Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Someone is collecting signatures and no one knows for whom

Who dat?

That’s what people are asking around town following a signature gathering effort last week in front of the CVS Pharmacy in Westcliff Shopping Center. Apparently, a man was photographed accepting signatures “against the Museum House project” in Newport Beach.

The police were called and met with the man. No apparent other action was taken. 

Line in the Sand, the political action committee organized against the Museum House, denied that the signature gatherer was from their organization.

A piece of advice, make certain you understand what petitions or referendums you’re signing. In many cases personal information is traded that potentially makes the signer vulnerable.

Line in the Sand expects their signature gatherers to be out at shopping centers throughout the community beginning this Tuesday. The document should be relatively easy to spot. City Councilman Ed Selich added additional requirements to the referendum requiring it to be some 1100+ pages in length, or basically the size of a phone book. The entire document is required to be present at the time of signing.

Some 8,000 signatures will need to be secured in the 30-day deadline required in order for the referendum to qualify.

Sometimes in life, especially in Newport Beach, you cross paths with people you’d never expect to meet otherwise. One such person was two-time Olympic gold medal winner Sammy Lee.

Lee won medals in both the 1948 Games in London and 1952 Games in Helsinki in the 10 meter platform diving. In 1953 Lee also was awarded the James E. Sullivan Award as the most outstanding amateur athlete in the United States.

Lee passed away Saturday in Newport Beach at 96 following a battle with pneumonia.

For me, the best memories of Lee were not related to the swimming pool, after all, he won his medals before I was even born. So I can’t really say I was a fan. But what I remember most is his well-earned dais spot at one of Paul Salata’s Irrelevant Week head table roasts.

Salata, Irrelevant Week founder, and Lee were great friends. A typical interaction between the two would have Salata introducing Lee, and then placing a chair behind the microphone stand so that the under 5’ Lee could stand on it and see over the top. Lee would then launch into one of infamous “adults only” stories.

Everyone, and I mean everyone would laugh, shaking their respective heads at the same time.

Lee was as good as it gets. He will be missed.

And finally, don’t forget to go by the Friends Room tonight at the Central Library. Mayor Diane Dixon will be hosting her final Town Hall of 2016. Dixon has been wonderful in hosting these events and attempting to keep constituents informed.

Tonight is no different. She’ll introduce new councilman Jeff Herdman, discuss community safety issues, the budget, reflections on the past year and have a discussion on what the legalization of marijuana means for our community.

The meeting is free and begins at 6:30 p.m.

The Friends Room is located in the Newport Beach Public Library, 1000 Avocado Ave.