranchito. This is an ideal opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine or a popular margarita and light tray-passed appetizers while sharing your business’ products or services with others.

Cost: The first glass of wine/beer or a margarita is complimentary (special $5 price thereafter). Chamber members are free; non-members are $10.

Avila’s El Ranchito is located at 2515 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. There is parking in the back of the restaurant and on the street. No RSVP is necessary.

For more information, contact the Corona del Mar Chamber of Commerce at 949.673.4050, or visit

New parking payment system at JWA

John Wayne Airport (JWA) has recently upgraded its parking system with Near Field Communication (NFC) capability as well as Europay, MasterCard® and Visa® EMV chip technology. This new system will provide an additional level of security to credit card transactions as well as enhance the parking experience by providing multiple payment options for JWA guests including the ability to use Apple Pay.

Guests may select either a ticket or ticketless option to enter JWA parking facilities.

Parking machine

For the ticket option, simply press the button on the parking entry kiosk to receive a ticket. Guests will use the same ticket for payment when exiting the parking facility.

Guests preferring a paperless route may use their credit card with a chip or the contactless Apple Pay feature for entry. The same credit card used upon entry must be used to exit the parking facility. Using the credit card or Apple Pay options eliminates the need for a ticket.

John Wayne Airport recommends that guests use the visual guides next to the machines and follow the prompts on the kiosk screen for assistance. Each parking facility has a staffed booth at each exit plaza should guests need additional assistance.

The new parking system upgrade provides additional security enhancements for airport guests using a credit card with a chip or Apple Pay. These options were not previously available. Cash, Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card and American Express are accepted in all airport parking locations.

New exhibition celebrates Dr. Seuss’ “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy”

“If I Ran the Zoo,” a new exhibition featuring Dr. Seuss’ little-known “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy,” and unveiling the world premiere of his “Powerless Puffer,” takes place at Lahaina Galleries on Saturday, March 24 with a free special opening reception from 4 - 7 p.m.

Eighty years have passed since Dr. Seuss produced what he called his “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy,” an amazing menagerie of Seussian animals often constructed from real animal beaks, antlers, horns, lions’ teeth, rabbit ears and turtle shells. In a long forgotten 1938 article featuring his extraordinary taxidermy sculptures, Look magazine dubbed Dr. Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.”

Seuss and sculpture

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Courtesy of Lahaina Galleries

Celebrating the release of Dr. Seuss’s “Powerless Puffer” – the final Marine Muggs cast-resin sculpture in the “Collection of Unorthodox Taxidermy” – the traveling exhibition is being launched to feature all 17 of these incomparable artworks. This new exhibition, “If I Ran the Zoo,” marks the first time all 17 sculptures have been presented together in an exhibition dedicated to Dr. Seuss’ sculptural heritage.

The exhibition highlights Dr. Seuss’ little-known sculptural legacy and spotlights the fascinating correlations between his two-dimensional artworks and three-dimensional sculpture. A featured example of this relationship will be presented as a special tour edition, re-created from Ted Geisel’s 1931 pen and ink drawing depicting two gentlemen in tuxedos and top hats, unsuccessfully attempting to hunt down more than 25 wonderfully Seussian animals.

The Art of Dr. Seuss Collection is relatively unknown by the general public, however, art aficionados have avidly followed and collected estate-authorized editions from the collection for nearly two decades. More than half of the collection’s 17 taxidermy sculptures are sold out, making the exhibit’s premiere of the “Powerless Puffer” an enormous event for art collectors and fine art galleries around the world.

At a recent exhibition dedicated to Theodor Seuss Geisel’s artwork, collection curator Bill Dreyer spoke directly about these artworks: “Originally created in the 1930s during Ted Geisel’s most prolific sculpting phase, Dr. Seuss’ little-known collection of taxidermy rivals some of the hippest postmodern sculpture on the art scene today. Without question, the Unorthodox Taxidermy is a gem of Dr. Seuss’ career, and the authorized estate editions have become one of the most exciting and collectible elements of his entire artistic legacy. Kudos to those who have recognized these avant-garde creations as important and substantial artistic contributions from one of the world’s most important literary icons.”

