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Newport Beach

Volume 6, Issue 83  | October 15, 2021


Fair Game

By TOM JOHNSON

Although we’re not out of the woods, oil clean-up has gone well and volunteers now sought

Tom new picNewport Beach City Manager Grace Leung has signed an emergency declaration in response to the 126,000-gallon oil spill off the coast of Newport Beach and surrounding cities. The city council is expected to ratify it at their meeting on Tuesday night, Oct. 12. 

What that effectively means is that the city can now request additional resources from the state and federal governments as they become available to assist in response and recovery efforts.

As most everyone knows by now, the spill originated on Saturday, Oct. 2 (remember the smell?) off the coast of Huntington Beach. The cause is now assumed to be a tanker ship, sitting off the coast waiting for entry into our overcrowded West Coast ports, whose anchor purportedly latched onto and then broke an underwater pipeline.

According to our City Manager’s office, as of yesterday, “modest amounts of oil continue to come ashore, with the majority of the spill remaining offshore. Maps from the last 24 hours show the highest concentration moving to the south of (Newport Beach).”

She also points out that these storms now coming into our area and the upcoming high wind forecasts could negatively impact the movement of the oil.

The harbor entrance into Newport Beach remains closed, but there are ongoing discussions as to when it might be reopened.

As off yesterday, there were some 300 people on our local beaches doing cleanup.

Fair Game beach cleanup

Courtesy of the City of Newport Beach

Registered workers combing the local beach removing the effects of last week’s oil spill

The public had been advised to steer clear of the beaches and all wildlife being affected. That, however, is changing. Volunteers are now being encouraged to register to help. Requirements: they must be at least 18 years of age, be able to lift 25 pounds and “willing to follow county COVID procedures”

If you’d like to register, go to https://calspillwatch.wildlife.ca.gov/Volunteer.

Other ways to help are through donations. There are several good local organizations that could use the help, specifically, the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center, the Pacific Marine Mammal Center and the Surfrider Foundation.

I’m sure that many locals are donating to the cause. One donation of note is $10,000 coming from the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina.

“While our location is luckily unaffected by the coastal spill, the ecological impact that this disaster has had on our community is tremendous,” said Phil Ravenna, general manager of Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina. “We wanted to make sure that these incredible organizations have the resources they need to respond quickly to support the wildlife affected by this crisis and continue their important work for many years to come.”

State Senator Dave Min is reportedly putting forth legislation to have the oil rigs off the coast removed permanently and ending future drilling. I like it, but I’d feel better if it was coming from Congresswoman Michelle Steel, only because it’s a federal issue.

People love to overreact in situations like these. Fortunately, no one has proposed preventing container ships from coming into our west coast ports, yet. I wish I could bet that it wouldn’t happen but leave it to some wacko to do so.

If you’re wondering where most of the things come from in your everyday life, remember this: at the Port of Long Beach alone, 4,296,693 TEUS have been off-loaded year-to-date. A TEAU is a “20-foot equivalent unit of cargo capacity” or perhaps better translated to a cargo container seen on the back of a truck or stacked on a passing freight train.

And that’s only Long Beach. The Port of LA brings in another 9,000,000+ annually.

• • •

John Emme was a beloved baseball coach and teacher at Corona del Mar High School. He died tragically last month, a week after crashing while riding an electric bike.

He will be remembered in a “Celebrating John Emme” remembrance on the CdM baseball field on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 11 a.m. It seems only fitting that it will take place on the field where John did some of his best work and where he lived out the passion of his life.

• • •

There’s a young professionals group through the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce that call themselves NAVIGATE. It’s dedicated to “providing a unique and interactive experience with content specially designed to engage ages 25-40.”

So, if you fit those parameters and feel like having some fun, why not try on their upcoming Pumpkin Decorating Contest for size. It happens next Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at Sherman Library & Gardens

Those attending will network and then be placed on teams where they’ll decorate pumpkins. Pumpkins and decorating materials will be supplied.

Of course, there will be prizes, and while costumes are encouraged, they’re not required.

Admission is free and a no-host bar will be provided. Reservations, however, are required and you can register here.

• • •

Meanwhile, the Corona del Mar Chamber will feature Congresswoman Michelle Steel at their upcoming Good Morning CdM! meeting on Thursday, Oct. 14 from 7:30-9 a.m. at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Rep. Steel will offer up an inside report on what’s happening in congress.

The meeting will also feature legislative updates from the offices of a number of local officials, including Councilwoman Joy Brenner, Senator Dave Min, Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris and Supervisor Katrina Foley.

It’s free and open to the community at large. No RSVP is required.

The BCYC is located at 1601 Bayside Drive in CdM.

• • •

Correction: In Fair Game we earlier reported in error that the California Coastal Commission was meeting this week. The meeting is scheduled virtually next Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 13-15.

Who we are:

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