“The Wonderful World of Dr. Seuss,” Robert Cahn’s July 6, 1957 Saturday Evening Post article said it best, “Ted’s animals are the sort you’d like to take home to meet the family.”

The exhibit will remain on display through April 15. To RSVP to the opening night reception, call 949.721.9117, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Lahaina Galleries is located at 1173 Newport Center Drive in Fashion Island, Newport Beach.

Wine & Shine event at Levik’s Jewelers

You’re invited to a Wine & Shine party at Levik’s Jewelers by the Cove on Saturday, March 24 from 4 - 8 p.m. in the Crystal Cove Shopping Center.

Wine shine event

Come enjoy complimentary wine and appetizers as you browse the trunk show.

RSVP to 949.715.3899.

Crystal Cove Shopping Center is located at 7882 E. Coast Highway, Newport Coast.

National Library Week is coming in April

Enjoy a week’s worth of exciting events and happenings at the Newport Beach Public Library during National Library Week taking place April 8 - 14.

Check out these happenings!

Underground Railroad

Photos courtesy of Newport Beach Public Library

The Underground Railroad by author Colson Whitehead makes for a lively book discussion

Book Discussion Group: April 11 at 9 a.m., Central Library Friends Room – The book group is discussing The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. All are welcome and the event is free. Sponsored by the Newport Beach Library Foundation.

Shakespeare Reading Group: April 11 at 10 a.m., Central Library Sword Room – UCI Professor of English Andrea Henderson will be moderating this reading group in the discussion of Hamlet on April 11, 18, 25 and May 2, 9, 16 and 23. Registration is required. Call 949.717.3818.

Annie Banannie with balloons

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Meet storyteller and balloon lady, Annie Banannie

Annie Banannie’s Balloon Comedy Show: April 11 at 3:30 p.m., Balboa Branch Library – Audience volunteers help Annie tell fabulous stories with lots of balloon surprises along the way. The mind-blowing finale? The giant six-foot-balloon!


Author Annie Spence

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Photo by Alicia Gbur

Annie Spence, author of Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks

Meet the Author: Annie Spence: April 12 from 7 - 8:30 p.m., Central Library Friends Room – Writer/librarian Annie Spence brings her sense of humor to this presentation on her laugh-out-loud collection of love letters to her favorite books in her heart-warming book, Dear Fahrenheit 451: Love and Heartbreak in the Stacks: A Librarian’s Love Letters and Break Up Notes to the Books in Her Life. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Admission is free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis which is limited by room capacity.

Physics Fun!: April 14 at 11 a.m., Central Library Friends Room – Prepare to be amazed by physics teacher James Lincoln as he demonstrates various scientific phenomena, and kids enjoy hands-on experiments.

Wild Wonders boa

Check out this boa at Wild Wonders

Wild Wonders: April 14 at 3 p.m. at Mariners Branch Library – Kids of all ages are wild about live animals, especially in this “Walk on the Wildside” experience. See live animals! Children must be accompanied by an adult. No registration is required. First-come, first-served basis which is limited by capacity.

For more information, visit

Guest Column

Will O’Neill

The Blurred Line Between Tax Education and Tax Advocacy

Will O'Neill

Newport Beach Mayor Pro Tem Will O’Neill

After Stanton residents voted to increase their own sales tax, the city’s Finance Director crowed to his fellow municipal finance directors about his city’s successful campaign. According to his article, the only thing that “went wrong” was that Stanton “didn’t suppress the opposition with one-on-one meetings early.”  

Cities throughout our State have been using Orwellian tactics to “suppress” opposition to tax increases through coordinated and premeditated “education campaigns.” These campaigns operate in a grey legal area because each campaign uses public resources to accomplish its goals.

The California Supreme Court in Stanson v. Mott stated resolutely that “a fundamental precept of this nation’s democratic electoral process is that the government may not ‘take sides’ in election contests or bestow an unfair advantage on one of several competing factions.” The Supreme Court in Vargas v. City of Salinas then created its own grey area exception by allowing governmental entities to express publicly an opinion on the merits of a ballot measure so long as the governmental entity “does not expend public funds to mount a campaign on the measure.”

Cities undeterred by the Stanson prohibition or blinded by their own fiscal desperation of their own making have driven Mack trucks through the Vargas limited exception. Cities throughout our State are hiring political campaign consultants or public relations firms to “educate” the public on the cities’ opinion. At what point, though, do campaigns move from education to advocacy?

In 2010, for example, the City of Tracy hired political campaign consultant Lew Edwards in connection with a sales tax increase. According to the consultant’s presentation, the consultant conducted a poll to determine “campaign messaging,” draft the “ballot arguments,” and create the “ballot question wording.” The City then sent “education materials” to voters through broadcast television and City-created newsletters, presentations, emails, and even sent the materials through utility bill inserts.  

Campaign consultants respond to cities’ requests for proposal by touting their “wins” or “successes,” which they define by whether a tax measure passes. One consultant bragged that it has “enacted more than $30 Billion in California revenue measures with a success rate of 94 percent.” Another consultant bragged that its “competitive strength” is that “we WIN.” Where the objective is supposedly public education, though, winning and losing or success and failure cannot be measured by ballot box results.

Enough is enough. Cities must stop using tax dollars to advocate under the thinly veiled guise of education.  

The City of Newport Beach recently passed a resolution prohibiting public expenditure on these “education” campaigns. We invite other City leaders to use our resolution as a model. We also invite residents throughout the State to demand that their leaders stop hiring campaign consultants who view tax increases as “wins.”  

Will O’Neill is Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Newport Beach. He will gladly provide anyone a copy of the City’s Resolution and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Friends of the Library to host book sale this weekend

Friends of the Library will host a book sale this weekend, March 24 - 25, at the Corona del Mar Branch Library, located at 420 Marigold Avenue, Corona del Mar.

The sale will give community members one last chance to visit the branch building before demolition, as well as the opportunity to purchase books at bargain prices.


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Courtesy of Newport Beach Public Library

(L-R): Friends of the Library Roberta Luque, Judy Kelly and Amy Hunt prepare for the book sale at the Corona del Mar Branch Library

On Saturday, the sale will be held from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. with hardback books on sale at two for $1 and paperbacks four for $1. On Sunday, from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., bargain hunters will be able to pick up a bag of books for $2. Proceeds from the sale will fund future library collections and programs.

During the construction period, customers will be able to use services at Central Library or concierge services at OASIS Senior Center for pickup and return of materials.

Existing holds set for pickup at Corona del Mar have been re-routed to Central Library. Customers can change their desired pickup location by accessing their account online or by contacting the Library.

Storytimes will be held on Tuesday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and Thursday mornings at 11:45 a.m. at Grant Howald Park’s Community Youth Center beginning April 10. A complete schedule of Central Library storytimes is available on the library website at

For more information on Newport Beach Public Library resources and programs, contact the Library at 949.717.3800, option 2, or visit the website.

Free Fun ahead in April at Argyros Plaza

Argyros Plaza

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Courtesy of

Prepare to dance this April, because things are about to start hopping and shakin’ on the Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Among the exciting free events planned is the final Swing Dance Lesson from a series that started in March and a Sip & Swing! Party on April 15 for anyone with all the right moves.

On April 14, the Center invites everyone from around Orange County to extend a heartfelt welcome to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on its return to the Center. Revelations Celebration! is a joyful community dance event where hundreds gather on the Plaza to learn signature Ailey dance movements and participate in a grand finale, performing a portion of Alvin Ailey’s beloved work, Revelations. Brilliance: A Night of Music and Light puts the Argyros Plaza in a whole new light! Visitors are encouraged to dress in vibrant colors that will glow and reflect in the special lighting effects planned for this luminescent evening. And for a final note – continue the Argyros Plaza evenings with Live Band Karaoke with Casual Encounters Karaoke.

Schedule of Events:

Swing at Six on Friday, April 6 from 6 - 7 p.m.

Sip & Swing! Party on Sunday, April 15 from 5 - 7 p.m. (Immediately preceding “Postmodern Jukebox” at 7 p.m. in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, a ticketed event.) The final class in the Center’s Swing Dance lessons that started in March takes place on April 6 from 6 - 7 p.m. All in preparation for the Center’s big Sip & Swing! Party on Sunday, April 15 from 5 - 7 p.m. Martin Parker of Dance Scene Dance Studio in Costa Mesa will teach the West Coast Swing. Then on April 15, it’s all swank, swing and sway to the live music of Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang. All experience levels are welcome! Come dressed in your best for the chance to win the Dapper Costume Contest. 

Revelations Celebration! on Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. You’re in for a revelation, indeed – an Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Revelations Celebration! In anticipation of the Ailey’s April 19 - 22 performances in Segerstrom Hall, the Center and AAADT invite the entire community, dance fans and novices, to celebrate the joy of dance and learn signature Ailey movement and choreography from members of the company. It all culminates with a grand community dance where everyone can show off their new Ailey moves as they perform a portion of Alvin Ailey’s classic work, Revelations.

Brilliance: A Night of Music and Light on Saturday, April 21 from 7 - 10 p.m. Celebrating World Creativity and Innovation Day, when the sun goes down you can help to transform the Argyros Plaza into a world of light and color. Gather your friends, wear your favorite light-up or glow-in-the-dark accessories and enjoy a free concert with L.A.’s De Lux, a post-disco dance-punk DIY duo fresh from the South by Southwest Music. De Lux sounds like they could have come out of 1979 or 1982 just as easily as 2013. Take a break in the Center’s light painting booth, try some luminescent face paint and revive yourself with something from the Center 360 Café. At the end of the end, drive home safely with Uber. First-time users, some the Promo Code “SCFTA” and get up to $15 off your ride.

Live Band Karaoke with the Close Encounters on Saturday, April 28 from 6 - 9 p.m. Pick a song, nearly any song, because live band karaoke is back on the Argyros Plaza. Make it a meet up or your own “So You Think You Can Sing” party. Sing out, Orange County!

The Julianne and George Argyros Plaza at Segerstrom Center for the Arts is located at 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. For more information, visit, or call 714.556.2787.

Villa Real Estate launches new mobile app

Villa Real Estate, one of Orange County’s leading luxury real estate firms, has unveiled a new mobile app to make home shopping easier than ever. The free app, simply named Villa Real Estate, allows home shoppers to search for a home using a variety of criteria, as well as search for a Villa agent based on their areas of expertise.

The Villa Real Estate app offers home searches from the location, size and price, to features such as fireplaces, pools, waterfront properties, and other amenities, for a more in-depth home search. The app refreshes every 10 minutes with current listings directly from the MLS.

Villa app

Submitted photo

Users can swipe to the right on homes they like, or swipe left on homes that don’t fit their needs, to remove those properties from future searches. Home shoppers can tap on home to get more details and information on the property, and even sync open homes to their phone’s calendar.

Home buyers can also mark their favorite listings, share them with others via email or text message, schedule a showing at the click of a button, and communicate with their agent via in-app messaging. The Villa Real Estate app is available for both iOS and Android users. 

“At Villa, we pride ourselves on offering our agents and home shoppers with the latest technology and marketing tools for the best possible real estate experience, regardless if they are buying or selling a home,” said Brittney Champieux, director of marketing at Villa Real Estate, which also recently launched a new website with powerful search criteria. “Our new app provides detailed and accurate information on listings in real time, making home searching an easier process.”

For more information, visit

Farm to Fork: A Foodie’s Point of View Fork


Easter Brunch and more…enjoy the “hunt” for Springtime fare and some surprises, too!

Easter Sunday, coming April 1, is just right around the corner, so here’s a round-up of Newport Beach restaurants offering Easter dining, with a mélange of creative, fresh ingredients on the menu to savor with friends and family. Make your reservations now to secure seating.

Easter Bunny at Back Bay Bistro

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Courtesy of Back Bay Bistro

A visit from the Easter Bunny with some “big kids” at Back Bay Bistro

Back Bay Bistro, overlooking Upper Newport Bay, is serving Sunday brunch from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. (the last reservation is accepted at 1:30 p.m.)  Enjoy signature breakfast dishes with a build-you-own omelet station, a carving station featuring honey-glazed ham and New York strip steak, a seafood station with King Crab legs, and an array of desserts, including white and milk chocolate fountains. Cost: Adults, $79 which includes bottomless Champagne and mimosas; Children 12 years of age and under, $38. Kids, young and “grown-up,” can expect a special visit from the Easter Bunny! Reservations are recommended. 1131 Back Bay Bistro Drive, Newport Beach (at Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort). Call 949.729.1144.

Cucina Enoteca, a California-inspired Italian kitchen and wine shop, featuring Italian classics with a modern twist, is offering an all-you-can-eat buffet from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Cost: Adults, $45; Children, 12 years of age and younger are $18. 951 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Outdoor dining available. Call 949.706.1416.

Fig & Olive, known for the best olive oils, flavors and cuisine from the Riviera and Coastal regions of the South of France, Italy and Spain, is offering s prix fixe menu from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cost: $42 per person. 151 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.877.3005.

Fashion Island Hotel, where it’s time to round up the family and hop over for an Easter feast and fashionable fun! They’re transforming the Ballroom into a colorful Easter wonderland with live entertainment, kids’ face painting and egg decorating, pictures with the Easter Bunny and a family photo to capture all the fun memories. The bountiful brunch buffet features favorites like made-to-order crepes, seasonal salads, tasty desserts and a selection of kids’ favorites. And what’s an Easter celebration without an egg-citing egg hunt on the front lawn? Seatings take place at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Cost: Adults: $80; Children ages 5 - 12, $20. Youngsters four years of age and under are free. Pricing includes tax and gratuity. 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.760.4913.

Fashion Island Hotel candy

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Submitted photo

Confectionery fun at the Fashion Island Hotel

Five Crowns, a Corona del Mar dining icon, is serving brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 - 8 p.m. Experience world-class hospitality while indulging in special three-course menus featuring holiday favorites and classic accompaniments courtesy of Executive Chef Alejandra Padilla. Both brunch and dinner prix-fixe menus highlight succulent starters such as lobster bisque with crème fraîche and Pride of the Crowns salad with bacon, toasted walnuts, gruyere and herbs de Provence dressing. Mouthwatering mains feature crab benedict with poached eggs, béarnaise and truffled potatoes on the brunch menu and seared salmon with leek soubise, zucchini, artichokes, dill and garlic chips on the dinner menu. Choose from decadent dessert options including Meyer lemon beignets during brunch and crème brûlée with champagne berries at dinner. Cost: Brunch: $38 - $85; Dinner: $44 - $85. Beverages, tax and tip are additional. 3801 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. Call 949.760.0331.

Five Crowns Salmon

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Submitted photo

Seared salmon with leek soubise, zucchini, artichokes and garlic chips is on the Easter dinner menu at Five Crowns

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, with a commitment to seasonal ingredients, is known for USDA Prime beef and its award-winning wine list of 100 wines by the glass. Enjoy a three-course brunch from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cost: Adults, $50; Children, 12 years of age and younger are $16. 455 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.720.9633.

Great Maple Libations and Seasonal Plates, with its appreciation for seasonal produce, responsible seafood and farm fresh meats, is serving Easter specials from 10 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. Outdoor dining available. 1133 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.706.8282.

Oak Grill Fireside Patio at the Fashion Island Hotel will be brimming with holiday brunch selections to make the Easter Bunny proud. Guests can start their morning by visiting the build-your-own-omelet station or the pancake bar. For seafood lovers, “on the water” offers oysters, shrimp and a build-your-own-poke station. There are plenty of straight-from-the-farm salads, as well as a chef’s carving corner serving up meats and fish such as herb-roasted chicken and whole planked salmon. Kids will love all the live-action stations, but there are chicken tenders, hot dogs and other favorites too. Sweet temptations include vanilla bean cupcakes, lemon panna cotta, Oreo cheesecake and strawberry lemonade cake. To quench holiday thirsts, Hydrate is pouring bottomless mimosas, with Bloody Mary’s and margaritas at an additional charge. Cost: Adults: $90; Children ages 5 - 12, $25. Youngsters four years of age and under are free. Pricing excludes tax and gratuity. 690 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.760.4920.

Red O Mexican Taste of Mexico, featuring Chef Rick Bayless’ signature Mexican cuisine with a lighter California-infused menu is presenting a buffet from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Cost: Adults, $49; Children, 6 years of age and under are $15. 250 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach. Call 949.718.0300.

Pelican Hill Easter Egg Hunt

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Courtesy of Pelican Hill Resort

Youngsters delight in the Easter egg hunt and a visit from the Easter Bunny at Pelican Hill Resort, with panoramic Pacific Ocean vistas

The Resort at Pelican Hill is offering myriad dining choices from brunch to dinner and a featured lounge menu. 22701 Pelican Hill Road South, Newport Coast. Call 949.467.6833.

Traditional Easter Brunch in Mar Vista’s Grand Ballroom from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Let the little ones partake in the Easter egg hunt, then visit with the Easter Bunny! Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Dubray presents traditional brunch favorites, accented with California and Tuscan flavors. Easter egg hunts begin at 9:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Cost: Adults: $128; Children, ages 5 - 12, $60; Complimentary for children under age 5. Prices exclude tax and service charge.

Easter at Andrea Ristorante from 12 - 3 p.m. and 5 - 10 p.m. This traditional Easter feast is a prix fixe tasting menu from Chef Troy. Enjoy his award-winning Northern Italian cuisine, along with fine wines from regions throughout Italy. Bring the whole family for a three-course lunch from 12 - 3 p.m. or a four-course dinner from 5 - 10 p.m.

Cost: Lunch - Adults: $95; Children, 12 and under, $50; Dinner - Adults: $130; Children, 12 and under, $65. Prices exclude tax and service charge.

Easter at Pelican Grill. Chef Marc always has a few tricks up his sleeve, and he’s creating a special selection of á la carte dishes for Easter at Pelican Grill from 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m., for Easter specials and a featured lounge menu. 

Coliseum French Toast

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Courtesy of Pelican Hill Resort

The French toast is an Easter show-stopper at Coliseum Pool & Grill

Easter Breakfast at Coliseum Pool & Grill. Bring the entire family down to Coliseum Pool & Grill, as Chef Diego creates an extraordinary breakfast buffet. All of your favorites will be on display for breakfast from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m., and then they’ll feature á la carte Easter dinner specials into the night. Cost: Adults: $65; Children, 12 and under, $30 for the breakfast buffet; complimentary for children under age 5.

The Winery

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Courtesy of The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

A toast to Easter at The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar

The Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, on Mariner’s Mile with views of the harbor, will be offering a three-course menu, courtesy of Chef Yvon Goetz, from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Starters include Main lobster bisque, Santa Barbra smoked salmon and wild jumbo shrimp cocktail, among others; entrees such as The Winery eggs benedict and braised short rib hash & fried eggs or the grilled Mary’s chicken sandwich are sure to please; and end with sweet Pastry Chef’s petit fours. Enhance your brunch experience with The Winery seafood tower or Tsar Nicoulai reserve caviar and endless bubbles! Cost for the three-course brunch: $46.95 per guest, excludes tax and gratuity. 3131 W. Coast Highway, Newport Beach. Call 949.999.6622.

Zinc Café & Market is serving Easter Brunch from 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. Order any of your breakfast favorites right off the menu. Specialties include French toast, breakfast burrito (bowl or wrap), Zinc waffle, huevos rancheros, baked spinach egg casserole, avocado toast and a banh mi sandwich, among others. While you’re there pick up some lemon shortbread chick & egg-shaped cookies baked in house and decorated with colored sugars and packaged in cellophane with a coordinated ribbon. You can also find Springtime basket stuffers such as artisan made chocolates and candies. Outside patio dining available. 3222 E. Coast Highway, Corona del Mar. Call 949.719.9462.

Happy Easter…

Ciao Vincenza!


Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on Easter dining.